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and of the Holy Spirit, in the economy of salvation, Christ was given to die for the elect, and for them only. Pertinent to this purpose is the argument of the apostle Paul, in which, from the giving of Christ, he in
fers the communication of every blessing. “He that · spared not his own Son, but freely delivered him up for
us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”* The apostle reasons from the greater to the less. Surely he, who gave his Son, which, incontrovertibly was the greater gift, will not refuse to give us faith and all other saving blessings which are the less; and this the rather, because, as we shall presently prove, Christ by delivering himself up, has merited for us, together with salvation, all those gifts. Whence the conclusion is inevitable; either all those blessings shall be given to the reprobate, if Christ died for them; or if they are not given them, which is granted by all, then Christ did not die for them, i. e. he did not die for all. This is not answered by alleging that the apostle speaks of Christ's being given in a special manner to the believers. For, as was said above, the supposition, of a universal giving is gratuitous, and nowhere countenanced in scripture; and since faith is a fruit of Christ's death, it cannot be a condition antecedent to his death. Farther, when according to the order which is laid down by our learned opponents themselves, the decree concern. ing Christ's death was antecedent to the decree relative to bestowing faith; it is inconceivable how at one and the same time, and in the self same simple act, Christ could be delivered up for all, and for some only.
3. Another topic of argumentation, from which I confirm the same doctrine, is the superlative love of Christ towards those for whom he died. He loved them with the most ardent affection.f Greater love has no one, than that one should lay down his life for his friend. In the same exalted strain does the apostle Paul extol the love
of Christ: he speaks of it as admirably intense, and unheard of among men.* “ Scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet, peradventure for a good man some would dare even to die. But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” But this cannot be said of all men, and every man; for, I presume that all are agreed, that Christ loved Peter more than Judas. It is inconceivable, how Christ could love with ineffable ardour of affection, those whom as an inexorable judge he had already consigned to mansions of endless woe, and despair, and those whom by an irrevocable decree he had resolved to consign to the same endless misery. It cannot with any colour of propriety be said that Christ and his apostle, are treating of external acts of love. For, besides, that external acts of love, presuppose those which are internal; if Christ exercises external acts of love so great that none can be greater, it follows that he has done, and that he does so much for those who perish, that it is impossible for him to do more for the elect who shall be saved; than which nothing can be more absurd. Nor, if he loves some of the elect more than others, with a love of complaisance on account of the internal gifts of his Spirit, a diversity of which is necessary to the perfection of his mystical body, does it result as a consequence from this, that the disposition of his soul towards each of them as to the promotion of their good, is supremely tender and affectionate.
4. I infer the truth of the same doctrine from the nature of Christ's suretyship. For it imports not merely the substitution of Christ in our room, so that he died not only for our good, but in our place, as is said above, and proved against the disciples of Socinus. Hence, from the nature of his suretyship, he must transfer upon himself, and take away from them all the debt of those whose persons he sustains; and liquidate the whole debt as perfectly as if they themselves had done it in their own persons. Can it be conceived
* Rom. v. 7, 8.
that those for whom he died and in this manner, may yet be subjected to eternal vengeance, and bound to suffer again deserved punishment? This question must be answered in the affirmative by all those who assert that Christ died for many who shall not be saved by his death: and yet to say so is to impeach the justice and veracity of God. For if in consequence of his suretyship, the debt has been transferred to Christ, and by him discharged, every one must see that it has been taken away from the primary debtors, so that payment cannot be demanded from them. They must forever afterwards remain free, absolved from all obligation to punishment. Pertinent to this purpose are all those passages of scripture which assert that our sins were laid upon Christ, that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and that by his stripes we are healed, * and those which declare that he was made a curse for us that we might be made the righteousness and blessing of God in him.t
Christ died for those only for whom he procured and to whom he applies salvation. As he procured and applies salvation to the elect only, hence for them only he died. That Christ did not die for any but those for whom he procured salvation, and to whom he will apply it, appears,-1st, From the object of Christ's death. His death was destined by God to procure salvation for us. 2. The procurement cannot be separated from the application; what other end can there be in procuring a thing, but that it may be applied? A thing is procured in vain, which is never applied. Hence it follows, that if salvation is procured for, it will and must be applied to us. If it be not applied to all, but to the elect only, then it was not procured for all, but for the elect only. In vain it is objected, “ that Christ's death was not intended so much to procure salvation, as to remove all the obstacles which justice threw in the way of our salvation, and which prevented God from thinking of our salvation.” From this view of the subject, Christ rather procured for us the possibility of being saved than salvation itself—and placed it
* Isa. lüi. 5, 6.
+ 2 Cor. v. 25. Gal. iii, 13.
in the power
of the Father to enter into a new covenant with man--all which Arminian tenets were condemned by the synod of Dort, as injurious opinions, offering indignity to the efficacy of the cross of Christ. The opinions and decisions of the great and good men who composed the synod merit high respect, though they are not infallible. In this case the decision is supported both by scripture and reason. How can Christ be said to have given himself a ransom--a price of redemption for us—to have procured for us eternal salvation to redeem us from all iniquity, and other things of the same kind, which denote not the possibility, but actual procurement of salvation; if after all, he only rendered it possible that we might be saved?
Another objection equally futile is that“ redemption was procured for all with a design that it should be applied to them; provided they would not reject it.” This cannot be asserted with respect to an innumerable number, to whom Christ has never been offered, and who do not know him even in name. If it be alleged that Christ proposed to himself an object so vain and fruitless respecting a thing which should never happen, and which could not happen without his gift, which he determined not to give, what an indignity is offered to his wisdom! It represents Christ as saying, I wish to obtain salvation for all, to the end that it may be applied to them, will they but believe; however, I am resolved not to reveal this redemption to all, and to refuse to innumerable multitudes that salvation which is essentially necessary to their embracing of it--the only means by which it can be applied to them. Shall men, to support a favorite theory, make the infinitely wise and holy Jesus say, I desire that to come to pass, which I know neither will nor can take placę; and I am even unwilling that it should, for I refuse to communicate the only means by which it can ever be brought to pass, and the granting of this means depends upon myself, and upon myself alone. What a shameful indignity does this offer to the wisdom of Emanuel! It would be an insult to the understanding of frail man. Nor will the mátter be amended by saying that the failure of the applica
tion is not to be attributed to Christ, but to the wickedness and unbelief of man. This is not less injurious to the honour of Christ, for it represents him either as not foreseeing, or as not capable of preventing those impediments, which might obstruct the application of the salvation, which he obtained, and thus cause him to miss his aim. They indeed allege that it was not in vain, though it fails of success; because, however men treat the salvation offered them, Christ will not miss the prime object which he had in view in his death; that is, that pardon and salvation may be provided for men, if they will believe and repent-and that before his death the rigour of divine, inexorable justice, rendered this salvation impossible, and that nothing now hinders but the sinner's obstinacy. All this does not remove the absurdity. The object in procuring salvation could be none other than its application; and it was obtained for no valuable purpose if it is never applied; and thus loses its object. Christ needs not die for men, to procure for them pardon and saltion under a condition, which it is impossible for them to comply with; but he died that he might in reality obtain pardon and complete redemption, for his people.
This is confirmed from the manner in which Christ procured salvation; for if the procurement extended to all, it must be either absolute or conditional. The former will not be asserted, for then all men, universally, would be saved. The latter is equally inadmissible, for—1st. What is procured conditionally, is not, properly speaking, procured at all, but only a mere possibility of its being procured, provided the condition is complied with. 2d. Either Christ has procured the condition itself for all, or for some only. If he has acquired the condition for all, then all will assuredly be saved; for this condition could be obtained for them in no other way than absolutely; unless indeed they would say that there is a condition of a condition, which, though it is absurd, as tending to stretch out into an endless chain of conditions, yet all these conditional conditions will be, on the present supposition purchased by Christ. If the condi. tion, by which the salvation is to be obtained, has been procured for some only, then the salvation has not been fully