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to have compassion upon angels; he willed that the Redeemer should not assume the angelic nature, but the seed of Abraham. Hence we may conclude, that the death of Christ was not ordained as a ransom for the redemption of angels; but we neither can nor ought to conclude, that it was not a ransom in itself of sufficient dignity, value, and efficacy, if it had been ordained. It might be argued on the other hand, that Christ, notwithstanding the dissimi. litude of nature, is a sufficient, fit, and suitable head to communicate grace even to angels, from whence it is asserted by the most learned Divines, that the gifts of grace are merited even by the good angels. Since, therefore, the merits of Christ do not profit the evil angels, it is not to be referred to the insufficiency of the thing, but to the will of God alone; and consequently, if we affirm that there are many human beings to whom the passion and merit of Christ is in no way ordained, as to the sufficiency of the death of Christ, the state and condition of these will not be different from that of the devils.
ARGUMENT 4. We prove that the mere sufficiency in itself of the thing offered cannot verify that dogma of Divines, That Christ died for all men sufficiently; and this appears from the confession of those who deny that the death of Christ was paid for the whole human race, and who limit it to the elect alone. Thus Piscator* (in Resp. Apologet. Sec. 87), Il cannot be said, That Christ died for all mankind sufficiently, because it would follow that he died for all, the contrary to which is demonstrated. And in the same place, That distinction which is made, That Christ died for all mankind sufficient'y, for the elect effectually, is vain, because it implies a contradiction, &c. It implies a real con
• Piscator or Fischer (John), a German Protestant Divine, born at Strasburg, in 1546. He was successively a Lutheran, a Calvinist, and an Arminian. But his attainments in divinity became so celebrated, that he was invited to accept the Professor's Chair at Herborn, which he filled with such effect as to draw many students thither from different parts of Europe. He was very diligent and laborious; translated the Bible into German, and was the author of Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments, which are said to be valuable. His works were collected in four Vols. folio. He died in 1626. Vide Mosheim and Middleton.
tradiction in those who admit a mere sufficiency of his death as to all mankind, and deny its universal ordination to procure salvation for all men. They are bound, therefore, to explode this distinction, which has been hitherto approved by the orthodox, or to acknowledge with us the ordained sufficiency of the death of Christ for the deliverance of all. The very learned Pareus seems to be of this opinion, when he affirms (Act. Syn. Dord. p. 213), That as to the sufficiency of his ransom and merit, Christ died and was willig to die for each and every man. Here he does not make the sufficiency consist in this only, that the death of Christ was sufficient of its own intrinsic value to redeem all, but also, in the will of Christ dying and ordaiving his death to be sufficient for the deliverance of all. And here it is to be observed by the way, that they are deceived who confine the death of Christ to the elect alone, so as to conclude that he was willing to die for them only, and yet pretend (Palatini Synod. Dord. p. 88) That there is no question or contention concerning the sufficiency of the ransom of Chris' for each and every man; but all the controversy is respecting the efficacy of this ransom. Truly, granting the sufficiency of the death of Christ in itself for the redemption of a thousand worlds, and granting also, that the efficacy of this death is destined absolutely and infallibly, not to all, but to certain persons actually to be delivered, yet it still remains a matter of controversy, Whether the death of Christ is supposed to have an intrinsic sufficiency for the redemption of all, under this hypothesis : If it availed to offer and pay that ransom for all, and it had not also joined to it the ordination of God, according to which this ransom, sufficient in itself, was actually offered for all, and from thence is applicable and to be applied for salvation to all, if they should be willing to obey the aforesaid ordination and subject themselves to it. For such an ordination we contend, which regards even those who are not saved, because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And hence we say, That Christ died for all men sufficiently. But here some of those who contend that Christ suffered and died for the elect alone, nevertheless wish to appear to defend, not the mere sufficiency of the death of Christ in itself, but that ordained sufficiency from the intention of God which we assert. And for this reason, when they are pressed with arguments, they do not refuse to make mention of the will and intention of God. Let us, therefore, examine their mind and opinion more closely, that we may not beat the air, or fight with a man of straw. Thus a learned man has written on this subject (Ames, Coron. p. 117), When we confess that Christ died for all, that phrase POR ALL is admitted by our party on account of its sufficiency and the intention of God, by which he willed that it should be thus sufficient for all. At the same time it must be observed, that this manner of speaking is improper, but it is not to be rejected, because it has some foundation in the thing itself, and is received among Divines by long use. Others of the same opinion say (Acta Synod. Dord. p. 99), That the counsel and decree of God the Father was, that Christ by his suffering and death, should pay a ransom of such a kind, as, considered in itself, might suffice for the reconciliation of all men. These persons seem to add a sufficiency, besides the mere sufficiency of the thing, relative and pertaining to the reconciliation of all men from the intention and counsel of God. They seem to do this indeed, but do it not in reality. For first, what they say, that they acknowledge that Christ died sufficiently for all, on account of the intention of God, by which he willed that his death might be sufficient for all, is of no account. Since the death of the Son of God did not need any additional intention in order to its being sufficient for all, when it was in itself of infinite value. Yet it needed that it should be given for all, and accepted for their deliverance, under some condition. Intrinsic sufficiency is a certain power and fitness of a thing ; (Ames, Coron. p. 99) nor is there required, in order to constitute it, the extrinsical act of one intending this sufficiency. But the ordination in behalf of certain persons to be delivered is a voluntary act, and flows from the intention and design of the person ordaining it. It is, therefore, frivolous to join the intention of God with the internal sufficiency of the thing, as the intention ought either
to be altogether denied as to Christ having died sufficiently for all; or to be joined with an ordination of his death pertaining to all. Secondly, what they say, that this phrase, Christ died for all sufficiently, has a foundation in the thing itself, cannot be defended from their opinion. If I should say, the death of Christ is a sufficient ransom for ali, there is a true foundation for this saying in the thing itself, namely, in the dignity of the person dying; but if I should say, Christ died or was offered on the cross (which are equivalent) for all sufficiently, there is now no foundation on which the truth of this saying can stand, unless I assert first, that Christ suffered and was offered for all, and then add the sufficiency of this suffering for all, on account of the dignity of the ransom. He who denies one of these, in vain attempts to defend the other. We therefore conclude, that neither can Christ be truly said to have suffered or died for all sufficiently, nor can the death of Christ be truly acknowledged to be an universal remedy applicable to all men according to the ordination of God, unless in addition to the mere sufficiency of the thing derived from its innate dignity, we admit the settled and fixed decree of God, according to which, from the will of God in accepting this sacrifice, and of Christ in offering it, this death of Christ is able to bring eternal life to each and every man. Hitherto we have treated of the first part of our proposition, in which we have shewn, that that mere sufficiency, which is understood of the death of Christ considered in itself, is not enough for the conclusion, that Christ should be said to have died for all, or that his death should be accounted an universal cause of salvation in regard to the whole human race. Let us now shew what that is which is further requisite for this purpose. For the illustration of this subject, the second thesis may serve:
Second. The death of Christ, according to the evangelical covenant confirmed by it with all men, is affirmed to have been truly endured for all men, and Christ, in the same respect, is asserted to have died sufficiently for all men. We allude to that covenant of which we have before made mention, If thou shalt believe, thou shalt be saved; or Whosoever believeth shall be saved. Rom. x. 9. That this covenant concerning the grant of remission of sins, and the salvation of mankind through faith, was confirmed by the blood-shedding and death of the Son of God, appears, in the first place, from the sacred Scriptures. In the institution of the Lord's supper, Christ himself says (Luke . xxii. 20), This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. As if he had said, It is a lively symbol of the Lord's blood, by which the new covenant concerning the remission of sins and our justification by faith is confirmed and established. And the Apostle says (Heb. is. 22), Without shedding of blood is no remission. Therefore, the covenant made with men, by which God bound himself to remit the sins of those that believe, has its strength or virtue in the death of Christ. The same Apostle teaches, (Rom. iii. 25) that God hath set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. Therefore, this evangelical covenant is founded in the blood or death of Christ, according to which, through faith, remission of sins, justification, and eternal salvation are conferred upon mankind. That I may not dwell too long on a subject suffciently clear, since this conditional promise, If thou shalt believe, thou shalt be saved, flows from the gracious kindness of God towards men, it cannot have its foundation elsewhere than in the death and merit of Christ the Mediator, in whom all the gratuitous promises of God are Yea and Amen. (2 Cor. i. 20). Nor, indeed, is the act of faith itself of such value, that it can by its own dignity or merit obtain from God remission of sins and salvation. But of such great value is the death and blood-shedding of the Son of God, that by its own merit and virtue it can justify and save any one that believeth, according to the tenor of the evangelical covenant. Therefore this covenant was confirmed by the death of Christ.