Saving grace or Common grace?
The following is from Jonathan Edwards sermon,
"True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils"
There are many in this world who are wholly
destitute of saving grace, who yet have
common grace. They have no true holiness,
but nevertheless have something of that which
is called moral virtue. And they are the subjects
of some degree of the common influences of
the Spirit of God.
But when any are damned, or cast into hell,
as the devils are, God wholly withdraws his
restraining grace and all merciful influences
of his Spirit. They then have neither saving
grace nor common grace; neither the grace
of the Spirit, nor any of the common gifts of
the Spirit; neither true holiness, nor moral
virtue of any kind.
Hence arises the vast increase of the exercise
of wickedness in the hearts of men when they
are damned. And herein is the chief difference
between the damned in hell and unregenerate
and graceless men in this world.
Not that wicked men in this world have any more
holiness or true virtue than the damned; or have
wicked men, when they leave this world, any
new principles of wickedness infused into them.
But when men are cast into hell, God wholly
takes away his Spirit from them, as to all his
merciful common influences, and entirely
withdraws from them all restraints of his
Spirit and good providence.
Damned men are like the devils, conformed
to them in both nature and state. They have
nothing better in them than the devils, have
no higher principles in their hearts, experience
nothing and do nothing of a more excellent
kind, as they are the children and servants of
the devil; and as such, shall dwell with him,
and be partakers with him of the same misery.
Ungodly men in their future state shall be as
the fallen wicked angels in hell.