July 9, 2017

Thomas Manton (1620–1677) on God’s General Love in Sending a Savior, and His Alike Favor in the Free Offers of Grace

3. There are many considerations which are proper to our state, every one of us have cause enough to love God, if we have but hearts to love him. Not only as he created us out of nothing, but as he redeemed us by Christ: Cannot I bless God for Christ, without reflection on my own particular benefit? His general love in sending a Saviour for mankind, John 3.16. God so loved the World, that he sent his only begotten Son into the World, that whosoever believed in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. As they reasoned, Luke. 7.5. He loved our Nation, and hath built us a Synagogue. Few did enjoy the benefit of it, but ‘twas love to the Nation of the Jews. So his Philanthropy, his man-kindness should put that home upon us, that there is a sufficient foundation for the truth of this Proposition, that whosoever believeth shall be saved: That Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour, to deliver me from wrath, and to bring me to everlasting life, that such a doctrine is published in our borders, wherein God declareth his pleasure, that he is willing all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. 2.3 [4]. That the door is wide enough, if you will get in; and if you have no interest, you may have an interest: We must not think that general grace is no grace: The life of Christianity lyeth in the consideration of these things: In the free offers of grace, all have alike favour, and none have cause to murmur, but all to give thanks: All that God looketh for is a thankful acceptance of the grace, made for us in Christ; surely when we think of God’s goodness, and kind-heartedness to miserable, and unworthy sinners, and do often and seriously think what he is in himself, and what he is to you, what he hath done for you, and what he will more do for you, if you will but consent, and accept of his grace: Such serious thoughts cannot but warm your hearts, and through the Lord’s blessing, awaken in you a great love to God. In short the love of God shed abroad in the Gospel, is the great and powerful object, that must be meditated upon: And the love of God shed abroad in your hearts, the most effectual means, to keep these objects close to the heart. And then doubts will vanish.


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