PRECONIZATION:A term derived from the medieval Latin pręconizare, pręconisare, "to proclaim publicly," and denoting the act whereby the pope, in the college of cardinals, proclaims as bishops those prelates who have been found on examination to be properly qualified for the episcopal office, and assigns them their sees.
|I. Scriptural Doctrine.||II. Church Doctrine.||Scholastic Theology (§ 5).|
|The Old Testament (§ 1).||The Eastern Church (§ 1).||Later Roman Catholic View (§ ,6).|
|The Gospels (§ 2).||The Western Church (§ 2).||The Reformers (§ 7).|
|The Pauline Epistles (§ 3).||Augustine (§ 3).||Post-Reformation History (§ 8).|
|Other New-Testament Writings (§ 4).||Post-Augustinian Views (§ 4).|
Predestination in the wider sense is the eternal predetermination of God's universal design or specific ends; and, in the most restricted sense, the foreordination in the inscrutable counsels of God by an eternal unchangeable decree of a certain number to eternal salvation, which is called election, and a certain number to eternal destruction, which is called reprobation. The doctrine, historically, results from the search for the. certainty of salvation, which resolves itself in a conscious faith in the everlasting foundations of grace in God.
Fundamental in the Old Testament is the belief in the election of Israel as God's own people, revealed first to the patriarchs and finally illustrated in the covenant. God is the source of blessing and a safe refuge: Israel is the elect, the bearer of salvation (Isa. xlv. 4). Every event is determined in the divine will. God leads and inclines men, even hardens their hearts to bring to pass his higher purposes (Gen. xxv. 23; Ex. iv. 21, vii. 3, ix. 16; Josh. xi. 20); but his activity is not irresistible. The election of Israel rests upon divine grace and is the act of unqualified love. Not until the time of Ezekiel was this election regarded as applied to individuals, and then it was regarded as an act before time.
In the New Testament, Israel, by the rejection of the Messiah, has forfeited its distinction, and election has passed to the believers in Christ. According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus is sent to all that were lost. He, as the risen one, sends forth his disciples and offers salvation to all the nations (Matt. xxviii. 19-20). Salvation is based solely on God's loving purpose conceived before the foundation of the world (
The doctrine of election received a closer definition by the Apostle Paul. The Gentiles are also elected, in spite of the Jews having been the chosen race, and the Jews shall nevertheless be saved in spite of their apparent rejection and hardening of heart for man is justified by faith, not works. In other words, the ultimate ground of salvation is not in man's effort, but in God the source of all good, and he chooses by his sovereign freedom as he will, out of love, the gift of which is his grace
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews starts with the postulate that the believer may fall from grace, and holds that God does no violence to the free will of man; but on the other hand, the impossibility of repentance on the part of those who have lapsed from their faith is represented as the consequence of the divine judgment. Self-hardening is suggested (
Previous to Augustine there was no serious development in Christianity of a theory of predestination. Until then the rich materials of the New Testament, especially of the writings of Paul, remained unutilized or were subject to exegetical discursiveness. That the Greek Fathers stopped short with merely superficial historical revelation and free personality is due to the necessity of asserting over against pagan and Gnostic naturalistic determinism the autonomy of man; and over against the evolutionary primal power, the transcendent personality of God. To them this autonomy was the distinguishing characteristic of human personality, the basis of moral responsibility, a divine gift whereby man might choose that which was well-pleasing to God (Justin, I Apol., x. 63, xliii. 10, II., vii. 3; Eng. transl., ANF, i. 165-66, 216 177). Sin could not destroy this autonomy, could at most only weaken it and lead it intellectually astray (Origen, Contra Celsum, iii. 86-69· Eng. transl., ANF iv. 490-492); and Irenaeus (Hęr., IV., xxxvii. 3; Eng. transl., ANF, i.
In the Western Church, up to the time of Augustine, the fixed principles of free will (Tertullian, Adv. Marcionem, ii. 6; Eng. transl., ANF, iii. 301-303; Ambrose, De Jacobo, i. 1) and of divine foreknowledge (Tertullian, ut sup., ii. 23; Eng. transl., iii. 315; Ambrosiaster on Rom. viii. 29) underwent no essential revision, though so deep was the feeling of the working of grace on the individual that the statements of the Latin Fathers are far more in harmony with the Bible than those of the Greek Fathers. The development of the doctrine of original sin after Tertullian, and the emphasis which Cyprian laid on the Church and her means of grace deepened the concept of the operations of grace, transcending mere illumination of intellect. Cyprian ascribes all good to God (Epist., i. 4; Eng. transl., ANF, v. 276; De oratione Domini, xiv.; Eng. transl., ANF, v. 451); Tertullian, on the other hand, teaches a power of grace which modifies free will (De anima, xxi. 39; Eng. transl., ANF, iii. 202); and Ambrose in passages expresses himself synergistically (In Lucam, i. 10, ii. 84), and also almost in terms of predestination (vii. 27).
The deeper Western doctrine of grace was carried to its logical conclusions by Augustine (see AUGUSTINE, SAINT, OF HIPPO), both as a result of personal experience and in consequence of his study of the Bible, especially of the writings of Paul. At first he wavered between the conviction that feeling and experience yielded to the working of grace but that reason clung to free will (cf. Soliloquia, I., i. 5). Even then his religious interest led him to distinguish clearly faith as the root from works as the fruit, thinking to have found the point, in the origin of faith, where free will is alone operative; election was based on the foreseeing of faith ( 194
248). The Church of all ages, historically founded on Christ, hides the elect within itself, unlike the lost world (De civitate Dei, xv. 1; Eng. transl., ii. 284). In the empiric admission to "the body of Christ," set forth already in the reception of infant baptism (De natura et grati, viii. 9; Eng. transl., v. 124), God's free dispensation to his elect discloses itself (De correptione et gratia, viii. 42; Eng. transl., v. 489). In his writings on predestination Augustine considers, for the most part, only those whom the grace of God leads to his kingdom of their own free will; and even the Church is the body of the elect only in a general sense, since it contains "vessels to honor" and "vessels to dishonor," the latter not belonging fully to the Church (De baptismo, VII., li. 99). The basis of the idea that election is not accomplished merely by external incorporation into the Church, but fulfils itself finally by the personal operation of grace, was afforded by the experience of "grace free but not freed" (De correptione et gratia, xiii. 41-42; Eng. transl., v. 488-·189), and the formally free will must, therefore, be filled with good (De gratia et libero arbitrio, xv. 31; Eng. transl., v. 456-457). By his experience of conversion Augustine found his free will instantly, whereby he submitted absolutely in divine service (Conf., ix. 1; Eng. transl., i. 129). From which the conclusion follows that "the human will does not attain grace by freedom, but rather freedom by grace" (De correptione et gratia, viii. 17; Eng. transl., v. 478). Faith is especially, from first to last, the work of God in man, so that "the elect are not elected because they believe, but they are elected that they may believe" (De praedestinatione sanctorum, viii. 16, xvii. 34; cf. ii. 3-4, xx. 40; Eng. transl., v. 506, 514-515, 499, 517-518). God chose a "certain number" from the "mass of perdition" (De coreptione et gratia, x. 26, xiii. 39; cf. vii. 12; Eng. transl., v. 482, 487-188, 476; De dono perseverantię:, xiv. 35; Eng. transl., v. 539; De prędestinatione sanctorum, xii.23; Eng. transl., v. 509). For Augustine there is thus a division only on the whole, never with reference to individual persons. The former sense of foreknowledge continues, but now comes to be applied to God's own operations of grace, not to human resolves (xiv. 31, xix. 38), and, so far as the elect are concerned, foreknowledge is thus identical with predestination (De dono perseverantię, xix. 47-48; Eng. transl., v. 545). As to the others, emphasis on the elect relieved the necessity of mentioning the non-elect. "Predestination can not exist without foreknowledge, although foreknowledge may exist without predestination" (De prędestinatione sanctorum, x. 19; Eng. transl., v. 507). This distinction steers clear of supralapsarianism even as to the fall; for God foreknew the fall of Adam, but did not compel it (De correptione et gratia, xii. 37; Eng. transl., v. 487). After the fall, the non-elect were simply left in the "mass of perdition," from which no one had any claim to be saved (De gratia et libero arbitrio, xxi. 42-13, xxiii. 45; cf. De correptione et gratia, xiii. 42; De dono perseverantię, xiii. 33; Eng. transl., v. 462-463, 489, 538). These variants of emphasis spring from Augustine's fundamental postulate that all good is of God and all evil of free will, a view aided by his Platonic notion that evil is essentially a defect, the "not-being" (De libero arbitrio, II., xx. 54). Later in the development of Augustine's thought he was able to postulate redestination to destruction, even if not to sin (Enchiridion, c.; Eng. transl., iii. 269; cf. De civitate Dei, XXII., xxiv. 5; Eng. transl., ii. 504). I Tim. ii. 4 means that God does not will that every man be saved, but that no man is saved apart from his will, and "all men" refers to the whole race in its varieties (Enchiridion, ciii.; Eng. transl., iii. 269). The carrying-out of the counsel of grace to the elect is secured by admonitory preaching (De correptione et gratia, vii. 13; Eng. transl., v. 477). This entire treatise aims to prove that the general historical and the individual operations of grace are not mutually exclusive (xiv. 43; Eng. transl., v. 489); hence room is left for free moral activity to such an extent that Augustine repeatedly speaks of "merits" though these rest, in the last analysis, on divine activity (e.g., De gratia et libero arbitrio, vi. 15; Eng. transl., v. 450). The "grace" of Augustine is a divine power to which man owes moral "vivification" or "infusion of love," of which remission of sins appears to be a natural concomitant (cf. De gratia et libero arbitrio, xi. 23-24; Eng. transl., v. 453-454). Behind human preaching God's secret instruction works on the elect (De prędestinatione sanctorum, viii. 13; Eng. transl., v. 504-505). In view of the guidance in experience of the elect, Augustine distinguishes various degrees of grace (De gratis et libero arbitrio, xvii. 33; Eng. transl., v. 457-458); the aid to those in divine communion exceeds the first enabling power as actuality surpasses possibility. Not only can human will resist the divine will (De correptione et gratia, xiv. 45; Eng. transl., v. 489-490), but God alone grants the gift of perseverance to his elect (De dono perseverantię, i. 1; Eng. trans]., v. 526), who, without this gift, are not truly elect (De correptione et gratis, vii. 14, ix. 20-21, xii. 36; De prędestinatione sanctorum, xvi. 32; Eng. transl., v. 477, 479-480, 486, 513).
While the authority of Augustine, combined with the deeper character of the Western doctrine of grace, easily overthrew Pelagianism, so that even the Semipelagians (see SEMIPELAGIANISM) disowned the anathematized heresies of Pelagius, Augustine's doctrine of predestination fell far short of acceptance. Jerome, Hilary, and Faustus of Riez (qq.v.) adhered to free will, nor did the Semi-Pelagians make it clear that admission to Christianity through baptism, regarded as necessary to salvation, signified predestination. Later followers of Augustine seem to have reduced the operation of grace as based on divine election to this point, for the Synod of Orange (q.v.) in 529 (Mansi, Concilia, viii. 735 sqq.), in effect, denied a predestined reprobation in connection with its commitment on the grace of baptism, affirming that the divine election had designed no division among the baptized. Although an essential thought of Augustine was thus sacrificed, yet the way was opened to reunite on the middle ground represented by the old theory of foreknowledge which was facilitated for the followers of Augustine in that he had never formally assailed
The Gottschalk controversy ended with the transformation of a vital problem into a scholastic theory, a character which was retained throughout the Middle Ages. During the following centuries the prevailing doctrine, while carefully avoiding both Semipelagian terms and the extreme deductions of Augustinianism (irresistible grace and perseverance), exalted the operation of grace alone and constantly repeated the formulas of Augustine on foreknowledge and predestination to good, but mere foreknowledge of evil (Anselm, De concordim praescientia; praedestinationis cum libero arbitrio, i. 7; MPL, clviii. 517; Peter Lombard, Sent. I., xl. 1, 4; MPL, cxcii. 631; Thomas Aquinas, Summa, I., xxiii. 5). At the same time it was held, with Augustine, that the will of fallen man remained free, but was made and maintained good only by grace, the gift of God (Anselm, ut sup., iii. 3-4; Bernard of Clairvaux, De gratia et libero arbitrio, xiv. 46-47, MPL, clxxxii. 1026- 27; Peter Lombard, ut sup., II., xxviii. 4; Thomas Aquinas, ut sup., I., cv. 4). This would indicate thoroughgoing predestinarianism, were it not for a sentence of Bernard (ut sup., x. 35) according to which those fallen in this life by their free will may be saved by divine aid, but not after the resurrection. Since, however, perseverance was now placed in the future life, it became possible not only for Adam but for the elect even to fall from grace; and the Augustinian doctrine of two forms of divine aid (possibility and actuality; ut sup.) was disregarded. From this view only Thomas Aquinas is to be excepted, and his more deterministic position (cf..Summa, I., xxiii. 7) henceforth was the pillar of genuine Augustinianism. A complete change was inaugurated by Duns Scotus (q.v.) whose widely divergent expressions on predestination can be explained only on the assumption of an equally justifiable twofold point of view. The will is by nature the sole cause of its own acts, so that even God does not work immediately on the human will (Sent., II, xxv. 2, xxxvii. 2, 8, Ill., iii. 21); therefore, the will of God, being determined by nothing beyond itself, is the
The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on predestination was unchanged by the Reformation. In its doctrine of grace the Council of Trent returned to the position of earlier scholasticism (vi. 5, 16), but as regards predestination contented itself with warding off deductions perilous to the Church (vi. 9 sqq.). The doctrine itself remained fundamentally undecided, so that toward the end of the sixteenth century a controversy could break out between the Thomistic Dominicans and the Semipelagian Jesuits. A Congregatio de auxiliis gratia sat for nine years without being able to condemn either party as heretical. When, however, in the following century Jansenism renewed the unabridged teachings of Augustine, the papal condemnations of Jansen (see JANSEN, CORNELIUS, JANSENISM) and Pasquier Quesnel (q.v.) not only rejected the doctrine of possible salvation independent of the Church, but also a series of genuine Augustinian concepts, such as irresistible grace. In recent years there has been an unmistakable tendency toward the Semipelagian Jesuit position. It is held, with tacit recommendation of the theory of foreknowledge, that "the Church never wishes to resolve that controversy; each one, therefore, may without impairing the faith hold that opinion which appears more probable, and seems to aid the better in resolving the difficulties of unbelievers and heretics" (G. Perrone, Praelectiones theologicae, 47th ed., Turin, 1896.)
In the early days of Protestantism, predestination, as the expression of the power of grace from personal experience, opposed individual certainty of salvation to the claims of the Church, and formed the one central dogma common to all the Reformers. Before beginning his career as a Reformer, Luther had expressed an Augustinianism which theoretically opposed the rigid deductions of the system; but later he passed far beyond the position of Augustine to an actual supralapsarianism which regarded even the fall of Adam as divinely decreed He included in the nature of man, or the enabling grace of Augustine, not only possible but actual union with God. For the theoretic maintenance of this position there was at hand the doctrine of the absoluteness of the divine will, as posited not only by Duns Scotus and the nominalists who followed him, but also by Laurentius Valla and (for Zwingli) by the mystic pantheist Pico della Mirandola (see PICO DELLA MIRANDOLA, GIOVANNI). The argument was, accordingly, carried not only from the empirical servitude of the sinful will to the allefficient grace of God, but also from the all-comprehending activity of God to the inconceivability of free will. All the Reformers proceeded from the assumption that this doctrine alone was in harmony with a truly living faith. Luther was led to make a systematic presentation of his doctrine of predestination by the De libero arbitrio of Erasmus (Basel, 1524), to which he replied in his De servo arbitrio (Wittenberg, 1525). Without these predecessors, Zwingli would scarcely have advanced extreme views in his Anamnema de providentia Dei (1530). Starting from the postulates that God, as the unchangeable good and infinite power, reigns by his providence throughout all that transpires in the universe, he affirmed that man is not different from nature by having an undetermined will, but by a capability of knowing God and entering into fellowship with him. Such knowledge is realized in the irrevocable law which is the expression of the divine will. The law, however, can not overcome the conflict of spirit and flesh, because of which man had to fall, but only discloses it. It follows that the fall was necessary to the complete divine revelation. God did not merely foresee but caused it. This act was not revolting to God's ethical being; for he is above law. God's goodness manifested itself first in the fall but especially in salvation. Should election be based on foreknowledge (which is excluded) God would be degraded into man. Luther's later views display the fact that the newly acquired faith did not explain the qualities of the regenerate by the almighty working of divine grace but realized the grace of God, through the preaching of the words of promise. As a matter of fact, however, Luther's type of faith, based on the Scriptures and the sacraments, often emphasized the objective efficiency of the means of grace in such a way as would ultimately undermine the dogma of predestination. Zwingli, on the other hand, derived the assurance of salvation not merely through the preaching of the Word, but also through the efficacious Word; that is, through the personal life of faith awakened by God. Though he was thus led to depreciate the means of grace, the doctrine of predestination with him and his successors remained more permanently associated with the consciousness of faith. The divergent estimate attached to the external means of grace, moreover, caused Zwingli to weaken the bounds of the Church, so that he could teach the salvation of certain heathen and of unbaptized children dying in infancy; while the identification of the "invisible Church" with the elect, only occasionally made by Luther, formed an important element of his theology. Luther's doctrine of predestination underlies
In the Reformed confessions of the sixteenth century the doctrine of election was set forth both in harsh (Confession de foi, 1559) and in mild form (H. Bullinger's Confessio Helroetica posterior, art. x., 1562), or presupposed in their practical consequences (Heidelberg Catechism, 53-54, 86). For several decades there were no con-troversies with the Lutherans, nor was it until the struggle between Johann Marbach and Hieronymus Zanchi (qq.v.) at Strasburg in 1561 that the Gnesio-Lutherans were found to have deviated from Luther. Two years later the Formula of Concord (q.v.) was drawn up, positing the universality of the divine promises, the necessity of moral endeavor, and election as the foundation of faith, betraying only by a single word that the doctrine of the perseverance of the elect had been abandoned. On these affirmations is constructed the eleventh article of the Formula of Concord, which, aiming to set limits to various tendencies, declares that election is not based on the foreknowledge of faith, and, on the other side, that the earnestness of the "universal promise" admits of no hidden will of God at variance with his revealed will. At the same time no universal purpose of salvation to include every individual is implied; the heathen are doomed to just judgment, and only where God causes his Word to be preached is it intended for all. The elect are all those placed by baptism in the state of grace, though it is possible afterward to lapse. Real predestination doctrine vanishes and the objectivity of the means of grace only serves to cloak a refined synergism. In the Reformed Church, the synergism of the Arminians (q.v.) led to a reaffirmation of the doctrine at the Synod of Dort (q.v.), where it also became evident how indissolubly the historical Reformed mode of faith had become one with this fundamental element. The harshness of its deductions, however, called for modifications, not only in Germany, but also on genuinely Calvinistic soil. While Theodore Beza (q.v.) had far overleaped Calvin by declaring (Quaestiones theologicae, i. 108, 1580) that "predestination is an eternal and immutable decree whereby he [God] determined to be glorified by saving some in Christ by mere grace, and by damning others in Adam and by his own just judgment," the school of Saumur, on the other hand, began to develop the ethical side of Calvinism, the "hypothetical universalism" of Moise Amyraut (q.v.; see also PAJON, CLAUDE), which had absolutely no connection with the theory of foreknowledge, at least leaving the foundations of religious experience entirely unassailed. The harsh antithesis of the Helvetic Consensus Formula (q.v.) in 1675 was shortlived. In England the Thirty-Nine Articles (q.v.) set forth the doctrine of election clearly and mildly, without allusion to reprobation; nor was the attempt to give official sanction to the harsh Calvinism of the Lambeth Articles (q.v.) of 1595 successful. The latter, however, were practically incorporated in the Westminster Confession of 1647; but even in Calvinistic circles the logical deductions of the system have been felt oppressive, so that in 1903 the Presbyterians of the United States introduced certain modifications of statement into the Westminster Confession, which left that document essentially unaltered, yet declared the faith of the Church in the all-embracing love of God, the election of children dying in infancy, and the duty of missionary activity (cf. Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., 1903, pp. 124 sqq., where the changes and additions are given in official form). See CALVINISM.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Material on the Biblical side of the subject is to be sought in the commentaries on the passages cited especially that of Meyer, and in the works named in and under BIBLICAL THEOLOGY, particularly those of Dillmann, Schultz, Bennett, Smend and Davidson on the O. T., and Beyschlag, Weiss, Adeney, Stevens, and Gould on the N. T. Consult further: B. Weiss, in Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie, 1857; O. Pfleiderer, Der Paulinismus, Leipsic, 1873, Eng. transl., London, 1877; E. Menegoz, La Praedestination dans la theologie paulinienne, Paris, 1884; V. Weber, Kritische Geschichte der Exegese des . .Romerbriefes, Wurzburg, 1888; K. Muller, Die gotttliche
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