VIII. Refutation of Pighius
Now I want to consider not so much what and how Pighius speaks, as how this worthless fellow may fall and lie buried under the ruins of his desperate impudence. So pious consciences will be reassured; for, as I know, they are often disturbed because of their inexperience. So I shall select from the almost unlimited stream of his loquacity whatever is specious, so that all may perceive that with all his speaking he says nothing. That Christ, the redeemer of the whole world, commands the Gospel to be preached promiscuously to all does not seem congruent with special election. But the Gospel is an embassy of peace by which the world is reconciled to God, as Paul teaches (II Cor 5.18); and on the same authority it is announced that those who hear are saved. I answer briefly that Christ was so ordained for the salvation of the whole world that He might save those who are given to Him by the Father, that He might be their life whose head He is, and that He might receive those into participation of His benefits whom God by His gratuitous good pleasure adopted as heirs for Himself. Which of these things can be denied? So the apostle pronounces the prophecy of Isaiah to be fulfilled in Him: Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me (Is 8.18; Heb 2.13). Christ Himself declares: All that the Father gave Me, I keep lest any perish (Jn 6.37). We read everywhere that He diffuses life only to members of His. And whoever will not allow that to be grafted into His body is a special gift has never read attentively the Epistle to the Ephesians. From this follows also a third thing: the virtue of Christ belongs only to the sons of God. Even those opposed to me will concede that the universality of the grace of Christ is not better judged than from the preaching of the Gospel. But the solution of the difficulty lies in seeing how the doctrine of the Gospel offers salvation to all. That it is salvific for all I do not deny. But the question is whether the Lord in His counsel here destines salvation equally for all. All are equally called to penitence and faith; the same mediator is set forth for all to reconcile them to the Father - so much is evident. But it is equally evident that nothing can be perceived except by faith, that Paul's word should be fulfilled: the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to all that believe (Rom 1.16). But what can it be for others but a savour of death to death? as he elsewhere says (II Cor 2. 16).
Further, since it is clear that out of the many whom God calls by His external voice very few believe, if I prove that the greater part remain unbelieving because God honours with illumination none but those whom He will, then I draw another conclusion. The mercy of God is offered equally to both kinds of men, so that those who are not inwardly taught are rendered only inexcusable. Some make a distinction here, that the Gospel has the power to save all, but not the effect. But this does not at all dispose of the difficulty, for we are always forced back on the question whether an equal power to believe is conferred on all. But Paul gives the reason why all do not obey the Gospel; for Isaiah says: Lord who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Rom 10.16; Is 53.1). The prophet, astounded at the small number of believers, exclaims that it is quite unworthy that, while the word of God sounds in the ears of all, it should inwardly affect hardly any hearts. But lest so great a depravity in the world should disturb anyone, he immediately adds that this is not given to all. In a word, Paul indicates that all clamorous sounding of the human voice will lack effect, unless the virtue of God works internally in the heart. Luke puts an outstanding testimony of this having recorded the sermon preached by Paul, he says that as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13.48). Why was the same doctrine not received by the minds of all? Luke draws the line of definition: Because not all were ordained to life. Whence comes this disposition, but of God alone? Those who suggest that they were ordained by the motion of their own hearts deserve no more refutation than those who say the world was created by itself. For it lies in the hidden wisdom of the Gospel which human ingenuity is unable to penetrate. The natural man, says Paul, does not receive the things of God (I Cor 2.14). Because he does not will so? This is indeed true: all are rebels who are not tamed by His Spirit. But Paul carries the matter to a higher level. There is such foolishness in man that he is unable to understand; no one has been God's counsellor, nor are His secrets to be known except by His Spirit alone. Hence he concludes that those only are true disciples of God who are granted the spirit not of the world but of heaven, that they may know the things given them by God. What is intended by the comparison between the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God? Just this, that men subsisting on the earth are wise in their own way only, while the heavenly Father illumines His sons specially. Here Pighius obtrudes upon us the voluntary preparation of each, if God please. As if Paul did not address himself to the Corinthians, and a little later describe them as having been thieves, drunkards, slanderers, dissolute, and infected with prodigious crimes, until they were cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit (I Cor 6.9). What quality for meeting the illumination proffered to them could they have whom God drew out of hell itself? And what need is there of proceeding in a great circle of words? The Spirit who reveals to us the secrets of the kingdom of heaven is the Spirit of adoption. But adoption is gratuitous. Hence the Spirit Himself is bestowed gratuitously. Now experience teaches that the Spirit is not bestowed on all. Hence faith is a special gift by which the election of God is ratified. Paul in this sense speaks of Christ, to the Jews a scandal and to the Gentiles foolishness, but to the called the power and wisdom of God (I Cor 1.23). But from where does calling come but from God who calls according to His purpose those whom He elects (Rom 8.30)? Now we hold that the Gospel which ought to be by its nature an odour of life to life is an odour of death to those who perish and who thus remain unbelieving in their darkness because the arm of God is not revealed to them. But if in such a corruption and depravity of our nature there are yet some who believe the Gospel, it is sacrilegious to ascribe it to their goodness. Rather let thanks be always rendered to God, as Paul advises, who has chosen them from the beginning of the world to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth (II Thes 2.13). Certainly in these words he derives both faith and sanctification from eternal election, like two streams from one source. What then? Were these chosen because they had sanctified them- selves? But Paul expressly asserts that this is the work of the Spirit of God. Since the nature of faith is the same, it remains to conclude that illumination into faith is in order that election may be ratified and manifested in its effect. And certainly when we hear that no one comes to Christ unless the Father draw him, we may accept what Augustine says: Who is drawn if already willing? Yet no one comes unless he will. Hence in wonderful ways men are drawn so that they will by Him who knows how to work inwardly on the hearts of men, not that they may unwillingly believe, which is impossible, but that from being unwilling they be made willing.
VIII.2. God's will that all be saved
All this Pighius contradicts, adducing the opinion of Paul (I Tim 2.4): God wills all to be saved. That He does not will the death of a sinner is to be believed on His own oath where He says by the prophet: As I live, I do not will the death of a sinner, but rather that he may be converted and live (Ezek 18.23, 33.11). But I contend that, as the prophet is exhorting to penitence, it is no wonder that he pronounces God willing that all be saved. But the mutual relation between threats and promises shows such forms of speech to be conditional. To the Ninevites, as also to the kings of Gerar and Egypt, God de clared that He would do what He was not going to do. Since by repentance they averted the punishment promised to them, it is evident that it was not firmly decreed unless they remained obstinate. Yet the denunciation had been positive, as if it were an irrevocable decree. But after terrifying and humbling them with the sense of His wrath, though not to the point of despair, He cheers them with the hope of pardon, that they might feel there was room for remedy. So again with the promises which invite all men to salvation. They do not simply and positively declare what God has decreed in His secret counsel but what He is prepared to do for all who are brought to faith and repentance. But, it is alleged, we thereby ascribe a double will to God, whereas He is not variable and not the least shadow of turning falls upon Him. What is this, says Pighius, but to mock men, if God professes to will what He does not will? But if in fairness the two are read together: I will that the sinner turn and live, the calumny is dissolved without bother. God demands conversion from us; wherever He finds it, a man is not disappointed of the promised reward of life. Hence God is said to will life, as also repentance. But the latter He wills, because He invites all to it by His word. Now this is not contradictory of His secret counsel, by which He determined to convert none but His elect. He cannot rightly on this account be thought variable, because as lawgiver He illuminates all with the external doctrine of life, in this first sense calling all men to life. But in the other sense, He brings to life whom He will, as Father regenerating by the Spirit only His sons.
It is indeed certain that men are not converted to the Lord of their own accord; nor is the gift of conversion common to all. For this is one of the two heads of the covenant, which God promises to make with none but His children and His elect people: He will write His laws on their hearts. For it is madness for anyone to say that this is promised to all in general: I will make a covenant with them, not like that I made with their fathers; but I will write My laws on their hearts (Jer 31.33). To restrict this to those who are worthy or who have rightly prepared themselves by their own endeavour would be worse than gross folly; for the Lord addresses those whose hearts were formerly stony, as is clear from another prophet (Ezek 36.26). I admit that contumacy is common to all, nor is the heart of any flexible and obedient to God until He gives what He commands. For why are we called new creatures, unless because we are remade of God, created to every good work (Eph 2.10; II Cor 5.17)? I pray you, what kind of a partition it would be, and how unequal, if God created us mortal men, but each were his own creator to righteousness and heavenly life! For in this way God would only have for Himself the praise of fallible grace, I since what is much more excellent would fall to us., But Scripture affirms that to circumcise men's hearts is the work of God (Deut 30.6); nor is regeneration ascribed to any other. Hence also whatever in man is made new in the image of God is always called Spirit. The Lord does indeed frequently exhort us to repentance, but He Himself is asserted to be the author of conversion (II Tim 2.25). His law is said to here transferred convert souls (Ps 19.8ff.), and this office is elsewhere to the ministers of the word (Lk 1.17). But while they labour by praying, sowing and watering, it is God alone that gives the increase (I Cor 3.6). So it is no wonder that it is ascribed to Him to open the heart of His own (Acts 16.14), so that they may attend to the word they hear. Hence Augustine, having treated of the elect, and taught that their salvation reposes-in the faithful custody of God so that none perishes, continues: The rest of mortal men who are not of this number, but rather taken out of the common mass and made vessels of wrath, are 'born for the use of the elect. For God created no one of them casually or fortuitously, nor is He ignorant of whatever good may be worked through them. For that He created human nature in them and adorned the order of this present life by them is in itself a good work. But He brings none of them to the spiritual repentance by which a man is reconciled with God. Hence, though these are born of the same mass of perdition, yet according to the hardness and impenitence of their heart they all, as far as in them lies, treasure up for themselves wrath to the day of wrath. God by the goodness of His mercy brings some from the same mass of repentance, and by just judgment does not bring others. So Augustine. And lest anyone should imagine that here divine grace and our industry conflict, what he records elsewhere is always recurring. Men labour, he says, to find in our own free will what good thing we may call our own which is not from God; but I do not know anything that can be found. And a little later: Therefore not only the power of will which is free to turn this way and that and is among the natural goods which a bad man may badly use, but also the good will which is among those goods of which a bad use cannot be made, are both ours only by the gift of God. Unless we hold this, I do not know how what Paul says can be .defended: What have you that you did not receive? (I Cor 4.7). But if there be in us a certain free will which is of God which may be good or evil, and a good will which is of ourselves, what proceeds from us is better than what comes from God. In the end he concludes: Where the Lord wills to bestow this gift, it is of His mercy, not of their merit; where He does not so will, it is of His truth; for power to draw He certainly has.
The difficulty of another place (I Tim 2.4) is readily solved. Paul tells us that God wills all men to be saved, and also how He wills them to come to the knowledge of His truth. For he joins both together. Now I ask: Did the will of God remain the same from the beginning of the world? For if He willed that His truth be known to all, why did He not proclaim His law also to the Gentiles? Why did He confine the light of life within the narrow limits of Judaea? What does Moses mean when he says (Deut 4.8): There is no nation which has statutes and laws by which to be ruled like this people, unless to praise the privilege of the race of Abraham? To this corresponds the enconium of David (Ps 147.20): He dealt so with no other people, nor manifested His judgments to them. Nor must we overlook the express reason: Because God loved the fathers, He chose their sons; not because they were more excellent, but because it seemed good to the Lord to choose them for His peculiar people (Deut 4.37, 7.8). What then? Did Paul not know that he was prohibited by the Spirit from- preaching the word of Christ in Asia and from crossing over into Bithynia where he was proceeding? (Acts 16.6). But as a full treatment of this matter would be too prolix, I content myself with one word more,. When He had lit the light of life for the Jews alone, God allowed the Gentiles to wander for many ages in darkness (Acts 14.16). Then this special gift was promised to the Church, that the Lord should rise upon it and His glory be conspicuous in it (Is 60.2). Now let Pighius asseverate that God wills all to be saved, when not even the external preaching of the doctrine, which is much inferior to the illumination of the Spirit, is made common to all. That passage was long ago brought up by the Pelagians. What Augustine in many places replied, I refrain from stating at present, except one passage in which he shows clearly and briefly how unconcernedly he scorns the objection. When, he says, our Lord complains that, for all His willingness to gather the children of Jerusalem, they would not have it, was the will of God overpowered by weak men, so that the Almighty was unable to do what He willed? Where then will be that omnipotence by which He did whatsoever pleased Him in heaven and on earth? Who will be so impiously foolish as to say that God cannot convert to good the evil wills of men when and where and in whatever cases He will? But when He does so, He does it in mercy, and when not, in judgment. But the difficulty is, I admit, not yet solved. Yet I have extorted this from Pighius, that no one unless deprived of sense and judgment can believe that salvation is ordained in the secret counsel of God equally for all. For the rest, the meaning of Paul is quite simple and clear to anyone not bent on contention. He bids solemn prayers be made for kings and princes in authority. Because in that age there were so many dangerous enemies of the Church, to prevent despair from hindering application to prayer, Paul anticipates their difficulties, declaring that God wills all men to be saved. Who does not see that the reference is to orders of men rather than individual men? Nor indeed does the distinction lack substantial ground: what is meant is not individuals of nations but nations of individuals. At any rate, the context makes it clear that no other will of God is intended than that which appears in the external preaching of the Gospel. Thus Paul means that God wills the salvation of all whom He mercifully invites by preaching to Christ.
VIII 3. Respect of persons
But Pighius renews the battle with me over respect of persons. Because God is no respecter of persons, he infers that all are equally loved by Him. But I answered him earlier. By the term person, Scripture means all external attributes of men, which they cannot cause, but which procure favour for some and load others with hatred or contempt Pighius thunders that nothing more inept could be said or thought. But if the matter were put to the vote, I should have many irreproachable masters and companions. One ground will suffice. In Hebrew there is a word panim which is equivalent to facies or appearance. The word is used when judges are forbidden to respect persons, when Moses testifies that God is no respecter of persons (Deut 1.17, 10.17), and also in the story of Job (32.21, 34.19). Now I ask what can we understand by the term but all kinds of external appearances, as they are commonly called, by which we are led away from the thing itself? Similarly, the apostles, when speaking of servants and masters, of Jews and Gentiles, and of the prominent and the obscure (Rom 2.11; Gal 2.6; Eph 6.9; Col 3.25), use prosopon;' since some have excellence more than others, and so it comes about that what is equal and just is not discerned. So Christ opposes opsin, that is aspect, to just judgment (Jn 7.24), as if to say that, where the favour or hatred of men rules, it can only be that all equity and rectitude is perverted. Everyone must therefore see that Pighius is carried away by rabid and petulant hatred of the truth and does not mind what he says. Now let this fine censor's amendment be heard. He declares respect of persons to be a vice that has a place in the administration of justice. From this he infers that God is no respecter of persons because He is indifferent to all, and, as befits a just distributor of public grants, shows Himself similarly liberal and beneficent. But really he gabbles, as if extinguishing the light of Scripture gave him the right to make things up out of his own head. For all passages in Scripture support my view, while he brings none to support his construction. And what wonder, if thereby he can safely proffer his deliriums, without even considering the meaning of the term about which he talks? He pours out words without sense and in contempt of grammar, presumably to show himself a great theologian. For person means for him nothing but man. But it is more than evident that it means an extrinsic quality in which men are clad and for which they are held in favour or subjected to contempt. But whether God is an equal dispenser or not, Christ is rather to be believed than Pighius. Now Christ introduces God in the person of father of a family, saying (Mt 20.15): Is it not lawful to do what I will with My own? is your eye evil because Mine is benign? Paul follows this reasoning to show that God is restricted by no one from dispensing His grace according to His will to whom it seems good, when he enquires: Who first gave to Him that it should be returned to him again? (Rom 11.35).
In the first place, if there had been a grain of piety in this man, could he ever have dared so insultingly to call God to order? For he prescribes that God should bestow His bounty on all, as from a public treasury. Thus he leaves God nothing in which to exercise gratuitious beneficence. God, he says, judges of every individual according to his dignity and works, not according to His own good pleasure. What merit, then, moved Him to choose the race of Abraham? What dignity did He find in this race to prefer it to others? God assigns no other reason than that He loved their fathers. And more expressly: Behold, the heavens and the earth are the Lord's; yet the Lord delighted in your fathers to love them, and chose their seed after them (Deut 4.37, 10.15). In another place, He reduces all their merits to nothing, declaring them to have been idolators (Josh 24.2). At any rate, I conclude, though Pighius denies it, that the good pleasure of God is clearly preached by Moses. It is not, he says, on the decree of God that the election of one and the rejection of another depend, but on the affection of men. What then does this mean: Not of works, but of Him that calls is this said, The elder shall serve the younger (Rom 9.11)? The blasphemy Pighius later emits is execrable: God is made not only unjust but cruet, if He devote anyone at all to destruction. But he will one day stand before the tribunal of God who, Paul asserts, manifests His power in the vessels of wrath. Even now, lying under the shadow of his evil end, he thinks that God is not a human fabrication but always the eternal judge of the whole world. This wretched man even now experiences the truth: God triumphs when He is judged (Ps 51.6; Rom 3.4). But I admit that a godly and upright life is sometimes contrasted with person, as when Peter says that God is no prosopolemptes, since in every nation whoever lives well is acceptable to Him (Acts 10.34). But the reply is immediate, that God offers the gifts He confers on His children, but in the nature of man finds nothing but what merits hatred. Hence, that God may love His worshippers, He must prevent them with His gratuitous love while unworthy and as yet devoid of all good, and give to them what afterwards He may follow up with His love. This first grace He gives to whom He will, says Augustine, because He is merciful. Even if He should not give it, He is just. And He does not give it where He does not will, in order to make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy. But that there is with Him no respect of persons is shown at the end of the chapter to mean that sometimes He may pass over the children of His worshippers and deliver from destruction the offspring born of the reprobate. Further, what Augustine adds is well worth remembering, that no more splendid mirror of predestination exists than the mediator Himself, who according to His human nature attained without merit such honour as to be the only begotten Son of God. But this good pleasure of God which He puts before us in Christ the head of the Church for contemplation, Pighius will not suffer or allow even in the members. For he contends that the blessed mother of Christ was elected on merit, for she sings: He respected the lowliness of His handmaiden (Lk 1.48)- Such are Pighius' proofs for the election of God being founded on men's merits, not on grace, because He chose what was abject and contemptible.
VIII.4. The reason for election
This reason disposes easily of another of Pighius' objections. When, he says, Christ calls the blessed of His Father to the possession of the kingdom, He does not simply state their election to be the cause, but the fact that they have done the works of charity. But I do not merely send men off to the secret election of God to await with gaping mouth salvation there. I bid them make their way directly to Christ in whom salvation is offered us, which otherwise would have lain hid in God. For whoever does not walk in the plain path of faith can make nothing of the election of God but a labyrinth of destruction. Therefore, that the remission of sins may be a certainty to us, our consciences rest in confidence of eternal life, and we call upon God as Father without fear, the beginning is not to be made here. We must begin with what is revealed in Christ concerning the love of the Father for us and what Christ Himself daily preaches to us through the Gospel. Nothing higher is demanded of us than that we be the sons of God. But of the gratuitous election by which alone we may attain this highest good, the mirror, earnest and pledge is the Son, who came forth for us from the bosom of the Father to make us heirs of the heavenly kingdom by ingrafting us into His body. Further, as this inheritance was once obtained for us by the, blood of Christ and is attested in the sacred pages of the Gospel, so possession of it is entered into not otherwise than by faith. In a word, I not only freely confess but emphasise everywhere in my writings both that the salvation of men is bound to faith, and that Christ is the only door by which all must enter into the heavenly kingdom; nor is tranquil peace to be found elsewhere than in the Gospel. Those who deviate in the slightest degree from this can do nothing but wander through tortuous ambiguities. The more anyone tries to invade and penetrate those profound recesses of the divine counsel, the further he recedes from God. Hence, I do not deny that the way is to be walked by faith. Hence, another matter also is disposed of. Pighius alleges that God will on the last day crown the gifts of the Spirit which He has bestowed on the elect in the present life. But this does not prevent the heavenly Father by faith and the sanctification of the Spirit engrafting those who are elect in Christ into His body, or calling and justifying in His own time those who were predestined before the foundation of the world. Paul joins both admirably when he says that all things work together for good to those who love God and immediately adds: who are called according to the purpose (Rom 8.28). This then is the way in which God govern His own; this is the manner in which He discharges His work of grace in them. But why He takes them by the hand has another superior cause, that eternal purpose, namely, by which He destined them to life. Hence the impudence of Pighius is even more ridiculous; for he does not hesitate insolently to fit to his own use a testimony directly against him. In the first place he reminds us to note well that all things are not said to work for good to the elect or the loved; a different cause is rather assigned, that they love God. As if indeed Paul had not paid attention to this and added the correction, lest any of the faithful should attribute to his own merit the fact that God turns all things to good for them. Paul first shows how it befits the faithful to be disposed to Him; and this is the result of their being called. But lest they should cleave to themselves, he teaches that the beginnings of salvation and all blessings have a higher source, that they had first been called. This knot, too, Pighius unlooses with a jest. God, he says, calls all men to holiness. As if calling were not clearly commended as efficacious in the express purpose of God. What are the deceptions by which he spreads so dense a darkness that the lucidity of the sentiment is obscured? God chose those whom He justified that He might at length glorify them (Rom 8.30) - however he may mangle this sentence, he can never stretch its efficacy to cover all men. Hence it is evident what a foolish argument it is that strives to subvert election by substituting faith and works. This is to make the daughter devour the mother, as the common saying goes. There is a last refuge for Pighius. God predestined none to salvation but those whom He foreknew.
But this way I have already blocked against him; for I have shown it to be impossible that God should foresee anything in man that was not worthy of destruction, until He should Himself have created him anew by His Spirit. If then no one has anything which he did not receive, what more can one bring before God than another to excel him? God therefore knew His own, not estimating them by merit, but in distinguishing none from others except by casting merciful and propitious eyes on them, so as to number undeservedly whom He will among His children. As Paul has it: Who makes you different (I Cor 4.7)? But Pighius' gratuitous foreknowledge which he calls naked or without preference, is no foreknowledge at all. With what feathers, then, will he adorn man, lest he come before God naked and deformed in every part? For Scripture insists that everything in the deformed nature of man is hateful to God, and that only His own image, which is created anew in Christ, pleases Him.
Pighius continues: When we enquire the reason why the ungodly are condemned, it is not this tyrannical voice with which we are met, that they were distinguished from the elect by the counsel of God, because it pleased God to devote them to destruction; as though to say: I will it so, I require it so, let my will be the reason and make it so. Rather they hear the voice of Christ: I was hungry, and you gave Me food, etc- (Mt 25.42). Not very unlike this is what he repeats in another place. Christ will not say to them that they are damned because they are born of the corrupt seed of Adam, because they contracted the desert of eternal death from his sin, because they must perish for his fault. He will say it is because they did not give food to the starving and did not perform other works of charity. If original guilt is for Pighius not sufficient to condemn men and the hidden judgment of God has no kind of place, what will he make of those infant children who are taken from this life before they could display any such example because of their age? The infants of Sodom and of Jerusalem had the same condition of birth and death, nor was there any disparity in their works. Why then will Christ on the last day separate them to stand some on His right and the others on His left? Who does not here adore the admirable judgment of God by which it is ordained that some are born in Jerusalem and pass thence to a better life, while Sodom, the forecourt of hell, receives the birth of others? But as Christ awards to the elect the recompense of justice, so the reprobate will receive not less fittingly the punishment of their impiety and crimes. Nothing in my teaching goes to show that God by His eternal counsel does not elect to life those whom He pleases and leaves others to destruction; or to deny that there are punishments ordained for evil works and a prize laid up for good. We shall all stand before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may receive as he conducted himself in the body, whether good or evil. But whence come the justice and sanctity with which the pious will then be crowned, unless that God regenerated them to newness of life by His Spirit? And whence the gift of regeneration, except from gratuitous adoption? Pighius argues like a man denying that the day is created by God out of light because it is made by the splendour of the sun. This comparison is, however, not exact in every point. For the light created in the beginning has properly God for its author. But the fault of our damnation resides so entirely in ourselves that it is forbidden to assemble extraneous pretexts with which to cover it. But it was permissible thus briefly to show how preposterously Pighius removes the remote cause by bringing forward the proximate. He contends that the impious will be damned because they have provoked the wrath of God on themselves by their own misdeeds. From this he concludes that their damnation does not proceed from the decree of God. But I say they have accumulated misdeeds upon misdeeds because, being depraved, they could do nothing but sin. Yet they sinned not by extrinsic impulse but by the spontaneous inclination of the heart, knowingly and voluntarily. For it cannot be denied that the fount and origin of all evils is the corruption and viciousness of nature without overturning the first rudiments of piety. If you ask the reason why God corrects the vice in His elect but deems the reprobate unworthy of the same remedy, it is hidden in Himself. In this way Paul in the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans first establishes God as the arbiter of life and death so as finally to save those whom He rescues from destruction. He then plainly pronounces that it is not of him that wills or of him that runs, but of the mercy of God who has mercy on whom He will have mercy and who hardens whom He will. After this, he shows clear and as it were palpable causes for the blindness in his own people, that the majority rejected Christ and obstinately resisted God who stretched out His hand towards them. Hence these two principles agree splendidly with each other: each man by his own unbelief is the author of his condemnation, and all destitute of the Spirit of God rush blindly against Christ. Therefore, Paul presents the Jews as guilty because, wishing to establish their own righteousness, they were not subject to the righteousness of God (Rom 10.3), and so by the vice of their pride were cast out of the Church; but at the same time it is to be ascribed to the grace of God that a certain remnant stands. So by His own declaration God maintains: There yet remain to Me seven thousand men who have not bent the knee before Baal (I Kings 19.18). Nor, as Augustine circumspectly observes, did these stand by their own virtue; for the Lord saved them to constitute a remnant. Paul is even more explicit: The remnant gathered by the coming of Christ is saved according to gratuitous election (Rom 11.5). You note the term remnant. It signifies a small number separated from the general mass of mankind. He says these were saved not for their own virtue, but by the goodness of God. He derived salvation from gratuitous election, meaning that this was the sole cause why they did not perish in the general mass, because they were gratuitously elected. From this it follows that if all were elect none would perish.
If a mortal man should pronounce his will and command and make his volition a sufficient reason, I admit it would be tyrannical. But to transfer the principle to God would be sacrilegious folly. For no immoderation may be attributed to God, as if desire surged in Him as in men. Rather such honour is rightly ascribed to His will that it constitutes a sufficient reason, since it is the origin and rule of all righteousness. For the distinction commonly made in the schools of a twofold will we by no means admit. The sophists of the Sorbonne talk of a regulative and an absolute will of God. This blasphemy is rightly abhorrent to pious ears but is plausible to Pighius and those like him. But I contend on the contrary that, so far from there being anything unordained in God, rather all order traceable in heaven or earth originates in Him. When therefore, we carry the will of God to the highest level so as to be higher than all reason, we do not at all imagine that He does anything but with the highest reason. Our view is simply that He possesses by right such great power, that we ought to be content with His mere nod. For if it is truly said: Thy judgments are a great deep (Ps 36.7), when the mind of man thrusts forward to such lengths in its pride as not to rest simply in the good pleasure of God, let it be warned lest such a great deep swallow him up. It cannot well be otherwise; and this vengeance is more than just. Hence Augustine's word should never be forgotten: Attend to who God is and who you are. He is God, you are man. Should you think you are talking of justice, is the fount of justice dried up? You as a man expect an answer from me. But I also am a man. Let us both therefore listen to one who speaks: O man, who art thou? Better is the ignorance of faith than the temerity of knowledge! Seek for merit, an you will find only punishment. O the height and the depth! Peter denies, the thief believes. O the height and the depth! You ask a reason. I stand in awe before the height and the depth. You ratiocinate, I admire; you dispute, I believe. I see the height, but I do not comprehend the depth. Paul rests quietly because he found wonder. He calls the judgments of God inscrutable--do you mean to scrutinise them? He says His ways are past finding out - do you propose to find them out? Similarly in another place he says: Will you dispute with me? Rather admire with me and exclaim: O the height and the depth! Let us agree to tremble together lest together we perish in error.
To himself, Pighius seems to argue acutely when he denies that the judgments of God would be a great deep, if His will were the highest reason; for nothing would be easier than that all things be made because God so pleased, where His will alone ruled. But this garrulous sophistry foolishly overlooks the issue at stake. All things are rightly done because God pleased; but why did He please so and not otherwise? He proceeds with his inept argument; and, to show that God had a cause within His own counsels, he adduces the reply Christ gave to His disciples, that the man was born blind that the works of God might be manifested in him (Jn 9.3) - It is Pighius' custom to arrange a shadow fight. But where was it suggested by me that God's counsel had no reason? I establish God as ruler of the whole world, who governs and moderates all things by incomprehensible and admirable counsel. Can anyone gather from my words that God is carried hither and thither fortuitously or that He does what He does in blind temerity? Indeed a little later Pighius quotes words of mine, which unless I am mistaken, are plainly sufficient to refute him. I say that God has a purpose in His works, however hidden, that He may declare the glory of His name. In this, Pighius would show his readers an appearance of contradiction, that I deny that the reason of the divine good pleasure is to be sought, and yet at the same time teach what this reason is. But it is useless to show in detail how barren this nonsense is. In all His works, the Lord has the reason of His own glory. This precisely is the universal end. On the testimony of Paul (Rom 9.17), He raised up Pharaoh that His name might be declared in all the earth. Does Paul contradict himself when he then exclaims that His judgments are inscrutable (Rom 11.33)? He declares that the vessels of wrath destined to destruction are endured in great patience that He might show His power in them (Rom 9.22); is this opinion contradicted by the admiration which immediately follows: O the height and depth? Add to this the deceit Pighius contrives about the term cause, bringing in the final in place of the formal cause. For though the end to which God looks is not obscure, it does not forthwith appear why it pleased Him so to do. This, then, is the core of the present matter. Though God does not demonstrate His righteousness to us by plain arguments, it none the less remains that whatever He does is done in righteousness. We should therefore rest in His will alone so that to know it is His good pleasure, even if the cause escape us, suffices us more than a thousand reasons. Hence the folly of Pighius in objecting to the charge of inconsistency, when I deny that the reason of the divine will is to be enquired into and yet emphasise that He wills nothing but what He deems to be expedient. For, he says, the latter suggests a cause which elsewhere I deny we are able to give. But what knowledge of the cause do we suggest by saying that God does with deliberation what he does and what thus seems to Him expedient, while yet the specific and exact reason of His work and counsel escapes us? Added to this, he holds of no importance the difference between the reverence of faith and the audacity of inquisitiveness, and preposterously takes what I teach to be the content of faith for that common knowledge which humanity possesses. On this standard, anyone affirming that God has the best of reasons for acting, and afterwards exclaiming with Paul that the judgments of God are hidden and His ways incomprehensible, convicts himself of contradiction. Here, however, Pighius is mistaken: for he demands that I acknowledge my own words which in fact I take from Augustine. When the question is asked, says this holy man, why God acts so, the answer is: Because He willed. If you go on to enquire why He so willed, the reply should be: You ask for something greater and higher than the will of God itself, and this cannot be found. Let human temerity, then, be repressed, not asking for what is not, lest perhaps it do not find what is. Augustine here speaks the truth, and I fully subscribe to it. But the view given above contains nothing that dissents from these words: the will of God is the best and most equal adjustment of all the things He has made.
VIII. 5. The reason for reprobation
Of the same kind of stuff is another objection. I deny that the reprobate are distinguished from the elect in respect of any merit of their own; for the grace of God makes and does not find them worthy of adoption, as Augustine often says. Elsewhere I deny that any injury is done the reprobate, for they deserve destruction. Here Pighius spreads his wings and noisily exults, that in this case I neither understand myself nor remember what I previously said. But it does not seem to me worth while to say many words in my own defence, and I am displeased at having to use even a few. When God prefers some to others, choosing some and passing others by, the difference does not depend on human dignity or indignity. It is therefore wrong to say that the reprobate are worthy of eternal destruction. If in the former case no comparison is made between men themselves, and worthiness has no relation to the reward of life, so in the second case the equal condition of all is not proved. Add to this that Augustine writes in one place that salvation never lacked to anyone worthy of it, but qualifies the statement in the Retractations - so as to exclude works and to refer acceptable worthiness to the gratuitous calling of God. But Pighius presses on. If what I teach is true, that those who perish are destined to death by the eternal good pleasure of God though the reason does not appear, then they are not found but made worthy of destruction. I reply that three things must here be considered.
First, the eternal predestination of God, by which before the fall of Adam He decreed what should take place concerning the whole human race and every individual, was fixed and determined. Secondly, Adam himself, on account of his defection, is appointed to death. Lastly, in his person now fallen and lost, all his offspring is condemned in such a way that God deems worthy of the honour of adoption those whom He gratuitously elects out of it. I neither dream nor fabricate anything of this. Nor am I called on in the present instance to prove each particular, because I fancy I have done this already. But I must dispose of this calumny of Pighius who proudly triumphs over me as though I were vanquished ten times, for the reason that these things are quite inconsistent. When predestination is discussed, it is from the start to be constantly maintained, as I today teach, that all the reprobate are justly left in death, for in Adam they are dead and condemned. Those justly perish who are by nature children of wrath. Thus, no one has cause to complain of the too great severity of God, seeing that all carry in themselves inclusive liability. As to the first man, we must hold he was created perfectly righteous and fell by his own will; and hence it comes about that by his own fault he brought destruction on himself and on all his race. Adam fell, though not without God's knowledge and ordination, and destroyed himself and his posterity; yet this neither mitigates his guilt nor involves God in any blame. For we must always remember that he- voluntarily deprived himself of the rectitude he had received from God, voluntarily gave himself to the service of sin and Satan, and voluntarily precipitated himself into destruction. One excuse is suggested, that he could not evade what God had decreed. But his voluntary transgression is enough and more than enough to establish his guilt. For the proper and genuine cause of sin is not God's hidden counsel but the evident will of man. The foolish complaint of Medea is rightly derided by the ancient poet: O that the wooden planks cut with the axes in the grove of Pelius had never fallen on the earth! She had betrayed her country, carried away by furious love of an unknown stranger. But when she awakes to her own perfidy and barbarous cruelty, when the shame of immodesty overwhelms her, she foolishly resorts to causes that are quite remote. Since a man may find the cause of his evil within himself, what is the use of looking round to seek it in heaven? Clearly the fault lies in this, that she willed to sin. Why does she then break into the recesses of heaven and lose herself in such a labyrinth? Though men delude themselves by wandering through obscure immensities, they can never so stupefy themselves as to lose the sense of sin engraved on their hearts. Hence, impiety attempts in vain to absolve the man whom his own conscience condemns. God knowingly and willingly suffers man to fall; the reason may be hidden, but it cannot be unjust. This is always to be held above controversy, that sin is always hateful to God. For truly the praise which David accords Him (Ps 5.5) is fitting: God wills not iniquity. So God in ordaining the fall of man had an end most just and right which holds the name of sin in abhorrence. Though I affirm that He ordained it so, I do not allow that He is properly the author of sin. Not to spend longer on the point, I am of opinion that what Augustine teaches was fulfilled: In a wonderful and ineffable way, what was done contrary to His will was yet not done without His will, because it would not have been done at all unless He had allowed it. So He permitted it not unwillingly but willingly. For the principle that here operates cannot be denied: men and angels as to themselves did what God did not will, but as to the omnipotence of God they were by no means able to effect it. To this opinion of this holy man I subscribe: in sinning, they did what God did not will in order that God through their evil will might do what He willed. If anyone object that this is beyond his comprehension, I confess it. But what wonder if the immense and majesty of God exceed the limits of our intellect? I am so far from undertaking the explanation of this sublime, hidden secret, that I wish what I said at the beginning to be remembered, that those who seek to know more than God has revealed are crazy. Therefore let us be pleased with instructed ignorance rather than with the intemperate and inquisitive intoxication of wanting to know more than God allows. Let all the powers of the human mind contain themselves within this kind of reverence: in the sin of man God willed nothing but what was worthy of His justice.
Pighius continues: If the apostasy of man be the work of God, what Scripture says is false, that all things which God does are good. Now I must solemnly testify and frankly confess that this objection never entered, my head. I always affirm that the nature of man is at first created upright, lest the depravity which he contracted should be ascribed to God; and similarly that the death to which, though formerly the heir of life, he rendered himself subject proceeded from his own fault so that God cannot be considered its author. If anywhere I have said that the first man alienated himself from God at the prompting of the divine Spirit, and did not rather always contend that it was by instigation of the devil and the motion of his own heart, Pighius might justly have attacked me. But now, removing from God all proximate causation of the act, I at the same time remove from Him all guilt and leave man alone liable. It is therefore wicked and calumnious to say that I make the fall of man one of the works of God. But how it was ordained by the foreknowledge and decree of God what man's future was without God being implicated as associate in the fault as the author or approver of transgression, is clearly a t I am not ashamed to confess ignorance. Far be it from any of secret so much excelling the insight of the human mind, that the faithful to be ashamed of ignorance of what the Lord withdraws into the glory of His inaccessible light. I prescribe nothing to others but what comes out of the experience of my heart. For the Lord is my witness, and my conscience attests it, that I daily so meditate on these mysteries of His judgments that curiosity to know anything more does not attract me; no sinister suspicion concerning His justice steals away my confidence; no desire to complain entices me. In a word, I acquiesce quietly and willingly in the opinion of Augustine: God who created all things good foreknew that evil would arise out of that good; and He also knew that to make good out of evil would be more appropriate to His omnipotent goodness than not to allow evil at all. So He ordained the life of men and angels that He might first show in it what their freewill could do, and then what the blessing of His grace and the judgment of His justice could do. To these opinions I give my assent, only adding that, if the cars of any so itch that they will have none of the mysteries of God hidden and closed to them, it would be a mad master who would attempt to satisfy such pupils. Rather let us hear with awe what happened to David when he enquired too narrowly into the customary judgments of God as they appeared in the external circumstances and conditions of this life: I was as a beast before Thee (Ps 73.22). Even such a prophet as David cannot know more than is right of things less obscure and recondite than in the present case, without immediately being made to feel like a brute beast. Can we then with impunity indulge a foolish licence of thought in investigating the counsel of God which of all things is the most profound? When Paul taught that God chose and reprobated out of the mass of perdition those whom He willed, he does not attempt to say why or how this happens, but rather wonderingly breaks out into exclamation: O the height and depth (Rom 11.33)- Shall we, unawed by reverence for that height and depth, dare to investigate how the whole race was in the person of Adam allowed to fall? I have said above that the fall of Adam is a useful lesson in humility to his posterity, so that they may learn that they can do nothing to regain the life in which, though perfect, he did not persist. The one right rule of wisdom is for the mind of man to be restrained by the bridle of wonder.
But it is right to treat this question sparingly, not because it is abstruse and hidden in the inner recesses of the sanctuary of God, but because an idle curiosity is not to be indulged; for of this, too daring speculation is both foster-child and nurse. I much approve what Augustine has to say in the De Genesi ad Litteram, where he subjects all things to the fear and reverence of God. But the other part, showing that God chose out of the condemned race of Adam those whom He pleased and reprobated whom He willed, is much more fitting for the exercise of faith and so yields greater profit. Hence, I emphasise more willingly this doctrine which deals with the corruption and guilt of human nature, since it seems to me not only more conducive to piety but also more theological. But let us remember that in these things we must reason soberly and modestly, lest we should try to go farther than the Lord leads us by His word. We know all too well the captivating allurements of argument. Hence, the greater the caution to be exercised in order that the simplicity of faith hold all our senses bound to itself. That God draws men to Himself by the secret influence of His Spirit, even our daily prayers testify. For when we pray for our persecutors, what else do we ask for them than that from being unwilling they be made willing, agreeing instead of repudiating, loving instead of opposing? But it is clear that it is not given to all indifferently that God should suddenly deem worthy of life those deserving of death a hundred times over. How He bestows this grace, says Augustine, making some vessels of wrath according to merit and others vessels of mercy according to grace - who has known the mind of the Lord? Though the pride and stubbornness of the world protest against this, yet it is intolerable that the condition of God be worse than that of mortal man. For what creditor is not permitted to exact debt from one and to remit it for another? This simile is often relevantly repeated by Augustine. It can hardly be but that at first glance the mind of man is disturbed when he hears that the grace of God is denied to some who are quite unworthy and is granted to others equally unworthy. But let us remember that, after we were all equally condemned, it is neither right nor just to impose a restraint on God in having mercy on whom He will. Augustine rightly contends that divine justice is not to be measured by human justice. When all is said, let this conclude all disputations, as with Paul we marvel at such profundity. If impudent tongues protests let us not be ashamed or grieved to exclaim with the same apostle: O man, who art thou that contendest against God?
VIII. 6. Christ's place in election
The absurdities which the adversaries of this doctrine muster in order to calumniate and defame it, I have clearly and succinctly refuted in my Institutes; and I fancy I have also met the distorted suppositions with which the ignorant delude and bewilder themselves. But since it pleases Pighius to nibble away at my replies, I will not decline to clear myself of his virulent charges. Men preposterously ask how they can be certain of a salvation which lies in the hidden counsel of God. I have replied with the truth. Since the certainty of salvation is set forth to us in Christ, it is wrong and injurious to Christ to pass over this proffered fountain of life from which supplies are available, and to toil to draw life out of the hidden recesses of God. Paul testifies indeed that we were chosen before the foundation of the world; but, he adds, in Christ (Eph 1.4). Let no one then seek confidence in his election elsewhere, unless he wish to obliterate his name from the book of life in which it is written. The end of adoption is simply that we should be considered His children. But Scripture declares that all. those who believe in the only begotten Son of God are sons and heirs of God (Jn 1.12; Gal 4.7; Rom 8. 1 7). Christ therefore is for us the bright mirror of the eternal and hidden election of God, and also the earnest and pledge. But we contemplate by faith the life which God represents to us in this mirror; and by faith we lay hold on this pledge and earnest. How do we prove that some men are gratuitously elect, unless because God illumines whom He will by His Spirit, so that by faith they are engrafted into the body of Christ? -But divine election is the origin and cause of out, faith. But because God is invisible (I Tim 1.17), and dwells in light inaccessible (I Tim 6.16), admitting none to His counsel (Rom 11.34; 1 Cor 2.16), except the only begotten Son who is eternally in His bosom (Jn 1.18), it is needful to hold the mind of Christ and to be illuminated by faith, in order that it may be clear to us what is the adoption that lies in the heart of God. If anyone will have it put more bluntly, election is prior to faith, but is learnt by faith. I extract briefly here what readers will find expounded at greater length in my Institutes. Therefore Christ, when commending the eternal election of His own in the counsel of His Father, at the same time shows where their faith may rest secure. I have manifested, He says (Jn 17.6), Thy name to the men whom Thou didst give Me. Thine they were, and Thou didst give them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. We see here that God begins with Himself when He sees fit to elect us; but He will have us begin with Christ so that we may know that we are reckoned among His peculiar people. For God is said to give us to the Son so that each may know himself an heir of the heavenly kingdom so long as he abides in Christ, apart from whom death and destruction beset us on every side. Christ is therefore said to manifest the name of the Father to us because by His Spirit He seals on our hearts the knowledge of our election testified to us by the voice of His Gospel.
If Pighius is to be believed, the way in which I labour and toil to solve this inexplicable problem, turning everything upside down and confusing and confounding the issues, only goes to show that I am condemned by my own conscience. It was very easy for him to pour forth his loquacity without effort; and so it becomes possible for him, like a man well inebriated, to emit whatever abuse inflates his cheeks without any kind of shame. If the predestination of God is the fixed and inevitable cause of salvation, he contends that all our confidence is taken away from us. I offer no word of my own; but when Paul teaches (Eph 1.4) that we are made participants of the divine adoption by faith in that we were elected before the foundation of the world, what, I ask, is inexplicable or perplexing in this doctrine? When he teaches that those are called according to purpose who were first of all elected (Rom 8.28), unless I am mistaken, he correctly reconciles the certainty of our faith with the fixed decree of divine election.
Pighius argues: If all the members of Christ are written in the book of life, then drunkards, adulterers, thieves, perjurers and murderers will possess the kingdom of God, in contradiction to the plain opinion of the apostle, who declares that many such people have been engrafted into Christ by baptism and have put on Christ. First of all, I advise my readers to pay attention for a moment to the unrestrained profanation of Scripture in which Pighius indulges, and then to observe the just judgment of God in avenging it, which he plainly exemplifies in himself. To trample all Scripture under his feet is nothing to Pighius, if only he can deceive his readers; and if only he can make himself look great to the inexperienced, it is all the same to him if he has to demolish the very first rudiments of piety. But the Lord exposes him in his madness to the ridicule of His children. Paul represents (Rom 2.29) circumcision as of letter and of spirit. We must think similarly of baptism. Some carry in their bodies the mere sign, but are far from possessing the reality. For Peter also, teaching that salvation follows on our baptism, immediately adds as though in correction that the mere external washing of the flesh is not enough, unless there is added also the answer of a good conscience (I Pet 3.21). Thus Scripture, in dealing with the sacraments, customarily speaks of them in a twofold sense. When dealing with hypocrites who story in the sign and neglect the reality, in order to prostrate their confidence, it separates the reality from the signs, in contrast to their perverse understanding. Thus Paul (I Cor 10.3ff.) reminds his readers that it did not profit the ancient people to have been baptised in their passage through the Red Sea and to have with us the same spiritual food in the desert (meaning, that is, that they participated with us in the same external signs of the spiritual gifts). But addressing the faithful he describes the use of the sacraments as legitimate, efficacious and corresponding to the divine institution. It is here that the phrases apply: to have put on Christ, engrafted into His body, buried together with Him, who have been baptised in His name (Rom 6.4; Col 2.12; Gal 3.27; I Cor 12.27). From this Pighius concludes that all sprinkled with the visible element of water are truly regenerated by the Spirit and incorporated into the body of Christ so as to live to God and in His righteousness. Nor is he ashamed to fill page after page with such inanities; but when in general I refer to all the members of Christ, in this term I include all sprinkled externally in baptism. But a little later, as if drawing in his wings, Pighius remarks that many fall away from Christ who had been truly engrafted into His body; for he makes out that those committed to Christ and received into His faithful care are saved by Him in such a way that their salvation is dependent on their own free will. To many, he says, the protecting grace of Christ is not wanting; but they are wanting in themselves. Certainly the stupidity and in- gratitude of those who withdraw themselves from the help of God can never be sufficiently condemned. But it is a quite intolerable insult to Christ to say that the elect are saved by Him, provided they look after themselves. This is to render doubtful the protection of Christ which He affirms is invincible against the devil and all the machinations of hell. Christ promised to give eternal life to all given Him by the Father (Jn 17.2). He testifies that He is a faithful custodian of them all, so that none perishes except the son of perdition (Jn 17. 12). Elsewhere He also teaches that the elect are in His hand, from which no one can pluck them out (Jn 1028), because God is mightier than all the world. If eternal life is certain to all the elect, if no one can pluck them from Him, if no violence nor any assault can tear them from Him, if their salvation stands in the invincible power of God, what impudence for Pighius to dare to shake so fixed a certitude! Though Christ casts none out, he says, yet many depart from Him, and those who once were children of God do not continue so. But Pighius is a bad and perverse interpreter, not acknowledging that whatever is given Him by the Father is retained in the hand of Christ, so that it remains safe to the end; for those that fall away, John declares to be not of His flock. They went from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have remained with us: they went from us, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (I Jn 2.19).
Then, says Pighius, the condition imposed is empty, that whoever desires to be saved should persevere up to the end. But you must allow that this is prevarication. He undertook to prove that certainty of salvation is inconsistent with election. Now his reasoning leads to the conclusion that the former is necessarily founded upon the latter. Thus I see myself perpetually tossed about, so that there is not a moment when I do not seem to be sinking. Nevertheless, as God sustains His elect to prevent them drowning, I am confident of standing against these innumerable storms. If Pighius asks how I know I am elect, I answer that Christ is more than a thousand testimonies to me. For when we find ourselves in His body, our salvation rests in a secure and tranquil place, as though already located in heaven. If he objects that the eternal election of God cannot be estimated by present grace, I shall not oppose to him the feelings which the faithful experience, because the bread on which the children of God feed is not to be given to strangers. But when he dares to allege that it is not to be found in Scripture, this is a gross falsehood easily disproved. For Paul teaches that those who were elected are called and justified, so as to attain at length to the bliss of immortality; and then, as if fortified on all sides by a powerful defence, he triumphantly exults: Who shall stand against the elect of God? etc. (Rom 8.33). And lest anyone should object that this is a universalist doctrine, he applies it for the use of each believer. I am persuaded, he says, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present or future will separate us from the love of God which is in Christ. So the confidence of eternal salvation, which Pighius wants to break up into single moments, Paul extends to future time beyond the limits of this present life, and shows that it emanates from nowhere but the election of God, while Pighius represents it so that a conflict between the two results. What then does Ezekiel (18.24) mean when he pronounces destruction for the just man if he turn aside from the right way? Now we do not deny that many things are found alike in the reprobate and in the children of God. But, however they shine with the appearance of righteousness, it is certain they are not possessed of the Spirit of adoption, so that their owners may truly invoke God as Father. Paul is witness that none are led by that Spirit except the sons of God, whom he also pronounces to be heirs of eternal life (Rom 8.14). Otherwise what he writes elsewhere would not stand: We have the Spirit from heaven, so that we know what things are given us by God, and thus have the mind of Christ (I Cor 2.12, 16) ; and in vain would he also call that Spirit with which the faithful are sealed the earnest of future redemption (Eph 1.14). But that the known election of God ma7 strengthen the faith of perseverance, that one prayer of Christ should suffice for proof, where He commends all the elect to the Father, specifically separating them from the world, so that, even if it perish, they may remain safe and intact.
There follows another objection of Pighius. Paul surely does not warn the faithful purposelessly lest they receive the grace of God in vain; nor purposelessly does Christ exhort to prayer and watchfulness. But if we hold the difference between the indolent security of the flesh and the tranquil condition of mind born of faith, the problem is soon solved. Believers ought to be sure of their salvation. So that they can lie down and fall asleep? throw themselves down in dull laziness? Rather that, enjoying quiet security with God, they may at the same time watch with prayer. Paul exhorts them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2.12). So that they may anxiously fear about the issue? Not at all; but that hidden under the wings of God they may continually commit themselves to Him, depending wholly on Him alone, so that relying on His support they may not doubt that in the end they will be victorious. For Paul adds the reason why they are not to be anxious: For it is God that works for His good pleasure both to will in them and also to do (ibid., v. 13). That they should not remain in suspense, he had already removed every doubt from them: He who began a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Christ (Phil 1.6). The Spirit of God, then, never exhorts us to care and application in prayer, as if our salvation fluctuated in a state of uncertainty, for it rests in the hand of God; never imposes on us a fear that cuts away the confidence founded on the gratuitous love of God. By such urgent exhortations the Spirit corrects the indolence of our flesh. For his own purpose, Pighius falsely distorts the words of the apostle in the eleventh chapter to the Romans (v. 20ff.): Because of unbelief, some of the native branches of the olive are broken off; and you by faith are grafted in. Be not lifted up in mind, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, take heed lest it happen that He spare not you. Behold therefore, the goodness and severity of God - to those who fell severity, but to you goodness if indeed you remain in that goodness. After speaking of the twofold election of his own people and showing that the defection of many resulted in the formerly legitimate and proper heirs of life through the covenant established with their fathers being now disowned by God and extruded from His kingdom, Paul turns to the Gentiles, lest they should exult over the Jews for having succeeded to their place. But it is to be observed that, as the universal rejection by his people did not impair God's fixed determination to save a remnant, so the universal election of the Gentiles does not so embrace every individual as to make all sharers of life. Paul here records God's twofold election for the Jews. For in a sense the whole family of Abraham had been elected. But as many were not ordained to life in the hidden judgment of God, the greater number perished, though election still remained with the remnant. Now that the covenant of life is transferred to the Gentiles, that common adoption of the family of Abraham applies to us. But this does not prevent a few from being destined to enjoy it by the hidden good pleasure of God. Paul therefore, when contrasting the Gentiles with the Jews, calls them sterile wild-olives, engrafted into the sacred root when the natural branches have been cut away. He is not dealing with single individuals, nor simply with the hidden election of God. He is showing how great is the reversal of things when children are rejected and strangers are substituted in their place. Hence Paul's whole exhortation is addressed not so much to the faithful who had truly and heartily embraced the grace of God as to the body of the Gentiles which was composed of varying members. Yet there is nothing absurd in God restraining fleshly pride in His children, since they are all burdened with this vice. But what Pighius infers is absurd, that the sureness of divine election depends on the perseverance of men. Even in the general defection of all, the divine election must none the less stand.
VIII.9. The perversity of the reprobate
As to the impious who revile the judgment of God in a perverted form, saying that it is vain for the reprobate to apply themselves to righteousness and sanctity because in any case they must perish, the calumny is born of gross ignorance, and I have already brushed it aside with a brief answer. There can be no desire of doing good in men that is not the result of election. But the reprobate, vessels to dishonour as they are, never cease to provoke the vengeance of God on themselves and with evident signs show themselves devoted to destruction. To Pighius this is the height of all absurdities, and he finds nothing so monstrous in all the discussion. But by this one argument he abundantly proves that he is carried away by such a rabid lust for contradicting the truth, that his abuses boil over without occasion. Scripture teaches that none but the elect are led by the Spirit of God. What rectitude can there be in man apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit? The works of the flesh, says Paul, are manifest (Gal 5.19); and elsewhere he pronounces all the thoughts of the flesh to be hostile to God (Rom 8.7). Where then is the absurdity of saying that those not regenerate by the Spirit of God are slaves of sin and carried away by the will of their flesh? Whom God elects, He justifies (Rom 8.7). Is it a wonder that the reprobate who are destitute of the righteousness of God know how to do nothing but sin? God has chosen His own to be holy and without blame (Eph 1.4). If sanctity is the fruit of election, who can deny that others remain sunk in profane uncleanness? Christ declares that none hear His voice but those who are His sheep; and again that they are of the devil who will not hear the word of the Father sounding in His mouth (Jn 10.26, 8.44). To show that the reprobate seek to do good works, Pighius must show that their obstinacy is pleasing to God. Against this, Pighius objects that Saul excelled in many virtues, and was indeed pleasing to God. On my side, I admit that virtues which shine in the reprobate are laudable according to their own nature. This Scripture means by saying that Saul and others of a like kind did what was right. But as God looks upon the heart, which is the fount of works, a work, which is generally and in itself good, may be an abomination to God because of the vice latent in it. This rudiment of piety is unknown to Pighius, that there is nothing so pure that the uncleanness of men will not defile. Hence it is no wonder that, judging Saul's works by their external appearance, he should commend his innocence and probity. When he contends that Saul did once please God, I make a distinction. For God so honoured him with royal office that in Scripture- the house of Israel never censured him, as Ezekiel testifies (Ezek 13.9). But because Judas is elected to apostolic office, will Pighius conclude that he is therefore numbered among the children of God? Pighius deliberately distorts what I have said, as if I spoke of single and individual actions of life and not rather of the whole course of life. In a word, all Scripture totters, if we do not allow that whatever righteousness and goodness can be found in men proceeds from the Spirit of sanctification given to the sons of God alone.
VIII.10. The supposed ill-effects of Predestination
I shall not spend much more time in pursuing the rest of his petty objections. The next is a commonplace: Teaching is vain and exhortations empty and useless, if the strength and power to obey depend on the election of God. Another is similar: It must be that men give themselves up to indolence, when they are taught to rest in the eternal counsel of God. Pighius is wont to attack the answers given by me with such abuse that I must save them from being handled by him again. But there may be some people, more than usually peevish and not yet satisfied, with whom Augustine has greater weight. I will therefore repeat and confirm what I have said in his words. His words are found in the work entitled De Dono Perseverantiae. They will say that the doctrine of predestination is hostile to preaching and renders it useless. As if this objection could tell against the apostle and his preaching! Did not this doctor to the Gentiles commend predestination times without number and never cease to preach the word of God? He said: It is God that works in you both to will and to do (Phil 2.13); did he therefore not himself exhort us both to will and to do what pleases God? Because he said (Phil 1.6): He that began a good work in you will complete it, did he stop persuading men to begin and to complete the work to the end? Nor is His opinion false and His definition vain when Christ says: No one comes to Me, that is, no one believes in Me, unless it is given him by My Father (Jn 6.44). Nor again because the definition is true is the precept false. Why must we say that the doctrine of predestination is useless for preaching, exhortation and correction when Scripture commends the one as much as it makes use of the other? And shortly after: Those hear these things and do them to whom it is given; but those to whom it is not given do them not, whether or not they hear them. Preaching of persevering and efficient faith is not to be held up by predestination, so that they may hear what they ought and that they to whom it is given may be obedient. For how shall they hear without a preacher? Nor again is the preaching of predestination to be held up by the preaching of efficient faith that perseveres to the end, so that those who live faithfully and obediently may not glory in that obedience as though it were their own, but rather in God. And again: as he that receives the gift, rightly exhorts and preaches, so he that receives the gift obediently hears the exhortation and preaching. So our Lord says: Who has ears to hear, let him hear. As for the question from whom they have the gift that have it, our Lord Himself replies: I shall give you a heart to know me and ears to hear me. Ears for hearing, then, are the very gift of all obedience, and all endowed with it come to Christ.
Therefore we both exhort and preach.
Those who have ears to hear, hear us obediently; in those who do
not, what is written is fulfilled: That hearing they may not hear
(Is 6.9); for they hear with the bodily sense but not with the
assent of the heart. But why do some have and others not? that
is, why is it given by the Father to some that they should come
to the Son and not given to others? - Who has known the mind of
the Lord? Must we deny what is evident because we cannot
comprehend what is hidden?
Augustine continues: How preposterous then is the caution of those who for fear of some absurdity would suppress or obscure a doctrine so necessarily known! Suppose that some on hearing it give themselves up to torpor and stagnation and readily exchange labour for licence according to their desires; is what is said about the foreknowledge of God to be therefore thought untrue? Would not these have been good if God had foreknown they would be good, however much they now revel in wickedness? And if He had foreknown them to be evil, will they not be evil, whatever the goodness with which they now appear? Are the truths about the foreknowledge of God to be denied or hushed up because of such cases? when all the time it is known that, if they are not declared, other errors would arise? A reason for being silent about the truth, says Augustine, is one thing; the necessity for speaking it another. To seek out all the reasons for not speaking the truth would be a long business. But this is one, namely, that we should not make worse those who do not understand while wishing to make wiser those who do. By our saying such things, they may not be made wiser, but neither are they rendered worse. But where the fact is that he who does not understand is made worse by our speaking, and he who can understand by our silence, what is to be done? Is it not better to speak the truth, so that he who is able to understand may understand, than to be silent, so that not only do both not understand, but also that he is made worse who is more intelligent - he from whom, if he heard and understood, others might learn? Then we should be unwilling to say what Scripture allows to be said. Our fear would be lest by our speaking he should be offended who is unable in any case to understand, not lest by our silence he should fall into error who is able to understand the truth. This opinion he elsewhere touches upon more briefly but confirms more clearly. Wherefore if the apostles and the teachers of the Church who followed them both piously declared the eternal election of God and at the same time held the faithful within the discipline of the pious life, why should the men of our day, convinced by the vehemence of truth, think it right to say that, though what is said about predestination is true, it should not be popularly preached? The doctrine ought indeed to be preached forthrightly, so that he that has ears may hear. But who has these cars who has not received them from Him who promised to give them? Let him who does not receive the truth reject it; but let him who understands take and drink, and drink and live. For as piety is to be preached, that God be rightly worshipped, so also predestination, that he who has ears may hear of the grace of God and glory not in himself but in God.
Yet there was a singular devotion in this saintly man to edification, and he tempered the system of teaching the truth, so as prudently to avoid offence when permissible. For he advises that the things said are to be consistently said. If anyone should force people thus: If you do not believe, it is because you are destined by God to destruction, he would not only foster his own idleness but also indulge his malice. If anyone again should extend his opinions into future time, saying that those who hear never will believe because they are reprobate, this would be imprecation rather than doctrine. Such men Augustine orders to be expelled from the Church deservedly as foolish teachers and sinister and ominous prophets. Elsewhere he contends that it is when one is sympathetic and helpful that he profits others in correction, when he induces those he wishes to benefit without rebuke. But why some profit and others do not, far be it from us to say that it is the judgment of the clay not of the potter. Again later: When men by rebuke come or return to the way of His righteousness, who works salvation in their hearts but He who gives the increase, let who will plant and water? When He wills to save, the free will of no man can resist Him. Hence there can be no doubt that human wills are unable to resist the will of God who did what He willed in heaven and earth and has done even things future, or prevent Him doing what He wills, seeing that He does with the wills of men themselves what He wishes. Again, when He wishes to bring men, does He bind them with physical chains? He works inwardly, takes hold of their hearts inwardly, moves their hearts inwardly, draws them by the wills which He has wrought in them. But what Augustine adds in continuation must not be omitted. Since we do not know who belongs to the number of the predestined and who does not it befits us so to feel as to wish that all be saved. So it will come about that, whoever we come across, we shall study to make him a sharer of peace. But our peace shall rest upon the sons of peace. Hence, so far as we are concerned, salutary and even severe rebuke will be administered like medicine, lest they should perish or cause others to perish. But it will be for God to make it effective in those whom He foreknew and predestined. I If these things are true and have the testimony of the first of the holy fathers, let them not be spewed out in hatred upon Calvin by the ignorant and ill-affected. Would that those insipid and moderate ones, who too much please their own tearful sobriety, would just consider how much Augustine, to whom they allow knowledge of sacred matters, is also their superior in modesty, so that they should not pass off their morose timidity as modesty.
VIII.11. Reprobation and the goodness of God
Now to deal further with Pighius. My readers are reminded of three summary particulars. First, however many absurdities he gathers to injure my doctrine, he pits himself not so much against me as against God. Next, in twisting the passages of Scripture which clearly support me, he trifles ignorantly and, as appears plainly, is unable to sustain his case without corrupting and distorting Scripture. Lastly, he rushes into such, impudence, that he does not hesitate to summon Augustine to his aid. If God created any for destruction, He is not worthy to be loved. Those who are deprived of eternal life before they were born are more worthy of pity than of punishment. If the views he tries to overturn were mine, he would be fighting against a mortal man; but since it is God whom he openly insults with these infamies, I am not ashamed to repeat a hundred times with Paul: O man, who art thou that contendest with thy maker? This miserable man feels now, and those like him will one day feel, that the reproaches their profane and sacrilegious mouths hurl at God collapse by their own impetus before reaching heaven, nor do they come to rest except by recoiling on their own heads. To give one example of this detestable madness in perverting Scripture: the ninth chapter to the Romans, which he partly confuses and partly dismembers. To begin with, to save himself trouble in cutting this Gordian knot, he severs it with one word. Israel is elect, but not all Israelites, because they do not represent their father who received his name by seeing. Hence he infers that election is only ratified in those who open their eyes. But in interpreting the name Israel, this good master of perspicacity is ludicrously blind. He is making a sharp point out of a blunt log. Meantime he does not consider that Israel was divinely made by peculiar grace, since he was elected in his mother's womb. Nor are others capable of seeing God, unless He illumine their minds. And only those are deemed worthy of the light of the Spirit whom He adopted as sons for Himself when they were still blind. After this, Pighius, like someone escaping, jumps all the fences in his path. The mercy of God is lacking to no one; for God wills all men to be saved, and He stands and knocks at the door of our hearts, desiring entrance. Therefore, those were elect before the foundation of the world whom He foresaw would receive Him. But He hardens no one except in forbearance, just as too easy-going fathers are said to spoil their children by indulgence. As if by such trivialities it was possible to escape what Paul distinctly affirms to the contrary, as if it meant nothing to his readers that of two twins still in the womb one should be elected and the other rejected, without respect to merits but solely by the good pleasure of God who calls; that it is not of him that wills or him that runs but of the merciful God who hardens whom He will and shows mercy to whom He will; that God shows His power in the vessels of wrath, so that He might make known the riches of His grace in the vessels of mercy; that whatever of Israel is saved is saved according to gratuitous election; and that so election obtained it (Rom 11.7); not to speak of all we have expounded above in due order! If Pighius were a thousand times more acute, he would not by his trifling objections prevent even the deaf from hearing the resounding voice of Paul. With all his amassing of words, he is left with this mountain: God did riot create reprobates whom He foreknew to be such, but knew some to be reprobates whom He had created. This is as if he smeared the eyes and the hands of the potter with clay, lest His form should be apparent to us. Similarly when he sets himself to expound the first chapter to the Ephesians. He sports and flourishes his bombast as if to strike Paul dumb with his inane clamour. God chose us in Christ, because He foresaw in us a place for His grace which was otherwise free to all. He elects from the whole, because He foresaw that what was set forth in common for all would become peculiarly ours, that sanctified by it we might be co-operators. He chose according to the purpose of His will, which is and was that He should choose those of whose future He foreknew what was written. He chose to the praise of His grace which sanctifies us, as praise belongs to the perceptor and the teaching and its benefit to the disciple. As if that were not the purpose of God which elsewhere (II Tim 1.9) Paul opposes to all human works! As if in the term good pleasure there were not in this passage a more express commendation of grace! As if God were not said to have purposed His good pleasure in Himself alone, because finding no cause in us He made Himself the cause of our being saved! As if it was in vain that Paul repeats five times that our salvation is wholly the effect of that decree and purpose and good pleasure! As if he declared without any purpose that we were blessed in Christ because we were elect! As if he did not derive sanctification and any good works there may be from election, like water from a fountain! As if he did not refer to the same grace the fact that we are God's handiwork, made for good works which He prepared! As if He did not distinguish us from the rest, in order that we might know we excel all others by the gratuitous favour of God alone! Look then, how fitly foreknowledge of works agrees with the Pauline text! How much better it would have been to have retained the role of an admirer of the apostle, which for a moment he was forced to assume but soon laid aside when he turned to haughty speculations! But these matters I have handled more fully above and now only briefly touch.
VIII.12. Man's will and God's grace
Pighius afterwards scourges Augustine severely for showing in this subject more impetuosity than calm reason, striking here and there, and proposing things evidently alien to the goodness of God. Then he shamelessly uses his support. This I shall show with three words. He praises the diligence of the holy man for having so carefully winnowed this question in his book written to Simplicianus, Bishop of Mediola. Whether he ever looked into the work I do not know. For he makes it out to be one book instead of two. It is remarkable that this good and dexterous interpreter should from all his works have preferred to single out this, which, as Augustine himself records, was written at the beginning of his episcopate. For although the author wrote it against Pelagius, he does not disguise the fact that he discussed the same matter much more fully and solidly later. These are his words: The predestination of the saints is there Set forth by me. But later necessity compelled me to defend the doctrine with greater diligence and labour, when I was disputing against the Pelagians. For we have said that particular heresies brought it. the Church their own questions; and against these Scripture has to be defended more diligently than if no such necessity had arisen. But let us see what kind of adherence it is that Pighius gives to Augustine. He is with us, he says, in affirming that the cause of reprobation is the rejection of calling. In fact, Augustine thinks quite otherwise. For in the Retractions he says that he worked for the free will of man, until the grace of God conquered. But I omit what he says there and in two other passages already quoted, though indeed my exposition of his thought is more reliable than a thousand like passages of Pighius. How does Pighius have such impudence as to refer to him opinions which in all his work he not only strongly rejects but frankly condemns? In brief, the words Pighius adduces as supporting himself do indeed appear in Augustine, but they are refuted on the very same page. He says: Scripture declares it is not of him that wills nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. If the reason is that the will of man is not alone sufficient for us to live righteously and uprightly unless it be assisted by the mercy of God, then we might as well say it is not of God that shows mercy but of man that wills; for then the mercy of God is not alone sufficient unless the consent of our will is added. But it is manifest that our willing is vain unless God show mercy; but I do not know how it can be said that the mercy of God is vain unless we will. For if God have mercy, then we will, because it belongs to that mercy to make us will, according to the Scripture: It is God who works both to will and to do. For if we ask whether a good will is the gift of God, surely no one will dare deny it. A little later Augustine says: Hence, the truth is that it is not of him that wills or of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy, because even if He call many yet He has mercy only on those whom He so calls as to make the call effectual in them so that they follow it. But it is false for anyone to say: It is not of God that shows mercy, but of man that wills, because God has mercy on none ineffectually. When God has mercy on anyone, He so applies the call to him that he does not reject the caller. What Pighius said by way of preface is therefore quite true: Augustine has indeed winnowed the question now discussed. But he sins grievously in snatching at the chaff blown about in the air and neglecting the wheat left visible by the fan.
 French has: I shall then repeat summarily the arguments which give such support to Satan, and shall show that they are only smoke.
 Ad Bonif., lib. i, cap. 19.
 Beza and Amst. have the bad reading. If.
 French has: what He has determined to do.
 French has: of this corruptible and fallible life.
 Contra Iulian., lib. 5, cap. 3.
 De Peccat. Merit. et Remiss., lib. 2, cap. 18.
 French has: of His justice.
 Enchir. ad Laur., cap. 97 seq.
 The sentence is wanting in the French.
 French adds: If anyone retorts to the contrary, he must admit that God does not come to the end He desires or that all are saved without exception. To say that God wills what is in Himself, and at the same time leaves each man his free-will, is nonsense. For I ask once more why then He willed that the Gospel be preached from the beginning of the world to all nations. All amenable men will hold the exposition which I have given: God wills to make princes and magistrates participants of salvation as well as others.
 Lib. 7, cap. 2.
 French has: judges without regard to person.
 In the French this is rendered: Now it is to be noted that this word person means in Scripture aspect or face, or, better expressed, what we commonly call appearance. Thus this word means all necessary considerations which turn us from the truth of the case. Christ, however, opposes, etc. (all the rest omitted).
 Everyone ... subjected to contempt - for this, the French has more briefly: Pighius says that God does not at all accept persons, and so conducts Himself indifferently to all, showing Himself liberal like a good trustee charged with distributing a public fund.
 French has: as if He were a public receiver.
 French has: And it is remarkable how the enemies of the election of God dare to place the foundation of salvation in the good affections of men, in view of the express statement: It is not of works but of God who calls.
 De Dono Persever., cap. 12.
 Ibid., Cap. 24.
 But... contemptible.-French has: Now if we see in the head such an example of this good pleasure of God this is good reason for acknowledging it in the members.
 Lib. 8, cap. 2.
 French adds: as is recorded in St Matthew (25.42ff.).
 Lib. 8, cap. 2, end.
 French adds: and pretending by this that St Paul finds the cause of our salvation in us.
 French has: the fruits of vocation.
 French adds: But it is a great mockery to think that this word of purpose means an efficacy and effect of the grace of the Holy Spirit by which God accomplishes His counsel. Once again, how such calumniators dim the eyes of everyone, etc.
 French adds: It follows then that St Paul denotes a certain number of called.
 French omits what here follows to the end of the paragraph.
 French has: sent to eternal fire.
 French omits this well-known verse of the poet.
 French has: He goes even further to disgorge this blasphemy.
 French has: of a man.
 De Dono Persever., cap. 18.
 French has: to fit God to such a measure.
 French adds: as ordaining well and fitly all that is in nature.
 De Verbis Apost., serm. 20.
 De Verbis Apost., serm. 11.
 It is ... temerity - French has: Everything reduces to this, that God does nothing without reason.
 French has: in my Institutes.
 Here, however ... Augustine - French has: This is what St Augustine says.
 De Genes. contra Manichaeos, lib. 1, Cap. 3.
 Here Pighius ... even a few - French has: more simply: Pighius finds this very distasteful. But the solution is quite easy.
 Lib. 2, cap. 31.
 But I must . . . inconsistent - French has: But it will be sufficient for the moment to show that there is no contradiction in my teaching.
 and destroyed himself and his posterity - lacking in the French.
 The allusion is to two surviving verses from the Medea of Ennius, also other authors, Varro, Quintilian, Priscian, frequently highly praised by Cicero (De Fato, 15, De Inventione, 1, 49, De Natur Deorum, III, 30, Topica., 16, etc.), which have come down thus: Utinam ne in memore Pelio securibus, Caesa cecidisset abiegna ad terram trabes. The words, however, belong not to Medea but to the nurse. The French version runs thus: He introduces the licentious daughter of a king, who, being inflamed with foolish love for a stranger who has come by sea to her father's country, betrays the kingdom to him. Then, seeing herself deceived by him, she laments that the timber of the forest was cut for building the ship. Now the poet writes wisely to show how foolish men are to seek from afar vain excuses to cover their sins. This unhappy woman is convicted by her own conscience, while demanding: Why was the timber cut to make the ship? This is to seek a too remote cause.
 French has: let men scurry round as they will.
 French adds: he attributes to Him a title inseparable from His divine essence and majesty.
 Enchir. ad Laur., cap. 99.
 De Correp. et Gratia, cap. 10.
 French has: unless in place of being master to the curious, he should change to being prince of the desperate.
 So the chief MS. and Gallasius; later versions join in and usitata = uncommon; French simply omits.
 French adds:- within the limits of this judgment of God.
 Lib. 11, capp. 4-8.
 French has: more appropriate to Christian doctrine and so move edifying.
 Ad Bonif., lib. 1, cap. 20.
 French has: like escaped horses.
 De Praed. et Gratia, cap. 2 [but Augustine's authorship doubtful].
 French has: if false tongues should throw their poison against God.
 This sentence is wanting in the French; in its place is inserted: For God chose and marked us before we thought of him, before even we were born, that believing in Christ we should begin to understand election.
 French adds: that is, He does not seek the cause of it elsewhere.
 If Pighius ... of shame - French omits.
 French has: Pighius has the effrontery to allege.
 French has: as appears in his stupidity.
 To trample ... rudiments of piety - wanting in the French.
 French adds: We see how he here takes the mere sign in the perverse sense of those who abuse it.
 French adds: and yet joins it with the virtue of the Holy Spirit.
 Note the meaning given by the French: he is not ashamed to fill many pages with the nonsense that all who have received the visible sign of baptism ought to be accounted members of Christ.
 End of lib. 7.
 French has: Our adversaries argue that if the elect thus cannot fall, the doctrine is superfluous that says - He who persists to the end shall be saved. But on the contrary, be this as it may, all of us seem to be floating on the sea, etc.
 French adds: Hence, His elect are encouraged to be constant by being so commanded by God.
 French has: what will befall tomorrow or later.
 French has: But those who bear the seal of the Holy Spirit imprinted on their hearts know well that the assurance of faith is not for a day, and that we have good proof of it, etc.
 French adds: according to which all are assured of their particular salvation.
 French adds: from which he concludes that the man who was once righteous may change and so fall from salvation into damnation.
 French has: such as I give in my Institutes.
 To Pighius ... occasion - French has: Pighius and the like seethe with rage against this reply; but I can without difficulty show that they fight against God.
 French has: The replies which I have given above ought to be enough to Christians; and in fact those who contest them are unable to find fault with them.
 Cap. 14.
 The chief authority has falsely: predestination.
 Ibid., cap. 15.
 Cap. 16.
 French has: than to weaken and keep it concealed.
 Ibid., Cap. 20.
 French has: why it is that those are convinced by the truth should think it right to say, etc.
 Ibid., cap. 22.
 De Corrept. et Gratia ad Valent., cap. 5.
 Cap. 14.
 Cap. 15.
 Cap. 16.
 French has: in hatred of myself.
 French has: As to the first point, he says that God is not worthy of love, etc.
 French has: Firstly, when St Paul speaks of election, this good glossator says: Israel was elect, but all descendants of the race are not Israelites. Now he blindly deceives himself if he hopes to escape thus. For he does not consider that Jacob was truly made Israel by a special grace, in that he had been already elected in his mother's womb. Upon this, he comes up again, saying that the mercy of God is lacking to none that is, etc.
 French has: as if by such bandages he was able to bind the eyes of all the world, so that one sees nothing more in the text of St Paul. but this doctrine is far too clear to divert readers so easily.
 With all . . . apparent to us - lacking in French
 French has: He babbles with I know not what audacity, as if, etc.
 Look then ... touch - French has: See then the fine solutions Pighius brings me as the testimonies of Scripture-the rest omitted.
 De Praedest. Sanct., cap. 4; De Dono Persev., cap. 20.
 Retract., lib. 2, cap. 1.
 About half way through lib. 1 [the reference seems to be to De Diversis Quaestionibus ad Simplicianum, mentioned by Calvin above, lib. 1, quaest. 2, § 1.