Samuel Rutherford on Arminian, Jesuit, and Socinian notions of universal grace

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Saving grace is not in vain, but effectual, 1 Corinth. 15.10. 1 Tim. 1.14. And we are saved by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 15.11. and no greater mercy can be wished to any, then the grace of our Lord Jesus, Rom. 16.20. 2 Cor. 13.14. Rev. 22.21. by which we are called, justified and glorified. If it be said that this grace is not that effectual saving grace, bestowed upon the Elect, but a general remote gracious power, by which we may acquire the saving grace proper to the Elect.

But so 1. that grace saving proper to the Elect by this means is in the power of all Pagans, and all must be gifted with a power to purchase that grace proper to the Elect: That must be strange conquishing, we must all be made our own efficacious Redeemers, and Christ is a Saviour by merit, not by efficacy; For if this saving grace be infused, it is either infused, we doing nothing to which they cannot stand: Or then it is acquired, and so we make the general grace saving and proper to the Elect, which everteth the nature of saving grace, and makes it the purchase of works. And they must say that Christ hath merited a general ineffectual power to some, and that he died to merit a special saving grace to others.

Let us have a warrant for this, that Christ both died equally to save all, and yet with two contrary intentions, to purchase a power of believing which should be effectual to some to save them, and ineffectual to others. If it be said that Christ died to merit the same general power to all, but some make it ineffectual, some not; This saith thus. 1. That Christ’s death might have its fruit and effect, though all perish. 2. That Christ dyed to merit a far off, lubrick and possible venture of heaven, such as was the case of the first Adam. 3. Christ dyed not to purchase a new heart more to one then to another, whereas 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. the blood the Lord shed is to Redeem us from our vain conversation, in a natural state as well as to save us from the wrath to come; Then must Christ have died to buy Pagans from Paganism and Idolatry: and that either absolutely, and then why should multitudes so die in their sins? ...

For more, see Samuel Rutherford on Arminian, Jesuit, and Socinian notions of universal grace.
 
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