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naturally and directly from the view of “ original sin ” maintained in Article IX. It was there shown that the Church of England regards original sin as no mere "privatio" or loss of higher goodness only; but rather as a “depravatio naturæ,” a real corruption of our nature, “whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil.” If this is true, it follows as a necessary consequence that the condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God.
The position, then, taken up in the Article is that, though the will may be left free by God, yet there is in unaided man a lack of power. This is the teaching of the “ Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man" (1543), with which the Article is in substantial agreement.
Though there remain a certain freedom of the will in those things that do pertain to the desires and works of this present life, yet to perform spiritual and heavenly things, freewill is of itself insufficient; and therefore the power of man's freewill, being thus wounded and decayed, hath need of a physician to heal it, and an help to repair it.” 1
II. The need of Grace. While the Article thus neither affirms nor denies the freedom of the will in the abstract, its teaching on the absolute necessity of Divine grace for the performance of works that are “grata Deo” is clear and decisive.
See Formularies of Faith, p. 360. Cf. also the Tridentine statement on the subject (Sess. VI. c. i.): “Freewill, attenuated and bent down as it was in its powers, was by no means extinguished.”
We have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will,
It is especially needful to remember, in studying this Article and those which immediately follow (XI.-XIII.), that they are concerned with God's method of dealing with those who are brought into covenant with Him through Christianity, and that what is said in them has little or no bearing on the case of those who live and die without ever having heard the gospel of Christ. Their case is not contemplated. Such terms as “ faith and calling upon God,” “good works, pleasant and acceptable to God,” “grace of God by Christ preventing us . and working with us,” etc., are expressions which properly refer to Christians; and therefore nothing that is said in these Articles need necessarily raise questions as to the “good works” of the heathen, and the light in which they are regarded by God. All that need be said is that they are not what the Articles call “ good works, pleasant and acceptable to God” (Deo grata et accepta). This phrase, which we meet with here for the first time, is almost a technical one, used for the works of Christians done in a Christian spirit and from Christian motives. Thus it is used in Article XII. of those good works which “are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification." These are said to be “grata Deo et accepta in Christo”; whereas, according to Article XIII., "works done before the grace of Christ and inspiration of His Spirit" are “minime Deo grata." More will be said on this subject when these Articles are reached. But so much it seemed necessary to say at the outset in connection with the first occurrence of the phrase. To return now to the teaching of the Article before us : It
states that twofold grace is needed-(1) preventing grace (gratia præveniens), inclining the will to choose the good ;1 and (2) co-operating grace (gratia co-operans), assisting man to act, when the will has already been inclined to choose the good. The technical phrase "gratia præveniens” is apparently due to Augustine, who makes use of it several times, and it seems to have been suggested to him by the Latin of Ps. lix. (lviii.) 10 : “ Deus meus misericordia ejus præveniet me," a text which he quotes frequently. The term "gratia co-operans” is also his, and, like“ preventing grace,” is based on Scripture. See Phil. ii. 13: “For it is God that worketh (qui operatur) in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure"; and compare (S. Mark] xvi. 20: “The Lord also working with them” (Domino co-operante). On the necessity of both kinds of grace, the teaching of Scripture, which is faithfully reflected in the Book of Common Prayer," as well as the Articles, is clear and definite. The beginning, the middle, and end of man's salvation is influenced by God.
For the need of preventing grace, besides the passage just cited from Phil. ii. 13, it is sufficient to refer to our Lord's own words in S. John vi. 44: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which sent Me, draw him,”
For scholastic teaching on grace and the divisions into gratia operans and co-operans, as well as into gratia præveniens and subsequens, see Aquinas, Summa 1 ma 2. Q. cxi.
Serm. 176, $ 5; De Nat. et Gratia, § 35; Contra duas Epist. II. $ 21. Cf. Bright's Anti-Pelagian Treatises, p. xix.
3 De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio, c. xvii.
* See the Collect for Easter Day: “Almighty God . . . we humbly beseech Thee, that, as by Thy special grace preventing us Thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by Thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect.” The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity : “Lord, we pray Thee that Thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works"; and the fourth Collect at the end of the Order of Holy Communion : “ Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with Thy most gracious favour and further us with Thy continual help."
and to such a phrase as that used in Acts xvi. 14, where the Lord is said to have “opened the heart” of Lydia, “to give heed unto the things which were spoken by God.” While for co-operating grace reference may be made to S. Paul's attribution of all that he did, not to himself, but to “ the grace of God which was with ” him (1 Cor. xv. 10; cf. Gal. ii. 20); and to our Lord's teaching in S. John xv. 4, 5: “Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; 80 neither can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for apart from Me ye can do nothing."
But while we thus, on the one hand, in dependence on the teaching of Scripture, assert the absolute need of grace, and trace everything good in man to the action of Him from whom alone cometh “every good gift, and every perfect boon” (S. James i. 17); yet, on the other hand, it is equally necessary to insist, still in fullest harmony with the teaching of Scripture,—which everywhere assumes man's responsibility and power of responding to God's claim,—upon the freewill of man; for so only can any sense of human responsibility be developed. We cannot, indeed, reconcile and harmonise the two counter-truths of freewill and the need of grace; but we can hold them both, and place them side by side, as S. Paul himself does in the passage already quoted. “Work out your own salvation with fear and
1 "There can be no question that S. Paul fully recognises the freedom of the human will. The large part which exhortation plays in his letters is conclusive proof of this.”—Sanday and Headlam On the Romans, p. 216.
a Cf. Augustine, De peccatorum meritis et remissione, II. c. xviii. : “[Nature] forbids us so to maintain God's grace as to seem to take away freewill ; and, on the other hand, so to assert its liberty as to lay our. selves open to the censure of being ungrateful to the grace of God in the arrogance of our impiety.”
trembling" (there is man's freedom, for it is idle to tell him to “work” unless he is free to work or not to work), “ for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (there is the need of grace, both preventing and co-operating).
The teaching of S. Paul in Rom. vii. shows more clearly perhaps than any other passage, the state of the case as regards the freedom of the will, and makes it apparent that, though left free by God, the will of man has since the Fall been warped in the direction of evil, and thus man finds himself, as it were, under two different and incompatible laws. On the one hand, he approves of the law of God, and acknowledges himself bound to obey it. On the other, he feels that he is under the dominion of another law which continually leads him to sin. “To will (TÒ OneLv) is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (ô Déw) I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good (το θέλοντι εμοί ποιεϊν το καλόν), evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (vers. 18–23). This double state or condition in which man finds himself is recognised by heathen poets and moralists. It has in its favour the testimony of facts,
1 It must be noticed that S. Paul does not use the word Boúhoval, which "lays the greater stress on the idea of purpose and deliberation,” but only odev, the more emotional word. See Sanday and Headlam in loc. 2 The lines of Ovid are well known
“ Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor." So Seneca asks : "What is it which, while we are going one way, drags