July 15, 2012

Miles Mosse's (fl. 1580–1614) Early Reference to Calvin on Grace

I'm quoting Miles Mosse as an early testimony to Calvin's view of common grace, since there are some (such as Hoeksemian Hyper-Calvinists) who deny that grace is given to the non-elect, and claim Calvin for their position. Consider the following as yet another nail in their coffin:
As it is with the Devils, so it is in this case with all Devilish men. No man so wicked, nor so very a Devil incarnate, but that besides the common gifts of nature, as strength, shape, limbs, sense, reason, and such like, (which all are good parts in themselves) he hath also many times, speciales dei gratia, (as M. Calvin dareth to call them) some special graces of God; quas varie & ad certum modum prophanis alioqui hominibus dispensat; which in diverse sorts, and certain measure, he disposeth to men otherwise merely prophane and void of all goodness, and religion. As for example: Esau had a certain extraordinary cunning and dexterity in his game. Balaam had a mighty gift of prophecie. Saul had another heart given him fit for government, and to go in and out wisely, and courageously before the people. Achitophel's counsel was an Oracle in his time. Judas had power to preach, and to do miracles. And yet Esau was a prophane person. Balaam loved the wages of iniquity. Saul was deprived of the spirit of God. Achitophel hanged himself. And Judas was a Devil. Baptism (saith S. Augustine) is the gift of God: But, habent illam boni, & mali: Evil men are baptised also: for so was Simon Magus. Prophecy is a gift of the Spirit: yet, Prophetassit Saul iniquus, saith S. Augustine in the same place [Aug. in frag. num. 7. ex serm. de miraculo 5. panum.]; Saul also was among the Prophets. At length he addeth, Numquid dicuntur credere sols boni? And as touching faith: Are only good said in Scriptures to believe? & demones credunt, & contreminscuut. No: wicked men are said to believe also: yea, The devils believe and tremble. So far S. Augustine. Now to come home to ourselves. He that will cast his eyes up and down in the world, shall he not see a good Statesman, and yet a mere Atheist? A deep Divine; and yet worldly minded? An expert Lawyer, and yet a corrupt Judge? An experienced Physician; and yet a daily Tobacconist? A fair Marchant, and yet a very merchant? A believer, and yet a devil? Chrysostome in one of his Sermons, which he entitleth in the commendation of David's Psalmes, hath this notable, but fearful speech: Qui volens delinquit, vel sponte furit, demon est: He that willingly sinneth, (that is to say with greediness: for I dare not understand him of every voluntary trespass) and furiously rusheth into it, (like a bard horse into the battle) he is no better than a devil in the shape of a man, or no better then a man, in the nature of a Devil. A terrible censure, given upon all our carnal Libertines, Atheists, blasphemers, common drunkards, daily whoremasters, continual userers, and oppressors, and their like, which were created to the image of God, but live in the likeness of the Devil: which profess to believe as the righteous, but go no further then the wicked: good parts they may have, so hath the Devil, yet good men they are not, nor in more assurance of salvation then are the damned devils of hell. And all this must teach us, not to content ourselves with ordinary gifts of nature, which are common with us, to the devils; no nor with some extraordinary grace, by which even wicked men are sometimes fitted to particular works, or special callings. But let us labor to turn truly unto God by repentance, which the devils cannot do: to be engrafted into Christ by faith, which the devils cannot be: and to possess the spirit of sanctification, which the devils cannot have. So shall we resemble the blessed Angels in goodness, and be partakers of their glory in the heavens.
Miles Mosse, Justifying and Saving Faith Distinguished (London: Printed by Cantrell Legge, Printer to the Universitie of Cambridge, And are to be sold by Matthew Law in Pauls Churchyard at the signe of the Foxe, 1614), 15–17.

Note: I've updated some of the spelling. Some of his words, particularly those in Latin, are not clear, so I no doubt made mistakes in spelling. Also, since his references to Calvin and Chrysostom are not legible, I've inserted pictures of his marginal references in the text.


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