Intriguing Zanchius Quotes

Reading Zanchius is difficult. Sometimes I have to admit I don’t know what he is saying. Other times I have a basic understanding of it. Given his use of “sacramental speech” and his commitment to the free offer of the gospel, these two quotes perk my interest:

VII. Everie one ought stedfastlie to beleeve he is elect in Christ, yet we may be more assured by the feeling of our faith in Christ.

Hence it is manifest, although no man in generall ought to exempt himself out of the number of the elect, sith the scripture doeth not so, but rather stedfastlie to trust that, when he is called to Christ, he is called according to the eternall decree and election of God. Yet, if any man will be more assured of his certaine election, he must run to his faith and the witnes of his conscience, whether he perceive that he truely beleeveth in Christ and whether he carrie a sincere love towards God and his neighbor. Yea, if he finde himself herein not altogether soundlie and thoroughlie setled, yet let him not desparre, but desire of God that he will helpe his unbeleefe, hoping that he may in time be better assured.

~ Confessions of the Christian Religion 3.VII

And also:

I. The gospell, what it is.

Concerning the gospell therefore, according to the signification received and used in the church, we beleeve that it is nothing else but the heavenly doctrine concerning Christ, preached by Christ himselfe and the apostles, and contained in the bookes of the Newe testament, bringing the best and most gladsome tidings to the world, namely, that mankinde is redeemed by the death of Iesus Christ, the onely begotten Sonne of God. So that there is prepared for al men, if they should repent and beleeve in Iesus Christ, a free remission of al their sinns, salvation, and eternal life. Wherefore it is fitlie called of the apostle: ‘The gospel of our salvation’.

~ Confessions 13.I

Now if we put systematic qualifications to the side, since those are always the boogers, and just start talking this way, what would we have?

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One thought on “Intriguing Zanchius Quotes

  1. Seems to me that Zanchius does a good job of avoiding the extreme of either denying a subjective, inward aspect to assurance or the extreme of denying the objective, covenantal aspect of assurance that all Christians have in Christ. If more people took a position like his, maybe we wouldn’t see the extreme on one side (the FV minimizing of the importance of personal examination) or the extreme over-reaction on the other side (the excesses of Puritan introspectionism where assurance is primarily grounded in how good a person is and how well they can discern the goodness of their heart/faith). Just my two cents worth.

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