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Page 116

From Our Reformed Doctrinal Standards

The Canons of Dordt

THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE
OF THE CORRUPTION OF MAN, HIS CONVERSION TO GOD,
AND THE MANNER THEREOF

Article 6
What therefore neither the light of nature, nor the law could do, that God performs by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word or ministry of reconciliation: which is the glad tidings concerning the Messiah, by means whereof, it hath pleased God to save such as believe, as well under the Old, as under the New Testament.

Article 7
This mystery of His will God discovered to but a small number under the Old Testament; under the New, (the distinction between various peoples having been removed), He reveals Himself to many, without any distinction of people. The cause of this dispensation is not to be ascribed to the superior worth of one nation above another, nor to their making a better use of the light of nature, but results wholly from the sovereign good pleasure and unmerited love of God. Hence they, to whom so great and so gracious a blessing is communicated, above their desert, or rather notwithstanding their demerits, are bound to acknowledge it with humble and grateful hearts, and with the apostle to adore, not curiously to pry into the severity and justice of God's judgments displayed to others, to whom this grace is not given.

Article 8
As many as are called by the gospel, are unfeignedly called. For God bath most earnestly and truly declared in His Word, what will be acceptable to Him; namely, that all who are called, should comply with the invitation. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life, and rest, to as many as shall come to Him, and believe on Him.

Article 9
It is not the fault of the gospel, nor of Christ, offered therein, nor of God, who calls men by the gospel, and confers upon them various gifts, that those who are called by the ministry of the Word, refuse to come, and be converted: the fault lies in themselves; some of whom when called, regardless of their danger, reject the Word of life; others, though they receive, suffer it not to make a lasting impression on their heart; therefore, their joy, arising only from a temporary faith, soon vanishes, and they fall away; while others choke the seed of the Word by perplexing cares, and the pleasures of this world, and produce no fruit. - This our Savior teaches in the parable of the sower (Mt. 13).

Article 10
But that others who are called by the gospel, obey the call, and are converted, is not to be ascribed to the proper exercise of free will, whereby one distinguishes himself above others, equally furnished with grace sufficient for faith and conversions, as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains; but it must be wholly ascribed to God, who as He has chosen His own from eternity in Christ, so He confers upon thein faith and repentance, rescues them from the power of darkness, and translates thern into the kingdom of His own Son, that they may show forth the praises of Him, who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light; and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord according to the testimony of the apostles in various places.


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