September 30, 2014

Nicholas Clagett (c.1610–1663) on Abusing God's Condescension in the Offer of Grace

2. You abuse God's condescension in the offer of grace. Was there any need for God to stoop to offer you a Covenant of Salvation, wherein the whole Trinity doth humble themselves? The Father, so much as to have thoughts of grace to relieve and succour lost sinners; the Son that humbled himself to an obscuring incarnation, a life of sorrows, spotless obedience, a bloody death the price of Redemption. The Holy Ghost to come into vile sinners, to plead the acceptance, and improvement of the Father and Son's love. O inconsiderate sinners! of what a scarlet tincture is your unworthy slighting of the Trinity's kindness, your treading under foot the blessed God's acts of grace! might he not have left you as the fall of Adam made you to be, in a lost, polluted, helpless, and damnable estate? Doth he need your persons recovery, services, holiness, and happiness? Doth goodness in accepting Christ and his Gospel extend to him? Is it his profit if you accept? Is it his hurt if you despise him? Psa. 16:2. Job 22:3; 35:6, 8. Hath he humbled himself to enter into peace with you, when he might have proclaimed and maintained everlasting War? Will a king bear it, that his descending below himself to save obstinate Traitors, should be despised? Surely the blessed God will not always bear the insolent refusal of his merciful condescensions, who every minute could confound rebellious sinners.
Nicholas Claget, The Abuse of God's Grace (Oxford: Printed by A. Lichfield, for Thomas Robinson, and Samuel Pocock, 1659), 18. This work has a preface to the reader by Henry Wilkinson.

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