Richard Stock (1569-1626) on Divine Hatred

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Divine Hatred


Psal. 5:51 Thou hates all the workers of iniquity.

The next thing is, the Hatred of God: and to hold the same course we have held before, our first question is this:

Quest. What is the hated of God?

Answ. The is thus much, the hatred of God is a communicable attribute, whereby he freely decrees not to show mercy, but to deny to most the grace of election, destining them to destruction, exactly punishing them when they are wicked, and so hating all iniquity.

This description has a great deal of matter in it, therefore, we will explain it. Hatred, say some, is not to be attributed to God, we do not contend against them if they understand hatred to be a passion of the mind, which is seldom without corruption, but when they take hatred, as the Scriptures speak of it, then as God loves that which is good, so he hates that which is nought and evil: for as God is said to love, so he is said to hate. Again, I say it is a communicable attribute, because that there is the like in man.

Next, it is that by which he freely decrees not to show mercy to the wicked, to deny them the grace of election. To open this, hatred in the Scriptures does many times signify to refuse, to give and deny favors, to put behind, and make less account of than another, as our Savior Christ says, Luke 14:26, “He that hates not his father and his mother,” &c., that is, he does not deny his father, by putting him behind him, and neglecting him, when he commands anything, and God another. God say that Leah was hated, so that is, was not so dearly loved as Rachel, so this hatred of God is to neglect to show favor, and to deny the grace of election to the wicked. This is apparent, Rom. 9:13, “I have hated Esau, and loved Jacob,” This is not put down but with opposition: “I have loved Jacob, and hated Esau,” that is to say, I have not decreed nor offered this grace and favor of election to Esau, which I have allowed Jacob. It is that which is further manifest in the 18th verse of the same chapter, “I will have mercy on whom I will, and whom I will harden,” &c. This God does freely from his own will. His will is the solitary cause of denying the grace of election. The cause of why he chose Jacob, and hated Esau, was nothing but his will. It is manifest, Rom. 9:11, 12, before they had done anything good or evil, God said, that the elder should serve the younger, that it might be of grace. If you ask the Apostle a proof of this, he alleges a place out of Exodus: if any man should wrangle with God and say, God is unjust, that he should love one, and hate another, the Apostle answers, “There is no unrighteousness with God,” verse 14, and for this he gives a proof, Exod. 23:19, “I will mercy on whom I will have mercy, and whom I will,” &c. As God does absolutely love whom he will, so he does absolutely hate whom he will, he denies the grace of election to the most, there are but a few that have favor, Matt. 20:16, “Many are called.” The thing is, that he destines them to destruction, as punishment of sin, Jude 4, “men were before of old ordained to this condemnation”: “he has prepared tophet2 of old,” Esa 30[:33] ult, not that God does delight in torment of the creature, or created anything that he might destroy it, but out of his hatred to sin, and love of justice, did decree and prepare to punish all, and only such as should live and die in sin, without repentance. That negative act of reprobation, or preterition finds all men alike, in the same condition, this positive act of predamnation, respects men as sinners, without repentance. That first act is grounded only in his absolute will of God, “I will have mercy on whom I will,” &c., “and whom I will harden,” but this latter act is an act not so much of power as of justice, and always has respect to sin.

The third thing, That he actually punishes them when they are wicked: it is manifest, that they that be born in sin, live in sin, knowing it to be sin, be enemies of God, and to the grace of God, and them he actually hates when they are wicked. This is apparent, “Thou hates all those that work wickedness,” and that hatred carries the punishment, as appears by the next words of my text, “and thou destroys all those that tell lies,” and, therefore, he does not hate them as they are men, and his creatures, but as they are wicked. Bernard says, that man could not endure after God’s making, but he would be better. Therefore, he was cast out of Paradise: God hating all iniquity in whomsoever it was, elect or reprobate, Psal. 45:7, “Thou loves righteousness, and hates iniquity.” And this I might show unto you, that there is no sin almost, but I can bring you a plain text of God’s hatred of it, sometimes hating idolatry, sometimes hating blood, sometimes false weights, sometimes contempt of his Word, sometimes wicked thoughts, all which show that he hates iniquity: two ways he manifests he hates it, in some, because he destroys them for it, in others, because he took it away by justice, in is own Son. And thus much for this description.

Richard Stock, A Stock of Divine Knowledge. Being a Lively Description of the Divine Nature. Or, the Divine Essence, Attributes, and Trinity Particularly Explained and Profitably Applied. The First showing Us What God is: The Second, what We Ought to be (London: Printed by T.H. for Philip Nevil, and are to be sold at his Shop in Ivie Lane, at the Signe of the Gun, 1641), 224-226. [Some spelling modernized; some sentence restructuring; contents in brackets mine; footnotes mine; and underlining mine.]


1The original incorrectly cites Psalm 6:6.

2Hebrew, Tophteh, a place of fire.

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