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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Predestination of the...: Chapter 47

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 47.—Predestination is Sometimes Signified Under the Name of Foreknowledge.

These gifts, therefore, of God, which are given to the elect who are called according to God’s purpose, among which gifts is both the beginning of belief and perseverance in the faith to the termination of this life, as I have proved by such a concurrent testimony of reasons and authorities,—these gifts of God, I say, if there is no such predestination as I am maintaining, are not foreknown by God. But they are foreknown. This, therefore, is the predestination which I maintain. [XVIII.] Consequently sometimes the same predestination is signified also under the name of foreknowledge; as says the apostle, “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.” 3676 Here, when he says, “He foreknew,” the sense is not rightly understood except as “He predestinated,” as is shown by the context of the passage itself. For he was speaking of the remnant of the Jews which were saved, while the rest perished. For above he had said that the prophet had declared to Israel, “All day long I have stretched forth my hands to an unbelieving and a gainsaying people.” 3677 And as if it were answered, What, then, has bep. 545 come of the promises of God to Israel? he added in continuation, “I say, then, has God cast away His people? God forbid! for I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Then he added the words which I am now treating: “God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” And in order to show that the remnant had been left by God’s grace, not by any merits of their works, he went on to add, “Know ye not what the Scripture saith in Elias, in what way he maketh intercession with God against Israel?” 3678 and the rest. “But what,” says he, “saith the answer of God unto him? ‘I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee before Baal.’” 3679 For He says not, “There are left to me,” or “They have reserved themselves to me,” but, “I have reserved to myself.” “Even so, then, at this present time also there is made a remnant by the election of grace. And if of grace, then it is no more by works; otherwise grace is no more grace.” And connecting this with what I have above quoted, “What then?” 3680 and in answer to this inquiry, he says, “Israel hath not obtained that which he was seeking for, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Therefore, in the election, and in this remnant which were made so by the election of grace, he wished to be understood the people which God did not reject, because He foreknew them. This is that election by which He elected those, whom He willed, in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without spot in His sight, in love, predestinating them unto the adoption of sons. No one, therefore, who understands these things is permitted to doubt that, when the apostle says, “God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew,” He intended to signify predestination. For He foreknew the remnant which He should make so according to the election of grace. That is, therefore, He predestinated them; for without doubt He foreknew if He predestinated; but to have predestinated is to have foreknown that which He should do.



Rom. xi. 2.


Rom. x. 21 et seq.


Rom. xi. 4 et seq.


Rom. xi. 5.


Rom. xi. 7.

Next: Chapter 48