The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius
ON THE VOCATION OF SINNERS TO COMMUNION WITH CHRIST, AND TO A PARTICIPATION OF HIS BENEFITS
Sinful man, after the perpetration of sin, has such a knowledge of the law as is sufficient for accusing, convicting, and condemning him; and this knowledge itself is capable of being employed by God when calling him to Christ, that he may, through it, compel man to repent and to flee to Christ.2. An unregenerate man is capable of omitting more evil external works than he omits, and can perform more outward works which have been commanded by God than he actually performs; that is, it is possible for him to rule his inducements for abstaining in another and a better manner than that in which he does rule them; although if he were to do so, he would merit nothing by that deed.3. The distribution of vocation into internal and external, is not the distribution of a genus into its species, or of a whole into its parts.4. Internal vocation is granted even to those who do not comply with the call.5. All unregenerate persons have freedom of will, and a capability of resisting the Holy Spirit, of rejecting the proffered grace of God, of despising the counsel of God against themselves, of refusing to accept the gospel of grace, and of not opening to Him who knocks at the door of the heart; and these things they can actually do, without any difference of the elect and of the reprobate.6. Whomsoever God calls, he calls them seriously, with a will desirous of their repentance and salvation. Neither is there any volition of God about or concerning those whom he calls as being uniformly considered, that is, either affirmatively or negatively contrary to this will.7. God is not bound to employ all the modes which are possible to him for the salvation of all men. He has performed his part, when he has employed either one or more of these possible means for saving.8. |That man should be rendered inexcusable,| is neither the proximate end, nor that which was intended by God, to the divine vocation when it is first made and has not been repulsed.9. The doctrine which is manifested only for the purpose of rendering those who hear it inexcusable, cannot render them inexcusable either by right or by efficacy.10. The right of God -- by which he can require faith in Christ from those who do not possess the capability of believing in him, and on whom he refuses to bestow the grace which is necessary and sufficient for believing, without any demerit on account of grace repulsed -- does not rest or depend on the fact that God gave to Adam, in his primeval state, and in him to all men, the capability of believing in Christ.11. The right of God -- by which he can condemn those who reject the gospel of grace, and by which he actually condemns the disobedient -- does not rest or depend on this fact, that all men have, by their own fault, lost the capability of believing which they received in Adam.12. Sufficient grace must necessarily be laid down; yet this sufficient grace, through the fault of him to whom it is granted, does not [always] obtain its effect. Were the fact otherwise, the justice of God could not be defended in his condemning those who do not believe.13. The efficacy of saving grace is not consistent with that omnipotent act of God, by which he so inwardly acts in the heart and mind of man, that he on whom that act is impressed cannot do otherwise than consent to God who calls him; or, which is the same thing, grace is not an irresistible force.14. QUERY. -- Are efficacious and sufficient grace correctly distinguished according to a congruous or suitable vocation and one that is incongruous, so that it may be called efficacious grace, which God employs according to his purpose of absolutely saving some particular man, as he knows it to be congruous or suitable that this man should be moved and persuaded to obedience; and so that it may be called sufficient grace which he employs, not for such a purpose, though, from his general love towards all mankind, some are affected or moved by it, on whom, by a peremptory decree, he had resolved not to have mercy? 15. The efficacy which is distinguished from efficiency itself, seems not to differ at all from sufficiency.16. Those who are obedient to the vocation or call of God, freely yield their assent to grace; yet they are previously excited, impelled, drawn and assisted by grace; and in the very moment in which they actually assent, they possess the capability of not assenting.17. In the very commencement of his conversion, man conducts himself in a purely passive manner; that is, though, by a vital act, that is, by feeling, he has a perception of the grace which calls him, yet he can do no other than receive it and feel it. But, when he feels grace affecting or inclining his mind and heart, he freely assents to it, so that he is able at the same time to withhold his assent.