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Calvin and Calvinism » Blog Archive » William Whately (1583-1639) on God’s Willingness to Pardon All


This is of the wideness and largeness of God’s promises to sinners, which are of such an unlimited extent, that they exclude no sinner for no sin, and in no time of coming to him. For in all these respects, are his promises wondrous large and of great extent. I say first they shut not out any sinner, but run in this generality, “Come unto me (all) that are heavy laden, even all, all without any exception, so that whosoever he be that is heavy laden, he sees the gate of God’s goodness standing open to him, wide enough to receive even him also among the rest of sinners. Next he excepts not any sin, but tells us thus, “The blood of Christ purges us from all sin” [1 Joh. 1:7.]. And again, “If your sins were as red as scarlet they shall be as white as snow” [Isa. 1:18.]. And again, “I will blot all his iniquities out of my remembrance” [Ezek. 18:22.], and he bids them pray thus, “Take away all iniquity” [Hos., 14:2], and allowed David to cry and say, “Blot out all mine iniquities” [Psal. 51:9.]. Do you not hear how general these promises be, not narrowed with any exception, but alone to be understood with this qualification of the persons if they be humbled for sin. And in like manner for the time of coming lies not the promise, in the “day that the sinner turns?” [Ezek. 33:12.], meaning when so ever, sooner or later, first or last, so that he turn in truth, you see no time excepted for the grant of pardon of sin. Indeed, in regard of crosses, it may fall out, that a man may seek to God for freedom of them and not find it, but for pardon of sins, he that comes in truth, comes never too late. And here now is the right use of those universal promises, which are set down in Scripture. Godwould have no man perish,’ “but would have all men saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” [ 1 Tim. 2:4.], and “He is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world” [1 Joh. 2:2.], and “He gave himself a ransom for all” [1 Tim. 2:6.], and “He tasted death for every man” [Heb. 2:9.]. Which the Lord has of set purpose conceived in this ample form of words, that there might be sure and certain ground and footing, for the faith of any man whatsoever, that being tired with his sins, does run unto this grace of God in Christ to find help in time of need. Seeing God has not excepted thy person, or thy faults, or thy time of coming, do not thou except thyself, make not the gate of God’s promises scanter or norrower than it is. He has opened both the leaves of these doors as wide as may be, and thinks it not fit to close them up, against any humbled and confessing sinner, at any time: O do not thou put a distrustful hand upon them, to shut them against thyself, but let them stand wide open and enter boldly, and ask mercy, and look for mercy, and find it.

William Whately, The Oyle of Gladdnesse. Or, Comfort for Dejected Sinners (London: Printed by G M for George Edwards, and are to be sold at his house in Greene-Arbour, at the Signe of the Angell, 1637), 94-100. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernize; marginal references cited inline; and underlining mine.]

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 9:14 am and is filed under God's Will for the Salvation of All Men. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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