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the Pelagians; along with the Jovinianists, who with the Stoics make all sins equal. But we think, as to all things in this cause, with Augustine, who brought forth and defended his sentiments (sua) from the holy scriptures. Moreover we condemn Florinus and Blastus, against whom Irenæus also wrote, and all who make God the author of sin: when it is expressly written, “ Thou art not a God who willest iniquity: Thou hatest all who work iniquity, thou wilt destroy all who speak a lie.”' And again, “ When the devil speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; because he is a liar, and the father of the thing." But even in ourselves there is enough of vice and corruption, so that it is not at all necessary for God to pour into us any new or increased pravity. Therefore, when it is said in the scriptures, that God “ hardens," “ blinds,” and “ delivers up to a reprobate mind;" it should be understood, that God doth this by a righteous judgment, as a judge and just avenger. Finally, as often as God is said, or seems, to do any thing of evil, it is not said because man does not the evil, but because God suffers, and does not hinder it to be done, by his own just judgment, who could, if he had so willed, have prevented it: or that he uses to good purpose the evil of man; as the sins of Joseph's brethren: or that he himself governs sins, that they should no more widely break forth and prevail, than was convenient (quam par erat). St. Augustine, in his Enchiridion, says, “In a wonderful and ineffable manner, even that does not come to pass beyond his will, which is contrary to his will: because it could not come to pass, unless he should permit it to be done. Nor indeed does he unwillingly permit, but willingly. Nor would he who is good permit evil to be done, unless, as omnipotent, he was able to do good even from the evil. These things he says.—The other questions, Whether God willed Adam to fall, or impelled him to the fall ? or, wherefore he did not hinder his fall ? and other questions ; we place them among the curious ones; knowing that God prohibited man to eat of the forbidden fruit, and that he punished the transgression : but that the things which are done are not evil in respect of the providence of God, of the will and power of God; but in respect of Satan, and of our own will, fighting against the will of God.'
'Ps. v. 4-6.
Article 1x.---Concerning Free Will, and the Powers of Man.
· We teach in this cause, (which always in the church has begotten many controversies,) that the condition or state of man should be considered as threefold. In the first place, what man was before the fall, upright indeed and free, who was both able to remain in the good, and to turn aside unto evil. But he turned aside unto eyil, and entangled both himself and the whole human race in sin and death ; as it has before been said. Then it is to be considered what man was after the fall. Not indeed that understanding was taken away from man, or will torn from him, and he altogether changed into a stone or the trunk of a tree : but those were so changed and diminished in man, that they were no longer capable of those things of which they were before the fall. For the understanding was darkened ; and the will from free became a slave. For it serves sin, not unwillingly, but willingly: therefore it is called voluntas, not noluntas, willingness, not unwillingness. Therefore, as far as evil or sin is concerned, man is not forced, either by God or by the devil; but does evil of his own accord; (sua sponte, spontaneously :) and, on this side, is of most free will (liberrimi est arbitri). For, in that we not unfrequently see the worst villainies of man, and his counsels, to be hindered by God that they should not attain their end; this does not take away the liberty of man in evil; but God prevents (prævenit) with his power what man had otherwise freely determined. Even as the brethren of Joseph had freely purposed to take off Joseph ; 'but they could not, because it seemed otherwise to the counsel of God.-But, as to that which concerns what is good and virtuous, the understanding of man does not of itself judge rightly of divine things. For the evangelic and apostolic scripture requires regeneration from every one of us, who desires to be saved. Whence our first birth of Adam confers on us nothing towards salvation. Paul says, “ The animal man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, &c."! He likewise denies elsewhere that we are “ fit (idoneos) of ourselves to think any thing good.”? It is evident that the mind or understanding is the guide of the will; but when the guide is blind, it is manifest how far the will also can attain. Therefore indeed, there is no free will to good in man, not as yet born again ; nor powers to 1 Cor. ii. 14. Vuxenòs.
2 Cor. iii. 5.
perform what is good. The Lord in the gospel saith, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, that every one who committeth sin; is the slave of sin."! And the apostle Paul saith, “ The affection of the flesh is enmity against God.” “ For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”? Truly there is some understanding in fallen man, as to earthly things. For God of his mercy hath left him a capacity; yet far distant from what was in him before the fall. God commands him to cultivate his capacity, and he adds at the same time gifts and proficiency. And it is manifest that we make, as it were, no proficiency in all the arts, without the blessing of God. For the scripture refers all arts unto God: indeed even the gentiles referred the origin of arts to the gods as the inventors of them.—Lastly, it is to be seen whether the regenerate are possessed of a free will, and how far. In regeneration the understanding is illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that it should understand the mysteries and the will of God: and the will itself is not only changed by the Holy Spirit, but it is endued with powers, so that it may of its own accord (sua sponte) will and be able to do good. Unless we grant this, we deny Christian liberty, and introduce legal slavery. But even the prophet introduces God as saying, “I will put my laws into their minds, and in their hearts will I write them.” And the Lord also saith in the gospel, “ If the Son shall make you free, then are ye free indeed.” Paul also says to the Philippians; “ To you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him." 'And again, “I am persuaded that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it to the day of the Lord Jesus.” And also, “ It is God who worketh in you, both that you may be willing, and that you may be able.” Where we teach that two things are to be observed; namely, that the regenerate, in the choice and performance of good, act not only passively but actively. They are influenced by God, that they themselves may do what they do. For Augustine rightly adduces this, that God is called " our Helper ;” but no one wanteth a helper but he that doeth somewhat. The Manichæans robbed man of all action, and made him as a stone or a stock.-Secondly, in the regenerate there remains infirmity. For, wben sin dwelleth in us, and the flesh striveth against the spirit, even unto the end of our life; the regenerate cannot, as unencumbered, altogether perform that 1 John viii. 34.
- Rom. viii, 7, 8.
which they had determined. These things are confirmed by the apostle in the seventh of Romans, and in the fifth of Galatians. Therefore, indeed, our free will, (liberum arbitrium) is weak, because of the remains of the old Adam, and of natural (agnate) human depravity abiding in us to the end of life. In the mean while, as the powers of the flesh, and the remains of the old 'man, are not so efficacious that they should entirely extinguish the operation of the Spirit; on this account believers are called free (liberi:) but so that they acknowledge infirmity, and can glory nothing concerning their free will. For certainly that ought always to be present before the minds of the faithful, which blessed Augustine so often inculcates, from the apostle : “ What hast thou that thou hast not received ? and, if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory, as though thou hadst not received it?” To this it must be added, that the thing does not immediately come to pass which we have determined. For the events of things are placed in the hands of God. Whence Paul prays to the Lord, to prosper bis journey. And even on this account our free will is feeble.-But no one denies that, in externals, the regenerate and the unregenerate have free will. For man both has this constitution in common with the animals, to whom he is not inferior, that he should will some things, and not will other things. Thus he is able to speak or to be silent; to go out of his house or to remain at home. Though even here also the power of God is to be observed, which effected, that Balaam could not reach that which he willed; neither could Zacharias, coming out of the temple, speak as he willed.-In this concern we condemn the Manichæans, who deny that to man (when) good, the beginning of evil was from free will; We condemn also the Pelagians, who say, that man (when) evil has sufficiently free will for the performance of the good commandment. Both are convicted by the holy scripture, which saith to those, “ God made man upright;” and to these, “ If the Son shall make you free, then are ye free indeed.” ARTICLE X.-Concerning the Predestination of God, and the
. Election of the Saints. • God from eternity predestinated or elected, freely and of bis mere grace, without any respect of man, the saints whom he willeth to save in Christ, according to that of the apostle: “God chose us in him, before the foundations of the world were laid.”. And again, “Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling
not according to our works, but according to his purpose and grace, which was given unto us through Christ Jesus, before eternal times; but is now made manifest by the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Therefore not without a medium, though not for any merit of ours, but in Christ, and because of Christ, God elected us: so that those same persons who now are grafted into Christ by faith are also the elect: but the reprobate are those who are without Christ, according to that of the apostle: “ Try your own selves, whether ye be in the faith. Do ye not know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?"! Finally, the saints are elected in Christ, by God, unto a certain end, which also the apostle expounds, and says: “ He hath elected us in him, that we should be holy and unblameable before him in love: Who predestinated us, that he might adopt us for children by Jesus Christ unto himself; that the glory of his grace may be praised.": And, though God knows who are his own, and somewhere mention is made of the fewness of the elect; yet good hope is to be entertained concerning all, neither is any one rashly to be numbered among the reprobate. Paul certainly says to the Philippians,“ I give thanks for you all,” (he speaks concerning the whole church at Philippi,) “ that ye have come into the fellowship of the gospel : being persuaded that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it: as it is just, that I should think this of you all.”? And, when our Lord was asked, “ Are they who are saved few?” the Lord did not answer or say, that fewer or more would be saved; but he exhorts rather that every one should “ strive to enter in at the strait gate.” As if he had said : It does not belong to you to inquire over curiously concerning these things, but rather earnestly to endeavour to enter heaven by the right way.' – Therefore indeed we do not approve the impious words of certain persons, who say, Few are elected, and as I do not know whether I be in the number of these few persons, I will not withhold indulgence from my inclination (genium meum non fraudabor). Others say: if I am predestinated or elected of God, nothing can hinder me of salvation which is already certainly determined; whatever I may devise (designavero). But, if I am of the number of the reprobate, no faith or repentance will '2 Cor. xiii. 5. ' Eph. i. 4-6. 3 Phil. i. 3—7. Luke xiii, 23—28. Compare the first Article of the Synod of Dort.
The word implies devising some new scheme, particularly of mischief or wichedness. See Ter. Adelph. I. ii. 1.6, 7.