William Barlee on Reprobation

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in God who Ordains


Dr Twisse, Synod of Dort and Arles, p. 10, 11.

God did decree to damn no man, but for his sin, is the unanimous consent of all of our divines, &c., And accordingly, Tilenus1 himself, when he was on our side, took exception against Arminius, his stating the decree of predestinaton and reprobation, according to our opinion, to proceed, citra omnem considerationem restspistentiæ & fidei en illis, aut impenitentiæ & infidelitatis in hisce, ie., “without all consideration of repentance and faith in those, or of impentitence and infidelity in these.” And tis that Rev. Dr. further proves, p 11, out of Piscator, and out of the Contra-Remonstrants, in the conference at the Hague, &c. So opposing his adversary, p. 38, he had these words.

Secondly, he aggravates it by the circumstance of the least consideration of sin, which we are said to deny to have place in reprobation; whereas Divine consideration has no degrees at all, whereby it may be capable of greater or less (a fair answer to what Mr. T[homas] P[ierce] has, p.6). Sin has degrees in man, but Divine consideration has no degrees at all.

To come near to the point and to discover their juggling, in stating our tenor most calumniously. Consider, I pray do any of our divines maintain that God ordain to damn any man but for sin? (And by positive reprobation in my p. 121, I meant nothing, or could mean nothing but damnation.) It is apparent, they do not, all acknowledging that like as God does damn no man for sin, so does he ordain to damn no man but for sin. A little after, to add one thing more, not for their sin which they sinned in Adam only, but for those very actual sins and transgressions which they are guilty of. And if anything can be spoken yet more plainly in the same book, p. 40 41, having spoken of election, eh speaks thus about the decree to reprobation. The like distinction is considerable on the part of reprobation, which also is the will of God in a certain kind. I say, we must distinguish in this decree, the act of God’s decreeing, and the thing decreed by him. And these things are of a different nature, and so different, that what alone is the cause of the act, that alone is the one thing decreed by it, but not so of the other. As for example, the things denied by reprobation are,

1. The denial of grace.

2. The denial of glory, together, with the inflicting of damnation. As touching the first of these, look what is the cause of reprobation, as touching the act of God reprobating, that and that alone is the cause of the denial of grace, viz., that faith and repentance, to wit, the mere pleasure of God. But as touching the denial of glory, and inflicting of damnation. God does not proceed according to the mere pleasure of his will, but according to a Law, which is this, “Whosoever believes shall not be damned.” And albeit, God made that law according to he mere pleasure of his will, yet no wise man will say, that God denies glory, and inflicts damnation on men, according to the mere pleasure of his will. The case being clear, that God denies the one, and inflicts the other merely for their sins who are these dealt withal. William Barlee, A Necessary Vindication of the Doctrine of Predestination (London: Printed for George Sawbridge, at the Bible on Ludgate-Hill, 1658), 78-79. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting; italics original; and underlining mine.]


1Daniel Tilenus (also Tilenius) (1563–1633) was a German-French Protestant theologian. Initially a Calvinist, he became a prominent and influential Arminian teaching at the Academy of Sedan. He was an open critic of the Synod of Dort of 1618-9.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 8:11 am and is filed under God who Ordains. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed at this time.