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the church especially, bave from the mercy of God such common helps to salvation; as that the neg« lect of them makes any of them justly guilty of
their own condemnation. Besides the general will of God, he has eternally willed and decreed to give
a special and effectual grace to those, that are " predestinate according to the good pleasure of his " will;” whereby they do actually believe, obey, and persevere, that they may be saved. So as the same God, that would have all men to be saved, if they believe, and be not wanting to his Spirit; has ? decreed to work, powerfully in some, whom he hath
particularly chosen, that they shall believe, and not be wanting to hiş Spirit, in whatsoever shall be
necessary to their salvation. It is not the provision ? of faith or any other grace, or act of man, whereupon this decree is grounded; but the most gracious
good will and pleasure of God from all eternity, ? appointing to save those whom he hath chosen in ! Christ, as the Head and Foundation of the elect. ? This decree of God's election is absolute, un• changeable, and from everlasting. God does not, ! either actually damn, or appoint any soul to damnation, without the consideration and respect of sin.”— Thou well rememberest, my Crocius, when my too unfavourable state of health, had torn me away, (being unwilling,) from that assembly of • learned men; that a question was indeed fallen on,
and not an unseasonable one, in the hundred and 'thirty-second session; concerning the rejection of . f certain more harsh and incommodious expressions,
which are found every where in some of the writings
of the reformed teachers; which use to laya fóstumbling stone in the way of the weaker, and to
afford calumny to enemies. Our British Theo. Fologians were wholly in this, and also those of
Hesse, and you of Brema were not wanting to
press this wholesome counsel, more earnestly than B usual, by orging reasons for it. I do not dispute, Po whether better, or more votes conquered. Cerstainly the rejection of inconvenient phrases, was
refused, at least omitted, for the time.' Cer: is tainly, while some followed the more rigid way,
casting the perdition of the most on the absolute IIpower and will of God, without any regard of sin; y others, the flatterers (parasiti) of human liberty, so gic made man, masters of themselves, as if they were ar subjected to no decrees at all: faults are sufficiently
committed on both sides : truth, holding the E' middle way, is deserted; which yet is regarded by Et certain men of moderate dispositions. For how 2 ! often did those most celebrated doctors, (of the
Synod of Dort,) roundly assert, that God damned no man, or destined him to damnation, except on 'the consideration of sin ? As our British divines. . But it is manifest, that the brethren of Hesse openly proved this by many arguments. And there were none of the Theologians, who more accurately and expressly taught this, than yours of Brema. Nor does the voice of the Synod, disagree with this; which defining reprobation itself, saith
? Epistola ad Crocium.
that those are passed by, whom by a most free and just, and irreproveable, and immutable good pleasure, are passed by and left, in the common misery, in which their own fault had precipitated them. (We recognize the words of the synod :) and then what man in his senses can deny, that the decree of eternal punishment, is on account of
their unbelief and other sins?? For, indeed, that 6. there was a certain reprobation, and that from eler
nity, who doubts? But this reprobation, (as far as Cit respects the act of the omnipotent God,) was of 's certain men, whom God decreed to leave in the
common misery, into which their own fault had ! plunged them: and this, not only for their un" belief, but for all their other sins, and to condemn " them for a declaration of his justice, and to punish
eternally: so that their fault and sins here so intervene to effect it; that positive reprobation, without
these, cannot without the highest injustice be ·'ascribed to God.”—These quotations not only con
tain some of the objections, to which the first article of this synod is exposed: but they throw light on the history of the synod; and shew, that had there been no undue influence, the more moderate party of those called Calvinists would have prevailed ; and that our British divines, adhering to our articles, belonged to their party. Who, after reading these passages, can think, that all Calvinists are implicated in the censures, to which the Synod of Dart
· Epistola D. Baltasari Tullio. debrando.
& Epistola D. H. Hit
may be exposed. 6 Judge not according to appear
ance; but judge righteous judgment."
ARTICLE II. : Of the, &c.” Particular redemption is here
asserted, in a more unqualified manner, by far, than Calvin held it. The English divines steadily opposed this, and so did many others; but the violent party prevailed. The most Calvinistick of the evangelical clergy would dissent from this statement: but
the sins of the prevailing party at the synod of Dort, ! become theirs by imputation ; because, whether wil
lingly or unwillingly, they bear the name of Calvin!
? Of man's, &c.? The language is here, in a high | degree, reprehensible: but this part of the subject
has been sufficiently considered.
1. Of the meril and effect of Christ death.—That Jesus Christi
hath not suffered death for any other, břit for those elect only; ! baying neither had any intent nor commandment of his father,
to make satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.'
? Of Man's Will in the State of Nature.—That by Adam's fall - his posterity lost their free-will, being put to an unavoidable ! necessity to do, or not to do, whatsoever they do, or do not, ! whether it be good or evil; being thereunto predestinated by
the eternal and effectual secret decree of God. .
apprehend to be true,' though not well expressed; but the conclusion seems to say, that it is want of physical power, both in the elect and reprobate, which causes the difference. : Were the elect ever so desirous, they could not reject grace: were the reprobate ever so desirous, they could not accept it The truth, however, is, that man has no disposi * tion, and consequently no ability,' without the special grace of God, to repent, or believe, or do any good thing; and that God works in his elect, « both to will and to do;" and leaves others to their natural perverseness.--The prevailing party at the synod of Dort, being heated by vehement contro versy, and fierce contests, determined to express every sentiment in that manner, which would most entirely crush their opponents. On the other hand, when the wise and holy compilers of our articles sat down, calmly and dispassionately, to form, as they supposed, a national creed; they carefully avoided every expression, which needlessly could exclude any one from concurrence with them; and they exhibited scriptural truth, in a scriptural manner. Let the reader compare that part of our seventeenth article, which relates to the calling, subsequent holiness, and final salvation, of the elect, with this dogmatical article of the synod of Dort, as an illustration of the remark.
o equal to that whereby he created the world, and raised up the · dead; insomuch, that such, unto whom he gives that grace,
cannot reject it, and the rest, being reprobate, cannot aceept ! it.
? Eph, i. 19, 20. ii. 1-5. 10. iii. 20.