November 7, 2008

Ezekiel Culverwell (c.1554-1631) on God's Revealed Will in 2 Pet. 3:9; Ezek. 18:23, 32; Matt. 23:37 and 2 Cor. 5:20

"Having in the former part of this Treatise sufficiently proved by many Scriptures this point, that Christ and his benefits be freely offered without exception to all mankind, as that one place Mark 16:15 expressly shows; I only now advise every one who is kept from believing by this, that he knows not whether he be contained under the pardon or no, not to look to God's secret will, but to attend to God's revealed will in his Word, wherein it is expressly said, That God would have no man to perish, but would have all men come to repentance; and so oft. That he desires not the death of a sinner, that hereby he may be moved to seek and hope for that mercy, which God is so willing to bestow upon him, if the fault be not in his own self, as it was in the unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem, of whom our Saviour complained, saying, How often would I have gathered thy Children, as the Hen gathereth her Chickens under her wings, & ye would not?

A further manifestation of this willingness in God to save sinners, may be seen in his gracious invitation of the unworthiest to come to the wedding of his Son: yea, more by his beseeching sinners to be reconciled to him: and by the many and weighty arguments he uses to persuade men to believe, by the great rewards, earthly and spiritual, temporal and eternal, which all believers shall enjoy; and by the fearful woes which shall fall on all unbelievers, both in this life, and that to come, as plentifully is to be seen throughout the Scriptures."
Ezekiel Culverwell, A Treatise of Faith (London: Printed by J.D. for H. Overton, and are to be sold by William Sheares, 1648), 184-186. I have updated the English.

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