The most eminent Aristotelian of the Renaissance, Petrus Pomponatius (De Immortalite Animae, 1516; De Fato, Libero Arbitrio, Providentia et Praedestinatione), was on the side of the Alexandrists.
"During these events (of the last two years of his life) he wrote a treatise 'Concerning the Agreement of Foreknowledge, Predestination, and the Grace of God, with Free Will,' in which contrary to his wont, he found difficulty in composition; for after his illness at Bury St. Edmund's, as long as he was spared to this life, he was weaker than before; so that, when he was moving from place to place, he was from that time carried in a litter, instead of riding on horseback.
He also informed me that he believed in predestination;--at least he said that Holloloo, he knew, had ordained that he should come to white man's country and be shot.
The following lines are attached:-- DE PREDESTINATIONE "Qui pretium poseit quod non meruisse videtur, Atque super fragilem ponit sua brachia cannam Illius in dorso Cancrorum semita stabit; Devolet inque suum rictum satis assa Columba."
And the peculiar doctrines which marked Calvin and his disciples were those deduced from the majesty of God and the comparative littleness of man, leading to and bound up with the impotence of the will, human dependence, the necessity of Divine grace,--Augustinian in spirit, but going beyond Augustine in the subtlety of metaphysical distinctions and dissertations on free-will election, and predestination,--unfathomable, but exceedingly attractive subjects to the divines of the seventeenth century, creating a metaphysical divinity, a theology of the brain rather than of the heart, a brilliant series of logical and metaphysical deductions from established truths, demanding to be received with the same unhesitating obedience as the truths, or Bible declarations, from which they are deduced.
That a course of untoward circumstances, upon which he seemed unwilling to dwell, had changed his destination, and made him a wanderer on the face of the earth.
Again, as he journeyed, a sorcerer met him, who asked him his destination:-- "I go," said Quetzalcoatl, "to Tlallapan."
In fact, having reached the summit of the slope, I found myself in the centre of an irregular range of dwellings, scattered here and there in picturesque disregard of order, and next moment my hand was grasped by my friend B. I had reached my destination,--Hanover Iron-Works,--and was soon walking up, past the white gateway, to the Big House.
As soon as the two divisions were met, the resolution was come to that it would be safe to billet the regiments throughout the villages; Cheirisophus remained where he was, while the rest drew lots for the villages in sight, and then, with their several detachments, marched off to their respective destinations.
The deep preluding strains are fitted to initiate the mind, with a pleasing awe, into the sublimest mysteries of theory concerning man's nature and his noblest destination,--the philosophy of a first cause; of subordinate agents in creation superior to man; the subserviency of pagan worship and pagan faith to the introduction of a purer and more perfect religion, which you so elegantly describe as winning, with gradual steps, her difficult way northward from Bethabara.
Some said we were bound for Ypres, which we heard at that time was a pretty "warm" spot; some said La Bassee was our destination--"warm," but not quite as much so as Ypres.