The
CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 4
Chapter 5—Of Perseverance

Section 12—Chronomatius. A.D. 335.


Chronomatius was, as we learn from Jerome,[1] bishop of Aquileia; he is said to flourish about A.D. 335,[2] and therefore must live to a great age, as appears from Jerom's knowledge of him, and acquaintance with him.  He wrote upon the Beatitudes, and some other passages in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and part of the sixth. Vossius[3] refers to a passage in this writer as militating against the perseverance of the saints; who indeed observes,[4] that “they are infatuated, who, when once taught by faith', and the heavenly wisdom, and ought to remain faithful and stable, leave the faith and divine wisdom, and either fall into heresy, or return to the folly of the heathens.” But it is plain that he is speaking of nominal Christians, and of their leaving the doctrine of faith they were once instructed in, and professed, but not of their losing the grace of faith, which they never had. He instances in Judas, “who,” he says,[5] “was of these sort of salts, but afterwards he rejected that divine wisdom, and of an apostle became an apostate; not only could not be profitable to others, but became miserable and unprofitable to himself.” And a little after, “Judas, of the household of faith, became an enemy of the truth.” All which only regard the office to which he was called, the external gifts bestowed upon him, and outward profession of faith he made, and the character he bore in the esteem of others, from which he sadly fell. But this is no proof of the apostasy of a true believer. Besides, Chronomatius observes in the same work,[6] “as salt, when it operates in any flesh, it does not admit of corruption, it taxes away ill smells, it purges out filth, it does not suffer worms to be generated; so the heavenly grace of faith, which was given through the apostles, in like manner works in us; for it takes away the corruption of carnal concupiscence, it purged out the filth of sin, it excludes the odor of an evil conversation, and does not suffer the worms of sin to be generated, that is, lustful and deadly pleasures to rise out of the body And as salt indeed is put without, but inwardly operates by virtue of its own nature so the heavenly grace penetrates through the outward and inward parts of the man; et totum hominem, integrum a peccato incorruptumque conservat, and preserves the whole man entire, and incorrupt from sin.” Which may be considered as a testimony for the doctrine of the saints' perseverance.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Hieron. ad Ruffin. tom. 6. fol .66. A; Comment. in Amos, 1. 3, proem. tom. 6. fol. 44.

[2] Vide Magdeburg. Centuriator. cent. 4, c.10, p. 693.

[3] Hist. Pelag. 1. 6, thes. 12, p. 567.

[4] Chronomatius de 8 Beatitud. concio. 1, p. 376.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid. p. 375.