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WORKS OF ARMINIUS - ON THE RESTORATION OF MAN
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ON THE RESTORATION OF MAN
I. Since God is the object of the Christian religion, not only as the Creator, but also and properly as the Restorer, of the human race, and as we have finished our treatise on the creation, we will now proceed to treat on the restoration of mankind, because it is that which contains, in itself, another cause why God by deserved right can require religion from a man and a sinner.
IV. The matter about which [it is exercised] is man, a sinner, and, on account of sin, obnoxious to the wrath of God and the servitude of sin. This matter contains in itself the outwardly moving cause of his gracious mercy, but accidentally, through this circumstance, that God delights in mercy; for in every other respect sin is per se and properly the external and meritorious cause of wrath and damnation.
V. We may indeed conceive the form, under the general notion of restitution, reparation, or redemption; but we do not venture to give an explanation of it, except under two particular acts, the first of which is the remission of sins, or the being received into favour; the other is the renewal or sanctification of sinful man after the image of God, in which is contained his adoption into a son of God.
VI. The first end is the praise of the glorious grace of God, which springs from, and exists at the same time with, the very act of restitution or redemption; the other end is, that, after men have been thus repaired, they "should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world," and should attain to a blissful felicity in the world to come.
VII. But it has pleased God not to exercise this mercy in restoring man, without the declaration of his justice, by which he loves righteousness and hates sin; and he has, therefore, appointed that the mode of transacting this restoration should be through a mediator intervening between him and sinful man, and that this restoration should be so performed as to make it certain and evident that God hates sin and loves righteousness, and that it is his will to remit nothing of his own right, except after his justice had been satisfied.
VIII. For the fulfilling of this mediation, God has constituted his only begotten Son the mediator between him and men, and indeed a mediator through his own blood and death; for it was not the will of God that, without the shedding of blood and the intervention of the death of the Testator himself, there should be any remission, or a confirmation of the New Testament, which promises remission and the inscribing of the law of God in the hearts [of believers].
IX. This is the reason why the second object of the Christian religion, in subordination to God, is Jesus Christ, the Mediator of this restoration, after the Father had made him Christ [the Anointed One] and had constituted him the Lord and the Head of the church, so that we must, through him, approach to God for the purpose of performing [acts of] religion to him; and the duty of religion must be rendered to him, with God the Father, from which duty we by no means exclude the Spirit of the Father and the Son.