December 7, 2014

Thomas Larkham (1602–1669) on God Begging and Yearning Over Lost Mankind

Learn then we may hence, that there is no want of mercy in God: sooner can the Sea want water, and Hell want fire, and torments for ungodly men; than God can want mercy. If ye be not all saved (O ye sinners) it is not out of any defect in God: His bowels yearn over lost mankind: Ye are self-murderers; if ye come not all to Heaven. He persuades you, entreats you, begs you and complains of you; that ye will not come to him, that ye might have life. And what would ye have more? I say again, if any of you be damned, tis not God, but yourselves that cause it. See what God hath done to others: men saved already next the devils, have been greatest objects of pity that could be, because vile sinners and enemies to God in their mind by wicked works; bloody Manasseth, persecuting Saul, abominable Mary Magdalen, and the Thief upon the Cross, even dropping into the jaws of Hell. And for Saul who I named but just now, when he was breathing out threatenings and slaughters against the disciples of the Lord: Even then was God breathing out his mercies upon him. These are glorious suns that shine in the crown of our merciful God. He hath mercy of all sorts, for all conditions: and nothing displeaseth him more, then when men take up narrow thoughts of his infinite bowels.
Thomas Larkham, "The Mercy of God," in The Attributes of God Unfolded, and Applied. Divided into Three Parts (London: Printed for Francis Egelsfield, and are to be sold at the Mary-gold in Pauls Church-yard, 1656), 1:133.

And [2 Cor. 5] ver. 19, 20. of [God] stooping so low, and honouring man so much as to send Ambassadors, or rather Petitioners to beg, beseech and pray us to be reconciled to him.
Thomas Larkham, The Wedding-Supper (London: Printed, and are to be sold by Giles Calvert, at his shop at the black spread Eagle, neer the West end of Pauls, 1652), 15.


Other men within the Augustinian tradition who use the metaphor of God begging are the following:

Augustine (Early Church Father), Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Thomas Case (Puritan), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), Edward Reynolds (Westminster divine), John Richardson (Puritan), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), John Shower (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), William Strong (Westminster divine), George Swinnock (Puritan), John Trapp (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Thomas Watson (Puritan), Samuel Willard, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.

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