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under this universal virtue of the death of Christ, which extends to all rational creatures, we should destroy its special efficacy, which actually pertains to the predestinated alone, we shall enter upon the other part of the discussion we undertook, which will explain and defend the special prerogative of the elect in the death of Christ, both from the will of God the Father in giving his Son to death, and that of the Son in offering himself. For we ought not so to contend that Christ died for all, as to believe with the Pelagians, that the quickening efficacy of his death is at the same time common to all, from the intention of the Divine will, but in its event becomes saving to some and not to others, no otherwise than from the contingent use of human liberty. Nor are we to fancy with the Arminians, that God gave his Son to death absolutely intending nothing more than that from thence he might have a mere power of saving some sinners, notwithstanding his justice, and that any sinners might have a way or means by which they might be saved, notwithstanding their own sin. Hence arises that celebrated corollary of Grevinchovius, * in his dissertation on the death of Christ (p. 9) That the dignity, necessity, and usefulness of redemption might abundantly appear by its being obtained, even though it should never be actually applied to any individual. Again (p. 14,) That the redemption might be obtained for all, and yet applied to none on account of their unbelief. But we by no means think that the death of Christ was like the cast of dice, but that it was decreed from eternity by God the Father
• To what has been observed respecting Grevinchovius at p. 304, it may be added, that he took an active part in the controversy between the Cal. vinists and Arminians in Holland. Besides various publications written in the Dutch Language, he wrote (in reply to William Ames's Disceptatio Scho. lastica de Arminii sententiâ, quâ electionem omnem particularem fidei prævisæ docet inniti, Amst. 1593, 4to.) Dissertatio de duabus quæstionibus hoc tempore contro. versis ; quarum prima est de Reconciliatione per mortem Christi impetratâ omnibus et singulis hominibus : altera, de electione ex fide previsã. Roterodami, 1595, 4to. To this treatise Ames rejoined, as the Reader will have observed in the early part of the 4th Chapter of this Dissertation, in a Rescriptio Scholastica, published at Leyden, in 1597, 12mo. (Walchii Bibliotheca Theologica, tom. II. pr. 543, 544, 548, 549.)
and Christ, through the merit of his death, infallibly to save some certain persons whom the Scripture marks by the name of the elect; and therefore, that, according to the will of God, the death of Christ was, by some special mode and counsel, offered and accepted for their redemption. Nor is it here necessary, for the defence of this special counsel, to define that thorny question which has been tossed about by many, and vexed all who have undertaken to discuss it, viz. Whether that decree was first, by which certain persons are predestinated to the infallible participation of eternal life; or the other, by which Christ was ordained to his mediatorial office. For although, to sustain the weakness of the human understanding, we are compelled to conceive of some of the eternal decrees of God as prior and some as posterior, yet it seems to me a slippery and very dangerous thing to contend about these imaginary signs of our reason, as to undertake to establish and to refute from them questions of faith. It ought, indeed, to be placed beyond all doubt, that those decrees of God, which are thought of by us according to the order of prior and posterior, with respect to God himself consist of an equable eternity of infinity; neither can or ought any separate moment to be granted, in which one decree having been established, it can be rightly supposed, that the other is not yet foreseen and established. Conceive, therefore, that first in order was the decree of God concerning the appointment and sending of a Mediator (which seems to me more suited to our mode of understanding,) and that afterwards was the decree concerning the choice of certain persons to the infrustrable attainment of eternal life through the appointed Mediator; yet you can never so separate these, as that the passion of the Mediator would not have been foreseen from eternity, as offered in some special way and regard for those persons who were to be chosen, and accepted as if it were offered by God for them specially, and that from eternity. On the other hand, conceive that first in order was the decree concerning the election of certain persons to salvation ; that afterwards was the decree concerning the destination of Christ to the office of MeVOL. 11.
diator, yet you could never so separate these, as that the passion of Christ, which was specially offered and accepted for them, should not be the cause of preparing and giving to those elect persons both effectual grace and salvation. Since, therefore, both these opinions are the same for our purpose, we shall dismiss the discussion of a thing so very unnecessary, and propose and confirm one thesis only respecting the death of Christ as limited by some special consideration to the predestinated alone; which is as follows,
The death of Christ, from the special design of God the Father, who from eternity ordained and accepted that sacrifice; and of Christ, who offered it in the fulness of time to God the Father ; was destined for some certain persons, whom the Scripture calls the elect, and for them alone, so as to be effectually and infallibly applied to the obtaining of eternal life.
We oppose this proposition to the error of the Arminians, which Grevinchovius endeavours to establish, (Dissert. de morte Christi, p. 7) where he teaches that God, delivering up his Son, intended the obtaining of a reconciliation common to all men individually, but did not absolutely will the application of it, when obtained, to any of the children of men. I acknowledge, says he, in God in deed a constant and perpetual desire of applying to all men individually the good obtained ; but I deny that the application itself was destined by the certain counsel and will of God for any man but him that believeth. This modern innovator, then, thinks that God equally willed eternal life in Christ to all men, and that he did not, by his absolute and antecedent will, destine and prepare for any effectual grace, whereby Christ might be infallibly applied to them ; but that, by his eternal foreknowledge, he foresaw that some would believe, and some would remain in unbelief, and then at length destined to believers, as such, an effectual application of the death and merits of Jesus Christ. But we think, that, in predestination to faith, the application of the death of Christ was infallibly destined for some certain persons; and we say that this faith is not prepared for believers, as such, but for unbelievers, that through it they may become believers. The application therefore, which is not destined, but made, is understood as regarding men who are considered as believers; but the application which is destined, is understood as regarding those to whom faith is destined to be given, by which this application may be made. But these are the elect, and the elect alone; whose special prerogative it is, that according to the absolute will of God the Father and of Christ the Mediator, they are decreed and caused to be infallibly saved through the death of Christ.
These things having been premised, let us proceed to our argument, and in the first place treat of the clear testimonies of the Scriptures.
1. To this purport, in the first place, are those passages which mention the absolute will of the Father with respect to giving, and, as it were, commending certain persons to the Mediator, with the design that from him and through him they may receive all things necessary to salvation, and at length salvation itself. (John vi. 37, 39,) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out; and this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, &c. It is evident from the context, that not all men promiscuously, but some persons in particular, were given to the Mediator by the mercy of God the Father, according to a certain gracious purpose of infallibly and effectually bringing these persons to eternal life. A similar passage is (John xvii. 2) Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give elernal life to as muny as thou hast given him. This special giving cannot be understood to have been done otherwise than in eternal election. But no one can justly doubt that those who were thus given to the Redeemer, have a special prerogative in the work of redemption. Certainly, the Apostle has plainly signified it in Ephes. i. 4, 5, 6, &c. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, &c. having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his VOL. 11.
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will, &c. Here you have the special gift of certain persons known to God alone. Then in verse 7 it is shewn, that according to the purpose of God, the same persons always obtain that redemption which is effectually applied through the Mediator, In whom we have redemption through his blood, &e. Those, therefore, who are specially given to Christ by election, always derive faith, remission of sins, sanctification, and salvation from the death of Christ, or the beneficial application of his being given to them, at the same time. St. Augustine understood nothing else than eternal election by this giving. (In Johan. tract. 107) He says, The Father would not have given them to the Son, unless he had elected them. And (De prædest. Sanctor. cap. 16) he demonstrates, that those who were thus given to the Son, were also called in such a peculiar manner, that Christ crucified should not become to them a stumblingblock or foolishness, but the power and wisdom of God, effectually to work in them faith and salvation. See the words of the Author, which I omit for the sake of brevity. Therefore, it must either be denied that some certain persons were specially given to Christ the Mediator by God the Father, or it must at the same time be confessed that the Mediator had a special regard to them in his offering.
2. Secondly, the same is evinced by those passages which teach that Christ, conscious of the will of the Father, by his special care directs and infallibly brings to salvation the aforesaid persons who were specially given to him. Which would not be done beyond doubt, unless the death of Christ, which is the meritorious cause of all-saving grace granted to us, had been by some special design destined for these persons, as saving and quickening them. But let us observe the words of Scripture, (John xvii.9) I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them which - Thou hast given me, for they are thine. And ver. 12, Those ihat thou gavest me I have kept. And ver. 19, For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Nothing is more clear than that two things are affirmed in these passages; First, That not all nen promiscuously, but some persons especially, were given by