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himself, and not of other sinners, when he says, “ Behold I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin did “ my mother conceive me:" which totally invalidates the conclusions, that some hereticks draw from this and other scriptures,' about two natures, spiritual and animal. These different natures were supposed to belong to different persons, as born into the world; some being spiritual by birth, and some animal. But Calvinists inaintain that the old and new natures belong to the same identical person; as born of Adam's race, and as born of the Spirit-" That “ which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which “is born of the Spirit is spirit.” In what then do the 'opinions of these hereticks,' in a high degree resemble. what are now called Calvinistick doctrines?' Or how are they compatible with them?
P. DXXIV. l. 1. “We, &c.'? Jerome has here
' and an animal, and that the one is saved, and the other perishes,
and that there is a third between these two, maintain from these
passages, that no one would be understood to be just before he • did some good, or would be hated as a sinner before some
crime was committed, unless there was a different nature of ' those who perish, and of those who are to be saved: to which it may be simply replied, that this happens from the prescience of God, that he loves the person before he is born, who he knows will be just; and the person who he knows will be a sini ner, he hates before he commits sin. Vol. iv.
232.' Rom. i. 1. Gal. i. 15, 16. Ps. xxii. 10. Jer. i. 3. Ps. li. 5. Iviii. 3.
2" We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the " Geniiles."
• The hereticks shelter themselves under this passage, who, feigoing certain ridiculous and trifling things, assert, " that neither the spiritual nature can sin, nor the earthly nature
do any thing justly. We would ask these persons, why the
completely answered the absurd notions of these hereticks; and in the very same manner, as Calvinists would answer them. His argument also clearly shews the distinction made in the last remark, between supposing some good, and some bad, as born into the world; and maintaining, that all are born in sin; and some of these same persons receive a new and heavenly nature, as “ born of God." The former was the notion of the hereticks, the latter is the tenet of the Calvinists.
P. DXXIV. 1. 15. “ Now, &c." Different na'tures,' that is, among men, as born into the world. This sentiment of the hereticks Jerome refutes, by shewing, that they who are now “ fellow citizens « with the saints,” were
strangers and “ foreigners ;which could not have been, if nature “ cannot be changed for the better or the worse." This shews, that he so far agreed with the Cal
• branches were broken from the good olive tree, and why the • wild olive branches were engrafied upon the root of the good • olive tree, if nothing can fall from good, or rise from bad : or
how Paul first persecuted the Church, if he were of a spiritual nature; or afterwards became an apostle, if he were of an earthly nature. Vol. iv. Part ii. p. 245.'
I“ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but “ fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." • This passage particularly makes against those who endeavour ' to introduce different natures; for, how were strangers made
fellow-citizens with the saints, and how were the household of • God formerly foreigners to the conversation of Israel, if nature • cannot be changed either for the better, or the worse ? Vol. ir. · Part ii. p. 346.
* Eph. ii, 12-19.
vinists, that a real change of nature from bad to good was actually made, in the Ephesian converts; whether he intended to ascribe it, with the apostle, to a new creation exclusively, or to free will assisted by the grace of God“We are his workmanship, created “ in Christ Jesus unto good works." Jerome wavered on this point: but he certainly marks, not only the difference, but the irreconcilable discordancy, between the opinion of these hereticks, and the tenets of Calvinists. For if all they, who are good in the sight of God, became good by a change of nature from bad to good: it is plain, that all were at first bad, which we hold, in diametrical opposition to these hereticks, whom we are said to resemble.
P. DXXIV. 1. 25. Ye were, &c.'? This also marks the same distinction.-But as we are charged with maintaining that human nature is irrecoverably sunk in wickedness; the last clause is, I suppose, intended as the point of resemblance. The hereticks however meant, that this nature does not admit of 'salvation at all ;' we say, 'our fallen nature is irre'coverable, except by the grace of God. They suppose this to be the case of some, and not of others, by reason of their different natures, as born into the world; we maintain that it is the case of
" Lord :"
Eph. ii. 10. ? “ Ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the
But if it be possible that darkness should be turned into light, there is not, as some hereticks say, a nature which perishes, and which does not adınit of salvation. Vol. iv. Part ii. p. 383.
all men as naturally engendered of the race of Adam.
P. DXXV. 1. 5. • Manichæus, &c.'' Manichæus says this, but do Calvinists say it ?- They assert, that “ there is not a just man on earth, who doeth “good and sinneth not:" that those, who are elect, and called, and justified, and have the first fruits of the Spirit, and are sealed to the day of redemption,
groan within themselves,” because, “ the good " that they would, that they do not :” And they say, that the will to sin is sin : so that, if angels willed to sin, yet could not, through some natural inability; they would be sinners in the sight of God. Here again then is contrariety instead of resemblance !
P. Dxxv. 1. 8. You, &c.': Manichæus, to account for the origin of evil, while he supposed man at first created, as men now are, ascribes his creation in part at least, to an evil principle--for the Manichæans made matter, the devil, and darkness, only different names of the same evil power, who from all
?• Manichæus says, that his elect are free from all sin, and • that they could not sin if they would. Vol. iv. Part ii. p. 476.
2. You will cry out, and say, that we follow the doctrine of the Manichæans, and of those who wage war against the Church
upon the subject of different natures, asserting, that there is a 'bad nature, which cannot be changed by any means. Vol. iv.
Part ji. p. 480."
- Let us briefly reply to those slanderers, who reproach 15, " by saying, that it belongs to the Manichæans to condemn the
nature of man, and to take away free-will, and to deny the assistance of God. Vol. iv. Pari ii. p. 485.'
eternity had resided in a corner of infinite space. Thus they condemned the nature of man, at least of some men, as the work of the devil; they took away free will, in that they did not allow that the nature of these persons admitted of salvation; and they denied them the assistance of God.-We on the other hand say, God made men very good ; but by the fall man became very evil; in which state all are born : God has most mercifully provided a Saviour, and all who believe in him shall be saved: and he promises assistance to all who desire and ask it: but without special grace, which is given to the elect alone, none will believe, or sincerely desire, or ask for his assistance. The fault is in the will alone, which freely chooses, according to the state of the heart: but when sin reigns, it so enslaves the will, that it cannot choose the good.
P. Dxxv. 1. 20.
• They, &c.” The similarity between the Valentinians and the Calvinists, as intimated in this quotation, presupposes that Calvinists deem a notional faith sufficient for salvation, and avow, that they may do without fear whatever is
They (the Valentinians) assert, that they themselves are saved by knowledge alone ; but that we are saved by faith and good conduct; that they themselves do not stand in need of 'works, knowledge being sufficient for salvation. On which
account, they who are most perfect among them, do without fear, whatever is forbidden by the divine laws. Vol. ir.. 'p. 200,