July 22, 2016

George Downame (c.1563–1634) on the Love and Favor of God

God loveth and favoureth [Wis. 11:24] all his creatures, he is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works, Psa. 145:9. giving all things to all, Acts 17:25. yet among the bodily creatures he respecteth and favoureth men chiefly, 1 Cor. 9:9; Psa. 8:4; Matt. 6:26, 30; Prov. 8:31, for which cause φιλανθρωπία (love of mankind) is attributed to him. Among men he favoureth the faithful more than the rest, 1 Tim. 4:10. who are therefore called the favourites of God, as I have shown before. Among them the Lord especially favoureth Ministers and Magistrates, Psa. 105:15. who are also called the favourites of God, not only in respect of justifying grace (which is equal in all to whom it is vouchsafed) but also in respect of their functions, and the gifts of grace bestowed on them for the good of others, Deut. 33:8; 2 Chron. 6:41; Psa. 4:4, 132:6, 16. To which purpose Augustine saith well, God loveth all things which he hath made; and among them he loveth more the reasonable creatures; and among them he loveth more amply those, who are the members of his only begotten Son; and much more his only begotten himself, the son of his love [Omnia diligit Deus, quae fecit; et inter ea magis diligit creaturas rationales; et de illis eas amplius quae sunt menbra unigeniti sui. Et multo magis ipsum unigenitum]. And generally, by how much the better any man is than others, it is an evidence, that he is so much graced and favoured of God: the grace and favour of God being the cause of their goodness, and consequently the greater favour of greater goodness.
George Downame, A Treatise of Justification (London: Printed by Felix Kyngston for Nicolas Bourne, and are to be sold at his shop, at the South Entrance of the Royall Exchange, 1633), 114–115. [some English updated]


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