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Rutherford on God’s desire that men be saved by ‘will revealed’

November 14, 2007

It’s much worthy of observation, how that sweet evangelic invitation is conceived, Isaiah 55:1, Ho, every one that thirsts; the Heb. word ‘hui’ is alas, or ah, every one that thirsts, come to the waters, and he that hath no silver, come, buy, and eat: as if the Lord were grieved, and said, woe is me, alas that thirsty souls should die in their thirst, and will not come to the waters of life, Christ, and drink gratis, freely, and live. For the interjection, (Heb. Hui) Ho, is a mark of sorrowing… it expresses two things, 1. A vehemency, and a serious and unfeigned ardency of desire, that we do what is our duty, and the concatenation of these two, extremely desired of God, our coming to Christ, and our salvation: This moral connection between faith and salvation, is desired of God with his will of approbation, complacency, and moral liking, without all dissimulation, most unfeignedly; and whereas Arminians say, we make counterfeit, feigned, and hypocritical desires in God, they calumniate and cavil egregiously, as their custom is. 2. The other thing expressed in these invitations, is a sort of dislike, grief, or sorrow; (’tis a speech borrowed from man, for there is no disappointing of the Lord’s will, nor sorrow in him for the not fulfilling of it) or an earnest nilling and hating, that these two should not go along, as approved efficaciously by us, to wit, the creatures obedience of Faith and life eternal. God loves and approves the believing of Jerusalem, and of her children, as a moral duty, as the hen does love to warm and nourish her chickens; and he hates, with an exceeding unfeigned dislike of improbation and hated, their rebellious disobedience, and refusing to be gathered: but there is no purpose, intention, or decree of God holden forth in these invitations called his revealed will, by which he saith that he intends and wills that all he makes the offer unto, shall obey and be saved.

Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself, (London, J.D. for Andrew Crook at the Green-Dragon in Paul’s Church Yard, 1647), 443-444. Credit to Tony and to The Durham Thesis.

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