2. Next I shall say somewhat to prove the soundness of it, which is therefore necessary, because some ignorant persons laugh at it; as if we feigned two wills in God, and one of them contrary to the other. Otherwise, to men of understanding it is not very needful: And therefore I shall say but this briefly. It is not two Wills in God, as two distinct Essences or Faculties that I assert; but only two distinct Acts: Distinct, I say, in regard of their distinct products or Effects, and so to mans apprehension, though in God, we say there, is no diversity or distinction. Yet as we cannot handsomely conceive of his will to save Peter, and his will to damn Judas, as one act, having such different Effects; so it is here. Who knows not that Naturality and Morality. Physicks and Ethicks, Event and Right are different things, and consequently we may and must distinguish of Gods willing them accordingly. When a Man saith, [You shall do this,] preceptively, he doth only say [It shall be your duty to do it] but saith not that eventually you shall do it. Nor are his words false if you never do it. He that faith prophetically or by prognostication [you shall do this] means that it shall so come to pass; and if it do not his words are false: But he doth not say, [It is or shall be your Duty.]

12. Accordingly we must distinguish between the antecedent and consequent Acts and Will of Christ as Ruler of Mankind. For the understanding of which and avoiding mistakes, observe, 1. That we speak not now of Eternal Decrees, but of the will of Christ in this Relation as he is the Ruler of the World and Church, and as he is the conveyer of his mercies according to and by his Covenant, and as he judges the World according thereunto. 2. That by his Antecedent will, and acts, we mean only that which in his Government is Antecedent to Mans Obedience or Disobedience; which is principally Legislation, and and making his new Covenant; and also the giving of Preachers, and other acts, which are the first part of his Administration. And by his consequent Acts and Will, we mean only that second part of Government, which finds Man Obedient or Disobedient, and is commonly called Judgment and Execution. And when we say that by his Antecedent Acts and Will Christ gives Pardon, Justification and Right to Glory, equally to all; we mean that as Legislator and Promiser, he hath antecedently made an Universal Act of Oblivion or Deed of Gift Conditionally Pardoning, &c. all, and no farther than Conditionally Pardoning any. And when we say that he consequently justifies and saves none but true Christians, and in that Since died for no other according to his consequent will, we mean that as Judge of Mankind he will give Justification and Salvation to Believers and to no others; nor ever intended to do otherwise. (Let the Reader know, that the foresaid Scheme of the Effects of Christ’s Death, is more accurately, and yet more briefly done in my Methodus Theologiæ: And therefore let him that dislikes the Number or Order of Distributions pass it by: But I have not time to reform it here.

Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ, (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising Sun in Cornhill, 1694), 31-33. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]

[Note: there may be some possible comparisons between Baxter and Cameron with regard to the antecedent act of giving Christ to the world, and also with Ezekiel Culverwell with regard to Christ as a deed of gift to mankind.]

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