September 11, 2021

An Index to the Puritan Sermons (1659–1689) or Morning Exercises at Cripplegate in Six Volumes

The Morning Exercises at Cripplegate, 6 vols., ed. Samuel Annesley, 5th ed. (London: Printed for Thomas Tegg, 1844–1845).

Volume 1

Samuel Annesley—“Sermon I: How May We be Universally and Exactly Conscientious?,” Acts 24:16.

William Greenhill—“Sermon II: What Must and Can Persons Do toward Their Own Conversion?,” Ezek. 18:32.

Benjamin Needler—“Sermon III: How May Beloved Lusts Be Discovered and Mortified?,” Matt 5:29, 30.

John Sheffield—“Sermon IV: What Relapses are Inconsistent with Grace?,” Heb. 6:4–6.

John Gibbon—“Sermon V: How May We be So Spiritual, as to Check Sin in the First Risings of It?,” Gal. 5:16.

Matthew Poole—“Sermon VI: How Ministers or Christian Friends May and Ought to Apply Themselves to Sick Persons, for Their Good, and the Discharge of Their Own Conscience,” Job 33:23, 24.

John Kitchin—“Sermon VII: How Must We Reprove, that We May Not Partake of Other Men’s Sins?,” 1 Tim. 5:22.

Samuel Lee—“Sermon VIII: What Means May Be Used toward the Conversion of Our Carnal Relations?,” Rom. 10:1.

Christopher Ness[e]—“Sermon IX: What are the Characters of a Soul’s Sincere Love to Christ? And How May That Love to Him Be Kindled and Inflamed?,” Eph. 6:24.

John Tillotson—“Sermon X: Wherein Lies That Exact Righteousness, Which is Required between Man and Man?,” Matt. 7:12.

Thomas Gouge—“Sermon XI: After What Manner Must We Give Alms, That They May Be Acceptable and Pleasing unto God?,” 1 Tim. 6:17–19.

Thomas Doolittle—“Sermon XII: If We Must Aim at Assurance, What Should They Do, That Are Not Able to Discern Their Own Spiritual Condition?,” 1 John 5:13.

Roger Drake—“Sermon XIII: What Difference Is There between the Conflict in Natural and Spiritual Persons?,” Rom. 7:23.

Thomas White—“Sermon XIV: What Faith Is That Which Except We Have in Prayer, We Must Not Think to Obtain Any Thing of God?,” James 1:6.

Elias Pledger—“Sermon XV: Of the Case of Inward Trouble; and How a Christian Should Behave Himself When Inward and Outward Troubles Meet,” Gen. 42:21, 22.

Joseph Hill—“Sermon XVI: In What Things Must We Use Moderation, and in What Not?,” Phil. 4:5.

Thomas Mallery—“Sermon XVII: How May We Have Suitable Conceptions of God in Duty?,” Gen. 18:27.

Thomas Lye—“Sermon XVIII: How Are We to Live by Faith of Divine Providence?,” Psa. 62:8.

Thomas Manton—“Sermon XIX: How May We Cure Distractions in Holy Duties?,” Matt. 15:7, 8.

William Cooper—“Sermon XX: How Must We in All Things Give Thanks?,” 1 Thess. 5:18.

Mr. Simmons—“Sermon XXI: How May We Get Rid of Spiritual Sloth, and Know When Our Activity in Duty is From the Spirit of God?,” Psa. 119:37.

Henry Wilkinson—“Sermon XXII: Wherein Are We Endangered by Things Lawful?,” Luke 16:27–29.

Thomas Watson—“Sermon XXIII: How Must We Make Religion Our Business?,” Luke 2:49.

Henry Hurst—“Sermon XXIV: Whether Well-Composed Religious Vows Do Not Exceedingly Promote Religion,” Psa. 116:12, 14.

William Whitaker—“Sermon XXV: How Are We Complete in Christ?,” Col. 3:11.

John Jackson—“Sermon XXVI: How Shall Those Merchants Keep Up the Life of Religion, Who, While At Home, Enjoyed All Gospel Ordinances, and, When Abroad, Are Not Only Destitute of Them, but Exposed to Persecution?,” Psa. 120:5.

Andrew Bromhall—“Sermon XXVII: How is Hypocrisy Discoverable and Curable?,” Luke 12:1.

David Clarkson—“Sermon XXVIII: What Must Christians Do, That the Influence of the Ordinances May abide Upon Them?,” 1 Chron. 29:18.

Supplement to the Morning Exercise at Cripplegate:

Samuel Annesley—“Sermon I: How May We Attain to Love God with All Our Hearts, Souls, and Minds?,” Matt. 22:37, 38.

John Milward—“Sermon II: How Ought We to Love Our Neighbours as Ourselves?,” Matt. 22:39.

Theophilus Gale—“Sermon III: Wherein the Love of the World Is Inconsistent With the Love of God,” 1 John 2:15.

William Jenkin—“Sermon IV: Now is the Time: Or, Instructions for the Present Improving the Season of Grace,” 2 Cor. 6:1, 2.

Volume 2

Edward Veal—“Sermon V: What Spiritual Knowledge They Ought to Seek for That Desire to Be Saved, and By What Means They May Attain It,” Isa. 27:11.

Thomas Case—“Sermon VI: Of Sabbath Sanctification,” Isa. 48:13, 14.

Thomas Senior—“Sermon VII: How We May Hear the Word with Profit,” James 1:21.

Thomas Watson—“Sermon VIII:How We May Read the Scripture with Most Spiritual Profit,” Deut. 17:19.

John Wells—“Sermon IX: How We May Make Melody in Our Hearts to God in Singing of Psalms,” Eph. 5:19.

Thomas Manton—“Sermon X: How Ought We to Improve Our Baptism?,” Acts 2:38.

Thomas Lye—“Sermon XI: By What Scriptural Rules Must Catechizing Be So Managed, As That It May Become Most Universally Profitable?,” Prov. 22:6.

Thomas Wadsworth—“Sermon XII: How May It Appear To Be Every Christian’s Indispensable Duty To Partake of the Lord’s Supper?,” 1 Cor. 11:24.

Matthew Barker—“Sermon XIII: A Religious Fast. The Duty Whereof Is Asserted, Described, Persuaded, in a Brief Exercise Upon—,” Mark 2:20.

Samuel Lee—“Sermon XIV: How to Manage Secret Prayer, That It May Be Prevalent With God to the Comfort and Satisfaction of the Soul,” Matt. 6:6.

Thomas Doolittle—“Sermon XV: How May the Duty of Daily Family Prayer Best Managed for the Spiritual Benefit of Everyone in the Family?,” Josh. 24:15.

Richard Steele—“Sermon XVI: What Are the Duties of Husbands and Wives toward Each Other?,” Eph. 5:33.

Richard Adams—“Sermon XVII: What Are the Duties of Parents and Children; and How Are They to Be Managed According to Scripture?,” Col. 3:20, 21.

James Janeway—“Sermon XVIII: Duties of Masters and Servants,” Eph. 6:5–9.

Stephen Charnock—“Sermon XIX: The Sinfulness and Cure of Thoughts,” Gen. 6:5.

Edward West—“Sermon XX: How Must We Govern Our Tongues?,” Eph. 4:29.

Matthew Poole—“Sermon XXI: How May Detraction Be Best Prevented or Cured?,” Psa. 15:3.

Richard Baxter—“Sermon XXII: What Light Must Shine in Our Works?,” Matt. 5:16.

Henry Wilkinson—“Sermon XXIII: What Is It to Do All We Do in the Name of Christ? And How May We Do So?,” Col. 3:17.

Thomas Cole—“Sermon XXIV: How We May Steer an Even Course Between Presumption and Despair,” Luke 3:4, 5.

Christopher Fowler—“Sermon XXV: How a Christian May Get Such a Faith That Is Not Only Saving, But Comfortable and Joyful at Present,” 1 Pet. 1:8.

Thomas Jacombe—“Sermon XXVI: How Christians May Learn in Every State to Be Content,” Phil. 4:11.

William Bates—“Sermon XXVII: How to Bear Afflictions,” Heb. 12:5.

John Owen—“Sermon XXVIII: How We May Bring Our Hearts to Bear Reproofs,” Psa. 41:5.

Thomas Vincent—“Sermon XXIX: Wherein Doth Appear the Blessedness of Forgiveness? And How It May Be Obtained,” Psa. 32:1.

Matthew Sylvester—“Sermon XXX: How We May Overcome Inordinate Love of Life and Fear of Death,” Acts 20:24.

William Hook—“Sermon XXXI: What Gifts of Grace Are Chiefly to be Exercised in order to An Actual Preparation for the Coming of Christ by Death and Judgment?,” Matt. 25:10.

Volume 3

A Continuation of Morning-Exercise Questions and Cases of Conscience, Practically Resolved, by Sundry Ministers:

Samuel Annesley—“Sermon I: How Is the Adherent Vanity of Every Condition Most Effectually Abated by Serious Godliness?,” Eccl. 6:11, 12.

Edward Veal—“Sermon II: How May We Experience In Ourselves, and Evidence to Others, That Serious Godliness Is More Than a Fancy?,” 1 Pet. 3:15.

Thomas Watson—“Sermon III: How God Is the People’s Great Reward,” Gen. 15:1.

John Howe—“Sermon IV: What May Most Hopefully Be Attempted to Allay Animosities Among Protestants, That Our Divisions May Not Be Our Ruin?,” Col. 2:2.

William Jenkin—“Sermon V: How We Ought to Bewail the Sins of the Places Where We Live?,” 2 Pet. 2:7, 8.

William Cooper—“Sermon VI: How a Child of God Is to Keep Himself in the Love of God,” Jude 21.

Thomas Lye—“Sermon VII: What May Gracious Parents Best do for the Conversion of Those Children Whose Wickedness is Occasioned by Their Sinful Severity or Indulgence?,” Mal. 4:6.

Henry Hurst—“Sermon VIII: How Must We Best Cure the Love of Being Flattered?,” Prov. 26:28.

Robert Trail—“Sermon IX: By What Means May Ministers Best Win Souls?,” 1 Tim. 4:16.

John Owen—“Sermon X: The Chamber of Imagery in the Church of Rome Laid Open: Or, An Antidote Against Popery. How Is the Practical Love of Truth the Best Preservative Against Popery?,” 1 Pet. 2:3.

Richard Baxter—“Sermon XI: The Cure of Melancholy and Overmuch Sorry by Faith and Physic. What Are the Best Preservatives Against Melancholy and Overmuch Sorrow?,” 2 Cor. 2:7.

Nathanael Vincent—“Sermon XII: How May We Grow In the Knowledge of Christ,” 2 Pet. 3:18.

Samuel Slater—“Sermon XIII: How May Our Belief of God’s Governing the World Support Us in All Worldly Distractions?,” Psa. 97:1, 2.

Richard Steele—“Sermon XIV: What Are the Hindrances and Helps to a Good Memory in Spiritual Things?,” 1 Cor. 15:2.

William Bates—“Sermon XV: What Are the Signs and Symptoms Whereby We Know That We Love the Children of God?,” 1 John 5:2.

Richard Mayo—“Sermon XVI: What Must We Do to Prevent and Cure Spiritual Pride?,” 2 Cor. 12:7.

John Oaks—“Sermon XVII: Wherein is a Middle Worldly Condition Most Eligible?,” Prov. 30:8, 9.

Stephen Lobb—“Sermon XVIII: How May We Graciously Improve Those Doctrines and Providences Which Transcend Our Understandings?,” Rom. 11:33.

John Milward—“Sermon XIX: How Ought We to Do Our Duty Toward Others, Though They Do Not Theirs Toward Us?,” Rom. 12:21.

Thomas Cole—“Sermon XX: How May the Well-Discharge of Our Present Duty Give Us Assurance of Help From God for the Well-Discharge of All Future Duties?,” 1 Sam. 17:34–37; Psa. 27:14; Prov. 10:29; 2 Chron. 15:2.

Vincent Alsop—“Sermon XXI: What Distance Ought We to Keep, In Following the Strange Fashions of Apparel Which Come Up in the Days Wherein We Live,” Zeph. 1:8.

Richard Adams—“Sermon XXII: How May Child-Bearing Women Be Most Encouraged and Supported Against, In, And Under the Hazard of Their Travail?,” 1 Tim. 2:15.

Peter Vinke—“Sermon XXIII: How May We Best Know the Worth of the Soul,” Matt. 16:26.

Thomas Jacombe—“Sermon XXIV: The Leading of the Holy Spirit Opened; With Some Practical Inquiries Resolved About It,” Rom. 8:14.

David Clarkson—“Sermon XXV: What Advantage May We Expect From Christ’s Prayer For Union with Himself, and the Blessings Relating to It?,” John 17:20, 21.

Volume 4

Thomas Doolittle—“Sermon XXVI: How We Should Eye Eternity, That It May Have Its Due Influence upon Us In All We Do,” 2 Cor. 4:18.

Mathew Barker—“Sermon XXVII: A Discourse of the Right Way of Obtaining and Maintaining Communion With God,” 1 John 5:7.

John Singleton—“Sermon XXVIII: What is the Best Way to Prepare to Meet God in the Way of His Judgments or Mercies?,” John 12:28.

Casuistical Morning Exercises:

Volume 5

Morning Exercise Methodized:

The Morning Exercise Against Popery:

Volume 6 (IA)

Henry Wilkinson—“Sermon VII: The Pope of Rome is Antichrist,” 2 Thess. 2:3–10.

Peter Vinke—“Sermon VIII: Protestants Separated for Christ’s Name’s Sake,” Luke 6:22.

Samuel Lee—“Sermon IX: The Visibility of the True Church,” Matt. 16:18.

Richard Mayo—“Sermon X: Invocation of Saints and Angels Unlawful,” Rom. 10:14.

Edward West—“Sermon XI: Purgatory a Groundless and Dangerous Doctrine,” 1 Cor. 3:15.

William Jenkin—“Sermon XII: No Sin Venial,” Rom. 6:23.

Edward Veal—“Sermon XIII: Whether the Good Work of Believers be Meritorious of Eternal Salvation,” Psa. 62:12.

Thomas Lye—“Sermon XIV: No Works of Super-Erogation,” Luke 17:10.

David Clarkson—“Sermon XV: The Doctrine of Justification is Dangerously Corrupted in the Roman Church,” Rom. 3:24.

Benjamin Needler—“Sermon XVI: God Not to be Worshipped as Represented by an Image,” Matt. 4:10.

Nathanael Vincent—“Sermon XVII: Public Prayer Should be in a Known Tongue,” 1 Cor. 14:15.

Samuel Annesley—“Sermon XVIII: Of Indulgences,” Heb. 10:14.

Thomas Vincent—“Sermon XIX: The Popish Doctrine Which Forbiddeth to Marry, is a Devilish and Wicked Doctrine,” 1 Tim. 4:1–3.

Richard Fairclough—“Sermon XX: The Nature, Possibility, and Duty of a True believer’s Attaining to a Certain Knowledge of His Effectual Vocation, Eternal Election, and Final Perseverance to Glory,” 2 Pet. 1:10.

Matthew Sylvester—“Sermon XXI: There are but Two Sacraments Under the New Testament,” Prov. 30:6.

Edward Lawrence—“Sermon XXII: There is no Transubstantiation in the Lord’s Supper,” 1 Cor. 11:23–25.

Richard Steele—“Sermon XXIII: The Right of Every Believer to the Blessed Cup in the Lord’s Supper,” Matt. 26:27, 28.

Thomas Wadsworth—“Sermon XXIV: Christ Crucified the Only Proper Gospel-Sacrifice,” Heb. 10:12.

Thomas Doolittle—“Sermon XXV: Popery is a Novelty; and the Protestants’ Religion Was Not Only Before Luther, but the Same That Was Taught by Christ and His Apostles,” Jer. 6:16.


July 5, 2021

Michael J. Lynch on John Davenant’s (1572–1641) Correction of Those Misreading Prosper of Aquitaine’s First Letter to Augustine

Another argument for reading Prosper as initially affirming that Christ died for the elect alone has been offered by Haykin:
In a letter to Augustine, he also challenged the view of the so-called Semi- Pelagians that “the propitiation which is found in the mystery of the blood of Christ was offered for all men without exception.” From the letter it is clear that Prosper does not agree with this statement, and Augustine does not refute Prosper in his reply. In his later career, Prosper appears to have either softened this commitment to definite atonement, or even rejected it in favor of an advocacy of the universal salvific will of God based on his reading of 1 Timothy 2:4.117
Haykin misreads Prosper’s Letter to Augustine. First, it is not “clear [that] Prosper does not agree with” the view of the semi-Pelagians that Christ died for all.118 Here is the fuller context of the Prosper quotation in question:
For this is their [viz., the semi-Pelagians’] argument and profession: that every human being has sinned by sinning in Adam, and no person is saved by their own works, but by regeneration through the grace of God: nevertheless, God put forward Christ as a propitiation which is in the sacrament of the blood of Christ for all human beings without exception in order that whosoever wishes to come to faith and baptism is able to be saved.119
In the first sentence, which begins an enumeration of the semi-Pelagian positions on grace, Prosper says that the semi-Pelagians also teach that “every human being has sinned in Adam, and no person is saved by his or her own works, but by regeneration through the grace of God.” Are we to believe that just because Prosper lists this as a position of his opponents that he must disagree with it? Haykin assumes, following Blacketer, that what Prosper explains as the view of his opponents is rejected by Prosper. Yet Davenant himself warned against Haykin’s false assumption:
Therefore, it should be observed that when Hilary and Prosper are noting the opinion of the semi- Pelagians, many things are mixed together, some of which agree with the truth, and others savor of error. When, therefore, they record that the semi-Pelagians declared that all people sinned in Adam, and that our Lord Jesus Christ died for the whole human race, and some other things, they do not note these ideas as the errors of the semi-Pelagians, but in order to show how far they agree with the orthodox, and so that they may explain the whole order and connection of the semi-Pelagian doctrine. Those, then, greatly err who think that all the things which are attributed to the semi-Pelagians by Prosper and Hilary are erroneous and Pelagian.120
Furthermore, Haykin fails to address the remarks Prosper gives regarding the semi-Pelagian opinion later on in the letter.121 As Davenant noted, what Prosper rejects is not the position that Christ died for all. Rather, the objection seems to be the attached condition, “even if he lives his whole life in complete estrangement from [God],” coupled with a denial of unconditional predestination, resulting in a predestination to faith which is dependent upon free choice.122

Haykin at one point confesses, “Prosper admitted that Christ may be said to have died ‘for all’ because he took on the human nature that all humanity shares and because of the ‘greatness and value’ of his redeeming death,” while also teaching that “Christ ‘was crucified only for those who were to profit by his death,’ that is, only the elect.”123 This position, ironically enough, sounds quite similar to the position Davenant himself would go on to defend in De Morte Christi.
117. Haykin, “‘We Trust in the Saving Blood,’” 72–73.
118. Cf. almost the same language in Blacketer, “Definite Atonement,” 310.
119. Prosper, Epistola ad Augustinum, 880; Prosper, Letter to Augustine, 39. [Lynch knows that the label “semi-Pelagian” is problematic. See p. 180n67].
120. Davenant, De Morte Christi, in DD, 5 (328).
121. Prosper, Epistola ad Augustinum, 883– 84; Prosper, Letter to Augustine, 43–44.
122. Davenant, De Morte Christi, in DD, 5 (329).
123. Haykin, “‘We Trust in the Saving Blood,’” 72.
Michael J. Lynch, John Davenant’s Hypothetical Universalism: A Defense of Catholic and Reformed Orthodoxy. Oxford Studies in Historical Theology, ed. R. A. Muller, et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021), 38–40.

June 7, 2021

Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706) on the Threefold Love of God Toward His Creatures

The threefold love of God toward his creatures

IX. From this emerges a threefold love of God, that is, toward his creatures: (1) a universal love (Ps. 104:31; 145:9), through which he created, conserves, and governs all things (Ps. 36:6; 147:9). (2) A common love, extending itself particularly to men, certainly not to each and every individual, but yet indiscriminately to anyone, as much the reprobate as the elect, of which kind is also the love that dispenses the benefits that are mentioned in Hebrews 6:4–5 and 1 Corinthians 13:1–2. (3) A love proper to the elect, by which he dispenses saving benefits to them, benefits that accompany salvation (Heb. 6:9), which accordingly are different from nature and natural benefits. For it is most terrible to confuse nature and grace. This love is again on the one hand called an objective love, by which such goods are dispensed that indeed concern man and are aimed at him, but yet do not enter him: of such kind are the goods of election, redemption through the satisfaction of Christ, and calling to salvation through the proclamation of the gospel. Or on the other hand, it is a subjective love, which, so to speak, enters man himself, as regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and union and communion with Christ. Both of these are especially particular and proper to the elect (Rom. 8:29–30; John 1:12).
Petrus van Mastricht, Theoretical-Practical Theology, ed. J. R. Beeke, trans. T. M. Rester and M. T. Spangler (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2019), 2:351. Elsewhere, he said, “God loves the elect more than the reprobate.” Ibid., 2:118.

Note: Most likely, by the “common love” of God, van Mastricht has in view the love within the gathered assembly of the church, which is not extended to those outside of it. Within the church, in his view, there are elect and reprobate, and the benefits mentioned in Heb. 6:4–5 and 1 Cor. 13:1–2 are special benefits received by all in the assembly of the church. Nevertheless, there is a “universal love” that pertains to all of God's creatures, which does include those outside of the church. God's universal love, by implication, extends to all reprobates outside of the church, while God's common love extends "to anyone, as much the reprobate as elect" who are within the church.

Here are some related quotes:
There is in God a universal or common love by which he is inclined to do good to every creature, and so then also to man (Ps. 36:6; 1 Tim. 4:10), by external and common benefits (Ps. 17:14), and there is also a special, saving love by which he dispenses the benefits that accompany salvation, which have an unbreakable connection with salvation (Heb. 6:9).
Ibid., 2:365.
XL. Third, zeal for exploring, if we observe some propensity of God toward us, some love, grace, or mercy, whether is it only that universal propensity which is inclined to beasts as well as men (Ps. 36:6), or that common propensity which is inclined to the reprobate as well as the elect. For since (1) such great affinity is at times discerned between nature and grace, an affinity by which, in the external exercise of religion and virtues, nature frequently exceeds grace, as it is evident not only in certain of the more honorable pagans—Plato, Cato, Aristides, Scipio, Seneca, and others—but also in the church, for example, in the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:10–14); since also (2) between common and saving grace there is sometimes such great agreement, as is evident by examples (Isa. 58:2; 1 Cor. 13:1); since (3) in these things, so many and such great men have deceived themselves, and myriads of pseudo-Christians still day by day deceive themselves, taking a more agreeable and humane nature for the grace of regeneration, and common gifts for signs of saving grace (James 1:26–27; Luke 18:11; Rev. 3:17), and (4) they have not deceived themselves without danger, indeed, not without eternal destruction—for all these reasons, there is nothing more necessary than to distinguish here the things that are excellent (Phil. 1:9–10) and to make our calling and election sure, and our every saving grace (2 Peter 1:10).
Ibid., 2:378–379.
It is a distinguishing love: God loves and preserves all his works (Ps. 36:6), but in a different manner and degree (Rom. 9:13). He loves them as the works of his hands, but he does not love them as sons. And thus our love toward God should also be a distinguishing love: we should love all things on account of God, as the works of God, as the image of God, but God on account of himself, above all things (Ps. 73:25).
Ibid., 2:536.


May 23, 2021

Charles Ferme (1566–1617) on Romans 2:4

4. “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering.” The apostle here makes a transition to the second argument, by which he proves, that the wise men among the Gentiles were likewise inexcusable before God, by proleptically anticipating the objections which they would be ready to start:—‘God has hitherto borne with me, and I have had experience of his goodness; therefore I will make amends to him by reproving others, and although I do the same things myself I shall escape his judgment.’ To this the apostle replies:—‘Nay! thou who doest the same things, for which thou judgest another, thou art just so much the more liable to the judgment of God, that hitherto God has been good to thee. The apostle reasons from the effect of his having so long experienced the long-suffering of God, which effect is his despising God’s long-suffering and goodness; this is the first argument of the reply: —‘Thou despiseth the long-suffering of God; therefore God’s long-suffering; renders thee so much the more inexcusable.’ “Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance;” this is the second argument of the reply, drawn from the end of God’s goodness to the wicked, which is illustrated by their own ignorance of it. The goodness of God towards the wicked should lead them to repentance; or which is the same thing,—‘He is good to thee,’ says the apostle, ‘that he may afford thee time and move thee to repent; therefore as thou dost not repent, thou art inexcusable, and shalt not escape his judgment.’ The apostle therefore replies to the objection by denying the consequence,—‘It is true God has been good to thee, but it does not follow from that that thou shalt escape his judgment;’ and this negation of the consequence he proves by two arguments; the one taken from the conduct of the wicked man—“thou despisest the goodness of God;” the other from the end of God’s goodness, which is the wicked man’s “repentance.”


August 31, 2020

Florus of Lyon (ca.800–ca.860): Sermon on Predestination

A note about this sermon:
Florus (c.800-860) served as deacon and teacher in the church at Lyons under the bishops Agobard, Amolo, and Remigius. He wrote several treatises related to the Gottschalk predestination controversy, some of which have been passed down under the names of Amolo and Remigius. Florus wrote this Sermon on Predestination (Sermo de praedestinatione) in response to certain persons who asked him about divine foreknowledge, predestination, and free will. In a codex at Trier, it was attached to Amolo’s Letter to Gottschalk (Epistola ad Godescalcum). Its concern that predestination does not mean a person is unable to change his spiritual status, and its comments about Gottschalk in the closing paragraph, suggest that it was written about the same time as Amolo’s letter, circa 851-852. Between 853-855, serving under Remigius, Florus concerned himself with responses to Hincmar, Pardulus, Rabanus, and Eriugena, and took a more mediating position with regard to Gottschalk. Edition: PL 119:95-102; PL 125:57-9; PL 116:97-100 (attributed to Amolo).
Francis X. Gumerlock, “Florus of Lyon—Sermon on Predestination,” in Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin, ed. & trans. V. Genke and F. X. Gumerlock (Mediæval Philosophical Texts in Translation 47; Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 206.



Almighty God, since He is most truly the true and only God, has by His own eternal and unchangeable knowledge foreknown all things before they were done, as the Scripture testifies, saying, “Eternal God, who understandest secret things, who knowest all things before they are done.” He foreknew, therefore, without doubt, both the good deeds that the good would do, and the evil which the wicked would do: in the good He wrought by His grace that they should be good, but in the case of the wicked He did not cause that they should be wicked (which be far from Him!) but merely foreknew that they would be such through their own fault. For the foreknowledge of God has not imposed upon them such a necessity that they could not be otherwise than wicked; but only what they would be of their own freewill; this He, as God, foresaw by virtue of His Omnipotent Majesty. Whence the Scripture, pointing out to us His spotless justice, says of Him, “He hath commanded no one to act wickedly, neither hath He give to any man licence to sin.” So that inasmuch as unrighteous men act wickedly, and turn the space of this life, which God has given them to use for good purposes, to evil pursuits, the fault is not God’s, but their own, and so they are rightly damned by His justice. Moreover, the same Almighty God foreknew that the damnation of those would be eternal, whom He foresaw would persist in their own wickedness; but that this would be in consequence of their own deserts, and not (which be far from Him) from His own injustice, Who has ordained nothing contrary to justice, and who will reward every man according to his works; that is to say, He will give to those who do good works, eternal blessings, and to those who do evil, eternal misery. Therefore in regard of the good, He altogether foreknew both that they would be good by His grace, and by the exercise of the same grace would receive eternal rewards; that is, that both in the present life they would live rightly, and in the future would be rewarded blessedly,—but both from the gift of the mercy of God. Whence the Apostle calls them vessels of His mercy, saying, “That He might shew the riches of His grace on the vessels of mercy which He hath prepared for glory.” On the contrary, however, He both foreknew that the wicked would be wicked through their own depravity (malitia), and would be punished with eternal vengeance by His justice. Just as He foreknew concerning the traitor Judas, that “it was he who should betray Him,” as the Gospel says, “when he was one of the twelve,” for He foreknew his eternal damnation when He said, “Woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed. It were good for him if that man had not been born.” And so in the case of the wicked Jews, He undoubtedly foreknew what their impiety would be, of which He spoke beforehand in the Psalm,—“They gave Me gall to eat, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.” He foreknew also their subsequent damnation, concerning which He added in the same Psalm,—“Let them be wiped out of the book of the living, and not be written among the righteous.” But in their case, as in the case of all the ungodly, wickedness arises from their own depravity, and then condemnation follows from the Divine justice. In this manner we must think of the predestination of God, because in the case of the good He has predestined both their goodness which should spring from the gift of His grace, and their eternal reward for the same goodness; that by His gift they should be made good, and by His gift should be rewarded. Whence the Apostle says, “Who hath predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself;” and in another place, “Whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” He has therefore predestinated His elect, both that now they should be received into the adoption of sons of God by the grace of baptism, and hereafter be made conformable to the image of the Son of God. He has predestinated altogether that both here they should be good, not of themselves, but through Him; and that there they should be blessed, not by themselves, but by Him. In either case, therefore, He foreknew and predestinated His future blessings in them and concerning them; but in the wicked and impious, Almighty God did not predestinate wickedness and impiety, that is, that they should be wicked and impious, and that they could not be otherwise: but those whom He foreknew and foresaw would be wicked and impious through their own fault, He predestinated to eternal damnation by just judgment; not because they could not be otherwise, but because they would not. They themselves are therefore the cause of their own damnation, but God is the just Judge and Orderer of the damnation itself; for He has not predestinated what is unjust, but that which is just. He has predestinated therefore crowns for the righteous, and punishment for the ungodly, since each is just.

And the Apostle, commending this justice to us, says, “Is God unjust who taketh vengeance? God forbid.”

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Almighty God is not then the cause of death or perdition to any man, but the wicked procure for themselves death and perdition by their own deeds and words, while by acting wickedly, and more wickedly persuading others, they bring damnation both on themselves and others; while, loving the way of iniquity and perdition, they turn aside from the right path, and hasten as it were with their hands joined, with a like consent in wickedness, to everlasting damnation; and being confederate with death, and enemies of eternal life, themselves, according to their hardness and impenitent heart, treasure up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath. In which day of the just judgment of God, because every one receives according to his works, no one is condemned by a foregone judgment (præjudicio) of God, but by the desert of his own iniquity. For He has not predestinated that any one should be wicked, but He has predestinated with regard to every wicked man that he should not go unpunished; because also every just law has not a fault (crimen), lest it should be unjust, and yet it punishes the guilty (criminosum), that it may be truly just. He, therefore, who says that they who perish are predestinated to perdition, and that therefore it cannot be otherwise, must likewise affirm this is the case of the righteous also, as if they are therefore saved, because, being predestinated to salvation, they could not be otherwise than saved. He, therefore, who talks so confusedly and foolishly, takes from the one the merit of damnation, and from the other the merit of salvation. And so what else is his meaning, but that, according to him, since the necessity of perdition is imposed on those who perish, so on those who are saved is imposed the necessity of salvation? And so neither can the one be damned with justice, because they could not be righteous; nor the other rewarded with justice, because they were not able to be anything but righteous. So that in either case both perdition and salvation does not result from the judgment of their own actions, but from the fore-judgment (præjudicio) of the Divine pre-ordination. And then, where will be that “who will render to every one according to his works?” and again, “Is God unjust who taketh vengeance? God forbid?” For the cause of the perdition of those who perish is openly referred to God, if He has so predestinated them to destruction that they are not able to alter their condition. But to think or speak this is horrible blasphemy. But the faith of the Catholic Church, of which we ought to be the sons and followers, thus commends itself to us to be most firmly held, as we have briefly pointed out above according to the authority of Holy Scripture, viz., that Almighty God foreknew in the case of the wicked their wickedness, because it is of themselves, but did not predestinate it, since it is not of Him; but their punishment He both foreknew, because He is God, and predestinated, because He is just, so that in themselves lies the deserving of their own damnation, and in Him the power and judgment of justly condemning. For God does not predestinate anything but what He designs to do; but He foreknows many things which He does not design to do, as all the wickedness which wicked men do, and not He. Also, that the wicked themselves do not therefore perish because they could not be good, but because they would not be good, and through their own fault arrived at the condition of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and continued in the mass of damnation, either by original or actual deserving of it. In the case of the good, however, Almighty God, as it has been sufficiently shewn above, both foreknew and predestinated that in the present life they should by His grace be good, and in the future also happy. For of each kind of their good, that is, both their present and future, He Himself is the Author and Giver, and therefore without doubt, of each the Foreknower and Predestinator; since they themselves by themselves not only could be otherwise, but also were otherwise, before that they were made righteous, from being unrighteous, by Him who justifies the ungodly. So that, whether in those who are saved or in those who perish, their own free-will is rewarded and their own free-will is condemned. But in the one, since by the grace of God our Saviour the will is healed, so that from wicked and depraved it becomes good and right, there can be non doubt that it is most worthily rewarded. But in the others, since the will does not submit to receive healing by the Saviour, most justly by the same Judge will feel eternal damnation.

And this in few words is the whole, which, according to the truth of the Catholic Faith, must be held concerning free-will. That is to say, that god has constituted every man capable of free-will; but because by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, since all have sinned, so the free-will, belonging to the whole human race, being vitiated and corrupted by the fault of his sin, is so blinded and weakened that it suffices man for evil doing, that is, for the ruin of iniquity, and can be free to this alone; but to well-doing, that is, for the exercise of virtue and shewing forth the fruit of good works, in no way can it rise or be strong, unless by the faith of the one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, it be restored, illuminated, and healed, as the Saviour Himself promises in the Gospel, saying, “If the Son shall set you free, then shall ye be free indeed.” And the Apostle says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” And that the human will is freed, illuminated, and healed by this grace of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ, let that joyful exclamation of the Psalmist testify, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then shall I fear?” Let him, therefore, who desires to receive this grace of liberty, so that he may become truly free to live piously and righteously, not presume on his own strength, but commit himself faithfully to Him to be healed and strengthened, concerning Whom the same Psalmist says, “Order my steps in Thy word, and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.”
“Letter of Florus,” in Henry G. Newland, ed., A New Catena on St. Paul’s Epistles: A Practical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Oxford: J. H. and J. Parker, 1860), 15–20. The Latin text can be found here: Florus Lugdunensis Diaconus, Sermo de praedestinatione, Migne, CXIX. col. 95–102. His other works in Latin can be found here (click). Another English translation was done by Francis X. Gumerlock. See “Florus of Lyon—Sermon on Predestination,” in Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin, ed. & trans. V. Genke and F. X. Gumerlock (Mediæval Philosophical Texts in Translation 47; Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 206–211. For more that may possibly be written by Florus (or Remegius) regarding predestination, see also “A Reply to the Three Letters,” in Early Medieval Theology, ed. George E. McCracken, trans. Allen Cabaniss (The Library of Christian Classics; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), 148–175.

Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent)
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theoloogical and Ecclesiastical Literature

Other biographical information:
Florus of Lyon (Florus Magister, Florus Lugdenensis, ca. 800–ca. 860) was a Spanish scholar and deacon of Lyon. He seems to hve owed his ecclesiastical career to Agobard of Lyon and remained unwaveringly loyal to him throughout his life. It has proved difficult to document Florus’s early years, but it seems reasonable to assume that he had come to Lyon early in life, perhaps for his education or to begin his ecclesiastical career. Florus clearly benefited from an education in the classics, as well as a deep grounding in the church fathers. He became particularly adept at liturgical issues, a skill that was put to the test when Agobard was exiled in 835 and Amalarius of Metz was appointed the episcopal administrator. Amalarius began to disseminate a quite different understanding of the Mass, one that was far more allegorical than Florus could stomach. Florus published his rebuttal to Amalarius’s Service Book (Liber officialis) and eventually accused Amalarius of heresy. Florus was successful in having Amalarius and his book formally condemned at the Council of Quierzy in 838, which resulted in Agobard returning to Lyon. However, the eventual victory was Amalarius’s because his approach to explaining the Mass eventually becaue the common way in medieval Christianity.

In keeping with his liturgical interests, Florus compiled a martyrology for the Lyonnais church, drawing upon a similar work of the Venerable Bede. Florus’s avid reading of patristic sources led him to publish a compilation on the Pauline Epistles, a text that very much anticipates the Ordinary Gloss. Florus also wrote in support of Gottschalk of Orbais in the controversy over the doctrine of predestination.
James R. Ginther, “Florus of Lyon,” in The Westminster Handbook to Medieval Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 69.
FLORUS (d. c.860). Scholar and controversialist. Nothing is known of his early life before he became a deacon of Lyons during the period when Agobard was its bishop (816-40). After Agobard’s deposition (he was later reinstated) in 835 because of his opposition to the schemes of Empress Judith, Florus defended the rights and independence of the Church of Gaul in De iniusta vexatione ecclesia Lugdonesis. His other writings included a defense of moderate predestination against the extreme views of Gottschalk, three treatises on liturgy, a commentary on the epistles of Paul, some additions to the Martyrology of Bede, and a collection of poems.
J. D. Douglas, ed., “FLORUS,” in The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), 381.
Florus (d. c.860), deacon of Lyons. Little is known of his life, but he was prob[ably] born in the region of Lyons. He served successive Abps. of Lyons, Agobard, Amolo, and Remigius, and was a canon of the cathedral church. His works on canon law, liturgy, and theology, which he appears never to have signed, were written in their service. When Amalarius was made administrator of the see of Lyons and tried to make changes in the liturgy, Florus attacked him in a series of works, one of which, the ‘Expositio Missae’, continued to be read. He took part in the controversy on predestination, defending Gottschalk and attacking Johannes Scottus Erigena. He was deeply versed in patristic writings, and the manuscripts at Lyons contain many traces of his editorial work. He compiled various Expositions on the Pauline Epistles, based on the writings of different Fathers; the one based on works of St Augustine circulated widely under the name of Bede.
F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, ed., “Florus,” in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 620–621.

June 3, 2020

George Bownd/Bound (d.1662) on God’s Proffered Blessedness Unto Sinners and Heaven Begging

Now to draw to a Conclusion, I have from the Scripture before us, held forth the bliss and happiness of Saints, and thereby an offer hath been made of the same blessedness unto Sinners: It offers it self to you, Oh that you would offer your selves to it! In this Sermon you may say, Salvation came to your House: it came to your Doors; Heaven goes a begging that it may be accepted; But it fares in this case, as we commonly observe in other cases, proffer'd things find little acceptance, because proffered: And indeed if we consider the multitude of Sermons that are preached, and how in every Sermon Christ, and Heaven, and Blessedness are offered, yet by very few accepted; We must needs think and judge, the frequent tenders do through the corruption of our hearts, occasion the horrible sleighting of them: Silver in the days of Solomon; being common was of no account: The Lord grant this sin bring not upon us the scarcity of the Word, that it should be with us as in the dayes of Samuel [1 Sam. 3:1], The Word of the Lord was precious in those dayes, there was no open vision. The time may come, when we would give a world to see one of the dayes of the Son of Man, and shall not see it: To hear one Sermon of Heaven and glory, but shall not hear it.
George Bownd, A VOYCE FROM HEAVEN, Speaking Good words and Comfortable words, concerning Saints departed. Which words are opened in a SERMON PREACHED At South-weal In Essex, 6. September, 1658. At the Funeral of what Worthy and Eminent Minister of the Gospel, Mr. Thomas Goodwin. Late Paster there. Hereunto is annexed a relation of many things observable in his Life and Death (London: Printed by S. Griffin, for J. Kirton, at the Kings-Arms, in Pauls Church-yard, 1659), 36.

Note: Observe carefully the connections in Bownd's sermon, in which he says "an offer hath been made," and "Heaven goes a begging that it may be accepted." God, through Bownd's sermon, is begging sinners indiscriminately that it may be accepted. That's a well-meant offer. Moreoever, Bownd further described this "offer" as a "proffer" and a "tender." That is no mere presentation, but a classic Calvinistic conception of the free and well-meant offer.

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), Nathaniel Heywoood (Puritan), Thomas Larkham (Puritan), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), John Oldfield (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), Daniel Williams (Puritan), Samuel Willard, Benjamin Wadsworth, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.