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and removing far from us threatened evils: Faith looks at the right end, and brings the blessings that are far off in time, close to our eye, and multiplies God's mercies which in a distance lose their greatness : Thus the faithful saw his seed possessed of the promised land, when as yet he had no seed, nor was likely to have any; when the seed which he should have, should nog enjoy it till after four hundred years; thus that good patriarch saw Christ's day, and rejoiced: Thus our first parent comforted himself after his ejection out of paradise, with the foresight of that blessed seed of the woman, which should be exhibited almost four thousand years after : still, and ever, faith is like itself; what use were there of that grace, if it did not fetch home to my eye, things future and invisible?
That this dissolved body shall be raised out of the dust, and enlivened with this very soul wherewith it is now animated; and both of ihem put into a condition eternally glorious, is as clearly represented to my soul in this glass, as if it were already done. Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it.
VIII. When I think on my Saviour in his agony, and on his cross, my soul is so clouded with sorrow, as it it would never be clear again : Those bloody drops, and those dreadful ejaculations (methinks) should be past all reach of comfort; but when I see his happy eluctation out of these pangs, and hear him cheerfully rendering his spirit into the hands of his Father ; when I find him trampling upon his grave attended with glorious angels, and ascending in the chariot of a cloud to his heaven; I am so elevated with joy, as that I seem to have forgotten there was ever any cause of grief in those sufferings. I could be passionate to think, O Saviour, of thy bitter and ignominious death, and most of all, of thy vehement strugglings with thy Father's wrath for my sake, but thy conquest and glory takes me off, and calls me to hallelujahs of joy and triumph; Blessing, honour, glory and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lumb for ever and ever, Rev. v. 13,
ON FREE WILL.
[From the “ Necessary DOCTRINE AND ERUDITION,
FOR ANY CHRISTIAN MAN," as revised and corrected by Archbishop Cranmer, and confirmed in the convocation of 1543, by which will be seen what were the sentiments of the framers of our articles on the points agitated since between the Calvinists and their opponents. ]
HE commandments and threatnings of Almighty
God in Scripture, whereby man is called upon and put in remembrance, what God would have him to do, most evidently do express and declare that man hath free will also now, after the fall of our first father Adam, as plainly appeareth in those places following: Be not overcome of evil; neglect not the grace of God that is in thee; love not the world. If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments*, which undoubtedly should be said in vain, unless there were some faculty or power left in man, whereby he may, by the help and grace of God (if he will receive it when it is offered unto him) understand his commandments, and freely obey and consent unto them ; the which thing of the Catholic Fathers is called FREE WILL; which, if we will describe, we may call it conveniently in all men “ A certain power of the will joined with reason, whereby a reasonable creature, without constraint in things of reason, discerneth and willeth good and evil; but it willeth not that good which is acceptable to God, except it be holpen with grace, but that which is ill, it willeth of itself." And therefore other men defined FREE WILL in this wise : " Free Will is a power of reason and will by which good is chosen by the assistance of grace; or evil is chosen without the assistance of the same.'
How beit the state and condition of free will was otherwise in our first parents, before they had sinned, than it was either in them, or their posterity, after they had sinned: for our first parents Adam and Eve until they wounded and overthrew themselves by sin, had so in
* Rom. xii. 21.-1 Tim, iv, 14.-1 John ïi. 15.-Matt. xix. 17.
possession possession the said power of Free Will, by the most liberal gift and grace of God their maker, that not only they might eschew all manner of sin, but also know God and love him, and fulfil all things appertaining to their felicity and wealth. For they were made righteous, and to the image and similitude of God, having power of free will, as Chrysostom saith, to obey and disobey; so that by obedience they might live, and disobedience they should worthily deserve to die. For the wise inan affirıneth that the state of thein was of that sort in the beginning, saying thus: God in the beginning did create man, and left him in the hands of his own counsel ; If thou wilt, to keep the commandments, and to perform acceptable faithfulness*.
From this most happy estate, our first parents falling by disobedience, most grievously hurt themselves, and their posterity; for besides many other evils that came by that transgression, the high powers of man's reason and freedom of will, were wounded and corrupted, and all men thereby brought into such blindness and infirmity, that they cannot eschew sin except they be illuminated and made free by an especial grace, that is to say, by a supernatural help, and working of the Holy Ghost; which, although the goodness of God offereth to all men, yet they only enjoy it, which by their free will, do accept and embrace the saine. Nor they also that be holpen by the said grace, can accomplish and perform things that be for their wealth, but with much labour and endeavour so great is in our nature the corruption of the first sin, and the heavy burden bearing us down to evil. For truly albeit the light of reason doth abide, yet it is much darkened, and with much difficulty doth discern things that be inferior and pertain to the present life, but to understand and perceive things that be spiritual, and pertain to the everlasting life, it is of itself unable. And so likewise, although there remain a certain freedom of will in those things, which do pertain to the desires and works of this present life, yet to perform spiritual and heavenly things freewill of itself is insufficient, and therefore the power of man's free will being thus wounded and decayed, hath need of a physician to heal it, and an help to repair it, that it may receive light and strength whereby it may
* Eccles. xv. 14, 15.
see, and have power to do those godly and spiritual things, which before the fall of Adain it was able and might have done.
To this blindness and infirmity of man's nature proceeding of original sin, the prophet Darid had regard, when he desired his eyes to be lightened of Almighty God, that he might consider the marvellous things that be in his luw : * and also the prophet Jeremy, saying, Hval me, O Lord, and I shall be made whole. St. Austin also plainly declareth the same, saying, “ We conclude that free-will is in man after his fall, which thing whoso denieth, is not a catholic man; but in spiritual desires and works to please God, it is so weak and feeble, that it can. not either begin or perform them, unless by the grace and help of God it be prevented and holpen.” And hereby it appears, that man's strength and will in all things which be healthful to the soul, and shall please God, hath need of grace of the Holy Ghost, by which such spiritual things be inspired into men, and strength and constancy given to perform thein, if men do not willingly refuse the said grace offered unto them.
And likewise, as many things be in the scriptures which do shew free-will to be in inan, so there be no fewer places in scripture, which do declare the grace of God to be so necessary, that if by it free-will be not prevented and holpen, it can neither do, nor will any thing that is good and godly. Of which sort be these scriptures following ; Without me ye can do nothing. No man cometh unto me, except it be given him of the Father. We be not sufficient of ourselves, as of ourselves to think any good thing t. According to which scriptures and such other like, it follows, that free-will before it may think or will any godly thing, must be holpen by the grace of Christ, and by his Spirit be prevented and inspired, that it may be able thereto; and being so made able, may thencetorth work together with grace, and by the same sustaincd, holpen and maintained, may do and accomplish good works, and avoid sin, and persevere also, and encrease in grace. It is surely of the grace of God only, that first we be inspired and moved to any good thing : but to resist temptations and to persist in goodness, and go for. ward, it is both of the grace of God, and of our free-will and endeavour. And, finally, after we have persevered
* Psal. cxix. 18.
† John xv. 5. vi. 65, 2 Cor. iii. 5.
to the end, to be crowned with glory therefore, is the gift and mercy of God, who of his bountiful goodness hath ordained that reward to be given after this life, according to such good works as be done in this life by his grace.
Therefore men ought with much diligence and gratitude of mind, to consider and regard the inspiration and. wholesome motions of the Holy Ghost, and to embrace the grace of God, which is offered unto them in Christ, and moveth thein to good things. And furthermore 10 go about by all means to shew themselves such, as unto whom the grace of God is not given in vain : and when they do feel that notwithstanding their diligence, yet through their own infirmity, they be not able to do that 'they desire, then they ought earnestly, and with a fervent devotion and stedfast faith to ask of himn who
gave the beginning, that he would youchsafe to perform it, which thing God will undoubtedly grant, according to his promise, to such as persevere in calling upon him; for he is naturally good, and willeth all men to be saved, and careth for them, and provideth all things by which they may be saved, except by their own malice they will be evil, and so, by righteous judgment of God, perish and be lost. For truly men be to themselves the author of sin and damnation, God is neither author of sin, nor the cause of damnation. And yet doth he most righteously damn those men, that do with vices corrupt their nature, which he made good, and do abuse the same to evil desires, against his most holy will: wherefore men be to be warned, that they do not inpute to God their vice or their damnation, but to themselves, which by freewill have abused the grace and benefits of God.
All men also be to be monished, and chiefly preachers, that in this high matter, they, looking on both sides, so attemper and moderate themselves, that they neither so preach the grace of God that they take away thereby free-will: nor on the other side, so extol free-will 'that injury be done in the grace of God.