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De Moor VII:32: The Object of Reprobation, Part 1

Reprobates are Certain Fixed and Determined Men; which is to be held against the Patrons of Universal Election; and it is sufficiently evident from those things that we observed in § 16 concerning the Object of Predestination, Certain Individual Men destined to their End, and not mere Conditions; and also from those things that we observed in § 23 concerning non-Universal Election: compare the Canons of Dort, chapter I, article 15;[1] and also the Authors cited in § 31. See what the Remonstrants write to the contrary in their Confessione, chapter V, § 7, pages 64, 65: but add the Censuram Confessionis, especially on pages 75-77; and TRIGLAND’S Antapologiam, chapter VIII, pages 107b, 108, 109b, 100: see also the Catechismum Remonstrantium, questions XXXIX, XL, in comparison with HEIDANUS’ Wederlegginge des Remonstrantschen Catechismi, pages 161-178. Eckhardus also, a Lutheran, in his Fasciculo Controversiarum cum Calvino, chapter XV, question XIV, pages 369-371, contends, that Reprobates, or those to be condemned, are indeed certainly foreknown by God, but that their number is not at all immutably limited to certain particular men in the absolute Counsel of God. At the Colloquy of Mumpelgart Jakob Andreæ also signifies that he vehemently abhors our doctrine in part; see the Acta Colloquii Montibelligartensis, pages 413-427, 440, 441, 453. In addition, Pierre Chauvin denies the Reprobation of certain Persons by the eternal Decree of God; see him disputing to the contrary in de Religione naturali, part I, chapter XII, page 129-142. Nevertheless, this truth is evident at a glance:

α. From the Examples of Esau and Pharaoh, Romans 9:11, 13, 17, to which passage compare also those things that were already more than once observed above in § 10, 16, where we saw that the Hatred of Esau is not to be explained as merely a lesser Love, but as so great a divine aversion, which is set in opposition to that divine Love that is according to the ἐκλογὴν χάριτος, election of grace;[2] whereby Esau was excluded from the inheritance of the promises of Grace make to Abraham, of which Jacob, as the son of promise, was heir, unless Paul unsuitable cited here the divine oracle found in Malachi. Add the example of the reprobate Traitor, Judas, Luke 22:22; John 17:12; Acts 1:25, from which examples, although of individual persons, we with good reason seek an argument, although contradicted by the Catechesis Racoviana, chapter X de munere Christi Prophetico, questions 29, 30, pages 268, 269, on which place compare ARNOLDI’S refutationem, pages 640, 641: add MARESIUS’ Hydram Socinianismi expugnatam, tome 3, pages 514-516, on Volkelius’ book V de Vera Religione, chapter XVII, pages 534, 535.

β. From the mention, so often made, of reprobate Persons, not Qualities; inasmuch as mention is made of such whose Names are not written in the Book of Life, Revelation 13:8: inasmuch as some are said not to be of Christ’s Sheep, given to Him by the Father, John 10:26, nor illuminated by the counsel of the Father, Matthew 11:25, 26, but forewritten to Condemnation, Jude 4: compare ARNOLDI’S Scopas dissolutas Eckhardi, chapter XV, question XIII, pages 338-340: and appointed unto Unbelief, 1 Peter 2:8: compare § 10 above near the end.

γ. From various Reasons, for example, 1. From Election being restricted to certain men, which implies the preterition: 2. From the eventual Damnation of certain men, which is not able to happen apart from the counsel of God, Matthew 7:23; 25:41: 3. From the Hardening flowing from the will of God, Romans 9:18: 4. And from the certain predetermination of Temporal Death, which is by far the lesser, and which we have set forth as proven in Chapter VI, § 12.

They Object, α. the synonymy of Reprobates and Unbelievers, such that these are the same. I Respond: But from eternity these are equally determined as in time; such that from the identity of Reprobate and Unbelieving persons it does not follow that from eternity God only in a general way determined to damn the Unbelieving, or to damn the latter and the former under the condition of final Unbelief and Impenitence, which sort God is rather thus to be said to have foreknown, than to have predestined: but, on the other hand, Reprobates and Unbelievers are the same, because Unbelievers are destined through Reprobation unto Unbelief.

Simon Episcopius

They Object, β. the Universal Grace of God, or that God loves all; see Episcopius in TRIGLAND, Antapologia, chapter XIV, pages 221, 222. I Respond, But not with that sort of Love that tends or leads to Salvation: and so according to the relation of the Effects and our manner of conception, the Love of God towards the Elect and towards Reprobates differs, not only in degree, but in kind: since with that sort of Love, wherewith God embraces the Elect, He not only does not attend Reprobates, but contrariwise in this manner He hates them, and does not bestow upon the same truly Saving Grace.

They Object, γ. various Absurdities, 1. the Injury of Justice through προσωποληψίαν, respect of persons; of Mercy through Cruelty; of Holiness through the production of sin; and of making man excusable (it is incorrectly read inexcusable in the Compendio) through coaction: see SPANHEIM’S Elenchum Controversiarum cum Remonstrantibus, § IX, opera, tome 3, column 860; Episcopius’ Præfationem Apologiæ pro Confessione Remonstrantium (…) 3b; TRIGLAND’S Antapologiam in Præfationem, *** 4b, ****, and likewise Antapologiam, page 20, and especially chapter XIV, pages 227b-230, where he sets forth Episcopius’ Objection, that our opinion concerning Predestination is not suited to engender the religious worship of God, which man by duty owes to God; and especially, with respect to the Reprobates, he thinks that it is not able to lead to the engendering in them of honor, love, fear, hope, or trust in God: since the Reprobation that we teach is an act of absolute and consummate Hatred, the act, not only of the supreme Lord, but of a consummate Tyrant, excluding from filiation, the effect of which or necessary consequence is eternal Desperation with respect to the grace of God, etc.: he argues, moreover, that it is established by our opinion, that God judges Reprobates according to their works, and wishes to appear to hold them guilty for duty unfulfilled or neglected; while He nevertheless not only absolutely wills them to perish and to sin, but also causes them to be born infected with original sin, whence it was inevitably necessary that all those sins gush forth: which Objections TRIGLAND then resolves at length and with perfect success.

Johannes Marckius

We briefly Respond with our AUTHOR, a. That, with respect to the first and second, according to our opinion, neither indecent προσωποληψίαν, respect of persons, nor Tyrannical Cruelty, obtain in this sort of definite and eternal Reprobation and determination unto Destruction of certain Persons; since God most justly decrees death to those deserving it. b. Now, this accusation of Injustice and Tyranny ascribed to God on account of our opinion arose, especially among the Remonstrants, from the conception of the Supralapsarians, and it ought not to have been brought back against those that follow the method of the Sublapsarians; since according to the latter all Men were contemplated by God as about to Fall and deserving of eternal destruction through sin; until He Most Freely pitied some by Grace, and destined others through Reprobation for a demonstration of His Justice. But, says the Most Illustrious MARESIUS, Systemate Theologico, locus IV, § 50, note c, page 178: “When the Remonstrants saw the National Synod establish Sublapsarian Predestination, and thus the large crop of calumnies remaining to them taken from them, out of desperation they took counsel, and preferred to deny Original Sin, rather than either to presuppose it in the doctrine of Predestination, or to lay it as a sufficient foundation for Reprobability: in which they were flattered by those that out of the scheme of Universal Redemption feigned that Original Sin was thus counter-balanced by Christ in all and each, so that it might no longer be able to be imputed to anyone, or to oppose the salvation of anyone.” That no προσωποληψίαν, respect of persons, obtains in Predestination, whereby Justice may be injured, neither in Election nor in Reprobation; indeed, that it gives place to a retort against Adversaries objecting this: SPANHIEM distinctly shows, de Personarum Acceptione in Divinis, Disputation I, § 1-3, 7-16, Disputation II, § 1-4, opera, tome 3, columns 1273, 1275-1281. c. But with respect to the third, whether God’s Holiness is here injured by our doctrine through the production of Sin, and the making of man excusable through coaction; concerning this, in addition to TRIGLAND, Antapologia, page 230, see our AUTHOR in many places, Chapter VI, § 13, Chapter VII, § 35, Chapter X, § 19-21, 23, Chapter XV, § 11, 21, 26, 33, Chapter XVI, § 3.

2. Finally, the Injury of Divine Truth through a Feigned Calling in time: see Eckhardus’ Fasciculum Controversiarum cum Calvino, chapter XV, question VIII, pages 341 and following; TRIGLAND’S Antapologiam, pages 226b, 227, in which He sets forth this Objection for Episcopius and refutes it at length.

With our AUTHOR in his Medulla Theologiæ, We Respond, that from the Reprobation of Some Certain and Fixed Men it by no means follows, that the Calling of these to communion with God in time is Feigned: since the most becoming Duty is set forth to men through Vocation; and the conditional Promises and Threats of God that are added are altogether true. But in no way by this external Calling is declared a Counsel, Will, or Intention of God, that He wills to save those that He externally calls, all and each: but He prescribes to man his proper Duty, and shows its tie with divine Blessing. God could be said to deal less than sincerely with men, if He should show another way of salvation in the Gospel, than that which leads to salvation; or if He should exclude from salvation those believing and repenting from the heart, because of the Decree of Reprobation. But here there can be no Hypocrisy; since God sincerely shows the one and only infallible way to salvation, earnestly exhorts to pursue it, and most truly promises salvation to all those that follow it, namely, those believing and repenting: the offer of salvation is not made to man absolutely, but under condition, which men spurn by their own choice and fault: compare the Canons of Dort, chapters III and IV, article 8.[3] While the Catechesis Racoviana, chapter X de munere Christi Prophetico, question 14, has pronounced our opinion concerning Predestination to be altogether false, principally for two reasons; one of which was, that in this way it would be necessary to attribute many inconsistencies to God: question 16, pages 256-258. He gives these inconsistencies as four in number, Injustice, Hypocrisy conjoined with deception, consummate Imprudence, and finally Depravity, because God Himself is thus made the author of sin; and each of these Inconsistencies, it in its own way attempts, through the addition of argumentation, to confirm as flowing from our opinion. But ARNOLDI, in his Refutatione, pages 618-622, skillfully and solidly shows, that these Inconsistencies, all and each, are able to be elicited from our doctrine in no legitimate way: not the first, § 1-5; nor the second, § 6-13; nor the third, § 14, 15; nor the fourth, § 16, 17. In which manner at the same time a response is made to similar argument from the Absurd consequences flowing from our opinion concerning Predestination, which are set forth by Socinus, Prælectionibus Theologicis, chapter VI, opera, tome I, page 542; Volkelius, de Vera Religione, book V, chapter XVII, pages 524, 525, upon which compare MARESIUS’ Hydram Socinianismi expugnatam, tome 3, pages 480-485. In addition, see on these and similar arguments the resolution of Objections, moved by Ernst Salomon Cyprian against our doctrine concerning absolute Predestination, in STAPFER’S Theologicæ polemicæ, tome 5, chapter XX, § 183-235, pages 264-303.

[1] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, article 15: “What peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election, is the express testimony of sacred Scripture that not all, but some only are elected, while others are passed by in the eternal decree; whom God, out of His sovereign, most just, irreprehensible and unchangeable good pleasure, hath decreed to leave in the common misery into which they have wilfully plunged themselves, and not to bestow upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but permitting them in His just judgment to follow their own ways, at last for the declaration of His justice, to condemn and ruin them forever, not only on account of their unbelief, but also for all their other sins. And this is the decree of reprobation which by no means makes God the author of sin (the very thought of which is blasphemy), but declares Him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous Judge and avenger thereof.” [2] Romans 11:5. [3] Canons of Dort, chapters 3 and 4, article 8: “As many as are called by the gospel are unfeignedly called. For God hath most earnestly and truly declared in His Word what will be acceptable to Him; namely, that all who are called, should comply with the invitation. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life and rest to as many as shall come to Him and believe on Him.”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
19 апр. 2023 г.

Westminster Confession of Faith 3:7: The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.1

1 Matt. 11:25,26; Rom. 9:17,18,21,22; 2 Tim. 2:19,20; Jude 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:8.


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
19 апр. 2023 г.

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