Friday, August 27, 2010

Charles Hodge on Augustinianism

The Calvinistic soteriology, though always held by the true Church, was first clearly formulated in a thorough manner by Augustine of Hippo. Charles Hodge states the Augustinian position quite beautifully when he writes: “The Augustinian scheme includes the following points:

1. That the glory of God, or the manifestation of his perfections, is the highest and ultimate end of all things.

2. For that end God purposed the creation of the universe, and the whole plan of providence and redemption.

3. That He placed man in a state of probation, making Adam, their first parent, their head and representative.

4. That the fall of Adam brought all his posterity into a state of condemnation, sin, and misery, from which they are utterly unable to deliver themselves.

5. From the mass of fallen men God elected a number innumerable to eternal life, and left the rest of mankind to the just recompense of their sins.

6. That the ground of this election is not the foresight of anything in the one class to distinguish them favorably from the members of the other class, but the good pleasure of God.

7. That for the salvation of those thus chosen to eternal life, God gave his own Son, to become man, and to obey and suffer for his people, thus making a full satisfaction for sin and bringing in everlasting righteousness, rendering the ultimate salvation of the elect absolutely certain.

8. That while the Holy Spirit, in his common operations, is present with every man, so long as he lives, restraining evil and exciting good, his certainly efficacious and saving power is exercised only in behalf of the elect.

9. That all those whom God has thus chosen to life, and for whom Christ specially saved Himself in the covenant of redemption, shall certainly (unless they die in infancy), be brought to the knowledge of the truth, to the exercise of faith, and to perseverance in holy living unto the end.” *

* Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology - Part 3 (Soteriology), Volume 2, § 8

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