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Erasmus Sarcerius (1501-1559) on God’s Will for the Salvation of All Men

April 22, 2009

Sarcerius:

1) Also here unto pertain such places as do promise a universal grace, whereby a man’s conscience ought to lift itself up against such assaults as his reason makes of predestination, as this universal promise. “God wills all men to be saved” [ 1 Ti. 2.a]. “God wills not the death of the sinner, but that he turn and do repentance” [Eze. 31.b]. Also: “Come unto me,” (says Christ) “all ye that labor & are laden, and I shall refresh you.” Undoubtedly  it is an extreme madness a man to vex his mind with unfruitful questions concerning predestination, whereas he may comfort himself with the general promise of of grace, and with the sure tokens, that he is chosen to be saved as by these tokens: to give credit to the Gospel, to desire & receive mercy offered by the Gospel, to endure in faith to the last end. Erasmus Sarcerius, Common Places of Scripture (Imprinted at London by Nycolas Hill for Abraham Vele, dwelling in Pauls church yarde at the signe of the Lambe, 1553),  folio 11. [Some spelling modernized, marginal references cited inline; verse and folio notation modernized; and, underlining mine.]

2) An Argument

The Gospel is a universal promise. Ego justification (which is the effect thereof) must needs be a universal promise. The former part of my argument called the antecedent is plain, for the Gospel is not bound to circumstances: Yea, and many places of Scripture of the universal promise prove the same as the text of Christ, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are laden, and I will refresh you,” [ Mat. 11.d]. Also the language of Paul, Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri: “God will have all men to be saved,” [1 Tim 1:2a]. Erasmus Sarcerius, Common Places of Scripture (Imprinted at London by Nycolas Hill for Abraham Vele, dwelling in Pauls church yarde at the signe of the Lambe, 1553),  folio 11. [Some spelling modernized, marginal references cited inline; verse and folio notation modernized; and, underlining mine.]

[Note: Erasmus Sarcerius is not to be confused with Desiderius Erasmus.]

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