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An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 7

7. Though we confess that no man doth attain unto faith by his own good will, John. 1:13, yet we judge and know that the Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so make him to believe and obey willingly; Ezek. 36:26; Psalm. 110:3; God thus working in us both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; Phil.. 2:13.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will, more agreeable to Christian doctrine.

7. From this method of teaching we are forced somewhat to dissent. For philosophers, being unacquainted with the corruption of nature, which is the punishment of revolt, erroneously confound two states of man which are very different from each other. Let us therefore hold, for the purpose of the present work, that the soul consists of two parts, the intellect and the will, (Book 2 chap. 2 sec. 2, 12,) — the office of the intellect being to distinguish between objects, according as they seem deserving of being approved or disapproved; and the office of the will, to choose and follow what the intellect declares to be good, to reject and shun what it declares to be bad, (Plato, in Phaedro.) We dwell not on the subtlety of Aristotle, that the mind has no motion of itself; but that the moving power is choice, which he also terms the appetite intellect. Not to lose ourselves in superfluous questions, let it be enough to know that the intellect is to us, as it were, the guide and ruler of the soul; that the will always follows its beck, and waits for its decision, in matters of desire. For which reason Aristotle truly taught, that in the appetite there is a pursuit and rejection corresponding in some degree to affirmation and negation in the intellect, (Aristot. Ethic. lib. 6 sec. 2.) Moreover, it will be seen in another place, (Book 2 c. 2 see. 12-26,) how surely the intellect governs the will. Here we only wish to observe, that the soul does not possess any faculty which may not be duly referred to one or other of these members. And in this way we comprehend sense under intellect. Others distinguish thus: They say that sense inclines to pleasure in the same way as the intellect to good; that hence the appetite of sense becomes concupiscence and lust, while the affection of the intellect becomes will. For the term appetite, which they prefer, I use that of will, as being more common.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-3-Providence

November 7, 2013 2 comments

Providence

 

1. Does God take notice of every thing that takes place?

Yes; nothing comes to pass without His knowledge and permission.

2. When did He determine what things He would do, and what He would permit?

In Eternity; before He had created anything.

3. Has He ever permitted His creatures to do wrong?

Yes, when they have willfully chosen to do so.

4. Has He not, however, warned them of the consequences of sin?

He has always warned them that He would surely punish them if they should sin.

5. Can God be regarded as approving sin under any circumstances?

On the contrary, the Scriptures teach us that He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity.

6. Does He not influence men to do right?

He does; and it is owing to His grace that we do anything that is good.

7. Does He ever make men do right against their will?

He never does; but He so leads them to see and love what is right, that they choose to do it.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Chapter IX : Of Free Will

1. God hath indued the Will of Man, with that natural liberty, and power of acting upon choice; that it is (a) neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.

a Mat. 17.12.Jam. 1 14. Deut. 30.19.

2. Man in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power, to will, and to do that (b) which was good, and well-pleasing to God; but yet (c) was mutable, so that he might fall from it.

b Eccl. 7.29.

c Gen. 3.6

3. Man by his fall into a state of sin hath wholly lost (d) all ability of Will, to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, (e) and dead in Sin, is not able, by his own strength, to (f) convert himself; or to prepare himself thereunto.

d Rom. 5.6. ch. 8.7.

e Eph. 2.1.5.

f  Tit. 3 3,4,5. Joh. 6.44.

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of Grace (g) he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone, enables him (h) freely to will, and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his (i) remaining corruptions he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good; but doth also will that which is evil.

g Col. 1.13. Joh. 8.36.

h Phil. 2.13.

i Rom. 7.15.18,19 21.23.

5. The Will of Man is made (k) perfectly, and immutably free to good alone, in the state of Glory only.

k Eph. 4.13.

The 1677/89 London Confession of Faith

 

Concerning the Will of Man

The will is a beast of burden.

If God mounts it, it wishes and goes as God wills;

if Satan mounts it, it wishes and goes as Satan wills;

Nor can it choose its rider…

The riders contend for its possession.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)