Part 4
Chapter 5—Of Perseverance

Section 19—Hilarius Diaconus. A.D. 380.

Hilary, the deacon, puts perseverance upon the foot of election, and intimates, that the reason why any persevere, is because, they are elected; and that if any who have thought to have been believers do not persevere, it is a plain case that they never were elected. “Those,” says he,[1] “whom God foreknew would be devoted to him, them he chose to enjoy the promised rewards; that those who seem to believe and do not continue in the faith begun, may he denied to be God's elect; quia quos Deus eligit apud se permanent, for whom God hath chosen, they continue with him.” And a little after, “Whom God foreknew to be fit for himself, these continue believers, quia aliter fieri non potest, ‘for it cannot be otherwise,' but that whom God foreknows, them he also justifies, and so hereby glorifies them, that they may be like the Son of God. As to the rest, whom God has not foreknown, he takes no care of them in this grace, because he has not foreknown them; but if they believe, or are chosen for a time, because they seem good, lest righteousness should be thought to be despised, they do not continue that they may be glorified; as Judas Iscariot, or the seventy-two, who, being chosen, afterwards were offended, and departed from the Savior.” Again,[2] “Whom God is said to call, they persevere in faith; hi sunt quos eligit ante mundum in Christo, ‘these are they whom he has chosen in Christ before the world began,' that they be unblameable before God in love.” And in another place he observes, that some persons may seem to be in the number of good men, when, according to God's prescience, they are in the number of evil men;[3] “Hence God saith to Moses, if any one sins before, me, I will blot them out of my book. So that, according to the righteousness of the judge, he then seems to be blotted out, when he sins; but according to prescience, nunquam in libro vitae fuisse, ‘he never was in the book of life.' Hence the apostle John says of such, They went out from us, but they were not of us, etc. 1 John 2:19.” He represents a believer's love to Christ as insuperable, ant the love of God in Christ to him as inseparable. Of the former he says[4] “no torments overcome the love of a firm Christian.' And of the latter,[5] “there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” “This confidence,” he says,[6] “arises from the engagement of Christ, by which he has promised to help in tribulation that faith which is devoted to him.” And as to faith itself, he says it is[7] res aeterna “an everlasting thing,” written by the Spirit, that it may abide. To which add another observation of his,[8] “Because God hath promised to give the heavenly kingdom to them that love him, et det necesse est, ‘and he must needs give it,' because he is faithful: therefore he is present with them that are afflicted for him; nor will he suffer so much to be laid upon them as cannot be borne; but will either make the temptation to cease quickly, or if it should be long, will give power to bear it, otherwise he will not bestow what he has promised; because he that suffers will be overcome; for man is subject to weakness, and there will be none to deliver; but because God is faithful who has promised, he helps, that it may fulfill what he as promised.' Vossius[9] refers us to the commentary of this writer upon the ninth of the Romans, but therein does not appear any thing against, but for the saints' perseverance, as has been already cited out of it.


[1] Comment. in Romans p. 294; vide p. 304.

[2] In Ephesians p. 492.

[3] In Romans p. 299.

[4] Ibid. p. 295.

[5] Ibid. p. 296.

[6] Ibid.

[7] In 2 Corinthians p. 419.

[8] In 1 Corinthians p. 379.

[9] Hist. Pelag.lthes. 12, p. 567.