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TWENTIETH PROPOSITION OF ARMINIUS
It does not seem to me that this sentiment is established by the argument from the necessary declaration of the freedom of grace and of the divine goodness. For though I might concede that the declaration of that freedom was necessary, yet I might say that it is declared in the very creation and arrangement of things, and moreover that it could, and indeed ought to be declared in another way.
The argument, from the necessary declaration of the divine justice, has no more weight with me, both because justice in God, as His nature, is equally directed towards the whole object and all its parts, unless, there be some diversity, dependent on His will, and because God has declared Himself, in Scripture, to be of such character that it was not necessary for Him to punish the sinner, according to strict legal justice, in order to the manifestation of His justice, but that He knew another, more noble, way for the revelation of His own justice. Nor, does the argument, deduced from the nature of providence, seem to have weight, since it pertains to providence to permit that some should fail of the highest good, and of a supernatural end, and that permission, understood in harmony with this sentiment, is to be attributed not so much to a sustaining and governing, as to a creating providence.
ANSWER OF JUNIUS TO THE TWENTIETH PROPOSITION
After the discussion of election and reprobation, we come in this place to the consideration of the design, according to which, the good or evil of an action is often to be decided. But here a three-fold design is presented; having reference to the divine freedom in grace and goodness, and to the divine justice, and to the divine providence. Other attributes, might indeed, be considered, but from these a decision may be made concerning others. In reference to the first design, you present two arguments.
1. You affirm that this freedom "is declared in the very creation and arrangement of things." You would infer then, that it was unnecessary that it should be also declared in this way. This inference is denial. For it was not sufficient that such declaration should be made in the creation and arrangement of things, if it should not be declared also in their progress and result. Nor, indeed, if it has been sufficiently declared in our present nature and life, does it follow, of consequence, that there is no necessity of any declaration in the life of the future world. For, on the contrary, if God should have declared His liberty in matters of an inferior nature only, and not in those, which are superior and pertain to the future world, it would seem that he, through want either of knowledge or of power, had omitted the more worthy declaration of His own freedom. For the nobler manifestation of that freedom is made in things of a nobler nature; and that good is better and more noble, the consequences of which are better and more noble. Who can believe that God lacked either knowledge, power, or will in this matter.
2. You affirm that this liberty "could, and indeed ought to be, declared in another way." I grant it. It could and ought to be, declared in this, and in other modes, as has been done by the Deity. But if you use the phrase another, in an exclusive sense, as having reference to some particular mode and not to this one, it is denied, and, in the preceding argument, is sufficiently confuted.
The second design is, in like manner, opposed by two arguments. Your first argument, contained in these words, "because justice in God, as His nature is equally directed, &c.," is, in the very same sentence, refuted by the addition of the words, "unless there be some diversity, dependent on His will." For justice in us is regarded in two aspects, as a habit and as an act proceeding from that habit, and diffusing itself first inwardly and then outwardly. In God, it is also, considered in two modes, as nature, and as an act of nature through the will, flowing from the nature and according to the nature of God. In the former mode, it is the very essence of God; in the latter, it is the work of that essence. Of theformer, you rightly affirm that "justice in God as nature is equally directed towards the whole object, and all its parts." The phrase "as nature" is susceptible of a two-fold reference, as equivalent either to w[sper fusiv and imply a similarity of operation to that of nature, (in which sense I understand you to use it), or to kaqw<v fusiv and implying that the nature of God or His essence is justice itself. For since the essence of God is entirely simple, justice, nature, essence, and His other attributes are, in fact, one, though a distinction is made in them in our usage. In reference to the latter mode of justices the expression "unless there be some diversity dependent on His will," is subjoined most suitably, and yet with some ambiguity. For in the justice of God, as His nature, there is never diversity, not even as the result of His will. What? Can a change in His essence, in His own nature result from the will of God, whose attribute, I do not say in all respects, yet absolutely, and pertaining to Him alone, and always, is immutability? But that justice, which is the work of the divine essence, emanating from that will, whether outwardly or inwardly, may indeed be diversified in an infinite number of modes, according to His wisdom and will.
Your second argument, to speak in a few words and with directness, is faulty in two respects. First, though your statement is true, if properly understood, namely, "God has declared Himself, in Scripture, to be of such character that it is not necessary for Him to punish the sinner, according to strict legal justice, in order to the manifestation of His justice," since His justice, in all respects and infinitely, surpasses legal justice, as, in the nature of things, the reality exceeds the type, and the substance exceeds the shade. Yet it, by no means, follows from this, that God must not so punish the sinner for the manifestation of His own justice, or that it is from legal justice that He so punishes him. But, on the contrary, it follows rather that God must so punish the sinner for the manifestation of His own justice, and that the fact of such punishment is dependent on His justice, which exceeds and in a most excellent, that is, in a divine method, surpasses legal justice, and which, in His word, to us, according to our measure, takes the form of legal justice, as the shadow of that most excellent justice. There is no element of justice, expressed to us in the law, which does not exist in the justice of God, and flow from it in a most excellent manner. In the law, He has both expressed the justice due from us, and shadowed forth His own. Consider only this, that God is justice in an absolute sense, or (if you prefer), that He is the absolute principle and cause of all justice, as of all good, you at once destroy your own argument. For if He is, absolutely, justice, or the absolute principle and cause of all justice, then He is the principle of this justice also, and the cause and effector of it, as not only mediately shadowed forth in the law, but also, immediately effected by His own work. For whence is that legal justice, if not from God, expressing by His own infinitely wise will, what He is, and what He does, as it is? Besides, if God is, absolutely, justice, and the principle of justice, he punishes not according to the justice of the law, but according to His own justice, which the law adumbrates to human comprehension, and which He cannot but set forth in His creatures, both in the present and the future worlds as he has declared in His word. I am still less satisfied with your second statement, in which you affirm that "He knew another, more noble way for the revelation of His own justice." God certainly knew and thoroughly understood both that and the other, and every possible way, according to the divine mode. But it is necessary, my brother, that you should, in this case, consider that God always contemplates all things, according to their individual relations, and according to their relations to the universe, over which He presides. If it should be denied that God, in respect to its individual relation, knew another more noble way for the manifestation of His justice, how, I pray, would you prove it? Would it not, indeed, on the contrary, seem, to the pious to be altogether more probable, since God is infinitely wise, that He most wisely adopted the noblest way to manifest (which is the work of the divine wisdom) His justice, to His own glory, to our instruction, and to the perfection of the universe, Let it, however, be conceded that God, since He has all knowledge, knew another more noble way for accomplishing this thing, yet I deny, that with reference to the relations of the universe there existed another more noble way, in which God could obtain this object, since it would have been better that He should use that other nobler way. For it concerns the wisdom of God, that every variety of way should be adopted in manifesting His justice, and should be set forth before the eyes of all in the universe. For example, let the more noble way of displaying that wonderful justice of God, be that which has punished and shall forever punish the wicked angels. Should I grant this, do you not see that it would pertain to divine wisdom to vary in this case also, the mode of the divine justice? This is sufficient in reference to the second argument. The third design, which has reference to the Providence of God, is excluded in your argument, in a peculiar manner, by limitation, as it is called, "since that permission is to be attributed, not so much to a sustaining and governing, as to a creating Providence." By your permission, this whole limitation is denied. It is indeed destroyed by the very definition of the terms, without any argument on my part. Describe the course of the divine Providence. Its principle, or first step, is called creation, that is the production of existence from non-existence. Its middle step is government, containing ordination and sustainment. Its third or last step is consummation. Consider, now, to which part permission shall be ascribed. Creation is an act of God alone, the glory of which He, by no means, communicates to the creature, for it is created, not creating. In the act of creation, existence is bestowed on some thing, that it may become what it is not, essentially, in nature. By creation, then, it is given to man that he should be a man, and that there should be in him whatever belongs to him as a creature. Thus freedom of the will was bestowed on man.
What is permission? Not an act of God, but a cessation of action. It does not bestow existence, but gives to that, which already exists, power over its own life. Nature itself affirms that creation differs in kind and characteristic from permission. Creation is not a part of ordination, but it is the principle, point, first term. Permission belongs to ordination, consequent on that principle. It does not then pertain to creation.
It is true, that freedom of the will in man pertains to creation, but as an essential faculty, not as developed in action; which action, without doubt, after the creation of the faculty and its endowment with its qualities, depends on the divine ordination, and that ordination on providence. I do not, indeed, see how that permission could be bestowed on our first parents at their creation, which, in our case, must be referred to ordination. It is necessary that there should be correspondence in both cases. But, finally, though I should concede that permission pertains to creation, this also, even on your authority, would be the work of providence, since you say that providence is creating, as well as sustaining and governing. Permission, then, by your consent, belongs to providence. It belong, according to our argument, and, as I hope, with your assent, to governing or ordaining providence. Therefore, whatever may be said concerning the relation of providence, permission, by necessary consequence, pertains to it.
REPLY OF ARMINIUS TO THE ANSWER OF JUNIUS TO THE TWENTIETH
I have now discussed the theory, which considers man as the object of predestination and preterition, either in a purely natural state, or also with some supernatural endowments, yet apart from the consideration of sin as a condition requisite in the object. And I think that I have proved that man is considered by God, in His decree, not otherwise than as a sinner. I proceed to answer the three arguments usually urged in favour of this theory; and I only show that a theory, like this, is not sustained by those arguments. It seems, therefore, to be requisite, not only that my reasoning should be refuted, but also that the force of those arguments should be established. The latter has been entirely neglected by you. We will now consider in what respects my reasoning has been invalidated.
The first argument from the necessary declaration of the freedom of grace and of the divine goodness, I answer, first, by simply denying that such necessity exists, and then, if that necessity is conceded, by denying that mode, which is preterition, such as is described in the theory which I oppose. This denial is confirmed, partly from the fact that God has declared the liberty of His own goodness in the creation and various circumstances of material things; partly because he could, and indeed must declare that same liberty also in a mode other than that of preterition. For the better understanding of these things, I will make a few illustrative remarks.
First, since no external act of the Deity is absolutely necessary, no declaration of the freedom of the divine goodness is absolutely necessary. For God is happy by the internal and essential knowledge of Himself, and is glorious in Himself. Secondly, since, nevertheless, it seemed good to the Deity, to communicate, by the free act of His will, His own good, to the declaration of His goodness, it was suitable that there should be a declaration, not only of His goodness, but also of the freedom of that goodness, that it might be manifest that God communicated good to His creatures, not by any necessity, but of His mere will; not to the increase of His own good, which was already perfect, but to the perfection of Nothing, and of the beings created out of it, according to the mode of communication, adopted by the internal act of His will, both to the single parts of Nothing, and to the individual creatures. The good which God purposed to communicate, is two-fold in respect to the subject, on which He determined to bestow it, natural and supernatural. In the communication of both, it was just that He should declare, not only His goodness, but also the liberty of His goodness and grace. In the communication of natural good, He declared the freedom of His goodness in the creation and various condition of material things. For when He communicated to that part of original nature, which is purely nothing or chaos, this entity and form, He declared His own liberty to communicate an entity and form which should be different.
In the communication of supernatural good, He manifested the same freedom, when He made a great part of His creatures without a capacity to receive supernatural blessings, and made angels and men alone capable of those blessings, and actually partakers of some of them. In respect to those blessings of which He made all the angels, and the first human beings, and in them all, conditionally, who should be born from them, partakers, there is no place for preterition of this kind, as this pertains to a portion either of angels or of men, but only for that preterition, which has reference to other creatures, who were passed by, in the communication of supernatural blessings. But in the communication of blessings, of which he made angels and men not actual partakers, but only capable, the freedom of the divine goodness and grace was also to be declared, that it might, in this way, be evident both that those things, which they all received, were bestowed, and that those things, of which they were made capable, would be bestowed on angels and men, not according to the excellence of their nature and of merit, but of grace.
I thus acknowledge and concede this, but I deny that the mode of declaring the divine freedom in the communication of these blessings is the preterition now under discussion; and I deny that this preterition was used by the Deity for the display of that freedom, and this was my meaning when I said "it could and indeed ought to be declared in another way," by the word "another," excluding that mode which is contained in that preterition.
If it should be asked in what other way the freedom of the divine goodness "could and indeed ought to be declared," I reply that, in reference to men, (I have always excluded angels from the discussion), it was possible to declare that freedom, if God should prescribe the condition on which He would communicate good; that it was declared by his eternal decree, when he prescribed to man the condition on which he might obtain eternal life, and those gifts of grace, which, in addition to what had already been bestowed, might be necessary for its attainment. I reply also that it ought to be declared in some other way, if declared at all, since it ought not to be in that way, for that one is in accordance neither with the wisdom of God nor with His justice, since, by it, to creatures, capable of certain blessing from the divine goodness and grace, the same blessings are, absolutely and apart from any condition, denied. Therefore, it ought to be declared in some other way, and, indeed, in that way of which I have spoken. For God can not decree not to give to any creature that of which it is capable and for which it was made, except on condition that it has made itself incapable of receiving the blessings of which it was made capable by its Creator. But whatever may be true in reference to this, you should have shown in what manner the argument from the freedom of the divine goodness and grace proves the preterition or non-election which is described in your Theses. The second argument is from the necessary display of the divine justice. I impugn it in two ways. That it may be seen how my reasoning avails against this argument, it is to be considered that I design to assail it, in the form in which it is presented in your Theses. These are your words: - - (Thesis 17.) "The preparation of punishment is an act of the divine good-pleasure, in which God purposed, from eternity, for the display of His grace, to punish His creatures, who should not continue in their original integrity," &c., and (Thesis 18) "God prepares punishment for His creatures, who, sin contrary to His law, to be reprobated on account of sin, according to the necessity of His justice." Since reprobation and preparation of punishment, which are here used as synonymous, are in these words said to have originated in "the necessity of the divine justice," I wished to confute it, as, for two reasons, not in harmony with the truth. The first reason is this; -- If God prepares punishment for sinners from the necessity of His own justice, then He prepares punishment for all sinners universally, that is, by the decree of predamnation. But the consequent is false; therefore, the antecedent is also false. The reasoning is certainly valid. For, since justice in God is considered as a natural attribute, it acts in the same manner towards its whole object and all its parts. Sinners are the objects of justice in this case. Therefore, it acts equally on all sinners, that is, it prepares punishment for all. This is plainly signified in the word "necessity" in connection with "justice." For, if He necessarily prepares punishment for sinners or for those about to sin, He prepares it for all without distinction, and that word added to "justice" indicates that justice is to be considered as a natural attribute in God, and it can not, for the reason already mentioned, superintend predamnation. I added, however, the qualifying remark "unless there be some diversity dependent on His will," my meaning, in which, was that it is dependent on the will of God whether that attribute should act in an absolute manner or respectively, in reference to all sinners, or in reference only to some. In this way I refute not that which I previously said, but that necessity, which is considered as laid on predamning justice. For if, by the will of God directing that justice, it occurs that God prepares punishment for some sinners, and does not prepare it for others but remits it to them, then that predamnation, or reprobation (as it is here called), was decreed by God, not by the necessity of His justice.
Let me more briefly state this idea. Justice in God tends to the punishment of sin, as mercy or grace tends to its remission, without any distinction in those who have committed sin. If justice should administer its own act, all sinners would be punished; if mercy should administer its own act, all sinners would be pardoned. These acts could not be performed at the same time, and, in this case, the one would oppose the manifestation of the other, which could not with propriety occur.
Therefore, the wisdom, appointed over them, for the direction of both, judged that its own sphere of action should be assigned to each. In accordance with this decision, the will of God directs His justice in such manner, that there can be opportunity for mercy, and His mercy, that the honour of His justice may also, in the mean time, be maintained. But it can not, in my opinion, be affirmed that what is decreed by the divine will, was done by the necessity either of justice or of mercy.
The second reason is this. If God knew a more noble way for the manifestation of His justice than that by which, according to the law, punishment was prepared for those who should sin, then the display of justice, according to the law, was not necessary. But the former is true, therefore the latter is also true. The reasoning is conclusive. If two ways were open for the illustration of the divine justice, then it is not absolutely necessary that God should make use of one to the complete conclusion of the other. The justice of God may be displayed in the exaction of punishment from the individuals who have sinned; the same justice may also be displayed in the exaction of the same punishment from him, who has, according to the will of God, offered himself as the pledge and surety for those sinners. He is "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," (John i. 29.) "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin," (2 Cor. v. 21). This is that "other more noble and more excellent way." In it there is a more vivid display of the Divine execration of sin, than in that, which demands punishment from the sinners, in their own persons, both from the fact that, in the latter case, the infliction of punishment could be ascribed, by His enemies, to the vindictive passion of the Deity, and not to His justice, alone, which would be impossible in the former case, since the punishment is inflicted on one, who has not personally sinned, and from the fact that in this way, the inflexible rigor of divine justice is displayed, which could not grant, even to the intercession of His Son, the pardon of sin: unless punishment had been inflicted; according to which, indeed, that Son could not even intercede, if his own blood had not been shed, and atonement had not, by it, been made for sin. I conclude, then, that the display of justice, according to the law, was not necessary, and consequently that punishment was not, from any necessity of the divine justice, prepared for these, who should sin, since God was free to impose on His own Son, to be received and suffered, their due punishment, removed from the individual sinners.
That, which you adduce in opposition to these ideas, does not seem to me to be valid. For God, of His own justice, punishes either sinners or their surety. The former mode of its manifestation is according to the law, the latter mode transcends, the former is revealed to us in the gospel. It may be said, however, that both modes were necessary. I deny it. The latter, depended on the mere good pleasure of God; the former could be changed to it. Otherwise it would have been necessary, for "without shedding of blood there is no remission." (Heb. ix. 22.) These things which are said concerning the justice of God, as exceeding the justice of the law, are not to the purpose; for it was not my meaning that the justice, which actuates God in the punishment of sin, and by which He punishes sin, is legal justice, but that He should punish it according to the letter of the law, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," (Gen. ii. 17) and "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Gal. iii. 10.) It should also have been shown in this place how this argument, from the necessary display of the divine justice, proves this preparation of punishment.
The third argument, deduced from the nature of providence, is of this nature, in the view of Thomas Aquinas, (summa prima, quæs. 23, act 3.) "To permit some to come short of the highest good, pertains to the providence of God;"—"But to reprobate is to permit some to come short of the highest good; -- Therefore, the reprobation of some pertains to the providence of God." I affirmed that this argument possessed no weight in favour of the theory, which I now oppose; against that which makes sin a requisite condition in the object of reprobation or preterition. I proved it from the fact that permission, understood in accordance with that theory, is to be attributed not so much to sustaining and governing providence, as to creating providence. I will first explain my meaning, and then show the force of that argument.
I make three sets of providence—creation, sustainment, or preservation of the creature, and its government, and according to those acts, I say that providence is creating, sustaining and governing, and I attribute to each of these modes its own particular acts, which are appropriate to each of them. I also say that there are some acts, which so pertain to one of these, as, at the same time, to depend on another preceding act, so that they may not be entirely under the control of that providence from which they proceed, but may be limited and determined by the act of some preceding providence. These acts, being mixed in their nature, can be referred both to this and to that providence, to one as immediately flowing from it, to the other as determined by it, and necessarily dependent on its previous set. Such acts seem to be attributed not so justly to that providence from which they immediately flow, as to that, which prescribed their form and mode, to which mode and form that immediate providence was bound, and in reference to those acts was a servant to the other as principal. I now apply these thoughts. The permission, by which God left man to his own counsels, pertains immediately to governing providence, but it is government uncontrolled, determined by a preceding act of creation. For it could not choose between leaving and not leaving man to himself, for then, that, which had been already divinely instituted, would be rescinded; it was bound by that condition of creation, by which freedom of the will was bestowed on man, and he was left to his own counsel.
This was my meaning, when I said that this permission pertained, not so much to governing or sustaining, as, to creating providence. We may now consider the validity of my argument in sustaining my view. We must here consider a two-fold permission, that by which man is left to his own counsel and permitted to sin, and that by which the sinner is left in his sins and permitted finally to fail of the highest good. The former, pertains to governing providence as was said, but determined by the act of creation; the latter, pertains to governing and uncontrolled providence. The former, pertains to providence, the latter, to preterition in contradistinction to providence. For all men, represented in Adam, have been left to themselves, and to their own counsel, yet all are not reprobates or passed-by. But all, who are finally left in their sins, and given up to their own counsel, after the commission of sin, are reprobate and passed by, and they who are passed by, are all left finally in their sins, and are permitted to fail of the highest good. Now I grant that, if by permission is understood a final reelection in sin, the whole syllogism is sound and valid, but, in that case, it sustains the theory, which makes sin a requisite condition in the object of reprobation or preterition. For that permission has reference to sinners.
But, if it is referred to the leaving of men to their own choice before the commission of sin, I deny that reprobation can be defined by that kind of permission. It is apparent, then, that no conclusion can be drawn from that syllogism in favour of the second theory, and against the view which I advocate. For the second theory presents man, apart from any reference to sin, as the object of preterition and reelection. That syllogism, however, is unintelligible, if it does not refer to permission and reprobation of sinners. For, in the permission by which the first men were permitted to sin, no one failed of the highest good, unless there was also a dereliction in sin; and reprobation is not that permission by which men were permitted to sin. It should also have been shown, in this place, how that argument from providence and permission is adapted to the confirmation of the second theory.
This might be sufficient for my purpose, but I am disposed to add some thoughts concerning providence, in view of your remarks in reference to it. Far be it from me, indeed, to disapprove them. They, however, omit the mutual arrangement and connection of the particular parts of providence. I made the distinction of providence into creating, sustaining and governing, not so much from my own idea, as from that of Dr. Francis Gomarus, who, in many passages of his writings, comprehends creation in the term providence. In the Theses on The Providence of God, discussed under his direction as the presiding professor, by Hadrian Cornelius Drogius, in the year 1596, it is said (Thesis nine) "The parts of this execution" (that, by which God executes the decree of providence) "are two, creation and government, &c., under which government are comprehended continuation, and preservation, and legitimate ordination." (Libre de provdentia Dei. cap. 1, ex Cicerone) "I affirm, then, that the world and all its parts were constituted at the beginning, and are administered through all time by the providence of God." (Ex Lactantio) "There is, then, a providence, by the force and energy of which, all things, which we see, were made, and are ruled." (Ejusdem, libro 7) "That execution is distributed into the creation and the government of this world. The parts of this government are two, the preservation and ordination of the world, thus constituted." Your view is also the same, as presented in your disputation. On the providence of God, discussed in the year 1598, for, in the first Thesis, are these words: "The word providence, taken in a wider sense, embraces the eternal decree of creation, government, and ordination, and its execution." I am not very solicitous in reference to the distinction of these words, government, preservation, ordination; whether government embraces both preservation and ordination, or only the latter, and there is a contradistinction between it and the former.
As to the arrangement and mutual connection of those parts, I affirm that it is possible that the act of the latter should depend on some act of the former, and in such a manner that the act of the latter should be determined to one direction by the former. I showed this in the example of the permission, by which God let, man to his own counsel. That act originated in the government of God, or in His governing providence, but it was determined by His creating providence, which made man free and self controlling, so far as pertained to that freedom, but, in other respects, responsible to the law of God. I here do no injustice to the providence of God, nor do I deny to Him universal liberty in His own action. I acknowledge that the providence of God is absolutely free. In the creation of man, He acted freely; in bestowing free will on man, He acted freely. But, if one action of the Deity, through the providence of God itself, be supposed, the necessity of another act of the divine providence can be deduced from it, which necessity is dependent on the free dispensation of the antecedent act of providence.
I will present another example, by which the same may be demonstrated. God has created angels with this condition, that they, who should not continue in their original innocence, should be punished forever without pardon. Some sinned. God, in the act of his governing providence, inflicted punishment on them by an act determined by previous creation, so that, if he did not wish to change that which was established in creation, he could not remit their punishment. This was my meaning in what I presented in answer to the third argument, which you do not refute, even though it be conceded that permission pertains to governing or ordaining providence, which I freely concede to you in the sense in which I have explained it. It should have been proved that the permission, by which man was left to his own control, pertains to reprobation or preterition, or that the permission, by which he was permitted to fail of the highest good, has place in reference to man, not a sinner, or considered as a sinner. Hence, also, those words of Thomas Aquinas (prima sum, quaes. 23, art. 3, in respons.
generali), "For as predestination includes the purpose to bestow grace and glory, so reprobation includes the purpose to permit some to fall into transgression, and to inflict the punishment of damnation for that transgression," if diligently examined, are not accurately true. For the purpose to permit some to fall into transgression, does not belong to reprobation, since God permitted all men to fall into transgression. This is also susceptible of proof from the acts which he attributes to predestination. The purpose of bestowing grace and glory is attributed to predestination. What grace? That by which some are not permitted to fall into transgression, but are preserved in their original state of integrity? By no means; but that grace by which some are delivered from that sin into which all were permitted to fall. The act of reprobation, then, should have been directly opposed to that act of predestination. But that is a permission to remain in sin, or an abandonment in sin, which is a negative act, and a purpose to inflict punishment for the sin, which is an affirmative act. The former is the opposite of grace, the latter, of glory. But it is not strange that a man who has written so many most erudite volumes, should not have been able to examine accurately each and every subject.
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