The Synopsis of Polanus’ Syntagma (7)

Book IV

The works of God, first, are either personal or essential.

The personal works of God are generally of two sorts:  some are simply personal, others in a certain manner.

Second, the works of God are either internal or external.

In like manner, some of the internal works of God are personal, others essential.

The essential internal works of God are the eternal counsel and the Decree of God.

The parts of the decree of God are two:  all things which were predetermined for the future, & the ordination first of an end and then the means and circumstances.

The eternal decree of God is first either of the good pleasure of God or of the sign.

The decree of the sign is either prescriptive or permissive.

Second, the decree of God is either general or special.

The special decree is the predestination of rational creatures both to a certain end, then also to the means by which they are led to that end.

And it is both election and reprobation.

Election is of Christ, and then also of the members of Christ.

Election of the members of Christ is of the blessed Angels, then of people who have been redeemed in eternity.

Election of people has these parts:  the designation of people to eternal salvation, & the preparation of the means through which people are led to salvation.

Reprobation has two parts or actions:  first comes the designation of the reprobate to eternal death.  Later comes the designation of the means of carrying out the decree of reprobation.

Eternal reprobation is both of the devil and then of the members of the devil.

The reprobation of the members of the devil is both of the evil angels, and then of the people who are to be damned.

Thus far the internal works of God.  What follows are the external.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

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