John Knox (1514-1572) on Common Mercies and Common Graces

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in God is Merciful


But leaving thee, I return to those whom gladly I wold instruct, and to them I say, that the wordes of David and of Iaaiah do speake of that rich and inestimable mercie which God laieth up in store for his chosen children, to whom althogh God somtymes shew himself severe and angry, yet indureth that but for a short space; but his mercie is everlasting, and his goodnes infinit, by the which he marieth his chosen children to himself for ever; and whether that them wordes be onely spoken to the Elect, or els that they be generally spoken to all, let the Holie Ghost decyde the controversie. After that David had affirmed that God is liberall, mercifull, patient, and of great gentilnes; and also, that he is good to all, and that his mercie is over all his workes [Psal. 145.]; that the eies of all creatures look upon him, and that he is just in all his workes: By which sentences he praiseth the goodnes, the mercie, and the providence of God in the regiment and government of his universall creation; which goodnee end mercie do so abounde, that the innumerable iniquities of mankind and his detestable ingratitude can not utterly hinder the same from the creatures. After these oommon mercies, I say, whereof the reprobate are often partakers, he openeth the treasure of his riche mercies, which are kept in Christ Jesus for his Elect, saying, "The Lord is nigh to all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in veritie; he doeth the will of those that fear him, and he heareth their crie and saveth them.

Note the plain

The Lord kepeth all those that love him, but he destroieth all the wicked." Such as willingly delite not in blindnes may clerely see that the Holie Ghost maketh a plaine difference betwixt the graces and mercies which be common to all and that soveraign mercie which is immutably reserved to the chosen children; and further, that the Lord himself shall destroy the wicked, albeit his mercie be over all his workes. And so that mercie by the which God pronounceth to gather his Church is everlasting, and is not common to the reprobate, but is onely proper to the flocke of Christ Jesus.

John Knox, “An Answere to a Great Nvmber of Blasphemovs Cavilations Written by an Anabaptist, and Aduersarie to Gods Eternall Predestination,” in The Works of John Knox, ed. David Laing (Edinburgh: Printed for the Bannatyne Club, 1851), 5:86-87. [Spelling original; marginal notes cited inline; and underlining mine.]

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