The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius
ON PREDESTINATION TO SALVATION, AND ON DAMNATION CONSIDERED IN THE HIGHEST DEGREE
The first in order of the divine decrees is not that of predestination, by which God foreordained to supernatural ends, and by which he resolved to save and to condemn, to declare his mercy and his punitive justice, and to illustrate the glory of his saving grace, and of his wisdom and power which correspond with that most free grace.2. The object of predestination to supernatural ends, to salvation and death, to the demonstration of the mercy and punitive justice, or of the saving grace, the wisdom, and the most free power of God, is not rational creatures indefinitely foreknown, and capable of salvation, of damnation, of creation, of falling, and of reparation or of being recovered.3. Nor is the subject some particular creatures from among those who are considered in this manner.4. The difference between the vessels to honour and those to dishonour, that is, of mercy and wrath, does not appertain to the adorning or perfection of the universe or of the house of God.5. The entrance of sin into the world does not appertain to the beauty of the universe.6. Creation in the upright state of original righteousness is not a means for executing the decree of predestination, or of election, or of reprobation.7. It is horrid to affirm, that |the way of reprobation is creation in the upright state of original righteousness;| (Gomarus, in his Theses on Predestination;) and in this very assertion are propounded two contrary volitions of God concerning one and the same thing.8. It is a horrible affirmation, that |God has predestinated whatsoever men he pleased not only to damnation, but likewise to the causes of damnation.| (Beza, vol. I, fol.417.) 9. It is a horrible affirmation, that |men are predestinated to eternal death by the naked will or choice of God, without any demerit on their part.| (Calvin, Inst. l. I, c.2, 3.) 10. This, also, is a horrible affirmation: |Some among men have been created unto life eternal, and others unto death eternal.| 11. It is not a felicitous expression, that |preparation unto destruction is not to be referred to any other thing, than to the secret counsel of God.| 12. Permission for the fall [of Adam] into sin, is not the means of executing the decree of predestination, or of election, or of reprobation.13. It is an absurd assertion, that |the demerits of the reprobate are the subordinate means of bringing them onward to destined destruction.| 14. It is a false assertion, that |the efficient and sufficient cause and matter of predestination are thus found in those who are reprobated.| 15. The elect are not called |vessels of mercy| in the relation of means to the end, but because mercy is the only moving cause, by which is made the decree itself of predestination to salvation.16. No small injury is inflicted on Christ as mediator, when he is called |the subordinate cause of destined salvation.| 17. The predestination of angels and of men differ so much from each other, that no property of God can be prefixed to both of them unless it be received in an ambiguous acceptation.