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sidered, If faith in Christ was not necessary for Adam, to what purpose was the power of believing in Christ conferred upon him ?

3. But the necessity of proving the Conclusion is incumbent on our brethren, because they express it themselves in those terms, and indeed with a reason added to it, “ Because Adam by his own fault through sin lost that power.” Out of respect to the person, I will abstain from a confutation of this argument; not because I account it incapable of a satisfactory refutation, which, I hope, will in due time make its appearance.

I will now produce a few arguments in proof of my opinion.

First, With regard to the Proposition, I prove, “ that, before his fall, Adam did not possess the power to believe in Christ.” (1.) Because such a belief would have been futile: For there was no necessity, no utility in believing in Christ : But nature makes nothing in vain ; much less does God. (2.) Because, prior to his sin, God could not require of him faith in Christ. For faith in Christ is faith in Him as a Saviour from sins; he therefore who will believe in Christ ought to believe that he is a sinner. But, before Adam had committed any offence, this would have been a false belief: Therefore in commanding Adam to believe in Christ, God would have commanded him to believe a falsehood. That power, then, was not capable of being produced into an act, and is on the same account useless. (3.), Faith in Christ belongs to a new creation, which is effected by Christ, in bis capacity of a Mediator between sinners and God: This is the reason why He is called “ The Second Adam,” and “the New Man.” It is not therefore matter of wonder, that the capability of believing in Christ was not bestowed on man by virtue of the first creation. (4.) Faith in Christ is prescribed in the Gospel. But the Law and the Gospel are so far opposed to each other in the Scriptures, that a man cannot be saved by both of them at the same time; but if he be saved by the Law, he will not require to be saved by the Gospel ; if he must be saved by the Gospel, then it would not be possible for him to be saved by the Law. God willed to treat with Adam, and actually did treat with him, in his primeval state, before he had sinned, according to [ formula] the tenour of the legal covenant: What cause therefore can be devised, why God, in addition to the power of believing in Himself according to the Law, should likewise have bestowed on Adam the power of believing the Gospel and in Christ? If our brethren say, “that this power was one and the same,” I will grant it, when the word “power" is taken in its most general notion, and according to its most remote application—that of the power of understanding and volition, and also the knowledge of common things and of all notions impressed on the mind : But I shall deny the correctness of their observation, if the word “power” is received as signifying any other thing than what is here specified. For that wisdom of God which is revealed in the Gospel excels, by many degrees, the wisdom which was manifested by the creation of the world and in the law.

SECONDLY. With regard to the Reason, " Because there was no necessity for Adam in his primitive condition to believe in Christ :" No one will refute this argument, unless by asserting, that God infused a power into man, which was of no service, and which could be of none whatever, except when man is reduced to that state into which God himself forbids him to fall, and into which he cannot fall but through [prevaricationem] the transgression of the Divine command. But I must here be understood as always speaking about a power to believe the Gospel and in Christ, as distinct from a power of believing in God according to the legal prescript.

Thirdly. With regard to what belongs to the Conclusion which is to be deduced from the preceding, I will burden it only with one absurdity: If matters be as they have stated them, “ that man in bis primeval state possessed a power to believe in Christ," when no necessity existed for the exercise of such faith in Christ; and if this power was withdrawn from him after the fall, when it began to be really necessary for him ; such a dispensation of God has been very marvellous, and completely opposed to the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, the province of which consists in making provision about things necessary for those who live under the government and care of these attributes.

I desist from adding any more ; because the absurdity of this dogma will not easily obtain credit with such persons as have learned to form a judgment from the Scriptures, and not from prejudices previously imbibed. I will only subjoin, that this dogma never obtained in the church of Christ, nor has it ever been accounted an article relating to faith.

ARTICLE XX. It cannot possibly be proved from the Sacred Writings, that the

angels are now confirmed in their estate.

ANSWER. This article also has been besprinkled with calumny; though I am of opinion, that it was done in ignorance by him from whose narration it is imposed on me: For I did not deny that this fact

was incapable of proof from the Scriptures; but I enquired of him, “ If it be denied, with what arguments from Scripture will you prove it?” I am not so'rash as to say, that no proof can be given from Scripture for a matter, whose contrary. I am not able satisfactorily to establish by Scripture,—at least if such proof has not produced certainty in my own mind. For I ought to believe, that there are other persons who can prove this, though I am myself incapable; as those persons, in like manner, with whom I occasionally enter into conversation, ought to believe thus concerning themselves, because I cannot instantly deny that they are unable to do what, I am sure, they will experience much difficulty in performing. For they must themselves be aware, that from their frequent conversations, and from the sermons which they address to the people, some judgment may be formed of their own progress in the knowledge of the truth and in understanding the Scriptures. I wish them therefore to undertake the labour of proving that, wbout which they will not allow me to hesitate.

I know what has been written by St. Augustine, and others of the Fathers, about the estate of the angels, about their blessedness, their confirmation in good, and the certainty by which they know that they will never fall from this condition. I also know, that the Schoolmen incline towards this opinion : But when I examine the arguments which they advance in its support, they do not appear to me to possess such strength as may justly entitle it to be prescribed for belief to other persons as an approved article of faith.

The passage generally quoted from St. Matthew, (xxii, 30,) “ But they are as the angels of God in heaven,” treats only on the similitude [between young children and angels) in neither marrying nor being given in marriage ; he does not say, that the angels of God are now happy in heaven.

That in Matthew xviii, 10, “ In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven," does not speak of the beatific vision, but of that vision with which those who stand around the throne of God wait for his commands: This is apparent from the design of Christ, who wished thus to persuade them 66

not to offend one of these little ones ;” their beholding God, helps to confirm this persuasion,—not the beatific sight, but such a sight of God as is suited for the reception of the [Divine] commands to keep these little ones.*

Uytenbogard had asked his friend's opinion on this passage of Scripture ; and Arminius returned him the following answer, in a letter dated March 4, 1606 :

“With respect to the guardian angels who are said to be placed over every believer, my opinion is, that a single angel is not appointed to each believer, but that many

“ But ye are come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Heb. xii, 22.)

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angels are often sent forth for the sake of one believer, and one angel as frequently for the sake of several believers, according to the Divine will and pleasure. In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my father who is in heaven,' is a phrase in common use : Thus, the Queen of Sheba called the servants of Solomon BLESSED, because they saw his face. , But I do not know whether there is not some emphasis in the expression • my Father:' If there be, it may, I think, be explained in the following manner : “ As my Father, who is the true God, has given commands to his angels,

and indeed has done this, as being my Father, about keeping and preserving those humble ones who believe in me; and as the angels constantly stand before the • tribunal and throne of my Father, that they may receive his commands, and may • most promptly execute them; see that ye neither despise nor offend these little • ones who believe in me : For, in that case, ye will most grievously offend my Father, whose will it is to be the Father of those who believe in me; and you will excite to your destruction the angels, who behold the face of my Father principally for this

purpose—that they may receive his commands concerning the custody of believers ' and the punishment of those who offend them.'-And indeed ihough God is the Saviour of all men,' yet is He chiefly so of them who believe ; and He is the Saviour of believers as He is the Father of Jesus Christ, with this peculiar reference: Thus angels are ministering spirits' to procure the salvation of believers. Hence also devolves on Christ the care of recommending them to favour and [servandi] of saving them, because they have been given to him by God to be saved, that is, by God as He is his Father. The facts of the case seem to be these : With the change of the whole world, the circumstances also of angels and men have been changed. For as the angels were formerly more dignified than men in nature, as well as in state and degree ; now, after the new creation which has been formed by God, the Father of Christ, through Christ, who is the Son of God and the Son of man, the angels seem to be made inferior to those who belong to this new.creation in Christ. “For unto the angels hath He not pat in subjection the world to come,' (Heb. ii, 5,) that is, the new world; but He hath subjected it to Jesus Christ and to bis brethren, that is, to those who believe in Him. On this account perhaps they are called the angels of believers, or of them properly; as being those who, for their sakes and to serve them, stand before the throne of God as ministering spirits, much indeed inferior to Christ, and therefore also inferior to those whom Christ dignifies with the honour and the title of his brethren. This too is probably tħe cause why, after the angels had been called by the believers under the Old Testament "LORDS,' and had been honoured by them as the vicegerents and personam Dei gerentes) the representatives of God; the same angelic beings refused all such honour under the New Testament, and were no longer dignified with that title, that is, after Christ the Son of Man' was constituted the Heir and the Judge of all things; to whom God made them servants and gave Him a name above every naroe, that even Heavenly Things should bow the knees to Him.

“ The connexion of the 11th verse with that which precedes, and which it seems impossible to separate on account of the 14th verse which corresponds with it, appears to be the saine as you have described ; that is, that the Father, whose face the angels of these little ones,' these believers, always behold, bas sent Jesus Christ into the world for the purpose of saving them ; and by this He intimated the strong affection which the Father bore towards them. But as Christ has employed the word 'to save,' which is opposed to the effect of the offence, that is destruction ; so likewise, agreeably with this, He denominatęs those little ones' Lost : For that, properly, is saved which in itself bad been lost. This connection is proved by the 14th verse, taken in immediate conjunction with the 11th : For the 12th and 13th verses contain a simili. cude in explanation of what had been said in the 11th.”

not necessarily prove, that angels are now blessed and confirmed in good; because, even now, those who are neither beatified nor confirmed in good do themselves belong to that celestial city, that is, those who are said to have come to this heavenly city,” who still “ walk by faith,”and “see through a glass darkly.” (1 Cor. xiii, 12.)

“ Then the angels will be in a more unhappy condition than the “ souls of pious men, who are now enjoying blessedness with “ Christ and in his presence.”—This reason which they adduce is not conclusive: For “the angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of eternal salvation." This service of theirs will endure to the end of the world: In the mean time, “those who have died in the Lord, rest from their labours." (Rev, xiv, 13.)

Neither is that a stronger argument, which says, “ It is pos“sible for the angels to fall, if they are not confirmed in good; and “ therefore they must always of necessity be tormented by a fear “ of their fall, which may happen; and by a fear which is the

greater, on account of the clearer knowledge that they have of “ the evil into which the apostate angels are fallen.” For it is possible for the angels to be assured of their stability, that is, that they shall never fall away, although they be neither blessed, nor so far confirmed in that which is good as not to be capable of falling. They may be assured, either with such a certainty as excludes all doubt and fear, or with such a certainty as excludes all anxious “fear that hath torment," but is consistent with that “ fear and trembling” with which we are commanded to “wor] out our salvation,” who are said to have “the full assurance o. faith” concerning our salvation.

But what necessity is there to enter into this disputation, which cannot without great difficulty be decided from the Scriptures ; and which, when it is decided, will be of small service to us? Let us rather devote our attention to this study: Doing now the will of God as the angels do in heaven, let us endeavour to be enabled hereafter to become partakers with them of eternal blessedness. This is especially our duty, since the things which have been written for us respecting the state of angels, and which are commanded to be received by faith, are exceedingly few in number.

This therefore is my reply to the former twenty of these articles, which have been ascribed partly to me alone, and partly also to Borrius. There is not one of them whose contrary has

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