05 November, 2016

The History of the Free Offer: Chapter Eight: “Early Dutch Thinkers”

Prof. Herman C. Hanko

In an earlier chapter on this subject we discussed the idea of the free offer of the gospel as it was repudiated by the fathers at the great Synod of Dordrecht. We begin our discussion, therefore, with a survey of the theologians who followed upon the Synod of Dordrecht.

Scanning the works of the great Dutch theologians of this period, we come to the immediate conclusion that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find the idea of the free offer in any of their writings. This is not to say that the terminology is not found on occasion, and that the term “offer” was not used; but as we noticed so often in our discussion of this subject, the term was used in an entirely different way from that use made of it today. It was not used to express the idea of a desire or intention on God’s part to save all who hear the gospel; it was rather used to emphasize the point that the gospel is preached to many more than the elect, and that through the preaching, Christ is widely proclaimed as the One through Whom God has accomplished salvation; and all who hear are confronted with the command to believe and repent. In fact, in the writings of these men, one only does not find the theology of the offer, but the positive development of the idea of the preaching and the call of the gospel is a flat contradiction of the offer.

There is, however, another element in the development of Dutch thought which we must recognize in order to understand the whole history of this concept. I refer to the development of federal or covenant theology as that took place in the Netherlands. It would lead us too far astray to go into this matter in detail in this series of articles, but the fact remains that the development of this doctrine had bearing on the whole idea of the preaching.

It is not surprising that in the development of covenant theology, much attention was paid to the idea of the promise of the covenant. It cannot be denied that the idea of the promise was inseparably connected with the idea of the covenant, for Scripture itself often speaks of the two in the same connection.79 Furthermore, the sacrament of baptism is a sign and seal of the covenant, and the sacraments have been added to the preaching to signify and seal unto God’s people through visible signs the very truth of the preaching. This means that the promise of baptism is essentially the same as the promise proclaimed in the preaching.

The difficulty was that the covenant was usually interpreted in Dutch theology as an agreement between God and man. In close connection with the idea of the covenant as an agreement, the promise of the covenant was sometimes said to be general, that is, it was said to be given to all the children who were baptized even though all the children were not elect. The promise was to all, but the actual realization of the promise was dependent upon the fulfillment of the condition of faith. It is not difficult to see that this idea is closely connected to the idea of the well-meant offer. If it is true in some sense of the word that the promise of God in baptism comes to reprobate children as well as elect children, a promise in which God swears to be the God of those who are baptized and swears to make them His people, then the same thing can be said of the preaching, namely, that God, in the preaching, expresses His desire to save all who hear whether they are elect or reprobate.

Nevertheless, even though early Dutch theologians interpreted the covenant in terms of an agreement between God and man80 they, with happy inconsistency, nevertheless maintained that the promise was particular, that is, for the elect alone.81

The point we wish to make here is that the two ideas became inseparably intertwined as Dutch theology developed over the years. Just as the promise made in baptism was general for all who were baptized, so is the preaching general for all who hear. After all, the preaching is always the proclamation of the promise, and the promise proclaimed in the preaching is no different from the promise signified and sealed in baptism. Just as the promise made in baptism expresses God’s desire to save all those who are baptized, so is the preaching of the promise an expression of God’s desire and intent to save all who hear the preaching. Just as the promise made in baptism gives to all who are baptized a certain claim to salvation (if they will fulfill the condition of faith), so also does the preaching give to all who hear a certain objective claim to salvation (if they will accept Christ by faith Who is offered in the preaching.) Thus it was that these two ideas were linked together in continental thought. And while, therefore, early Dutch thinkers did not hold to the idea of a well-meant offer, as the two were intertwined, so by the nineteenth century, the idea of the offer was also gaining acceptance.

But to return to our main subject: We ought to take a brief look at some post-Dort thinkers to demonstrate that, while they indeed used the word “offer,” they meant something quite different by it than an expression of God’s desire to save all who hear the preaching.

Heinrich Heppe, in his Reformed Dogmatics82 apparently finds no theologian of this period who held to the idea of the offer. While making some summary remarks himself and quoting from a number of theologians, he shows clearly that the preaching was considered a general proclamation of a particular gospel. We include here a few select quotations from his book.

This calling is imparted only to the elect; God not only has His word proclaimed to them through man (vocatio externa), but also introduces it by the H. Spirit into their hearts and there sets up living communion with Christ (vocatio interna).Heidegger (XXI, 8): “Calling is of those elect and redeemed through Christ. These alone are so called that they are also attracted and created new and begotten. They alone are those for whom God not only strikes their ears by His word preached through men, but also attacks their hearts, opening them, writing His law in them, changing them and inflaming them to love Him.”83

Rather than the calling being described in terms of an offer, it was a means which God used to bring judgment upon the unbelieving.

On the other hand the rest who are not elect in accordance with the counsel and covenant of God are also called, not according to this but according to the judgment of God. Accordingly God only allows the call of the word proclaimed by men to be imparted to them and suffers them in the outward fellowship of the knowledge and in passing even inward assurance of salvation, so as thereby to deprive them of all excuses for their hardness of heart.Heidegger (XXI, 9): “Clearly of another sort is the calling of those who are left non-elect and rejected. The non-elect called are not called according to the purpose and covenant of God, as heirs entered therein, but according to God’s judgment and dispensation, whereby He suffers them in the outward communion of the elect through the Word of His goodness, convicts them of their wickedness and cuts short their excuse for not coming to the wedding of the King’s Son. Also they are not called so directly by God affecting, changing and regenerating the heart, as indirectly through men, who may strike their ears but cannot get through to their hearts. And so they are called by the Word preached by men; yet so that they are not brought by the Spirit of God to communion with God.84

In fact, the notion of the offer was repudiated.

Moreover outward Church calling is not imparted to the non-elect in such wise that God wished to present them with faith, should they refrain from resisting the activity of the H. Spirit. Otherwise the possibility would arise of a counsel of God being perhaps rendered futile by man. Besides it is to be noted that man can only resist the H. Spirit.Heidegger (XXI, 10): “Nor does God altogether call particular reprobate in such wise that He has decreed and wills to give them faith and repentance just like the elect, provided only they do not resist the H. Spirit’s call, as in the leptologia (frivolity) of some. There are no decrees of God which men or any creature can frustrate. They are altogether effectual and have a most definite outcome. If He has decreed to give to some faith and repentance, He bestows them in time through the Word and the H. Spirit. In that case all men of themselves and by their nature resist the H. Spirit: Rom. 8:7 (the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be).85

Rather than describing the outward calling of the gospel as an offer in which God tells men He wants to save them, the outward call, though a call to salvation, is a command of God, seriously meant, to repent and believe, but a call that is not effectual because of sin.

In the same way too it cannot be concluded that because the outward calling of the rejected is ineffectual it is therefore not seriously meant by God. Outward calling is always per se a real calling to salvation, since everyone who follows it up thereby gains righteousness in Christ and eternal life; only, in the case of the godless, it is ineffectual because of their hardness of heart. Similarly, the calling from God’s side is always seriously intended, since God promises grace even to the rejected upon condition of faith, and makes faith for them a duty. But of course God omits to give faith to the rejected, because He is not bound to do so in the case of any man.Polan (VI, 32) “Ineffectual calling is of the reprobate. It is called ineffectual not per se but per accidens, not in respect of God who calls, but in respect of men who have deaf ears of the heart. In itself calling is always effectual, although it is not so in those who are perishing, as the sun is effective by his light in itself, although it by no means illumines the blind.”From this it follows that even the calling of the godless is on God’s side “sincere and serious.”Heidegger (XXI, 11): “Whether the serious is opposed to a joke, God in no way plays in the business of calling; or to pretence, He likewise does not simulate, because He does not profess one thing outwardly in words, concealing something else inwardly in His mind, but declares to men by calling His plain, open and steadfast will. And since the parts of calling are commands and promises, as often as He calls He commands and orders them seriously to repent and believe. For He wills that they repent and believe by His perceptive and approving will, although He does not will by His discerning will, effectual to the giving of faith and repentance. He has the right to demand both.Moreover, calling promises salvation, but not to any one promiscuously or without condition, only to the believing and repentant person.”—Similarly Wolleb. 91

Thus in the calling of the elect, man’s proclamation is essentially combined with the inward efficacy of the H. Spirit. Without this activity of the H. Spirit, who writes the Word in man’s heart, God’s Word itself is but an empty letter, slaying the sinner and enticing him into fresh service of sin.Cocceius (Summ. Theol. XLII, 13): “This calling takes place through the word heard, Rom. 10:14 ff. (How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent?).”—Heidegger (XXI, 21): “The outward calling of the elect through the word preached by men is very closely connected with inward accosting by the H. Spirit. Were it separate from this it would be of no avail. For the word preached by men strikes the ears of natural man, dead in sins.Any word, however divine, most true, most wise, most pleasant in itself and thoroughly lovable, when addressed to a sinner still dead in sin, whose heart has not been inscribed by the H. Spirit, remains but a letter, slays the sinner and provokes him to sin, I Cor. 3:6 (… a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life); Rom. 4:20 (the law came in beside, that trespass might abound; but where sin abounded grace did abound more exceedingly); 7:8 (sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead).”86

The same is true of Johannes Wollebius (1586-1629). In his writings too one will find no reference to an offer in the sense of God’s universal intention and desire to save all. It is true that he makes use of the term, “Christ offered in the gospel”; but, again, by this he does not refer to its modern usage, but rather intends to convey the idea that the preaching presents to all who hear Christ as crucified for sinners. It is also true that he speaks of faith as a condition to salvation, but uses it in the sense of making salvation particular. He does not use the word to convey the idea of prerequisite but rather to impress upon his readers the truth that faith is the way or means of salvation for the elect alone. He refers to the common call as serious and for all, but speaks of its purpose as being the salvation of the elect and the just damnation of the reprobate.

IV. The form of this calling consists partly of the offering of the benefits of redemption, and partly in the injunction to accept it …

V. Its purpose is the glory of God and the salvation of the elect. This is served both by the glory of his mercy toward the elect who are responsive to the calling, and by the glory of his justice toward the reprobate who are disobedient.

VI. Therefore, this ordinary calling is primarily on account of (propter) the elect, secondarily on account of the reprobate.

VII. He calls both (kinds of people) in earnest (serio) and without any deceit.

Concerning the elect there is no doubt. As to the reprobate, although they are not called “according to his purpose,” or to salvation, nevertheless they are called in earnest, and salvation is offered them on condition of faith. Nor are they mocked because they have been deprived of all grace of believing. Rather, because they destroyed the original grace of their own accord, and also, by their evil passion, despised the means of grace, God therefore has the right to demand faith from them and uses it no less justly than do other creditors, so that their mouths are closed, they are without excuse, and the justice of God is upheld. Therefore, he does not call them to mock them, but in order to declare and reveal his justice.

It (the calling) can be called actual election because by it God makes the decree of election effective. “Whom he predestined he also called” (Rom. 8:30). “I chose you out of the world” (John 15:19). It is called effective calling in contrast to the calling of the reprobate, which is not effective for their salvation on account of their own sin. It is called internal because the calling of the reprobate is only external, by the word; or, if they are to some extent enlightened and internally moved, the change is only temporary.

III. The principal efficient cause is God, the active cause is His free mercy, and the instrumental cause the ministry of the word …

IV. The “matter” or object of calling is elect man, who, however, is in himself wretched, animal, carnal, a sinner, separated from the life of God, altogether dead in sin.

“And you he made alive, when you were dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “And you, who were dead in your sins, he has made alive” (Col. 1:13). “We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another.” (Titus. 3:3).

V. The semi-Pelagians, therefore, are wrong to attribute to man either a preparation for, or a tendency toward, receiving a call.

The reason is obvious in the words cited above, for just as no dead person can confer resurrection upon himself, neither can anything be attributed to man for his calling.

VI. However, man is not like a log in connection with his calling; he is a suitable subject for calling, since he is not a lion or a dog, but a rational creature. But man’s reason, before it is enlightened, is worth nothing for the calling.

VII. It is absurd to suppose that this grace of calling is extended to all, since not even that calling which we have considered above reaches all men, as the entire Old Testament record teaches; since, at that time, the Gentiles were passed by and only the Jews were called.

VIII. The form of special calling is a gracious action toward man, not only the enlightenment of the mind, but the changing of the heart of stone into flesh, or turning man to obedience.

This is clearly shown in the words above, especially Ezekiel 36:26.

IX. Therefore the Arminian innovators teach falsely when they say that the mind is simply endowed with knowledge and the desire is irresistibly awakened; that it is really up to the free will to believe or not believe, and the power of believing, but not actual faith (actus credendi), is given by irresistible grace.

This error is obviously contrary to what God says concerning changing the heart (Ezek. 36:26). And Christ also witnessed not only that the elect learn from God and hear him, but that all who have learned come to him (Jn. 6:45) .

XII. The innovators (Arminians) are also wrong when they teach that sufficient grace is given to all men, although not the actual act of receiving and using grace.

This idea refutes itself. If one is not given grace of believing so far as actual faith is concerned, then the grace is not sufficient; for no one is saved unless he believe. We grant that common calling is enough to take away any excuse from the reprobate, although it is not enough for salvation. This is what God means in Isaiah 5:4 “What more can I do for my vineyard than I have done for it?”

XIII. The Pelagian teaching, that by the “grace” so used, but it means either grace that makes (man) acceptable to God or grace that is freely given (gratiam gratis). “To the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us acceptable in his beloved” (Eph. 1:6). “Having then gifts that differ, according to the grace which is given to us” (Rom. 12:6).87

Without quoting at length, we may refer to a few others. Herman Witsius (1636-1708) agrees essentially with what we have quoted above. Repudiating the views of Amyraut and expressing agreement with Turretin, he emphasized that the general call, in keeping with limited atonement, has as its purpose the salvation of the elect.88

Aegidius Francken wrote his Kern der Christelijke Leer in 1713. In his chapter on “The calling” he has some interesting remarks to make which refer directly to the question of the offer. We quote a few excerpts.89

Q. 7. Does not God call all men by a sufficient grace?

A. By no means, for many are ignorant of the way of salvation without which knowledge no one can be called to God’s fellowship. Acts 14:16; “Who in times past allowed the heathen to walk in their own ways.”

Q. 11. Whereby does God call men externally?

A. By the Word of the Gospel, in which God offers to him Christ and all His benefits. Prov. 9:4-6. “Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”

While using the word "offer" in the above quote, in another question and answer, Francken specifically repudiates what today goes under the name of “offer.”

Q. 18. Does God then intend (emphasis ours) the salvation of all whom He calls externally?

A. By no means, God intends only the salvation of the elect.

Q. 19. Prove that God does not intend to save all through the external calling.

A. That would be in conflict with God’s eternal decree of reprobation, in which He has determined to condemn some in their sins. He cannot intend to save those through the preaching of the gospel whom He has appointed as vessels of wrath.

Q. 20. Does not God then deal dishonestly when He calls the reprobate to salvation, whose salvation He does not intend?

A. By no means; for in the calling God only makes known to the sinner the way of salvation, faith and conversion, and promises salvation only to those who believe and repent; in this God does not deal with them deceitfully, but only shows that He has made an inseparable bond between faith and salvation.

This same emphasis is to be found in Peter Nahuys, preacher in Monnekedam in the Netherlands, who, in 1739 published a work entitled, Op het Kort Begrip der Christelijke Leer; Verdedigd tegen Dwaalgeesten en Dwalingen (A Brief Summary of Christian Doctrine; Set Forth Against Heretics and Heresies).90 In Lesson XXI on “The Calling in Particular” he writes:

Q. What do you understand by the external calling?

A. The external invitation, which takes place only through the Word to all who live under its proclamation, in which Christ Jesus and all His fullness is offered for naught.

One cannot help but notice that the author here uses the words “invitation” and “offer,” although he emphatically asserts that Christ is offered for naught. But when he explains these terms, he writes as follows:

Q. In the 34th Lesson you state that there is a twofold calling, an external or general, and an internal or particular calling; with whom do we differ in that respect?

A. With the Pelagians and the defenders of common grace (algemeene genade):91 these recognize only a single moral calling, whereby they understand nothing more than a general invitation to all men without distinction, including a call to conversion and faith; by which invitation God would grant to all men without distinction a sufficient grace, whereby he, surrendering his free will toward the good, can accept that calling voice of God, and also actually convert himself and become partaker of salvation.

Q. What is their basic error?

A. That they want salvation as well as condemnation to depend on the free will of man.

Q. How do you contradict that contention?

A. Such a sufficient calling to all men is not only in conflict with Acts 14:16, where it is said of the heathen that God left them to walk in their ways, but it is also in conflict with Mat. 13:11, where God grants His sufficient grace according to His good pleasure on some, and withholds it from others. Compare I Cor. 4:7.

Q. However, what do you answer to this?

Objection: They say that if God would not grant a sufficient grace along with their calling, in order that they should be able to heed that calling, God would appear to call in vain, which is not in harmony with His wisdom.

A. This objection rests on a false premise, as if when God calls all men externally, He does this with no other purpose than to save all of them; which we deny. For many are called while very few are chosen (Mat. 20:16).

Second objection: But they insist on their point by saying, if God does not intend to save all those whom He calls, then that external calling is only a mockery with man.

By no means is this true; for by that calling that man is most emphatically pointed to his calling; and thus God shows thereby His goodness to the man; while even the reprobate is the more convinced of his wickedness and rebellion.

Q. You also stated that the internal calling cannot be resisted. Who oppose this?

A. Once more, the common grace (sic) defenders, who maintain the opposite on a Pelagian basis.

Q. What do they have in mind with this?

A. Not only to have salvation depend on man himself, and on his free and indifferent will, whether for the good or for the evil; but also, to cast aside the more readily God’s eternal and resolute will of gracious election.

Q. How would you oppose their position?

A. 1. This does not only stand in conflict with God’s unchangeable and efficacious calling, but 2. also with the harmony between man’s obedience and the divine calling (Song of Solomon 1:4, John 6:45).

Q. How do they try to defend their mistaken notion?

Objection 1: They introduce the passage from Mat. 23:37. 92

A. It is up to those parties still to prove that an efficacious and internal calling is spoken of in this passage; and even though we grant this, this passage still does not favor the wrong idea of these parties; for the Saviour very clearly refers to Jerusalem and her children; and they tried, were this possible, to prevent Him from gathering the children. But in no way does He complain about the children as if they have resisted that calling, which these parties try to prove from this passage. The opposite is true, for many did believe in Him, regardless of the fact that this displeased and was contrary to the wishes of the rulers.
Objection 2. The Savior nevertheless says of the Jews, Luke 7:30, that they rejected the counsel of God against themselves.

A. It is evident that in this passage the reference is not to an internal, but only to an external calling or invitation, which was done and presented by John the Baptist to their conversion, which invitation or demand (italics is ours)93 of God, laid in the mouth of John, the Pharisees and Scribes rejected.

Clearer language could not be spoken. Nahuys expressly rejects as Pelagian any idea that God intends, through the preaching, to save all who hear. In this respect he reflects the teaching of those of this age.

W. Brakel is another theologian of some repute from the latter part of this period. When one reads his writings94 one can find all kinds of quotations which would convince the reader that Brakel held firmly to the idea of a well-meant offer. Nevertheless, in his Redelijke Godsdient: his major work on theology he writes, in connection with “The Calling”:

XIV. This raises another question: whether God in calling the sinner to Christ intends the salvation of all: (italics ours) whether God with that purpose alone calls all those who are under the ministry, that they should become partakers of salvation. I answer: No; for God cannot be prevented from attaining His goal, so that all should be saved who are called.

To understand this properly, one must consider: (a) that the calling takes place first and mainly to gather the elect (Eph. 4:11, 12). God does not give the gospel to those areas where there are no elect, and when the elect are gathered in a certain area, God usually takes the gospel away from there. Since the elect are in the world, and mixed among others, it happens that the gospel comes to the elect and also to others. By means of that calling, by preaching the gospel, God gives His elect conversion and faith, which He does not give to others. (b) One must distinguish between the purpose of God, the Worker, and the purpose of that work, the gospel. The entire nature of the gospel is capable of leading a person to salvation, it reveals enough of the way of salvation, and it arouses sufficiently to move someone to faith, so that it is not because of the gospel that some are not saved, but it is the fault of the man himself, because he did not allow himself to be taught and led, which is the purpose of the gospel. The purpose of God in causing the gospel to be preached to the non-elect is, to show a person the way of salvation and to make it known to him, to demand of the person to walk in that way; to show God's goodness by presenting to him all the arguments for salvation, and to promise him salvation if he repents and truly believes in Christ, which he would also do if he would fulfill that condition which he is obligated to do, and which the human nature which was holy in Adam could do. If he does not fulfill it, that is not because God prevents him or deprives him of strength, but because the man refuses, so that it is his own fault, indeed, the goodness of God should lead him to repentance. And to convince the person both of his wickedness that he will not come upon such a friendly invitation and of the righteousness of God to punish such rejectors of his offered salvation (John 15:20). These are the non-elect, but God did not intend thereby, God did not mean to give them the Holy Spirit, and thus to save them. This is evident from the following:

1. It would be in conflict with God’s omniscience …

2. It is contrary to eternal election …

3. God cannot be disappointed in His intention. He must necessarily attain all that He desires, for He is all-wise, the alone wise, almighty …

Those who imagine that the man has sufficient strength to convert himself and to believe in Christ oppose this …

Objection 1: God would deal deceitfully if He called someone and did not mean it.

A. God intends to save those who believe, and that is God’s gift. Others he leaves to themselves.

Objection 2: God invites to the wedding feast, thus He must intend that they should come.

A. The guest who was rejected at the wedding feast was not rejected because he was not invited, but because he failed to fulfill the condition of having the proper wedding garment.

Objection 3: If God does not intend that all should come, no one would dare to come because he does not know whether God intends that he should come. The Word promises salvation to all who believe.95

The conclusions from all this are unmistakable. From the time of the great Synod of Dordrecht until almost the end of the 18th century no outstanding Dutch theologians held to the idea of the well-meant offer. It is repeatedly claimed by those who defend this erroneous view that their position has a long and illustrious history. The Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in its decisions on common grace and the free offer made bold to say that Reformed theologians in the most flourishing period of Reformed theology held to this view. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The question is: How did this idea come into Dutch thinking and become such an accepted part of Reformed theology in our day? Undoubtedly there were various factors that influenced this, and to this we must now turn our attention.


79. Cf., e.g., Genesis 17:7, 8 where the whole revelation of the covenant to Abraham is cast in the form of a promise; Hebrews 6:13-20; Hebrews 4:1, 2; etc.

80. We repudiate this notion of the covenant as being, in essence, an agreement, and believe that Scripture emphatically teaches that the basic nature of the covenant is a bond of friendship and fellowship between God and His people in Christ. Yet it is also clear that when one makes of the covenant an agreement, one is almost surely bound to the idea of a general promise; for children, who receive the promise when baptized, cannot, in fact, enter into an agreement until they arrive at years of maturity when they know what they are doing. Hence, under the idea of an agreement, all children receive the promise at baptism, but the promise becomes effective for them only when they become sufficiently mature to agree to the provisions of the agreement.

81. See for detailed treatment of this, my book, God’s Everlasting Covenant of Grace.

82. Baker Book House, 1978; see especially pp. 512-519.

83. p. 512.

84. pp. 512, 513.

85. p. 513.

86. pp. 517, 518.

87. Compendium Theologiae Christianae quoted in Reformed Dogmatics, ed. by J. W. Beardslee III, Baker Book House, 1977; pp. 116, 158-160.

88. Herman Witsius, The Economy of the Covenants, tr. by W. Crookshank; London, 1822. See especially Book III, Chap. V, pp. 344-356 on “The Calling.”

89. The translation is ours.

90. Again the translation is ours.

91. Notice in this language that the author not only specifically repudiates the notion of common grace, lumping it together with Pelagianism, but that he recognizes the simple fact that common grace has always been inseparably connected to the well-meant offer.

92. It is interesting to note that this passage is one of the favourites with those who defend the well-meant offer. We ought to note carefully what Nahuys says about it.

93. We underscore this because some might object to the word “invitation” as used by Nahuys and point out that, after all, an invitation is subject to the acceptance or rejection of the one who receives it. While this is surely true among men, Christ’s “invitation” is the “invitation” of the King, which one rejects at the peril of his life. It is clear that Nahuys has the same idea in mind, for here he identifies “invitation” with “demand.”

94. E.g., his work entitled: “Hallelujah, With Respect to the Covenant of Grace.”

95. These quotations are taken from the edition published by D. Bolle in Rotterdam; no date of publication is given. In the last paragraph we have summarized Brakel’s thought to keep the quotation as short as possible.

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