April 3, 2011

Francis Rous (1579–1659) on Christ's Sufficient Ransom for All

"But the same men that are so hard against the Saints, yet they are very kinde to the Reprobates, and they that will not allow a particular grace to give unto the Saints a sure salvation, will allow a general grace to give unto all, (Reprobates and all) an uncertaine salvation; Yea, to speake the truth under the shew of a generall salvation, they give no salvation at all. For man fallen will not stand, by that grace wherein man perfect did fall: so that if effectuall grace be taken away, salvation is taken away. But what say they? Christ dyed for all. True, but what of that? Therefore all men have grace to be saved by Christs death. A miserable inconsequence. There can be nothing follow but this, Therefore Christ gave himselfe a sufficient ransome for all. The ransome is sufficient for all, it is offered to all, but all men doe not receive it. Man by his fall hath deprived himselfe of grace, by which hee may accept the promises of grace, so that his owne incapacity, hinders him from accepting this general remedy. A King at his Coronation gives a general pardon; yet this doth not prove that all men are able particularly to apply this general pardon. There are some that thinke themselves rectos in Curia, and that they neede it not, some are negligent and carelesse of their estates; and a third sort are ignorant of it, and a fourth is poore and cannot sue it out. So in the generall pardon offered in Christ Jesus, there are some justificiaries, as the Scribes and Pharises that thinke they neede it not, there are some that with Esau despise it for carnall prophanenesse, there are some that are hardned and blinded being ignorant of Gods Righteousnesse in Christ Jesus, though they have it Preached, yea though they have a zeale of God and such are Jewes; and they cannot sue out a pardon by beleeving in him of whom they have not heard. But this is the summe of the truth: Man being wholly fallen by Free-will though assisted with a generall and sufficient grace, lost his Free-will, grace and life eternall. God in his mercy gives a Saviour with a sufficient ransome for all the sinners of the world, that of all the world he may take whom hee pleaseth, and by effectuall grace joyne them to Christ in an eternall union of blessed felicity. If Christ had not dyed for all, God could not of all have saved whom he pleased. If hee had given effectual grace to all, all would be saved; and then God had been all Mercy, and no Justice; if hee had given effectuall grace to none, none would be saved, and then God would have been all Justice, and no Mercy. But God purposed to shew, both Mercy and Justice, leaves some in the state of the fall, to which man voluntarily cast himselfe, and by effectuall grace joynes others to Christ unto eternall salvation. His Justice cannot be accused, but his Mercy ought to be magnified: And wee are infinitely more bound to God for his sure Mercyes in that Effectuall Grace, by which hee certainly saveth millions, then to Arminians for their generall grace, by which they goe about certainly to damne all."
Francis Rous, The Truth of Three Things, Viz, the Doctrine of Predestination, Free-Will, and Certainty of Salvation, as It is Maintained by the Church of England, Wherein the Grounds of Arminianism is Discovered and Confuted (n.p., 1633), 70–72.

Also in Testis Veritatis: The doctrine of King James Our Late Sovereign of Famous Memory. Of the Church of England. Of the Catholic Church. Plainly Shown to be One in the Points of Predestination, Free-will, Certainty of Salvation. With a Discovery of the Grounds Both Natural and Politic of Arminianism (London: Printed by W.I.[Jones?], 1626), 85–87.

"When the Westminster Assembly was set up, 12 June 1643, he was nominated one of its lay assessors, and on 23 September 1643 he took the Solemn League and Covenant."

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