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  • WORKS OF ARMINIUS - THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IN GENERAL


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    DISPUTATION XIII

    ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, WITH REGARD TO THE MATTER GENERALLY

    I. Since God is the object of all religion, in its various modifications, he must likewise be the object of this religion. But Christ, in reference to God, is also an object of it, as having been appointed by God the Father, King and Lord of the universe, and the Head of his church.

    II. For this reason, in a treatise on the Christian religion, the following subjects come, in due order, under our consideration:

         (1.) The object itself, towards which faith and religious worship ought to tend.

         (2.) The cause, on account of which, faith and worship may and ought to be performed to the object.

         (3.) The very act of faith and worship, and the method of each, according to the command of God and Christ.

         (4.) Salvation itself, which, as being promised and desired, has the power of an impelling cause, which, when obtained, is the reward of the observance of religion, and from which arises the everlasting glory of God in Christ.

    III. But man, by whom [the duties of] this religion must be executed, is a sinner, yet one for whom remission of sins and reconciliation have now been obtained. By this mark, it is intended to be distinguished from the religion of the Jews, which God also prescribed to sinners; but it was at a time when remission of sins had not been obtained, on which account, the mode of religion was likewise different, particularly with regard to ceremonies.

    IV. This religion, with regard to all those things which we have mentioned as coming under consideration in it, is, of all religions, the most excellent; or, rather, it is the most excellent mode of religion. Because, in it, the object is proposed in a manner the most excellent; so that there is nothing about this object which the human mind is capable of perceiving, that is not exhibited in the doctrine of the Christian religion. For God has with it disclosed all his own goodness, and has given it to be viewed in Christ.

    V. The cause, on account of which, religion may and ought to be performed to this object, is, in every way, the most efficacious; so that nothing can be imagined, why religion may and ought to be performed to any other deity. that is not comprehended in the efficacy of this cause, in a pre-eminent manner.

    VI. The very act of faith and worship is required, and must be performed, in a manner the most signal and particular; and the salvation which arises from this act, is the greatest and most glorious, both because God will afford a fuller and more perfect sight of himself, than if salvation had been obtained through another form of religion, and because those who will become partakers of this salvation, will have Christ eternally as their head, who is the brother of men, and they will always behold him. On this account, in the attainment and possession of salvation, we shall hereafter become, in some measure, superior to the angels themselves.

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