Sep 18, 2010

God’s Purpose to love some and punish others - John Brine

He [the Baxterian] observes, that many strict Calvinists have allowed, that God’s Hatred of Esau must be taken in a comparative Sense, and can mean no more than this, that Esau was not loved and regarded in the same extraordinary Way with Jacob. I thought: Hatred was the contrary of Love, and could not properly be put for a less Degree of it. Besides, the Apostle professedly treats of God’s Purpose to love some and punish others, and produces Jacob and Esau as Instances of it; his Design, therefore, is to shew that the Salvation of Jacob , proceeded from divine Love, and that the Destruction of Esau was a righteous Effect of divine Hatred. If therefore, by Hatred the Apostle means a lesser Love, it was a Love of such a Nature in God, from which the Infliction of Punishment for Sin proceeds, and by Consequence, from that Love, a Decree to inflict Penalty might be formed; an Interest in such a Kind of Love, can afford but little Hope of Salvation to a guilty Creature. He adds, the Apostle Jude doth not speak of any Decree of Reprobation , v.4 , but only that God has ordained Condemnation to be the Consequence of Sin, and the Portion of evil Doers . But, Sir, you will please to observe, that the Apostle is speaking of Persons, who were, says he, foreappointed, or forewritten, oi progrgrammhnnoi, to this Condemnation; all the Difference between the Apostle Jude and this Writer is, Jude speaks of Men as the Objects of a divine Appointment or forewriting to Condemnation; and this Author speaks of Punishment as the Consequence of Sin in general, without Relation to any particular Persons. This Difference, great as it is, is not unusually found between the Scriptures, and the Writings of the Arminians , whose Cause the Author defends (as I suppose,) in the best Manner he can.

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