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De Moor on Vindicatory Righteousness: The Socinian Position


Socinus and his followers vigorously dispute the former, so that they might all the more easily dispute the Truth of the Satisfaction of Christ for our Sins with its Necessity removed, which hence is also validly argued. Therefore, thus Socinus, Prælectionibus, chapter XVI: That God, therefore, contrary to what some might think, is able by right to pardon our sins, without any satisfaction received from anyone for them, appears to be manifestly proven, etc. And, de Christo Servatore, part I, chapter I: But I myself think, and judge it to be the Orthodox opinion, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, because He announced to us the way of eternal salvation, etc. But I affirm that for our sins neither did He satisfy, nor was it needful that He satisfy, Divine Justice, by which sinners deserve to be condemned. Again, Socinus at the beginning of part III of the same Tractate: Never shall I be so injurious to my God, that I should dare to think even by a dream, much less constantly to affirm as you do, that He is unwilling or not able by right to pardon my sins, without a true satisfaction received for them. And a little afterwards, chapter I: I have sufficiently shown that that Righteousness/Justice, to which you contend there must be a satisfaction, does not reside in God, but that it is an effect of His will. The Arminians on this issue are superior to the Socinians, because they at least acknowledge with the mouth the Satisfaction of Christ, although, by mixing in their most deplorable hypotheses concerning Universal Satisfaction and Release from Obligation, they enervate the Orthodox Doctrine not a little, and in a remarkable measure detract from the Glory of God in the work of Salvation. But the Most Illustrious Professors of Leiden, in their Censura, chapter II, section XI, observe thems so far setting their course toward the Socinians, that, in enumerating the Attributes of God, they altogether omit this Punishing Righteousness, although this was rather to have been asserted by them against the Socinians: Therefore (say they), we had desired that the Remonstrants, so that they might free themselves from the suspicion of Socinianism, had at least in passing made mention of God’s Vindicatory Righteousness also, and had alleged some passages of Scripture in which that Righteousness is asserted. Whence in their Apologia, page 46, the Remonstrants more openly declare what they thin, writing: The first Censure of Section XI is unworthy of a serious response. For to think that God’s Righteousness is Essential to God in such a way that God by the force of it is obliged and necessitated to punish sins is altogether inept and unworthy of God.

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