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PREFACE

PREFACE 3

It should be known by the reader, that the following work was undertaken and begun about the year 1733 or 1734, at which time Dr. Whitby’s Discourse on the Five Points was reprinting, judged to be a masterpiece on the subject, in the English tongue, and accounted an unanswerable one ; and it was almost in the mouth of every one, as an objection to the Calvinists, Why do not ye answer Dr. Whitby ? Induced hereby, I determined to give it another reading, and found myself inclined to answer it, and thought this was a very proper and seasonable time to engage in such a work.

In the year 1735, the First Part of this work was published, in which are considered the several passages of Scripture made use of by Dr. Whitby and others in favour of the Universal Scheme, and against the Calvinistic Scheme, in which their arguments and objections are answered, and the several passages set in a just and proper light. These, and what are contained in the following Part in favour of the Particular Scheme, are extracted from Sermons delivered in a Wednesday evening’s lecture.

The Second Part was published in the year 1736, in which the several passages of Scripture in favour of special and distinguishing grace, and the arguments from them, are vindicated from the exceptions of the Arminian, and particularly from Dr. Whitby, and a reply made to answers and objections to them.

The Third Part was published in 1737, and is a confutation of the arguments from reason used by the Arminians, and particularly by Dr. Whitby, against the above doctrines ; and a vindication of such as proceed on rational accounts in favour of them, in which it appears that they are no more disagreeable to right reason than to divine revelation ; to the latter of which the greatest deference should be paid, though the Rationalists of our age too much neglect it, and have almost quitted it ; but to the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.

In this part of the work is considered the agreement of the sentiments of Mr. Hobbes and the Stoic philosophers with those of the Calvinists, in which the difference between them is observed, and the calumny removed ; to which is added, a Defence of the’Objections to the Universal Scheme, taken from the prescience and the providence of God, and the

case of the Heathens.

The Fourth Part was published in 1738, in which the sense of the ancient writers of the Christian Church, before the times of Austin, is given ; the importance and consequence of which is shown, and that the Arminians have very little reason to triumph on that account.

This work was published at a time when the nation was greatly alarmed with the growth of Popery, and several learned gentlemen were employed in preaching against some particular points of it ; but the author of this work was of opinion, that the increase of Popery was greatly owing to the Pelagianism, Arminianism, and other supposed rational schemes men run into, contrary to divine revelation, This was the sense of our fathers in the last century, and therefore joined these and Popery together in their religious grievances they were desirous of having redressed ; and indeed, instead of lopping off the branches of Popery, the axe should be laid to the root of the tree, Arminianism and Pelagianism, the very life and soul of Popery.

This is Part 4 of 4 parts, and a new edition, with some alterations and improvements, is now published by request.

Authors Biography

John Gill (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian who held to a firm Calvinistic soteriology. Born in Kettering , Northamptonshire, he attended Kettering Grammar School where he mastered the Latin classics and learned Greek by age 11. He continued self-study in everything from logic to Hebrew, his love for the latter remaining throughout his life.

Pastoral Work

His first pastoral work was as an intern assisting John Davis at Higham Ferrers in 1718 at age 21. He became pastor at the Strict Baptists church at Goat Yard Chapel, Horselydown, Southwark in 1719. His pastorate lasted 51 years. In 1757 his congregation needed larger premises and moved to a Carter Lane, St. Olave’s Street, Southwark. This Baptist church was once pastored by Benjamin Keach and would later become the New Park Street Chapel and then the Metropolitan Tabernacle pastored by Charles Spurgeon.

4 PREFACE

Works

In 1748, Gill was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of Aberdeen. He was a profound scholar and a prolific author. His most important works are:

Gill also edited and re-published the works of Rev.

Tobias Crisp, D.D. (1600-1643).


Publishers Comments

This reproduction of Dr John Gills The Cause of God and Truth Part I of IV parts and has been reproduced for the benefit of students at Christchurch Bierton Particular Baptists, Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan. Bierton Particular Baptists Pakistan is the first in Pakistan and founded by David Clarke who is the sole surviving member of Bierton Particular Baptist founded, in 1831 in England. The Bierton church was a was a Gospel Standard Cause. This book tells of the formation of Bierton Particular Baptist Pakistan in 2016 along with the formation of Bierton Particular

Baptists College.


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David Clarke appointed minister Anil Anwar and Anwar Shahid John of Rahim Yar Khan, as overseers

CONTENT 5

CHAPTER 1 7

17 Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370. 43


OF PREDESTINATION

7

18 Optatus Milevitanus. A.D. 370.

43

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

10

19 Victorious. A.D. 365.

44

2 Ignatius. A.D. 110.

11

20 Marcus Eremita. A.D. 390.

44

3 Justin. A.D. 150.

11

21 Faustinus. A.D. 390.

44

4 Minutius Felix. A.D. 170.

13

22 Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. A.D. 370.

45

5 Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

14

23 Gregorius Nazianenus. A.D. 370.

45

6 Clements Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

16

24 Didumus Alexandrinus. A.D. 370.

46

7 Tertullian. A.D. 200.

17

26 Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

46

8 Origenus Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

17

26 Pacianus Barcinonensis Vel

9 Caecilius Thascius Cyprianus. A.D.250.

19

Barcilonensis. A.D. 380.

47

10 Novatianus. A.D. 250.

20

27 Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

47

11 Athanasius. A.D. 350.

20

28 Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

48

12 Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

22

29 Epiphanius. A.D. 390.

49

13 Basilius Caeariensis. A.D. 370.

23

30 Gaudentius Brixiensis. A.D. 390.

50

14 Cyrillus Hierosol Ymitanus. A.D. 370.

24

31 Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

51

15 Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

24

32 Ruffinus Aquileiensis. A.D. 390.

52

16 Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

25

33 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

53

17 Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

26

CHAPTER 3

55

18 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

27

OF ORIGINAL SIN

55

CHAPTER 2

29

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

56

OF REDEMPTION

29

2 Barnabas. A.D. 70.

56

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

29

3 Ignatius. A.D. 110.

57

2 Barnabas. A.D. 70.

30

4 Justin. A.D. 150.

57

3 Ignatius. A.D. 110.

30

5 Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

58

4 Justin. A.D. 150.

30

6 Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

59

5 Ecclesia Smyrnensis. A.D. 169.

31

7 Tertullian. A.D. 200.

59

6 Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

32

8 Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

60

7 Tertullian. A.D. 200.

33

9 Gregorius Neocaesariensis. A.D. 240.

61

8 Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

34

10 Cyprian. A.D. 250.

62

9 Cyprian. A.D. 250.

35

11 Arnobius. A.D. 290.

63

10 Lactantius. A.D. 320.

37

12 Lactantius. A.D. 320.

63

12 Eusebius Pamphilus Caesariensis.

13 Eusebus Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

64

A.D. 330.

38

14 Macarius Egyptus. A.D. 350.

65

13 Julius Firmicus. A.D. 350.

40

15 Athanasius. A.D. 350.

66

14 Anthanasius. A.D. 350.

41

16 Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

67

15 Macarius Aegyptius. A.D. 350.

42

17 Victorinus Afer. A.D. 365.

68

16 Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 363.

42

18 Optatus Milevitanus. A.D. 370.

68

6 CONTENT


19 Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. A.D. 370.

69

6 Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

94

20 Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

69

7 Tertullian. A.D. 200.

96

21 Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

69

8 Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

97

22 Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

70

9 Cyprian. A.D. 250.

98

23 Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

71

10 Lactantius. A.D. 320.

100

24 Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

72

11 Eusebius Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

100

25 Epiphanius. A.D. 390.

73

12 Chronomatius. A.D. 335.

100

26 Marcus Eremits. A.D. 390.

73

13 Athanasius. A.D. 350.

101

27 Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

74

14 Macarius Aegyptus. A.D. 350.

102

28 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

75

15 Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 350.

102

CHAPTER 4

77

16 Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

103

OF EFFICACIOUS GRACE

17 Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 350.

104

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

77

18 Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

104

2 Barnabas. A.D. 70.

78

19 Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

105

3 Justin. A.D. 150.

78

20 Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

106

5 Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

79

21 Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

107

6 Tertullian. A.D. 200.

80

22 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

107

7 Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

81

CHAPTER 6

109

8 Cyprian. A.D. 250.

82

OF THE HEATHENS

109

9 Eusebius Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

83

A VINDICATION

110

10 Athanasius. A.D. 350.

84

OF A BOOK ENTITLED

110

11 Macarius Egyptius. A.D. 350.

85

THE CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH

110

12 Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

85

13 Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

86

14 Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

86

5 Didymus Alexandrinus. A.D. 370.

87

16 Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

87

17 Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

88

18 Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

88

19 Marcus Eremita. A.D. 390.

89

20 Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

90

24 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

90

CHAPTER 5

92

OF PERSEVERANCE

92

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

92

2 Barnabas. A.D. 70.

93

3 Ignatius. A.D. 110.

93

3 Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

93

5 Epistola Martyrum Galliae. A.D. 180.

94


Introduction

CHAPTER 1

OF PREDESTINATION

not free from considerable mistakes and blemishes, and deviations from the word of God, and doctrines of the apostles; which having been taken notice of by many learned men, I forbear to repeat. Indeed we

Since those doctrines which are commonly called,

Calvinistical are charged with novelty, and are represented as running directly contrary to the whole stream of antiquity, and the sentiments of the ancient fathers, and as entirely unknown to the Christian church before the time of Austin; when, on the other hand, the doctrines of the universal scheme are said to be confirmed by the concurrent suffrage of all antiquity, and the express and frequent declarations of the ancient fathers; it is necessary that this affair should be inquired into and examined, whether it is matter of fact or no. And this will be the subject of this Fourth Part. But, before we enter upon it, let the following things be observed:

  1. That the writings of the best of men, of the most early antiquity, and of the greatest learning and piety, cannot be admitted by us as the rule and standard of our faith. These, with us, are only the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament: to these we appeal, and by these only can we be determined. If therefore the oracles of God are on our side; if we have the concurrent suffrage and the frequent and express declarations of the holy prophets, of Christ and his apostles, we have the best and earliest antiquity for us, and are free, and far enough from the charge of novelty. It is of no great, moment with us, what such who lived nearest to the times of the apostles say, unless what they say agrees with their words and doctrines. It would indeed be matter of concern to us, should no footsteps, no traces of the doctrines we contend for, appear in the works of the first Christian writers, and would oblige us to

lament their early departure from the faith once delivered to the saints. And, indeed,

  1. It is easy to observe, and he must be a stranger to antiquity and church history that does not know, how very early after the apostles’ days, corruptions, both in doctrine and practice, were brought into the Christian church. For not to take notice of the heretics of those times, and the heresies broached by them, than which, never were more absurd notions, or more horrid and blasphemous doctrines maintained, which made Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, frequently say, “Good God, to what times hast thou reserved me!” The purest writers of the first ages were

    have scarce any thing remaining of what was written in the first century, and very little of what was written in the second. And besides, the writings of these and after-times have been so interpolated, and so many spurious pieces have been ascribed to the writers of those ages, that it has been difficult to know their true and real sentiments. Since the reformation, learned men have taken much pains to separate the spurious and interpolated, from their genuine works.

  2. Though it will be readily owned, that the first Christian writers were men of great sobriety and simplicity, of exemplary lives and conversations, and who suffered much and bravely for the sake of the Christian religion, the verity of which they were thoroughly persuaded of; yet they do not appear to have very clear and distinct notions of the doctrines of it, at least are not very happy in expressing their sentiments of them; for as many of them were men of considerable erudition in Gentile philosophy, they had a better faculty at demolishing the Pagan scheme, than in stating, explaining, and defending the Christian faith.

  3. Whereas the times in which these men lived, may be truly called the infancy or youth of the Christian church, and which, as it grows older, may be thought to grow in spiritual light and knowledge, as it certainly will more so before the end of the world; so these writers with more propriety may be called the young men, than the fathers of the church: and, without any detraction from their real worth and value, they were but children, in comparison of some of our European divines, since the reformation. And indeed there is a good deal of reason why these should have a better understanding of the Scriptures, and be more acquainted with the doctrines of the gospel; since, besides the advantage of the writings before them, they also had better helps of understanding the Bible in its original languages: for most of the Latin writers knew nothing of the Greek tongue, neither Greek nor Latin writers understood the Hebrew; but a very few indeed. And above all, they had a larger measure of the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ: for, setting aside the apostolic age itself, which was favored with an extraordinary

    8 OF PREDESTINATION

    measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, or the bringing forth and establishing the Christian religion in the world; there has been no age since, that has been blessed with so much spiritual and evangelical light as the times since the reformation; and it is to be hoped that it will increase yet more and more; though it must be owned, that of late a veil has been drawing over it, which God in his own time will remove.

  4. It may be further observed, that the pens of the first Christian writers were chiefly employed against Jews and Pagans, and such heretics who opposed the doctrine of the Trinity; and who either denied the proper deity or real humanity of Christ; and therefore it is not to be expected that they should treat of the doctrines now in debate among us, any otherwise than per transitum, or by the bye. Besides, the doctrines of grace had never been disputed, or made the subject of controversy: Satan as yet had not done playing his first game, which was to depreciate some one or other of the divine persons in the Trinity, which lasted three or four hundred years; and then he brought on a second, and that was to cry up the power of man, in opposition to the grace of God. Now since nothing of this kind was moved in the times of those early writers, it is not to be wondered at that they should write sparingly on such subjects; or, asAustin says, should speak securius, “more securely,” or should speak as Jerom observes of the writers before Arius, innocenter et minus cante, “innocently and less cautiously.” His words are these; “You will say,” writing to Ruffinus, “how is it that there are some things faulty in their books? If I should answer, that I do not know the reasons of those faults, I will not immediately judge them to be heretics; for it may be that they have simply erred, or wrote with another meaning; or their writings have been corrupted by little and little, by unskillful librarians; or verily before Arius, as a meridian devil, was born in Alexandria; they spoke some things ‘innocently, and less cautiously,’ which could not avoid the calumny of perverse men.” And, for the same reason, it is no marvel, if, before the Pelagian controversy was moved, they dropped some things which were not so agreeable to the doctrines of special grace, or even to their own sentiments concerning them; since they had never been put upon the more strict examination and defense of these things, and so wrote without guard. This made Austin say, in answer to Prosper and Hilary, who moved to have the sense of former writers

    concerning predestination and grace, in order to stop the mouths of some cavilers; “What need is there to search into their works, who before this heresy arose, were under no necessity of troubling themselves to solve this difficult question; which without doubt they would have done, had they been obliged to answer to such things. Hence it is, that what they thought of the grace of God, they have briefly and transiently touched upon in some places of their writings, but dwelt on those things in which they disputed against other enemies of the church.”

  5. It is worthy of notice, and what serves greatly to show the general sense of the Christian church concerning these doctrines, that when Pelagius first broached his notions concerning grace and free will, they were looked upon as new and unheard of, and were condemned by several councils; by one at Diospolis in Palestine, at which were fourteen bishops; by two at Carthage in the last of which were sixty-seven bishops; and by another at Milevis in Africa, which consisted of sixty bishops. And in the first of these Pelagius recanted, and was obliged to subscribe the condemnation of his tenets, or else he had been anathematized. So that Austin was far from being the only person that rose up and opposed him. And indeed Pelagius for some time had very few, that either did or dared openly to espouse his notions. And as for Austin, he was so far from being alone in his sentiments, that it was well “known that not only the Roman and African churches, but all the sons of promise in all parts of the world, agreed with his doctrine, as in the whole of faith, so in the confession of grace;” as Prosper observes. I have only further to observe, that the testimonies produced in the following work, are taken from the writers before Austin. I have made no use of him, nor of Prosper and Fulgentius, his two boatswains, as Dr. Whitby very wittily, no doubt, as he thought, calls them: nor have I taken any citations upon trust from others; but what is here presented to the reader, is the fruit of my own reading, care, and diligence. I say not this in an ostentatious way, but that the reader may more safely depend upon them. To all which I only add, that I have not attempted an elegant translation of these testimonies, but have as much as possible pursued a literal one, lest I should be thought to impose my own sense upon an author. Great allowance must be made those writers, on account of the age in which

they lived, and the style in which they wrote: nor can it be expected they should write with exactness and accuracy, or express themselves as moderns do, upon points which had never been the subject of controversy. I do not pretend to reconcile all their different expressions, which may seem contradictions to themselves and to truth: what I propose, and have in view, is to make it appear that the Arminians have no great reason to boast of antiquity on their side; and I hope, on the perusal of the following sheet, sit will be allowed that this point is gained.

That the doctrine of absolute election and reprobation bears a contradiction to the sentiments of the ancient fathers, Dr. Whitby says, is so evident, that Calvin, Beza, and many other patrons of it do partly confess it; and therefore he shall content himself with three or four demonstrations of this truth. As to the confessions of Calvin and Beza, the former only observes, that the doctrine of election and reprobation, according to God’s foreknowledge, has had magnos authores, “great authors,” or abettors, in all ages; and the latter, (In Romans 11:35) that Origen led most of the Greek and Latin writers into that gross error, that the foresight of works is the cause of election. But these confessions, as they are called, are so far from granting that the doctrine of absolute election and reprobation contradicts the sentiments of all the ancient fathers, that they plainly suppose that some were for it. As for his three or four demonstrations, they are taken from several passages of the ancients, respecting the power of man’s free will; from their exposition of the 8th and 9th chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, which will be considered hereafter, and from the testimonies of Vossius and Prosper. The words of Vossius, but not as the Doctor for has rendered them, are these: “The Greek fathers always, and those of the Latin fathers who lived before Austin, are wont to say, that they were predestinated unto life, whom God foresaw would live piously and rightly; or as others say, whom he foresaw would believe and persevere.” The Doctor ought to have transcribed what Vossius adds, which serves to explain their sense: “which,” says he, “they so interpret, that predestination to glory may be said to be made according to prescience of faith and perseverance;” but they did not mean the prescience of those things which man would do from the strength of nature, but what he would do from the strength of grace, both preventing and subsequent. So that the

consent of antiquity nothing helps the Pelagians, or Semipelagians, for they both believed that the cause of predestination is given on the part of man, according to all effects. But the Catholics owned that the first grace is bestowed freely, and not of merit. Wherefore neither did they think, that on the part of man is given “any cause of predestination unto preventing grace: yea, it is very probable that all, or most of them, when they make faith prior to election, yet do not consider faith as the cause of election properly so called; as if God, moved with the worthiness of faith, chose some to holiness and life.” From whence it appears, that though they held predestination to glory, according to God’s prescience of faith and perseverance, which prescience of faith and perseverance proceeds from God’s absolute decree to give them both, in which sense none deny it; yet they make predestination to grace to be absolute, without any cause or condition on man’s part; for otherwise grace must be given according to man’s merits, which was the doctrine of Pelagius, condemned by the ancients, and something in man must be the cause of the divine will; whereas, as Aquinas observes, “no man was ever of so unsound a judgment, as to say that merits are the cause of divine predestination with respect to the act of God predestinating.” What is alleged from Prosper, is out of an epistle of his to Austin, in which he observes to him, “that many of the servants of Christ, at Marseilles, thought that what Austin had wrote against the Pelagians, concerning the calling of the elect according to God’s purpose, was contrary to the opinion of the fathers, and sense of the church; and that they defend their obstinacy by antiquity, affirming that what are brought out of the epistle of the apostle Paul to the Romans, to prove divine grace preventing the merits of the elect, were never so understood as they are now, by any ecclesiastical men. “This objection, how it may be removed,” says he, “we pray that you would show, patiently bearing with our folly; namely, that they (the Massilians, and not Prosper, as the Doctor translates it, which spoils the ingenuous confession of Prosper the Doctor boasts of) having again perused the opinions of almost all those that went before, concerting this matter, their judgment is found to be one and the same, by which they embraced the purpose and predestination of God according to prescience.” The sum of which is, that some Frenchmen of Marseilles caviled at Austin’s

10

doctrine, and pleaded antiquity on their side; having, as they said, perused almost all, not all, that went before them, and which they own did not please them. Austin’s answer to this is cited already. And certain it is, that as his doctrines were then generally esteemed, except by these few Frenchmen, so he verily thought that the writers before him were of the same mind with him; for which purpose he cites particularly Cyprian, Nazianzen, and Ambrose. But what was the sense of these, and other writers before him concern- this point, will be seen in the following Sections.


Section 1

  1. Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

    Clement of Rome, lived in the times of the apostles, and is, by Clement of Alexandria, called an apostle. He is thought by some to be the same Clement the apostle Paul speaks of, in Philippians 4:3, as one of his fellow-laborers. He wrote an epistle in the name of the church at Rome to the church at Corinth, about the year 69, which is the earliest piece of antiquity next to the writings of the apostles extant, being written when some of them were living, even before the apostle John wrote his Epistles, and the book of the Revelation, and while the temple at Jerusalem was yet standing. In this epistle are several things relating to the doctrine of election, and which greatly serve to confirm it. For,

    1. Agreeable to the apostolic doctrine, that God worketh all things after the council of his own will (Eph. 1:11), that his purposes shall stand, and that whatsoever he has determined shall come to pass, Clement affirms, that “when he wills, and as he wills, he does all things;” kai ouden mh tarelqh twn dedogmatwmenwn up autou, and that “none of those things which are decreed by him, shall pass away,” or be unaccomplished: which shows his sense of the dependency of all things upon the will of God, and of the immutability of his decrees in general.

    2. He not only frequently makes mention of persons under the character of the elect of God, but also intimates, that there is a certain, special, and peculiar number of them fixed by him. Speaking of the schism and sedition in the church at Corinth, he represents it as what was “very unbecoming, and should be far from toiv eklektoiv tou Qeou, the elect of God.” And elsewhere having cited Psalm 18:26, he says, “Let us


      therefore join ourselves to the innocent and righteous, for eisin outoi eklektoi tou Qeou, they are the elect of God;” that is, they appear to be so,these are characters descriptive of them. And in another place, enlarging in commendation of the grace of love, he says, “Love knows no schism, is not seditious; love does all things in harmony; pantev oi eklektoi tou Qeou, all the elect of God are made perfect in love:” which agrees with what the apostle says of them, that they are chosen to be holy and without blame before him in love (Eph. 1:4). Moreover, Clement observes, to the praise of the members of the church of Corinth, to whom he writes, that formerly their “contention was night and day for the whole brotherhood, that ton ariqmon twn eklektwn autou, the number of his elect might be saved, with mercy and a good conscience.” And elsewhere he says, that “God chose the Lord Jesus Christ, and us by him, eiv laon periousion, for a peculiar people.”

    3. Whereas the apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places, in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation oaf the world ( Eph. 1:3, 4), we conclude from hence, that from all eternity there was a preparation of spiritual blessings made; and agreeably, Clement, our apostolical writer, has these words; “Let us therefore consider, brethren, out of what matter we are made; who and what we were when we came into the world, as out of the grave and darkness itself; who, having made and formed us, brought us into his world proetoimasav tav euergesiav autou prin hmav gennhqhnai, having first prepared his good things for us, before we were born.”

    4. This very ancient writer plainly intimates, that the special and spiritual blessings of grace are peculiar to the elect of God; and that it is the stable and unalterable will of God, that his chosen ones should partake of them: particularly repentance, and remission of sins: for having mentioned those words in Psalm 32:1, 2, Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered; Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile; he observes, that this blessedness comes upon, or belongs unto, touv eklelegmenouv upo tou Qeou, those that are chosen of God by Jesus Christ our Lord.” And in another place, having taken notice of some general instances,


      declarations, and exhortations, encouraging men to repentance, suggests, that God’s design herein, was to bring to repentance such as were interested in his love; his words are these; “Therefore He (that is, God), being desirous that pantav touv agaphtav, all his beloved ones should partake of repentance, confirmed it by his almighty will.” That is, God, not willing, as the apostle Peter says, that any of his beloved ones should perish, but that all of them should come to repentance (2 Peter 3. 9), fixed it by an unchangeable decree, that they should come to repentance; and therefore makes use of the above declarations and exhortations as means to bring them to it.

    5. As the Scriptures always ascribe the act of election to God, and not men, and represent it as made in Christ, and by or through Him (Eph.1:4, 5); that he was first chosen as a head, and the elect as members in him; so Clement speaks of God as he oeklexamenov ton Kurion Iesoun Criston kai hmav di auton, who hath chosen the Lord Jesus Christ, and us by him;” and of the elect as chosen upw tou Qeou dia Iesou Cristou tou Kuriou hmwn, of God through Jesus Christ our Lord; and exhorts men to come to God in holiness of soul, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto him, loving our mild and merciful Father, ov hmav ekloghv merov epoihsen eautw, “who hath made us a part of the election for himself.”


    Section 2

  2. Ignatius. A.D. 110.

    Ignatius was made bishop of Antioch, A.D. 71, according to Alsted, and suffered martyrdom according to some, in the eleventh year of Trajan, and according to others, in the nineteenth year of that Emperor, A.D. 116. There are several epistles written by him still extant; among which is an Epistle to the Ephesians, and is thus inscribed: “Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, To the blessed in the greatness of God the Father and fullness; th prowrismenh pro aiwnwn to the predestinated before ages, that is, before the world began; always to be a glory, abiding, immoveable, united and chosen in the true passion by the will of God the Father, and Jesus Christ our God; to the church, worthily blessed, which is in Ephesus of Asia, much joy in Christ Jesus, and in the unblemished grace.” In which, besides the doctrines of Christ’s Deity, and the saints perseverance, may be observed

    11

    that of eternal predestination to grace and glory. In his epistle to the Magnesians, he speaks of two sorts of persons, signified by “two pieces of money; the one belongs to God, and the other to the world; which have each their own characters upon them, and every one shall go eiv ton idion topon, to his own place;” which Barnabas, the companion of the apostle Paul, calls, in his epistle, wrismenon topon, “the anointed place;” for as wicked men, such as Judas, go to their own place, which is no other than hell-fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; so good men go to their own place, appointed by God for them, which is the kingdom, prepared for them from the foundation of the world, an which Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of the apostle John, calls ton ofeilomenon autoiv topon, “the place that is due unto them, not by works, but of grace.” And here it may be proper to insert a passage out of an epistle which the church of Smyrna, of

    which Polycarp was bishop, and to whom Ignatius wrote, one of his epistles, declaring, that when “the executioner sheathed his sword in Polycarp, such a quantity of blood came out as quenched the fire; and the whole multitude wondered that there was such a difference metaxu twn te apistwn kai twn eklektwn, between the infidels and the elect.”


    Section 3

  3. Justin. A.D. 150.

    Justin, called the Martyr, to distinguish him from others of the same name, was a native of Samaria; he was born A.D. 89, was brought up a philosopher, afterwards became a Christian, and suffered martyrdom in the third year of M. Aurelius Antonius, and L. Verus, A.D. 163. Several of his writings continue to this day, in which may be observed:

    1. That he ascribes to God an eternal and universal prescience of future events; upon which proceed depredictions in the sacred writings. He asserts that God foreknew who would be good or bad, who would repent and believe, and who not, and who will be saved or damned; all which, as it perfectly agrees with the word of God, so with our sentiments. Justin no where says, that God foreknew that any would be good, repent, and believe of themselves, without his grace, by the mere strength of nature; and that he chose any to glory and happiness upon such a foresight of their

      good works, repentance, and faith: much less that he chose them to grace upon a prescience of these things; and, indeed, no man in his senses would say, that God chose man to faith upon a foresight of faith; but lest what this author has said should be thought to militate against us, we will produce the several passages. Addressing himself to Trypho the Jew, he thus speaks: “None of you, as I think, will dare to say, oti me kai prognostes ton ginesthai mellonton en kai estino Theos, kai ta axia ekasto proetoimazon, that God was not, and is not, foreknowing of what shall be done, or afore prepares not things fitting for every one.” And elsewhere, alethesteroi oi apo ton ethnon kai pistoteroi proeginoskonto, “the more true and faithful among the Gentiles, were foreknown;” that is, it was foreknown by God, that many of them would be so. Hence the prophets, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, foretold, that they would believe in Christ, when “the Jews and Samaritans, who had the word delivered them from God by the prophets, and were always expecting the Messiah, knew him not when he came; plhn oligwn tinwn, excepting some few, whom the holy prophetic Spirit, by Isaiah, proeipe swqhsesqai, foretold should be saved; who, personating them, said, Except the Lord had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom and Gomorrah.” He has, indeed, this observation, and it is a very good one, “that when we assert that what is foretold by the prophets shall be done, we do not say, that it shall be done by the necessity of fate, alla prognostou tou Theou outos ton mellonton upo panton anthropon prachthesesthai, but that God foreknows things future, that shall be done by all men.” So having cited Isaiah 33:18, he says, “that the people who were foreknown to believe in him (Christ) oti laos o eis auton pisteuein proegnosmenos, should meditate the fear of the Lord, was also foreknown, the very words of the prophecy declare.” And in another place, says he; “I am able to show, that all the things appointed by Moses were types, symbols, and declarations of what should be done to Christ; kai ton eis auton pisteuein proegnosmenon, and of them that were foreknown to believe in him: and likewise of those things that were to be done by Christ.” And elsewhere, speaking of the punishment of devils and wicked men, which is at present deferred by God for the sake of men, gives this as the reason of it: proginoskei gar tinas en me tanoias sothesesthai mellontas, kai tinas medepo isos

      gennethentas; “for he foreknew that some would be saved through repentance; and, perhaps, some not yet born:” for at first he made mankind intelligent, and able to choose the truth, and to do well; so that all “men are left without excuse by God.”

    2. Justin asserts, that God not only foreknows that some will be saved, and others damned, but that he has afore prepared salvation for some persons, and punishment for others. Speaking of the sufferings of Christians for the sake of Christ, he has these words; which, says he, we bear, that we may not “with our voice deny Christ, by whom we are called eiv swthrian thn prohtoimasmenhn para tou Patrov hmwn, unto the salvation which is before prepared by our Father.” And in another place, treating of Christ as the Angel of the great counsel, according to the Septuagint version of Isaiah 9:6, he thus speaks: “The great things, ebebouleuto o Pathr, which the Father hath in his counsel appointed for all men,” that are or shall be well-pleasing to him, and likewise those that depart from his will, whether angels or men, he only (Christ) hath most clearly taught, Matthew 8:11, 12, and 7:22, 23; and in other words, when he will condemn the unworthy that shall not be saved, he will say to them, “Go ye into outer darkness, which the Father hath prepared for Satan and his angels.” He elsewhere, indeed well observes, “that it is not the fault of God, oi proginwskomenoi kai genhsomenoi adikoi, that those who are foreknown, and shall be unrighteous, whether angels or men, that they are wicked; but it is through their own fault that every one is such as he appears to be.” And a little further, he adds, “Wherefore if the word of God intimates beforehand that some angels and men shall be punished, because that proeginosken autous ometabletous genesomenous ponerous, he foreknew that they would be immutably wicked;” it has foretold these things, but not that God has made them such; seeing, if they repent, all, boulomenoi, that are willing to obtain the mercy of God may. To which we heartily agree. We say that God makes no man wicked, but he makes himself so; that neither the foreknowledge of God, nor his decrees, necessitate men to sin; and that God damns no man, nor has he decreed to damn any but for sin; and that whoever is truly desirous of the grace and mercy of God, may obtain it through Christ.

    3. This ancient and valuable Christian writer not only speaks of the people of God under the title and

    appellation of the elect, as he does at the close of an epistle of his to some persons for whom he prays, that “the Lord of glory, who exists for ever, would give to them all to enjoy honor and rest meta twn eklektwn, with the elect;” but he also speaks of them as a special people, selected out of every nation, and as a fixed number to be completed. In one place, disputing with Trypho the Jew, he has these words: “God, out of all nations, took your nation to himself, a nation unprofitable, disobedient, and unfaithful; thereby pointing out touv apo pantov genouv airoumenouv, those that are chosen out of every nation to obey his will, by Christ, whom also he calls Jacob, and names Israel.” And addressing himself to the same Jew, he says, “In all these discourses I have brought all my proofs out of your holy and prophetic writings, hoping that some of you may be found ek tou kata charin ten apo tou Kuriou sabaoth perileieiphthentos eis ten aionion soterian, of the number which through the grace that comes from the Lord of Sabaoth, is left or reserved to everlasting salvation.” And in another treatise of his he observes, that “God introduced Christ into heaven after his resurrection from the dead, and detains him there until he has smitten his enemies the devils, kai suntelesthe o arithmos ton proegnosthenon auto aga non ginomenon kai enareton, and the number of them that are foreknown by him to be good and virtuous is completed; di otv, for whose sake he has not yet made the determined consummation.” Which perfectly agrees with the doctrine of the apostle Peter, and gives light into the sense of his words in 2 Peter 3:9, where the same reason is given for the deferring of Christ’s coming to judgment. There is but one passage out of Justin produced by Dr. Whitby in opposition to the doctrine of absolute election, and that properly belongs to the article of free will under which it will be considered.


    Section 4

  4. Minutius Felix. A.D. 170.

    Minutius Felix was a famous counselor at Rome; according to Monster Daille, he was contemporary with Fronto the orator who lived in the times of Antoninus Pius, which emperor died A.D. 161, and, following him, I have placed him in the year as above; though by others he is commonly put at the beginning of the third century. He wrote a dialogue between

    Caecilius a heathen, and Octavius a Christian, which is entitled Octavius, and is still in being. In this dialogue Caecilius the heathen objects to the Christians, thus, Nam quicquid agimus, ut alii fato, ita vos Deo addicitis; sic sectae vestrae non spontaneos cupere sed electos. Igitur iniquam judicem fingitis, qui sortem in hominibus puniat, non voluntatem; that is, “Whatsoever we do, as others ascribe it to fate, so you to God; and so men desire your sect not of their own accord, but as elect; wherefore you suppose an unjust judge, who punishes in men lot or fortune, and not the will.” To this Octavius replies, Nec de fato quisquam aut solatium captet aut excuset eventum. Sit fortis (sortis, Ed. Oxon. 1662) fortunae, mens tamen libera est et ideo actus hominis, non dignitas judicatur. Quid enim aliud est fatum, quam quod de unoquogue Deus fatus est? Qui cum possit praescire materiam, pro meritis el qualitatibus singulorum etiam fata determinat, ita in nobis non genitura plectitur, sed ingenii natura punitur; that is, “No man may either take any comfort from fate, or excuse an event; for let it be of lot or fortune, yet the mind is free, and therefore the act and not the worth of the man is judged of. For what else is fate, but what God says of every one of us? Who, since he can foreknow matter, even determines the fates according to the merits and qualities of every one; so that not our nativity (that is, as depending on the position of the stars) but our natural disposition is punished.” From whence I observe,

    1. That there was a doctrine held by the Christians in those times, which seemed to have some affinity with, and to bear some likeness to, the stoical fate, or Caecilius could not have thus objected with any face; nor does this objection appear to be altogether groundless, as many of his certainly were, since Octavius, in his reply, does not deny the doctrine of fate rightly understood, though he would not have men shelter themselves under it, and excuse their actions on the account of it; nay, he does not reject the use of that word, but explains it in a Christian sense, saying, “What is fate, but what God says, or determines, concerning every one of us?” Now no doctrine, but that of predestination, as held by such who are called Calvinists, can be thought to bear any likeness to the doctrine of fate, or be liable to the like objections; wherefore it is, reasonable to conclude, that the same doctrine was generally taught and received by the

      Christians then as it is by them that hold it now, since the same charge is brought against it.

    2. That the saints in those times went under the name of the elect; and that it was a current opinion among them, that men were converted to the Christian religion, and were brought into fellowship and society with the Christians, not by the power of their own free will, but in consequence of electing grace; and therefore Caecilius upbraids them as coveting the Christian sect, and joining themselves to it, non spontaneos, “not of their own accord,” sed electos, “but being the elect.”

    3. What farther confirms this, that the doctrine of predestination was then received among the Christians, is, that Caecilius goes on to charge the Christian hypothesis with making God unjust;since he must punish men not for what they voluntarily do, but for what they cannot help, for that which is allotted and determined for them to do; which contains the whole strength of what is now objected to the doctrine of absolute reprobation, and what it was of old charged with, even in the apostles’ times, What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? (Rom. 9:14.)

    4. The latter part of Octavius’s reply is indeed produced by the Arminians, as militating against the absolute decrees of God; but without any just reason, since there is nothing in it that is inconsistent with them. We readily own that God can and does foreknow whatever is or shall be; and that according to the qualities of men, he determines their fates, the issues of things, their salvation or damnation, for we say, that “God decreed to damn no man but for sin; and that he appointed none to salvation but through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth;” or in other words, that God foreknowing the faith and repentance of his elect, because he had determined to give them to them, he appoints them to salvation, through them as means; and foreknowing the sin, final impenitence, and unbelief of the rest, he appoints them to damnation; though these things are to be considered not as causes of predestination, quoad actum volentis, with respect to the will of God; but quoad res volitas, with respect to the things willed. Dr. Twisse, who well understood this controversy, and was an able defender of the absolute decrees of God, agrees with every thing that Octavius here says: “As to that of Minutius Felix,” says he, “we deny that God doth sortem in

    hominibus punire, non voluntatem. We do not say, genitura plectitur; we say, that in every one who is punished by God, igenii natura punitur; we confess, that fatum illud est, quod de unoquoque Deus fatus est; and that promeritis el singulorum qualitatibus etiam fata determinat.”


    Section 5

  5. Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

    Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, and an auditor of Papais, who were both disciples of the apostle John; he was first a presbyter under Pothinus, bishop of Lyons, in France, and when he died, who suffered martyrdom about A.D. 178, he succeeded him as bishop of that place, and became a martyr about A.D.

    198. He wrote five books against the heresies of the Valentinians and Gnostics, which remain to this day; from whence may be gathered his sense concerning the decrees of God. And,

    1. It is evident, that he believed that all things are predetermined by God, and are overruled by him for the good of his church and people; yea, that even the fall of man is used to their advantage; for he says, that God has shown the greatness of his mind in the apostasy of man, for man is taught by it;” as the prophet says “Thy backslidings shall reform thee.” Prefiniente Deo omnia ad hominis perfectionem. “God predetermining all things for the perfection of man, and for the bringing about and manifestation of his dispositions, that goodness may be shown, and righteousness perfected, and the church be conformed to the image of his Son, and at length become a perfect man, and by such things be made ripe to see God, and enjoy him.”

    2. He asserts a preparation of happiness for some, and of punishment for others, upon the prescience or foreknowledge of God; his words are these: Deus autem omnia praesciens utrisque aptas praeparavit habitationes, etc. “God foreknowing all things, has prepared for both suitable habitations;” for them who seek after the light of incorruptibility, and run unto it, he bountifully gives that light which they desire; but for others that despise it, and turn themselves from it, and avoid it, and as it were blinding their own selves, he hath prepared darkness fitting for such who

      are against the light, and for those who shun being subject to it, he has “provided proper punishment.”

      It is true, he puts this upon the prescience of God, foreknowing the different characters and actions of men; and therefore Vossius, and Dr. Whitby, from him, have produced this passage, with others, to prove, that the fathers before Austin held, that God predestinated men to live from a prescience that they would live piously; but I think it may very well be understood, in a sense entirely consistent with the doctrine of predestination, as maintained by us; for we readily own, that God foreknew who would live piously, and seek after the light of life, because he determined to give them that grace which should enable them so to do, and therefore prepared mansions of light and glory for them; and, to use Irenaeus’s own phrase, benigne donans, of his own grace and goodness liberally and bountifully gives that light unto them which they desire, and he has prepared for them. On the other hand, he foreknew who would despise, and shun the light, and blind themselves yet more and more; because he determined to leave them to themselves, to their native blindness, darkness, and ignorance, which they love; and accordingly prepared regions of darkness, as a proper punishment for them. For,

    3. He speaks of a certain number of persons chosen to eternal life, and of God’s giving up others to, and leaving them in their unbelief, in much such language as we usually do. Treating of the doctrine of the resurrection, he has these words, “God is not so poor and indigent as not to give to every body its own soul as its proper form. Hence plerothentos ton arithmou ou autos par auto proorise, pantes oi engrapheetes eis zoen anastesontai, having completed the number which he before determined with himself, all those who are written, or ordained unto life, shall rise again, having their own bodies, souls, and spirits, in which they pleased

      God; but those who are deserving of punishment shall go into it, having also their own souls and bodies in which they departed from the grace of God.” And in another place, having cited several passages of Scripture which respect the blinding and hardening of the heart of Pharaoh, and others, such as Isaiah 6:9, 10, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Romans 1:28, 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12, which are commonly made use of in handling the doctrine of reprobation, he thus descants upon them, “If therefore now, as many as God knows, will not believe, since he foreknows all things, tradidit eos infidelitati eorum, he hath given

      them up to their infidelity, “and turns his face from them,” relinquens eos in tenebris, “leaving them in the darkness which they have chosen for themselves;” is it to be wondered at, that he then “gave up Pharaoh, who would never believe, with them that were with him, to their own infidelity?” And elsewhere, having mentioned the words in Romans 9:10-12, so frequently urged in this controversy, he has this observation upon them, “from hence it is manifest, that not only the prophecies of the patriarchs, but the birth of Rebecca, was a prophecy of two people, one greater, the other less; one in bondage, the other free; of one and the same father; one and the same God is ours and theirs, who understands things hidden; qui scit omnia antequam fiant, ‘who knows all things before they come to pass,’ and therefore hath said, Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated.”

    4. Eternal predestination, or predestination before time, before men have a being, was not unknown to this ancient writer; for in one place he says, “being predestinated indeed according to the knowledge of the Father; ut essemus qui nondum eramus, that we might be, who as yet were not, made, or were the beginning of his creation.” And not to take any further notice than barely to mention his reading the text in Romans 1:1, Predestinated to the Gospel of God; and which after him is so rendered by Origen, Chrysostom, and Theophylact, who understand it not of the vocation of Paul to the apostleship, but of his eternal election, and the pre-ordination of him of old, before he was born.

    5.Heplainlyhintsatthestabilityandimmovableness of the decree of election, when he calls it, turris electionis, “the tower of election;” for why should he call it a tower, but because it is impregnable and immoveable, because “the purpose of God, according to election, is that foundation which stands sure, not of works, but of him that calleth?” For having taken notice of some passages of the prophets, he thus says, “These things the prophets declaring required the fruit of righteousness, but the people not believing, at last he sent his own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: whom, when the wicked husbandmen had killed, they cast out of the vineyard; wherefore the Lord God hath delivered it to other husbandmen, who render him the fruits in their seasons; not now walled about, but spread throughout the whole world; turre electionis exaltata ubique et speciosa, “the tower of election

    being every where exalted and glorious.” That is, if I understand him right, the election obtained every where, or electing grace took place, not in Judea only, as heretofore, but in all the nations of the world; for it follows, “every where the church is famous, every where a winepress is dug, and every where there are some that receive the Spirit.” There are two passages cited from Irenaeus by Dr. Whitby, as militating against the doctrines of absolute election and reprobation, but both of them respect the doctrine of free will; and it must be owned, that there are some things dropped by this writer, which, upon first reading them, seem to favor that doctrine, and will be considered in their proper place.


    Section 6

  6. Clements Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

    Clement of Alexandria, of an heathen philosopher became a Christian, was a presbyter of the church at Alexandria, and, after Pantaenus, was master of the school in that place. Several of his works are still extant, some of which were written a little after the death of Commodus the emperor, which, according to Clement himself, was A.D. 194, but according to the vulgar æra, A.D. 192, in which,

    1. He clearly asserts the doctrine of election in many places, for he not only speaks of the people of God, under the character of elect; as when from a book called Pastor, the author of which was Hermas, and thought to be the same the apostle Paul makes mention of Romans 16:14, he says, “that virtue which holds the church together is faith, by which oi eklektoi tou Qeou, “the elect of God are saved.” And in another place, “the generation of them that seek him is, to genov to eklekton, “the elect nation.” And elsewhere, “not the place, but to aqroisma twn eklektwn, “the congregation of the elect, I call the church.” I say, he not only speaks often after this manner, but of them as a special, distinct number, predestinated and chosen of God, whom it is his will to save; accordingly he says, “as his will is his work, and this is called the world, so his will is the salvation of men, kai touto ekklhsia keklet ai, “and this is called the church.” And again, “If they also had known the truth, they would have all leaped into the way, ekloge de ouk an en, “and there would have been no election.” And in another place, “It is not convenient that all should

      understand, that is, the meaning of the scriptures, lest taking the things which are wholesomely said by the Holy Spirit, otherwise, they should prove hurtful; wherefore tois eklektois ton anthropon, “to those that are chosen from among men,” and to them that are

      through faith admitted to knowledge, the holy mysteries of the prophecies which are preserved are hid in parables.” And elsewhere, “according to the fitness which every one has, He, that is, God, distributes his benefits both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians; kai tois ek touton proorismenois, “and to them who are predestinated from among them, and are in his own time called, faithful, and elect.”

    2. It is evident that Clement held, that the predestination of men to everlasting life was from eternity, or before the world began, as appears from the following passages; having cited Jeremiah 1:5, 7, Do not say, I am a child; before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, etc., his note upon it is, “this prophecy intimates unto us, tous pro kataboles kosmou eis pistin egnosmenous Theo, “that those who before the foundation of the world are known by God unto faith; that is, are appointed by him to faith, are now babes, because of the will of God lately fulfilled, as we are new- born unto vocation and salvation.” Yea, he says, that the Christians were before the world was; for speaking of several nations who boasted of antiquity, he observes, that “none of them was before this world; but pro de tes tou kosmou kataboles emeis, “verily we were before the foundation of the world, who, that we ought to be, were first born in God;” we are the rational formations of God the Word, di on archaizomen, “by whom we have antiquity; for the Word was in the beginning;” which must be meant of their being chosen in Christ from everlasting. And in another place, “It is not becoming, that a friend of God, on proorisen o Theos pro kataboles kosmou eis ten akran egkatalegenai uiothesian, “whom God has predestinated before the foundation of the world, to be put into the high adoption of children, should fall into pleasures or fears, and be unemployed in repressing the passions.” And elsewhere, “what voice should he expect, who according to his purpose knows, ton eklekton kai pro tes geneseos, the elect even before his birth, and that which shall be, as though it was?” To which I shall add one passage more, where he says, that “such are gathered together by one Lord tous ede katatetagmenous, ous proorisen

    o Theos dikaious esomenou pro kateboles kosmou egnokos, who are already ordained, whom God hath predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous.” This passage is indeed referred to by Dr. Whitby, in favor of a conditional, and against absolute predestination; but Clement might very well say, agreeable to the absolute scheme, that God predestinated men to glory, knowing they would be righteous; because he ordained them to be righteous, and determined to make them so. He does not say, that he foreknew that they would be righteous of themselves, and therefore predestinated them to happiness, which only would serve the conditional scheme. Besides, neither he, nor any of the ancients, ever said, that God foreknowing men would be righteous, predestinated them to be so; but foreknowing they would be righteous, because he determined they should be, he predestinated them to happiness. There are two or three more passages of this writer referred to by Dr. Whitby, as opposing the doctrine of absolute election and reprobation, which, as has been before observed concerning some others, from Justin and Irenaeus, more properly belong to the doctrine of free will; and if Clement has said some things which look that way, it need not be much wondered at, since both he and his master Pantaenus had been addicted to the stoic philosophy; which they might find some difficulty to get clear of, and so might be mixed by them with the Christian scheme, as it is plain it too much was in the school of Alexandria.


    Section 7

  7. Tertullian. A.D. 200.

    Tertullian was by birth an African, of the city of Carthage, his father was a Proconsular Centurion; he flourished in the times of Severus, and Antoninus Caracalla, about the beginning of the third century. He was a presbyter of the church, and one of the first of the Latin writers among the Christians. He wrote much, and many of his works remain to this day, in which we have at least some hints of his being acquainted with the doctrines of election and reprobation. In one of his books, speaking of the different crowns which men of different orders were honored with, he addresses the Christian after this manner, “But thine order and thy magistracy, and the name of thy court is the church of Christ: thou art his, conscriptus in libris vitae, written

    in the books of life.” And in another place, treating of heretics, he says, their were wits of spiritual wickedness, with whom we and the brethren wrestle; the necessary articles of faith merit our contemplation, ut electi manifestentur, ut reprobi detegantur; that the elect may be manifested, that the reprobate may be detected.” And elsewhere, having cited Isaiah 40:5, 6, he makes this remark, “he distinguishes the issues of things, not substances; for who does not place the judgment of God in a twofold sentence of salvation and punishment? Wherefore all flesh is grass, quae igni destinatur, which is appointed to the fire, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God; quae saluti ordinatur, which is ordained to salvation.” And as he says upon another account, “there can be no election without reprobation.” He has indeed a passage, which seems to make election dependent upon the works of men; his words are these, “What man is there without sin that God should always choose him whom he never could refuse? Or who likewise without any good work, that God should always refuse him, whom he never could choose? Show a man that is always good, and he will not be refused; show one that is always evil, and he will never be chosen.” Hence the learned Scultetus charges him with being erroneous in the doctrine of predestination. But this is but a single passage, and seems only to regard the different dispensations of divine providence towards good and bad men, on account of which God was censured by the Marcionites, and charged with levity and

    inconstancy, and not an election to grace and glory. Dr. Whitby has a single reference to this writer,

    which, as the rest that have been before observed, falls under the head of free will, and will be there considered with them.


    Section 8

  8. Origenus Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

Origen of Alexandria, sometimes surnamed Adamantius, was born about A.D. 185; his father’s name was Leonidas, who suffered martyrdom,

    1. 202. He succeeded Clement in the school of Alexandria, was ordained a presbyter at Caesarea about A.D. 228, and died at Tyre, A.D. 253. He wrote much, and many things are still extant under his name, great part of which are only translations by Rufinus, who took great liberty in altering and interpolating his

      works; so that it is not easy to know when we read Origen, or when Rufinus. Perhaps many of the errors and mistakes he is charged with may be owing to the ill usage he has met with this way. It is said to be a tenet of his, that souls pre- existed in another state; and that according as they behaved themselves in the other world, they either obtained the order of angels, or were thrust down to the earth, and united to bodies predestinated either to life or death, according to their past merits, which he sometimes calls, preceding causes and more ancient ones. This notion of his is mentioned by Jerome, and rejected by him; who rightly observes, that men are chosen in Christ, not because they were or had been holy, but that they might be so. Origen’s sentiments on this head were very peculiar, and are not allowed of on either side of the question before us; and therefore passages of this kind are very injudiciously cited by Dr. Whitby, in this controversy. Indeed it cannot be denied, but that there are other passages in the writings of this father which countenance the doctrine of predestination, upon the foresight of man’s future purposes, desires, and actions in this life, which do not accord with his above notion, and shows either that he contradicts himself, or has not had justice done him. And though one might not expect to meet with any thing in favor of the absolute and unconditional scheme in such a writer, yet there are several things said by him which agree with it. And,

      1. He agrees with us in his sentiments of prescience and predetermination in general; he held, that nothing comes by chance, but that all things are appointed by God; yea, that the case of lots is not fortuitous, but according to divine predestination. Thus, speaking of the division of the land of Canaan to the Israelites, he has these words, “Upon casting lots the inheritance is distributed to the people of God, and the lot moved, non.616 fortuitu, sed secundum hoc quod praedestinatum est a Deo, “not by chance, but according to what is predestinated by God.” His sense of the prescience of God is, that “foreknowledge is not the cause of things future, but the truth he says is, that to esomenon aition tou toian di einai ten peri antou prognosin, that a thing being future, is the cause of God’s foreknowledge of it; for not because it is known it is future, but because it will be, therefore it is known.” To the same propose he says in another place, “Not therefore any thing will be because God knows

        it to be future, but because it is future it is known by God before it comes to pass.” Which entirely accords with what we assert, that God did not decree any thing because he foresaw it, but he foresaw it because he decreed it.

      2. He gives plain intimations, as if he thought that there was a certain number of men chosen by God, and given to Christ. By the elect in Matthew 24:30, who will be gathered together from the four winds, he understands “all that are loved by God the Father, and preserved in Christ Jesus.” God, he says, is indeed the God of all, tes ekloges esti Theos, He is the God of the election, and much more of the Savior of the election.” And elsewhere mentioning these words in John 17:5. And now, Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was; he makes this observation, “the world here is to be understood of our world above the earth, apo gar toutou tou kosmou edoke to uio o pater anthropous, for out of this world the Father hath given men to the Son, for whom alone the Savior prays the Father, and not for the whole world of men.” “And again may it be enquired, he says, whether all men may be called the servants of this king, or some truly whom he foreknew and predestinated?”

      3. He asserts a predestination to grace, and particularly to faith, which is not consistent with predestination, upon a foresight of it. In one of his books he has these words; “It seems that the knowledge of God is greater than to be comprehended by human nature, hence are so many mistakes in men concerning God, but by the goodness and love of God to man, and through wondrous and divine grace, the knowledge of God comes epi tous prognosei Theou pronatalephsthentas, to them who were before comprehended in the foreknowledge of God; or, according to the version of Gelenius, who to this were predestinated.” And in another part of his works, speaking of the conjunction of angels to men, and their care of them, he says, that “an angel begins from the time of a man’s conversion and faith to be joined to prognosthenti kata ton de ton chronon pisteuein kai proristhenti, to him that is foreknown and preordained to believe at that, even at that very time;” which shows that he held, that some are predestinated to believe, and that at a certain time; and so it has been, and is, that as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

      4. It is also manifest, from a certain passage of his,

that he held that election does not spring from men’s works, but from the mere will and pleasure of God; his words are these; “All these things look this way, that the apostle may prove this;” That if either Isaac or Jacob, for their merits, had been chosen to those things which they, being in the flesh sought after, and, by the works of the flesh, had deserved to be justified; then the grace of their merit might belong to the posterity of flesh and blood also, but now, since, electio eorum non ex operibus facta sit, sed ex proposito Dei, ex vocantis arbitro, “their election does not arise from works, but from the purpose of God, from the will of him that calleth;” the grace of the promise is not fulfilled in the children of the flesh, “but in the children of God; that is, such, who likewise, as they, may be ex proposito elegantur, chosen by the purpose of God, and adopted for sons.”


Section 9

9 Caecilius Thascius Cyprianus. A.D. 250.

Cyprian was an African by birth; he was first a Presbyter, and afterwards Bishop of Carthage: he was made Bishop of that place A.D. 248, and suffered martyrdom A.D. 258, under Valerianus and Gallienus. He wrote many excellent things, some of which are preserved to this day. The great Augustin thought him to be of the same mind with himself in the doctrine of predestination, which he gathered from those words of his; In nullo gloriandum quando nostrum nihil sit; “we must glory, in nothing, since nothing is ours;” according to John 3:27. A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. And 1 Corinthians 4:7, What hast thou, that thou didst not receive? Now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Upon which Austin makes this remark; “this Cyprian most truly saw, and most confidently asserted; per quod utique praedestinationem certissimam pronunciavit, whereby also he hath pronounced predestination to be most certain:” for if we must glory in nothing, since nothing is ours, neither must we glory truly of our most persevering obedience; nor is that to be said to be so ours, as if it was not given us from above; and that itself therefore is the gift of God; which God foreknew that he would give to his own, who are called with the calling of which it is said, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and must be owned by

every Christian; haec est igitur praedestinatio, quam fideliter et humiliter praedicamus; “this is therefore the predestination which we faithfully and humbly preach.” And a little after, having repeated the same words of Cyprian, his observation is this; “where, says he, without any ambiguity, he declares the true grace of God, that is, which is not given according to our merits, and which God foreknew that he would give; his Cypriani verbis procul dubio praedestinatio praedicata est: in these words of Cyprian, without all doubt, predestination is asserted.”

There are some books ascribed to Cyprian, which are called in question by learned men, whether they are his or no, such as those which are entitled, De Disciplina et bono Pudicitiae, and De Cardinalibus Operibus Christi: their style is thought, by Erasmus, not to agree with Cyprian’s; but Pamelus affirms them to be his: however, the former of these is allowed to be written by a learned man, and suspected to be done by Cornelius, bishop of Rome, cotemporary with Cyprian; and the latter to be the work, antiqui et docti autoris, “of an ancient and learned author,” and thought to be written in the age of Cornelius and Cyprian; though in a very ancient copy in the library of All-Souls college in Oxford, it goes under the name of Arnoldus Bonavillacensis; and, therefore, must be the work of far later writer, even of one that lived in the times of Bernard; wherefore, as the genuineness and antiquity of these treatises are questioned, I shall lay no stress upon the testimonies I now produce out of them. In the first of these the author exhorts the saints to chastity, from such considerations as these: “Knowing,” says he, “that you are the temple of the Lord, the members of Christ, the habitation of the Holy Ghost; electos ad spem, consecratos ad fidem, destinatos ad salutem; elected to hope, devoted to faith, appointed to salvation.” And in the latter of these, the compiler of it ascribes the several distinct acts of grace to the persons in the blessed Trinity, and among the rest, particularly election to the Father; his words are these: “In this school of divine learning, the Father is he that teaches and instructs, the Son who reveals and opens the secrets of God unto us, and the Holy Spirit who fills and furnishes us. From the Father we receive power, from the Son wisdom, and from the Holy Spirit innocence. Pater eligit, ‘the Father chooses,’ the Son loves, the Holy Spirit joins and unites. By the Father is given us eternity, by the

Son conformity to his image, and by the Holy Spirit integrity and liberty.” In another place he speaks of the elect, as of a certain number that shall be saved, when Christ shall return to judge the world: “When, says he, all mankind collected together, shall see the hands they have pierced, the side they have bored, the face they have spit upon, and the irreversible sentence being openly declared, occurrentibus salvatori electis, ‘the elect meeting the Savior,’ the ungodly shall remain deputed to infinite torments” And, in another part of the same work, speaking of the manna in the wilderness, he thus expresses himself: “There was,” says he, a full measure “through the whole week, the sabbath-day vacant; for which the preceding sixth day, doubling the quantity of the usual food, prefigured the rest of the eighth day, in which, without labor and care, in deliciis equlabuntur electi, the elect shall feast with delight, and shall be satisfied in their own land; possessing double, being enriched with an happy perpetuity, and a perpetual happiness of body and soul.” There is a passage referred to in the true Cyprian, by Dr. Whitby, to prove that it is in the power of man believe or not: but since this belongs to the article of freewill, the consideration of it must be deferred till we come to it.


Section 10

  1. Novatianus. A.D. 250.

    Novatian, a presbyter of Rome, was contemporary with Cyprian. He is not so well spoken of by some, partly because of his disagreement with Cornelius, bishop of Rome, about the succession in that see; and partly because he held that such who apostatized, though they repented, were not to be received again into the communion of the church; but, in other points, he was judged to be orthodox, and his book, De Trinitate, is highly esteemed of; in which stands a full and memorable testimony to the doctrine of predestination of a certain number of men to glory, before the foundation of the world; for, proving the deity and eternity of Christ from John 17:5, Glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was, he shows, that this is not to be understood of predestination, or of Christ’s having this glory only in the purpose and decree of God: “For, says he, if he is said to be glorious in predestination, and predestination was before the foundation of

    the world, the order must be kept, and before him there will be, multus numerus hominum in g1oriam destinatus, a large number of men appointed to glory;” for by this appointment Christ will be thought to be lesser than the rest to whom he was pointed out last. For if this glory was in predestination, Christ received this predestination to glory last of all; for Adam will be perceived to be predestinated before, and so Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and the rest; for since, with God, personarum et rerum omnium ordo digestus sit, “the order of all persons and things is digested,” many will be said to be predestinated before this predestination of Christ to glory, and by this means he will appear to be lesser than other men, who is better and greater, and more ancient, than the angels themselves. His meaning is, that if the passage of Scripture cited, is only to be understood of the predestination of Christ to glory, and not of his having a real glory; then since there is a large number of men who also are predestinated to glory before the foundation of the world, whose predestination, as Adam’s, and others after him, cernetur, to use his own word, “will be perceived” before the predestination of Christ; not that the act of their predestination itself was before his, but the manifestation of it in time; it would cast some reflection upon him, and make him look as though he was inferior to other men, as a man.


    Section 11

  2. Athanasius. A.D. 350.

    Athanasius was made bishop of Alexandria A.D. 336, and died A.D. 371, who, as he bore an excellent testimony to the deity of Christ against the Arians, so he has left ample proof of his attachment to the doctrines of eternal predestination and election, and of a preparation of grace and glory in Christ before the foundation of the world; as will clearly appear from the following passages: “The grace of the Savior to us-ward hath appeared of late, as saith the apostle, when he came to us; proetoimasto de aute kai priu genesthai emas, mallon de kai pro tes katabotes tou kosmou, but was ‘prepared before, even before we were, yea, before the foundation of the world;’ the cause of this is, in some respect, kind and astonishing; for it was not proper that God should, usteron peri emon bouleuesthai, afterwards consult concerning us, that it might not appear as if he knew not the

    things that belong to us; wherefore, the God of the universe creating us by his own word, and knowing our affairs better than we ourselves, and foreknowing, indeed, that we should be made good, but afterwards, become transgressors of the commandment, and for that transgression be cast out of Paradise: he being a lover of mankind, and good, proetoimazei en to idio logo, di ou kai ektisentemas peri tes soteriodous emon oikonomias, before prepared in his own word, by whom he also created us for the economy of our salvation; that though we fall, being deceived by the serpent, we might not utterly remain dead, all’ echontes en to logo ten proetoimasmenen emin lutrosin kai soterian, ‘but, having redemption and salvation before prepared for us in the word, rising again, we might continue immortal.” And then, citing those famous and well-known places in scripture (2 Tim. 1:9, 10; Eph. 1:3-5), he proceeds thus: pos oun exelexato prin genesthai emas, ei me, os autos eireken, en outo emen protetupomenoi, pos de olos prin anthropous ktisthenai emas proarisen, etc., “how therefore should he choose us before we were, unless, as he has said, we were before delineated in him? how verily, before men were created, should he predestinate us,” unless the Son of himself had been founded before the world was, having undertook the economy of salvation for us? or how, as the apostle says, should we obtain an inheritance, being predestinated, unless the Lord himself was founded before the world was; that he might have a purpose, to receive through the flesh for us, the whole lot of condemnation that was against us, and so we at length might be made alive in him; pos de kai pro chronon aionion elambanomen, mepo gegonotes all’ en chrono gegonotes, eime en to Christo en apokeimene e eis emas phthanousa charis, “or how should we, not yet made, but made in time, receive before the world began, except the grace that is to come unto us had been laid up in Christ?” Wherefore, in the judgment, when every one shall receive according to his deeds, he says, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; pos oun, e en tini prin genesthai emas etoimasthe, ei me to Kurio, “how therefore, or in whom should it be prepared before we were, but in the Lord,” who was founded for this before the world was; that we, as stones well fitted together, might partake of life and grace from him? So it is, as any

    pious man may in some measure understand, that, as I have before said, rising from a death, which is but for a little while, we shall be able to live for ever; which men who are of the earth would never be able to do, ei me pro aionos en troetoimastheisa emin en Christo, e tes zoes kai soterias elpis,” if the hope of life and salvation had not been prepared for us in Christ before the world was.” And a little after adds: “Having life and spiritual blessings prepared, before the world, for us in the word, according to election;” so we can have not a temporary life, but for the future continue alive in Christ.

    Moreover, seeing, pro touton, e zoe emon tethemelioto kai etoimaso en Christo, “before these our life was founded and prepared in Christ” (for it was not proper that our life should be founded on any other than in the Lord, who existed before the world was, and by whom the worlds are made,) hence that being in him we shall also inherit eternal life. For God is good, and being always good wills this, knowing that our weak nature needs his help and salvation; and as a wise master-builder, purposing to build a house, is likewise desirous that, should it be destroyed, it might afterwards be repaired again; and willing this, he before provides and gives proper materials for a reparation to the workmen, which is a preparation beforehand. Now, as a fore- preparation of the repair is before the house, ton auton tropon, pro emon e tes emeteras soterian ananeosis themelioutai en Christo, “in like manner, before us the reparation of our salvation is founded in Christ,” that in him also we may be created again. Kaie men boule kai e protheois pro tou dionos etoimasthe, “and the will and purpose was indeed prepared before the world was, but the work was done when necessity required and the Savior came.” A most noble testimony of antiquity this to the doctrine of eternal predestination in Christ. In another place, he shows that our vocation in time is according to an antecedent will of God; his words are these: “For even Paul was not at first, though afterwards he was made an apostle by the will of God; so our calling, which sometimes was not, and now is, proegoumenen eche boulesin, hath a preceding will; for as Paul himself again says, he was made, that is an apostle, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

    And elsewhere, he affirms that the foundation

    of true religion is more ancient than the prophets, and even from eternity; for speaking of the times in

    which they prophesied he says, “Not that they laid the foundation of godliness, en gar kai pro auton kai aei en, kai pro kateboles kosmou, tauten emin o Theos en Christo proetoimasen, for it was before them, and always was, yea, even before the foundation of the world, this God before prepared for us in Christ.” And in another part of his writings, where he is giving an account of the epistle to the Ephesians, he observes that “the apostle, in the beginning of it, shows that the mystery respecting us is not new; but that exarches kai kataboles kosmou einia tauten eudoman tou Theou, oste ton Christon uper emon pathein kai emas sothenai, from the beginning, even from the foundation of the world, this was the good will and pleasure of God, that Christ should suffer for us, and that we should be saved.” ‘And in his abridgement of the epistle to Titus he has these words: “the apostle, says he, in the first place, gives thanks to God for his piety, and signifies that faith in Christ was not a new thing, all’ ex aionos etoimasthe kai epengelthai para tou Theou touten, but that this was from eternity prepared and promised by God.” Thus did this brave champion for truth at once both honor the Father and the Son, by asserting the special and early provision of grace, life, and salvation, made in Christ by the Father before the world began; and by proving and maintaining the eternity and proper deity of the Son, his undertaking, from eternity, to suffer for us, and the satisfaction he has made in time for sin, to the justice of God. Dr. Whitby refers to one passage in this writer, in favor of free-will, which will be attended to under that article.


    Section 12

  3. Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

    Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, in France, was banished for his orthodoxy, A.D. 354, and died A.D. 371. It appears from his writings which remain, that he held that there is an election of particular persons to the heavenly glory, and that the number of God’s elect is determinate and certain; having cited those words in Isaiah 65:15, which he reads thus, Ye shall have your name with joy to my chosen, he observes, that “the speech is to carnal Israel, with respect to time to come, who are upbraided that they should leave their name to the elect of God. I inquire what is that name, to wit, Israel, to whom the word was then? Moreover,

    I ask, who is Israel now? The apostle truly testifies, that they who are in the Spirit, and not in the letter, who walk in the rule of Christ, are the Israel of God.” And having mentioned the text in Deuteronomy 32:9; Jacob is the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of his inheritance, he adds; “This was chosen to an eternal inheritance; and because he was the Lord’s portion, therefore the rest were reckoned as unknown; for these were chosen by the privilege of the portion;” which must be understood as before, not of literal, but mystical Israel; since they are said to be chosen to an eternal inheritance. And that there is a certain number of persons thus chosen he dearly asserts, when he says, “we are all, in one, Abraham: and by us, who are all in one, caelestis ecclesiae numerus explendus, the number of the heavenly church is to be filled up; wherefore every creature waits for the revelation of the children of God; therefore it groans together and grieves, that the number which, by Alpha, is added to Abraham, and which, in Rho, is finished in Sarah, might be filled up by an increase of believers, for the heavenly constitution.” And in another place, he says, “that this must needs be understood as referring to the people of the church; he adds, I will number them, and above the sand shall they be multiplied. Is their number uncertain, who are written in the book of God? wherefore there is no difficulty in the number of them whose truth remains in writing.” Moreover, nothing is more evident, than that this Christian writer though that election is an eternal act of God, or that it was from eternity: for which purpose he frequently cites, or refers to the famous passage in Ephesians 1:4. “The Father, says he, absolutely calls the Son of God, meaning in Hosea 1:7, just cited by him, in whom he hath chosen us before the world began; and because God is inaccessible by none, we are given to the Son by God the Father for an inheritance.” Again, speaking of the will of the Father and the Son, he has these words, “that he wills the same, he shows without ambiguity, saying, Father, whom thou has given me, I will that where I am, they may be with me; seeing therefore, the Father wills that we should be with Christ, in whom, according to the apostle, he hath chosen us before the foundation of the world; and the Son wills the same, namely, that we be with him; the will, with respect to nature, is the same, which with respect to nativity, is distinguished in the person willing.” Once more, “God, says he, is

    wonderful in the saints, whom, when he shall have made conformable to the glory of his body, by him who is the Mediator, will also assume unto the unity of the Father’s majesty; and whilst the Father is in him by nature, and he again is in us by the society of the flesh, whom he will place to obtain the kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world; to whom death being swallowed up, he will give an immortal and eternal life.”

    Vossius, and, after him, Dr. Whitby, cites a passage from this father, in favor of God’s predestinating of men to life, from a prescience that they would live piously, believe, and persevere to the end, which is this, “Because many are called and few chosen, therefore, says he, there is not a fewness in the invited, but a scarcity in the elect; for in the inviter, without exception, there is the humanity of public goodness: but in the invited, by a right judgment, the election is of probity.” To which they might as well have added another passage, occasioned by a citation of the same words, where he says, “the elect are conspicuous in the wedding garment, and splendid in the pure and perfect body of the new nativity, meaning the resurrection; wherefore election is not a thing of undistinguished judgment, but the distinction is made from the consideration of merit.” By which, as in the other passage, he means not that election he so often speaks of, as before the foundation of the world, but an election in time, after vocation, and indeed, no other than that distinction and separation which will be made at the day of judgment, in the resurrection morn; when the saints will appear distinct from all others, having on the wedding garment, and in their glorious risen bodies; and so will be singled out from the rest, and placed at Christ’s right hand.


    Section 13

  4. Basilius Caeariensis. A.D. 370.

    Basil, commonly called the Great to distinguish him from others of the same name, was bishop of Caesarea; he died A.D. 378. He held the doctrine of predestination, and asserts, that whatever comes to pass, was foreordained by God. Take care, says he, how thou sayest this thing was done by chance, and this comes of its own accord; for ouden atakton, ouden aoriston, nothing is unordained, nothing undetermined, nothing is done in vain, nothing

    is done rashly.” He affirms, that not a hand nor an eye are moved, but according, to the will of God; the time, state, and condition of this present life, he says, are fixed and determined by God; his words are these, “Consider, that that God, who has formed us, put the soul into us, idian edoken ekaste psuche tou biou diagogen, has given to every soul its manner of living; and indeed to others he has fixed other terms of removing hence; for he hath appointed this man to abide longer in the flesh, and on the contrary hath decreed, that that man should be sooner loosed from the bonds of the body, according to the unspeakable methods of his wisdom and justice.” And he not only maintained a predestination of all things in general, but of particular persons, to eternal salvation; citing those words in John 10:16, Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. He observes, that “the Lord is speaking of them, tou apo ton ethnon prooprismenous eis soterian, who from among the Gentiles, are predestinated unto salvation.” And upon mentioning the same words a little after, he has this following note; “the Lord shows that there is some other fold truly holy, into which the sheep of Christ are to be gathered; namely, they, tous apo ton ethnon proorismenous eis solerian, who, from among the Gentiles are predestinated to salvation; that is, the church in which the true worshippers worship in spirit and in truth.” He represents the elect as a particular and distinct people, and as peculiarly blessed. “No man, says he, calls the people of the Jews blessed, but the people, ton apo panton ton gaon arisinden exeigmenon, which is chosen best out of all people; we are the nation, of whom the Lord is our God; we are the people whom he has chosen for an inheritance for himself; a nation truly, because we are gathered out of many nations: a people verily, because we are called in the room of a people cast away, and because many are called, and few are chosen; he calls not him that is called, but him that is chosen, blessed; blessed therefore is he whom he hath chosen. What is the cause of this blessedness? the expected inheritance of everlasting good things; or, perhaps, because according to the apostle, after the fullness of the Gentiles shall be come in, then all Israel shall be saved; first, he calls the fullness of the Gentiles blessed, afterwards Israel, who shall be saved last; but not every one shall be saved, only “the remnant which shall be according to the election of grace.” And in another place, he says, “The blessing of the elect, in

    the time of retribution, he (Christ) foretold by the parable of the shepherd; Come, says he, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.”


    Section 14

  5. Cyrillus Hierosol Ymitanus. A.D. 370.

    Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, died A.D. 386. There is but little to be collected out of his writings concerning predestination and election. He signifies, that there are some who are elect, distinct from others, when he says, that “the elect may not be mixed together, with enemies, he (Christ) will send his angels with a great trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds: he did not despise one Lot, should he despise many righteous? Come ye blessed of my Father, will he say to them who shall then be carried in the chariots of clouds, and shall be gathered by the angels.” And in another place, he says, “the Holy Spirit is the greatest power, it is something divine and unsearchable; for it lives and is rational, sanctifying through Christ, ton upo Theou gegrammenon a patnon, all those who are written by God;” that is, in the book of life, or are chosen by God; which agrees with our doctrine, that all those who are chosen by the Father, and are redeemed by the Son, are sanctified by the Spirit.


    Section 15

  6. Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

    Gregory, bishop of Nazianzum, in Cappadocia, commonly called the Divine, was son of a bishop, of the same name and place, a cotemporary with Bazil, an intimate acquaintance of his, and preceptor to Jerome. He died A.D. 389. Several of his writings still remain. Austin cites a passage from him in favor of the doctrine of predestination, as held and maintained by him; his words are these: “To these two (meaning Cyprian and Ambrose) who ought to be esteemed sufficient, we may add a third, the holy Gregory; who testifies, that to believe in God, and to confess that we believe, is the gift of God; saying, we pray you confess the Trinity of one Deity; but if ye mean otherwise, say, that he is of one nature, and God will be deprecated, that a voice may be given you by the Holy Ghost; that is, God will be entreated to permit that a voice may be given you, by which

    ye may be able to confess what ye believe; for I am sure he will give it. He that hath given the first will also give the second; he that gives to believe will also give to confess.” Upon which, and some other testimonies of the above-mentioned writers, Austin makes this remark: “Would any one say, that they so acknowledged the grace of God, as that they dared to deny his prescience; which not only the learned, but even the unlearned own? Besides, if they knew that God so gives these things, that they could not be ignorant, that he foreknew that he would give them, and could not but know to whom he would give them; procul dubio noverant praedestinationem; without doubt they were acquainted with predestination; which being preached by the apostles, we laboriously and diligently defend against the new heretics.” Gregory writes, indeed, very sparingly of this doctrine, and gives very few hints of it. The most considerable passage I have met with in him is the following;

    “Three persons gathered together in the name of the Lord, are more esteemed of by God than multitudes that deny his Deity; would you prefer all the Canaanites to one Abraham? or the Sodomites to one Lot? or the Midianites to Moses, even to these sojourners and strangers? what, shall the three hundred men that lapped with Gideon, be inferior to the thousands that turned away? or Abraham’s servants, though less in number, than the many kings and myriads of soldiers, whom they, though few, pursued and put to flight?” How dost thou understand that passage, If the number of the children of Israel was as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved? as also that, I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal? It is not so, it is not, ouk en tois pleiosin eudokesen o Theos, “God does not take pleasure in the multitude; thou numberest myriads, but God, tous sozomenous, those that are to be saved; thou the immeasurable dust; but I ta skeue tes ekloges, the vessels of election.” From whence may be collected, as Gregory’s judgment, that there were some persons who were chosen of God, and whom he resolved to save; that the number of them was with him, though that number was very small. In another place, he speaks of a twofold book of life and of death; “Perhaps you have heard,” says he, “tina biblon zonton kai biblon on sozomenon, of a certain book of the living, and of a book of them that are not to be saved, where we shall all be written, or rather are

    already written.” Though it must be owned, he adds kat’ axian ton ede bebaiomenon ekastos, “according to the desert of every one that have already lived.” And in the same way he interprets Matthew 20:23, which he reads thus: “To sit on my right hand and on my left, this is not mine to give, all oiv dedotai, but to whom IT IS GIVEN;” and goes on to ask, “Is the governing mind therefore nothing? is labor nothing? reason nothing? philosophy nothing? fasting nothing? watching nothing? lying on the ground, shedding fountains of tears, are these things nothing? alla kata tina apoklerosin kai Ieremias agiaxetai kai alloi ek metras allotriountai, ‘but by a kind of sortition was Jeremiah sanctified, and others rejected from the womb?’ I am afraid lest any absurd reasoning should enter, as if the soul lived elsewhere, and was afterwards bound to this body, and, according as it there behaved, some receive prophecy, and others who lived wickedly, are condemned; but to suppose this, is very absurd, and not agreeable to the faith of the church. Others may play with such doctrines; it is not safe for us. And concludes; “To those words, to whom it is given, add to this, who are worthy; who, that they may be such, have not only received of the Father, but have also given to themselves.” The notion he here militates against, is manifestly that of Origen’s, of the pre- existence of souls, and their being adjudged according to their former conduct, either to happiness or misery; which Gregory was afraid some might be tempted to give into, and which, in order to guard against, led him into this gloss upon the text, and to make this addition to it.


    Section 16

  7. Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

    The Commentaries upon the epistles of the apostle Paul, which go under the name of St. Ambrose, are not his. Austin cites a passage out of them, under the name of Hillary, whom he calls Sanctus Hilarius, Saint Hilary; but this could not be Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, before mentioned, who was earlier, nor Hilary bishop of Arles, who was later, than the author of these commentaries: for whoever he was, he lived in the times of Damascus, bishop of Rome, according to his own words; wherefore some learned men have thought him to be Hilary, the deacon of the city of Rome, who adhered to the schism of Lucifer

    Calaritanus. This author continually refers such passages of Scripture which speak of predestination and election, to the prescience of God; nothing is more common with him, than to say, that God chooses and calls whom he foreknew would believe, would be holy, and devoted to him: which passages are therefore produced by Vossius, and Dr. Whitby, with others, to prove that the fathers held a predestination of men to life, from a prescience that they would live piously, believe and persevere. If by predestination to glory, and not to grace, which is the meaning of the fathers, and of Hilary, we agree with them; we say also, that such whom God foreknew would believe, and be holy, he predestinated to eternal happiness; but then we say, the reason why God foreknew that any would believe, and be holy, is because he determined within himself to give them faith, and make them holy, and so prepare them for glory. Neither Hilary, nor any of the fathers, say, that God foresaw that men would believe of themselves and make themselves holy by their own care, diligence, and improvements of nature, nor that God foresaw that men would believe, and be holy, and therefore predestinated them to faith and holiness; but having determined to bestow faith and holiness upon them, he foresaw they would believe and be holy, and so through these as means he chose them to salvation. That this is the sense of Hilary, appears partly from his suggesting that some are predestinated to believe. In one place he says, “They believe, who are appointed to eternal life;” and in another, “God of his own grace, of old decreed to save sinners (for God foreknew what would be in man before he made him, and he had sinned,) and predestinated how he should be recovered; in what time, and by whom, and in what way they might be saved: so that they who are saved, are not saved either by their own merit, or by theirs by whom they are called, but by the grace of God; the gift appears to be bestowed through the faith of Christ.” And partly this is evident from his account of prescience: “The prescience of God,” says he, “is that in which definitum habet, ‘he has it determined’ what shall be the will of every one, in which he is to remain, and through which he may be either damned or crowned.” Agreeably to which he says, “By prescience he chooses one and rejects another; and in him whom he chooses, the purpose of God remains; because another thing cannot happen than what God has known; et proposuit in illo, ‘and

    hath purposed in him,’ that he may be worthy of salvation; and in him whom he rejects, in like manner, ‘the purpose which he hath purposed concerning him, remains;’ for he will be unworthy: as foreknowing this, he is no accepter of persons; for ‘he damns no man before he sins, and crowns none before he overcomes.’” To which we heartily subscribe. We say God damns no man but for sin, and crowns none until he has made them more than conquerors, through Christ. It is certain, that Hilary or the author of these commentaries, was of opinion, that there were some predestinated to life who should certainly be saved; and that others were not, who should certainly be damned; for he says, “The apostle Paul, that he might, by his preaching, save, homines predestinatos ad vitam, ‘men predestinated to life,’ was subject to dangers, knowing that he should have the profit of their sought for salvation.” In another place he says, “For unbelievers we must not very much grieve, qui non sunt predestinati ad vitam, ‘because they are not predestinated unto life;’ for the prescience of God has, of old, decreed, that they are not to be saved.” And in another place, “The law being abbreviated, the remnant of the Jews are saved; but the rest cannot be saved; qui per defintionem, Dei spernuntur, ‘because, by the appointment of God they are rejected,’ by which he hath decreed to save mankind.” Again, he says, the apostle Paul, “by his own example, teacheth, that part of Israel is saved, whom God foreknew was to be saved, or yet can be saved; and that part of Israel, propter jugem diffidentiam perditioni deputatem, ‘for their continual unbelief, is deputed to destruction.’”


    Section 17

  8. Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

    Ambrose, bishop of Milain, flourished under the emperors Gratian and Theodosius, and died A.D.

    397. Austin, who was converted under him, and was acquainted with him personally, as well as with his writings, thought him to be of the same judgment with himself about predestination, and cites several passages from him for that purpose, such as these; “Whom God esteems worthy of honor he calls, et quem vult religiosum facit, ‘and whom he pleases he makes religious.’” And again; “If he would, si voluisset ex indevotis devotos fecisset, of persons not devoted to him, he could make them devoted.” From whence he

    concludes, that he could be no stranger to the doctrine of predestination, preached by the apostles, and which he defended. Moreover, there are many expressions in his writings which show his sense of this doctrine: on those words of Sarah, The Lord hath restrained me from bearing, he has this note; “By which,” says he, “you may know, in predestinatione fuisse semper ecclesiam Dei, ‘that in predestination the church of God always has been;’ and that the fruitfulness of faith is prepared, whenever the Lord shall command it to break forth, but by the will of the Lord it is reserved for a certain time.” He owns indeed, that “rewards are proposed not to the elect only, but to all, because Christ is all and in all.” But he affirms, that though “all men can hear, yet all cannot perceive with their ears, nisi electi Dei, ‘only the elect of God;’ therefore the Savior says, He that hath ears to hear—all men have not those ears.” To electing grace, and not to men’s works, he refers salvation; “the remnant, he observes, are saved, not by their own works, but by the election of grace.” He sometimes, indeed, represents election as a secret with God, and unknown to men: “As no one,” he says, “of whatsoever age, ought to despair, if he is desirous of being converted to the Lord, so none should be secure on the account of faith alone; but should rather fear, through what is added, many are called but few are chosen. That we are called by faith, we know; but whether we are elected to eternal life, we know not; so much, therefore, ought every one to be the more humble, as much as he is ignorant, whether he is elected.” However, this proves that he held the doctrine of an election of particular persons; and at other times he argues from it, to the great comfort of the saints, with respect to their safety and security. “We must not despair,” says he, “that the members can cleave to their own head, especially since ab initio simus praedestinati, we are predestinated from the beginning, unto the adoption of the children of God, by Jesus Christ, in himself; which predestination he hath proved, asserting that which from the beginning is before declared, Therefore shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they both shall be one flesh, to be the mystery of Christ and the church.”

    There is a passage cited from this father by Vossius, and from him by Dr. Whitby, as asserting predestination upon the prescience of men’s merits; where, explaining the text in Matthew 20:23, To

    sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, he has this note; “He does not say, it is not mine to give, but it is not mine to give to you; not asserting that he wanted power, but the creature’s merit. Take it otherwise: It is not mine to give you; that is, it is not mine, who came to teach humility; it is not mine, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; it is not mine, who keep righteousness, not grace. Moreover, referring to the Father, he adds, to whom it is prepared; that he might show, that the Father also does not use to pay regard to petitions, but to merits, for God is no accepter of persons. Hence the apostle said, whom he hath foreknown and predestinated; for he did not predestinate before he foreknew; sed quorum merita praescivit, eorum premia praedestinavit, ‘but whose merits he hath foreknown, their rewards he hath predestinated.’” But nothing is more evident than that Ambrose is speaking of predestination to glory, which glory he calls by the name of rewards; and we grant, that this follows upon prescience of merits; that is, good works done from a principle of grace; but then the prescience of these arises from God’s predestination to grace to enable men to perform them, and not predestination to grace from a prescience of merits; for then grace must be given according to merits; a doctrine never known by the ancients before the times of Pelagius. In short, Ambrose’s sense is this, and to which we agree, that those whose merits or good works God foreknew, because he had preordained, that they should walk in them, and as arising from that grace he determined to give them; these he predestinated unto glory, or prepared, rewards, of grace for them, which he will certainly bestow on them.


    Section 18

  9. Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

Hieronymus, or Jerom, of Stridon, in Dalmatia, was a presbyter of the church; he was born, according to Monsieur Daille, A. D. 340, and died A. D. 420. He lived much of his time in Palestine, at Jerusalem, and especially at Bethlehem: he was a man of great learning, and wrote much, though there are many things ascribed to him which are none of his; and in his commentaries it is sometimes difficult to know when he speaks his own or the sense of others. He is allowed, on all hands, to be an eager opposer of the

Pelagian principles. And with respect to the doctrines of election and predestination he held,

  1. That election was not of whole nations but of particular persons; “for,” says he, “the vessels of mercy are not only the people of the Gentiles, but likewise those among the Jews who would believe, and are made one people of believers; hence it appears, that non gentes eligi sed hominum voluntates, ‘not nations are chosen, but the wills of men.’” And in another place he observes, “that for this cause all nations are moved, that from their motion might come electa gentium multitudo, ‘the elect multitude of nations,’ which are every where famous;” for instance, electa de Corintho, “the elect out of Corinth,” because there was much people of God there. Electa de Macedonia, “the elect out of Macedonia,” because there was a large church of God in Thessalonica, who had no need to be taught concerning love. Electa de. Epheso, “the elect out of Ephesus;” that they might know the secrets of God, and those mysteries which were before revealed to none. What shall I say more? All nations are moved to whom the Savior sent the apostles, saying, Go, teach all nations; and of the many called, few being chosen, they built the church of the primitive saints; hence, says the apostle Peter, The church that is at Babylon, elected, and Marcus, my son, salute you. And, says John, The elder to the elect lady; and who also makes mention of the children of the elect lady.

  2. He asserted, that those who are chosen of God in Christ, were chosen before the world began; or that election is from eternity; for in one place he says, “It must be affirmed, that according to the prescience and predestination of God, those things are already done which are future. Qui enim electi sunt in Christo ante constitutionem mundi, ‘for they that are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world,’ have been already in former ages.” And in interpreting those words in Isaiah 25:1, Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth; after he has mentioned the sense of the Jewish writers, observes, that “others better and more rightly understand them as spoken in the person of the prophet, giving thanks to the Father for the sufferings of the Lord the Savior; because he had done wonderful things; et cogtiationes antiquas veritate compleverit, ‘and had faithfully fulfilled ancient thoughts;’ when they that stand at his right hand shall hear these words, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you

    from the foundation of the world. Which also Paul understanding, spoke of, saying, As he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame.” Which last words of the apostle being elsewhere mentioned by him, he says, “This we so interpret that we say, that election is not, according to Origen, of them who had been before, but we refer it to the prescience of God: moreover, we say, that we are chosen that we may be holy and without blame before him, that is, God; ante fabricam mundi, ‘before the world was made;’ which testifies, that it belongs to the prescience of God, to whom all things future are already done, and all things are known before they be; as Paul himself was predestinated in his mother’s womb, and Jeremy in the belly, was sanctified, chosen, and, in the type of Christ, sent a prophet to the nations.”;

  3. He also held that election was irrespective of holiness, as a motive or cause of it, but that it arises from the love, grace, and mercy of God; for in one part of his works, he has these words, “The apostle does not say, he chose us, before the foundation of the world; cum essemus sancti et immaculati, ‘when we were holy and without blame;’ but, he chose us, that we might be holy and without blame; that is, qui sancti et immaculati ante non fuimus, ut postea essemus; that we, who before were not holy and without blame, might afterwards be so.” And a little after he adds, “Paul, and they that are like him, are not chosen, ‘quia erant sancti & immaculati, because they were holy and without blame;’ but they are chosen and predestinated, that in their lives following they might become holy and without blame by their works and virtues.” And in another place he plainly intimates, that predestination springs from the mercy and love of God; for speaking of Jacob he says, “Whiles he was yet in Rebecca’s womb, he supplanted his brother Esau, not truly by his own strength, but by the mercy of God, qui cognoscit & diligit quos praedestinavit, who knows and loves those whom he hath predestinated.” It is true indeed, in the first citation I have made from this author, he says, that not nations are chosen, sed voluntates hominum, “but the wills of men;” though what he means by it is not very easy to understand: his meaning cannot be, that God chose such persons whom he knew would of their own free will, by the mere strength of nature, do that which was good; for this is pure Pelagianism, to which Jerom was an

enemy; and is contrary to those principles of grace he was a strenuous defender of. But, if his meaning was, that God chose such to happiness, who he knew would be made willing to obey him in the day of his. power, because he had determined to make them so; this entirely agrees with our sentiments. There is another passage cited by Grotius from this writer, where he says, that God eligat eum quem interim bonum cernit, “chooses him whom for the present he knows to be good;” but it is easy to observe, that Jerom is there speaking, not of God’s choice of men to eternal happiness, but of Christ’s choosing Judas to the apostleship, who appeared for a while to be good, though he knew he would be wicked. To which may be added another passage produced by Dr. Whitby, after Grotius, and Vossius, to prove that election is from a foresight of good works, in which this writer says, that, dilectio et odium Dei vel ex praescientia nascitur futurorum vel ex operibus, “the love and hatred of God arises either from the foreknowledge of things future, or from works.” But what he means by this disjunctive proposition, is not very evident; it is very probable, that by the love and hatred of God, he means the effects of them, salvation and damnation, which according to him proceed either according to the prescience of God, or the works of men. As for the citation out of the Commentary on the epistle to the Romans made by Vossius and Dr. Whitby, I take no notice of, because it is judged by learned men not to be his, but either the work of Pelagius himself, or of some Pelagian writer. I deny not, but that Jerom held election to be according to the prescience of God, to which he refers it in the passages cited by the above writers, out of his commentaries on the epistles to the Galatians and Ephesians; and so do we, in a sense agreeable to the Scriptures; and it is evident that Jerom had the same sentiments of the foreknowledge of God as we have; for, says he, Non enim ex eo quod Dens seit futurum aliquid, idcireo futurum est, sed quia futurum est, Deus novit; “not because God knows something to be future, therefore it is future, but because it is future, God knows it, as having a foreknowledge of things to come.” And though in the same place, and else where, he observes, that the prescience of God does not necessitate or force men to do this, or not to do that, but notwithstanding it, the will of man is preserved free in all his actions; the same we also say, and to this we readily assent.


Introduction

CHAPTER 2

OF REDEMPTION


the same signification, and which amounted to the same sense. It must be owned, that Monsieur Daille

Dr. Whitby says, that the confirmation of the doctrine of universal redemption, from the suffrage of all antiquity, is sufficiently done by Vossius, in his Historia Pelagiana, where he lays down these two positions,

  1. That “the sense of the ancient church was, that God wills the conversion and salvation of all.”

  2. That “it was the judgment of the ancient church, that Christ had provided an universal remedy for the universal fault of men, by paying a ransom of infinite value, lest any one should perish through the defect of it.” He further observes, that this is more copiously done by Mr. Dally (he means Monsieur Daille) by producing the testimonies of the ancients from the first to the twelfth century; and concluding thus, “Certainly I do not find one in the first eight ages of Christianity that has said absolutely, and in terms, as is commonly said, that Christ died only for the elect.” Here the Doctor rests, and would have his readers trust to and depend upon the conclusions and assertions of these two men. Vossius’s Pelagian History must be allowed to be a very considerable performance, and is the fund and magazine of antiquity for the Arminians. Dr. Twisse intended an answer to it, and in one of his books says, he had entered upon it; but death I suppose prevented his design, at least it never was published; such a work, by so learned a hand, might have been of great service. But why should we trust to Vossius’s account of the judgment of the ancient church in this point, since Dr. Whitby himself would not trust him in another? namely, original sin; though he was so very positive as to say “The catholic church

always so judged;” and the Doctor tells us, that “upon an impartial search he found that all the passages he had collected were impertinent, or at least insufficient to prove the point.” This gives no encouragement to depend on him. And inasmuch as the several passages cited by Vossius are also, with many others, produced by Monsieur Daille, I shall only attend to the latter, and to those only of the first four centuries; and though he observes, that in these and the four following ages, none ever said absolutely, and in express terms, that Christ died only for the elect; yet it does not follow, but that some might say it, in other terms and words equivalent, of

has collected a large number of testimonies indeed;

but when it is considered, that multitudes of them are only expressed in Scripture language, and so capable of the same sense the Scriptures are; others regard men of all sorts, ranks, and degrees; others Jews and Gentiles; others the sufficiency of Christ’s death for all; and others, some general benefit by it, as the resurrection of the dead; their number will be greatly reduced, and very few left to be of any service to the cause for which they are brought; besides, it will be made to appear in the following Sections, that the ancients often describe the persons for whom Christ died by such characters as cannot agree with all men.

Section 1

  1. Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

    Clement, as he believed there was a certain number of elect persons, which has been proved in the preceding chapter, so he plainly intimates, that these are the persons for whom Christ shed his blood; for having observed, that all the elect of God are made perfect in love, he adds, “Without love nothing is well-pleasing to God; in love the Lord assumed us to himself; because of the love which Christ our Lord hath towards us, to aima autou adwken uper hmwn , he hath given his blood for us, his flesh for our flesh, and his soul for our souls.” The sense of which is manifestly this, that the persons for whose sake Christ assumed human nature, and shed his precious blood, are the elect of God, and such who have a special and peculiar share in the love of Christ. And besides his saying, that the blood of Christ was given, uper hmwn, for us, he restrains redemption to them that have faith and hope in God; for speaking of the spies that came into Rahab’s house, ordering her to hang out a scarlet thread, thereby says he, “making it manifest, oti dia tou aimatos Kuriou lutrosis estai pasi tois pisteuousin kai elpizousin epi ton Theon, that through the blood of the Lord there should be redemption for all those that believe and hope in God.” Monsieur Daille has cited a passage from this writer in favor of general redemption, which is this, “Let us,” says Clement, “look to the blood of Christ, and see how precious his blood is to God, which being shed for our salvation, panti to kosmo metanoias Charin upenegken, ‘hath

    brought the grace of repentance to all the world.’” But his meaning is evidently this, that the blood of Christ, shed for the salvation of sinners, has laid a foundation for the preaching of the doctrine of repentance in all ages of the world; for he goes on to instance in the preaching of Noah to the old world; of Jonah to the Ninevites; and in God’s declarations of his regard to repenting sinners in the times of Isaiah and Ezekiel; which he closes with this observation, pantas oun tous agapetous autou boulomenos metanoias metechien, “God therefore willing that his beloved ones should partake of repentance.” In which he suggests, that God’s grand design in having the doctrine of repentance preached in all ages was, that those who were the objects of his love might be brought unto it; which is so far from militating against, that it is a confirmation of the doctrine of special grace and redemption through the blood of Christ.

    Section 2

  2. Barnabas. A.D. 70.

    Barnabas was a Levite, of the country of Cyprus (Acts 4:36), and a companion of the apostle Paul; there is an epistle extant which goes under his name, and is thought to have been written after the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, and about A. D. 70, in which he not only says, “that the Son of God being Lord, and who also shall judge the quick and the dead, epathen ina e plege autou zoopoiete emas, suffered that by his stripes he might quicken us;” that he could not suffer ei me dis emas, “but for us;” and that he offered the vessels of the Spirit a sacrifice, uper ton emereron amartion, “for our sins,”but also introduces Christ thus speaking of his sufferings, “I see that I shall thus offer my flesh, uper amartion tou laou tou kainou, for the sins of the new people; meaning a special and peculiar people that should be taken out from among the Gentiles under the New Testament dispensation, called a new people, to distinguish them from God’s ancient people the Jews.

    Section 3

  3. Ignatius. A.D. 110.

    Ignatius never makes use of any general expressions when he speaks of the sufferings and death of Christ; but either says, that he suffered, uper emo, di emas, “for us, that we might be saved;” or uper amartion emon, “for our sins;” and sometimes describes the persons he means, as when he says, that “Jesus Christ

    died for us,” ina pisteusantes eis ton thanaton autou, to apothaneine ekphug ete, “that believing in his death, you may escape dying.” And in another place he says, that “Jesus is” e zor ton piston, “the life of believers.” Monsieur Daille has not attempted to give us one instance for general redemption out of this writer, nor the former.

    Section 4

  4. Justin. A.D. 150.

    Justin Martyr, in many places of his writings, limits an incarnation, sufferings, death, and sacrifice of Christ, and redemption by him, to certain persons whom he describes by repenting sinners, believers, etc. when he says, that Christ “was born according to the will of God the Father uper ton pisteuonton anthropon, for men that believe;” that is, in order to procure salvation, and obtain eternal redemption for such persons, as he elsewhere explains it; saying, that he “became man of a virgin, according to the will of the Father, uper soterias ton pistenonton auto, for the salvation of them that believe in him.” And in another place, having cited Isaiah 33:16, Bread shall be given him; he observes, “that is a prophecy concerning that bread which our Christ hath delivered to us in commemoration of his being embodied; dia tous pisteuontas eis auton, dious kai, pathetos gegone, for the sake of them that believe in him, for whom also he became subject to sufferings.” And elsewhere he says, that “the offering of fine flour for the leper, was a figure of the bread of the Eucharist, which Jesus Christ our Lord hath delivered unto us to do in commemoration of his sufferings; which he endured uper ton kathairomenon tas psuchas ape pases ponerias anthropon, for those men whose souls are purified from all iniquity;” and this he supposed was done by the blood of Christ; for more than once explaining that text in Genesis 49:11, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in theblood of grapes; he says, it “foretold, and manifestly declared the sufferings which Christ should endure, di animatos kathairon tous pisteuontas auto, purifying by his blood them that believe in him.” These, he often intimates, share the benefits of, Christ’s blood, sufferings, and death; “as,” says he, “the blood of the passover saved them that were in Egypt, so the blood of Christ tous pisteuontas rusetai ek thanatou, delivers from death those that believe.” In like manner he asserts, that Christ was

    an offering or sacrifice, uper panton metanoein boulomenon amartolon, “for all sinners that are willing to repent.” Yea, that a pallagin de tou thanatou tois metaginoskousin apo ton phaulon kai pisteuousin auto ergazetai, “he has wrought out deliverance from death for those that repent of their evils and believe in him.” Now had Justin been of opinion that Christ died for every individual of mankind, would he have used such limitations and restrictions, when treatings of the extent of his sufferings and death? Monsieur Daille indeed cites some passages from him as favoring the doctrine of universal redemption; but his first instance only proves, that Christ was born and crucified uper tou genous ton anthropon, “for the generation of men,” or for mankind; but not that he was born and crucified for every individual of mankind. Justin’s sense in other places is clear, and his meaning is that Christ died for some of all sorts of men; as when speaking of the scarlet thread that Rahab the harlot was directed to bind to her window, he says, it was a “symbol of the blood of Christ, by which are saved the fornicators of old, and unrighteous persons, ek pantwn twn eqnwn, out of all nations; receiving forgiveness of sins, and sinning no more.” And in another place he thus expresses himself, “As Jacob served Laban for the cattle that were spotted, and of various forms, so Christ served even to the cross, uper twn ek pantov genouv poikilwn kai polneidwn anqrwpwn, for men of every kind, of many and various shapes, procuring them by his blood, and the mystery of the cross.” Monsieur Daille’s second instance only declares that kind and tender manner in which God sent his Son into the world. His third sets forth Justin’s sentiments concerning the heathens, which will be considered in a proper place. And his fourth and last only shows, that it is the will of God that all should be saved; meaning, that all men shall be raised from the dead; against those that deny the doctrine of the resurrection; or that it is the will of God that some of all sorts should be saved, referring to the apostle’s words and sense in 1 Timothy 2:4.

    Section 5

  5. Ecclesia Smyrnensis. A.D. 169.

    The church at Smyrna wrote a letter to the churches in Pontus, and to the church at Philomelium, as it is thought, about the year 169, giving an account of the sufferings of some martyrs, and particularly of

    Polycarp, their former bishop; in which they take notice of the stupidity of some persons, who used their interest to prevent the Christians having the dead body of Polycarp given them; lest leaving their crucified Christ, they should begin to worship him; being ignorant, say they, that we can never leave that Christ, ton uper tes tou pantos kosmou ton sozomenon soterias pathonta, “who suffered for the salvation of the whole world of them that are saved, nor worship any other.” This passage Monsieur Daille thinks makes nothing to the purpose, since it does not deny that Christ died for others besides those who are really saved. But surely if these pious Christians had believed that Christ died for all men, for them that are saved, and for them that are not saved, they would never have expressed themselves in this restrictive manner; but would have chose to have carried the extent of Christ’s sufferings and death to the utmost, when they were declaring their great regard for him, and the great benefit of salvation men receive by him. Besides, these words manifestly show, in what sense this very ancient church understood those universal phrases, the world, the whole world, and all men, in Scripture, for whom Christ is said to give himself and die, and for whose sins he is said to be a propitiation; that these design a certain number of men that are and will be saved. As to the version of Ruffinus, urged by this author, rendering the passage thus, “who endured death for the salvation of the whole world;” it is not worthy of regard, since it is an imperfect one, omitting the words ton sozomenon. And here I choose to take

    notice of a citation made by Monsieur Daille, and after him by Dr. Whitby, out of an epistle of Polycarp, bishop of this church at Smyrna, said to be written

    A.D. 107, to the Philippians, in which he thus speaks concerning Christ, “who,” says he, “will come to judge the quick and the dead; on to aima ekzetesei o Theos apo ton apeithounton auto, whose blood God will require of them that believed not in him;” from whence they conclude, that according to this ancient venerable bishop, Christ died for them that perish, as well as those that are saved. It is something strange, that Monsieur Daille should cite a passage out of an epistle, the genuineness of which he himself has called in question; and, should it appear to be genuine, as it is thought to be by many learned men, it will be of no service to him, or to the Doctor, or to the cause they espoused, since God may be said

    to require, as he certainly will require, the blood of Christ of the unbelieving Jews who shed it; and indeed of them only, who said, His blood be on us and on our children; without supposing that his blood was shed for them; yea, on the contrary it appears, that his blood was not shed for them, both from their final unbelief, and from its being required of them. And of as little service are his citations from Minutius Felix, Athenagoras, Tatian, and Theophilus of Antioch; since they only express the patience, goodness, power, and wisdom of God in creation and providence, and his great regard to repenting sinners; but not a syllable of Christ’s dying for men, much less for every individual of mankind.

    Section 6

  6. Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

    Irenaeus, when speaking of the incarnation and passion of Christ, and of redemption by his blood, frequently restrains them to certain persons of such and such characters; which evidently shows, that he did not think that these belong to all the individuals of mankind in common. Thus, treating of the coming of Christ, and of the end of his coming into the world, he says, that “he came to save all by himself, omnes inquam, qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, all, I say, who through him are born again unto God, infants, and little ones, and children, and young men, and old men.” And in another place, taking notice of God’s suffering Jonah to be swallowed up by a whale, and of his after deliverance; “So,” says he, “God from the beginning suffered man to be swallowed up by the great whale, who was the author of transgression; not that being swallowed up he should wholly perish, but providing and preparing a plan of salvation which is effected by the word, through the sin of Jonah; his qui eandem cum Jona de Deo sententiam habuerunt for them who have the same sentiments concerning God with Jonah; and have confessed and said, I am the Lord’s servant, I worship the Lord God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land; that man enjoying the unhoped-for salvation from God, might rise from the dead and glorify him.” And elsewhere proving, that the Father of Christ is the same that was spoken of by the prophets; and that when Christ came he acknowledged no other but him, who was declared from the beginning. He adds, a quo libertatem detulit his qui legitime et prono animo, et toto corde

    deserviunt ei, “from whom he brought deliverance to them who serve him truly, with a ready mind, and with all their hearts;” but to the despisers of him, and such who are not subject to God, sempiternam attulit perditionem abscindens eos a vita,” he hath brought everlasting destruction, cutting them off from life.” So far was he from thinking that Christ died to redeem all mankind, that he expressly says, that the death of Christ is the damnation of some; his words are these; “As they (the Israelites) through the blindness of the Egyptians, so we, through the blindness of Jews, receive salvation; siquidem mors Domino, eorum quidem qui cruci eum fixerunt et non crediderunt ejus adventum, damnatio est: seeing the death of the Lord is indeed the damnation of them that crucified him, and did not believe his coming; but the salvation of them that believe in him.” And in another place, where he makes Jacob a type of Christ, and Rachel of the church, he confines the obedience and sufferings of Christ to his church: “All things,” says he, “he did for the younger Rachel, who had good eyes, quae praefigurabat ecclesiam, propter quam sustinuit Christus, who prefigured the church, for whom Christ endured, that is, sufferings and death.” And a little after he has these words, “Christ came not for the sake of them only who believed in him, in the times of Tiberius Caesar; nor did the Father provide for those men only who now are, but for all men entirely; qui ab initio secundum virtutem suam in sua generatione, et timuerunt et dilexerunt Deum, et juste et pie conversati sunt erga proximos, et concupierunt videre Christum et audire vocem ejus; who from the beginning, according to their virtue or ability, have feared and loved God in their generation, and have righteously and piously conversed with their neighbors, and have desired to see Christ, and hear his voice.” The passages cited from this writer, by M. Daille, for general redemption, have not one word about it, and at most only prove, that man is endued with free will, which, in some sense, is not denied; and that man, and not God, is the cause of his own imperfection, blindness, and destruction, which is readily agreed to. The citations made by the same author out of Clemens Alexandrinus, do, indeed, express, in very general terms, the care of God and Christ over mankind, and their great regard unto and desire after their salvation; and also assert our Lord to be the Savior of all men, and seem to carry the

    point further than what is in controversy, even to the salvation of all; which, if it could once be established, we should readily come into the notion of general redemption, though in all these large expressions, Clement seems only to refer to the texts in Jude 1:3, 1 Timothy 2:4, and 1 Timothy 4:10, in the first of which the apostle speaks of the common salvation, all the saved ones share alike; in the next, of the will of God, that some of all sorts should be saved; and in the last, of God, as the preserver of all men, in a way of common, and particularly of believers, in a way of special providence; and after all, Clement distinguishes between Christ’s being a Savior of some, and a Lord of others; for he says, that he is ton pepis teukoton Soter, ton de apeithesanton Kurios, “the Savior of them that believe; but the Lord of them that believe not.” And in one place he has these words; “Wherefore, he (Christ,) is introduced in the gospel weary, who was weary for us, and promising to give his life a ransom, and polton, in the room of many.”

    Section 7

  7. Tertullian. A.D. 200.

    Tertullian is a writer, it must be owned, who expresses himself in somewhat general terms, when he speaks of the incarnation, death and sacrifice of Christ, which are yet capable of being understood in a sense agreeable to the doctrine of particular redemption; as when he says, that “we who believe that God was here on earth, and took upon him the humility of a human habit, ex causa humanae salutis, ‘for the sake of man’s salvation,’ are far from their opinion, who think that God takes no care of any thing;” which may be truly said, without supposing that Christ assumed human nature, for the sake of the salvation of every individual of mankind; so when he says, in another place, that “Christ ought to make a sacrifice pro omnibus gentibus, ‘for all nations;’ his meaning may be, that it was necessary that he should be a propitiation, not for the Jews only, but for the Gentiles also;” and elsewhere having observed that the Marcionites concluded from the words of God to Moses, in Exodus 32:10, that Moses was better than his God, he thus addresses them, “You are also to be pitied, with the people, who do not acknowledge Christ, figured in the person of Moses, the advocate with the Father, and the offerer up of his own soul, pro populi salute, ‘for the salvation of the people;’”

    by which people may very well be understood, the special and peculiar people of God’s elect, of whom the people of Israel was a type and figure. Besides, in some places, Tertullian manifestly restrains the death of Christ, and the benefits of it, to some persons only, to the church, and to believers. This having cited Deuteronomy 33:17, His glory is like the firstling of his bullock; and his horns are like the horns of unicorns; with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; gives this interpretation of the words; “not the rhinoceros, which has but one horn, is intended; nor the minotaurus, which has two horns; but Christ is signified hereby; a bullock is he called, because of both his dispositions aliis ferus ut judex, allis mansuetus ut Salvator, ‘to some fierce as a judge, to others mild as a Savior,’ whose horns would be the extremities of the cross. Moreover, by this virtue of the cross, and being horned in this manner, nunc ventilar, per fidem, ‘he now pushes all the nations;’ by faith, taking them up from earth to heaven, and by the judgment, will then push them, casting them down from heaven to earth.” And a little after, in the same place, speaking of the brazen serpent, he says, that “it designed the virtue and efficacy of our Lord’s cross, by which the serpent the devil was made public, and to every one that is hurt by the spiritual serpents, intuenti tamen et credenti in eam, only looking upon it, and believing in it, healing of the bites of sin and salvation are immediately pronounced.” And so as he observes in another place, quod perierat olim per lignum in Adam, id restitueretur per lignum Christi, what was of old lost through the tree in Adam, that is restored through the tree of Christ.” Again he observes, that the apostle says, that we are reconciled in his body through death; on which he thus descants: “Yea, in that body in which he could die through the flesh, he died, not through the church, plane propter ecclesiam, but verily for the church, by changing body for body, and that which is fleshly for that which is spiritual.” M. Daille has produced a passage or two from this writer in favor of the universal extent of Christ’s death and redemption, in which not one word is mentioned concerning either of them; and only declare, that man was not originally made to die; that God is not negligent of man’s salvation; that he desires his restoration to life, willing rather the repentance than the death of a sinner, which, as they do not militate against the doctrine of particular, so

    cannot serve to establish that of general redemption. Two testimonies from Hippolitus, bishop of Portua, a disciple of Clement of Alexandria, and a martyr, who is said to flourish about, A.D. 220, are next cited at second hand; the first of which is, that “the God of the universe became man for this purpose; that by suffering in passible (capable of suffering; Ed). flesh, our whole kind, which was sold unto death, might be redeemed;” that is, from death, a corporal death; the general resurrection from the dead being thought to be the fruit of Christ’s sufferings and death. The other is, that “the Son of God, through flesh, naturally weak of himself, wrought out the salvation of the whole;” which may be understood of the salvation of the whole body of Christ, the church, or of every one of his people, his sheep, his children, and his chosen, and not of every individual of mankind; since all are not saved, as they undoubtedly would be, if Christ had wrought out the salvation of all.

    Section 8

  8. Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

    Origen is represented as holding, that Christ suffered and died for the salvation of all rational creatures, in heaven and in earth, devils as well as men; and that all in the issue will be saved: and there are passages in his writings which favor this notion. Could our universalists give into, and prove such an assertion, that all mankind will be saved, the controversy about general redemption would soon be at an end. It is no wonder that a writer, who had imbibed such a notion, should express himself in very general terms about the sufferings and death of Christ, and assert him to be the Savior of all men, which is the substance of the citations out of him by M. Daille; nevertheless, as it is very probable, he was not always of this mind; and it is certain, that when this notion of his was not in view, he says many things which not only contradict that, but very much countenance the doctrine of particular redemption, as will appear from the following observations.

    1. He expressly affirms, that the sufferings and death of Christ are of no use and service to some persons; and that the fruit and effect of them only belong to others, whom he describes; his words are these: “The sufferings of Christ, indeed, confer life on them that believe, but death on them that believe not: for though the Gentiles have salvation and justification

      by his cross, yet is it destruction and condemnation to the Jews; for so it is written in the Gospel; This child is born for the fall and rising again of many.” And in another place; “If any would be saved, let him come to the house,” says he, “in which the blood of Christ is for a sign of redemption; for with them who said, His blood be upon us and upon our children, Christi sanguis in condemnatione est, ‘the blood of Christ is for condemnation;’ for Jesus was set for the fall and rising again of many; and therefore to them that speak against his sign efficitur sanguis ejus ad paenam, ‘his blood is for punishment;’ but to them that believe, for salvation.” And elsewhere, mentioning. these words, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, he adds, by way of explanation, ou panton de e amartia apo tou amnou airetai, “the sin of all is not indeed taken away by the Lamb, even of those who do not grieve, nor are afflicted until it be taken away.”

    2. Though he sometimes speaks of Christ’s procuring salvation, redemption, and remission of sin, for all men, for the whole world: yet from other passages of his it appears, that he is to be understood of the sufficiency of the price of Christ’s blood to procure these things for all men, which is not denied. In one place, taking notice of the legal sacrifices, he has these expressions: “Among all these there is one Lamb which is able to take away the sins of the whole world; for such was this sacrifice, ut una sola sufficieret pro totius mundi salute, ‘that that alone was sufficient for the salvation of the whole world.’” And in another place he thus expresses himself, “Until the blood of Jesus was given, which was so precious, ut solus pro omnium redemptione sufficieret, ‘that it alone was sufficient for the redemption of all;’ it was necessary, that they who were brought up in the law, should every one for himself, in imitation of the future redemption, give his own blood,” meaning the blood of circumcision.

    3. It may be further observed, that Origen, by the world, sometimes understands the church, for which, he frequently says, Christ suffered and died. The apostle Paul says, (2 Cor. 5:19), that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself; where, by the world, is not to be understood the whole world, that is, those who are in the whole world, as Origen in one place observes; and in another place having cited the same passage, adds, “the sin of which world Christ has took away, peri gar tou kosmou thv

      ekklhsiav ‘for of the world of the church is this word written;’” and immediately subjoins John 1:29, as to be understood in the same sense. And elsewhere, in the same work, he not only mentions it as the sense of a certain expositor, that by the world is meant the church, which is the ornament and beauty of the world, an inquires whether it may be called so, and also light, but affirms it to be so, legesqw toinon h ekklhsia kosmov, “therefore,” says he, “let the church be called the world because it is enlightened by the Savior; and cites several passages of Scripture, as Matthew 5:14, John 1:29, 1 John 2:2, 1 Timothy 4:10, to be interpreted in the same way And it is easy to observe, that Origen often speaks of Christ’s suffering and dying for the church: in one place, speaking of Christ and the church as bridegroom and bride, he says “First the bride prays, and immediately, in the midst of her prayers she is heard, she sees the bridegroom present, she sees the virgins joined in company with him. Moreover the Bridegroom answers her, and after his words, dum ille pro ejus patitur salute, ‘while he suffers for her salvation,’the companions answer, until the bridegroom is in bed, and rises from suffering, they will make some ornaments for the bride.” And in the same work on these words, Arise, fair one, he thus comments; “Why does he say, arise? Why hasten? I have sustained for thee the rage of tempests; I have received the floods which were due to thee; my soul is made sorrowful unto death for thee.” In another place he says, “The church of Christ is strengthened by the grace of him who was crucified for her.” And elsewhere we call the fat, that is, of the sacrifices, the life of Christ, which is the church of his friends, pro quibus animam suam posuit, “for whom he laid down his life.” Again, “He has delivered him for all, not only for the saints, not only for the great ones, but the Father delivered his own Son for them who are altogether the least in the church.”

    4. Origen sometimes calls the world for whom Christ died, the believing world, and the people of believers, and describes those for whom he suffered by such distinguishing characters: his words in one place are these, “If any one is ashamed of the cross of Christ, he is ashamed of that economy by which these (powers) are triumphant over; for he that knows and believes these things ought to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which Christ being stauroumenou to kosmo to pisteuonti, ‘crucified for

    the world that believes,’ the principalities are made a show of, and triumphed over.” And in another place, “because he (Christ) took upon him the sins tou laou ton pisteuonton els auton, ‘of the people of those that believe in him,’ he often says, what he does in Psalm 22:1, and 64:5.” And elsewhere, speaking of Christ, he says, “This is the live goat sent into the wilderness; and this is the goat which is offered to the Lord a sacrifice to expiate sin; and he hath made a true propitiation in himself, credentibus populis, ‘for the believing people.’” Again, “The Son of God is come, and hath given himself a ransom; that is, he hath delivered himself for enemies, and for them that thirst he hath shed his blood; el haec est credentibus facta redemptio, “and this becomes redemption to them that believe.” He interprets that text in Matthew 20:21, “And to give his life a ransom for many,” thus, and pollon ton pisteusanton eis auton, “for the many that believed on him.” He adds indeed, “And by way of hypothesis, if all believe in him, he gave his life a ransom for all.” To which may be added the following passage, “The true purification was not before, but in the Passover, when Jesus died uper ton agnizomenon, ‘for them that are purified,’ as the Lamb of God, and took away the sin of the world.” Monsieur Daille next cites a passage as from Gregory of Neocaesarea, a hearer of Origen, but the work from whence it is taken is judged by learned men to be none of his; and this writer himself seems to question it, since he adds, “or whoever is the author of the anathemas which are carried about under his name.” And besides, this testimony only shows, that Christ is the “Savior of the world, and the light of the world;” which nobody denies, for they are the express words of the Scripture; but the question is, in what sense these phrases are to be understood.

    Section 9

  9. Cyprian. A.D. 250.

    Cyprian, in many places of his writings, very expressly limits Christ’s sufferings and death to certain persons described by him; as when he says, “Though we are many shepherds, yet we feed but one flock; and ought to gather together and cherish oves universas quas Christus sanguine suo et passione quaesivit ‘all the sheep which Christ hath sought up by his blood and sufferings;’ nor should we suffer our supplicant and grieving brethren to be cruelly

    despised and trodden down by the proud presumption of some persons.” And in another place he asks, “What can be a greater sin, or what a fouler spot, than to stand against Christ, than to scatter his church? quam ille sanguine suo praeparabit et condidit, ‘which he has prepared and obtained by his own blood?’” And elsewhere he says, ‘Christ is the bread off life; et panis hic omnium non est, sed noster est; and this bread does not belong to all, but is ours;’ and as we say, our Father, because he is the Father of them that understand and believe, so we call Christ our bread, qui corpus contigimus, ‘who have touched his body;’” in which words all but believers are excluded from having any share in Christ, the bread of life. And having in another place mentioned Ezekiel 9:4, where a mark is ordered to be set upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for the abominations of Jerusalem, he makes this observation; “This sign belongs to the passion and blood of Christ; et quisquis in hoc signo invenitur, ‘and whosoever is found with this sign shall be preserved safe and whole?’” which is approved by the testimony of God, saying, And the blood shall be for a sign upon the houses where you are, etc. What preceded in type before the Lamb was slain, is fulfilled in Christ, the truth following after; as there Egypt being smitten, the Jewish people could not escape but by the blood and token of the Lamb; so when the world shall begin to be wasted and smitten, quisquis in sanguine et signo Christi inventus fuerit, solus evadet, “whosoever shall be found in the blood, and with the mark of Christ, shall only escape.” From whence it is evident, that Cyprian did not think that every individual of mankind is interested in the blood and death of Christ. And a little after, in the same epistle, speaking of immortality, he has these words; “This grace Christ imparts, this gift of his mercy he gives, by subduing death through the victory of the cross; redimendo credentem pretio sauguinis sui, ‘by redeeming the believer with the price of his blood;’ by reconciling man to God the Father, and by quickening the dead with the heavenly regeneration.” And in one of his tracts, animating the saints against the fears of death, he says, “Let him be afraid to die qui non Christi cruce et passione censetur, ‘who is not reckoned to have any part in the cross and sufferings of Christ;’ let him be afraid to die who will pass from this death to a second death.” And a little after, “We who live in hope, and believe in God, and trust, Christum passum

    esse pro nobis, ‘that Christ has suffered for us, and rose again;’ abiding in him, and rising again by him and in him, why should we be unwilling to depart hence out of this world? or, why should we mourn over and grieve for our departed friends, as if they were lost. And in another place, giving an account of our Lord’s behavior before Pilate, makes this remark, “This is he, who when he held his peace in his passion, will not be silent afterwards in his vengeance: this is our God; id est, omnium, sed fidelium el credentium Deus, that is, not the God of all, but of the faithful and believers.” To all which may be added another passage of his, which runs thus, “Writing to the seven churches, and intimating to each of them their sins and transgressions, he said repent; to whom? but quos pretio magno sui samguinis redemerat, ‘whom he had redeemed with the great price of his blood.’” This last passage is indeed taken out of an epistle which Erasmus thought was not Cyprianbut Cornelius’s, bishop of Rome; however, he afterwards judged it to be a learned piece, and not unworthy of Cyprian; Gravius and Palemius affirm it to be his; and if it was Cornelius’s, the citation may be properly enough made here, since he was contemporary with Cyprian. The passages cited by Monsieur Daille from this writer, as being on the side of universal redemption, only set forth either the great encouragement given by God to penitent sinners, or that Christ came to be the Savior of mankind, to be given unto men, and that he came for the sake of all; which Cyprian explains in the very same passage, of all sorts of men, learned and unlearned, of every age and sex; as in another of them, by a simile taken from the general and equal diffusion of the sun’s light, he shows, that Christ, the sun and true day, equally gives the light of eternal life in sua ecclesia, “in his own church;” and that the Israelites had an equal measure of the manna, without any difference of age or sex; so the heavenly grace is equally divided to all without any difference of sex or years, and without respect of persons; and the gift of spiritual grace poured forth super omnem Dei populum, “upon all the people of God.” Some testimonies are next produced by Monsieur Daille out of Novatian, Medhodius, and Arnobius; the first of these writers, in one of the passages cited, signifies that, there is hope of salvation for men in Christ: which is not at all against us; for hope is not taken away, but established upon better grounds by

    the doctrine of particular, than by that of general redemption; since according to the latter, all men are indeed redeemed by Christ, but it was possible that none might be saved by him; whereas the former secures the certain salvation of all the redeemed ones: and in the other of them he suggests, that the anger, hatred, and threatenings of God, are for the good of men, and in order to move upon them, and bring them to that which is right and good; but not a word does he say concerning the death of Christ, and redemption by it. The second of these authors referred to, explains the text in Romans 9:21, one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor, thus, “not that God makes some good and others evil, but that is to be understood of the power God has of doing what he will.” Nor do we say that God makes any man evil, but that man made himself so; though we think none are good but whom God makes good. This writer indeed suggests, that it is the will of God that all men should be good, virtuous, and faithful, which is true of his approving but not of his determining will; and also intimates that all the good things of God are common to all, which in some sense holds good of the common bounties of providence, but not of the riches of grace. The third proposes a pagan objection, formed thus; “If Christ came to be the Savior of mankind, why does he not, with equal bounty, deliver all alike?” This objection, supposes, that according to the Christian scheme, all men were not delivered or redeemed by Christ. Arnobius answers to it, not by asserting a deliverance or redemption of every individual of mankind, but by putting another question thus, “Does not he equally deliver, who equally calls all?” In which he argues indeed, from the extent of the call to the extent of the deliverance; but then the call he speaks of seems to be not of every individual person, but of some of all sorts; a grant from Christ of coming to him to some of all sorts, sublimibus, infimis, servis, faeminis, pueris, “high and low, servants, women, and children;” which are his own words; and consequently the deliverance he argues from hence must be only of some of all sorts; which is what we contend for.

    Section 10

  10. Lactantius. A.D. 320.

Lucius Coelius was called Firmianus from his country, Firmium in Italy, and Lactantius from his smooth and milky way of speaking; he was an

auditor of Arnobins, and preceptor to Crispus, son of Constantine the Great, who died A.D. 326. He wrote seven books of Divine Institutions, besides some other treatises, in which he says some things which limit the sufferings and death of Christ, and the benefits thereof, to certain persons. Thus speaking of Christ, he says, “which as he knew what would be, so he would ever and anon say oportare se pati atque interfici pro salute multorum, that he ought to suffer and be slain for the salvation of many;” and if for the salvation of many, then not of all. And in another place says he, “The Jews use the Old Testament, we the New, but yet they are not different; for the New is the fulfilling of the Old, and in both the same testator is Christ; qui pro nobis morte suscepta, nos haeredes regni aeterni fecit; who having suffered death for us, hath made us heirs of the everlasting kingdom, having abdicted and disinherited the people of the Jews.” From whence it is plain, that this writer thought that all those for whom Christ died are made heirs of everlasting glory: but all men are not made heirs, whence it must follow, that he did not die for all men; though Lactantius by us means the Gentiles, in opposition to the Jews, yet not all the Gentiles, but only some of them, who are called by the grace of God from among them: as appears from a passage of his a little after in the same chapter, where having mentioned the new covenant made with the house of Judah and Israel, he observes, that “the house of Judah and Israel truly do not signify the Jews, whom he has cast off, but qui ab ea convocati ex gentibus, who are called by him (Christ) from among the Gentiles, who succeed in their room in the adoption, and are called the children of the Jews.” And elsewhere, speaking of the crucifixion of Christ, he says,” He stretched out his hands in his passion and measured the world, that he might at that very time show, that from the rising of sun to the setting of it, magnum populum ex omnibus linguis, et tribubus congregatum, a large people, gathered out of all languages and tribes, should come under his wings, and receive the most great and sublime sign in their foreheads.” And a little after in the same place, having taken notice of the passover lamb, and the sprinkling of its blood upon the door-post, whereby the Israelites were safe, when the Egyptians were destroyed, he observes, that “this was a figure of things to come; for Christ is a Lamb, white, without spot, that is, innocent, just, and

holy, who being sacrificed by the same Jews, saluti est omnibus qui signum sanguinis, id est crucis qua sanguinem fudit in sua fronte conscripserunt, is for salvation to all who have written in their forehead the sign of the blood; that is, of the cross on which he shed his blood.” Monsieur Daille claims this writer on his side of the question, and produces several passages out of him on the behalf of the general scheme; and true it is that Factantius says, that “the most abundant and full fountain of God is open to all, and the heavenly light arises to all; but then he, adds quicunque oculos habent, who have eyes to see;” but every individual of mankind has not eyes to see the well of living water the gospel points out, or that heavenly light which breaks forth through it. He also says, that because God is gracious and merciful, that is to say, towards his own (that is, whom he has loved and chosen for himself), he sent him (his Son) to them whom he had hated (that is, the Gentiles, who by his neglect of them in former ages seemed to be the objects of his hatred), lest he should for ever shut up the way of salvation to them; but would give them free liberty of following God, that they might obtain the reward of life, if they would follow him; quod plurimi eorum faciunt atque fecerant, which very many of them do, and have done.” Again he also says, that “because of this humility, or low estate of Christ, they (the Jews) not knowing their God, entered into detestable counsel to take away his life; qui ut eos vivificaret advenerat, who came that he might quicken them;” which he might very well say, without having any notion of general redemption; since many of those who had a hand in the death of Christ, were afterwards converted and quickened by his grace. And in another place, giving the reasons why Christ died the death of the cross, he mentions this in the first place, that “he who came mean to help the mean and weak, and point out the hope of salvation to all, was to suffer this kind of death, which the mean and weak were wont to do, lest there should be any who could not imitate him.” His meaning is this, Christ has humbled himself so low, even to the death of the cross, that all sorts of men might have hope of salvation, even those of the lowest and meanest rank and form; which well consists with the doctrine of particular redemption; and accordingly he says, that “we of every sex, descent, and age, enter into the heavenly road, because God who is the guide of the way, denies immortality to no man that is born,”

wherefore all sorts of men may hope for it. Section 11—Paulinus Tyrius. A.D. 325.

Paulinus was first presbyter of the church at Antioch, then bishop of Tyre, and after that bishop of Antioch. He died A. D. 325. He composed a Panegyric Oration upon the building of churches, in the time of Constantine; in which he says many things concerning the church of Christ, and among the rest, that it was for her sake that Christ assumed human nature, and suffered death in it; which, had he thought were done for all the world, he would not have mentioned as peculiar favors to her. His words are these: “For it must needs follow, that when her (the church’s) shepherd and Lord, apax ton uper autes thanaton katadexamenou, ‘had once suffered death for her,’ and after his sufferings had changed that body which he put on mean and sordid, charin autes, ‘for her sake,’ into a bright and glorious one, and led the flesh that was dissolved out of corruption into incorruption, that she also should enjoy the dispensations of the Savior,” that is, and become glorious also. And elsewhere, in the same ration, he represents Christ as a Savior of some particular persons, though of a large number; as when he calls him “a leader into the knowledge of God, a teacher of true religion, a destroyer of the ungodly, and tyrants, and tonSotera emon ton apegnosmenon, ‘the Savior of us, who were in a deplorable and desperate condition,’” and us, who were not only diseased with ulcers, and pressed with putrefying wounds, but lay among the dead, he, by himself, saved out of these depths of death; for in none of the heavenly was there such strength, wv th twn tosoutwn ablabwv diakonhsaqai sothria, “as without hurt to procure the salvation, of so many; he alone touched our miserable corruption, he alone bore our labors, he alone took upon him the punishment of our iniquities.”

Section 12

12 Eusebius Pamphilus Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

Eusebius took the name of Pamphilus from Pamphilus the martyr, his intimate friend and acquaintance: he lived in the time of Constantine the Great, and was very dear unto and highly esteemed of by that emperor He was made bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about A.D. 315, and died A. D. 339 or 340. He was a man of great learning, and wrote much, and several of his works still remain. Some testimonies

are taken from him by M. Daille showing that the sacrifice of Christ was offered up for all mankind, in the room and stead of all men, and is the expiation of the whole world. That he uses such expressions is not denied; but in what sense he used them should be considered. When he says, that the ransom of Christ is for the souls of all men, which he understands equally of Jews and Gentiles, he does not mean every individual of both, only some, as appears from what he immediately subjoins: “by whose (Christ’s) divine and, mystical doctrine, pantev hmeiv oi ex eqnwn, ‘all we who are from among the Gentiles,’ find the forgiveness of former sins; whence also those of the Jews, oi eis anton egpikotes, ‘who hope in him’ are freed from the curse of Moses.” And in another place, he says, monois tois dia Christon ex apanton ton ethnon, “to them only who are taken by Christ out of all nations, can the blessing made to Abraham concerning all nations agree. And as to the Jews, he observes, that “few of them believe in the Savior and our Lord, and thereby obtain the promised spiritual redemption; for God did not promise, that the coming of Christ should be salutary to the whole nation of the Jews without distinction; all’ oligois, to komide apantois, tois eis ton Sotera kai Kurion emon pepisteukosin, but to a few, and very scarce indeed, even to them that should believe on the Savior and our Lord.” Moreover, when he says that the sacrifice of Christ is the expiation of the whole world, it is plain, from other passages of his, that he means only them that believe for having cited John 1:29, 1 John 2:2, 1 Corinthians 1:30, he adds,which “teach that his (Christ’s) coming is the filling up and finishing of the sin of those who have done wickedly against him; and also the removal and purgation of the sins, and the expiation of the unrighteousness, ton eis anton pepisteukoton, of those that should believe in him.” And in another place he says, “Wherefore his (Christ’s) mighty one left him, willing that he should go down to death, even the death of the cross, and be shown to be the ransom of the whole world, kai katharsion genesthai ten ton eis auton pisteusanton zoes, and become the expiation of the life of them that believe in him.” Besides, it is abundantly evident that he restrains the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ, and the salutary effects thereof, to the church, to them that believe in Christ, fear and obey him. Having mentioned those words in Isaiah 9:6,

To us a child is born, etc., he puts this question: “To what us, e tois auton pepisteukosi, unless to them that believe in him? but to them that do not believe in him he is the author of fire and burning.” And in another place he says, that “the cause of Christ’s coming is the redemption ton di autou sothesomenon, of those that were to be saved by him.” And elsewhere he observes, that Isaiah preached the Gospel to the soul that was formerly barren and forsaken of God, or rather, ten ex ethnon ekklesian, “to the church from among the Gentiles; for seeing, ta panta di auten o Christos upemieinen, Christ endured all things for that, he rightly adds, after what he had foretold concerning him, Rejoice, O barren, etc. Again, he, having cited Genesis 49:11, makes this note upon it: “See how, as by things hidden, he signifies his mystical sufferings, in which, as in a laver, he hath washed away the ancient filth, ton eis auton pepisteukoton, of those that would believe in him.” On the text in Malachi 4:2, he makes this observation: “Whom the Father has begotten he promises shall arise, ou tois pasin, alla monois, not to them all, but to them only that fear his name.” In another place he says, “The everlasting High Priest, and who is called the Father’s Christ, takes the care of the whole, and is consecrated to the Father, uper ton upekoon apanton, ‘for all them that obey;’ and he alone shows himself mild and propitious unto all.” It is also very manifest, that Eusebius did not think that the effects of Christ’s death reach unto or were designed to reach unto many, or the same all, as the effects of Adam’s sin do; since he observes, that Christ “became obedient unto death, that as death by one man’s sinning has ruled over the whole kind, so likewise eternal life might reign by his grace ton eis auton pepisteuonton, over those that believe in him, and by him commended as known to God and to his Father.” Once more, in another work of his, he takes notice of a law that Constantine made, “that no Christian should serve the Jews; for,” says he, “it is not lawful tous upo tou Soteros lelutromenous, that those who are redeemed by the Savior should be under a yoke of bondage to the murderers of the prophets and of the Lord.” Whence it appears that he thought the Jews were not redeemed by Christ, only such as are Christians.

As for the article in the creed drawn up by the Nicene fathers A.D. 395, which is next produced by

M. Daille, and is thus expressed; “We believe in one

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Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came down and became incarnate, and was made man, di emas tous anthropous kai did ten emeteran soterian, for us men and for our salvation;” it is no other than what every body believes and agrees to; and is so far from militating against the particular scheme, that it is rather a testimony for it, since the phrases us

men and our salvation design those that believe in Christ the Son of God, to whom they relate. What is next cited from Juveneus, a Spanish presbyter, who flourished under Constantine, about A. D. 330, does not at all serve the general scheme, but the contrary, it being only a paraphrase of John 3:16, after this manner: “For God loved the world with such a love that his only offspring came down on earth, credentes Domino vitae junctura perenni, to join them that believe in the Lord to everlasting life.” Anthony, the patriarch of the Eremites, who died A.D. 358, is next mentioned; who, in one of his epistles, says, “that God appointed his only begotten Son for the salvation of the whole world, and did not spare him for our sakes, but delivered him up for the salvation of us all,” which are almost the very express words of the Scripture in 1 John 2:2, Romans 8:32, to which no doubt he refers, and are capable of being understood in the same sense with them; and that Anthony did not design every individual of mankind, but only some, appears by what he immediately adds “and hath gathered us by the word of his power, ex omnibus regionibus, out of all countries, from one end of the world to the other;” and could he be thought to mean all the individuals of human nature, for whom God appointed and delivered up his Son for the salvation of, yet the general benefit and salvatio which all were to have by him, seems, according to him, to be no other than the resurrection from the dead; for a little after, he observes that “Christ is the resurrection of all, destroying him that had the power of death.”

Section 13

13 Julius Firmicus. A.D. 350.

Julius Firmicus Maternus was a native of Sicily. He was brought up in the pagan religion, and wrote some books of astrology, A. D. 336 or 337, being still a heathen. After the year 340, he was converted to Christianity in his old age, and is thought to have wrote his book, Of the Error of Profane Religions, about A. D. 350, which is inscribed to the emperors


Constantius and Constans; and in it are these words, speaking of Christ, the Lamb of God: “The reverend blood of this Lamb is shed for the salvation of men, ut sanctos suos Filius Dei profusione pretiosi sanguinis redimat, ‘that the Son of God, by the pouring out of his precious blood, might redeem his saints;’ ut qui Christi sanguine liberantur, ‘that those who are delivered by the blood of Christ’ might he first consecrated with the immortal majesty of that blood.” From whence it is evident, that he thought that some, and not all, are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that those who are redeemed by it are his saints, who were set apart for himself, and are made holy by him, which cannot be said of all the sons and daughters of Adam. M. Daille has indeed cited two passages from this writer, as testimonies for general redemption, but neither to the purpose. In the first, Firmicus says, “Christ, the Son of God, that he might deliver humanum genus, ‘mankind from the snare of death, bore all these things;’ that he might remove the yoke of the grievous captivity, that he might restore hominem, man to the Father, that, mitigating the offense, he might make up the difference between God and man, by a prosperous reconciliation.” But he does not say, that Christ delivered or redeemed every individual of mankind, and restored every man to God, and reconciled every man to him: he may be truly said to have redeemed mankind, and to have restored and reconciled man to God, who has redeemed, restored, and reconciled such large numbers of mankind, though not all of them. In the other passage he says, that “so it was by divine disposition, that whatever Adam lost Christ found; for after a long time, in the last age of the world, the Word of God joined himself to a human body, that he might deliver man, that he might conquer death, that he might join the frailty of a human body with divine immortality;” but he does not say, that all the individuals of mankind, which were lost in Adam, were found by Christ. By several expressions in the same page we learn, what that was he supposes Adam lost and Christ found; for he says, that Adam, “being deceived by the woman, that is Eve, through the persuasions of the devil, promissae sibi gloriae perdidit dignitatem, ‘lost the dignity of the glory promised him.’ There was a tree,” adds he, “in paradise, quo promissorum a Deo praemiorum perdidit gratiam, by which he lost the grace of the rewards promised by God.” And a little after, “Adam,


being made out of the slime of the virgin earth, through his own transgression, promissam perdidit vitam, lost the promised life.” Now it was this promised grace, life, glory, and happiness, Adam lost, which, he says, Christ found; but he nowhere says that Christ found this for all the individuals of mankind.

Section 14

14 Anthanasius. A.D. 350.

It must be owned that Athanasius, who, as has been observed in the preceding chapter, bore so famous a testimony to the doctrine of eternal election in Christ, has said many things which upon first sight seem to favor the doctrine of universal redemption. M. Daille has cited a considerable number of testimonies from him to that end, and he might have cited more. But I have the following thing to say in vindication of him; first, that when, in the passages referred to, he says that Christ died for all, and offered himself a sacrifice for all, and died for the ransom of all, and that his death is the ransom of all, he says no more than the Scriptures do, which are used in this controversy, and so may be understood in the same sense, of all the elect, or some of all sorts. Secondly, some of the citations only prove that Athanasius believed that Christ, being God as well as man, was dunatos kai ikanos, “able and sufficient to suffer for all, and give full satisfaction by his death for all.” That Christ was able to redeem all mankind, and that his sufferings and death were sufficient for the redemption of all men, had it been the will of God to have appointed them for that purpose, none will deny. Thirdly, I observe, that in many places he says that Christ assumed a body, bore one subject to sufferings, and did endure death epi ti soteria ton panton, “for the salvation of all;” yea, that by his death, e soteria tasi gegone, “salvation is procured for all.” Now if by salvation be meant spiritual and eternal salvation, these instances would prove more than they are brought for, namely, universal salvation. But it is easy to observe that Athanasius, in most of these places, is speaking of the resurrection from the dead, which he makes the grand end of Christ’s incarnation, sufferings, and death; and if this is what he means by salvation, and by Christ’s dying for all, and giving himself for all, this is no more than what same, who are far from giving into the universal scheme, allow of; who suppose that the resurrection from the dead is a benefit which belongs

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to all men by virtue of the death of Christ. Fourthly, it is very probable that one reason why Athanasius use those general terms so frequently, is with respect to the Gentile world, among whom a very large number have a special interest in the death of Christ, and redemption by his blood. In one place he has these words. “What is the fruit of the Lord’s death! what the profit of the Jew’s conspiracy? the death of the Savior hath made the world; free, that the Gentiles might glorify God the wrath of the Jews hath destroyed the city with them, and hath blinded them, with respect to the knowledge of God. The death of the Lord hath quickened the dead, but the conspiracy of the Jews hath deprived them of life; for now they are without the Lord, and the cross of the Savior hath made ten ekklesian ton ethnon, “the church of the Gentiles, which was a wilderness, habitable;” in which he calls the Gentiles the world, in opposition to the Jews; and this world the church of the Gentiles, who enjoy the fruit of Christ’s death. This citation is indeed made from a treatise which some learned men have thought is not the genuine work of Athanasius; but inasmuch as

M. Daille has made use of it before me, I take the same liberty. But, not to insist on this, there are some things in the genuine works of Athanasius, which manifestly limit redemption by Christ, and the benefits of it to some, as when he says, “When was he (Jesus) sent, but when he clothed himself with our flesh? When did he become the high priest of our profession? but when he offered himself for us, raising the body from the dead, and now he brings and offers to the Father touv prosercomenouv autw th pistei, those that come unto him by faith, redeeming all, and expiating those things that belong to God for all;” that is, for all that come unto him by faith. And in another place, he thus expresses himself, “God hath commanded the true Wisdom to take flesh, and become man, and to endure the death of the cross, ina dia thv en toutw pistewv pantev loipon oi pisteuontev swzwsqai dunwntai, that through faith in him, all henceforth that believe might be saved.” The sense of which is that the design and intention of God in the incarnation and death of Christ is not to save all men, but such that believe in him. And elsewhere he says, that Christ “took to himself a body of the virgin Mary; that offering it a sacrifice for all, he might reconcile to the Father pantav hmav osoi fobw qanatou dia pantov tou zhn enocoi hmen douleiav, all us, as many as through fear of death were

all our lifetime subject to bondage.” And a little after, in the same page, he has these words; “The Word was made flesh, that he might offer it for all, kai hmav ek tou pneumatov autou metalabontev qeopoihqenai dunhsqwmen, that we partaking of his Spirit might be made like unto God.” Again, he observes, that “as Christ being man is God, so being God became man, kai sozei tous pisteuontas en anthropou morphe, that he may save those that believe in the form of man.” Moreover, and what is full against the universal scheme, having cited the text in Malachi 4:2, To you that fear him shall the Sun of righteousness arise; he makes this remark on it, gar panton (emera) aute, alla ton apothanonton to amartia, zonton de to Kurio, for this day does not belong to all, but to them who die in sin, and live unto the Lord.” By which he means not the day of the week he calls the Lord’s day a little before, but the day of grace, which the Sun of righteousness makes when he arises and appears to any in a spiritual saving way, and which is special and peculiar to some persons only.


Section 15

  1. Macarius Aegyptius. A.D. 350.

    Macarius was an Egyptian monk, a disciple of St. Anthony. There are fifty homilies of his remaining, out of which M. Daille has a single passage for general redemption; in which Macarius asserts, that “Christ would have all men partake of the new birth, because he died for all, and calls all to life;” but this he could not mean of every individual man, because every one is not called to that life. Besides, there are several things said by him which show, that he thought that Christ came into the world, and suffered, and died, for believers only; for when he observes, that “it pleased the Lord at his coming to suffer for all, and to purchase them with his own blood,” he adds, “and to put the heavenly leaven of goodness tais pistais psuchiais, into believing souls, humbled under sin.” And again; “For this cause the Lord came, that he might vouchsafe those spiritual things tous alethos pisteuontas eis auton, to those that truly believe on him.” And in another place, “we ought,” says he, “to labor and strive very much, for it is not just that the Bridegroom should come to suffer and be crucified for thee, and the bride di’en o numphios parageneto, for whose sake the Bridegroom came, should rejoice

    and dance.” Having elsewhere mentioned the words of the Baptist, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, he observes, that “he alone shows this mercy to men, tois pisteuousin auto, ‘that believe in him,’ because he redeems from iniquity; and to them that always wait, and hope, and seek without ceasing, he bestows this unspeakable salvation.” And in another place he has this note on the same words. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, tes psuches delonoti, pisteusase auto, namely, of the soul that believes in him, and loves him with all the heart.”


    Section 16

  2. Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 363.

    Hilary of Poictiers abounds in general expressions of God’s good will to man, of the universal offer and invitation to all in the external ministry of the word, and of Christ’s assuming human nature, and coming into the world for the redemption and salvation of all, many of which are cited by M. Daille. But it is easy to observe, that he sometimes means by these phrases, not the spiritual and eternal redemption and salvation of men, but their resurrection from the dead. There is a remarkable passage of his to this purpose, in which he distinguishes the salvation of some from others, by virtue of Christ’s redemption; All flesh, he says, is redeemed by Christ, that it may rise again, and that every one might stand before his judgment-seat;” yet all have not equal honor and glory of rising again; to whom therefore only resurrection, and not change is given, they are saved to nothing; in anger shall those people be led, to whom the salvation of the resurrection is appointed for the sense of punishment, from which wrath the apostle promises we shall be delivered; saying, For if when we were yet sinners Christ died for us, much more being justified by his blood, we shall be saved by him from wrath. Pro peccatoribus igitur ad salutem resurrectionis est mortuus, “for sinners therefore he died, to obtain the salvation of the resurrection; but those who are sanctified by his blood he will save from wrath.” And in another place he says, “This was the expectation of the saints, ut omnis caro redimeretur in Christo, ‘that all flesh should be redeemed in Christ,’ and we in him might exist the first fruits of an eternal resurrection.” Besides, Hilary frequently makes use of limiting phrases when he is

    speaking of the sufferings of Christ, and redemption by him; he says, that Christ “is appointed a mediator in himself, ad salutem ecclesiae,

    for the salvation of the church,” which is what he means by the house of David, as the subject of redemption; when commenting on these words, Hosanna to the son of David, he observes, “The words of praise express the power of redemption: for by Osanna in the Hebrew language, is signified the redemption of the house of David.” And a little after, “The high priests envied the cries of the children, and rebuked him (Christ) for hearing them, for he was said to come for the redemption of the house of David,” Elsewhere he represents all as redeemed by Christ as kings of heaven and co- heirs of eternity, which cannot agree with all mankind; his words are these, speaking of Christ, “He shall remain in the sight of God forever, having already taken all whom he hath redeemed, in reges coelorum et cohaeredes aeternitatis, to be kings of heaven, and co- heirs of eternity, delivering them as the kingdom to God the Father.” With him a believer in Christ and one redeemed by him is the same. Whoever, he says through his insolence, “disdains, provokes, and dishonors a believer in Christ, and one redeemed by Christ, is not a companion of them that fear God.”

    Section 17

  3. Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

    Basil of Caesarea has also many expressions of God’s general goodness to men; of his nearness to them, and willingness that all of them should partake of life; and which are therefore, with others, produced by Monseiur Daille, to countenance general redemption, though there is not one syllable concerning it in them. Nor is Basil very favorable to the universal scheme, when he says, “God is not the God of all, but of them who are joined to him in love, as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for if he was the God of all, he would have given them a testimony as something very excellent.” He indeed says, as Monsieur Daille has observed, “The Holy Ghost calls all nations, all that dwell on the earth to hear the psalm,” which is no proof of the point before us; and besides, he explains all nations, and all that dwell on the earth, of the church, which he says is suneilektai, “gathered out of nations of all sorts, of laws and manners.” He also speaks of Christ’s giving himself a

    propitiation for the whole world, but in the same place gives a plain intimation that he is to be understood of the sufficiency of Christ’s blood and sacrifice to atone for and redeem all mankind; his words are these, “What can a man find of such a nature as he can give for the redemption of his own soul?” Yet here is one thing found out omoupanton anthropon antaxion, “worthy of all men alike, even the holy and precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he has shed for us all.” Besides, he frequently describes those who are redeemed by Christ, by such characters as cannot agree with all mankind; for a little after he says, he “that is redeemed by God, who gave a propitiation for him, he indeed labors in this world, but after these things he shall live forever; verily he shall not see destruction, when he shall see wise men die.” Which cannot be said of every individual of mankind. And in another place he says, “We are all, oi pisteuontes, ‘who believe,’ redeemed from the condemnation of sin by the grace of God, which is through his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; who said, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Which passage of Scripture is twice cited by him afterwards, and applied to believers, to whom he says is given the remission of Sins. Again, he observes, that “where spiritual men are the authors of counsels, and the people of the Lord follow them with unanimity, who can doubt that this is by the communication of our Lord Jesus Christ, tou to aima autou uper ton ekklesion ekcheontous, who shed his blood for the churches.”

    Section 18

  4. Optatus Milevitanus. A.D. 370.

    Optatus, bishop of Milevi in Africa, wrote six books, for the seventh is none of his, against the Donatists, in the times of the emperors Valens and Valentinianus, that is, after A.D. 364, and before A. D. 374, in which work stands this passage, which is cited by Monsieur Daille in favor of universal redemption; “Christ,” says Optatus, “is the only redeemer of souls, which the devil possessed before his coming; these Christ our Savior has redeemed with his own blood, as the apostle says, Ye are bought with a price. It is certain that all are redeemed by the blood of Christ.” But Monsieur Daille should have read on, and transcribed more, when it would have appeared, that Optatus explains these all, of all that believe; for

    thus he proceeds, “Christ has not sold whom he hath redeemed; souls bought by Christ cannot be sold, that they may, as you would have it (speaking to the Donatists), be redeemed again by you. How can one soul have two masters? Is there another Redeemer? Which of the prophets have declared that another is to Come? What Gabriel speaks again to another Mary? What virgin brings forth again? Who hath done new or other miracles? If there is none but one, qui redimit animos omnium credentium, who redeems the souls of all believers, why do you say, redeem your souls?”

    Section 19

  5. Victorious. A.D. 365.

    Caius Marius Victorinus, as Jerom calls him, was by birth an African, he taught rhetoric at Rome, under the emperor Constance; and became so famous in that kind of learning, that the citizens erected a statute for him in the Roman Forum. He was converted to Christianity in extreme old age, and wrote four books against the Arians, which still remain, from whence Monsieur Daille has this citation; “The Logos, or Word, is made all things, and in all, and hath begotten all things, and hath saved, and hath reigned, existing life eternal in the Spirit:” But of what service this passage can be to the general scheme, I see not; for if it is not to be understood of the concern that Christ the Word has in creation and providence, but of his concern in everlasting salvation, if it favors any scheme it must be that of universal salvation; but from other expressions of his it appears, that he thought that Christ is only the redeemer of, and eternal life to them that believe; “He” (Jesus Christ,) says he, “has performed the mystery of our salvation; he hath made us free; he hath redeemed; in istum credimus salvatoram nostrum, ‘in him we believe as our Savior,’ according to the cross, and according to the resurrection from the dead.” And in another place, Christ is the true life, that is, eternal; credentibus in se, to them that believe in him; and is present with God for them that believe in him.”

    Section 20

  6. Marcus Eremita. A.D. 390.

    Mark the Eremite is next produced by Monsieur Daille, and by him said to be about A.D. 390, though he is placed by Alsted, and the Magdeburgensian Centuriators, in the fifth century, about the beginning of it. The testimony from him, cited by the above

    writer, only signifies, that God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, which is no other than what the Scripture says; and that evil thoughts or reasonings forbid the will of God, deceive men, and exclude them from salvation. It must be owned, that there is here and there an expression dropped more to the purpose than this; yet in other places he speaks of redemption, and the effects of it, as peculiarly belonging to certain persons: “He who died,” says he, “for our sins, according to the Scriptures, also freely gives liberty, fideliter et probe ipsi servientibus, to them that, faithfully and honestly serve him,” according to Matthew 25:21. And in another place he says, “Suretyship proceeds from love, which the Lord Jesus Christ hath showed in all things to us, who in the first place heals the infirmities of our soul, moreover cures every disease, and every sickness; who takes away the sin of the world; qui puram restituit naturam his qui firmiter credunt el, ‘who restores a pure nature to them that firmly believe in him,’ and gives redemption from death.” Again, “Christ is our Lord, both according to essence, and according to the government or administration of the family; for when yet we were not, he made and created us; and being dead in sin, he bought us with his own blood; et iis qui ita credunt, gratiam suam gratuito largitus est, and to them who so believe, he freely gives his grace.” And elsewhere he says, Christus autem credenti sit omnia, Christ indeed is made all things to him that believes.”

    Section 21

  7. Faustinus. A.D. 390.

    Faustinus, who was ordained either a presbyter or a deacon of the church of Rome, about A.D. 385, according to Monsieur Daille, who has transcribed some passages out of a book written by him against the Arians, showing, that God loved the world, and gave his Son for the redemption of the world; and that Christ tasted death not for himself, but for all; all which may be said, without supposing that Christ died for every individual of mankind. Besides, Faustinus plainly intimates, that the benefit of Christ’s death only belongs to believers; that many, and not all, are delivered and said by him; “See,” says he, “the love that the Lord of majesty should be crucified on earth for the salvation of the world, who gives eternal life in heaven, se Filium Dei credentibus, to them that

    believe he is the Son of God.” And in another place he observes, that “as by the contempt of one many are made sinners, so by the obedience of Christ, which not from infirmity, but from the goodness of the Deity, he yielded for the salutary discipline of men, multi salvantur, many are saved.” And a little after he says, that “Christ bore the infirmities of body and soul, though without sin, that it might be truly thought he did not take another substance of flesh and blood; and that when in himself he delivers men from infirmities and sufferings, we might believe also, that those are delivered qui secundem ejus vestigia sectantur, who follow his steps.” The text in Hebrews 2:9, where Christ is said to taste death for all, he says, the apostle interprets in verse 10, where the Captain of salvation is spoken of as bringing many sons to glory.


    Section 22

  8. Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. A.D. 370.

    Cyrill of Jerusalem, though a little earlier than some of the former, since he died A.D. 386, according to Monsieur Daille, is next cited by him as a patron of general redemption, and who indeed does say, that Christ took upon him the sins of the world, cleanses the whole world from sin, has redeemed the whole world of men; and that the Father having constituted him the Savior of the whole world, he came for the salvation of all. But these passages will be easily accounted for, when it is observed, that by the world, he means, the world of believers. “You have,” says he, “the twelve apostles witnesses of the cross, and the habitable earth, kai tou kosmon twn eiv ton stauromenon pisteuontwn anqrwpwn, and the world of men that believe in him that was crucified.” And these, and these only, will be saved by him; for he it is, as he elsewhere says, “that saves, touv pisteuontav, ‘those that believe’ by the word of the cross.” Nor need it seem strange that Cyrill should say, that Jesus took upon him touv oikoumenikav amartiav, “the sins of the world,” since he talks “of pashv thv oikumenikhv ekklhsiav, of the church of the whole world.” Besides, one reason of his using such general expressions, as “the world, the whole world,” etc., may be on the account of the extent of Christ’s sufferings and death to Jews and Gentiles. “He came,” says he, “who has mercy on them, and was crucified and rose again, giving his own precious blood uper Ioudaiwn te kai eqnwn, both for Jews and

    Gentiles.” Cyrill, indeed, speaks of many ways of eternal life opened for all, which scarce any will agree to; and of human nature being capable of salvation, which none will deny. As for the words of Diodorus Tarsensis next mentioned, declaring “that the Lord being born, showed himself to the Persians before other nations, that grace and salvation might be given by him to those of the magicians and soothsayers that would;” they are so far from bearing a testimony in behalf of universal redemption, that they plainly limit the grace and salvation of Christ toiv eqelousin, “to them that are willing;” which none are, but such who are made so by the energy and power of special grace.


    Section 23

  9. Gregorius Nazianenus. A.D. 370.

    The passages cited out of Gregory of Nazianzum, by M. Daille, in favor of general redemption, must be acknowledged to be the most pertinent to his purpose of any produced by him, for Gregory not only says, that Christ took away the sin of the whole world; that his sacrifice was the expiation of the whole world; and that a few drops of his blood restored the whole world; but also, that through his sufferings all that partake of Adam, were deceived by the serpent, and died through his sin, without exception, are restored; and that his sacrifice was not for a small part of the world, nor for a little while, but always continues to be an expiation of the whole world; and that he died for the worst of men, for heretics, yea, for Julian the apostate; nay he affirms that Julian had obtained salvation by him; his words are these, “The first Nebuchadnezzar (meaning Julian) afflicted us, who after Christ was mad against Christ, and therefore he hated Christ, oti tij autou seswstw, because he had been saved by him;” though it may be reasonably thought that he should mean no more than that Julian had enjoyed some temporal mercies, some temporal deliverance and salvation by Christ. And in the same way may his other general expressions be understood; and his sense be, that the whole world, and all men in it, yea, the worst of men, receive some temporal advantages, through the sufferings, sacrifice, and death of Christ; for it is certain, that he sometimes represents a special particular set of men as such for whom Christ died. In one place, he brings in the people of God to distress complaining after this manner, “O God, why hast

    thou cast off for ever? thy anger is stirred up against the sheep of thy pasture; remember thy congregation which thou hast possessed from the beginning, hn peripoihsw toiv tou monogenouv Logou sou paqesin, ‘which thou hast purchased by the sufferings of thine only begotten Word,’ to which thou hast vouchsafed thy great covenant, and hast drawn to heaven by a new mystery and the earnest of the Spirit.” And in another place, addressing the priests, he says, “O ye priests, put on righteousness, or to speak more properly, let us put it on; let us not scatter and destroy the sheep of the pasture, uper wn eqhke thn yuchn o poimhn o kalov, ‘for whom the good Shepherd laid down his life; who knows his own, and is known by his own, calls them by name, leads them in, and brings them from unbelief to faith, and from this life to a future rest.” And in an epistle to Basil he has these words, “We speak concerning the church upper hn Cristov apeqanen, ‘for whom Christ died;’ and concerning him that brings and presents the same to God.”


    Section 24

  10. Didumus Alexandrinus. A.D. 370.

Didymus of Alexandria was blind from his childhood, so that he never learned letters, and yet was a perfect master of logic and geometry; he was living in the fourteenth year of Theodosus, A.D. 329, being then above eighty-three years of age; he was the author of many things, and among the rest of a treatise concerning the Holy Spirit, translated into Latin by Jerom; in which he says indeed, that Christ tasted death for all; and that he vouchsafed to come down on earth for the salvation of all; but then he explains these all of the children of God and believers in Christ; for citing Isaiah 63:8, which he thus renders, “He is made salvation to them, that is,” says he, “to them, of whom the, Lord says Are not my people children? And they will not prevaricate; for because they do not prevaricate, nor have despised the Father, he is made salvation to them; or because they are called children, he is made the cause of salvation to them.” And a little after, “He is made the occasion of eternal salvation, cunctis qui in eum credunt, ‘to all that believe in him;’ and he is the Savior of the world, who came to seek what was lost.”

Section 25

26 Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, and brother of Basil, died A.D. 395, or 396, according to Monsieur Daille. There are two volumes of his works extant, in which he sometimes indeed speaks of Christ’s tasting death for every one; of his reconciling the world to himself: and of his giving himself for the life of the world. But inasmuch as these scriptural expressions are capable of being understood in a sense which no ways favors the doctrine of general redemption, so they cannot be thought to hold forth explicitly this writer’s sentiments upon that subject. Besides, in other places he speaks of the sufferings of Christ, and the benefits of them, as belonging to certain persons; for he not only says, that Christ spilled his blood, and endured sufferings, uper hmwn, for us; but also intimates, that all this was for the sake of such as believe in him; for speaking of the cluster of grapes which the spies brought from Canaan, he has these words, “The cluster hanging on the stick, what else was it, but the cluster which in the last days hung upon the tree? ou to aima poton tois pisteuousi gignetai soteriou, whose blood is become a salutary drink to them that believe.” And in another place he represents the church speaking after this manner to Christ, “How should I not love thee, who hast so loved me, though so black, as to lay down thy life, uper twn probatwn, for the sheep which thou feedest? Two passages are cited out of this author by Monsieur Daille, as on the side of the general scheme; the first is this; “The will of God is the salvation of men;” which nobody will gainsay, for certain it is, that it is owing to the good-will of God that any of the sons of men are saved; and no man would be saved God not willing his salvation. The other is this, where he makes Christ to speak thus “Through the first fruits which I have assumed, I bring in myself all human nature to God the Father.” But Gregory, in the place referred to, is showing in what sense Christ is called the first-born, and the first-born from the dead; and observes, that the human nature which he assumed was the first fruits of all human nature, and that in his resurrection he was the first fruits of them that slept; and suggests, that not only the resurrection of Christ is a pledge, but a kind of a representation of the general resurrection; which is what he means when he says, “that Christ brought all human nature in himself to the Father, his human nature being the first fruits of the

whole.” There is another passage in Gregory, which upon first sight may be thought to favor the doctrine of general redemption more than either of these; where he says “that redemption signifies a return from captivity; God gave himself a ransom for those who are held under death by him that has the power of death, and seeing all were in the custody of death, he redeems all from thence by his ransom, so that not one is left under the power of death, after the redemption of every one is made; for it is not possible that any one should be, under the power of death; death itself being no more; wherefore the whole world, according to its situation, being divided into four parts, no part of it remains without the divine redemption;” and yet, I apprehend, he means no more than this, that as all mankind are subject to a corporal death, and are under the power of it, so they shall be delivered from it, or be raised from the dead in virtue of Christ’s ransom; which as a benefit arising from Christ’s death, some allow to all mankind, who yet are not in the general scheme.


Section 26

  1. Pacianus Barcinonensis Vel Barcilonensis.

    A.D. 380.

    Pacianus, bishop of Barcelona in Spain, died in a very advanced age, under the emperor Theodosius, and before A. D. 391. He wrote many little pieces, in one of which stands this passage, produced by M. Daille in favor of universal redemption; “No artificer,” says he, “despises his own works, or thinks with himself, that they are faults which he has made; and hence dost thou think, that Christ suffered for sinners, but that he was unwilling to lose what he hath made?” But he does not say, that Christ died for all sinners, and for all that he has made, but for sinners, who being made by him, he was very unwilling to lose. Besides, he intimates in other places, that they are the spiritual seed and offspring of Christ, the church, and particular persons, who are redeemed by Christ, and whom he justifies and saves. “Adam’s sin” say she, “passed upon the whole kind, as says the apostle, Romans 5:12, and so hath come upon all men, therefore the righteousness of Christ, must needs, in genus transeat, ‘pass upon the kind or offspring; and as he by sin lost his offspring, so Christ by righteousness genus suum omne vivificat, quickens all his own kind or offspring.”

    This the apostle urges in Romans 5:19, 21. Some will say, but the sin of Adam deservedly passed to his posterity, because they were born of him; et nunquid nos a Christo geniti sumus, and are not we born of Christ, that we might be saved for his sake?’ Again, “I will yet,” says he, “speak more plainly; the latter people, the poor, the mean, the humble, and modest soul, the soul delivered by Christ, is an image of the church: hanc venit Dominus salvam facere, ‘ this the Lord came to save,’ this he hath not left in hell; ‘ this is the sheep which is carried on his shoulders.” And in another place, having mentioned

    Romans 5:9, We shall be saved from wrath, adds, “from wrath, indeed, which is due to sinners;” for if he did not suffer the Gentile people to die, multo magis redemptum non patietur extingui, nec objiciet, quos magno redemit, “much more he will not suffer him that is redeemed to be destroyed, nor will he cast away those whom he has redeemed with a great price, for neither is the loss of servants light to him.” I take no notice of Monsieur Daille’s citations from the sermons of Zeno Veronensis, because no mention is made of them by the ancients, they were not extant before A. D. 1508, some things in them cannot agree with the times of the emperor Galienus, under whom Zeno suffered, and, for the major part, are a collection out of divers authors who lived almost two hundred years after his time, and therefore do not come under our consideration.


    Section 27

  2. Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

    Hilary the Deacon, or whoever is the author of the commentaries on the epistles of the apostle Paul, commonly ascribed to Ambrose, has furnished Monsieur Daille with numerous instances, urged by him, in favor of the general scheme; though the most that can be made of them is, that God’s wills that all men should be saved, and that Christ died for all conditionally, sub conditione fidei, “provided they believe,” as appears even from several of the citations made by him out of this writer. And sometimes Hilary expresses the sufficiency of the death and sacrifice of Christ for all; thus, on those words, “any being made perfect,” etc., he makes this note, “It shows what gain is his passion quae omnibus credentibus sufficit ad salutem sempiternam which is sufficient

    for all believers to everlasting salvation.” And in another place, speaking of the offering of Christ once for all, he says, “This offering is once offered up, sed semper potens est abluere omnes credentes, ‘ but is always powerful, or is effectual to wash all believers,’ and all that desire to be cleansed in it.” And certain it is, that this writer thought that there are some who in a special sense are redeemed by Christ, otherwise he would not have said as he does, quotquot redempti sumus, “As many of us as are redeemed, are redeemed by this sacrifice.” He observes, that the word all, signifies sometimes only a part of a people, either all the good or all the bad, and gives instances of it; and adds, semper enim duo populi in una plebe, “for there are always two people in one commonalty.” And elsewhere he affirms, that “all do not obtain grace, nor are all justified by the faith of Christ.” He represents those for whom Christ died, and that share in the benefits of his redemption, to be the children of God, believers in Christ, such as love him, and belong to his body. “He (the apostle) calls God our Father,” he says, “because of the original of things, for from him are all things; but he calls Christ the Lord, because ejus sanguine redempti, ‘being redeemed by his blood,’ we are made the children of God.” Again he says, “Christ is crucified for our sins, that destroying death, credentes sibi liberaret ab ea, he might deliver from it them that believe in him.” Moreover, he observes, that “as to them that love him, redemptio venturus est Christus, Christ is to come as the redemption; so to them who love him not, let him be anathema, that is, let him hate and destroy them.” Once more “As Adam’s sinning,” he says, “found death, and held it, so that all springing from him are dissolved; so likewise Christ not sinning, and hereby conquering death, hath procured life, omnibus qui sant ex ejus corpore, for all who are of that body.”


    Section 28

  3. Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

    Ambrose of Milain is very fruitful of expressions which seem to militate against the doctrine of special and particular redemption. Monsieur Daille has collected a large number of them, which Dr. Whitby has given himself the trouble to number, and says, they are no less than twenty-eight; and I could help them to as many more of the same kind, and yet all of

    them will be but of little service to their cause, when it is observed, that Ambrose, by all for whom Christ died, and whom he redeemed, means all sorts of men, and not every individual: “If,” says he, “it is related of Ulysses, that the binding him fast to the tree, delivered him from danger, how much more must it be said, what is really fact, that is, that today the tree of the cross hath delivered omne genus hominum, ‘ all kind of men,’ from the danger of death.” And a little after, “The Lord Christ hung upon the cross that he might deliver onme, genus hominum, ‘ all kind of men,’ from the shipwreck of the world. And when he says that Christ died for, and redeemed the world, such phrases are easily accounted for, since it is abundantly evident that by the world he frequently means the church. Having mentioned those words in Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein: he adds, “which the Greeks call oikumenhn, because it is inhabited by Christ, as he says, Wherefore I will dwell in them; therefore, what is oikoumenh, the world? nisi sancta ecclesia, but the holy church, the temple of God, and habitation of Christ.” And in another place he says “The church is called both heaven and the world, because it hath saints comparable to angels and archangels; also it hath the greatest part earthly; it is called likewise orbis terrarum, the world, which is founded upon the seas, and prepared upon the rivers. Moreover, as the world (the church) says, Look not upon me, because I am black.” And a little after “Is not the earth the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof? Et vere orbis terrarum in ecclesia,’ and verily the world in the church;’ in which not only Jew, nor Greek, nor Barbarian, nor Scythian, nor bond, nor free, but we are all one in Christ.” Moreover, Ambrose very frequently observes, that it is the church for whom Christ suffered and died, and which is redeemed by his blood. “The domestic Jews, bought with a price,” he says, “are the Gentiles who have believed, quia pretio sanguinis Christi redempta est ecclesia, for by the price of Christ’s blood is the church redeemed.” And in another place he says, ‘Seeing Christ suffered for the church, and the church is the body of Christ, faith does not seem to be exercised on Christ by them (meaning schismatics,) by whom his passion is made void, and his body pulled asunder.” And elsewhere, speaking of the same sort of persons, he says, “They alone are they who would dissolve the grace of

    Christ, who tear in pieces the members of the church propter quam passus est Dominus Jesus, for which the Lord Jesus suffered.” Again he observes, that “by the woman the heavenly mystery is fulfilled, being prefigured in her the grace of the church, propter quam Christus descendit, ‘for which Christ descended,’ and has finished that eternal work of man’s redemption.” Add to all this, that remarkable expression of his, “If Christ,” says he, “died for all, yet he suffered for us inan especial manner; quia pro ecelesia passus est, because he suffered for the church.” Besides, this father makes use of such epithets and descriptive characters, when he is speaking of the persons for whom Christ became incarnate, and whom he redeemed, as can by no means be applied to all the individuals of human nature, such as believers, repenting sinners, Christ’s servants, and his own Christian people; thus he explains those words in Isaiah 9:6, “To us a child is born; nobis qui credimus, ‘to us who believe;’ not to the Jews, who have not believed; to us, not to heretics; to us, not to the Manichees.” On these words, My people shall return hither, he has this note, “What is hither, that is, to me, to my equity and righteousness, and to my worship; and he shall fulfill the day of his life; both which you may so understand, that the people truly shall be redeemed, qui crediderit in eo, which shall believe in him.” And in another place he says, “The cross of the Lord is a precipice to unbelievers, sed vita credentibus, but life to them that believe.” Again, “The cross is a reproach to the perfidious, but to the believer grace, to the believer redemption, to the believer the resurrection; because Christ has suffered for us.” Once more, “Christ is salvation to them that believe, but punishment to unbelievers;” yea, he says, “If thou dost not believe, non descendit tibi, non tibi passus est, he did not come down for thee, he did not suffer for thee.” Elsewhere he observes, that “the passion of the Lord is profitable to all, and gives redemption to sinners, quos flagitii poenituit admissi, who repent of sin committed.” Again he says, “Be not the servant of the serpent, the enemy and the adversary, but serve the Lord alone, who in this own my, hath redeemed thee, quia ipse ipse suorum redemptio servulorum, for he himself is the redemption of his servants.” And was in another place, speaking of the man that healed at the pool of Bethesda, he says, “Then one was cured, not all are healed, or without doubt, unus solus populis Christianus, one Christian people only.” Once more,

    “The Lord Jesus was alone when he redeemed the world, for not a legate, nor a messenger, but the Lord himself alone, saved his own people.” He represents the intercession of the Spirit, and the sufferings of Christ, to be for the same persons: the Spirit intercedes for the saints, because the Spirit maketh intercession

    for us, pro quibus enim Christus passus est, ‘for whom Christ suffered,’ and whom he hath cleansed by his own blood, for them the Spirit intercedes;” which cannot be said of all men. Moreover, he intimates, as though he thought it impossible that any one should be damned for whom Christ die, and whom he has redeemed by his blood; his words are these; “Can he damn thee, quem redemit a morte, whom he has redeemed from death,’ for whom he offered himself, whose life he knows is the reward of his own death?” Moreover, many of his general expressions may be understood of the sufficiency of Christ’s blood to redeem all men; for thus, in one place, he expresses himself concerning Christ; “He is free from all, nor does he give the price of redemption for his own soul, the price of whose blood poterat abundare ad universa mundi totius redimenda peccata, could abound to redeem all the sins of the whole world.” Besides, it may be further observed, that the general benefit which mankind has by the death of Christ Ambrose sometimes explains of the resurrection, though that which is to eternal life he limits to all Christians, who are the body and members of Christ.


    Section 29

  4. Epiphanius. A.D. 390.

    Epiphanius was bishop of Salamis, sometimes called Constance, in Cyprus; he lived to the year 403, and wrote many things in his old age; and the chief of his writings which remain, is a large work against heresies, in which are several expressions that are agreeable to the doctrine of particular redemption; as when he calls in question the redemption of some persons, which he could not well do, if he thought, that all were redeemed by Christ. Thus, speaking of the Arians, he says, “These rash men again introduce some other passages of Scripture, sowing their opinions of damnation against him who has redeemed them, eiper hgorasqhsan if so be they are redeemed.” And elsewhere having mentioned these words, Ye are bought with a price, with the precious blood of Christ,

    a Lamb without spot and without blemish; he adds, “If therefore ye are bought with blood, ouk uparceiv twn hgorasmenwn, thou art not of the number of them that are bought, O Manes, because thou deniest the blood.” Besides, the characters which he sometimes gives of the persons for whom Christ suffered and died, do not agree with all mankind; as when he says, that “He (Christ)in the last days vouchsafed to be in the womb of a virgin, and formed a body for himself, and was truly born, and really became man, that he might suffer in the flesh for us, and gave his life uper twn idiwn probatwn, “for his own sheep.” Again, “He (the devil) has always heard the prophets declaring the coming of Christ, the future redemption of them that had sinned, kai dia Cristou metanountwn, and by Christ repent: and he thought that he himself should obtain some mercy.” Once more, citing those words, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; he makes this observation, “Christ is not the curse, but the dissolution of the curse; a blessing indeed pasi tois eis auton alethos pepisteukasin, “to all that truly believe in him; so he hath redeemed, he does not say, he hath bought.” Monsieur Daillee has cited a single passage from this writer, as countenancing general redemption, where he says, that “Christ first offered up himself, that he might abolish the sacrifices of the Old Testament, by giving a more perfect, and a living one,” for the whole world; which may he very well understood of the Gentiles, since the sacrifices of the Old Testament did not belong to them, but to the Jews only.

    As to what is cited from Asterius Amasenus, who thought, that if Judas the betrayer had not immediately laid violent hands on himself, but had fallen on his knees and asked mercy, he would not have been afar off from those mercies which are shed over the whole world; this does not prove, that he thought that Christ died for all men, nor for Judas; but that he was of opinion, that had he truly repented, he would have a share in. And whereas it is also observed from him, as his sense of the parable of the man that fell among thieves, that it designs all mankind, naked of piety and virtue, and wounded by enemies, whom Moses and others looking upon, could not heal: but when the Samaritan, who is our Savior, came, he administered healing; which may very well be allowed; without supposing healing administered to every individual of human nature, which is not true in fact.


    Section 30

  5. Gaudentius Brixiensis. A.D. 390.

    Gaudentius was made bishop of Brixia, a city of Venice, about A.D. 390, and died after A.D. 407. There are some tracts of his remaining in which are several passages relating to the subject of redemption. In one place he says, “We ought, according to the command of God, first to mortify the lusts of the flesh, and so receive the body of Christ, qui pro nobis servientibus in AEgypto est immolatus, who is sacrificed for us that serve in Egypt.” And elsewhere, “They (the Jews) not only would not receive him, but they crucified him, who therefore notwithstanding bore up the body that was assumed to die, that by rising again, through his own power, he might both show the omnipotence of his majesty; and that by removing and conquering death, vitam credentibus redderet, ‘he might restore life to them that believe,’ and condemn the complete wickedness of the crucifiers.” And in another place, having mentioned Philippians 2:8, he adds, “By a spontaneous humility, with the Father’s will he (Christ) voluntarily bore the Cross, ut mors ejus fieret vita credentibus, that his death might become life to them that believe.” And elsewhere, on John 12:32, he has this note, “To wit, that being lifted up on the cross, omne seculum ad suam fidem vocaturas esset, ‘ he might call every age to faith in himself;’ but that he says, twill draw crania, all things to myself, and not omnes, all men: by this, I think,” says he, “signified quod omnia creaturarum genera, ‘ that all kinds of creatures,’ which were either sacrificed or dedicated to idols, Christ promised should be restored to his blessing, and consecrated to his name.” Monsieur Daille cites two passages from this writer, in the first of which Gaudentius says, that Christ took the flesh of righteous men and sinners of the Virgin, and a body not only of the patriarch and prophets, sed ex totius generis humani massa, “but of the mass of all mankind” which is very true, Christ’s human nature being of the same common lump and mass with, and like to that of others, sin only excepted. But then this writer does not say, that Christ suffered in the flesh, and offered up this body for the whole lump and mass of mankind, and all the individuals of it. True it is, that in the other passage he observes, that Christ died, pro totius mundi peccatis, “for the sins of the whole

    world;” which is no other than the phrase used by the apostle (John 2:2), to which he doubtless refers, which he understands of Gentiles in distinction from Jews, and is the plain and obvious meaning of the apostle. With much more pertinency might be alleged another passage of this writer in favor of particular redemption, where he says, “Let us study to love Christ in the poor, who in all respects loved us; and who, as a good shepherd, laid down his life pro ovibus suis, ‘for his own sheep;’ not only for the sheep, but for his own sheep.”

    Section 31

  6. Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

    Chrysostom often makes use of the apostle’s words, who would have all men to be saved, and drops many general expressions concerning the love of God to men, and his desire of their welfare; which M. Daille has collected together in favor of the general scheme, though there is not a word in them about the death of Christ, and redemption by it. Chrysostom does indeed say elsewhere, that “the sacrifice (of Christ) was offered for the whole nature kai ikane pantes en sosai, and was sufficient to save all.” Which is not denied; but then he immediately observes, that only believers receive any advantage by it; his words are these, oi de to euergesia chresamenoi oi pisteuontes eisi monoi, “but they only enjoy the benefit who believe.” He also says, “The rational lamb is offered for the whole world.” But then he explains the whole world by such men who are purified, are freed from error, and brought to the knowledge of the truth; for he adds, “the same hath purified the whole world, he has freed men from deception, and brought them to the truth.” Indeed on those words, that “he by the grace of God might taste death for all,” he observes that “this is not for believers only, but the whole world, ‘for he died for all: What if all do not believe? He hath fulfilled his part.” And again, on those words, “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” he has this note, Why does he say many and not all? epeide me pantes episteusan, because all do not believe.” For all indeed he died, to save all, as to his part, antirropos gar estin o thanatos ekeinos tes panton apoleias, ‘for that death was equivalent to the destruction of all,’ but he did not bear, or take away the sin of all, because they would not.” In all which, though he seems to intimate that Christ died intentionally to save all, and makes the

    effect of Christ’s death depend on the will of man; yet what he says confirms the distinction so much used in this controversy, that Christ died for all men as to the sufficiency of his death for all, but, not as to the effect of it; for certain it is, that Chrysostom did not think that all Adam’s posterity that sprung from him, and died in him, are quickened, or made alive by Christ, in a spiritual sense; his note on those words, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” is this, “What therefore? tell me, do all die the death of sin in Adam? How then was Noah righteous in his generation? How Abraham? How Job? And how all others? Tell me, “shall all be quickened in Christ?” pos oi eis geennan apagomenoi, ‘how can they be that are led to hell?’ But if this is said of the body, the sense stands good; but if of righteousness and sin, not so.” In some places the characters he gives of those for whom Christ died, are such as cannot agree with all mankind: “if,” says he, “to dig up a church is vile and wicked, much more naon preumatikon, ‘a spiritual temple;’ for man is more venerable than a church, for Christ did not die for walls, alla dia tous naous toutous, but for those temples.” Again, “Dost thou despise anthropou pistou, ‘a believing man,’ who when he was an unbeliever Christ did not despise? What, do I say he did not despise him? Verily, he so loved him, whilst all enemy and deformed, os kai apothanein uper anton, as even to die for him.”

    Upon those words “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” he has this note, toutestin kai tous ex ethno, that is, and those of or from among the Gentiles;” by which it appears that by all, he only understood some. What he says consenting Julian the emperor, seems to favor the doctrine of general redemption most of any thing cited from this writer, as that “he (Julian) turned from and hated his benefactor and Savior, and “who did not spare his only begotten Son, di auton for him.” As for the imperfect work upon Matthew, which bears

    Chrysostom’s name, it is none of his; but is the performance of a much later writer; wherefore what is produced front thence does not come under our consideration.

    As for the passages out of Severianus, cited by Monsieur Daille, the first of them only shows, that the gospel of the kingdom is published to the whole world, and is made useful to all sorts of men, which does not suppose universal redemption; and the other,

    that whereas all human things are fallen, Christ has took upon him all things, and by his grace renews them; which is capable of being understood in such a sense as not at all to favor that doctrine, since it cannot be thought that Christ took upon him more than he renews by his grace, and these are not all men.


    Section 32

  7. Ruffinus Aquileiensis. A.D. 390.

    Ruffinus was presbyter of the church at Aquileia, and died A.D. 410. He translated much out of the Greek into the Latin tongue, as Eusebius’s History, and many of the writings of Origen, of whom he seemed to be a favorer, about which Jerom and he had a sharp contention. Some others of his writings are still extant, as his Invectives against Jerom, and his Exposition of the Creed; in the former of which, besides his saying, that Christ “was made man, and suffered for our salvation, and for our sins,” he has these words; “Christ died for us, and shed his blood for our redemption. Sinners indeed we are, sed de ipsius grege sumus, et inter ejus oviculus numeramur, but we are of his flock, and are reckoned among his sheep.” From whence it appears, that he thought that those for whom Christ shed his blood, though they are sinners, yet are of his flock, and the sheep of his pasture; in the latter of these pieces he thus expresses himself, “ He alone who knew no spot of sin, hath blotted out the sins of all; eorum duntaxat qui sanguine ejus postes suae fidei signassent, of them only who should mark the doors of their faith with his blood.” Monsieur Daille has a passage from this author which he thinks favors the general scheme; in which lie says, “Therefore Jesus is crowned with thorns, that the first sentence of condemnation might be dissolved; he is led to the cross, and upon the tree is hung totius mundi vita, the life of the whole world.” Which character is very true of Christ as the creator of all things, “in whom was life, and that life was the light of men,” of every man that comes into the world; and even of him as a Redeemer and Savior, who gave his flesh for the life of the world, even the whole world of the elect; but not for the life of every individual person in the world: for it is not true in fact that Christ is the life of every man in a spiritual sense; every man is not quickened by him, and therefore this could not be Ruffinus’s meaning. Besides, a little

    after, speaking of the water and blood which came out of Christ’s side, he says, “it brought forth water, quae credentes diluat, ‘that it might wash believers;’ and it brought forth blood, qui condemnat incredulos, that it might condemn unbelievers.” So far, according to him, was Christ or the death of Christ, from being the life of the whole world in that sense.

    Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, was contemporary with Ruffinus and Jerom, the latter of which translated his three paschal books out of Greek into Latin, from whence M. Daille has a citation which he supposes countenances the doctrine of general redemption, and is this “Now also the living Wisdom of God calls us forth to celebrate the holy passover (or Easter) omnes cupiens ejus esse participes, desiring that all might be partakers of it.” That is, of the Lord’s supper, administered at that time; but surely it could never be the meaning of Theophilus, that it was the will of Christ that every individual person should partake of it, only all such as were proper subjects, cunctos Domini timore purgatos, ‘all that were purified in the fear of the Lord;’these were fit to attend such a solemnity, as he himself says in the same book. Monsieur Daille might have picked out a passage more to his purpose than this, as when Theophilus says, “that Christ uniting to himself a whole body, and a whole soul, showed in himself a perfect man, ut perfectam cuntis hominibus in se et per se largiretur salutem, that he might in and by himself give perfect salvation to all men.” But his meaning cannot be, that Christ gives complete salvation to every individual of mankind, for then every man would be saved, which is not true; but that Christ, being perfect man, gives perfect and complete salvation to all men to whom he gives salvation. And it is evident that this early writer was of opinion, that the sufferings and death of Christ could not be made void, and become of no effect, by any sins or transgressions of men whatever; for speaking of Origen, and his notions, “In vain,” says he “he dreams that souls ascend to heaven and descend, and now they go forward, and anon tumble down below, that so they often die through innumerable falls, et Christi passiv irrita fiat, ‘and the sufferings of Christ become void;’ for he who once died for us, aeternam nobis victoriae suae laetitiam dedit, quae nulla pitiorum mole extenuetur, hath given us the everlasting joy of his own victory, which cannot be lessened by any bulk of sins.” Whereas if

    Christ suffered death for all men, and all men are not saved, his sufferings and death must be so far in vain and of no effect.

    Monsieur Daille next cites Synesius, who was ordained bishop of Ptolemais, A. D. 411, by Theophilus of Alexandria, who only says, “that Christ ought to be crucified uper thv apantwn amartiav, for the sin of all.” But whether he means, that it was necessary that Christ should be crucified for the sins of the Gentiles as well as Jews, for the sins of all sorts of men, for the sins of all the elect, or for the sins of every individual of mankind; which latter sense can only serve the cause for which it is brought, is not certain. This author seems to be of a later date than to come within the time proposed to be considered.


    Section 33

  8. Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

Dr. Whitby claims Jerom on his side the question, in proof of which he cites two passages out of him; the first is this, though not as the Doctor has cited and rendered it, which is done very imperfectly. Jerom is speaking of Christ, of whom he says “In no wise either as an ambassador, or as a messenger, but he himself will save them, qui receperunt salutem, who have received salvation,” not by the merit of their works, but by the love of God; for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. But if the prudent reader should with a tacit thought reply, Why are not many saved, if he hath saved them, and loved and spared his sons, and hath redeemed them with his blood, and hath undertook for and exalted them that are assumed? A plain reason is inferred from hence, “But they have not believed, and have provoked his Holy Spirit, or his Holy One; which is called in Hebrew, wçrq, wherefore God was willing to save them that desire, that is, to be saved, and hath provoked them to salvation, that the will might be rewarded, but they would not believe.” The whole paragraph is intricate and perplexed, and the meaning of it not easy to come at for he suggests, that many are not saved whom God has saved, and that God is willing to save all that desire to be saved, and yet they would not believe; things which are hard to be reconciled; and who the sons are God has loved, spared, and redeemed, and who the assumed

ones he has undertook for and exalted, one cannot very well know, unless he means the Jews. Such an obscure passage cannot yield much advantage to any cause. The second is wrongly translated by the Doctor thus, “John Baptist must he when he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world; if there be any yet living for whose sins Christ did not suffer.” Now Jerom in the place referred to is taking notice of the heresy of the Cainites, which he says was then revived, and over turns the whole mystery of Christ; for, adds, he it says, that there are some sins, quae Christus’ non posset purgare sanguine suo, ‘which Christ could not purge away by his blood;’ and that the sears of former sins were so deep, both in bodies and minds, ut medicina illius attenuari non queant, that they cannot be lessened by his medicine.” On which he observes, “What else does this mean, but that Christ died in vain? Si aliquos vivificare non potest, ‘if there are any he could not quicken;’ and then follow the words referred to, “John the Baptist: lies, when pointing out Christ, both by finger and voice, ‘Behold the Lamb of God,’ behold him ‘that taketh away the sins of the world;’ si sunt adhuc in seculo quorum Christus peccata non tulerit, if there are any yet in the world whose sins Christ could not bear.” The plain and obvious sense of his words, in opposition to the heresy of the Cainites, is this, that there are no sins but the blood of Christ can purge away; nor any such wounds made by them but that can heal them; nor any persons dead in sin but he can quicken if he will; nor are there now, nor were there ever in any age, such enormous crimes committed but he could have bore; and who will deny this?

The Doctor next refers us to ten other passages to the same effect, cited from Jerom in Monsieur Daille, whom he always wrongly calls Dally; and he might have said more than ten, but these, as many as they are, only express the will of God to have all men saved, and come to repentance, and the knowledge of the truth; or Christ’s love to mankind, and to a lost world; and his ability, and the sufficiency of the price of his blood to redeem the whole world; all which we own agreeable to the Scriptures of truth; and we will try, if ten or twelve, or more passages, cannot be found in Jerom’s works, in which he either expressly declares, that Christ did not die to redeem all men, or limits his redemption to certain persons, whose characters he gives; as when interpreting these words,

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bring hither the fatted calf, he says, “the fatted calf, qui ad paenitentiae immolatur salutem, ‘ which is sacrificed for the salvation of penitents,’ is the Savior himself, whose flesh we daily feed on, whose blood we drink.” And a little after, mentioning these words, they began to be merry, This feast is daily celebrated, the Father daily receives the Son; semper Christus credentibus immolatur, Christ is always sacrificed for believers.” And elsewhere he says, “Therefore the Lord is crucified, ut et nos qui credimus in eum et paccato mortui sumus, that we who believe in him, and are dead to sin, might be crucified with him.” On those words, Zion shall be redeemed with judgment; he has this note, Non omnes redimentur, nec omnes salvi fient sed reliquiae, “not all shall be redeemed, nor shall all be saved, but the remnant, as is said above;” meaning in Isaiah 1:9.

And in another place, speaking of spiritual Jacob and Israel, whom he makes to be the first church gathered out of the people of the Jews, he says, Let him not fear the persecutors, because he is redeemed by the blood of Christ, who has called him by his name; and because of familiarity, specialiter appellat populum suum, he does in a very special manner call him his people.” And having in another place taken notice of God’s drying up the Red Sea, and causing his people to walk through it, when he drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians, he thus addresses the Lord, “Thou therefore who hast done these things, now also those who are redeemed and delivered by thy blood, return to Zion, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, or to the church, quam tibi tuo sauguine praeparasti, which thou hast prepared ‘for thyself by thine own blood.’ And elsewhere he observes, that “they should be redeemed, qui voluerunt credere, ‘who would believe,’ not with silver and money, but with the precious blood of Christ, that they may hear by the apostles, Grace unto you and peace; for not for our merits, but for the grace and faith of Christ, we are reconciled to God.” He paraphrases those words, As I have sworn that the writers of Noah, etc., thus, “To whom I have sworn, that the flood shall in no wise be brought upon the earth, and my engagement has been hitherto kept, nor shall it ever be made void; so I swear to my church, quam nihi redemi sanguine meo, ‘ which I have redeemed with my blood,’ that I will in no wise be angry with them whom I have mercy on.” And on those words, The Redeemer shall come

to Zion, he has this remark, “The meaning is,” says he, “Christ shall come who shall redeem Zion with his blood. But lest we should think omnem redimi Sion, that all Sion, or every one in Sion, is redeemed, and that she is delivered from her sins, who is defiled with the blood of the Lord, he very significantly adds, his qui redeunt ab iniquitates si voluerint agere paenitentiam,’ to them that return from iniquity, if they would repent;’ in whom our Lord’s prayer is fulfilled, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

And in another place, having cited Matthew 1:21, Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall, save his people from their sins, makes this observation; Qui salvator credentium,”He that is the Savior of believers, is the judge of all, that he may render to every man according to his works; to the righteous rewards, to sinners everlasting punishment; and the Lord and Savior himself, he (the prophet) says, shall call them, or, according to the Hebrew, the apostles and apostolic men shall call them, sanctum populum, et redemptum a Domino, qui redempti sunt Christi sanguine, the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, who are redeemed by the blood of Christ.” And a little after he has this note on the words, The year of my redeemed is come; “The year of my redemption cometh, that at the time in which the adversaries are punished, Dei populus liberaretur, imo redimatur pretioso sanguine agni the people, of God may be delivered, yea, redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb,’ who in the Revelation of John is said to be slain.” Those words in Jonah 2:4, I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice, of thanksgiving, I will pay last I have vowed; which he understands of Christ, he paraphrases in this manner, “I who am devoured, pro salute multorum, ‘for the salvation of many,’ will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of praise and confession, offering myself; for Christ our passover is sacrificed, and as a priest and a sheep he offered himself for us. And I will confess, says he, unto thee, as I before confessed, saying, ‘I confess to thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;’ and I will pay the vows which I have made to the Lord, pro salute omnium, ut omne quod dedisti mihi non pereat in aeternum;’ for the salvation of all, that all which thou hast given me might not perish for ever.” Descanting upon Zephaniah 3:1, which is rendered by the Septuagint, “O illustrious and redeemed city, the dove,” he has

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these words, “The illustrious and redeemed city by the blood of Christ, according to what is said above, is clearly meant the church, which is called a dove, because of the simplicity of the multitude of believers in it.” And a little after, “What is so illustrious as the church which is established in the whole world, so redeemed by the blood of Christ? And a dove, because of the grace of the Holy Spirit, ut ecclesia degentibus congregata, as the church gathered out from among the Gentiles?” His note on those words “And to give his life a ransom for many,” is this “When he took upon him the form of a servant, that he might shed his blood for the world, he does not say, that he gave his life a ransom pro omnibus, sed pro multis, id est pro his qui credere voluerant, for all, but for many, that is, for those who would believe.” Dr. Whitby replies to this citation, by distinguishing between the will of God, that all men should be saved, and the effect of it, which depends on the will of man, in which respect Christ died not for all, but for many; as though the will of God depended on the will of man, and could be without effect; and then cites a passage from this father, to prove, that God saves none without their will; which nobody denies; for God makes his people willing “in the day of his power.” Again; he elsewhere says, “We were by nature children of wrath as others omnes sancti ab ira sanguine Christi redempti sunt, and all the saints are redeemed from wrath by the blood of Christ.” Again he observes, that “without the blood of the Lord Jesus no man can draw nigh to God, because he is our peace; and if Christ is pax credentinm, ‘the peace of believers,’ whoever is without peace consequently hath not Christ.” And elsewhere, speaking of the seal of the Spirit, he says, “He that is sealed so as to keep the seal, and show it in the day of redemption pure and sincere, and in no part damaged, may be able, because of that, to be numbered cum his qui redempti sunt, with them that are redeemed.” And on those words, “the grace of God hath appeared to all men, he has this remark, “There is no difference of free and bond, of Greek and Barbarian, of circumcised and uncircumcised, of men and women, but we are all one in Christ; we are all called to the kingdom of God, we are all after the offense reconciled to our Father, not by our merits, but by the grace of the Saviour; where it is plain, by all men he understands persons of every sex, rank, and condition. And a little after, says he, “Rightly

therefore Christ Jesus our great God and Savior hath redeemed us by his own blood; ut sibi Christianum

populum peculiarum facerit, that he might make for himself a peculiar Christian people.” More passages of the like nature might be produced, but these may suffice.

As for the many citations by Monsieur Daille out of Maximus Tauriensis, I take no notice of, because the sermons from whence they are taken are incertae fide, “of doubtful credit;” and out of them, many things are ascribed to different authors.


CHAPTER 3 OF ORIGINAL SIN

The Impotence of Man’s Free Will and the

Necessity of the Grace of God, To Every Thing That Is Spiritually Good


Introduction

Austin has proved the doctrine of original sin out of the writings of the fathers that were before him, by producing such clear testimonies of theirs that, as Vossius says, “it is very much to be wondered at, that there were any formerly, or any now to be found, who think that this was a device of Austin’s, and would persuade others so; against these,” adds he, “we shall show, that even before the times of Austin, ecclesiam Dei semper in eo conspirasse, “the church of God always agreed in this,’ that we sinned in Adam, in whose loins we were virtually contained, and by that sin deserved a privation of original righteousness, temporal death, and an eternal separation from God.” The testimonies of Vossius, besides those of Austin, together with an addition of many others, will be given under the following Sections in proof of this point. These early writers did indeed say many things incautiously, and without guard, concerning free will, which are not easily reconcilable to other expressions of theirs, to which they were led by the opposition they made to the errors of Valentinians, Basilidians, Marcionites, Manichees, and others, who held two different natures in man; that some were naturally good, and others naturally evil, and either of them could possibly be otherwise. Now it was common with the fathers, that when they set themselves against one error, they generally went into the other extreme; this is observed even of Austin himself, “that when he wrote

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against Arius, he seemed to favor Sabellius; when against Sabellius, Arius; when against Pelagius, the Manichees; when against the Manichees, Pelagius.” Moreover, Vossius has this to say on their behalf, that “those holy martyrs, and other famous doctors, when they ascribe to man freedom to that which is good, either treat only of things natural and moral; or if at any time they speak of works of piety, and such as belong to God, they consider the will of man in common, and indefinitely, not distinguishing what he can do by the strength of nature, and what by the strength of grace, but only attributing that nature to man, by which, before grace, he can do, or not do moral good; and after strength received by race can believe or not believe, do, or omit works of piety; contrary to which were the opinions of the Bardesanists, Manichees, and like. If we interpret the fathers otherwise, adds he, we must not only make them contradict one another, but themselves also. Besides, we shall make it appear in the following Sections, by a variety of testimonies, that they held the weakness and disability of man, without the grace of God, to do any thing that is spiritually good, yea, even that is morally so; and that the will of man is sinful, and the root of sin; and that it is in a state of servitude and bondage to sin, until released by the grace of God: and as to the necessity of the grace of God to the performance of every good action, Vossius asserts and proves what follows, that the Latin writers who were before the times of Pelagius, clearly acknowledged the necessity of grace; both the Africans, as Tertullian, Cyprian, and Arnobias; and the Italians, French, and others, as Lactantius, Hilary, and Ambrose; nor can any one be produced who thought otherwise.” Again, “They who deny that the Greek fathers understood the doctrine of the necessity of grace, do them a very great injury since, they often most plainly assert it. The citations made by him in proof of this, with many others, will be given hereafter. I

conclude with the words of Vincentius Lirinensis: “Whoever,” says he, “before the profane Pelagius, presumed that there was such a power in free will, as to think the grace of God unnecessary to help it through every act in things what are good? Who before his prodigious disciple Caelestius denied, that all mankind are guilty of Adam’s transgression?”


Section 1


1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

Clemens was so far from ascribing vocation, conversion, or sanctification, to the will of man, that he always considers it as the effect and produce of the will of God. His epistle to the Corinthians begins thus, “The church of God which dwells at Rome, to the church of God which dwells at Corinth, kletois egiasmenois en thelemati Theou, ‘to the called and sanctified by the will of God,’ through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He denies that men are called and justified, and come to honor, glory, and greatness, by themselves, or by their own works, but by the will and grace of God; for thus he expresses himself, “All therefore are glorified and magnified, ou di eauton, e ton ergon auton, e tes dikaiopragias, es katargeisantoi, alla dia ton thelematos auton, not by themselves or their own works of righteous actions, which they have wrought out, but by his will;” and we also being called by his will in Christ Jesus are justified, ou di eauton, ou de dia tes emeteras sophias, e suneseos, e eusebeias, e ergon, on kateirgasametha, en osioteti kardias, “‘not by ourselves, nor by our wisdom, or understanding, or piety, or the works which we have done in holiness of heart,’ but by faith by which God Almighty hath justified all from the beginning, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


Section 2

  1. Barnabas. A.D. 70.

    Barnabas in his Epistle has a passage which sets forth the corruption and weakness of the heart of man before the grace of God is implanted, insomuch that it stands in need of being rebuilt, new made, and created again; it runs thus: “How shall the temple be built in the name of the Lord? Learn; before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was phtharton kai asthenes, ‘corrupt and weak,’ as a temple truly built with hands; for it was a house full of idolatry, and idolatry was the house of devils, by doing what was contrary to God. It shall be built in the name of the Lord. Attend, that the temple of the Lord may be built glorious. How? Learn; receiving the remission of sins, and hoping in the name of the Lord, we become new, being created again, as at the beginning.”


    Section 3


  2. Ignatius. A.D. 110.

    Ignatius was no favorer of the doctrine of free will; he ascribes sanctification and illumination to the will of God. His epistle to the Romans is inscribed, “To the church sanctified and enlightened, en qelhmasi Qeou to>u poihsantov ‘by the will of God who does,’” or according to another, tou qelhsantov, “who wills all things which are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ our God and Savior.” He represents repentance as very hard to be obtained, when he warns the members of the church at Smyrna against beasts in the forms of men, and advises them “not to receive them, and if possible, not meet them, only,” says he, “pray for them, if so be they may repent, oper duskolon, ‘which is very difficult; but Jesus Christ, our true life, has the power of this,” that is, of giving repentance. He roundly asserts, that men in a carnal state, have not a power to anything that is spiritual, oi sarkikoi to pneumatika prawein ou dunantai, “They that are carnal,” says he, “cannot do the things that are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual do the things that are carnal, as neither faith the things of unbelief, nor unbelief the things of faith.” He denies Christianity to be the produce of moral suasion, but the effect of divine power; his words are these, Ou peismonhv to ergonallamegeqouv estin o Cristianov, “The Christian is not the work of persuasion but of greatness;” that is, of the exceeding greatness of God’s power, which is wonderfully displayed in making the Christian, in continuing, preserving, and supporting him as such, especially, as he observes, when he is hated by the world.

    Section 4

  3. Justin. A.D. 150.

    Justin Martyr held the doctrine of original sin; he says that “mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; that amartwloi egegoneimen, ‘we are born sinners;’ and that we are entirely flesh, and no good thing dwells in us; he asserts the weakness and disability of men either to understand or perform spiritual things, and denies that man, by the natural sharpness of his wit, can attain to the knowledge of divine things, or by any innate power in him save himself, and procure eternal life.” In one of his treatises, speaking of the doctrines of the Scriptures, he has these words; “Ou de tar phusei onte anthropine ennoia, onto megala kai theia

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    ginoskein anthropois dunaton, ‘for neither by nature, nor by human understanding, is it possible for men to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine;’ but by a free gift descending from heaven upon holy men, who had no need of the art of words, nor of the contentious and vain glorious way of speaking, but to exhibit themselves pure to the energy of the divine Spirit.” And as for himself, he could say, “I do not study to show an apparatus of words by mere art alone, for I have no such power, alla charis para Theou mone eis to sunienai tas graphas auton edothe moi, but grace alone is given to me by God to understand his Scriptures.” He bids Trypho pray that “above all things the gates of light might be opened to him.” for neither are they seen nor known by all, ei me to Theos do sunienai kai o Christos auton, unless God and his Christ give them to understand, them.’” And in another place he says “At that time being convicted by our own works that we were unworthy of life, and manifested that of ourselves, adunaton eiselthein eis ten basileian ton Theou, to duuamei ton Theou dunatoi genethomen, it was impossible to enter into the kingdom of God, by the power of God we might be made able.” And a little after he says, “Having sometime before convinced us to adunaton tea emeteras phuseos ds to tuchein zoes, of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life, hath now shown us the Savior, who is able to save that which otherwise were impossible to be saved.” It must be owned, that Justin in many places asserts the free will of man; but then it is to be observed, that in all those places, even in’ those which Dr. Whitby refers to, in proof of his being an advocate for free will, he speaks of it as men and angels were possessed of it, thn archn “at the beginning of their creation,” when they had full power to do that which is good, and avoid that which is evil; though their natures being mutable were capable both of vice and virtue, and of being turned either way, as the event showed, and which is not denied by us. In like manner are we to understand some passages in Athenagoras and Tatian which the Doctor also refers to, where they ascribe free will to men and angels, when created by God, who has a power of doing good and avoiding evil, which

    clears God from being the author of sin, or being guilty of injustice in punishing of them; for as for Tatian, he clearly asserts the corruption and weakness of human nature; he says, that at the

    beginning there was a spirit which lived familiar with the soul, but when it would not follow it, the spirit left it, but retaining some spark of its power, though because of the separation, that is, from the spirit, ta teleia kathoran me dunamene, ‘ it is not able to behold things that are perfect,’ and seeking, after God, through error feigns many gods; he adds, that the Spirit of God is not with all men, only with such as live uprightly; yea, he plainly intimates, that man through his free will is now become a slave; which is stating in a few words the doctrine of free will, as held by us; for he expressly says, apolesen emas to autezousion, douloi gegonamen oi eleutheroi dia ten amartian emprathemen, “free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become servants, and for our sin are sold.” Theophilus of Antioch also says, that God made man possessed of free will, but then he represents him now as impotent and standing in need of the grace of God: “They that know not God, and do wickedly,” he says, “are like to birds who have wings, but are not able to fly; no such men creep upon the ground, and mind earthly things, katabaroumenoi upo ton amartion, ‘and being pressed down by their sins,’ cannot move upward unto God.” He expresses his sense which he himself had of the need of divine grace, as well as how necessary it was to others to know the truth, and understand the mind and will of God, when he says, ego di aitoumai charin para ton monou Theou, “‘I desire grace from God alone,’ that I may exactly explain the whole truth according to his will; as also that thou, and every one that reads these things, odegetai upo tes aletheias kai tharitos autou, might be guided by his truth and grace.”


    Section 5

  4. Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

    Irenaeus is expressly for the corruption of human nature through the sin of Adam, which he calls antiqua serpentis plaga, “the old plague, blow, or wound of the serpent,” from which men cannot be saved otherwise than by believing in Christ. He says, that “we offended God in the first Adam, not doing his commandment, and which we had transgressed from the beginning;” and that Eve was the cause of death to herself and to all mankind;” and that man “will be justly condemned, because being made rational, amittitm veram rationem, ‘he has lost true reason,’

    and lives irrationally, is contrary to the justice of God, giving himself up to every earthly spirit, and serves all pleasure.” Also he affirms, that “we lost in Adam will to the image and likeness of God.” Now a very considerable part of this lay in man’s free will to that which is good, and therefore this must be lost by sin; and what free will to that which is spiritually good can there be thought to be in man naturally, who, is said by, Irenaeus to be lignum aridum, a dry tree, which cannot bring forth fruit unless the voluntary rain of the Spirit descends from above upon it? The weakness of human nature is proved by this writer from Romans 7:18; his words are these; “who (Christ) saved them, qia per seipsos non habebanti salvari, ‘because they could not be saved by themselves;’” wherefore Paul declaring the infirmity of man, says, “I know that in my flesh dwells no good thing;” signifying that non a nobis sed a Deo est bonum salutis nostrae “not of ourselves, but of God, is the blessing of our salvation.” The inability, yea. the impossibility of attaining to the true knowledge of God, without divine teaching, is plainly asserted by him, when after citing some passages in Isaiah, as, “I am God, and before me there is no Savior,” etc. hesays, “Neither diversely, nor haughtily, nor in a boasting manner, does he say these things, but because impossible erat since Deo discere Deum, ‘it was impossible to learn the knowledge of God without him,’ he teaches men by his Logos, or Word, to know God.” And elsewhere he observes, the bondage state of man by nature, and that immortality and eternal glory are not of himself, but are the pure free gift of God; “Man, says he, “who was before led captive, is taken out of the power of the possessor, according to the mercy of God the Father,” who has pity on his own work, “and restoring it, gives salvation to it by the Word; that is, by Christ; that man may experimentally learn that non a semeteipso, sed donatione Dei accepit incorruptelam, not of himself, but by the gift of God, he receives immortality.” It is true indeed that Irenaeus frequently makes mention of man’s free will, and says, that God made him free from the beginning that all have a power to do good, or not I and, that God still preserves the will of real free, not only in works, but even in believing which passages are produced by Dr. Whitby, and others, and may be reconciled to what Irenaeus elsewhere asserts, by observing, that in some of them he speaks of free will as man was possessed of it when first created and

    in others of the natural liberty of the will, which, in all actions good and bad, is preserved free; and in none does it appear more so than in spiritual actions, and even in believing, in which men are influenced and assisted by the grace of God. Besides, it is one thing to say, that man has a free will to do spiritual actions, to believe, and the like, from the strength of grace given by God; and another thing to say that man has a free will and power to do that which is good, and to believe from the mere strength of nature; the former we allow of, the latter we deny, and which can never be proved to be Irenaeus’ meaning, for that would be to contradict himself.


    Section 6

  5. Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

    Clement of Alexandria, being inclined to the stoic philosophy, it is no wonder that he sometimes speaks of ta ephi’ emin, “the things that are in our power,” and says what seems to favor man’s free will; which passages of his are for this purpose referred to by Dr. Whitby; though it is plain in some places he only speaks of the natural liberty of the will against the Basilidians, and of the power of man to perform the natural and civil actions of life; however, certain it is, that Clement did not hold free will in such a sense, as to set aside the grace of God, and render that useless and unnecessary: yea, he affirms, that free will, without the wings of grace, can neither rise nor fly. In one place he says, “Nor can we obtain the perfection of good without our free choice, nor yet does that wholly lie in our will, such as it shall come to pass, “for by grace we are saved, but notwithout good works.” And in another place he has this observation,

    “Whether the Father himself draws unto him, every one that lives purely, and attains to the understanding of happiness, and of the incorruptible nature; or whether our free will coming to the knowledge of that which is good, skips and leaps over the ditches, as is said in the schools, plen ou chiaritos aneu es exairetou pteroutai te kai anistatai kai ano ton uperkeimenon airetai psuchir, yet the soul cannot rise nor fly, nor be lifted up above the things that are on high, without special grace.” He says indeed elsewhere, “that we are by nature fit for virtue, yet not so as to have it ex genetes, ‘from our birth,’ but we are fit to possess it. His meaning is, I apprehend, that men have a

    capacity, which irrational and inanimate creatures have not, of possessing virtue, and receiving the grace of God, of which they are destitute when born, and so in this respect are not like stocks and stones, that are incapable of such things.


    Section 7

  6. Tertullian. A.D. 200.

    Tertullian appears from many passages in his writings to have understood the doctrine of original sin, both with respect, to the imputation of it to men unto condemnation, and the derivation of a corrupt nature from it; whereby not only man is become filthy and impure, but having lost the image of God, is also impotent to, every thing that, is spiritual and heavenly. We call Satan, says he, “the angel of wickedness, the artificer of every error, the interpolator of every age; by whom man from the beginning being circumvented, so as to transgress the commands of God, was therefore delivered unto death, exinde totum genus de suo semine infectum suae etiam damnationis traducem fecit, hence he has also made the whole kind, or all mankind, which springs from his seed, infected, partaker of his damnation.” And in another place, having mentioned John 3:5, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God; that is, says he, he will not be holy. Ita omnis anima eousque in Adam censetur, donec in Christo recensetur, “every soul is reckoned so long in Adam until it is re- reckoned, or reckoned again, or renewed in Christ; so long unclean, as long as not recounted, sinful indeed because unclean, receiving its own disgrace from its society with the flesh. What crime,” says he, “before that of impatience was committed, is imputed to man?

    He was innocent, the nearest friend to God, and the husbandman of paradise? but when he once gave way to impatience, desinit Deo sapere, desinit caelestia sustinere posse, he ceased to be wise to God, he ceased to be able to bear heavenly things.” There are indeed some passages in this writer which seem to countenance the doctrine of free will, and are alleged by Dr. Whitby on that account; but in these he is to be understood of the natural liberty of the will, which he defended against the Basilidians and Marcionites, and of the power and freedom of the will, about things natural and moral, with which man was at first created,

    wherein lay the image and likeness of God in man; but Tertullian could never think that this is to be found with man now as then, since he affirms that “the image of God was destroyed by the sin of our first parents; ‘and it is abundantly manifest, that this writer so held free will as that he believed it was subject to the grace of God; his words are these, “An evil tree will not yield good fruit, if it is not engrafted; and a good one will’ yield evil fruit, if it is not dressed; and stones will become the children of Abraham, if they are formed into the faith of Abraham; and a generation of vipers will bring forth fruit to repentance, if they spit out the poison of malignity; haec erit vis divinae gratiae potentior utique natura, habens in nobis subjacentem sibi liberam arbitrii, potestagem, quod autexousion dicitur, this will be the power of divine grace, more powerful truly than nature, having free will in us, which goes by the name of autexousion, subject to itself.”

    Section 8

  7. Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

    Origen is called by Jerom, writing against the Pelagians, their Beloved, their Master, the Prince, or author of their error; and says, that their doctrine is Origenis ramusculus, “a sprig of Origen.” It need not therefore bethought strange that there are in his writings passages which smell rank of free will in the grossest sense; and especially since many of his works come to us through the hands of Ruffinus, said to be a friend to the Pelagian scheme; and indeed it is no wonder that Origen himself should be somewhat tainted with principles tending that way, seeing he succeeded Clemenis and Pantaenus, men both addicted to the stoic philosophy, which obtained in their school, whereby the gospel began to be stripped of its native simplicity. However, notwithstanding all this, it is certain that Origen held the doctrine of original sin, and was sensible of the corruption and weakness of human nature, and of the necessity of the grace and help of God to every good work; and that even to have a will to that which is good, is from the Lord. That he understood the doctrine of original sin, and the guilt and pollution of mankind by it, will appear evident from the following instances; “In Adam, as saith the word, all die, and are condemned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression, which the divine word says not so much of some one, as of all mankind—for e ara tou Adam koine panton esti, the

    curse of Adam is common to all.”

    Again, “But if you please to hear what other saints have thought of this birth, hear David, saying, I am conceived in iniquity, and in sin my mother brought me forth; showing, that whatever soul is born in the flesh, iniquitatis et peccati sorde polluitur, is defiled with the filth of sin and iniquity.” These words he elsewhere says, David spoke ex persana omnium nascentium, “in the person of all born of flesh and blood;” and therefore it is said, which we have already mentioned above, “for no man is pure from filth, the same work, “Every one that comes into this world is said to be made in some defilement, wherefore the Scripture says, no man is pure from filth, though his life is but of one day; and this defilement,” he says “is in the mother’s womb, and that in the mother the child is polluted, even in the very conception. In another place, he says, “The first man, Adam, being wickedly persuaded, through the deceit of the serpent, hath declined from the right way of paradise, to the evil and crooked paths of mortal life; wherefore consequently, omnes qui ex ipsius successione in hunc mundum veniunt declinaverunt, “all who come into this world by succession from him have turned aside,’ and are together become unprofitable with him.” And in the same commentary he thus argues, “If Levi, who was born in the fourth generation after Abraham, is said to be in the loins of Abraham, multo magis omnes homines qui in hoc mundo nascuntur, et nati sunt, in lumbis erant Adae, cum adhuc esset in paradiso, ‘ much more were all men, who are born in this world, in the loins of Adam, when he was yet in paradise;’ and all men with him, or in him, were driven out of paradise when he was drove from thence; and by him death, which came to him through his transgression, consequently passed upon them who were reckoned in his loins.” Once more, says he, “if any one considers this body of humility in which we are born, if any one considers this, no man is pure from filth, though his life is but of one day, and his months are numbered; he will see how gegenemetha meta akatharsias, ‘we are born with impurity,’ and the uncircumcision of our heart.” In the same work he has this expression, “In Adam all die, and so the whole world fell, and needs rising, again, that all men be made alive in Christ; the devil, he says, “is called a murderer, not because he killed some one privately, but because he killed all mankind” So elsewhere commenting on these words,

    Through the offense of one death reigned by one; “This” he says, shows, that through sin the kingdom is given to death; nor could it reign many, unless it receives the right of reigning from sin; by which seems to be pointed out, that whereas the soul was created free by God, ipsa se in servitutem redigat per delictum, it could reduce itself into bondage through sin.” Hence he frequently suggests the weakness of human nature, and its insufficiency to do any thing

    that is good, andthe need it stands in of theassistance of God. “Human nature,” he says, “is weak, and that it may be made stronger, divine auxilio inditer, ‘it needs divine help.’ We read, the flesh is weak, therefore, by what help is it to be confirmed? Verily, by the Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak; he that would be stronger ought to be strengthened only by the Spirit. And in another place, “We in our earth (for it was said to Adam, Earth thou art) have need of the strength of God, cwriv de thv dunamewv tov Qeou, ‘for without the power of God’ we are not able to perform those things which are contrary to the wisdom of the flesh.” Again, “What need is there to say, what wisdom do we want to consider the works of Abraham? and what power to do them? h poiav dunamewv deomeqa, ‘what power do we need but Christ’s,’ who is the power of God, and wisdom of God?” He further observes, that “if the branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine, it is evident that the disciples of the word, the intelligible branches, of the true Vine, the Word, ou dunantai pherein tons karpous tes aretes, cannot bear the fruit of virtue, except they abide in the true Vine, the Christ of God;” or, according to another copy, “who is God.” And in the same work he says, “Because ouk autarkes era ciera proairesis, ‘our free will is not sufficient to have a clean heart, but we are in need of God, who creates such an one; therefore it is said by him, who knew how to pray, Create in me a clean heart, O God!” And a little after, “We say, that ouk autarkes e anthropine phusi, ‘human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner,’ and to find him, purely, unless helped by him that is sought. As he will not allow what is done by man to be properly good, and no good thing to be done without God, so he denies that a will to do good is from man, but ascribes it to God; mentioning those words of Christ, If any man will come after me, etc., he makes this observation, “Hereby is shown, that to will to come after Jesus, and follow him, ouk

    apo tou tuchontos andragathematos ginetai, ‘does not arise from any heroic action done by men,’ for no man, not denying himself, can follow Jesus.” And in another place he says, “Not only to will, but also to work, as saith the apostle Paul, ek tou Theos estin, is of God; to work, always following to will well, as its yoke-fellow?’ wherefore this doctrine does not at all discourage diligence and industry, study and endeavor to perform good works in a dependence on divine grace and assistance.


    Section 9

  8. Gregorius Neocaesariensis. A.D. 240.

    Gregory, surnamed Thaumaturgus, the Wonder Worker, from the miracles said to be wrought by him, was born at Neocaesarea of Pontus, of noble and wealthy parents, heathens; he was converted to Christianity under the preaching of Origen, and was afterwards made bishop of the place where he was born; upon his leaving Caesarea he made a panegyric oration to a numerous audience, in the presence of Origen, about A.D. 239 which, and his metaphrase on Ecclesiastes, are the chief writings of his extant, to be depended on as genuine. Could the sermons upon the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, be thought to be his, which go under his name, they would furnish us with two or three testimonies in favor of original sin; but as they are dubious, I shall not transcribe them, but refer the reader to them in the margin, however, he has a passage in his oration which gives some plain hints of original sin, and the sad consequences of it; bewailing his departure from Caesarea, and .leaving Origen, “I know not how,” says he, “through what sufferings, or sinning again, I depart, or am driven hence; what to say I know not, but that as another Adam, out of paradise, I begin to speak—these seem to be sins, thv palaiav apathv, ‘owing to the old deception,’ the punishments arcaiwn ‘of the ancients’ (meaning Adam and Eve) remain still on me; do I not seem again to disobey, daring to transgress the words of God, in which and with which I ought to abide?” He expresses his consciousness of his own weakness, without divine grace and assistance, to attain to any virtue either human or divine, or the knowledge of things spiritual: his words are these; We neither have, nor are we near any virtue, either human or divine; we need much; these are great and high,

    and neither of them can be attained or gotten, otw mh Qeov ge empneoi dunamin, ‘but to whom God inspires power;’ we are not by nature fit nor worthy to enjoy, we still confess.” He observes, in another place, that “they that hear the prophets, thv authv dunamiov dei profhteuosi, ‘have need of the same power with them that prophesy;’ nor can any one hear a prophet, except the same spirit that prophesies gives him an understanding of his words; for there is such an oracle in the holy writings, affirming that he that shuts can only open, and no other.” Gregory ascribes his conversion, which was when he was very young, to a divine power, and not to his own free will; “I first passed,” says he, “to the saying and true word I know not how, katenagkas-menos mallon eiper ekon, forced rather than willing.” And a little after, “Human reason, and the divine reason, or Logos, began together in me, the one helping, to alelecto men emoi, oikeia de auto dunamei, by a power indeed unspeakable to me, but peculiar to him, the other helped.”


    Section 10

  9. Cyprian. A.D. 250.

    Cyprian was a strenuous assertor of original sin, as Austin has proved by a considerable number of testimonies cited from him;he, and not only, but the rest of his colleagues, who were present at the African synod, to the number of sixty-six bishops, affirm, “that a new-born infant has not sinned at all, unless that after Adam, being born in a carnal manner, it has contracted by its first birth the contagion of the ancient death; upon which account it is more easily admitted to receive the remission of sins, because not his own, sed aliena peccata, ‘but another’s sins,’ are remitted to it.” Yea, he asserted that Adam by sinning lost the image and likeness of God, and consequently the moral liberty of the will, which was one part of that image, must be lost, and is what we contend for. The weakness and disability of man is frequently inculcated by him, and that all our strength and power to do that which is good comes from God, who should be applied to for it “Whatsoever,” says he “is grateful, non wrtuti hominis ascribitur, sed de Dei munere praedicatur, ‘ is to be ascribed not to man’s power, but to God’s gift.’ Dei est, inquam, Dei est omne quod possumus, ‘it is God’s, I say, all is God’s that we can do;’ hence we live, hence we excel, etc.” Yea, he says,

    “that in nothing must we glory, quando nostrum nihil sit, since nothing is ours.” For the proof of which he mentions (John 3:27; 1 Cor. 4:7), and “that no man ought to be lifted up with his own works;” which he proves from Luke 17:7-10. And upon those words in the Lord’s prayer, Lead us not into temptation, he makes this remark, “When we pray that we may not come into temptation, admonemur infirmitatis el imbecillitalis nostrae, ‘we are put in mind of our infirmity and weakness, whilst we so pray;” lest any one should insolently lift up himself, lest any one should proudly and arrogantly assume to himself, lest any one should reckon the glory either of confession or suffering his own; when the Lord himself, teaching humility, said, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak. Thus while an humble and low confession goes before, and the whole is ascribed to God, whatsoever is asked in a supplicating manner, with the fear and honor of God, ipsius pietate praestetur, “through his tenderness may be given.” And, says he, in another place, or his contemporary Cornelius, “We not only produce words which come from the holy fountains of the Scriptures, but with these words we join our prayers and vows to the Lord, that he would open both to us and you the treasure of his mysteries, et vires ad implenda qua cognoscimus tribuat, and that he would give strength to fulfill what we know,” Who also in the same treatise observes, “that among these things he had been speaking of, yea, and before them, de divinis castris auxilium petendum est, ‘help is to be asked of God,’ for God only is powerful, who vouchsafes to make men, et plena hominibus auxilia praestare, and to give sufficient helps to men.”

    Cyprian does indeed in one place say, “that the liberty of believing, or not believing, is placed in man’s free will.” Which is very true of the natural liberty of the will, which always continues, whether a man believes or does not believe, since no man believes against his will, or disbelieves contrary to it; but is not true of the moral liberty and power of the will, for no man by the strength of nature, without the grace of God, has a power to believe to the saving of the soul. Nor could this be Cyprian’s meaning, who in the very same tract says, that “nothing is ours.”’ Besides this passage, Doctor Whitby has cited another, from this writer, in favor of man’s free will, in which he observes, that Christ said to his disciple, “Will you

    go away? Preserving the law, by which man being left to his liberty, and put in the power of his own will, desires for himself either death or salvation.” But this is not to be understood, as though Cyprian thought that the real disciples of Christ were in such a situation, and so left to the freedom of their wills, that they might totally and

    finally depart from Christ, for his next words are, “Notwithstanding Peter, upon whom the church was built by the same Lord, speaking, one for all, and answering in the church’s voice, said, Lord, whither should we go, thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and know that thou art the Son of the living God; signifying and showing, that those who depart from Christ perish, through their own fault, but the church which believes in Christ, and which holds that which it hath once known, never at all departs from him, and they are the church who abide in the house of God.”

    Section 11

  10. Arnobius. A.D. 290.

    Arnobius flourished under Dioclesian, taught rhetoric at Sicca in Africa, and was preceptor to Lactantius. He wrote seven books against the Gentiles, which are his only genuine works extant. There is a Commentary upon the Psalms which goes under his name, but is none of his. Bellarmine thinks it was written by Arnobius junior, who lived about the year 445, and after Pelagianism was broached, of which that writer seems to be a favorer, and either to deny, or at least to extenuate original sin; which was far from the true Arnobius, who asserts the corruption of human nature, and the impotence of men to spiritual things. Thus speaking of the prayers and supplications of the Christians to their master Christ, he observes, that “these are not made to him for his sake, but for our profit and advantage; non quia proni ad culpas, et ad libidinis varios appetitus, vitio sumus infirmitatis ingenitae, ‘for because we are prone to faults, and to various lustful desires, and are in the vice of inbred weakness,’ he suffers himself to be always conceived in our thoughts.” And in another place he says, “Natural infirmity makes a man a sinner.” Addressing himself to the heathens, he thus speaks: “You place the salvation of your souls in yourselves, and trust that you may be made gods by your inward endeavor; but truly we promise ourselves

    nothing, de nostra infirmitate, ‘from our weakness,’ looking upon our nature virium esse nullarum, ‘to have no strength,’ and in every strife about matters to be overcome by its own affections; you, as soon as you shall go away being loosed from the members of the body, think ye shall have easy wings by which you can fly to the stars and reach heaven; but we dread such boldness, nee in nostra ducimus esse positum potestate res superas petere, nor do we reckon it is in our power to reach things that are above.” And elsewhere he says, “that the nature of men is blind, neque ullam posse comprehendere veritatem, ‘nor can it comprehend any truth,’ nor find out certainly, and know things that are set before their eyes.” And a little after he observes, that “none but the Almighty God can save souls, nor is there any besides him who can make a long-lived perpetuity, and put a spirit in the room of another, but he who is alone immortal and perpetual, and is not bounded by any circumscription of time.” And a little after, “It is of our High-priest to give salvation to souls, and to put by or in them a spirit of perpetuity” It is true, indeed, he asserts from Plato, that the liberty of the will lies in the power of him that wills, ‘which being understood of the natural liberty of the will, is not denied.


    Section 12

  11. Lactantius. A.D. 320.

    Lactantius embraced and maintained the same doctrine his master Arnobius did; he seems to be very sensible of the proneness of human nature to sin, and of its weakness and frailty, and how many ways it becomes subject to it. “No man,” says he,“can be without sin as long as he is burdened with the clothing of the flesh, whose infirmity is subject three ways to the dominion of sin, by deeds, words, and thoughts; therefore just men, who can restrain themselves from every unjust work, yet sometimes are overcome through frailty itself, that either they say that which is evil in anger, or upon sight of things delightful, lust after them in secret thought.” And to the same effect he says in another place, “There is none who sins not at all, and there are many things which provoke to sin, as age, oppression, want, occasion, reward, adeo subjecta est peccato fragilitas carnis qua induti sumus, ‘the frailty of the flesh with which ye are clothed, is so subject to sin, that unless

    God should spare this necessity, very few, perhaps, would live.” He sometimes represents man as in a state of blindness and darkness, and suggests, that it is impossible he should have a knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things without divine teachings; “We,” says he, “who before as blind men, and as shut up in the prison of folly, sat in darkness, ignorant of God and truth, are enlightened by God, who hath adopted us in his covenant, and being delivered from evil bonds, and brought into the light of wisdom, he hath took into the inheritance of the heavenly kingdom.” And elsewhere he says, that “the mind shut up in earthly bowels, and hindered by the corruption of the body, aut comprehendere per se potest aug capere veritatem nisi aliunde doceater, ‘ can neither by itself comprehend nor receive truth, unless it be taught from some other person:” yea, he expressly says in another place, that “man cannot himself come to this knowledge, nisi doceatur a Deo, ‘unless he is taught of God:’ “ by which he means the knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things; for elsewhere he observes, that “the knowledge of truth, and of heavenly things, non potest esse in homine, nissi Deo docente, percepta, ‘cannot be perceived in man, unless God

    teaches it;’ for if man could understand divine things, he could do them; for to understand is, as it were, to follow them closely; but he cannot do what God can, because he is clothed with a mortal body, therefore neither can he understand what God has done.” There are some things which he denies are in the power of man; “To undertake a thing,” he observes, “is easy, to fulfill is difficult; for when thou committest thyself to a combat and conflict, in arbitrio Dei, non tuo, posita Victoria est, the victory lies in the will of God, not in thine own.” Hence he says in another place, “It is not the part of a wise and good man to will, to strive, and to commit himself to danger, because to overcome, non est in nostra potestate, is not in our power.” The appeasing of conscience and healing the wounds which sin has made in it, are by him ascribed alone to the power and grace of God; his words are these: “It is better therefore either to avoid conscience, or that we should willingly open our minds, and pour out the deadliness thereof through the lanced wound, quibus nemo altus mederi potest, ‘which no other can heal,’ but he alone who has given to the lame to walk, and sight to the blind, hath cleansed spotted members, and hath raised

    the dead; he will extinguish the heat of lust, he will root out unlawful desires, he will draw away envy, he will mitigate anger, he will give true and perpetual soundness.” In one place, indeed, he seems to take too much upon him, and what is beyond the power of a mere man, when he says, “Give me a man that is angry, reproaching, and unruly, with a very few words of God I will make him as quiet as a lamb; give me one greedy, covetous, and tenacious, by and by I will return him to thee liberal, freely giving his money with his own hands, and those full; give me one fearful of pain and death, he shall immediately despise crosses, fires, and Phalaris’s bull; give me one lustful, adulterous, a haunter of stews, you shall presently see him sober, chaste,

    and continent; give me one cruel and thirsting after blood, at once his fury shall be changed into true clemency; give me one unjust, foolish, a sinner, forthwith he shall be just, and prudent, and innocent.” But then all this he ascribes to the power of divine grace attending the word and ordinances of the gospel; “for by one laver,” adds he, “all wickedness shall be abolished, fanta divinae sapientiae vis est, ut in hominis pectus infusa, such is the power of divine wisdom, that being infused into the breast of man, at once, by one effort, it expels folly, the mother of sin; to effect which, there is no need of hire of books or lucubrations; these things are done freely, easily, quickly, so that the ears be open, and the breast thirsts after wisdom.” This he opposes to the maxims, notions, and wisdom of the philosophers, with all the art of moral suasion they were masters of; “their wisdom,” says he, “the most that it can do, can hide vices, but not root them out; but the few precepts of God so change the whole man, and polishing the old man, make the man new, that you cannot know him to be the same.”


    Section 13

  12. Eusebus Caesariensis. A.D. 330.


    Eusebius, as he asserts that man was at first created with a free will, which might be turned to good or evil, which is readily owned, so he signifies, that man’s fall into sin was owing to it, and that through the ill use of it he is not only turned out of the right way, but is become like the beasts that are void of

    reason; his words are these: having spoken of man as constituted lord of all creatures, and possessed of a free will to that which is good, and the contrary, adds: “but he not well using his free will, tea orthes diatrapeis odou, ten enantian ormato, ‘turned out of the right way, and rushed, or was carried, into a contrary one,’ considering neither God nor the Lord, nor things holy nor religious, but like the beasts without reason, attempted all kind of actions fierce and intemperate.” The Madgeburgensian Centuriators cite from this writer the following passage, namely, “The liberty of our will in choosing things that are good is destroyed by the devils,” which has not so clearly occurred to me. The words of Eusebius, which I suppose are referred to, are these: “The devil in his oracles hangs all things upon fate, and talking away that which is in our power, and arises from the self- motion of free Will, anagke de kai touto katadoulosas, ‘brings this also into bondage to necessity.’” Where he seems to have respect not to the fall of man by the temptation of Satan, but to the introduction of the doctrine of fate into the heathen oracles, which is at large confuted by him in the same chapter.


    Section 14

  13. Macarius Egyptus. A.D. 350.

    Macarius frequently assertsthecorruption of human nature, as derived from the sin and disobedience of Adam, and the impotence of it to that which is good: “We have received,” he says, “within ourselves the vitiosity of the affections, ς ς , ‘through the disobedience of the first man,’ which, by custom and much use, is, as it were, become our nature.” And in another place he says, “The whole sinful race of Adam possesses the same condemnation secretly,” meaning that which Cain was under; “for as from one Adam all mankind are multiplied upon the earth, so one certain vitiosity of the affections sits upon the sinful race of men.” Again: “By him (Adam) death hath reigned over every soul, and has destroyed the whole image of Adam, ς ς, ‘through that man’s disobedience;’ so that men were turned aside, and came into the worshipping of devils.” Moreover he observes, that “all that contrariety in things open and secret hath come upon us apo tes parabaseos tou protou anthropou, from the transgression of the first man. He farther observes, that “as Adam transgressing

    received into himself the leaven of the evil of the affections, so by participation they that are born of him, even the whole race of Adam, ekeines tea zumes meteche, partake of that leaven.” Once more, he says, “We are all the children of that dark generation, and all partake of the same evil savor; wherefore the same suffering that that man (Adam) endured, pantes ek tou spermatos Adam ontes, we all, being of the seed of Adam, endure.” And elsewhere he says, that through “the transgression of the first man, wickedness entered into the soul, and darkened it;” hence he affirms, “that the soul has need of the divine lamp, the Holy Spirit, who beautifies the darkened house, and of that bright Sun of righteousness, that arises upon and enlightens the heart.” Nay, he asserts, that “as it is not possible that a fish should live without water, or that any one should walk without feet, or see the light without eyes, or speak without a tongue, or hear without ears; so without the Lord Jesus, kai tea energeias tes theias dunameos, ‘and the energy of divine power,’ it is not possible to know the mysteries and wisdom of God, or to be rich and a Christian.” And, as he elsewhere says, “A soul naked and destitute of the Spirit, and under the hard poverty of sin, ouden dunatai k an thele, it cannot, even though it would,’ bring forth truly any fruit of the spirit of righteousness before it partakes of the Spirit.” Or as he expresses himself in another place: “With out his vessels, that is grace, adunaton tina to Theo diakonesai, ‘it is impossible that any one should serve God,’ that is, be acceptable to him, with respect to his whole will.” Agreeable to which are those words of his “Without that heavenly

    leaven, which is the power of the divine Spirit, it is impossible that a soul should be leavened with the goodness of God, and attain to life.” And a little after: “That soul that thinks to do any thing of itself with care and diligence, relying alone on its own strength, and thinking that it is able by itself, without the cooperation of the Spirit, to perform a perfect work, polu planatai, is greatly mistaken.”

    He observes, that those who have the divine law not written with ink and letters, but planted in hearts of flesh, these having the eyes of the understanding enlightened, and always desiring not a sensible and visible hope, but the invisible and intellectual one, are able to overcome the stumbling-blocks of the evil one; au’ ek tes aettetou dunameos, “but that is by an insuperable power.” They, indeed, who are

    not honored with the word of God, nor instructed in the divine law, being vainly puffed up, think, did tou idiou autexousiou, “by their own free will,” to abolish the occasions of sin, which is condemned by the mystery in the cross only; for the free will which is in the power of man, can resist the devil, but cannot wholly have power over the affections (Ps. 77:1). For if human nature, “without the whole armor of the Holy Spirit,” could “stand against the wiles of the devil,” it could not be said by the apostle, what is in Romans 16:20, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; wherefore we are commanded to pray the Lord, that he would “not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil;” for unless being delivered from the fiery darts of the evil one, dia tes kreittonos boetheias, “by a better help,” we should have the adoption of children vouchsafed to us, we have our conversation in vain, os porro tes dunameos tou Theou tugchanontes, “as being afar off from the power of God.” Then he goes on to exhort to seek the powerful help of God, and represents fallen men as comparable to beasts without understanding, as become through disobedience douloi tes sarkos pathon, “servants to the affections of the flesh.” He sometimes sets forth the case of men by a bird without wings, or having but one; “As,” says he, “a bird that has but one wing, cannot fly with that one; so human nature, if it remains naked by itself, and does not receive the mixture and communication of the heavenly nature, ouden diorthothe, ‘can do nothing aright,’ but continues naked and blamable in its nature, with much filth.” Yea, though a man may have a will, he denies that he has a power; his words are these “As when any one sees a bird fly, he would fly also, but he cannot, because he has no wings; so, though to will is with man, to be pure, unblameable, unspotted, and not to have any evil in him, but to be always with God, to dunasthai de ouk echei, ‘he has not a power;’ he would fly into the divine air, and the liberty of the Holy Spirit, but if he does not receive wings, he cannot; let us therefore beseech God, that he would give us the wings of the dove, the Holy Spirit, that we may fly unto him, and be at rest.” Yea, he represents man as dead, and so incapable of doing any thing unless quickened; “As the body,” says he, “without the soul is dead, and cannot do any thing, so the soul, without the divine Spirit, is dead from the kingdom, nor can it do any of the things of God, aneu tou Pneumatos, without the Spirit.” Also he signifies,

    that “man is so wounded, that it is impossible he should be healed but by the Lord alone, to him only it is possible.” And also, that “it is impossible for any man of himself to deliver himself from contrariety, the error of reasoning, the invisible affections, and the machinations of the evil one.” And elsewhere, having observed, that a man cannot bring forth fruits worthy of the Lord without the wind of the Spirit, and clouds and rains of heaven, he adds; “This is the duty of man, that whether he fasts, or watches, or prays, or does any good thing, that he ascribes all to the Lord; thus saying,

    Unless God had strengthened me, I could not have fasted nor prayed, nor have left the world.”

    There are indeed two passages in this writer, cited and referred to by Dr. Whitby, in favor of free will; though they seem to be leveled against such who held, that some men are by nature good, and others evil, and cannot possibly be otherwise, being under a necessity of nature to be one or the other, a doctrine held by none that I know of. However, it must be owned, that Macarius, in those places, says such things of man’s free will as are not easily reconciled to his many sessions to the contrary which have been produced.


    Section 15

  14. Athanasius. A.D. 350.

    Athanasius held the doctrine of original sin, and the corruption of human nature through it; whereby man is brought into a state of slavery, out of which he cannot recover himself by his own strength, nor restore the image of God lost by sin; he says, that “Adam transgressing, eis pantas, tous anthropous e apate diebe, ‘the deception passed unto all men;’ and that, when man sinned and fell, through his fall all things were disturbed; death reigned from Adam to Christ; the earth was cursed, hell was opened, paradise was shut, heaven was angry, and at length eppthare o anthropos kai apektenothe, man was corrupted and slain.” He observes, that the apostle in the epistle to the Romans shows, that “otherwise there could be no redemption and grace to Israel and to the Gentiles, ei me luthe e archaia amartia, e die tou Adam eis apantas genomene, “unless the old sin which through Adam came to all men was dissolved;’ and that this could not be blotted out but by the Son of God; by

    whom also at the beginning the curse came, for it was not possible that another should loose the offense.” And to the same purpose he says in another place, that “the devil wrought sin from the beginning in the rational and understanding nature of man; for which reason it is impossible for nature, being rational, and willing, and being under the condemnation of death, eauten anakalesasthai eis eleutherian, ‘to restore itself to liberty;’ as saith the apostle, “what the law could not do in that it was weak.” The weakness of human nature is frequently inculcated by him. The re-implantation of the image of God in man, he represents as a thing impossible to be done by either men or angels; his words are these: “It was not proper that those who once partook of the age of God should perish; what therefore was fit for God to do? or, what should be done? but to renew the image again, that hereby man might be able to know him again: but how could this be done, unless the image of God, our Savior Jesus Christ, comes? Di anthropon men gar ouk en dunaton, ‘for by men it was impossible,’ since they were made after his image; nor by angels, for they are no images; hence the Word of God by himself came, that as being the image of the Father, he might ton kat eikona anthropon anaktisai, ‘create man again after his image;’ which could not be, unless death and corruption were made to vanish away.” And elsewhere, explaining those words, that they may be one in us, among other things he says, “This phrase in us is the same as if it was said, that they may be made one by the power of the Father and of the Son; aneu gar Theou touto genesthai aduaton, for without God it is impossible that this can be done.” And a little after he says, dia ten dedomenen emin charin tou Pneumatos, “‘through the grace of the Spirit given unto us,’ we are in him, and he in us; and because he is the Spirit of God who is in us, we likewise having the Spirit are reckoned to be in God; and so God is in us, not indeed as the Son is in the Father;” for the Son does not partake of the Spirit, that thereby he may be in the Father; neither does he receive the Spirit, but rather gives it unto all; nor does the Spirit give the Word to the Father, but rather the Spirit receives from the Word. The Son indeed is in the Father as his own Word, and the brightness of him; we truly without the Spirit are strangers and afar from God, but by participation of the Spirit we are joined to the Deity; so that for us to be in the Father, me emeterou

    einai, “is not ours, or in our power, but the

    Spirit’s, who is in us, and abides in us.” Dr. Whitby cites a single passage from Athanasius, proving, that man has a free will to incline to that which is good, or turn from it; and it must be owned, that he does in the place referred to, and elsewhere, speak of man as autexousios, “endued with free will;” but then he speaks of man as he was at first created by God, and of the power of his will, with respect to natural and civil actions, which he abused to his hurt, being of a moveable, changeable, and flexible nature; and so capable of being turned from that which is good, and inclined to that which is evil, as the event of things showed.

    Section 16

  15. Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

    Hilary of Poictiers says many things concerning original sin, and which show the depravity of human nature, its imbecility to do that which is good, yea, its servitude to sin, and the need it stands in of divine grace and assistance. “Sin,” he says, “the father of our body, unbelief, the mother of the soul, began to be in following generations, ex pecato atque infidelitate primi parentis, ‘from the sin and unbelief of the first parent;’ for from these we took our rise, through the transgression of the first parent.”And in another place, speaking of the parable of the lost sheep, he says, “The one sheep is to be understood of man, and under one man the whole is to be reckoned, sed in unius Adae errore, but in the error of one Adam all mankind went astray.” Again, upon mentioning David’s confession in Psalm 51:5, “Who will boast that he has a pure heart before God? No, not an infant, though but of one day, the original and law of sin remaining in us.” And upon a repetition of the same words he has this note, “He knew that he was born sub peccati origine, et sub peccati lege, under original sin, and under the law of sin.” Hence he represents man as in a state of great ignorance, and as incapable of knowing divine things without divine teachings; “It ought,” says he, “to be a doubt to none, that we must make use of divine doctrines to know divine things; neither can human weakness of itself attain to the knowledge of heavenly things; nor can the sense of corporal things assume to itself the understanding of invisible ones.” In another place, “God cannot be understood unless by God. We must not think of God according to

    human judgment; for neither is there that nature in us ut se in coelestem cognitionem suis viribns efferat, ‘so as that it can, by its own strength, lift up itself ‘to heavenly knowledge.’ From God we must learn what is to be understood of God; for he is not known but by himself, the author.” Again he says, “For the truth of faith, that is, the understanding of God the Father and the Lord, which especially our justification will be proved, quanta opus est nobis Dei gratia, ‘how much of the grace of God do we need,’ that we may think rightly.” Many more passages might be produced to the same purpose. He denies faith to be exnostro arbitro, ‘of our free will;’ and affirms, that “we have no love to God the Father but through believing in the Son.” He frequently suggests the weakness of man to keep the commands of God or to do his will. “Statues,” says he, “are more and different, that is, than commands, and are tempered for the observing of each kind of duties; for the keeping of which, nisi a Deo derigamur, infirmi per naturam nostram erimus, ‘unless we are directed by God, we shall by our nature be infirm;’ therefore we must be helped and directed by his grace, that we may follow the order of the statutes that are commanded.” In another place he says: “The prophet freely ran the way of the Lord, after he began to have his heart enlarged; for he could not run the way of God before he was made a habitation, large and worthy of God.” And elsewhere he observes, that David prays, Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for,” says he,

    “he knew that his nature was weak, and that he could not attempt that path without a guide. And a little after, ‘The prophet refers all to the hands of God,’ whether that the law of statutes may be appointed for him by the Lord, or that understanding may be given him, or that he may be led in the path, or that his heart may be inclined to them testimonies;” wherefore he often intimates, what need we stand in of divine assistance upon these and other accounts, which is far from the notion of the power of free will as maintained by Pelagians and Arminians; yea, he represents man as in a state of bondage and slavery, and his will a servant and not free. “In Peter’s wife’s mother,” says he, “an account may be taken of the vicious affection of unbelief, to which adjoins the liberty of the will. She shall be called unbelief, because until she believed voluntatis suae servitio detinebatur, she was held under the bondage of her

    own will.” And in another place: “The Gentiles are bound in the bonds of their own sins, from which, through infidelity, they cannot loose themselves; according to what is said, the sinner is holden with the cords of his sins.” Once more, citing those words in John 8:34-36, He that committeth sin is the servant of sin, etc., he makes this remark, Therefore we are taken and bound, and serve, not so much in body as in mind;” all which agrees with our sense of free will; though it must be owned, that there are some passages in this writer which cannot well be reconciled to the more frequent expressions of his; two are cited by Dr Whitby and others by Vossius, showing that the beginning of good is from the will of man, and the finishing and perfecting of it from God.


    Section 17

  16. Victorinus Afer. A.D. 365.

    Victorinus represents the state of man by nature as most deplorable and wretched, and clearly expresses the necessity of the Holy Spirit, who he speaks of as the alone sanctifier, from which work of his he takes his name; “because,” says he, “men’s memory of themselves, and of God, is obrutam, overwhelmed or confounded, there is need of the Holy Ghost, if so be that knowledge may come, to understand what is the breadth, etc. — for life was first to be given mortuis per peccata hominibus, ‘to men dead through sins,’ that they might be raised up unto God by faith.” The Spirit of God, he says, “is called the Holy Spirit, quod sanciat, id est sanctos facit, because he makes holy.” And a little after he observes, “that “every one that is baptized, and says he believes, and receives faith, he receives the Spirit of truth, that is, the Holy Spirit, et sanctior fit a Spiritu Sancto, and is made more holy by the Holy Spirit.”


    Section 18

  17. Optatus Milevitanus. A.D. 370.

    Optatus of Mileviowns the original corruption of human nature, when he says, “Every man that is born, although he may be born of Christian parents, sine spiritu immundo esse non possit, ‘cannot be without an unclean spirit,’ which must be excluded and separated from man before the salutary laver,” meaning baptism. He denies that men, or means, or

    ordinances, can of themselves remove the pollution of sin. “The filth and spots of the mind,” says he, “none can wash but he who is the Maker of the mind.” Many other things are observed by him in the same chapter against the Donatists, who he thought took that to themselves which belonged to God. He indeed ascribes the willing of what is good to man, not to a natural man, but to a Christian man: mentioning the words of the apostle (1 John 1:8), “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” he makes this observation: “He that said this wisely reserved himself for the grace of God; for it is of a Christian man to will that which is good, and to run in that which he wins well, but to man it is not given to perfect— for it is ours to win, it is ours to run, it is of God to perfect.”


    Section 19

  18. Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. A.D. 370.

    Cyrill of Jerusalem gives plain intimations of the doctrine of original sin; he observes twice in one place, that the sin of Adam brought death into the world: “The wound of the human nature,” he says, “is very great; from feet to head there is no soundness in it.” He represents man, through the fall of Adam, as “deceived, fallen, blinded, lame; yea, even dead.” And as for free will itself, he says, it is kakon, evil; and they that are holy, are so, ou plusei, “not by nature,” but by participation, and by exercise, and by prayer; yea, he affirms, “that Jesus to thelein charizetai, ‘gives the will,’ and receives the faith, and bestows the gift freely.” Dr. Whitby cites a passage or two from Cyrill in favor of free will, which passages are leveled against the Manichees, who held, that some men are by nature good, and others by nature evil; and that there are two souls in men, one naturally good, the other naturally evil; and that good and evil are respectively done by them through necessity of nature, and not with any freedom of will; and do not militate against our sense of free will, who allow of a liberty of will in all actions good and bad.


    Section 20

  19. Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

    Basil of Caesarea very clearly asserts the doctrine of original sin: “No man,” says he, “can be found pure from filth, though he has been born but one

    day.” Again, “The rose is florid, but it puts shame and sorrow in me; for as often as I see that flower, tea amartias upomimneskomai tes emes, ‘I am put in mind of my sin,’ for which the earth is condemned’ to bring forth thorns and thistles.” And in another place: “I was indeed,” says he, “fair by nature, but am now weak, because I am dead in sin, ex epiboules tou opheos, through the snare of the serpent.” Wherefore, in the same place, he observes, that “beauty may come to the soul, and a power effectually perfective, of those things which are necessary, theias eis touto charitos chrezomen, for this we need divine grace.” Agreeable to this he says, “We may understand those words, “they that trust in their power, and boast of the multitude of their riches,” of the powers of the soul, os ouk autotelous ouses ou di’ autes pros soterian, as being by no means sufficient of themselves to salvation.” And elsewhere he observes, that spiritual and enlightened souls “know how impossible it is, by their own strength, to overcome the stumbling- blocks of the evil one, all’ ek tea aettetou duvameos tou Theou, ‘but by the insuperable power of God;’ but they who are not honored with God’s word, are vainly puffed up,’ and think that, by their own free will, they can make void the occasions of sin, which is abolished only by the mystery of the cross.” And a little after: “Human nature, without the whole armor of the Holy Spirit, cannot resist the wiles of the devil.” As for free will, he says, “the power and liberty of it is the beginning and root of sin.” And in another place he affirms, that “every human soul is subject to ponero tes douleias zugei, ‘to the evil yoke of bondage of the common enemy of all,’ and being deprived of the liberty it had from its Creator, is led captive by sin.”

    Dr. Whitby cites two or three passages from Basil in favor of free will, out of a commentary on Isaiah, ascribed to him; but it is thought by learned men to be none of his, and therefore deserves no regard.


    Section 21

  20. Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

    Gregory of Nazianzum often inculcates the doctrine of original sin in his writings. He represents himself and all mankind as concerned in Adam’s first sin, as ruined by it, and most bitterly laments the wretched consequences of it. He affirms, that the souls of men sinned in Adam; that all men fell by that sin which

    was from the beginning; that we are all from the same earth and mass, and have all tasted of the same tree of wickedness. And of himself he says, “I am fallen from paradise, I am turned again to the earth from whence I was taken, having for delicious fare this one thing, to know my own evils, kai and tes mikras edokes, ‘and for a little pleasure,’ and condemned to sorrow without ceasing, and obliged to war against him who got into my friendship to my hurt, and through tasting, drew me into sin; these are the punishments of sin to me; hence I am born to labor, to live, and die: this is the mother of want, want of covetousness, covetousness of wars.” In another place he says, “I fell wholly, and am condemned ek tes tou protoplas ou parakoes, through the disobedience of him that was first made, and the theft of the adversary.” Elsewhere he cries out, pheu tes e emes atheneias, eme gare tou propatoros, “O my weakness, for that of my first parent is mine; he forgot the commandment which was given him, and was overcome by the bitter taste.” And then he proceeds to enumerate the multitude of evils which spring from this root of bitterness: Beautiful, says he, was the fruit for sight, and good for food, o eme thanatosas, which killed me.” Hence he calls the eating of it, geuthis oulomene, “the destroying taste,” which brought bitter punishment upon him; and the tree, phutonandrophonon, “the man murdering plant;” and laments the heavenly image being destroyed by the sin of the first man. One so sensible of the sad effects of the fall of Adam, could not fail of observing the weakness of man to all that is good, and the necessity of the Spirit and grace of God, and of divine help, to the performance of that which is truly so. “We are all poor,” says he kai tes theias charitos epideeis, “and stand in deed of divine grace.” And in another place he observes, that “such is the grossness of the material body, and imprisoned mind, that me boethoumenon, ‘unless it is helped,’ it cannot otherwise have any understanding of God.” And elsewhere he says, “It is by the Spirit of God only that God is heard, explained, and understood. That no man is spiritual without the Spirit. This, says he, “is my sentiment, oti duslepton men to agathon to anthropine phusei, that which is good is hard to be received by human nature.” He affirms, that “God both gives a capacity to receive, and strength to perform that which is good. That he has two parts therein, the first and the last, and that oude Cristoio dicha brotos ichnos aeimei, ‘without

    Christ a man cannot take one step that way;’ and therefore men should be careful not to ascribe too much to themselves, nor trust in their own strength, though never so wise.” For, as he observes elsewhere upon those words “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy: “There are some who are so lifted up with their good works, as to ascribe all to themselves, and nothing to the Creator and Author of wisdom, and Supplier of good things. These words teach them, oti kai, to boulesthai kalos deitai tes pars Theou boetheias, ‘that to will rightly, requires help from God;’ or rather, the choosing itself of things needful is something divine, and is a gift of God’s good-will to man for salvation, and ought to be both in us and of God: therefore he saith, it is not of him that willeth,

    that is, not only of him that willeth, “nor of him that runneth only, but of God that showeth mercy; so because to boulethai para Theon, ‘to will is from God,’ he rightly ascribes all unto him; for if thou runnest and strivest never so much, thou standest in need of him who gives the crown, according to Psalm 127:1.” In which passage may be observed, that he asserts not only that divine assistance, is requisite to a man’s willing that which is good, but that the will itself is of God. Gregory does indeed assert free will in man, as he was at first created by God, and continued in a state of innocence; but at the same time gives plain intimations, that man’s free-will is now, through transgression, in a state of servitude. “Liberty and riches,” says he, “were, or lay in the sole keeping of the commandments; and on the contrary, the transgressions of it is real poverty, kai douleia, and slavery.”


    Section 22

  21. Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

    Gregory of Nyssa, frequently speaks of the corruption and weakness of human nature. He asserts, that man is born in sin; that the image of God is lost in man; that that which is good choran ouk echen, “hath no place in him;” and that human nature, being in wickedness through sin, apokekritai tes kurias tou agathou kleseos, “is exempted from the proper appellation of good,” or does not deserve the name of good; yea, so faulty is it, that it cannot understand exactly what is naturally good, and what through deceit supposed to be so. He owns, that

    man’s free will was originally good, and the gift of God, but that it is the instrument of sin; yea, the last of evils. Moreover he says, that “man has changed ten poneran tes amartias douleian and tes autexou siou eleutherias, ‘ and has, instead of the freedom of the will, the wicked and base slavery of sin;’ and has chose rather to be under the tyranny of a corrupting power, than to be with God.” Nay, he says, “that he who was without lord and master, and of his own free will, nun upo toiouton kai tosouton kakon kurieutai, ‘is now lorded over by such and so many evils,’ as it is not easy to number our tyrants. Hence he observes the impotency of man, and the necessity of the Spirit and grace of God. On Song of Solomon 1:2, he has this note: “In what follows, the soul, the bride, touches a more sublime philosophy, showing to aprositon to kai achoreton logismois anthropinois tes theias dunameos, ‘that divine virtue is not to be come at and comprehended by human reasonings,’ when she says, ‘Thy name is as ointment poured forth.’” And in another place he says, that “the power of human virtue ouk exarkei kath’ eauten, not sufficient of itself to raise up souls destitute of grace to a form of life.” Yea, he observes, “that such mischievous evils, and so difficult of cure, are hid in the souls of men, oste me dunaton einai dia mones tes anthropines apoudes kai aretes, as that it is not possible, by mere human industry and virtue, to wear them out, and remove them, unless one receives the helping power of the Spirit.” And a little after, “The tempter lays many snares for the soul, and human nature is in so bad a condition in itself, that it cannot get the victory of him.” He argues the weakness of human nature, and the necessity, of divine grace and assistance, from the several petitions in the Lord’s Prayer; “What,” says he, “does that petition mean, Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come? but this, oti asthenes esti pros agathou tinos ktesin e anthropine phusis, ‘that human nature is weak to procure any thing that is good;’ and therefore none of the things that we are seeking diligently after befall us, unless the divine help works that which is good in us.” And a little after, “He that says in prayer, hal1owed be thy name, prays thus, genoimen to sunergeia tes ses boetheias, ‘O that I might by thine help and assistance,’ be unblameable righteous, godly, abstaining from every evil work, speaking truth, working righteousness etc.; for God cannot otherwise be glorified by man, unless his

    virtue witness, that the cause of good things is through the divine power.” Then he goes on to set forth the wretched condition that human nature is in by reason of sin, and adds, “Well do we pray, that the kingdom of God may come upon us; for we cannot otherwise put off the wretched government of corruption, unless the quickening power takes the dominion over us.” Again, on that petition, Thy will be done, he asks, “Why do we pray, that we may have a good will from God? Oti asthenes e anthropine phusis pros to agathon estin, because human nature is weak to that which is good.” And a little after he observes, that “there is in us such a bias to that which is evil, that we have no need of an assistant, seeing wickedness perfects itself of its own accord in our will; but if the inclination is made to that which is better, tou Theou chreia ten epithumian eis ergon agontos, ‘we have need of God to bring the desire into action.’ Therefore we say, because thy will is temperance, but I am carnal, sold under sin, “by thy power form aright this good will in me; the same of righteousness, godliness, the alienation of the affections. And yet after all this it cannot be denied, that Gregory drops several expressions which seem to favor free will; and among others of the like nature, that is said by him, which is cited by Dr. Whitby, that “it is in men’s power to be the children of the day, or of the night; and that they are the children of God by virtue, and of the enemy by vice; which must be reckoned among his unguarded expressions, in which he carries the power of man’s free will too far; unless the patrons of that doctrine can reconcile them to the numerous testimonies to the contrary produced here and elsewhere. To which may be added, that prayer of his at the close of one of his treatises; “The Lord give us power, eis to ekklinein apo kakon, kai poiein agathon, ‘to decline from evil, and to do that which is good,’ through the grace and philanthropy of the Lord and God, and our Savior Jesus Christ.”


    Section 23

  22. Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

    HilarytheDeacon,ortheauthoroftheCommentaries on the Epistles of the apostle Paul; formerly thought to be Ambrose’s, very plainly asserts the doctrine of original sin, the impotency of man to fulfill the law, or do that which is spiritually good, and the necessity of divine grace. “It is manifest,” says he, “that in Adam

    all sinned; quasi in massa, ‘as in the lump;’for he being corrupted by sin, all whom he begat are born under sin; wherefore from him we are all sinners, because we are all of him.” Again: “It is right and plain, that we ought not to obey the invention of Adam, who acted carnally, and who first sinning hath left death unto us, haereditatis titulo, by way of inheritance.” Likewise speaking of sin, being condemned by the cross of Christ; hence, says he, “The authority as it were of sin was taken away, by which it held men in hell propter delictum Adae, for the sin of Adam.” And elsewhere, to the same effect: “Being delivered from a state of darkness, that is, pulled out of hell, in which we were held by ‘the devil, tam ex proprio quam ex delicto Adae, ‘both for our own and the sin of Adam,’ who is the father of all sinners, we are translated by faith into the heavenly kingdom of the Son of God.’ Once more, “Adam,” Says he, “sold himself first, and hereby his seed are subject to sin, wherefore man is weak to keep the commands of the law, nisi divines auxilius muniatur, ‘unless he is fortified by divine aids;’ hence it is,” he says, “the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin; that is, the law is firm and just, and without fault, but man is frail, and subjected by his father’s sin; so that he cannot use his power in obeying the law, and therefore must fly to the mercy of God to escape the severity of the law. And a little after “What is commanded by the law is pleasing, and there is will to do, but power and strength are wanting to fulfill; because man is so pressed with the power of sin that he cannot go where he would, nor can he gainsay, because another is master of his power.” And a little farther: “It was impossible for us to fulfill the law, because we were subject to sin.”


    Section 24

  23. Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

    Ambrose of Milain abounds with testimonies to the doctrine of original sin, and the depravity and weakness of human nature: “We have all,” says he, “sinned in the first man, and through a succession of nature, a succession also of the fault is transfused from one to all. Adam is in each of us, for in him human nature failed, because through one sin passed upon all.” Again “The species of mankind may be considered in one: Adam was, and in him all were; Adam perished, et in illo omnes perierunt, and in him

    all have perished.” And in another place he says, “All men are born under sin, quorum ipso ortis in vitio est, whose very beginning itself is in sin, according to Psalm 51:5.” And elsewhere he thus expresses himself: “I am fallen in Adam, I am cast out of paradise in Adam, am dead in Adam; how could he call me back, unless he had found me in Adam, as obnoxious to fault in him? A debt to death, so justified in Christ.” Once more, says he, “We are all begotten in bondage. Why dost thou assume the arrogance of liberty in a servile condition? Why dost thou usurp the titles of nobility, O servile inheritance. Thou knowest not that the fault of Adam and Eve has bound thee to servitude.” Yea, he says,antequam nascamur maculamur contagio, “‘before we were born we are spotted with the infection;’ and before the use of light we receive the injury of its original; we are conceived in iniquity;” with more that follows to the same purpose. It would be too tedious to transcribe all the passages of this father which speak of this doctrine; I shall therefore refer the learned reader to the places in the margin, which he may consult at his leisure. Hence he frequently inculcates the inability of man to do any good thing of himself, and the necessity of divine grace and assistance. “We often talk,” says he, “of avoiding this world; I wish the affection was as cautious and careful as the talk is easy; but what is worse frequently the allurement of earthly lust creeps in, and a flood of vanities seizes the mind, that what you study to shun, that you think of, and roll over in your heart; which to beware of is difficult to men, to put off, impossible. Moreover, that this is a matter rather of wish than affection, the prophet testifies, saying, Incline my heart to thy testimonies, and not unto covetousness: Non enim in potestate nostra est cor nostrum, ‘for our heart is not in our own power.’ Who is so happy as always in his cart to ascend? But how can this be without divine help? Truly by no means, according to Psalm 84:5.” Again: “Who can ascend from earthly things to heavenly, from the shadow to, clearness, from the exemplar to the inner chambers of truth, by human steps, sine divino ductu, without divine guidance?” And in another place he says, “Because human nature without divine aid is weak, it requires God a helper to heal it.” Elsewhere he says, “Neither can any say, that man can procure more for himself than what is bestowed upon him by a divine gift.” Having mentioned the complaint and

    conduct of the apostle Paul, in Romans 7:23-25, he makes this observation, “that if he that was stronger did not commit himself to his own strength, that he might escape the body of death, but sought help from Christ, quid nos facere oportet infirmiores, what should we do who are more infirm?” He ascribes men’s having a will to that which is good, and the beginning of every good action, unto God. “He that follows Christ,” he observes,” “being asked why he should be a Christian, may answer, it seemed good to me; which, when he says, he does not deny that it seemed good to God; a Deo enim preparatur voluntas hominum, ‘for the will of men is prepared by God;’ for that God is honored by a saint is owing to the grace of God.” Again: “you see that everywhere the power of God cooperates with human endeavors; no man can build any thing without the Lord; nemo quidquam incipere sine Domino, no man can begin, any thing without the Lord.” As for man in a state of unregeneracy, Ambrose was so far from supposing that he has a free will to that which is good, that he represents him in a state of bondage and slavery; “The soul.” says he, “is fastened as with nails to corporal pleasures, and when it is once immersed in earthly lusts, it sticks fast, so that it is difficult, to fly back on high, front whence it descends, sine favore Dei, without the grace of God.” Again: “Every passion is servile, for he that commits sin is the servant of sin; and what is worse, multorum servus est, ‘he is the servant of many;’ he that is subject to vices has given himself up to many lords, so that he can scarcely come out of the service.” Once more: “He that is in sin cannot be said to be free, but a servant, whom the grievous bonds of sin hold.” I do not remember that either Vossius or Dr. Whitby has either produced or referred to one single passage in this father in favor of free will.


    Section 25

  24. Epiphanius. A.D. 390.

    Epiphanius does indeed assert a free will in man, and argues for it, against the pharisaical fate, and destiny of men by birth, owing to the stars; which is equally denied by us in a passage Dr. Whitby has cited or referred to no less than three times; yet he affirms that man is wholly under the power of sin and, in a state of nature, weak, yea, dead. “Our life,”

    says he “came, and again showed light unto us, when he found us wandering; for we were immersed in pride and blasphemies, by the images of idols, and impieties of spirits, kakon panton epitagian, under the government of all evils.” And a little after, mentioning those words, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” he adds, “Therefore when ego ethenoun dia tes sarkos, ‘I was weak through the flesh,’ a Savior was sent to me in the likeness of sinful flesh, fulfilling such a dispensation, that he might redeem me from bondage, from corruption, from death.” And a little further: “As many as are accounted to death, these are called natural or carnal; wherefore he commands us to reject the works of the flesh, as being the munitions of sin, and mortify the members of death by his grace, and receive the Holy Spirit, which he had not, to zoopoioun eme ton palai tethnekota, ‘who quickens me that was formerly dead,’ whom if I had not received I should have died; dicha gar Pneumatos autou pas nekros, for without his Spirit every one is dead.”


    Section 26

  25. Marcus Eremits. A.D. 390.

    Mark the Eremite acknowledges, that all mankind are guilty of Adam’s sin, and under condemnation on the account of it; that they cannot of themselves remove that or any other sin from themselves, or do anything that is good, being dead in sin; and that, notwithstanding their free will, they are as brutish as the beasts of the field. “Let us suppose,” says he, “that some are found free from these things, and as soon as born are strangers to all vice, which indeed cannot be, since Paul says, we have all sinned, etc. Yet though they were such, nevertheless they have their original from Adam, cuncti que peccato transgressionis fuerunt ideoque capitali sententia condemnati, ‘and have been all guilty of the sin of transgression, and so condemned by a sentence of death;’ insomuch at without Christ they cannot be saved.” “Wherefore,” as he elsewhere observes, we must not think that Adae peccatura certaminibus amputandum posse, ‘the sin of Adam can be removed by our strivings;’ nor even our own sins, which befall us after baptism, unless by Christ; for how could we, who were dead in sins, a nobis ipsis bond quipplato agere, ‘do any good thing of ourselves, unless the Lord had quickened us by the

    laver of regeneration, and had bestowed upon us the grace of the Holy Spirit?” Again, says he, “Let none of those who study virtue, think, se suapte duntaxat facultate boni quippiam fecisse, ‘that they have, by their own power alone, done any good thing;’ ‘for a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things;’ “where he calls the Holy Spirit hid in the heart of believers a treasure. This writer does indeed in some places speak of man as endued with free will, ‘and yet, notwithstanding this his opinion of him was, that he was sunk below the beasts of the field. “We,” says he, “who are adorned with free will above all animals, are more savage than wild beasts and appear less rational than the brutes.”


    Section 27

  26. Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

    Chrysostom, though, he has been thought too much to favor the Pelagian scheme, yet clearly asserts the condemnation of all mankind for Adam’s sin; the corruption and weakness of human nature; the slavery man is in by sin, and the necessity of divine grace to his, deliverance. “If,” says he, “a Jew should say to thee, How can the world be saved through one Christ doing well? you may reply to him, Pos enos parakousantos tou Adam e oikoumene katekrithe, ‘How could the world be condemned through one Adam sinning?” Again: “What is the meaning of that, in whom all have sinned? he falling, they also who do not eat of the tree, gegonasin ex ekeinou pantes thnetoi, all become mortal through him.” Some have observed, that Chrysostom’s sense of original sin was this, that our bodies only are become by it, but that our souls receive no on account of it; but the contrary by what follows, “for along with death” he says, kai o ton pathos epeitelthen ochthos, ‘a multitude of affections also entered in; for when the body became mortal, it necessarily received lust, anger, grief, and all the rest.” And in another place he observes, “that before the coming of Christ, our body was easily overcome by sin; for with death, kai polus pathon epeiselthen esmos, likewise a vast swarm of the affections came in;’ wherefore neither was it very light to run the race of virtue, neither was the Spirit present to help, nor baptism, which is able to mortify; all’ osper tis ippos duoenios, but ‘as an unbridled horse,’ it ran, and frequently went astray; the law indeed showing, what

    was to be done, and what not, but brought in nothing besides a verbal exhortation to them that strove; but after Christ came, the combats were made more easy; wherefore greater ones are set before ,us, as being partakers of greater help.” Once more “When Adam sinned, his body became mortal and passible, and received many natural vices; kai baruteros kai dusenios o ippos kateste, ‘and the horse became more heavy and unbridled;’ but when Christ came, he made it lighter for us by baptism; en to ptero diegeiron tou Pneumatos, raising it up with the wings of the Spirit.” Moreover he says, when sin entered, elumenato ten eleutherian, “it destroyed the freedom and corrupted the privilege of nature, which was given, kai ten douleian epeisegagen, and introduced slavery.” And in another place, “We ourselves were weak, but by grace are made strong.” “Nor is it of human strength,” says he, “that we are delivered from all these things, but the grace of God, who will and can do such things. And that you may know that it is not from their good will alone, alla kai tes tou Theou charitos to pan gegonen, ‘but that the whole is done by the grace of God;’ he says, ‘ Ye have obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine into which ye were delivered;’ for obedience from the heart shows free will; and to be delivered, ten tou Theou boetheian ainittetai, intimates the help of God.” And though he frequently asserts free will, yet, such as it is after the grace of God is bestowed; “he has left,” says he, “all in our free will, peta ten anothen charin, after the grace which is from above.” And elsewhere he asserts, that all evil things are from our will only, and all good things, from our will, kai tes autouropes, “and his impulse.” Chrysostom has indeed been blamed by many writers, both Papists and Protestants, for too highly extolling the power of man’s free will; and particularly our Bradwardine not only says, that he approached near Pelagius, but said the same he does: and it must be owned, that there are many of his expressions which look this way, some of which Dr. Whitby has cited, and more might be; but then, as Vossius observes, it should be considered, that when he extols the power of man, he does not speak of it as without, but with and under the grace of God; and it is worthy of notice, that the same writer remarks, ‘that when Chrysostom, being in exile, and near to his death, heard of Pelagius’ fall into error, he lamented it in these words: “I am exceedingly grieved for Pelagius the monk: consider therefore

    what account they are worthy of, who bravely stand, when men who have lived with so much exercise and constancy appear to be so drawn away.”


    Section 28

  27. Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

Jerom asserted the doctrine of original sin, which not only appears from his saying, that “all men transgressed in paradise, are obnoxious to the sin and punishment of offending Adam, and fell with him from paradise into the captivity of this world:” but from that famous passage of his, in which he has put together many of the principal texts of Scripture we make use of in proof of this doctrine; upon which account, and especially for the sake of his sense in Psalm 51:5, I shall transcribe it at large. His words are these; “The world lies in wickedness, ‘and the heart of man from his youth is bent to that which is evil; nor is the human state without sin one day, from the beginning of its birth; hence David confesses in the Psalms, “Behold, I am conceived in iniquities, and in sins my mother conceived me;” non in iniquitatibus matris meae, vel certe meis, sed in iniquitatibus humane conditionis, ‘not in the iniquities of my mother, or truly in my own, but in the iniquities of the human condition.’ Hence the apostle says, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses; even over them that sinned not after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” The weakness of man to fulfill the law he proves thus, “For that no man can fulfill the law, and do all the things which are commanded, the apostle elsewhere testifies, saying, “For what the law could not do,” etc. On those words, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron,” etc., he has this note, “If this be so, where is that, that the doting old woman (meaning Pelagius) devises, that a man may be without sin, if he will; and that the commands of God are easy?” And elsewhere directing himself to Pelagius, “You say,” says he, “that the commands of God are easy, and yet you cannot produce one man that has fulfilled them all; answer me, are they easy or difficult? If easy, produce the man that has fulfilled them; if difficult, how durst thou say, the commands of God are easy, which no man has fulfilled?” Yea, he affirms, that man can do nothing that is good of himself; “Man,” says he, “from the beginning of his creation, makes use of God as his helper; and seeing it is of his grace that he is created,

and of his mercy that he subsists and lives, nihil boni operis agere potest absque eo, ‘ he can do no good work without him;’ who hath so given free will, that he may not deny his own grace in every work; lest the liberty of the will should redound to the injury of the Creator, and to the hardening of him who is so made free, that without God he knows that he is nothing.” And elsewhere he observes, that “without the Holy Ghost there is no strength;” that is, to do any thing that is good. Moreover over he declares, that “this is the chief righteousness of man, to reckon that what soever power he can have, non suum esse, se, Dominiqui largitus est, ‘ is not his own, but the Lord’s who gives it.’” Yea, he pronounces the man “accursed, who not only puts his hope in man, but him that makes flesh his arm, that is, his own strength and whatsoever he does, non Domini clementiae, sed suae putaverit esse virtutis, does not think it is owing to the clemency of the Lord, but to his own power.” He denies that the understanding of the Scripture, and utterance to declare the mind of God, are in the power of man, “for,” says he, “unless all things which are written were opened by him, who has the key of David, “who opens, and no man shuts; who shuts, and no man opens;” nullo alio reserente pan dentur, “they could be opened by no other.’ And in another place he says, “The opening of the mouth, is not in the power of man, but of God; as Paul says, “A great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries; wherefore God is called he that opens.” The whole work of conversion, repentance, and spiritual knowledge, is clearly ascribed by him to the power of God, and not man. He represents man as being much in the same case the poor woman was, whom Satan had bound eighteen years, so that she could not look up to heaven, but always on the earth: so man is bound down, et se erigere non possit, “and cannot raise himself up, because he is bound by the devil.” On these words, “I will give them an heart to know me,” he makes this remark: “This is like to that of the apostle, “God is he that worketh in you both to will and to do;” for not only our works, but our will, Dei nitatur auxilio, depends upon the help of God.” And on those words, “Turn thou me, and I shall be turned,” he has this note; “We cannot fulfill this, that we repent, unless we lean on the help of God; for after thou shalt convert me, and I shall be converted unto thee, then shall I know that thou art the Lord

my God, and that my errors and sins shall not slay me; vide quantum sit auxilium Dei, et quam fragilis humana conditio, ‘see how great is the help of God, and how frail the condition of man;’ that we cannot by any means fulfill this, that we repent, unless the Lord first convert us.” And in another place having cited John 6:44, he thus descants upon it; “When he says, no man can come to me, he breaks the proud liberty of free will; for if ever he would come to Christ unless that is done which follows, “except my heavenly Father draw him; nee quicquam cupiat, et frustra nitatur, he can desire nothing, and in vain he endeavors.” And on these words, which he thus reads, “I will give them thought and sense: that they may know me,” he argues “If thought and sense are given by God, and the understanding of the Lord spring from him who is to be known, ubi est liberi arbitrii tantum superba jactatio, where is the proud boasting of free will?” And having mentioned Psalm 77:10, which he renders thus; “Now have I

begun; this is the change of the right hand of the Most High;’ makes this remark upon it, “It is the language of a righteous man, who after meditation in sleep, and distress of conscience, at last says, Now have I begun either to repent or to enter into the light of knowledge; and this change from good to better, non mearum virium sed dexterae et potentiae Dei est, ‘is not owing to my own strength, but to the right hand and power of God.” He frequently argues against the power of free will, from this consideration, that upon a supposition of this there is no need of prayer, “for,” says he, “if only the grace of God lies in this, that he hath made us endued with free will, with which we are content, nor do any longer stand in need of his help, lest if we should, our free will would be destroyed; ‘ then we ought by no means to pray any longer,’ and thereby engage the goodness of God, that we may daily receive, what, being once received, is in our power; for we pray in vain,” adds he, “if it is in our will to do what we will. Why should men pray for that from the Lord, which they have in the power of their own free will?” He farther argues against the power of free will from the grace of God, and the help and assistance which he affords to man; “Where,” says he, “there is grace, there is no reward of works, but the free gift of the donor; that the saying of the apostle may be fulfilled, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy;”

and yet to will and nill is ours, but that which is ours, is not ours, sine Dei miseratione, without the mercy of God.” And elsewhere he observes, that “where there is grace and mercy, free will in part ceases: it is only by that we win, desire, and give an assent to things that are liked; but it is in the power of the Lord, that that which we desire, labor for, and endeavor after, we are able to fulfill, illius ope et auxilio, by his help and assistance.” And in another place he says, “If not one, nor few, nor many, but all, are governed by their own will, ubi erit auxilium Dei, ‘ where will be the help of God?” Then how did you explain Psalm 37:23; Jeremiah 10:23; John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 4:7, etc.?” And again, he asks, “Where are they that say, that man may be governed by his own will? That such a power of free will is given, that the mercy and justice of God are taken away? Let them be ashamed that say so.” He allows of and pleads for such a free will, as is consistent with, and depends upon the grace, and power of God; “not that,” says he, “free will is taken away from man by the grace of God, but the liberty itself, Dommum habere debeat adjutorem, ought to have God for its helper.” He owns, that “it is ours to will and to run; but, that our willing and running may be accomplished, belongs to the mercy of God; and it is so brought about, that in our willing and running, free will may be preserved, and in the consummation of our will and race, Dei cuncta potentiae relinquantur, all things may be left to the power of God.” Yea, he argues that the Pelagians, and not such as himself destroyed free will; “They boast,” says he, “up and down, that free will is destroyed by us; when, on the contrary, they ought to observe, that they destroy the liberty of the will, who abuse it, contrary to the grace of the donor. Who destroys free will? He who always gives thanks to God, and whatsoever flows in his rivulet, he refers to the fountain? Or, he who says, Depart from me, for I am clean, I have no need of thee?” Thou hast once given me freedom of will, that I may do what I will, why dost thou thrust in thyself again, that I can do nothing unless thou completest thine own gifts in me?” Once more, he observes, “that it is not in this we differ from brute beasts, that we were made with a free will; but in this, that this free will depends upon the help of God, illiusque per singula ope indiget, ‘ and stands in need of his assistance in every action;’ which you (Pelagians) do not mean; but this you mean, that he that once hath

free will, does not want God for his helper.” From hence we may better understand Jerom’s meaning, when he is speaking in favor of free will, as he does in many places; though it is easy to observe that he sometimes considers free will, as man was endued with it at his first creation; at other times he speaks of the power of it, with respect to natural and civil actions, to which also he supposes the power of God was necessary; and very often of the freedom of it, as opposed to force and violence, which it cannot admit of. He also observes, that it is not always the same, and is to be regarded according to the mode, time, and condition of man’s frailty. Now in one or other of these senses are the passages to be taken which Dr. Whitby has cited from this writer in favor of free will. It must be owned, that Jerom sometimes drops some things incautiously, and without guard, which are not easily reconciled to his avowed principles; but then these passages should not be urged against his declared opinion and sentiments.

CHAPTER 4

OF EFFICACIOUS GRACE INTRODUCTION

Dr. Whitby affirms, “that the fathers generally teach, that God doth only persuade, and by his Spirit assist, those that are willing to be good; but leaves them still to neglect and resist his persuasions, not laying them under a necessity to be good; because that would destroy the virtue and reward of being so.” In proof of which he produces but two or three testimonies, which will be hereafter considered. And in another place he says, “As for the antiquity of irresistibleness of grace, he (Dr. Edwards) hath only one, St. Austin, to produce, against a hundred testimonies of the fathers cited by Vossius, to prove that God laid no necessity upon man’s will to act; as he must do, if he acts irresistibly upon it, that being necessary which cannot be otherwise.” All which pains might have been spared, for none say, that God lays any necessity of coaction or force upon the wills of men; but that by the power of his grace he moves upon them, and influences them to that which is good according to their nature. Besides, Vossius, after he had made the citations referred to, and which regard the article of free will already considered, observes, that three writers were far from Pelagianism; and that, according to them, the will remained free, and all things are ascribed to grace; which he undertakes

more fully to explain; and among the rest, says, “Every good work, as such, is positively from the Holy Spirit, because whatsoever hath a being, as good and supernatural, that it has from grace. From the free will indeed it is only privately, as it does not resist graces when it could resist; that it can resist, it has of itself; that it can will to resist, it has from grace. And elsewhere he says, “I would not have it so taken, as if nothing, could be produced from them (the fathers) which may seem to intimate, that grace is bestowed from an absolute will to convert;” and then mentions a passage from Basil, cited by Petrus Diaconus, and others; “Thou canst do all things, and there is none can contradict thee; for when thou wilt thou savest, and none resists thy will.” And adds, “Also memorable is that of Ambrose, God calls whom he pleases, and whom he will he makes religious.” In the following Sections I shall make it appear, that it was the sentiment of the ancient writers, that regeneration, conversion, sanctification, faith etc., are wrought in the soul through the energy of the Spirit of God, and the powerful and insuperable efficacy of divine grace, and are not the fruits and effects of mere moral suasion.

Section 1

1 Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

Clement was an admirer of the grace of God in vocation and sanctification, for he not only speaks of grace in general as God’s gift when he says, “Let us be joined to them, to whom e charis apo tou Theou dedotai, grace is given from God; and in the free pathetic manner takes notice of the goodness of God in the free donation of them, saying, “How blessed and wonderful are the gifts of God, O beloved! Life with immortality, splendor with righteousness, truth with freedom, pistis en pepoithesei, egkrateia en agiasmo, faith with confidence, continence with holiness.” Of which last he elsewhere says, “He that is chaste in the flesh, let him not be proud or insolent: knowing that eteros estin o epichoregon auto egkrateian, it is another who furnishes him with the gift of contingence.” And a little after, in the same page, having mentioned the blessings which God has prepared for us before we were born, draws this inference; “Therefore since we have all these things from him, we ought kata para, in all things to give thanks to him, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” In the conclusion of his epistle

he prays, “that God would give to every soul that calls upon his great and holy name, faith, fear, patience, longsuffering, continence, chastity, and sobriety, that they may rightly please his name.”

Section 2

  1. Barnabas. A.D. 70.

    Barnabas speaks of the work of grace as a new creation, or as a formation of man again, which requires Almighty power; his words in one place are these. “Wherefore having renewed us by the remission of our sins, epoiesen emas allen tupon, os paidion, ‘he hath made us of another form, as a little child,’ to have a soul as though he had made us again; for the Scripture says concerning us, as he said to the Son, ‘Let us make man after our image, and after cur likeness.’” Again, says he, “I will show thee how in the last days he hath made deuheran plasin, ‘a second formation for us;’ the Lord saith, Behold, I will make the last as the first: behold, therefore, emeis anapeplasmetha, ‘we are made again;’ as he again says in another prophet, Behold, saith the Lord, I will take out their stony hearts, and I will put in them fleshly ones.” And in another place, speaking of the sanctification of the sabbath day, he expresses himself thus; “When we receive the righteous promise, of sin being no more, gegonoton de kainon panton upo Kurio, ‘being made all new by the Lord,’ then shall we be able to sanctify it, being first sanctified ourselves.” And a little after says he, “Receiving the remission of sins, and hoping in the name of the Lord, egenometha kainoi, palin ex arches aptomenoi, we become new, being created again as at the beginning.” Repentance, spiritual wisdom and knowledge, are, according to him, pure gifts of the grace of God; for, says he, he “dwells in us, who were under the servitude of death, opening to us the door of the temple, which is the mouth; metanoian didous emin, ‘and giving repentance to us;’ introduces us into the incorruptible temple.” He observes, that “Christ chose his apostles to preach the gospel, ontas uper pasan amartian anamoterous, ‘being more sinful than all sin itself;’ that he might show he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And in another place he says, “See how well Moses gave the law, but whence is it that they know and understand these things? We therefore justly understanding the commandments, speak as the Lord hath willed; wherefore he hath circumcised

    our ears and hearts, ina suniomen tauta, that we may understand these things.” Wherefore he blesses the Lord for what knowledge and understanding in divine things he is pleased to give, saying, “Blessed be our Lord, o sophian kai noun themenos en emin ton kruphion autou, who hath put in us wisdom and understanding of his hidden things.” To which may be added that prayer of his, “God, that governs all the world, doe umin sophian, ‘give you wisdom,’ understanding, prudence, and knowledge of his commandments, with patience.”


    Section 3

  2. Justin. A.D. 150.

Justin Martyr asserts the necessity of the grace of God to the right understanding of the Scriptures; ei oun tis me metamegales charitos tes para Theou laboi, “‘unless,’says he, ‘any therefore should undertake with the great grace which is from God,’ to understand the things which are said and done by the prophets, it will be of no advantage to him to seem to read the words or facts, unless he can render a reason for them.” And in another place, speaking to Trypho the Jew, and those that were with him he says, “Do you think, O men, that we could ever have been able to have understood these things in the Scriptures, ei mh qelhmati pou qelhsant auta elabumeu carin tou nohsai, unless by the will of him that wills these things, we had received grace to understand them.” Addressing himself to the same men, he says, “Cease to deceive yourselves, and them that hear you, and learn of us, twn swifisqentwn apo thV tou Crisou caritoV, ‘who are made wise by the grace of Christ.” And having mentioned the text in Matthew 11:27, he adds, “Therefore he hath revealed all things to us, which from the Scripture, dia thV caritoV autou nenohkamen, “through his grace we have an understanding of, knowing him to be the firstborn of God, and before all creatures.” Yea, says he, “to us is given to hear, and to understand, and to be saved by this Christ and to know all the things of the Father.” Nay, Eusebius says, that he openly declares in his Dialogue with Trypho, “how, h qeia cariV auton epi ton thV tisewV parwrmhde logon, “the grace of God impelled him to the doctrine of faith; that is, powerfully wrought upon him to embrace and make a profession of it; which expresses the efficacy of divine grace in its irresistible and unfrustrable operations

upon his heart, which Justin had an experience of. Dr. Whitby cites a passage from this writer, in which he says, “That God sent his Son into the world, wV peisqwn ou biazomeno, ‘as persuading, but not compelling man to be good.” But no such words are to be found in the place he refers to. Justin there says, that “To be from the beginning is not ours; but us, who choose by the rational powers which he gives, to follow those things, which are grateful to him, peiqei te kai eiV pisin agei hmaV, ‘he persuades and leads to faith.’” That God persuades men to believe, nobody denies; nor does any say that he compels them to believe, or to be good against their wills; but the question is, whether his persuasions are merely moral? or whether they are attended with an internal, powerful, and unfrustrable operation of his grace? It looks as if Justin meant the latter, since he adds, “What human laws could not effect, that the LogoV, or Word, being divine, has performed.” Now human laws, working only by moral suasion, are deficient; but the divine Word, or Son of God, working in a way of irresistible grace, produces that which they cannot.

Section 4—Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

Irenaeus, in many places, shows that the Spirit and grace of God are necessary to the knowledge of God, to our performance of good works, and bringing forth good fruits of righteousness; for, says he, “the Lord hath taught us, that no man can know God nisi Deo docente, hoc est, sine Deo non cognosci Deum, unless God teaches him, that is, God is not or cannot be known without God.” And in another place: “Him we rightly show is known by none, unless by the Son, and such to whom the Son will reveal him; for the Son reveals him to all to whom the Father would be known, et nique sine bona voluntate Patris, neque sine administratione Filii cognoscet quisquam Deum, and neither without the good will and pleasure of the Father, nor without the administration of the Son, can any one know God.” And in the same place he represents men in a state of nature as comparable to stones, in whom Christ, by the mighty power of his grace, works the same kind of faith as was in Abraham: for having cited Matthew 3:9, he makes this observation: “This Jesus did, drawing us off from the religion of stones, and translating us a nostris duris et infructuosis cogitationibus, et similem Abrahae fidem constituens, from our hard and unfruitful thoughts, putting in us faith like to that of Abraham.”

Very observable, and much to our purpose, is the following passage of this ancient writer. “As.” says he, “of dry wheat, one lump, or one loaf, cannot be made without moisture, so neither we, being many, can be made one in Christ Jesus, sine aqua quae de coelo est, without the water which is from heaven.” And as the dry earth, if it receives not moisture, does not “bring forth fruit, so likewise we, lignum aridum existentes primum, nunquam fructificaremus vitam, sine superna voluntaria pluvia, hoe est Spiritu Sancto, being first a dry tree, can never bring forth fruit unto life, without the rain which comes freely from above, that is, the Holy Spirit.” And a little after, having compared the Spirit of God to dew, adds, qua propter necessarius nobis est ros Dei, “wherefore the dew of God is necessary for us, that we be not burnt up, nor become unfruitful.” And when he elsewhere says, Facere proprium est benignitatis Dei, fieri autem proprium est hominis naturae, “To make, belongs to the kindness of grace of God; to be made, is the property of man’s nature.” What else does he suggest, but that God is active, and men passive, as in the old, so in the new creation? Dr. Whitby, to prove that the fathers taught, that God only persuades men, and leaves them under a power to neglect and resist his persuasions, cites a passage from Irenaeus, in which he says, that God redeems his from the apostate spirit, non vi sed suadela, not by force, but by persuasion, quemadmodum decebat Deum suadentem et non vim inferentem accipere quae vellet, as it became God to receive what he would by persuasion, and not by force.” But upon examining the place, it will appear, that Irenaeus is speaking not of God’s operation upon the hearts of men, but of Christ’s

redeeming his from the apostate spirit rationally, in a way of righteousness, mildly, gently, and not by force and violence; and that the persuasion, whatever Irenaeus means by it, is used not with the persons redeemed, but with the apostate spirit who had usurped dominion over them.


Section 5

  1. Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

    Clement of Alexandria must be reckoned among the assertors of the necessity of the grace of God to perform that which is good; and of the power and efficacy of it in the hearts of men producing faith,

    etc.; for in one place he says, that “men ought to have a sound mind, which does not repent of a studious search after that which is good; pros oper malista tes theias chrezomen charitos, ‘in order to which especially, we stand in need of divine grace,’ of right doctrine, of a pure affection of mind, kai tes tou Patros pros auton olkes, and of the Father’s drawing to himself.” ,And in another place he observes, that “few knew the Son of God as Peter did, whom he pronounces blessed, because flesh and blood hath not revealed the truth to him, but his Father which is in heaven; plainly signifying, that a man is a Gnostic, or endued with knowledge, so as to know the Son of the Almighty, not by his flesh, which was conceived, alla di autes res dunameos tes Patrikes, but by the Father’s power.” He strongly disputes against the Basilidians, who held that faith was natural and proper to men, and arose from some preceding natural necessity; whereas he affirms it to be something that comes from above, that is divine, and springs from the grace of God; his words are these; “Faith is not to be calumniated, os eukolon to kai pandemon, ‘as easy and vulgar, and what every one has.’ I say, therefore, that faith, whether it is founded on love or on fear, as the adversaries say, theion ti einai, is something divine.” And elsewhere he says, “The conjecture of truth is one thing, and truth itself another; the likeness of it one thing, and that itself another; the one comes by learning and exercise, the other by power and faith; dorea gar e didaskalia tes theosebeias, charis de e pistis, for the doctrine of godliness is a gift, and faith a grace.” Again he says, “It remains, that theia chariti, ‘by divine grace,’ and by the world alone, which is from God, we understand that which is unknown.”


    Section 6

  2. Tertullian. A.D. 200.

    Tertullian ascribes all that a man has and does, in a spiritual way, to the grace of God, and the whole work of grace to his mighty power. At the beginning of his Treatise on Patience, he confesses, that he was very unfit to write on that subject, as being homo nullius boni, ‘a worthless man;’ and observes, “that as evil things, so some good things are of such a prodigious magnitude, that, ad capienda et praestanda ea, sola gratia divinae inspirationis operetur, only the grace of divine inspiration can work in us to receive and

    perform them.” The virtue of continence he makes to be the gift of God, on the account of which none should boast in themselves, but give God the glory; his words are these: “And if the virtue of continence is bestowed by God, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it; and if thou hadst received it, what hast thou that is not given to thee? But by this it is plain, that it is not given to thee by God, because thou dost not ascribe it to him alone.” And in another place, speaking of the knowledge of God and Christ, he expresses himself thus: “By whom is truth found out without God? To whom is God known without Christ? By whom is Christ explored without the Holy Spirit? To whom is the Holy Spirit applied without the mystery of faith?” Elsewhere he says, “When a renewed soul comes to believe through the second birth, ex aqua et superna virtute, ‘which is of water and power from above,’ the curtain of former corruption being drawn, beholds all its own light.” Again having mentioned a passage in Psalm 45:4, which he reads, Thy right hand shall lead thee wonderfully, makes this note on it: “Virtus scilicet gratiae spiritualis, qua Christi agnitio deducitur, namely, the power of spiritual grace, by which the knowledge of Christ is brought on.” And a little after, speaking of the name of Jesus, as a name under which the Jews did not expect the Messiah, adds, “For neither though we, per Dei gratiam, ‘through the grace of God,’ obtain an understanding of his mysteries, also acknowledge this name as appointed for Christ, therefore will the thing be known to the Jews, from whom wisdom is taken away.” And in the same chapter he says, that “the possession of eternal life is not by Moses, that is, not by the discipline of the law, but comes by Jesus, that is, per evangelii gratiam, by the grace of the gospel.” And a little after, upon the types and figures of Christ, he makes this observation, “that the more incredible any thing is, the more offensive, if it is nakedly preached; and the more magnificent it is, the more is it to be overshadowed, ut difficultas intellectus gratiam Dei quaereret, that the difficulty of the understanding may seek after the grace of God.” Citing Luke 11:40, he observes, that “Christ by this saying plainly demonstrates, ad eundem Deum pertinere munditias hominis exterioris et interioris; that the cleansing both of the outward and inward man belongs to the same God, whose they are both.” And in another place, having mentioned Ephesians

    2:10, he has this note: “It is one thing to make, and another to create, but both he gives to one; man is the workmanship of the Creator, the same therefore who hath made, hath created in Christ. With respect to substance, he hath made him; quantum ad gratiam condidit, ‘with respect to grace, he hath created him.” Inspect the context. To which may be added that saying of his, Fiunt, non nascuntur Christiani, “Men are made, not born Christians.”


    Section 7

  3. Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

    Origen, though a very unguarded writer, and though a very considerable part of his works have been interpolated by Ruffinus, said to be a favorer of Pelagius, yet has many passages in his writings which shows that he thought that regeneration, and all that is truly and spiritually good, are owing to the grace and power of God. “It must be known,” says he, “that all that men have is from the grace of God, for they have nothing of debt; for who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? Wherefore it is grace, whatever he has, who was not, and is a receiver from him, who always was, and is, and will be forever.” He intimates, that all good thoughts are from the Spirit of God. “We pray,” says he, “that the light of the knowledge of the glory of God might shine into our hearts, the Spirit of God being present with our imaginative faculty, kai phantazontos emas ta tou Theou, and suggesting to us the things of God.” He represents all manner of virtues, as wrought in us by a divine hand, and not as the produce of nature. “Images dedicated to God, and becoming him,” says he, are not such as are prepared by mechanic artificers; but what are planned by the Logos or word of God, kai morphoumena en emin, ai aretai, ‘and formed in us, even those virtues’ which are the images of the firstborn of every creature, in whom are examples of righteousness, temperance, wisdom, godliness, and the rest of the virtues.” Yea, he ascribes the duties and actions of the saints to the energy of the same divine person: “As,” says he, “the soul quickens and moves the body, which of itself has no living motion; so the Logos or Word, kinon epi ta deonta kai energon, ‘inciting with energy to things which ought to be done,’ moves the whole body, the church, and every member of them that are of the church, doing nothing

    without the Word.” Whatever knowledge men have of God in a spiritual way, springs from divine grace according to him. “Those words in Matthew 11:27,” he says, “manifestly show, that God is known theia tini chariti, ‘by a certain divine favor or grace,’ which is infused into the soul, not without God, but by a sort of an afflatus, or inspiration.” And in another place he observes, that “God opens the mouth, the ears, and eyes, that we may speak, perceive, and hear the things that are God’s.” He must be a stranger to Origen’s writings, who knows not that he frequently suggests the necessity of the grace and assistance of God to understand the Scriptures. I need not give instances. The work of sanctification he attributes to the Spirit of God. “Let us endeavor,” says he, “that we may be unworthy of this so great and sublime an understanding, that is, of the mystical sense of the shewbread; but that our soul may first be made a holy place, and in the holy place we may take in holy mysteries, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, ex quo sanctificatur omne quod sanctum est, by whom is sanctified every thing that is holy.” And in another place, “The grace of the Holy Spirit is present, that those things which are not substantially holy, may be made holy by the participation of him. Seeing therefore first, that they may be, they have from God the Father. Secondly, that they may be rational, they have from the Word. Thirdly, that they may be holy, they have from the Holy Spirit.” The change that is made in man in conversion, he denies to be the effect of moral suasion, but ascribes it to the power and efficacy of divine grace. Having mentioned these words in Matthew 3:9, Think not to say, etc., he observes, that “they teach us that unbelievers, who are called stones, because of their stony hearts dunamei Qeou metabalein oiouV teeinai, may be changed, by the power of God, from stones, to children of Abraham.” “Celsus,” says he, “may laugh at what is said, or the Jew, whom he introduces; yet it must be said, that many, as if unwilling, have come to Christianity, pneumatoV tinoV treyantoV autwn to hgemonikon aifnidion, ‘a certain spirit suddenly turning their intellectual faculty,’ from hating the Logos or Word, to die for him.” And in the same work he has these words: “The doctrine of those who were first sent, and labored to constitute churches, and their preaching, were indeed with persuasion; but not such as is among the professors of the wisdom of Plato, or any other

    philosophers, who have nothing more than human nature; but the demonstration of the apostles of Jesus, given by God, had a force of persuading from the Spirit and power; wherefore their word, or rather God’s, ran swiftly and sharply, and thereby changed many of them, who were by nature and custom sinners, whom no man could change by any punishment whatsoever; the Word transformed them, shaping and forming them according to his will.” Again he observes, “The divine word says, that what is said, though it is in itself true, and is fit to persuade, yet is not sufficient to reach the human soul, ean mh kai dunamiV tiV Qej ekdoqh, unless a certain power is given from God to him that speaks,’ and grace flourishes in what is said: and this is not without God, in them who speak with energy.” To which may be added the following expressions of his: “Now the word of his preaching is known to all, so that it is received by very many, almost in all the world; that they may understand what are believed, not by precursory words of wisdom, but by demonstration of the Spirit and power; wherefore they may conclude they are brought to faith and credulity, coelesti virtute imo etiam plusquam coelesti, by a heavenly power, yea, by more than a heavenly one.” Once more: “This,” says he, “is a new thing, that those who are strangers from the covenants of God, aliens from the promises, and afar off from the truth, dunamei tini qeia, by a certain divine power receive it.” Yea, sometimes he expresses himself as though he thought some sort of force and violence were used with men in the conversion and salvation of them. “The only begotten Son of God is present,” he says: “he defends, he keeps, he draws us to himself: hear how he speaks; “And lo, I am with you unto the end of the world;” but neither is it sufficient that he is with us, “sed quodam modo vim nobis facit, ut nos pertrahat ad salutem,” ‘but in some sort he forces us, that he may draw us unto salvation;’ for he says in another place, “When I shall be lifted up, I will draw all unto me.” You see, how that he not only invites the willing, but draws those that delay.” And little after, “The Lord himself, the Father, does not neglect the dispensation of our salvation, for he not only calls us to salvation, but he draws; for so the Lord says in the gospel, “No man comes to me, but whom my heavenly Father draws.” But the Father of the family, who sent his servants to invite his friends to the marriage of his Son, after they

    who were first invited excused themselves, says to the servants, “Go forth to the highways and alleys, and whomsoever ye find, compel them to come in;” so therefore we are not only invited by God, sed et trahimur et cogimur ad salutem, but we are drawn and compelled unto salvation.” Moreover he signifies, that this call of God to the participation of his grace, entirely arises from his sovereign will and pleasure. “The God of gods,” he says, “calls from the east and west to partake of himself by Jesus Christ, ous bouletai, whom he pleases.” Wherefore there should be no boasting in the creature, but all glorying should he in God. “There are,” he observes, “some among the Gentiles, of good manners and honest behavior, who yet do not refer what they have to God, nor acknowledge the grace given to them by him; but either ascribe it to their own industry, or glory in their masters and instructors; but the apostle shows to us, that all that is good is from God, and given by the Holy Spirit; as the apostle James says, (Jam. 1:17), “that he that glories, may glory in the Lord.” “That which is worthy of boasting,” he says, “ouk emeteron alla doron esti Theou, ‘is not ours, but is the gift of God;’ from him is wisdom, from him is strength, and so of the rest.” To all which may be added the following words of his, which not only express his own, but the sense of the whole church at that time: “It is the united sense of the whole church, that all the law is indeed spiritual; yet these things which the law breathes out are not known to all, but to them only to whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, in the word of wisdom and knowledge.”


    Section 8

  4. Cyprian. A.D. 250.

    Cyprian clearly expresses his sense of the efficacy of divine race in the sanctification of a sinner, and of the continuance of it, for the carrying on and perfecting of that work, as well as of the need the saints always stand in of the aids of it for the performance of every good work. In one of his epistles he seems surprised at his own conversion, and wonders how it was possible that it should be; when he had lain in darkness, was first a stranger to light and truth, so implicated in the errors of a past life; and so obsequious to sin and vice; this he ascribes to divine grace in his second birth, which desuper lumen infudit, postquam coelitus

    Spiritu hausto in novum hominem reparavit, “infused light from above, and after the Spirit was derived from heaven repaired him a new man:” and then goes on to beat down all boasting in the creature, and to give the whole glory to God. In his Treaise of the Lord’s Prayer, he says many things which confirm this. Upon the first clause in that prayer he makes this remark, “A new man, a regenerated person, and one restored to his God, per ejus gratiam, ‘through his grace,’ says, in the first place, Father, because now he begins to be a son.” And a little after, “Most beloved brethren,” says he, “we ought to consider and understand not only this, that we call Father which is in heaven, but we add and say, Our Father, that is, of them that believe; of them, who being sanctified by him, et gratiae spiritualis nativitatae reparati, ‘and repaired through the birth of spiritual grace,’ begin to be the children of God.” And upon the first petition Hallowed be thy name, he has this observation, “Not that we should desire of God that he may be sanctified by our prayers, but that we should request of him, that his name may be sanctified in us. Moreover, by when is God sanctified, qui ipse sanetificat, ‘who himself sanctifies?’ But because he says, Be ye holy, for I am holy; this we desire and ask, that we who are sanctified in baptism might persevere in that which we begin to be; and this we daily pray for, opus est enim nobis quotidiana sanctificatione, ‘for we have need of daily sanctification,’ that we who daily sin, may purge away our sins by daily sanctification; which sanctification is what is bestowed upon us de Dei dignatione, through the favor of God.” And a little after, “This we ask night and day, that sanctification and vivification, quae de Dei gratia sumitur, ipsius protectione servetur, which proceed from the grace of God, might be preserved by his protection.” Upon the third petition; Thy will be done in earth, as in heaven, he has this note: “We add and say this, not that God may do what he will, but that we may do what God wills; for who hath resisted God that he may not do what he will? But because we are withstood by the devil, that our minds and actions might not in all respects obey God, we pray and desire, that the will of God may be done in us; which that it may be done in us, opus est Dei voluntate, id est, ope ejus et protectione, ‘there is need of the will of God, that is, of his help and protection;’ for no man is strong, suis viribus, ‘by his own strength,’ but is safe through the grace and mercy of God.” And a little

    after, speaking of the combat between the flesh and the Spirit, he adds, “Therefore we earnestly desire, that an agreement may be made between these two, ope et auxilio Dei, ‘by the help and assistance of God;’ that whilst the will of God is done both in the spirit and in the flesh, the soul may be saved, quae per eum renata est, which is regenerated by him.” And in another treatise of his, concerning Patience, he thus speaks: “This virtue we have in common with God; from hence patience begins; from hence its glory and worth take their rise; the original and greatness of patience spring Deo auctore, from God the Author.”


    Section 9

  5. Eusebius Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

    Eusebius represents conversion as a wonderful change wrought in the soul through the power of divine grace; “Who should be those Canaanites,” says he, “but we, who before were aliens; and who, out of all nations, that were formerly profane and ungodly, are preserved sheep for Christ; oi kai dia tes autou charitosmetabeblemetha,’ who also are changed by his grace;’ and understanding the things before prophesied of, have received the true knowledge of the word of the Lord.” And in another place he breaks out in a pathetic exclamation, after this manner, “Who is he, that is not amazed at this surprising affair, when he sees such who from the beginning worshipped stones, wood, devils, brutes, demons, reptiles, etc.—who in their manner of living suffered nothing from the savage beasts, nuni dia tes tou soteros emon entheou dunameon metablethentes kai osper ex eteron eteroi gegonotes, now through the divine power of our Savior changed, and, as it were, become other men.” All which he supposes was brought about, not by moral suasion, or merely by the ministry of the word; but by a secret, unspeakable, and almighty power, which attended it; to which he always ascribes the success of the Gospel: “You have,” says he, “plain and evident demonstrations, that is, in prophecy, from whom the Gospel should begin, even from Christ himself; by whom it should be preached, namely, by his apostles; besides also, poia dunamei kratesei, oti me anthropeia, ‘with what power it should obtain or overcome; that it should not be by that which is human.” It would be too tedious to transcribe all the passages of this kind which are

    observable in this writer; I shall only add, that he considered sanctification as the peculiar work of the Spirit of God, as appears from his following words; “Wherefore the Holy Spirit dwells in a friendly manner with the saints only, being imparted by the Son to those whom the Father would approve of, kai tout’ an eie ergon autou to pantas agiazein, and this is his work, to sanctify all, to whom he gives some one or more of his gifts.”


    Section 10

  6. Athanasius. A.D. 350.

    Athanasius acknowledges the necessity of divine grace, and the efficacy of it in sanctification, when he says, “As the Son, the giver of the Spirit, does not disdain to say, that as man he cast out devils by the Spirit; so likewise the same being the giver of the Spirit, disdains not to say, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me, with respect to his being made flesh, as John says; that he might show that we are in both respects such, oi kai en to agiazesthai deomenoi tes tou Pneumatos charitos, who in sanctification stand in need of the grace of the Spirit; and also are not able to cast out devils without the power of the Spirit.” And a little after, “So likewise David shows, oti ouk an allos metegomen tou Pneuatos kai egiasthemen, ‘that we could otherwise partake of the Spirit, and be sanctified,’ unless the Word himself, the giver of the Spirit, had said, that he would be anointed by the Spirit for us.” And in another place he argues after this manner, in favor of the Deity of Christ; “Otherwise, if the Son was a creature, there being one and the same nature of rational creatures, no help could be given to a creature by a creature, dia to pantas deisthai tes para Theou charitos, inasmuch as all stand in need of the grace of God.” That the image of God, imparted to man, and whatsoever holiness he has, is not from nature, but is owing to the grace and power of God, is owned by him, when he observes, that “God being good, hath imparted his image, our Lord Jesus Christ, to men; and hath made them according to his image and likeness, that they, dia tes toiautes charitos, ‘through such grace,’ understanding the image, the Word of the Father, might be able, through him, to receive the knowledge of the Father; and so knowing the Creator might live a truly happy and blessed life.” And elsewhere he says

    of Christ, that “he only is the true and natural image of the Father; for though we are made again after his image, and are called the glory and image of God, all’ ou di’ eautous, ‘but not because of ourselves; but because that the true image and glory of God, which is the Word of God, dwells in us, who being at last made flesh for us, tautes tes kleseos echomen ten charin, we have the grace of this vocation.” And much to the same purpose he says in another place, “We are made sons, but not as he, by nature, and in truth, ella kata charin tou kalesantos, but according to the grace of him that calleth.” And men, who are of the earth, are called gods, but not as the true God, or his Word, but as God pleases, who gives this, that is grace, to them. So likewise we are made merciful as God, but not equal to him, oude phusi, kai alethinoi euergetai ginomenoi, ou gar emon eurema euergetein, alla tou Theou eis emas kata charin ginomenon, nor by nature, or true benefactors, are we made; nor is it our invention to do well; but this is according to the grace of God to usward.” That sanctification is a creation work, and so a work of almighty power, is asserted by him, when having mentioned these words, Except a man be born again, he says, “not hereby signifying generation by women, but showing, that the soul is regenerated, kai anaktizomenen, and created again according to his image, the image of God.” And especially in these words, “Every intelligent hearer knows, that to sanctify is to create: when we hear, Create in me a clean heart, O God! what else do we understand but this, Sanctify a clean heart in me, O God?” And a little after, “To create is the work of God, but it is not greater than to sanctify, for it is written, Holy Father, sanctify them through try truth.” Yea, he adds, that “to sanctify is greater than to create.” This last passage is indeed cited from a tract which is thought by some learned men not to be the work of Athanasius, but of Maximus, who lived many years after him. Theodore Beza, who has given us a Latin translation of the whole, says, that in the margin of the first dialogue, in the copy he made use of, were written by another hand these words, “Some say this present dialogue is Athanasius’s, others that it is Maximus’s;” however, since not only these dialogues are allowed by all to be pious, learned, and worthy to be read, but also by Beza said to have nothing in them unworthy of Athanasius, or unsuitable to his times, I have ventured to make the above citation from them.

    Section 11

  7. Macarius Egyptius. A.D. 350.

    Macarius, the Egyptian, ascribes regeneration and sanctification to the Spirit and grace of God; he says, it is “through the participation of the Holy Spirit that men are born again of God, and counted worthy to be the children of God in truth and power.” And again: “As God is love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness, so the new man is made kata charin, by grace.” And in another place he says, “The five rational senses of the soul, if they receive the grace from above, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are truly virgins.” And elsewhere he observes, that “as many as are the children of the light, and of the ministry of the New Testament by the Holy Spirit, learn nothing of men; for they are taught of God, for aute e charis, ‘grace itself’ writes the laws of the Spirit in their hearts.” Again: “Never think,” says he, “that thou preventest the Lord by virtue, according to Philippians 2:13:’ it is certain he both owns the preparing, preventing, and subsequent grace of God; for he speaks of the Holy Spirit, etoimasanti, ‘as preparing the soul’ to be a seat and habitation for himself; and of some whom the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit proapantosi, ‘prevent.’ “God,” he says, “requires of men labor, fatigue, and working; but unless there appear the heavenly cloud, kai uetoi charitos, ‘and the rains of grace,’ the laboring husbandman will profit nothing.” In short, he ascribes all that the saints enjoy now, or shall hereafter, to divine grace. “The glory and beauty of Christians,” says he, “and the heavenly riches, are unspeakable, and are obtained with labor, and sweat, and trials, and agonies; to de olon chariti Theou, but the whole is owing to the grace of God.” Particularly he observes, that “the knowledge of God in truth is through the power of God, and energy of grace.” He represents the work of grace and conversion as a new creation, and the effect of divine power, and which cannot be done without it. “Our Lord Jesus Christ,” he says, “came to change and transform nature, and to renew kai anaktisai, ‘and create again the same soul,’ which was subverted by the affections, through the transgression, mixing it with his own Spirit.” And a little after, “Seeing the soul that truly believes in Christ must be translated and changed from this present evil state into another good state, and from this present mean nature into another divine nature; also it must be made new, dia tes dunameos tou Agiou

    Pneumatos, ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit,’ that so it may be fit for the heavenly kingdom.” And whereas it may be thought difficult, if not impossible, that men should be converted, or turned from their sins, he advises to remember what Christ did when he was here on earth; how he cured the blind, and raised the dead, and the like; intimating, that that power which wrought in the one was able to effect the other. He speaks of the fire of the Spirit which rekindles hearts, enlightens souls, makes devils to flee, takes away sin, and gives immortality.


    Section 12

  8. Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

    Hilary of Poietiers affirms, that all good things spring from the grace of God: “What room,” says he, “is left for boasting in us, when we remember that all things are of God?” “The services of our tongue and mouth, he says,” “are not sufficient to give praise to God; we have changed crimes for innocence, vices for virtue, ignorance for knowledge, destruction for immortality; et hoc a Dei gratia, and this is from the grace of God.” Faith in Christ, the knowledge of him, he frequently intimates, are the gifts of God. He ascribes regeneration to the secret and powerful, yea, irresistible efficacy of divine grace; “Obtaining” says he “the faith of my regeneration, I am ignorant; and what I know not I now hold, sine sensu enim meo renascor, for without my perception I am born again.” And in another place he says, “The operation of God hath raised Christ from the dead, et haec eadem Dei operatio, and the same operation of God quickens us with Christ.” And elsewhere he says, “We are indeed children to God, but by the workmanship of the Son; for we were sometime children of wrath, but are made children to God by the spirit of adoption. We were not born so, but made; not generated, but acquired.” He represents the grace of regeneration as making persons new, and without which they cannot receive new things. On Luke 5:36 and 37, he has this note: “Souls and bodies infirm through the oldness of sins, do not take in the mysteries of the new grace, for the rent will be worse, and the wine being shed, the old bottles will perish; for the guilt of such will be double, since besides the oldness of their sins, they will not bear the power of the new grace; and therefore the pharisees, and the disciples of John, could not receive

    new things, nisi novi fierent, unless they were made new;” which they could not be without the power of God, to which all things are possible, and so this; for, as he says, “What is so possible to the power of God, than that he can save through faith?

    That he can regenerate by it?” And, indeed, such is his power, that it is not to be resisted, which is proper and peculiar to him; for as this father somewhere observes, “To God alone it agrees to do all things which he wills; for sole perfect power is hindered by none, so that he could not do what he wills; and no difficulty occurs to him from whom are all things.”


    Section 13

  9. Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

    Basil of Caesarea asserts, that sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, and entirely owing to the preventing grace of God. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, he says, that “there is no sanctification without him; and that we have learnt concerning him by the divine writings, auto estin o tous agious, agious epoiese, that he it is who makes the saints saints, and gives divine life to them that ask God by him.”’ And in another place, “The Spirit is not a creature, but the character of God’s holiness kai pege tois pasin agiasmou, ‘and the fountain of holiness to all,’ as the apostle teach; we are called in the holiness of the Spirit; makes us a new creature, abiding for ever.” And elsewhere, “It was impossible to be born again me prolabouses charitos tou Theou, without the preventing grace of God.” “Faith,” he says, “is the work of God,” and he means not what God requires of us, but what he works in us. “if our faith in the Son,” says he, “is the work of God, for this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent, he himself, that is the Son, cannot be the work of God.” Moreover he says, that “faith is not in us through geometrical proofs, but tais tou Pneumatos energeis, by the effectual operations of the Spirit.” Again; he affirms that “is to be held for certain, and to be confessed, that the grace of every good thing, and so the patience of those things which we suffer for the sake of Christ, para Theou uparchein, are from God:” for the proof of which he cites John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Philippians 1:29. He frequently ascribes the whole of salvation to the free grace of God, to which he gives all the glory, and rejects boasting in the creature.

    “Let no man,” says he, “praise my industry by which I am saved from dangers; for salvation is not in the power or wisdom of man, but in the grace of God.” And elsewhere, “Nothing is left for thee, O man, of which thou canst boast, whose glorifying and hope lie in this, that thou mortify all thy will, and seek life to come in Christ, of which we having in these things the first fruits, entirely live by the grace and gift of God (Phil. 2:13). Why therefore, I pray thee, dost thou extol thyself as if thou didst good things of thine own, when thou shouldest give thanks for gifts to the giver of them? (1 Cor. 4:7). God is not made known to thee by thy righteousness, but thou to God by his goodness (Gal. 4:9). Thou hast not apprehended Christ by thine own power, but Christ thee by his coming (Phil. 3:12).”


    Section 14

  10. Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

Gregory of Nazianzum was an advocate for the grace of God. “If any one” say he, “is a child of light, or a man of God, or is near to God, or a man of good desires, or is worthy to be called by any such names, with which the scripture honors men divine and exalted, and that have a right to that portion which is above; touto men ede doron Theou, kai phaneros uper ten axian ten emeteran, this is verily the gift of God, and manifestly beyond our desert.” He acknowledges, that “it is of God that we are, kai to eidenai Theou, ‘and that we know God,’ and that we have what we offer to him;” and calls upon others to make the same confession: “Acknowledge,” says he, “from whence thou hast that thou art, that thou breathest, that thou hast an understanding mind; and what is the greatest of all, to ginoskein Theou, ‘that thou knowest God;’ hopest for the kingdom of heaven, equal honor with angels, and a sight of glory.” He makes God to be the author and finisher of all that is good, par ou kalon apan kai arcetai kai eiV teloV ercetai, “by him, that is God, every good thing both begins and comes to an end.” Regeneration is ascribed by him to the Spirit of God, para men tou PneumatoV emin h anagenhsiV, from the spirit we have regeneration,” says he, “from regeneration reformation, from reformation knowledge of the worthiness of him that forms us again;” and this, with the Scripture, he makes necessary to a man’s enjoyment of the heavenly glory.

“Assure yourselves,” says he, “that no man can either see or receive the kingdom, unless he is born from above by the Spirit, and is cleansed from the first birth.” It is easy to observe, that Gregory does in these passages frequently represent the work of grace as a creation, and by a being formed again. “The Spirit,” he says, to poihsan to anaktizon, ‘is he that forms, that creates again by baptism,’ by the resurrection; the Spirit knows all things is he that teacheth, and breathes where and as much as he pleases,” And in another place, speaking of his Father he has these words: “He came to that regeneration which is by water and the Spirit, by which we confess to God morfwsin te kai teleiwsin, “the conformation and perfection of the man, according to Christ, kai metaqesin kai anaplasin, and the change and reformation of that which is earthly to the Spirit.” And elsewhere, mentioning those words, and it was winter, that is, adds he, “of unbelief, and Jesus was present, God and the temple, the eternal God, the new

temple, today dissolved, and in three days raised again, and abiding for ever; that I might be saved, and be called again from the old fall (meaning the fall of Adam), and being anaplattomenoV, “formed again,’ through such philanthropy, might be made a new creature.”

Section 15

5 Didymus Alexandrinus. A.D. 370.

Didymus of Alexandria, in his treatise concerning the Holy Spirit, says many things of his grace and power in the sanctification of men. “The Holy Spirit,” says he, “is by the confession of all, the immutable sanctifier, the giver of divine knowledge, and all good things; and that I may speak more briefly, he is subsisting in those good things, which are given by the Lord, according to Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13; from whence it appears, that the Holy Spirit is the fullness of the gifts of God, and that those things which are ministered by God do not subsist without him; for all advantages which are received from the grace of the gifts of God flow from this fountain.” And a little after he calls him the giver of sanctification, and says that it is impossible any one should obtain the grace of God si non habeat Spiritum Sanctum, “‘if he has not the Holy Spirit;’ in which we prove, that all the gifts of God consist.” And again, says he, “No one ever receives the spiritual blessings

of God, nisi praecesserit Spiritus Sanctus, ‘unless the Holy Spirit goes before;’ for he that receives the Holy Spirit consequently will have blessings, that is, wisdom and understanding, and the rest; —wisdom and understanding which are in the Holy Spirit are given by God: —God the giver of good things, will give the hope which he has promised, in the power of the Holy Ghost to them that have him.”


Section 16

  1. Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

    Gregory of Nyssa attributes all virtue, and every good thing that is in us, or done by us, to God, and to his grace. Upon Song of Solomon 4:12, he has this note, “Hence we learn, aretas de einai ten tou Theou phuteian, ‘that virtues are the plantation of God,’ about which the intellective power of our souls being employed, is sealed with the character of truth, and formed with a habit to that which is good.” Yea, he asserts, that, pan aretes onoma to kai noema eis ton Kurion ton areton anapheretai, “every name and thought of virtue is referred to the Lord of virtues.” And in another place he observes, that “what food and drink is to the body, that is to the soul, to look to what is good, kai touto os alethos doma esti Theou to enatinozein Theo, ‘and this is truly the gift of God, to look intently unto God.” And a little after, “He that looks to that which is good, has the gift of God in all his labor; and this is it, always to look to that which is good.” And elsewhere, having mentioned Galatians 2:20, he takes notice, that “the apostle says, that evangelical good works were not his, but he ascribes them to the grace of Christ, that dwelt in him.” And a little after, “The sum of all good things is subjection to God— and this is to be referred to him that lives in us; for if there is any thing excellent, it is his, kai ei ti anathon par autou, ‘and if there is any good thing, it is from him;’ as says one of the prophets; if therefore subjection is excellent and good, it appears to be his, since his is every good thing, from whom the nature of all good comes.” To which agrees what he says in another place, “Whatsoever is good, doreon meris esti, is a part of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Particularly he observes, that “to be dead unto sin, and to be quickened by the Spirit, is doron Theou, the gift of God.” Regeneration is by him

    ascribed to the Spirit and grace of God. “This

    benefit,” says he, speaking of regeneration, “the water does not give, for it would be above or higher than the whole creation, but the order of God, kai e tou Pneumatos epiphoitesis, and the coming of the Spirit upon us.” And in another place he says, “They that are born of the Spirit are the children of God, for so expressly does he bear witness, to Agio Pneumati ton tou Theou teknon ten genesin, that the birth of the children of God is owing to the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:6. The change in regeneration he expresses thus; We were once the trees of Lebanon but he hath made us a chariot for himself, metastoicheiosas tou xulou ten phusin dia tes palingenesias eis to argurion, transforming the nature of the word by regeneration into silver and gold, etc. This therefore must require an almighty power; and to this does Gregory ascribe it, when he says, that Christ is made king over them, who are born and made kings, in whom is the rod of iron, that is, e atreptos dunamis, the immutable power, which breaking in pieces that which is earthly and frail, eis ten akeraton phurin metestoicheiosen, transforms into a nature incorrupt. And elsewhere speaking of the power and energy of God in regeneration, he says, it is akataleptos kai atechnologetos, incomprehensible and inexpressible by art, easily producing whatsoever it will.”

    Section 17

  2. Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

    Hilary the Deacon, or the author of the Commentaries on Paul’s Epistles, which are among the works of Ambrose, ascribes regeneration to the grace and power of God. Man, he says, is the work of God by creation; and he is again the work of God, dum reformatur per regenerationem, whilst he is remade by regeneration. And in another place he says, That good thing which seems to flourish in Christians, arises from the root of divine grace; for God of his mercy saves us by Christ, by whose grace being regenerated, we receive the Holy Ghost abundantly; that we may endeavor after good works, he helping us in all, that through these we may attain to the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven; wherefore with all devotion we ought to obey him, and comply with his commands; quia quicquid in nobis pulchrum est, because whatsoever is beautiful in us, he paints with spiritual lineaments. Again, he observes, that it is manifest, that grace is the Gift of God; not a reward due to works,

    but is granted in a free way, mercy intervening. In particular, he says, Faith is the gift of God’s mercy, that those who are made guilty by the law may obtain pardon, wherefore, faith works joy. And in another place, The grace of faith is given that believers may be saved. True it is, because all thanksgiving for our salvation is to be referred to God, who gives his mercy to us, that he might call back wanderers to life, and those who do not seek the true way; wherefore we must not glory in ourselves, but in God, who hath regenerated us in the heavenly birth, through the faith of Christ. And upon those words, no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, he makes this observation, Whatsoever truth is said by any one, a Spiritu Sancto dicitur, is said by the Holy Ghost.


    Section 18

  3. Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

    Ambrose of Milain frequently suggests, that every thing that is good is from God, as good thoughts, virtues, faith and obedience. “There is none”, says he, “who has not some sort of image, that is, either of holiness or sin; we walk in the image of God, quando cogitationes bonae quae nobis a Deo insitae sunt, when good thoughts, which are put into us by God, remain in us, and lead us on to good works.” In another place citing John 3:21, he makes this observation Lo here we read, that the works of men are wrought in God, and yet we cannot refer them to the divine substance; but we know, either that they are made by him, according to Colossians 1:16, 17, or as the reading of the present testimony teaches, we ought to reckon that those virtues through which the fruit of eternal life is obtained, are made in or by God, as charity, piety, religion, faith, and others of the like kind, which are wrought in or by the will of God; therefore as in or by the will and power of God the Father, so likewise of Christ, they are made, according to Ephesians 2:10. And elsewhere speaking of the faith of the centurion, he says, this is not of man, sed potestate Dei, but by the power of God. Again, discoursing of Eve’s subjection to her husband, he makes this remark, in which I evidently perceive, says he, the mystery of Christ and the church; for the future conversion of the church to Christ, and that religious servitude subject to the word of God, which is much better than the liberty of this world, are designed. Moreover it is written, Thou shalt

    worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve; haec igitur servitus Dei donum est, wherefore this servitude is the gift of God. Regeneration, from whence spiritual obedience springs, of which faith and other graces are parts, is often referred by this pious father, to the Spirit, grace, and power of God. That we are according to grace, born again of the Spirit, he observes, the Lord himself witnesses, John 3:6 8, wherefore it is clear, that the Holy Spirit is the author also of spiritual regeneration, because we are created after God that we may be the sons of God; therefore when he shall take us to his own kingdom by the adoption of holy regeneration, do we deny him what is his own? he hath made us heirs of regeneration which is from above, we claim the inheritance, do we disprove the author? But the benefit cannot remain when the author is excluded; neither is the author without the gift, nor the gift without the author; if you claim the grace, believe the power; if you disprove the power, do not seek after the grace. And a little after, The more excellent regeneration, Sancti Spiritus opus est, is the work of the Holy Spirit; and the Spirit is the author of the new man which is created after the image of God. And in another place he says, There is no carnal man in Christ; but if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: non naturae novitate formatus, sed gratiae, not formed by newness of nature, but of grace. And this grace to which he frequently ascribes the new creation and formation of man, is all from the Spirit of God; for, as he observes, How can there be grace, sine Spiritu, without the Spirit, since all divine grace is in the Spirit? Wherefore in the same work he says We cannot call to the Father or the Son without the Spirit, for no man calls Jesus Lord, but in the Holy Ghost: upon which account he elsewhere says; To pray to God is spiritual grace. And again, This common life does not keep the heavenly command, but that which is supported by the eternal gift, through the operation of spiritual grace. Moreover, he observes, that to whomsoever the Spit of grace is present, nothing is wanting; and in whom the Holy Ghost is infused, there is a fullness of great virtues; all which he represents as the effect of almighty power, and as flowing from the sovereign will and pleasure of God. What, says he, is impossible by human desires, that can be possible per divinam gratiam solam, by divine grace alone, for, as he expresses himself elsewhere, Who can change nature, but he who hath created

    nature? to put off the bridles of lusts from minds infected with vices, says he, and amend, is not only of perfect virtue, but also of heavenly grace; for to amend things to come, is of human attention; but to damn things past, is of divine power; which power is put forth by the Lord as he pleases, for God, whom he thinks fit, he calls, et quem vult religiosum facit, and whom he pleases he makes religious; and could, if he would, of persons not devoted to him, make them devoted; and so he does when it seems good in his sight. Thus Ambrose, speaking of the Spirit of God, says, who, when he pleases, into whom he pleases, and as many as he pleases, and as much as he pleases, he inspires by his own proper will; therefore he fills with his grace whom he pleases, and as much as he pleases; he himself is not filled; he gives, he does not receive perfection; he sanctifies, but he himself is not sanctified. And in another place he says, The grace of the Lord is given, not as from merit of reward, sed quasi ex voluntate, but as of will, according to 1 Corinthians 12:11, as he will, he says, not as is due; wherefore there is no room nor reason for boasting in the creature. Let no man, says Ambrose, boast that he has a pure heart; but he that glories, let him glory in the Lord, qui sanctis suis cor mundum creare dignatus est, who vouchsafes to create a clean heart in his saints. And, as is elsewhere observed by him, Whether thou art numbered among the angels, thou oughtest always to speak in justification of God; and the glory which thou hast obtained, thou shouldest not arrogate to thine own merits, sed divinae misericordiae semper ascribes, but always ascribe it to divine mercy; lest it should be said to thee, as in 1 Corinthians 4:7, for every creature, whatsoever good things it hath, it receives from Christ, who is the author of the whole creation.

    Section 19

  4. Marcus Eremita. A.D. 390.

    Mark the Eremite ascribes every good thing to God as the author of it; he denies that he can be prevented by any good works of men, or that his grace is given in proportion to them; but affirms, that salvation is entirely of grace. First of all, says he, we certainly know, that God is the author, both beginning, middle, and end, of all good. Moreover, it is impossible that we should do any good thing, or believe but by Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Again,

    The author and beginning of all virtue is God, as the sun is of daily light; as often as ye do any virtuous action, remember him who said without me ye can do nothing. In another place he affirms, that a man’s own work does not save him, but he who gives the power of working, therefore never think, that praevenisse Dominum in virtute, thou hast prevented the Lord by thy virtue, according to his judgment who says, it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. And elsewhere he observes, that what is given by grace we ought not now to measure, according to the manner and merit of preceding weakness, since then grace would not be grace but believing in God Almighty, let us come to him with a heart single, and void of care, who through faith bestows the communications of the Spirit, non ex proportione operum nature, not in proportion to the works of nature; for, he says, ye have not received the Spirit by the works of the law, but by the hearing of faith. And it is a conclusion of this writers, that the salvation of them that are saved arises from grace, not from nature; wherefore he advises, not to seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for no man is found perfect in them, seeing the perfection of the law is hid in the cross of Christ.


    Section 20

  5. Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

Chrysostom, in many places, freely owns, that our calling, faith, will, and power to do good, are to be ascribed to the grace and power of God, and the energy of the Spirit; Not you laboring, says he, have found God, but living in error, autoV de umaV epepiasato, he himself hath drawn you out; that is, of a state of sin and misery. Again, says he, To be called and to be cleansed are of grace; and he that is called and clothed with a pure garment should continue to keep so. Diligence belongs to them that are called; for since to be called, ouk apo tes axias gegonen alla apo tes charitos, is not of merit, but of grace, therefore something ought to be returned for that grace. Again, Thou hast nothing of thine own but what thou hast received from God: not thine are those good deeds, alla tes tou Theou charitos, but are owing to the grace of God. Shouldest thou name faith, this is from calling; shouldest thou mention remission of sins, or gifts, or the teaching word, thou hast received all from

thence. Hence says he elsewhere, we should reckon nothing ours, opouge kai auti e pistis ouk emeteron, seeing faith itself is not ours, but rather Gods. Hear Paul saying, and this not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. And in another place he observes, that the apostle does not say, vessels of well doing, nor vessels of liberty, but vessels of mercy; showing oti to pan este tou Theou, that the whole is of God. Upon Philippians 2:13, he has this note, kai prothumian autos emin didosi kai ergasian, and he himself gives the readiness of mind; that is, to do good, and the doing of it itself. He asserts, that a man brings nothing to the aforesaid things, meaning ordinances, and the administration of them, alla to pan tes tou Theou dunameos ergon esti, but all is the work of God’s power. Yea, he affirms, that it is impossible that a man should be able to have conversation with God, he means in prayer, or to pray unto him, aneu tes energeias tou Pneumatos, without the energy of the Spirit.


Section 21

24 Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

Jerom was a warm defender of the grace of God, against Pelagius and his followers; he asserts, that all the good things we enjoy are from the free grace of God: All things, says he, speaking to and of God are thine; and whatever good thing there is, sine to cujus est, dari non potest, can not be given without thee, whose it is; for God only is he who can instruct his people, and who can give diversitates gratiae, diversities of grace, to them that wait upon him. And elsewhere, having observed God different dispensations towards men and his leaving of them to their own wills that they may receive the reward or punishment thereof, he adds, Not that all that shall come to pass shall be of man, but of the grace of him that gives all things; for so the liberty of the will is to be preserved, ut in omnibus excellat gratia largitoris, ‘that in all things the grace of the giver may excel, according to Psalm 127:1, Romans 9:15.” And a little after he asks, “Where then is the power and judgment of man’s own free will without the grace of God?” Upon Jeremiah 32:40 he has this note, “So he gives free will, that notwithstanding the fear which is bestowed, gratia permaneat largitoris, the grace of the giver might remain. In another place, says he, “Whatever thou hast, thou thinkest non tuae esse virtutis sed ejus

misericordiae, is not owing to thine own virtue, but to his mercy.” And explaining Ecclesiastes 9:11, he thus expresses himself; “He that is light, and his soul is not oppressed, nevertheless cannot come to the goal, absque Deo ajutore, unless God is his helper. And seeing the battle is against contrary powers, of which it is written, sanctify the battle; though a man may be strong, yet he cannot conquer, propriis viribus, by his own strength.

Also one that is perfect and wise among the children of men cannot have the living and heavenly bread, but through wisdom inviting, Come, eat of my bread. And because that riches are not wanting, of which the apostle says, 1 Timothy 6:18, 1 Corinthians 4:5, it must be known, that a prudent man cannot gather those riches, nisi eas a Domino acceperit, “unless he receives them from the Lord.’ Grace also, unless it accompanies knowledge, and is granted by God, though a learned man, he cannot find it.” He frequently inculcates the necessity of divine grace to the understanding of the Scriptures. The knowledge of the Scriptures he represents as “a watered garden, or a paradise of divers trees, sed qui absque gratia spirituali est, ‘ but he that is without spiritual grace’ does not so much as bring forth herbs.” And in another place he speaks of some, who though “they did not depart from the head, Christ, yet held things contrary to their head; who promise themselves by their own judgment, a knowledge of the Scriptures, absque magistro et gratia Domini, without a master and the grace of the Lord.” Particularly he observes, that “the whole epistle to the Romans wants interpretation, and is involved in such obscurities, that to understand it Spiritus Sancti indigeamus auxilio, we stand in need of the help of the Holy Spirit;” especially the ninth chapter, and the doctrines contained in it. Yea, he signifies, that all the doctrines of the gospel are unsearchable by man’s own diligence and industry; for explaining Ephesians 3:8, he has this observation, “Those things which are in their own nature unsearchable to man, these are known, Deo revelante, ‘God revealing them;’ for it is one thing to attain to a secret through one’s own curiosity, which after it is found out ceases to be unsearchable, aliud propria diligentia, nequaquam posse comprehendere sed per gratiam cognoscere Dei, ‘another thing in nowise to be able to comprehend it through one’s own diligence, but to know it by the grace of God;’ which, when thou

knowest, and hast also shown it to others, nevertheless remains unsearchable, since it was a secret to thee, as much as in thee lay before it was shown.” He asserts the necessity of the Spirit’s assistance, and the grace of God to the right performance of every good action, to which he refers it, when he says, “It is in our power to do any thing, or not to do it; so only that whatsoever, good work we will, desire and fulfill, ad Dei gratiam referimus, ‘we refer to the grace of God,’ who, according to the apostle, gives us both to will and to do.” And again, “The divine Word bid and commanded the prophet, saying, Stand upon thy feet; sed sine auxilio Dei et adventu Spiritus Sancti stare non poterat, ‘but without the help of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit he could not stand;’ wherefore he entered into him, or took and raised him up, that he might stand firm, and be able to say, He hath set my feet upon a rock.” Yea, he affirms, that the best of men stand in need of the grace of God; thus, explaining the names of Hilkiah, Jeremiah, Shallum, and Hanameel, he says, “Hilkiah is by interpretation the portion of the Lord, a Jeremiah the height of the Lord: for rightly the height of the Lord is born from the portion of the Lord; Shallum may be translated peace or peaceable, Hanameel the gift or grace of God; nor shall we wonder that peace and grace are joined together, when the apostolic epistles begin thus, Grace be unto you, and peace; for, first, we obtain the peace of God, and after peace grace is born in us; quae non in possidentis, sed in arbitrio donantis est, which is not in the will of the possessor, but in the will of the giver.” The grace of God carries the purchase to him who is set in high places, that though he may be seen high, tamen gratia Dei indigeat, yet stands in need of the grace of God.” And elsewhere he says, that “though a man be righteous, yet whilst he is in this flesh he is subject to vices and sins, et majore praesidio indiget, and is in need of a greater succor.” He very plainly and clearly asserts, that the work of sanctification is the work of God, and owing to his grace; yea, that it is a work of his mighty power, and what he even works irresistibly.

“Faith,” he says, “flows from the free will of a man’s own mind (which I suppose he means of the acts and exercise of faith being performed with freedom of will from the strength of grace; but, adds he,) sanctification is sometimes begun without our will, ex sanctificantis largitate, by the free gift of

the sanctifier.” And a little after he says, “As God being good, according to his essence and nature, nos communione sui effecit bonos, ‘hath made us good by the communion of himself:” and speaks to Israel, Be ye holy, for I am holy; so he himself being blessed makes us blessed.” Upon Ephesians 2:8-10, he has these words; “This faith is not of yourselves, but of him that calleth you: this therefore is said, lest, perhaps, a secret thought should creep into us, if we are not saved by our works, surely either by faith we are saved, and it is ours in another kind that we are saved; therefore he adds, and says, fidem quoque ipsam non nostrae voluntatis esse sed Dei muneris, ‘that this faith itself also is not of our will, but of God’s gift;’ not that he takes away free will from man; but since the liberty of the will has God for its author, all things are to be referred to his grace; seeing he even permits us to will that which is good; all this is therefore lest any one should glory in himself, and that he is not saved by God.” He goes on, and observes, that “God gives reasons why we are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, but of the gift of God; saying, for we are his workmanship, that is, that we live, that we breathe, that we understand, et credere possumus, and are able to believe.” And that the work of grace is a work of almighty power, he declares in his note on Jeremiah 13:23, “That which is impossible to men is possible to God, so that the Ethiopian or leopard can in nowise seem to change their nature; but he who works in the Ethiopian and leopard, according to Philippians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 15:10 Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 4:7; for which reasons “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches, nor the chaste man in his chastity; knowing that in all these Christi virtus sit, is the power of Christ, not theirs who glory in their own virtues.” And that he thought, that God when he works, works irresistibly, so as that which he works it shall be accomplished, appears from these expressions of his; “We men will to do most things by counsel, but the effect in nowise follows the will; but no one can resist him so that he cannot do all that he wills: he wills whatsoever things are full of reason and counsel; he wills that all may be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; but because no man is saved without his own will, for we are endued with free will, he wills, that we will that which is good, that when we have willed, velit in nobis et ipsius suum

implere consilium, he also wills in to fulfill his own counsel.”

CHAPTER 5

OF PERSEVERANCE

Introduction

Dr. Whitby says, “it were easy to confirm this doctrine (of the saints’ apostasy) from the concurrent suffrage of the ancient fathers; but this seems to him unnecessary, after the confession of the learned Vossius, communem hanc fuisse antiquitatis sententiam, ‘that this was the common judgment of antiquity, or of the ancients;’ and that antiquitas tota indeficibilitati adversatur, ‘all antiquity was contrary to this doctrine,’ of the indefectibility of the saints.” But it should be known, that Vossius, who sets himself with all his might to prove these assertions, not only in the same place owns, that the holy fathers (Austin and Prosper) held, “that God decreed from eternity to bring some by infallible means to eternal life, whose faith and love therefore should either never fail, or being lost, should be restored before the end of life; seeing God’s purpose of saving them whom he hath once chosen to life, can by no means be made void.” In which Austin thought the writers before him agreed with him, as appears from his book De Bono Perseverantiae; but Vossius also in his next thesis observes, that the fathers distinguished faith into three degrees, the last of which they call a perfect, solid, rooted one; and this they say can by no means be lost. He also farther observes, that “when the holy fathers teach that justifying faith may fail, and sometimes does really fail, they understand this with respect to acts which flow from the power and habit of faith; for this power, which we may call the seed of actual faith, they own, is not utterly taken away, at least in the elect.” What is the sense of these ancient writers may be better judged of by what will be produced under the following Sections.


Section 1

  1. Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69.

    Clement of Rome gives plain hints of the firmness of true faith, and the perseverance of the saints in it to the end. When addressing the members of the church at Corinth, he says? “Who has dwelt among you, that has not had an experience of, or proved, ten panareton kai bebaian umon pistin, your all-powerful, and firm

    or stable faith?” He also observes, that “whereas it is the will of God, that all whom he loves should partake of repentance, and so not perish with the unbelieving and impenitent, esterizen to pantokratoriko boulemati autou, ‘he has established it by his almighty will.’ But if any of those whom God wills should partake of the grace of repentance, should afterwards perish, where is his almighty will? And how is this matter settled and established by such a will of his?”


    Section 2

  2. Barnabas. A.D. 70.

    Barnabas, an apostolic man, bears testimony to the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance: when he says, that “he that hopes in Christ, sterean petran, ‘the firm and solid rock,’ shall live for ever;” which he afterwards repeats in answer to a question, why the wool and the wood were used in the legal ceremonies: “Because,” says he, the kingdom of Jesus depends upon the tree (he means the cross,) wherefore they that hope in him shall live for ever.” And in another place, he cites the following words as a passage of Scripture, And there was a river drawing, or running, on the right hand, and out of it sprung up beautiful trees, and whosoever eats of them shall live for ever; upon which he observes, that “this he says because we go down into the water (meaning in baptism) full of sins and filth, and we come up out of it bringing forth fruit; having in the heart fear and hope in Jesus through the Spirit, ‘and whosoever eats of these shall live for ever;’ this he says, that whosoever hears the things that are said, kai pisteuse, and believes, shall live for ever.”

    Section 3

  3. Ignatius. A.D. 110.

Ignatius also is a witness to this most comfortable truth of the gospel, when he exhorts the saints to “avoid those evil excrescences which bring forth deadly fruit, of which whoever tastes dies; for they are not the Father’s planting;” for if they “were, the branches of the cross would appear, kai en auto karpos autos aphthartos, ‘and their fruit would be incorruptible;’ whereby through his sufferings he hath called you, being his members, ou dunatai ouk kophale choris gennethenai aneu melon, for the head cannot be born, or be, without the members.” And in

another place he says, “No man professing faith, sins; nor having obtained love, hates. The tree is known by its fruit. So they that profess to be Christians shall be seen by what they do; for now it is not the business of a profession, all’ en dunamei pisteos ean tis eurethe eis telos, but it is through the power of faith, if any one is found to the end.” By which he intimates, that such is the strength and virtue of true faith, that such who have it are preserved and continued Christians to the end, and are then found to be so. His epistle to the Philadelphians is directed to them as a church firmly settled in the harmony of God, as being an everlasting and permanent joy; and their bishops, elders, and deacons, such whom Christ, according to his own will, esterixen en bebaiosune, “had firmly established, through his Holy Spirit.”


Section 4

3 Irenaeus. A.D. 180.

Irenaeus has several passages in his writings which favor this doctrine. Allegorizing the history of Lot’s wife, he thus expresses himself: “The church which is the salt of the earth, is left in the confines of the of the earth, suffering the things which are human; and whilst whole members are often taken away from it, perseverat statua salis qued est firmamentum fidei, firmans et praemittens filios ad Patrem ipsorum, ‘ the pillar of salt continues, which is the firmament of faith, confirming and sending before the children to their Father.” He speaks of the grace of love as an abiding one: “Love,” says he, “perfects the perfect man; and he that loves God is perfect both in this world, and in that which is to come; nunquam enim desivimus diligentus Deum, for we never cease loving God, but the more we look upon him, the more we love him.” He also represents the Spirit of God as never leaving the man he has taken up his residence in; for, he says, “The breath of life is one thing, which makes the man animal, and another the quickening Spirit, which makes him spiritual. That which is made is different from him that makes it, wherefore the breath is temporal, to de Pneuma aennaon, the Spirit eternal.” The breath indeed is vigorous for a little while, and remains some time, after which it goes away, leaving it breathless where it was before; but the Spirit encompasses man within and without, ate aei paramonimon oudepote kataleipei auton, as always

abiding, and never leaves him.” Yea, he represents it as blasphemy to say, that the members of Christ shall not be saved, but destroyed; for he makes this observation on 1 Corinthians 3:17, If any one defile the temple of God, etc.: Templum igitur Dei in quo Spiritus inhabitat Patris, et membra Christi non participare salutem, sed in perditionem redigi dicere, quomodo non maximae est blasphemiae? Therefore to say, that the temple of God, in which the Spirit of the Father dwells, and the members of Christ, shall not partake of salvation, but be brought down to destruction, is it not the highest blasphemy? Vossius refers to a chapter in Irenaeus, as militating against the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance, in which are these expressions: “All are of the same nature, and able to retain and do good, and able to lose it again, and not do it.” And a little after, “Disobedience to God, and loss of good, are indeed in the power of man.” But it should be known and observed, that Irenaeus is disputing against those heretics who held, that some men were by nature good, and others evil; whereas, he says, they are all of the same nature, as at first created by God, capable of doing good and evil. Besides, he speaks only of the loss of natural and moral good in the natural man, and not of the loss of spiritual good, or of supernatural grace in the regenerate man. Moreover, Irenaeus has a passage in the very same chapter which seems to favor the saints’ perseverance; for he says, that “the Lord bore all these things for us, that by all things being learned in all, we might be cautious for the future, et perseveremus in omni ejus dilectione, and persevere in all love to him.”


Section 5

  1. Epistola Martyrum Galliae. A.D. 180.

    The letter of the Martyrs in France I place here, because it is thought by some learned men to have been drawn up by Irenaeus, who was first a presbyter, and then bishop of the church at Lyons. In what year it was written is not certainly known; it must be after the death of Pothinus, predecessor to Irenaeus, since it gives an account of his martyrdom. The letter is written in a truly grand, noble, Christian spirit; it begins thus: “The servants of Christ dwelling in Vienna, and Lyons in France, to the brethren in Asia and Phrygia, which have the same faith and hope of redemption with us, peace, and grace, and glory, from,

    God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. In it they give an account of the sufferings and martyrdom of many excellent and godly persons in those parts, how bravely they endured, persevered, and held out to the end; which constancy and perseverance they all along ascribe to the grace and power of God. Among other expressions they have these: “When,” say they, we were not only driven from houses, baths, and markets, but were entirely forbid to appear in any place, antistrategei de e charis tou Theou, ‘the grace of God fought for us against the adversary,’ and delivered the weak, and set against him firm or solid pillars, able, through patience, to draw upon themselves the whole force or power of the wicked one.” And a little after they make mention of others, “who were bitterly tormented, insomuch that it seemed as though they could not live, notwithstanding every kind of medicine they made use of; they remained in prison, destitute indeed of the help and care of men, but anarronumenoi upo ten Kurion kai endunamoumenoi kai somati kai psuche, ‘being afresh strengthened by the Lord, and enabled or assisted in body and soul,’ they stirred up and comforted the rest.” And of Blundina, in particular, they say, that “though she was little, and weak, and despicable, yet, megan kai akatagoniston athleten Christon endedumene, ‘being clothed with that great and invincible champion, Christ,’ many a time overcame the enemy, and through the combat is crowned with the crown of immortality.” And after having taken notice of some who had denied the faith at first, afterwards, beyond the expectation of the heathens, made a confession of it; whereby Christ was greatly glorified, and all they were added to the number of the martyrs. They speak of others after this manner: “But they remained without, oi me de ichnos popote pisteos, ‘who never had the least appearance of faith,’ nor sense of the wedding garment, nor understanding of the fear of God, but through their whole conversation caused the way to be blasphemed; that is to say, the sons of perdition.” From whence it appears, that these early pious Christians, as they observe that such as had the true grace of God held out to the end, which they ascribe to the power of God; so such as finally and totally fell away, were such who never had the root of the matter in them.

    Section 6

  2. Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

    Clement of Alexandria frequently suggests the stability and permanency of such as have received the grace of God. Thus allegorizing Isaac’s sporting with Rebecca his spouse, whom he makes to signify the church; “which has,” says he, a firm and solid name put upon her, upomone, ‘patience; either because she only eis tous aionas menei, abides for ever,’ always rejoicing; or because she consists of the patience of believers, who are the members of Christ, and the testimony of them ton eis telos upomeinanton that endure the end.” And in, another place he says, “David cries out, “the righteous shall not be moved for ever,” neither by deceitful words, nor by deceitful pleasure hence neither shall he be moved from his own inheritance, nor shall he be afraid of evil tidings, nor of vain calumny nor of false opinion that is about him.” And elsewhere, speaking of a devout and religious person, he says, that “such a soul ou diorizetai pote tou Theou kat’ oudena kairon, shall never at any time be separated from God.” Having cited Psalm 48:12 he gives this sense of the words: “It signifies, I think, that such who have received the word from on high, shall be high as towers, kai bebaios en to to pistei kai to gnosei stesesthui, and shall stand firmly in faith and knowledge.” Both which, namely, faith and knowledge, he often represents as abiding and durable: of the former he has these expressions: “The life of Christians, which we are now giving some instructions about, is a certain system of rational actions, that is, of those things which are taught by the Logos, or Word, adiaptotos energeia, ‘a never- failing energy,’ which we indeed have called faith.” And in another place, “Faith, I say, whether it is founded on love or on fear, is something divine, mete upo alles philias kosmikes diaspomenen, mete upo phobon parontos dialuomenen, which cannot be pulled assunder by any other worldly friendship, nor be dissolved by present fear.” And elsewhere, “Faith is ischus eis soterian ‘kai dunamis eis zoen aionion, strength unto salvation, and a power unto everlasting life.” Yea, he observes, “The power of faith is such, that it exceeds every thing that is contrary to it, kai auton olou enistamenou tou kosmou, and even the whole world itself that it stands in the way of it.” To which may be added another passage of Clement’s: “I am persuaded that neither death, which is inflicted by persecutors, nor the life which we here live, nor angels, the apostate ones, nor principalities, the

    principality of Satan, which is the life he chooses, for such are the principalities and powers of darkness, according to him; nor things present, among which we are in this time of life, as the hope of the soldier, the gain of the merchant; nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, by an operation proper to men, resists the faith of him who makes a free choice. Creature, synonymously, is called operation, being our work, and such an operation cannot separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our lord.

    And as to the continuance of true spiritual knowledge he thus expresses himself: “Divine instruction,” says he, “ktema estin eis aei paramenon, is a possession that abides for ever.” Yea, he speaks of it as what cannot be lost: “To him that has by exercise, proceeding from knowledge,” says he, “got that virtue which cannot be lost, the habit of it becomes natural, and as heaviness to a stone, outos toude e episteme anapobletos, ‘so his knowledge cannot be lost,’ neither unwillingly nor willingly; by the power of reason, knowledge, and providence, it is so established that it cannot be lost; through a godly fear it becomes so as that it cannot be lost. The greatest thing therefore is the knowledge of God, because this is so preserved that virtue cannot be lost.” This perseverance of the saints is ascribed by Clement, not to themselves, but to the power and kindness of their Lord. “We shall not fall, says he, “into corruption, who pass through into incorruption, oti anthexetai emon autos, ‘because he sustains us;’ for he hath said, and he will do it.” And a little after he says, that “his, that is, Christ’s goodness towards them, who through hearing have believed, is ametakinetos se kai arrepes, immoveable, and turns neither one way nor another.” Vossius refers to this writer as favoring the saints’ apostasy; who does indeed, in the book referred to, cite Hebrews 10:26, and observes, that those who go on sinning and repenting, repenting and sinning, do not at all differ from such who never believed; and that he knows not which is worse, to sin willfully, or to repent for sin, and sin again; but then he gives no intimations, that he thought that such had ever received the true grace of God, who go on at this rate, and were now fallen from it. I have produced two passages out of the same book in proof of the doctrine of perseverance.

    Section 7

  3. Tertullian. A.D. 200.

    Tertullian was no stranger to the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance. “Satan,” he says, “cannot do anything against the servants of the living God, unless he permits, ut aut ipsum destruat per fidem electorum in tentatione victricem, aut homines ejus fuisse traducat, qui defecerint ad eum, ‘either that he may destroy him through the faith of the elect, which overcomes in temptation, or that he may openly show that the men were his, who fell off to him.” You have an example in Job. So he desired power to tempt the apostles, not having it but by permission; since the Lord in the Gospel says to Peter, Satan hath desired that he might sift thee as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; ne tantum Diabolo permitteretur, ut fides periclitaretur, ‘lest only it should be permitted to the devil, as that faith should be in danger;’ whereby it showed, that both are with God, and shaking of faith, and the protection of it; since both are desired of him, shaking by the devil, protection by the Son; and seeing the Son of God has the protection of faith in his own power, which he requested of the Father, from whom he receives all power in heaven and in earth; how can the devil have the shaking of faith in his own hand?” And a little after he observes, that “the legion of devils had had no power over the herd of swine, unless they had obtained it of God; tantum abest ut in oves Dei habeat, ‘so far are they from having any over the sheep of God.’ The devil seems now to enjoy his own power, si forte in eos qui ad Deum non pertinent, though perhaps over them who do not belong to God.” Moreover, against the household of God he can do nothing of his own power; for when he is allowed, the instances in Scripture demonstrate from what causes it is; for either the power of tempting is granted to him, provoked or provoking, for the sake of probation, as in the cases above; or for the sake of reprobation, is the sinner delivered to him as to an executioner for punishment, as Saul; —or for the sake of restraint, as the apostle relates, that there was given him a staff, a messenger of Satan to buffet him. Nor is this kind permitted to the devil, for the humbling of the saints, by afflicting the flesh; nisi simul ut et virtus tolerantiae scilicet in infirmitate perfici possit, “unless that also, at the same time, the power of patience might be made perfect, namely, in weakness.” He elsewhere suggests, that it

    is impossible the elect of God should be destroyed by Satan, notwithstanding all the signs and wonders done by him. “God forbid,” says he, “that we should believe that the soul of any saint, much less of a prophet, should be drawn out by the devil, who are taught, that Satan may be transfigured into an angel of light; not only into a man of light; yea, that in the end he will affirm himself to be God, and will do more wondrous signs, ad evertendos si fieri posit electos, to destroy the elect, if possible.”

    Moreover, Tertullian asserts, that the work of God cannot be lost, extinguished, or cease; “for what is of God,” says he, “is not so extinguished, as it is overshadowed; for it may be overshadowed,, because it is not God;. it cannot be extinguished, because it is of God.” And if this is true of natural good, which God puts into men, of which he seems to speak, it must be much more so of supernatural good infused into them. And in another place he asks, “How is it, that though Satan is always working, and adding daily to the wicked wits of men, opus Dei aut cessaverit aut proficere destiterit, that, either the work of God should cease, or stop going forward.” Vossius indeed refers us to two places in this writer, in favor of the saints’ defectibility from the grace of God. In the first of them are these words: “And is this to be wondered at, that any who have been proved for the time past should afterwards fall? Saul, a good man, above the rest, is overthrown by envy; David, a good man, according to the Lord’s heart, is afterwards guilty of murder and adultery; Solomon, endued with all grace and wisdom by the Lord, is by women induced to idolatry: for to the Son of God alone was it reserved to abide without sin. What if, therefore, a bishop, a deacon, a widow, a virgin, a doctor, yea, even a martyr, should fall from the rule, shall heresies on that account seem to obtain truth? Do we prove faith by persons, or persons by faith? No man is wise, but a believer; no man of great name, but a Christian; no man a Christian, but he who shall persevere to the end.” All which amounts to no more, than that the best of men may fall into sin; that none are exempt from it but the Son of God; therefore we should not think ill of the doctrine of faith, because of the falls of the professors of it; no man being a true Christian but he that shall persevere to the last; for such who do not, were never true Christians; to all which we heartily subscribe. Tertullian, both before and after this passage, says such things as are so far

    from destroying, that they serve to strengthen the doctrine of perseverance. Before it he observes, that “heresies prevail through the infirmities of some, which would not prevail at all, si in bene valentem fidem incurrant, had they attacked one whose faith was sound and well.” And after it he has these words, which gave great light into his sense and meaning; “The Lord knows them that are his, and the plant which the Father has not planted he roots up, and of the first shows the last, and carries the fan in his hand to purge his floor. Let the chaff of light faith fly away with every breath of temptation, as much as can fly, eo purior massa frumenti in horrea Domini reponetur, ‘so that the more pure mass of wheat may be laid up in the Lord’s garners.’ Shall not some of the learners, being offended, turn away from the Lord? Yet the rest should not therefore think of departing from following him; but they that know that he is the word of life, and came from God, perseveraverunt in comitatu ejus usque ad finem, ‘have persevered in his company unto the end,’ when he mildly offered to them to depart if they would. It is a lesser matter if such as Phygellus, Hermogenes, Philetus, and Hymeneeus, leave his apostle. The betrayer of Christ was of the apostles. We wonder at his churches, if they are deserted by some, when these things show us Christians, what we suffer after the example of Christ himself; They went out from us, says he, 1 John 2:19, for they were not of us,” etc. In the other place referred to stands this passage: “Do not many afterwards fall? Is not the gift taken away from many? These are they, namely, who creep in by stealth; who, attempting the faith of repentance, place their house, about to fall upon the sands.” But Tertullian is manifestly speaking of such who never had the true grace of God, or built upon a right foundation, from whom was taken away that which they seemed to have; having fallen, not from true faith they never had, but from a profession of it: so he sometimes calls Simon Magus a believer, because he professed to be one; though he afterwards says, that he was cursed by the apostles, and cast out from the faith, that is, from the church of God, and a profession of faith in it. So when he speaks of some ready to perish after baptism, he is to be understood of such who have not, and never had, oil in their lamps.” Or, when he speaks of true believers losing their faith, he does not mean that they shall finally and totally perish; “for,” says he, “though such an one may be

    said to perish, it will be of such kind or perdition as to be recovered again; because the sheep perishes, not by dying, but by wandering, and the piece of silver, not by decaying, but by lying hid; so that may be said to perish which is safe; wherefore also a believer, falling into a sight of the charioteer’s fury, the fencer’s blood, the filthiness of the stage, etc., perishes;” yet he observes, that he ought to be sought after and fetched back.

    Section 8

  4. Origines Alexandrinus. A.D. 230.

    Origen has many things in his writings which countenance the doctrine of the perpetuity of grace in the saints, and their final perseverance. “To me,” he says, “those things seem firmer which are by grace, than those which are of the law; because those are without us, they are within us, and these consist in frail matter, so as that they may easily decay, but they are written by the Spirit of God, and being impressed in the inward chambers of the soul, firmitatem perpetuitatis obtinent, obtain the firmness of perpetuity.” Again, he observes, “that the grace and gift of our Savior,” referring to John 4:10, 14, anaphairetos kai me analiskomene, mede phtheiromene, “cannot be taken, away, nor consumed, nor destroyed in him that partakes of it.” Particularly he observes, agreeably to the Scripture, that “charity, or the graces of love never fails; wherefore,” adds he “the apostle being confident that he had received it entire, said, Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall tribulation, etc., for from charity never failing, were those words of his” (Rom. 8:35). In another place he takes notice of a twofold light, the light of the ungodly, which will be put out, and. the light of the righteous, quae permanet in aeternum, “which abides for ever;” and then argues thus: “Our soul is enlightened either with the true light, quod nunquam extinguetur, ‘which shall never be put out,’ which is Christ; or if it has not in it that light which is eternal, without doubt it is enlightened with a temporal and extinguishable light, by him who transforms himself into an angel of light.” Moreover, having observed, as before, that “charity never falls; so,” says he, “the possession and house of the saints never falls, is never taken away, is never separated from their right; for how can that house be separated from the priest, which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, in which Jesus Christ

    is the chief corner stone?” He often argues the inexpugnableness and safety of the saints, and church of Christ, from their being built upon a foundation, and upon a rock. “The church,” he says, “as the building of Christ, who builds his own house wisely upon the rock, anepidektos esti pulon adou, ‘cannot admit of the gates of hell;’ which indeed prevail against every man without the rock and church, but can do nothing against it.” And a little after, “No gate of hell can prevail against the rock, or the church which Christ has built upon it.” Hence he asserts, that none that belong to Christ, even the least, can ever perish, or the elect be deceived; his words are these; after citing the passage in Matthew 17:10, he adds, “He that is now a little one, can neither be offended nor perish, for great peace have they which love the name of God, and nothing shall offend them. Even he that is the least of all the disciples of Christ, ouk an apoloito, cannot perish, and therefore he is great, and may say this, Who shall separate us from the love?” etc. And Elsewhere, referring to Matthew 24:24, he says, “If it be possible, is a word of exaggeration; for he does not affirm, or say, that the elect also may be deceived; but would show that the words of heretics are frequently very persuasory and powerful to move even them that hear wisely.” Satan, as powerful an adversary as he is, is represented as unable to hurt and destroy those that fear the Lord. “We do not deny,” says he, that there are many devils on earth; we say there are, and that they are powerful in the wicked because of their wickedness; but can do nothing to those who have put on the whole armor of God, and have received strength to stand against the wiles of the devil.” And a little after: “Others, who through ignorance subject themselves to them, may suffer by them; but the Christian, the true Christian, who subjects himself to God only, and to his word, cannot suffer anything by the devils, being greater than them; and he cannot suffer or be hurt by them, because the angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him.” And a little after he adds, “So that the contrary angels, nor the prince of them, who is called the prince of this world, can do nothing effectually against those who are devoted to God.” The power of sustaining the combat with our spiritual enemies, and the obtaining the victory over them, he ascribes not to the power of man, but to divine grace and assistance.

    I own there are some passages in the writings of

    this father which are not agreeable to this doctrine, though frequently suggested by him: as when he supposes Judas to be a true believer, and observes, that though none can pluck Christ’s sheep out of the hands of God, yet they may fall out of them through their own negligence, or by setting themselves afar off from the hand of God. As also when he intimates, that the Spirit of God is sometimes in the saints, and sometimes not; though this may be understood of the gifts of the Spirit, bestowed at certain times for peculiar service; or of the graces of the Spirit not being always in exercise, though in being. And in the first passage referred to by Vossius, where Origen says, that the Holy Spirit is taken away from persons unworthy, and that he who is now worthy of the participation of him, and turns back, is really guilty of blasphemy against him, he is to be understood of the gifts, and not of the grace of the Spirit. His second passage is not to be met with, there being no such chapter in the book he cites. In his third reference are plain intimations of the doctrine of perseverance; he says, that they, of whom the apostle says they made shipwreck of faith, were indeed called, but not justified; and observes, that neither the death of the body, nor the life of sin, nor the vain glory of this world, nor the prince of the world, and other powers, though they desire and endeavor, they cannot separate any from the love of God. It is true, he adds, if love is perfect, and rooted and grounded; and so it is in every true believer, as to the principle, though not as to the degree and exercise of it.

    Section 9

  5. Cyprian. A.D. 250.

    Cyprian must be reckoned among the assertors of the final perseverance of the saints, and of the indefectibility of true believers, as will appear from the following passages in his writings. He makes this observation on Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us etc. Nihil horum potest separare credentes, ‘none of these things can separate believers;’ nothing can pull them away that cleave to his body and blood.” And to the same purpose he speaks in another place, “The church, that is, the people fixed in the church faithfully and firmly persevering in that which they have believed, nothing can separate from Christ, quo minus haereat semper et maneat in individua dilectione, that they should not always continue and

    remain in individual love.” Again he observes, that “the Lord, the protector and defender of his people, will not suffer, triticum de area sua diripi, ‘the wheat to be taken from off his floor,’ but the chaff only can be separated from the church.” Agreeable to which he elsewhere says, “He that is not planted in the precepts and admonitions of God the Father, solus poterit de ecclesia ille discedere, he only can depart from the church.” And again, “The church which believes in Christ, and which holds that which it has once known, never departs from him at all; and they are the church who remain in the house of God; but there is a plantation which is not planted by God the Father, whom we see are not made firm and solid with the stability of wheat, but are winnowed like chaff with the breath of the scattering enemy; of whom John in hi, epistle says, They went out from us,” etc. Here presents faith as inexpugnable, and says, that “the strength of believers remains immoveable, and that integrity continues stable and strong with those who fear and love God with their whole heart.” To which may be added the following expressions of his, “The strength of hope, and firmness of faith, are vigorous with us, and we have a mind erect, virtue immoveable, patience ever joyful, and a soul secure of its own God, amidst the ruins of a decaying age; as the Holy Ghost, by the prophet, speaks and exhorts, strengthening with a heavenly voice the firmness of our faith and hope, Although, says he, the fig-tree shall not blossom,” etc. He denies, “that a man of God, and a worshipper of him, leaning on the truth of hope, and founded on the stability of faith, can be moved by the troubles of this world and age.” Once more he says, “To whom remission of sins is given, to them the name of children is ascribed, and to them eternity is promised, according to John 8:34, 35. Now this perseverance of the saints, Cyprian considered as the gift of God’s grace, and owing to his almighty power; hence, says he, “This we desire and entreat, that we who are sanctified in baptism, might persevere in that which we have begun to be.” And a little after, “This we request night and day’, that sanctification and vivification which proceeds from the grace of God, ipsius protectione servetur, might be preserved by his protection.”

    Which passages, with others, are cited by Austin for the same purpose to show the sense of this great and good man, who not only held the doctrine, but

    had the grace of perseverance unto the end; for when the proconsul put the question to him, “Dost thou then persevere in this mind, that thou wilt not sacrifice?” he answered, Bona voluntas, quae Deum novit mutari non potest, “A good mind which knows God cannot be changed.’” which were some of his last words, as Pontius his deacon relates. Vossius refers to three places in Cyprian, showing that the saints may lose the true grace of God, and finally and totally perish. The two first of them regard one of the same case, that of Solomon’s, of whom he says, that “while he walked in the ways of the Lord, he enjoyed the grace of the Lord, but when he left them he lost it.” Where, by the grace of the Lord, I apprehend he means the discoveries of the love and favor of God to him, which he enjoyed whilst he walked in his ways, and lost when he departed from them; since he adds, “and the Lord raised up Satan, or an enemy, to Solomon.” Which may be the case of a true believer, and yet not fall from grace, as in the heart of God, or as implanted in his own heart, much less finally and totally perish; nor does Cyprian suggest any such thing concerning Solomon. Besides, in one of the places where this case is mentioned, he says many things which confirm the doctrine we plead for. Thus speaking of the saints, he observes, that “He (Christ) says, that they are strong and stable, and founded upon a rock of a mighty bulk, and that they are solidly settled with an immoveable and unshaken firmness against all the storms and tempests of the world.”

    Again, says he, “Let no man think, bonos de ecclesia posse discedere, ‘that good men can depart from the church.’ The wind does not take away the wheat, nor does a storm root up the tree that is founded with a solid root; empty chaff is carried away with

    a tempest; weak trees are overturned at meeting a whirlwind; these the apostle John curses and strikes at, first epistle, (1 John 2:19).” Once more, “The Lord chose Judas,” says he, “though Judas afterwards betrayed the Lord, non tamen ideireo apostolorum fides et firmitas cecidit, ‘yet the faith and firmness of the apostles did not fall,’ because Judas, the betrayer, fell from their society; so here, the holiness and dignity of confessors are not immediately broke to pieces, because the faith of some is broken. The blessed apostle in his epistle speaks, saying, “For what if some of them fell from the faith?” etc. Now, supposing that in the case before us, Cyprian had

    expressed himself a little incautiously, must this instance prevail against so many testimonies which have been produced to the contrary? In the other place, referred to by Vossius, are these words, “And on the contrary oftentimes, some of those who are baptized in health, if afterwards they begin to sin, are shaken by the unclean spirit returning; so that it is manifest, that the devil, who is excluded in baptism by the faith of the believer, returns, si fides postmodum defecerit, if faith should afterwards fail.” But then let it be observed, that Cyprian does not assert, only supposes the failing of faith after baptism; and had he asserted it, Vossius himself has taught us how to understand the fathers, when they say that faith may fail, and sometimes really does; by which they mean, not the habit or seed of faith, but the acts which flow from it; and that true faith, as to the acts and exercise of it, may fail, is not denied by us.


    Section 10

  6. Lactantius. A.D. 320.

    Lactantius clearly asserts the perpetuity of virtue or grace, when he affirms, that where it once is, it can never remove; his words are these, “virtue is perpetual, without any intermission; nec discedere ab eo potest, qui enim semel cepit, ‘nor can it depart from him who has once received it;’ for if it has any interval, if we can at any time be without it, vices immediately return, which always oppose virtue; nor is it therefore laid hold on, if it leaves, if it at any time departs; but seeing it has placed for itself a stable habitation, it must needs be conversant in every act; nor can it truly repel vices, and cause them to flee away, unless it fortifies the breast where it has its seat, perpetua statione, ‘with a perpetual station; wherefore the perpetuity of virtue shows, that the human mind, if it has received virtue, continues, because virtue is perpetual, and the human mind only is capable of it.”


    Section 11

  7. Eusebius Caesariensis. A.D. 330.

    Eusebius observes, that Christ foretold, that “the church gathered out of all nations should be aetteton kai akatamacheton, ‘unconquerable and inexpugnable,’ and never to be overcome by death itself; but should stand and abide unshaken, being established by

    his power, and fixed as upon an immoveable and unbroken rock.” And elsewhere, he affirms it to be a matter out of question and “without controversy, that a new nation has appeared, not small, nor situated in a corner of the earth, but of all nations most populous and religious to this day, anoletron kai aetteton e kai esaei, tes para Theou boetheias tugchanei, not being liable to ruin, but insuperable, because it has always help from God.” And in another place, having mentioned Psalm 47:9, he observes, that “this shows yet more clearly, that the princes of the church of Christ, among the Gentiles, are translated into the inheritance of the prophets, formerly dear to God: and these being strengthened by the power of our Savior, are lifted up very high oudenos anthropon katabalein autous kai tapeinosai dedunemenou, ‘insomuch that no man is able to cast them down and lay them low,’ because of the right hand of God that lifts them up, and strengthens them.” Once more, he says, “The Lord himself being both shepherd and Lord of the flock, is said to feed it by himself in strength, so that the sheep being kept with a mighty hand, and a high arm, meden ti pathein deinon pros ton ephedreuonton autois agrion kai apenon therion, suffer no evil from the wild and savage beasts which lie in wait for them.”


    Section 12

  8. Chronomatius. A.D. 335.

    Chronomatius was, as we learn from Jerome, bishop of Aquileia; he is said to flourish about A.D. 335, and therefore must live to a great age, as appears from Jerom’s knowledge of him, and acquaintance with him. He wrote upon the Beatitudes, and some other passages in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and part of the sixth. Vossius refers to a passage in this writer as militating against the perseverance of the saints; who indeed observes, that “they are infatuated, who, when once taught by faith’, and the heavenly wisdom, and ought to remain faithful and stable, leave the faith and divine wisdom, and either fall into heresy, or return to the folly of the heathens.” But it is plain that he is speaking of nominal Christians, and of their leaving the doctrine of faith they were once instructed in, and professed, but not of their losing the grace of faith, which they never had. He instances in Judas, “who,” he says, “was of these sort of salts, but afterwards he rejected that divine wisdom, and of an apostle became

    an apostate; not only could not be profitable to others, but became miserable and unprofitable to himself.” And a little after, “Judas, of the household of faith, became an enemy of the truth.” All which only regard the office to which he was called, the external gifts bestowed upon him, and outward profession of faith he made, and the character he bore in the esteem of others, from which he sadly fell. But this is no proof of the apostasy of a true believer. Besides, Chronomatius observes in the same work, “as salt, when it operates in any flesh, it does not admit of corruption, it taxes away ill smells, it purges out filth, it does not suffer worms to be generated; so the heavenly grace of faith, which was given through the apostles, in like manner works in us; for it takes away the corruption of carnal concupiscence, it purged out the filth of sin, it excludes the odor of an evil conversation, and does not suffer the worms of sin to be generated, that is, lustful and deadly pleasures to rise out of the body And as salt indeed is put without, but inwardly operates by virtue of its own nature so the heavenly grace penetrates through the outward and inward parts of the man; et totum hominem, integrum a peccato incorruptumque conservat, and preserves the whole man entire, and incorrupt from sin.” Which may be considered as a testimony for the doctrine of the saints’ perseverance.


    Section 13

  9. Athanasius. A.D. 350.

    Athanasius expressly asserts the stability of the church, and the safety of believers, as they are established upon the rock Christ Jesus. Having cited Matthew 16:18, he makes this observation upon it: “Faithful is the saying, and immoveable the promise, kai e ekklesia aettetos, ‘and the church invincible,’ though hell itself should be moved, and the rulers of darkness in it.” And in another place he says, “A faithful disciple of the gospel, that has grace to discern spiritual things, builds his house of faith upon a rock, kai esteken edraios kai asphales apo tes touton apates diamenon, and stands firm, and ‘abides safe from their deceit;” that is, from the deceit of false christs and false prophets he had been speaking of before. And having elsewhere mentioned some instances, in the Psalms, he adds, “Wherefore it is manifest, that we being made one, are able, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, bebaion echein tes agates

    ton sundesmon, to hold the bond of love firm.” He suggests, that the reason why Christ receives grace for men, is, that it might remain safe for them. “He, the Lord,” says he, “received, that the gift residing in him, bebaia e charis diamene, ‘grace might remain firm;’ for if men only had received, it was possible that it might be taken away again, which is shown in Adam, for what he received he lost; ina de anaphairetos e charis genetai kai bebaia phugachthe tois anthropois, ‘now that this grace might not he taken away, but be kept safe from men,’ therefore he made this gift his own, and says, that he received power as man, which he always had as God.” He also represents it as the effect of Christ’s redemption, that the redeemed die no more; for thus he introduces Christ’s speaking: “I have finished the work, which thou, Father, gavest me; the work is finished; for the men that are redeemed from sin, ouketi menousi nekcroi, no longer remain dead. But if any of them should perish who are redeemed by Christ, how would this end of redemption be answered in such persons, or the effect of it appear in them? Vossius appeals to a passage in Athanasius, as militating against this doctrine, which is this: “When any one falls from the Spirit, through some wickedness, grace indeed remains irrevocable, with those who are willing; though a man falls, he may repent; but such an one that falls is no longer in God, because the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which is in God, departs from him; but the sinner is in him, to whom he has subjected himself, as in the case of Saul; for ‘the Spirit of God departed from him, and an evil spirit afflicted him.’” But this must be understood of the external gifts of the Spirit, as the instance of Saul directs us to observe, and not of the special grace of the Spirit in effectual vocation; for Athanasius, in the very same page, says, that it never fails, is without repentance, and being once bestowed, is never revoked.’ His words are these: That phrase, as we are one, referring to John 17:92, means nothing else, than that the grace of the Spirit which the disciples had, might be adiaptotos kai ametameletos, ‘never-failing and irrevocable;’ for, as I said before, what the Word had by nature to be in the Father, he desires might be irrevocably given us by the Spirit; which the apostle knowing, said, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? For the gifts of God, and the grace of calling, are without repentance.’”

    Section 14

  10. Macarius Aegyptus. A.D. 350.

    Macarius gives plain intimations, that such who are truly born again shall never perish, but have everlasting Fife. “The true death,” he says, is inbred in the heart, and is hidden, and the inward man is become dead; if therefore any one passes from this death unto the life which is hidden, verily he shall live for ever, kai ouk apothneskei, and not die.” Again: “The soul shall be kept by the power of the Lord, which, as much as it is able, restrains itself, and turns from every worldly lust; and so it is helped by the Lord, that it may be truly kept from the aforesaid evils; for whenever the Lord sees any one bravely declining the pleasures of life, distractions, gross cares, earthly bonds, and the wanderings of vain reasonings, he grants the peculiar assistance of grace, aptoton diateron ten psuchen ekeinen, preserving that soul from falling.” Once more: “The humble man never falls, for from whence should he fall who is under all?” And in another place, speaking of Mary, he observes, that a divine power filled her heart; and adds, “That power, wherever it is necessary, becomes permanent, os ktema anaphairdon, as a possession that cannot be taken away.” Once more he says, that a soul “calling upon the Lord is able to continue en pistei adisakto, in faith, without doubting.” Vossius refers to several Homilies of this writer, as containing in them passages which militate against the saints’ perseverance. Out of the fourth homily referred to, I have produced an instance in favor of it: in it, he does indeed make mention or the foolish virgins, but then he supposes them to be such who were in a state of nature, were never regenerated by the Spirit of God, and were destitute of the oil of grace; and in it also he represents God as not ashamed to receive such that fall, provided they repent, turn to him, and desire help of him. In the fifteenth, these questions are put: Whether a man having grace can fall? whether grace remains after man is fallen? To which he replies, that he may fall if he is negligent, which may prove a loss to him, but he does not say that grace itself may be lost. And out of the same homily I have cited a passage in proof of the doctrine contended for. In the twenty-fourth homily referred to, I do not meet with any thing that looks like the doctrine of the saints’ final and total apostasy. In the twenty-sixth he says, that many who think they have attained to perfection

    wander from the grace they have, by which he means gifts; for he supposes treat a man may have this grace, and yet his heart not purified, or be a Christian; for as for Christians, he says, though Satan wars against them without, they are inwardly safe by the power of God, and care not for Satan. In the twenty-seventh homily he indeed cites Hebrews 6:4-6, and makes this remark upon it: “Behold, they that are enlightened, and have tasted, fall;” which nobody denies. And in the same page he has these words, “He that has these things,” meaning gifts, “falls; but he that has charity, or love, aptotos estin, cannot fall.”


    Section 15

  11. Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 350.

    Hilary of Poictiers says many things which favor the doctrine of the saints’ perseverance: he often speaks of faith as invincible and immoveable. “This is the mystery of divine revelation,” says he, “not only to say, but also to believe, that Christ is the Son of God: —this faith is the foundation of the church, through this faith the gates of hell against it are weak.” Again, “When he (Christ) asked Martha, praying for Lazarus, whether she believed that those that believed in him should never die; she spake out the faith of her own conscience, saying, Yea, Lord, I believe, etc. Confessio haec aeternitas est et fides ista non moritur, this confession is eternity, and this faith dies not.” In another place he says, “We do not depend on uncertain and idle hopes, as mariners, who, sometimes sailing rather, by wishes than in confidence, the wandering and unstable either drive or leave; but we have insuperabilis fidel spiritus dono unigeniti Dei permanens, “the insuperable spirit of faith, through the gift of the only begotten of God,’ abiding, and leading us by an unalterable course to the quiet haven.” Much the same he says of hope as he does of faith: “By him (Christ), he observes, “we are brought into the hope of eternity, and in this hope we are not confounded; because this same hope, nobis fortitudinis turris est facta, ‘is made unto us a tower of strength.’ Through this hope we sustain the force of the devil and his snares, being hedged about tutissima fidei munitione, ‘with the most safe munition of faith,’ against him and his spiritual wickednesses.” Hence he represents the case of believers to be such, that there need be no hesitation about enjoying

    eternal happiness. “The kingdom of heaven,” says he, “which the prophets declared, John preached, our Lord professed was in himself, he wills should be hoped for, sine aliqua incertae voluntatis ambiguitate, ‘ without any doubtfulness of an uncertain will,’ otherwise there is no justification by faith, if faith itself should he doubtful;” for, as he observes a little after, “In the sayings of God is truth, and all the efficiency of created things is in the Word; wherefore neither what he has promised is doubtful, nor what he speaks is ineffectual.” He further intimates, that such as are built upon the foundation, Christ, can never be moved or perish. Commenting on Matthew 7:24, he says, “By the which the Lord makes himself the strong foundation of a high building, and that he who from him grows up into a sublime work, cannot be moved, either by rains, or floods, or wind; by rains, he means the allurements of flattering pleasures, and which sensibly slide into the open chinks, whereby faith is first made wet; after that, a run of torrents, that is, of motion, of grievous lusts, rush in; and then the whole force of the winds blowing about, rages; namely, the whole breath of devilish power is brought in; but the man built upon the foundation of the rock, insistet, nec moveri loco suo poterit, will stand, nor can he be moved out of his own place.” Again, he says, “A house reared up by men’s works does not abide; nor does that stand which is instituted by the doctrines of the world; nor will it be kept by the empty labor of our care; it is to be built up other ways, it is other ways to be kept: it is not to be begun upon the earth, nor upon the fluid sliding sand, but its foundation is to be laid upon the prophets and apostles; it is to be increased with living stones; it is to be held together by the cornerstone; it is to be built up by the increase of mutual connection, into a perfect man, and into the measure of the body of Christ: and also to be adorned with the form and beauty of spiritual grace; this house, so built by God, that is, by his doctrines, non concidet, shall not fall.” On these words, the Lord keepeth them that love him, he has this note, “He will save by keeping them, that is, by reserving them to be partakers of the everlasting kingdom; but they are those who will fear, pray, and. love.” Once more, he observes, that “this is the constitution of invariable truth, in the beginning of the words of God is truth, that the new man, regenerated in Christ, vicat deinceps aeternus, ‘may henceforth live eternal,’ according to

    the image of the eternal God, that is of the heavenly Adam.”

    Section 16

  12. Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

    Basil gives plain intimations, that such who are redeemed by Christ, and are truly gracious souls, shall never perish. “He,” says he, “that has chosen the narrow and laborious way, before the smooth and easy one, shall not see everlasting corruption: namely, the affliction that shall endure for ever.” And a little after, “Persuasions of knowledge, falsely so called, give occasion of death to them that receive them; which death he shall not see who is redeemed by him, whom it hath pleased by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.” Virtue, grace, righteousness, holiness, faith, and such like, he represents as what always remain, and can never be destroyed. “Virtue,” he says, “is the only possession, anaphaireton, ‘that cannot be taken away,’and continues with a man living and dying.” Again, “Holiness and righteousness, which are brought in the room of them (sins), are easy and fight; kai ouk eidota kumasi kaluphthenai tisi, and which cannot be covered or borne down by any floods.” And elsewhere he observes, that the preaching of the gospel has great power of leading and drawing unto salvation, and every soul is held by its immoveable doctrines, and is by grace confirmed pros ten adaleuton eis Christen pistin, in the unshaken faith of Christ.” And in another place the question is asked, “What is the property of faith?” The answer is, “An undoubted full assurance of the truth of the divine word, which by no reason induced by natural necessity, or having the appearance of piety, diasaleuomenh, can be moved.” Once more he observes, “that because God is in the midst of his own city, he gives it to asaleton, ‘stability,’ whether this name of a city agrees with the Jerusalem that is above, or the church which is below.” Vossius refers us to several of the homilies of this father, as militating against this doctrine of the saints’ perseverance; but in some of them that are referred to, there are very strong expressions in favor of it; in the first of them he thus says, “These words, I have loved because the Lord hath heard the voice of my prayer, seem to be equivalent to the words of the apostle, and to be said with the same affection by the prophet as by the apostle, Who shall separate us from the love of

    Christ! Shall tribulation, etc. Therefore I have loved all those things, knowing that I can bear those dangers for the sake of godliness.” And a little after, says he, “Not that I can by my own power strive against those sorrows; but because I have called upon the name of the Lord.” In the second stands this passage, “Prudence itself will give to one that builds a house to lay the foundation upon a rock; that is, to found it in the faith of Christ, wote aseiston diamenein, that it may abide immoveable and firm.” And in the last of them, he observes, “that we are not angels, but men, and fall and rise again, and that often in the same hour;” and instances in David and Peter; and of the latter he says, that “though he was a rock, yet he was not a rock as Christ; for Christ truly is the immoveable rock; but Peter so, because of the rock.” In the third of them he does indeed say, that “sin abolishes the grace given us by the washing of regeneration; and that sin precedes the loss of grace, which is given through the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But what he means by that grace is not very evident. And in the fourth he says, that “the Spirit must needs excel them that receive, and are sanctified by him, when he comes; but are corrupted, he leaving them; he himself always being the fountain of everlasting life.” But then this must be understood of such who receive him not aright, for, as he elsewhere expresses himself, “The saints receive water springing up unto eternal life, which opes gignetai en tois kalos labousi in them that receive it rightly, it becomes so.”


    Section 17

  13. Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 350.

    Gregory of Nazianzum has several expressions in his writings which favor the doctrine of the saints’ perseverance. He says, “A man may possess such a habit of virtue, oste kai schedon adunaton, genesthai ten peri ta geiro poron, so as that it is almost impossible that he should be carried away to that which is evil.” And as for the grace of faith, he says, “that, only of all things is analwton inexpugnable, and elsewhere, for the consolation of the people of God under reproaches and afflictions, he thus expresses himself; “Are we reproached? Let us bless them that do ill. Are we spit upon? Let us study to have honor from God. Are we made to fly? Not from God, tout ouk afaireton ge twn pantwn monon, this alone of all things cannot

    be taken away.” With what exultation and joy does he express himself in a view of interest in Christ! “O, my Christ,” says he, thou art my portion, which to have is better than to have all things else, monon bebaion ktematon kai eleutheron, this is the only firm and free possession.” Those who fall off from a profession of faith, and desert the interest of Christ and religion, he represents as such “who never were sown epi ten sterean petran kai aseiston, ‘upon the firm and unshaken rock, but upon dry and barren land; these are they who come to the word in a superficial way, and are of little faith; and because they have no depth of earth, suddenly arise, and looking to please others, after a short assault of the evil one, and a little temptation and heat, are withered and die.” Vossius refers to a passage in this writer as militating against this doctrine; in which Gregory advises such as are cleansed “to keep themselves, lest the issue of blood should flow again, and they not be able to lay hold on Christ; and such who have been made whole to sin no more, lest a worse thing should befall them, and should appear to be evil, after having received a great and considerable benefit; and such who had heard that great voice, “Lazarus, come forth;” and were come forth, to take heed lest they die again, when it would be uncertain, whether they would be raised again until the last and common resurrection.” These expressions, it must be owned, do seem to intimate, that persons may be purged, and yet perish; be made whole, and yet lost; be quickened, and yet die again. But then they must be imputed to this author’s great zeal for the good of souls, and care of them, and concern for them, and to his earnestness in cautioning of them against sin, and advising them to that which is good.


    Section 18

  14. Gregorius Nyssenus. A.D. 380.

    Gregory of Nyssa gives plain intimations of the security of the saints, and the perpetuity of grace where it is once implanted. Having taken notice of Balaam’s being sent for to curse Israel, which he was not able to do, he makes this remark on it; “Hence we understand that no enchantment is effectual against those who live virtuously; but such being satiated through divine assistance, pases uperischuein epiboules, prevail over every snare.” And in another place he observes, that “the earth first apostatized

    through sin, but now, through the knowledge of God has a firm standing; we are all God’s earth, who were first unstable in that which is good, and therefore became a curse; but afterwards, being delivered from the curse, we again obtain a standing in that which is good.” And a little after, he makes this observation on Psalm 47:1, “Beautifully he calls the souls of them that show to edraion to kai ametatheton, ‘firmness and immoveableness in temptations, isles;’ whom the salt waters of wickedness surround on every side, and yet dash not against them with so much strength os kai salon tina to pagio tes aretes empoiesai, as to cause any fluctuation in the firmness of virtue.” Psalm 52:8, he explains of such an one “that is rooted in the house of God as a fruitful olive tree, kai to edraion to kai ametakineton tou kata ten pistin stereomatos en eauto bebaiosas, and has the firm and immoveable ground of faith established in himself.” He more than once represents the grace of faith as permanent and lasting. The good of the sons of men, which Solomon desired to see, he says, “appears to him to be no other than the work of faith, whose energy is common to all; being equally set before them that will, and is pantodunamos kai diarkos to zoe paramenousa, all-powerful, and abides in life continually.” And elsewhere, speaking of the saints’ spiritual armor, among other things he observes, that “the shield, which is a piece of armor that covers, is, e arrages pistis, faith that cannot be broken.” He says the same of all other graces: explaining the beams of the house in Song of Solomon 1:17, “These,” says he, “should be the virtues, which do not admit the floods of temptations within themselves, sterrai to ousai kai anendotoi ‘being firm, solid, and not giving way,’ and preserve in temptations from being softened into wickedness.” And in another place, says he, “He describes the house of virtue whose matter for covering is cedar and cypress, which are not susceptible of rottenness and corruption; by which he expresses to monimon to kai ametabeton tes pros to agathon scheseos, the permanency and immutability of the habit to that which is good.” Now all this he ascribes, not to the saints themselves, but to God; he observes, that “David says, Theou ergon to en eusebeia kratunein ton anthropon, ‘it is the work of God to confirm a man in piety;’ for thou art my strength and my refuge, says the prophet, and the Lord is the strength of his people; and, the Lord will give strength unto his people.”

    Section 19

  15. Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

    Hilary, the deacon, puts perseverance upon the foot of election, and intimates, that the reason why any persevere, is because, they are elected; and that if any who have thought to have been believers do not persevere, it is a plain case that they never were elected. “Those,” says he, “whom God foreknew would be devoted to him, them he chose to enjoy the promised rewards; that those who seem to believe and do not continue in the faith begun, may he denied to be God’s elect; quia quos Deus eligit apud se permanent, for whom God hath chosen, they continue with him.” And a little after, “Whom God foreknew to be fit for himself, these continue believers, quia aliter fieri non potest, ‘for it cannot be otherwise,’ but that whom God foreknows, them he also justifies, and so hereby glorifies them,that they may be like the Son of God. As to the rest, whom God has not foreknown, he takes no care of them in this grace, because he has not foreknown them; but if they believe, or are chosen for a time, because they seem good, lest righteousness should be thought to be despised, they do not continue that they may be glorified; as Judas Iscariot, or the seventy-two, who, being chosen, afterwards were offended, and departed from the Savior.” Again, “Whom God is said to call, they persevere in faith; hi sunt quos eligit ante mundum in Christo, ‘these are they whom he has chosen in Christ before the world began,’ that they be unblameable before God in love.” And in another place he observes, that some persons may seem to be in the number of good men, when, according to God’s prescience, they are in the number of evil men; “Hence God saith to Moses, if any one sins before, me, I will blot them out of my book. So that, according to the righteousness of the judge, he then seems to be blotted out, when he sins; but according to prescience, nunquam in libro vitae fuisse, ‘he never was in the book of life.’ Hence the apostle John says of such, They went out from us, but they were not of us, etc. 1 John 2:19.” He represents a believer’s love to Christ as insuperable, ant the love of God in Christ to him as inseparable. Of the former he says “no torments overcome the love of a firm Christian.’ And of the latter, “there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” “This confidence,” he says, “arises from the engagement of Christ, by which he has promised to help in tribulation

    that faith which is devoted to him.” And as to faith itself, he says it is res aeterna “an everlasting thing,” written by the Spirit, that it may abide. To which add another observation of his, “Because God hath promised to give the heavenly kingdom to them that love him, et det necesse est, ‘and he must needs give it,’ because he is faithful: therefore he is present with them that are afflicted for him; nor will he suffer so much to be laid upon them as cannot be borne; but will either make the temptation to cease quickly, or if it should be long, will give power to bear it, otherwise he will not bestow what he has promised; because he that suffers will be overcome; for man is subject to weakness, and there will be none to deliver; but because God is faithful who has promised, he helps, that it may fulfill what he as promised.’ Vossius refers us to the commentary of this writer upon the ninth of the Romans, but therein does not appear any thing against, but for the saints’ perseverance, as has been already cited out of it.


    Section 20

  16. Ambrosius Mediolanensis. A.D. 380.

    Ambrose, of Milain, says manythingsin favor of the saints’ perseverance; he speaks of it as a thing certain, and not at all to be doubted of. “There is nothing,” says he, “we may fear can be denied us, nothing in which we ought to doubt of the continuance of divine goodness; the abundance of which has been so daily and constant, as that first he should predestinate, then call, and whom he calls he justifies, and whom he justifies them he also glorifies. Can he forsake those, whom he follows with such benefits of his own, even unto rewards? Among so many blessings of God, are the snares of the accuser to be feared? But who dare accuse them, who in the judgment are counted the elect? Can God the Father himself rescind his own gifts, who has bestowed them, and banish them from the grace of paternal affection, whom he, by adoption, has received? But it is feared, lest the judge should be more severe. Consider what judge thou must have; the Father hath given all judgment to Christ. ‘Can he damn them whom he has redeemed from death?’ For whom he offered himself whose life, he knows, is the reward of his own death?” And in another place he observes, that “many waters cannot quench love; so that thy love cannot be lessened by any persecution,

    which many waters cannot exclude, nor floods overflow. Whence is this? Consider that thou hast received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and piety the spirit of holy fear; and keep what thou hast received. God the Father hath sealed thee; Christ the Lord hath confirmed thee, and hath given the pledge of the Spirit in thine heart.” Again he says: “The righteous man falls sometimes, but if he is righteous, though he falls he shall not be confounded. What is of nature falls, what is of righteousness rises again; for God does not forsake the righteous, but confirms his hands.” And in another place, “His (the good man’s) soul does not perish for ever; neither does any one snatch it out of the hand of the Almighty, Father or Son; for the hand of God, that established the heavens, quos tenuerit non admittit, does not lose whom it holds.” Faith he not only represents as firm itself, but says, that it is the stable foundation of all virtues; and speaks of grace in general as perpetual. “This,” says he, “Is the alone possession, which being obnoxious to no tempests, brings forth the fruit of perpetual grace.” And though the church of Christ, saints, righteous ones, true believers, are liable to many afflictions, temptations, and trials, yet he intimates that he shall be preserved in the midst of all. “Zebulon shall dwell by the sea,” he observes, “that he may see the shipwrecks of others, whilst he himself is free from danger; and behold others fluctuating in the straits of this world, who are carried about with every wind of doctrine, whilst he perseveres immoveable in the root of faith; as the holy church is rooted and founded in faith; beholding the storms of heretics, and shipwrecks of Jews, because they have denied the governor they had.” And in another place, daily, it is not dashed against the rock, nor sunk to the bottom. ‘Again, “The soul, which deserves to be called the temple of God, or the church, is beaten with the floods of worldly cares, but not overturned; it is stricken, but not destroyed.” One, more, “The righteous, placed in the house of God, tried ‘by worldly afflictions, but not estranged from the house of God, and from the keeping of the heavenly commands.” All which preservation from evil, and continuance from grace he ascribes not to the power of man, the grace of God. “Perseverance,” says he, “is neither of man that willeth or runneth; non est enim in hominis potestate, ‘for it is not in the

    power of man,’ but it is of God that showeth mercy, that thou canst fulfill what thou hast begun.” There are many other passages which countenance this doctrine I forbear to transcribe.


    Section 21

  17. Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

    Chrysostom represents the church, and all the people of God, as invincible, and the graces of faith and hope as always abiding. “He calls the church,” says he, “a mountain, to ton dogmaton akatagoniston, ‘being as to its doctrines inexpugnable;” for a thousand armies may encamp against mountains, bending their bows, wielding their shields, and using stratagems, but cannot hurt them, and when they have destroyed their own power go away; so likewise all they that war against the church, tauten men ouk eseisan, cannot move her.” Again, “Neither the tyrant, nor the populace, nor battalias of devils, nor the devil himself, perige esthai auton ischusen, are able to prevail against them, the saints.” He not only observes, that faith is a foundation, and the rest the building; but calls it tes petras tes arragous, “the unbroken rock;” and adds, “neither rivers nor winds failing upon us can do us any hurt, for we stand unshaken upon the rock.” And elsewhere, “Well does he say, in which we stand; for such is the grace of God, that ouk echei telos, ouk eide peras, it has no end, it knows no bounds.” And in another place he observes, that the apostle “rightly calls faith a shield, for as that is cast about the whole body, being as a wall, so is faith, panta gar aute eikei, ‘for all things give way to it;’ wherewith,” says he, “ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one; ouden gar dunatai touton ton thureon diakopsai, seeing nothing is able to cut this shield in pieces.” And elsewhere he asks, “Are our good things in hopes? In hopes, but not human; these fail, and often make the man that hopes ashamed; or he dies, who is expected to do these things; or if he lives, he changes; ours are not such, alla bebaia kai akinetos e elpis, but our hope is firm and immovable.” There are two or three places in this writer referred to by Vossius, against the saint’s perseverance, which have not occurred to me; and the last of these references is to a homily, which, and many others with it, he owns is none of his, but a collection from him; and, as he observes, is not to be depended upon as genuine; it being usual with

    such collectors to add things foreign to the doctrine of Chrysostom, and out of other authors.


    Section 22

  18. Hieronymus. A.D. 390.

Jerom says many things which countenance the doctrine of the perseverance of the church, of righteous persons, true believers, and regenerate ones. Upon Amos 9:14, he has this note, “From hence we understand, that the church, to the end of the world, will be shaken indeed with persecution, sed nequaquam posse subverti, ‘but can in nowise be overthrown;’ will be attempted but not overcome; and this will be, because the Lord God omnipotent, or the Lord God of it, that is, of the church, hath promised that he will do it,” And in another place says, We know that the church, in faith, hope and love, is inaccessible and inexpugnable, there is none in it immature, every one is docible; impetus irrumpere velarte illudere potest nullus, no one by force can break in upon it, or by art allude it.” And elsewhere he observes, that “as the islands are indeed smitten with frequent whirlwinds, storms, and tempests, but are not overthrown, for an example of the evangelic house, which is founded upon a rock of a mighty bulk; so the churches which hope in the law, and in the name of the Lord the Savior, speak by’ Isaiah, saying, I am a strong city, a city which is not assaulted;’ that is, so as to be taken and destroyed. Much like to this is his remark, on Isaiah 51:5, The right hand and arm of the Lord is he who saves for himself those who first were lost, ut nullus periret de his quos ei Pater dederat, ‘that none of them might perish whom the Father had given to him;’ for that either the souls of the saints, who in the midst of the persecutions of this world, anna in Deum solididatae sunt fide, ‘are established with a firm faith in God,’ or the multitude of churches among the Gentiles, are called isles, we have frequently declared,” Having mentioned Proverbs 24:17, he puts these questions, “If he falls, how is he just? If just, how does he fall?” which he answers thus, “but he does not lose the name of a just man, who by repentance, always rises again:” moreover, having cited Psalm 92:12, he explains it after this manner, “They that are planted in the house of the Lord are just men in ecclesia conformati, ‘established in the church;’ but they, not at present, but hereafter shall flourish in the courts of

the Lord, where there is pure and safe possession.” And, says he, in another place, “Dost thou say that the resurrection is of the soul, or of the flesh I answer, Which with the soul is regenerated in the laver; Et quomodo peribit quae in Christo renata est, And how shall that perish which is regenerated in Christ?” And else where he observes, that “he who with his whole mind trusts in Christ, though as a fallen man he was dead in sin, fide sua vivit in perpetuum, by his faith lives for ever.” Once more,

“The building,” says he, “which is laid upon the foundation of Christ, of which the apostle speaks, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, nunquum destruetur, sed permanebit in perpetuam shall never be destroyed, but shall abide for ever.” He asserts the security of the saints notwithstanding all the efforts and attempts of Satan by his power and policy to destroy them. “He” (the devil,) says ‘he, “will endeavor to enter into Judah, that is, the house of confession, and frequently, through them who are negligent in the church, he will come up even to the neck, desiring to suffocate believers in Christ; and he will stretch out his wings, filling the whole country of Immanuel, sed non poterit obtinere, quia habet Judas praesentem Deum, but cannot obtain, because Judah has God present with him.” Upon Isaiah 14:16, he makes this remark, “He shook, he does not overthrow; hence one of them that were shaken, and yet did not fall, says, my feet were almost gone; and the apostle speaks to believers to take the amour of God, and stand against the snares of the devil. The house indeed which is founded on a rock, is not shaken by any tempest; that is, so as to be overthrown. He has another passage to the same effect. “When,” says he, “the devil shall come, who is, by interpretation, the reprover and corrector, upon the land and country of believers, and of them whom the Lord shall feed, in the strength and in the majesty of the Lord his God; and he, the devil, shall tread upon them through various tribulations, and as a proud man shall ascend and depress the houses of our souls, that is, our bodies, et tamen nihil nos a Christi charitate separaverit, yet nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.” The grace of love he more thou once represents as that which shall abide, and never be lost. Upon Matthew 34:12, he has this note; “he does not deny the faith of all, but many, for many are called, but few chosen; for in the apostles, et similibus eorum, permansura est

charitas, ‘and them that are like them, love remains;’ concerning which it is written in Song of Solomon 8:7 and Romans 8:35.” And in another place he expresses himself thus; “And because love never fails, he who is in the soundness of love,” that is, as he explains it in the same place, “who loves the Lot with all his soul, with all his heart, and with all his strength, nunquam et ipse corruit, he himself also never falls,’ according to Romans 8:35.”

Now this perseverance and continuance in grace he denies is owing to the free will of man, but is to be ascribed to the mercy and power of God; which he concludes from 2 Thessalonians 3:3, ergo non liberi arbitrii potestatesed Dei clementia conservamur, “therefore,” says he, “we are preserved, not by the power of free will, but by the clemency of God.” And a little after, having mentioned the words of Christ to Peter in Luke 22:32, he thus addresses the Pelagians et certe juxto vos in apostoli erat positum potestate, si voluisset, ut non deficeret fides ejus, “but truly, according to you, it was in the power of the apostle, if he would, that his faith should not fail.” Jerom does indeed sometimes speak of the Spirit of God being taken away and quenched, but then by the Spirit, he means the gifts of the Spirit, such as are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. The text in Ecclesiastes 7:15, he understands, not of one that is really just, but of one who seems to himself to be so. It must be owned that there are some expressions of Jerom’s here and there, which are not easy to be reconciled either with himself or this doctrine; as when he seems to make the perpetuity of God’s gifts to depend upon the worthiness of men, and men’s continuance of grace to lie in the power of their wills, contrary to what he at other times asserted, which has been already observed; as also when he says that “God indeed has planted, and no man can root up his plantation; but because this planting is in his own free will, no other can root up, nisi ipsa praebuerit assensum, unless that assents to it.” And in another place he says, that “though no one can pluck out of the hand of God, yet he that is held may fall out of the hand of God, propria voluntate, by his own will. And again, that “he who is like an adamant stone, which cannot be hurt or overcome by any, yet may be dissolved by the alone heat of deadly lust.” And this he says after he had expressed the doctrine of the saints’ perseverance in a very strong manner. Moreover, he asserts, that

the Ethiopians may, upon repentance, become the children of God; and the children of God, by falling into sin, may become Ethiopians; and yet in the same leaf stands a testimony to the doctrine of perseverance, which is cited above. But these must be reckoned among Jerom’s unguarded expressions, by which we are not to form a judgment of his sentiments against the numerous testimonies produced to the contrary.


CHAPTER 6

OF THE HEATHENS

To the doctrine of the ancients, concerning the necessity of grace to the performance of every good work, the Pelagians objected the virtues and famous actions of the heathens. These Vossius, a favorite author of Dr. Whitby’s has largely proved, under various theses or propositions to want all the conditions requisite in good works; such as doing them according to the law of God, in love to him, from faith in him, and with a view to his glory; and that “though some few of the ancients were of opinion, that the more virtuous among the heathens, such as Socrates and others, were saved, yet this notion was condemned of old by the other fathers, especially in the time of Austin.” The collection which Dr. Whitby has made out of the fathers, is very little to the purpose, chiefly relating to the endowments of nature, the blessings of providence, and temporal favors bestowed on heathens in common with others, denied, by none. The principal testimonies in favor of the good works and salvation of the heathens are taken from Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom, and Jerom; but these, as Dr. Edwards observes, at least some of them, had been bred in a philosophical way themselves, and so had retained a charity for that sort of men, yea, thought better of them than they deserved. Besides, should these testimonies be examined, they will not be found so full and express as they are thought to be; and other passages of these writers may be produced, contradicting of them. As to Justin Martyr, when he says, that such as Socrates and Heraclitus were Christians, he does not mean, as a learned man of our nation has observed, that they were perfectly, only in part so; that is, as they were partakers of and lived according to the logos, or reason, which Christ, the Word and Son of God, imparts to every man. And as to Clement of Alexandria, Vossius has clearly shown,

that he could not say or think, that any could be saved without faith, and without the knowledge of Christ; which he supposed the heathens had through Christ’s descent into hell, and preaching to them there. Nor that he could mean that the philosophy of the Greeks was sufficient to salvation, only at most, that it was one degree towards, or what had a tendency to lead to Christ. And though Chrysostom says, that before the coming of Christ, they that did not confess him might be saved, yet he elsewhere affirms, that the works of men ignorant of God, are like to the garments of the dead, who are insensible of them; his words are these; “They that labor in good works, and know not the God of piety, are like leipsanois neeron, ‘to the remains of the dead, who are clothed with beautiful garments but have no sense of them.’” And though Jerom talks in one place, of “the knowledge of God being by nature in all, and that no man is born without Christ, and hath not in himself the seeds of wisdom and justice, and other virtues; whence many without faith, and the gospel of Christ, do some things either wisely or holily;” yet in another place he says, “Let us bring forth that sentence (The just shall live by faith) against those who, not believing in Christ, think themselves to be strong, wise, temperate, and just; that they may know that no man liveth without Christ, sine quo omnis virtus in vito est, without whom all virtue is to be reckoned for vice.” To which I shall add two or three testimonies more, showing that the virtues of the heathens were not properly good works, but had only a show of them, and were insufficient to salvation, and conclude, says Origen, “if a conversation of good manners were sufficient to men for salvation, how is it that the philosophers among the Gentiles, or many among heretics, continenter viventes nequaquam salvantur, ‘who live soberly, are not saved?’ but because the falsity of their doctrine darkens and defiles their conversation.” Again he observes from Peter in Clement, “that good works which are done by unbelievers profit them in this world, non et in illo ad consequendam vitam aeternam, but not to obtain eternal life in the other.” Cyprian has these words; “The philosophers also profess to follow this (patience), but as theft wisdom is false, so is their patience: for how can he be either wise or patient, qui nec sapientiam nec patientiam Dei novit, who neither knows the wisdom nor patience of God?” Ambrose expresses himself in this manner, “Virtues, without

faith, are leaves; they seem to be green, but cannot profit; they are moved with the wind, because they have no foundation. How many heathens have mercy, have sobriety! but they have no fruit, quia fidem non habent, because they have no faith.”

A VINDICATION

OF A BOOK ENTITLED

THE CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH

PART IV.

RELATING TO THE SENSE OF THE ANCIENT CHRISTIAN WRITERS, ABOUT SOME THINGS IN CONTROVERSY WITH THE ARMINIANS, FROM THE CAVILS, CALUMNIES, AND DEFAMATIONS OF MR.

HENRY HEYWOOD, ETC.


HAVING published, some time ago, an Answer to the Birmingham Dialogue- Writer’s Second Part, I annexed a postscript to it, relating to some charges brought against me by one Mr. Henry Heywood, in an introduction of his to a translation of Dr. Whitby’s Treatise of Original Sin. This postscript, containing my answer to the said charges, it seems, is not relished by him and his friends, and has produced a defamatory pamphlet, wrote either by himself or some of his party, entitled A Defence of Dr. Whitby’s Treatise of Original Sin, etc. I say, wrote either by himself, or some of his party—for I greatly suspect that this piteous performance is done by some other person or persons, and published under his name; since, if my information is right, this man was gone for Carolina some months before the publication of this pamphlet; which, had it been drawn up and finished by himself before his departure, might have been published in ten days’ time. The temper and genius of a certain person, not very remarkable for candor and good- nature, are pretty visible in it; but, whoever be the author or authors, revisers and editors of it, they ought to look upon themselves concerned in the guilt and shame arising from the blunders and scandal which are manifestly in it, as will appear by the following examination of it: —

  1. The first charge brought against me is mistranslation, of which three instances are given, and to which I have replied; the sum of the difference between us is, I have rendered plaga, in Irenaeus, plague; this man, sometimes wound; and, at another time, sore, and sometimes disease; I have interpreted recenseatur, in Tertullian, re-reckoned, or reckoned anew; he, enrolled anew; I have translated damnatio, in the same author, damnation, he condemnation. I shall not contend with him about words: the reader may choose and prefer which translation he pleases. What is more material, is the pertinence of these

    passages to the point in hand, the sense of them, and whether any injury is done thereunto. And,

    1. As to the passage in Irenaeus, whether antiqua serpentis plaga be rendered the old blow, or stroke, or wound, or sore, or plague, or disease of the serpent, it certainly intends some hurt or mischief done by the old serpent, the devil, to our first parents, and to all mankind. This man says that Irenaeus, by this pestilential disorder (and which surely, then, must be a plague,) with which the old serpent has infected mankind, understands not original corruption, or the vitiosity whereby man’s nature is depraved, but only death and mortality. But let the words of Irenaeus be produced and considered, which are these: “Men cannot else be saved from the old wound (the pestilential disorder) of the serpent, nisi credant in eum, except they believe on him, who, in the likeness of sinful flesh, was lifted up from the earth, on the tree of martyrdom, who draws all things to himself, and quickens the dead.” Now, are they that believe in Christ saved by him from mortality and death? Are they not as liable to mortality? And do they not labor under the same diseases of body, and die a corporal death, as other men do? Are these the persons only that will be cured of this mortal disorder, the disease of death, by a resurrection from the dead? Will there not be a resurrection of the just and unjust, believers and unbelievers? Who then can conceive that this should be the meaning of Irenaeus? As to the passage which Dr. Whitby cites in favor of the sense this author from him has espoused, it makes more against him than for him; for Irenaeus does not say that plaga, the disorder itself, but dolor plagae, “the pain of it,” or what arises from it, “with which men was stricken in the beginning, in Adam inobediens, ‘being disobedient in Adam;’ this is the death which God will cure, by raising us from the dead, and restoring us to our forefathers’ inheritance.” So that corporeal death, according to Irenaeus, is not the blow, the disorder itself, but what arises from it is the fruit and effect of it. Besides, how he, or any other man, can imagine that even mortality and death should be inflicted on men for Adam’s disobedience, unless they are involved in the guilt of it, or that is reckoned to them, which is what we contend for, is unaccountable. And further, it may be observed, that we have here another testimony from this ancient writer in favor of our sentiments, when he says, “man was disobedient in

      Adam,” as elsewhere, “he offended in him,” which is entirely agreeable to, and confirms our sense of (Rom. 5:12), in whom all have sinned: for the reason which Dr. Whitby gives of his use of such phrases, “because we were born of Adam after he was overcome by sin, we receive our name from him,” is exceeding trifling, and ridiculous to the last degree, Upon the whole, since our Lord Jesus Christ saves those that believe in him, not from mortality and a corporeal death, but as from their actual transgressions, so from original sin; from the corruption and vitiosity of their nature; from the damning power of it, by his death; and from its governing influence by his Spirit and grace; there is the strongest reason to conclude that this is the sense of Irenaeus; and in this I am supported by such great names as Austin, Vossius Polyander, Rivet, Walaeus, and Thysius; nay, even Feuardentius the Papist though otherwise a strenuous advocate for free will, insists upon it, that this passage of Irenaeus is a proof that the doctrine of original sin was held by the ancients before the time of Austin; and since then, Irenaeus means the same which the Scripture calls: the plague of a man’s heart, no injury is done him by my translation.

    2. The first passage out of Tertullian is owned by Dr. Whitby to be more to the purpose than some he had been considering; nor has he anything to object to the former part, of it, for which it is chiefly cited; in which Tertullian says, “Every soul is reckoned in Adam, until it is reckoned anew, or registered in Christ; so long unclean, until it is thus registered.” Nor does our author object to the pertinence of this testimony, which clearly expresses that the souls of men, whilst unregenerate, are not only reckoned in Adam, as belonging to him, and under him as their head; but are also reckoned unclean in him, being partakers of the sinful pollution, which he, by his transgression, brought upon all mankind. Pamelius makes this to be the argument and summary of the chapter wherein this testimony stands; Tamdiu enem animam ex carnis societate, in Adam immundam censeri, et peccatricem, tam animam, quam carnem dici: “So long as the soul, through society with the flesh, is reckoned unclean in Adam, both soul and body are said to be sinful;” which shows that he thought that Tertullian’s sense was, that not only the soul is reckoned unclean in Adam, but that both body and soul are sinful, being defiled in him; though

      Dr. Whitby says, his commentator makes a doubt of it, whether, when he adds, “sinful because unclean, receiving its disgrace from society with the flesh,” he attributes this disgrace of the soul from its society with the flesh, in respect of its mere original, or because it made use of it as an instrument of sinning.

    3. The other passage in Tertullian is, “Man being at the beginning circumvented by Satan, so as to transgress the commandment of God, and he being therefore given up to death, has defiled all mankind which spring from him, and has also made them partakers of his damnation.” This man finds fault with me for translating in my book, totem genus, “his whole kind,” instead of “his whole race or offspring;” but is not Adam’s whole kind the same with all mankind? and are not all mankind his offspring? or, are any his offspring but mankind? He calls this an egregious blunder in me; but everybody will see that this is egregious trifling in him. A greater oversight is committed by neglecting to translate infectum, which expresses the pollution of nature all mankind are tainted with by Adam, and which exposes them to the same condemnation with him. But, since I have rendered damnatio in this passage damnation, the principal controversy about it is, though this writer says it will not bear any dispute, whether this relates to a bodily death and condemnation only, which he suggests is Tertullian’s sense in this and in all other places; or also to the sense of condemnation and death which passed on Adam, body and soul, for his disobedience, and on all mankind in him, on account of the same. That Adam, according to Tertullian, was assigned to a corporal death, and such a sentence of condemnation passed on him, is out of question. The passages cited by this author, to which more might be added, will be allowed to be proofs of this. But then, this was not all that came upon him, nor the whole of the sentence which was pronounced on him; for, according to this ancient writer, he was not only subject to a corporal death, but also the image of God in him was destroyed; which lay not, as this man suggests is the sense of other ancient writers, in the immortality of the body, but in the soul, its powers and faculties, and especially in the power and freedom of the will, as appears from these following words of his: “I find that man was created by God, free, and possessed of his own free will and power, observing in him no image and likeness of God more

    than the same form of state: for not in the face and lineaments of the body, so different in mankind is he made after God, who is of one form or essence, but in that substance which he has derived from God, that is, of the soul, answering to the form of God, and is sealed with the liberty and power of his free will.” And a little lower he says, “The image and likeness of God ought to be of his own free will and power, in which this itself, the image and likeness of God, may be thought to be, namely, the liberty and power of free will.” He not only affirms that the image of God in man is defaced; but that also, by his sin, he has lost communion with God: “By not having faith,” he says, “even that which he seemed to have is taken from him, the favor of paradise, and familiarity with God, whereby he would have known all the things of God, had he been obedient.” Now, the deprivation of the image of God, and of communion with him, through the fall, are what we call a mortal or spiritual death. Moreover, in the very passage in dispute, Adam is said “to render all mankind polluted,’’ and so they become partakers of his condemnation, soul and body; hereby they become loathsome and abominable to God, and consequently liable to, and deserving of, his everlasting wrath and displeasure; which is no other than the second death; and that such a sentence of death passed on Adam for his offense, according to Tertullian, is clear from the following passages: “For though, because of the condition of the law, Adam is given up to death, yet there is good hope for him, since the Lord says, Adam is become as one of us; namely, concerning the future assumption of the man into union with the Deity.” Now, of his being delivered from a bodily death there was no hope, for the sentence of that not only passed, but was executed on him; but of his being delivered from the second death there is hope, through the sacrifice and satisfaction of the Second Adam; hence he elsewhere condemns Tatian as a heretic, for asserting that “Adam could not obtain salvation; as if,” says he, “the branches could be saved, and not the root.” And in another place he has these words: “God, after so many and such great offenses of human indiscretion deliberately committed by Adam, the father of mankind, after man was condemned, with the dowry (the sin) of the world, after he was cast out of paradise, and subject to death, seasonably received him to his mercy, and immediately renewed repentance within himself; that is, as Rigaltius

    explains it, as God repented that he had made man, he also repented that he had condemned him; wherefore, having rescinded the sentence of former wrath, or the former sentence of wrath and vengeance, he agreed to forgive his workmanship and image.” Now, pray what was sententia irarum pristinarum, “the former sentence of wrath,” said to be rescinded? Could it be the sentence of bodily death? Was that rescinded? Did not Adam die that death, as do all his posterity? Could it be any other than the sentence of eternal death and damnation, which, though it passed, was not executed on him, through the grace and forgiveness of God? Since then, according to Tertullian, this was the sentence pronounced on Adam, and he has made all his posterity partakers of it, I have done him no injury by my translation; besides, in the place before us, Tertullian is speaking to and of the soul, and not the body; for he immediately adds, “Thou art sensible of thy destroyer.” And a little after, “We affirm that thou wilt remain after this life is ended, and wait for the day of judgment; and, according to thy deserts, shall be assigned either to torment or rest, both which will be for ever.” Upon the whole, we see that this writer had no reason to say, that Tertullian everywhere declares the sentence of a bodily death alone to be what was pronounced on Adam in the beginning; or that he ever supposes the divine sentence of condemnation pronounced against man in the beginning, to concern the body and bodily death only, and never supposes it to respect the eternal death of body and soul hereafter. This writer, unwilling to let slip an opportunity,

    or seeming one, of reproaching me, says, that I have ventured to translate a passage of Dr. Whitby’s but not without a mistake; whereas I have not pretended to give an exact translation of the passage, but only the sense of it, and in that, it seems, I am mistaken: How so? I say, “the learned Doctor was of opinion, that what he has wrote in the treatise was almost above the capacities of the common people.” This man says his words are these: “Seeing these things which I shall say of original sin, for the most part, exceed the capacity of the vulgar.” Well, if they, for the most part, exceed, then surely they must be almost above the capacity of the vulgar. Should a person meet with this passage in Terence, fere ruri se continet, which this author mentions, and should render it, “he keeps almost always in the country,” would it not be all one as if it was rendered, “he keeps for the most part, or

    usually, in the country?” And so, if he should on this scrap of Latin, ut fere fit, and translate it, “as it almost always falls out;” would it not be the same as if it was translated, “as it usually, or for the most part, falls out?” A man that can be grave in such observations as these, whatever opinion he may have of himself as a very learned critic, must be set down for a solemn trifler.

    I pass on (having nothing to do with his reasons for translating Dr. Whitby’s book, nor with the translation itself) to,

  2. The next charge exhibited against me, which is impertinence, pretending I have alleged testimonies from the ancients beside my purpose, and particularly from Clemens, Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin, and Lactantius, which shall be re-examined. And,

    1. Clemens addressed the Corinthians, to whom he writes, as persons “called and sanctified by the will of God;” which translation of his words is censured as inaccurate, though perfectly agreeable to the version of Patricius Junius, a man of great erudition, revised by that very learned hand, Dr. John Fell, bishop of Oxford, who renders them, as I have done, vocatis et sanctificatis voluntate divina; yet this poor creature has the assurance and vanity to suggest, that his own translation is most exact, and this very loose, obscure, and inaccurate; but it is plain what makes him uneasy with this version, because he observes, it “makes it look as if both the calling and sanctification were ascribed here to the will of God;” and truly so it does, and that very rightly: and why should the man boggle at this, since Clemens, in the passage next cited by me, expressly says of the Corinthians, that they were “called by the will of God in Christ Jesus?” whence it is clear, that not only sanctification, but vocation, is ascribed by him to the will of God. But then, it seems, this vocation is to be understood, not of internal, effectual calling, but of the outward call of the gospel. To which may be replied, that persons may be called externally, by the preaching of the gospel, who are never sanctified; but then those who are sanctified, are internally called, are called with a holy calling, or are sanctified in and by their effectual vocation; and since these

      Corinthians were sanctified as well as called, their vocation cannot be understood of a mere outward call, by the ministry of the word; but of an eternal, efficacious call, by the Spirit and grace of God. If this

      will not do, it is suggested, that sanctification, in this passage, does not design regeneration, conversion, or any internal work of the Spirit of God upon the soul; but expiation and pardon of sin, through the sacrifice of Christ; the words of Clemens being an allusion to, and the sense of the same, with Hebrews 10:10. Though one should rather think that Clemens, writing to the Corinthians, as the apostle Paul had done before, should copy after him, and in his addresses to them make use of the same characters, and in the same sense, as he does 1 Corinthians 1:2, where we find both these words, kletois and egiasmenois, called and sanctified; and the rather, because Clemens had this epistle in his view when he wrote, makes mention of it, and exhorts the Corinthians to consider it. It is therefore most natural to conclude, that Clemens, using the same words as the apostle did, in an epistle written to the same persons, should design the same things by them, namely, their effectual calling to be saints, and their sanctification through the Spirit and grace of Christ; and then what is become of the charge of impertinence? why, truly, this passage is still nothing to the point, since none of the Remonstrants pretend that any person can be sanctified, but by the will of God: to which I have made answer, that they will not affirm, that any person can be sanctified by the will of God, without the cooperation of man’s will, by which, according to them, grace becomes effectual; whereas Clemens attributes vocation and sanctification entirely to the will of God: when I add, that the Remonstrants affirm, that the difference of calling grace in man lies not so much in the will of God as in the will of man; and that it is no absurdity to say, that a saint is distinguished from an unregenerate man by his own will; in affirming which, this writer says I say what is weak and false, and which no Remonstrant ever used; but in all these I am supported by the following testimonies out of their own mouths; they affirm that “the holy Scriptures requires especially, to the opening of the heart, the cooperation of man; that co-operation which proceeds from preventing grace, for if God commands man to open his heart in conversion, it is certain that that operation is not effected by God, without the consent of man’s will.” Corvinus, the Remonstrant, asserts that, “supposing all the operations which God uses to work conversion in us, yet conversion so remains in our power, that we may not be converted.” He denies

      “that the difference of calling grace is not so placed in the will of man as in the will of God; and expressly uses these words, “It is no absurdity that a man should be distinguished by his own will from an unbeliever.” Grevinchovius, the remonstrant, affirms, that “it is not foreign from Scripture and truth, if any one should assert that believers, not indeed of themselves, or by themselves, yet do distinguish themselves.” And in reply to these words, “Who hath made thee to differ? he says, I make myself to differ, since I could resist God and divine pre- determination, and yet have not resisted, and why may not I glory in it as my own?” The same writer also says, that “the effect of grace ordinary depends on some act of the will, as a previous condition, sine qua non;” and that “no other common cause of the whole complex together can be given beside the liberty of the will.” And again, that “the will of itself alone, by a certain previous motion, determines grace: when we say,” adds he, “that the will determines grace, we mean nothing else than that the will freely performs its concourse with cooperating grace; or that the will so co-operates, as that it might not cooperate, and so, by not so cooperating, hinder the cooperation of grace.” Many more citations of the like kind might be made, but these may suffice. Since, then, they ascribe conversion, or calling grace, so much to the will of man, as to give it the turning point in it, as to make conversion dependent on it, for so Grevinchovius allows, “you will say,” observes he, “that in this way of working, even God himself, in some measure depends upon the will. I grant it,” he replies, “as to the act of free determination.” It therefore cannot be saying either a weak or false thing of the Remonstrants, that they may make the difference of calling grace to lie not so much in the will of God as in the will of man.

      The other passage cited by me out of Clemens being, in that clause of it for which I cite it, the same with the former, since that is pertinent to my purpose, this must be also, and I therefore need not say any thing more about it; only whereas I have once (not more than once, as this man says) elsewhere cited it, to prove that according to Clemens good works are unnecessary in point of justification. This writer is pleased to make a digression from his subject, and observe, that this passage is full against the doctrine I embrace, will not serve my purpose against the person I opposed; and on the contrary, is a strong

      bulwark in defense of the Remonstrants, who hold that persons are not justified by works without faith, nor by faith without works; but by faith accompanied with, and productive of, good works. To all which I reply, that this passage of Clemens is not, in the least, against any doctrine I embrace, but entirely agreeable: the doctrine of justification by faith, in the Scripture sense of it, is what I hold and maintain; nor are any thoughts and sentiments of mine concerning justification inconsistent with it. The passage is also full to my purpose for which I cited it, against my antagonist, which was to show, that good works were not necessary to salvation, as the antecedent to the consequent: but, above all, it is surprising that the passage should be thought to be a strong bulwark in defense of the Remonstrants, since Clemens expressly says, “We are justified not by our piety, nor by our good works, which we have done in holiness of heart; but by that faith, by which the Almighty God hath justified all from the beginning;” by which expressions he excludes all works from our justification; yea, such as believers themselves perform, which spring from the best principles, from holiness of heart, and are done in the best manner, even works which spring from faith, and are produced by it: for, can there be holiness of heart where there is no faith, any more than there can be faith where there is no holiness of heart? If the Remonstrants have no stronger bulwarks than this, they are most miserably defended in this article.

    2. Barnabas is the next ancient writer mentioned, from whom I have cited a passage, to prove the weakness and corruption of human nature before faith; and here a hideous outcry is raised, of an egregious blunder, false translation, want of sense, and I know not what, through a repetition of the word idolatry; and all this is aggravated by its being in my fourth volume, and retained in my postscript, after I had revised the translation; whereas, upon examination, it will appear the blunder is his, and not mine; and that he has not consulted the original Greek of Barnabas, but the old Latin translation. The Greek of Barnabas, as it stands in the edition of the very learned Isaac Vossius, is as follows: —Pro tou emas pisteusai to Theo, en emon to katoiketerion tes kardias phtharton kai asthenes — oti en pleres men eidololatrias oikos, eidololatria en oikos diamonion, dis to poiein osa en enantia to Theo; which I must again render, “Before we believed in

      God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak; for it was a house full of idolatry, and idolatry was the house of devils; wherefore we do, or did, such things as were contrary to God.” Indeed the word idolatria is omitted in the old Latin version of Barnabas, which is this: Antequam crederemus Deo erat habitatio nostra corrupta et infirma — quia pleni eramus adorationibus idolorum et srat domus doemoniorum, propter quod faceremus, quae Deo essent contraria. Now where is the egregious blunder? and who is the blunderer? or, where is the impertinence of the passage? Does it not clearly and fully express the corruption and weakness of man before he believes, or has the grace of God implanted in him, for which purpose it was cited? He next finds fault with the version of the latter part of the passage, and in a very magisterial way says, the words will never bear such a translation, without giving any reason for his so saying; but why should not dia to poiein be rendered ‘wherefore we do,’ or did, rather than ‘forasmuch as we have done,’ since the verb is of the present, and not of the preter- perfect tense. The reason of his being uneasy with my translation is pretty evident, because it leaves his charge of impertinence utterly insupportable. One would think he might have made use of softer words than those railing ones, of ignorance and dishonesty; but such is modern charity! As for the passage in Barnabas he refers me to, when he says, “When God has received us by the remission of our sins, he then gives us another form, so as to have souls like the soul of an infant:” this is only to be understood in a comparative sense, in like manner, as Matthew 18:3, and 19:14, 1 Corinthians 14:20, and clearly expresses the power and efficacy of divine grace, in forming the new creature in regeneration; for which purpose I have cited it in this my fourth Part.

    3. Ignatius comes next under consideration, from whom I have cited a passage which agrees with those out of Clemens Romanus, and which is allowed to be so by this author, and since they are to my purpose, as has been proved, this must be also: but whereas there are three other passages besides, which are produced by me, this man has thought fit to examine them likewise. In the first of these, Ignatius advises the church of Smyrna to avoid some very wicked persons he describes as beasts in the shape of men, and “only to pray for them, if so be they may repent, which is very difficult; but Jesus Christ, our true life,” says he,

      “has the power of this;” which words are cited, not only to show the difficulty of such wicked persons obtaining repentance, and which this author allows, even such a difficulty as amounts to an impossibility; an impossibility as great as is in the Ethiopian to change his skin, or the leopard his spots; but also to show that Christ, who is our life, who has quickened us, and given us repentance unto life, or we had never had it, has the sole power of it; and who, as he has given repentance to such who may not have been such notorious sinners, or they would never have repented of themselves; so he is able to give it to the most profligate wretches, and which, therefore, is the argument or encouragement to pray for such. The next passage of Ignatius is, “They that are carnal, cannot do the things that are spiritual; nor they that are spiritual, do the things that are carnal;” from whence, this writer says, I infer, that men in a carnal state have no power to do any thing that is spiritual: it is very right, so I do, and that justly: but then, it is said, the former part of the citation cannot intend this, and more than the latter part of it can mean, that a spiritual man has no power to do a wicked action; and therefore can never intend, that a carnal man cannot cease to be carnal, and become spiritual, and then do spiritual things. To which I reply, that a carnal man has nothing that is spiritual in him, and therefore can do nothing that is spiritual; but a spiritual man has both flesh and spirit in him, that which is carnal and that which is spiritual. Now when the carnal part prevails, it puts a man upon doing of carnal things, as in the case of David referred to; but then this same man, as spiritual, and when in a spiritual frame, and in the exercise of spiritual grace, according to Ignatius, cannot do carnal things; and which is the sense of the apostle John (1 John 3:9), Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. We do not deny that a carnal man may cease to be carnal, become spiritual, and then do spiritual things; but then we affirm that he cannot cease to be carnal, become spiritual, and do spiritual things, but by the grace of God, and not by his own power and strength. The last citation from Ignatius, and which is no marginal reading, but stands in the body of Vossius’s edition, is, that “the Christian is not the work of persuasion, but of greatness;” that is, as I explain it, of the exceeding greatness of God’s power, referring to Ephesians 1:19, to which I am inclined

      to think Ignatius refers; where the word megethos, used by him, is to be taken in this sense; our author, from Mr. Whiston and Archbishop Wake, interprets it of fortitude and courage in times of persecution. The place referred to, as a parallel one, to support this sense, is not to the purpose, where Ignatius says, “They that profess themselves to be Christians, shall be seen by what they do; for now it is not the business of a profession, but it is through the power of faith, if any man is found to be a Christian to the end; by which he means, that it is not by a mere outward profession, but by the power and strength of faith, that a Christian continues and perseveres to the end. Nor is there any mention of peismone, or megethos, or any thing that answers to them, in the passage.

      But when this author suggests that I have left out these words, “especially when he is hated by the world;” and if purposely, he says, it will be a full proof that I am not overstocked with integrity; he is guilty of a vile piece of slander, and is a glaring proof of his having a very small share of integrity himself: what guilt, shame, and confusion, must rise up in him, when I have produced the whole passage, as it stands in my book, thus: “The Christian is not the work of persuasion, but of greatness, of the exceeding greatness of God’s power, which is wonderfully displayed in making the Christian, in continuing, preserving, and supporting him as such, especially,” as he observes, “when he is hated by the world!”

    4. Justin Martyr is another ancient writer from whom I have cited passages, showing that the Scriptures, and the doctrines contained in them, are not to be understood without the Spirit and grace of God. The first of these I freely own, and I never gainsaid it, does most clearly express, that the doctrines of the sacred writings are such as could never be discovered by the light of nature, nor without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; but then, since these writings contain such great and divine things, as Justin says, exceeding the natural knowledge and understanding of men, it follows, that they can only be spiritually discerned, through the assistance of the Spirit of God, the dictator of them; which, as it is the sense of the apostle Peter (2 Pet. 1:20, 21), so it is of this holy martyr, as will fully appear from what he elsewhere says, notwithstanding what this man has said to the contrary; for, in the very next citation from him, Justin declares that “he understood the Scriptures by the

      grace of God alone, which was given to him, and not through any natural or acquired parts of his.” This man believes that the word charis, which he renders favor, and I have translated grace, for which he charges me with unskillfulness, how justly, let others judge, never signifies, throughout Justin’s works, the operations or assistances of the Spirit: but his faith and judgment in this matter are of very little weight and significance. The learned Scultetus believed otherwise, and so did the famous Vossius, and whom the men of his party cite with great applause, when they meet with any thing in him that serves their turn: his words are these, “Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, asserts, that the outward preaching of the word, or reading of the Scriptures, is not sufficient, but that besides them, the internal illumination of the Holy Spirit is requisite; for thus he writes, Do ye think, O men, that we could ever have understood the things contained in the Scriptures, unless by the will of him that wills these things elabomen charin tou noesai, we had received grace to understand them?” And in some other place before this he had said the same; “Unless one should take upon him, meta megales charitos tes para Theou, ‘with that great or wonderful grace which is of God,’ to understand the things which are said or done by the prophets; it will not avail him, to seem to relate their words or facts, unless he can also give a reason of them.” These, with some others of the like nature, I have cited in my book, and have referred him to them in my postscript, of which he has not taken the least notice, being, no doubt, convinced in his own mind, that they were clear testimonies against him. Besides, were charis to be rendered favor, what could that favor be, to understand the Scriptures, but the illumination of the blessed Spirit?

      The third passage cited by me, which directs to pray that “the gates of light, that is, the Scriptures, might be opened, since they are not seen or known by all, except God and his Christ give an understanding of them.” This he owns sounds something more to the purpose, though he afterwards says, most probably it has no such meaning, at least it is very uncertain whether it has or not. But that this also may not pass without some reproachful censure, he represents me as here blundering on according to custom, because I took these words to be an address of Justin’s to Trypho; whereas, he says, they are Justin’s advice to a Gospel preacher. Now, who is most likely to blunder

      in this matter, he or I? Is it probable that Justin should give such advice to a gospel preacher, one that. was more knowing than himself at that time, and who was then instructing him? or, is it not much more likely that he should thus address Trypho, the blind, ignorant Jew, with whom he was conversing, and relating some matters of fact respecting himself? But, indeed, the truth of the case is this, the words are not spoken by Justin at all, either to Trypho or to a gospel preacher; but they are the words of a Christian man, whether a gospel preacher is not so manifest, to Justin himself, whilst a heathen philosopher, who had been instructing him in the Christian religion, and closes with these words; upon which Justin immediately observes, that this man having said these, and many other things, which he had not then time to relate, departed from him, charging him to pursue those things, and he never saw him any more; which, with what he had said before, made such an impression on him, as to engage his affections to the prophets and Christians, and issued in his conversion.

      Two other passages being cited by me out of an epistle of Justin’s to Diognetus, showing the impossibility of obtaining life and salvation of ourselves, by our own works, or any other way than by Christ; this man represents this epistle as doubtful and uncertain, whether it was Justin’s or no; whereas Sylburgins formerly thought it savored of Justin’s spirit and genius: and the very learned Fabricus of late could see no reason why it should not be thought to be his; and the famous Scultetus says, that with the common consent of all, that, and also the epistle to Zenas, which this man blunderingly calls the epistle of Zenas, and which he likewise represents as dubious, were ascribed to Justin; by which learned writer also the passage out of the epistle to Zenas is twice produced, and that for the same purpose for which I have cited it.

    5. Lactantius is the last of the ancients excepted to by our author under this ad, from whom I have cited three passages, to prove that man is in such a state of blindness and darkness, that it is impossible he should have a knowledge of spiritual things without divine teachings. And the first of them fully expresses that such is the condition and situation of the mind, or soul of man, that “it cannot of itself apprehend or receive the truth, unless it be thought by some other;” where Lactantius is speaking, not of the inability of

the mind to discover truth without a revelation, but to comprehend, or apprehend, receive, or embrace truth when it is revealed; wherefore he argues, that the teacher must be heavenly, and not earthly, and have both virtue and knowledge. The second of them, in which he says, that “man cannot, of himself, come to the knowledge of the truth, unless he is taught of God,” the excellent Scultetus understands as I do, to intend, not the necessity of a revelation to lead men to a knowledge of the truth, but of divine teachings to understand the revelation made; his words are these: “Concerning the understanding of the Christian religion, very remarkable is that saying of his, Man of himself cannot come to this knowledge, unless he is taught of God.” The third of them, in which Lactantius asserts, that the knowledge of truth, and of heavenly “things, cannot be perceived by man, unless God teaches him,” is of the same kind with the former, and expressed in almost the same words, and is to understood in the same manner.

But, it seems, did these passages of Justin and Lactantius prove ever so clearly the necessity of grace, or the assistance of the Spirit to understand the Scriptures, they must still be impertinent; since the Remonstrants never deny this, nor will they contest such a proposition. This is not a slip of his pen, but what he repeats over and over, and most manifestly betrays his ignorance of the writings and sentiments of the Remonstrants, who have very openly expressed themselves on this head, in the following manner: “Such is the clearness and perspicuity of the Scriptures, in doctrines, especially which are necessary to be understood in order to everlasting salvation, that all readers, not only learned men but private persons (that are but endued with common sense andjudgment,) may sufficiently attain the meaning of them, provided they do not suffer themselves to be blinded with prejudice, vain confidence, and other evil affections.” And when the Anti- Remonstrants charged this passage with smelling rank of Pelagianism and Socinianism, and urged that they confounded the literal and spiritual sense of the Scriptures, the Remonstrants reply, by arguing after this manner, that if there is “a sense of Scripture super-infused, it cannot be the sense of the words of Scripture, but the sense of the Spirit of God: or if it is the sense of the words of Scripture, how or wherein does it differ from the literal sense? To what purpose is it super-infused? Is it that the sense may

be understood, which is understood already? This is trifling. Is it that it may be more clearly understood? But the sense lies in something indivisible; should you say, this light of the Holy

Spirit is pre-requisite to understand the true sense, you increase the absurdity.” Episcopius, a leading man among the Remonstrants, says many things to the same purpose; hence it most clearly appears, that all such passages of the ancients, which express the necessity of grace and the assistance of the Spirit to understand the Scriptures, are most pertinently alleged, being diametrically opposite to the sentiments of these men.

When I say, that the Remonstrants and Dr. Whitby allow of no supernatural grace infused, or supernatural aid requisite to conversion and good works, besides objective evidence, respecting truth to the understanding, and bringing it to remembrance; this man asks, with what face I could say this, when the Remonstrants and Dr. Whitby assert supernatural grace in words and terms as express as any of my party. Strange! why then has a controversy about it been continued for so many years? But this is but a further proof, that he is utterly unacquainted with the writings and tenets of those of his own party. The Remonstrants expressly deny that any grace is infused in order to conversion, either into the understanding, or will, or affections. “As to the distinction,’’ say they, “of habitual and actual grace, this is rejected by us; since by habitual grace is meant such an infusion of faith, hope, and love, into the will, as that a man may be said to obtain those habits without any intervening operation of the will; there is no such thing in Scripture, this is a device of the schoolmen.” Again, they say, that “faith cannot be called the gift of God, unless in respect of the actual infusion of it into our hearts, as the brethren, that is, the Anti- Remonstrants, profess they understand it; that, indeed, we utterly deny.” Corvinus, a noted one among them, expresses himself thus: “Infusion of habits, or virtues, whether into the will, or into the understanding and affection, if you regard ordinary conversion, is contrary to the use of means, by which God would produce a new life in man.” And, says Grevinchovius, another of them, “That there be any intrinsic form, or any supernatural habit infused, raising and determining the natural faculty by its own power and efficacy, this figment I do not admit of.” They do indeed own, “that a

supernatural power is conferred on the will, and that hereby God immediately acts on the will, provided this action does not necessitate the will antecedently, and take away the liberty and power non valendi, of not willing or nilling,” which this man has falsely translated, willing. So that notwithstanding this supernatural power, the will remains indifferent to will or not will, to act or not act, believe or not believe, do well or not, and by this power it is only enabled to bring into act its innate faculty of willing and nilling; for thus they say, “Though God may so affect the will by his word, and the internal operation of his Spirit, and confer the power of believing and supernatural aid, and cause a man actually to believe, yet man can of himself reject this grace and not believe, and so even perish through his own fault.” What kind of supernatural power or aid must this be? And as for Dr Whitby, he affirms that supernatural and infused habits, or Christian virtues, are never styled grace in Scripture; and he humbly conceives, that the inward operation of the Holy Spirit consists in these two things, in representing divine truths, and in bringing them to our remembrance; and further observes, in a passage I referred this author to, though he has thought fit to take no notice of it, “that any supernatural habits must be infused into us in an instant, or that any other supernatural aid is requisite to the conversion of a sinner, besides the fore-mentioned illumination of the Holy Spirit, and the impression which he makes upon our hearts by the ideas which he raises in us, is that which my hypothesis by no means will allow; which ideas, though they are raised by a physical operation, yet they are moral in their operations; even as a man’s tongue, in speaking to persuade or dissuade another, performs a physical operation, though the effect of it is only moral.”

The reader will easily see from hence in what sense Dr. Whitby is to be understood, when he says, as this author has cited him, that “we become new creatures, is, indeed, effected by the supernatural aid of the Spirit;” and with what face I could, and still say, that the Remonstrants and Dr. Whitby, besides the moral suasion of the Word and Spirit, allow of no supernatural grace infused, or supernatural aid requisite to conversion and good works.

This writer seems uneasy with me for representing the Remonstrants and Dr. Whitby as meaning no more by the aids of the Spirit, and the grace of God, which

they allow to be necessary to conversion and good works, than what Pelagius called the grace of nature, or moral suasion; and produces a large citation, which it is very probable somebody or another has helped him to, showing in what manner the Remonstrants at the synod of Dort endeavored to clear themselves from the charge of Pelagianism; from whence, it is manifest, that such a charge was exhibited against them; and, notwithstanding all the color and artifice they made use of, they were not able to convince that venerable body of men to the contrary, who continued to charge them with introducing Pelagianism; and particularly, that they meant no more by grace, than external calling by the word, and internal moral suasion by the Spirit, as appears from the Act of that Synod, and which is fully evident from these men’s own writings:

“If the word of the gospel,” say they, “is not the sole and only ordinary means of conversion; but the internal and efficacious, or irresistible action of the Spirit must concur; then it follows, that that, together with the word, is the means of conversion, or collaterally works along with the word, by a distinct action from the action of the word; or the one is subordinate to the other; neither of which can be asserted.” Again, after the power is conferred on the will, before- mentioned, they say, “We confess, that no other grace is owned by us to be necessary, to draw out an act of faith, than that which is moral, or that which uses the word as an instrument to produce faith.” Once more, they say, “It may be disputed whether that is not the most noble action respecting man, which is performed by persuasion and admonitions; and, whether it is expedient that any other power should be used with man, maintaining the properties of the human nature; and moreover, whether such an operation as Satan uses, would not be strong enough.” And, says Grevinchovius, “What hinders, but that moral grace alone may make natural men spiritual ones?” These men, indeed, sometimes talk of special and supernatural grace; but can that be special, which they say is universal and common to all men? Or supernatural, which produces no supernatural effects, and which may be overcome and made of no effect, by that which is natural? But after all, it seems the holy fathers of the Christian church always speak of God’s grace just as the Remonstrants do: and that I have not cited, nor am able to cite, a single father who has said

more than the Arminians; whereas in Part IV., of the Cause of God and Truth, chapter 4, I have produced not only one but many, who speak of regeneration and conversion, as owing entirely to powerful and efficacious insuperable and unfrustrable grace, and not to moral suasion; to which I refer him and the reader. And thus, having done with his impertinent charge, I go on. III. To consider his next charge of weakness, in citing passages from the ancients, which only prove that “by the fall of Adam, men are become prone to sin, and subject to a corporeal death:” but supposing no more is proved by such passages; a proneness to sin is a corruption of nature, and if a bodily death is inflicted as a punishment, than which there is not a greater corporeal punishment on Adam’s posterity for his sin, they must be involved in the guilt of it, or that must be imputed to them; otherwise, how should they be liable to such a punishment of death for it? Now the derivation of a corrupt nature from Adam, and the imputation of the guilt of his sin to his posterity, are the very things in the controversy we contend for; and if the Remonstrants will accede to these things, they in a manner give up their cause. Should it be said, that though they allow of a proneness to sin, yet not such a general corruption of nature as we plead for; and though they own that men are become subject, through Adam’s sin, to a corporeal death, yet not to death in soul and body. I have cited passages from the ancients, and referred this man to them, showing that men by the fall have lost the image of God, even true reason, moral goodness, righteousness, and holiness; that they are born sinners, yea, infected with sin before they are born; that they are under a spiritual darkness and death, and held by the devil in hell for the sin of Adam, the fault of which is transferred to them. To which this author has chiefly replied by referring me to Dr. Whitby’s Treatise of Original Sin, particularly respecting the passages of Origen, Macarius the Egyptian, Athanasius, Basil, Cyrill, and Optatus. Whose replies to these passages, as well as to some others of Origen and Chrysostom, about which this man elsewhere so much blusters, are mere shifts and evasions, and chiefly lie in setting other passages against them.

It will not be denied, nor is it to be wondered at, that there are some passages in those writers which may seem to militate against this doctrine; for no controversy being moved about it, they wrote without

guard; but, if it was entirely unknown till the times of Austin, it is much there should be any thing of it in their writings; wherefore, upon these considerations, I say again, and which was before my sense, that one full testimony in favor of it, before the controversy was moved, is of more weight than ten which may seem to be against it.

But to go on: this author replies to the passages referred to by to me, partly by saying of others of them, as of Hilary of Poictiers, Victorinus Afer, and Gregory Nazianzen, that they are nothing to the purpose; if the reader pleases to take his ipse dixit, his bare word for it; though the first of these affirms, that sin and unbelief arise from the transgression of our first parents; that all mankind are to be considered under the first man, and went astray when he did; and that man is born under original sin, and the law of it; and the other represents man in a state of nature, as dead through sin; and the third asserts, that all men sinned in Adam, fell by his sin out of paradise, were condemned through his disobedience, and lost the heavenly image. The passages of the ancients referred to which he has ventured to make some remarks upon, are those of Justin, Irenaeus, Hilary the Deacon, Ambrose, and Mark the Eremite, which will be attended to.

  1. Justin Martyr affirms, that “we were born sinners:” which words this man says in one place I have translated to a false

    sense; but in some pages after, when he had forgot what he had said before, says, it may be translated either way; either “we were, or were made, or were born sinners:” but be this as it will, the question, he says, will return, in what sense Justin uses the word sinners, as it is now the question between us, in what sense St. Paul uses the word, Romans 5. I answer, Justin does not use the word sinners for sufferers, in which sense our modern Arminians, silly enough, make the apostle to use it in the above place; and I can scarcely think our author has front enough to assert this, when he reads the passage in Justin, which stands thus; “We, who by him (Christ) have access to God, have not received the carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch, and those like him, kept; but we, seeing we were born sinners, have received it by baptism, through the mercy of God.”

  2. Irenaeus has such a passage as this referred to by me, “Christ hath granted us salvation, that what we

    lost in Adam, that is, to be after the image and likeness of God, we might receive in Christ Jesus;” which this man, after Dr. Whitby, would have to be understood of the immortality of the body, which is only a part of that image; whereas Irenaeus elsewhere makes this likeness to be in the whole man, body and soul, and particularly to consist in the reason of man, and the freedom of his will, which, he says, he has lost; his words are these; “Man being rational, el secundum hoc similis Deo, ‘and in this respect like to God,’ and being made free in his will, and of his own power, is himself the cause why he may become sometimes wheat, and sometimes chaff; wherefore he will be justly condemned, because being made rational, he hath lost true reason; and living irrationally, he acts contrary to the righteousness of God, giving himself up to every earthly spirit, and serving all sorts of pleasures:” Feuardentius, Irenseus’s annotator, interprets image, in the place in dispute, of the excellent gifts of grace, righteousness, and godliness, bestowed on man in his creation; it is therefore no piece of weakness, to cite or refer to such a passage, showing that man has lost by the fall the image of God, which chiefly lies, according to this ancient writer, in the freedom of his will, and the exercise of right reason.

  3. Hilary, the Deacon, is another ancient writer cited and referred to by me, to prove that men are held in hell by Satan for the sin of Adam: and here I am gravely reprimanded for translating inferi “hell,” and not hades; but supposing the word inferi should not be used by Hilary, and that these phrases apud inferos and in inferis are not to be met with in the passages referred to, as this man has put them, as indeed they are not; with what shame and confusion must he appear, who makes such large pretensions to accuracy, and takes every slight occasion, and indeed where there is none at all, of charging others with blunders! Hilary’s words are these, speaking of sin being condemned by the cross of Christ; “Hence,” says he, “the authority, as it were, of sin was taken away, by which it held men (not apud inferos, as this man says, but) de inferno, in hell for the sin of Adam.” Again, “Being delivered,” says he, from a state of darkness, that is, pulled (not inferis but) de inferno, ‘out of hell,’ in which we were held by the devil, both for our own, and the sin of Adam, who is the father of all sinners; we are translated by faith into the heavenly kingdom of the Son of God, that

    God might show us with what love he loves us, when he lifts us up de imo tartari, ‘out of the lowest hell,’ and introduces us into heaven with his own real Son.” Now, let Hilary mean what he will by infernus and imum tartari, it is certain, that according to him, men are in the custody of the devil, and are in some sort of punishment, propter delictum Adae, “for the sin of Adam.” which is what the passages were cited for. This writer, after Dr. Whitby, and which he has taken from him, cites a passage of Hilary’s in which he says, that “we do not endure the second death in hell for Adam’s sin, but only by occasion thereof it is exacted for our sins:” and I could direct him to another in the same commentary, where he says, delicto Adae multi tenentur a morte secunda in inferno inferiori; many are held by the second death in the lowest hell for the sin of Adam.”

  4. Ambrose is allowed to say some things of men’s deriving pollution and corruption from Adam, and it is owned that some passages in him do declare that he thought mankind defiled in Adam, and that they are undone and destroyed in him: but Ambrose not only declares that a corrupt nature is derived from Adam, but also, that the fault of his transgression is transferred or imputed to his posterity, as appears from what I have cited from him. As to what Ambrose says concerning infants going to heaven, which he makes a doubt of, and being freed from punishment; it is to be hoped they may, through the pardoning mercy of God, the blood of Christ, and the regenerating grace of the Spirit, notwithstanding the corruption of their nature, and the imputation of Adam’s sin to them.

  5. Mark the Eremite is the last upon the list excepted to; who says, that “all men have been guilty of the sin of Adam’s transgression, and have therefore been condemned to death, so that without Christ they cannot be saved.” Our author desires to know where the Latin word for guilty is to be found in, this passage: Mark’s words are these, cunctique peccato transgressionis fuerunt; which being literally rendered is, “all have been in the sin of his transgression;” and is not the sense the same? If they were in it, they must be guilty of it; for if not guilty, how should they be condemned on account of it? for Mark adds, ideoque capitali sententia condemnati, “and therefore have been capitally condemned,” or condemned to die, insomuch that without Christ they cannot be saved; not merely from a corporeal death by the resurrection

from the dead, which wicked men will partake of, and yet not be saved; but from the second death, from wrath to come, which none will escape, but such who are saved by Christ with a spiritual and eternal salvation.

The fourth charge brought against me by this writer, is great partiality in reciting all the passages of Vossius which relate to original sin, without taking notice of Dr. Whitby’s replies to them. To which I have answered, by observing and proving, that I have not recited all the passages of Vossius relating to this point, nor has he all the passages I have cited; and that Dr. Whitby has not replied to all the citations of Vossius, and has passed over many passages of the ancients which he refers to. This author being shut up on every side, betakes himself to this miserable subterfuge, “that I have mistaken his meaning;” which was, he says, that I have recited all the passages of Vossius concerning original sin, which I have recited, without taking any notice of Dr. Whitby’s answers; which would have been true if I had not recited one of Vossius’s citations; but certain it is, that he would have had the reader understand, that I have recited every individual citation of Vossius; for in his margin he observes, that I have copied him even to his mistakes, which he affirms, without pointing out one single instance to support it.

The reply to my answer to his fifth charge has nothing in it worthy of any notice; only I would observe, that to refer to passages of the ancients which seem to favour the Arminian scheme, if not transcribed at length, is at one time chargeable with unfairness, and at another time it is weakness to the last degree, to cite such passages from them, in which they seem to agree with their tenets, and not denied by us. So determined is this man to cavil at any rate!

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Mary, Mary Quite Contrary Second Edition:

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Does The Lord Jesus Want Women To Rule As Elders In His Church ?

This second edition is a true story telling how David Clarke, the author, encountered opposition from the elders of a church, in England who were intent on appointing women as elders. David believed this was wrong and clearly going against the word of God. The New Testament forbids a woman from teaching and being appointed as an elder in a church, with good reason this is not chauvinism but the wisdom of God. It is hoped this book will be a help to many. It is written due to the various responses already received, some in positive favor and others the complete opposite. Your response would be valued.

Some believe we live in a day of rank apostasy, that was spoken about in scripture, that would occur before the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ and is now not limited to the unbelieving nominal Christian society because much of it is accepted by the professing Christian world. David Clarke hits head on one of the tenets of the apostasy, which has exploded internationally. Its is believed by some that a time like this had been prophesied by Isaiah. Isaiah 3:12 (KJV), “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths”.

The tenet which David Clarke hits head on is the one of women preachers and women elders in the

churches. Isaiah states that women were ruling over the people of God, when the men should have been in leadership roles. The Scripture states that “they which lead thee cause thee to err.”

In this book you will find a confrontation between elders and the word of God. When church leaders neglect the truths of Scripture and base everything they believe on as their “personal opinion”, then the paths have been destroyed for the Christian, as Isaiah teaches.

One of the outgrowths of the charismatic movement, is the teaching that women are just as qualified as men to be elders and pastors. This is not to say that women are lacking leadership qualities but the Bible is very clear that they are not to rule over men and are not to have rule in the churches. It is unfortunate that many feminized men in the church kowtow behind the concept that disallowing women rule in the churches is not showing them love. The reality is that being disobedient to the commands of Scripture is nothing more than rebellion against God. 1 Samuel 15:3 speaks about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft. God has given specific instructions concerning the churches and their structure and who are we to claim that we know more than God.

The deep apostasy which many churches have accepted is made visible in this book but not only churches, Bible colleges have also acquiesced to disobeying the Bible and have endorsed women rulers in the church. It is a shame that those who bring the truth are considered the troublemakers in the churches. Tell me, what kind of love do you show someone when you actually help them to be disobedient to God? Will they still love you when they are in hell paying for their sins of rebellion?

It is time for Christian men to step up and be men. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (KJV), “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong”.

David believes that if any believer, teacher, preacher or minister is wrong over this issues he testified too then he cannot help but be wrong in his teaching regarding salvation, church order, family order and eschatology. David would really value anyone who could prove him wrong.

This book needs to be in the library of all Christians to help them oppose the incursion of women rulers in the church. It is still not too late to bring about a

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repentance on the part of church leaders for allowing themselves to be swayed by false teaching. A strong church obeys God, a weak and dying one disobeys God, regardless of how many attend.


(This is the foreword by Dr. Ken Matto) Scion of Zion Internet Ministry www.scionofzion.com

ist Price: $8.99

5.25” x 8” (13.335 x 20.32 cm)

Black & White on White paper 154 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1514206812

ISBN-10: 1514206811

BISAC: Religion / Christian Theology / General https://www.createspace.com/5540458

Christ Alone Exalted


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In 3 volumes

Tobias Crisp was preacher of the gospel in England. He was born in 1600 and died in 1643 at which time these 13 sermons were first published. Within 3 years further sermons were published in further volumes this is the first. He lived at the time when The First London Baptist Confession of Faith 1644 was being prepared for publishing and it is clear from these sermons he taught Calvinistic truths. He

preached the doctrines of grace and was charged with being an Antinomian and provoked opposition from various quarters. Dr John Gill in defence of Crisp republished these sermons along with his own notes showing that Tobias Crisps taught clearly the truths of the lord Jesus Christ

https://www.createspace.com/6424124

FURTHER PUBLICATIONS 125

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