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offering, and sacrifice for the sins, for the punishment, (I say,) and for the fault" or delinquency "of the whole world."
J. Jacobus Grynæus numbereth him amongst his "orthodoxographers," (i. e. his orthodox and sound writers,) who reasoned thus against the Pelagian heretics, who denied that Christ died for all men: " If it were so, how could the apostle say, that as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive?" yea, and saith withal, that "the catholic church utterly detests that opinion which denieth that Christ assumed the nature of man for all men, and that he died for all men."†
Dr. John Davenant, an eminent member of the Synod of Dort, instead of an answer to this argument of his adversaries against justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ: "If the righteousness of Christ, which is the general price of the redemption of all men, be imputed to us, then we may truly be called the redeemers or saviours of the world," replieth thus: "The righteousness of Christ then is not imputed" for example "unto Peter, as" or as it is "the general price of redemption for all men, but as the price wherewith his soul is redeemed in particular."+ which words he plainly enough supposeth the said righteousness of Christ to be a general price for the redemption of all men.
Kimedontius, a great professor of the way and doctrine of Calvin in the present controversies, yet complains of those, as "injurious to him and his party, and no better than false witnesses, who clamour against them as if they denied that Christ died for all men, and was not the propitiation for the sins of the whole. world."§
Because I would not overcharge the reader's patience above measure, I shall omit the Catechisms and Confessions of many Reformed churches, as of the Palatinate, Bern, Basil, Tigurum, Schaffhusen, with divers others, in which there are very plain and pregnant assertions of the doctrine of universal atonement by Christ; and shall conclude the demonstration of what we lately observed, (viz. that the doctrine of general redemption is a principle or notion of that sovereign use and necessity, that the professed enemies thereof cannot forbear it, or make any rational earnings in many their theological discourses without it,) with a passage or Testimony from no fewer than fifty-two ministers of the
* Itaque relinquitur jam indubitatum, Christum Dominum plenariam esse propitiationem, satisfactionem, hostiamque et victimam pro peccatis, pro pœnâ (inquam) et pro culpâ totius mundi, &c.-Bullinger. de Justific. Fidei. Ser. vi.
† Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum aiunt humanam carnem non pro omnium salute sumpsisse, nec pro omnibus mortuum esse. Hoc omnimodis catholica detestatur ecclesia. Nam si ita esset, quomodo apostolus diceret, sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur, ita et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur.-Orthodoxographia, part. ii. p. 1503.
Non igitur Petro imputatur (justitia Christi) ut generale pretium redemptionis pro omnibus, sed ut pretium quo illius anima in particulari redimitur.-Joh. Davenantius, in Prælect. de Justitia Habit. p. 331.
§ Injuriam nobis faciunt, et falsi testes reperiuntur, qui nos clamitant negare, Christum esse mortuum pro omnibus, et propitiationem esse pro peccatis totius mundi.-Kimedont. Synops, de Redempt.
city of London, and these non de plebe virûm, which I find in a small pamphlet lately subscribed and published by them, and that for this very end, as themselves profess, to give Testimony against errors and heresies. In this their Testimony, bewailing the prevailing of errors and heresies, so by them called, they bemoan the case of many of those, whom yet otherwhile they judge the happiest men in the world, (those I mean for whom Christ died,) thus: "Thousands and ten thousands of poor souls, which Christ hath ransomed with his blood, shall hereby be betrayed, seduced, and endangered to be undone to all eternity."* No sense, rationality, or truth can be made of this saying, but by the mediation of this hypothesis or ground, viz. that such persons who have "been ransomed with the blood of Christ" may be "undone" (i. e. perish) for ever. For whatsoever men may be brought into "danger" of suffering, doubtless there is a possibility, at least, that they may suffer, as we have reasoned the case further elsewhere,† where also we put to rebuke that distinction of a possibility in respect of second causes, and in respect of the first cause or decree of God, evincing from express grounds of Scripture truth in this assertion, That "there is not the least danger of suffering inconvenience by any such means or causes, how likely or threatening soever, in themselves simply considered, to bring the inconvenience upon us, which we know to be throughly mated and over-balanced by means and causes of a contrary tendency and import." I here add, that should the meaning of the authors of the said passage be, that those "ransomed with the blood of Christ" are "endangered" in respect of second causes or means only, but are in the mean time perfectly secured by God, or his decree, from suffering the danger, there had been no such cause of taking up that most solemn and pathetic lamentation over them which they do, but rather of rejoicing on their behalf, that being so "ransomed," they are in no danger or possibility, through any "betraying" or "seduction" by any error or heresy whatsoever, of losing that grace or blessing of salvation which was purchased by the blood of Christ for them.
I shall not, I trust, need here to reinculcate that which hath been, and this more than once, so plainly expressed formerly, viz. that my intent in citing Calvin, with those other late Protestant writers which we have subjoined in the same suffrage of doctrine unto him, in favour of the doctrine of general redemption, is not to persuade the reader, that the habitual or standing judgment either of him, or of the greater part of the rest, was whole and entire for the said doctrine, or stood in any great propension hereunto, (though this I verily believe concerning sundry of them ;) much less to imply that they never, in other places of their writings, declared themselves against it; but only to show, 1, That the
* A Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ, &c. subscribed by fifty-two London ministers, page 32. + Remedy of Unreasonableness, pp. 13, 14.
truth of this doctrine is so near at hand; and, 2, That the influence of it is so benign and accommodatious unto many other truths and doctrines in Christian religion, that it is a hard matter for those that deal much in these affairs not to assume and assert it ever and anon, and to speak and argue many things upon the account of the authority of it; yea, though "extrà casum necessitatis" on the one hand, and "incogitantia" on the other hand, they are wont to behold it, as God doth proud men, "afar off."
Let us draw up the sum total of the chapter, in a very few words, and so end it. First, we have seen the roots of that doctrine held forth in our present discourse, thoroughly watered with the fairest streams of the judgment, learning, approbation, and authority of the primitive times. Secondly, concerning times of a later date, we have found that the judgment and faith of that party of Protestant churches and writers which is known by the name of Lutheran, do more generally, if not universally, accord with the same doctrine. Thirdly, and lastly, that the other party of these churches and writers, viz. those who incline more to the sense and judgment of Calvin in matters of Christian concernment, together with Calvin himself, doth very frequently attest the same doctrine, yea, and cannot well want the service and assistance of it in the managing and carrying on many of their affairs. The result of all is, that no considering or conscientious person whatsoever hath the least occasion to decline, or keep aloof off in judgment, from the said doctrine for want of company, so great a number, as we have seen, of the best and most desirable, for companions in the way of faith, of those that have dwelt with flesh and blood since the apostles' days, having given the right hand of fellowship unto it in their respective generations.
The Conclusion: exhibiting a general proposal, or survey, of matters intended for consideration, explication, and debate, in the second part of this work.
THOUGH Christ the Lord reigneth, whilst his enemies are yet unsubdued, and not put under his feet, yet he reigneth not so like unto himself, nor with that peaceableness or desirableness of government unto his subjects, as he shall and will reign, at least in the glorious result of his mediation, when all that which in any degree opposeth him in his government shall be wholly taken out of the way, and no enemy left with any strength or power to infest, trouble, or cause the least disquietment or discontent in all his kingdom. In like manner, though the judgment and conscience of a man may reign with much contentment and satisfaction, in the holding and profession of many a truth, by the demonstrative evi
dence and strength of such arguments and grounds upon which he clearly seeth it built; however he may see it also encompassed and assaulted on every side with such objections and difficulties which are not at present subdued under him; yet can they not be so well apayd, so full of peace and joy in this their kingdom, as they may and will when these objections shall be made to bow down before them, and lick the dust at their feet, and all difficulties be perfectly reconciled with that truth which they hold and profess in this kind. Upon this account, having in the precedure of our discourse settled this great doctrine, that "Christ gave himself a ransom for all men, without exception," upon such pillars of Scripture, reason, and authority, that no man that shall duly weigh the premises can reasonably question the truth thereof; I judged it necessary, nevertheless, (God not laying my intentions in the dust by the hand of death or otherwise,) to subjoin the vindication of the said doctrine, from all such objections, exceptions, or encumbrances, wherewith I find it on every side oppugned, and the course of it much obstructed in the minds and judgments of some: that so they who are or shall be persuaded of the truth of it, may sit with so much the more ease in their judgments, and reign in the happy contemplation and enjoyment of so blessed a truth, with so much the more peace and joy.
In our intended vindication of the said doctrine, or second part of this work, we shall, God graciously continuing his assistance, perform these three things. First, We shall deliver those texts, and contexts of Scripture, which, contrary to their minds and native tendencies and imports respectively, are compelled to serve against the said doctrine, these, I say, we shall, in the first place, deliver from this hard service, by loosing the bands of such interpretations, wherein they are detained upon that account. Secondly, We shall show, how the supposed iron and steel of such grounds, arguments and reasonings, wherewith the said doctrine commonly is assaulted, are "turned into stubble and rotten wood" before it. Thirdly and lastly, We shall give some general and brief answer to such passages and sayings, which are usually alleged and cited from the ancient writers, in way of opposition to this doctrine.
Concerning the Scriptures, which are commonly pressed to serve in that warfare we speak of, the truth is, that, as notice hath been formerly given, there is none of them can be brought to speak any thing at all, no, not in appearance, against the doctrine we plead, but only by the mediation of some deduction or inference raised and drawn from them by the reasons of men. There is no Scripture that hath yet been or indeed can be produced, wherein it is either affirmed, that Christ died only for the elect, only for believers, or the like; or denied, that he died for all men without exception. The particular places which are commonly managed with greatest confidence in the actors, and with most applause in the spectators, against the said doctrine, are these:
Matt. xx. 28. "The Son of man came not to be ministered
unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Unto which several others of like phrase and expression, are wont to be added, as, viz. Matt. xxvi. 28, Rom. v. 15, 19, Heb. ix. 28, &c. From these Scriptures, with their fellows, such an argument as this is levied :
"He that gave his life a ransom for many, shed his blood for many for the remission of sins, made many righteous, &c., did not give his life a ransom for all, did not shed his blood for all for the remission of sins, &c: But Christ gave his life a ransom for many, shed his blood for many, &c.: Ergo."*
John x. 11. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep :" and verse 15, "I lay down my life for the sheep." To these also other passages of somewhat a like import are frequently joined. As Eph. v. 25, where Christ is said to "have loved his church, and to have given himself for it," &c. From such premises as these, this inference or conclusion is much solicited: "Ergo, Christ gave his life for his sheep," i. e. his elect, "only; gave himself for his church only," &c.
Matt. i. 21. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." This text likewise is wont to be seconded with some others as sembling with it, as Acts x. 43,— "that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins." So also Rom. iii. 25, and x. 4, Heb. v. 9, &c. Upon these and such like foundations, this inference is built: Ergo, Christ came to save his people only, believers only, sanctified ones only, from their sins."
John xv. 13. "Greater love than this hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friend." This I find paralleled and strengthened with these words from the same pen, I John iii. 16, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us."§ This pair of Scriptures afford unto some the joy of this consequence: "Ergo, Christ did not lay down his life for reprobates, or for those that are damned in hell, because then he should love them with the greatest love that could be."
John xvii. 9. "I pray for them: I pray not for the world." Upon this basis, this enthymeme is raised: "Christ refused to pray for the world," i. e. the wicked of the world: "Ergo, certainly he refused to die for the world."
Rom. viii. 32. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" From hence the doctrine of particular redemption is countenanced with this argument. "Unto all those for whom God spared not, but delivered up his own Son for them, he will freely give all things: But there are many thousands in the
*Vid. Acta Synodi Dordrec. part. ii. pp. 97, 112, &c.
† Vid. Acta Synodi Dordrec. part. ii. p. 101. Et Chamier. tom. iii. 1. 9. c. 13. sect. 9. Vid. Acta Synodi Dordrec. part. ii. p. 97.
§ Vid. Collat. Hagiens. adversùs secundam thesin Remonstrantium, p. 133.
Vid. Acta Synodi Dordrec. part. ii. p. 100, et Chamier, tom. iii, 1. 2, c. 13, sect. 2.