James Ussher on general mercy

Dr. Curt Daniel writes:

James Ussher (1581-1656). Anglican. Archbishop. Irish. Invited to be divine at Westminster Assembly, but did not attend. His Irish Articles were the basis for the Westminster Confession [The Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) also had a significant influence on the wicked WCF--CD]. One of the leading scholars of the century. A prolific writer: A Body of Divinity; a work on Gottschalk and predestination; Bible chronology (his date for Creation at 4004 BC is still popular); others. A moderate Calvinist similar to Davenant, '4 ½ Point Calvinist'" (Dr. Curt Daniel).

Joel R. Beeke gives this commendatory blurb at the Solid-Ground-Books website:

"Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) was a leader par excellence among the Irish Puritans. His colorful history is inseparable from that of Irish Christianity and from major events transpiring simultaneously in England and Scotland. Ussher's range of achievements are outstanding, including ancient languages, patristics, ancient and Irish history, theology, and chronology. Though he is best known for his biblical chronology, I believe that his Body of Divinity is his most valuable legacy. This volume, long overdue to be reprinted, was once regarded as a classic in the field of Reformed systematic theology and deserves to be so regarded again. Here is pristine Irish Puritan theology, presented to us in a captivating question and answer format" (Joel R. Beeke).

Here is a portion quoted from Ussher's A Body of Divinity

"Towards whom is the mercy of God extended or showed?

For the opening of this point, we are to consider that the mercy of God is twofold. First, general. Secondly, special.

God as a God doth show mercy generally upon all his creatures being in misery; and chiefly to men, whether they be just or unjust: and so doth succour [sic] them, either immediately by himself, or else mediately by creatures, as by angels or men, by the heavens, by the elements, and by other living creatures. And this general mercy of God is not extended to the eternal salvation of all, but is only temporary, and for a while. Of this read Luke 6:36." (James Ussher, A Body of Divinity)

Ussher twists Luke 6:36 to his own destruction. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the house or abode of the just (Proverbs 3:33). True Christians are to be kind and merciful to our enemies, just as God is kind and merciful to His enemies for whom Christ died:

"... for we yet being without strength, in due time Christ died for ungodly ones. For with difficulty one will die for a just one, (for perhaps one even dares to die for the sake of the good one), but God commends His love to us in this, that we being yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).

"... and you being dead in deviations and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom we also all conducted ourselves in times past in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of the understanding, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even we being dead in deviations, He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are being saved), and raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:1-6).

God is NOT merciful in any way, to any degree for those Jesus Christ did NOT die for. Why is that? Because God is not only a Savior, but a JUST God as well (Isaiah 45:21). He does NOT show or express grace or mercy at the expense of His justice. Mercy, grace, favor, acceptance with God is found SOLELY in the work of Jesus Christ. NOT in rain, sunshine, food, tsunamis, famine, or anything else.

"For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very thing I raised you up, so that I might display My power in you, and so that My name might be publicized in all the earth. So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens.You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? (Romans 9:17-19)