And this much for the efficacy and greatness of Christ’s death: Now as concerning grace: I say, that this is diversely distinguished. For first, it is either restraining or renewing. The restraining grace is that, whereby the inbred corruption of the heart, is not thereby utterly diminished and taken away, but in some restrained more, in some less, that it break not violently forth into action: and it is given only for a testimony unto man, and to preserve society: and for this kind of grace is general, that is, belonging to all and every man, amongst whom some do exceed othersome in the gifts of civil virtues: and there is no man, in whom God does not more or less restrain his natural corruption. Now renewing or Christian grace (as ancient writers do usually call it) is that whereby a man has power given to believe and repent, both in respect of will, and power: and it is universal in respect of those who believe.

Secondly, Grace is either natural, or supernatural: as Augustine himself teaches. Natural grace is that, which is bestowed on man together with nature: and this is either of nature perfect or corrupt. Perfect, as the image of God, or righteousness bestowed on Adam in his creation. This grace belongs generally unto all because we all were in Adam: and whosoever he received that was good, he received it both for himself and his posterity. The grace of nature corrupted is a natural enlightening (whereof John speaks: ‘He enlightens every man that comes into the world [Joh. 1:9]), yea and every natural gift. And these gifts truly by that order which God has made in nature, are due and belonging unto nature. But that Grace which is supernatural, is not due unto nature, especially unto nature corrupted, but is bestowed by special grace, and therefore is special. This the ancient writers affirm. Augustine says: “Nature is common to all, but not grace,” and he acknowledges a twofold grace: namely that common grace of nature, whereby we are made men: and Christian grace, whereby in Christ we are again born new men.

William Perkins, A Christian and Plaine Treatise of the Manner and Order of Predestination, and of the Largenes of Gods Grace (At London: Printed for William Welby, and Martin Clarke, 1606), 106-110. [Some spelling modernized; italics original; marginal reference cited inline; and underlining mine.]

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