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Posts Tagged ‘Decrees of God’

A Display of Arminianism Pt 39

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Secondly, For God’s concurring with inferior causes in all their acts and working, they affirm it to be only a general influence, alike upon all and every one, which they may use or not use at their pleasure, and in the use determine it to this or that effect, be it good or bad (so Corvinus), as it seems best unto them. In a word, to the will of man it is nothing but what suffers it to play its own part freely, according to its inclination; as they jointly speak in their Confession. Observe, also, that they account this influence of his providence not to be into the agent, the will of man, whereby that should be helped or enabled to do any thing (no, that would seem to grant a self-sufficiency), but only into the act itself for its production: as if I should help a man to lift a log, it becomes perhaps unto him so much the lighter, but he is not made one jot the stronger; which takes off the proper work of providence, consisting in an internal assistance. 

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 52

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.

Objection 3. It is objected against the absolute decree, that it makes God guilty of dissimulation in calling upon such as are under the negative part of it to repent, etc., just as if God bid men, whose eyes He had closed, to judge of colours; or those whose feet He had bound, to rise up and walk.

Answer 2. Man had a power in Adam. God gave him knowledge in his understanding, rectitude. in his will, and purity in his affections: these are all lost by the Fall. God must not lose His authority to command because man by reason of sin hath lost his ability to obey.

A Display of Arminianism Pt 38

December 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

First, For his conservation or sustaining of all things, they affirm it to be very likely that this is nothing but a negative act of his will, whereby he willeth or determineth not to destroy the things by him created; and when  we produce places of Scripture which affirm that it is an act of his power, they say they are foolishly cited. So that, truly, let the Scripture say what it will, (in their conceit,) God doth no more sustain and uphold all his creatures than I do a house when I do not set it on fire, or a worm when I do not tread upon it.

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 51

December 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.

Objection 3. It is objected against the absolute decree, that it makes God guilty of dissimulation in calling upon such as are under the negative part of it to repent, etc., just as if God bid men, whose eyes He had closed, to judge of colours; or those whose feet He had bound, to rise up and walk.

Answer 1. The non-elect’s not repenting is not only from want of power ["No man can come to Me, except the Father . . . draw him" (John 6:44)]; but also from want of will, “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). None are damned because they can do no better, but because they will do no better. If there were no will there would be no hell: and this will be the very hell of hells, that men have been, felo de se, self destroyers.

A Display of Arminianism Pt 37

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Hence Corvinus will grant that the killing of a man by the slipping of an axe’s head from the helve, although contingent, may be said to happen according to God’s counsel and determinate will; but on no terms will he yield that this may be applied to actions wherein the counsel and freedom of man’s will do take place, as though that they also should have dependence on any such overruling power; — whereby he absolutely excludeth the providence of God from having any sovereignty within the territory of human actions, which is plainly to shake off the yoke of his dominion, and to make men lords paramount within themselves: so that they may well ascribe unto God (as they do ) only a deceivable expectation of those contingent things that are yet for to come, there being no act of his own in the producing of such effects on which he can ground any certainty; only, he may take a conjecture, according to his guess at men’s inclinations. And, indeed, this is the Helen for whose enjoyment, these thrice ten years, they have maintained warfare with the hosts of the living God; their whole endeavor being to prove, that, notwithstanding the performance of all things, on the part of God, required for the production of any action, yet the will of man remains absolutely free, yea, in respect of the event, as well as its manner of operation, to do it or not to do it. That is, notwithstanding God’s decree that such an action shall be performed, and his foreknowledge that it will so come to pass; notwithstanding his cooperating with the will of man (as far as they will allow him) for the doing of it, and though he hath determined by that act of man to execute some of his own judgments; yet there is no kind of necessity but that he may as well omit as do it: which is all one as if they should say, “Our tongues are our own; we ought to speak: who is lord over us? We will vindicate ourselves into a liberty of doing what and how we will, though for it we cast God out of his throne.” And, indeed, if we mark it, we shall find them undermining and pulling down the actual providence of God, at the root and several branches thereof; for, — 

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 50

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.
Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.
4. Should God constrain the creature to sin, and then damn him for it, He delighteth in the destruction of His creature, contrary to Eze 13:23 and 23:11. God did not thrust Adam into his sin, as, after he had willingly sinned, He thrust him out of Paradise. Man’s punishment is from God as a judge; but man’s destruction is from himself as a sinner. Let it be repeated, and again repeated, that man’s sin came freely from himself. 

A Display of Arminianism Pt 36

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

First, they deny that God (in whom we live, and move, and have our being) doth any thing by his providence, “whereby the creature should be stirred up, or helped in any of his actions.” That is, God wholly leaves a man in the hand of his own counsel, to the disposal of his own absolute independent power, without any respect to his providence at all; whence, as they do, they may well conclude, “that those things which God would have to be done of us freely” (such as are all human actions), “he cannot himself will or work more powerfully and effectually than by the way of wishing or desiring,” as Vorstius speaks; which is no more than one man can do concerning another, perhaps far less than an angel. I can wish or desire that another man would do what I have a mind he should; but, truly, to describe the providence of God by such expressions seems to me intolerable blasphemy. But thus it must be; without such helps as these, Dagon cannot keep on his head, nor the idol of uncontrollable free-will enjoy his dominion.

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 49

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.
 Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.
3. It is a false hypothesis to suppose that God, in the decree of reprobation, doth by an effectual means intend to bring men to damnation as in the decree of election to bring others to salvation: for salvation is a favour not due any, so God may absolutely give or deny it; but damnation is a punishment, so hath relation to a fault. Means to salvation is the gift of free grace, but damnation comes of man’s own voluntary sin, and is the fruit or wages of it. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). It is God that fitteth Peter for salvation; but Judas fits himself for damnation.

A Display of Arminianism Pt 35

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Let us now jointly apply these several acts to free agents, working according to choice, or relation, such as are the wills of men, and that will open the way to take a view of Arminian heterodoxies, concerning this article of Christian belief. And here two things must be premised: — First, That they be not deprived of their own radical or original internal liberty; secondly, That they be not exempt from the moving influence and gubernation of God’s providence; — the first whereof would leave no just room for rewards and punishments; the other, as I said before, is injurious to the majesty and power of God. St. Augustine judged Cicero worthy of special blame, even among the heathens, for so attempting to make men free that he made them sacrilegious, by denying them to be subject to an overruling providence: which gross error was directly maintained by Damascen, a learned Christian, teaching, “Things whereof we have any power, not to depend on providence, but on our own free will;” an opinion fitter for a hog of the Epicurus herd than for a scholar in the school of Christ. And yet this proud, prodigious error is now, though in other terms, stiffly maintained: for what do they else who ascribe such an absolute independent liberty to the will of man, that it should have in its own power every circumstance, every condition whatsoever, that belongs to operation, so that all things required on the part of God, or otherwise, to the performance of an action being accomplished, it remaineth solely in the power of a man’s own will whether he will do it or no? which supreme and plainly divine liberty, joined with such an absolute uncontrollable power and dominion over all his actions, would exempt and free the will of man, not only from all fore-determining to the production of such and such effects, but also from any effectual working or influence of the providence of God into the will itself, that should sustain, help, or cooperate with it in doing or willing any thing; and, therefore, the authors of this imaginary liberty have wisely framed an imaginary concurrence of God’s providence, answerable unto it, — namely, a general and indifferent influence, always waiting and expecting the will of man to determine itself to this or that effect, good or bad; God being, as it were, always ready at hand to do that small part which he hath in our actions, whensoever we please to use him, or, if we please to let him alone, he no way moveth us to the performance of any thing. Now, God forbid that we should give our consent to the choice of such a captain, under whose conduct we might go down again unto Paganism, — to the erecting of such an idol into the throne of the Almighty. No, doubtless, let us be most indulgent to our wills, and assign them all the liberty that is competent unto a created nature, to do all things freely according to election and foregoing counsel, being free from all natural necessity and outward compulsion; but for all this, let us not presume to deny God’s effectual assistance, his particular powerful influence into the wills and actions of his creatures, directing of them to a voluntary performance of what he hath determined: which the Arminians opposing in the behalf of their darling free-will, do work in the hearts of men an overweening of their own power, and an absolute independence of the providence of God; for, —
John Owen (1616-1683)

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 48

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.

Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.

2. ‘Tis a mere fallacy: as if the decree of non-election was the procuring cause of man’s damnation. Sin is the cause of damnation, but reprobation is not the cause of sin. David’s order to Solomon concerning Joab and Shimei was not the cause why either the one or the other came to an untimely end; but it was treason against Solomon in Joab, and running from Jerusalem in Shimei, which procured their deaths (see 1Ki 2:5,28,40,42).

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