The Will in its Theological Relations


John L. Girardeau

485 pp.




Title and Contents

6 pp., by Girardeau




Part 1

The Will in Man’s Innocent and Fallen, Unregenerate Estates


Chapter 1 – 72 pages

Preliminary Statements – 17
Analysis and Definition of the Will – 30
Other Definitions and Explanations – 45
The Common Doctrine of Determinists Pointed Out – 46
The Argument Against that Doctrine Begun – 48
The Great Question Signalized and Cleared of Irrelevant Issues – 49
The Hypothesis of Pre-Earthly Existence Briefly Refuted – 52
A Separation Demanded Between the Consideration of Man’s Estate of Innocence and that of his Fallen, Unregenerate State – 55
Was Man Necessitated to Sin by God’s Efficiency? – 57
Did God Efficiently Decree to Produce the First Sin?  – 57
The Doctrine of the Privative Character of Sin – 60
Did God Decree Efficaciously to Procure the Commission of the First Sin? – 63
Did God Decree so to Order and Dispose Adam’s Case as to Render the First Sin Necessary? – 64
Did God Refrain from All Decree Respecting the First Sin? – 67
Conclusion that God Decreed to Permit the First Sin – 75
Calvin’s Doctrine on this Subject – 77
Examination of the Scriptural Account of the Facts in Adam’s Case – 79
Adam Created in Integrity – 79
Adam as Probationer – 82
The Specific Test of Adam’s Obedience – 87
The Inducement to the First Sin – its Genesis – 87



Chapter 2 – 32 pages

Positions Deducible from Preceding Analysis of the Fact’s of Adam’s Case – 90
Here the Great Argument for Determinism Encountered – 92
First Form of the Argument Against Self Determination Charging an Absolute Commencement – 92
Second Form, Charging a Reductio ad Absurdum – 98
First Counter-Argument: Determinism Liable to the Same Difficulty – 99
Second Counter-Argument: Determinism Destroys Man’s Responsibility for his Intellectual Opinions – 101
Third Counter-Argument: Determinism Furnishes no Competent Account of the Origin of Motives – 105
Fourth Counter-Argument: Determinism Traverses the Usus Loquendi [way of speaking] and the Convictions of the Race – 113
The Determinist Theory at Least Checked by these Arguments – 118
That Theory Positively Overthrown by our Fundamental Intuitions and the Scriptures – 119
Invariableness of the Law of Determinism Disproved – 120
Recapitulatory Statements – 120
The Theory of Edwards Convicted of Self-Contradiction – 121



Chapter 3 – 55 pages

Vindication of Foregoing Views From the Charge of Inconsistency with Calvin and the Calvinistic Standards – 123
Statement of the Author’s Position – 125
Copious Citations from Calvin to Prove:  that he Distinguished Between the Necessity of Man’s Sinning in his Fallen, Unregenerate Condition and the Absence of Necessity as to Adam’s Sin – 138
That Calvin Held the First Sin not to Have Arisen from Imperfection in Man’s Original Make – 144
That Calvin did not Hold the Distinction Between the Freedom of the Will and the Freedom of the Man – 146
That Calvin Distinguished Between the Freedom and the Spontaneity of the Will – 146
That Calvin Affirmed for Man in Innocence the Liberty, or Power, of Contrary Choice – 147
That Spontaneity may, but Freedom Cannot, Consist with Necessity – 153
Discussion of the Question, What Freedom was Lost by the Fall? – 154
That Calvin’s Doctrine was that Man’s Present Inability was not Original, but is Penal – 158
That Calvin Maintained the Self-Determination of the Will in the External and Civil Sphere – 160
Did Calvin Hold the Lubentia Rationalis [Rational Spontaneity] View? – 161
Palpable Contradiction Between Edwards and Calvin as to the Status Quaestionis Concerning the Will – 163
Citations from Calvinistic Symbols [Creeds] to Prove the Foregoing Positions – 166
Gallic Confession – 166
Scotch and Second Helvetic Confessions – 167
Canons of the Synod of Dort – 168
Formula Consensus Helvetica – 170
Westminster Standards – 171
Striking Testimonies from John Witherspoon and James Thornwell – 177
Concluding Remarks – 178



Chapter 4 – 34 pages

Points of agreement and difference between the parties at issue – 181
Vindication of the distinction between efficient and permissive decrees by the authority of Supralapsarians themsevles – 185
Twisse cited – 185
Perkins cited – 187
Gill and Brine cited – 189
Beza cited – 190
The norm of Calvinism indicated – 193
Calvin’s doctrine touching efficient and permissive decrees – 196
Calvin proved to have been a Sublapsarian – 196
Twisse’s doctrine criticized – 200
The Calvinistic formularies are Sublapsarian, so far as they speak on the subject – 202
Attitude of the Westminster standards – 204
Was it Calvin’s doctrine that the first sin was necessitated by efficacious decree? – 206
Davenant’s judgment touching Calvin’s position – 214



Chapter 5 – 45 pages

Investigation of Calvin’s doctrine continued – 216
His doctrine as to the relation of God’s agency to the sins of the wicked – 218
His doctrine as to the relation of God’s agency to the first sin – 226
His apparent affirmations of its necessity: doubtful – 231
Discussion of this view – 232
Doctrine of Supralapsarians as to God’s agency in the first sin – 239
Refutation of the Supralapsarian position – 240
Doctrine of the privative character of sin again adverted to – 247
Hypothesis of a Deficient Cause for the first sin discussed – 248
Discussion of view of some Supralapsarians that Adam was a Positive Cause of the first sin, as sin – 257
God the first cause of beings and their powers, and man a derived and subordinate first cause of sinful acts – 259
Results of the argument summed up – 261



Chapter 6 – 53 pages

The great Necessitarian argument, that if God had not made certain the first sin He could not have foreknown it, considered – 263
The disproportion between this one argument and the many arguments against which it is pitted – 265
The argument precisely stated – 268
The proof from prophecy refuted – 269
The proof from God’s knowledge considered – 272

The Necessitarian’s position as to the nature of God’s knowledge proved to be self-contradictory – 275
His argument as to the ground of God’s knowledge – 289
Chargeable with proceeding in a vicious circle – 290
Contradictory to a fundamental postulate of pious Necessitarians – 294

The doctrine of contingent causes and events discussed – 294

Inconsistent with admitted Calvinistic doctrine – 295

The proof from the infallible connection between foreknowledge and the events foreknown considered – 308
Statement of conclusion – 315



Chapter 7 – 86 pages

Recapitulation of arguments on the foreknowledge of contingent events against the Necessitarian hypothesis – 317
Examination of other hypotheses concerning the divine knowledge: Socinian hypothesis of impossibility of knowledge of future, contingent events – 320
Hypothesis that God wills not to know future, contingent events – 325
Hypothesis of God’s ideal representations of future, contingent events – 342
Hypothesis of scientia media – conditional foreknowledge – 348
Hypothesis that permissive decree makes future events certain – 350
All these hypotheses agree in making God’s knowledge imperfect – 353
All of them reducible to unity upon representative knowledge – 355
Three general suppositions as to the mode in which God knows future events – 356
Discussion of the view that the subject is mysterious and transcendent – 356
Reasons justifying the submission of another hypothesis – 361
Hypothesis of the strictly intuitive nature of God’s knowledge – 363
Cautionary statements – 364
This hypothesis not identical with Dr. Henry More’s – 365
Augustine cited in its favor – 367
Aquinas cited – 370
Bacon cited – 371
Hodge cited – 371
Thornwell cited – 371
The great assumption: the Inifnity of God’s knowledge – 373
First inference: God’s knowledge iilimitable and all-comprehending – 373
Second inference: God’s knowledge unchangeable – 375
Third inference: God’s knowledge free from time-limits – 387
Conclusion: God’s knowledge of the first sin not dependent upon his pre-determination making it certain – 400


Chapter 8 – 6 pages

Summation of results from the whole preceding argument.

1. The distinction between the spontaneity and the deliberate election of the Will – 401
2. In his estate of innocence man possessed a self-determining power of the Will – 401
3. In his fallen, unregenerate estate man is devoid of self-determining power of the Will, in spiritual things – 402
In that estate he still possesses such a power in the merely natural sphere – 404



Part 2

The Will in Man’s Regenerate and Glorified Estates


Chapter 1 – 26 pages

Elements involved in the scheme of recovering grace – 410
Effect on the Will produced by regeneration – 412
Effect on the Will produced by justification and adoption – 415
Effect on the Will produced by Sanctification – 417
The Spiritual Conflict: the seventh chapter of Romans – 418
The conflict portrayed in the last part of that chapter proved to be true only of the regenerate man – 418
The contents of this position developed as to the Will – 421
Proofs that entire sanctification is not attained in this life – 422
The moral law not a standard of conscious justification – 425
Imperfect obedience to the moral law accepted only from the believer – 426
The moral law not a source of sanctification – 426
Conclusion from the unrelaxed obligation of the believer to obey the moral law as a standard of sanctification – 427
The continued operation of sin in the believer proved – 427
Two conflicting natures in the believer proved – 429
Effect of that fact upon the Will – 433
Paul’s meaning in denying that it was he who sinned – 434
Characteristic of the believer differentiating him from the unbeliever – 436
These views guarded against misapprehension and abuse – 437


Chapter 2 – 34 pages

Relation of the holy and sinful spontaneities in the believer as to their active manifestations – 444
Relation of the divine determining efficiency to the believer’s renewed Will – 446
The believer’s renewed Will possessed of some deliberate election, and not always determined by grace – 450
This view expounded and guarded – 453
Proofs that God often leaves believers to the undetermined elections of their own renewed Wills – 455

First proof: Believers often negligent of duty – 455
Second proof: The temporary backsliding of believers – 456
Third proof: Prayer for increase of grace legitimate – 457
Fourth proof: Difference between believer’s as to growth in grace – 460
Fifth proof: Difference between the final rewards of believers – 463

Objection: This view ascribed merit to believers – 465
Scripture doctrine concerning merit expounded with reference to man’s several estates – 467


Chapter 3 – 6 pages

Elements of man’s Glorified Estate as bearing on the Will:

The perfect removal of sin – 479
The complete destruction of the mutability of the Will – 479
Fixed habits of holiness – 480
The infusion of determining grace – 481
The exclusion of temptation, internal and external – 482
The transcendent experience of Death, Resurrection, the last Judgment and Eternal Realities – 483
The glorious environment of Heaven – 483

General Conclusion – 484







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