December 29, 2010

Jonathan Warne (fl.1731–1742) on the Revealed Will of God

Thirdly, when God doeth offer Grace to Men, he doth not immediately infuse his Grace into their Hearts, but he works it in them by the Use of Means: Now Reprobates, when as God tenders Grace unto them, do always slight, neglect, and vilify the outward Means by which he offers, and conveys his Grace; so that if they miss of Grace, as they always do, they cannot lay the Fault on God; or say, that he intended not to convert them; but they must take the Blame upon themselves alone; because if they had used the Means with Care, with Conscience as they ought, and done all that which was requisite on their Parts; God would have wrought effectually by his Spirit in their Hearts, for ought that they could tell, or think to the contrary.

Fourthly, when God doth seriously invite us to Repentance, to true saving Faith; he doth not always peremptorily promise, much less resolve to work this Faith, or Repentance in our Hearts, for then they should be always wrought effectually in us, because God's purposed, God's resolved Will, is always executed, and cannot be resisted; but he doth only seriously declare what things he doth approve, and require in us, and what Course we ourselves must take, if we will be saved: A King may seriously wish and desire, that such a Subject of his were a rich, or honourable Person; and withal inform him of the Way and Means to purchase Wealth or Honour; but yet he may not purposely resolve to make him such a one. God doth earnestly wish, command and desire, that all Men should repent and turn unto him, that none should offend, or sin against him; but yet he hath not eternally purposed to cause them to repent, or to enable them to convert, and not to sin; for most Men go on in Sin, without Repentance; in many things we offend all; and there is no Man that liveth and sinneth not. God may desire something in his revealed Will, which he hath not decreed to effect in his secret Will: He desires not the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he should repent and live; yet Sinners always die in Sin without Repentance: He desires that all Men should be saved, and that none perish; yet we know, that few are saved, and that most Men perish: Since therefore God may command, desire, and require something in his revealed Will, which he hath not absolutely decreed to effect in his hidden Will, it follows not that God doth therefore resolve to work effectually by his Grace in Reprobates, when as he offers Means of Grace unto them, and so he mocks them not.
Jonathan Warne, The Downfall of Arminianism (London: Printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe in Pater-noster-Row; and S. Mason, Bookseller, over-against Love-Lane in Wood-Street, 1742), 99–100.

Note: Warne was a high Calvinist and gives many replies to objections that are not correct or sufficient, in my opinion, but he nevertheless affirms that God earnestly wishes and desires the repentance and salvation of all men in the revealed will.

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