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8. For this was the most free counsel, and gracious will and intention of God the Father, that the life-giving and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his own Son should exert itself in all the elect, in order to give them alone justifying faith, and thereby to lead them to eternal life : that is, God willed that Christ, through the blood of the cross, (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should, out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer on them the gift of faith ; (which, as well as other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he obtained for them by his death ;) that he should cleanse them by his own blood from all sins, both original and actual, committed after as well as before faith; that he should preserve them faithfully to the end ; and at length present them glorious before himself without any spot and blemish.'
9. This counsel, having proceeded from eternal love to the elect, has, from the beginning of the world to this present time, (the gates of hell in vain striving against it,) been mightily fulfilled, and will henceforth also be fulfilled ; so that indeed the elect may in their time be gathered together in one, and that there may always be some church of believers founded in the blood of Christ, who
counsel, according to his gratuitous goodness by Jesus Christ our Lord, he elected, without any respect to their works: but ' Just, in leaving others in that their own fall and perdition, into
which they had cast themselves headlong.' Belgic Confession, Article xvi.
'John vi. 37-40, 44, 65. Eph. v. 25—27. 1 Pet.i. 2–5. Rey, v. 9, 10.
may constantly love the Saviour, who for her, as a bridegroom for his bride, gave up his soul upon the cross ; and perseveringly worship him, and celebrate him here and to all eternity.
BY THE TRANSLATOR.
These nine articles are thus abbreviated by Tilenus, and the abbreviation adopted by Heylin, and in the · Refutation of Calvinism.'
Art. II. Of the Merit and Effect of Christ's
“That Jesus Christ hath not suffered death, but for those elect only: having neither had any 'intent nor commandment of his Faher, to make • satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.'!
REJECTION OF ERRORS UNDER THE SECOND HEAD.
The orthodox doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those,
1. Who teach, "That God the Father destined his own Son unto the death of the cross, without a certain and definite counsel of saving any one by name, (or particularly, nominatim,) ? so that its own necessity, utility, and meritoriousness
(dignitas) might stand unimpaired (sarta tecta) 'to the benefit obtained (impetrationi) by the
death of Christ, and be perfect in its measures, . (numeris,) complete and entire, even if the ob
See Art. 4, 5, above. Rev. xii. 8. xvii. 8. xx. 15.
*tained redemption had never, in the fact, been "applied to any individual.' For this assertion is contumelious to the wisdom of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, and is contrary to scripture : as the Saviour says, “I lay down my life for the “ sheep, and I know them :" John X. 15. 27 : and the prophet Isaiah concerning the Saviour ; “ When he shal} give himself a sacrifice for sin, “ he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, “ and the will of JEHOVAH shall prosper in his “ hand.” Is. liii. 10. And, finally, it overturns the article of faith by which we believe the church.'!
2. Who teach, “That this was not the end of the death of Christ, that he might, in very deed, confirm the new covenant of grace through his 'blood; but only that he might, acquire a bare * right to the Father of entering again into some 'covenant with men, either of grace or of works. For this contradicts the scripture, which teaches, that “ Christ is become the Surety and Mediator “ of a better covenant.” Heb. vii. 22. And “A “ testament is at length ratified in those that are “ dead.” Heb. ix. 15, 17.2
3. Who teach,' That Christ, by his satisfaction, did not with certainty (certo) merit salvation itself, and faith by which this satisfaction of Christ may be effectually applied unto salvation ; but only that 'he acquired to the Father power, and a plenary 'will, of acting anew with men, and of prescribing
"For in this case there might possibly have been no“ church “ of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts xx. 28.
? Isa. xlii. 6. xlix. 8. Dan. ix. 27. Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark xiv. 24. Gr. Heb. ix. 13-23. xii. 20.
whatever new conditions he willed, the per• formance of which might depend on the free will
of man ; and therefore it might so happen either * that none or that all might fulfil them. Now these think far too meanly of the death of Christ; they in no wise acknowledge the principal fruit, or benefit obtained by it, and they recal from hell the Pelagian heresy.!
4. Who teach, “That that new covenant of grace, which God the Father, through the intervention
of the death of Christ, hath ratified with men, * does not consist in this, that by faith, forasmuch as
it apprehends the merit of Christ, we are justified * before God and saved; but in this, that God,
having abrogated the exaction of perfect legal obedience, imputes (reputet) faith itself, and the
imperfect obedience of faith, for the perfect • obedience of the law, and graciously reckons it as deserving of the reward of eternal life.' For these contradict the scripture: “ They are jus“ tified freely by his grace, through the redemption « made in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth “ as a propitiation, through faith in his blood." Rom. iii. 24, 25. And with the impious Socinus, they introduce a novel and strange justification
* That so large a body of learned theologians, collected from various churches, should unanimously, without hesitation, and in so strong language, declare the error here rejected to be the revival of the Pelagian heresy, may indeed astonish and disgust numbers in our age and land, who oppose something, at least exceedingly like this, against the doctrines called evangelical ; but it should lead them to reflect on the subject, and to pray over it. Are they not, in opposing Calvinism, reviving and propagating the heresy of Pelagius ?
of man before God, contrary to the consent of the universal church. I
5. Who teach, “That all men are taken into a * state of reconciliation and the grace of the co* venant; so that no one on account of original
sin is liable to damnation, or to be damned; but " that all are exempt from the condemnation of
this sin. For this opinion opposes the scripture, affirming, that “ By nature we are the children " of wrath.” 2
1. We of good reason and right, say with divine Paul, That “we are justified by faith alone,” or “ by faith without the “ works of the law.” But properly speaking, we by no means
understand, that faith by itself, or of itself, justifies us ; seeing • it is that which becomes indeed as an instrument, by which we • apprehend Christ our righteousness. Christ therefore himself is our righteousness, who imputes unto us all his own merits ; but faith is an instrument, by which we are joined to him in • the society or communion of all his goods, and are retained • in it : insomuch that all these, having been made our's are • more than sufficient for us for our absolution from sins.' Belgic Confession, Art. xxii.
* See on the third article of the Rejection of Errors concerning divine Predestination. * Original sin,... the fault and corruption
of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the • offspring of Adam,... in every person born into this world, de• serveth God's wrath and damnation.... And, although there is * no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized; yet * the apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of • itself the nature of sin.' Art. ix. Church of England.
• We believe, that by the disobedience of Adam the sin which • they call original, (originis), hath been spread abroad, and
poured out upon the whole human race. But original sin is ' the corruption of the whole nature, and hereditary vice, by * which even infants themselves in the mother's womb are pol* luted: and which, as a certain noxious root, shoots forth • (progerminat) every kind of sins in man; and is so base and 'execrable before God, that it is sufficient for the condemnation