Heppe:

B.–REPROBATION.

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.”

23.–Essentially reprobatio includes two elements, praeteritio or the denial of grace not due, and praedamnatio or the appointment of punishment due. For God resolved (i) as absolute Lord of His creation to pass over in His redeeming grace a part of fallen mankind which really merited damnation because of its guilt of sin, and (2) as the righteous judge of all His rational creatures to deal with them according to law and righteousness.– WOLLEB 23: “In order to the teaching of reprobation two acts are laid down: the denial of grace not due, called praeteritio and the appointment of due punishment is called praedamnatio” .–KECKERMANN 308: “Reprobation is God’s decree for leaving certain men in sin and for damning them eternally on, account of sin. Reprobation comprises a double act. The first act is God’s purpose to abandon certain men and leave them to themselves; this act is absolute, depending on the sole and absolute arbitrium of God.–Act No.2–is the purpose to damn on account of sins; this act is not absolute, but involves respect to the state of sin.’–3 10: It is rightly said that we are saved because of election; but it cannot with equal fitness be said that certain are damned because of reprobation. Election is the positive principium of salvation, but reprobation strictly speaking is not a principle but the removal of a principle. Nor can it be said strictly that men were ordained from eternity to damnation, unless with this addition: on account of sin“.–LEIDEN SYNOPSIS XXIV, 46: “A twofold way of enunciating this eternal reprobation occurs in the Word of God. The first is negative, the second affirmative. Both evince the fact of reprobation and both by synecdoche are sometimes used for the whole of reprobation.–49: From this twin mode of speaking arises a distinction, employed by great theologians in this matter, into negative and affirmative reprobation, which others call praeterition and predamnation. By explaining these the nature of this dogma will be made the plainer.–50: Negative reprobation means the eternal act of the divine power and judgment, by which according to the counsel of His will He did not resolve to pity the rest whom He did not elect to the extent of presenting them with the peculiar grace of election not due to them. The affirmative kind is the act by which He resolved to impose upon the same men, justly left in the lump of perdition or of their own free will variously abusing the light of nature and the gospel, the punishment they had earned.–52: But neither must we take this as though the two acts were really different: God has determined all things from eternity by Himself in a single actus. But we have given this explanation because of the different things contained in the same decree and because of their different relations, namely of terminus a quo and ad quem.”

24.–God is not bound to give His redeeming grace to any man: all have fallen away from Him and are liable to eternal death. Hence when God refuses His grace to some men, He does what He might do to all according to His righteousness; He bestows no mercy on them, He denies them communion with the Redeemer and effectual calling to him and punishes them with increasing hardness and blindness. Thus the reason of their damnation is neither the sinfulness of their condemnation foreseen by God nor their eternal rejection. Otherwise, since they are all alike sinful, God would have had to damn them all; and whilst of course for the elect election is the positive ground of their salvation, for the damned rejection is only the withholding of the ground or salvation, but not the ground of damnation itself. That consists purely and solely in the sinfulness of the rejected, while rejection itself has its sole ground in the absolute will of God, who fulfils His decree of reprobation by means of a completely just damnatio.

HEIDEGGER (V, 56): “The nature of universal reprobation resolves into these parts, that God as autokrator, absolute Lord, disposing, that is, by His sheer freewill of those who are called reprobate from this disposition, then as a just judge, decreeing damnation to none but the sinner, has, in order to illuminate the glory of His righteousness, partly passed over certain men lying in the common lump of sinners and so no worse than the rest, partly appointed them to destruction, partly by the same decree subordinated means suitable to this end. Moreover He has passed them over in the preparation both of glory and of grace. In the preparation of glory, so far as He has prepared a kingdom of heaven for those alone who are blessed of the Father. Come, ye blessed of my Father, approach the inheritance of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: depart from me, etc. Mt. 25. 34, 41. In the preparation of grace, so far as He has not given the others to the Son to be redeemed the same as the elect In. 17.9 (I pray not for the world but for those whom thou hast given me) Mt. 13.11 (unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given) 11.26 (Yea, Father, for so it was well–pleasing in thy sight).”–WOLLEB 23: “As Christ is the cause not of election but of salvation, so unbelief is the cause not of reprobation but of damnation. Reprobation differs from damnation, as the means of executing differs from the decree”.–

BUCAN (XXXVI, 36): “Are not foreseen sins like unbelief etc. the causes of the decree why a man is reprobated ?–No! If sins were the cause of reprobation, there would be no elect, since God has foreseen that all men are sinners. But only God’s purpose (is the cause), the will which in any work of His is both righteous and the single rule of all righteousness.”–RIISSEN VI, 17: “Reprobation no less than election is considered either absolutely in respect of one, or comparatively and relatedly in respect of several. In the former sense it may be asked why God has reprobated this or that man. The answer is, because on the score of sin he was worthy to be reprobated; not because sin is strictly the cause of reprobation, otherwise all had been reprobate, who were equally sinners; but, because it is the condition and quality in the object previously from which “reprobability” arises in man. In the latter sense it may be asked, why He has reprobated this man rather than that, since both are equally sinners and so “reprobable“. Here sin cannot be alleged because it is common to both, and no reason can be given save the sole good-pleasure of God, because it so pleased Him.”–These points of doctrine are most completely and comprehensively lit up by HEIDEGGER (V. 59): “Above all the decree of reprobation and that of damnation are not the same thing. The former embraces (i) not only the purpose of damning, but also several acts in some ways higher in their scope, such as are the purpose (a) of not pitying unto salvation Rom. 9.16,17,18 (So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show my power, and that my name might be published in all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth); (b) of not ordaining Christ as Redeemer In. 17.9 (…I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine); (c) of not calling, but of leaving them in the ways of ignorance Ac. 14. 16 (suffered all the nations to walk in their own ways), or at least of not calling them effectually Mt. 11. 25–26 (I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding and didst reveal them unto babes: Yea, Father, for so it was well–pleasing in thy sight); (d) of blinding and hardening Rom. 11.7–8–9 (the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened… God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, ears that they should not hear, unto this very day; then Ps. 69. 22f. (Let their table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace let it become a trap). (2) There are also different causes of reprobation and of damnation. Of the latter there is sin alone, of the former there are other causes, as we shall presently see. Nor does the objection hold here that Christ as judge will be unjust, if he admits one cause of decerning punishment, another of executing it. It is enough that he condemns no one save for sin, nor will he have decreed to damn any save a sinner, although not on account of sin, because otherwise he would have been obliged to the damnation of all. Besides that God in reprobation is not merely a just judge who reprobates none but the sinner. He is also autokrator and the Lord of absolute power, in light of which just as He ordains some sinners to grace and glory, so He passes others over, excluding them from this grace and glory and ordaining them to the deserved punishment of the sin. (3) The formal act of reprobation is now negative, now positive. The former act is emitted negatively and denies the reprobate saving grace and the glory not due, both of them; the latter affirms of the same people something positive, judgment and penalty. The former is called praeterition, the latter predamnation. Scripture plainly distinguishes these acts. It not only speaks of reprobation either negatively Mt. 7. 23 (I never knew you!) In. 10.26 (ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep) etc., or affirmatively Prov. 16.4 (the Lord hath made… the wicked for the day of evil) Mt. 25. 41 (Depart from me, ye cursed) Rom. 9. ii, 18,22; ii (for the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth),… 18 (supra); 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) Jude 4 (of old set forth unto condemnation), but also by predamnation terms some vessels of wrath unto dishonour Rom. 9. 22, sons of perdition In. 17. 12, but as to praeterition it opposes election and reprobation or the dereliction of those who are not elected and approves it by the actual result Is. 41. 9 (thou art my servant I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away) Mt. 24, 40-41 (two men in the field… two women at the mill, one shall be taken, one left). But the actual fact also demands this distinction, because reprobation fails to elect some set in the common lump, but leaves them in the lump and in addition appoints them to eternal damnation. And in fact in the negative act is presupposed sin or guilt, which, since Adam’s guilt, rests on the whole human race; while in the positive act there is also in addition natural corruption and some other sins, of whatever kind, because they do not seek God, who at least in nature has not left himself without a witness; and whom they cannot ignore they do not glorify, they do not wait upon His works in order duly to acknowledge Him; and if the Gospel is revealed to any of them, they either do not receive it in good faith or when received they do not

behave in a way worthy of it and they deem Christ’s blood common by which he was sanctified, and harden themselves in evil; in word every sin is acquired, whether against the law of nature or against the voice of the gospel. Further the distinction into negative and positive act is not either of genus into species or of whole into parts or of object into accidents, but of one formal act in respect of objects and terms which consist of arsis and theos. The objects of praeterition are grace not given, glory not prepared; the judgment of predamnation is the penalty due to sin. The terms of it also are different; a quo=dereliction in common guilt and corruption; ad quem=damnation either common because of original sin, or particular according to greater or lesser degrees of the actual sins committed against law and gospel. (4) Fourthly, in a word, reprobation is taken either absolutely of the decree of praeterition and damnation (or of predamnation); or relatedly or comparatively of the will by which God has passed over the one lot for the other in the preparation of grace and glory; likewise the one He has predestined over the other for punishment to be inflicted by a just judgment for sins. After these observations we assert that no one is damned except for sin; that no one is reprobated or passed over by eternal decree or appointed to destruction, except the sinner, not because sin is the cause of the decree itself or of the decerning will (otherwise all men as undistinguishable in the same lump would have had to be reprobated), but because it is the condition in the object passed over, and the cause of its destruction and damnation, so that the condition of the object of the reprobation and the cause of the actual destruction should be altogether assigned to sin.”

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 though 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 judgest: wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest practisest 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 I 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, and Rom. 1, 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.”

26.–We must not conclude from the fact that the godless man is predestined to eternal rejection, that he is also predestined to persist in godlessness or in sin generally. Of course a distinction must be made in sinful action between the action itself and the sinful inclination revealed in it. To the action in which a man is proved to show a sinful tendency of the heart the sinner is as much predestined by God as the punishment consequent upon it is predestined. On the other hand the sinful nature is altogether man’s concern.–HEIDEGGER (V, 66): “Is it therefore easy to judge whether reprobate are as much predestinated to the actual sins of unbelief and impenitence as to paying the penalty for their sins?– The wholly important thing is to distinguish the sin; because when it is concretive, containing many different subheads, the question may be affirmed or denied. In sin there are the action or inclination, which is considered in the genus of being; the vitium or anomia of inclination and action, its form so to speak; and God’s judgment consistent with both, the accident as it were. First and third come under predestination as its effect, because God has decreed both to operate the action or inclination reckoned in the genus of being and to exercise His judgment for sin in accordance with the action.––God is the author both of the action itself and of the judgment antimisthia and of the penalty, whether He executes them through bad or through good instruments. Nevertheless it is only improperly that He is said to have thus predestinated to sin: strictly action and judgment are not sins. The former (action) is subordinated to sin first, the latter (judgment) follows sin. And much less has God predestinated anyone to sin, so far as sin is anomia and opposed to the divine law.”

27.–And that is why we cannot reproach God with respect of persons in the election and rejection of individuals (God has not rejected the reprobated because of their foreseen sinfulness, neither is He the cause of their sinfulness) or with arbitrary action in rejection (He only judges and damns the rejected according to His holy law).–COCCEIUS (XXXVIII, 17): “There is nothing in the objection some make to this doctrine, that God is not an acceptor of persons. God truly is not an acceptor of persons, because (i) He does not judge save according to His law, which is the mirror of God’s truth, righteousness and judgment. (2) He does not recognize anyone worthy of His justifying and sanctifying grace: and He values nothing so highly in man the sinner, as that it should constitute a reason for Him donating grace.”–BRAUN (I, ii, g, 21): “But it does not therefore follow (i) that God is to be accused of cruelty. There is no cruelty, when God intends the manifestation of His righteousness. (2) Nor is He an acceptor of persons, because He has elected one, passed over another. (i) He is an acceptor of persons, who regards something in man as worthy as it were of a reward, which is, nevertheless, nothing; (2) God would be an acceptor of persons, had He elected on account of faith and good works, which latter nevertheless deserve nothing; (3) Nor is God to be called the author of sin: not reprobation, but the actual will of man, must be called the cause of sin.”–LEIDEN SYNOPSIS (XXIV, 58): “Nor is this will absolute as though lacking reason, or tyrannical (perish any blasphemy in the word), as some understand the word absolutely, when they attempt in that respect to create ill–feeling in us. It is most wise, most ordered and most holy. Firstly it cannot be accused of tyranny, if it exacts its right from one delinquent and criminal, although it does not exact it from other criminals in like wise; secondly, if it does so for good and holy ends. For if both lots were liberated, the due reward for sin through righteousness would remain obscure while if no one was liberated, we should not know what grace would bestow, as Augustine remarks in agreement with the Apostle (Rom. 9. 22–23 God wiling to show His wrath… that He might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy)’–59. In fact it is not even absolute, as though no reason is fixed for the divine wisdom, why it should have rejected this man rather than that, although that reason is not to be sought in diversity of merits.”

28.–The purpose of reprobation is twofold: “The supreme end is the glory of God reprobating ;–the subordinate end is the righteous condemnation of the reprobated to death for their sins” (HEIDEGGER V, 64).– ALTING, p.80: “The end (or reprobation) (i) in respect or God, which is the supreme end, is God’s glory, (2) in respect of man, which is the subordinate end, is the righteous condemnation of the reprobate:”

29.–The means by which God consummates rejection are: “desertion of the reprobate, their separation from Christ and from the grace of redemption or reconciliation, the omission to call them or at all events ineffectual calling, the retention of their sins, their blinding or induration and their final impenitence” (HEIDEGGER (V, 65).–BUCAN (XXXVI, 39): “What are the peculiar means of executing God’s decree for the reprobation of men?–Six in number. (i) The infinite proliferation of actual sins.–(2) Apistia, infidelity, or alienation and separation from Christ.–(3) Desertion, or no calling, or an ineffectual one through the preaching of the Word, or no inward response to calling; for neither was the gospel preached to individuals separately and to the whole age, nor is it now preached in the entire globe, nor was it given to individuals to believe Matthew i i. 25 (thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding and didst reveal them unto babes) also 28 (come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest). All are called upon, who labour and are laden; i.e. they faint under their burden of sins, which only fits those who recognize themselves as sinners and take refuge with Christ.–(4) Pertinacity or hardening and complete blinding in sins.–(5) Hence comes constant aversion from God, contempt and progress from sin to sin.–(6) Finally their most just condemnation follows there from.”

30.–Therefore it can only be said of those who persist in deadly sins to the end, that they are rejected.–POLAN (IV, 10): “The signs of reprobation are these: (i) every kind of denial of God’s benefits which necessarily follow election, namely those of effectual calling, saving faith, justification and sanctification. These God has reprobated, to whom He has utterly refused such benefits; (2) blinding and induration in evil or sin. The reprobate are blinded and hardened by the just judgment of God, to persevere and to perish in sins.”–COCCEIUS (Aphor. prolix. Op. VI, ii, 21, 27): “The sign of reprobation in this life is sin against the H. Spirit and final impenitence.”

3 I.–Otherwise each must think of other in this respect according to the law of love and hope the best for him. Instead of giving entrance to thoughts of despair, each must seek for himself by a believing grasp of the Gospel and by steady zeal in sanctification to establish confidence in his own election more and more.–HEIDEGGER (V. 67): “From the means of reprobation rehearsed, no one except those who sin unto death ought to or can determine anything certain before the end of life, concerning the eternal reprobation of himself or of others. Of others indeed we must have good hopes by the judgment of love I Cor. 1. 37 (beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things), nor should anyone discard hope of his own salvation, but rather strive vigorously to effect by zeal for faith and good works to make his own calling and election sure.”

32.–In this sense the doctrine of the eternal rejection of the godless must be taught in the Church according to Scripture, to comfort the faithful and to rouse sinners, and must not be hushed up from false avoidance and disinclination.–HEIDEGGER (V, 70): “We do not approve the affected tapeinophrosune of some, who overcome either by the stupor of ignorance or by errors either advise or command concerning the dogma of predestination echemuthia or a sacred silence in the Church. Indeed their temerity is detestable, who with the Icarian wings of their own blind reason, outwith the barriers of God’s Word, extolling themselves to the heights, endeavor to penetrate the secrecies of the divine will, and exactly as if they had been God’s counselors, thundering as it were from heaven, they are not ashamed inadvisedly to drag into the light things which God has covered up in the mist of a deep night, and to attach to God Himself the concatenations of the divine decrees which they have designed in their own brains.–Be that as it may, let us avoid these and other rocks; let us regard this dogma soberly and publicly in an order analytic rather than synthetic, not by peering into its causes in heaven, but by explaining signs on earth and in our own hearts, for instance, and in the Christian conversation of men (as one about to examine a tree beholds and tastes its flowers and fruits, does not try to dig or furrow up its roots), and so expound it that everywhere, with Luther as godly consultant even in this matter, we may behold and strictly follow a God not hidden but manifested or speaking in His Word; if in addition, above all in the doctrine of reprobation, a prudent sugkatabasis is applied for the capture and complicity of those in whose presence there is discussion of that matter, it is not only a useful one to know and to transmit and above all saving, but it is also necessary.”–LEIDEN SYNOPSIS (XXIV, 61): “So we see the spontaneous collapse of all the calumnies with which this doctrine is weighed down by some. And accordingly in Christ’s Church, although with all sobriety, it must sometimes, we declare, be dealt with out of H. Scripture. By this comparison God’s goodness the more shines out towards us, as Paul reminds us Rom. II. 22 (the goodness of God etc.), and hence we so much the more humble ourselves beneath God’s judgments, that we venerate and adore His righteousness and wisdom although at times hidden from our eyes, as the same Apostle also anticipates us in doing Rom. 9.20 (O man, who art thou, that repliest against God?… ) II. 33 (O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out).”

Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1978), 178-189.

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