Jerome Zanchius on Absolute Predestination (Complete)

Chapter 38. It Should Be Openly Preached – Part 12

VIII.—Unless predestination be preached, we shall want one great inducement to the exercise of brotherly kindness and charity. When a converted person is assured, on one hand, that all whom God hath predestinated to eternal life shall infallibly enjoy that eternal life to which they are chosen, and, on the other hand, when he discerns the signs of election, not only in himself, but also in the rest of his fellow-believers, and concludes from thence (as in a judgment of charity he ought) that they are as really elected as himself, how must his heart glow with love to his Christian brethren! How feelingly will he sympathise with them in their distresses! How tenderly will he bear with their infirmities! How readily will he relieve the former, and how easily overlook the latter! Nothing will so effectually knit together the hearts of God’s people in time as the belief of their having been written by name in one book of life from everlasting, and the unshaken confidence of their future exaltation to one and the same state of glory above will occasion the strongest cement of affection below.

This was, possibly, one end of our Saviour’s so frequently reminding His apostles of their election, namely, that from the sense of such an unspeakable blessing, in which they were all equally interested, they might learn to love one another with pure hearts fervently, and cultivate on earth that holy friendship which they well knew, from the immutability of God’s decrees, would be eternally matured to the highest perfection and refinement in heaven. St. Paul, likewise, might have some respect to the same amiable inference when treating of the saints collectively, for he uses those sweet and endearing expressions, “He hath chosen us,” “He hath predestinated us,” etc., that believers, considering themselves as co-elect in Christ, might be led to love each other with peculiar intenseness as the spiritual children of one electing Father, brethren in grace and joint-heirs of glory. Did the regenerate of the present age but practically advert to the everlasting nearness in which they stand related to each other, how happy would be the effect!

Hence it appears that, since the preaching of predestination is thus evidently calculated to kindle and keep alive the twofold congenial flame of love to God and love to man, it must, by necessary consequence, conduce to the advancement of universal obedience and to the performance of every social and religious duty,[1] which alone, was there nothing else to recommend it, would be a sufficient motive to the public delivery of that important doctrine.

[1] Our excellent Bishop Davenant instances particularly in the great religious duty of prayer. “The consideration of election,” says this learned and evangelical prelate, “doth stir up the faithful to constancy in prayer, for, having learnt that all good tending to salvation is prepared for them out of God’s good pleasure, they are hereby encouraged to call for, and as it were to draw down from heaven by their prayers, those good things which, from eternity, were ordained for the elect. Moreover, the same Spirit of adoption, who beareth witness to our spirit, that we are God’s chosen children, is also the Spirit of prayer and supplication, and enflameth our hearts to call daily upon our heavenly Father. Those, therefore, who from the certainty of predestination do pretend that the duty of prayer is superfluous, do plainly show that they are so far from having any certainty of their predestination that they have not the least sense thereof. To be slack and sluggish in prayer is not the property of those who, by the testimony of God’s Spirit, have got assurance of their election, but rather of such as have either none or very small apprehension thereof. For as soon as anyone by believing doth conceive himself to be one of God’s elect children, he earnestly desireth to procure unto himself by prayer those good things which he believeth that God prepared for His children before the foundation of the world.”—Bp. Davenant’s Aniamadversions on an Arminian treatise, entitled “God’s Love to Mankind,” p. 526, and seq.

Jerome Zanchius (1516-1590) was an Italian pastor, theologian, writer and reformer during the Protestant Reformation. After the death of Calvin, Zanchius’ influence filled the void, which was copiously met by a large written ministry. Among his most popular works are, “Confession Of The Christian Religion”, “Observation On The Divine Attributes” and “The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination”.

Jerome Zanchius on Absolute Predestination (Complete)