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more or less good as they are nearer or more remote from it,--He is not FREELY good. For it is a contradiction in an adjunct, or an opposition in an apposition.—But God is good by natural necessity, according to his entire nature and essence, and is Goodness itself, the supreme and primary Good, from which, through which, and in which is all good, &c.-THEREFORE, God is not freely good.
(2.) Its Absurdity. Liberty is an affection of the Divine Will; not of the Divine Essence, Understanding, or Power; and therefore it is not an affection of the Divine Nature considered in its totality. It is indeed an effect of the Will, according to which it is borne towards an object that is neither primary nor adequate, and that is different from God himself; and this effect of the Will therefore is posterior in order to that affection of the Will according to which God is borne towards a proper, primary and adequate object, which is himself. But Goodness is an affection of the whole of the Divine Nature, Essence, Life, Understanding, Will, Power, &c. THEREFORE, God is not freely good ; that is, he is not good by the mode of Liberty, but by that of natural Necessity. I add, that it cannot be affirmed of any thing in the nature of things, that it is freely,—or that it is this or that freely, —not even then when man was made what he is,—by actions proceeding from free-will: As no man is said to be “ freely learned," although he has obtained erudition for himself by study which proceeded from free-will.
(3.) I prove that Blasphemy is contained in this assertion : Because, if God be freely good, (that is, not by nature and natural necessity,) he can be or can be made not good: As whatever any one wills freely, he has it in his power not to will; and whatever any one does freely, he can refrain from doing. Consider the dispute between the Ancient Fathers and Eunomius and his followers; who endeavoured to prove, that the Son was not eternally begotten of the Father, because the Father bad neither willingly nor unwillingly begotten the Son. But the answer given to them by Cyril, Basil, and others, was this. “The Father “ was neither willing nor unwilling ; that is, He begat the Son “ not by will, but by nature. The act of generation is not from “ the Divine Will, but from the Divine Nature.** If they say, “God may also be said to be freely good, because He is not good by co-action or force :" I reply, Not only is co-action repugnant to liberty, but nature is likewise ; and each of them, nature and
Cyrilli Thes. contra Hæret. lib. i, c. 8.
co-action, constitutes an entire, total, and sufficient cause for the exclusion of liberty. Nor does it follow, “ Co-action does not “ exclude liberty from this thing; therefore it is freely that which “ it actually is. A stone does not fall downwards by co-action, “ it therefore falls by liberty: Man wills not his own salvation " by force, therefore he wills it freely.” Such objections as these are unworthy to be produced by Men; and in the refutation of them shall I expend my time and leisure ? Thus therefore the Christian Fathers justly attached blasphemy to those who said, “ The Father begat the Son willingly, or by his own will;" because from this it would follow, that the Son had (principium] an origin similar to that of the creatures. But with how much greater equity does blasphemy fasten itself upon those who declare, " that God is freely good !” For if He be freely good, He likewise freely knows and loves himself, and besides does all things freely, even when He begets the Son and breathes forth the Holy Spirit !
ARTICLE XXIII. (III.) It frequently happens, that a creature who is not entirely hardened
in evil, is unwilling to perform an action because it is joined with sin ; unless when certain arguments and occasions are presented to him, which act as incitements to its commission. [ Administratio] The management of this presentation also is in the hand of the Providence of God, who presents these incitements that He may accomplish his own work by the act of the creature.
ANSWER. UNLESS certain persons were under the excitement of a licentious appetite for carping at those things wbich proceed from me, they would undoubtedly never have persuaded themselves to create any trouble about this matter. Yet I would pardon them this act of officiousness, as the rigid and severe examiners of truth, provided they would sincerely and without calumny relate those things which I have actually spoken or written ; that is, that they would not corrupt or falsify my sayings, either by adding to or diminishing from them, by changing them or giving them a perverted interpretation. But some men seem to have been so long accustomed to slander, that, even when they can be openly convicted of it, still they are not afraid of hurling it against an innocent person: Of this fact they afford a luminous example in the present article. For those things which I advanced in the Theses On the Efficacy and Righteousness of the Providence
of God concerning Evil, and which were disputed in the month of May, 1605, are here quoted, but in a mutilated manner, and with the omission of those things which are capable of powerfully vindicating the whole from the attacks of slander. The following are the words which I employed in the Fifteenth Thesis of that Disputation :
“ But since an act, though it be permitted to (potentia] the ability and the will of the creature, may yet be taken away
[potestati] from his actual power, by legislation ; and since there“ fore it will very frequently happen, that a creature, who is not “ entirely hardened in evil, is unwilling to perform an act because “it is connected with sin, unless when some arguments and “ occasions are presented to him, which resemble incitements to its “ commission : [ Administratio] The management of this present“ing (of arguments and occasions) is also in the hand of the “ Providence of God, who presents these incitements,* both that “ He [exploret] may fully try whether the creature be willing to “ refrain from sinning, even when urged on, or provoked, by “incitements; because the praise of abstaining from sin is very
slight, in the absence of such provocatives ; and that, if the “ creature wills to yield to these incitements, God may effect his
own work by the act of the creature.”+
These are my words; from which the brethren have extracted what seemed suitable for establishing the slander, but have omitted and quite taken away those things which, in the most manifest manner, betray and confute the calumny. For I laid down two ends of that administration by which God [dispensat] manages the arguments, occasions, incitements, and irritatives to commit that act which is joined with sin: And these two ends were neither collateral, that is, not equally intended ; nor were they connected together by a close conjunction. The First of them, which is the exploration or trial of his creature, God primarily, properly, and of himself intends: But the LATTER,
On collating this entire Thesis with the doctrine charged against Arminius at the head of this Twenty-third Article, the reader will perceive that his enemies industriously suppressed the remainder of the Thesis, from the point at which the reference to this note is given, with the exception of the last small clause in it: Which is but another specimen of their accustomed unfairness.
+ Arminius adds here a marginal note: " Peter MARTYR, when commenting on these words in the Epistle to the Romans, (ix, 19,) . Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet complain ?,' says, (Fol. 406, b,) When God deprives men of his assistance, and leaves them in such a depraved state, if he afterwards presents occasions by which the mind may be irritated, it cannot be denied, that God is in some way, yet not properly, the cause of the actions which ensue.”
which is, that God may effect his own work by the act of the creature, is not intended by God, except after He has foreseen that his creature will not resist these incitements, but will yield to them, and that of his own free-will, in opposition to the command of God, which it was his duty and within his power to follow, after having rejected and refused those allurements and incitements of arguments and occasions. But this article of theirs propounds my words in such a way, as if I had made God to intend this last end only and of itself, omitting entirely the first; and thus omitting the previous condition under which God intends this second end through the act of his creature, that is, when it is the will of the creature to yield to these incitements.
This calumny therefore is two-fold, and evidently invented for the purpose of drawing a conclusion from these my words,-that I have in them represented God as the author of sin.* A certain person, having lately quoted my expressions in a public discourse, was not afraid of drawing from them this conclusion.
+ In 1610, the very year in which the first octavo edition of the Public and Pri. pate Disputations appeared, one of Archbishop Usher's learned correspondents, who resided at Kilkenny, procured the book, and quoted this very Thesis as a stumblingblock in his way, in the following letter to the Primate :
“ Sir, I have read carefully what Arminius hath written De Justitia et Efficacia Dei in Malo. Yet, in that I read him for, especially, he leaves me as doubtful as he found me. For where he saith, Quum sæpenumero futurum sit, &e. (Here he quotes the remainder of the middle part of the 15th Thesis ;] in these words, if I mistake him not, he will have it, that God casts stumbling-blocks in the way of them that of themselves would have gone upright, of purpose to provoke them to do evil; which taken together with his foreknowledge of the event, in my apprehension seems very harsh, and flat contrary to the Scripture. (James i, 13.) Indeed, if God, foreseeing both what arguments and occasions inciting unto sin would, by ordinary course of nature, or free-will, come in the way of him that for the present meant no such evil ; and likewise, that unless his providence hindered, he would be thereby overcome ; Į say, if God, foreseeing all this, should withhold his preventing interposition, it were no more than bare permission, the justice whereof cannot be called in question. And if this seem too little, it might haply be farther granted, istius objectionis adminis. trationem penes Dei providentiam esse, (to use his own words,) though I cannot think what bounds are thereunto due: But that he should irritamenta ista objicere, cum creatura actum peccato junctum ex se patrare nolit ; it seems to me very hard to grant, and he as hardly to maintain the justice of it, pages 102, 114. But of the extent and justice of his administration in this point, I would your leisure served to send me your opinion ; you shall both pleasure me, and do God service in it. So commending you to his protection and grace, I rest, and shall be “ KILKENNY,
Ever at Your Service, “ Sept. 1, 1610.
EDWARD WARREN. ) “ I have sent you Arminius by the bearer, James Congame.” Had this good man seen the very ample and satisfactory explanation which Arminius has given in this Article, he would have felt no necessity for requiring the aid of the Archbishop.
But this was purely through calumny, as I will now prove with the utmost brevity.
The reason by which it can be concluded, from the words that have been quoted in this article from my Theses, “that God is the Author of the sin which is committed by the creature" when God incites him by arguments and occasions, is, universally, three-fold :
The First is, that God absolutely intends to effect his own work by the act of the creature, which act cannot be performed by the creature without sin. This is resolvable into two absolute intentions of God; of which the First is that by which He absolutely intends to effect this his work; and the Second, that by which He absolutely intends to effect this work in no other way, than by such an act of a creature as cannot be done by that creature without sin.
The Second Reason is, that the creature being invited by the presenting of these allurements and provocatives to commit that act, cannot do otherwise than commit it; that is, such an excitation being laid down, the creature cannot suspend that act by which God intends to effect his work, otherwise God might be frustrated of his intention : Hence arises
The Third Reason, which has its origin in these two-that God intends by these incentives to move the creature to perform an act which is joined to sin, that is, to move him to the commission of sin.
All these things seem, with some semblance of probability, to be drawn as conclusions from the words thus placed, as they are quoted in this their article, because it is represented as the sole and absolute end of this administration and presenting, that God effects his work by the act of the creature. But those words which I have inserted, and which they have omitted, meet these three Reasons, and in the most solid manner confute the whole objection which rests upon them.
1. My own words meet the First of these Reasons thus: For they deny that God absolutely intends to effect his own work by the act of the creature ; because they say, that God did not intend to employ the act of the creature to complete his work, before He foresaw that the creature would yield to those incitements, that is, would not resist them.
2. They meet the Second, by denying, that, after assigning this presentation of incitements, the creature is unable to suspend his act ; since they say likewise, that, if it be the will of the