Imatges de pÓgina

blood, and raised and exalted those whom he took? A clear reason is assigned; they themselves did not believe, and they grieved his Holy Spirit. God therefore was willing to save those who wish to be saved; and he invited them to salvation, that the will might have a reward; but they were unwilling to believe."-Vol. 3. p. 468.

"A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping, and supplications of the children of Israel for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings (s).' God willingly receives the penitent, and meets the son wasted by want and in filthiness; and puts upon him his former robes, and gives glory to him when he returns, provided only he returns in weeping and lamentation. For by his own fault he made his way wicked, and forgot his Lord and Father; to whom he speaks in prophetic language, Return, ye backsliding children, whom therefore I call children, because, convinced of your sins, you return to your parent in weeping and lamentation. And when, says he, you shall return to the Lord, he shall heal all your contritions and backslidings, by which you had departed from the Lord. For though, through your own will you return to the Lord,

(s) Jer. c. 3. v. 21, 22.


yet unless he shall draw you, and strengthen your desire by his support, you will not be able to be saved."-Vol. 3. p. 545.

Through our own will we do not receive the word of God; and therefore it becomes a reproach to us, that what was given us for salvation, through our own fault, is converted into punishment."--Vol. 3. p. 560.

In commenting upon Jeremiah xviii. he says, "The Lord says to the Prophet, 'If the potter has power, of the same clay again to make a vessel which was marred, shall I not be able to do this in you who seem to have perished, as far as depended upon yourselves?' And that he might shew free-will, he says that he announces both evil and good to this or that nation or kingdom; but nevertheless, that the thing which he foretels does not happen, but that the contrary happens; so that both good befalls the wicked, if they repent; and evil befalls the good, if, after the promises are made, they turn unto sin. And this we say, not that God is ignorant that a nation or a kingdom will do this or that; but that he leaves man to his own will, that he may receive either rewards or punishments, according to his own will and his own merit. Nor does it follow that the whole of what will happen will be of man, but of his grace, who has given all things. cc 3


For the freedom of the will is so to be reserved, that the grace of the Giver may excel in all things, according to the saying of the Prophet, Except the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (t). It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy' (u).”—Vol. 3. p. 615.

In commenting upon Jeremiah xxi. which relates to the siege and capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, he says, "Not that he was ignorant that the city of Jerusalem would be taken, but that free-will might be preserved to man; that they might seem to perish not from ignorance of what would happen, but from their own will. As our Saviour also knew that the Apostle would deny him, and that he should be crucified, which he had often foretold to the Apostles. Nevertheless he warned them, being willing to correct them to repentance; so that whatever they afterwards endured, happened to them from their own fault, and not from the severity of him who threatened."-Vol. 3. p. 626.

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In commenting upon Jeremiah xxvi. 3. If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way;' he says, "The doubtful expression If so be, cannot suit the majesty of the Lord, but

(t) Ps. 127. v. I, 2.

(u) Rom. c. 9. v. 16.


he speaks after our manner, (sed nostro loquitur affectu), that free-will may be preserved to man, lest from God's prescience, man should be compelled to do, or not to do, a thing, as by necessity. For a thing does not happen, because God knew it would happen; but because it would happen he knew it, being endowed with the prescience of the future."-Vol. 3. p. 653.

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"And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house) yet shall know, that there hath been a prophet among them (r).' In like manner Jeremiah writes, "If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way.' And in the Gospel, It may be they will reverence my Son (y). But God speaks these things in the manner of a person doubting (ambigentis affectu) that he may point out the free-will of man; leşt the foreknowledge of future evil or good should make that immutable which God knew would happen. For it is not necessary that we should do what he foreknew, because he knew it would happen; but because we were about to do it, by our own free-will, he, as God, knew it would happen."-Vol. 3. p. 711.

"Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should

(x) Ezek. c. 2. v. 4, 5.

(y) Luke, c. 20. v. 13.

should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he 'should return from his ways, and live (≈)?' Therefore it is the will of God that all men ́should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth' (a)."-Vol. 3. p. 826.

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"Because Nebuchadnezzar received a reward of his good work (b), we understand that even the heathen, if they shall do any thing good, are not passed over in the judgement of God without reward."-Vol. 3. p. 909.

In commenting upon Ezek. xxxiii. 7, &c. he says, "From which words we learn that a man though wicked and impious, may be saved from his impiety, if he will listen to the words of his master, and repent; and that a master incurs no less danger if he refuses to teach, either through fear of danger or despair of the sinner, while he is guilty of the blood of him, who might have been delivered and rescued from death, if he had not fallen through the silence of the master; and that free-will is preserved in both; while it depends upon the will of the master either to be silent, or to speak, and upon the will of the hearer either to attend, and to do, and to be saved, or to despise and to perish through his contempt."-Vol, 3. p. 935.


(z) Ezek. c. 18. v. 23.

(a) 1 Tim. c. 2. v.

(b) Ezek. c. 29,

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