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Ezekiel Culverwell on the meaning of World and John 3:16

February 27, 2008

By Offer I mean only the outward Calling by the Gospel; which none can deny to belong to many that are not chosen. This I affirm to be the only ordinary seed to beget saving faith. My Adversary takes this Offer, for a Promise, to have Christ, (which I confess that none shall have but the Elect) and so he spends much labour in vain.

Whereas he challenges all the Scriptures by me alleged to prove the general offer, to be misapplied, for that he world have them to be understood of the Elect only, I must refer this also to the judgement of the Learned: with submission to their censure. I profess I cannot find any one clear place where the world must necessarily be taken for the elect only. For the wicked in the world it is oft used; and more generally, for all Mankind, as Mr Calvin, with sundry other great divines understand it, even in the place where he mis-alleges him to the contrary. In this Scripture (God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life) I desire may be considered, if World be not divided into believers, who shall saved, and unbelievers who shall not be saved: which cannot be understood of the Elect only.

Ezekiel Culverwell, A Briefe Answer to Certain Objections Against the Treatise of Faith Made by Ez. Culverwell. Clearing him from the Errors of Arminius, unjustly layd to his Charge, (London: Printed by Iohn Dawson, 1646), [no pagination; 11-14: numbering mine; some spelling modernized; emphasis original.]

 

Credit to Tony for the find and drawing my attention to Culverwell.

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