16
Dec

William Perkins (1558-1602) on Matthew 23:37

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Buying generic lasix

Perkins:

1) The first is touching the will of Christ, I would. According to the two natures of Christ: so be there two wills in him, the will of his godhead and the will of his manhood. Some think that these words are meant of the will of his manhood. For they suppose him here to speak as the minister of circumcision, and consequently as a man. This I think is a truth, but not all the truth. Because the thing which he wills, namely the gathering of the Jews by the ministry of the Prophets, was begun and practiced long before his incarnation. Wherefore (as I take it) here his divine will is meant or the will of his Godhead, which is also the will of the Father, and the Holy Ghost. William Perkins, A Treatise of God’s Free Grace, and Man’s Free Will (Cambridge: Printed by John Legat And are to be sold at the signe of the Crowne in Pauls Churchyard by Simon Waterson, 1601), 23. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]

2) If we compare this text with Isa. 6:10 they seem to be contrary. For here Christ says, I would have gathered you: there he says, Harden them that they be not gathered and converted. God therefore seems to will and not to will one and the same thing. Answ. There is but one will in God: yet doth it not equally will all things, but in divers respects it doth will and nill the same thing. He wills the conversion of Jerusalem, in that he approves it as a good thing in itself: in that he commands it, and exhorts men to it: in that he gives them all outward means of their conversion. He wills it not, in that he did not decree effectually to work their conversion. For God doth approve, and he may require many things, which nevertheless for just causes known to himself, he will not do. The confirmation of the Angels that fell, God approved as a thing good in itself, yet did not he will to confirm them. A judge in compassion approves and will the life of a malefactor: and yet withal he wills the execution of justice in his death. Even so God sometimes wills that in his signifying will, which he wills not in the will of his good pleasure.

By this which hath been said, we learn, that where God erects the ministry of his word, he signifies thereby that his pleasure is to gather men to salvation. In this regard the prophet Isaiah says, that the preaching of the gospel is a banner displayed that all nations may come unto it. All this is verified in this our English nation. For more then forty years hath God displayed this banner unto us, and more then forty years hath he signified in the ministry of his word, that his will is to give mercy and salvation unto us. First therefore we owe unto God all thankfulness and praise for this endless mercy. Secondly we are to reverence the ministry of the word, in as much as God signifies his good will unto us thereby, and we are in all obedience to subject ourselves to it: and for this cause we must suffer our selves to it: and for this cause we must suffer our selves to be converted and gathered by it. Subjects use to reverence the letter of their Prince, how much more then must we reverence the letter of the living God sent unto us, that is, the ministry of the word, & conform ourselves to it. Thirdly, here we may learn to foresee our miserable condition in this land. For though God for his part have long signified his will unto us touching our everlasting good, yet there is nothing to be found in the most of us, but a neglect or contempt of the gospel: and in most places men are weary of it as the Israelites were of manna. What, weary of the goodness of God, that offers and proclaims mercy unto us? Yea, verily. And the more weary are we of our own happiness, and consequently hasten to our own perdition. William Perkins, A Treatise of God’s Free Grace, and Man’s Free Will (Cambridge: Printed by John Legat And are to be sold at the signe of the Crowne in Pauls Churchyard by Simon Waterson, 1601), 44-47. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]

Credit to Tony for the find.

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