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infused into them. And in another place* he asks, "How is it, that though Satan is always working, and adding daily to the wicked wits of men, opus Dei aut cessaverit aut proficere destiterit, that either the work of God should cease, or stop going forward." Vossius indeed refers us to two places in this writer, in favour of the saints' defectibility from the grace of God. In the first of them are these words: "And is this to be wondered at, that any who have been proved for the time past should afterwards fall? Saul, a good man, above the rest, is overthrown by envy; David, a good man, according to the Lord's heart, is afterwards guilty of murder and adultery; Solomon, endued with all grace and wisdom by the Lord, is by women induced to idolatry for to the Son of God alone was it reserved to abide without sin. What if, therefore, a bishop, a deacon, a widow, a virgin, a doctor, yea, even a martyr, should fall from the rule, shall heresies on that account seem to obtain truth? Do we prove faith by persons, or persons by faith? No man is wise, but a believer; no man of great name, but a Christian; no man a Christian, but he who shall persevere to the end." All which amounts to no more, than that the best of men may fall into sin; that none are exempt from it but the Son of God; therefore we should not think ill of the doctrine of faith, because of the falls of the professors of it; no man being a true Christian but he that shall persevere to the last; for such who do not, were never true Christians; to all which we heartily subscribe. Tertullian, both before and after this passage, says such things as are so far from destroying, that they serve to strengthen the doctrine of perseverance. Before it he observes, that "heresies prevail through the infirmities of some, which would not prevail at all, si in bene valentem fidem incurrant, had they attacked one whose faith was sound and well." And after it he has these words, which gave great light into his sense and meaning; "The Lord knows them that are his, and the plant which the Father has not planted he roots up, and of the first shows the last, and carries the fan in his hand to purge his floor. Let the chaff of light faith fly away with every breath of temptation, as much as can fly, eo purior massa frumenti in horrea Domini reponetur, so that the more pure mass of wheat may be laid up in the Lord's garners.' Shall not some of the learners, being offended, turn away from the Lord? Yet the rest should not therefore think of departing from following him; but they that know that he is the Word of life, and came from God, perseveraverunt in comitatu ejus usque ad finem, have persevered in his company unto the end,' when he mildly offered to them to depart if they would. It is a lesser matter if such as Phygellus, Hermogenes, Philetus, and Hymenæus, leave his apostle. The betrayer of Christ was of the apostles. We wonder at his churches, if they are deserted by some, when these things show us Christians, what we suffer after the example of Christ himself; They went out from us, says he, 1 John ii. 19, for they were not of us," &c. In the other place referred to stands this passage: "Do not many

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*Tertull. de Virgin. Veland. c. 1, p. 192.

De Præscript. Hæret. c. 3, p. 230, 231.

+ Hist. Pelag. 1. 6, thes. 12, p. 567.

§ De Pænitentia, c. 6, p. 144.

afterwards fall? Is not the gift taken away from many? These are they, namely, who creep in by stealth; who, attempting the faith of repentance, place their house, about to fall upon the sands." But Tertullian is manifestly speaking of such who never had the true grace of God, or built upon a right foundation, from whom was taken away that which they seemed to have; having fallen, not from true faith they never had, but from a profession of it: so he sometimes* calls Simon Magus a believer, because he professed to be one; though he afterwards says, that he was cursed by the apostles, and cast out from the faith, that is, from the church of God, and a profession of faith in it. So when he speaks + of some ready to perish after baptism, he is to be understood of such who have not, and never had, oil in their lamps." Or, when he speaks of true believers losing their faith, he does not mean that they shall finally and totally perish; "for," says het, "though such an one may be said to perish, it will be of such kind of perdition as to be recovered again; because the sheep perishes, not by dying, but by wandering, and the piece of silver, not by decaying, but by lying hid; so that may be said to perish which is safe; wherefore also a believer, falling into a sight of the charioteer's fury, the fencer's blood, the filthiness of the stage, &c., perishes;" yet he observes, that he ought to be sought after and fetched back.

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ORIGEN has many things in his writings which countenance the doctrine of the perpetuity of grace in the saints, and their final perseverance. "To me," he says §, "those things seem firmer which are by grace, than those which are of the law; because those are without us, they are within us, and these consist in frail matter, so as that they may easily decay, but they are written by the Spirit of God, and being impressed in the inward chambers of the soul, firmitatem perpetuitatis obtinent, obtain the firmness of perpetuity." Again, he observes ||, "that the grace and gift of our Saviour," referring to John iv. 10, 14, αναφαίρετος και μη αναλισκόμενη, μηδε φθειρομένη, " cannot be taken away, nor consumed, nor destroyed in him that partakes of it." Particularly he observes, agreeably to the Scripture, that "charity, or the grace of love, never fails; wherefore," adds he, "the apostle being confident that he had received it entire, said, Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall tribulation, &c., for from charity never failing, were those words of his," Rom. viii. 35. In another place ** he takes notice of a twofold light, the light of the ungodly, which will be put out, and the light of the righteous, quæ permanet in æternum, "which abides for ever; and then argues thus: "Our soul is en

*De Idololatria, c. 9, p. 109. § In Rom. 1. 4, fol. 162, C.

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+ Scorpiace, c. 6, p. 623. De Pudicitia, c. 7, p. 722. In Joan. p. 206. ¶ In Matt. hom. 23, fol. 43, A. **In Jud. homil. 1, fol. 177, C; et in Matt. homil. 30, fol. 60, E.

lightened either with the true light, quod nunquam extinguetur, 'which shall never be put out,' which is Christ; or if it has not in it that light which is eternal, without doubt it is enlightened with a temporal and extinguishable light, by him who transforms himself into an angel of light." Moreover, having observed, as before, that "charity never falls; so," says he, "the possession and house of the saints never falls, is never taken away, is never separated from their right; for how can that house be separated from the priest, which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, in which Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone?" He often argues the inexpugnableness and safety of the saints, and church of Christ, from their being built upon a foundation, and upon a rock. "The church," he says †, "as the building of Christ, who builds his own house wisely upon a rock, ανεπίδεκτος εστι πυλων αδου, ‘cannot admit of the gates of hell ;' which indeed prevail against every man without the rock and church, but can do nothing against it." And a little after ‡, "No gate of hell can prevail against the rock, or the church which Christ has built upon it." Hence he asserts, that none that belong to Christ, even the least, can ever perish, or the elect be deceived; his words are these§; after citing the passage in Matthew xviii. 10, he adds, "He that is now a little one, can neither be offended nor perish, for great peace have they which love the name of God, and nothing shall offend them. Even he that is the least of all the disciples of Christ, ouk av añоλото, cannot perish, and therefore he is great, and may say this, Who shall separate us from the love?" &c. And elsewhere ||, referring to Matthew xxiv. 24, he says, If it be possible, is a word of exaggeration; for he does not affirm, or say, that the elect also may be deceived; but would show that the words of heretics are frequently very persuasory and powerful to move even them that hear wisely." Satan, as powerful an adversary as he is, is represented as unable to hurt and destroy those that fear the Lord. "We do not deny," says he ¶T, "that there are many devils on earth; we say there are, and that they are powerful in the wicked because of their wickedness; but can do nothing to those who have put on the whole armour of God, and have received strength to stand against the wiles of the devil." And a little after**: "Others, who through ignorance subject themselves to them, may suffer by them; but the Christian, the true Christian, who subjects himself to God only, and to his word, cannot suffer anything by the devils, being greater than them; and he cannot suffer or be hurt by them, because the angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him." little after he adds ++, "So that the contrary angels, nor the prince of them, who is called the prince of this world, can do nothing effectually against those who are devoted to God." The power of sustaining the combat with our spiritual enemies, and the obtaining the victory over them, he ascribes‡‡ not to the power of man, but to divine grace and assistance.


* In Lev. homil. 15, fol. 91, A. In Matt. homil. 30, fol. 59, D.

+ In Matt. P. 276. + Ib. p. 277.
Contr. Cels. 1. 8, p. 400.

tt Contr. Cels. 1. 8, p. 402.

§ Ib. p. 33. ** Ib. p. 101.

In Exod. homil. 6, fol. 376; Ilsę. Agxwv, 1.3, c. 2, fol. 143, D, 144, D.

I own there are some passages in the writings of this father which are not agreeable to this doctrine, though frequently suggested by him as when he supposes * Judas to be a true believer, and observest, that though none can pluck Christ's sheep out of the hands of God, yet they may fall out of them through their own negligence, or by setting themselves afar off from the hand of God. As also when he intimatest, that the Spirit of God is sometimes in the saints, and sometimes not; though this may be understood of the gifts of the Spirit, bestowed at certain times for peculiar service; or of the graces of the Spirit not being always in exercise, though in being. And in the first passage referred to by Vossius, where Origen says §, that the Holy Spirit is taken away from persons unworthy, and that he who is now worthy of the participation of him, and turns back, is really guilty of blasphemy against him, he is to be understood of the gifts, and not of the grace of the Spirit. His second passage is not to be met with, there being no such chapter in the book he cites. In his third reference are plain intimations of the doctrine of perseverance; he says, that they, of whom the apostle says they made shipwreck of faith, were indeed called, but not justified; and observes, that neither the death of the body, nor the life of sin, nor the vain glory of this world, nor the prince of the world, and other powers, though they desire and endeavour, they cannot separate any from the love of God. It is true, he adds**, if love is perfect, and rooted and grounded; and so it is in every true believer, as to the principle, though not as to the degree and exercise of it.


CYPRIAN. A. D. 250.

CYPRIAN must be reckoned among the assertors of the final perseverance of the saints, and of the indefectibility of true believers, as will appear from the following passages ++ in his writings. He makes this observation on Romans viii. 35, Who shall separate us, &c. "Nihil horum potest separare credentes, none of these things can separate believers; nothing can pull them away that cleave to his body and blood." And to the same purpose he speaks in another place ++," The church, that is, the people fixed in the church, faithfully and firmly persevering in that which they have believed, nothing can separate from Christ, quo minus hæreat semper et maneat in individua dilectione, that they should not always continue and remain in individual love." Again he observes §§, that "the Lord, the protector and defender of his people, will not suffer, triticum de area sua diripi, the wheat to be taken from off his floor,' but the chaff only can be separated from the

* In Joan. P. 39.

In Num. homil. 6, fol. 100, C, D, 101, E. F. || Περί Αρχών, 1. 1, c. 3, fol. 117, C, D. **Ib. fol. 194, A, B, C.

Ib. Ep. 63, ad Cæcilium, p. 149.

In Jer. homil. 18, p. 166; et in Joan. p. 265.
§ Hist. Pelag. 1. 6, thes. 12, p. 566.
In Rom. 1. 7, fol. 192, B.

+ Cyprian. Ep. 8, ad Clerum, p. 24.
§§ Ib. Epist. 69, ad Florentium, p. 172.

church." Agreeable to which he elsewhere says, "He that is not planted in the precepts and admonitions of God the Father, solus poterit de ecclesia ille discedere, he only can depart from the church." And again +, "The church which believes in Christ, and which holds that which it has once known, never departs from him at all; and they are the church who remain in the house of God; but there is a plantation which is not planted by God the Father, whom we see are not made firm and solid with the stability of wheat, but are winnowed like chaff with the breath of the scattering enemy; of whom John in his epistle says, They went out from us," &c. He represents faith as inexpugnable, and says §, that "the strength of believers remains immoveable, and that integrity continues stable and strong with those who fear and love God with their whole heart." To which may be added the following expressions of his ||, "The strength of hope, and firmness of faith, are vigorous with us, and we have a mind erect, virtue immoveable, patience ever joyful, and a soul secure of its own God, amidst the ruins of a decaying age; as the Holy Ghost, by the prophet, speaks and exhorts, strengthening with a heavenly voice the firmness of our faith and hope, Although, says he, the fig-tree shall not blossom," &c. He denies, "that a man of God, and a worshipper of him, leaning on the truth of hope, and founded on the stability of faith, can be moved by the troubles of this world and age." Once more, he says, "To whom remission of sins is given, to them the name of children is ascribed, and to them eternity is promised, according to John viii. 34, 35." Now this perseverance of the saints, Cyprian considered as the gift of God's grace, and owing to his almighty power; hence, says he **, "This we desire and entreat, that we who are sanctified in baptism, might persevere in that which we have begun to be." And a little after, "This we request night and day, that sanctification and vivification which proceed from the grace of God, ipsius protectione servetur, might be preserved by his protection." Which passages, with others, are cited by Austin ++ for the same purpose to show the sense of this great and good man, who not only held the doctrine, but had the grace of perseverance unto the end; for when the proconsul put the question to him, "Dost thou then persevere in this mind, that thou wilt not sacrifice?" he answered, Bona voluntas, quæ Deum novit mutari non potest, "A good mind which knows God cannot be changed." Which were some of his last words, as Pontius his deacon relates ‡‡. Vossius §§ refers to three places in Cyprian, showing that the saints may lose the true grace of God, and finally and totally perish. The two first of them regard one and the same case, that of Solomon's, of whom he says, that "while he walked in the ways of the Lord, he enjoyed the grace

** Ibid.



Cyprian. Ep. 49, ad Cornelium, p. 91.

Ib. Epist. 55, ad eundem, p. 116; vide etiam ep. 69, ad Florentium, p. 172.

Ib. Epist. 9, ad Martyres, p. 26.

Ib. ad Demetrianum, p. 282, 283.

§ Ib. Epist. 52, ad Antonianum, p. 94.
¶ Ib. de Oratione Dominica, p. 266.

++ Aug. de Corrupt. et Gratia, c. 6; de Bono Perseverantia, 1. 2, c. 2 & 21. In Vita Cypriani. §§ Hist. Pelag. 1. 6, thes. 12, p. 567.

Ep. 7, ad Rogatianum, p. 20, D; et de Unitate Ecclesiæ, p. 259.

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