The Free Will of Man in a State of Sin

First Question

Whether the term "free will" or self-determining (autexousiou) power should be retained in the Christian schools. And to what faculty of the soul does it properly belong—the intellect or will?

I. The greatness of the corruption brought upon the human race by sin we have already shown. We have seen the source of evil in original sin and the muddy streams thence flowing into actual sins. Now more properly the miserable state of man and the most degrading servitude of free will under sin must be considered. I confess it is a sad spectacle, but still most useful and highly necessary, in order that we may fully know the greatness of our misery and the more certainly understand and the more earnestly seek the necessity of medicinal grace. For this reason, the argument is the more diligently to be pursued because the weightiest controversies have been set on foot about it by various adversaries almost from the very beginning and are even now in our day urged (in the discussion of which great talents have been and are now employed). And not to mention here the most futile errors of heathen philosophers who (ignorant of the corruption of nature) contended that man could be the builder and architect of his own fortune and by making men free made them sacrilegious. Who is ignorant of the gigantic attempts of the Pelagians and semi-Pelagians on this subject! They deny either wholly the impurity of nature or extenuate it most astonishingly to extol the strength of free will. Neither the authority of various councils, nor the labor and industry of the brightest lights of the church (Jerome, Augustine, Prosper, Hilary, Fulgentius and others) broke so much as to prevent their renewing and causing to sprout again the very same things in succeeding ages; so that you would say these enemies had been triumphed over rather than entirely conquered by the fathers. Nor do the Jesuits, the Socinians and Remonstrants of our day labor for anything else than on this subject (as also in various others) to bring back (either openly or secretly and by burrowing) Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism and to place the idol of free will in the citadel. This is the Helen whom they so ardently love and for whom they do not hesitate to fight as for their altars and firesides. It is of great importance, therefore, that the disciples of true and genuine grace should oppose themselves strenuously to these deadly errors and so build up the misery of man and the necessity of grace that the entire cause of destruction should be ascribed to man and the whole glory of salvation to God alone. Here belongs the doctrine of free will, concerning which we now dispute.

The term "free will"—whence derived.

II. However, because a controversy is usually plied with us here by the papists (as if we could not bear the term "free will" any more than the thing itself), a few remarks must be premised concerning the term. The word "free will" (as also "self-determining power" [autexousiou] used by the Greek fathers) does not occur in Scripture. It was received by the Christian schools as more suited to designate that faculty of the rational soul by which it spontaneously does what it pleases, a judgment of the reason going before. For they are mistaken who think they have found it in what Paul calls "the power of his own will" (exousian peri tou idiou thelēmatos, 1 Cor. 7:37). With him, exousia does not mean freedom of will, but facility of executing; nor does to thelēma signify an act of the will, but an object (as often elsewhere). Therefore the origin of this word seems rather to be drawn from the Platonic school, the followers of which many of the fathers were before they turned to Christ. What the Peripatetics called eleutheran proairesin and the Stoics to eph' hēmin, the Platonists called autexousion.

III. However although this name seems too proud, if considered precisely in itself (as if man was in his own power who belongs properly to God alone, who moreover is truly perfectly independent [autexousios] and irresponsible [anypeuthynos], so of his own right that he does not depend nor can depend absolutely upon anyone). However man is always responsible (hypeuthynos) and under authority (hypexousios). For this reason, some have desired it to be removed from the use of the church to take away the abuse of the Pelagians who have spread their poison under it. Still because it has now been received in the church by a long usage, we do not think it should be dismissed to the philosophers from whom it seems to have been derived, but should be usefully retained, if its right sense is taught and its abuse avoided. Hence it cannot without calumny be charged upon us that we can bear neither the name nor the thing (free will). For we are about to demonstrate (afterwards in reference to the thing) that we establish free will far more truly than our opponents; so the writings of our men abundantly teach that we by no means repudiate this term when properly understood.

IV. The subject of free will is neither the intellect, nor the will separately, but both faculties conjointly. As it belongs to the intellect with regard to the decision of choice (proaireseōs); so it belongs to the will with regard to freedom. Hence you may rightly call it a mixed faculty or a wedlock and meeting (synkyrian) of both—the intellect as well as the will. Nevertheless you would not properly say it consists rather in each faculty; for as the decision of the intellect is terminated in the will, so the liberty of the will has its roots in the intellect. Hence the philosopher, leaving this undetermined, says that it is either the "appetitive intellect" (noun orektikon) or the "intelligent appetite" (orexin dianoētikēn) (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 1*.13.18, 20 [Loeb, 66–67]).

V. Nor ought this to seem unusual since the intellect and will are mutually connected by so strict a necessity that they can never be separated from each other. Nor does there seem to be a real and intrinsic distinction here, but only an extrinsic with regard to the objects (as one and the same faculty of the soul both judges by understanding and by willing embraces what it judges to be good; and it is called "intellect" when it is occupied in the knowledge and judgment of things, but "will" when it is carried to the love or hatred of the same). Thus what is in the intellect affirmation and negation, that in the will is desire and avoidance, as the philosopher says (hoper en dianoia kataphasis kai apophasis tout' en orexei diōxis kai phygē, ibid., 6.2.2 [Loeb, 328–29]).

VI. In the soul, besides the essence, there are only three things: faculty, habit, act. In the common opinion, the "decisions" denotes an act of the mind; but here it signifies properly neither an act nor a habit because both singly can be separated from man and determine him to only one of contraries—a faculty, not vegetative and sensitive (common to us with brute things in which there is no place for virtue or vice), but rational, from which we are not indeed good or evil, but can be by its act and habit.

Second Question

Whether every necessity is repugnant to freedom of will. We deny against the papists and Remonstrants

I. Before speaking of the nature and formal relation of free will, we must first discuss the proposed question on account of our opponents (of whom this is the capital error [prōton pseudos] upon which they erect their erroneous doctrine about the essence of liberty being placed in indifference)—that undoubtedly "necessity of every kind is opposed to the freedom of the will and necessity and freedom are diametrically (antidiērēmenōs) opposed; nor can a free will be conceived or understood with a determination to one thing or with a necessity determining it antecedently." Their design is no other than to take away the will of man from the necessity of divine determination and government and to make it uncontrolled (adespoton) and the master of its own acts.

Not every necessity repugnant to liberty, only a certain.

II. To this assertion of Pelagians is opposed the orthodox truth which maintains that not every necessity is at variance with liberty, nor that every necessity agrees with it; but that one is incompatible (asystaton) with it, while another cordially unites with it (which has been noticed before in passing, Topic VIII, Question 1). It must now be explained a little more distinctly.

III. Liberty is variously distinguished. Some (as Bernard, Tractatus de Gratia et Libero Arbitrio 3.7 [PL 182.1005) and after him Lombard, Sententiarum 2, Dist. 25 [PL 192/2.708]) make liberty threefold: first from necessity; second from sin; third from misery. He calls the first of nature (which he bestows upon us in the condition of nature); the second of grace (because we are restored to it in grace); the last of glory (because it is reserved for us in glory). By the first, we excel other animals; by the second, we subject the flesh; by the third, death. The first is so natural to man that it cannot in any way be wrested from him. The other two were lost by sin. This distinction we readily receive, provided that under the word necessity we understand a physical necessity as well as a coactive (which are incompatable [asystatoi] with the nature of liberty).

IV. But to make the whole subject clearer, we distribute liberty and necessity into six heads: that the will can certainly be considered either with respect to the external agent; or with respect to material and internal sense; or with respect to God, or the practical intellect, or the goodness or wickedness of the object proposed, or the event and existence. Hence a sixfold necessity arises. First, the necessity of coaction arising from an external agent (he who is compelled, contributing nothing). Second, physical and brute necessity occurring in inanimates and brutes who act from a blind impulse of nature or a brute instinct and innate appetite, without, however, any light of reason (as the necessity in fire to burn, a combustible object being supplied; the necessity in a horse to eat the straw or grass put before him) and without any choice (proairesei). The third is the necessity of the creature's dependence on God, as much as to right and the law established by him as in reference to fact (to wit, the government of providence: [1] in the antecedent decree; [2] in the subsequent execution). This necessity is called hypothetical both of infallibility (with respect to prescience) and of immutability (with respect to the decree and actual concourse). Fourth, rational necessity of the determination to one thing by a judgment of the practical intellect (which the will cannot resist). Fifth, moral necessity or of slavery arising from good or bad habits and the presentation of objects to their faculties. For such is the nature of moral habits that although the acquisition of them be in our power, still when our will is imbued with them, they can neither be unexercised nor be laid aside (as the philosopher rightly teaches, Nichomachean Ethics 3.5 [Loeb, 143–53]). Hence it happens that the will (free in itself) is so determined either to good or to evil that it cannot but act either well or badly. Hence flows the slavery of sin or of righteousness. Sixth, the necessity of the existence of the thing or of the event, in virtue of which, when a thing is, it cannot but be.

Coactive and physical necessity repugnant to liberty.

V. There are two principal characteristics of free will in which its formal nature consists: (1) the choice (hē proairesis), so that what is done is done by a previous judgment of reason; (2) the willingness (to hekousion), so that what is done is done voluntarily and without compulsion. The former belongs to the intellect; the latter belongs to the will. Two species of necessity also contend with it. The first is physical and brute necessity; the other the necessity of coaction. The former takes away the choice (proairesin); the latter, however, the willingness (hekousion). For the things done from a physical necessity by natural agents determined to one thing by nature and without reason, cannot be done freely, i.e., with the previous light of reason. And the things done by force and compulsion cannot be done voluntarily. There is no controversy about these between us and our opponents. We will say only this in passing; Bellarmine and other papists slander our men when they charge them with holding that freedom from coaction is sufficient to constitute free will (because besides this they require also immunity from physical necessity) (cf. Bellarmine, "De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio," 3.4 in Opera [1858], 4:332–37). When they say that man is free from coaction and not from necessity, they do not mean physical necessity (about which there is no controversy and which is sufficiently excluded of itself, both by the condition of the subject [which is rational] and by the acts of judging and willing [which are incompatible with it]); but a dependent, slavish and rational necessity.

But the necessity of dependence upon God agrees with it.

VI. But if these two species of necessity mentioned by us contend against free will, it is not so with the others which can exist with it and by which it is not so much destroyed as preserved and perfected (which can be shown singly as to the four kinds of necessity before indicated). First, as the necessity of dependence upon God, free will does not exclude, but supposes it (whether we understand the moral dependence of right in reference to the divine law from which the rational creature can never be exempted; or the physical dependence of deed as to the concourse of providence, by which things so depend upon God, as the highest ruler and first cause in being, becoming and operating that they can neither be, nor do anything except in dependence upon him; or a dependence of futurition as to foreknowledge and the decree, from which arises the necessity of infallibility and of immutability). For however great may be the liberty of the creature in its operations, still they are necessary in these respects, otherwise the foreknowledge of God could be deceived and his decree changed.

(2) Rational necessity.

VII. Second, as to rational necessity of determination to one thing by the practical intellect. For since the will is a rational appetite, such is its nature that it must follow the last judgment of the practical intellect; otherwise it could seek evil as evil and be turned away from good as good (which is absurd [asystaton]). For if the last judgment of the practical intellect is brought to the point of judging that this object, here and now (all the circumstances being weighed) is the best, and the will should be opposed to this judgment, then it would be turned away from good as good. Nor ought it to be objected that the will frequently seeks evil. It does not seek evil as evil, but as an apparent, useful or pleasant good.

(3) Moral necessity.

VIII. Third, as to moral necessity arising from habits. For as the will can be called "free" if it is devoid of habit, so it can rightly be called "slavish" if by habit it has been determined to a certain manner of acting. Still this servitude by no means overthrows the true and essential nature of liberty. Otherwise it would follow that habits destroy the will (which they rather perfect and facilitate to operation). Hence moral habits are twofold: good and evil. A twofold servitude also is thence born: the one of righteousness in good; the other of sin in evil and misery. This belongs to man in a state of sin, of which John says, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (8:34); and "Ye were the servants of sin" (Rom. 6:17). That characterizes him in a state of grace, of which Rom. 6:18 treats: "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." This servitude is true liberty, as there is no more real and miserable servitude than that of sin. For he who serves sin by no means does what he wills. He does it by a particular inclination which he least wills by a universal. For all, by a universal and natural appetite, always seek good and happiness for themselves.

IX. Hence it is evident that the adversaries (and especially Bellarmine, ibid., 4.6, pp. 363–64) falsely charge our men with saying the will is a slave in the state of sin, as if its liberty were destroyed by that very thing. Scripture beforehand so calls it and indeed with a twofold limitation: (1) that "servant" should be understood not absolutely and physically, but relatively, after the fall in a state of sin; (2) not simply about every natural, civil or externally moral object, but especially about a spiritual object good per se (in which manner inability [adynamia] to good is more strongly asserted, but the essence of liberty is not destroyed). Although the sinner is so enslaved by evil that he cannot but sin, still he does not cease to sin most freely and with the highest liberty. Hence Jansen acknowledges that Luther did not first introduce the term "free will" ("De statu naturae lapsae," 3.5 in Augustinus [1640/1964], pp. 441–46), but followed Augustine who had so spoken of it long before (Enchiridion 9 [30] [FC 3:395] and Against Two Letters of the Pelagians 3.24 [8] [NPNF1, 5:414]). He is angry with those of his own party who maintained that the term "slavish will" was unknown before Luther. "Free will but not freed; free of righteousness, yet a slave of sin, by which some more, others less, but all evil, are involved by different hurtful desires" (Augustine, Admonition and Grace 13 [42] [FC 2:297; PL 44.942]). "Man using free will badly, lost both himself and it" (Augustine, Enchiridion 9 [30] [FC 3:395; PL 40.246]).

(4) Necessity of event.

X. Fourth, as to necessity of the event. For although whatever is, when it is, is necessarily (so that it can no more but be); still not the less freely or contingently is it said to be done as depending upon free or contingent causes. The certainty and truth of the existence of a thing cannot change its essence.

Sources of solution.

XI. Although the will is free, this does not prevent its being determined by God and being always under subjection to him. This is so because liberty is not absolute, independent and uncontrolled (adespotos) (the characteristics of God alone), but limited and dependent. Otherwise if no faculty is free except it is in subjection to no one, either a free will does not exist in creatures or every second cause will be the first.

XII. The will is said to be the mistress of its own actions, not absolutely and simply (as if it depended upon it always to elicit or not elicit them—for in this way it cannot but be in subjection both to God and to the intellect); but relatively with regard to imperate acts which it governs with inferior powers; not with regard to elicit acts which cannot properly be said to be under the control of the will, since they are the very command of the will by which it governs the acts of other faculties subjected to itself.

XIII. The will can be viewed either in relation to the decree and concourse of God or in contradistinction to the intellect. In the former sense, it is rightly said to be so determined by God as also to determine itself (because, as was seen before, God so moves creatures as to leave their own motions to them). But in the latter sense, it cannot be said to determine itself (because it is determined by the intellect whose last judgment of practical intellect it must follow).

XIV. If the will is always determined by God, it can be called his instrument in a popular sense. In this way, the relation of instrument is attributed in Scripture to wicked men when they are called "the axe," "the hammer," "the rod of God." But not in a philosophical and proper sense in which that is called an agent which has within itself no principal causality and has such a nature as to produce an effect more noble than itself (as the heat of the sun, which is inanimate, produces living animals). For the will does not produce an entity nobler than itself and does not cease to be the principal cause; if not absolutely, still in its own genus (to wit, of second cause).

XV. Although the will can oppose the theoretical judgment of the intellect or the absolute judgment and of simple practical intellect; whither pertain those words of Medea in the poet—"I see the right and approve it too, and still the worse pursue" (Ovid, Metamorpheses 7.20–21 [Loeb, 1:342–43])—yet it can never oppose the decided and last judgment.

XVI. In the first sin, the will of Adam did not follow the first and absolute judgment of the intellect (by which it judged that the fruit must not be eaten) because God had prohibited its use under penalty of death (Gen. 3:3). Rather it followed the decided and last judgment by which it is said that the woman saw the fruit of the tree to be good to her for food (v. 6) and judged it to be desirable to the eyes (viz., according to the deceitful promise of Satan that they would be like God).

XVII. In the sin against the Holy Spirit, the will indeed opposes the judgment of the practical intellect, even the first decided. Otherwise it could not be said to be committed against conscience and the knowledge of the truth. Still it is not repugnant to the last decided judgment in which the flesh (all things being considered) judges here and now that the gospel should be denied and Christ forsaken.

Third Question

Whether the formal reason of free will consists in indifference or in rational spontaneity. The former we deny; the latter we affirm against papists, Socinians and Remonstrants

Free will in the genus of being.

I. Free will can be viewed either in the genus of being and absolutely (as belonging to a rational being in every state); or in the genus of morals and in relation to various states (either of sin or of righteousness). In this question, we treat of it in the former sense; in the following, we will discuss it in the latter sense.

It is not placed in indifference, but in willingness.

II. Concerning the formal reason of free will, it can be disputed: (1) kat' arsin and negatively that we may see in what it does not consist; (2) kata thesin and positively that it may be evident in what it does properly consist. As to the former, we must oppose the error of the adversaries who place its formal reason in indifference. As to the latter, we must establish the orthodox truth which asserts that it is placed in rational willingness.

III. We contend here against the Jesuits, Socinians and Remonstrants who (following Pelagius) place the essence of free will in indifference (adiaphoria) and are wont to define it as "the faculty by which all things requisite for acting being posited, the will can act or not act." Now those are called requisites to action without which the action cannot be performed (such as the decree of God and his concourse; the judgment of the mind; and other circumstances which belong here).

Statement of the question.

IV. Hence it is evident that it is not inquired here concerning indifference in the first act or in a divided sense, as to simultaneity of power which is called passive and objective (to wit, whether the will considered absolutely from its natural constitution, the requisites to action being withdrawn, is determinable to various objects and holds itself indifferently towards them). We do not deny that the will of itself is so prepared that it can either elicit or suspend the act (which is the liberty of exercise and of contradiction) or be carried to both of opposite things (which is the liberty of contrariety and of specification). We also confess that the will is indifferent as long as the intellect remains doubtful and uncertain whither to turn itself. But concerning indifference in the second act and in a compound sense (as to simultaneity of power called active and subjective)—whether the will (all requisites to acting being posited; for example, the decree of God and his concourse; the judgment of the practical intellect, etc.) is always so indifferent and undetermined that it can act or not act. This our opponents pretend in order that its own liberty may be left to the will. We deny it.

Liberty does not consist in indifference.

V. First, such an indifference to opposites is found in no free agent, whether created or uncreated: neither in God, who is good most freely indeed, yet not indifferently (as if he could be evil), but necessarily and immutably; nor in Christ, who obeyed God most freely and yet most necessarily because he could not sin; nor in angels and the blessed, who worship God with the highest willingness and yet are necessarily determined to good; nor in devils and reprobates, who cannot help sinning, although they sin freely. So neither the constancy and immutability of the former in good destroys, but perfects their liberty; nor the inextricable obstinacy and firmness of the latter in evil prevents them from sinning most heinously and so deserving the heaviest punishment.

VI. What objection can be made here? (1) Is the divine liberty the same as ours? We answer that just in proportion to God's liberty being more perfect than ours, so ought it to be farther removed from indifference (which instead of being a virtue is a defect of liberty). (2) That Christ, although he never sinned, still was not absolutely unable to sin; and that it is not repugnant to his nature, will or office to be able to sin? This blasphemy Episcopius and other Remonstrants have not blushed to put forth. We answer that far be it from us either to think or say any such thing concerning the immaculate Son of God whom we know to have been holy (akakon), undefiled (amianton), separate from sinners; who not only had no intercourse with sin, but could not have both because he was the Son of God and because he was our Redeemer (who if he could have sinned, could not also have saved us). Nor if he could be miserable could he for the same reason be a sinner. Misery for a time is not opposed to his most holy nature and contributed to the execution of his office because he was bound to pay the punishment of our sin and so to bear it by suffering. But he could not deserve it. (3) That the liberty of the saints on earth and in heaven is different? We answer that since the formal reason of liberty ought to be the same as to essentials, if the latter have a most perfect liberty without indifference, it cannot be said to belong to its essence.

VII. Second, the will can never be without determination as well extrinsic from the providence of God, as intrinsic from the judgment of the intellect (as has been shown). Bellarmine himself proves this by various arguments ("De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio," 3.8 in Opera [1858], 4:338–40). Therefore when all the requisites for acting are posited, it cannot act or not act. Otherwise it would neither be created (because it would not depend upon God); nor rational (because it would act against the judgment of reason and seek evil as evil). Nor is it an objection that it is said to be of the nature of free will to determine itself (because subordinates do not contend against each other). It is indeed of the nature of the will to be determined by itself, but not by itself alone. Thus the determination of the will does not exclude, but supposes the determination of God.

VIII. Third, the volition of the highest good and of the ultimate end cannot be without the highest willingness. And yet it is not without great and unavoidable necessity. From the consent of our opponents themselves and the decisions of philosophers, we cannot abstain from seeking the highest good because no one can bring himself to wish to be miserable. Nor can it be said that free will is not occupied about the highest good or ultimate end, but only about the election of means. In the seeking for the highest good (true or false), the relation of virtue or of vice is principally situated. It is necessary that liberty (without which there is no relation either of virtue or of vice) should be occupied about it no less than about the means. Again, since the means are granted (having a necessary connection with the end and about whose election the will is occupied), it will be occupied freely indeed in electing them, but yet necessarily.

IX. Fourth, the indifference of the will being assumed: (1) the use of prayers and exhortations is taken away because God is asked to convert and sanctify us in vain, exhortations are employed in vain, if (any action of God being posited) the will cannot be moved from a state of equilibrium, and it remains always in its power to convert itself or not; (2) the promises of God concerning the production of holiness, and the efficacy of grace would be vain because he could not perform what he promised; for whatever he would perform about the will, it would always remain in equilibrium and indifference (adiaphoria). Now how could he thus be said to give to will and to do and so make a new heart? (3) All our consolation is gone because in whatever manner God acts in us, we can never be certain of grace if it depends always upon the will to admit or reject it and thus to frustrate every operation of God. (4) The empire of God over the will is destroyed (which would be independent of its own right) if, all the requisites for acting being furnished, it can act or not act. So man will be the author and principal cause of his own conversion, not God, because all the operations of grace being supplied, the will will always be in equilibrium, nor be determined by any other than itself.

Liberty is placed in willingness.

X. Since, therefore, the formal reason of liberty is not placed in indifference, it cannot be sought elsewhere than in rational willingness, by which man does what he pleases by a previous judgment of reason. Thus two things must here be joined together to its constitution: (1) the choice (to proairetikon) so that what is done is not done by a blind impulse and a certain brute instinct, but from choice (ek proaireseōs) and the previous light of reason and the judgment of the practical intellect; (2) the voluntariness (to hekousion) so that what is done may be done spontaneously and freely and without compulsion. Hence the philosopher calls it hekousion probebouleumenon (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 3.2.17 [Loeb, 132–33]).

XI. That this is the formal reason of free will is plainly gathered from this that it agrees with all, alone and always. Thus there is no free agent (either created or uncreated) in which these two characteristics are not found; nor for a time only, but always, so that this rational willingness being posited, liberty is posited; removed it is taken away. Hence it follows that it is an inseparable adjunct of the rational agent, attending him in every state so that he cannot be rational without on that very account being free; nor can he be deprived of liberty without being despoiled also of reason. This also proves that free will absolutely considered and in the genus of being can never be taken away from man in whatever state he may be. If this is denied by some to man in a state of sin, it ought to be understood not so much physically and absolutely as morally and relatively (not so much with regard to essence, as with regard to strength, as will afterwards be shown).

Sources of solution.

XII. The principle of election can be in its own nature indifferent and undetermined in the divided sense—as to the first act and simultaneity of power; but not in the compound sense—as to the second act or the power of simultaneity. To be free, election ought to enjoy an immunity from coaction and physical necessity; but not from the extrinsic necessity of dependence upon God and the intrinsic of determination by the intellect. And so far is the determination to one thing (made by the reason) from taking away free election, that it rather makes it perfect. It therefore elects this or that because determined to it by a judgment of the intellect.

XIII. The natural brute, not knowing itself, does not have a relation of vice or virtue; but only the natural rational. Sin is called natural not as nature is opposed to free will, but as nature is opposed to grace. A place is granted for obedience or disobedience even without indifference and with a determination to one (as in Christ immutably determined to obey the Father and in the devils necessarily determined to disobey him, yet still sinning most freely and worthy of the severest punishment). The nature of obedience is not placed in this—that man can obey or not obey; but in this—that man obeys freely and without compulsion from previous reason.

XIV. So far is the use of exhortations and commands from being taken away by our opinion, that it is the rather more strongly asserted. For if it is certain that the will is determined by the intellect, the intellect must first be persuaded before it can influence the will. And yet how can it be persuaded except by reasons and exhortations? Although a compliance with the exhortation is impossible by us without grace; still not the less properly can it be addressed to us because it is a duty owed by us.

XV. That a place may be granted for reward or punishment, it is not necessary that there should be indifference in the will to either of two opposites. It suffices that there be a spontaneity and willingness depending upon a judgment of the reason (such as there is in all men).

Fourth Question

Whether the free will in a state of sin is so a servant of and enslaved by sin that it can do nothing but sin; or whether it still has the power to incline itself to good, not only civil and externally moral, but internal and spiritual, answering accurately to the will of God prescribed in the law. The former we affirm; the latter we deny, against the papists, Socinians and Remonstrants

I. In the preceding question, we treated free will absolutely (as to nature, in the genus of being). Now we treat of the same relatively (as to the state of sin and its powers in the genus of morals). There we saw what it is; now we are to see what it can do in reference to good. This is the primary controversy on this head of doctrine between us and the Pelagians and semi-Pelagians.

Statement of the question.

II. The question is not about the essential freedom from coaction and physical necessity (called such with reference to the subject and principle because it is always the same everywhere in every state of man, as has been said before), but about the accidental freedom from the slavery of sin, with reference to the object (about which the will is occupied, whether it is only evil or also good).

III. The question is not about civil and externally moral good. We do not deny that some strength still remains in man after the fall as to those external and civil good works, so that he can exercise justice and temperance, put forth acts of mercy and charity, abstain from theft and homicide, and exhibit the operations of similar virtues, with the antecedent concourse and general help of God, to which the virtues of the heathen belong (of which hereafter); but the question is about spiritual and supernatural good, pleasing and acceptable to God: whether man in the state of sin is so corrupt that the powers of his free will as to the latter good, are not only weakened and diminished, but wholly lost, so that he can neither know any saving truth, nor do any good thing; or, whether his will is always wavering (amphirrepes) and indifferent to each of the opposites. The orthodox affirm the former; our opponents affirm the latter.

IV. The question does not concern the natural power or faculty of the will (from which proceeds the willing or nilling itself, which can be called the first power and the material principle of moral actions). This always remains in man and distinguishes him from the brutes. Rather the question concerns its moral disposition to willing well (which is called the second power or formal principle of those actions). As from natural power the willing flows, so from the moral disposition flows the willing well.

V. Therefore the question returns to this—whether unregenerate man still has such strength of free will as to be indifferent to good and evil and is able not to sin without the grace of regeneration. The adversaries affirm; we deny.

VI. Here we have as opponents the old and new Pelagians (who place the idol of free will in the citadel) and to make men free, make them sacrilegious. Although the more modern anxiously desire to remove the odious name and doctrine of Pelagius from themselves (nor dare to profess openly what he maintained, that man could by his own strength do something for the heavenly life), still they agree with him no less, while they are not ashamed to associate man and God in the business of salvation as partial causes. Thus they hold that the strength of free will even to good survives in fallen man. Concerning the Socinians, it is clear. "For if in the first man," says Socinus, "before the fall there was free will, there is no reason why he should be deprived of it on account of the fall, since neither the nature of the thing itself demands, nor the justice of God suffers it" (Praelectionis theologicae 5 [1627], p. 14 [13]). However, although he afterwards confesses that there is in man after sin a great proclivity to sinning and feeble strength to do what the law commands, still he holds that it is not so small "as that man, the help of God approaching" (i.e., external help, as he interprets it) "if he wishes, to do violence to himself, cannot obey the divine law." Volkelius maintains the same opinion and others with him (De vera Religione 5.18 [1630], pp. 544–49).

VII. As to the papists, although sometimes seeming to acknowledge the depravation of nature and to press the necessity of grace, still they do not cease to extol beyond measure the strength of free will. Thus Bellarmine asserts that "man in things pertaining to piety and salvation can do or will nothing without the special grace of God" ("De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio," 6.4 in Opera [1858], 4:438). Also "that man cannot by his own strength dispose himself to grace, or do anything on account of which divine grace is bestowed upon him" (ibid.). Elsewhere he takes off this mask when he maintains and endeavors to prove that "man can without special help do some moral good, if no temptation presses" (ibid., 5.9, p. 391). Nor does the Council of Trent have a different bearing when in Session 6 it denounces an anathema upon him who says that "the free will, moved and excited by God, cooperates nothing with him assenting and calling, by which it disposes and prepares itself to the grace of justification, nor can dissent if it wishes" (Canon 4, Schroeder, p. 42). Also "if anyone says that after the sin of Adam the free will was lost and extinguished …" (Canon 5, ibid., p. 43). Not to refer here to the similitudes used by them to describe the sinner (such as that of a sick and wounded man whose strength is indeed weakened and broken, but not wholly lost; and of a fettered and chained man, who indeed has strength, but cannot exert it unless unbound). Nor can they think differently who pretend that its indifferency (adiaphorian) always remains to the will and hold that there are good dispositions and merits of congruity in man to grace. Still it is true that not a few papists (as many of the Thomists, Dominicans and especially the Jansenists) hold a different opinion, acknowledging the total inability (adynamian) of man and earnestly contending against the idol of free will.

VIII. As to the Remonstrants, so plausibly indeed do they establish the corruption of man and the necessity of grace that it would appear that nothing beyond could be said when they confess that "man in the state of defection and sin can of himself think, will, or do nothing good, which indeed is truly good, such as saving faith, but that it is necessary for him to be regenerated, renewed in mind, affections, or will, and all his faculties by God in Christ through his Holy Spirit, to be able to know, will and perform any good thing" (Collato scripto habita Hagae Comitis, Art. 3 [1615], p. 225). They said this because it was an odious thing to impugn openly the grace of God. But if we search more deeply into their mind, it will plainly appear that they (no less than the papists) contend for the idol of free will and again call back Pelagianism when they make freedom of will to consist in indifference (adiaphoria) and assert free will to be flexible in either direction even without grace, according to Arminius ("Iacobi Armini … Examen Modestium Libelli … Gulielmus Perkinsius … de Praedestinationis," in Opera Theologica [1631], p. 604). They always make grace resistible, so that it is always in the power of man's will to receive or reject it. They acknowledge that spiritual life in the animal man is not wholly separated from the mind, nor truly and properly from the will and that the will remains so free in itself that it can be excited to good before it is properly made alive or receives any new strength (Collatio scripto habita Hagae Comitis [1615], p. 298). They say with Grevinchovius (pages 209, 210+) that the grace of God and the free will are at the same time "partial causes" or "co-causes"; so that the free will can indeed do nothing by itself (that is alone), but still can do something with grace. All these things sufficiently indicate that whatever they loudly proclaim about the corruption of nature is said for the purpose of raising a smoke, to deceive the incautious reader and that their genuine opinion is that the free will has still sufficient strength to work its own salvation with grace. Nor would they so laboriously endeavor to meet all the arguments by which we are in the habit of proving inability (adynamian), unless they felt themselves to be attacked; so that you can really perceive that they are pleading their own cause. On the other hand, the orthodox, although maintaining that the free will of man always remains as to essentials, still think that no power to good survives in it.

The impotency of free will is proved: (1) from the servitude of sin.

IX. The reasons are: (1) man is called the "servant" of sin (Jn. 8:43) and a servant so bound by the fetters of concupiscence as to yield his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (eis anomian); and to be under the dominion of sin (Rom. 6:12, 14) who, bound by Satan, is brought into bondage to him (2 Pet. 2:19); under whom, as the prince of this world, he fulfils evil desires and does what pleases him whom nothing but evil pleases (Jn. 8:44); and in whom he most efficaciously works (Eph. 2:2); who, finally, cannot be brought into liberty except by Christ, the deliverer (Jn. 8:36). Now who would say that this most miserable slavery in evil can consist with the golden liberty to good; that the sinner enslaved to the flesh can do anything to free himself from the yoke of tyranny to which he has voluntarily submitted? Especially since that servitude (although most burdensome) still is pleasing to him and so far from desiring or seeking liberty, he rather kisses his chains and refuses deliverance. However in order to express more strongly the severity of this servitude, the Scripture attributes to us all kinds of servitude (as well of those who are born in a servile condition at home who are called "family slaves" when it says that we are "by nature the children of wrath," Eph. 2:3) and therefore servants of punishment (as of those who were bought with a price and taken in war, when it asserts that we are sold under sin and driven into captivity by corruption and by Satan, Rom. 7:14; 2 Pet. 2:19; 1 Tim. 3:7; Heb. 2:14, 15).

X. The objection is vain: (1) that the servitude of sin is not opposed to the liberty of the sinner because he serves not necessarily, but freely. We answer that although it is not opposed to the liberty of nature (by which he differs from brutes, because he always acts spontaneously whatever he pleases), yet it is opposed to liberty from sin (concerning which we dispute) because he is held so bound by conquering and enslaving desires that although he sins most freely, still he sins necessarily and cannot help sinning. (2) That believers are called the servants of righteousness who nevertheless are not free from all sin; so men can be the servants of sin although some liberty to good still survives in them. We answer that the nature of these two kinds of servitude is diverse. For the servitude of righteousness (which is true liberty) is not perfect in this world on account of the remains of sin adhering to us (from which we are not freed before death). Rather the servitude of sin is full and entire, so that man perfectly serves sin and lives wholly in it. Besides, when Paul thus speaks (Rom. 6:18), he refers not so much to the very life of believers as to their duty (to wit, that being freed from sin they should devote themselves wholly to God and indulge in not even the slightest sin, not otherwise than before they were entirely bound to sin and did not even dream of God). (3) That servitude does prevent man from being able to shake off the yoke of sin by his own strength, but does not hinder him from being able to be freed from sin by free will with the assistance of grace. We answer that man is able to be freed by free will with the help of God is said ambiguously. For either it is understood of passive liberation, that the free will itself may be delivered by grace (which we grant); or of active liberation, by which the free will applies itself to the assisting grace of God and by its own powers (although not alone) cooperates with it (which we deny).

(2) From spiritual death, Eph. 2:1.

XI. Second, man is "dead in sin" (Eph. 2:1), not only on account of afflictions (which in Scripture are called so many deaths, 2 Cor. 11:23); not only on account of the mortality of the body (which on account of sin is said to be dead, Rom. 8:10); or on account of the guilt of eternal death (in which sense the Lord says that the unbelieving shall die in their sins, Jn. 8:21, 24); but especially on account of the dissolution of union with God and the privation of holiness (which is truly life, as the life passed in sin is not life), and they are dead who live in the pleasures of the world (1 Tim. 5:6). The same impotence therefore in the dead man to restore himself to life must be said to be in the sinner as to obtaining good or spiritual life.

XII. To escape and blunt the point of this dart (which troubles them sorely), the adversaries make various objections here. First, the similitude should not be pressed because there are various differences between a dead man and the sinner. We answer that as we do not deny that this simile is dissimilar in various points, so it is precise in the point which the Holy Spirit especially urges here (viz., as the dead man is deprived of the life of nature and so of all sense and motion, so the sinner is destitute of the life of grace and loses all spiritual sense and motion; so that he can neither know anything true nor do anything good, any more than a dead man can bring himself to life). (2) This death does not hinder what little remains of spiritual life from surviving in sinful man sufficient to know God and to worship him in some measure. We answer that such remains do not kindle spiritual life or hinder the death (properly so called) of the soul because they are not of the same order and species with the spiritual life bestowed on us by Christ. They can also exist in the hardened (yea even in Satan himself, who although of most acute sight, does not cease to be dead, in its proper sense, in sin). (3) They who are said to be dead are also termed "sleepers" and "sick" to intimate that strength survives in them (although bound and hindered). We answer that this ought not to seem a wonder since in Scripture the dead are said to sleep and their resurrection is (as it were) a rousing from sleep: "Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead" (Eph. 5:14). In this sense, the death of Christ is called a blow, a stripe and wound. Thus Scripture uses various similitudes to describe the same thing; not that one and another should be considered apart or one be weakened by the other, but rather that what is wanting in one the other may supply. Thus the same sinner compared in some to a sick man and a sleeper, in others is well represented by a dead man in order that we may know that there is here not only a binding of the senses or feebleness of life, but a total extinction of life and privation of strength. (4) Death in sin designates rather the state of condemnation and the punishment of death with which they are to be visited, than the state of corruption in which they lie: "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, he shall die in his sin" (Ezk. 18:24); "Ye shall die in your sins" (Jn. 8:24). We answer that to be dead in sin in the past differs from to be about to die in the future. The former denotes a state of punishment to be brought on. The latter however denotes the state of present corruption. (5) Finally, believers are said to "be dead to sin" who nevertheless are not destitute of strength to sin; so they can be called dead in sins who still have some strength left for good. We answer that to "be dead to sin" differs from "being dead in sin." That is said of believers who so crucify the old man as to abolish the body of sin and have no more intercourse with it, nor are any longer under its dominion, since laws have no power over the dead. But this is said of sinners who, being destitute of the life of God, walk in sins and lie entirely in them. Therefore, the phrases are diametrically opposed to each other; the one is not to be thoughtlessly explained by the other. Again "to die to sin" marks a total abolition of sin: (1) as well with reference to justification, so that its guilt is entirely taken away, and there is now no condemnation to believers (Rom. 8:1), as with reference to sanctification (if not as to fulfillment, still as to baptism—the symbol of entire regeneration); (2) as to duty, as believers are said to be perfect and holy because they ought to be so; thus they are called dead to sin because they are bound to extinguish and devote to death sin in themselves; (3) as to event because this will certainly and undoubtedly be the case; for thus the Scriptures speak of such, just as if they had already actually reached it.

(3) From the blindness and hardening of man.

XIII. Third, man has no strength for heavenly things either in his intellect or will from which faculties the free will arises. For as to the intellect (the eye of the mind), not only is he called "blind" and "darkened in mind" (Eph. 4:18), but also "darkness itself": "Ye were sometime darkness" (Eph. 5:8). As to the will, not only is he said to have a "depraved" and "deceitful" heart to be corrected, "unclean" to be purged, "shut up" to be opened, "uncircumcised" to be circumcised, but "stony" (Ezk. 36:26), which ought to be broken and taken away, rather than what is able to be softened and admit life. As therefore the blind man (especially from nature) has no power to see, and he who has a stony heart is devoid of sense and motion, so the sinner can know nothing true, nor do anything good, no more than a blind man can see or a stone think or move itself.

XIV. Nor in passing must we omit the figure of the stony heart (Ezk. 36:26). It is most emphatic (emphatikōtaton) whether drawn from natural things (as from the culture of fields and the seed which does not take root when thrown upon a stony place) or from the nature of spirit and life (of which a stone is not a receptive [dektikon] subject) or from the origin of waters (which cannot be pressed out of stones except by a miracle) or from artificial things, as from the sculptor's art (because a stone is not ductile or malleable, but hard—rather to be broken than softened). As a stone neither is a subject receptive (dektikon) of life nor can feel or be moved or turned or softened, but is inflexible, insensible and impenetrable; so the heart of the unregenerate hardened in sin neither possesses spiritual life nor can dispose itself to it, but is inflexible to the Spirit, insensible to the word and the judgments of God, impenetrable to grace. It not only does not receive grace, but resists and obstinately struggles against it. Moreover, God wished to give a plain symbol of this thing in the writing of the law upon stony tables to intimate that the law is borne in a stony heart and cannot turn it (because devoid of the Spirit); but the gospel is borne in the fleshy tables of the heart because, animated by a life-giving spirit, it renews hearts and turns them to obedience (2 Cor. 3:3).

XV. To weaken the force of this argument, it is vainly objected: (1) that they are also called "blind" who believe the gospel (as the Laodiceans, Rev. 3:17), not because they could not understand at all, but because they were too negligent in doing their duty. We answer that there is one blindness (comparative and relative) attributed to the angel of Laodicea, on account of the vain boasting in which he indulged, as if he was rich and could see, while he should have professed that he was by nature poor, naked and blind. There is another, however, absolute and total, ascribed to the unregenerate, depriving them of all saving knowledge. (2) That believers are called "light in the Lord" (Eph. 5:8) who nevertheless are beclouded with their own darkness. We answer that the consequence does not hold good from the pious to the impious. They are called "light" not in themselves, but "in the Lord" (to wit, inasmuch as they are new creatures made by him, although not without darkness, because they are not as yet perfectly regenerated). But in the wicked there is not a double man, but only one nature—totally unregenerate and pure darkness.

XVI. No more solid is the argument brought against the similitude of the stony heart, that it is a figurative expression not to be pressed. We answer that figurative expressions have the force of common expressions when they are explained by Scripture itself, and when it is clear in what sense and for what purpose they are used. As in Ezekiel many simple words occur, explaining the figure itself, as that in the same place God promises to give "a new heart" and "a new spirit," in order that we may walk in his ways. In vain, however, does Arnoldus (Corvinus) anxiously bring together the differences between the heart and a stone. In the one thing (concerning which it is here treated), the comparison is most apt (to wit, that just as a stone cannot soften itself, nor of itself become flesh, so neither can the unregenerate heart turn or dispose itself to regeneration; rather that can be done by the sole efficacy of God's Spirit).

(4) From the passages which attribute impotence to man.

XVII. Fourth, Scripture everywhere attributes to sinners inability (adynamian) to good, when it is said that the imagination of the thoughts of man is evil continually from youth (Gen. 6:5), the force of which passage we have explained before. So Christ says "without me ye can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5). He does not say, without me ye can do little or can do something with difficulty, but without me ye can do nothing. He does not say, without me ye do nothing or will do nothing, but ye can do nothing (which excludes not only the act, but the power itself). Thus Paul: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves" (2 Cor. 3:5). "The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). "Neither can a corrupt tree" (such as men are by nature) "bring forth good fruit" (Mt. 7:18); not only does not, but cannot bring forth because the effect is like the cause. "How can ye, being evil, speak good things?" (Mt. 12:34). "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him" (Jn. 6:44). Now why should the Holy Spirit so often insist upon that impotence except to take away from man all power to good and ascribe to grace alone the entire work of regeneration and salvation?

XVIII. Falsely is it said here: (1) that "not to be able" does not always denote absolute inability (adynamian), but only its unusualness (i.e., that the thing is not accustomed to be done ordinarily or is not done easily). We answer that those passages prove that total impotence is meant and such that it is no more possible for man to overcome than for a dead man to raise himself, an Ethiopian to change his skin, a leopard to change his spots and a corrupt tree to bring forth good fruit. Otherwise if the Holy Spirit had intended to mark only the difficulty of the thing, why did he not think it sufficient to assert that the natural man receiveth not the things of God? Yet he immediately adds "neither can he"; not only that the flesh is not subject to the law, but "neither indeed can be" and the like (which clearly intimate that Paul takes away from man not only the act, but also the very power of doing good).

XIX. Nor do they make a better escape who pretend this impotence to be moral, not natural; and thus a thing not absolutely and simply impossible to man, but that man can do it if he wishes. We answer that whether this impotence be called natural or moral (of which hereafter), it is certainly inextricable to man. In vain is it said that man can do this or that if he will, since it is evident that he is not able to will; not because he is destitute of natural power to will (because thus he differs from brutes), but because he is without the disposition to will what is good (concerning which alone we are speaking in this question).

(5) From 1 Cor. 4:7.

XX. Fifth, man cannot separate himself from another and possesses nothing good which he has not received from another source. "Who maketh thee to differ?" says Paul (1 Cor. 4:7). "And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" And yet if after the fall the free will has still some strength by which it can dispose itself to good and admit the offered grace, man will make himself to differ from another and will have what he had not received and of which he may boast because the admission of grace (his own act) distinguishes him from another who rejects it. Thus man will rightly be called the architect of his own fortune, and the principal cause of his conversion and difference from others. Nor does the objection avail that man cannot do this without the grace of the Holy Spirit operating through the word. We answer that whatever may be held as to the action of the Holy Spirit through the word (since the word is presented equally both to the elect and the reprobate, and common things do not make a difference), the reason of the difference between one and another (why this one believes, that one does not) cannot depend upon the word or the Spirit operating through the word alone, for it ought to have had the same effect upon both. Rather it depends upon the free will, which in the one determines him to receive grace; in the other, however, to reject it. And the more certainly is this proved that on the hypothesis of our adversaries (whatever may be the operation of grace posited), the will always remains in equilibrium, so that it can use it or not. When, therefore, it makes a good use of it, it owes this to itself, not to the grace which is common. Bellarmine does not conceal this while he reproves Molina and his followers (without mentioning his name). "Cannot the believer say that he is distinguished from the unbeliever by free will because he received the inspiration which the other rejects? Could he not glory against the unbeliever because he cooperated with the grace of God which he despised? But the apostle prohibits all this" ("De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio," 1.12 in Opera [1858], 4:291). No more successfully do they extricate themselves who wish the divine motion to be considered as twofold: either absolutely in itself (and so in thesi to be indifferent); or relatively with respect to the annexed congruity (as Bellarmine has it) or with respect to the due application (as others), and that hence arises the difference because the same alms do not affect equally the sated and the starving. For that congruous application of grace must either be referred to grace itself alone or to the free will alone or to both. If to the will, either in whole or in part—then Pelagius has conquered, not Paul. If to grace alone, then the idol of free will is demolished and grace will not be equal because a congruous application was wanting to one which the grace of another included. Nor ought it to be said that inequality of grace is granted in the genus of blessings, but not in the genus of motions; that the same motion of grace is applied to both on the part of God, but on account of the diverse dispositions of the objects and the opportunity seized by the offerer it produces different effects. For if, on account of the diverse dispositions of those to be converted, a different effect of the same motion results, this difference (whatever it may be) does not flow from the grace, but from the promptitude of the recipient superadded. Therefore he makes himself to differ (contrary to Paul) and has what he did not receive, whence he may glory.

(6) Because the work of grace is a creation.

XXI. Sixth, the work of our conversion is a creation, resurrection, regeneration and the production of a new heart by which God not only gently persuades but powerfully effects in us to will and to do. As, however, man can contribute nothing to his creation, resurrection and regeneration, so neither can the sinner contribute anything to his conversion. He ought rather to ascribe it wholly to the grace of God. Nor is it an objection that the same action ascribed to God in conversion is often also enjoined upon man (as when we are commanded to rise and make for ourselves a new heart, Ezk. 18:31; Eph. 5:14). We answer that although conversion is enjoined upon us by God as a duty owed to him, it does not cease on that account to be promised as a gift by God in the covenant of grace; so that as it were a twofold conversion must be conceived (or rather two parts of one conversion)—one brought about by God, the other by man (of which the church speaks, "Turn thou us unto thee, and we shall be turned," Lam. 5:21). The former precedes, the latter follows; that is always ascribed to God (not to man), this always to man, never to God. In the former, the will is acted upon and does not act; in the latter, it is acted upon and acts (or itself reacts) when first acted upon by God. In the first, the grace of God is called "operating" because it alone operates; in the second, "cooperating" because now it operates not only in the will but with it. In the first, the will is a passive subject, but both capacious and conscious of grace; in the second, it is not only a capacious subject, but also a fit and living instrument of divine grace, being its "handmaid" (as Augustine frequently terms it) and an animated organ (organon empsychon). These words of Bernard apply here: "What does the free will do? I answer briefly, It is saved. This work cannot be accomplished without two: one by whom it is done, the other in whom it is done; God the author of salvation; the free will only capacious of it" (Tractatus de Gratia et Libero Arbitrio [PL 182.1002]). And these of Hugo St. Victor: "Repairing grace breathes first into the free will that it may exist, then inspires it that it may be moved; first it works it, then through it" (On the Sacraments of the Christian Faith 1.6.17 [trans. R.J. Defarrari, 1951], p. 106; PL 176.274).

Sources of solution.

XXII. When God sets before the Israelites the choice between life and death (Dt. 30:15) and wishes their conversion (Dt. 32:29), he addresses those already instructed and enlightened that they may work in accordance with the liberty given. He does not address unbelievers and those lying in native depravity and darkness (of whom we now treat). Again, if any were still unregenerate in a state of sin (as undoubtedly many of them were according to 1 Cor. 10:5 and Heb. 4:6, 9), he does not at the same time give them in this way for choosing good, the power to chose it without grace. Rather he teaches their duty that they may know what it is better for them to choose, and what they ought to seek from God, that through the promised grace they may be able to choose it. Finally, if they are unwilling to choose the good, they would be rendered inexcusable.

XXIII. God's commands are not the measure of strength, but a rule of duty. They do not teach what we are now able, but what we are bound to do; what we could formerly do and from how great a height of righteousness we have been precipitated by Adam's fall. Nor is it always true that the precepts which cannot be fulfilled are unjust. The intemperate man who has rendered himself callous by habit and cannot restrain himself from lust or drunkenness (habit being turned into nature) is still bound by the laws of sobriety and temperance. So from the debtor (who has lost by gambling a large sum of money borrowed on interest) not in vain nor unjustly is the debt demanded nor has the creditor lost his right by the crime of the debtor. Since, then, man by his own fault has contracted an inability to obey God, not in vain nor unjustly does God demand from him the obedience which he owes. It is not just that sin should be an advantage to man and he be irresponsible because he has corrupted himself by his own crime.

XXIV. Although man cannot fulfill the commands enjoined upon him, still they cannot be called useless because they always obtain the end intended by God. For instance: (1) representation of God's right and man's duty; (2) a proposition of the rule of righteousness, that no one can offer ignorance as an excuse for his sins; (3) a conviction of our impotence, that it being recognized, we may the more earnestly seek the assistance of grace. Augustine urges, "O man, in precepts acknowledge what you ought to do; in correction know that you do not possess by your own fault; in prayer recognize whence you may receive what you desire to have" (Admonition and Grace 3 [5] [FC 2:249–50; PL 44.918–19]). In particular, the ends of uses of the commands are multiplied with regard both to the pious and the impious. As to the former, the precepts serve to prepare them for the reception of grace by a consciousness of their own impotence; (2) to begin and carry forward the work of regeneration itself because the gospel commands are not only imperative, but also operative (which, with the prescription of duty, have the power of the Spirit working within what it commands without). As to the impious, however, the commands tend first to a knowledge of duty and of their own impotence; (b) to the affording of external obedience which can in some measure be done by them (Rom. 2:14, 15); (c) to reveal their latent hypocrisy and wickedness—to their inexcusableness (anapologēsin) and just condemnation.

XXV. No one is bound to an impossibility: (1) such absolutely and simply and in every state, for which man does not now have and never had power; but it does not hold good of that which is such relatively and in a certain state only (such as is the impotence of the sinner). (2) It holds good of an altogether involuntary and purely physical impossibility, arising either from coaction (as he who is bound with chains cannot run) or from a defect of natural power (such as the inability in the blind to see, in the dead to rise). But it does not hold good of an induced (epispastō) voluntary impossibility, arising from a depravation of powers and joined with great willingness of mind (such as the inability [adynamia] of the sinner). Although, therefore, the blind man is in vain ordered to see and the dead to rise (and they cannot be blamed for not seeing or not rising), the sinner is not forthwith in vain ordered to convert himself. The blind man, being deprived of the faculty of sight, is not bound any more to see; nor is the dead man (life being lost) bound to restore it to himself; but there is no impotence of man which absolves him from the debt of obedience to God.

XXVI. From the words of God to Cain (Gen. 4:7), nothing can be drawn to favor the strength of free will. Neither when he asks him, "Why art thou wroth?" For these words indeed show that he had no cause and reason for anger, but do not absolutely imply that Cain was able not to be angry. Again, although he might have been able not to be angry in the divided sense (because man is not necessarily determined to this or that sin), it does not follow that he was able to do any work truly good. Nor from what is added, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." For thus is indeed denoted the connection of antecedent with consequent, between a good work and the reward, sin and punishment; but it is not implied that man has the power to do well. Nor from those which the adversaries insist upon especially: "Under thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." First because it is not said "under thee," but "unto thee" (pros se). (2) Although the relative should be referred to sin, it would point out only the duty of Cain (viz., to bring sin into subjection to himself and not his strength or the event). (3) It cannot be referred to sin, whether taken properly for the crime or improperly for its punishment (in which sense the words immediately preceding must be taken—"sin lieth at the door"). This is evident from various reasons: from the scope; for what would the liberty of will ruling over sin conduce to the hatred conceived by Cain against Abel, or the assigning the cause why Abel's sacrifice had been more pleasing to God? Again, although the desire of man can be said to be in some measure towards sin, still not without absurdity is the desire of sin or of punishment said to be "under man" or "unto man." Third, it is unheard of in Scripture that man (especially one unrenewed, as Cain) rules over sin, since on the contrary he is everywhere called the servant of sin. But this is best referred to Abel, both because this phrase is always used elsewhere of a person and not of a thing. Thus God addressing Eve: "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen. 3:16, 17). Nor because the pronoun "his" manifestly denotes the subject of the desire, which is no other than Abel himself (whose name, indeed, in this conversation of God with Cain is not expressed, but whose case, however, is treated of); for neither was Cain angry with any other one than his brother; nor does the address of God have any other object than to soothe his mind. This follows principally by three arguments: first, to teach him that the reason why he was not esteemed by God as his brother was not in his brother but in himself, who had not done well—"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" Second, if he continues to do badly, he would not escape punishment—"if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door" (i.e., the punishment of sin overhangs and is prepared for thee). Third, he should cherish his brother and subject him to him by the love as it were of a first born: as if he should say, Is it just for you to be angry with or to injure your younger brother who is under your power, whom therefore you are bound to love and from whom as an inferior you need expect no injury? Thus the Septuagint explains the words pros se hē apostrophē autou (to wit, of Abel, not "of sin" [hamartias]; cf. Chrysostom, "Homily 18*," In Genesin [PG 53.158], Cyril of Alexandria, In Genesin 1* [PG 69.31–50], Procopius, Commentarii in Genesin [PG 87.240] and others).

XXVII. Common works are attributed to the wicked and the pious, such as "to love," "to do good," "to lend" (Lk. 6:32, 33), but only in external appearance before men, not however of internal goodness before God. Of this kind were the sacrifices of Abel and of Cain (Gen. 4:3, 4); the gift of the rich man and of the poor widow (Lk. 21:1, 2); the prayers of the Pharisee and of the publican (Lk. 18:10–13).

XXVIII. It is one thing "to do the things contained in the law" as to preception (i.e., to perform the office of the law, in commanding, prohibiting, promising and threatening); another, however, to do them as to obedience, by fulfilling its commands. The former is said of the Gentiles (Rom. 2:14, 15), who (since they have not the written law) "are a law unto themselves," as their conscience does the things contained in the law by commanding and prohibiting. Nor if their thoughts are said to excuse them, this is not to be understood in the court of heaven, but of earth; nor from the whole, but from so much, in those who by abstaining from heavier crimes are not indeed absolutely better than others, but only less evil. Otherwise Paul wandered far from his design, for he declares in the same place that the Gentiles who sin without law, shall perish without law.

XXIX. The example of the midwives does not help our opponents (Ex. 1:15). First, they were not Egyptians, but Hebrews. Even if the Scriptures did not tell us when it calls them "Hebrew midwives," still the very names Shiphrah and Puah (the two who seem to have held the chief place among many others), which have a Hebrew origin, would sufficiently teach. Nor is it very likely that the Hebrew women had not obstetricians of their own nation, especially since there was a mutual alienation between the Egyptians and Hebrews. Again, even if they were Egyptians (as many after Josephus maintain, AJ 2.206 [Loeb, 4:253]), their fearing God would indeed imply that they were influenced with some fear and reverence for him from the remains of natural light and sense of conscience (which dictated to them that the slaughter of innocent infants would be detestable to God). However it does not prove that they were also filled with a filial fear of God springing from faith.

XXX. No more to the purpose is the example of Rahab, the harlot, because by faith she is said to have received the spies and to have obtained salvation (Heb. 11:31); or of Cornelius (Acts 10:31), whose alms came into the sight of God, and who is called "a just man, of good report, and one that feareth God" (dikaios, eusebēs, kai phoboumenos ton Theon, v. 35). These praises cannot belong to the unregenerate and unbelieving. Cornelius, therefore, was a Gentile by birth, but in religion a proselyte. He believed with the Jews in the Messiah about to come, although he did not yet know him to be Jesus who had come (which he was taught by Peter). His faith, therefore, could increase and be strengthened by the preaching of Peter that he might know Jesus in hypothesi to be the Messiah, but had not just then its beginning. He had, therefore, before an implicit, if not explicit knowledge of Christ; and the Spirit as to ordinary gifts and grace making acceptable (although not as to extraordinary gifts and as to grace given to the grateful).

XXXI. All that is adduced concerning the virtues of the heathen shows indeed that there still remains in fallen man some strength for external and civil good (especially when special help is granted unto them, without which they could not perform even this). But this does not prove that he has any ability in reference to spiritual good, as will hereafter be more fully shown.

XXXII. Man is called a "coworker" (synergos) with God (1 Cor. 3:9), not as corrupt, but as renewed (who acts from the grace bestowed upon him). Again, he is not speaking there properly about cooperation to repentance, but to ecclesiastical functions.

XXXIII. When Paul says, "I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10), he does not wish to divide the cause of the good work between himself and grace. Rather he ascribes the whole to grace, as is evident to one attending to the Greek text. The apostle does not say hē charis theou syn emoi ("grace of God with me," as the Vulgate improperly renders it), but hē charis tou theou, hē syn emoi ("the grace of God which was with me"). Thus he does not wish to come into a companionship of labor, but what he had said of himself, he corrects by a certain epanorthosis and wishes to ascribe it to grace alone. Finally, this labor has reference to his ministry and not to his regeneration.

XXXIV. Although God is said "to stand at the door" (Rev. 3:20) and to "knock," it does not follow that man has the power to open it of himself. Either he stands by the regenerate and knocks that they may use the grace already bestowed to open it by faith and obedience; or by the unregenerate who are either elected (to whom by knocking he gives by the Spirit the strength to open) or the reprobate (whose heart is not knocked at in vain, but in order to manifest that man is justly condemned, since God has witheld none of those things which conduce to conversion).

XXXV. From innocent to corrupt man the consequence does not hold. The Son of Sirach treats of the former, not of the latter when he says "God made man from the beginning and left him in the hand of his counsel" (15:14) (in order to describe the state of innocence and the condition and liberty of the first man). Nor if life and death, good and evil, should be said to be set before corrupt man (in order that he might obtain that which he himself chose) should the liberty of positive indifference to either opposite be ascribed to him. Rather only a rational liberty should be ascribed to him that he may do nothing except what is done spontaneously and deliberately.

XXXVI. Although the unrenewed can be unwilling to come and can resist the call of God, it does not follow that they can equally will to come and follow that call. The former is a disease and imperfection of men so peculiar to them in the state of fallen nature that they can neither do nor will anything else. The latter belongs to restoration by grace and its special work in us. Therefore the censures and rebukes administered to them do not show what good they are able, but are in duty bound to do, and how voluntarily they have broken its laws.

XXXVII. The evils of punishment are deservedly said to be inflicted upon sinners for their crimes (Jer. 32:23), not because they were able to act rightly in their state of natural corruption (the contrary of which Jeremiah himself teaches: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil," Jer. 13:23), but because this is the law of God—that they who do such things are worthy of death. Nor in the punishment of crimes ought attention to be paid to what men could do, but what they are in duty bound to do. It suffices for their conviction that they commit evil deliberately, willingly and of their own accord, against what they knew perfectly well should be done by them.

XXXVIII. The cause of the difference between good and bad men, better and worse, is not to be sought in their natural indifference and inclination to good equally with evil without grace. For we are all born equally prone to evil; nor is anyone found better or worse than another. Rather it consists with respect to the regenerate in distinguishing grace by which they are separated from others (1 Cor. 4:7). However, with respect to the unregenerate, it consists in the operation of common providence by which God does not indeed cleanse and renew the nature, but restrains and represses its wickedness and corruption in some more and others less (without whose presence, man would without restraint plunge into every excess and crime and the world would be turned into a robber's den). However since he wishes human society to be preserved, he does not permit the wantonness of all equally to rage, but restrains some by a fear of punishment. Others he incites by the love of reward; otherwise there would prevail the greatest confusion, if in proportion to the proneness of all to every evil, they would break forth into them. Now to produce these results God sometimes employs certain means and second causes such as: (1) goodness of nature (euphyia), from which there is a greater or less inclination of vice according to the temperament; (2) education and instruction, of great force in the formation of morals and the correction of life; (3) custom and intercourse with others, having great influence on either side; we are almost such as those with whom we live; (4) civil discipline about rewards and punishments by which Plato said the republic is held together (cf. The Republic 2.6–9 [Loeb, 1:127–45]); (5) fear of disgrace usually attending vices and crimes, and the preservation of a good reputation (held by the wiser heathen in the highest estimation). Hence the latter said that life and honor walk abreast and that fame was to be preserved above other things, according to this: "If you lose all things, remember to keep your reputation."

The inability of the sinner can be called neither simply moral nor natural, but is well said to be both in a different respect.

XXXIX. The inability of sinful man is not to be called simply moral (in contradistinction to natural, as that is called by moral philosophers morally impossible which is such rather by habit than by nature; and what is indeed done with difficulty, still is at one time done); nor ought it to be reckoned among those things which are absolutely impossible (adynata) (since this inability [adynamia] is in us innate and insuperable); nor simply natural (as that is natural from which we are called neither good nor bad; while this inability is certainly vicious and culpable); or as natural is contradistinguished from voluntary (as in a stone or brute there is a natural inability to speak). Our inability is in the highest degree voluntary; or as that is called natural which arises from a defect of natural faculty or power (such as the inability to see in the blind, to walk in the paralytic, to rise in the dead). Our inability does not exclude, but always supposes in man a natural power to understand and will. Still it is best said to be both natural and moral in a different respect. Moral (1) objectively because it is conversant with moral duties; (2) originally because it is induced (epispastos), arising from moral corruption and voluntarily brought on by the sin of man; (3) formally because it is voluntary and culpable, reflected upon the habit of a corrupt will. Natural also (1) originally because it is born with us and from nature; not created by God, but corrupted by man, on account of which we are said by Paul to be "by nature children of wrath" (physei tekna orgēs, Eph. 2:3), and by David "to have been shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin" (Ps. 51:5)—as poison is natural to the serpent and rapacity to the wolf. (2) Subjectively because it taints our whole nature and implies a privation of that faculty of doing well (which was given to the first man and was natural, which was original righteousness). (3) Eventually because it is unconquerable and insuperable, no less than the purely natural inability of the blind man to see and of the dead man to rise. For the sinner can no more convert himself than the blind man can see and the dead man rise. As therefore it is rightly called moral and voluntary to prove the guilt of man and render him inexcusable, so it is best termed natural to heighten the magnitude of the corruption and demonstrate the necessity of grace. For as it is born with man, so it is incapable of being overcome by him so that he cannot shake it off in any other way than by the almighty and heart-turning grace of the Holy Spirit.

XL. Therefore a man laboring under such an inability is falsely said to be able to believe if he wishes, as if faith (so expressly called by Paul "the gift of God," Eph. 2:8) belonged to the things in our power (ek tōn eph' hēmin). For although the phrase can in some measure be tolerated when understood of the natural power of willing (never taken away from us in whatever state we may be; as that by which we are distinguished from the brutes), still it cannot be admitted when we speak of the moral disposition of the will to good; not only to willing, but to willing well. Concerning this alone we dispute with our opponents; unless we wish to pass into the camp of Pelagius who wished good will to be placed in the power of man. For although by sin man did not lose the faculty of willing (in the genus of being), still it is so corrupt in the genus of morals that it neither does nor can do anything good. Besides, since to will to believe and to believe do not differ (since indeed he who wills to believe actually believes, as he who wills to love God and his neighbor really loves God and his neighbor), to say that man can believe if he will is to say that man is able to believe if he has already believed (which is mere trifling). (3) In vain is man said to be able to believe if he will, since it is certain that he cannot of himself will. It is of no use to reply that it is owing to the wickedness of man that he is not able to will; that nothing prevents his believing except his will. For although it is true that this inability is voluntary and culpable, so that its cause can be ascribed to no one but man alone, still it cannot be said absolutely that the will of man alone prevents his believing. As the want and privation of grace (which being furnished, he would believe and without which it is impossible for him to believe) prohibits that also negatively; so it also prohibits it positively; not simply his will, but that native corruption which taints the will and by which (as a spiritual chain) he is so bound down to sin that he can never snap it asunder or shake it off by himself and in his own strength (without grace).

Fifth Question: The Virtues of the Heathen

Whether the virtues of the heathen were good works from which the power of free will to good can be inferred. We deny against the papists

Occasion of the question.

I. This question arises from the preceding. In order to show that strength for good survives to the free will in a state of sin, the papists use the common example of the heathen who strove after virtue above others or were distinguished for illustrious deeds (whose virtues they deny to have been sins, deserving the disapprobation of God, but rather consider good works, meriting favor). Thus the Council of Trent: "Whoever says that all works done before justification, in whatever way done, are truly sins, or deserve the hatred of God, or that the more earnestly one strives to dispose himself to grace, so much the more seriously he sins, let him be anathema" (Session 6, Canon 7, Schroeder, p. 43). Bellamine endeavors to prove "that man can without faith, with special help and even without it, perform some moral good, if no temptation presses" ("De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio," 5.9, 10 in Opera [1858], 4:391–98).

II. However we say two things. First, although we confess that some good can be found in these actions (as to the external honesty of the act commanded by God and which therefore cannot but be good), still we deny that they can be called properly and univocally good works as to the truth of the thing and mode of operation (to wit, internal rectitude of heart and intention of the end). We assert with Augustine that they were nothing but "splendid sins." Second, whatever good or less evil they performed, was not owing to their own strength, but to God's special help.

III. The former may easily be gathered from what has been already said. Since it has been shown that the inability (adynamian) of the sinner to good is total and Scripture ascribes it to all without exception, it is evident that no works truly good can be performed by the unrenewed man.

IV. This is still further strengthened by the conditions of a good work. Three things are altogether required for a good work. First, on the part of the principle, that it proceed from a heart purified by faith (Acts 15:9), because whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23) and is displeasing to God (Heb. 11:6); for "unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Tit. 1:15). Second, on the part of the form or mode, that it be done according to the law of God, not only in the external work, but especially with the internal obedience of the heart which the spiritual law of God requires from sinners (Rom. 7:14). (3) On the part of the end, that it be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). It is certain that the virtues of the heathen are defective in these three particulars. For in reference to the principle, they could not proceed from faith or a clean heart (of which they were destitute); so as to the mode, they had no internal and spiritual obedience; and as to the end, no direction to the glory of God (since they struggled for their own advancement and glory). Now a good work is from an entire cause, but an evil work from even a single defect.

V. The Athenians are said to "worship (eusebein) the unknown God" (Acts 17:23). Not as if with a true and saving worship they adored the true God, but according to opinion (kata doxan) because they supposed they offered a true worship to the true God although unknown. Thus by an admirable accommodation (synkatabasin), the apostle strove to gain them over to Christ by tempering his rebuke with praise. He did not simply call them "too superstitious" (deisidaimonesterous), but "as too superstitious" (hōs deisidaimonesterous) that he might not seem too harsh. Thus he does not say simply "ye worship" (eusebeite), but "ye ignorantly worship" (agnoountes eusebeite) to prove the vanity of their worship, that no one might accuse him of flattery.

VI. As the moral actions of the heathen are not sins per se (and as to substance of the work), but by accident (and as to the mode of operation) in the essential conditions (on account of the various defects mentioned before); not on that account is it better to omit than to perform them, lest we sin (but the defects should rather be corrected and supplied). What are of themselves sins forbidden of God should be omitted; but what are only accidentally such from some defect of circumstances should not be omitted, but corrected.

VII. Earthly reward does not prove true virtue and a good work because it is only of perishable things which God bestows promiscuously upon the reprobate and the elect. This is a remarkable proof of the divine justice, to teach how much true piety pleases him when he not only remunerates true virtues by eternal rewards, but also the images of virtues by temporal blessings not on account of the adhering depravity, but on account of the apparent external good (in order that even unbelievers may have nothing to complain of concerning the justice of God).

VIII. Since the humiliation of Ahab (1 K. 21:27, 28) was dissembled and hypocritical (from fear of punishment rather than from love of virtue), it could not per se be pleasing to God. Nor did God grant to him an absolute remission of the punishment before threatened, but only some delay; not in order to testify that the external humiliation of the wicked king was accepted by him, but to show to others what is to be expected by one seriously and heartily repenting. The repentance of the Ninevites cannot be reckoned among the works of the heathen, since they are said to have repented at the word of God and from the operation of faith in God (which is expressly ascribed to them, Jn. 3:5; Mt. 12:41).

IX. Whatever, moreover, was done by the Gentiles in reference to this subject (by which they were made no better than others, but at least less evil) does not prove remaining strength for good in their free will because not even this could be done without God's special help. If some were more observant than others of justice and goodness; if some excelled in learning, genius, fortitude, justice and temperance and other virtues (as among them Aristides was celebrated for justice; Scipio for continence; Socrates for wisdom; Alexander for bravery; others for other virtues), these are not to be ascribed to their better nature, but are to be recognized as the gifts of God who gives some over to their own lusts, but restrains the depravity of others from breaking forth. Nor were the heathen themselves ignorant of this, who acknowledged that "virtues are inspired only by the divine breath," and "there never was a great man without divine inspiration" as Plato frequently says and Cicero after him (cf. Cicero, ?De Republica 3.3 and 6.8 [Loeb, 16:186–87, 260–61; De Natura Deorum 2.167 [Loeb, 19:282–83]). Reason itself also persuades us. For why should the sons of heroes be so degenerate? Why should twins be so unlike? Why should those enjoying the best education become savage beasts? The cause, therefore, of this difference is to be sought only in the providence of God. While it permits some to sink with impunity into every enormity, it restrains and represses others as with a bit that they may not rush into the same unbridled license with others. Hence they are not common gifts of nature, but special graces of God dispensed variously to men (inasmuch as he knows that it conduces to the preservation of the universe).

X. Whatever knowledge of God is found in the heathen cannot be considered a good work because if they confess with the mouth, they deny him in their works. They had a knowledge of God, but held the truth in unrighteousness, neither glorified him as God (i.e., they did not truly know him). This was the height of their crime—being unwilling to acknowledge him of whom they could not be ignorant, and forming for themselves innumerable gods in place of the one God (whom they could know from his works). Well, therefore, are they called atheists by the apostle (Eph. 2:12) with their own crowd of gods because they were ignorant of the existence of the true God and of his will towards us. So the Lord gave them indeed a slight taste of his divinity that they might not offer ignorance as an excuse. He has driven them at times to say some things by the confession of which they themselves might be convicted; but they so saw what they saw as by no means to be directed by the sight to the truth, much less to attain it. It is like the flashing of lightning at night, surrounded by which the traveller sees far and wide for a moment, but so evanescent that he is again involved in the darkness of night before he can move a step—so far is he from being prospered in his journey by such a help.

XI. This was the constant opinion of Augustine which he often established against the Pelagians: "True virtue exists in no one who is not righteous; and no one is truly righteous who does not live by faith. Moreover, who of those who wish to be considered Christians, except the Pelagians alone, or even thou alone perhaps among them, would say that the just man is enslaved by the devil?" (Against Julian 4.3 [17] [FC 35:181; PL 44.745]). And elsewhere: "However highly the works of unbelievers may be extolled, everything which is not of faith, is sin" (On the Proceedings of Pelagius 34 [NPNF1, 5:198–99; PL 44.341]). So Prosper, a disciple of Augustine: "Without the worship of the true God, even what seems virtue is sin, nor can anyone please God without God; and he who does not please God, whom does he please except himself and Satan" (The Call of All Nations 1.7* [ACW 14:34; PL 51.653–54]). And in his precious little book Carmen de Ingratis: "Every virtuous deed is a sin, unless it rises from the seed of true faith; it becomes a source of guilt, and its barren glory heaps up punishment for itself" (16.407–409 [trans. C.T. Huegelmeyer, 1962], pp. 66–67; PL 51.117). Whoever wishes more on this question should consult Jansen Augustinus where this entire argument is fully and satisfactorily discussed ("De statu naturae lapsae," 3, 4 [1640/1964], pp. 429–678).

XII. Now this is the nature of free will in a state of sin. But how it is constituted in the moment of calling and in the progress of sanctification will be treated of in the proper place (with the favor of God). May the Father of mercies grant that, seriously acknowledging our nothingness (oudeneian) and inability (adynamian), we may learn to depend entirely upon him and to ascribe all our salvation to his grace, saying with the psalmist, "Not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy name be all the glory" (Ps. 115:1). Amen.

Turretin, F. (1992–1997). Institutes of Elenctic Theology. (J. T. Dennison Jr., Ed., G. M. Giger, Trans.) (Vol. 1–3). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

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