Solomon Stoddard on the insufficiency of the light of nature for salvation

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
[T]he Heathen Nations had lost the knowledge of the way of Salvation: something in Religion was handed down to them by tradition: and something particularly that had a reference unto Jesus Christ; especially Sacrifices: but the knowledge of the respect they had to him was quite worn out among them, and the light of nature is utterly deficient in this particular: that light is sufficient to discover to us that God is provoked with us, that knowledge flows from our understanding of the nature of God, and the experience which we have of our own sinfulness:

But the way of reconciliation does exceed the discovery of reason, the light of nature does not teach us that there is any way of reconciliation; much less does it teach us what it is: the light of nature may discover to us that many pretended ways of acceptance are delusions; for it is contrary unto reason to imagine that God will take up with such things: but to determine what is the way, is clearly beyond the most raised understanding of man without divine revelation, upon a supposition that there was a possibility of any other way of acceptance for sinners besides this by Jesus Christ (and I know no ground from Scripture to say that God was confined to this way; that he was necessitated if he would save sinful man, to take this course in order to his Salvation). It will unavoidably follow that the light of nature will leave man short of this knowledge: how can the light of nature reach the free determination of the Will of God? ...

For more, see Solomon Stoddard on the insufficiency of the light of nature for salvation.

N.B. It seems from this extract that Stoddard was a voluntarist, who denied the absolute necessity of the atonement.
 
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