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Epist. 90.) This, therefore, is what Augustine finds fault with in him, not that he taught, That Christ suffered for all : Which opinion of Pelagianism it can be shown was not condemned in any Council that was formed against the Pelagians, nor in any work of Augustine written against the Semipelagians. He professedly writes against the errors of the Semipelagians in his books, On the Predestination of the Saints, and on the benefit of Perseverance : yet he never attempts to infringe the proposition—That Christ died for all men. Whatsoever, therefore, may be concluded respecting the truth of this proposition (which will be seen hereafter) it is certain, that it was never accounted a Pelagian dogma, as some persons, leaning on weak foundations, have confidently affirmed.
But I come to the contrary proposition. For there is one who affirms that this also savours of Pelagianism, and writes that Pelagius taught, That Christ did not die for all men. Thus Grevinchovius,* in a Dissertation on the death of Christ, with our countryman Ames,t says (p. 51), Pelagius taught (as Faustus of Ries testifies, lib. i. cap. 16) That Christ did not die for all men. Know therefore and consider, that this error which I have objected to you is common to you and Pelagius. But I know not whether through design or ignorance he produces the egregious prevarica
. GREVINCHOVIUS, a Dutchman who flourished in the beginning of the 17th Century as a Pastor of Rotterdam, and was eminent among the Remonstrants. Weismanni Hist. Eccl. ed. 1745, Part. Post. p. 1158. He is largely noticed in Brandt's Reformation in the Low Countries, Vol. iii. p. 175.
+ DR. WILLIAM AMEs, born of an antient Norfolk Family in 1576, and educated at Cambridge under the celebrated William Perkins, fled from the persecution of Archbishop Bancroft, and was invited by the States of Frieseland to the Divinity Chair in the University of Francker, which he filled with great reputation during the space of twelve years, after which he removed to Rotterdam, at the invitation of an English Church there, and becaine their pastor. He was at the Synod of Dort, and informed King James's Ambassador at the Hague, from time to time, of the debates of that assembly. Besides his controversial writings against the Arminians, he published the following:-Medulla Theologiæ ;-Manuductio Logica;Cases of Conscience ;-Analysis on the Book of Psalms ;-Notes on the first and second Epistles of St. Peter, &c. Maclaine in Mosheim.
tor Faustus of Ries* as a witness against Pelagius, who, under the pretence of opposing Pelagius, strenuously maintained his cause, and every where attacked the Catholic Doctors, concealing their names. But however serviceable a witness Faustus of Ries might be in this business, Grevinchovius committed a gross error when he thought that the above-mentioned opinion was to be attributed to Pelagius. If he had ever looked into the books of Faustus, he might easily have perceived that in that place he was not writing against the Pelagians, but against those who attribute all to Divine grace and mercy, that is, against Augustine, Prosper, and the rest of the orthodox, whom he babbles against, as unlike the race of sectaries, but like to the Pelagians in impiely. (Faustus, lib. i. cap. 3 and 6.) If, therefore, Grevinchovius desires to prove from this passage that this opinion was heretical, he ought to exhibit it as a mark of Augustinian, not of Pelagian heresy. But in reality Faustus did the same as was before shewn, from the objections of the Vincentians, and the Capitula of the Gallican divines, other Semipelagians had done: That is, he calumniously imputed this opinion to Augustine and the orthodox, as necessarily connected with the doctrine of predestination; which nevertheless they never would acknowledge. But to return to Pelagius and the Semipelagians, who it is certain erred in some things about the death of Christ, although neither of the afore-mentioned opinions was reckoned among the antients the error of Pelagius. Pelagius himself erred, in the first place, not directly by extending the death of Christ beyond its proper limits, but indirectly and by consequence, by main
• Faustus, a learned prelate, was a native of Britain, first became a Monk of the Monastery of Levins, then Abbot of the same, and in 453 was chosen Bishop of Riez, or Ries, in Provence. He wrote against the doctrines of election and reprobation, which pieces have been abridged by Du Pin. His character is drawn by Milner as opposite to the view here given of it, as Milner's representation of Pope Gregory the Great is to the views and testimonies of other historians and writers. Faustus was ba. nished from his See in 481, and died soon after. Vide Cave, Hist. Lit. vol i. p. 453. A.D. 472; and Du Pin, Eccl. Hist. Cent. 5. vol. iv. VOL. I.
taining that all infants, whether elect or not elect, were free from original sin, whom nevertheless he affirmed were redeemed by the death of Christ. He extended, therefore, redemption by the death of Christ even to those whom he thought to be free from sin, as we said before : that is, he declared that those were redeemed by the death of Christ, who had no sins from which they could be redeemed. This is the senseless doctrine which Augustine continually explodes, namely, That through baptism the death of Christ is applied to those who had no sin that could be expiated by the ideath of Christ. The words of Pelagius himself are, Who is so impious as to forbid to a liltle infunt of whatever age that redemption which is common to the human race? (De pec. orig. cap 19.) And the Council of Carthage, in their Epistle to lonocent (which is the ninetieth among those of Augustine) relates that Celestius had already confessed in the Carthaginian Church, That the redemption even of little children wus effected by the baptism of Christ. (August. Epist. 59.) Now they who in words admitted the redemption of children, held notwithstanding, (Contra duas Epist. Pelag. 4. 2) That the same infants do not need the grace of the Saviour to deliver them from perdition, because they have not contracted any contagion from Adam which deserves damnation. They held, That baptism is necessary for persons of all ages, in order that the baptised person might be adopted as a son of God, not because he derived from his parents any thing which could be expiated in the luver of regeneration; In one word, That the grace of the Redeemer has in them what he may adopt, not what he may purify. (2 Hypognost. 5.) This, then, is the first error attributed to the Pelagians about the death of Christ, not that they affirmed that He suffered for all, as some have thought; nor that they denied that He suffered for all, as others falsely pretend ; but because they dared at the same time to hold these two opposite doctrines, That redemption through the death of Christ pertains to all men of all ages : and, That infunts are altogether free from sin and damnable guilt, from which they could be redeemed. So much for the first error of Pelagius.
Secondly, the Pelagians or Semipelagians erred in explaining the universality of the death of Christ, by joining with it an absurd, false, and very obscure condition. For thus Prosper describes their opinion in an epistle to Allgustine: That our Lord Jesus Christ died for the whole human race, and that no one is altogether excepted from redemp. tion by His blood, even if he should pass all his life in a disposition most alienated from it. Of the same kind is that assumption of which mention is made by the Church of Leyden in their book on the three Epistles (Biblioth. Patrum, vol. 9. part i. p. 1063), If any persons can be found who should say that the Lord was crucified for the wicked who shall remain in their wickedness, it is wonderful and incredible if they are able to prove this from direct testimonies of the Divine Scriptures. The orthodox thought that a conditional addition of this kind should deservedly be rejected. For in the first place, it is uncertain what the Pelagians meant by that addition. If they meant that any benefit or advantage could be derived from the death of Christ by those who spent all their life in impiety and unbelief, they openly contradict the Scriptures, which do not promise any benefit from the death of Christ to such, but threaten them with eternal damnation on account of their contempt of the death of Christ. Moreover, if they would intimate that even those who die in their impiety and unbelief, if they had believed, that is, if they had not died in their unbelief, might have been saved by the merit of Christ crucified, through faith, they express their meaning confusedly and obscurely, and what they seem to assert in one part of the declaration, they foolishly deny in another. Lastly, if they mean by the aforesaid assumption, that Christ in offering up himself had considered any persons as finally unbelieving and impenitent, and yet under this consideration had offered up himself to the Father to obtain pardon and life for them, it is evidently false and erroneous. For as a physician does not think of restoring health to a sick inan under this formal consideration, Even if he should obstinately contemp and reject the medicine which he had prepared : so neither does the Physician of souls will that the precious medicine of His blood should profit any under this consideration, However he may finally trample upon and despise it. It is therefore to be observed, that in shewing the opinion of the Semipelagians, many things are joined together by Prosper and Hilary, some of which agree with the truth, and others savour of error. What therefore they relate, that the Semipelagians declared that all men sinned in Adam, and that our Lord Jesus Christ died for the whole human race, and some other things, they do not mention as their errors, but to shew how far they agree with the orthodox, and that they may explain the whole series and connexion of the Semipelagian doctrine. Those then greatly err, who think that all the things which are attributed to the Semipelagians by Prosper and Hilary are erroneous and Pelagian. We assert therefore, that Augustine never attempted to impugn that proposition of the Semipelagians, That Christ died for the whole human race, but with all his might refuted the addition they had made to it; where he shews, that the property or benefit of redemption, that is, eternal life, belongs to the predestinate alone, because they alone do not pass through life in unbelief, they never die in their impiety.
The third and most grievous error of the Pelagians and Semipelagians about the death of Christ, respects the primary cause of a different event, namely, that this death of Christ infallibly brings eternal life to certain persons, and does not bring it to others. They referred it to the human will as the primary cause of this difference, presuming that God equally willed the salvation of all men in Christ, nor by a special decree of predestination endued some persons with that faith and perseverance through which they should apply to themselves the death of Christ for salvation. On the contrary, Augustine, with the orthodox, contended, that that persevering faith, by means of which the death of Christ brings salvation to individuals, is extended to the elect by a singular gift of mercy, and does not arise from the good use of free-will in the one rather than in the other. Here the controversy directly regards the grace of