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to forn a confused promise concerning the salvation of some persons, who were not then specifically inarked out by God himself. But if a determination were made by God and Christ concerning the effectual salvation of this seed through the death of Christ, it would follow, that there had been an effectual and specific design with regard to their salvation, in the death of Christ. All the interpreters of this passage have so understood it, as to allow that by the death of Christ a most effectual and most certain deliverance and salvation was promised to his mystical body, that is, the church, or the elect. Thus Luther says,
The posterity or seed of which he speaks, is the church. He SHALL SEE His SeeD, that is, he shall have a kingdom and royal children. So Calvin observes, He shall see his Seed, signifies that the deuth of Christ would be the cause of begetting an offspring, because having died and risen again, he should acquire to himself a peculiar people. Musculus does not disagree when explaining the words, He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied. Christ saw beforehand the flowing together of the elect to be saved; he sees it even now, and he shall see it to the end of the world ; and he is satisfied with seeing it, because the pleasure of God his Father prospers in his hand. These all agree that, according to the special good pleasure of God the Father, the effectual salvation of the church, that is, of some certain persons known to God alone, was promised to Christ, as the fruit of his passion; and that Christ intended with a specific and effectual will, and laboured for the salvation of these elect persons, or this peculiar people individually given and commended to him by God the Father.
Objection. If any one should object with Grevinchovius, (Dissert. de morte Chr. p. 8 and 14) That there was nut any absolute promise or will of God concerning the effectual redemption of any individual persons, but that God willed or did not will the application of the death of Christ to all men individually not absolutely but conditionally; He willed it to all if they had faith; he did not will it if they disbelieved: and therefore, although Christ laid down his life, it was possible nevertheless that his death might not be applied to any;
that is, it was possible that he might be defrauded of his promised seed, on account of the unbelief of all men intervening.
Reply. I answer, that in this promise, by which God the Father as it were bound himself to the Mediator, to give him a seed, if he should lay down his soul for sin, a tacit promise is contained of giving faith to the elect, without which they would not be the seed of Christ. It was therefore decreed by God on account of the death of his Son, lo give faith to some persons, as well as to give a progeny to his Son which should live for ever. Christ being aware beforehand of this promise and counsel, could not offer the sacrifice of his death to God the Father, without a special design for this seed, who should hereafter believe in him.-So far we have contended from express testimonies of the Scriptures; let us now bring forward sone arguments founded also in the holy Scriptures.
ARGUMENT 1. He who by his death not only established the evangelical covenant which regards all nen promiscuously, Whosoever believeth shall be saved; but also that secret covenant which comprehends some certain individual persons known only to God, and which is described by the Prophet (Jerem. xxxi. 33) in these words, This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people ; He who by his death procured such a covenant, offered his death and merit to God the Father that it might be effectually applied to some elect persons. This proposition is clear and evident, because to put his laws into the minds of men, and to write them in their hearts, and to make them a peculiar people to God, denotes an effectual application of the merits of Christ, and describes the privileges of the elect, or the spiritual Israel. Now I add the minor, and affirm, That Christ, by his death, is the Mediator of this secret covenant, which includes its application, and embraces the Israel of God, or the elect children of God, and them alone. Besides the words of the prophet just quoted, we have also the clear testimony of the Apostle, citing the same prophet, (Heb. viii. 6) Our High Priest is the Mediator of a betler covenant, which was established upon belter promises. But what are those better promises which Christ the Mediator hath established ? They are recounted verse 10, in the words which are recorded by Jeremiah, and are divided into two heads, into a promise of inwurd reformation of the hearts, and of gra. tuitous remission of sins, as Calvin has well observed on this passage. Christ therefore, by his death, hath merited remission of sins for all, if they should believe and be converted; but he hath merited and procured for some, that this gratuitous and secret covenant should be fulfilled by God who hath promised it, namely, that they should believe and be converted by God's effectually reforming their hearts through and on account of the Mediator, and putting his laws in them. But these persons for whom Christ hath merited this are (as Bede hath observed from Augustine) all pertaining spiritually to the house of Israel and the seed of Abraham; and what else is this but all the elect? Therefore the elect according to the intention of God and Christ, have the special benefit of a profitable application, on account of the death of Christ, both destined for and presented to them.
ARGUMENT 2, May be drawn from the consideration of the price paid on the cross for the redemption of the human race. This price was the blood of the Son of God, of the only begotten and beloved Son. But it is not to be believed, that such and so great a price was paid for an event dependent on the uncertain determination of the human will : Therefore it was the design and intention of God the Father and Christ the Mediator infallibly and effectually to redeem and to save some men by this precious death. But these could not be any others than those who are really saved, that is, than the elect: Therefore the intention of Christ in offering himself regarded the elect in some special manner. I know that Grevinchovius and others of the same school, boldly assert, (Dissert. de mort. Chr. p. 14, 15) That the proper end obtained and designed by God was, that the sinner might be saved, notwithstanding his justice ; but that this redemption, although obtained for all, might possibly be applied to none, on account of the intervention of the unbelief of all. Which is the same as if they should say, that God so gave his Son to death, that at the same time he had no certain purpose of saving any men hy the merit of his death ; but having procured the bare possibility of salvation, through the death of Christ, for all men generally, he committed the effectual participation of salvation to the free-will of each individual, so that the death of Christ, considered in the whole latitude of its merit, could not have effectually redeemed any one from death. But whoever rightly considers how precious the death of the Son was in the eyes of the Father, could not think that he would have been willing to expose his Son to death, without a certain purpose of effectually applying his death to some persons. (Isa. liii. 10) The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. Hear what Malderus says, a Popish writer, but much sounder in this watter than the Arminians. (Anti Synod. p. 138,) If the offering alone be regarded, it is equally for all; but it is otherwise, if that should be regarded, for the actual obtaining of which he offered himself. For he obtained for the elect the perfect benefit of his passion actually following and applied, as though they were given to him by the Father for this purpose. The blood of Christ, then, could not flow in vain, because by the price of his blood, according to the decree of God, he merited for the elect the beneficial application of that price.
ARGUMENT 3. Whatever of spiritual and saving good the Spirit of Christ produces in any persons, the bloodshedding of Christ merited it for thein : But the Spirit of Christ produces in some certain persons repentance and faith, and through faith and repentance the infallible application of his death : Therefore he merited these special benefits for those persons : Therefore he intended to merit them when he made himself a sacrifice on the cross. Nor is it lawful to think rashly or by chance, That Christ procured greater spiritual benefits for some than for others. What will our opponents say to this? Will they say that the Spirit of Christ bestows benefits on man which Christ hath not merited for them? They will not dare so to trample upon the merit of Christ. Will they reply, That faith and a good will, and the act of a beneficial application, are not the special gifts of the Holy Spirit? They will be ashamed of such gross Pelagianism. Let them, then, confess with us, That as through the death of Christ special benefits are procured for the elect, so there was in the will of Christ in dying, and of God the Father in accepting his death, an effcctual intention of procuring and conferring them. And this is that singular privilege in the death of Christ which we claim for the elect alone; because it appears from the fact, that God has destined that they alone should be effectually saved by the death of his Son. From whence (Heb. vii. 25) he is stated to be the Saviour of some, that is, of the elect, altogether, viz. both meritoriously and efficaciously.
ARGUMENT 4. The commonly received distinction among all Divines, by which it is said, That Christ died for all sufficiently, but for the elect effectually, will afford us a fourth argument. For as from the former part of it we have refuted the opinion of those who deny that the death of Christ, according to the decree of God, is a remedy effectually and infallibly to be applied to the elect: for what other sense can there be of these words, He died ef. fectually for the elect, than, He died with an absolute intention and effectual will of saving the elect? For if any one perverts this distinction, as if the sense were, That the death of Christ, which is sufficient for all, becomes eventually efficacious to some from the contingent act of the human will, in the first place, he is refuted by the words themselves; since when it is said, Christ died for such and such persons effectually, we denote a singular efficacy proceeding from the special will of him that died, not flowing from the contingent act of him that believes. Secondly, Such an eventual efficacy is not understood even by the Jesuits then selves in this distinction, but an efficacy spe cially intended and merited by him that died. Thus