« EdellinenJatka »
may constantly love the Saviour, who for her, as a bridegroom for his bride, gave up his soul upon the cross; and perseveringly worship him, and celebrate him here and to all eternity.
BY THE TRANSLATOR.
These nine articles are thus abbreviated by Tilenus, and the abbreviation adopted by Heylin, and in the · Refutation of Calvinism.'
'Art. II. Of the Merit and Effect of Christ's
« That Jesus Christ hath not suffered death, but for those elect only: having neither had any • intent nor commandment of his Faher, to make • satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.'i
REJECTION OF ERRORS UNDER THE SECOND HEAD.
The orthodox doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those,
1. Who teach, “That God the Father destined ' his own Son unto the death of the cross, without
a certain and definite counsel of saving any one by name, (or particularly, nominatim,)? so that its own necessity, utility, and meritoriousness (dignitas) might stand unimpaired (sarta tecta) * to the benefit obtained (impetrationi) by the ' death of Christ, and be perfect in its measures, (numeris,) complete and entire, even if the ob
See Art. 4, 5, above. 2 Rev. xiii. 8. xvii. 8. xx. 15.
‘tained redemption had never, in the fact, been 'applied to any individual.' ' For this assertion is contumelious to the wisdom of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, and is contrary to scripture : as the Saviour
says, “I lay down my life for the sheep, and I know them :” John x. 15. 27 : and the prophet Isaiah concerning the Saviour ; “ When he shall give himself a sacrifice for sin, “ he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, “ and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in his “ hand.” Is. liii. 10. And, finally, it overturns the article of faith by which we believe the church.''
2. Who teach, ' That this was not the end of • the death of Christ, that he might, in very deed, * confirm the new covenant of grace through his 'blood; but only that he might, acquire a bare
right to the Father of entering again into some * covenant with men, either of grace or of works.' For this contradicts the scripture, which teaches, that “Christ is become the Surety and Mediator “ of a better covenant.” Heb. vii. 22. And “A “ testament is at length ratified in those that are “ dead.” Heb. ix. 15, 17.2
3. Who teach,' That Christ, by his satisfaction, ‘did not with certainty (certo) merit salvation itself, ‘and faith by which this satisfaction of Christ may 'be effectually applied unto salvation; but only that ' he acquired to the Father power, and a plenary ' will, of acting anew with men, and of prescribing
For in this case there might possibly have been no “ church “ of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts xx, 28.
? Isa. xlii. 6. xlix. 8. Dan. ix. 27. Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark xiv. 24. Gr. Heb. ix. 13-23. xiii. 20.
whatever new conditions he willed, the per* formance of which might depend on the free will
of man ; and therefore it might so happen either that none or that all might fulfil them.' Now these think far too meanly of the death of Christ; they in no wise acknowledge the principal fruit, or benefit obtained by it; and they recal from hell the Pelagian heresy."
4. Who teach, “That that new covenant of grace, which God the Father, through the intervention of the death of Christ, hath ratified with men, does not consist in this, that by faith, forasmuch as ‘it apprehends the merit of Christ, we are justified • before God and saved ; but in this, that God,
having abrogated the exaction of perfect legal * obedience, imputes (reputet) faith itself, and the “imperfect obedience of faith, for the perfect * obedience of the law, and graciously reckons it
as deserving of the reward of eternal life.' For * these contradict the scripture: “ They are jus“ tified freely by his grace, through the redemption “ made in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth
as a propitiation, through faith in his blood.” Rom. iii. 24, 25. And with the impious Socinus, they introduce a novel and strange justification
That so large a body of learned theologians, collected from various churches, should unanimously, without hesitation, and in so strong language, declare the error here rejected to be the revival of the Pelagian heresy, may indeed astonish and disgust numbers in our age and land, who oppose something, at least exceedingly like this, against the doctrines called evangelical ; but it should lead them to reflect on the subject, and to pray over it. Are they not, in opposing Calvinism, reviving and propagating the heresy of Pelagius?
of man before God, contrary to the consent of the universal church. 1
5. Who teach, 'That all men are taken into a state of reconciliation and the grace of the co'venant; so that no one on account of original ‘sin is liable to damnation, or to be damned; but "that all are exempt from the condemnation of · this sin.' For this opinion opposes the scripture, affirming, that “ By nature we are the children “ of wrath." 2
• We of good reason and right, say with divine Paul, That we are justified by faith alone,” or by faith without the “ works of the law.” But properly speaking, we by no means
understand, that faith by itself, or of itself, justifies us; seeing • it is that which becomes indeed as an instrument, by which we • apprehend Christ our righteousness. Christ therefore himself
is our righteousness, who imputes unto us all his own merits ; but faith is an instrument, by which we are joined to him in • the society or communion of all his goods, and are retained • in it : insomuch that all these, having been made our's are . more than sufficient for us for our absolution from sins.' Belgic Confession, Art. xxii.
• See on the third article of the Rejection of Errors concerning divine Predestination. Original sin,... the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the
offspring of Adam,... in every person born into this world, de• serveth God's wrath and damnation.... And, although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized; yet the apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.' Art. ix. Church of England. • We believe, that by the disobedience of Adam the sin which they call original, (originis), hath been spread abroad, and poured out upon the whole human race. But original sin is * the corruption of the whole nature, and hereditary vice, by · which even infants themselves in the mother's womb are pol* luted: and which, as a certain noxious root, shoots forth
(progerminat) every kind of sins in man; and is so base and execrable before God, that it is sufficient for the condemnation
6. Who employ the distinction of impetration and application, that they may instil this opinion into the unwary and inexperienced, That God, as far as pertained to him, willed to confer equally upon all men the benefits which were acquired by the death of Christ; and that some rather than others (præ aliis) should be partakers of the remission of sins and eternal life, this discrimination depended on their free will, applying to themselves the grace indiscriminately offered; not from an especial gift of mercy operating effectually in them, that they, rather than others, should apply to themselves this grace. For these, while they pretend that they propose this distinction in a wholesome sense, endeavour to give the people a taste of the pernicious poison of Pelagianism.. of the whole human race. Neither is it to be believed that it is entirely extinguished, or pulled up by the roots, in baptisın; * seeing that from it, as a from a corrupt fountain, perpetual streams and rivulets continually arise and flow forth; though to the children of God it does not avail, nor is imputed to their condemnation, but is remitted to them by the pure grace and mercy of God; not that they should fall asleep confiding in * this remission; but that, by the sense of this corruption, it should excite the more frequent groans (gemitus) in the ' faithful; and that they should more ardently desire to be freed ' from this body of death. Hence we condemn the error of the Pelagians, who assert that original sin is nothing but imitation. Phil. ii. 13. John xv. 5. Psalm li. 7. Rom. ïïi. 10. Gen. vi. 3. John iii. 6. Rom, v. 14. Eph. ii. 5. Rom. vii. 18—24.' Belgic Confession, Art. xv.
' 1 Cor. xv. 10. Eph. ii. 3—6. Tit. iii. 4–6. Art. x. of the Church of England, on Free Will.
• We believe, that the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts im'parts unto us true faith, that we may attain to the true know
ledge of this so great a mystery; which faith, embraces Jesus • Christ, with all his merits, and claims it to itself, as made its