July 11, 2012

William Bagshaw (1628–1702) on Special and General Grace

2. Are not they [Rome] also chargeable with drawing a Cloud betwixt us, and the clear shinings of free rich grace, who hold, and hold forth that sound and saving conversion is not an effect of special grace? We are far from denying any thing which the holy Scripture affirmeth concerning general grace. We grant, that there is such a sufficiency in the grace of God, which hath appeared and is offered to us all, that if we do heartily accept of and comply with it, it will bring salvation to us. We lay the blame and fault of those who refuse it upon themselves; their wills are not forced, but free in the refusal. Yet withal, we say that it is grace which maketh persons to differ, and they who have hearts throughly resolved for God, have nothing therein, but what they have received from the hand of grace, and as for that text [Marginal reference: Amesius, in his Coronis, p. 282], to which I now have respect, if it be (as some speak) to be interpreted as gifts, as distinguished from saving grace; we are of his mind, who judgeth that our Argument doth thereby receive strength. If God make men to differ, as to the gifts which refer to others edification; surely it is he who maketh them to differ as to that grace which accompanieth their own salvation. It is certain that what we will, we will freely: but that we freely will that which is best, this we set upon the score of differencing grace.
William Bagshaw, The Riches of Grace (London: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and three Crowns in Cheapside near Mercers Chappel, 1674), 15–16.


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