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in the latter universal. In like manner its destination is twofold; particular, as having the decree to bestow faith connected with it; universal, when it is considered separately from this decree." This writer says expressly,* “Since the misery of the human family is equal and universal, and the desire which God has to free them from it by a Redeemer, proceeds from the mercy which he exercises to. wards us as his creatures fallen into destruction, in which we are all equal; the grace of redemption, that he has pro. cured for us, and which he offers us, should be equal and universal, provided we are equally disposed to its reception," &c.
Though all agreed in this, that Christ died for all men, yet they explain themselves differently in relation to the manner in which he died for all. As appears from the quotations given above, some say openly, that Christ died conditionally for all, and absolutely for the elect only. Others, perceiving that this view of the subject leads to gross absurdities, are unwilling to express themselves in this manner, and rather choose to say that Christ did not die for men on condition that they would believe, but that his death for all was absolute whether they would believe or not. Thus that free access to salvation was opened for all who would by faith accept it, and that all obstacles being removed by the death of Christ, and every thing which prevented God from entering into a covenant with man; a way for a new covenant was opened to all men--all were placed precisely in the same salvable state. Yet they all come to this point, that Christ satisfied for all men severally and collectively, and obtained for them remission of sins and salvation; of which if many are deprived, the cause is not to be sought in any insufficiency of Christ's death, nor any failure of will and intention on his part, but in the unbelief alone, of those who wickedly and obstinately reject the salvation offered by Christ.
But the common opinion of the Reformed church, is, that Christ, from the mere good pleasure of his Father, was
* Tr, de Prodest. cap. 7.
set apart, and given as a Redeemer and head not to all men, but to a definite number, who by the decree of God consti. tute his mystical body. They maintain that for these alone, Christ, perfectly acquainted with the nature and extent of the work to which he was called, and knowing whom he was called to save, and to accomplish the decree of their election, and the counsel of his Father, was willing and determined to offer himself up a sacrifice in his death, and to the price of his death added an all-efficient, special intention and will, to substitute himself in their room, and acquire for them faith and salvation.
Whence we easily obtain a distinct statement of the question. 1. The question is not respecting the value and efficacy of the death of Christ; whether as to its intrinsic worth it might be sufficient for the redemption of all men. It is confessed by all, that since its value is infinite, it would have been sufficient for the redemption of the whole human family, had it appeared good to God to extend it to the whole world. To this purpose, a distinction is made by the Fathers, and retained by many divines, “ that Christ died sufficiently for all, but efficiently for the elect only.” This is perfectly true, if it be understood of the dignity of Christ's death, though the phrase is not accurate if it be referred to the will and purpose of Christ. The question which we discuss, concerns the purpose of the Father in sending his Son, and the intention of the Son in dying. Whether the Father destined his Son for a Saviour to all men and every man, and whether the Son delivered himself up to death, with a design to substitute himself in the room of all men of all nations, to make satisfaction, and acquire salvation for them? Or, whether he resolved to give himself for the elect only, who were given him by the Father to be redeemed, and that he might be their head? The pivot on which the controversy turns is, what was the purpose of the Father in sending his Son to die, and the object which Christ had in view in dying; not what is the value and efficacy of his death. Hence the question does not, as some learned divines have affirmed, respect the revealed will of
God, but his secret will, his decree, to which the mission and death of Christ are to be referred, as all must agree.
We do not enquire respecting the fruits and efficacy of Christ's death, whether all will actually be partakers' of these? which was anciently held by Puccius and Huberus. Our opponents extend these to believers only. But the question refers to the purpose of God in sending his Son into the world, and the purpose of Christ in his death.Whether did he respect all men universally, so as to substitute himself in their room, and make satisfaction for them, and obtain for them remission of sin and salvation? Or was all this designed for the elect only? Our opponents say the former was the object; we say the latter.
We do not enquire whether the death of Christ gives occasion to the imparting of some blessings even to reprobates. Because it is in consequence of the death of Christ, that the gospel is preached to all nations, that the gross idolatry of many heathen nations has been abolished, that the daring impiety of men is greatly restrained by the word of God; that multitudes of the human family obtain many and excellent blessings, though not saving gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is unquestionable that all these flow from the death of Christ, for there would have been no place for them in the church, unless Christ had died. The question is whether the suretyship, and satisfaction of Christ were, by the will of God and purpose of Christ, destined for every individual of Adam's posterity, as our opponents teach; or for the elect only, as we maintain.
We embrace this opinion for the following reasons. 1, The mission and death of Christ are restricted to a limited number, delineated under the character of the people of Christ, the shưep of Christ, his friends, the church, his body, &c. but it is no where extended to all men severally and collectively. Thus Christ* “is called Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins.” He is calledt the Saviour of his body. “ The good shepherd who lays down
* Matt. i. 21.
| Eph. y. 23.
# John x. 15.
his life for the sheep," and " *for his friends.” He is said t “ to die—that he might gather together in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad." It is said that Christ“ hath purchased the church, or his flock with his own blood.” If Christ died for every one of Adam's posterity, why should the scriptures so often restrict the object of his death to a few? How could it with propriety, be said absolutely that Christ is the saviour of his people, and of his body; if he is the saviour of others also? How could it in the same way be said that he laid down his life for his sheep, for the sons of God, and for the church, if according to the will and purpose of God he died for others also? Would this be a greater proof of his love, and a firmer ground of consolation?
To this it is objected that the scripture, which in these passages appears to limit the atonement to a few, elsewhere extends it to all.” This objection is more specious than solid. The universality alluded to in this objection is not absolute, but limited; one which does not refer to all the indi. viduals of the human family, but to individuals of all nations; as will be shewn at large hereafter. Another objection is, “that in the texts quoted above, the satisfaction is not considered separately, but in connection with its application which is limited, though the satisfaction separately considered is universal.” To this we reply, that the words and phrases which the Holy Spirit uses in the texts cited above; such as the Saviour," " to lay down life for one," " to give himself for one, &c." properly denote satisfaction-the procurement of salvation. And although the atonement is ne. cessarily followed by its application, yet the proof drawn from these terms used by the Spirit, are not weakened; because the atonement, and its application are inseparably connected; and are of the same extent; all which will be proved in the proper place. Again, it is objected that “ Christ died absolutely for some and conditionally for others.” This however, takes for granted what ought to be proved. It is
• Jobn xi. 52.
+ Acts xi. 28.
Eph. viii. 25, 26.
altogether gratuitous to say, that Christ in his death had a twofold intention; one conditional, which extended to all; the other absolute, which was limited to a few. The scripture no where countenances such a distinction; it always represents the application of the atonement as conditional but the making of it never. The nature of the thing does not indeed, admit of such a distinction; for according to the hyphotheses of the objections, there was no consideration of the elect, in the decree, according to which Christ died; and they admit that he died with the same purpose, with which the decree was passed; for the execution must be agreeable to the plan. The plan must be filled up. Christ and the Father must have precisely the same object in view by his death. They say that the elect were separated by a posterior decree, hence as Christ was destined to die for all, before the elect were separated from the reprobate, he must have died for the elect and the reprobate in the same way. God decreed all things by one simple act, though we have to conceive of the decree by parts: who then can be. lieve that in one simple act, God had two intentions so diverse, not to say contrary, that in one manner Christ should die for all, in another for some oply? Nay, when Christ could not will to die absolutely for the elect, without involving by the law of contraries a will not to die for the re, probate, it is inconceivable how in one act he should will both to die for the reprobate, and not to die for them, Another objection offered is, that " though these scripture passages speak of the elect, yet they do not speak of them exclusively of all others, as Paul says that Christ was de. livered for him, but he does not exclude others.” To this I answer that though those texts upon which I rely do not explicitly exclude all others, yet they contain, in that description which they give of those for whom Christ died, certain circumstances, which clearly exclude others, Though the blessing is promised to the seed of Abraham without saying to the seed of Abraham alone, yet it is sufficiently clear that the blessing was confined to Abraham's seed, to the exclusion of all others. The object of the passages