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received also the denomination of Remonstrants, from an humble petition, entitled their “Remonstrances,” which they addressed in the year 1610 to the states of Holland. The principal tenets of the Arminians are comprehended in five articles, to which are added a few of the arguments they make use of in defence of their sentiments. 1. That the Deity has not fixed the future state of mankind by an absolute unconditional decree; but determined from all eternity to bestow salvation on those who he foresaw would persevere unto the end in their faith in Jesus Christ, and to inflict everlasting punishments on those who should continue in their unbelief, and resist unto the end his divine succours. For, as the Deity is just, holy, and merciful; wise in all his counsels, and true in all his declarations to the sons of men, it is inconsistent with his attributes, by an antecedent decree, to fix our commission of so many sins in such a manner, that there is no possibility for us to avoid them. And he represents God dishonourably, who believes that by his revealed will he hath declared he would have all men to be saved, and yet by an antecedent secret will he
would have the greatest part of them to perish. That he hath imposed a law upon them, which he requires them to obey on penalty of his eternal displeasure, though he knows they cannot do it without his irresistible grace; and yet is absolutely determined to withhold this grace from them, and then punish them eternally for what they could not do without his divine assistance. 2. That Jesus Christ, by his death and sufferings, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular; that, however, none but those who believe in him can be partakers of their divine benefit. That is, the death of Christ put all men in a capacity of being justified and pardoned, on condition of their faith, repentance, and sincere obedience to the laws of the new covenant ; for the scriptures declare in a variety of places that Christ died for the whole world. God so loved the morld, that he gave his onlybegotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life—He is the propitiation not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world—Christ tasted death for every man. (John iii. 16, 17. 1 Johnii, 2. Heb. ii. 9.)
Here is no limitation of these becoming depraved creatures, comprehensive phrases. If though Adam by his transChrist died for those who pe— gression became guilty of eterrish, and for those who do not nal death, and manifold misery; perish, he died for all. That and being the stock and root of he died for those who do not all mankind, he involved them perish, is confessed by all; and in the same death and misery if he died for any who may with himself; so that all men or shall perish, there is the are by this one only sin of same reason to affirm that he Adam deprived of their pridied for all who perish. Now maeval happiness, and destithat he died for such, the tute of that true righteousness scripture says expressly : And which is necessary for the through thy knowledge shall the attaining of eternal life, and weak brother perish for whom consequently are now born Christ died. (I Cor. viii. 11.) liable to eternal death; yet Hence it is evident that Christ that the blessed God, in and died for those who perish as by his beloved Son, as in and well as for those who do not by another Adam, hath properish. Therefore he died for vided and prepared a free reall men. medy for all against that evil 3. [That though mankind which was derived unto us are so depraved, that of them- from our first parent.f selves, or of their own free- For if men have no power will, they can never savingly to do good of themselves, and believe, or do any thing which if God have determined not is good, or which is connected to give them power, they canwith salvation; yet, that by not be blame-worthy for not the grace of God assisting doing it.] them, they may, while unre- 4. That there is no such generate, grieve for the com- thing as irresistible grace in mission of sin, and seek for the conversion of sinners. For saving grace, and the spirit of if conversion be wrought only renovation ; and that such by the unfrustrable operation seeking is most useful and of God, and man be purely necessary in order to obtain passive in it, vain are all the it.”—And with respect to their commands and exhortations
* The above is the substance of what was delivered in by the Remonstrant ministers on this head, and read by Episcopius at the Synod of Dort.
* Confession, or Declaration, of the Remonstrants, pp. 119, 120.
to wicked men, to turn from their evil ways ; to cease to do evil, and learn to do well; to put off the old man, and put on the new ; (Isai. i. 16. Deut. x. 16. Eph. iv. 22.) and divers other passages to the same purpose. Were an irresistible power necessary to the conversion of sinners, no man could be converted sooner than he is; because, before this irresistible action came upon him, he could not be converted; and when it came upon him, he could not resist its operations : and therefore no man could reasonably be blamed for having lived so long in an unconverted state: and it could not be praise-worthy in any person who was converted, since no man can resist an unfrustrable operation. 5. That those who are united to Christ by faith may fall from their faith, and forfeit finally their state of grace. For the doctrine of a possibility of the final departure of true believers from the faith, is expressed in Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6: It is impossible for them who were once enlightened, &c. if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame. See also 2 Pet. ii. 18–22, and divers K
other passages of scripture to the same purpose. —All commands to persevere and stand fast in the faith, shew that there is a possibility that be. lievers may not stand fast and persevere unto the end. All cautions to christians not to fall from grace, are evidences and suppositions that they may fall; for what we have just reason to caution any person against, must be something which may come to pass, and be hurtful to him. Now such caution Christ gives his disciples in Luke xxi. 34–36. To them who had like precious faith with the apostles, Peter saith, Beware, lest, being led away by the error of the wicked, Jou fall from your own stedjastness. (2 Pet.iii. 17.) Therefore he did not look upon this as a thing impossible: and the doctrine of perseverance renders those exhortations and motives insignificant, which are so often to be found in scripture. In these five points, which are considered as fundamental articles in the Arminian system, the doctrine of the will's having a self-determining power is included. Perhaps some may wish to see a sketch of the arguments adduced to support this opinion. Dr. Clarke defines liberty to be a power of self-motion, or self-determination.* This definition is embraced by all this denomination, and implies that in our volitions we are not acted upon. Activity, and eing acted upon, are incompatible with one another. In whatever instances, therefore, it is truly said of us that we act, in those instances we cannot be acted upon. A being, in receiving a change of its state from the exertion of an egequate force, is not an agent. Man, therefore, could not be an agent, were all his volitions derived from any force, or the effects of any mechanical causes. In this case, it would be no more true that he ever acts, than it is true of a ball that it acts when struck by another ball.—To prove that a self-determining power belongs to the will, it is urged that we ourselves are conscious of possessing such liberty. We blame and condemn ourselves for our actions; have an
—We universally agree that some actions deserve praise, and others blame; for which there would be no foundation, if we were invincibly determified in every volition. Approbation and blame are consequent upon free actions only. —It is an article in the christion faith, that God will render rewards and punishments to men for their actions in this life. We cannot maintain his justice in this particular, if men's actions be necessary either in their own nature, or by divine decrees and influx. —Activity and self-determining powers are the foundation of all morality, all dignity of nature and character, and the greatest possible happiness. It was therefore necessary that such powers should be communicated to us; and that scope, within certain limits, should be allowed for the exercise of them.t ARNOLDISTS, a denomination in the twelfth century, which derive their name from Arnold, of Bresia. Having observed the calamities that sprung from the opulence of the pontiffs and bishops, he maintained publicly, that the treasures and revenues of popes, bishops, and monasteries, ought to be solemnly transferred to the rulers of each state; and that nothing was to be left to the ministers of the gospel but a spiritual authority, and a subsistence drawn from tithes, and, from the voluntary oblations of the people.” ARTEMONITES, a denomination in the second century; so called from Arteman, who taught that at the birth of the man Christ, a certain divine energy, or portion of the divine nature, united itself to him.it . - ARTOTYRITES, a denomination in the second century, who celebrated the eucharist with bread and cheese; saying that the first oblations of men, were of the fruits of the earth and of sheep. The word is derived from the greek 40f apras, bread, and rufog, sheese.—The Artotyrites admitted women to the priesthood and episcopacy. I ASCLEPIDOTAEANS, a .denomination in the third cen...tury; so called from Asclepidotus, who taught that Jesus Christ was a mere man.' ' ASCODROGITES, a de
* The liberty thus defined is supposed to be consistent with acting with a regard to motives Supposing a |. of self-determination to exist, it is
by no means necessary it should rule.
e exerted without regard to any end or
f Mosheim, vol. v. p. 3, 7, 8, Yo on the Five Points, p. 106, 107,. a
120, 125, 134, 251, 252,254, 395, 398.
ylor on Original Sin, p. 13–125.
Stockhouse's Body of Divinity, p. 155, 156. Lock on Free Will—Letters between Clarke and Lebutz, Correspondence between Priestley and Price, Collier's Historical Dictionary, vol. i. See Arminians,
nomination which arose in the
year one hundred and eightyone. They brought into their churches bags, or skins, filled with new wine, to represent the new bottles filled with new wine mentioned by Christ. They danced round these bags, or skins, and intoxicated themselves with the wine. They are likewise called Ascitat ; and both words are derived from the greek of 2.2%, a bottle, or bag.]] ASCODRUTES, a branch of Gnostics in the second century, who placed all religion in knowledge; and asserted that divine mysteries, being the images of invisible things, ought not to be performed by visible things, nor incorporeal things, by corporeal and sensible. Therefore they rejected baptism and the eucharist.T ASSURITANS, a branch of the Donatists, who held that the Son was inferior to the Father, and the holy Ghost to the Son. They re-baptized . those who embraced their sect, and asserted that good men only were within the pale of the church.** See: Donatists. ATHANASIANS, those who profess similar sentiments to those taught by Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, who -flourished in the fourth century. He was bishop forty-six years; and his long admini