Month:

March, 2012

Preface

26 Mar 2012, by

The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination


Stated and Asserted: With A Preliminary Discourse On The Divine Attributes.

Translated, In Great Measure, From The Latin Of Jerom Zanchius:
With Some Account Of His Life.

By: Augustus Toplady

When I consider the absolute independency of God, and the necessary, total dependence of all created things on him their first cause; I cannot help standing astonished at the pride of impotent, degenerate man, who is so prone . . .

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Some Account of the Life of Jerom Zanchius

It has been asserted[1] that this great divine was born at Alzano, a town of Italy, situate in the valley of Seri, or Serio. But the learned John Sturmius, who was not only Zanchy’s contemporary, but one of his most intimate friends, expressly affirms, in a speech[2] delivered on a public and important occasion . . .

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Observations on the Divine Attributes, Necessary to be Premised, in Order to Our Better Understanding the Doctrine of Predestination.

Although the great and ever-blessed God is a being absolutely simple and infinitely remote from all shadow of composition, He is, nevertheless, in condescension to our weak and contracted faculties, represented in Scripture as possessed of divers Properties, or Attributes, which, though seemingly different from His Essence, are in reality essential to Him, and constitutive of His very Nature.

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The Divine Wisdom and Foreknowledge of God.

I.—With respect to the Divine Wisdom and Foreknowledge, I shall lay down the following positions:—

Position 1.—God is, and always was so perfectly wise, that nothing ever did, or does, or can elude His knowledge. He knew, from all eternity, not only what He Himself intended to do, but also what He would incline and permit others to do. “Known unto God are all His works from eternity ” (Acts 15:18).

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II. The Will of God, with regard to which we assert as follows:—

Position 1.—The Deity is possessed not only of infinite knowledge, but likewise of absolute liberty of will, so that whatever He does, or permits to be done, He does and permits freely and of His own good pleasure.

Consequently, it is His free pleasure to permit sin, since, without His permission, neither men nor devils can do anything. Now, to permit is, at least, the same as not to hinder, though it be in our power to hinder if we please, and this permission, or non-hinderance, is certainly an act of the Divine will. Hence Augustine[1] says, ”Those things which, seemingly, thwart the Divine will are, nevertheless, agreeable to it, for, if God did not permit them, they could not be done, and whatever God permits, He permits freely and willingly. He does nothing, neither suffers anything to be done, against His own will.” And Luther[2] observes that “God permitted Adam to fall into sin because He willed that he should.

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