great in intellect and character, lovely in social life, full of tender sympathy and faithfulness to his friends, yielding and forgiving toward personal offenses.? The device upon his seal is a flaming heart from which is stretched forth a helping hand.
Calvin?s share in the burning of Servetus must be explained by his mistaken zeal for God?s truth and by the universal belief of his time that this truth was to be defended by the civil power. The following is the inscription on the expiatory monument which European Calvinists raised to Servetus: ?On October 27, 1553, died at the stake at Champel, Michael Servetus, of Villeneuve d?Aragon, born September 29, 1511. Reverent and grateful sons of Calvin, our great Reformer, but condemning an error which was that of his age, and steadfastly adhering to liberty of conscience according to the true principles of the Reformation and of the gospel, we have erected this expiatory monument, on the 27th of October, 1903.?
John Dewitt, in Princeton Theol. Rev., Jan. 1904:95 ? ?Take John Calvin. That fruitful conception ? more fruitful in church and state than any other conception, which has held the English speaking world ? of the absolute and universal sovereignty of the holy God. As a revolt from the conception then prevailing of the sovereignty of the human head of an earthly church, was historically the mediator and instaurator of his spiritual career.? On Calvin?s theological position, see Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:409, note.
(c) But the Scriptures teach that men as sinners, and not men irrespective of their sins, are the objects of God?s saving grace in Christ ( <431509>John 15:9; <451105> Romans 11:5, 7; <490104>Ephesians 1:4-6; <600102>1 Peter 1:2). Condemnation, moreover, is an act, not of sovereignty, but ofjustice, and is grounded in the guilt of the condemned ( <450206>Romans 2:6-11; 2Thess. 1:5-10). The true order of the decrees is therefore as follows:
1. The decree to create.
2. The decree to permit the Fall.
3. The decree to provide a salvation in Christ sufficient for the needs of all.
4. The decree to secure the actual acceptance of this salvation on the part of some, or, in other words, the decree of Election.
That saving grace presupposes the Fall, and that men as sinners are the objects of it, appears from <431519>John 15:19 ? ?If ye were of the world, the
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