The preaching of the Word is gracious towards the elect but not towards the reprobate for by it God hardens them and provokes them resulting in a greater condemnation. As St. Paul terms it, a savour of death unto death for the reprobate but a savour of life unto life for the elect.
This does not deal with the Titus 2 passage or the typical Puritan understanding of it. Temporally speaking, the fact the gospel is preached to "all men" in general and indefinite terms is "grace." Even in 2 Cor. Paul says there is something "common" in the gospel as it is proclaimed to the saved and the lost, namely, it is a "savour." At the point at which the gospel is preached Paul did not know who belonged to which camp. It was the person's response to the gospel which manifested this.
I would argue that the grace here denotes "the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of Christ, so called, because it is a declaration of the love and grace of God to sinners, ascribes salvation in part, and in whole, to the free grace of God, and is a means of implanting and increasing grace in the hearts of men" (Gill). This in no way implies that the external call of the gospel is gracious or a grace but rather describes the content of the message of the external call as being a message of grace.
Has Gill become the one stop hyper-Calvinist shop? Don't even bother looking around for a better deal, Gill has it all under one roof. You haven't even attempted to deal with the explanation I have provided of 2 Cor. 6:1. Your preference is no substitute for the context. Remove the artificial chapter insertions, and it is clear that the apostle's "be ye reconciled to God" is the grace which he beseeches them to not receive in vain.
But even if the text is taken to refer solely to "a message of grace," it still requires us to see that this grace is being "received" by the hearers. This entails that grace itself is being offered to the hearer, and there still remains the possibility that it might be received in vain. Calvin comments, "Ministers are here taught, that it is not enough simply to advance doctrine. They must also labour that it may be received by the hearers, and that not once merely, but continually. For as they are messengers between God and men, the first duty devolving upon them is, to make offer of the grace of God, and the second is, to strive with all their might, that it may not be offered in vain."
But are they blessings?
Heb. 11:20, "By faith Isaac BLESSED Jacob and ESAU concerning things to come." Jacob received the eternal blessing and Esau the temporal. Those terms describe the limits of the blessing.
The issue I have is the suggestion that these good things that God gives to the reprobate denote a love to them or that he is gracious to them in doing so.
I have no difficulty with the concept of love or grace, so long as it is understood that this is never considered as ineffectual. If it is confined to the dispensation of earthly good things then it is a love which effectually confers temporal benefits on the reprobate. The problem only arises when this "goodness" of God is referred to as something which predisposes Him to desire also the reprobate's salvation; at which point it is made ineffectual goodness, and something quite contrary to that essential sovereignty which ought always to be ascribed to Him.
As an aside Rev Winzer:
1. I have printed off your review linked earlier,
2. Have you come across the following?
1. Happy reading.
2. Pastor Connors is a faithful minister, and his work on the subject is very good; I highly recommend it. The "stated" position of the EPC is in harmony with our Westminster Standards, and to that extent I can recommend the second work.