Imatges de pÓgina
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hardens Pharaoh according to his will, he withont reason complains, and accuses us for either not having done what was good, or having done evil; when it was in his power and will either to elect or reject a person without good or bad works, especially since human weakness cannot resist his will. Which strong question, grounded upon Scripture, and which can scarcely be solved, the Apostle solves in a short sentence, saying, 'O man, who art thou that repliest against God (n)?' And the meaning is, because you reply to God, and cavil, and ask such great things concerning the Scriptures, so that you speak against God, and accuse the justice of his will, you shew that you have free-will, and that you do what you like, çither are silent or speak. For if you think that you are created by God, like an earthen vessel,

and that you cannot resist his will, consider this, that the earthen vessel does not say to the potter, Why did you make me thus? For the potter has power of the same clay, or of the same lump, tó make one vessel for honour, another for dishonour. But God has formed all men with an equal lot, and has given them free-will, so that every one does what he wills, either good or evil. But so far has he given power to all, that the impious voice disputes against its Creator, and questions

(n) Rom. c. 9. v. 20.

tions the causes of his will. What, if God willing'-Rom. ix. 22. and what follows. If, says he, the patience of God hardened Pharaoh, and for a long time postponed the punish ment of Israel, that he might more justly condemn those whom he had borne with so long, the patience of God, and his infinite mercy, are not to be accused, but the hard-heartedness of those who abused the goodness of God to their own destruction. Moreover, the heat of the sun is the same, and according to the qualities exposed to it, it melts some things, hardens others, loosens others, binds others. For wax is melted, and clay is hardened, and yet the nature of the heat is not different. So also the goodness and mercy of God harden the vessels of wrath, which are fit for destruction, that is, the people of Israel; but the vessels of mercy which he has prepared for glory, which he hath called,' that is us, who are not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles, he does not save irrationally, and without the truth of judgement, but from antecedent causes; because some have not received the Son of God, but others have been willing to receive him of their own accord. But these vessels of mercy are not only Gentiles, but also those of the Jews who are willing to believe; and one people of believers is formed. From which it

appears,

appears, that not nations, but the wills of men, are elected."-Vol. 4. part 1. p. 180.-After thus explaining this passage, according to the doctrine of the church, he blames some commentator, who maintained, that God did what he willed, that he might be merciful to some, and severe to others.

In commenting upon this passage, • We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life (o):' he sup→ poses some one to ask, why all men did not believe? To which he answers, "We are unto God the sweet savour of the name of Christ, in every place, and the fragrance of our preaching breathes far and wide. But because men are left to their free-will, and they do good, not by necessity, but by will, so that those who believe may receive a reward, but those who do not believe may be punished; therefore our savour, which is of itself good, by the virtue and by the fault of those who do receive, or do not receive it, passes into life or death; so that those who have believed, are saved, but those who have not believed, perish. Nor is this to be wondered at, concerning the Apostle, since we read also concerning our Lord, 'Behold

(0) 2 Cor. c. 2. v. 15 & 16.

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this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against (p).' And clean, as well as unclean places, receive the rays of the sun, and they shine upon flowers, as they do upon dung; but the rays of the sun are not polluted. So also the sweet savour of Christ, which can never be changed or lose its nature, is life to those who believe, death to those who do not believe.”Vol. 4. part 1. p. 184.

"The law which is written in the heart, comprehends all nations; and no one is ignorant of this law. From whence all the world is under sin, and all men are trangressors of the law, and therefore the judgement of God is good." Vol. 4. part 1. p. 200.

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It is clear that all men have a natural knowledge of God, and that no one is born without Christ, and without having in himself the seeds of wisdom, and of justice, and of the other virtues."-Vol. 4. part 1. p. 233.

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law.' Some persons say, If

(p) Luke, c. 2. v. 34.

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this be true, which Paul affirms, that no one is justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, it follows, that the patriarchs, and the Prophets, and the Saints who lived before the coming of Christ, were imperfect. We ought to admonish these persons, that those are here said not to have attained righteousness, who think that they are justified by works only; but that the Saints who were in former times, were justified by the faith of Christ, since Abraham saw the day of Christ, and rejoiced (q): and Moses

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esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward (r).' And Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, as John the Evangelist relates; and Jude says generally of all, I will put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believed not (s).' Whence, not so much the works of the law are condemned, as those who trust they may be justified by works only."-Vol. 4. part 1. p. 245.

"As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them (†).' But

(9) John, c. 8. v. 56.
(s) Jude, v. 5.

(r) Heb. c. 11. v. 26.
(t) Gal, c. 3. v. 10.

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