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it is exposed unto," or laid within the reach of, "all men: not because it is in the reality of it extended unto all men," i. e. not because it is accepted or received by all men, as the words following plainly show: "For," saith he, "though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and through the goodness or bounty of GOD be offered unto all men, yet all men do not take, or lay hold on him."* So that if Calvin would but quit himself like a man, and stand his own ground, he would remonstrate as stoutly as Corvine, or Arminius himself.
The third sort, or consort of Scriptures, mentioned Chap. V., as clearly asserting the Doctrine hitherto maintained, argued, and managed to the same point.
We shall not need, I conceive, to insist upon a particular examination of these Scriptures, one by one, (the method observed by us in handling the two former parts,) because they are more apparently uniform and consenting in their respective importances than they. In which respect, a clear and thorough discussion of any one of them, or a diligent poising of the common tendency and import of them all, will be sufficient to evince their respective compliances with the cause in hand. The prospect of these texts is this. "And him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out," John vi. 37; "He that believeth in me, shall never thirst," ver. 35; "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved," Mark xvi. 16; "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,' &c. John iii. 16; "That through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins," Acts x. 43; "Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all who believe; for all have sinned," &c. Rom. iii. 22, 23; to omit very many others of like tenor and import.
In all these Scriptures, with their fellows, evident it is that salvation is held forth and promised by God unto all, without exception, that shall believe; yea, that it is offered and promised unto all men, upon the condition of believing, whether they believe or no. So that, upon such declarations of the gracious and good pleasure of God towards the universality of men as these, the ministers of the gospel, or any other men, may with truth, and ought of duty upon occasion, say to every particular soul of man under heaven, "If thou believest thou shalt be saved," even as Paul saith that he preached Christ, "admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that he might present every man perfect in
*Communem omnium gratiam facit, quia omnibus exposita est, non quod ad omnes extendatur reipsa. Nam etsi passus est Christus pro peccatis totius mundi, atque omnibus indifferenter Dei benignitate offertur, non tamen omnes apprehendunt.
Christ Jesus," Colos. i. 28. Yea, this apostle, speaking of God himself, saith, that "he admonisheth all men every where to repent," Acts xvii. 30. Now if the gospel, or God in the gospel, offereth salvation unto all men, without exception, and insureth it accordingly upon their believing, certainly he hath it to bestow upon them, in case they do believe: otherwise he should offer or promise that unto them which he hath not for them, nor is able to confer upon them, though they should believe. If he hath salvation. for them, or to bestow upon them upon their believing, he must have it in Christ: because he hath no other treasury or storehouse of salvation, but only Christ.* "Neither is there salvation in any other," &c. Acts iv. 12. If God hath salvation in Christ for all men, Christ must needs have bought and purchased it for them with his blood, inasmuch as there is no salvation, no not in Christ himself, without or otherwise than by remission of sins; nor any remission of sins in or by him, without shedding of blood. Therefore all those Scriptures, wherein God promiseth and ascertaineth salvation unto all men, without exception, upon their believing, are pregnant with this truth, that Christ laid down his life for the salvation of all and every man.
If it be here replied and said, But though God in the gospel offers salvation unto all men, and promiseth salvation unto all men upon condition of their believing respectively, yet knowing certainly beforehand that none will believe, but only such and such by name, as viz. those for whom there is salvation purchased by Christ, he may upon a sufficient ground, and with security enough, promise salvation unto all men, upon condition they will believe,
Though God, by means of the certainty of such his knowledge, may, without danger of failing in point of promise-keeping, or of being taken at his word to his dishonour, promise salvation unto all men, without exception, upon the terms specified, though it should be supposed that Christ hath not purchased salvation for all men; yet upon such a supposition as this, he cannot, either with honour or otherwise, or with truth, make any such offer or promise. Not with honour; because for a man, that is generally and certainly known to be worth but only one thousand pounds in estate, to offer or promise an hundred thousand pounds to any man that shall be willing to serve him, or to do such or such a courtesy for him, though he knew certainly that no man would accept his offer in either of these kinds, yet would such an offer or promise be matter of disparagement to him in the sight of wise and understanding men, yea, render him little other than ridiculous. In like manner, it being supposed by our antagonists in the cause now under plea, that God hath declared it unto all the world in his gospel, that Christ hath died but for a few men, in comparison, and, consequently, that himself hath salvation only for a few, in case he should promise salvation unto all men without exception,
* See more of this, Chap. viii.
upon what account, service, or condition soever, must needs turn to dishonour in the highest unto him, and represent him unto his creature extremely unlike to himself. Suppose the devil had certainly known, as very possibly he might, that the Lord Christ would not have fallen down and worshipped him, upon any terms or conditions whatsoever, would this have excused him from vanity, in promising him all the kingdoms of the world upon such a condition, when, as all the world knew, that not one of these kingdoms were at his disposal.
Again, 2. Neither can God, nor any minister of the gospel, say with truth to every particular man, if thou believest thou shalt be saved, unless it be supposed that there is salvation purchased or in being for them all. Because the truth of such an assertion cannot be salved by this, that all men or every particular man will not believe. The truth of a connex, or hypothetical proposition, of which kind this is, If thou Peter, or thou John believest, thou shalt be saved, doth not depend upon any thing that is contingent, no, nor yet upon any thing that is extra-essential to the terms of the proposition itself, (such as is, as well the non-believing as the believing of particular men,) but upon the essential and necessary connexion between the two parts of the proposition, the antecedent and consequent. If this connexion be contingent, loose, or false, the proposition itself is false, though in every other respect it should be accommodated to the best. As, for example, in this proposition, If Isaac were Abraham's son, then was he truly godly; both the parts considered apart, are true; for true it is, 1. That Isaac was Abraham's son: and 2. That he was truly godly; yet the proposition is absolutely false; because there is no necessary or essential connexion between being Abraham's son and true godliness: therefore the one cannot be truly inferred or concluded from the other. In like manner, when I shall say thus unto a man, If thou believest thou shalt be saved, it is neither his non-believing, nor the certainty of my knowledge that he will not believe, that either maketh or evinceth such a proposition to be true; because neither of these relates to the connexion of the parts thereof, nor contains the least reason or ground why the latter should follow upon the former. The man's not believing is no reason at all why, upon his believing, he should certainly be saved: no more is my knowledge, how certain soever it be, that he will not believe. But to verify such a proposition or saying, there must be a certain and indissolvable connexion between such a man's salvation and believing, in case he should believe. Such a connexion as this there cannot be, unless there were salvation for him, which he might have and enjoy in case he should believe. Now certain it is, that if Christ died not for him, there is no more salvation for him, in case he should believe, than there would be in case he should not believe: there being no salvation for any man, upon any terms or condition whatsoever, unless Christ hath purchased it for him by his death. Nor doth Christ's purchasing salvation for any man, depend upon such
a man's believing; no more doth his non-purchasing salvation for him upon his not believing. So that, unless it be supposed that Christ hath purchased salvation for a man, whilst he remains yet an unbeliever, and though he should always remain an unbeliever, it cannot be supposed that he purchased salvation for him, though he should believe: and, consequently, there can be no truth in this proposition or assertion, spoken to a man who should not believe, If thou believest thou shalt be saved; it being certain, upon the aforesaid supposition of Christ's non-dying for him, that he should not, could not be saved, no not though he should believe.
If it be replied, Yea, but the truth of this saying to any man whatsoever," If thou believest thou shalt be saved," is sufficiently salved upon this account, that Christ died sufficiently for all men, though not intentionally, so that in case any man whatsoever shall or should believe, there is salvation ready for him in Christ.
I answer, that the vanity, or mere nullity rather in respect of the coincidence of the members of this distinction, wherein Christ is affirmed to have died sufficiently for all men, but denied to have died intentionally for all men, hath been demonstratively and at large evinced formerly. I here only add, that if there be salvation ready in Christ for all and every man in case they should believe, then must this salvation be found in him, either naturally and in respect of his mere person, or by way of purchase and procurement, i. e. by means of his death. No man, I presume, will affirm the former, as, viz. that there is salvation in Christ for any man, in respect of his mere nature or person; or howsoever, himself plainly denies it: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit," John xii. 24. If there be no salvation in him for men but by purchase, and this with his blood, then hath he no more salvation in him than what he thus purchased; no man hath any thing more by purchase than what he hath bought or purchased. Therefore, if Christ hath salvation in him for all men without exception, he must have purchased or bought it for them with his blood. If so, he must either purchase more than he intended, or else intend to purchase salvation for all and every man. And what is this, without any parable, but to die intentionally for all men? Therefore the distinction of Christ dying sufficiently for all men, but not intentionally, is ridiculous, and unworthy from first to last of any intelligent or considering man.
Nor is that distinction, because it relates to the subject-matter of our present chapter, so emphatically insisted upon by Mr. Rutherford, of much better import. "That eternal life," saith he, "should be offered unto all and every individual man, upon condition of faith; and that life should be offered unto all and every individual man, out of an intent on God's part to give life unto them in case they believe, are two sayings widely different."*
Longe differunt ista, vitam æternam omnibus offerri et singulis, sub conditione fidei; et omnibus et singulis offerri vitam ex Dei intentione dandi illis vitam, si crediderint.-Sam. Rhetorfortis. Exercit. Apolog. p. 309.
For, doubtless, the latter hath every whit as much truth in it, yea, every whit as much clear and pregnant truth in it as the former, yea, hath in effect one and the same truth. For when God offers eternal life unto all and every individual man, upon condition of faith, is it not his intention that they should have eternal life upon their faith, or in case they should believe? If not, then in such an offer he should offer and promise that which he intends not to give or perform, no not according to the tenor of his promise. If it be said, in favour of the distinction, But though God intends to give eternal life to all and every individual man, upon condition they believe, this being the express tenor of his offer or promise, yet it follows not that such an intention in him should be his reason or ground of tendering such an offer or promise unto them? Unto this I answer, That if this were the intent of the author, I mean to difference the latter proposition from the former in point of error or falsehood, upon this account, because the latter supposeth such an intention, as that mentioned, in God, to be the adequate reason or motive why he tenders such an offer or promise unto them, I should not much gainsay, because, I suppose, that God hath indeed other reasons, and these of greater weight, why he makes a tender of salvation unto all men upon condition of faith, than his intention of giving salvation unto them in case they shall believe. Yea, I do not conceive that either God or men do any thing which they intend, simply out of their intentions thereof, or because they intend it, but out of a desire to effect, or to procure the effecting of it, or because they desire it.
But that the author's meaning in impleading the said latter proposition of error was far differing from this, appears sufficiently by the account which himself gives hereof in the sequel of his discourse. From this account it clearly appears, that in framing the said latter proposition, he useth those words, "ex Dei intentione," for "cum Dei intentione," and placeth the error of the proposition in this, viz. that it supposeth an intention to be in God of giving life unto all men upon their faith, when he makes the offer mentioned unto them. To prove this to be an error, he argues to this effect, from John xvii. 2, for his other arguments are plainly anporcióvvoa; "God the Father gave power unto the Son to give eternal life to those only who were given unto him by the Father. But reprobates," saith he, are not given unto the Son by the Father; therefore the Father gave no power unto the Son to give eternal life unto reprobates; and consequently the Son can, either according to his own, or to his Father's intention, offer remission of sins or eternal life unto reprobates." To this I answer, That the whole proceed of the argument ariseth from a mistaken ground, or a plain misunderstanding of the Scripture upon which it is built. For by a "power given unto the Son to give eternal life," &c. is not meant a power of dying for men, one or other, but a power of an actual and real investing men with eternal life, or a power to confer eternal life actually upon men, as appears from the