May 18, 2008

John Arrowsmith (1602–1659) on God's Common Favor

1. A second branch of God's goodness is grace, which relates to unworthiness, as the former did to misery. God is merciful to the ill-deserving, gracious to the undeserving. So far are we from being able to merit so much as the crumbs which fall from his table, that even temporal favours are all from grace. Noah was preserved in the deluge. Why? because "he found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Jacob was enriched and had enough. How came it to pass? "because God, said he to Esau, hath dealt graciously with me." But beside that common favour in which all share more or less, there is a more special grace, which the Psalmist prayeth for, "remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation.
John Arrowsmith, Armilla Catechetica: A Chain of Principles; or, An Orderly Concatenation of Theological Principles and Excercitations, Wherein the Chief Heads of Christian Religion are Asserted and Improved (Edinburgh: Thomas Turnbull, 1822), 126.

1) He associates grace with God's goodness, favor and mercy.
2) He says that all share in this favor (or common grace as distinct from "special grace") more or less.

 A brief account of his life can also be read HERE.

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