Fourthly, because it is not consistent with the condition of the creation and perpetuation of the human race, which was that all should be considered in one, and that all should come from one. It regards men, either as not considered in Adam, or as considered in various modes in Adam, that is, in him as just created, not yet fallen.


Those things, which are distinct in their whole genus, are distinct also in their mode. The condition of the creation and the perpetuation of the human race, is natural (for creation is natural by reduction, as unity is ascribed to number, a point to a line,) but the condition of election and predestination is wholly supernatural. They differ, therefore, in mode. A consequence, from things which lack analogy and equality, is not valid. All things, indeed, in nature are considered in one thing, and all come from one, but in the case of predestination, all are not considered in one, but each is considered in himself, nor do all come naturally from one, but all are supernaturally distinguished, by God, in Christ. Man, according to nature, is considered universally and individually in Adam; according to grace, he is considered only individually in Christ, for this is not the order of nature, but the benefit of grace. Therefore, the predestinate are considered, not in nature and according to nature, but of nature according to grace, which is personal and not natural. Law pertains to nature; privilege to grace. Consequently, what is presented in reference to the consideration of men in Adam, is irrelevant.



The force of my argument is sustained. For though creation and predestination differ in mode and genus, as natural and supernatural, yet predestination and reprobation, which impinge on the conditions of creation, can not be true. I should have used a more correct phraseology, if I had said inconsistent instead of not consistent. For a supernatural action can add something to created nature, and exceed the order of nature, but can do nothing contrary to creation. But predestination and reprobation, as set forth in your Theses, ordain something contrary to the conditions of creation; they cannot, then, have place among true doctrines. I will prove my assumption. You state that some are passed by apart from the consideration of sin. But a man can be considered apart from sin, only as he was in his primitive state, but the theory under consideration regards some as passed-by, considered in their primitive state, which can not be true, because, in their primitive state, they had the power to persevere in good, and in the avoidance of sin, and, therefore, they could be saved by obedience to the law, and, by consequence, they were not passed by, considered in that state, since the passed-by, according to the definition of your Theses, necessarily fail of salvation, and are even necessarily damned, though with the intervention of sin. If you say that they were necessarily damned after they were foreseen as sinners, I reply that they were also passed by after they were foreseen as about to sin, indeed, seen as sinners. We notice, also, your two-fold distinction in that consideration. Men are considered in one, and they are considered also, each in himself, but all are considered in one such as they are in him, and each is considered in himself, such as he is in himself, else the distinction is false. This consideration is two-fold in reference to a two-fold condition. They are considered in the condition of primitive integrity, and in that of fallen, sinful creatures. In the primitive state, all are considered in one, as in their origin and stock, and while this stands, they stand. Each is considered in himself as standing, and as having, from the arrangement of nature and grace, every thing which the original stock had, whether of nature or of grace—the term grace being used in contradistinction to nature, otherwise whatever a man has may be regarded as of gracious bestowal. Therefore, all are considered as true, just, and holy. In the state of sin, all are considered in one who sinned, and all are considered to have sinned in him. Each is considered in himself as deficient in those things, which he would have had of grace, if the first man had remained pure, and as involved in sin and in the demerit of sin. Now, so far as all are considered in one, whether as a pure or as a fallen being, there is no predestination, no preterition or reprobation, no predamnation. For then all would be predestinate and none reprobate, or all would be reprobate and none predestinate. Therefore, predestination and reprobation have place in reference to them, as they are each considered in themselves. Concerning this, then, there is no question between us. But the point at issue, is this—In what state are they each considered by God, in the act of predestination and of preterition? You answer, that they are considered in the primitive state, or rather that they are considered in general; I affirm that they are considered, individually and definitely, in the state of sin. Otherwise, I say that this decree impinges on the conditions of creation, as I have demonstrated. This is absurd, for supernatural things can and indeed must be superior to natural, but by no means contrary to them.

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