Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the state of sin and misery ?
A. God having out of his mere good pleasure from all eternity elected some to eternal life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of a state of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer.
1. Might not God justly have left all mankind to perish in their fallen state? Yes: for in his sight shall no man living be justified, Ps. cxliii. 2. Would God have been a loser by it, if they had been left to perish? No: for, can a man be profitable to God? Job xxii. 2. But did he leave them to perish ? No: for the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appears, Tit. iii. 4. Was the case of fallen angels helpless and desperate? Yes: for God spared not them, 2 Pet. ii. 4. But is the case of fallen man so ? No: for he is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, 2 Pet. iii. 9. Is God’s patience a token for good ? Yes: the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation, 2 Pet. iii. 15. Does it appear that God has a good will to man’s salvation? Yes: As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn and live, Ezek. xxxiii. 11. Is this an encouragement to us all to hope in his mercy? Yes: for if the Lord had been pleased to kill us, he would not have showed us such things as these, Judg. xiii. 23.
Matthew Henry, “A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly’s,” in The Complete Works of Matthew Henry, (Grand Rapids Michigan: Baker, 1978), 2:190.