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Nathanael Hardy (1618-1670) on the Covenants: Universal and Particular

January 15, 2009

Hardy:

Suitably hereunto it is that divines conceive a double covenant to be intimated in Scripture—the one universal and conditional, the other special and absolute; the one made with all, and every man, upon these terms, ‘Whosoever believeth in Christ shall not perish,’ John iii. 16; the other made with Christ concerning a seed which he should see upon making his soul an offering for sin, Isa. liii. 10, to whom he promiseth not only salvation by Christ upon condition of believing, but the writing his law in their hearts, Heb. x. 16, whereby they are enabled to perform the condition, and so infallibly partake of that salvation. By all which, it appeareth that notwithstanding God’s special affection, and decree of election whereby he hath purposed this propitiation shall be actually conferred upon some, we may truly assert, God hath a general love whereby he hath ordained the death of Christ an universal remedy applicable to every man as a propitiation for his sins, if he believe and repent. And hence it is that this propitiation, as it is applicable, so it is annunciable to every man. Indeed, as God hath not intended it should be actually applied, so neither that it should be so much as actually revealed to many men; but yet it is, as applicable, so annunciable, both by virtue of the general covenant God hath made with all, and that general mandate he hath given to his ministers of preaching the gospel to all, so that if any minister could go through all the parts of the world, and in those parts singly, from man to man, he might not only with a conjectural hope, but with a certain faith, say to him, God hath so loved thee that he gave his only son, that if thou believe in him, thou shalt not perish; and that this is not barely founded upon the innate sufficiency of Christ’s death, but the ordination of God, appeareth in that we cannot, may not, say so to any of the fallen angels, for whom yet, as you have already heard, Christ’s death is instrinsically sufficient.

Nathanael Hardy, The First General Epistle of St John the Apostle, Unfolded and Applied (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1865), 141. [Underlining mine.] [This is reprint from the original 1654 edition. Hardy was an Anglican Puritan in the spirit of John Davenant.]

Credit to Tony for finding Hardy

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