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Rutherford on General Love

August 31, 2007

1) Corvinus says this, “He wills all, ex aequo, equally to be saved, in regard of his affection, and will to all; “but he wills not all equally to be saved, ex parte bone volito, in regard to the thing willed; for he wills the Gospel to be preached to some, and of these that here the Gospel he gives more grace; yea more grace actu secundo, efficaciously effectual, and denies both to other nations and people and with this distinction he wills and wills not; equally, ex aequo the salvation of all.

But this is Petitio principii, the disparity of favours bestowed on persons and Nations, do argue in Scripture disparity of good-wills in the Lord; as because God sent his Law and Testimony to Israel and Jacob, and dealt not so with every nation, Psal. 147:19, 20. Every Page of almost in the Old Testament, and the Lord’s Spirit, and all Divines argue, that the Lord chose Israel, and loved them and saved them, and with a higher and more peculiar love, as his chosen people, then he loved all the Nations, Deut 7:7; Psal. 132:12, 13, 14; Psal. 135:3,4/ Because he bestowed on them the means of salvation; his Law and his Testimonies which he denied to the Nations, then the Nations were not his beloved and chosen ones.

Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself (London: Printed by J.D. for Andrew Cooke at the Green-Dragon in Paul’s Church-yard, 1647), 418.

2) “We are hence taught to acknowledge no love to be in God, which is not effectual in doing good to the creature; there is no lip-love, no raw well-wishing to the creature which God doth not make good: we know but three sorts of love, that God has to the creature, all the three are like the fruitful womb; there is no miscarrying, no barrenness in the womb of divine love;

1. He loves all that he has made; so far as to give them a being, to conserve them in being so long as he pleaseth: he had a desire to have Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Heaven, Sea, Cloud, Air; he created them out of the womb of love, and out of goodness, and keeps them in being…

2. There is a second love and mercy, in God, by which he loves all Men and Angels; yea, even his enemies, makes the Sun to shine on the unjust man, as well as the just, and causes dew and rain to fall on the orchard and fields of the bloody and deceitful man, whom the Lord abhors; as Christ teacheth us, (Matt. 5:43-48). Nor doth God miscarry in this love, he desires the eternal being of damned angels and men; he sends the Gospel to many reprobates, and invites them to repentance and with longanimity and forbearance suffereth pieces of froward dust to fill the measure of their iniquity, yet does not the Lord’s general love fall short of what he willeth to them.

3. There is a love of special election to glory; far less can God come short in the end of this love…”

Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself (London: Printed by J.D. for Andrew Cooke at the Green-Dragon in Paul’s Church-yard, 1647), 440-442 (my copy).

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