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nothing at all: for neither the merit of Christ procuring, nor God bestowing, any grace, in the habit, doth at all hinder, but that in the exercise thereof, it may be a duty of ours, inasmuch as it is done in us, and by us. Notwithstanding then this exception, which cannot stand by itself alone without the help of some other, not as yet discovered; we will continue our prayers, as we are commanded, in the name of Christ that is, that God would bestow upon us those things we ask for Christ's sake, and that by an immediate collation, yea, even then when we cry, with the poor penitent,' Lord help our unbelief,' or with the apostles, ‘Lord increase our faith."
Secondly, The second plea on God's behalf, to prove him the author and finisher of all those graces, whereof in this life we are partakers, ariseth from what the Scripture affirmeth, concerning his working these graces in us, and that powerfully, by the effectual operation of his Holy Spirit: to which, the Arminians oppose a seeming necessity, that they must needs be our own acts, contradistinct from his gifts, because they are in us, and commanded by him : the head then of this contention betwixt our God, and their idol, about the living child of grace, is, whether he can work that in us, which he requireth of us : let us hear them pleading their cause.
'It is most certain, that that ought not to be commanded, which is wrought in us and that cannot be wrought in us, which is commanded: he foolishly commandeth that to be done of others, who will work in them what he commandeth,' saith their apology. O foolish St. Prosper, who thought that it was the whole Pelagian heresy, to say, 'That there is neither praise nor worth, as ours, in that which Christ bestoweth upon us :' foolish St. Augustine, praying, 'Give us, O Lord, what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt:' foolish Benedict, bishop of Rome, who gave such a form to his prayer, as must needs cast an aspersion of folly
c Illad certissimum est, nec jubendum est quod efficitur, nec efficiendum quod jubetur, stulte jubet et vult, ab alio fieri aliquid, qui ipse quod jubet in eo efficere vult. Rem. Apol. cap. 9. p. 105. a.
d At exigua conclusione pene tu totum Pelagianum dogma confirmas, dicendo, nullius laudis esse ac meriti; si id in eo Christus quod ipse donaverat prætulisset. Prosp. ad Collat. cap. 36.
e Da, Domine, quod jubes, et jube quod vis. Aug.
on the Most High; O Lord,' saith he teach us what we should do; shew us whither we should go, work in us what we ought to perform:' O foolish fathers of the second Arausican council, affirming,s that many good things are done in man, which he doth not himself, but a man doth no good, which God doth not so work, that he should do it.' And again, as often as we do good, God worketh in us, and with us, that we may so work.' In one word, this makes fools of all the doctors of the church, who ever opposed the Pelagian heresy, inasmuch as they all unanimously maintained, that we are partakers of no good thing, in this kind, without the effectual powerful operation of the almighty grace of God; and yet our faith and obedience so wrought in us, to be most acceptable unto him; yea, what shall we say to the Lord himself, in one place commanding us to fear him, and in another promising that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him; is his command foolish, or his promise false? The Arminians must affirm the one, or renounce their heresy: but of this, after I have a little farther laid open this monstrous error, from their own words and writings.
'Can any one," say they, 'wisely and seriously prescribe the performance of a condition to another, under the promise of a reward, and threatening of punishment, who will effect it in him, to whom it is prescribed? this is a ridiculous action, scarce worthy of the stage:' that is, seeing Christ hath affirmed, that whosoever believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned;' Matt. xvi. 16 whereby faith is established the condition of salvation, and unbelief threatened with hell: if God should by his Holy Spirit, ingenerate faith in the hearts of any, causing them so to fulfil the condition, it were a mere mockery, to be exploded from a theatre as an unlikely fiction which, what an aspersion it casts upon the whole gospel of Christ, yea, on all God's dealing with the children
O Domine, doce nos quid agamus, quo gradiamur ostende, quid efficiamus operare. Ben. Pap. in Concil. Legunstad.
g Multa in bomine bona fiunt, quæ non facit homo: nulla vero facit homo bona, quæ non Deus præstet, ut faciat. Consil. Arau. 2. Can. 20.-Quoties enim bona agimus, Deus in nobis et nobiscum, ut operemur, operatur. Can. 9.
Anne conditionem quis serio et sapienter præscribet alteri, sub promisso præmi et pænæ gravissima comminatione, qui eam, in co cui præscribit efficere vult, hæc actio tota ludicra, et vix scæna digna est. Rem. Apol. cap. 9. p. 105. a.
of men, ever since, by reason of the fall, they became unable of themselves to fulfil his commands, I leave to all men's silent judgment. Well then, seeing they must be accounted àoúorara, things inconsistent, that God should be so righteous, as to shew us our duty, and yet so good and merciful, as to bestow his graces on us : let us hear more of this stuff: Faith and conversion cannot be our obedience, if they are wrought in us by God,' say they at the Hague: and Episcopius, That it is a most absurd thing, to affirm, that God either effects by his power, or procureth by his wisdom, that the elect should do those things that he requireth of them.' So that where the Scripture calls faith the gift, and work of God, they say it is an improper locution, inasmuch as he commands it; properly, it is an act or work of our own. And for that renowned saying of St. Augustine,' that God crowneth his own gifts in us, that it is not to be received without a grain of salt:' that is, some such glossas wherewith they corrupt the Scripture: the sum at which they aim is, that to affirm, that God bestoweth any graces upon us, or effectually worketh them in us, contradicteth his word, requiring them as our duty and obedience: by which means they have erected their idol into the throne of God's free grace and mercy; and attribute unto it all the praise due to those many heavenly qualifications, the servants of God are endowed withal, for they never have more good in them, no, nor so much as is required; all that they have, or do, is but their duty: which how derogatory it is to the merit of Christ, themselves seem to acknowledge, when they affirm, that he is no otherwise said to be a Saviour, than are all they, who confirm the way to salvation by preaching, miracles, martyrdom, and example: so that having quite overthrown the merits of Christ," they grant
Fides et conversio non possunt esse obedientia, si tantum ab aliquo, in alio, efficiantur. Rem. Colloq. Hag. p. 196.
Absurdum est statuere Deum, aut efficere per potentiam, aut procurare per sapientiam, ut electi ea faciant, quæ ab ipsis, ut ipsi ea faciant, exigit et postulat. Episcop. disp. pri. 8. Thess. 7.
Apol. cap. 9. ubi. sup.-Deum dona sua in nobis coronare, dictum hoc Augustini nisi cum grano salis accipiatur, neutiquam est admittendum: idem. ibid. p. 115.
Atqui dices, sic servatores nostri essent omnes (eodem sensu quo Christus), saltem ex parte qui præconio, miraculis, martyriis salutis viam, confirmant; esto, quid tum? Idem. cap. 8.
us to be our own saviours in a very large sense;' Rem. Apol. fol. 96. All which assertions, how contrary they are to the express word of God, I shall now demonstrate.
There is not one of all those plain texts of Scripture, not one of those innumerable and invincible arguments, whereby the effectual working of God's grace, in the conversion of a sinner, his powerful translating us from death to life, from the state of sin and bondage to the liberty of the sons of God, which doth not overthrow this prodigious error. I will content myself with instancing in some few of them which are directly opposite unto it, even in terms.
First, Deut. x. 16. The Lord commandeth the Israelites, to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, and to be no more stiff-necked; so that the circumcising of their hearts, was a part of their obedience, it was their duty so to do in obedience to God's commands: and yet in the thirtieth chapter verse 6. he affirmeth, That he will circumcise their hearts, that they might love the Lord their God with all their hearts' so that it seems, the same thing, in divers respects, may be God's act in us, and our duty towards him and how the Lord will here escape that Arminian censure, that if his words be true, in the latter place, his command in the former is vain and foolish, ipse viderit, let him plead his cause, and avenge himself on those that rise up against him.
Secondly, Ezek. xviii. 31. 'Make you a new heart, and a new spirit, for why will you die, O house of Israel?' The making of a new heart, and a new spirit, is here required under a promise of a reward of life, and a great threatening of eternal death; so that, so to do, must needs be a part of their duty and obedience: and yet, chap. xxxvi. 36. he affirmeth that he will do this very thing, that here he requireth of them; 'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit, will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you an heart of flesh; and I will cause you to walk in my statutes,' &c. In how many places also, are we commanded to fear the Lord, which when we do, I hope none will deny to be a performance of our duty; and yet Jer. xxxii. 40. God promiseth that he will put his fear in our hearts, that we shall not depart from him.
Thirdly, Those two, against which they lay particular exceptions, faith and repentance, are also expressly attributed to the free donation of God: he granteth unto the Gentiles repentance unto life;' Acts xi. 18. and of faith directly, it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God;' Eph. ii. 8. To which assertion of the Holy Spirit, I shall rather fasten my belief, than to the Arminians, affirming that it is no gift of God, because it is of ourselves: and yet this hindereth not, but that it may be stiled, our most holy faith;' Jude 20. Let them that will deny, that any thing can properly be ours, which God bestoweth on us: the prophet accounted them not inconsistent, when he averred, 'that God worketh all our works in us;' Isa. xxvi. 12. They are our works, though of his working: the apostle laboured, though it was not he, but the grace of God that was with him;' 1.Cor. xv. 10. He worketh in us καὶ τὸ θέλειν, καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν, “ of his good pleasure;' Phil. ii. 13. and yet the performance of our duty, may consist in those acts of our wills, and those good deeds, whereof he is the author: so that, according to St. Austin's counsel," we will still pray, that he would bestow what he commandeth us to have.
Fourthly, 1 Cor. iv. 'Who made thee differ from another, or what hast thou, that thou hast not received?' Every thing that makes us differ from others, is received from God: wherefore, the foundation of all difference in spiritual things, between the sons of Adam, being faith and repentance, they must also of necessity, be received from above. In brief, 'God's circumcising of our hearts,' Col. ii. 11. 'His quickening us when we are dead,' Eph. i. 1, 2. 'Begetting us anew,' John. i. 23. Making us in all things, such as he would have us to be; is contained in that promise of the new covenant, Jer. xxxii. 40. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from them to do them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me :' and is no way repugnant to the holy Scripture, declaring our duty to be all this, that the Lord would have us. And now let all men judge, whether against so many and clear testimonies of the Holy Ghost, the Arminian reasons borrowed from the old philosophers, be of any value : the sum of them all, you may find in Cicero, his third book "Petamus ut det quod ut habeamus jubet. Aug.