44. For the first, touching predestination, we hold according to Scripture [Rom. 9, Eph. 1:4, 5; 1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Tim. 2:20; 2 Pet. 2:8.], that God from all eternity, before the world was made, has not only foreseen all things that could be or should be upon his appointment and permission, but also b an unchangeable decree has foreordained al things and persons to certain determinate ends, for his own glory: and that neither the saints were elected in Christ in Christ to infallibly and persevering grace and eternal glory for their foreseen righteousness, nor the reprobate refused or not elected to the same for their foreseen wickedness; but both the one and the other were predestined to those their several estates, according to the counsel of God’s own will, which was not moved by anything he foresaw in the parties, but most freely decreed it, according to his own pleasure, and absolute dominion that he has over the creature. And this decree of God’s will is the first and highest mover of all other wills and things in the creature, whereupon the smallest and most contingent or casual things that fall out, depend as upon their universal cause, whose influence into the second causes directs, produces, inclines, and ordains them to their effects: not by enforcing them (as the will of man for example) by any natural necessity of constraint, but by inclining them to work according their condition, so as the said EFFECTS SHALL PROCEED OUT OF THEM ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN MANNER, as a contingent effect shall go forth of a contingent cause, and a free effective issue out of a voluntary and free cause. This is the sum of that we hold touching predestination, and the influence thereof into the actions of men.

45. Whereby it is plain, that whatsoever we hold against freewill, yet do we not lay the bondage thereof on God’s predestination, but upon Adam’s fall, WHICH IS THE PROPER ROOT AND FOUNDATION WHENCE THAT IMPOTENCY THAT IS IN OUR OWN WILL ARISES. For the decree and providence of God began not after Adam’s fall, but before, and yet we think Adam’s will was perfectly free: which shows our opinion to be, that free will (though we want it) may well stand with God’s predestination, because Adam in his innocency had it, and yet was ruled by God’s predestination. And therefore our adversaries belie us, when they say, our opinion touching predestination makes us deny free will: for we think indeed our will is moved effectually by God’s will in our all our actions; which being the most effectual and universal cause of all things, qualifies our will, and inclines it to the action; yet does it not follow hereupon , that therefore we think our own will has no freedom, but oly that the freedom thereof depends upon a former freedom, which is the freedom of God’s will. And if we hold further, as some Divine do, that God’s will determine ours, and his decree flows into all the effects of our will, so that we do nothing but as he directs our will and purpose: yet this excludes not our own freedom, nor makes God the author of sin, nor implies any inevitable necessity in our doing. The reason is, because God moves not our will violently, enforcing it, but leaves an inward motive within ourselves that stirs it up, which is the act of our understanding, whereby we judge the things good or evil, that we will or nill. For in the proceeding of our will, first the mind apprehends some object and offers it to the will; then upon the full and perfect judgement of the understanding, the will follows or refuses it, as the understanding judges it good or bad. And so this act or JUDGEMENT OF OUR UNDERSTANDING, is the root from whence the free choice of our will arises, in such manner as whatsoever it be that goes before the act of our will, or sets in with it, to incline it (as God’s will does) as long as it destroys not, nor enforces this practical judgement of reason, the liberty of our will is not taken away. And herein stands true CONCORD BETWEEN GOD’S PREDESTINATION AND MAN’S FREE WILL: that the free and immutable counsel of God’s will, goes indeed in order before the operation of our will, or at least together with it, and determines and circumscribes it: but forsomuch as it neither enforces our will, nor takes away our judgement, but permits it freely to lead and persuade the will, it expels not the liberty, but rather cherishes and upholds it. For whatsoever these two concur, FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE AND NECESSITY, and THE FULL CONCENT OF REASON, there is the whole and true reason of liberty.

John White, “The Way of the True Church.” in The Workes of that Learned and Reuerend Divine Iohn White, Doctor in Diuinitie (London: Printed for William Barret, 1624), 139-140. [Some spelling modernized; uppercase emphasis original; italics original; marginal Scripture references cited inline; and marginal Latin references not included.]

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