November 22, 2014

Edward Leigh (1602-1671) on God's General and Special Mercy

"2. He hath great mercy in him; if God be merciful at all, he must needs be merciful in great measure, yea above all measure, beyond all degrees, in all perfection; for the essence of God is infinite, and his wisdom, power, and mercy are infinite.

There is a mercy of God which extends to all his creatures, Psal. 145:9. Luke 6:35. God is merciful unto all men, but especially to some men whom he hath chosen unto himself.

The special mercy of God is offered unto all within the Church, Ezek. 16.6. Acts 13.40. but is bestowed only upon some, viz. such as receive Christ, John 1.11, 12.

This life is the time of mercy, wherein we obtain pardon for sin; after this life there is no remission or place for repentance.

All blessings Spiritual and Corporeal are the effects of God's mercy. Common blessings of his general mercy, special blessings of his special mercy."


Note: Richard Muller (in PRRD, 3:579) quotes the above portion from Leigh on divine mercy and says, "These effects of mercy, together with the distinction between general and special mercy, correspond closely with the effects and the formal description of God's grace, just as they overlap somewhat with the analysis of other divine attributes and affections." General mercy corresponds to general or common grace (Neh. 9:31).

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