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their sins, as far as relates to the work of reconciliation itselfprepared and sufficient for reconciling the whole human race. But since reconciliation cannot take place between the unwilling, the Ministry of reconciliation was appointed by God himself, by which all are called and invited heartily to embrace this grace. If the whole world would embrace it, certainly the whole world would be reconciled to God, all imputation of sins being removed, and would be saved, nor would any mortal perish. Lastly, this also is added; That the ministers of this reconciliation should preach nothing else than the reconciliation made by God, and so made that he might reconcile the world to himself through Christ, not imputing to them their trespasses. To preach this grace faithfully, and to call every one to repentance and faith in Christ, is to preach the word of reconciliation. Thus far Musculus. Those, therefore, who altogether apply themselves and adhere to the secret of predestination, so as at the same time to fritter away, and evidently to subvert this reconciliation of the world, overturn also the ground of our preaching the Gospel, which consists in this chiefly, that we assure every man, that God is so reconciled to him by the death of Christ, that if he believes in Christ, he will not impute to him his trespasses, but will bestow upon him eternal life. This work, confirmed on the part of God and Christ, is called the reconciliation and redemption of the world, although He hath not willed that the unbelieving and impenitent should be reconciled and redeemed. Thus Prosper speaks (ad Capit. Gallor. object. 9.) The Redeemer of the world gave his own blood for the world, and the world would not be redeemed. Thus the Church of England speaks in the 31st Article, The offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is no other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Thus also St. Paul speaks, when he says, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, that is, God, by giving his Son to death, himself supplied for his enemies an asylum of reconciliation, to which whosoever flees for refuge, has God so appeased and reconciled through the benefit of it, that he will at once receive him into his favour.
5. The fifth testimony is derived from the epistle to the Hebrews (chap. ii. 3, and iv. 1, 2, &c.) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him, &c. Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man full after the same example of unbelief. From the whole of this discourse of 'the Apostle, it appears, in the first place, that in the Gospel, salvation is offered promiscuously to all those to whom it is preached; for on this very account it is called salvation. Then it appears, that this salvation which is laid up in Christ, and offered to men in the Gospel, is neglected and repelled by many, namely, by all unbelievers who have not faith in the promises of the Gospel. Lastly, it also appears, that this neglect and unbelief is the true cause which prevents the ungodly from obtaining the rest of the Lord, that is, which deprives them of eternal life offered to them in Christ. But none of these things can be said truly and seriously unless it is presupposed that salvation through the death of Christ is applicable to all men, according to the appointment of God. For who can properly be said to have neglected salvation, that is, the cause of salvation appointed and prepared by God, which never was prepared or appointed for him, or applicable to him? Or how does this neglect and unbelief exclude them from a participation in the salvation offered through Christ, who were entirely excluded from it on account of a defect of the appointment of God? We must therefore admit that there must necessarily be some appointment of God, according to which, Christ, as a cause of salvation, was applicable to them who fell from salvation by their own fault.
· The last testimony is deduced from those passages combined, in which the will of Christ in dying is declared to be of such extent as to be the procuring cause of salvation to all. Of this description are, 2 Cor. v. 14, One died for all. 1 Tim. ii. 6, Who gave himself a ransom. for alle Heb. ii. 9, That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. And I John ii. 2, He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. I omit other texts. These and such like passages, although the conclusion of some of the Remonstrants cannot be inferred from them, namely, That by this death of Christ reconciliation and remission of sins were acquired or obtained for each and every man: Or, That each and every man was restored into a state of grace and salvation by the death of Christ itself : nevertheless they prove in a manner sufficiently strong what we intend, That this death of Christ was appointed and ordained by God and Christ for an universal cause of salvation, or an universal remedy for all men, applicable to the obtaining of reconciliation and remission. I do not therefore see by what right or what necessity some divines limit passages of this kind, in which Christ is plainly affirmed to have suffered for all, to the elect alone, or to the whole body of the elect alone, when in the aforesaid sense they may be most truly extended to all other persons. For nothing hinders but that that may be applicable to all by some Divine appointment which, from the predestination of God, is infallibly to be applied only to the elect. For they grant that dogma of the Remonstrants (Colloq. Hagiens. p. 139) That Christ died not for the elect alone, but also for other men, if it be understood only of the sufficiency of the merits of Christ ; but if only of reconciliation effectually or actually produced, they deny it. This is enough for me. For they will never rightly defend the alone-sufficiency of the death of Christ as to all, unless they confess at the same time that it is applicable to all for salvation, according to the appointment of God. Since it is foolishly and falsely asserted, that He died for all sufficiently, who is affirmed to have died only for the elect; because the word sufficiently is not a diminishing term, nor does it take away the truth of the thing affirmed. But more will be said respecting this, when we come to our second proposition. Hitherto we have contended from the testimonies of Scripture. Next we shall from certain arguments very solidly founded (as it appears to us) in the Scriptures.
1. That death which brings some spiritual advantages even to those who are not saved, is not applicable to the elect alone : but the death of Christ brings advantages even to some who will not be saved. For the clearer understanding of the major, I now add that which I mentioned in the beginning, That under the name of the death of Christ, we include all that accumulation of the meritorious obedience of Christ, to which his death put as it were the last finish. For it is this infinite merit of the Mediator Christ, which God the Father beholds, when he bestows any spiritual benefit upon lost and miserable mortals in order to eternal salvation. If, therefore, it should be found, that even the non-elect receive certain benefits of this kind from the merit of Christ, then it will be evident that the death of Christ, as to some of its effects at least, is not only applicable to all men generally, but is actually applied to some who will not be saved. Let us proceed, then, to the proof of the minor, which alone can be doubted. In the first place, I ask, is it not to be esteemed of considerable advantage, that God should deign to call many even of the non-elect to repentance and faith, and, under the condition of faith, to eternal life? It is esteemed so, truly, by God himself, who calls the preaching of the Gospel, the word of life, (John' vi. 68, Acts v. 20) the grace of God which bringeth salvation (Tit. ii. 11). Who says, It behored Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations (Luke xxiv. 46, 47). Who, lastly, calls this preaching of the Gospel, a treasure (2 Cor. iv. 7), and pronounces the feet of them that preach the Gospel beautiful (Rom. x. 15), and threatens the taking it away as the greatest punishment (Matt. xxi. 43), and declares that they shall be most severely punished who
have despised and rejected this so great benefit. Luke x. 11, and 2 Thess. i. 8. All these things shew that the Gospel is a supernatural benefit granted even to those who abuse it. Secondly, if any one should obstinately deny that the preaching of the Gospel is a benefit granted by God to the non-elect; yet no one would deny, that the enlightening of the mind, tasting of the heavenly gift, communication of other supernatural gifts, which are mentioned in Hebrews vi. are great and supernatural benefits, and conferred not for this corporeal, but for that spiritual life. But all these things are frequently given to those who are not of the number of the elect; and they are given through and for the sake of Christ : For, Out of his fulness have all we received (John i. 16), and, To every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Ephes. vi. 7. Moreover, of some supernatural gifts we rightly say with the Apostle, All these workelh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor. xii. 11. To which I add, Whatever supernatural grace is given through Christ to any man, is given from the merit of Christ: for Christ does not confer any thing upon men which he hath not first merited for them by his obedience. Thus Bernard says (Serm. 13 in Cant.), Whatsoever wisdom, whatsoever virtue you think you have, attribute it to Christ, the virtue of God, the wisdom of God. The source of fountains and rivers is the sea : the source of virtue and knowledge is our Lord Jesus Christ. Ambrose speaks more generally on Ephesians i. Erery gift of the grace of God is in Christ. Lastly, even this is clear, that, in the opinion at least of all the antients, the death of Christ is, from the ordination of God, applicable also to the non-elect, because they expressly taught that it was applied in baptism for the remission of original sin to every baptised infant. Here is a principal and supernatural effect of the death of Christ, of the application of which to the non-predestinate there was no doubt in the antient Church, not even among those who held absolute predestination most rigidly. A very important witness to this is Prosper himself (Resp. 2. ad Capit. Gallor. & Sentent. 2. on the same capitula.) To