Friday, November 2, 2012

Notable Quotes 11

“But if salvation and damnation be no ends intended by God, but means rather, as well as creation and permission of all to sin in Adam, together with the raising of some therehence, and leaving some therein, tending to some farther end, namely, the Manifestation of God’s glory in a certain kind, as Scripture together with manifest reason doth justify. For God being the supreme efficient, must necessarily be the last end. And even where the word of God doth testify, that God created the wicked against the day of evil, it doth therewithal give to understand, that what is signified by, To the day of evil, doth not denote the end of God’s actions (that before being expressed to be God himself, God made all things for himself, not for acquiring ought unto himself, for he is perfect, that nothing can be added unto him) but for the manifestation of his most glorious nature: so that if God be pleased to manifest his glorious beneficence on man in the highest degree, and that in the way of mercy mixed with justice; this end requires and bespeaks both creation (no glory at all manifested in the way of mercy) and permission of sin (otherwise it could not be manifested in the way of mercy) and satisfaction for sin (otherwise this mercy could not be mixed with justice exactly) and faith and repentance (otherwise the good which God intends could not be bestowed by way of reward) and last of all Salvation, under which we comprehend, the highest and most blessed condition that the nature of man, continuing a mere man, is capable of. And herethence we conclude, that in case the end is such as has been specified, and all these actions following, congruous mean tending to that end, therefore the decree of manifesting God’s glory, as above specified, is first with God, and secondly the decree of the means; which means although they are many materially, yet that come all under one formal notion of means tending to a certain end, which according to the several parts of the object of one formal decree, called the decree of the means: and the intention of none of them is before another, but all intended at once, as means tending to the end which is intended. In like manner if God shall be pleased to intend the manifestation of his glory in Man or Angel, in the way of justice vindicative, the means necessarily required hereunto are, Creation, Permission to sin, and Damnation unto punishment, and all three makes up the object of one formal decree, which is to be called the decree of the means. So that like as God doth not intend the creature’s creation, before he intends his damnation, in the same respect he cannot be said to intend his damnation, before he intends his creation, or the permission of his sin.
“And this rightly considered, sets an end unto all quarrel about the different consideration of Man in election and reprobation, which yet is about a School point only, touching the right stating of the end and the means, and the right ordering of God’s decrees concerning them. And doth it not set an end also, to all aspersions of cruelty cast upon the holy providence of God, from the guilt of which kind blasphemies, nothing can free them; but confidence in their own way, as if it were the way of truth, and that by convincing evidence of holy Scripture? Whereas it appears how little direction they take from the Word of God throughout, for the shaping of their Tenet in this. Yet neither is any such confidence able to free them from the guilt of such blasphemies which they utter: well it may free them from the conscience of it, yet if it do, that is more than I know.”
William Twisse, Riches of God’s Love Unto the Vessells of Mercy, pgs 10-11

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