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Chapter IX.

Of the death of Christ, and of the efficacy of his merits.

The sum of those controversies, wherewith the Arminians and their abettors have troubled the church, about the death of Christ, may 88be reduced to two heads:— First, Concerning the object of his merit, or whom he died for; secondly, Concerning the efficacy and end of his death, or what he deserved, procured, merited, and obtained, for them for whom he died. In resolution of the first, they affirm that he died for all and every one; of the second, that he died for no one man at all in that sense Christians have hitherto believed that he laid down his life, and submitted himself to bear the burden of his Father’s wrath for their sakes. It seems to me a strange extenuation of the merit of Christ, to teach that no good at all by his death doth redound to divers of them for whom he died. What participation in the benefit of his suffering had Pharaoh or Judas? Do they not at this hour, and shall they not to eternity, feel the weight and burden of their own sins? Had they either grace in this world, or glory in the other, that they should be said to have an interest in the death of our Saviour? Christians have hitherto believed, that for whom Christ died, for their sins he made satisfaction, that they themselves should not eternally suffer for them. Is God unjust to punish twice for the same fault? his own Son once, and again the poor sinners for whom he suffered? I cannot conceive an intention in God that Christ should satisfy his justice for the sin of them that were in hell some thousands of years before, and yet be still resolved to continue their punishment on them to all eternity. No, doubtless: Christ giveth life to every one for whom he gave his life; he loseth not one of them whom he purchased with his blood.

The first part of this controversy may be handled under these two questions:— First, Whether God giving his Son, and Christ making his soul a ransom for sin, intended thereby to redeem all and every one from their sins, that all and every one alike, from the beginning of the world to the last day, should all equally be partakers of the fruits of his death and passion; which purpose of theirs is in the most frustrate? Secondly, Whether God had not a certain infallible intention of gathering unto himself a “chosen people,” of collecting a “church of first-born,” of saving his “little flock,” of bringing some certainly to happiness, by the death of his only Son; which in the event he doth accomplish?

The second part also may be reduced to these two heads:— First, Whether Christ did not make full satisfaction for all their sins for whom he died, and merited glory, or everlasting happiness, to be bestowed on them upon the performance of those conditions God should require? Secondly (which is the proper controversy I shall chiefly insist upon), Whether Christ did not procure for his own people a power to become the sons of God, merit and deserve at the hands of God for them, grace, faith, righteousness, and sanctification, 89whereby they may be enabled infallibly to perform the conditions of the new covenant, upon the which they shall be admitted to glory?

To the first question of the first part of the controversy, the Arminians answer affirmatively, — to wit, that Christ died for all alike; the benefit of his passion belongs equally to all the posterity of Adam. And to the second negatively, — that God had no such intention of bringing many chosen sons unto salvation by the death of Christ, but determined of grace and glory no more precisely to one than to another, to John than Judas, Abraham than Pharaoh? Both which, as the learned Moulin observed,150150   Molin. Suffrag. ad Synod. Dordra. seemed to be invented to make Christianity ridiculous, and expose our religion to the derision of all knowing men: for who can possibly conceive that one by the appointment of God should die for another, and yet that other, by the same justice, be allotted unto death himself, when one’s death only was due; that Christ hath made a full satisfaction for their sins who shall everlastingly feel the weight of them themselves; that he should merit and obtain reconciliation with God for them who live and die his enemies, grace and glory for them who are graceless in this life and damned in that which is to come; that he should get remission of sins for them whose sins were never pardoned? In brief, if this sentence be true, either Christ by his death did not reconcile us unto God, make satisfaction to his justice for our iniquities, redeem us from our sins, purchase a kingdom, an everlasting inheritance for us, — which I hope no Christian will say; or else all the former absurdities must necessarily follow, — which no rational man will ever admit.

Neither may we be charged as straiteners of the merit of Christ; for we advance the true value and worth thereof (as hereafter will appear) far beyond all the Arminians ascribe unto it. We confess that that “blood of God,” Acts xx. 28, of the “Lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Pet. i. 19, was so exceedingly precious, of that infinite worth and value, that it might have saved a thousand believing worlds, John iii. 16; Rom. iii. 22. His death was of sufficient dignity to have been made a ransom for all the sins of every one in the world. And on this internal sufficiency of his death and passion is grounded the universality of evangelical promises; which have no such restriction in their own nature as that they should not be made to all and every one, though the promulgation and knowledge of them are tied only to the good pleasure of God’s special providence, Matt. xvi. 17; as also that economy and dispensation of the new covenant whereby, the partition-wall being broken down, there remains no more difference between Jew and Gentile, the utmost borders of the earth being given in for Christ’s inheritance. So that, in some 90sense, Christ may be said to die for “all,” and “the whole world;” — first, Inasmuch as the worth and value of his death was very sufficient to have been made a price for all their sins; secondly, Inasmuch as this word “all” is taken for some of all sorts (not for every one of every sort), as it is frequently used in the holy Scripture: so Christ being lifted up, “drew all unto him,” John xii. 32; that is, believers out of all sorts of men. The apostles cured all diseases, or some of all sorts: they did not cure every particular disease, but there was no kind of disease that was exempted from their power of healing. So that where it is said that Christ “died for all,” it is meant either, — first, All the faithful; or, secondly, Some of all sorts; thirdly, Not only Jews, but Gentiles. For, —

Secondly, The proper counsel and intention of God in sending his Son into the world to die was, that thereby he might confirm and ratify the new covenant to his elect, and purchase for them all the good things which are contained in the tenure of that covenant, — to wit, grace and glory; that by his death he might bring many (yet some certain) children to glory, obtaining for them that were given unto him by his Father (that is, his whole church) reconciliation with God, remission of sins, faith, righteousness, sanctification, and life eternal. That is the end to which they are to be brought, and the means whereby God will have them attain it. He died that he might gather the dispersed children of God, and make them partakers of everlasting glory, — to “give eternal life to as many as God gave him,” John xvii. 2. And on this purpose of himself and his Father is founded the intercession of Christ for his elect and chosen people; performed partly on the earth, John xvii., partly in heaven, before the throne of grace: which is nothing but a presentation of himself and his merits, accompanied with the prayers of his mediatorship before God, that he would be pleased to grant and effectually to apply the good things he hath by them obtained to all for whom he hath obtained them. His intercession in heaven is nothing but a continued oblation of himself. So that whatsoever Christ impetrated, merited, or obtained by his death and passion, must be infallibly applied unto and bestowed upon them for whom he intended to obtain it; or else his intercession is vain, he is not heard in the prayers of his mediatorship. An actual reconciliation with God, and communication of grace and glory, must needs betide all them that have any such interest in the righteousness of Christ as to have it accepted for their good. The sole end why Christ would so dearly purchase those good things is, an actual application of them unto his chosen: God set forth the propitiation of his blood for the remission of sins, that he might be the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus, Rom. iii. 25, 26. But this part of the controversy is not 91that which I principally intend; only, I will give you a brief sum of those reasons which overthrow their heresy in this particular branch thereof:—

First, The death of Christ is in divers places of the Scripture restrained to his “people,” and “elect,” his “church,” and “sheep,” Matt. i. 21; John x. 11–13; Acts xx. 28; Eph. v. 25; John xi. 51, 52; Rom. viii. 32, 34; Heb. ii. 9, 14; Rev. v. 9; Dan. ix. 26; — and therefore the good purchased thereby ought not to be extended to “dogs,” “reprobates,” and “those that are without.”

Secondly, For whom Christ died, he died as their sponsor, in their room and turn, that he might free them from the guilt and desert of death; which is clearly expressed Rom. v. 6–8. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isa. liii. 5, 6, etc. “He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” Gal. iii. 13. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” 2 Cor. v. 21. Evidently he changeth turns with us, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Yea, in other things, it is plain in the Scripture that to die for another is to take his place and room, with an intention that he should live, 2 Sam. xviii. 33; Rom. v. So that Christ dying for men made satisfaction for their sins, that they should not die. Now, for what sins he made satisfaction, for them the justice of God is satisfied; which surely is not done for the sins of the reprobates, because he justly punisheth them to eternity upon themselves, Matt. v. 26.

Thirdly, For whom Christ “died,” for them also he “rose again,” to make intercession for them: for whose “offenses he was delivered,” for their “justification he was raised,” Rom. iv. 25, v. 10. He is a high priest “to make intercession for them” in the holy of holies for whom “by his own blood he obtained eternal redemption,” Heb. ix. 11, 12. These two acts of his priesthood are not to be separated; it belongs to the same mediator for sin to sacrifice and pray. Our assurance that he is our advocate is grounded on his being a propitiation for our sins. He is an “advocate” for every one for whose sins his blood was a “propitiation,” 1 John ii. 1, 2. But Christ doth not intercede and pray for all, as himself often witnesseth, John xvii.; he “maketh intercession” only for them who “come unto God by him,” Heb. vii. 25. He is not a mediator of them that perish, no more than an advocate of them that fail in their suits; and therefore the benefit of his death also must be restrained to them who are finally partakers of both. We must not so disjoin the offices of Christ’s mediatorship, that one of them may be versated about some towards whom he exerciseth not the other; much less ought we so to separate the several acts of the same office. For whom Christ is a priest, to offer himself 92a sacrifice for their sins, he is surely a king, to apply the good things purchased by his death unto them, as Arminius himself confesseth; much more to whom he is a priest by sacrifice, he will be a priest by intercession. And, therefore, seeing he doth not intercede and pray for every one, he did not die for every one.

Fourthly, For whom Christ died he merited grace and glory, faith and salvation, and reconciliation with God; as I shall show hereafter. But this he hath not done for all and every one. Many do never believe; the wrath of God remaineth upon some; the wrath of God abideth on them that do not believe, John iii. 36. To abide argueth a continued, uninterrupted act. Now, to be reconciled to one, and yet to lie under his heavy anger, seem to me ἀσύστατα, — things that will scarce consist together. The reasons are many; I only point at the heads of some of them.

Fifthly, Christ died for them whom God gave unto him to be saved: “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” John xvii. 6. He layeth down his life for the sheep committed to his charge, chap. x. 11. But all are not the sheep of Christ, all are not given unto him of God to be brought to glory; for of those that are so given there is not one that perisheth, for “he giveth eternal life to as many as God hath given him,” chap. xvii. 2. “No man is able to pluck them out of his Father’s hand,” chap. x. 28, 29.

Sixthly, Look whom, and how many, that love of God embraced that was the cause of sending his Son to redeem them; for them, and so many, did Christ, according to the counsel of his Father, and in himself, intentionally lay down his life. Now, this love is not universal, being his “good pleasure” of blessing with spiritual blessings and saving some in Christ, Eph. i. 4, 5; which good pleasure of his evidently comprehendeth some, when others are excluded, Matt. xi. 25, 26. Yea, the love of God in giving Christ for us is of the same extent with that grace whereby he calleth us to faith, or bestoweth faith on us: for “he hath called us with an holy calling, according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus,” 2 Tim. i. 9; which, doubtless, is not universal and common unto all.

Innumerable other reasons there are to prove, that seeing God hath given his elect only, whom only he loved, to Christ to be redeemed; and seeing that the Son loveth only those who are given him of his Father, and redeemeth only whom he loveth; seeing, also, that the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son, sanctifieth all, and only them, that are elected and redeemed, — it is not our part, with a preposterous liberality, against the witness of Christ himself, to assign the salvation attained by him as due to them that are without the congregation of them whom the Father hath loved and chosen, without that church which the Son loved and gave his life for, nor 93none of the members of that sanctified body whereof Christ is the Head and Saviour. I urge no more, because this is not that part of the controversy that I desire to lay open.

I come now to consider the main question of this difference, though sparingly handled by our divines, concerning what our Saviour merited and purchased for them for whom he died. And here you shall find the old idol playing his pranks, and quite divesting the merit of Christ from the least ability or power of doing us any good; for though the Arminians pretend, very speciously, that Christ died for all men, yet, in effect, they make him die for no one man at all, and that by denying the effectual operation of his death, and ascribing the proper issues of his passion to the brave endeavours of their own Pelagian deity.

We, according to the Scriptures, plainly believe that Christ hath, by his righteousness, merited for us grace and glory; that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings, in, through, and for him; that he is made unto us righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that he hath procured for us, and that God for his sake bestoweth on us, every grace in this life that maketh us differ from others, and all that glory we hope for in that which is to come; he procured for us remission of all our sins, an actual reconciliation with God, faith, and obedience. Yea, but this is such a desperate doctrine as stabs at the very heart of the idol, and would make him as altogether useless as if he were but a fig-tree log. What remaineth for him to do, if all things in this great work of our salvation must be thus ascribed unto Christ and the merit of his death? Wherefore the worshippers of this great god, Lib. Arbit., oppose their engines against the whole fabric, and cry down the title of Christ’s merits to these spiritual blessings, in the behalf of their imaginary deity.

Now, because they are things of a twofold denomination about which we contend before the King of heaven, each part producing their evidence, the first springing from the favour of God towards us, the second from the working of his grace actually within us, I shall handle them severally and apart; — especially because to things of this latter sort, gifts, as we call them, enabling us to fulfil the condition required for the attaining of glory, we lay a double claim on God’s behalf; first, As the death of Christ is the meritorious cause procuring them of him; secondly, As his free grace is their efficient cause working them in us; — they also producing a double title, whereby they would invest their beloved darling with a sole propriety in causing these effects; first, In regard that they are our own acts, performed in us and by us; secondly, As they are parts of our duty which we are enjoined to do. So that the quarrel is directly between Christ’s merits and our own free-will about procuring the favour of 94God, and obtaining grace and righteousness. Let us see what they say to the first.

They affirm that 151151   “Immediata morris Christi effectio, ac passionis, illa est non actualis peccatorum ab his aut illis ablatio, non actualis remissio, non justificatio, non actualis horum aut illorum redemptio.” — Armin. Antip., p. 76.“the immediate and proper effect or end of the death and passion of Christ is, not an actual ablation of sin from men, not an actual remission of iniquities, justification and redemption of any soul;” that is, Christ’s death is not the meritorious cause of the remission of our sins, of redemption and justification. The meritorious cause, I say: for of some of them, as of justification, as it is terminated in us, we confess there are causes of other kinds, as faith is the instrument and the Holy Spirit the efficient thereof; but for the sole meritorious procuring cause of these spiritual blessings, we always took it to be the righteousness and death of Christ, believing plainly that the end why Christ died, and the fruit of his sufferings, was our reconciliation with God, redemption from our sins, freedom from the curse, deliverance from the wrath of God and power of hell, — though we be not actual partakers of these things, to the pacification of our own consciences, without the intervening operation of the Holy Spirit, and faith by him wrought in us.

But if this be not, pray what is obtained by the death of Christ? Why, 152152   “Reconciliatio potentialis et conditionata non actualis et absoluta, per mortem Christi impetratur.” — Corv. ad Molin., cap. xxviii. sect. 11.“a potential, conditionate reconciliation, not actual and absolute,” saith Corvinus. But yet this potential reconciliation being a new expression, never intimated in the Scripture, and scarce of itself intelligible, we want a farther explanation of their mind, to know what it is that directly they assign to the merits of Christ. Wherefore they tell us that the fruit of his death was 153153   “Remissionis, justificationis, et redemptionis, apud Deum impetratio, qua factum est, ut Deus jam possit, utpote justitia cui satisfactum est non obstante, hominibus peccatoribus peccata remittere.” — Armin., ubi sup.“such an impetration or obtaining of reconciliation with God, and redemption for us, that God thereby hath a power, his justice being satisfied, and so not compelling him to the contrary, to grant remission of sins to sinful men on what condition he would;” or, as another speaketh it, 154154   “Autoris mens non est alia, quam effuso sanguine Christi reconciliandi mundum Deo jus impetratum fuisse, et inito novo fœdere et gratioso curn hominibus, Deum gratiæ ostium omnibus denuo, pœnitentiæ ac veræ in Christum fidei lege, adaperuisse.” — Epistol. ad Wal., p. 93.“There was, by the effusion of Christ’s blood, a right obtained unto and settled in God, of reconciling the world, and of opening unto all a gate of repentance and faith in Christ.” But now, whereas the Scripture everywhere affirmeth that Christ died for our good, to obtain blessings for us, to purchase our peace, to acquire and merit for us the good things contained in the promise of the 95covenant, this opinion seems to restrain the end and fruit thereof to the obtaining of a power and liberty unto God of prescribing us a condition whereby we may be saved. But yet, it may be, thus much at least Christ obtained of God in our behalf, that he should assign faith in him to be this condition, and to bestow it upon us also. No; neither the one nor the other. 155155   “Potuisset Deus, si ita sapientiæ suæ visum fuisset, operarios, Judæos, vel alios etiam præter fideles eligere, quia potuit aliam salutis conditionem, quam fidem in Christum exigere.” — Grevinch, ad Ames., p. 415.“After all this, had it so seemed good unto his wisdom, God might have chosen the Jews, and others, following the righteousness of the law, as well as believers; because he might have assigned any other condition of salvation besides faith in Christ,” saith Grevinchovius. Notwithstanding, then, the death of Christ for us, we might have been held to the old rule, “Do this, and live.” But if this be true, I cannot perceive how it may be said that Christ died to redeem us from our sins, to save our souls, and bring us unto glory. Neither, perhaps, do they think this to be any great inconvenience; for the same author affirmeth that 156156   “Christus non est proprie mortuus ad aliquem salvandum.” — Idem, ibid, p. 8.“Christ cannot be said properly to die to save any one.” And a little after he more fully declares himself, that 157157   “Postquam impetratio præstita ac peracta esset, Deo jus suum integrum mansit, pro arbitrio suo, eam applicare, vel non applicare; nec applicatio finis impetrationis propriè fuit, sed jus et potestas applicandi, quibus et qualibus vellet.” — p. 9.“after Christ had obtained all that he did obtain by his death, the right remained wholly in God to apply it, or not to apply it, as it should seem good unto him; the application of grace and glory to any man was not the end for which Christ obtained them, but to get a right and power unto God of bestowing those things on what sort of men he would;” — which argues no redemption of us from our sins, but a vindication of God from such a condition wherein he had not power to forgive them; not an obtaining of salvation for us, but of a liberty unto God of saving us on some condition or other.

But now, after God hath got this power by the death of Christ, and out of his gracious good pleasure assigned faith to be the means for us to attain those blessings, he hath procured himself a liberty to bestow. Did Christ obtain this faith for us of him, if it be a thing not in our own power? No; 158158   “Fides non est impetrata merito Christi,” etc. — Corv. ad Molin., cap. xxviii. p. 419.“faith is not obtained by the death of Christ,” saith Corvinus. So that there is no good thing, no spiritual blessing, into which any man in the world hath any interest by the death of Christ: which is not so great an absurdity but that they are most ready to grant it. Arnoldus confesseth, 159159   “Se omnino credere, futurum fuisse, ut finis mortis Christi constaret, etiamsi nemo credidisset.” — Idem, cap. xxvii. sect. 3, 4.“that he believes that the death of Christ might have enjoyed its end, or his 96merit its full force, although never any had believed:” and again, 160160   “Posita et præstita Christi morte et satisfactione, fieri potest, ut, nemine novi fœderis conditionem præstante, nemo salvaretur.” — Idem. Grevinch. ad Ames. p. 9.“The death and satisfaction of Christ being accomplished, it might come to pass that, none fulfilling the condition of the new covenant, none should be saved.” So also saith Grevinchovius. O Christ! that any pretending to profess thy holy name should thus slight the precious work of thy death and passion! Surely never any before, who counted it their glory to be called Christians, did ever thus extenuate (their friends the Socinians only excepted) the dignity of his merit and satisfaction. Take but a short view of what benefit they allow to redound to us by the effusion of his precious blood, and you may see what a pestilent heresy these men have laboured to bring into the church. Neither faith nor salvation, grace nor glory, hath he purchased for us, — not any spiritual blessing, that by our interest in his death we can claim to be ours! It is not such a reconciliation with God as that he thereupon should be contented again to be called our God; it is not justification, nor righteousness, nor actual redemption from our sins; it did not make satisfaction for our iniquities, and deliver us from the curse; 161161   “Impetratio salutis pro omnibus, est acquisitio possibilitatis, ut nimirum Deus, illæsa sua justitia, hominem peccatorem possit recipere in gratiam.” — Rem. Coll. Hag., p. 172.“only it was a means of obtaining such a possibility of salvation, as that God, without wronging of his justice, might save us if he would, one way or other.” So that, when Christ had done all that he could, there was not one man in the world immediately the better for it; notwithstanding the utmost of his endeavour, every one might have been damned with Judas to the pit of hell; for 162162   “Pro Juda ac Petro mortuus est Christus, et pro Simone Mago et Juda tam quam pro Paulo et Petro.” — Rem. Synod, p. 320.“he died as well for Simon Magus and Judas as he did for Peter and Paul,” say the Arminians. Now, if no more good redound to us by the death of Christ than to Simon Magus, we are not much obliged to him for our salvation. Nay, he may be rather said to have redeemed God than us; for he procured for him immediately a power to redeem us if he would; for us only, by virtue of that power, a possibility to be redeemed; — which leaves nothing of the nature of merit annexed to his death, for that deserveth that something be done, not only that it may be done; the workman deserveth that his wages be given him, and not that it may be given him. And then what becomes of all the comfort and consolation that is proposed to us in the death of Christ? But it is time to see how this stubble is burned and consumed by the word of God, and that established which they thought to overthrow.

First, It is clear that Christ died to procure for us an actual 97reconciliation with God, and not only a power for us to be reconciled unto him; for “when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” Rom. v. 10. We enjoy an actual reconciliation unto God by his death. He is content to be called “our God” when we are enemies, without the intervening of any condition on our part required; though the sweetness, comfort, and knowledge of this reconciliation do not compass our souls before we believe in him. Again, we have remission of sins by his blood, and justification from them; not a sole vindication into such an estate wherein, if it please God and ourselves, our sins are pardonable: for we are “justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins,” Rom. iii. 24, 25. Yea, he obtained for us by his death righteousness and holiness. “He gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it,” Eph. v. 25, 26; “that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle;” that we should be “holy and without blemish,” verse 27. Where, first, we have whom Christ died or gave himself for, even his church; secondly, what he obtained for it, — holiness and righteousness, a freedom from the spots and blemishes of sin, that is, the grace of justification and sanctity: “He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor. v. 21. And, lastly, he died to purchase for us “an eternal inheritance,” Heb. ix. 15. So that both grace and glory are bestowed on them for whom he died, as the immediate fruits of his death and passion.

Secondly, See what the Scripture ῥητῶς, “expressly,” assigneth as the proper end and immediate effect (according to the purpose of God and his own intention) of the effusion of the blood of Jesus Christ, and you shall find that he intended by it to take away the sins of many; to “make his soul an offering for sin,” that he might “see his seed,” that “the pleasure of the Lord might prosper in his hand,” Isa. liii. 10; to be “a ransom for many,” Matt. xx. 28; to “bear the sins of many,” Heb. ix. 28. He “bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we should live unto righteousness,” 1 Pet. ii. 24; that “we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor. v. 21; thereby reconciling us unto God, verse 19. He died to “reconcile us unto God, in the body of his flesh through death,” that we might be “holy and unblamable,” Col. i. 21, 22; to “purge our sins,” Heb. i. 3; to “obtain eternal redemption for us,” chap. ix. 12. So that if Christ by his death obtained what he did intend, he hath purchased for us not only a possibility of salvation, but holiness, righteousness, reconciliation with God, justification freedom from 98the guilt and condemning power of sin, everlasting redemption, eternal life and glory in heaven.

Thirdly, I appeal unto the conscience of all Christians, — First, Whether they do not suppose the very foundation of all their consolation to be stricken at, when they shall find those places of Scripture163163   Heb. ix. 12, 14, 15, 24, 28; Isa. liii. 10; 1 John ii. 2, etc. that affirm Christ to have died to take away our sins, to reconcile us unto God, to put away or abolish our transgressions, to wash and regenerate us, perfectly to save us, and purchase for us an everlasting redemption, whereby he is become unto us righteousness, and redemption, and sanctification, the Lord our righteousness, and we become the righteousness of God in him, to be so wrested as if he should be said only to have done something from which these things might happily follow?

Secondly, Whether they think it not a ready way to impair their love and to weaken their faith in Christ, when they shall be taught that Christ hath done no more for them than for those that are damned in hell; that, be their assurance never so great that Christ died for them, yet there is enough to be laid to their charge to condemn them; that though God is said to have reconciled them unto himself in Christ, Col. i. 19, 20, yet indeed he is as angry with them as with any reprobate in the world; that God loveth us not first, but so long as we continue in a state of enmity against him, before our conversion, he continues our enemy also, so that the first act of friendship or love must be performed on our part, notwithstanding that the Scripture saith, “When we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God,” Rom. v. 10?

Thirdly, Whether they have not hitherto supposed themselves bound to believe that Christ died for their sins, and rose for their justification? Do they not think it lawful to pray that God would bestow upon them grace and glory for Christ’s sake? and to believe that Jesus Christ was such a mediator of the new covenant as procured for the persons covenanted withal all the good things comprehended in the promise of that covenant?

I will not farther press upon this prevarication against Christian religion; only, I would desire all the lovers of Jesus Christ seriously to consider whether these men do truly aim at his honour and advancing the dignity of his merit, and not rather at the crying up of their own endeavours, seeing the sole cause of their denying these glorious effects of the blood of Christ is to appropriate the praise of them unto themselves; as we shall see in the next chapter.

These charges are never to be waived by the vanity of their sophistical distinctions, as of that of impetration and application; which, though it may be received in an orthodox meaning, yet not in that 99sense, or rather nonsense, whereunto they abuse it; — namely, as though Christ had obtained that for some which shall never be imparted unto them; that all the blessings procured by his death are proper to none, but pendent in the air for them that can or will catch them: whereupon, when we object 164164   “Sic efficacia meriti Christi tota penes nos stabit, qui vocationem alioqui inefficacem, efficacem reddimus; sane, fieri aliter non potest.” — Rem. Apol., p. 93.that by this means all the efficacy of the merit of Christ is in our own power, they readily grant it, and say it cannot otherwise be. Let them that can, receive these monsters in Christianity; for my part, in these following contradictory assertions I will choose rather to adhere to the authority of the word of God than of Arminius and his sectaries:—

S. S.

Lib. Arbit.

“He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor. v. 21. “He loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might present it unto himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” Eph. v. 25, 27.

“The immediate effect of the death of Christ is not the remission of sins, or the actual redemption of any,” Armin. “Christ did not properly die to save any one,” Grevinch.

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,” 2 Cor. v. 19.

“A potential and conditionate reconciliation, not actual and absolute, is obtained by the death of Christ,” Corv.

“When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand,” Isa. liii. 10.

“I believe it might have come to pass that the death of Christ might have had its end, though never any man had believed,” Corv.

“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities,” Isa. liii. 11.

“The death and satisfaction of Christ being accomplished, yet it may so come to pass that, none at all fulfilling the condition of the new covenant, none might be saved,” Idem.

“Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” Heb. ix. 28. “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption 100for us,” chap. ix. 12. “He hath reconciled you in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable,” Col. i. 21, 22.

“The impetration of salvation for all, by the death of Christ, is nothing but the obtaining of a possibility thereof; that God, without wronging his justice, may open unto them a gate of mercy, to be entered on some condition,” Rem. Coll. Hag.

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins,” etc.: “that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,” Rom. iii. 25, 26.

“Notwithstanding the death of Christ, God might have assigned any other condition of salvation as well as faith, or have chosen the Jews following the righteousness of the law,” Grevinch.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we were healed,” 1 Pet. ii. 24.

“Why, then, the efficacy of the death of Christ depends wholly on us.” “True; it cannot otherwise be,” Rem. Apol.


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