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De Moor VII:26: The End of Election

Jacobus Trigland

The Good destined for man in Election, as the Terminus ad Quem, End to which, of this gracious Predestination, is twofold: indeed, men are elected, α. Both unto Glory, etc. The Apologia Remonstrantium, chapter XVIII, page 191b, ineptly asserts: “Election unto Glory is an expression used by Scholastic Theologians, not sacred Writers.” Indeed, TRIGLAND aptly replies, Antapologia, chapter XXXIV, page 458, “Why then do the Remonstrants make use of that expression? But what is that ordination, whereby certain ones were ordained to eternal Life, Acts 13:48? What then is that foreordination, from which vocation, justification, and finally glorification proceed, Romans 8:30? What then is that Election, from which flows every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, Ephesians 1:3, 4? What then is that Election, whereby God chose His own from the beginning to salvation, in the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:13? Is that not Election unto Glory? Are not those expressions of sacred Writers? But nevertheless is Election to Glory, as he imagines with his own, not used by sacred Writers, but only by certain Scholastics?”

β. And unto saving Grace leading thither: Understand the Benefits and Gifts leading to Salvation by the Counsel of God and with the event certain; as are the Giving of the Christ the Mediator, internal Vocation, Justification, Sanctification, Preservation, Faith, and Repentance, which are determined in association with Salvation; as you may gather from the passages cited by our AUTHOR.

[Which two things are able to be distinguished as Ends ultimate and Proximate, but ought not to be separated, as it is done by our oft mentioned Adversaries; even if to certain men not elected unto Glory is destined external common Grace.] That is, the Remonstrants by Election unto Grace understand nothing other than the determination of an external, more common sort of Grace through external Calling, the good or ill use of which depend upon Free Choice; therefore, from Election unto Glory they not only distinguish this, but also separate the two by a great distance: inasmuch as Election unto Glory according to them presupposes Faith and Obedience; which in turn either is not final, wherein men, for that time in which they believe and live in a manner worthy of the Gospel, are Elect, or is at length made final at death after perseverance unto the end. In which manner, obtaining favor both by their Free Choice, and by their own Righteousness, they verily transfer the Glory of Salvation from God to man, and establish the Will of God as altogether dependent upon the human will and as mutable moment by moment. The Confessio Remonstrantium, chapter XVII, § 2, says: “This Election, namely, to Grace and to the means of Salvation, is sometimes called Vocation in Scripture: it differs much from Election unto Glory, or unto Salvation itself.” But thus, as TRIGLAND observes, Antapologia, chapter XXX, page 405: “The Remonstrants erroneously make an absolute separation between Election to Grace and Election to Glory. For, although Election to External Grace alone differs much from Election to Glory, according to Matthew 20:16; Election unto Internal Grace, from which effectual Calling flows, is the same thing, according to the doctrine of the Apostle, as that which is unto Salvation or unto Glory. Whence it is now evident, that the Remonstrants by Election unto Grace understand nothing beyond external Vocation, or the decree of God concerning the instituting of that Vocation among men. But to give assent, or not to give assent, to this Calling, is placed by them in the Free Choice of the man called, etc.”

But, when to establish their thesis they cite 1 Corinthians 1:26, 27; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9; α. they suppose that the question concerns the use of the language of Election in these passages, whether it is to be understood concerning eternal Election, or concerning Calling in time: β. they confound internal and efficacious Calling, concerning which is this speech here, with external and common Calling: since, γ. the gracious Purpose of God in 2 Timothy 1:9 is expressly asserted to tend both to Salvation, and to a Holy Calling, or saving Grace leading to that.

But the words are rash and devoid of all proof, that are found in the Apologia Remonstrantium, chapter XVIII, page 192b: “To say that the language of Election is to be taken complexly, as if it signifies the Decree of the end and of the means together, is a scholarly εὕρημα/invention and a novel comment, unknown to the Apostles, which refutes itself.” On the contrary, that this acceptation of Election rests upon Apostolic doctrine, our AUTHOR teaches in this §: thus Paul understood the matter, Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; thus Peter, 1 Peter 1:1, 2. That this opinion is not in any way absurd, or destructive to itself, TRIGLAND shows, Antapologia, chapter XXXIV, pages 462, 463.

And so we ourselves acknowledge with the Scripture acknowledge that One Election unto both Ends, that is, Glory and Grace, End and Means, is rather to be preferred over the decrees of the Remonstrants with their multiplications, with Election not certainly connected mutually with them in the matter of human Salvation: compare the Canons of Dort, chapter I, article 8,[1] and Rejection of Errors, § 2,[2] 4,[3] 5.[4]

[1] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, article 8: “There are not various decrees of election, but one and the same decree respecting all those who shall be saved, both under the Old and New Testament; since the Scripture declares the good pleasure, purpose and counsel of the divine will to be one, according to which He hath chosen us from eternity, both to grace and glory, to salvation and the way of salvation, which He hath ordained that we should walk therein.” [2] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 2: “That there are various kinds of election of God unto eternal life: the one general and indefinite, the other particular and definite; and that the latter in turn is either incom­plete, revocable, nondecisive and conditional, or complete, irrevocable, decisive and absolute. Likewise: that there is one election unto faith and another unto salvation, so that election can be unto justifying faith without being a decisive election unto salva­tion. For this is a fancy of men’s minds, invented regardless of the Scriptures, whereby the doctrine of election is corrupted, and this golden chain of our salvation is broken: ‘Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified’ (Romans 8:30).” [3] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 4: “That in the election unto faith this condition is beforehand demanded, namely, that man should use the light of nature aright, be pious, humble, meek, and fit for eternal life, as if on these things election were in any way dependent. For this savors of the teaching of Pelagius, and is opposed to the doctrine of the apostle, when he writes: ‘Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: t hat in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast’ (Ephesians 2:3-9).” [4] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 5: “That the incomplete and non-decisive election of particular persons to salvation occurred because of a foreseen faith, conversion, holiness, godliness, which either began or continued for some time; but that the complete and decisive election occurred because of foreseen perseverance unto the end in faith, conversion, holiness and godliness; and that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness for the sake of which he who is chosen is more worthy than he who is not chosen; and that therefore faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions, which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur. This is repugnant to the entire Scripture which constantly inculcates this and similar declarations: Election is not out of works, but of Him that calleth. ‘That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth’ (Romans 9:11). ‘And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed’ (Acts 13:48). ‘He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy’ (Ephesians 1:4). ‘Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you’ (John 15:16). ‘But if it be of works, then is it no more grace’ (Romans 11:6). ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son’ (1 John 4:10).”

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