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and inhuman spirit? In like manner, if God shall have satisfaction, merit, and atonement before him, abundantly sufficient to save the whole world from perishing everlastingly, and shall purpose rather to let it be "like water spilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up," than dispose of it towards the salvation of any more than only a small handful of men, comparatively, leaving. innumerable souls to perish irrecoverably, and without mercy; would not this abundance of merit and satisfaction, upon such an account as this, be, in the eyes of all considerate men, an obscuring veil over the mercy, love, goodness, and bounty of God, and occasion the creature to judge of him, as a God rather envying than desiring the peace and welfare of men? And if God so deeply abhorred the fact of Onan, "in spilling the seed upon the ground, lest he should give seed unto his (deceased) brother," that he slew him for it, Gen. xxxviii. 9, 10, how dare men present him so near unto communion in such a fact, as the spilling, interverting, or non-consigning of the far greater part of the merit of the death of Christ unto men, lest they should be saved, would render him?
Fifthly, If Christ died sufficiently for all men, and not intentionally, as, viz. not for reprobates, so called, then he died as much for the devils themselves as he did for the greatest part of men. Because his death, in respect of the intrinsical value and worth of it, was sufficient to have redeemed the devils as well as men. Yea, if the sufficiency of the price paid by Christ, be a sufficient ground to bear such a saying as this, that he died sufficiently for all men, he may be said to have died, not only for reprobates as reprobates, and so for unbelievers as unbelievers, (viz. sufficiently) but for the devils also, quatenus devils: inasmuch as there is no defect imaginable in the price we speak of, in respect of the absolute and inherent dignity, value, or worth of it, but that all these, even under the considerations mentioned, might have been redeemed by it as well as the elect. But that Christ died for reprobates as reprobates, and for devils as devils, in one sense or other, were never yet, I conceive, the sayings or thoughts of any man, nor, I suppose, ever will be; certain I am, cannot reasonably be.
Sixthly, and lastly, As yet there hath no sufficient ground been shown, either from the Scriptures, or from principles of reason, for the distinction under contest, nor, I believe, ever will be, or can be. Therefore they who distinguish between Christ's dying for all men, sufficiently and intentionally, opposing the one to the other, affirming the former, and denying the latter, do not only go about to set lambs together by the ears, which will not fight, but also speak things most unworthy of God, and which render him a far greater deluder or derider of his poor creature, man, than a benefactor or well-willer to him, in all his declarations and professions of love unto him, in the gift of his Son Jesus Christ to make his atonement, and procure redemption for him.
Upon consultation had with the premises, with other considerations, haply, of like import, some of the greatest and most learned opposers of universal redemption, Piscator and Beza by name, have stigmatized the aforesaid distinction, (at least that member of it wherein Christ is said to have died sufficiently for all men,) as harsh, barbarous, homonymous; yea, the former of the two as absolutely false. "That expression," saith Beza, "Christ died for the sins of all men, sufficiently, but not efficaciously, though in a rectified sense it be true, yet is it extremely harsh, and no less ambiguous than barbarous. For the particle for imports either the counsel of the Father, according to which Christ suffered, or else the effect itself of his sufferings, or rather both; whereas neither of them belong to any but the elect."* Piscator to his antagonist, thus: "The proposition laid down is false, viz. that Christ died sufficiently for every particular or single man; this is thy assertion. For Christ died most sufficiently for the elect, paying the price of their redemption, I mean his precious blood, that blood of the Son of GOD. But for reprobates Christ died neither in one kind nor other, neither sufficiently nor efficaciously."†
Wherein several texts of the second sort of Scriptures propounded, Chap. V., as holding forth the Universality of Redemption by Christ, are discussed.
THE first of these Scriptures there mentioned was this: "Who gave himself a ransom for all," or for all men, "to be testified in due time," 1 Tim. ii. 6. Let the context adjoining to this Scripture be narrowly sifted, and then, if we shall but grant that the apostle speaks either sap, sense, savour, or any thing congruous to the judgments or understandings of men, we shall not be able to deny but that it carries the doctrine asserted with a high hand of evidence in it. Evident it is, that the apostle in this verse goes on with the confirmation or further proof of that reason of his, laid down verse 4, for the making good what he had said verse 3. That which he had said in this third verse is this: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." This is good, mean
*Illud, Christus mortuus est pro omnium hominum peccatis sufficienter, sed non efficaciter, etsi recto sensu verum est, dure tamen admodum et ambigue non minus quam Barbare, dicitur. Illud enim, pro, vel consilium Patris, ex quo passus est Christus, vel ipsius passionis effectum, vel potius utrumque designat, quorum neutrum ad alios, quam ad electos spectat.—Beza ad Acta Coloq. Monpelg. part ii. p. 217. Vid. eundem in Thesibus cum D. Fayo in Schola Genevensi disputatis de efficacia Sacrificii Jesu Christi.
+ Exprimitur enunciatum falsum: nempe Christum pro singulis (pro singulis ais) mortuum sufficienter. Nam Christus pro solis electis mortuus est sufficientissime, pretio redemptionis persoluto, nempe pretioso sanguine suo, sanguine nimirum illo filii Dei. At pro reprobis nullo modo mortuus est Christus, sive sufficienter dicas, sive efficaciter.-Pisc. contra Schaffman, p. 123.
ing the performance of that duty whereunto he had exhorted verses 1 and 2, viz., that "Supplications, prayers, intercessions, giving of thanks, should be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority," &c. Now then, most evident it is, that by all men, in this first verse, for whom prayers, &c. are to be made unto God, is not meant some of all sorts of men, nor yet all the elect or the like, but all of all sorts of men whatsoever, except haply those who have barred up the way of our prayers for them, by that unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, as John intimates, 1 John v. 16. For that which followeth verse 2 clearly evinceth it; "For kings, and for all in authority." Certainly if this be good and acceptable in the sight of God, that we should pray for all of one sort or degree of men in the world, especially for all in authority, (in which sort or rank of men there are many as unworthy and incapable of our prayers as in any other,) it is good and acceptable in his sight likewise, that we should pray for all in all other ranks or sorts of men whatsoever. For there is nothing imaginable to cause a difference in this point. So then, to prove that it is "good and acceptable in the sight of God to pray for all men," without exception, the apostle layeth down this ground, verse 4: "That God will have all men to be saved." If now by all men in this reason we shall understand only some of all sorts of men, or all the elect only, we shall shorten the arm of the apostle's argument so far that it will not reach half way towards that conclusion, for the proof whereof it is brought, and so shall make him reason very weakly, and, indeed, ridiculously, as, viz., after this manner: "It is good and acceptable in the sight of God that we should pray universally for all men, without exception of any, because God will have all his elect to be saved, or some out of every sort of men." There is little savour of an argument in this; whereas the rationality and strength of the apostle's arguing, rightly understood, is pregnant and full of conviction. "It is good and acceptable in the sight of God" that we should pray for all men, without exception, because his will is to have all men, without exception, saved. The strength of this argument lieth in this ground, or clear principle in reason, viz., that a conformity unto his own will, in the will and endeavours of men, is, and must needs be, "good and acceptable in the sight of God." Now then to prove that God's will is, that all men without exception, should be saved, the apostle brings this reason, in the words in hand, viz., that "Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all men." So that návres, all men here, in this reason, must of necessity be of the same extent, with the same word in the doctrine or conclusion which was to be proved; otherwise we shall make the apostle stumble at that stone in arguing, at which only novices, or lyers-in-wait to deceive, are wont to stumble, as viz., when there is more put into the conclusion than into the premises. That which here lay upon the apostle's hand to prove, was, as hath been undeniably evicted, that God's will is to have all men, without exception, saved. Now, to prove this by such an argument or assertion as
this, that Christ gave himself a ransom either for all his elect, or for some of all sorts of men, or for some as well Gentiles as Jews, and for no others, is as if I should undertake to prove the bountifulness of a prince towards all his subjects, being many, by such an argument as this, that he sent by a special servant of his very great rewards to two or three of them, but resolved to do nothing at all for any more of them. Therefore, universality of redemption by Christ is the most unquestionable doctrine of the apostle in this Scripture.
The next specified in the said catalogue or inventory, was, "Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again," 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. We see the apostle's judgment here is very clear, that Christ died for all; he once clearly supposeth it; "if one died for all," i. e., since one died for all, the particle if, being ratiocinantis, not dubitantis, as in twenty places besides, meaning Christ; and once plainly asserteth it, "and that he died for all," i. e. we also judge that he died for all. That which is commonly given in by way of answer to this and other Scriptures, both of the former and latter import, by those who look another way in the controversy in hand, is not much considerable. But that which it is, is this: they pretend that both the word "world" and such terms of universality as these, "all," "all men," " every man," &c., in many places of Scripture used, and accordingly are to be taken and understood in a restrained signification; as sometimes for many or greater numbers of men; sometimes for some of all sorts; sometimes for Jews and Gentiles, or the like. From whence they would infer, that therefore such terms and expressions as these are in the Scripture in hand, and in the others formerly cited for our purpose, to be taken in some of these limited significations; and not in the rigour or extent of what they properly signify, as viz., for an absolute and unlimited universality of men. For to this we answer,
1. By way of concession, most true it is, that these notes or terms of universality, "all," "all men," "every man," &c., are in many places of Scripture necessarily to be taken in some such limited and restrained signification as is affirmed. But then,
2. I answer further, by way of exception, four things:
(1.) That neither the terms we speak of, nor any other words or expressions in Scripture, are in any other case, or upon any other pretence whatsoever, to be taken out of their proper and best-known significations, but only when the tenor of the context or some circumstance of the place doth necessitate and enforce such a construction of them. Now, evident it is, by what hath been formerly argued upon the Scriptures alleged, that there is no necessity at all in respect of any the respective contexts, nor of any circumstance in any of them, to understand the said terms of universality any otherwise than in their most proper, i. e. in their most extensive and comprehensive significations.
(2.) That which is more than this, we have evidently proved that the very tenor of the several contexts wherein the aforesaid places are found, doth absolutely enforce and necessitate us unto such a proper and comprehensive signification of the said terms of universality, as hath been contended for: so that there can be no reasonable, regular, or grammatical sense or construction made of those places, unless such a sense of these terms be admitted.
(3.) To reason thus, These, or these words or terms, are to be taken in this or in that sense in such and such places of Scripture; therefore they must or they may be taken in the same sense in such and such other places of Scripture, is to reason ourselves into a thousand errors and absurdities: as for example, evident it is, that in that Scripture, John xviii. 16, where it is said that Peter stood at the door, by the word door is meant a door of wood or some such material; but it would be ridiculously erroneous to infer from hence that therefore it is to be taken, and may be taken, in the same sense in John x. 9, where Christ saith, "I am the door." So again, when Paul saith that Christ sent him "to the gentiles to open their eyes," Acts xxvi. 18, evident it is, that by the word eyes he means their inward eyes, their minds, judgments, and understandings; but from hence to conclude that therefore when David saith that "the idols which men make have eyes," Psal. cxvi. 5, the word eyes is to be understood or may be understood here also in the same sense, is to conclude that which common sense itself abhorreth. So that the weakness of all such arguings or pleadings as this--" All," " all men," "every man," are in these and these places of Scripture to be taken in a limited sense, for some of all sorts of men, for Jews and Gentiles, or the like, therefore they are to be taken in the same sense in all others where they are found-is notorious and most unworthy of considering men. Though, whilst a man is a prisoner, he cannot go whither he desires, but must be content with the narrow bounds of his prison; it doth not follow from hence, that therefore, when he is discharged and set at liberty, he must needs continue in his prison still, especially when his necessary occasions call him to another place, whither also he hath a desire otherwise to go.*
We have, as concerning the former Scripture, evidently proved that the terms "all men" must be of necessity taken in their most proper, free, and unlimited significations; and shall, God assisting, demonstrate the same in those yet remaining. Let us at present, because the place in hand is pregnant and full to our purpose, evince, above all contradiction, that the words " all," or "all men,' in it cannot, with the honour of St. Paul's intellectuals, be understood otherwise. "Because we thus judge," saith he, " that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they who live," &c. Observe that clause of distribution, " that they who live." 66 We e judge that Christ died for all, that they who
* See more upon this account in the preceding Chapter.