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Twisse on Sufficient Redemption Price for the World

December 21, 2007

I am trying to track down some Twisse comments. Tony has them listed here via a secondary source. The way Hall lists his sources, it is possible he has two Twisse works in mind. I think, therefore, this refers to the first one:

But to proceed; out of our Catechism you allege, that “God the Father made us and all the world;” now the Church our mother has taught us, that “God hates nothing that he has made.” The book of Wisdom says so indeed; but because of the little authority that book has in matter of faith from God our Father, therefore you charge us with the authority of the Church our Mother. Now you are ignorant, I suppose, whence the Church our mother takes this, which has its course among the Papists, as well as amongst us. And you know of what authority Aquinas is among the Papists; and what interpretation he makes of this place, though received to beg canonical Scripture among them, I have already showed out of his Summes: “God (says he) loves all things, inasmuch as he wills unto them some good or other: but inasmuch a he wills not a certain good to some, to wit, eternal life, he is said to hate them, and reprobate them,” (Aqin. in 4.). And indeed, “God saves both man and beast,” [Psal.36.6] as so the Apostle acknowledges him to be “the saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe,” (1 Tim. 4:10). And to process ingenuously what I think, I see no cause of controversy hereabout, if so be the question be rightly stated. For when we say, Christ died for mankind; our meaning is that Christ died for the benefit of mankind. Now let this benefit be distinguished and considered apart, and forthwith contentions hereabout will cease. For if this benefit be considered as the remission of sins, and the salvation of our souls; these being benefits obtainable only upon the condition of faith and repentance: As on the one side no man will affirm that Christ to this end, namely, to procure forgiveness of sin and salvation to all and every one, whether they believe or no; so on the other side, none will deny, but that he died to this end, that salvation and remission of sin should redound to all and everyone, in case they should believe and repent. For this depends upon the sufficiency of the price, which Christ paid to God his Father for the redemption of the world. But there be other benefits which Christ merited for us also, even the very grace of faith and repentance. For all God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ; and among these premises is, “the circumcision of the heart, the healing of our ways, of our rebellions,” (1 Co. 1:20, Deut. 30:6, Esa.. 57:18, Hos. 14:5.). These promises do include the grace of faith and repentance. Now consider ingeniously, did Christ die to this end, that the grace of faith and repentance should be bestowed absolutely or conditionally? Not conditionally, for before the grace of faith and repentance and regeneration comes, there is nothing to be found in man but works of nature.

 William Twisse, A Discovery of D. Iacksons Vanitie, (no place: no publisher, 1631), 526-527.

Reading Twisse makes my head hurt. At some points it looks like he denies that God extends a general non-electing love to all men. Here I am speaking of some of his comments in his Riches of God’s Love. This work, though is a little less tortuous.

In this quotation it looks like he does affirm a general non-electing love, citing Thomas to that end. “We also have his conditional or hypothetical universalism again. Lastly, we see his comment on the sufficient ransom. The one problematic for me is that Twisse has no problem of speaking of world as the elect, converting standard phrases that way. What is good is that when does use the traditional language with his own twist, he mentions it. Twisse is very clear on limiting the penal relationship between Christ and those for whom he represented. Christ bore only the sins of the elect. 

I post this to generate some interest in delving deeper into the complexities of these issues.

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