Chapter II:24: Socinian and Remonstrant Denial of the Necessity of Divine Illumination for Saving Understanding

The Socinians deny this, among whom Ostorodus, Institutionibus, chapter I, pages 3, 4, writes, “they err grievously and dangerously, who think think that the Sacred Scripture is in no way able to effect faith and obedience in men without the internal illumination and special revelation of the Holy Spirit; and that man is no otherwise able to have any use regarding salvation from the Scripture read or heard.”  And in chapter XXXIV de libero Arbitrio, page 285, § 3, “Whence it appears in what a dangerous error the Evangelicals abide, especially the Calvinists, etc., who think this, that men have no help from the hearing of the external Word of God, unless the Holy Spirit teaches them internally in a peculiar and hidden manner, and works faith and obedience in them”:  consult ARNOLDI’S Refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ, pages 39-41, chapter IV, de Scriptura Sacra, § 1-4.

The Remonstrants understand things similarly, for example, in their Confessione, chapter I, § 14, “Such is the clarity and perspicuity of the Sacred Books (say they), especially ideas necessary to be understood for eternal salvation, that all Readers, not only the learned, but also the unlearned (indeed, furnished with common sense and judgment), are able to follow their meaning sufficiently:  only let them not allow themselves to be blinded by prejudice, vain confidence, or other depraved affections; but let them search this Scripture piously and painstakingly, etc.”  Add the words of Episcopius, harsh enough, Disputationibus Theologicis, part I, Disputation III, § 1-9, and part III, Disputation III, § 1-3, opera, tome 2, part 2, compared with TRIGLAND’S Kerckelycke Geschiedenissen, volume 4, page 636a.  Nevertheless, sometimes our Adversaries, either teasing with words, or compelled by the force of truth, also speak of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and its use for the understanding of the Scriptures; as it is done in Catechesi Racoviensis “de Scriptura Sacra”, chapter III, question 3, pages 16, 17, upon which place consult ARNOLDI’S Refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ, § 1, page 39, § 2, page 40, § 10, page 43.  You also may find that JAMES ARMINIUS, in Disputationibus Theologicis publicis, thesis XI, § 8, has a sounder understanding at this point than his followers.

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