August 1, 2007

James Durham (1622–1658) on God's Desire

God the Father, and the King’s Son the Bridegroom, are not only content and willing, but very desirous to have sinners come to the marriage. They would fain (to speak with reverence) have poor souls espoused to Christ.
James Durham, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (Repr.; Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 2002), 44.

Make no mistake. By "sinners," Durham means all sinners, not merely the elect. He's affirming God's universal saving will in very strong, classically Calvinistic terms.

(HT: Donald J. MacLean)

Update on 3-9-15:
7. Consider further, how our Lord Jesus seeks, and presses for this satisfaction from you; he sends forth his friends and ambassadors, to woo in his name, and to beseech you to be reconciled, and told you, that it will not be thousands of rams, nor your first-born, that will do the business, but that ye must humble yourselves, and walk with God, which necessarily supposeth the use-making of Christ: if there had not been such sin, in not improving his satisfaction, but when he pleads so much, and so often for this, and entreats every one in particular to satisfy him, saying, as it were, let me see of the travail of my soul, let me have this much satisfaction for all my sufferings, that ye will make use of my righteousness; and when he is so very serious, in beseeching and entreating, it should, no doubt make us more willing to grant him what he seeks. 8. Ye should look upon this, not only as a discourse in the general to sinners, but ye should also look on it, as addressed to every one of you in particular; and therefore remember, that ye will all be called to give an account of this matter, and it will be asked you, what became of such and such an offer of grace, and whether ye gave him the satisfaction that he called for, or no: According to that word, Acts xvii. 31. 'He hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.' He would have judged the world through Christ had not come; but he will have a day wherein he will call all the hearers of the gospel to an account, especially as to this, to wit, what welcome they have given to Christ; and seeing such a day is coming, when people will be called to an account, what use they made of him, with what face will many come before him, when it shall be told them, that he craved no more satisfaction from them, for all that he suffered, but that they would have improved his sufferings for their own good, and that yet they would not satisfy him so much? Doth not this say, that there is need, that we should look well what what fruit there is of his sufferings, that there may be more than if he had not suffered at all.
James Durham, Christ Crucified: Or, the Marrow of the Gospel, 2 vols. (Glasgow: Printed by Alex Adam, for John Johnston, in the Caltoun of Glasgow, 1792), 2:224–225.
The Fifth Observation was, that Christ the Bridegroom and his Father are very willing to have the match made up and the marriage completed, therefore doth he send forth his servants with a strict commission, not only to tell sinners that all things are ready, but to bid them come to the Marriage: yea he not only wills them to tell them that all things are ready, & to invite, but to Compel them (as Luke hath it chap. 14.23.) to come in: to stir them up and press them to it: to threaten them if they come not, and to accept of no refusal or nay-say: the evidences of his willingness are many, which I will not now insist upon: as that he hath made the feast, and such a feast, and prepared so for it, and given himself to bring it about, and keeps up the offer and Proclamation of the Marriage, even after it is slighted: all these and many more tell plainly that the Father and Son are most heartily willing: therefore they expostulate when this Marriage is refused, O! Jerusalem, Jerusalem how often would I have gathered you, but you would not: Matt. 23. O! Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if thou even thou, hadst known in this thy day the things that belong to thy peace; Luk. 19. All these sad complaints, that Israel would not hearken to his voice, and his people would have none of him, Psal. 81.7. That he came to his own and his own received him not, Joh. 1.11. And that they will not come to him that they might have life. Joh. 5.4 make out his willingness abundantly and undenyably.
James Durham, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (Edinburgh, Printed by the Heirs and Successors of Andrew Anderson, Printer to his Most Excellent Majesty, 1696), 56–57.



Seth McBee said...

do you find the contemporary Calvinist exegesis of 1 Tim 2:4 a joke? (this is an honest question not a loaded one at all)

Tony Byrne said...

Hi Seth,

To read about my opinion regarding the popular Calvinist "exegesis" of 1 Tim. 2:4, go here:

Contextual Cow Patties

I am sure you will enjoy the post, even when considering the title :-)