14
Jul

Joseph Truman (1631-1671) on John 17:9

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in John 17:9

Joseph Truman:

The only colorable objection (that is not virtually answered in what I have said), that I can call to mind, is only from John 17.

[v]9. “I pray for them, I pray not for the world.” Therefore surely (say some), he would not shed his blood for the world, for whom he would not pray. But would any be at pains to read that chapter, he may see that Christ speaks of himself, what he did in that particular prayer at that time, and that particular prayer to verse 20, was only for the Apostles; or at the most for them that were then actually believers. And verse 20, he prays for them that should afterward believe through their word; and so all that he prayed for there were actually believers, or looked on as such; and the substance of the petitions there can agree to none else, as keeping them in truth and unity &c.; and there is not one word in that prayer for God to cause any to believe: so that we may as well argue he never prayed for the conversion of any, because he did not in that prayer, and so never shed his blood for the conversion of any. But can any think that Christ wept over Jerusalem, never prayed for it; or that there were none but the elect that crucified him, when he prayed for his crucifiers. May we not with greater reason argue contrary thus. Surely he did at other times, though not in this particular prayer, pray for the world since he shed his blood for it. All other other objections are reducible to this common one, “That it would be no kindness to die so as to purchase any, but the elect that actually would believe, “That if they believe, and turn they shall live,” because none else have the natural power to turn, to perform the condition, but they that have he actually causes to turn, and so it would be to mock them. Ans. I grant if this was true, it would be but to mock, as to say to a lame man, “If thou will turn, I will give,” (let this lameness come which way i will), but you see men have the natural power to perform the condition, and though they will fall short of the benefit through their wickedness, it does not follow it was no kindness: and cannot any one see, it would as much follow according to your way, that, it would be no justice in God to punish men for not performing the gospel-condition.

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), 185-186. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]

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