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Davenant: The Reprobate Not Denied Sufficient Grace

September 24, 2008

Davenant:

No side affirms an absolute decree by force whereof Persons not elected are cast off from grace: for the Non-elect Angels and many millions of men not predestinated have had a great measure of grace bestowed upon them. Reprobation is not a denial of sufficient grace, but a denial of special grace as God knows would infallibly bring them to glory.

John Davenant, Animadversions Written By the Right Reverend Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Sarisbury, upon a Treatise intitled “God’s love to Mankind,” (London: Printed for Iohn Partridge, 1641), 20. [Some spelling modernized.]

[Note: the term “sufficient grace” was another category that underwent transformation in the 17th century and thus was generally dropped from the theological dictionary of the later 17th century Protestant Scholastics. However, even as late as he was, Turretin can still allow for it in a defined sense, which is the sense Davenant here speaks of. See Turretin, Institutes, 2:510 and 511; 15.3.1, 4-5.]

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