Predestination

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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

according to some, is a judgment, or decree of God, by which he has resolved, from all eternity, to save a certain number of persons, hence named elect. Others define it, a decree to give faith in Jesus Christ to a certain number of men, and to leave the rest to their own malice and hardness of heart. A third, more Scripturally, God's eternal purpose to save all that "truly repent and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel,"—according to the Apostle Paul, "Whom he did foreknow" as believers "them he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son;" to his moral image here, and to the image of his glorified humanity in heaven. According to the Calvinistical scheme, the reason of God's predestinating some to everlasting life is not founded in a foresight of their faith and obedience; nevertheless, it is also maintained on this scheme, that the means are decreed as well as the end, and that God purposes to save none but such as by his grace he shall prepare for salvation by sanctification. The Remonstrants define predestination to be God's decree to save believers, and condemn unbelievers. Some represent the election and predestination spoken of in Scripture, as belonging only to nations, or, at least, bodies of men, and not to particular persons. The greatest difficulties with which the modern theology is clogged turn on predestination; both the Romish and Reformed churches are divided about it; the Lutherans speak of it with horror; the Calvinists contend for it with the greatest zeal; the Molinists and Jesuits preach it down as a most dangerous doctrine; the Jansenists assert it as an article of faith; the Arminians, Remonstrants, and many others, are all avowed enemies of absolute predestination. Those strenuous patrons of Jansenism, the Port- royalists, taught, that God predestinates those whom he foresees will cooperate with his grace to the end. Dupin adds, that men do not fall into sin because not predestinated to life, but they are not predestinated because God foresaw their sins. See Calvinism .

This doctrine has already been treated of. We shall here therefore merely subjoin a sketch of its history previous to the Reformation. The apostolic fathers, men little accustomed to the intricacy of metaphysical disquisition, deeply impressed with the truth of the Gospel, powerfully influenced by its spirit, and from their particular situation naturally dwelling much upon it as a system of direction and consolation, do not, in their writings, at all advert to the origin of evil, or to predestination, so closely allied to it. They press, with much earnestness, upon those in whom they were interested the vast importance of practical holiness, exhibit the motives which appeared to them calculated to secure it, and represent the blessedness which awaits good men, and the condemnation reserved for the wicked; but they do not once attempt to determine whether the sin which they were solicitous to remove could be accounted for, in consistency with the essential holiness and the unbounded mercy of the Deity. In short, they just took that view of this subject which every man takes when he is not seeking to enter into philosophical disquisition; never for one moment doubting that whatever is wrong was ultimately to be referred to man, and that the economy of grace proceeding from God was the most convincing proof of the tenderness of his compassion for mankind.

When, however, the church received within its communion those who had been educated in the schools of philosophy, and to whom the question as to the origin of evil must, while they frequented these schools, have become familiar, it was not to be supposed that, even although they were convinced that we should be chiefly solicitous about the formation of the Christian character, there would be no allusion to what had formerly interested them, or that they would refrain from delivering their sentiments upon it. Agreeably to this, we find, in the works of Justin Martyr, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen, sufficient intimations that they had directed their attention to the difficulty now under review; and that, whether upon adequate grounds or not, they had come to a decision as to the way in which it should be explained consistently with the divine perfections. It is evident that they did not investigate the subject to the depth to which it is requisite for the full discussion of it to go; and that various questions which must be put before it can be brought completely before us, they either did not put, or hastily regarded as of very little moment: but it is enough to dwell upon the fact, that they did employ their thoughts upon it, and have so expressed themselves as to leave no doubt of the light in which it was contemplated by them. Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, remarks that "they who were foreknown as to become wicked, whether angels or men, did so not from any fault of God, αιτια του

Θεου , but from their own blame;" by which observation he shows it to have been his opinion that God foresaw in what manner his intelligent creatures would act; but that this did not affect their liberty, and did not diminish their guilt. A little after he says more fully, that "God created angels and men free to the practice of righteousness, having planted in them reason, through which they knew by whom they were created and through whom they existed, when before they were not, and who prescribed to them a law by which they were to be judged, if they acted contrary to right reason. Wherefore, we, angels and men, are through ourselves convicted as being wicked, if we do not lay hold of repentance. But if the Logos of God foretels that some angels and men would go to be punished, he does so because he foreknew that they would certainly become wicked; by no means, however, because God made them such." Justin thus admits that man is wholly dependent upon God, deriving existence and every thing which he has from the Almighty; but he is persuaded that we were perfectly able to retain our integrity, and that, although it was foreseen that we should not do so, this did not abridge our moral power, or fix any imputation on the Deity in consequence of our transgression. Tatian, in his oration against the Greeks, an excellent work, which, although composed after the death of Justin, was written, in all probability, before its author had adopted the wild opinions which he defended toward the conclusion of his life, expresses very much the same sentiments avowed by Justin. He says, "Both men and angels were created free, so that man becoming wicked through his own fault may be deservedly punished, while a good man, who, from the right exercise of his free will, does not transgress the law of God, is entitled to praise; that the power of the divine Logos having in himself the knowledge of what was to happen, not through fate or unavoidable necessity, but from free choice, predicted future things, condemning the wicked and praising the righteous."

Irenaeus, in the third book of his work against heresies, has taken an opportunity to state his notions about the origin of evil. The seventy-first chapter of that book is entitled, "A proof that man is free, and has power to this extent, that of himself he can choose what is good or the contrary."

In illustration of this he remarks, "God gave to man the power of election as he did to the angels. They, therefore, who do not obey are justly not found with the good, and receive deserved punishment, because God having given them what was good, they did not keep it, but despised the riches of the divine mercy." The next chapter is entitled, "A proof that some men are not good by nature, and others wicked, and that what is good is within the choice of man." In treating on this subject, Irenaeus observes, that "if the reverse were the case, the good would not merit praise nor the wicked blame, because being merely what, without any will of theirs, they had been made, they could not be considered as voluntary agents. But," he adds, "since all have the same nature, and are able to retain and to do what is good, and may, on the other hand, lose it and not do it, some are, even in the sight of men, and much more in that of God, deservedly praised and others blamed." In support of this he introduces a great variety of passages from Scripture. It appears, however, that the real difficulty attending the subject had suggested itself to his mind; for he inquires in the seventy-third chapter, why God had not from the beginning made man perfect, all things being possible to him. He gives to this question a metaphysical and unsatisfactory answer, but which so far satisfied himself as to convince him that there could not, on this ground, be any imputation justly cast on the perfections of the Almighty, and that, consequently, a sufficient explanation of the origin of evil and of the justice of punishing it, was to be found in the nature of man as a free agent, or in the abuse of that liberty with which man had been endowed. Tertullian had also speculated upon the moral condition of man, and has recorded his sentiments with respect to it. He explicitly asserts the freedom of the will; lays down the position, that, if this be denied, there can be neither reward nor punishment; and, in answer to an objection, that since free will has been productive of such melancholy consequences, it would have been better that it had not been bestowed, he enters into a formal vindication of this part of our constitution. In reply to another suggestion, that God might have interposed to prevent the choice which was to be productive of sin and misery, he maintains that this could not have been done without destroying that admirable constitution by which alone the interests of virtue can be really promoted. He thus thought that sin was to be imputed wholly to man, and that it was perfectly consistent with the attributes of God, or rather illustrated these attributes, that there should be a system under which sin was possible, because without this possibility there could have been no accountable agents.

From what has been stated on this subject, it seems unquestionable that the apostolic fathers did not at all enter upon the subject of the origin of evil; that the writers by whom they were succeeded were satisfied that, in the sense in which the term is now most commonly used, there was no such thing as predestination; that they uniformly represented the destiny of man as regulated by the use or abuse of his free will; that, with the exception of Irenaeus, they did not attempt to explain why such a creature as man, who was to fall into sin, was created by a Being of infinite goodness; that the sole objection to their doctrine seemed to them to be, that prescience was incompatible with liberty, and that, when they answered this, they considered that nothing more was requisite for receiving, without hesitation, the view of man upon which they often and fondly dwelt, as a free and accountable agent, who might have held fast his integrity, and whose fall from that integrity was to be ascribed solely to himself, as it did not at all result from any appointment of the supreme Being.

Although opinions respecting original sin, directly tending to a very different view of the subject than had been previously taken, had been stated by Cyprian, yet a thorough investigation of it, and the sentiments which afterward were widely received in the Christian church, took their rise from the discussions to which the Pelagian controversy gave occasion. Previous to the part which Augustine took in that controversy, he seems to have been very much of the same sentiments with Origen and the other early fathers. But, either from what he considered as a more deliberate and complete examination of Scripture, or from perceiving the necessity imposed on him, in consequence of some of the positions which he had laid down in his writings against Pelagius, he soon changed his opinion, and advanced a notion more in harmony with these positions. Having to show the absolute necessity of divine grace, he inculcated that, in consequence of original sin, man was infallibly determined to evil, and was therefore in a state of condemnation, and he thus took away the foundation upon which the prevailing tenets rested; because it was impossible that men could be predestined to life, or the reverse, from prescience of their actions, when, without the special grace of God, they were absolutely incapacitated for obedience to the divine law. To get rid of this difficulty, Augustine, in some degree, transferred the search for the origin of sin from the state of man to the purposes of God, asserting that from all eternity the Almighty had determined to choose from the mass of mankind, lost in guilt and corruption, a certain number to be transformed to holiness, and to be admitted after this life to eternal happiness; that he did this to promote his own glory; and that, by the operation of his Spirit, granted of his own free and undeserved mercy, he produced in the elect or chosen the fruits of righteousness, and qualified them for the enjoyment of heaven. The whole of the remainder of the human race were, according to this system, left in their condition by nature, or in other words, were given up to endless misery. There immediately arose out of this view of the subject, the formidable and heart-rending objection, that God was really the author of sin; that, having so created mankind that of themselves they could not be holy, there was on the part of those delivered no virtue, as there was on the other part no blame; the case being quite different from what it would have been had God interposed with respect to creatures who had not received from himself their physical and moral constitution. Accordingly, it has been asserted that a sect did arise, which, carrying out, as the members of it affirmed, the principles of Augustine, maintained that God not only predestinated the wicked to eternal punishment, but also to the guilt and transgression for which they were punished; that the human race was thus wholly passive, the good and bad actions of men, or what were commonly termed such, being determined from all eternity by a divine decree, or fixed by hopeless, irresistible necessity. These opinions it is said that the venerable and enlightened bishop of Hippo zealously opposed, labouring to show that they were not fairly deduced from what he had taught, making a distinction probably between his account of free will and the necessity here confounded with it, and perhaps reluctant to push his tenets so far as apparently they might be carried. The fact is, that although the doctrine of absolute predestination is occasionally clearly taught by Augustine, and obviously follows from his other principles, yet he does not always write consistently with regard to it; or, at least, there is sometimes so much vagueness in his assertions and illustrations, that his authority has been claimed in support of their peculiar tenets both by the Jansenists and the Jesuits, opposite to each other as the sentiments of these two orders are upon the subject of which we are treating. Still it is beyond a question that this celebrated theologian did fix the attention of the church upon that subject much more closely than before his age had been the case, and gave rise to those discussions in relation to it which have so often agitated Christians, and tended much more to destroy the mild and tolerant spirit of the Gospel, than to throw light upon its momentous truths. The subject of predestination, however, was long regarded as one which it was not esteemed requisite absolutely to define, and which might be very much left open to speculation; for although in different countries decrees were passed, guarding against what were viewed as errors resulting from it, it is plain, from what took place upon the revival of the controversy in an after age, that there had not been formed any standard to which ecclesiastical authority required that all who were esteemed orthodox should strictly conform. See Augustine .

In the ninth century, Godeschalchus, a man of illustrious birth, who had, contrary to his inclinations, been devoted by his parents to a monastic life, and who had, with unwearied diligence, studied the science of theology, inflamed by an unhappy desire to unravel all the difficulties with which that science abounds, occupied his mind with the consideration of the question of predestination, and finally adopted, with regard to it, the doctrine of Augustine. Not satisfied with having convinced himself, he conceived it to be his duty to labour for the conviction of others; and he accordingly openly and zealously inculcated that the elect were predestinated to life, and the rest of mankind to everlasting misery. Rabanus, archbishop of Mentz, who had for some reason before this been inspired with enmity to Godeschalchus, having been informed of the tenets which he was publishing, and, as has too often been the case, veiling private antipathy under the cloak of anxiety for the purity of divine truth, opposed him with the utmost vehemence; and, having assembled a council in his own metropolitan city, procured the condemnation of the views which he reprobated. The matter was afterward taken up by Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, who was the zealous friend of Rabanus; and he also having procured the meeting of a council, confirmed the sentence that had been already passed. Not satisfied with this, he degraded Godeschalchus from the priesthood; and, with an inhumanity infinitely more detestable than heresy, he put the unfortunate monk to the torture. The fortitude of Godeschalchus was for a moment overpowered, and he consented to commit to the flames a justification of his opinions which he had presented to his execrable tormentors. It was not to be supposed that by atrocious violence like this, sincere conviction could be produced in the person against whom it was directed, or that others would be disposed universally to submit to it. The controversy, accordingly, soon was renewed; writers on both sides of the question contended with the utmost warmth, and eagerly displayed the extent of their erudition. New councils were summoned, by which the decrees of former councils were reversed, and the tenets of Godeschalchus were confirmed; and the whole agitation terminated by leaving the subject in the same undefined state on the part of the church in which it had been before it was thus intemperately and cruelly discussed.

To the schoolmen, who delighted much more in losing themselves amidst inextricable difficulties and endless distinctions, than in opening the sources of knowledge and rumoring the difficulties with which these were surrounded, this subject, from its intricate or inexplicable nature, was admirably adapted; and they did not fail to exercise upon it their diligence and their ingenuity. Thomas Aquinas, who flourished during the thirteenth century, was a man who in more enlightened times would have really merited the high reputation which he enjoyed, and which procured for him from his contemporaries the appellation of the Angelic Doctor. He was capable of vast mental exertion, and, amidst all his avocations, produced works so voluminous that in modern days even students would shrink from the perusal of them as an overwhelming task. He wrote largely upon the nature of grace, and predestination, so intimately connected with it. His opinions upon these subjects were nearly the same with those of Augustine; and so much, indeed, was he conceived to resemble in genius and understanding that distinguished prelate, that it was asserted the soul of Augustine had been sent into the body of Aquinas. He taught that God had, from all eternity, and without any regard to their works, predestinated a certain number to life and happiness; but he found great delight in endeavouring to reconcile this position with the freedom of the human will. His celebrated antagonist, John Duns Scotus, an inhabitant of Britain, surnamed, from the acuteness and bent of his mind, the Subtile Doctor, also directed his attention, in the subsequent century, to the same thorny speculations, taking a different view of them from Aquinas; and we find in the works of these two brilliant lights of the schoolmen all that the most learned in the dark ages thought upon them.

It is unnecessary to trace the various shades of opinion which existed in the church as to predestination from this era till the Reformation: it is enough to remark, that, after all which had been written upon it, it does not appear that any peculiar sentiments with respect to it were, by the reformers, judged essential to orthodoxy. It was more wisely considered that, upon a point involved in impenetrable difficulties, and raised far above human comprehension, men might be allowed to differ, while their attachment to the best interests of pure religion could not be called in question. See CALVINISM and See Lutherans .

The seventeenth article of the church of England is often adduced by Calvinists as favourable to their peculiar views of absolute predestination; but such a representation of it is rendered plausible only by adding to its various clauses qualifying expressions to suit that purpose. Under the articles Church of England, Confessions, and Calvinism, have been exhibited the just and liberal views of Cranmer and the principal English reformers on this subject,—the sources from which they drew the articles of religion and the public formularies of devotion,—and some of the futile attempts of the high predestinarians in the church to inoculate the public creed with their dogmas. Cartwright and his followers, in their second "Admonition to the Parliament" in 1572, complained that the articles speak dangerously of "falling from grace;" and in 1587 they preferred a similar complaint. The labours of the Westminster Assembly at a subsequent period, and their abortive result, in relation to this subject, are well known. Long before Arminius had turned his thoughts to the consideration of general redemption, a great number of the English clergy had publicly taught and defended the same doctrine. It was about 1571 when Dr. Peter Baroe, "a zealous Anti-Calvinian," as one of our church historians observes, was made Margaret Professor of Divinity in the university of Cambridge; and "he went on teaching in his lectures, preaching in his sermons, determining in the schools, and printing in several books, divers points contrary to Calvinism. And this he did for several years, without any manner of disturbance or interruption. The heads of the university, in a letter to the Lord Burleigh, dated March 8, 1595, say, he had done it for fourteen or fifteen years preceding, and they might have said twenty; for he printed some of his lectures in 1574, and the prosecution he was at last under, which will be considered hereafter, was not till 1595. In 1584, Mr. Harsnet, afterward archbishop of York, preached against absolute reprobation at St. Paul's Cross, the greatest audience then in the kingdom; as did the judicious Mr. Hooker at the Temple in the year following. In the year 1594, Mr. Barret preached at St. Mary's in Cambridge against Calvinism, with very smart reflections upon Calvin himself, Beza, Zanchy, and several others of the most noted writers in that scheme. In the same year, Dr. Baroe preached at the same place to the same purpose. By this time Calvinism had gained considerable ground, being much promoted by the learned Whitaker and Mr. Perkins; and several of the heads of the university being in that scheme, they complained of the two sermons above mentioned to the Lord Burleigh their chancellor. Their heads endeavoured to bring Barret to a retraction, to which whether he ever submitted according to the form they drew up, may reasonably be doubted. At length the matter was laid before Archbishop Whitgift, who was offended at their proceedings, and writes to the Lord Burleigh, that some of the points which the heads had enjoined Barret to retract were such as the most learned Protestants, then living, varied in judgment upon; and that the most ancient and best divines in the land were in the chiefest points in opinion against the heads and their resolutions. Another letter he sent to the heads themselves, telling them that they had enjoined Barret to affirm that which was contrary to the doctrine holden and expressed by many sound and learned divines in the church of England, and in other churches likewise men of best account; and that which for his own part he thought to be false and contrary to the Scriptures; for the Scriptures are plain, that God by his absolute will did not hate and reject any man. There might be impiety in believing the one, there could be none in believing the other: neither was it contrary to any article of religion established by authority in this church of England, but rather agreeable thereto. This testimony of the archbishop is very remarkable; and though he afterward countenanced the Lambeth articles, that is of little or no weight in the case. The question is not about any man's private opinion, but about the doctrine of the church; and supposing the archbishop to be a Calvinist, as he seems to have been at least in some points, this only adds the greater weight to his testimony, that our church has no where declared in favour of that scheme. The archbishop descended to the particulars charged against Barret, asking the heads what article of the church was contradicted by this or that notion of his; and Whitaker in his reply does not appeal to one of the articles, as against Barret, but forms his plea upon the doctrines which then generally obtained in pulpits. His words are, ‘We are fully persuaded that Mr. Barret hath taught untruth, if not against the articles, yet against the religion, of our church, publicly received, and always held in her majesty's reign, and maintained in all sermons, disputations, and lectures.' And even this pretence of his, weak as it would have been though true, is utterly false, directly contrary, not only to what has been already shown to be the facts of the case, but also to what the archbishop affirmed, and that too, as must be supposed, upon his own knowledge. As to Dr. Baroe, he met with many friends, who espoused his cause. Mr. Strype particularly mentions four, Mr. Overal, Dr. Clayton, Mr. Harsnet, Dr. Andrews; all of them great and learned men, men of renown, and famous in their generation. How many more there were, nobody can tell. The heads in their letter to the Lord Burleigh do not pretend that the preaching against Calvinism gave a general offence, but that it offended many; which implies that there were many others on the opposite side; and they expressly say there were divers in the Anti-Calvinian scheme, whom they represent as maintaining it with great boldness. But what put a stop to this prosecution against Baroe was, a reprimand from their chancellor, the Lord Burleigh, who wrote to the heads, that as good and as ancient were of another judgment, and that they might punish him, but it would be for well doing."

But Dr. Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, could not endure the farther prevalence of the doctrines of general redemption in that university; he therefore, in 1595, drew up nine affirmations, elucidatory of his views of predestination, and obtained for them the sanction of several Calvinian heads of houses, with whom he repaired to Archbishop Whitgift. Having heard their ex parte statement, his grace summoned Bishops Flecher and Vaughan, and Dr. Tyndal, dean of Ely, to meet Dr. Whitaker and the Cambridge deputation at his palace in Lambeth. on the tenth of November, 1595; where, after much polishing and altering, they produced Whitaker's affirmation in the following form, called the "Lambeth Articles," from the place in which their secret sittings had been held:—

" 1. God from eternity hath predestinated certain men unto life; certain men he hath reprobated.

2. The moving or efficient cause of predestination unto life is not the foresight of faith or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing that is in the person predestinated; but it is only the good will and pleasure of God.

3. A certain number of the predestinate is predetermined, which can neither be augmented nor diminished.

4. Those who are not predestinated to salvation shall be necessarily damned for their sins.

5. A true, living, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished, doth not fall off, or vanish away, in the elect, either totally or finally.

6. A man who is a true believer, that is, one who is endued with a justifying faith, is assured with a plerophory, or firm persuasion, of faith concerning the remission of his sins, and his eternal salvation through Christ.

7. Saving grace is neither given, communicated, nor granted to all men, by which they can be saved if they will.

8. No one is able to come unto Christ unless it shall be given unto him, and unless the Father shall draw him; and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come unto the Son.

9. It is not placed in the choice, will, or capacity of every one to be saved."

Dr. Whitaker died a few days after his return from Lambeth, with the nine articles to which he had procured the patronage of the primate. After his demise, two competitors appeared for the vacant King's Professorship, Dr. Wotton, of King's College, a professed Calvinian, and Dr. Overal of Trinity College, "almost as far," says Heylin, "from the Calvinian doctrine in the main platform of predestination as Baroe, Harsnet, or Barret are conceived to be. But when it came to the vote of the university, the place was carried for Overal by the major part; which plainly shows, that though the doctrines of Calvin were so hotly stickled here by most of the heads, yet the greater part of the learned body entertained them not." "The Lambeth articles," it is well observed, "are no part of the doctrine of the church of England, having never had any the least sanction either from the parliament or the convocation. They were drawn up by Professor Whitaker; and though they were afterward approved by Archbishop Whitgift, and six or eight of the inferior clergy, in a meeting they had at Lambeth, yet this meeting was only in a private manner, and without any authority from the queen; who was so far from approving of their proceedings, that she not only ordered the articles to be suppressed, but was resolutely bent for some time to bring the archbishop and his associates under a premunire, for presuming to make them without any warrant or legal authority." Such, in brief, was the origin and such the fate of the Lambeth articles, without the countenance of which the defenders of Calvinism in the church of England could find no semblance of support for their manifold affirmations on predestination and its kindred topics. These articles afford another instructive instance of the extreme ignorance of the real sentiments of their opponents, which often betrays itself in the conduct of many eminent men, when they rashly begin to fence off the reputed heterodoxy of their brethren from the sacred precincts of their own orthodoxy. Two of the ablest and most consistent Arminians of the old English school, Baroe and Plaifere, have lucidly shown how every one of these nine assertions may, without difficulty, be interpreted in accordance with their individual belief. Baroe's clever dissertation on this subject will be found in Strype's "Life of Whitgift;" and that of Plaifere, in his own unanswerable "Apello Evangelium."

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

1. Context.-Predestination in its widest reference, as attributed to God, is ‘His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass’ (The Shorter Catechism, A. 7). The word ‘predestinate’ appears nowhere in the AV_ of the OT, and in the NT it has now disappeared, having given place to ‘foreordain’ in the RV_ in the four places where the AV_ had it ( Romans 8:29-30,  Ephesians 1:5;  Ephesians 1:11). ‘Foreordained’ of the AV_ has also given place to ‘foreknown’ in the RV_ of  1 Peter 1:20 (where the Gr. is προεγνωσμένου. See Foreknowledge). ‘Foreordain’ in the passages referred to above, and also in  Acts 4:28 (AV_ ‘determined before’),  1 Corinthians 2:7 (AV_ ‘ordained’), renders προορίζειν, the tense employed in these six instances being the aorist, as befitted a purpose of the Divine mind from eternity. The simple ὁρίζειν occurs similarly with a kindred meaning ( Luke 22:22 : κατὰ τὸ ὡρισμένον;  Acts 2:23 : τῇ ὡρισμένῃ βουλῇ; cf.  Acts 10:42;  Acts 17:26;  Acts 17:31,  Romans 1:4).

2. Connotation.-Election and predestination belong to the purpose of grace cherished in the Divine mind from all eternity; and as far as salvation is concerned they are the expression of the entire dependence of sinful man upon the grace of God from the beginning to the end. They are included together by St. Paul among the spiritual blessings bestowed upon believers; and the two transactions are regarded as taking place before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians 1:4-5). Election has in view the persons who are to be the objects of Divine blessing; predestination the privileges and blessings which are to be their portion ( Romans 8:29-30,  Ephesians 1:4-5). Foreknowledge, (πρόγνωσις,  1 Peter 1:2; cf.  Romans 8:29;  1 Peter 1:20) belongs to the same purpose of grace, and is spoken of by St. Paul as the first step in the Divine plan of salvation, for it is those whom God ‘foreknew’ whom He also ‘foreordained’ to be conformed to the image of His Son. The word ‘chose’ (εἴλατο) in  2 Thessalonians 2:13 includes ‘foreknew’ and ‘foreordained’ of  Romans 8:29, and has itself apparently the force of ‘elected’ (ἐξελέξατο).

3. Predestination in the moral world.-It belongs to the very nature of God that He should have a counsel or purpose which embraces all things from the beginning to the end, and that this counsel shall be assuredly accomplished. This is again and again declared in Scripture: ‘The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil’ ( Proverbs 16:4); ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure’ ( Isaiah 46:10). St. Paul affirms this truth when he speaks of ‘the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will’ ( Ephesians 1:11). Not only the good but the evil of the world comes under the Divine predestinating purpose, for the evil as well as the good is known beforehand to the Omniscient ( Acts 15:18). ‘In him we live, and move, and have our being’ ( Acts 17:28), and every act of man, whatever its motive, is performed with bodily life and strength, with faculties and powers which He has supplied, and continues to supply, to the best and to the worst, to the noblest and the most depraved. Whilst not Himself the author of sin, He not only suffers the evil designs and wicked purposes of men, but uses them (and by using them shows that He purposed to use them from all eternity) for ends of His own, even the loftiest and holiest of which men can form any conception. The death of Christ was an essential element in the Divine plan of redemption. To bring to pass the death of Christ He made use of the hatred of the Jews, the baseness of the betrayer, and the culpable weakness of the Roman governor. The first Christians discerned and acknowledged this as they lifted up their united voice in prayer to God and said: ‘Of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel foreordained to come to pass’ (ὄσα ἡ χείρ σου καὶ ἡ βουλὴ προώρισεν γενέσθαι,  Acts 4:27 f.). And St. Peter declared the same truth to the Jewish multitudes on the Day of Pentecost: ‘Him being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay’ (τῇ ὡρισμένῃ βουλῇ καὶ προγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ,  Acts 2:23). It was in language no less strong that the Lord Himself predicted His betrayal and death: ‘The Son of man indeed goeth, as it hath been determined (κατὰ τὸ ὡρισμένον,  Luke 22:22): but wce unto that man through whom he is betrayed.’ We also read that He showed ‘unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up’ ( Matthew 16:21). These passages ‘combine to show that not only in the physical world, which is generally admitted to be subject in all its provinces to the absolute control and regulation of the Almighty, but also in the moral world, all circumstances and events, dependent though they may be on the voluntary actions of His intelligent creatures, are nevertheless pre-arranged and predetermined by Him; or, in other words, that whatsoever God does by His own personal agency in any department of the universe, and whatsoever He permits to be done by the agency of His rational creatures, is done or permitted by Him purposely and designedly, in accordance with his own determinate counsels, and for the accomplishment of His own contemplated ends’ (Crawford, Mysteries of Christianity, p. 303).

4. St. Paul’s view of predestination and salvation.-Predestination, however, in its bearing upon salvation finds its great exponent in the apostle Paul. That God has foreordained particular persons from all eternity to salvation and eternal life, that He has provided for them the means to that salvation in the work of Christ and the gracious ministry of the Holy Spirit, and that He bestows upon them grace to persevere to the end, is especially the teaching of St. Paul. Here, again, as in his teaching upon election, St. Paul follows up the teaching of the Lord. ‘No man can come to me,’ says Jesus, ‘except the Father which sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day’ ( John 6:44). ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.… My Father, which hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand’ ( John 10:27;  John 10:29). ‘All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me’ is, as the older divines would have put it, an article in the Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Son in the counsels of eternity; ‘and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’ is an article in the Covenant of Grace wherein the offer of a free and a full salvation is made to all ( John 6:37). It is this teaching which St. Paul casts into his own more philosophical moulds and expounds in language which has not only passed into the vocabulary of theology, but even become familiar in the religious speech of many types of evangelical Christians. ‘We know,’ he says in a characteristic utterance, ‘that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren’ ( Romans 8:28-29). The sovereignty in which St. Paul here reposes such confidence is the sovereignty of a God of grace and faithfulness; and he is confident that He who began a good work in him and his fellow-believers ‘will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ’ ( Philippians 1:6). The end to which God ‘foreordained’ those whom He ‘foreknew’ is conformity to the image of His Son, that they should be sons of God after His likeness of love and holiness here and dignity and glory above. This end is that which apostolic teaching always has in view, and no other: the apostles have nothing to say of predestination to wrath or destruction (cf.  1 Thessalonians 1:2-5,  2 Thessalonians 2:13,  2 Timothy 1:9;  1 Peter 1:1-2).

In the opening passage of the Epistle to the Ephesians St. Paul sets forth in still greater detail this great doctrine ( Ephesians 1:3-8;  Ephesians 1:11-12). It is ‘the saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus’ who are the objects of this Divine choice and blessing, persons who are believing men and women (τοῖς πιστοῖς) and Christians indeed (τοῖς ἁγίοις). The benefits bestowed upon them in common with the Apostle are enumerated as ‘redemption,’ ‘forgiveness of sins,’ ‘holiness,’ ‘adoption’ as sons of God, ‘a heavenly inheritance,’ and they comprise ‘every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ’-benefits not merely offered but actually enjoyed, and that in accordance with the purpose of God before the foundation of the world. The Divine choice rested upon them and took effect in them not because of their merits or attainments, not because God foresaw in them a holiness and a faith marking them out as recipients of eternal favour and blessing, but ‘according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.’ They were chosen not because of foreseen holiness and blamelessness, but ‘in order that they should be holy and without blemish.’ If we adopt the punctuation which connects ‘in love’ (at the close of  Ephesians 1:4) with ‘having foreordained’ (at the commencement of  Ephesians 1:5), and which has some textual authority, we should hold that it was in love that He foreordained them, moved by ‘an “unseen universe” of reasons and causes wholly beyond our discovery’ (H. C. G. Moule, Cambridge Bible, ‘Ephesians,’ 1886, p. 48). Whatever the grounds of God’s predestinating purpose, they did not lie in any merits or qualifications of theirs, for they were called ‘not according to their works, but according to his own purpose and grace before the world began’ ( 2 Timothy 1:9). Election is a spontaneous act of God’s favour and grace, uncalled for by anything in the objects of it moving Him thereto. Before the ages of time God foreordained the glory of the saints, and with a view to that consummation He purposed both creation and redemption ( 1 Corinthians 2:7 with T. S. Evans’ note in Speaker’s Com. iii. [1881]).

Whilst St. Paul in speaking of God’s predestinating purpose towards the saints calls them ‘vessels of mercy which he afore prepared unto glory’ ( Romans 9:23), he is careful not to attribute to the immediate agency of God ‘the destruction’ which overtakes the ‘vessels of wrath’ ( Romans 9:22). These the Apostle describes as ‘fitted unto destruction,’ whom God ‘endured with much longsuffering’; and he regards them as bringing upon themselves by their obstinacy and continued sinfulness the natural penalty of their guilt, the just judgment of God. The issue of glory for the saints proceeds from God’s predestinating purpose ‘according to the good pleasure of his will’ and without any foresight of merit on their part; the issue of destruction for the wicked proceeds from the rejection of offered grace and their persistence in transgression and sin. The distinction is that set forth by St. Paul when he says: ‘The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ ( Romans 6:23).

That God’s sovereignty in predestination is exercised consistently with man’s perfect liberty to choose is an antinomy which it is impossible for us to reconcile, but which, nevertheless, stands out clear in the teaching of St. Paul. In  Romans 9:20-21 St. Paul appeals to one side of the antinomy and affirms the Divine sovereignty by reference to the figure of the potter; and in  Romans 10:11-15 he exhibits the other side when he affirms the universality and freeness of the gospel offer, saying, ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ Whilst St. Paul, as we have seen, affirms the doctrine of absolute predestination to life, he asserts no less clearly the truth of human responsibility. Underlying all his exhortations to holiness, and all his presentations of gospel privilege and blessing, there is the assumption of the freedom of the human will to avail itself of offered grace or to refuse it, to put forth effort or to remain inactive. Whilst the kindling of the Divine life in the soul through the exercise of faith in Christ is of sovereign grace ( Ephesians 2:8), the increase and fruitfulness of the Divine life through prayer and service depends upon the same grace, as St. Paul exhorts: ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure’ ( Philippians 2:12-13).

5. Predestination in Christian experience.-The doctrine of predestination has the analogy of Christian experience to support it. Every Christian man is ready to acknowledge that there was some power at work for his salvation before his own freewill. ‘We love,’ says St. John, ‘because he first loved us’ ( 1 John 4:19). It is He who, through the Holy Spirit, by the use of the means of grace, quickens into spiritual life men who are dead in trespasses and sins. And there are multitudes who acknowledge their experience to have been that of Lydia, ‘whose heart the Lord opened, to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul’ ( Acts 16:14). In Christian experience there is the conviction of this gracious influence which has been beforehand with us in showing us the guilt of sin and leading us to Christ for salvation, but there is also the consciousness of moral responsibility, requiring from us the constant exercise of faith and the diligent use of all the means of grace. ‘I could no more,’ says Erskine of Linlathen, writing to Thomas Chalmers from Herrnhut (Letters, 1800-1840, ed. Hanna, 1877), ‘separate the belief of predestination from my idea of God, than I could separate the conviction of moral responsibility from my own consciousness. I do not, to be sure, see how these two things coincide, but I am prepared for my own ignorance on these points. We know things, not absolutely as they are in themselves, but relatively as they are to us and to our practical necessities.’ There we must be content to leave the antinomy, believing that though it is beyond our limited powers to reconcile, it is reconciled in the mind of the All-knowing and Eternal God.

6. Practical applications.-The doctrine of predestination has practical applications full of comfort and encouragement. A reasonable assurance of salvation finds in the eternal decree, whose sole cause is the good pleasure and eternal will of God, its most certain and abiding ground. To have a well-grounded persuasion, through the fruit of the Spirit and the evidences of the new life, that one is of the number of those whom God foreknew and foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, cannot fail on the one hand to fill one with gratitude and humility, and on the other to stimulate one to the pursuit of holiness and all the graces of the Christian life. The belief that God in His predestinating purpose has His elect-known to Him when unknown to man-in every community and every congregation where Christ is preached, is an encouragement to faithful ministry, as it was to St. Paul when in a vision of the night the Lord said to him: ‘I have much people in this city’ ( Acts 18:10). ‘The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination,’ says the Westminster Confession (ch. iii. 8), ‘is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending to the will of God revealed in His word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.’

Literature.-C. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 1872, i. 535 ff.; T. J. Crawford, Mysteries of Christianity, 1874, p. 291 ff.; John Forbes, Predestination and Freewill, 1878; J. B. Mozley, Predestination2, 1878; B. Jowett, The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians, and Romans, 1894, ii. 870; J. Drummond, Studies in Christian Doctrine, 1907, p. 463; T. Haering, The Christian Faith, 1913, p. 788ff.

T. Nicol.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

PREDESTINATION . The English word ‘predestinate’ in the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] is, in the few cases in which it occurs (  Romans 8:29;   Romans 8:36 ,   Ephesians 1:5;   Ephesians 1:11 ), exchanged in the RV [Note: Revised Version.] for ‘foreordain,’ a return to the usage of the older Versions. The Gr. word ( proorizo ) conveys the simple idea of defining or determining beforehand (thus, in addition to above, in   Acts 4:29 ,   1 Corinthians 2:7 ). The change in rendering brings the word into closer relation with a number of others expressing the same, or related, meanings, as ‘foreknow’ (in pregnant sense,   Acts 2:23 ,   Romans 8:29; Rom 11:2 ,   1 Peter 1:2;   1 Peter 1:20 ), ‘determine’ (  Acts 17:26 ), ‘appoint’ (  1 Peter 2:8 ), ‘purpose’ (  Ephesians 1:9 ), in the case of believers, ‘choose’ or ‘elect’ (  Ephesians 1:4 etc.). In the OT the idea is expressed by the various words denoting to purpose, determine, choose ( e.g.   Isaiah 14:24-27;   Isaiah 46:10-11 ), with the ahundance of phrases extolling the sovereignty and immutability of God’s counsel in all the spheres of His operation (see below; so in NT). The best clue to the Scripture conception will he found in tracing it as it appears in these different spheres of the Divine action.

1 . In its most general aspect, foreordination is coextensive with the sphere of God’s universal providence, is, in fact, but another name for the eternal plan, design, purpose, counsel of God, which executes itself in providence. The election of believers, to which ‘predestination’ is sometimes narrowed, is hut a specific case of the ‘purpose’ of Him ‘who worketh all things after the counsel of his will’ (  Ephesians 1:11 ). It is in this wider regard, accordingly, that foreordination must be studied first. It cannot be reasonably doubted that all Scripture OT and NT represents God as exercising in and over the world a providence that is absolutely universal. Nothing, great or small operations of nature or actions of men is left outside its scope. This does not happen blindly, but in accordance with a plan or purpose, equally all-embracing, which has existed from eternity. As Plato says in his Parmenides that nothing, not even the meanest object, is unpenetrated by the idea, so even the minutest details, and seemingly most casual happenings, of life (the numbering of hairs, the fall of a sparrow,   Matthew 10:29-30 ) are included in the Divine providence. Free agency is not annulled; on the contrary, human freedom and responsibility are everywhere insisted on. But even free volitions, otherwise mere possibilities, are taken up in their place into this plan of God, and are made subservient to the accomplishment of His purposes. The Bible does not trouble itself with solving difficulties as to the relation of the Divine purpose to human freedom , but, in accordance with its fundamental doctrine of God as the free personal Creator of the world and absolutely sovereign Ruler in the realms both of matter and of mind, working through all causes, and directing everything to the wisest and holiest ends, it unhesitatingly sees His ‘hand’ and His ‘counsel’ in whatever is permitted to happen, good or bad (  Acts 2:28 ). It need not be said that there is nothing arbitrary or unjust in this ‘counsel’ of God; it can be conceived of only as the eternal expression of His wisdom, righteousness, and love.

Texts are almost superfluous in the case of a doctrine pervading the whole of Scripture, history, prophecy, psalm, epistle, but an instance or two may be given. The history is a continual demonstration of a Divine teleology ( e.g.   Genesis 45:8;   Genesis 50:20 ). God’s counsel stands, and cannot be defeated (  Psalms 33:1;   Psalms 46:10-11 ); all that God wills He does (  Psalms 115:3;   Psalms 135:6 ,   Daniel 4:35 ); it is because God purposed it, that it comes to pass (  Isaiah 14:24;   Isaiah 14:27;   Isaiah 37:26 ); God is the disposer of all events (  2 Samuel 17:11-12 ,   Job 1:21 ,   Proverbs 16:33 ); man may devise his way, but it is the Lord who directs his steps (  Proverbs 16:9 ); even the hearts of men are under His control (  Proverbs 21:1 ); God sends to man good and evil alike (  Amos 3:6 ,   Isaiah 45:7 ). It has already been pointed out that the same doctrine is implied in the NT ( e.g.   Acts 4:28;   Acts 15:18;   Acts 15:28 [story of Paul’s shipwreck],   Ephesians 1:11 ,   Revelation 4:11 etc.).

2 . A universal, all-pervading purpose of God in creation, providence, and human life, is thus everywhere assumed. The end of God’s purpose , as regards humanity, may be thought of as the establishing of a moral and spiritual kingdom, or Kingdom of God, in which God’s will should be done on earth, as it is done in heaven (cf.   Matthew 6:10 ). But this end, now that sin has entered, can be attained only through a redemption . The centre of God’s purpose in our world, therefore, that which gives its meaning and direction to the whole Biblical history, and constitutes almost its sole concern, is the fact of redemption through Jesus Christ, and the salvation of men by Him. To this everything preceding the call of Abraham, the Covenant with Israel, the discipline and growing revelation of Law and Prophets leads up (on predestination here, cf.   Genesis 18:18-19 ,   Leviticus 20:24;   Leviticus 20:26 ,   Isaiah 43:1;   Isaiah 43:7 etc.); with this begins (or, more strictly, continues) the ingathering of a people to God from all nations and races of mankind, who, in their completeness, constitute the true Church of God, redeemed from among men (  Ephesians 5:25-27 ,   1 Peter 2:9-10 ,   Revelation 1:5-6;   Revelation 14:1-6 etc.). The peculiar interest of the doctrine of foreordination, accordingly, in the NT, concentrates itself in the calling and salvation of those described as the ‘chosen’ or ‘elect’ of God to this great destiny (  Ephesians 1:4 etc.). The doctrine of foreordination (predestination) here coalesces practically with that of election (wh. see). Yet certain distinctions arise from a difference in the point of view from which the subject is contemplated.

Election, in the NT, as seen in the article referred to, relates to the eternal choice of the individual to salvation. As little as any other fact or event in life is the salvation of the believer regarded as lying outside the purpose or pre-determination of God; rather, an eternal thought of love on God’s part is seen coming to light in the saved one being brought into the Kingdom ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13;   2 Thessalonians 2:15 ). There is the yet deeper reason for seeing in the believer’s calling and salvation the manifestation of a Divine purpose, that, as lost in sin, he is totally incapable of effecting this saving change in himself. He owes his renewal, his quickening from spiritual death, to the gratuitous mercy of God (  Ephesians 2:1-8; see Regeneration). Every soul born into the Kingdom is conscious in its deepest moments that it is only of God’s grace it is there, and is ready to ascribe the whole glory of its salvation to God (  Revelation 7:10 ), and to trace back that salvation to its fountainhead in the everlasting counsel of God. Thus regarded, ‘election’ and ‘foreordination’ to salvation seem to have much the same meaning. Yet in usage a certain distinction is made. It may perhaps be stated thus, that ‘election’ denotes the Divine choice simply, while ‘foreordain’ has generally (in sense of ‘predestinate’) a reference to the end which the foreordination has in view. Thus, in   Ephesians 1:4-5 ‘Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world … having foreordained us unto adoption as sons’ (where ‘having foreordained,’ as Meyer rightly says, is not to be taken as prior to, but as coincident in point of time with, ‘he chose’); and in v. 11 ‘having been foreordained,’ i.e. to be ‘made a heritage,’ and this ‘to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory’ (v. 12). In   Romans 8:29 , again, where ‘foreknew’ which seems to take the place of ‘chose’ (it can hardly be foreknowledge of the faith which is the result of the later ‘calling’) comes before ‘foreordained,’ the latter has the end defined: ‘to be conformed to the image of his Son.’ Those ‘foreknown’ are afterwards described as God’s ‘elect’ (v. 33). This striking passage further shows how, in foreordaining the end, God likewise foreordains all the steps that lead to it (‘foreknew’ ‘foreordained’ ‘called’ ‘justified’ ‘glorified’). In   1 Peter 1:1 , on the other hand, ‘foreknowledge’ is distinguished from election still, however, in sense of pre-designation.

3 . God’s foreordination, or predestination, whether in its providential, historical, or personal saving aspects, is ever represented as a great mystery, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of which (for this is the character of its mystery) man can never hope to fathom ( Rom   Romans 11:33-34 ). When the Apostle, in   Romans 9:1-33 , is dealing with objectors, he does not attempt a rationale of that which he admits to lie beyond his ken, but falls back on the unchallengeable sovereignty of God in acting as He wills (  Romans 9:14-16;   Romans 9:19-23 ). The answer would be a poor one, were it not as absolutely assumed throughout that God’s is a will in which there can be no taint of unrighteousness, and that there is nothing in His action which does not admit of vindication to a perfect wisdom and goodness. If God shows His mercy on whom He wills, His right to do so cannot be assailed; if He hardens not arbitrarily, but through the fixed operation of ethical laws and glorifies His wrath in the destruction of the hardened, it is not without sufficient cause, and only after much long-suffering (  Romans 9:22 ). As little does the Apostle attempt to show the compatibility of the Divine foreordination with human freedom, but habitually assumes that the one is not, and cannot be, in violation of the other. The material with which the potter works (  Romans 9:21 ) is not, in this case, after all, mere inanimate clay, but beings who can ‘reply against God’ (  Romans 9:20 ), and are the objects of His long-suffering endurance (  Romans 9:22 ). Sovereignty is seen in this, that even those who refuse to be moulded to higher uses do not escape the hands of God, but are made to subserve His glory, even if it be in their destruction. Doubtless even here a purpose of God is to be recognized. Godet, who is not a rigid predestinarian, says of the instance in   Romans 9:17

‘God might have caused Pharaoh to be born in a cabin, where his proud obstinacy would have been displayed with no less self-will, but without any historical consequence; on the other hand, he might have placed on the throne of Egypt at that time a weak, easy-going man, who would have yielded at the first shock. What would have happened? Pharaoh in his obscure position would not have been less arrogant and perverse, out Israel would have gone forth from Egypt without çclat ’ (on   Romans 9:17-18 ).

Only in this sense, of those wilfully hardened and persistently obdurate, is it permissible to speak if the language should be employed at all of a decree of reprobation . Scripture itself, with all its emphasis on foreordination, never speaks of a foreordination to death, or of a reprobation of human beings apart from their own sins. See Reprobate. Its foreordination is reserved for life, blessing, sonship, inheritance.

James Orr.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

Biblical Materials The English noun, predestination , does not occur in the Bible. The Greek verb translated predestinate occurs only four times in two passages of the Bible ( Romans 8:29-30;  Ephesians 1:5 ,Ephesians 1:5, 1:11 ). It is used in  Acts 4:28 of human determination. The word means to determine before or ordain. On these minimal facts entire systems of doctrine have been built.

The word predestinate ( proorizo ) is closely related to three other more frequently used biblical words: 1. to determine  ; 2. to elect  ; 3. to foreknow . Each of these represents several Greek and Hebrew words. Study of these words shows that for a study of predestination the key passages are  Romans 8:1;  Ephesians 1:1; and  1 Peter 1:1 . One of the appropriate things to notice in this biblical survey is that Acts refers to the purpose of God as determined ( Acts 2:23;  Acts 11:29;  Acts 17:26 ); refers to Jesus as God's previously chosen One ( Acts 2:23;  Acts 10:41-42 ); to the early church as those previously taken in hand by God ( Acts 22:14 ). A wise plan is to examine the major passages keeping the verses in Acts in mind.

 Romans 8 Although the word predestinate is used only in   Acts 22:29 and   Acts 22:30 of this chapter, we must explore the entire chapter to understand the use of the word.   Romans 7-8 form Paul's famous battle of the flesh and of the spirit.   Romans 7:1 speaks of the place of law in shaping life. Law makes requirements, but it has no power to help people keep them. Sin is a constant struggle and an overwhelming experience (  Romans 7:23-24 ).  Romans 8:1 is life in the Spirit. God's Spirit aids our spirit in the struggles of life and helps us to conquer all things through His Spirit. God purposes for His people a victorious, overcoming life. Such a life is not possible when we go it alone. God chooses and determines that it will be otherwise for His people.

The references to predestination in  Romans 8:29 and   Romans 8:30 come in the midst of a section of Scripture on salvation and spiritual struggle. Was Paul saying that all of his experience, before becoming a Christian and after, God decided in such a way that Paul had nothing to do with it and no decision in it? These passages could be seen that way, but they need not be. They also can be seen as the struggle of human willfulness and divine purpose and guidance. I see these passages, especially in the light of Paul's other writings, as a real struggle in which Paul realized that God's purpose for us is good and that God's determination to help us is prior to all of our struggles. In Jesus Christ, God has set the pattern. Believers are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. God's determination is particularly and eternally expressed in what Christ is. He is like what we are supposed to be like. God's Spirit will help us to be like Jesus.

In a discussion of election and predestination, questions about Jacob and Esau ( Romans 9:13 ) arise, as do questions about God “hardening Pharaoh's heart” ( Romans 9:17-18 ). These verses could be interpreted to mean that God beforehand had planned things out without any regard for human response. The worst scenario would suggest that God had taken a nice young Egyptian prince and turned him into a monster.  Romans 9:13 could mean that God really hated Esau and played favorites among His children. I do not believe this is the proper way to understand these passages. Paul, their human author, is looking back. Interpretations are easier after the fact. Whereas God is no respecter of persons whom He has created, He does not violate the free will He gave to humankind. God works with it. A better interpretation of these passages is to say that God used what Esau and Pharaoh had become. Esau, a compulsive man who sought instant gratification of his desires, would not be the kind of person who becomes a patriarch. Pharaoh, a ruthless man, God confirmed and judged as an oppressor; Pharaoh's harsh and cruel acts were punished. In that punishment God received glory to Himself, even out of Pharaoh's disobedience.

Ephesians 1The first chapter of Ephesians is first and foremost about Jesus Christ. Christ contains, expresses, and effects God's purpose. When people hear the gospel message and believe that message ( Romans 9:13 ,Romans 9:13, 9:15 ), they live on earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ as Head of the body.

Such believers are sealed by the Spirit ( Romans 9:13 ); therefore, the power of God working in us can enlarge us, open our eyes, increase our faith, and enable us to believe. Does God do this without our own willing and cooperation, or are we free participants in what God is doing through the believing community under the headship of Christ and in the power of the Spirit? It seems to me that the believers addressed are welcomed to faith and encouraged to believe and enlarge their lives in Christ's church. The specific references in  Romans 9:5 and   Romans 9:11 fit in this context if we do not draw them out of place and ask first what it means that we were predestined before the foundation of the world according to God's will. Jesus Christ is first and foremost God's chosen. He is the agent of God's redemptive plan from eternity. Jesus Christ embodies the way, the will, and the good pleasure of God. By Jesus we know the Father; in Him God's will is effected in history. We are included as we are included in Jesus. We are included, predestined, and elected as we believe in Him by the power of the Spirit. God, working His way through us, determines us. Apparently, part of God's determination is that the Ephesians and ourselves should be participants in our limited human way with God in doing God's will. God's will is that people should have a will to exercise toward God. The painful personal experience reflected in   Romans 7:1 and the sinful corporate experiences of human divisions spoken of in the remainder of Ephesians lead us to believe that we can also exercise our wills in refusing to believe in God and in disobeying God. Predestination never eliminates human will.

1Peter  1 Peter 1:2 is a part of the greeting of the author to the readers. He greets them and us in the name of the foreknowing Father, the sanctifying Spirit, and the sacrifice of the Son. The greeting is a kind of prelude under which exhortations to Christian living are given. The entire epistle presupposes both the guidance of God and the ability of people to cooperate with God in living the Christian life.

Other Passages  Luke 22:22 declares that Jesus died according to the plan of God in which He freely participated. So does   Acts 2:23 , which adds human wickedness also entered into the betrayal of Jesus.  Acts 10:41 assures us that the eyewitness apostles were especially chosen of God. The disciples determined they would provide help to the needy (  Acts 11:29 ). God determined the basic parameters of humanity ( Acts 17:26 ). The gist of these references is that God works according to a plan and purpose and so should we, especially as we determine to do His will.

Two special problems that arise in relation to predestination are the place of Judaism ( Romans 9-11 ) and of Judas ( John 6:70-71 ) in the determination of God. Paul said that Judaism is God's preparation for the fulness of Christ, that they rejected God's fullest revelation of God in Christ, and that God confronts them with Christ inevitably and ultimately. Meanwhile, the task of the church is to confront all persons with Christ. The purpose of predestination is to be conformed to goodness and to bear witness to God in Christ. Judas was chosen by Jesus as were all of the disciples. As all disciples of Jesus, Judas had the capacity for betrayal—so did Peter. Judas exercised his will to betray. The evil one found in Judas a willing instrument ( John 13:27 ). Jesus had to be betrayed. Judas did not have to do it, but he did.

Later Questions The above basic biblical facts were used to construct later doctrinal systems. Human logic and the desire for systematic conclusions and neat, packaged answers lead to hard solutions about freedom and destiny. Questions which lead to this development were: If God is sovereign, how can humans be free? If God knows about everything in advance, does that mean that He forces things to be the way they are? Does not God give grace to those who are to be saved and withhold it from those who are not? If God decreed that some are to be saved, does this not mean He has predestined others to be damned?

The problem with these later questions is that they go beyond Scripture in their desire to figure everything out. They ignore large portions of Scripture and Christian experience which assume human choice and the integrity of human freedom. In the last analysis, the way in which God's guidance of His creation interfaces with human freedom is unknown to us. I am convinced that God who made us with will and freedom woos us by His grace and condemns people only because of their own willfulness and unbelief. The only alternatives are to suppose that God is going to force all to be saved, whether they want to be or not; or that God, in a choosey way, is going to save some favorites but deliberately withhold salvation from others. I cannot find either of these views consistent with the full range of biblical teaching. Predestination is an assurance of God's redemptive love. There has never been a time, not even before creation, when God has not shown redemptive love for His creation. Whatever else predestination means, it assures us

that God takes the initiative in relation to creation and that God pursues us with redemptive love. See Election; Salvation .

Bill Hendricks

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [5]

The Concept . Divine predestination means that God has a purpose that is determined long before it is brought to pass. It implies that God is infinitely capable of planning and then bringing about what he has planned, and Scripture speaks of him as doing this ( Isaiah 14:24-27;  22:11;  37:26;  44:7-8;  46:8-10 ). Prophecy in its predictive mode is to be understood accordingly. God plans and makes his plans known, as he chooses, to his servants the prophets ( Amos 3:7 ). God's purpose is one of love and grace ( Deuteronomy 7:6-8;  Isaiah 41:8-9 ), above all because in love he predestined what should come to pass in his plan to save and to restore sinful humanity through Christ ( Ephesians 1:5 ).  Colossians 1:26 speaks of this purpose as "the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but now is disclosed." This implies that all that is in God's good purpose for us, individually or as part of the people of God, is by God's initiative and thus is a work of grace, something that we could never instigate or deserve (  Deuteronomy 9:4-6;  2 Timothy 1:9 ).

God's Predestining Purpose . From the call of Abraham ( Genesis 12:3 ) his descendants, in particular the progeny of Jacob/Israel, are predestined to fulfill the purpose that God has for them ( Psalm 105:5-10 ). They are to be seen in the world as his people ( Deuteronomy 7:6;  Psalm 33:11-12 ), holy and obedient to him, living to his praise ( Isaiah 43:21 ), a priestly nation bringing the knowledge of God to other nations ( Exodus 19:5-6 ). The New Testament bears witness also to this purpose and foreknowledge of God concerning Israel ( Romans 11:2 ).

It is also made clear in the Old Testament in a number of ways that the purpose of God embraces all nations. He has foreordained it when a nation is used to chasten Israel and then when a Gentile ruler sets them free ( Isaiah 10:5-6;  44:28-45:1 ). Yet irrespective of Israel Yahweh has a plan determined for the whole world as his hand is stretched out over all nations ( Isaiah 14:27 ). God "determined the times set" for the different nations "and the exact places where they should live" ( Acts 17:26 ). In relation to the nations the word of the Lord in  Isaiah 46:10 is, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."

Predetermined also, and thus mentioned variously in the prophets, is the purpose of God to be fulfilled in a Messiah of the house of David ( Isaiah 9:6-7;  11:1-9;  Jeremiah 23:5-6;  Ezekiel 34:23-24;  37:24-28 ). It is also planned and foreordained that through Israel the knowledge of God should go out to the nations that they might be drawn to the worship of the Lord, a purpose to which the New Testament in turn bears witness ( Galatians 3:8;  Colossians 1:27 ). In the New Testament it is stressed repeatedly that the divine plan to be fulfilled in Christ was predestined. Paul speaks of the purpose in him as "God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began" ( 1 Corinthians 2:7 ). "God's eternal purpose" it is called in  Ephesians 3:11 . Although there was a human responsibility for the death of Jesus, all that happened was by "God's set purpose and foreknowledge" ( Acts 2:23 ). So also was the resurrection of Jesus ( Acts 2:31 ), and furthermore he is "appointed as judge of the living and the dead" ( Acts 10:42 ).

The people of God in the New Testament, like Israel in the Old Testament, have a destiny to fulfill. They are appointed to have an inheritance ( Matthew 25:34 ), to receive God's kingdom ( Luke 12:32 ), to have "the hope of glory" ( Colossians 1:27 ), which is "eternal life" ( Acts 13:48 ). This appointed destiny for God's people can also be spoken of as their being chosen to be born anew ( James 1:18 ), to gain salvation ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ), and to be adopted as children of God through Christ ( Ephesians 1:5 ). In terms similar to those applied to Israel, the people of God in the New Testament are chosen to be holy, to be obedient, to live to God's praise ( Ephesians 1:6,11 ,  12,14;  2 Timothy 1:9;  1 Peter 1:2 ), and, going beyond anything in the Old Testament, "predestined to be conformed to the likeness" of God's Son ( Romans 8:29 ). In practical terms  Ephesians 2:10 says that "we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Both Old and New Testaments also speak of individuals being predestined to fulfill a divine purpose. Jeremiah (1:5) is spoken of as being set apart before he was born to be a prophet to the nations. The servant of Yahweh in  Isaiah 49:5 is conscious of being "formed in the womb to be his servant." In   Genesis 25:23 a statement is made concerning the destinies of Jacob and Esau before they were born. In the New Testament Paul speaks of himself as set apart from birth to know God's Son and to make him known (  Galatians 1:15-16 ).

A final question that has concerned—and dividedChristian people down through the ages is whether some are predestined to life and salvation and others predestined to condemnation ("double predestination"). On certain things Scripture is clear: (1) we all, because of our sinfulness, deserve only God's condemnation; (2) our salvation is entirely because of God's grace and God's initiative; (3) the dominant emphasis is not on the fact that some are chosen by God and some are not, but on what is the purpose of God for those chosen: "to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" ( Romans 8:29 ), or, "adoption as his children through Jesus Christ to the praise of his glorious grace" ( Ephesians 1:5-6; NRSV ). What, then, should be said of Paul's argument in  Romans 9-11 ? In those chapters much is said in positive terms of God's purpose, grace offered in turn to Jews and to Gentiles. Much also is said of human responsibility in the rejection of God's grace on the part of many in Israel and thus their failure to obtain God's salvation. The only verse that can be and is often taken to speak of predestination to condemnation is in the form of a hypothetical question (and one capable of very diverse interpretations, as the commentaries indicate): "What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrathprepared for destruction?" ( Romans 9:22 ). It would be hard to fit together a predestination to judgment and the operation of human free will and our responsibility. The failure to find the salvation offered to humankind by a gracious and loving God seems more wisely assigned to the way men and women "reject God's purpose for themselves" ( Luke 12:30 ) rather than to a prior, unalterable rejection by God.

Francis Foulkes

See also Election Elect; Foreknowledge

Bibliography . G. C. Berkouwer, Divine Election  ; P. Jacobs and H. Krienke, NIDNTT, 1:692-97; J. I. Packer, NBD, 1:435-38; 3:1262-64; H. H. Rowley, The Biblical Doctrine of Election .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [6]

God is the sovereign ruler of the universe, one who is perfect in wisdom and power and who determines all things according to his will ( Isaiah 46:10;  Daniel 4:35;  Acts 4:28;  Ephesians 1:11). Predestination means that he ‘pre-destines’ what will happen – he sees, knows, plans, prepares, appoints and decides what will happen ( Psalms 33:10-11;  Proverbs 16:33;  Isaiah 14:26-27;  Isaiah 22:11;  Isaiah 37:26-27;  Acts 17:26-27;  Romans 8:29-30;  Ephesians 1:5-6;  1 Peter 1:20).

Divine will and human response

God’s predestination does not mean that people are the helpless victims of unalterable fate. They have the freedom to make their own decisions, and they are fully responsible for their actions ( Luke 22:22;  Acts 2:23;  Acts 4:27-28;  Romans 14:10;  Romans 14:12; see also Providence ).

Predestination is concerned with the controlling will of God in all things, whether matters concerning the universe as a whole ( Psalms 135:6-7;  Hebrews 1:10-12), the nations of the world ( Deuteronomy 7:6-8;  Daniel 4:32) or individual people ( Jeremiah 1:5;  Acts 9:15). The entire life and work of Jesus Christ was according to the pre-determined purpose of God ( Matthew 8:17;  Matthew 12:17;  Luke 24:44-47;  Acts 4:25-27;  1 Peter 1:20). The particular aspect of predestination that is concerned with God’s salvation of sinners through Christ is commonly referred to as election ( Romans 8:29-30;  Romans 8:33;  Ephesians 1:4;  1 Peter 1:2; see Election ).

People receive eternal life, not because of their efforts to earn it, but because God in his grace gives it to them freely. God makes the offer to all, but most refuse it; and God holds them responsible for their choice ( John 3:16-19;  John 8:24). Those who accept it, however, realize that only God’s grace has drawn them to the Saviour and given them the eternal life that God has prepared for them ( John 6:37;  John 6:40;  John 6:44;  John 10:27-29;  John 17:2;  Acts 13:48;  1 Thessalonians 5:9).

A purpose to life

God saves believers because of his eternal purpose, not because of their good works or their efforts at holiness ( 2 Timothy 1:9; cf.  Ephesians 2:8-9). But once they are saved, they must produce good works and make every effort to be holy. Assurance of predestination, far from making them self-satisfied, gives them purpose in life ( Ephesians 1:4;  Ephesians 2:10;  2 Thessalonians 2:13). God’s will is not only to make them his sons ( Ephesians 1:5), but to change them to become like his only Son ( Romans 8:29). And one day they will share the Son’s glory ( Romans 8:30;  2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

Although believers see the purposes of God at work in their present lives, beyond that they see his purposes for the future. According to his perfect will, he has built his chosen ones into one body, the church ( Ephesians 1:11-13;  Ephesians 2:13-16;  Colossians 3:15). This united body is a visible part of a far greater work that God is doing according to his eternal plan. That plan is designed to bring an end to all the conflict in the universe and restore all things to perfect unity through Jesus Christ ( Ephesians 1:10;  Ephesians 3:9-11).

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [7]

Is the decree of God, whereby he hath for his own glory fore-ordained whatever comes to pass. The verb predestinate is of Latin original (praedestino, ) and signifies in that tongue to deliberate before-hand with one's self how one shall act, and, in consequence of such deliberation, to constitute, fore-ordain, and predetermine, where, when, how, and by whom any thing shall be done, and to what end it shall be done. So the Greek word whish exactly answers to the English word predestinate, and is rendered by it, signifies to resolve before-hand with one's self what shall be done, and before the thing resolved on is actually effected; to appoint it to some certain use, and direct it to some determinate end. This doctrine has been the occasion of considerable disputes and controversies among divines. On the one side it has be observed, that it is impossible to reconcile it with our ideas of the justice and goodness of God, that it makes God to be the author of sin, destroys moral distinction, and renders all our efforts useless. Predestinarians deny these consequences, and endeavour to prove this doctrine from the consideration of the perfections of the divine nature, and from Scripture testimony. If his knowledge, say they, be infinite and unchangeable, he must have known every thing from eternity.

If we allow the attribute of prescience, the idea of a decree must certainly be believed also, for how can an action that is really to come to pass be foreseen, if it be not determined? God knew every thing from the beginning; but this he could not have known if he had not so determined it. If, also, God be infinitely wise, it cannot be conceived that he would leave things at random, and have no plan. He is a God of order, and this order he observes as strictly in the moral as in the natural world, however conceived otherwise of God, is to degrade him, and is an insult to his perfections. If he, then, be wise and unchangeable, no new idea or purpose can arise in his mind; no alteration of his plan can take place, upon condition of his creatures acting in this or that way. To say that this doctrine makes him the author of sin, is not justifiable. We all allow omnipotence to be an attribute of Deity, and that by this attribute he could have prevented sin from entering into the world, had he chosen it; yet we see he did not. Now he is no more the author of sin in one case than the other. May we not ask, Why does he suffer those inequalities of Providence? Why permit whole nations to lie in idolatry or ages? Why leave men to the most cruel barbarities? Why punish the sins of the fathers in the children? In a word, Why permit the world at large to be subject to pains, crosses, losses, evils of every kind, and that for so many thousands of years? And, yet, will any dare call the Deity unjust? The fact is, our finite minds know but little of the nature of divine justice, or any other of his attributes. But, supposing there are difficulties in this subject (and what subject is without it?) the Scripture abounds with passages which at once prove the doctrine,  Matthew 25:34 .  Romans 8:29-30 .  Ephesians 1:3;  Ephesians 1:6;  Ephesians 1:11 .  2 Timothy 1:9 .  2 Thessalonians 2:13 .  1 Peter 1:1-2 .  John 6:37 .  John 17:2-24 .  Revelation 13:8 .  Revelation 17:8 .  Daniel 4:35 .  1 Thessalonians 5:19 .  Matthew 11:26 .  Exodus 4:21 .  Proverbs 16:4 .  Acts 13:48 . the moral uses of this doctrine are these.

1. It hides pride from  Prayer of Manasseh 1:1 :

2. Excludes the idea of chance.

3. Exalts the grace of God.

4. Renders salvation certain.

5. Affords believers great consolation.

See Decrees Of God; Necessity; King, Toplady, Cooper, and Tucker, on Predestination; Burnet on 17 Art.; Whitby and Gill on the Five Points; Wesley's Pred. considered; Hill's Logica Wesleinsis; Edwards on the Will; Polhill on the Decrees; Edwards's Veritas Redux; Saurin's Sermons, vol. 5: ser. 13; Dr. William's Serm on Pred.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [8]

(See Election .)  Acts 2:23;  Acts 4:28, "whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done" ( Proorisen ). God has "predestinated" believers "unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace." "He hath chosen us in Christ" out of the rest of the world, "predestinated" us to all things that secure the inheritance for us ( Ephesians 1:4-5;  Ephesians 1:11). "Predestination" refers to God's decree, embodied in God's "election" of us out of the mass; His grand end. in it being "the praise of the glory of His grace" ( Ephesians 1:6;  Ephesians 1:12;  Ephesians 1:14). It is by virtue of our union to Christ, "foreordained before the foundation of the world" ( 1 Peter 1:20), that we are "predestinated" ( 2 Timothy 1:9).

Believers are viewed by God before the world's foundation as "IN CHRIST" with whom the Father makes the covenant ( Revelation 13:8;  Revelation 17:8;  Ephesians 3:11), "according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." In  2 Thessalonians 2:13 the Greek for "chosen" ( Heilato ) means rather "taken for Himself"; He adopted them in His eternal purpose; "in (Greek) sanctification of (I.E. By) the Spirit" (By Consecration To Perfect Holiness In Christ Once For All, Next By Imparting It To Them Ever More And More) . There was no doubt or contingency with God from the first. All was foreordained. God's glory and the believer's salvation are secured unchangeably. All pride on man's part is excluded; all is of God's unmerited grace. Yet the will of man is, in the sense of preserving our reponsibility, free. God alone knows how the two harmonize, His predestination and our freedom; it is enough for us they are both distinctly revealed.

At the same time fatalism is excluded, for God who predestinated believers to salvation as the end predestinated them to be conformed to the image of His Son as the means. We must make as sure of the means as of the end. Not to have the Spirit of Christ is to be none of His. Yet God's predestination is not founded on the believer's character, but the believer's character results from God's predestination ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13;  Romans 8:9;  Romans 8:28-30). God the Father gives us salvation by gratuitous election; the Son earns it by His blood-shedding; the Holy Spirit applies the Son's merits to the soul by the gospel word (Calvin):  Galatians 1:4;  Galatians 1:15;  1 Peter 1:2; the element IN (Greek) which we are elected is "sanctification of (Consecration Once For All By) the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (The End Aimed At By God As Regards Us) .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope" (Outlines).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Predestination'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/p/predestination.html. 1897.

  • Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [10]

    They that talk of nothing but predestination, and will not proceed in the way of heaven till they be satisfied on that point, do as a man that would not come to London, unless at his first step he might set his foot upon the top of St. Paul's.– The Table Talk of John Selden.

    Webster's Dictionary [11]

    (1): ( n.) The purpose of Good from eternity respecting all events; especially, the preordination of men to everlasting happiness or misery. See Calvinism.

    (2): ( n.) The act of predestinating.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

    a doctrine upon which great division of opinion prevails among Christians.

    I. Definition. The word predestinate properly signifies to Destine (i.e. to set apart, or devote to a particular use, condition, or end) Beforehand. It therefore denotes a mere act of the will, and should be carefully distinguished from that exercise of power by which volitions are actualized or carried into effect. Etymologically it would be proper to say that God before the foundation of the world predestinated the sun to be luminous, the loadstone to attract, the atmosphere to perform its varied ministries. In theological language, however, God would be said to have "foreordained" or "decreed" these things, the term "predestinate" being restricted to God's supposed determinations respecting the destinies of men in the future world. The early Lutheran divines generally distinguished praedestinatio stricte dicta, or predestination in its narrower sense, and praedestinatio late dicta, or predestination in its wider signification. The former was God's decree to save all persevering believers in Christ; the latter was that original redemptive volition in which he "will have all man to be saved" (1 Timothy 2, 4). In the Reformed Church the word has sometimes been employed as synonymous with election (q.v.), sometimes as covering both election and reprobation (q.v.). Arminius, in his 15th Pub. Disputation, seems to prefer the former usage as more scriptural, but he is not followed in this respect by his remonstrant successors. Calvin and most of his followers employ the term as applying to the reprobative decrees of God as much as to the elective (see this point discussed under CALVINISM (See Calvinism) in vol. 2, p. 43, Colossians 2).

    II. Is Predestination Absolute Or Conditional? The cardinal point of the predestination controversy has always been this question: Are the decrees by which certain individuals are elected to eternal life and other individuals doomed to everlasting misery Respective or Irrespective that is, were these decrees based upon God's foreknowledge (q.v.) of the different use individuals would make of their moral agency, or were they not? The Arminian takes the affirmative, the Calvinist the negative. The former reasons in this wise: Divine predestination in its widest sense is God's free and perfect foreplanning of creation and providence. It was antecedent to the production of the first created thing. So viewed, it must be evident to any rational theist that predestination was objectively absolute but subjectively conditioned-absolute objectively because there existed nothing extraneous to the divine mind to limit its action; conditioned subjectively because the essential perfections of God demand that his will should always act in strict conformity with the dictates of his own infinite wisdom, justice, and benevolence. But though predestination, regarded as the complete, all- embracing plan of God, was objectively absolute, it is obvious that the various individual decrees which are conceived of as components of that plan must mutually limit and condition each other. Thus the divine determination that "while the earth remaineth seed-time and harvest shall not cease" was not an absolute decree, but one conditioned upon the divine determination, antecedent to it in the order of nature, that there should be an earth with planetary motion, etc.

    Were not each decree adjusted to every other they could not conspire to the attainment of a common end. Instead of being integrating elements of one wise and self-consistent plan, some might be found superfluous, some perhaps in direct collision. Hence no individual decree can be regarded as irrespective or unconditioned; each is conditioned on the one hand by the perfections of God on the other by the whole system of divine pre-volitions of which it forms a part. Now an absolute, irreversible decree, continues the Arminian, either electing an individual to eternal life or dooming him to everlasting death, fails to answer to either of these essential conditions or characteristics of a divine decree. It would be palpably inconsistent with the divine perfections on the one hand, and absolutely irreconcilable with known determinations of God on the other. Such an elective decree would be incompatible with God's rationality and impartiality, while such a reprobative one would directly conflict not only with his benevolence, but even with his justice. Both would be at open war with the known design of the Creator that men should enjoy the endowment of moral agency and shape their own eternal destinies. Hence an unconditional, irrespective election of some unto life, and an unconditional, irrespective reprobation of others unto death, cannot be maintained. If any are individually elected or reprobated, they must have been elected or reprobated with reference to the foreseen use they would make of their moral agency, for only on this principle can any theory of predestination be constructed which shall not compromise the divine character or conflict with known determinations respecting man.

    So just and conclusive is this reasoning that the long task of the absolute predestinarians has been to devise some expedient by which unconditional election and reprobation may be shown to be compatible with the divine attributes and with all known divine decrees. Several have been tried.

    (1.) Perhaps the most legitimate of them all is that adopted by those divines who consider the divine will the ground of all rational and moral qualities and distinctions. If, as these divines affirm, nothing is rational or irrational, just or unjust, right or wrong, except that for the time being it is God's will that it should be so, then evidently an arbitrary damnation of innocent beings may be just as right and proper an act as any other. If he wills it to be right, then it is right, however it may seem to us. Hence, on this scheme, we have only to suppose that God wills an act to be right to render it perfectly proper and consistent for him to perform it. Only on this hypothesis can irrespective predestination be successfully defended.

    (2.) Another class of divines, unable to adopt this bold principle (according to which God is able to abrogate the moral law as easily as the old ceremonial one of the Jews), yet forced to mitigate in some way the revolting horrors of an irrespective reprobation, have sought relief in the following scheme: Men, considered Isnpuris Naturalibus, in themselves only were incapable of anything supernatural. Only by the aid of supernatural and divine grace could their nature be confirmed and strengthened if it should remain in its integrity, or restored if it should become corrupt. To illustrate his grace, God determined by an immutable decree to elect certain men, so viewed, to participancy in his grace and glory. To show his sovereign freedom, he determined to pass by the remainder (preterition), and not communicate to them that divine aid requisite to keep them from sin; then, when the persons passed by become sinners, he proposes to demonstrate his justice by their damnation. How much real relief this device affords may be seen by consulting Arminius, Declaration of Sentiments, or Watson, Institutes, pt. 2, ch. 28.

    (3.) Another expedient sometimes employed in the construction of a predestinarian theodicy is to regard sin as a mere negation. As brought forward by Dr. Chalmers (Institutes, pt. 3, ch. 5), it might be viewed as a modification of the last-mentioned. Both fail to vindicate even the justice of God, since in each case the finally damned are damned solely for failing to do what they have no ability, natural or vouchsafed, to perform.

    (4.) A fourth scheme is called Sublapsarianism. In this the fall of man was antecedent in the order of the divine decrees to election and reprobation. All men are viewed as personally guilty of Adam's sin and justly obnoxious with him to eternal death. From this mass God sovereignly and graciously elected some unto life for a demonstration of his mercy; the rest he reprobated to everlasting woe for a demonstration of his justice. In all this it is claimed that there was nothing inconsistent with God's character, since all might justly have been damned. It happens, however, that few are ready to acquiesce in this all-important premise, to wit, that all the descendants of Adam are justly obnoxious to eternal death on account of his sin, hence the conclusion avails nothing to most men. Failing in all these ingenious contrivances to harmonize unconditional predestination with God's known attributes and principles of administration as moral governor, the abettors of the doctrine usually come finally

    (5) to bare assertions. They maintain the unconditionality of election and reprobation on the one hand, and on the other the perfect justice and benevolence of God and adequate agency of man, without attempting to reconcile the two. They resolve the palpable contradiction into a mere "mystery," and imperiously shut every opponent's mouth with the misemployed Scripture, "Who art thou that repliest against God?"

    As our limits do not admit of a methodical examination of the various passages of Scripture in which Calvinists find their doctrine asserted or assumed, we shall be obliged to refer the reader to Watson, and to those commentators who have not devoted themselves to Biblical interpretation merely as an advantageous polemical agency. We only remark, in passing, that no fact is more striking or significant in the whole history of Scripture exegesis than the steady gravitation of all sound expositors to the exegetical views of the early Remonstrants. Tholuck gratefully acknowledges his obligation to them and even Prof. Stuart quite as often follows Grotius as Calvin. Indeed, he confesses that he cannot find irrespective election in  Romans 8:28-30, nor can he see "how it is to be made out" on rational grounds (Corn. Excursus, 10, 477). In like manner he adopts the interpretation of  Romans 7:5-25, which it cost Arminius so much to establish, and believes the time is coming "when there will be but one opinion among intelligent Christians about the passage in question, as there was but one before the dispute of Augustine Aith Pelagius" (Excursus, 7).

    III. History Of The Doctrine. The unanimous and unquestioned doctrine of the Church on this point for more than four hundred years was, so far as developed into distinctness, precisely identical with that which owes its scientific form and name to Arminius (q.v.). The early fathers often expressed themselves unguardedly, and, in so doing, sometimes laid themselves open to the charge of a leaning towards the erroneous views afterwards systematized by Pelagius (q.v.) and his coadjutors, (See Pelagianism); but their general sentiment was soundly evangelical and capable of an enunciation entirely free from every suspicion of consanguinity with that heresy. "In respect to predestination," says Wiggers, "the fathers before Augustine differed entirely from him They founded predestination upon prescience . . . Hence the Massilians were entirely right when they maintained that Augustine's doctrine of predestination was contrary to the opinion of the fathers and the sense of the Church" (Auqustinisn And Pelagianism, transl. by Prof. Emerson). Justin Martyr, Irenoeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Chrysostom- all in clear and decisive statements-gave their adherence to the theory of conditional predestination, rejecting the opposite as false, dangerous, and utterly subversive of the divine glory. It is evident that they did not investigate the subject to the depth to which it is requisite for the full discussion of it to go, and that various questions, which must be put before it can be brought completely before us, they either did not put or hastily regarded as of very little moment; but it is enough to dwell upon the fact that they did employ their thoughts upon it, and have so expressed themselves as to leave no doubt of the light in which it was contemplated by them. Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, remarks, that "they who were foreknown as to become wicked, whether angels or men, did so not from any fault of God, Αλρια Ρο Εο , but from their own blame;" by which observation he shows that it was his opinion that God foresaw in what manner his intelligent creatures would act, but that this did not affect their liberty, and did not diminish their guilt. A little after lie says more fully that "God created angels and men free to the practice of righteousness, having planted in them reason, through which they knew by whom they were created and through whom they existed; when before they were not, and prescribed to them a law by which they were to be judged, if they acted contrary to right reason. Wherefore we, angels and men, are through ourselves convicted as being wicked, if we do not lay hold of repentance. But it the Logos of God foretells that some angels and men would go to be punished, he does so because he foreknew that they would certainly become wicked; by no means, however, because God made them such." Justin thus admits that man is wholly dependent upon God, deriving existence and everything which he has from the Almighty; but he is persuaded that we were perfectly able to retain our integrity, and that, although it was foreseen that we should not do so, this did not abridge our moral power, or fix any imputation on the Deity in consequence of our transgression. Tatian, in his oration against the Greeks an excellent work, which, although composed after the death of Justin, was written, in all probability, before its author had adopted the wild opinions which he defended towards the conclusion of his life-expresses very much the same sentiments avowed by Justin. He says, "Both men and angels were created free, so that man becoming wicked through his own fault may be deservedly punished, while a good man, who, from the right exercise of his free will, does not transgress the law of God, is entitled to praise; that the power of the divine Logos, having in himself the knowledge of what was to happen, not through fate or unavoidable necessity, but from free choice, predicted future things, condemning the wicked and praising the righteous." Irenaeus, in the third book of his work against heresies, has taken an opportunity to state his notions about the origin of evil. The seventy-first chapter of that book is entitled, "A proof that man is free, and has power to this extent, that of himself he cal choose what is good or the contrary." In illustration of this he remarks, "God gave to mail the power of election, as he did to the angels. They, therefore, who do not obey are justly not found with the good, and receive deserved punishment, because God, having given them what was good they did not keep it, but despised the riches of the divine mercy." The next chapter is entitled, "A proof that some men are not good by nature and others wicked, and that what is good is within the choice of man." In treating on this subject, Irenetus observes that "if the reverse were the case, the good would not merit praise nor the wicked blame, because, being merely what, without any will of theirs, they had been made, they could not be considered as voluntary agents. But," he adds, "since all have the same nature, and are able to retain and to do what is good, and may, on the other hand, lose it and not do it, some are, even in the sight of men, and much more in that of God deservedly praised and others blamed." In support of this he introduces a great variety of passages from Scripture. It appears, however, that the real difficulty attending the subject had suggested itself to his mind, for he inquires in the seventy-third chapter why God had not from the beginning made man perfect, all things being possible to him. He gives to this question a metaphysical and unsatisfactory answer, but it so far satisfied himself as to convince him that there could not, on this ground, be any imputation justly cast on the perfections of the Almighty, and that, consequently, a sufficient explanation of the origin of evil and of the justice of punishing it was to be found in the nature of man as a free agent, or in the abuse of that liberty with which man had been endowed (see Irenteus, 4:392; Justin, c. Trypho, c. 140).

    In the Western Church all the early theologians and teachers were equally unanimous. While the Alexandrian theologians laid special stress on free will, those of the West dwelt more on human depravity and on the necessity of grace. On the last-named point all agreed. It was conceded that it was conditioned by free will. Unconditional predestination they all denied. This stage of Church doctrine is represented by Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan, as well as by Tertullian (Adv. Macrcion, 2. 6), who, much as he sometimes needed the doctrine of irresistible grace, would never so much as adopt an unconditional election, much less an unconditional reprobation. Tertullian had also speculated upon the moral condition of man, and has recorded his sentiments with respect to it. He explicitly asserts the freedom of the will; lays down the position that, if this be denied, there can be neither reward nor punishment; and in answer to an objection that since free will has been productive of such melancholy consequences it would have been better that it had not been bestowed, he enters into a formal vindication of this part of our constitution. In reply to another suggestion that God might have interposed to prevent the choice which was to be productive of sin and misery, he maintains that this could not have been done without destroying that admirable constitution by which alone the interests of virtue can be really promoted. He thus thought that sin was to be imputed wholly to man, and that it is perfectly consistent with the attributes of God, or rather illustrates these attributes, that there should be a system under which sin was possible, because without this possibility there could have been no accountable agents. From what has been stated on this subject, it seems unquestionable that the apostolic fathers did not at all enter upon the subject of the origin of evil; that the writers by whom they were succeeded were satisfied that, in the sense in which the term is now most commonly used, there was no such thing as predestination; that they uniformly represented the destiny of man as regulated by the use or abuse of his free will; that, with the exception of Irenaeus, they did not attempt to explain why such a creature as man, who was to fall into sin, was created by a Being of infinite goodness; that the sole objection to their doctrine seemed to them to be that prescience was incompatible with liberty, and that, when they answered this, they considered that nothing more was requisite for receiving, without hesitation, the view of man upon which they often and fondly dwelt, as a free and accountable agent, who might have held fast his integrity, and whose fall from that integrity was to be ascribed solely to himself, as it did not at all result from any appointment of the Supreme Being.

    So Hilary of Poitiers declares that the decree of election was not indiscretus, and emphatically asserts the harmonious connection between grace and free will the powerlessness of the latter, and yet its importance as a condition of the operation of divine grace. "As the organs of the human body," he says (De Trinit. 2, 35), "cannot act without the addition of moving causes, so the human soul has indeed the capacity for knowing God, but if it does not receive through faith the gift of the Holy Spirit it will not attain to that knowledge. Yet the gift of Christ stands open to all, and that which all want is given to every one as far as he will accept it." "It is the greatest folly," he says in another passage (Psalms 2, § 20), "not to perceive that we live in dependence on and through God, when we imagine that in things which men undertake and hope for they may venture to depend on their own strength. What we have, we have from God; on him must all our hope be placed." Accordingly he did not admit an unconditional predestination; he did not find it in the passages in Romans 9 commonly adduced in favor of it respecting the election of Esau, but only a predestination conditioned by the divine foreknowledge of his determination of will; otherwise every man would be born under a necessity of sinning (Psalms 57, § 3). Neander, in portraying his system, says: "Hilary considered it very important to set forth distinctly that all the operations of divine grace are conditioned on man's free will, to repel everything which might serve to favor the notion of a natural necessity, or of an unconditional divine predestination" (2, 562). So Ambrose, who lived a little later, and even Jerome, who exhibited such zeal in behalf of Aulgustinism, declares, without reservation, that divine election is based upon foreknowledge. True, Augustine cites two passages (De Dono Perseveraniae, 19) from Ambrose as favoring his scheme, but all commentators upon this father assure us that these passages by no means give ground for attributing to him the Augustinian view of election. Ambrose carries the approximation to Augustine a step further. He says (Apol. David, 2, § 76): "We have all sinned in the first man, and by the propagation of nature the propagation of guilt has also passed from one to all; in him human nature has sinned." A transfer of Adam's guilt may seem to be here expressed, but in other expressions it is disowned (Psalms 48, § 9). Ambrose admitted neither irresistible grace nor unconditional predestination; he made predestination to depend on prescience (De Fide, lib. 5, § 83). In other places, however, his language approaches more nearly to that of Augustine (see Hase, Dogmatik, § 162; Gieseler, Dogmengesch. § 39; Neander, History of Dogmas, 1, 343, 344). To quote Neander again: "Although the freedom of the divine election and the creative agency of grace are made particularly prominent in these passages, still they do not imply any necessary exclusion of the state of recipiency in the individual as a condition, and accordingly this assertion of Ambrose admits of being easily reconciled with the assertion first quoted. In another place, at least (De Fide, lib. 5, § 83), he expressly supposes that predestination is conditioned by foreknowledge (ibid. 2, 564)." The substantial doctrines of the fathers as to the extent of grace before Augustine was that Christ died, not for an elect portion of mankind, but for all men, and that if men are not saved the guilt and the fault are their own (Gieseler, Dogmengeschichte, § 72).

    Thus we see that for more than four hundred years not a single voice was heard, either in the Eastern or Western Church, in advocacy of the notion of an unconditional divine predestination. At this point Augustine, already in very advanced old age, and under controversial pressure, took the first step towards Calvinism by pronouncing the decree of election unconditional. In explaining the relation between man's activity and decisive influence, Pelagiuus had denied human depravity, and maintained that, although God gives man the power to do good, the will and the act are man's. He denied that there was any divine energy in grace that could impair the operations of free will. Augustine, on the other hand, maintained that grace is an internal operation of God upon those whom he designs to save, imparting not only the power, but also the will to do good. The fact that some are saved and others lost he attributed to the will of God. Hence his doctrines of unconditional predestination, of particular redemption, and of special and irresistible grace. Reprobation, he granted, was based upon foreseen guilt, but apparently unconscious of the inconsistency, he denied the applicability of the same principle to election. In 529 the system of Augustine was established as Church doctrine by the Council of Arausio (Orange), but the reaction against the strictly logical yet essentially immoral nature of his dogma has been perpetually manifested. (See Augustine).

    Four hundred years more passed away before a man could be found bold enough to complete Augustine's theory by declaring that, as God has sovereignly and immutably elected whomsoever he has pleased unto life, without any foresight of faith and obedience, so he has of his own good pleasure freely and unchangeably predestinated whomsoever he has pleased unto everlasting misery, without any reference to foreknown sin and guilt on their part. This anticipator of Calvin was a Saxon monk named Gottschalk (Godeschalcus). His novel view brought down upon him not merely ecclesiastical censure, but even persecution. His doctrine was condemned by a council which archbishop Rabanus Maurus had called at Mavence, A.D. 848 (Mansi, Concil. 14, 914), and Gottschalk, who was then travelling, was sent to his metropolitan, archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, who called another council at Quiercy in 849. Here he was defended by Ratramnus, the opponent of Paschasiuls Radbertus in the Eucharistic controversy, and also by Remigitus, afterwards archbishop of Lyons; but notwithstanding these powerful supporters, he was condemned a second time, and ordered to undergo the penalty of flogging, which the rule of St. Benedict imposed upon monks who troubled the Church. After this condemnation he was imprisoned in the monastery of Hautvillers, where he died, without having recanted his opinions, about the year 868. (See Gottschalk).

    While the friends of Gottschalk were endeavoring to obtain his absolution and release, Hincmar put forward Johannes Scotus Erigena (q.v.) to answer his predestination theory, which Erigena did in 851, in his treatise De Praedestinatione, in which he raised up a cloud of adversaries by the freedom with which he contradicted the established doctrines of the Church as to the nature of good and evil. Further controversy being thus aroused, Hincmar summoned a second council at Quiercy in 853, which confirmed the decision as to the real doctrine of the Church arrived at by the previous council (Mansi, Concil. 14, 995). A rival council was called by the opposite party from the provinces of Lyons, Vienne, and Arles, which met at Valence in 855. But instead of fully confirming the opinion of Gottschalk, this council considerably modified it by declaring that although sin is foreknown by God, it is not so predestined as to make it inevitably necessary that it should be committed (ibid. 15, 1). Hincmar now wrote two works on the subject, one of which is not extant; the other is entitled De Praedestinatione Dei et Libero Arbitrio adversus Gottschalcum et caeteros Praedestinatianos. Having thus explained his views at length, they were substantially accepted, in the form of six doctrinal canons, by the Synod of Langres and by that of Toul (A.D. 859), held at Savonieres a few days afterwards (Mansi, Concil. 15, 525-27), and thus the controversy terminated. See Manguin, Collect. auctor. de Proedest. et Gratia (1650); Ussher, Gotteschalci et Praedest. Controv. Hist.; Cellot, Hist. Gotteschalci Praedest. (1655).

    No authoritative or influential teacher appeared to support Gottschalk's views for seven hundred years. The most conspicuous of those who did so was Thomas Bradwardine (A.D. 1290-1349), warden of Merton College, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. His work on the subject is entitled De Cautsa Dei contra Pelagium et de Virtute cautsaruam ad suos Mertonenses and in this he gave free will so low a place that he may be almost called a necessitarian. Thomas Aquinas, who flourished during the 13th century, wrote largely upon the nature of grace and predestination. His opinions upon these subjects were nearly the same with those of Augustine: and so much, indeed, was he conceived to resemble in genius and understanding that distinguished prelate, that it was asserted the soul of Augustine had been sent into the body of Aquinas. He taught that God from all eternity, and without any regard to their works, predestinated a certain number to life and happiness; but he found great delight in endeavoring to reconcile this position with the freedom of the human will. His celebrated antagonist, John Duns Scotus, an inhabitant of Britain, surnamed, from the acuteness and bent of his mind, the Subtile Doctor, also directed his attention in the following century to the same thorny speculations, but he took a different view of them from Aquinas; and we find in the works of these two brilliant lights of the schoolmen all that the most learned in the dark ages thought upon this question.

    In the midst of the ferment of the Reformation, the subject of predestination was revived by a controversy between Erasmus and Luther, the former writing an able Diatribe de Libero Arbitrio in 1524, and Luther following it up with his halting treatise De Servo Arbitrio, in which he went so near to the predestinarians as to deny that any free will can exist in man before he has received the gift of faith. But at this stage stepped forth John Calvin (q.v.) as the champion of predestinarianism. He found the Reformed churches in a perfectly chaotic state as respects doctrines. They possessed no coherent creed or system. They were held together by agreement in mere negations. They needed nothing so much as a positive system. Calvin, a stripling of twenty-five, gave them one. It answered all the essential conditions. It was anti-popish, anti-Lutheran, anti-Socinian. In the pressing exigency it was seized upon, and Calvin became the dictator of all the Reformed churches. Scotland sent her young men to him to be educated, so also did Hollanid, the Puritans of England, and the Protestants of France. Among the Romanists, the Molinists (q.v.), and Jansenists (q.v.), in their controversy on the subject of free will, carried on with great acrimony, the opinions of Gottschalk were discussed anew, but without lessening the majority of the Arminianists (see Sismondi, list. Praedest. in Zacharius's Thesaur. Theol. 2, 199).

    In the Church of England the later Low-Church party have tempered down the opinions of their Puritan predecessors, and are not often disposed to go beyond the doctrine of "predestination to life" as stated in the seventeenth of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which carefully excludes the double predestination of Gottschalk and the predestinarians. This article of the Church of England is often adduced by Calvinists as favorable to their peculiar views of absolute predestination; but such a representation of it is rendered plausible only by adding to its various clauses qualifying expressions to suit that purpose. In our articles, (See Church Of England), (See Confessions), and (See Calvinism), have been exhibited the just and liberal views of Cranmer and the principal English reformers on this subject, the sources from which they drew the Articles of Religion and the public formularies of devotion, and some of the futile attempts of the high predestinarians in the Church to inoculate the public creed with their dogmas. Cartwright and his followers, in their second "Admonition to Parliament" in 1572, complained that the Articles speak dangerously of "falling from grace;" and in 1587 they preferred a similar complaint. The labors of the Westminster Assembly at a subsequent period, and their abortive result, in relation to this subject, are well known. Long before Arminius had turned his thoughts to the consideration of general redemption, a great number of the English clergy had publicly taught and defended the same doctrine.

    It was about 1571 that Dr. Peter Baroe, "a zealous anti-Calvinian," was made Margaret professor of divinity inl the University of Cambridge, and he went on teaching in his lectures, preaching in his sermons, determining in the schools, and printing in several books diverse points contrary to Calvinism. And this he did for several years, without any manner of disturbance or interruption. The heads of the university, in a letter to lord Burleigh, dated March 8, 1595, say he had done it for fourteen or fifteen years preceding, and they might have said twenty; for he printed some of his lectures in 1574, and the prosecution he was at last under, which will be considered hereafter, was not till 1595. In 1584 Mr. Harsnet, afterwards archbishop of York, preached against absolute reprobation at St. Paul's Cross, the greatest audience then in the kingdom; as did the judicious Mr. Hooker at the Temple in the year following. In the year 1594 Mr. Barret preached at St. Mary's in Cambridge against Calvinism, with very smart reflections upon Calvin himself, Beza, Zanchi, and several others of the most noted writers in that scheme. In the same year Dr. Baroe preached at the same place to the same purpose. By this time Calvinism had gained considerable ground, being much promoted by the learned Whitaker and Mr. Perkins; and several of the heads of the university being in that scheme, they complained of the two sermons above mentioned to lord Burleigh their chancellor. Their determination was to bring Barret to a retraction. He modified his statements, but it may reasonably be doubted whether he ever submitted according to the form they drew up. When the matter was laid before archbishop Whitgift, he was offended at their proceedings, and wrote to lord Burleigh that some of the points which the heads had enjoined Barret to retract were such as the most learned Protestants then living varied in judgment upon, and that the most ancient and best divines in the land were in the chiefest points in opinion against the heads and their resolutions.

    Another letter he sent to the heads themselves, telling them that they had enjoined Barret to affirm that which was contrary to the doctrine held and expressed by many sound and learned divines in the Church of England, and in other churches likewise men of best account; and that which for his own part he thought to be false and contrary to the Scriptures; for the Scriptures are plain that God by his absolute will did not hate and reject any man. There might be impiety in believing the one, there could be none in believing the other; neither was it contrary to any article of religion established by authority in this Church of England, but rather agreeable thereto. This testimony of the archbishop is very remarkable; and though he afterwards countenanced the Lambeth Articles, that is of little or no weight in the case. The question is not about any man's private opinion, but about the doctrine of the Church; and supposing the archbishop to be a Calvinist, as he seems to have been at least in some points, this only adds the greater weight to his testimony, that the English Church has nowhere declared in favor of that scheme. The archbishop descended to the particulars charged against Barret, asking the heads what article of the Church was contradicted by this or that notion of his; and Whitaker in his reply does not appeal to one of the articles as against Barret, but forms his plea upon the doctrines which then generally obtained in pulpits. His words are, "We are fully persuaded that Mr. Barret hath taught untruth, if not against the articles, yet against the religion of our Church, publicly received, and always held in her majesty's reign, and maintained in all sermons, disputations, and lectures." But even this pretence of his, weak as it would have been though true, is utterly false, directly contrary, not only to what has been already shown to be the facts of the case, but also to what the archbishop affirmed, and that too, as must be supposed, upon his own knowledge. As to Dr. Baroe, he met with many friends who espoused his cause. Mr. Strype particularly mentions four Mr. Overal, Dr. Clayton, Mr. Harsnet, Dr. Andrews all of them great and learned men, men of renown, and famous in their generation. How many more there were nobody can tell. The heads in their letter to lord Burleigh do not pretend that the preaching against Calvinism gave a general offence, but that it offended many which implies that there were many others on the opposite side; and they expressly say there were divers in the anti-Calvinistic scheme, whom they represent as maintaining it with great boldness.

    But what put a stop to this prosecution against Baroe was a reprimand from their chancellor, the lord Burleigh, who wrote to the heads that as good and as ancient were of another judgment, and that they might punish him, but it would be for well-doing." But Dr. Whitaker, regius professor of divinity in Cambridge, could not endure the further prevalence of the doctrines of general redemption in that university; he therefore, in 1595, drew up nine affirmations, elucidatory of his views of predestination, and obtained for them the sanction of several Calvinian heads of houses, with whom he repaired to archbishop Whitgift. Having heard their ex parte statement, his grace summoned bishops Flecher and Vaughan, and Dr. Tyndal, dean of Ely, to meet Dr. Whitaker and the Cambridge deputation at his palace in Lambeth, on Nov. 10, 1595; where, after much polishing and altering, they produced Whitaker's affirmation, called the "Lambeth Articles" (q.v.). Dr. Whitaker died a few days after his return from Lambeth with the nine articles to which he had procured the patronage of the primate. After his demise, two competitors appeared for the vacant king's professorship Dr. Wotton, of King's College, a professed Calvinist, and Dr. Overal of Trinity College, "almost as far," says Heylin, "from the Calvinian doctrine in the main platform of predestination as Baroe, Harsnet, or Barret are conceived to be. But when it came to the vote of the university, the place was carried for Overal by the major part; which plainly shows that though the doctrines of Calvin were so hotly stickled here by most of the heads, yet the greater part of the learned body entertained them not." "The Lambeth Articles," it is well observed, "are no part of the doctrine of the Church of England, having never had any of the least sanction either from the parliament or the convocation. They were drawn up by Prof. Whitaker; and though they were afterwards approved by archbishop Whitgift, and six or eight of the inferior clergy, in a meeting they had at Lambeth, yet this meeting was only in a private manner, and without any authority from the queen; who was so far from approving of their proceedings that she not only ordered the articles to be suppressed, but was resolutely bent for some time to bring the archbishop and his associates under a praemunire, for presuming to make them without any warrant or legal authority." Such, in brief, was the origin and such the fate of the Lambeth Articles, without the countenance of which the defenders of Calvinism in the Church of England could find no semblance of support for their manifold affirmations on predestination and its kindred topics. At the census of 1851 two congregations calling themselves "Predestinarians" were returned.

    Through the Puritans the Calvinistic notions were spread all over New England, and by the Reformed Dutch and other Presbyterian bodies carried through most of the Middle and Western States of America. In some quarters they have been either outgrown, (See Oberlin Theology), or so modified by outside Arminian influences as to be scarcely discernible; still, in the creeds and standards of several large denominations of the world the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism are unequivocally enunciated. From that celebrated synod known as the Westminster Assembly came forth the Calvinistic Confession and its catechisms, and its form of Church government. These wonderful documents have been preserved unchanged to the present time. The formulas of the Presbyterian Church of America at this time are essentially the same that were promulgated by the Westminster Assembly of Divines more than to hundred years ago. These forms of doctrine must be assented to, at least tacitly, by all the members of that Church. They must be distinctly professed by all its ministers and office-bearers. They are taught from the chairs of its theological schools, and they are elaborately systematized and ably defended in its noble "bodies of divinity" of which the best and ablest, by Dr. Hodge, of Princeton, has recently been issued. That these teach the doctrines of predestination nobody denies; that to unsophisticated minds they exalt the divine sovereignty at the expense of his justice and his grace has seemed to be the case to Arminianists, who hold that, to make them agree with the language of Holy Scripture, entirely illegitimate methods of accommodation have had to be resorted to. (See Arminianism); (See Calvinism).

    IV. Connection Of Predestination With Other Doctrines . Much confusion and obscurity has arisen in the progress of the predestinarian controversy from failing to keep the real issue always distinctly in view. The point in controversy is not whether or not God had a plan when he entered upon creation. (See Foreknowledge); (See Providence).

    Neither is it whether or not that plan embraced a positive preappointment of every individual event in the whole range of futurity. Nor yet is it whether or not an exercise of divine energy is inseparably connected with any or all of God's predeterminations so that they are "effectual" decrees. (See Calling); (See Grace).

    The real question is: Has God by an immutable and eternal decree predestinated some of the human family unto eternal life, and all the others unto everlasting perdition, without any reference whatever to the use they may make of their moral agency? This the Calvinist affirms, usually basing his affirmation solely on what he regards as Scripture authority, and often admitting that the human mind cannot reconcile it with the character of God or the dictates of human reason. Among the deniers, some have repudiated the supposition of any "decrees" at all respecting Individual salvation, maintaining only the general ones, "He that believeth shall be saved, he that believeth not," etc. Others allow al individual or personal election, but, like Watson, understand by it "an act of God done in time subsequent even to the administration of the means of salvation" (Inst. 2, 338). Others, as the older Arminians generally, suppose that specific individuals were eternally predestinated to life and death, but strictly according to their foreknown obedience or disobedience to the Gospel.

    V. Literature . The bibliography of this subject is blended with that of (See Arminianism), (See Election), (See Free Will), (See Grace), (See Remonstrants), (See Reprobation), and will be found under these titles. In addition to the works there cited, the following may be referred to as treating specifically of predestination: respecting the views of the Reformers, consult the symbolic writings of Mohler and Buchmann; Staudenmayer, In Behalf Of The Religious Peace Of The Future (Freib. im Br. 1846, 1 Peter 1 vol.); id. Theol. Encycl. (Mientz, 1840, fol.), p. 622; Vatke, Die Menschliche Freiheit In Ihrem Verh Ä Ltniss Zur S Ü Nde Und Zur G Ö Ttlichen Gnade (Berl. 1841); Muller, Die Christliche Lehre Von Der S Ü Nde , 2, 241-301; D Ü hne, De Praescientiae Divine Cum Libertate Humana Concordia (Leips. 1830); Braun, De Sacra Scriptura Prescientiamum Docente, etc. (Mogunt. 1826); Anselm, De Concordia Praescieltiae Et Praedestinactionis Maec Non Dei Cum Lib. Arbit. etc.; Augustine, De Pre Destitnatione Sanctorum, And De Dono Perseverantiae; Wiggers, Augustinism And Peliagianism , and art. in Illgen's (Niedner's) Zeitsch. F '''''Ü''''' R Hist. Theol. pt. 2, 1857; Hagenbach, Hist. Of Doctrines, § 183 (Leips. 1857); the works of Calvin, Beza, Zanchi, Perkins, Gomar, Turretin; Arminius, Declaration of Sentiments, Friendly Discussion with Prof. Junius, and Review of Perkins; id. Scripta Synodalia Remonsstrantium; the works of Episcopius, Curcellmeus, Limborch; Plaifere (early Eng. Armin.), Apello Evangeliusm; id. Tracts on Predestination (Camb. 1809); Womack, Calvinistic Cabinet Unlocked (very rare); Examinations of Tilenus, printed in Nicholl's Calvinism and Arminianism Compared (Lond. 1824); Wesley, Predestination Calmly Considered; Fletcher, Checks; Mozley, Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination (ibid. 1857). A curiosity of the subject is Henry Bleby's Script. Predest. not Fatalism; Two Conversations on  Romans 8:29-30 , And  Ephesians 1:5 , Designed To Show That The Predestination Of The Bible Refers Chiefly And Primarily To the Restoration and Perfection of the Physical Nature of the Saints at the Last Day (ibid. 1853 16mo). The best exposition of Calvinistic predestination is of course by Dr. Hodges, the Nestor of American theology of that type. See, therefore, his Systematic Theology, and compare Pope, Compendium of Christian Theology (ibid. 1875, 8vo); Raymond, Systematic Theology (Cincinnati. 1877, 2 vols. 8vo). See also Bibl. Sac. Oct. 1863; Oct. 1865, p. 584; North British Rev. Feb. 1863; Journal Sac. Lit. vol. 16, 18; Contemp. Rev. Aug. 1872, art. 7; Meth. Quarm. Rev. July, 1857, p. 352; Oct. 1867; July, 1873; Studien it. Kritiken, 1838-47; Theol. Medium, July, 1873, art. 4-; Brit. Quar. Rev. Dec. 1871, p. 202 sq.; Jahrb. f Ü r deutsche Theologie, 1860, 2, 313; Christian Remembrancer, Jan. 1856, p. 132; 1861, p. 188.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

    prḗ - des - ti - nā´shun ( πρόθεσις , próthesis , πρόγνωσις , prógnōsis προορισμός , proorismós ):

    1. Predestination as a Biblical Question

    2. Its Fundamental Importance

    3. The Nature of Predestination

    4. The Doctrine in Scripture

    5. Historic Rise and Development of the Doctrine

    6. The Doctrine in the Middle Ages

    7. Predestination in the Reformed Theology

    8. Predestination in Lutheranism

    9. The Arminian View

    10. Wesleyanism on Predestination

    11. Present Needs and Values of the Doctrine

    Literature

    1. Predestination as a Biblical Question:

    Predestination can be, and has sometimes been, regarded as a philosophical question rather than a Biblical one. It is with predestination as a Biblical question, however, that we are here mainly concerned. It is possible to urge, and it has been urged, that the philosophical question - whether all that occurs is foreordained - is not discussed and decided by Scripture. Theology, starting from God in its interpretation of all things, has arrived at universal foreordination by a species of deductive reasoning. But we must not argue the matter from any abstract principles, but deal with the actual facts as set forth in Scripture and as found, inductively, in the experience of man.

    2. Its Fundamental Importance:

    It must first be asserted, however, in view of much loose modern thinking, that predestination is a category of religious thought of fundamental importance. No category of religious thought could go deeper, for it reaches down to the Infinite Will in relation to the universe of finite wills, and lays stress on will as the core of reality. The philosophy of our time may be said to have received, from the time of Schopenhauer, an impact toward will-emphasis, alike in respect of will in the universe and in man. But the relation of the Absolute Will to the universe, and to mankind, is precisely that with which we are concerned in predestination.

    3. Nature of Predestination:

    Predestination is that aspect of foreordination Whereby the salvation of the believer is taken to he effected in accordance with the will of God, who has called and elected him, in Christ, unto life eternal. The divine plan of salvation must certainly be conceived under this aspect of individual reference. To understand and set forth the nature, and ethically justifiable character, of such a foreordaining to life eternal, is our purpose. For doctrine has need to be purged of the historic inconsistencies, and fatal illogicalities, with which, in its older forms of presentation, it was often infected. This, especially, in order that the doctrine may appear as grounded in reason and righteousness, not in arbitrariness and almighty caprice.

    4. The Doctrine in Scripture:

    To begin with, it must be said that there seems to be no evading the doctrine of an election by grace, as found both in the letter and the spirit of Scripture. The idea of predestination is set forth, with great power and clearness, in  Romans 8:29 ,  Romans 8:30 , and with its elements or parts articulated in natural and striking form. The idea recurs in Eph 1, where it is finely said ( Ephesians 1:4 ,  Ephesians 1:5 ) that God hath chosen us in Christ "before the foundation of the world," having predestinated or "foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ"; and where it is said, further, that our salvation imports "the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure" ( Ephesians 1:9 ), which He purposed in Christ. This "eternal purpose" to save men through Christ is again referred to in  Ephesians 3:11 . This helpful mode of viewing predestination as in Christ, and never outside Him, had a place in religious thought at the Reformation time, as the famous "Formula of Concord," to be referred to below, shows. The predestined certainty of God's gracious work in Christ was not meant to perplex men, but to encourage and reassure all who trust in His grace. In  Romans 9:14-25 , the absolute sovereignty of God is put in a form whereby election is made to originate in the divine will apart from all human merit, whether actual or foreseen. But from this assertion of God's free supremacy we can derive no concrete theodicy, or do more than infer that God is just and wise in His exercise of free grace, even when His doings are most perplexing to us.

    5. Historic Rise and Development of the Doctrine:

    The needful thing is to understand, so far as may be, the nature of the cooperation that takes place between the divine and the human factors or elements, which latter factors include natural capacity, disposition and development, working under grace. It must be carefully observed that nothing in Scripture points to any personal and inexorable predestination to reprobation, in any sense corresponding to the personal election to salvation just spoken of. A non-election there may be, of course, but not in any sense that annuls full personal responsibility for coming short of life everlasting. The appeal of Scripture from first to last is to men as free. Calvin's strange way of putting the matter was, "Man therefore falls, God's Providence so ordaining, but he falls by his own fault." This idea of reprobation was first introduced by Gottschalk, a monk of the 9th century, long after the predestination doctrine had received its first full and positive exposition by Augustine. Augustine, following upon the indecision shown by the fathers in the first three centuries of the church, made the doctrine of a special predestination his foundation for special grace, in opposition to Pelagius. Augustine gave new prominence in his theory to the absolute will of God: he made divine grace the only ground of man's salvation; it was to him the irresistible power working faith within the heart, and bringing freedom as its result. It was to him God's absolute predestination that determined who were believers. But Augustine held predestination as an inference from his conception of the Fall and of grace, rather than as a metaphysical principle.

    6. The Doctrine in the Middle Ages:

    In the Middle Ages, Anselm, Peter Lombard, and Aquinas, followed the Augustinian views only to a certain extent. Aquinas admits that predestination implies a relation to grace, but holds that grace is not of the essence of predestination. Predestination is, to Aquinas, a part of Providence, and it presupposes election in the order of reason. Though divine goodness in general be without election, Aquinas thinks the communication of a particular good cannot be without election. Predestination has, for him, its foundation in the goodness of God, which is its reason. Aquinas thinks predestination most surely takes effect, but not as from necessity; the effect takes place under the working of contingency. From such views we are recalled to the idea of a rigorous predestination, by Thomas Bradwardine and John Wycliff, in pre-Reformation times. We are thus brought up to the decretal system - so called from Calvin's making predestination consist of the eternal decree of God - which became, in its metaphysical principle, the fundamental position of the whole Reformed theology after the Reformation.

    7. Predestination in the Reformed Theology:

    The theology of the Reformed church adopted the Calvinistic doctrine of the decree of predestination and election. Calvin, however, simply carried the Augustinian theory to its logical and necessary conclusion, and he was the first to adopt the doctrine as the cardinal point or primordial principle of a theological system. Zwingli, it must be remembered, was, even before Calvin, of consistent deterministic leanings, as part of his large speculative views, which were not without a tendency to universalism. Salvation was, to Calvin, the execution of a divine decree, which was supposed to fix the extent and conditions of such salvation.

    (1) Calvin's Definition.

    Reprobation was, for Calvin, involved in election, and divine foreknowledge and foreordination were taken to be identical. Calvin's mode of defining predestination was as the eternal decree of God, by which He has decided with Himself what is to become of each and every individual. For all, he maintains, are not created in like condition; but eternal life ordained for some, eternal condemnation for others. Calvin confesses that this is a "horrible decree," and it is not surprising to find competent theologians in our time denying such a form of predestinarianism any place in the teachings of Paul, who never speaks of reprobation.

    (2) Theology Advanced by Calvin.

    It is generally overlooked, however, that theological advance registered by Calvin is to be seen by study of the views of the Middle Ages, and on to the Reformation, not by viewing Calvinism in our post-Reformation lights. It was love - "the fatherly love of God," as he terms it - the efficiency of saving love - which Calvin insisted upon, above all, in his teaching about God. But Calvin also heightened men's ideas as to the certitude of personal salvation. It is but fair to Calvin to remember - for superficial acquaintance with his teachings is far from rare - that he, in the strongest manner, maintained divine sovereignty to be that of divine wisdom, righteousness, and love, and expressly rejected the notion of absolute power as, in this connection, a heathenish idea. The Calvinistic doctrine was not absolute, but mediated in Christ, and conditioned upon faith.

    8. Predestination in Lutheranism:

    Luther and the Lutheran church at first shared the doctrine of predestination and election, Luther in his treatment of free will reproducing the Augustinian form of the doctrine in a strict manner. The predestination of Luther and Melanchthon proceeded, not from their conception of God, but rather from the doctrine of sin and grace. Melanchthon was less disposed than Luther to press the doctrine of absolute predestination, and, in his "synergistic" tendencies, laid increasing stress on human freedom, until he at length rejected the doctrine of absolute predestination. He was blamed by strict Lutheranism for yielding too much to Pelagianism. But the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," prepared in 1577, was not a very logical and consistent presentation of the case, for, opposed at points to Augustinianism, it fell back, in the end, on election in the Augustinian spirit. Or, to put the matter in another form, the "Formula of Concord" may be said to have held with Augustinianism, but to have differed by maintaining a Universal call along witha particular election, and it rejected the decree of reprobation. Later Lutheranism adopted a moderate form of doctrine, wherein predestination was often identified with prescience. But Lutheranism ought not, in strictness, to be identified, as is sometimes done, with the Arminian theory. The Lutheran doctrine of predestination was further developed by Schleiermacher, who emphasized the efficiency of grace, while adopting its universality in the Lutheran sense.

    9. The Arminian View:

    Arminianism, in its earliest assertion, maintained simply universal grace and conditional election. But in the five articles it formulated its opposition to Calvinism, although Arminius does not appear to have been more than moderately Calvinistic, as we would account it. Arminius gave grace supreme place, and made it, when welcome, pass into saving grace. He made election depend on faith, which latter is the condition of universal grace. Arminianism rejects the so-called common grace of the predestination theory, and its effectual grace for the elect, for, in the Arminian view, saving grace can in no case be missed save by resistance or neglect. Arminianism holds the awakened human will to cooperate with divine grace, in such wise that it rests with the human will whether the divine grace is really accepted or rejected. It is the claim of Arminianism to do more justice than Calvinism to faith and repentance, as conditions of personal salvation, and precedent thereto. The Arminian standpoint admits the foreknowledge of God, but denies foreordination, though it must seem difficult to reduce the foreknowledge of God to such a bare knowledge of the future. But it is, of course, freely to be granted that foreknowledge in God, simply as knowledge, does not carry any causal energy or efficiency with it. But it may still be doubted whether the prescience of God can be nothing more fruitful and creative than such a position implies, and whether its relation to predestination may not be a more necessary one. The theory seems to fail of giving satisfactory account of the divine activity in its relation to human activity, in the sphere of grace. The shortcoming of Arminianism lies in its failing also to do justice to the spirit of Scripture with its emphatic assertion of the doctrine of God as the one absolute will, which, in its expression, is the sole originative power of the universe. See also Providence .

    10. Wesleyanism on Predestination:

    Wesleyanism, or Methodist Arminianism, maintains, like Calvinism, the will of God to be supreme. But it distinguishes between the desires and the determinations of God. It takes divine foreknowledge to precede the divine volitions. It makes God's prescience purely intuitional, and regards that which He knows as nowise necessitated by such knowledge, a conception of God which differentiates the Wesleyan type of thought from Calvinism. God is held to have left events in the moral sphere contingent, in an important sense, upon the human will. Hence, human probation is based upon this position, as to man's free choice. Influence of God upon man's will is postulated, for its right guidance and direction, but not in any coercive sense, as Augustinianism seems to Wesleyanism to imply. Thus, it is hoped to preserve just balance, and maintain proper responsibility, between the divine and the human factors in this spiritual cooperation.

    When we come to the present needs and values of the predestination doctrine, we have to remark the primal need of a thoroughly ethicized conception of God. The past few decades have witnessed a lessened interest in this doctrine, largely because of the increasingly ethical conceptions of Deity.

    11. Present Needs and Values of the Doctrine:

    That is to say, the doctrine of the sovereignty of God's will has ceased to be taken, as often in the older presentations, as mere almightiness, or arbitrary and resistless will. Calvin expressly taught that no cause or ground but God's unconditioned will was to be sought; but he feebly tried to save divine will from sheer omnipotence by saying that God is law to Himself; and the notion of sovereignty continued to be presented in ways quite absolute and irresponsible. But God we now regard as the absolute and eternal reason, no less than the supreme will, and as both of these in the one indivisible and absolute personality. We have passed from an abstract predestinationism to maintain God in living and ethical relations to the world and to man. Such an ethical sovereignty we hold to be necessary, over against that lax humanitarian spirit, which, in its recoil from the older Calvinism, invests the Deity with no greater powers of moral determination than may be implied in His love, when viewed as a mere golden haze of good will. See Election; Foreordination .

    Literature.

    The relative works of Augustine, Aquinas, Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, Arminius, Wesley, Rothe, Dorner, Luthardt; W. Cunningham, The Reformers, and the Theology of the Reformation , 1862; James Orr, article "Calvinism," in Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics  ; and the various Histories of Christian Doctrine.

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

    The eternal decree which in particular foreordains certain of the human family to life everlasting and others to death everlasting, or the theological dogma which teaches these. See The Doctrine Of Election .

    References