August 13, 2008

Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) on God's Love, Good-Will, and Saving Desire

It is admitted that God's love to man is in one sense universal. He bears good-will towards them, as the work of his hands; but it does not follow thence that he must do all that he could do for their salvation...As to God's willingness that all should turn and God's will, as live, has been observed, sometimes expresses what he approves, and sometimes what he purposes. God wills, approves, and desires a sinner's turning unto him. It is that which, through the whole Bible, is required of him; and whosoever thus returns shall live. I may add, God is willing to receive and forgive every sinner that returns to him through Jesus Christ. He desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he would repent and live. But he has not purposed the salvation of every sinner, or to incline his heart to embrace the salvation exhibited in the gospel. In this sense, the salvation of some is neither desired nor designed: if it were, it would be effected; for "his counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure."--"Whatsoever his soul desireth, even that he doeth," Isa. xlvi. 10; Job xxiii. 13.
Andrew Fuller, "The Reality and Efficacy of Divine Grace," in The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller, 3 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia: Sprinkle Publications, 1988), 2:554.