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8. Who teach, 'That God has not decrced from ' his own mere just will, to leave any in the fall of Adam, and in the common state of sin and damnation, or to pass them by in the communi'cation of grace necessary to faith and conversion.' For that passage stands firm, " He hath mercy on "whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he "hardeneth." Rom. ix. 18. Also, "I glorify thee, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for that "thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. "Even so Father, for so it hath pleased thee." Matt. xi. 25, 26.
9. Who teach, That the reason why God sends 'the gospel to one nation rather, than another, is 'not the mere and sole good pleasure of God; but 'because this nation is better and more deserving 'than that to which the gospel is not communi'cated.' Yet Moses recals the people of Israel from this, saying, "Behold the heaven, and the heaven of "heavens, is the Lord thy God's; the earth also, "with all that therein is: only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them; and he chose "their seed after them, even you, above all people,
as it is this day." Deut. x. 14, 15. And Christ: "Wo unto thee Chorazin! Wo unto thee, Beth"saida! for if the mighty works that are done in
thee, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they "would have repented long ago in sackcloth and "ashes." Matt. xi. 21.1
That we thus think and judge, we testify by the subscription of our hands.
'This shews that the election of nations is really as opposite to the Anticalvinist's ideas of divine justice as the election of individuals.
BY THE TRANSLATOR.
Then follows a list of the names of all those who subscribed and attested the several series of articles and rejections of errors on all the five points among whom are found, George, Bishop of Landaff; John Davenant, presbyter, doctor, and public professor of sacred theology in the University of Cambridge, and president of Queen's College; Samuel Ward, presbyter, doctor of sacred theology, Archdeacon Fauntonnensis, and master of Sidney College in the University of Cambridge; Thomas Goad, presbyter, doctor of sacred theology, and precentor of the cathedral church of St. Paul, London; Walter Balcanqual (Scoto-Britannus), a Scotchman, presbyter, bachelor of sacred theology; with very many others from various parts of the continent of Europe, amounting to above eighty. These were deputed by churches, differing from each other, in various respects, episcopalians, presbyterians, and those in some of the regions which are generally accounted Lutheran, and men that occupied the most important stations in the church and universities of their several countries; yet they all subscribed these articles of the Synod, agreeing in this respect though not in others. For it cannot be supposed, that they who opposed, or were much dissatisfied with any of the conclusions, would thus voluntarily and solemnly attest and subscribe the same decisions. This consideration should, in all reason, at least induce us to give these articles a candid and attentive examination, comparing them carefully with the
scriptures of truth, and praying for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that we may not be so left "to "lean to our own understanding," as to reject and even to revile that, which perhaps may, in great part at least, accord with the "sure testimony of "God."
THE SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE,
Concerning the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men thereby.
Art. 1. God is not only supremely merciful, but also supremely just. And his justice requires (according as he hath revealed himself in the word,) that our sins committed against his infinite majesty should be punished, not only with temporal but also with eternal sufferings, of soul as well as of body; which punishment we cannot escape, unless the justice of God be satisfied.1
2. But, as we cannot satisfy it, and deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, God of infinite mercy gave to us his only begotten Son as a surety, who, that he might make satisfaction for us, was made sin and a curse on the cross for us, or in our stead.2
3. This death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; of infinite value and price, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.3
Isa. xlv. 21. Rom. iii. 25, 26.
Isa. liii. 4-6.10, 11.
2 Cor. v. 21. Gal. iii. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 24. iii. 18.
3 John i. 29. 1 John ii. 2. Prayer of consecration in Communion Service. Catechism, second instruction from the articles of the creed,
4. But this death is of so much value and price, on this account; because the person who endured it is not only a true and perfectly holy Man, but also, the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, such as it behoved our Saviour to be. Finally, because his death was conjoined with the feeling of the wrath and curse of God, which we by our sins had deserved.
5. Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Which promise ought to be announced and proposed, promiscuously and indiscriminately, with the command to repent and believe, to all nations and men to whom God in his good pleasure hath sent the gospel.
6. But because many who are called by the gospel do not repent, nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief; this doth not arise from defect or insufficiency of the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but from their own fault.1
7. But to as many as truly believe, and through the death of Christ are delivered and saved from sin and condemnation, this benefit comes from the sole grace of God, which he owes to no man, given them in Christ from eternity.2
' John iii. 19, 20. v. 44. Heb. iii. 5.
2 John i. 12. 1 Cor. xv. 10. Phil. i. 29. 2 Thess. ii. 11-14. 'We believe, that God, (after that the whole race of Adam had been 'thus precipitated into perdition and destruction, by the fault of the first man) demonstrated himself to be such as he is in reality, and acted as such (præstitisse,) namely, both merciful and just; MERCIFUL indeed in delivering and saving from damnation and death (interitu) those, whom in his eternal
8. For this was the most free counsel, and gracious will and intention of God the Father, that the life-giving and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his own Son should exert itself in all the elect, in order to give them alone justifying faith, and thereby to lead them to eternal life: that is, God willed that Christ, through the blood of the cross, (by which he confirmed the new covenant,) should, out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer on them the gift of faith; (which, as well as other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he obtained for them by his death;) that he should cleanse them by his own blood from all sins, both original and actual, committed after as well as before faith ; that he should preserve them faithfully to the end; and at length present them glorious before himself without any spot and blemish.'
9. This counsel, having proceeded from eternal love to the elect, has, from the beginning of the world to this present time, (the gates of hell in vain striving against it,) been mightily fulfilled, and will henceforth also be fulfilled: so that indeed the elect may in their time be gathered together in one, and that there may always be some church of believers founded in the blood of Christ, who
counsel, according to his gratuitous goodness by Jesus Christ our Lord, he elected, without any respect to their works: but 'JUST, in leaving others in that their own fall and perdition, into ' which they had cast themselves headlong.' Belgic Confession, Article xvi.
' John vi. 37–40, 44, 65. Eph. v. 25–27. 1 Pet. i. 2—5. Rev. v. 9, 10.