« VorigeDoorgaan »
But if there be no such persons, it proceeds solely from want of will."— Vol. 1. p. 136.
“ He wills, that even those who do not believe him, being converted, should be saved and believe, as St. Paul says, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (r):' And he himself said to the Jews, · I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (s).' And I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (t).' But when, after enjoying so great care, they will not reform, and acknowledge the truth, even then he does not forsake them. But though they have voluntarily deprived themselves of eternal life, he still gives them all things for the present life, making the sun to rise upon the bad, and the good, and sending rain upon the just, and the unjust, and affording them all other things for the support of this present life.”_Vol. 1. p. 168.
“Every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, another after that. Observe the never-failing, but always conspicuous, character of apostolical modesty: he calls his own virtue the gift of God, and when he has laboured much, he attributes the whole to the Lord. And where is the wonder, if he does this with respect to continence, when he uses the same form in speaking of preaching, in which he had undergone ten thousand labours, constant tribulation, inexpressible hardships, daily death? What does he say upon this subject? I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me (u).' He does not say, that a part was his, and a part God's. This is like a grateful servant, to consider nothing as his own, but all things bis master's; to think nothing his own, but all things his Lord's. And he does the same thing in another place; for after he had said, “Having gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us (r),' he goes on to reckon among these gifts, conduct in magistracies, mercy, and almsgiving; but it is evident to every one, that these things are virtues, and not gifts. These things I have noticed, that when you shall hear him saying, Every man hath his proper gift, you may not be idle, or say to yourself, the thing does not require my exertion; Paul called it a gift; for he expresses himself thus from modesty, and not from a desire of reckoning continence as a gift. For, if it be a gift, why do you threaten them, saying, that they have damnation, because they have cast off their first faith (y). For Christ has no where de. nounced punishment against those who have not gifts, but every where against those who do not lead a right life; and therefore what is particuJarly required by him is, a virtuous behaviour and irreproachable conduct. But the distribution of gifts does not depend upon the will of him who receives, but upon the determination of him who gives. On that account, he no where praises those who perform miracles, but he checks the exultation of his disciples, who were elated on this account, saying, “ Rejoice not, that the devils obey you ().' For those who are any where pronounced to be blessed, are the merciful, the humble, the meek, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, persons of these or of similar characters (a)."--Vol. 1. p. 295.
(r) 1 Tim. c. 2. V. 4. (s) Matt. c. 9. v. 13.
(t) Hos. c. 6. v. 6.
" Whence it is evident, that obedience or disobedience to his exhortations is in our own power, and that we suffer no necessity, or tyranny from him."-Vol. 1. p. 729.
“ If you be a Christian, believe in Christ; if you believe in Christ, shew me faith by works." Vol. 2. p. 62.
(y) 1 Tim. c. 5. v. 12.
God, from the first formation of man, implanted in him the law of nature. And what is the law of nature? He framed for us conscience, and enabled us to know from ourselves the difference between good and evil.”— Vol. 2. p. 127.
“ God is able not only to correct those who are made of clay, by the washing of regeneration, but also, through sincere repentance, to bring back those to their former state, who have fallen after they have received the influence of the Spirit.”— Vol. 2. p. 230.
“ As there is no advantage to those who sow, when they cast their seed by the way side ; so is there no advantage to us from being called Christians, unless we perform works suitable to that appellation. I will, if you please, produce to you a witness deserving of credit, James the brother of God, who says, • Faith without works is dead (b).' Wherefore, the working of works is every where necessary; for if that be wanting, the appellation of Christians can be of no service to us."--Vol. 2. p. 348.
" Since he has made us masters of the choice of bad and good actions, and wishes us to be voluntarily good; therefore, if we be not willing, he does not force, he does not compel; for to be good by force is not to be good at all.”—Vol. 2.
(6) James, c. 2. v. 26.
“ That we may understand the difference between the traitor and the disciples, let us attend to what follows; for the Evangelist relates every thing to us with accuracy. When these things, he says, happened, when the treason succeeded, when Judas destroyed himself, when he made those wicked bargains, and sought an opportunity to betray him; then came the disciples to him, saying, “Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover (c)?' Have you seen the disciples? Have you seen the disciple? The one was busy about betraying him; the others about ministering unto him. The one entered into agreements, and was anxious to receive the price of his Master's blood; the others prepare themselves to serve him. But both he and they had enjoyed the advantage of seeing the same miracles, and hearing the same instructions; Whence then arose the difference? From the will; for this is the cause of men being good or bad."-Vol. 2. p. 391. " When
you hear these things, do not imagine that the calling, carries with it necessity; for God does not compel, but leaves men masters of their free-will, even after they are called.”—Vol. 2. p. 492. "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat
the (c) Matt. c. 26. v. 17.