Elbow Drop (Puritan Style)

“There are two rotten pillars which the fabric of late Arminianism (an egg of the old Pelagianism, which we had well hoped had long since chilled, but is sat upon and brooded by wanton wits of our degenerate and apostate spirits) doth principally stand.

“The one is, That God loveth all alike, Cain as well as Abel, Judas as the rest of the Apostles.

“The other is, That God giveth (nay is bound, “ex debito,” so to do) both Christ, the great gift of his eternal love, for all alike to work out their redemption, and “vires credenda,” power to believe in Christ to all alike to whom he gives the gospel; whereby that redemption may effectually be applied for their salvation, if they please to make right use of that which is so put into their power.

“The former destroys the free and special grace of God, by making it universal; the latter gives cause to man of glorying in himself rather than in God,–God concurring no farther to the salvation of a believer than a reprobate. Christ died for both alike;–God giving power of accepting Christ to both alike, men themselves determining the whole matter by their free-will; Christ making both savable, themselves make them to be saved.

“This cursed doctrine of theirs crosseth the main drift of the holy Scripture; which is to abase and pull down the pride of man, to make him even to despair of himself, and to advance and set up the glory of God’s free grace from the beginning to the end of man’s salvation. His hand hath laid the foundation of his spiritual house; his hand shall also finish it” (Prefatory remarks by Stanley Gower, who was a member of the Westminster Assembly, for John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise of the Redemption and Reconciliation that is in the Blood of Christ, with the Merit Thereof, and Satisfaction Wrought Thereby).

“The glory of God’s free grace from the beginning to the end of man’s salvation.” Indeed.