The author of the Appeal does often charge some men with a doctrine, which no man did ever maintain. For I say, he is not able to prove, that any have maintained the doctrine of predestination, in those terms which he proposes. Indeed, Pelagius and his followers, and amongst them this author, have made these objections against the doctrine of predestination: We use not these terms, we reject them, we need them not, we find them not in Scripture, we have enough in God’s Word to maintain this doctrine. Touching that which he says of Judas, that some should teach that by the decree of God, Judas should be condemned, without any respect to his sin. I suppose it will be hard for him to find any that teaches so in those terms. CALVIN I suppose is the man he means: but Calvin in many places says the contrary, and confesses that the wicked men are damned justly for their sins: that God’s mercy appears in them that are saved, and his justice, in other. He says, indeed, of the reprobate: Principium ruina & damnation esse in eo, quod sunt à Deo derelicti: which this author will also confess because he can say nothing against it.

But to open this point a little further. It must be confessed, that while some have strayed too far on the left hand, touching the respective decree, that God, for respects in men, has predestined them: Others in some zeal to correct this error, have gone some what too far on the right hand; teaching that predestination is a separation between men and men, as they were found even in the mass of mankind uncorrupt, before the creation and fall. But here we seek upon what ground first presupposed, this counsel of God preceded. Saint Augustine was clear in this, that God’s purpose of predestination on presupposed the fall of mankind, and the corrupt mass of mankind in sin. And verily this opinion has such firm grounds of Scripture, that (so far as I can judge) as unanswerable: For the Apostle teaches that predestination and election are in Christ, Ephesians, chapter 1, verse, 4. “As he has chosen us in Christ, before the foundation of the world:” and verse 5, “Who has predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ in himself.” And verse 11, “In whom we were chosen when we were predestinate.” Now if predestination be in Christ, it must be acknowledge that this counsel of God had respect to the corrupt mass of mankind. For the benefit that we have in Christ appears not in the state of innocency. Some have answered that the angels had that benefit of their standing in Christ. To this I say, granting that the angels had that blessing from Christ, yet this is a thing without doubting, and beyond all contradiction, that the doctrine of predestination, as the Apostle teaches it, is not for angels, but only for men, not for men in the state of innocency, but for sinful men. In declaring the purpose of predestination the Lord says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” Then the counsel of predestination, is the counsel whereby God shows mercy where he will: but mercy does presuppose misery, and the sinful estate in man. Again, the purpose of God is conducted to his, end by such means as God has set, and the Apostle has opened: that is, by predestination, vocation and justification, to glorification, that is, to the intended end. But vocation and justification cannot be understood to angels, but of men, and not of men without sin in the estate of innocency, but of sinful men. For sinners are called to repentance, and sinners must be that are justified from their sins. None are called, but sinners. And it is also certain that none are thus called and justified, but only they that are predestinated. Therefore predestination does not look upon the mass of mankind uncorrupt and innocent, but upon the mass corrupted. These things are set in such evidences of Scripture, that for my part I know not what can be said to impeach them. Upon these grounds we must confess, that both predestination and reprobation do respect that sinful and corrupt mass of mankind.

But between predestination and reprobation, amongst many other, this is one difference, that all men for sin have deserved reprobation, but now man could deserve mercy to be delivered by predestination, Rom. 3:23, “For there is no difference, for all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God.” Then in the sinful estate of corruption all have found once alike, and “all deprived of the glory of God,” but to deserve reprobation? So he says, Rom. 11:30, “God has shut up all in unbelief:” so that all that are received to mercy by predestination, vocation, justification, are taken out of the corrupted state of mankind, the rest are left in their sins. These we call men reprobate, that are left in their sins, and in the end justly condemned for sin. But why some are left in their sins, other delivered form their sins by predestination, vocation, justification, of this no cause can be given. But the will of God.

George Carleton, An Examination Of those things wherein the Author of the late Appeale holdeth the Doctrines of the Pelagians, and Arminians, to be the Doctrines of the Church of England 2n. ed. (London: Printed for William Tvner, 1626), 13-18. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]

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