Imatges de pÓgina

before Abraham, and of those Patriarchs who were prior to Moses, were justified without the things which have been mentioned above, and without the law of Moses... The just Patriarchs having the spirit of the Decalogue written in their hearts and souls, that is, loving God who made them, and abstaining from injustice towards their neighbour, on which account it was not necessary that they should be admonished with prohibitory mandates, because they had the justice of the law in themselves. But when this justice and love towards God had fallen into oblivion, and were extinguished in Egypt, God necessarily, out of his great benevolence towards men, shewed himself by a voice, and brought the people out of Egypt in virtue, that man might again become the disciple and follower of God."—p. 246.

"Christ did not come for those only who believed on him in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, nor did the Father make provision for those only who are now living; but for all men altogether, who from the beginning, according to their virtue in their generation, have both feared and loved God, and have lived justly and piously towards their neighbours, and have wished to see Christ and to hear his voice."-p. 259.

"He hath made manifest that we ought with our calling to be adorned also with the works of


justice, that the Spirit of God may rest upon us."

p. 279.

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"The expression, How often would I have gathered thy children together, and ye would not (m)' manifested the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man free from the beginning, having his own power, as he had also his own soul, to use the sentence of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion from God. For there is no force with God, but a good intention is always in him. And therefore he gives good counsel to all. But he has placed the power of choice in man, as also in angels, (for angels are endowed with reason) that those who should obey might justly possess good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves. But those who have not obeyed, will, justly, not be found in possession of good, and will receive merited punishment; because God has given good bountifully, but they have not diligently kept it, or thought it valuable, but have despised his supereminent goodness. Rejecting, therefore, and as it were refusing that which is good, they will all deservedly incur the just judgment of God ..... God therefore has given good, and they who work it shall receive glory and honour, because they worked good, when they had it in their power

(m) Matt. c. 23. v. 37.

power not to work it; but those who do not work it, will receive the just judgement of God, because they have not worked good when they had it in their power to work it. But if some men were bad by nature, and others good, neither the good would deserve praise, for they were created so, nor would the bad deserve blame, being born so. But since all men are of the same nature, and able to lay hold of and do that which is good, and able to reject it again, and not do it, some justly receive praise, even from men, who act according to good laws, and much more from God; and obtain deserved testimony of generally choosing and persevering in that which is good; but others are blamed, and receive the deserved reproach of rejecting that which is just and good. And therefore the Prophets exhorted men to do justice, and perform good works." And after quoting several passages of Scripture, he adds, "All these things shew the free-will of man, and the counsel of God, exhorting against disobedience, but not forcing our wills. For if any one should be unwilling to follow the Gospel, it is permitted him, although it is not expedient. For disobedience to God and loss of good, are in the power of man, but they cause no small injury and mischief. And on this account St. Paul says, All things are lawful, but all things are

not expedient (n);' referring both to the liberty of man; on which account all things are permitted, God not compelling man; and by the

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expression not expedient,' shewing that they should not abuse liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, for this is not expedient. And again he says, 'Speak every man truth with his neighbour (o);" and Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth; neither filthiness nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks (p): And, For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord walk as children of light; not in rioting and drunkenness; not in chambering and wantonness; not in strife and envying and such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified in the name of the Lord (q).' If then it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason had the Apostle, and much more our Lord himself, to exhort us to do some things and to abstain from others? But because man is of a free will from the beginning, and God of a free will, in whose likeness man was made, advice is always given him to keep the good, which is done by obedience to God. And

(n) 1 Cor. c. 6. v. 12.

(0) Eph. c.4. v. 25.

(P) Eph. c. 4. v. 29. and c. 5. v. 4.


(2) Eph. c. 5. v. 8. Rom. c. 13. v. 13. 1 Cor. c.6. v. 11.

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God has preserved to man a will free, and in his own power, not only in works, but also in faith, saying, According to your faith, be it unto you (r);' shewing that the faith of man is his own, because he has his own will. And again, All things are possible to him that believeth (s): And, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee (t).' And all such expressions shew that man is in his own power with respect to faith. And on this account 'he who believeth in him bath eternal life: but he who doth not believe the Son, hath not eternal life, but the wrath of God shall remain upon him (u).' In the same manner, God both shewing his own goodness, and signifying that man is in his own free will and power, said to Jerusalem, How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not! wherefore your house shall be left desolate (r)."" p. 281.

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"Man has received the knowledge of good and evil, but it is good to obey God, and to believe in him, and to keep his commandments, and this is the life of man; as not to obey God is evil;

(r) Matt. c. 9. v. 29. (t) Matt. c. 8. v. 13.

(s) Mark, c. 9. v. 23. (u) John, c. 3. v. 36. (x) Matt. c. 23. v. 37, 38.

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