April 8, 2016

Thomas Horton (d.1673) on God’s Gracious Offer and Tender of Salvation

The second is the persons to whom this benefit is offered and tendered. And they are here [in Rev. 22:17] laid forth two manner of ways: First, In their extended notion; and secondly, in their limited. The extended notion is whosoever; the limited notion is that will, ὁ θέλων, which does carry both an indefinite and a restrained sense with it.

First, Take it in the extended sense. Here is a gracious offer and tender of salvation to all men indefinitely; an o yes, Heus omnes, as it is in that place of the Prophet, Isa. 55. 1. This is the scope of the Ministry, and the Tenor of the Evangelical Dispensation, as the Scripture declares it to us, Mark 16. 15. Christ sent his Apostles with this Commission, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. And Col. 1. 23. The Gospel is said to be preached to every creature under heaven, i.e. rational creature.

This it proceeds from God’s Bounty and Royalty, and love to mankind; So God loved the world, John 3. 16. And after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, in Tit. 3. 4. God bore that special love to the sons of men above the fallen Angels, as to offer them Salvation by Christ, which the others are uncapable of; and this it is general and unlimited, as to the proposal and exhibition of it. We may say to every man living, Believe in the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved; come to Christ and thou mayest have life by him; here’s none excluded of what rank or condition soever, whether Jew or Gentile, whether male or female, whether bond or free, if he be a man he is invited to come and to take of the water of life freely, as it is here signified and expressed in the Text. Though God hath his secret number of such persons whom he hath appointed to Salvation, in his rejection of others; and neither hath he like intention towards all, elect and reprobate; neither have all the Grace to receive Christ, and to apply him unto themselves, yet the offer is to all men indefinitely; neither are any to exclude themselves where God himself does not exclude them. And that’s the first Designation of the Persons here invited in the sense of extension, Whosoever.
Thomas Horton, “Sermon XLIX: Grace Freely Offered to Thirsty Souls,” in One Hundred Select Sermons Upon Several Texts: Fifty upon the Old Testament, And Fifty on the New (London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside near Mercers-Chappel, 1679), II:457.


No comments: