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the latter; and if fo, the glory of God's grace is more magnified by the one than by the other. And as this doctrine afcribes the praife of all the good that is done by men to the efficacious grace of God, which makes for his glory; fo it leaves the fhame of evil doings to reft upon the authors of them, who are not partakers of the grace of God; even tho' it is not in their power to convert themselves, or ceafe to do evil, fince this is owing to the vitiofity and corruption of their nature, of which they have reafon to be afham'd; from whence all their evil doings fpring, which being voluntarily committed, are their faults, tho' converfionwork tranfcends all the power of man to perform. Our author thinks, that if this be the cafe, their evil actions may be their misfortunes; but how they fhould be their faults, it is not eafy to conceive: whereas let converfion be by moral fuafion, or by omnipotent power, it makes no alteration. in the nature of evil actions; they are voluntary tranfgreffions of. God's law, and as fuch, faults in men, as well as misfortunes to them, whether men are turned from them to God by the force of moral fuafion, and the power of man's free will, or by the mighty power of God's grace.
I now proceed to mention fome arguments in favour of efficacious and irrefifti
ble grace in converfion, and confider the exceptions to them. And,
I. If the grace by which we are converted, does not work with that efficacy, that it cannot but obtain the effect, but the cooperation of free will is required, then grace is not the beginning of every good thing, but the free will of man, yea, the efficacy of grace is made to depend upon the will of man; and fo the good work of faith and converfion, from whence all other good works fpring, muft be afcrib'd rather to the will of man than to the grace of God; whereas every good and every perfect gift comes from above, from the grace of God, as the fpring and fource of it, and not from below, as it muft, if it comes from the will of man; for to fay, as is faid, that when equal grace is confer'd on two perfons, and the one believes, and the other does not, that the reason is, because the one receives it by the right ufe of free will, excited by the grace of God, and the other rejects it by the wicked abufe of free will, and fresh obftinacy against the grace of God; what is this but to make the free will of man the chief caufe of believing? when nothing is more certain than that faith is the fole gift of God, and the operation of his power,
II. If God, in the converfion of man, does not make ufe of that efficacious operation which determines man, but it is in his power to embrace or refufe the grace of God, or to do any thing towards his converfion, which another neglecting to do, is not converted, then he makes himself to differ, and has matter and occafion of boafting. The exceptions to this argument have been confider'd in the Second Part" of this performance, whither the reader is refer'd.
III. If fuch determining grace, or fuch a powerful operation of it, is not requifite to mens converfion, and is not put forth in it, then God does not bestow any fingular fpecial grace on them who are converted, than he does on them who are not converted; and so no more grace was given to Peter than to Judas, to Paul than to Pilate; whence it follows, that he that believes has no more reason to give thanks to God than he that does not believe. In the reply to this, 'tis own'd, That God, in the ordinary vocation of men, does not give to one more grace than to another, or any special fingular grace which he denies to another but gives equal and fufficient grace to all to obey the call, provided by more grace, is
Page 248, &c. 256, &c.
• Limborch, p. 390.
meant, the fame fpecies of grace, but not the fame degree. But if the fame degree of grace is not given to one as to another, how does it appear that God gives equal grace to all, and what is fufficient for them to obey the divine call? or that the greater degree of grace is not attended with fuch an efficacious operation and irrefiftible power pleaded for by us? Moreover, it is faid to be no abfurdity, that he who does not believe, has equal reafon to give thanks to God as he who does believe, if we refpect the first offer of grace. But furely, according to 1 this writer's own scheme, it can never be thought that he, who, tho' he has the fame kind of grace bestowed upon him, yet not the fame degree of grace, and fo does not operate in the fame way, nor produce the fame effect in him as it does in others, can ever have the same reason to give thanks to God, as fuch have, who have a greater degree of it, and in whom it is productive of true faith and real converfion.
IV. Such is the method of divine Providence, that second causes should fo depend upon God, in their beings and operations, that they cannot determine themselves to any act; but 'tis requifite that they be foreordain'd from eternity, and in time be predetermin'd by God, not only to the act it felf, but to the mode of it. The answer to
this is", That if this was admitted, a fatal and an inevitable neceffity of all things and events negative and pofitive, and of actions good and bad, would be introduced, and God must be the only cause of all the fins and iniquities committed in the whole world. To which may be replied, That the dependence of fecond caufes upon God, in their beings and operations, and the pre-ordination and pre-determination of them to their acts, do indeed introduce a neceffity of the event, that is, that fuch and fuch things fhall be done, and in the manner appointed by God; but do not introduce a co-active neceffity or force, on the will of man: neither God's purposes in eternity, nor his pre-determinations in time, infringe the liberty of man's will, nor make God the author or caufe of any one fin, as appears from the inftances of the felling of Jofeph by his brethren, and the crucifixion of Chrift by the Jews.
V. The opinion which makes the grace of God refiftible, leaves it uncertain, whether any one will be converted by it or not; or, if God did not work with an irrefiftible operation of grace upon the hearts of men in converfion, it was poffible, that not one foul would have been converted. To this
P Limborch, p. 390.