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De Moor VII:24: The Object of Election, Part 2

The Elect are Fewer than the reprobates, α. From express Passages, Matthew 20:16; 22:14, on which passages consult § 16 above. β. From the Event, Matthew 7:14; Luke 12:32. À LAPIDE on Zechariah 13:8 notes: “Emanuel Sà[1] explains it anagogically; that is to say, In the whole world two parts will be of reprobate men, who will be damned; a third will be of the Elect, which shall be saved. Understand this morally, not mathematically. That is to say, Two parts, that is, far more are damned than are saved. For, that a third part of men mathematically are not saved, is evident from this, that a third part of the world is not believing: for Paganism and Islam occupies Asia, Africa, and India, but almost Europe alone is Christian. Now, in Europe almost a half part is of heretics, schismatics, political men, and atheists. Among the Orthodox many are keepers of concubines, many foster hatreds, many are possessors of unjust goods, many are drunkards, etc. I conclude, therefore, that the portion of the approved, who alone have the hope of salvation, is small: whence Christ in Matthew 20:16; 7:13, 14.”

At the same time, there are Many among them, Matthew 8:11; Revelation 7:9, etc., with the precise number of them nowhere determined, whether in themselves, or in comparison with the Fallen Angels.

But let no one gather from this a Defect; either, α. of Power in God; since, 1. It flows from His Will: and, 2. it is evident that the Power in the salvation of one sinner is infinite, and so sufficient for the salvation of all, if God had so decided. Or, β. of Goodness; since, 1. that is greater in the certain Salvation of some; for, when Good things are rarer and less common, they are more dear: than, 2. in many ineffectually destined for Salvation; for thus the Goodness of God, so greatly extolled by our Adversaries, is almost annihilated, since Salvation depends, not on the Goodness of the Electing God, but on the choice of men; and those damned and those saved are thought to be loved by God altogether or nearly equally.

[1] Emanuel Sà (1530-1596) was a Portuguese Jesuit. He was appointed to serve as Interpreter of the Sacred Writings and Professor of Divinity at Rome.

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