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Peter Martyr Vermigli on God’s will for the salvation of all men

August 30, 2007

I am the person whom when befouled by the filth and mud of crimes you cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ, you enlightened by the Spirit, you restored to a holy life, and made the heir, fellow, and partaker of eternal happiness. What more could I have ever asked of you since you have given me all things with Christ?… Since you took pity on the falls of your weak and foolish creature, through your prophet you indicated that you did not wish the death of the sinner but that he be converted and live. You wish to receive back the wretched sinner not just once but seven times seventy should that be needed, if he repents and returns to your flock. See, here I am, condemning, hating, revoking, renouncing whatever I did against your dignity and your holy will. I protest that I will order my whole life in a better way. So I ask you, good Father, seeing that you have so encouraged me through Jesus Christ our Lord, that you will to bestow on me such strength as may suffice. I am your work, both as regards my natural constitution and as regards this new spiritual regeneration. Therefore I beg you not to despise me–may that which cannot be done through my merits (I can find no good in them), be done through the merits of Jesus Christ and through your holy name, to which be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Peter Martyr Vermigli, “Letter No. Letter No. 152: To the Brethren at Lucca,” in Life, Letters and Sermons, trans., by John Patrick Donnelly, (Kirksville, Missouri: Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, 1999), 5:163-164.

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