August 2, 2007

Rutherford on Common Grace and Universal Love

“All preparations even wrought in us, by the common and general restraining grace of God, can have no effectual influence to produce our conversion.”
Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners To Himself (London, 1647), 240. Or see Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying, and Drawing Sinners to Himself (Glasgow: Printed by Niven, Napier & Krull; for Samuel and Archibald Gardner, 1803), 276. The above quote was found in David Silversides, The Free Offer: Biblical & Reformed (Glasgow, Scotland: Marpet Press, 2005), 20.
“We are hence taught to acknowledge no love to be in God, which is not effectual in doing good to the creature; there is no lip-love, no raw well-wishing to the creature which God doth not make good: we know but three sorts of love, that God has to the creature, all the three are like the fruitful womb; there is no miscarrying, no barrenness in the womb of divine love;

1. He loves all that he has made; so far as to give them a being, to conserve them in being so long as he pleaseth: he had a desire to have Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Heaven, Sea, Cloud, Air; he created them out of the womb of love, and out of goodness, and keeps them in being…

2. There is a second love and mercy, in God, by which he loves all Men and Angels; yea, even his enemies, makes the Sun to shine on the unjust man, as well as the just, and causes dew and rain to fall on the orchard and fields of the bloody and deceitful man, whom the Lord abhors; as Christ teacheth us, (Matt. 5:43-48). Nor doth God miscarry in this love, he desires the eternal being of damned angels and men; he sends the Gospel to many reprobates, and invites them to repentance and with longanimity and forbearance suffereth pieces of froward dust to fill the measure of their iniquity, yet does not the Lord’s general love fall short of what he willeth to them.

3. There is a love of special election to glory; far less can God come short in the end of this love…”
Christ Dying and Drawing, op. cit. p. 476f. (some copies, p. 440f., due to faulty numbering) Or see Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying, and Drawing Sinners to Himself (Glasgow: Printed by Niven, Napier & Krull; for Samuel and Archibald Gardner, 1803), 549-550. Also cited in David Silversides, The Free Offer: Biblical & Reformed (Glasgow, Scotland: Marpet Press, 2005), 46-47.

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