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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
a doctrine upon which great division of opinion prevails among Christians.
I. Definition. — The word predestinate properly signifies to destine (i.e. to set apart, or devote to a particular use, condition, or end) beforehand. It therefore denotes a mere act of the will, and should be carefully distinguished from that exercise of power by which volitions are actualized or carried into effect. Etymologically it would be proper to say that God before the foundation of the world predestinated the sun to be luminous, the loadstone to attract, the atmosphere to perform its varied ministries. In theological language, however, God would be said to have "foreordained" or "decreed" these things, the term "predestinate" being restricted to God's supposed determinations respecting the destinies of men in the future world. The early Lutheran divines generally distinguished praedestinatio stricte dicta, or predestination in its narrower sense, and praedestinatio late dicta, or predestination in its wider signification. The former was God's decree to save all persevering believers in Christ; the latter was that original redemptive volition in which he "will have all man to be saved" (1 Timothy 2, 4). In the Reformed Church the word has sometimes been employed as synonymous with election (q.v.), sometimes as covering both election and reprobation (q.v.). Arminius, in his 15th Pub. Disputation, seems to prefer the former usage as more scriptural, but he is not followed in this respect by his remonstrant successors. Calvin and most of his followers employ the term as applying to the reprobative decrees of God as much as to the elective (see this point discussed under CALVINISM (See CALVINISM) in vol. 2, p. 43, Colossians 2).
II. Is Predestination Absolute or Conditional? — The cardinal point of the predestination controversy has always been this question: Are the decrees by which certain individuals are elected to eternal life and other individuals doomed to everlasting misery respective or irrespective— that is, were these decrees based upon God's foreknowledge (q.v.) of the different use individuals would make of their moral agency, or were they not? The Arminian takes the affirmative, the Calvinist the negative. The former reasons in this wise: Divine predestination in its widest sense is God's free and perfect foreplanning of creation and providence. It was antecedent to the production of the first created thing. So viewed, it must be evident to any rational theist that predestination was objectively absolute but subjectively conditioned-absolute objectively because there existed nothing extraneous to the divine mind to limit its action; conditioned subjectively because the essential perfections of God demand that his will should always act in strict conformity with the dictates of his own infinite wisdom, justice, and benevolence. But though predestination, regarded as the complete, all- embracing plan of God, was objectively absolute, it is obvious that the various individual decrees which are conceived of as components of that plan must mutually limit and condition each other. Thus the divine determination that "while the earth remaineth seed-time and harvest shall not cease" was not an absolute decree, but one conditioned upon the divine determination, antecedent to it in the order of nature, that there should be an earth with planetary motion, etc.
Were not each decree adjusted to every other they could not conspire to the attainment of a common end. Instead of being integrating elements of one wise and self-consistent plan, some might be found superfluous, some perhaps in direct collision. Hence no individual decree can be regarded as irrespective or unconditioned; each is conditioned on the one hand by the perfections of God on the other by the whole system of divine pre-volitions of which it forms a part. Now an absolute, irreversible decree, continues the Arminian, either electing an individual to eternal life or dooming him to everlasting death, fails to answer to either of these essential conditions or characteristics of a divine decree. It would be palpably inconsistent with the divine perfections on the one hand, and absolutely irreconcilable with known determinations of God on the other. Such an elective decree would be incompatible with God's rationality and impartiality, while such a reprobative one would directly conflict not only with his benevolence, but even with his justice. Both would be at open war with the known design of the Creator that men should enjoy the endowment of moral agency and shape their own eternal destinies. Hence an unconditional, irrespective election of some unto life, and an unconditional, irrespective reprobation of others unto death, cannot be maintained. If any are individually elected or reprobated, they must have been elected or reprobated with reference to the foreseen use they would make of their moral agency, for only on this principle can any theory of predestination be constructed which shall not compromise the divine character or conflict with known determinations respecting man.
So just and conclusive is this reasoning that the long task of the absolute predestinarians has been to devise some expedient by which unconditional election and reprobation may be shown to be compatible with the divine attributes and with all known divine decrees. Several have been tried.
(1.) Perhaps the most legitimate of them all is that adopted by those divines who consider the divine will the ground of all rational and moral qualities and distinctions. If, as these divines affirm, nothing is rational or irrational, just or unjust, right or wrong, except that for the time being it is God's will that it should be so, then evidently an arbitrary damnation of innocent beings may be just as right and proper an act as any other. If he wills it to be right, then it is right, however it may seem to us. Hence, on this scheme, we have only to suppose that God wills an act to be right to render it perfectly proper and consistent for him to perform it. Only on this hypothesis can irrespective predestination be successfully defended.
(2.) Another class of divines, unable to adopt this bold principle (according to which God is able to abrogate the moral law as easily as the old ceremonial one of the Jews), yet forced to mitigate in some way the revolting horrors of an irrespective reprobation, have sought relief in the following scheme: Men, considered isnpuris naturalibus, in themselves only were incapable of anything supernatural. Only by the aid of supernatural and divine grace could their nature be confirmed and strengthened if it should remain in its integrity, or restored if it should become corrupt. To illustrate his grace, God determined by an immutable decree to elect certain men, so viewed, to participancy in his grace and glory. To show his sovereign freedom, he determined to pass by the remainder (preterition), and not communicate to them that divine aid requisite to keep them from sin; then, when the persons passed by become sinners, he proposes to demonstrate his justice by their damnation. How much real relief this device affords may be seen by consulting Arminius, Declaration of Sentiments, or Watson, Institutes, pt. 2, ch. 28.
(3.) Another expedient sometimes employed in the construction of a predestinarian theodicy is to regard sin as a mere negation. As brought forward by Dr. Chalmers (Institutes, pt. 3, ch. 5), it might be viewed as a modification of the last-mentioned. Both fail to vindicate even the justice of God, since in each case the finally damned are damned solely for failing to do what they have no ability, natural or vouchsafed, to perform.
(4.) A fourth scheme is called sublapsarianism. In this the fall of man was antecedent in the order of the divine decrees to election and reprobation. All men are viewed as personally guilty of Adam's sin and justly obnoxious with him to eternal death. From this mass God sovereignly and graciously elected some unto life for a demonstration of his mercy; the rest he reprobated to everlasting woe for a demonstration of his justice. In all this it is claimed that there was nothing inconsistent with God's character, since all might justly have been damned. It happens, however, that few are ready to acquiesce in this all-important premise, to wit, that all the descendants of Adam are justly obnoxious to eternal death on account of his sin, hence the conclusion avails nothing to most men. Failing in all these ingenious contrivances to harmonize unconditional predestination with God's known attributes and principles of administration as moral governor, the abettors of the doctrine usually come finally
(5) to bare assertions. They maintain the unconditionality of election and reprobation on the one hand, and on the other the perfect justice and benevolence of God and adequate agency of man, without attempting to reconcile the two. They resolve the palpable contradiction into a mere "mystery," and imperiously shut every opponent's mouth with the misemployed Scripture, "Who art thou that repliest against God?"
As our limits do not admit of a methodical examination of the various passages of Scripture in which Calvinists find their doctrine asserted or assumed, we shall be obliged to refer the reader to Watson, and to those commentators who have not devoted themselves to Biblical interpretation merely as an advantageous polemical agency. We only remark, in passing, that no fact is more striking or significant in the whole history of Scripture exegesis than the steady gravitation of all sound expositors to the exegetical views of the early Remonstrants. Tholuck gratefully acknowledges his obligation to them and even Prof. Stuart quite as often follows Grotius as Calvin. Indeed, he confesses that he cannot find irrespective election in Romans 8:28-30, nor can he see "how it is to be made out" on rational grounds (Corn. Excursus, 10, 477). In like manner he adopts the interpretation of Romans 7:5-25, which it cost Arminius so much to establish, and believes the time is coming "when there will be but one opinion among intelligent Christians about the passage in question, as there was but one before the dispute of Augustine Aith Pelagius" (Excursus, 7).
III. History of the Doctrine. — The unanimous and unquestioned doctrine of the Church on this point for more than four hundred years was, so far as developed into distinctness, precisely identical with that which owes its scientific form and name to Arminius (q.v.). The early fathers often expressed themselves unguardedly, and, in so doing, sometimes laid themselves open to the charge of a leaning towards the erroneous views afterwards systematized by Pelagius (q.v.) and his coadjutors, (See PELAGIANISM); but their general sentiment was soundly evangelical and capable of an enunciation entirely free from every suspicion of consanguinity with that heresy. "In respect to predestination," says Wiggers, "the fathers before Augustine differed entirely from him… They founded predestination upon prescience . . . Hence the Massilians were entirely right when they maintained that Augustine's doctrine of predestination was contrary to the opinion of the fathers and the sense of the Church" (Auqustinisn and Pelagianism, transl. by Prof. Emerson). Justin Martyr, Irenoeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Chrysostom- all in clear and decisive statements-gave their adherence to the theory of conditional predestination, rejecting the opposite as false, dangerous, and utterly subversive of the divine glory. It is evident that they did not investigate the subject to the depth to which it is requisite for the full discussion of it to go, and that various questions, which must be put before it can be brought completely before us, they either did not put or hastily regarded as of very little moment; but it is enough to dwell upon the fact that they did employ their thoughts upon it, and have so expressed themselves as to leave no doubt of the light in which it was contemplated by them. Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, remarks, that "they who were foreknown as to become wicked, whether angels or men, did so not from any fault of God, αλρια ρο εο, but from their own blame;" by which observation he shows that it was his opinion that God foresaw in what manner his intelligent creatures would act, but that this did not affect their liberty, and did not diminish their guilt. A little after lie says more fully that "God created angels and men free to the practice of righteousness, having planted in them reason, through which they knew by whom they were created and through whom they existed; when before they were not, and prescribed to them a law by which they were to be judged, if they acted contrary to right reason. Wherefore we, angels and men, are through ourselves convicted as being wicked, if we do not lay hold of repentance. But it the Logos of God foretells that some angels and men would go to be punished, he does so because he foreknew that they would certainly become wicked; by no means, however, because God made them such." Justin thus admits that man is wholly dependent upon God, deriving existence and everything which he has from the Almighty; but he is persuaded that we were perfectly able to retain our integrity, and that, although it was foreseen that we should not do so, this did not abridge our moral power, or fix any imputation on the Deity in consequence of our transgression. Tatian, in his oration against the Greeks— an excellent work, which, although composed after the death of Justin, was written, in all probability, before its author had adopted the wild opinions which he defended towards the conclusion of his life-expresses very much the same sentiments avowed by Justin. He says, "Both men and angels were created free, so that man becoming wicked through his own fault may be deservedly punished, while a good man, who, from the right exercise of his free will, does not transgress the law of God, is entitled to praise; that the power of the divine Logos, having in himself the knowledge of what was to happen, not through fate or unavoidable necessity, but from free choice, predicted future things, condemning the wicked and praising the righteous." Irenaeus, in the third book of his work against heresies, has taken an opportunity to state his notions about the origin of evil. The seventy-first chapter of that book is entitled, "A proof that man is free, and has power to this extent, that of himself he cal choose what is good or the contrary." In illustration of this he remarks, "God gave to mail the power of election, as he did to the angels. They, therefore, who do not obey are justly not found with the good, and receive deserved punishment, because God, having given them what was good they did not keep it, but despised the riches of the divine mercy." The next chapter is entitled, "A proof that some men are not good by nature and others wicked, and that what is good is within the choice of man." In treating on this subject, Irenetus observes that "if the reverse were the case, the good would not merit praise nor the wicked blame, because, being merely what, without any will of theirs, they had been made, they could not be considered as voluntary agents. But," he adds, "since all have the same nature, and are able to retain and to do what is good, and may, on the other hand, lose it and not do it, some are, even in the sight of men, and much more in that of God deservedly praised and others blamed." In support of this he introduces a great variety of passages from Scripture. It appears, however, that the real difficulty attending the subject had suggested itself to his mind, for he inquires in the seventy-third chapter why God had not from the beginning made man perfect, all things being possible to him. He gives to this question a metaphysical and unsatisfactory answer, but it so far satisfied himself as to convince him that there could not, on this ground, be any imputation justly cast on the perfections of the Almighty, and that, consequently, a sufficient explanation of the origin of evil and of the justice of punishing it was to be found in the nature of man as a free agent, or in the abuse of that liberty with which man had been endowed (see Irenteus, 4:392; Justin, c. Trypho, c. 140).
In the Western Church all the early theologians and teachers were equally unanimous. While the Alexandrian theologians laid special stress on free will, those of the West dwelt more on human depravity and on the necessity of grace. On the last-named point all agreed. It was conceded that it was conditioned by free will. Unconditional predestination they all denied. ‘ This stage of Church doctrine is represented by Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan, as well as by Tertullian (Adv. Macrcion, 2. 6), who, much as he sometimes needed the doctrine of irresistible grace, would never so much as adopt an unconditional election, much less an unconditional reprobation. Tertullian had also speculated upon the moral condition of man, and has recorded his sentiments with respect to it. He explicitly asserts the freedom of the will; lays down the position that, if this be denied, there can be neither reward nor punishment; and in answer to an objection that since free will has been productive of such melancholy consequences it would have been better that it had not been bestowed, he enters into a formal vindication of this part of our constitution. In reply to another suggestion that God might have interposed to prevent the choice which was to be productive of sin and misery, he maintains that this could not have been done without destroying that admirable constitution by which alone the interests of virtue can be really promoted. He thus thought that sin was to be imputed wholly to man, and that it is perfectly consistent with the attributes of God, or rather illustrates these attributes, that there should be a system under which sin was possible, because without this possibility there could have been no accountable agents. From what has been stated on this subject, it seems unquestionable that the apostolic fathers did not at all enter upon the subject of the origin of evil; that the writers by whom they were succeeded were satisfied that, in the sense in which the term is now most commonly used, there was no such thing as predestination; that they uniformly represented the destiny of man as regulated by the use or abuse of his free will; that, with the exception of Irenaeus, they did not attempt to explain why such a creature as man, who was to fall into sin, was created by a Being of infinite goodness; that the sole objection to their doctrine seemed to them to be that prescience was incompatible with liberty, and that, when they answered this, they considered that nothing more was requisite for receiving, without hesitation, the view of man upon which they often and fondly dwelt, as a free and accountable agent, who might have held fast his integrity, and whose fall from that integrity was to be ascribed solely to himself, as it did not at all result from any appointment of the Supreme Being.
So Hilary of Poitiers declares that the decree of election was not indiscretus, and emphatically asserts the harmonious connection between grace and free will the powerlessness of the latter, and yet its importance as a condition of the operation of divine grace. "As the organs of the human body," he says (De Trinit. 2, 35), "cannot act without the addition of moving causes, so the human soul has indeed the capacity for knowing God, but if it does not receive through faith the gift of the Holy Spirit it will not attain to that knowledge. Yet the gift of Christ stands open to all, and that which all want is given to every one as far as he will accept it." "It is the greatest folly," he says in another passage (Psalms 2, § 20), "not to perceive that we live in dependence on and through God, when we imagine that in things which men undertake and hope for they may venture to depend on their own strength. What we have, we have from God; on him must all our hope be placed." Accordingly he did not admit an unconditional predestination; he did not find it in the passages in Romans 9 commonly adduced in favor of it respecting the election of Esau, but only a predestination conditioned by the divine foreknowledge of his determination of will; otherwise every man would be born under a necessity of sinning (Psalms 57, § 3). Neander, in portraying his system, says: "Hilary considered it very important to set forth distinctly that all the operations of divine grace are conditioned on man's free will, to repel everything which might serve to favor the notion of a natural necessity, or of an unconditional divine predestination" (2, 562). So Ambrose, who lived a little later, and even Jerome, who exhibited such zeal in behalf of Aulgustinism, declares, without reservation, that divine election is based upon foreknowledge. True, Augustine cites two passages (De Dono Perseveraniae, 19) from Ambrose as favoring his scheme, but all commentators upon this father assure us that these passages by no means give ground for attributing to him the Augustinian view of election. Ambrose carries the approximation to Augustine a step further. He says (Apol. David, 2, § 76): "We have all sinned in the first man, and by the propagation of nature the propagation of guilt has also passed from one to all; in him human nature has sinned." A transfer of Adam's guilt may seem to be here expressed, but in other expressions it is disowned (Psalms 48, § 9). Ambrose admitted neither irresistible grace nor unconditional predestination; he made predestination to depend on prescience (De Fide, lib. 5, § 83). In other places, however, his language approaches more nearly to that of Augustine (see Hase, Dogmatik, § 162; Gieseler, Dogmengesch. § 39; Neander, History of Dogmas, 1, 343, 344). To quote Neander again: "Although the freedom of the divine election and the creative agency of grace are made particularly prominent in these passages, still they do not imply any necessary exclusion of the state of recipiency in the individual as a condition, and accordingly this assertion of Ambrose admits of being easily reconciled with the assertion first quoted. In another place, at least (De Fide, lib. 5, § 83), he expressly supposes that predestination is conditioned by foreknowledge (ibid. 2, 564)." The substantial doctrines of the fathers as to the extent of grace before Augustine was that Christ died, not for an elect portion of mankind, but for all men, and that if men are not saved the guilt and the fault are their own (Gieseler, Dogmengeschichte, § 72).
Thus we see that for more than four hundred years not a single voice was heard, either in the Eastern or Western Church, in advocacy of the notion of an unconditional divine predestination. At this point Augustine, already in very advanced old age, and under controversial pressure, took the first step towards Calvinism by pronouncing the decree of election unconditional. In explaining the relation between man's activity and decisive influence, Pelagiuus had denied human depravity, and maintained that, although God gives man the power to do good, the will and the act are man's. He denied that there was any divine energy in grace that could impair the operations of free will. Augustine, on the other hand, maintained that grace is an internal operation of God upon those whom he designs to save, imparting not only the power, but also the will to do good. The fact that some are saved and others lost he attributed to the will of God. Hence his doctrines of unconditional predestination, of particular redemption, and of special and irresistible grace. Reprobation, he granted, was based upon foreseen guilt, but apparently unconscious of the inconsistency, he denied the applicability of the same principle to election. In 529 the system of Augustine was established as Church doctrine by the Council of Arausio (Orange), but the reaction against the strictly logical yet essentially immoral nature of his dogma has been perpetually manifested. (See AUGUSTINE).
Four hundred years more passed away before a man could be found bold enough to complete Augustine's theory by declaring that, as God has sovereignly and immutably elected whomsoever he has pleased unto life, without any foresight of faith and obedience, so he has of his own good pleasure freely and unchangeably predestinated whomsoever he has pleased unto everlasting misery, without any reference to foreknown sin and guilt on their part. This anticipator of Calvin was a Saxon monk named Gottschalk (Godeschalcus). His novel view brought down upon him not merely ecclesiastical censure, but even persecution. His doctrine was condemned by a council which archbishop Rabanus Maurus had called at Mavence, A.D. 848 (Mansi, Concil. 14, 914), and Gottschalk, who was then travelling, was sent to his metropolitan, archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, who called another council at Quiercy in 849. Here he was defended by Ratramnus, the opponent of Paschasiuls Radbertus in the Eucharistic controversy, and also by Remigitus, afterwards archbishop of Lyons; but notwithstanding these powerful supporters, he was condemned a second time, and ordered to undergo the penalty of flogging, which the rule of St. Benedict imposed upon monks who troubled the Church. After this condemnation he was imprisoned in the monastery of Hautvillers, where he died, without having recanted his opinions, about the year 868. (See GOTTSCHALK).
While the friends of Gottschalk were endeavoring to obtain his absolution and release, Hincmar put forward Johannes Scotus Erigena (q.v.) to answer his predestination theory, which Erigena did in 851, in his treatise De Praedestinatione, in which he raised up a cloud of adversaries by the freedom with which he contradicted the established doctrines of the Church as to the nature of good and evil. Further controversy being thus aroused, Hincmar summoned a second council at Quiercy in 853, which confirmed the decision as to the real doctrine of the Church arrived at by the previous council (Mansi, Concil. 14, 995). A rival council was called by the opposite party from the provinces of Lyons, Vienne, and Arles, which met at Valence in 855. But instead of fully confirming the opinion of Gottschalk, this council considerably modified it by declaring that although sin is foreknown by God, it is not so predestined as to make it inevitably necessary that it should be committed (ibid. 15, 1). Hincmar now wrote two works on the subject, one of which is not extant; the other is entitled De Praedestinatione Dei et Libero Arbitrio adversus Gottschalcum et caeteros Praedestinatianos. Having thus explained his views at length, they were substantially accepted, in the form of six doctrinal canons, by the Synod of Langres and by that of Toul (A.D. 859), held at Savonieres a few days afterwards (Mansi, Concil. 15, 525-27), and thus the controversy terminated. See Manguin, Collect. auctor. de Proedest. et Gratia (1650); Ussher, Gotteschalci et Praedest. Controv. Hist.; Cellot, Hist. Gotteschalci Praedest. (1655).
No authoritative or influential teacher appeared to support Gottschalk's views for seven hundred years. The most conspicuous of those who did so was Thomas Bradwardine (A.D. 1290-1349), warden of Merton College, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. His work on the subject is entitled De Cautsa Dei contra Pelagium et de Virtute cautsaruam ad suos Mertonenses and in this he gave free will so low a place that he may be almost called a necessitarian. Thomas Aquinas, who flourished during the 13th century, wrote largely upon the nature of grace and predestination. His opinions upon these subjects were nearly the same with those of Augustine: and so much, indeed, was he conceived to resemble in genius and understanding that distinguished prelate, that it was asserted the soul of Augustine had been sent into the body of Aquinas. He taught that God from all eternity, and without any regard to their works, predestinated a certain number to life and happiness; but he found great delight in endeavoring to reconcile this position with the freedom of the human will. His celebrated antagonist, John Duns Scotus, an inhabitant of Britain, surnamed, from the acuteness and bent of his mind, the Subtile Doctor, also directed his attention in the following century to the same thorny speculations, but he took a different view of them from Aquinas; and we find in the works of these two brilliant lights of the schoolmen all that the most learned in the dark ages thought upon this question.
In the midst of the ferment of the Reformation, the subject of predestination was revived by a controversy between Erasmus and Luther, the former writing an able Diatribe de Libero Arbitrio in 1524, and Luther following it up with his halting treatise De Servo Arbitrio, in which he went so near to the predestinarians as to deny that any free will can exist in man before he has received the gift of faith. But at this stage stepped forth John Calvin (q.v.) as the champion of predestinarianism. He found the Reformed churches in a perfectly chaotic state as respects doctrines. They possessed no coherent creed or system. They were held together by agreement in mere negations. They needed nothing so much as a positive system. Calvin, a stripling of twenty-five, gave them one. It answered all the essential conditions. It was anti-popish, anti-Lutheran, anti-Socinian. In the pressing exigency it was seized upon, and Calvin became the dictator of all the Reformed churches. Scotland sent her young men to him to be educated, so also did Hollanid, the Puritans of England, and the Protestants of France. Among the Romanists, the Molinists (q.v.), and Jansenists (q.v.), in their controversy on the subject of free will, carried on with great acrimony, the opinions of Gottschalk were discussed anew, but without lessening the majority of the Arminianists (see Sismondi, list. Praedest. in Zacharius's Thesaur. Theol. 2, 199).
In the Church of England the later Low-Church party have tempered down the opinions of their Puritan predecessors, and are not often disposed to go beyond the doctrine of "predestination to life" as stated in the seventeenth of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which carefully excludes the double predestination of Gottschalk and the predestinarians. This article of the Church of England is often adduced by Calvinists as favorable to their peculiar views of absolute predestination; but such a representation of it is rendered plausible only by adding to its various clauses qualifying expressions to suit that purpose. In our articles, (See CHURCH OF ENGLAND), (See CONFESSIONS), and (See CALVINISM), have been exhibited the just and liberal views of Cranmer and the principal English reformers on this subject, the sources from which they drew the Articles of Religion and the public formularies of devotion, and some of the futile attempts of the high predestinarians in the Church to inoculate the public creed with their dogmas. Cartwright and his followers, in their second "Admonition to Parliament" in 1572, complained that the Articles speak dangerously of "falling from grace;" and in 1587 they preferred a similar complaint. The labors of the Westminster Assembly at a subsequent period, and their abortive result, in relation to this subject, are well known. Long before Arminius had turned his thoughts to the consideration of general redemption, a great number of the English clergy had publicly taught and defended the same doctrine.
It was about 1571 that Dr. Peter Baroe, "a zealous anti-Calvinian," was made Margaret professor of divinity inl the University of Cambridge, and he went on teaching in his lectures, preaching in his sermons, determining in the schools, and printing in several books diverse points contrary to Calvinism. And this he did for several years, without any manner of disturbance or interruption. The heads of the university, in a letter to lord Burleigh, dated March 8, 1595, say he had done it for fourteen or fifteen years preceding, and they might have said twenty; for he printed some of his lectures in 1574, and the prosecution he was at last under, which will be considered hereafter, was not till 1595. In 1584 Mr. Harsnet, afterwards archbishop of York, preached against absolute reprobation at St. Paul's Cross, the greatest audience then in the kingdom; as did the judicious Mr. Hooker at the Temple in the year following. In the year 1594 Mr. Barret preached at St. Mary's in Cambridge against Calvinism, with very smart reflections upon Calvin himself, Beza, Zanchi, and several others of the most noted writers in that scheme. In the same year Dr. Baroe preached at the same place to the same purpose. By this time Calvinism had gained considerable ground, being much promoted by the learned Whitaker and Mr. Perkins; and several of the heads of the university being in that scheme, they complained of the two sermons above mentioned to lord Burleigh their chancellor. Their determination was to bring Barret to a retraction. He modified his statements, but it may reasonably be doubted whether he ever submitted according to the form they drew up. When the matter was laid before archbishop Whitgift, he was offended at their proceedings, and wrote to lord Burleigh that some of the points which the heads had enjoined Barret to retract were such as the most learned Protestants then living varied in judgment upon, and that the most ancient and best divines in the land were in the chiefest points in opinion against the heads and their resolutions.
Another letter he sent to the heads themselves, telling them that they had enjoined Barret to affirm that which was contrary to the doctrine held and expressed by many sound and learned divines in the Church of England, and in other churches likewise men of best account; and that which for his own part he thought to be false and contrary to the Scriptures; for the Scriptures are plain that God by his absolute will did not hate and reject any man. There might be impiety in believing the one, there could be none in believing the other; neither was it contrary to any article of religion established by authority in this Church of England, but rather agreeable thereto. This testimony of the archbishop is very remarkable; and though he afterwards countenanced the Lambeth Articles, that is of little or no weight in the case. The question is not about any man's private opinion, but about the doctrine of the Church; and supposing the archbishop to be a Calvinist, as he seems to have been at least in some points, this only adds the greater weight to his testimony, that the English Church has nowhere declared in favor of that scheme. The archbishop descended to the particulars charged against Barret, asking the heads what article of the Church was contradicted by this or that notion of his; and Whitaker in his reply does not appeal to one of the articles as against Barret, but forms his plea upon the doctrines which then generally obtained in pulpits. His words are, "We are fully persuaded that Mr. Barret hath taught untruth, if not against the articles, yet against the religion of our Church, publicly received, and always held in her majesty's reign, and maintained in all sermons, disputations, and lectures." But even this pretence of his, weak as it would have been though true, is utterly false, directly contrary, not only to what has been already shown to be the facts of the case, but also to what the archbishop affirmed, and that too, as must be supposed, upon his own knowledge. As to Dr. Baroe, he met with many friends who espoused his cause. Mr. Strype particularly mentions four — Mr. Overal, Dr. Clayton, Mr. Harsnet, Dr. Andrews — all of them great and learned men, men of renown, and famous in their generation. How many more there were nobody can tell. The heads in their letter to lord Burleigh do not pretend that the preaching against Calvinism gave a general offence, but that it offended many which implies that there were many others on the opposite side; and they expressly say there were divers in the anti-Calvinistic scheme, whom they represent as maintaining it with great boldness.
But what put a stop to this prosecution against Baroe was a reprimand from their chancellor, the lord Burleigh, who wrote to the heads that as good and as ancient were of another judgment, and that they might punish him, but it would be for well-doing." But Dr. Whitaker, regius professor of divinity in Cambridge, could not endure the further prevalence of the doctrines of general redemption in that university; he therefore, in 1595, drew up nine affirmations, elucidatory of his views of predestination, and obtained for them the sanction of several Calvinian heads of houses, with whom he repaired to archbishop Whitgift. Having heard their ex parte statement, his grace summoned bishops Flecher and Vaughan, and Dr. Tyndal, dean of Ely, to meet Dr. Whitaker and the Cambridge deputation at his palace in Lambeth, on Nov. 10, 1595; where, after much polishing and altering, they produced Whitaker's affirmation, called the "Lambeth Articles" (q.v.). Dr. Whitaker died a few days after his return from Lambeth with the nine articles to which he had procured the patronage of the primate. After his demise, two competitors appeared for the vacant king's professorship Dr. Wotton, of King's College, a professed Calvinist, and Dr. Overal of Trinity College, "almost as far," says Heylin, "from the Calvinian doctrine in the main platform of predestination as Baroe, Harsnet, or Barret are conceived to be. But when it came to the vote of the university, the place was carried for Overal by the major part; which plainly shows that though the doctrines of Calvin were so hotly stickled here by most of the heads, yet the greater part of the learned body entertained them not." "The Lambeth Articles," it is well observed, "are no part of the doctrine of the Church of England, having never had any of the least sanction either from the parliament or the convocation. They were drawn up by Prof. Whitaker; and though they were afterwards approved by archbishop Whitgift, and six or eight of the inferior clergy, in a meeting they had at Lambeth, yet this meeting was only in a private manner, and without any authority from the queen; who was so far from approving of their proceedings that she not only ordered the articles to be suppressed, but was resolutely bent for some time to bring the archbishop and his associates under a praemunire, for presuming to make them without any warrant or legal authority." Such, in brief, was the origin and such the fate of the Lambeth Articles, without the countenance of which the defenders of Calvinism in the Church of England could find no semblance of support for their manifold affirmations on predestination and its kindred topics. At the census of 1851 two congregations calling themselves "Predestinarians" were returned.
Through the Puritans the Calvinistic notions were spread all over New England, and by the Reformed Dutch and other Presbyterian bodies carried through most of the Middle and Western States of America. In some quarters they have been either outgrown, (See OBERLIN THEOLOGY), or so modified by outside Arminian influences as to be scarcely discernible; still, in the creeds and standards of several large denominations of the world the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism are unequivocally enunciated. From that celebrated synod known as the Westminster Assembly came forth the Calvinistic Confession and its catechisms, and its form of Church government. These wonderful documents have been preserved unchanged to the present time. The formulas of the Presbyterian Church of America at this time are essentially the same that were promulgated by the Westminster Assembly of Divines more than to hundred years ago. These forms of doctrine must be assented to, at least tacitly, by all the members of that Church. They must be distinctly professed by all its ministers and office-bearers. They are taught from the chairs of its theological schools, and they are elaborately systematized and ably defended in its noble "bodies of divinity" — of which the best and ablest, by Dr. Hodge, of Princeton, has recently been issued. That these teach the doctrines of predestination nobody denies; that to unsophisticated minds they exalt the divine sovereignty at the expense of his justice and his grace has seemed to be the case to Arminianists, who hold that, to make them agree with the language of Holy Scripture, entirely illegitimate methods of accommodation have had to be resorted to. (See ARMINIANISM); (See CALVINISM).
IV. Connection of Predestination with other Doctrines. — Much confusion and obscurity has arisen in the progress of the predestinarian controversy from failing to keep the real issue always distinctly in view. The point in controversy is not whether or not God had a plan when he entered upon creation. (See FOREKNOWLEDGE); (See PROVIDENCE).
Neither is it whether or not that plan embraced a positive preappointment of every individual event in the whole range of futurity. Nor yet is it whether or not an exercise of divine energy is inseparably connected with any or all of God's predeterminations so that they are "effectual" decrees. (See CALLING); (See GRACE).
The real question is: Has God by an immutable and eternal decree predestinated some of the human family unto eternal life, and all the others unto everlasting perdition, without any reference whatever to the use they may make of their moral agency? This the Calvinist affirms, usually basing his affirmation solely on what he regards as Scripture authority, and often admitting that the human mind cannot reconcile it with the character of God or the dictates of human reason. Among the deniers, some have repudiated the supposition of any "decrees" at all respecting individual salvation, maintaining only the general ones, "He that believeth shall be saved, he that believeth not," etc. Others allow al individual or personal election, but, like Watson, understand by it "an act of God done in time subsequent even to the administration of the means of salvation" (Inst. 2, 338). Others, as the older Arminians generally, suppose that specific individuals were eternally predestinated to life and death, but strictly according to their foreknown obedience or disobedience to the Gospel.
V. Literature. — The bibliography of this subject is blended with that of (See ARMINIANISM), (See ELECTION), (See FREE WILL), (See GRACE), (See REMONSTRANTS), (See REPROBATION), and will be found under these titles. In addition to the works there cited, the following may be referred to as treating specifically of predestination: respecting the views of the Reformers, consult the symbolic writings of Mohler and Buchmann; Staudenmayer, In Behalf of the Religious Peace of the Future (Freib. im Br. 1846, 1 Peter 1 vol.); id. Theol. Encycl. (Mientz, 1840, fol.), p. 622; Vatke, Die menschliche Freiheit in ihrem Verhä ltniss zur Sü nde und zur gö ttlichen Gnade (Berl. 1841); Muller, Die christliche Lehre von der Sü nde, 2, 241-301; Dü hne, De praescientiae divine cum libertate humana concordia (Leips. 1830); Braun, De Sacra Scriptura prescientiamum docente, etc. (Mogunt. 1826); Anselm, De concordia praescieltiae et praedestinactionis maec non Dei cum lib. arbit. etc.; Augustine, De Pre destitnatione Sanctorum, and De Dono Perseverantiae; Wiggers, Augustinism and Peliagianism, and art. in Illgen's (Niedner's) Zeitsch. fü r hist. Theol. pt. 2, 1857; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, § 183 (Leips. 1857); the works of Calvin, Beza, Zanchi, Perkins, Gomar, Turretin; Arminius, Declaration of Sentiments, Friendly Discussion with Prof. Junius, and Review of Perkins; id. Scripta Synodalia Remonsstrantium; the works of Episcopius, Curcellmeus, Limborch; Plaifere (early Eng. Armin.), Apello Evangeliusm; id. Tracts on Predestination (Camb. 1809); Womack, Calvinistic Cabinet Unlocked (very rare); Examinations of Tilenus, printed in Nicholl's Calvinism and Arminianism Compared (Lond. 1824); Wesley, Predestination Calmly Considered; Fletcher, Checks; Mozley, Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination (ibid. 1857). A curiosity of the subject is Henry Bleby's Script. Predest. not Fatalism; Two Conversations on Romans 8:29-30, and Ephesians 1:5, designed to show that the Predestination of the Bible refers chiefly and primarily to the Restoration and Perfection of the Physical Nature of the Saints at the Last Day (ibid. 1853 16mo). The best exposition of Calvinistic predestination is of course by Dr. Hodges, the Nestor of American theology of that type. See, therefore, his Systematic Theology, and compare Pope, Compendium of Christian Theology (ibid. 1875, 8vo); Raymond, Systematic Theology (Cincinnati. 1877, 2 vols. 8vo). See also Bibl. Sac. Oct. 1863; Oct. 1865, p. 584; North British Rev. Feb. 1863; Journal Sac. Lit. vol. 16, 18; Contemp. Rev. Aug. 1872, art. 7; Meth. Quarm. Rev. July, 1857, p. 352; Oct. 1867; July, 1873; Studien it. Kritiken, 1838-47; Theol. Medium, July, 1873, art. 4-; Brit. Quar. Rev. Dec. 1871, p. 202 sq.; Jahrb. fü r deutsche Theologie, 1860, 2, 313; Christian Remembrancer, Jan. 1856, p. 132; 1861, p. 188.
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Predestination'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/predestination.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
the First Week of Advent