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

November 14, 2007

Rutherford:

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.

What the revealed
will of God 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 holds forth in these invitations called his revealed will, by which he says that he intends and wills that all he makes the offer unto, shall obey and be saved….

Now this desire of approbation is an abundantly sufficient closing of the mouth of such as stumble at the gospel, being appointed thereunto, and an expression of Christ’s good liking to save sinners.

The Lord’s wishes,
Expostulations and
crying, bold
forth, how earnest in
drawing sinners
to himself.

Expressed in his borrowed wishes, Deut. 5:29. O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep my commandments. Ps. 81:13. O that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel walked in my ways. Which wish, as relating to disobeying Israel, is a figure, or metaphor borrowed from men, but otherwise shows how acceptable the duty is to God, how obligatory to the creature. But the Lord’s expostulations, Ezek. 18:31. Why will ye die, O house of Israel? Verse 32. For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies. In the Lord’s crying to sinners, Prov. 1:20. Wisdom cries, she utters her voice in the streets. The word is to cry with strong shouting, either for joy, Ps. 81:2, or sorrow, Lam. 2:19, which expresses Christ’s desire to save sinners.

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, and 445. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting; marginal notes cited inline; italics original; and underlining mine.]   [Note: The pagination is irregular and jumps forward repeating some page numbers. This section is from the non-repeated page range signified by 443-445.]

Credit to Tony and to The Durham Thesis.

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