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Arminians And The Doctrine of Election

Surely these men [Arminians] care not what indignities they cast upon the God of heaven, so they may maintain the pretended endowments of their own wills; for such an absolute power do they here ascribe unto them, that God himself cannot determine of a thing whereunto, as they strangely phrase it, he is well affected, before, by an actual concurrence, he is sure of their compliance. Now, this imputation, that they are temporary, which they cast upon the decrees of God in general, they press home upon that particular which lies most in their way, the decree of election.

Concerning this they tell us roundly, that it is false that election is confirmed from eternity; so the Remonstrants in their Apology, notwithstanding that St Paul tells us that it is the “purpose of God,” Rom. 9:11, and that we were “chosen before the foundation of the world,” Eph. 1:4. Neither is it any thing material what the Arminians there grant,—namely, that there is a decree preceding this, which may be said to be from everlasting: for seeing that St Paul teacheth us that election is nothing but God’s purpose of saving us, to affirm that God eternally decreed that he would elect us is all one as to say that God purposed that in time he would purpose to save us. Such resolutions may be fit for their own wild heads, but must not be ascribed to God only wise.

~John Owen

from A Display of Arminianismvolume 10 of Works, page 15-16

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