June 13, 2010

Edmund Calamy (1671–1732) on General and Special Grace

For tho' 'tis through special Mercy, that any are recover'd and sav'd, yet the Mercy of God is so far exerted towards all, that he's ever before hand with them, and never stops the Current of his Favour towards them, till they obstinately reject the Grace he offers, and wilfully abuse that common Grace which had been afforded to them.
Edmund Calamy, Divine Mercy Exalted: Or, Free Grace in its Glory (London: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and 3 Crowns in Cheapside; J. Robinson at the Golden Lion in St. Pauls Church-yard, and J. Lawrence at the Angel in the Poultry, 1703), 40.
2. Let us put things together, and take Notice, that General Grace and Special are very reconcileable: For God may be so far willing of the Salvation of all, as to be ready to shew Mercy to them if they Repent and Believe; from which they are hindred by nothing but their own wilfulness: And yet he may be so much farther intent on the Salvation of some, as to use effectual means to bring them to Repent and Believe, to will and run, that so they may be secur'd within the Compass of his Special Mercy. The Scripture appears clear as to both; and where's the Inconsistency? why must we deny General Grace to exalt that which is special? or deny and depress special Grace, to advance that which is General? Is not the Honour of God's special Grace and Mercy sufficiently secur'd by our Acknowledging that 'tis that that brings any of the fallen Race of Adam to will and run, and so makes the Difference between them and the rest of the World, who live and die in their Unbelief and Impenitency? and is not this very consistent with our Owning that God so loved the World in general; as that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but might have everlasting Life? And on the other side, is not General Grace sufficiently secured by our maintaining God's Love to the World, and his willing the Salvation of all Men, on Condition they turn to him? And is not this consistent with our owning that a special Divine excitation alone can bring any that are in a state of Corruption, to will and run in the ways of God? And that he takes away the Heart of Stone, and gives an Heart of Flesh to all that become his real People? And why then should we go about to Dash these Truths against each other which are fairly Consistent, and agree well together? Let us beware of Extreams: and stand upon our Guard, least for fear of one Error, we fall into another.
Ibid., 44–45.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Excellent extract from 'authentic Calvinist' Calamy. He is clearly a faithful exponent of Richard Baxter's biblical soteriology.

Dr Alan C. Clifford