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Jerome Zanchi (1516–1590) on Divine Hatred

September 2, 2007

Zanchi:

1) II.–When hatred is ascribed to God, it implies

(1) a negation of benevolence, or a resolution not to have mercy on such and such men, nor to endue them with any of those graces which stand connected with eternal life. So, “Esau have I hated ” (Rom. ix.), i.e., “I did, from all eternity, determine within Myself not to have mercy of him.” The sole cause of which awful negation is not merely the unworthiness of the persons hated, but the sovereignty and freedom of the Divine will.

(2) It denotes displeasure and dislike, for sinners who are not interested in Christ cannot but be infinitely displeasing to and loathsome in the sight of eternal purity.

(3)It signifies a positive will to punish and destroys reprobate for their sins, of which will, the infliction of misery upon them hereafter, is but the necessary effect and actual execution. Zanchius, Absolute Predestination, p., 78.

2) Further, it is manifest, that all things that are without God and made by him, are beloved of God, both by testimonies of Scripture, and by firm reasons. Wisd. “Thou loves all things that are, and hates nothing that thou made,” [Wisd. 11]. But what is it, to say that God loves any thing? it is to wish and do well unto the same. But God has both willed and done good to all things that he has made: for for any thing to be is good, add farther hereunto, the divers and excellent qualities wherewith every thing is endued and adorned. What a great goodness is this? and therefore Moses says, Gen. 1. all things which God made were very good.  Therefore, as we love things because they are good, so all good things of their own nature, for that God loved and does love them. For God infuses goodness into things, by loving it, and this is truly to love: as we do contrarily love things because they are good: and we are said to love them, when we desire to have them, keep the good they have and wish them further that good they want [lack]. Thus appears the love of God to be more excellent then ours, because it is more effectual, and the cause of goodness in everything. It is manifest therefore that all things are beloved of God; for whatsoever he makes, he makes it good, how then could be but love it before he made it? He sustains those things which he has made, how can he then but love those things which he has made? by this means, there is no man nor devil, which can say, “God loves him not.” For God always did and does good to all.

Object.

But the Scripture says, that God hated the wicked, “thou has hated all those that work iniquity.”

Answ.

How therefore can the same thing be loved and hated? Answ. 2. Things are to be considered in a wicked man, nature, and iniquity. Nature is made by God, but iniquity is not, but belongs to the wicked. And we said in the proposition, “that God loves all things that are made by him.” Therefore these two are not repugnant; that God loves a wicked man as his own work and creature, and hates him as he is evil and works wickedness. For God does not properly hate a wicked man, but wickedness in him: according to that, “Thou has loved righteousness and hated iniquity.”   [Girolamo Zanchi] Live Everlasting: Or The True Knowledge of One Iehova, Three Elohim and Jesus Immanuel: Collected Out of the Best Modern Divines, and compiled into one volume by Robert Hill, ([Cambridge:] Printed by Iohn Legat, printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge. And are to be sold [in London] at the signe of the Crowne in Pauls Church-yard by Simon Waterson), 362-363. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; inserted bracketed material mine; side-headers included; repeated Scripture side-header references not included; and underlining mine.]               [Notes: Worldcat and Wing identify this as as: “Largely a translation and abridgement of Zanchi, Girolamo. De natura Dei. Zanchi is identified in the side-note on page 655—STC…” I have inserted Zanchi’s name in the title as a reflection that because: 1) as noted, this is largely a translation of Zanchi’s work; 2) because it quite probably does reflect Zanchi’s theology; 3) because Wing attributes the authorship to Zanchi, and Hill as the translator; and 4) from the opening “Epistle Dedicatory” (3rd page) Hill identifies a work by Zanchi as the principal text upon which this work is based. Lastly, I actually suspect this is a much more reliable translation than Toplady’s briefer translation from the same work.]

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