November 1, 2009

John Pawson (c. 1620-1654) on God's Love and Hate for the Elect

"'Tis true, the scripture says, God hates all workers of iniquity; and such are all elect persons before conversion: but yet, though he hate them as workers of iniquity, i.e. takes no pleasure in them; yet he loves them as elect persons: i.e. bears a good will to them. Nor is it any contradiction in this sense for the same person to love and hate the same man, at the same time, upon a several accompt, as a father may hate a son, as he is unruly and undutifull, and yet at the same time bear a good will to him, as he is his own flesh and blood, and one who he hopes may be reclaimed hereafter: even so may God hate an elect person, as he is a worker of iniquity before conversion, and yet at the same time bear a love of good-will to him, as he is a chosen vessel, and one who he knows will be converted and come in hereafter. In Ezek. 36:18. God is said to have poured out his fury upon the Israelites; this was an argument of hatred: and yet while he was doing so, he is said to have pittyed them, ver. 21. and this was an argument that he bare love and good will to them; as they shed blood in the land, and polluted it with Idols, so he hated them, and poured out his fury upon them, ver. 18. but yet Israel was his own peculiar people; and upon that account he bare such good will to them, as that he promises, ver. 25, 26. to cleanse them from their filthiness, and from their Idols, and to give them new hearts, and new Spirits. Which argues, that though at present he took no liking nor pleasure in them, yet even then he bare good-will and intended good to them. God may bear love and intend good to those whom at present he hates as workers of iniquity; and thus it is in the case of every elect person before conversion."
John Pawson, A Brief Vindication of Free Grace (London: Printed by Peter Cole, and are to be sold at his Shop at the signe of the Printing Press in Cornhill, 1652), 4-5. Pawson was a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. He also wrote a preface to John Hall's (1627-1656) Horæ vacivæ, Or, Essays (London: 1646).

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