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Full text of "The plan of salvation : five lectures delivered at the Princeton Summer School of Theology, June, 1914"

BT 751 .W37 1915 
War fie Id, Benjamin 

Breckinridge, 1851-1921. 

The plan of salvation 



THE TLAN 
SALVATION 




ALS1 



FIVE LECTURES 

Delivered at 
The Princeton Summer School of Theology 

June, 191 4. 

By 

^Benjamin S. Warjield 

A Professor in 
Princeton Theological Seminary 




Philadelphia 
Presbyterian Board of Publication 

J9 f 5 



Copyright, 19 15, 
By F. M. Braselmann 



To 
JOHN DeWITT, D.D., LL.D. 

EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF CHURCH HISTORY IN 
PRINCETON SEMINARY 

Lover of Letters 
Lover of Men 
Lover of God 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

The Differing Conceptions 11 

Autosoterism 37 

Sacerdotalism 63 

Universalism 87 

Calvinism Ill 

Notes 137 



*** Superior figures in the text refer to Notes, which will be found at the 
end of the volume (pages 137-144). 



THE 'DIFFERING 
CONCETTIONS 



V 



Of him are ye in Christ Jesus. — / Cor. 1 : 30. 






The Plan of Salvation 

I 

THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

THE subject to which our attention is to be 
directed in this series of lectures is ordinarily 
spoken of as "The Plan of Salvation." Its 
more technical designation is, "The Order of Decrees." 
And this technical designation has the advantage over 
the more popular one, of more accurately defining the 
scope of the subject matter. This is not commonly 
confined to the processes of salvation itself, but is 
generally made to include the entire course of the 
divine dealing with man which ends in his salvation. 
Creation is not uncommonly comprehended in it, 
and of course the fall, and the condition of man 
brought about by the fall. This portion of the sub- 
ject matter may, however, possibly with some pres- 
sure, be looked upon as rather of the nature of a 
presupposition, than as a substantive part of the 
subject matter itself; and so no great harm will be 
done if we abide by the more popular designation. 
Its greater concreteness gives it an advantage which 
should not be accounted small; and above all it has 
the merit of throwing into emphasis the main subject, 
salvation. The series of the divine activities which 

[in 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

are brought into consideration are in any event sup- 
posed to circle around as their center, and to have as 
their proximate goal, the salvation of sinful man. 
When the implications of this are fairly considered it 
may not seem to require much argument to justify 
the designation of the whole by the term, "The Plan 
of Salvation." 

It does not seem necessary to pause to discuss the 
previous question whether God, in his saving activi- 
ties, acts upon a plan. That God acts upon a plan 
in all his activities, and therefore also in his saving 
activities, is already given in Theism. On the es- 
tablishment of a personal God, this question is closed. 
For person means purpose: precisely what distin- 
guishes a person from a thing is that its modes of 
action are purposive, that all it does is directed to an 
end and proceeds through the choice of means to that 
end. Even the Deist, therefore, must allow that God 
has a plan. We may, no doubt, imagine an extreme 
form of Deism, in which it may be contended that 
God does not concern himself at all with what hap- 
pens in his universe; that, having created it, he 
turns aside from it and lets it run its own course to 
any end that may happen to it, without having him- 
self given a thought to it. It is needless to say, how- 
ever, that no such extreme form of Deism actually 
exists, though, strange to say, there are some, as we 
shall have occasion to observe, who apjpear to think 
that in the particular matter of the salvation of man 
God does act much after this irresponsible fashion. 

[12] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

What the actual Deist stands for is law. He con- 
ceives that God commits his universe, not to unfore- 
seen and unprepared caprice, but to law; law which 
God has impressed on his universe and to the guid- 
ance of which he can safely leave his universe. That 
is to say, even the Deist conceives God to have a 
plan; a plan which embraces all that happens in the 
universe. He differs with the Theist only as to the 
modes of activity by which he conceives God to 
carry out this plan. Deism involves a mechanical 
conception of the universe. God has made a machine, 
and just because it is a good machine, he can leave it 
to work out, not its, but his ends. So we may make 
a clock and then, just because it is a good clock, 
leave it to tick off the seconds, and point out the 
minutes, and strike the hours, and mark off the days 
of the month, and turn up the phases of the moon and 
the accompanying tides; and, if we choose, we may put 
in a comet which shall appear on the dial but once in 
the life of the clock, not erratically, but when and 
where and how we have arranged for it to appear. 
The clock does not go its own way; it goes our way, 
the way which we have arranged for it to go; and 
God's clock, the universe, goes not its way but his 
way, as he has ordained for it, grinding out the in- 
evitable events with mechanical precision. 

This is a great conception, the Deistic conception 
of law. It delivers us from chance. But it does so, 
only to cast us into the cogged teeth of a machine. 
It is, therefore, not the greatest conception. The 

[13] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

greatest conception is the conception of Theism, 
which delivers us even from law, and places us in the 
immediate hands of a person. It is a great thing to 
be delivered from the inordinate realm of aimless 
chance. The goddess Tyche, Fortuna, was one of 
the most terrible divinities of the old world, quite as 
terrible as and scarcely distinguishable from Fate. 
It is a great thing to be under the control of in- 
telligent purpose. But it makes every difference 
whether the purpose is executed by mere law, acting 
automatically, or by the ever-present personal con- 
trol of the person himself. There is nothing more 
ordinate than the control of a person, all of whose 
actions are governed by intelligent purpose, directed 
to an end. 

If we believe in a personal God, then, and much 
more if, being Theists, we believe in the immediate 
control by this personal God of the world he has 
made, we must believe in a plan underlying all that 
God does, and therefore also in a plan of salvation. 
The only question that can arise concerns not the 
reality but the nature of this plan. As to its nature, 
however, it must be admitted that a great many 
differing opinions have been held. Indeed pretty 
nearly every possible opinion has been announced at 
one time or another, in one quarter or another. Even 
if we leave all extra-Christian opinions to one side, we 
need scarcely modify this statement. Lines of divi- 
sion have been drawn through the Church; parties 
have been set over against parties; and different tvpes 

[14] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

of belief have been developed which amount to noth- 
ing less than different systems of religion, which 
are at one in little more than the mere common name 
of Christian, claimed by them all. 

It is my purpose in this lecture to bring before us 
in a rapid survey such of these varying views as have 
been held by large parties in the Church, that some 
conception may be formed of their range and rela- 
tions. This may be most conveniently done by ob- 
serving, in the first instance at least, only the great 
points of difference which separate them. I shall 
enumerate them in the order of significance, pro- 
ceeding from the most profound and far-reaching 
differences which divide Christians to those of less 
radical effect. 

I. The deepest cleft which separates men calling 
themselves Christians in their conceptions of the plan 
of salvatibn, is that which divides what we may call 
the Naturalistic and the Supernaturalistic views. 
The line of division here is whether, in the matter of 
the salvation of man, God has planned simply to 
leave men, with more or less completeness, to save 
themselves, or whether he has planned himself to inter- 
vene to save them. The issue between the naturalist 
and the supernaturalist is thus the eminently simple 
but quite absolute one: Does man save/s himself or 
does God save him ? 

The consistently naturalistic scheme is known in the 
history of doctrine as Pelagianism. Pelagianism in its 
purity, affirms that all the power exerted in saving man 

[15] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

is native to man himself. But Pelagianism is not 
merely a matter of history, nor does it always exist in 
its purity. As the poor in earthly goods are always 
with us, so the poor in spiritual things are also always 
with us. It may indeed be thought that there never 
was a period in the history of the Church in which 
naturalistic conceptions of the process of salvation 
were more wide-spread or more radical than at 
present. A Pelagianism which out-pelagianizes Pela- 
gius himself in the completeness of its naturalism is 
in fact at the moment intensely fashionable among 
the self-constituted leaders of Christian thought. 
And everywhere, in all communions alike, concep- 
tions are current which assign to man, in the use of 
his native powers, at least the decisive activity in the 
saving of the soul, that is to say, which suppose that 
God has planned that those shall be saved, who, at the 
decisive point, in one way or another save themselves. i 

These so-called intermediate views are obviously, 
in principle, naturalistic views, since (whatever part 
they permit God to play in the circumstantials of 
salvation) when they come to the crucial point of 
salvation itself they cast man back upon his native 
powers. In so doing they separate themselves defi- 
nitely from the supernaturalistic view of the plan of 
salvation and, with it, from the united testimony of 
the entire organized Church. For, however much 
naturalistic views have seeped into the membership of 
the churches, the entire organized Church — Orthodox 
Greek, Roman Catholic, Latin, and Protestant in all 

[16] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

its great historical forms, Lutheran and Reformed, 
Calvinistic and Arminian — bears its consentient, firm 
and emphatic testimony to the supernaturalistic con- 
ception of salvation. We shall have to journey to 
the periphery of Christendom, to such sects of doubt- 
ful -standing in the Christian body as, say, the Uni- 
tarians, to find an organized body of Christians with 
aught but a supernaturalistic confession. 

This confession, in direct opposition to naturalism, 
declares with emphasis that it is God the Lord and not 
man himself who saves the soul; and, that no mistake 
may be made, it does not shrink from the complete 
assertion and affirms, with full understanding of the 
issue, precisely that all the power exerted in saving the 
soul is from God. Here, then, is the knife-edge which 
separates the two parties. The supernaturalist is not 
content to say that some of the power which is exerted 
in saving the soul; that most of the power that is 
exerted in saving the soul; that almost all of the power 
that is exerted in saving the soul, is from God. He 
asserts that all the power that is exerted in saving the 
soul is from God, that whatever part man plays in the 
saving process is subsidiary, is itself the effect of the 
divine operation, and that it is God and God alone 
who saves the soul. And the supernaturalist, in this 
sense is the entire organized Church in the whole 
stretch of its official testimony. 

2. There exist, no doubt, differences among the 
Supernaturalists, and differences which are not small 
or unimportant. The most deeply cutting of these 

[17] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

separates the Sacerdotalists and the Evangelicals. 
Both sacerdotalists and evangelicals are supernatural- 
ists. That is to say, they agree that all the power 
exerted in saving the soul is from God. They differ 
in their conception of the manner in which the power 
of God, by which salvation is wrought, is brought to 
bear on the soul. The exact point of difference be- 
tween them turns on the question whether God, by 
whose power alone salvation is wrought, saves men by 
dealing himself immediately with them as individuals, 
or only by establishing supernaturally endowed in- 
strumentalities in the world by means of which men 
may be saved. The issue concerns the immediacy of 
the saving operations of God: Does God save men by 
immediate operations of his grace upon their souls, or 
does he act upon them only through the medium of 
instrumentalities established for that purpose ? 

The typical form of sacerdotalism is supplied by the 
teaching of the Church of Rome. In that teaching 
the church is held to be the institute of salvation, 
through which alone is salvation conveyed to men. 
Outside the church and its ordinances salvation is not 
supposed to be found; grace is communicated by and 
through the ministrations of the church, otherwise 
not. The two maxims are therefore in force: Where 
the church is, there is the Spirit; outside the church 
there is no salvation. The sacerdotal principle is 
present, however, wherever instrumentalities through 
which saving grace is brought to the soul are made 
indispensable to salvation; and it is dominant wher- 

[18] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

ever this indispensability is made absolute. Thus 
what are called the Means of Grace are given the 
"necessity of means," and are made in the strict sense 
not merely the sine quibus non, but the actual quibus 
of salvation. 

Over against this whole view evangelicalism, seeking 
to conserve what it conceives to be only consistent 
supernaturalism, sweeps away every intermediary 
between the soul and its God, and leaves the soul 
dependent for its salvation on God alone, operating 
upon it by his immediate grace. It is directly upon 
God and not the means of grace that the evangelical 
feels dependent for salvation ; it is directly to God rather 
than to the means of grace that he looks for grace; and 
he proclaims the Holy Spirit therefore not only able 
to act but actually operative where and when and 
how he will. The Church and its ordinances he con- 
ceives rather as instruments which the Spirit uses than 
as agents which employ the Holy Spirit in working 
salvation. In direct opposition to the maxims of 
consistent sacerdotalism, he takes therefore as his 
mottoes: Where the Spirit is, there is the church; out- 
side the body of the saints there is no salvation. 

In thus describing evangelicalism, it will not escape 
notice that we are also describing Protestantism. In 
point of fact the whole body of Confessional Prot- 
estantism is evangelical in its view of the plan of 
salvation, inclusive alike of its Lutheran and Re- 
formed, of its Calvinistic and Arminian branches. 
Protestantism and evangelicalism are accordingly 

[19] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

conterminous, if not exactly synonymous designa- 
tion. As all organized Christianity is clear and em- 
phatic in its confession of a pure supernaturalism, 
so all organized Protestantism is equally clear 
and emphatic in its confession of evangelicalism. 
Evangelicalism thus comes before us as the dis- 
tinctively Protestant conception of the plan of sal- 
vation, and perhaps it is not strange that, in its im- 
mediate contradiction of sacerdotalism, the more 
deeply lying contradiction to naturalism which it 
equally and indeed primarily embodies is sometimes 
almost lost sight of. Evangelicalism does not cease 
to be fundamentally antinaturalistic, however, in 
becoming antisacerdotal: its primary protest con- 
tinues to be against naturalism, and in opposing 
sacerdotalism also it only is the more consistently 
supernaturalistic, refusing to admit any intermediaries 
between the soul and God, as the sole source of salva- 
tion. That only is true evangelicalism, therefore, in 
which sounds clearly the double confession that all 
the power exerted in saving the soul is from God, and 
that God in his saving operations acts directly upon 
the soul. 

3. Even so, however, there remain differences, many 
and deep-reaching, which divide Evangelicals among 
themselves. All evangelicals are agreed that all the 
power exerted in salvation is from God, and that God 
works directly upon the soul in his saving operations. 
But upon the exact methods employed by God in bring- 
ing many sons into glory they differ much from one an- 

[20] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

other. Some evangelicals have attained their evan- 
gelical position by a process of modification, in the 
way of correction, applied to a fundamental sacer- 
dotalism, from which they have thus won their way 
out. Naturally elements of this underlying sacer- 
dotalism have remained imbedded in their construc- 
tion, and color their whole mode of conceiving evan- 
gelicalism. There are other evangelicals whose con- 
ceptions are similarly colored by an underlying 
naturalism, out of which they have formed their 
better confession by a like process of modification and 
correction. The former of these parties is represented 
by the evangelical Lutherans, who, accordingly de- 
light to speak of themselves as adherents of a "con- 
servative Reformation"; that is to say, as having 
formed their evangelicalism on the basis of the sacer- 
dotalism of the Church of Rome, out of which they 
have, painfully perhaps, though not always perfectly, 
made their way. The other party is represented by 
the evangelical Arminians, whose evangelicalism is a 
correction in the interest of evangelical feeling of the 
underlying semi-pelagianism of the Dutch Remon- 
strants. Over against all such forms there are still 
other evangelicals whose evangelicalism is more the 
pure expression of the fundamental evangelical 
principle, uncolored by intruding elements from 
without. 

Amid this variety of types it is not easy to fix upon 
a principle of classification which will enable us to 
discriminate between the chief forms which evan- 

[21] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

gelicalism takes by a clear line of demarkation. Such 
a principle, however, seems to be provided by the 
opposition between what we may call the Universal- 
istic and the Particularistic conceptions of the plan of 
salvation. All evangelicals agree that all the power 
exerted in saving the soul is from God, and that this 
saving power is exerted immediately upon the soul. 
But they differ as to whether God exerts this saving 
power equally, or at least indiscriminately, upon all 
men, be they actually saved or not, or rather only upon 
particular men, namely upon those who are actually 
saved. The point of division here is whether God is 
conceived to have planned actually himself to save 
men by his almighty and certainly efficacious grace, 
or only so to pour out his grace upon men as to enable 
them to be saved, without actually securing, however, 
in any particular cases that they shall be saved. 

The specific contention of those whom I have spoken 
of as universalistic is that, while all the power exerted 
in saving the soul is from God, and this power is 
exerted immediately from God upon the soul, yet all 
that God does, looking to the salvation of men, he does 
for and to all men alike, without discrimination. On 
the face of it this looks as if it must result in a doctrine 
of universal salvation. If it is God the Lord who 
saves the soul, and not man himself; and if God the 
Lord saves the soul by working directly upon it in 
his saving grace; and then if God the Lord so works 
in his saving grace upon all souls alike ; it would surely 
seem inevitably to follow that therefore all are saved. 

[22] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

Accordingly, there have sometimes appeared earnest 
evangelicals who have vigorously contended precisely 
on these grounds that all men are saved: salvation is 
wholly from God, and God is almighty, and as God 
works salvation by his almighty grace in all men, all 
men are saved. From this consistent universalism, 
however, the great mass of evangelical universalists 
have always drawn back, compelled by the clearness 
and emphasis of the Scriptural declaration that, in 
point of fact, all men are not saved. They have found 
themselves therefore face to face with a great problem; 
and various efforts have been made by them to con- 
strue the activities of God looking to salvation as all 
universalistic and the issue as nevertheless particular- 
istic; while yet the fundamental evangelical principle 
is preserved that it is the grace of God alone which 
saves the soul. These efforts have given us especially 
the two great schemes of evangelical Lutheranism and 
evangelical Arminianism, the characteristic contention 
of both of which is that all salvation is in the hands 
of God alone, and all that God does, looking to salva- 
tion, is directed indiscriminatingly to all men, and 
yet not all but some men only are saved. 

Over against this inconsistent universalism, other 
evangelicals contend that the particularism which 
attaches to the issue of the saving process, must, just 
because it is God and God alone who saves, belong also 
to the process itself. In the interests of their common 
evangelicalism, in the interests also of the underlying 
supernaturalism common to all Christians, neither of 

[23] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

which comes to its rights otherwise — nay, in the in- 
terests of religion itself — they plead that God deals 
throughout the whole process of salvation not with 
men in the mass but with individual men one by one, 
upon each of whom he lays hold with his grace, and 
each of whom he by his grace brings to salvation. As 
it is he who saves men, and as he saves them by im- 
mediate operations on their hearts, and as his saving 
grace is his almighty power effecting salvation, men 
owe in each and every case their actual salvation, and 
not merely their general opportunity to be saved, to 
him. And, therefore, to him and to him alone be- 
longs in each instance all the glory, which none can 
share with him. Thus, they contend, in order that 
the right evangelical ascription, Soli Deo gloria, may 
be true and suffer no diminution in meaning or in 
force, it is necessary to understand that it is of God 
that each one who is saved has everything that enters 
into his salvation and, most of all, the very fact that 
it is he who enters into salvation. The precise issue 
which divides the universalists and the particularists 
is, accordingly, just whether the saving grace of God, 
in which alone is salvation, actually saves. Does its 
presence mean salvation, or may it be present, and 
yet salvation fail? 

4. Even the Particularists, however, have their 
differences. The most important of these differences 
divides between those who hold that God has in view 
not all but some men, namely those who are actually 
saved, in all his operations looking toward the salva- 

[24] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

tionof men; and those who wish to discriminate among 
God's operations in this matter and to assign only to 
some of them a particularistic while they assign to 
others a universalistic reference. The latter view is, 
of course, an attempt to mediate between the par- 
ticularistic and the universalistic conceptions, pre- 
serving particularism in the processes as well as in the 
issue of salvation sufficiently to hang salvation upon 
the grace of God alone and to give to him all the glory 
of the actual salvation; while yet yielding to universal- 
ism so much of the process of salvation as its adherents 
think can be made at all consistent with this funda- 
mental particularism. 

The special one of the saving operations which is 
yielded by them to universalism is the redemption of 
the sinner by Christ. This is supposed to have in the 
plan of God, not indeed an absolute, but a hypotheti- 
cal, reference to all men. All men are redeemed by 
Christ — that is, if they believe in him. Their believ- 
ing in him is, however, dependent on the working of 
faith in their hearts by God, the Holy Spirit, in his 
saving operations designed to give effect to the re- 
demption of Christ. The scheme is therefore known 
not merely by the name of its author, as Amyraldian- 
ism, but also, more descriptively, as Hypothetical Re- 
demptionism, or, more commonly, as Hypothetical 
Universalism. It transfers the question which divides 
the particularist and the universalist with respect to 
the plan of salvation as a whole, to the more specific 
question of the reference of the redeeming work of 

[25] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Christ. And the precise point at issue comes there- 
fore to be whether the redemptive work of Christ 
actually saves those for whom it is wrought, or only 
opens a possibility of salvation to them. The hypo- 
thetical universalists, holding that its reference is to all 
men indifferently and that not all men are saved, can- 
not ascribe to it a specifically saving operation and 
are therefore accustomed to speak of it as rendering 
salvation possible to all, as opening the way of salva- 
tion to men, as removing all the obstacles to the 
salvation of men, or in some other similar way. 
On the other hand, the consistent particularist is 
able to look upon the redemption wrought by Christ 
as actually redemptive, and insists that it is in itself a 
saving act which actually saves, securing the salvation 
of those for whom it is wrought. 

The debate comes thus to turn upon the nature of 
the redemptive work of Christ ; and the particularists 
are able to make it very clear that whatever is added to 
it extensively is taken from it intensively. In other 
words, the issue remains here the same as in the debate 
with the general universalism of the Lutheran and the 
Arminian, namely, whether the saving operations of 
God actually save; though this issue is here concen- 
trated upon a single one of these saving operations. If 
the saving operations of God actually save, then all 
those upon whom he savingly operates are saved, and 
particularism is given in the very nature of the case; 
unless we are prepared to go the whole way with 
universalism and declare that all men are saved. It 

[26] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

is thus in the interests of the fundamental super- 
naturalistic postulate by which all organized Chris- 
tianity separates itself from mere naturalism, that all 
the power exerted in saving the soul is from God— 
and of the great evangelical ascription, of Soli Deo 
gloria, as well — that the particularist contends that 
the reference of the redemption of Christ cannot be 
extended beyond the body of those who are actually 
saved, but must be held to be only one of the opera- 
tions by which God saves those whom he saves, and 
not they themselves. Not only, then, they contend, 
must we give a place to particularism in the processes 
as well as in the issue of salvation, but a place must 
be vindicated for it in all the processes of salvation 
alike. It is God the Lord who saves; and in all the 
operations by which he works, salvation alike, he 
operates for and upon, not all men indifferently, but 
some men only, those namely whom he saves. Thus 
only can we preserve to him his glory and ascribe to 
him and to him only the whole work of salvation. 

5. The differences which have been enumerated 
exhaust the possibilities of differences of large moment 
within the limits of the plan of salvation. Men must 
be either Naturalists or Supernaturalists; Super- 
naturalists either Sacerdotalists or Evangelicals; 
Evangelicals either *Universalistic or Particularistic; 
Particularists must be particularistic with respect to 
only some or with respect to all of God's saving opera- 
tions. But the consistent particularists themselves 
find it still possible to differ among themselves, not 

[27] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

indeed upon the terms of the plan of salvation itself, 
upon which they are all at one, but in the region of the 
presuppositions of that plan ; and for the sake of com- 
pleteness of enumeration it is desirable that this 
difference, too, should be adverted to here. It does 
not concern what God has done in the course of his 
saving operations; but passing behind the matter of 
salvation, it asks how God has dealt in general with 
the human race, as a race, with respect to its destiny. 
The two parties here are known in the history of 
thought by the contrasting names of Supralapsarians 
and Sublapsarians or Infralapsarians. The point of 
difference between them is whether God, in his dealing 
with men with reference to their destiny, divides them 
into two classes merely as men, or as sinners. That 
is to say, whether God's decree of election and pret- 
ention concerns men contemplated merely as men, 
or contemplated as already sinful men, a massa 
corrupta. 

The mere putting of the question seems to carry its 
answer with it. For the actual dealing with men 
which is in question, is, with respect to both classes 
alike, those who are elected and those who are passed 
by, conditioned on sin: we cannot speak of salvation 
any more than of reprobation without positing sin. 
Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to 
the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete 
instance of discrimination which is in question, a dis- 
crimination with regard to a destiny which involves 
either salvation or punishment. There must be sin 

[28] 



THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as 
truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak 
of a decree discriminating between men with reference 
to salvation and punishment, therefore, without 
positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its 
logical prius. 

The fault of the division of opinion now in question 
is that it seeks to lift the question of the discrimina- 
tion on God's part between men, by which they are 
divided into two classes, the one the recipients of his 
undeserved favor, and the other the objects of his just 
displeasure, out of the region of reality; and thus loses 
itself in mere abstractions. When we bring it back to 
earth we find that the question which is raised amounts 
to this: whether God discriminates between men in 
order that he may save some; or whether he saves 
some in order that he may discriminate between men. , 
Is the proximate motive that moves him an abstract 
desire for discrimination, a wish that he may have 
some variety in his dealings with men; and he there- 
fore determines to make some the objects of his in- 
effable favor and to deal with others in strict accord- 
ance with their personal deserts, in order that he may 
thus exercise all his faculties? Or is the proximate mo- 
tive that moves him an unwillingness that all mankind 
should perish in their sins; and, therefore, in order to 
gratify the promptings of his compassion, he intervenes 
to rescue from their ruin and misery an innumerable 
multitude which no man can number — as many as 
under the pressure of his sense of right he can obtain 

[29] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

the consent of his whole nature to relieve from the 
just penalties of their sins — by an expedient in which 
his justice and mercy meet and kiss each other? 
Whatever we may say of the former question, it 
surely is the latter which is oriented aright with 
respect to the tremendous realities of human existence. 
One of the leading motives in the framing of the 
supralapsarian scheme, is the desire to preserve the 
particularistic principle throughout the whole of God's 
dealings with men; not with respect to man's salvation 
only, but throughout the entire course of the divine 
action with respect to men. God from creation itself, 
it is therefore said, deals with men conceived as divided 
into two classes, the recipients respectively of his un- 
deserved favor and of his well-merited reprobation. 
Accordingly, some supralapsarians place the decree 
of discrimination first in the order of thought, pre- 
cedent even to the decree of creation. All of them 
place it in the order of thought precedent to the decree 
of the fall. It is in place therefore to point out that 
this attempt to particularize the whole dealing of God 
with men is not really carried out, and indeed cannot 
in the nature of the case be carried out. The decree 
to create man, and more particularly the decree to 
permit the man whose creation is contemplated to fall 
into sin, are of necessity universalistic. Not some 
men only are created, or some men created differently 
from others; but all mankind is created in its first head, 
and all mankind alike. Not some men only are per- 
mitted to fall; but all men and all men alike. The 

[30] 



t 
THE DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS 

attempt to push particularism out of the sphere of the 
plan of salvation, where the issue is diverse (because 
confessedly only some men are saved) , into the sphere 
of creation or of the fall, where the issue is common 
(for all men are created and all men are fallen), fails 
of the very necessity of the case. Particularism can 
come into question only where the diverse issues call 
for the postulation of diverse dealings looking toward 
the differing issues. It cannot then be pushed into the 
region of the divine dealings with man prior to man's 
need of salvation and God's dealings with him with 
reference to a salvation which is not common to all. 
Supralapsarianism errs therefore as seriously on the 
one side as universalism does on the other. Infralap- 
sarianism offers the only scheme which is either self- 
consistent or consistent with the facts. 

It will scarcely have escaped notice that the several 
conceptions of the nature of the plan of salvation 
which we have passed in review do not stand simply 
side by side of one another as varying conceptions of 
that plan, each making its appeal in opposition to all 
the rest. They are related to one another rather as a 
progressive series of corrections of a primal error, 
attaining ever more and more consistency in the em- 
bodiment of the one fundamental idea of salvation. 
If, then, we wish to find our way among them it must 
not be by pitting them indiscriminately against one 
another, but by following them regularly up the 
series. Supernaturalism must first be validated as 
against Naturalism, then Evangelicalism as against 

[31] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Sacerdotalism, then Particularism as against Univer- 
salism; and thus we shall arrive at length at the con- 
ception of the plan of salvation which does full justice 
to its specific character. It is to this survey that at- 
tention will be addressed in the succeeding lectures. 
The accompanying diagram will exhibit in a 
synoptical view the several conceptions which have 
been enumerated in this lecture, and may facilitate 
the apprehension of their mutual relations. 



[32] 



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AUrOSOTE%lSM 



It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, 
but of God that hath mercy.— Rom. 9 : 16. 



II 

AUTOSOTERISM 

There are fundamentally only two doctrines of sal- 
vation 1 : that salvation is from God, and that sal- 
vation is from ourselves. The former is the doctrine 
of common Christianity; the latter is the doctrine of 
universal heathenism. "The principle of heathen- 
ism," remarks Dr. Herman Bavinck, 2 "is, negatively, 
the denial of the true God, and of the gift of his grace; 
and, positively, the notion that salvation can be 
secured by man's own power and wisdom. 'Come, 
let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may 
reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name.' 
Gen. 11:4. Whether the works through which 
heathenism seeks the way of salvation bear a more 
ritual or a more ethical character, whether they are 
of a more positive or of a more negative nature, in any 
case man remains his own saviour; all religions except 
the Christian are autosoteric. . . . And philosophy 
has made no advance upon this: even Kant and 
Schopenhauer, who, with their eye on the inborn sin- 
fulness of man recognize the necessity of a regenera- 
tion, come in the end to an appeal to the will, the 
wisdom, and the power of man." 

It was quite apposite, therefore, when Jerome pro- 
nounced Pelagianism, the first organized system of 

[37] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

self-salvation taught in the Church, the " heresy of 
Pythagoras and Zeno." 3 It was in effect the crystalli- 
zation in Christian forms of the widely diffused Stoic 
ethics, by which the thought of men had been governed 
through the whole preceding history of the Church. 4 
Around the central principle of the plenary ability of 
the human will, held with complete confidence and 
proclaimed, not in the weak negative form that obliga- 
tion is limited by ability, but in the exultant positive 
form that ability is fully competent to all obligation, 
Pelagius, no mean systematizer, built up a complete 
autosoteric system. 5 On the one side this system was 
protected by the denial of any "fall" suffered by man- 
kind in its first head, and accordingly of any entail of 
evil, whether of sin or mere weakness, derived from 
its past history. Every man is born in the same con- 
dition in which Adam was created; and every man 
continues throughout life in the same condition in 
which he is born. By his fall Adam at most has set 
us a bad example, which, however, we need not follow 
unless we choose; and our own past sins, while, of 
course, we may be called to account for them and 
must endure righteous punishment on their account, 
cannot in any way abridge or contract our inherent 
power of doing what is right. "I say," declared 
Pelagius "that man is able to be without sin, and that 
he is able to keep the commandments of God." 6 * And 
this ability remains intact after not only Adam's sin 
but any and every sin of our own. It is, says Julian of 
Eclanum, "just as complete after sins as it was before 

[38] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

sins." 7 At any moment he chooses, therefore, any 
man can cease all sinning and from that instant on- 
ward be and continue perfect. On the other hand, 
this round assertion of entire ability to fulfill every 
righteousness is protected by the denial of all "grace," 
in the sense of inward help from God. As such help 
from God is not needed, neither is it given; every man 
in the most absolute sense works out his own salvation : 
whether with fear and trembling or not, will depend 
solely on his particular temperament. To be sure 
the term "grace" is too deeply imbedded in the 
Scriptural representations to be altogether discarded. 
The Pelagians therefore continued to employ it, but 
they explained it after a fashion which voided it of 
its Scriptural pregnancy. By "grace" they meant 
the fundamental endowment of man with his in- 
alienable freedom of will, and along with that, the 
inducements which God has brought to bear on him 
to use his freedom for good. 

The Pelagian scheme therefore embraces the follow- 
ing points. God has endowed man with an inalienable 
freedom of will, by virtue of which he is fully able to 
do all that can be required of him. To this great gift 
God has added the gifts of the law and the gospel to 
illuminate the way of righteousness and to persuade 
man to walk in it; and even the gift of Christ to supply 
an expiation for past sins for all who will do right- 
eousness, and especially to set a good example. Those 
who, under these inducements and in the power of 
their ineradicable freedom, turn from their sins and do 

[39] 




THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

righteousness, will be accepted by the righteous God 
and rewarded according to their deeds. 

This was the first purely autosoteric scheme pub- 
lished in the Church, and it is thoroughly typical of all 
that has succeeded it from that day to this. 

In the providence of God the publication of this 
autosoteric scheme was met immediately by an equally 
clear and consistently worked-out assertion of the 
doctrine of "grace," so that the great conflict between 
grace and free will was fought out for the Church once 
for all in those opening years of the fifth century. 
The champion of grace in this controversy was 
Augustine, whose entire system revolved around the 
assertion of grace as the sole source of all good in man 
as truly and as completely as did that of Pelagius 
around the assertion of the plenary ability of the un- 
aided will to work all righteousness. The reach of 
Augustine's assertion is fairly revealed by the demands 
of the Council of Carthage of A. D. 417-418, which 
refused to be satisfied by anything less than an une- 
quivocal acknowledgement that "we are aided by the 
grace of God, through Christ, not only to know but 
also to do what is right, in each single act, so that with- 
out grace we are unable to have, think, speak, or do 
anything pertaining to piety." The opposition between 
the two systems was thus absolute. In the one, every- 
thing was attributed to man; in the other, everything 
was ascribed to God. In them, two religions, the only 
two possible religions at bottom, met in mortal com- 
bat: the religion of faith and the religion of works; the 

[40] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

religion which despairs of self and casts all its hope on 
God the Saviour, and the religion which puts complete 
trust in self; or since religion is in its very nature utter 
dependence on God, religion in the purity of its con- 
ception and a mere quasi-religious moralism. The 
battle was sharp, but the issue was happily not doubt- 
ful. In the triumph of Augustinianism it was once 
for all settled that Christianity was to remain a re- 
ligion, and a religion for sinful men, needing salvation, 
and not rot down into a mere ethical system, fitted 
only for the righteous who need no salvation. 

But, as we have been told that the price of liberty 
is eternal vigilance, so the Church soon found that 
religion itself can be retained only at the cost of per- 
petual struggle. Pelagianism died hard; or rather it 
did not die at all, but only retired more or less out of 
sight and bided its time; meanwhile vexing the Church 
with modified forms of itself, modified just enough to 
escape the letter of the Church's condemnation. 
Into the place of Pelagianism there stepped at once 
Semi-pelagianism ; and when the controversy with 
Semi-pelagianism had been fought and won, into the 
place of Semi-pelagianism there stepped that semi- 
semi-pelagianism which the Council of Orange betrayed 
the Church into, the genius of an Aquinas systematized 
for her, and the Council of Trent finally fastened with 
rivets of iron upon that portion of the Church which 
obeyed it. The necessity of grace had been acknowl- 
edged as the result of the Pelagian controversy: its 
preveniency, as the result of the Semi-pelagian con- 

[41] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

troversy: but its certain efficacy, its " irresistibility " 
men call it, was by the fatal compromise of Orange 
denied, and thus the conquering march of Augustinian- 
ism was checked and the pure confession of salvation 
by grace alone made forever impossible within that 
section of the Church whose proud boast is that it is 
semper eadem. It was no longer legally possible, in- 
deed, within the limits of the Church to ascribe to 
man, with the Pelagian, the whole of salvation; nor 
even, with the Semi-pelagian, the initiation of salva- 
tion. But neither was it any longer legally possible 
to ascribe salvation so entirely to the grace of God 
that it could complete itself without the aid of the 
discredited human will — its aid only as empowered 
and moved by prevenient grace indeed, but not 
effectually moved, so that it could not hold back and 
defeat the operations of saving grace. 

The gravitation of this Synergistic system is ob- 
viously downward, and therefore we cannot be 
surprised to learn that it easily fell away into that 
express Semi-pelagianism which, despite its official 
(condemnation by the Church, seems to have formed 
(the practical faith of most men throughout the Middle 
I Ages, and in which the determining act in salvation is 
I assigned, not to the grace of God conveying salvation, 
I but to the consent of the will, giving to the almighty 
grace of God its efficacy. Here is a work-salvation as 
truly though not as grossly as in pure Pelagianism 
itself; and accordingly, throughout the Middle Ages, 
Legalism reigned supreme, a legalism which wrought 

[42] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

precisely the same effects as are so vividly described 
by Heinrich Weinel, as manifesting themselves in the 
Jewish circles from which the Apostle Paul sprung. 
"He only can be happy under a dispensation of law," 
says Weinel, 8 "who can live a life-long lie. . . . But 
proud, downright, consistent natures cannot be put 
off with a lie. If they are unable to resist, they die 
of the lie; if they are strong, it is the lie that dies. 
The lie inherent in the law was the presumption that 
it could be fulfilled. Every one of Paul's associates 
understood that the commandment could not be kept, 
but they did not own it to themselves. The elder 
behaved in presence of the younger as if it could be 
kept; one believed it on the strength of another, and 
did not acknowledge the impossibility to himself. 
They blinded themselves to their own sin by compar- 
ing themselves with other just men, and had recourse 
to remote ages, to Enoch and Noah and Daniel, in 
order to produce advocates for their souls. 9 They 
hoped God would allow the good works of the saints 
to cover their deficiencies, and they did not forget 
occasionally to pray for mercy, yet, on the whole 
they kept up the lie and went on as if they were 
well." 

This is a true picture of the Middle Ages. Men knew 
very well that they could not earn for themselves 
salvation even under the incitement of the grace of 
God; they knew very well that they failed in their 
"good works," at every stage; and yet they kept the 
ghastly fiction up. 10 Were there no strong men "to 

[43] 




THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

kill the lie"? Strong men rose here and there, a 
Gottschalk in the ninth century, a Bradwardine, 
a Wyclif in the fourteenth, a Huss in the fifteenth, a 
belated Jansen in the seventeenth; but, despite their 
protests, the lie still lived on until at last the really 
strong man came in Martin Luther, and the lie died. 
The Augustinianism that had been repressed in the 
Church of Rome could not be suppressed. The 
Church had bound itself in that it might not contain 
it. There was nothing for it then but that it should 
burst the bounds of the Church and flow out from it. 
The explosion came in what we call the Reformation. 
For the Reformation is nothing other than Augustin- 
ianism come to its rights: the turning away from all 
that is human to rest on God alone for salvation. 

Accordingly, nothing is more fundamental in the 
doctrine of the Reformers than the complete inability 
of man and his absolute need of divine grace; 11 and 
against nothing do the Reformers set their faces more 
firmly than the ascription to man of native power to 
good. To Luther, Pelagianism was the heresy of 
heresies, from the religious point of view equivalent 
to unbelief, from the ethical point of view to mere 
egotism. It was "for him the comprehensive term 
for all that which he particularly wishes to assault in 
the Catholic Church." 12 His treatise De Servo 
Arbitrio, written against Erasmus' Pelagianizing 
exaltation of human ability, was esteemed by him the 
only one of his books, except the Catechism, in which 
he could find nothing to correct. 13 "As to the doctrine 

[44] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

of free will as preached before Luther and other Re- 
formers appeared," writes Calvin, 13a "what effect 
could it have but to fill men with an overweening 
opinion of their own virtue, swelling them out with 
vanity, and leaving no room for the grace and assist- 
ance of the Holy Spirit." "When we tell a man" he 
writes again, 14 "to seek righteousness and life outside 
of himself, that is in Christ only, because he has noth- 
ing in himself but sin and death, a controversy im- 
mediately arises with reference to the freedom and 
power of the will. For if man has any ability of his 
own to serve God, he does not obtain salvation en- 
tirely by the grace of Christ, but in part bestows it 
on himself. Though we deny not that man acts 
spontaneously and of free will when he is guided by 
the Holy Spirit, we maintain that his whole nature is 
so imbued with depravity that of himself, he possesses 
no ability to act aright." 15 

It was not long, however, before, even in these 
circles of realized Augustinianism, in which the as- 
cription of salvation to God alone was something 
like a passion, the old leaven of self-salvation began to 
work again. 16 It was in no less a person than Philip 
Melanchthon that this new "falling from grace" en- 
tered into the thought of the Reformation, though in 
his teaching it made but little progress. Three periods 
are distinguishable in the development of his doctrine. 17 
In the first of these he was as pure an Augustinian as 
Luther or Calvin himself. In the second, commencing 
in 1527, he begins to go to school to Aristotle in his 

[45] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

general doctrine of the will. In the third, from 1532 
on, he allows the will of man, though only as a purely 
formal power, some place in the very process of sal- 
vation : it can put the spiritual affections created solely 
by the Holy Spirit in chains or on the throne. From 
this beginning, synergism rapidly took form in the 
Lutheran Church. 18 It met with opposition, it is 
true: the old Lutherans, an Amsdorf, a Flacius, a 
Wigand, a Brenz were all fully convinced Augustinians. 
But the opposition was not as hearty as it might have 
been had the controversy with the Calvinists not been 
at its height. Even Brenz permitted Strigel to taunt 
him at the Weimar Disputation with his predestina- 
tionism, without boldly taking the offensive. And so 
Andrea could corrupt Luther's doctrine at the Con- 
ference at Mompelgard, 1586, without rebuke; 19 
Aegidius Hunnius could teach openly the resistibility 
of grace; 20 and John Gerhard could condition election 
on the foresight of faith. 21 When Melanchthon toyed 
with such ambiguous phrases as "God draws the 
willing to him," "Free will is man's power to apply 
himself to grace", he was playing with fire. A hundred 
years later the Saxon theologians, Hoe van Hohenegg 
and Polycarp Leyser at the Leipzig Conference of 
March 1631 could confidently present as Lutheran 
doctrine the declaration that "God certainly chose us 
out of grace in Christ; but this took place according 
to his foresight of who would truly and constantly be- 
lieve in Christ; and whom God foresaw that they 
would believe, those he predestined and elected to 

[46] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

make blessed and glorious." The wonder-working 
grace of God which raises the dead that Luther so 
passionately proclaimed, was now put wholly at the 
disposal of that will of man which Luther declared to 
be utterly enslaved to sin and capable of moving in 
good part only as it is carried along and borne 
forward by grace. 22 

Nor have things bettered with the passage of the 
years. It is one of the best esteemed Lutheran 
teachers of our own day, Wilhelm Schmidt, Professor 
of Theology at Breslau, who tells us 23 that "the divine 
purpose and love is able to realize itself only with and 
very precisely through the will of the being to whom 
it is directed;" that "in one word there exists over 
against God's holy decrees a freedom established by 
himself, against which they are often enough shattered, 
and may indeed in every individual case be shat- 
tered." 24 Accordingly he is not content to reject the 
praedestinatio stride dicta of the Calvinists, but equally 
repudiates the praedestinatio late dicta of the old 
Lutheran divines, that teaches a decree of God by 
which all men are designated to salvation by an 
antecedent will, while by a consequent will all those 
are set apart and ordained to salvation who, God 
foresees, "will finally believe in Christ." For, says 
he, 2 '" "with the divine, that is to say, the infallible 
foresight of them, the decisions of man cease to be 
free." Thus not only is the divine predestination but 
also the divine foresight sacrificed on the altar of 
human freedom, and the conclusion of the whole 

[47] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

matter is enunciated in the words: "All men are, so far 
as concerns God, written in the Book of Life (benev- 
olentia universalis) ; but who of them all stays written 
in it, is finally determined only at the end of the day." 
The result cannot be known beforehand, even by God. 26 
It is not enough that redemption should engage the 
will, so that we may say that there is no redemption 
"except the sinner very energetically cooperate 
with it," even if this be interpreted to mean, "permits 
himself to be redeemed." 27 We must go on and say 
that "redemption must fail of its end and remain 
without effect, however much the divine will of love 
and counsel of salvation might wish otherwise, if 
effect is not given it by man's inwardly bringing it to 
pass that, out of his own initiative, he grasps the 
rescuing hand and does repentance, breaks with his 
sin and leads a righteous life." 28 When Schmidt 
comes, therefore, to speak of the Application of Sal- 
vation by the Holy Spirit, 29 he is explicit in denying 
to the Holy Spirit any power to produce salvation in 
an unwilling soul. "Even the Holy Spirit," he tells 
us, "can in the presence of the free will that belongs 
to man as such by nature, compel no one to accept 
salvation. Even He can accomplish his saving pur- 
pose with us only if we do not obstruct, do not with- 
draw from, do not oppose his work for us. All this 
stands in our power and he is helpless (ohnmachtig) 
with respect to it if we misuse it. . . . He who wills 
not to be saved cannot be helped even by the Holy 
Spirit." 30 

[48] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

Self-assertion could scarcely go further; not even 
in those perhaps stirring but certainly somewhat 
blustering verses by W. E. Henley: 

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the pit from pole to pole, 

I thank whatever j^ods may be <*> 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud, 

Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
Looms but the Horror of the shade, 

And yet the menace of the years 
Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishment the scroll, 

I am the master of my fate: 
I am the captain of my soul. 

This is of course Pelagianism unashamed — unless we 
should prefer to call it sheer heathenism. And yet it 
is cited with warm approval by an esteemed minister 
of the Church of Scotland, writing in quite its spirit 
on the great subject of " Election." He uses it indeed 
immediately to support a cheerful assertion of the 
fundamental Pelagian principle that ability limits 
obligation: "That conscious life which speaks saying, 
'Thou oughtest,' wakes a no less certain echo within, 
which says, ' Because I ought I can.' That 'can' 

[49] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 



i} :n 



abides forever, however enfeebled it may become. 
Pelagius could ask nothing more. 

It may be inferred from such a phenomenon as that 
which has last been mentioned that the Reformed 
Churches, though retaining their Augustinian con- 
fession as the Lutheran could not, and sloughing off 
the Arminian semi-pelagianism which rose in the 
early seventeenth century to vex them as the Luther- 
ans could not their synergism, have yet in our own 
day become honeycombed with the same Pelagianiz- 
ing conceptions. This is so far true that we are met 
on all hands to-day, even in the Reformed Churches, 
with the most unmeasured assertions of human in- 
dependence, and of the uncontrollableness and indeed 
absolute unpredictableness of the action of the human 
will. The extremes to which this can go are fairly 
illustrated by certain, no doubt somewhat incidental, 
remarks made by Dr. David W. Forrest in the un- 
happy book which he calls, certainly very mislead- 
ingly, "The Authority of Christ" (1906). In his 
hands human freedom has grown so all-powerful as 
fairly to abolish not only the common principles of 
evangelical religion but all faith in divine providence 
itself. He has adopted in effect a view of free agency 
which reserves to man complete independence and 
excludes all divine control or even foresight of human 
action. Unable to govern the acts of free agents, 
God is reduced to the necessity of constantly adjust- 
ing himself to them. Accordingly God has to accept 
in his universe much that he would much prefer 

[50] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

should not be there. There is, for example, the whole 
sphere of the accidental. If we cooperate with others 
in dangerous employments, or, say, go out seeking 
pleasure with a shooting party, we may be killed by 
an unskillful act of a fellow workman or by the random 
shot of a careless marksman. God is helpless in the 
matter, and there will be no use in appealing to him 
with regard to it. For, says Dr. Forrest, 32 "God 
could only prevent the bad workman or marksman 
from causing death to others by depriving him of his 
freedom to shape his own course." There is in a 
word no providential control whatever of the acts of 
free agents. Accordingly, Dr. Forrest tells us, 33 a 
wise man will not be surprised that tragic cruelties 
should occur in the world, which seem almost un- 
alleviatedly wrong: "he will recognize the possibilities 
of man's freedom in defying God's will, both by the 
infliction of suffering and by the refusal to be taught 
by suffering." Nor can God's grace intervene to 
cure the defects of his providence. Human free will 
interposes an effectual barrier to the working of his 
grace ; and God has no power to overcome the opposi- 
tion of the human heart. "There is no barrier to the 
entrance of the Holy Spirit into the heart," remarks 
Dr. Forrest with the air of making a great concession, 34 
"except that created by the refusal of the heart to 
welcome him:" obviously only another way of saying 
that the heart's refusal is an insuperable barrier to the 
entrance of the Holy Spirit into it. 35 Accordingly, the 
progress of his kingdom in the world could not be 

[51] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

forecast in its details by our Lord, but lay in his mind 
only as outlined in its general features. "He saw," 
says Dr. Forrest, "that 'conversion' had its human 
factor as well as its divine; and that the mighty works 
of God might be rendered impossible by man's per- 
versities of unbelief. Hence the detailed course of 
the kingdom in the world was an inscrutable 
thing. . . ." 36 Even in the Church itself the divine 
purpose may fail, despite the presence in the Church 
of the Spirit of God promised to it: for, though the 
Spirit will not fail to guide the Church, the Church 
may fail to "fulfill the conditions under which it 
could avail itself of the Spirit's guidance." 3 So 
zealous, in a word, is Dr. Forrest to emancipate man 
from the dominion of God that he goes near to placing 
God under the dominion of man. The world God has 
created has escaped beyond its tether; there is nothing 
for God to do but to accept it as he finds it and adjust 
himself as best he may to it. It was told to Thomas 
Carlyle once that Margaret Fuller had announced in 
her solemn way, "I accept the universe." "Gad, 
she'd better," was the simple comment of the sage. 
Is the Lord God Almighty in the same case? 

If this be in any degree the case with God, why, of 
course there can be no talk of God's saving man. If 
man is to be saved at all, though it is questionable 
whether "saving" is the right word to use here, it is 
clear that he must "save" himself. If we can still 
speak of a plan of salvation on God's part, that plan 
must be reduced just to keeping the way of salvation 

[52] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

open, that man, who is the master of his own destiny, 38 
may meet with no hindrance when he chooses to 
walk in it. In very truth, this is the conception of 
"salvation" which in the widest circles is now con- 
fidently proclaimed. This is the hinge, indeed, on 
which turns the entire thought of that New Prot- 
estantism which has arisen in our day, repudiating the 
Reformation and all its works as mere medievalism, 
and attaching itself rather to the Enlightenment, as 
the birth of a new world, a new world in which rules 
just Man, the Lord of all. "Rationalism" we have 
been accustomed to call the whole movement, and as 
phase of it follows phase of it, in the Rationalismus 
Vulgaris of Wegscheider, we will say; in Kant and his 
followers; in the Post-Kantian Schools; and now in 
our "New Protestantism" we must at least accord it 
the praise of breeding marvelously true to type. 

Profound thinkers like Kant and perhaps we may 
say, even more, spiritually minded thinkers like Rudolf 
Eucken, may be incapable of the shallow estimate of 
human nature which sees in it nothing but good. 
But even the perception of the radical evil of human 
nature cannot deliver them out of the fixed circle of 
thought which asserts human ability for the whole 
sphere of human obligation, however that ability be 
construed. "How it is possible for a naturally bad 
man to make himself a good man," exclaims Kant, 39 
"entirely baffles our thought, for how can a corrupt 
tree bring forth good fruit?" But he is, despite the 
perceived impossibility of it, able to rest in the solu- 

[53] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

tion, or rather no solution, of the weak, "It must 
be possible for us to become better, even if that which 
we are able to do should be of itself insufficient, and 
all that we could do was to make ourselves receptive 
for a higher assistance of an inscrutable kind." 40 
Beyond a similar appeal to an inscrutable mystical 
power flowing through the life of the man who strives 
to help himself, even a Rudolf Eucken does not get. 
And so our most modern thought only reproduces the 
ancient Pelagianism, with a less profound sense of the 
guilt and a little deeper sense of the difficulties which 
evil has brought upon man. Of expiation it will hear 
nothing; and while it makes a place for aid, it must 
be an aid which flows into the soul in response to and 
along the lines of its own creative efforts. 

Outside the deeper philosophies even this falls 
away, and the shallowest forms of Pelagianism stalk 
abroad with utter freedom from all sense of insuffi- 
ciency. The most characteristic expression of this 
general point of view is given, perhaps, in the current 
adduction of the parable of the Prodigal Son as em- 
bodying not merely the essence but the entirety of the 
gospel. Precious as this parable is for its great 
message that there is joy in heaven over one sinner 
that repents, when it is perverted from the purpose for 
which it was spoken and made to stand for the whole 
gospel (corruptio optimi pessitna), it becomes the 
instrument for tearing down the entire fabric of 
Christianity. There is no atonement in this parable; 
and indeed no Christ in even the most attenuated 

[54] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

function which could possibly be ascribed to a 
Christ. There is no creative grace in this parable; 
and indeed no Holy Spirit in any operation the most 
ineffective that could be attributed to him. There is 
no seeking love of God in this parable : the father in the 
parable pays absolutely no attention to his errant son, 
just lets him alone, and apparently feels no concern 
about him. Considered as a pictorial representation 
of the gospel, its teaching is just this, and nothing 
more: that when anyone, altogether of his own 
motion, chooses to get up and go back to God, he will 
be received with acclamation. It is certainly a very 
flattering gospel. It is flattering to be told that we 
can get up and go to God whenever we choose, and 
that nobody is going to pester us about it. It is 
flattering to be told that when we choose to go back 
to God we can command a handsome reception, and 
no questions asked. But is this the gospel of Jesus 
Christ? Is the whole teaching of Jesus Christ summed 
up in this: that the gates of heaven stand open and 
anybody can go in whenever he pleases? That is, 
however, what the entire body of modern Liberal 
theologians tells us: our Harnacks and Boussets and 
their innumerable disciples and imitators. 

" Innumerable" disciples and imitators, I say: for 
surely this teaching has overspread the world. We are 
told by Erich Schader that during his professorial life 
no student has ever come before him on the mind of 
whom the presentation of the two parables of the 
Pharisee and the Publican praying in the temple and 

[55] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

of the Lost Son, in the sense that the forgiveness of 
God is conditioned by nothing and no atonement is 
needed, has not made for a longer or shorter time a 
great and deep impression. 41 It is a Pelagianism, you 
see, which out-pelagianizes Pelagius. For Pelagius 
had some recognition of the guilt of sin, and gave 
some acknowledgment of the atoning work of Christ 
in making expiation for this guilt. And this theology 
does neither. With no real sense of guilt, and without 
the least feeling for the disabilities which come from 
sin, it complacently puts God's forgiveness at the dis- 
posal of whosoever will deign to take it from his hands. 
The view of God which is involved, some one has not 
inaptly if a little bitingly called "the domestic animal 
conception of God." As you keep sheep to give you 
wool, and cows to give you milk, so you keep God to 
give you forgiveness. What is meant is grimly illus- 
trated by the story of poor Heinrich Heine, writhing 
on his bed of agony, who, asked by an officious visitor 
if he had hope of the forgiveness of his sins, replied 
with a glance upwards of mocking bitterness, "Why, 
yes, certainly: that's what God is for." That's what 
God is for! It is thus that our modern Liberal 
theology thinks of God. He has but one function and 
comes into contact with man at but one point: he 
exists to forgive sins. 

In somewhat the same spirit we hear ringing up and 
down the land the passionate proclamation of what 
its adherents love to call a "whosoever will gospel." 
It is no doubt the universality of the gospel-offer 

[56] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

which is intended to be emphasized. But do we not 
shoot beyond the mark when we seem to hang sal- 
vation purely on the human will? And should we 
not stop to consider that, if so we seem to open salva- 
tion to "whosoever will" on the one hand, on the other 
we open it only to "whosoever will" ? And who, in 
this world of death and sin, I do not say merely will, 
but can, will the good? Is it not forever true that 
grapes are not gathered from thorns, nor figs from 
thistles; that it is only the good tree which brings 
forth good fruit while the evil tree brings forth always 
and everywhere only evil fruit? It is not only Hannah 
More's Black Giles the Poacher who may haply 
"find it difficult to repent when he will." It is useless 
to talk of salvation being for "whosoever will" in a 
world of universal "won't." Here is the real point 
of difficulty: how, where, can we obtain the will ? Let 
others rejoice in a "whosoever will gospel": for the 
sinner who knows himself to be a sinner, and knows 
what it is to be a sinner, only a "God will" gospel will 
suffice. If the gospel is to be committed to the dead 
wills of sinful men, and there is nothing above and 
beyond, who then can be saved? 

As a recent writer, who makes no great claim to 
special orthodoxy but has some philosophical insight, 
points out, "the self that is to determine is the same 
as the self that is to be determined"; "the self which 
according to Pelagius is to make one good is the bad 
self that needs to be made good." "The disease is in 
the will, not in some part of ourselves other than the 

[57] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

will which the will can control. How can the diseased 
will provide the cure?" 42 "The seat of the problem 
is our wills; we could be good if we would, but we 
won't; and we can't begin to will it, unless we will so 
to begin, that is, unless we already will it. 'Who shall 
deliver me from the body of this death? I thank my 
God through Jesus Christ our Lord!' I am told to 
repent if I would be forgiven; but how can I repent? 
I only do what is wrong because I like it, and I can't 
stop liking it or like something else better because I 
am told to do so, nor even because it is proved that it 
would be better for me. If I am to be changed, some- 
thing must lay hold of me and change me." 43 "Can 
peach renew lost bloom?" asks Christina G. Rossetti, 
more poetically, but with the same pungent point: 

Can peach renew lost bloom, 

Or violet lost perfume, 

Or sullied snow turn white as over-night? 

Man cannot compass it, yet never fear: 

The leper Naaman 

Shows what God will and can. 

God who worked then is working here; 

Wherefore let shame, not gloom, betinge thy brow. 

God who worked then is working now. 

It is only in the loving omnipotence and omnipotent 
love of God that a sinner can trust. "Christ" cries 
Charles H. Spurgeon, 44 "is not 'mighty to save' those 
who repent, but is not able to make men repent. He will 
carry those to heaven who believe; but he is moreover 
mighty to give men new hearts, and to work faith in 

[58] 



AUTOSOTERISM 

them. He is mighty to make the man who hates 
holiness, love it, and to constrain the despiser of his 
name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not 
all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen 
in the after- work. ... He is mighty to keep his 
people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve 
them in fear and love, until he consummates their 
spiritual existence in heaven." 

If it were not so, the case of the sinner were desperate. 
It is only in almighty grace that a sinner can hope; for 
it is only almighty grace that can raise the dead. 
What boots it to send the trumpeter crying amid the 
serried ranks of the dead: "The gates of heaven 
stand Open: whosoever will may enter in"? The real 
question which presses is, Who will make these dry 
bones live? As over against all teaching that would 
tempt man to trust in himself for any, even the smallest 
part, of his salvation, Christianity casts him utterly 
on God. It is God and God alone who saves, and 
that in every element of the saving process. "If 
there be but one stitch," says Spurgeon aptly, "in 
the celestial garment of our righteousness which we 
ourselves are to put in, we are lost." 



[59] 



SA CE%T> TALISM 



The Lord added to them day by day those that 
were saved. — Acts 2 : 47. 



Ill 

SACERDOTALISM 

It is the consentient testimony of the universal 
Church that salvation is from God, and from God 
alone. The tendency constantly showing itself in all 
branches of the Church alike to conceive of salvation 
as, in one way or another, to a greater or less degree, 
from man, is thus branded by the entire Church in its 
official testimony as a heathen remainder not yet 
fully eliminated from the thinking and feeling of those 
who profess and call themselves Christians. The 
incessant reappearance of this tendency in one or 
another form throughout the Church is evidence 
enough, however, of the difficulty which men feel in 
preserving in its purity the Christian ascription of 
salvation to God alone. And this difficulty obtrudes 
itself in another way in a great and far-reaching 
difference which has arisen in the organized testimony 
of the Church itself with respect to the mode of the 
divine operation in working salvation in man. 

Though salvation is declared to be wholly of God, 
who alone can save, it has yet been taught in a large 
portion of the Church, (up to to-day in the larger 
portion of the Church) , that God in working salvation 
does not operate upon the human soul directly but 
indirectly; that is to say, through instrumentalities 

[63] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

which he has established as the means by which his 
saving grace is communicated to men. As these in- 
strumentalities are committed to human hands for 
their administration, a human factor is thus intruded 
between the saving grace of God and its effective 
operation in the souls of men; and this human factor, 
indeed, is made the determining factor in salvation. 45 
Against this Sacerdotal system, as it is appropriately 
called, the whole Protestant Church, in all its parts, 
Lutheran and Reformed, Calvinistic and Arminian, 
raises its passionate protest. In the interests of the 
pure supernaturalism of salvation it insists that God 
the Lord himself works by his grace immediately on 
the souls of men, and has not suspended any man's 
salvation upon the faithfulness or caprice of his fel- 
lows. In the words of old John Hooper, it condemns as 
"an ungodly opinion" the notion "that attributeth the 
salvation of man unto the receiving of an external 
sacrament," "as though God's Holy Spirit could not 
be carried by faith into the penitent and sorrowful 
conscience except it rid always in a chariot and ex- 
ternal sacrament." 46 In opposition to this "ungodly 
opinion" Protestantism suspends the welfare of the 
soul directly, without any intermediaries at all, upon 
the grace of God alone. 

The sacerdotal principle finds very complete ex- 
pression in the thoroughly developed and logically 
compacted system of the Church of Rome. Accord- 
ing to this system God the Lord does nothing looking 
to the salvation of men directly and immediately: all 

[64] 



SACERDOTALISM 

that he does for the salvation of men he does through 
the mediation of the Church, to which, having en- 
dowed it with powers adequate to the task, he has 
committed the whole work of salvation. 47 "It is 
hardly incorrect to say," remarks Dr. W. P. Paterson 
in expounding the doctrine of the Church of Rome on 
this point, 48 "that in the Roman Catholic conception 
the central feature of the Christian religion is the 
supernatural institution which represents Christ, 
which carries on his work, and which acts as the 
virtual mediator of the blessings of salvation. Its 
vocation or commission is nothing less than the per- 
petuation of the work of the Redeemer. It does not, 
of course, supersede the work of Christ. Its pre- 
supposition is that Christ, the eternal Son of God, 
laid the foundation of its work in his incarnation and 
his atoning death; that from him come ultimately all 
power, authority and grace; and that as from him all 
spiritual blessing proceeds, so to him belongs all the 
glory. But in the present dispensation, the Church, 
in large measure, has taken over the work of Christ. 
It is in a real sense, a reincarnation of Christ to the 
end of the continuation and completion of his re- 
demptive mission. Through his Church he continues 
to execute the offices of a Prophet, of a Priest, and of 
a King. His prophet office it perpetuates by witness- 
ing to the truth once delivered to the saints, and by 
interpreting and determining doctrine with an in- 
fallible authority that carries the same weight and 
assurance as his own original revelation. It succeeds 

[65] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

him on earth in the exercise of the priestly office. It 
represents him so completely in the priestly function 
of mediation between God and man, that even as 
there is none other name given among men than that 
of Jesus, whereby we must be saved, so there is no 
covenanted salvation outside the visible organization 
of which he is the unseen Head. It is further con- 
ceived that it represents him as sacrificing priest by 
the perpetual repetition in the Mass of the oblation 
which he once offered on the cross. In this divine 
sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, it is taught, 49 
'that same Christ is contained and immolated in an 
unbloody manner on the altar of the cross; and this 
sacrifice is truly propitiatory.' And, finally, it ad- 
ministers the kingly power of Christ on earth. It 
has an absolute claim to the obedience of its members 
in all matters of faith and duty, with the right and 
duty to punish the disobedient for the breach of its 
laws, and to coerce the contumacious." 

In one word, the Church in this system is conceived 
to be Jesus Christ himself in his earthly form, and it 
is therefore substituted for him as the proximate 
object of the faith of Christians. 50 "The visible 
Church" says M6hler, 51 "is the Son of God, as he 
continuously appears, ever repeats himself, and 
eternally renews his youth among men in human form. 
It is his perennial incarnation." It is to the Church, 
then, that men must look for their salvation; it is from 
the Church and its ordinances alone that salvation is 
communicated to men; in a word it is to the Church 



SACERDOTALISM 

rather than to Christ or to the grace of God that the 
salvation of men is immediately ascribed. Only 
"through the most holy sacraments of the Church," 
it is declared plainly, 52 is it, "that all true justice 
either begins; or being begun is increased; or being 
lost, is repaired." "The radical religious defect of 
the conception," comments Dr. Paterson justly, 53 
"is that it makes the sinner fall into the hand of man, 
rather than into the hand of the all-merciful God. 
We look to God for salvation, and we are referred to 
an institution, which in spite of its lofty claims, is too 
manifestly leavened and controlled by the thoughts 
of men like ourselves." And again: 54 "The radical 
error of the Roman system was that the visible Church, 
which is human as much as it is divine, and which has 
become increasingly human, had largely thrust itself 
in the place of God and of the Saviour: and to the 
deeper religious insight it appeared that men were be- 
ing invited and required to make the unsatisfactory 
venture of entrusting themselves to provisions and 
laws of human origin as the condition of attaining to 
the divine salvation. It was felt that the need of the 
soul was to press past the insecure earthly instrument, 
with its mediatorial claims and services, to the 
promises of God and to a finished work of the divine 
Saviour, and to look to God for the better assurance 
of truth and salvation which is given inwardly by the 
Holy Spirit of God. The Protestant revision, in 
short, was more than justified by the religious need of 
basing salvation on a purely divine foundation, and 

[67] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

of dispensing with ecclesiastical machinery which 
was largely human in its origin and conception." 
The question which is raised in sacerdotalism, in a 
word, is just whether it is God the Lord who saves us, 
or it is men, acting in the name and clothed with the 
powers of God, to whom we are to look for salvation. 
This is the issue which divides sacerdotalism and 
evangelical religion. 

The essence of the sacerdotal scheme as it regards 
the actual salvation of individual men, may perhaps 
be fairly expressed by saying that, according to it, 
God truly desires (or, as the cant phrase puts it, wills 
by an antecedent conditional will) the salvation of all 
men, and has made adequate provision for their sal- 
vation in the Church with its sacramental system: 
but he commits the actual work of the Church and its 
sacramental system to the operation of the second 
causes through which the application of grace through 
the Church and its sacramental system is effected. 
As this system of second causes has not been instituted 
with a view to the conveying of the sacraments to 
particular men or to the withholding of them from 
particular men, but belongs to his general provision 
for the government of the world, the actual distribu- 
tion of the grace of God through the Church and the 
sacraments lies outside the government of his gracious 
will. Those who are saved by obtaining the sacra- 
ments, and those who are lost by missing the sacra- 
ments, are saved or are lost therefore, not by the 
divine appointment, but by the natural working of 

[68] 



SACERDOTALISM 

second causes. God's antecedent conditional will 
that all should be saved, that is, on the condition of 
their receiving grace through the sacraments dis- 
tributed under the government of second causes, is 
supplanted by a consequent absolute will of salvation, 
therefore, only in the case of those who, he foresees, 
will, under the government of second causes, actually 
receive the sacraments and the grace which is con- 
veyed by them. Thus, it is supposed, God is relieved 
from all responsibility with regard to the inequality of 
the distribution of saving grace. By his antecedent 
conditional will he wills the salvation of all. That 
all are not saved is due to the failure of some to receive 
the requisite grace through the sacraments. And 
their failure to receive the sacraments and the grace 
conveyed in them is due solely to the action of the 
second causes to which the distribution of the sacra- 
ments has been committed, that is, to the working of 
a general cause, quite independent of God's antecedent 
will of salvation. This seems to satisfy the minds of 
the sacerdotal reasoners. To the outsider it seems to 
mean only that God, having made certain general 
provisions for salvation, commits the salvation of 
men to the working of the general system of second 
causes; that is to say, he declines to be con- 
cerned personally about the salvation of men and 
leaves men to "nature" for the chances of their sal- 
vation. 

The whole matter is very precisely expounded by 
an acute Jesuit writer, William Humphrey S. J., 55 

[69] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

with particular reference to the special case of infants 
dying unbaptized, (and, therefore, inevitably lost) 
which is looked upon apparently as a peculiarly hard 
case, requiring very careful treatment. It will repay 
us to follow his exposition. 

"The order of thought," he tells us, "is as follows. 
Consequent on prevision of original sin, and the in- 
fection of the whole human race therewith, through 
the free transgression of Adam, its progenitor and 
head, God in his mercy wills the restoration of the 
whole human race. To this end he destines from 
eternity, and promises, and sends in the fulness of 
time, his Incarnate Son, with nature assumed from 
the same human race. He wills that this Incarnate 
Son, who is the Christ, should exhibit full satisfaction 
for all sins. This satisfaction, as foreseen, he accepts. 
At the appointed time, the Christ actually offers it for 
all human sins. 'God sent his Son that the world 
should be saved by him.' 'He is the propitiation for 
the sins of the whole world.' In the restored human 
race all are comprehended, even those who die in in- 
fancy, before use of reason. In the will of redemption 
all these infants, therefore, are comprehended. In 
the divine will that accepts the satisfaction, and in the 
human will of Christ which offers satisfaction, for 
all human sins, there is also an acceptance and offering 
of satisfaction for the original sin wherewith all these 
infants are infected. Hence, in view and in virtue of 
the merits and blood-shedding of Christ, God insti- 
tutes for all these infants a sacrament, by means of 

[70] 



SACERDOTALISM 

which there might be applied to every one of them the 
merits and satisfaction of Christ. All these provisions 
have, by their nature, been ordained by God for the 
salvation of infants. 

"A will of salvation which is such as this is, is no 
mere complacence in the goodness of the object re- 
garded by itself; and, in this case, complacence in the 
goodness of salvation. It is on the part of God, an 
active and operative will of the salvation of infants. 
To all and every one of them this will of redemption 
is related. 

"God wills to effect application of the sacrament of 
baptism, not by himself immediately, but by means 
of second causes; and through these second causes 
not to all infants by absolute will, but to all infants 
in so far as second causes, disposed in accordance with 
his universal and ordinary providence, do act under it. 

"Among these second causes are, in the first place, 
the free wills of human beings, on which application 
of the sacrament, in the case at least of very many 
infants, is dependent. These human wills God an- 
ticipates, excites and inclines by his precepts, counsels, 
and aids, both of the natural order and of the super- 
natural order. He thus provides that through the 
diligence and solicitude of those concerned; through 
their obedience and cooperation with grace received; 
through congruous merits and good works; through 
the alms-deeds and the prayers especially of the 
parents, and of those to whose guardianship the little 
ones have been confided, and through the apostolic 

[71] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

labors of his ministers, the infants should be brought 
to the grace of baptism. As in the natural order, so 
also in the supernatural order of sanctirication and 
eternal salvation, God wills to provide for infants 
through other human beings, and in accordance with 
the demands of the general laws of divine providence. 

"In this way the divine will of salvation acts on 
the wills of men to procure the salvation of at least 
many infants who, nevertheless, by fault of men are 
not saved. With regard to these infants, the ante- 
cedent will of God is an active will, that they should 
be saved; although it is not absolute, but under con- 
dition, that men on their part should second the 
divine will, as they can and ought to do, and al- 
though, consequently on contrary action on the part 
of men, God permits death in original sin, and, on 
prevision of this, does not will, with a consequent will, 
the salvation of those infants. 

"Besides the wills of the human beings, which are 
in the moral order, and are free; there are also second 
causes of the physical order, and these are not free. 
These causes contribute, in accordance with the 
common and ordinary laws of providence, to render 
bestowal of baptism either possible or impossible. 
The course of these causes, and the universal laws by 
which they are governed, God, consequently to 
original sin, wills to remain such as they now are. 
God has not restored the preternatural state of im- 
mortality, even after the redemption of the human 
race by Christ had been decreed and effected. Hence, 

[72] 



SACERDOTALISM 

in accordance with the ordinary course of these laws, 
there follows the death of many infants before use of 
reason; and this sometimes independently of all 
exercise of will, and free action, of human beings. 

"With this natural course of events, there is 
thoroughly consistent an antecedent conditional will 
in God of the salvation of all these infants. The con- 
dition under which he wills the application to them 
of baptism is — so far as the general order, which has 
been justly and wisely instituted, permits. 

"If God had willed this order of physical causes of 
itself to the end that infants should die in original sin, 
he certainly could not be said to will the salvation of 
these infants. God has not, however, instituted that 
order to this end, nor does he so direct it by his will. 
He wills it for other ends, and those most wise ends. 

"Hence, God does not directly intend the con- 
sequent death of infants in sin. He only permits it, 
in as much as he does not will to hinder, for all infants, 
the natural demands of physical laws, by a change of 
the general order, or through continual miracles. 

"Such a permission proves only, that there is not 
in God an absolute will of the salvation of these in- 
fants. It in no way proves that there is not in God 
a conditional will of the salvation of all of them. 

"In short, God wills the salvation of all infants who 
die in original sin by an antecedent will, in accordance 
with his common providence. In his common 
providence God predefines for everything a certain 
end, he conceives and prepares sufficient means in 

[73] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

order to the obtaining of that end, he leaves every- 
thing to use those means, in accordance with the 
demand of its nature. That is to say, he leaves 
natural and necessary causes to act naturally and 
necessarily, contingent causes to act contingently, and 
free causes to act freely." 

But enough! The whole scheme is now certainly 
before us; and the whole scheme (generalizing from 
the particular instance treated) obviously is just this: 
that God has made sufficient provision for the salva- 
tion of all men, placed this provision in the world under 
the government of the ordinary course of nature, and 
left the actual salvation of men to work itself out in 
accordance with this ordinary course of nature. It is 
a kind of Deistic conception of the plan of salvation: 
God introduces into the concourse of causes by which 
the world is governed a new set of causes, working 
confidently in with them, making for salvation, and 
I „then leaves to the interworking of these two sets of 

/ 'V* iU v causes the grinding out of the actual results. He will 
C V q*- % not u change the general order' ' ; and he will not inwork 

lb \ft in the general order by "continuous miracles." He 
s^ just commits salvation to the general order as actually 

established. This obviously is at best to attribute 
the salvation of the individual to God, only in the 
sense in which you attribute to God every other event 
which befalls him; it takes place under the operation 
of general laws. There is no special supernaturalism 
in his salvation, though he be saved by the operation 
of specially supernatural instrumentalities inserted 

[74] 



t)' 



SACERDOTALISM 

into the order of the world. God retires behind his 
works, and man, if he be saved at all, is saved 
by law. 

If we ask therefore why, on this scheme, one man 
is saved rather than another, we must answer, Because 
the sacraments come to one and not to the other. If 
we ask why the sacraments come to one rather than 
to another, we must answer, Because the general 
order of providence, wisely and justly instituted for 
the government of the world, permits them to come to 
the one and not to the other; and the free agents in- 
volved, under the command of God, freely concur to 
that end in the one case and not in the other. If we 
ask whether it is not God who has so disposed provi- 
dence as to produce these precise effects, we must 
answer, No, for the general order of providence was 
instituted for the general wise government of the 
world and these particular effects are merely incidental 
to it. If we press on and ask, Could not God have so 
arranged his general providence as to have produced 
better results, and could he not so govern the world as 
to secure all else he wished and yet the salvation of 
men in greater numbers and with more particularity 
of choice on his part, we are dumb. For there is a 
manifest subjection of God's activities here to the 
working of the instrumentalities which he has or- 
dained; there is a manifest subordination of God in 
his operations to second causes; or, to put it in another 
way, there is a manifest removal of man in the matter 
of his salvation from the direct control of God and the 

[75] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

commitment of him instead to the tender mercies of 
a mechanism. 

The explanation of Christianity in terms of sacer- 
dotalism is unfortunately not confined in our day to 
the old unreformed Church from which Protestantism 
broke forth, precisely that it might escape from de- 
pendence on the Church rather than on God alone in 
the matter of salvation. A very influential, (perhaps 
presently the most influential, and certainly to the 
onlooker, the most conspicuous) party in the great 
Protestant Church of England, and, following it, 
large parties in its daughter Churches, have revived 
it in more or less completeness of expression and 
certainly with no hesitancy of assertion. It is common 
nowadays to hear men referred by Anglican writers to 
the Church rather than directly to God for salvation; 
and to have the Church defined for them as "the ex- 
tension of the incarnation." 56 "To anyone who 
thinks carefully, and believes in the Incarnation," 
we are told by an influential clergyman of the Church 
of England, 57 with all the accent of conviction, "it is 
evident that the Church, the Body of Christ, ever 
united with her divine Head, holds in herself the 
forces of his life," and therefore is "equipped," not 
merely to speak for its Lord, but prevalently "to 
apply to the individual soul the grace won for his 
Church by our blessed Redeemer, and residing in 
that Body because ever united to the Head." The 
whole sacerdotal system is wrapped up in that state- 
ment. The Church, Mr. Darwell Stone tells us, 58 is 

[76] 



SACERDOTALISM 

a visible society, the work of which is twofold, cor- 
responding to the work of the Lord, as expressed in 
John 1:17: "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ": 
"the Church, as his mystical body and his organ in the 
world, is the teacher of truth and the storehouse of 
grace." "Since the day of Pentecost the day of the 
creation of the Christian Church," he further explains, 59 
'the ordinary way in which God bestows grace on 
the souls of men is through the glorified humanity of 
our Lord, and the work of God the Holy Ghost. The 
closest means of union with the glorified humanity of 
Christ, and the most immediate mode of contact with 
God the Holy Ghost, are in the mystical body of 
Christ, that is the Church, and are open to men in the 
use of the sacraments. Thus the Christian Church 
is the channel of grace." From this beginning Mr. 
Stone goes on to expound the sacerdotal system in a 
manner indistinguishable from its ordinary exposition 
in the Church of Rome. 

We will ask, however, an American divine to explain 
to us the sacerdotal system as it has come to be taught 
in the Protestant Episcopal Churches. 60 "Man," 
we read in Dr. A. G. Mortimer's "Catholic Faith and 
Practice," "having fallen before God's loving purpose 
could be fulfilled, he must be redeemed, bought back 
from his bondage, delivered from his sin, reunited 
once more to God, so that the Divine Life might flow 
again in his weakened nature" (p. 65). "By his life 
and death Christ made satisfaction for the sins of all 
men, that is, sufficient for all mankind, for through 

[77] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

the Atonement sufficient grace is given to every soul 
for its salvation; but grace, though sufficient, if 
neglected, becomes of no avail" (p. 82) . 61 "The In- 
carnation and the Atonement affected humanity as a 
race only. 62 Some means, therefore, was needed to 
transmit the priceless gifts which flowed from them 
to the individuals of which the race was comprised, 
not only at the time when our Lord was on earth, but 
to the end of the world. For this need, therefore, 
our Lord founded the Church" (p. 88). "Thus the 
Church became the living agent by which the graces 
and blessings, which flowed from Christ were dis- 
pensed to each individual soul which would appropriate 
them" (p. 84). "The Church claims not only to be 
the teacher of the truth and the guide in morals, but 
. . . the dispenser of that grace which enables us to 
fulfil her laws" (p. 100), "the dispenser of that grace 
which alone can enable man to believe what is true, 
to do what is right, and to attain his true end, to 
serve God acceptably here, and to live with God 
happily hereafter" (p. 114). "The chief means of 
grace are the Sacraments" (p. 120). "They are the 
channels by which the spiritual gift is conveyed to our 
souls. . . . The Christian Sacraments, therefore, do 
not merely signify grace; they actually confer it. 
Hence they are called 'effectual' signs of grace. Their 
action is ex opere operato" (p. 122). "Baptism is 
absolutely necessary to salvation, for a person can 
have no life who has not been born. This is called 
the 'necessitas medii? since Baptism is the means by 

[78] 



SACERDOTALISM 

which the supernatural life is given to the soul and the 
individual is incorporated into Christ." "Without the 
help of (the Eucharist), salvation would be so difficult 
to attain as to be practically impossible" (p. 127). 
Here obviously is as express a sacerdotalism as that of 
the Church of Rome itself, from which, indeed, it has 
been simply borrowed. The Church has completely 
taken the place of the Spirit of God as the proximate 
source of grace, and the action of the divine Spirit 
in applying salvation is postponed to and made sub- 
ject to the operations of the Church through its 
ordinances. Thus the soul is removed from immediate 
dependence on God and taught rather to come to the 
Church and to expect all endowments of grace directly 

from it. 

A modified and much milder form of sacerdotalism 
is inherent in Confessional Lutheranism, and is con- 
tinually rising to more or less prominence in certain 
phases of Lutheran thought, thus creating a high- 
church party in the Lutheran Church also. It has 
been the boast of Lutheranism that it represents, in 
distinction from Calvinism, a "conservative reforma- 
tion." 63 The boast is justified, as on other grounds, 
so also on this, that it has incorporated into its con- 
fessional system the essence of the sacerdotalism 
which characterized the teaching of the old church. 
Confessional Lutheranism, like Romanism, teaches 
that the grace of salvation is conveyed to men in the 
means of grace, otherwise not. But it makes certain 
modifications in the sacerdotal teaching which it took 

[79] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

over from the old Church, and these modifications 
are of such a far-reaching character as to transform 
the whole system. We do not commonly hear in 
Lutheran sacerdotalism much of "the Church," which 
is the very cor cordis of Roman sacerdotalism: what 
we hear of instead is "the means of grace." Among 
these "means of grace" the main stress is not laid upon 
the sacraments, but on "the Word," which is denned 
as the chief "means of grace." And the means of 
grace are not represented as acting ex opere operato, 
but it is constantly declared that they are effective 
only to faith. I do not say the scheme is a consistent 
one: in point of fact it is honeycombed with incon- 
sistencies. But it remains sufficiently sacerdotal to 
confine the activities of saving grace to the means of 
grace, that is to say, to the Word and sacraments, and 
thus to interpose the means of grace between the sin- 
ner and his God. The central evil of sacerdotalism 
is therefore present in this scheme in its full mani- 
festation, and wherever it is fully operative we find 
men exalting the means of grace and more or less for- 
getting the true agent of all gracious operations, the 
Holy Spirit himself, in their absorption with the in- 
strumentalities through which alone he is supposed 
to work. It is in a truly religious interest, therefore, 
that the Reformed, as over against the Lutherans, in- 
sist with energy that, important as are the means of 
grace, and honored as they must be by us because 
honored by God the Holy Spirit as the instruments 
by and through which he works grace in the hearts 

[80] 



SACERDOTALISM 

of men, yet after all the grace which he works by and 
through them he works himself not out of them but 
immediately out of himself, extrinsecus accedens. 

There are three aspects of the working of the 
sacerdotal system which must be kept clearly in view, 
if we wish to appraise with any accuracy the injury 
to the religious interest which it inevitably works. 
These have been more or less expressly alluded to 
already, but it seems desirable to call particular 
attention to them formally and together. 

In the first place, the sacerdotal system separates \ 
the soul from direct contact with and immediate de- 
pendence upon God the Holy Spirit as the source of 
all its gracious activities. It interposes between the 
soul and the source of all grace a body of instrumen- 
talities, on which it tempts it to depend; and it thus 
betrays the soul into a mechanical conception of sal- 
vation. The Church ? the means of grace ? take the 
place of God the Holy Spirit in the thought of the 
Christian, and he thus loses all the joy an d power 
which come from conscious direct com munion with 
jjod. It makes every difference to the religious life, 
and every difference to the comfort and assurance of 
the religious hope, whether we are consciously de- 
pendent upon instrumentalities of grace, or upon God 
the Lord himself, experienced as personally present 
to our souls, working salvation in his loving grace. 
The two types of piety, fostered by dependence on 
instrumentalities of grace and by conscious com- 
munion with God the Holy Spirit as a personal 

[81] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Saviour, are utterly different, and the difference from 
the point of view of vital religion is not favorable to 
sacerdotalism. It is in the interests of vital religion, 
therefore, that the Protestant spirit repudiates 
sacerdotalism. And it is this repudiation which 
constitutes the very essence of evangelicalism. 
Precisely what evangelical religion means is im- 
mediate dependence of the soul on God and on God 
alone for salvation. 

In the second place, sacerdotalism deals with God 
the Holy Spirit, the source of all grace, in utter neglect 
of his personality, as if he were a natural force, op- 
erating, not when and where and how he pleases, but 
uniformly and regularly wherever his activities are 
released. It speaks of the Church as the "institute 
of salvation," or even as "the storehouse of salvation" 
with apparently complete unconsciousness that thus 
it is speaking of salvation as something which may 
be accumulated or stored for use as it may be needed. 
The conception is not essentially different from that 
of storing electricity, say, in a Leyden jar, whence it 
can be drawn upon for use. How dreadful the con- 
ception is may be intimated by simply speaking of it 
with frankness under its true forms of expression: 
it is equivalent to saying that saving grace, God the 
Holy Spirit, is kept on tap, and released at the 
Church's will to do the work required of it. It would 
probably be no exaggeration to say that no heresy 
could be more gross than that heresy which conceives 
the operations of God the Holy Spirit under the forms 

[82] 



SACERDOTALISM 

of the action of an impersonal, natural force. And 
yet it is quite obvious that at bottom this is the con- 
ception which underlies the sacerdotal system. The 
Church, the means of grace, contain in them the Holy 
Spirit as a salvation-working power which operates 
whenever and wherever it, we can scarcely say he, 
is applied. 

And this obviously involves, in the third place, the 
subjection of the Holy Spirit in his gracious operations 
to the control of men. Instead of the Church and the 
sacraments, the means of grace, being conceived, as 
they are represented in the Scriptures, and as they 
must be thought of in all healthful religious concep- 
tions of them, as instrumentalities which the Holy 
Spirit uses in working salvation, the Holy Spirit is 
made an instrument which the Church, the means of 
grace, use in working salvation. The initiative is 
placed in the Church, the means of grace, and the 
Holy Spirit is placed at their disposal. He goes 
where they convey him; he works when they release 
him for work; his operations wait on their permission; 
and apart from their direction and control he can 
work no salvation. It ought to be unnecessary to say 
that this is a degrading conception of the modes of 
activity of the Holy Spirit. Its affinities are not with 
religion in any worthy sense of that word, which im- 
plies personal relations with a personal God, but 
with magic. At bottom, it conceives of the divine 
operations as at the disposal of man, who uses 
God for his own ends; and utterly forgets that 

[83] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

rather God must be conceived as using man for his 

ends. 

It is to break away from all this and to turn to God 
the Holy Spirit in humble dependence upon him as 
our gracious Saviour, our personal Lord and our holy 
Governor and Leader, that evangelicalism refuses to 
have anything to do with sacerdotalism and turns 
from all the instrumentalities of salvation to put its 
sole trust in the personal Saviour of the soul. 



[84] 



UNIVEXSALISM 



Who loved me, and gave himself up for 
me. — Gal. 2 : 20. 



IV 
UNIVERSALISM 

The evangelical note is formally sounded by the 
entirety of organized Protestantism. That is to say, 
all the great Protestant bodies, in their formal official 
confessions, agree in confessing the utter dependence 
of sinful man upon the grace of God alone for salva- 
tion, and in conceiving this dependence as immediate 
and direct upon the Holy Spirit, acting as a person and 
operating directly on the heart of the sinner. It is 
this evangelical note which determines the peculiarity 
of the piety of the Protestant Churches. The char- 
acteristic feature of this piety is a profound con- 
sciousness of intimate personal communion with God 
the Saviour, on whom the soul rests with immediate 
love and trust. Obviously this piety is individualistic 
to the core, and depends for its support on an intense 
conviction that God the Lord deals with each sinful 
soul directly and for itself. Nevertheless, in odd 
contradiction to this individualistic sentiment which 
informs all truly evangelical piety, there exists in 
Protestantism a wide-spread tendency to construe 
the activities of God looking to salvation not in- 
dividualistically but universally, to assert, in one 
word, that all that God does looking toward the 
salvation of sinful man, he does not to or for individual 

[87] 



^s 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

men but to or for all men alike, making no distinctions. 
This is the characteristic contention of what we know 
as Evangelical Arminianism and of Evangelical 
Lutheranism and is the earnest conviction of large 
bodies of Protestants gathered in many communions, 
under many names. 

On the face of it, it would seem that if it is God the 
Lord and he alone who works salvation, by an opera- 
tion of his grace immediately upon the heart, (which 
is the core of the evangelical confession); and if all 
that God does looking to the salvation of men he does 
to and for all men alike, (which is the substance of the 
universalistic contention) ; why, then, all men without 
exception must be saved. This conclusion, it would 
seem, can be escaped only by relaxing in one way or 
another the stringency of one or the other of the as- 
sumed premises. It must either be held that it is 
not God and God alone who works salvation, but that 
the actual enjoyment of salvation hangs at a decisive 
point upon something in man, or something done by 
man (and then we have fallen out of our evangelical- 
ism into the mere naturalism of autosoterism) ; or it 
must be held that God's gracious activities looking to 
salvation are not after all absolutely universal in their 
operation (and then we have fallen away from our 
asserted universalism) : or else it would seem inevitable 
that we should allow that all men are saved. Con- 
sistent evangelicalism and consistent universalism can 
coexist only if we are prepared to assert the salvation 
by God's almighty grace of all men without exception. 

[88] 



UNIVERSALISM 

Accordingly, there has always existed a tendency 
in those evangelical circles which draw back more or 
less decisively from ascribing a thoroughgoing par- 
ticularism to God in the distribution of his grace, to 
assume the actual salvation of all men, provided, that 
is, that their sense of the complete dependence of the 
sinner upon God for salvation is strong and operative. 
Among the condemnations of errors included in the 
Summa Confessionis et Conclusionum of the Synod 
held at Debreczen on February 24, 1567, we find a 
clause directed against what are there called the 
"Holopraedestinarii," which runs as follows: 64 "The 
Holy Scripture refutes by these reasons also the 
Holopraedestinarii, that is, those who imagine that 
the whole world is elected and that a universal pre- 
destination follows from the universal promise; and 
teaches that predestination is of a few, and is par- 
ticular, and that the number of the elect is certain, 
and their catalogue extends to their very hairs. ' For 
the very hairs of your head are all numbered.' . . . 
But it does not at all follow from this doctrine that 
God is partial or a respecter of persons." Who these 
sixteenth century Holopraedestinarii were we have not 
been careful to inquire ; 64a but certainly, from that 
time to this, there have never lacked those who in the 
interests of protecting God from the charge of "par- 
tiality or respect of persons" have been inclined to 
hold that he has chosen all men to salvation and 
through his almighty grace brings them all to that 
blessed goal. 

[89] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

The most recent and perhaps the most instructive 
instances of this tendency are provided by two divines 
of the Church of Scotland of our own day, Dr. William 
Hastie, late Professor of Divinity in the University of 
Glasgow and Dr. William P. Paterson, now holding 
the Chair of Divinity, the Chair of Chalmers and 
Flint, in the University of Edinburgh. In his admir- 
able Croall lectures on "The Theology of the Re- 
formed Churches in its Fundamental Principles," Dr. 
Hastie announces that "the word of the eternal hope 
seems to me the latest message of the Reformed 
Theology;" 65 and Dr. Paterson takes up the hint and 
enlarges on it in the excellent chapter on "The 
Testimony of the Reformed Churches" included in 
his Baird Lecture on "The Rule of Faith." 66 Dr. 
Paterson considers that Calvinism contains in itself 
elements "which are mutually repulsive," in its 
"doctrine of everlasting punishment" on the one hand, 
and its "doctrine of election and irresistible grace" on 
the other. Relief might no doubt be had, "when 
thought rebels against making God responsible" for 
the everlasting punishment of some "by a doctrine of 
reprobation," by taking refuge in an Arminian or 
semi-Arminian type of thought." This relief would 
be purchased, however, at the too dear cost of abandon- 
ment of concinity of thought, and of falling away from 
faithfulness to the evangelical principle, which is the 
core of Christianity. There remains, then, according 
to Dr. Paterson, no other way but to discard the 
doctrine of everlasting punishment, and to "resolve 

[90] 



UNIVERSALISM 

reprobation into a temporary lack of privilege and of 
spiritual attainment." And he somewhat com- 
placently remarks that "it is a curious circumstance 
that, while Calvinism has become unpopular chiefly 
because of its identification with a grim and re- 
morseless doctrine of eternal punishment, it is the 
only system which contains principles — in its doctrines 
of election and irresistible grace — that could make 
credible a theory of universal restoration." 

What Dr. Paterson says in these last words is true 
enough : but it is true only because, when rightly con- 
sidered, Calvinism, with its doctrines of election and 
irresistible grace, is the only system which can make 
credible the salvation of any sinner: since in these 
doctrines alone are embodied in its purity the evan- 
gelical principles that salvation is from God alone and 
from him only in the immediate working of his grace. 
Whether this grace in God's unspeakable mercy is 
granted to some men only or is poured out on all men 
alike, is a different question to be determined on its 
own grounds. And this question is certainly not to 
be facilely resolved by the simple assumption that 
God's mercy must be poured out on all alike, since 
otherwise not all men can be saved. The funda- 
mental presupposition of such an assumption is no 
other than that God owes all men salvation, that is to 
say, that sin is not really sin and is to be envisaged 
rather as misfortune than as ill-desert. 

That it is this low view of sin which is really deter- 
minative of the whole direction of Dr. Paterson's 

[91] 






THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

thought at this point becomes immediately apparent 
upon attending to the terms of his argument. "It 
has been customary to say," he reasons, "that as 
there would have been no injustice in the punishment 
of all guilty beings, there can be none in the punish- 
ment of some guilty beings out of the number. Those 
who are saved are saved because of the mercy of God, 
while those who are lost perish because of their sins. 
This is as true as to say that those sick persons who 
are saved by the skill and devotion of a physician owe 
their lives to him, and that those that die perish of 
their diseases; but in that case the physician does not 
escape censure if it can be shown that it was in his 
power to have treated and saved those who died. It 
is therefore impossible to say that the doctrine of the 
divine love is not affected, since on Calvinistic prin- 
ciple it is in the power of God to deal with all in the 
same way in which he has dealt with the rest. For 
ex hypothesi it is in the power of God, in virtue of the 
principle of irresistible grace, to save even the worst, 
and if nevertheless there is a part of the human race 
which is consigned to everlasting punishment, it 
seems to be only explicable on the assumption that 
the divine love is not perfect, because it is not an 
all-embracing and untiring love." 

Is it, then, inconceivable that the divine hand 
might be held back from saving all by something 
other than lack of power? The whole matter of the 
ill-desert of sin and the justice of God responding in 
hot indignation to this ill-desert, is left out of Dr. 

[92] 



UNIVERSALISM 

Paterson's reasoning. If the case were really as he 
represents it and men in their mere misery, appealing 
solely to God's pity, lay before the divine mind, it 
would be inexplicable that he did not save all. The 
physician who, having the power to treat and cure 
all his patients, arbitrarily discriminates between 
them and contents himself with ministering to some 
of them only, would justly incur the reprobation of 
men. But may not the judge, having the mere power 
to release all his criminals, be held back by higher 
considerations from realeasing them all? It may be 
inexplicable why a physician in the case supposed 
should not relieve all; while the wonder may well be 
in the case of the judge rather how he can release any. 
The love of God is in its exercise necessarily under the 
control of his righteousness: and to plead that his love 
has suffered an eclipse because he does not do all 
that he has the bare power to do, is in effect to deny 
to him a moral nature. The real solution to the puzzle 
that is raised with respect to the distribution of the 
divine grace is, then, not to be sought along the lines 
either of t he denial of the omnipotence of God's grace J 
with the Arminians, or of the denial of the reality of -a 
his reprobation with our neo-universalists, but in the 
affirmation of his righteousness. The old answer is 
after all the only sufficient one: God in his love saves, 
as many of the guilty race of man as he can get the 
consent of his whole nature to save. Being God and 
all that God is, he will not permit even his ineffable 
love to betray him into any action which is not right. 

[93] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

And it is therefore that we praise him and trust him 
and love him. For he is not part God, a God here 
and there, with some but not all the attributes which 
belong to true God : he is God altogether, God through 
and through, all that God is and all that God ought 
to be. 

Meanwhile, it is not the consistent universalism 
that demands the actual salvation of all sinners, 
which has been embraced by the mass of universaliz- 
ing Protestants. For one thing, the Scriptures are 
too clear to the contrary to permit the indulgence of 
this pleasant dream: it is all too certain that all men 
are not saved, but at the last day there remain the 
two classes of the saved and the lost, each of which is 
sent to the eternal destiny which belongs to it. The 
great problem requires to be faced by universalizing 
evangelicalism, therefore, of how it is God and God 
alone who saves the soul, and all that God does look- 
ing towards the saving of the soul he does to and for 
all men alike, and yet all men are not saved. Their 
attempts to solve this problem have given us the 
doctrinal constructions known as Evangelical Luther- 
anism and Evangelical Arminianism, both of which 
profess to combine an express evangelicalism and an 
express universalism, and yet to provide for the 
diverse issues of salvation and damnation. That 
these systems have succeeded in solving this (let us 
say it frankly, insoluble) problem, we of course do not 
believe; and the element in the problem which suffers 
in the forcible adjustments which they propose, is in 

[94] 



UNIVERSALISM 

both cases the evangelical element. But it is never- 
theless to be frankly recognized that both systems 
profess to have found a solution and are therefore 
emphatic in their professions of both a pure evangeli- 
calism and a complete universalism in the operations 
of God looking to salvation. It will be worth our 
while to make this clear to ourselves. In doing so, 
however, we shall choose statements from which we 
may learn something more of the spirit and points of 
view of these great systems than the particular facts 
which are more immediately engaging our attention. 
How deeply embedded the evangelical conviction 
is in the consciousness of evangelical Arminianism we 
may learn from an instructive enunciation of it by 
Dr. Joseph Agar Beet. 67 This enunciation occurs in 
a context in which Dr. Beet is with some heat re- 
pelling the doctrine of unconditional election. "This 
terrible error," he says, "prevalent a century ago, is 
but an overstatement of the important Gospel truth 
that salvation is, from the earliest turning to God to 
final salvation, altogether a work of God in man, and 
a merciful accomplishment of a purpose of God before 
the foundation of the world." "In our rejection of 
this doctrine of unconditional election and predestina- 
tion, we must remember that salvation, from the 
earliest good desires to final salvation, is the accom- 
plishment of a divine purpose of mercy formed before 
the foundation of the world." In rejecting the 
doctrine of unconditional election, Dr. Beet is thus 
careful to preserve the evangelicalism which, he 

[95] 






THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

recognizes, lies at its center; and thus he gives us a 
definition of evangelicalism from the Wesleyan stand- 
point. It proves to be just that all the saving p rocess 
is from God, and that all the power exer ted in saying 
the soul is God's . It may please us in passing to ask 
whether this evangelicalism is really separable from 
the doctrine of unconditional election from which Dr. 
Beet wishes to separate it; and to note that he himself 
appears to recognize that in the minds of some at least 
the two must go together. But what it particularly 
behooves us to observe now is the emphasis with 
which, as a Wesleyan, Dr. Beet bears his testimony 
to the general evangelical postulate. Whether he 
gives validity to this postulate in all his thinking 
is of course a different matter. 

From the Lutheran side the consciousness of the 
evangelical principle is equally prominent. Indeed 
the Evangelical Lutheran is very apt to look upon 
evangelicalism as his own peculiar possession, and to 
betray a certain measure of surprise when he finds it 
in the hands of others also. A. J. Haller, writing in 
Zahn and Burger's Magazine, 68 expresses himself in 
the following emphatic language : "That salvation 
is not acquired by man by means of any activity of 
his own, but is given him by God's grace, that I can- 
not believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him 
of my own reason or power, but the Holy Spirit has 
called me, enlightened, sanctified and preserved me, 
this is assuredly the alpha and omega of all evangelical 
belief, and is not denied even by either Calvinists or 

[96] 



UNIVERSALISM 

Methodists." The purity of this evangelical confes- 
sion must be frankly recognized, even though we can- 
not avoid cherishing misgivings whether it is permitted 
to condition all of the thought of its author, misgiv- 
ings which are indeed immediately justified when we 
find him going on to speak of regeneration, and speak- 
ing of it after a fashion which is in spirit less evangeli- 
cal than sacerdotal, and indeed is not untouched by 
the naturalism which usually accompanies this type 
of sacerdotalism. He is sure that regeneration is 
monergistic, but also that it is the effect of baptism 
as its producing cause; and he is very much concerned 
to defend this conception from the charge of magical 
working. "It might be called magical" he remarks, 69 
"if it were maintained that men were completely 
transformed in regeneration, with no subsequent de- 
mand made upon them for any ethical self-determi- 
nation. That, however, an absolutely new power is 
created in them by God, the saving or condemning 
action of which depends on their subsequent or con- 
temporary determination (Entscheidung) , this has as 
little to do with magic as the belief that in the Lord's 
Supper Christ's body and blood are certainly and 
truly given for blessing to some, for judgment to 
others." 

A passage like this reveals the difficulty a Lutheran 
who wishes to abide by his official confession has in 
giving effect to his evangelical profession. He may 
declare that all the power exerted in saving the soul 
is from God, but this is crossed by his sacerdotal con- 

[97] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

sciousness that grace is conveyed by the means of 
grace, otherwise not. The grace of regeneration, 
for example, is conveyed ordinarily (some say only) 
by baptism. And this grace of regeneration is the 
monergistic operation of God. Even so, however, it 
cannot be said that the effect is all of God. For, in 
the first place, whether it takes effect at all, is de- 
pendent on the attitude of the recipient. He cannot 
cooperate with God in producing it; but he can fatally 
resist. And therefore Baier 70 carefully defines: "God 
produces in the man who is baptized and who does 
not resist the divine grace, the work of regeneration 
or renovation through the Sacrament, in the very act 
itself {hoc actu ipso)" And then, in the second place, 
whether this gift of regeneration proves a blessing or 
a curse to the recipient depends on how he takes it 
and deals with it. "An absolutely new power is 
created in him by God," says Haller,' 1 "the action of 
which, whether for blessing or cursing, is dependent 
on the subject's subsequent, or even already presently 
operative decision." This carries with it, naturally, 
what is here covered up, that this self-determination 
of the recipient is his natural self-determination. 
For if it were itself given in the new power communi- 
cated in regeneration, then it were inconceivable that 
it could act otherwise than for blessing. Whether 
man is saved or not, depends therefore in no sense on 
the monergistic regeneration wrought by God in his 
baptism. It depends on how man receives this "new 
power" communicated to him and how he uses it. 

[98] 



UNIVERSALISM 

And thus we are back on the plane of pure natu- 
ralism. 

We may more than question therefore whether the 
cherished evangelicalism of the Arminian and Lutheran 
constructions is not more theoretical than practical; 
though meanwhile we must recognize that they at 
least postulate the evangelical principle in theory. 

It is, however, the universalistic note which is the 
characteristic note of these constructions. As Pro- 
fessor Henry C. Sheldon of Boston University de- 
clares: 72 "Our contention is for the universality of 
the opportunity of salvation, as against an exclusive 
and unconditioned choice of individuals to eternal 
life." There is to be noted in this declaration, (1) the 
conscious stress on universalism as the characteristic 
note of Arminianism, and (2) the consequent recogni- 
tion that all that God does looking toward salvation 
is to afford an opportunity of salvation; so that what 
is actually contended is not that God does not save 
some only but that he really saves none, — he only 
opens a way of salvation to all and if any are saved 
they must save themselves. So inevitable is it that 
if we assert that all that God does looking to salvation 
he does to and for all alike and yet that not all are 
saved, we make all that he does fall short of actual 
salvation: no one must receive more than he who 
receives the least. 

Perhaps, however, the essential universalistic note 
of the whole Arminian construction never received a 
stronger assertion than in the creed of the Evangelical 

[99] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 



Union body, the so-called Morrisonians, the very 
reason of the existence of which is to raise protest 
against the unconditionally of election. Its positive 
creed it itself sums up in what it calls the "three 
universalities": "the love of God the Father in the 
gift and sacrifice of Jesus to all men everywhere with- 
out distinction, exception or respect of persons; the 
love of God the Son, in the gift and sacrifice of him- 
self as a true propitiation for the sins of all the world; 
the love of God the Holy Spirit, in his personal and 
continuous work of applying to the souls of all men 
the provisions of divine grace." 73 Certainly if God 
is to be declared to love all men alike, the Son to have 
made propitiation for the sins of all men alike, and 
the Holy Spirit to have applied the benefits of that 
propitiation to all men alike, nothing is left but to 
assert that therefore all men alike are saved; or else 
to assert that all that God can do for sinful man can- 
not avail to save him and he must just be left to save 
J ~Jp* r&-~ f\j, himself. And where then is our evangelicalism, with 
f^i&'tjr its great affirmation that it is God the Lord and he 

alone with his almighty grace who saves the soul? 

A lurid light is thrown upon the real origin of these 
vigorous assertions of the universalism of God's 
saving activities by some remarks of a sympathetic 
historian in accounting for the rise of the Morrisonian 
sect. 74 "Of the movement now to engage our atten- 
tion," he remarks, "nothing is truer than that it was 
the genuine offspring of its age. During the thirties 
of the last century the legislatures of our country 

[100] 









**V 



? 



UNIVERSALISM 

were made to recognize the rights of man as they had 
never done before. In politics the long night of 
privilege was far spent, and the dawn of a new age 
was beginning to appear. Brotherhood, equality and 
fair play were clamoring loudly at every closed door, 
and refusing to be turned away. A corresponding 
claim, quite independent of politics, was being made 
in the name of Christian theology. Here also it was 
demanded that doors of privilege be thrown open. 
Freedom for all, food for all, education for all, and 
salvation for all were now coming to be the national 
watchwords." Words could scarcely be chosen which 
would more sharply present the demand for "the 
three universalities" as the mere clamoring of the 
natural heart for the equal distribution of the goods 
of the other life as of this, as, in other words, but the 
religious aspect of the " leveling" demand which has 
filled our modern life. The cry "Give us all an equal 
chance!" may have its relative justification when it 
is the expression of the need of men perishing under 
the heel of vested privilege. But what shall we say 
of it when it is but the turbulent self-assertion of a 
mob of criminals, assailing a court of justice, whence is 
dispensed not "chances" to escape just penalites, but 
wisely directed clemency, having in view all rights 
involved? Surely the evil desert of sin, the just 
government of God, and the unspeakable grace of 
salvation are all fatally out of mind when men reason 
as to the proper procedure of God in bringing sinners 
to salvation by the aid of analogies derived from the 

[101] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

leveling politics of the day. Shall we not fix it once 
for all in our minds that salvation is the right of no 
man; that a "chance" to save himself is no "chance" 
of salvation for any; and that, if any of the sinful 
race of man is saved, it must be by a miracle of al- 
mighty grace, on which he has no claim, and, contem- 
plating which as a fact, he can only be filled with 
wondering adoration of the marvels of the inexplicable 
love of God? To demand that all criminals shall be 
given a "chance" of escaping their penalties, and that 
all shall be given an "equal chance," is simply to mock 
at the very idea of justice, and no less, at the very 
idea of love. 

The universalism of all the divine operations looking 
to salvation is as vigorously asserted in the Lutheran 
scheme as in the Arminian, but with, if possible, even 
less logical success — on the supposition, that is, that 
the evangelical principle of dependence on God alone 
for salvation is to be preserved. Indeed, the leaven 
of sacerdotalism taken over by Lutheranism from the 
old church, in its doctrine of the means of grace, from 
the first fatally marred even the purity of its univer- 
salism, transmuting it into a mere indiscrimination, 
which is something very different; and has among the 
modern Lutherans given rise to very portentous de- 
velopments. 

The old Lutheranism, alleging that the honor of 
God required that he should do all that he does look- 
ing to the salvation of man to and for all men alike, 
asserted that therefore Christ has died to take away 

[ 102] 



UNIVERSALISM 

the sins of the whole world, and, provision having 
been made in the means of grace for the effective ap- 
plication of his sacrifice to all men, these means of 
grace (with the mind especially on the proclamation 
of the gospel in which they culminate), have actually 
been conveyed to all men without exception. Of 
course it is not in point of fact true that the gospel has 
been actually proclaimed to all men without excep- 
tion ; and an effort was accordingly made to cover up 
the manifest falsity of the assertion by substituting 
for it the essentially different proposition that at 
three historical stages (namely, at the time of Adam, 
at the time of Noah, and at the time of the apostles), 
the gospel has been made known to all men then 
living, "and," it is added, "if it became universal in 
those three generations, then it has also come indirectly 
to their successors." The futility of this expedient to 
conceal the circumstance that in point of fact the 
gospel has not actually been conveyed to every single 
man who has ever lived (and nothing less than this 
can satisfy the demands of the case), is too manifest 
to require pointing out; and we cannot be surprised 
that the contention itself has ceased to be made. 
"More recent orthodox theologians in our church," 
the historian (the Norwegian divine, Lars Nielsen 
Dahle) goes on to tell us, 75 say simply that "the uni- 
versality of the call is a necessary presupposition, a 
postulate which must be assumed on the ground of 
the testimony of Scripture regarding God's universal 
saving-will on the one hand, and of the Scrip turally 

[103] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

established truth on the other that this saving will 
cannot be realized for the individual unless God's call 
actually reaches him; but how this happens, we can- 
not say, for it is a fact that at the present day it has 
only reached comparatively few, or at most a minority 
of mankind." Thus Professor Johnson writes: 76 
"The universality of this call of grace we must, in 
opposition to every particularistic view of it, main- 
tain as a postulate of the faith, even if we are unable 
to show how it actually does reach every individual." 
It is an unsolved mystery. 

The Lutherans, therefore, in attempting both to 
tie saving grace to the means of grace and to give it 
an actually universal diffusion, have brought them- 
selves into a difficulty at this point from which the 
Arminians, who make the universality of the sacri- 
ficial work of Christ and of the consequent gift of 
sufficient grace independent of all earthly transac- 
tions so that men are all born in a state of redemption 
and grace, are free. The ultimate solution which has 
been found by modern Lutheranism, in which Dahle 
himself concurs, consists in the invention of a doc- 
trine of the extension of human probation into the 
next world, the famous doctrine miscalled that of a 
"second probation," for it is not a doctrine of a second 
probation for any man but only the doctrine that 
every man that lives must have the gospel presented 
winningly to him, if not in this life then in the life to 
come. By the invention of this doctrine the Luther- 
ans have provided themselves for the first time with a 

[ 104 ] 



UNI VERS A LIS M 

true universalism of grace. There is confessedly no 
direct Biblical support for the doctrine: it is simply 
a postulate of the universalism of God's will of sal- 
vation in connection with the confinement of grace to 
the means of grace. The Scriptures teach that no 
man can be saved without a knowledge of Jesus 
Christ in his saving work. This is transmuted into its 
opposite that no man can be lost without a knowledge 
of Christ in his saving work; and then in the interests 
of this proposition provision is made for every man 
to be brought face to face with the offer of the gospel 
under favorable circumstances, if not in this world, 
then in the next. No doubt some such invention was 
necessary if the Lutheran premises were to be sus- 
tained. But one would think that the necessity for 
such an invention in order to sustain these premises 
were a sufficient indication that these premises were 
best abandoned. 

Having by this invention avoided the fact that the 
provision for salvation is in point of fact not universal, 
the Lutherans have by no means escaped from their 
difficulties. They are faced with the even greater 
difficulty, common to them and the Arminians, of 
accounting for the failure of God's grace, now safely 
conveyed to all men, to work the salvation of all men. 
And here there is no outlet but that of the Arminians, 
namely to bring in surreptitiously the discredited 
naturalism, and to attribute the difference in the 
effects of grace to men's differences in dealing with 
grace. The Lutherans have their own way, however, 

[105] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

of introducing this naturalism. They are emphatic 
that man, being dead in sin, cannot cooperate with 
the grace of God, a difficulty got over by the Armin- 
ianism by the postulation of a graciously restored 
ability for all men, earned for them by the sacrifice 
of Christ and applied to them automatically. But 
they suppose that, though dead in sin, man can resist, 
and successfully resist, almighty grace. Resistance is, 
however, itself an activity: and the successful re- 
sistance of an almighty recreative power, is a pretty 
considerable activity — for a dead man. It all comes 
back, therefore, to the Pelagian ground that, at the 
decisive point, the salvation of man is in his own 
power: men are saved, or men are not saved, accord- 
ing to natural differences in men. Thus the grace of 
God is fundamentally denied and salvation is com- 
mitted, in the last analysis, to man himself. 

The upshot of the whole matter is that the attempt 
to construe the gracious operations of God looking to 
salvation universally, inevitably leads by one path or 
another to the wreck of the evangelical principle, on 
the basis of which all Protestant Churches, (or rather, 
let us say, of the supernaturalistic principle, on the 
basis of which all Christian Churches,) professedly 
unite. Whether this universalism takes a sacerdotal 
form or a form which frees itself from all entanglement 
with earthly transactions, it ends always and every- 
where by transferring the really decisive factor in sal- 
vation from God to man. This is not always clearly 
perceived or frankly admitted. Sometimes, however, 

[106] 



UNIVERSALISM 

it is. Professor W. F. Steele of the University of 
Denver, for example, clearly perceives and frankly 
admits it. To him there can be no talk of "almighty 
grace." Occupying a position which is practically 
(whatever we may say of it theoretically) indis- 
tinguishable from the bumptious naturalism of Mr. 
W. E. Henley, the first article of his creed is a hearty 
belief in the almightiness of man in his sphere of 
moral choices. "When one says," he tells us, 77 "'I 
believe in God, the Father Almighty,' he means it 
with reserve, for in the domain of man's moral choices 
under grace, man himself is almighty, according to 
God's self-limitation in making man in his image and 
after his likeness." God himself, he goes on to de- 
clare, has a creed which begins: "I believe in man, 
almighty in his choices." Obviously a man in this 
mood is incapable of religion, the very essence of 
which is the sense of absolute dependence on God, 
and is altogether inhibited from evangelicalism, which 
consists in humble resting on God and God alone for 
salvation. Instead of the great Gloria soli Deo ring- 
ing in his heart, he proudly himself seizes the helm and 
proclaims himself, apart from God, the master of his 
own destiny. Moralism has completely extruded 
religion. Did not Luther have precisely the like of 
this in mind when he satirically describes the moralists 
of his day in these striking words: "Here we are al- 
ways wanting to turn the tables and do good of our- 
selves to that poor man, our Lord God, from whom 
we are rather to receive it"? 78 

[107] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

The antipathy which is widely felt to the funda- 
mental evangelical postulate which brings the soul 
into immediate contact with God and suspends all 
its health on the immediate operations of God, finds 
an odd illustration in Albrecht Ritschl's teaching that 
the direct object even of justification is not the in- 
dividual but the Christian society; and that "it is 
passed on to the individual only as the result of his 
taking place in the Christian fellowship and sharing 
in its life." 79 This is, of course, only another, and 
very much poorer way of asserting the principle of 
the general universalistic construction: God does not 
in any stage of the saving process deal directly with 
individuals; he has always and everywhere the mass 
in view; and it is the part of the individual himself 
by his own act to lay hold of the salvation thus put 
at the general disposal. How different Luther with 
his: "It is not needful for thee to do this or that. 
Only give the Lord God the glory, take what he gives 
thee, and believe what he tells thee." 80 The issue is 
indeed a fundamental one and it is closely drawn. 
Is it God the Lord that saves us, or is it we our- 
selves? And does God the Lord save us, or does he 
merely open the way to salvation, and leave it, 
according to our choice, to walk in it or not? The 
parting of the ways is the old parting of the ways 
between Christianity and autosoterism. Certainly 
only he can claim to be evangelical who with full 
consciousness rests entirely and directly on God and 
on God alone for his salvation. 

[108] 



CALVINISM 



As many as were ordained to eternal life 
believed. — Acts 13 : 48. 



CALVINISM 

As over against all attempts to conceive the opera- 
tions of God looking to salvation universalistically, 
that is as directed to mankind in the mass, Calvinism 
insists that the saving operations of God are directed 
in every case immediately to the individuals who are 
saved. Particularism in the processes of salvation 
becomes thus the mark of Calvinism. As super- 
naturalism is the mark of Christianity at large, and 
evangelicalism the mark of Protestantism, so par- 
ticularism is the mark of Calvinism. The Calvinist 
is he who holds with full consciousness that God the 
Lord, in his saving operations, deals not generally 
with mankind at large, but particularly with the in- 
dividuals who are actually saved. Thus, and thus 
only, he contends, can either the supernaturalism of 
salvation which is the mark of Christianity at large 
and which ascribes all salvation to God, or the im- 
mediacy of the operations of saving grace which is 
the mark of evangelicalism and which ascribes sal- 
vation to the direct working of God upon the soul, 
come to its rights and have justice accorded it. 
Particularism in the saving processes, he contends, is 
already given in the supernaturalism of salvation and 
in the immediacy of the operations of the divine 

[HI] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

grace; and the denial of particularism is construc- 
tively the denial also of the immediacy of saving grace, 
that is of evangelicalism, and of the supernaturalism 
of salvation, that is of Christianity itself. It is 
logically the total rejection of Christianity. 

The particularism of the saving operations of God 
which is thus the mark of Calvinism, it is possible, 
however, to apply more or less fully (or, shall we say, 
with more or less discernment?) in our thought of the 
activities of God relatively to his sinful creatures 
(or shall we say, broadly, relatively to his creatures?). 
Thus differing varieties of Calvinism have emerged 
in the history of thought. As they are distinguished 
from one another by the place they give to particular- 
ism in the operations of God, that is as much as to 
say they are distinguished from one another by the 
place they give to the decree of election in the order 
of the divine decrees. 

Some are so zealous for particularism that they 
place discrimination at the root of all God's dealings 
with his creatures. That he has any creatures at all 
they suppose to be in the interest of discrimination, 
and all that he decrees concerning his creatures they 
suppose he decrees only that he may discriminate 
between them. They therefore place the decree of 
"election" by which men are made to differ, in the 
order of decrees, logically prior to the decree of 
creation itself, or at any rate prior to all that is decreed 
concerning man as man; that is to say, since man's 
history begins with the fall, prior to the decree of the 

[112] 



CALVINISM 

fall itself. They are therefore called Supralapsarians, 
that is, those who place the decree of election in the 
order of thought prior to the decree of the fall. 81 

Others, recognizing that election has to do specifi- 
cally with salvation, (that is to say, that it is the 
logical prius, not of creation or of the providential 
government of the world, but of the salvation of sin- 
ful man,) conceive that the principle of particularism, 
in the sense of discrimination, belongs in the sphere 
of God's soteriological, not in that of his cosmical 
operations, and has its place not in creation but in re- 
creation. They therefore think of "election" as the 
logical prius not of creation, or of the fall, but of those 
operations of God which concern salvation. The 
place they give it in the order of decrees is therefore 
at the head of those decrees of God which look to sal- 
vation. This implies that it falls into position, in 
the order of thought, consequently upon the decrees 
of creation and the fall, which refer to all men alike, 
since all men certainly are created and certainly have 
fallen; and precedently to the decrees of redemption 
and its application, since just as certainly all men are 
not redeemed and brought into the enjoyment of sal- 
vation. They are from this circumstance called Sub- 
lapsarians or Infralapsarians, that is those who, in the 
arrangement of the decrees in logical order, conceive 
the place of the decree of election to be logically after 
that of the fall. 

There are others, however, who, affected by what 
they deem the Scriptural teaching concerning the 

[113] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

universal reference of the redemption of Christ, and 
desirous of grounding the universal offer of salvation 
in an equally universal provision, conceive that they 
can safely postpone the introduction of the par- 
ticularistic principle to a point within the saving 
operations of God themselves, so only they are care- 
ful to introduce it at a point sufficiently early to make 
it determinative of the actual issue of the saving 
work. They propose therefore to think of the pro- 
vision of salvation in Christ as universal in its intent; 
but to represent it as given effect in its application to 
individuals by the Holy Spirit only particulars tically. 
That is to say, they suppose that some, not all, of 
the divine operations looking to the salvation of men 
are universalis tic in their reference, whereas salvation 
is not actually experienced unless not some but all of 
them are operative. As the particular saving opera- 
tion to which they ascribe a universalistic reference 
is the redemption of Christ, their scheme is expressed 
by saying that it introduces the decree of election, in 
the order of thought, at a point subsequent to the 
decree of redemption in Christ. They may therefore 
be appropriately called Post-redemptionists, that is, 
those who conceive that the decree of election is 
logically postponed to the decree of redemption. In 
their view redemption has equal reference to all men, 
and it is only in the application of this redemption to 
men that God discriminates between men, and so 
acts, in this sense, particularistically. 

It is obvious that this is the lowest point in the 

[114] 



CALVINISM 

order of decrees at which the decree of election can be 
introduced and the particularistic principle be re- 
tained at all. If the application of the redemption 
of Christ by the Holy Spirit be also made universal- 
istic, that is to say if the introduction of the par- 
ticularistic principle be postponed to the actual issue 
of the saving process, then there is obviously no par- 
ticularism at all in the divine operations looking to_ 
salvation. " Election" drops out of the scheme of 
the divine decrees altogether, unless we prefer to say, 
as it has been cynically phrased, that God is careful 
to elect to salvation only those who, he foresees, will 
in the use of their own free will elect themselves. 
All Calvinists must therefore be either Supralap- 
sarians or Sub- (or Infra-) lapsarians, or, at least, 
Post-redemptionists which is also to be Ante-applica- 
tionists. 

Nevertheless we do not reach in the Post-redemp- 
tionists, conceived purely from the point of view of 
this element of their thought, the lowest possible, or 
the lowest actual, variety of Calvinists. Post-re- 
demptionists may differ among themselves, if not in 
the position in the order of decrees of the decree of 
election (for still further to depress its position in that 
order would be to desert the whole principle of par- 
ticularism and to fall out of the category of Calvinists), 
yet in their mode of conceiving the nature of the work 
of the Holy Spirit in applying redemption, under the 
government of the decree of election; and as to the 
role of the human spirit in receiving redemption. A 

[115] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

party has always existed even among Calvinists which 
has had so large an interest in the autonomy of the 
human will, that it has been unwilling to conceive of 
it as "passive" with respect to that operation of God 
which we call regeneration, and has earnestly wished 
to look upon the reception of salvation as in a true 
sense dependent on the will's own unmoved action. 
They have, therefore, invented a variety of Calvinism 
which supposes that it is God indeed who selects those 
who shall savingly be brought to Christ, and that it 
is the Holy Spirit who, by his grace, brings them in- 
fallibly to Christ, (thus preserving the principle of 
particularism in the application of salvation), but 
which imagines that the Holy Spirit thus effectually 
brings them to Christ, not by an almighty, creative 
action on their souls, by which they are made new 
creatures, functioning subsequently as such, but 
purely by suasive operations, adapted in his infallible 
wisdom to the precise state of mind and heart of those 
whom he has selected for salvation, and so securing 
from their own free action, a voluntary coming to 
Christ and embracing of him for salvation. There is 
no universalism here; the particularism is express. 
But an expedient has been found to enable it to be 
said that men come voluntarily to Christ, and are 
joined to him by a free act of their own unrenewed 
wills, while only those come whom God has selected 
so to persuade to come (he who knows the heart 
through and through) that they certainly will come 
in the exercise of their own free will. This type of 

[116] 



CALVINISM 

thought has received the appropriate name of "Con- 
gruism," because the principle of its contention is 
that grace wins those to whom it is "congruously" 
offered, that is to say, that the reason why some men 
are saved, and some are not lies in the simple fact 
that God the Holy Spirit operates in his gracious 
suasion on some in a fashion that is carefully and in- 
fallibly adapted by him to secure their adhesion to the 
gospel, and does not operate on others with the same 
careful adaptation. 

A warning must, however, be added to the effect 
that the designation "Congruists" is so ambiguous 
that there exists another class bearing this name, 
who are as definitely anti-Calvinistic as those we have 
in mind are, by intention, Calvinistic in their concep- 
tion. The teaching of these is that God the Holy 
Spirit accords his suasive influences to all alike, mak- 
ing no distinction; but that this universalistically con- 
ceived grace of the Holy Spirit takes effect only ac- 
cording as it proves to be actually congruous or 
incongruous to the state of mind and heart of those 
to whom it equally is given. Here it is not the sov- 
ereign choice of God, but a native difference in men, 
which determines salvation, and we are on expressly 
autosoteric ground. The danger of confusing the 
Calvinistic "Congruists" with this larger, and defi- 
nitely anti-Calvinistic party, has led to the habit of 
speaking of the Calvinistic Congruists rather by the 
name of their most distinguished representative, (who, 
indeed, introduced this mode of thinking into the 

[117] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Calvinistic churches), Claude Pajon, Professor in the 
Theological School at Saumur in France in the middle 
of the seventeenth century. It was his predecessor 
and teacher in the same school, Moses Amyraut who 
first formulated in the Reformed Churches the Post- 
redemptionist scheme, of which Pajonism is a de- 
based form. Thus the school of Saumur has the bad 
eminence of having originated, and furnished from 
the names of its professors the current designations of, 
the two most reduced forms of Calvinism, Amyrald- 
ianism or Hypothetical Universalism as it is other- 
wise called, and Pajonism, or Congruism as it is 
designated according to its nature. 

We have thus had brought before us four forms of 
Calvinism; and these, as we believe, exhaust the list 
of possible general types: Supralapsarianism, Sub- 
(or Infra-) lapsarianism, Post-redemptionism (other- 
wise called Amyraldianism, or Hypothetical Univer- 
salism), and Pajonism (otherwise called Congruism). 
Theses are all forms of Calvinism, because they all 
give validity to the principle of particularism as rul- 
ing the divine dealings with man in the matter of 
salvation; and, as we have seen, the mark of Calvin- 
ism is particularism. If now, particularism were not 
only the mark of Calvinism but also the substance of 
Calvinism, all four of these types of Calvinism, pre- 
serving as they all do the principle of particularism, 
might claim to be not only alike Calvinistic, but 
equally Calvinistic, and might even demand to be 
arranged in the order of excellence according to the 

[118] 



CALVINISM 

place accorded by each in its construction to the 
principle of particularism and the emphasis placed 
on it. Particularism, however, though the distin- 
guishing mark of Calvinism, by which it may be 
identified as over against the other conceptions of the 
plan of salvation, in comparison with which we have 
brought it, does not constitute its substance; and in- 
deed, although strenuously affirmed by Calvinism, is 
not affirmed by it altogether and solely for its own 
sake. The most consistent embodiment of the prin- 
ciple of particularism is not therefore necessarily the 
best form of Calvinism; and the bare affirmation of 
the principle of particularism though it may constitute 
one so far a Calvinist, does not necessarily constitute 
one a good Calvinist. No one can be a Calvinist who 
does not give validity to the principle of particularism 
in God's operations looking to the salvation of man; 
but the principle of particularism must not be per- 
mitted, as Pharoah's lean kine devoured all the fat 
cattle of Egypt, to swallow up all else that is rich and 
succulent and good in Calvinism, nor can the bare 
affirmation of particularism be accepted as an ade- 
quate Calvinism. 

Post-redemptionism, therefore (although it is a rec- 
ognizable form of Calvinism, because it gives real 
validity to the principle of particularism), is not there- 
fore necessarily a good form of Calvinism, an accept- 
able form of Calvinism, or even a tenable form of Cal- 
vinism. For one thing, it is a logically inconsistent 
form of Calvinism and therefore an unstable form of 

[119] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Calvinism. For another and far more important 
thing, it turns away from the substitutive atonement, 
which is as precious to the Calvinist as is his particu- 
larism, and for the safeguarding of which, indeed, 
much of his zeal for particularism is due. I say, Post- 
redemptionism is logically inconsistent Calvinism. 
For, how is it possible to contend that God gave his 
Son to die for all men, alike and equally; and at the 
same time to declare that when he gave his Son to die, 
he already fully intended that his death should not 
avail for all men alike and equally, but only for some 
which he would select (which, that is, because he is 
God and there is no subsequence of time in his decrees, 
he had already selected) to be its beneficiaries? By 
as much as God is God, who knows all things which he 
intends from the beginning and all at once, and in- 
tends all things which he intends from the beginning 
and all at once, it is impossible to contend that God 
intends the gift of his Son for all men alike and equally 
and at the same time intends that it shall not actually 
save all but only a select body which he himself pro- 
vides for it. The schematization of the order of 
decrees presented by the Amyraldians, in a word, 
necessarily implies a chronological relation of pre- 
cedence and subsequence among the decrees, the as- 
sumption of which abolishes God, and this can be 
escaped only by altering the nature of the atonement. 
And therefore the nature of the atonement is altered 
by them, and Christianity is wounded at its very 
heart. 

[ no] 



CALVINISM 

The Amyraldians "point with pride" to the purity 
of their confession of the doctrine of election, and 
wish to focus attention upon it as constituting them 
good Calvinists. But the real hinge of their system 
turns on their altered doctrine of the atonement, and 
here they strike at the very heart of Calvinism. A 
conditional substitution being an absurdity, because 
the condition is no condition to God, if you grant him 
even so much as the poor attribute of foreknowledge, 
they necessarily turn away from a substitutive atone- 
ment altogether. Christ did not die in the sinner's 
stead, it seems, to bear his penalties and purchase for 
him eternal life; he died rather to make the salvation 
of sinners possible, to open the way of salvation to 
sinners, to remove all the obstacles in the way of the 
salvation of sinners. But what obstacle stands in the 
way of the salvation of sinners, except just their sin? 
And if this obstacle (their sin) is removed, are they 
not saved? Some other obstacles must be invented, 
therefore, which Christ may be said to have removed 
(since he cannot be said to have removed the obstacle 
of sin) that some function may be left to him and some 
kind of effect be attributed to his sacrificial death. 
He did not remove the obstacle of sin, for then all 
those for whom he died must be saved, and he cannot 
be allowed to have saved anyone. He removed, 
then, let us say, all that prevented God from saving 
men, except sin; and so he prepared the way for God 
to step in and with safety to his moral government 
to save men. The atonement lays no foundation for 

[121] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

this saving of men: it merely opens the way for God 
safely to save them on other grounds. 

We are now fairly on the basis of the Governmental 
Theory of the Atonement; and this is in very truth the 
highest form of doctrine of atonement to which we 
can on these premises attain. In other words, all 
the substance of the atonement is evaporated, that, 
it may be given a universal reference. And, indeed, 
we may at once recognize it as an unavoidable effect 
of universalizing the atonement that it is by that 
very act eviscerated. If it does nothing for any man 
that it does not do for all men, why, then, it is obvious 
that it saves no man; for clearly not all men are saved. 
The things that we have to choose between, are an 
atonement of high value, or an atonement of wide 
extension. The two cannot go together. And this 
is the real objection of Calvinists to this compromise 
scheme which presents itself as an improvement on 
its system: it universalizes the atonement at the cost 
of its intrinsic value, and Calvinism demands a really 
substitutive atonement which actually saves. And 
as a really substitutive atonement which actually 
saves cannot be universal because obviously all 
men are not saved, in the interests of the integrity of 
the atonement it insists that particularism has en- 
tered into the saving process prior, in the order of 
thought, to the atonement. 

As bad Calvinism as is Amyraldianism, Pajonism is, 
of course, just that much worse. Not content with 
destroying the whole substance of the atonement, by 

[ 122] 



CALVINISM 

virtue of which it is precious, (" Who loved me, and 
gave himself up for me") it proceeds to destroy also 
the whole substance of that regeneration and renova- 
tion by which, in the creative work of the Spirit, we 
are made new creatures. Of what value is it that it 
should be confessed that it is God who determines 
who shall be saved, if the salvation that is wrought 
goes no deeper than what I can myself work, if I can 
only be persuaded to do it? Here there is lacking all 
provision not only for release from the guilt of sin, 
but also for relief from its corruption and power. 
There is no place left for any realizing sense of either 
guilt or corruption; there is no salvation offered from 
either the outraged wrath of a righteous God or the 
ingrained evil of our hearts: after all is over, we re- 
main just what we were before. The prospect that 
is held out to us is nothing less than appalling; we 
are to remain to all eternity fundamentally just our 
old selves with only such amelioration of our manners 
as we can be persuaded to accomplish for ourselves. 
The whole substance of Christianity is evaporated, 
and we are invited to recognize the shallow remainder ^ .^ l^c^^&c/ 
as genuine Calvinism, because, forsooth, it safeguards ^-tcHti Z>*jL 
the sovereignty of God. Let it be understood once for sfptwU-y^ 
all that the completest recognition of the sovereignty $ cn ^* yr <-<t&*£ ? 
of God does not suffice to make a good Calvinist.' t 
Otherwise we should have to recongize every Mo- / ^^ >/^ 
hammedan as a good Calvinist. There can be no ' ^^^-^p*- 
Calvinism without a hearty confession of the sover- "f**^ 

eignty of God; but the acknowledgment of the 

[ 123] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

sovereignty of God of itself goes only a very little 
way toward real Calvinism. Pajon himself, the 
author of Calvinistic Congruism, advanced in his 
fundamental thought but little beyond a high variety 
of Deism. 

It seems particularly worth while to make these 
things explicit, because there is perhaps nothing 
which more prejudices Calvinism in the general mind 
than the current identification of it with an abstract 
doctrine of sovereignty, without regard to the con- 
crete interests which this sovereignty safeguards. In 
point of fact the sovereignty of God for which Calvin- 
ism stands is not only the necessary implicate of that 
particularism without which a truly religious relation 
between the soul and its God cannot exist; but is 
equally the indispensable safeguard of that com- 
plementary universalism of redemption equally pro- 
claimed in Scripture in which the wideness of God's 
mercy comes to manifestation. It must be borne 
well in mind that particularism and parsimony in 
salvation are not equivalent conceptions; and it is a 
mere caricature of Calvinistic particularism to repre- 
sent it as finding its center in the proclamation that 
there are few that are saved. 82 What particularism 
stands for in the Calvinistic system is the immediate 
dealing of God with the individual soul; what it sets 
' itself against is the notion that in his saving processes 
God never comes directly into contact with the in- 
dividual — is never to be contemplated as his God who 
saves him — but does all that he does looking to sal- 

[ 124] 



CALVINISM 

vation only for and to men in the mass. Whether in 
dealing with the individual souls of men, he visits 
with his saving grace few or many, so many that in 
our imagination they may readily pass into all, does 
not lie in the question. So far as the principles of 
sovereignty and particularism are concerned, there 
is no reason why a Calvinist might not be a univer- 
salist in the most express meaning of that term, 
holding that each and every human soul shall be 
saved; and in point of fact some Calvinists (forgetful 
of Scripture here) have been universalists in this most 
express meaning of the term. The point of insistence 
in Calvinistic particularism is not that God saves 
out of the sinful mass of men only one here and there, 
a few brands snatched from the burning, but that 
God's method of saving men is to set upon them in 
his almighty grace, to purchase them to himself by 
the precious blood of his Son, to visit them in the 
inmost core of their being by the creative operations 
of his Spirit, and himself, the Lord God Almighty, 
to save them. How many, up to the whole human 
race in all its representatives, God has thus bought 
and will bring into eternal communion with himself 
by entering himself into personal communion with 
them, lies, I say, quite outside the question of particu- 
larism. Universalism in this sense of the term and 
particularism are so little inconsistent with one an- 
other that it is only the particularist who can logically 
be this kind of universalist. 

And something more needs to be said — Calvinism 

[ 125 ] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

in point of fact has as important a mission in preserv- 
ing the true universalism of the gospel (for there is a 
true universalism of the gospel) as it has in preserving 
the true particularism of grace. The same insistence 
upon the supernaturalistic and the evangelical 
principles, (that salvation is from God and from God 
alone, and that God saves the soul by dealing directly 
with it in his grace) which makes the Calvinist a par- 
ticularism makes him also a universalist in the scrip- 
tural sense of the word. _In other words the sover- 
eignty of God lays the sole foundation, for a living 
assurance of the salvation of the world. It is but a 
spurious universalism which the so-called universalistic 
systems offer: a universalism not of salvation but, at 
the most, of what is called the opportunity, the chance, 
of salvation. But what assurance can a universal op- 
portunity, or a universal chance, of salvation (if we 
dare use such words), give you that all, that many, 
that any indeed, will be saved? This universal op- 
portunity, chance, of salvation has, after two thou- 
sand years, been taken advantage of only by a pitiable 
minority of those to whom it has been supposed to be 
given. What reason is there to believe that, though 
the world should continue in existence for ten billions 
of billions of years, any greater approximation to a 
completely saved world will be reached than meets 
our eyes to-day, when Christianity, even in its 
nominal form, has conquered to itself, I do not say 
merely a moiety of the human race, but I say merely 
a moiety of those to whom it has been preached?** 

[ 126 ] 



CALVINISM 

If you wish, as you lift your eyes to the far horizon 
of the future, to see looming on the edge of time the 
glory of a saved world, you can find warrant for so 
great a vision only in the high principles that it is 
God and God alone who saves men, that all their 
salvation is from him, and that in his own good time 
and way he will bring the world in its entirety to the 
feet of him whom he has not hesitated to present to 
our adoring love not merely as the Saviour of our own 
souls, but as the Saviour of the world ; and of whom he 
has himself declared that he has made propitiation not 
for our sins only, but for the sins of the world. Cal- 
vinism thus is the guardian not only of the particular- 
ism which assures me that God the Lord is the Saviour 
of my soul, but equally of the universalism by which 
I am assured that he is also the true and actual Saviour 
of the world. On no other ground can any assurance 
be had either of the one or of the other. But on this 
ground we can be assured with an assurance which is 
without flaw, that not only shall there be saved the 
individual whom God visits with his saving grace, 
but also the world which he enters with his saving 
purpose, in all the length and breadth of it. 

The redemption of Christ, if it is to be worthily 
viewed, must be looked at not merely individual- 
istically, but also in its social, or better in its cosmical 
relations. Men are not discrete particles standing 
off from one another as mutually isolated units. 
They are members of an organism, the human race; 
and this race itself is an element in a greater organism 

[127] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

which is signiiically termed a universe. Of course 
the plan of salvation as it lies in the divine mind 
cannot be supposed to be concerned, therefore, alone 
with individuals as such: it of necessity has its re- 
lations with the greater unities into which these in- 
dividuals enter as elements. We have only partially 
understood the redemption in Christ, therefore, when 
we have thought of it only in its modes of operation 
and effects on the individual. We must ask also 
how and what it works in the organism of the human 
race, and what its effects are in the greater organism of 
the universe. Jesus Christ came to save men, but he 
did not come to save men each as a whole in himself 
out of relation to all other men. In saving men, he 
came to save mankind; and therefore the Scriptures 
are insistent that he came to save the world, and as- 
cribe to him accordingly the great title of the Saviour 
of the world. They go indeed further than this: 
they do not pause in expanding their outlook until 
they proclaim that it was the good pleasure of God 
"to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the 
heavens, and the things on the earth." We have 
not done justice to the Biblical doctrine of the plan 
of salvation therefore so long as we confine our at- 
tention to the modes of the divine operation in saving 
the individual, and insist accordingly on what we have 
called its particularism. There is a wider prospect 
on which we must feast our eyes if we are to view the 
whole land of salvation. It was because God loved 
the world, that he sent his only-begotten Son; it was 

[128] 



CALVINISM 

for the sins of the world that Jesus Christ made 
propitiation; it was the world which he came to save; 
it is nothing less than the world that shall be saved by 
him. 

What is chiefly of importance for us to bear in 
mind here, is that God's plan is to save, whether the 
individual or the world, by process. No doubt the 
whole salvation of the individual sinner is already 
accomplished on the cross: but the sinner enters into 
the full enjoyment of this accomplished salvation 
only by stages and in the course of time. Redeemed 
by Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, justified 
through faith, received into the very household of 
God as his sons, led by the Spirit into the flowering 
and fruiting activities of the new life, our salvation 
is still only in process and not yet complete. We 
still are the prey of temptation; we still fall into sin; 
we still suffer sickness, sorrow, death itself. Our 
redeemed bodies can hope for nothing but to wear 
out in weakness and to break down in decay in the 
grave. Our redeemed souls only slowly enter into 
their heritage. Only when the last trump shall 
sound and we shall rise from our graves, and perfected 
souls and incorruptible bodies shall together enter 
into the glory prepared for God's children, is our sal- 
vation complete. 

The redemption of the world is similarly a process. 
It, too, has its stages: it, too, advances only gradually 
to its completion. But it, too, will ultimately be 
complete; and then we shall see a wholly saved world. 

[129] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Of course it follows, that at any stage of the process, 
short of completeness, the world, as the individual, 
must present itself to observation as incompletely 
saved. We can no more object the incompleteness 
of the salvation of the world to-day to the com- 
pleteness of the salvation of the world, than we 
can object the incompleteness of our personal salva- 
tion to-day (the remainders of sin in us, the weakness 
and death of our bodies) to the completeness of our 
personal salvation. Every thing in its own order: 
first the seed, then the blade, then the full corn in 
the ear. And as, when Christ comes, we shall each 
of us be like him, when we shall see him as he is, so 
also, when Christ comes, it will be to a fully saved 
world, and there shall be a new heaven and a new 
earth, in which dwells righteousness. 

It does not concern us at the moment to enumerate 
the stages through which the world must pass to its 
complete redemption. We do not ask how long the 
process will be; we make no inquiry into the means 
by which its complete redemption shall be brought 
about. These are topics which belong to Eschatology 
and even the lightest allusion to them here would carry 
us beyond the scope of our present task. What con- 
cerns us now is only to make sure that the world will 
be completely saved; and that the accomplishment 
of this result through a long process, passing through 
many stages, with the involved incompleteness of 
the world's salvation through extended ages, intro- 
duces no difficulty to thought. This incompleteness 

[ 130 ] 



CALVINISM 

of the world's salvation through numerous generations 
involves, of course, the loss of many souls in the course 
of the long process through which the world advances 
to its salvation. And therefore the Biblical doctrine 
of the salvation of the world is not "universalism" in 
the common sense of that term. It does not mean that 
all men without exception are saved. Many men are 
inevitably lost, throughout the whole course of the 
advance of the world to its complete salvation, just 
as the salvation of the individual by process means 
that much service is lost to Christ through all these 
lean years of incomplete salvation. But as in the 
one case, so in the other, the end is attained at last: 
there is a completely saved man and there is a com- 
pletely saved world. This may possibly be expressed 
by saying that the Scriptures teach an eschatological 
universalism not an each-and-every universalism. 
When the Scriptures say that Christ came to save the 
world, that he does save the world, and that the 
world shall be saved by him, they do not mean that 
there is no human being whom he did not come to 
save, whom he does not save, who is not saved by 
him. They mean that he came to save and does save 
the human race; and that the human race is being 
led by God into a racial salvation: that in the age- 
long development of the race of men, it will attain at 
last to a complete salvation, and our eyes will be 
greeted with the glorious spectacle of a saved world. 
Thus the human race attains the goal for which it 
was created, and sin does not snatch it out of God's 

[131] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

hands: the primal purpose of God with it is fulfilled; 
and through Christ the race of man, though fallen 
into sin, is recovered to God and fulfills its original 
destiny. 

Now, it cannot be imagined that the development of 
the race to this, its destined end, is a matter of chance; 
or is committed to the uncertainties of its own de- 
termination. Were that so, no salvation would or 
could lie before it as its assured goal. The goal to 
which the race is advancing is set by God: it is sal- 
vation. And every stage in the advance to this goal is 
of course, determined by God. The progress of the 
race is, in other words, a God-determined progress, 
to a God-determined end. That being true, every 
detail in every moment of the life of the race is God- 
determined; and is a stage in its God-determined 
advance to its God-determined end. Christ has been 
made in very truth Head over all things for his Church: 
and all that befalls his Church, everything his Church 
is at every moment of its existence, every "fortune," 
as we absurdly call it, through which his Church 
passes, is appointed by him. The rate of the Church's 
progress to its goal of perfection, the nature of its 
progress, the particular individuals who are brought 
into it through every stage of its progress: all this is 
in his divine hands. The Lord adds to the Church 
daily such as are being saved. And it is through the 
divine government of these things, which is in short 
the leading onwards of the race to salvation, that the 
great goal is at last attained. To say this is, of 

[132] 



CALVINISM 

course, already to say election and reprobation. 
There is no antinomy, therefore, in saying that 
Christ died for his people and that Christ died for 
the world. His people may be few to-day: the world 
will be His people to-morrow. But it must be punc- 
tually observed that unless it is Christ who, not opens 
the way of salvation to all, but actually saves his 
people, there is no ground to believe that there will 
ever be a saved world. The salvation of the world 
is absolutely dependent (as is the salvation of the 
individual soul) on its salvation being the sole work 
of the Lord Christ himself, in his irresistible might. 
It is only the Calvinist that has warrant to believe 
in the salvation whether of the individual or of the 
world. Both alike rest utterly on the sovereign 
grace of God. 84 All other ground, is shifting sand. 



[ 133] 



NOTES 



NOTES 

l Cf. A. A. Hodge: "Outlines of Theology," 2 1878. p. 96: 
"There are in fact, as we might have anticipated, but two 
complete self-consistent systems of Christian theology 
possible" — Augustinianism and Pelagianism. 

" Geref. Dog. iii. pp. 425, 426. 
Preface to Book IV of his work on Jeremiah. Cf. 
Milman, "Latin Christianity" i. p. 106, note 2; De Pressensee 
Trots Prem. Siecles. ii. p. 375; Hefele, "Councils", E. T. ii. p. 
446, note 3; cf. Warfield, 'Two Studies in the History of 
Doctrine," 1897, pp. 4, 5. 

Not that the autosoteric idea ever really satisfied the 
religious heart. Cf. T. R. Glover, "Conflict of Religions, etc." 
p. 67: 'That salvation was not from within was the testi- 
mony of every man who underwent the taurobolium. So 
far as such things can be, it is established by the witness of 
every religious mind that, whether the feeling is just or not, 
the feeling is invincible that the will is inadequate and that 
religion begins only where the Stoic idea of saving oneself 
by one's own resolve and effort is finally abandoned." 

"'Similarly also Kant, Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der 
blossen Vernunft (Gesammelte Schriften 1907. Bd. VI): "If 
the moral law demands of us that we become better men, 
it follows unavoidably that it must be possible for us so to 
become." 

6 "On Nature and Grace," 49. 

7 "The Unfinished Work," i. 91. 

8 "St. Paul," E. T. pp. 72, 73. 

"That it was possible to keep the whole law is an idea 
that is frequent in the Talmud. Abraham, Moses, and 
Aaron, were held to have done so. R. Chanina says to the 

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THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

angel of Death, 'Bring me the Book of the Law, and see 
whether there is anything written in it which I have not 
kept.' (Schoettg. i. pp. 160, 161. See also Edersheim, 
'L. and T.' i. p. 336)." — Alfred Plummer, Com. on Luke 
xviii, 21 (p. 423). 

10 Cf. A. C. Headlam, "St. Paul and Christianity" 1913, 
p. 138. "The Reformation Controversy was really the old 
controversy of Faith and Works. Practically (however much 
it might be concealed in theory) the mediaeval system taught 
salvation by works." 

n Kostlin, "Theology of Luther," E. T. i. 479. 

12 A. T. Jorgensen, Theol. Stud, und Krit. 1910, 83. pp. 
63-82; cf. Jahresbericht for 1910, 1912, p. 590. 

13 K6stlin, ii. 301: "I do not know any book of mine that 
is right, unless, perhaps, De Servo Arbitrio and the Catechism." 
This was written in 1537. 

13a "The Necessity of Reforming the Church," in "Tracts," 
E. T. p. 134. This was written in 1544. 

14 p. 159. 

15 The statement as to the true doctrine of the will involved 
in this last sentence, is noteworthy. 

16 Cf. Jean Barnaud, Pierre Viret, 1911, p. 505 : "Bolsec, 
who was the first to raise himself against it [the doctrine of 
the Reformers] began by contesting that divine election was 
taught by the Scriptures, and then proclaimed the uni- 
versality of grace, and, attacking Calvinistic determinism, 
denied that the fall had entirely deprived man of his free 
will. From these premises, he concluded that faith, with 
men, results from the exercise of free will, wounded and 
corrupted, but not absolutely destroyed and made incapable 
of doing the good, and consequently that election does not 
precede faith, and that salvation, finally, finds its supreme 
cause not only in the will of God but in a free determination 
of man." 

17 See E. F. Fischer, Melanchthons Lehre von d. Bekehrung. 

I 138] 



NOTES 

Eine Studie zum Entwickelung der Ansicht Melanchthons iiber 
Monergismus und Synergismus. 1905. 

18 For what follows see E. Bohl, Beitrdge zur Geschichte der 
Reformation in ester retch, p. 26ff. 

19 Schweitzer, Centraldogmen, i. p. 503. 

20 p. 509. 

21 Loci, 1610, ed. Preuss, ii., p. 866. 
22 Kostlin, i., p. 326. 

23 Christliche Dogmatik, ii., 1898, p. 146. 

24 On the other hand even Th. Haring, "The Christian 
Faith," E. T. 1913. p. 347, says, "Any suspicion that our 
God may be a good but impotent will, a moral genius with- 
out being master of the world, destroys the roots of all re- 
ligious power." 

25 p. 311. 

26 p. 312. 

27 p. 317. 

28 p. 317. 

29 p. 431. 

30 p. 431. 

31 A. S. Martin, art. "Election," in Hastings' "Encyc. of 
Religion and Ethics." V. 1912. p. 261a. 

32 "The Authority of Christ." 1906, p. 140. 

33 p. 143. 

34 p. 349. 

' 5 Similarly, Lewis F. Stearns, "Present Day Theology," 
1890, p. 416, declares roundly: "The only power that can 
tear a soul away from Christ is that soul's own free will." 
This is as strong an assertion as possible that the soul's own 
free will can tear the soul away from Christ. And from that 
we must infer, if we may trust Rom. viii, 39, that free will is 
not a created thing, and indeed, to speak the truth, (Rom. 
viii, 38) that it has no existence, whether actual or prospective. 
If our free will is stronger than Christ's hold upon us it is 
omnipotent, for he is omnipotent, and no one could be saved. 

[ 139] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

3G p. 300. 

37 p. 370. 

38 A. S. Martin, as cited p. 261: "The belief of the bulk of 
the Christian Church in all ages, that man's destiny is in 
his own hands." 

39 Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft 
{Gesammelte Schriftefi, 1907, vi, p. 45). 

41 E. Schader, liber das Wesen des Christentums und seine 
modernen Darstellnngen, 1904, quoted by A. Schlatter, Beitrage 
z. Forderung d. christ. Theologie, 1904, p. 39. 

42 William Temple, in "Foundations," 1913, p. 237. 

43 Do. p. 256. 

44 "Morning by Morning," p. 14. 

45 George Tyrrell, who had had his own experiences, ex- 
claims: "Peace is more necessary even that Sacraments, 
which men can give and take away at pleasure, and use as 
a whip." ("Life," by Miss Petre, ii, p. 305). No words 
could better show Tyrrell's emancipation. 

46 "An answer to my Lord of Winchester's Book," 1547, 
in "Early Writings of Bishop Hooper," Parker Society, 
p. 129. 

47 "That the Almighty has given it a charter, like an in- 
surance company, of a monopoly of salvation in this portion 
of the Universe, and agreed to keep his hands off" — as Mr. 
Winston Churchill not unaptly puts it ("The Inside of the 
Cup," p. 8). 

48 "The Rule of Faith," 1912, pp. 240ff. Cf., what is said 
of the Church in the Romish system by H. Bavinck, Bet 
Christendom, 1912, pp. 33, 36: "All this superabundant grace 
(and truth) Christ has committed to his Church for distribu- 
tion. In it he himself continues to live on earth; it is the 
perpetuation of his incarnation; in the Mass he repeats in 
an unbloody manner his sacrifice on the cross; through the 
priest he communicates his grace in the sacraments; through 

[140] 



NOTES 

the infallible mouth of the Pope he leads his Church into the 
truth. The Church is thus, above everything, the institute 
of salvation, no assembly of believers or communion of 
saints, but in the first place a supernatural institute es- 
tablished by God in order to preserve and distribute here on 
earth the saving benefits of grace and truth. Whatever may 
be lacking to believers in doctrine and life, the Church 
abides the same, for it has its center in the priesthood 
and sacraments and in them remains partaker everlastingly 
of the attributes of unity and holiness, of catholicity and 
apostolicity" (p. 33). "The Church alone can break the 
power of the seduction (of the devil and his angels), and it 
does that in the most manifold ways, by its sacraments 
and sacramentation, by holy actions (blessings, benedic- 
tions, exorcisms) and by holy things (amulets, phylacteries, 
scapularies, etc.); so long as the natural is not hallowed by 
the Church, it remains profane and of lower rank "(p. 36). 

Cone. Trid. Sess. xxii, ch. 2. 

We do not pause to inquire how far, in the modern 
Romish system, the Pope has absorbed into himself the 
functions of the Church, and become, as George Tyrrell 
would say, in a separate capacity, the representative and 
substitute of Christ on earth. Cf. the "Joint Pastoral of 
the English Catholic Hierarchy" of Dec. 29, 1900, and the 
controversy which arose from it, a good brief account of 
which is given by Miss Petre in her "Life of Tyrrell," 
vol. ii, ch. vii, pp. 146-161. 

Symbolik, pp. 332, 333. 

Cone. Trid. Sess. vii, Proem. 

Op. cit., p. 244. 

54 p. 274. 

55 "His Divine Majesty," London, 1897, p. 191ff. 

Dr. J. Armitage Robinson has taught modern Anglicans 
to translate Eph. i, 23 : "The Church is the completion of 
Him who all in all is being fulfilled": and those of sacerdotal 

[141] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

tendency have not been slow to utilize this understanding 
of the text in its entirety. Cf. W. Temple in " Foundations," 
1912, pp. 340, 359. 

57 W. J. Knox Little, "Sacerdotalism," 1894, pp. 46,47. 

58 "Outlines of Christian Dogma," 1900, pp. 107, 123. 

59 p. 149. 

60 A. G. Mortimer, "Catholic Faith and Practice," 1897, 
i, pp. 65, 82, 84, 100, 114, 120, 122, 127, cf. 130. 

61 Cf. p. 130: "By the Incarnation and Atonement of 
Christ, human nature as a whole was taken into God and 
as a whole was saved. But" — As if there could be any 
"but" after this! 

62 Query : Is there any such thing as the "race" apart 
from the individuals which constitute the race? How could 
the Incarnation and Atonement affect the "race" and leave 
the individuals which constitute the race untouched? 

63 Title of a volume of Lutheran polemics by the late Dr. 
C. P. Krauth. 

E. F. Karl M tiller, Die Bekenntnischriften der reformirten 
Kirche, 1903, p. 451. 

64a Samuel Huber, born 1547, died 1624, Professor at 
VVittenburg 1592-1595, was the standard example of a "holo- 
praedestinarian" for the next age. But the relevant teaching 
of this "embittered martyr of universalism" seems to have 
begun only in connection with the Mtimpelgart Colloquy 
(1586). A good accountof him may be found in A.Schweitzer, 
Die protestantischen Centraldogmen, 1854, i, pp. 501ff; see 
also G. M tiller's article in Herzog. How the matter is 
dealt with by the Seventeenth Century dogmaticians may 
be seen in Hollaz, Exam. Theolog. Acroam. 1741, p. 643, or 
in Quenstedt, Theologia Didactico-Polemica, 1715, ii, p. 72. 
Quenstedt tells us that Sebastian Castalio was the architect 
of the error of universal election and was followed by Samuel 
Huber, who absurdly taught that "Election is universal, 
that God chose all men really, properly and unambiguously 

[ 142] 



NOTES 

to salvation, without any regard to faith." He adds that 
Huber had no followers and that his error was extinct. 

65 Edinburgh 1904, p. 282. 

66 London and New York, 1912, pp." 310-313. 

67 "The Homilectical Review," Feb., 1910, vol. lix, no. 2, 
p. 101. 

68 Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift, 1900, xi, p. 500. 

69 p. 601. 
70 Schmid, p. 421. 

71 As cited, p. 601. 

72 "System of Christian Doctrine," 1903, p. 417. 

73 H. F. Henderson, "The Religious Controversies of 
Scotland," 1905, p. 187. 

74 H. F. Henderson, as cited, pp. 182, 183. 

75 "Life After Death," pp. 184, 185. 

76 Grundrids af den System, Theologi, pp. 114, 115, (as 
cited by Dahle). 

77 "The Methodist Review," (N. Y.), for July, 1909. 

73 Erlangen Edition of Works, xlix, p. 343. 

79 W. P. Paterson, as cited, p. 375; referring to A. Ritschl, 
"Justification and Reconciliation," E. T., p. 130. 

80 Erlangen Edition of Works, xviii, p. 20. 

81 It is important to observe that the terms Supralapsarian, 
Sub- (or Infra-) lapsarian concern the place relatively to the 
decree of the fall given to the decree of election. A habit 
has grown up among historians who do not comprehend 
the matter, of defining Supralapsarianism as the view which 
holds that God's decree in general is formed before the fall. 
Thus Th. Haring, "The Christian Faith," E. T., 1912, p. 
479, speaks of a view being called Supralapsarianism because 
it makes "the will of God include the fall of the first man." 
That the "will of God includes the fall of the first man," 
no Calvinist (be he Supralapsarian, Sublapsarian, Post- 
redemptionist, Amyraldian, Pajonist), either doubts or 
can doubt. No Theist, clear in his theism, can doubt it. 

[ 143 ] 



THE PLAN OF SALVATION 

Accordingly the tendency to erect the fewness of the 
saved into a dogma has no connection with Calvinism as 
such, but is just as prominent among (for example) the 
Lutherans. Quenstedt, Theologia Didactico-Polemica, 1715, 
ii, p. 30, makes the first attribute of the "elect" to be "few- 
ness," as of the "reprobate" to be "multitudinousness;" and 
John Gerhart, Loci Theologici Ed. Cotta, 1781, xx, p. 518, 
declares of the "object of eternal life" among human beings, 
first of all, that they are "few." See further "The Lutheran 
Church Review" for January, 1915, article "Are there few 
that be saved?" For hints of the Sacerdotal point of 
view, see F. W. Farrar, "Eternal Hope," 1878, pp. 90ff., and 
"Mercy and Judgment," 1881, pp. 137-155. 

Cf. what is said by R. A. Knox, "Some Loose Stones," 
1913, pp. Ill sq. William Temple had said strikingly in 
"Foundations": "The earth will in all probability be in- 
habitable for myriads of years yet. We are the primitive 
Church." R. A. Knox takes exception to this (which never- 
theless seems true enough), and proceeds to argue that there 
is no solid ground for supposing that Christianity shall ever 
be triumphant over her enemies. "Theologically," he 
asserts, "it seems certain that if free will is to be more than 
a name, the possibility must remain open that the majority 
of the world will reject the Christian revelation." Certainly 
we agree that if the matter is to be hung upon free will 
there can be no ground to expect that there is ever to be a 
saved world. 

Accordingly the testimony of even a Th. Haring ("The 
Christian Faith," E. T., 1913, p. 474) is true: "It is only 
through faith in the living God that faith in an ultimate 
goal to be surely reached has become a power in the world 
and in the individual heart." 



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Princeton Theological Seminary-Speer Library 



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