« PreviousContinue »
whom we may add the African Fathers, in their Synodical Epistle, and the Council of Valence, in the 5th Canon. By this first argument therefore we prove. that the meritorious efficacy of the death of Christ is not to be restricted to the elect alone, but is applicable to others from the ordination of God, and is actually applied as to certain effects.
2. He who by undergoing death by the ordination of God sustained the punishment due not only to the sins of certain individual persons, but of the whole human race; His passion, by virtue of the same ordination, is applicable not only to certain definite persons, but to every individual of the human race. But Christ by dying sustained the punishment due to the sins of the world : Therefore, he willed that his death should be, as it were, an universal cause of salvation applicable to all. He who denies the major, is bound to shew why God willed that his Son should bear the sins of the human race, if he was unwilling to appoint in his death a cause at least applicable to the human race, although the application would not follow in many. We cannot conceive any other causes of this, than that it should please the Divine goodness and wisdom to exact from our Redeemer, and as it were to receive into his own hands, an universal ransom applicable to all. 1st. That in its application the liberty of the Divine will, doing what he will with his own, and his special kindness towards the elect, might more eminently appear. 2dly. That he might afford a specimen of great mercy towards the non-elect, at least towards those who are called into the church. 3dly. That unbelievers might be convinced in their own consciences, that a mode of liberating them was not wanting on the part of Christ, but that they were wanting to themselves, according to the saying of Christ, John v. 40, Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life. Now let us descend to the minor, in which it is affirmed, that Christ sustained the punishment due to the sins of the human race. Thus the Scriptures speak, All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us
all. Isaiah liii. 6. Thus the Fathers speak, The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the ransom of the whole world, from which they are excluded, who, either being delighted with their captivity are unwilling to be redeemed, or after redemption have re urned to the sume slavery. Prosper ad Capit. Gallor. sent. super. 9. Thus our Church of England, Article 2, Christ truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. Lastly, they cannot deny this who are most accustomed to limit the death of Christ. The reverend and most learned Paræus*
• David PAREUS, or Pare, was born of Protestant parents of a respecte able rank, at Frankenstein, in Silesia, in 1548, and in due time put to a Grammar school there. His father, whose name as a German was Wangler, (an appellation which the son afterwards, in conformity with literary pride, commuted into a word of the same signification derived from the Greek) becoming a widower, contracted a second marriage, the consequence of which was, that his design of making his son a scholar was frustrated, and he was disposed of otherwise as speedily as possible, by being first placed with an apothecary and then transferred to a shoemaker. Providence however had ordained otherwise respecting David, and many years had not elapsed, when, from the strong bent of his son's genius towards literary pursuits, his father resumed his first design ; and at about sixteen years of age he was sent to the College school of Hermsberg, and being so fortunate as to come under the instructions of Christopher Schilling, his progress in learning was equally sound and rapid. Being obliged to quit Hermsberg, owing to religious troubles, he removed in 1566, first to Amberg, and shortly after to Heidelberg, which University was then in a most flourish. ing condition. Here he seems to have remained till 1571, when he was appointed Curè of the Village of Schlettenbach ; but being shortly after recalled to Heidelberg, after other changes and reverses, he finally settled there in 1584; he obtained different Professorships in the University, and entered warmly into the controversies carrying on between the Lutherans and the Calvinists, and printed his “ Method of the Ubiquitarian Controversy.” He acquired the esteem of the Elector Palatine and other persons of high rank and consideration, and in 1589 printed, under their auspices, an Edition of the Scriptures in German with Notes. In 1592 he was elected an Ecclesiastical Counsellor, and the year following took his Doctor's Degree with great eclat. In 1617 there was kept an Evangelical Jubilee, in commemoration of the Church's deliverance from Popery an hundred years before. The solemnities were held three days, during which there were continual orations, disputations, poems, and sermons suited to the occasion. Pareus published some pieces on the subject, which drew upon him the resentment of the Jesuits of Mentz, who wrote a sharp censure upon him, VOL. II.
in his judgment of the second article of the Remonstrants, which he transmitted to the Synod of Dort, has these words, The cause and matter of the passion of Christ was the sense and sustaining of the anger of God excited against the sin, not of some men, but of the whole human race; whence it arises, that the whole of sin and of the wrath of God against it was endured by Christ, but the whole of reconciliation was not obtained or restored to all. Act. Synod. Dordrect. p. 217. The force of the argument is, He who willed and ordained that Christ the Mediator should sustain the wrath of God due to the sins not of certain persons, but of the whole human race, He willed that this passion of Christ should be a remedy applicable to the human race, that is, to each and every man, and not only to certain individual persons ; supreme power being nevertheless left to himself, and full liberty of dispensing and applying this infinite merit according to the secret good pleasure of his will.
to which he replied. In this year also appeared a “ Commentary of his on the Epistle to the Romans,” which acquired great fame, and was speedily dispersed all over Europe. This gave such offence to our King, James I., by doctrines promulgated in it supposed to militate against regal preroga. tives, that he ordered it to be burnt publicly in London by the common hangman. In 1619, Pareus, at the instance of the States.General, was pressed to go to the Synod of Dort; but he excused himself from becom. ing a deputy on account of his age and infirmities; though he wrote to the Synod his judgment on topics in dispute. He was very averse to all innovations in points of doctrine. He would not suffer any inan to deviate a tittle from the Catechism of Ursinus, relative to Justification, and strenuously resisted, like a brave champion for the established doctrine, altera. tions in the Catechism of Heidelberg. These innovations, he alleged, were a removal of the boundaries of truth, which ought to be sacred and im. moveable. He even maintained that the humour of innovating foreboded an approaching ruin to the Church. He used to say with Luther, From a vain-glorious toucher, a litigious pastor, and useless questions, deliver thy Church, Good Lord! He was a great advocate for peace; and though he enjoyed little in his latter days, being obliged to flee from Heidelburg on account of the reverses that took place there, he yet returned, resolved to fetch his last breath in a beloved retreat he had formed at it ; and dying in peace at his Pareanum in 1622, he was interred with all the honours his College could bestow on his memory.
Of Pareus's Opera Exegetica, 4 vols. folio, 1647, Mr. Bickersteth in his 66 Christian Student" observes :-" Have too much of what is valuable to be omitted in this list.”
3. Whoever from the ordination of God may be called to believe in the Mediator, and they who by believing may obtain eternal life, to them the death of Christ from the previous ordination of God is applicable for salvation : But every living person may be called to believe in the Mediator, and by believing, according to the evangelical covenant, may obtain eternal life: Therefore, the death of Christ is applicable to every living person. The connexion of the major appears from hence, that a real call to believe presupposes an object prepared in which to believe, and this very possibility of being saved by believing implies a saving object, that is, That the death or merit of Christ was ordained as a remedy applicable to him to whom such a benefit is promised under the condition of faith. For if he should be called to faith in Christ to whom Christ was not applicable from the ordination of God, faith would be required in a false object, or rather in none at all as to the person called. For it would be the same as if the preacher of the Gospel should call upon a devil in human form, and living among men, to believe in Christ, and should promise eternal life to him, if he would believe. Such a call would be erroneous on the part of the person calling, and useless on the part of the called; because he is called to believe in Christ, to whom Christ from the ordination of God is not applicable; and salvation is promised to him under a condition, to whom, although he should be supposed to believe, salvation would nevertheless be denied on account of a defect of the sacrifice and covenant pertaining to him. This is not the case with any living person; therefore it must be confessed that the death of Christ is applicable to every one under the conditions of the evangelical covenant. The major being proved, I pass to the minor, which ought to be incontrovertible among all the orthodox. For although the providence of God does not procure that every individual should know the Gospel, and so that all should be called to Christ; yet God himself has appointed that the Gospel should be a thing really to be announced to all. Go and preach to every VOL. II.
2 A 2
creature. If any one preacher could go over the whole world, and come to every individual mortal, it would be lawful for him to offer Christ to every man, and, under the condition of faith, to announce and promise salvation to be obtained through Christ. For thus the Apostle himself speaks, Romans iii. 21, 22, Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets ; even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference. The most learned Belgic Professors, in their judgment exhibited at the Synod of Dort, confess the same thing (Act. Synod. Dordr. p. 88). We confess, say they, that the merit and value of the death of Christ is not only sufficient to expiate all, even the greatest sins of men, but also those of the whole posterity of Adam, although there should be many more to be saved, provided they embraced it with a true faith. But it would not be sufficient to save all, even if all should believe, unless it be true that by the ordination of God this death is an appointed remedy applicable to all. If it be denied that Christ died for some persons, it will immediately follow, that such could not be saved by the death of Christ, even if they should believe. What is usually answered to this argument by some, viz. That God has not commanded his ministers to announce that Christ died for every individual, whether they believe or not, but only for believing and penitent sinners, and therefore it cannot be demonstrated from the universality of the call, that the death of Christ is, according to the ordination of God, an universal remedy applicable to all, seems to me to be said very inconsiderately. For faith is not previously required in mankind, as a condition, which makes Christ to have died for them, but which makes the death of Christ, which is applicable to all from the Divine loving-kindness to man, actually applied and beneficial to individuals. The death of Christ was a sacrifice established in the Divine mind, and ordained for men from the beginning of the world; nor could it profit any one if he should believe, unless it had been offered for him before he believed. When therefore we announce to any one, that the death of