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It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that nmueth, but of God that shewcth mercy. 

Rom. ix. 16. 

Crane Court^ Fleet Street, 


1823. MO^*- 




The Translator has long had it in meditation, to 
present the British Church with an English version 
of a choice Selection from the Works of that great 
Reformer, Martin Luther: and inNovemberlast,he 
issued Proposals for such a publication. He consider^ 
it however necessary to state, that this Treatise on the 
Bondage of the Will, formed no part qf his design 
when those Proposals were sent forth. But receiving, 
subsequently, an application from several Friends to 
undertake the present Translation, he was induced 
not only to accede to their request, but also to ac- 
quiesce in the propriety of their suggestion, that this 
work should precede those mentioned in the Proposals. 
The unqualified encomium bestowed upon it by a 
Divine so eminent as the late Reverend Augustus 
Montague Toplady, who considered it a master- 
piece of polemical composition, had justly impressed 
the minds of those friends with a correct idea of the 
value of the Treatise ; and it was their earnest desire. 


that the plain sentiments and* forcible arguments of 
Luther upon the important subject which it contained, 
should be presented to the Church, unembellished by 
any superfluous ornament, and unaltered from the 
original, except as to their appearance in an English 
version. In short, they wished to see a correct and 
faithful Translation of Luther on the Bondage 
OF THE Will — without note or comment! In this 
wish, the Translator fully concurred : and having 
received and accepted the application, he sat down 
to the work immediately: ^hich was, on Monday, 
December 23d, 1822. 

As it respects the character of the version itself — 
the Translator, after tnuch consideration of the emi- 
nence of his Author as a standard authority in the 
Church of God, and the importance of deviating from 
the original text in any shape whatever, at last decided 
upon tr^slating according to the following principle ; 
to which, it is his design strictly to adhere in every 
future translation with which he may present the pub- 
lic — to deliver faithfully the mind of Luther; 
retaining literally, as much of his own wordinq, 
PHRASEOLOGY, and EXPRESSION, as could be ad- 
mitted into the English version. — With what degree 
of fidelity he has adhered to this principle in the 
present work, the public are left to decide* 

The addition of the following few remarks shall 
suffice for prefatory observation. 


1. The Work is translated from Melkncthon's 
Edition, which he published immediately after Luther's 

2. The division-heads of the Treatise, which are 
not distinctively expressed in the original, are so ex- 
pressed in the Translation, to facilitate the Reader's 
view of the whole work and all its parts. The Heads 
are these — Introduction, Preface, Exordium, Dis- 
cussion part the First, part the Second, part the 
Third, and Conclusion. 

3. The subdividing Sections of the matter, which, 
in the. original, are distinguished by a very large capital 
at the commencement, are, in the Translation, for 
typographical reasons, distinguished by Sections I, 
II, III, IV, &c. 

♦ 4. The Quotations from the Diatribe, are, in the 
Translation, preceded and followed by a dash and 
iorverted commas: but with this distinction — where 
Erasmus' own words are quoted in the original, the 
commas are double ; but single, where the substance of 
his sentiments only is quoted. The reader will observe, 
however, that this distinction was not adopted till 
after the first; three sheets were printed : which will 
account for all the quotations, in those sheets, being 
preceded and followed by double commas. Though it is 
presumed^ there will be no difficulty in discovering 
which are Erasmus' own words, and which are his 
seintiments in substance only. 

5. Hie portions of Scripture adduced by Luther, 
are, in some instances, translated from his own words, 
and not given according to our English version. This 
particular was attended to, in those few places where 
Luther's reading varies a little from our version, 1as 
being more consistent with a correct Translation of the 
author, but not with any view to favour the introduc- 
tion of innovated and diverse readings of the Word 
of God. 

With these few and brief preliminary observa* 
tions, the Translator presents this profound Treatise 
of the immortal Lufher on the Bondage of the Will 
to the Public. And he trusts he has a sincere desire, 
that his own labour, may prove to be, in every 
respect, a faithful Translation: and that the work 
itself may be found, under the Divine blessing, to 
be — an invaluable acquisition to the Church — " a 
sharp threshing instrument having teeth " for the 
exposure of subtlety and error — ^a banner in defence of 
the truth — and a means of edification and establish- 
tnent to all those, who are willing to come to the 
light to have their deeds made manifest, and to be 
taught according to the oracles of God ! 


London, March 1S83. 


Martin Luther, to the venerable D. Erasmus of Rotter- 
dam, unshing Chrace and Peace in Christ. 

1 HAT I have been so long answering your Dia- 
tribe on Free-will, venerable Erasmus, has "hap- 
pened contrary to the expectation of all, and contrary 
to my own custom also. For hitherto, I have not only 
i^peared to embrace willingly opportunities of this 
kind for writing, but even to %eek them of my own 
accord. Some one may, perhaps, wonder at this new 
and unusual thing, this forbearance or fear, in Luther, 
who could not be roused up by so many boasting 
taunts, and letters of adversaries, congratulating Eras* 
mus OQ his victory, and singing to him the song of 
Triumph — ^What that Maccabee, that obstinate as- 
sertor, then, has at last found an Antagonist a match 
for him, against whom he dares not. open his 
mouth ! 

But so far from accusing diem, I myself openly 
concede that to you, which I never did to any one 
before : — that you not only by far surpass me in the 
powers of eloquence, and in genius, (which we all 
concede to you as your desert, and the more so, as I 
am but a barbarian and do all things barbarously,) 
but that you have damped my spirit and impetus, and 
rendered me languid before the battle ; and that by 



two means. First, by art : because, that is, you con- 
duct this discussion with a most specious and uniform 
modesty ; by^whidi you have met aai prevented me 
ftom being incensed against you. And next, by for- 
tune, or chance, or fate : because, on so great a sub- 
ject, you say nothing but what has been said before : 
therefore, you say less about, and attribute more unto 
FDee-wiU^ thiM^ the sophists h^-ye hith^srto said ao^ at- 
tributed : (of which I shali*. speak mcMne ftiUy hereafter.) 
So that it seems even superfluous to reply to these 
yoolr argum^ntB, which have been indeed often .rt- 
ftited by me? but ttfklden down, and trampled under 
foot; hy thej idcontrovertiUc; Boot of ^hilip Mekna^ 
iiktsmf' ConottrtuDgiTbedlog^calQliesti^ in 

li^JMl^nent^ worthy apt cttily of being* immortaliaed^ 
Imt off t bedng indudecifiD : the ficcdesiastical *cafn6n' : in 
•omparislm of which, yoiir ^ookiis, in my ebtimaition^ 
p0 tneaKn and vile, that I greatly feel for you for hating 
defiled- your most beatitifdl and ingenious language ivitJfi 
«ttch vile tiiush ; and I fedax^ indignatiim against the 
matter al86, diat suth nnwordiyi^tvdflr dliouldi ho borne 
aboiitia ornaments of ekxiukice^ so rare ;. whic^ 10*88 If 
liubbbh, or dung^ &ould be canied in vJessels o;f ffM 
MtiA silver.; And this you j/vmrself seem to haxrfe felt, 
who were so unwilling to undertake this ^oik of 
'HhotiBg ;[' because your c(Niscimce' told you, that you 
;i«wi)d of necessity have to t^ the point with allfthe 
powers of doquoice .; and i Ask^ . after atty lyou fwould 
Slot be able sq to bliisql me hj yomr cokMdmg^ bnt thfl^t 
I'Shoidd, haiving tOHK (M the deception^ of loilgQage^ 
dtswver^the real di^^rBsneaXii;. i For^ althou^l «m 
mdq klcspei^kj ydt; by ifie" gmoe of God^ I tam MA 
md(2 in onderstanding. ; And, with : Bnl^ci /dnre 


arrogate t6 ttiyself understanding, and with confidence 
derogate it from you ; although I willingly, and de- 
servedly, arrogate eloquence and genius to you, and 
derogate it from mySelf. 

Wherefore, I tliought thus— If there be any who 
have not drank more deeply into, and more firmly 
held my doctrines, which are supported by such 
wei^ty scriptures, thazi t6 be moved by these light 
and trivial arguments of £rasmus, thou^ so highly 
ornamented, they are not worthy of being healed by 
my answer. Because, for such men, nothing could 
be spok^ tM* written of enough, even though it should 
be in many thousands of volumes a thousand times 
repeated: for it is as if one should plough the sea- 
shore^ land sow seed in the sand, or attempt to fill a 
cask, ftdl of holes, with water: For, as to those who 
havb: drank into the teaching of the Spirit in niy 
bOdks, to them, enou^ and an abundance has been 
adntinistered, and they at once contemn your writiligs. 
But, as to those wlio rmeul without the Spirit, it is no 
w^ndflU^ i£.<.they be cEriven to and fr:o, UJIce a reed, with 
eve^x wind. To «uch, God would not have saidf 
eho^h,. ei^n if all his creatures should be converted 
into tongues. Therefore it would, perhaps, have 
been wisdom, lb have left these offended at your 
book, along with those who glory in you and decree 
to you the triumph. 

Hehce^ it was not from a multitude of engage- 
ments, nor from the difficulty of the undertaking, nor 
irom the greatness of your eloquence, not frota- a fear 
of yourself; but frohi mere irksomeness, indignation, 
and oobtempt^ or (so to speak) from my judgment of 
'your Diatribe, that my impetus to answer you was 

B 2 


dampckl. Not to observe, in the mean time, that, 
being ever like yourself, you take the most diligent 
care to be on every occasion slippery and pliant of 
speech ; and while you wish to appear to assert 
nothing, and yet, at the same time, to assert some- 
thing, more cautious than Ulysses, you seem to be 
steering your course between Scylla and Charybdis. 
To meet men of such a sort, what, I would ask, can be 
brought forward or composed, unless any one knew 
how to catch Proteus himself? But what I inay be 
able to do in this matter, and what profit your art will 
be to you, I will, Christ co-operating with me, here- 
after shew, 
y This my reply to you, therefore, is not wholly 

without cause. My brethren in Christ press me to 
it, setting before me the expectation of all; seeing 
that the authority of Erasmus is not to be despiaed, 
jmd the truth of the Christian doctrine is endangered 
in the hearts of many. And indeed, I felt a persua- 
sion in my own mind, that my silence would not be 
altogether right, and that I was deceived by the pru- 
dence or malice of the flesh, and not sufficiently 
mindful of my office, in which I am a debtor, both to 
the wise and to the unwise ; and especially, since I 
was called to it by the entreaties of so many 

For although our cause is such, that it requires 
more than the external teacher^ and, besides him that 
planteth and him, that watereth outwardly, hbs need 
•of- the- -Spirit of jSedjflL-g^ and, as a 

lisdfig^Jteacher, to teach us inwardly living things, (all 
which I was led to consider ;) yet, since ttffiCbSpirit is 
free, and bloweth, not where we will, but where he 

willeth, it was needful to observe that rule of Paul, 
" Be instant, in season, and out of season." For 
we know not at what hour the Lord cometh. Be 
it, therefore, that those who have not yet felt the 
teaching of the Spirit in my writings, have been 
overthrown by that Diatribe — perhaps their hour was 
not yet come. 

And who knows but that God may even con- 
descend to visit you, my friend Erasmus, by me his 
poor weak vessel ; and that I may (which from my 
heart I desire of the Father of mercies through Jesus 
Christ our Lord) come unto you by this Book in a 
happy hour, and gain over a dearest brother. For 
although you think and write wrong concerning Free- 
will, yet no small thanks are due unto you from me, 
in that you have rendered my own sentiments far 
more strongly confirmed, from my seeing the cause 
of Free-will handled by all the powers of such and so 
great talents, and so far from being bettered, left 
worse than it was before: which leaves an evident 
proof, that Free-will is a mere lie; and that, like 
the woman in the gospel, the more it is taken in 
hand by physicians, the worse it is made. Therefore 
the greater thanks will be rendered to you by me, if 
you by me gain more information, as I have gained 
by you more confirmation. But each is the gift of 
God, and not the work of our own endeavours. 
Wherefore, prayer must be made unto God, that he 
would open the mouth in me, and the heart in you 
and in all ; that he would be the teacher in the midst 
of us, who may in us speak and hear. 

But from you, my friend Erasmus, suffer me to 
obtain the grant of this request ; that, as I in these 

matters bofo* with your ignorance, so you, in retum, 
would bear with my want of eloqu^it utt^:ancQ. Grod 
giveth not all things to each ; nor can we each do all 
thmgs. Or, as Paul sai&, ^* there are diversities of 
gifts, hut the same Spirit" It jTemains, therefore, that 
these gifts render a mutual service ; that the one, with 
his gift, sustain the burden and what is lacking in the 
other ; so shall we fulfil the law of Christ. 


Sect I.— -First of all, I would just touch upon 
wme of the heads of your Prsface; in which, you 
flrane\Yhat disparage our cause and adorn your own» 
Jn the fiitst place, I would notice your censuring in me, 
in all your former books, an dbstinacy of assertion ; 
y end saying, in this book, — *^ that you are so &x from 
deli^^iting in assertionp, that you would rather at onee 
gE> oyer to'the Beotimfflits of the sceptics, if the invio- 
lafale authority of the holy soiptures, and the decrees 
of th^ church, would pennit you: to which authoritiey 
you wilKn^y submit yourself ip all things, wheth^ 
you follow what they prescribe, or follow it not" — 
These are the principles that please you. 

I consider, (as in courtesy bound,) that these 
things are asserted by you from a benevdent mind, 
as bdng a lover of peace. But if any one else had 
asserted them, I should, perhaps, have attacked him 
m my accustomed manner. But however, I must 
fiot even allow you, though so very good in your 
intentions, to err m this opinion. For not to delight 
in assertions, is not the character of the Christian 
mind : nay, he must deli^ in assertions, or he is not 

.,,^^. ■,iMc>vir«AavW>'«>' 




aCteist ign. But, (that we may not be mistaken ia \ 
tennfi) by assertion^ I mean a constant axlhermgy 
affinning, confessing, defending, and invincibly per- 
severing. Nor do I believe the term signifies any. 
thing else, either among the Latins, or as it is used by 
us at this day. 

And moreover, I speak concerning the asserting 
of those things, which are delivered to us from above 
in the holy scriptures. Were it not so, we shotdd 
want neither Erasmus nor any other instructor to 
teach us, that, in things doubtful, useless, or unne- 
cessary ; assertions, contentions, and strivings, would 
be not only absurd, but impious : and Paul condemns 
such in more places than one. Nor do you, I believe, 
speak of these things, unless, as a ridiculous orator, 
you wish to take up one subject, and go on with 
another, as the Roman Emperor did with his Turbot ; 
or, with the madness of a wicked writer, you wish, to 
contend, that the article concerning Free-will is 
doubtful or not necessary. 

Be settles and acadenncs far from us Chris- 
tians; but be there with us assertc»s twofold more 
determined, than the stoics themselves. How often 
does the apostle Paul require that assurance of fiedth; 
that is, that most certain, and n^ost firm assertion of 
Conscience, calling it, Rom. x., confession, " With the 
nunith confession is made unto salvation?" And Christ 
also saidi, ^^ Whosoever confesseth me b^c»e men^ 
himwill I confess b^re my Father.^' Peter commands 
«fi to ^^ give a reascm of the hope" that is in us. But 
wl^ shonld I dwell upon this; nothing is more. known 
and more general among Christians than assertions. 
Take aw^ cu»9ertions, w^ you take away Cluristiaiiity. 


A h 5 > 




Nay, the Holy Spirit is given unto them from heaven, 
that he may glorify Christ, and confess him even unto 
death ; unless this be not to assert — to die for con- 
fession and assertion. In a word, the Spirit so 
asserts, that he comes upon the whole world and 
reproves them of sin ; thus, jas it were, pro voking to 
battle. And Paul enjoins Timothy to reprove, and 
to be instant out of season. But how ludicrous to me 
would be that reprover, who should neither really 
believe that himself, of which he reproved, nor con- 
stantly assert it! — ^Why I would send him to Anti- 
cyrn, to be cured. 

But I am the greatest fool, who thus lose words 
and time upon that, which is clearer than the sun. 
What Christian would bear that assertions should be 
contemned ? This would be at once to deny all piety 
and religion together; or to assert, that religion, piety, 
and eivery doctrine, is nothing at all. Why therrfore 
do you too say, that you do not delight in assertions, 
and that you prefer such a mind to any other ? 

But you would have it understood that you have 
said nothing. here concerning confessing Christ, and 
his doctrines.-:— I receive the admonition. And, in 
courtesy to you, I give up my right and custom, and 
refrain from judging of your heart, reserving that for 
another time, or for others. In the mean time, I 
admonish you to correct your tongue, and your pen, 
and to refrain henceforth from using such expressions. 
For, how upright and honest soever your heart may 
be, your words, which are the index of the heart, are 
not so. For, if you think the matter of Free-Tiill is 
not necessary to be known, nor at all concerned with 
Christ, you speak honestly, but think wickedly : but, 

if you think it is necessary, you speak wickedly, and 
think rightly. And if so, then there is no room for 
you to complain and exaggerate so much concerning 
useless assertions and contentions : for what have they 
to do with the nature of the cause ? 

Sect. II. — But what will you say to these your de- 
clarations, when, be it remembered, they are not con- 
fined to Free-will only, but apply to all doctrines in 
general throughout the world — that, " if it were per- 
mitted you, by the invioliable authority of the sacred 
writings and decrees of the church, you would go over 
to the sentiments of the sceptics ? " — 

What an all-changeable Proteus is there in these 
expressions, " inviolable authority " and " decrees of 
the church!" As though you could have so very 
great a reverence for the scriptures * and the church, 
when at the same time you signify, that you wish you 
had the liberty of being a sceptic ! What Christian 
would talk in this way ? But if you say this in re- 
ference to useless and doubtful doctrines, what news 
is there in what you say ? Who, in such things, would 
not wish for the liberty of the sceptical profession? 
Nay, what Christian is there who does not actually 
use this lib^y freely, and. condemn all those who axe 
drawn away with, and captivated by ev^ opinion ? 
Unless you consider all Christians to be such (as the 
term is generally understood) whose doctrines are use- 
less, and for which they quarrel like fools, and contend 
by assertions. But if you speak of necessary things, 
what declaration more impious can any one make, 
than that he wishes for the liberty of asserting nothing 
in such matters? .Whereas, the Christian will rather 


. flay this — I am so averse to the senthn^itis of the 
j jsceptics, that wherever I am not hindered by the 
) ipfinnity of the flesh, I will not only steadily adhere to 
t^ BSLcred writings every where, and in all parts of 
them, and assert them, but I wish also to be as certain 
as possible in things that are not necessary, and that 
lie without the scripture : for what is more miserable 
tltttn uncertainty ? 

What shall we say to these things also, where yon 
add — ^** To which authorities I submit my opinion 
in all things ; whether I follow what they enjoin, or 
follow it not. " — 

What say you, Erasmus? Is it^not enough that 
yoii^stibmit your o^gion to the scripture ? Do you 
sulmiit it to the decrees of the church also ? Wliat 
tan the church decree, that is not decreed in the 
scriptures ? If it can, where then remains the liberty 
end power of judging those who make the deo'ees ? 
As Paul, 1 Cor. xiv., teaches, " Let others judge. ** 
Are you not i^eased that there should be wo^ one to 
judge the decrees of the church, which, nevertheless, 
Paul enjoins ? What new kind of rdigion and humi- 
lity is this, that, by oin* own example, you would take / 1 
away from us the power of judging the decrees of \l 
I men, and give it unto men without judgment ? Where 
does the scripture of Grod command us to do this? 

Moreover, what Christian would so conunit the in- 
jtmctions of the scripture and of the church to the winds, 
-^-to to say " whether I follow them, or follow them 
not?" You submit yourself, and yet care not at all 
whether you follow them or not. But let that Chris- 
tian be anathema, who is not certain in, and does not 
fellow, that which is enjoined him. Fw how will he 


bdieve that which he does not follow?— Do you 
here, .then, mean to say, that felkmng is onder* 
standing a thing certainly, and not doubting of it at 
all in a sceptical manner? If you do, what is theie 
in any creature which any one can follow, if follow- 
ing be understanding, and seeing and knowing per* 
iectly ? And if this be the case, . th@n itis impossible 
that any one should, at the same time, follow some 
ih]]:]^^ and not follow others : whereas, by following 
on e certain thing, God^ heifbllows all things ; ^tjs, 
in him, vAxksbx whoso iioJloweffi" i^^ 

any part of his creature. 

In a word, tiiese dedaralions of yours amount to 
tiiift^-that, with you, it matters, not what is believed by 
any one, any where, if the peace of the vi^rld be but 
undisturbed; and if every one be but allowed, whenhig 
li&^ his jeputatiouj of his interest is at stake, to do ai 
he did, who said, ^^ If they affirm, I affirm ; if they 
deny, I deny:" and to look upon the_Cluistian doc- 
trin gi as no thing better than the o pinicms of philoso- 
phers 4i(uim@Di : and that it is the greatest of folly to 
quarrel nhout, contend for, and assert them, as nothing 
caniaris'e tdi»:^c6om but contention, and the disturbance 
of die public peace: ^ that what is above us, does not 
oekicem ue/^^ This, I say, is^ M^iat; your dedarations 
amount tol — ^Thu?, to put an ehd to our fightings, you 
(SQfiiie m as an intermediate peaoe-makar, that you may 
eaftse each side to'suspi»id arms, and persuade us to 
cease from drawing swords about thmgs so absurd 
and useless. 

What I should cut at here, I believe, my friend 
Erasmus, you know very well. But, as I said befbiSt 
I will iiot op^y rapress myself. In the mean time, 


I excuse your very good intenfion of heart; but do 
you go no further; fear the Spirit of God, who 
searcheth the reins and the heart, and who is not 
deceived by art fully contrived expressions. I have, 
upon this occasTonTexpressed myseli thus, that hence- 
forth you may cease to accuse our cause of perti- 
nacity or obstinacy. For, by so doing, you only 
evince that you hug in your heart a Lucian, or some 
other of the swinish tribe of the Epicureans ; who, 
^^^'^^^ because he does not believe there is a God himself, 
secretly laughs at all those who do believe and confess 
it. Allow us to be assertors, and to study and delight 
in assertions : and do you favour your sceptics and 

/academics until Christ shall have called you also: 
The Holy Spiri t is not a sceptic , nor are what he has 
written on our hearts doubts or opinions, but asser- 
tioQ^ more certain, an d more firm, than life itself and 
all human experieiiB^r— ^ ' ' 

Sect. III. — Now I come to the next head, which 
is connected with this; where you make a " distinction 
between the Christian doctrines," and pretend that 
" some are necessary, and some not necessary. " You 
say, that " some are abstruse, and some quite clear/' 
Thus you merely sport the sayings of others, or else 
exercise yourself, as it were, in a rhetorical figure. 
And you bring forward, in supj>ort of this opinion, 
that passage of Paul, Rom. xi., " O the depth of the 
riches both of the wisdom and goodness of God ! " 
And also that of Isaiah xl., " Who hath holpen 
the Spirit of the Lord, or who hath been his coun- 

You could easily say these things, seeing that. 


you either Jaiew not that you were writing to Luther^ 
but for the woridat large, or did not think that you 
were writii]^ against Luther : wiiom, however, I hope 
you allow to have some acquaintance with, and judge- 
ment in, the sacred writings. But, if you do not 
allow it, then, behold, I will also twist things thus. 
This is the distinction which I make, that I also may ^ 
act a Uttle the rhetorician and logician— God^as^Aj 
^^^7j;;j2!-^*r ftf G^^f ^^*^ ^^^ thi^^gs \ no less so than ; 
Gio d, and the Creature of God . That diere are in 
(jRxi Vany hidden things whic& we know not, no one 
doubts; as he himself saith concerning the last day : 
" Of that day kndweth no man but the Father," 
•Matt. xxiv. And Acts i. " It is not yours to know 
the times and seasons." And again, ^^ I know whom 
I have chosen," John xiii. And Paul, ^^ The Lord 
kiioweth them that are his," 2 Tim. ii. And the like. 

But, that there are in the scriptures some things . 
abstruse, and that all things are not quite plain, is a i 
report spread abroad by the impious sophists; by / 
whose mouth you speak here, Erasmus. But they ' 
never have produced, nor ever can produce, one 
article wherdby to prove this their madness. And it 
is with such scare-rcrows that Satan has fiig^tened 
away men from reading the sacred writings, and has 
rendered the holy scripture contemptible, that he 
might cause his poisons of philosophy to prevail in 
the church. This indeed I confess, that there are 
many places in the scriptures obscure and abstruse ; 

*^ .j^gT-apg-" ^** ■■■■III "II iiiiri r-"ifriirr I i ' ' "— • i»»>. >m ' i «i»» " >-»»- '. . ■■ n« «w 

not froni the majesty of the things, but from our 
ignorance of certain terms and grammatical particur 
lars ; but wmch do no£gr^ the 

t^^ m die scriptures. For what thing of niore 

frWniOi I |M« 

imporlBnoe can remain hidden it Ae scriptures^ txm 

tha^ the seahi at€ broken, tise dtone roll^ frotn th^ 

dooi of/tfaa sqpiuJdire, and that greatest of all mys^ 

teries hnm^ti tahght, Christ made nnai : thatOodii} 

trinity; aod xadpf: that Christ 's^l^ia^ hi UHy WtA 

will loign Ui l argfemity ? Ace pot £h&^l^g9^aNii 

I and prdclliitfied ^te;in. onr Streets P TaipgChrfst dd i 

[oS tf>c sc rif)tu res, and what wiU y>wi ^ iSSSSfe 

I m themr^^^^ : , . . .. t-..^ ■-. ^ 

^^TUl the: iAinffg, thcrafoi^, :yi>Tit«|^^; to % sy'p- 

taresy ai$e made ma nifest dthongh ^some jjtoflm frdq^ 

the1wrianl&jak>t bt^ignnderat6od y»gygh;i0bsg^^ iBut 

tcf'lihii^ liUBL dll IMl^ in the^'^iptiireB^^iarg'sM ik th^ 

deaflest li^t artdthen, because k fevr .words: ast^'^cttl^ 

SGiifa^ to oepoit that tiie things saee obsciutt^ is idismtf 

and impious./ And, irthermr^Ir a>e obi^tiise in 4)nb 

place, yet tUey airer'dleilt in another* Btd^' Ubwenr^P^ 

the sametlA^i^jj^ichh^^ 
to the whidEVortd^ is:>both spok^ df ja the scriptures 
hrpIa^.^^tMhcb/ ai^ aj^^'ist^ 1Ie& hlddaS^ id- obseom 
wiOi^d. Now, thenifore, it matters not if ^etfung 
be in. tiieKght, whether, any certain representations of 
it be m obscmity or not, if, in the meaitwliiie, maa^ 
other representations of the same thing be in thd light 
For who would say that the public fountain isnnot jte 
the li^t, because those whoiare in some dark^iaitiivr 
lane do notice it, whcn^ all those who are in the^i^ipeR 
market' plaj(»^(^an see it piaiidy? > '- - 

Sect IV. — iWh At you aMnpe^ th€refore,«ibont the 
darkness of tJieCorycian catcm^ ainbunts to nothing; 
matters are not so in the scriptures* For those things 
which are of the greatest majesty^liiid the most abstruiie 


mysteries^ are no longer in the dark conter,^ JM^t be&M 
the yeiy doorsj nay, brought forth and manifest 
ogSBlty^ F or Christ has opened our understanding t ^ 
»t<fejg|aBd the srriptureay Luke xxir. And the goapeT 
It preached to^ every creatu^i " Their: scfmd is gone 
outrintb all the earth," Psaltt x. And " Ail things tfiat 
we( written^ :are written f6r bur infitructio»," libm. ^j^. 
And agaffl^ 5^ AU scripture is inspired frdm ^hov^ aiid 
is profitable for instruction,'.' 2 Tim. ii. 

, Therefore come fbi^ard, you and all the sophists 
together^ and pioddce any on^. m3GSteiy ii^hich isistili ikik scriptures. :Bifib^ ifijqai^ thihgsriMill 
rdduybif iftbstrnse . to - maavy liiis ' doet : not : toise fnMt 

■—■-••♦■ i'V* 

otociteitv in the sBgiptnres. hut from thei r ^ Own blind * \/ j? / 


PftiU seotb «(mceming the Jetvs, 2 Cor. iv. ^^ The veil 
still vematns upon their/ healtV^ And ag^, ''if our 
gospel be'hkl il;.is:.hid to them that are lost^: whose 
heart tlie^0d : of i tliis^ world hath blinded^" 1 Coct in 
With -the 1 same) rashness any one may cover his own 
ttye&y'or gtD^^fram the light into the daitk and faiide 
Udiself, axfd then blame tiie day and the -sun fonbdh^ 
obscurei Ij^^theceifore, wretched tnen cease 'f 

pute^ witibu blasph^ous pier^erseness, tfae-dluictieBS ' 
and ^obscurity of thel# own heart to the klUcleffi 
ampfonftsof'Orod;: , :..,,.=;/'•: . :.• 

Ybu^ tl^refore, 1(4]^ yoii ibddu^ripauly sayi^ 
''His judgment k^ itioanipr^isfltisible;" se^m to m^ 
the pvitonm hi9 (njm) ^eS&^ to sc:npVsSce {itriptm^a^i 
Whereas Paul does not say, The judgibiJients of tbi 
seripiicre uie incompi^^i^sibl^, but the judgidetits of 
God. • So alsa lisaiah xi 4loes not sayj Who has 




luown tbe mfnd of the scripture, but, who has known 
" the tnind of the Lord ? " Although Paul asserts that 
the mind of the Lord is known to Christians : but it is 
in those things which are freely given unto us : as he 
I saith also in the scune place, 1 Cor. ii. You see, there* 
' fore, how sleepily you have looked over these places of 
the .scripture : and you cite them just as aptly as you 
cite nearly all the passages in defence of Free-will.- 

In like manner, your examples which you subjoin, 
not without suspicion and bitterness, are nothing at 
all to the purpose. Such are those concerning the 
diBtinction of persons : the union of the divine and 
human natures : the unpardonable sin : the ambiguity 
attached to which, you say, has never been cleared 
up.-r-If you mean the questions of sophists that 
have been agitated upon those subjects, well. But 
what has the all*innocent scripture done to you, that 
\ you impute the abuse of the most wicked of men to 
its purity? The scripture simply confesses the trinity 
of God, . the humanity of Christ, and the unpafdon* 
able sin. There is nothing here of obscurity or am- 
^ biguity. But how these things are the scripture 
does not say, nor is it necessary to be known. The 
sophists employ their dreams here ; attack and con- 
demn them, and acquit the scripture. — But, if you 
mean the reality of the matter, I say again, attack 
not the scriptures, but the Arians, and those to whom 
the gospel is hid, that, throu^ the working of Satan, 
they might not see the all-manifest testimonies con- 
cerning the trinity of the Godhead, and the hu- 
manity of Christ. 

But to be brief. The clearness of the scripture 
is, twofold ; even as the vbscurny is twofold also. 


Hie one is ertema l, placed in the ministry of t he 
wor3; the other ^ygery^g?,'p !^^^ m ine understand- 
mg of the heart. If you speak of the internal clear- l 
BCyii^MinaiLjaiefi^ iota m the scnptures. but he 
th at hath the Spirit of Go d. AH have a darkdned 
heart ; so that, even if they know how to speak of, 
and set forth, all things in the scripture, yet, they 
cannot feel them, nor know them : nor do they believe 
that they are the creatures of God, nor any thing else : 
according to that of Psalm xiv., " TTie fool hiath isaid in 
his heart, God is nothing." For the Spirit is required f, 
to understand the wliQle^Qf the scripture and every Vt 
port of ft. If vou-i p e ok of th e external clearness, 
nothing whatever is left obscure or ambiguous : but 
all things that are m the scnptures, are by uie Word 
brought forth into the cF^Lresf Ii At proclaimed 
to the whole world. 

Sect. V. — 'But this is still more intolerable, — Your 
enumerating this subject of Free-will among those 
things that are " useless, and not necessary ; ** and 
drawing up for us, instead of it, a " Form" of those 
things which you consider " necessary unto Christian 
piety." Such a form as, certainly, any Jew, or any 
Gentile titteriy ignorant of Christ, might draw up. 
For of Christ you make no mention in one iota. As 
though you thought, that there may be Christian piety 
without Christ, if God be but worshipped with all 
the powers as being by nature most merciful. 

What shall I say here, Erasmus? To me, you 
breathe out nothing but Lucian, and draw in the 
gorging surfeit of Epicurus. If you consider this 
subject " not necessary" to Christians, away, I pray 


jouy^ out o£.t^ field ; I have nothing to do with yot. 
I consider it^necessary. ^ 

, If, aa yoUisay, it be " inreUgioiK," if it be " cuTioii3/* 
if it be ^^fii^per^ous/' to know, whether w not. God 
foreknows apjr. ^hjpg by contingeni^y ; whether. our t^wn 
wjll doe$ miy. thing in thosp things ^hiph pertain unto 
eternal salvation, or is only pi^iye under the work ci 
girace ; wheth^n or not wf dp, what w^ do of good or 
qyil, froii^ necessity, or ratW ftpn^ bdi\g . passive ; 
what th^n^ I a3k, is religious ; .what is grave ;.wbat is 
useful to be known? . Ail this, £]fasmus, is to np pur- 
pose, whatever^ J^d it is cUfficult to ,attribu^ this t» 
youx ip^onuQce, because you are now old, have bem 
conversant with Christians, and have long studied th^ 
sacred^ writings : therf^re, ypu leave no room for 
my excusing you, or having a good thought concern- 
ing you. 

And yet the Papists pardon and put up with these 

enormities in you : and on this account,, because you 

are writing against Luther : otherwise, if Lutb^ wer9 

not in the cajse, they would tear, you in pieces Ippdi 

and nail. Piato is a friend ; Socrates is a firiend ;. Imt 

V Trutk is. to be honoured .above all. For, grantm g 

^t-^iSHLl^LY^ but little understanding in the scriptures 

^ and in Ch ristia n piety, surely evQU/an lehemy to 

Cihristifu^s ought to . knowi^ what Christians .ccm^ 

sider useful and necessary, ai>d what th^y do not^^ 

Whereas you, a theologian, a teacher of Christians, 

and about to draw up, for the^i a Form of Christ 

tiam't^, not only iu yoqr sceptical manner doubt of 

. wh^^t is necessa^ and useful to them, but go away 

- into the directly opposite, and, contrary to your own 

principles, by an unheard of assertion, decline it to foe 


wher^a?,;if they be not ftepessary, |Li|(jl,certfuapily J^pwQi 
there can rems^n neither God, nor|P);^st^;j^qr Gas? 
]9€l^ nor Faith^ nor ^any (hing, eli^, ^ven /of; Jni4aism, 
much Jess of Chiristianity ! Jn the jn^J^ off the im-r 
loo^al God^. fara^mus^ w^ an oopasio^, yij^m whcit ^n 
fielcji 4o for acting and ^^k^ig ag&ifi^t; yo^.1 
What pould you \yrite, veil ,or cQ^E^tJy concei»ipij|| 
FJW)-wi^, who confesp^ by .tit^ yQiM;.,d^^ 
so gEaptt w ignorance, <^ the pcr^i^uf^^^hoC g<¥l- 
liijy^? . >But I ;di»w tip ^y sails : . noif wiJl >| b^^ideal - 

w^thj^yw «» J^y w«fi;(isXfof tJo^t p^l[ip|)s I' tshpll !0^ 
bf^P^a^^er) but jin y(^ur own. i 

...■■: Sect,; y I.T—THii vFonn of Christianity ^pfycf^hy^ 
yon, among pthw. fbin^, has this—-" Tl^t W;ah$¥ftld' 
Sil;^]^^ Afitb all our pow^rs^ hayerecq^rse tg jthe,^m|e(i^ 
of ijqpe^t^ce,, aad in all, .ways try to gai» Ifbe JW^cy 
of Qod;.'Witbottt|wlii€i)ii ipteitberhm^a^A^ll^jaor^qt^^ 
ViQj^y ijB^i^ffectual.'' 4>1^9: '^ Xhat bQ| pn^ sh^^uM; d^sf^aiiF, 
of p^|di^i^pD|i a:GQd<by naltei?©: iposj; fliqrpituL''-r-- . ; 
t M. ffle^e s ^t|8ppprtR Qf ypiiitS fiage. w^tt^ Cbri sU. 

^tSwtrr^^P^ ^TVnU m'h i ^^^ cc^ld>. t^^ ^] ^ - soithe^' 
t ba .beay^r ofy our ^ if Icmwnc^ is . r^ly, idjpforyie^ %: 

eKh^rt64 them from you theif > ^sejd^b^ T^^ h^ 
you shpnld ftppear to th&(9^,pfi^1i atheist. , But 
what they assert is this — ^Tbat th^j^ is ^^bUity i^i wsi: 
that there is a striving with all our powers ; that there 
is m^py in:.Qo4 ; tb^t there aie ,w^ys of gadni^ that 
mcETcy; tbat there ifii a God^by q^^^PJ^^^ a^dn^str 
Bopi^fii^^ &ie.7rrBut iii a. man doe^ .nQ^,kno;w whati 

tbe^pptwess are j l^h^t they ca^ dp^ or in jifhaJt >bqri 

c 2 


are to be paAsive ; what their efficacy, or what their 
iuefficacy is ; what can such an one do ? What will 
you set him about doing ? 

r *^ It is irreligious, curious, and superfluous, (you say) 
to wish to know, whether our own will does any thing 
fai those things which pertain unto etamal salvation, 
or whether it is wholly passive under the work of 
grace/' — But here, you say the contrary: that it is 
Christian piety to ^^ strive with all the powers;'' and that, 
" without the merc^ of God the will is ineffisctive.^ 

H^re you plainly assert, that the will does sonie- 
thing in those things which pertain unto eternal salva- 
tion, when you sp^tk of it as striving : and again, you 
assert that it is passive, when you say, that without 
tiie mercy of God it is ineffective. Though, at the 
same time, you do not define how for that doing, and 
bdng passive, is to be understood : thus, designedly 
keeping us in ignorance how far the mercy of Gxxi 
extrads, and how far our own will extends ; what our 
own will is to do, jn that which you enjoin, and what 
the mercy of God is to do. Thus, that prudence . of 
yours, carries you along ; by which, you are resolved 
to hold with neither side, and to escape safely throu^ 
Scylla and Charybdis ; in order that, when you come 
into the open sea, and find yourself overwhelmed and 
confounded by the waves, you may have it in your 
power, to assert all that you now deny, and deny all 
diat you how assert. 

Sect VII. — But I will set your theology before 
your eyes by a few similitudes. — What if any one, in- 
toiding to compose a poem, or an oration, should never 
think about, nor inquire into his abilities, what he could 


do, aad tvhat he could not do, nor what the dabjeet 
undertaken required; and should utterly disr^ard 
that precept of Horace, " What the shoulders can 
sustain, and what they must sink under ; " but should 
precipitately dash upon the undertaking and think 
dius — I must strive to get the work done ; to inquire 
whether the learning I have, the eloquence I have, 
the force of genius I have, be equal to it, is curiou3 
and superfluous : — Or, if any one, desiring to have 
a plentiful crop from his land, should not be so curious 
as to take the superfluous care of examining the nature 
of the soil, (as Virgil curiously and in vain teaches in 
his Georgics,) but should rush on at once, thinking of 
nothing but the work, and plough the seashore, and 
cast in the seed wherever the soil was turned up, 
whether sand or mud : — Or if any one, about to maifce 
war, and desiring a glorious victory, or intending to 
render any other service to the state, should not be 
so curious as to deliberate upon what it was in his 
power to do; whedier the treasury could furnish 
money, whether the soldiers were fit, whether any 
opportunity offered ; and should pay no regard what- 
ever to that of the historian, " Before you act, there 
must be deliberation, and when you have deliberated, 
speedy execution ; " but should rush forward with his 
eyes blinded, and his ears stopped, only exclaiming 
war ! war ! and should be determined on the under- 
taking : — What, I ask you, Erasmus, would you think 
of such poets, such husbandmen, such generals, and 
such heads of affairs ? I will add also that of the 
Gospel — If any one going to build a tower, sits not 
down first and coimts the cost^ whether he has enough 


• " - - « 

^te finish it,— What does Christ say of such an oirt, 

f TlSfe Jfotl- &lSd Enjoin us works only. But you fofr- 

bid ^6 ltd '^xariStetl, weigh, and toiow, first, our ability^ 

^A irS can do,* tod what we <!^not do, as beittg 

<*art6«s, • sup^Uous, and irreKgious. Thtas, wWfe 

•Witti your over-cautious prudence you pretend^ to 

detest' temerity, and make a show of sobriety,^ you 

gd'sd fair, that you even teach the gteat^^t of all 

tttfierity. For, although the sophists are rash aiid 

' ittad ifl reality while th^ pursue th^lr curious inqui- 

■rteSj' yet 'their sin is less enoitnous than yourt; for 

yotfe^eti t^ch and enjoin men to be mad, tuld to 

i^iih Otl With teiiierity, Ahd to mdke your nlikiness 

stfll ^^efet^r, you persttade ils, that this temerity is life 

' ttWst ekalted attd Christian piety, sobriety, religions 

gravity," dlid eveil solvation; And you assert, that if 

'Ske ekereisc^ it hot, We are irreligious, curious, asid 

vAitt : althOU^ yoii' are sb great an enemy to afesfer- 

' hotis. Thus, in steertiig el^r of Charybdis, you h&te, 

Srith eic^ilfent grtee, escaped Scyila also. But info 

this state ydtl are dri^ten by your confidoice in 

your own talents. You believe, that you can by 

your eloquence^ M impose ttpoti the understanding 

of all, that no one shall discover the design which 

yott secretly hug in yoiir heatt, tod what you aiitt At 

in all those your pliant writings. But God is hot 

mocked, upon whom it is not safe to run, Gal. vi. 

Moreover, had you enjoined us this temerity in 
■ composing poems, ih preparing for firuitfe, in conduct- 
ing wars or other undertakings, Or in building houses ; 
although it would have been intolerable, especially ki 


io peat B, inan, yet you might have been deserving 
of some pardon, at least from Ghristians, for th^ pay 
no- regard to these tempioral things. But, when you 
enjoin Christians th^nselves to become rash workers, 
and diarge them not to be curioiis about what they 
can do tod what they cannot do, in obtaining etemid 
salvation; this, evidently, and in reality, is the sin 
unpardonable. For while they know not what or 
how much they can do, they will not know what to 
do ; and if they know not what to do, they cannot 
repent when they do wrong ; and impenitence is th^ 
unpardonable sin: aiid to this, does that modg iate 
a nd sceptj ^^ tl^fplngy pf ynnr^ lead us. * "• 

Therefore, it is not irreligious, curious, or super- 
fluous, but essentially wholesome and necessary, for tf 
Christian to know, whether of not the Will does any 
thing in those things which pertain unto salvation: 
Nay, let me tell you, this is the v ery ]|^nTC upon which 
niiF d*^"«^^^^ tlimf It is the very^ he art o f oiur 
subjects For our object. IS this: to inquire whal 1 
**^ryfi-y^^t^*^n ri^, H wb^^ it is passi ve^ and how it | 
jtegjJgjrithLjs^^ If we / 

know nothing of these things, w^ shall know nothing / 
whatever of Christian matters, and shall hfi flur behind I 
all people upon the earth. He that does not feel' 
this, let him confess that he is no Christian^ And 
he that despises and laughs at it, let him kno\^ that ^e 
is die Christian's greatest enemy. For, if I kflow^ nov 
how much I can do myself, how far my ability 
extends^ and what I can do God-wards j 1 4111611 be 
eqmally uncertain and igncmmt how much God is itf 
dt^, how far his aMrty is to extend, find, what hi^ is toi 
do toward me : Whereas it is God that\woti?eth ^ in» 



fill. But if I know not the distinction betweexk our 

i wofkins and die power of God, 1 know not- God 

I himself. And if. I know not God, I cannot worship 

Ibw, praise him, give him thanks, nor serve him ; for 

I jshall not know how much I ought to ascribe unto 

myself, aii4 how much unto God. It is necessary, 

therefofe, to hold the most certain distinction, between 

the power of God and our power, the working of God 

. and our working, if we would live in his fear. 

Hence you see, this point, forms another part of the 
\ whole sum^pf Christianity ; on which depends, and in 
|i niuch is iat stake, the knowledge of ourselvgg, ^^Jgie 
jl\ ki^wiedge and glory of God. Wherefore, friend 
)H Erasmus, your calEhg the Enowledge of this point ir- 
leUgJous, curious, and vain, is not to be borne in you. 
We owe n^uch to you, but we owe all to the fear of 
God. Nay you yourself see, that all our good is to 
be ascribed npto God, and you assert that in your 
Form of Christianity: and in asserting this, you 
certainly, at the same time ass^t also, that the 
wlx&rcy of God alone does all things, and that our own 
will does nothing, but is rather acted upon : and so 
it must be, otherwise the whole is not ascribecT unto 
God. And yet, immediately afterwards, you say^ that 
to assert these things, and to know them, is irreli- 
gious, impious, and vain. But at this rate a mind, 
which is unstable in itself, and unsettled and inex- 
perienced in the things of gpdliness, cannot but talk. 

Sect VIII. — Another part of the sum of Chris- 
tiamty is, to know, whether God foreknows any thing 
by contingency, or whether we do all things from ne- 
cessity.. This part also you make to be irreligious, cu- 

riassyand tam, as all the wicked do: the devUs and th^ 
damned also, ^ake it detestable and execrable. And 
y0tt diew your wisdom in keeping yourself clear froDft 
such questions, wherever you can do it But how<* 
ever, you are but a very poor rhetorician and theo- 
logian, if you pretend to speak of Free-will widlOUt 
these essential parts of it. I will therefore act as a 
whetstone, and though no rhetorician myself, will tdl 
a famed rhetorician what he ought to do— ^If, then^ 
Qointilian, purposing to write on Oratory, should say, 
^^ In my judgment, all that superfluous nonsense 
about invention, arrangement, elocution, memory, 
pronunciation, need not be mentioned; it is enougfar 
to know, that Oratory, is the art of jspeaking well •'— 
would you not laugh at such a writer ? But you ac€ 
exactly like this: for pretending to write on Free- 
will, you first throw aside, and cast away, the grand 
substance and all the parts of the subject on which 
you undertake to write. Whereas, it is impossible 
that you should know what Free-will is, unless ybu 
know what the human will does, and what God does 
or foreknows. 

Do not your rhetoricians teach, that he who un- 
dertakes to speak upon any subject, ought first to show, 
whethar the thing exist; and then, what it is, what 
its parts are, what is contrary to it, connected with it^ 
and like unto it, &c. ? But you rob that miserable 
subject in itself. Free-will, of all these things ; and 
define no one question concerning it, except this first, 
VIE. whethar it exist : and eveii this with such argu- 
m^itsaswe shall presently see : and sO worthless a 
book on Fvee-will I never saw, ^cepdng the ete- 
ganqe of the language. The soj^hialSj^ in reality, at 

least argue upon this point better than yon, thou^ 
those of them who have attempted the subjeet of 
Ftee-wiU, are no* rhetoricians ; for they define all the 
questions connected with it : whether it exists, what it 
does, and how it stands with reference to, &c. : although 
they do not eiiect what they attempt. In this tx^dc, 
therefore, I will push you, and the Sophists together, 
until you shall define to me the power of Free-will, 
and what it can do : and I hope I shall so push yoil, 
(Christ willing) as to make you heartily repent that 
you ever published your Diatribe. 

Sect. IX. — ^This, therefore, is also essentially ne- 
cessary and wholesome for Christians to know r that 
Crod foreknows nothing by contingency ^ but that heforC" 
seeSy purposes^ and does all things according to his fm^ 
mutable, eternal^ and infallible wilt. By this thuncter- 
bolt, Free-will is thrown prostrate^ and utterly dashed 
to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert Free- 
will, must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend 
not to see it, or push it from th^n. But, however, 
before I establish this point by any arguments of my 
own, and by the authority of scripture, I will first 
set it forth in your words. 

'■ Are you not then the person, friend Erasmus, 
vf\M just now asserted, that God is by nature just, 
and by nature most merciful ? If this be true, does 
it not follow that he is immutably just and merciful ? 
That, as his nature is not changed to all etemily, so 
neither his justice nor his mercy ? And what is said 
concerning his justice and his mercy, must be said 
also concerning his knowledge, his wisdom, his good* 
4ies6, his will, aad lus other attributes. If theiefore 


tlMfide'^ things are aisserted religiously, piously, arid 
"fiiidle^oitiely concerning God, as you say yoursetf, 
#heit has come to you, that, coiitrary to your oiim 
self, you now assert, that it is irreligious, curious, and 
vain, to say, that God foreknows of necessity ? You 
openly declare that the immutable tiTiY/ of God is to 
be known, but you forbid the knowledge of his im- 
mutable prescience. Do you believe that he fore- 
knows against his will, or that he wills in ignorance ? 
If then, he foreknows, willing, his will is eternal and 
immovable, because his nature is so: and, if he 
wills, foreknowing, his knowledge is eternal and im- 
movable, because his nature is so. 

fVom which it follows unalterably, that all things 
whfch we do, althou^ they may appeiar to us to be 
done mutably and contingently, and even may be 
done thus contingently by us, are yet, in reality, done 
n^essarlly and immutably, with respect to the will 
of Grod. Foif the will of God is effective and cannot 
"be^ hlndei^d ; because the very power of God is natu- 
ral to him, and his wisdom is such that he cannot be 
deceived. • And as his will cannot be hindered, the 
work itself cannot be hindered from bdmg done in the 
pla^, at tl^ time, in the measure, and by whom he 
foitesees and wflfe.- If the will of God were such, 
tJwt, wheii the w&rk was done, the work remained but 
Ifee wHl ceasedj (as is the case with the will of m^, 
which, when the house is built which they wished to 
build, ceases, to wiil, as though it ended by death) 
IhtoV indeed,' if Alight be said, that things are done by 
ofitetlngfency and mutability. But here, the case is 
tiife contrary ; the work cea^, and* the will remains. 
^'fltf^ is it fif<te pOTSibility, Aat the doing of the 


work orbits remaining, can be said to be from coih- 
tingency or mutability. But, (that we may not be 
deceive in terms) being done by contitigenci/, does 
not, in the Latin language, signify that the v/ork itself 
which is done is contingent, but that it is done accord- 
ing to a contingait and mutable will — such a will as 
is not to be found in God ! Moreover, a work can- 
not be called contingent, unless it be done by us 
unawares, by contingency, and, as it were, by chance; 
that is, by our will or hand catching at it, as presented 
by chance, we thinking nothing of it, nor willing any 
thing about it before. 

Sect. X. — I COULD wish, indeed, that we were fur- 
nished with some better term for this discussion, than 
thiscommonly used term, necessity ^ which cannot rightly 
be used, either with reference to the . human will, (Mr 
the divine. It is of a signification too harsh and 
ill-suited for this subject, forcing upon the mind an 
idea of compulsion, and that which is altogether 
contrary to will; whereas, the subject which we are 
discussing, does not require such an idea : for WiH, 
whether divine or human, does what it does, be it 
good or evil, not by any compulsion, but by mere 
willingness or desire, as it were, totally free. The 
will of God, nevertheless, which rules over our mu'*- 
table will, is immutable and infallible; as Boetius 
sings, ^^ Immovable thyself, thou movement gr/st 
to all. " And our own will, especially our corrupt 
will, cannot of itself do good ; therefore, where the 
term fails to express the idea required, the under- 
standing of the reader must make up the ddiciency, 
knowing what is wished to be expressed — the immuta- 


ble wiU of God, and the impotency of our deprav^ 
will ; or, as some have expressed it, the necessity of 
Immutability J though neither is that su^ciently gram- 
matical, or sufficiently theological. - 

Upon this point, the sophists have now laboured 
hard for many year^, and being at last conquered, 
have been compelled to retreat. All things take 
place from the necessity of the consequence^ (say they) 
but not from the necessity of the thing consequent. 
What nothingness this amounts to, I will not take 
the trouble to show. By the necessity of the conse- 
quencCy (to give a general idea of it) they mean fliis — 
If God wills any thing, that same thing must, of 
necessity, be done ; but it is not necessary that the 
thing done should be necessary ; for God alone is 
necessary ; all other things cannot be so, if it is God 
that wills. Therefore, (say they) the action of God is 
necessary, where he wills, but the act itself is not 
necessary; that is, (they mean) it has not essential 
necessity. But what do they effect by this playing 
upon words? Only this, that the act itself is not 
necessary, that is, it has not essential necessity. This 
is no more than saying, the act is not God himselt 
This, nevertheless, remains certain, that if the action' 
of, God is necessary, or if there is a necessity of the 
consequence^ every thing takes place of necessity, 
how much soever the act be not necessary ; that is/ 
be not God himself, or have not essential necessity. 
For, if I be not made of necessity, it is of littie 
moment with me, whether my existence and being be 
mutable or not, if, nevertheless, I, that contingent 
and mutable being, who am riot the necessary God, 
am made. 


^^IHierefore^ their ndiculous {Jay ixpoa worck» tba( 
'all d^ngs take place from ^Ae necessity of the conse- 
quence, but not from the neces^ty of the thing con- 
sequent, amomits to nothing more than thi&--~aU 
things take place of necessity, but all the things that 
do take place are not God himself, ^ut what n^ed 
was there to tell us 4his? As though there were any 
iciar of our asserting^ that the thin^ done were God 
himfsl^pr possessed^divine or necessary. nature. This 
as6erte4 truth, t^erefoj^e, stands and remains invincib^ 
-^that <9|1 t^ngs take place. aecording to the immuta^^ 
ble ivoill of Godi whic^ they call the necessity of th^ 
consequence. Nor is . there here any obscurity qi 
ambiguity,.' In Isaiah he saith, ^^ My counsel shall 
stand, and my wiU shall be done. " And what schook 
boy does not understand the meaning of these ex- 
pressions, " counsel," " will," " shall be done," " shall 

Sect. XL— tBut why shouli;! these things be abstruse 
to ns Christians, sp ithat it should be considered irreli- 
gions,cui30us7.and vaii^to discuss and know them, when 
heathea'poetS) and the very commonalty, have them in. 
their mouths in the most frequent use ? How ofien 
does Virgil alone make mention of Fate ? ^' All 
things staled £xed by law immutable." Again^ 
" Fixed is the day of every man." Agpa, " If tjie? 
Fates, summon you/' And again, ^' If thou.^^ait, 
bxeak the binding chain of Fate. " All this poet aims 
at, is to show, that in the destruction of Troy, and in 
raising the Ron^an empire. Fate did more than all the., 
devoted efforts of men. In a word, he makes even 
their immortal gods subject to Fate. To this^ even 


Jupiter apd Juno must, of neces^ty, yield* . Heuce 
they made the three Parcas immutable, implacable^ 
and irrevocable in decree. 

y Those metf of wisdom knew that which di^ event . 
itsdif, with experience, proves; that no ; man's ,pwj| 
counsels ever succeeded, but that the event happened 
to all contrary to what they thought. Virgil's Hector 
says, " Could Troy have stood by human arm,; it 
should have stood by mine./' Hence that cqpmon 
saying was on every one's t(mgue,, " God'4 .willr be 
d4Mie^'' AgaiPr M If God will, we, wiU do it " , j,^\gaini 
" S^iQh ^w^as the ^ill of God. " ^.' Such was the tvUI of 
%>se above^" " Such was your will," says, Virgil:' 
Whence we may see,, that the knowledge of predes- 
tination and of thi^ prescience of God, was no less left ^ 
in the world than the notion of the divinity itself. 
And those who wished to appear wise, went in their 
dii^utations so far, that, their hearts being darkened, 
they became fools, Rom. i., and denied, or pretended 
not to know, those things yrhich their poets and the 
cooHnonal^, and even their ownconscieaic^es^ held to 
1^ ui^wersally Joiown^ most certain, and most true. ; [ 

.SeQt..^X^.-^ Obs^jive further^ .not only how 
^%:ue,these things, axe (concerning whiph X shaUspealsr 
more at large heroaft^ oi;t of the scriptures), but alsQ 
how religious, >pioui^ and necessary it ^s to know them } 
for ifi .these things he not known, th^re cspi be neither 
^th, nor any woisMp -of G^ ; nay,, not . tq )mq^ 
them, is to be in i;e(ality> ignorant of God, with which 
i^orance salvation^ it is well knqwn, cannot cpnsfist. 
For if you doubt, or disdain to .know that God fore^ 
knows and wills all things, not contingently, but 


necessarily and immutably, how can you believe con- 
fidently, trust to, and depend upon his promises? 
For when he promises, it is necessary that you should 
be certain that he knows, is able, and willing to per- 
form what he promises; otherwise, you will neilii^ 
hold him true nor faithful; which is unbelief, the 
greatest oif wickedness, and a denying of the Most 
High God! 

And how can you be certain and secure, unless 
you are persuaded that he knows and wills certainly, 
infallibly, immutably, and necessarily, and will per- 
form what he promises ? Nor ought we to be certain 
only that God wills necessarily and immutably, and 
will perform, but also to glory in the same ; as Paul, 
Rom. iii., " Let God be true, but every man a liar,** 
And again, " For the word of God is not without 
effect." And in another place, " The foundation of 
Grod standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth 
them that are his,*' 2 Tim. ii. And Titus i., " Which 
Gtxi, that cannot lie, promised before the world 
began." And Heb. xi., " He that cometh, must 
believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of th^v 
that hope in him." 

If, therefore, we are taught, and if we believe, 
that we ought not to know the necessary prescience 
of God, and the necessity of the things that are to 
take place, Christian faith is utterly destroyed, and 
the promises of God and the whole Gospel entirely 
£edl to the ground ; for the greatest and only consola- 
tion of Christians in their adversities, is the knowing 
that Gt)d lies not, but does all things immutably, and 
*Hat his will cannot be resisted, changed, or hindered. 


' Sect.^ XIIL^— Do you now, then, only dbsem, 
fiiead Erasmus, to what that most moderate, and most 
peace-loving theology of yours would lead us. You call 
us oflf, and forbid our endeavouring to know the pre- 
science of God, and the necessity that lies on men and 
things, and counsel us to leave such things, and to avoid 
and disregard them ; and in so doing, you at the same 
time teach us your rash sentiments ; that we should 
seek after an ignorance of God, (which comes upon us 
of its own accord, and is engendered in us), disregard 
faith, leave the promises of Godj and account the 
consolations of the Spirit, and the assurances of con- 
science, nothing at all ! Such counsel scarcely any 
Epioire himself would give ! ' 

Moreover, not content with this, you call him 
who should desire to know such things, irreligicms, cu- 
rioug, and vain ; but him who should disregard them, 
idigious, pious, and sober. \¥hat else do these words 
imply, than that Christkns are irreligious, curious, 
and vain ? And that Christianity is a thing of nou^it, 
vain, foolish, and plainly impious? Here again, 
iherefore, while you wish by all means to deter us 
from temerity, running, as fools always do, directly 
into the contrary, you teach nothing but the greatest 
temerity, impiety, and perdition. Do you ftot see; 
then, that in this part, your book is so impious, bias 
{demons, and sacrilegious, that its like is not any 
where to be found ? 

I do not, as I have observed before, speak of your 
heart; nor can I think that you are so lost, that, from 
your heart, you wish these things to be taught and 
practised. But I would shew you what enormities 
that man must be compelled unknowingly to broadi, 


yrbo undertakes to support a bad Gausa And more* 
over^' what it is to run ag^st di?m6 thingiB and tnitln^ 
when, in mere compliance with otheri and against 
our own conscience, we assume a strange character 
and act upon a strange stage. : It is neither a game 
nor a jest, to undertake to teach the sacred truths 
and godliness : for it is very easy here to meet with 
that fall which James speaks of, ^^ He that offendetfa 
in one point is guilty of all/' James ii. For whea 
we begins to be, in the least d^ree, disposed to trifle, 
and not to hold the sacred truths in due reverence^, we 
are soon involved in impieties, and overwhelmed with 
blasphemies : as it has happened to you here, £rasmus*-*r 
May the Lord pardon, and have mercy upon you ! 

. That the sophists have given birth to such num- 
bers of reasoning questions upon these subjects, ai^ 
have intermingled with them imany unprofitable thing$j 
many of which you mentiqn^ I know and confess, as 
well as you : and I have inveigled against them mucl^ 
more than you have. £|ut you act with imprudence 
and rashness, when you liken the purity of the sacred 
truths unto the pcofane and foolish questions of the 
impious, and mingle and confound it with th^m« 
^^ They have defiled the gold with dung, and changed 
the good colour," Lam. iv. (as Jeremiah saith.) But 
the gold is not to be compared unto, and cast away 
with the dung ; as you do it. The gold must be 
wrested from them, and the pure scripture separated 
from their dregs and filth; which it has ever been my 
aim to do, that the divine truths may be looked upon 
in one light, and the trifles of these men in another. 
But it ought not to be considered of any service to us, 
that nothing has been effected by these questions, buf 


tMr omnng us to ftffour tihem leai wbik 1)i» wlmte^iir^ 

rent of our approbatioa, if, nevertlieless, we still desire 
tb^ be wiser th^ we du^t The question with us is not^ 
hcTw much the sophists have effected by their Reason- 
ingB, but how we may become good men, and Chris- 
tmnii^* Nor ought you to impute it to the Christian 
ddictrine that tiie impious do evil. That is nothing to 
the purpose : you may speak of that somewhere el^e, 
and spare your paper here. 

Sect. XIV. — Under ypui( third head, you at- 
tempt to make us some of those very modest and quiet 
Epicureans. With a different kind of advice indeed, 
but no better than that, with which the two foremen- 
tioned particulars are brou^t forward :-^— " Some^ 
lUngs (you say) are of that nature, that, although' 
the^ are true in themselves, and' might bd known, yet 
it would not be prudent to prostitute them to the ears 
o€ every one."— 

Here again, according to jrour custom, you mingle 
and confound every thing, to bring the sabred things 
down to a level with the prdfane, without making any 
dfetinction whatever : again fisdling into the coi^tempt 
of, and doing an injury to Grod. As I have said be- 
fore^ those things which are either found in the sacred 
writings, or may be proved by them, are not only 
phdn, but wholesome ; and tKerefore may be, nay, 
ou^t to be, spread abroad, learnt, and known. So 
that your saying, that they ought not to be prostituted 
tb the ears of every one, is false : if, that is, yoU 
i^peak of those things which are in the scripture : but 
if yoii speak of any other things, they are nothing 
to me, and nothing to the purpo^ : you lose time and 
paper in saying any thing about them. 


Moreover^ you know that I agree not with the 
spphistsin any thing : you m^y therefore spare me, sind 
not bring mie in at all as connected with their abuse 
of the truth. You had, in this book of yours, to 
speak against me. I know where the sophists aie 
MTong, nor do I want you for my instructor, and they 
have beSen sufficiently inveighed against by me: thb, 
therefore, I wish to be observed once for all,, when- 
ever you shall bring me in with the sophists, and 
disparage my side of the subject by their madness. 
For you c^o me an injury ; and that you know very 

Sect. XV.— Now let us see your reasons for giving 
this advice — * you think, that, althpugh it may be true, 
that God, from, his nature, is in a beetle's hole, blr 
even in a sink, (which you have too much holy reve- 
rence to say yourself, and blame the sophists for 
talking in such a way) no less than in heaven, yet, it 
would be unreasonable to discuss such a subject be- 
fore the multitude.' — 

First of all, let them talk thus, who can talk thus. 
We do not here argue concerning what are facts in 
men, but concerning justice and law: not that we 
may live, but that we may live as we ought. Who 
among us lives and acts rightly ? But justice and the 
doctrine of law are not therefore condemned : but 
rather. they condeipnus. You fetch from afar these ir- 
relevant things, and scrape together many such from all 
. quarters, because you cannot get over this one point, 
the prescience of God : and since you cannot overthrow 
it in any way, you. want, in the mean time, to tire out 
the reader with a : multiplicity of empty observation. 
But of this, no more. Let us return to the point. 


What then is your intention, in observing that 
there are some things which ought not to be spdkeii 
of openly ? Do you mean to enumerate the subject 
of Free-will among those things ? If you do, the 
whole that I have just said concerning the necessity of 
knowing what Free-will is, will turn round upon you. 
Moreover, if so, why do you not keep to. your own 
principles, and have nothing to do with your Diajfribe ? 
But, if you do well in discussing Free-will, why 
' do you speak against such discussion ? and if it is a 
bad subject, why do you make it worse ? But if you 
do not enumerate it among those things, then, you 
leave your subject-point ; and like an orator of words 
(mly, talk about those irrelevant things that have no- 
thing to do with the subject. 

Sect XVI, — Nob are you right in the use of this ,o n 

example ; nor in condemning the discussion of this 

rabj^ before the multitude^ as useless — that God is 

in ^ beetle's hole and even in a sink ! For you r U / , 

t houg hts c oncernin g God are too huma n. I confes^, " t ( 

indeed, that there are certain fantastical preachers, who, 

not fix)m any religion, or fear of God, but fix)m a de 

8if€ of vain-glory, or from a thirst after some novelty, 

Of from impatience of silence, prate and trifle in the 

li^test manner. But such please neither God nor 

men, although they assert that God is in the heaven 

of heavens. But when there are grave and pious 

preachers, who teach in modest, pure, and sound 

words; they, without any danger, nay, unto much 

profit, speak on sudi a subject before the multitude. 

Is it not the duty of us all to teach, that the Son 
of God was in the womb of the Virgin, and pro- 



tmS^^nfbbomheihelfy? And ia what do^ tiie 
biwuip belly differ from any other unclean pkee^? 
Wb^ moreover, may not describe it in fihb^ and 
ihinidbss terms? But such persons we justly 'C(»- 
demn^ Jbecanse, there ane tmmberiess pure words,: m 
which <we speak of that necessary subject, even widi 
deo^scy and grace. The body aho of Christ himself 
was human, like ours. Than which body, w^mt is 
more filthy ? But shall we, therefore, not say what 
Paul saith, that God dwelt in it bodify? CoL iii* 
What is more undean thaiir death ? What more hor* 
iihie than hell? Yet the pix^et glorieth that God 
was w^'fahn in death, and left him not, in hdl. ': ^ 

The pious mind, therefore, is not shocked; at 
hearing that God was in. death and in hell : eachi^f 
which is more horrible, and more loathsome, than 
^ther a hole or a sink. Nay, since the scripture tes- 
tifies that God is wery where, and fills all ttub^ 
such a mind, not only says that he is in those pkoes, 
-but/ will, of tiecessity, leara and know that he is there. 
Uidess we are to. suppose, that if I should at any time 
be takexx and cast Into a prison, or a sink, (which has 
happened to many saints,) I could not there call upon 
,Grod, or bdieye that hd was pjesent with me, mitill 
^ould come into some ornamented church. If ymi 
teach us that we are thus to trifle concerning Gkxl^ 
and if you are thus offended at the places of his essea*- 
tial' presence, by and by you will not even allow that 
he dwells with us in heaven. Whereas, the heaVea «f 
Jheavens cannot contain him, 1 Kings viii. ; or, they are 
not wdathy. But, as I said before, you, according 
»to your custom, thus maliciously poir^ your sting at 
eur cause, tlmt you may disparage and rrader it hate* 


fill, because you find it stands agaiaal you insuperable, 
and invincible;^ :v: : ' . ^ n. 

f* As to the other example, that ^^ there: are thwis 
Gods," — I confess, if t that should be tiuight^ it wmild 
be an olBfence : for it is not true, nor does thescriptuifi 
teaidi it But the sophists speak in,this ivay, and 
have formed a new way of ieascming--^Ut wh^^^^^ 
tiiftt to us! ^ : rf 

. ^. ' 

Sect. XVII. — In the . remaining example con-» 
oetming confession and satia&diion, it is wonderful to 
observe with what dextecoos^ prudence you . proceied. 
Throu^out the whole, according to your custom, you 
mosve> along on the tiptoe of caution, lest you should 
aeem^ neither phunly to condemn my sentiments, nor 
tooppose die tyranny of the Popes : a path which 
you found to be by no means safe; Therefoi^, tbra^-^ 
Big off, in this matter, bofli God and conscience, ((for 
wfaatarethese things to Erasmus? What has he io 
dotrndtfa them? What profit are they to him?), you 
nuh upcm the external bugbear, and attack the com- 

' — ^^Hiat they, fix)m&eir depravity, abuse the preadi^ 
ingof a free confession and of satisfaction, toan occaajon 
€f tbeiflesk But, nevertheless, (you say) by the neces* 
sity of confessing, they are, in a measure, restralned/n^ 

O memorable and excellent speech ! Is this teach- 
ing theology ! To bind souls by laws, and, (as £2sekid 
saith) to hunt them to death, which are not bound by 
God ! Why, by this speedi you brmg upon us the 
imiversal ^rranny of the laws of the Popes, as useful 
and wholesome ; because, that ^ by thdn also the de* 
pmvky ^f the ebmmonidty is^testia^ 


But I will not inve^fa against this place as it d^-^' 
serves. I will descant upon it thus briefly -— A gMd 
tiieblc^an teaches, that the commonalty are to be 
restrained by the external power of the sword, where 
they do evil : as Paul teaches, Rom. iii. But their 
consciences are not to be fettered by false laws, tlmt 
Aey might be tormented with sins where God wiUs 
there should be no sins at all. For consciences are 
J bound by the law of God only. So that, that inter- 
mediate tyranny of Popes, which falsely terrifies and 
murders the souls within, and vainly wearies tbe 
bodies without^ is to be taken entirely out of the way.* 
Because, although it binds to confession and otber 
things, outwardly, yet the mmd is not, by these things 
restrained, but exasperated the more into the hatred 
both of God and men. And in vain does it butcher 
the body by external diings, making nothing but hypo^* 
cribes.-*^o that tyrants, widi laws of this kind, are 
nothing ^se but ravening wolves, robbers, and plun^ 
dereni of souls. And yet you, an excellent counsellM^ 
of' souk, recommand these to us again : that is, yov 
are an ^advocate for these most barbarous soul-mur^ 
derars, who fill the world with hypocrites, and with 
such as blaspheme God and hate fadm in their hearts^ 
in Older that they may restrain them a litde from outn: 
ward sin. As though there were no other way of re^. 
strainii^ which makes no hypocrites, and is wrou^t 
withouEt axiy destroying of consciaices. 

■ •" 

Sect. XVIII. — Here you produce similitudei 
(in whidi you aim at appearing to abound^ and to use 
very appro jMiatdy); that is, — ^ that th«e are diseases^ 

which may be borhe with less evil than >they can be 



cured : as the leprosy, 3cc/ You add, moreover^ the 
example of Paul, who makes a distinction betwe^i^ 
those things that are lawful, and those that are not 
not expedient ^* It is lawful (you say) to speak the 
truth; but, before every one, at all times, and in 
everyway, it is not expedient." — 

How copious an orator! And yet you under- 
stand nothing of what you are saying. In a woid^ 
you treat this discussicoi, as though it were sonie 
matter between you and me only, about the recovering 
ef some money that was at stake, or some other trivial 
thing, the loss of which, as being of much less con- 
sideration than the general peace of the. communi^^ 
oo^t not so to concern any one,, but that he may 
yidd, ;act, and suffer upon the occasion, in any way 
that may prevent the necessity of the whcrfe wmlA 
being/ tfacown into a tumults > Wherein^ you plaisiy 
evince, that this peace and tmnqufflity of &e fle^^ 
are, with you, a matter of i^ greater consideratiim 
dian faith, than conscience, than salvation,fitlttui tibe 
wofd of Grod, than the ^ory :Gf Christ, than^ God 
himself! Whei^ore, let me tdil you this; and I 
entreat you to let it sink deep into your mind — ^lank}- 
in this discussion, seeking an oligect solemn and ecit 
sential; nay, such, and so great, that it ought toittt^ 
maintained and defended throu^ death itself; and 
(hat, although the whole world should not only be 
thrown into tumult and set in aims th^^by^ but even 
if it should be hurled into chaos and reduced to no- 
thing.^-T-If you cannot receive this, or if you: are 
not affected by it, do you mind your, own business^ 
and allow us to receive it and to be affected by it, to 
^idiom it is given of God. 


!Far^ by^ grace of God, I am not so great a fool> 
or mddmaii, as to have desired to sustain and defiaod 
this cause' so > long, with so much fortitude and .ai^ 
miich firmness, .(which you call obstinacy) in the faoe 
of so many dangers of my life, so much hatred, ao 
many traps laid for me; in a word, in the fsuce of die 
fory of men and devils^ — I have not done this for 
money^ for that i ndther have nor desire; nor for vmssh 
l^ory, for that, if I wished,, I could not obtain im a 
woidd )80^ enraged against me; nor for the life 4if 
inyibodyv for idtttt cannot be made sure of for m 
hi(MiY.---MDo you tfainky then, :1hat you only have ; a 
heart diit is: moved by ^hese tumults? Yet, I am 
BOtinade^ofiiStone, Bor .was I bom £pom the Mai|MDM 
sian rocks. Bot since it cannot be otherwise, Ichoeie 
rather lb he battered in temporal tumult^ happy in 
^ grace of God, ^ for God!s word's sake,^ which i&'ic 
be maintained with a miind inonrrupt and invincible^ 
than to be ground tO; powder in etohal tuniult, under 
did w^mth of God and 'torments intoleriable ! Ma^ 
Christ grdnt,^ wliait I^d^Rsr^ and hope^ that your heart 
may not be 43uch— tnit ueertainly your words imply^ 
that, with Epicurus; yiou consider the v^ard of God 
and aiiitureilife, ^toi be mere fables. Forj in yomr 
MstructiQUj you would have us, for the sake, of ^tiie 
Popes^ the heads, ^and the peace of the commonitsf, 
lo put off, upon an occasion, and depart £r6m tbe 
all-certain word of God : whereas, if we put off thal^ 
we put off God, faith, salvation and all Christiajiit|y 
together, i How feur different from this is the instnser 
tion of Christ: that, we should leather despise the 
whole world! 


Se<^ XIX.^^BuT yon say these things, beciiifie 
yoa either do not' read or do not observe, that snchj» 
most constantly the case with the word of God, thU 
because of it. die world is thrown intotoiEuuLl^ And 
ttiat Chnst openly dedares: "I came not (says he) to 
fliKid peace but a sword," Matt x. And inLuke^ 
^1 came to send fire upon the earth," Luke xii. And 
Paul, S Cor. vi., ^^ In tumults, &c/' And the propiiet. 
Psalm ii. aJbundantly testifies the same : declaring, thit 
tfie nations are in tumult, the ^people roaring, the kmgs 
rising up, and iiia princes conspiring against the Lood 
and against his Christ. As though he had said, multi^ 
tode, hdght, wealthy power, wisdom, righteotisnese, and 
wihateveris grdat in the world, sets itsdf ag^st the 
wordof God* V 

LcKdc into the Acts of the Apostles, and see what 
happened in theivorid on account of the- word of Pmd 
only (to say nothing of the other apostles): how hto 
alone throws both the Gentiles and Jews into commo^ 
tion : or^ as 4fae enemies themselves express it, ^^ turns 
tfie worid upside down," Acts xvii. Uhd^ Elijab, 
the kingdom^of -Israel was thrown into commotion: as 
king Ahab complains, iKingsxviii. What tunmlt 
was'tb^^ uttdei' the otfa^ pit^tets, while th^y aafeiaU 
tiSbtt killed at once or stonisd td ^deatit ; while Isriiti 
is taken captive into Aksjnria, and Judah also to Baby- 
lon! Was all tj&is peace? The world and it£^:,fl|jp^ 
not and wHl not bear the word of the true^God: and 
die true God ciumot land will not keep silence. While$ 
therefore, these two gods are at waf with each Qtbet, 
miiat can there be dse in the whole world, >;bttt 
tumult ? 
.' 'iQierefiire, to ^iab to silence ifaftae tumults, is 



)' notiiing else, than to wish to hinder the word of God, 
/ and to take it out of the way ! For the word of God,* 
wherever it comes, comes to change and to renew tbe 
world. And even heathen writers testify, that changes 
of things cannot take place, without commotion and 
tumult, nor even without blood. It therefore belongs 
to Christians, to expect and endure these things, with 
a stayed mind : as Christ says, " When ye shall hear 
of wars and rumours of wars, be not dismayed, for 
these things must first come to pass, but the end is not 
yet,? ■ Matt. xxiv. And as to myself, Jf I did n ot see 
these tumults, I should say the. word of God was not 
in the world. But now, when I do see them, I rcH 
joice from my heart, and fear them not : being surely 
persuaded, that the kingdom of the Pope, with all hm 
followers, will fall to the ground : for it is especially 
against tliis, tliat the word of God, which now runs, is 

I see indeed, my friend Erasmus, that you complain 
in many books of these tumults, and of the loss of 
peace and concord; and you attempit many means 
whereby to afford a remedy, and (as I am inclined to 
believe) with a good intention. But this gouty foot 
lau^s at your doctoring hands. For here, in truth, as 
^u say, you sail against the tide ; nay, you put out fire 
with straw. Cease from complaining, cease from doc- 
toring; ^s tumult proceeds, and is carried on, fi-oni 
above, and will not cease until it shall make all the ad- 
vei:3aries of the word as the dirt of the streets. Though 
I am sorry that I find it necessary to teach you, so 
great a theologian, these things^ like a disciple, when 
you ought to be a teacher of others. 

Your excellent sentiment, then, that some diseases 


may be borne with less evil than they can be cured ap- 
jrfies here: which sentiment you do not appositely nge. 
Rather call these tumults, commotions, perturbations, 
seditions, discords, wars, and all othey things of the 
same kind with which the world is shaken and tossed to 
and fro on account of the word of God, — ^the diseases. 
These things, I say, as they are temporal, are borne 
with lefes evil than inveterate and evil habits; by which 
all souls must be destroycki if they be not changed by 
the word of God : which being taken away, eternal 
good, God, Christ, and the. Spirit, must be taken away 
with it 

But how much better is it to lose the whole world, 
than to lose God the creator of the world, who can 
create innumerable worlds again, and is better than in- 
finite worlds ? For what are temporal things when com- 
pared with eternal ? This leprosy of temporal things, 
therefore, is rather to be borne, than that every soul 
should be destroyed and eternally damned, and the 
world kept in peace, and preserved from tfiese tumults, 
by their blood and perdition: whereas, one soul can- 
not be redeemed with the price of the whde world ! 

You certainly have command of elegant and excel- 
lent similitudes, and sentiments; but, when you are 
engaged m sacred discussions, you apply them chil4- 
ishly, nay, pervertedly: for you crawl upon trc 
gr ound, a nd enter in thought into nothing above fl 
whatisbuman. Whereas, those thih^^ whTch '^gd 
works, are neither puerile, civil, nor human, but di- 
vine; and they exceed human capacity. Thus, you 
do not see, that these tumults and divisions increase 
throughout the world, according to the counsel, and 
by the operation of Gfod ; and therefore, you fear lest 


heaven should tumble about our ears. But I, by dn 
grace of God, see these things clearly; because/I see 
other tumults greater than these that will arise in the 
' age to come; in comparison of which, these appear 
i but as the whispering of a breath of air, or the mur- 
' muring of a gentle brook. 

Sect XX. — But, the doctrine concerning the 
Uberty of confession and satisiiaction, you eidier denj^ 
or know not that there is the word of God. — ^And 
here arises another iiMpiiry, But we know, and are 
persuaded, that the re is a word of God, in which the 
Christian l i berty is asserted, that wti might not suBer 
oun^ yes to be ensnared into bondage by human tra^* 
^ditiaM^-ttod^ws. This I 'Mve abundantly shewn 
elsewhere. But if you wi^ to enter the lists, I am pre<^ 
pared to discuss the point with you, and to fi^t it 
out Though upon these subjects I have books exr 
tant not a few. 

But, — " the laws of the Popes (you say,) may at 
the same time be borne with and observed, in charity; 
if perchance thus, eternal salvation by the word of 
God, and the peace of the . worlds may together 
consist, without tumult" — 

I have said before, that cannot be. The prince of 
this world will not allow the Po^ and his high-priests^ 
and their laws to be observed in liberty, but his design 
is, to entangle and bind consciences. This the true 
God will not bear. Therefore, the word of God, and 
the traditions jof. men, are opposed to each other with 
implacable disqprd; no less so, than God himself and 
Satan ; who each destroy the works and overthrow the 
doctrines of the other, as regal kings each destroying 


the kingdom of the other. ^' He that is hot with m^ 
(saith Christ) is againt me," Luke xL 

And as to—" a fear, that many who are de- 
pmvedly inclined, will abuse this liberty" — . 

This must be considered among those tumults, as a 
part of that temporal leprosy which is to be borne, and 
of that evil which is to be endured. But these are not 
f o be considered of so much consequence, as that, for 
the sake of restraining their abuse, the word of God 
slM)uld be taken out of the way. For if all cannot b^ 
saved, yet some are saved; for whose sake the word of 
God is sent; and these, on that account, love it the 
more fervently, and assent to it the more solemnly. 
For, what evils did not impioiis men commit before, 
when there was no word? Nay, what good did they do ? 
Waed not the world always drowned in war, frauds 
viol^ice, discord, and every kind of iniqaity? For if 
Micah (vii.) compares tl^ best among tfaem^ to a thorn 
hedge, what do you suppose he would caH the rest? 

But now the Gospel is come, men be^ to impute 
unto it, that the world is evil. Whereas, the truth is, 
that by the good gospd[> it is more manifest how evil 
it was, while^ without the gospel, it idid aU its works in 
ddrkness. Thus also the illiterate attribute it to leasa-* 
ing, that,* by its flourishing, their ignoraiK!e beooiQids 
kiiown. This is the return we make for the word of 
life and salvation ! — ^And what fear must we suppose 
there was among the Jews, when the gospel freed all 
from the law of Moses? What occasion did not thk 
grwt liberty seem to give to evil men? But yet, the 
^pel wasT5Jptjn"lfiai a^^ but the 

impious ware left, and it was preached ta the pious, 


that they might not use their liber^ to ^ui occasion 0I 
the flesh. Gal. v- ■ / 


Sect. XXI. — NoK is this pairt of your advice, or 
your remedy, to any puipose, where you say — " It i3 
lawful to speak the truth ; but it is not expedi^it, ei-- 
ther before every one, or at all times, or in every man- 
near." And ridiculously : enough, you adduce Paul, 
where he says, ^^ All things are lawful for me, but all 
things are not expedient" — 

. But Paul does not there speak of teaching doc- 
trine or the truth ; as you would confound his wokIb, 
and twist them which way you please. On the .con- 
trary, he will have the truth spoken every where, at all 
times, and in every manner. So that he even rejoices 
that Christ is. preached even throu^ envy and stii£a^ 
Phil. i. Nay, he declares in plain words, that he re^ 
joices, let Christ be preached in any way. 

. Paul is speaking of facts, and the use of doctrine : 
that is, of those, who, seeking their own, had no con- 
sideration of the hurt and offence given to the weak* 
Truth and doctrine, are to be preached always, openly, 
and firmly, . and are never to be dissembled or con- 
cealed ; for there is no offence in them ; they are the 
staff of uprightness. — And who gave you the pbwer^ 
or committed to you the right, of confining the 
Christian doctrine to persons, places, times, and 
causes, when Christ wills it to be proclaimed, and 
to reign freely, throughout the world? -For Pioul 
^ saith, " the word of God is not bound," but Emdmus 
bounds the word. Nor did God give 41s the word that 
it should be had with respect of places, persons, or 


tiliiei>titfor Christ saith, ^''G6 y6 0Utihit<y'tbe N^^hole 
woiid/' Matt, xxfviii: he does not say, a^ Efaraitis 
^^oeS)^— go to this place and not 16 diot. Agahiy 
9' Pfieaibh theOosp€l to every crpature,** Mark xvi* : he 
does hot sA.y-^praEtdi it to some and not to others. In 
arwbrd, yoii efnjoin, in the administratkm of: thef word 
efGody a respect of persons, a r6i^)ect of places^ ^a 
vetpect of customs, mi a respect of timbs :' 'WhereM,^ 
die tme and) especial part of thd glory of th^ wotd- cen- 
i^sts in this>-^that, tfs Paud'saith, thi^^e is, ivith it, no 
nttpect of persons ; jknd that God is no te^iecter of 
fpenoiis. You see theii^ore, again, ^how nushly you 
nm'egainst the word of God, as though yon preferred 
fir before it, yonr own coondd and cogitations. 

i Hence, if we should demand of yon that yon 
would determine for us, the times in which, the per- 
sops to whom, and. the manner in which, the truth idr 
to be spoken, when »^otdd y6ii come to an end ? Tl^ 
woiid would sooner compute the termination of time 
ttMtits owniend, tiian yon would settle. upon any one 
oeitain rule. ' In th^ meantime, where would remain the* 
driKty of teaching? Where that of teaching the soul? 
And how could you, who know nothing of the nature of 
persons, times, and manner, determine upon any rule 
it tM^^Mhd even if you shofdidiknowdi^ perfectly, 
ystyov could not know the hearts of men;- Unless,' 
#illi yoii,^^e manner, the tf me^ and the person be 
Ikitf ^**^-^tdadring the truth so, that the Pope be not in- 
dignant^ Cseisinr be not enraged, and that^mimy be not 
ofiended and made '■ wdrse ! But what kmd of. counsel 
tfafo'is, you-haveaeen ab6ve.--^I huve thus rhetori<tally 
ij^red^ fa,way in ithese Tain words,^ lest 'y da < shoidd^ 
to have said notibmg at all. < ^ > ; ^' 


How miwh betfwi^H for «M wMl^ed)^tIlA^lb 
aB^iaU^ :unt9 .<^; who kncy^ethvlhe.iieifts dfatt 
i«e% Ihe ^ory of determming the irianner m wbidi^ 
tfafe :pei8€to6 fo' whom^ and Ifaeliiiies^ i&-tvMdit*tti» 
frbtb is to be«pok«! For lie ikitfmsr what httarbi^ 
$fK)keRtodech^At^5whi3B^«nd1i<iiw it is to be sfMlranu 
He tb^ iietarmiiies diat h» Grospel whidi is miOet^ 
sary uato aU^ shouU be fCoAfined to: no plac^ nor 
time; but that it should be pmatibed UBtb all, ftt«ft 
tioies add m all ^Idtei^ Abdl have aheady ^nroYed^ 
tfaattfaoso'^ngs which ^amlulfided dowir-to us m ifas 
aen^taf^i aie<*such, that diay are quit^ plain and 
"^bctesome^ and of oieoessify tb be proclamied abroad ; 
even aa jotfeLybursdf ditccmined'in yoar 
was rq^ tO' be done; and tKiUviK^ much moce wis- 
dcsn thto yon 'advise now. Butlfil^dioi9e who wbuU 
ndt that souls sh6uld be redeemed, such as Ae Pop» 
aiid his aifterents — let it beMtoti^m to bindllKr 
word of God^ and. hinder men: from life ajdd the king^ 
dom ofheaven^thn^ they might neidxei) enter in t&dn^ 
sdves nor sufier otheifs to eBteryi^-to whose fury ^ytm^ 
Etasmu^ by tiiis advice of yottfs, are pemiciouriff 

Sect X'XII« — ^Of the «ame iftamp' with. thi$^. m 
t;)iat. pmdenoe of yours ' also, with which you. next 
g^erit as your advice — ^ that, if any thing were^seUldd' 
upt)u^ in^e couiHsife,; that was wrong, it cta^notUr 
be openly/confessed : lest, a handle dboidd b6 therebyr 
afiS:)rded, for c6ntemning the audbority of the &the1rs4'-r^v 
. This, indeed, is jrist what the Pef)e withed^ ydvi<t6r 
^l And he hears it witb greater {Measure thlmther 
Gospel itself, and will be a ittOBt; ungrateful wretch^ .i& 


hlsiiiif3tiiDt}ii6tym cap 

4Qitlmtrshafl)belMtttidianditmi^^ idiq^M 

t0Ms statute? l8>tbaliiiothmgto^^M?^^'^^ 
fm utrn^ thii|k^i<nrr^pirtfteiid' W ^t^; i4&haf 'btfiHto 
statHtes ean be olMriif^i tdgethlir^Vith iMe W(»i^ ctf 
Gad, fwithoat iperfl. li^A^twM^l sv^oiM ait Qoee go 
6rarto tfjisvyoiiriscntiineiii;^' 
' t iBat^if ' ycm lartr 'yet iigl ignomnce,' il teH ybii againj i 
tfaklliuiaah i^iu«eB^4taniUtite ofc8<drv^ to^ertihet^ wiflil ^ <'J^' 
diet *ward « 6f God : be^wi^ thfe fonKi^ bftid con- 1 '^ 
sciences, the latter looses them. They* aife'^iteeily 
efipnsedito eacfanKtlteKY, iis^watie? td^ iiite/ Unless, in- 
dbed^tfaaf Gcniblbet>bflififvt6d InKbeitT'; thlai%^ ttottb 
bkid t&fe^ tK)nsoienoew -But this ^tlie^Pope wilb- netkj 
tkmean he will iVJanle^ lie ^wieAies hist)di^oib to be 
imttofdd and bnm^ toi^Mi jeiid>^ for that staififdsf only 
in misnaring ^and^bindingidiose^ consciaices, ^Ineh^thi^ 
Gospd proiiQuncMfree. ^The authority o^the fathers; 
thttPefdre^ik to^be adCiMmted nought: aMt ' those sta- - 
totasiiwhieh >ha«^ b6(iiifi;^0Q^<el»ajeled,'(dj^ all have 
been' that i^ie ilot n^olft&fig to tte wibrd of Qodyeare to 
be rdiitiitit sunder atid odst ^c^y v^fw Gl^t is better 
diiBDr:thei|(iAortty of the fathers; In a word, if it be 
eMeertiii]^ the w^td ef i&6A thUt 70U think thus, you 
fbilA::an|>i6Uidy ; jf it be conderningothe^'Ching^, youir 
WitAlBe di^ffog #Mmt your isent^ is nothing to 
ftie;' l«b«tep«tilkgK3onMrhing the^Virord of God 1 

> » ' ■ » : > i 

.' i. 

'^SMt.'X*XIiIj — I^ the last prfrt of your Prdiicc^ 
i^heirf^j^ deter iiS' from- thii' kmd i6f docirihe, Vou 
^titJiufcmi viiktliiy^ is^^most gdhed. 

E 2 


ptiadox: shou 

that whiitcim* is done liy us, is nofc done by FreeWiffl, 
bfit .6pm Hiene necessity* Atid thatv of Auj^Ktiiie 
al^OrrtbattGod yorks in usiixith^ood and leVilc llMt 
^ ip^wfuxishis good Yvorka in* us/and piitti^ies bis mH 
'wprk^ in iif ." ;(YoUiare liii^tily copious herein 
giving, or r^iU^r^ in expostulating ctmceming a. rea- 
son.) " What a flood-gpito of iniqaity ^owrsay) 
wi^d ^thesp thhigs, publibfy {nrociaimed, open unto 
jjfmkl What had man would amend his Iife4 ::W)ib 
Foold believe that he VFQ»}weA of God ! Who wosld 
war agfdn^t hjs flesh I'n V 

J .} I JvrQnder, that in-so great ,veh«nency, and «tm- 
^mli^g j(^: you did ;tiQt remwiber out main sactbjeci, 
andr say^whwB th^ Would; be found Free-will I 

My 6iend, ^asntius ! hei^ i^h, I also aay^ if 
you consider tbat these paxadoxes are- the inventions 
of m€9i> why do you contisnd , against than? Wl^ 
are yqfu so enraged ?; AgainM whbm do you raft? Is 
there any man in the worldi at th£a day, who hastiiH 
veiled more vehemently i^ainst the doctrines. *of 
men, than Luther! This admonition of yours, there- 
fore, is nothing tome ! But if you. believe that those 
paradoxes am the wcHrds of God, where £» your ceittn* 
tenance) where is your shame, where is^ I will notaay 
ypiir modesty, but that fear of^ and that reverMA 
which i^ due to th^ true God, when you say, tbat^BO- 
thing i^rmore useless; to be proclaim^ than^d^t Wfid 
of God ! What ! shall your Creator, come to learn 
ol^you his creatufje, what is useful, at^l whAt nol^iise- 
ful to be preadied ? Whaft ! did that .foolisib and^ili* 
wise God, know not what is^necessaiy U> be tadj^ 

you his instructor preseribed t^o him the iMd- 
rare^ tu^eording' to which he should be tvise, and ac- 
conMng to which he should command? What! did 
he not know before you toM him, that 'that whichyou 
infer wdnld be the consequence of this his pamd€»x? 
If, the^fore, God willed that such tMngi^ should » be 
spc^keii of and proclaimed abroad, wiffecmt regarding 
what would follow, — ^who art thou that fotbiddest it ? 
The apostle Paul, in his Epistle kb the- Romans,^ 
discourses on tfieset sanle tMngs, not " in a comer," 
but in public and before the wb6te world, ' and th&t 
wkh: a treely opeQ mo'tith, nay iitthe harshest terms, 
sayii^ " whom he will lie hardeiieth." And ' agani j 
^*God, willing to shew forth his writtb,** &c. Bom. ix.- 
What is more severe, that is to die flesh; thaa that word 
of Christ : " Many aW called but few ehosen ?^ Matt: 
xxii. And again, *^ I know whom I have dios^^'^ 
Johft ' xiii. According to your judgment tibm, all- 
these things are such, that nothing can be mom use- 
lesaly spoken ; because that by these thmgs^ impi($u» 
mat may fell into desperation, hatred, and bias- 

'■' Here then, I see,- you suppose that thaisnthjmd' 
4ie utility of the scripture are to be wei^ied aiid 
judged' of according to the opinion of m^, nay, of 
BMi the most impious ; so that, what pleases diem of 
seems bearabte, should be deemed true, divine, bnd 
whoIesoiM ; aitid what has the contrary effect upon 
ffaem, iiiovdd at (mce be deemed useless, felse, and 
peittfdous. > Whaf.dse do ybu mean by all ^diis^ than' 
that die 'words of God > 4ihonld depmid on, Stimd on, 
.aiidfaU by, the will and authority of men ? - Whereas 
diee scripture, 06 the contrary saidi, ttiat all kings' 

.• • 


fldyation, shbuld lieVer leam to fetfr God^ and- 
mwr be htuabledi in ordbr that throuj^ this fetur be 
n^ghtdome to grace and love; then, indetid, Weslmid 
shut up your flood-gate to piii!)>o9e) For in the rooia 
p£ it^ we should throw open taoiufsdres and 'to'tf^ 
wide fftXesi nay, yawnitag bhasma and sweeping tid^ 
not only unto iniquity, but unto the depths of heXtl 
ThnSy we should not enter into heaven oui^vebf ibid 
them dmt weie eirtering in we shodd hindef. •• : > 

' i "^'^ What utility therefore (you say) isi€iere>iBi 
^necessity for proclaiming such tfaingB'^opealy^ lOam 
9C> maiiy evil$ sioem likely to proceed tiier^x)m??U-^i>< 
^ I answer. It wexe enough to ftiyH-^Grod haitf 
nviUed. that thejf should he prodaimed •openly:- but 'Afe 
l^ijasojg of the divine' will is not to be inquired into^ 
bttl^^^uibred^ andi}(he glory to fae^gihiitii 
unto Cfod : who, since he alone is just and wise, doA 
(Rvil to ilo One; and 6m- 6m dodiing rashly dr/^ccm- 
sMbrately/ altbo^j^ it tioay appear &r othetwiseivHlid 
fB« With this atiswef thosb that fear God are ^ob^ 
test But tbu;,v from' the abundance ofwUnswooBg 
matter w;hich; I have, I.tnay say a little nme»«tittn: 
this, which mi^ suffia&jrrfithere «re twsur^teuaes 
wUich xequire such things to biSi^pBeached; 'The foSit is, 
the Ambling of our pride, andithe knowlec^ ofi.tUr 
ffftCQ of God. The! second is^. Christian &itk itsdf-'jv 

..^. Fiiat^ God haspromised cectiunly hi8:gnce to the 
himbM : that is^ to;the seLMeploring and despHifBg^ 
3at aman cannot be thoiougUy humfated^^'iiiltibiirisr 
CQmes to Jknow thdt<bis>£udvati(»^is.uttBriy bejandAK 
QWn '. powers, X5oim80t^ attdeavcoirB^ witt^ and !wqikBi 
d' absolutely (dependii^ on the ;wffl^ ceunsel^iiipba*' 


ifj:ia» Ibng as. he hits any persuasion that he! Candida 
fimOi the least thing ,hhnself . towards, his; own > sal-. 
Vbtioli, he retain a confidence in himself, and do 
iiot utterly dei^pair in himself > so long he; is. i not 
humbled before God ; but he .propo8ei» to' himself 
some plaoQ, iSome time,: : or some work, wb^?eby he 
may at length attain unto salvation. , But he who 

haisitates not to depend whollrf xipoh the godd^will of 
God, he totaUy despairs in himself. chooses nothing 
foir himself, but waits ioi God to tvork in {um; and 
such an one, is the nearest Unto grace, that he might k 

be saved. •= *;■■.;■.••• .'.■■ 

These things, therefor^ areopenly proclaimed for 
tba sake of the elect : that,; being by these means hum- 
bled and brou^ down rto nothing, they /mi^tbe 
saved. The rest resist this' humiliation ; ^ hay, they 
condemn the teaching of self desperation ; they wish 
to have left a little something .that they may do 
theodselvids. These secretly remain piroud, and ad- 
versaries : to the gracei of God. Iliis, I say, is one 
reftiBcm':-r-«diat tiidse who fear God, being humbled, 
mq^t. know, call upon^ add receive the grace of (Grod. 
:: 19ie Other reason ■ is'-^that faith id, in thwgsnot 
seen. Therefore, that theie mjMlt b&ippm . fcf.jy^ i\ 
£ls necessary that all tjwse tlungs^faichiM beUev^Jj 
should be hiddcQ* But they ; are not hiddea mOte 
ctijej^y, thanimdoF^^ gfSDBG^ aiul 

dlsperience. Thus, H vhen God ma kes filjvft hft ^^^^ 
it ^fcy ta iling ; when i)ejas1^ he doea it! by ^bringing 
inrduilty; whm he'exaltjditoi'beayen, h6 by 
bmygmg d(^ hellsi/as tke-terititarebajlth, ''The 
Lerd kiUeth and mak^ alive^. he brihgeth down to 
ttegp&voi^andHiaiseth/iiip,'' i'iSaiii« iii ; * ccttcisi^l^g 





idbidi, th^reibno iieed.d^ l«hoiild hibe spMltwoii, 
atiaige^' foar tfaoee^^o Mttd 'my wMlmgi, case mM 
«cqiiaaiited:3Hri(ii these tlitegfti*^Tlius ik^coiiee^ 
etomai mercj^ and' loidngk^dnesft Mikd '.fais^ato^ 

li6i is merdfol, who siUii^ fid'Ibw aiSMi'dttifitiissomdiVfil 

HiilHsajii^ two^modfy jimmob^ s^tartM 

4A£r«tMDas says, f tx>:dd^t iDJdM^tcxniiqitftrDfiilte 
Ql^raUe, fliifi iD'lae ottcobjfict of bflilred,stttbai tiwi 
of love.' If, therefore, I could by any meate tomn 
fffiSoBod how t|iat;aHpie^.6od staribiii.tipE^^ just^ 

wlio GBxrifiB the appeaiayQoetof;SO':iiifidDitiinrath wbA 
iidqipjl^, ithiGooawpuld^bemo^eed of Jiiith« But noafv 
sw0e tW cannot Jbe onnprehmuded, jdwre is room iiw 
oMvci^mg faith, vdule sudxtfaiijipai^Bmjpmached and 
opi^nly pimhuinedi: in r&Br.aaineiinaiinffias, white 
God Mis,. thedGjddiiiQflife ^texodafidiin death; o^fiaftf 
fica itto have said.thusimuch upcm your Pbbfaoe. 

. Jn^^lhis way^ ^)i»k£dL«iiQiie Ti^dy conaolt f (h* liie 
lwad6ti(0£ those wh^tdj^uta |i|»n thes^ fMndoiia% 
tlMNii^ ydur wa^r^-wfaeiel^t^oa wish to in- 
dttig^ th^ impie^ faj^ijpwea^^attd&ttiSBi^^ aay>^. 
itlg^^y thmg:'»itkid)ria toefio pril&twhajtei«v fcnif 
ym.he]m^^ orjsvennsuppose these tUngs to b^ tarue^. 
(Keaing they sm |)airadin»iof iierana^ 
il.tfao m^a^ble dcahmof ikibrtels/toBearch intounBitt 
thugs, aiutthe oioB3i^:^ii»dQ|iore we desire tiorkeepi 
tjium) ^oaiiet^ Ihat^.fhyodus tidttHmition rcif: yooo^ 
iKiUiabsfdntdy^-Mi^^*!^^ rpublie } for all wjll 'wiw 
QUUJbvTinOre desire, to Ipiaw nlMlher these )|iehuloxea 
bfhtMtoM. nplic thuatfaby .yi/iti^ihif yomi^^^e^^ 


aflR^fded sucb a handle/for iiiiiJsUgdifiE&icBO^^ ti&joub 
yoaitelf hdjtrc^ i dime by this ;ovtf HPdligioua^ and ^oedouk 
adiWiutian. s YottMiDidd lUl^m^ pra^ 

dMtly, li^d yfmnsaid inothing . at afl ; ^dboiit-faeip^ cmri 
tiMa intnentiQriUj^ idjcBHS paseiioxeis, if yoor mdted 
to^aee your desitertiocompiished; ' But^ since you rdo> 
Qdt; djjpectly den]p thai they ' ajTeitruB^ youc aim H finia^* 
titt^:tfai^ cannot be conceldedi:''for, by jdieh^mp^^ 
paarance of trath, they 'wiH doraw ail m^ to-aeancli' 
iaio them. Therefore^ either deny that they aie truer 
a;kogedier,orelseii6ld yourowii^tongue.f^^ ifyou) 
wish others to hold theirs. ' '•< 

. . I 

-. Sect XX¥.-^A&tot)^o^rj^iBUjadox!y^ 
tiiitoy-Tt-tliat) ' whatever is done • bjt i»li is*- notdoqe h^ 
J^QB^^wiU) but ihhft mer6 necessity V^ 
fo Lbt us bnefly considarthis^ lestweshotid mi&r wxy 
tilMfg mtist pcrolciottsly spo]cmj: toopass by' onnoticied. 
HiVit fthen, I:BJp&twvB, /that iif nit he proved that €fix) 
suferiilioii is ijfait fipm our own 9trei^;ttL«nd coion^al^; 
and^i^Eipends -on the working' c^! Gbd alme, (which I 
l|i^ I^shalldeifiy prove faecBKfedt/dfiMie^eonrse of tiiis- 
diioiBWbb,)/ dcrni it nolevideiiltyiifoUbk^ doit whed^ 
God- is notpreflfe^trn^usitdiroHcjn'ns, eveiy thing 
that we do is eyil, and that we of nedessily dd tiiOse; 
tMig»wniem are of ilommnrMMo salvation? fot if it is 
notr tmt Mrsdws, butiS^od pjalyiy ihat workasalvdtigniin' 
iNi^ift must, ^dlowf whellffir or no,^ that we do notibf^g^ 
mft^ »tefetk)ii)-il ^g fcnrthe yforkk^ifiiXxod in w. ' v v) 
o iBilt,r by tmoasify) JOi do not >'>inean co mptdtim ;': 
tX^i^as 'they tenn it)Btiie npiamitji ef/ immUa^ity^^ 
rm^iM^ompulfki»: thatJs, aitto^ivciid of die-Spirit> 


ni «God, does nM ejtriL< Hguiist; his ^Ailb i&b by viol^iefl^ 
or «s if bef wereftakeD by the neck and fo^oed tolitj 111^ 
Ae same firny as a.-thitf ^or ciitnthraadl^ia' cbagged^Mxr. 
ptmishiDe&tlE^aini^ 'hiscwill'; bnt'be> gpoilfer 
aemsly^ and with 4t desirous willibgnesSi And^iMf 
vilHdgness^ and .desire of doing evil he ic^annct^ by iiifi 
wm power, leave off, lestridn^ or <diaaigei^ bat* it'ooes^ 
GBi^stilldesiring^and dramng./fAndevenif ho'shodld^ 
bq compelled by force to do aiv^ lluiig )t>»<iMr^}|il> 
ttei ccmtmiyy yet the craring will t^^i^A^vitmains u^tm^ 
to, ^and rises in indignation against lihatt whidbi foitMB' 
<ur r^sts it But it woukl not risedn indignation, if' 
it were changed, and made willing toiyiddto^ jet qon* 
straining power. This is what we mean by the neces- 
i^ty rof immutabiiity z-^— tlmi the will . cair^t . change 
itself/' nor give itself another bent; but rather ti^- 
more it is resisted, the more, it is iiritated to crave;! 
as is manifest from its indignaticm. ^ This would iiot 
be the case if it were free,^^r had a Free-M^ill j : Astt^ 
experience, how hardened Ugainst all persuasion tibdp 
am, whosi inclinations bk* fixed upon any one tfaing;^ 
Forif they yield at all^ they yidd through fofce, » 
through somediing att^tided with g»hitei'>ddvadtage}' 
thay nel^er yield !i¥illiiig^;i . And if their> ihdiiiationiB 
1)0; jD^t thus £xed, they leit allf things pass and go! oh- 
jftBlifais<tliey':wilL .\ i-. : r/ . . . . ' 

jiButagam, itt the other hand, when God work^? 
inius,ithef9ii/,beuig' changed and sweetly breaAed- 
Qniby the SfHrit dB Grod,< desires and aMs, notfibm 
comptdriMjibatA reqnm^^ inmi pure wilhi^iiete;' 
ipohhatipn, and acconi; so that it caimot be turned 
i^nMher^wayAby any thk^ contrary, nor be compellMi 
cir < >y e rcame<eviai\ bybthe g^tesbbf heU; biit it^sfiilli 


g0e» xm to deurt, crave after^ r atid' fove that which is 
good; /eveii a6 ^befiDfe^ it d^sife^ erftyedl^jfibBl) Biid 
h>f)ed that! whidi was eyiLi Thi% 4gaimi eicperidDee 
firovi^vi Hour inv32icib)e azid uiiBhiltea aj» hply lAen, 
Itdito^ by . violence and other Opporeauood, .they ;ane 
only compelled and irritated the more to trave a|it^ 
good! Even as fire, is rather fanned into flames 
tihas extiiigmsfaedy by^the^vind: ^6 that n^i^r is 
tibene here any wfllin^esa, oriFi:ecirwiUyrtati}m> itself 
intoi , another direction,' or to d^ir&zia^yithingi.'jebiis,' 
irhile the lin^encevof the. Spinti^iuid rgcaoe'Jktf Qtid 
ffsaxmi itiiihtf mani..' - ■:■■ i ' • ;>:.:» v-m-k ,-■: - ' 

'' In a wt>rd, if we be tinder thei god of^ this iworld^ 
viitiiout the^ operatioii and iS]^ifit of .Gcid>"wi9 are led 
ea^Ves by him, at his will, as. Paul ^th, 2 Timiii. ; 
80^ that, We: cannot:rwiU( anyithi^^but that which he 
wills. For he is that " strong man armed," who so 
It^epeth his pdtece, that those whom'he holds captive 
ate kept in peaces liii^.th^y might ndt >oau86 any 
motion or feeling jstgdn^it bto ; otherwise^ jtbe Icmg'- 
dhm of Satan,/ bei^g divided ! against itself coak) not 
statid ; whermd,' Christ affiitas it doe$^ standi AoA 
all this we doi willingly and . desiringly, acecrdii^ to 
tbe^ nature of: will : \ f<nr if it were foreedf : it. would be 
jm^ longer wiU, For -compulsion is^ (so to speak), wh 
^rilBmgneis. Btit if the ^* stronger ^ than he" come 
and overcome hjin, and take us as his spoil, theism 
through the Spirit, t«e are. im serviMEitsaao^; captive^, 
(which is the royal liberty) tfciat w^ may desire, anci )dp> 
willingly, what he w^^4 . v r--. y- .ni) . .r ; jiii 
, . Hius the bunuuEi will is, a» it ware^ a;i)€^ ih^n 
tween the two. If Ood sit therecm, it wills ^nd goie^ 
where Ck>d wiU : as the Psahoai saith, V: I am beccnw 

taniiot petfect :» uriach I do not. bdiefViXJ 4Uid' injftmt 
IJbisl shall speak more at largdibereafterl I. jii.-'^^^^'^ 
It now; tlien^ follows, that iF'rte^will . J6< ;plaiii^ A 
divine teim, and can be applicable to none .hot i|i9 
divine Majesty: ionly : for he Akme '^ dolhy^(ast<|fai( 
Psialiii .sings)] :wlait.i he will in heavm '^poid; eaiihiT 
Whereas, if it be ascribed unto menyat is not-moii| 
. properiy asaibed, ihan.ithe divimty Of God Umself 
\ JTonld be ieuscribed iufto 4hem : whidii would be* 
![ giraatest of all ^ sacrilege. Wherefore, it- 
-Aeologians to refiain from the use ^of ^this tsna^Uh 
gether, whenever thi^.wisfa to speak of human ai>3it^ 
lUid to leave it to he applied to God -oidy^^ Abd 
moreover, to take this same term out of theinbuth^ 
and speech of men; and thus to assert, as it weie^ 
for their God, that whieh belongs to his own sacred 
and holy name. :. - < 

/ Bilt if they must, whether or no>' give some powei 
to imeh,Llk them teach^ that it is 'to^ be called .1^ some 
other term than Free-will ; especially i'since we kitow 
and clearly see, that the people are miseraUy deceived 
and seduced by that term, taking and understanding 
it to signify; iSometiung . far different from. : that iK^k 
theologums mieah and : understand > by it, in their di^ 
eafisi(His.. .For the term, Free-^iU, is by iieur 'itod 
grand, copious, and full; by which, the people ima^ 
^e is signified (as,the i&rce ^and ; nature oi the. tierm 
lequir^s) that power, which can frediy torn itself as iC 
win, and siich a poni^r las. is undier the inftuence- o^ 
and subject tone one. ^ Whereas^ if ;they knpw that 
it was quite otherwise^ and that by that term scaroebf. 
the least spark or:)degree of power was ; signified^' and 
that, ( utterly in^Sective of itself^ ibdng. the servant 


i * 

ttidl bond-^ave of the devil, it woidd not be at aU 
surpmii^ if they should stone us as mcickeFsand 
deceivers, who said bne thing and meant something 
q^te different ; nay, who left it uncertain and unintel- 
l^ble whiat we meant. For '^ he who speaks sophis*- 
ticaUy (the wi^e man saith) is hated/' Eccles. xxxvii.: 
and especially if he does so in things pertainhig to 
godliness, where eternal salvation is at stake. 

Since, therefore, we have lost the signification of 
so grand a term and the thing signified by it, or 
rather, never had them at all, (which the Pel^ans 
may heartily wish had been the case, being themselves 
illuded by this tertn,) why do we so tenaciously Hold 
an empty word, to the peril and mockery of the 
believing people ? There is no more wisdom in so 
doing, than there is in kings and potentates retaining, 
or claiming and boasting of, empty titles of kingdomii 
and countries, when they are at the same time mere 
beggars, and any thing but the posseteors of those 
Idn^oms and countries. But however, this is bear- 
able, since they deceive and mock no one thereby, 
bat only feed themselves on vanity without any 
profit. ' But here, is a peril of salvation, and the 
most destructive mockery. 

TVTio would not laugh at, or rather hold up to 
hatred, that ' most untimely innovator of terms, who, 
contrary to all established use, should attempt to 


introduce such a mode of speaking, as by the term 
^ beggar,' to have understood, * wealthy ; ' not be- 
cause such an one has any wealth himself, but because 
fiome king may, perchance, give him his wealth ? 
And what if such an one should really do this, not by 
any figure of speech, as by periphrasis or irony, but 



if, fi§xn s^cms meaning ? In the same way ^ speaking 
oifitm ^ sick unto death,' he may wish to be under* 
stf(M)d a^.inQQ|ijb;ig one in ^ perfect health :' giving this 
afbH^ reasQUt because the one mfcy;give the otfier hip 
hoiltji. Sq. alsQ he may^ by illiterate idiot^' m^wb 
^ most learned ; ' because sjome other may p^ic^iaivca 
^ve him his leamingM . Of precisely the same naliite 
is this:-r-jnan ha3 a Free-will: for this reason, if 
perchano^ God should give him his, By tfaiadbuse 
of the manner of speaking, any one may boast, that 
he has. a^y tiling : that he is the Lord of heaven and 
earth — if perchance God should give this unto Imm 
Out this^ is not the way in which theologians should 
piv>c^, this. is. the w4^ of stage-playera and public 
informers. ; iQur words Ought to be proper wocds, 
pure and sobar ; and, as Paul saitb, ^^ sound speech 
th^ cannot be ccmdemned/' 

But, if we do not like to leave out this term dbUw 
gether,. (which would be most safe, and also moet 
ifligious) we may, neverthele^,: wA a good^^ljoaii- 
scie^ce. teach, that it be used so &r as to allow^an 
a Free-will, not^Jn resj^ct of ^those, whic h ape_alp ^^ 
fiiin^ but in respect only of those things which are 
^ I below Um : that is, he may be allowed to know^ that 
li^l^, as to hiS' goods and. possessions, the ri^t of 
usjipg,. acting, and omitting, according to his Free^ 
will ; although, at the same time, that same Free-will 
ia overruled by the Free-will of God alone, just as he 
pleases : but that, God-ward, or in things which per- 
taip unto salvaticm or damnation, he has no Free-will, 
but is a captive, slave, and servant, either to the will 
of God, or to the will of Satan. 


■•'■Swi'. • XXVII.-^Thess observations ' Kjtye I 
nMUfe upbntfae' heads of your Preface, whic^, M- 
<iMid,! 'fifbibselVte; itBay inbre propeif^be said to'gii- 
bracestl* i#*ol6 subjtict, than the frfldwing liody'of 
^ b««>k; .Bttt however/ t^e wlMite of these (Aysehra^ 
1$6iigArx"vef^l Wigiit liftVfr been sainiited up and 
iftade m this one sAlort cbmpehdious answer fo jfou. — 
Y(fm Pinefoice cbtiiplaii», either of th^ words of God, 
x«rofthe#ord»ofm6ifl;' If bf4Bc words 'rfmefi, the 
w^iOleteWrilftttm vdn; If of tfee wonte of God, the 
whole is impious. Wherefore, It w6nld have sated 
mudh frdiible, if it had Tjieen plainly mferitioned^whe- 
liler we W€«*Mfepiitiiig-coti»feniing the wordS of God, 
dr the ^otds 6f incm. But Ihis^ perhaps, will be 
haAidled in tte Exormum Which folk)H¥s, or in the 
hbdy of the discussion itsdfi ' 

• But the hints which you 'hiave thrown tbgSthef 
iii Ihe conclusion of yorir'TPrfefate^ hive no weight 

— Such as, your CalUng my doctrines * fables, and 
useless:' and saying, 'that Christ crucified sliould ra- 
ther be preached, after the example of Paul : that 
wisdom is to be taught among than that are perfect : 
that the language of scripture is attempered to the va- 
ttous cdp^ities of hearers : and your therefore thihk- 
nig, thatTt'shotild be left to thd prudence and charit^ 
of the teachier, to teach that whidi may be profitabto 
fo*his neighbour'— 

All this you advance senselessly, and awaff ftditt 
thfe jpnilr^sie. -For heliher do we teach ihy tlKhg but 
dirist ' crucified. But Christ crucified/ brings all 
tHe^ thitigs along with himsislf, and ttmt * wisdom also 
ainibng' th^ that a*e perfect : ' for' ihcfre i&' rio other 



wisdom to. be tau^t among Chlrfetjlaiis,; thaa that 
which is ' hiddai in a mystery : ' and thi3 belongs to tbt 
^ perfect,' and hot to the sons of the Jewish and lagid 
generation, who, without faith, glory in their wwks, as 
Paul, 1 Cor. ii.^ seepds to think 1 Unless by preaching 
Christ crucified, you mean nothing else but icalU^ 
out these words — Christ is crucified ! ^ 

: And as to your observing*^^ that,^ God is tepiih 
seated as being angry, in a fury, hating, grievi^g,.pir 
tyifigj repentmg, neither of which, nevertheless, evior 
takes place in him ' — 

This is only purposely stumbling on plain ground. 
For these things neither render the scriptures obscuiei 
nor necessajry to be attempered to tl^ various capaci- 
ties of hearers. Except that, many like to make ob* 
scurities where there are none. For these things ase 
no more than grammatical particulars, and c^tain 
figures of speech, with which even schoolboys areAf:-^ 
quainted. But we, in this disputation, are contend- 
ing, not about grammatical figures, but about doc- 
trines pf truth. 
■• . . # » 


Sect. XXVIII. — At your entrance, then, upon 
the disputation, you promise — * that you will go ac- 
cording to the canonical scriptures : and that, because 
Luther is swayed by the authority of no other writer 
whatever ' — 

• Very, well ! I receive your promise ! But however, 
you do not make the promise on this account, became 
you judge that these same writers are of no serv^ tp 
your subject ; but tbat you might not enter upon a fi^d 


of labotir in vain. For you do not, I know, quite applrovc 
of tfiis iattdadty of mine, or; by what other term soever 
ybti cheese to 'designate this my mode of discission. ' 
For you say — * so great a numbdr of the most 
leanted men, approved by the conseht of so maiiy 
ages,- has no little wd^t with you. Among wli^ 
were, some of the most extensively acquainted with 
the sacred writings, and also some of the nlost holy 
martyfB, many lenowned for miracles, together wMi 
the mbre red^t tbedogians, and so many coUeges; 
councils, bishops, and popes : so that, in a word, an 
your fflde of the balainee* are (you say) learning, ge- 
nius, multitude, greatness, hi^mess, fortitude, sanctity^ 
mirades, and what not ! — But that, on my dde; ar^ 
only a WicklifF tod a Laurentius Valla (although Ati- 
^stinettlso, whom you pass by^ is wholly on my side),^ 
irtio hi comparison with the others, are of no weight 
whatever; that Luther, therefore, stands idone, a pri^ 
vate individual, an upstart, with his f(41owers> in wholh 
there is neither that learning nor that genius, nor mul- 
titude, nor magnitude, nor sanctity, nor miracles. For 
they have not ability enough (you say) to cure a Ifflwe 
horse. . Hiey make a show of scripture, indeed ; con- 
cemmg which, however, they are as mtich in doubt eA 
llkoee-oii the other side of the question. They boast 
of the Spirit also, which however they never shofw 
fotth.'-^And many other things, which, from the 
Icttgth fit your tongue, you are able to enumerate in 
great profusion. But these things have no effect 
>lpOfn us, for we isteiy to you^ as the wolf did to the 
m^liingale, which he devoured, ^^ You are Soundy 
mkl fhufs all I " — " They sdy (you observe,) and upon 
tliis Oifly, they would have us believe them.": 


I coofesa, ffyy friend I^rasmu^, that you; mtky ^eO 
be swayed by all these. .These had such y^^i^ lyilh 
me for upwotds of ^^year^, tJ^ I think , iMy«oth«r 
mortal was everspiin^ch under their sw;^yr t^A^ I 
niysdf th^ttig^fcit.wciB^iWe tfe^iititltts Tcpy, oC.qwh 
whifti had;^ Bo ,lo9g la; t^i^e^ la^^ .thlP^iy^^9P' d«^^ 
wars stood . iavin<;ible^ o;^ evi^h^ t^j^eoc^; Af^l 
call God for >a lecQj^.uppnoiy soul,. tl^| J( fihoialli 
have continued 8o> ai^ have bf^ep oi^r; ^j ^im^ma 
fluenoe ev^ upto this : day, had mt a^^^^ingjuigi com 
pcience and an evid^Kice oi things^ fi^ce^: me:;ijQljigh» 
different path* Api^ yo^ may> jeasily iipagme ##( 
mg heut.wa^fNPii^af^^^ that, i^ 4tiKa4 I^QM 

of stone, It' Ypuk^rifitr least! bwve rbeen softm^^cilll 
stmggUqg agn^t sq many ti(|$s, and being da$hi^;;to 
aigd;ii^,))y: sgi many wavesi when I was darii^ jd^ 
which, if I acoomplisb^ <|.]9ajw:that the whol^ author 
ri^ of thosio whom you hftye jmt enum^n^ted, w^qkI^ 
be pQi^red dQWfi iiponmy hwd like an overw^h^ihaahr 
ing flood. ■ • '.. r I • ■ •}•■ ■■. '■^■;■•l 

' But this is not, at time for setting forth a histoiy 
of my own life Qi'.wo^ks;;rAW have 1 1^ldertaJl^ep 4w 
discussion for the purpose (tf commending myself, but 
that I might exalt the grace of God. What I am, 
and with what spirit and design I have been led tQ 
these things, I leave to him who knows, that all thisii 
carrying on according to lus own Free-will, not act 
cording to mine : though evQn the World itself Qu^t 
to have found that put alr^y. And certainly, by 
thi^ Exordium of yours, you throw m^ into a very 
offensive situation, out of which, unless I speak in £»* 
vour of myself, and to the disparagement of sk> many 
fathers, I shall not easily extricate myself But I wiU 


do- it ma few woids.^^— Accorditig to your own }udg- 
iienttdf,iiie,>th0[i, I stidBidoapart firdm ^>8ikch ieanii^ 
ingittdlirilB^^i^ttttide, ^ m^t^ ^i^^eiie 

of the kind. • j ^ j / 

-^ i Hw/fifiX wfere to demiiid ol ;^^tth)^^^ t^^ 
Ilidii^«ii4wt ^iewliiigifo!r& tb^ Spicit jsywfiiat milraeleii 
ke^^lttK: steetity is, ad I Imvh^&iim^fM: fr^ 
;^p^Ietters ^ and book^ yo^ ivbttMl%.pp«fiLr <d^^gi<^ttt^tt 
iidvite wiii4gn6filftii»y < 4hKti5oii(^4r)E»udt(ibif ot 1^4^ 
give tibte f^Uables o£^' ^ifplanatioii^' Or, if I shckdA 
imtit tdyoti clpsdiyv and demandnof yoii, which' (ttie 
«»ongall those of » whoifiPyou tio«isk,> yoa <*)fikJ to a 
eartikiiity hHng foith, either^aaibeteg WhiViilg^bteii ft 
iaint, or «b having piwseBsed iked &pii^ ^r fas hnviii^ 
wroogfat tniraclesy I a^^reltcAtul you^ y^xM have hot 
nwk X)€ it) and afi kuraiik o:1f oii tidng forth mmf 
tfaingS' ^t hvye been hioiddd abcbt ' in <^mmOn lAm 
i&d fai -pttblto dermO^fcS; IHj^ you dd iiM: cibdit^ hbW 
nnidi of: their wdghf ^ and atl^rtty tb^ loncf, ^ith(^ 
&ey are foronght to the judgment of tonscieiiee.' 
Iliefa'isit ^ okl -pmveerb^* ^'^ Many^t^^^ 
iaints <»ilQ0artl^^ whouft goute ^ro now^ to hiell r' ^ 

Sect. XXIX. — But we will grttiit you, if yotf 
pfea«; tivitt the^ W€i*e all s^dnts^ tfeM th^^l had the 
Sip^ti' tiM^'they a(U ' Wright miradlesr (which, how- 
«^ yfei^aid tib^ But ^U me this — Was any 

OM ol^iSieii^ ittCkl^^ik saili^^ of them re^ 

dfeive iiyb \$piiit oi^ we^k mirades^ in the name, or by 
vimb 1^ Freei^U^^Orto confittn th6 d(>6«rita6 of Free^ 
wfU?: Far t)e^<^h^k^tkou^ ^ou will i^y,) bit in ifte 
MUiie^ttid by tHlttue''Of Jei^ijts Christ, and for the con* 
fiMMtiMi -of ^Atai^loMltee of Chifet^ all these things 


€(taldiemil» ntaiiy* . ii^Hrfll not puti^iM to^ieiafikftif 
Cikitkgilice; niiidH ttekfacr > cmU .tli^^fvodtimj 
BQt^^^desGMdia#tti6laireY«7eli;> fEikwmimJom 
§mi, orkfttse/^lbr yoVitenqpt iuod-ifaridd ouiit^Gtod 4i^ 
yimi^-^^^cwffUig o|!<tbet:tei^ coid' if, cdriterofM 

hweioiiiaUlied' dl^tlus ^powiiiB^iaMt o^^ 
llie effort ibolii^of ^trH^gbd iand your lifarocHle^ 

il^iybit aMi be iriet<>i« ;' y eHM^ afaafiib^ mmN 
Uiihedii and vite^^ialBo wiUimme^ 
tfioie A«t god of yoaiK^^tliat w<m<teiiul kMler ciAi& 
loose. Not thai: i deny, that yoa dsuld^ tvea iia^ 
iKMre/mouiltains: ; bat it id one thing to> say, lint » 
Mrtaiti thing was done by Free-will, afid ^(idtitorta^ 
pyoveit • — • • ':.-••■; -^s-'. 

^ii Aod^ what I imve ^d cc^cernfai^ tniraelDii,^ I mtf 
al» conbmiog. sanctfly.-H^If fyou can, but ^md^^w 
aeries of ages, mm^ and aU the thingi whid^ y6tt 1^ 
mentioned, shew forth one work,, (if it be > but -dle^ 
lifting aistraw from "die earth,) or one word, (if k be 
bat.the>syUaUe:K)Tj)^ or'jone thoti^tiDf'Fr6»-wflli'1^ 
it'be hfkt the faintesi ^h^)^ by which^nfteii ap^U^ 
tiieaiselves imto gty^e^'^iby wilkrh they>haWmc^ifted 
die* Spiriit, orby^nvdiidi^dyi^are obtelAed pedrdon^i oi^^ 
by wshidiithey' have ^\;^liiled with God eren in Air, ^(1 ysayi notlung about beings sailotifit^ 
thm^y^y again^ I >8ay, yon shall be victors, and i^ 
vanquished ; and that, as I repeat, in the ntoie and' 
by virtue of JFi»»-will, 

For what things soever are wrought in mewhy the 
powef of -divine tmlition, ^ are supported by sdfipture 
taMhflOfiies in eybundanee. Aod certainly, yoti oug^ 
t0*produc#Jlhe samet ^unless yoa wocdd appear siid^ 
rid^ojaus teachiors, astosprond ^abroad thkbu^x>ut 


t|^, worl(}» with 1K> muf^h ^ ^nrpgattce 9tid ^^oiity^ 
4ff/^i^a0» cojfipanHiig that, j <>f >ylHch you cwpttq* pKiv 
f^oeiope^piop^r; FoPf'$uqh^;flo«^e^: wiU be 'taikA 
ff(lf« /4reaiQ^> iv?faji<^, axe.foUoivf^ bjiTjiQthi^g;; then 
wfejjclHfiio;!^^ \^f9ftfxeifi3fiff9^^ tammpinQ 
igMffy «ges»-8pf^^q ^ l9ani^di>AP holy, 9nAm mira^ 
catoo^.! . Aod if jtl^ft hfithf f^i^^ ^e^ahall rank eYien 
l^gtftiea be&fp joaj.ic* a^^h^oiUjg^ they ,to6l(;|ip0n 
iff^fm to des^be suc^.ft wise sifip^a&.they n«vetcww, 
^t tbeydidiattompl tojBQt forth ^omo: part of thlei cha« 
mqter. But you casmot set forth any thing whateyer, 
U(9f jeven the shadow of your doctrine^ i ^ 
^n. *7hi? same also { observe concerning the Spirit; 
111 ypu. can produce one put of lall'the a^s^rb^ of 
]?f§erwiU, who ever had, a strength Qf mind and bSoo^ 
1^%^; even in the amailest d^gr^ }$o as,, in the name 
jHid/hy virtue of .f ree*wiU, to: bc^indbElierto di0i¥gard one 
fiNfbifig, : or toMwiUing to beriithout one farthings 
or to bear one word or irign: of liyuryy^Ido not speak 
sA.a^ stoical, cont^pt of irifehes,?,iiife, and; fiine,) 
igHB^thap^^oftvictpiry shattibeyoura, ^€^ as 
the fVa^quishi^ .l^U willingly / pf^j imdar th6 spear, 
tj^ ,thes^ ptoofr you, who. wil^ j^ui^h trumpeting 
gppi^^ soiipd.|oith thepow^^ i^rf^wiU, aare bound 
t$^pj^d$^ bef(»^;us. .Or dse^ ag;un,7you wiUap- 
fg^ to be striving to giye. establishment to a nothing : 
91; jt^ be acting like him^ who sat to see a play in an 
«ftpty theati>e. 

* ■ ' - : 

Sect XXX* — But J will m^y prove to you 
the contrary of fdL thig;T^tha( suchiholy men as you 
boMt of, whenever ■ they approach God^ -either to 
giiay or to do, ..iqpproach him, Mtteriy jforgetfid of th^ 


(awn Free-will and despairing of themselves, cryti^ 
unto him for pure grace only, feeling at the saiiie^ tiliie 
tlAt they deserve every thing that is the contrary. In 
dils state was Augustine often ; and in the same state 
tfEs Bernard, when, at the point of death, he scSd, 
^ I have lost my time, because I have lived wrong." 
I do not See, here, that there was any power spoken 
of which could apply itself unto Gnace, but that all 
power was condemned as being onty. averse ; al- 
thou^ those same saints, at the time when they dis- 
puted concerning Free-will, spoke otherwise. And 
the same I see has happened unto all, that, when 
they are engaged in words and disputations, they are 
one thing ; but another, when th^ come to experience 
aiid practice. In the former, they speak differently 
from what they felt before ; in the latter, thqr feel dif- 
ferently from what they spoke before. But men, good 
J as well as bad, are to be judged of, more from what 
they feel, than from what th^ say. 

But we will indulge you still further. We will not 
lequire miracles, the Spirit, and sanctity. We return 
to the doctrine itself. We only require this of you :- — 
that you would at least explain to us, what work, what 
word, what thought, that power of Free-will can move, 
Attempt, or perform, in order to apply itself imto grace. 
For it is not enough to say, there is ! there is ! thete 
is a certain power of Free-will ! For what is more 
easily said than this ? Nor does such a way of pro- 
ceeding become men the most learned, and the most 
holy, who have been approved by so many ages, but 
must be called baby-like (as we say in a German pro- 
▼ferb.) It must be defined, what that power is, vAaA 
it can do, in what it is passive, and what takes plpiSe. 


l^o give you an ^example (for I shall press yxni most 
Itpqiely): this is wh^t is required i-r-Whetl^r that 
jppwc^ njiust .pray^ or fast, or labour, or chastise the 
]^y, or gjive abas ; or what other work of this kind it 
must do,, or attempt l^or if it be a power it must do 
(SQmq.kiud of work. But here you are more dumb 
than Seri{^an frogs and fishes. - And how should 
Y09 give, the de^nition, when, according to your 
own te^timp&y, yo^ are at. an .uncertainty about the 
power: jtself, at difference among eaqh otiber, and in^ 
consistent with yourselves ? And whatmust become 
of the definitioj^, when the thin^ to be. defined has no 
consistency in itself? . . / 

But be it so, that since the time of Plato^ you are 
at length agreed among yourselves concerning the 
power itself; and that its work may be defined to be 
pmying, or fasting, or something of the same kind, 
ivhich perhaps^ stUl lies undiscovered in. the ideas of 
Plato. Who shall certify us that such is truth, that 
it pleases God, and that we are doing right, in safety ? 
Especially when you yourselves assert that ^there is a 
human ca^se wljidi has not the testimony of the 
Spirit, because of its having been handled by. philo- 
spphers, and l^iving existed in the world before Christ 
Cfune, and before the Spirit wi^ sent down .from hea- 
y^ It is most certain, then, that this doctrine was 
^ot sent down from heaven with the Spirit, but sprung 
from the earth long before : and therefore, there is 
need of weighty testimony, whereby it may be con-^ 
firmed to be true and sure. : 

We will grant, therefore, that we are private indi- 
viduals and few, and you public characters and many ; 
we ignorant, and you the most learned ; we «tupid. 


see from what has been said, they iiev^ defined aay 
Aing whatever ccmceming Fiee-will : hot the doctarine 
of Fiee-wiU is erected under the covering, and upon 
die basis of their name : of w;hichj neveithelessy they 
can shew no form, and for which, they can .£&; no 
term : and thus they delude the world with a term, 
.that is a lie! 

* Sect. XXXI. — And here, Erasmus, I call to your 
TBDlembrance your oiyn advice. You just now ad- 
vised: — ' that questicms of this kind be omitted ; and 
that, Christ crucified be rather taught,, and those 
ihings which suffice unto Christian piety — ^but this, 
y^e are now seeking after and doing. Whftt are we 
t^ontending for, but that the simplicity and purily of 
the Christian doctrine should prevail, and that those 
things should be left and disregarded, which have 
been invented, and introduced with it, by men ? But 
yoii who ^ve this advice, do not act according .to it 
yourself : nay you act contrary to it : you write Dia^ 
tribes: you exalt the decrees of the Popes: you 
(fenour the authority of men : and you try all means 
to draw us aside into these strange things and ccm- 
tiary to the holy scriptures : but you consider not the 
things that are necessary, how diat, by so doing we 
diould corrupt the simplicity and sincerity of the 
^tcriptures, and confound them with the added inven- 
tions of men. From which, we plainly discover, that 
you did not give us that advice, firom you heart;, and 
that you write nothing seriously, but take it for 
granted that you can, by the empty bulb of your 
words, turn the world as you please. Wh^reaa ypa 
tXkTfk them no where : for you say nothing whate^iopr. 


but mere contradictionsy in all things, and every 
Tfhere. So that he would be most correct^ who 
iBhoUld call you, the very Proteus himself, or Ver- 
tamnus ; or should say with Christ, * Physician, heal 
thyself."—* The teacher, whose own faults his igno- 
nnce prove, has need to hide his head ! ' — 

Until, therefore, ygu shall have proved your 
affirmative, we stand fast in our negative. And in 
the judgment, even of all that company of saints of 
whom you boast, or rathei^, of the whole worid, we 
dare to say, and we glory in saying, that it is our 
duly not to admit that which is nothing, and which 
cahnot, to a certainty, be proved what it is. AnH 
you must all be possessied of incredible presumption 
or of madness, to demand that to be admitted by us, 
ibr no other reason, than because you, as being many, 
great, and of long standing, choose to assert that, 
which you yourselves acknowledge to be nothing. 
As though it were a conduct becoming Christian 
teairhers, to mock the miserable people, in things 
pertaining to ^godliness, with that which is nothing, 
a8:if it were a matter that essentially concerned their 
salvation. Where is that former acumen of the 
Grredan talent, which heretofore, at least covered lies 
under some elegant semblage of truth — ^it now lies in 
opbn and naked words ! Where is that fonder dex- 
terously laboured Latinity — it now thus deceives, 
aiid is deceived, by one most empty term! 

But thus it happens to the senseless, or the mali- 
dous readers of books : all those things which were 
the infirmities of the fathers or of the saints, they 
make to be of the highest authority : the fault, there- 
fore, is not in the authors, but in the readers. It is 



^ft: thou^ one relying on th^ holiness and the autho^ 
rity of St. Peter, should contend that all that St. Peter 
ei;cer said was true : and should even atteta^ to 
^lersu^de us that it was truth, when, Matt, xvi.^ ftoni 
the infirmity of the flesh, he advised Christ not to 
suffer. Or that: where he commanded Christ ^ to 
depart from( him / out of ^ the ship«i And Jnany 
other of those things, for which he was rebuked of 
Chiist. . 

* " Men of this sort are like unto them, who, for Uie 
Bake of ridicule, idly say, that all things that are in 
die Gospel are not true. And th^ catch hold of that^ 
John viii. : where the Jews say unto Christ, ^^ Do 
«rcuaotfiayx«weU thatJthou act a Samaritan, and ha3t 
^ devil?" Or that: " He is guiltyof death^f . Or 
l^ai : " We ibund this fellow perverting our nation, 
jond forbidding to give tribute to Caesar." Tbes^do 
dsie same thing as those assertors of Free-will, ;but 
for a different end, and not wilfutiy, but 0rom blind- 
i|BS8 and ignocance ; for they,^ so catch at th^t whieb 
^ fathers, fistUing by the infirmity of the flesh, have 
sjEud in favour of Free-will, that they ev4^ oppose it 
to that which the same fathers have dsewhere, in the 
power of the Spirit, said against Free-will : nay^ they 
Bb urge and force it, that the. better is made to give 
Mmy to the worse. Hence it comes to pass, that they 
give authority to the worse expressions^ becajos^ 
they fall in .with their fleshly mind ; and tak^^ it , from 
4he better, because they make against thdr iSieshly 

.Bjat why dp we not rather select the better ? F-c^ 
there ore many such iii the fathers. — To produce w 
example. What can be i^ofe carnally, nay> whBt 


rave' impiously^ sacrilegiously^ and Uasphembnsly 
[KikeiH than that which Hieronymus; is wont to say-' — 
Vfegimty peoples heaven, and marriage, the earth/ 
eS! though the earthy aad not heaven, was intended 
IT. thd patriarchs, the apostles, and Christian hus- 
mdSn Or, as though heaven, wajs designed for gentile 
BStal virgins, who are without Christ. . And yet, 
leee things and others of the same kind, the sophists 
illect out of the fe,thers that they may pitxnire 
fikto them authority^ carrying ali' things more by 
mAbers than by judgment. As that disgusting car-* 
writer 6f Constance did, -who laJDely made that jewel 
(- bis^ the Stable of Augeas,' a tMresent to the public^ 
lat there might be a skMnediing to xsause nauseaK and 
omit in the pious and Ae learned. 

1 Sect XXXII. — ^And now, while I am making 
iese observations, I will rejrfy to diat remark of 
rafS, where you aay-^' that itfis tiot to be believed, 
mt Grod would overlook aii error in has church for 
](inany ages, and not reftedl to any one of his saints 
wt;'iwhich we Gonteiid for as being the grand essen^- 
fa) of ;the Christian doctrine ' — 
'-. In the 4tst place, we do not say that this error 
iricr dverlooked of God in his church, or in any one 
f 4^ sainbsiw For the church is ruled by the Spirit 
f-Qod^ and die daints are led by the Spirit of God, 
lam* viii. And Christ is with his church even unto 
btf^rad of the world, Matt, xxviii. And the church 
lithe'piUar and ground of the truth, 1 Tim. iii. These 
hitigs, I say, we know ; for the creed which we all 
k4d -aruns thus, " I believe in the holy cathoHc 

G 2 



baubles, which they could not say, without being maiiy 
pertained to the Spirit ! Nevfttheleds they are calledl 
the church : when, all, at least who live as Ihey 4o^ 
must be reprobates and any thing but the cfatarch. 
And yet, even >und6r them Christ preserved hfe 
church, thou^ it^as not caDed thechurch*' >How 
many saints must you imaginethose of the iiiquisitiMr 
have, for some ages, burnt and killed, tiS John Htlis 
and others, in .whose time, mai'tkmbt there lived iqi^ 
holy men of the same spirit ! - i - 

Why do you not rather wonder at this, Etasiww^ 
that there ever were, firom the beginning of the wcyfMi 
more distinguished talents, greater erudition, more' al*-* 
dent pursuit among the world ib g^eral thaif atnoilg 
Christians or the peof^ of God ? As Christ hifissi^lf 
declares,* " The children of this world are viSser tteui 
the children of-Iight,** Luke xvL^ What ChriMiaii 
can be compared (to say nothing of the Ghreeks)r with 
Cicero alone for tidents, for erudition, or for inddk- 
tigability ? What shall we say, then, was the preveti- 
tive cause that no one of them was able to attain unto 
grace, who certainly exerted Free-will with its^tecmcM 
powers ? Who dares say, that there was no one among 
them who contended for truth with all his efl%)tts? 
And yet we must affirm that no one of tiiem all attained 
unto it. Will you here too say, it is not to be bdk^^%d», 
that God would utterly leaver so many great uiSip, 
throughout such a series of age^, tod permit tfeeiti^to 
• labour in vain ? Certe^nly, if .Free-will ^^wete any 
thing, or coufd do any thing, it must have appeiM^ 
and wrought something in those men, at least iii soiicie 
one instance. But it availed nothing, tiay it alwttjfs 
WTon^t, in the contrary direction* Hencfe'by' Ai* 


aiguinent only, it may be guffici^itly proved, that 
Fiee-wiU is nothing at all,^dince no proof of it can be 
fnmluced even from the beginning of the world to the 

• . ■ ^ • . • » « 

Sect XXXIII. — But to return^ — Whatwonder, 
if God should leave all the -elders of the churdi to go 
theiri own ways, who thus permitted all the na^dtis to 
p) their own ways, as Paul saidi Acts xvii. ? — But, 
my friend Erasmus, the church of Gob indeedj 


tiF God : nor; are the saints of Goxi indeed, 


SAINTS OF God. They are pearls and pre- 


wise, if they were openly known of all, how could it 
comp to pass that they should be thus vexed and 
a£9ieted in the world? As Paul saith, 1 Cor. ii., ^^ Had 
iiiey. known him, they would not have crucified the 
JiCMfd of glory." 

I do not say these things, because I deny that 
li^oae whom 3P3U mention are the saints and church 
<if God ; but because it cannot be proved, if any 
jQQe should deny it, that they really are saints, but 
inust be left quite in uncertainty ; and l^cause^ there- 
-fiore, the position deduced from thdr holiness, is not 
aiufficiently credible for the confirmation of my doc- 
Irine. I call them saints, and look upon tibem as 
Midi: I call them the church, and look upon them 


as such^^accordhig to the law of Charity, but HDi 
/ according to the law of Faith. That is, charitjfV 
which always thinks the best of every one, and so^ 
pects not, but believeth and presumes all things fetr 
good concerning its neighbour, calls every one who 
is baptized, a saint. Nor is there any peril if she err, 
for diarity is liable to err ; seeing that she is exposed 
to all the uses and abuses of all ; an universal tnoid^ 
Aaid, to the good and to the evil, to the bc^eving 
and to the unbelieving, to the true and to the AQse^^-Tr 
But faith, callsriio one a saint but him who is declared 
to be so by the judgment of God, for faith is not 
Uable to be deceived. Therefore, although we ought 
all to be looked upon as saints by each odier by the 
law of charity, yet no one ought to be decreed a saint 
by the law of faith, so as to make it an article of 
v" faith that such or such an one is a saint. For in this 
way, that adversary of God, the Pope, canonized his 
minions whom he knows not to be saints, setting him^- 
self in the place of God. 

AH that I siay concerning those saints of yours^ or 
rather, ours, is this :—^that since they have spoken diff 
ferently from each other, those should rather be se- 
lected who have spoken the best : that is, who have 
spoken in defence of grace, and against Free-wilh and 
those left, who, through the infirmity of the flesb, 
have borne witness of the flesh rather than of the Spir 
rit. And also, that those who are inconsistent with 
diemselves, should be selected and caught at, in those 
parts of their writings where they speak from the Spii-. 
rit, and left, where they savour of the flesh. This is 
what becomes a Christian reader, and a ^ clean beatt 
dividing the hoof and chewing the cud.' Whereas 


iiow, laying a^ide judgment, we swallow down all 
things. together, or, what is worse, by a perversion 
jiu^pnent, we cast away the best and receive the 
worst, out of the same authors ; and moreover, affix 
|o those worst parts, the title and authority of their 
sanctity ; which sanctity, they obtained, not on ac- 
count of Free-will or the flesh, but on account of the 
best things, even of the Spirit only. 

. : Sect. XXXIV. — But you say — " what therefore 
diall we do ? The church is hidden, the saints are un- 
known ! What, and whom shall we believe ? Or, ad 
you most sharply dispute, who will certify us ? How 
^hall we search out the Spirit ? If we look to erudi- 
tion, all are rabbins ! If we look to life, all are sin^t 
ners ! If we look to the scripture, they each claim it 
as belonging to them ! But however, our discussion is 
not so much concerning the scripture (which is not it* 
self sufficiently clear,) but concerning the sense of the 
SCTipt^e. And though there are men of evSy order 
at hand, yet, as neither numbers, nor erudition, nor 
dignity, is of any service to the subject, much less can 
paucity, ignorance, and mean rank avail any thmg."— 

Well then ! I suppose the matter must be left in 
doubt, and the point of dispute remain before the 
judge : so that, we should seem to act with policy if 
we should go over to the sentiments of the scq^ics; 
Unless, indeed, we were to act as you wisdy do, for 
you pretend that you are so much in doubt, that you 
professedly desire to seek and learn the truth ; while, 
^ the same time, you cleave to those wh6 assert 
Free-will, until the truth be made glaringly manifest: 

But no ! I here in reply to you observe, that you 
say all, nor nothing. For we shall not search ^ \ 

r 1 



oat the Spirit by the argmn^td of eniditiQi|yC^>life^' ef 
talent, of multitude, of dignity,, of ignoroab^ <lf ifies^ 
periencey of paucity, or of meaanessof rapkir^. :. ^i&d. 
ytij I do not approve of those,. whose wbldldixe^teooe 
16 iiL^a boasting of the Spirit. Forliipd the^lasbf^eu; 

and have still, aisham wax&re widi those fanat^Miliifae 

* * - ■•~~< — ill , 

8id>ject the scriptures to the : interpietattcm lof^awar 
jcmiiLbaast^ spirit. .On: -. &e same aix^uit alsby ^i 
have hitherto determinately set myself against the 
P4>pe, in whose kingdom, nothing is more^i conunon, 
or more generally, received than this saying :-^r^'. that 
the scriptures are. obscure. and ambiguous ; and diat 
tfa ft Spirit ^asAefe^e^ reter^ should be sought, firom 
the apostolical see pt^nR^bme!' than wluch,: nothing 
could be said that was more destructive .; for by m^eans 
liffthis saying, a< set of impious men have .exaltsd 
themselves . above the scriptures themselves ; . and, by 
the same, have. done. (whatever pleased. them; till at 
length, the scriptures are absolutely trodden uotter 
foot, apd we compelled to believe and teach nothmg 
but the dreams of men that are mad. In a^word^that 
acying Is no human invention, but a. poison poured 
forth into the world by a wonderful malice . of the 
devil himself, the prince of all demons. ..., ^ 

We hold the case thus :— that the spirits are to be 
tried and proved by a twofold judgm«it. The one, 
in^mal ; by which, through the Holy Spiyit^ or.a pe- 
culiar gift of God, any one may illustrate, and to a 
certfilinty, judge of, and determine on, the doetrines 
a^d sentiments of all men, for himself anjd his own 
personal salvation : concerning which it is said, 1 Cor. 
ii., " The spiritual man judgeth all things, but he himself 
is judged (Of no man." This^ belongs to faith, and is 
necessary for , every, even private. Christian. This, 

' » " l » » ^" i» I I l« « l»l . i| «» .i.i ' » — " i ■» .•«>.. .lu ■•«.«i 

Sect. XXXV.— BuT> siiice wef^havte been peri 
sunded to the ctthtrtiy' of this, by that pestilent say- 
ttg of ^the S^^hists,'^ the scriptures are obscure" and 
QiiibigilMis ; * we are cbihpelled, first of iall, to prove 
(hat -first grand prindple of oUri^, by which all other 
things are to be proved: which, atoottg th^'sophists; is 
considered absurd affitd impossible to be doae. 




tre have above called, * die interdal df^orm 
flte holy scripture.' And it was this peihaps ito 
which thetf alluded, who, in answer to you ' said; 
that all things mtBt be determined -by^ the judgmedt 
of the Spirit. But this judgment^ cailmOt profit 
another, nor are we speaking of this jiidgmeiit in ' 
^r present discussion ; for no one^ I tb&ik, ^d<Aibt3 
its" reality. ■ f •• ^.•.■: ^ ( 

The other, then, is the external' j ddgmerit ; by wbirfry 
We judge^ to the greatest certainty, ot the ^mts'and 
doctrines ot all men; notToFoiiiSelves olily, but ,f^ 
Otfi^rd also, ahd foFt¥«r sSvKiohr This Judgment is a 
piBculiar to the pd;)lk;jirriSffy'c^ and the^^ W 

teriaal'o fiice. and e specially bdo ngs to t^a^phers jgid 
^T<^rh<>^ (}ifhf> wny^lL Of this we make use, wheti 
Ve strengthen the weak in faith, and when we reftrte 
indvetsaries. This is what we brfore called, ^ the ek- * 
temal cteeraess ;of ' the holy scripture/' Hence we 
iffirm that all spirits -are' to be proved in the'fec^ of 
the ehuirch, by the judgm^t oiF scripture. For thte 
bu^t; • above all - things/ t6 be fecfeived, and moit 
firtnly setded ainbi^ Christians :--iithat the holy scrip- 
tfcires are a spiritual li^t by fer mbre clear^^an th6 
fiffimnSS',^spei3a^ H^gs vi^hich'pcaSain 

tliito" salv&tldm ' or !i©^SHyT 


First dial, Moses saitfa, Deut xvii., diat, / if there 
arise a matter too hard in jadgment^ men are to go to 
the place which God shall choo$e for his name, and 
there to consult the priests, who are to judge of it ac* 
ccxding to the law of the Lord.' 

He saith, ^^ according to the law of the Lord "^-**^ 
but how will they judge thus, if the law of the Lord 
be not externally most clear, so as to satisfy th^ 
concerning it? Otherwise, it Would have been suffi- 
cient, if he had said, according to their own spirit 
Nay, it is so in every government of the people, thfe 
causes of all are adjusted according to laws. But hovi^ 
coukl th^ be adjusted, if the laws were not most cer- 
tain, and absolutely, very lights to the people? Butif d^ 
laws were ambiguous and uncertain, there would not 
only be no causes settled, but no cdirtain Consisteacy 
of maimers. Since, therefore, laws are enacted that 
manners may be regulated according tb a certain fornix 
and questions in causes settled, it is necessary that 
that, which is to be the rule and standard for men in 
their dealings with each other, as the law is, should of 
all things be the most certeun and most clear. And if 
that light and certainty in laws, in profane adminisfra-^ 
tibns where temporal things only are concerned, are 
necessary, and have been, by the goodness of God,, 
freely granted to the whole world ; how shall he not 
have givai to Christians, that is to his own elect, laws 
and rules of much greater light and certainty, accord- 
ing to which they might adjust and settle both them*- 
selves and all their causes ? And that more especially, 
since he wills that all temporal things should, by hiSy 
be despised. And " if God so clothe the grass of the 
field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the 


Q^eai/' how much more i^all he clothe us ?- — But, let 
us proceed, and drown that pestilent saying of the 
i^phists, in scriptures. 

Psalm xix. saith, ^* The commandment of the 
Lord is clear (or pure), enlightening the eyes." . And 
surely, that which enlightens the eyes, cannot be ob- 
scure or ambiguous ! 

. Again, Psalm cxix., " The door of thy words givd;h 
light; it giveth understanding to the simple." Here, 
it is ascribed unto the words of God, that they are a 
door, and something open, which is quite plain to all 
and enlightens even the simple. 

Isaiah viii. sends all questions ^' to the law and to 
the testimony ; " and threatens that if we do not this, 
^he light of the east shall be denied us. 

In Malachi, the second chapter commands, ^ that 
they should seek the law from the mouth of* the 
priest, as being the messenger of the Lord of hosts. - 
But a most excellent messenger indeed of the Lord of 
liosts he must be, who should bring forth those things, 
which were both so ambiguous to himself and so ob- 
KUre to the people, that neither he should know 
what he himself said, nor they what they heard ! . 

And what, throughout the Old Testament, in the 
llgtii Psalm especially, is more frequently said in 
praise of the scripture, than that, it is itself a most cer* 
tain and most clear light ? For the 1 19th Psalm celer 
bmtes its clearness thus : " Thy word is a lamp unto 
my feet and a light unto my paths." He does not say 
only — thy Spirit is a lamp unto my feet; though he 
ascribes unto him also his office, saying, ^^ Thy good 
Spirit shall lead' me into the land of upri^itness." 


Thus the scripture is called a ^^ way'' and a ^^path.:?* 
that is from its most perfect certainty. 

..XXXVL- — Now let us come to the New Testa- 
ment. Paul saithy Rom. i., that tiie gospd was prof 
mised " by the prophets in the holy scriptures.^' And^ 
diap. iii., that the righteousness of faith was testifbd 
"i)y the law and the prophets.". But what testimony 
U that, if it be obscure? Paul, however, throu^^ 
out all his epistles makes the Gospel, the word of l^t^ 
the Gospel of clearness; and he* professedly and most 
copiously sets it forth as being so, 2 Cor. uL aiMl iv. ; 
where he treats most gloriously concerning tho-dear- 
pess both of Moses and of Christ : : < 

Peter also saith, 2 Pet i., " And we certiisly 
huve more surely the word of prophecy ; unto whidi, 
ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a li^t fsfainiog 
itt^a dark jdace." Here Peter makes the word of 
God a clear lamp, and all odier . thii^ darkjiess: 
in^reas, we make obscurity and darknesst of Ae 
word. • 

Christ also often calls himself, due ^' light ofi Che 
world; " and Johathe Baptist, a ^ burning andd fihinr 
i^^ light," Jdm viii. Certainly, not cm account of the 
holiness of his Ufe, but on account of die word /lirhikh 
be ministered. ' In the same i;naimer Paul calls th^ 
Bhilippians shinkig ^^ lights: df the worid," Phil. iL; 
because (says. he,) ye '* hold forth the word of life.'' 
For life without the word is uncertain and obscure. 

And what is the design of the apostles in proving 
their preaching by the scriptures ? Is it that they may 
obscure, their own darkness by still greater darkness ? 


What was the mtention of Christy John v^ in teaching 
AeJews to " search the Scriptures" astestifymgof 
hiiti ? Was it that he might r^der them doubtful con* 
ceniing faith in him? What was their intention. 
Acts xvii., who having heard Paul, searched the scrip- 
ttir6s night and day, ^^ to see if these things were so ? " 
Dp not all these things prove that the apostles, as well 
aa Christ himself, appealed to the scriptures as the 
most clear testimonies of the truth of their discourses ? 
With what face then do we make them ^ obscure ? ' 
•. : Are these words of the scripture, I pmy you, ob- 
scure or. ambiguous — ^' God created the heavens and 
^ earth;" ^^ The Word was made flesh," and all those 
other words which' the whole world receives as articles 
of £eu& ? Whence, then,, did they receive them ? Was 
it not from the scriptures ? And what do those who at 
i^As day preach ? Do they not expound and declare 
the scriptures ? But if the scripture which they de- 
clare, be obscuce, who shall certify us that their de- 
dasation is to be d^)ended on ? Shall it be certified 
by another newdeckration ? But who shall make that 
declaration? — ^ we may; go on ad infinitum. 

In a word, if the scripture be obscure, or ambigu- 
Qoa, wfaat^need wa^er there ibr its being sent down from 
hesven ^ Are we not obscure and ambiguous enough 
in ourselves, without an increase of it by obscurity, 
«iibiguity,. and darkness being sent. down unto us 
^KMSt heaven ? Add if this be the case^ what will be-^ 
cbme of that of the apostle, ^^ All scripture is given l^ 
ins{Hratibn of Crod, and is profitahld £3r doctrine,, for 
reproof, for correction ?" 2 Tim. v. Nay,. Paul, thou 
art altogether useless, and all those things which thou 
a^ribest unto the scripture, are to be sought for out 




a- mouth and ivisdom; which all youradviersairies shall 
not be able ta resist." But if otir mouth be weak in 
this part, thitt the adversaries are able to resdst, liis 
saying, that no adversary shall be able to resist ovr 
mouth, is false. In the doctrine of Free-will, ihefe^ 
f(n«, we shall either have no adversaries, (which will 
be the case if it belong not unto us ;) or, if it belting 
unto ust, we shall have adversaries indeed, but such as 
will not be' able to resist. 

But concerning the inability of our adversaried to 
nesist, (as that particular falls in here,) I would, by the 
way, observe that it is thus : — It does nbtmean, that 
they are forced to yield with the heart, or to confess, 
or be silent For y^o can compel men agaiiist theii' 
will to yield, confess tl»ir error, and be silent ? * What 
(isaith Augustine), is more Ib^uacious than vanity?' 
But what is meant by thdir '^mouths being stepped, 
their not having a word to gainsay, and their dal^ng 
many things, and yet, * in the judgment of common 
sense, saying nothing, will be best iUiiistrated by ex- 
amples. — - ■'"■ ' . • ■■'■' i' . -'^ ■'■'' 

When Christ, Matt, xxii., put the sa4duces tb si- 
lence by proving the resurrection from the dead, out 
of that scripture oif Moses, Eiiod. iii. " I am the God 
of Abraham, &c., God is not the Gt)d of the dead but 
of the living;" this they w«fe iiofilatbte to resist, nor 
haA they a word to gainsay. But did they, theifeforfej 
cease from their opinion ? 

And how often did he, by the most evident scrip- 
tures land argum^its, so confrite the pharisees^ that the 
ver^ people :saw them to ba eonfuled openly, and- they 
themselves fdt it Neyertheleiisi, they still pe^ 
viMTnglyjcontjiiufed.his adversariesv^ '•' : v . t: 

' /'Stephen, Acta vii., so spdk^ that, accorc^ngto the 
testimony of Luke, ^* they could not resist the spirit 
and the wisdom with which he spake.". But what did 
ttiey ? Did they yield ? No> froip their shame of 
bdng overcome and their, inabflity to resist, they be- 
dtniel furious, and shutting their eyes .^nd eai*s tfiey 
labopied false witnesses against him. 
' . 'Behold how the saiin^ apostle, standing in tj^ 
ttouncil,' confutes , his adversaries, while he numerates 
to that people the mercies of God. unto ; them. fron^ 
tiielr beginning, and proves/ to thena, that God never 
dHnmtoded a temple to be biylt unto him : (foe it- was 
upon that point they then held him as.guilty, and that 
was the subject in dispute.) At length however, he 
gitots, that there was a temple built under Solomon. 
But theti he takes up the point in this way : ^^ but the 
Mdst High dwdleth not in temples m^de with hands/' 
Attd to prove this, he brings forward Isaiah the pro- 
pbet, Ixvi., ^* MTiat is the house that ye build unto 
0ie?** And, tell me, what could they here say against 
a scripture so manifest ? Yet stiU, pot at all moved 
l^ it, ihey stood fixed in their own opinioi^. Where*- 
fore, he then launches forth on them spying, " Ye 
uQcircumcised in heart and ears, y^.dp always re3ist 
the Holy Ghost, &c.'* Acts viL; He saith, "ye do 
lei^t," although they were notable to resist. 

But let us come to our own times. John ^Huss 
preached thus against the Pope from Matt^ tvi. — 
^ The gate^ .pf hell shall not prevail against my church. 
Is tiiere here any obscurity or ambiguity? But the 
gates of hell do prevail against the Pope ^nd his, for 
lliey are notorious throughout the worl/d for their open 
impiety ao^ iniquities. Is there any obscurity here 


either? Eroo: the Pope and his, are Hfoi the 


* • ' ■ • ■ 

What could they gainsay here ? How cbuld they res&t 
the mouth that Christ had given him ? Yet, they dicf 
resist, and joersist until they had burnt him : so fer 
were they from yielding to him, in heatt And this is 
the kind of resistance to which Christ alludes when he 
saith, " Your adversaries shall not be able to resist. 
He sayB they are " adversaries ;" therefore they wiB 
resist, for otherwise, they would not remain advefea- 
lies, but would become friends. And yet he says, they 
" shall not be able to resist" What is this else but 
saying — though they resist, they shall not be able to 

If therefore, I also shall be enabled so to refute the 
doctrine of Free-will, that the'adversarieis shall not be 
able to resist, althotigh they jpersist in their opmiob, 
and go on to resist contrary to their conscience, I shall 
have done enou^. For I know Well, b^ experience, 

I how unwilling every one is to be overcome; Wd, (fts 
Quintillian says,) * that there iVno one, who would ftot, 
rather appear to know, than to be taught.' Althdu^, 
now-a-days, all men in all places, have this pro- 
verb on their < tongue, hut more from use, or rather 
abuse, than from heart-reality -- ' 1 am willing to 
learn, and I am ready to follow what is better, 
when I am taught it by adniofiition : I am man^ 
and liable to err. ' Because, under this mask, this 
fair semblance of humility, they can with plausible 
Cdnfidence say ; * I am not folly satisfied of it.' ' I do 
not comprehend it' ' He does violence to the scrip- 
tures.' > He asserts so obstinately.' And they nestle 

-vMttder this confidence, taking it for 'granffed, that no 


i;>ne Vouki ever saspectv tbat toula of 80 much hmoirr 
lity could, ever pertinaciously resist and determinately 
impugn the known truth. Hencie their not yielding in 
lnoaxt, is not to be imputed to their malice, but to the 
obschirity and duplicity of their arguments. 

In the same manner did the philosophers of the 
Greeks act ; virho, that the one might not appear to 
^ve up to the other, though evidently confuted, began, 
as Aristotle records, to deny first principles. In the 
same way we would mildly persuade ourselves and 
others, that there are in the world many good men, 
•who would willingly embmce the truth, if tliere were 
but one who could plainly shew which it is ; and that, 
it is not to be supposed, that so many learned men, in 
such a course of ages, were all in error, and did not 
know that truth. — As though we knew not, that the^ 
world is the kingdom of Satan, where, in addition to 
the natural blindness that is engendered in our flesh, 
and those most wicked spirits also which have domi- 
nion over us, we grow hardened in that very blindness, 
and are bound in a darkness, no longer human, but 
devilish. ! . / 

ifc ... 

. Sect. XXXVIII.— But you ask— " if then the 
scripture be quite clear, why have men of renowned 
/ talent, through so many ages, been blind upon this 

I answer: they have been thus blind, to the praise 
and glory of Free-will ; in order that, that highly 
bqasted-of ^ power, by which a man is able to apply 
himself unto those things that pertain unto eternal sal- 
vation,' mi^t be eminently displayed ; that very exalted 
power, which neither sees those things which it sees. 


nor hears diose things whic^ it hears, and mndi less^* 
tfifiderstands and seeks after them. For to this poweiv 
applies that which Christ and the evangelists so often 
bring forward out o( Isaiah vi., ^^ Hearing ye.slMili 
hear and shall not understand, and seeing ye shatt'see 
liiid shall not perceive." MHiat is this else but saying, 
that Free-will, or the human heart, is so bound by, tiie 
power of Satan, that^ unless it be quickened up in a 
•wbnderfol way by the Spirit of God, it cannot <^ itsdf 
see or hear those things which strike against the.«yes 
ahd ears so manifestly, as to be as it were palpal^ 1^ 
'tfife hand ? So ^-eat is the misery and blindness of the 
hu^an race ! iThus also the evangelists themselvses, 
#hen they wondered how it could be that the Jews weie 
not won over by the works and words of Christ, 
which were evidently incontrovertible and undeniable, 
6ati8^ed themselves from that place of the scnptiue, 
Where it is shewn, that man, left to himself^ seeing 
seeth not, and hearing heareth not And what 
more monstrous ! " The light (saith Christ) sfaineth in 
darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not^?' 
John i. ! Who could believe this ? Who hath heaid 
the like — that the li^t should shine in darkness, 
^ted yet, the darkness still remain darkness, andnot be 
CflEdightened ! 

' Wherefore, it is no wonder in divinie things, ithat 
through so many ages, men renowned for talent re- 
mained blind. It might have been a wonder in human 
things, but in divine things, it would rathe^r have 
been a wonder if there had been one here and (iiere 
that did not remain blind : that they all remained ut- 
terly blind alike, is no wonder at all. Forwhat isiihe 
whole human race together, without tiieiSp|Kit^< ilqit 


the kingdom 'of the devil (as I have said) and. a coor 
fused chaos of darkness? And therefore it is^ diat 
Paul, Ephes. vi., calls the devils, the rulers of this 
darkness. And, 1 Con ii., he saith, that none of the 
princes of this world knew the wisdom of Gfod. What 
then must he think of the rest, who asserts that the 
princes of this world are the slaves of darkness ? For 
by princes, he means those greatest and highest ones, 
whom you call * men raiowned for talent' And why 
were all the Arians blind ? Were there not among 
-them men renowned for, talent? Why was Christ 
foolishness to the nations ? Are there not among the 
nations men renowned for talent? " God (saith Paul) 
knoweth the thoughts of the vi?ise that they are vaki," 
1 Cor. iii. He chose not to say " of men," as the 
text to which he refers has it, but would point to the 
first and greatest among men, that from ihem we mi^t 
form a judgment of the rest— But upon these points 
more at large, perhaps, hereafter. 

: Suffice it thus to have premised, in Exordium^ 
that the scriptures ar^s most clear, and that by them^ 
our doctrmeri^ the adversaries 

eannotr^ist;. .but those docteines that cannot be 
tlyia.defended, are nothing to us, for they belong not 
unto Christians. But if there be any who dp not aee 
this clearness, and are blind, or offend under this sun, 
they, if they be wicked, manifest how great that domi- 
nion i^and power pi^ Satan is over the sons of men, 
wbea they can neither heox nor comprehend the all- 
cfear words of Qod, but are as one cheated by a 
juggler, who is made to think that the sunr is a cold 
giod^, or to believe that a stone is gold. But if they 
fsar God, they lure to be numbered amongL those electa 



who, to a certain degree, are led into error Aat the 
power of God may be manifest in us, without wfaicfa^ 
we can neither see nor do any thing whatever. WtUt 
the not comprehending^ the words -of Ood, does hM 
arisen as you pretend, from weakn ess of mind : nay, 

■I— I iji >A MM*- mm' *iMii I nil II -fc^^^MiM* 

•■■•■■.•i •JXb^.....* 

.-»■, ^••«--.'."•»■,'V 


count of these weak ones, and to these weak ones, that 
Christ camej and it is to them he sends his word. But 
^ it is the wickedness of Satan entfironed and reigning 
in bur weakness, and resisting the word of God : — ^for 
if Satan did not do this, a whole world of men mi^t 
be converted by one word of God once heard, nor 
would there be need of more. 

Sect. XXXIX. — But why do I go on enlarging? 
Why do I not conclude this discussion with this Exor- 
dium^ and give my sentence ag^nst you in your own 
words, according to that saying of Christ, Matt, xii., 
** By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words 
ihou shalt be condemned ? " For you say that the scrip- 
ture is not quite clear upon this point. And then, sus- 
pending all declaration of your own sentiment, you dis- 
cuss each side of the subject, what may be said for, and 
what against, and nothing else whatever do you do, 
in the whole of this book of yours ; which, for that 
very reason, you wished to call Diatribe [The 
Collation] rather than Apophasis [The Denial], or 
something of that kind ; because, you wrote with a 
design to collect all things^ and to assert nothing. 
But if the scripture be not quite clear upon this point, 
why do those of whom you boast, not only remain 
blind to their side of the subject, but rashly and as 


$CK^^ define and assert Froe-will, as tlioitgh prowi 
by a certain and all-sure testqncmy of scripturs^-^-'thidt 
iHl9iberless series of the most learned men, I mean^ 
whom the consent of so many ages has approved, 
ieven unto this day, and many of whom, in addition 
to an admirable acquaintance with the sacred writings, 
a -piety of life commends? — Some have given, by 
their blood, a testimony of that doctrine of Christ, 
which they iiad defended by scriptures. If you say 
what you say, from your heart, it is surely a settled 
point with you, that Free-will has assertors, who are 
endowed with a wonderful understanding in the sacred 
writings, and who even gave testimony of that doc- 
trine by their blood. If this be true, they certainly had 
clear scripture on their side, else, where would be 
their admirable understanding in the sacred writings? 
Moreover, what lightness and temerity of spirit must 
it be, to shed ones blood for a matter uncertain and 
•obscure ? This is not to be the martyrs of Christ, but 
the martyrs of devils ! 

Now then, do you just set the matter before you, 
and weigh it in your mind, and say, to which of the 
two you consider the greater credit should be given ; 
to the prejudices of so many learned men, so many 
(»rthodox divines, so many saints, so many martyrs, 
.80 many theologians old and recent, so many col- 
leges, so many councils, so many bishops and hi^- 
priest Popes, who were of opinion that the scriptures 
are quite clear, and who (according to you) confirmed 
the same by their writings and by their blood ; or to 
your own private judgment, who deny thiat the scrip- 
tures are quite clear, and who, perhaps, never spent 
one single tear or sigh for the doctrine of Christ, in the 


wliole of your life? If you believe they were ri^ 
ist their ' opinion, why do you not follow them in, ibf 
If you do not believe they were righti why do 'yo^ 
boast of them with such a trumpetiBg -mouthy aiid 
audi a torrent of language, as though ; yQU M^ookt 
overwhelm us head and ears with jel cisrtem stonn ot 
flood of eloquence ? Which flood, hoit^v^, will Ihe 
more heavily rush back upon your^own headv^^HlriJilt 
my Ark is borne along in safety on the top 0f the 
watars ! Moreover, you attribute to so many msA 
great men, the utmost folly and temerity. For when 
you speak of them as being men of the gK»test undei^ 
stendmg in the scripture, and as having asserted k 
by ' their pen, by their life, and by their de^^th ; a&d 
yet at the same time contend yourself, that the sa^ie 
scripture is obscure and ambiguous, this is nothing 
less than making those men most ignorant in undw* 
standing, and most stupid in assertion. Thus I, their 
poor private despiser, do not pay them such an iU 
compUment, as you do, their public flatterer. j 

Sect. XL. — Here, therefore, I hold you fejst ia« 
last-pinch syllogi^oii (as &ey say). For eith^ the one or 
the other of your asse^ions must he false. Either that, 
where you say, ^ those, men were admirable for their 
understanding in the sacred writings, for th^, 
t^d for their martyrdom;' or that, where yousfuf, 
that ^the scriptures are* not quite clear.' But ^inoe 
you'^are dmwQ more this latter way, that is, to believe 
that the scriptures are not quite clear, (for this, is 
what you harp upon throu^iout the whole of your 
book), it remains evident, that it was either fk«n your 
ow^nataml inclination towards |hem, or for the sake 


of ^flattering tiieiii; but ify no means fircHn ' witouamm, 
liinfe yon called thcise nen^ '^ men of the greatest nnd«!^ 
Mdbding in the scripture, and martyrs of- Christ;^' 
ttereiy in' order that you might bUnd the eyes of (the 
inexperienced commonaJty, and make worfenfor> Ltttliier . 
by loading his oaiffie widi empty Words^ odiuiia^ and 
cont^npt But, howe ver, I aver &at ^neitktr of fy omr 
assertions are true, and that both axe M&d. For, 
fltiftt of all, I aver^ that the scriptures' aiie quite cleai^ : 
«nd next) that those men, as far as th^ asserted 
Free-will, were most ignorant of the sacred writings : 
and moreover, that they neither asserted it by their 
life, nor by their death, but by their pen only ; and 
that, while tkmr heslrt wlus tmv^ing another road. 

Wherefore this small part of the Disputation I 
conclude thus. — By the scripture, as being obscure, 
notliing ever ha3 hitherto, nor ever can'be defined con 
eesjmiAg Free-will ; according to^ your own testimony. 
Moreover, nothing has ever beeq manifested in-Qpn- 
firniatioh of F^ee^U, in the lives of aU the men from 
tbft be^uning of the world ; .as |we have, proved ^aboTe. 
To teach, then, a something whichr; is neither de- 
scribed by one word within the scriptures, nor evi- 
denced by one £BU!t without the scriptures^ ^ is: that, 
iNnich doea not belong tothedoctrines of Christians, 
bi^t to the: very 'fistbles of Lucian. Except, however, 
diat'LuciaQ^ ^ he amused only with ludicrous s)x)nes 
from wit. and policy, ^feceit^i and injure^ no one. 
But. these friends qI eurs^ in a matter of importance 
which' concerns etemai Ovation, ? madly: 4rifle to the 
perdition of souls innumerable. 
..r:;13ias I mi^t Ihere have conduded theAvhole of 
d]3cas8iDn^' ieven widi^the t^stimpny^ of my^^ve^- 


saries making fiifir me^ and against themselves. For 
no proof can be more decisive, than the very con^ 
fession and testimony of the guilty person a^dnst 
himself. But however, as Paul commands us to 
stop the mouths of vain taU^ers, let us now eaxt^ upoii 
the Discussion itself, and handle the subject in the 
order in which the Diatribe proceeds : that we may, 
FIRST, confute the arguments adduced in suppcnrt of 
Free-will : secondly, defend our arguments thlit 
are confuted : and, lastly, contend for the Grace of 
God against Free-will. 



Sect. XLI. — And, first of all, let us begin regu- 
larly with your definition: according to which, you 
define Free-will thus, 

— " Moreover I consider Free-will in this light : 
that it is a power in the human will, by whieh, a man 
may apply himself to those things which lead unto 
eternal salvation, or turn away from the same.*' — 

• With a great deal of policy indeed^ you have here 
stated a jtnere naked definition, without declaring any 
part of it, (as all others do) ; because, perhaps, you 
feared more shipwrecks than one. I therefore am 
compelled to state the several parts myself. The 
thing defined itself, if it be closely examined, has a 
much wider extent than the definition of it : and such 
a definition, the sophists would call faulty : that is, 
when the definition does not fully embrace the thing 
defined. For I have shown before, that FreerwiU 


cannot be applied to aiiy one but to Ood only. You 
may, perhapi^, ii^tly assign^ to man some kind of. 
^11, but tb-fU^ign liirfo him Freewill in divine things, 
itsi gdng too 'fiir. For the teraT Free-will, in the 
Jnidgdient' of the ears of all, means, that wUch can, 
and does do God*ward, whatever it pleases, restrain- 
able by no law and no command. But you cannot 
call him^rggjj vho is a servant acting under the power 
j)f the Lord. How muchT^s^ tKen, can we rightly 
call men or angels /ree, who so live under the all- 
overruling command of God, (to say nothing of sin 
aud death,) that they cannot consist one moment by 
their own power. 

Here then, at the outset, the definition of th^ termj 
and the definition of the thing termed, militate against 
each other : because the term signifies one thing, and 
file thing termed is, by experience, found to cbe an 
other. It would indeed be more properly termed 
Vertible-will, or Mutable-will. For in this way 
Augustine, and after him the sophists, diminisdied the 
^o'ry and force of the term, yree'; adding thereby 
this detriment, that they assign vertibility to Free-will. 
And it becbnies us thus to speak, lest, by inflated and 
lofty terms of empty sound, we should deceive the 
hearts of men. And, as Augustine also thinks, we 
ought to speak according to a certain rule, in sober 
and proper words ; for in teaching, simplicity and 
propriety of argumentation is required, and not hig^ 
flown figures of rhetorical persuasion. . • 

Sect. XLII.1 — But that' we might not seem to 
delight in a mere war of words, rwe' cede to that abuse, 
ttough great and Cancerous, that Fre^wilL means Ver- 


tible^wUll * « Wtf Vfl} cede ^so that io EimsmuiS, v?}^, 
he makes Free-ifillf .^ a po;^r of th^ Immmi ^^lU : ' (m 
thou^ angeb hlid^bot a FFe^t¥iK tofi, toerdiy beeiftlM^ 
he designed in Ais hook to treat only on the Fi^e^^rffl 
of men V) Wb make thii- remaric, o^ierwise^ ev^fj^ 
Ais pflort, the idefitiition would be too tnurrow to ^bRt; 
brace the l)uiig defijied. -,' of. i. 

We come < ithen 'to those parts of die de^tiap^ 
which are the hinge lupoa Which ihe^ taatt^ tujtns^:^ Qf 
^ese things some are meiiifest Enough ; the re^ sIfQiL 
die Hgl^ as if coascidui t6 themselves that tb^yrly)4 
every dnng to fear: because^ nothing ought, to lif; 
expressed more clearly, and more decisively^ than .H 
definitidti; for to define obseurely, is the same'tfiing 
as defining nothing at all. . ; ;. 

The clear pafts of the definition then are Jbesf ::*r?n 
^qpower of human wfU:' and ^ by which a aiiii| 
con:' idso^'^tmto eternal salvation;' But these j^ 
Andabiatte:**— ^ to apply:- and,- * to those t^ung^ 
wWchr'fettdt' ajiso;r^to itiro flFfi^' Wl^at d^ V?e 
divine^that^lhis -^trt apply' ipeaii^^? . And t^s. f |q 
tUrn away' also? And also wfaii^ jlihese wpfd^ meqfiy 
^"wfaicb pertain vflxtsi eternal salvation? ' Into what dank 
comer have these withdrawn their meaning ? I $een| 
as if I were engaged in dispute widi a very Scotinia]^ 
cn^with Hbracltturliimself, 80 as jo be in the wfi^ j:^ 
being tirom out by a twofold labour. First, that { 
shall harre to find out niy adversary by groping ac^ 
feeling about for him in pits and darkness, (which is 
an enterprize both venturous and perilous,) and if I 
db not find him^ to fi^t 16 no |>urp6$e:^th ghosts, 
axKi beat the air in the dark. And, secopdly, if J 
dKMkl'imng him ont inCo.the ii^;^. that then, .1 shai 


bave to fight with him upon equal gHmnd, when I am 
akeady worn out with hunting after lum;.^ ^ 

• I suppose, then, what you mean by the * power 
of the human will' is thiscr-a poweor, or faculty, or 
disposition, or aptitude, to will or not to will, to choose 
ot refuse, to approve or disapprove, and what other 
actions soever belong to the will, . Now then, wlMit it 
is.for this siune power ^ to apply itself/ or ^ to turn 
away/ I do not see: unless it be th# very willing 
OP not willing^ choosing ^riefiisiiig, approving or 
disapproving ; that is, the v^ action! itself of the 
will. But may we suppose, that tUs power is a ifind 
of medium, between the will itself and the action 
itself; such as, dmt by which the will itself allures 
forth the action itself of willing or not willing^' br 
hy which the action ' itself of willing or not ^willing is 
allured forth? Any thing else beside this, it is im* 
possible for one to imagine or think of^ And if I am 
deceived, let the fault be my author's who has gtvM 
&e definition^ not wiBe whOi examkie it' For it is 
justly said among lawyers, -his words who speal^s 
otecurely, when he can speak more plainly, axe ^ to be 
iitetpreted agamst hkns^f.'v: And here I xwislv to 
Imow nothing of our mod^ns and tUeur subtleties, 
for we must come plainly to c}ose quarters inwhalt 
W6 Bay, for the sake of understanding and teadiing^^ : 
A And as to those worii^, * which lead unto etenud 
aalvatibn,' I suppose by tbtai are^ meant the words 
and works of God^ wl^h are ofii^red to the humscn 
wiU, th^t it might eithe^^pplyitdelf to them, or turn 
away from tibem. ' But I cdl^'botli the la^aod llie 
gcMpel l&e words of O^. By the law, wo^ks are 
lequired ; «k1 by the gospe^ Ibithv For theie aie no 


other things, which lead either unto the gn^^ of ;Gt^' 
or unto eternal, salvation, but the word and die woiffi 
of God :. because ^£0 or the. spirit is the lifet itself 
to .which we .are led by the word . and -. the wolA» 
of God. . . 

* -* * i 

^ • ' - - . * . . . •!'•» 

Sect. XLIII. — But this life or;^vation,is an etfft^ 
nai matter, incomprehensible ^ to. the human :capaeity( 
as Baui shews, out of Isaiah, 1 Cor. ii., ^^ £yi3 ha^,iio| 
seen nor ear. heaxd, .neither hath it entered into thi9 
heart of man to conceive, the things which God hath 
prepared for them tliat love him." For when W/q 
speak of eternal life, we speak of that which is num* 
bered among the chiefest articles of our faith. • And 
what Free-will avails in this article Paul testifie^^ 
1 Cor. ii. Also: " God (saith he) hath revealed 
them unto us by his Spirit" As thou^ he,had said^ 
tisb^ h€|$rt of no man will ever understand or think of 
any of those things, unless the Spirit shall revival 
them^ so far is it i^om, possit;>ili1y, that he should ever 
apply ih^n^lf unto them or seek after them. 

^Lopk at experien^ee. What have the most ex- 
alted minds among the .nations thought of a futuve 
,life, and of the resurrection ? Has. it not been, that 
the more exalted they were in mind, the more ridicur 
lous the resurrection and eternal life have appeal^ 
to them ? Unless you mean to say, that those philo- 
8opher$^ . ,and Greeks at Athens, who. Acts xvi^^ 
iCcdled Paul, as be taught these things, a ^' babbler" 
;and a "setter forth of strange gods,? were not of 
eioalt^ minds. Portius Festus,, Acts x;xvi.j calls out; 
that Paul is " mad," on account of his preaching 
vetemalUfe. ^ What does iP^ny b«u*j£ forthy Book vij.^ 


Wfaal does. Lucian also, that mighty ' genius ?Wef^ 
B0t diey menn wondered at? Morecjveir to this day 
there 'Hre many, who,* the more renowned they are for 
teleit and erudition, the more they laugh at thii( 
article ; and that openly, considering it a mere fable« 
And certainly, no man. upon earth, unless imbued 
wilb the Holy Spirit, ever secretly knows, Or believes 
in; '»wbjbesr for^ eternal ^dvation, how mndi soeve^ 
he amy boast of it by his voice and by his pen. And 
may youiand I, friend Erasmus, be free from diis 
tMWisting leaven. So tare is a believing soul in this 
ailticle l^Have I got the sense of thisctefinition ? 

« Sect. XLIV. — ^^Upon the authori^ of Erasmas, 

tUeiv Free-^U^ is a powef of the human wiUy which can^ 

of'iUdf'wUl and not will to embrace the word and 

tmmk cfGod; by which it it to be led to those things 

which ' are beyond > its capacity ■ and comprehenmn. 

If then, it can will and not will, it can also love and 

hate.; And if it can love and hate, it can, to a certain 

d^ree, do the law and believe the Gospel: For it 

is impossible, if you can will and not will, that you 

dioold not be able by that will to begin some kind of 

work, even thou^, from the hindering of another; 

you should not be able to perfect it* And therefore, 

aa among the works of God whidi lead to salvation; 

death) the cross, and all the evils of the world are 

numbered, human will can will its own death and 

perdition. Nay, it can will all things while it ^^an 

will the embracing of the word and work of God. 

For wh at is^ there that can be any where benea&, 

abgve, within, and widiout the word and work of 

Crod, but God hhnsdtf? And what is there here left 



tQvgraoeand: the<lHQly Spirit?. This is. |rimnly/ tf 
93oribe i^fivm^* ta^tee m&i For to .will: to eadHaoQ 
tbe law aid idle Gosp^'notitD/mll ^nv^andtainll 
debth^tbel^agii tothe/pwreirbf ,(£kid' fikm^};«s!Pj^ 
testifies iufsiio]^ places than ode^'.': jiih ; i. ::;;iJTf; 

Wherefdro^ ndt3ii6, since thft-Aelagica^ 
more rightly oonienimg Efee-mlln diah \ 'Eisifeiiiik 
fidF)I^hdevifirsaid dbove^ tHsfe Faree^iviU' iira diiriiie tsennj 
tod; sigra^earJEi jdiiioe powen^iBut^iiH) one < hitdiertD^ 
eJRtept tile Pela^ai»,>' has >ever assigned ta it that 
pbW^. i.Hence^v Erasmus by far outstrips the iPetn^ 
giana ^ethsekes r-ibr they assign thlitrdkini^ to As 
whole of Free-will, but Erasmus to the half of it only. 
iP^ey divide Ftioe-fWiU; into/two parts ; . IM ponxfr of 
4iscermngy . and they^pow^ of: chatidng ; assigning tli^ 
one to reastBti^ andstiie;OtlleAto %iH ;\ and theisofdiistd 
do..the sain^.e,\ Btit Eraifemus^ detthig aside tfaepbwer 
of discerning^ exaltft the^ po^r *<tf choosing alone^itkd 
thus makes ' a ilame, half-inembered 'Eree-will^'. Odd 
himself! ^'iVVliattlknist we suppose thiih.iie would 
have done, had) he set. about describing the wboletdtf 
FreeiwillJ- ;. r '.. • : ■■ -^^v; ' /, ■ :-^:r A 

But;:? not conlentddi widiiitiiis, he outstrips i even 
the philosophers. ;t£6r. it has^never yet been settled 
among them^ . wbethev or noti. any ; tiung ' can ghre 
motion- to itself; and upon this posnt; tbte Plaixmics 
and PeripateticBr are xiiTided; in- the whole, body /of 
philosc^hy . ' ' But according to Erasnms, Free-will 
ij not only of its own paw6r gives motion to itself^but 
f- applies itself to those things which are eternal; 
that is,' which are incomprehensible to itself ! A new 
and:ujaheard-rof definer of Free-will, truly, who.loavibs 
the philosophers, the Pelagians, the sophists, and 



9dil jiitifs r^t jotf j tltem^ vfar .teUin4 ium I. -^iiFor i& this^att^ 
jy^tjdfDie^ jftQt {6v^ ispane Mnsdfy. lx0:fdi88eEM:d/^^f^^ 
m4 (lbUH»;tes against liimlsel^ thoietthan gainst dU 
liia^iieflljtQgetlier.. £01 hqil^raaiidibefora^ that Utim 

^fKili^ pcafbap&^s^/w^ aeaid only iiit)j€|uti)i bat heml 
flMlf^ .h^t ^¥63 & fienoosdefiqitiony^hei says; that 
l(^(]mmaii^ wiUnbasxidial^powerrl^ 9dticb k^^ 0^ 
tfiSact»^]j9itself: to thoee tJtU iigft wbicb pertait} 
«iikfoieta9rnaLjNt);\8atibii;l that is^ 'wfaieh lure iacom-^ 
pMnddiy b^and. Ibat power^ So that, m this part/ 
Jiiaamus oiitstrips ev^n himself ! ^ ^^ 

Sect. XLV.-kiDo you see, imhd; fifasmus^ that 
Ip^itibia definitioii, you (thou^ uhidMin^y : I: j^resume,) 
betiay. yourself, ^hd make , it manifest that you eftfief 
loBtow nothing^ of ttese^ihin^ ^hatemr^ixxr^^at, vrinh^ 
out aay coi]i^e|«tio% and in a meni'ai^ oftoiitempfy 
}(W>write u|X7q ihe sul^^ knowing Hirluit yoii 
009 nor. wheseof you affirm ? Aod lo i said before, 
}S>Ui:S&y less aboulv &n4/ attribute inibr^ to free-will, 
tiian all odiers; put together j do not desmbe 
tli6>3rhole ofi Fiee^willymnd'yet ycHi asiugii. onto it all- 
tfaings. The ojmiidniof.tte sophists^ 61* ^t least of 
tbe i£iitfaeirv|Of them; Beter Lombard, is ftir more 
tblembk-: .be says^i ^uFree^wiU is die faculty of dis- 
(^nung^iandtheiiiGhoosingialso'^od, if with grace, 
but.eyil if igrade .b^ wanting/ HeL^lainly agrees in 
9btimenliiwith, Augiistin^ that '. Free-will, of its own 
power^ cannot. do aby:d4ngjbut fall^ hott:uvail udio 
atayi.t^g but to sii;L: jWheiiefore Augustine also, 
lB6f>kiii; , againist ^ Juliian', calls Fiee^-willi^-^ under 
bictodi^ v^^er than ^ free. ' — But you make the 

I 2 



power of Free-wiU equal in bqth respects : that it 
OMi, by its own power, without grace, both ap^ly itself 
unto good, and turn itself from evil Tor ydn do npt 
. iii!laginehow much you assign unto it, by this proncKptf 
H itself f and by itself ^ when you say ^ can apply itself :^' 
for ^0u utterly exclude the H<^ Spirit with all his 
power, as a thing superfluous and unnecessary. Your 
definition, therefcnre, is condemnable even by the se-^ 
phists; who, were they not so blinded by hatred aiid 
fury agamst me, would be enraged at your book rathi^ 
than at mine. But now, as your intent is to oppose 
Luther, all that you say is holy and catholic, - even 
though you speak against both yourself ^d them,— 
so great is the patience of holy men ! ^ 

Not that I say this, as approving the sentimentjiT 
of the sophists concerning Free-will, but because I 
consider them more tolerable, for they approadb 
nearer to the truth. For though they do not say, as 
I do, that Free-will is nothing at oil, yet since they 
^ay that it can of itself da nothing without gFace,!they 
ipilitate against Erasmus; nay, -diey seem to militate, 
against themselves, and to be tossed to and fro in 'k* 
mere quarrel of words, being more earnest for conten-^ 
tion than for the truth, which is just as sophists should- 
be. , But now, let us suppose that a sophist of no 
mean rank w^ere brou^t before me, with whom I 
could speak upon these things apart^ in familiar con-' 
versation, and should ask him for his liberal and 
candid judgment in this way : — ^ If any one should' 
tell you, that that was /rce, which of its own 'power 
Qould only go' one way, that is, the bad way, and • 
whicb could go the other way indeed, that is, the ri^t'. 
way, but not by its own power, nay, only by tl^e help> 


of jaihothef— could you refrain from laughing in his 
face, my friend P'-^For in this way, I will make it 
BppesSt, that' a stone, or a log of wood has Free-will, 
bfeckuse it can go upwards and downwards ; although, 
by its own power, it can go only downwards, but feah 
go upwards only by the help of another. And, as 
I said before, by meaning at the same time the 
thing itself, and also something else which may be 
joined with it or added to it, I will say, consistently 
with the use of all words and languages — -ell men are 
no man, and all things are nothing ! 

Thus, by a multiplicity of argumentation, they at 
last make Free-will, free bj/ accident; as being that, 
which may at some time be set free by another. But 
our point in dispute is concerning the thing itself, 
concerning the reality of Free-will. If this be what is 
to be solved, there npw remains nothing, let them say 
what they will, but the empty name of Free-will. 

Tbe sophists are deficient also in this — ^they as- 
sign to Free-will, the power of discerning good from 
evil. . Moreover, th^ set light by regeneration, and 
the renewing of the Spirit, and, give that other erfer- 
nal aidy as it were, to Free-will: but of this here- 
ait^. — Let this be sufficient concerning the defini- 
tion. Now let us look into the arguments that are 
to exalt this empty thing of a term. 

Sect. XLVI. — First of all, we have that of 
Eicclesiasticus xv. — " God from tHfe beginning made 
man, and left him in the hand of his own counsel. 
He gave him also his commandments, and his pre- 
cepts : saying, If thou wilt keep my commaxidmaits, 
and wilt keep continually the fitith that {doaselh me, 

• 118 

thty shall preserve thee^ He hath set before thee fm 
and *wateti ; and upon which thou >¥ilt^ stretch fmth 
thine hand. Before man is life and death, ^o^dhqad 
fnni^ and whichsoever pleaseth him, shall be ^vaii 
unto him." — 

Althou^ I might justly refuse tins bo6k, yet, ne^ 
vertheless, I recdve it; le^ I ^oold, with loss of 
time^ involve myself in a dispute ccmcemingiftbe books 
that are received into the canoh of the- 'Hebrexi^ : 
whidi canon you do not a. little ref^roach and deilde, 
when you compaie the proverbs of Solomcm, and die 
Love-song, (as, with a double-meaning sneer, you call 
it,) widi die twp books Esdra and Judidi, the Histor^ 
of Susannah, of the Dragon, and the Book of Eastber : 
diough they have this last in their canon, and accord* 
ihg to my judgment, it is much more worthy ofimng 
there) than any one of diose that are considered not to 
be in- the canon 

Bift I would briefly answer you here in yomt'own 
words^ ' The scripture, in this place, is obi^cuie aiid 
ambiguous;' therefore, it proves nodiing to a 6er» 
taiji^.' But howevier, since I stand in die n^ativ^ 
I cxdl npon you to produce that place which deelaKs, 
in plain wt)rds, i^iiiat Free-will is, and what it can <!b. 
^d this perhaps you will do by about die time of the 
Greek Calends.-r-In order to avoid this neoessityj yon 
spend many fine sayings upon nothing ; and moving 
along on the tip-toe of prudence, cite numberless 
opinions concerning Free-will, and make of Pelagius 
almost an evangelist. Moreover, you vamp up a four- 
fold grace, so as to assign a sort of faidi and charity 
eten to the philosophers. 'And also that new fabte^ a 
thiee-fold law; of nature; of works, andDf Audi; so 

: to' assert with all boiddes^^ . that the precepts of the 
)ibyD(M{^rs agree with ^e^ precepts of the Gospel. 
Again, -you •apply that of Psilm iv., " The light of thy 
ixnbtenance is settled »poii fu^/' which Speaks of the 
knowledge of the very 'couhten^iitce of the Lord, that 
is^'dFfeithy to. blinded reasoa. AH which things toge-^ 
ifaet, if taken into condderation by any Christian, mnst 
ceooofpe^hiHi to suspect, that yo4 are mockmg and derid- 
ing 4he jdoi^tris^s and teligion of Christians; Foi' to atr 
trS)ute^ these thiftgs^as^o^ much ignorance to him, who 
has ijlhistrated ^) <mr doetrines with bo much dili- 
gence, and stored them up in memory^ appears to me 
v^(hfficult indeed. But^however, I will here abstain 
from bpien exposuie, G<MtMted to wait until a nkm 
fainkipablei opportunity shaM- offer itself. Although. I 
entreat you, fnend Erasmus, not to^ tempt me in this 
way Kkc one of those who say— who sees us? Jor it 
is by no means safe ia,%o great a matt€&r, to be cton*- 
tinually mocking ev^ one with Vertumnities of words! 
fiut to the subject. -• ^-'^ 


Sect. Xi-VJI,/ — -Out of the oi^b opinion conc^m-^ 
11^ Free-,will you make three.' You say — * that the 
first :0pink)n, of those who deny that man can will 
good without special grace^ who deny that it can begin^ 
who deny that it can make prc^ess, perfect, &c., se^m^^ 
to. yoa seffercy though it may be very probable.^ 
lAnd this, you proviso as leaving to man the desire and 
tte fiSoTt^ but not ieaving what is to be ascribed tb his 
dwnfiower. ' *That the second opiiuon of those who 
eontend^ilhat Free-will avails unto nothing but to sin, 
pzid'thait grace 'alone works good in us, &c is more 
severe still.' And * that the opinion of those who sajr 


that Free-wiU is an ^mpty term, for that God works 
in us both good and evil) is most severe.'' And .' thalyit 
is against these last that you profess to write.'-r-. 

Do you know what yoa are sayings friend Ens^ 
mus ? You are here making three different optnionli 
as if belonging to three different sects : because yon 
do not know that it is the same subject handled by 
us same professors of the same sect, only by diffis- 
rent persons^ in a different way and in other words. 
But let me just put you in remembrance, and set 
before you the yawning inconsiderateness, or stupidity 
of your judgment 

How does that definition of Free-will, let me ask 
you, which you gave us above, square with this first 
opinion which you confess to be, ' very probable ? ' 
For you said that ^ Free-will is a power of the human 
will, by which a man can apply himself unto good;' 
whereas here, you say and approve the saying, that 
^ man, without grace, cannot will good ! ' Tlie defini- 
tion^ therefore, affirms what its example denies. And 
hence there are found in your Free-will both a tea 
and a nay : so that, in one and the same doctrine 
and article, you approve and condemn us, and ap^ 
prove and condemn yourself. For do you think, that 
to ' apply itself to those things which pertain unto 
eternal salvation,' which power your definition assigns 
to f*ree-will, is not to do good, when, if there were so 
much good in Free-will, that it could apply itself unto 
good, it would hare no need of grace ? Therefore, the 
Free-will which you define is one, and the Free-wiU ^ 
you defend is another. Hence then, Erasmus, out- 
stripping all others, has two Free-wills ; and they, 
militating against each other ! 


' Sect XLVIIL' — But, setting aside that Free-will 

ivliiich the definition defines, let us consider that which 

the opinion proposes as cohtmry to it. '. Y6u ffant^ 

tiist man, without special grace, cannot will good: 

(jfor we are not now discussing whatthe grace of God 

can do, but what man can do without grace:) you 

grant, then, that Free-will cannot will good. This is 

nothing dse but granting that it cannot ' apply itself 

to those tilings which pertain unto eternal salvation, ' 

aoGordmg to the tune of your definition. Nay, you 

say a littte before, *■ that the human will after sin, is so 

depraved, that having lost its liberty, it is compelled 

to serve sin, and cannot recal itself into a better state. ' 

AanA if I am not mistaken, you make the Pelagians to 

bfe of this opinion. Now then I believe, my Proteus 

has here no way of escape : he is caught and held 

fast in plain wcnxis : — ^ that the will, hiaving lost its 

liberty, is tied and bound a slave to sin.' ' O noble 

Freerwill I which, having lost its liberty, is declaied by 

£ta8mus himself, to be the slave of sin! When 

Xuliier asserted this, ^ nothing was ever heard of so 

cdbMrd;' ^nothing was more useless; than that this 

paradox should be proclaimed abroad ! ' So much so, 

^that even a Diatribe miist be written against him ! 

But perhaps no one will believe me, that these' 
things are said by Erasmus. If the Diatribe be read 
n this part, it wUl be admired : but I do not so much 
mdmire it For he who does not treat this as a serious 
subject, and is not interested in the caluse, but is in 
mind alienated from it, and grows weary of it, cold in 
it, and disgusted with it, how shall not such an one 
^v^ywh^rer speak absurdities, follies, :ahd contrarie- 
ties, wfaile^ as one drunk or slumbering ov^ tlie cause. 


he belches oat in the midst of his snoring^ ^It is so ! it 
hot soi just as the difier^it w^ntls doimd against his 
? And therefore it is, that rfaetoricians requires id, 
icdlmgofdidsal^ in the |)* i iMUch 
I more then does tiieology require sudi a feeling, ^tmt 
m^iy make the ^son vigilant/ sharp^' intent, pni-^ 
tnt, and determined. ' 
If therefore Free- wiH ipvithout grace, vfhea it lias 
lost it liberty, is compelled to serve sin mnd cannot 
will good, I should be glad to know, what that' desiie 
is, what that endeavour is, which that first ■* probaUe 
opinion ' leaves it It cannot be a good desire or a 
good endeavour, because it cannot will good, as th^ 
opinion affirms, and as you grant. Therefore,' it is ab 
evil desire and an evil endeavour that is left, whidi, 
when the Uberty is lost, is compelled to serve sin^^^ 
But above all, what, I pray,' is the meaning o£ tfasil 
8a3ring : ' this opinion leaves the desire and the ^i- 
deavour, but does not leitve what is to be ascribed to 
its own power.' Whoxan possibly conceive in his 
mind what this means ? •. If th^ dissire shd the endea- 
voilr be left to the powar of Free-will, how are they 
not tocribed to the same' ??: If they be not ascribed to 
it, howcan they be left to it ? Are then that desire 
and that endeavour before grace, left to grace itself 
that comes dfter, and not . to Free-will, so as to be at 
the same time left, iEind not feft, to the same Free-will.^ 
If these things-be not paradoxes, or rather enormities, 
tbeniptay wfaakiare toonnities ?« 

• Sect XLIX.' — But perhaps the Diatribe is 
dreaming' this, that between these two ' can will good ' 
aHd'i>^t»tin0t will good' there may be a medium ; 


"Sedng that, to will isabBoiutb^faothln respect of good, 
«&d eviL- So that thus, by a certain logical subtlety, 
5IW laay steer clear of the rocks^ aiid say, to the will 
of man there*!!? a certain wtUmg^ which:^nnot indeed 
ivill good without grace j butwhich^ nevertiidiQSs^ being 
wkfaout grace, do^ iiot immediately wiQ: ^ottiin^ but 
ev3, but is a sort oimtreah^actedwUUng^'^Ka^^ 
upwards nnta good )by gr4li^&i>d fdbwnwards «ait6 
epit by sitix^ But tiu», whi^ Wilbii)elsome of that 
which:y6u kaiw saidj that,^^ whem it haa lost itsr liberty 
it is compelled to sepve sin?' What will become ctf 
that desire and ^tdeavour wluch are left? Wht^e will 
be that pow^c^ ' applying itsdif to those things whieh 
peitain unto eternal salvation ? ' For &at power of ap* 
plyii^ itself unto salvaiidii, camiot bie a' mere* t^ii^mg^^ 
imless tile salvation itself be said tovbe a nothing; 
Noi^y again, eaa that desnre and eni^vour be a mere 
wUUiig; fyf ^^>e mttst strrvteidiidiaMeiHpt somethings 
(as^ gpod|iei4laps^) ^asfid daiihdt "^ forth into nothifig, 
noiibe ibsolQt6ly inactive. »^ ^ 

i i fo^a woi^,'^ whit^i^ way soever the .Diatribe^ turns 
itBbl^^ it cannot^ ke^ clear of inccmsistencies- and 
tontvadictory assertions; ivbr avoid misCking that very 
Free-will which it defends, as much a'bondHSiptive as 
itfe a bond-^Callittve itself. For, in attempting to li- 
berate Fr^e^^Ky at is so entangled, that it is bound, 
together with vFree^will, in bonds indisisoluble. 

Moreover, it is a mere l^cal figment that in man- 
there is a medium, a mere willing, nor can they who 
astert this prove it; It arose ^m ^ ignorance of 
things and an observance of terms. As thou^ tiie 
thing were always in<i^ityya& it \» set forth in terms; 
aiid^ there^ ere' with the ' Mph Jsts^^ many tocb misconoefi'^ 


tion3. MHhereas the matter rathei^ stands as Christ 
sSaith, '^ He that Is not with me is against me." H<^ 
does not say, He that is not with me is yet not agtunsl 
we, but in the medium. For if God be in us, Satan is 
from us, and it is present with us to will nothing but 
good. But if God be not in us, Satan is in u$, and it 
is present with us to will evil only. Neither Gtxl nor 
Satan admit of a mere jllhtracted willing in us;' but^ 
as you yourself rightly said, when our liberty is lost we 
are compelled to serve sin : that is, we wiU sin and 
evil, we speak sin and evil, we do sin and evil. 

Behold then ! invincible and all-powerful truth 
has driven the witless Diatribe to that Alemma, and 
so turned its wisdom iiito foolishness, that whereas, its 
design was to speak against me, it is c6mp6lled to 
speak ybr me against itself; just in the same way as 
Free-will does any thing good ; for when it attempts 
so to do, the more it acts against evil the more it acts 
^ against good. So that the Diatribe is, in saying, 
exactly what Free-will is ingoing. Though the whole 
Diatribe itself, is nothing else but a notable effort of 
Free-will, condemning by defending, and defending by 
condemning : that is, being a twofold fool, while it 
would appear to be wise. 

This, then, is the state of the first opinion com- 
pared with itself :—-i/ denies that a man can will amj 
thing good; but yet that a desire remains; which de- 
sire^ however^ is not his own! 

Sect. L. — Now let us conipare this opinion with 
the remaining two. 

The next of these, is that opinion * more severe still,' 
whidb hokl8> that Free*wiU avails unto nothing but to 


3in: And this indeed is Augustine's opinion, ex- 
pressed, as well in many other places, as more es- 
pecially, in his book ^^ Concerning the Spirit and 
the letter;?' in (if I mistake not) the fourth or fifth 
(jiapter, where he uses those very words. 

The third, is that ^ most severe' opinion; that 
Free-will is 'a mere empty term, and that every thing 
wUch we dp. is iZ'f,^ oec^ unir *l 
bondage of sin. — It is with these two that the Dia- 
tribe conflicts. ^ ^ 

I here observe, that perhaps it may be, that I am 
not able to discuss this point Intelligibly, from not being 
sufficiently aiiquainted with the Latin or with the Ger- 
maii. But I call God to witness, that I wish nothing else 
to be toid or to be understood by the words of the laiit 
two opinions than what is said in the first ofHnion : nor 
does Augustine wi^ any thing ehe to be understood, 
nor do I understand any thing else from his words,^ 
than that which the first opinion asserts : so that, the 
three opinions brought forward by the Diatribe are 
with me nothing else than my one sentiment. For 
when it is granted and est&bUshed, that Free-will; 
having once lo^ its liberty, is compulsively bound to 
the service of sin, an(| cannot will any thing good ; I, 
finpm these words^ can understand nc^hing else than 
that Free-will is a mere empty term, whose reality is 
lost. And a lost liberty, according to my grammar, is no 
liberty at all. And to give the name of liberty to that 
which has no liberty, is to give it an empty term. If I 
am wrong here, let him set me right who can. If these 
observations be obscure or ambiguous, let him who 
can^ illustrate and make them plain. I for my part, 
cimnot call t)iat health which is lost, health ; and if I 

were to «$ctribe jt; ^ oae' wh0 wcKilflkk, Tthindd thitde 
I ^^(ghriB^ ^iWf jiotiuhg else than ahvempty ii8me:<f 
; : ,^B$(ti«M^£^;ivith; these iMionnities of woiixis- Rnr 
Y^h<> WPulfl bearsudi an abiiaeaof the incaiiiert3i)K 
speaking, as &M. we,^uld say a^nmfa has FireaHriU^ 
9li()yetMi^<8£LQae.ttfne assert, tiridtiviheitftbat'libeily 
is. pricey i6^% lnai 1^ cKNEoptidstvely iiound to the iforieerof 
^ni anc} qmnqt witt^ any f thing good ?; Th<^e ^lin^iws 
cpntraiy to <;pi|inK^osi(mse, and ntteiiy dest^ 
common manner of speaking. The Diaixibe. is^TathiBt 
tft)^^ epil^emQ^d,i'vfhi<4^ib a djrbw^y. way, foists forth 
it^:9i1^ JYQi^^/ifJl^bOi^icUiy^^^^ U» tfaeKrwdsMif 
oth09Sr. 'r Itidoes not, Ic^ay, consider: what it is^iiiof 
how intimitis to assirU that m«n» whto hisilibettyiiB 
lpst;:^;4[^ontpeIled to serve sin and ceiinot! will :^)eny 
^flggoOd. Fpr if ttiwdiie at alt idgilanH or obsierirant/ 
it would] ;plakily see,* that the senidiBent contahieddh 
tjhe .three.opinions. is oneiaud the same,: which it msdooB 
to b^rdiyerse:ajvi oonlrary* . For i£<a .man, when he 
kM lost ihis' Hhertyv is 6ompelled to servesin^ vndjoan-^ 
apt wilJtgQQd^ what conolusion concerning him cad he 
i;tQi;e justly dfawii, thdh that he^ nothing hbl 
sin^and fHI evil?; And such a conclusion, the sophistd 
thepiselyes twrould.djraw, even by their syllo^smai 
Wherefore, the Diatribe, unhappily, contends liganist 
thelast two opinions, and approves the first ; whereas^ 
that is precisely the same as the other two ; and thoii 
again, as josual, it condemns itself and approves .siy 
s^ntiineaits, in one and the same article. 

. . '-^^ 

Sect LI.— t-Let us now come to that passage in 

l^cdesiasticus, and also with it compare that first 

*. probable opinion.* The opinion saith, ' Free-will 


oainnot willifgood.' Bie pftS»g^ift^.EiB|ctei^ia8ticua)^^ 
iKiddoed to provie^ithat FreefwiUl kjK)n^jibg, anft 
can do something. Therefore, the opinio^ yfijAch \% to 
M provedf fafi Ecclesiasticu^y ;a88erte tnie thijtg ; and 
floctesiaitidiSf which is adduced /to. prb^v^e it, j^j^s^i^f 
another; > Tfab is just asiif/any oi^^etting jtbouVtp 
fSKiYeridialnC^hiiatJvvas ^jMessiah,jshQuld adduce- ^ 
pas^lEi^. whick fproves thai) Pilate nirte ^yi^tnoisffyf 
Syria/ iNTianyitMng el^ equaHy disoordtot Iti^ ini^ 
dame way 'ths^t Tre^will ia herajproYod^ioBut;, xifA IfO 
poiticm fiiy hasiring abovei made . it . omhifest^ ; that io^ 
iiiingideaf ov.aertain can bp^flflidiQffipri(^yed>Qplic$a^ing 
Fjeeyvirillf ^asi tcuirhatriit i$,i)QK whfe> ifcioan ido^ it li* 
ttKiith^luk;l»/exaiB(iaft theiWhQle.pad!}9gfi«thpirotfghly. 
i : ' Tjx9t t Jioi isa|thi( j "^Qodnmade .inari m !th§ fe^^y 
ning^" >iH^ JbcD ap^ft bfjtl^e cteati^iptvOf 'ptito;. ;n0f 
doea.he Mfi apy ttl^ng^' asuyetf iUtticeniiog: j^itl^eri S're^ 
^tt>QHr;ftie-cQimnandmeQtB. ::n '" c I :^ . : 

ir< Then: he goes j^f.i^ and i)^ hisa .iniitbe haodt Qf 
tasi owtt cmnsel/V jAnd ;ifftmt is hem? r^fs Fi;j^e-i#} 
built upon this i But tbene isv not hei^Ct any xnentibn pf 
cri^mmandmqnts,: for the doing*. of nnbich 1 Free-will j^ 
sequited;; nt>t di^ive^ad.toyrithing^ tttts iuiiiilijin (he 
Oiteti^a !3f ,man. i If any thing^^beunde^riitood by^Mtlii 
ba»dpf Ms own counsel J? that should rath^ he undeirt 
stood which is in Gen«i anflii. : that idan wasi made 
lord of all things that he might freely exercise doniinion I 
over them : and as Mosi^ saith, ^^ Let ns maker mm$ 
and let him have dcnn^iion over the &be^ of the}sea:A' 
WD can any thing elsd be proved from those wordis^i 
for it is in these things only that man may act of h^ 
own will, as beingi subject "unto him. And niioreoifer^ 
he calls tinsinan^s. counsel^ in coiitradicti(Hi as it 



were to the coumelvfGod. But after this, wlMMrdie 
has said, that man was made and left thus in tfttt.hkii 
of his own counsel — ^he adds, ^ i>// 

^' He added moreover his commandments and Ui 
precepts/' Unto what did he add them ? Omtiiefy 
unto that counsel and will of man, and' qtot 'and 
above unto that constituting of his dominklnr.over 
other things. By which commandments ha ^ookf&w 
man the dominion over one part of ihis creatures^ 
(thiat is, over the tree of knowledge of good and e«3^) 
I and willed rather that he should iM^be iree.H— HiUiaig 
added the commandments, he th^i comes to thewitt 
of man towards God and towards the things of GkxL 
• ^ ''If thou wilt keep the commandmeilts tbey SaliaU 
preserve thee,'' &c. From this part, therefta^ '' If 
thou wilt," begins the question concerning Free^wilL 
So that, from £cclesiasticus we leam^ that nian is 
constituted as divided into two kingdoms.-v-The mie; 
is that in whkh he is- led according to his own will and 
bounsel, without the preoepts and the commandmettts 
of God: that'is, in those things whrch are bentsath 
him. Here he has dominion and is loild^ as '' left in 
tiie hand of his own counsel." Not that God so leaves 
Imn to himself, as that he does not co-operale widi 
Imn ; but he commits unto him the free use of Aings 
according to his own will, without prohibiting him by 
^any laws or injunctions. As we may say, by way di 
similitude, the Gospel has left us in the hands of our 
own counsel, that we may use, and have dominion 
over all things as we wilL But Moses and the Pope 
left us not in that counsel, but .restrained us by laws^ 
and subjected us rather to /Aeir own will. — 'But in the ' 
other kingdom, he is not left in the hand of his own 


flriMimiii id of God. And as, in his wm kitigdoni^li^ 
led According to his own tiiUj withodt the precepts 6{> 
another .^ so, in the kingdom of God, h^ is led accord^ 
in^rto the precepts of another, without his Own wift^ 
And this is what Ecclesiasticus means, when he ^ys/ 
^^ He added moreover his commandments imd his pre- 
cepts ti JM^gj If ttt6u wift,^ &c. 

. • J^ therefore,' these things^ be satisl^orily deaf^'^ 

hate made it folly evident, that thiis pass^lage of ^ode-* 

siaaticus does not make for Frde^wiU, t^t'directiy 

agednst it : seeing that, it snbjects tnan^ tO'the pi'Cfccfpts 

and will of God, and taJ^es itoto him. his Free^willi 

Biit if they be not satis&ctorily -clefir^ 1 have at- lecM 

made it manifest, that diis passage 4canh6t jnake fSf 

Frw-wiU; seeing that, it may be nnderstood in i 

seasedtffiM^nt fit>m that which thej^ put ifpbn it, that 

is, in my sense already ^stat^; which' is not ab^m*d, but 

most holy and in hfomony wi4i the whole scripture. 

Whereas, their sense militates> against the whole scrip- 

tuie, aiid is fetched from) thii^ one p^sagd 6h\y,^ cdtt*^ 

txaiy to the tenor of the whole scri^tiirei I fetahd 

therefore secure ^n .the good sense, the ^hf^^tive-of 

!EreeHwill, imtil 4ihey shall haive^confirmed their stmii^ 

^]3[d forced litffirmartdvert': ■• ♦ • :tr '.^ 

. Whenj therefore, Sdde^astSeus lays; ** If th6u 
xidlt keep the commandments, and keep the faith that 
f)lea6eth me, they shall pre^fvethee^"! do not see 
that Free-will can bei proved frotn'tho^'^ords. For, 
^* if thou wilt," is a verb of the siib^divi^ mdod, 
^^^hich asserts nothing : as the IbgiciaAs- Sfeiy, * aeon*- 
vdUtional assets nothing indicatively :^' such as^ ff the 
^evil be God, he is deservedly worshipped : if an asfe 



fly, an *ass had wings : so aJso, if there be Free-willy 
grace is nothing at all. Therefore^ if Ecdesiasticus^ 
had wished to assert Free-wiil/he ought to have spoken 
thus : — man is able to keep the commandments of 
God, or, man has the jmoer to keep the com^ 


Sedt. LII. — But here the Diatribe will sharply 
retort — "Ecclesiasticus by saying, " if thou wilt keep,*'^ 
signifies that di^e is a will in man, to keep, ^and not to 
keep : otherwise, what is the use of saying unto him 
who has no wHl, *^ if thou wilt ? " Would it not be ri- 
diculous if any were to say to a blind man, if thou 
wilt see, thou mayest find a treasure ? Or, to a detf 
man, if thou wilt hear, I mU relate to thee an excel- 
lent story ? This would be to laugh at their misery*^ 

I answer : These are the argun^nts of human rea- 
son, which is wont to shoot forth many such sprigs of 
wisdom. Wherefore, I must dispute now, not with 
Ecclesiasticus, but with huodan reason concerning^ a 
conclusion ; for she, by her conclusions and syllc^isHSs, 
interprets and twists the scriptures of God just whidi 
way she pleases. But I will enter upon tl^s willing^, 
and with confidence, knowing, that she can prate no- 
thing but follies and absurdities ; and that more espe- 
cially, when she attempts to make a shew of her wis- 
dom in these divine matters. 

First then, if I should demand of her how it can 
be proved, that the ireedom of the will in man is sig- 
nified and inferred, wherever these expressions are 
used, * if thou wilt,' * if thou shalt do,' * if thou, 
shalthear;' she would say, because the nature of 
words, and the common use of speech among men^ 

seem, to require it. Therefore, she judges of divine 
things a,nd words according to the customs and things 
pfvinen; than which,, what can be more perverse; 
sedug that, the former things are heavenly, the latter 
QSffthlyv Like a fool, therefore, she exposes herself, 
making it manifest that she has not a thought coxkr 
coming God but what is human. 

But, what if I prove, that the nature pf words and 
the use of speech even among men, are not always of 
that tendency, as to make a laughing stock of those to 
whom it is said, ' if thou wilt,' * if thou shalt do it,' 
* if thou shalt hear ? ' — How often do parents th^s 
play with their children, when they bid them conpie, 
to them, or do this or that, for this purpose only^ 
that it may plainly appear to them how unable they 
are to do it, and that they may call for the aid of the 
parent's hand? How often does a faithful physician 
bid his obstinate p9.tient do or omit those things which 
are either injurious to him or impossible, to the intent 
that, he may bring him, by an experience, to the 
knowledge of his disease or his w^ness ? And what 
is more general and common, thw to use words of 
insult or provocation, when we would show either 
enemies or friends, what th^^i c^ dp and what thiey 
Wmotdo? ; ,, 

I-merely go over the^e things^ to shew Reason her 
Own conclusions, and how absurdly she tacks thenar to 
the scriptures : moreover, how blind she n|ust be not to 
see, that they do not always stand good even in hu- 
man words and things. But the case is, if she see it to 
bQ done once, she rushes on headloi]^, taking it for 
granted, that it is done generally in all the things of 

K 2 

God and men, thus making, according to tiie w^ of 
her wisd(Mri, of fi pctrtictikiity an imiv^wality. 

If then Grod, ad a father, ddai with us- ias inOk 
^oiis, that he might shew Ui^ whd dre in ignbnmce odtr 
impottocy, Or as^'i^ faidiifol 'physician, that he ini^ 
make our dsyeftsfekno^ ttito;us, or that he tiilglititf* 
suit his enemies who' proudly fesist his counsel-; ^xkl 
fdt tli|^ end,- sfeiy to us by' proposed laws (ab being 
those Ali^|»3 4^ whieh he aMOinplishes^h ttie 

most effectSaMy) ' do/ -^ heajty " fceep,' or, * if thoii 
wilt,' * if thoU wilt do,' ^ if thou wilt hear ; ' can this 
be drawti herefrotti as a jiist condiisibn— therefoite^ 
eithe* we have free power to actj>ilr God laughs at us? 
Whj^ i^ this iibt rather drawh ad a conclusion — there^ 
fore, Grod tries us, that by his law he mi^t bring lis tb 
It knowledgebf our impottocy, if we' be his friends; w; 
he thereby righteously and de8erv6dly hisults and de^ 
rides us, tf wbbehis proud enemies. For this, as Pattl 
^ches, is the intent of the dBvine legislation. Becatu^ 
hiiinan natiire is blinld, so that it knowd not lis dWn 
powers, or tatheir its own diseases. Moreover, beitig 
proud, it self-conceitedly iinagines, that it knOws ctn^ 
can do all things. To retoedy which pride afid igno^ 
ranee, God can use no means more effectud than his 
proposed law: of which we shall say more in its 
pkbcO: let it suffice to have thus touched upon it 
her(s, to reftite this condusion of carnal and absurd 
wisdom:*—' if thou wilt'* — ^therefore thou art able to 
will freely. 

The Diatribe dreams, that man is whole andf 
sound, )^, tb Immaii appearahce, he is in his own 
affairs; and th^i^fore, from these words, Mf thOu 


wilt,' Mf thou wih do/ / if . thou wik hear/ it pertly 
a]::gue^,.that inan^ if liis wJU;bB not free, is laughed^ at. 
Whereas, t^e scripture describes man as corrupt and 
a cit))tiye ; and aflckd to that, as proudly^ contedaming 
and ignorant of his corruption and captivity : and 
therefore, by th6se words, ' ii goads him and rouses 
him up^ that he. might know, by a. real experience^ 
how unable he is to do' any one of those things. 

Sect^LIII;— But Iwill attack the Diatribe itself. 
If diou ree% think, O jfe dam Reason ! that thede 
conclusions stand good, ^ If thou wflt^—* therefore 
thou hast a free power,*- why dost thoU tiot foltew tiie 
samejthyself ? ^Eor thou sayest, a^ording- ta that 
^ prohabla opiniouj' that oFree^^will'-^cahnot will ' ■ an^ 
thing good.L By what conclusion then can :sach a^sei^* 
timent flow from this passage. also, ^if thou ii^ilt keep,^ 
whesi /thou sayest that the conclusion iflchiringfrtdbi 
this, is, that mian can will and not will freely? What! 
can bitter and sweet flow from the ssime fountain? 
Dost thou not here much more: deride man thy^tf> 
when thou sayest,' that he can keep that, which he hsA 
neither will nor choose ? Therefore, ndther dost them, 
from thy heart, believe that this is a jusir conclusion^ 
* if thou wilt — ^therefore^thou hask a freeipower,*' al-^ 
though thou contendest for it with somuch^eal, oi^ if 
thou dost believe it, then thou dostnot, from thy heart, 
say, that that opinion is -' probable,' which holds that 
man cannot will good ;^^ Thui^, reason is $0--^ caught in 
the conclusions and words of^her own wisdrai, that 
she kxii6^ not what she say i^i nor concermng what 
she «peaks r nay, knows aothihg Itut that whi^h it iii 
most: light she should know-^thaJr-Foee-Will is de^ 



fended with such arguments as mutually devour^ trnd 
put an end to each other; just as the Midianites 
destroyed each other by mutual slaughter, when they 
fought against Gideon and the people of Grod. 
Judges vii. 

Nay, I will expostulate more folly with tMs wis- 
dom of the Diatribe. Ecclesiasticus does not say, 
* if thou shalt have the desire and the ^ideavotir 
of keeping,' (for this is not to be ascribed to that 
power of yours, as you have concluded) but he toys, 
-^ if thou wilt keep the commandments they shall pre- 
serve thee." Now then, if we, after the manner of your 
•wisdom, wish to draw conclusions, we should infer 
thus : — therefore, man is able tx) keep the command- 
ments. And thus, we shall not here make a certain 
small degree of desire, or a certain litde effort of en^ 
deavour to be left in man, but we shall ascribe untd 
him the whole, foil, and abundant power of -keying 
the commandments. Otherwise, Ecclesiasticus will 
be made to laugh at the misery of man, as com- 
manding him to ^ keep,' who, he knows, is not able 
to * keep.' Nor would it have been sufficient if he had 
supposed the desire and the endeavour to be in the 
man, for he would not then have escaped the suspi- 
cion of deriding him, unless he had signified his having 
the foil power of keeping. 

But however, let us suppose that that desire and 
endeavour of Free-will are a real something. What 
shall we say to those, (the Pelagians, I mean) who, 
from this passage, have denied grace in toto^ and as- 
aribed all to Free-will ? If the conclusion of the Dia- 
tribe stand good^ the Pelagians have evidently esta- 
blished their point For the words of Ecclesiastieus 

6pnk cf keqmigf not of diking or e^id^mouring. If, 
thefefore, you deny the Pdagtans their ^conclusion 
conoeming keepings they, in reply^ will much more 
rightly deny you your conclusion concerning endea- 
vouring. And if you take from them the whole of 
Free-will, they will take from you your remnant par- 
ticle of it : for you cannot assert a remnant particle of 
that, which you deny in toto. In what degree soever, 
therefore, you speak against the Pelagians, who from 
this passage ascribe the- whole to Free-will, in the 
same degree, and with much more determination, 
shall we speak against that certain small remnant 
desHure of your Free-will. And in this, the Pela- 
gians themselves will agree with us, that, if their opi- 
nicm cannot be proved from^ this passage^ much less 
will any other of the same kind be proved from it : 
seeing that, if the subject be to be conducted by con- 
clusions, Ecclesiasticus above all makes the most 
forcibly for the Pelagians : for he speaks in 'plain 
wcmls concerning keeping only, " If thou wilt keep the 
commandments:" nay, he speaks also concerning 
fmthj " If thou wilt keep the faith :'^ so that^ by the 
same conclusion, keeping the faith ought also to be in 
our power, which, however, is the peculieur and pre- 
cious gift of God. 

In a word, since so many opinions are brought 
forward in support of Fi^e-will, and there is no one 
that does not catch at this passage of Ecclesiasticus in 
defence of itself; and since they are diverse from, and 
contrary to each other, it is impossible but that they 
must make Ecclesiasticus contradictory to, and diverse 
from themselves in the selfsame words ; and there- 

• ... 

fore, they can from him prove nothing. Although, 


baUe Opinion ' which affirms, that Free-wiK'caQBiM 
so much as will good ? For here, the victory over 
evil is ascribed unto that, which neither wills nor 
wishes for good. The inconsiderateness of our Diar 
tribe is really — too — ^too bad ! 

Take the truth of the matter in a few words. As 
I have before observed, by such passages as these, it 
is shewn to man what he ought to dOy not what he 
can do. It is said, therefore, unto Cain, that he 
oiight to rule over his sin, and to hold its desires in 
subjection under him. But this he neither did nor 
could do, because he was already pressed down under 
Ae contrary dominion of Satan. — It is well known, 
that the Hebrews frequently use the future indicative 
for the imperative: as in Exod. xx., " Thou shalt 
have none other gods but me," " Thou shalt not kill," 
** Thou shalt not commit adultery," and in number^ 
less other instances of the same kind. Otherwise, if 
these sentences were taken indicatively, as they really 
stand, they would be promises of God ; and as he 
cannot lie, it would come to pass that no man could 
sin ; and then, as commands^ they would be unneces- 
sary ; and if this were the case, then our interpreter 
would have translated this passage more correctly 
thus : — " let its desire be under thee, and rule thou 
over it," Gen. iv. Even as it then ought also to be 
said concerning the woman, " Be thpu under thy 
husband, and let him rule over thee," Gen. iii. But that 
it was not spoken indicatively unto Cain is manifest 
from this : — ^it would then have been a promise. 
Whereas, it was not a promise ; because, from the 
conduct of Cain, the event proved the contrary. 


• Seirt LVLr^TH* third passage is from Mosfei, 
I>eut. XXX, " I have set before thy fiice life and 
death, choose what is good, &c." — "What words 
(says the Diatribe) can be more plain? It leaves to 
man the liberty of choosing." — 

I answer : What is more plain, than, that you 
are blind ? How, I pray, does it leave the liberty of 
choosing ? Is it by the -expression * choose ' ? — ^There- 
fore, as Moses saith * choose,* does it immediately 
come to pass that they do choose ? Then, there is no 
need of the Spirit. And as you so often repeat and 
inculcate the same things, I shall be justified in re- 
peating the same things also. — If there be a liberty 
of choosing, why has the ^ probable opinion ' said that 
* Free-will cannot will good?' Can it choose not 
JwUling or against its will? But let us listen to the 
similitude, — 

— " It would be ridiculous to say to a man stand- 
ing in a place where two ways met. Thou seest two 
roads, go by which thou wilt, when one only was 
open. " — 

This, as I have before observed, is from the 
ai*guments of human reason, which thinks, that a man 
is mocked by a command impossible : whereas I say, 
that the man, by this means, is admonished and 
roused to see his own impotency. True it is, that we are 
in a place where two ways meet, and that one of them 
only is open, yea rather neither of tfiem is open. But by 
the law it is shewn how impossible the one is, that is, 
to good, unless God freely give his Spirit ; and how 
wide and easy the other is, if God leave us to our- 
selves. Therefore, it would not be ' said ridiculously, 
but with a nbcessary seriousness, to the man thus 




Atid as to your conclusions or i^pefi(^ige0,'atidisi]&ili'^ 
tudes, if they prove any thing they pTOV^ tfett frHthii^ 
Free-will can do all things without grace. Wfati^ 
Ate you did not undertake to prays, nay, rt is by. you 
denied. Wherefore, these your proofs ^re- notbiiig 
else but the most direct confutatiotis. * ' ,ci. 

For, (that I may, if I can, rouse tlie Diatribe jfrom 
its lethargy)' suppose I argue thus^—^IfMoses^ tey{ 
* Choose life and keep the commandment^' unless^iaan 
be able to' choose life and ke^p the commandioeiit^ 
Moses gives that precept to man ridiculously.-rr-Have 
I by this argument proved my side of the subject; that 
Free-will can do nothing good, and that. it. has nd 
external endeavour separate from its aWn pomeiii 
Nay, on the contrary, 1 have proved, % an asseriidQ 
sufficiently forcible, that either man can choose life 
and keep the commandment as it is comtnaTwtefl^^ - tnr 
Moses is a ridiculous law-given ' But who would dii^ 
to assert that Moses was a ridiculous law-^e(rj?: it 
follows therefore, that man can do the things that are 
commanded. ^ 

This is the waj^ in which the Diatribe argues 
throu^iout, contrary to its own purposed design; 
wherein, it proinised that it wotild nbt^argueJthusy.biKt 
would pf5W% certain .^endeavour of Fr^-will ; ,of 
which however, so far from proving it, itscarcdiy 
makes mention in the whole string of its argnmetttsi; 
nay, it proves the contrary rather ; so that it may 
itsdf be more properly said to affirm and argue all 
things ridiculously. 

And as to its making it, according to its own adr 
duced similitude, to be ridiculous; thait a man * hanfr 
ing his right arm bound, should be ordered to stretcb 

fttrtfi hi» nght hand when he could only stretch forth his 
I«ft;*-^Woald ft, I pray, be ridiculous, if a man, having 
libtiirMiiarms bound, and proudly contending or igno- 
fifiitfy presuming that he could do any thing right or 
UiBfy ilhoutd bei commanded to sU^tch- forth his hand 
right and left, not thatiiis captivity might be derided, 
imt'that h(& might be convinced of his fal^e pr^sump- 
^icta ofiiiberty and potvr^r, and m^t^be brought to 
idhdwihift ignorance of his captivity and miseiy ? 
'y'l 51ief Diatribe is pei^ually :$fettingJbefore us such 
8" than, who^^ther can do what is commanded, or at 
isoA knStos' ihht^he canmt ^^^^ Whereas, no such /( ^^^ 
man is to be found. If there Wer^ such an one, then 
indeed, either impossibilities would be ridiculously 
commanded, or the Spirit of Christ wwtld be in vain. 
.?!' The scripture, however, sets forthiguch -tf man, who 
fenot only bound, miserable,- captive, sick, and dead> 
bttt who, by thte operation of has tord Satan, to 
Us other misi^es, adds that of blindness : so that 
be^bdieves^ he is free, happy, ^ at liberty, powerful, v/ 
whole, and alive. For Satan -^eli knowis that if men 
knew their own mis^y he could iretain no one of them 
in his kingdom ; because, it could not be, but that 
©od \^ould immediately^ pity <and succour theh* known 
noiBery lind oedainity': seeing 4liat^ he is with sdvhmch 
prttise set forth, dirboghout the whodbs' ^cripture^ as 
bfabig near unto the contrite in heart, that Isaiah Ixi. 
tiittifies, that Christmas' sent " to preach d;he Gospel 
to the poor, and to heal the broken hearted." !- '. 

Wherefore, the work of Satan is, so to hold men, 
that they come not to know thebr) misery, bat that 
fh^ 'presume that they can do all things which are 
enjoined. But the work of Mosek the>legisIator is the 


standing in a place where two wayd meet, *gp by 
wl^ch thou wilty' if he, being in reality^ impo.tent vdsl^ 
to seem to himself strong, or contended thfitti^eitber 
wfiy was hedged up. ^ 

Wherefore, the words of the la^ are spoken^ not 
t^at they might assert the power of the will, but that 
they might iUupdinate the blindness of reason, that it 
might see- that it^ own light is nothing, and tJijat the 
power of the will is nothing. " By the law (saith 
Paul) is the knowledge fif sin," Rom. iii. : he does 
not say— is the abolition of, or the escape 6om sin* 
The whole nature and design of the law is to g^ve 
knowledge only, and that of nothing else save of siO| 
but not to discover or communicate any power wbatt 
ever. For knowledge is not power, nor does it com* 
municate power, but iit teaches and shews howT^eat 
the impotency must there be, where there is no j)pwer4 
And what else can the Iqiowledge of sin be, but the 
knowledge of our evil and infirmity ? For he does not 
say — ^by the law comes the knowledge of strength or 
of good. The whole that the law does, according to 
the testimony of Paul, is to make known sin. 

And this is the place, where I take occasion to 
enforce this my general reply : — ^that man, by ihe_ 
wor ds of th e Jaw, is admonished and taught i wbat he 
0UjS[ht to dOy not what he can dp : that is, that he it 
brought to know his sin, but not to believe th at he 
has any strenethln himself. Wherefore, friend Eras- 
mus, as often as you throw in my teeth the words of 
the law, so often I throw in yours that of Paul, " By 
the law is the knowledge of sin," — ^not of the power of 
the will. H^ajLtogeti^r,, t^e^^ ont of the laige 
Concordances all the imperative words into one "chaos^ 


Dieitribe' fnmit itt s<^ hi^^ exalted wisdcmf imtigine, 
tiial ihe fatof the laliid call be eaten coiitmr^ to the 
will of God ? Or, that it is a lare and new thhig, limt 
we do not recieive of the fiit of the land but by die 

So also, that of Isaiah xxi. " If ye will inquire, 
inquire ye : return^ come."- — " To what purpose is 
it (saith the Diatribe) to exhort diose who are not 
in any degree in their own power? It is just like 
saying to one bound in chains, Move thysdf to this 
l^ttce." — 

Nay, I reply, to what purpose is it to cite passages 
which of themselves prove nothing, and which, l^ the 
appendage of your conclusion, that is, by the perver- 
sbn of their sense, ascribe all unto Free-will, when 
a certain endeavour only was to be ascribed unto it, 
and to be proved ? 

: : — "The same may be said (yoti obsen^) cbncemiii^ 
that of Isaiah xlv., " Assemble yourseli^s and comeJ' 
^ Turn ye unto me and ye shall be saved," And that 
abo of Isaiah lii.> " Awake ! awake ! " " shake thy- 
self from the dust," "loose the bands of thy neck," 
And that of Jeremiah xv., " If thou wilt turn, then 
will I turn thee ; and if thou shalt separate the pre- 
cious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth;" And 
Zedhariah more evidently still, indicates the endeavc^r 
of Free-will and the grace that is prepared for him 
who endeavours, " Turin ye untom^ ssuth the Lord of 
hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord.'^ 

Sect. LX. — -IiJ these passages, our friend Dki^ 
trfte makes no distinction whatever, between the voice 
of the Law and the voice of the Gospel : because, 

. L 2 


pressions (you say) are made use of pteposteBonsIj? 
if there be not a Free-^vill in man imta good-—*-/. 40 

I answer: Andyou, friend Diatribe, pce^po^m* 
rously enough also conclude from these expressicms 
the freedom of the will. You set out to prove; 'the 
endeavour and desire of Free-will only, and yoir have 
adduced no passage which proves such an eodeaTcmn 
But now, you adduce those passages, whidi, if your 
conclusion hold good, will ascribe d^// to Free-wilL . 

Let me here then again make a distinqtion^ be^- 
tween the words of the scripture adduced, andlbe 
conclusion of the Diatribe tacked to them. The word s 
'adduced are imperative, and they say . nqtlMi ^ faajt 
what au^t to be done. For, Moses doen .jaQt..jayi 
* thou hast the power and strength to choose/ ^Tlie 
words * choose,' * keep,' * do,' ccmvey the precepts to 
keep,' but they do not describe the ability of mamu 
But the conclusion tacked to them by that wisdom^ 
aping Diatribe, infers thus : — ^therefore, nian ^n do 
|( tho&e things, otherwise the precepts are given in vai n; 
To whom this reply must be made :-:—Madflfli Dias- 
tribe, you make a bad inference, and do not prove 
your conclusion, out the conclusion and the proof 
merely seem to be ri^t to your blind and inadvertaat 
gelf. But know, that these precepts are, not given 
preposterously nor in vain ; but that proud and blind 
man might, by them, learn the disease of his own im^ 
potency, if he should attempt to do what is com- 
manded. And hence your similitude amounts to no- 
thing where you say, 

— " Otherwise it would be precisely the same, as if 
any one should say to a man who w as so bound that 
he could only stretch forth his left arm, — Behokt ! 


lUoiikafit on thy fight hand exc^lent wine, thou hast 
(m thy left poison ; on which thou wilt stretch forth 
thy hand "— 

'.' These your similitudes I presume are particular 
fiuronrites of yours. But you do not all the while 
see, that if the similitudes stand good, they prove 
mudi more than you ever purposed to prove, nay, 
that they prove what you deny and would have to be 
disproved :-^that Free-will can^ do all things. For 
by the whole scope of your argument, forgetting what 
you said, * that Free-will can do nothing without 
^BCe,' you actually prove that Free-will can do all 
Aings without grace. For your conclusions and simi- 
litudes go to prove this : — ^that either Free-will can 
of' itself do those things which are said and com- 
Hianded, or they are comnxanded in vain, ridiculously, 
aond preposterously. But these are nothing more than 
ihe old songs of the Pelagians sung over again, which 
fiven the sophists have exploded, and which you have 
yourself condemned. And- by all this your forgetful- 
ness and disorder of memory, you do nothing but / 
^evince how little you know of the subject, and how 
iittle you are affected by it. ^ And what can be worse 
na rhetorician, than to be continually bringing^ for- 
ward things wide of the nature of the subject, ;and not 
tifily so, but to be always declaiming against his sub- 
ject and against himself ? 
^ «■• ' 

* ■ ; Sect LVIII. — ^Wheeeforje I observe, finally, the 
passages of scripture adduced by you are imperative, j 
•and neither prove any thing, nor determine any thing 
concerning the> ability of man, but enjoin only what [ 
tlifaigs are to be done, and; what are not to be done. 


Wbaterer, therefore, is said a^tinst dmwu^-n 
conclusion in support of Free-will from this vftird 
^^ love God/' the same must be said against (teawii^ a 
conclusion in support of Free-will from every other 
word of command or requirement. For, if by & e 
comniaiid yto loye / the nature of the law only be 
shewn, and what w e au£^ht to do, but not the TOW£il0f 
tiie lidll or what wejgapffoy but rather, what we jC^giwf 
do^ihe smxe is shewn by all the other scnptoi^.pf 
requh^qptent. For it is well known, that even the 
schoolmen, except the Scotinians and modems, assert, 
that mail cannot love God with all his heart, lliere- 
fore, neith^ can he perform any one of the ot^et pre- 
cepts, for 1^1 the rest, according to the testimony of 
Christ, hang on this one. Hence, by the testiinqi^ 
even of the doctors of the schools, this remcdns as a 
setded conclusion :- — that the words of the law do not 

ffove the power of Freewill, but shew what we^^ 
to do, and what we canmA do . 


Sect LXI. — But our friend Diatribe, preceding 
to still greater lengths of inconsiderateness, not only 
infers from that passage of Zechariah, ^' turn ye unto 
me," an indicative sense, but also, goes on with zeal to 
prove therefrom, the endeavour of Free-will, and th^ 
grace prepitred for the person endeavouring. 

Here, at last, it makes mention of the endeavour, 
and by a new kind of grammar, • to turn; signifies, 
with it, the same thing as ^ to endeavour : ' so that 
the sense is, " turn ye unto me," that is, endeavour 
ye to turn ; " and . I will turn unto you," that is, I 
\ will endeavour to turn unto you ; so that, at last, it 
attributes an endeavour even unto God, and perhaps^ 


would have grace to be prepared for him upon his 
endeavouring : for if taming signify endeavouring in 
one place, why not in every place? 

Again, it says, that firom Jeremiah xv., ^^ If thou 
dialt separate the precious from the vile,'' not the en- 
deavour only, but the liberty of choosing is proved ; 
which, before, it declared was * lost,' and changed 
into a * necessity of serving sin.' You see, therefore, 
AbX in handling the scriptures, the Diatribe has a 
Free-will with a witness : so that, with it, words of the 
samie kind are compelled to prove endeavour in one 
place, and liberty in another, just as the turn suits. 

But, to away with vanities, the word turn is 
used in the scriptures in a twofold sense, the one legale 
the other evangelical. In the legal sense, it is the 
voice of the exactor and commander, which requires, 
not an endeavour, but a change in the whole life. In 
this sense Jeremiah frequently uses it, saying, "Turn 
ye now every one of you from his evil way:" and, 
" Turn ye unto the Lord : " in which, he involves the 
requirement of all the commandments; as is suffidently 
evident. In the evangelical sense, it is the voice of the 
divine consolation and promise, by which nothing is 
daoianded of us, but in which the grace of God is y 
offered unto us. Of this kind is that of Psalm cxxvi., 
" When the Lord shall turn again the captivity of 
Zion ; " and that of Psalm cxvi., " Turn again into 
iby rest, O my soul." Hence, Zechariah, in a very 
Imef compendium, has set forth the preaching both of 
the law and of grace. It is the whole sum of the / 
law, where he saith, " Turn ye unto me ; " and it is 
grace, where he saith, " I will turn unto you." Where- 
fore, as much as Free-will is proved from this word, 

■i . 


^^ Love die^Lord/' 'or. iinom any other woid of sptutih 
pilar law, just so much i^ it proved from, this word 4tf 
dumyary law, ^^ turn te.^V It^becomes awise^mador 
of the scriptxiresy therefore, to observe what.are words 
of:.the law and what are words of grace^ thattibe 
jnight not be involved in confiision like the midean 
sophists, and like this sleepily-yawning Diatribq. 

Sect LXIL-r-Npw o|)serve^ in what way the 
Diatribe handles that single passage in Ezekiel xviii. 
'* As I Uve^v^saith the Lord, I desire not the death:c^ 
a sisner^'boloFather- thatuhe should, turn from Im 
wickednessand liva" In the/ first place — " if (it says) 
the expressions ^^^ shall torn away," .^^ hath done/' 
^J hath jcommitted, " ibe BO ofJten repeated in this 
^lapter^ where are they whd deny that man can do 
anything?"—' ^.i : ..». 

Oiily remark, I pray, the excellent conclusion: ! It 
set out to prohre the endeavour and the desire of Free- 
will, and now it proves the whole woik, that all things 
areufidfilled by. Freerwill ! Where! now, I pray,- me 
thctee' who^ need grace and the Holy Spirit?. For it 
perdytargues thus: paying,. ' Ezekiel says, ^^Jf .the 
wicked man ahall turn away^ and shall do rigbteous- 
nessr and: judgment,; he shall live/' Therefoie,.^ihe 
wicked inandde&: that .'immediately and can doiit' 
Whereas ,£zekiel is signifying, what ought to be do»e^ 
but the Di^BUxibe tmderstands it as being doae^ apd 
having been done. Tbua .teaching us, by kind ctf 
grammav, that OK^^^ to be bs> the same as hearing beeky\ 
being esactcdthe dame as being performed^ and being 
rehired the samls as 'heingK rendered. 
,'.- 1 And then, lhat>voi€e of the all-sweet Gospel, ".L 


iesite not the death of a dinner/' 8cc. it. penreiis 
Aus :-^^' Wbuid the ri^teous Loifd deplore fliat death 
ef his people which he himsdf wrought in them? If, 
Aerefore, he wills not our death,' it certainly is to be 
laid to the charge of our own will; if. we perish. ; Fcnr, 
whftt'can you ky to the diaige of him, whoi can do 
nothing either of good or evil ? " — 

It was upon this same :string that Pelagius harped 
long ago, when he- attributed to Free-will not a desire 
noV' an endeavour only, but the power of doing and 
fiilfiilingtall tilings; For as I* have said before, these 
conclusions prove that powers if they prove any thing ; 
so that, they make with equal, nay with more force 
agfunst the Diatribe which denies that power of Free- 
will, and wjiich attempts to* establish the endeavour 
only, than they do against ub who deny Free-will altd- 
gether.'^-^But, to say nothing of the ignorance of the 
Diatribe, let us speak to the subject. 

It is thet Gospel voioe, and the sweetest consola- 
tkm to miserable sinners, where Ezekid saith, ^^ I de- 
swenot the death of a sinher, but rather, that he 
fibould be converted and live," and it is in all respects 
like unto that of Psalm xxx. ; /^ For his wrath is. bnt 
for a taoment, in his wiUingness is life.'^ And that of 
Psalm xxxvi., " How sweet is ihy loving-kmdness^ O 
God/' Also, '' For I ato "mUccifuL*' And that of 
Ghrist, Matt, xi., ^^ Comie unto me, all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And 
also that o£ Exodus xx., ^-^ I^-vrill shew mercy unto 
thousands of them that love nie." ' . : 

: And what is more than half of the holy scripttoe^ 
but mere promises of grace, by winch, mercy,^^ life^ 
peace, and salvation, are extended bom God unto 


men ? And what else is the whole word of promiaelnit 
this: — ^^ I desire not the death of a sinnar?" Isnothfe 
saying, ^^ I am merciful/' the same as saying, I axh not 
angry, I am unwilling to punish, I desire not your 
(feath, my will is to pardon, my will is to^ span? 
And if diere were not these divine promises standing 
by which consciences, afflicted with a sense of sin and 
terrified at the fear of death and judgment, mi^t be 
raised up, what place would there be for pardon or 
for hope ! What sinner would not sink in despair ! 
But as Free-will is not proved from any of the other 
words of mercy, of promise, and of comfort, so nei- 
ther is it from this :— " I desire not the death of n 
sinn^," &c. 

But our friend Diatribe, again making no distinc- 
tion between the words of the law, and the words of 
die promise, makes this passage of Ezekiel the voice 
of the law, and expounds it thus : — " I desire not the 
death of a sinner:" that is, I desire not that he 
should sin unto death, or should become a sinner 
guilty of death ; but rather, that he should be con^ 
verted from sin, if he have conmiitted any, and thus 
Uve. For if it do not expound the passage thus, it will 
make nothing to its purpose. But this is utterly to de^ 
stroy and take away that most sweet place of Ezekiel, 
^* I desire not the death." If we in our blindness will 
lead and understand the scriptures thus, what wonder 
if they be * obscure and ambiguous.' Whereas God 
does not say, ^^ I desire not the sin of man, but, I de^ 
sire not the death of a sinner," which manifestly shews 
that he is speaking of the punishment of sin, of which 
the sinner has a sense on account of his sin, that is, of 
the fear of death ; and that^e is raising up and com- 


4iMrting tlie stnoer lying ^nder this affliction «iid despe- 
tution, that he might not ^^ break the bruised reed 
nor quench the smoking flax/' but raise him to the 
iiope of pardon and salvation, in order that he might 
he further converted, that is, by the conversion unto 
4Mdvation from the fear of death, and that he mi^t 
-live, that is, might be in peace and rejoice in a good 

And this is also to be observed, that as the voice 
of the law is not pronounced but upon those who 
neither feel nor know their sins, as Paul saith> " By 
■tibe law is the knowledge of sin ; " so, the word of 
'grace does not come but unto those, who, feeling their 
sins, are distressed and exercised with desperation. 
Therefore, in all the words of the law, you will find sin 
to be impliied while it shews what we ought tp do ; as 
oa the contrary, in all the words of the proi^ise, you 
will find the evil to be implied under which the sin- 
ners^ or those who are raised up, labour : as here, ^^ I 
desire not the death of a sinner," clearly points out the 
death and the sinner, both the evil itself which is felt; 
and the sinner himself who feels it. But by this, 
•^ Love God with all thine heart,' is shewn what good 
we ought to do J not what evUwefeelj in order ithat we 
might know, how far we wee from doing good. 

Sect. LXIII. — Nothing, therefiDre, could be more 
absurdly adduced in support of Free-will than this 
passage of Ezekiel, nay, it makes with all possible 
force directly against Free-will. For it is here shewn, 
in what state Free-will is, and what it can do under the 
knowledge of sin, and in turning itself from it : — that 
isy^that it can only go on to worse, and add to its sins 




, * 

God, ther efore, is to be left to remain n^' hfejWrft 
nature and majesty ; for in this respect, we hajjejai- 
tfaing to do with him, nor does he wish us to h ave, i n 
this respect, any thing to do with him : but we have 

, / to do with him as far as he is clothed in, and deli- 

1 1 vered to us by^ his word ; fojjn fliatjifi^gresenlajj™ 
g^f unto us, and that is his beauty and his glory, in 
which the Psalmist celebrates him as being dothrfr^^^" 
Wherefore, we say, that the righteous God does fior 
* deplore that death of his people which he himself 
works in them ; ' but he deplores that death which he 
finds in his people, and which he desires to remove 
fix)m them. For God preached desires this :-^that, 
our sin and death being taken away, we might be 
saved, " He sent his word and healed them," Psalm 
cvii. But God hidden in majesty neither de- 
plores, nor takes away death, but works life and death 
and all things : nor has he, in this character, defined 
himself in his word, but has reserved unto himself, a 
free power over all things. 

But the Diatribe is deceived by its own igno- 
rance, in not making a distinction between God 
preached and God hidden : that is, between the 
word of God and God himself. God does many things 
which he does not make known unto us in his word ; 
he also wills many things which he does not in his 
word make known unto us that he wills. Thus, lie 
does not ^ will the death of a sinner,' that is, in his 
word; but he mils it by that will inscrutable. But in 
the present case, we are to consider his word only, and 
to leave that will inscrutable : seeing that, it is by his 
word, and not by that will inscrutable, that we are to 
be guided ; for who can direct himself according to a 


irniX inscrutable and incomprehensible? It is enough 
to know only, that there is in God a ciertain will in- 
scrutable : but whaty why^ and how far that will wills, 
it is not lawful to inquire, to wish to know, to be con- 
cerned about, or to reach unto — ^it is only to be v/ 
feared and adored ! 

. Therefore it is rightly said, * if God does not de- 
sire our death, it is to be laid to the charge of our own 
will, if we perish: ' this, I say, is right, if you speak of 
God PREACHEDjJFor he desires that all men should 
be levied, seeing that, be comes unto all by the word 
of salvation, and it is the fault of the will which does 
not receive him : as he saith, Matt xxiii., ^^ How 
often would I have gathered thy children together, 
and thou wouldest not!" But why that Majesty 
does not take away or change this fault of the will in 
ALL, seeing that, it is not in the power of man to do 
it ; or why he lays that to the charge of the will, which 
the man cannot avoid, it becomes us not to inquire, 
and though you should inquire much, yet you will 
never find out : as Paul saith, Rom. ix., " Who art 
thou that repliest against God ! " — Suffice it to have 
qpoken thus upon this passage of Ezekiel. Now let U3 
proceed to the remaming particulars. 

Sect. LXV. — The Diatribe next argues—" If 
what is commanded be not in the power of every one, 
all the numberless exhortations in the scriptures, and 
also all the promises, threatenings, expostulations, re- 
proofs, asseverations, benedictions and maledictions, 
together with all the forms of precepts, must of neces- 
sity stand coldly useless." — 

The Diatribe is perpetually forgetting the subject 


point, and going on with that which is contrary. toJits 
professed design : and it does not see, that all dieea 
things make with greater force against itself dun 
against us. For from all these passages, it proveSvtihB 
liberty and ability to fuljfil all things, as the very wends 
of the conclusion which it draws necessarily, dechote : 
whereas, its design was, to prove ^ that Free-will is 
thaty which cannot will any thing good without ^ grace^ 
and is a certain endeavour that is not io be ascribed ii9 


its own powers.' But I do not see that such an en- 
deavour is proved by any of these passages, but that 
as I have repeatedly said already, that only is re- 
quired which ought to be done : unless it be need&d 
to repeat it again, as often as the Diatribe harps wptm 
the same string, putting off its readers with a useless 
profiision of words. *. 

About the last passage which it brings forward 
out of the Old Testament, is that of Deut. xxx, ^^Thia 
commandment which I command thee this day, is not 
above thee, neither is it far off. Neither is it in hea-* 
ven, that thou shouldest say. Who of us shall ascectd 
up into heaven and bring it down unto us, that we 
may hear it and do it. But the word is very ni^ 
unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou 
mayest do it." The Diatribe contends — * that it is de- 
clared by this passage, that what is commanded is not 
^ , only placed in us, but is down-hill work, that is, easy 
to be done, or at least, not difficult. ' — ^"~^ 

I thank the Diatribe for such wonderful erudi- 
tion ! For if Moses so plainly declare, that there is 
in us, not only an ability, but also a* power to keep all 
the commandments wth ease, why have I been toiling 
all 4his time ! Why did I not at once pmduce this 


imdf assert Free-will before the whole world ! 

What need now of Christ! What need of the 

Spkft ! We have now found a passage which stops the 

months of all, and, which not only plainly asserts the 

tiberty of the will, but teaches that the observance of 

ail the commandments is easy ! — ^What need was there 

for Christ to purchase for us, even with his own blood, 

tbe Spirit, as though necessary, in order that he ifnight 

moke the keeping of the commaiidments easy uiito 

vs, when we were already thus qualified by nature ! 

Kay, here, the Diatribe itself recants . its own asser- 

ticMW, Where it affirmed, that * Free-will c^not will 


any thing good without grace,' and now affirms, that 
TVee-will is of such power, that it can, not only will 
^gobd, but keep this greatest, nay, all the comniand- 
ments, with ease. 

Only observe, I pray, what^ a mind does, where 
the heart is not in the cause, and how impossible it is 
that it should not expose itself ! And can there still 
be any need to confute the Diatribe ? Who can more 
^Rbctually confute it, than it confutes itself! This 
thdy, is that beast that devours itself ! How true is the 
pfoverb, that ^ A liar should have a good memory !' 
.1 have already spoken upon this passage of Deu- 
teronomy^ I shall now treat upon it briefly ; if indeed, 
there be any need so far to set aside Paul,, who, 
Rqm. X., so powerfully handles this passage. — You 
eui see nothing here to be said, nor one . single sylla- 
ble to speak, either of the ease or difficulty, of the 
power or impotency of Free-will or of- man, either to 
keep or not to keep the commandments. Except 
^bat those, who entangle the scriptup^ in their owo 
conclusions and cogitations, make them obscure and 



dksibigttous ia themselves, that they mi^t (fans make 
of them what they ptease. But, if yoa canitot 
tmrn your eyes this w^y, turn your ears, or fiel out 
what I am about to "say with your hands. — ^Mose* 
saith, ^^ it is not' above thee," ^^ neitiier is it £ur from* 
thee/' ^^ neither is it in heaven," ^^ neither is it bq^d 
the sea." Now, what is the meaning of this, '^ i^ixnre 

'thee?" What, of this "far from thee?' What, of 
this " in heaven?" What, of this "beyond tiie sea?" 
Will they then make the most commcxily used termsy 
and even grammar so obscure <mto us, tiiat ^we shall 
not be able to speak any thing to a certainty, merdy 
tiiat they might establish their assertion, that- the 
scriptures ape obscure ? 

According tp my grammar, these terms signify 
neither the quality nor the quantity of human powers, 
but the distance of places only. . For" above thee" 
does not signify a certain power of the will, but a 
tiertain place which is above us. So also ^iar ^firom 
tjiee^" " in heaven,'' " beyond the >sea^" do not signify 
any thing<of ability in man, but a certkin place at .au£s- 
tance above us, dr on our bright hand^or on duril^hand^ 
orbehind us, or over against us« Some ondma^ peifaaps 
laugh at me for disputing in so plain a way, tfaua set- 
ting, as ii were, a' laady-marked-out lesson i befcResoch 
great men, as though they were little boys leamiiig theif 
alphabet, and I were' teaching . them how.ztO:^pat 
^Uabled togethep^^but what can I. do, when J see 
darkness to be sought for in a light jsb clear; and 
l^ose studiously desiring to be blindy who boastii^y 
efiuinerate before us. sudi a seriea of lages,. so: miuih 
talent, so many sipnts, so many imarti^/. so tmniy 

^doctors, and who with so much authority « boast ^<of 


^^pai^eifmiA ythwA not:de^ to look at the 
8]^blesj M . tb-cominand ^eir cc^$ktSotls so fect^ as 
f6 1^ the passage of tducb tfa^y boastf one conside* 
Mtion? Let the Diatiibe now go^h(Hii^ and consider? 
mai say, how it can be, that one poor {nivate indivi-^ 
dual should see that, which escaped the notice of id 
iBlGUCfy publici dmmcters^ and df the greatest mob of so 
Inanytp^. l%is^ ]^sa^ simfly, ^en in the jadg-* 
okttit «^ .a* sdiool^lxyjir, proves 'diat they mitst have 
bete bhnd not irerywfhxiu^ i ^ • ' ''•• 

" wWhat feereforedoes Motfes »tt«h by these *i6rft 
tddinand clear, words^ but^ that ^he hafe worthily pet^ 
fenned his "oflic* fes a faithfar law-giver ; atod that 
therefore, if all men have not before their eyes iand 
do not know all the precepts which are^njoinedy the 
fault does not rest with Mm ; that thiey havel'no place 
left them for excnse, soa&t6M*ly,th^«did not know^ 
or had BOt the precepts, or wer^ bbUged td^' seek thel^ 
dsewhere; that if they do nK>t keep Ulmtn^ th^ fiiak 
rests not .with thelaw,- or wilh the law^veir, but with 
lii^nselve8^< seeing thgU;t>tlfe law ^'^before them, and 
ilMblaw^^er hasitaught'tibiem ;^attd that' th^y^^have no 
^Ube left ibr exoiisation ^oMgnoranc^^, t)nly for accu-^ 
wtkfii . of nej^igenoe tand 'Idisob^ience ?; Ir- i^^liot, 
saith he, necessaiy torf elteh the1iWri^-1l6\ra"freto'h«Bi- 
lien,', nor from lands b^y^ofnd theieaj'iioi^^frem 
Hcxr can yon frtoie as im 'etcifSiSy Ihat yoU rleim* had 
Qksm nor heaJMlSth^myifor ^^oa faa«i^6 tilV^tti nigh'unto 
jtiu/; they are tbey 'whaihGod hath <5bmtoandedj 
mrhich y Qu liave heard from my iboUth,'%Md m^ic^ you 
:liave had in your hearts and in yoi^^mtiuths continu- 
ally ; you have heard them treated oh by the Levites in 
^be midst of ycRi, of which^iiisiny wend and book 

M 8 


are witnesses ; this, therefore only remains — that you 
do them. — What," I pray you, is here attributed uiito 
Free-will ? What is there, but the demanding that 4t 
would do the laws which it has, and the taking ^away 
from it the excuse of ignorance and the want of the 
laws? * 

These passages are the sum of what the Diatribe 
Imngs forward out pf the CHd Testament in support of 
Free-will, which being answered, there remains no^ 
thing that is not answered at the same time^ whether 
it have brought forward, or wished to bring forward 
more ; seeing that, it coidd bring forward nothing biit 
imperative, or conditional, or optative passages, by 
which is signified, not what we can do^ or do do, (as I 
h^ve H30 often replied, to the so often repeating 
Diatribe) but what we ought to doy and what is re- 
quired ofuSy in order that we might come to the know- 
ledge of our impotency, and that there might be 
wrou^t in us the knowledge of our sin. Or, if they 
4o prove any thing, by meatis of the appended con- 
clusions and sipiilitudes invented by human reason, 
they prove this i-^-that Free-will is not a certain small 
degree of endeavour or desire only, but a full and free 
ability and power to do all things, without the grace 
of God, and without the Holy Spirit. n 

Thus, nothing less is proved by the whole sum of 
that copious, and again and again reiterated and in* 
culcated argumentation^ than that which was aimdd 
at to be proved, that is, that probable opinion ; 
by which. Free-will is defined to be of that impotency, 
* that it cannot will any thing good without grace, bat 
is compelled into the service of sin ; though it has an 
endeavour, wJfu^Qh^iiev^rtheless, is not to be adcribed.'tb 


itsK^wn powers/— ^A monster truly ! which, at the same 
time, can do nothing by its owii power, and yet^ has 
an endeavour I jivithin its own power : and thus, staiids 
upon the basis of a most maii&fest contradiction ! ' 

Sect. LX VI.— We now com# td the NEW TES- : 
TAMENT, where again, are marshalled up m de- 
fence of that miserable bondage of Free-will, an host 
of imperative sentences, together with all the auxilia-' 
ries of carnal reason, such as, conclusions, siniilitudes, 
&c. called in from all quarters. And if you ever saw 
represented in a picture, or imagined in a dream, a' 
king of dies attended by his forces aimed with lances 
and shields of straw or hay, drawn up in battle array 
against a real and complete army of veteran warriors 
— ^it is just thus, that the human dreams of the Dia-, 
tribe are drawn up in battle array against the hosts of 
the words of God ! 

First of all, marches forth in front, that of Matt, 
xxiii., as it were the Achilles of these flies, " O Jeru- 
salem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered 
thy children together, and thou wouldest not." — " If 
all things be done from necessity (says the Diatribe) 
might not Jerusalem here have jusdy said in reply to 
the Lord, Why dost thou weary thyself with useless 
tears ? If thou didst not will that we should kill the 
prophets, why didst thou send them ? Why dost thou 
lay that to our x^harge, which, from fvill in thee, was 
done of necessity by us ?" — ^thus the Diatribe. — 

I answer : Granting in the mean time that this 
conclusion and proof of the Diatribe is good and true, 
what, I ask, is proved thereby ? — ^that * probable opi- 
nion,' which affirms that Free-will cannot will good } 


Nay> the yfyH is proved to be fireei whole, and able to 
do tdl things which the prophets have spoketi; mA 
such a will the Diatribe never intended to piov^u Bm 
let the Diatribe here repty to iteelf. ^ If FS^ee^will dUI- 
not will good, why is it laid to its charge, that it dkl 
not Bear' the ptbphefe^ whom, as they^tau^ ^^' ^^ 
could not hear b/ its owt^ pemen ? ' Why ^6^ tJhris^ 
ift" useless tears wee^ ovet tihose as though' th^yb^dkl 
have willed that^ Which lie certaiifl;f fcft^W thc^ coiW 
not will? Here, I say, let die I>iatribe free Christ 
iiom the imputation of -'badness, according to its 
^ probata opisaoi^' and th^ /my^inic^ is immedi- 
ately set A«e frdm iAm A<Ml^ of'tfae flieis; Theafe- 
fi^re, thkt passage df Matt))^ anther fordbly f^^ 
Free-wSl altoge&eor, ctf^mb!^\rilix eqcial fO!x:e againM 
the Diatribe itsetfj'aildttrikc^it' prostrate W^ jts 
Own weapohl'- -^ •;. '■ -^I'trx^ :-: • ^''^ -^r-. c- i;- 

But I here observe as I have ofeseiH^ed before, tlSat 
we are not tb dispute coxicerning that secret will 
of the divine Majesty ; and thai, ttett humto temerity, 
^hioh, widr iicaSssdnt pefversetie^s, is ever<le*#feg 
dloise things thai aie nedbssary , arid ^ttdtkitig a£ftl 
ttr^itig this pbint, is to be ealled off 'stnd driven bitck, 
that it eaxphly not it^lf i» :{>i»;^ Imo thd^ iecir^ of 
Matjesty^vrinch it ii^ impos^bl^Uo attdSh'trnto^s^ekig 
th&t, they dwell in thailf igfat which is inafcceissibtei^ ^ 
Faiil witnessed, "i )<Pk.ivt; ButI Ic^ tiie tnan ^ubt^ii^^ 
hi»3elf with the (Sod jncdbate, or, sfcl^' PauI'MiiA, 
with Jesus icirudfied;' id whom' are tdl th^ treasures dT 
wisdom and inio^dodgeM^ut hiditen f fojrlid^him, there 
is an abundaiideobbth -of'i'that wfaSi^H 4ie otf to 
know, and of th^t which 1^ ought nOC to know, 
' the' God mcmMe, thfelii, h<^e M^atks thui^— ^' I 


wotJtD and THOU wouxdst not ! " The God faicar- 
nste^ I say, was sent for this purpose — ^that he mig^t 
desire^ speak, do, suffer, and offer unto all, all' things 
that are necessary unto salvation, although he should ^ 
offend many, who, being either left or hardened by that 
secret will of Majesty, should net receive him thus de- 
siring, speaking, doing, and offering : as John i. saith, 
^ Hie li^t shineth in darkness, and the darkness 
(Comprehended it not" And again, " He came unto 
his own, and his own received him not.*' It belongs 
also to this same God faicamate, to weep, to lament, 
and to sigh over the perdition of the wicked, even 
while that will of Majesty, from purpose, leaves and 
reprobates some^ .that they tni^t perish. Nor does it 
become us to inquire why he does so, but to revere 
that God who can do, and wills to do, such things. 

Nor do I suppose that any one will cavillingly 
c^y, that that will which here saith, " How often 
would I ! " was displayed to the Jews, even before God 
became incarnate ; seeing that, they are accused of 
having slain the prophets, before Christ, and having 
thus resisted his will. For it is well known among 
Christians, that all things were done by the prophets in 
the name of Christ to c(»ne, who was promised that 
he should become incarnate: so that, whatever has 
been offered unto men by the ministers of the word 
from the foundaticm (tf the worid^ may be rightly 

called, the WiU of Christ 

.... .«? f' ,•■ 

Sect LXVU,— But here Reason, who is always 
very knowing and loquacious, will say,— Tins is an 
excellently invented scape-gap ; that, as often as we 
are press^ dose by the totc^ of argnmcuttB, we might 


run back tx) that to-be-revered will of Majesty, and 
thus silence the disputant as soon as he becomes trou- 
blesome; just as astrologers do, who, by their in- 
vented epicycles, elude all questions concerning the 
motion of the whole heaven. — 

I answer : It is no invention of mine, but a com* 
mand ^^uppqrted by the holy scriptures. Paul, Rmn. 
ix., speaks thus : " Why th^efore doth God find 
fault; for who hath resisted his will? Nay, but 
O man, who . art thou that contendeth with God ? " 
" Hath not the potter power ? " And so on. And be- 
fore him, Isaiah Ivmi., ^' Yet they seek me daily, and 
desire to know my ways, as a nation that did ri^te^ 
ousness : they ask of me the ordinairces of justiciej-and 
desire to approach unto God,"* 

. From these words it is, I think, sufficiently ma-^ 
nifest, that it is not lawful for men to search into 
that will of Majesty. And this subject is of that na- 
ture, that perverse men are here the most led to pry 
into that to-be-revered will, aiKl therefore, there 13 here 
the greatest reason why they should be exhorted to 
sileoce and reverence. In other subjects, where those 
things are handled for which we can give a reason, 
and for which we are commanded to give a reason, we 
do not this. And if any one still persist in searching 
into the reason of that will, and do not choose to 
hearken to our admonition, we let him go on, and, 
like the giants, fight against God; while we look on tQ 
see what triumph he will gain, persuaded in ourselves, 
that he will do nothing, either to injure our cause or to 
advance his own. For it will still remain unalterable, 
that he must either prove that Free-will can do all 
things, or thatrithe scriptures which he adduces must 


make against himself. And, which soever of the two 
shall take place, he vanquished, lies prostrate, while 
we- as conquerors " stand upright ! " 

Sect LXVIIL — Another passage is that of 
Matt. xix. ; " If thou wilt enter into life, keep the 
commandments." — ^" With what face, (says the Dia- 
tribe,) can " if thou wilt " be said to him who has not 
a Free- will?"— 

Tq which I reply : — ^Is, therefore, the will, ac- 
cording to this word of Christ, free ? But you wish to 
prove, that Free-will cannot will any thing good ; and 
that, without grace, it of necessity serves sin. With 
what face, then, do you now make will wholly free ? 

The same reply will be made to that also — " If 
thou wilt be perfect," " If any one will come after 
me," " He that will save his life," " If ye love me," 
" If ye shall continue." In a word, as I said before, 
(to ease the Diatribe's labour in adducing such a load 
of words) let all the conditional i/s and all the impe- 
raUve verbs be collected together. — " All these pre- 
cepts (says the Diatribe) stand coldly useless, if no- 
thing be attributed to the human will. How ill does 
that conjunctive if accord with mere necessity ? " — 

I answer : If they stand coldly useless, it is your 
fault that they stand coldly useless, who, at one time, 
sissert that nothing is to be attributed to Free-will^ 
^faile you make Free-will unable to will good^ and 
vrho, on the contrary, here make the same Free-will 
sible to will all good ; nay, you thus make them to 
stand as nothing at all ; unless, with you, the same 
Avords stand coldly useless and warmly useful at the 
same time, while they at once assert all things and 
<ieay all things. 


I wonder how any author can delist in repeat- 
ing the same things so continually, and to be jeis 
continually forgetting his subject design : unless per- 
haps, distrusting his cause, he wishes to overcome his 
adversary by the bulk of his book, or to weary- him 
out with the tecBum and toil of reading it By what 
conclusion,'! ask, does- it follow, that will and power 
must imn&ediately taki^ place as often as it is said, ^ If 
thou wilt,' * If any one will,' * If thou shalt ? * Do 
we not most frequently imply in such expressions im- 
potency rathisr, and iinpOdtibility ? For instance. — If 
thou wilt equal Virg3 in singing, my friend Mevius, 
thou must sing in another siritin. — If thou wilt surpass 
Cicero, friend Scotus, instead of thy subtle jargon, 
thou must have the most iexalted eloquence. If thou 
wilt stand in competition with David, thou must of 
necessity produce psalms hke his. Here are plainly 
signified things impossible to our own powers, al- 
though, by divine power, all these things may be done. 
So it is in the scriptures, that by such expressions, it 
mi^t be shewn ^at we cannot do ourselves^ but 

I what can be done in us by t6e pbwer of Grod. » 

Moreover, if stidh exprcJSfeions should be used in 
those things which lire ^utterly impossible to be doiie, 
as being tiiiose whicli God would never do, then, in- 
deed, they mi^t rij^tly b6 called either coldly use- 
less, or riditulous, becatise they would be spoken in 

^ vain. Whereas now, they are so usedj that by them, 
not only the impotency of Free-will is shewn, by 
which ho onig of th(^ tltings can be done, but it is also 
signified, that a time will coine when all those things 
shall be done, but by a power not our own, that is, 
by the. divine power ; 'pWviiled fcit, we fi)^ admit, 
that in such expressions, therels a certain sighificar 



ficm <rf^ things possible and to be done : as if ahy one 
should interpret them thus :-— ^ If thou wilt kdep the 
commandments, (that is, if thou shalt BX&ayi time 
have the will to keep the Gommandments^ though 
thou wilt haveit, not (^ thyself, but of God,, who 
grreth it to whom 1w will,) tliey alSo shall presenife 
thee,"' •'■* '.•'•^^"- • "" ■ 

But, to fakft' a wider ^cojye. — ^These expressions, 
especially th<tee wfiich are conditional, seem to be so 
placed alsoj^ri account of the predestination of God, 
and to involve diat as being -unknown tb tis. As if 
they should speak thus :— r^* If thou desire," " If thou 
wilt:" that fe|tfthott^ big tofch "vdth^ God, that he 
shall deign^^ giv^ th^ d)!i^^l to keep the com- 
ifttodments, 'ifcou slffllPbe' SttVed^^ According to'i which 
manner of Speakiiig, ii' i& ^i^as us to understajhid^both 
trathy'^ — That^ S^e ean do libthing ourselves ;: and 
^, if we do khy thing, God wdrtis thsttln us. This 
is what I would sfty to thoSe, who will not be content 
to have it said, that by iSie^ words "our^ impotericy 
only is shewn, a!6d t^ Will contend^afaat there is also 
proved a certain powe* and aibility'to do those things 
which are cbmtniinded. ' Atid in this %tay, it' will also 
iippeiar to be truth; tltelt ^yirei'ktt not able«tx> do any of 
the things wMch are cdmmainded^ and yeib,' that we 
are able to do them all : that is, speaking of the ibr- 
mer, with leferehce to oun ox^ powers^- and' of the 
Iktter, with refetence to the gracd of <Jod. 

Sect. LXlX.— -The third 'particiHar that moves 
the Diatribe is this :- — ^^ How there caii be (it obsearves) 
any place for mere necessity thei^, where mention is 
so frequently made of good Miibrks. andof bad works, 


and where diere is mention made of leward, I aaxoiot 
understand: for neither nature nor necessity cas 
have merit"— 

Nor can I understand any thkig but this : — 
that that ' probable opinion/ asserts 'mere necessity' 
where it affirms that Free-will cannot will any thiag 
good, and yet, nevertheless, here attributes to it even 
* merit/ Hence, Free-will gains ground so fast, a3 the 
book and argumentaticm of the Diatribe increases,! 
that now, it not only has an endeavour and desire of 
its own, * though not by its own powers,' nay, not 
only wills good and does good, but also m^ts eter^ 
nal life according to that saying of Christ, Matt v.^ 
" Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your re- 
ward in heaven." " Your reward," that is, the jre- 
ward of Free-will. For the Diatribe so understands 
this passage, that Christ and the Spirit of God are 
nothing. For what need is there of them, if we 
have good works and merit by Frtt-will ! I say these 
things, that we may see, that it is no rare thing for 
men of exalted talent, to be blind in a matter winch 
is plainly manifest even to one of a thick and uninr 
formed understanding; and that we may also see, how 
weak, arguments drawn from human authority are in 
divine things, where the authority of God alone 

But we have here to speak upon two things. First, 
upon the precepts of the New Testament And next, 
upon merit. We shall touch upon each briefly, having 
already spoken upon them more fully elsewhere. 

The New Testament, properly, consists of pro- 
mises and exhortations, even as the Old, properly, 
ccmsists of laws and tbreatenings. For in the New 


Ifestament, the Gospel is preached; wbicb is nothing 
else than the word, by which, are offered unto us the 1 
Spirit, grace, and the remission of sins obtained for us / 
by Christ crucified ; and all entirely free, liirough the 
mere mercy of God the Father, thus favouring us un- 
worthy creatures, who deserve damnation rather than 
any thing else. 

• And then follow e xhortation s, in order to ajrim ate 1 1 N Z^- 
those who are already justified, diid> who have ob- ^^ 

tailed mercy, to be diligent in the'fruits of the Spirit 
and of righteousness received, -to exercise themselves j 
in charity and good works, and to bear courageously 
the cross and all the other tribulations of this world. 
ITiis is the whole sum of the New Testament. But 
how little the Diatribe understands of this matter is 
manifest from this :— it knows not how to make any 
distinction between the Old- Testament and the New, 
for it can see nothing any where but precepts, by which, 
men are formed to good manners only. But what the 
ntew-birth is, the new-creature, regeneration, and the 
whole work of the Spirit, of all dxis it sees nothing 
whatever. So that, I am struck with wonder and 
astonishment, that the man, who has spent so much 
time and study upon these things, should know so little 
about them. 

This passage therefore, " Rejoice, and be exceed- 
ing glad, foi; great is your reward in heaven,"- agrees as 
well with Free-will as light does with darkness. For 
Christ is there exhorting, not Free-will, but his apos- 
tles, (who were not oiJy raised above Free-will in 
gTMe, and justified, but were stationed in the'tninistry 
of the word, that is, in the highest degree of grace^) to 
endure - the tribulations of the world. But we are now 


disputing ab&Ht Fr^^fiU, and that particolarlyy as it U 
w^out grace; which, by laws and threats, or the Old 
Testament, is instructed in the knowledge of itsdf only, 
that it might flee to the promises presented ta ifc mifae 
New Testament. 

Sect. LXX. — As to merit, or a proposed rewaid, 
what is it else but a! certain promise? But that promise 
does not prove that we can do any .thing ; < if proveer 
nothing more than this ;— if any one shaU do this 
thing or that, he shall then have a reward. Whereas^ 
our subject inquiry is, not what reward is to be ghreB, 
or how it is to be given, but, whethet or not we cm 
do thoste things, for J}ie doing of which the reward 
i$ to be given. This is the point to be settled and 
proved* Would not these be ridiculous conclusion^ S^ 
Th& prize is set before all that rdn in the race : ther&* 
fore,* all can so xim as to obtain. — If Csesar. shall eo^ 
quer the Turks, he shati gain the kingdom of Syria: 
therefore, Caesar can conquer, and does conquer the 
Turks. — If Free-will «hall gain dominion over sin^ it 
shall be holy before the Lord : therefore Free-will; is 
holy before the Lord* . , i r 

But away with things: so stupid and c^nly absurd': 
(except that. Free-will deserved to be 
is by arguments so ^xcell^nt) let us rather ^pe4k to 
this point: — ^ that necessity, has neither n^erit not 
reward.' If we speak of the necessity of compiiisiony it 
is true : if we speak of the necessity of inrnutabili^y it 
ia fiedse. For who would bestow a reward upon, or 
ascribe merit to, an unwilling workman? But with 
re^ct to those who do good or evil willingly, even 
tlum^ they cannot alter that necessity by their own 


poTtrer, the reward or punishment foUoy^ n^tuf ally 
and necessarily : . us it is written . ^^ thou shalt xender 
unto everj^ main according to hi& woris/' It natu- 
rally folldw&^-^if thou remain under water, thou wilt 
be suffodEited ; if thou swim out, thou wilt be saved. 

To be brief: 'As it respects merit or re\yanl, you 
must speak, either cf the worthiness or ofiht. oome- 
queme. If you: spedc of the worthiness, there is no 
Qterit, no rei^d. For if Fr6er!will cannot^ of itself 
wiU'good^ Init wills good fay: gracQ alone, (£3r we are 
$pi8aking of Free-will apart ir0m ^raoe, and inquiring 
into the power which prope^* belong !lo each) who 
does not see, that that good 'mil,: mmt,.jaiid reward, 
belong to grace alond. Here then, again, the f Diatribe 
^ss^its from itsdf, while it, argues fi^m merit the 
freedom of the will; and, against w,bom. it 
fights, it stamis in die sallie condemnation as ever ; 
diat is, its asserting that there^jsimerit, i:ew9ifd,';ahdli'- 
hefty, makes the saole as ever, directly against itself; 
iMseing that, it asserted above, that it could willno^ 
Aing good, and undertook to prxw^ that a3S^1ion. 

If you speak of the consequence, there is iiothing 
either good >6(r evil which has not its rewaixL..:Ahd 
here arises an error, that, in speakii^.of merits^and re- 
^wards^ we agitate opiinions^ and ;question3 concerning 
warthinessy i^ldcYi hai ndt ^ekistence, wl»n> we oii^it 
to. be d^ftutSngi cemteming cmsequences^ : For there 
^Ifiemiains, as a necesaary consequence, the jUdgm^t €£ 
•God and a hell for the wicked, even though they them- 
selves neither conceive nor think of such a reward for 
their sins, nay, they utterly detest it ; and, as Peter 
^saith, execrate^ it, 2 Pet ii. 

In the same manner, there remains a kingdom for 


title just, even though they themselves neither ^edc it 
ftor think of it ; seeing that, it was prepared for them 
by their Father, not only before they themselves 
existed, but before the foundation of the world. ' Nay, 
if they should work good in order to obtain the king- 
dom, they never would obtain it, but would be num- 
bered rather with the wicked, who, with an evil and 
mercenary eye, seek the things of self even in God. 
Whereas, die sons of God, do good with a fiee-will, 
seeking no reward, but the glory and will of Gt>d 
only ; ready to do good, even if (which is impossible) 
there were neither a kingdom nor a hell. 

These things are, I beUeve, sufficiently confirmed 
even from that saying of Christ only, which I have 
just cited. Matt, xxv., " Come, ye blessed of my 
Father, receive the kingdom which was prepared for 
you from the foundation of die worid." — How can they 
merit that, which is theirs, and prepared for them be- 
fore diey had existence ? So that we might much 
more rightly say, the kingdom of God merits us its 
possessors; and thus, place die merit where diese 
place the reward, and the reward where diese place 
the merit. For the kingdom is not merited, but before 
prepared: and the sons of the kingdom are before 
prepared for the kingdom, but do not merit the king- 
idom for themselves : that is, the kingdom merits 1^ 
sons, not the sons the kingdom. So also hell more pro-' 
perly merits and prepares its sons, seeing that, Chgrist 
saitb, " Depart, ye cursed, into eternal fire, prepared 
for the devil and his angels." 

Sect. LXXI. — But, says the Diatribe — " what 
ithen mean all those scriptures which promise a 


kiqgdom and threatsen hell ? Why is the w6rd reWt^ 
sa Often repeated in the scripturesf; as, " Thou hast' 
tkjf leward/* "I am thy exceedhig great rewai^d ?" 
Ag^n, " Who rendereth unto every man according to 
his work;" and Paul, Rom. ii., " Wlio by patient con- 
tinuance in well doing, seek for eternal life," and 
many of the same kind ?'' — 

It is answered : By all these passages, the dht^- 
quence of reward is proved and nothing else, but by 
no means the worthiness of merit: seeing that, those 
nrfio do good, do it not from a servile and mercenary 
principle in order to obtain eternal life, but they seek 
eternal life, that is, they are in that way, in which 
they shall come unto and find eternal life. So that 
seeking, is striving with desire, and pursuing with ar- 
dent diligence, that, which always leads unto eternal 
life. And the reason why it is declared in the scrip- 
tures, that those things shall follow and take place 
d&ex a good or bad life, is, that men might be in- 
structed, admonished, awakened, and terrified. For 
as '^ by the law is the knowledge of sin" axkd an 
admcmition of our impotency, and as from that, it cah- 
noC be inferred that we can do any thing ourselves ; 
so^ by these promises and threats, there is conveyed 
an admonition, by which we are taught, what will 
f(^ow sin and that impotency made known by the 
law ; but there is not, by them, any thing of worthi- 
ness ascribed unto our merit. 

Wherefore, as the words of the law are for in- 
Btraction and illumination, to teach us what we oug^t 
to do, and also what we are not able to do ; so the 
words of reward, while they signify what will be here- 
tftify are for exhortation and threatening, by which 



the just fuf« jmteaMd^i comforted, and raised up*lQ gey 
finrvmrd, to p^'severe, «nd to concpiesqstimic:' A/epy 
mi^t not be wearied or disheartened ^ther ta jibipi^ 
good or in enduring evil ; ad Paul exfaortd hiil' G6aa/^ 
tbians, sayings ^^ Be ye Steadfast, knowing that jfoor 
labour is, not in vain in the Lord,":! Cor. my. So 
also God supports Abraham, saying ^^ I am thy ezM 
ceediQg great neward," Gen. xv^ Just in the dame 
manner as you would console any one, by si^ni^^iBg 
to him, that his works certainly pleased God, wfaidi 
kind of consolation the^scripture frequently uses ; nor 
is it a small consolation for any one to know, tbat lie 
so pleases God, that nothing but a good ccmsequenoe 
can fdlow, even though it seem to him impossHde. . 


Sect LXXII. — ^To this point ^pertain all thoee 
words which are spoken concerning tho hope ind ei^ 
pectatiany that those things which we h6pe for - wiU 
certainly come to pass. For the pious do not hope 
because of these words themselves, nOr do they ^poet 
such tilings because they hope for them. So also tho 
wicked by the words of threatening, and of :a fatme 
judgment, are only terrified and cast down tfaitt ttuBtf 
mi^t cease and abstain from sin, and not beebme 
proud, secure, and hardened in their sins. 

But if Reason should here turn up her nose and 
say — ^Why does God will these things to be dOne by 
his words, when by such words nothing is ^fleeted, and 
when the will ci^i turn itself neither one way nor the 
other? Why does he not do what he does without die 
word, when he can do all things without the word ? 
For the will is of no more power, and does no 
more with the wcmd, if the Spirit to move within be 


wantfaigi; hat is it of less ipoiw&r, nonicioes it. do less: 
ivi&emt th^ word^ if theSiwit be present, seJedng that,' 
att fiq^epds upon the pow^i^ end operation of tte 
Hi^ Spirit. 

X answer : Thus it pleaseth Gojd — n ot to give. 
Smiit withqnt the word, but through ,tbe wordj that 
he might hav e us as workers tog^er Wi^ him^ whifa 
we sound forth in the wor d withou fe>hat he alone 
works by the breath ofJbd^^Sj^tj^iti^ 
it pleaseth him ; which, neverdidtefes, he could do wiA-f 
outlSierwwdy but such is not hia /tfiSE^ AM are 
we that we should inquire into tha Cf^^6eJ9f the^diwqe] 
will ? It is enough for us to know, that $ach js thet 
will of God; and it becomes ;US> bridling tbet^nerily^ 
of reason, to ^reverence, love, and adore that willlv 
Fot Christ, Matt xi., gives no: oihet reason why thb. 
Grospel ijB'hidden from the* wise, and revealed unto; 
babes, than this : — So it pleased the Father ! In the 
same manner also, he might nourish m^ wjlhout bi^ead; 
and. indeed he has given a power which nourishis9 m 
wi&out bread,, as Mx^ iV; mihy ^^ Man doth not liver 
bybread alone, butby the Word of God.;" tb]4tjye)t,.iti 
hath; pleased him to nourish u& by hiS' Spirit within;; 
by tneans of the bread, and ini^tead of the bread used, 
wWiout ,\. ,{•-, 

. It is certain, there^[)re, that merit cannot be prc^^d 
from the reward^ at least out of the 9cripture$ ; >^odt 
that, .moreover. Free-will . cannot be proved from- 
merit, much less such a Free-will as. the Diatribe sefc 
ottt to prove, that is, * which of itself canftQjt will any^ 
thing good ! ' And even if you grapit merit, and addi 
to it, moreover, those usual similitudes and conclu- 
sions^ of reason, such as, Mt is commanded iji vain^^s 
* the reward is promised in vain,^ ^ threateniiigs ai?e 






denounced in vain, if there be no Free-will : ' all these, 
I say, if they prove anything, prove this : — that Free- 
will can of itself do all things. But if it cannot df 
itself do all things, then that coiiclusion of reason itilT 
remains-^therefore, the precepts are given in vain, 
the promises are 'made in vain, and the threatening^ 
are denounced in Ysin. 

Thus, the Diatribe is perpetually arguing ag^dnst 
itself, as often as it attempts to argue i^ainst me. 
For God alone by his Spirit works in lis both merit 
and reward, but he makes known and declares each, 
by his external word, to the whole world ; to the in- 
tent that, his power and glory and our impotency and 
vileness mi^t be proclaimed even among the wicked, 
the unbelieving, and the ignorant, although fhose 
alone who fear God receive these things into thdr 
heart, and keep them faithfully ; die rest despise them. 

Sect. LXXIII. — ^^It would be too tedious to re- 
peat here each imperative passage which the Diatribe 
enumerates out of the New Testament, alwaysi tack- 
ing to them her own -conclusions, and vainly arguing, 
that those things whicih are so said are ^ to no pur- 
pose,* are * superfluous, * are * coldly useless,' are ^ ridi- 
culous,' are * nothing at all,' if the will be hot frec^: And 
I have already repeatedly observed, even to disgust, 
that nothing whatever is effected by such argunients j 
and that if any thing be proved, the whole of Free- 
will is proved. And this is nothing less than over- 
throwing the Diatribe altogether ; seeing that, it set 
out to prove such a Free-will as cannot of itself do 
good, but serves sin ; and then goes on to prove such 
a Free-will as can do all things; thus, throughout, 
forgetting and not knowing itself. 


It is mer6 cavillation where it makes these re-' 
marks — " By their fruits, saith the Lord, ye i^hall 
know them."' He calls works fruits, and he calls 
them ours, but they are not ours if all things be done 
by necessity." — 

I pray you, are not those things most rightly called 
ours, which we did not indeed make ourselves, but 
which we received fix)m others? Why should, not 
those works be called ours, which God has given 
unto us by his Spirit ? Shall we then not call Christ 
ours, because we did not make him, but only received 
him ? Again : if we made all those things which are 
called ours — ^therefore, we made our owa eyes, we 
made our own hands, we made our own feet : unless 
you mean to say, that our eyes, our hands, and our 
feet are not called our own ! Nay, " What have we 
that we did not receive,*' saith Paul, 1 Cor. iv. Shall 
we then say, that those things are either not ours, or 
else we made them ourselves ? But suppose they are 
<^ed our fruits because we made them, where then 
ronain grace and the Spirit? — Nor does he say, " By 
their fruits, which are in a certain small part their own, 
ye shall know them." This cavillation rather is ridi- 
culous, superfluous, to no purpose, coldly useless, nay, 
absurd and detestable, by which the holy words of 
God are defiled and profaned. 

In the same way also is that saying of Christ 
upon the cross trifled with, " Father, forgive them, for 
they know not what they do." Here, where some as- 
sertion might have been expected which should make 
for Free-will, recourse is again had to conclusions — 
" How much more rightly (says the Diatribe) would 
he have excused them on this ground — ^because they 



have not a Free*wiU, joar can they if they willed it^ 
do otherwise." — 

No I nor is that Free-will which ' cannot will any 
thing good,' concerning which we are disputing, proved 
by this conclusion either ; but that Free-will is proved 
by It which can do all things ; concerning which no 
one disputes, to except the Pelagians. 
* . H6re, wh^e Christ openly saith, " liiey know not 
what they do/' does he not testify that they could 
ilot will good ? For how can you will that which you 
do 'not know? Xou certainly cannot desire that of 
whiob you - know ' nothing \ WhsA more forcible can 
be advanced against Free-will, than- that it is such a 
Aing of nought, that it not only cannot will good, but 
cannot even know what ^vil it does; and what good is? 
Is there then any obscurity in^ this saying, f^ they know 
ttot what they do ? " What is th^e remaining in Ae 
scriptures which may not, upon the authority of' the 
Diatribe, declare for Free<-will, since this word df 
Christ is. made to declare for it, which is so clearly 
and so directly against it? In the same easy way 
^y one itii^t affirm diat this word declares for Free- 
will-^^^ And the earth was without form and void:" 
^ this, ^^ And God rested on the seventh day : " orany 
Word of this same kmd« Then, indeed, the scriptures 
would be obscure and ambiguous, nay, would be 
nothing at all. But to dare to make use of the scrip- 
tures in this way, argues a mind that is in a signal 
manner, a contemner both of God and man, and that 
deserves no forbearance whatever. 

Sect. LXXIV, — Again the Diatribe receives that 
wotti of Jotm i. ^' Tp thein gave he powjer to beoMi 
the sons of God," thus — " How can there be power 


given unto them, to become the sons of God, if there 
be no liberty in our wiB ? "— 

This word also, is ^a hammer that beats down 
Ptee-wili, as is nearly the whole of the evangelist 
J^n, and yet, even this is brought forward in sup- 
port of ^Free-wilL Let us, I pray .you, just look into 
tfiis word. John is not speaking concerning kny 
work of man, either great' br^small, but cohciirftuig the 
iRBry renewal and trahsfbhtiation of the old ma^ who 
i&a son of the devil, into! the new man who is a son 
of God* This man is merely passive ^iw the term is 
used), nor does he do any thing, but is whoUy made : 
and John is speaking of being itodle':' h^ i^ih we 
ai^ made the sons of God by a power giv^ unto 
M firbm above, not by the power of Free-will inharent 
fc ourselves. 

' Whereas, Our friend Diatribe here concludes, that 
Fifee-wiil is of so much power, that it' makes us the 
tods of God ; if not, it is prepared to aver, that the 
word of John is ridiculous and stands coldly useless. 
But who ever so exerted Free-will as to assigh unto it 
the power of making us the sons of God, especially 
such a Frpe- will as cannot even will g6od, wliich Free- 
will it is that the Diatribe has taLketo upon itsleOF to 
establish? But let'this concltision be gone after the 
lest which have been -so- often repeated} by wWch, 
nothing^ else is proved, if any thing be proved at 
all, than diat which the Diatribe denies — that Free- 
will can do all things. 

The meaning of JoYtn is this. — ^That by the coming 
of Christ into the worid' hflds Gospel, by which grace 
wtte offered, but hot' worts required, a full opportu- 
nity was given to all men of becoming the sons of 


God, if they would believe. But as 10 ttos Wlflljng 
and this believing on his namo, as Fiee-will never 
kpew it nor thought of it before, so much less could it 
then do it of its own power. . . For how could reas(« 
tl}^ think that faith in Jesus as the Son of God and 
man was necessary, when even at this day it could 
Qeither receive nor believe it, thou^ the whcde 
qieation should ciy out together — there is a certain 
person who is both God and man ! Nay it is lathar 
ofTended at such a saying, as Paul affirms, 1 Con 1 : 
SQ fie^ is it from possibility that it should either will it, 
or believe it 

John, therefore,: is preaching, not the power of 
Fr^e- will, but the riches of . the kingdom of God of* 
€^ed to the world by the Gospel ; and signi^ng at 
the same time, how few there are who receive it ; that 
is,, from the enmity of the Free-will against it.;^ the 
ppwer of which is nothing else than this: —-Satan 
reigning over it and causing it to reject grace, and the 
Spirit which fulfils the law. So excdlently do it^ 
\ endeavour' and ' desire' avail unto the fulfilling of 

But we shall hereafter shew more fully what a 
tl^nderbolt this passage of John is against Free-wilL 
Yet I am not a little astonished that passages whichi 
ma^. so 3ignally and sq forcibly against Free-will aret 
brought forward by the Diatribe in support of Freer 
will; whose stupidity is such, that it makes no dis* 
tinction whatever between the promises, and the words 
of the law : for it most ridiculously sets up Free-will 
by the words of the law, and far more absurdly still, 
confirms it by the, words of the promise. But how 
this absurdity is, way be immediately solved, if itW 


but' ^nsidered with what an unconcerned shd coif -^ 
temptuous mind the Diatribe is here disputing : With 
i^iiiom, it matters not, whether grace stand or fall, whe- 
tlier Free-will lie prostrate or sit in state, if it can but, 
by' words of vanity, serye the turn of tyrants, to the 
odium of the cause ! 

Sect LXXV, — After this, it comes to Paul 
also, the most determined enemy to Free-will, and 
even he is dragged in to confirm Free will ; Rom. ii. 
^* Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and 
patience, and long-sufiering, not knowing that the 
goodness of God leadeth to repentance?" — -" How 
(says the Diatribe) can the despising of the com- 
mandment be imputed where there is not a Free-will? 
How can God invite to repentance, who is the author 
of impenitence ? How can the damnation be just, 
where the judge compels unto evil doing?" — - 

I answer : Let the Diatribe see to these questions 
itself. What are they unto us ! The Diatribe said 
according to that * probable opinion,' * that Free-ivill 
cannot will good, and is of necessity compelled to serve 
sin/ How, therefore, can the despising of the com- 
mandment be charged on the will, if it cannot will 
good, and has no liberty, but is necessarily compelled 
to the service of sin ? How can God invite to repen- 
tance who is the author of the reason why it cannot 
repent, while it leaves, or does not give grace to, that,, 
which cannot of itself will good ? How can the 
damnation be just, where the judge, by taking away 
his aid, compels the wicked man to be left in his wick- 
edness who cannot of his own power do otherwise ? 

: All these conclusions therefore recoil back upon 


the head of the Diatribe. Or, if they prove any thii^ 
ftg I said, they prove that Free-will can do aU things : 
which, however, is d^ed by the Diatribe and l^ aU. 
3I1US these conclusions of reason torment the Dia- 
tribe, throughout all the passages of scripture : seeing 
that, it must appear ridiculous and coldly uselesi^, to 
enforce and exact with so much vehemence, wh^i 
there is no one to be found who can perfcmn-: for the 
aipostle's intuit is, by means of these thteata^ to 
l^g the impious tod' proud to a knowledge of 
themselves and ^^f their impotency, that he mi^t 
pirepai^ them for grti^ when humbled by the know- 
tedge of sin, - 

Arid what need is there to speak of, singly^ all 
those parts which are brought forward- out 6f Paul, 
seeing that, they are only a collection of imperative 
0r coidtditional passa^, or of those by which Paul 
exhorts Christians to the fruits of faith ? Whereas the 
Diatribe^ by its appended conclusions, forms to itself 
a power of Free-will, such ahd so great, which ran, 
with^t grace,' do ail thin^ which Paul in his exhor- 
tatitos prescribes. Christians, however,*are not led by 
Ffiee-will, but by the Spirit' of God, Rom. viii. : and 
t^ be- led, is not to lead, but to be impelled, as a ^aw 
or an axe i3 impeUed by a carpenter. 

Aiid that no one might doubt whether or not Lu- 
ther asserted things so absurd, the Diatribe Tedtes his 
own words; which, indeed, I acknowledge. For I 
confess that that article of Wickliffe, ^ all things take 
place from necessity, that is; from the immutable will 
erf God, and our wiH is not compelled indeed^ but it 
c^not of itself do good,' was falsely ccmdemned by 
Ae. council of Constanccj or -that conspiracy or cabal 


Ifather. Nay the Diatribe itself defends the same toge- 
ther with me^ while it asserts, ^ that Free-will, cannot 
hy its -own power will any thing good/ and that *it of 
necessity serves sin : ' although in furnishing this de- 
fence, it all the while designs &e direct contrary. 

Suffice it to have spoken thus ia reply to the fiest 
PART of the Diatribe, in which it has endeavoured to 
ei^blish Free^^will. I^t us now consider the latter 
part in which ou^ arguments, are refuted, that is, 
those by which Free-will is utterly overthrown. — 
Here you will see, what the smoke of man can do, 
against the thtioder and £ig^tning;Of God ! 


• ' ■ . ■ r • ■ ■ ■ • ' 

. Sect. LXXVI^-^The. Diatribe, having thtii& first 
cited numbeiiess passages of s^ripuute, as it were a 
most formidable: army in support of Free-will, in order 
lliat it mi^t inspirel courage itito the confessors and 
Dlartyrd, die men saints and women «aints on the ^ide 
of Free-will, and strike terror into all the fearful attd 
trembling deniersof, and transgries^rs against Free- 
will, una^es to itself a poor contempti We tendful onfty 
standing up to oppose Free-will: «aid therefbr^ it brings 
forward no more than twa scriptures, which seem to 
be more prortiinent than the rest, to stand up on 
their side: intent only upon slaughter, and that, to 
be executed without much trouble.' The One of these 
passages is from Exod. ix., <^ The Lord ha;rdened thte 
heart of Pharaoh:" the 6lh^r is frbm Mialafcbi i., 
** Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.'^ Paul has 
explained at large both these passages in the Romans. 
Boly^fuxordingto file jud^ent of the Diat3ribe,'wiiat 


a detestable and useless discussion has he mede of it ! 
So that, did not the Holy Spirit know a little soime- 
thing of rhetoric, there would be some danger, leat, 
being broken at the outset by such an artfully managed 
show of contempt, he should despair of his cause, 
and openly yield to Free-will before the sound of the 
trumpet for the battle. But, howev^, I, as a recruit 
taken into the rear of those two passages, will display 
the forces on our side. Although, where the state of 
the battle is such, that one can put to flight ten thou- 
sand, there is no need of forces. If therefore, one pas- 
sage shall defeat Free-will, its numberless forces will 
profit it nothing. 

Sect LXXVIL— In this part of the discussion, 
then, the Diatribe has found out a new way of elud- 
ing the most clear passages : that is, it will have that 
there is, in the most simple and clear passage, a' 
trope. And as, before, when speaking in defence of 
Free-will, it eluded all the imperative and conditional 
sentences of the law by means of conclusions tacked, 
and similitudes added to them ; so now, where it de- 
signs to speak against us, it twists all the words of the 
divine promise and declaration just which way it 
pleases, by means of a trope whicti it has invented ; thus, 
being every where an incomprehensible Proteus ! Nay, 
it^ demands with a haughty brow, that this permission 
should be granted it, sayings that we ourselves,, when 
pressed closely, are accustomed to get oflf by means of 
invented tropes : as in these instances : — " Oa which 
thou wilt, stretch forth thine hand : " that is, grace 
shall extend thine hand on which it will. " Make you ' 
a new heart : " that is, grace shall make you a new 
heart : and the like. It seems,, therefore, an indignity 


offered, that Luther should be allowed to give forth an 
interpretation so forced and twisted, and that it should 
not be far more allowable to follow the interpretations 
of the most approved doctors. 

You see then, that here, the contention is not for 
the text itself, no, nor for conclusions and similitudes, 
but for tropes and interpretations. When then shall 
we ^ver have any plain and pure text, without tropes 
and conclusions, either for or against Free-will ? Has 
the scripture no such texts any Where ? And shall the 
canise of Free-will remain for ever in doubt, like a 
reed shaken with the wind, as being that which can 
be supported by no certain text, but which stands 
upon conclusions and tropes only, introduced by men 
mutually disagreeing with each other? 

But let our sentiment rather be this : — that nei- 
ther conclusion nor trope is to be admitted into the 
scriptures, unless the evident state of the particulars, or 
the absurdity of any particular i^ militating against an 
article of faitfa, require it : but, that the simple, pure, 
and natural meaning of the words is to be adhered to, 
which is according to the rules of grammar, and to that 
(XHnmon use of speech which God has ^ven unto men. 
For if every one be allowed, according to his own lu^t, 
to invent conclusions and tropes in the scriptures, what 
Will the whole scripture together be, but a reed shaken 
with the wind, or a kind of Vertumnus? Then, in 
truth, nothing could, to a certainty, be determined on 
oir proved concerning any one article of faith, which 
you might not subject to cavillatioh by means of 
some trope. But every trope ought to be avoided as 
the most deadly poison, which is not absolutely re- 
quired by the scripture itself, 


Sw what happened to that trope^aTimfeotf^ Qri^^y 
fai expounding the scriptures. What^t ocoaaoiiudid 
he give the : calumniator Potphery^ t)o aay, / thtog 
who favour Origen, can be no great friends to Hiero^ 
nymus.' Wlmt happened to the Arians;by means of 
that trope, according to which, they made GbnstCUd 
nominalh/ ? What happened in our own times to those 
new prophets concerning the words of Christ, " This 
is my body?" One invented a trope in the word 
"this," another in the word *^is," another ' in thd 
word " body." I have therefore observed this : — that 
all heresdes and etrors in the scriptures, have not 
arisen from the simplicity of the words, a3 is^' 
nerdl report throughout the world, but from men uok 
attending to the simplicity of the words, and hatching 
tropes and conclusions out of their own brain. 

For example. "On which soever th<m>wiK; 
stretch forth thine hand.". I, as frur as I can remem-* 
ber> never put upon these words so violent an mtoh 
pretation, as to say, ^ grace shall extend thine' hand 
w: which soever it will : / " Make youradves a:new, 
heart," ^that is, grace shall make you a new heart, 
and the like;' although the Diatribe traduces :«ie 
thus in a public work, from being so carried ^way 
with, and illuded by its own tropes and conduskms^ 
that it knows not what it says about any thing.: ;Btvk 
I said this : — that by the words, * stretch fbitlx< thibe 
hand^.'. simply taken as they are, ^without tropeit^oir 
conclusions, nothing else is signified .than -what i& 
required of us in the stretching forth of our habd, and- 
what we ought to do ; according to the nature of an 
imperative expression, with grammarians, and in the 
common use of speech. 


rBut the Diatribe, not attending to this simplicity 
the word, but T'^tb violence adducing conclusions 
and: tropes, interprets the words thus:--** Stretch 
forth thine hand ; " that is, thou art able by thii^e 
own power to stretch forth thine hand. " Make you 
a new heart," that is, ye are able to make a new heart. 
* Believe in Christ,' that is, ye are able to believe in 
Christ. So that, with it, what is spoken imperatively, 
and what is spoken indicatively, is the same thii^ ; or 
else, it is prepared to aver^ that the scripture is ridi-« 
culous and to no purpose. And these interpretations, 
which no grammarian will bear, must not be called, in 
theologians, violent or invented^ but the productions of 
the most approved doctors received by so many ages. 
But it is easy for the |)iatribe to admit aad follow 
tropes in this part of the discu^ion, ^seeing that, it 
cares not at all wbetib^ what i9 said be certain tnr unh 
ceyrtain. Nay, it aims at making all tlnngs uncertam ; 
fqr its design is, that the doctrines concerning Free-^ 
wiU should be left alone, rather than searched into:' 
l^ierefore, it is enough for it, to be enabled in any 
way to avoid those passages by which it finds itself 
ckxsely pressed. 

But as for me, who^am maintaming a serious 
eanse, and who am inquiring what is, to the greatest 
dirtainty, the truth, for the establishing of consciences, 
I must act veiy differently. For me, I say, !it is not 
enough that you say there may be a trope here : biit 
I must inquire, whethar there ought to be, or. can be 
a trope there. For if you cannot prove that there 
must, of necessity, be a trope in that passage, you 
will effect nothing at all. There stands there this word 
of God—" I will harden the heart of Pharaoh.^' If 


ym say th&t it/Caii be underst}6od or oy^^be im* 
derstood thus :— I will permit it to be hardenedi I ticttr 
yoa say, indeed, that it may be so understood. Aiid'X 
hear this trope used by every one, ' I destroyed you ^ 
beoj^use I did not correct you immediately w^ien you 
began to do wrong." ^But here, there is no pkcelor 
that interpretation: We are not here inquking, whether 
that trope be in use : we are not inquiring whether any 
one can use it in that passage of Paul : but this is 4lie 
point of inquiry — ^whether or not it be sure and dale 
to use this passage plainly as it stands, and whether 
Paul would have it so used. We are not inquiring into 
the use of an indifferent reader of this passage, but 
into the use of the author Paul himself. 

What will you do with a conscience inquiring 
thus? — Behold God, as the author, saith, ^*I wiU 
harden the heart of Pharaoh ;" the meaning of the word 
^ harden " is plain and wdU known. But a man, who 
reads this passage, tdls me, that in this place, ^ to 
harden,' signifies Ho give an occasion of becoming 
hardened,' because, the sinner is not immediately cor- 
rected. But by what authority does he this ? With 
what design, by what necessity, is the natural signifi- 
cation of this passage thus twisted ? And suppose the 
reader and inteipreter should be in error, how ^all it 
be proved that such a turn ought to be given to this 
passage ? It is dangerous, nay, impious, thus to twist 
the word of God, without necessity and without au- 
thority. Would you then comfort a poor soul thus 
labouring, m this way ? — Origen thought so and so. 
Cease to search into such things, because they are 
curious and superfluous. But he would answer you^ 
this admonition should have been given to Moses or 

Pad tefoieithey vna^; mA'S& also t6 Obd htinseM 
they Who Tet'us wi&lhese MrkMls and 3Qper« 

" / ', , 


'Se<Jt LXXVIIL--TKI8 misei5We4i»^ 
tiiflig^^Jl^refore, profits the Diatribe tidtlnng: But 
this Proteus of ours must here be held £eii^~ and com-" 
pdled to satisfy us fuUy cdncermng the trope in this 
pateage ; and diat, by scriptures the most cleai", or by 
mitades the most evident For as to its mere opinion, 
evta though supported by the laboured indusCry of all 
ages, we give no credit to that whatever. But we urge 
on and press it home, that there can be here no trope 
whatever, but that the word of God is to be under- 
stood according to the {^ain meaning of the words. 
For it is not given unto us (as the Diatribe pearsuades 
itself) to turn the words of God backwards and for- 
wards according to our own lust : if that were the case, 
what is there in the whole scripture, that might not 
be r^scdved into the philosophy of Anaxagoras — * that 
any thing might be made from any thing ? ' And thus 
I will say, *' God created tfe heavens and the earth ; " 
that is, he stationed them, but did not make them out 
of iiothing. Or, ^^ he created the heJBivens and the 
eardi ;'' that is, the angels and the devils ; or the just 
and the wicked. Who, I ask, if this were the case, 
mi^t not become a theologian at the first opening of 
a book? 

Let this, therefiMre, be a fixed and settled point ; 
— 4faat since the Diatribe cannot prove, that there is a 
trope in these oui: passages which it utterly destroys^ 
it is compelled to cede to us, that tbp words are to be 
understood according to their plain meaning ; even 


tosnaA kk mil die other (iasMf^ iiadi 

in common by every one. And by tbe^;aii^iig^<rf4lMli 
one point, all our arguments are at the same taK 
defended, wfaicb ;the iDiatnhe d^ipit^M .^fyHm^moA 
dnus, Its refutataon i» found to effect noMHig,, 4Kfdo 
nothk^V apditojfce nothing; i . /* « mtjU^vl /nil 

iWhenevier^itherefore^ thisvpatsi^ iDfiMceen^f^i 
trill > faatden the heart iof Phiiigoh,^ ?* i i&ilntcaqpwiid 
thust^ — My long-sufferings bfrikj^hicblfaeac^widiiiiie 
sinner, leads, indeed, others uo[tdirepenti|iifie^A)Hl'.JI 
s^aU render Phataoh .mocei hardened in mqviity i/^^^f^ 
is ta pretty kterpretmtioa, ;faut it isfnotiiproyedidMttsI 
ought to be i sei inte^reted. Buti I/. lim' nojb -contrint 
withwhat'issaidf3iI>niusthayeJ;be<prQi^ i. . ;»(> f 
< '• 'Andlhat alsdbf Paid, ^^ He tedii n;^^ - 

h^ 'Uitt haT6 m^ey, and whom he wffi ihe haidje^edi/? 
11^ ^kuisibly interpreted . thus;r-^ati isi God haiidens 
#k^ii>hQdo^s not immediately punish the sinner; andihe 
)ias> mercy^ whenrhe immediately invites to repentanee 
by'afflictions.-r-But this interpretation pibvedc? 
And also that of IsaieU taiiL, " Why ^astitliom 
made us* to ere from thy ways and hard^iedi^oipriheatt 
ftbni thy fear?" Be it so,. that Jerom intarpratsit 
tbu3 fr^m Origen :-«--Ae is said to ^ make to enr'iMio 
does^ notf inmiediately recal from errorwi Bat T'dio shafi. 
certify us that Jerom ahdiOrigen interpret li^iitly? 
It is, therefore, a settled determination with me^ aot;- 
to argue upon the^ authority of any taaeheir whatever^ 
but upon tfiat of the sdriptuife- alone. What OiigenS' 
and Jeroms does the Diatribe, then, foigefttingi it» 
own determination, set before us! espeoially wl^n^ 
among all the ecdeisiastical writers, there are scarcely 


pl^poe^, «n«['4noF6 a^a«(td»f,' litaik '(Mg^ tod Mttkttl 

Md liiclheffiM'Of^ kiifli^bf grainiikar,' gdejd' t6e6n!feuttdi a& 
lis^j'^o thail,^^ God'bsith,^" >1> will' hlinlett IDe 
Iktttt of Phafadh," yob- &re t&chatt^^ p^E^MriB ^ 
understaod it i&tis :^Pha(ra(^' hdMtil^tt^«y<tef 
I6l%-3tfi^«g;<6dd hitftt^iidtii oiUfhemsi^^^M iis, we 
beerdto bdrsdvi^s' by Gbd's defe!niNg><th«f pahyUitt: 
Tifotf,! O liojdl haA« mtlde ^ 'to 'eni j^^hat Itr; %^ Mve 
iilktdie oarseh^es to etv bytfay nc^ ^iiiyi^g iiir. Sd 
alsb,- God's ha«4ng ta0rty,-Wi 'lon^"^tfifl^> htt 
^^g gracd,' or- showing miir(^; di' = forgMn^ Siii' <*^ 
jostifyiiig, or d^liverittg ^^Oni-.evil,'btit>'oii the cotSft^i 
Signifies brtegittg oit'^l;aiid ptthisMtag. ^ -^ n • l- 
In fact,- by tifeite- ttbped ftftttters vfill codte td thfe : — 
ycm may say^ that Gtitflia* tneity lil^oh ihfe cMdifeA 
rf Israel whchi he sent thfem iftW)^ Ai^aE^aM fo-Bki^ 
Byldn; ^bfecause, he there ]fniiu5hfii! tfi** feiftfteW/^and 
ftere fevited • them, ^ by afflieticws* ' t(9 fejijfetttftlice i 
aiid that, oii' the other hkrid^ ^etf he^liVi^ed tfeteiii 
imd brought^iem bitek,'life htfd not'then merey up6i 
litem, but^hiai-deneithem ^, th» »to, by hft long-ftiflfer^ 
iuf^'a^d niet'^^e'g^W th^m ati^ot!tdfa§km (^beddimSttg 
iifodetiedl ' A4id' sib^^ili^,^^dd%^^^^ th^'Sdgv«flW 

rfRitey, bat'tHe'hatdfettin'^^of'^y^ thW 

Werey, he gaveinen aii occiatslort^ctf hfcthiemng Aeitt^ 
»y^ts. Oto' A^-\Mh(gr haiid, his^^estif^n^Jerasa- 
lfliijan* scatteWng^ thJer* Jfeii^s eveh'''utrtalJi& day^ is 
tffiS'haviilgttii^yottlltem'; becalide^'he {Mkllshes th6 
ii^iimers^^fmd itivitesih^n to tepentaiioer'MM'eover, his 

o 2 


c^ffHfipg the Baji^^ away mtp heaven at die -day &f 
jff^iga^entf w31 not bfe in mercy, but in hayd^aing:; l>ei 
caiise, by his long-sufiering, he will give them an oc- 
f^k>n of abusing it. But his thrusting the wicked 
do^n to heliy will ^ his mercy; because, he punishes 
the sinners* — ^Who, I .pray you, ever heand of :such 
examples of the mercy and wrath of God as these.? 

And be it so, that good men are made better both 
by the long-suffering, and by the severity of God,; yet, 
when. we are speaking of the good and the bad promis- 
cuously, these tropes, by an utter perversion of the 
cpmpaon maimer of speaking, will make, out of the 
xaercy of God his wrath, «and his wrath out of his 
mercy; seeing that, they call it the wrath of God 
when he does good, and his mercy when he afflicts. 

Moreover, if God be said then to harden, when 
\ie does good and endures with long-sufiSsnng, and 
then to have .mercy when he afflicts and punishes, why 
is he more particularly said to harden Phaxaoh thaQ 
to harden vthe children of Israel, or than the whole 
Vi^rld ? Did he not do good to the children of Israel ? 
Poe^^he not do good to the whole world ? Does he 
not bear with the wicked ? Does he not rain upon the 
evil and upon the good ? Why is he rather said to have 
mercy^pon the children of Israel than upon Pharaoh ? 
Did<he not afflict the children of Israel in Egypt^ 
and in the desert? — And be it so, that some abuse, 
and some rightly use, the goodness and the wrath of 
God; yet, according to your definition, to harden, is 
the same as, to indulge the wicked by long-suffering 
and goodness ; and to have mercy, is, not to indulge, 
but to visit and punish. Therefore, with reference to 


'God^' he, by his contbual' goodness, 'do^ bcJthttig 
bat hatden ; anc}' by 1^ >peipet«al» p^ 
Mdiing but shew mercy« ' r 

• I.. ■ •■ '\". 

J Sect LXXIX, — But this is* the most excdlem 
statemrat of all— ' that God is said to harden, wheti he 
indtdges sinners by Jong-sufiering ; bnttb havertti^rcy 
iip(m them/when he visits and aiilicts, aiid 'thios^)it^ 
aeverity, invites to repentance/-^ * 

What, I ask, did God leave nndoike in afflicting, 
punishing, and calling Phafaoh to repentance ? Are 
tbere not, in his dealings with <hiin, ten plagues re^ 
corded? If, therefore, your definition stand good*^ 
that shewing mercy, is/ptmishing and calling the sin- 
ner: immediately, (rod certainly had mercy u)^ 
Pharaoh ! Why then does riot God say, I v^ have 
mercy upon Pharaoh? Whereas he sidth, *^I wiU 
harden the heart of Pharaoh." For, in the very act of 
ha^ng mercy upon him, that is, (as you say) i^icting 
and punishing him, he saith, *^ I will haitlen " him; 
that is, as you say, I will bear with him and d6 him 
good. What can be heard of more enormous ! Where 
are now your tropes? Where are your Origens»? 
Where are your Jeroms ? Where are all your most 
approved doctors wlunn one poor creature, Luther, 
daringly contradicts? — But at this rate the flesk 
must unawares impel the man to talk, who trifles 
^th the words of God, and believies hot their solemn 
importance ! 

The text of Moses itself, therefore, incontro^ 
veirtibly proves, that here, these tropes are mere in-^ 
ventions and things of nought, and that by those 
words, ^^ I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, " some- 


punishment; because, we cmnot .ilBfi^r*llpbilHlli 
were tried upon Pharaoh with the greatest csre^udd 
jMM»»h iFoR what^li^nffttfa «ri punfatiWithf dodl be 

>h himself, Tepedtiasf^in»mof&A^^ 
||Mlt<ttos(!biiAlte wasmrt did 

litf p^raoMOCkx^nd > whirtiikrigt-ipfiMngt cw;gooAUsMf 
Cb3dt$»silfl>b<i«r^ntM, thta InaMJdhgMFajr tli0ipla9ite 

|lQ>at^]iy^fJbHurdeliii^'Jkis<flm\fi^ (4^ t>'H%>oS 

3Ml$li)tfie^;gtMid> taAs9!iiBbtni9kiAs^^ i%kt 

impBLefrii^-»S ah^lav^iliite^tiK siaitb/i^^lhiiyiilHardm 
^L Ibcbft [o^; fPhartoh H' - ' ) You i^y IherdMre^i ^&A 
Hir^nlf 5^()iflftffaaid^mngiaii9/mQ]?e^^ that^^^ ^^mss 
iKQfl tropesy be ^^ted tof die greatest^ exteni; as impl- 
fisirt^iby nseaitfl by exam{)l^^ajidvBa;sei^mia»tb!eioB8e 
^Dh&H^/tlkdie isiyet ^liaxdeding.thglrBtilijic^ 
Mid tilat jAe haidcdalngiof Mrhich; JVfoses spesaks'kxtittj^ 
^itittei^sity,/ he: oney and that tif &whkfa "ydu ^dj^eamy 
Imotiter. •]"'■■: ••.■•.■ jr^i. 

^iji'iS(eltviiXXXi*^HP^^' since!! hav© to fi^t.vfith 
(k^nrfyam&^ and q^hctstl^ le£ -^mis . turn tqr ' ;^a8i- 
i^ing -also., L0t<Biei suppose ^i^h i& en impossifait 
Ji^)M}iat-(the itrope of tHhichthe Diatribexflreteis 
avails in this passage; in order that ly-ms^ qm^ 
whkfe way ^die©i«tril^e avill elude the being coaafflelled 
t0? (teolare^Tthatcftihthings take/phise q^eordingitditbe^ 
SoU^f GodjeJpne^and^^^ lis'j^and fakMv^it' 


mUtk loB^-miBktmgfJt^^ taofelBiiiediA%^h|hi0j^ 
tUse tth) pesitiOHseilJtti atdJiCliirai. ; IjtyiUnu /.'.// [nm 

jiou} >Ibr ^nrKen it 19 ^riuBtalrthiiit l^i^Biw^^Moidbti 
any thing ^eOdy.(iidbidb]aiid>t)f)ib^ 

SBdhriag.Qodpitbeocn^tiplii^^ iidocNA 

fli^ wobeM^WItxiefbnt^viDlstilbjN^^ \iM 

'f-n f AhA^ieiit^rthtteGtodfg^pynB ^'by; juttt^ai^ ^a^din 

MftonsteM^' /(FordffaetclifefieeB that ^nettt lyitt caprntt 
irfi)?g6ad,:biBt beo6iDte>T!B^^ Mi&tfa 

loKigMSttfibr^^' ;.'by "tinisrVefjiri . 'loBgf^iiffeiiiSig - fie; < fa^r 
ftem to ber most crud, .asid :t96 dd^fit iBouaSiiiiiacR 
tliB f I iseeing that, die xouldiccinedy : diam j if hd wjUed^ 
ited* might mot thttSleBdnrefHiidth,rloGg<*suffimng'if, 1^ 
^nflted^' nay^ iJiat he coaMltiot thusf eit4^rc isiiJass hd 
ifrilied; for ^vho: can cob^I /himi agoidsliiHisJwill ? 
TkBk willy tibterefore, without '^faiohr-iieliniigfibi'idcHie^* 
¥aiftg admittedy and it being admitted also^ &at rFi-e&f 
t»dl i)ann6t will any thing i go6d/ all! is advanoetdiB 
tlaiin that is advanced^ either in excoaafiohiofGod^^or 
ifr^ivcdUdation of Free-wil j For the lal^gnagetefEieen 
tipffi^ '1(1 ever thid f-— I i^nm^^^andi/Gcki ibUlmtl Wlmt 
Mti I do^ Mf he have meircy npoteine by afflidtioi^ I 
rindllbe nothing b^elitedi^ butrmustof^nbcessit^ibe^ 
<MM^ Worse, unless \^^w nieM^ Spirit: BttI tibis hd 
^h^ me not, thoai^ikcf^might give it met if he willed^ 
Vi id^^erttiti, - «berirf(Aei[that be tinU^ nottaigivei •• ' 

^'} r SMtJLKKXL^^^4foBido?lliiiiiiiaitH^^ 
m$kk $Kty iikmgi6»itit pkiposi^ 
JJthJM^i&yii^^A^v^ sun, oind j^lniihBbJsd 

and wax melted; juhj the suiie ahbwieri <tlia tatA* 
nmbi mtA brings. f(»ft^£ri^ 
liaMhv tiMtui 'i Bfs by die tenie h)ng-*8afieritig Df iGni, 
adinlB aie hisirdraed and souib converted, f — : i ^. ; a 
-1 For, weaxeaotnow dividing Eree^wiU into t«r<^dif- 
feieiit naOire^ and maitng the one like mud, the; oiiier 
like wax; .tfap one Kkd coMvaled earth, the otber Eke 
uncultivated earth ; but we aie speaking concernipg lluit 
Me Free^wffl §({iia% impotent m men; which, as 
it cannot w^l good, is nothing but mud, nothing but 
unmiltivalied earth. Nor does PauI^Aay that God, as 
the pott^, niakesioh^ vessd unto honour, and8M)lfa0r 
unito dishonour, oiit of different kinds of clay, but be 
saith, ^^ Out of the same lump^" &c. Therefore^ as 
mud always becomes harder,. and uncultivated eardi 
always becc«nes more diomy ; even so Free-will,* ^o 
ways becomes worse, both under the hard^iing avn of 
long-sufiering, and under ^e softening shower of rain. 
. i If, therefore. Free-will be of one and the sameinir 
ture and impotency in all men, no reason can be gjiven 
why it should attain unto grace in one, and not in 
Miother; if nothing else be preached to all, but the 
goodness of a tong^-suf&ring and the punishment of a 
mercy-shewing God. For it is a granted position, that 
Fiee-^will in aU, is alike defined to be ^ that which can- 
iftot will good.' And indeed,, if it were not; so, God 
could not elect any one^ nor would there be any place 
left for election ; but for Free-will only, as choosing or 
reftising the long-sufiering and anger of God. And. if 
God be thus . robbed: of his power and wisdom, to 

tfefsl, whKtfwiHiUiererbe mnkdbUn^dMit lihM Idiil Fttur- 
fane, iiiidev tilemiime ai^ ixMchjsJl tfiiiiggttake fiMce 
M nmdomts Nay^ we ehall at length come to this: 
that men maf be saved and ^ckmiibd MdlfaoM God's 
Ifnbwing aay ithing^ all abouCit ;^^te not having de-^ 
tmnjned by eertaia deetion who should be saved and 
whd should be damned ;: but: having iseti Ivibfe -all 
men in general his: hardening goodnessr and len^n^^ 
feringy and his merc^-shewing icorrection and pimirii* 
nent, an^- left them tadboose'for dieiaiselves 'whe- 
ther they would be saved or ddmnedr; whiles he, in 
^e^mean.t^ne, should be gone, as Homer says, to^ttn 
Ethiopian feast ! • '"' > 

It is just such a God as ithis that Aristotle paints 
out to us ; that is, who sleeps hiikiself,. and leaves ei^eiy 
one. to use or abuse his long-suffemg and puniahment 
just as he will. Nor can reason, of herself, foitnany 
other judgment than the Diatribe here does; For as 
she herself snores over, and looks with contempt upon, 
divine things; she thinks concerning God, that he 
sleeps and snores over them too ; not exercising his 
wisdom, will, and presence, in choosing, separating, 
and inspiring, but leaving the troublesome and irk- 
some business of accepting or refusing his flong*8u£^ 
feringand his anger, entirely to men. Thisiswl^t we 
come to, when we attempt, by humtm reason, to limif 
and make excuses for God, not revering the secretfe^oC 
fab majesty, but curiously prying into th^n^-being lost 
in the glory of them, instead of making onie excuse 
for God, we pour forth a thousand blasphemies ! Atid 
forgetting ourselves, we prate like madmen, both= 
against God and against outselves; when we are -all 

: ; irlHeieL'then y6v see, wbiat diBt tiope afadi g^km ti 
^yDrntaS^vMAmoke of God.' And manosecfhak 
mSa^kMi^ consistent aie^Diattibe: is wiih jfoAf T^mkaoA 
faflfele^.by ijbs one definition,! made Fise-^vnU iamimmi 
tbe uam in; ell jnen : ! .and now;, in the {ciiMil cf ^dli 
uspganmliHtiony forgettiiig its own MmMm^^ miAM 
QiU£Ke-will tobecnltimlediasd^d^ 
w§tdAy according to tbaFdiftrance of \9tAiifi^ dUMM 
mtti^iudiof iMntriiMis making two. diflferentS^iaCM 
wiUsf ,dia<ine, that whidi cannot ' do- good^j die^olhet^ 
dMit iwhich can do good, and that b^ its own powied^ 
bfilto gi»ce : whereas, its former definitiott 'declared, 
that it eonld not,, by those its oWn pblMto^ will* any 
tfamgi igiood whatever. ^ Hence, therefore;^ iti- oomte^M 
peosy rthat while we do not ascribe. untoithir- will* t^if, 
Godionly, the will and power i^f hairdenii^' sheirit^ 
perqy, and doing all things ; we ascribe ' imto' SnM^ 
idll Jtealf.the power of doing all things without grace ;, 
wUicdiy) stevertheless, we declared to be unable to^^da 
^Pjjfigood.whatever .without grace. .'"''■■ i- •• 

.. li'fhe similitudes, therefore, of the sun ^^drdf ibdr 
Aawfstj .make nothing at all to the purpose. Hic^ 
Ghiiilian would uee those similitudes, more rightly; tf make the sun and the shower ^to i^pradeaft 
the Gospel, as Psalm xix. does, and as does also Hch^ 
iMews-vi ; and werc to make the cultivated earth iib 
npcesent the .deQt, and the uncultivated the r^ipro^ 
bal^.; for. the former axe, by the word^ edifie(^ iaJMd 
Btede better, while the. latter are offended and inade 
^rse. Or, if this distinction be not made, thetf, as^ td 




.]hw<-«riIlitsdf({iliiti)iB ii»4iHidiwDliuiaild^^ ^ardi 

^^ ^ Sect LXK3pij^^;BT3tetiistf>i«diiq|edrei^ 
^etttonmhy this Itfope.ipnui inv^totediin thife jmaaegt^^'H- 
r^'it appea/9^ ibsotd' (sa^ES' t^ailHalinb^ -diat ' )(^kxiy 
cviAiOiisiiiotoiily, jii^ but aisorgood^dbcrakl'jbeiisaid'to 
have haitl^neiitheoheortMofi/a^ikum^ in enisrrfflBEit^ot^ 
liJB iniqait^ hetiligfatiiBlie^ 

iSflme alsoioccurred'td Oiigen';i whoixioiifi5$^:liiat tte 
^edoasian bC^biMoiiiihg haidened^ giyen t)f XJod^ but 
-throws iplli tbe firalt uptmBUffraob. , He has^ mora- 
iQfrer, made:artoiark>upo&-lfaa^ saitb, 

^^i For tliis v^ piiif^e rhatee'^ Inmtaed ibbd^vspi^' Me 
^iUtes noli say)^euibfiefv^&)fEoi9thi8 y^^ 

.iMcked^^if ^od had i made htta sobfaiam tMB^vd he/ims, 
.forrCrod beheW^lohiiiJvmilfe/ eoidtkey rVr&s^ *. ^tvery 
gMd**--*4hH« the Diatribe, i •.' ^ - ^ 

) ' It ^ appeam thenj ithat ode of the princq)al< caum 
twhy the words of Mwes= i^nd of ,i^l are Aoti^-eoeititti, • 
JSk their absurdity. Bat^ against Whattarticle of c£iath 
tdoes that abkffdity militate? Or, wlm is^ifehd^d at 
M^ It Inhuman Beaison that is offended ^v vetio^Jbcuig || 
Mind; dc^^uibpious/ and ^scaarSc^ous m di the'Mnoid^ 
Mid^ works of God, iis, m tJfte case of cthb^passage^in^ 
trod^eed'ius a jiid^ of ilh^iWiGa'di:iiiiidwori£5:0f God. 
]Aiie^(M^ding t& the saiiie -argument •off aibsui^j^/iyoft 
mil" deny ^dL^thd^ardcleiB idf'ifaithi^baetos^ it' isc df 
all things the most abtotid,andiclsi Band saitb/ifopH^ 
'oesB to ttmGeifXii&Bi ^dfiA stttndbiifig^blfockj to the 
iew^?:th^ God should b^ mim^vtfi^'Bcifn^of a^i^iiiv 
chi4ifiddf,^'and stitting itUhb rij^liafcid \oi^lm Faither : 

- .--•■ 

Itt is,^ I My, absnrdita believe siicll ifiii^. ^illierdbre, 
let us invent some tropes witli the Ariiqisj 'and saiy, 
that Christ is not truly God. Let us invent some 
tibp€ls<wi'th the Manidhees, and say^lhat he is not 
truly man, but a phantom lutroduced by mtens ci a 
,v]r^ I or a reflectibn conveyed by glass, which feS, 
tfnd was cnicified. And in this way, we shall handle 
the scriptures to exodlent purpose indeed ! 

After all^ then, the tropes amount to nothing; nor is 
the absurdity avoided. For it still remains absurd, (ac? 
cording to the judgment of reason,), that that God, who 
is just and good, should exact of Free-will impossibili- 
ties : and that, when Free--will caxmot will good and 
of necessity serves sin, that sin should yet be laid to its 
charge : and that, moreover, when he does not give the 
Spirit, he should, nevertheless, act so severely and un- 
mercifully, as to harden, or permit to become hardened : 
these things, Reason will still say, are not becosiinjg 
a God good and merciful. Ttius, they too far exceed 
her capacity ; nor can she so bring herself into sub- 
jection as to believe, and judge, that the God who 
does such things, is good ; but setting aside faith,..she 
wants to feel out, and see, and comprehend kmo he 
can be good, and not cruel. But she will compreh^id 
that, when this shall be said of God : — he hardens no 
one, he damns no one ; but he has mercy upon all, he 
saves all ; and he has so utterly destroyed hell, that no 
future punishment need be dreaded. It is thus that 
Reason blusters ^d contends, in attempting to clear 
God, and to defend him as just and good. 

But faith and the Spirit judge otherwise; who 
believe, that God would be good , even though he 
jshould destroy all men. And to what profit is it, to 


i9)mi?^>QUselye8 with all thesq reasonings, in or^ei: th^t 
ire ought throw thq fault of h^dening upon Free-will ! 
£Sb:all the Free-will in the world, do all it can with q11 
its powers, aad yet, it never will givcj one proof, either 
that ft can avoid being hardei^ed where God gives not 
his Spirit, or merit mercy where it is left to its own 
powers. And what does it signify whether it be har- 
denedf or deserve being hardened, if the hardening be 
of necessity, as long as it remains in that impot^ncy, 
ifk which, according to the testimony of the Diatribe, 
it cannot will good ? Since, therefore, the absurdity 
is not taken out of the way by these tropes ; or, if it be 
tiedken out of the way, greater absurdities still are in- 
troduced in their stead, and all things are ascribed 
unto Free-will ; away with such useless and seducing 
tropes, and let us cleave close to the pure and simple 
word of God! 


Sect. LXXXIIL — As to the other point — * that 
those things which God has made, are very good : 
an4 that God did not say, for this purpose have I 
made thee, but "^VFor this purpose have I raised 
th^. up. " — 

I observe, fir3t of all, that this, Gen. i., concern- 
ing the works of God being very good, was said be- 
foi^ the fall of man. But it is recorded directly after, 
in the third chapter, how man, became evil,— ^hen God 
dei^xted from him and left him to himself. And 
from this one man thus corrupt, all the wicked wer^ 
bom, and Pharaoh also : as Paul ^th, " We were 
all by nature the children of wrath even as others." 
Eph. u. Therefore God made Pharaoh' wicked; that 

Ptoye^6[S^mMi^K^4f y Qcwl toth miA iJtikk igy 

^ l^66fl^ yci^' evea the wicked idr^ tiie^aiy^ ieHHii^'( 
tha&^moc by ettefttteg^etil in Hat&Tdiy ^hf^fdmbi^ 
d^m ool of a cotTupt seed^ and ralifig^^tW> &^ift) 
This tiierefore is not a Jitsti;<K)nciUdkm-^MjFidd' ote^ 
man wicked: Ih^mfQre, he^ is not Mcked. Fe^' hd#i 
can he not be wicked from d wicked geed? A& f^'U;* 
saithi *' Behold I Was«on«eived in sin." And Job. ^Vi 
*^ Wfi^ ean tnake that clean whidh^is conceive ^<rttiil* 
imclean seed ?" For fekhough God did notmiik€f c^ 
yfet, -he ceases not to form and multiply that na^^Eie^' 
which, from the Spirit being withdrawn, is de^edlii^ 
^in. And as it is, when a carpenter makes ^statuBsfif 
corrupt wood ; so^ such as the nature is, such are Hkf 
men made, when God creates and forms them OBtttof 
that nature. Again : If you understand the wwdff, 
" They were very good," as referring to the works of 
God after tiie fall, you will be pleased- to Ob^rve, that 
this was said, not with reference to us, but \^th W^ 
rbnce toGod^ For it is <not said, Mansawvi^all die 
things that God had- made, and behdd thiey wei» veiy 
good. Many things se^m very good unto Getf,* Mfc^ 
ate very good, which serai^unto us Very evily^a^d are 
ctosidered to . be vety evil. Thus,' afflictlortfe, ieWftif,» 
errow, jbbll, tfay,» att^he t^eryi bestwoAs of-<jrod, «m} 
in d]b Sight of't^'^criM^iviisy evil^ and even ddttAMi^: 
Wikt is barter thaii^^hli»t <afid ^e G^o^li^ Bm 
what t(^ more ek^feratedl^ the worlds? And theMM 
fore, h*yw those things Ire good in the si^tof G<id, 
whidi are evil in our sight, is known ofily unto God and 
anto those who see with the eyes of God ; that is, Who 


*ftfe^ biw» 9»o€rQdibe saW teiwwk e!vir4n;uft,.in tfte 
ilftme^K^ AS ]|6:« S9(i(d tOfhf^rdaitjua, 10 gjutcMia uf^ to 
ciHir^own desire$>^to<eftUQeu$ to^«rr, &c^i^ i;; 

«j fiWe onghfe jude^d^itf) .tifefccw^ktettt with th^ awr^iof 
jGr^(J^,*n4 simply to beli€we'>vfhi4t-lhat saith; spetog 
(}j^j ^ ui&ri*^ p£ God are ijttt€|rly,ii|]^elil:&l:^» But 
y^wf^ety in compUapce with Bfe^ison, thw is, human 
foolery, I will just^«:t the foot and th^ stupi(J:feUow for 
once, and try, by a little bab^Upg, if I Cftn produce any 
H^ct upon her. ; 

I, , First,. , then^ both Reei30itt astrf the iDiabrifcie grant, 
ihfA God works iitU in all ; dnd that, without him,^ IM>- 
Shing is either done or effectivejiibecatlse he is omni- 
itpotent ; and: because, >themfoi!e) all things jcoixie: under 
4tts omnipotence, as Paul ^tith to this Ephesians^ 
i^ . : Now then^ Satan and Imari being fellen and left of 
^Jod, idannot will good ; that is^ i those . tWngs which 
;pj0ase God^ or which GddYidlls>;«'b]ut*are evei? turli/ed 
-the way^of tteir own desires, isdrdiat they cannojkfhiit 
oi6isk .their own. Tbus, then^oreytheir wiU* and iltt^i^, 
^.tunied from Godj cannot iiiejaaidthing; nocateJStttan 
^•nd the .wicked ^uian a nothing : nocars; tbffli nataiVQbfid 
nhe wiU which lli^ hav^ a>tio&iiig,i althoug|;i;it^.]a 
.mitam eorru]^t and averse^ That reiimant>f nabure, 
t^erefoie, ih Satan and tlie iimtked nian^ of IwhiehlWe 
speak, as being the creature and work of GxA^ is not 
less sabject to the divimpoinnipotenoecand action, than 
^ifll? the »est of the 4:i«atures and works of God. 

Since, therefore^ God moves and does; all in aU, be 


«ieb66fiarily moves and does att- in SittWb abd/'Ai 
wicked »^aii. But he so does all in them^^iMi^llttiy 
themselves are, and as he finds them : that is, as they 
arefjtl^iiiselves averse and evil, being carried aloiig by 
that motion of the divine omnipotence^ th^ canmt 
but do what is averse and evil. Just as it is wift 
a man driving a horse lame on one foot, or hone 
<m two feet ; he drives him just so as the horse him- 
sdf is ; that is, the horse moves badly. But what can 
the man do? He is driving along this kind of horse 
together with sound horses; he, indeed, goes badly, 
and the rest well ; but it cannot be otherwise, unless 
the horse be made sound. 

Here then you see, that, when God works in, and 
by, evil men, the evils themselves are inwrought, but 
yet, God cannot do evil, although he thus works 
the evils by evil men ; because, being good himself 
he cannot do evil ; but he uses evil instruments, which 
cannot escape the sway and motion of his omnipo^ 
tence. The fault, therefore, is in the instruments, which 
God allows not to remain actionless ; seeing that, the 
evils are done as God himself moves. Just in the same 
manner as a carpenter would cut badly with a saw- 
edged or broken-edged axe. Hence it is, that the 
wicked man cannot but always err and sin ; because, 
being carried along by the motion of the divine omni- 
potence, he is not pdmitted to remain motionless, :but 
must will,) desire, and act according to his nature. 
All this is fixed certainty, if we believe that God is 

It is, moreover, as certain, that the wicked man is 
the creature of God ; though being averse and left to 
himself without the Spirit of God, he cannot will or 


4b gobd. For the omrnpotence of God ihakes it, that 
^fwicked man cannot evade the motion and action d[ 
God, but, being of netessity subject to it, he yidds; 
IIkii)^ his corruptibn and averisioh to God, makes 
tfkn ^t he cannot be carried along and mov0d imto 
I^Dod. Gt>d cannot suspend his omnipotence on ac- 
oount of his aversion^ nor can the wicked man change 
his aversion. Wherefore it is, that he must continue of 
necessity to sin and err, until he be amended by the 
Spirit of God. Meanwhile, in all these, Satan goes on 
to reign in peace, and keeps his palace undi^urbed 
under this motion of the divine omnipotence. 

Sect. LXXXV.— But now follows the act kself 
of hardening J which is thus s — ^The wk^ked man (as we 
have said) like his prince Satan, is turned totally the 
way of selfishness, and his own ; he seeks not God, 
iior cares for the things of God; he seeks lusown 
riches, his own glory, his own doings, Ws^own wis- 
dom, his own power, and, in a word, his own kmg- 
dom ; and wills only to enjoy them in peace. And if 
any cme oppose him or wish to diminish any of these 
tfamgs, with the same aversion to God under which 
he seeks these, with the same is he moved, enraged, 
and roused to indignation against his adversai^. And 
he is as much unable to overcome this rage, as he is 
to overcome his desire of self-sedcing ; aind he can no 
more avoid this seeking, than he can avoid his own 
existence ; and this he cannot do, as being the crea-^ 
ture of God, though a corrupt one. 

Tlie same is that fory of the world against the 
Gctepel of God, For, by the Gospel, comes that 



t^ krmig^ tha[irBe," unbo oyercomes thelquiet pot^ 
^SBor ef the palaeey aind ooodmms those deaires^itf 
:^ory,; of riches, bfjwisdoin, of Belf^ri^steou^ness, )aii4 
of all things in which he tnistsj This very irritatiiNivi&f 
the > wicked, when God t^peaks and acts contrary: to 
ivhat they will^4s their kardeniiig and their gaUing 
I ivetght. For as they are in this state of aveisioa itom 
the !Veiy colTuptioii^ c^ nat^e, so they become mcisk 
aikdtnortsa^^^tfie, and Worse and worse, as tfaiSvdverBKMi 
te opposed ot turned out of its way. And thus^ whe^ 
God threatened to take away.from the wieked 'i^har 
raoh his power, he irritated and aggravated him, and 
hardened his heart the more, the more he came to him 
\fitk his word by Moses, making known his intention 
lo take away his* kingdom and to deliver his own 
people from his power : because, he did not give him 
his Spirit witibin, but permitted his wicked corruptiaB, 
under the dominion of Satan ^ to grow^ngry, to swell 
with pride, to burn with rage, and to go on still in a 
certain secure contempt 


Sect. LXXXVI. — Let no one think, thefefore^ 
that God, wheire he is said to harden, or tOiwork^vU 
in us (for tohaiden is to do evil), so does the e«il aa 
though he created evil in us anew, in the same vmfs» 
a inaligndiit liquor-seller, being himself bad, wauki 
pour poison into, or mix itmp in, a vessel that wa9 
not bad, where the vessel itself did nothing but re?< 
cdve, or passively accomplish the purpose of the ma*? 
lignity of the poison-mixer. For when people hear it 
iSttid by us, that God works in us both good and evil, 
and that we froni mere necessity passively submit to the 


^orkingfof 6od^ 1^ sitom M'ims^by thuia thi^ who 
is good, OFiiot evihhimMf^ iB^pMMh'ii(fM6Gi3iAw<n^ 
evil in him : not rightly considering that God, is far 
^ik being inactive in all^ hi«< bi^biitiiflra^ -aAd never 
wafers any one of thenr to kieephcdida^;^; cJ 
V ) But Whof^er irahfe(9it(i: mdeMtdnd^^i^ tfaingis 
kt him think thus t'^Mhaib 06d worics^evii iii>iii^ thift 
1^ by us, »ot fibb the' fault of €rodi;)>u^ fipban' the 
fiuilt of evS in us :— that is, 3a»: we^ at«^ evil '■ by i»Ld(ire, 
dod, ^hcr ianroiy good, cairfrng^ud along by his oWn 
action, Jeuxcordiiigtb the 1nattir0^t)f ijis oninipotence, 
cannot do other^ise^'thati do idvil^iby- iis^>d^^iiid(!ML^ 
aients^ though he himself t^e godkl!; thoo^' bjr^his 
wisdom, he ovfihules that eiri^ well^ to bis own' gtot^r 
and lb out ^ahraiidhi ^n .. .-' : » 

: o^Tfaiis 'God^rj^iidii^^ Mill of Satad^^I, xM, 
orgjjgg rjt(so^ <»hftt deaving it while 'Satan sttmingly 
iximtnitslthe evil,xarri^ it akm^'by hist workio^^^and 
moves it wl^h Way he wiU; ithough thaiifilriU:^ea(ikiG^ 
notto beevai>y this thotiidn df God. ' <! • ^- ' 
' ' In tins same wky also 'David^ipbke concismiiig 
Shimel; f2 Samnellkvi;f: ^ Let him icurs^if[» God 
halh bl(filiBii:'lmn Ibtnirse Darvid.!^ti ifoi^ i^uld God 
faki'tcr dirse, an actibn'sd evil>iBind!'TOrufeM'!'*t^^ 
wiis no where an exWiud piecept ' to^ that eifeMl 
Bsvid, therefore, looks: to tiiisr-^thevi^itiiripdtent 
God saith and it is db^: tluiDisihe does dl thlkgs>by 
fai& external 'wordL Wherefore, here^-thediidne' Aibtion 
and omnipoteneeyf the good ^G6d i£i|asd[f, Citmc^ 
along the wittof 'Shimei, alreddy evit titigbtlTeir <w4th iA 
his members, and falefore incensed agaMstDa^id^»aild[ 
while David is thus opportt^iely situated and deserv^ 
ing such blasphemyvcommainds the i blasphemy, (that 



i$y by hi3 wordwhiAh isihis act, that Is, the motion, of 
hjis act]on>) by thia evil and blaspheming instrament 

Sect. LXXXVIL— It is thus God hardens Pha- 
raoh—he presents to his impious and evU wiU his 
woid: and his work, which that will hates ; that is, by 
its engendered and natural corruption. And tfaaa, 
while God does not change by his Spirit that wiU 
ii^tbin,^but;vgoes on presenting andenfordng; and 
while Pharaoh, considering his own resources, im 
riches and :his power, trusts to them from the same 
naturally -evil inclination ; it comes to pass, that bdng 
inflated 'and upliflted by the imagination of his own 
gieatness on.the one hand, imd swollen into a proiid 
contempt of Moses coming in ail humility witfa tiie 
unostentatious word of God on the. oth^, he becomes 
hardened ; and then, the more and more irritated and 
chafed, the more Moses advances and threaten : 
whereas, this his evil will would not, of itself, have heea 
moved or hardened at all. But as the omnipottspt 
Agent moved it by that his inevitablemotion^ it must 
c^ necessity will one way or the other. — ^And thusj a| 
soon as he presented to it outwardly, that which natu-* 
jpplly irritated and offended it, then it was, that Pha-* 
jXich could not avoid becoming hardened ; even as he 
jQ{]^d not avokl the. action of the divine omnipot^ice, 
and the aversion or enmity of^his own will. 

Wherefore, the hardening of Pharaoh's heart by 
God, is wrought thus : — God presents outwardly to 
his enmity, that which he naturally hates ; and then, 
he.eeades not to move within, by his omnipotent mo- 
tion, the evil will which he there finds. '. He, from the 
enmity of his will^ cannot but hate that ;which is con- 


trary to him, and trust to his own powers ; and that, 
so obstinately, that hie can neither hear nor feel, but 
is carried away, in the possession of Satan, like a 
madman or a fury. 

If I have brought these things home with con* 
vincing persuasion, the victory in this point is mine. 
And having exploded the tropes and glosses of mra, 
' I understand the words of God simply ; so that, there 
is no necessity for clearing God or accusing him of 
iniquity. For when he saith, " I will harden the heart 
of Pharaoh," he speaks simply : as though he should 
say, I will so work, that the heart of Pharaoh sfaafl be 
haitlened : or, by my operation and working, the heat 
of Pharaoh shall be hardened. And how this was to 
be done, we have heard : — ^that is, by my general 
motion, I will so move his very evil will, that he shall 
go on in his course and lust of willing, nor will I 
cease to move it, nor can I do otherwise. I will, ne- 
vertheless, present to him my word and work; against 
inrfaich, that evil impetus will run ; for he, being evil, 
caAnot but will evil while I move him by the power of 
my omnipotence. 

' Thus God with the greatest certainty knew, and 
ivi& the greatest certainty declared, that Pharaoh 
would be hardened ; because, he with the greate3t 
certainty knew, that the will of Pharaoh could neither 
resist the motion of his omnipotence,' nor put away 
its own enmity, nor receiVe its adversary Moses ; and 
that, as that evil will still remained, he must, of ne- 
iotesity, become worse, more hardened, and more 
proud, while, by his course and impetus, trusting to 
his own powers, he ran against that which he would 
n6t receive, and which he despised. 


(hie! y*fy^ 9ei^)turcl, 4bM >FrQ^T¥^i(^ dp to^^ 
0)d^ 'Ithite <jf<>(V)who » Hipt 4i)teii^, firoi^ ipicHrancei 
nor lies from iniquity, so surely promi^^tjie kndw^i 
iHgiof Fharaob;' bwsu^e^^ l;if> y q» (C^tainp itot Jai 
wttlioould.iirm iiMhiiig ^tfivii^M|]d;that>;a0..^ie good' 
yibiA It hatedf vi1bu3 piieqeoSedltdity ifcfCOuM^^ 

\o f 

•1 ■ 1 

• f 

ri >'Se©t*;LXXX?VIlL-^lT :;iiotw then rentauis^ dial 
^fl^tti^i^wbeiixfli^ may cisIfrr^Whyidien does not God 
Qirti^i)9A)^4ifi0tioii;i)| hm<niihipoteD iby^h^ 
tiM^Uitif $b64¥ridcbd ifi((it^^ 
«» beooin^ w^Ntsfe? J ^kwwtitt %hh iia to/nd^lkftiiat 
GstdrffprvAe $bke' qfiithe wiek^, would ce^M to \m 
God ;: fcrlki^lyoilL rwjly .^tedi^, when you de;»r<ihk 
i/ioWsr and fiotitiii ^tQ ctes^ ; that is, that he: akkQuU 
eea5e>:iio be good^h test the :^icked t^houldr fheoQiae 

Ji. Again, it ihay< be asked^— ^Why does he notitliM 
ithai^, dn hfe motibb^ tho8e:evSL wills which he move^?; 
— ^Thisi)elongs to those secrets of Majesty^ where " Im 
jfadgments are |>aat findmg ouAf Nor is it ours to 
seardi Itito,. but; %o atdore these mysteries. If " fle& 
and' Uood? liisre tak^ offence and muimur, let it 
murmur, :but it wiU -bi jtist where it was before. God 
is not, jcm that ^count^ dbanged ! And if numbers of 
the wicked be oficsnd^ and *f go away^" yet, tlie elect 
shall remain ! - ' * 

J! The same '.answer wiU t^ given to those wlio 
ask*r^Why did he permit AAsm to fall? And why 
did he makei all of -us to be infected iwith the sanle 
sin, when he mighf have kept him, and p^^tL/foayi? 

cira.ted US* from sonke o^r seed, or > might iiiH llaviel 
cieansed'thfit, befoite he ereeABA ;ub horn .it'?-*-^ t t^ 
t I Grod is that being, fair whose will no cause or rea4 
son is to be assigned^ as a rtile or standard by which 
it acts; seeing that, nothii^ is superior or equal to it; 
hilt it is Itself the rule df all things. For if it;'ajfcted by 
stoy rule or standard,. or ftom any cause w reason,)! 
would be no longer then;i//o^Goi)« Wherefore, iHrhiil 
God wills, is not therefdre right, becituseihe Ought *bv 
ever wios. bound so to*ivili ; but on the c^traiy, ;Vbaf6 
takes plasce is theiiefore rights beoause (he so\ wiU9;> ;>A( 
cause and reason, ai^ assigned. for the:wi)i!6f'tlie cstmA 
tuse^ butnotfoiy the wfllfief thd Grdator^ 'Unless :yoa 
sfetiupv^vierium^ another Creator. . :)i^ ; •> . lui 

; iSect LXXXIXv — By these ' arguments) I pi^ 
sume, the trope4nventing Diatnbe, tb^ther wilh ite 
-tnopei^ are sufficiently €onfiited. Let us, 'however, coihe 
to -the text itself, .for the purpose of seeing, what 
agreement , there ia betwe^i the text and the trope. 
Fioritis the way with all those who dude arguments 
by means of tropes, to hold the text itself ia sovereign 
contempt, and to aim only, at picking; out. ^. certain 
term, and twisting anid orucifying it upon Jthe cro^ 
of their own opinion, without paying any. regard what^f 
ever, either to circumstaBBce^ to OHusequence, to pre- 
cedence, or to the intedtign or. ol^ct of the author. 
Thus the Diatribe, in this passage^; utterly disregard' 
k^ the intention of Moses and • the scope of his woids^ 
tears out of the text this term^ " I will harden, " and 
makes of it just what it will, according to its own 
hist: not at flJl/considermg, whether that;can be again 
inaented .sa a£ .to (Agree and isquajsa with the body of 


the text. And this is the reasdn why the scnpture 
not sufficiently clear to those most received Imd moilt 
learned men of so many ages. And no wonder, foor 
eren the sun itself would not shine, if it should be 
IKBsculed by such arts as these. 

But (to say nothing about that, which I have aki 
ready proved from the scriptures, that Pharaoh caiumt 
rightly be said to be hardened, * because, being bmie 
with by the long-suffering of God, he was not imme' 
diately punished,' seding that, he was punished by 00 
■lany plagues ;) if hardening be ^ bearing widi divine 
Umgr^sufiering and not immediately punishing ; ' what 
need was there that God should so many times ps$h 
miise that he would. thati harden the heart of Phareu^ 
when the signs should be wrought, who now, before 
those signs wer^ wrought, and before that haidaung, 
was such, that, being inflated with his success, prosp&^ 
rity and wealth, and being borne with by the divine 
long-suffering and not punished, inflicted so many 
evils on the children of Israel? You"see,:theiefor8y 
that this trope of yours makes not at all to the^por*- 
pose in this passage; seeing that, it applies generaUy 
unto ally as sinning becatise they are bcmie with by 
the divine long-suffering. And thus, we shall be com- 
pelled to say, that all are hardened, seeing that, there 
is no one who does not sin ; and that, no one sinsj^i 
but he who is borne with by the divine long-suffering. 
Wherefore, this hardening of Pharaoh, is another 
hardening, independent of that general hs^rdening aa ^ 
produced l^ the long-suffering of the divine goodness. 

Sect. XC. — The more immediate desi^ :i of 
Moses then is, to announce,: not so much: theiunhi 


Iteitig of Pharaoh, as the veracity and mercy of God; 
thatis, Uiat the children of Israel might not distrust 
die promise of God, wherein he promised, that he 
would deliver them. And since this was a matter of 
the greatest moment, he foretels them the difficulty, 
that they ^might not fall away from their faith ; know- 
ing, that all diose things which were foretold must be 
accomplished in the order in which, he who had made 
the promise, had arranged them.. As if he had said,.! 
will deliver you, indeed, but you will with difficulty 
believe it; because, Pharaoh will so resist, and put off 
the deliverance. Nevertheless, believe ye ; for the 
whole of his putting off shall, by my way of jopemtion, 
oidy be the means of my working the. more and 
greater miracles to your confirmation in £aith, and to 
the display of my power ; that henceforth, ye might 
the more steadily believe me upon all other occasions. 

In the same way does Christ also act, when, at 
the last supper, he promises his disciples a kingdom. 
He foretels them numberless difficulties, such as, his 
own death and their many tribulations ; to the intent 
that, when it should come to pass, they mi^t after- 
wards the more steadily believe. 

And Moses by no means obscurely sets forth this 
meaning, where he saith, ^^ But Pharaoh shall not 
s^id you away, that many wonders might be wrou^t 
in Eg^t" And ag^eun, " For this purpose have I 
raised thee up, that I mi^t shew in thee my power ; 
that my name might be declared throughout all the 
eftrth." Here, you see that Pharaoh was for this pur- 
pose hardened, that he might resist God and put off 
the redemption ; in order that, there might be an occa- 

given for the working of signs, and for the display 


(tf th^ |K)WCT of' God; that he might b^idedaMclfaittd 
Mievddion throughout all the earths lAftd tiyhast it 
tUsiotft shewing^ that all these ihmgs were said audi 
done to confirm fiuth, and to cpmfori^the weak, tfaat 
tfafy might dfterwatds' freely believe in Crod as.troe^ 
ftdcdiAil^ powerful, and. merdfiil ? Jisst as tbon^fte 
had spcd^eh to them ki/ tlie kindest manner^ aa'talitde 
ehildre^vknd'had staid, Be not terrified at the haid^ 
Aeis of Pharaoh, for I work that very h3rdne8s ^my-t 
sdlf;^ahd) I^ whd deliver Von, have it in my own handi 
I "vilittl bnly,1i8e it, thiat I««iay therebywoik man;^ 
sij^s^ and declare my Majesty, for tiie fat theran ce of 

^ .And this is the reason why Mosm gmetfoXh^ 
alter each plague repeats, ^^ And thet heart, of .Plm* 
Idoh was hardened, so tliat be /wquldmdt let the pedf 
pie go ; as the IJc»rd had spoken/' What is the inteift 
df diis, ^^ as the Lord had spoken^" but^.that the Lord 
mi^t appear true, who had foretold that he .dioulfi 
be hardened ? — Now, if there had been any vertibitiijf 
^ Uberty^ of will in Pharaoh, whidi could titm either 
way, God could not with such certain^ have foretoki 
his hardening. But as^ he promised, tv'ho could ndther 
be deceived nor lie, it of certainty and of necessity 
€BXn& to pass, that Aie i^as hardened : which could 
itot have talcen place, had not the hardening be^i 
totally apart from tfe power of man, and in the power 
of God alone, in the same manner as I said before; 
viz. fronfi God being ceitain, that he should not omit 
the general operation of his omnipotence in Pharaoh^ 
or on. Pharaoh's account; nay, that he could not 
omit it. I.; 

Moreover, God was equaUy'Gertain,.that^liit'Mil 


df Pfaexai^beii^gtmtumllyHeyUai^ cqi|14 w^\ 

ocmseat to the wotel and wQrk ofaQ^y y^hv^ ?fm 
contmry to it; and that^ Jfaarefoi^e^ 'while tlm iinpe^i 
of ^willing iims preserred'.ia.Pltai'Qobjkj} the cHqiij|K3h; 
tendB of God, and while tha hatfi^.i'^of^ and/ ivoi^* 
i|ias.3e6nCinimUy set befoi^ hte ^yes ;wil^hpu|i^ )Pf)thki^ 
efee ooiiki.take. place iir Phai^h* but;'ojiSsiip^#iipd( |h?i 
h^ixdeamg of his; hekrt. Fior. if jShod h«d tbmi j9i||i9i€4r 
tfaeiit€tioheQf;his 6mmpptenc0$Q<P^)«iw)h,iM^heiPrh0i$(96 
befotB hita the woid of iMoses^fitJcb h^Mtod,,m¥l thcr 
itiilof Phataoht ipight bcisuppos^ to hafVQi^ted idooe 
by its own power, then, perhaps, there might I^eJbeenf 
room for avdisQuasiony« vdmlfk Yifiy. i$rbad{pc^w^ ito:tum. 
Biit Doiw^iBMKe jt>»3iled porAnd.icarri^ ^iwiiyby its 
own wiUixig, no viotencerwaA dftfieTtQ j^iwill^fheciMise 
k^ was 'not forced, against itft >YvjlIy«hUtwwa9 (Oamed. 
along,^ by the. natural dpecit]!Q»'jof-OQd> to wpU 4atii!^ 
niUy^ just as it.was by natUro, tibatjiis^' ^vil ;- jand theie^ 
fixe, it couM not .but run again^ ,thi^ WQit^ aQd thus 
Ibeedme hardened. Uenqe wei iscie, that this passii^ 
flild^es most forcibly, against Ev^^wiU ; and in this 
way-^^od who:. promised couid not. lie, and if he 
eonld not lie, then Pharaoh coiUd not but be har- 

Sect. aCI. — But let us also look into Paul> who 
takes up this passage of Moses, Rom. ix. How mi- 
serably is the Diatribe tortured with that part of the 
scripture ! Lest it should lose its hold of Free-will, 
it puts on every shape« At one time it says> ' that 
there is a necessity of the consequence but not a ne-* 
cesaity of the thing tonsequent.' At another, \ that 
^bciiab iis^an otdinary will, or will of the sign». which 


may be resisted ; and a will of decree, which. cmmI 
be resisted.' At another, ^ that those paseagbs ad« 
dnced from Paul do not contends for, do not i^>eak 
about, the* salvation of man/ In one place it says 
^ that the prescience of God does impose necessity :' 
m another, * that it does not impose necessity/ Ag^ 
in another place it asserts, ^ that grace prevetits the will 
that it mi^t will, and then attends it as it proceeds 
dhd brings it to a happy issue/ H^e it states, * that the 
Jrst cause does all tidngs itself:' and directly after- 
trards, ' that it acts by second causes, remaining itself 

By these and the like dportings with words, it does 
nothing but fill up its time, and at the same time ob- 
scure the subject point from our sight, drawing us 
aside to something else. So stupid and doltish does 
it ima^neus to be, that it thinks we feel no.moie 
interested in the cause than it feels itself. Or, as litde 
children, when fearing the rod or at play, cover 
their eyes with their hands, and think, that as they 
isee nobody themselves, nobody sees them ; so the 
Diatribe, not being able to endure the brigjhtisess, 
nay the lightning of the most clear scriptures, pre*- 
tending by every kind of manoeuvre that it does not 
see, (which is in truth the case) wishes to persuade us 
that oUr eyes are also so covered that we cannot see. 
But all these manoeuvres, are but evidences of a con- 
victed mind rashly struggling against invincible truth. 

That figment about * the necessity of the conse- 
ijuence, but not the necessity of the thing consequent^' 
has been before refuted. Let then the Diatribe invent 
and invent again, cavil and cavil again, as much as it 
will— if God foreknew that Judas .would be a traitor. 


JudaB became a traitor of necessity ; nor was it in 
the power df Judas nor of any other creature to alter 
it, or .to change that will ; though he did what he did 
willingly, not by compulsion ; for that willing of his 
was his own work ; which God, by the motion of his 
omnipotence, moved on into action, as he does every 
tiling leise, — God does not lie, nor is he deceived. 
This is a truth evident and invincible. There are no 
obscure or ambiguous words here, even though all 
ihe most learned men of all ages should be so bUnded 
as to think and say to the contrary. How much so- 
ever, therefore, you may turn your back upon it, yet, 
the convicted conscience of yourself and all men is 
compelled to confess, that, if God be not de- 

PLACE. If it were not so, who could believe his pro- 
mises, who would fear his threatennings, if what he 
•promised or threatened did not of necessity take place ! 
Or, how could he promise. or threaten, if his presci- 
ence could be deceived or hindered by our mutability ! 
This all-clear light of certain truth manifestly stops 
the mouths of all, puts an end to all questions, and 
for ever setties the victory over all evasive subtleties. 

We know, indeed, that the prescience of man is 
fallible. We know that an eclipse does not Uierefore 
take {dace, because it is foreknown ; but, that it is 
therefore foreknown, bedause it is to take place. But 
what have we to do with this prescience? We are dis- 
puting about the prescience of God ! And if you do not 
ascribe to this, the necessity of the consequent fore- 
known, you take away faith and the fear of God, you 
destroy the force of aU the divine promises and threat- 


Miings^ and diqs deny tlivfnity itardf. But, hbwewi-v 
iboDkiribe itself/ after having held out for ajodg 
liiae ami tried all tibings, and bein^ pressed btoffA ttjr 
the force of trudi^ at last confesses ' my sentiiDttitr: 
spying— ' 


Sect. XCIL— *^ TuEX)aestion eoiidemmg the wiM 
and (Nredestihation of Gbdiia sonie\(diaitr difficult > ¥ik 
(Grod willB i those same tlrings which; ise iforeknovsi JMl 
ibis is thersUbttaik^e of whatPanl sskjoih^iMrWiib 
hath^ resisted .his wtU^" if he have mercy cm whom be 
will, and harden whom he wi^l? For if theie weiem 
king whb could effect whatever he chose^ iaiid no odfe 
c^ttld, resist him;, he would bet s^d to do whatsoever he 
willed. So the will of God^ as !it is the prinoipal cause 
of all things which ) take place^senns to impoaea 
necessity on our will, "^Thus the DiatiibeC 
:. At last then I give thanks to God tfdr a sound 
sentence in the Diatribe i Where now then is Freei- 
will? — But ag^iu this sKppery ,eel is twisted aside ih 
a moment^, saying, 

— •" But Paul does not explain tfiis point, ^he odfy 
l^hlikes the dispute; ^^ Who art t&ou, O man/ tfaidt 
r^pliest; dgamst God ! " — . ■ r 

, QinotabLe evasion! Is this the way tb htodle 
thaJ^pl(f; scriptures, rtbuB to mak6 a declaration ii|ic^ 
an^ P^n wthority, and out of ones own brain, withr 
out a. scripture, without a mirade,^nay, to corrupt the 
most clear, worite of Gtid ? What ! does not Paul 
fxplain that point? What does he thcin ? * He only 
rebukes the dispu^' says the Diatribe. And is not 
that rebuke the most complete explanation? For 
ivhat ^as inquired into by that question cbneerning 


iba wiWIof God? .Was it not this- — whether or not 
It • imposed ^a .necessity on our will ? Paul^ then^ air- 
^mestB that it;is thus :— *^ He will have mercy on whom^ 
hfr will', have inercy, and whom he will he hardeneth: 
It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, 
but of God that sheweth mercy." Moreover, not con- 
tent with this explanation, ihe introduces tho8^>'Who 
Biunnur a^nst this explanation in their dcii^noe of 
Fraerwill^ and prate that there is no merit, allowed j 
that we are danmed tvhen the fimlt ^is not oiirown^ 
aad the like, and stops their murmuring aiid*4^digna- 
tion : saying, ." Thou wilt say then, Why dotb Ke yet . 
Aid fault? for who hath resisted his will ? " ! 
vil .Do you hot see that tibis is addressed i^to 'those, 
who, hearing that the will of God imposed hecettfty 
9n as, say, " Whydoth he yetfiAdfaiilti" IMi is. 
Why does God thus insist, tfani^jurge^itbasiexajC^idlus 
find^fault ? Why does he accuseywby does, he seprove; 
as though we men could do what he requires ' if wcf 
would ? He hais no just cause ifor t^us fincUng &uit i 
iat hiiii rather accuse his own wfli.; .tet Irim iindfoolt 
with that ; liet l^ni press hisi requtremeti^ upon '• that } 
^iFor who hlth resisted his will 9s Who c4ii obfeaiir 
iciercy if he wills. not? > Whs-canx bedome ; s6ftei^dd 
if the wills to harden? It: is; not> ill our powen td 
ohange his/ will, much less to resist it, wh^re^ he iwills 
ttf: to be hardened ; by thait wfll,\ therefore, we >an) 
compelled to be faardeoed, whedier we: will or no., r 
If Paul had Inot explained tins question, .and faad 
not stated to a certainty, that necessity is impbsedi o» 
us by the prescience of Gody what need was thane fair 
his introducmg the murmurers and complainexdi say- 
ings iThait his will cannot be resisted ? For wbo would 


have munnured or been indignant,, if he had iipt 
fbimd necessity to be stated? PauFs words are iiot 
ambiguous where he speaks of resisting the wiU.o^ 
God. . Is there any thing ambiguous in what resistr^ 
iiig is, or what his will is ? Is it at all ambigaoiift 
concerning what he is speaking, when he speaks . coi^- 
ceming the will of God ? Let the myriads of the 
most approved doctors, be blind ; let them pretenc^ if 
they will, that the scriptures are not quite dear, and 
that th^ tremble at a difficult question; we have 
words the most clear which plainly speak thus: '^ He 
will 'have mercy on whom he will have mercy,, and 
whom he will he hardeneth : " and also, ^^ Thou wilt 
say to me then, Why doth he yet complain, for who 
hath resisted his will ? " 

The question, therefore, is not diffici4t; nay, 
nothing can be more plain to common sense, than that 
this conclusion is certain, stable, and true :-^if it be 
pre-established from the scriptures, that God neither 
errs nor is deceived ; then, whatever God forekntmif 
must, ci necessity y take place. It would be a difficult 
question indeed, nay, an impossibility, I confess, if 
yoa should attempt to establish, both the presdemx 
of God, and the Free-mil of man. For what cduld 
be more difficult, nay a greater impossibility, than r to 
attempt to prove, that contradictions do not clash ; or- 
that a. number may, at the same time, be both xune 
and ten? There is no difficulty on our side of tlie 
question, but it is sou^t for and introduced, just as 
ambiguity and obscurity are sou^t for and violeody 
introduced into the scriptures. . 

The apostle, therefore, restrains the impious who 
aie offended at these most clear words, by letting.them 

iGl^/iliiklfbexlmii^ is acc^pMdh^; by hk^' 
mltf/Wnsi and by letting them know al^d; that iV'l^ 
d^fiiied fo a certainty^ that they have nothing -of 
libbrty'or.Free-fwaile^, but that 6li thingfe depend^ 
lipoh th? will of God alone: ' But he yestrkins theiii iH- 
tiiid way: — by coihxnanding thens tb be silent, and tb^ 
revere the majesty of the divine paw6i< alid will, bvdr^ 
which - we have no control, but whioh has over us a 
fiiU control tx) do whatever it wilL And yet it d66)^ 
t^ no Injury^ seeing that it is not indebted to us, H 
never retieited any thing from us, it never promised 
us any thing but what itself pleased and willed, 

-::»■■ . 1. 

Sect' Xeill.^ — ^Tttis, therefore, is not the plat^^- not the time for adoring those Coryciah ca*' 
vefcita^ but for adoring the true Majesty in its to-be-' 
feared, .wonderful, and incomprehensible judgments ; 
and sfliying,' ^^ Thy will be done in earth as it is in 
heaven." Whereas, we are no where more irrevereht' 
and rash, than in trespassing and arguing upon these 
veiy inscrutable mysteries and judgments. And while 
we are pretending to a great reverence in searching the 
Ixdy scriptures, those which = God has commanded to* 
he searched, we search not ; but those which he has 
feifbidden us to search into, those we search into and 
none other ; and that with an unceasing temerity, not 
tto say, blasphemy. 

. For is it not searching with temerity, when we 
attempt to make the all-free prescience (^ God to 
harmonize with our freedom, prepared to derog&te 
prescience from God, rather than lose our own Uberty? 
Is. it not temerity, when he iniposes necessity upon us, 
or say, with murmurings and blasphemies, *^ Wjhy 

dothheyet findfinultPfor^hd hath resisted liisiinli 1^ 
Where is the Ocxi by natarf^.iiiQstjaerciful? "Vi^eiei/ 
is lie who ^^willeUi notthe death of e sinner I'' ^ Hai' 
he then created us for this purpose only, that bd 
mi^t df^Ught himself in the torments of imn?r An<l' 
many things of the same kind^ ^doich will be horwled 
forth by the damned in hdl to all eternity^ : 

3ut however, natural Reason herself is^ compelkd 
to confess, that the living and true God must be such 
ai^ aae as, by his own liberty, to impose necessity on 
DS. For he must be a ridiculous God, or idol ralher^ 
who did not, to a certainly, foreknow the future^ or 
was liable to he deceived in events, when even the 
Gentiles ascribed to their gods ^fate inevitable/ And 
he would be ^ually ridiculous, if he could not doaad! 
did not all things,' or if any thing could be ^done TfliAt' 
out him* If then the prescience and omnipotence of 
' <^od be granted, it naturally follows, as aairrefraga^ 
Wfi consequence, that we neither were made by our* 
scjves, nor live by ourselves, nor do any thing by our- 
scjtve^, but by his> omnipotence. ' . And since he at the 
firdt foreknew that we should be such, and since he 
has made us such, and moves and rules over us as* 
such, how, I ask^can it be pret^tided, that there is any 
liberty in m.. to- do, in any respect, otherwise than he 
at first foreknew and now proceeds in action 1 - 

Wherefore, the prescience and omnipotence of 
Gpdji p{^ diaimetriaally opposite to our Free-will. And 
it must be, that eit^r God is deceived in his pre* 
science and errs in hiis action, (which is impossible) 
Qa? ^e apt, and are acted oipon, according to his pre^ 
sciewe and action. — But by the omnipotence j)f God, 
I . mean, no t that powers by which he. does not mnny 



^lingB that he cotfitf do . but that «ggifl/- tk^ ^ bv 
whic^ he powerfully tewfe «// m tf//j Jn which *setise 
liie scriptufe calls him omnipotent. This omnipotence 
eaid prescience of God/ I'say, utterly ' abolishes the » , * . •< * * 
doctrine of Free-will. No pretext cali here be fhcnied 
about the obscurity of the scripture, or the difficulty 
iji the subject-point: the words ar^rinost clear, and 
known to every school-b^; tod the poiiit is pltfin 
and easy and stands proved by judgment of comilion 
sense; so that the series of agfe, 6f tithes, or of per- 
sons, either writing or teadiing to the contriary, be it 
as great as it may, amounts to nothing at all. 

Sect. XCIV. — But it is this, that seems to give 
did ^glieatest offence to common sense or natural reason, 
— 4hat the God, who is set forth as being so full of 
mercy ftnd'' goodness, should, of his mere will, leave 
m^, hardai them, and damn them, as though he 
dteli^ht^ in the sins, and in the great and eternal tor- 
meats of theiniserable. To think thus of God, seems 
ivAqnitoUs, ^ cruel, intolerable ; and it is this that haK 
given 'offelice to so many and great men of so 
ttumy ages. 

i ••'; And who would not be offendled ? I myself have 
been oflFended more than once, even unto the deepest 
abyss of desperation ; nay, so far, as even to wish' 
Uiat I had never been bom a man; that is, before I 
was brought to know how healthful that desperation 
was, and how near it was nnto grace. Here it is, thai 
there has been so much toiling and labouring, to excuse 
^he goodness of God, and to accuse the will of man. 
Here it is, that distinctions have been invented between 
the ordinary will of God knd the ^^^e will of God : 

he^een the ^le^es^^y; of^the.coiisequi^ce, and th/tt 
qpprasitojT of jthe thing consequent : and many otborr 
inventions of the same kind. By which, notfai^g haft 
((ver been effected but an • impc^tipn rupc»i the uht 
leeraed, by vanities of words^ and by ^^ opppsitioDB^pf 
science falsely so called." For after all, a conscaiaiia. 
conviction has been left deeply rooted in the heaiirt 
both of the learned and . the unlearned, if ever they 
have come .to an experience of these things; and a 
knowledge, that our necessity, is a consequence thai 
laust follow upon the belief of the prescience and om- 
nipotence of God. ■''■■. 
And even natural Reason herself, who is so of- 
fe^ded at this necessity, and who invents ^ so many 
contrivances to. take it out of the way, is compelled 
to grant it upon her own conviction from her own 
jjidgment, even though there were no scripture at all^ 
For all men find these sentiments written ia th^ 
^ I hesarts, and they acknowledge and approve than 

(though against their will) whenever they hear theai 
treated on. — First, that God is omnipotent, not'jonly 
in power but in action (as I said before); and tha(f if 
it were not so, he would be a ridiculous God. — And 
pext, that he knows and foreknows all things,^ and 
neither can err nor be deceived. These two points 
dien being granted by the hearts and minds of all, they 
are at once compelled, firom an inevitable consequence^ 
to admit, — ^tbat we are not made from our own will, 
but firom necessity: and moreover, (hat we do not 
what we will according to the law of Free-will, but as 
God foreknew and proceeds in action, according to 
fiis infallible and immutable counsel and power« 
Wherefore, it is found written alike in the heartfrof all 



liten, that there is no such thing as Free-tirMl ; thoOjA 
timt writing be obscured by so many contending disptii-" 
ti^tions, and by the great authority of so many men who 
faaye/ through so many ^ges, taught otherwise. Even 
as every other law als6, which, according to the testi- 
mony of Paul, is written in our hearts, is th«i ackndw-i 
ledged when it is rightly set forth, and then obscured, 
when it is confused by wicked teachers, and drawii 
aside by other opinions. ' '• '' 

Sect. XC V. — I NOW return to Paul. If he dde* 
not, Rom: i:^.^, explain this point, nor cleariy state bur 
necessity from the prescience and will of God; what 
need was there for him to introduce the similitude of the 
^' pdtter," whb, of the' " sameluihp" of clay, make^ "one 
vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour ? " What 
need was there for him to observe, that the thing formed 
does not say to him that formed it, " Why hast thou 
made me thus?" He is there speaking of men ; arid 
he compares them to clay, and God to a potter* This 
^miKtude, therefore, stands coldly useless, nay, is in- 
troduced ridiculously and in vain, if it be not his sen- 
4iment, that we have no liberty whatever. Nay, the 
whole of the argument of Paul, wherein he defends 
'^^race, is in vain. For the design of the whole epistle 
as to shew, that we can do nothing, even when we 
Beem to do well ; as he in the same epistle testifies^ 
where he say«, that Israel which followed after righ- 
teousness, did not atttdn unto righteouistiess ; but^fhat 
the Gentiles which followed not after it did attaiii'utito 
it. Cidifcemling* which I shall speak more at largfe 
hereafter, * when I- produce my forces. ? 

M^Thf^fMliBi the EMatribe desigtiedly keeps b^ck^^ 

l^y of Paul's . ligament and it6.scop% sUkd^QmAxti' 
ably satisfies itself with prating upon a few 4etMh0d 
and corrupted terms. Nor does the exhortation whidi 
Paul afterwards gives, Ron^. xi., at all l^lpthe Dia- 
tribe ; ;where he saith, ^^ Thou standest by feitli^ be 
not high-minded;" again, ^^ and they also, if tbey 
s))iaU believe, shall be grafted' in, &c. ; " for be 4iefS 
nothing there about the ability of man, but: bngs 
forth imperative and conditional ^^pressions; jitiad 
what effect they are intended to produce, has been 
fully shewn already. Moreover, Paul, there antici- 
pating the boasters of Fre^-will, does not say,:tbey con 
believe, but he saith^ ^^God is able to graft them 
in again. " 

To 1^ brief: The Diatribe moves along with 
«o ;miich hesitation, and so lingeringly, in handlmg 
these passages' of Paul, that its conscience^ seems^ to 
gjlvB the lie to all that it writes. For just at Ibe 
point where it ought to have gone on to the proofs it 
for the most part, stops short with a ^But of this 
enoqgh;' * But I shaU not now proceed with Ijiia;' 
* But this is not my present purpose;' ■ But here they 
should have said so and so;' and many evasionsi^ of 
the same kind; and it leaves off the subject just in 
the middle ; so that, you are left in uncertain^ 'wMbt&r 
it wished to be understood as speaking on Free-will, 
or whether it was only evading the sease of Paui by 
means of vanities of words. Aod all this is being jnst 
in its character, as not having a serious thought i^n 
the cause in which it is engaged. But as for miSt I 
dare not be thus cold, thus always on the tip-toe oT 
policy, or thus move to and fro as a reed shaken ^wth 
Jtl|;ie wind. I must assert witb certainty, wi& con-^ 


stancy, and with ardour; and prove what I assert 
fldSdly, appropriately, and fully. 

Sect. XCVI. — And now, how excellaitly does 
the Diatribe preserve liberty in harmony with neces- 
sitjfy where it says — " Nor does all necessity exdtide 
Free-will. For instance : God the Father b^ts a 
4on, of necessity; but yet, he begets him willin^y and 
freely, seeing that, he is not forced.*' — 

Am I here, I pray you, disputing about compid^ 
jnon and force? Have I not said in all my books 
again and again, that my i^spute, on this subject, is 
about the necessity of immutabiUty ? I know that the 
Father begets willingly, and that Judas willingly 
betrayed Christ. But I say, this willing, in the per^ 
son of Judas, was decreed to take place from im» 
Hmtability and certainty, if God foreknew it* Or, if 
men do not yet undetetand what I mean,— I make 
two necessities^ the one a necessity of forcty in refe- 
rence to the act; the other a necessity of immutability ^ 
in reference to the thne. Let him, therefore, who ^ 
wishes to hear what I have to say, understand, that I 
liere speak of the latter ^ not of Reformer : that is, I 
tk) not dispute whether Judas became a traitor willingly 
OP unwillingly, but whether or not, it was decreed to 
come to pass, that Judas ^untid wiU to betray Christ 
>€t a certain time infalliUy predetermined of God ! 

But only listen to what the Diatribe says upon 
this point—" With reference to the immutable pre- 
flcience of God, Judas was of necessity to become 
atraiitor; nevertheless, Judas had it in his power to 
tshange his own will.*' — 

Dost thou understand, friend Diatribe, what thou 


;quence> Free-^ lies vanquished :aiidiipro9tiEtay nm' 
does either the necessity, or the octtxtiogenqf of > the 
Jthing consequent, any thing. What is it to me 
if Free-will be aot compelled, but do what ^it^ does 
^willingly ? It is enough for me, that you grants tthat it 
is. of necessity, that it does willingly what it doe8;:Biid 
that, it:cannot do otherwise if God foreknew it would 
be so» f 

If God foreknew, either that Judaa would be a 
traitor, or that he wouidchang? his willing to be a trai- 
tor, wbi/chsoevar of the two God i foreknew, must,<^ 
necessity, take place, or God. will be deceived m his 
{prescience and prediction, whidi is impossible. This 
is the effect of the necessity of the consequence, .that 
is, if God foreknows a thmg, that thing must of nie- 
cessity take place ; that is, therejia no -such thing as 
jFree-wilL This necessity of the consequence^ there- 
fore, is not * obscure or ambiguous.;' so that, even if 
the doctors of all ages were blinded yet th^. must 
admit it, because it is so manifest and plain, as to be^ 
actually palpable. And as to the necessity^of the thing 
consequent, with which they comfort themselves, that 
is a mere phantom, and is in diametrical opposition^ 
to the necessity of the. consequence. 

For example : The necessity of the consequence- 
is, (so to set it forth,) God foreknows that Judas will 
be a traitor — ^therefore it will certainly and infelUbly 
come to pass, that Judas shall be a traitor. Against 
this neces^ty of the consequence, you comfort your- 
;^lf thus :— rBut since Judas can change his wiUing Uy 
betmy, therefore, there is no necessity of the thing, 
consequent. How^ I ask you, will these two positkm£^ 
liannonize, Judas is abl^ to will mt,, io betray, aad^ 


: Judas must of necessity mil to betray? Do not these 
.'two directly contradict and militate against each 
^ther ? But he will not be compelled, you say, to be- 
itrfty against his will. What is that to the purpose ? 
You were speaking of the necessity of the thing con- 
fWqueiit ; and sayii^ that that need not, of necessity, 
-follow, from the. necessity of the consequence ; you 
were not speaking of the compulsive necessity of the 
thing consequent. The question was, concerning the 
^necessity of the thing ccmsequent, and you produce 
an example concerning the compulsive necessky of the 
thing consequent. I ask one thing, and you answer 
another. But this arises from that yawning. sleepiness, 
under which you do not observe, what nothingness 
-that figment amounts to, concerning the necessity of 
•the thing consequ^t. 

Suffice it to have spoken ithus to the former part 
-of this SECOND PART, which has been concerning 
the hardening ^of Pharaohy and which involves, in- 
deed, all the scriptures, and aU our forces, and those 
'invincible. Now let us proceed to the remaining part 
tx)nceming «/<2co6 and EsaUy who are spoken of as 
being " not yet bom." 

Sect. XCVIII. — ^This placd the Diatribe evades 
by saying — * that it does not properly pertain to the 
salvation of man. For God (it says) may will that a 
-man shall be a servant, or a poor man ; and yet, not 
reject him from eternal salvation.' — 

Only observe, I pray you, how many evasions 
and ways of escape a slipj>ery mind will invent,, which 
would flee from the truth, and yet cannot get away 
from it after aU. Be it so^ that this, piassojge does not 


^l^ditam to the salvation of miui/(to which pomt I daeH 
ikpeak hereafter), are we to suppose, then, that Pa»l 
who adduces it, does so, for no purpose whatever? 
'Shall we make Paul to be ridiculous, or a vain 
trifler, in a discussion so smous ? . : 

But all this breathes nothing but Jerom, who 
•dares to say, in more places than one, with a supeiw 
dlious birow and a sacrilegious mouth, ^that those 
tUings are made to be of force in Paul, which, in 
their own places, are of no force.' This is no less than 
' saying, that Paul, where he lays the foundation of the 
Christian doctrine^ does nothing but OHTupt the holy 
scriptures, and delude believiiig souls with sent!*- 
ments hatched out of his own brainy oidyiolently thrust 
into the scriptures. — ^Is this. honouring the Holy Spl^ 
rit in Paul, that sanctified and dect instrument j of 
God ! Thus, when Jerbm ought to be read with judg- 
Dsient, and this saying of his, to be numbered amoi^ 
those many things which that man impiously wrofib, 
(sudi was his yawning inconsideroteness, and hw 
•^^ttupidiiy in understanding the scriptures,) the Diatribier 
drags him in without any judgment; and notthinking^ 
it right, that his authority should be lessened by ai^ 
mitigating gloss whatever, takes him as a most certain 
oracle, whereby to judge of, and attemper the scrip- 
tures. And thus it is; we take the impious sa3angs.of 
men as rules and guides in the holy scripture, and 
then wonder that it should become ^ obscure and am- 
biguous,' and that so many fathers should be blind in 
it; whereas, the whole proceeds from this impious 
'and sacrilegious Reason. 

Sect. XCXX.—XuST him, then, be anathema who 


sbatt-day/ ^ ^Mftilthoaa things; which ate of no force faq 
tfawr^ j6wn : places: .- are . made : to' be of • force . in FauL' ^ 
Huo^Jbtawever, is only said, it is not -proved. And? it 
is (said 'by j those, who uncterstand neither. Paul,, nor 
t^ passages adduced by. hifii, but axe: deeehred by* 
tUvsos ^ that is, 4)y tiheir: own .impious interpretations: 
of [themL ''And if it/ be, allowed that thisi-passage^- 
Gen. XXV., is to be -understood in a temporal • sense' 
(whidi is not the true sense) yet it is rightly; and ef-? 
fectuelly adduced by Paul, when he prohnes from it, 
t;^t it was not of the " misrita'^ of Jacob and Esau, 
" but of him that calleth," that; it was said imto Re-^ 
becca, ** the dder shall seive .the younger/' . 

• " Paul i6 ' argumentativdy tbnsMering, whed)^ . or 
ndt.tbey attitmed unto thattwhich was said of them,, 
by the power or merits of Free-will; and he^ ^roves^r 
thlit they did not ; but that Jacob attained unto that, 
unio* which- Esau attained not^ solely by the gtace 
^Vof him that calleth.'' And he proves that; by the 
incontrovertible words of the scripture : that is^ that^ 
they were " not yet bom : '* and also, that they had 
*' done neither good nor evil." This proof ' contains 
the wei^ty sum of his whole subject point: and. by 
the same proof, our subject pc»nt id settled also. ^ r.: • 

, The Diatribe, however, having dififiemblin^ 
passied over all these particulars, with an excellent rhe-^ . 
torical 'fetch, does not here aigue at all' upon merits 
(which, nevertheless, it undertook to. do, and which 
this subject point of Paul requires,) but cavils about • 
temporal bondage, as thou^ that were at all to the 
purpose; — but it is merely tliat it might not seem to foe 
overthrown by the all-forcible words of Paul. For. 
what had it, which it could yelp against Paul in wp^ 


port of Free-will? What did FiM*;«0ill d*/irJ(i^ 
or what did it do agaimt Esaa, when it wa-alnwi^ 
detennined, by the prescience and predestimdofr lif 
Grod, before either of them was bom, what riioald be 
the portion of each ; that is, that the one should serve, 
and the other rule? Thus the rewards were de cr e e d, 
before the workmen wrought, or were bom. It is to tiiu* 
that the Diatribe ought to have answered* Paul con- 
tends for this : — that neither had done either good or 
evil : and yet, that by the divine sentence, the one was 
decreed to be servant, the other lord. The question here^ 
is not, whether that servitude pertained nhta salva- 
tion, but from what merit it was imposed <m him who 
had not -deserved it. But it is wearisome to contend 
with these depraved attempts to pervert and evade 
the scripture. 

Sect C. — BcT however, that Moses does not h^ 
tend their servitude only, and that Paul is' perfectly 
ri^t in understanding it concerning eternal salvation, 
is manifest from the text itself. And aldiough this is 
somewhat wide of our present purpose, yet I will not 
suffer Paul to be contaminated with the cahmmies of 
the sacril^ous. Tlie oracle in Moses is thus-^" Two 
manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels, 
and the one people shall be stronger than the other, 
people; and the elder shall serve the younger.'' 

Here, manifestly, are two people distinctly men^ 
tioned. The one, though the younger, is received 
into the grace of God ; to the intent that, he mi^t 
overcome the other ; not by his own strength, indeed, 
but by a favouring God : for how could the younger 
overcome the elder unless God were with him ! 


: .Since, therefore, the youngfer wai^ to bethel peo-f 
pfe of God, it is not only the external rule or servi- 
tttda which is there spoken of, but all that pertains to 
the people of God ; that is, the blessing, the word, tfass 
Spirit, the promise of Christ, and the everlasting king- 
dom. And this the scripture more fully confirtns af- 
torwaids, where it describes Jacob as being blessed, 
and receiving the promises and the kingdom, 
.:' All this Paul briefly intimates, where he saith, 
*^ The elder shall serve the younger : " and he sends 
ufi to. Moses, who treats upon dfe particulars more 
fiilly. So that you may say,, in reply to the sacrile- 
^ous sentiment of Jerom and the Diatribe,, that these 
passages which Paul adduces have more force in their 
own place than- they have in his epistle* And this^is 
true also, not of Paul only, but of all the apostles ; 
who adduce scriptures as testimK)nies and assertions 
of: their own sentiments. But it would be ridiculous 
to adduce that as a testimony, which testifiei? nothing, 
and does not make at all to. the purpose. And even if 
there were some among the phflosopfaers so ridiculous 
as to prove that which was imMnown, by, that whieh 
was less known -still, or by diat .which was totally in^ 
levant to the subject, widi what^&ee can we attrihotei 
such kind of i»roceeding ^to the greatest chajmpions 
ahd^ authors of the Christian doctrines, especially, 
since they teach diose things which arc the essential 
articles of faith, and on which the salvation of souls 
di^iends ? But^such a £eLce becomes those who, in the 
holy scriptures, fed no serious interest whatever. 

Sect. CI. — AiTD with respect to that of Malachi 
which Paul ann^Lesy ^^ Jacob have I loved, but Esau 


hftw Ilittted ;^^ that, the Diatribe perrem by « ^bkee- 
fold cotitrivaitce. The first is— -" If (it saya) ycm«tick( 
tdi the letter^ God does not love as we love, r»MdoeM> 
hei <hat)e ^any one : because, pasdons of this kind ikfi 
not pertain unto God." — .- .v« 

^t' What do I hear ! Are we now inquiring whetim^^ 
or not God loves and hates, and nbt rather wkylmi 
loves and hates ? Our inquiry is, from what merit^lt 
i9 Jn us that he loves or hates. We^know well eikia^ 
that G^ does not love or hate as we do; becKUfie, 
y/m love and hate mutably, but he loves and haitoSf 
from an eternal and immutable nature ; and' faencei Itr 
is^ that accidents and passions do not pertaia mifio; 
him« . ■ .••...-•! =:if 

; And it is this very state of the trutiby.ifaat of ne- 
CBBsity proves Freo^will to be nothing at all; seeing 
tlrnt^ the love and hatred of God toi^^trds men is im- 
mutable and eternal ; existing, not only before tlieie> 
was ^ any 'merit or. work of Friee-will, but l>efore thai 
worlds were made ; and that, all things take place! in> 
us from necessity, accordingly! as he loved or loved not 
frt»n all eternity. So that, not the love of God onlyv • 
but ev^ the manner of:hi& love im{k)ses. on us neces^/ 
sithpt'Here then it may be seen, how much its inventod 
ways of escape profit the Diatribe; for the more k^: 
attraapts to get away from the truth, the morei itrs 
riins upon it; with so little success does it fi^it^ 
a^gainst it ! 

But be it so, that your trope stands good — ^that 
the love of God is ih^ effect of love, and the hatiod 
of God the effect of hatred. Does, then, that effect 
take place without, and independent of,. ihe.wiU of 
Gkxi? Will you here say also, that God does nabmUt^ 


as we do, and diat the passion of willing does 'not 
pertain to him? If then diose efiects take place, they 
do not take place but according to the toill of God. 
Hence, therefore, what Gt)d wills, that he loves 
and hates. Now then, tell me, for what merit did 
God love Jacob or hate Esau, before they wrought, 
or were bom? Wherefore it stands manifest, that 
Pkral most rightly adduces Malachi in support of this 
passage from Moses : that is, that Gt)d therefore 
a^ed Jacob before he was bom, because he loved 
him ; but that he was not first loved by Jacob, nor 
moved to love him from any merit in him. So that, in 
the cases of Jacob and Esau, lit is shewn — ^what abi- 
lity there is in our Free-will ! 

Sect. CII. — The second contrivance is this: — 
' diat Malachi does not seem to speak of that hatred 
by which we are damned to all eternity, but of tem- 
potai affliction : seeing that, those are reproved who 
wbfaed to destroy Edom.' — 

This, again, is advanced in contempt of Panl, as 
though he had done violence to the scriptures. Thns, 
we hold in no reverence whatever, the miyesty of the 
Holy Spirit, and only aim at establishing oiur own 
^timents. But let us bear with this contempt f<Hr a 
moment, and see what it effects. Malachi, then, 
^leaks of temporal affliction. And what if he do? What 
18 that to your purpose ? Paul proves out of M^ladu; 
tliat that affliction was laid on Esau without any de- 
sert, by the hatred of God only : and this he (fees, 
tbat he might thence conclude, that there is no such 
tiling as Free-will. This is the point that makes 
B^^punst you,ahd it is to this youou^t to have answered. 


Iftmarguuig^^itiot^ aU the yi^e 

Rising about rewiprd; am^ yet, you sOf^tc^ nboi^iti 
^ npt to evade that which .you wish to evade ^vfiay^ 
Jin your very talking about> reward, you acknowl^d^ 
merit; and yet, pretend you .do not see it, TeM Vf^ 
then, what joioved God to kiye Jacobs and to ImSi 
j^Bau, even before they were born? ;. u. 

But howler, the asserticHi, that Maiadii isBpeak^ 
iog oC.itempOral affliction only, is faliie: nor is he 
apealiag of the destroying of Edom : you entjiiely 
fmrvprt the sense, of the prophet by this Contrivaw&* 
33i)8: prophet is^^ws what he means, in words the mont 
ciear,,rrrHeiupj;)faidstbe. Israelites with ingratitadb;; 
because, after God had loved th^n, they did nt}t^ in 
return, either love him as their Father, or fear him as 
th€|ir Lford. .. ,,. 

. Tliat. God hadilpved tb^m,: he proves, both by l3ie 
sari|>tiirea^ and by .facts : viz. in this : — that lalthiKigh 
Jaoob:^and £sau were brothera^ as Moses recimls 
Gen. XXV., yet he loved Jacob and chose him befete 
he -WaiP iborn, ; aft)jwe have Jieard from Paiil alrejiUiy; 
butitliat) hajSQ-ibated^ Esau, that he removed away this 
dteHmgrint^ortthe desert ; thatomoreover^ he so icdntiT 
nued and ^pmrM^d that hatred, that when he .brou^ 
back J^cohf from captivity and restored him, he.iwonld 
potbuflbrrthe Edomites to be restored; aad ttajtyiev^n 
ifiiiUty^^tfjaily.titne said they wished to build, he 
thieatehedctbemrwith destruction. If this be nofcatfae 
plain raneaiuikg^of the projd^iet's text, let the.Whafe 
l^oddeptavcgjoie « lia^,r^Therefore the tem^ty of tfat 
£doamtesiis ncit here reproved^ but, as I said befbofti 
the iingratittide of the sons of Jacob ; who do not see 
itrhat^unsd Jbasi doney>fof.(theiiv and against tbeurAnii 


tliren the Edomites ; and i6t ho oth^r veason, thtttti h^*^ 
cause, he hated the one, abd loved the other. - - '• ' 
.' : How then wfll your assertion stand good, that the 
prophet is here speaking of temporal affliction, T^Heii 
he testifies, in the plaineait words, that hie is speaking of 
the two people as proceeding from the ti^'o patriarchs, 
the one received to be a people arid saved; and tHe 
other left and at last destroyed ? To be received afe al 
people, and not to be received as a people, does h6tJ 
pertain to temporal good and evil only, but unto all* 
thmgs. For ouf God is riot the God of tempoM 
tibings only, but of all things. Nor does God will W 
be thy God so as to- be won^hipped with one should^,' 
or with a lame foot, but with ' all thy might, and witll^ 
all thy heart, that he may be thy God as well he^, ad' 
hereafter, in all thingd, times, and works. 

Sect CIII.^ — The third contrivance is — ^^ that,- 
according to the trope interpretation of the passage, 
Gtxl rieither loves all the Gentiles, nor hates all the 
Jews ; but, out of each people, some. And that, hf 
thtfiise of the trope, tiie scripture testimony in ques^ 
tkm, does not at ell go to prove necessity, but to beat^ 
dowDitthe arrogancy of the Jews.'— The l[)iatribe 
having opctoed this way of escape, then conies to this - 
— <-* that God is said to hate men before th^ tire- 
born^ because, he forekriows that they will d<y that' 
which will merit hatred : and that thus, the hatred 
and love of God do not at all militate 'li^Eiiri^' 
Free-will.* — And at last, it dmws this conchisioft-^^ 
* tliat the Jews were cut off from the olive tree ori alif- - 
count of the merit of unbelief, and the Gentiles grafted ^ 
in on account of the merit of faith, according to the 

R S 


aulliorily of Paul ; and that, a trope is held xmt to 
those who aie cat off, of bemg grafted in agaiii, asda 
warning given to those who are grafted in, tiiat^i^ 
lUl not off/ — •' ^ : 

May I perish if the Diatribe itself knows what it 
|s talking about But, perhaps, this is also a liietcm- 
oal fetch ; which teaches you, wl^n any danger sera» 
to be at hand, always to render your sense obsome, 
lest you should be taken in your own words. I, for 
my part, can see no place whatever in this : passage 
Ibr those trope-interpretations, of which the Diatribe 
dneams, but which it cannot establish l^ pro(»f. There- 
Core, it is no wonder that this testimony doss not 
make against it, in the trope-interpreted sense, be- 
cause, it has no such sense. " 

Moreover, we are not disputing about cuttii^.^ 
and grafting in, of which Paul here speaks in his ex- 
hcHtations. I kn6w that men are grafted in by feilh, 
and cut off by unbelief; and that they are to be ex- 
horted to •believe that they be not cut off. But it does 
not follow, nor is it proved from this, that ^ they cm 
believe or fall away by the power of Free-^oill, wUA: 
is now the point . in question. We are not disputing 
about, who are the believing and who are not ; who are 
Jews mid who axe Gentiles ; and what is the ccHise- 
quence of believing and falling away; thal^pertaias 
imto ^chortation. Our point in dispute is, by what- 
merit or work they attain unto that faith by which 
diey are grafted: in, or unto that unbelief by which thej^ 
are cut off. This is the point that belongs to yon jas^ 
the teacher of Free-will. And pray, describe to me 
this merit. ;') 

Paul teaches us, that this comes to them by no 


W6rk of theirs, but only according to the love or the 
hatred of God : and when it is come to them, he ex^ 
liorts them to persevere, that they be not cut off. 
But this exhortation does not prove what we can do, 
bat what we ought to do. 

I am compelled thus to hedge in my adversary 
witii many words, lest he should slip away from, and 
leave the subject point, and take up any thing but 
that : and in fact, to hold him thus to the point, is to 
vanquish him* For all that he aims at, is to slide away 
from the point, withdraw himself out of si^t, and take 
up any thing but that, which he first laid down as his 
subject design. 

Sect CIV. — ^The next passage which the Diar 
tribe takes up is that of Isaiah xlv., '^ Shall the clay 
say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou?'' 
And that of Jeremiah xviii., " Behold as the clay is 
in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand." Here 
the Diatribe says agam— "these passages are made to 
have more force in Paul, than they have in the places 
bf the prophets from which they are taken ; because, in 
tfaeproi^^is they speak of temporal affliction, but Paul 
uses them, with reference to eternal election and repro- 
bation." — So that, here again, temerity or ignorance 
in Paul, is insinuated. 

But before we see how the Diatribe proves, that 
neither of these passages excludes Free-will, I will 
make this remark : — ^that Paul does not appear to 
have taken this passage out of the scriptures, nor does 
the Diatribe prdvte that he has. For Paul usually 
mentions the name of his author, or declares that he 
has taken a certain part from the scriptures ; whereas, 


here, he does neither. It i3 iniost probable, therefpn^ 
that Paul uses this general similitude according t^bis 
;ipirit in support of his. own cause^ as others hctve .wedi 
jit in support of theirs. It is in the aame way that he 
uses this similitude^ '^ A little leaven leavenQth the 
-jvhole Imnp :'' which, 1 Cor. %, he uses to it^resent 
lDorruf>t mcouls.: and applies it in another place tp t}ip8^ 
jvrho cdrhipt the word of God : so Christ also speaks 
« the *^ leaven of Herod" and " of the Pharisees/' 
■■'..• Supposing, therefore, that the prophets use this 
mnilitude^ irt^hen speaking more particularly of temporal 
pitnishment ; (upon which I shall pot £^>w dwdl. Jest I 
should be too much occupied about irreleyant questions^ 
and kept away from the subject point,) yet Paul uses it, 
iQ his spirit, against Free-wilL And as to saying that 
thelibetty of the will is not destroyed by our. being la^ 
ddy in the. hand of an afOictMi^ God, I knowi not 
what it means, nor why the Diatribe contends, jknr 
gijicha ppint : for, without d^uht, afl9iicl;ions come vpcai 
us from Go4 against our will, and impose ^upon . ua 
the mecessitjf of bearing them, whether we^ will or nQ,; 
ndr is it in our power to av^rt them : though we aie 
ttxhorted to bear them with a willing mind. 

L Sect CV.— BvT it is worth while ^ to hear the 
Diatribe make out, how it is tiliat the argummit of 
Paul does not exclude Free-will by that similitude : 
for it brings forward two absurd objections : the one 
taken from the scriptures, the other from Reason*, 
From the scriptures it collects this objection. 
. : — " When Paul, 2 Tim. ii:, had said, that in a 
great house there are vessels of gold and silver, wood 
and earth, some to honour and some to dishonour, he 


iiamediately aidds, ^^ If a man theiefisie purge hunsdf 
from these, he shall be a vessel unto'honoidr, &c«"— ^ 
Then the Diatribe gpes onto argue thus >^^^ What 
could be 1 more ckiiculons. than for any one: to say 
to ani earthen /chambertcdnvenience,. If ith6a( shalt 
[Mirify thyself, thou, shalt i he fa vessel nntd honour i 

But this would be ri^y^d Wis. i^6«^<e^l^^ 
veBsel, which can, whefiifiifli3motiidhed;foiW ftseli^^*^ 
cording to the will of ^t^ ]L0ifd."^By^t£hdse' obsmtki^ 
tkms it mean»'to>^^ dmt thc^-simlBtude^ is^ Mitlh'tSi 
resfyects applicable, aifd is S0 'tmbtakeh, tib^t it dtebtlV 
notfungatali. iK. ' -^ '.^ \ ' -.' im . -ii;-.-.: . 

I answer : {hot tof cavH oipon ibii ^int -.^)^thW 
Paul does not day, if any ^He ihall purify i&kiSdi frtM^ 
his own filth, but '' froin fhese;f^ thsA is, frMi ftiftf 
vessels unto dishonour : b6 thaik^ the mtiSe * is, if ^f 
one shall remain separate, and sliaU ndt' lla&^e' him^ 
setf with wicked teadiers, he ^lall be' ti^ve8^'u^ti[^ 
hicmour. Let us grant also tfaat< this pasi^e ^-Patd^ 
makes for the Diatribe just asl^ it wishes: diat is^^ 
Aat the similitude is not effective. But how will it 
prove, that Paul is here speaking on the same subject' 
as he is in Rom. ix., which is the passage in dispute ? 
Is it enough to cite a different passage without at all 
n^garding whether it have the same or a di^rentteil-' 
dieincy ? There is not (as I baVe dfien shewn) a mc^* 
easy or more frequent fall in the scripthres^ than the"- 
brining together diff(^ent scripture passagies as being> 
of the same meaning. " Hence, the similitude in those 
passagesy of which die Diatribe boasts, makes leds to 
its puipose than our similitude which it would refute. - ' 
But (not to be contentious), let us ghmt^ that each 
passage of Paul is of the same tendency ; and that a 


simtlitudedo^nc^talways apply in aU respecttij (trindi 
is without; cotrovdray true ; fcnr otherwise, it woiddttiQC 
be a similitade, nor la tranriatton, but the tibmg itadfi; 
according to the proverb, ^ A similitade haks, mad 
does not always go upon four feet ; 7 yet the XHatribe 
errs and transgresses in this :->-«-n^fectiag the soo^ 
ftf>;tfae simiUtcide, which is to be most particulaiiy cih 
served, H <xmtentiously catches at certain iroids. cf ift^: 
vhepfeas, ^ the knowledge of what is said, (as Hilary oIh 
serves,) is to be gfdned ^m thei^Qope of whal is said, 
pot from, certain d^sached words only/ Thus, the 
efficacy of a similitude depends upon the cause of the 
IJOjailitude. Why then does the Diatribe disregard 
l^t, for the purpose of which Paul uses tfaos siaoili* 
tfkABy and catch at that, which he says is unconnected 
with the purport of tb^ simiUtude ? That is to «y, 
it is an exhortntion where he saith, ^' If a man purge 
himtself from these ;" but a point of doctrine whdre 
h^ saitjb, /^ In a great house, there are vessels offfAA^ 
Sf^J'- So th^> from all the circumstances of the words 
^d mind of Paul, you may understand that he. is 
^tabli^nng the doctrine concerning the diversity and 
use of vessels. 

The sense, th^efore, is this : — seeing that so many 
depart from the faith, there is no comfort for us hot 
the being certain that '^ the foundation of God standeth 
sure, having this seal, The Lcnrd knoweth them that 
are his. And let every one that calleth upon the 
name of the Lord depart from evil." This thra is the 
cause and efficacy of the similitude — ^that God. knows 
his own ! Then follows the similitude — diat there axe 
different vessels, some to honour and some to disho- 
nour. By this it is proved at once, that the vessels 


da not prepare themselves j but that the master pre- 
pares them. And this is what Paul means, Rom. ix. : 
ivliere he saith, ^^ Hath not the potter power over the 
db^, &c/' Thus, the similitude of Paul stands most 
afitet iv e : and that to prove, that ^tueare is no such 
liuig as Free-will in the si^tof Grod. ' 

: After this, follows tfa^ exhortation : '^ If a man 
pmrify himself from these, &c." and for what purpose 
llus 16, may be dearly collected from what we have 
said already. It does not follow from this^ that tile 
man can purify himself. Nay, if any thing be proved 
heareby it is this :r— that Free-will can ptirify itself 
without grace. For he does not say, if grace purify 
a man; but, ^^ if a man ptirify himself." But con- 
cerning imperative and conditicnlal passers, we have 
said enough. Moreover, the similitude is not set 
forth in conditional, but in indicative verbs — that the 
elect and the reprobate, are as vessels of honour and 
of , dishonour. In a word, if this fetch stand good^ 
the whole argument of Paul comes to nothing. For 
in vain does he introduce vessels murmuring against 
God as the potter, if the fenlt plainly appear to be 
in the vessel, and not in the potter. For who would 
murmur at hearing him damned, who merited dam- 

Sect. CVI. — ^The other absurd objectioii, the 
: Diatribe gathers from Madam Reason ; who is called, 
Human Reason — ^that the fault is not to be laid on 
the vessel, but on the potter: especially, since he is 
such a potter, who creates the clay as wdl as dtf- 
tempers it. — " Whereas, (says the Diatribe) here the 


¥Miel is cast into: efemal fire/ whidr merited^ilotliiDg' : 
exoepttbtit it liad no power of its own;**— r 
•f!; 'I&no one {dace does the DiaStriberfihQreflQpeDiLy 
ifielniy iitseif, ittutii in this. Eor it is heve'heaidlo.Bay^ 
ibiothar wbrds^indeed, hut in the sam&meaninj^'that 
which Paul makes the impious to say^f^ Why dbMii 
he: yet complain? for who bs^ resisted 'his Jvill?" 
fThisida that which' Reason cannot recdree^raild ican^ 
not bear. This is that^ iftrhich has ofifended so.vuHiy 
ntienM renowned for talent, who have been reteived 
dmra^ so mnhy ages. . Here. they require, that God 
should iact according to human laws; and doj what 
seoms right imto men, or cease to beGod!:: VHis 
secieta : of Majesty, say they, do not better- his dia^ 
racter in our estimation. Let him Tender r a renoD 
ishy^he is God^ or why he wills and does: thal^ whiidi 
hiiB no appearance of justice in it.f It ' is' as < if) 'Ona 
jshould ask a cobbler or a collar-maker i6 itttke'liie 
^eali: of judgment.* . i m ' i . '; i 

•..{•' Thus, flesh does not think God wortiiy of' so great 
|^bili]fi'that it should bdieve Jtdm to be just and; gpod^ 
^rhile iie says^and doeis those things which kte above 
Uuut^/which the volume of Justin and the fifth book of 
Jkristotle's Ethics, have defined to tie justice. That 
Majesty which is the creating cause of all thing^^nuist 
bow to one of the dregs of his creation : and that 
(i!brydeki cavern must, vice versd, fear its spectators. 
Jt!i8 absurd that he should condemn him, who can- 
not' avoid t the merit of damnation. And, on account 
of this ' absurdity, it must be false, that God has mercy 
G^: whoth he will have merCy, and hardens whom he 
will. He must be brou^t to order. He must have 


certain laws prescribed to him, that he damn hot 
any one but him, who, according to our judgment^ 
deserves to be damned. 

And thus, an effectual answer isr*^veri to Paul 
afid his similitude. He must recal it, and allow it t6 
be utterly inciffective: and must -so attempt' it,* that 
this potter (according to the Diatilbe'^ interpretation) 
make' the vessel to dishonour froni merit preceding : 
in the same manner in \i4iich' he rejected some Jews 
on account of unbelief, and received GentQes ob 
account of faith. But if God work thus,! and have 
respect unto merit, why do tllose impious ones mur- 
mur and expostulate ? Why do they say^ )** WKy 
doth he find feiult? for who hath resisted Ms will? " 
And what need was there for Paul to restrain them ? 
For who wonders even,' much less is indignant and 
expostulates, when any one is damned who' merited 
damnation ? Moreover where remains the power of 
the potter to make what vessel iie^will, if, being sub* 
ject to merit and laws, he is hot permitted to makei 
^at he wiUy but is required to make what be oughtf 
The respect of merit militates against the poJwer and 
Kbierty of making what he will : as is proved by that 
^^ good man of the house," who^" when the workmen 
mtmnured and expostulated concerning their right, 
objected in answer, " Is it not lawful for me to do 
i^at I will with mine own?" — ^These are the argu- 
ments, which will not permit the gloss of the Diatribe 
to be of any avail. 

Sect. CVII. — But let us, I pray you, suppose that 
Grod ought to be such an one, who should have respect 
unto merit in those who are to be danmed. Must we 


not, in like manner, abo require and grants tiiiitf' h& 
ou^t to have redpect unto merit in those wlioare'to 
be saved ? For if we are to follow Reason, it is eqiMi% 
unjust, that the undeserving should be crowned, as 
that the undeserving should be damned; Wewill €i«i>* 
dtid^ therefore, that God oug^t to justify frtan wmt^ 
precedit^y or we will declare him to be unjust, as bong 
one who detij^ts in evil and wfeked m^i, and wfan 
invites imd crowns their impiety by rewards. — ^And 
then, woe unto you, sensibly miserable sinn«», under 
chat God ! For who amicmg you can be saved ! > . 
BdioM, therefore, the iniquity of tfaehuman hearti 
When God saves the undeserving i^tdthout merit, n&ji 
justifies the impious- with all their demerit, it doea not 
accuse lum of iniquity, it does not expostnlafte with 
him v^hy he does it, althou^ it is, jn its own judgment^ 
most iniquitous ; but because it is to its own jHiofil^ 
ind 'plausible, it om^iders it just aad good. Sot 
wh^i he damns the undeserving, this, because it is ncrt 
to its own profit, is iniquitous ; this is intol^afaiej 
here it expostulates, here it murmurs, here it blas- 
phemes ! :.,..,.. ,,,. • 

^ You see, therefore, that the Diatribe, togethw wiA 
its fiiiends, do not, in this cause; judge accordk^itti 
equity, but according to the feeling seiKse of their iQwa 
profit For, if they regarded equity, they would fix- 
postulate with God when he crowned the undeserving, 
as they expostulate witib him when he damns the nn« 
deserving. And also, they would equally praise and 
proclaim God when he damns the undeserving, as 
tiiey do when he saves the undeserving ;. for the iniquity 
in either instance is the same, if our owp, opinion rbe- 
regarded : — unless they mean to say, that the iniquitgr 


ill not equal, whether you laud Cain for his^tricide 
imd make him a king, or cast the innocent Abel into 
prison and murder him ! 

« Since, therefore, Reason praiises God when he 
sa^es the undeserving, but accuses him when he 
danms the undeserving; it stands convicted of not 
praising God as God, but as a certain one who serves 
its own profit ; that is, it seeks, in God, itself and the 
things of itself, but seeks not God and the things of 
God But if it be pleased with arGod who crowns 
the undeserving, it ought not to be displeased with a 
God who damns the undeserving. For if he be. just 
uidthe one ittstance|\how not be just in the 
other ? seeing that, in the one instance, he pours forth 
§prace and mercy upon the undeserving, and? im the 
otfier, pours forth wrath and > ^verity upon r the. unde^ 
serving ?-^He is, however^ in both instances, mon* 
flMras and iniquh;ou9 m the si^t of meiy, yel jusit and 
true in himsel£ But, haw it is just, that he^jahquld 
crown the undeserving, is incomprehensible nOw^.but 
we shall seei^when we come there, where it will be^^no 
Icu^er believed, but seen in r^elation face to fatieL; 
Soiako^ haw it is^jitst, that he sh<Hild damn the Unde^ 
sarvifig, is inoomprdiensible ittQv^) y^ we btitkanf^jit^ 
l^ltil the Son of Man shall be revealed! -^ r : 



Sect CVin.-7-THE Diatribe, howeiw, being; itr 
adf bitCeiiy ofiSbttded at thisi sin^tude of the '^ pottet f '. 
lamd the ^^ clay," is not a little indignant, that ifi sbottlo^ 
Ve so pestered with it. And at last it comesr:toVthis. 
Hnxring collected togefhcor diflSeirent passages of scrips 
^ose^ some of which seem to attribute all to man, and 
^^idiers aU to graoe^ it angrily contends — Mbat the 


sGffiptores on both sides should be nnderstXKxl acccHxi- a sound interpretation^ and not received silnply 
as they stand : and that, otherwise, if w^ still so presB 
o^ that similitude, it is prepared to press upon 
vd^ IB ^retaliation, those subjunctive and conditional 
passages ; and especially, that of Paul, ^* If a man 
purify himself from these." This passage (it says) 
mjEdces Paul to contradict himself, and to attribute all 
to man, unless a sound interpretation be brought in to 
make it dear. And if an interpretation be admitted 
heve^ in order to clear up the cause of grace, why 
slKwld not an interpretation be admitted in the aimi** 
littide of the potter also, to clear up the cause of Fie^ 

. i I answer : It matters not with ine, wfaetiber yon 
receive the passages in a skbpie soise, a twoftid 
sense^ or a hundred-fold sense. What I say is Ada? 
that by this sound interpretation of yoars, notfan^^ 
that you desire is either effected or proved.'^ For diat 
whidl is required to be proved, according to your ditM- 
sigD^ is, that Free-will cannot will good. Whereas, by 
tids passage, ^' If a man purify himself from theae,^^ 
as^it is a conditional {sentence, neither ^y tiling nor 
obthing is' proved, for it is only an exhortation of 
Paul. Or, if you add the conclusion of the Diatribe,* 
and say, ^ the exhortation is in vain, if a man cannot 
piurify^lriinself ; ' then it proves, that Free«^will caii do 
all thing^' without gral^e. And thus the Diatriibdia- 
ldk>de8 itself. 

. ' We are' waiting, therefore, for some passi^ of the 
scripture, to shiew us that thisr 'interpretation is ri^t; 
we give no credit to those who hatch it out of their 
awh brajh. For, we deny^ diat any passage can be 


found whidi attributes all t6 liian. We doiyithat/Paui 
contradictsr himself where: he sajs, ^ if a man shall 
puri£y/himself ftom theseJ" And we aver^ that both 
the contradiction and the interpretation which exhorts 
it, are fictions ; that they are both thought ofy but nei-^ 
tha* of them proved. This/ indeed, we confess, thatj 
if we were permitted to augment the scriptures by tiab 
conclusions and additions of the Diatribe, aiid to sayj 
* if we are not able to perfonn the thingsr which ai^ 
commanded^ the precepts are given in Vain:;'' <theii^ -in 
truth, Paul would militate against himself, as would 
the whole scripture alsd : for then, the scripture would 
be different from what it was before, and would prove 
diat Free-will can do all thiags. What wondei^ hown 
ever, if he should then contradict himself again^. where 
he saith, in another placeyithal ^VGod iinorkethjalt 
kialir' '• : .. • - -:..v 

\»: But, however, the scripture in qu^tion,/ t^ue 
augmented, makes not only against us, but against tjbi^ 
Diatribe itself^ which defined Free-will to be 'that; 
\ which cannot will any thing good.' Let,^ therefore; 
the Diatribe ctear itself firsts, and say, how(thete:tdP<ci 
a&sertions ^ee* with. Paul i-^^ : Fxee-wili camtotivritt 
any thing good,' and. also,; Mf at man purify ^fahtiself 
frofcn theito : therefore,:man'£an purify himself, :oflit is 
said invain.'-^— You see^ therefore, that the Diatri4)e, 
being entan^ed and< overcohie by that similitude bf 
tile potter, ohly aimii: at evading it ; not at alt qonstP. 
dering in. the meantime,.how its interpretation miliK 
tates against its; subject pointy and 'how it id relutmg 
and ' laughing a;t itself. . n 

^ Sect. CIXjtwBuT as4;o ni^sdf, as I seiilbeforey 


I never aimed at any kind of invented inlierpretation^ 
Nor did I ev^ speak thus: /Stretch forth tldnefaaiidt 
diat is, grace shall stretch it forth.' All these things 
are the Diatribe's own inventions concerning me^ lb 
the furtherance of its own cause. What I said was 
this : — that there is no contradicti(Hi in the words of 
die scripture, nor any need of an invented intrarpfirtsH 
tion to clear up a difficulty. But that the ass^rtois of 
Free-will wilfully stumbled upon plain groimd, and 
dream of contradictions where there are none. 

For example : There is no contradiction in ifaeae 
scriptures, " If a man purify himself," and, " God 
worketh all in all." Nor is it necessary to say, m 
order to explain this difficulty, God does something 
and man does something. Because, the fcmner scrip- 
tore is conditional,'which neither affirms or demes any 
work or power in man, but simply shews what' work 
or power there ought to be in man. There is nothing 
figurative here ; nothing that requires an invekited in- 
terpretation ; the words are plain, the sense is plam \ 
that is, if you do not add conclusions and corruptions, 
after the manner of the Diatribe : for then, the sense 
would not be plain : not, however, by its own fisoit^ 
but by the fault of the corruptor. : ' • i n 

But the latter scripture, " God worketh all in all,**: 
is an indicative passage ; declaring, that all works and 
all power are of Gt>d. How then do these two pas- 
sages, the one of which says nothing of the p(]^wer tf 
man, and the other of which attributes all to God, 
contradict each other, and not rather sweetly hamodr. 
nize. But the Diatribe is so drowned, suffix:ated'iii^= 
and corrupted with, that sense of the canial interprete- 
tion, ^ that impossibilities are commanded in vaitt^ 


Aatithas na po^mr ovcht itself ; but as s6od aH it 
beais cm> imperative or 'coiididonal\<^ it'imine^- 
ately tacks to it its indicative oaacliif^ns r-^-^ certain 
tiling is cbrnmandedtitherefdre,- We! are able to do it, 
and do do it^^orthe command is ndiculotts;'' .:'i'-^' 
' On diift side it bursts forth and 'boafiSfcs !of ltd emu- 
|)lete victory : as though it held il*s a 9etkied()[)6itjt, 
that^these conctifeionSy as soon Ite tn^tdied in thoiighty 
\viBre established as firmly aa '' the • divine tiidlidi^. 
And hence, it pronounces hpnth> all xoi^den^, thai In 
some places of the scripture* all iiB at^btited to man : 
and that, therefore, ther^ is a ^contradiction thut re* 
-quires interpretation. But it does not see, that all this 
is die figment' of 'its own brain, no where confirmed 
by one iota' of scripture; And not only so, but that it 
«iof'9«i^- a nature j that if it were admitted^ it would 
^X)nfute ho one More directly than itsdf : because, if 
it proved' any >thihg, it would prove that Free-will can 
do all things : whereas, it undertook to prove the di- 
rectly contriaiy. 

^ . - Sect* ex. — In the same way also it so contimiaHy 
npeats this i-—^^ If man do nothing there is no place for 
merit, and where there is no place for nierit,' there eaa 
be no place either for punishment or for reward."— ^^ 

Here again, it does not see, that by these camal 

arguments, it refutes itself more directly than iti^futes 

'US. For what do these conclusions prove, but that all 

merit is in the power of Free-will ? Atod thenj where 

is any room for grace? Moreover, supposing Free- 

. will to merit a certain little, and grace the itest, Why 

, does Free-will reoeive^ihe whole reward ? Or, shall we 

. . . • 

suppose it to receive; but a certiain^ small portion of re- 


wasd H Then, if there be a plaoe for nerit^ Im'toidit 
dialittere mi^t be a place for rewaid^ the merit iMIii^ 
rba as great as the reward. '■- * ^'^ 

: But why do I thus lose both words and time ii|Mi> 
a thing of noo^t ? For, even supposing tl^ idiofe 
were established at which the Diatribe is aiming^ and 
.tfiat merit is partly the work of man, and pai% die 
work of God ; yet it cannot define that work itsd^ 
.what it is, of what kind it is, or how fieur it is to ec" 
tend; therefore, its disputation is about nothing at 
aUi : :Since, therefore, it cannot prove any one thing 
.which it asserts, nor establish its interpretation nor 
contradiction, nor bring forward a passage that attnU 
Imtes all to man ; and since all are the phantoms of 
Its owp cogitation, Paul's similitude of the *^ pottar'' 
.fiCKid the ^^ clay," stands unshaken and invincible — that 
it is V mA according to our Free-will, what kind of 
vessels im^.are made* And as to the exhortaticms of 
Paul, '^ If a man purify himself from these," and the 
like, they are certain models, according to which, we 
ought to be formed ; but they are not proofs of oor 
working power, or of our desire. — Suffice it to have 
spoken thus upon these points, the hardeniko or 
, Pharaoh, the case of Esau, and the similitude 



: Sect. CXI. — The Diatribe at length comes to 


The first passage, is that of Gen. vi., "My 
Spirit shall not always remain in man; seeiiig 
that, he is flesh." This passage it confutes variously/ 
First, it says, ^ that flesh, here, does not sigoify ^rile^ 


aActioti,' but infinnity/ Thfen it augments the text of 
Mmob, * that this saying of his» refers to die men of 
that age, and not to the whole race of men : as if he 
had said, in these men/ And moreover, * that it does 
BOt Tefer to all the men, even of that age ; because, 
IToah Was excepted.' And at last it says, ' that this 
word-has, in the Hebrew, another signification ; that it 
s^B^fies the mercy, and not the severity; of God ; ac- 
cording to the authority of Jerom.' Bj this it would, 
perhaps, persuade us, that since that saying did not 
i^ply to Noah but to the wicked, it was not the mercy, 
bat the severity of God that was shewn to Noah, and 
die mercy, not the severity of God that was shewn to 
die wicked. 

But let us away with these ridiculing vanities of 
the Diatribe : for there is nothing which it advances, 
which does not evince, that it looks upon the scrip- 
6ires as mere iables. What Jerom here triflin^y talks 
about, is nothing at all to me ; for it is certain that he 
cannot prove any thing that he says. Nor is our dis- 
pute concerning the sense of Jerom, but concerning 
the sense of the scripture. Let that perverter of the 
scriptures attempt to make it appear, that the Spirit 
oiF God signifies indignation. — I say, that he is defi- 
cient in both parts of the necessary two-fold proof. 
First, he cannot produce one passage of the scripture^ 
in which the Spirit of God is understood as signifying 
ind^ation: for, on the contrary, ^kindness and sweet- 
ness are every where ascribed to the Spirit And 
MXt, if he should prove that it is understood in any 
fiB/be as signifying indignation, yet, he cannot ^easily 
prove, that it follows of necessity, that it is so to be 
Mcdved in this place. 

• 2 


. . So also, let fiim atten^it to nif^ it appi^ar, that 
'•^f iU^h/' is here tqjb^ un4ei»t09|[^^ sigjoifyiiig in^miity!]; 
^et, he is ja3 deficjieiit.f(?.,pY€af(!p proof* .jFqr. vhWt 
Paul cal^ the Gomthi^iis ^^::c;wp|l^!' he; does rnol 
sigo^ infirmity,, but corrpptf^^e^tiqn; l^eoaiiae^he 
charges them wi^ ^^ strife ^d divisions j " r wh|K^ ife 
iiot infirmity^ or incapacity, tg receiva ^f strcMger " 
doctrine, but malice and thai; ^^old l^aven,'^ ^rfaieh he 
commanids them to ^^ purge out;" But let us exfOiiiiie 
^ Hebrew.. , 


§§ct. CXIL— ^" My Spirit shall not always judge 
^ .pap:; for^ he is flesh." These are, verhatim^ the 
words of Moses : and if we would away with oofoWii 
'plreajpis, the words as they there, stand, ai^ I |)iink, 
SHf^cientlypJaiaaxid. clear. And that th6y aie Che 
^prds pfr an angry Qo(l, is fully mimifest, hotb firom 
^hajt preq^esy and from what follows, togiather wjfk 
^e^ eff^t^-^.the flood! Tlie cause o^ their being 
spoken, ^as, the sons of mi^n taking unto thwi wives 
irofr^ the mere lust of the flesh, and then, so filling ithe 
^ffrth wlthy;iolence,:^aiS to cause God to hast^i the 
jloo^d^ ffad scarcely to delay |;hat;ibr f^an hundred 
and twenty years," which, but for theqi, he ' would 
iffsver have brought upon the* earth at all. R^dxl and 
^dy Moses^ and you will plainly see that this is his 
P(99ping. . :•■ 

.J^ut it is no wonder that the scriptures should be 
obscure, or that you should be enabled to estaUiah 
from^fhem, not only a /re^, but a divine wilt, where 
you are allowed so to trifle with them, as to seek to 
inake out of them aVirgilian patch- work. And this is 
what you call, clearing up difliculties, and putting ai 


it is with these trifling vanities that JerbbiiibA Orij^eii 
IpnPttiifiUedoithe >AvoriBi,v:45Lmi(itir^Q*Jt)c^ 

&»f&ka{iiiit^ ofihetiic^pt^^ •> • ■^•:' '• •^^^"•- ^'^-' 
i • It' is ^noughifor ihe tof prcSrw, that in. this^^asbt^^ 
tlie^idtiviiie authority ^ (»^ iitieii ^vflesH ; '^ >ai(d 1^^^ 
in that^nse, that 4«r Sipiifh;<dfiGdd «dtild m^tv^dti^ 
nue among them,- butii^^' ^^a d^ir^fed ' tim«/ €c>^ M 
taken from them. And what God meant when he de- 
olarefi tli|at JUs <^ittt i^hodld! ndt ^^ alwiiysQudgi andong 
men," is esi^tained iialto^i8etel3^aftema^ 
determine^i i*^ aJtt • hundred' and twenty' feasts ^^ fts ^tb^ 
tkiieitbat he would ^tiB*'clG^tfiftte to judge. ; '*- »^ 
a /Hera he coritrast^ '^ spirit** Wkh >'^ flesh i '' shew»^ 
Hiig,c tibai men being fteish; l4fceiyi6 liot 4he Sjiirit : arid 
be^ tts b6ittg a Spirit, cetnftot -^irprove 'df^h : 'Wheats* 
fbteit lis,!that the Spiri«p aftet «^^.*btidr6d aA^ 
tw^ty years, "is to be wdthdtfcwii.'-'HeMce^^j^^ li^jf 
midersttodithe pflJS8^e'«df'!5^d6^*^*thi«S^^^M^' Spirit, 
^wfokb is in Noah and ih the' '^Abiek hdl^ met>, rebtike^ 
thosd limpioiifs ones, by dte^'Word of their preaching^ 
aod^by their holy livesi (for' ta'^* judge^^amohg'met^^^ 
it»ta^^t amoAg theiti' iti the office of %lie W£>id ; td Tii^ 
]MK>ye, to rebuke, to bfeseiedi thfem, dplp»tiMiely and 
importuhely,) but in Vaitt : ^ ibr they,^ ^IkHtig^ HiAded 
and ihjtrdened by theJ flesh, drily befedftie^ ihe worse &^ ^ f 

more the^ are judgisd.^Arid feo it* dV^t is, that wllere- ^"^^ 
WW the word of GtJdi^diwes^bfth im the Hforidy theii^ j ^ 
mem beeorne th^ worsie,^ »the^^ttit*e tH^ heft: o^ ft. AiJd 
diis is the reMdii why wi^tH% hl^teried; ^even a^' Hi^ 
flbodiwas hastened at that tiin^ v becau se, they tt6^,- 
notcmly ^n;* but even despisef ^M^fd t 'a^ Christ sdith; 

■ *'; 

• • • , ,1 I 

^'Li^t b come into the woMf hadrwam-l 
Ji^tr Johniii. / n 

iSince, thereforei men, according to die tfiKtliiwMy 
of God himself, ai« ^^ flesh,'' they can savour of noth^ 
but flesh ; so far is it from possibility, that Free-witt 
^jbpuld do any thing but sin. And if, even while the 
Spirit of God is among ; them calling Bpd teaifliing» 
tib^ only become worse, what will they do when left 
to themselves without the Spirit of God ! 

Sect. CXIIL— Nob is it at all to the poipose, 
your saying, — * that Moses is speaking with reference 
to the men of that age' — for the same applies unto 
all men ; because, all are flesh ; as Christ sdth, John 
iii., *^ That which is bom of the flesh is flesk" And 
how deep a corruption that is, he himself .shews, in 
the same chapter, where he saith, *' Except it man 
be bom again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." 
Liet, therefore, the Christian know, that Origen and 
Jerom, together with all their train, p^fHiciously err, 
when they say, that ** flesh" ought npt, in these paissagds, 
to be understood as meaning ' conrupt affi^rtion z'* 
because, that of 1 Cor. iii., " For ye axe yet carnal," 
signifies ungpdliness. For Paul means, that there are 
some among them still ungodly : and moreover^ that 
even the saints, in as fiar as they savour of carnal 
things, are " camal," though justified by the Spirit. 

In a word; you may take this as a general observa- 
tion upon the scriptures. — ^Wherever mention is made 
of " flesh " in contradistinction to " spirit," you may 
there, by " flesh," understand every thing that is coh- 
trftfy to spirit : as in Uh3 passage, " The flesh profiteth 
nothing." But where it is used abstractedly, there you 


l^)m understand the' corporal* state raid nature :^(l|^ 
^ They twain shall be one flesh^^; ^^ My flesh is sieM 
mdeed/' '' The Word Was made flesh.- - In such pas- 
sages, you may malce a figurative alteration In the 
&ebrew, and for ^ flesh/ say ' body/ For in tibe Ue- 
biew tongue, the one term ^^ flesh" embr|u»s in rig- 
nification our two terms, ' flesh ' and ^ body." And I 
eould wish that these two terms had been distinctively 
used throu^out the canon of the scripturai--^Thus 
then, I presume, my passage Gen. vi. still stands di- 
rectly against Free-will: since *^ flesh*' is proved to ^ 
be that^ which Paul declares, ROm. viii.» cannot be 
subject to God, as we may there see; and since Ae^ 
ipmtribe itself asserts, * that it cannot will any difaig 

X : > 

Sect CXIV. — Another passage id that of 
Gen. viii., ^' The thoUj^t aiid ima^bmtion of Man's 
hearty is evil from his youth.^* Andtihat, 
^ Every imaginaticm of man's heart is only evil conti- 
miaUy." These passages it evades thus : — ^^ The prone^ 
ness to evil which is in most men, does not, whc^y^- 
take away the freedom of the will." — ' -^^ 

^ Does God, I pray you, here speak of * most men,* 
and not rather of all men, when, after the flood,^ as it 
were repenting, he promises to those who were then^ 
remaining, and to those who wiere to come, that he 
would no more bring a flood upon the earth ** for 
man's sake : " assigning this as the reasonf: — ^bediuse 
man is prone to evil! As thou^ he bad'Said,^If I* 
should act according to the wickedness of man, I should 
never cease from bringing a flood. Wherefore, hence«- 
iMth, I will -not act according tc^ thM which heuk^ 

iyrv^^i&C4' Ycm aee,itherefoi:e^>tliad(G)odj bolb^befo^ 

wbftt >the Diatribe says about/ ^ most sidnt/' w$imaU 
^fnothiip^iiit'.all.- './.:•; • ''/fi-if »*i kcv , ?. 

•: '^ JVfxMTOCfvttr; a praneiiess oiiindinatiodtta evih &^ 
P9(urs;lb8tlMrI)iiatribe» tor be a tmatter ofiittle mcfnent; 
4s ltk(tagll itNwere (moiirf ciHm powec to koqpi cmrsdktw 
iljMghttibri toi raitramkaivpbemais tte acrifjfeuAii t^^btiiofc 
prGtil0&e669^ftigin£e8;ith0^ contJnual. beBit»itaiilv^p«tU8 
of^wiU^lto <GYa.. :Why^|]be8(fnofr;the^ Dii^ ]mt 
uppMtoc^he Hcl)o^? MoisesisayBoothing^ther^adoiil 
pv^nmifirse.; ^itt^ that,yo^«iayilHtv0-iio lotim fop ct^-^ 

H AiOM : " that is, " Every imagination of the tboti^ 
of his heart is only evil all days." He does not say, that 
^ is^ intent or prcpe tp e^viJ^ Jbut that^ evil: idtogetfier^ 
ai^,]9Ptiiing^t,^^)is| thought (H^iiaaginediky ntfl 
tl)rp»^ut!hi$^ti>ho)6 lifcti'^ nati^ri^of his-ev]lT4![ 
d^pcribtti^^tpf^)^ (3b«t,j»^lHi?Uf»*th^ ^omtmT o^:i^ 
ai^y.tfw^l^t-eyil^ wJaieing)ey^ ^t^lpccpnUwg 

^itbfl ite^tiq^oo^y of Christ, ap ^vU!tr6e;0anib^iDg foi|b 
noneother than. evil fruit. - * ^ » ,,. .. • 

.. r)Aqiia9r to thePiatribe'9 pertly f^bjejCtattg-r" Why 
"ms^rtibm givte ibr .repentance, then, if iiQ part qf 
wcipenteQceiifep^ lon^F-reerrwiU, 4it4 pll i^thrngs-be 
«Mi(i^C(e^aixH)rding'4o Ae, law of necessity ''r^n ; - • vr 

' \ I adtew^r; . You imt^yr make ^(h(& f^ame oluectiQ» 
t^i-iuHiidie-precept^Qf Gq^; attd. &ay, Wfeyidp^fi? he 
doQin^ftftd sXi^liit raU tbing^.taJo^. place ^£ necessilgi^ 

Hie'.ffMlmaiids^ iQ).t)r<d)efi tQ inslsw^t fa)d> aidxnofndNr 
tltttiki^ ^n^. A»eittg7.hiBQb)ed under r th^n i{|i^iKdedgev§^ 
tliikiriickr^ibighivtome J»Tgw?^Ka3^1;hftveft>Uyjsh«i»y* 

Sect CXY;rVFH£, third paiidage is diat inill«aiah 

i^Sbe'hatfal received at'di^ Lord's hand double 
fte'iedl her sirts/Ww<f : Jwom (sayd the vDiatribe) mter- 
prets'>this. cosidstning^ the id]vii]ii& vengeance, not cotf* • 
oedlidngiliiaigmce giitrentmiEetdit[;f^ 

I hear. yom-s-Jenna^^ftajrii'wi^) tfaerbfoie^^ it is 
tnei^ — I ^un disprnj^gabont Isinalk^^^o^hdto si^p^ks 
iQtlie' clearest words, and Jeromtis-^t in nTf teedxf 
adnkn, (to ^ayxto worse of inm) of neither judgment 
not. appUcatiod/' WhelB<aow /iff't^at'f[roniito:of ouirs, 
by. 9rluch we>agieod at Ae^uttfet^^ i ^iksei we woidd go 
aMordingito .iheciseiiptates, aa^i 'W>t according to the 
oontimentaries of men ?^ vflheovrholeriof th^s bfaa|)ter of' 
Isaitih,^ dccording to ^fdsm l»8imion^of Jtbe eVfang^stsiy 
where they fmisntioii it ik refevfingcto oTohn the Bafitist^ ' 
'^' the vojce of oncixrying, '^i^peaksi^i^ the remidsicm of 
sfQaifHoelaiaied day ths^ Go§pdu^i'Btrt^e wittatto^ir' 
Jierom> ^ter-^his' manned, td ^rnst in the blkuhiesp o£: 
tbe Jewsifor an histcmcal sense, and his own ^silBin^' 
vadtiities for an; allegory; anc^i turning lall: grammar* 
upside, down, we wiU undesstsiid -this passage as 
qpieakiBg of vengeance, which sf^eoks of the remissioii 
of muBr-^But, I pray you,» what* venge&ce is^fulfilied* 
in. the preaching of Christ ? Let ms, however, see how ■ 
the words run in AeHebrew;" ' :c'^ :. ** •■ 
:. r , : ^* Comfott yo, comfort ye m^Jpeople, f w the wca^ 
tive) or, my people fm^Ae o^^AW^«aith yottr<3od/^^ 
-MHeif I presume, whorltotnmmds to' ^^coiiiibvi^'' is/ 
not «xecutihg vehgeanoet ilt[dk)#s,r^ > 

'''Speak yei tb the htoit of iJefiisalem; -^aitd ct^ • 



ttaU)ber.V_M Speak ye to tbe heart "is a Hebmfam^ 
and signifies to speak good things, sweet thnig|i» attA 
alluring thingd. Thus, Shechem, Gen. xxxiv. 3, qpealcs^ 
to the heart of Dinah, whom he defiled : liud, is, wliea 
she was heavy-hearted, he comforted her widii tender 
words, as our translator has rendered it And what 
those good and sweet things are, which are com- 
manded to be proclaimed to their comfort^ the 
pHophet explains directly afterwards : saying 

" That her war&re is accomplished, her iniquit^is 
paitdcxied; for she hath received of the Lord's hand^ 
diwble fojr all her sIas."- — " Her warfiare," (n^itia^) 
lYhich our translators have vendered '^her esnUy (nm^ 
Utiaj) is considered by the Jews, those audacious gramr 
mariani^.to signify an appointed time. For thus they 
understand that passage Job vii., *^ Is there not an 
ly^pointed time to man upon earth ? 'V that is, his time 
is^ determinately appointed. But I receive it simply^ 
and according to grammatical propriety, as signifying 
^Swrarfare.'' Wherefore, you may understand Isaiah^ 
as i^pedkJng with reference to the race and labour of 
the people under the law, who are, as it were, fights 
ing on< a platform. Hence Paul compares both the 
preachers and the hearers of the word to soldiers: 
as in the case of Timothy, Q Tim. ii., whom he com- 
riiands to be ^^%:good soldier," and to '^fi^t ike 
good fight" And, 1 Cor. ix., he represents them aa 
running ^^ in a race : " and observes also, that ^ no 
one is crowned except he strive lawfully." He equips 
the Ephesians and Thessalonians with arms, Ephes. 
vii And he glories, himself, that he had ^^ fought the 
good fight," S Tim. iv. : with many like instances Inn 
other places. So alsa at 1 Samuel ii., it is in tfa^ 


ify^tufmi** Aad the90f|&of£li;6fept With the wofnea 
whp fouj^t (fnilitantibus) bX th& door o| the taber-^ 
oacle of the congregation { " of whose fighting, Mosei 
Hiakes mention in Exodus: Andh^noe it 13; that the 
6od of that people is, called the ^^ I^td of Sabaoth :'' 
that is, the Ix>rd of waarfare find of an^ie?. ; 

Isaiah, therefore, is^ proclaiming, that ^g wpir&re 
of the people under the law* who afte preeij^ dqwii 
under the law as, a burthen intoleiiablei'M Pfiter 8aith» 
Acts XV., is to be. at an end; and thi^t they bdnig 
fie^ from the law, are to be translated into die new 
w^ff&re of the Spirit Moreover, this i^d oC th^ir 
most hard warfare, and this translation to ^e new. and 
att<^ftee warfarej is not given unto themioVi account of 
th^ merit, seeit^g t^at, they oQuld not^eaditreit ;'piB^^ 
it iS: rather given;u^to them: pi\;ai^(»mt of 'tbeio. de^oj^^ 
rit{ for their warfaire id ended,- by tfaei^ iniqi^iities hm% 
freely forgiven them. 

; The words are not ^ob9^are;(ir wibiguou&' h«e. 
He saith, that .their warfare ii^a^. iendedy by jtheitLJni- 
quities being forgivai them : Qiaiufestly: slgni^ag^ thalb 
lAnQ soldiers under the law, did.n^ fatfilitheiliivWj and 
could not fulfil it : and that they only.catri^on a war-^ 
&re.of sin, and. were soldier-sinners. As thoU^ God 
had said, I am compelled to forgive theqn thdr sin&, if 
I would have my law fiilfiUed by them;- nay, I musi 
take away my law entirely when I forgive them ,- for 
I see they cannot but sin, and the more 90 the more 
they fight ; that is, the more they strive to fulfil the 
law by their own powers. For in the; Hebievf', ^^hpt 
iniquity is pardoned" signifies, its being 'dope in.gra- 
tuitous good-will. And it is thus that the iniquity ia 
pardoned; without any n)9nti:*nay, under aU ^ktmerit; as 


irdiefvm 'tnWlmt Md^s^ 'Hbr ^ fttKh ree«lV6d kt 
the Lord's kand^ubld for aUherBiiiA'.^^--^tM!fi8/SB(s 
I said befdi^; tiot otily the remidsi^b bf i^s, btH; tih 
edd 'of^^theW^er&i^: which is ncithSftg' moM >of I^ 
ihan this:— ^e law being taken out of tile t^/'^duick 
is " the strength of sin,^*fmd their sin beii^ fardoned, 
Whfeh fe *^ the -sting of death' " they w%n in a two- 
fold liberty % the ^ttory bf ie^k Chlfet: which 9a 
what Ii^^dc^ iHe^'B wlieit h^ sal^s/^^ from ^ftand df 
thd-Lotd :" for they do not obtain it by their owti 
pOWeiSj^dr on accotinl' rf theit own merit, bat dwy 
Mbeive it frttti the conqueror and giver, J^sus Christ > 
' ! And that which is, according to the Hebrew, " in 
all her sins," is, according to the Latin, "y&r all her 
sitiSj" or, ^^(m account of all her sins/' A&in Hoidek 
xit., " Israel served in a tdfo:" th*t is, ^*;/&r' a wife.*^ 
And so also in Psalm lix.j " They lay in ^ti« in iiiy 
soul ;" that is, " for my soul." Isakth therefore is here 
pointing out to us those merits of durs, by which we 
ima^ne we are to^btain the two-fold'libe^ ; that ot* 
the tend of the laA¥-warfate,<and'ti)fat of the pardon of 
sin ; making itappearto us, that they were nothing but 
sins, nfey, all ^sitas. 

Could I, therefore, Suffer this nlost beautiful pas- 
sage, which stands invincible agaihst Free-will^ to bS 
t}iil^1:)edaubed'with Jewish filth cast upon it by Jerom 
and the Diatribe ? — God forbid ! No ! My Isaiah 
stands victor over Frfefe-will ; and clearly shews, that 
grace is given, not to merits or to. the endeavours of 
Rfee-will, but to sins and demerits ; and that Free- 
will- wkh alMts powets, can do nothing but carry on a 
^aiAbre of siti ; so that, the very law which it imaging' 
to be gii^ *te a help^.bec^nli'es intolerable to-it^ and 

^jDf^€||» i); tln^ :great^r sinn^, ibid longer it is uadei: 

■m:« i\) 

J .Sect. CXVI. — But as to the Diatribe disputing 
))^us-7-^'^ Although sm abound by the law, and where sin 
ha& abpundad, grace much loiore abound ; yet, it does 
X|ot therefor^ follow, that man, doing by God's help 
what is pleasing to him, cannot by works morally goodi 
prepare faimseUf for theiavour of Ood.^-rr- 

^ ; Wonderful ! Surely the Diatribe does not speak 
t^9i^ out of its own head, but has taken it out of some 
fe^ff&c or other, sent or received .from another quarter^ 
^f^ ii^rted it in its book ! For it icertaiitily canindit^ 
see; kior hear the meaning of these lyords !^ ^ If sin 
abound by the law, how ii^ it possible that a n^^n am 
gi^are himself by moral i^Orks, for the favQiir of 
Qiod ? How can works avail any thing, whep the law 
avails nothing ? Or, what else i^ it for sin to abound 
|]^ the law, but for all the works, done according to 
Ihe law, to become sins? — But of tlus elsewhere. But 
^t does it mean when it sa,,. th,. a^sasfeWj 
HjQ^ the help of Godj can prepare himself by xaorfU^ 
works? Are we here disputing Q^^iceming the dlvim 
^sspiQtancei, or concerning. Eribe-wiU ?, For what is iMt 
P99§ible through the di vii^ iossistance. ? Bui; tbd U^t, 
ip^rM I said before, the Diatribe [cai^ nothing for tb^ 
cause it has taken up, and therefore it sbbres.and 
yawns forth such words as these. 

But however, it adduces .Cornelius . the . centurion, 
4i€ts X,, as an example : observing — ^ that hiaipmyers 
and alms pleased. . God before he was bapti^ed^ aid 
It^^re he was inspired by the Holy Spirit' iJ." 

I have read Luke upon 'the Acts too^ niid yet X 


never perceived from one singtol syllaMe; t)iflt'-'tte 
works of Comelms were morally good witbMlt-'thK 
Holy Spirit, as the Diatribe dreams. But on the 
contrary, I find that he wjeui ^' a just man and one that 
feared God : *' for thus Luke ccdls him. But to ddl 
a taiah without tfie Holy Spirit, '^ a just mim attd dne 
that feared God," is the same thing as callfaig Baaf; 
Christ! ^ - ' 

Moreover, the whole context shews, that Come^ 
lius was ^^ clean" before God, even upon the testimony of 
the vision which was sent down from heaven to Peter^ 
and which reproved him. Are then the righteoiisnMi 
and faith of Cornelius set forth by Luke iii sudhf 
words and attending circumstances, and do the Dia- 
tribe and its sophists remain blind with open eyes, or 
see the contrary, in a light of words and an evidenee 
of circumstances so clear ? Such is their want of dili* 
gence in reading and contemplating the scriptures r 
and yet, they must brand them with the assertion that 
they are ^ obscure and ambiguous.' But grant it, that 
he was not as yet baptized, nor had as yet heard the 
word concerning Christ risen from the deadj — does it 
therefore follow, that he was without the Holy Spirit? 
According to this, you will say that John the Baptist 
and his parents, the mother of Christ, and Simeon, 
were without the Holy Spirit ! — But let us take leave 
of such thick darkness ! 

Sect. CXVII. — ^The fourth passage is that of 
Isaiah in the same chapter. " All flesh is grass, and 
iU the glory of it as the flower of grass : the grass is 
withered, the flower of grass is fallen : because the 
Spirit of the Lord hath blown upon it."— ^ 


^.nThisisGriptiare appears to my friend: Diatribe^ to 
bl^trmted Hvith viole^cey by being dn^;ged in as appli-^ 
€«J|ple. to the oaitses of grace, and Free-will. Why so, I 
pwy ? ^ Because, (it says), Jerom understands ^* spirit'' 
to ttgnify indignation, and ^^ flesh" to signify the infirm 
condition of man^ which cannot stand against God/ 
Hwe again the trifling vanities of Jerom {tre cast in 
my teeth instead of Isaiah. And I find I have more 
to do in fighting against that wearisonmess, with 
which the Diatribe with so much diligence (to use no 
harsher term) wears me out, than I have in fi^iting 
ag^st the Diatribe .itself. But I have given my 
opiiuon upon the sentiment of Jerom alieady, 

..,. Let me beg permission of the Diatribe to oom- 
pftre this gentleman with himself* He says ^ that 
^^ flesh," signifies the infirm condition of man; and 
« spirit," tbe divine indignation.' 

- Has then the divine indignation nothing else, to 
''.wither" but that miserable infirm condition of man, 
uriiich it ought rather to raise up ? 

!, This, however, is more excellent still. /The 
'^^^ower of grass," is the glory which arises firom the 
prosperity of corporal things.' 

3 .The Jews gloried in their temple, their circum- 
cision, and their sacrifices, and the Greeks in their 
yqs^om. Therefore, the " flower of grass," is the glory 
of the flesh, the righteousness of work5, and the wis- 
dom of the world. — How then are righteousness and 
li^dcMPi called by the Diatribe, ^corporal things?* 
JVnd after all^ what have these to do with Isaiah^ who 
^iterprets his own meaning in his own words, sieiying, 
'^ purely the people is grass ? " He does not. say ; 
Surely the infirm condition of man is grass, but ^^ the 
people ; " and affirms it with an asseveration. And 


iirhat is the people ix ils it dM^ infina omdltion of 
maa only ? But ivhedieil Jeromikff die jiifihii <iQll- 
dition of man' means the whole creatioQ -tJOg^beir, cmt 
the miserable lot and state c^ man only, I aiA sure' I 
know not. Be it, however, which it mayy- he 'cei^ 
tainly makes the divine indignation to gam a i^ieririoas 
jrenown and a noble sp(Ml, from wi&ering « mistfraSle 
creation or a race of wretched men, and not mther, 
6om scattering the proud, puUing down die mighty 
horn their seat, and sending the rich empty away : as 
Mary sings! . 

' 'J ': ' 

Sect. CXVIIL-^-BuT let us dispatch dieseiiob- 
goblins of glosses, and take Isaiah's word9 tt they are. 

" The people (he saith) is g^s.'^ ^* People'* does not 
signify flesh merely, or the infirm condition of htmiaii 
nature, but it comprehends every thing that there is m 
people — ^the rich, the wise, the just, the saints: Unless 
you mean to say, that the pharisees, the elders, the 
princes, the nobles, and the "rich men^ were toot of the 
people of the Jews ! The ** flower of grass" is righdy 
ealled their glory, because it was in their kiitigdom,' 
their government, and above all,'{ni tlie law, in Grod, 
in^ righteousness^ and in wisdom, that they gloried : 
as Paul shfews, Rom.ii. iii. and ix. ■ 

When, thepe£^re, Isaiah saitb, *' All flesh,** wfakt 
^else does he mean but all " grass," or, all " people?^ 
For he^does not say "flesh" only, but ^ all flesh/' 
And to "people" belong soul,^b6dy, mind, icasoii, 
judgment, and whatever is called or found to be most 
excellent in man. For when he ^ays "all flesh 'is 
:grass," he excepts nothing but the spirit which witiier- 
•edi it. ' Nor does he omit any thing wheri he says, 
•f»&e people is grass " ^ -'k, thcirefore, of Free-will, 


iBpeak of any thing that can be called the highest or 
liie lowest in the peopfe,-^Isa[ah calls the whole 
. " fl^di** and grass ! " Because, thos6 three tferms 
** flesh," ^ grass," and " people,** acebitling to his in- 
terpretation who is liimself the writer of the book; 
signify in that place, the same thing. 

'Moreovigr, yoii yourself affirm, ttiat the Wisdom of 
die ^eeksr and the ri^teoushess rif the 3bWb which 
were .withered by the Gospel, wei^ >:** gtassf*^ %nd ^^ iftie 
fldtver of grfess/' Do you tKrti thSSk, dm the WsfdcSti 
which the Greeks had was Aot ttfe most dxcellcftf ? 
and that the righteodstidss which Ihfe J^vs wr6u^ 
was not the most excellent ? If fev^ do^^ shew 'tiii 
wbsit was mote excdUefnt. With- what asstHrantiS'thea 
is it, thd.t you^ Philip-like, fioiitand say> 

^^*f If any one shall contend, that that which is 
most excellent in the nature* of man, is nothing else 

but ^*^ flesh ;^' that is, that it is impious, I will agrde 
with liim, when he shall have proved his assertion by 
testimonies from the holy scripture?"— 

You have here Isaiah, who cries with a loud voice 
that the pebple, devoid of the Spirit of the Lord, is 
^'^4esh;" ^though ydu will hot understand him thus. 
You have also your own confession, where you said, 
(though unwittin^y pierhaps); that the wisdoiA of th^ 
Greeks was ^* grasd," or the glo?y of grass; which is 
iiyef same thing as saying, it was " fledh/'-^UidesA 
you mean to say, that the wisdom of the Greeks- did 
not pertain to reason, or to the soEMOlNricoN', as yoii 
say, that is, the principal part of rnan^ If, thel^fom} 
yOtt will not deigti to list^ to me, listen to ymrself | 
wh&Kiy being caught in the powerfol trap oftrcithf 
jiou speak the truth. ■ •'-• 


Yda have moreover the testimony of Johi^ '^ Tint 
^hidi is bom of the flesh is flei^, and that whkh m 
bom of the Spirit is spirit'' You have, I say, ttm 
passage, which makes it evidently manifest, that what 
is not bora of the Spirit, is flesh: for if it be &ot 
so, the distinction of Christ could not subsist, wbD 
divides all men into two distinct divisions, '* flesh" 
and ^^ spirit'* This passage you floutingly pass by, as 
if it did not give you the information you want, and 
betake yourself somewhere else, as usuul ; just drc^ 
ping as you go along an observation, that John is 
here saying, that those who believe are bom of God, 
and are made the sons of God, nay, that they are 
gods, and new creatures. You pay no r^ard, there- 
fore, to the conclusion that is to be drawn from this 
division, but merely tell us at your ease, what persons 
are on one side of the division : thus confidently rely- 
ing upon your rhetorical manoeuvre, as though there 
were no one likely to discover an evasion and dissimu- 
lation so subtlely managed. 

Sect. CXIX. — It is difficult to refrain from con- 
cluding, that you are, in this passage, crafty and dou- 
ble-dealing. For he who treats of the scriptures with 
that prevarication and hypocrisy which you practise in 
treating of them, may have face enough to pretend, 
that he is not as yet fully acquainted with the scrif^ 
tures, and is willing to be taught ; when, at the same 
time, he wills nothing less, and merely prates thus, in 
order Jto cast a ri&proach upon the all-clear light of the 
j^ptiires, and to cover with the best cloak his deter- 
minate perseverance in his own opinions. Thus the 
Jews, even to this day, pretend, that what Christy the 


apostles, and the whole church have taught, is not to 
be proved by the scriptures. The papists too pretend, 
that they do not yet fully understand the scriptures j 
although the very stones speak aloud the truth. But 
perhi4)s you are waiting for a passage to be produced 
frcm the scriptures, which shall contain these letters 
and Byllables, ^ The principal part of man is flesh :' or, 
' That which is most excellent in man is flesh : ' other- 
wise, you will declare yourself an invincible victor. 
Just as though the Jews should require, that a por- 
tion be produced from the prophets, which shall con- 
sist of these letters, ^ Jesus the son of the carpenter, 
who was bom of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem^ is 
the Messiah the Son of God I * 

Here, where you are closely put to it by a plain 
sentence, you challenge us to produce letters and 
syllables. In another place, where you are overcome 
both by the sentence and by the letters too> you have 
recourse to ' tropes,' to ^ difficulties,' and to ' sound 
interpretations.' And there is no place, in which yon 
do not invent something whereby to contradict the 
scriptures. At one time, you fly to the interpretations 
of the Fathers : at another, to absurdities of Reason : 
and when neither of these will serve your turn, you 
dwell on that which is irrelevant or contingent : yet 
with an especial care, that you are not caught by the 
passage immediately in point. But what shall I call 
you ? Proteus is not half a Proteus compared with 
you ! Yet after all you cannot get off. What victo- 
ries did the Arians boast of, because these syllables 
mid letters, homousios, were not to be found in the 
scriptures? Considering it nothing to the purpose, 
that the same thing could be most efiectually proved 
la. other words. But whether or not this be a sign 

T 8 



of a good, (not to. say pious,) mioid, and a mind 
desiring to be taught, let impiety or iniquity itself be 

Take your victory, then ; while we, as the van- 
quished confess, thai these characters and syllables, 
^ That, which is most excellent in man is nothing but 
flesh,' is not to be found in the scriptures. But just 
behold what a victory you have gained, when we 
most abundantly prove, that though it is not found in 
the scriptures, that one detached portion, or ^ that which 
is most excellent,' or the ^ principal part,' of man is flesh, 
but that the whole of man is flesh ! And not only so, 
but that the whole people is flesh ! And further still, 
that the whole human race is flesh ! For Christ saith, 
" That which is bom of the flesh is flesh." Do you 
here set about your difiiculty-solving, your trope-in- 
venting, and' searclung for the interpretations of the 
Fathers ; or, turning quite another way, enter upon a 
dissertation on the Trojan war, in ordpr to avoid 
seeing and hearing this passage now adduced. 

We do not believe 'only, but we see and experi- 
ence, that, the whote human race is " born of the 
flesh;" and therefore, we are compelled to believe 
upon the word of Christ, that which we do not see ; 
that the whole human race " is flesh." Do we now 
then ^ve the sophists any room to doubt and dispute, 
whether or not the principal {egemomcd) part of man 
be comprehended in the whole man, in the whole 
people, in the whole race of men ? We know, how- 
ever, that in the whole human race, both the body and 
soul are comprehended, together with all their powers 
and works, with all their vices and virtues, with all 
dr wisdom and folly, with all their righteousness 
^htdousness ! All things are ^^ flesh;" be^ 



cause/ all things savour of the flesh, tha;tis, of thear 
own ; and are, as Paul saithy Rom. iiL, .Without the 
^ory of God, and the Spirit of God ! 

' ■ • ■ * 

Sect. CXX. — And as to your saying — " Yrt 
every affection of man is iiot flesh. There is an auc- 
tion called, soul : there is an affection called; spirit : 
by which, we aspire to what is meritoriously good, as 
the philosophers aspired : who taught, that We should 
ratiier die a thousand deaths than commit one base 
axition, even though we were assured that men would ' ^ 
never know it, and that God would pardon it." — 'v<> ^ 

I answer: He wtobeUey<M_noth (/ 

may easily believe and say any thing. I will not ask 
you, biitlet'ybur ffiend Xucian ask you, whether you 
can bring forward any One 0(ut of the -whole human 
race, let him be two-fold or SQven-fold greater than 
Socrates himself, whoever performed this of which you 
speak, and which you say they tau^t. Why then do 
you thus babble. in vanities of words? Could they 
ever aspire to that which is meritoriously good, wlio 
did not even know what good is ? 

If I should ask you for some of the brightest ex* 
amj^les of your meritorious good, you would say, per- 
haps, that it was meritoriously good when men died 
fc»r 'their country, for their wives and children, and for , 
Ifaeir parents; or when. they refrained from lying, or 
from treachery ; or when they endured exquisite tor- 
ments, as did Q. Scevola, M. Regulus, and others. But 
what can you point out in all those men, but an exter- 
nal shew of works JFor did you ever see their hearts ? 
liTay, it was manifest from the very appearance of their 
i^orksj that th^ did all these dungs fpr their own 


]glory ; to. much so, that they were not even ashained 
to confess, and to boast, that they sought their own 
glory. For the Romans, according to their own testi* 
monies, did whatever th^ did of virtue or valour, from 
a thirst after glory. The same did the Greeks, the 
same did the Jews, the same do all the race of men. '^ 

But though this be meritoriously good beforemen, 
yet, before God, nothing is less meritoriously good 
than aU this ; nay, it is most impious, and the greatest 
of sacrilege ; because, they did it not for the glory of 
God, nor that they might glorify God, but with the 
most impious of all robbery. For as they were rob* 
bing God of his glory and taking it to themselves, 
they never were farther from meritorious good, never 
more base, than when they were shining in their most 
exalted virtues. How could they do what th^ did for 
Jhe ^lory of God, when they neither knew God nor 
his glory ? Not, however, because it did not appear, 
biit because the " flesh" did not permit them to see 
die glory of God, from their frury and madness after 
their own glory. This, therefore, is that right-ruling 
* spirit,' that * principal part of man, which aspires to 
what is meritoriously good ' — it is a plunderer of thie 
divine glory,, and an usurper of the divine Majesty ! 
and then the most so, when men are at the highest of 
their meritorious good, and the most glittering in their 
brightest virtues ! Deny, therefore, if you can, that 
these are " flesh" and carried away by an imjHous 

But I do not believe that the Diatribe can be iso 
much offended at the expression, where man is said 
to be, either "flesh" or "spirit;" because a Latin 
would here say, Man is either carnal or spiritual. ' For 


Ais particularity/0B well asmany othere,mustbegranted 
to the Hebrew tongue, that when it says, Man is 
** flesh" or " spirit," its signification is the same as 
ours is, when we say, Man is carnal or spiritual. The 
same signification which the Latins also convey, when 
they say, * The wolf is destructive to the folds,' * Mois- 
ture is favoui^ble to the young com:' or when they 
say, * This fellow is iniquity and evil itself.* So also 
the holy scripture, by a force of expression, calls man 
*^ flesh;" that is, carnality itself; because it savours 
too much of, nay, of nothing but, those things which 
Hare of the flesh : and " spirit," because he savours of, 
seeks, does, and can endure, nothing but those things 
which are of the spirit. 

Unless, perhaps, the Diatribe should still make 
this remaining query — Supposing the whole of man 
to be " flesh," and that which is most excellent in 
man to be called " flesh," must therefore that which 
is called " flesh" be at once called ungodly? — ^I call 
him ungodly who is without the Spirit of God. For 
the scripture saith, that the Spirit was therefore given, 
that he might justify the ungodly. And as Christ 
makes a distinction between the spirit and the flesh, 
saying, " That which is bom of the flesh is flesh,** and 
adds, that that which is bom of the flesh " cannot see 
ihe kingdom of God ; " it evidently follows, that what- 
soever is flesh is ungodly, under the wrath of God, 
and a stranger to the kingdom of God. And if it be 
a stranger to the kingdom of God, it necessarily fol- 
lows, that it is under the kingdom and spirit of Satan. 
'^OT there is no me dikm between the kingdom of God 
and the kingdom oflSatan; they are mutually and 
eternally opposed to each other. 


: Il)€fl|^^ lU'e diQ: ajrguments l2|ftt;piove^ tba^tb^ moA 
exalted, vjrtues ^lnQ]lg the nations, * the jb^^leat ^esr-r 
fictions oi the philospphers, and the greatest exoel«' 
k|i(icie9 among meq, appear indeed, in (the si|^t o£ 
9^11,. t<^ jbe meritoriottsl^ viituous and gQ0d,.a]i4'Me^ 
so cabled : but that, in the sight of God, they are in 
tmth.^. flesh,"' and subservieiit to the kkigdom of 
iSatan : that is, ungodly, sacrilegious^ and, in every 
respect, evil ! 


:. S^t. CXXl.-^BuT pray let us ^suppose the sen-» 
^meiiit of the Diatribe to stand; good — ^ that eveiy 
affiectiofflt is not ^^ flesh; '' that is, ungodly ; but is that 
which is called good and sound spirit/ — Only «A- 
serve what absuKlity must hence follow ; not only 
with respect to human reason, but with respect to Ae 
jQhristian religion, and the most important articles of 
fa|th» For iif that which is most excellent in man be 
not ungodly, nor utterly depraved, nor damnable, but 
that whidi is flesh only, that is the grosser and viler 
affections, what sort of a Redeemer shall we make 
Christ ? Shall we rate the price of his blood so low 
as to say, that it redeemed that part of man on ly 
>vhidi IS the most vile, aad tbiSl^^tkft most-fixceUmt 

■jpart of man haa power tx^ wftrfcife.own, sfiJixatiaaiS^ 
4(;p nolt Tf aali Glm^^^ .HjBi«c«forlJithfin^ T must pypgnk 

Christ as Ae^JtedgMOCTj^ i«jLQf .tb§3^^ 

his vilest part ; that is, of his flesh ; but that^ti^e man 

himself is his own redeemer, in his better pert,! 

H[ave it, therefwe, which way you will. If tfa^ 
better part of man be sound, it does not want Christ 
as a Redeemer. And if it does not want Christ, it 
triumphs in a glory above that of Christ : for it takes 

C&J^, of -the ; redemption : of the better^ part itdelf, 
whereas Christ only takes care of -that of the viler 
pait.- And thpn, i^o^dver, the kingdom of Satan will 
came to nothing, at all,; for it will reign oiily in th6 
viier port of :maii/ because the man himself wiU rule 
ofei: the better part, .' 

So that, by this doctrine of yours, conc^iling * the 
principal part of^^an,' it will come to pass, that man 
will be exalte4 above Christ and the devil both : that 
is^ he will be made God of gods, and Lord of lords ! 
— ^Where is now that * probable opinion ' which as- 
^0rted * that Free-will cannot will any thing- good ? * 
It' here contends, that it is a principal part, meritori- 
ously gooid, and sound; and t^at^ it does not even 
Want Christf but ^^ do more th^ God himself and 
the devil can do, put together ! 

I say this, that you may lagaMi see, how eminently 
perilous a matter it is to attempt sacred and divine 
tl]^g^, without the Spirit of God, in the temerity of 
hnman reason. If, therefore, Quist be the Lamb of / 
God that :taketh away the sins^ of the wprldj^ it foUpws, | 
fjSt&e whole world is uflyier J^r damnation,^ jand the 
4eyil. Hence your . distinction between the principal 
partSy and the parts not principal] profits you nothing: \/ 
for the 'mrldy signifies men^ savouring of nothing 
bi/it the things of the worldj throughout aU their 

Sect. CXXIL — " If the whole man, (says the 
Diatribe) even when regenerated by faith, is nothing 
else but "flesh," where ia the " spurit" bom of the 
Spirit? Where is the child of God? Where is the 


new*-creatUTe ? I want f nfonnation upon these pokito*'* 
— ^Thus the Diatribe 

Where now ! Where now ! my very dear friend. 
Diatribe ! What dream now ! You demand to be in- 
formed, how the " spirit ^ bom of the Spirit can be. 
" flesh." Oh how elated, how secure of victwry do 
you insultingly put this question to me, as thou^ it 
were impossible for me to stand my ground here.-^— 
All this while, you are abusing the authority of the 
ancients : for they say ^ that there are certain seeds of 
good implanted in the minds of men. But, however, 
whether you use, or whether abuse, the authority of the 
ancients, it is all one to me : you will see by and by 
what you believe, when you believe men prating out 
of their own brain, without the word of God. Thou^ 
perh^^ps your care about religion does not give you 
much concern, as to what any one believes ; since 
you so easily believe men, without at all regarding, 
whether or not that which they say, be certain or un- 
certain in the sight of God. And I also wish to be 
informed, when I ever taught that, with which you so 
freely and publicly charge me. Who would be so mad 
as to say, that he who is " bom of the Spirit," is 
nothing but " flesh ? " 

I make a manifest distinction between ** flesh" 
and " spirit," as things that directly militate against 
each other; and I say, according to the divine orar 
cles, that the man who is not regenerated by faith 
" is flesh ; " but I say, that he who is thus regene- 
rated, is no longer flesh, excepting as to the remnants 
of the flesh, which war against the first fruits of the 
Spirit received. Nor do I suppose you wish to attempt 


to diarge me, invidiously, with Jany thing wrong here ; 
if you do, there is no charge tb^t you could more ini- 
quhoiisly bring against me. ' 

' But you either understand nothing of my side of 
the subject, or eke you find yourself unequal to the 
magnitude of the cause ; by which you are, perhaps, 
so overwhelmed and confounded, that you do not 
rightly know ^^hat you say against me, or for yourself; 
For where you declare it to be your belief, upon the 
authority of the ancients, ^ that there are certaiint seeds 
of good implanted in the minds of men,' you must 
0arely quite forget yourself; because, you before asr 
sdrted, * that Free-will cannot will any thing good/ 
And how * cannot will any thing good,' and * certain 
seeds of good' can stand in harmony together, I 
know not. Thus am I perpetually compelled to re- 
mind you of the subject-design with which you set 
out; from which, you with perpetual forgetfulness 
depart, and take up something contrary to your pro- 
fessed purpose. 

Sect. CXXIII.-— Another passage is that of 
Jeremiah x.,' " I know, O Lord, that the way of man 
is not in himself : it is not in man that walketh to di- 
rect his steps." — ^This passage (says the Diatribe) ra- 
ther applies " to the eventsr of prosperity, than to the 
power of Free-will."— 

Here again the Diatribe, with its usual audacity, 
introduces a gloss according to its own pleasure, as 
though the scripture were fully under its controL 
But in order to any one's considering the sense and 
intent of the prophet, what need was there for the 
opinion of a man of so .great authprity !-r-Erasmu& 


says fio i it is enough ! ' it must be £ioi If tUa liberfy 
of glossing as tliey lust, be pennitted tlie kdyeraaries^ 
what point is there which they might not carry ? Lqt 
therefore Erasmus shew us the • validity erf this 
gloss from the scope of the context, arid we wiU 
believe him. 

I, however, will shew from the scope of the c(m- 
text, diat the {H'ophet, when he saw that he taught 
the ungodly with so much earnestness in vain, was 
at once convinced, that his word could avail nothing 
unless God should teach them within ; and thal^ 
ther&fore, it was not in man to hear the word of Grod^ 
and to will good. ^Seeing this Judgment of God, he 
was alarmed, and asks of God that he would corredt 
him, but with judgment, if he had need to be cor- 
rected ; and that he might not be given up to his di- 
vine ^Tath with the ungodly, whom he suffered to be 
hardened and to remain in unbelief. 

But let us suppose that the passage is to be un- 
derstood concerning the events of adversity and pros- 
perity, what will you say, if this gloss should go most 
directly to overthrow Free-will ? This hew evasion is 
invented, indeed, that ignorant and lazy deceivers 
may consider it satisfactory. The same which they 
also had in view who invented that evasion, * the ne- 
cessity of the consequence.' And so drawn away are 
they by these newly-invented terms, that they do not 
see that they are, by these evasions, ten-fold more 
effectually entangled and caught than they would 
have been without them. — As in the present instance : 
if the event of these things which are temporal, and over 
which man. Gen. i., was constituted lord, be not in our 
own power, how, I pray you, can that heavenly things 



the grace of God, which depends on the will of God 
alone, be in our own power ? Gap that endeavour of 
Free-will attain unto eternal salvation, which is not 
able to retain a farthing or a hair of the head ? When 
we have no power to obtain the creature, shall it be 
said that we have power to obtain the Creator? What 
mieidness is this ! The endeavouring of man, therefore, 
unto good or unto evil, when applied to events, is a 
thdusand-fold more enormous ; because, he is in both 
much more deceived, and has much less liber^, than 
he has in striving after money, or glory, or pleasure. 
What an excellent evasion is this gloss, then, which 
denies the liberty of man in trifling and created events^ 
and preaches it up in the greatest and divine events? 
This is as if one should say, Codrus is not able to-pay 
a groat, but he is able to pay thousands of thousands 
of pounds ! I am astonished that the Diatribe, having 
idl along so inveighed against that tenet of Wickliflfe, 
^ that all things take place of necessity,' should now 
itself grant, that events come upon us of necessity i 

— " And even if you do (says the Diatribe) forcedly 
twist this to apply to Free-will, all confess that no 
one can hold on a right course of life withdat* the 
grace of God, Nevertfieless, we still strive ourselves 
with all our powers : for we pray daily, ^ O Losd my 
Gfodf direct my goings in thy sight/ He, therefore^ 
who implored slid, does not lay aside his own en* 
deavdurs."— ; 

The Diatribe thinks, that it matters not what it 
answers, so that it does not remain silent with nothing 
to isy.; and then, it would have what it does say to 
appear satisfaotory ; such a vain confidence has it in 
its own authority. It ought here to have proved^ whc- 


ther or not we strive by our awh powers; wheieas, it 
proved, that he who prays attempts something. ' Bntjf 
I pray, is it here laughing at us, or mocking tok 
papists ? For he who prays, prays by the Spirit ;' nay; 
it*is the Spirit himself that prays in us, Rom» ymi 
How then is the power of Free-will proved by ^the 
strivings of the Holy Spirit ? Are Free-will acud die 
Holy Spirit, with the Diatribe, one and the saine 
thing? Or, are we disputing now about what Uta^ 
Holy Spirit can do ? The Diatribe, therefore, leaves 
me this passage of Jeremiah uninjured and invihci*^ 
ble; and only produces the gloss out of its own 
brain* I also can ^ strive by my. own powers : ' and 
Luther, will he compelled to believe this g^ss^— «sf 
he will! 

Sect. CXXIV, — ^There is that passage of Prov. 
xvi. also, " It is of man to prepare the heart, but of 
the Lord to govern the tongue," which the Diatribe 
says — * refers to events of things.' — 

As though this the Diatribe's own saying would 
satisfy us, without any farther authority. But how- 
ever, it is quite sufficient, that, allowing the sense of 
these passages to be concerning the events of thii^ 
we have evidentiy^ come off victorious by the aigu^ 
ments which we have just advanced : ^ tiiat, if w« 
have no such thing as Freedom of Will in our own 
things and works, much less have we any such thing 
in divine things and works. 

But mark the great acuteness of the Diatribe 
*— " How can it be of man to prepare the heart, when 
Luther affirms that all things are carried on by ne- 
cessity ?"^t- 


I answer i If thq events of things be not in our 
power, as you say, how can it be in man to perform 
the caushig acts? The same answer which you gave 
me, the same receive yourself! Nay, we are com- 
manded to work the more for this very reason, be- 
cause all things future are to us uncertain : as saith 
Ecclesiastes, " In the morning sow thy seed, and in 
tiie evening hold not thine hand* : for thou knowest 
not which shall prosper, either this or that,'* Eccles. xi. j^ 
All things future, I say, are to us uncertain in know- 
ledge, but necessary in event. The necessity strikes 
into us a fear of God that we presume not, or become 
secure, while the uncertainty works in us a trusting, I 
that we sink not in despair. 

Sect. CXXV. — But the Diatribe returns to 
harping upon its old string — ^that in the book of 
Proverbs, many things are said in confirmation of 
Free-will: as this, "Commit thy works unto the 
Lord." Do you hear this (says the Diatribe,) thy 
warks?^ — 

Many things in confirmation ! What because there 
rare, in that book, many imperative and conditional 
verbis, and pronouns of the second person ! For it is 
upon these foundations that you build your proof of 
the Freedom of the Will. Thus, " Commit"— there- 
fore thou canst commit thy works : therefore thou 
doest them. So also this passage, "I am thy God," 
you will understand thus : — ^that is. Thou makest me 
Ihy God. "Tliy faith hath saved thee:" do you 
hear this word " thy ? " therefore, expound it thus : 
Thou makest thy faith : and then you have proved 
Free-will Nor am I here merely game-making ; but 


I am shewing the Diatribe, that there is nettuiig se* 
nous on its side of the subject. .,;.::; 

This passage also in the same chapter, '^ Did 
Lord hath made all things for himself; yea^ even Am 
wicked for the day of evil," it modifies* by its own 
words, and excuses God as — * having never created 
a creature evil.' — 

As though I had spoken concerning the crealumf 
and not rather concerning that continual Gperatian of 
God upon the things created; in which operation, 
God acts upon the wicked; as we have before shewa 
in the case of Pharaoh. But he creates the wicked^ 
not by creating wickedness or a wicked creature; 
(which is impossible) but, from the opemtioii of Ood,^ 
a wicked man is made, or created, from a corrupt 
seed ; not from the fault of the maker, kit frdm that 
of the material. 

Nor does that of chapter xxi., " The he^Jt of the 
king is in the Lord's hand : he inclineth it whither* 
soever he will," seem to the Diatribe to imply foroe^ 
— -" He who inclines (it observes) does not immedi^ 
ately compel*' — 

As though we were speaking of comfiulsion, ^aiA 
not rather concerning the necessity of immuiabili^ 
And that is impUed in the inclining of Godr.whidK 
indhnn^, is not so snoring and lazy a thing, as the Diin 
tribe imagines,- but is that most active opemtfon: d 
G^, whid) a man cannot avoid or alter, font ittider 
which he has, df necessity, such a will as God haflr 
given him, and- such as he carries along by la& napi 
tion: as I have before shewn. 

Moreover, where Solomon is speaking of " the 
king's heart," the Piatril^e thinks-*^^ that the passage 


cannot rightly be strained to apply in a gta^ml 
saense : but that the meaimig is 'the same as that of 
J^ where he says, in another place^ " He maketh 
the hypocrite to reign, because of the sins of the peo- 
ple." At last, however, it concedes, that the king Is 
inclined unto evil by God : but so, that he permits 
the king to be carried away by his inclination, in 
order to chastise the people.' — 

I answer : Whether God permit, or whether hfe 
incline, that permitting or inclining does not take 
place; without the will and operation of God : be-^ 
cause, the will of the king cannot avoid t^ action of 
the omnipotent God : seeing that, the will of all is 
earned along just as he wills and acts, whether that 
will be good or eviL 

J^nd as to my having made out of the particular 
wiU of the king, a general application ; I did it, I pre* 
sume, neither vainly nor unskilfully. For if the heart 
of the king, which seems to be of all the most free, 
mid to ruje over others, cannot will good but where 
God inclines it, how much less can any other among 
men wiUi good ! And this conclu^on will stand valid, 
draiwn, ijot frpm the will of the king only, but from 
that: of any other man. For if any one man, how pri- 
vate soever he be, cannot will before God but where 
God inclines, the same must be s^id of all men, Thus 
in the instance of Balaam, his not being able to speak 
what he. wished, is an evident argument from the / 
scriptures, that man is not in his own power, nor a 
^Eee chooser and doer of what he does : were it not so, 
DO examples of it could subsist in the scriptures. 

Sect. CXXVL— The Diatribe after this, having 



flbdd that many /.such te8tiitt6nie&, al^ Liitlier coUeets, 
may be collected out of ^' book of Prof erbs i hist 
which, by a convenient intel^pretation^ tnay Btand boiii 
for and against Free-will ; -addudes at last that AdbM- 
ieaji and invincible weapon of Luther, John rr., 
** Without m* ye can do noAing,** &c. 
' I too, must laud that notable chamiHon^dUsputaDt' 
for Free-will, who teaches ui, to modify the tefttiino- 
nks of 'Scripture just as it serves our turiii by conve- 
ftieiit interpretations, in order to make them appear 
to 4tand truly in confirmation of Free-will ; that is, 
iAntt they might be made to pifove, not ^^t Ihey 
mi^ht, but what we please ; and who mek^ly pretetfds 
d ftet of on^ Achillean scripture, that the silly reader, 
seeing this one overdirown, might hold all the rest in 
utter tontettripti But I wiU just look on and see, by 
what force the full-mouthed and heroic Diatribe will 
Conquer ' my Achilles ; which hitherto, has never 
wounded a ccmimon soldiei*, noi" even a ThersiteSi but 
has ever miserably dispatched itself with its own 

Catching hold of this bn^ word " nothing,'' it 
stabs it with- wany words and miEmy examfd^ f and, 
by means of •& convenient interpretation, brings ii to 
tins; that' " nothing," may signify that which i* m 
degree and if/perfect. That is, it means to say, vk other 
wordsi, that the sophists have hitherto explained this 
passage thiis.^-^" Without me ye can do nothing ; " 
ihat is, perfectly. This gloss, which has been long 
worn out and obsolete, the Diatribe, by its power of 
rhetoric, lenders new ; and so presses it forward, 
as though it had first invented it, and it had never 
been heard of before,- thus making it appear to be a 


'0Ort of HMracIe. In ytrmaaiitiiiie^hiyweyer^ it is quite 
self-secure, thinking notbmg abontt )the text its^^ nor 
idiat pr eeedesr or follows it,^hence alofie the knowledge 
^ the passage is to be obtained. v 

But (to say no more about its having attempted 

to ptoy^ by so many words and' examples, liiat the 

ibmapL^ f^ nodaing" may,in:thiflvpa8sage, betinflerstood 

^M^ m0Emiiig :^ that which' is ihta certain d^ree, or im- 

p^eo^' as though .we weie disputing whether or cnbt 

it mai/ be, whereas; wfaaJb wte to be pHoved iswhedler 

^MT not' it ought: to *e, sb understood ;) Ih4 wtKile of 

4hi^ ^and interpretation^ efiects nMhiilg'^ 4f it^lJeot 

any things but this .:-'*^4he xen^dering of this passage bf 

John unicertain and obsctirel • And no wonder, foir ell 

that the Diatribe aims at, is to make the scri^bues of 

God in t^yery place' obscure^ to the intent that it 

might not "be compelled to use thend ; and the aatbcMi- 

tiesof thefuicients dertain, to the intent that it mi^t 

abuser: them ; — a wpndeifol kind of religi(kr- tiliily, 

'miaking^heriwords of ijrod to be useless, and the wotds 

of man useful ! 

.•■■'■■';•»■.■ . 

- . Sect. CXXVII.— But it is most ex^Uerit td 
observe how well this gldss,^ ^ nothing "^ tfisfy be- tttt- 
derstood to signify -^ that whichiss in degn^^^'isbnAfSts 
with itself ; yet theDiatribe saj^,.-^* that fai '^Ais 
eense of the^ passagie,' it is kn6st true that we '^an- do 
nothing without Christ: because, he is i^peaking <rf' 
evangelical fruits, which cannot be produced but by 
those who r^nain in .the vine, whidl^ is dhrist/^^^ 

Here the Diatribe itself confenseSy- that fruit can- 
not be produced but by'those who-wihdki in' the vine : 
and it does the^ttune in^bat ^ conv^fdent interpt^tatiimy' 

u 2 


by which it proTes,that '^ nothing" is the sasie as in 

.degree, and imperfect. But perhaps, its own advisrti 

' cannot/ ought also to be conveniently interpreted^ 

so as to signify, that evangelical fruits can be produced 

without Christ in degree and imperfectly. So that we 

rinay preach, that the ungodly who are without Christ 

can, while Satan reigns in them, and wars against 

Christ, produce some of the fruits of life : that is, tlut 

the enemies of Christ may do something for the glory 

ictf Christ. — But away with these things. 

i. > Here however, I should like to be tau^t, how we 

are to resist heretics, who, using this rule throughout 

itfae scriptures, may contend that nothing and notzxfc 

ito be understood as signifying that which is impei^Mrt. 

'Thus — Without him " nothing" can be done; thatisa 

\tittk.'^ — ^^ The fool hath said in his heart there is not a 

• God;" that is, there is an imperfect God.— "He 

jhath made us, and not we ourselves ; " that is, we did 

a little towards making ourselves. And who can num*- 

^ber all the passages in the scripture where ^ nothing ' 

and * not ' are found ? 

Shall we then here say that a * convenient inter- 
^pretation' is to be attended to ? And is this clearing 
up difficulties— rto open such a doer of liberty to cor- 
jnipti minds and deceiving spirits? Such a licence -of 
jtilisrfd'etation is, I grant, convenient to you who care 
nothing whisitever about the certainty of the scripture; 
but as for me who labour to establi^ consciences, this 
is an inconvenience ; than which, nothing can be more 
inconvenient, nothing more injurious, nothing more 
4>estUentiai. Hear me, therefore, thou great con- 
qm$i:ess of.tbe .Lutheran Achilles ! Unless you shall 
-pfpq^ thia ^inotbing' not cmly may be^ but aught te 


be anderstood as signifying a * little,* you have done^ 
nothing by all this profiision of wcMrds or examples, but 
fight against fire with dry straw* What have I to do 
with your may be, which only demands of you to 
prove your ought to be? And if you do not prove 
that, I stand by the i;iatural and grammatical signifi*- 
cation of the term, laughing both at your armies and 
at your triumphs. 

Where is now that * probable opinion ' which de- 
termined, * that Free-will can will.nothing good ? ' But 
perhaps, the * convenient interpretation ' comes in 
here, to say, that ' nothing good ' signifies, something 
good — a kind of grammar and logic never before 
heard of ; that nothing, is the same as something : 
which, with logicians, is an impossibility, because they 
are contradictions. Where now then remains that ar- 
ticle of our faith, that Satan is the prince of the world, 
and, according to the testimonies of Christ and Paul, 
rules in the wills and minds of those men who are his 
captives and servants ? Shall that roaring lion, that 
implacable and ever-restless enemy of the grate of 
God and the salvation of man, suffer it to be, that 
man, his slave and a part of his kingdom, should 
attempt good by any motion in any degree, whereby 
he.mi^t escape from his tyranny, and that he should 
not rather spur and urge him on to will and do the 
contrary to grace with all his powers ? especially^ 
when the just, and those who are led by the Spirit of 
Grod, and who will and do good, can hardly resist 
him^ so great is his rage against them ? 

You who make it out, that the human will is a 
something placed in e^Jret medium^ and left to itself, 
certainly make it out, at the same time, that there iii 


an endeavour which can exert itsdf either'way ; be- 
cause, you make both God and the devil to be at a 
distance, spectators only, as it were, of this mutable 
and Free-will ; though you do not believe, that ibej 
are impellers and agitators of that bondage will, tibe 
most hostilely opposed to each Other. Adrntttingy 
thesefore; :diis part of ydur faith Only, my isentimoit 
stands firmly established, and Free-will lies jn'ostntte; 
as I have shewn alreadyi-^For, it 'must either be, that 
tibe^ kingdom of Satan^ in man is nothing at aH^ and 
thus.Christwili'bemaidetolie; or, if his kingdom be 
such 'as Ohrist describes, Free-will must be nodnig 
but a beast of burden, the captive of Satian, wSiicfa 
cannot be liberated, unle8s^%he dfevil be first cast '*oat 
by the finger of God; V 

From what has been advanced I presume^ fiiend 
Diatribe, thou fully understandest whatthat is, and wlmt 
it amounts to, where thy Author, detesting the obsti- 
nate way of assertion in Lutifier, is accustomed to aay 
*—fi Luther indeed pushes his cause- with pl^ity of 
scriptures ; but they may all, by one word, be brou^t 
to nothing.' Who does not know, that hH scriptures 
niay, by one word, be brought to nothing ? I knew 
this fiiU well before I ever heard ' the name of firas- 
mus« But 'the question is,^ whetherit ^be wffpcimtio 
bring a scripture, by one word^' to nothing. Hie pcmit 
in, dispute is; whether it be rfg'A^brou^t to nothings 
and whether it ought to be brou^ to nothing: Let a 
man consider these points, and he will then see, tdse- 
ther or not it her easy to bring scriptiHes^ to nothing, 
and whether ornot the ob^tinacJy of Luther be detes- 
table. He will then see, that not one word only is^inefr 
fective, but all the gal)^s of rhell 4^ann€)t bring thinii t9 
nothinst ! 


Sect CXXVIIL— -What, therefore, the Diar 
tribe cannot do in its affirmative^ I will do in the n^ 
gative; and though I am pot called upon to prove 
the negative, yet I will do it here, and will make it by 
the fc»rce of argupient undeniably qppear, that '^ no* 
thing,'' in this passage, not only may be hy^t /mght to 
be understood as nueaipng, not a certain small d^ree, 
but that which the term naturally signifies^ A9d thiis 
I will do, in addition tp thftt invincible argiuncmt ^ 
which I am already yictorious^ viz. ^ lliat all terms wre 
tp be preserved in their natural signification and usp, 
unless the contrary shall be proved : ' which the Diar 
tribe neither has done, nor can do. — First of all ih&a I 
will make that evidently manifest, which is plaibly 
proyed by scriptures neither ambiguous nor obscrtre^rr- 
that Satan, is by far the n^ost powerful and craAy 
prince of this world; (as I. said, before,) under the 
reigning power of whom, the human will,,bdng no 
longer free nor in its own power, but the servant of sin 
and of Satan, can will nothing but that which its prince 
wills. And he will not permit it to wjU any thing 
}good : though, even if Satan did not i:eign over it, sin 
itself, of which maa>ris the slave,. would sufficiently 
harden it to preventit from willing good. 

Moreover,, the following, part of the context itsdf 

. evid^itly proves the same: which the Diatribe proudly 

. sneers at, although I have commented Upon it very co- 

piously in my Assertions. For Christ proceeds thus, 

John XV., ^^ Whoso abideth not in me, js castfortkas 

a branch and is withered ; and men gather them and 

t cast them into the fire, and they are burned." This, I 

say, the Diatribe, in, a most excellently rhetorical way, 

Pfissed by; hopmg, that the iptent of this evasion 


would not be c(»npreheiided by die BhaUow-bttiined 
Lutherans. But here you see tiiat Christ, wlio %*di^ 
interpreter of his own similitude of the vine and' lii6 
branch, plainly declares what he would have tUKU^ 
stood by the term " nothing" — that man who is wUh^ 
out Christ, " is cast forth and is withered." 
> And what can the being ^* cast forth and Withef^" 
s^gfaify but the being delivered up to the devil, and 
becoming continually worse and worse ; and surely, 
becoming worse and worse, is not doing or att^cnpt- 
ing any thing good. The withering brandi is m6re 
and more prepared for the fire the more it withers. 
And had not Christ himself thus amplified and ajp^ 
plied this similitude^ no one would have dared' so t6 
amplify and apply it It stands manifest, therefor^, 
that *^ nothing," ought, in this place, to be understbod 
in its proper signification^ according to the nature of 
the term. 

Sect. CXXIX. — Let us now consider the exafii- 
plesalso, by which it proves, that " nothing" si^ifies, 
in some places, ' a certain small degree : ' in order that 
we may make it evident, that the Diatribe is nothing, 
and effects nothing in this part of it : in which, though 
it should do much, yet it would effect nothing .^ — such 
a nothing is the Diatribe in all things, and in every wisi^. 

It says — " Grenerally, he is said to do nodnng, 
who does not achieve that, at which he aims ; and 
yet, for the most part, he who attempts it, makes 
some certain degree of progress m the attempt."-*^ 
. I answer : I nev^ beard this general usage of tbe 
term : you have invented it by your own license. The 
words are to be considered according to the subject- 


ttAtte^y (as they say,) and according to liie intention 
^ tibe speaker. — ^No one calls that ' nothing' which he 
does in attempting, nor does he then speak of the 
attempt but of the effect :. it is to this the person refers 
wfai^n he says, he does nothing, or he effects nothing; 
thabis, achieves and accomplishes nothing. But sup« 
posing your example to stand good, (whidi however it 
does not) it makes more formethanforyomrself. For 
this is what I maintain and would invincibly establish, 
that Free-*will does many things, which, nev^thdess, 
are "nothing" before God. What does it profit 
therefore, to attempt, if it effect nothing at which it 
aims ? So that, let the Dkitribe turn whidh way it 
will, it only runs against, and confutes itsdf : which 
generally happens to those, who undertake to support 
a bad cause. 

With the same unhappy efl^t does it adduce that 
example out of Paul, " Neither is fie that planteth any 
thing, neither he that watereth, but God who giveth 
the increase." — " That (says the Diatribe,) which is of 
the least moment, and useless of itself, he calls 
nothing/' — 

Who ? — Do you, pretend to say, that the ministry 
ijf the word is of itself useless, and of the least mo* 
ment, when Paul every where, and especially S Cor* iii., 
highly exalts it, and calls it. the ministration '^ of life^" 
^and " of glory ?" Here again you neither consid^ the 
subject matter, nor the intention of the speaker. Ai^ 
to die gift of the increase, the planter and waterer ore 
certainly ' nothing ; ' but as to the planting and sowing, 
they are not ^ nothing ;' seeing that,* to teach and to 
'Exhort, are the greatest work of the Spirit in the church 
of God. This is the intended meaning of Paul, and 
tl^ his words ccmvey with satisfactdry plainness. But 


be St 6o, that this ridiculous example stands good; 
agam, it stands in favour of me. For what I maintain 
is this : that Free-will is ^ nothing,' that is, is useless of 
itself (as you expound it) befDre God ; and it is ooft- 
^ coming its being nothing as to what it can do ofiU^ 
that we are now speaking : for as to what it «cmir 
UaUg is in itself j we know, that an impious will most 
fae a som^hing, and cannot be a mere nothing. 

Sect CXXX. — ^There is also that of 1 Cor. ziiL 
^ If I have not charity I am nothing:" Why the 
Diatribe adduces this as an example I cannot see, 
unless it seeks only numbers and forces, or thinks Aat 
weh.™ .0 ^\ <JJ. bywhich we en -Tea™.!, 
wound it. For he who is without chanty, is, ^mly and 
properly, ^ nothing' before God. The same also we I 
say of Free-will. Wherefore, this example also stands 
for us against the Diatribe. Or, can it be that the 
Diatribe does not yet know the argument ground 
upon which I am contending ? — I am not speaking 
Skbout the essence of nature, but the essence of grace 
(as they term it.) I know, that Free-will can by 
nature do something ; it can eat, drink, beget, rule, 
&c. Nor need the Diatribe laugh at me as having 
prating frenzy enough to imply, wheal I press home so 
closely the term ' nothing,' t hat Free* yf^^ r?""?^?Tf" 
Mnjdthnnt Qujat : whereas Laither, nevertheless says, 
' thatFree-will can do nothing but sin' — but so it pleases 
the wise Diatribe to play the fool in a matter so. serir 
ous. For I say, that man without the grace of Gtxl, 
remains, nevertheless, under the general omnipotence 
of an acting God, who moves and ^carries along, aU 
things, of necessity, in the course of bis inf^lible 
motion; but that the man's being thus earned, along. 



is nothing; that id, avails nothing in thersi^t of God, 
nor is considered any thing else but sin. Thus ia 
grace, he that is without love, is nothing. Why then 
idoes the Diatribe, when it confesses itself, that we are 
here speaking of evangelical fruits, as that which can- 
not be produced without Christ, turn aside immedi- 
ately from the subject point, hatp upon another strings 
and cavil about nothing but natural works and human 
fruits ? Except it be to evince, that he who is devQid 
of the truth, is never consistent with himself. 

So also that of John iii., " A man can receive 
nothing except it were given him from abovCi" 

John is here speaking of man, who is now a. some- 
thing, and denies tfakt this man can receive any thing ; 
that is, the Spirit ^dth his gifts ; for it is . in reference 
to that he is speaking, not in reference to nature. For 
he did not want the Diatribe as an instructor to teach 
him, that man has already eyes, nose, ears, mouth, 
hands, mind, will, reason, and all things that be- 
long to man. — Unless the Diatribe believes, that 
fte Baptist, when he made mention of man, was think- 
ing of the * chaos' of Plato, the * vacuum' of Leucip- 
pus, or the * infinity' of Aristotle, or some other no- 
thing, which, by a gift from heaven, should at last be 
m£lde a something.— -Is this producing examples out 
of the scripture, thus to trifle designedly in a matter 
sd important ! 

And to what purpose is all that prolusion of 
words, where it teaches us, ^ that fire, the escape from 

ievil, the endeavour after good, and other things are 

from heaven,' as though there were any one who did 

ioibt know, or who denied those things ? We are now 

taUcing about grace, and, as the Diatribe itself, said, 


concerning Christ and evangelical fruits; idiereas, it 
is itself, making out its time in fabling about nature ; 
thus dragging out the cause, and covering the witless 
reader with a cloud. In the mean time, it does not 
produce one single example 83 it professed to do, 
wherein ' nothing,' is to be understood as signifying 
some small degree. Nay, it openly exposes itsetf as 
neither understanding nor caring what Christ or grace 
is, nor how it is, that grace is one tiling and nature 
another, when even the sophists of the meanest rank 
know, and have continually taught this difference in 
their schools, in the most common way. Nor does it 
all the while see, that every one of its examples make 
for me, and against itself. For the word of the Bap^ 
tist goes to establish this: — ^that man can receive 
nothing unless it be given him from above ; and tha^ 
therefore, Free-will is nothing at all. 

Thus it is, then, that my Achilles is conquered — 
the Diatribe puts weapons into his hand, by which it 
is itself dispatched, naked and weapon-less. And 
thus it is also that the scriptures, by which that obsti- 
nate assertor Luther urges his cause, are, * by one 
word, brought to nothing.' 

Sect. CX XXI.— After this, it enumerates a mul- 
titude of similitudes : by which, it effects nothing hut 
the drawing aside the witless reader to irrelevant 
thiiigs, according to its custom, and at the same time 
leaves the subject point entirely out of the quea- 
tion. Thus, — " God indeed preserves the ship, but the 
mariner conducts it into harbour : wherefore, the mari- 
ner does not do nothing." — ^This similitude makes a dif- 
ference of work : that is, it attributes that of preserving 


to God, and that of conducting to the marinen And 
thus, if it prove any thing, it proves this : — that the 
^hole work of preserving is of. God, and the whole 
work of conducting of the mariner. And yet, it is a 
beautiful and apt similude. 

• Thus again — ^^ the husbandman gathers in the inr 
d^ease, but it was God that gave it" — Here ag^n, it 
attributes <lifferent operations to God and to man ; 
unless it mean to make the husbandman the creator 
al0o, who gave the increase. But even supposing the 
aame works be attributed to God and to man — ^what 
do these similitudes prove ? Nothing more, than that 
the creature coH^peratea with the operating God I 
But are we now disputing about co-operation, and not 
rather concerning the power and operation of Free- 
will, as of iteelf ! Whither therefore has the renowned 
rhetorician betaken himself? ^He set out with the pro-* 
fessed des ign to dispute concerning a palm ; whereajB 
all his discourse has been about a gourd ! ' A noble 
vMe was designed by the potter ; why then is a pitcher 
produced at last ?' 

. I also know very well, that Paul co-operates with 
God in teaching the Corinthians, while he preaches 
without, and Gt)d teaches within ; and that, whei^ 
their works are different. And that, in like mam^r, 
he co-operates with God while he speaks by the 
Spirit of God ; and that, where the work is the same. 
For what I assert and contend for is this : — ^that God,' 
where he operates without the grace of his Spirit^ 
works aU in all, even in the ungodly ; while he alone 
moves, acts on, and carries along by the motion of his 
amnipotence, &U those things which he alone h^a 
cniated, which motion those things can neither avoid 



nor change, but of necessity follow and obey, eaidi oiie 
according to the measureof power given of God :«-^liin8 
tall: things, even the ungodly, co-operate with GrodI On 
the other band, when he acts by the Spirit of his 
grace on those whom he has justified, that is, in his 
own kingdom, he moves and carries them akog in 
the same manner; and they, as they are the new 
creatures, follow and co-operate with fajm ; or nther, 

as Paul saith, are led by him. 

But the present is not the place for discuaiiBg 
these points. We are not now considering, what we 
can do in co-operation with-God, but what we can do 
f of ourselves : that is, whether, created as we are out 
of nothing,' we can do or attempt any thing ^ our- 
selves, under the general motion of Gtxl's omn^* 
tence, whereby to prepare ourselves- unto the: new 
creation of the Spirit.«-^This is the point to wbk^ the 
Diatribe ou^t to hav^ answered, and not to have 
turned aside to a something else ! 

What I have to say upon this point is this :-^As 
man, before he is created man, does nothing and en- 
deavours nothing towaids his being made a creature ; 
and as, after he is made and created, he does nothing 
andendeavours -nothing towards his presepvatkm, or 
towards- his 'continuing in his creature-existence;^ but 
eadh takes place alone l^ the will of the* omnipotent 
power imd goodness of God, creating us and preserv- 
ing us, without ourselvei^ > but as God, nevertheless, 
does not work in ns without us, se^g we are for that 
purpose created and preserved, that he mi^t woric in 
us and that we mi^t co-operate with him, whether- it 
be out of his kingdom under his general omnipotence, 
or in his kingdom under the peculiar power of his 


{<-HM]i^ man/ before he is regenerated into die 
ittW><:ret.tion of the kingdom of the Spirit, does no^ 
thing ttad endeavours nothing towards his new crea- 
tion into that kingdom, and after he is re-created does 
nothiqg and endeavours nothing towards his perse* 
vemnce in that kingdom ; but the Spirit alone effects 
bMll in ns, regenerating iis and preserving us wl^n 
^generated, without ourselves; as James saith, '^Of 
fate own will begat he us by the word of his power, 
4lat we shouki be a kind of first-firuits of his creatures/' 
(where he speate of the renewed creation :) nevertbdes^ 
he does not wofk in us wkhaut us, seeing that he has for 
this purpbise oiteited a&d preserved us, that he might] 
operate in us, and that w^ ifii^toiM)p«rate with himff 
tbtts, by as he preaches, shewi mercy to th« poor^' 
and cOmficMrta the afflicted. — But what is hereby attriji 
hnted tot Free-will ? Nay, what is there left it but 
nothing at all ? And in truth it is nothing at all ! 

Sect. CXXXII^— Read therefore the Diatribe 
in this part through- five tarUx pages, and you will 
find, thai by similitudes - of this kind, and by some oC 
the most beautiful paBsagesi and parables sdecfed from 
the Gospel and from Paul, it 'does nothi^. dse-but 
shew us, that innumerable passajges (as it observesp) afe 
to-'be found- 'in the scriptures, which sp^ak of the eo^ 
operation aikd asdistimce of God: fiiom which, if I 
should dmw this conclusion* — Man can do nothing 
without the assisting j^race ol God : therefore, no works 
cf man are good^— it would on the contrary condude,^ 
as it has done by a ihetorical ihv^ion-^^^ Nayy 
tiiere is notUhg that man cannot do by the. assisting 
graced of God :• therefore, all the works of man can be 


good. For as many passages as there «rein the^boljf 
scriptures which make mention of assistance; so manj^ 
are there which confirm Free-will ; and they are inmi« 
merable. Therefore, if we go by the number of testis 
monies, the victory is mine." — ^ 

Do you think the Diatribe could be sober or in 
its right senses when it wrote this ? For I cajHioit «t^ 
tribute it to malice or iniquity : unless it he that it dth 
signed to effectually wear me out by perpetually we^ 
rying me, while thus, ever like itself, it is continually 
jteuning aside to something ccmtrary to its professed 
design. But if it is pleased thus to play the fool ii^M 
matter so important, then I will be pleased to expose 
its voluntary fooleries publicly. v 

In the first place, I do not dispute, nor am I igiMH 
rant, that all the works of man may be good, if thcQf 
be done by the assisting grace of God. And moreoviff 
that there is nothing which a man might not do by the 
"I assisting grace of God. But I cannot feel enou^ sur- 
prise at your negligence, who, having set out with the 
professed design to write upon the power of Free-will, 
go on writing upon the power of grace. And more- 
over, dare to assert pubHcly, as if all men were posts 
or stones, that Free-will is established by those pas* 
lages of scripture which exalt the grace of God. And> 
not only dare to do that, but even to sound forth €&«^ 
oomiums on yourself as a victor most gloriously tri- 
umphant ! From this very word and act of yours, I 
truly perceive what Free-will is, and what the effect of 
\ ' it is — ^it makes men mad ! For what, I ask, can it.bQ^ 
in y6u that talks at this rate, but Free-will ! 

; But just listen to your own conclusions. — ^The* 
scripture commends the grace of God : therefore^ it 


proves Free-will. — It exalts the assistance of the 
grace of God ; therefore, it establishes FrQe-wiU. By 
what kind of logic did you learn such conclusions as 
these ? On the contrary, why not conclude thus ? — 
G race is preached : therefore Free-will has noexiat- I j> 
eiice. The assistance of grace is exalted : therefore, 
Free-will is abolished. For, to what intent is grace 
given ? Is it for this : that Freerwill, as being of sufr 
ficient power itself, might proudly display and sport 
grace on fair-days, as a superfluous ornament ! 

Wherefore, I will invert your order of reasoning, 
and though no rhetorician, will establish a concluAion 
more firm than yours. — As many places as there are 
in the holy scriptures which, make mention of assist* 
ance, so many are there which abolish Free-will : and 
they are innumerable. Therefore, if we are to go^by 
the number of testimonies, the victory is mine. For 
grace is therefore needed, and the assistance of grace 
is therefore given, because Free-will can of itself do 
nothing ; as the Diatribe itself asserted according to 
that ^ probable opinion ' that Free-^will ' cannot wiU 
any thing good.' Therefore, w hen grace is (;onL- I 
mended, and the assistance of crace declared, the im- L 
potency of Free-will is declared at the_»uaiB time.— -r^p 
This is a sound inference — a firm conclusion — aminstJ|>^ 
wmch, not even the gates of hell will ever prevail ! . 

Sect. CXXXIII. — Here, I bring to a conclu^ 


Diatribe attemptep to refute; lest my book 
should be swelled to too great a bulk : and if there 
be any thing yet remaining that is worthy of notice, 
it shall be taken into the following part ^ 



WiSEttEtNy I MAKE MT AB^ZKTlOVBji Fot 88 tO whftt 

Erasmus says in his conclasion — * that, i^ mf srati^ 
meats s(tand good, the numberless pveeepts, ihe itttHOf^ 
berless threatenings^ the nitimbett&ss prc^sl^^ are dMii 
yteiny and no place is left for merit or demerit, fyt re^ 
wards or punishments ; that mcH'eover, it is difficult 
to defend the mercy, nay, even- the justice of God,^ ff 
God damn sinners bf cN^cessity ; and that Imtoy other 
difficulties follow, which have so troubled some of tte 
greatest men, as even to utterly overthrow diem,' — 
' • To all these things I hive folly replied already. 
Nor wiH I receive or bear with that t^KMfer^zfe ffiedkmy 
which Erasmus would (with a gocki intentiofi, I be- 
lieve,) recommend' to me ; — ' that we should -grai^t 
irtwwe certain little to Free-will ; in order that^ the co»* 
tradictions-of the scripture, and^the difficulties hdkfti 
Inentioned, might be th6 more easily itemedied/ — Fof 
by this moderate medium^ the matter is not bett^^ 
nfor is any advantage gained whatever. Because, un^ 
less yoti ascribe the whole and all things to Frei^iwill; 
as the Pelagians do, the contmdictions in the^ scrip* 
/ I tiires are not altered, iherit and reward are takidii 
entirely away, the mercy fend justice of God ai* 
abolished, and all the (Mfficulties which We try ^ 
iavoid by allowing this * certain little ineffective power' 
to Free-will, remain just as they- were before; sis- 1 
have already folly shewn. Therefore, we must come 
to the plain extreme, deny Free-will ^altogether, and 
ascribe all unto God ! Thus, there will be in the 
scriptures no contradictions ; and if there be any dif- 
ficulties, they will be borne with, where they cannot 
be remedied. 

my friend E^mus/l eiitiMitof '^i^-^^ laot eo^ 
flid^r that I conckict this cftme iiiore accOfdifilg t6^y 
impery than accorc&tg to my prjiiiciple^. I will nM 
Inifier it to be insinuated; diat I am iyfpclcrite ^ou^ 
to write one thing;and .beliere«iother;I|iavetiOti(to 
ywL sa?^^ of me) been carried sa^fdf-iby^lM^' heat of det 
ieUsivfe ailment,' asitoi^denyJieire'Ffee-Wili alt^getfci^ 
for the first tiqife, having ^oiicedeA'soinet^iig tor ft b^ 
ibre/'Confidtetl atn^'^l'you^oeiti findino sqJ^h^iMi<- 
teession any where in ibj fwbrte; There are-^UekiOiis 
and discussions of mine ^ktaM^iiH' which: I hfit^'W^ 
tinned to assert, down to this hour, that t here is no ^ 

such thing as Free-will ; that it is a thing formed o ut of H ^' 
a» ^gwjpfy term'; (whidi are toe words I nave there 
used.) And I then thus belii^ed and thus wrote, as 
Otrarpoweared by the force of truth when called and 
com^^elled to the discussion. ^And as to my always 
conducting discussions with ardout^ ; I acknowledge 
ihy fiault, if it be a fault: nay, I gi^a^" gl6ry in this 
ttetimony which the world bears ofme, in the'tati^se of 
God : and may God. himself coi^arm the -same' testis 
m(my in the last dayi Then^r^whoniQieiliappy theA 
Iiuthei<-T-to te honour^ witb the universal iBesluaoliiy 
ilge, that heidid notmaiiitkuntiiier csius^Mbf tM«k 
r, nor deceilfiilly,^ but with a-iiealy if not to0 greiit^ 
ardour I Then shaU i be blessedly" ddiurt it^'-ihslt 
word of Jer^aiahi '^Gursed^be Jie tfaal^ doeth'-^ 


work of the Lord deceitfiiUyl^ . i : : .ji.i / i:j 

(. But if I seem to t^souMfwhat^mjEMre teMTSithflti 
usual upon your Diatribe ^^^pardbniM^'f' I< 40^ it'not 
from a malignant heaxl:,> but fjpeHn eoncerh ,i becMSt^'l 
knowy Aat by the weight i of ycftft' naog^^yot -gteatlj^ 


j99f)ftipger thi^i/eiuuieof ChHtt; tb(li]^>.by yom^hsmr 
SftggfBn to Deal eflM»yo«can doiiotluiig<atjittL;;. Ami 
pq^xftDi always so temper his t>®n «d loovet to gn»w 
jRsum ? For ev^i you, wlioi frcoi a show o£ moK^oiir 
lion grow almost cold: ia this book of yooiirv Mt 
W^fiequently . hurl a fi^ jond gall-dipped dmrt: sp 
much so^ that if the reader were aot veiy libmal and 
Idyod, he could not but consider you vinil^it< .Bk 
however, this is nothing to the subject point. We must 
iputually pardon each other in these things ; for w» 
are but men, and there is nothing in us that is not 
touched with human in&mity. 


,... We are now arrived at the last part of tw» 
DISCUSSION* Wherein I am, as I proposed, to brii^ 
forward my forces against Free-will. But I i^iall not 
produce them all, for who. could do that within the 
limits of this small book, when the whole scripture^ is 
livery letter and iota, stands on my side ? Norisithnie 
any necessity for so doing/,* seeing that,. Fnee-willal^ 
xeady lies vanquished and prostrate under .a two-fold 
pverthrow.-^-^'^Che one, where I have proved, ttmt att 
those things, which it imagined made for itself, make 
flirectly against itself.^ — ^The other, where I have ,made 
it manifest, that those scriptures which it attenkptedtv^ 
«fiite, B^ Demain invincible. — If, tfaa^efore, it had not 
been vanquished by the former, it is enough if it be 
laid pro^t»te by the one weapon or the other. And 
liow,:what need is thece that the enemy, already dis? 
patidied by the one weapon or the other, should ham 
his .dead body staUbed with a number of weapons 


e? lift chiB part, tlierefcTO,^ Ishail be ki$'b^ ai» 
sutiject wiUr ullowr^aiid from Buch ntunerous 
limiies, I shall prodaoe 6ikly two champion^getieMtiii, 
rnHth a few of their legions-^Pauly and John tKfe 
!£vangdi8ti -^ -. •' 1- 

' Sect. CXXXV.— PAUL,writmgtotheR<W^ 
Ifciis enters upon his argument, agaiml TVee-wfll, ttkH 
yor Ae grace of God. ^Mhe wrath of God (stfldi hte) 
is revealed from heaven against all ungodlihess baA 
umighteoumess of men, who hold the truth in iiii^ 
ri^teousness."-^ " ^ ' '" ' -" 

Dbst thou hear this geneml sentence *^ against 
all men," — that they ar^ all under the Dnrath of 
God P And what is this but declaring, that they all 
merit wrath and punishment ? For he assigns the 
cause of the wrath against them — they do nothh^ 
4iut that which merits wrath ; because they are all un- 
godly and unri^teous, and hold the truth in unri^ 
teousness. Where is now the power of • Free-will 
iriiich can endeavour any thing good ? Paul makes it 
to* merit the wrath d God, and pnmbunces it ungocUy 
and unrighteous. That, therefore, whidi merits wratli 
tad is ungodly, only endeavours • and avafls agmfvit 
grace, not far grtoe. 

But some one will here lau^ at the yawning, 
incdnsiderateness of LttAer, for n6t loo khig folly 
into the intention df Paul. Some one will say, that 
Pftul does not here speak of all inen^ nor of all their 
domgs ; but of those men cmly' who aire ungodly and 
miri^iteous, and who, as the words themselves describe 
lliem, ^^ hold the truth in unri^teousneds'; ** but that, 
it 'does not hence follow, ^t^men are the stfme. ' 

>i rfikl^e I tibs^e, that fo^tfak |m8si^^ 
riiKUNiflif(HTagidn8t ^allctui^iDdliiiess (tf non " m^ci ikt 
jilioa iBtpoft, as if yoiyisAiQuldsKy9--^«gaiBrt lUe.aigMl^ 
^ti6ea«iof all men. For Paxd; in ialknoftt att these ^ 
stances, uses a Hebraism : so that, the 9iia»kB^*iMSL 
men are ungodly and unrighteous, and hold the truth 
ix^i c jijfp;jglH6ou»)e8i r; ^ and tbei:«fo]^^ aH Idoidrit > wtath. 
^(^0^, in the Gi^^ time i» no t^tiatwe whkkia^ 
^ Dcrtidered/ ^ of those ^6/ but lin €artide^ eamsiiig 
Itl^; 3^ise tOTiiA thus, >^ The wirath'Of God is wvacdod 
^iwn ho^en ^gainsl all uhgodlhusss. and unri^ti^oiis*^ 
ness of men, holding the truth in unri^ileoiisness;'' 
^Qifihat tfais^jKiay beitttk^ as an ^thet, as k were, 
*ppliwWe. til aU men. as j'ihoWing the truth in un- 
righ^8<yui^ei9s.:/;;i«v)ea as it id an epithet whereritTil 
8i^y /^Our j^th^ T^4ii<^hiiarti in heaven:'*/ winch 
m^t in otl^(5i^ words be expressed thus.: Our •hear 
ve^Iy Father; w Our Father in '. h^yai. For ;it is 
^ ei^preiss^ to distinguish those . \ ^ho 'belike and 
jfear^God. .•■•;:-. ;i!*/ .'■"•. -v. 

ii JBut thesei! things might appear frivolous and ^iFais^ 
4jid not the very train of Paul's argument requira tjb^aa 
f»h^ so,und^food,rand pv^e them to be tiiie. For 
4i9. had said just befoi«, " IhajGrospel is the poww«lf 
God unto salvation to every one that believedii ttrthe 
J<ew fir$t iiml als<> /to the GMek.'^ These words are 
wwlyjifleatheriobscwiie or iambiguouS) ;"4o diei J^ 
^t ^ aldo toi iheGriceki 'V^at is^ tl^ (Gos^iof 
the power of%^od ishnecessasy imtel aUtimi^ thal^ 
beUeving jn;it,ith^imig^t be saved from tJM wni^ 
Gotl r^v^ed. xBfctohenot then, I pray you^ wiri^Idei^ 
dar0s^> tbait ti%@^ JewsjwJbiOfexeelM in dri^rtaoiisne^yrn 
the Jkww^ of ijiady^aiiilittitbe power el'^'£rter9^^^ :fdre$ 


without differrace, Restitute wd in. need pC the power 
of God by which they might be saved, $uad who makes 
that power necessary unto them, consider that they 
ar^ all under wrath ? What men then will you pr^ 
tend to say are not under the wrath of God, when you 
are. thus compelled to believe, that the most exo^lleftt 
men in the world, the Jews and Greeks, were sp ? « 
And further, whom aEiong those Jews and Qfeejks 
themselves will you except^ when Paul subjects all 
of them, included in the same word ^ without difference, 
to the same sentence ? And are we to suppose that there 
were no men^ out of these two most exalted nations, 
who.^ aspired to what was meritoriously good ?' Were 
there none among them who thus aspired with all the 
powers of their Free-will ? Yet Paul makes no diSi- 
tinction on this account, he i^ncludes them all under 
wrath, and declares them all to be ungodly and un-* 
righteous. And are we not to believe that all the 
other apostles, e^h one according to the work he had 
to do, included all other nations under this wrath, in 
the same way of declaration ? 

Sect. CXXXVI.— Tms:pa8Sag€^,of Paul, there- 
fore, stands firmly and forcibly ur^l^ig-^tbat Free-will, 
eyen in its most exalted state, in jthe most exalted men, 
who were endowed with the law, righteousness, wis- 
dom, and all the virtues, waB ungodly and unrighteocusi, 
aif d merited the wrath of God ; or the argument of 
Pfml amovnts to nothing. And if it stand good, his 
division leaves no medium : for he makes those who 
believe the Gospel to be under the salvation, and all 
the rest to be und^ the wrath of God : he makes the 
believing to be righteous, and the unbelieving to be 


lihgodlj^, unrl^teotis, and ibder %rii*; ' PbT the 
^dl* that he mediis to say &' this :— The ti^tefoti^ 
ii^ of God is revealed in the Gospel, that itm^tt 
l^ by' faith. But God would be waiting in ' wjsddiBi, 
if hjB'^ould reveal rightebusness unto men/ when til^ 
dNfier knew it already or had * some afeeds^ of it thennf- 
selvds. Since, howeyer; he is not wanting in tdsdcM, 
llttd yet reveah tmto men the righteousness of sahrMJon, 
it is manifeist, that Free-will e^fen in the most exahed 
of men, not only has wrought, 'and can work no righ- 
teoutoess, but (k)es not even 'know what is ri^teous 
bfeibre Gorf.-^Unless you mean to siay, that the ri^ 
te^sness of Gt>d is hot revealed unto these moslt 
exalted of men, but to the most vile ! But the boast- 
ing of Paul is^ quite the contrary— that he is a debtor, 
both to the Jews and to the Greeks, to the wise atld 
to the unwise, to the Greeks and to the barfmriank ' 
Wherefore Paul, comprehending, in this pass^^, 
all men together in one mass, concludes tiiat &ey are 
all ungodly, unrighteous, and ignorant of the ri^xt^ 
ousness of faith: so far is it from possibility, that 
they can will or do any thing good. And this coii- 
chisioh is moreover confirmed from this : — ^that God 
reveals the righteousness of faith to them, as bdtig 
K>^ I i^orant ahd sitting in darkness : therefore, of them- 
selves^jthey^^k^ if they be ignorant of 

the ri^hte6Usnes(i of salvation, they are certainly uwScr 
^irath and da[mhatioh : nor cah they extricate them- 
selves therefrom, nor endeavour to extricate them- 
selves : for how can you endeavour, if you know nei- 
ther what you' are to endeavour after, nor in what 
Way, nor to what extent, you -are to endeavour ? 


: J" Sect CXXXVII. — With this conchislon both 
t^e thing itself < and experience agree. For shew m^ 
phe of the whole race of mankind, be he the most 
holy and most just of all men, into whose mind it ev^ 
caHie, that the way unto rtghteoustiess and salvation, 
was to believe in him who is both God and man, who 
died for the sins of men and rose again, and sitteth at 
the ri^t hand of God the Father, that he mi^t stiU 
that wrath of God the Father which Paul here say$ 
is revealed from heaven ? 

Look at the most eminent philosophers ! What 
ideas had they of God ! What have they left behind 
them in their writings concerning the wrath to come ! 
Look at the Jews instructed by so many wonders and 
so many successive prophets ! What did they think of 
this way of righteousness? They not only did not 
receive it, but so hated it, that no nation under 
heaven has more atrociously persecuted Christ, unto 
this day. And who would dare to say, that in so 
great a people, there was not one who cultivated Free- 
Tvill, and endeavoured with all its power? How comes 
it to pass, then, that they all endeavour in the directly 
opposite, and that that which was the most excellent 
in the most excellent men, not only did not follow 
this way of righteousness, not only did not know it, 
but even thrust it from them with the 'greatest hatred, 
and wished to away with it when it was published and 
revealed ? So much so, that Paul, 1 Cor. i., saith, this 
way was ^^ to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the 
Gentiles foolishness." 

Since, therefore, Paul speaks of the Jews and Gen- 
tiles without difference, and since it iii certain that the 


Jews and Gentiles compi?eheii.d the. priacipal nations 
Wider heaven, it is hence Gertain^ that Fre^iYiU Js 
nothing else than the great^t enemy torighteousiMf^ 
ffod the salvation of man ; for it is impossible^ bid: 
fkAt thiere must, have been some among the Jm^s 
I and Gentile Greeks who wrou^ and ^^ndeavoufod 
iprith aU the pQWi^s. ofi F^ee*will ; and yet, by all, that 
6ildeavonring> did noflaulg but carry on: a war. ageing 
grace.- ;■: ' ' ' ■ . I 

Do you therefore now ccnne forward and say, what 
JFree^wiU «an endeavour towards gpod, when goodness 
and righteousness themselves are a ^^ stiimbling-block'* 
unto |t^ and '^ foolishness." Nor can you say diat 
this applies to, some and not to €UL Paul speaks ,qf 
all without differencci where he says, " to the Jews a 
stumbling-block and to the Gentiles foolishness :" nor 
does he except any but believers. " To us, .{^Bilix he,) 
who are called, and saints, it is the power of God ai)4 
wisdom of God." He does not say to some Gentiles^ 
to some Jews; but plainly, to the Gentiles and to the 
Jews, who are * • not of us." Thus, by a manifest divi- 
9|(K>, separating the belif^ying .from, the un|;)€^eving, and 
living no medium whatever. And we ai^ now speakr 
ingo^ Gentiles as working without grace: to whom 
Paul saith, the righteousness of God is '-^ foolishness," 
Bfk^ they abhor it — ^This is that meritorious endeavour 
of Free-will towards good! 

Sect* CXXXVIII. — ^See, moreover^ wheth^ 
Paul himself does not particularize the most exalted 
among the Greeks, where he saith, that the wisest 
a^nong them ^^ became vain in .their imaginations, and 


tiieir foolish Iftsafft was ilBurkeiied;^Vdiat ^^theybe* 
eame wise in their own concciits:" that ib, by their 
isabtle disputations: 

Does he Aot here, I pray you, touch that, which 
was the most exidtdd and nibst excellent in th6 Greeks, 
when he idnchei^their^^^imaginationd ?" Por thesecbm- 
preheiMl their most sublitne mid exalted thou^tts. etnd 
dpinions ; which they considered^ as solid 'w^ydom; 
Bnt he calls thM th^ir wisdom, as wdkin othef placeii 
^< foolishness,'* te here " Vain imagination ;" trhich, 
hy its endeavouring, only bec^dne wtirsej'tffi^'dt 1^^ 
they worshipped, an idblrin ihelrf bwn darkened^ heakts, 
and proceeded to Aeother enonnitres; whieh hekft&r- 
)¥ards: enumerates.- t » '- 

If therefore, the most exalted and devoted ehdie^ 
voors and works in the most exalted of thb nations be 
evil and ungodly, What shall we think-of the rest, Who 
are, ajs it were, the connnonalty, and the vilest of the 
nations? Nor does Paul here make any difference 
between those who are the most exalted, for he con- 
demns all the devotedness of their wisdom, Without 
any respect of persons. Aiki if he coiidemn their 
very works and devoted endeavours, he /condemns 
those 'Who exert, them, even thotigh ;th€^ strive wilb 
all the powevs of Free-^will/ Their <modt exalted 
endeavour, I say, is declared to be evil-*Jhow :inuc!ll 
more then thie persons themselves who exert iti 

So also, just afterwards, ihe rejeqts the Jews, with- 
ont any difference, who are Jews *^ in the letter "ai^ *idt 
" in the spirit." *^ Thoii (saith he) honocnrestGod in the 
letter, and in the circameision." Again, ^' He is mt 
a Jew which is one outwardfy, bnt-heis a^ Jew whfeh' 
is ((me inwaikily/' ^ "... it 

r ■ t 



Whftt*c8tn«be more mamfegtthfliiif tUs ifiviisidil^^ 
tfrnAe? The Jew ootwardly, is a* transgieasdr ^ of dKi 
law! And how many Jews must we ^suppose 'Am 
wert^ without the faith^ who were men fiie most wise^ 
the midBt religious^ and the most honouraUe^ who 
aspired unto righteotisness aiidi tiiiffa widi all Af^ 
devotioo of endeavour?: Of these the ieipbstle coB'^ 
tinuidty bears testimony :—<that they had ^^a zeal of 
God,'- that they '^followed after righteousness," dmt 
they strove day and night to attam unto salvation, thstt 
tb^ lived ^^ Uameless :" and yet they are transgieasort 
of the law, becanse they are not Jews ^^ in the spirit,^ 
nay they determinately resist the ri^iteousness- cyf 
faith. What conclusion then remains to be drawn^ 
^ bat that^ Free*will is then the woi>st when^ it is the 
best; and that, the more it endeavours, the worse 
it becomes, tod the worse it is! The words are 
plain— the division is certain — ^nothing can be said 
against it. 

^ Sect. CXXXIX. — But let us hear Paul, who id 
his own interpreter. In the third chapter, drawing 
'up, as it were, a conclusion, he saith, " What then ? 
aie we better than they ? No, in no wise ; fen: we 
have before proved both Jews and Greeks that they 
are all under sin." • 

Where is now Free-will ! All, saith he, both 
Jews and Greeks are upder sin ! Are there any 
* tropes ' or * difficulties ' here ? What would the * iii^ 
vented interpretations' of the whole world do against 
diis all-clear sentence? He who, says "all," excepl^ 
none. And he who describes them i all as bemg 
" under sin," that is, the servants of sin, leaves themi 


DO d^pree.of good whatever* But where hft8 hcf given 
this proof that ^^ they are all,. both Jewjs and Gentilefti 
under sin?" Nowhere, but where I have ah^etdy 
fihewn: vk. i where he saith, ^^ The wrath of £rpd 
ii revealed from heaven against all ungodliness* and 
luiri^teousneds of men." This he proves to them 
afterwards fix)m experience : shewing them, that 
Joeing hated , of God, they were given up to so many 
vjce&j in order that they mi^t be convinced from the 
fruits .of their ungodliness, that they willed and did 
iiothing but evil. And then, he judges the Jews also 
9q[iarately ; where he saith, that the Jew ^^ in the letter/' 
is a transgressor of the law : which he proves, in like 
manner, from the fruits, and from experience : saying, 
/^f.Thou who declarest that a man should not steal, 
stealest thyself: thou who ahhorrest idols, oommittest 
sacrilege." Thus excepting none whatever, but those 
who are Jews " in the spirit." 

Sect. CXL. — But let us see how Paul proves his 
sentiments out of the holy scriptures : and whether 
t)ie passages which he adduces f are made tp have 
more force in Paul, than they have in their own 
places.' ^^ As it is written, (saith he,) There, ia IKHae 
n^teous, no not one. . There is none that, under- 
Btandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They 
aie all gone out of the way, they are all together 
kmcome unprofitable : there is none that doeth good, 
no, not one," &c. 

, Here let him that can, produce his ^ convenient 
interpretation,' invent * tropes,' and pretend that the 
woids ^ are ambiguous and obscure ! ' Let him that 
dises, defend Free-will ag^nst these damnable doc* 

tiiaes I Thesl wilt at once pvs up aV .andiiecaot^ 
and will myself become a confeawr leoid ^^^ 
Ft«e*-will. It is certain) that these won& apply rt$ 
allm^t: for the prophet intradoees God,. as ]mh 
ing' down ftx^ni heateo upon men and.pcotioimauq; 
lids' sentence upon them. So also Fsalm xiv^ ^' Goil 
looked down from -heavea/crpon idle dbildraa of .rnan^ 
to^ see a there Mseve any that did . umiiemtaDd atid skmk 
alberXjpod. But diey are all gone 6ut of the wa^^ 
&c. And that the Jews mi^ttnotmiagine diat Hub 
didnotapply to them,: hertake& diem by anddpatioiii 
and asserts^ that it 'affiled to Ihem most, particolarlry • 
saying,. ^^ We know that wlmt^things. soev^ the iaw 
saith, it saith to diem that, are underithe law;" And 
his 'intention is the ^same, wtiere^be saitki ^' To'th^ 
Jew first and also to Ibe GtasdL J' 

You hence hear, that all die ^ons cCmen^ all that 
are under the law, that is, die Gentiles as well as die 
Jews, are accounted before God ungodly ; not under* 
standing, not seeking after God, no, not even <me of 
lixem ; being all gcme out of the way and* become onprot- 
fitable. And surely, among all the-^^ children of qieni? 
and those who are^^ under the law," those must alsobe 
numbered who me die best tod most laudable, wfap 
aspit^ after that which is^ meritemotis and good, "widi 
all the powers of iVee-will ; and those also (tf whom 
the'Diaitribe boast9i^>ias having the sense and dertnn 
seeds of good imptented in thdm ;^r-.unless it means^to 
contend that they are the " children" of angds ! • . %. 

How then can diey endeavour towards good, who 
are all, widK>ut exception, ignorant of God^ ^ahd 
neither regard nor seek after God? How can they 
have a power able to i^tain unto good; who all, :Wilb<» 



tNt e^tceptiony decline froib good and become nttesi^ 
titipi^tcible ? Are hot the wdrds most deair ? And d$ 
l6dy not declare • tills,— ^that all men are ignorlmt <^ 
6od and despise God, and then, turn unto evil and 
l^«ec<)me Unprofitable nnto good ? For Paul is hot hime 
ijpeaking ofthd ignoranceof seeking food, or the con^ 
Mttipt of >money, but of the ignorance and contempt 
oft religion and (^godliness. And that ignorance and 
tcdntempt, most undoubtedly, are not in the ^ fle^,'' 
diat is, (as you ititer{)ret it,) *■ the ii^edor and grosser 
ttflfections,' but in the most exalted and most noble 
p6wers of man, in which righteousness, godliness, the 
knowledge and reverence of God^ ought to reign ; that 
is, in the reason and in the will ; and thus, in the very 
po!wer of Free-will, in the very seed of good; in that 
which is the most excellent m man ! ' •- 
-'•—Where are you now, friend Diatribe ! you who 
{)romi^ * that you would vfreeiy acknowleilge, that 
the most excellent faculty in man is " flesh," that is^ 
tjUigodly, if it should be proved fbom the scriptures?' 
:Acknowledge now, then, whai you hear, thai: the most 
excelleitt faculty in man is not only ungodly, but igno^ 
rant of God, existing in the contempt of God^ turned 
to evil^ and unableto tdm towards good. FmrfwUat is 
it to be " unrighteous,?^ but for the will, (which fe one 
ef-the most noble faculties in man^) to be unrighteous? 
What is it to understand nothing either of God or 
good, but for the reason (which is another of the most 
noUe faculties in man) to be-ignca-ant of God sind 
good, that is, to be blind to the . knowledgerfcrf godli-^ 
ness? What is it to be " gone out of the way,'^ and to 
have become unprofitable, but' fbr men ito have Jia 
power ^' one' sinj^ faculty, and: the teast' powers in 



ttdr moak noble &ctltie8,;t;Q t^im tttit6 gotod^ bnliOiily 
to tttni unto.evfl ! What is it not. to &ar Go(lj but*&^ 
tnen: to be in all their facultie3> and most of ri^ jn 
their noblest faculties, contenmerd of all the [tbings^Df 
Gaody of his words, his works, his laws, hisptmeplfi^ 
and his will ! What then can reasoii propose^ -tbatit 
ri^t, who is thus blind and i^orant ? What cm tfeie 
will choose that is good, which is thus fsnl-taji^mr 
potent? Nay, what can the will pursue, wheie the 
reason can propose nothing, but the darkness of its 
ownrfaUndness and ignorance ? And where the reaecm 
is thus erroneous^ and the will averse, what can tiie 
man either do or attempt, that is good ! • 

Sect CXLI. — ^ But perhaps some one may here 
sophistically observe-^though the will be gone out of 
the way, and the reason be ignorant, as to the perfec* 
tion of the act, yet the will can make some attempt^ 
and the reason can attain to some knowledge by its 
own powers; seeing that, we can attempt many 
tilings which we cannot perfect; and we are fame 
speaking, of the existence of a power, not of the per-? 
fection of the act. — ( i 

I answer : The words of the prophet comprehoid 
both tbi ^j and the jDote^er. For his saying, man seeks 
not God, is the dame as if he had said, man camM 
seek God: which you may collect fix)m tbi8.-T^If 
there were a power or ability in man to will good, it 
could not be, but that, as the motion of the divine 
omnipotence could not suffer it to remain actionlefl^ 
or to keep holiday, (as I before observed) it mu&t be 
moved forth into act in sonie men, at lea^ in some 
ooe man or other, stnd must be nlade manifest iiq^aa 


to^afiord an example. But this is not the case. For 
Grod looks down from heaven, and does tiot see even 
one who seeks after him, or attempts it. Wherefore 
it -follows, that that power is no where to be 
found, which attempts, or wills to attempt, to seek 
aH^ him ; and that all men *^ are gone oat o( the 

Moreover if Paul be not understood to speak at 
the same time of impotency, his disputation will 
amount to nothing. For PauFB whole design is, to 
make grace necessary unto all men. Whereas, if they 
could make some sort of beginning themselves^ grace 
would not be necessary. But now, since they cannot 
make that beginning, grace is necessary. Hence you 
seethat Free-will is by this passage utterly abolished, 
aiid nothing meritorious or good whatever left in 
man : seeing that, he is declared to be unrighteous, 
ignorant of God, a contemner of God, averse to God, 
and unprofitable in the si^t of God. And the words 
of the prophet are sufficiently forcible both in their 
own place, and in Paul who adduces them. 

N(Mr is it an inconsiderable assertion, when man 
is said to be ignorant of, and to despise Grod : for 
these are the fountain springs of all iniquities, the sink 
of all sins, and the hell of all evils. What evil is < there 
not, where there are i^orance and contempt of God? 
In a word, the whole kingdom of Satan in men, could 
not be defined in fewer or more expressive words than 
l^ saying-rHhey are ignorant of and despise God ! 
For there is^ unbelief, there is disobedience there is 
sacrilege, th^ is blasphemy against God, there is 
cruelty and a want of mercy towards our nei^bour, 
there is the Jove of; self in all the tiling bf God and 



man !-— IjEere.yDU have a description of the glofy and 
power of Free-will ! 

Sect CXLII. — Paul however proceedB, and 
testifies, that he now expressly speaks with referanoe 
'to aU men, and to those more especially who are the 
greatest and most exalted : saying, " that every inouth 
may be stopped, and all the world become gtiilty be- 
fore God : for by the works of the law khall no flesh 
»be>stified in his sight" 

How, I pray you, shall every mouth be stepped, 
if there be still a power remaining by which, we can 
.tlo something? For one mi^t then say to Grod — ^Iliat 
whi^ is here in the world is not altogether nothing. 
There is that here which you cannot damn: even 
that, to which you yourself gave the. power of doing 
.something. The mouth of this at leieist will not be 
sto{^)ed, for it cannot be obnoxious to you. -^ For if 
&ere be any sound power in Free-will, and it be able 
to do something, to say that the whole world is ob- 
noxious to, or guilty ^before God, is fedse ; for that 
power, whose mouth is not to be stopped, cannot be 
an inconsiderable thing, or a something in one small 
part of the world only, but a thing most conspicuous, 
and most general throughout the whole world. Or, if 
its mouth be to be stopped, then it must be obiioxious 
to, and guilty before God, together with the whole 
worid. Buthowtian it ri^tly be called guilty, if it 
be not unrighteous and ungodly; that is, meriting 

punishment and vengeance ? 

. Let your friends, I pray you, find out, by what 

f convenient interpretation ' that power of man is to 

be cleared from this charge of guilt) by which the 

vfM^ worjd is dedar^. guilty, fepl^,^ ^ 

ii[hat contrivance it i^ to be expep^fti j^ip Jpi^^ig 9^ 
pm^i^ded in tlie expri93sion ^^«U ^ woxW' T^^^li^ 
i^ordfr*-^*^ Th^ are.dll gom.out ^i tjjte way, th^r^ W 
wait nighteous, n0 . «ot ottf^" iPfe.Bas^ty t^ftde?^ 
obpB.and nving thUnderrboHs ; th^ycfon^ iftt ma^Rty 
that hammer braking, the toctk, in. pi^c^: piwjlRpagd 
by Jisremiah; by iwJe^ iakokffi lu^ pi^e^ ayi^ryH^hiig 
thai ia^' iiQt in OQiamaA €8%,^^ i^ sqftm }9PIP^ fPfil^lll 
a pmt o(i mto, but in i th^' Fhfriifr; W)rWy*9^flP9i<«M» 
being ««eej^«d: so thi^t thfefitfefilej^fliW^iWgbfc^^ 
those^-troidsi, to^ tsrembW'.td feftr^iM«i^lR)%0'«Wi^ 
For whfit words £pioif)9i4^'Mul ovftiaifful; icould be nt^x^ 
thate/tfaeMTrrrThp whole ^^piid is guilty jaUtb^r^cNM 
of men ajK tinrn^d out of th? fi^ay* and beGoatfi wit 
IMofitabki') t]|e)« is no. one th^ fears G^ivtJwe is 
naone that is not unri^teou^; ;/t;h^!):<^i»)^rfm^.4«^ 
understaadeth ; thece is no one tbaVi|e^]f^i9i^ Qqd I 

Nevertheless, sinch ever has been^ and: ptill is^ tb^ 
hardness and insensible: ob^fjnf^ of pur h^^arts^ th^l: 
we nevear should ofiOursdfes hear or feel tHieforc^f^ 
these thunderrota^ft <»? tbunjcter-bftlts, buJHfbiPBWi'eyflf 
while th^ wew pwnding j© qmx 9ars, ie?c§i^ a^ ^t^t- 
hli£^ Free-willi with aU it? ppw§n5 mAf^mcQ^ U)tWA> 
and thus in reality fiiliil that of Malachi 4^^'' They 
builds but I will thrpW' down L" v> . 

With the same pQw^ Of-i^^s lalio is tbifis mdyry 
'f By the deeds of the ifw ishaU nQ)|^.bei)isMSfl^ 
» bis si^t"—-" By; the dfidds^-of thft tew " iis a fijsw*- 
ble expression ? a« is jgteo U»Si ; "!Th» whole fW<^>:.'' 
and this; '^ M th^ dijilcteen ftf mfite*'. rJPor itfi%|i» j;^ 

y 2 


hb mi^t comprehend all personSy and wfaatetar itt 
diem is most excellent. Whereas, if he had said the 
commonalty of the Jews, or the Pharisees, or certain 
of tlie ungodly, are not justified, he might have seemed 
to leave some excepted, who, from the power of Fte^ 
will in them, and by a certain aid from the law, wwe 
not altogether unprofitable. But now, when he con- 
demns die works of the law th^nselves^ and makes 
them unrighteous in the si^t of God, it becomes ma-^ 
nifest, that he condemns alt who were mi^ty in a de- 
voted observance of the law and of woriut. And none 
dpvdtedly observed the law and works but the best 
ajDid most excellent among them, nor did they thus 
observe them but with their best and most exaltad 
facnlties ; that is, their reason ismd their will* 

If therefore, those, who exercised themselves in llie 
observance of the law and of works with all the devoted 
striving and endeavouring both of reason and of will, 
that is, with all the power of Free-will, and who were 
assisted'by the law as a divme aid, "and were inslrocted 
out of it, and roused to exertion by it ; if, I siiy; these 
are condemned of impiety because they are not josti^ 
fiedj axiA are dedared to be flesh in the si^t of God, 
what then will th^e be left in the whole race of man- 
kind which is not flesh, and which is not tmgodly P 
For all are condemned alike who are of the woAb 
of the law: and whether diey exercise Aiemselves in 
the law with the utmost devotion, or moderate de- 
votion, or with no devotion at all, it matters nothing. 
None 6f them eotdd do any thing "but woric die worics 
ef the law, and the works of the law do not jostify : 
and if they do hot justify, they prove thrir wOTknMi 
tb be ungodly, and leave them so : and if they be 


ungodly^ diey are guii^ and merit tbe^wm^ x^ God( 
Theje things are so clear, that no one can open his 
moiith against th^n. 
*.. ■ • ' . , ' " 

• Sect. CXLIII.-T-BuT many elude and evade 
Paul, by saying, that he here calls* the ceremonial 
woirks, works of the law; which works, after the 
deiillx of Christ, were dead. 

I answer: This is that notable error and igno« 
ranee of Jerom ; which, although Augustine strena«» 
ously resisted it, yet, by the withdrawing of God and 
the prevailing of ^tan, has found its way throu^out 
tlie worid, and has continued down to this day. By 
means of which, it has come to pass, that it has be^i 
impossible t6 understand Paul, and the knowledge of 
Christ has, ccmsequently, be^i obscured. Th^nefore, 
if there had been no other error in the church, Ais 
one mi^t have been sufficiently pestilent and power- 
ful, to destroy the Gospel : for which, Jerom, if peculiar 
grace did not interpose, has deserved hell rath^ than 
heaven : so far am I from daring -to canonize him^ 
or call him a saint ! But however, it is not trudi 
that Paul is here speaking of the ceremonial Vorks 
only: for if that be case, how will his argoment stand 
good, whereby he concludes, that all are unrighteous 
and need grace? But periiaps' you will say — Be it 
80, that we are not justified by the ceremonial works, 
yet one might be justified by. the moral works of the 
decblogue. By this syllogism of yours then, you have 
pixyved, that to such, grace is not necessary. If tins 
be the case, how very usefiil must that grace be, 
which delivers us from the ceremonial worios only, 


llioSbitiestrQf aIi'W6rkS|, which liny be ext6rted ^rooi 
litf limmgh mere fear t)r setf-tbve! 

And this, moreover,* is erroneous — ^tfant ceiemdiiiftl 
woriks are dead and unlawful, since the death of Christ. 
Paid never said any such thing. He stCy^y thst they 
UdrittoC justify^ and that they profit th^ man nothilhg 
in V the tight t)f God, so .as to make him free from 
unrighteousness. Holding this truth, an)^ tee may 
4d J^ein^ and yet do nothing that is anlawfiil. Thus, 
torest and. to drink axe works, which do mrt justify gt 
. heeommendus toGod; and yet, he who eats aad drinks 
tloe^'iiot^ therefore, do that which is mdawfiil. 
\. l^ese '*m«i err also ' in- this. — rllie ceremoniai 
teorkSy were as muck commanded tod exacted in tibe 
iE}ld:}aw, flffiid in the decalc^e, as the mdral works: 
iDEid tiierefoie, the 'latter had neither more nw lAss 
fiirte than the former. For Paul is here speaking, 
•pimcipally^ to the Jews, as he saith Rom. i; : where- 
f om, let no one doubt, that by the works of the 'law 
hete, all the works of die whole law are to be un^r- 

)jrtdod. iFor if the hew be abrogated and dead^ they 
ittmttot be called the works of the law ; fbc an' aforo- 
^leled or 'dead law, is no longer a law ; andihat Paul 
Iddi^ ^fiiU well. Therefore, li^e does not speak of the 
law>ldbit>gated, when he speaks of the works of the 
law^ibut of the law in loarce luid authcmty : otiierwiae, 
Imw 'easyiwonld dt have Jbeen for him tO/sgy, Tbe 
iaw is-now abrogated? And then, he would have 
ispoken openly and clearly. / > 

But let us bring forward Paul himself, who is liie 
best interprets of himself. He saith. Gal. iii.^ ^ As 
numy as are of the works of the law, are under ^ the 


eurse : for at is writtat, CBiBed u^eveiy ooe that coa^^ 
tinueth not in all things, wkidi are written in the book 
of the law, to do them." You see that Paul here, 
where he is urging the same point as he is in his 
epistle to the Romans, and in the same wi^rds,' 
speaks, wherever he makes mention of the works 0I 
the law, of all the laws thatare written in the book 
of theJaw. 

And what is still more worthy of r^nark^ Paul 
himself cites Moses, who curses those that continue 
wA in the law ; whereas, he himself curses those who 
are of &e works of the law ; thus adducing a testi* 
Qiony of a d^erent scope from that of his own senti- 
ment; the former being in the negative, the latter. in 
the afiirmative. But this he does, because the real 
state of the case is such in the sight of God, that 
those who are the most devoted to the works of <the 
law, are the farthest from fulfilling the law, as bdng 
without the Spirit, who only is the fulfiller of the law; 
which such may attempt to fulfil by their own powers, 
but they Mill effect nothing after all. Wherefore, both 
declarations are truth — that of Moses, that they are 
accursed who continue not in the works of the law; 
and that of Paul, that they are accursed who are 4tf 
the works of the law. For both diaracters of persons 
require the Spirit, without which, the works of the 
law, how. many and- excellent soever they may be, 
justify not, as Paul saith ; wherefore neither charact^ 
of persons contintic in all things that are written, as 
Moses saith. 

Sect. CXLIV. — In a word : Paul by this divi- 
sion of his, fully confirms that which I maintain. For 


he divides' iaw-workiDg ' men into two clasi^, '^boid 
who work after the spirit, and^ those who Work :«lter 
the flesh, leaving no mediuin ' whatever. : lie speaks 
thus : ^^ By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be jus^r 
tifi^/' What is this but saying, that those wliose 
works, [M'ofit them not, work, the works of< t^ kw 
without the Spirit, as beii^ themselves flesh ; that'isy' 
unrighteous and ignorant of God. So, Gal. iii., makin|[^ 
the same division, he saith, ^^ received ye the Spirit 
by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?" 
Again Rom. iii, '^ but now, the ri^teousness of Giod 
is manifest without the law." And again Rom. iii. 
/* We conclude, therefore, that a man is justified -by 
faith without the works of the law." 

From all which it is manifest and clear, that in 
Paul, the Spirit is set in opposition to the works of the 
law, as well as to all other things which are not 
spiritual, including all the powers of, and every thing 
pertaining to the flesh. So that, the meaning of Paul^ 
is evidently the same as that of Christ, John iii., tbat 
every thing which is not of the Spirit is flesh, be it 
never so specious, holy and great, nay, be they w<»k& 
of the divine law the most excellent, and wrought by 
aU the powers imaginable ; for the Spirit of Christ is 
wanting ; without which, all things are nothing short 
of being damnable. 

Let it then be a isettled point, that Paul, by the 
works of the law, means not the ceremonial worki^ 
but the works of the whole law ; then, this will be a 
settled point also, that in the works of the law, every 
thing is condemned that is without the Spirit. And 
without the Spirit, is that power of Free-will, (for 
that is the point in dispute,) — that most exalted 


frcuity in man I For, to be ^^ of the works of the law," 
b ihe most exalted state in which man can be. The 
apostle, therefore, does not say, who, are of sins, and 
of ungodliness against the law, but who are " of the 
works of the law ; " that is, who are the best of men, 
and the most devoted to the law : and who are, in ad- 
dition to the power of Free-will, even assisted, that 
16) instructed and roused into action, by the law 

If therefore Free-will assisted by the law and exer- 
cising all its powers in the law, profit nothing and 
justify not, but be left in sin and in the flesh, what 
must we suppose it able to do, when left to itself 
without the law ! 

" By the law (saith Paul) is the knowledge of sin." 
Here he shews how much, and how far the law pro- 
fits : — ^that Free-will is of itself so blind, that it does 
not even know what is sin, but has need of the law 
for its teacher. And what can that man do towards 
taking away sin, who does not even know what is sin ? 
All that he can do, is, to mistake that which is sin for 
that which is no sin, and that which is no sin for that 
which is sin. And this, (experience sufficiently proves. 
How does the world, by the medium of those whom 
it accounts the most excellent and the most devoted 
to righteousness and piety, hate and piersecute the 
righteousness of God preached in the Gospel, and 
brand it with the name of heresy, error, and every op- 
probrious appellation, while it boasts of and sets forth 
its own works and devices, which are really sin and 
error, as righteousness and wisdom ?. By this scrip- 
ture, therefore, Paul stops the mouth of Fijee-will 
wh^e he teaches, that by the law ks sin is discovered 


unto it, of ii4iich sin it was before ignoMalf; «o. fittrfi 
he from conceding to it any power whatever- to ai^ 
teinpt that which is good. 

■.!.«■ » 

Sect. CXLV. — And here is solved that question 
of the Diatribe so often repeated throughout its book 
— ^" if we can do nothing, to what purpose are so 
many laws, so many precepts, so many threatoiings, 
and so many promises ?" — 

Paul here gives an answer : " By the law is the 
knowledge of sin." His answer is far difierent fran 
that which would enter the thoughts of man, or of 
Free-will. He does not say, by the law is proved 
Free-will, because it co-operates with it unto ri^te- 
ousness. For righteousness is not by the law, but, " by 
the law is the knowledge of sin : " seeing that, Ae 
effect, the work, and the office of the law, is to be a 
light to the ignorant and the blind ; such a light, as 
discovers to them disease, sin, evil,-death, hell, and the 
wrath of God ; though it does not deliver fixim these, 
T)ut shews them only. And when a man is thus 
brought to a knowledge of the disease of sin, he is 
cast down, is afflicted, nay despairs : the law does not 
help him, much less can he help himself. Another 
light is necessary, which might discover to him the 
remedy. This is the voice of the Grospel, revealing 
Christ as the Deliverer from all these evils. Neither 
Free-will nor reason can discover him. And how 
should it discover him, when it is itself dark and 
devoid even of the light of the law, which might dis- 
cover to it its disease, which disease, in its own li^t 
it seeth not, but believes it to be sound health. 

So also in Galatians, iii., treating on the sam 


jtoiftl, he saitfa, "^ Wh»rdSMPe ' tiiett ■ serveth tlie hew ^ " 
To which he answers, hot >as tiie Diatr^ does, iii a 
ufay that proves the existeiice of Eree-wilJ, but he 
dailh, ^' it was added because of transgressions, until 
tfae seed should come, to whom the promise was 
miilde." Hesai&, ^^ bei^auseoftrHnsgressioiis;" not, 
kew^ref) to resila^in them, as J^rom dreams ; (for 
Paul shews, that to take «i!Way and to > Yestndn ms, 
by the gift of righteousness, was that which waa pro- 
mised to the seed to come ;) but to cause transgres- 
wms to abound, ^as hesaith Rom. v., ^'^^het&w en- 
tered ^t sin might abdttnd." Nirt tlhat sins^rwbre not 
tfommitted atid did not^boimd wtdvoat the 4aw^ but 
tliey were not known to iie tlunsgressioM^ and sins of 
such -magnittide ; f6r the m}>st%nd* gi^tetest of them, 
were considered to -be ri^heteoitsnesses. (And while 
iins are thus unknown, there is 116 ({Aaoe for ? remedy, 
or- for hope; because, they will not submit tothe hand 
of the healer, considering themsdves to be whole, 
aad not to waiit a physidan. Thereft»re, the law is 
necessary, which m^hVglve the knowledge- of sin ; in 
order that, he who is proud and whole in hisi own 
eyes, being humbled down into the 'knowledge of the 
faiqaity and greatness of his sin, might grioan -and 
breath rafter the grace that is laid 'Up in Chmt, 

Only observe, therefore,' the simplicity ^of the 
words — " By th6 law is the knowledge of sin ;" >and 
yet, these alone are of forci^ sufficient to confound and 
overthrow Free-will altogether. For if it be true, that 
6f itself, it knows not what is sin, Imd whal in evil, as 
the apostle saith here, arid Rom. vii.,- ^ I should not 
have known that 'ccmcupisce^icie was sin, except the 
hm had said, Ibm i»halt ti6t 4X)veti'''bow can it ever 

know what is r^teoasness and good? iladJCidk 
know not what righteousness is, how can it eadet^ 
▼our to attain unto it ? We know not the sin in which 
we were bom, in which we live, in which we moveaod 
exist, and which lives, moves, and reigns in us ; how 
then should we know that righteousness whidi is .with- 
out us, and which reigns in heaven? These wwks 
bring that miserable thing Free-will to notfaingr-* 
nothing at all ! 

Sect. CXLVI.— The state of the case, (hevefoie, 
being thus, Paul speaks openly with full confidence 
and authority, saying, '^ But now the ri^teousness o£ 
God is manifest without the law, being witnessed by 
the law and the prophets ; even the ri^tecmsness of 
God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and 
upon all them that believe in him : (for there is no 
difference, for all have sinned and are without the 
glory of God:) being justified fireely by his grace 
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus : Whom 
God hath set forth to be a propitiation for sin, throu^ 
faith in his blood, &c," ^ . 

Here Paul speaks forth very thunder-bolts against 
Free-will. First, he saith, " The righteousness of God 
without the law is manifested." Here he marks the 
distinction between the righteousness of God, and the 
righteousness of the law : because, the righteousness 
of faith comes by grace, without the law« His sayii^ 
^^ without the law, " can mean nothing else, but that 
Christian righteousness exists, without the works c£ 
the law : inasmuch as the works of the law avail no«: 
thing, and can do nothing, toward the attainment unto 
it As h§ aftenvar^s saith, ^' Therefore we conclude 



llMit a man is justified by fkith without the deeds <^ 
ihe law.'' The same also he had said before, " By 
the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in 
his sight." 

From all which it is most clearly manifest, that 
the endeavour and desire of Free*will are a nothing at 
iifi. For if the righteousness of God exist without the 1 
law, and without the works of the law, how shall it 
not much rather exist without Free-will ! especially, 
dlnce the most devoted effort of Free-will is, to exer- | 
cise itself in moral righteousness, or the works of that 
kcw, from which its blindness and impotency derive 
their * assistance ! ' This word ** without," therefore^ 
aibblishes all moral works, abolishes. all moral righte- 
dusfiess, abolishes all preparlLtions' unto grace. In a 
word, scrape together every thiiig you can ad that 
which pertains to the ability, of Free-will, and Paul 
will still stand invincible saying, — the righteousness ^ 
of God is "without" it! 

t But, to grant that Ftee-^will can, by its endear 
' vour, move itself in some direction, we will say, 
nhto good works, or unto the righteousness of the civil i 
or morel law; yet, it is not moved toward the ri^- f 
teousness of Gbd, nor dobs God in any respect^allow 
ifeB devoted efl^rts to be worthy unto the attainment 
qf'tfiis righteousness : for he saith, that his righteous* 
mtss availeth without the works of the law. If there- 
fore, it cannot move itself unto the attainment of the 
:ij^teousness of God^ what will it be profited, if it 
move itself by its own works and endeavours, unto the 
AtlBUHnent of (if it were possible) the righteousness of 
angds 1 Here, I presume, the words are not ' ob- 
scaie or -ambiguous,' nor is any place left for ^tropes' 




0f any kiiid Heve Paul dis^guis^esi mo^ vmalk 
^tly the two righteousniessa^.; aaaigniiig th^ iQpe^/to 
Ahe lawv the other to grace; ami declares tlbut -l^ 
latter is given without the fortner, and wil^fp^t ^ 
w<^k$; and diat the fonper jastifi0anott qpr airails 
aiiy thing, without th#; latter. I sboukl. liki^r to aff^ 
theve£<%e) how FroerwiU cmi stan^f or. be defended^ 
lagainst the^ scri|itwes ! 

( ■ /ir 

Sect, CXLVJL — Another thunder^lx^tiifl^ tiWs 

-r^Hie apostle saith, that the righteoHsneasi e^. Gq^I is 

'manifested and avails, ^^unto all and upobaU^thevi thcit 

betteve^' in Ghri&t: and that, ^%^re \% j^^SiS^smxi^r^ 

Heiie^tagain^hfii divide^ in the d^^ ^ 

whole race of men into twQi d^tanct dhitoco^. Dajdie 

^believing he gives the righteousnUds o£GodifhiittiJk»s 

ait from the unbelieving., iNow/ no om^ I aa|tifiebe, 

will be iDi^dman.enou^ to ddubt^ whe^tel^ oriftotijtlie 

power or endeavour of Fre^-witl be a 9ome#itiig that 

^ WkX faith, in Chri^ Jesvs. : Paul then ^v^ that 

any thing which ia «(H ^ &ith, ii «tghteou9 bt^o^ 

^ L^ iGiod. .Andif it be liptri^teou^ before God, itKimt 

,» ^' V f be sip. I Foi; there is with fG^A i^©:^i^d&«hl >brtween 

ftgbtem«ie3s and sin, iwhich can 'be \^ )kyfm^ii 

I M^Mfeft^^neitber righteousness nor sin. Othei^^ thie 

.whole ai^gtwient of Paul w<>uld amiount tginQtilll^: 

fer it proceeds 'wholly upon this distind d^KWCHeiFrr- 

i^t whatsv^ 110 done axMi tsamd on ksy^ meiiy jBpmt 

be in iS^ sigl^ o£ God, eithieir irighteoiiilH^ess Qi? iift : 

'fighteoi:isiiess, if dwe in fiath; sin, if Ikitb ha iii^antjuQig. 

With men, iiideed,^ things p»fi^ tjtu^v-n^U'oan&s iu 

. wJiiich men, m their iniarcoufaa wifhieadbtidtiier; mitdier 

0w« ;any thing M;^ dfte, nor dp Any jthiing w n^feae 


hen^^tf^ are called medium and neuter. But heie the 
ungCMJlly^ mai^, i^n3' against. God, wither he eat, or 
whetb^ he driiikvor whatever he do; because, he 
abuses dpie creature of God by his ungodliness and 
p^rpetiial ifigratitude, and does not^ at any one ino*^ 
oMnt^ give glory >to Grod frcnn his heart. 


. I ,Sect. CXLVIII.- — ^This also, is no powerless 
thbnder-boit where the apostle says, " All have sinned 
ap4 are without the glory of God : for there is no 
difference.'' ,. . t .. 

, What,, I p]:ay you,, could be spoken more clearly ? 
Produce OQ^ of your Free-i^l-worJonen, and say to 
me-— does t^^miiti sin^ in this his endeavour? If he 
does^not sin, ^hy does not Paul except hfan? Why 
does he include him alsO without difference ? Siirdy 
he that saith ^^ ajl^" excepts no one in sbfy {dace^ ai 
fjny tkne^ in any worlc or endeavour. If therefore you 
except any maii, for any kind of devoted desire or 
work, you make Paul a liar; because he inchides 
that Free-mil-workman or striver, among all the riest^ 
aq4 in all that he saith concemii^ them ; whereas^ 
Pa^ shott^ l^ve had some r^qf)ect for, this person^ 
acid not have numbered him among the generdl herd 

of sinners! 

ISiere is also that part, where he saith, that they 
mc^ " wkhout the glory of God.". 

. You/ mfty un^stand ; " the glory df God '' here 
two ways, actively and pa^imhf. For Paul writes thus 
from^ his, frequent use oi Hebraismsw ^' The. ^ry of 
Gpd|" uodet^tood actively, is that glory by which Gt>d 
g)pi9(^;ili <iss ; understood passively, it is that ^xfhjf 
wlil^^ l^ory-in Godi But jjt eeems to iBie propier^ 


to understand it now, passively. So^ '^ tiie fiutfi «^ 
Christ," is, according to the laatin, the fiuth y/vtdSsH 
Christ has; but^ according to the Hebrew, ^^ the fiullt 
of Christ," is the faith which we have in Christ So^ 
also, ^^ the righteousness of God," ^gnifiesi accordinglo 
the Latin, the righteousness which God has; but alev 
cording to the Hebrews, it signifies the righteousness 
whidi we have from God and before God. Thus alao: 
": the glory of God," we understand according to the 
Latin, not according to the Hebrew ; and receive it as 
signifying, the glory which we have from Grod and 
before God ; which may be called^ our glory in God* 
And that man glories in God who knows, to a cer- 
tainty, that God has a favour unto him, and deigns to > 
look upon him with kind regard ; and that, whatevw 
he does pleases God, and what does not pleaise him, 
is borne with by him and pardoned. 

If therefore, the endeavour or desire of Free-wiH 
be not sin, but good before God, it can certainly 
^ry ; and in that glorying, say with confideice, — ' 
This pleases God,* God favours this, Gt)d looks xrpon 
and accepts this, or at least, bears with it and pardons^ 
it. For this is the glorying of the faithful in Gtxi raiicl 
they that have not this, are rather confounded before 
God. But Paul here denies that these men have this ; 
saying, that they are all entirely without this gloiy. . 

This also experience itself proves. —• Put ' die. 
question to all the exercisers of Free-^-will to a man, 
and see if you can shew me one, whacan honestly, 
and from his heart, say of any one of his devoted cf- . 
forts and endeavours,--^This {deases God ! If you can 
bring forward a single one, I am • ready to acknoww 
ledge myself overthrown, and to cede toyou the palm* 

But^Iflcnow there is not: erne to be^£raIl(i'rlAIidiif this 
^my be wanting, so ilimt'the<cotii8cie&Ge cbtresiidtffauji^ 
to & certainty, and ivith confidaiee^^^^ithis t piecUM 
Ood^'it is certain that it does not pleaee God. For aa 
a^man believes, so it is unto himf: Jbeoause, he deos 
nol^ fto a certain^, believe ^ that Ik 'pleases^ Grod^ 
which,' nevertheless, it is necessaryto beKeve; iiwilf^ 
doubt of the favour of God, is die very sta itself of mw 
bdief; because, he will have it believed :with tiue niosi 
assurmg faith that he is fiivourable. Therefore^: If havd 
convinced them upon the testimony of their own ceiOK 
science, that Free-will, being ^^ without thel^ory of 
God," is, with all its pow^s, its devoted strivings and 
endeavours, perpetually under the guilt of the sin^of 
unbdief. ; t 

f And what will the advocates of Free-will say to 
that which follows, ^^ being justified freely by his 
grace ?" What is the meaning of the word *^ freely ?" 
What is the meaning of " by his grace ? ** How will 
merit, and endeavour, accord ^th freely-given righ* 
teousness ? But, perhaps, they will here say — ^that 
they attribute to Free-will a very little indeed^ and 
that which is by no means the ^ merit of worthiness ' 
(meritum condigfmm!) These, hbweva*, are =<i^re 
emply words : for all that is sought for in the 4^« 
fence of Free-will, is to make place for merit, l^is j^ 
manifest: for the Diatribe has, throughout,' argued 
and expostulated thus, << 

— " If there be no freedom of will, how can there 
be place for merit? And if tha« be no place for 
merit, how can there be place for reward ? To whom 
will the reward be assigned, if justification be without 
'mciSt?"r— • '■ ■ 


\> '. t 


iii Paul here givesyoift im answen-^lUat tliMeiitf att 
imdi dung as merit at all ; bot thai all tiiwaMJEBfet^ 
fied am justified ^^ freely ;'' rdmt this is atenbeditoi iM 
one but to ^ grace of Godl-^And vikea iOA^Af^am^ 
oraness is given, the. kingdom dand life^^dBtnaLiavB 
ghren with it j Where is your endeavooring. tuomB 
Where is your devoted effort'? Whemmmiyaim 
works ? -Where are .your merits of Eree^wiU ? Wiuon 
is the profit of th^n all put toother? Yon cannot 
here make, as a pretence, ■ ohscurify and taolbigat^ v' 
^fetctsaud the works ate most dear aivd most {ribdn^ 
But be it so, that they attribute to Free-will , a ^vuy 
littte indeed, yet they teachus diat by that very Uttte 
t^ can attain unto righteousness and j^ce. Nor.A> 
they solve that question, Why does Godjmtify Mb md 
leave another? in any oth«r w^, than by aasMing 
die freedom of the moU, and sayings Because^ the mi 
endeavours and the other does not: and God regards 
the one for Ms endeavoUrmg'y andde^es the oA^rf&r 
his not endeavouring; lest^^df he did ^hcrwi^'^im 
should ojp/pear to he uffpist. '. ^-h^.^a'.' 

And notwithstanding all their pretence, b^tb by 
their tongue and pen, that they ick> not ^rafess^fto 
attain unto grace by ^ the merit of wottluness ^{meri-^ 
turn condignum) npr call it (be merit of wmtfainefii^ 
yet diey only mock us with A term, and hold fasttheilr 
tenet aU the whiles Por what is the amount of titoil 
pretence that they do not call it * liie merit of worti» 
ness, 'if nev^theless they assign unto it all ^ that be-, 
lon^to the merit of worthiness ?-— saying, that he in 
the sight of God^attains unto grace who endeavomi^ 
ftnd he who^^oes not endeayoiir,. does not attain' unto 
it? Is ^s not plainly making it to be the m^t ef 


^rortfainess?. Is it not making G<kl a fespectec i6£ 
woricB, of merits, and of persons^ to say that one maw 
is derfoid of grace from his ownr fimlt^ because he did; 
not endeavour after it, but that anodier, because hr 
did endeavour afber ilv hasjattaJM^d nnla^ gmce^ut^ 
wbkdirheiHKroiild.]K^ haiire itttaaned, if he hed^BDl enfo 
dM^uied after it: ? ! If ithis/h^ not ^ite merit ei^iNHt 
thiw3 i a% btfietii I ^oukl like toiiein^tbrHiediWhat itit 
tfaaik isvcailed > the ikietit of wovthinessiJ rj > > . .<. j Ixm 
^Int ;this wuy lyou may i^anfddi}' gonie iof! mdekea^ 
upoiiiatt words f and say^iitis^ndt^indoedstho ntsritlofr 
woftUness, Jinit isin e£feclldE» same.asli|e< limes^ 
w0rtiiines8/-^The ^^orn is not if bad tr^, but isiK 
ofiecti the state as a bad tree !— ^The fig is not a*g6ad 
tree, but is in e&ct the same as a* good tree! -^-^Th^ 
IMBtrifae i» nbt, indeed, impious, but sajfs ^eUd does 
nothing! but what is impious?! '^> . s -to t; urr 

Sect CXOLflX.-^lT has liappened td dfteser aa»f 
scrtois of Free-will: according ittK the 61d prdverioir 
^ Striviag dire Scylla'd rock to shidi, they -gainst Chan 
rybdis headlong nm/ For devotedly striving to disseiil 
bom &e Pelagians, diey begin ,to deny. die '^ merit r^ 
woflhinessi; ' whereas^ by <tfas ireiy wwj^ ^Udhr^lhjey 
denyiit, they estabhsli it mtiire ftrmly'dlmitvBri: ^Th^ 
dcnyr it l)y> their li^Mrd <dnd« pei^; bat esitdMii^ it a.j^ 
mi^y, and in heart-sentiiiflcntr andithtu^ th^:lafd 
worse than the Pelagians diemselvesr and that, mi 
two accounts. Fiiist^ the Pelagians^ plainly, candidly; 
and ingenuously^ asMrt tbri' ineritictf .wortUneairf ' 
tlua 4saliing^ ar boiU} ia i^^ 
ingi'wfaaittfal^fieally' think lli%e»eaiiM out Fvtte^i^ 


iiieiidB, while the^ tfamk and teacb^ the sUM'ihlttg, 
yet mock us widi^ lying iwords and idMiappdurai^^ 
as though they dissented from the Peht^ans ; when^flie 
fitet is quite the ; contrary. 'So that; with raqpect to 
their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians' stmngeat. 
q[>posers, but with respect to the reidity of the matter,* 
and their hearts-tenet, they are twice-dipped Fda- 
gians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estiuMte 
and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rale 
than the Pdagians them^lves. r For these asisert, that 
it is not a certain little somediing in us by which we 
attain unto grace, but whole, full, . perfect, ^^'eat^ and 
many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our fmnds 
declare, that it is a certain little something' aliiMMt 
a nothing, by which we deserve grace. '^ . 

If therefore there must be error, they err with 
more h(Hiesty and less pride, who say, that the gmce 
of God is purchased at a great price, and who account 
it dear and precious, than those who teach, that it 
may be purchased at that which is very little,- and ibir 
considerable, and who account it cheap and contedip- 
tihle. But however, Paul-pounds both in pieces in aae 
mortar, byiidne word, where he saith, that itll are 
^f justified freely ; -' and again that they are jusfified 
*.* without the Law'- and " without the works, of the 
hnw;" And he who asserts that the justification most 
be free in all who are iustified, leaves none excenfeed 
v^o. work, deserve, or prepare; themselves ; he leaves 
90 work whidi can be called ^ merit of congntit^ ' or 
^ merit of worthiness ; ' and by the one huiiing of this 
tliondfer^bolt, he dashes in pieces both the Pelagiaifs 
Irith dieir ^ whole merit," and the sophists widi their 


* very little merits' rFor a free justificatkm allows* of 
na workmen : becaofiev a free gift, and a work-prepAh 
tation^ are manifestly in opposition to each other. 

Moreover, the t^hg justified through grace, wiD 
not allow of respect unto the worthiness of any per- 
Bant: as' the apostle saith also afterwards, dhap. xi., 
M/H iby grace then it is no'more of works ; othenfiM^ 
grace is no more grace." He saith the same als6{ 
cfaapw iv., *^ Now to him that worketh, is the reward 
not reckoned of grace, but of debt." Wheiefore, my 
Paul stands an invindble destroyer of Free-will, and 
lays. prostrate two armies by one word. For if we 1» 
justified " without works," all wolrks are condemned; 
whether they be very little, or t«ery great. He exc^pW 
none, but thunders alike against all. 

• Sect.{ CL. —Here- you may see the yawning inf 
considerateness of all our friends, and what it profits a 
man tor'rely upon the ancient fathers,'whb have be^i 
approved through the series of so many agss. Were 
cheyvnot also all alike blind to, nay rather, did tbey 
not disregard, the most clear and most manifest wordi 
of Paul ? Pray what is there that can be spoken cleaily 
Imd plainly in defence of grace, again(^*lVee-will, if 
die argument of Paul be not clear and plain ?' He 
]^Geeds with a glow of argument, and exalts grace 
Ugainst works ; and tha:t^ in words the most clear and 
most plain ; saying, that we are " justified fieely," 
and that grace is no more grace, if it be sou^t l^ 
works. Thus most manifestly excluding all woriks in 
&e matter of justification, to the intent that, he mi^t 
establish grace only and free justification. And yet 
we^ in all this light, ^^till iseek after darkness ; and 


Hfhieii. >tre eatmot useribe uiitectMirtellimi!<giitai! dd^, 

selves 4 /0oiti^t|iiBg^^ in dc^yee^' * ^imji iittle^^ 
^at^'We- m^bt maintitm our ttnel^ltiat 
tbri^U]^ the grao^ of God! ia not *^ fsetV woA^awVIel^ 
put iforic9.."-^Aa IhDugh'he who dedaresytbot grMtar 
|^ng0^f|«d all thills profit iis tiothiog^mitti juafi&a* 
tjo{^ 4pf»shiiot muefa more detqr that tltua^<^ in 
^tli^rfjffs^ < ver^4ittle^' profit vA nothing abo : 
-U^y^wfaen he has setltied the pcnnt, that we Breimrts- 
11^ by gTBiOe alone ; withqat tmy n^d^s whatever, imd 
tJineDQlbfie, without thejfiw, itscdf^. tn wiiicb am cmnpre^ 
llWfledatt w(^)$3^ gi^eal; ibd litdey works .of ' 
1^ W€prj($!ofi' wortiiinesaw' ' i t* -d 

Go now then aodiboasl €if the authoiitiCS: of tfie 
ancients, and depend on what they say ; all of idiom 
yj^ s^, tQ ja man^ disriegardied Paul, that most plain 
and most clear teacher ; anfl, as it were, purposdy 
^imned this mona^g star, yea^ this sun rether^ b^ 
9f^fe, bemg wi!«4>ped up in thear own eanudbmam, 
lll^ thoi^^ it- absurd diat: bo fdaee ishonM beieft to 

yh',;' ) : ■ ■ ■'■..■■ t - •■• ■ '••=.*■•?!. 

li ,||$^ctr GLL-^LEr us now. bring forwdrdrtfaat 
ettunple of Abfabairii whieh Paul Itfterwards adduoes. 
^/ If (saith he) Abraham were justified by ;woili% be 
bath ^lereof i^glpiy^ but not before Godi; For r^iiat 
^c^ die sciripture?'! Abraham believed God^ apdt^t 
mas* ctounted uutoi him for righteousness;." . ^ -^ ^ ^r 
f Mailc ihere again, I pray you, the distinctioiioof 
Faul^ where he is Slewing the two*fold ri^teousoess 
pf Abr8iham.-*^The CMoe^ is of works; tihat is, amoral 
Md civil ; but he denies that he was justified hgr this 


bd(»e God, 6v« thoogh he iwere jai^fied^^ it beffove 
men. Moreover, by tlttit ri|^ttoiisfii)si^^ ^' he hfttb 
whiveoi to §^oiy '^6fefoIe men, but i& dli the ^ While 
himself without the glory of God. Nor ^an inyraut 
hitre soy, that they are the works of th^^laW, dr of oe^ 
femonies, which are here ei^ndemned; sedng thai/ 
Abraham existed so ttmny years before the^tiewi Pigoit 
{dakly speaks of tiie works of Abraham; ai^^olM^ his 
Seit^workr. For it woold be lidicukms to dispDile; 
whether ortibt any oiir>wer6 justified l^ evilkDori^j 
•'It If tl^reibfe, Abidttim be: righteous by %io wotks 
Whateii^,^aad if both lie himself and att Us wovkscbei 
kfth^^ idnV iml^s fae^ Wdothiid with ait^er ri^- 
teoiisness, even with :d)0 ri^teousncM'^of ftdti^ ft is 
cpiite itiatiifes^, that^no man can do anythteg by works 
tfffwardsrlus becottmig^ li^jtooas : and moreovar^ 4iat 
nO^works^nb dlsvoted'^^Mrts, no end^ifduts of Free- 
Mil, avail any thing in dbe sig^hit of God,, but are all 
}ttd^tobettingodly,mit)ghteouSyaiide^ Fprifthe 
<iia& Umself be not ri^Heous^ neither will his works 
or endeavours be righteous ::«nd if :they be not r^hte- 
&atij they are damnQble,^ «nd merit wra^. ' 

'The other righteousness is that of faith'; wU^ 
Wn^ists, not in any works, bdt ih th^ favpuk^'and im- 
fmtiition of God through gmciC' Add mi^ how Paiil 
^dwells tipon «^ w6rd:^impu[ted; f' ho^ he urg^s it, 
nfet^ it, and ineuldtstes it— ^^ow (saith he) <o 
j^kn that worketh, is the reward not reckon^ of 
graoe, b^ of debt. But to him that worketh not, but 
beif^vethrin him that justifieth the ungodfy^ his ftuith 
is counted for righteousness," according to the pur- 
pose of the grace of God. Ifaen he adduces David, 
:8ayHig the same tlm^ cpoeormng the imputMicm 


ibtoa^ grace. .^^BkesedMis die miB to/nvbom flie 
Lord will not impute siii^'*' &c. - r . . ..*•'•'? 

^i ' In this chapter, he repeats the word f^impiataVr 
above ten times. In a word, he distinctivdy-^Mts 
^^rth ^^ him that worketh/' and ^^ him that worketb iK>t»'^ 
IjMving no med^t^m between them. He declares^ that 
li^teousn^s is not imputed ^^!to him tfaatworketh,'^ bi<t 
aiNderts timt righteousness is. imputed ^-^to lum Ihat 
iwrketh not," if he believe ! Here is no way by whidi 
Free-will, with its devoted efforts and ^ideavoura^ 
ean /escape or get off: it must be numbered with 
^^»him that Warketh," or with '^^him that worketh noL^ 
U it be numbered* witii '^him diat w<M*keth," you hear 
iha£ righteousness is 'DOt imputed unto it; if it be 
numbered with ^^ him that woriceth not, but beUeveth? 
in. Sody ri^teouBuess is imputed unto it. And tboi^ 
it : will not be the powen of Ftee-will, but the new 
creature by faith. But if ri^teousness be not imputed 
unto it, being ^' him that worketh," then, it beoomes 
manifest, that all its works are nothing but sins^ evils^ 
and impieties before God. 

Nor can any sophist here snari^ and say, that, 
although 99ia/r be evil, yet his work may not be evil. 
For Paul speak^s not of die man simply, but of f ^ him 
that worketh," to the very inteixt that, he mi^ 
declare in the plainest wwds, .that the works and 
devoted efforts/themselvesof man are ; cpudaaoiQej^ 
whatever they may be, by what name soever they may 
be called,* or under what form soever they.ii^y be 
done. He here also speaks of goodworki^; beoamae, 
■the points of this argument are, justification^ and 
merits. - And when he ispeaksiof ^' him that work^i^f' 
he if^peak^ of ^all f (workers and of all . thdr 

bui mom leftpiQ^cmlly . of thnr ^gfod and : m^ritorioiit 
works. Qthemm^f his didtinotioo: fbetrweed .? him thffi 
ivovketh^'N aod' ,^' him that M^rketh oot^"(«rili.amou9^ 

to:nothiiig-«.. : ...• • .., 1. '.r-.. '.vr : \j 

V. Sect. CLII. — I H£HiE omit to .bring forward tboM 
att^pbiilrerful argumeots drawn from the,. purpose f<ilt^ 
gfa43e, from the promise^ from: the foitcQ of > the laiw 
fiNim original isin, and fx<»n[the;ele<}tioa of God.;) 19^ 
whidi, there is no one that would not oC itself uttcfflj^ 
overthrow Free-will ^ For if grace come jj^jitthe^Djlirrk 
pose of God, or by electicm, it comes i^ neeessil{ri{ 
and not by any devoted effort or endeavour of om OWOii 
as I have ahready sfaewni Moreov^^ if God :iNP0i9ised 
gmce before the lawy aa Paiid argues here^ axidiJu bia the GafaUiansalso^ then it does notj come. h|f^ 
works or by-the law; otherwise, it would be ao long^ 
a promise... And so also faith, if works Were of diq^ 
arail^ would <:ome to nothing : by which^ nevertheile9% 
Abraham .was justified before the law was givelif 
Again, as the law is the str^igth of sio^ and only 
dificoverB sin, but does 'Hot take it away^ it brings die 
consdenoe in guilty before Godi This i&> what Fanl 
means when he saith, ^^the law worketh wrathil} ^ 
How then cant it be possible^ that ri^teousness: shoiiM 
be> obtained by the law? And if wexierive no hei(i 
from the law, how caii we derive any- help from iSm 
power of Free-will alone ?: >j 

-^ Moreover, since we all lie under the same sin and 
danmaticmof the one nmn Adam, how xm we attempt 
any thing which is not sin and damnable ? FeoT: when 
he saith "all," he excepts no one ; neither the power 
of.freetwiH, nor.any .woricman*; whddisi Ite. work or 


ipork ttcr^'-attempt or attem|>t not^ he aaftiit «tf 
^ be inctoded emong the rest in thev^'ldL" N^ 
^WMM w^ flitajQglydainnfiid by thftt one m ai^iiimn. 
if the sin wer e not our own: for who eooldi*be 
damned for the sin of anotl^ especiaily m the si^^ 
0§'<jfod}^ ^Nor is tbfe ste ours by imifatioii, or by 
#brkinfi; £t>rtl]fis trauldnot be the^)ne ftn of )Adli»; 
bemuse/ then, it would not be tfie sin whieh he^eottl* 
iddftted, but which we committed ourselves i^^it be- 
odlnes dcer^sin by gaieratiour— *But-ofiti^ in SMfte 
other '^aoe.^^^^rigiiial sin^itself^'theiefoie,' wiU[> not 
aSbw o^^any other power in Fr^-will^ but that ^of 
iifitting itod going OB tmto daimtalion« ■ ' ' 

^>'^'^niese aj^ments, I say, I omit to bring foiiwaid^ 
both bectose they are most manifest «ndiaQOst for- 
dble^ and because I have touohed iipon thiem iheady. 
For if I wished to produce all those 'plots of Ptal 
irhich overthrow Free-will, I could not do better; liian 
go dirough with a continued commentary on the 
whole of his epistle, -as I have done on the dnrd and 
fthirth chapters, Otfimidch, I have dwelt thus parti- 
cularly v that I might shew all our Free^Bfill friends 
th^ yawning inconsiderat^iess, who so read. Paul in 
these all-dear parts, as to see any thing : ia them but 
tHeie most po w^rfulai^mncnts agamst Free^^will ; and 
tiuit I might expose the folly of that confidenee^which 
tiiity place in the autiiority and writings of the and^it 
teachers, and leave them to consid^ with what force 
the: ^remaining) most dear arguments must make 
igainst them, if they should be handled yfiA care> and 

Sect. CLIII.-^As to myself, I must coi^etB, I 

^timtbkfx^i\ ^ writiMHit,'' Ihus^ ^' Aey are n& gone otitef 
tfaerrwB^, thece is n6ne>&at do<3th good, no not oiie:^ '' 
aAite^)ainnei» and condemned by dieone atn of Adaid ; 
ywl-^ifd jusfifidd by tfaiA " without- the law ; ** with- 
out" the work^ t>f ^theiatir \ so tiiat^ tf may* one wisliad 
tprstpeak otl^rwisei 0d ms'to be more 'intell^tbUi, lie 
aoUld not speak in'iwcmls more dear aiid'iaioris plam^ 
-ml am more than astotHshed^ I ari^, how it is/ (hat 
WiPida^ mA s^attences, contrary aad 'co^tradict6iy^<ta 
theai^ umv&nsNdly/appdying word^ have 

gllped^tsd wtichvgro^d; wiui^rsitfy^^ 
gcHie out of the way, are not unri^itedd% liitt( ilbt iiivfl, 
are not sinners, are not condemned : there is something 
m mantithidi m glood aad which endeavom*^ after g€k>d : 
aavthougb that mah, whoevepr he He, ^wfad, endJeaTOWs 
after good,' ^were not comprehended dh this one word 
*^'aH," » " none,^ or ^* not.'^ • - ^ ^ fit; 

-r < I douldifind Botfaing, even if I wished it/tb'^ad- 
vaaee against Ptal^or to reply in oantrsldidtiocBita 
hiitt: but should be compelled to acknowledge that 
the power iiqf my Free-will, together with its endea- 
now, is comiprdiraded in those^^alls,'' niA ^trntmi' 
of whom Pahlit^m spieaks ; if^ tUat is^ ao heir <kiiMl3of 
gtUKxasa:' or iie# >mjamieF of ^p^dbrwete intk'oiQhiQed* 
'; Moreover, if iPml haid used thi9<mode efr^exple^ 
sion once, or in one place oniy, thete mi^ ha^ oc^ 
Mom ibr imagining a trope, or lis»r takmg holdiofi^itiii 
twisting some detached terms. Whereas^ he utaa^dit 
perpetually both in the affirmative and in die ni^*' 
tive : and eo expresses his sentiments by his argumisiii; 
and by fais^diatinctbe divi^on, in every place and in 


all' puUy that not the nature of his words only and' 
the 'current of his langaage, but that which follows^ 
and that which precedes, the circamstances/the scope, 
and'f ibe very body of the whole disputation; all com-' 
peltus to conclude, according to^common sense, that 
thd meaning of Paul is, — that out of the faith of Christ 
thsfe is nothing but sin and damnatimi. 

.1 JU' was thus that we promised we would refete 
Fiiee^«inll, so that dl our adversaries should not be 
able to resist : which, I presume, I have effected, even 
tboT|||^ they shall not so far acknowledge themsdves 
vanquished, as to come over to my opinicm, or to* 
be silent : for that is not in my power : that is the g^. 
of the Spirit of God ! 

• ■ • 

Sect CLIV. — But however, before we-'heartfae^ 
Evangelist John, I will just add the crowning testi-^i 
mony from Paul: and I am prepared, if this be not 
sufficient, to oppose Paul to Free-will by commenting 
upon' him throughout. In Rom. viii., where he. di- 
vides 'tiie human race into two distinctive divisions/ 
" flesh" and " spirit," as Christ also does, John iii.^ 
he speaks thus — '^ They that are after the flesh, da 
mind the things of the flesh ; but they that are after 
the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit." n 

. That Paul here calls all carnal who are not Sfin^ 
tualj is manifest, both from the division itself and the 
opposition of spirit to flesh, and from the veiy wofd.'. 
of Paul himself, where he adds, ^^ But ye are not kh 
the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of 
God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ he is none of his" — ^What else is thtf 
meaning of f' But ye are not in the fl^, but in tliti 


Spbit, if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwell ia yoii^!? 
but, that thidse who have not the ^' Spirit," are, nece^rr 
sarifyy in the^^ flesh?" And if any man be not c^ 
Christ, what else is he but of Satan ? It is manifest^ 
therefore, that those who are devoid of the Spirit, are 
** in the fliesh," and under Satan. 

Now let us see what his opinion is concerning the; 
endeavour and the power of Free-will in the caimal^ 
who are in the flesh. " They cannot please God/* 
Again, ^^ The carnal mind is death." Again, ^^ The 
carnal mind is enmity against God." And again, ^^ It is 
not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be»" 
Here let the advocate for Free-will answer me — How 
can that endeavour toward good '^ which is death,!' 
which ** cannot please God," which " is enmity agahu^ 
God," which ^^:is not subject to God," and " cannot'' 
be.subject to him ? Nor does Paul mean to say, thi^t 
the carnal mind is dead and inimical to God ; but that, 
it is death itself, enmity itself, which cannot possibly 
be subject to the law of God or please God ; as Jp^ 
had said just before, ^^ For what the law could not do, 
in that it was weak through the flesh, God did," &e%» 
u * But I am very well acquainted with that fable of 
Origen concerning the three-fold affection ; the oli^of 
which he calb ' flesh,' the- other ^ soul,' and the oth^ 
^ spirit,'] making the soul that medium affection, ver- 
tible either way, towards the flesh or towards the spirit 
But these are merely his own dreams ; he speaks them 
forth otdy, but does not prove them. .Baul here^^calls 
t^try thiaig " flesh" that is without the " Spirit,";** I 
have alieady shewn. Therefore, those most ezalted virr. 
tues of the best men are in the flesh ; that is,- they are 
d€ad^ and Bt enmity against God ; th<^ are not wb- 


jeet to the law of God, nor indeed cdn be>; and A0 
please not God. For Paul does not onl^'"^^ lltat 
such men are nof subject, but &at they omwi&i he 
sttbject. So also Christ, Matt vii., saitb, f ^ Alt ievO 
tree t<»annot bring forth good fhiit.^ ^ And . wgum^ 
chap, xii., ^^ How can ye being evil speak tha^:#faidl' 
i% 'good.'' Here you see, we not oniy iq>eak that ii4iich 
is evil) but cannot speak that' which is good; '^! uia 

- And though he saith ih ano^n pdace, thab 
who are evil know how to give good gifts ontOi 
children) yet he denies that we do good,^eveni 
we give good gifts ; because those good giitil wluch ive 
give are the creatures of God ; but we ooiiKlves; not 
being good, cannot ^ve those good giftfr tiielL FO0 
heas speaking unto all men; nay, even anto^ hisi own 
disciples. So that these two sentimaits o£Ih»iI„idiai 
^ mt ma^liveth ^^ by feith," and that ^ W^elsoejgNf 
is not of faith is sin,v^tand confirmed 4 t helatldt 
^^ which follows^ jro m the forme n Few* if thue ihe 
nc%Emg by which we are justified but faith (mfy^^it de 
ei^dent, that those who are not of fieti^, are not just»i 
fiedv And if Uiey be not justified, ^yue^iskmeiSi 
Aivd if they be sinners^ they aie^evi} treenandican do 
nothing but sin and bring forth evil Iruitt^Whefefixe^ 
FtiBi6-wi& is nothing but the' servant of divof i death/ 
-and of Satan, doing nothiikg, and bdng4ftiylecito^dOiOr 
attempt nothing, but ^rll ! - , t 'o v ' >' 

^- Sfect CLV. — ^Add to this that examine, chap^x;) 
taken outof Isaiah, '' I was found of ^eni diat eoo^ 
me not, I was made mimifest unto them that artred 
not for me." He speaks this with r^erenw to ti^ 
Gentiles : — ^ that it was eiven unto them te heai^anA 

35 i. 

know Christy trhen before, they could not even thiai» 

of hinv mudii less seek him, or pfepare themaeives for 

huh by the power of Free-mil. Fyma this example /[[) if'^ 

it is (Sufficiently evident, that grace comes so free, thai I 

i» tfa6ti| B rht conceminfg it, o r attemptor desire after il|^ *l //^^^ 

pm^. So also Piml-.when he was Saul, wha* 

did he do by that exalted power of Free-will ? Gee* 

tainly^an respect of reason, he intended that whieb 

was best and most: meritoriously good.: : But by what 

endeavours did he come unto^^'ace? He did not 

only not seek after it, but. received it even when^fie 

was furiously maddened against it ! v/ 

On the other hand, he saith of the Jewsr^^H^ 
Grentiles which followed not after; r^hteousness: ha^i 
attained unto the righteousness which is of faitkr^fii]); 
Bsrael which followed after the law of righteousness 
hath not attained untothe law of righteousness/' What 
haa any advocate for Free-will to mutter agaiifit thus P 
The Grentiles when filled with Ungodliness and/ evenj 
vice, receive ri^teousness freely from a mercyr8he#;4 
ing God : wlnle the Jews, who follow afterrighteoui^ 
ness with aU their devoted efibrt :and endeavour^ :tt» 
finstrated. Is this not plainly: saying, that thoiendeiU 
vour of Free-will is all in^vaiuy^even when^k-iMSives 
tp do the best; and'that Free-wiM, of itsdif, cBsiml^ 
fall back and grow worse and worsei? o i ifir 

Nor can any one say, that Jthe Jews /did not 
follow after righteousness with all the power of Fteet- 
wiU. Fbr Paul himself bears this testimony of themr, 
chap. X., " That they had a zeal of God^ but net 
according to knowledge." Therefore, nothing.wiiicii 
is attributed to Free-will was wanting to 
andryet,^^ it attained unto^nothk^ nay nnte the! 


-wis DoAing iti theOentilcs jwhich ib iattifliiUbB(i)tD. 
Free-^vnH, ahdifacy attained onto i the li^teoomeBr^ 
€k)d/ And what is this but a most manifest esanpte 

from each nation, and a most^clear testimony of PmV' 
jfNroving, that grace is ffven fineely tao the moist>]ii]id9r 
s(N*ving and unwordiy^ and is not attained unto byisny 
devoted efforts, endeavours^ or works, either sinall or 
great, of any men, be they the best and most merkor 
rious, or even of those who have sought and followed 
after righteousness with all the ardour of zeal ? 

- . . ■ 9 

Sect CLVI. — Now let us come to John, who 
is also a most copious and powerful subverter of 

He, at the very first outset, attributes to Eree-will 
such blindness, that it cannot even see the light of 
the truth : so far is it from possibiUty, that it should 
endeavour after it. He speaks thus, '^The li^ 
shine^ in darkness, and the darkness comprehended 
it not." And direcdy afterwards, " He was in the 
world, and the world knew him not ; he came unto 
his own, and his own knew him not"i ^ 

What; do you imagine he means by "world?" 
Will you attempt to separate any man frcHEat* being 
included in this term, but him who is bom again of 
the Hdy Spirit ? The term " world ' • is very particu- 
lariy used by this apostle ; by which he means, llie 
whole race of men. Whatever, therefore, be says of 
the " world," is to be understood of the whole race of 
men. And hence, whatever he says of the ;" world," is 
le.beimderstood also of Free-will, as that which is most 
in man. According to this apostle,^ then, ^ 


**worid" does not know the lij^tdf troth; the 
** world " hates Christ and his; the "world " neither' 
knows nor sees the Holy Spirit; the whole "world " 
is settled in enmity ; all that is in the " world/^ is 
"the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the' 
pride of life." " Love not the world." " Ye(saitb 
he) are not of the worid." "The world canned hate 
you ; but me it hateth, because I testify of it that th^ 
works thereof are evil." 

All these and many other like passages are pro- ' 
clamations>of what Free-xHrillis — * the principal'part * 
of the world, ruling under the empire of Satan ! For 
John also himself speaks of the world by antithesis; 
making the " world " to be, every thing in the worid 
which is not translated into the kingdom of the Spi- 
rit. So also he saith to the apostles, " I have chosen 
you out of the world, and ordained you," Sec If there- 
fore, there were any in the world, who, by the powers ^ 
of Free-will, endeavoured so as to attain unto good, 
(which would be the case if Free-will could do any 
thing,) John certdnly ought, in reverence for these ^ 
persons, to have softened down the term, lest,' by a 
word of such general application, he should involve 
them in all those evils of which he condemns the 
world. But as he does not this, it is evident that he ^ 
makes Free-will guilty of all that is laid to the chai^' 
of the world : because, whatever the world does, it 
does by the power of Free-will: that is, by its will and' 
by its reason, which are its most exalted faculties.-*^ ' 
He then goes on, 

" But as many as received him, to thein gave hp 
power to become the sons of God; even to them 
that believe on his name. Which were bom, not ^f 

8 ▲ 


\Awdy mt of the ^IdU of the flesh, nor of the will of 
mail, but of God." 

Having finished this distinctive division, he rejects 
frpm the kingdom of Christ, all tbdt is " of blood/* 
"' of the will of the flesb," and "^oftiie will of nftm/'; By 
*^ tdood,'j I believe, he means^ the J^ws ; that £9^ thofie 
whp mshed to be the children of the king4o]kiv becaiiae 
th^ were the childreii of Abraham and df the Fathers; 
and hence, gloried in their " blodd;^' By " the will of 
th^ flesh," I understand the devoted efibrts of the 
people, which they exercised in the law and in works: 
for ^^ flesh" here signifies the ^carnal without the 
Spirit) who had indeed d. will, aiid an endeavour, bat 
who, because the Spirit was not in them, were csmial^ 
By f ^. the will of man," I understand the devoted eflxHts 
oi ^U generally, that is, of the n&tions, or of any men 
whatever, whether exercised in the law, or without die 
law* So. that the sense is — -they become the sons of 
Qod, neither by the birth of the Hesh, nor by a devoted 
c^)!servance of the law, nor by any devoted, humaa 
efibit whatever, but by a .divine birth only. - ' • 

If therefore, they be neither bom of tlie flesh, nor 
broU^Ciip by the law, nor prepared by mtiy human 
discipline, butiare^ bom again of God, it is manifest, 
tbat JPi^ee-will here profits nothing. For I Unden^nd 
" man^" to signify here, iu^cording to the Hdiirew 
loanner of speech, mm/tjmany or all men; even as 
*^flesh," is ^nder^to6d to signify, by antithesis^ the 
people .without the Spirit : and *^ the will of man,*V i| 
understand to signify the greatest power in men, that 
ifl^tbat * principd .part,' Free-will. 
r.i:fiut;be ifr Bo^ that we do not dw^l thus upoir tibe 
sigmfication.o&idie wordi^, singly^; yet^ the sdm ud 


sabfitance of the meanmgis tftost cleat? ;-^thatJohii* 
by this distinctive dividon, rtjjects evfery thing that ii 
notiofrdiviaie genei^tidn; since he say d, that men ard 
made the sons of God tibne othemise^^than by being 
borii of God ; xdiich takes place, according to his 

this, rejection therefore, « the t^^itt-bf mat/,** of Frtfe^ 
will^ as it is not 6f divme' gefiferatiotl;nof faith, is ne-= 
cessarily ' inclnded. But if Free=^ll rtVail any thihg; 
*• the will of man **' ought h6t t(S be rejeeted by Jolii', 
nor ought nien tobe drawn feway' from ?(, toS'iefiftA 
feith and to the new bimfr' only y test tliat of Ikaiffli 
A«M be pn»omH»4--,«««il. hto, *• W6 unto you 
liiBt:caU good evil;'' Wh«ft^ tiW, since he reje6l* 
dite'Tall ^'bloodj?'^' the will of the flesh," and ^nhe 
wfli of man,'* itis evident^ that *^*he w^ill of mkn" tfvftils 
flDDthing more; tow^ardsmakkig 'theft the tons 6f 06d, 
than /^ blood" ^dbes,^ cnrihe eaiinil birth. And no'6n6 
doubts wift^ther tir ncMT the bat^^ bhth makes ttiin 
die sons of Gtkl ; for as Paul saith, Rom. ix., " THcj^ 
which are Ae dhildrc*! of the flesh, these are not the 
children of :;Ood }>?' whiteh her Jiroves by the Samples 
ofIshmaelaiid^'^'^^ ^' :* •^"* 

• Sect. CLVIL — "FrtE same 'Jbhh,' mtrotfuces lth6 
Ifoptist speaidng thus 6f Christy '^ And oT'h^ filfeess 
liave all we received, imd^^rftG* foygiradfe.? - ' • 

• He says, that grace is received ft^ hSF tmt' bf tHd . 
fulness of Christ— birt folr what Aelftvwr deV«M p 
effort? "For grace," saith he; that^if, ttf 6Krfety %8f 
Paul aisol8aith,?Rom.v4 ^^•'The gracfe ofCtl^tol*!^^ 
gift by-^grace, which is by one man Jesus Gtirisl^' ^iafhT 
aboanded tmto n^y.->^t¥)me''!8 d^ ibe ^deavtwr 

i A s 


of Free-will by which grace is obtained ! John li^!^ 
saithy th^t grace is not only not received for any de^ 11 
voted eflfort of our own, but even for the grace of f 
another, or the merit of another, that is ^^ ofoftemfln 
Jesus Christ/' Therefore, it isdther false; that ife 
ijeceive our grace for the grace of another, or else k k 
evident, that Free-will is nothing at all; for both 
cannot consist — ^that the grace of God, is both so 
\J[ cheap, that it may be obtained in common and eveiy 
where by the *litde endeavour' of any man; and at / 
the, same time so dear, that it is given unto us only on 
and through the grace of one man, and he so great! 

And I would also, diatthe advocates for Free-will 
be admonished in this place, that when they assett 
Free-will, they are deniers of Christ. For if I obtain 
grace by my own endeavours, what need have I of the 
grace of Christ for the receiving of my grace? Of, 
what do I want when I have gotten the grace of 
God ? For the Diatribe has said, and all the sophists 
say, that we obtain grace, and are prepared for the 
reception of it, by our own endeavours ; not however 
according to ^ worthiness,' but according to * con- 
gruity.' This is plainly denying Christ: for whose 
grace, the Baptist here testifies, that we receive grace. 
For as to that fetch about ^ worthiness' and /con- 
gruity/ I have refuted that already, and proved it to 
be a mere play upon empty words, while the ^ merit 
of ^worthiness 'is really intended; and that, to a more 
impious length than ever the Pelagians themselves 
Wj^nt, as I have already shewn. And hence, the un- 
gpdly sophists, tcgether with the Diatribe, havemoni 
awfuily denied the I^rd Christ who bought us, ihsan 
ev^lT; t^f J^elagians^ pr, fuiy heretics have denied liim^ 


So &r is it from possibility, that grace' should altoW of 
any particte' or pofwer of Free-will ! 

But howev^,' thtet the advocates for Free-^tt 
deny Christ, is proved, n6t by this scriptiire only, but- 
by their own very way of life. For by their Free-will; 
they hafve made Christ to be unto them no longer a 
sweet Mediator, but a dreaded Judge, > whom they 
strive to please by the intercessions of the* Virgiri 
Mother, and of the saints; and also, by variously 
invented works, by rites, ordinances, and vows ; by aill 
which, they aim at appeasing Christ, in order that he 
mi^t give them grace. But they do not bfelievie^ thaC 
he intercedes before God and obtains grace for them^ 
by his blood.and grace ; as it is here said, " forgrace:*^ 
And as they believe, so it is unto them ! For Christ 
is in truth, an inexorable judge t^ them, and justly so; 
for they leave him, who is a Mediator and most mer^ 
dful Saviour, and account his blood and grace of less' 
value than the devoted efforts and endeavours of their 

Sect. CLVIII.— Now let us hear an example of 
Free-will. — NicOdemus is a man in whom there is 
every thing that you can desire, which Free-will is 
able to do. For what does that man omit either of 
devoted effort, or endeavour ? He confesses Christ 
to be true, and to have come from God; he declar^ 
his miracles ; he comes by night to hear him, and 
to converse with him. Does he not appear to have 
sought after, by the power of Free-will, those thinjg8r 
which pertain unto piety and salvation ? But maii^^ 
what ship\^recic he makes. When he hears the truer 
vf$y of'sakation by a iiew«birth to be tajij^t A^' 

Christy (foes he ackncmie^g^ it; or confess that hd 
had ever sought afier it f Nfty^^ be tew\thAom4i} 
and is^ confounded ; fN3rmu€hB(H ^t bedoes nOVovly 
say he does not undesitand dt, but heaves i^aiti^ itas 
iiaposmble — ^^ How (»ay3 he) can thesethii^ibe ? ^ 
.. And no ^onder^lbr who ever 'heaid, tihak^ mil 
muBit \» bom again unto salvation *^of niltter'atidof 
tbe iSpirit ? "^ Whojover thou^t, that 4he Sonof^fMl 
must Jbe exalted^>i '^ thai idiosoev«r ^should beUeine Ih' 
^im, should not perish^ but have ev^^ttng Kfe?" 
Did tbe^ greatest and < most aqute pfailosopUers ev^ 
madk^ mebtiloB of this?: Did thoprinoes of Aa troM 
ever posisess thisimowledge? Did the^FY0&*%iUof aJi^ 
man e^er att^huntx) diis^ by endeavoiifs? Does iiot 
Paul CQXifess' it to 'be:i;^V wisdom bidder in a mystery/' 
foretpld indeedrriyjr theprophetn^ biit revealed %lbe 
Gospel ? So that^ ^it was secret sfadf'hiddCTifiom/dicr 
world, ' ■• ■• .^5-: -.= ,■-•.: •;••■ ''■.':•''' i .''^ ■ 

In a word : Ask experience : andthewfa^eworid, 
human reason itself, and, in consequence, ' Free-will 
itself is compelled to confess, that it never knew 

(Chns):, nor h^rd of him, before the Gospel cameinto 
the world. And if it did not know Idiii, much less 
could it seek alter him, seardi for Jiim^ Or endeavour 
to come unto him«;iiBiit Qsist is *ftthe way" of tratil, 
Ufe, and salvation. It must ccmfess, tfaerefoiti, wb^idieir 
it will or no, thai, off Its own powers, it neither tksjew 
nor could seds: aiter those tlungs whidh peMsun mnto' 
th^ Way of tr^tii and Bidvation. . Asid ylst, eontfaiy>lot 
thia our owBi vefy confession and experieikce^Iikef licmi- 
men woi dispute invtmpty wotds^ that themsss inirfo 
that power t^tnaimng, which ean both *: faiow tand 
apply itodf unto ihose ^tilings whidi pettaJif^iMo ad* 


Vatioii ! : 1^3 IS Bdtiiing mqre or kss than «ayjn^ 
&al; Christ the. S(m. of. Godiwa^ exdted for us^>tirfa«Q 
no one could ever hay^ knotvnit or tiiiought of it ;4[ritt 
4baty neverthelesSy tUs veiy ignorance is not an igffOh 
ranoe^ but a knowledge of Christ ; that is, of these 
tlungp which'ipertam unto salvation. ; li^a 

Do you not yet then see dnd palpably feel ^dxat, 
:&at the assertors of ;£iaee±w]ll are plainly mad^ while 
they call that knowledge, which they th^mselVes^xMi- 
fess to be ignorance ? Is this not to '^ put darknett 
&>r Isaiah v.^-^But so it is, though Ged so 
powerfully ri^p the.mottdi of Free-wiU by iti^ jown 
confession and experience, yet even theii, itcaimot 
keep silence and give God the glory. 

Beet. CitlX.^ — Akd now fart|ier, as Christ la 
.said to be f^ the way, the truths and the life,'' fmd that, 
by positive assertion, so that whatever is not Christ is 
not the way but error^ i^notthe truth but a lie, is 
not the life but death, it of necessity follows, that 
Free-will, as it is neither Christ nor in Christ, must be 
bound in error, in a lie, -and inr deaths Where, now wfll 
be found that medium and neuter — that the power of 
Free-'will, which is not m Christ, that is, in the way, 
the truth, and the life, is yet aot, (tf necessity, ekher 
enxnr, or a he, or death? ' - 

For if all things whfcb are said concerning Chiist 
and grace were iK>t said by positive assertion, that they 
mi^t be opposed to their contraries 9 that is, ttmt 
out of Christ there is nothing but Satan, out of grace 
nothmg but wrath, out of the light nothing but dark- 
ness, out of the life nothing but death-^what, I ask 
you^ would be the me of all the writing of th»apos(jbB, 


imy, of die whole ecriptore ? The whole would * i» 
written in vain ; becaui^, they would not fix die poidty 
^tfaat Christ is necessary (which, nevertheless, is their 
aipecial design) andforthis reason,— because a medium 
would be found out, which of itsdf, would be neitfaer 
evil nor good, neither of Christ nor of Satan, neitb^ 
true nor false, neither alive nor dead, and perhaps, 
neither any thing nor nothing; and that woilld be 
called, * that which is most excellent and most ex- 
alted ' in the whole race of men ! 

Take it therefore which way you will. — If yoii 
grant that the scriptures speak in positive asserticm, 
you can say nothing for Free-will, but that winch is 
contrary to Christ : that* is, you will say, that error, 
death, Satan, and all evils, reign in him. If you do not 
grant that they speak in positive assertion, you weaken 
the scriptures, make them to establish nothing,, not 
even to prove that Christ is necessary.*' And thus, 
while you establish Free-will, you make CJirist void, 
and bring the whole scripture to destruction. And 
though you may pretend, verbally, that you confess 
Christ ; yet, in reality and in heart, you deny him. For 
if the power of Free-will be not a thing erroneous alto- 
gether, and damnable, but sees and wills those things 
which are good and meritorious, and which pertaiii 
unto salvation, it is whole, it wants not the physician 
Christ, nor does Christ redeem that part of man. — 
For what need is there for light and life, where there 
is light and life already ? / 

Moreover, if that power be not redeemed, the 
best part in man is not redeemed, but is of itself good 
and whole. And then also, Grod is unjust if he dama 
any man ; because, he damns that which is the most 


^celibnt in man, and whole ; diat is, he damns hiiii 
when innocent For there is no man who has not 
Free-will. And although the evil man abuse this, yet 
this power itself, (according to what you teach) is not 
so destroyed) but that it can, and does endeavour to* 
wards good. And if it be such, it is without doubt 
gpod, holy,, and just : wherefore, it ought not to be 
damned, but to be distinctly separated from the man 
who is to be damned. But this cannot be done, and 
even if it could be done; man would then be with<^ 
out Free-will, nay, he would not be man at all, he 
would neither have merit nor demerit, he could nor- 
ther be damned nor saved, but would be completely 
a brute, and no longer immortal. It follows therefor^ 
that God is unjust who damns that good, just, and 
holy power, which, though it be in an evil man, does 
not need Christ as the evil man does. 

Sect. CLX. — But let us proceed with John. " He 
that believeth on him, (saith he) is not condemned ; but 
he that believeth hot is condemned already, because 
he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten 
Son of God." 

Tell me ! — Is Free-will included in the number of 
those that believe, or not .'^ If it be, then again, it has 
no need of grace ; because, of itself, it believes on 
Christ — ^whom, of itself it never knew nor thought of ! 
If -it be not, then it is judged already : and what is this 
but saying, that it is damned in the sight of God? But 
God damns none but the ungodly : dietefore, it is 
ungodly. And what godliness can that which is un- 
godly endeavour after? For I do not thiiik that the 




power of Fiee-rwill can be accepted ; leeing'thM, he 
speaks of the whole man as being 

Moreover^ unbelief i s> not one of 

fectionS) but is that;diie^ atte^ on seated apad- ndin£ 

on the throne of the will and reason ; jlist th e mmB ^tA 

ite contnary^ num. ror caoeunbeheving, » towi^ 

fiod^ and to make hhn a liar^ 1 Jxshn r.^ .'^M yfe be- 

iieye nbt. we make God a liar." How then. can tliat 

1 1 power, which is contrary - to God^ and whic^ mmlies 

// Wm a4iar, endeaTour aibw that which is go^ And 

' if that power be not nnbelievmg and ungodly, John 

oughtlnot to say of . the i(; Aofe giflw that he is ;caa- 

denmed already, but to speak thus,— *rMaa, accorrang 

to his ^ grosser affecticm^/ is condanHed' already ; - but 

according to that which is best and 'most exceilent,' 

he is not condemned ; because, that endea^Tour^ %ft^ 

faith, or rather, is already believing. / : . ^ 

Hence, where the scripture so often saith, *^ All 
men are liars," we must, upon the authority of Free- 
will, (m the contrary 8ay--^the scripture lather, lies^ 
because, man is not a liar as to his best party that is, 
his reason and will, but as to \a^ flesh only, that is, Us 
blood and his grosser part : so that that whoky ac- 
cording to whkh he is called man, that is, his- reason 
and his will, is .sound-and holy. Again, th^re is tteit 
of the Baptiit, .'' He that believeth on the Son hath 
everlasting life ; he that believeth not ihe Son shall* not 
see life, but the wrath of God abidetfa on lmn»^ We iduist 
jmderstand'^^upon him " thtis>^^-th,at is, the wrath of 
God abideth upon the ^ grosser affections ' of the man : 
bat upon that power of Free-will, that is, iipon his 
will and his reason, abide grace and everlasting .life.^ 


I : .^iMeociv itccordii^ to tids^ in oMtec; that FiieQsmll 
might stendy ivliateicer minihe ^lifitaires said . aguut 
the imgodly^ytoaatBybyliiefigB^ 
loiind to^apf^itcxthst hiiitatpaitt>fki«B^ that the taruly 
laticmal ^d: human .f»»t; might remain. sa% I.have^ 
diarefbise, tc^ r^der thanks tx) thei^sertars itf tFiee- 
yriSf because, I^inay i^^Mdth tdLcoafideii^e ^^-k'nonring 
that, my reason and will, or my Fi^se-will, cahiiot ^be 
damned, becaufib it cannot be Jdestmyed by any sitt- 
ing, but for ever iemainfr jflM^dpri^teotiii,; aiid hxAf. 
And thus, happy in my will and reason, I shall vejfcite 
tiiat my fihbyvand ■ brtiUd; fleshxis iiistinetly 3epahU;ed 
^om me, and: damned' ;.j six fitr^^^iall^^^ 
-C^st tor become 'its 'Redeeniertf-TvYiia 
iirhat the' doctrinHs o£ Eree^cvriU .blings tis— it doiKs 
idl tl^g8^ dhdne - and human,! teiaporal. and etemd ; 
and with aU these enormitiesyimakesiadaii^ng-^stock 
^itself;!; .: 

Sect CLXL~Ao AiN, the Baptistsaith,:^* Aiumn ^ ^ ' 
-can receive nothing, exc^t it were i^ven him Aom p * ^ 

Let not the Diat^be here produce its forces,: where 
it enumerates • all those, ^ngs which we have ' from 
heaven. We are laow dislmtiag^aioi abool na&ro^ but 

know that man was constituted lord orer dKMe 
which SSP beneath himself ;l. over wEucl^ ha: naa ia 

right and a Fiee^wm/ that tho^ lamvA indsm^ -' doL 
inmiiriiur itidietherhe>iiMia<jFreiB»witt<jbt«rt GaS, 


that he shotild do and obey n those ttmuM >*)Mcllr^ 
man wills : or radier, whemer God has not a ^rews. 
^ill over man, that he should will and do wluit G^dd 
wills, and should be able to do nothing but what 
he wills and does. The Baptist here says, that he 

^^* .V..-^.# .■?--*'»-^»**^>''^-3*vi-<^#l*V^-*^«W««h 

^' can receive nothing, except it be given him- fitnil 
above." — ^Wherefore, Free-will must be a nothmg 
at all ! 

Again, « He that is of the earth, is earthlyand 
speaketh of the earth, he that cometh from heaven is 
fld)Ove all.*' 

Here again, he makes all those eartibly, who are 
not of Christ, and says that they savour and speak df 
earthly things only, nor does he leave any medium (^^ 
racters. But surely, Free-will is not " he thatcomedi 
from heaven." Wherefore it must of necessity, be " he 
that is of the earth," and that speaks of the earth and 
savours of the earth. But if there were any ^wer in 
man, which at any time, in any place, or by any work, 
did not savour of the earth, the Baptist ought to have 
excepted this perscm, and not to have said in a gene^ 
ral way concerning all those who are out of Christ, 
that they are of the earth, and speak (rf the earth. 

So also afterwards, chap, viii., Christ saith, "Ye 
are of the world, I am not of the world. Ye are from 
beneath, I am from above." 

And yet, those to whom he spoke had Free-will, 
that is, reason and will; but still he says, that they are 
" of the world." But what news would he have told, if 
he had merdy said, that they were of the world, as to 
their ^ grosser affections ? ' Did not the whole world 
know this before ? Moreover, what need was Uieve 


fw his laying that men were of the world, as to that 
part in which they are brutal ? For according to that, 
beasts are also of the world. 

Sect. CLXII. — And now what do those words 
of Christ, where he saith, " No one can come unto 
me except my Father which hath sent me draw him," 
leave to Free-will ? For he says it is necessary, that 
every one should hear and learn of the Father himself, 
and that all must be ^^ ta^ught of God." Here, indeed,^ 
he not only declares that the works and devoted efforts 
of Free-will are of no avail, but that even the word 
of the Gospel itself, (of which he is here speaking,) is 
heard in vain, unless the Father himself speak within, 
and teach and draw. " No one can," " No one can 
(saith he) come : " by which, that power, whereby man 
can endeavour something towards Christ, that is, to- 
wards those things which pertain unto salvation, is 
declared to be a nothing at all. 

Nor does that at all profit Free-will, which the 
Diatribe brings forward out of Augustine, by way 
of casting a slur upon this aU-cleax and all-power- 
fnl scripture — ^ that God draws us, in the same way 
as we draw a sheep, by holding out to it a green bough/ 
By this similitude he would prove, that there is in us 
a power to follow the drawing of God. But this simi- 
litude avails nothing in the presait passage. For God 
holds out, not one of his good things only, but many, 
nay, even his Son, Christ himself; and yet no man 
follows him, unless the Father hold him forth other- 
wise within; and draw otherwise ! — Nay, the whole 
worid follows! the Son whom he holds forth ! 

But this similitude harmonises sweetly with the 


c^ipMSiience of the gocDy, v/ho itit how tii»[|ift*«Aigepi^d 
know God their shepherd. Th^se, iiirftig in, iaiRl iMflig 
moved by, the Spirit, follow whet^ver God wflls, aJafl 
whatever he holds out to them. But the ungodly 
man comes not unto him, ^ven when' he heafil the 
word, unless the Father draw and teach wkhint'wiiich 
heroes by shedding -abroad -his Spirit. And whetti' 
that is done, there is a different kind of dmwidg ftom 
that which is without : there, Christ is held forth in 
H^ illumination of the Spirit^ whereby the man is 
dilawn unto Christ with the sweetest of all <fraw^ 
ing : under which, he is passive while God spe^s^, 
teabhes, and draws, rather than seeks or runs of 

Sect. CLXIIi. — I WILL produce yet one mbrc 
passage from John, where, he saith, chap, xvi., " The 
Spirit shall reprove the world of sin, because they be^ 
lieve not in me." 

You here see, that it is sin, not to believe in 
Christ : Alid this sin is seated, not in the skin, nor m 
the hairs of the head, but in ttit vety r^ison Bsod wilt 
Moreorver, as Christ mi^es the wfaol^ wt>rid; guilt^f 
fro^ this sin, and 'as it is known by eicperience that 
the world is ignoriemt of this ^, ^as mudii so as it i^r 
ignomnt of Christy seeing that, it must be reoeakdhf 
the reproof of the Spirit; it is iMnifest, that Free- 
will, together with its will and reason, is accounted 
ja captive of this sin, and condemn^ b^ore God. 
^ Wherefore, as long as it is ^bitot of Christ and bfe^ 
lii^es not in him, it can will or attempt Inothing good, 
but necessarSy serves that sin of whibh it is ignoraoEit ' 
'In a word : Sinoe the scripture declares Cluist 


ffUKymhsn by posithw assertiaB and by antithesis,, (aa 
laaid dt)efore)yiin: oider that, it might subject eveiy 
duiYg that:^ sidthout the Spirit of Christ, to SatoA, to 
ungodliness^ to error, to darkness, to sin, to deatbf 
and to the wrath 'Of God, aU the testimonies concenb^ ) 
ing Christ must make directly against Free-will; and 
tiiey:ai^ intmmerable^ nay, the whole of the scripture* 
If therefore our subject of discussion is to be decided 
by the judgment of the scripture, the victory, in every 
respect, is mine ; for there is not one jot or tittle of 
the toripture remaining, which does not condemn the 
doctrine ofiFreenwillaltogedier i 
iiw But if the great theolo^ans and defenders of Fr^- 
wfll know not, or .pretend not to know, that the scrip«^ 
tore every where declares Christ by positive asSerti<Mi^ 
and by antithesis, yet all Christians know it,« and in 
common confess it. They knaw> I say, that there are 
two kingdoms in the world mutually miUtatingagainst 
each other. — That Satan reigns in the one, who^on that- 
account is by Christ called ^' the .prince of this wwld,'- 
and by Panl^^' the God of this world;" who^ accofd-i 
ing to the testimony of thesame Paul, holds alt cap* 
tifve according to his will, whQD:i»rein6t rescued' .frma 
him by the Spirit oi Christ : nor does he suffer eaf 
to be rescued by any collier power, but that off the 
Spirit of God ; as Christ testifies in the paraUe of 
**ibe strong man armed" keeping his. palace in peace. ^ 
-^n the other kingdom €3mst rei^s-; which king- 
dom, contkiually resists and wars^agpinst that of Satan : 
iiMio which ^ we are* translated, :noti by any power of 
our own, but by the grace of Gtxi, wterdby we are 
delrrmred £rdm' this present evil worlds tmd amanatdbted 
fiwn 1^ power of darkness. The knowledge a«d doaii 


fesskm of these two kingdoms, which thus eiieriiiutii4> 
ally war against each other with so much power and' 
force, would alone be sufficient toconfiite the doctriaet 
of Free-will: seeing that, we are compelled to server 
in the kingdom of Satan, uptil we be liberated by a 
divine power. All this, I say, is known in comm<xi 
among Christians, and fully coi^essed in their pro*; 
verbs, by their prayers, by their pursuits, and by their 
whole lives. 

Sect CLXIV. — I OMIT to bring forward that 
truly Achillean scripture of mine, which the Diatribe 
proudly passes by untouched — I mean, that which 
Paul teaches, Rom. vii. and Gal. v., that there is in 
die saints, and in the godly, so powerful a warfieue 
between the spirit and the flesh, that they cannot do 
what they would. From this warfare I -argue thus :-^ 
If the nature of man be so evil, even in those who ; 
are bom again of the Spirit, that it does not only not 
endeavour after good, but is even averse to, and miU- . . 
tates against good, how should it endeavour after 
good in those who are not bom again of the Spirit, 
and who are still in the ^^ old man," and serve under 
Satan ? Nor does Paul there speak of the * gross^ 
affections' only, (by means of which, as a conmion 
scape-gap, the Diatribe is accustomed to get out: 
of the way of all the scriptures,) but he enumerates 
among the works of the flesh heresy, idolatry, con- • 
tentions, divisions, &c. ; which he describes w i 
reigning in those most exalted faculties ; that is, in 
the reason and the will. If therefore, flesh with* 
these affections war against the Spirit in the saints, . 
much more will it war against God i|i th^ ungodly^ . 


and in Free-will. Hence, Rom. viii., he calls it 
** enmity against God."— I should like;>I say, to see 
this argument of mine overturned/, and Free-will 
defended against it. \ 

As to mysielf, . I openly confess, that I should not 
wish Free-will to be granted me, even if it could be so, 
nor any thing else to be left in my own hands, whereby 
I might endeavour somethmg towards my own saJhra^ 
tioh. And that, not merely because in so many op 
posing dangers, and so many assaulting devils, I could 
not stand and hold it fast, (in which state no man 
could be saved, seeing that one devil is stronger than 
all men ;) but because, even though there were no dan- 
gers, no conflicts, no devils, I should be ^compelled to 
labour under a continual uncertainty, and to beat the 
aur only. Nor would my conscience, even if I shoold 
live and work to all eternity, ever come to a settled 
certainty, how much it ought to do in order to satisfy 
God. For whatever work should be done, there 
would still remain a scrupling, whether or not it 
pleased God, or whether he required any thing mcn'e ; 
as is proved in the experience of all justiciaries, and 
as I myself learned to my bitter cost, throu^ so many 
years of my own experience. 

But now, since God h as put m y salvation out of 
the way of my will, and has taken it imder his own. 
and has promised to save me, not according to my 
working or manner of life, but according to his own 
grace and mercy, I rest fully assured and persuaded 
tfrnt he is faith ful, and will not lie, and moreover great I 
and powerful, so that no devils, no adversities can I 
destroy him, or pluck me out of his hand. " No one 
(saith he) shall pluck them out of my hand, because 

2 B 




1 1' 


my Fathei^ which gave them me is.greater than alL^ 
Hence it is certain, that in this way, if all are not 
saved, yet some, yea many shall be saved ;- whereat^ 
by the power of Free-will, no one whatever oould be 
saved, but all must perish together. And moreover, 
we are certain and persuaded, that in diis way^ we 
please God, not from the merit -of our own worka^ but 
frt)m the fe.vour of his mercy promised unta us ; and 
that, if we work less, or work badly, he does not im^ 
pute it unto us, but, as a father, pardons us and makes 
us better. — ^This is the glor3^ng which all the saints 
have in their God ! 

Sect. CLXV. — And if you are concerned about 
this, — that it is difficult to defend the mercy and jus» 
tice of God, seeing that^ he damns the undeservii^ 
that is, those who are &>t thaireason ungodly^ because, 
being bom in^ iniquity, they cannot by any means 
prevent themselves from being ungodly, and from re- 
maining so, . and being damned, but are compteUed ftom 
the necessity of nature to sin and perish, 0s Paul-aaitli, 
" We all were the children of wrath, even as others^" 
vibea at the same time, they were created such hy 
God himself from a corrupt seed^ by means of the 
sin of Adam, — : • . 

— Here God is to be honoured and revered, i>8 
being most merciful towards those, whom he ji^stifies 
and saves under all their unworthiness r and it is to 
be in no small degree ascribed unto hi3 wisdom, that 
he causes us to believe him to be just, even whece he 
appears to be unjust Forifhisrighteousnes^-wereslifihy 
that it was considered to be ri^teousness acccffding 
to human judgment^ it would be no long^ <Uvjiifiiy iWf 


w0iild tt iiLany thing differ from human righteousness. 
But as he is the ooe and true God, axid. moreover in- 
comprehensible and inaccessible by human reasoti, it 
is right, i^ff it is necessary, that his righteousness 
shoiQd be incomprehensible : even as Paul exclaims, 
. saying, " Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wis- 
dom ^^d .knowledge of God, how unsearchable are 
his judgments, and his ways past finding out ! " But 
ihey would vhe no longer " past finding out ** if we 
were in all things able to see how they were ri^teous. 
What is miem, compared with God ! What can our 
power doi when compared with his power ! What is 
our strength, compared with his strength ! What is 
oiir knowledge compart with his wisdom ! What is 
our ' substance, compared with his substance ! In a 
word, what is all that we are, compared with all that 
he is ! 

If then, we confess, even accordfaig to the teadiing 
of nature, that human power, strength, wisdom, know- 
ledge, substahce, and all human things together, are 
nothing when compared with the divine power, strengdi, 
wisdom, knowledge, and substance, what perverseness 
must it be in us to attack the ri^teousness and judg^ 
ments of God only, and to a^rrogate so much to our own 
judgment, as to wish to comprehend, judge, and rate, 
*he divine judgments ! Why do we not, here in like 
nmmer say at once» — ^What ! is our judgment nothing, 
wlien compared with the divine judgments ! — But ask 
Mason herself if she is not, from conviction, compelled 
tx> confess, that she is foolish and msh for not allowing 
the judgments of Gt)d to be incomprdbensible, when 
5he confesses that all the other divine things are in- 
comprehensible ? In every thing else we concede to 
£j!od a divitie miges^y; aiKl yet, are. redely to deny it 

2 B 2 


to his judgments ! Nor can we for a little while be- 
lieve, that he is just, even when he promises that it 
shall come to pass, that when he shiedl leveal hi9 
glory, we shall all see, and palpably feel, tiiat he 

ever was, and is, — just ! 

. • . . .•••■■. 

Sect. CLXVI. — But I will produce >an example 
that may go to confirm this faith, and to console that 
" evil eye" which suspects God of injustice.— Behold f 
God so governs this corporal world in external things, 
that, according to human reason and judgment, you 
must be compelled to say, either that there is no God, 
or that God is unjust : as a certain one saith, ^ I am 
often tempted to think there is no God,' For see the 
great prosperity of the wicked, and on the contrary the 
great adversity of the good ; according to the testi- 
mony of the proverbs, and of experience the parent 
of all proverbs. The more abandoned men are, the 
more successful ! " The tabernacles of robbers (saith 
Job) prosper." And Psalm Ixxiii. complains, that die 
sinners of the world abound in riches. Is it not, I 
pray you, in the judgment of all, most unjust, that the 
evil should be prosperous, and the good afflicted? 
Yet so it is in the events of the world. And here it is; 
that the most exalted minds have so fallen, as to deny 
that there is any God at all; and to faUe, that fortune 
disposes of all things at random : such were Epicunis 
and Pliny. And Aristotle, in order that he mig^t 
make his ^ First-cause Being ' free from every kind of 
misery, is of opinion, that he thinks of nothmg what- 
ever but himself; because he considers, that it must 
be most irksome to him, to see so many evils and so 
ulany injuries. 

But the prophets AemsdveB, who bdienicd linext 


is a God, were tempted still more concerning the in- 
justice of God, as Jeremiah, Job, David, Asaph, and 
others. And what do you suppose Demosthenes and 
Cicero thought, who, after they had done all they 
could, received no other reward than a miserable 
death ? And yet all diis, which is so very much like 
injustice in God, when set forth in those arguments 
which no reason or li^t of nature can resist, is most 
easily cleared up by the light of the Gospel, and the 
knowledge . of grace : by which, we are taught, that 
the wicked flourish in their bodies^ but lose tkdr souls I 
And the whole of this insolvable question is solved in 
one word, — There i§ a life after this life : in which 
will be punished and repaid, every thing diat is not 
punished and repaid here: for this life is nothing 
more than an entrance on, and a beginnmgof, the life 
which is to come ! 

If then even the light of the Gospel, which 
stands in the word and in the faith only, is able to 
effect so much as with ease to do away with, and 
settle, this question which has been agitated through 
so many ages and never solved ; how do you suppose 
matters will appear, when the light of the word and of 
faith shall cease, and the essential Truth itself shall be 
reve£ded in the divine Majesty ? Dq you not suppose 
that the light of glory will .then most easily solve that 
question, which is now insolvable by the light of the 
word and of grace, even as the light of grace now 
easily solves that question, which is insolvable by. the 
light of nature ? 

Let us therefore hold in consideration the three 
lights — ^the h^t of nature^ the light ofgracCy and thi 
light of glory ; which is the qommon, and a very good 



distinction. Bv the light of nature it is ip8 6lvabl< 
haw it can beiust, that the good mati should be afUded 
and the wicked should prosper : but this is solved by 
the light of grace. By the ii^t of grace it is iii8<^abl e, 
hmn Gnj: Qan d amn him , who, by fads own powers, 
can do nothing but sin and become guilt^i B6t£i^ die 
n \ light of nature andti»_li^ _of|jiace here say, diafctbe 
feult is not in the miserable man, butTuTthe u&jnst 
God : nor can they judge otherwise of that God, 
who crowns die wicked man fredy without any merit, 
knd yet crowns not, but damns another, who is per- 
haps less, or at least not more wicked. Btit Ab lirfi t 
of g lory speaki^ otherwise . — -That; will shew> that God, 
to whoiii alone belongeth the judgment of incompie* 
hensible righteousness, is of ri^teousness mpstpei&ct 
tod most manifest ; in order that we may, in the mcan^ 
time, believe it, being admonished and confirmed by 
that example of the light of grace, which solves that, 
which is as great a tpiracle to die light of natore ! 


Sect CLXVII.-^— I SHALL here draw this book 
to a conclusion : prepared if it were necessary to 
pursue this Discussion still farther. Though I consider 
that I have now abundantly satisf^d the godly man, who 
wishes to believe the trudi without making resistance, a/ 
For if we believe it to be true, that God foire-knows 
and fore-ordains all things ; that he can be neither de- 
ceived nor hindered in his prescience and predestina- 
tion; and that nothing can t&ke place but acecmiing 
to bis will, (wbidi reason hers^f i» compelled to am- 


fess ;) then, evea according to the testunony of reason 
herself, there can be no Free-will — ^in man, — ^in angel, 
— ^r in any creature ! 

.' i-Hence :— ^If we befieve that Satan is the princeof ^ 
this world, ever ensnaring and fighting against the 
kingdom of Christ with all his powers ; and that he 
does not let go his captives without being forced by 
the divine power of the Spirit; it is manifest, that ^ 
the^ can be no such t&ing as — Free-will ! 

: Again :*-*-If we believe that original sia has so 
destroyed us, that even in^ the godly who are led by 
ifa&'Spirit, it causes this utmost molestation by striving 
agamst that which, is^good ; it is manifest, that there 
can be nothing left in a man <levoid of the Spirit, 
which can< turn itself towards good, but which must 
turn towards evil ! ^: . 

Again : — If the Jews, who followed after righte^ 
OQsness. with all thdr powers, ran rather into unri^ 
teousness, while the Gentiles who followed after un- 
righteousness attained unto a free ri^teousn^ss which 
tfiey^ never hoped for;: it is equally manifest, from 
their very works, and' ftom experi^ice, that man, 
without grace, can do nothing but will evil ! 

Finally : - ^If we believe that Christ redeemed 
men by his Mood, we are compelled to confess^ that 
the whole man wa$ los t: otherwise, we shall mak e 
Christ superfluous, or a Redeemer of the gross est 
part of man only, — ^which is blasphemy and sacrilege ! 

■.«-.-•. (I k, .. >>«.••<;«>'< • ■ ♦ »<.>-.«j> ».t* >i»*wii i »n». i «n W ■■rwwKMwWi 


Sect. C LX VIIL — ^And now, my friend Erasmus, 
I entreat you for Christ's sake to perform what you 
promised. You promised* that yonwould willingly yielfi 
to him, who should teach ypu better than you knew/ 


Lay aside all respect of persons You, I confess, are 
great and adorned with many, and those the most 
noble, gifts of God ; (to say nothing of the rest,), with 
talent,! with erudition, and with eloquence to a mira- 
cle. .Whereas I, have nothing and am nothing, except^ 
k^ JthaJt, li glory in being almost a Christian ! 
V; In this, moreover, I give .you great praise, and 
proclaim it—i-y ou alone in pre-eminent (jiistinctioh from 
all others, have entered upon the thing itself; tbali^, 
4he grand turning point of the cause; and have not 
we^ed me with those irrelevant points about popery> 
piirgatoxy, indulgences, and other Uke baubles^ irather 
than causes J widi which, all have hitherto tried to 
Imht me down,-^though in vain ! You, and you alone 
saw, what was the ^^nd hinge, upon which the iwhole 
turned, and therefore you attacked the vital part < at 
<Hice ; for which, from my heart, I thank you. For in 
this kind of discussion I willingly engage, as far as time 
and leisure permit < me. Had those who have here^ 
tofore attacked me ^lone the samef and would those 
still do the same, who a;re. now boasting of sew 
spirits, and new re vdation^ we should have less sedi^ 
tipn and sectarianism, and more peace and concord. 
— But thus has God^ iby the instrumentality of Satan, 
avenged our ingratitude ! ' 

But however, if you cannot manage this cause 
otherwise than you have managed it in this Dia- 
tribe, do,, I pray you, remain content with your 
own proper gift. Study, adorn, and promote literature 
and languages, as you have hitherto done, to great 
advantage, and with much credit. In which ca- 
pacity, you have rendered me also a certain service : 
so much so^ that I confess myself to be much, in- 



debted to you: and in that character, I certainly 
venerate, and honestly respect you. But as to' this our 
cause : — to this, God has neither willed, nor given it 
you, to be equal : thou^ I entreat you. not tx) consi- 
der this as spoken in arrogance. No ! I pray that the 
Lord may, day by day, make you as much superior to 
me in these matters, as you are superior to me in all 
others. And it is ho new thing fori God to instruct a 
Moses by a Jethro, or to teach a Paul by an Ananias. 
And as to what you say, — " You have greatly mist the 
mark after all^' if you are ignbitintof Christ." — You 
yourself, if I mistake not, know what that is. But all 
will not therefore err, because you or I may err. God 
is glorifi ed in his saints in a wdiiderful way f So^dialL 
W6 may consider lliose samts < *who are th^ farthest 
from sanctity. Nor is it an unlikely things thaityoH, as 
bdhg man/ ilh^uld not rightfy f understand, fior witli 
sufficient diligeice weigh, the scriptaiies,^ or the sa3ringB 
of the Fathers : under which guides, you imagftie yoii 
cannot miss the mark. And thiMi such is the calse, is 
<5[uite manifest ftom this :^— your toying^ thi^t you d6 
libt as8^ ifBtcoU^. N6'man't(f6iitd^writeifliitii/ t?ho 
Was fiiUy acquainted with,' and weil understood, his 
subject. On the contrary I, in ihis: bobk of nune, Irnvb 
collected nothing, but hsrve asserted, Bfid still do cuisert : . 
and I wish tione to become jiidges, fant all tb yield r 
assent — And may the Lord, whose cojose this is, 
illuminate you, and make you a= vessel to honour 
and to glory.-— Amen ! :'\ 


- •■ -'■ '' " ' 1525! 




i i • . ■ 



Gra^ce and peace in Christ, 

If J REGEivKD your test lettfeTj gladtyj my 
^xpellent friend, becituse I believe you wish well to^ 
liind are concerned for, the state df^.the Christiw 
cause. And X wish a»d)pray, thai Ae Lord would 
perfect that which he hath begun in you. 

I am grieved at hearing, tha^ ai&ong you also 
<this cnfid p^orsecution is carried jm ag8^iti9t Christ 
Kit it will come to tbia :tr-either d)9t cmd: tyrant will 
^change his fiiry 6£his own dcooidi^xr you wiU clmnge 
dtfor hiin^ and that shortly. . : 

'. \ . . Concerning predestination, I knew long ago, that 
Mosellanus agrees with Erasmus : for he is an Eias^ 
mian altt^ther* My fixed opinion is, however, that 
Erasmus knows less about predestination, (^or rather 
pretends to know) than even the schools of the so- 
phists have known. Nor have I any need to fear a 
fall, while I maintain my sentiments unchanged. 
Erasmus is not to be dreaded on this point, nor in- 
deed on any essential point of Christianity. Truth is 


more powerful than eloquence; tbe Spirit is far above 
human talent; faith is beyond all erudition; and, as 
Paul Baith, " the foolishness of God is wiser than 
men J" The eloquence of Cicero, was oft^i oyerthrowa 
by inferior eloquence, in the discussion of public causes. 
Julian, was more eloquent than Augustine. In a word, 
the victory is in the hands of child-speaking truth, 
not in the hands of lying eloquence !^— As it is written, 
^^ Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings has thou 
ordained strength, that thou mightest still the enemy 
and avenger." 

'I will not provoke ErtLStnUs, t&xr will I even when 
provoked once or twice, return the blow. And yet I 
do not think he shews his . wisdom, in directing the 
powers of his doquence against me. For I fear he 
will not find.inXiUth^^ Fabee |>1^ Pjcardy, nor be 
able to exult over me, as he does over him, where he 
says, ^ All congratulate me upon my victory over the 
Gaul.' But however, if he will 6ntet the lists with 
me, he sh^ find^ that Qhr^t fears ^neither the powers 
of the air, nor the girled of h^lL Ab4 lyamps^.wealp* 
tongiied babe^ will meet :^ idW^)oq4»^ti]^r^mus 
with confidence^ coring H^thipg &>i lids^watiQtif:^, Im 
nam^ iOt hia reputation* I know^ weU Tyhat 4^ in the 
man} seeing tbaty I aip.,we|l acquainted with the 
thoughts of Satan.; though I ?xpect he will da% 
manifest more and more that disposition tpw^ds n^ 
which he fosters in his heart 

I express myself thus plainly, that you mi^ 
have no fear or concern on my ftccpunt, nor be 
frightened at the ^at and swelling words of others. 
I wish ypu to salute MoseUanus in my name : for X 
am not theicefor^. iU^eoted towards ^m^ because he 


to the side of. Erasmas - rather ' tiiiln to miiie. 
Nay tell him to stand by Erasmus firmly: for the 
tone will come, when he will think otherwise, Ini the 
meaAtiine^ the weakness of an exoelkat heart is to be 
borne with. And may you also prosper in the Lord. 




Gnuce aad;peace in Christy 

I THANK you, my excellent friend, that you 
^ve me so <»jididly your opinion on my book. I care 
iK>t at all that the Papists are offended : I did not 
Write on thrir account, for they are not worth my 
luting or speaking in' consideration of them any 
More. God has giv^i them up to a reprobate mind ; 
so that they even fight against tliat^ which they know 
to be the truth. 

My* cause was heard as Augsberg, before die em- 
ptaroT Charles, and the whole world, and found to be 
irreprehensible, and to contain sound doctrine. More^ 
tfver, my Confession and Apology are made public,' aiid 
set in the open light throughout tfee world. By these, 
I haye atats^vered an* infinity of my lidT^rsaiies' books^ 


and all die lies of the Prists past, present, -and to 

I have oonfisssed Christ before diis wicked and 
adolterous generation, and I doubt not but that he wiU 
also confess me before his Father, and the holy angels. 
My li^t is set on a candlestick! — Let him that seeth 
it, see it more cleariy still ; let him that is blind, be 
blinder still ; let him that is just, be juster still ; let 
him that is filthy, be filthier still ; — ^their blood be upcm 
themselves ;— r-I am clean from their blood ! I have de- 
clared to the mirighteous his unrighteousness, and he 
will not be converted ; — let him therefore die in his 
sins ; — I have saved my own soul ! There is no need, 
therefore, that I should write, or care to write (xi 
their account, any farther. . 

And as to your advice, that diat grammarian or 
vocabularian whom you call the Erasmian plagiary 
should be held in contempt, and that Erasmus him- 
self should rather be answered : know, that I have 
held himi in sufficient contempt already : for I have 
not read one page of his writings. . Jonas answered 
him once, although I was much against his doing it ; 
and advised him, according to your opinion, to hcdd 
him in contempt. For I know the man well, from his 
skin to his ' heart, that he is not worthy of being 
spoken to, or dealt with, by any good man; such a 
hypocrite is he, and so full of reprobate envy and 

Moreover, you know my usual, way of overthrow- 
ing writers of this stamp — ^by holding them in silent 
contempt. For how many books ,of Eccius, Fab^r, 
Emser, Cochle8,'axid mai^ others^ who seemed tb be 
as mountains in labour, wad abdut to bring forth I 

know ndt;fi4iat nvonders, have I myself^ by my stietacB 
only, so utterly brought to nothing that no memmj 
toi them is left; Cato calli Isiich pettifoggers; and 
Idlows dll their pratings to pass hyi unnoticed : whn^eafl^ 
if he had at all considered them worthy -of being 
noticed and answered, th^ mi^t have proetired 'to 
themselves a lasting fame. • And th^> is a trite, bat 
true proverb, — 

Full well I know, that if with dung embroiled, 
Conqu'ror or conquer'(l, still I am besoiled. 

iBut here is my glorying.— Whatever could be 
brought against me from the scriptures and fix>m the 
fiithers, has been produced and published : and ne#, 
all the glorying they have left, i& in slanders, lies, and 
calumnies. And why should I envy them that, when 
ihey have no power br desire whatever to be r&- 
«owned fo/ahy other virti]^ea 1 / 

Your judgment of Erasmus I much adnure : 
^wherein you sa3r plainly^ that ^he: has no other basft 
tvi^rein to build his doctrine but the favour of men ; 
and attribute to him, moreover, ignorance and malice. 
And if you could but cbnvey this juc^ihent of yours 
with conviction to the minds of men in' general, ybh 
would in tiruth, like another stripUn^ David^ by this 
one blow^ lay our boasting Goliah prostrate^ and at 
the same time, eradicate the whole of his sect. F^ 
what is more vain, more fallacious, in aUtbiiigs, wan 
the ajp^lausg pf men, especially in things spiritual ! 
For, as the Pilalms testify, " Therein no help in them: " 
-again, " Ail men are liars." If therefore Etasmns be 
nothing 1 but vanity, and rest alone on vanity and a 
lie, what need is there to reply to himr at all? He 


J^isQsdtf*, U^gdOum with all his vajxi^, will at length 
vaiM^h like smoke, if we but troai lam as^ I have treated 
those former scajrercftows and pettifoggers, whom, by 
my silen<^ only, I have committed to utter obhvion. 

I at one time attributed to him a singular kind df 
mcoQsistency and vain-talking, for he seemed to treat 
on sacied and serious things with the greatest uncon^ 
cem ; and on the contrary, to pursue baubles, vanities; 
and things laughable and ridiculous with the utmost 
avidity ; thou^ an old man, and a theologian ; and 
that, in an age, the most industrious and laborious. So 
that I really thonght, that what I had heard many 
men of wisdom and gravity say, was true — that Eras- 
mus was actually mad« 

When 1 first wrote against his Diatribe, and wlu 

compiled to weigh his words, (as John says ^^ try 

the Spirits,") bdng disgusted at fais^ inconsideratenesa 

in a subject of so much importance ; in order that I 

might rouse up the cold and doltish disputer, I goaded 

him as if in a snoring sleep ; caUing him a disciple,>«| 

oae time, of Epic^urus, at another, of Ludan, and tibwn 

ag^, declaring him to be of the opinion of the see|f<* 

tics ; supposing, that by these means he might, per^ 

haps,- be roused up^to enter upon the subject widi- 

more feeling. But all was in vain. I only irritated the 

viper, so aa to cause him at last to give birth to his 

Viper ASPis, an offspring worthy of, and exactly like^ 

its parent ^ But however, he proudly omitted to say one 

sin^e word to the subject point So that, from that 

time, I have despaired of his theology altogether. 

Now, however, I am quite of your opinion, thai 
it was not inoonsiderateness in him, but as yoa say^ 
real ignorance and. malice. For he was unacquamtad 


with our ddctrioed^ or Iii6 doctriiies of' Cfaristittoifef ; 
he knew them^ but from policy would not know them/ 
And though he may not understand,* nor indeed €Mr 
understand^ those doctrines whidi are pecutiaar tO'Otir 
fraternity, and which we maintain against the s3rna'- 
gogue of the Pope, yet he cannot be ignorant of ^ose 
which are held in common by us and the '-^diurdv 
under . the . Pope ; because, he writes on these tery 
largely, or rather, laughs at them. — Such as, ifae 
trinity of the diving Peiisons, the divinity dnd hu^ 
manity of Christ, sin, the redemption of the humain 
race, the resurrection of the dead, eternal life, and the 
like: he knows, I say, that these things are tauj^ 
and believed even by many ungodly and false Chris- 
tians. But the truth is, he hates all the doctrines 
together. Nay, there can be no doubt in the mind of 
a true believer,^ who has the Spirit in his nostrils, that 
his mind is alienated from, and utterly hates, all religion 
together ; and especially, the religion of Christ Many 
proo& of this are scattered here and there. And it will 
come to pass by and by, that like the mole, be will 
durow up some dirt, that will shew where and what he 
is, and prove his own destruction. , 

He puldished lately, among his other works, his C a- 
TECHiSM, a production evidently of Satanic subdety; 
For, with a purpose full of crafr, he designs to take chU- 
^n and youths at the outset, and to infect tliemiwith 
his poisons, that they mi^t not afterwards beei^icated 
from them; just as he himself, in Italy and at Romo^sa 
sucked in his doctrines, of sorcerers and of ulevils, that 
now all remedy is too late. But who wouM bear with 
aim method of bringing up children, or the weak iti 
fiiith, which Erasmus proposes to us ? The tender and 

xmexperienced mind is to be foimfid; at first by certaiiiv 
{dain, and necessary principles,, which : it may fixxBly 
telieve. Because, it is necessary that every one who 
would learn, should believe: for what will he evS* 
learn, who either doubts himself, or is taught to doubt d 

But this new chatechist of ours, aims only, dt 
Tendering his catechumens, and the doctrines^ of fiautJa^ 
suspicious. For at the very outset^ laying aside' dH 
solid foundation, he does nothing but set before them 
those heresies and offences of opinions, by which due 
church has been troubled from the beginning^ So 
that in fact, he would make it ap^)ear, that there t has 
been nothing certain in the Christian religion. : And if 
an unexperienced mind be from the very beginning 
poisoned by principles and questions of this kind, whM 
«lse can it be expected to-diink of or do, but» eithier 
to withdraw itself secretly from, or, if it dare, to hold 
the Christian rdigion in utter detestation^ as a pest to 
mankind? ^ c.l 

He imagines however, all the while, that no oiii^ 
will discover the craft of this design: ; As tUtouj^ we 
had not in the ^riptures numberless examples of 
these bug-bears of the devil. It was thus the serpent 
dealt with Eve. He first entangled her in doubts, and 
brought her to suspect the reality; of the precept of 
<jrod concerning the tree of knowledge of good and 
evil, and when he had brought her to a stand-^stiH 
of doubt, overthrew and destroyed her.-~Untess 
Erasmus considers this to be a mere fiible also ! . '^ 

It is with the same serpent-like attack that he 
-creeps upon, and deceives, simple souls ; saying — 
^ How is it, that there have been Romany sect^i and 

2 c 

amm in this one true Tdigkm/ (as 'it is believed to 
be ?) How ii it, that there have be^i so many creed&P 
Why, in the Apostles' Creed,' is the Father called 
God, the Son not God, but Lord, and the Spirit 
neither God nor Lord, but Holy?' And so on. — ^WTio 
I would ask troubles unexperienced souls, whom he 
undertakes to instruct, with questions like these, but 
the devil himself? Who would dare to speak thus 
upon a creed of faith, but the very mouth and iur 
Jtrum^it of the devil? — Here you have the Plot, 
the Execution, and the catastrophic End, of a soul- 
murdering tragedy ! 

But behold, I am here almost carried into a refu- 
tatioiiof his catechism; whereas, I merely intended to 
shew you, why I thought it better not to answ^ this 
viper at all : — ^because, he will most effectually refute 
himself in the minds of all godly and good men. 
c J Ttie like game also he played on the apostle Paul, 
in his preface to the Romans; (to say nothing about 
liis paraphrases, or his mad vagaries [jparapkroneses,] 
to vise his own term;) where he speaks of the praises 
of Paul in that Way, that no sipiple reader whatever 
jvrho is unacquainted with rhetoric, could be more 
iefifeqtually drawn away, and beaten off, from reading 
and studying Paul : so confused, intricate, self-contrar 
dictory, diverse, and disgusting, does he represent 
lym to be: so that, tiie reader^ must of necessity 
bcjieve the epistle to be the production of some mad 
man :' so far is it from possibility, that he should con- 
sider it to be profitable. 

And among the rest of his sharp-razor cuts, he 
could) not receive, without venting his spleen^' even 


thfe: — ^*that Peter shouidcalt Christ Mian, aiifl sky 
nothing of his Godhead/--^A notable annotation truly! 
And most appropriately applicable to thie passage ! 

And then as to his method, with all its twistiiigs 
and windings, what is it* but a holding lip Christ, ancJ 
every thing done by him, to derision? 'Who could 
gather any thing from this Method but a dis^st at 
nay a hatred of, attending to a religioh so conftisea 
and j)e!fplexed, and perhaps after all, nierely fit- 
buloiis?' '; 

Who, moreover, ever spoke in so much disdaiti 
and contempt (not to say enmity) of the apostle and 
evangelist John, who, among Christians is Held to tic 
of the highest authority after Christ?— * He merel 
scolds little children; except it be when he consider 
a m4n to be a dolt or a logger-head.* — :Christiaiiife 
ever speak of the apostles with reverence and fedrj 
whereas, this fellow would teach us to speak of them 
with profane pride and contempt. And this is the 
first step towards speaJ^ing profanely of God hin^s^li^, 
whose the apostles are. Nay, it is the same as s4yin 
in contempt of the ttol^ Spirit, (whose the words ol 
the apostles are,) that he merely scolds little children! 

Nurnberless things of this kind aire to be found iii 
Erasmus: or rather, this is his whole character in 
theolo^. And this many others have observed 
before me,' and still do observe daily more and more i 
nor does he cease to go on and to publish daily his 
'dimotations more and more grossly, for his "judg- 
ment now for a long time lingereth not," and his 
*' damnation slumbereth not." 

This is also a notable instance of the piety* 'of 

■• ' ■ : \' ■ 3 c 2 ■' - •' 


Erasmus !^ — In his letter upon-^ Chrhtian philosophy^' 
which is publisbed with his New Testsonent^ and used 
in common throughout all the churches, when he had 
propounded the question, — * Why Christ, so great a 
teacher, descended from heaven, when there are many 
things taught even among the heathens winch, are 
precisely the same, if not more perfect,' — he answers^ 
'Christ came (which I, doubt not but he believed 
most Erasmianly) from heaven, that he mi^t exem- 
plify those things more perfecdy and more fully than 
any of the saints before him ! ' 

Thus, this miserable renewer of all things, Christ, 
(for so he reproaches the Lord of glory) has lost the 

J glory of a Redeemer, and becomes only one more 
holy than others. — ^This sentiment could not be ex- 
pressed in ignorance, but must have been >designed 
and wilful;- because, even those who do not truly 
believe, know, and every where confess, that Christ 
descended from heaven to redeem us men from sin 
and death. 

This was the sentiment that first alienated my 
mind from Erasmus. From that moment, I began 
to suspect him of being a plain Democritus or Epi- 
curus, and a crafty derider of Christ: for he every 
where intimates to his fellow Epicureans, his 'hatred 
against Christ: though he does it iii words so figur 
rative and insiduous, that he leaves himself a clue for 
raging most furiously against those Christians, who, 
from being offended at his suspicious and double 
meaning words, will not interpret them as standing 
in favour of their Christ. — As though Erasmus him- 
self had an atl-free prerogative throu^out the world, 
of speaking on divine things with obliqui^ and craft, 

tad had all men ^ under his thumb, that they must 
interpret all his obliquities and crafiy manoeuvres, as 
having an upright and honest intent ! 

Why does he not rather speak openly and plainly? 
Why does he alw^iys deal in these crafty and ensnaring 
figures of speech ? So great a rhetorician and theo- 
logian ought not only to^ know, but to act according 
to, that which Fabius says, ' An ambiguous word 
should be avoided as a rock/ 'Where it happens now 
and then inadvertently, it may be pardoned: but 
where it is sought for designedly and purposdy, it 
deserves no pardon whatever, but justly merits the 
abhorrence of every one. For to what does this 
hatdiil double-tongued way of speaking tend? It 
bnly fiimishes an opportunity of disseminating and 
fostering in safety the seeds of every heresy, uncler 
the cover of words and letters that have a shew of 
Christian faith. And thus, white reli^n is believed 
to be taught and d^ended, it is, in reality, utterly 
destroyed, and subverted from its foundation before 
it is understood. 

Wherefore, all are perfectly in the right who 
interpret his suspicions and insidious words against 
himself. Nor is any notice to be taken of him when 
he cries out calumny! calumny! because his words 
are not fairly and candidly interpreted. Why does 
he himself ever avoid fair words, and designedly 
express himself in those which are unfair ? For it is 
an unheard-of kind of tyranny to wish to have the 
whole human race so under his thumb, that they 
should be compelled to understand fairly what he 
says insidiously and dangerously, and thus cede to him 
the prerogative of expressing himself insidiously. No ! 


m bow, to tbfi ;yM^ human ;Jtu«;, tiHit[ii8,j.;tjy;:i4»t 
staining from that pnrofaae.^^ 4flub)b-4oiig^t^,](re|l3lf 
biljlty of tspee^ and irain-talJfipg,, a&d byr^yoicb^, as 
1^^ saith, If profene ajfd^Tqiy^ babbling&^f ..: s ,<(>/' 
. ,iJPoi;,^iftjtiW8^,:th^ttey^f^^ public k^^rs o|i.^ 
lippaan enjpjire copdempq^ ; mjs juanwac ^. spiea^) 
ftijiij puni^ljied it thug^. -*- TTbey coippia?!^,, 'IJtmjt d|^ 
.iyj[)f^s,9^,Jt)^ obscurely, .whpa lie 

jP)(;^^Wspe^fl[^CM-epla^^^^ ^hoi^ be interpreted agaiijrt 
l^ims^lf.' . , ; ^na ^ |Chri^t .^filso^, cqu^epned that : wick^ 
se^aBt .)Y|^c^{ie)(cujB^ l^sell by ^ evaeicm; and 
iflterpretingjiJiis 'c^w^, words ..^g^st himeel^ siad, 
}^^Out,qf tbifjp own p^ou^.wiE I judge tjje^fthou 
wicked sery^pl;," For,^ j f in r^igion, Jn Iaw8^4|n4::ip 
^1 weighty ^a^te^y we should be allowedr [to express 
pursdves anqibj^guously ^nd tiusidiously, ; whfk^ .^oujij^ 
fpllQiy Wj ^ that; [Utter conftts^oai^ B#)el, whiere^^ng 
9fve cpu^ii]in!d^|]^tandj:anp^^I..,T^ wxjuW.bfe to 
1^^910, the language qjf fjbguenj^» fbnd in so ^ doings tOr 
lose the language of nature ! ' \ i ^. . A h 

,,; , ]Vl|Oa:eoverj^if,tJiis Uc^nc^ should preyail, J Wiighl 
jjc^c^nv^nie^tly^ ifijljerpret ; aJl th«at the whole, herd of 
):^^tics ev^r i^^^; nay aU^^t the dervil himseliTever 
f&i pr said, or cquld s^.f^^dp; to all reternity- Where 
then wfi^ be.Jthe power of refuting the heretics an4 
the devil ? Where wouki be that wisdom of thc^ trOfd 
Christ which aU the adversaries shall not be able to 
resist? Wh^ woiiW tecoBa^e of Ipgk:,, the instructed 
pf teacliing rightly? Wha|; would become .qf i^etori^, 
the faculty .of per^^ading ? Nothing woul^ he t9.ughl, 
ppthing would :>beleame4> je^. persuasion could be 
a«iied hqmc^^flropan&pktioB i^puljl^b^^ 


lnotiM be wrought: beoauBe, notibiUigiwould^ be ftpok^ 
w heanl that wjQB certaiiu h . 

When, therefore, Ensmus lightly and ridiwlously 
saya^f JeJm the Evangelist, * that he merely scoW^ 
babes,^' he is to. be adjudged immediately a: disciplo Ski 
Epicurus or Democriftis,. and to be addressed thusiT-r 
]L^eara to speak of Majesty with more reveipncflj 
$pm6 noted jesters have, indeed, sometimes, spolg^ 
of pffinces thus irreverently, and fool-Uke, but, s«S 
always with impunily. But if any one else of 4 
sound n^nd and juc^gment hi^d tlone the same, h9 
might, perhaps, have lost his head, for the crime, of 
insulted majesty. 

f , Thus^ when Erasmus says, * Pet^ addresses Chijs^ 
a$ Man, aoad aays nothing of ^s I^vini^/ ihe is tq 1|^ 
condepined of Arianism and r heresy: ]^fic&a,»f.h^ 
Gould have omitted this insidious obs^ryatiOw ailjIOT 
gether, in a mfitter where the divine Majesfty is 
emineo^Uy concerned, or have; rspoketi mpre^reve^ 
rently: for the words plainly imply, that the Ariaits 
do not. like that Christ should be called God, but 
consider it better that he should be called mai^. only; 
And how conveniently soever they ffii^y be interpreted 
in fevour of the divinity of Chiist; yet^asthey staad 
and are read according to their plain n^aning, espe- 
cially since their author is suspicious, they offend 
Christian minds : because, they have not one plain 
meaning, and may be more easily understood to 
favour the Arians, than the orthodox. 

Hence Jerom, writing of the Arians o£ bis time 
viiio taught in ,the same artfid way, says, ^ Their 
{Hiests say one tlnng, and thar people understand 
another*' In like manner, there was no necessity fyr 


obiserviilg to Chrisdan^ oortiiftt passage, tiiat FkteeiU 
not call Christ, God ; thougb in troth he did not omif 
to cidft Christ, <jod. Nor is it eaoir^ to fHttaofd^ ^tfaat 
Ii6<cdl6d him man only, on accoant of the commoa 
nndiitttde:' for thotigh.he did call him Man, yet, he 
did not therefore omit to call him God, excqit diat 
he^^(fid not pronounce these tlu^e liters, GO0: but 
fliis Erasmns^ rigidly deems Was necessary: by io 
doing, however, he does nothing here, as well as in 
<jvcty other place, but lay snares, without any cattse 
Whatevei*, to'erilrap the inexperienced, and to render 
ctor religion suspicious. 

That Carpisian, whoever he was, justly condemns 
him as a fevourer of the Arians in his preface to 
Hilary, where' be has said, ^ We dare to call tte Holy 
Spirit, God, which the ancients did not dare to do/ 
Ahd when, having been faithfully admonisl^, he 
ought to have acknowledged his high-flown figures of 
speech; jand his Arianisms, and to have corrected 
them, he not only did not do that, but even itivei^ied 
i&gainst the admonition, as a calumny proceeding from 
Sitan, and laughed at the Divinity two-fold more than 
feVer: — ^such a confidence has he in his pliability of 
speech, and his citcumlocutive evasions^ * Neverthe- 
le^, he vety seriously confesses the Trinity, and 
would not by any means whatever be thought to deny 
the Trinity of the ^God-head, but only wishes to say, 
that the curiosity (which he afterwards requests will 
be ^ conveniently interpreted ' diligence) of the modems, 
has ^received and dared many things fr^m the scrip- 
'tttres which the ancients dared not.* — As though the 
Christian religion rested on the authority of men: (for 
this ife what he would persuade us to.) And what is thia, 
but considering all religion together to be a mere fable ! 


Here, although the Carpisian be in many things 
of no weight whatever, and ever an enemy to Luther, 
yet Erasmus, from an unheard-of pride, thinks all 
men together to be mere stocks and stones ; who 
neither understand any subject, nor see through the 
meaning of any words. Read that observation of his, 
and say, if you do not discover the incarnate devil ! 
This observation fixes in me a determination {let 
others do as they please) not to believe Erasmus, 
even if he should openly confess in plain words, — ^that 
Christ is God. But I would address to him that sophiift- 
lical saying of Chrysippus, * If you lie, you lie even 
when you speak the truth.' For what need was there, 
if he in verity believed that the Holy Spirit Is God, to 
isay, ^We dare to call the Holy Spirit^ God, which the 
ancients did not dare to do?' What need was there to 
use this vertJble word 'dare,' that it might apply both 
to the praise and dispraise of these same modems, 
when we received this doctrine from the ancients, and 
did not ^ dare' to receive it first? 

But however, it is a stark lie, to say, that the an- 
cients did not first * dare ' to call the Holy Spirit, 
God :-— unless by ancients, according to one of his 
very beautiful figures of speech, he means Democritus 
and Epicurus : or unless, he means God, materially, 
that is, these three letters, God ! But to what purpose 
is all this hateful manoeuvering, but to make of a gnat 
an elephant, as a stumbling-block to the unexperienced, 
and to intimate, that the Christian religion is a nothing 
at all ! and that, for no other reason^ than because 
these three letters, God, are not written in every 
place, where he considers they ought to have been 
written ! \ . . 



."■■ t Jja the Bamfe ^amri^ |ii»' felfaers; tb^ Jixiaas^ made 
QUB^berless quU>bles^ beiceuse these letter^ hojcoubio8| 
tod INN A3CXBIXIS, were not found in the sacmd 
wdtin^ : cDndidering, it nothing to thfe purpo^, th^( 
the $^&me thing C9uld be solidly prove4'W substance. 
^)iid M^here ^ name: God i£?dv wiitten, they: weie 
Mftdjtwith.their.gloiSjt^ elude the. truth, by contend- 
mg> that it did not m^SK God inreaUty^ but God,^ 
ifpptUatbn^ So that, tyou^can do nothing with these 
yiipers, whether yoU; spei^k to tl^m by the scriptures, 
(MTriWithoui: the scriptures. ' , 

, v: ' This is the way oi the malice of Satan. When he 
panoQt deny the fact, he turns, to demanding certain 
purticulartem^, which he himself prescribes. And thus 
the devil himself may say, even to Christ — Although 
thou speakest the truth, yet since ifaou dost not speak 
it in the terms which I think- requisite,: thou sayest 
nothing at all: and I wish the truth to be spoken in no 
WMrds whatever." — ^This is like Maxcolfus, who wished 
to be hung upon a &ee chosen by hjm^ielf, and yet 
wished to choose no \$ee at all. But of this elsewhere, 
if the Lord shall give me leisure, and length of Ufe, 
fiorit is my determmation to leave. bdiind me my 
true and faithful testimony concerning Erasmus: and 
fhUa; to > expose Luther to be bitten and stung by 
these vip^s, bi;il; pOt to be utterly torn ia pieces and 
^troyed!r*T- . : i ,; = 

/ I now return to^ my observation upon my liberty 
wjaiich J Mve asserted; giving it i^ my sentimaiti^^ 
^t the tyranny of Erasmus which he woifld exercise 
by.means of circmiilocutiye evasions j is not to h^ 
bame^ but that heiiis to t))e judged ppenly, out of hi^ 
own mouth. Where he speaks as an Arian, let him be 


judged aa i\|Mn; where he speaka^ as a Lnoian, let 
him be judged a (Lucian j where he speaks as a Gen- 
tile, let him be judged a Gentile; unless he repent 
and cease to defend such ways of expressing himself. 

. For instance. In one of his epistles on the incar-* 
natiop, of the Son of God, he uses a mostrabominable 
term, calling it ^the injtercQurse of ; pod with tl» 
Virgin ' — ^here he is to be judged, a horrible, blasphemer 
of God and the Virgin ! Nor does it make him at aU 
^tter, his afterwards expounding ;^ intercourse'^ 
applying to the form of the Christian' doctrine* Whjf 
did he not speak of the form Qf Christian doctrine? 
For he wdi knew,, that by this word, * intercourse/ 
Christians Could not; but be greccdy, ofFeo^ded — and let 
him be judged ungodly whp wquld not be offended at 
a term so abominably obscene, in a iq^ttter so sacred : 
knowing that, , an ambiguous expression of such a 
nature, is always taken in its worst ^nse,^ even. though 
we be not ignorant, . that the term may have another 
meaning. If it take place from inadvertency, it may 
be pardoned : if from design and wilfulness, it is to be 
condemned, as I said, without mercy. For to hold^ 
doctrine of faith is ^duous, and^ a divine work, even 
when delivered in proper^ evident^ aod ceortain wor^ 
How then shall it be held, if it be delivered in avibi- 
guous, doubtful, QfXkd oblique words ! ji 

St. Augustine says, ^philosophers ought to, speak 
freely on difficult poiiits, fearing no offence: but "Wfe 
(says he) must speak according to a certain ]|^1^' 
And therefore, he bl^^nes the use of the termybrfi^, 
or fate J both in himself and others. For even thp^igh 
the person may by fortune mcjan the divine mifid^ tb^ 
agent of all things,! from which nature is known to hp 


distinctly'difTeren^ and thus may not think impiously^' 
yet, says he, 'Let hun hold his sendn^ent^ but correct 
his expression/ 

And even to suppose that Augustine did not say 
this, and never had any certain rule according to 
which he expressed himself, yet nature will tdl us^ 
that every profession, sacred as well as profane, uses 
certain terms of its own, and avoids all ambiguities. 
For even common tradesmen, either reprove or con- 
demn, or hold up to ridicule, the man who speaks of 
his own trade in the technical terms (as they are 
called) peculiar to the trade of another. With how 
much greater force wiU this apply to things s^cied, 
where certain salvation, or eternal perdition i^ the 
consequence, and where all must be taught in cettain 
and proper terms ! Let us, if we must do it, trifle 
with ambiguities in other things that are of no mo- 
ment, as nuts, apples, pence, and other things which 
are the toys of children and of fools : but in religion, 
^d weighty matters of state, let us shun, with all potk 
Jiible care, an ambiguity, as we would i^un. dea& w 
fte devil ! 

Our king of ambiguity, however, sits upon his 
ambiguous throne in security, and destroys us stupid 
Christians with a double destruction. First, it is his 
will, and it is a great pleasure to him, to offend us by 
his ambiguous words: and indeed he would not like it, 
if we stupid blocks were not offended. And next, whm 
he see^that we are offended, and have run against his 
insidious figures of speech, and begin to exclaim 
Bgainst him, he then begins to triumph and rejoice 
that the desired pri^y has been cau^t in his sniLres. 
For now, having found an opportunity of dispkying 


his rhetoric, he rushes upon us with all his powers 
and all his noise, tearing us, flogging us, crucifying us, 
and sending us farther than hell itself; saying, that 
we have understood his words calumniously, viru- 
lently, satanicaily; (using the worst terms he can find;) 
whereas, he never meant them to be so understood. 

In the exercise of this wonderful tyranny, (and 
who would think that this Madam ambiguity* could 
make so much ado, or who could suppose that any 
one would be so. great a madman as to have so much 
confidence in a vain figure of speech?) he not only com- 
pds us to put up with his all-fi^ee prerogative of using 
ambiguities, but binds us down to the necessity of 
keeping silence. He plainly designs all the while, and 
wishes us to be ofiended, that he, and his h^ of 
Epicureans with him, may have a laugh at us as fools : 
but on the other hand, he does not like to hear that 
we are offended, lest it should appear that we are true 
Christians. Thus must we suffer wounds without 
number, and yet, not utter a groan or a sigh ! 

We Christians, however, who are to judge, not 
meats and drinks only, but angels and the whole 
world, and who actually judge, even now, not only do 
not bear with this tyranny of ambiguities^ but on the 
contrary, oppose to it our liberty of pronouncing a 
two-fold condemnation. The first is, as I have already 
observed; we condemn all the ambiguous expressions 
of Erasmus, and interpret them against himself : as 
Christ saith, " Out of thine own mouth will 1 judge 
thee, thou wicked servant." Again, " By thine own 
words shalt thou be condemned : for wherefore hast 
thou spoken against thine own soul ? " " Thy blood 
be upon thine own head." The- second condemnation 


hyi^e coixaettih and ciirse again feihd again IAb 0oss^^ 
and 'convenient interpretations,' hf which, he nbt 
oilly does not correct his nrigbdly expressions, but 
even defends them : that is, he latins at us twice iis 
inuch in his after interpretations, as he does in his 
first expressions. 

For example : He says, that by * the intercouilse 
of God with the Virgin ' he does not mean a common 
intercourse, but another kind of marriage between God 
and the Virgin, where the angel Gabriel is the bride- 
groom, and the Holy Spirit performs the act of con- 
summation. Only observe what this fellow, t^y his in- 
terpretation, would have us to hear and unaferstand 
Christ to be. And he says these things, that he Jinight 
defend the filthiness and obscenity of his expression 
in the face of offended Christians, and laugh at them 
all the while; and thus, he forces upon its this offen- 
sive term, when he knows very well, that this mystery 
of the most holy incarnation, cannot be explained to 
the mind of man by all the obscene and ambiguous 
words of the whole world : but how it is understood 
by the Epicureians, I dare not, for horror, imagine. 
Why do Wfe not call the conversation of God with 
Moses and the other prophets, ^ intercourse ' also, and 
ttiske the angels bridegrooms, and the Holy Spirit the 
consummator of the act, or make of it^something stilf 
more obscene ? Moreover, here is the impious idea 
of sej: introduced, to perfect this monstrous derision of 
Saying, that God had * intercourse with the Virgin ;' — 
in order that, the whole might be made a fable, like that 
wherein Mars is said to have had intercourse with 
Rhea, and Jupiter with Semele ; and thatChristianity 
mi^t be reduced to a level with ohe of the fabiilous 


stories of old>, and men represented as foojis and piti^ 
able madmen for believing such la story to be serious 
and true,. not considering what turpitudes and obsce- 
nities were tlie objects of their feith and worship! 
And therefore, Christians, that stupid set of creatures^ 
were to be admonished by means of figures like 
these, to begin to doubt, and then, from doubting to 
fiepart from the faith; that thus, religion might be 
utterly destroyed before any one could be aware of it. 

This is the verification of that parable, Mattxiii. 
where tlte enemy is represented as sowing tares in the 
night, and going his way. Thus, we Christians are 
peeping in security : and even if we were not sleep- 
ing, those bewitching Syrens, by their honey of 
speech, would soon lull us to sleep, and bring a 
cloud of night over our eyes. In the meantime, are 
30wn those tares of figurative and insidious words s 
and yet when Sacramentarians, Donatists, ArianSj 
Anabaptists, Epicureans, &c. are sprjing up, we ask 
— How is it that our Lord's field hath tares ? They, 
however, who have sown them, are gone away ; that 
is, they so paint and set themselves off by their * con- , 
venient interpretations,' and withdraw themselves from| 
sight, that they seem as if they had sown nothing but 
wheat. Thus the enemy slides away, and is off ii 
safety, and crowned with honour and applause, ant 
appears to be a friend, when he- is in truth the greatef 
of enemies. This is the way with the strange woman] 
Prov. XXX., who, " when* she has eaten, wipeth he^ 
mouth, and saith, I hs^ve done no wickedness ! " 

Thus have I replied to your letter, my friend 
Armsdorff, though perhaps I have been too long and 
tedious; But I wishfed to shew you, why T judged it 


best not to answer Erasmus any farther. I am more-' 
over abundantly engaged in - teaching, confirming, 
correcting, and governing my flock. And my work of 
translating the Bible, alone requires the devotion of 
my whole time : from which work, Satan with all his 
might endeavours to withdraw me, as he has done 
upon former occasions ; that he might get me to leave 
the best things, to follow after those which are nothing 
but vain and empty vapours. For my Bondage of the 
Will proves to you how diflScult a task it is to cope 
with that proteus Erasmus, on account of his vertibi- 
lity and slipperiness of speech ; in which alone is all 
his confidence. He never remains in one position, 
but, with the deepest craft, evades every blow, and is 
like an irritated hornet. 

Whereas, miserable I, am compelled to stand my 
ground in one position, and that upon Unequal ground, 
as " a sign to be spoken against." For whatever 
Luther writes, is condemned before ten years are at an 
end. Luther is the only one who writes fi'om envy, from 
pride, from bitterness, and in a word, at the instiga- 
tion of Satan himself; but all who write against him, 
write under the influence of the Holy Spirit ! 

Before my time, it required a great to-do, and an 
enormous expense, to canonize a dead monk. But 
now, there is no easier way for canonizing even living 
Neroes and Caligulas, than the declaration of hatred 
figainst Luther. Only let a man hate and bravely 
curse Luther, and that, immediately, makes him a 
saint, equal almost to our holy Lord, the servant of 
the servants of God. But who could ever believe that 
hatred against Luther would be attended with so 
ipuch power and advantage? It fills the coffers of 


very b^;ars; nay, it introduces obscure moles 
and bats, to the favour of princes and of kings;- 
it procures . prebendaries and dignities; it procures 
bishoprics ; it procures the reputation of wisdom and 
of leahiing to the most consummate asses ; it procures, 
to petty teachers of grammar, the authority of writing^ 
books ; nay, it procures the crown of victory and of 
glory, eternal in the heavens ! Nay, happy are all who 
hate Luther, for they obtain, by that one vile atnd 
easy service, those great and mighty things, whicb 
none of the most excellent of men could ever obtain 
with all their wisdom and their virtues ; no, not evim 
Christ himself, with all his own miracles, and the 
miracles of his apostles and ^1 his saints ! 

Thus are the scriptures fiilfiUed.^ — Blessed are ye. 
who persecute Luther, for yours is the kingdom oi 
heaven! Blessed are ye who curse and say all manner 
of evil against Luther; rejoice and be exceeding glad 
in that day, for great is your reward in hea;yen ; for so 
persecutedi,t|^vthe apostles, the holy bishops,. John; 
Huss, and;o0ibiS who were before Luther l^^-Where^^ 
fore, I feel more and more persuaded, that I shall act 
rightly by answering Erasmus no ferther: but I will 
leave my testimony concerning him, even for his own 
sake, that be might hereafter be unburdened from 
that concern which, as he complains, is completely 
death to him : viz. that he is commonly called a 
Lutheran. But, as Christ liveth, they do him a great 
injury who call him a Lutheran, and I will defend him 
against his enemies : for I can bear a true and faithful 
testimony, that he is no Lutheran^ but Erasmus 
himself ! 

And if I could have my wiB, Erasmus should be 

a D 

. 402 

exploded from our schools altogether : for if he be 
not pernicious, he is certainly useless : because he, in 
truth, discusses and teaches nothing* Nor is it at all 
advisable to accustom Christian youth to the diction 
of Erasmus : for they will learn to speak and think of 
nothing with gravity and seriousness, but only to laugh 
at all men as babblers and vain-talkers. In a word, 
they will learn nothing, but to play the fool ! And 
from this levity and vanity they will, by degrees, 
grow tired of religion, till at last they will abhor and 
pi-ofane it ! Let him be left to the Papists only, who 
are worthy of such an apostle, and whose- lips relish 
his dainties I 

May our Lord Jesus Christ, whom, according to 
my faith, Peter did not omit to call God; by whose 
power I know, and am persuaded, that I have often 
been delivered from death, and by faith in whom I 
have undertaken and hitherto accomplished all these 
things which excite the wonder even of my enemies ; 
may this same Jesus guard and deliver us unto the 
end — for he is the Lord our God ! — ^To "^hom alone, 
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory for 
ever and ever ! Amen ! 

j^- — ^ 

T. Bekslby, Printer, Cn^ O^art, FleeuStreet, London. 


The Translator desires to take this opportunity of 
informing those Friends who have favoured him with their 
Names in support of the Publication announced in the Pbo- 
pbSALS^ that he has, after much deliberation^, deemed it ad- 
visable to send the Work forth in Numbers of Eighteen- 
FENCE, instead of a Shilling each. Many friends intimated to 
him their thoughts, that the length of time which it must take to 
bring the whole to a completion in Numbers of One Shilling 
each, would be somewhat objectionable. In compliance with 
their wishes, therefore, and under a conviction of the propriety 
of their intimations, he has made the alteration : and by so 
doing has, consequently, shortened the time one third. — ^This 
alteration, he hopes, when the important reason assigned is 
considered, will not be disapproved by the Friends in general. 

Those who may ^avoiu: the Translator with their Names as 
Subscribers, are moreover respectfidly informed, that the ar- 
rangements of the Publication are such^ as to require each 
Number to be paid for on delivery. • 

The advantage of this opportunity is taken also for an- 
nouncing, that the First Number of the proposed Work wOl 
appear on the First of April 1823. 

Also that, in the same Month, wiU be presented to the Churchy 



The productions of Luther and Melancthon in conjunction. 

These Tracts are of a very singular, striking, and important 
nature. Each contains an extraordinary Wood- cut Figure, with 
a scriptural interpretation, and an appeal and warning to all ' 
true Christians. That by Melancthon, is a representation of the 
Whore op Babylon : that by Luther, of Monkery. 

The First Tract will appear on the 7th, the Second on the 
14th, of April next. 

London, March, 1823. 

■JO----' I 'iifi _ A -jor 



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