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Lucas Trelcatius (1573-1607) on the Gracious Call and General Love to all Men

September 16, 2007

OF THE CALLING OF MAN unto Salvation

The Part Confirming.

Chap. 8.

For as much as we have treated of the Beginning and Dispensation of our Redemption: that is, of the Person and Office of Christ: We now are to treat, according to our appointed order, of he Application thereof.

Now the verity of this Application, ought three ways severally to be marked: by the degrees thereof; by the outward means, and by the Subject: the degrees, according to which, God in time applies unto us the benefit of Redemption, are chiefly two: Vocation, and Justification.

Vocation, is the first degree of Application, on God’s behalf; called therefore by Augustine, The entry unto salvation, and the first passage towards the end.

Of this Vocation, there is usually had a divers knowledge, according it is distinguished, either, as touching the manner of calling, into an Inward, and outward: or as touching divers condition of the cause Efficient, into a General, and Particular: or Lastly, as touching the effect of calling, unto an Effectual, and not Effectual Vocation.

Now of this Vocation, where Inward, Particular , and Effectual, or outward, general, and ineffectual, there is a double respect: the one Absolute in itself; the other Joint, or conjoined in an ordinary vocation. For God calls outwardly in general; inwardly, in particular; and jointly, both ways ordinarily.

Of both, we are orderly to treat, according to the course of causes.

The outward and general Vocation (we may speak of it in the first place) is a gracious action of God, whereby he calls men forth, by word, sign, and work, from unbelief unto faith; that both the faithful might be disposed to the communion of salvation, and that others being convinced of the grace offered unto them by God, might become inexcusable.

The cause Efficient of this Vocation is God, because it is from him properly, if you mark the true beginning thereof; and is from him, first (or chiefly), by himself , and principally, if you have a respect unto the means, which God would have to be used, either the extraordinarily, or ordinarily, for the calling of men.

The beginning is that love of God towards man, whereby as a lover of souls, and the Saviour of Men, he bears his goodwill towards all men, and generally offers his Grace unto them.

Now, he offers the same (that we may in few words speak of the means) by word, by signs, and by works; all which in respect of God, that ordains them, are general: by word, either extraordinary, such as was in the first times of the Church; or Ordinary, by the universal Canon of faith and life, which we call the Scripture; by signs, by which added unto the word (the Lord being author) his grace is visibly sealed up; by works, either Ordinary, or Extraordinary, either within the Church, or without the Church.

The matter, or Subject of this vocation, are all men, without a difference of nations, sexes, or states; unto whom by name, the means, whereof we have spoken, do extend: For God will have all men be saved, both generally, because he calls forth out of all whomsoever he will; or out of every one, of the general sorts, the general sorts of everyone, unto salvation: as also, because the grace of God is offered unto all; not by universal efficacy, but by a general sign, and power.

Lucas, Trelcatius, A Briefe Institution of the Common Places of Sacred Divinity: Wherein the Truth of every Place is proved, and the Sophisms of Bellarmine are reproved, (London: Imprinted by T.P. for Francis Burton, dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at the sign of the Green Dragon, 1610), 208, 210-211.

“Lucas Trelcatious, the younger, (1573-1607); studied at Leiden and become professor of theology there in 1603. He participated in the debate with Arminius over predestination and Christology. His major work is the Scholastica et methodica locorum communium s. theologiae institutio (1604).”

Source: Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 1:45 (first edition).

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