The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius
DISPUTATION X ON THE EFFICACY OF THE SCRIPTURES
When we treat on the force and efficacy of the word of God, whether spoken or written, we always append to it the principal and concurrent efficacy of the Holy Spirit. II. The object of this efficacy is man, but he must be considered either as the subject in whom the efficacy operates, or as the object about whom this efficacy exercises itself. III. The subject of this efficacy in whom it operates, is man according to his understanding and his passions, and as being endowed with a capacity, either active or passive. (1.) According to his understanding, by which he is able to understand the meanings of the word, and to apprehend them as true and good for himself: (2.) According to his passions, by which he is capable of being carried by his appetites to something true and good which is pointed out, to embrace it, and to repose in it. IV. This efficacy is not only preparatory, by which the understanding and the passions are prepared to apprehend something else that is yet more true and good, and that is not comprised in the external word; but it is likewise perfective, by which the human understanding and affections are so perfected, that man cannot attain to an ulterior perfection in the present life. Therefore, we reject [the doctrine of] those who affirm that the Scriptures are a dead letter, and serve only to prepare a man, and to render him capable of receiving another inward word. V. This efficacy is beautifully circumscribed in the Scriptures by three acts, each of which is two-fold. (1.) That of teaching what is true, and of confuting what is false. (2.) That of exhorting to what is good, dissuading from what is evil, and of reproving if any thing has been done beyond or contrary to one's duty. (3.) That of administering consolation to a contrite spirit, and of denouncing threats against a lofty spirit. VI. The object of this efficacy, about which it exercises itself, is the same man, placed before the tribunal of divine justice, that, according to this word, he [reporter] may bear away from it a sentence either of justification or of condemnation.