Predestinatians A sect which arose in Gaul shortly after the time when the Pelagian and Semi Pelagian disputes commenced. They held that God not only predestinated the wicked to eternal punishment, but also to the guilt and transgression for which they are punished; and that thus all the good and bad actions of men are determined from eternity by a divine decree, and fixed by an invincible necessity. In the 9th century the tenets of this sect were revived by Gottschalk, a German, whose followers were termed Predestinatians. They taught what Gottschalk himself termed a double predestination— that is, a predestination of some from all eternity to everlasting life, and of others to everlasting death. On promulgating this doctrine in Italy, Gottschalk was charged by Rabanus Maurus with heresy, and thereupon hastened to Germany to vindicate his principles. A council accordingly assembled at Mentz in A.D. 848, when Maurus procured his condemnation and his transmission as a prisoner to Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, to whose jurisdiction he properly belonged. On the arrival of Gottschalk, Hincmar summoned a council at Quiercy, in A.D. 849, when, although his principles were defended by the learned Ratramnus, as well as by Remigius, archbishop of Lyons, he was deprived of his priestly office, ordered to be whipped, and afterwards to be imprisoned. Worn out with this cruel treatment, and after languishing for some years in the solitude of a prison, this learned and thoughtful man died under excommunication, but maintaining his opinions to the last While Gottschalk was shut up within the narrow walls of a prison his doctrines were the subject of a keen and bitter controversy in the Latin Church. Ratramnus and Remigius on the one side, and Scotus Erigena on the other, conducted the argument with great ability. The contention was every day increasing in violence, and Charles the Bald found it necessary to summon another council at Quiercy, in A.D. 853, when, through the influence of Hincmar, the decision of the former council was repeated, and Gottschalk again condemned as a heretic. But in A.D. 855 the three provinces of Lyons, Vienne, and Aries met in council at Valence, under the presidency of Remigius, when the opinions of Gottschalk were approved, and the decisions of the two councils of Quiercy were reversed. Of the twenty-three canons of the Council of Valence, five contain the doctrinal views of the friends and defenders of Gottschalk. Thus in the third canon they declare, "We confidently profess a predestination of the elect unto life, and a predestination of the wicked unto death. But in the election of those to be saved, the mercy of God precedes their good deserts; and in the condemnation of those who are to perish, their ill-deeds precede the righteous judgment of God. In his predestination God only determined what he himself would do, either in his gratuitous mercy or in his righteous judgment." "In the wicked he foresaw their wickedness, because it is from themselves; he did not predestine it, because it is not from him. The punishment, indeed, consequent upon their ill-desert he foresaw-being God, he foresees all things-and also predestined, because he is a just God, with whom, as St. Augustine says, there is both a fixed purpose and a certain foreknowledge in regard to all things whatever." "But that some are predestinated to wickedness by a divine power, so that they cannot be of another character, we not only do not believe, but if there are those who will believe so great a wrong, we, as well as the Council of Orange, with all detestation, declare them anathema." The five doctrinal canons of the Council of Valence were adopted without alteration by the Council of Toul, in A.D. 859, which last council was composed of the bishops of fourteen provinces. But on the death of Gottschalk, which happened in A.D. 868, the contention terminated. SEE PREDESTINATION.

Bible concordance for PREDESTINATION.

Definition of predestination

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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