March 15, 2010

Theophilus Gale (1628–1678) on God's Intention in the Means of Salvation

God's Providential Will is that, whereby he is said to will and intend an end, when he in his providence, either gracious or common, affords such means which have an aptitude to produce it. As where God sends his Gospel, he may be said to really intend the salvation of those to whom it is sent, albeit they are not all saved; because he vouchsafeth them those means which have a real aptitude to produce the same, were they but really embraced and improved. In this regard Davenant and others affirm, that Christ's death is, παν φά-μαχον, an universal remedy applicable to all, and that God, by his Voluntas Providentia (as Aquinas styles it) intended it as such. This intention or will of God is measured by the nature of the means, and therefore reducible to God's Legislative Will, which gives constitution and measure to all the means of man's salvation.
Theophilus Gale, The Court of the Gentiles (Printed by H. Hall, for Tho. Gilbert, 1677), Part IV, Book II, 357. Or see Theophilus Gale, The Court of the Gentiles. Part IV. Of Reformed Philosophie. Wherein Plato’s Moral and Metaphysic or Prime Philosophie is reduced to an useful Forme and Method (London: Printed by J. Macock, for Thomas Cockeril, at the Sign of the Atlas in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange, 1677), 357 (II.v.4).

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