1) 355. The next distinction of God’s Will, is into Absolute and Conditional; which some Divines use and others condemn, and say that God has no Conditional Will. The common answer which most Schoolmen and other Papists agree with the Protestants in, is, that there are Conditions rei volita of the event of the thing Willed, but no Conditions of the act of Volition in God. As Aquinas says of Causes, Deus vult hoc esse propter hoc; non autem propter hoc vult hoc. 1. There are both Causes and Conditions of the event willed of God. 2. Denominatione extinseca ex conotatione objecti his Will is hence called Conditional; meaning but a Volition of Conditionals.
356. That God wills Conditions, and Conditional Propsitions, and Grants, is past all controversies. For he wills own word, which is his work: But his word has conditional promises and threats: And as his word also may be called his will, he has a Conditional will, because a Conditional word. Richard Baxter, Catholick Theologie (London: Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princess Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1675), 1:55. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting; marginal comments not include; and underlining mine.]
2) 2. When I speak (before in the Argument) of Gods will, it is not of his will of Decree, but of his will as he is in the relation of Rector per Leges and so giveth that Salvation as executor of his Laws and Sentence, which by his Laws he first gave Right to. God as Rector and Legislator neither will nor can give Salvation to any that Christ dyed not for, if they should believe: But God as Legislator or Rector would give salvation to all that Christ Dyed for if they believe, though it were supposed that he had foreknown or decreed that such men would not believe. Only it would follow that God was mistaken: And therefore such a thing will never come to pass; for God will not be mistaken. It is God as Legislator to whom it belongs to be true, in making good his promises, which is the thing in Question. Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ, (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising Sun in Cornhill, 1694), 129. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]
3) 5. In so doing God doth all that belongs to him to do as Legislator: For it must be understood that here he speaks those words [that the World by him might be saved] not as absolute Lord meerly or properly, but as Rector per Leges, And it belongs to him as Legislator, only to propound Salvation, to Man as his end: And to promise it on his conditions, and prescribe those conditions and command Man to perform them: And to threaten him with the loss of that end (of Salvation) if he perform them not. But to give faith, which is the condition it self, doth not belong so God as Legislator. (No Man living can claim the first Act of faith, or effectual Grace thereto, from God by any promise that he has made): But he giveth it as Dominus absolutus, and as one that may do with his own as he list. So that it is Finis prescriptus & conditionaliter datus, that is here spoken of; and not Finis Decretus to be by God eventually infallibly accomplished. It is the end of Gods Law, and Legislative Will, and so of God as mere Legislator or Rector per Leges: And not of his decretive Will de eventu, and of God as absolute Lord above Laws, without them disposing of his own. (The prediction of Events doth collaterally and secundum quid belong to his Law: But not per se and directly.)
And 6. Consider, that if it be never so much denied that God has properly a conditional Will de rerum eventu, yet it is beyond all question true, that he has a conditional Will de debito, (officii, Præmii & Pænæ) and so his Law is conditional most commonly. He has constituted the Debitum pramii, the dueness of Salvation on condition of believing, loving and sincerely obeying Christ. And therefore they must nor deny conditional promises and threatnings, though they deny conditional, decrees. This I add, because I know they here usually answer that God intendeth no end conditionally, but where he intends also the condition it self, that so it may be equivalent to absolute: But he intends as Legislator that Faith shall be the prescribed means to Glory, and Glory the end promised to all that perform that condition; and so conditionally giveth it.
7. Consider also that even in regard of Gods Will de Eventu, our Divines generally with the School men confess and maintain that God has a conditional Will in this Sense. That is, that he wills such a thing shall be a condition of the accomplishing, giving or event of another thing; and so that he wills Faith shall be a condition of Salvation: Though nothing be the condition of Gods Act of Willing, So that ex parte voliti it is conditional, though not ex parte actus volentis. This Dr. Twiss says oft consid. of Tilenus Sinod of Dort and Arlis reduced Page 61. He saith [Ger. Vossius interpreteth the Will of God touching the Salvation of all, of a conditional Will, thus: God will have all to be saved, to wit, in case they believe: Which conditional Will in this Sense, neither Austin did, nor we do deny] And Page 143, 144, I willingly profess that Christ died for all, in respect of procuring the benefit, (of Pardon and Salvation) conditionally on condition of their Faith] and against Cotton p. 74 [Still you prove that which no man denies, viz. that God purposed Life to the World upon condition of Obedience and Repentance, provided that you understand it right; viz. that Obedience and Repentance is ordained of God, as a condition of Life, not of Gods purpose. Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ, (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising Sun in Cornhill, 1694), 305-308. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]