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question concerning the death of Christ, whether it was to be extended to all mankind, or to be confined only to the elect. For the Fathers, when speaking of the death of Christ, describe it to us as undertaken and endured for the redemption of the human race; and not a word (that I know of) occurs among them of the exclusion of any persons by the decree of God; they agree that it is actually beneficial to those only who believe, yet they every where confess that Christ died in behalf of all mankind. Thus Clemens Alexandrinus (Pedag. cap. 11) says, That Christ freely brings and bestows salvation to the whole human race. And of the same opinion is Origen, lib. 5, contra Celsum, Jesus is declared to have come into the world for the sake of all who ever were sinners, that they might leave their sins, and give themselves up to God. With whom agrees Primasius* on I Tim. ii. on the words Who gave himself a ransom for all : he says, For all men indeed, the blood of Christ has been shed, but it is beneficial only to those that believe. From which disciple of Augustine, we may conjecture what was the doctrine of Augustine himself. Their adversaries were nevertheless accustomed to object to
* PRIMASIUS, a Catholic Bishop of the 6th Century, a native of Africa, who obtained the See of Adrumetum, also known by the name of Justi. nianopolis, in the Province of Byzacene. About the year 550, he was one of a deputation which was sent to Constantinople on the affairs of the Af. rican Churches, and he was at that city in 553, when the fifth General Council assembled there by order of the Emperor Justinian. He refused, however, to take any share in the deliberations of that assembly, though repeatedly invited ; and he subscribed to the Constitution which Pope Vi. gilius issued in defence of the Three Chapters, i. e. the three pieces in the writings of Theodorus of Mopsuestia, on the subject of the human and di. vine natures in Christ. Primasius was looked upon as a Commentator on Scripture and a writer of some note in that age; and his Commentary upon the Epistles of Paul, as also a book of his concerning Heresies, are yet extant; but the former Mosheim regards as nothing more than a compilation from the works of Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, and others. Mosheim's view of the writers of this period is worthy of the perusal of any one who desires to be informed in what sense the Church should be regarded as the infallible judge of Scripture. He would also do well to peruse Bower's Life of Pope Vigilius, and the account given under it of the occurrences and men of this period, in order to judge of the claims of the Papal Church to Apostolical Succession and Unity.
Augustine, and others who embraced his doctrine of predestination, that they taught that Christ was crucified for the predestinate alone, and from this objection of the Pelagians some in succeeding ages seized a handle for kindling the afore-mentioned controversy. This is manifest from the objections of the Vincentians,* in which this takes the lead, That our Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer for
• Ex objectionibus Vincentianis, the followers of Vincentius Lirinensis, or St. Vincent of Lerins. He was by birth a Gaul, and a cotemporary with Augustine, entering the Monastery in the Island of Lerins from the storms of a military life, about the middle of the fifth Century; and, from the place of his retirement and great sanctity, becoming known as above described. In his retreat he composed a treatise entitled Commonitorium adversus Hære. ticos, in which he undertook to shew the folly of all novel opinions. His production obtained celebrity, and was often reprinted in the 16th and 17th Centuries. An English Translation of it by the Rev. William Reeves, was pub. lished in 1709, together with translations of the early Christian Apologists, in 2 vols. 8vo. ; the whole is preceded by an able “ Dissertation" of above 100 pages, in correction of Daille's work, “ upon the right use of the Fathers.” It has been supposed that Vincentius himself was opposed to Augustine, and put forth 16 propositions as erroneous, which he charged upon Augus. tine and his scholars : but there is no evidence of this. The work here mentioned seems to have been the only production of his pen ; and the object of it is to shew, that men should prove the orthodoxy of their faith, first, by the authority of Holy Scripture, and secondly, by the doctrine of the Ca. tholic Church. Reeves's translation of Vincentius's treatise appears to have been undertaken primarily to prove, that Vincentius was no Pelagian, and that his work was not directed against Augustine's views as had been as. serted ; and secondarily, that it made nothing for the Roman Catholics, who boasted of his being a Champion for their favourite buttress of Tradi. tion : And it is manifest the work was directed against the heresies of Photinus, Apollinaris, Pelagius, Nestorius, the Manichæans, and such like: that he has collected the Rules which the most orthodox Fathers had laid down as derived from Scripture, to judge of such novelties as these heresiarchs broached, and even citing some of St. Augustine's rules, triumphantly supporting the whole by Scriptural examples and testimonies-by patriarchal and apostolic authority. As to Vincentius's upholding the authority of the Romish Church, or sustaining the popish dogma of Tradition, his Translator has justly observed in his “ Preliminary Discourse" to the treatise, « had Vincentius been assisted with a prophetic vision of the future cor. " ruptions in the Church of Rome, he could not have expressed himself “ more clearly against it. The whole design and bent of his book is di66 rectly against all innovations in the Faith, and for cleaving inviolably to “ the Creed as then explained, and always understood by the Apostolic “ Churches.”-It is indeed a wise and judicious production, and bighly de.
the salvation and redemption of all men. It is manifest from the Answers of Prosper to the Capitula of the Gallican Divines ;* where their ninth objection is given after this manner: That the Saviour was not crucified for the redemption of the whole world. The Semipelagians objected to this as new, invidious, and erroneous. But Prosper meets these objections, not by maintaining that Christ suffered only for the elect, but by shewing whence it arises that the passion of Christ is profitable and saving to the elect alone ; namely, because these only through the benefit of special grace obtain persevering faith, whereby they are enabled to apply to themselves the death of Christ. All others without the assistance of this special grace, through their own fault, either remain altogether in unbelief, or draw back from faith received, and therefore fail of the benefits of redemption. This is the tendency of the points in the Answer to the afore-mentioned objection of Vincentius,t That as far us relates to the magnitude and virtue
serving the attention of the serious student in the present day. The closing remarks of the preceding Note may be well applied here, and this treatise recommended to every reader who would be guarded against the tares of novelty and heresy, which the enemy of souls is causing to spring and grow again in this age. It is incumbent upon every one to revise the history of the true Church and of real Religion, and to examine the writings themselves of fathers and divines which are now often appealed to, that by the aid of information and experience obtained from them, and by discover. ing the falsification or perversion of the same, each one, under the signs and amid the perplexity of conflicting opinions in our times, and the prospects which seem to threaten us, may know what to do. 1 Chron. xii. 32.
* CAPITULA GALLORUM, or Objections of the Gallican Divines. These were chiefly the priests of Marseilles, about whose series of objections (which probably were those attributed to Vincentius) Prosper wrote to Augus. tine, propounding those objections, and praying him to answer them. This letter is among Augustine's Epistles, and his reply to it in his Books of the Saints' Predestination and of the Gift of Perseverance, proved so satisfac. tory to Prosper's mind, that he became the zealous defender of Augustine against those who attacked his opinions.
+ The objections started by others must certainly be here intended; per. haps those Monks who stole a portion of the Manuscript of Vincentius's treatise, and under cover of the signature he had adopted, Peregrinus, perverting his views and carrying them to a point he never intended-like the of the price, and to the one cause of the human race, the blood of Christ is the redemption of the whole world: but those who pass through this life without the faith of Christ, and the sacrament of regeneration, do not partake of the redemption. A little afterwards, The cup of immortality, which is composed of our infirmity, and Divine goodness, has indeed in itself what is profitable for all, but if it be not drunk, it does not heal. Not dissiinilar are the remarks brought forward in answer to the ninth objection of the Gallican Divines. For there it is confessed, although Christ may be said to have been crucified for those only whom his death profited, that is, for the regenerate, and those that believe to the end, it may also be said, that the Redeemer of the world gave his own blood for the world, and the world would not be redeemed. Lastly, it clearly proves that Augustine did not teach that Christ died for the predestinate alone, because Prosper from his opinion extends the peculiar benefit of His passion, namely, the remission of original sin, to infants even not predestinated. (Resp. ad obj. 2 Gall. & Sentent. 2.) He who says, that the grace of baptism being received does not take away original sin from those who are not predestinated to life, is not a Catholic. Which opinion was embraced by the Synod of Valence* even some ages after
Papists of more modern times_broached their quibbles against Augustine, or rather their distortions of his sentiments. Vide Reeves's 'Translation and Notes, and Cave's Historia Literaria.
• This Synod, or Council, as it is termed by Du Pin, was held in the year 855, by the management of Remi, Bishop of Lyons, in order to confirm his opinions about Grace. It was composed of 14 Bishops of the Provinces of Lyons, Arles, and Vienne, in which the three Metropolitans presided, aud Ebbo, Bishop of Grenoble, was present. They made 6 Canons in this Synod concerning Grace, Free-will, and Predestination. They re. jected four Canons made at the preceding Council of Quiercy, held under Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, on the doctrine of Predestination, as idle, vain, and false ; and condemned a Treatise of Scotus on the same subject, as a silly book. Hincmar afterwards wrote a treatise of thirty-eight Chapters, which he dedicated to Charles the Bald, to defend his four Arti. cles, and confute the Canons of the Council of Valence. In this treatise he sets out with a view of the origin of the heresy about Predestination, and to prove that it commenced after the time of Augustine. Thus much for the boasted Unity of the Church of Rome at this period.
Augustine, as it appears by the fifth canon. From these things it is evident, that although the seeds of this controversy were sown, yet that Augustine and his disciples would never be the patrons of the doctrine, That Christ suffered for the prelestinated alone. But dismissing Augustine let us come to Pelagius and his followers. And here it is worth while to observe, that in the late discussions of this controversy, two errors contrary to each other have been attributed to Pelagius, but falsely. For those who contend that Christ died for the elect alone, say that the opposite opinion, namely, That Christ died for all, is one of the Pelagian errors. On the contrary, those who are on the opposite side, exclaim, that it is mere Pelagianism to say, That Christ did not die for all men. But they do injustice to both sides, to Pelagius and to themselves. With respect to the first, a certain learned man says, that this opinion concerning universal redemption and limited deliverance, was attributed to the Pelagians and Semipelagians; and supported by a certain passage of Augustine against Julian (lib. 3. cap. 3.) where he attacks the Pelagians in this manner, Go on still, go on; and as you say, In the sacrament of the Saviour infants are baptised, but are not saved ; are redeemed, but are not liberated ; are washed, but are not absolved; so also say, Blood is shed for them for the remission of sins, but they are not cleansed by the remission of sin. These are marvellous things which you say, they are new things which you say, they are false things which you say, and so on. But in this place Augustine disputes about infants only; nor does he do this in order to shew that it is to be set down as Pelagianism, That Christ died for those who on account of their own unbelief are not saved, but that He died for those, or redeemed those who were not subject to sin, and therefore had no guilt from which they should be freed. For as it respects infants, Pelagius acknowledged in words that they were redeemed, but taught in reality that they had no need of redemption; as it is evident, since he contended, That there was nothing depraved in them, nothing held under the power of the devil; in one word, nothing which could be redeemed by so great a price. (August.