Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.—Habakkuk 2.4.

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VERI

TAS.

PROPOSITIONS

A N D   PRINCIPLES

of Diuinitie, propounded and

disputed   in   the   vniuersitie  of

Geneua, by certaine students of Di-

uinitie there, vnder M. THEOD.

BEZA, and M. ANTHONIE

FAIVS, professors of

Diunitie.

WHEREIN IS CON-

tained  a  Methodicall  ſum-

marie, or Epitome of the common

places of Diuinitie.

TRANSLATED OVT OF

Latine into English, to the end that the causes, both of the present dangers of that Church, and also of the troubles of those that are hardlie dealt vvith els-vvhere, may appeare in the English tongue.

AT   EDINBVRGH

Printed by Robert Walde-

graue, printer to the Kings

Maiestie.

Anno Dom. 1591.

Cum Priuilegio Regali.

CASTI

TAS.

X

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

A Quick Note on the Propositions and Principles of Theodore Beza and Anthony Faius, presented below: About 15 years ago, chapters 1 through 11 of the following text were prepared by the present editor and delivered to another individual who placed these online.  Since then these have also appeared elsewhere on the internet.  This text is now provided here at truecovenanter.com with further corrections and the additions of the original dedication, the introduction, and two more chapters.  The original translation published in 1591 has been preserved except for revisions to spelling, occasional capitalization, and a few punctuation issues that most greatly needed adjustment.  To the modern reader, punctuation will stand out as the most evident difficulty in reading the text, as it is not merely antiquated, but sometimes erroneous.  The reader is encouraged to bear that in mind, use his better judgment, and enjoy the theology expressed in the paragraphs below.  At some point it may be convenient to provide a more updated text.  For now the following PDF is available to those who desire to print a booklet formatted text with a few additional revisions.

2016.03.31::JTK.


TO THE RENOV-

MED AND NOBLE LORD, THE

LORD NICHOLAS, EARLE

of Oſtrorog, &c.


IT hath been long since the complaint of very many, that those whom they call the Schoolmen and Disputers, have given the studies of the Holy Scriptures, not only a great stroke, but even a death’s wound.  And therefore it will seem wonderful, it may be unto some, that the custom of disputing touching divine matters, is retained in these Churches and Schools, which are reformed according to the pure word of God.  For to dispute of every matter (will some say) is blame-worthy, neither can it be lawful to call everything into question; but only such matters, as being doubtful and uncertain in their own nature, may be argued on both sides, according as the opinions and judgments of men do vary and disagree: of which sort there are many things in Philosophy, which do so move the minds of men with a kind of probability, that it may be justly doubted, whether the things be as they seem or no.  But Divinity [Theology] is grounded upon such a sure and certain foundation, that there is no place left therein unto doubting and questioning.  For he himself spake, that is not PYTHAGORAS, but IEHOVAH by his Prophets and Apostles in his word written by them, teaching {} therein, the only truth of those matters, which neither eye hath seen, ear hath heard, nor ever entered into the heart of man, and which they whom God loveth, and who love him again, do obtain of the merciful Lord, [1 Cor. 2.9,] not by reasoning, but by believing and leading an holy life.  This reason hath so prevailed, that many godly & grave men, have either from their hearts, as being of this judgment, or for some other cause, abstained from this course of disputing touching divine mattersFor godliness, say they, is to be taught and learned according unto the plain and simple manner of Fishermen, and not by the subtleties of ARISTOTLE; and that doubting of the ACADEMICKS—who (as AUGUSTINE saith) hold that men are to be without all hope of finding the truth, being an opinion, that maketh men wavering and changeable, ready to hold anything, and to bear any face and countenance,—is to be utterly removed from the Church: whereunto you may add as the Apostle admonisheth us, that we take heed lest any man spoil us by philosophy.  Neither indeed can it be denied, but that in the very first beginning of the Church, there was a very sore blow given unto religion, by those who being swollen up by the pride of human reasonings, would rather submit Christ unto their judgments, than themselves unto his majesty.  So that TERTULLIAN long since, justly named Philosophers to be the Patriarchs of heresies.  Now in the ages following, that wound was not only not healed, but made greater and grievouser, by those who, mingling the School of Philosophy with Divinity, did make the Lady and Mistress, to be at the commandment of the servant and handmaid.  For the craft of Satan was such, that whilst those, who (being otherwise good men) did endeavour by the light of disputation, to clear the truth against errors, they themselves falling into far greater darkness, drew others after them.  For why should we not {} so account of those questionary masters as they call them?  Whereunto (if unto any other) that which AUGUSTINE allegorically spake out of the eighth Psalm, concerning curious men, may be most fitly applied: The most earnest and obstinate study (saith he,) of all curious men, who seek vain and transitory things, is like unto the fish, that walk through the paths of the Sea: the which paths, do as soon vanish away and decay, as the water cometh again together, after it hath given place to any that pass or swim through it.  Thus far AUGUSTINEFor what is more curious and more intricate or briar-like, than so many (not so sound as subtle) questions, divisions, distinctions, and solutions of these men, who stand gnawing upon the bones of arguments, as TERTULLIAN saith.  Verily that which is set down in the Fables touching IXION, ravishing the cloud instead of JUNO, whence the CENTAURES were begotten, who killed one another, may be very aptly applied unto these men.  For the bare shadow instead of the solid truth, being taken hold upon and apprehended by them, hath altogether drunk up, and consumed the juice and moisture of godliness, so that there remaineth nothing for them, but the dry and withered bark: and it hath brought forth so many controversies and diversities of opinions, which teach and learn nothing else, but brawls and parts-taking, that to recall so many minds and contrary judgments that deadly gore one another unto concord and the right rule of reason, concord and reason itself cannot suffice and be able.  For as NAZIANZEN saith, when as having once left faith, we pretend the force and ability of disputation, we do nothing else thereby, but blot out the authority of the Spirit by questionings.  By the which unsuccessive and lamentable issue, we are earnestly admonished, to betake ourselves from their train, who use over narrowly and curiously to sift matters, {} unto the assembly [congregation] of those, that are godly and profitable hearers.

But yet this was the fault of these men, who in divinity observed not that rule, That nothing should be too much, [or, Nothing should be used immoderately,] which is exceeding profitable in civil affairs.  For it followeth not, because they were over-curious, (which is not to be commended) that therefore careful diligence should be disliked, or sluggishness and security thought praise-worthy.  But holy things as they are to be dealt in with great judgment, so they are to be handled with greater piety: for this latter is as it were the soul, the former being as the eye of divinity.  The orations of the Prophets, the sermons of Christ, the writings of the Apostles, and especially the Epistles of PAUL, do contain most sharp and grave disputations, which can in no wise be aptly discussed, but by the use of reasoning.  Our Saviour Christ himself disputed with the Doctors, Pharisees, Sadducees, &c.  The same did PAUL with the Jews, with the Philosophers, with the brethren.  The Fathers also disputed: IRENAEUS against the GNOSTICS, TERTULLIAN against the MARCIONITES, ATHANASIUS against the ARIANS, NAZIANZEN, CYRIL, THEODORET, HILLARY, AUGUSTINE, and many others, almost against innumerable heresies: but so as their disputations were not a bare exercise, or a setting forth for a shew of their wits for delight’s sake: But all of them labored, that their reasonings and controversies should not be so much subtle in shew, as profitable indeed.

And disputations, saith AUGUSTINE, become then proftible, if nothing else be considered in them, but the ways of the Lord which are mercy and truth: and when all deceit, subtlety, self-love, and desire of the victory, is clean removed, and when of the contrary side, the desire of the truth, the love and reverence of God’s majesty, joined with modesty and singleness {} is used therein: So that whether we do lovingly confer with our brethren and friends, our mutual reasonings of both sides, ought to be as it were a Besom, to sweep away all errors: or if the adversaries and Hereticks be to be convinced, (which PAUL requireth of the Pastor,) were neither to seek contention by the truth, nor victory by contention, but only the fear of God and the edification of our neighbour.  And it is a notable saying, which the same NAZIANZEN hath to this purpose: namely, that it is not any great matter to be overcome with words or in reasonings: but it is a great and dangerous case to lose the Lord: and certainly he hath lost the Lord, as far as lieth in him, who doth make old lies and falsehoods to become new sins and transgressions, as it is in the ancient Proverbs among the Greeks.  All Christian doctors then, are to frame and fashion all their Scholars, that they timely season them with the juice of these virtues in such sort, as when afterwards they shall come abroad from their private studies, unto any publick calling, they may perpetually retain the same.  This point do we endeavor to perform according unto our slender ability, as in all the parts of our callings, so also in the exercise of disputation, according as we are bound by the laws of our School: who in express terms do forbid, that neither curious nor sophistical propositions, nor such as contain false doctrine in them, be propounded, and that all wrangling, curiosity, sacrilegious boldness in corrupting the word of God, evil contention, and obstinate headiness be clean banished from our disputations.  According unto which pattern, all those that will sincerely judge may perceive that these Principles have been framed.  Now they are published according unto the example of other most famous Schools, that it may appear by this pattern of wholesome words, both what is taught in our university, and after what manner {} the same is delivered, (the which point also, is publicly made known, by many other the writings of our men:) and withal it may be manifested, that we are far from the defence of all false and erroneous doctrines, as far as our weak capacity is able to understand the truth out of the word of God alone, expounded purely, and according to the analogy of faith: and that we may manifest, that as it becometh honest temperate and sober men, we abhor from that stage-like unseemliness of malapert reviling, and railing against those, that have been famous men, both for their godliness and learning, whose virtues being now as dead Lions, these Hares of our time, or rather (that I may use the old word of CATO) these wooden Images do reproachfully defame.  And yet do their railings and scoffings light upon themselves.  One of this number came out the last mart [market, fair], from among the HERDECANIE, who reckoneth us up among the ARIANS, NESTORIANS, and MAHOMETANS, of the which crimes, I hope that the Lord will never make us guilty, so these Principles do shew how false and shameful the same is convinced to be.  Now this fellow hath put us in mind of that complaint of JEROME against his upbraiders, who did calumniously slander not only his words, but also his very syllables: being men notwithstanding of that sottish ignorance and silliness, that they were not able, no not to revile in their own words, but were fain to borrow the unbridled tongues of those enemies, that had been long since buried in the dust.  But this honest man shall have no worse entreaty at our hands for this present time, but that which PLUTARCH saith, namely, that it is a servile thing to be bound to answer every vain fellow.  The Lord forgive him all his sins, and this great injury also, wherewith he would have reproached us, as also we (because we are Christians) do forgive him unfeignedly.  Now unto this purpose of publishing these {} Propositions, is joined another occasion, afforded by many godly and reverend men, who having seen here and there some Copies of these things, entreated both others, and also myself, to send them some of them: and when as none of the Printed Copies were to be gotten, they caused them to be written out for their uses.  Amongst whom (right Honorable) I remember that your Lordship was one.  For when you were at Altorfe, & bare with great commendations, the office of the honorable Lord governor in the School of that famous & honorable Common-wealth of Norinberg, you desired by your Letters, that I would send unto you those principles which we had discussed and determined since your departure: Which thing also (if you be remembered) I performed accordingly.  The same did JONAS MORAUNS, the most careful overseer of your studies, crave at my hand, as many others also have done: unto whom, I think it was very delightsome, to see that web finished, which we had only begun, when they were here.  Now as to yourself, I thought that this work would be grateful and acceptable unto you, as for many causes, so especially in that, by reading these Principles, you may call to mind, the endeavours wherein you have been employed in this study of the word.  For besides that, you would not have yourself to be wanting in any duty of godliness while you were here, you were also an example unto all others of industry and diligence in the Schools, not only by hearing, but even by your godly and learned disputations.  To the end therefore, that we might satisfy your mind, and the request of others, the Propositions that have been here disputed upon, for the space of some years past, are now gathered and brought together into one body, and placed in that orderly sort, that I think, they may not unproperly be accounted a Methodical summary of divinity: yet so as a man may perceive, both by the things themselves, {} and also by the form of speech, that these things were handled in the schools: which is spoken, lest any man should require all things to be here exactly done.  But whatsoever this work be, the same (right honorable) is offered and dedicated unto your Lordship, not only in mine own name, but also, in the name of that worthy man, M. THEODORE BEZA, who took the greatest pains in this work: to let you understand, that although you have been this long time absent, yet your memory is fresh among us, as also the remembrance of that noble Lord, the Lord JOHN your brother, and of many other the honorable gentlemen of the nobility of POLAND, of whom, not a few lived here in times past, very Christianly and religiously: And this I do, by reason of the excellent gifts, wherewith God hath endued you, the which I beseech and pray him, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, to increase and multiply.  Fare you well, — from Geneva, the tenth of the Kalends of September. 1586.

Your Honor’s at commandment

ANTHONIE FAIUS.


TO ALL THOSE THAT WISH WELL UNTO THE LORD JESUS

and his poor Church wandering here upon earth; the Translator wisheth the powerful assistance of God’s Spirit, while they are here, and the speedy enjoying of their sure though deferred hope.


AS the mercies & goodness of God (beloved in the Lord) towards his dear Spouse and Church, hath especially manifested itself in this last ruinous age of the world: So hath Satan in these very times brought his whole munition into the field, with full purpose & intent, one way or other, to bring, either a ruinous fall, or a confused deformity, where the Lord intendeth to build his sure grounded and well ordered house:  And therefore all those, who have given their names unto the profession of the Gospel, are to consider what it is, that thereby they have taken in hand.  For as it hath been true in all ages: so shall it be verified in these our days, that all shall not walk with the Lamb for evermore, who for a time seemed to be of his train.  And alas we know, that he earnestly entreateth over many to open unto him, who yet shall not be partakers of the supper of the great King. [Rev. 3.20.]  For such is the deceitful wisdom of man’s nature, and Satan’s powerful delusion, that even professors themselves, never want great and weighty reasons, why they should deny God’s oppressed truth here upon earth, that the Lord may deny them in that day, when he shall come, not to suffer in his members, but to judge as the most magnificent King, and shall come in that glorious majesty, whereat heaven and earth will be astonied.

Now, because his judgment shall be, (Go you cursed,) upon as many as shall be found not only the defacers of his glory, but even the deniers of any point of his truth and word, as the holy Ghost hath forewarned us, [Luke 9.26];  Therefore, I thought it my duty unto his majesty and his Church, to publish this book in the English tongue, that men and Angels may bear testimony against the moderation and discreet wisdom of this age in defending the truth, that the Lord hath made known unto it, and that by many witnesses, what that truth, and what that word of his is, which he will have at all times, and in this age especially maintained by all men without exception, that mean to be partakers of his eternal favour.  The which truth, as it is largely contained in God’s most sacred written word, of the old and new Testament, so is it briefly set down in this book, by the whole consent of the godly learned in the Church of Geneva, and especially, by that famous learned man, universally reverenced in God’s Church, M. THEODORE BEZA.  Out of this book also, shall appear, for what cause the Church of God is at this day persecuted, wheresoever the same be hardly entreated.  For this I may boldly affirm, that there is no church or private man at this hour, in any affliction for the maintenance of the truth, but the cause of his trouble is contained and defended in this Treatise.  So that although all the persecuted Saints of God, now pilgrims upon earth, be not included within the walls and narrow dominions of Geneva, yet doth this book manifestly prove, that as that Church is barbarously assailed by the Duke of Savoy within the bounds thereof, so is this doctrine therein professed, hardly dealt with under their government (though it may be they are ignorant of it) who would be loath to be found at the siege of Geneva, or any wise to favour such godless cruelty.  And I would wish that this were made known unto them. {}

And hereby also it will be manifested, that there is great cause why the estate of that now distressed Church should be respected.  For surely if there be any love in men towards Christ Jesus, labouring & fainting as it were in his poor members under the burden of great crosses and trials, they cannot shut up their compassion towards him, craving their help in the person of that poor Church.  I beseech thee therefore good reader, in the mercies of God, not to shut up thy compassion towards the same, and be assured, that the Lord Jesus will for that thy kindness say unto thee, nay, say of thee unto his Father, his Angels and Church: I was poor, hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and besieged in Geneva, and behold this man enriched me, fed me, clothed me, visited me, and defended me as far as lay in him, [Matt. 25.33-36]: wherefore come thou blessed of my Father, and possess thy never-ending reward.  I know beloved, that thou hast many hindrances to do this in this backsliding age, but know yet that Matthew saith, that it is a king, who requireth this at thy hands, and will be exceedingly angry with thee to thy woe, if thou deniest his request, as he will reward thee most bountifully to thy comfort if thou grant the same. [Verse 33, 40.]  And in any case take heed in this, as in all other points touching thy duty, of the wisdom of this age, whose wariness tendeth to no other purpose, but warily to starve and forsake the Gospel.  The shame, poverty, and discontent of the Gospel, I tell thee is a glorious ignominy.  All the crowns in the world are not worthy to stand in the balance with the same.  Thou art also to know, that the Gospel is, whatsoever is according unto wholesome doctrine, as the Apostle teacheth, [1 Tim 1.10-11,] and therefore, if thou wilt stand unto the same, thou must wholly cleave unto it, otherwise, the fierce anger of the God of truth, will be against thee for shrinking from any part of his testimonies.  And thou must know, that thou art not to choose what to defend, but thou art bound to maintain according unto thy calling, whatsoever thou seest to be oppugned by any, be they friends or be they enemies of the truth.  And thou needest not regard herein, whatsoever power opposeth itself against thee, for he whose truth thou maintainest is no respecter of persons, but is terrible, as the Prophet saith, even unto the kings of the earth, [Psalm 110.5,] and thou shalt find, that in thy defence, defending his truth, he will break the great men in the day of his wrath, except they submit themselves unto the sceptre of his word.  In conclusion, (for necessity is laid upon me, that I cannot write what I had purposed) say with the holy man EZRA, [8.22,] unto thine own heart, and be assured thereof, that the hand of God is upon all those that seek him in goodness, and therefore fear not, but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.

Briefly, that thou mayest profit by this book, I crave of thee to take this pains in it, bestow an hour a day in the reading thereof, and in so doing, after the first time, thou mayest well read it over once every month.  The which course if thou shalt take, I doubt not but in one year, thou shalt so benefit thyself, as there shall be no point of weight in religion, whereof thou shalt not be able to resolve thine own conscience, and also to edify others according unto thy calling in very good measure.  But in any case take heed, that thy knowledge gotten by reading, rather increase, than diminish thy care in the hearing of the word preached.  And thus thou mayest expect for the blessing of the Lord, unto whom I betake thee, myself, and all his, now and ever, Amen.


GROVNDS   AND

PROPOSITIONS OF RELIGION,

propounded and disputed in the uniuersitie of Geneua, by cer-

taine students of diuinitie there; and determined

by M. THEODOR BEZA, and M. ANTHONIE

FAIVS, professors of diuinitie.


FIRST CONCERNING GOD.

1. Seeing that the whole sum of all wisdom and felicity doth consist in the true knowledge of God: it is most meet that all our endeavors should be spent, in seeking to attain unto that knowledge, as far as we may be capable of it.

2. Not that a full & a perfect knowledge of his Majesty, who is far greater, than the capacity of men, and Angels can reach unto, may be any ways comprehended within our understanding: but that we should bend all the powers of our souls and bodies, to know that one God, who is the author and giver, both of soul and body.

3. And although human reason, be able to afford us some proofs, whereby we may be taught, that there is a God, and but only one: and whereby also his attributes, may be in some sort, made known unto us. Yet notwithstanding, those proofs are most sure and strong, yea, and altogether the most undoubted, which for this purpose are fetched and drawn out of God’s word: that is, out of the sacred writings {2} of the holy Prophets and Apostles, contained in the old and new Testament.

4. For howbeit, that the knowledge of God, which is derived from the consideration of his works and power, hath many notable uses: yet is it nothing comparable, with that light, which is gotten from the holy Scriptures; both because this knowledge revealed by the word, doth wholly flow and proceed from God himself: and also, in asmuch as, God in this his written word, hath manifested, how, and after what manner, he will be known, and worshipped of men.

Now, whether there be a God or no, we are to be so far from making any question thereof, that we are bound most firmly, with all our hearts, without all wavering and doubting, to believe that point.

And therefore we avouch, that the raving madness of all Atheists, who make a question, whether there be a God or no, ought not so much to be confuted by words and reason, as it ought to be clean rooted out of the society of men by the Magistrate, and the stiff maintainers of it, taken from amongst men.

For though all men by nature, as it is now corrupt, be void of the true God: nevertheless, there are certain motions and sparks of the knowledge of God, imprinted in the mind of every man, which cannot altogether be put out: And as these motions do testify, that man was born to worship God: So unless, a more full light be joined unto them, they leave man straying and groping in the dark, and are smally or nothing behoofull unto him.

Therefore, as the knowledge, which man hath by nature, is not altogether of no use unto salvation: so it is very far, from being of itself, sufficient thereunto: It bereaveth them indeed of all excuse, who quench that small light of nature, though never so corrupt, which is left in them.

5. True it is indeed, that he who goeth beyond all bounds, can in no wise be defined, and that that exceeding brightness of God, which no man can attain unto, cannot be comprehended by our darkness, yet he may be, as it were, shadowed out by this description, and so we may say, that God is he {3} who hath his being in himself, whose nature is of himself, invisible without beginning, without ending, infinite, incomprehensible, indivisible, unchangeable, no bodily substance, but a being most pure, most simple, and every way most perfect, wise, mighty, good, just, merciful, free, who hath created all things of nothing, &c.

And therefore, we do detest the multitude of Gods, acknowledged, among the Gentiles, the grossness of the Anthropomorphites,[1] the fury of the Manichæis, and all such like. And here it is to be observed, that those things which are attributed unto God, by the former Epithets and attributes, are not to be taken, as qualities inherent in him: for we are to know, that there is nothing in God, which is not God himself.

6. As where it is said, that God is just, good, merciful, &c. That is so to be understood, as if he were said to be justice, goodness, and mercy itself.

And therefore, although that when we speak of God, we must not conceive of him, as having any likeness or affinity with the nature of man, or of any creature: yet such is the excellency of the Lord, and man’s weakness, that when we speak of his Majesty, we are enforced to use borrowed speeches from creatures. And herein he is so far from disliking of us, that he himself, descending, as it were, into our capacity, doth every where thus speak of himself.

Defended by SAMVEL AVIENVS of Berne.



THE SECOND SORT OF PRINCIPLES,

CONCERNING THE HOLY AND VN-

SEARCHABLE TRINITIE.

1. That knowledge of God, which we attain unto, by his written word, doth far surpass all that, whatsoever it be, whereunto the light of nature, doth or can lead us.

2. For, that God is one in substance, and three in persons, is nowhere else to be learned, save only out of the word. The truth of which Doctrine, it setteth down most clearly and undoubtedly, but so as it leaveth the reason thereof, as a {4} matter altogether unsearchable, and a mystery, not to be sought out by human arguments, but to be reverenced and embraced by faith only.

3. These words, Trinity, Essence, or Substance, Person, and Coessential, though they be not in express syllables (the word Person [Heb. 1.3.] only excepted) to be found in the Canonical Scriptures; yet notwithstanding, they were not without just causes, brought into use, by the godly ancient Fathers; neither are they to be rejected, as adding anything unto the word, but rather, to be still profitable, and wholesomely retained in the Church.

4. By the word TRINITY, we understand the number of the persons, contained in the divine essence, which is one only.

5. By the word essence, in this doctrine is meant, that which indeed is one, and of all things most singular or single, wherein the several persons, being every one of them, the whole & the same essence, do subsist, being distinguished in their peculiar properties. These persons are, the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost.

6. The Persons in the Deity, are the whole and the very same substance of the Deity, distinguished the one from the other, by their peculiar or respective incommunicable properties.

7. The properties whereby the persons are distinguished, are the divers manner of being, that they have in the Deity, whereby the substance of the Godhead, is no wise divided asunder, nor the persons of the same essence separated, but yet so distinguished, as the one of them cannot possibly be the other.

8. The divine Essence, the Deity or Godhead, & God, are essentially the one and the same.

9. These persons are said to be ομοουσιοι or coessential, not because, they are only of like essence and substance, as we see the particulars of the same kind to be: but inasmuch as they are indeed, the one and the selfsame simple essence: of which sort, nothing that is created can be.

And therefore, the persons of the Deity, cannot without blasphemy, be said to be only coherent together in substance, {5} or only of like substance.

10. Amongst these persons, distinguished indeed, by their respective properties, although there be an order; yet is there not any degree, whence either any inferiority, inequality, or confusion may arise.

Therefore we conclude, that there are indeed, three persons in number, yet but one Godhead, and one GOD in regard of substance.

11. The property of the person of the father, is to be unbegotten, and to beget; The property of the son, is to be begotten of the father; the property of the holy ghost, is to proceed, from the father and the son.

Wherefore in conclusion, we do from our hearts detest, all the blasphemies, that both old and new heretics have maintained, contrary unto this doctrine.

Defended by IOHN CHEROPONTIVS of Neocome.



THE THIRD SORT OF PRINCIPLES,

CONCERNING GOD THE FATHER,

AND GOD THE SON.

SEING, WE HAVE DEALT CONCERNING God, one in substance, and three in persons, it followeth nowe, that we speake in order, of euery one of the persons.

1. THE word GOD, is sometimes taken particularly for the person of the Father, because that the persons of the Son, and of the holy Ghost, are referred unto the father as it were, unto a certain original of their being, whereas the father receiveth his being of none, but doth communicate it both with himself, and also with the other two persons.

2. God the Father, was always God, and always the Father, and therefore it fell not as a property unto him, that being merely God at the first, he should be afterward made God the Father: but as he is God from all eternity, so he is the Father from all eternity.

3. God the Father after an unspeakable manner of generation {6} begat his only Son, by communicating his whole essence with him, the which manner of begetting, is shadowed out by a kind of similitude, where the Son is in the holy scripture, named the Wisdom, the Power, the Image [Col. 1.15], the brightness, and the engraven form of his person. [Heb. 1.3.]

4. And after this sort we are to conceive, (but not curiously to scan) the similitudes, of the fountain & the stream that issueth from it: of the Sun and Sunbeams of the light, that proceedeth from light, of the water & the vapors that arise out of it, of the tree and the branches, of the mind and the speech, that is inwardly conceived, of the seed and the bud, and to be brief, of all such similitudes, as the Fathers have brought, to manifest in some measure, though not perfectly to lay open this mystery: Which they accounted a matter to be reverenced & adored, & not curiously and profanely to be sifted and waded into.

5. And although this divine manner of begetting, doth neither cut into parts, nor multiply the essence of the Deity, which Deity, is not a thing that only may be conceived in thought, having no other being or existence, as are the general kinds and sorts of things created, but is indeed a most single, and a most pure infinite self-being: yet doth it multiply the persons, but so, as it doth in no wise sever the one of them from the other.

6. The Father therefore is another person in number than the Son, and in like sort, the Son is another person, than the Father: and yet is the Deity neither divided, nor multiplied, when the Son is said to be God of God. And even as in substance he is the one and the selfsame with the Father, so is he in his person so distinguished from the Father, that he is, and remaineth in him still.

7. The Father and the Son then, are ενυποστατοι, that is, the one of them in the other, or neither of them severed from the other by any distance of place: Yet is the Son more properly said to be in the father, than the father in the son, by reason of the dignity as it were, of the Fatherhood.

Hence also it is, that the Son personally distinguished from the Father, is in many places of the Scripture called God. {7}

8. Out of these things it appeareth, what we are to believe concerning the person of the Son: to wit, that in regard of his substance absolutely considered, he is that one only true God, unto whom do agree whatsoever may be attributed to divine substance considered in itself, but in regard of the manner of his being, that is, in respect that he is the Son, or as far as he is personally considered, then we are to believe, that he is not of himself, but of the Father, yet coeternal and coessential with the Father.

9. We do condemn therefore the Tritheits, by whom, not only the persons (which also we grant) are numbered, but even the substance of the Godhead, (wherein also they place an inequality) multiplied.

In like sort we condemn the SABELLIANS, who holding a contrary errour, do not so much as number the persons, and instead of the royal notions, whereby the persons are distinguished the one from the other, do bring in only a certain difference of their effects and names.

We do also condemn the ARRIANS, who rob the Son, of his essential Godhead.

And the EUNOMIANS, who have forged the inequality of the persons.

Together with the followers of SAMOSATENUS, and SERVETUS: and all other fanatical spirits, who affirm the person of the Son, to have taken his beginning with his human nature, because (as they hold) before that time, either the Word was not the Son, or was nothing else but a shape or a form conceived in God’s mind, of the human nature that should afterward be born, or was only predestinate and appointed to be, (but not being indeed) from all eternity, or else because they will have the flesh of Christ to be taken out of the substance of the Godhead, or (as some do now affirm) because all the properties of the Deity, were poured into the human nature, when the word was incarnate: or to be brief, by what other dotage soever they go about to obscure the coeternal generation of the Son.

Defended by IOHN HENRY SCHINTYER of Tigurine. {8}



THE FOVRTH SORT OF PRINCIPLES,

CONCERNING THE HOLY GHOST.

HITHERTO CONCERNING, THE PERSONS of the Father, and the Sonne: it followeth now, that we speake of the holie Spirit.

1. VVHEREAS the word SPIRIT, is diversely taken in the scriptures, we in this doctrine, do understand by the holy spirit, the third person in Trinity.

2. The holy Spirit is that Essential, and working power, who is essentially subsisting in the Father, and the Son, from whom (the whole Deity wherein also they do subsist, being communicated unto him after an unspeakable manner) though he proceedeth, or (if we may so speak) is as it were breathed, yet is he not at all separated in respect of this his proceeding, but is in regard of the manner of his being, distinguished from the persons of the Father, and the Son.

And therefore he is not without cause reckoned, the third person in number, seeing in consideration of his being, he is referred unto the Father, and the son, yet not as unto two beginnings, but as unto one.

3. The Deity thus communicated, by issuing and proceeding, is not multiplied in substance, seeing he is most simple and single: Whence it is that the holy Ghost in regard of his person, is, and ever hath been coessential, and coeternal with the Father, and the son, and in regard of his substance, is that one only true God in himself: Whereupon also, the name of God, is sometimes personally attributed unto him.

The holy Ghost is therefore to be worshipped, by the one and the same faith and invocation, that the Father and Son are.

4. And although the works of the Trinity, which they call outward, or external, are unseparable, yet in the effecting of them, we are to observe a distinction, not only of the persons, but also of the personal actions.

5. The proper, and the peculiar action of the holy Spirit, {9} in all the works of the Deity, be they natural and ordinary, or else extraordinary; was and is to effect in his time and manner, those things which the father from all eternity hath decreed in his own wisdom, that is, in his Son, and the Son hath ordered and disposed to come to pass.

6. Yet is not the holy spirit any instrumental cause, affording his help as a servant unto the Father or the Son, but working together with them, without any inferiority or inequality.

7. But the power and working of the holy spirit, is especially seen, in the planting and governing of the Church: In which particular respect, he is called the holy spirit: even because, that he who is most holy, doth stir up and nourish, all the holy motions that are in the elect. For he it is, by whose inspiration, all the holy prophets have spoken; it is he, that giveth ears to hear, and a heart to believe, who appointeth Pastors, and doth enable them with necessary gifts, who stirreth up the slothful, and being the true comforter indeed, doth comfort the afflicted soul: By whom those that are born again of him, do cry Abba father, he also formed the flesh of Christ in the womb of the virgin, and did most abundantly anoint his human nature: to conclude, it is he by whose strength we stand until we overcome.

Wherefore, we do abhor and renounce the SABELLIANS who confound the persons with the substance of the Godhead, the ARRIANS and the MACEDONIANS, who deny the holy Ghost to be coessential with the Father and the Son; the GRECIANS of later time, who affirm that he doth only proceed from the father; and those also, who by the holy Ghost, will have nothing else to be meant, save certain motions and inspirations only; together with those, who deny that he is to be invocated, by the one and the selfsame faith with the Father and the Son: and to be brief; we detest all those, that any ways oppugn the Deity of the holy Ghost, either in his substance or person.

Defended by IOHN JAMES COLER of Tygurine. {10}



THE FIFT SORT OF PRINCIPLES, CON-

CERNING THE ATTRIBVTES OF

GOD IN GENERALL.

HITHERTO WE HAVE SPOKEN OF GOD, both as far as wee are able to attaine unto, bee the light of na­ture, & also, as he is laied before us in the holy Scripturs, to be three in person, and one in substance: now it followeth, that we intreat of his attributes, wherby in a sort, we are taught, what maner of God he is.

1. ALTHOUGH there be no composition in God, nor yet any accidental quality, seeing he is a substance most single and every way one, yet to the end that according unto our capacity we might understand what a God he is, he himself in the scriptures is accustomed to attribute unto himself many things, as qualities.

2. By attributes in this place then, we understand the essential properties of the Deity, which are attributed unto him in the scriptures.

3. These things are so attributed unto him, that notwithstanding they place nothing in him that is compound, or divers from his substance, but look whatsoever they point him out to be, the very same he is in his own most simple substance.

4. For, both these properties, and also their actions do in very deed, differ no wit from the substance of the Godhead: but only in some consideration we are to hold them divers both from the divine substance, and also the one from the other.

5. Now these things are attributed unto the Deity, sometimes substantively, & sometimes adjectively as they speak, that we may thereby know him to be a being that subsisteth indeed, and that he is such a one, not by participation and imperfectly, but of himself, and that most perfectly.[2]

6. Of attributes we make two kinds: the one is, of them which are so proper unto the Deity, that they can be in no {11} sort communicated unto creatures, neither have they any other respect unto creatures, save that by them, the Deity is distinguished from creatures; of this kind are, eternity, simpleness, unmeasurableness, omnipotency.

7. The other kind is of those, who although simply, and as far as they are in the Deity, they cannot be communicated; yet creatures may be partakers of them, not properly, but by analogy, and a kind of agreement, and that not essentially, but in regard of quality, and but in part neither: such are wisdom, goodness, and the rest of that kind.

Therefore OSIANDER erred grossly, who taught that the essential righteousness of God, was communicated unto us, and at this day their error is intolerable, who recalling back again the blasphemy of EUTYCHES, hold that all the proprieties of the Deity, were poured by personal union, into the flesh, which the Son of God took upon him.

8. For whatsoever is not the divine essence, thereunto the essential attributes of the Deity cannot be communicated.

9. The actions furthermore, which we said to be also attributes of the Deity, we divide both into those which they call remaining, because they do so continue in the Deity that worketh, as they bring forth no work out of the doer, of which sort are providence and predestination: and also into those which may be termed passing, that is, those which leave some work out of the doer, or do infer a suffering unto something, as are creation and redemption.

10. As for the attributes, which have their names from the effects proceeding from God upon the creatures, though they seem to have had their beginning in time, as where God is called the Creator, redeemer, &c. yet we deny, that either they put any change in God, or do agree unto him by way of accident.

Defended by IOHN CASTOL of Geneua. {12}



THE SIXT SORT OF PRINCIPLES CON-

CERNING THE OMNIPOTENCY

OF GOD.

THE ATTRIBVTES OF GOD IN GENERALL have been dealt with: now some of them in speciall are to be handled.

1. THE omnipotency of God, is that very immeasurable and infinite essence of God, which is communicable unto no creature; always doing, never suffering; and which cannot desist to be that which it is.

2. This being indeed but one, may yet in divers considerations, be said to be manifold.

3. For the omnipotency is one way considered, when we speak of it, as God doth always work in himself, & it is another way regarded, in respect that God worketh out of himself, and can work innumerable things, if it pleaseth him.

4. For we hold, that God is omnipotent, in as much as, besides that, he is able to do whatsoever he will; he can both will and do innumerable things, which he will never, either will or do.

We do therefore condemn them, who say, that God is for no other cause omnipotent, but inasmuch, as he can without exception, work whatsoever can be, either spoken or imagined. And we do dislike of them, who think, that God is in that respect only called omnipotent, because he can do only whatsoever he will: For his power is in itself infinite, whereas his will is as it were, bounded, within the very act of will.

5. Now we hold, that God cannot do any of these things, which either are repugnant unto his personal properties, (as that the Father cannot be begotten, neither the Son beget) or are contrary unto his essence, as to be finite; or which imply a contradiction, of which sort, it is to make that a body shall be truly natural, and yet, neither to have quantity, nor to be contained in any place. Briefly we deny, {13} that God can do anything, which if they were done, might shew him to have defects and weakness in him, as to die, to lie, to sin, &c.

6. And as by faith, we believe according unto the Scriptures, and the Creeds appointed in the church, that God only is omnipotent, so we do profess and publish the same with our mouth.

7. For it is no less repugnant unto his nature, that there should be many omnipotents, than that there should be many Gods.

Whence it is, that Christian Religion, doth not acknowledge in God distinct into three persons, three omnipotents, but one omnipotent.

Now concerning the human nature of Christ, although it be united unto the divine, in the person of the Son, who is but one, yet as it is not therefore made God, so is it not properly made omnipotent: but it retained even it own infirmities, before it was glorified, wherein it might suffer and die for us, and now being glorified, although it be free from all infirmities and glorious; yet is it not in itself made omnipotent.

Defended by WILLIAM MOONES of Niuerse.



THE SEVENTH SORT OF PRINCIPLES

CONCERNING THE KNOWLEDGE

THAT IS IN GOD.

I. UNTO the treatise of God’s omnipotency, is to be joined the declaration of the knowledge that is in him, being a doctrine very necessary; to the end, that the true God may be severed from the false: and that from it we may take counsel and consolation.

II. Now, this science or knowledge is considered, both in itself simply, when the question is what, and of what sort it is: and also in respect of the things that it doth know.

III. By this knowledge, we mean an absolute, and a most clear knowledge in God, both of himself, and of all things created: whereby he doth not only know, all things to be: {14} but also the reason, why they are so. And this knowledge is different, from all the sight that men and Angels have: not by comparison, that it is greater, and theirs lesser: but altogether in the whole nature of it. The which difference we discern by these notes.

  1. That this knowledge is essential, and even the understanding essence of God.

  2. That it ariseth not from the outward senses, or from the notions that the understanding doth apprehend: by reasoning, by joining things together, and by dividing, or yet from the report of any other: no, not from the knowledge of principles, and causes that are of themselves formed in the understanding.

  3. That it is neither any habit nor action, nor any thing different from that very thing that doth understand: that is, from the essence of God, seeing it is most simple.

  4. That it understandeth all things at once.

  5. That it is most certain.

  6. That it is always the same.

IIII. Now in respect of the things that it doth know; we affirm, that God doth know all things by himself, & of himself:

  1. Himself, properly and most fully.

  2. All things past, present, and to come; even those things that are casual.[3]

  3. Yea, and such things as neither are, nor ever shall be.

  4. Even evil things.

  5. Yea infinite.

  6. And even all the motions of the will, and their issues.

  7. And not only by a general knowledge of general things, but even by a most exact and perfect of every particular.

V. This knowledge, which in respect of things to come, is called prescience, or fore-knowledge; is not the cause of the existence of things: although there is nothing to come to pass, which God did not fore-know that it should come.

VI. This knowledge either in whole, or in part, can no creature be capable of.

Defended by IOHN FLORIBVS of Angieu. {15}



THE EIGHT SORT OF PRINC-

IPLES, CONCERNING THE VVILL

OF GOD.

1. THE discourse concerning God’s will, which is most of all to be sought into for our salvation, followeth that which is concerning his knowledge.

2. By the word WILL, in God, we understand, both the divine essence, which doth embrace and delight in that chief and sovereign good which it hath in itself, and also in respect of the things that God will have done; we mean the very action of will.

3. And in this latter regard, it is also considered two manner of ways: either as it is a decree certain, and known only unto God, which we may call θελημα, or else as far, as he is made known unto men, either by commanding, or forbidding in the divine scriptures, and specially in his law, or otherwise by permitting, and working in the creatures.

4. For although the essence of God, and therefore also his will be most simple; yet we deny not the same to be manifold, both in respect of the things which, and of the manner how it willeth those things to be.

5. But look how that unchangeable decree of his, is such, as it cannot but be done, will we, nill we; even so, that will of his, which the Moral law doth lay open, is not always fulfilled: for the reprobate do purposely repugne the same, and the elect, by reason of the corruption of their nature, (which with grief they acknowledge) cannot fully obey it.

6. Further, seeing there is nothing either greater or higher than God, we account it unlawful, to seek any cause of his will, either out of him, or above him, and so we hold his goodness to be the cause of all things, that he will have done.

Whereupon we do justly condemn the old PELAGIANS, and the half PELAGIANS of our age, to wit, the Papists; who babble, that God was moved to decree what should {16} be the end of reasonable creatures, by the foreknowledge he had, either of their faith, or of their works.

7. Those things which God willeth concerning himself, he cannot but will them: but as for such things as he willeth concerning others; them he willeth freely: yet so, as some of them do necessarily come to pass and work: others, as it falleth out, of their own accord.

And seeing it is the cause of all things, we believe, that both good and evil, do come to pass at the appointment thereof, in such sort, as whereas God is most good; so his will is most upright, and the rule of all justice, so as it cannot command anything that is evil.

Now although in Christ, God and man, there be a double will; his divine will is yet so immutable, as it cannot will any new thing; but whatsoever it willeth, the same it willed from eternity; neither doth it repent him of anything he hath done, seeing he is God indeed, and from all eternity.

Defended by FRANCIS BYFIETIVS of Langres.



THE NINTH SORT OF PRINCIPLES,

CONCERNING THE GOODNES, FAVOR,

LOVE, AND MERCIE OF GOD.

THe goodness of God, we call that essential property of his, whereby he is good in himself, and bountiful towards all his creatures.

2. God is so exceedingly good, that from him can proceed nothing but good.

Whence it is, that evil is directly repugnant unto his nature, much less, can he be thought to be the author of evil.

3. And although a proof of God’s goodness, be poured upon every creature, general and particular: yet he doth not in the same measure, communicate the same unto all of them.

4. Now, whereas this goodness turneth unto the destruction of the wicked, the fault is their own; and that because they do either not embrace the same, with a sure confidence, or else do contemptuously refuse it. {17}

5. The word Grace or Favor, which is taken in diverse senses, doth in this place signify the free favor of God, which is only particular unto the elect, which doth not only frame our will, being freed from corruption, to will & to do that which is good, but also doth continually uphold the same, which otherwise would fall to decay of itself, unless that supplying grace, did make the first grace to be of efficacy and force.

6. This grace is neither from nature, as the PELAGIANS did falsely judge, neither yet is it any habit infused in us: neither doth it become ours by any other means, than as far as we apprehend the same by true faith in Christ.

This ground being laid, we affirm, that grace and merits of work, can in no wise stand together.

7. The love that is in God, is no passion arising of some good that it apprehendeth, but it is the very simple essence of God, who is graciously affected towards his creatures, and blesseth them as he thinketh good.

8. But the cause of that love of his, is not in the creatures, as though they were such, as could allure God to love them, but it is rather in God, who of himself is good, and poureth goodness upon his creatures.

9. In like sort, God is called merciful; not because he is subject unto any perturbation, but inasmuch as he repelleth misery from those whom he loveth.

And although amongst men, mercy seemeth to be opposed unto judgment, as a thing that cannot stand with it, yet in God, these two do very well agree, seeing mercy is not contrary unto judgment; but justice being as it were subdued by mercy; doth in respect of us, seem to give place unto mercy.

Defended by DOMINICVS BAYDIVS a flemming.



THE TENTH SORT OF PRINCIPLES

CONCERNING GOD’S PROVIDENCE.

I. GOD’S providence we make to be, that eternal way and manner, whereby God doth conserve, {18} govern and direct unto their certain ends, the things which he hath wonderfully created: So that the said providence uncessantly working, by a perpetual and immutable disposition and administration of all things, neither fainting, nor wearying, and being of itself immutable, doth move all things that have being.

II. For God doth so respect all creatures in general, as he doth provide for them all in special, even unto the meanest particular, which he careth for, cherisheth and governeth, everywhere laying before us in them, his wisdom, goodness, and power: So that all things, both in heaven and earth, are so brought to pass at his appointment, as he always doth apply his hand unto them, until that which he hath most wisely purposed, be most powerfully finished.

III. As he alone doth ordain all things; so he alone doth work all things; though not always without second causes, which he so useth; as he doth not idly impose upon them the burden of effecting, that which he hath once decreed, (as many things are done in the name of Kings and Princes, and said to be wrought at their commandment, which yet, because they are done by other officers, they scant [hardly] know, either how, or by what means they are brought to pass) but doth uncessantly, without any discontinuance, work & bring to pass, by a determinate appointment, & unto their right ends; all things even the least matters: doing justly, even when he useth most evil instruments; to be short, he continually worketh all in all things.

  1. Wherefore, we do condemn all ungodly Epicures, who dream of a certain idle and dainty GOD, that neither regardeth his own, nor yet other men’s affairs: who also think, that all things are turned and rolled by the blind power of Fortune; and do account the eternal punishments of the wicked, and those blessed joys, after this miserable life, for no better, than toys and fables.

  2. We detest those Sacrilegious men also, who make a subalternal or second providence, that is; do attribute unto the true God a general kind of providence, whereas they ascribe unto Saints or false Gods, a more special: whence it {19} came, that blind gentilism did feign certain lieutenant Gods.

  3. Those also, who feign a linking together of causes, & that there is a fatal destiny of things.

  4. Those that affirm heavenly affairs, to be governed by God; and earthly things to be disposed, by the virtue, influence, and constellations of the Stars.

  5. Those, who make God’s providence, to be only a bare knowledge of things, for they divide between God & men, whereas they will have men and their affairs to be guided by the power, but not by the appointment of God.

IIII. Now, though nothing can be done, but by the decree of God, which can never be deceived; yet second causes do work according unto their own nature: & therefore, although the minds and the wills of all men, do bend themselves thither; wheresoever the Lord, as it were, the Ship-master doth move them; yet is it our own fault, that we do evil, and so the cause and the matter of our destruction is in our selves, so that the authors of wickedness, are unexcusable.

V. God’s providence therefore, being absent from nothing that is done, but uprightly governing, ruling, moving, and conveying, whereto it listeth, the judgments, wills, endeavours, enterprises, and actions of all men, both good and bad; and further sending upon us, by his most wise and just counsel, (though we often cannot see it) whatsoever befalleth us in this life, be they prosperity or adversity, can by no means be frustrated, of the effects which it hath purposed.

Defended by IOHN CORNELIVS, of Prouence in France.



THE ELEVENTH SORT OF PRINCIPLES

CONCERNING GODS ETERNALL

PREDESTINATION.

NOW THAT WE HAVE SPOKEN OF GODS Prouidence: it followeth that we deale of Prædestination.

1. FIRST in general, Predestination is that eternal and immovable decree of GOD, whereby, as it pleased {20} his Majesty; he hath decreed all things, both universally and particularly; and also doth effect them by the causes created in like sort, & appointed by him, as he thought good to the laying open of his own glory.

2. Secondly, applying this decree in special unto mankind. We call Predestination, that eternal decree (such as we have already spoken of:) whereby, he hath immutably purposed from all eternity, by saving some in his great mercy, and by damning others in his most just severity, to manifest himself, what he is indeed by his effects; namely, that he is most merciful and most just.

3. Among those second causes, as far as they concern mankind; whom properly this discourse respecteth; we are to consider two, viz. the understanding, and the will, as the spring of the actions of men.

4. It behooved God, being in time to execute the purpose of this eternal Predestination, otherwise he should be the author of sin (which cannot be) to create man good; that is, such, as both the judgment of his understanding, could well and uprightly see into the things laid before him, and uprightly judge of them, and also the desire of his will should be just, and every way even.

5. It behoved also, that this man should be endued with a free and a voluntary power, to move himself, to the end, that this power should be forcible and a self-moving beginning of the actions of man.

6. It behooved this man also to have ability, if he would, to fall from this uprightness and goodness, that a way might be opened, both unto the mercy, and the justice of God.

7. It is so far then, that God bereaved our first Parents of the liberty of human will, & the voluntary inclination to be carried both ways, that on the other side he made no alteration in the same: Otherwise, as God was the Author; so he might be accounted the destroyer thereof.

8. For the eternal purpose of God, doth impose no other necessity upon the events, which he hath determined, than such as he will have second causes, to be moved according {21} unto their own nature: whence it followeth, that it doth not take away the contingency[4] or voluntariness of man’s will, as shall be discussed more fully, God willing, in the discourse concerning the nature of man.

9. Those two therefore, who were the first of all mankind, although in regard of that which was to come to pass, they fell not without the unchangeable appointment of God; yet in respect of the cause inherent in them, and the proper beginning of their actions, they fell contingently, not by constraint, but willingly, and altogether by a voluntary inward motion; both in respect of the understanding, who blinded, and of the will who depraved itself.

10. Therefore, we do retain these Scholastical distinctions of necessity and compulsion, of natural and voluntary, of absolute and conditional, of enforced and ensuing necessity, as true and profitable.

11. This fall brought with it, that which was conveyed unto all men, as GOD had threatened; to wit, the bondage of darkness in the whole mind, & of rebellion against God, in the whole will of man.

12. And although, the liberty of making choice between good and evil; but not between evil and evil, be now altogether lost, yet there remain still, both in the understanding, and also in the will, though servants unto sin, certain voluntary motions.

13. Out of this bondage, God, who is bound unto no man, doth, when he thinketh good, call & enlighten those whom according unto his eternal fore-appointed election in Christ, it pleased him of his mere mercy, to choose, and having bestowed faith upon them, and regenerated them, he freely justifieth them in the same Christ; meaning one day to lay open, in them being glorified, the great glory of his great and unspeakable mercy.

14. We do condemn therefore all those, who appoint the foresight and foreknowledge, either of faith or works, as a preexistent or foregoing cause of election, which was fore-ordained from eternity: neither do we teach, that any man was elected; because he should either believe, or {22} do well; but contrariwise, that they therefore are endued with faith, who do believe; and that they labour to do well, who are careful of good works; because that God of his mere free goodness, did appoint them unto salvation; and therefore to have faith in Christ, and the true fruits of faith.

15. The certainty [or personal confidence] of this Election, is not to be fetched from that eternal decree, known only unto God; nor yet from a general calling, but from the gifts inherent in us, and the effects proper unto the elect; that is, from the good motions of the understanding and the will, we must fetch the gift of true regeneration, peculiar only unto the elect;[5] and from Regeneration, we must gather that unrepentant gift[6] of imputed righteousness: From hence again, by our effectual calling, we must arise to the full assurance of faith, and the testimony of the Spirit of adoption in us, and from thence last of all; we are by little and little, to climb higher & higher, unto the full assurance of our free eternal Predestination in Christ, which is joined with continual prayer, hearing of God’s word, and perseverance in well doing.

16. Now all those, whom it pleased the same GOD, who is debtor unto no man, in justice to leave in their own corruption; either altogether not called, or called, but without the opening of the heart, and worthily to deliver up unto Satan, and their own concupiscence; being such also, as wilfully and willingly harden themselves; will he one day, according unto his eternal Predestination, adjudge together with Satan unto eternal punishments, laying open in their just destruction, the glory of his great and most just hatred against evil.

17. The manifesting of this decree of Reprobation, is to be left unto God, unless it be apparent in any, that they have sinned against the holy Ghost, as in times past, it was with JULIAN the Apostate. The cause, why we are not to determine of Reprobation, from the effects of Satan and our corruption (that sin against the holy Ghost only excepted) as we are to gather our Election from the working of the holy Spirit in us, is this: Even because it hath {23} pleased our merciful God, to shew that some, yea, of the greatest sinners, at their very last gasp, were of the number of his elect, by bestowing forgiveness of sins upon them by his extraordinary favour, as it fell out with the thief that hung upon the Cross.[7]

18. Those therefore, who hold on the ways of destruction, are so to be told of their duty, as leaving unto God the secrets of his judgments, we are not to despair of any man’s salvation. For it is a true consequence indeed to say; I believe, as it appeareth by the effects: therefore I am elected and appointed unto salvation: but it is no necessary consequent to say: I do not believe, and I tread the path of destruction, therefore I am a reprobate, and appointed to damnation. For he that believeth not today, may be endued with faith tomorrow. But thus rather we are to make a true conclusion. I do neither believe the Gospel, nor labour to believe, but continue in the way of destruction. Wherefore, except I betake me unto another course, I shall perish. And therefore I will enter unto another way, which God laith before me. And these are the cogitations, which all pastors are bound by duty with great care to lay before their wandering sheep.

19. God therefore in appointing some of free-gift unto salvation, and others unto just condemnation; is neither author of sin, nor respecter of persons: but thereby sheweth himself to be the true God indeed.

Defended by RAPHAEL EGLINE of Tigurine.



PRINCIPLES CONCERNING THE

CREATION OF ALL THINGS, AND

THEIR DIVISION.   XII.

WE HAVE DONE WITH GODS provi­dence and Predesti­nation: now wee are to entreat of the works of God, (whereby he doth as it were make himself visible unto us,) that is, concerning the creation of all things, and their distinction. {24}

1. CREATION is the external work of God, fore-known and decreed by him of his unspeakable goodness from eternity: whereby, unto the glory of his Name, he did create of nothing, all things that are without him: that is; all things that have a substance different from his essence.

2. The alone sovereign cause therefore of the world, and all things that have being therein, is God: who made all things, not after the manner of men, but without all labour: and also without the work, help, and service of any other, but by his word alone; that is, by his Son, through the power of the holy Ghost.  For the works of the Trinity, are unseparable.

3. Neither did he frame all those things of any fore-being stuff or matter, but even of nothing; that is, from that which was not, by his word alone he gave being, unto all things that are.

Those Philosophers therefore do err, who held, that the world was eternal; and those also who deemed it, to have been made and formed of motes by chance,[8] together with these who taught, this visible world to have been framed by some other than by God.  In which error was CERINTHUS, CARPOCRATES, the ARCHONTIANES, and others, who attributed the work of the creation, only unto certain virtues and powers.

4. The chief end of the creation is, that there should be some, who should enjoy the loving kindness of God, in the true taste thereof, and glorify his Majesty for ever.

To this end were Angels and men created.  A secondary end of the creation is, that all other creatures should together set forth the glory of God, and serve to the use of man.

5. Now, although by the order of nature, from one, as far as it is one, there can proceed but one: and that God of all other things, is most single and but one: yet the infinite variety of things, proceedeth from the same wisdom of God, from whence their creation and government doth depend.  For he worketh not according to the {25} course of nature, but doth whatsoever he will, above all nature, most freely and voluntarily.  Yet, in that inequality of things, there appeareth greatest equality: yea, & the diversity of things, appear to be but one, in respect that whatsoever he hath created, are referred unto that general kind of the being of things, which is but one.

6. The essential division of things, is from their matter and their form: in which respect, some things are visible, as all simple & mixed bodies, either without life and breath, or enjoying both: Some also are invisible, as Angels, & the souls of men, whose effects are manifest; though both their Material and Formal causes, as also other circumstances of the time and place, wherein they were created, be obscure, and in some sort unknown unto us.

7. Now all these things, which God created, could not but be good, seeing he himself is most good; for they were created of him exceedingly good, and most pure without all corruption; having nothing in them, which did not declare the omnipotency, and the exceeding goodness of the Creator.  In this original integrity, men and evil Angels, might have still continued, if they had willed; and men might have conveyed the same unto their posterity: In stead whereof, God, for the sin of man, did curse the inferiour Creatures, which he had created for man’s sake.

8. As concerning Evil: it is not any thing created or having being, but only signifieth the mere absence of the good, that ought to be present; neither is it in the subjects as an accident, but as Privation opposite unto good; rather expelling the same, than having being in itself.[9]

9. And although it doth mar that which otherwise is good in itself, yet is it by accident, the cause of good: That the degrees of things created may appear, which have their state, according as they have the greater, or less good in them.  So unto the good of all things in general, Evil seemed to be in some sort necessary.  And so AUGUSTINE saith, that God was the Author of good, and the ordainer of evil.

10. Now, seeing that Evil is not any thing, that hath {26} being in nature: it followeth, that there can be no extreme sovereign Evil, save only as far as evil is altogether departed from that, which is the chief, and the sovereign good, which only is God alone, blessed and mighty above all.

We do therefore condemn, the MARCIONITES, the MANICHEES, and others; who have taught, that there was two beginnings, the one contrary unto the other; that is, two Gods, the one good, of whom the invisible, spiritual, and good Creatures have had their beginning.  The other evil; from whence all visible, corporal, and corrupt things have issued: whereas indeed all things are good, in regard of their being, and the evil that is in them, hath proceeded from the corruption and defect of their being.

Defended by JOHN HENRY SVVYTZER of Tygurine.



PRINCIPLES CONCERNING GOOD

AND EVILL SPIRITS.   XIII.

CONCERNING THE CREATION of All things in general, we have already spoken: now it followeth, that we deal of the things created in particular, and first of spiritual substances, as being the Creatures that draw nearest unto the nature of God.

1. SPIRITS then are substances, created of nothing without bodies, and invisible; yet finite in regard of the property of their nature; good indeed, but so, as they were created by God, of a changeable goodness.  Of this sort, are those which we call Angels, and the souls of men.

2. All Angels were at the first created good, and endued with an understanding of most surpassing excellency; and being of nature most simple next unto God; they were all at once created in the beginning, & not to take increase by any propagation.

3. The name of Angels, is attributed to those Spirits, to declare their office; namely, that they are, as it were, the {27} messengers and officers of God, especially those of them, that continued in the truth: of whom we will speak in the first place.

4. The names of those, do partly shew the excellency of their nature, as when they are called, SERAPHIM and CHERUBIM, and partly declare, the dignity of their service whereunto they are sent; of which sort, are the names of MICHAEL, GABRIEL, RAPHAEL, spoken of in the Scriptures.

The like names of Angels, mentioned in the books of CABALISTS and PAGANS, we hold to be counterfeit.

5. And as for the disputation concerning their degrees, that of all other things is most vain, and so is the question concerning the time of their creation: seeing that the Lord hath not opened this mystery unto us.

6. Of these Angels, some through God’s grace, have continued in the truth, that is, in that blessed and permanent state wherein they were created, attending as diligent servants upon God, that they might be ready, to execute his commandments, both for the furthering of the salvation of the Saints, and also for the execution of the just judgments of God.

7. In the performing of these commandments, they have often times appeared truly visible, and palpable, by taking upon them the shape of a man, or some other form, being for a set time, clad with true bodies, to bring to pass bodily actions: It being the will of God, that they should thus far frame themselves unto the capacity of men.  But whence they took these bodies, and whether they fashioned them unto themselves, with all such like points as are laid up only in the secret counsel of God, we hold it unlawful for us to search.

8. Now the rest of the Angels, the number whereof, are also exceedingly many, wilfully and willingly changing themselves, and departing from the truth, he being their guide and Captain, as it were, who is peculiarly named Satan, (that is, the adversary of God) and the Devil, are {28} by the just judgment of God, of those that were most good become most evil; but not bereaved of understanding and judgment: Wherefore also they are called by a Greek name, δαιμονια or δαιμονες, that is, endued with knowledge.  And for this their sin, they are justly adjudged by the Lord, unto eternal torment, without any hope of mercy. [Jude verse 6.]

9. And although these wicked Angels do with all their might resist God, yet are they wholly subject unto his government and power; the Lord using their wickedness and malice, partly to chastise his own, and partly to execute his judgments against the enemies of his name; in such sort as he turneth their wicked endeavours and purposes unto the clean contrary part, even unto the salvation of his children, and to his own glory.

10. These, as also their Prince, who from the beginning was a murderer, as far as in them lieth, do desire the destruction of men both body and soul.

11. Their operations also are wonderful, when God giveth them power to hurt: insomuch that, after a sort, they may seem to work miracles. [Rev. 16.14; 2 Thess. 2.9.]

12. But if we call those miracles, which are done against all order of nature, the Devils can work no such: no, nor yet any of the good Angels; Because, this is only the proper power of God, which can in no wise be communicated with any Creature.  The miracles therefore, which seem to be wrought by Devils, are either mere delusions, or else, wrought by the secret operation of nature, (which is better known unto them, being evil Spirits, than to any men,) and therefore, they have but the shew of miracles.

13. These evil Angels also, seem to foretell things to come; in which respect, they have long since bewitched men, and depraved the true worship of God, as far as in {29} them lay.  But to speak properly, they cannot foretell any thing to come, because, this also is the peculiar work of God only.

14. Now, how they are able to work in the hearts of men, and to stir up their thoughts, that is: whether they always do the same by the means of something laid before man, or without any object, we think it to be a curious question, and it may be such as men cannot dissolve.  But our part is, that we be very careful to enarm our selves against these temptations, with all our might, by continual prayers.

15. But we affirm out of the word of God, that the devils are dispersed through all parts of the world, both above and beneath, doing all the evil they can, even until, that Satan and his Angels, together with all cursed reprobates be cast into hell, there to be tormented with eternal fire.

We do therefore condemn the MANICHEES, and the PRISCILLIANISTS, who defended that the Devils were evil by nature, and created such at the first, by a certain evil God: the SADUCEES also, who together with that HERMES TRISMEGISTUS utterly denied that there were any angels;[10]  And ORIGEN likewise, who with PLATO affirmed that those spiritual minds, as often as they offended, were fallen and thrust into bodies;  APELLES the heretick also, who said, that the bodies which the Angels took upon them, were never created;  and LACTANTIUS FIRMIANUS, who dreamed that Angels were not presently at the beginning of the world, appointed to guide and protect man:  In sum, we condemn all those, who either make them co-eternal with God, or attribute unto them, the work of the Creation, as did SIMON MAGUS, CERINTHUS, SATURNINIUS, [Satornilos,] and CARPOCRATES.

Defended by JOHN JAMES COLER of Tigurine.


Footnotes:

1. Heretics, so called because they held God, to have a body and members like a man.

2. For example, compare 1 John 4.16, with Neh. 9.17, in which passages we are taught both that God is Love, and also that God is loving.—JTK.

3. That is, even those events as seem to be without any design at all, or as it were by chance.—JTK.

4. The quality of being unconstrained or yet undetermined, so that circumstances may still develop in various possible ways, as it were according to chance, or influenced by other unknown causes.—JTK.

5. From the good motions of the understanding and the will, we must fetch the gift of true regeneration: that is, from these evidences we must fetch, or persuade ourselves of, their proper causes, including a present gracious regeneration, as well as the eternal election of God according to his own free will and good pleasure.—JTK.

6. Unrepentant gift: that is, one of those “gifts and calling of God” which are “without repentance,” (Rom. 11.29,) because the Lord never takes these away from those to whom they are truly secured by the blood of Jesus Christ and the covenant relation which is sustained between God and believers.  See Rom. 8.38,39, Rom. 5.10, and 2 Tim. 2.19.—JTK.

7. It may be observed that our authors prefer a better exercise here, than those who delight to contemplate the morose endings of other parties who find no place of repentance.  There is warning to be gathered from the latter sort, but it is only the hopeful prospects of what is contemplated by our authors that will drive men to set aside their extravagant fears of the Lord’s reprobating hatred, and take hold on the blessed forgiveness yet proclaimed unto them in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.—JTK.

8. Made and formed of motes by chance: that is, formed by the fortuitous motions, collisions, and combinations of atoms.  This theory was posited by unprincipled men such as Epicurus and Democritus of ancient times, and elaborately described by Lucretius in his work, “On the Nature of Things.”  Although demonstrating considerably more literary skill than his modern counterparts, he evidences no better character or precision in logic.  Other ancients rejected these theories as primitive and nonsense, as may be seen in Cicero’s “The Nature of the Gods.”  Society in general continued to regard them as such until our modern dark-ages.—JTK.

9. This definition of a Christian concept of evil as non-created because non-substantial, is in accordance with our Catholic theology and may be seen articulated in the writings of Athanasius, (in his Contra Gentes, through section 7,) Augustine, (in his City of God, 11.22, and Confessions, lib.3. c.12, and lib.7. c.5,7,16,) and Basil, (in his Hexaemeron, Sermon 2, paragraphs 4 & 5.)  By such considerations as are presented here, the reader may quickly perceive that “The Problem of Evil” objected against Christianity is largely a fabrication of men who wish us to believe something more of evil’s being than either our religion teaches, or their own convictions embrace.  As heretics long ago necessitated the declaration that there is no Supreme being of Evil, so we may better stand by the same affirmation today, than take up the solving of false dilemmas.  True, there is such a thing as evil, and such a thing as sin, and men will perish in hell eternally who have embraced these things.  But there is no such evil as conflicts with the being of a supremely good God; and the sufferings of men in hell are calculated only to prove that this God is most real, his justice most pure, and the love expressed to sinners in the gift of his Son, good beyond all comparison.—JTK.

10. Was this the opinion actually held by Hermes Trismegistus? or the character so called?  The reader is referred to Augustine’s City of God where there is discussion of the subject of gods, angels, and demons, and the opinion of Hermes about these things.  One is left wondering whether Hermes would be so honest as to tell his real opinion.  See Book 8, Chapters 22-24.—JTK.