WORKS OF ARMINIUS - APPENDIX: 20 THESES
PREVIOUS SECTION - NEXT SECTION - HELP - FB - TWITTER - GR VIDEOS - GR FORUMS - GR YOUTUBE
THESES OF DR. FRANCIS JUNIUS
CONCERNING DIVINE PREDESTINATION, COMPOSED, IN THESE VERY WORDS, BY HIMSELF, AND PUBLICLY DISCUSSED, UNDER HIS DIRECTION, BY WILLIAM CODDAEUS, IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LEYDEN, IN THE YEAR 1593 -- ALSO SOME BRIEF ANNOTATIONS OF JAMES ARMINIUS.
Predestination is properly, according to the etymology of the word, a determination to an end, but in common usage, it is equivalent to the Greek word protagh and signifies the relation of the whole arrangement to the end, and thus we use it.
Destination is a determination of an existing object to its end; the particle prae, prefixed to the word, denotes that the act of destination is antecedent to the actual existence of the object.
Predestination, therefore, is an act of the divine good- pleasure, by which God, from eternity, prepared the plenitude of His blessings, in Christ, for those, who should be heirs of salvation, to the praise of His glorious grace. The word eujokia or good-pleasure, is here used, correctly, according to the Scriptural sense, for the particle eu+ refers to the favourable and benevolent inclination of God towards its object, not to the precise and determinate will of God in reference to any of His own purposes, as the word good- pleasure is used by the school-men, when they distinguish the will of God into his revealed will and the will of His good- pleasure. Prepared in Christ.] No blessings are prepared in Christ for men, except those which are adapted to sinners. Christ himself; the saviour of men, is called Jesus only because "He shall save His people from their sins," (Matt. i, 21). No one is blessed in Christ, if he is not a believer; "So then, they, which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Gal. iii, 9.)
For those who should be heirs of salvation]. Salvation itself; and the inheritance of eternal life, are comprehended in the fullness of those blessings, which God has prepared in Christ. Therefore those, for whom that fullness was prepared, should have been otherwise described. For there is an absurdity in the statement, -- "predestination is an act, by which God has prepared salvation for those who shall be heirs of salvation." For they are made heirs of salvation according to which, the inheritance, comprehended in the fullness of those blessings, was prepared. Persons, as one part of the material or object of predestination, are not to be described by the divine things, which were prepared for them in that predestination, and which constitute the other part of the material or object of predestination. The persons are more correctly described by Sohnius, thus: "Predestination unto life, or election, is that by which God decreed, from eternity, to justify and to accept unto eternal life, believers, or the faithful, to whom he decreed to teach faith." To the praise of His glorious grace]. The Scriptures recognize the grace of God as the cause and end of predestination, only as mercy is united with it, and as it is exercised towards sinners and the miserable.
It is an act (for God is simple energy) proceeding not from any external cause, but purely from Him who predestinates; otherwise it would not be, purely, predestination, preceding all things and causes.
The divine predestination, indeed, precedes all things and causes, so far as their actual existence is considered; or it was decreed from eternity. It, however, follows, in the mind and prescience of God, the pre-existence of some things and causes; that of sin, for example, without which neither grace, as it is described above, nor Christ, in his true character, nor those blessings could have any adaptation to men. Therefore, although this predestination may not depend on an extrinsic cause, yet it was occasioned, as they say, by sin.
By that same good pleasure, by which God was favourably disposed towards some. He also was pleased to adopt the same persons as sons. Therefore, this is not a correct description of the persons towards whom God was favourably disposed. Indeed, it was because He was favourably disposed towards them, that He adopted them as sons.
To adopt as sons]. Observe here that adoption is not placed among the prepared blessing, but that it is used to describe the persons for whom blessings are prepared. Compare this with your answer to my first proposition.
But, that the inappropriateness of that definition may be more manifest, let it be put in this form; -- Predestination is an act of the divine good-pleasure, by which God, from eternity, prepared filial adoption, and its consequent, eternal life, in Christ, for those whom He pleased to adopt as sons, and who should be heirs of salvation.
To adopt as sons through Jesus Christ]. Christ Jesus is here to be considered not only as the foundation on which is based the execution of the decree, but also as the foundation on which the decree itself is based. For we are adopted in him as in our head, therefore he is, in the order of causes, first constituted and predestinated to be our head, then we are predestinated in him as his members. This admonition I present, not because I think that you understand that expression differently, but because I perceive that Beza on the first chapter to the Ephesians, adopts an order entirely different, and which seems to me to invert the correct order of predestination.
According to the purpose of his election]. This purpose of election is nothing else than the good-pleasure of God, by which he is favourably disposed towards some, and by which He pleases to adopt some, in Christ, as sons. But your words are so arranged as to convey the idea that this purpose is something different from that good-pleasure.
If this Thesis excludes also the sin of man as a condition requisite in the object of that predestination, it is not correctly said that predestination precedes the provision of sin; for, though sin did not move God to the act of predestination, (for it is the appropriate effect of sin to move the wrath of God), yet this predestination was made in view of sin, the occurrence of which in time, God foresaw in the infinity of His knowledge.
Divine things and persons, to be partakers of them, have a mutual relation to each other, so that a conclusion concerning the character of the persons can be formed from the nature of those things, and conversely, the nature of those divine things may be inferred from the character of the persons. The things are adapted to the persons, and such persons need such things for salvation. Thus, from the grace of the remission of sins and the renewal of the Holy Ghost, we infer that the men, for whom those things are prepared, are sinners; also, if men are sinners, it is inferred that such grace is necessary for them.
The genus of the divine things, which are communicable through Predestination, is blessing, which the Apostle circumscribes within these modes; it is complete, not partial; spiritual, not carnal; "in heavenly places," not natural, but surpassing all nature; finally, in Christ, that is, divine in its principle and foundation, that Christ may be the eternal head of the predestinate.
The expression, in which divine things are said to be communicable through predestination, does not seem to me to be in harmony with the nature of predestination. For predestination does not cause that those things should be communicable, but does in fact communicate them. They are made communicable by the blood and death and resurrection of Christ, by which those blessings were acquired and obtained from the Father. Since any thing is communicable before it is, in fact, communicated, it follows that predestination is posterior, in the prescience and preordination of God, to the death and resurrection of Christ. I leave the inference for the consideration of the intelligent.
Spiritual, not carnal]. spiritual is contrasted in the Scriptures not only with carnal, but, also, with natural; as in 1 Corinthians ii, 14, also, in 1 Corinthians xv, 44, 45, 46. Carnal, however, may sometimes also comprehend in itself the natural.
"In heavenly places," not natural]. Heavenly things are, in the Scriptures, contrasted with mundane and earthly good, adapted to nature as such, and, thus, heavenly and natural are indirectly opposed.
Finally, in Christ]. Christ obtained those blessings by his death; he has received the same from his Father to be communicated to his followers; in him believers are predestinated to a participation in the same.
Divine in principle and foundation]. Blessing is divine in principle, for its principle is God, the Father, who confers it; but it is not said, in the same sense to be divine in its foundation. For Christ is the foundation of that blessing, not as he is God, but as he is God-man, Qeanqrwpov Mediator, saviour and Head of the church. This consideration of Christ is, everywhere in the Scriptures, distinguished from that, in which Christ is regarded as God, as in John xvii, 3; xiv, 1; 1 Tim. ii, 5, 6; 1 Pet. i, 18, 19, 20, 21; 1 Cor. v, 19, &c.
That Christ might be the eternal head of the Predestinate]. Whether Christ was constituted the head of those who were to be predestinated, or of those who had been already predestinated, has been a point in dispute among Theologians. It is my opinion that, in the order of nature, the decree by which Christ was constituted the head of those to be saved, was prior to that decree by which some are ordained in Christ to a participation in salvation. For Christ, as our mediator before God and our High Priest, merited those blessings, which were to be communicated by predestination, and, at the same time, the dignity of head, and the power to communicate those blessings. Then he actually received those blessings from the Father, and obtained the titles of Head, King and Prince. "Having been made perfect, or consecrated, he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him."
Finally, in him believers are predestinated, that they should be partakers of those blessings, by union with him. For God loves, in Christ, those whom He has determined to make partakers of eternal life, but this love is the cause of predestination. It was, indeed, in Christ born, dead, raised again, and constituted the head of the church. "But," some will say, "God so loved the world that He gave His only- begotten Son." -- I answer, that the love, referred to in this passage, differs in degree from that which is the cause of predestination, and is prior to it. For that love, which sent His Son, did not, with certainty, ordain eternal life to any one, and, indeed, it could not do so, for Christ had not merited it by his death. Indeed, by making Christ the foundation and Head of the predestinate, you seem to declare that Christ was made the Head of them who were to be predestinated in him unto life.
Human beings are creatures, in a condition of nature -- which can effect nothing supernatural or divine -- to be exalted above nature, and to be transferred to a participation of divine things by the supernatural energy of the Deity.
It is here most manifestly evident that the object of predestination is considered by you to be men in their natural state, which can effect nothing supernatural or divine, that is, as I have said, considered, in a merely natural state, apart from supernatural endowments, and from the corruption which afterwards supervened. But this is not an adequate object of this decree. For the exaltation, which is according to predestination, is not from nature, but from sin beginning. The divine things, a participation in which is prepared by predestination, are not adapted to man in his natural state, but to man involved in sin and misery. That supernatural power belongs to God, which He exercises in Christ, "the power of God and the wisdom of God," 1 Corinthians i, 24, the Jews and Gentiles being called to salvation. Therefore, it was applied to man, considered not in his primitive natural state, but in sin and misery.
The form is adoption, as sons, through Jesus Christ, that is, that real relation and ordination, in which we are blessed of God, by the communication of "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" in Christ. Predestination is unto adoption, therefore adoption is not the form of predestination. For "the form gives being to the thing," and adoption does not give being to predestination, but receives its own being from predestination; and it is the first per se and immediate work of divine predestination, and its consequent is life and the heavenly inheritance. Nor is that real relation and ordination, in which we are blessed, "the form of predestination;" for that ordination, in which we are blessed; is the execution of the divine predestination. But the preparation of those blessings is the form of predestination, for, by it, predestination has its being. That preparation is internal and eternal, and that is true also of predestination. Or -- to speak with greater accuracy -- the preparation of those blessings is not the form of predestination, for that preparation was made by the death of Christ, the Mediator, but the form consists in the preparation of the communication of those blessings to believers in Christ. We might add that the preparation is certain, and that, according to it, a communion in the benefits of Christ is certainly bestowed on those for whom the participation is prepared.
The order of this form is placed in the preparation, of persons, by election, vocation, and "gathering together in Christ" (Ephes. i, 10); but of things, by a gracious beginning, progress, and glorious consummation of blessings, in a perfect union with Christ.
The order of that preparation, as the form, can, indeed, be declared, in respect both to persons and to things. Persons are prepared in the minds of God, when election from the world, vocation to a union with Christ, and the gathering together in Christ, are ordained for them. Things are prepared in this order, that their gracious communication should he ordained, in reference to its beginning, progress, and final consummation; the beginning, in Christ; the progress, in the same; but the consummation, in the perfect union with God. For this is the consummation of a supernatural felicity "that God may be all in all." If, however, the subject of discussion be the mediatorial consummation, I concede that this is effected in Christ, but this tends to that chief consummation, which is union with God, to which we come by a perfect union with Christ. For Christ shall deliver up his own kingdom "to God even the Father, that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. xv, 24, 28.)
The grace, by which God "has freely made us acceptable unto Himself, in the Son of His love, is grace only adapted to sinners." The praise of that grace is sung to God and the Lamb, who died and lives again, "who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." (Rom. iv, 25.) That praise is ascribed to God by sinners, whom God has redeemed by the blood of His Son, "out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation." (Rev. v, 9.)
What is contrary to this predestination can not, with propriety, be expressed in a single term, since the relation of predestination is single, that of its contraries is various. For preterition is contrary to the preparation of grace, and reprobation or preparation of punishment is contrary to the preparation of glory.
Grace and glory are prepared in predestination. To this preparation, as an affirmative act, is opposed the negative act of the non-preparation of grace and glory, and the affirmative act of the preparation of those things, which are affirmatively contrary to grace and glory. But here, to the preparation of grace, is opposed only the negative act of preterition, and, to the preparation of glory, only the affirmative act of reprobation or the preparation of punishment. Hence it seems to me to be a correct conclusion that this discussion is not absolutely consistent in all its parts, unless, perhaps, there is no affirmative act, which can be opposed to the preparation of grace. There is, however, such an act, namely, hardening, blinding, and the delivering to a reprobate mind, which can be fitly and fully explained only by negative acts. Also, the denial of celestial glory is a negative act opposed to the preparation of glory. It is to be observed, here, that the word reprobation is used for the preparation of punishment, while, in your answers to my propositions, you affirm that it properly signifies non-election or preterition.
Preterition is the act of the divine will, by which God, from eternity, determined to leave some of His creatures in their natural state, and not to communicate to them that supernatural grace, by which their nature might be preserved uncorrupt, or, having become corrupt, might be restored, to the declaration of the freedom of His own goodness.
Preterition is defined to be a denial of grace only, not of glory, while, nevertheless, glory is denied to the same persons. It is rightly called an act of the divine pleasure, not good-pleasure; for pleasure is the general term, applied to any purpose or decree of God; good-pleasure, as has been remarked, includes a favourable and benevolent disposition in the Deity. To leave in their natural condition]. From this also it is evident that the object of predestination is, in your view, men considered in a merely natural state.
Supernatural grace, by which their nature might be preserved uncorrupt, or, having become corrupt, might be restored]. If the e words are to be understood to have reference to the particular predestination of men, then that distinction is not correctly used. For the grace by which nature is "preserved uncorrupt," is not denied by the decree of preterition. For that grace was denied to all men without distinction. But the denial of grace, by which nature, having become corrupt, is restored, is peculiar to the decree of preterition, and, therefore the object of preterition is fallen man, and to one who needs renewing grace.
To the declaration of the freedom of His own goodness.] The freedom of the goodness of God is declared not only when God communicates to one, and denies to another, His own goodness, but also when He communicates it only on the condition, which He has been pleased to impose; I concede, however, that the freedom of the divine goodness is also declared in the former mode. But there is a declaration in preterition, as described to us in the Scriptures, not only of the freedom of the goodness of God, but of His justice. For God, according to justice also, uses preterition, by which He determines to deny His grace to some on account of their sins. Sin, indeed, is the only meritorious cause of the denial of grace, which is here discussed. Therefore, the statement of the end of that preterition was not sufficiently complete.
God, in the abstract and absolutely, was not under obligation to bestow grace on any one, but He could place Himself under that obligation in two ways, by promise, and by making certain requisitions. By promise, if He should promise to bestow grace, either with or without condition. By requisition, if He should require, from a man, an act, such that it could not be performed. without His grace, for then He would be under obligation to bestow it, otherwise He would reap where He had not sowed.
The preparation of punishment is the act of the divine pleasure, by which God, from eternity, determined, for the declaration of His own justice, to punish His creatures, who should not continue in their original state, but should depart from God, the author of their origin, by their own deed and depravity, You call the preparation of punishment an affirmative act, opposed to predestination; but it is opposed, affirmatively, to the preparation of glory. That, which is opposed affirmatively, to the communication of grace is not here stated. I think that it should be called hardening and blinding, and that it should have been also treated in this Thesis.
To punish His creatures who should not maintain their original integrity]. This decree was ordained by God, not until after the certain foresight of future sin, lest any one should think that sin is necessarily inferred from that decree, as some of our Doctors believe.
Should full away from God by their own act and transgression]. It should be explained how he can, by his own act, fall away from God, who has, already, been passed by of God, in the communication of that grace, which is necessary for the avoidance of defection from God. And since all the passed-by are also predamned, I could wish that it might be explained how preterition and predamnation necessarily cohere, if preterition existed apart from any consideration of sin, but predamnation, only on account of sin.
Therefore, in the predestinate, God does all things according to the good-pleasure of His own predestination. In those who are not predestinate, He uses preterition according to the pleasure of His will, and prepares punishment for His creatures who transgress against His order, and who must be reprobated, on account of their sins, from the necessity of His justice.
In predestination, God provides only for the salvation of the elect; yet, in such a manner, that many acts of the divine Providence concur to the same effect, which acts are so administered by the Deity, that from them salvation certainly results, which is the proper work of predestination. God uses many acts of His providence towards those, who are not predestinated, sufficient, indeed, for salvation, yet not efficacious, since this pertains to predestination. It is not absurd nor irrelevant, then, to observe, here, this distinction between providence and predestination. Who must be reprobated on account of their sins]. You here, also, use the word reprobation for the preparation of punishment.
If reprobation is made the opposite of predestination, the statement is figurative, and synecdochical: wherefore, it either should not be made, because it is improper, dangerous, and liable to give offense, or it should be distinctly explained, as pious and learned men have done.
In your answer to my second proposition, you use this language: "Reprobation is used in three senses, one common and two special. In its common use, it comprehends preterition and damnation. Its second mode is special, when it is opposed to election, and signifies non-election or preterition. The third is also special, when it is used for pre-damnation. The first mode is by synecdoche, the second proper, the third metonymical, and it may also be called catachrestic." Here, you call that meaning of reprobation common, which, in your Theses, and elsewhere, you call figurative. We are not to abstain from the use of the term, for it is Scriptural, but we are to be careful that it be also used in the sense in which it is used in the Scriptures.
The presentation of this doctrine is especially necessary, if it is treated skillfully, soberly, and reverently, that is, that not any thing else be treated, not otherwise, not to another end than as the Holy Scriptures teach, both in explanation and in application, according to the advice of St. Paul: "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly." Rom. xii, 3.
That, which is taught, and inculcated in the Holy Scriptures, can not but be esteemed useful and necessary for salvation, though there may be different degrees of necessity. But the doctrine of predestination, and its opposite, that of reprobation, is taught and inculcated in the Scriptures; it is, therefore, also necessary. It should, however, be considered what that predestination is, and what is its character, which is discussed in the Scriptures as necessary, and which is called the foundation of our salvation. Your admonition is altogether proper and necessary, by which you enjoin that the doctrine should be set forth entirely in accordance with the Scriptures -- "not any thing else, not otherwise, not to another end than as the Holy Scriptures teach." But there is a practical difficulty in this matter, because each one desires to appear to present his own doctrines according to the Scripture. I am satisfied that, in your discussion of this doctrine, you are not, in every case, sustained by the Scripture, but in some parts you err, and I have treated this more fully in the discussion held between us.