Besides the Things, we ought also to attribute the Decree to God, concerning the Connection of these things among themselves. In which manner an altogether certain Connection between Salvation and Faith has been decreed by God: whence follows the Truth of all the Promises and Threats; neither actually for the preservation of the Truth of the universal Gospel propositions, whosoever believes shall be saved, etc., is anything else required in the place of a foundation, than that Connection between Faith and Salvation, constituted by the divine Will, and the Intention of God to manifest through the Gospel this eternal truth concerning the Connection between Faith and Salvation; and at the same time to instruct everyone living under the Gospel, that he should enter upon this way of Salvation, as a duty which befits him, and the neglect of which would render him more ἀναπολόγητον/inexcusable.
If you wish to reckon that Decree concerning the Connection between Faith and Salvation among the Decree enumerated above, it is to be located between the Decree concerning the giving of Christ the Mediator to the Elect and sending Him into the World for their Redemption, which was the fourth in number, and the Decree concerning the efficacious calling of the Elect, etc., which we reckoned in the fifth place. Yet I will not have conceived of the matter in such a way that God, while He has determinately ordained nothing as of yet concerning the Salvation of certain men, is to be considered to have destined Salvation in general for whomever believing, and then to have destined Faith for certain one in particular, whence the Salvation of these would follow of itself from the application of the prior, general Decree: compare Examen van het Ontwerp van Tolerantie, part 6, pages 195-202. But according to the right Order of directing affairs God is previously conceived to have decreed concerning the End of man, and to have chosen certain one for Salvation, with others reprobated. Then, so that He might lead them to Salvation in a decent way, He ordained Christ as Mediator for the elect; and, so that they might be partakers of the Merits of Christ, with a Connection between Faith in Christ and Salvation established, for the same elect He determined the grace of faith, which He chose to deny to the reprobates, 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
If you should ask, 1. Whether from the preaching of the Gospel, whosoever believes shall be saved, which corresponds to the intention of God in the manner in which I have spoken, arises to each one a right and faculty of believing that he might be saved? I respond, α. To each one hence arises the right and license to believe, that he is to be saved, if by Faith, according to the precept of the Gospel, he should flee to Christ. β. It is fitting that each one, whoever was obligated, living under the Gospel, to embrace that Gospel by Faith unto Salvation, according to God’s preceptive Will. γ. Nevertheless, to do this appropriately in his own strength, the power is wanting in fallen man. δ. God does not will or intend by His Will of Good Pleasure or determining Will the Faith and Salvation of all and each living under the Gospel: but He sets forth to many reprobates ths way of Salvation, and commands them to walk the same for their conviction and greater ἀναπολογησίαν/inexcusability: for, if in this manner He truly intended their Faith and Salvation, these things would also certainly follow, Isaiah 46:10; Hebrews 6:17.
If you should ask, 2. Do not then all living under the Gospel live under the Possibility of Salvation on God’s part, because this proposition has regard to them, All believing shall be saved? I respond: α. To all living under the Gospel that proposition pertains to such an extent, that they ought to be persuaded that it is incumbent upon them by duty, that they believe, if they desire to be saved; and that they are certainly to be saved, if they believe upon the Only Begotten Son of God: but such a condition, as long as it is not furnished, puts nothing into being. β. But whether or not this condition and its consequent are to be furnished, is unknown to each before the event, because he has not inspected the Book of divine Predestination: at least as long as one lives, he is not able certainly to know, that the fulfillment of thise prerequisite condition for Salvation is impossible in his case; unless he be guilty of the unpardonable Sin against the Holy Spirit. γ. But on the part of God, since the destination of certain ones to Faith and Salvation is certain, and the Reprobation and the Grace necessary for Faith denied to them, the impossibility of their Salvation is also certain from the perspective of God; neither in one, and that altogether simple, act of the Will of the determining God is it permissible to compound together two things so opposed to one another, to will and at the same time not to will the Salvation of one and the same man. With respect to men reprobate and who actually perish, God is never said to will their Salvation with His will of Good Pleasure and Decretive; otherwise they would certainly be saved, Psalm 115:3: read carefully Examen van het Ontwerp van Tolerantie, part 7, pages 455-493.
[Moreover, by many is conceded here a Decree concerning a Connection of Things that are never and nowhere going to happen, but only are to be revealed conditionally; which sort is elicited, for example, from the prediction in 2 Kings 13:19.] In such a Decree God established a Connection between two possible things; but at the same time He determined each to this, that it is not going to happen. For example, in 2 Kings 13:19, a Connection is established between the smiting of the ground as a sign of the zeal of the one smiting and the smiting of the enemy; and such a conditional Revelation occurs there, whereby the King might learn to impute, not to God, but to himself and the want of his own zeal, the fault of no greater victory won over the Syrians. But the Truth of this sort of conditional Revelation, being delivered for the conviction of man, appears to require for its foundation such a Decree concerning the Connection between the antecedent and the consequent. Which in the meantime much differs from a Conditional Decree, in which God wills that End and consequent, and that, according to the Jesuits and Arminians, under a Condition He foresees before the Decree: while here God wills neither the antecedent nor the consequent, both of which He destines for non-futurition; but He determines only the Connection between both as a possible end, with this end and scope, that on such a Decree the Truth of the conditional Pronouncements concerning matters that are never and nowhere going to happen might be founded: see our AUTHOR, Exercitationibus Textualibus XIV, Part IV, especially § 9.