I shall, therefore, consider three things in that theory.
1. Did God elect from eternity, of human beings, considered in their natural condition, some to supernatural felicity and glory, and non elect or pass by others?
2. Did God prepare for those whom He elected, that is, for human beings to be raised from a natural to a supernatural state, and to be translated to a participation of divine things, according to the purpose of election, those means which are necessary, sufficient, and efficacious to the attainment of that supernatural felicity, but passed by others, that is, determine not to communicate those means to them, but to leave them in their natural state?
3. Did God, foreseeing that those persons, thus passed by, would fall into sin, reprobate them, that is, decree to subject them to eternal punishment?
ANSWER OF JUNIUS TO THE EIGHTH PROPOSITION
Let this be the rule which shall guide us in our future discussion. If any use the term, |in their natural condition,| they do not exclude supernatural endowments, which God communicated to Adam, but use it in opposition to sin, (which afterwards supervened,) and to native depravity. They, who use these words otherwise, seem to me to be deceived by a diversity of relation. The word reprobation is here used, (as we have before observed,) in its third signification, which we have called catachrestic; but sufficient on that point. We will come to those three points in their order.
THE REPLY OF ARMINIUS TO THE ANSWER TO THE EIGHTH PROPOSITION
Natural condition I have opposed both to supernatural endowments, and to sin and native depravity, for I have supposed the former term to be used, to the exclusion of the latter; -- not incorrectly, whether we consider the force of the terms themselves, or their use by the school-men. Natural condition has a relation to supernatural endowments, which they exclude as transcending it, and to sin and depravity which they, in like manner, exclude, as corrupting it. Though I have used the term reprobation in the sense in which it is used in your Theses and other writings, yet I shall desist from it hereafter, (if I can keep this in my mind,) and use, in its place, the words preterition and non-election, except when I wish to include both acts, by Synecdoche, in one word. For the term reprobation, as it is used by me, I will substitute preparation of punishment or predamnation.