William Perkins on distinctions in the will of God

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
For the first, Thy will, &c. God’s will is only one, considered in it self, as God is one; yet for our understanding, it may be thus distinguished: It is either absolute, or revealed. God’s absolute will, is the will of his good pleasure, whereby according to his eternal counsel, he determines of all things, what shall be done, or what shall not be done, and in what manner. This absolute will extendeth over all creatures, and over all their actions: Ephes. 1. 11. We are predestinate according to the purpose of him that worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Roman. 9. 19. Who hath resisted his will? Matth. 10. 26. Without this will of God, a sparrow cannot fall to the ground. And this absolute will of God is hidden from us, till God reveal it by the event.

God’s revealed will, is the sacred doctrine of God in his word, whereby he signifieth unto man, so far as concerns his happiness and salvation, what he ought to do, or what he ought not to do. This is not Gods absolute will, but rather an effect thereof concerning man, revealing unto him, not what he simply and absolutely willeth to be done, for that must needs be done; but what is pleasing or displeasing unto him, done by man, and what he will have man to do, or not to do, if he desire to come to life, and would not be condemned. And this revealed will comprehendeth both the Law and the Gospel, with all their commandments, prohibitions, threatenings, exhortations, promises, & such like, whereto the Apostle hath relation, when he saith, Prove what is the good will of God, and acceptable, Rom. 12. 2.

For the reference, see William Perkins on distinctions in the will of God.
 
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