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Musculus on John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, 2 Peter 3:9, unlimited expiation, and the general love and grace of God

April 17, 2008

II To Whom Sins be forgiven.

If we consider of them which do purchase the forgiveness of their sins by the grace of God, there is but a small number of them, even as it is of the elect in respect of the reprobate, whose sins be withhold for evermore. But we seek not here to whom this grace of forgiveness does befall, but rather to whom it is to be taught and set forth. We can not here appoint upon any certain persons, to whom only this forgiveness of sins is to be preached. All men be generally called unto it, both Jews and Greeks, learned and unlearned, wise and foolish, rich and poor, old and young, men and women. For like as God enclosed all under unbelief that he might have mercy upon all, so he will have this grace of his mercy to be set forth to all men: “So God loved the world,” (says our Saviour), “that he gave his only begotten son, that everyone which believes in him should not perish, but have life everlasting.” And in the first epistle of John, we read this: “But in case any man do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just, and he is the propitiation not for our sins, and for our sins only, but for the sins also of the whole world. I think that there is meant by the world, all mankind, by which the world does consist, from the beginning of it, until the end. Therefore when it is said, that God gave his son for the world, and that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world what else is meant, but that the grace of forgiveness of sins is appointed unto all men, so that the Gospel thereof is to be preached unto all creatures? In this respect the gentle love of GOD towards man is set forth unto us to be considered, whereby he would not have any to perish, but all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. But for all that, this general grace has some conditions going withal, of which we will speak hereafter. 

Wolfgangus Musculus, Common Places of Christian Religion, trans., by Iohn Merton (London: Imprinted by Henry Bynneman, 1578), 577-8.

David: Its official, I am converting to Muscularism. I am henceforth a Muscularite. :-)

Within this one quotation he has related all the critical parts: The unlimited expiation; the world in j3:16 and 1j2:2 as all mankind; the general “gentle” love of God; and general grace. The ideas expressed here are almost identical to that found in Calvin, and many others. Some of this reminds me of Scudder’s comments, as well as comments by Stephen Charnock.

David

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