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WORKS OF ARMINIUS - VERSE THE TWENTY-FIRST
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VERSE THE TWENTY-FIRST
He finds that, where he would do good, evil is present with him. The twenty-first verse contains a conclusion from the preceding, accommodated to the purpose of the apostle upon which he is here treating. For, from the circumstance of this man knowing that "to will is present with him" but not to perform it, he concludes, that "when he would do good, evil is present with him." But it must be observed, that, in the eighteenth verse, the apostle employs the same phrase about willing, as he here uses about evil; and thus he says, that both to will good, and to will evil, are present with him, or lie close to him. And as "to will that which is good is present with him" through his inclination for the law, and through his mind which approves of it as "just and good," so "to will evil is likewise present with him" through a certain law of sin, that is, by the force and tyranny of sin, assuming to itself the power, and usurping the right or jurisdiction over this man.
We must now consider whether the essence and adjacency of each (if I may employ such a word) are of equal power; or whether the one prevails over the other, and which of them it is that acquires this ascendancy. It is manifest that the two are not equally potent, but that the one prevails over the other, and that, in fact, "evil is present" in a more powerful and vehement manner: For that obtains and prevails in a man, through the command, instigation and impulse of which he is found to act and to cease from acting. But I wish to see it explained from the Scriptures, how such an assertion as this can be made with truth concerning a regenerate man who is placed under grace; for, in every passage, the sacred records seem to me to affirm the contrary.