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upon which account they had occasion to glory on their behalf; all which expressions denote them to have been in a converted state. And the apostle adds, in ver. 13. Whether we be beside our. selves, or whether we be sober, that is, whether we have a greater or less degree of fervency in preaching the gospel, it is for God, that is for his glory, and for your sakes; for the love of Christ, that is, either his love to us, or our love to him, constraineth us hereunto; because we thus judge, that if one, namely, Christ, died for all, that is, for you all, then were all dead, or you all are dead, that is, not dead in sin, but you are made partakers of that communion which believers have with Christ in his death, whereby they are said to be dead unto sin, and unto the world; and the result hereof is, that they are obliged to live not to themselves but to Christ. This seems more agreeable to the design of the apostle, than to suppose that he intends only to prove the fall of man, from his being recovered by Christ, since there is no appearance of any argument to the like purpose, in any other part of the apostle's writings; whereas our being dead to sin, as the consequence of Christ's death, is what he often mentions, and, indeed, it seems to be one of his peculiar phrases: thus he speaks of believers, as being dead to sin, Rom. vi. 2. and dead with Christ, ver. 8. and elsewhere he says, You are dead, Col. iii. 3. that is, you have communion with Christ, in his death, or are dead unto sin; and the apostle speaks of their being dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, chap. ii. 20. that is, if you have communion with Christ, in his death, you are obliged not to observe the ceremonial law, which is called the rudiments of the world; and, in several other places, he speaks of believers being crucified, dead, buried, and risen, from the dead, as having communion with Christ therein, or being made partakers of those benefits which he procured thereby. If, therefore, this be the apostle's frequent method of speaking, why may not we suppose, that in this verse, under our present consideration, he argues, that because Christ died for them all, therefore they were, or they are all dead; * And, being thus dead, they are obliged, as he ob serves in the following verse, not to live to themselves, but to Christ that died for them, and thereby procured this privilege, which they are made partakers of. If this sense of the text be but allowed to be equally probable with the other, it will so far weaken the force thereof, as that it will not appear, from this scripture, that Christ died for all men.
6. Universal redemption is attempted to be proved, from
* It may be observed, that as in the scriptures before mentioned, the same word Atvor is used in the same lense, namely, the second aorist, which our translators ihink fit to render in the present tense; and therefore it may as well be rendered here in the present tense, and so the meaning is, You all for whom Christ died are dead.
John iij. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life: But, if we understand the world, as taken for the Gentiles, as it is oftentimes in scripture, then the sense of the text seems to be this, which is not inconsistent with special redemption, namely, that the love of God, which was expressed in sending his Son to die for those whom he designed hereby to redeem, is of a much larger extent, as to the objects thereof, than it was in former ages; for it includes in it not only those who believe among the Jews, but whosoever believes in him, throughout the world; not that their believing in him is the foundation, or cause, but the effect of his love, and is to be considered as the character of the persons, who are the objects thereof. In this sense, we are also to understand another scripture, in John i. 29. Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, that is, of all those whose sins are expiated hereby, throughout the whole world.
7. The doctrine of universal redemption is farther maintained, from our Saviour's words, in John vi. 33. The bread of God is he that cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world; which is explained in ver. 51. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world: But it does not appear, that Christ hereby intends that his death was a price of redemption paid for all mankind; for he speaks of the application of redemption, which is expressed by his giving life, and not barely of his procuring a possibility of its being attained ; and they, to whom he gives this privilege, are described as applying it to themselves, by faith, which is doubtless, the meaning of that metaphorical expression, whereby persons are said to eat of this bread, or his flesh; so that the meaning of this scripture is, that the death of Christ is appointed, as the great means whereby all men, throughout the whole world, who apply it by faith, should attain eternal life: But this cannot be said of all, without exemption ; and therefore it does not from hence appear, that Christ's death was designed to procure life for the world.
8. There is another scripture, brought to the same purpose, in Matt. xviii. 11, The Son of man is come to save that which is lost, that is, as they suppose, all that were lost ; and consequently, since the whole world was brought into a lost state by the fall, Christ came to save them. The whole stress of this argument is laid on the sense that they give of the Greek word*, which we render, that which was lost, whereby they understand every one that was lost; whereas it only denotes, that salvation
* Το απολυλος. .
supposes them, that have an interest in it, to have been in a lost state. And, indeed, the text does not seem immediately to respect the purchase of redemption, or salvation, by Christ's shedding his blood, as a Priest, but the application thereof, in effectually calling, and thereby saving lost sinners. This is illustrated by the parable of the lost sheep, in the following words,) which the shepherd brings back to the fold, upon which occasion he says, that it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. And this farther appears, from our Saviour's using the same mode of speaking, with this addition, that he came to seek, as well as to save, Luke xix. 9, 10. them, upon the occasion of his converting Zaccheus, and telling him, that salvation was come to his house. And this agrees well with that prediction relating to Christ's executing his Prophetical office, in the salvation of his people, as being their Shepherd ; in which he is represented, as saying, I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick, Ezek. xxxiv. 16. Moreover, the parable of the lost sheep, which Christ recovered, appears by its connexion with the foregoing verses, to have a particular respect to those little, or humble ones, that believe in him, who went astray, by reason of some offences that were cast in their way; and therefore, when he had denounced a threatening against those who should offend any of them, and cautioned the world that they should not do this, by despising them, Matt. xviii. 6, 10. he supposes this treatment would cause some of them to go astray; upon which he says, that one of his ends of coming into the world, was to seek, to save, and to recover them.
9. Universal redemption is farther argued, from the universality of divine grace; and accordingly that text is often referred to, in Tit. ii. 11. The grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men : But this seems very remote from the sense of the Holy Ghost, in these words ; for by the grace of God is meant the gospel, that brings the glad tidings of salvation ; and its appearing to all men, signifies being preached to the Gentiles : or suppose, by the grace of God, we understand the display of his grace in the work of redemption, it is not said, that it was designed for, or applied to all men, but only that the publication thereof is more general than it had formerly been. And when the apostle, in ver. 14. speaks more particularly concerning redemption, he alters his mode of expression, and considers it, with its just limitation, with respect to the objects thereof, viz. that he gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. We shall add but one scripture more, which is brought in defence of universal redemption, viz.
10. That in which the apostle speaks of God, in 1 Tim. iv. 10. as the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe; wherein universal redemption is not asserted in the same sense in which they maintain it, viz. that God hath brought all men into a salvable state, so that they may be saved if they will: But the meaning of this scripture is, that God is the Saviour of all men, that is, his common bounty extends itself to all, as the Psalmist observes, The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, Psal. cxlv. 9. but he is more especially the Saviour of them that believe, inasmuch as they are interested in the special benefits purchased by his redemption, who are said to be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, Isa. xlv. 17.
There are several other scriptures brought to prove universal redemption, as when it is said, that God will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. ii. 4. and, The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet. iii. 9. which have been before considered *; and therefore re pass them over at present, and some other scriptures, from whence it is argued, that Christ died for all, because he died for some that shall perish, as when the apostle speaks of some false teachers, who deny the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. ii. 1. and another, Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died, Rom. xiv. 15. and that in which the apostle speaks of a person who counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, Heb. x. 29. and some other scriptures to the like purpose, the consideration whereof I shall refer to a following answer t, in which the doc. trine of the saints' perseverance is defended. (a)
* See Page 501. Vol. I. † See Quest. LXXIX.
(a) “That the atonement is infinitely full or sufficient for all mankind, is evident from the infinite dignity and excellence of the Saviour, and from the nature of the atonement. The Saviour, as has been already observed, was in his divine nature God over all, one with the Father, and equal with bim in all divine perfection. And being thus a person of infinite dignity and worth, it gave an infinite value or efficacy to his obedience, sufferings and death, and thus rendered his atonement infinitely full.
It appears from express declarations of scripture, that Christ has died for all mankind, or has made an atonement sufficient for all. Thus it is declared, “ That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man, and that he is the Sam viour of all men, especially of those that believe." These passages clearly teach, that the Saviour has died, or made atonement for all mankind, and it seems, that the last of them cannot rationally be understood in any other sense. For it ex. pressly declares, that he is the Saviour, not of those who believe only, but of all men in distinction from these. Therefore his atonement must have had respect to all the human race. Accordingly Christ is called “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, and the Saviour of the world." The apostle John, addressing christians, says, “ He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for
Thus concerning the first branch of Christ's Priestly office, consisting in his offering himself a sacrifice, without spot, to God, and the persons for whom this was done. We should
ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Here also Jesus Christ is declared to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, in distinction from those of believers.' These, and other similar passages tench in the clearest manner, that Christ has made an atonement for all mankind, or for the whole world. It seems harldly possible for words to express this sentiment more clear ly than it is expressed in these passages; and some of them will not admit of any other sense, withont a very forced, unnatural construction.
Should it be said, that such expressions as all men, the world, &c. must some. times be understood in a limited or restricted sense; it may be answered, that it is an established, invariable rule, that all phrases, or passages of scripture are to be understood in their most plain, easy, and literal import, unless the connesjon, the general analogy of faith, or some other necessary considerations require a different sense. But in the present case it does not appear, that any of these considerxtions require, that these passages should be understood in any other .than their plain, natural meaning:
That the atonement is sufficient for all mankind, is evident from the consideration, that the calls, invitations and offers of the gospel are addressed to all, without exception, in the most estensive language. It is said, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy and eat, yea, coine, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Go, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The preachers of the gospel are directed to tell their hearers, that all things are ready—that all may come, who will, and are to invite and urge all, to come to the gospel feast and freely partake of the blessings of salvation. But how could the offer of salvation be consistently thus made to all without any limitation; if the atonement was sufficient but for a part or for the elect only? On this supposition it could not with truth and propriety be said to all, that all things are ready, plentiful provisions are made for all, and whosoever will, may come. Were a fcast, sufficient but for fifty provided : could we consistently send invitations to a thousand, and tell them that a plentiful feast was prepared, and that all things were ready for their entertainment, if they would but come? Would not such an invitation appear like a deception? If so, then the offer and invitation of the gospel could not have been made to all without discrimination, as they are; if there was no atonement, but for a part .As therefore the invitations of the gospel are thus addressed to all, it is a proof that Christ has made an atonement for all mankind.
Again, the scripture represents, that there is no difficulty in the way of the salvation of the impenitent, but what arises from their own opposition of beart or will. Thus the Lord Jesus says to the unbelieving Jews, “ Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I hare gathered thy children and ye would not.” In the parable of the marriage sup. per, it is represented, that there was no difficulty in the way to prevent those who were invited, from partaking of the feast, but their own unwillingness to come. But if there was no atonement made but for those only wbo are saved ; then there would be an insurmountable difficulty in the way of the salvation of all others, aside from the one arising from their own opposition of heart. As therefore the scripture teaches, that there is no difficulty in the way of the salvation of any under the gospel, but what arises from their own unwillingness, or wicked opposition of heart, it is manifest, that there is an atonement for all.
The word of God teaches, that it is the duty of all, who are acquainted with the gospel, to believe in the Lord Jesus, and trust in him as their Redeemer, and that ey are very criminal for ne ing to do this. It is therefore declared in the sacred scriptures, that it is the command of God, “ that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and t8nt those, who believe not, are con