June 14, 2009

John Preston (1587–1628) on Complexity in the Will of God

Object. 2.
It may be objected, is it possible that the same will should be carried upon the same object in different respects, as if God should will the damnation and Salvation of Judas both at the same time?

To this I answer, that it is most possible for a man to will and to nill one and the same thing upon the same object if it be in different respects; as for example, a man may will his friend's departure from him, and yet not will it, he wills his departure out of a desire he has of his friends good, and yet will it not out of a love he has of his friend’s company, and so God here he wills that all men should be saved, and therefore he beseeches men to believe, because it is agreeing to him, and it is so, neither can it be otherwise because of the conformity the thing itself has with his will; yet he will not use all means to bring this to pass. A father will not have his son drunk, if he will tie him up in a chamber he will not be drunk, yet he will not take such a course, though he has a will his son should not be drunk, so God though he do will that men should be believe and repent and be saved, yet he will not be said to use all the means for the effecting of it in all men, because he will glorify his justice as well as his mercy.
John Preston, Riches of Mercy to Men in Misery (London: Printed by J.T. and are to be sold by John Alen at the rising sun in Saint Pauls Church Yard, 1658), 422.


HT: Flynn's post on John Preston (1587-1628) on the Well-Meant Offer

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