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Dr. Pareus has the very same criticism on this passage : and yet this criticism has been objected to as discriminating Pelagians, and Arminians from Calvinists.
We had Scultetus marked for quotation, on the subject of faith, but shall omit his testimony, in order to introduce a matter in relation to the question before us, that ought to be most seriously considered by those who are engaged in existing controversies.
The reader has observed that both Cloppenburg and Gomar speak of a difference of sentiment on the subject of faith, prevailing among the orthodor, (inter orthodoxos is the expression employed by both.) Now this difference which then existed, and which then proved not that either side were heretics, is in our time considered, by some as utterly incompatible with Calvinistic soundness. The view which Luther and Gomar so nobly contended for, with multitudes of other eminent divines, is now repudiated as Arminianism and heresy. But the truth is that the followers of Arminius originally opposed the doctrine of Luther and Gomar;t though the views which they embraced are now advocated as orthodox.
assertione ; credidit Abraham Deo, et hoc, nempe credere, id est, fides illa, qua credidit, imputatum est ei ad justitiam: nam pronomen tolto, seu illud, non potest aliter hoc loco accipi, (quam vox antecedens, ad quan refertur, et cujus loco, pro natura pronominis, elegantiae causa, ponitur: deinde a propria significatione ad impropriam, atque inusitatam) in Sacra Scriptura non est recedendum, nisi necessitas seu veritas Scripturae, aut loci circumstantiae hoc flagitent, ut extra controversiam est : atqui in hac sententia Pauli, nec veritas illius, neque circumstantiae loci id flagitant: quia attributum illud, imputatum est ei au justitiam, hoc non requirit: nain vera est assertio servata subjecti, nempe fidei propria significatione, neque ulla circumstantia hujus loci repugnat.
Quod vero Arminius in epistola ad Hippolytum, legatum Palatipum, contendit, fidem proprie debere accepi, non autein improprie pro justitia Christi : hactenus non mali loquitur, ut ex antecedentibus patet : sed ratio, quam illi rei probandae adducit, falsa est, etc. etc." ut sup. Vol. I. 396, 397.
* See Comment. in Episl. ad Romanos, by David Pareus. Opp. Parei, Vol. I. Part III. p. 103. and Part I. p. 192.
† We could multiply quotations, but the following will suffice : “ Est autem fides in Christum assensus fiducialis Evangelio adhibitus, quo argumentis sive extrivsecis, sive ipsi Evangelio insitis persuasus, slatuo vera esse omnia ea, quae Evangelio continentur, inque Deo per
ism he says:
The fact is that there then existed among the orthodox, the same difference on the subject of faith, that now exists between the contending parties in the community referred to. Yet they lived in peace and harmony, and considered each other as sound in their views.
We have seen then how expressly Luther, Gomar, and others have maintained that faith is not confidence, and that
it is, and can be, nothing more than assent,” or belief of the promises: We shall now introduce on the subject the views of a few other men, who have ever been reputed equally orthodox. We begin with Dr. Pareus. In his Anatomy of Arminian
“ To believe, is with us, not only to assent to the whole word of God; but particularly and properly to confide in the promise of the gospel concerning grace and forgiveness of sins for the sake of the blood of Christ. Mark 5: 26, only believe ; here it is used for confide. And especially hath it this sense in the phrases to believe in God, in Christ, etc. John. 14: 1, If ye believe in God, believe also in me; that is, put your trust also in me; for here he comforts his apostles. John. 9: 36, Who is the Lord that I may believe in him ?-for that I may confide in him. Saving faith is with us united with confidence in the promise of the gospel, or of the promised mercy of God, by the forgiveness of sins, for the sake of the blood of Christ. So that when we say, (Rom. 3: 28,) that we are justified by faith, faith signifies confidence; and to be justified by faith is to be absolved from sin by confidence in the merit of Christ. This is the sense of the apostle when he says, (Rom. 3: 25,) whom God hath set forth as an atonement through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness by the forgiveness of sins, that are past.' Here faith in his blood cannot signify any thing but confidence in the blood of Christ. But they who understand faith only of assent, and to believe only for to assent, show by this that they would render John 3: 36, o di analfov to vio they who do not believe the Son, by they who do not assent to the Son : etc.”*
Christum confido et acquiesco. Itaque Fides non est notitia nuda eorum quae Evangelio continentur,” etc. Disput. Episcopii, Par. III. Disput. XV. Thes. III, and IV.
* Nobis credere, est non tantum ornni verbo Dei assentiri, sed praecipue et proprie prounissione Evangelii de gratia et remissione pecca
Our next witness shall be Wendeline. « Faith, in its form consists of three parts, notion, assent, and confidence. Confidence is the principal part of justifying faith, by which we apply to ourselves the general promises of the gospel ; and are by God accounted righteous for the sake of the merit of Christ ; and by which we have a firm persuasion that hereafter we shall be heirs of eternal life. It is in respect to this confidence that faith is called saving or justifying. For God can justify no one unless he possesses confidence in Christ, and firmly believes that his sins are forgiven for his merit's sake. Hence, in order to salvation, a mere knowledge of Divine mysteries, or general assent is not sufficienț; but confidence also is necessarily required. But we prove that faith is confidence. (1) From the appellations given it in the Scriptures. It is called Sápous, confidence, John, 16: 33, niinpogogia, a full and firm persuasion, Heb. 10: 22. See also Heb. 3: 6. Eph. 3: 12. These terms cannot by any means be explained to signify only a mere knowledge of mysteries, or a general assent. For Satan himself believes as to a mere knowledge or assent, but then it profits him nothing, for by believing he trembles. (2) Because they who truly believe in Christ know that they have life eternal. See 1 John 5: 13. But no man can know from a mere naked notion and general assent, that he will have eternal life; yea, even despair may be united with
torum propter Christi sanguinem confidere, Mark, 5: 26. Crede tantummodo pro confide. Et hunc sensum praesertim habet in phrasi credere in Deum, in Christum, etc. (John 14: 1.) Si creditis in Deum etianı in me credite ; pro confidite; Consolatur enim ibi Apostolos. (John 9: 36.) Domine quis est, ut credam in eum ? pro, ut confidam in
Fides salvica nobis est conjuncta cum fiducia promissionis Evangelii, seu promissae misericordiae Dei remissione peccatorum propter Christi sanguinein : ut, cum dicimur fide justificari, fides fiduciam significat : et fide justificari, est fiducia meriti Christi a peccatis absolvi : : quem sensum apostolus tradit, cum dicit: Quem proposuit Deus placamentum per fidem in sanguine pro, ad declarandum justitiam suam per remissionem peccatorum precedentium : ubio fides in sanguine suo, non potest disi fiduciam sanguinis Christi significare. Illi vero quod fidem tantum de assensu, credere tantum pro assentiri intelligant, tum hoc ostendit, quod in Articulo verba Johannis cap. 3: 36. ở dè åretāv tõ vio reddunt: Qui vero non assentitur filio ; pro, qui non credit filio : tum etc.-Vide Anat. Arminianismi, pp. 8, 9.
Vol. XII. No. 31.
both knowledge and assent, as it is, for instance in the reprobate, and in all devils."* Tilenus, speaking of justifying faith, says,
" This faith is called únoorCots, by the apostle, because it is not an empty notion floating in the mind, but it realizes those things which as yet are in anticipation, and experimentally unknown to us, so that they appear, and exist. li is also called Meyxos, because it demonstrates with so much certainty to the mind and to the hopes those things which as yet are unseen, of themselves, like as the light with certainty declares to the eyes of the body, those things which are visible. Heb. 11: 1. This faith is not only a notion united with assent, but also with confidence; by which the believer is persuaded that the promise pertains to himself.”+
“ Hactenus materia fidei justificantis. Sequitur forma, quae constitit in tribus partibús, nempe, notilia, assensu, et fiducia. Notitia est prima fidei pars, qua, quae de salutis nostrae ratione scriptura tradit, seu quae ad salutem scitu sunt necessaria, cognoscimus : Graecis éniyvoris.' Assensus est altera fidei pars, qua, quae ex scriptura novioius a Deo revelata, pro veris habemus: Graecis ovyxatá98019. Fiducia est tertia et principalis pars fidei justificantis, qua generales Evangelii promissiones nobis applicamus, et nos, propter Christi meritum justos a Deo reputari, aeternaque vitae haeredes fore, plene persuasian habemus: Graecis πληροφορία seu πεποίθησις.
Respectu fuluciae hujus fides appellatur salvifica, et justificans. Neminem enim justificat Deus, nisi qui fiduciam in Christo collocat, et propter ejus meritum sibi peccata remitti firmiter credit. Itaque ad salutem non sufficit vel notitia mysteriorum divinarum, vel assensus etiam generalis: sed necessario requiritur quoque fiducia. Esse autem fidem fiduciam probamus: (1) Ex appellationibus, quae in scriptura ipsi tribuuntur, appellatur enim Jágoos, confidentia, John 16:33. impocopia, plena el firma persuasio, Heb. 10:22. naggyola, libertas fiducialis, Heb. 3: 6AenOinois, firma persuasio, Eph. 3: 12. únotaris TQV è ricouévwv, subsistentia rerum speratarum, quae facit' res speratas coram existere. Nomina haec simplici notitiae mysteriorum vel assensus generali minime conveniunt. Credil enim Satan, quoad notitiam et assensin' cui tarnen θάρσος, πληροφορία et παρρησία nulla comperit quia credendo contremiscit. (2) Quia, qui vere credunt in Christum sciunt se habere vitam aeternam, 1 John 5: 13. Haec scribo vobis, qui creditis in nomen Filii Dei, ut sciatis vos vitam aeternam habere. Atqui ex buda nolitia et assensu generali nenio scit se vitam aeternam habere : imo cum notitia et assensu desperatio potest esse conjuncta et est in multis reprobis, omnibusque diabolis, conjuncta. Vide Chris. Theolog. Wendelini, Lib. I. cap. XXIV. p. 544–549.
+ “Haec fides ab Apostolo vocatur inbotaois, quia non est inane spectrum, in mente volitans, sed efficit, ut quae in expectatione sunt
Polanus, is the last that we shall quote. In his system of Theology, pp. 1883, 1884, he uses the following language. “ The essential form of saving faith is a full and sure persuasion, an absence of doubt and dispute, concerning the truth, fidelity, power and mercy of God, and therefore concerning our reconciliation to God through Christ. See Luke 1: 37, etc. For which cause saving faith is not a naked notion, or knowledge of truth to be believed, or even a firm assent, but it is also a confidence of the mercy of God and of eternal.salvation by and for the sake of Christ. This is clear from the following arguments. - 1. Saving faith is a ningocopia, that is, a full persuasion that what God has promised he is able to perform. Thus is the faith of Abraham described, Rom. 4: 11, and of Sarah, Heb. 11: 11. Now a persuasion of the power of God in performing his promises, is not a notion only, but a firm and undoubted confidence.
2. Saving faith is a strict acquiescence in the divine benevolence and favor. But it is objected 1. That the effect of saving faith is not its essential form ; but confidence is the effect of faith ; and therefore it is not the essential form of saving faith. The assumption is proved by the testimony of Paul in Eph. 3: 12, “In whom we have freedom and access with confidence, through faith in him.” But to this I answer, that the assumption is to be distinguished, because it is ambiguous. For confidence in itself, as in the passage cited from Paul is a sure persuasion that prayer will be heard, if it be made in faith, and in the name of Christ. But confidence which is the essential form of saving faith, is a most certain persuasion of the truth, fidelity, power, and mercy of God, and reconciliation with him through Christ. The confidence of prayer is rightly said to be the effect of faith.
But it is again objected that confidence is the essential form of no intellectual virtue ; but faith is an intellectual virtue ; therefore confidence is not the essential form of faith. To this
posita, eoque essentiae videntur expertia, exstent quodammodo, ac subsistant. Item vocatur fleyzos, quod tam certo demonstret menti ac spei, ea quae per se sunt inaspectabilia, quam certo lux manifestat oculis corporis, quae sunt adspectabilia Heb. 11:1.—Fides haec non solum notitia est cum assensu, sed etiam cum fiducia conjuncta, qua credens persuasum habet promissionem etiam ad se pertinere. Syntag. Tilen. p. 709, 1063.