March 27, 2013

John Corbet (1620–1680) on God's Will and the Salvation of All Men

21. In what sense God is said to Will the Conversion and Salvation of all. 

The Conversion and Salvation of men is sincerely designed in God's Public Declarations and Proposals, as the nearest and proper End thereof. That they should turn and live is pleasing to his Will by a simple complacency; and he hath no complacence in their Sin, nor in their damnation, as in itself considered. He is so far willing of the Event, as that he doth most earnestly and strictly command it, and persuade it by most powerful and gracious Motives, and gives such a measure of help, as will make them happy, if they make use of it; and leaves them without excuse, if they do it not. And nothing is lacking on his Part, that is meet for him to do towards it, in point of Justice or Grace. But it is certain that he does not simply and absolutely Will the Event, that never comes to pass. Nor is it congruous to his Government of men in their state of trial, in order to a Future State of Recompense, that he should absolutely Will the Event of all that he commands to be done. Nevertheless God's will is effectual to that which he wills, so far as he wills it. His will of the Event is always effectual, as to the Event. His Will of Command, Counsel, and Persuasion is always effectual as to the making of Duty, and to the unfeigned signification of his Grace towards men, and of his simple Complacence in their Happiness.
John Corbet, A Humble Endeavour of Some Plain and Brief Explication of the Decrees and Operations of God, About the Free Actions of Men: More Especially of the Operations of Divine Grace (London: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, near Mercers-Chappel, 1683), 13. [some spelling updated]
5. Though God doth not simply will the Event of the Conversion and Salvation of all, to whom the Gospel is made known; yet he wills it so far, and in such a manner, as doth abundantly declare his good will towards men; and doth assure the diligent of good success in their endeavors; and doth convict the negligent of being inexcusable despisers of his Grace towards them.
Ibid., A2r.


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