July 2, 2012

William Lyford (1598-1653) on Common and Saving Grace

"By Civil honesty, which we teach cannot bring men to heaven, we do not condemn justice and honesty in mans dealings; But we mean mere civil honest men, that is, deluded, & formal Christians, who being free from gross sins, and outwardly conformed to good orders, do flatter themselves in a moral righteousness without faith, or any assurance of their particular interest in Christ, or any endeavor to attain thereunto.

By Common Graces, we mean such gifts or God's Spirit as be common to the elect and reprobate, as gifts of Miracles, of Prophesying, and other abilities to spiritual duties.

By Saving Graces we mean the special work and fruits of the renewing Spirit which whosoever hath received, is undoubtedly saved.

By restraining Grace we mean that power of God's word on the conscience, whereby men do outwardly forbear evil, though they do not inwardly hate it."
William Lyford, Principles of Faith & Good Conscience, 4th edition (Printed at Oxford by Henry Hall for John Adams, and Edward Forrest, 1655), 270-271. [Some spelling updated]


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