August 4, 2007

J. C. Ryle (1816–1900) on Thomas Manton (1620–1677)

Manton held strongly the doctrine of election. But that did not prevent him teaching that God loves all, and that His tender mercies are over all His works. He that wishes to see this truth set forth should read his sermon on the words, “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son” (John 3:16), and mark how he speaks of the world.
J. C. Ryle, “An Estimate of Thomas Manton,” in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, D.D. (London: James Nisbet, 1871), 2:xvii.

Flynn, over at Theology Online, has posted "a wee snippet" of Manton on John 3:16. Manton writes:
1. The word by which the object is expressed is ‘the world’ which noteth mankind in its corrupt and miserable state: 1 John v. 19, ‘The whole world lies in sin.’ The world is a heap of men who had broken God’s law, forfeited his love and favour ; they neither loved nor feared God, but were unthankful and unholy; yet this world God loved

(2.) No worthiness in us; for when his love moved him to give Christ for us, he had all mankind in his prospect and view, as lying in the polluted mass, or in a state of sin and misery, and then provided a Redeemer for them. God at first made a perfect law, which forbade all sin upon pain of death. Man did break this law, and still we break it day by day in every sin. Now when men lived, and went on in sin and hostility against God, he was pleased then to send his Son to assume our nature, and die for our transgressions. Therefore the giving of a Redeemer was the work of his free mercy. Man loved not God, yea, was an enemy to God, when Christ came to make the atonement: 1 John iv. 10, ‘ Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins;’ Col. i. 21, ‘And you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.’ We were senseless of our misery, careless of our remedy; so far from deserving, that we desired no such mattter. God’s love was at the beginning, not ours.
Thomas Manton, “Sermon XVI: John III:16,” in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, D.D. (London: James Nisbet, 1871), 2:340, 341–42.

Flynn comments on Manton:
For those not in the know, Manton is mostly famous for writing a dedicatory letter for the Westminster Confession when it was published shortly after the original publication.

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