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De Moor VII:34: The Ultimate End of Reprobation

Reprobates are predestined to eternal Damnation: whence they are said to have been appointed to Wrath, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, vessels made to Dishonor, fitted unto Destruction, Romans 9:21, 22, forewritten unto Condemnation, Jude 4, sons of perdition, John 17:12, etc. What End of Reprobation then is to be appointed? asks SPANHEIM, Decadum Theologicarum VIII, § 3, number 4, opera, tome 3, column 1245.

To this End or Terminus, says our AUTHOR, Reprobates are also able in a sound sense to be said to be Created in time. It seems harsh to say, when I ask, To what End did God Create man? to respond, that God Created a great many men for eternal Destruction: which assertion our Adversaries accordingly invidiously traduce; see Eckhardus’ Fasciculum Controversiarum cum Calvino, chapter XV, question IV, page 316-318. Our men also deny that the End of the Creation of Man is eternal Damnation;

α. If you have regard unto the Ultimate End, which God proposes to Himself in the creation of the reprobate man, which terminates in God Himself, and is a demonstration of divine Glory and Justice, to which the eternal punishment and ruin of the reprobate Creature is certainly subordinated, in comparison with Proverbs 16:4.

β. If you attend to the First Creation, whereby God of old brought forth man, considered in itself and distinctly from the rest of the works of God. For, thus Man, as originally Created by God, was to be considered neither as elect nor as reprobate properly; but as a rational creature, endowed with the image of God, and obligated to fulfill God’s Law as the way of life. But by the second Creation, which consists of the propagation of the human race, and is accomplished through natural generation, it is able truly to be said, that God establishes some as elect unto life, others as reprobate unto death, in comparison with Romans 9:11; since the object of Predestination is the mass of corrupted mankind, from which, as God has chosen from eternity some unto life, and reprobated others unto death, so also in time He founds or creates: see HEINRICH ALTING’S Theologiam elencticam novam, locus IV, page 196; NICOLAUS ARNOLDI’S Scopas dissolutas Eckhardi, chapter XV, question IV, pages 280-282.

Jacobus Trigland the Elder

γ. It is also possible to distinguish the End that God by His decretive Will set before Himself in the Creation of man, from the End that by His Revealed Will of Complacency prescribes to man to be pursued as his fitting duty; for the latter is the holy Glorification of God: compare TRIGLAND’S Kerckelycke Geschiedenissen, volume 4, pages 673b, 674a, 684, number 4, pages 692, 693.

But all Reprobates are regarded as deserving of Damnation through the common Sin of Adam. This appears with sufficient plainness from what has already been observed in § 10, 17, 18, 33. Indeed, α. in Scripture men are considered in Election and Reprobation as in the common mass of corruption, from which same mass are made some vessels unto honor, others to dishonor, which pertains to nothing other than the state of the Fall in Adam, Romans 9:21. At this point, no foreseen Unbelief and good or evil works comes into consideration to distinguish one from another, Romans 9:11. The one disbelieving the Gospel is set forth as judged or condemned already antecedently to that positive Unbelief, a consequence and demonstration of which matter is that Unbelief said to be; or of which actual condemnation the deficient cause, as it were, in those externally called is indicated, namely, the absence of Faith in Christ, through which he could have been rescued from the liability to condemnation: for which latter sense, nevertheless, the passage in John 3:18 will not so much make as for the former. And naturally after the Fall man is considered as deserving of the Wrath of God, so that it is not necessary that a regard to Unbelief be added, so that man might be made reprobable, Ephesians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 15:22.

β. Now, that the natural Reprobability of all men has been removed through Universal Redemption under the Condition of Faith, and hence the decree of Reprobation is not able to regard man as fallen in Adam from Integrity into sin and consummate misery; is a doubtful hypothesis, and contrary to the Scriptures: see Chapter XX, § 23, 24.

γ. The Gospel is not revealed to all; see below, Chapter XVII, § 9, 10: whence a great number of men are Unbelieving no otherwise than Negatively, insofar as, because of innate corruption and the want of the preaching of the Gospel, of themselves they have not, nor are able to have, Faith: and so on account of Positive Unbelief, whereby one rejects the Gospel and the Christ announced in it, or falls again from the Faith, which he had professed, since it is not applicable to them, they are not able to be reprobated. But, since the commandment to Believe the Gospel only obliges those to whom that Word is revealed, the mere negation of Faith in a man without the revelation of the Gospel is not able to be held as the cause of Reprobation. But we, as preveiously said, denying any impulsive Cause of Reprobation outside of God; judge the consideration of man as fallen from Integrity in Adam and liable to Damnation to suffice as the prerequisite Quality and Condition sine qua non,[1] in which God considered man in Reprobation.

Cornelius Jansen

That Reprobation is not an Evangelical Decree, which rests upon foreseen Unbelief alone. See what things I have already observed on § 33: thus the Remonstrants also speak in declaration of their opinion concerning article I, thesis VIII: “Reprobation from eternal Life was made according to the consideration of antecedent unbelief and perseverance in it:” compare the Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection of Errors, § 8,[2] and chapter 2, Rejection of Errors, § 5,[3] and likewise chapters 3 and 4, Rejection of Errors, § 1;[4] and AUGUSTINE’S opinion concerning this matter in CORNELIUS JANSEN’S Augustino, tome 3, book X, chapters II-V, and in PETAVIUS’ Dogmatibus theologicis, tome I, book IX, chapters IX, X.

At the same time, we grant: α. That in time Unbelief follows, Either Positive, whereby one impudently and obstinately does not receive the Gospel proclaimed to him, or, having received it, rejects it; through which a man greatly aggravates his Condemnation, on account of the unique means of salvation, revealed to him instead of thousands of others, voluntarily despised, since the command to Believe obliges everyone externally called, as below in Chapter XXIII, § 7, we shall see at greater length, John 15:22. Or Negative: for, if Reprobates were not without true Faith, they would be faithful and believers; but thus they would not be able to pertain to the class of Reprobates.

β. And that God is in the future going to judge according to the Gospel and its preaching, Romans 2:16. Now, in that matter, 1. the argument of the Gospel, which preaches Faith, and condemns on account of Unbelief, is not set forth as the sole norm of Judgment; contrariwise, the Law, both natural and written, is mentioned as the eminent norm of Judgment, verses 12, 13. 2. Moreover, that κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου, according to my gospel, is able to be referred as much to the outcome of the Judgment to be delivered, to be delivered indeed through Jesus Christ, foretold in the Gospel preached by Paul; as to an argument concerning the norm of the Judgment. 3. At the same time, the argument of the Judgment in the event in the future will altogether correspond to the doctrine of the Gospel preached by Paul, and the Promises and Threats of the Gospel will then be confirmed also in those to whom they were having regard.

But God is considered here Negatively and Positively. In that twofold manner God is considered as acting both with respect to the ultimate End of Reprobation, concerning which here, and with respect to the intermediate End, concerning which § 35: compare SPANHEIM, Decadum Theologicarum VIII, § 3, number 2, opera, tome 3, column 1244. 1. Reprobation is indeed completed in one, altogether simple Act on God’s part; but it is divided into a twofold Act, Negative and Positive, according to our manner of conception, for an easier understanding of the matter. 2. That Act is Positive on God’s part, since it denotes an act of the divine Will, through which not only does He not will to deliver men, but wills to leave them in their guilt and misery: yet the former is rightly said to be Negative with respect to ends, for example, not to show mercy, etc.; but the other Positive, because He ratifies concerning them something positive, namely, judgment and punishment. 3. This Distinction, therefore, is not a Division of a genus into species, or of the whole into parts, or of the subject into accidental properties; but is a formal Distinction of one act with respect to it various objects and ends, which consist in ἄρσει/negation and θέσει/affirmation. For, the Objects are diverse, Grace and Glory not given, nor prepared, which are not owed: and Judgment, Punishment, which are due to sin. Diverse also are the Ends: from which, abandonment in the common guilt and corruption; and to which, determination unto unbelief, disobedience, and destruction. And in this sense that Distinction in Scripture is founded. For, with respect to the End of Death and Destruction God is set forth to us in Scripture, Negatively, as not knowing, that is, not loving, Matthew 7:23; not giving to Christ, John 17:9; not inscribing, Revelation 13:8; 17:8; not choosing, John 13:18: Positively, as hating, Romans 9:13; appointing to wrath and damnation, 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

[1] That is, without which, not. [2] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 8: “That God, simply by virtue of His righteous will, did not decide either to leave anyone in the fall of Adam and in the common state of sin and condemnation, or to pass anyone by in the communication of grace which is necessary for faith and conversion. For this is firmly decreed: ‘Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth’ (Romans 9:18). And also this: ‘It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given’ (Matthew 13:11). Likewise: ‘I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight’ (Matthew 11:25, 26).” [3] Canons of Dort, chapter 2, Rejection 5: “That all men have been accepted unto the state of reconciliation and unto the grace of the covenant, so that no one is worthy of condemnation on account of original sin, and that no one shall be condemned because of it, but that all are free from the guilt of original sin. For this opinion is repugnant to Scripture which teaches that we are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3).” [4] Canons of Dort, chapters 3 and 4, Rejection 1: “That it cannot properly be said that original sin in itself suffices to condemn the whole human race or to deserve temporal and eternal punishment. For these contradict the apostle, who declares: ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12). And: ‘The judgment was by one to condemnation’ (Romans 5:16). And: ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23).”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
03 трав. 2023 р.

Westminster Larger Catechism 13: What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?

Answer: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory;1 and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof:2 and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, [whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favour as he pleaseth,] hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonour and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.3

1 1 Tim. 5:21

2 Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13,14.



Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
03 трав. 2023 р.

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