John Davenant (1572–1641) on 2 Peter 3:9

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in 2 Peter 3:9


[2 Pet. 3:9.]

Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, &c.

This Scripture is not so liable to the exceptions against the former testimony. For it is a negative proposition, and must be taken distributively: and therefore speaks that in plain terms which is contrary to absolute reprobation.1

That which is usually replied, is, that the persons here spoken of, are the elect only, and such as truly believe; God is not willing that any of them should perish.

But the contrary appears in the text. For the persons here mentioned, are those toward whom God exercises much patience and long-suffering, as it is in the words next going before And who are they? Are they the elect? Are they believers only? No, but reprobates rather, who die for their contempt of grace. For it is apparent by Scriptures, that God does patiently expect the conversion even of them that are never changed, but die in their sins: as we may see, 1 Pet 3:19, 20, where we read that the patience of God was exercised towards those, who in the days of Noah despised it, and went to prison, that is to hell for it. Yea, of all men, reprobates are the truest and most proper objects of God’s patience: as we may see, Rom. 2:4, where St. Paul speaking of such as go in sin, that God uses patience towards them, “that he might lead them to repentance.” And, Rom. 9:22, “He endures,” says the text, “with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted with destruction.” In the fifth of Isaiah, vers. 2, and in the 65th chap. vers 2, we may see the same thing. Reprobates therefore as well as others, nay rather than others, does Peter here speak of, and says, that God would have none of them perish: If they do perish, it is their own fault and folly, and not God’s absolute pleasure, who would have no man perish.

John Davenant, Animadversions Written By the Right Reverend Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Sarisbury, upon a Treatise intitled “God’s love to Mankind,” (London: Printed for Iohn Partridge, 1641), 158-159. [Some spelling modernized; marginal Scripture reference cited inline; italics original; and, footnote mine.]


1[Here Davenant rehearses the objection to election and reprobation.]

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