The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius
IV. ON THE DECREE OF GOD
The decrees of God are the extrinsic acts of God, though they are internal, and, therefore, made by the free will of God, without any absolute necessity. Yet one decree seems to require the supposition of another, on account of a certain fitness of equity; as the decree concerning the creation of a rational creature, and the decree concerning the salvation or damnation [of that creature] on the condition of obedience or disobedience. The act of the creature also, when considered by God from eternity, may sometimes be the occasion, and sometimes the outwardly moving cause of making some decree; and this may be so fare that without such act [of the creature] the decree neither would nor could be made.2. QUERY. -- Can the act of the creature impose a necessity on God of making some decree, and indeed a decree of a particular kind and no other -- and this not only according to some act to be performed respecting the creature and his act, but also according to a certain mode by which that act must be accomplished? 3. One and the same in number is the volition by which God decrees something and determines to do or to permit it, and by which he does or permits the very thing which he decreed.4. About an object which is one and the same, and uniformly considered, there cannot be two decrees of God, or two volitions, either in reality, or according to any semblance of a contrary volition -- as to will to save man under conditions, and yet to will precisely and absolutely to condemn him.5. A decree of itself imposes no necessity on any thing or event. But if any necessity exists through the decree of God, it exists through the intervention of the divine power, and indeed when he judges it proper to employ his irresistible power to effect what he has decreed.6. Therefore, it is not correctly said, The will of God is the necessity of things.| 7. Nor is this a just expression: |All things happen necessarily with respect to the divine decree.| 8. As many distinct decrees are conceived by us, and must necessarily be conceived; as there are objects about which God is occupied in decreeing, or as there are axioms by which those decrees are enunciated.9. Though all the decrees of God have been made from eternity, yet a certain order of priority and posteriority must be laid down, according to their nature, and the mutual relation between them.