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A Display of Arminianism, Part 2


John Owen's first work against the heresy of Arminius.


CHAPTER 7.

OF ORIGINAL SIN AND THE CORRUPTION OF NATURE.


Herod the Great, imparting his counsel of rebuilding the temple unto
the Jews, they much feared he would never be able to accomplish his
intention,[i] [1] but, like an unwise builder, having demolished the
old before he had sat down and cast up his account whether he were
able to erect a new, they should (by his project) be deprived of a
temple. Wherefore, to satisfy their jealousies, he resolved, as he
took down any part of the other, presently to erect a portion of the
new in the place thereof. Right so the Arminians, determining to
demolish the building of divine providence, grace, and favor, by
which men have hitherto ascended into heaven, and fearing lest we
should be troubled, finding ourselves on a sudden deprived of that
wherein we reposed our confidence for happiness, they have, by
degrees, erected a Babylonish tower in the room thereof, whose top,
they would persuade us, shall reach unto heaven. First, therefore,
the foundation-stones they bring forth, crying, Hail, hail, unto
them, and pitch them on the sandy, rotten ground of our own natures.
Now, because heretofore some wise master-builders had discovered
this ground to be very unfit to be the basis of such a lofty
erection, by reason of a corrupt issue of blood and filth arising in
the midst thereof, and overspreading the whole platform, to
encourage men to an association in this desperate attempt, they
proclaim to all that there is no such evil fountain in the plain
which they have chosen for the foundation of their proud building,
setting up itself against the knowledge of God in plain terms.
Having rejected the providence of God from being the original of
that goodness of entity which is in our actions, and his
predestination from being the cause of that moral and spiritual
goodness wherewith any of them are clothed, they endeavor to draw
the praise of both to the rectitude of their nature and the strength
of their own endeavors But this attempt, in the latter case, being
thought to be altogether vain, because of the disability and
corruption of nature, by reason of original sin, propagated unto us
all by our first parents, whereby it is become wholly void of
integrity and holiness, and we all become wise and able to do evil,
but to do good have no power, no understanding; therefore, they
utterly reject this imputation of an inherent, original guilt, and
demerit of punishment, as an enemy to our upright and well-deserving
condition. And oh, that they were as able to root it out of the
hearts of all men, that it should never more be there, as they have
been to persuade the heads of divers that it was never there at all!
If any would know how considerable this article concerning original
sin hath ever been accounted in the church of Christ, let him but
consult the writings of St Augustine, Prosper, Hilary, Fulgentius,
any of those learned fathers whom God stirred up to resist, and
enabled to overcome, the spreading Pelagian heresy, or look on those
many councils, edicts, decrees of emperors, wherein that heretical
doctrine of denying this original corruption is condemned, cursed,
and exploded. Now, amongst those many motives they had to proceed so
severely against this heresy, one especially inculcated deserves our
consideration, namely,

That it overthrew the necessity of Christs coming into the world to
redeem mankind. It is sin only that makes a Savior necessary; and
shall Christians tolerate such an error as, by direct consequence,
infers the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to be needless? My
purpose for the present is not to allege any testimonies of this
kind; but, holding myself close to my first intention, to show how
far in this article, as well as others, the Arminians have apostated
from the pure doctrine of the word of God, the consent of orthodox
divines, and the confession of this church of England.
In the ninth article of our church, which is concerning original
sin, I observe especially four things:First, That it is an inherent
evil, the fault and corruption of the nature of every man. Secondly,
That it is a thing not subject or conformable to the law of God, but
hath in itself, even after baptism, the nature of sin. Thirdly, That
by it we are averse from God, and inclined to all manner of evil.
Fourthly, That it deserveth Gods wrath and damnation. All which are
frequently and evidently taught in the word of God, and every one
denied by the Arminians, as it may appear by these instances, in
some of them:

First, That it is an inherent sin and pollution of nature, having a
proper guilt of its own, making us responsible to the wrath of God,
and not a bare imputation of anothers fault to us his posterity:
which, because it would reflect upon us all with a charge of a
native imbecility and insufficiency to good, is by these
self-idolizers quite exploded.
[ii] [2] Infants are simply in that estate in which Adam was
before his fall,saith Venator. [iii] [3] Neither is it at all
considerable whether they be the children of believem or of heathens
and infidels; for infants, as infants, have all the same innocency,
say they jointly, in their Apology: nay, more plainly, [iv] [4] It
can be no fault wherewith we are born. In which last expression
these bold innovators, with one dash of their pens, have quite
overthrown a sacred verity, an apostolic, catholic, fundamental
article of Christian religion. But, truly, to me there are no
stronger arguments of the sinful corruption of our nature than to
see such nefarious issues of unsanctified hearts. Let us look, then,
to the word of God confounding this Babylonish design.
First, That the nature of man, which at first was created pure and
holy, after the image of God, endowed with such a rectitude and
righteousness as was necessary and due unto it, to bring it unto
that supernatural end to which it was ordained, is now altogether
corrupted and become abominable, sinful, and averse from goodness,
and that this corruption or concupiscence is originally inherent in
us and derived from our first parents, is plentifully delivered in
holy writ, as that which chiefly compels us to a self-denial, and
drives us unto Christ. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin
did my mother conceive me, saith David, Psalm 51:5. Where, for the
praise of Gods goodness towards him, he begins with the confession
of his native perverseness, and of the sin wherein he was wrapped
before he was born. Neither was this peculiar to him alone; he had
it not from the particular iniquity of his next progenitors, but by
an ordinary propagation from the common parent of us all; though in
some of us, Satan, by this Pelagian attempt for hiding the disease,
hath made it almost incurable: for even those infants of whose
innocency the Arminians boast are unclean in the verdict of St Paul,
1 Corinthians 7:14, if not sanctified by an interest in the promise
of the covenant; and no unclean thing shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven. [v] [5] The weakness of the members of infants is
innocent, and not their souls; they want nothing, but that the
members of their bodies are not as yet ready instruments of sin.
They are not sinful only by external denomination,accounted so
because of the imputation of Adams actual transgression unto them;
for they have all an uncleanness in them by nature, Job 14:4, from
which they must be cleansed with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:20. Their whole nature is overspread with such a
pollution as is proper only to sin inherent, and doth not accompany
sin imputed; as we may see in the example of our Savior, who was
pure, immaculate, holy, undefiled, and yet the iniquity of us all
was imputed unto him. Hence are those phrases of washing away sin,
Acts 22:16; of cleansing filth, 1 Peter 3:21, Titus 3:5. Something
there is in them, as soon as they are born, excluding them from the
kingdom of heaven; for except they also be born again of the Spirit,
they shall not enter into it, John 3:5.

Secondly, The opposition that is made between the righteousness of
Christ and the sin of Adam, Romans 5, which is the proper seat of
this doctrine, showeth that there is in our nature an inbred sinful
corruption; for the sin of Adam holds such relation unto sinners,
proceeding from him by natural propagation, as the righteousness of
Christ doth unto them who are born again of him by spiritual
regeneration. But we are truly, intrinsically, and inherently
sanctified by the Spirit and grace of Christ; and therefore there is
no reason why, being so often in this chapter called sinners,
because of this original sin, we should cast it off, as if we were
concerned only by an external denomination, for the right
institution of the comparison and its analogy quite overthrows the
solitary imputation.

Thirdly, All those places of Scripture which assert the proneness of
our nature to all evil, and the utter disability that is in us to do
any good, that wretched opposition to the power of godliness,
wherewith from the womb we are replenished, confirms the same truth.
But of these places I shall have occasion to speak hereafter.
Fourthly, The flesh, in the Scripture phrase, is a quality (if I may
so say) inherent in us; for that, with its concupiscence, is opposed
to the Spirit and his holiness, which is certainly inherent in us.
Now, the whole man by nature is flesh; for that which is born of
the flesh is flesh, John 3:6;it is an inhabiting thing, a thing
that dwelleth within us, Romans 7:17. In brief, this vitiosity,
sinfulness, and corruption of our nature is laid open, First, By all
those places which cast an aspersion of guilt, or desert of
punishment, or of pollution, on nature itself; as Ephesians 2:1,3,
we are dead in trespasses and sins, being by nature the children
of wrath, even as others, being wholly encompassed by a sin that
doth easily beset us. Secondly, By them which fix this original
pravity in the heart, will, mind, and understanding, Ephesians 4:18;
Romans 12:2; Genesis 6:5. Thirdly, By those which positively
decipher this natural depravation, 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans
8:7;or, Fourthly, That place it in the flesh, or old man, Romans
6:6; Galatians 5:16. So that it is not a bare imputation of
anothers fault, but an intrinsical adjacent corruption of our
nature itself, that we call by this name of original sin. But, alas!
it seems we are too large carvers for ourselves, in that wherewith
we will not he contented.

The Arminians deny all such imputation, as too heavy a charge for
the pure, unblamable condition wherein they are brought into this
world. They deny, I say, that they are guilty of Adams sin, as
sinning in him, or that his sin is any way imputed unto us; which is
their second assault upon the truth of this article of faith.

[vi] [6] Adam sinned in his own proper person, and there is no
reason why God should impute that sin of his unto infants, saith
Boraeus. The nature of the first covenant, the right and power of
God, the comparison instituted by the apostle between Adam and
Christ, the divine constitution, whereby Adam was appointed to be
the head, fountain, and origin of all human kind, are with him no
reasons at all to persuade it. [vii] [7] For it is against equity,
saith their Apology, that one should be accounted guilty for a sin
that is not his own,that he should be reputed nocent who, in regard
of his own will, is truly innocent. And here, Christian reader,
behold plain Pelagianism obtruded on us without either welt[viii]
[8] or guard; men on a sudden made pure and truly innocent,
notwithstanding all that natural pollution and corruption the
Scripture everywhere proclaims them to be replenished withal.
Neither is the reason they intimate of any value, that their wills
assented not to it, and which a little before they plainly urge. It
is, say they, [ix] [9] against the nature of sin that that should
be counted a sin to any by whose own proper will it was not
committed: which being all they have to say, they repeat it over
and over in this case,It must be voluntary, or it is no sin. But
I say this is of no force at all; for,first, St John, in his most
exact definition of sin, requires not voluntariness to the nature of
it, but only an obliquity, a deviation from the rule. It is an
anomy,a discrepancy from the law, which whether voluntary or no it
skills not much; but sure enough there is in our nature such a
repugnancy to the law of God. So that, secondly, if originally we
are free from a voluntary actual transgression, yet we are not from
an habitual voluntary digression and exorbitancy from the law. But,
thirdly, in respect of our wills, we are not thus innocent neither;
for we all sinned in Adam, as the apostle affirmeth. Now, all sin is
voluntary, say the Remonstrants, and therefore Adams transgression
was our voluntary sin also, and that in divers respects,first, in
that his voluntary act is imputed to us as ours, by reason of the
covenant which was made with him on our behalf. But because this,
consisting in an imputation, must needs be extrinsical unto us,
therefore, secondly, we say that Adam, being the root and head of
all human kind, and we all branches from that root, all parts of
that body whereof he was the head, his will may be said to be ours.
We were then all that one man,[x] [10] we were all in him, and had
no other will but his; so that though that be extrinsical unto us,
considered as particular persons, yet it is intrinsical, as we are
all parts of one common nature. As in him we sinned, so in him we
had a will of sinning. Thirdly, original sin is a defect of nature,
and not of this or that particular person:[xi] [11] whereon Alvarez
grounds this difference of actual and original sin,that the one is
always committed by the proper will of the sinner; to the other is
required only the will of our first parent, who was the head of
human nature. Fourthly, It is hereditary, natural, and no way
involuntary, or put into us against our wills. It possesseth our
wills and inclines us to voluntary sins.

I see no reason, then, why Corvinus should affirm, as he doth, [xii]
[12] That it is absurd, that by one mans disobedience many should
be made actually disobedient, unless he did it purposely to
contradict St Paul, teaching us that by one mans disobedience many
were made sinners, Romans 5:19. Paulus ait, Corvinus negat; eligite
cui credatis;Choose whom you will believe, St Paul or the
Arminians. The sum of their endeavor in this particular is, to clear
the nature of man from being any way guilty of Adams actual sin, as
being then in him a member and part of that body whereof he was the
head, or from being obnoxious unto an imputation of it by reason of
that covenant which God made with us all in him. So that, denying,
as you saw before, all inherent corruption and pravity of nature,
and now all participation, by any means, of Adams transgression,
methinks they cast a great aspersion on Almighty God, however he
dealt with Adam for his own particular, yet for casting us, his most
innocent posterity, out of paradise. It seems a hard case, that
having no obliquity or sin in our nature to deserve it, nor no
interest in his disobedience whose obedience had been the means of
conveying so much happiness unto us, we should yet be involved in so
great a punishment as we are; for that we are not now by birth under
a great curse and punishment, they shall never be able to persuade
any poor soul who ever heard of paradise, or the garden where God
first placed Adam. And though all the rest, in their judgment, be no
great matter, but an infirmity and languor of nature, or some such
thing, yet, whatever it be, they confess it lights on us as well as
him. [xiii] [13] We confess, say they, that the sin of Adam may
be thus far said to be imputed to his posterity, inasmuch as God
would have them all born obnoxious to that punishment which Adam
incurred by his sin, or permitted that evil which was inflicted on
him to descend on them. Now, be this punishment what it will, never
so small, yet if we have no demerit of our own, nor interest in
Adams sin, it in such an act of injustice as we must reject from
the Most Holy, with a God forbid. Far be it from the Judge of all
the world to punish the righteous with the ungodly. If God should
impute the sin of Adam unto us, and thereon pronounce us obnoxious
to the curse deserved by it,if we have a pure, sinless, unspotted
nature,even this could scarce be reconciled with that rule of his
proceeding in justice with the sons of men, The soul that sinneth
it shall die; which clearly granteth an impunity to all not tainted
with sin. Sin and punishment, though they are sometimes separated by
his mercy, pardoning the one and so not inflicting the other, yet
never by his justice, inflicting the latter where the former is not.
Sin imputed, by itself alone, without an inherent guilt, was never
punished in any but Christ. The unsearchableness of Gods love and
justice, in laying the iniquity of us all upon him who had no sin,
is an exception from that general rule he walketh by in his dealing
with the posterity of Adam. So that if punishment be not due unto us
for a solely imputed sin, much less, when it doth not stand with the
justice and equity of God to impute any iniquity unto us at all, can
we justly be wrapped in such a curse and punishment as woful
experience teaches us that we lie under. Now, in this act of
injustice, wherewith they charge the Almighty, the Arminians place
the whole nature of original sin. [xiv] [14] We account not, say
they, original sin for a sin properly so called, that should make
the posterity of Adam to deserve the wrath of God, nor for an evil
that may properly be called a punishment, but only for an infirmity
of nature; which they interpret to be a kind of evil that, being
inflicted on Adam, God suffereth to descend upon his posterity. So
all the depravation of nature, the pollution, guilt, and
concupiscence we derive from our first parents, the imputation of
Adams actual transgression, is all straitened to a small infirmity
inflicted on poor innocent creatures.

But let them enjoy their own wisdom, which is earthly, sensual, and
devilish. The Scripture is clear that the sin of Adam is the sin of
us all, not only by propagation and communication (whereby not his
singular fault, but something of the same nature, is derived unto
us), but also by an imputation of his actual transgression unto us
all, his singular disobedience being by this means made ours. The
grounds of this imputation I touched before, which may be all
reduced to his being a common person and head of all our nature;
which investeth us with a double interest in his demerits, whilst so
he was:1. As we were then in him and parts of him; 2. As he
sustained the place of our whole nature in the covenant God made
with him;both which, even according to the exigence of Gods
justice, require that his transgression be also accounted ours And
St Paul is plain, not only that by one mans disobedience many were
made sinners, Romans 5:19, by the derivation of a corrupted nature,
but also that by one mans offense judgment came upon all, verse
18. Even for his one sin all of us are accounted to have deserved
judgment and condemnation; and therefore, verse 12, he affirmeth
that by one man sin and death entered upon all the world; and that
because we have all sinned in him: which we no otherwise do but that
his transgression in Gods estimation is accounted ours. And the
opposition the apostle there maketh between Christ and his
righteousness, and Adam and his disobedience, doth sufficiently
evince it; as may appear by this figure:[xv] [15]

The whole similitude chiefly consists in the imputation of Adams
sin and Christs righteousness, unto the seed of the one by nature,
and of the other by grace. But that we are counted righteous for the
righteousness of Christ is, among Protestants (though some differ in
the manner of their expressions), as yet without question; and,
therefore, are no less undoubtedly accounted sinners by, or guilty
of, the first sin of Adam.

I shall not show their opposition unto the truth in many more
particulars concerning this article of original sin, having been
long ago most excellently prevented, even in this very method, by
the way of antithesis to the Scripture and the orthodox doctrine of
our church, by the famously learned Master Reynolds, in his
excellent treatise, Of the Sinfulness of Sin; where he hath
discovered their errors, fully answered their sophistical
objections, and invincibly confirmed the truth from the word of God.
Only, as I have showed already how they make this we call original
sin no sin at all, neither inherent in us nor imputed unto us, nor
no punishment truly so called; so, because our church saith directly
that it meriteth damnation, I will briefly show what they conceive
to be the desert thereof.

First, For Adam himself, they affirm that the death threatened unto
him if he transgressed the covenant, and due unto him for it,[xvi]
[16] was neither death temporal, for that before he was subject
unto, by the primary constitution of his nature; nor yet such an
eternal death as is accompanied with damnation or everlasting
punishment. Nor why, then, let us here learn some new divinity.
Christians have hitherto believed that whatsoever may be comprised
under the name of death, together with its antecedents, consequents,
and attendants, was threatened to Adam in this commination; and
divines, until this day, can find but these two sorts of death in
the Scripture, as penal unto men, and properly so called; and shall
we now be persuaded that it was neither of these that was threatened
unto Adam. It must be so, if we will believe the Arminians; it was
neither the one nor the other of the former; but whereas he was
created mortal, and subject to a temporal death, the sanction of his
obedience was a threatening of the utter dissolution of his soul and
body, or a reduction to their primitive nothing. But what if a man
will not here take them at their words, but believe, according to St
Paul, That death entered by sin; that if we had never sinned, we had
never died; that man, in the state of innocency, was, by Gods
constitution, free even from temporal death, and all things directly
conducing thereunto, secondly, That this death, threatened to our
first parents, comprehended damnation also of soul and body for
evermore, and that of their imaginary dissolution there is not the
least intimation in the word of God?why, I confess they have
impudence enough, in divers places, to beg that we would believe
their assertions, but never confidence enough to venture once to
prove them true. Now, they who make so slight of the desert of this
sin in Adam himself will surely scarce allow it to have any ill
merit at all in his posterity.

[xvii] [17] Whether ever any one were damned for original sin, and
adjudged to everlasting torments, is deservedly doubted of. Yea, we
doubt not to affirm that never any was so damned, saith Corvinus.
And that this is not his sole opinion he declares by telling you no
less of his master, Arminius [xviii] [18] It is most true, saith
he, that Arminius teacheth that it is perversely said that original
sin makes a man guilty of death. Of any death, it should seem,
temporal, eternal, or that annihilation they dream of. And he said
true enough. Arminius doth affirm it, adding this reason, [xix] [19]
Because it is only the punishment of Adams actual sin. Now, what
kind of punishment they make this to be I showed you before. But
truly I wonder, seeing they are everywhere so peremptory that the
same thing cannot be a sin and a punishment, why they do so often
nickname this infirmity of nature, and call it a sin; which they
suppose to be as far different from it as fire from water. Is it
because they are unwilling, by new naming it, to contradict St Paul
in express terms, never proposing it under any other denomination,
or, if they can get a sophistical elusion for him, is it lest, by so
doing, Christians should the more plainly discern their heresy? Or
whatever other cause it be, in this I am sure they contradict
themselves, notwithstanding in this they agree full well, [xx] [20]
That God rejecteth none for original sin only, as Episcopius
speaks. And here, if you tell them that the question is not de
facto, what God doth, but de jure, what such sinners deserve,
they tell us plainly, [xxi] [21] That God will not destinate any
infants to eternal punishment for original sin, without their own
proper actual sins; neither can he do so by right or in justice. So
that the children of Turks, Pagans, and the like infidels, strangers
from the covenant of grace, departing in their infancy, are far
happier than any Christian men, who must undergo a hard warfare
against sin and Satan, in danger to fall finally away at the last
hour, and through many difficulties entering the kingdom of heaven,
when they, without farther trouble, are presently assumed thither
for their innocency; yea, although they are neither elected of God
(for, as they affirm, he chooseth none but for their faith, which
they have not); nor redeemed by Christ (for he died only for
sinners, he sayeth his people from their sins, which they are not
guilty of); nor sanctified by the Holy Ghost, all whose operations
they restrain to a moral suasion, whereof infants are not a capable
subject;which is not much to the honor of the blessed Trinity, that
heaven should be replenished with them whom the Father never
elected, the Son never redeemed, nor the Holy Ghost sanctified.
And thus you see what they make of this original pravity of our
nature, at most an infirmity or languor thereof,neither a sin, nor
the punishment of sin properly so called, nor yet a thing that
deserves punishment as a sin; which last assertion, whether it be
agreeable to holy Scripture or no, these three following
observations will declare:

First, There is no confusion, no disorder, no vanity in the whole
world, in any of Gods creatures, that is not a punishment of our
sin in Adam. That great and almost universal ruin of nature,
proceeding from the curse of God overgrowing the earth, and the
wrath of God revealing itself from heaven, is the proper issue of
his transgression. It was of the great mercy of God that the whole
frame of nature was not presently rolled up in darkness, and reduced
to its primitive confusion. Had we ourselves been deprived of those
remaining sparks of Gods image in our souls, which vindicate us
from the number of the beasts that perish,had we been all born
fools and void of reason,by dealing so with some in particular, he
showeth us it had been but justice to have wrapped us in the same
misery, all in general. All things, when God first created them,
were exceeding good, and thought so by the wisdom of God himself;
but our sin even compelled that good and wise Creator to hate and
curse the work of his own hands. Cursed is the ground, saith he to
Adam, for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of
thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee,
Genesis 3:17,18. Hence was that heavy burden of vanity, that of
corruption, under which to this day the whole creation groaneth
and travaileth in pain until it be delivered, Romans 8:20-22. Now,
if our sin had such a strange malignant influence upon those things
which have no relation unto us but only as they were created for our
use, surely it is of the great mercy of God that we ourselves are
not quite confounded; which doth not yet so interpose itself, but
that we are all compassed with divers sad effects of this iniquity,
lying actually under divers pressing miseries, and deservedly
obnoxious to everlasting destruction. So that,

Secondly, Death temporal, with all its antecedents and
attendants,all infirmities, miseries, sicknesses, wasting
destroying passions, casualties that are penal, all evil conducing
thereunto or waiting on it,a punishment of original sin; and this
not only because the first actual sin of Adam is imputed to us, but
most of them are the proper issues of that native corruption and
pollution of sin which is stirring and operative within us for the
production of such sad effects, our whole nature being by it
thoroughly defiled. Hence are all the distortures and
distemperatures of the soul by lusts, concupiscence, passions,
blindness of mind, perverseness of will, inordinateness of
affections, wherewith we are pressed and turmoiled, even proper
issues of that inherent sin which possesseth our whole souls.
Upon the body, also, it hath such an influence, in disposing it to
corruption and mortality, as it is the original of all those
infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases, which make us nothing but a
shop of such miseries for death itself. As these and the like
degrees are the steps which lead us on apace in the road that tends
unto it, so they are the direct, internal, efficient causes thereof,
in subordination to the justice of Almighty God, by such means
inflicting it as a punishment of our sins in Adam. Man before his
fall, though not in regard of the matter whereof he was made, nor
yet merely in respect of his quickening form, yet in regard of Gods
ordination, was immortal, a keeper of his own everlastingness.
Death, to which before he was not obnoxious, was threatened as a
punishment of his sin: In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt
surely die; the exposition of which words, given by God at the time
of his inflicting this punishment, and pronouncing man subject to
mortality, clearly showeth that it comprehended temporal death also:
Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Our return to dust
is nothing but the soul leaving the body, whereby before it was
preserved from corruption. Farther, St Paul opposeth that death we
had by the sin of Adam to the resurrection of the body by the power
of Christ: For since by man came death, by man came also the
resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive, 1 Corinthians 15:21,22. The life which all
shall receive by the power of Christ at the last day is essentially
a reunion of soul and body; and therefore their separation is a
thing we incurred by the sin of Adam. The same apostle also, Romans
5, describeth a universal reign of death over all, by reason of the
first transgression. Even diseases, also, in the Scripture, are
attributed unto sin, as their meritorious cause, John 5:14; 1
Corinthians 11:30; Revelation 2:22. And, in respect of all these,
the mercy of God doth not so interpose itself but that all the sons
of men are in some sort partakers of them.

Thirdly, The final desert of original sin, as our article speaketh,
is damnation,the wrath of God, to be poured on us in eternal
torments of body and soul. To this end, also, many previous
judgments of God are subservient,as the privation of original
righteousness (which he took and withheld upon Adams throwing it
away), spiritual desertion, permission of sin, with all other
destroying depravations of our nature, as far as they are merely
penal; some of which are immediate consequents of Adams singular
actual transgression, as privation of original righteousness;
others, as damnation itself, the proper effects of that derived sin
and pollution that is in us. There is none damned but for his own
sin. When divines affirm that by Adams sin we are guilty of
damnation, they do not mean that any are actually damned for this
particular fact; but that by his sin, and our sinning in him, by
Gods most just ordination, we have contracted that exceeding
pravity and sinfulness of nature which deserveth the curse of God
and eternal damnation. It must be an inherent uncleanness that
actually excludes out of the kingdom of heaven, Revelation 21:27;
which uncleanness the apostle shows to be in infants not sanctified
by an interest in the covenant. In brief, we are baptized unto the
remission of sins, that we may be saved, Acts 2:38. That, then,
which is taken away by baptism is that which hinders our salvation;
which is not the first sin of Adam imputed, but our own inherent
lust and pollution. We cannot be washed, and cleansed, and purged
from an imputed sin; which is done by the laver of regeneration.
From that which lies upon us only by an external denomination, we
have no need of cleansing; we may be said to be freed from it, or
justified, but not purged. The soul, then, that is guilty of sin
shall die, and that for its own guilt. If God should condemn us for
original sin only, it were not by reason of the imputation of Adams
fault, but of the iniquity of that portion of nature in which we are
proprietaries.

Now here, to shut up all, observe, that in this inquiry of the
desert of original sin, the question is not, What shall be the
certain lot of those that depart this life under the guilt of this
sin only? but, What this hereditary and native corruption doth
deserve in all those in whom it is? for, as St Paul saith, We judge
not them that are without (especially infants), 1 Corinthians 5:13.
But for the demerit of it in the justice of God, our Savior
expressly affirmeth, that except a man be born again, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God, John 3:3,5; and let them that can,
distinguish between a not going to heaven and a going to hell: a
third receptacle of souls in the Scripture we find not. St Paul also
tells us that by nature we are the children of wrath, Ephesians
2:3. Even originally and actually we are guilty of and obnoxious
unto that wrath, which is accompanied with fiery indignation, that
shall consume the adversaries. Again, we are assured that no unclean
thing shall enter into heaven, Revelation 21:27; with which
hell-deserving uncleanness children are polluted: and, therefore,
unless it be purged with the blood of Christ, they have no interest
in everlasting happiness. By this means sin is come upon all to
condemnation; and yet do we not peremptorily censure to hell all
infants departing this world without the laver of regeneration,the
ordinary means of waiving the punishment due to this pollution. That
is the question de facto, which we before rejected. Yea, and two
ways there are whereby God sayeth such infants, ing them like brands
out of the fire:

First, By interesting them in the covenant, if their immediate or
remote parents have been believers. He is a God of them and of their
seed, extending his mercy unto a thousand generations of them that
fear him.

Secondly, By his grace of election, which is most free, and not tied
to any conditions; by which I make no doubt but God taketh many unto
him in Christ whose parents never knew, or had been despisers of,
the gospel. And this is the doctrine of our church, agreeable to the
Scripture, affirming the desert of original sin to be Gods wrath
and damnation. To both which how opposite is the Arminian doctrine
may thus appear:

S.S.Lib. Arbit.
By the offense of one judgment came upon all men to
condemnation, Romans 5:18.Adam sinned in his own proper
person only, and there is no reasonwhy God should impute that
sin unto infants, Boraeus.

By one mans disobedience many were made sinners, Romans
5:19.It is absurd that by one mans disobedience many should
be made actually disobedient, Corvinus.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother
conceive me, Psalm 51:5.Infants are simply in that estate in
which Adam was before his fall, Venator.

Else were your children unclean; but now are they holy, 1
Corinthians 7:14. Who can bring a clean thing out of an
unclean? not one, Job 14:4. Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God, John 3:3. That which is born
of the flesh is flesh, John 3:6.Neither is it considerable
whether they be the children of believers or of heathens; for
all infants have the same innocency, Rem. Apol. That which
we have by birth can be no evil of sin, because to be born is
plainly involuntary, Idem.

By nature the children of wrath, even as others, Ephesians
2:3. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,
to wit, in him, Romans 5:12. For I know that in me (that is,
in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing, chap. 7:18.Original
sin is neither a sin properly so called, which should make the
posterity of Adam guilty of Gods wrath, nor yet a punishment
of any sin on them, Rem. Apol. It is against equity that one
should be accounted guilty of a sin that is not his own, that
he should be judged nocent who in regard of his own will is
truly innocent, Idem.

In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,
Genesis 2:17. For as in Adam all die, even so, etc., 1
Corinthians 15:22. By nature the children of wrath,
Ephesians 2:3. And there shall in no wise enter into it any
thing that defileth, Revelation 21:27.God neither doth nor
can in justice appoint any to hell for original sin, Rem.
Apol. It is perversely spoken, that original sin makes any
one guilty of death, Armin. We no way doubt to affirm, that
never any one was damned for original sin, Corv.


ENDNOTES:


[xxii] [1] Joseph. Antiq. Judeo., lib. 15. cap. 11, sect. 6.
[xxiii] [2] Infantes sunt simpliees, et stautes in eodem statu in
quo Adamus fuit ante lapsum.Venat. Theol. re. et me., fol. 2.
[xxiv] [3] Nec refert an infantes isti sint fidelium, an
ethnicorum liberi, infantium enim, qua infantium, eadem est
innocentia.Rem. Apol., p. 87.
[xxv] [4] Malum culpee non est, quia nasci plane est
involuntarium, etc.Ibid, p. 84.
[xxvi] [5] Imbecillitas membrorum infantilium innocens est, non
animus.Aug.
[xxvii] [6] Adamus in propria persona peceavit, et nulla est ratio
cur Deus peccatum illud infantibus imputet.Bor. in Artic. 31.
[xxviii] [7] Contra aequitatem est, ut quis reus agatur propter
peccatum non suum, ut vere nocens judicetur, qui quoad propriam suam
voluntatem innocens est.Rem. Apol., c. 7. p. 84.
[xxix] [8] An old Saxon word denoting a fence or border.ED.
[xxx] [9] Contra naturam peccati est, ut censeatur peccatum, aut
ut proprie in peccatum imputetur, quod propria voluntate commissure
non est.Rem. Apol., c. 7. p. 84.
[xxxi] [10] Omnes eramus unus ille homo.Aug.
[xxxii] [11] Est voluntarium, voluntate primi originantis, non
voluntate contrahentis: ratione naturm, non personm.Thom, 1,2., q.
81, a.
[xxxiii] [12] Absurdum est ut ex unius inobedientia multi actu
inobedientes, facti essent.Corr. ad Molin., cap. 7. sect. 8.
[xxxiv] [13] Fatemur peccatum Adami, a Deo posse dici imputatum
posteris ejus, quatenus Deus posteros Adami eidem malo, cui Adamus
per peccatum obnoxium se reddidit, obnoxios nasci voluit; sive
quatenus Deus, malum, quod Adamo inflictum erat in poenam, in
posteros ejus dimanare et transire permisit.Rem. Apol., p. 84.
[xxxv] [14] Peccatum itaque originale nec habent pro peccato
proprie dicto, quod posteros Adami odio Dei dignos faciat, nec pro
malo, quod per modum proprie dictae poenae ab Adamo in posteros
dimanet sed pro infirmitate, etc.Rem. Apol., fol. 84.
[xxxvi] [15] Pareeus., ad Rom. 5.
[xxxvii] [16] Cure de aeterna morte loquuntur Remonstrantes in hac
deAdamo quaestione, non intelligunt mortam illam, quae aeterna pcena
sensusdicitur, etc.Rem. Apol., cap. 4. p. 57.
[xxxviii] [17] An ullus omnino homo, propter peccatum originis
solum damnetur, ac aeternis cruciatibus addicatur, merito dubitari
potest: imo nullum ita damnari affirmare non veremur.Corv, ad
Molin., cap. 9. sect. 5.
[xxxix] [18] Verissimum est Arminium docere, perverse dici
peccatum originis reum facere mortis.Corv, ad Tilen., p. 888.
[xl] [19] Perverse dicitur peccatum originis, reum facere mortis,
quum peccatum illud poena sit peccati actualis Adami.Armin. Resp.
ad Quaest. 9. a. 3.
[xli] [20] Deus neminem ob solum peccatum originis
rejecit.Episcop., disp. 9. thes. 2.
[xlii] [21] Pro certo statuunt Deum nullos infantes, sine
actualibus ac propriis peccatis morientes, aeternis cruciatibus
destinare velle, aut jure destinare posse ob peccatum quod vocatur
originis.Rem. Apol., p. 87.


CHAPTER 8.

OF THE STATE OF ADAM BEFORE

THE FALL, OR OF ORIGINAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.


In the last chapter we discovered the Arminian attempt of
re-advancing the corrupted nature of man into that state of
innocency and holiness wherein it was at first by God created; in
which design, because they cannot but discern that the success is
not answerable to their desires, and not being able to deny but that
for so much good as we want (having cast it away), or evil of sin
that we are subject unto more than we were at our first creation, we
must be responsible to the justice of God, they labor to draw down
our first parents, even from the instant of their forming, into the
same condition wherein we are engaged by reason of corrupted nature.
But, truly, I fear they will scarce obtain so prosperous an issue of
their endeavor as Mohammed had when he promised the people he would
call a mountain unto him; which miracle when they assembled to
behold, but the mountain would not stir for all his calling, he
replied, If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will
go to the mountain, and away he packed towards it. For we shall
find that our Arminians can neither themselves climb the high
mountain of innocency, nor yet call it down into the valley of sin
and corruption wherein they are lodged. We have seen already how
vain and frustrate was their former attempt: let us now take a view
of their aspiring insolence, in making the pure creatures of God,
holy and undefiled with any sin, to be invested with the same
wretchedness and perverseness of nature with ourselves.

It is not my intention to enter into any curious discourse
concerning the state and grace of Adam before his fall, but only to
give a faithful assent to what God himself affirmed of all the works
of his hands,they were exceeding good. No evil, no deformity, or
anything tending thereunto, did immediately issue from that Fountain
of goodness and wisdom; and therefore, doubtless, man, the most
excellent work of his hands, the greatest glory of his Creator, was
then without spot or blemish, endued with all those perfections his
nature and state of obedience was capable of. And careful we must be
of casting any aspersions of defect on him that we will not with
equal boldness ascribe to the image of God.

Nothing doth more manifest the deviation of our nature from its
first institution, and declare the corruption wherewith we are
polluted, than that propensity which is in us to every thing that is
evil; that inclination of the flesh which lusteth always against the
Spirit; that lust and concupiscence which fomenteth, conceiveth,
hatcheth, bringeth forth, and nourisheth sin; that perpetual
proneness that is in unregenerate nature to every thing that is
contrary to the pure and holy law of God. Now, because neither
Scripture nor experience will suffer Christians quite to deny this
pravity of our nature, this averseness from all good and propensity
to sin, the Arminians extenuate as much as they are able, affirming
that it is no great matter, no more than Adam was subject unto in
the state of innocency. But, what! did God create in Adam a
proneness unto evil? was that a part of his glorious image in whose
likeness he was framed? Yea, saith Corvinus, [xliii] [1] By reason
of his creation, man had an affection to what was forbidden by the
law. But yet this seems injustice, that [xliv] [2] God should give
a man a law to keep, and put upon his nature a repugnancy to that
law; as one of them affirmed at the synod of Dort. No, saith the
former author; [xlv] [3] man had not been fit to have had a law
given unto him, had he not been endued with a propension and natural
inclination to that which is forbidden by the law. But why is this
so necessary in men rather than angels? No doubt there was a law, a
rule for their obedience, given unto them at their first creation,
which some transgressed, when others kept it inviolate. Had they
also a propensity to sin concreated with their nature? had they a
natural affection put upon them by God to that which was forbidden
by the law? Let them only who will be wise beyond the word of God
affix such injustice on the righteous Judge of all the earth. But so
it seems it must be. [xlvi] [4] There was an inclination in man to
sin before the fall, though not altogether so vehement and
inordinate as it is now, saith Arminius. Hitherto we have thought
that the original righteousness wherein Adam was created had
comprehended the integrity and perfection of the whole man; not only
that whereby the body was obedient unto the soul, and all the
affections subservient to the rule of reason for the performance of
all natural actions, but also a light, uprightness, and holiness of
grace in the mind and will, whereby he was enabled to yield
obedience unto God for the attaining of that supernatural end
whereunto he was created. No; but [xlvii] [5] original
righteousness, say our new doctors, was nothing but a bridle to
help to keep mans inordinate concupiscence within bounds: so that
the faculties of our souls were never endued with any proper innate
holiness of their own. [xlviii] [6] In the spiritual death of sin
there are no spiritual gifts properly wanting in the will, because
they were never there, say the six collocutors at the Hague.

The sum is, man was created with a nature not only weak and
imperfect, unable by its native strength and endowments to attain
that supernatural end for which he was made, and which he was
commanded to seek, but depraved also with a love and desire of
things repugnant to the will of God, by reason of an inbred
inclination to sinning. It doth not properly belong to this place to
show how they extenuate those gifts also with which they cannot deny
but that he was endued, and also deny those which he had, as a power
to believe in Christ, or to assent unto any truth that God should
reveal unto him; and yet they grant this privilege to every one of
his posterity, in that depraved condition of nature whereinto by sin
he cast himself and us. We have all now a power of believing in
Christ; that is, Adam, by his fall, obtained a supernatural
endowment far more excellent than any he had before. And let them
not here pretend the universality of the new covenant until they can
prove it; and I am certain it will be long enough. But this, I say,
belongs not to this place; only, let us see how, from the word of
God, we may overthrow the former odious heresy:

God in the beginning created man in his own image, Genesis
1:27,that is, upright, Ecclesiastes 7:29, endued with a nature
composed to obedience and holiness. That habitual grace and original
righteousness wherewith he was invested was in a manner due unto him
for the obtaining of that supernatural end whereunto he was created.

A universal rectitude of all the faculties of his soul, advanced by
supernatural graces, enabling him to the performance of those duties
whereunto they were required, is that which we call the innocency of
our first parents. Our nature was then inclined to good only, and
adorned with all those qualifications that were necessary to make it
acceptable unto God, and able to do what was required of us by the
law, under the condition of everlasting happiness. Nature and grace,
or original righteousness, before the fall, ought not to be so
distinguished as if the one were a thing prone to evil, resisted and
quelled by the other; for both complied, in a sweet union and
harmony, to carry us along in the way of obedience to eternal
blessedness. [There was] no contention between the flesh and the
Spirit; but as all other things at theirs, so the whole man jointly
aimed at his own chiefest good, having all means of attaining it in
his power. That there was then no inclination to sin, no
concupiscence of that which is evil, no repugnancy to the law of
God, in the pure nature of man, is proved, because,

First, The Scripture, describing the condition of our nature at the
first creation thereof, intimates no such propensity to evil, but
rather a holy perfection, quite excluding it. We were created in
the image of God, Genesis 1:27,in such a perfect uprightness as is
opposite to all evil inventions, Ecclesiastes 7:29; to which image
when we are again in some measure renewed by the grace of Christ,
Colossians 3:10, we see by the first-fruits that it consisted in
righteousness and true holiness,in truth and perfect holiness,
Ephesians 4:24.

Secondly, An inclination to evil, and a lusting after that which is
forbidden, is that inordinate concupiscence wherewith our nature is
now infected; which is everywhere in the Scripture condemned as a
sin; St Paul, in the seventh to the Romans, affirming expressly that
it is a sin, and forbidden by the law, verse 7, producing all manner
of evil, and hindering all that is good,a body of death, verse
24; and St James maketh it even the womb of all iniquity, James
1:14,15. Surely our nature was not at first yoked with such a
troublesome inmate. Where is the uprightness and innocency we have
hitherto conceived our first parents to have enjoyed before the
fall? A repugnancy to the law must needs be a thing sinful. An
inclination to evil, to a thing forbidden, is an anomy,a deviation
and discrepancy from the pure and holy law of God. We must speak no
more, then, of the state of innocency, but only of a short space
wherein no outward actual sins were committed. Their proper root, if
this be true, was concreated with our nature. Is this that
obediential harmony to all the commandments of God which is
necessary for a pure and innocent creature, that hath a law
prescribed unto him? By which of the ten precepts is this
inclination to evil required? Is it by the last, Thou shalt not
covet? or by that sum of them all, Thou shalt love the LORD thy
God with all thy heart, etc.? Is this all the happiness of
paradise,to be turmoiled with a nature swelling with abundance of
vain desires, and with a main stream carried headlong to all
iniquity, if its violent appetite be not powerfully kept in by the
bit and bridle of original righteousness? So it is we see with
children now;[xlix] [7] and so it should have been with them in
paradise, if they were subject to this rebellious inclination to sin.

Thirdly, and principally, Whence had our primitive nature this
affection to those things that were forbidden it,this rebellion and
repugnancy to the law, which must needs be an anomy, and so a thing
sinful? There was as yet no demerit, to deserve it as a punishment.
What fault is it to be created? [l] [8] The operation of any thing
which hath its original with the being of the thing itself must
needs proceed from the same cause as doth the essence or being
itself; as the fires tending upwards relates to the same original
with the fire: and, therefore, this inclination or affection can
have no other author but God; by which means he is entitled not only
to the first sin, as the efficient cause, but to all the sins in the
world arising from thence. Plainly, and without any strained
consequences, he is made the author of sin; for even those positive
properties which can have no other fountain but the author of
nature, being set on evil, are directly sinful. And here the idol of
free-will may triumph in this victory over the God of heaven.
Heretofore all the blame of sin lay upon his shoulders, but now he
begins to complain, Oujk eJgw< ai]tio>v eijmi ajlla< Zeu moi~ra. It is God and the fate of our creation that hath placed us
in this condition of naturally affecting that which is evil. Back
with all your charges against the ill government of this new deity
within his imaginary dominion; what hurt doth he do but incline men
unto evil, and God himself did no less at the first? But let them
that will, rejoice in these blasphemies: it sufficeth us to know
that God created man upright, though he hath sought out many
inventions; so that in this following dissonancy we cleave to the
better part:

S. S.Lib. Arbit.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them, Genesis
1:27. Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after
the image of him that created him, Colossians 3:10. which
after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,
Ephesians 4:24.There was in man before the fall an
inclination to sinning, though not so vehement and inordinate
as now it is, Armin. God put upon man a repugnancy to his
law, Gesteranus in the Synod. Man, by reason of his
creation, had an affection to those things that are forbidden
by the law, Corv.

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright;
but he hath sought out many inventions, Ecclesiastes 7:29.
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,
Romans 5:12.The will of man had never any spiritual
endowments, Rem. Apol.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for
God tempteth no man: but every man is tempted when he is drawn
away of his own lust, James 1:13,14.It was not fit that man
should have a law given him, unless he had a natural
inclination to what was forbidden by the law, Corv.


ENDNOTES:


[li] [1] Ex ratione creationis homo habebat affectum ad ea quae
vetabantur. Corv. ad Molin., cap. 6. sect. 1.
[lii] [2] Deus homini repugnantiam indidit adversus legem.Joh.
Gest. In Synod. Confes.
[liii] [3] Homo non est idoneus cui lex feratur, quando in eo, ad
id quod lege vetatur, non est propensio, ac inclinatio
naturalis.Corv. ad Molin., cap. 10. sect. 15.
[liv] [4] Inclinatio ad peccandum ante lapsum in homine fuit,
licet non ita vehemens ac inordinata ut nunc est.Armin. ad Artic.
Respon.
[lv] [5] Justitia originalis instar fraeni fuit, quod preestabat
internae concupiscentiae ordinationem.Corv. ad Molin., cap. 8.
sect. 1.
[lvi] [6] In spirituali morte non separantur proprie dona
spiritualia a voluntate, quia illa nunquam fuerunt ei insita.Rem.
Coll. Hag., p. 250.
[lvii] [7] Vidi ego zelantem parvulum qui nondum loquebatur, et
intuebatur pallidus, amaro aspectu colluctaneum suum.Aug.
[lviii] [8] Operatio quae simul incipit cum esse rei, est ei ab
agente, a quo habet esse, sicut moveri sursum inest igni a
generante.Alvar., p. 199.


CHAPTER 9.


OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST, AND OF THE EFFICACY OF HIS MERITS.


The sum of those controversies, wherewith the Arminians and their
abettors have troubled the church, about the death of Christ, may be
reduced to two heads:First, Concerning the object of his merit, or
whom he died for; secondly, Concerning the efficacy and end of his
death, or what he deserved, procured, merited, and obtained, for
them for whom he died. In resolution of the first, they affirm that
he died for all and every one; of the second, that he died for no
one man at all in that sense Christians have hitherto believed that
he laid down his life, and submitted himself to bear the burden of
his Fathers wrath for their sakes. It seems to me a strange
extenuation of the merit of Christ, to teach that no good at all by
his death doth redound to divers of them for whom he died. What
participation in the benefit of his suffering had Pharaoh or Judas?
Do they not at this hour, and shall they not to eternity, feel the
weight and burden of their own sins? Had they either grace in this
world, or glory in the other, that they should be said to have an
interest in the death of our Savior? Christians have hitherto
believed, that for whom Christ died, for their sins he made
satisfaction, that they themselves should not eternally suffer for
them. Is God unjust to punish twice for the same fault? his own Son
once, and again the poor sinners for whom he suffered? I cannot
conceive an intention in God that Christ should satisfy his justice
for the sin of them that were in hell some thousands of years
before, and yet be still resolved to continue their punishment on
them to all eternity. No, doubtless: Christ giveth life to every one
for whom he gave his life; he loseth not one of them whom he
purchased with his blood.

The first part of this controversy may be handled under these two
questions:First, Whether God giving his Son, and Christ making his
soul a ransom for sin, intended thereby to redeem all and every one
from their sins, that all and every one alike, from the beginning of
the world to the last day, should all equally be partakers of the
fruits of his death and passion; which purpose of theirs is in the
most frustrate? Secondly, Whether God had not a certain infallible
intention of gathering unto himself a chosen people, of collecting
a church of first-born, of saving his little flock, of bringing
some certainly to happiness, by the death of his only Son; which in
the event he doth accomplish?

The second part also may be reduced to these two heads:First,
Whether Christ did not make full satisfaction for all their sins for
whom he died, and merited glory, or everlasting happiness, to be
bestowed on them upon the performance of those conditions God should
require? Secondly (which is the proper controversy I shall chiefly
insist upon), Whether Christ did not procure for his own people a
power to become the sons of God, merit and deserve at the hands of
God for them, grace, faith, righteousness, and sanctification,
whereby they may be enabled infallibly to perform the conditions of
the new covenant, upon the which they shall be admitted to glory?
To the first question of the first part of the controversy, the
Arminians answer affirmatively,to wit, that Christ died for all
alike; the benefit of his passion belongs equally to all the
posterity of Adam. And to the second negatively,that God had no
such intention of bringing many chosen sons unto salvation by the
death of Christ, but determined of grace and glory no more precisely
to one than to another, to John than Judas, Abraham than Pharaoh?
Both which, as the learned Moulin observed,[lix] [1] seemed to be
invented to make Christianity ridiculous, and expose our religion to
the derision of all knowing men: for who can possibly conceive that
one by the appointment of God should die for another, and yet that
other, by the same justice, be allotted unto death himself, when
ones death only was due; that Christ hath made a full satisfaction
for their sins who shall everlastingly feel the weight of them
themselves; that he should merit and obtain reconciliation with God
for them who live and die his enemies, grace and glory for them who
are graceless in this life and damned in that which is to come; that
he should get remission of sins for them whose sins were never
pardoned? In brief, if this sentence be true, either Christ by his
death did not reconcile us unto God, make satisfaction to his
justice for our iniquities, redeem us from our sins, purchase a
kingdom, an everlasting inheritance for us,which I hope no
Christian will say; or else all the former absurdities must
necessarily follow,which no rational man will ever admit.
Neither may we be charged as straiteners of the merit of Christ; for
we advance the true value and worth thereof (as hereafter will
appear) far beyond all the Arminians ascribe unto it. We confess
that that blood of God, Acts 20:28, of the Lamb without blemish
and without spot, 1 Peter 1:19, was so exceedingly precious, of
that infinite worth and value, that it might have saved a thousand
believing worlds, John 3:16; Romans 3:22. His death was of
sufficient dignity to have been made a ransom for all the sins of
every one in the world. And on this internal sufficiency of his
death and passion is grounded the universality of evangelical
promises; which have no such restriction in their own nature as that
they should not be made to all and every one, though the
promulgation and knowledge of them are tied only to the good
pleasure of Gods special providence, Matthew 16:17; as also that
economy and dispensation of the new covenant whereby, the
partition-wall being broken down, there remains no more difference
between Jew and Gentile, the utmost borders of the earth being given
in for Christs inheritance. So that, in some sense, Christ may be
said to die for all, and the whole world;first, Inasmuch as the
worth and value of his death was very sufficient to have been made a
price for all their sins; secondly, Inasmuch as this word all is
taken for some of all sorts (not for every one of every sort), as it
is frequently used in the holy Scripture: so Christ being lifted up,
drew all unto him, John 12:32; that is, believers out of all sorts
of men. The apostles cured all diseases, or some of all sorts: they
did not cure every particular disease, but there was no kind of
disease that was exempted from their power of healing. So that where
it is said that Christ died for all, it is meant either,first,
All the faithful; or, secondly, Some of all sorts; thirdly, Not only
Jews, but Gentiles. For,

Secondly, The proper counsel and intention of God in sending his Son
into the world to die was, that thereby he might confirm and ratify
the new covenant to his elect, and purchase for them all the good
things which are contained in the tenure of that covenant,to wit,
grace and glory; that by his death he might bring many (yet some
certain) children to glory, obtaining for them that were given unto
him by his Father (that is, his whole church) reconciliation with
God, remission of sins, faith, righteousness, sanctification, and
life eternal. That is the end to which they are to be brought, and
the means whereby God will have them attain it. He died that he
might gather the dispersed children of God, and make them partakers
of everlasting glory,to give eternal life to as many as God gave
him, John 17:2. And on this purpose of himself and his Father is
founded the intercession of Christ for his elect and chosen people;
performed partly on the earth, John 17, partly in heaven, before the
throne of grace: which is nothing but a presentation of himself and
his merits, accompanied with the prayers of his mediatorship before
God, that he would be pleased to grant and effectually to apply the
good things he hath by them obtained to all for whom he hath
obtained them. His intercession in heaven is nothing but a continued
oblation of himself. So that whatsoever Christ impetrated, merited,
or obtained by his death and passion, must be infallibly applied
unto and bestowed upon them for whom he intended to obtain it; or
else his intercession is vain, he is not heard in the prayers of his
mediatorship. An actual reconciliation with God, and communication
of grace and glory, must needs betide all them that have any such
interest in the righteousness of Christ as to have it accepted for
their good. The sole end why Christ would so dearly purchase those
good things is, an actual application of them unto his chosen: God
set forth the propitiation of his blood for the remission of sins,
that he might be the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus,
Romans 3:25,26. But this part of the controversy is not that which I
principally intend; only, I will give you a brief sum of those
reasons which overthrow their heresy in this particular branch
thereof:

First, The death of Christ is in divers places of the Scripture
restrained to his people, and elect, his church, and sheep,
Matthew 1:21; John 10:11-13; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; John
11:51,52; Romans 8:32,34; Hebrews 2:9,14; Revelation 5:9; Daniel
9:26;and therefore the good purchased thereby ought not to be
extended to dogs, reprobates, and those that are without.
Secondly, For whom Christ died, he died as their sponsor, in their
room and turn, that he might free them from the guilt and desert of
death; which is clearly expressed Romans 5:6-8. He was wounded for
our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the
chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
healed, Isaiah 53:5,6, etc. He hath redeemed us from the curse of
the law, being made a curse for us, Galatians 3:13. He hath made
him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Evidently he changeth turns with us, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him. Yea, in other things, it is plain in
the Scripture that to die for another is to take his place and room,
with an intention that he should live, 2 Samuel 18:33; Romans 5. So
that Christ dying for men made satisfaction for their sins, that
they should not die. Now, for what sins he made satisfaction, for
them the justice of God is satisfied; which surely is not done for
the sins of the reprobates, because he justly punisheth them to
eternity upon themselves, Matthew 5:26.

Thirdly, For whom Christ died, for them also he rose again, to
make intercession for them: for whose offenses he was delivered,
for their justification he was raised, Romans 4:25, 5:10. He is a
high priest to make intercession for them in the holy of holies
for whom by his own blood he obtained eternal redemption, Hebrews
9:11,12. These two acts of his priesthood are not to be separated;
it belongs to the same mediator for sin to sacrifice and pray. Our
assurance that he is our advocate is grounded on his being a
propitiation for our sins. He is an advocate for every one for
whose sins his blood was a propitiation, 1 John 2:1,2. But Christ
doth not intercede and pray for all, as himself often witnesseth,
John 17; he maketh intercession only for them who come unto God
by him, Hebrews 7:25. He is not a mediator of them that perish, no
more than an advocate of them that fail in their suits; and
therefore the benefit of his death also must be restrained to them
who are finally partakers of both. We must not so disjoin the
offices of Christs mediatorship, that one of them may be versated
about some towards whom he exerciseth not the other; much less ought
we so to separate the several acts of the same office. For whom
Christ is a priest, to offer himself a sacrifice for their sins, he
is surely a king, to apply the good things purchased by his death
unto them, as Arminius himself confesseth; much more to whom he is a
priest by sacrifice, he will be a priest by intercession. And,
therefore, seeing he doth not intercede and pray for every one, he
did not die for every one.

Fourthly, For whom Christ died he merited grace and glory, faith and
salvation, and reconciliation with God; as I shall show hereafter.
But this he hath not done for all and every one. Many do never
believe; the wrath of God remaineth upon some; the wrath of God
abideth on them that do not believe, John in. 36. To abide argueth a
continued, uninterrupted act. Now, to be reconciled to one, and yet
to lie under his heavy anger, seem to me ajsu>stata,things that
will scarce consist together. The reasons are many; I only point at
the heads of some of them.

Fifthly, Christ died for them whom God gave unto him to be saved:
Thine they were, and thou gavest them me, John 17:6. He layeth
down his life for the sheep committed to his charge, chapter 10:11.
But all are not the sheep of Christ, all are not given unto him of
God to be brought to glory; for of those that are so given there is
not one that perisheth, for he giveth eternal life to as many as
God hath given him, chapter 17:2. No man is able to pluck them out
of his Fathers hand, chapter 10:28,29.

Sixthly, Look whom, and how many, that love of God embraced that was
the cause of sending his Son to redeem them; for them, and so many,
did Christ, according to the counsel of his Father, and in himself,
intentionally lay down his life. Now, this love is not universal,
being his good pleasure of blessing with spiritual blessings and
saving some in Christ, Ephesians 1:4,5; which good pleasure of his
evidently comprehendeth some, when others are excluded, Matthew
11:25,26. Yea, the love of God in giving Christ for us is of the
same extent with that grace whereby he calleth us to faith, or
bestoweth faith on us: for he hath called us with an holy calling,
according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ
Jesus, 2 Timothy 1:9; which, doubtless, is not universal and common
unto all.

Innumerable other reasons there are to prove, that seeing God hath
given his elect only, whom only he loved, to Christ to be redeemed;
and seeing that the Son loveth only those who are given him of his
Father, and redeemeth only whom he loveth; seeing, also, that the
Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son, sanctifieth all,
and only them, that are elected and redeemed,it is not our part,
with a preposterous liberality, against the witness of Christ
himself, to assign the salvation attained by him as due to them that
are without the congregation of them whom the Father hath loved and
chosen, without that church which the Son loved and gave his life
for, nor none of the members of that sanctified body whereof Christ
is the Head and Savior. I urge no more, because this is not that
part of the controversy that I desire to lay open.

I come now to consider the main question of this difference, though
sparingly handled by our divines, concerning what our Savior merited
and purchased for them for whom he died. And here you shall find the
old idol playing his pranks, and quite divesting the merit of Christ
from the least ability or power of doing us any good; for though the
Arminians pretend, very speciously, that Christ died for all men,
yet, in effect, they make him die for no one man at all, and that by
denying the effectual operation of his death, and ascribing the
proper issues of his passion to the brave endeavors of their own
Pelagian deity.

We, according to the Scriptures, plainly believe that Christ hath,
by his righteousness, merited for us grace and glory; that we are
blessed with all spiritual blessings, in, through, and for him; that
he is made unto us righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption; that he hath procured for us, and that God for his sake
bestoweth on us, every grace in this life that maketh us differ from
others, and all that glory we hope for in that which is to come; he
procured for us remission of all our sins, an actual reconciliation
with God, faith, and obedience. Yea, but this is such a desperate
doctrine as stabs at the very heart of the idol, and would make him
as altogether useless as if he were but a fig-tree log. What
remaineth for him to do, if all things in this great work of our
salvation must be thus ascribed unto Christ and the merit of his
death? Wherefore the worshippers of this great god, Lib. Arbit.,
oppose their engines against the whole fabric, and cry down the
title of Christs merits to these spiritual blessings, in the behalf
of their imaginary deity.

Now, because they are things of a twofold denomination about which
we contend before the King of heaven, each part producing their
evidence, the first springing from the favor of God towards us, the
second from the working of his grace actually within us, I shall
handle them severally and apart;especially because to things of
this latter sort, gifts, as we call them, enabling us to fulfill the
condition required for the attaining of glory, we lay a double claim
on Gods behalf; first, As the death of Christ is the meritorious
cause procuring them of him; secondly, As his free grace is their
efficient cause working them in us;they also producing a double
title, whereby they would invest their beloved darling with a sole
propriety in causing these effects; first, In regard that they are
our own acts, performed in us and by us; secondly, As they are parts
of our duty which we are enjoined to do. So that the quarrel is
directly between Christs merits and our own free-will about
procuring the favor of God, and obtaining grace and righteousness.
Let us see what they say to the first.

They affirm that [lx] [2] the immediate and proper effect or end of
the death and passion of Christ is, not an actual ablation of sin
from men, not an actual remission of iniquities, justification and
redemption of any soul; that is, Christs death is not the
meritorious cause of the remission of our sins, of redemption and
justification. The meritorious cause, I say: for of some of them, as
of justification, as it is terminated in us, we confess there are
causes of other kinds, as faith is the instrument and the Holy
Spirit the efficient thereof; but for the sole meritorious procuring
cause of these spiritual blessings, we always took it to be the
righteousness and death of Christ, believing plainly that the end
why Christ died, and the fruit of his sufferings, was our
reconciliation with God, redemption from our sins, freedom from the
curse, deliverance from the wrath of God and power of hell,though
we be not actual partakers of these things, to the pacification of
our own consciences, without the intervening operation of the Holy
Spirit, and faith by him wrought in us.

But if this be not, pray what is obtained by the death of Christ
Why, [lxi] [3] a potential, conditionate reconciliation, not actual
and absolute, saith Corvinus. But yet this potential reconciliation
being a new expression, never intimated in the Scripture, and scarce
of itself intelligible, we want a farther explanation of their mind,
to know what it is that directly they assign to the merits of
Christ. Wherefore they tell us that the fruit of his death was
[lxii] [4] such an impetration or obtaining of reconciliation with
God, and redemption for us, that God thereby hath a power, his
justice being satisfied, and so not compelling him to the contrary,
to grant remission of sins to sinful men on what condition he
would; or, as another speaketh it, [lxiii] [5] There was, by the
effusion of Christs blood, a right obtained unto and settled in
God, of reconciling the world, and of opening unto all a gate of
repentance and faith in Christ. But now, whereas the Scripture
everywhere affirmeth that Christ died for our good, to obtain
blessings for us, to purchase our peace, to acquire and merit for us
the good things contained in the promise of the covenant, this
opinion seems to restrain the end and fruit thereof to the obtaining
of a power and liberty unto God of prescribing us a condition
whereby we may be saved. But yet, it may be, thus much at least
Christ obtained of God in our behalf, that he should assign faith in
him to be this condition, and to bestow it upon us also. No; neither
the one nor the other. [lxiv] [6] After all this, had it so seemed
good unto his wisdom, God might have chosen the Jews, and others,
following the righteousness of the law, as well as believers;
because he might have assigned any other condition of salvation
besides faith in Christ, saith Grevinchovius. Notwithstanding,
then, the death of Christ for us, we might have been held to the old
rule, Do this, and live. But if this be true, I cannot perceive
how it may be said that Christ died to redeem us from our sins, to
save our souls, and bring us unto glory. Neither, perhaps, do they
think this to be any great inconvenience; for the same author
affirmeth that [lxv] [7] Christ cannot be said properly to die to
save any one. And a little after he more fully declares himself,
that [lxvi] [8] after Christ had obtained all that he did obtain by
his death, the right remained wholly in God to apply it, or not to
apply it, as it should seem good unto him; the application of grace
and glory to any man was not the end for which Christ obtained them,
but to get a right and power unto God of bestowing those things on
what sort of men he would;which argues no redemption of us from
our sins, but a vindication of God from such a condition wherein he
had not power to forgive them; not an obtaining of salvation for us,
but of a liberty unto God of saving us on some condition or other.
But now, after God hath got this power by the death of Christ, and
out of his gracious good pleasure assigned faith to be the means for
us to attain those blessings, he hath procured himself a liberty to
bestow. Did Christ obtain this faith for us of him, if it be a thing
not in our own power? No; [lxvii] [9] faith is not obtained by the
death of Christ, saith Corvinus. So that there is no good thing, no
spiritual blessing, into which any man in the world hath any
interest by the death of Christ: which is not so great an absurdity
but that they are most ready to grant it. Arnoldus confesseth,
[lxviii] [10] that he believes that the death of Christ might have
enjoyed its end, or his merit its full force, although never any had
believed: and again, [lxix] [11] The death and satisfaction of
Christ being accomplished, it might come to pass that, none
fulfilling the condition of the new covenant, none should be saved.
So also saith Grevinchovius. O Christ! that any pretending to
profess thy holy name should thus slight the precious work of thy
death and passion! Surely never any before, who counted it their
glory to be called Christians, did ever thus extenuate (their
friends the Socinians only excepted) the dignity of his merit and
satisfaction. Take but a short view of what benefit they allow to
redound to us by the effusion of his precious blood, and you may see
what a pestilent heresy these men have labored to bring into the
church. Neither faith nor salvation, grace nor glory, hath he
purchased for us,not any spiritual blessing, that by our interest
in his death we can claim to be ours! It is not such a
reconciliation with God as that he thereupon should be contented
again to be called our God; it is not justification, nor
righteousness, nor actual redemption from our sins; it did not make
satisfaction for our iniquities, and deliver us from the curse;
[lxx] [12] only it was a means of obtaining such a possibility of
salvation, as that God, without wronging of his justice, might save
us if he would, one way or other. So that, when Christ had done all
that he could, there was not one man in the world immediately the
better for it; notwithstanding the utmost of his endeavor, every one
might have been damned with Judas to the pit of hell; for [lxxi]
[13] he died as well for Simon Magus and Judas as he did for Peter
and Paul, say the Arminians. Now, if no more good redound to us by
the death of Christ than to Simon Magus, we are not much obliged to
him for our salvation. Nay, he may be rather said to have redeemed
God than us; for he procured for him immediately a power to redeem
us if he would; for us only, by virtue of that power, a possibility
to be redeemed;which leaves nothing of the nature of merit annexed
to his death, for that deserveth that something be done, not only
that it may be done; the workman deserveth that his wages be given
him, and not that it may be given him. And then what becomes of all
the comfort and consolation that is proposed to us in the death of
Christ? But it is time to see how this stubble is burned and
consumed by the word of God, and that established which they thought
to overthrow.

First, It is, clear that Christ died to procure for us an actual
reconciliation with God, and not only a power for us to be
reconciled unto him; for when we were enemies, we were reconciled
to God by the death of his Son, Romans 5:10. We enjoy an actual
reconciliation unto God by his death. He is content to be called
our God when we are enemies, without the intervening of any
condition on our part required; though the sweetness, comfort, and
knowledge of this reconciliation do not compass our souls before we
believe in him. Again, we have remission of sins by his blood, and
justification from them; not a sole vindication into such an estate
wherein, if it please God and ourselves, our sins are pardonable:
for we are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his
righteousness for the remission of sins, Romans 3:24,25. Yea, he
obtained for us by his death righteousness and holiness. He gave
himself for the church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it,
Ephesians 5:25,26; that he might present it to himself a glorious
church, not having spot or wrinkle; that we should be holy and
without blemish, verse 27. Where, first, we have whom Christ died
or gave himself for, even his church; secondly, what he obtained for
it,holiness and righteousness, a freedom from the spots and
blemishes of sin, that is, the grace of justification and sanctity:
He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Corinthians 5:21. And,
lastly, he died to purchase for us an eternal inheritance, Hebrews
9:15. So that both grace and glory are bestowed on them for whom he
died, as the immediate fruits of his death and passion.

Secondly, See what the Scripture rJhtw~v, expressly, assigneth as
the proper end and immediate effect (according to the purpose of God
and his own intention) of the effusion of the blood of Jesus Christ,
and you shall find that he intended by it to take away the sins of
many; to make his soul an offering for sin, that he might see his
seed, that the pleasure of the LORD might prosper in his hand,
Isaiah 53:10; to be a ransom for many, Matthew 20:28; to bear the
sins of many, Hebrews 9:28. He bare our sins in his own body on
the tree, that we should live unto righteousness, 1 Peter 2:24;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2
Corinthians 5:21; thereby reconciling us unto God, verse 19. He died
to reconcile us unto God, in the body of his flesh through death,
that we might be holy and unblamable, Colossians 1:21,22; to
purge our sins, Hebrews 1:3; to obtain eternal redemption for
us, chap. 9:12. So that if Christ by his death obtained what he did
intend, he hath purchased for us not only a possibility of
salvation, but holiness, righteousness, reconciliation with God,
justification freedom from the guilt and condemning power of sin,
everlasting redemption, eternal life and glory in heaven.

Thirdly, I appeal unto the conscience of all Christians,First,
Whether they do not suppose the very foundation of all their
consolation to be stricken at, when they shall find those places of
Scripture (Hebrews 9:12,14, 15, 24, 28; Isaiah 53:10; I John 2:2,
etc) that affirm Christ to have died to take away our sins, to
reconcile us unto God, to put away or abolish our transgressions, to
wash and regenerate us, perfectly to save us, and purchase for us an
everlasting redemption, whereby he is become unto us righteousness,
and redemption, and sanctification, the Lord our righteousness, and
we become the righteousness of God in him, to be so wrested as if he
should be said only to have done something from which these things
might happily follow?

Secondly, Whether they think it not a ready way to impair their love
and to weaken their faith in Christ, when they shall be taught that
Christ hath done no more for them than for those that are damned in
hell; that, be their assurance never so great that Christ died for
them, yet there is enough to be laid to their charge to condemn
them; that though God is said to have reconciled them unto himself
in Christ, Colossians 1:19,20, yet indeed he is as angry with them
as with any reprobate in the world; that God loveth us not first,
but so long as we continue in a state of enmity against him, before
our conversion, he continues our enemy also, so that the first act
of friendship or love must be performed on our part, notwithstanding
that the Scripture saith, When we were enemies, we were reconciled
unto God, Romans 5:10?

Thirdly, Whether they have not hitherto supposed themselves bound to
believe that Christ died for their sins, and rose for their
justification? Do they not think it lawful to pray that God would
bestow upon them grace and glory for Christs sake? and to believe
that Jesus Christ was such a mediator of the new covenant as
procured for the persons covenanted withal all the good things
comprehended in the promise of that covenant?

I will not farther press upon this prevarication agaist Christian
religion; only, I would desire all the lovers of Jesus Christ
seriously to consider whether these men do truly aim at his honor
and advancing the dignity of his merit, and not rather at the crying
up of their own endeavors, seeing the sole cause of their denying
these glorious effects of the blood of Christ is to appropriate the
praise of them unto themselves; as we shall see in the next chapter.
These charges are never to be waived by the vanity of their
sophistical distinctions, as of that of impetration and application;
which, though it may be received in an orthodox meaning, yet not in
that sense, or rather nonsense, whereunto they abuse it;namely, as
though Christ had obtained that for some which shall never be
imparted unto them; that all the blessings procured by his death are
proper to none, but pendent in the air for them that can or will
catch them: whereupon, when we object [lxxii] [14] that by this
means all the efficacy of the merit of Christ is in our own power,
they readily grant it, and say it cannot otherwise be. Let them that
can, receive these monsters in Christianity; for my part, in these
following contradictory assertions I will choose rather to adhere to
the authority of the word of God than of Arminius and his sectaries:

S.S.Lib. Arbit.

He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might
be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
He loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might
present it unto himself a glorious church, not having spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing, Ephesians 5:25,27.The immediate
effect of the death of Christ is not the remission of sins, or
the actual redemption of any, Armin. Christ did not properly
die to save any one, Grevinch.

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, 2
Corinthians 5:19.A potential and conditionate reconciliation,
not actual and absolute, is obtained by the death of Christ,
Corv.

When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall
see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of
the LORD shall prosper in his hand, Isaiah 53:10.I believe
it might have come to pass that the death of Christ might have
had its end, though never any man had believed, Corv.

By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for
he shall bear their iniquities, Isaiah 53:11.The death and
satisfaction of Christ being accomplished, yet it may so come
to pass that, none at all fulfilling the condition of the new
covenant, none might be saved, Idem.

Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, Hebrews
9:28. By his own blood he entered in once into the holy
place, having obtained eternal redemption for us, chapter
9:12. He hath reconciled you in the body of his flesh through
death, to present you holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable,
Colossians 1:21,22.The impetration of salvation for all, by
the death of Christ, is nothing but the obtaining of a
possibility thereof; that God, without wronging his justice,
may open unto them a gate of mercy, to be entered on some
condition, Rem. Coll. Hag.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in
his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of
sins, etc.: that he might be just, and the justifier of him
which believeth in Jesus, Romans 3:25,26.Notwithstanding the
death of Christ, God might have assigned any other condition
of salvation as well as faith, or have chosen the Jews
following the righteousness of the law, Grevinch.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes we were healed, 1 Peter 2:24.Why, then, the
efficacy of the death of Christ depends wholly on us. True;
it cannot otherwise be, Rem. Apol.


ENDNOTES:


[lxxiii] [1] Molin. Suffrag. ad Synod. Dordra.
[lxxiv] [2] Immediata morris Christi effectio, ac passionis, illa
est non actualis peccatorum ab his aut illis ablatio, non actualis
remissio, non justificatio, non actualis horum aut illorum
redemptio.Armin. Antip., p. 76.
[lxxv] [3] Reconciliatio potentialis et conditionata non actualis
et absoluta, per mortem Christi impetratur.Corv. ad Molin., cap.
28. sect. 11.
[lxxvi] [4] Remissionis, justificationis, et redemptionis, apud
Deum impetratio, qua factum est, ut Deus jam possit, utpote justitia
cui satisfactum est non obstante, hominibus peccatoribus peccata
remittere.Armin., ubi sup.
[lxxvii] [5] Autoris mens non est alia, quam effuso sanguine
Christi reconciliandi mundum Deo jus impetratum fuisse, et inito
novo foedere et gratioso curn hominibus, Deum gratiae ostium omnibus
denuo, poenitentiae ac verae in Christum fidei lege,
adaperuisse.Epistol. ad Wal., p. 93.
[lxxviii] [6] Potuisset Deus, si ita sapientiae suae visum
fuisset, operarios, Judaeos, vel alios etiam praeter fideles
eligere, quia potuit aliam salutis conditionem, quam fidem in
Christum exigere.Grevinch, ad Ames., p. 415.
[lxxix] [7] Christus non est proprie mortuus ad aliquem
salvandum.Idem, ibid, p. 8.
[lxxx] [8] Postquam impetratio praestita ac peracta esset, Deo jus
suum integrum mansit, pro arbitrio suo, eam applicare, vel non
applicare; nec applicatio finis impetrationis proprie fuit, sed jus
et potestas applicandi, quibus et qualibus vellet.p. 9.
[lxxxi] [9] Fides non est impetrata merito Christi, etc.Corv. ad
Molin., cap. 28. p. 419.
[lxxxii] [10] Se omnino credere, futurum fuisse, ut finis mortis
Christi constaret, etiamsi nemo credidisset.Idem, cap. 27, sect.
3,4.
[lxxxiii] [11] Posita et praestita Christi morte et satisfactione,
fieri potest, ut, nemine novi foederis conditionem prastante, nemo
salvaretur.Idem. Grevinch. ad Ames. p. 9.
[lxxxiv] [12] Impetratio salutis pro omnibus, est acquisitio
possibilitatis, ut nimirum Deus, illaesa sua justitia, hominem
peccatorem possit recipere in gratiam.Rem. Coll. Hag., p. 172.
[lxxxv] [13] Pro Juda ac Petro mortuus est Christus, et pro Simone
Mago et Juda tam quam pro Paulo et Petro.Rem. Synod, p. 320.
[lxxxvi] [14] Sic efficacia meriti Christi tota penes nos stabit,
qui vocationem alioqui inefficacem, efficacem reddimus; sane, fieri
aliter non potest.Rem. Apol., p. 93.


CHAPTER 10.


OF THE CAUSE OF FAITH, GRACE, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.


The second part of this controversy is in particular concerning
grace, faith, and holiness, sincere obedience to the precepts of the
new covenant, all whose praise we appropriate to the Most High by
reason of a double interest,first, Of the merit of Christ, which
doth procure them for us; secondly, Of the Holy Spirit, which works
them in us. The death of Christ is their meritorious cause; the
Spirit of God and his effectual grace their efficient, working
instrumentally with power by the word and ordinances. Now, because
this would deprive the idol of his chiefest glory, and expose him to
open shame, like the bird furtivis nudata coloribus, the Arminians
advance themselves in his quarrel, and in behalf of their darling
quite exclude both merit of Christ and Spirit of God from any title
to their production.

First, For the merit of Christ Whereas we affirm that God blesseth
us with all spiritual blessings in him, or for his sake, Ephesians
1:3, amongst which, doubtless, faith possesseth not the lowest room;
that he is made unto us righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption; that he was made sin for us, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him; that he is the Lord our
righteousness, and glories to be called by that name (and whatever
he is unto us, it is chiefly by the way of merit); that to us it is
given uJpe Philippians 1:29, where uJpe di>dotai,[ejcari>sqh,?] is given,as if the apostle should have
said, Christ is the meritorious cause of the bestowing of those
good gifts, faith and constancy unto martyrdom, upon you;when, I
say, we profess all these to be the proper and immediate products of
the passion and blood of Christ, these turbulent Davusses come in
with a prohibition, and quite expel it from having any interest therein.

[lxxxvii] [1] There is nothing more vain, nothing more foolish,
say they in their Apology, than to attribute our regeneration and
faith unto the death of Christ; for if Christ may be said to have
merited for us faith and regeneration, then faith cannot be a
condition whose performance God should require at the hands of
sinners under the pain of eternal damnation. And again, [lxxxviii]
[2] If faith be the effect of the merit of Christ, it cannot be our
duty. No? Suppose, then, that the church should pray that it would
please God, for Christs sake, to call home those sheep that belong
to his fold not as yet collected,that he would grant faith and
repentance, for the merit of his Son, to them that are as yet afar
off,were this an altogether vain and foolish prayer? Let others
think as they please, it is such a vanity as I desire not to be
weaned from; nor any one else, I believe, that loves the Lord Jesus
in sincerity. Oh, that Christians should patiently endure such a
diminution of their Saviors honor, as with one dash of an Arminian
pen to have the chief effects of his death and passion quite
obliterated! If this be a motive to the love and honor of the Son of
God, if this be a way to set forth the preciousness of his blood, by
denying the efficacy thereof in enabling us by faith to get an
interest in the new covenant, most Christians in the world are under
a necessity of being new catechised by these seraphical doctors.
Until when, they must give us leave to believe, with the apostle,
that God blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in Christ,
Ephesians 1:3; and we will take leave to account faith a spiritual
blessing, and, therefore, bestowed on us for Christs sake. Again;
since our regeneration is nothing but a purging of our consciences
from dead works that we may serve the living God, which being done
by the blood of Christ, as the apostle witnesseth, Hebrews 9:14,
we will ascribe our new birth, or forming anew, to the virtue of
that grace which is purchased by his blood; that precious blood it
is which redeemeth us from our vain conversation, 1 Peter 1:18,19,
by whose efficacy we are vindicated from the state of sin and
corrupted nature wherein we are born.

The Arminians have but one argument, that ever I could meet with,
whereby they strive to rob Christ of this glory of meriting and
procuring for us faith and repentance; and that is, because they are
such acts of ours as in duty and obedience to the precepts of the
gospel we are bound to perform;[lxxxix] [3] and this they everywhere
press at large, usque et usque. In plain terms, they will not
suffer their idol to be accounted defective in any thing that is
necessary to bring us unto heaven. Now, concerning this argument,
that nothing which God requireth of us can be procured for us by
Christ, I would have two things noted:First, That the strength of
it consists in this, that no gift of God bestowed upon us can be a
thing well- pleasing to him, as being in us, for all his precepts
and commands signify only what is well-pleasing unto him that we
should be or do; and it is not the meriting of any thing by Christ,
but Gods bestowing of it as the effect thereof, which hinders it
from being a thing requirable of us as a part of our duty: which I
shall consider hereafter. Only now observe, that there being nothing
in us, by the way of habit or act, from the beginning of our faith
to the consummation thereof, from our new birth until we become
perfect men in Christ by the finishing of our course, that is not
required of us in the gospel, all and every grace whereof we are in
this life partakers are, by this means, denied to be the gifts of
God. Secondly, Consider the extent of this argument itself. Nothing
whose performance is our duty can be merited for us by Christ. When
the apostle beseecheth us to be reconciled unto God, I would know
whether it be not a part of our duty to yield obedience to the
apostles exhortation? If not, his exhortation is frivolous and
vain: if so, then to be reconciled unto God is a part of our duty;
and yet the Arminians sometimes seem to confess that Christ hath
obtained for us a reconciliation with God. The like may be said in
divers other particulars. So that this argument either proveth that
we enjoy no fruit of the death of Christ in this life, or (which is
most true) it proveth nothing at all; for neither the merit of
Christ procuring nor God bestowing any grace in the habit doth at
all hinder but that, in the exercise thereof, it may be a duty of
ours, inasmuch as it is done in us and by us. Notwithstanding, then,
this exception,which cannot stand by itself alone without the help
of some other not as yet discovered,we will continue our prayers,
as we are commanded, in the name of Christ; that is, that God would
bestow upon us those things we ask for Christs sake, and that by an
immediate collation, yea, even then when we cry with the poor
penitent, Lord, help our unbelief, or with the apostles, Lord,
increase our faith. Secondly, The second plea on Gods behalf, to
prove him the author and finisher of all those graces whereof in
this life we are partakers, ariseth from what the Scripture
affirmeth concerning his working these graces in us, and that
powerfully, by the effectual operation of his Holy Spirit. To which
the Arminians oppose a seeming necessity that they must needs be our
own acts, contradistinct from his gifts, because they are in us and
commanded by him. The head, then, of this contention betwixt our God
and their idol about the living child of grace is, whether he can
work that in us which he requireth of us. Let us hear them pleading
their cause:

[xc] [4] It is most certain that that ought not to be commanded
which is wrought in us; and that cannot be wrought in us which is
commanded. He foolishly commandeth that to be done of others who
will work in them what he commandeth, saith their Apology. O
foolish St Prosper, who thought that it was the whole Pelagian
heresy to say, [xci] [5] That there is neither praise nor worth, as
ours, in that which Christ bestoweth upon us! Foolish St Augustine,
praying, [xcii] [6] Give us, O Lord, what thou commandest, and
command what thou wilt! Foolish Benedict, bishop of Rome, who gave
such a form to his prayer as must needs cast an aspersion of folly
on the Most High! [xciii] [7] O Lord, saith he, teach us what we
should do; show us whither we should go; work in us what we ought to
perform. O foolish fathers of the second Arausican council,
affirming, [xciv] [8] That many good things are done in man which
he doth not himself; but a man doth no good which God doth not so
work that he should do it! And again, As often as we do good, God
worketh in us and with us, that we may so work. In one word, this
makes fools of all the doctors of the church who ever opposed the
Pelagian heresy, inasmuch as they all unanimously maintained that we
are partakers of no good thing in this kind without the effectual
powerful operation of the almighty grace of God, and yet our faith
and obedience, so wrought in us, to be most acceptable unto him.
Yea, what shall we say to the Lord himself, in one place commanding
us to fear him, and in another promising that he will put his fear
into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him? Is his command
foolish, or his promise false? The Arminians must affirm the one or
renounce their heresy. But of this, after I have a little farther
laid open this monstrous error from their own words and writings.
[xcv] [9] Can any one, say they, wisely and seriously prescribe
the performance of a condition to another, under the promise of a
reward and threatening of punishment, who will effect it in him to
whom it is prescribed? This is a ridiculous action, scarce worthy of
the stage. That is, seeing Christ hath affirmed that he that
believeth shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned, Mark 16:16, whereby faith is established the condition of
salvation, and unbelief threatened with hell, if God should by his
Holy Spirit ingenerate faith in the hearts of any, causing them so
to fulfill the condition, it were a mere mockery, to be exploded
from a theater as an unlikely fiction; which, what an aspersion it
casts upon the whole gospel of Christ, yea, on all Gods dealings
with the children of men ever since, by reason of the fall, they
became unable of themselves to fulfill his commands, I leave to all
mens silent judgment. Well, then, seeing they must be accounted
ajsu>stata, things inconsistent, that God should be so righteous as
to show us our duty, and yet so good and merciful as to bestow his
graces on us, let us hear more of this stuff, [xcvi] [10] Faith and
conversion cannot be our obedience, if they are wrought in us by
God, say they at the Hague; and Eplscopius, [xcvii] [11] That it
is a most absurd thing to affirm that God either effects by his
power, or procureth by his wisdom, that the elect should do those
things that he requireth of them. So that where the Scripture calls
faith the gift and work of God, they say it is an improper locution,
inasmuch as he commands it; properly, it is an act or work of our
own. And for that renowned saying of St Augustine, that [xcviii]
[12] God crowneth his own gifts in us, it is not to be received
without a grain of salt; that is, some such gloss as wherewith they
corrupt the Scripture. The sum at which they aim is, that to affirm
that God bestoweth any graces upon us, or effectually worketh them
in us, contradicteth his word requiring them as our duty and
obedience. By which means they have erected their idol into the
throne of Gods free grace and mercy, and attribute unto it all the
praise due to those many heavenly qualifications the servants of God
are endowed withal, for they never have more good in them, no, nor
so much, as is required; all that they have or do is but their
duty;which, how derogatory it is to the merit of Christ, themselves
seem to acknowledge, when they affirm that he is no otherwise said
to be a Savior than are all they who confirm the way to salvation by
preaching, miracles, martyrdom, and example. So that, having quite
overthrown the merits of Christ,[xcix] [13] they grant us to be our
own saviors in a very large sense, Rem. Apol., fol. 96. All which
assertions, how contrary they are to the express word of God, I
shall now demonstrate.

There is not one of all those plain texts of Scripture, not one of
those innumerable and invincible arguments, whereby the effectual
working of Gods grace in the conversion of a sinner, his powerful
translating us from death to life, from the state of sin and to the
liberty of the sons of God, which doth not overthrow this prodigious
error. I will content myself with instancing in some few of them
which are directly opposite unto it, even in terms:

First, Deuteronomy 10:16, The Lord commandeth the Israelites to
circumcise the of their hearts, and to be no more stiff-necked; so
that the circumcising of their hearts was a part of their
obedience,it was their duty so to do, in obedience to Gods
command. And yet, in the 30th chapter, verse 6, he affirmeth that
he will circumcise their hearts, that they might love the LORD
their God with all their hearts. So that, it seems, the same thing,
indiverse respects, may be Gods act in us and our duty towards him.
And how the Lord will here escape that Arminian censure, that if his
words be true in the latter place, his command in the former is vain
and foolish, ipse viderit,let him plead his cause, and avenge
himself on those that rise up against him.

Secondly, Ezekiel 18:31, Make you a new heart and a new spirit: for
why will ye die, O house of Israel? The making of a new heart and a
new spirit is here required under a promise of a reward of life, and
a great threatening of eternal death; so that so to do must needs be
a part of their duty and obedience. And yet, chapter 36:26,27, he
affirmeth that he will do this very thing that here he requireth of
them: A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put
within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you an heart of flesh; and I will cause you to walk
in my statutes, etc. In how many places, also, are we commanded to
fear the Lord! which, when we do, I hope none will deny it to be a
performance of our duty; and yet, Jeremiah 32:40, God promiseth that
he will put his fear in our hearts, that we shall not depart from
him.

Thirdly, Those two against which they lay particular exceptions,
faith and repentance, are also expressly attributed to the free
donation of God: He granteth unto the Gentiles repentance unto
life, Acts 11:18; and of faith directly, It is not of ourselves,
it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8. To which assertion of the
Holy Spirit I shall rather fasten my belief than to the Arminians,
affirming that it is no gift of God because it is of ourselves; and
yet this hindereth not but that it may be styled, Our most holy
faith, Jude 1:20. Let them that will, deny that any thing can
properly be ours which God bestoweth on us; the prophet accounted
them not inconsistent when he averred that the LORD worketh all our
works in us, Isaiah 26:12. They are our works, though of his
working. The apostle labored; though it was not he, but the grace
of God that was with him, 1 Corinthians 15:10. He worketh in us
kai< to< ze>lein kai< to< ejnergei~n of his good pleasure,
Philippians 2:13; and yet the performance of our duty may consist in
those acts of our wills and those good deeds whereof he is the
author. So that, according to St Austins counsel,[c] [14] we will
still pray that he would bestow what he commandeth us to have.
Fourthly, 1 Corinthians 4:7, Who maketh thee to differ from
another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Every
thing that makes us differ from others is received from God;
wherefore, the foundation of all difference in spiritual things
between the sons of Adam being faith and repentance, they must also
of necessity be received from above. In brief, Gods circumcising
our hearts, Colossians 2:11, his quickening us when we are dead,
Ephesians 2:1,2, begetting us anew, John 1:13, making us in all
things such as he would have us to be, is contained in that promise
of the new covenant, Jeremiah 32:40, I will make an everlasting
covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them
good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not
depart from me; and is no way repugnant to the holy Scripture,
declaring our duty to be all this that the Lord would have us. And
now, let all men judge whether, against so many and clear
testimonies of the Holy Ghost, the Arminian reasons, borrowed from
the old philosophers, be of any value. The sum of them all you may
find in Cicero, his third book De Natura Deorum. [ci] [15] Every
one, saith he, obtaineth virtue for himself; never any wise man
thanked God for that: for our virtue we are praised; in virtue we
glory, which might not be were it a gift of God. And truly this, in
softer terms, is the sum of the Remonstrants arguments in this
particular.

Lastly, Observe, that this error is that which, of all others, the
orthodox fathers did most oppose in the Pelagian heretics; yea, and
to this day, [cii] [16] the more learned schoolmen stoutly maintain
the truth herein against the innovating Jesuits. With some few of
the testimonies of the ancients I will shut up this discourse.

[ciii] [17] It is certain that when we do any thing, we do it,
saith St Augustine; but it is God that causeth us so to do. And in
another place, [civ] [18] Shall we not account that to be the gift
of God, because it is required of us under the promise of eternal
life? God forbid that this should seem so, either to the partakers
or defenders of grace; where he rejecteth both the error and the
sophism wherewith it is upholden. So also Coelestius, bishop of
Rome, in his epistle to the bishops of France. [cv] [19] So great,
saith he, is the goodness of God towards men, that he will have
those good things to be our good duties (he calls them merits,
according to the phrase of those days) which are his own gifts; to
which purpose I cited before two canons out of the Arausican
council. And St Prosper, in his treatise against Cassianus the
semi-Pelagian, affirmeth it to be a foolish complaint of proud men
[cvi] [20] that free-will is destroyed, if the beginning, progress,
and continuance in good be said to be the gifts of God. And so the
imputation of folly, wherewith the Arminians in my first quotation
charge their opposers, being retorted on them by this learned
father, I refer you to these following excerpta for a close:

S. S.Lib. Arbit.
Circumcise the of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked,
Deuteronomy 10:16. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine
heart, and the heart of thy seed, chapter 30:6.Make you a
new heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die, O house of
Israel? Ezekiel 18:31. A new heart will I give you, and a
new spirit will I put within you, chapter 36:26.This is most
certain, that that ought not to be commanded which is wrought
in us. He foolishly commandeth that to be done of others who
will work in them what he commandeth, Rem. Apol.
If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, then shall ye
continue following the LORD your God, 1 Samuel 12:14. I will
put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from
me, Jeremiah 32:40.It is absurd to affirm that God either
worketh by his power, or procureth by his wisdom, that the
elect should do those things which God requireth of them,
Episcop.

Thou hast wrought all our works in us, Isaiah 26:12. God
worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,
Philippians 2:13.Faith and conversion cannot be acts of our
obedience if they are wrought by God in us, Rem. Coll. Hag.

That God should require that of us which himself will work in
us is a ridiculous action, scarce fit for a stage, Rem. Apol.
He hath Messed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ,
Ephesians 1:3.That saying of Augustine, that God crowneth
his own gifts in us, is not easily to be admitted, Ibid.

Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ to believe on
him, Philippians 1:29. The blood of Christ purgeth our
consciences from dead works to serve the living God, Hebrews
9:14.There is nothing more vain and foolish than to ascribe
faith and regeneration to the merit of Christ, Idem.


ENDNOTES:


[cvii] [1] Nihil ineptius, nihil vanius, quam regenerationem et
fidem merito Christi tribuere; si enim Christus nobis meritus
dicatur fidem et regenerationem, tum fides conditio esse non poterat
quam a peccatoribus Deus sub comminatione morris aeternae
exigeret.Rem. Apol., cap. 8. p. 95.
[cviii] [2] Si fides sit effectum meriti Christi, non potest esse
actus officii nostri.Idem.
[cix] [3] Rem. Apol., ubi sup.; Corv. ad Molin., cap. 28. sect. 9.
[cx] [4] Illud certissimum est, nec jubendum esse quod efficitur,
nec efiiciendum quod jubetur. Stulte jubet et vult ab alio fieri
aliquid, qui ipse quod jubet in eo efficere vult.Rem. Apol., cap.
9. p. 105, a.
[cxi] [5] At exigua conclusione pene tu totum Pelagianum dogma
confirmas, dicendo, nullius laudis esse ac meriti; si id in eo
Christus quod ipse donaverat praetulisset.Prosp. ad Collat., cap.
36.
[cxii] [6] Da, Domine, quod jubes, et jube quod vis.Aug.
[cxiii] [7] O Domine, doce nos quid agamus; quo gradiamur ostende;
quid efficiamus operare.Ben. Pap. in Concil. Legunstad.
[cxiv] [8] Multa in homine bona fiunt. quae non facit homo: nulla
vero facit homo bona, quae non Deus praestet ut faciat.Consil.
Arau. 2. can. 20. Quoties enim bona agimus, Deus in nobis et
nobiscum, ut operemur, operatur.Can. 9.
[cxv] [9] Anne conditionem quis serio et sapienter praescribet
alteri, sub promisso praemii et poenae gravissimae comminatione, qui
eam, in eo cui praescribit efficere vult! Haec actio tota ludicra,
et vix scena digna est.Rem. Apol., cap. 9. p. 105, a.
[cxvi] [10] Fides et conversio non possunt esse obedientia, si
tantum ab aliquo, in alio, efficiantur.Rem. Coll. Hag., p. 196.
[cxvii] [11] Absurdem est statuere Deum ant efficere per
potentiam, aut procurare per sapientiam, ut electi ea faciant, quae
ab ipsis, ut ipsi ea faciant, exigit et postulat.Episcop., Disp.
Pri. 8. thes. 7.
[cxviii] [12] Apol., cap. 9. ubi. sup. Deum dona sua in nobis
coronare, dictum hoc Augustini nisi cum grano salis accipiatur,
neutiquam est admittendum.Idem, ibid p. 115.
[cxix] [13] Atqui dices, sic servatores nostri essent
omnes,eodem sensu quo Christus,saltem ex parte qui praeconio,
miraculis, et exemplo salutis viam, confirmant; esto, quid tum?
Rem. Apol., cap. 8. [p. 94.]
[cxx] [14] Petamus ut det quod ut habeamus jubet.Aug.
[cxxi] [15] Virtutem autem nemo unquam acceptam deo retulit.
Nimirum recte: propter virtutem enim jure laudamur, et in virtute
recte gloriamur. Quod non contingeret, si id donum a Deo, non a
nobis haberemus.Cicero De Nat. Deor. 3. 36,
[cxxii] [16] Alvarez, Disput. 81., ubi Aug., Thom., alios, citat.
[cxxiii] [17] Certum est nos facere cum facimus; sed ille facit ut
faciamus.Aug. de Grat., et Lib. Arbit., cap. xvi.
[cxxiv] [18] Neque id donum Dei esse fateamur, quoniam exigi
audivimus a nobis, praemio vitae si hoc fecerimus oblato? Absit, ut
hoc placeat participibus et defensoribus gratiae.Aug, de Praedest.
Sanc., cap. 20.
[cxxv] [19] Tanta est erga homines bonitas Dei, ut nostra velit
esse merita quae sunt ipsius dona.Coelest. Epist. ad Ep. Gal.,
cap. 12.
[cxxvi] [20] Non enim conturbat nos superbientium inepta
querimonia; quia liberum arbitrium causantur auferri: si et
principia, et profectus, et perseverantia in bonis usque ad finem
Dei dona esse dicantur.Prosp. ad Collat., p. 404.

 

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