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'to his Spirit, has decreed to work powerfully ' in some, whom he hath particularly chosen, that they shall believe, and not be wanting to his Spirit, in whatsoever shall be necessary to their salvation. It is not the foresight of faith, or of any other grace or act of man, whereupon this * decree is grounded; but the most gracious good ' will and pleasure of God from all eternity, ap

pointing to save those whom he hath chosen in • Christ, as the head and foundation of the elect. • This decree of God's election is absolute, unchangeable, and from everlasting. God does not, either actually damn, or appoint any soul to damnation, without the consideration and respect of sin.''

Thou well rememberest, my Crocius, when my

too unfavourable state of health had torn me away, against my will, from that assembly of ' learned men ; that a question was indeed fallen

on, and not an unseasonable one, in the hundred ' and thirty-second session, concerning the rejection of certain more harsh and incommodious expressions, which are found every where in some of the writings of the reformed teachers; 'which use to lay a stumbling stone in the way

of the weaker, and to afford calumny to enemies. Our British divines were wholly (intent) on • this; and also those of Hesse, and you of Brema, 'were not wanting to press this wholesome coun

sel, more earnestly than usual, by urging reasons ' for it. I do not dispute whether better or more 'votes conquered. Certainly the rejection of in

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| Middle way.

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mercy, and the good pleasure of God: but that • the other is not sufficiently pious, nor indeed ' tolerable, (namely) that others perish deservedly,

even if they had not been lost in Adam, because ‘God so placed Christ as head over his church, * that not all, but we who are elect should be • saved.'—- I wish that odious forms of speech of ‘ this kind, had never fallen from any pious, and * learned professor of the reformed religion: or, if ' at any time they had rashly passed the fence of ' his teeth, (épxos @oytwy,) being condemned, they • had been immediately consigned to eternal oblivion. Of this kind of chaff, there were certain improper speeches, which not a few of the divines ' at Dort desired to have rejected and corrected; ' which would then have been done, had not ‘perhaps too much indulgence been given to the 'opinion (or estimation, estimationi) of certain

persons. Concerning which I wrote somewhat ‘more largely to my illustrious colleague D. Crocius.'1

* All men, within the pale of the church especially, have from the mercy of God such common helps to salvation, that the neglect of them 'makes any of them justly guilty of their own

condemnation. Besides the general will of God, ' he has eternally willed and decreed to give a special and effectual grace to those, that are

predestinate according to the good pleasure of ‘his will ;” whereby they do actually believe, obey, and persevere, that they may be saved.

So that the same God, that would have all men 'to be saved if they believe, and be not wanting

Epistola D'Hermanno Hildebrando.

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'to his Spirit, has decreed to work powerfully ‘in some, whom he hath particularly chosen, that they shall believe, and not be wanting to his Spirit, in whatsoever shall be necessary to their salvation. It is not the foresight of faith, or of

grace or act of man, whereupon this decree is grounded; but the most gracious good . will and pleasure of God from all eternity, appointing to save those whom he hath chosen in

Christ, as the head and foundation of the elect. * This decree of God's election is absolute, un

changeable, and from everlasting. God does not, either actually damn, or appoint any

soul 'to damnation, without the consideration and respect of sin.''

* Thou well rememberest, my Crocius, when my too unfavourable state of health had torn me away, against my will, from that assembly of • learned men ; that a question was indeed fallen * on, and not an unseasonable one, in the hundred ' and thirty-second session, concerning the rejection of certain more harsh and incommodious expressions, which are found every where in some of the writings of the reformed teachers; ' which use to lay a stumbling stone in the way

of the weaker, and to afford calunny to enemies. · Our British divines were wholly (intent) on ' this; and also those of Hesse, and you of Brema, 'were not wanting to press this wholesome coun

sel, more earnestly than usual, by urging reasons ' for it. I do not dispute whether better or more 'votes conquered. Certainly the rejection of in

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I Middle way.

convenient phrases was refused, at least omitted, for the time.'l

Certainly, while some followed the more rigid way, casting the perdition of the most on the * absolute power and will of God, without any

regard of sin ; others, the flatterers (parasiti) of 'human liberty, so made men masters of them'selves, as if they were subjected to no decrees at all. Faults are sufficiently committed on both ' sides : truth, holding the middle way, is desert‘ed; which yet is regarded by certain men of 'moderate dispositions. For how often did those ‘most celebrated doctors (of the Synod of Dort) 'roundly assert, that God damned no man, nor destined him to damnation, except on the consideration of sin ? as our British divines. But 'it is manifest, that the brethren of Hesse openly proved this by many arguments. And there were none of the divines who more accurately ' and expressly taught this than yours of Brema. * Nor does the voice of the Synod disagree with 'this; which, defining reprobation itself, saith 'that those are passed by, whom by a most free

and just, and irreproveable, and immutable good pleasure, are passed by, and left in the common misery, in which their own fault had precipitated them.-We recognize (or quote) the words of 'the Synod : and then what man in his senses

can deny, that the decree of eternal punishment, ‘is on account of their unbelief and other sins a'2

For, indeed, that there was a certain reproba'tion, and that from eternity, who doubts ? But this reprobation (as far as it respects the act of Epistola ad Crocium. · Epistola D. Baltasar. Tullio.

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'the omnipotent God, was of certain men, whom "God decreed to leave in the common misery,

into which their own fault had plunged them : ' and this, not only for their unbelief, but for all their other sins, and to condemn them for a 'declaration of his justice, and to punish them 'eternally : so that their fault and sins here so 'intervene to effect it, that positive reprobation, without these, cannot without the highest injustice be ascribed to God.'l

These quotations throw light on the history of the Synod, and shew that the sentiments falsely imputed to that assembly, were merely those of certain individuals, and not the determination of the body at large.

Epistola D. H. Hildebrando.

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