22.–The other side of God’s predestinating decree is the rejection of those, on whom God will not have mercy. “Reprobaftion is the decree of God, by which out of the mere good pleasure of His will He, has resolved to leave fixed men, whom He does not elect, in the mass of corruption and piling up sins on sins and, when they have been hardened by His just judgment, to visit them with eternal punishments, in order to display the glory of His righteousness” (HEIDEGGER V, 54). Or: “(Reprobation is) that by which God has resolved to leave certain men whom He has not elected in the mass of corruption and to condemn them eternally because of sin” (RIISSEN, VI, 16). That there really is such an eternal and unalterable reprobatio of individual men is clear from H. Scripture, which teaches that God chose a part of men from eternity, whence the remainder :are not chosen, but purposely passed over; which H. Scripture likewise expressly attests. If there were no reprobatio, absurdities would have to be inferred, which would contradict essential truths of faith. A part of men would in that case have a life quite undetermined and aimless. In that case God’s punishing righteousness could not be revealed, and Christ would not have been justified in expressly not interceding for a part of humanity, those namely who. are of this world.–HEIDEGGER (V, 55): “It cannot be doubted that from eternity God has reprobated some. Election itself also teaches this. He who elects some passes over those whom he does not elect, leaves and appoints them to merited judgment, as sinners not elected for giving to Christ for redemption, left to themselves and to the increases of their corruption. Apart from such appointment the majority of men would run down to their end without any counsel of God and would be allowed an unfixed outcome, and God could not have resolved anything from eternity anent the exercise of righteousness and judgment. Without impiety this cannot be thought of God, the supreme Lord of all things and of good and bad men, alike a merciful and a just distributor. In addition, God thelon, willing to show His wrath against vessels of wrath Rom. g. 22, held it necessary to set up an example of some, when He spared others. . The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead (Prov. II. 8). And this very fact also does not a little to illumine oppositely the glory of God’s mercy.”–WALAEUS 357: “The election of some necessarily supposes the preterition and rejection of others”.

By the following arguments POLAN proves that there is a decree of God, in accordance with which God “from eternity has reprobated and passed over certain rational creatures”, and that accordingly a number of men are rejected (IV, 10): (i) from the Scripture passages Jer. 6. 30 (refuse silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them) Mt. 7. 23 (and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity) Jn. 17. 9 (I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine) Rom. 9. 22 (what if God, wiling to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction?) I Pet. 2, 7–8 (for you which believe is the preciousness, but for such as disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected… was made… a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence) Jude 4 (of old set forth unto .condemnation) Rev. 13.8, (everyone whose name hath not been written in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world) 17.8 (they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) 20. 15 (if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire); also (2) from the following arguments: “(a) If not all are elected to eternal life, then the rest are reprobate; but the former stands, therefore so also the latter.– (b) Whomsoever Christ drives from himself in the last judgment, these are forthwith reprobated from eternity by God. This proposition is fixed, because Christ will not drive from himself those who are elect In. 6. 37 (all that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out). But Christ will reject many in the last judgment Mt. 7.23 (and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity) 8. 12 (the sons of the Kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness) 25. 41 (depart from me, ye cursed, . . . ).–(c) If not all are sheep, but many are goats or disgraceful, who shall depart into eternal punishment, then there are those reprobated by God. But the former is the case as Mt. 25 (the judgment) teaches. So Christ says to the Jews, (In. 10. 26) “Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”.–(d) If there are some for whom Christ did not pray, for whom he did not die effectually, who are of the world; then they are reprobated by God. But the first is true, as Christ testifies In. I7; therefore so is the last.–( e) If some are reprobate, then there is reprobation. Illud est, ergo et hoc. The assumption is proved by the examples of Cain, Ham, Ishmael, Esau, Judas Iscariot.”

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1) [Heppe’s summary:] 28.-But of course it still holds that not for all men did Christ secure satisfaction and merit the imparting of the H. Spirit, but only for those for whom he interceded as surety with the Father’s consent. Although Christ died sufficienter for all men, and although Christ’s obedience and suffering are so absolutely perfect that for this satisfaction the Father might have forgiven the sins of the whole human race, the merit of Christ can really hold efficaciter only for those whom the Father has given him, for whom the Father has accepted the dedication and surety of the Son, and for whom Christ in accordance with his own intention was ready to die and did die.

OLEVIAN (pp. 67-68): The sacrifice of Christ, so perfect in itself is, both by the eternal counsel of God and by the high-priestly intercession of Christ himself appointed only for those whom the Son of God has awakened to faith; sacrifice and intercession belong to each other. Hence although Christ has suffered sufficenter for all, he has done so efficaciter only for the elect. Had he also prayed for the rejected and sacrificed himself for them, they too would have had to be blessed and roused by the H. Spirit to faith (p. 69): “He offered himself for those whom he knew the Father had given him, but never by chance or accident–as some imagine that the grace of sacrifice has been scattered in the air, in order that he who would might snatch it for himself.” Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 475-476

[And then:]

2) That the satisfaction of Christ would be sufficient to atone for sin-guilt in all men, if the Father would let it benefit them all, is generally recognized. CF., e.g., RISSEN (XII, 11): “…the satisfaction of Christ might be said to be sufficient for the sins of one and all, if so it had seemed good to God; for since it was of infinite value, it was quite sufficient for the redemption of one and all, if it had seemed good to God to extend it to the whole world. And here belongs a distinction used by the Fathers and retained by various theologians, that Christ died sufficiently for all, but effectually only for the elect; which phrase, understood of the worthiness of Christ’s death, is very true, although it is less accurate if referred to the will and counsel of Christ.1 For the Son gave himself to death, not with the purpose and intention of acting personal substitute. in the room of one and all, to give satisfaction for them and secure them salvation; but for the elect only, who were given him by the Father to be redeemed and whose head he was to be, he was wiling to give himself up.” Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 477-478.


1That Rissen’s wording follows the wording of Turretin here almost exactly is because Rissen’s work was based heavily on Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology.

27.-Divine providence governs the bad as well as the good actions of men, the latter by an actio efficax, the former by a permissio efficax.

–WOLLEB p, 30: “By God’s providence things good and bad are ruled. Good things are ruled by effectual action, to which belong the praecurrence, concurrence and succurrence of divine power. Bad things are ruled by actuosa permissio and so by permission, determining and direction” .

–POLAN distinguishes (VI, 17) two parts. in “God’s actual providence”, namely actio and permissio. “God’s actio–is only one of the good things which God effects right from the first creation of all things, either by Himself or by others, in which also the punishment of evil is counted, because it is of the nature of moral good.

–Divine permission is the act of the divine will by which God, in whose power it is to inhibit the actions of others, if He wiled, does not inhibit them, but according to His eternal and righteous decree allows them to be done by the rational creature” .

28.- This permissio is not a moral one, by which God would approve of sin, but a physical, by which He gives sin way, a non-impeditio peccati–BREMISCHE BEKENNTNIS (HEPPE, p. 169) : “Evil is partly malum culpae, partly malum poenae. That” the evil with which God temporally and eternally punishes and wî1 punish the world is ordained by God, is undeniable.–But that evil which is sin and which God neither creates nor causes, cannot be completely and in every way withdrawn from the eternal ordering of God, even though it be said that God is such a controller of the world that apart from and contrary to His ordering many a thing happens in the world.-But God does not ordain evil as He does good, i.e. as something that pleases Him, but as the sort of thing He hates, nevertheless knowingly and willingly destines, lets be in the world and uses wondrously for good”.

–RIISSEN (VIII, 12): “Sin should not be withdrawn from the providence of God. It falls under it as to start, progress and finish.-13: As to beginning God freely allows sin.–14: This permission is, however, not ethical, like a licence to sin, but physical, a non-impeditio of sin.–The statement ‘God wills to allow sin’ thus does not mean ‘God wills to approve sin morally’. Hence KECKERMAN (p. 115) says: “If willing to permit is the same as willing the permission of sin, we agree that God willingly permits it. If it is the same as permitting it approvingly or approving the thing permitted, we must not admit that God willingly permits sin”.

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1) 25.–But while by praeteritio God refuses His redeeming grace to the rejected He does not deprive them of His common grace, which latter would have sufficed man in his original state to attain to eternal blessedness, and of which man continues to receive so much that he has no ground for excuse left at the judgment seat of God.

–LEIDEN SYNOPSIS (XXIV, 54-55): “For this to be understood correctly, careful note must be taken that this praeterition does not remove or deny all grace in those passed over, but that only which is peculiar to the elect. But that which through the dispensation of common providence, whether under the law of nature or under gospel grace, is dispensed to men in varying amount, is not by this act. of praeterition removed but is rather presupposed; the non-elect are left under the common government of divine providence and the exercise of their own arbitrium. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 185.

2) God thus wrought in upon Adam’s fall by His permissio and ordinatio HOTTINGER (160-161) is the most adequate in making it clear, how this permissio and ordinatio is to be conceived. “Negatively: (I) God did not drive Adam to sin (a) because He severely forbade him, (b) in narrating the causes Moses makes no mention of God, (c) God made man upright, but he of his own motion forsooth, at the suasion and instigation of Satan, sought out a host of reasons. (2) God did not withdraw from him grace combating sin, because (a) that followed him into the punishment of the sin, according as it is the deprivation of the image of God because of sin, (b) because otherwise He would have been driving man to sin: just as when a house necessarily collapses when the pillars are withdrawn. (3) Nor did He in any way co-operate with his sin. Affirmatively: (i) He did not confer on Adam the aid of new and special grace or help him with extraordinary aid, so that he might will to persevere. (2) Nor did He hinder Satan from tempting him and him from obeying the tempter. (3) He ordered and directed the fall to the ends which He had predetermined by his eternal counsel. Not the ends of sin, which of themselves are nil, but of the divine permission. Some ends are in respect of men, others in respect of God. As regards the former the proximate end was the manifestation of the creature’s infirmity; the remote major was the felicity and more perfect salvation in the second Adam, Christ. In respect of God: the proximate end is the beauty of the whole which arises out of this permission and consists in this, that in the world as in a great house there are various vessels; the remote end is the revealing of His glory, primarily the display of His actual mercy in the salvation of the elect for Christ’s sake”.

–Hence above all it must be insisted that God effected Adam’s fall not by withdrawing His common grace.

–MARESIUS (VI, 29): “Much less must it be said that God positively withdrew His grace from man before the act of sin, because then God would be set up as the author of it; but man freely sinning rejected and repudiated that aid”.

–v. TIL (Hypotyposis p.I22): “God withdrew no strength from man before the sin”. But the permissio peccati was also not a mere non-impeditio of sin. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 309-310.

3) 36.–It must also be recognized that, supported by the common grace of God fallen man is capable of producing an ordinary morality and of doing good in external and natural things, or at least of exercising himself in them. But even the goodness that man does in external, natural and ordinary things is not truly good and pleasing to God. He never achieves it entirely from the right motive, i.e., never from love and obedience to God alone, He always admits the joint influence of his concupiscence. As a result, it is true, the naturally and the ordinarily good works are rewarded by God with temporal benefits. But in truth they are sinful and condemnable. And in spiritual things man can do absolutely nothing good, since his spiritual eye is veiled from the knowledge of God that brings blessing and his will can do and achieve only what is contrary to God’s good pleasure.

RISSEN (IX, 45): “The question is not as to outward civil and moral good. We do not deny that some powers still survive in man after the lapse, as regards those outward works and civil goods, so that he exercises justice and temperance and emits an act of mercy and charity, so that he keeps his hands from theft and murder and emits operations of like virtues by the antecedent concurrence or God and His general assistance; this is the outlook of Gentile virtues, of which later. But the question is of spiritual and supernatural good which is pleasing and acceptable to God: whether man in the state of sin is so corrupt, that the power of his liberum arbitrium as regards the good in question are not only slipped and worn but quite perished, so that he cannot know anything truly saving or do anything good: which is what we affirm”. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 363.

4) 37,–Hence fallen man enslaved by sin cannot in any way personally grasp gracious aid when offered to him, or rise to a positive non-resistance to it, or prepare in an external disciplinary or pedagogic way to receive. a redemptive favour.

–POLAN (VI, 6): “The man who is not reborn has no strength or very little, by which in any way to respond to God if He called him, or to open the door to His knock, or to assent to His proposal of salvation, or in short to co-operate with Him, if He operated upon him”.

–MASTRICHT (iV, iv, 33): “Although the Reformed grant readily that man can non-resist in a negative way, as a man naturally dead can non-resist attempts to restore him to life, and although they concede that unregenerate man may frequent churches, pour forth prayers and other outward things, they deny that he can non-resist positively; they deny that an unregenerate can perform these outward good things by the sheer strength of their natural arbitrium, save by common grace; on which see Paul, Heb. 6, 4, 5,6 (as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the H. Ghost, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then fall away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. . .)”. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 366.

6) But further HEIEGGER still recognizes the essential prerogatives of the “baptized non-elect over the unbaptized” (XXV, 49): “Even in early times circumcision also conferred upon the circumcised among the non-elect a privilege above the non-circumcised. To them were entrusted the oracles of God Rom. 3. 1-2.-By a like reasoning there is a common grace and favour of God which all baptized persons possess, even the non-elect, viz., initiation and ingrafting into the outward body of the Church, in virtue of which even though perishing they have a right to the name of ‘uieis basilasias and enjoy the outward privieges of God’s covenanted.-But this is the mere Gourtyard, shell and surface of baptism.” Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 623.


25.-But while by praeteritio God refuses His redeeming grace to the rejected He does not deprive them of His common grace, which latter would have sufficed man in his original state to attain to eternal blessedness, and of which man continues to receive so much that he has no ground for excuse left at the judgment seat of God.

LEIDEN SYNOPSIS (XXIV, 54-55): “For this to be understood correctly, careful note must be taken that this praeterition does not remove or deny all grace in those passed over, but that only which is peculiar to the elect. But that which through the dispensation of common providence, whether under the law of nature or under gospel grace, is dispensed to men in varying amount, is not by this act of praeterition removed but is rather presupposed; the non-elect are left under the common government of divine providence and the exercise of their own arbitrium.-55: Moreover this dispensation of common providence always involves the communication of outward and inward benefits; which indeed sufficed for salvation in the unimpaired nature, as is clear in the rejected angels and the whole human race considered in the first parent before the fall. But in the corrupt nature so much has survived or been superadded to nature under the gospel, that they have been stripped and deprived of every pretext of excuse before the divine judgment, as the apostle testifies Ac. 14. 27 (they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how they had opened a door of faith unto the Gentiles), Rom. I. 20 (the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity, that they may be without excuse) 2. I (Wherefore thou art without excuse, whosoever thou art that judge: wherein thou judgest another, thou condemn thyself: for thou that judgest practice the same things); also Jn. 15.22 (If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin) I Cor. 4. 3 (with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea 1 judge not mine own self) and elsewhere.”

WALAUS 490-491: “But reprobation does not deny in the reprobate all grace or every gift saving in itself: for we see that even to the reprobate many even supernatural things are communicated above the gifts of nature, as the propounding of the gospel, many other charisms, and illumination of the mind, and some improvement of the affections or joy, and a taste of future benefits (Heb. 6; Mt. 13) ; by these gifts they are set in order for salvation, did they not suppress them themselves and render God’s counsel towards themselves of no effect, as saith Scripture in Lk. 7, 2nd Rom. I, also Ac. 7, resist the H. Spirit. For it must assuredly be held that they first desert God before they are deserted by God, as Augustine often says. For God endures with much longsuffering. vessels of wrath, etc. Rom. 9.22. In fact we say more with the same Augustine, that it does not conflict with reprobation that even grace sufficient for salvation is given them, as is clear from the example of the reprobate angels, as well as of all men created in Adam in the image of God. Only they are denied grace infallibly effectual for salvation. In Adam all had strength to keep the law, even also to believe in Christ, had it been revealed to them (as even theologians themselves confess who ascend above the fall in this article), and they lost it in him (sc. Adam). Therefore grace sufficient for salvation is consistent with the decree of reprobation.”

Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1978), 185-187.