1) Again, when God said, Mal. 1:2, 3, “I have loved you, says the Lord, yet you say ‘Wherein has thou loved us?’ ‘was not Esau Jacob’s brother,’ says the Lord? yet I loved Jacob, and hated Esau:” that is, I preferred Jacob before Esau. God spoke this to upbraid the Jews with unthankfulness, and to move them to gratitude, to love and honor Him as a Father. But one might have replied here according to some, “This giving to him and us his posterity greater mercies than to Esau, was not to love him and us, his posterity, more than Esau and his posterity, though you call it so; and so we can say for all this, “Wherein hast thou loved us, more than Esau and his posterity?” or else, this was not from any special love to him and us, without respect to any special thing in him or us, that would not have been to Esau and his posterity, if as good as he or we; and therefore it does not oblige us to any special obedience and thankfulness, more than to them.

They might have defended themselves, that their ingratitude was no more culpable than that of the Edomites, had they been of some men’s opinion, thus: There is only a two-fold love or good-will, antecedent Love, and consequent Love, or good-will (which is a distinction, Ancient and of good use, and ought to be taken notice of, to keep our notions clear; though I dislike their saying that the Antecedent love is equal to all). The antecedent love is that which has no respect to any good in men, but does good to all men, without respect to any good in them; now this, say they is equal to all men alike. I grant it, to all men, but am proving, it is not equal to all men.

Secondly, the Consequent Love, called also Amor justitia, being according to a Rule and Law; which Consequent Love, or Love of justification, is Conditional, and has effectually a respect to some good thing in men, being by, and according to a Law, the Gospel Rule. Now this, say they is equal to all men alike, but where their goodness or wickedness occasion’s the difference. And I readily grant this as apparent, That this Consequent Love is to all men alike, as to the main and substance of it, and the effects of it. as they perform the condition or not; which is no more but this, “He that is Holy, and so continues, shall not perish, but have everlasting Life, be he who he will, without any respect of Persons;” and, “He that is more Holy shall be more Happy; even as he that is wicked, and so continues, shall be miserable; and he that is more wicked, more miserable, without any exception of persons whatsoever,” as it is said Acts 10:34, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every Nation, he that fears him, and works Righteousness, is accepted of him.”    Joseph Truman, A Discourse of Natural and Moral Impotency (London: Printed for Robert Clavel; and are to be sold at the Sign of the Peacock in St. Pauls Church yard, 1675), 98-100.   [Some reformatting; Latin and Greek marginal side-references not included; some pagination irregular; some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

2) God’s Love and Grace, and Mercy, is used in several senses in Scripture. First, sometimes by it is meant, that Love in giving Christ a Ransom for the world, that whosoever of sinful men turned, should live. This love, take it precisely so far and no further, it is to all alike common (though I have showed, in another place, it is in some other sense special), this Love is great love indeed, and the greatest in a sense; for it is greater than any of the rest taken singly and abstractly, 1 Joh. 4:9, 10, “Herein is love,” &c. This Love is absolute and not conditional; he absolutely gave him, “that if men believed, they should not perish,” and whether any believe or no, it no way lessens this, being alien to it; though yet the great actual benefit of it, is conditional. Again, notwithstanding this love to all, in thus bringing them from under a necessity of perishing by their sins, yet they may be under his rectoral wrath and displeasure, under condemnation; yea, and all are so, till they Repent and Believe. Secondly, sometimes by it, is meant the Love or Mercy of giving his Ordinances, as to the Jews in the Scriptures before mentioned; and the giving the Revelation of Christ in the Gospel. Now, this Love is not common to all alike. And this Love is not conditional strictly and properly; God being not tied himself to any certain rule or condition; though yet the deprivation of it, is granted, to be for men’s sins absolutely (as I have explained it), and none can expect the continuance of it, that carry not suitably to it. This love also is consistent with Rectoral hatred, and being under condemnation. We may also pray that God would give this to people unworthy and wicked even while they are so, that it may turn their hearts; and may pray for the continuance of it to people neglecting and slighting it; because as I said, it[?] is left arbitrary to God.

Thirdly, That, called the Love or Mercy of Election, whereby God makes people to differ, the Fruit of it being working the Gospel-condition, turning men from sin unto God. Now a man is under the Rectoral hatred of God, that is, is unjustified under condemnation, notwithstanding this Love, while you mean by it only God’s intention to convert him, yea, and till this effect be wrought, I mean, till after in order of Nature, though not of time: for a man is first Converted in order of Nature, before he is justified, or have the right to Heaven, which is the Rectoral Love.

Again, This Love of Election is not conditional, neither in intention, nor effect, or Execution, in a proper sense; though none can expect this effect, but in the use of the means, and God does work this effect by means, and men deservingly provoke God to deny it but their sin and neglect of means. Yet God having tied himself to no uninterrupted rule, nor being tied in justice, we may pray for it, for those that neglect means, and seek him not, and have highly deserved his denial of it. We may pray, that God would turn and change their hearts, before they be turned and changed, yea or have any desire of this Grace.

Again; But now that which is most properly called Rectoral Love, or consequent Love, or justifying Love, pardoning saving Love, is properly conditional in the strictest sense, is tied to a Rule or Law, and is a resultancy from a law, upon something done by men; to wit, upon their performing the Condition of the said Gospel-law or Promise, Joh., 16:27, “The Father himself loves you because you have loved, and believed that,” &c. So Cap. 14:21, 23; 1 Cor. 3:8, “If any man love God, the same is known;” that is, loved of him. But you see this Rectoral Love, or Love of Complacency is after our loving of him in order of Nature.

This Love and Mercy of Election, the effect whereof is, softening the Heart, or working the first Grace of Conversion, is not of him that wills and runs, but of God that shows Mercy, namely this Mercy; that is, it is not to be ascribed to man’s choosing Good of himself; but to his special Mercy that caused him to choose, will and run. But the Rectoral Love, the Love of mercy of Justification and Salvation is of him that wills, runs, seeks, strives; yea, and is of man’s willing and running, formally; I mean only as opposed to be it’s being formally, as of God’s working it in us. Because if a man did it without this special help of God that makes, willing he would have right to Heaven, be justified. (It would here be great weakness for any to say, “You must not make such suppositions;” for surely we may suppose, such things as a man has a natural power to do, and that his heart reproaches him, for not so doing: I will only ask a man making this Objection, this silly Question, “Did your Hearts never reproach you for not being willing to omit that Sin which God did not make you actually and willingly to omit?). Also, because else you must say, there are no rewards; or, that God rewards himself and his own Act’; which would not be sense, no more than to say, God’s putting man into Paradise after he had created him, was the reward of his creating him: And also, because the promise is not made to God but to us, and not to God’s Act but to ours: The Promise is not, “If God work the condition in us, we shall be Saved;” but if we repent and believe; this Law or Promise, and so this Rectoral Love, taking no notice which way it comes, so it be but performed.

We are not Loved with the Love of Election because we chose him, or (which comes all to one), because foreseen to chose him. No, in this sense it is said, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained, that you shall being forth Fruit, and that your Fruit should remain;” that is, He chose us first in this sense. But yet we chose him first, chose the better part first, the way of Obedience and Life first (when he sets before us Life, and Death in Good and Evil; and bids us chose his ways that we may live). I say, first in order of Nature before he chooses, loves us, with this Rectoral Love of Complacency, Pardon, [and] Justification.    Joseph Truman, A Discourse of Natural and Moral Impotency (London: Printed for Robert Clavel; and are to be sold at the Sign of the Peacock in St. Pauls Church yard, 1675), 105-109.  [Some reformatting; Latin and Greek marginal side-references not included; some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

[Explanatory note: For Truman, antecedent love (a term dating back to the Medieval Scholastics) corresponds to the later “love of Benevolence” (the term of choice by the Protestant Orthodox), while Truman’s rectoral love corresponds to the “love of complacency” (as normally used by the Protestant Orthodox).]

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