May 25, 2017

William Strong (d.1654) on the Double Will of God

There is good ground for a double will of God, which the Scripture speaks of, a will of complacence, and a will of efficacy: approbationis & effectionis, a will of approbation and of effection: the one is a general and conditional will, manifested to the Creature, whereby the Lord approves and rewards obedience and perseverance therein in all persons whomsoever. And this is his revealed will, without determining any thing of particular persons in whom he will work this obedience. But the other is a secret will toward that particular person in whom he will work this obedience, and to whom he will give grace to continue in it. God did in his revealed will manifest to Adam, what he did require of him, what he delighted in, and what he would reward him for; but he did not tell him that he would give him grace and a supernatural assistance to cause him to continue in obedience; but he left him to the mutability of his own will, and in the hand of his own Counsel. God wills, that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. 2.4. God wills that all men should believe, but he will not work faith in all men; He wills that all men should be saved, but he will not bring all men to Salvation; he wills the one voluntate approbante, by a will of approbation; but the other decernente, by a decreeing will: So Davenant his answer  to God’s love to Mankind, pag. 220.
William Strong, A Discourse of the Two Covenants (London: Printed by J. M. for Francis Tyton at the Three Daggers in Fleet-street, and for Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns at the lower end of Cheapside near Mercers Chapel, 1678), 3.


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