[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.One side goes so far as to say that the orders of any prior of a monastery are binding under pain of hell, while they have no scruples in promising eternal life to those who obey them.The opponents answer this exaggeration by saying that all the orders of popes, councils and bishops are heretical and anti-Christian.The one side exalts papal power in an exaggerated way, the other side speaks of the pope such that I do not dare to repeat it.Again, one side says the vows of monks and priests fetter man forever under punishment of hell, the others say such vows are godless and not to be made, and once made, to be broken.61) Differences between exhortation and doctrineThe whole world is now shaken by the thunder and lightning born of the collision of such exaggerations.If both sides hold fast to their exaggeration, I foresee such a battle as between Achilles and Hector: since both were headstrong, only death could separate them.True, there is the popular saying, if you want to straighten a curved stick, bend it in the opposite direction.But this applies to the correction of morals.I do not know whether to employ it in matters of dogma.In the case of exhortations and dissuasion I see sometimes a place for an exaggeration.If one wishes to encourage the timid man, one would be right in exhorting: “Don’t fear, God will speak and do everything in you.” And in order to dampen a man’s godless insolence, you might profitably say, man can do nothing but sin; and to those who demand that their dogmas be thought equal to the canonical books say that all men are liars.When in the investigation of truth, however, axioms are propounded, I believe one must not use paradoxes, because they are so similar to riddles.I like moderation best.Pelagius attributes much too much to the free will; Scotus attributes quite a bit.But Luther mutilates it at first by amputating its right arm.And not content with this, he has killed the freedom of the will and has removed it altogether.I like the sentiments of those who attribute a little to the freedom of the will, the most, however, to grace.One must not avoid the Scylla of arrogance by going into the Charybdis of desperation and indolence.In resetting a disjointed limb, one must not dislocate it in the opposite direction, but put it back in its place.One must not fight with an enemy in such a manner that turning the face, you are caught off guard.According to this moderation man can do a good, albeit imperfect work; man should not boast about it; there will be some merit, but man owes it completely to God.The life of us mortals abounds in many infirmities, imperfections and vices.Whoever wishes to contemplate himself, will easily lower his head.8 But we do not assume that even a justified man is capable of nothing but sin, especially because Christ speaks of rebirth and Paul of a new creature.Why, you ask, is anything attributed to the freedom of the will, then? It is in order to justify blaming the godless ones who resist spitefully the grace of God; to prevent calumnies attributing cruelty and injustice to God; to prevent despair in us; to prevent a false sense of security; to stimulate our efforts.For these reasons the freedom of the will is asserted by all.Yet it is, however, ineffectual without the continuous grace of God, in order not to arrogate anything to ourselves.Someone says, what’s the good of the freedom of the will, if it does not effect anything? I answer, what’s the good of the entire man, if God treats him like the potter his clay, or as he can deal with a pebble?62) Final conclusionsHence, if it has sufficiently been demonstrated, this matter is as follows: It does not promote piety to investigate this any further than must be, especially before those who are unlearned.We have proven that our opinion is more evident in scriptural testimony than the opinion of the opponents.It is a fact that Holy Scripture is in most instances either obscure and figurative, or seems, at first sight, to contradict itself.Therefore, whether we like it or not, we sometimes had to recede from the literal meaning, and had to adjust its meaning to an interpretation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]