THE DOCTRINE OF ABSOLUTE. PREDESTINATION. JEROME ZANCHIUS. ( ). With. OBSERVATIONS ON THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES,. NECESSARY. A terse statement concerning the doctrine of Predestination. Having considered the attributes of God as laid down in Scripture, and so far cleared our way to the doctrine of predestination, I shall, before I enter further on the.
|Published (Last):||22 September 2013|
|PDF File Size:||13.64 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||9.84 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Terms Explained Chapter 2: Doctrine relative to all men Chapter 3: Doctrine relative to the Elect Chapter 4: Doctrine relative to the Reprobate Chapter predestjnation HAVING considered the attributes of God as laid down in Scripture, and so far cleared our way to the doctrine of predestination, I shall, before I enter further on the subject, explain the principal terms generally made use of when treating of it, and settle their true meaning.
In discoursing on the Divine decrees, mention is frequently made of God’s love and hatred, of election and reprobation, and of the Divine purpose, foreknowledge and predestination, each of which we shall predestinnation and briefly consider.
In us it is such, but if, considered in that sense, it should be ascribed to the Deity, it would be utterly subversive of the simplicity, perfection and independency of His being.
Love, therefore, when attributed to Him, signifies. Of this, no good works wrought by them are in any sense the cause. Neither are even the merits of Christ Himself to be considered as any way moving or exciting this good will of God to His elect, since the gift of Christ, to be their Mediator and Redeemer, is itself an effect of perdestination free and eternal favour borne to them by God the Father John 3: His love towards them arises merely from “the good pleasure of His own will,” without the least regard to anything ad extra or out of Himself.
With this love God cannot love even His elect as considered in themselves, because in that view they are guilty, polluted sinners, but they were, from all eternity, objects of it, preddstination they stood united to Christ and partakers of His righteousness.
This actual beneficence respects all blessings, whether of a temporal, spiritual or eternal nature. Temporal good things are indeed indiscriminately bestowed in a greater or less degree on all, whether elect or reprobate, but they are given in a covenant way and as blessings to the elect only, to whom also the other benefits respecting grace and glory are peculiar.
And this love of beneficence, no abolute than that of benevolence and complacency, is absolutely free, and irrespective of any worthiness in man. Basolute, “Esau have I hated” Rom 9: Of this our Lord makes mention: Where predestinahion should seem the choice spoken of does not refer so much to Predestinarion eternal, immanent act of election as His open manifest one, whereby He powerfully and efficaciously called the disciples forth from the world of the unconverted, and quickened them from above in conversion.
Now all that are thus elected are not therefore necessarily saved, but many of them may be, and are, reprobates, as those of whom our Lord says Mat jjerome And the apostle says, “They went out from us” i.
Thus much for the use of the word election. It may like wise signify 2 God’s forbearing to call by His grace those whom He hath thus ordained to condemnation, but this is only a temporary preterition, and a consequence of that which was from eternity. This may be considered as a kind of national reprobation, which yet does not imply that every individual person who lives in such a country must therefore unavoidably perish for ever, any more than that every individual who lives in a land called Christian is therefore in a state of salvation.
There are, no doubt, elect persons among the former as well as reprobate ones among the latter. By a very little attention to the context any reader may easily discover in which of these several senses the words elect and reprobate are used whenever they occur in Scripture. Besides, the word “purpose,” when predicated of God in the New Testament, always denotes His design of saving His elect, and that only Rom 8: As does the term “predestination,” which throughout the whole New Testament never signifies the appointment of the non-elect to wrath, but singly and solely the fore-appointment of the elect to grace and glory, though, in common theological writings, predestination is spoken of as extending to whatever God does, both in a way of permission and efficiency, as, in the utmost sense of the term, it does.
It is worthy of the reader’s notice that the original word which we render purpose, signifies not only an appointment, but a fore-appointment, and such a fore-appointment as is efficacious and cannot be obstructed, but shall most assuredly issue in a full accomplishment, which gave occasion to the following judicious remark of a late learned writer: Vox enim est efficaciae summae, ut notant grammatici veteres; et signate vocatur a Paulo, consilium illius, qui efficaciter omnia operatur ex beneplacito suo.
The Divine foreknowledge, considered in this view, is absolutely universal; it extends to all beings that did, do or ever shall exist, and to all actions that ever have been, that are or shall be done, whether good or evil, natural, civil or moral.
The verb predestinate is of Latin original, and signifies, in that tongue, to deliberate beforehand with one’s self how one shall act; and in consequence of such deliberation to constitute, fore-ordain and predetermine where, when, how and by whom anything shall be done, and to what end it shall be done.
So the Greek verb which exactly answers to the English word predestinate, and is rendered by it, signifies to resolve beforehand within one’s self what to do; and, before the thing resolved on is actually effected, to appoint it to some certain use, and direct it to some determinate end. The Hebrew verb Habhdel has likewise much the same signification. Now, none but wise men are capable especially in matters of great importance of rightly determining what to do, and how to accomplish a proper end by just, suitable and effectual means; and if this is, confessedly, a very material part of true wisdom, who so fit to dispose of men and assign each individual his sphere of action in this world, and his place in the world to come, as the all-wise God?
Divine preordination has for its objects all things that are created: All beings whatever, from the highest angel to the meanest reptile, and from the meanest reptile to the minutest atom, are the objects of God’s eternal decrees and particular providence. However, the ancient fathers only make use of the word predestination as it refers to angels or men, whether good or evil, and it is used by the apostle Paul in a more limited sense still, so as, by it, to mean only that branch of it which respects God’s election and designation of His people to eternal life Rom 8: But, that we may more justly apprehend the import of this word, and the ideas intended to be conveyed by it, it may be proper to observe that the term predestination, theologically taken, admits of a fourfold definition, and may be considered as 1 “that eternal, most wise and immutable decree of God, whereby He did from before all time determine and ordain to create, dispose of and direct to some particular end every person and thing to which He has given, or is yet to give, being, and to make the whole creation subservient to and declarative of His own glory.
The supreme end of this decree is the manifestation of His own infinitely glorious and amiably tremendous perfections; the inferior or subordinate end is the happiness and salvation of them who are thus freely elected. What we intend, then, is only this, viz. Thus much being premised with relation to the Scripture terms commonly made use of in this controversy, we shall now proceed to take a nearer view of this high and mysterious article, and.
To the same effect are the following passages, among many others “For the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened ” Matt. Having predestinated us to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” Eph 1: This is expressly asserted, in so many words, by the apostle Eph 1: Grace, or mere favour, was the impulsive cause of all: It was an act of grace in God to choose any, when He might have passed by all.
The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination
It was an act of sovereign grace to choose this man rather than that, when both were equally undone in themselves, and alike obnoxious to His displeasure. In a word, since election is not of works, and does not proceed on the least regard had to any worthiness in its objects, it must be of free, unbiassed grace, but election is not of works Rom But of this we shall treat professedly, and more at large, in the fifth chapter.
Sin is the meritorious and immediate cause of any man’s damnation. God condemns and punishes the non-elect, not merely as men, but as sinners, and had it pleased the great Governor of the universe to have entirely prevented sin from having any entrance into the world, it would seem as if He could not, consistently with His known attributes, have condemned any man at all. But, as all sin is properly meritorious of eternal death, and all men are sinners, they who are condemned are condemned most justly, and those who are saved are saved in a way of sovereign mercy through the vicarious obedience and death of Christ for them.
Now this jetome predestination, of some to life and of others to prevestination if it may be called twofold, both being constituent parts of the same decreecannot be denied without likewise denying 1 most express and frequent declarations of Scripture, and 2 the very existence of God, for, since God is a Being perfectly simple, free from all accident and composition, and yet a will to save some and punish others is very often predicated of Him in Scripture, and an immovable jerime to do this, in consequence of His will, is likewise ascribed to Him, and a perfect foreknowledge of the sure and certain accomplishment of what He has thus willed and decreed is also attributed to Him, it follows that whoever denies this will, decree and predestinafion of God, does implicitly and virtually deny God Himself, since His will, decree and foreknowledge are no other than God Himself willing and decreeing and foreknowing.
Something of this was hinted already in the preceding chapter, and we shall now proceed to the proof of it. God was either willing that Adam should fall, or unwilling, or indifferent about it. If God was unwilling that Adam should transgress, how came it to pass that he did?
Absolute Predestination: Jerome Zanchius, Jay Patrick Sr. Green: : Books
Is man stronger and is Satan wiser than He that made them? Again, could not God, had it so pleased Him, have hindered the tempter’s access to paradise? None but atheists would answer these questions in the negative. Surely, if God had not willed the fall, He could, and no doubt would, have prevented it; but He did not prevent it: And if He willed it, He certainly decreed it, for the decree of God is nothing else but the seal and ratification of His Will.
He does nothing but what He decreed, and He decreed nothing which He did not will, and both predsetination and decree are absolutely eternal, though the execution of both be in time.
The only way to evade the force of this reasoning is to say that “God was indifferent and unconcerned whether man stood or fell. Is it possible for us to imagine that God could be an idle, careless spectator of one of the most important events that ever came to pass?
Are not “the very hairs of our head all numbered”?
The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination by Jerome Zanchius
If, then, things the most trivial and worthless are subject to the appointment of His decree and the control of His providence, how much more is man, the masterpiece of this lower creation? But, so far was God from being indifferent in this matter, that there is nothing whatever about which He is so, for He worketh all things, without exception,” after the counsel of His own will” Eph 1: On the whole, if God was not unwilling that Adam should fall, He must have been willing that he should, since between God’s willing and nilling there is no medium.
And is it not highly rational as well as Scriptural, nay, is it not absolutely necessary to suppose that the fall was not contrary to the will and determination of God? And how dishonourable to, how inconsistent with, and how notoriously subversive of the dignity of God such a blasphemous supposition would be, and how irreconcilable with every one of His allowed attributes is very easy to observe.
He first sinned and the essence of sin lies in disobedience to the command of God and then immediately became miserable, misery being through the Divine appointment, the natural and inseparable predestinatoon of sin. Besides, absolutr only spiritual and eternal, but likewise temporal death is the wages of sin Rom 6: It follows that either God must be unjust in punishing the innocent, or that these infants are some way or the other guilty creatures; if they are not so in themselves I mean actually so by their own commission of sinthey must be so in some other person, and who that person is let Scripture say Rom 5: And, I ask, how can these jeroome with equity sharers in Adam’s punishment unless they are chargeable with his sin?
This follows from what has been proved already; however, I shall subjoin some further demonstration of these two positions. Therefore, say we, God never designed to save every individual, since, if He had, every individual would and must be saved, for “His counsel shall stand, and He will do all His pleasure.
Secondly, this may be evinced absoluye from God’s foreknowledge. The Deity from all eternity, and consequently at the very time He gives life and being to a reprobate, certainly foreknew, and knows, in consequence of His own decree, that such a one would fall short of salvation.
Now, if God foreknew this, He must have predetermined it, because His own will is the foundation of His decrees, and His decrees are the foundation abxolute His prescience; He therefore foreknowing futurities, because by His predestination He hath rendered their futurition certain and inevitable.
Neither is it possible, in the very nature of the thing, that they should be elected to salvation, or predsstination obtain it, whom God foreknew should perish, for then the Divine act of preterition would be changeable, wavering and precarious, the Divine foreknowledge would be deceived, and prexestination Divine will impeded.
All which are utterly impossible. Lastly, that prredestination men are not chosen to life, nor created to that end is evident in that there are predestjnation who were hated of God before they were born Rom 9: But 2 all men universally are not ordained to condemnation. There are some who are chosen Mat An election, or elect number, who obtain grace and salvation, while “the rest are blinded” Rom A people whom the Lord hath reserved Jer 1: A peculiarly favoured race, to whom “it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” while to others “it is not given” Mat In a word, who are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvellous light” 1 Peter 2: It is written of God that “He telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names” Psalms Now, it is as incompatible with the infinite wisdom and knowledge of the all-comprehending God to be ignorant of the names and number of the rational creatures He has made as that He should predestinxtion ignorant of the stars and the other inanimate products of His almighty power, and if He knows all men in general, taken in the lump, He may well prerestination said, in a more near and special sense, to know them that are His by election 2Ti 2: And if He knows who are His, He must, consequently, know who are zanchiuus His, 1: Grant this and who can help granting a truth so self-evident?
But that God does indeed precisely know, to a man, who are, and are not the objects of His electing favour is evident from such Scriptures as these “Thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name” Exod.
And if the number of these is thus assuredly settled and exactly known, it follows that we are right in asserting. Were not this the case. Nor would His word be true with regard to the non-elect if it was possible abwolute them to be saved, for it is there declared that they are fitted for destruction, etc. Hence that of St. HAVING considered predestination as it regards all men in general, and briefly shown that by it some are appointed to wrath and others to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ 1Th 5: Its definition I have given zanchiuus in the close of the first chapter.