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sion of sins." I do not read, that Christ is constituted a Propitiation through Works in his blood, that we may also be justified by Works!
My desire indeed is, to appear before the tribunal of God thus, [with this Confidence or Trust in Christ, as a Propitiation through Faith in his blood,) and “to be graciously judged through merey from the throne of grace.” If I be otherwise judged, I know, I shall be condenined; which sore judgment may the Lord, who is full of clemency and pity, avert according to his great mercy, even from you, my brethren, though you thus speak, whether the words which you use convey your own meaning, or whether you attribute this meaning to me. I also might thus draw wonderful conclusions from this assumption which is laid down, if an accusation were to be set aside by retaliation or a recriminating charge, and not by innocence. But I will not resort to such a course, lest I seem (paria referre] to return evil for evil ; though I might do this with a somewhat greater show of reason.
ARTICLE XXVI. (VI.)
ANSWER IN THÈ enunciation of this Article is given another proof of desperate and (profligata] finished negligence. What man is so utterly senseless as universally to deny, that Faith can be called “ an instrument,” since it receives and apprehends the promises which God has given, and does also in this way concur to justification? But who, on the other hand, will venture to say, that, in the business of justification, faith has no other relation than that of an instrument? It should therefore be explained, how faith is an instrument, and how, as an instrument, it concurs to justification.
It is, at least, not the instrument of God; not that which He uses to justify us: Yet this is the meaning first intended to be conveyed by these words, when rigidly taken. For God is the primary Cause of justification. But since justification is an estimate of the mind, although made at the command of the Will, it is not performed by an instrument: For it is when God wills and acts by his Power, that He employs instruments. Then, in these words, “ Believe in Christ, and thy sins shall be forgiven thee," or, which is the same thing, "and thou shalt be justified ;" I say, that Faith is the requirement of God, and the act of the believer VOL. II.
when he answers the requirement. But they will say, “ that it is the act of apprehending and accepting, and that therefore this faith bears relation to an instrument:" I reply, Faith as a quality has in that passage relation to the mode of an instrument; but the acceptance or apprehension itself is an act, and indeed one of obedience yielded to the gospel. Let that phrase likewise which is so often used by the Apostle in Romans iv, be seriously considered, “Faith is imputed for righteousness :" Is this FAITH as an instrument, or as an act? St. Paul resolves the question, by a quotation from the book of Genesis, when he says, “ Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.” The thing itself, as it is explained by our brethren, also solves the question : “ Faith is imputed for righteousness on account of Christ, the object which it apprehends."* Let this be granted : Yet the apprehending of Christ is nearer than the instrument which apprehends, or by which He is apprehended. But apprehending is an act: Therefore, Faith, not as it is an instrument,
Several elucidations of Justification by Faith, as taught by Arminius, will appear in different parts of this volume : But I quote the following extract from his letter to Uitenbogard, April 10, 1599, as the remarks contained in it bear upon that part of the subject on which he here lays much stress :
“Within these few days, I have cursorily inspected the confession which Tako Sybrants, of Medenblick, offered to the recent Synod of Alcmaer ; and I saw this phrase used in it, ' Faith justifies acceptively.' (See Works of Arminius, vol. I, p. 541.] I have heard, that some discussion occurred in that assembly about the meaning of this phrase, because it was considered to be ambiguous. For the word " acceptively' seemed possible to be taken in an active as well as in a passive sense : When the word was received actively, it was accounted as an approved phrase; but when received passively, it was thought to be unsound. I was not much surprised at such a distinction having been employed; for it is a fact well known to every one who is not deeply skilled, (in Theology,] that these words are usually received in a two-fold signification. But they ought to have examined whether the Scriptures approve of this interpretation : I wish therefore, that any man would reconcile for me, with this interpretation, that very common phrase in the Scriptures, when they are treating on Justification through Faith, which is, Faith is imputed for righteousness. If I understand it at all, I think this is the meaning of the phrase, God accounts faith for righteousness : And thus justification is ascribed to faith, not because it accepts, but because it is accepted.
“But some one will reply, “Justification is attributed to faith, on account of the object which faith receives, and which is Christ, who is our righteousness.' This is not repugnant to that my meaning, but it renders a reason why God imputes our faith to us for justification. But I deny that this expression is figurative, We are justified by faith, that is, by the thing which faith apprehends. Neither am I pleased with the following interpretation of the phrase, which is used the first of all in this subject, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, that is, that which Abraham apprehends by his faith, is imputed to him for righteousness. For, not the object which he apprehends by faith, but his believing, is said to be imputed to him for righteousness : From which St. Paul has chosen this phrase, Faith is imputed for righteousness."
but as it is an act, is imputed for righteousness, although such imputation be made on account of Him whom it apprehends. In brief, (potentia) the Capability or the Quality by which any thing is apprehended, and the apprehension itself, have each relation to the object which is to be apprehended, the former a mediate relation, the latter an immediate: The latter, therefore, is a more modest metonymy, as being derived from that which is nearer ; even when it is granted that this phrase,—“ it is imputed for righteousness”_-must be explained by a metonymy, then, who says, “ The act of faith is imputed for righteousness," does not deny that faith as an instrument concurs to justification.
It is evident, therefore, from this answer, that our brethren fabricate and “ get up” articles of this kind without the least care or solicitude, and charge me with them: This, I think, will be acknowledged even by themselves, if they examine how they manufactured those Nine Questions which, two years ago, by the consent of their Lordships, the Curators of our University, they endeavoured to offer to the Professors of Divinity,* that they might obtain their reply to them. Gravity and sobriety are highly becoming in Divines, and serious solicitude is required to the completion of such great matters as these.
ARTICLE XXVII. (VII.) Fath is not the pure gift of God, but depends partly on the grace
of God, and partly on the powers of Free Will; that, if a man will, he may believe or not believe.
ANSWER. I NEVER said this, I never thought of saying it, and, relying on God's grace, I never will enunciate my sentiments on matters of this description in a manner thus desperate and confused. I simply affirm, that this enunciation is false, “ Faith is not the
pure gift of God;" that this is likewise false, if taken according to the rigour of the words, “ Faith depends partly on the grace of God, and partly on the powers of Free Will;" and that this is also false when thus enunciated, “ If a man will, he can believe or not believe." If they suppose, that I hold some opinions from which these assertions may by good consequence be deduced, why do they not quote my words? It is a species of injustice to attach to any person those consequences, which
one may frame out of his words, as if they were his sentiments: But the injustice is still
See the history of these Questions in Vol. Í. pages 286 and 328. The Questions themselves will be found at the end of these XXXI Articles, page 64.
more flagrant, if those conclusions cannot by good consequence be deduced from what he has said. Let my brethren, therefore, make the experiment, whether they can deduce such consectaries as these, from the things which I teach ; but let the experiment be made in my company, and not by themselves in their own circle : For that sport will be vain, equally void of profit or of victory; as boys sometimes feel, when they play alone at chess with their own dice.
For the proper explanation of this matter, a discussion on the Concurrence and Agreement of Divine Grace and of Free Will, or of the human Will, would be required; but because this would be a labour much too prolix, I shall not now make the attempt. To explain the matter I will employ a simile, which yet, I confess, is very dissimilar ; but its dissimilitude is greatly in favour of my sentiments. A rich man bestows, on a poor and famishing beggar, alms by which he may be able to maintain himself and his family. Does it cease to be a pure gift, because the beggar extends his hand to receive it? Can it be said with propriety, that “ the alms depended partly on the liberality of the Donor, and partly on the liberty of the Receiver,” though the latter would not have possessed the alms unless he had received it by stretching out his hand? Can it be correctly said, becuuse the beggar is always prepared to receive, that “ he can have the alms, or not have it, just as he pleases ?" If these assertions cannot be truly made about a beggar who receives alms, how much less can they be made about the gift of faith, for the receiving of which far more acts of Divine Grace are required! This is the question which it will be requisite to discuss, “ What acts of Divine Grace are required to produce faith in man?" If I omit any act which is necessary, or which concurs, (in the production of faith,] let it be demonstrated from the Scriptures, and I will add it to the
It is not our wish to do the least injury to Divine Grace, by taking from it any thing that belongs to it: But let my brethren take care, that they themselves neither inflict an injury on Divine Justice, by attributing that to it which it refuses; nor on Divine Grace, by transforming it into something else, which cannot be called Grace. That I may in one word intimate what they must prove, such a transformation they effect when they represent - the sufficient and efficacious grace, which is necessary to salvation, to be irresistible," or as acting with such potency that it cannot be resisted by any free creature.
ARTICLE XXVIII. (VIII.) T'he grace sufficient for salvation is conferred on the Elect, and
on the Non-elect ; that, if they will, they may believe or not believe, may be saved or not saved.
ANSWER. Our brethren here also manifest the same negligence. They take no pains to know what my sentiments are; they are not careful in examining what truth there is in my opinions; and they exercise no discretion about the words in which they enunciate my sentiments and their own. They know that I use the word “ Election” in two senses: (i.) For the decree by which God resolves to justify believers and to condemn unbelievers, and which is called by the Apostle, “ the purpose of God according to election :” (Rom. ix, 11:)–(ii.) And for the decree by which He resolves to elect these or those nations and men with the design of communicating to them the means of faith, but to pass by other nations and men. Yet, without this distinction, they fasten these sentiments on me; when, by its aid, I am enabled to affirm, not oply, “ Sufficient Grace is conferred on, or rather is offered to, the Elect and the Non-elect ;" but also, “ Sufficient Grace is not offered to any except the Elect."-(i.) “ It is offered to the Elect and the Non-elect,” because it is offered to unbelievers, whether they will afterwards believe or not believe.—(ii.) “ It is offered to none except the Elect,” because, by that very thing which is offered to them, they cease to be of the number of those of whom it is said, “ He suffered them to walk in their own ways;" (Acts xiv, 16;) and, “ He hath not dealt so with any nation.” (Psalm cxlvii, 20.) And who shall compel me to use words of their prescribing, unless proof be brought from scripture that the words are to be thus and in no other way received ?
I now proceed to the other words of the article: “ That, if they will, they may believe or not believe, be saved or not saved." I say,
in two different senses may these words be received, “ If they will, they may believe,” that is, either by their own powers, or as they are excited and assisted by this grace.“ Or they may not believe," while rejecting this grace by their own free will, and resisting it. “ They may be saved or not saved,” that is, --saved by the admission and right use of grace,-not saved by their own [malitia] wickedness, rejecting that without which they cannot be saved.
To the whole together I reply, that nothing is declared in these words, in whatever manner they may be understood, which St. Augustine himself and l.is followers would not willingly have