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  • WORKS OF ARMINIUS - ON THEOLOGY


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    DISPUTATION I

    ON THEOLOGY

    I. As we are about again to commence our course of theological disputations under the auspices of our gracious God, we will previously treat a little on theology itself.

    II. By the word "theology" we do not understand a conception or a discourse of God himself, of which meaning it would properly admit; but we understand by it, "a conception" or "a discourse about God and things divine," according to its common use.

    III. It may be defined, the doctrine or science of the truth which is according to godliness, and which God has revealed to man that he may know God and divine things, may believe on him and may through faith perform to him the acts of love, fear, honour, worship and obedience, and obtain blessedness from him through union with him, to the divine glory.

    IV. The proximate and immediate object of this doctrine or science is, not God himself, but the duty and act of man which he is bound to perform to God. In theology, therefore, God himself must be considered as the object of this duty.

    V. On this account, theology is not a theoretical science or doctrine, but a practical one, requiring the action of the whole man, according to all and each of its parts -- an action of the most transcendent description, answerable to the excellence of the object as far as the human capacity will permit.

    VI. From these premises, it follows that this doctrine is not expressed after the example of natural science, by which God knows himself, but after the example of that notion which God has willingly conceived within himself from all eternity, about the prescribing of that duty and of all things required for it.

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