June 29, 2012

William Prynne (1600-1669) on the Riches of God's Love to Mankind

"Eighthly, it [the gospel] is thus propounded unto all, (i) that so the riches of God's love and mercy to mankind in Jesus Christ His Son, and all his great and glorious attributes, together with the mysteries of salvation, and his revealed will, might be more publicly known, manifested and revealed to the sons of men, to the glory and praise of God: the more the Gospel is spread abroad, the (k) more God and Christ are glorified though it conquers not all; because it doth more propagate and divulge those great, those glorious attributes & treasures of goodness which are in them, and wins them a greater, a more awful and commanding reverence and adoration in the hearts of men: therefore it is thus preached unto all."
William Prynne, God, No Impostor, Nor Deluder (Printed [by Elizabeth Allde], 1629), 14-15. [Some spelling updated]


June 26, 2012

William Gearing (c.1625–c.1690) on Christ Begging

You that are in spiritual distress, do not ye expect comfort presently; God cometh in a seasonable time: it may be you made Christ wait a long while upon you for your conversion, for your longing and thirsting after him: he hath cried from heaven to thee many a time, How long? how long? when shall it once be? How long will it be ere this hard heart of thine be broken? this proud heart of thine be humbled? how long ere thou wilt begin to enquire and seek after me. O when wilt thou seek me? And it is just with God to make thee cry to him, how long Lord! when wilt thou come in, and sup with me, and make thine abode with me, and manifest thyself unto me? When wilt thou give me to drink of the waters of life? May not the Lord say of thee, as of the barren fig-tree? These three years came I seeking fruit, and found none: and may not God justly requite thee, and say, now for these many years thou shalt seek me, ere I will be found of you: I waited a long time for the fruits of thy repentance, and now thou shalt wait a while for the fruit of my mercy: Because thou hast rejected the Lord tendering himself to thee, therefore now he stands at a distance from thee: many proffers did he make to thee, but thou slightest them; many calls thou hast from him, and wouldst not hear them; many knocks hath he given at the door of thy heart, and begged for entrance, but thou keptst thy heart shut still against him. Is it not equity that God should suffer thee to lie at the door of mercy awhile knocking before he opens to thee? Shall the great God wait on thee, and thou not wait upon him? Brethren! God will humble us for our delays, as well as for our other sins, he will humble us for the neglect of his proffers, for the refusal of his grace so long; he will humble thee for they Stubbornness, for thy pride, for thy contempt and forgetfulness of him, and then he will comfort thee in his own time and way.
William Gearing, The Love-sick Spouse, or the Substance of Four Sermons: Preached on Canticles 2.5 (London, Printed for Nevill Simmons, Book-Seller in Kederminster, 1665), 15–16.
2. Consider that Christ doth as it were wooe poor sinners to seek and sue unto him; he doth as it were put up his bills unto us, when we go to prayer, that we would earnestly pray to his Father, that he might be given to us, which is a manifest proof that he will freely bestow himself upon such as thus seek for him: God calls to us in this manner, Call upon me in the day of trouble; ask and you shall receive; seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you: What are these but wooing commands? and begging commands? it is a remarkable phrase. Cant. 2.14. O my Dove that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Lo here he takes pleasure in beholding his people praying to him, mourning and lamenting after him; therefore he wooeth his Spouse with prayers, requests and petitions to pray unto him: the prayers of his people are his delight: the praises of Angels and Saints in heaven, and the prayers and praises of the Saints on earth, is all the music Christ delighteth in: so in the answer of Christ to the woman of Samaria, John 4.10. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water: Christ there did, as it were, beg of her to seek him for living water: he manifested to her, what he was, what he would give unto her, and give it her he would, if she would but ask it of him. The same in effect he speaks to every one of us; if you would ask of me, I would give you living water; Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it, open thy heart wide, open thy desires wide, and I will fill thee with mine hidden treasures.
Ibid., 38–39.

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), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Larkham (Puritan), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (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.

June 25, 2012

William Gearing (c.1625–c.1690) on God's General Love

Gearing states five proofs and reasons why we are to love all in the beginning of chapter 10 of the following work. His first proof is this:
1. Because wherever we see any part of God's goodness, we are to love it. It is said that our Saviour beholding the rich young man that came unto him, loved him, Mar. 10.21. There is some Print of God's goodness in many that are not Godly, which ought to draw our affection to it; Goodness being the Object of Love. This is the reason why God himself loves all his Creatures, because there is a participation of his Goodness in them. There are some Reliques of God's Image in prophane men, that God bears a general Love unto, that we also may do the like.
William Gearing, Philadelphia, Or, A Treatise of Brotherly-Love (London, Printed for Tho. Parkhurst, at the Gilded Bible on London Bridg, next the Gate, 1670), 39–40. [Some spelling updated]
The Reason why Christians must show special Love one to another, are these.

1. Because God himself bestoweth his most special Love, the riches of his Love, upon the Godly; his everlasting Love is towards Jacob. As a man loveth his whole Family, but his special Love is to his Wife and Children. So God, although he loveth all the world, all his Creatures, yet his special Love is to his Saints. God's common and ordinary Love to all mankind, to the wicked, is but like the crumbs that fall from the rich man's Table; but his special Love and Favour are the Dainties upon that Table, which none but his Church doth feed upon. God causeth the Sun in the Firmament to shine upon the just and the unjust. The light of the Sun is a great, yet common mercy; but God hath promised, that he will be a Sun and Shield to his Saints, and give both Grace and Glory. God will give the Light of the Sun to the wicked, but the Godly only shall enjoy the Light of his Countenance. He will give to the wicked Rain, the Dew of the Clouds; but the Godly only shall have the Dew of Heaven poured on them. If the Lord doth bestow the chief of his Love upon his people, then must we Love them as God doth, and bestow the chief of our Love upon them.
Ibid., 65–66.

Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson give this brief biography of Gearing:
Little is known about William Gearing. He seems to have served as a minister in Lymington in the 1650s and later at Christ Church in Surrey. He preached a sermon at St. Mary Le Bow on September 3, 1688, in commemoration of the Great Fire in London.

Gearing published several works that reveal intimate awareness of the church fathers, experiential Calvinism, and the spiritual need of believers. His meditative treatise on prayer, A Key to Heaven (1683), is among the finest examples of seventeenth-century piety. He was also active in publishing some of the writings of John Maynard, a member of the Westminster Assembly.
See Meet the Puritans (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 259.

June 20, 2012

R. L. Dabney (1820–1898) on Divine Simplicity

Since the subject of divine simplicity has come up in a recent conversation (and I have added a label for it on my blog now), here's Dabney on the subject in his Systematic Theology:
Simplicity of God’s Substance.

Divines are accustomed to assert of the divine substance an absolute simplicity. If by this it is meant that He is uncompounded, that His substance is ineffably homogeneous, that it does not exist by assemblage of atoms, and is not discerptible, it is true. For all this is clear from His true spirituality and eternity. We must conceive of spiritual substance as existing because all the acts, states, and consciousnesses of spirits, demand a simple, uncompounded substance. The same view is probably drawn from His eternity and independence. For the only sort of construction or creation, of which we see anything in our experience, is that made by some aggregation of parts, or composition of substance; and the only kind of death we know is by disintegration. Hence, that which has neither beginning nor end is uncompounded.

But that God is more simple than finite spirits in this, that in Him substance and attribute are one and the same, as they are not in them, I know nothing. The argument is, that as God is immutably what He is, without succession, His essence does not like ours pass from mode to mode of being, and from act to act, but is always all modes, and exerting all acts; His modes and His acts are Himself. God’s thought is God. He is not active, but activity. I reply, that if this means more than is true of a man’s soul, viz: that its thought is no entity, save the soul thinking; that its thought, as abstracted from the soul that thinks it, is only an abstraction and not a thing; it is undoubtedly false. For then we should have reached the pantheistic notion, that God has no other being than the infinite series of His own consciousnesses and Nor would we be far off from the other result of this fell theory; that all that is, is God. For he who has identified God’s acts hence with His being, will next identify the effects thereof, the existence of the creatures therewith.
See R. L. Dabney, Systematic Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2002), 43–44. He also discusses this issue in relation to the will of God in "God's Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy," Discussions: Theological and Evangelical (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1982), 1:289–298.


June 15, 2012

Increase Mather (1639–1723) on the Lord's Casting Off and Common Love

We proceed therefore to the second Question, viz.

Quest. What is implied in this casting off for ever?

Answ. 1. It implieth a change as to divine Dispensations. In the Scripture, when the Lord threatened to cast off his people, that is intended, viz. that he would make an alteration as to the tenor of his dispensations towards them: here it is set in opposition to finding God, If thou seek him, he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake him he will cast thee off: Now finding God doth imply the enjoyment of his favour, and therefore in Casting off is implied the deprivement of the Lord's favourable presence. It is indeed most true, that the special favour of God is unchangeable, Rom. 5.2. This Grace wherein we stand. He that hath once access into the special grace and favour of God stands and abideth therein for ever, in respect of that there is no casting off for ever; In the Covenant of grace the Lord hath promised saying, I will not cast off the Seed of Israel for all that they have done, Jer. 31.37. But then there is a common favour, in respect of outward blessings, which are the effects of common love, & that may utterly cease, Hos. 9.15. I will love them no more. I have loved them, (saith the Lord) i.e. bestowed outward mercies on them, but I will do so no more. They shall have no more such days of peace, no more such plenty, no more such means of grace as once they did enjoy. Thus of a friend the Lord may turn to be an Enemy, Isai. 63.10. But they rebelled and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their Enemy, and he fought against them. Whilst a Covenant people, carry it so as not to break Covenant, the Lord blesseth them visibly, but if they degenerate them blessings are removed, and woeful Judgements come in their room, & that's implied in this casting off which the Text speaketh of, fcil. that mercies shall be taken away, as it was said of Saul that when God cast him off he took away his mercy from him, 1 Chron, 17.13. because he was deprived of that great outward blessing and dignity which once he did enjoy, And the sending of contrary misery to those mercies; that instead of peace there shall be Wars, instead of plenty poverty, instead of health terrible sicknesses, instead of planting, plucking up and destroying, these things are implied in this casting off, thus Psal. 89.38. But thou hast cast off and abhorred; thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. I conceive the Psalmist in those words hath [c] respect to the sad change of Providence which befell the Lord's People in Rehoboams time, for the Psalm was written by Ethan, who was contemporary with Solomon, and probably lived to see the woeful changes which happened five years after Solomon's death, when the Land was invaded and sorely wasted by the Heathen Enemies, and some (though not all) of the wrath of God poured out upon his people, and upon the Apostatized Children of David, strong holds were brought to ruine, and they did not stand in the day of Battle as in former times they had done, now these temporal Judgements are called a casting off.
Increase Mather, A Discourse Concerning the Danger of Apostasy (Boston: Printed in the Year, 1679), 43–45. Or see Increase Mather, A Call from Heaven to the Present and Succeeding Generations (Boston, Printed by John Foster 1679), 43–45. In connection with Matt. 5:45, he also affirms God's common love for all men in The doctrine of singular obedience, as the duty and property of the true Christian: opened and applied (Boston in New-England, : Printed & sold by Timothy Green, at the north end of the town, 1707), 8.

Notice the connection between various aspects of common grace/mercies and common love in Mather's theology. The Lord's "favorable presence" is associated with "common favor," "outward blessings," "the means of grace," "outward mercies," "days of peace," "plenty," "health" and "planting." These are all experienced by some who are finally cast off, i.e. the non-elect.

June 11, 2012

Fred Zaspel on God Begging and Hyper-Calvinism

In his first post dealing with Hyper-Calvinism and the free offer (click), Zaspel (a Reformed Baptist) briefly expounds a number of biblical passages. On Isaiah 55:1–7, he says:

Amazingly God stoops to the level of a peddlar on the street corner selling (giving away!) his wares, indeed, even begging the wicked and evil man to come to him for free pardon.
Then, on 2 Cor. 5:20, he writes:
Two words are significant here. First he says that God himself is “making his appeal” through the apostle’s preaching. The word used here (parakaleo) has a wide range of meanings. Very often it carries the connotation of pleading, begging, beseeching, entreating (e.g., Mt.8:5; Mt. 18:32; Mk. 1:40; Acts 16:9). And it is clear that this is the meaning here coupled as it is with the next word deomai. But what is especially significant here is that it is God himself who is said to do the pleading. The second word (deomai) means to beg. And again what is significant is that Paul speaks of this begging as coming through him from God himself. God’s appeal is echoed in the apostle’s pleading. Paul is God’s ambassador, and in his passionate pleading with sinners he preaches the gospel in the spirit of the one who sent him.
About Fred Zaspel

June 4, 2012

Nathanael Homes (1599–1678) on Christ's Universal Satisfaction


Until men come to Christ by faith, they have not actually any saving benefit by Christ's death. Where is stated and discussed the Question about Universal Redemption, of the true intent and extent thereof.

To further clear our in-being in Christ, this Question must be handled. Two extremes of Opinions there are about the extent and intent of Christ's death and satisfaction, that widen the difference. Which we shall now speak to (as God shall assist) for the clearing of the point in hand; and I shall not be wholly singular, but keep company with some late learned. The one extreme of opinion extendeth and violently stretcheth the death and satisfaction of Christ so much too far, as that it thinks that thereby God for his part is actually reconciled to all men, and doth really discharge every man diving [sic] from all his sins, and that before faith comes. Only they confess, that they for their parts perceive not that benefit by it, whilst they have no faith to believe, that God doth so love them. Now from this extreme Opinion it would follow, that God should be actually reconciled to man before he did put on Christ; And that God should forgive a man's sins (which is justification) before he believed. Whereas the very elect themselves before their effectual calling are said to be a people not beloved, Rom. 9.25. And whilest they are without Christ to be without hope; as we heard afore out of Eph. 2.12.

The other extreme opinion contracteth the riches of Christ's satisfaction into too narrow a compass, as if none had any interest any way therein, but such as were elected from the foundation of the world, though by the Gospel every one be charged to receive the same. Now from this extreme it would follow, that a man under the Gospel should be bound in conscience to believe that which is untrue, and charged to take and receive that with which he hath nothing to do, namely, to believe, and take Christ as dying for him, when as Christ did not die for him; nor did he belong to Christ in that respect, according to their Opinion.

Some to take away this difficulty, answer thus. That it follows only from this Argument, that some under the Gospel are bound to believe an impossible thing. Answ. This solves not the knot. For, 1. I ask, will God condemn a soul for not believing that which is impossible to be had? 2. Why, say I, is it impossible for them to have Christ, but because as these men say, Christ never Intended, or extended his death so far?

Others answer to this difficulty thus. That they under the Gospel that shall never have Christ, are not bound by the voice of the Gospel to believe that Christ died for them; nor are they condemned for not believing that Christ died for them.

Answ. The contrary seems to be evident, John 3.16. God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes IN HIM should not perish. Greek, INTO HIM. And v. 18. He that believes on him, Gr. INTO HIM, is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed IN (Gr. INTO) the name of the only begotten Son of God. See how God, 1. propounds his Son more generally, as sent to the WORLD, and as it is in v. 17. He sent not his Son into the WORLD to condemn the world, but that the WORLD might be saved. Then, 2. requires men particularly to believe IN or INTO his Son: as HE that believes in him, &c. Therefore to avoid both these rocks, the word of truth, by which faith is begotten, Eph. 1.13. must be sought into, to find a middle way, wherein to go safely, and not to split against either of the said two rocks of absurdities.

For the better and readier finding out this middle and safer way, we must be careful in the business of our redemption, clearly to distinguish between the satisfaction of Christ, absolutely considered, and the application of the same relatively to men in particular. The differences as, 1. That satisfaction absolutely considered, was once, and at once done for All; but the application of it to man, is still in doing. 2. Satisfaction absolutely considered, bringeth with it sufficiency to discharge all men's whole debt; The application of it adds unto it efficiency to make it effectual. 3. The satisfaction of Christ makes the sins of mankind only pardonable, fit for pardon, else God's Justice could not put up the wrong done to him by sin. The particular application maketh the sins of those to whom it is applied to be pardoned, actually and solemnly to be acquitted by pardon. So that in sum thus. Though all sins of all men are mortal in regard of the stipend due to them by the Law; yet all do not actually bring forth eternal death; because the gracious promise of the Gospel holding forth Christ, inhibits, supercedes, and stays the execution. So that all the sins of mankind are become venial in respect of the price paid by Christ unto his Father; so that in showing mercy to all, if such were his pleasure, his Justice should be no loser. But all do not obtain actual remission of sin, because most offenders do not take out, nor plead their pardon, as they ought to do, Ezek. 36. For all this will I be sought unto. And Isa. 55. Call upon the Lord while he is near: and then it follows, He will abundantly pardon. If Christ had not assumed our nature, and therein made satisfaction for the injury offered by us to God, God would not have come to a Treaty of peace with us, (as it is said, Isa. 1. Come now let us reason together,) no more then with the fallen Angels, whose nature his Son Christ did not assume, Heb. 2. and so were finally rejected. But this way being made through the flesh of Christ (as the Apostle speaks, Heb. 10.20.) God holdeth out unto men the golden Scepter of his Gospel; and thereby not only signifieth his pleasure of admitting them tin to his presence; and accepting their submission (which is a wonderful grace, and favour) but also sendeth an embassage unto them, entreating them that they would be reconciled unto him, 2 Cor. 5:20.

Hence is inferred against the first extremity of opinion (of which see before) that by virtue of Christ's satisfaction in our nature, God is made appeasable unto our nature; but is not actually appeased towards any man's person, until he hath received his Son, and put on him the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hence also is inferred against the second extremity of opinion (of which afore) that all may be said to have a common interest in the merits of Christ: howsoever all do not enjoy the benefit thereof, because they do not take it. The well-spring of life is set open to all, freely, Rev. 22.17. Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely. But many fetch not, having nothing to draw with, and the Well is deep. Faith is the only vessel whereby we are to draw all virtue from Christ; and that is to be fetched from the hearing of the word of truth, the Gospel of our salvation, Eph. 1.13. Rom. 10. which holdeth forth this bottom for every one to build his faith upon, thus.

What Christ hath provided for me, and the Gospel offers me, that I ought with all thankfulness to accept, and apply to my comfort. But Christ by his death, and obedience, hath provided a sufficient remedy for the taking away of sin, and the Gospel offereth it. Therefore I ought to accept it, and apply it to the comfort of mine own soul.

Now many hearing this Gospel of salvation, do either not regard it, or not believe it; or if in a sort believe it, that is the truth of it, yet embrace it not; but are so wedded to their sins, that they have no desire to be divorced from them: and therefore neglect the taking to themselves, and applying to their own souls this gracious offer made unto them.

Notwithstanding which neglect of their parts, we may truly say, [That good things were provided for them on Christ's part,] and that a rich price was put into the hand of a fool, howsoever he had no heart to use it, Prov. 17.16. Our Saviour by that which he performed on his part hath procured a Jubilee for all the sons of Adam, Luke 4. 18, 19. And the Gospel is the trumpet whereby he doth proclaim liberty to the Captives, and preacheth the acceptable year of the Lord. If (as Lev. 25.24. Exod. 21.5. Deut. 15.16.) for all this some are so well pleased with their captivity, that they desire no deliverance; this derogateth nothing from the generality of the freedom annexed unto that YEAR. If one say to his sin, or love of the world, his old Master, I love thee, I will not depart from thee, I will not go out free, then he shall be (as the servants so saying in the aforesaid texts) bored in the ear for a slave; and serve for ever. But that slavish disposition of his, maketh the extent of the priviledge of that year not a whit the straighter; because he was included within the general grant as well as others, howsoever he was not disposed to take the benefit of it. The King of heaven (saith our Saviour, Mat. 22.2.) is like unto a certain King that made a marriage, that is, a marriage-feast, as the Syriac משתותא signifies) for his Son, and sent forth his Servants to those that were bidden to that marriage feast with this message, [Behold I have prepared my dinner, my oxen, and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready, come to the wedding, v. 4.] But if we look to the event, They which were bidden made light of the invitation, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise, v. 5. yet this neglect of theirs doth nothing [to] falsify the word of the King, which we have in v. 4. namely, That the dinner was prepared, and those unworthy guests were bidden thereunto. For (saith the Apostle, Rom 3.4.) What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief disanul the faith and truth of God? God forbid. Yea let God be true, and every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mayest be justified in thy sayings, and overcome when thou judgest. Just as the Lord speaketh by the Prophet, (Ezek. 18. 29, 30.) Let not the house of Israel say, the way of the Lord is not equal. For when he cometh to judge them every one according to his ways, Ezek. 33. 20. the inequality of the way will be found on their sides, not on his, Oh house of Israel, are not my ways equal; or are not your ways unequal, saith the Lord. So in that Ezek. 18. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Psal. 145.17. All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth. Psal. 25.10. When we were in our sins, it was his infinite mercy, that any remedy should be provided, for our recovery. And when the medicine is prepared, we are never the nigher to actual salvation, unless he be pleased out of his free mercy to apply the same unto us; that for the whole praise of our redemption from the beginning to the end, may be entirely attributed to the riches of his mercy, and nothing may be left to sinful flesh wherein to glory. The freeing of the people of the Jews from the captivity of Babylon, (Isa. 45.1, &c.) was a type of Christ's great[?] deliverance of us wrought by him. Cyrus King of Persia (who was Christus Domini, the Christ, or the annointed of God, and herein but a type or shadow of him that is Christus Dominus, Christ the Lord, the author of our redemption), publishes his general proclamation in this manner, [Who is there among you of all the people? the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up. 1 Chron. 25.33] Now it is true that they alone did follow this calling, whose spirit God had moved to go up, Ezra 1.5. But could they therefore, that remained still behind in Babylon (1 Chron. 4.23.) justly plead that the Kings Grant was not large enough? or that they were excluded from going up, by any clause contained therein? Just so the matter of our redemption purchased by our Saviour Christ, lieth open to all, all are invited to it, none that hath mind to accept it, is excluded from it. The beautiful feet of them that bring glad tidings of the Gospel of peace, do bring good news of great joy into every house wherein they tread, (Luke 1.79. Luke 10.5. Rom. 10.15.) The first part of their message being this, Peace be to this house. But unless God be pleased out of the abundance of his mercy to guide our feet into the way of peace, the rebellion of our nature is such, and so great, we run headlong into the ways of destruction and misery, and the ways of peace we do not know, Rom. 3. 16, 17. They have not all obeyed the Gospel, said the Apostle, Rom. 10.16. All are not apt to entertain the message of peace. And therefore though God's Embassadors make a true tender thereof to all to whom they are sent, yet the peace rested only upon the sons of peace. But if they meet with such as will not listen to this motion, their peace doth return again unto themselves, Luke 10.6. The proclamation of the Gospel, Rev. 22.17. runs thus: Let him that is athirst come. For him this peace especially is provided, because none but he will take the pains to come. But lest we should think this did any way abridge the largeness of that offer, a Quicunque vult is added in these words, And whosoever will, let him come and take of the waters of life freely. Yet withal, we must hold this, That it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure, Phil. 2.13. And though the call be never so loud, and so large, yet no man can come effectually, except God the Father draw him: as it is, John 6.44. For the universality of the satisfaction, nothing derogateth from the necessity of God's special grace in the application of it. Neither doth this specialty of grace in the application any whit abbrogate the generality of the satisfaction.

And therefore when men urge that argument out of John 17.9. Christ PRAYED not for the world, therefore he PAID not for the world; there are many considerable things may be replied unto.

For the consequence may be excepted against upon many good reasons. For though Christ did not pray for the world, yet he might pay for the world. Because this paying is a more general or common act, of satisfaction; his praying a more special and choice act of intercession: so that though both acts agree in this, that they be acts of Christ's Priesthood, yet in other respects are widely distinguishable. 1. Paying, that is, giving satisfaction, doth properly give content to God's Justice (as hath been shewed;) Praying, that is, intercession, doth solicite God's mercy. 2. This paying satisfaction containeth a preparation of the plaister of potion necessary for man's salvation; But praying by way of intercession, is the means of application of that remedy to the malady. 3. The paying satisfaction belongs to the common nature of mankind which Christ assumeth: when as praying intercession is a special priviledge vouchsafed to such particular persons only as the Father hath given to his Son Christ.

And therefore I think we may safely conclude from all these premises, That the Lamb of God offering up himself (cloathed with human nature) a sacrifice for the sins of the world, intended by giving satisfaction sufficiently to God's Justice, to make the nature of man (which he assumed) saveable, a fit subject for mercy, and to prepare a sovereign medicine for the sins of the whole world, which should be denied to none that mind to take the benefit thereof; howsoever he intended not, by applying this all-sufficient sacrifice, or satisfaction to every one in particular, to make it effectual unto the salvation of all, or to procure thereby, at the hands of the Father, actual pardon for the sins of the whole world. He applies this only effectually to them who making claim to the satisfaction, by promise, suing for the spirit and faith upon other promises, in prayer waiting for a gracious return until they have it. So that in one respect Christ may be said to die for all; and in another respect, not to die for all. Yet so as in respect of his merit, he may be accounted a kind of universal cause of the restoring of our nature, as Adam was the depraving of it. So that, to conclude, as far as I can discern, one did curiously hit the nail on the head, when he determined this matter on this wise.[See note below] The death of Christ is as it were a certain universal cause of salvation; as the sin of the first man was as it were a universal cause of damnation. But an universal cause must be applied to every one in special, that he may partake of the effect of the universal cause. The effect of the sin of the first man came upon every man by the original of corrupt flesh; and the effect of Christ's death reacheth to every one (whom it reacheth) by spiritual regeneration, by which, man is after a sort conjoined and incorporated to Christ. So he. We will only add this. That as the sin of Adam was an universal cause of eternal death unto mankind in general; but not to every particular man, unless original corruption were derived to him, as Christ's human nature in the very conception was exempted. So the satisfaction of Christ's death is for all mankind, but is not effectual to any particular man but to him to whom Christ's grace is derived.

Upon all it follows, That though the fallen Angels have no encouragement at all to hearken to the Gospel, there being nothing at all for them: yet all men to whom the Gospel shall come, have much encouragement to hearken to it, in this, That Christ took upon him the common nature of mankind, made it saveable, brought it nearer to salvation then the nature of lapsed Angels. And more particularly that it is said indefinitely, Christ died for sinners, for ungodly, for enemies. And yet more particularly in the Text; that him that cometh to him, he will in no wise cast out. I say they have encouragement to attend to the Gospel, there to find an effectual testimony of Christ's dying for them, by drawing them to believe it; and not to stand off, or fall on, upon notions of their own (of Christ dying FOR ALL, or if not for ALL, then NOT FOR ME) before we consult with the effectual voice of the word of the Gospel. It is not left with, or to, or in our wit and endeavors to dispute our selves into Christ by Syllogisms, yea groundless Syllogisms, but we waiting on the Gospel; Christ effectually draws us, and takes us into himself. Sure enough Christ died for that soul that hangs upon this breast of the Gospel without separation, that Christ died for sinners.
Nathanael Homes, "Christ's offering himself to all Sinners, and Answering all their Objection," in The Works of Dr. Nathanael Homes (London: Printed for the Author, 1651), 12–16. [Some spelling changes and corrections have been made]


Note: It appears that Homes is quoting Thomas Aquinas (Summa Contra Gentiles, 4.55.29.) here, and he includes the Latin citation in the margin. Several Internet sources have this as the Latin:

Mors enim Christi est quasi quaedam universalis causa salutis: sicut peccatum primi hominis fuit quasi universalis causa damnationis. Oportet autem universalem causam applicari ad unumquemque specialiter, ut effectum universalis causae percipiat. Effectus igitur peccati primi parentis pervenit ad unumquemque per carnis originem: effectus autem mortis Christi pertingit ad unumquemque per spiritualem regenerationem, per quam homo Christo quodammodo coniungitur et incorporatur.

One source translates it as follows:

"For the death of Christ is, so to say, a kind of universal cause of salvation, as the sin of the first man was a kind of universal cause of damnation. But a universal cause must be applied specially to each one, that he may receive the effect of the universal cause. The effect, then, of the sin of the first parent comes to each one in the origin of the flesh, but the effect of the death of Christ comes to each one in a spiritual regeneration in which the man is somehow conjoined with Christ and incorporated into Him."

See also the post at Calvin and Calvinism, which includes Homes' [or Holmes'] section on "the proportion between Election and Redemption."