Where They Stand, and Fall

JOHN NELSON DARBY, (1800-1882) early Plymouth Brethren, dispensationalist leader, philosophic compatibilist

darby.jpg (6940 bytes)"This fresh breaking out of the doctrine of free-will helps on the doctrine of the natural man's pretension not to be entirely lost, for that is really what it amounts to.  All men who have never been deeply convinced of sin, all persons with whom this conviction is based upon gross and outward sins, believe more or less in free-will.  You know that it is the dogma of the Wesleyans, of all reasoners, of all philosophers.  But this idea completely changes all the idea of Christianity and entirely perverts it."  [Bold and underline emphasis mine.]

"For myself, I see in the Word, and I recognize in myself, the total ruin of man.  I see that the cross [of Christ] is the end of all the means that God had employed for gaining the heart of man, and therefore proves that the thing was impossible.  [By demonstrated design] God has exhausted all His resources, and man has shown that he was wicked, without remedy, and the cross of Christ condemns man -- sin in the flesh."

"Arminianism, or rather Pelagianism, pretends that man can choose, and that thus the old man is ameliorated by the thing it has accepted.   The first step is made without grace, and it is the first step which costs truly in this case."

"I believe we ought to hold to the Word; but, philosophically and morally speaking, [indeterminist, libertarian] free-will is a false and absurd theory. Free-will is a state of sin."

Letter on Free-Will, Elberfeld, October 23, 1861

More on this subject by Mr. Darby:


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