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WORKS OF ARMINIUS - SEVENTH PROPOSITION OF ARMINIUS
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SEVENTH PROPOSITION OF ARMINIUS
I will not now adduce other reasons why that theory is not satisfactory to me, since I perceive that you treat it in a mode and respect different from mine. I come then to the theory of Thomas Aquinas, to which, I think, you also gave your assent, and presented proofs from the Scriptures, and I will openly state that, of which I complain. I would pray you not to be displeased with the liberty, which I take, if your good will towards me was not most manifest.
ANSWER OF JUNIUS TO THE SEVENTH PROPOSITION
I should prefer that those "other reasons," whatever they might be, had been presented, that I might dispose of the whole matter, (if possible,) at the same time, for I desire that my opinion should be known to you without any dissimulation, and that your expectation should be satisfied. Nevertheless, I hope, that, in your wisdom, you will perceive, from what I have already said, and shall yet say, either what my opinion is concerning those reasons, or what there may be, according to my view, in which your mind may rest, (which may the Lord grant). The theory of Thomas Aquinas I unite with the other, I do not follow it. But I will, briefly and in a few words, explain what I shall state in this argument, and in what mode, from the word of God, and what does not please me in that theory, noticing the words of your writing in the same order.
REPLY OF ARMINIUS TO THE ANSWER TO THE SEVENTH PROPOSITION
If I thought, indeed, that you considered that first theory, as it is explained by its authors, to be in accordance with the Scriptures, I would, in every way, attempt to divest you of that idea, but I see that you so explain it, as greatly to change it; on which account I am persuaded that you judge that, unless it be explained according to your interpretation, it is, by no means, in accordance with the Scriptures. You will also allow me, my brother, to repeat, that, in your entire answer, you have not relieved that theory from any objection. For it remains valid, that "God is made the author of sin, if He is said to have ordained that man should fall and become depraved that He might open to Himself a way for the declaration of His own glory, in the way in which He had already determined by eternal decree." Yet, that no one may think that my promise was vain, I will attempt by other arguments also the refutation of that theory, which presents, as an object to God, in the act of predestination, man not yet created or to be created. I used two arguments, one a priore, the other, a posteriore or by absurdity of consequence. The argument a priore was as follows; -- Predestination is the will of God in reference to the illustration of His glory by mercy and justice; but that will has no opportunity for exercise in a being not yet created. The argument a posteriore was as follows; If God ordained that man should fall and become depraved, that He might open to Himself a way for the execution of that purpose of His will (predestination,) then it follows that He is the author of sin by that ordination. These arguments have been already dwelt upon at sufficient length.
I adduce my third argument. Predestination is a part of providence, administering and governing the human race; therefore, it was subsequent to the act of creation or to the purpose of creating man. If it is subsequent to the act of creation, or to the purpose of creating man, then man, considered as not yet created, is not the object of predestination. I will add a fourth. Predestination is a preparation of supernatural benefits, it is, therefore, preceded by the communication of natural gifts, and, therefore, by creation, in nature, or act, or in the decree of God. Also a fifth. The illustration of the wisdom of God in creation, is prior to that illustration of the wisdom of God, which is the business of predestination. (1 Cor. i, 21.) Therefore, creation is prior to predestination, in the purpose of God. If creation is prior, man is considered by God, in the act of predestination, as existing, not as to be created.
So also in reference to goodness and mercy, the former of which, in the act of creation, was illustrated in reference to Nothing, the latter, in the act of predestination, concerning that which was subsequent to Nothing. To the same purpose can all the arguments be used, by which it was proved that "sin is a condition requisite in the object of predestination."