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U'ith an I11troduclor y Essay,


Fellow of \Vorcester College, Oxford, and Assistant Curate of Somers
Town, St. Pancras.

P.O. BOX 660594


This fascinating and very rare work of Robert

Copyright 1984 by Conley & Schoettle Pub-
lishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved . Originally Govett was done in his 27th year (1840). It is now
being reissued in its second edition through the
published by James Nisbet & Co., London,
England 1840. courtesy of Mr. Willis L. Bradley ofNew York City
in his provision of an original copy.




Introductory Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Preface By Dr. C. Malan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Greeting To The Believing Reader. . . . . . . . . . 53
God's Election (As considered by the
Church of Geneva) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
M. Abel Popin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
M. Jacques Bernard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
M. Nicholas Des Galars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
M. Philippe De Ecclesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
M. Francois Bourgoing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
M. Loys Trepperau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
M. Remond Chauvet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
M. Matthew Malesian .............. . .. . . 140
M. Michel Cop ... .. . .. . . .. . .... . . . .... 142
M. Jean Perery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
M. Jean Fabri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
M. Jean De St. Andie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153


V-""""-'/"-/" . ~ ./"V"V''-"""""'"""""~~~/...r-../'....._., "....,_,. _.._,..."....

CHRISTIANITY is a system : an umon of

related parts, whereof some are principal, some
subordinate. Christianity as whole, aims at
the eternal salvation of man : and to this
point each part, whether of primary or se-
condary importance, has a decided tendency.
It is true, that Scripture does not unfold its
scheme in a systematic manner ; it is not a
series of Essays such as we :find in the works
of Theologians, wherein one part treats of
J ustification, another of Sanctification, or a
third on the Divinity of Christ. This is per-
ceptible at once : but the attentive eye is not
slow in discovering that from the midst of its
Gospels, Epistles, narratives, and prophecies,
there arise certain truths conspierrous for
their importance, which are more often refer-
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red t0, more fully developed, and more strongly cordance with the Sacred E?criptures? Which
confirmed than others. demands less of forcing and unfair criticism in
N ow our view of this system is liable to be its interpretation of Scripture?
greatly modified according to our point of For as in physical, philosophical, and moral
sight. Christianity is greatly altered in its questions, we are bound by the dictates of
general appearance, as seen from the summit reason of 'two evils, to choose the least,' so
of Calvinism or Arminianism. As in the given in religion are we bound to give in our ad-
dimensions of the temple of Solomon, the hesion to that scheme which agrees the most
structure will differ greatly according to the nearly with Scripture dechirations, and sohes
value we assign to the cubit; so the doctrines the most material of objections, even though
alluded to modify materially the views of some may lie against it which we are unahle to
the Christian, with regard to the fundamental remove. Vlhy do we reject as heretical the
and prominent doctrine of his religion. Socinian theory ? Because it does not agree
The doctrines especially affected by these with Scripture assertions, and while it pro-
two rival systems, are those of the fall and fesses to solve some objections, is obliged to
corruption of man, of original sin, redemption, resort to violent methods of interpretation and
sanctification, election, perseverance, heathen critica! decision, which present greater dif-
responsibility and salvation, and the nature of ficulties than those pretended to be removed ?
the Divine power and foresight. It is also a doctrine of sound philosophy and
Both schemes profe1:1s to explain diffi.culties, reason, not to reject one set of facts becanse
and to accord with Scripture. The question then they seem at varianee with another. If both
for onr decision is, If there be no system be established by their separate and sufficient
which can reconcile all diffi.culties, which will testimony, we must receive both, though our
explain the most ? Which is nearest in ac- logica! or philosophical acumen be unable to
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:find the colmeeting and reconciling link. I t 'fo some it appears unfitting that Christians
is for want of observing and practising thiS3 should designate each other by such titles as
truth, that many mischiefs have arisen both to Calvinist or Arminian, since none perhaps of
philosophy and religion.-Thus while many those who bear those titles is guided in his
Calvinist& have perceived the strength of the belief by the writings or authority of Calvin or
evidence for the disposing and dispensng Arminius ; and perhaps does in some material
power of the Most High, they have pusbed it points differ from those authors. But it should
to such a point as to overwhelm the equally be considered, that by these terros (except
estahlished proof of the responsibility of man. when used with a rancourous feeling of party
It will be my endeavour in the following spirit,) nothing more is meant than a peculiar
pages, to show the agreement of these co- set of opinions on the doctrine of Divine Grace
ordinate truths in themselves and with Scrip- and assistance ; and that they are absolutely
ture, and as far as possible to discover that necessary as simple algebraic signs to express
the doctrines of Grace, and those of the res- those differences of opinion, instead of re-
ponsibility of man, are by no means so incon- sorting to a cumbrous periphrasis on every
ceivable as is commonly suppo!5ed. And if occasion on which those differences are dis-
in any point this attempt should succeed, the cussed.
author is desirous of aclmowledging his obli- The Calvinist is not bound to adhere to
gations to the Rev. Dr. E. vVilliams, of every apinion of Calvin on the doctrine of
Daventry, whose book on the Equity and Divine Grace ; though he acknowledges w hen
Sovereignty of the Divine Administration, is asked the nature of his sentimeuts on that
(he thinks) the only volume thaL has satisfied topic, that they are Calvinistic. And in this
the difficulties, which on this subject must discussion I shall conceive myself at liberty to
arise in every thinking mind. explain and enforce those doctrines in the
B 2
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main, while in some point I dissent from that reignty regards man as a passive being ; as a
fearless and intelligent commentator. creature capable of receiving fresh accession
The Most High is represented to us in of pleasure and endowment, corporeal and spi-
Holy Writ, as a being of united Justice and ritual.
Mercy. Under these two attributes all his Let us then regard the world in these two
dealings towards his creatures are compre .. lights : as a world of justice, and a world of
hended. J ustice is restricted to a certain sovereignty. It has too aften been regarcled
path: it acts according to certain laws known in the light of justice alone, though the im-
and promulgated beforehand. '' Where there press of God's sovereignty is still more per-
is no law there is no transgression ;" and no ceptible than that of his justice.
justice. Mercy on the other hand ( or So- Observe the nations of the globe. How
vereignty as it may be also called,) has a different their countries in point of fertility,
wider :field ; provided that it does not inter- healthiness, capacity, improvement. Observe
fere to prevent or control the decision of the immense differences of labour required in
justice, its reign is unbounded. Justice is a tropical and in an arctic country, to produce
conversant with claims: and must act in ac the necessaries of life. N otice the immense
cordance with those. Sovereignty is fettered disparity in the civilization of nations. And
by no such restrietion. J ustice is shown in now let us deseend to the individual. If the
the recompensing with pleasure and pain, ac- differences between nations are great, not less
cording to desert. Sovereignty is shown in the are those which occur in individuals of the
distribution of favours alone. The one attri- same nation. There are differences both pa-
bute (justice) in God corresponds to the ternal and artificial-of rank, of intellect, of
freedom of man. For justice looks on man as muscular power and height, of beauty, of
an agent respon~ible for his actions. Sovc- wealth, and of power. Same possess ap-
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parently all endowments, both natural and ac- the indications presented by this world as a
qnired: others are deformed, unhealthy, blind, theatre for the exhibition of God's justice.
lame, idiotie, illegitimate. In accordance with thiR attribute, nations are
Regard the world again as a series of suc- punished for national guilt, by the sword,
cessive ages. vVhat a difference between the farnine, and pestilence. In accordance with
states of society in the antediluvian, patri- this perfection of the Most High, diligence in
archal, Assyrian, Babylonian, Grecian, and the business of life ordinarily roeets with suc-
Roman ages ! How great the difference be- cess ; while the devotees of vicious and sinful
tween the dark ages and the present, in every pleasures receive an instalment of recompense
relation of society. And how variously sha- for their corrupt deeds in disease, remorse,
dowed are those times with war and peace, loss of friends, poverty, disgrace, and death.
plenty and farnine, health and pestilence, learn- The original endowments presented by the
ing and ignorance. mercy of God, are themselves subject to the
But all these varieties of life are decided not control of justice. The man who is exalted
by ourselves, but by our Creator. We have above his fellows in the highest degree by
no power over the nation or the time of our rank, birth, riches, and intellectual power, if
birth. We exercise no choice respecting the he offend against the laws devised and sanc
abilities, the rank, the health, the riches, we tioned by the Creator, as surely though per-
shall possess. To each is assigned his place, haps more slowly reaps those penalties as the
and " by taking thought none can add a cubit very meanest.
to his stature." Here is the exhibition of The world then presents these two attributes
sovereignty dividing to every man his lot, of God as alike in exercise everywhere. The
even as willeth the Great Disposer. one view discovers God as a Sovereign, doing
But we would not be supposed to overlook as he pleases with gifts of his own ; the other
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represents him as being also a Judge to judge, Sovereign~y 'vas shown in the planting of
" rewarding the recompense of a rnan's hands Eden, the beauties of its garden, the formation
unto him." It is not meant however that the of the woman as his help meet. Then J ustice
display of either attribute is in this worldcom- came in to place man under a scheme of
plete. The exhibition of justice is less ma- government. It gave him a law, whose sanc-
nifest than that of sovereignty. tion was death. Let us now for a moment
We beg_in then by a very simple postulate. consider Adam and Eve as innocent creatures,
The Creator has a right to create as many and enquire a moment, What claims had they
beings as he pleases, possessed of such powers upon God l For as all injustice is a vialation
as he pleases. This is the consequence of of rightful claims, by discovering their claim,
his attribute of sovereignty. He claims it for (if any,) we shall perceive if the Most High
himself as his own peculiar right. He has a wronged them. And here we boldly answer,
power and right as the potter over the clay. They had none, except the claim implied in
'' The thing formed may not say to him that the law itself which was given. "In the day
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" that thou . eatest thereof, thou shalt surely
See also Isa. lxv. 10. It is enough for a die.'' Here it is implied, that life was assured
creature made by God's creative power, that to them as'long as they were not disobedient ;
its nature be upright, as must be the case and this therefore by implication they might
with every thing that proceeds from a per- claim as a premise included in the law thus
fectly Holy God. given. But originally they had no such right.
Sovereignty then was shown in the creation What creature may not justly be deprived of
of man, in making such a being endowed that w hich is a gift held during pleasure ?
with such and such noble gifts, and set over An angel that has remained perfect may be
the other creatures as the ruler and lord. (if the will of God be so ), deprived of that
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life at a moroent's warning, even though un .. feil, we answer-that liability to corruption is

sullied. lt is a gift enjoyed during the given inherent in the nature of every creature. God
pleasure, and the being rnay be (if it he the alone is unchangeable : the creature, because a
will of God,) annihilated. Out of nothing the creature, must be liable to fall. The creature
angel came, and to it he rnay be caused to by his very nature is defectible. Unchange-
return. The possession of life now, holds out ableness is an attribute of God which cannot
no right to it for the time to come. We put a be communicated to a creature, and is as
mere supposable case, however, to show the much tbe necessary attribute of God as in-
power of the Most High, if he be pleased to finity or eternity. From the simple fact that
exercise it. any being is not God, he is related necessarily
Beyond then, the implied promise of life, to error, limit, and deceptibility. Whatever
Adam and Eve had no claim upon the Al- perfection the creature possesses, is from the
mighty Creator. They had no demand upon Giver of all good things ; but limit and a
his Sovereign mercy to keep them holy. They liability to fall, are not caused by the Creator ~
were made upright : they were placed amidst they are a necessary result of the being of every
means suitable to keep them so. The justice creature, which the Creator bimself (we say it
of God left them to themselves, with full with reverence), cannot remove. For God is
liberty and power to resist the temptations able to do all that involves not a contradic-
which surrounded them. The tempter came ; tion : but that a creature should be by nature
they listened : they fell. God neither decreed infinitely unchangeable, is a contradiction. *
their fall, nor decreed to permit it. He simply
This is a case of wbich has been called a negative
left them to stand or fall, foreseeing indeed
cause. As for instance, tbat a man sbould die to-
certainly their fall, but not necessitatin.g it in day, it is absolutely necessary tb at he sbould have
any way. lf we ask the reason why man b~en alive yesterday; yet bis being alive yesterday is
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Every being then that is created, is liable to fall except up held by the Great U nchangeable !
fall. And this liability to fall produces as its Surely this presents us with the most awful
natura} result actual disobedience, when the view of the infinite perfections of God, when
creature is left to itself. set beside the comparative limitation and de-
God therefore the sole possesor of infinite ficiencies of all created natures!
perfection is not and cannot be the cause But we praeeed to the effects of the fall.
of sin: though by rnaking a creature which The sin of our first parents ruined not them-
must always be liable to fall, he affords an selves only, but their race. It ruined the
occasion for defect to mise. Defect and sin race in a two-fold manner : primarily be-
are not positive beings : but a want of holi- cause Adam stood as the representative of
ness ; a failure as measured by tb.~ standard mankind ; by whose holiness had he stood
of right. firm, all would have been holy ; by whose fall
And if we may ask with all humility, why therefore, and unholiness, all are unholy in the
man was suffered to fall, we should say it was sight of God and subject to his wrath. This
to teach the universe one great lesson, that is the declaration of Scripture. " By one man
all creatures carry the seed of mutability with- sin entered into the world, and death by sin ;
in them, and are both liable to fall, and sure to and so death passed upon all men, for that all
have sinned." " The judgment was by one
not the (efficient) cause of bis dying ' to-day. So to condemnation." '' By the affenee of one
with rnan's fall. That he should decline from the judgment came upon all men to condemna-
commands of God and his own uprightness, it was tion.'' " By one rnan's disobedience rnany
necessary that he sbould be an uwjght creature. For were made sinners." So likewise saith the
as a creature only, could he be liable to defect; and
Church of England in her 9th Article.
as upright only, could he be subject to a charge of
Original sin standeth not in the following of
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Adam, but is the fault and corruption of the corrupt nature al ways leads him to choose
nature of every man that naturally is engen- evil. And moreover his understanding is
dered of the offspring of Adam . . and in darkened; a thing to which he was clearly
every person born into this world it deserveth liable as the natural consequence of sin. :F'or
God's wrath and damnation. To a like pur- a mmal system supposes " the possibility of
pose though not to the same extent is the losing the right once enjoyed, as a rigbteous
observation of bishop Butler, that mankind is forfeiture."
in a f:tate of degradation, however difficult it Yet still man is free.-:F'or the word ' free '
may be to account for it ; and that the crime has two different senses, one signifying an ab-
of our fi.rst parents was the cause of our being sence of all bias, as a needie hung exactly on
put in a more disadvantageous condition. its centre and exactly in a horizontal position.
We are secondarily the just subjects of In this sense no man is free ; for every one
God 's wrath, as being unfit by nature for any has a bias, and a bias towards evil. And
other arrangement of God's government. Adam was free, yet he had a bias, and that
We could not even if Adam's sin were par- bias towards good. So God is free, yet the
doned, becorne thereby fit to take our places necessity of his nature inclines him to good.
arnongst holy orders of beings; because our There is likewise a secoud meaning of the
nature is corrupt and would produce confusion word free, and that is tlwt the person acts as
amongst the happy, as well as uneasiness in he pleases , no one forcing hirn to do evil,
our own persons. or restraining him from doing good.
In short the result of the fall upon the In this sense man is free; God never hin-
posterity of Adam is, that his nature is ders him from doin_g that which is holy and
changed to evil; and as the will is always pure, nor does he force him to commit sin.
directed by the nature of the being, so rnan's Man therefore is free : he acts as he pleases.
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But we mayalso say and with equal truth that the capability of the party to pay it: but
man is enslaved. He acts indeed as he pleases: simply enquires if the debt is due. lf this
but his nature being evil, his choice is always claim can be made out, the debtor is bound
in the direction of evil, and his pleasure being over to pay, and his plea that he is unable to
thus in the pursuit and enjoyment of evil, pay a tittle of it, goes for nothing. If a
which will ultimately destray him soul and debtor owe a thousand pounds justly, and be
body, he is justly called a slave. a naked beggar, the law of justice surrenders
We come then to consider what claims has him to prison when once the claim is proved.
man in this fallen state upon the Great This is the case whatever be the circumstances
Creator ? And surely if an innocent being which reduced the debtor to absolute poverty.
has no claim upon God to he kept holy, much If by unavoidable events this poverty has been
less has a rebellious being any right to expect induced, the judge may pity, but the sentence
mercy- still Ie ss, if possible, any claim to be must stand. But the case of man is far
renewed. different. Ris debt is the consequence of
Here then we directly contradiet an apinion wilful neglect and extravagance. And th~
but too prevalent, that except God give the landlord is not obliged to give up his claim,
Holy Spirit to all, and except he by baptism because the tenant has dissipated what was
take away the natura! preponderance of man due as rent. So with God. That Adam cor-
to iniquity, so that henceforward the scale of rupted himself, and his posterity by the
his nature shall hang even, he is unjust. On naturallaw of transmission, does not deprive
this point the objectars are at varianee bath the Creator of his right to receive honour,
with reason and Scripture. With reason-as obedience and love from his creature. Nor
seen by analogy : for in the case of a debt again does it signify to the judge that he has
due, the law does not take into consideration nothing wherewith to pay the debt. " And
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forasmuch as he had not to pay, his Lord of free mercy. The separating a particular
commanded him to be sold, and bis wife and family, for the reception of heavenly and saving
children, and all that he had." " The judge trutb from the midst of perishing thousands
sball deliver thee to the officer, and thou shalt of impious and proud idolaters, was an act of
be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, supreme benevolence.
tbou shalt not come out thence till thou hast Considered thus, even the law given on
paid the uttermost farthing." Sinai was an act of mercy, though by its letter,
If God had obliged man to sin, the case it treated man according to justice. For the
would have been altered : but if it be impious taking man into covenant again with the
and anti-scriptural to believe this, tben God's Almighty after bis fall, was an exercise of
claims upon man for unswerving obedience is Sovereign grace. But the law in its spirit
as just now, as it was ere Adam feil. came as a schoolmaster to bring men to
Viewed then through the attribute of justice Christ J esus. And the aspect of this last
alone, the world and every individual of it is covenant is universal. No son of man is ex-
lost beyond recovery ; lost by participation cluded from its benefit. lts rederoption of
in tbe sinfulness of Adam's transgression; mercy extends backwards to tbose under the
lost by participation of a corrupted nature ; former covenants ; and by anticipation of faith
in adults lost by many actual transgressi- in that which was to come, they were saved.
ons. And from tbe present day its power of for-
Into this dreary state of tbings Sovereignty giveness extends to tbe last sin that shall
enters to provide a way of recovery. I say be committed in time. lts remission of sins
Sovereignty-for man has no claim upon God shuts out no one but such as judge them-
selves unworthy of eternallife.
to do ought to save bim. And thus the
cho-0sing to give a promise to any was an act But the question has ever sirree the days
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of Christianity been abked, and will be it is died for all, then were all dead." 2 Cor.
probable, till its close, ' For whom did Christ V. 14.*

die, for all men, or for the elect only ?' One The death and merits af Christ have then
would have thought there could be no doubt introduced a new dispensation of salvation.
on this point had men attended only to the lts universa! law runs thus, that whosoever
direct teaching of Scripture. "Christ (says believeth on the Son of God shall not perish
St. John) is set forth to be a propitiation for but have everlasting life." Whosoever fulfils
our sins, and not for ours only but for the this condition, him God is bound in justice
sins of the whole world." '' God is the to admit to eternal happiness.
Saviour of all men.'' " The Father sent the But is man left then to bimself? Are all
Son to be the Saviour of the world." men abandoned to their natural powers to
" Christ came not to judge the world but to fulfil this condition of belief?
save the world." "Christ, (.said his ordained No, for Scripture saith that faith is " the
Messenger,) is the Lamb of God that taketh gift of God." Here then Sovereign mercy
away the sins of the world." The same is enters into God's dealings with men; for
implied most forcibly in the comparison be- while J ustice bas jurisdiction over claims,
tween Adam and Christ. The first man feil, Sovereignty dispenses favours. But upon
and by his disobedience merited death for all: Sovereignty there is no claim. If faith be the
the secoud man even Christ by his obedience " gift of God," he may bestow it on whom
merited life for all. " As by the offence "" Wbere the argument is this; lf Christ's death
of one judgment came upon all men to con- he for all men, it must be because all are dead; for
demnation : even so by the righteousness of that Christ should die to give life to those who have
one the free gift came upon all men to justi- it, is absurd. But bere the condusion is assumed as
fication of life." " We thus j udge that if one i fit we re more evident that Christ died for every man,
than it is that all men by nature are spiritually dead.
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he will : as ' his own ' he may do with it And as Adam by bis 1miversal relation to the
as he pleases. And this leads us to notice human race, bas brought death upon all : so
another class of texts which occurs in Holy Christ by his universa! relation to mankind
Scripture, speaking of Christ's death as hav- shall raise all from the dead. " As in Adam
ing a special reference to some. He " is the all died, even so in Chr~st shall all he made
Saviour of all men, specially of them that alive.'' But this relation is a natural relation
believe." J esus " laid down his life for bis only. It arises simply from rnan's partaking
sheep." Ye believe not because ye are not of the same flesh as Christ. There is yet a
of my sheep as I said unto you." '' Jesus spiritual relation neecled. "If any man have
died for that nation, and not for that nation nat the Spirit of Christ he is none of His."
only, but that he might gather tagether in one As partakers of the spirit of the first Adam
the children of God that are scattered abroad.'' all are condemned; but aU men may he saved
" For God hath not appointed us to wrath by partaking of the Spirit of the second
but to obtain salvation through our Lord J esus Adam.
Christ, who diedjor us, that whether we wake If any therefore reject this mercy of God
or sleep we should live tagether with him.'' it will turn to his heavier condemnation. For
" No man cometh unto me except the Father upon the death of J esus a~ a man for men,
which hath sent me, draw him.'' " I pray is founded this irnpartial proposition which at
not for the world.'' the last day will he decided according to strict
We arrive then at this conclusion, that the justice, " Whosoever believeth and is baptized
death of Christ had a twofold purpose, a gen- shall he saved.'' "To hirn give all the Pro-
eral, and a partienlar. In pursuance of the phets witness that whosoever believeth in him
general purpose, Christ is the second Great shall receive rernission of sins.''
Head of the family of man: so that when he Nothing can he more general than this
died, he " tasted of death for every man.'' n
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sch(me . It extends to every individual of and justice requires that laws should be pro-
Adam'~ race, for there is no decree of re- m ulgated, before they are made the ground of
probation. The only reasou why any come condemnation or acceptance. But the par-
not to God is, the unbelief of their hearts. ticular covenant is secret with God, because
This was neither produced, nor decreed by its provisions are administered by Sovereign-
God, but simply foreseen. It does not destroy ty, and there is no claim that any should
rnan's accountability; far from it, his inability know the benign dispensation of God. As
to love God, and to believe in Christ, is only Supreme Gavernor then possessed of justicc,
a moral inability. According to the capacity he provides salvation for all that will believe.
of his nature, he can love God ij he wil!. As Supreme benefactor, he disposes of, the
But here lies the dreadful trnth,-since the means of salvation as gifts to some.
creation of the world, no man has willed to God desires not the death of any. The
love God. J ustice then is free to take ven- provision of a Saviour, proves this with the
geance on such a wilful sinner. utmost clearness. Had he desired the death
But within this larger scheme there is a of men, he had but to leave the world to itself,
partienlar one: Faith is required by God's law, and all alike must have perished. But the gift
in order to salvation; and faith we have of a Saviour is an act of boundless grace.
seen is "the gift of God." From many It is the superogation of mercy. We must
passages of Holy Scripture then, we gather regard the fact in itself -not in its actual
that there is a secret covenant, which arranges results. The mercy of God is herein dis-
to whom God will dispense this free gift of covered to man, distinct altogether from the
faith, and thereby assure their salvation. The question whether man will receive him or no.
larger scheme is proclaimed openly to man, That man rejects the Saviour offered, arises
becanse that sball be administered by justice ; not from God's decree of reprobation, but
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rnan's deep depravity of spirit. But this in them that believe," and by a. merciful powCJ:
no wise lessens the loving-kindness of our ex_erted on their souls, bringing them to ever-
God. lasting salvation.
This distinction between the general in- The wider and the narrower scheme per-
tention and the actual result may be illustrated fectly accord. The wider scheme d.e.clares
by the dispensation of light. God hath set that all that will believe shall receive everlast-
the sun in the sky, as we may suppose, 'that ing life. The narrower, that such an elect
all who wilt may partake of his light;' but number shall certainly be saved. The one de-
men if they will, can close their eyes or sign doesnothinder the other. Christ's death
blindfold them ; they can dig themsel ves caves, actually shall save " as many as God hath
and shut out his light and heat at once. This ordained to eternallife.'' It may save all the
general design of God is fulfi1led whether men world if they believe. The narnes of the elect
enjoy his beams or no. For the design as are certainly written in the hook of life. But
stated was, that all who would should receive this does not offer any obstac]e to the salva-
illumination. This answers to God's declara- tion of any one else. Because God has
tion, " that God sent his son into the world, ordained some to life, it does not follow, that
that whosoever believeth in him, should not therefore he has hindered all the rest from
perish, but have everlasting life.'' But since attaining sal vation. To prove that this is not
the sun's shining would be in vain, if there so, he hath given a Saviour for all. Scripture
were no creatures to gladden with his light, it doth not say, he that is not elected by God,
seems implied that there shall be actually shall he damned : but only " he that believeth
beings, who rejoice in his splendor. This not.'' God's justice will at the last acquit
answers to the decree of election whereby the saved, not because he elected them, but
God makes Christ "specially the Saviour of because they believed in his Son. The only
D 2
30 31
<1uestion in the day of judgment will be, "Dost were two treaties ; - one public, the other
thou believe on the Son of God ?" Whether secret. The public treaty sets forth that all
God has favoured anv with mercies, will not cities which will sign by their authorites, a
be the question, and any such plea will be certain confession of faith shall be taken into
dismissed as foreign to the business in hand. participation of the advantages proposed by
" Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, the treaty. The secret treaty contains the
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, narnes of those cities which the parties were
and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy certain would agree to it. There is no incon-
name done many wonderful works. Then sistency here. lt were absurd for any city to
will I profess unto them, I never lmew you, say, we cannot join you, because we do not
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity ." know if our s is named in your secret covenant.
The condemnation will be that any have not The answer would be immediate, ' You have
believed in the Son of God, who died for nothing to do with the secret treaty ; you have
them. only to sign by your chief citizens and autho-
Let us further illustrate the subject by the rities, the specified confession of faith. All
case- of treaties between kings and states. that comply with this condition shall be re-
Beside the public treaty promulgated openly ceived.'
to all the world, there is frequently a secret There is an absolute necessity for both the
treaty, which contains particulars not written one scheme and the other. The general
in the public treaty, but perfectly consistent
with it. Ristory will easily furnish us with
covenant of Rederoption is necessarv, because

all men cannot be commanded to believe in a

an )nstance. In the time of Charles V. Saviour that never died for them; nor can
some of the Protestants made a mutualleague they be condcmned for unbelief, if they never
and covenant. Let us suppose that there had an interest in Christ's blood. '!'he par~
32 33

ticu/ar covenant of redemption ( commonly actually at the day of judgment, because they
called election,) is necessary, because, had the make God a liar, in not believing the record
general covenant alone been adopted, none that God gave of bis Son. But if any are
woulel have believed. Owing to rnan's saved it is " by grace alone.~ '
rebellious heart, the offer of a Saviour woulel '' The gift of God is eternal life through
have been universally rejected. Men are as un- Jesus Christ our Lord.'' And Gorl's choice
willing (and therefore unable) to comply with of any to salvation is entirely without regard
the Gospel command, ' Believe and be saved,' to their works. A Benefactor may give to the
as with the demand of the law, to 'keep all most undeserving. Benevalenee says Bacon,
the statutes of the Lord, that he might be "admits of no excess but error.'' And we
saved by them.' Therefore that the death of are repeatedly informeel tbat God is induced
Christ might not through rnan's wilful obsti- to this choice by nothing that was in the
nacy, if left to bimself be frustrated, the Three creature. He gave not the promised land
Ever Blessed Persons indited that covenant to Israel because they were better than
which specifies certain individuals as the otbers, for they are repeatedly told how stiff-
assured participants of salvation. necked and provoldng a people they were.
The above view places salvation on the Befare yet Jacob and E~au were born or had
exact footing established by Scripture. A clone good or evil, and though they were the
Saviour is provided for all. They then that children of one father, God chose the one
perish, perish j ustly. " The wages of sin is and rejected the other. And speaking on
death." God by the death of Christ pro- this very point, God challenges thi~ rule of
claims that all are lost, and can only be saved distribution to hirnself, ' I will have mercvj

through him. They then that believe not are upon whorn I will have mercy." Do any
virtually condemned a1ready, and shall be allege against this that it represents God as
34 35
arbitrary? 'vV e answer, if they mean by a:r- he has as great a license as any one to dis-
bitrary, that he does all, moved by no other pense his favors to whom he will, nor is he
consideration than bis own most holy wisdorn, obliged to deelare the reasans that moved
it is perfectly true. But if they mean that him thereto.
God is capricieus herein-tbey blaspheme. The most specious mis-representation of the
Is nothing right save that of which we know doctrine in question that I am aware of is to
the reasans? " For who bath known the be found in the works of Fletcher, of Madely.
mind of the Lord ! or with whom took he He puts it thns, " I snppose you are upon
coun.:;el. Or who hath first given to him, and your travels. You come to the borders of a
it shall be recompensed to him again ?" great empire, and the first thing that strikes
But is not this an " accepting of pBrsons ?" you is a man in an easy carriage going with
a thing which tbe Must High declares he folded arms to tak~ possession of an immense
hates ? By no meaus. Acceptance of persons estate freely given him by the king of the
is a forensic term. It supposes a court of country. As he fiies along you just make out
justice and a judge sitting to decide in bis the motto of the royal chariot in which he
office. If herein he be moved either by dozes-' Free Reward.' Soon after you meet
favor, fear, or affection, so as to make the five of the king's carts, containing 20 wretches
punishment of the crimina} heavier or lighter loaded with irons, and the motto of every cart
than he deserves, in short, if he be guided is-' Free Punishment.' You enquire into
in his decision by any thing but the facts of the meaning of this extraordinary procession
the case, and the decree of the law, he is and the sheriff attending the execution an-
an accepter of persons. But this attaches ~wers, ' Know, curieus stranger, that our
to him only while exercising tbe office of a Sovereign is absolute, and to show that So-
judge. When he has left bis court of justicc, ,.ereignty is the prerogative of his irnperial
:36 37
crown, and that he is no respt'cter of persons, Tophet, for their trouble.' Y ou are shocked
he distributes every day free rewards and free at the sberiff's account, and begin to expostu-
punishments to a certain number of his sub- late with him about the freeness of the wrath
jects.' 'What! without any regard to merit which burns a man for doing the king's will:
or demerit? by mere caprice?' 'Not alta- but all the answer you can get from him is,
gether so ; for he pitches upon the worst of thnt which you give me in your fourth letter,
men and chief of sinners, and from such he P 23, where speaking of a poor reprobate, you
chooses the subjects of bis rewards. (El. Coles say, 'Such a one is indeed accomplishing the
p. 62.) And that his punishments may do as king's (you say God's) decree; but he carries
much honour to free sovereign wrath, as his a dreadful mark in bis forehead that such a
bounty does to free sovereign grace, he pitches decree is that he shall be punished with ever~
upon those that shall be executed, befare they lasting destruction from the presence of the
are born.' ' What! have these poor creatures lord of the country.' Y ou cry out, ' God de-
in chains done no harm ?' 'Oh yes,' says the liver me from the hands of a monarch who
sheriff, ' the king contrived that their parents punishes with everlasting destruction such as
should let them fall and break thrir legs be- accomplish his decree !' And while the roa-
fore they had any knowledge: when they gistrate intimates that your exclamation is a
came to years of discretion, he commanded dreadful mark, if not on your forehead, at
them to run a race with braken legs, and least upon your tongue, that you yourself shall
because they cannot do it, I am going to see be apprehended against tbe next execution,
tbem quartered. Some of them besides this and made a public instanee of the king's free
have been obliged to fulfil the king's secret wrath, your blood runs cold ; you bid the
will, and to bring about his purpose, and they postilion turn the harses, they gallap for your
shall be burned in yonder deep valley called life, and the moment you get out of the dreary
38 39

land you bless God for your narrow escape. set before them that most excellent means of
(Fletcher, vol. 9. p. 25.) return to him, the death of his Son, and par-
The fallacies which lie here are numerous; ~on fiowing from it ; but they will not accept

the principal are, that punishments are distri- it. But with regard to the elect, the case is
buted by the attribute of Sovereignty, instead altered.
of by the attribute of J ustice ; and next, that They need God's decre of election and sal-
the dealing of God towards the non-elect is vation, because they never wuld save them-
precisely correspondent with God's dealings selves, if God gave them up to their own
with the elect. Now with regard to the latter, hearts' lusts. The rolling stone if left to itself
there is this remarkable difference between will indeed plunge and bound downward, by
election and reprobation. The non-elect are its native force of gmvity : but the stone that
hurrying themselves to perdition with all their is to rise up-hill needs a force from without to
might; they hate God with a true enmity, check its descent and to lift it upward.
and love sin with their soul. We say, there Again, Sovereignty only regards the .distri-
is no decree of God pronouncing that they bution of benefit. Justice presicles over the
must go on to death. Taking the subject in infiiction of punishment. Hence gifts are
its most invidious light, there is no such de- free, for there are no laws of mercy; punish-
cree, because it were of no use. Why deter- ments are due, for there are laws of justice.
mine to do that which certainly shall be done ; Salvation at the last is a gift : perdition is
which is accomplishing already without any wages. But is not mention made in Scrip-
decree ? As well might the king of England ture of rewards to the righteous ? Yes, but
make a law that fire shall burn wood ! God never is eternal life represented as a reward.
simply leaves the non-elect to themselves. "The gift of God is eternal life." lt is
Here in this Christian country he does indeed awarded by mercy. But since in the other
40 41

state there is a difference of rank among the is the following : Sappose a fendal lord has a
saved; so according to the various degrees right to assembie all his subjects in armour to
of attainment in holiness here, shall men be go forth to war or fulfil his pleasure in any
ranked in that blisful world. Everlasting life way, when summoned by the castie bell. It
is a gift: its degree of glory are rewards. is death not to attend this summons. But
Another mis-statement is to be noted in though his retainers at first loved their lord,
the words, " the king contrived that their a traitor enters their houses, and by raising
pareuts should let them fall ; and break their false reports of their master, paisons their
legs befare they had any knowledge, and when minds against him. In this juncture the
they came to years of diseretien he command- alarm sounds. Not one obeys it. They are
ed them to run a race with braken legs, and all by that act guilty of death. But the lord
because they cannot do it, I am going to see in kindness to them sends his son to their
them quartered." God did not contrive that houses, to counterwerk the designs of his
Adam should fall ; he foresaw it, and he was treacherous foe, and to assure them of par-
not bound to prevent it, but he did not decree don, if they will return. They refuse to hear.
or contrive it in any way. Adam feil of his They wound and imprison him, but he escapes.
own free will, without any inclination to evil Still he sends messengers to partienlar persons
infused by a just and Holy God. The run- among the rebels, and by adapting his mes-
ning a race with braken legs is a false an- sages to the persou with whom he has to deal,
alogy. Man's inability is not a natural in- he wins many back to his father. To one
abilty ; as it is impossible for a man with a man he promises power, toanother honour, to
brok en leg to walk : It is a moral inability. another wealth ; and these inducements pre-
He will not walk at the cammand of God, he vail on them to return to their allegiance.
is too proud or too sluggish. A truer analogy The others take no notice of the general act
E 2
42 43

of amnesty, and persisting in thei:r rebellion God's will was only as the logicians say, acei-
after a stated time of forbearance, their town dental : it was the very farthest thing from
is burned and their 'persons execnted. Their their desire to accomplish it: they were
reason for not returning was not that they had gatbered together to baffie it,-and it was
broken legs, and so could not walk, but that only God's "hook in their nose, and his
they were too proud and rebellious to put bridle in their lips" that caused them to ful-
them in motion at the command of their liege fil his purpose. They are to be punished for
lord. the wickedness of the act, not for its agree-
Once more, the wicked are punished, not foT ment or disagreement with a scheme of which
fulfilling God's will by their acts: but (sup- they knew nothing.
posing for a moment what is not proved, From these observations it will be seen that
that God decrees such and such actions of there is here and there a statement in the
theirs) for the wicked spirit in which it is ' Congregation' which follows at varianee with
done. The crucifiers of Christ will be punish- what is stated here; as for instanee that of
ed because they with feelings of rage and Mr. Michael Crop-that the wicked are de-
malignity put Jesus to death, " with wicked creed to wrath from all eternity, as the right-
hands they crucified and slew him." Suppos- eous are decreed to life. This arose from a
ing even that God had decreed that they false assumption of symmetry in the dealings
should put Jesus to death-he did nat cause of God, where the cases are not by any
or decree the wicked passions with which they means parallel ; and I trust that I have an-
did it, and we may conceive that great sacri-. swered this already, and exposed its fallacy.
fice to have been accomplished hy man with To the non-elect, outward means ure granted
feelings as holy and full of faith as Abraham's -and the Spirit often strives with them : to
virtual sacrifice of Isaac. Their fulfilling of the elect, the inward gift of the Spirit is givcn
and the heart is renewed thereby to listen to
and to love the tidings of salvation. It is not
against the will of men that this power is ex-
erted-as where a man is irresistibly carried PREFACE BY DR. C. MALAN.
in a direction contrary to his desire. Far
from it. No, the eyes of his understanding are
To the Genevese families who remain attached to
enlightened-the natural mist of error that
our glorious Reformation, Grace and peace,
blind his eyes and prevents his discovering
from the Lord ! -
that he is on the brink of destruction' s cliff
is removed, and with trembling joy he starts THE appearance presented in the present day
back and leans on the arm that would rescue at Geneva, is a strange phenomenon. The
him. third jubilee of the glorious Reformation is
proclaimed ; the preparations for this solemn
feast are announced ; the nation is invited to
pay respect to it: and all this (takes place,)
while at the sametime this Holy Reformation
is stultified, and opposed (by men) who set
themselves with asperity against its doctrines ;
that is to say, against the results of the Refor-
mation. Never perhaps before, was there an
example of a like inconsistency. Never before
a monument so alien to the facts it reeals !
46 47

It is moreover from the verv bosom of the she keeps up its origin ; she does not give the
college which laid the foundation of the Re- lie to herself! But poor Geneva of modern
formation, where Levites, capable of defending days disowns the Geneva of past times ; and
the deposit, ought to be training, that the if her Reformation of 1538 were to re-appear
blows are aimed, which would overthrow it, in her walls, it could not but be greatly amazed
if it were not of God ! He too whose office at the festival prepared for it.
it is to instruct youth in protecting the ark of J udge of the truth of this for yoursel ves,
the faith, first publishes a hook for the young ye pious Genevese ! by comparing the doctrines
against the Eternal Divinity of the Son of which the hooks I have noticed spread in the
God, and next furnishes them with a publi- midst of you, with those of the Church of your
cation against the Sovereign election of the fathers. You have been able already to do
Most High! this with regard to the Divinity of the Lord
Thus the hand which ought to repair the J esus ; make the comparison now on the ques-
breaches of the wall, redoubles its efforts to tion of God's Election.
sap the foundations, by opposing the venerabie It is taught, it is publisbed among you, that
faith of our ancestors, and by rejecting the this latter doctrine is contrary to reason, feel-
belief of those pious Reformers, who fixed on ing, and Scripture. You then who possess
the rock of the Bible, that chair (of the pro~ reason and feeling, be herein loyal and sineere ;
fe~sorship), where he seats bimself only to con- . and taking Scripture (as your guide), see if
tradiet them ! what you are about to read is, or is not con-
And the people praise him { They encou- formabie to it. Y ou, too, who are men of
rage him! Then they say, 'Let us keep the judgment, observe two points : one, that at
Jubilee ! The Jubilee! ' Alas ! Rome at least the present day it is an individual ( with per-
is more consistent ! If she institute a feast, haps some imitators), who repeat bis words
48 -!9

that says to you, Believe me,' but that then dated with writings which, by taking away
in our father's time it was the pastors of the from our city the very remnants of the ancient
Genevese State, who said to the people, 'Be- faith of the Reformation, are preparing for it a
lieve not us, but the Bible.' The other ob- sad future!
servation is, that if in our day it be an indi- 0 Genevese! when will you pay attention
vidual who in two or three publications tells to the mischiefs such writings will do to your
you to become his disciples, then in our father's souls ! lt is with a view of assisting you to
time the entire clergy, as enlightened, as sin- distrust them, that I republish the account of
cere, in a temple, in the face of the assembied one of the Congregational Assemblies of your
people, bore witness to the word of the Lord. fathers. It was apparently collected by a
Oh! how much more noble and generous faithfril hand, while the ministers of God were
was the character of our fathers than that of speaking, and I restore it to you such as it
their descendants ! What firmness and what was then printed, having only changed some
light in their paths I How at once edifying modes of expression, which their ancient phra-
and pleasing must it have been to see all the seology rendered obscure or unpolished. Read
spiritual guides of the clan of the Genevese, it, not lightly, but seriously, comparing it
giving a reason for their belief, according to with the Word of the Lord. Is this too much
the Scriptures, in the presence of their dear to ask of you? Read it, not deserving to find
flock, and with one accord censuring and re- in it elegance or the rapidity of modern style,
jecting that heresy which now is set up but seeking truth in it. Bear therefore with
there. unstudied language, that you may attach your-
How happy were the people in being so selves to the reality and the piety of the proofs
loved and so taught ! How much to be la- and the thoughts.
mented in the present day, that we are inun F
50 51

The Bercans, we read, (Acts xvii. 11.) com- I adjure you, at ]ength, seek again for
pared the teaching of the apostles themselves truth. Return, return loyally to the faith of
with the hook of God; and only received it your fathers !
after having found it agreeable to that.-
Cannot you do as much ? When the question C. MALAN, D.D.
turns upon your earthly country, you are a Minister of the Holy Gospel.
people full of intelligence and jealous of your
Geneva, March, 1835.
privileges.-Will you cease to be so, when the
question relates to an eternal country, even a
heavenly ? If the question regarded the code
of our laws, or the compact of the confede-
ration, would you suffer yourselves to be led
by a demagogue ? And when the question
concerns the heavenly code and the fellowship
of the people of God, shall it be said, that
the voice of a single individual shall seduce
you and lead you blindfold ?
Genevese ! have you no longer any Bibles
in your houses, that you know so little of what
that hook teaches! Are you really resolved,
my dear fellow-countrymen, to abandon for
ever the faith which gave freedom to Geneva
in 1535, founded the republic * * * *
and which alone will save your souls!

To the beZieving Reader, Greeting!

It is a eomrnon saying, that out of evil

springs good. The greater part of those who
use this phrase, understand not the souree of
this eommon sentence. For they take the
words as they stand ; and consider not that
the good which succeeds to the evil, springs
from any other souree than the evil ; as if
forsooth evil eould of itself change into a
It is only the heliever who ean truly inter-
pret this; he perceives that such is the good-
ness and power of God exerted on behalf of
bis people, that He causes what tends of its
own nature to introduce ruin and confusion,
to be ehanged in their case into aresult alta-
gether contrary; and that some advantage
and profit is derived from it by the over-
ruling of Him who ean bring light out of
A turbulent fellow, thinking by what means
he might best bring bimself into notice, rashly
54 55

thrust bimself into the Church of Geneva, to neverthless as this dogma seems plausiole to
introduce thither a poison which he had im- unrenewed nature, it was without difficulty
ported from Italy, He would never have embraced by those who would gladly banish
dared to attempt such a scheme, had he not to a distance all fear of God, and uprightness
been countenanced by some ill-disposed pet.. of life.
sons, who would willingly be employed in Now observe in what respect this evil has
overthrowing all ecclesiastical discipline and been productive of good: it is in its having
order. given occasion to some to illustrate the artiele
He had a fair and ample field, and had he of predestination, alike necessary to be believ
gained the end at which he aimed, he would ed, and salutary when believed. For it ha.s
already have rendered men the hardy despisers stirred up the minister of the Church of Ge-
of God, and put a charter into the hand of neva to treat this subject on a Friday, (accord ..
every one to do what ~eemed good in his ing to the rule which they observe of holding
sight. their congregation on this day) and to give
For reversing the order of the predestina- an exposition of this artiele ; of which Master
tion or election of God~ and placing it after J ohn Calvin gave an explanation ; so brief,
f~ith : he made faith to be in the power of and yet in its brevity so elear ; that to add to
every one, and thus each bestowing faith on it would only be repetition, or at most, ex-
himself, none could feel any difficulty in ob .. pansion ; and to subtract any thing from it
taining his salvation even though his life would be to maim it. What the other bre-
were filled with impieties and all uncleanness. thren and ministers said afterwards, was only
He had already gathered accomplices, and a simple confirmation of that which preceded.
though the error of his doctrine was so mani- See then how this fine speaker, hoping to
fest, that even children might perceive it, throw all into confusion, has nevertheless
56 57

been the occasion of a great good, which never

entered his thoughts ; and remark how the Cm1gregation holden in the Church of Geneva,
evil he was daring enough to introduce, has in which the subject of God' s election was
yet been productive of advantage.
If this benefit which has thence arisen, has
not been affered to you sooner, be not slack The prayer which the ministers are accus-
notwithstanding in receiving it ; for this doc- tomed to offer at the cammencement of the
trine alike excellent and full of consolation is congregation.
at the present time, to say the least of it as Let us invoke our good God and Father,
necessary as ever, since in the present day it beseeching him that he would vouchsafe to
has not fewer enemies than it had of you. pardon all our faults and transgressions, and
God be with you. to enlighten us with his Holy Spirit, that we
may possess the true understanding of his
holy Word, granting us grace to handle it
with sincerity and faithfulness, to the glory
of his Holy Name-ta the edifi.cation of His
Church-and to our salvation. All which we
beg in the name of his only and well-beloved
Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mter which :.Master J ohn Calvin began, and
spoke as follows :
Since we are shortly to receive the holy
Supper, and it is impossible that we can re-
ceive it as we ought, except we possess a true
58 59

unity of faith to bind us tagether ; and inas- this comes not to us of our own wit ; nor can
much as lately Satan has endeaveured to sow we have a mind so lofty or so acute, as to
divisions among us, as you are aware we unani- comprehend the heavenly wisdom contained in
mously judged it fitting and useful to treat of the Gospel ; but that these things come from
the election of God by which we have been the grace of God, a grace which exceeds our
chosen ; in order that this subject may be so natural powers. It rernains then that we en.
understood by both old and young that we quire if this grace is cornmon to all or no.
may have peace andrepose in our consciences. N ow Holy Scripture answers in the negative,
To discuss the matter (fully) would take up declaring that God gives the Holy Spirit to
too much time. I must then as much as whorusoever it seems good to him, and that
possible study brevity, omitting many things he enlightens them in his Son. Experience
which might be said, since time would not shows this, and we are convineed of it. We
permit that the whole should be fully drawn must conclude then that faith proceeds from a
out. But I will endeavour (by God's grace) souree more lofty and more concealed still:
to give such a summary that all may retain it, I rnean the gratuitons election of God, by
and that there may be no one however rude which he chooses to salYation whorusoever he
or ignorant who shall he able to excuse bim- will.
self by saying, that he never understood it. This point is treated of by St. Paul in the
And afterwards, at the close, if any one have first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians~
any doubt or scruple, he can propose it, tbat where he blessed God, not only that we be-
all may be better explained and proved by lieve, or because God has given us Jesus
Holy Scripture. Christ on whorn to believe, and possess in
N ow the point from whence we must start, hirn the perfection and accornplishment of our
is this, that when we believe in Jesus Christ, salvatien; but he says: "Blessed be God who
60 61

bath called and enlightened us, according as We remark bere a comparison made by St.
he hath chosen us before the foundation of the Paul between two opposite things; rnan's
world." Eph. xiv. Thus then we see how the work, on the one hand, and the purpose of
grace of God will be fully known by us ; I God on the other. So then in this word
mean when we are not only persuacled and which we hear from St. Paul's mouth, let us
certain that he has given us faith ; but also understand a counsel which God took when he
that this is the result of his having chosen us chose us to bimself; not however with any view
before the creation of the world by his will. to any thing in us, as if it should be said that
Nor does St. Paul content bimself with this he was induced or moved by that as a motive
declaration, but he adds also that he hath to give us grace (a nous bienfaire).
chosen us according to that purpose of his, It is true that God has respect to us in
which he had deliberated with bimself! (Eph. electing us, but what does he discover?
v. 9.) Let us weigh well these words. For Nothing but utter misery and poverty, by
when St. Paul speaks of the purpose of God, which he is moved to compassion. And yet
he places it in opposition to any thing in man, though he finds this misery in all men uni-
by which it might be said that he had been versa1ly, he has mercy upon whom he will.
induced (to choose a man). What is the But why? We know nothing of the reason.
meaning of the word purpose ? Is it not what For the present, let what we can understand
was the counsel of God in this matter ? As suffice us ; that is to say, what St. Paul
when he says that God had called us with an declares, that God chose us according to the
holy calling (in the Ep. to Titus,) not accord- purpose he had deliberated in himself, for
ing to our works, but according to his purpose thus he wisbed to set aside all the objections
and grace ; that is, according to his gratuitous that might be stated against it by saying, if
purpose. such be the case, then God is unjust. When
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he savs, that God deliberated hirnself this we must rernernber, what St. Peter says in
purpose, that means, that he went not beyond Acts xv. 19. that God purifies men's hearts
himself, that he cast his eyes neither to the by faith. Thus then when St. Paul says in
right nor to the left when he said, ( pour dire) this passage that we have been chosen of God
I will be moved to the performance of that. to be holy, and without spot; he comprehends
Moreover he says, that he has chosen us in faith under that expression. For it is, as if
Christ Jesus, signifying thereby, that in our- he said, that in ourselves we are full of cor-
selves we are unworthv, as it is in truth: and ruption, and that unbelief is a part of that
they who confess it not are greatly blinded by corruption; as it is said that the unbelieving
self. sufficiency ( abuss d' outrecuidance) when have their thoughts corrupted and defiled be-
they think that there is any good thing in fore God.
them, by which God was moved to call them What must be done then ? We must come
to Himself. This is the reason why he adds, to this gratnitous election of God, if we would
that he has adopted us in his well-beloved have one grain or drop of purity. Thus there-
Son. Nor is it without a reason that he fore we see that faith springs solely from the
attributes to our Lord J esus Christ that he is election of God, that is, that God enlightens
the well-beloved Son. In ourselves we are those whom he has chosen befare the creation
hated, and worthy to be abhorred by God ; of the world, by his free mercy.
but he looks upon us in his Son, and then he This is what he says likewise in the Epistle
loves us. Besides, that we mighiJ know that to the Romans. He sets this sentence in the
faith is subordinate, (en degr inferieur) and foreground, that God turns every thing intu
that it depends upon the election of God, St. good for those whom he loves. (Rom. viii. 2 7.)
Paul pointedly adds, that it is " in order that Afterwards he adds a correction that men
we might be holy, and without spot." Now might not think that they disposed themselves
64 65
to salvation, and acquired such a benefit by that it is a certain calling, which takes place
their virtue, " that is, to thos-e who are called with efficacy and power. For God will indeed
according to the purpose of God,'' as if he eaU the unbelieving; but this calling suffices
should say; The fact is, that every thing will not to convert them. He touches not their
be changed into our woe and ruin, if we love heart to the quick; he gives not suc~ a virtue
not God. And this love of God must be in to his word, that it dwells in them. But
us, if we wish that every thing should favour when he eaUs us according to his purpose,
us; but let us not think that the commence. when he converts us tG himself, it is inasmuch
ment lies with us, for God must go before as he bas elected us; as he adds afterwards,
us. those whom he foreknew, them he elected,
And since this is the case, vVho are they them he called; those whom he called, he
that love God ? Those who are called by him justified. St. Paul here lays down several
according to his purpose. He again brings steps, but the foundation begins by this ;
us back to this word whose meaning has namely, that God knows his own. And how
been explained-that is, to the immovable does he know them ?
counsel of God, which goes not (for its mo- True it is, that certain calumniators (of
tive) beyond himself, but takes from his good God) will say, that he knew whom he would
pleasure the reason why he does this or that. elect, because he foresaw in them that they
This, then, is the way in which this election would be faithful to him, and make a good use
of those who are called according to the pur of his favours. But that were too silly a
pose of God (which St. Paul is explaining), mockery of God: for what is spoken of !Iere
must be understood. is a knowledge such as he explains afterwards.
Here especially he speaks of the purpose of We need no other expositar (herein) than St.
God :-for what reason? That we might know Paul, who declarcs his intention ; and we have
G 2
66 67
no need to search for a comment elsewhere. As also it is said by the prophet Isaiah lxv. 1,
For he says, that God has not cast off bis " I have been found of those that sought me
people whom he had known. And how known ? not; I have appeared to those that enquired
Does it mean that he found bis people worthy not for me ; and to those that were afar off, I
of such a favor ? On the contrary, he says have said, " Behold me, Behold me." Thus
that the remnant of that great multitude shall then we see how the elect are known of God,
be saved according to the election of grace. and how he choses those whom he has known;
This (election) is the same as that spoken of that is to say, he marks them as his posses-
by St. Peter in the Acts, when he says, that sion, saying, Y ou are my people. N ow these
Christ has been announced '' according to who are known of God, are called by him ;
the foreknowledge of God," and this fore~ and this election takes place when God gives
knowledge implies deliberation. US faith.
In a word, St. Paul, in saying that God has We see then how this proposition which I
elected those whom he has known, does not have already maintained, is now fully con-
mean to say any thing else than what he said firmed; viz., that God, perceiving the whole
to the Galatians, ( chap. iv. 9,) "After that ye human race to be in a state of ruin and per-
have known God, or rather after that ye have dition, withdraws from it those whom he will,
been known by him." St. Paul attributes it and moreover in withdrawing them from it, he
to men, that they know God by faith ; but calls them to himself. For this is the means
that men might understand that this (faith) (whereby he effects it). But yet (mas
does nat praeeed from them, he qualifies it by tellement) so, that this election must precede,
saying, ' or rather have been known by him. ,' and faith follow in its own rank.
as if he had said, you have not come to God, Hethen who has been desirons to trouble
except inasmuch as he bas drawn near to you. this Church,. shows grent impudence, com-
68 69
bined with stupidity, when he is not ashamed ter, '' That none can come to Jesus Christ,
to say that the first chapter to the Ephesians except the Father draw him." (John vi. 44.)
must only be understood of St. Pad and the Now Iet us see whether this drawing takes
Apostles. When St. Paul says, God bath place in the case of every one. True is it,
chosen us befare the creation of the world that God presents his word to all, and that
(he has esteemed us agreeable) in his well- by it, he invites all indifferently to listen to
beloved Son, to choose us into (the pri'Vileges it ; but he does not speak to all in their
of) adoption, that we might be his children. hearts : as is also noticed in the same place,
"Oh as for that, (says he,) it means nothing ''He that bath heard and Iearned of my
else than that God elected the apostles, that Father, will come to me.'' (John vi. 45.) I
they might preach the Gospel." So then, ask then, Do all co me to J esus Christ ? We
there are none but the apostles who are chil- have the evidence of fact to the contrary. If
dren of God, who are adopted by him. They- all then do not co me to J esus Christ, it follows
are the only ones who are loved by God. An that all have not been taught by the Father;
excellent theology this for dragging the whole for he says that all those that have been taught
world to heil ! Thus we see that such cha- by the Father, will come to him. Here then
racters are moekers of God, and dogs that is a passag~ explicit enough and easy of com-
bark to overthrow and abolish all reasor1. prehension. And our Lord J esus alleges as
What then is to be done? Weigh well what proof, what is written in the Book of Isaiah,
bas been already said in order to know which " That aU the children of the Church shall be
is St. Paul's meaning, which is neither obscure taught of God.'' N ow since it says that all
nor doubtful. And for more ample confirma- the children of the Church shall be taught of
tion, let us come to what we have already seen God, there is no doubt that he is speaking of
in St. John, where it is said in the sixth ch<~.p- an especial blessing which he grants to those
70 71

who are called to his flock. And it is im- with us, he must write his laws on our hearts.
pudence too gross to teil us, as does this scat- And does he do this to men in general ? We
terbrain, that what is there said 'is a general see as I said at first, evidently the very con-
prom1se. trary.
As also when God says, by the mouth of We must conclude, therefore, that this arises
Ezekiel, " I will lead you in the way of my not from our own virtue, or merit, or wor-
commandments." (Ch. xxxvii.) That is ( says thiness, but from the mere grace of God. We
he,) a universal promise which belongs as see that all have not the law written on their
much to Turks as to Christianso Afterwards hearts : that the heart of stone remains in the
when he says, " I will make a new covenant majority of men, in whom we abserve hopeless
with you ; I will give you an heart of flesh ;" obduracy. Let us abserve then, that this
That is promised to every body o When it is promise is special, and that good works only
said, " I will write my law on their hearts ;" in those who belang to his family 0

It is promised to all without exception. Is Besides our Lord J esus re moves from us
not this in truth to mock God and his Word, every difficulty. For when he adduces the
since we see that God is speaking of a dif- passage of Isaiah, is it to teil us that God
ferent alliance from that which he formed with will teach all men? Just the reverse; for he
his ancient peopleo He says, "This covenant says, that therein is accomplished that which
shall not be any more like that which I made was spoken by the propheto What was then
with your fathers; for they transgressed it." the meaning of Jesus Christ, when he saw
And with men it cannot have any other resu]t, the blindness of those who thought themselves
than that they will immediately become dis- great teachers, who rejected all that he taught
loyal to God, and separate from him. If then them, and when he perceived that the heads
God would have a firm and enduring covenant of the Church received him not, he said, Be

72 73

not astonished if there be so many rebellious tbose who are given to him by his Father :
and obstinate; for to all it is not given to and will notsuffer that any should perish; that
believe. "My Father must draw those that when we are once under bis defence, he will
come to me." And this is what he says, grant us such grace that we shall endure to
that all whom the Father bath given him shall the end, as we have also clearly seen in the
come to him : and that all that come to him lth chap. of St. John, where he says, none
he will keep ; and will not suffer any to shall pluck from him the sheep that are com-
perish. Here then are three points worthy of mitted to bis care. N ow why shall none
notice. plnck them away? The Father (saith he) who
One is that when we come to Jesus Christ, has given them me is greater than all. John
we are given to him as bis heritage by God x. 29. This point we ought well to consider
the Father. It belongs not to us that we to enable us to resist the numerous attacks
give ourselves to him, but it is the Father who that Satan makes in order to drive us from
must make him this gift. Whence we con- it. For otherwise, when we are assailed on
clude that election is prior to faith. For the all sides, and have ten thousand deaths around
Father gives to the Son what he possesses us, where will be our strength and power
already as his own; that is to say that though to resist? But (this is our anchor) God is
all be his creatures, yet all are not of his invincible. Let us be assured then, that our
flock; but that he has his people whom he salvation is certain. And why so? Because
has chosen as it hath pleased him. He had it is in the hand of God. But how are we
then elected all those whom he gave to Jesus certain of it ? Because he has put it in the
Christ. hand of our Lord Jesus, who manifests to us
And thence also the second point results; that that the Father bath chosen us, and will carry
J esus Christ takes into his care and proteetion on bis counsel to full effect and perfection.
74 75
Moreover our Lord J esus shows us also that though God had chosen the children of
clearly what has been already stated several Abraham for hi'3 heritage, nevertheless not
times, and which must not be allowed to slip all those who are descended from Abraham
from the memory, that God makesus his sheep according to the flesh, " are the children of
because he has elected us ; and afterward the promise," that is they are not contained
calls us to his :tlock ; that the means where- or comprised in the election of God, so as
by he eaUs us is faith ; and then we are mani- to be truly heirs of God and of his kingdom.
fested and declared to be his sheep. For the As if now it should be said, that J esus Christ
calling spoken of by Holy Scripture is nothing bas been ordained King of the whole world,
else than the testimony which God gives of that all may cme and pay him homage : as
his counsel which before was secret; as wiJl it is written in so many passages of the Pro-
soon be more fully discussed. So that we phets, and especially in Psalm ii. which I ad-
are the sheep of J esus Christ before we know duce as the most notorious and common,
him; afterwards he eaUs us to him, and then "Ask of me and I shall give thee the ends
we begin to hear his voice. of the world for thine heritage.'' From the
What St. Paul observes in the lst of Ro- rising to the setting sun thou shalt be wor-
mans on the point, is still clearer. For there shipped by kings and princes, i.e. then know
an absolute declaration (to that effect,) is all the world is called to salvation, in the.
made, and such that nothing can be said name of our Lord J esus Christ ; but that
against it. Every thing that is told us of it is not nevertheless the same as to say that
is manifest. It is true that Satan has always all are in truth heirs of the promise. . And
set bimself to cavil and invent many frivolous why? St. Paul might well allege that all
subtleties, to obscure what is there said; but believed not, and he did it not from for-
truth is always triumphant. St. Paul shows, getfulness ; but he leaves unsaid that it hap-
76 77
pens thus, because God elects whom he which had been externally preached; they are
will. born in the same family who were the people
Now my brethren, observe we well this point. and sanctuary of God, the head of the Church.
First, let us notice who is the speaker. lt is And yet he says while the mother carries them
St. Paul, who protestsin another passage, (2 in the womb, "the elder shall serve the
Cor. xii.) that he was raised to the third younger ." N ow herenpon those that desire to
heaven; that he saw mysteries of God which cavil, say that that means an earthly blessing.
man may not deciare. Does not St. Paul Be it so; this is to despise the Holy Spirit
then know what measure is to be observed in who speaks by the mouth of St. Paul. Is
revea1ing the mysteries of God ? for he says, St. Paul speaking there of the one that was
that he is not permitted to reveal certain mys- to be most at his ease in the world, who was
teries which he saw on high. It follows to have white bread? Is he speaking of de-
therefore that this rnystery may be revealed licacies and such like things ? To say so is
to men ; or else he would have been cautious mockery. Heisthere treating of the eternal
of bringing it forward : besides he never would salvatien of all souls.
have disclosed it so boldly as he has done. They only make that assertien then to wrest
For in this place of deliberate purpose, with- Holy Writ.
out any urgent necessity, he enters into this We see therefore that such an interpreta-
decree of Election, and desires that we should tion as these scorners of God would give, is
be taught up to that point that we might know nothing but pure folly ; and even a barefaced
what proposition it is that he advances : viz. act of malice. For it is there spoken of per-
Two children in the womb of one mother, sons being inheritors of the Covenant which
begotten of the same father, that is the pa- is entirely spiritual, that is, of the alliance
triach Isaac. They have both the promise which God made with Abraham when he said
H 2
78 79
to him, ., I will be thy God and the God of appointed him fr an heritage ; and that he
thy seed after thee." What does tht mean? had given up Esau ; before (said he) they had
It is to say, Thou shalt live in my kingdom done good or evil ; and that in order that men
for ever, as Jesus Christ also gives us tbe might know that this thing proceeded from
interpretation of it. the part of yod who calls, and not from the
lt is not without reason that St. Paul says, part of men.
Isaac, had two sons, conceived at once by his The papist theologians have a distinction
wife Rebecca," and that tbe one was pre- current amongst themselves; That God does
ferred to tbe otber; whereupon he cites tbe not elect men according to the works which
testimony of the prophet Malachi. lt is true, are in them, but that he chooses those whom
that in Malachi, mention is made of the land he foresees will be believers. And therein
of Canaan and Mount Seir. But was not tbe they contradiet what we have already alleged
land of Canaan a tigure and image of tbe from St. Paul, for he says, that we are chosen
heavenly inheritance? St. Paul tben repre- and elected in him, " that we might be holy
seuts to us, as in a mirror, tbat God bath and without blame before his face.'' St. Paul
cbosen Jacob, and preferred bim to bis brotber must needs have spoken otherwise, if God had
Esau. Jacob, I say, who was the younger, elected us having foreseen that we should be
was preferred to the elder, and was set above holy. But he bas not used such language: he
Esau, that men might not attribute any thing says, He bath elected us that we might be
to the order, (of nature) but to that Eternal holy." He infers therefore that the latter,
Counsel of which we now speak. St. Paul (i. e. faith) depends upon the former, (i. e.
not only says that, but he says, '' Before they election).
had done either good or evil," that God spoke Those who think otherwise know not what
this to deelare that he had elected Jacob and man and human nature is. Let us notice then
80 81

a little what is in our nature, and what may who maketh thee more excellent?" St. Paul;
be drawn from it, when God shall have left it here shows two things ; First, That though
to itself. N ow it is certain that we are so we be all of one and the same condition and
corrupt and depraved that we can only do evil. nature, yet we are separated one from another,
True, it is well said, that to those who love and, Secondly, That this di:fference comes from
God, all things shall turn to their good; but God : for the word implies that " To put a
he declares several times in the same chapter, difference between, " signifies, to render more
that all the powers of our nature are so many excellent. And thus he proves that there is
enemies against God. Thus then what does nothing of our own in that ; that we are not
God foresee in men if he leaves them as they befarehand with God ; that we do not draw
are ? What will he find in us, save all filthi- nigh to him ; but that on the contrary he it
ness and abomination, what can he become, is who does all, and that it is to him that we
but our mortal enemy ; what can he do but must attribute all. Thus then we perceive
cast us headlong to the depths of heli ? This what is St. Paul's meaning in Rom. chap. ix.
is what God may foresee. So then when he when he infers that Esau was rejected and
foresees good, it is because he determines to that J acob was elected ; that this arose not
put it there, he foresees there nothing but his from their works but as he says, " from God
gifts and graces. Who then may take pride who calleth."
to bimself? Who may lift up himself? and And this we must consequently infer, "that
say, I am samebody ! it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that
Let these remarks suffice for this point, runneth, but of God that showeth mercy ;"
and pass we on to another passage which St. that is to say that men may not exalt them-
Paul utters, " Who art thou that puttest a selves in this matter to rob God of his glory.
difference (between thyself and others ?) And nor to attribute to themselves any part of their
82 8~

sal vation : for all he asserts, springs from what he has proceeds from the grace of God,
the mercy of God. There are some who who stretches out his hand to draw us to
wrest this passage, and say, that those words himself, even at the time when we were afar
" It is not of him that willeth nor of him off banished and utterly cast aside." (rejets)
that runneth," mean only, that our running And thus you perceive the proposition that
would not be sufficient for our salvation, I laid down sufficiently confirmed by Holy
except God helpus therein by his mercy. A Writ, which was to this effect. That God
correct explanation truly ! If it were so, one bath chosen us not only before we knew him,
might say just the reverse. l!"""or if there were but before we were born, and before the world
a co-operation between God and man, that is was created ; that he has chosen us by his
if God did one half and we the other, we gratuitons favor, and that he has not sought
must then conclude, that it was not of us the reason elsewhere ; that he deliberated
altogether, but partly of God; and also that this plan in himself, and that we ought to
it was not of God altogether, but of us in know that, that he may be glorified by us, as
part; and thus we should make God subject is fitting.
to us: an execrable blasphemy, and one which Now the glory which is due to God cannot
there is no man, bad as he may be, who wou]d be rendered to him without this, as we are
not abhor. As St. Augustine also explains it, taught in 2 Thess. ii. '' We must always
St. Paul speaking in this passage of him that give thanks to God, (says the apostle) who
willeth and of him that runneth, does not hath chosen us before the foundation of the
attribute to us, either such a will or such a world, in spirit and in sanctification. Why
power, that we can do any thing of ourselves ; does St. Paul give thanks to God ? He gives
but he shows that man is as it were a captive, thanks not only for their faith, but for God's
and that he has no power whatever, but that election of us. And afterwards he adds, that
84 85

God has chosen them to sanctify them by his humility. It is true that all the doctrine of
Holy Spirit, and has led them to the know- the Scriptures tends that way ; but yet there
ledge of faith. As also we have already ob- is no doctrine so fit to humbie men as this.
served in this passage of the Ephesians which that we are sure God chose us by his free
is in entire accordance with it. favor, even as it hath pleased him. Where-
Still there are objections to the contrary; fore these objections that are made must be
for we know how great is rnan's obstinacy ; repelled by the authority of God ; I mean
and there is no one, who does not experience what power and pre-eminenee He ought to
in himself that it is very difficult to tame our possess over us. When we have no weapon
spirits, so as to receive in quietness and but this, it is enough to bend down the pride of
humility all that is declared to us. His heart those who cavil at this doctrine so well estah-
must be very upright with God befare he lisbed in Scripture. And it is also sufficient to
arrives at such a due regulation of himself. repel all evil fancies which the devil (as the
This is the reason why St. James exhorts us saying is) may whi~per in our ear.
us to receive the word of God which is I will begin with those which seem to be
preached to us with meekness, with a gentie modest. And in truth, one may easily find
spirit. We must not then be surprised if men fearing God, who sametimes may have
men set themselves up against this doctrine, some scruple or some doubt of mind; but yet
and if there be many contradictions. But by they are not so well trained to obey God, as
all means let the children of God receive what not to have some latent pride within ; and God
they know to have proceeded from his mouth, must discover to them the hypocrisy they
without any contradietion saying, We must possessed till now. For those who say,
keep to that for God hath spoken it. 'Observe, I am afraid of making God unjust,
In effect, see how God intends to try our when I say he has chosen those whom he
86 87

would : they have not known the evil which is us again, since the power has been given him
concealed n them.' When they say, 'I am by God his Father.
afraid of accusing God of cruelty, if I say If St. Paul would not have us take upon
that he does not choose all men generally,' ourselves to judge each other, let us consider I
we may answer, 'My friend, thou shewest pray you, when we think of setting ourselves up
thereby that thou hast pride in thy heart, that against God, that we do not desire that he
thou hast not yet known the hypocrisy that is should he acknowledged just, (at least that we
in thee.' should not acknowledge him such) except in
But to the proof. Let us notice what St. so far as the reason of his proceedings is
Paul says in Romans xiv. where he tells us apparent. Now where is the argument here?
that we may not judge one another, unless we And yet such is the case of those who say, I
be taught by God. He is there speaking not fear lest God should be unjust if he were to
of sins which are already condemned, and do that. Thou fearest lest God should be
respecting which we have God's own decision, unjust, unless God subject bimself to thee I
but of things indifferent; in these we must unless thou controllest him ! unless thou
not judge one another. '' For we must, (says hearest the reason why he does this or that,
he,) stand before the judgment seat of God." just as if he were thy inferior ! How arrogant
We are brethren, and for that reason alone, we is such conduct ? And yet many see not this fault
must notpresurne to distribute reward and pun- in themselves, but (to perceive it) we must
ishment, saying, ' This man will fall, for he acts look to the root of the matter within.
sinfully ;' ' This other will be lifted up again, Nor is there any need of introducing here,
because I say his actions are good.' No, no; our frivoulous questions, by saying, 'I know
our Lord J esus Christ must judge us ; and as it not whether God he just or no, let him show
is he whohumbles us, suffer him also to raise me how and why it is so.'-but since we know
88 89
not his counsel, since we have not a spirit let us suppose, that God were willing to sub-
lofty enough to arrive at such a height as to mit to us, so that he were befare us as befare
be able to discover his reasans for doing all a judge, to apologize for himself-Y ou object
things, we must humbly travel onward until to this, do you ? This is the reason why I did
the day when '' The hook shall be opened," as it. If God were willing to submit himself, as
it is written in Daniel. Then says Scripture, it were to give us an account of all that he
We shall see, what we now conceive by faith ; does, let us cbserve a moment, if we could
Why God chose Jacob; why he rejected Esau, comprehend the glory of God and his in-
and why he thus disposes of men; we shall herent Majesty so as to endure it. Far from
perceive I say, the reasou of his deeds. But it, we must be overwhelmed by it, when we
even let us content ourselves (with the reflec- advanced to so profligate a boldness. Let us
tion) that God is just, and let us know also learn then what our capacity is, that we
that he is the souree of all wisdom, equity, are so gross and ignorant, that we cannot
and rectitude. But let us notice also on the understand what God has determined to con-
other hand, of what nature is this reason. ceal from us. But nevertheless let us firmly
Some suppose that St. Paul was in want of hold, that God has just reasans for doing as
an answer, when he said, '' 0 man, who art he does, although those reasans be concealed
thou that canst raise thyself against God.'' from us, and that the things which we kuow
But that is the best answer which can be not exist notwithstanding.
given. And let us not by any means suppose For we see not as yet face to face. We see
that God cannot give us satisfaction, and that therefore not by the eye as St. Paul observes
he cannot when called upon to answer and in another passage ; in short, we shall never
discover the matter, repl y, ' This is the reason comprehend this mystery and this secret so
why I did this or that.' But in the first case, lofty and excellent, save by having the humility
I 2
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to say, ' W ell, we see not the reason why God known and manifest ; and to us it belongs, to
deals thus, yet we have enough to persuade us receive it with all humility, and so to enquire
that he is just, and therefrom to profit always no farther.
by the knowledge of his will. Proceed we now to the objections made by
Now with regard to those who say, that we those who with open mouth blaspheme God.
may as well omit this doctrine, and that we Some say, 'If it be true, that God has elected
may preach faith and repentance, without those that seem good to him there is no need
saying that there are any elected of God, such for us to believe that we ought to strive to live
persons set themselves up as wiser than God holy lives ; for the election of God guarantees
himself: true it is that we must be sober, as every thing.' Such swine (Matt. vii. 6.) do
I have just said, and we cannot exercise nothing but grunt, and yet what will they
moderation too much, that we go not beyond profit? For here is the passage of Holy
our limits, as God has commanded us. But Scripture which give a brief solution to this,
whence shall we take the standard of this viz., that ''we are called with a holy calling,''
sobriety? From our own wisdom, or from that no Jonger following our own uncleanness,
God himself? It is undoubted that God knows we may be holy and without spot. Their
how much it is expedient for us to know. objection then, is as if a person should wish
Now since he declares to us, what we have to separate light from the sun, and should say,
already reviewed, it is right that we should uit is enough for us to have a sun, there is no
know it, but there is no necessity that we need of light." But take away the light of
should go beyond it. As soon as God has the sun, and of what use would it be ?
broken up the road we must stop there at So is it with the election of God. Let us
once. And thus let us know that it belongs to not then separate what he has joined. For
God to deelare to us, what he wishes to be when he has elected us, it is to this end that
92 93

"we should be holy." Those whom he bas unjust ; for by so doing they desire to honour
elected, he has separated from the unbelieving, him, though they know not the right methad
that they may no more be encompassed with of honouring God.
their pollutions, and their abominations. In the first, Satan bas gained a hearing,
It is then too foolish an objection to say, If (les premiers sont dj proccups par Satan,)
God has elected us, men must slaeken the rein, the last are entirely possessed by him.
and suffer themselves to wander as they will. N evertheless bath the one and the other, set
N ow the reverse is the fact, for those who say, themselves up against God. What then will
' Oh if we be elect, it follows that we cannot be the fate of such persons ? It is as if I
hurt ourselves, for we cannot be lost,' such should throw a stone above my head-whither
persons I say, cannot give a stronger proof of then will it fall back? When we cast stanes
their reprobation than this ; for such as God one at another, we can keep ourl3elves from
has elected, he governs by his Holy Spirit. being struck, but when we speak against God,
What then does the election of God imply ? to whose door shall we lay the blame ? And
lt is that we are adopted for his children, and when we wish to let off an arquebuss, to hurl
that since he has chosen us, he gives us the a dart, or to fire an arrow, or any thing else
Spirit of adoption to govern us, as it is written above our head, must it not fall back again
in the first chapter of St. J ohn. upon us, and must we not be smitten with it ?
Praeeed we then to the principal blasphemy So then let us fear to fall into such a con-
which some put forth. ' Oh if it be true that clusion, and learn only to adore the majesty
God elects such as he thinks fit, and rejects of God, and to hold it as a settled principle,
others, he is unjust.' For these speak not as that every thing that happens is wisely ordained
those whom I have just mentioned, who fear, though we see not why. This is what St.
lest (by admitting election) God should be
94 95

Paul shows, that we must not be wiser than preferenee above the brute beasts. If an ass
the Spirit of God. or a dog could speak, and should say, 'Why
There are some that esteem it strange, am I not a man?' every one of us would
that we do not offer them an easy solution, make answer, ' Si nee it pleased God to make
and they say, ' I wish these things were clearly you a beast, ought you not to he contented with
explained, so that I might perceive why this that.' And what are we in comparison of
thing be done.' My friend, you must go God? It is certain that we are as inferior to
and seek another school, since you are so pre- him, as the brute beast to us ; and why then
sumptuous, that you will not give glory to should he not have as much authority over us,
God, unless you see the material proofs. Go as we would have over the creatures ? What re-
then seek another school than that of the mains then ? Let those who blaspheme thus,
Holy Spirit. Vle observe how St. Paul speaks, look at the example which St. Augustine cites,
" Who art thou Oh man ? '' If any one would at the secoud passage, where he speaks of our
plead against us, on a point which does not Lord Jesus Christ. "For in truth, Jesus
concern him, let him lay the blame on God. Christ is the mirror and the pattern in which
For if we would pass beyond what he has God has manifested the infinite treasures of his
declared in his word, we should not be good bounty, for he is the head of the Church ; so
disciples in his school. St. Paul then shows that we must begin with him if we would know
how we should conduct ourselves in this how God operates on his inferior members."
affair, what bouuds we ought to keep, that is, Behold then, Jesus Christ, very God and
that man must be held in with a tight rein, very man. N ow this human nature has been
and that we ought to know our low condi exalted to a marvellous dignity; for Jesus
ti on. Christ being God and man, is nevertheless Son
Take a like case. We naturally expect the of God ; I say his only Son :-his Son by
96 97
nature. What is it that the human nature of people ! '' Ought we not then to know such a
Christ bas merited? For it proceeds from the mercy, in order to magnify it ? Wh en then we
race of Adam : it must spring from the seed shall come to behold that, we shall cry with
of David, else would he not have been our St. Paul, "Oh the depth!" Which shew us that
Saviour. He was conceived by bis mother, we shall not be true disciples of the Holy
in a marveilons manner, yet so that he Ghost, until we have been lost in admiration.
descended from the race of David, Abraham When we think on the secrets of God, let us
and Adam. confess that we are not yet capable of campre-
That he was sanctified and was not subjected hending them.
to the same corruption that we are, arose from We must now come to the case of the
the admirable and excellent grace of God. reprobate : for in like manner as God has
But at all events if we consider the human elected some, he bas also rejected such as
nature of J esus Christ, it bas not deserved to be seemed good to him ; the one implies the
exalted to such a degree of honour as that it other, for when there is a choice, it supposes
should be said, " This is he who shall have that all are not elected, but a part only. Now
dominion over angels, before whom every with regard to the reprobate, it is true that
knee shall bow ." we may esteem it strange that God rejects
When we consider such mercy of God them, since they are his creatures. But we
shown towards our Head, ought not each to must reileet what we are in Adam, and what
retire within bimself to know and say. God we derive from him. We are in him alllost
bath chosen me, me who was banished and or damned. If God were to reject us all
rejected from bis kingdom! I professed nothing from first to last, we should have no plea to
which could be agreeable to him, and yet he urge against him: for if he exacted justice,
bas chosen me to be of the number of bis (nous faisait droit) we should deserve to be
cast to heli. K
98 99
N ow if God has chosen some, and never- Adam, did he not foresee what would occur?
theless the others are rejected: is our eye to be and did he not dispose it according to his
evil, while he exercises an authority which will.' Yes truly, it caimot be denied. But
belongs to him ! As it is shown us in the man was created just and good and upright
parabie which our Lord brings forward when in his nature ; and if he has stumbled and
he says, " If I be kind and liberal, is thine fallen, if he has committed so great a trans-
eye envious ?" N ow he is there speaking of gression (as he has), that comes from him
those who murmured because the master gave and cannot be attributed to God. ' W ell,
no more to those who had endured all the but if God had not decreed it, it would not
Iabour; than to those who had not laboured have been so. God might have easily pro-
at all. And how then, says he, is it not vided for that exigency.'
allowable for me to do with my own what ' How then did he permit that it should so
I will ?'' If then men have such authority as happen ? ' ' Could he not have remedied it ?'
to be able to dispose of their goods, at their Yes, but. let us beware of murmuring against
pleasure, shall God be subject to a stricter our Judge, and let us know, that what he has
1aw than men ? W ould that not be bringing ordained in his counsels from all time is hid-
him too much into subjection? Let us observe den from us, and that we cannot conceive it.
then, that we are all lost in Adam, that we And at all events, let us remember what is
are all ruined, and that nevertheless if out said in Holy Scripture; that the counsels and
of that number God eaU some, after having decrees of God are a great deep. Where
elected them, that springs from a special then is the use of casting ourselves therein ?
favour which he exercises towards them, and If we saw an abyss before us, who would
that he must have liberty so to do, without precipitate himself into it?
any one daring to murmur against him. What remains then for us to do, save to
But, it will be said, ' When God created
100 101

adore his justice in all his works ? See how Scripture, which have been quoted above,
we must do it. And it is to this point that and let us onfess, that even without that,
St. Paulleads us, when he sayst. tbat some of all those who thus set themselves up against
his day murmured thus against God, or at God, are already sufficiently convicted by
least, alleged the arguments which these themselves, and that it is not necessary to give
blasphemers would put forth, " Why then them stronger proofs.
does God find fault ?'' Rom. ix. 19. that is Certainly it is astonishing, that men should
to say, Why does he complain, since we can- be so presumptuous as to say, ' 0 then, I
not resist his will ? " Who art thou 0 man cannot satisfy myself, unless they bring me
who liftest up thyself against God." St. a satisfactory argument.' Is there I pray you
Paul might have quoted all the reasons of the any more satisfactory proof than to say what
doctors of the Sorbonue, and the turbulent we have said; than (to feel) what we feel with-
fellows who would in our day overthrow God's in our heart. Even when one has long dis-
election. He might have said. " Oh, God puted, and proved these things to demon-
has chosen those whom he foresaw would stration, is there a stronger proof than we
believe; to whom he distributed his grace, have in our conscience ? Certainly not. And
li and he saw that they would receive it by their now let each one examine himself, and he
free will.'' But he says nothing of the kind ; will find his condemnation engraved in his
on the contrary, he concludes that it is not conscience ; he will find that we are all
a point for us to enquire into, and yet he guilty of death, and that when we have looked
shows, that God gives grace, to such as seem into ourselves closely, each must condemn
good to him. Is this not then a sentence as himself. And how then shall we presently
notorious as possible, (plus que notoire). Let say, 'I do not see the reason of it.'
us then rest content with the testimonies of Such persons show that they have never

102 103

examined their consciences : that they flutter the earth or the clay. And so when God
in the air ; that they do not lay held on the makes us honourable vessels, let us reileet that
things which God shows us, with fear and it is of his pure goodness. Let us know
reverence ; but desire to exalt themselves that he would have the power to make us
without knowing what belengs to God vessels of dishonour, and that when he does
or themselves. N ow both these things must it, that springs of our own proper nature, and
agree. If we wish to profit in the doctrine that he is under no obligation to do any thing
of the Gospel we must know what is our sta- further for us.
tion, and what is God's; but such persons In condusion then, to recapitulate what
desire not to know any thing of this matter. has been said respecting God's election, let
This is the point we must remember with us remark, that God is not magnified by
regard to the reprobate, that God reprobates us as he ought to be, and that we know
them inasmuch as they are not chosen and not his grace such as he manifests it to-
elected. And yet we must confess that God is ward us, if we do not know that we are
just, although we cannot understand what is elected by him, and that he hath snatched
the reason of it. Moreover he is not bound us from the universa} condemnation in which
to account to us for it. Let us then be con- the whole race of Adam lies, and in order
tented to know that all his judgments take to lead us to our Lord J esus Christ ; that it
place with equity and uprightness, and that is he alone who bas bought us, and that
his justice will one day be known, when we when we look upon the reprobate, we should
shall see him face to face. Observe then, why learn to see our~elves in their persons, as in
St. Paul, citing the example of Pharaoh, says a mirror, and to say, such should we he, if
afterwards, that God to say the least, has as God had not exercised bis paternal goodnese
much authority over men as the potter over m separating us from them. For we cannot
104 105

by nature exalt ourselves above others, but permit the world to he blinded for so great a

1 ~1 it is God who bas made us more excellent.

Until the heliever has arrived at this point,
length of time ? And as St. Paul speaks of
it in the Acts, eh. 10. saying how he suffered
I never will he magnify God as he ought, as I men to wander for so long a time. It follows
have already said. then that St. Paul speaks not of QVery man,
And now, I will explain brieily all the ob- but of all conditions: '*' justas be shows, when
jections that might be brought against this he says, that ' prayer should be made for
doctrine not adducing all the arguments, but kings, princes, and all that are settled in
if I answer one or two that will suffice. In dignity .' They may say ; But how shall we
the first place it is said by St. Paul to Timothy, pray for the enemies of God? St. Paul says,
(in 1st Epistle, eh. ii.) that " God would have that we must not limit the grace of God ac-
all men to be saved.'' Already he who bas cording to our fancy, for God is will1ng that
troubled the church on this topic bas put for- all conditions should come to the knowledge
ward this very question, which bas been suf- of him. Is not this then a well cited passage to
ficiently answered (before) in a Congregation. overthrow the election of God ? Rut we must
I adduce this argument, because it is the not wonder if such firebrands see not at all, inas ...
foundation laid by this firebrand who desired much as they think to be very subtie and acute ;
to excite dissension in the church concerning for the devil dazzles their eyes. 2 Tim. ii. 26.
this doctrine of God. See ( says he) " God But moreover they still object, 'Yes, but bas
wishes that all should be saved, and come not God said, that he " desires not the death
to the knowledge of the truth." If God of a sinner, but rather thatthey shouldrepent and
desires that all should come to the knowledge live," Ezek. xviii. 32. that is to say, that by
af the truth, why does he not send men to repenting he should live, as if God called all
preach the Gospel to the Turk~ ? Why does he * Th ere is no necesiity for this interpretation.- En
106 107

the world to conversion and repentance. - Let from our evil life, except God purify us by
us see then whether conversion is given to his Holy Spirit, as Holy Scripture abundantly
all. St. Paul declares to Timothy that it is declares respecting this doctrine. Whence it
not a common gift, where he says, " If per- fellows, that this promise is not made equally
adventure God should give them repentance to all, although it addresses itself to all. And
unto salvation. 2 Tim. ii. 25. Thereby he this wretch (malheureux) will ask why? m a
signifies, that God gives grace to whom he spirit of ridicule, as if he had nver read one
will. With regard to repentance when he word of Scripture !
says, ' that the sinner should repent and live,' But such impudence is worthy of such
that means, (as every one may see) that, God dogs,' (Phil. iii. 2.) when they undertake thus
invites every one to repentance, nevertheless, to encounter with God. N evertheless they
that promise is not general. As also the threats adduce likewise the objection. ' But is not
that God uttered concerning the Ninevites are the Gospel preached in all the world ?'' Cer-
conditional, If they repent, if they re"turn, tainly ; but let us notice if all have been
the evil that I have counselled against them enlightened by God to receive this doctrine.
shall nothappen to them." That threat then Holy Scripture tells us just the contrary ;
was conditional. Thus when the prophet and St. Paul gives us a solution of this, when
Ezekiel says, " I desire not the death of a he says, that the Gospel, is the power of God
sinner, but rather that he should repent and unto salvatien to all believers. Rom. i. 1 6.
live;" (xiii. 11.) it is as if he said, God .13ends Here is a promise which is certain, that is, for
me to announce to each the promise of salva- all believers. Notice we then who are be-
tien, but you. must convert yourselves. But lievers; he discovers to us in the chap. x.
this gift of conversion is not common to all. when he says, "that faith cometh by hearing,
It is not in our power to couvert ourselves and hearing by the word of God; but (says
108 109

he) all have not believed and obeyed ; for But from our enrnity we can do nothing but
Esaias says, "Who hath believed our report? reject the Gospel, except God enlighten us by
To whom hath the arm of the Lord been re- calling us. As he says, that all believed ; ( that
vealed ?" St. Paul willing to adduce the reason is) all that '' were ordained to salvation."
why all believed not, says pointedly "the arm Nevertheless learn we that we can only
of the Lord is not revealed to all ; '' that is assure ourselves of salvation by faith. For if
to say, that God exerts not his grace (vertu) a man say, 'How am I to know if I be saved
to all. Is not this a sufficiently explicit de- or damned ?' He shows thereby that he has
claration ? What answer can be made to it ? never known what is the faith and confidence
All believe not. Why? Because God exerts that we ought to have in God through J esus
not his grace towards all. Christ. Would you then know whether you are
1~1 1 1 This is what one reads so aften in Holy elect ? View yourself in J esus Christ. For
Scripture, as when St. Luke says, in Acts those who by faith have truly communion with
chap. viii. that " God opened the heart of the Jesus Chriet, may be well assured that they
wornan named Lydia, a dealer in purple." belang to the eternal election of God, and
God opened her heart that she might attend that they are his children. Whoever then
to the things which Paul spoke. '' Here then finds himself in J esus Christ and is a memher
was a spiritual gift to this woman, when God of his body by faith, he is assured of salva-
spoke to her in her heart ; Have we not also tion : and when we would know it, there is
herein the general doctrine upon this point, no need to mount up thither to enquire for
such as is represented by St. Luke, when he that which must be hidden from us to this
says, "All those who were ordained to eternal hour. But lo! God humbles himself to us:
life believed ?" The Gospel by its very nature he shows us how this election is in his Son ;
is truly the power of God to save all believers. as if he said, Here I am, contemplate me,
110 lll

and know that I have adopted you as my election of God; Nevertheless we ought also
children. When then we receive this witness to recognise in general, that God so governs
of salvation which is brought us by the all things by his providenee that his will is
Gospel, thereby we know and are assured that as it were the souree of every thing. See
God bas elected us. And thus helievers then how we say that it causes a necessity
should not doubt their election, but esteem it in all things. N ot that thereby we would
as certain ; that since they are called to faith by enwrap God in our iniquities, or that it is
the preaching of the Gospel, they are par- possible so to do ; but that we must hold
takers of that grace of our Lord J esus Christ, this doctrine as it is discovered to us in
and of the promise made in his name. For Holy Scripture; that is, that God so dis-
our Lord J esus Christ is the foundation of poses all things, that nothing evil is done
these two things, the promises of salvation, on kis part, for he is ju st; and as for men,
and our gratuitous election, which bas been they pervert every thing good into iniquity ;
made from the creation of the world. Thus and that their condemnation for all the evil
we see, that all the passages which can be they have done must rest upon their heads.
adduced, are irrelevant when adduced to over- And how so? Now it were a tedious alfair
~hrow God' s election ; and that this doctrine to unravel, to one who would do it at length,
must remain :firm and certain. but we will say on]y a few words on the
We see too, that we must walk in fear and subject.
humility, without presuming to wish to en- To God then, bis will stands in the place of
quire what God ordained before the creation every reason, and this will is so :fixed to equity
of the world ; but let us only follow what is and right, that he can only desire what is
written in Holy Scripture, and keep the road good. True, men will have their pleasures
we have already foliowed with regard to the and appetites ; they can also submit their
112 113

wills to their evil affections and Iusts, and justice. Nevertheless as I have already said,
thus all is perverted and corrupted in them. the justice of God will not be so known to us,
And why? Because man is of bimself so that we shall be able to see the reason why
subject to evil fancies and lewdness, that he he does that, but always is it (true) that
keeps no bounds, but his moral constitution whatever he does tends to a good and worthy
becomes quite deranged ; but with God it is. end. For example, consider the wars that
quite the reverse. And why? Because the take place in the world, they do not take
will of God is the rule of rules, the law of place without great excesses being committed,
laws, the justice of all justice, the equity of all and even things so fearful as to make one's hair
equity, the right of all right. In short, it is stand on end. If ever a murder be com-
the service of a:ll good. mitted, it is a horrible crime ; but in a war
Herein we must condemn the doctrine of a hundred thousand are perpetrated. If a
the papists ; for mark what the papist theolo- rnan's goods be robbed, it is a great cruelty,
gians have said, ' That God has two wills, one but in time of war a hundred thousand houses
ordained and the other absolute.' This is a will be robbed and sacked. Again if a man
diabalical blasphemy. When they suppose a blaspheme twice or thrice, people will say,
will of God different from that which is or- ' What a shame !' (malheur) But in a war,
dained by him, it is as if they said, that he has there will be an infinite number of blasphemies;
a licentious will, (deborde) that he observes and moreover so execrable that it is horrible
neither moderation, nor measure, nor right, even to think of them. There will also he
nor equity in what he does. And to attribute fornication, rape, and other enormities. Y et
this to God is it not to blaspheme? On the wars do not take place without the will of
contrary, we say that this will of God is or- God and his disposal, as is certain, and Holy
dained, that it is the souree of all equity nnd Writ is full of that doctrine; for it says that
114 115

God breaketh the spears, and maketh the battle bJe of being softened by the patience which
to cease, and that he assembles armies, that he possessed.
he makes them prepare for battle, that kings And in fact, does he murmur against God ?
and princes are as it were bis soldiers, and No, but he says, " The Lord gave it me, he
that he sets them to work ; that he conducts bath taken it away, his name be b]essed !"
them, and even leads them by the hand; that and he says it not hypocritically but in truth.
they are only his darts, his arrows, bis swords, Let us learn then that when God does any
his axes ; this is what Scripture discovers thing, although there appear to us no reason
to US. for them, yet we must not fail to adore bis
How then can it be true that God doe! counsel and judgment, and to confess that it
these things ? Is there unrighteousness in him? is just and equitable; and if nevertheless our
Certainly not. But he sends them as his eyes be dazzled, and if this light be to us
scourges into the world, and by a just judg incomprehensible, neverthe1ess God will de-
ment, he punishes us as he pleases ; and clare to us that which now is unknown ; that
though we see not yet the reason of it, we is, when he shall have fully united us to him,
must know that all he does is just. Behold as the end to which he is calling us.
Job, he enquires not why God had deprived I know well that I have been prolix, al-
him of all his substance, and had entirely though I have aimed at brevity as much as
stripped him of all. It is true, he reasons, was possible, so that I have curtailed what I
strongly on this point, that it is not for his intended to say, in order to pass from one
sins. Nevertheless he conluded that this did point to another as briefl.y as I could. But the
not happen to him without the foreknowledge subject could not be explained by me at length
of God, that all the evil he was suffering, as it well deserves to be, and since it is neces
though it was diffi.cult to bear, was still capa- sary and very useful to be imprinted on our
116 117

hearts. If I have omitted many things which that we add to it faith, which as I have just
would have been good and useful to learn, said is so necessary, that we must beg of
for the confirmation of this argument, I will God, that he would cause us to advance in it
entreat the brethren to whom God has given more and more. Nevertheless we see also
grace, to speak of them, to touch upon these that it is quite necessary to bring forward
points, that we may be so much the better passages of Scripture, the chief and the mo~t
strengthened in this word which we have re- powerful, and the most applicable of which
ceived of God. have been alleged, and moreover very well
explained. But yet we see that the things of
After Mr. John Calvin had propounded what
which we make common and familiar use,
is said above, the other ministers added, each
bring us a knowledge of this, viz. that we
in bis turn, what follows :-
cannot be ignorant that this profession which
we make in Christianity, is found in this word
M. ABEL POPIN. faith,' that so when we spe-ak of faith, we
The doctrine we have heard, and which has say, that it is by virtue of this faith that we
been satisfactorily explained, need not be re- are Christians, N ow if it be so, it is certain
peated, and there is no occasion to add to it, that faith brings us a true persuasion, a cer-
nor to bring any thing further to bear on it, tain discovery of the good will of God to us,
save a full and entire faith. For this is the which has been manifested and so (gloriously)
obstacle to our making progress in this Holy revealed to us in our Lord Jesus Christ, as to
Word, as we ought, that we add not faith to be sealed by bis Holy Spirit in our hearts.
what it discovers to us,-a thing nevertheless And that causes us to receive also the promises
absolutely necessary. Here then is the neces- of God, which themselves depend on his good
sary addition to the proposition we have heard, pleaeure.
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lt is then impossible to know Jesus Christ befare the world was created ; as has been
without the favor of God towards us, by very weU expounded to you.
which he has chosen and elected us, as has Moreover we see that having borne testi-
already been amply spoken and deelared. mony to that point, we beg that his name may
Here then is this word of ' faith' which we be hallowed. N ow it is certain that therein
are in the habit of using, which adduces we approve of the will of God, as being just,
reasou sufficient to show that it is on the good and right, as it is in truth, by declaring
election of God that all the good things we not only that it ought to be glorified, but that
have in our Lord J esus Christ depend ; and in all his acts it ought to be recognized and
by election, I mean this favor of God, by which perceived as just; in order that we may give
he chooses us, in giving us to J esus Christ, him the praise for it which is his due. Other-
and Jesus Christ to us. wise we cannot contemplate this good will of
In like manner, we see that according to this God, his goodness and mercy, which he has
faith, when we wish to bear witness of it, we exerted on behalf of his people. In fine, we
set befare us the favor of God ; as when we ought to recognize the goodness of God in
eaU him, " Our Father which art in heaven," that he is willing to be called " Our Father,"
we deelare thereby that he has given us to provided we still recognize him as the Al-
know his good will, that we firmly believe he mighty. Forthese are two inseparable things,
is our Father, that he would show bimself to the power and goodness of God. And it is
us in such a character, and that we are not the first artiele of our faith and what we
ignorant of this great wisdom, which he pur- ought to believe, that we confess God to be
posed should be revealed to us in our Saviour our Father, so as nevertheless we be con-
J esus Christ, that he has elected and chosen vineed of bis boundless power ; and in that
us befare we had knowledge of him, even belief we have somewhat to console us, and to
120 121

humbie us. For if we were all considered as that it would please him, so to conduct us by
one body, we should :find that we were all of bis Holy Spirit, that we should keep our ears
the same condition. The children of God closed to all these blaspherners and evil per-
then must rely upon bis goodness which he sons who would turn us aside from the true
causes them to experience, and let them give simplicity of his word : but that we may
him thanks for it, when they know that bis follow him with such fear and obedience, that
will is that they should be separated from the we may be able altogether to say this Amen,
unbelieving ; not that they be, or had been in truth. So we believe, and in this we would
worthy of it, but inasmuch as he elected them wish to live and die.
by bis gratuitous loving-kindness. And be
sides, they have somewhat to humbie them M. JACQUES BERNARD.
when they think of this power and goodness I give my assent to what has been said, and
of God, which he only exercises for their affirm that it is tbe pure and simple Word of
salvation. And thus, bere are the things of God, on whicb we must rest our faith. I wiJl
which we make a common use, which ought say moreover, what I am not ashamed to say
to serve to make us consider this doctrine, to all, that I praise the Lord who bath vouch-
that we may approve and esteem as certain safed to grant us of this city the favor of
what bas been said. possessing men so learned and eloquent, as
Nothing more is then to be said, save to those who have already spoken to uphold this
add, an Amen, to this doctrine, saying, Such is doctrine, and to confound those who gainsay
my belief; I would thus believe, I would tie it; as St. Paul, a chosen vessel, was not
myself there absolutely, without ever varying asbamed to preach it to the Romans and
or declining from it in the least possible de- Ephesians, as we have already heard by the
gree. And thus let us beseech our good God chapters before cited.
122 123

This I say advisedly, because there are some our Lord, to maintain (as far as in us lies)
who assert that such topics should not be this doctrine, to which I give my assent (as I
discussed in public. As if it were a sin to have said), and which I approve, as moreover,
uphold the truth ! And when we speak what it is the truth of an infallible God who can-
the Lord commands, what is it they would ask not lie.
of us ? We hear what Balaam, said to Balak, Wherefore I beseech all those who are of
king of the Midianites in Num. xxii. "I will God, that they receive it with such a fear and
speak only that which the Lord shall put into reverence as is becoming, knowing that if they
my mouth." He observes also in the xxiii. eh. are entirely persuacled and firmly grounded
of the same book, " Did I not say, that I therein, they are partakers of eternal life.
would do all that the Lord commanded me." Otherwise, let those who reject it, and who
The Lord bath put into our mouth to deciare~ will not assure them::selves (of its truth), know,
that some are chosen to live for ever, and that that they are not called to this life, but are
the rest are left in their corruption. What is destined to eternal perdition, if they persist in
this, but to say, that some are chosen to be (rejecting) it.
saved, and the others destined to eternal fire.
We have then ( this doctrine) to deciare, be- M. NICHOLAS DES GALARS.
cause the Lord bath put it into our mouth,
And therefore I beg my brethren to speak that My Brethren, We ought to knowhow neces-
which the Lord bath given them to say, that sary it is for each of us, to be settled in the
it may be manifest to all, that we are not of belief of this doctrine. For it is impossible
the number of "those doge (of whom Esaias that we should ever be in peace or repose in
the prophet speaks) who cannot bark," but our consciences, if we have not such a founda-
that truly we are ministers of the Gospel of tion within, as to know that God bath ebasen
124 125

us. But still all our hope must take its origin as to wish to subject God to ourselves, as if he
from God ; for if we would attribute to our- were bound to reveal to us what he would keep
selves a single jot, there will be nothing firm. secret. But contrariwise, let us submit our-
or certain in it. We must know then that selves entirely to him, as is perfectly just; and
being called, we have already been elected, and not advancing beyoud what he bas declared
that that depends on the paternal goodness of by bis word, let us say with David, " Lord, I
our God, and upon his election which took will sing of judgment and mercy."
place before all time. lf we have not this For it is notwithout reason that he combines
foundation, we shall read the whole Scripture those two words: for those who have known
without receiving from it instructien to our the mercy of God in their election, assuredly
profit. Let us consider how St. Paul proceeds recognize his just ju~gment, in the reprobation
to assure those to whom he writes. He shows of the wicked. And that serves to humbles us,
that this sanctification comes from the circum- when we ponder on the mercy of God, which
stance of their being elected. N ow St. Paul he has exercised towards us, if then we con-
speaks entirely of this election, on which, when sider what is his justice, we then distrust
we depend, we perceive that it is the immu~ ourselves, to put our whole confidence in his
table counsel of God. Otherwise if we possess goodness. When those two points are known
not that assurance, Satan would soon take us by us so as to be sure of them, we shall then be
by storm, so as to overthrow the principal subjected to God with a true obedience.
foundations of our faith, and so to encompass
us with his errors, that it wonld be very
difficnlt to escape thence. In short, since we
shall not be able to understand what passes our As for God's election, no one can judge
comprehension, let us not be !:iO presumptuous, aught respecting it, save inasmuch as it has
126 127

been revealed to us by the Word, which is elected of God or not, except Jesus Christ,
sure. We have several passages in the Scrip ( who has descended from God his Father)
tures which bear testimony to it ; and amongst reveal him to us. Besides, St. Paul adds the
other sentences worthy of remembrance, let final cause of our election, when he savs,"
us take that which is the clearest, Ephes. i. "that we might be holy and without spot,
where mention is made of the cause of our before his face." We have then been elected
election, when it is said, " such was the good according to his good pleasure and will of
pleasure and will of God." Here then is God in Jesus Christ; and he says advisedly,
the cause of it; and that must satisfy us, since in Jesus Christ, for if we should look for
St. Paul adduces no other reason than this election out of J esus Christ, we should not
good will of God, and thereby he intends to find it, and those who are not in him ; are
exclude all roerit and dignity, and would shew reprobates.
us that this election of God, is gratuitons and N evertheless there are some who say. how
based upon his mere mercy. But still we shall we know if we be elected ? It is true that
must not (as has been remarked) so regard I shall readily confess that it is the good pleasure
this good pleasure of God, as to separate it of God, when I am elected in Jesus Christ with-
from what follows in St. Paul, where he adds, out any merit. But how shall I know that I
(that it is) " in J esus Christ.'' For God hath am of the number of the elect of God? I am no
not elected us solely in hirn8elf, but he hath theologian, so that I shall not be able to enter
loved us in J esus Christ, and accepts us in into this counsel of God whichis concealed from
J esus Christ. And as has been observed, J esus me. How then has God declared to me that I
Christ is the mirror and the model, in whom am one of his elect ? N ow it is certain that we
we may consult the cause of our election; for cannot know that we are elected of God:
we can neither understand or know if we be a ptiori, (as they say,) that is to say, that we
11 I

130 131
and thereby reverses the orderwhich Godhaslaid must first know how it is that we come to
down in Holy Scripture, we must understand J esus Christ.
that God bears us testimony that our election is This then is what the prophet lsaiah says,
sure by the faith which he has given us, It is " Here am I and the children whom thou
necessary then for election to preeede faith, hast given me.'' This passage is by the
and that faith should follow after. To assert Apostle (in Heb. xii.) attributed to our Lord
and defend the contrary, is to lead mens minds Jesus Christ, who uses similar words. This
into errors from which it is no easy matter to is expressly said of J esus Christ. He presents
escape. bimself before God his Father, not only as
Such being the case, what ground is there chief of the teachers and ministers of the
for asserting that we possess a free will, word of God, but also as the only
whereby we at liberty to reject what God is teacher, by whose mouth all the ancient
willing to give us, that is, faith, or at our teachers spoke. He presents his elect, those
pleasure to receive it when we think fit? If who are given to him. lt is then true that we
such were the case what would become of the cannot go to God; we cannot by any means
certainty and sureness of our salvation? I approach him, except Jesus Christ leads us
shall adduce a passage of Isaiah to confirm thither by the hand. So must we also know
this doctrine, that we depend entirely on the that God gives the Son that which he brings to
election of God, and that is absolutely neces- him, and he must have given him his elect,
sary that this free grace of God should preeede before he presents them.
the possibility of our belief, and faith attaches Thereby then we know that when we have
to Christ as its true object ; and we never faith in God by J esus Christ, this arises from
shall have approach to our God, except his Son his having been pleased to choose, us according
leads and conducts us thither; nevertheless, we to his good counsel, which is to us incompre-

132 133

hensible, into which we may not presurne to Jesus Christ, namely, that we have heen given
enter ; only we must content ourselves with to him by God his Father, because he has
this faith which he has given us, whereby he elected us by his free grace.
gives us a certain testimony that we are of the Else, if it were left to us to receive or reject
number of his elect. But we must always faith ; when it is affered to us, to accept it in
observe, that the Father gives to the Son those our own strength, what would be the conse.
whom he has elected, and that he will not quence of this ? What would become of the
suffer them to perish. certainty of eternal blessedness which we
This is con:firmed by the passage which has ought to possess ? On what would our salva-
been adduced from John vi. where it is said, tion depend ? On the shifting will of man !
" All that my Father hath given me, shall come And what assurance would there be if it were
to me." Whoever then comes to Christ, we necessarily left to man, according to his fancy,
may infer is gi ven him by the Father. So we to say, N ow I will believe I Wh en immediately
may not say, that men possess the liberty of afterwards, he might again abandon the whole
accepting or rejecting faith according to their matter. Again let us put the case, that a man
pleasure ; else it would be necessary to say is well disposed to believe, then since he is
that the elect are notled by God to salvation. inconstant and mutable, his will will undergo a
But on the contrary, we must know that God change and behold he is turned aside, as soon
has his people, whom he has elected from all as some fancy comes into his soul. It could
time, whom he gives from hand to hand, to not be otherwise, I assert, even to the most
our Lord J esus Christ, as if he said to him, constant and unwavering in the world, if our
Lo, I give you my people, and desire you to faith depended on our own virtue, as these
be protector of my elect." See how we may unhappy persons affirm.
know that we are thus in the hand of our Lord But as we now know that we are given by
134 135

the hand of the Father to his Son, and that grand and magniloquent words to fill the ears
he takes us under his protection, in consequence of the ignorant, let us not be carried away
of this gift, we see whereon our faith rnay thereby, but let us walk in the fear and truth
rest, and what is its foundation, that is the of God. It is true that it is simple, but it has
goodness and rnercy of God, being assured more majesty than all the pomp and excellence
that what the Son bas received in trust from of these voluble tongues, which evaparate in
the Father "shall never perish," that when we empty words, and think to resist the truth of
are under the proteetion and safeguard of our God, on which we ought always to depend, and
Saviour Jesus Christ, we shall be beyond all never to turn aside from it by any means,
dangers ; at least we shall not he deprived of whatever may be the consequence resulting
the salvation which he has acquired for us, and from it.
into possession of which we enter already by the
faith we have in him. This is in few words M. LOYS TREPPEREAU.
what I wisbed to add to that which rny
brethren have said, to confirrn the doctrine This holy doctrine is so entire and perfect
which has been adduced. that there is no need to add any thing to it.
In conclusion, I beseech you in the name But the chief point is that we use it to good
of God, that you suffer not yourselves to he purposes, that it may serve us as armour,
dazzled by the greatness of man, of whom it against the blaspherners who would turn us aside
seerns that they would turn away the sirnple from the true doctrine of salvation, and from
from heaven by their loftiness and excellence; the path of this doctrine. And to comprehend
for it is thus that they set themselves to over- in a few words what we ought to know, learn
throw the will of God. Moreover when we we, that when reprobation and election are
see bere their splendid rhetoric, that they have spoken of, election takes place gratuitously,
136 137
and reprobation by the just judgment of God. death ! Will any be found to murmur against
For we may not say that God is the cause of such a decision? No, on the contrary, men
the damnation of the wicked, but it is their would praise such a justice. Oh God be
own sm. And even, though we had been all praised ! they would say. Why then should
destroyed and ruined, and God had never had we not praise God, when he reprobates the
pity on us, even this were a just judgment, wicked. Y et we must not say that God is the
and there would only be occasion therein to cause of their reprobation, but as I have said,
give him glory, confessing that he is a just the sin which is in them.
j udge, since he punishes tbe wicked for their In short, the election of God is gratuitons
iniquities. and the reprobation of the wicked is just. Y et
As to what some say that God thereby ''is we must not enquire why God does this; but
an accepter of persons," in condemning one be it our endeavour to walk in all humility and
and saving another, this is only a means modesty, consiclering what we have received of
sought by the devil to obscure and overthrow God. to give thanks for it: especially when he
the certainty of our salvation. But still when bears witness of our election, and makes us
the question is to show how God is jnst in all partakers of his grace, which he has opened to
he does, if there were any illustration worthy us in Jesus Christ. And when we have once
to be advanced, to cause us to undentand that tasted it, let us follow his doctrine, for it is
the glory of God must be in unisou with his announced to us by him, and let us persevere in
judgment, there could be none more appropriate it to the end, despite all the hindrances which
than that which is found in human justice. might happen to turn us from it ; as I now
Observe my brethren, here is a judge who beseech this merciful God to give us grace to
justly condemns a man to death, and condemns live and die therein.
him to die by such and such a punishment of
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But if we see that God has done us the favour

M. REMOND CHAUVET. of illuminating us, and calling us to the know-
My Brethren, I give thanks to God for the ledge of his truth, whereby we know and are
great treasures which he opens to us in this assured that we are his children, because he
doctrine which is so full of consolation. It is bath predestinated us befare the creation of
true that though this doctrine be such as I the world, we have reason and occasion to
have just said, rich and full of consolation, glorify God, and to admire bis goodness that
yet it is notwithout danger and difficulty when he so unfolds bis favour and mercy to us, who
we come to discuss it. But so one cannot are such wretched and miserabie creatures.
cross the lake or sail on the sea in the course If we see on the other hand, that God
of traffic, without great difficulty, and many reprobates some, we have occasion to recognize
dangers. He who would cross the sea or lake the justice of his decision who does nothing
without a boat, and without guidance, would without just cause, thougb that cause be
cast bimself into gulfs and destroy himself. bidden from us. Therefore we should come
But if he embarks in a ship under good to the point whither St. Paul would lead us, to
guidance, he will have a prosperous, pleasant, the admiration of those secret and incompre-
and profitable navigation. So when we would hensible judgments of God, to say with him,
treat of God's predestination, of his electing "0 tbe beigbt! 0 the depth, and the riches
his people, and reprobating the wicked, we of the patience of God, How incomprehen-
must enter thereupon after the manner of sible are thy judgments." Rom. xi. 33. I
navigation propounded by the brother who would add a word, because there are in the
proposed the subject, and by those who have present day, dogs that bark and bite bere and
confirmed the doctrine : viz, that we know in there, seeking for sarnething to cavil, and say,
general that we are all lost and condemned. 0 we must not believe men, but God.' W ell,
140 141

but who denies this? But when men speak in have not two points :fixed. The :first, that we
the name and authority of God, and ethers are certain in our minds, that we are all lost
receive what they adduce, in his name, is that befere God, that we are ruined in our nature,
believing men ! But it need not excite our and worthy of eternal death, as St. Paul says
wonderif such dogs cease not to bark, when in Ephesians, "that we are all the children of
they meet with the doctrine of God, because wrathand of death befere God." ( chap. v. 3.)
they are possessed by the devil who conducts The other point is, that it is necessary for every
and governs them. 2 Tim. i. 26. We know Christian to understand wherein consists his
that frorn all past time, ~atan bath held in salvation, to know whereby he may please God,
horror and abcminatien the doctrine of salva- and by what means he may attain eternallife.
tien, wherefore thev must contradiet it as much N ow the foundation of our salvatien lies and
as in them lieth ; as we observe, that they seek consists in the gratuitons mercy of God. The
only to overthrow this holy doctrine, and to means whereby we may attain eternallife, is
bury the Gospel of our Lord J esus Christ. simply in the satisfaction that our Lord J esus
'Vherefore my brethren, in the name of Christ has made for us.
God, I exhort you all, to keep fast hold of this Besides, we must rernember the passage in
doctrine which is propounded to us by the the Ephesian~, which has been adduced, that as
mouthof men who speak in the name of God. God bas elected us of his free grace, that we
In this I believe, in this would I live, persevere, might be holy, so he has elected us that we
and die, through the grace of God. might be to his praise. For these are two
(fin al) ends, (as St. Paul states them) in God' s
M. MATTHEW lVIALESIAN, electing us. As when a man builds a house,
We may dispute, and speak much of this if any one ask him why he does it, he would
doctrine, but it will be to no purpose if we answer, that it may be a house, but is that the
142 143

ultimate end ? No, but it is that the house may and die herein. And though the doctrine has
be subservient to him, that he may enjoy it already been handled sufficiently, yet in con-
and dwell in it. In like manner, we have been tirmation of it I would add a few words. It
elected- by God, that being holy, and without is that if we deny the reprobation of the
blemish before him, we might be to his glory. wicked, and do not admit the election of the
And we cannot be to the praise and glory of sous of God, we must make mockery of the
God, except we attribute to him all authority Gospel of God, and especially of the word
and pre-eminenee over us, and acknowledge whereof our Lord makes mention in Matt. xxv.
that he makes use of all his creatures as where it is said, "The king seated on his
seemeth him good ; and yet that he ceases not throne, shall say to the sheep that shall be on
to be just, and to do all things with equity and his right, Come ye blessed of my Father,
uprightness. The doctrine we have heard receive the kingdom which bas been prepared
is good and holy, and perfectly true ; I have for you before the foundation of the world.''
listened to it these ten years past ; and I And on the other hand, " Go depart from me
beseech the Lord to cause me to persevere to all ye that commit iniquity ; depart to the
the end, confirming and approving all that my inextinguishable fire which is prepared for the
brothers have said. devil and his angels.'' This judgment then
cannot be true, if there be no such thing as
M. MICHEL COP, eterual reprobation ; as also, if there be not
Brethren and Sisters, The doctrine you have eternal election, this decision could not be pro-
heard is an infallible doctrine, to which all nounced. N ow there is no change in God ;
Christians ought to keep firm, and in which he never alters : his purposes, his judgments,
they should persevere. And so for my own his thoughts, his deliberations are eternal..
part, by God's grace, I would live, persevere So then if there be such persons as the
144 145

damned (as there are in truth) they must be acknowledge that he bath an immutable
damned by the eternal judgment of God, by eounsel, that what he has determined frorn aH
his decree laid and ordained before the foun- ~ternity will be accomplished, and nought of

dation of the world; and so if there be such a it shall fail.

class as the saved, elect, and prede,Stined, they
must have been so before the foundation of the
world. M y Brethren and Sisters, We have here heard
As for the universa! proposition which states truths whereon we ought so to meditate, that
" that God would have all men be saved and each temptation which may happen to turn us
come to the knowledge of the trutl1," let not {lside, may be repelled; which will be eaRy for
the enemies of truth take any exception against us to do, when we shall be persuacled and con-
it. For if we take it in its utmost extensive- vineed of what has been said : nevertheless, as
ness, it will follow that no one will be damned ; said the brather who last spoke, we must be
for as saith the prophet Isaiah (Chap. xlvi.) on our guard, lest Satan, by means of the
" M y counsel shall hold, and all my will shal1 wicked who are his agents, should draw nigh
accomplished. lf then they will so take it, it to overthrow this f0undation on which we
follows that God will have all men saved, and must build our faith. We must also remember
none will be damned, so that consequently it what St. Paul says, when he exhorts helievers
is folly to believe in the Gospel. what means to adopt when a false doctrine
Wherefore brethren and sisters, let us be on happens to be set forth against the truths of
our guard, lest men who can prate well, should God, I mean that we are not only to hold such
lead us astray by their words, which are not a doctrine in execration, but also all those who
only vain, but blasphemous, and full of danger. uphold it, and that we must esteem them as
Let us hold fast the pure truth of God, and cursed of God. I am astonished how men
146 147

who wou]d eaU themselves wise, at the first which has been shewn and taught by God, that
glimpse only of a man who comes to them; we may give him the honour which is his due.
should suffer themselves to be seduced as by a And since our good God has assembied us
dissolute woman and so be abused. all here, some from one hundred, some from
Forthese abusers promise things which they two hundred leagues off, and we have come to
cannot perform, they promise to satisfy men's be instructed in bis word, let us show how we
minds : and their own are so agitated and have profited by it, and never suffer ourselves
distracted, that they know not what they are to be turned away from it, by any means what-
about ; they promise to show to man .what all ever. If we see many who seek toturn us out
of them put together, cannot understand. And of the right way, let us avoid such wretches,
on the contrary, we know that when man and neverjoin ourselves to such moekers of
would discover the reasons of the things which God. As for myself, I protest, that by the
God has done under the sun, he will find them grace of God, I will never join them myself.
out. How then shall we dare to enter into the Wherefore thereby I moreover exhort you all
council of God to seize there what he would in the name of God, that we all separate our-
have concealed from us. selves from their company, that we be not
Thus we see, that the dogs who cme and diverted by their evil conversations and bias ..
bark against this doctrine, s~ek only ~to lead phemies, from the purity of the word of God
every thing to perdition. True they make and his holy doctrine, but persevere therein
noble professions, but let us be on our even to the end.
guard against such deceivers, they have empty
coffers, yet they would have us to believe that
they are wonders within. My Brethren, What has already been said,
Let us then determine to ho1d fast by that as well by the brother, who stated the pro-
148 149
position, as by the others who have already L ord J esus Christ. It is not then our free
spoken, is quite sufficient; yet as this preu wiJl. As for the individual who has advanced
sumptuous firebrand has set forth a false tbis doctrine, let him put forth his own power,
doctrine, saying that our salvation depends and deliver bimself from this error wherein
upon our free will, and that we cannot be he is plunged. If it be true, that we can
saved, if we have not within us a liberty deliver ourselves by our own prowess, and
whereby we receive the faith; and that this free will, even without coming to J esus Christ,
proceeds from us and not from God, and that and can disengage ourselves from so many
God bestows no more gifts upon one than hindrances which keep us back so that we
another ! I will add only an authority of St. cannot approach God, let him deliver bimself
Paul taken from Rom. xi. in which place St. from his ignorance and error ! N evertheless
Paul adduced the lix. chap. of Isaiah, who we see, as I have already said, that it is our
says, " He who brings deliverance shall come Lord Jesus Christ who delivers us from our
out of Zion, and shall take away the unbelief infirmity; it is by his means that we are
of Jacob, and they shall possess from me this agreeable to God his Father; as moreover it
covenant, that I will take away their sins.''" is he who intercedes between him and us, that
Rom. xi. 26, 27. Isa. ix. 20, 21. " They are we may receive grace from him.
enemies regarding the Gospel for your sakes, N ow this grace is not bestowed u pon all.
but they are beloved according to the elec- This is shown by St. Paul in 2 Thess. ii.
tion for the fathers' sakes." Rom. xi. 28. where he is speaking of the man of sin, the
Here is a sentence wherein St. Paul shows son of perdition, who will come with signs
that unbelief is taken away by him that brings and wonders. Towards the end, he adds, that
deliverance : that the sins are also taken away he will send an effectual delusion to those who
bv him who will come from Zion, who is our perish, that they may believe a lie. Here then
0 2
150 151

(on the one hand) is God delivering men from special grace ; and as for the reprobate, being
unbelief and their sins by his Son. On the rejected by the just judgment of God and
other, he says that he " will send a spirit of left in their (origina]) corruption, they are
delusion, a spirit that shall cause (un esprit d' justly lost, without any blame being imputable
efficace) the reprobate to belive a lie.' This to God but to men ( only ). We by no means
is attributed to God ; is attributed without intend to accuse God of injustice ; we would
imputing to him the blame or guilt in the con- not (by any means) accuse him of acceptance
demnation of sinners. Herein there is a of persons ; but we mean to assert that he has
double causation ; one the remote, which is decreed from all eternity what he would do,
the will of God, the other the proximate, that this has been done, with equity justice
which is the malice, the infidelity, the iniquity, and righteousness, yea, with a righteousness
the rebellion of man : man then is worthy to that is irreproachable. Wherefore let us be
be thus rejected. But still, we must perceive well assured that he has chosen sorne before
herein another cause ; that which we call the the creation of the world, (as it is written in
remote, which is the will of God. Eph. chap. i.) and that he has rejected others,
Thus we may well conclude, as well by the according to that sentence of St. Paul, " that
passage in question as by what has been al- he shows mercy to whom he will, and hardens
ready adduced by St. Paul, that we receive not whom he will." Let us moreover regard what
faith of our own free will, but that it is he has added, that we are elect " unto sanc-
thtough the grace of God, who has chosen tification," that we might be holy, and might
us to bring us to his Son, that in him we may live in all holiness and virtue. It is the re-
be enlightened by bis Holy Spirit and by his generating Spirit that separates us, and sets us
word. apart from the wicked, and bears witness that
When we believe in Christ J esus, it is by 0 3

152 153

we are elected of God even befare the founda- assent and consent. And I beseech the Lord
tion of the world, as has been made manifest to give me grace to persevere in it to the end
to us, when we were called to the knowledge and therein to die.
of God by the preaching of the Gospel.
Wherefore my brethren, I exhort and he-
seech you, so much as in me lies, that you
beware of those who would do away with the We must not be surprised if this doctrine
Gospel, who sow false doctrines, who plant is assailed. Satan (as we are well a ware) the
errors in this place, and excite disturbances in enemy of our salvatien assaults us on the
this church. However plausible they may point where he knows our streng hold is.
appear, be not ye carried away with error, Wherefore let us take good care to hold fast
(transports faussement) be not unsettled and this doctrine, and be satisfied with its sim-
fiuctuating, so as to say, ' I know not which plicity. For the more (violently) it be as-
to believe.' When any one comes who does saulted, the more necessary to salvatien is it.
but make a casual observation ( sou.ffler dans Holy Scripture teaches us not to go beyend
l'oreille) be not deceived: Take special care what is necessary for us to kn0w, to find the
that you be not ruled by such inconstancy and cause of the ruin of man. All are lost in
fickleness; but whatever grounds they adduce, Adam and from this general and universa!
be not you led away from the purity and sim- condemnation, it has pleased God by his mercy
plicity of the Word of God : be firmly fixed to save whom he would. Moreover those
in this doctrine which has now been unfolded ; who lie under such a condemnation, can do
as it likewise is the infallible truth of God. only evil, but their evil acts must not be im-
For my own part, I protest, that I give it my puted to God ; for God does not oblige them
to commit sin. This mu~:,t be attributed to
0 4
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our natural corruption, and since this corrupt that God has done a thing, we may know that
nature is addicted to evil, it can do nought but it is well and justly done, since God deter-
evil only. mined to do it and did it.
The same thing may be bath good and ev il Moreover, let us take care to understand
good in God, evil in man; for the intention of; this passage of St. Paul, which has been ad-
God is good : that of man, evil. When we duced, and very well explained, that God
attribute all power, authority and superiority would have all to be saved, and come to the
to God, we ought also to attribute to him a knowledge of the truth. '' If we take this for
foresight whereby from all eternity he has all persons in general, let us notice a moment
deliberated what shall be the destiny of all his what would be the consequences of such a
creatures. Into this secret (counsel) we are supposition. We must draw one of two in-
nat permitted, nor is it possible for us to enter. ferences ; either first, that if all are to be saved,
But we must be satisfied with what he has then there shall no one be damned, which is
caused us to know of it in a general way, tha t directly against the lst Artiele of our faith.
it is tbraughout and in every portion just, and So for my own part, I consent to what bas
that he never oversteps the (due) bounds (of been said befare me, and approve of it; that
equity) in whatever he does. God has his eternal counsel, whereby he dis-
As for those who would maintain the justice poses of all his creatures as he will ; that
of God, and in order to maintain it contradiet moreover he does so with justice, as the
his doctrine, certain it is that they obscure Spirit of God so aften testifies in Holy W rit.
and overturn all the truth of God. For we Thanks be to God, that he has been
ought to consider that the justice of God is graciously pleased to use his electing power
united to his truth, and the oue cannot be to show his grace in me, and not to make use
separated from the other, so that when we say of me by my condemnation, therein to show
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his great judgment; which he might even Though there is no need for me to speak
have done without committing injustice against after men of such excellent understanding, by
me, and I could have had no ground to mur- whom this doctrine of our salvation has been
mur against him, according to St. Paul's explained to us, yet since God has granted
admonition, when he says, " Who art thou me the favor to deliver me from this tyranny
0 man, who wouldst plead befare God.'' of anti-christ, wherein I was so long bound}
Y et I glorify my God that this doctrine, can and to lead me hither to the company of his
be clearly understood, since it has been now saints, where I daily receive great consolation,
explained to us in so simple a manner, that I cannot hold my tongue till I have here made
even those who object to us that we derive profession of the faith wherein I would live
this doctrine from men, ought to hold them- and die.
selves as more than convineed when they see And since St. Paul, writing to Tirnothy,
the passages of Holy Writ which have been 2 Epis. eh. ii. sets forth the rule which helievers
adduced, and we cannot deny that it is God should follow, when they are called to the know-
who has spoken by the mouthof men. ledge of the truth, where he says, that " the
Lord knows his own, and that every one that
After the above mentioned ministers had nameth the name of the Lord should depart
thus spoken, each in his turn, and has been here from all iniquity. Accordingly I would de-
declared, Mr. Jean Calvin, gave notice, that ciare that God's grace assisting, I will turn
if there were any one who had any doubt, he away from all evil doctrine, alllies and false-
should propose it, that an answer might be hoods, satisfying myself in all things with the
made, and that every one might be fully per- truth of God, as made known by his (Holy)
suacled of this doctrine. This done, Mr. Scripture.
Claude Balluel, added as follows :- Thus I believe in God the Father, Almighty
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'vbo hath clected and chosen us befare the we bear a like testimony of it, by our good
cammencement of the world, in his Son our life and conversation, that the poor blinded
Lord Jesus Christ, in whom he has promised idalaters may be drawn to the knowledge of
us eternal life, whereof we are already in the truth, to unite themselves in the unity of
possession by faith since it bath pleased him in the faith with us ; and that the wicked and
his own good time to open to us the preaching reprobate, who are utterly obstinate and rebels,
of the Gospel. I believe in the Son who is be :::;o separated from us, that we esteem them
his image, who was sent to the earth to preach abominable and excommunicated: since they
and maintain his truth, whereof he made con- themselves likewise separate themselves from
fession before Pilate. I believe in the Holv" the assernbly of the saints. Such is mv faith.
Spirit, who bears witness in our hearts that
we shall be in the number of the blessed on LASTLY. Mr. Jean Calvin, concluded by
the day of resurrection. I believe in the praying as fellows:-
Holy Church, that is to say the present, into My Brethren, We have to thank God with
which it hath pleased God to lead me, be- great devotion that he has chosen us befare
seeching him that it may please him to keep we could know him. For we were banished
me herein, so that I may live and die in it. and rejected from our salvation, and moreover
Wherefore, let each one more and more of our own proper nature we could only sepa-
confirm bimself in this purity and simplicity rate ourselves from it, had he not chosen UE!
of the Word of God, that being united to- from the creation of the world. Besides,
gether, we rnay pursue the road which the seeing the wicked to be reprobate, who must
Saviour points out, whereby to attain eternal be to us examples of the judgment of God,
life, unto which he calls and invites us ; and let us recognize (the truth) that we have
that to confirm and ratify our own election, merited as much, since as regards our nature.
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we were m no better condition than they. hath elected and chosen us, now to confirm
Let it remind us of that sentence of our Lord and strengthen in us the constancy and as-
Jesus Christ, that " every tree which ;my surance we ought to possess, so that knowing
heavenly Father hath not planted shall be him as our Father, we give true proof that we
rooted up;" and therefore let us glorify our are his, remembering all our poor brethren
God for this assurance which he has given us who are still kept in the miserabie slavery of
by his Word and by his Holy Spirit, that as Babylon, under the Roman anti-christ.
once, he sent his Son into the world for our Amen .
redemption, and that he accepts us through
him, that thus he calls us to eternal life, and
to the immortal inheritance which he has pre-
pared for us in heaven. Let us lay the founda-
tion of our election on this immoveable counsel
which he has determined from all eternity,
and upon his good pleasure : let us here
maintain our ground with such firmness and
constancy as never to be turned aside from it,
whatever be the machinations of Satan, and
though he has agents and ministers, who only
seek to draw us away from the right path,
into which our good God hath once introduced
us; yet let us never swerve from it, in the
smallest degree.
May it then please this good God as he