1. GOD is good by a natural and internal necessity, not freely; which last word is stupidly explained by the terms “unconstrainedly” and “not slavishly.”
2. God foreknows future things through the infinity of his essence, and through the pre-eminent perfection of his understanding and prescience, not as he willed or decreed that they should necessarily be done, though he would not foreknow them except as they were future, and they would not be future unless God had decreed either to perform or to permit them.
3. God loves righteousness and his creatures, yet he loves righteousness still more than the creatures, from which, two consequences follow:
4. The First, that God does not hate his creature, except on account of sin.
5. The Second, that God absolutely loves no creature to life eternal, except when considered as righteous, either by legal or evangelical righteousness.
6. The will of God is both correctly and usefully distinguished into that which is antecedent, and that which is consequent.
7. The distinction of the will of God into that which is secret or of his good pleasure, and that which is revealed or signified, cannot bear a rigid examination.
8. Punitive justice and mercy neither are, nor can they be “the only moving” or final causes of the first decree, or of its first operation.
9. God is blessed in himself and in the knowledge of his own perfection.
He is, therefore, in want of nothing, neither does he require the demonstration of any of his properties by external operations: Yet if he do this, it is evident that he does it of His pure and free will; although, in this declaration [of any of His properties] a certain order must be observed according to the various egresses or “goings forth” of his goodness, and according to the prescript of his wisdom and justice.
The Works of James Arminius – Vol. 2: Certain Articles To Be Diligently Examined And Weighed Because Some Controversy Has Arisen Concerning Them Among Even Those Who Profess The Reformed Religion