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with it, till, in the beginning of the fifth century, it was spread far and wide by the famous St. Austin, in the warmth of his zeal against the Pelagians. As a proof of what is here asserted, it may be sufficient to allege the testimony of one who is considered as the most strenuous champion of the predestinarian doctrine in modern times, I mean Calvin ; who frankly acknowledges, that all the fathers who preceded Austin, spoke so ambiguously and variously upon this point, that an endeavour to establish it upon their authority would be vain and fruitless *. To which he might have added, that even Austin himself, for some time after his conversion, held the same sentiment with his predecessors *; or rather, I believe, ascribed more than some of them, or than he ought to have done, to the unassisted
* “ Magnum mihi præjudicium attulisse forsan videar, qui scriptores omnes Ecclesiasticos, excepto Augustino, ita ambiguè aut variè in hâc re loquutos esse confessus sum, ut certum quippiam ex eorum scriptis haberi nequeat. Hoc enim perinde nonnulli interpretabuntur quasi à suffragii jure depellere ideo ipsos voluerim, quia mihi sint omnes adversarii. Ego verò nihil aliud spectaui quám quòd volui simpliciter ac bona fide consultum piis ingemis : quæ și eorum sententiam hac in parte expectent, semper incertè fluctuabunt: adeò nunc hominem liberi arbitrii viribus spoliatum, ad solam gratiam confugere docent: nunc propiis ipsum armis aut instruunt, aut videntur instruere.”
Calv. Inst. lib. ii. cap. 2. sect. 9.
* To evince this, the following passage from St. Austin will be sufficient, which I cite from a learned writer, as the original is not at hand. “St. Austin lays down this as the true definition of sin, peccatum est voluntas retinendi, vel consequendi id, quod justitia vetat, et unde liberum est abstinere ; sin is the will to obtain or retain that which justice forbids, and from which it is free for us to abstain *. Whence he concludes, that no man is worthy of dispraise or punishment, qui id non faciat quod facere non potest, for not doing that which he hath no power to do; and that if sin , be worthy of dispraise and punishment, it is not to be doubted, tunc esse peccatum cum et liberum est nolle. These things, saith he, the shepherds sing upon the mountains, and the poets in the theatres, and the unlearned in their assemblies, and the learned in their libraries, and the doctors in the schools, and [antistites, in sacris locis, ct in orbe terrarum genus humanum] the bishops in the churches, and mankind throughout the whole earth. Yea this, saith he, is so inanifest, nulla hinc doctorum paucitas, nulla indoctorum turba dissentiat, that it hath the universal consent of the learned and unlearned t."
• Lib. de Duab. Animab. c. 11, 12.
power of the human will *. During the middle ages, the doctrine of the great and
* How much this eminent father of the church overrated the liberty of the will in his first writings, we have his own confession in different places. Thus, in his first book on predestination, chap isi.„" Non sic pius atque humilis doctor ille sapiebat; (Cyprianum beatissimum loquor) qui dixit, in nullo gloriandum quandò nostrum nihil sit. Quod ut ostenderet, adhibuit apostolum testem, dicentem : quid autem habcs, quod non accepisti? Si autem accepisti, quid gloriaris, quasi non acceperis? Quo præcipué testimonio etiam convictus sum, cùm siiniliter errarem putans, fidem, quâ in Deum credimus, non esse donum Dei, sed a nobis esse in nobis, et per illam nos impetrare Dei dona, quibus temperanter et justé et pié vivamus in hoc seculo. Neque eniin fidem putabam Dei gratiâ preveniri.”—Again, in the first book of his retractions, chap. xxiii. _“Nondum diligentius quæsieram, qualis sit electio gratiæ. Proinde quod continuo dixi: dicit enim idem apostolus: idem Deus, qui operatur omnia in omnibus : nusquam autem dictum est : Deus credit omnia in omnibus : ac deinde subjunxi: quod ergò credimus, nostrum est: quod autem bonum operamur, illius est, qui credentibus dat spiritum sanctum: profecto non diceram, si jam scirem, etiam ipsam fidem inter Dei munera reperiri, quæ dantur in codem spiritu.-Et quod paullo pòst dixi: nostrum est enim credere et velle : illius autem dare credentibus et volentibus facultatem bene operandi per Spiritum sanctum, per quem caritas diffunditur in cor
pious African bishop was revived at different periods; in the ninth century, by the monk Godeschalchus, and was by turns condemned and justified in several councils *; in the thirteenth, by the Dominicans, or preaching friars, and by them carried to still greater rigours. At the reformation it was taken up by Luther, who was himself an Augustinian monk, though afterwards it was relinquished by his followers, and is so at this day. Calvin, as we have above observed, adopted the same doctrine, aggravated, as would seem, by a degree of severity of his ownt; unless we should suppose that he had drawn it from Thomas Aquinas, or some other of the dominican doctors *, who, in
dibus nostris: verum est quidem, sed eâdem regulâ et utrumque ipsius est, quia ipse præparat voluntatem; et utrumque nostrum, quia non fit, nisi volentibus nobis."
Upon these passages Vossius remarks, “Neutiquam pro calumniâ haberi debere, quòd multi dicerent, ipsum priùs Augustinum ea docuisse, quæ in Massiliensibus posteà damnaret.” Hist. Pelag. lib. iv. Pars 2. Thesis 1.
* See Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. vol. ii. p. 156-8.
+ “ Quum non alia ratione quæ futura sunt prævideat, nisi quia ita ut fierent decrevit; frustrà de præscientiâ lis movetur, ubi constat ordinatione potiùs et nutu omnia evenire.
Disertis verbis hoc extare negant, decretum fuisse à
Deo ut sua defectione periret Adam. Quasi verò idem ille Deus, quem scriptura prædicat facere quæcunque vult, ambiguo fine condiderit noblissimam ex suis creaturis.”
Calv. Instit. lib. iii. c. 23. sect, 6, 7. * That this is no strained or illiberal supposition, may appear from the following passage of Juricu, a very eminent and zealous Calvinist, who, having described the conduct of Arnaud towards the Jesuits, proceeds to observe, “ C'est justement ainsi qu'il agit avec les Calvinistes au sujet de la grace. Les Calvinistes sur ce point n'enseignent précisement que ce qu'enseignent les Thomistes. Les docteurs de l'Eglise Romaine euxmêmes nous en sont témoins, comme nous verrons quelque part avant que de finir cette matiere. Cependant quand on dispute sur la grace ; en se tournant du côté des Calvinistes, il faut appeller leur doctrine impie, folle, heretique ; mais en se tournant du côté des Thomistes, il faut reconnoitre la même doctrine pour être Catholique, la pure theologie de St. Paul et de St. Augustin.”
Here then we see that the doctrine of grace, as taught by Calvinists, is according to Juricu, who was one of its greatest and ablest defenders, and, in the opinion too of the Roman catholic doctors themselves, perfectly the same with that of Aquinas ; a man held by the Romish church in such high estimation for his under, standing, that he was denoininated the angel of the