Francis Taylor on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1655

Francis Taylor (1589–1656) was one of the Westminster Divines

 

 

The Westminster Annotations, 3rd edition, 1658, Francis Taylor was the commentator on Proverbs

Prov. 1:24 – “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;”

I have stretched out my handA gesture of such as made proclamation, to get attention, Isa. 65:2; Acts 21:40; of those also, that would have one to come unto them, and again of those, that offer themselves to help one in great danger and distress.  In all these senses it will well agree to the present occasion.  None are in greater danger and distress, and want present succor and relief more, than stubborn fools and infidels.

 

 

An Exposition with Practical observations upon the Three First chapters of Proverbs, Grammatical, Rhetorical, Logical, and Theological, p. 139, ff.

Prov. 1:20  “Wisdom cries without, she utters her voice in the streets.”

…Having forewarned the young man to take heed of bad company, now he [Solomon] brings in Wisdom inviting him to her school.  So the psalmist first dissuades them from ungodly ways, and then invites men to delight in the Law of the Lord, Ps. 1:1,2…

Others take it [Wisdom] to be meant of Christ, the eternal wisdom of God the Father.  And so it is commonly interpreted, ch. 8:1.  And may be here… so here, Christ may be called Wisdom, to counsel simple ones.

‘Cries’.  …It may be meant either of this proclamation of Wisdom here, and in other places of scripture left on record to be published all the world over; or of Christ speaking by his ministers in all ages, and inviting men to look after saving wisdom.

3 Doctrine.  God is very desirous men should get heavenly wisdom.  Therefore He cries loudly, earnestly, affectionately, ‘Understand, O you brutish among the people, when will you be wise?’ Ps. 94:8.  ‘God has written to the people the great things of his Law’, and will be angry if ‘they be countes as a strange thing’, Hose. 8:12.

Reason 1.  Because as He gives light natural in creatures, and art, so supernatural in scripture revelations.

2.  He gives light of such things ordinarily by reason, extraodinarily by illumination, and common graces.

Use [application].  To admire why men are poor in this heavenly knowledge, seeing God is so willing men should have it.  Who would starve where a prince keeps open court to entertain all comers?

4 Doctrine.  This heavenly knowledge is offered to the meanest [lowliest].  It is preached in villages.  ‘The poor have the Gospel preached to them’, Matt 11:5.  God has ‘hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes’, Matt 11:25.  ‘Bring in hither the poor and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind,’ Luke 14:21.  

Use.  To persuade mean [lowly] ones to get this heavenly wisdom.  They cannot get arts perhaps for want of means of breeding.  This is offered freely.  ‘Ho everyone that thirsts, come ye to the waters, and he that has no money: Come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money, and without price,’ Isa. 55:1.

 

Prov. 1:21  “She cries in the chief places of concourse, in the openings of the gates, in the city she utters her words, saying,”

Wisdom like some great queen cries out, calling her subjects from bad courses to good.  ‘Tiqrah’ [cry], It is a most fruitful word, having abundance of signification in the scriptures:

2.  To proclaim or publish a thing.  ‘I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before thee,’ Ex. 33:19.

6.  To call one by his name.  ‘The Lord called Samuel,’ 1 Sam. 3:4.

7.  To call upon, or pray to God.  ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble,’ Ps. 50:15.

8.  To call one to him.  ‘As they called them, so they went from them,’ Hos. 11:2

9.  To invite to a feast.  ‘Tomorrow I am invited to her with the king,’ Esther 5:12.

11.  To meet with one.  ‘Joseph went up to meet Israel his father,’ Gen. 46:29.

 

Prov. 1:24  “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.”

Stretching out the hand imports:

2.  To call one to us.  ‘I stretch out my hands unto thee,’ Ps. 143:6.  As we call on God to come to help us in our miseries, so Wisdom calls simple ones here to come to her for help and instruction.  As if she had said, Ye were as deaf men far off, that could not hear my voice; therefore I gave you a sign to come to me.  The meaning is, I left no outward means of calling you uneffected.

Figures.  Stretching out the hand, for beckoning one to us.  A figure of the sign or adjunct, for the thing signified, or subject…

Reason 1.  Because God is willing to use many means of ture[?] before He destroy sinners.  ‘The axe is laid to the root of the trees’, before they be cut down, Matt 3:10.  This is God’s method, to exhort, dissuade, threaten, before He destroy.

3 Doctrine.  God calls us to repentance in many ways.

I. By verbal ways; as:

1. By admonitions, showing us, we are out of the way.  ‘Ye have not obeyed my voice.  Why have ye done this?’ Judg. 2:2.

2.  By reproofs, chiding them for their sins.  He makes them worse than oxen and asses, and calls them a sinful nation, with other opprobrius names, Isa. 1:3,4.

3.  By dehortations, calling them from their sinful ways.  ‘Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes, cease to do evil,’ Isa. 1:16.

4.  By dissuasions, urging them by reasons to forsake their sins.  ‘I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye,’ Eze. 18:31.

5.  By threats terrifying them.  ‘I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your sides,’ Jud. 2:3.

6.  By promises alluring them.  ‘I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries,’ Ps. 81:14.

II.  By spiritual ways.  As:

1.  By checks of conscience.  ‘Their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts accusing one another,’ Rom. 2:15.

2.  By monitions of his Spirit.  ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,’ Rev. 3:20.

III.  By real ways.  As,

4.  By mercies.  ‘I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them, as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them,’ Hos. 11:4.

6 Doctrine.  The generality of men regard not the signs, whereby God calls them to repentance.  They regard not outward means, as rain and fruitful seasons, Acts 14:17; Jer. 5:24; nor the sending of Christ to save them.  ‘He was in the world, and the world knew Him not,’ John 1:10.  ‘He came to his own, and his own received Him not,’ John 1:11.  Neither do most receive the gospel preached.

 

 

 

Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Westminster Standards and Divines

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1600’s Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel