|Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 9, Number 9, February 25 to March 3, 2007|
Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither
cast ye your pearls before swine.
Printed by Will. Bentley,
Anno Domini 1651
This ensuing discourse (Christian reader) lying by me, fitted for the press; but with thoughts, never to have it printed so long as I live:my mind is now altered, very lately, upon this occasion: that this Dutch-Arminian tenet of Universal Redemption, hath of late invaded our English Nation, and infected the minds, and perverted the judgment of many, who pretend highest for God and godliness; I could not but alter my thoughts, and resolve to publish this discourse, if it may be, to prevent the further growth and spreading of it. There is a sect of Revelators, or Manifestators, called Morians; of one More dwelling near Wisbech, who with his disciples, about eight or nine years since, were orthodox in this point with us; but since, finding this new light, of Universal Redemption, to be a notable means to further another and more ancient new light, which formerly he had received and taught; namely, his doctrine of free grace, as he calls it, presently he set abroach this Universal Redemption among his disciples: of and from whom (as I suppose) our Independents of later time, have borrowed this light: for of late, some of them are not ashamed to teach and preach it publicly, offering Christ and the benefits of his death, to dogs and swine, to the worst of men, saying, Come whoremaster, come drunkard, the work is wrought for you, believe it, &c. and they may as well say, Come rascal, come rogue, come tag and rag, believe it, Christ died for you all. Thus they fear not, to give Christ, that Pearl and holy thing, unto dogs and swine. Their new Arminian light hath taught them, to give the children's bread to dogs. Not long since, some of the Bishops were tainted with this error, and how odious were they for it in the eyes of these very men, but now themselves are infected with the same error, and it is become a lovely truth: and what have these men to say for this error more than the Bishops had? Surely, if so much, yet nothing more, unless it be this, that it is a bright beam of new light arisen to them of late; and notably tending to their new doctrine of Free Grace, as they call it; and that the spirit hath taught it them: but remember, that there is a Spirit of Truth, and a spirit of error, I John 4:6, and so I end.
If Christ forbade his ministers, to give, or deliver his word and sacrament concerning his death, unto all men, as unto unbelieving, impenitent, scandalous, and wicked men; then Christ did not give or deliver himself to death for all men: or, then Christ died not for all men. The reason hereof is this; If Christ had given himself to death for all men, good and bad, then would he have his ministers to do so too, in delivering the Word and Sacrament; and it is against reason to think, that Christ should give himself for all men, and forbid his ministers to give him to all men, or to some men:so there is the same reason of both. Now if he forbade his ministers to deliver his word and sacrament unto all men, unto wicked and impenitent men, then surely, he did not deliver himself to death for all men.
For 1. It is absurd to think, that a minister's commission, in delivering the Word and Sacrament concerning Christ's death, should be of less extent than Christ's death is of, that his commission should extend but to some men only, when Christ's death extends to all men: wherefore if his commission be but unto some men only, then Christ's death is not to, or for all men, but to and for some men only. 2. The word and sacrament concerning Christ's death, are signs representing Christ's death unto us; now the sign and the thing signified by it, must be of equal extent; as, if the sign belong but unto some men only, then Christ's death, the thing signified by it, belongs not unto all men, but unto some men only. 3. If Christ would not permit his ministers to give the bread and wine in the sacrament (which is the lesser) unto all men, then much less would he give himself, which is the greater, unto all men. If he forbade his ministers to give his bread and wine unto all men, much less would he give his life, his own body and blood for all men. If he denied the sign unto the wicked and impenitent persons, then much more would he deny them the thing signified, which is, his precious body and blood. So much for my first proposition. < p >But Christ forbade his ministers to give, or deliver his word and sacrament concerning his death unto all men, as unto unbelieving, impenitent, scandalous and wicked men. This my assumption I thus prove. First, concerning the sacrament:
1. It is the doctrine, both of our own and other reformed Churches, that Christ would not have the sacrament of the Lord's Supper given by the minister unto unbelievers, impenitent, scandalous, and wicked men.
2. Philip would not give the Sacrament of Baptism unto the Eunuch, but upon condition of his faith first, Acts 8:37. Saint Paul would not have the Lord's Supper given unto the incestuous person, I Corinthians 5:1, 5, 13, nor unto impenitent wicked men, as not unto fornicators, idolaters, drunkards, railers, nor extortioners, I Corinthians 5:11, and see Matthew 18:17. So much for the sacrament, next for the word.
Concerning the Word, Christ would not have the word concerning his death, given or delivered by his ministers unto unbelievers, impenitent, scandalous, and wicked men; which thus I prove:
In the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the minister delivers the bread, with these words of Christ, This is my body, which is broken for thee, which words are according to Christ's institution, I Corinthians 11:24, Luke 22:19. Now inasmuch as Christ would not have impenitent, wicked persons admitted to the Lord's Supper, he would not have his ministers deliver unto them, this his word concerning his death, This is my body, which is broken for thee: So Christ's minister may not say to a wicked man, Christ died for thee. Yet if the Arminian's doctrine be true, that Christ died for all men, then a minister may say to the vilest impenitent person, were he Judas or worse, Christ died for thee. And by the way, I wonder that Independents can hold forth Christ to all men in a sermon, saying, Come whoremaster, drunkard, &c. Christ died for thee; and yet refuse to give the Lord's Supper to scandalous persons, saying unto them, Christ died for thee. 2. Our Savior would not have holy things given to dogs, nor pearls to swine, Matthew 7:6. Now wicked and impenitent persons, appearing incorrigible, are dogs and sine; and Christ, whether given in the word, or in the sacrament, is a holy thing, and a pearl. Wherefore a minister may not give Christ to an incorrigible wicked man, saying, Christ died for thee. 3. Saint Paul preached the word concerning Christ's death at Antioch, Acts 13:14, 16, 27, 38, where being a mixed multitude of sheep and goats, of wheat and tares, he directs his speech unto the sheep and wheat, not unto the goats and tares; for he spoke, as he said, To those that fear God, Acts 13:16, 26, and so soon as some of his auditors appeared to be goats and tares, and such as feared not God, he turned away from them, and carried away the Gospel unto the Gentiles, refusing to preach the word of Christ unto them, Acts 13:45, 46, and see Acts 19:9, whereby you see, Saint Paul, a minister of Christ, would not deliver the word concerning Christ's death, unto wicked men, and such as feared not God.
It may be objected that Saint Paul said, It was necessary, that this word should first be preached unto them, that is, unto those goats and tares, the obstinate Jews, Acts 13:46. And so Paul preached of Christ's death, as well to wicked men as to the godly. Hereunto I answer, 1. As the husbandman bestows the same pains upon the tares as upon the wheat, before the tares appear to him to be tares, so the Apostle might preach Christ to the wicked, as well as to the godly, they being together in a mixed assembly, before the wicked appeared to him to be wicked :but yet as the husbandman takes pains for the wheat's sake, and not for the tares' sake; so Paul might preach Christ, for the sake of the godly sake, and not for the sake of the wicked: and it is evident in the text to be so: for Paul directs his speech unto the godly in the assembly, to those that feared God, Acts 1:16, 26, excluding the wicked: For when in an assembly, there are both godly and wicked, if the minister directs his speech to the godly, he excludes the wicked; or if he directs a use to the wicked, he excludes the godly. 2. So soon as these tares, the obstinate Jews, appeared to Paul to be tares, as you see, he refused to preach Christ unto them, Acts 13:45, and 46. And for the same cause, had he known them at the first to be tares, and if he could have separated them from the assembly of the godly, he would not have preached Christ unto them at the first. True it is, Paul says, it was necessary that the word should be preached unto them: for it could not be avoided, being they were mixed with the godly, and did not at first appear to be tares: it was therefore necessary for Paul to preach unto them, with the godly at the first, though he intended not his doctrine to be for them. Thus I have proved my assumption: and so the conclusion follows thus,
Therefore Christ did not give or deliver himself to death for all men: or, Christ died not for all men. So much for my first argument.
If Christ would not pray for all men, then Christ would not die for all men. The reason thereof is this; if Christ would not do the lesser for all men, then he would not do the greater for all men. If Christ would not offer to God, the calves of his lips for all men, then he would not offer to God the sacrifice of his precious body and blood for all men. If Christ would not bestow so much love upon all men as to pray for them, then would he not bestow so much love upon all men as to die, and to shed his heart blood for them. In a word, if Christ would exclude some men from his prayers, surely he meant to exclude them from his bitter death and passion. So much for my proposition.
But Christ would not pray for all men. For proof hereof see John 17:8, 9, where believers are distinguished from the world, that is, from the world of unbelievers; and for these men who then did believe, Christ prayed, saying, I pray for them, verse 9, and Christ prayed also for those men, who should afterwards to the world's end believe in him, verse 20. But for the world, that is, for the world of unbelievers, Christ would not vouchsafe so much as to pray to God for them, saying, I pray not for the world, verse 9. So much for proof of my assumption, and so my conclusion follows.
Therefore Christ would not die for all men. And by consequence, Christ did not die for all men. For look what Christ would not do, that he did not do: unless we should imagine, that Christ's will, and his actions, were contrary one to the other: or, that he did do that, which he did not first will to do.
Arminians in their Acta Synodalia, de Morte Christi, page 319, do answer my assumption, and my text brought to prove it thus: Christ says not that he would not pray for the world, that is, that he would never afterwards pray for them; but he says that he doth not pray for the world, that is, that he doth not for that present time pray for them; or that he doth not in this particular prayer, John 17:9, pray for them. Hereunto I thus reply.
1. Though I shall prove by and by, that there is more in Christ's words than Arminians do grant, yet this which they do grant is sufficient to make good my argument. For this is in the text, and they grant it, that Christ said, He did not pray for the world, that is, at that time and in that particular prayer, he did not pray for them: from which it doth undeniably follow, that as he did not then pray for them, so he would not then pray for them; or it was his will, at that time and in that prayer, not to pray for them, but to exclude them from his prayer, and from the benefit thereof. This I thus make good.
A wise man's actions and words do flow from his understanding and his will; and his words and deeds are regulated and governed by his will; so as what he does or speaks, the same he first willed; and what he refuses to do or speak, the same he wills, or wills not to do or speak, I say, being a man's actions and words are regulated by his will, both in his speech, and in his silence refusing to speak, whensoever he is so silent, as that he refuses to speak, it is manifest that it is his will to be silent, and to refuse to speak: wherefore when Christ said, I pray not, or I do not now in this prayer pray for the world; hereby it is evident, that at that time his will, was not to pray for them; but that his will was against it, or his will was against praying for them at that time: because he willed silence at this time, and refused to pray for them in this prayer.
When a father having ten sons, says, I give unto my nine elder sons, a hundred pounds each, but is silent saying nothing of his tenth or youngest son, suppose it will not hence follow that the father's mind and will was to deny him, and to refuse to give him a hundred pounds. Yet it is otherwise in this case. For when the father says, I give a hundred pounds to each of my nine elder sons, but as for my tenth and youngest son, who is a wicked man, a riotous and prodigal son, I give him nothing; here it is manifest, that the father's will was to exclude the youngest son, and to be unwilling at that time that he should have a hundred pounds. So our Savior, having many good and godly followers, who were believers, says, I pray for them, John 17:9, and for all them, John 17:20, but as for the world, that is, for impenitent and unbelieving men, I pray not for them, John 17:9. Here it is clear, that as he did not then pray for them, so he would not at that time pray for them: for he voluntarily excluded them from his prayer, when he prayed for others.
Such negative speeches as this in John 17:9 are voluntary denials, refusals, or exclusions; not only signifying a thing not done, but also a will not to do it, as you may see, John 8:11, 50 and 13:18, Galatians 2:2.
Thus it is proved, that as Christ did not in that prayer pray for the world, so it was not his will but against his will, then to pray for them. Now hence it follows, that if at any time Christ did voluntarily refuse to pray for any men, then he would not die for them: and so you see, that from what Arminians do grant, my argument is made good: but I shall further prove, more to be in Christ's words, than what they grant, and thus I prove it.
2. As Christ did not pray for the world, and also as is proved, Christ would not at that time and in that prayer pray for them; so it is gatherable from the text and context, that Christ would never afterwards pray for them; which Arminians deny, and this I here prove: Christ's prayer, though uttered and made then, yet the virtue and extent of it lasted after, or unto the death of that present world of impenitent wicked men. For as Christ's prayer, once made for the godly, extends itself for their good, unto their death, John 17:9, 11, 15, 21, 24, so Christ's exclusion of that wicked world, from the benefit of his prayer once, must be an exclusion of them for ever after: unless it could be shown, that after Christ's prayer, that wicked world converted and believed, which cannot be shown. Now if this wicked world were ever after the same, why should Christ alter his mind towards them? Why should he pray for them afterwards, more than he did before? I cannot but marvel, that Arminians should grant that once Christ did not pray for the world, and yet suppose that afterwards he did pray for them; and yet have no ground for this supposed thing.
2. The ground and reason of Christ's prayer, will clear it up, that as he did not for the present pray for the world, so he would not for the future pray for them; or so he would never after pray for them. The reason why Christ prayed for believers, was because they believed in him, John 17:8, 9, 20, and because they were God's people, for they are thine, John 17:9, and because God the Father had given them to Christ, John 17:9. On the contrary, the reason why Christ prayed not for the world, must needs be, because they were worldlings, wicked, and impenitent persons, unbelievers, and were none of God's people, nor given to Christ. Now this being the cause, why Christ refused to pray for them at that present time, John 17:9, for the same cause, Christ could never pray for them afterwards. For many of that wicked world, lived and died impenitently, and in unbelief, Luke 7:30, John 3:19, Acts 13:45, 46, 50, Luke 19:41, 42, Romans 9:27, 31, 32, II Corinthians 3:14, 15, Mark 4:11, 12. If their unbelief hindered Christ's prayer at that time, John 17:9, it must forever after hinder his prayer, because many of them were ever after unbelievers, and the very same men as before, when Christ refused to pray for them.
So much for my second argument.
If Christ so loved all men, as to give himself and die for all men; then would he have caused the Gospel to be preached to all men; by means whereof, they should have knowledge of his death, and might believe in him, so as to be the better for his death. This I prove.
1. He that wills the end, also wills the means tending unto it, and whereby it must be obtained: the end and the proper or necessary means cannot be separated: Christ's death for men, is the end, the preaching of Christ's death in the Gospel, is the means for men to know it, and to believe in him, so as to be the better for it: wherefore, if Christ so loved all men, as to die and give himself for them, he could not but out of the same love, have given them knowledge of it by preaching, which is the means of faith, that so they might partake of the benefit of his death.
2. If Christ out of his love, John 3:16 and 15:3, died for all men, then if he would not give all men knowledge of it, whereby they might apply it to themselves, or believe in him, that so they might be the better for his death; then he is like a Physician, pretending the greatest love possible to cure his friend, by preparing and making a most sovereign potion for him; but sets it behind or under the bed, or in some secret corner of the chamber, where it is impossible for the sick man to find it. All this is but a pretense of love. For if it were true love, he would have set it where the sick man should have knowledge of it, or he would have given him knowledge of it, that so he might make use of it for his health: so if Christ had died for all men, all men should have known it, and must have had it preached unto them, that they might make use of it for salvation.
3. They may as well say, God intends by ordinary means, to save a man's natural life, and yet deny him food, as to say, Christ intended to die for the salvation of all men, and yet deny them the knowledge of it by the Gospel preached. So much for my major.
But Christ neither would nor hath caused the Gospel to be preached to all men; whereby they should be brought to faith, and be the better for his death. This I thus prove, 1. The Gospel is not in these days preached to many Indians, and barbarous nations. 2. In old time before us, the Gospel, or anything of Christ, was not preached to millions of Gentiles, Psalm 147:19, 20, Acts 10:12, 28 and 16:6, 7, Ephesians 2:11 — 14. 3. Christ preached to some men in parables, and darkly, to this end, that they should not obtain remission of sins, and be the better for his death, Mark 4:11, 12. So much for my minor; and the conclusion follows.
Therefore Christ did not so love all men, as to give himself, and to die for all men.
Before I am done with this argument, I must answer an objection, which my reader may make; and confute an answer, which the Arminians do make. The objection is this: You said in your argument that Christ would not have the word concerning his death (which is the Gospel) to be preached to the wicked, impenitent, and unbelieving men: and here in this third argument, you say, that the Gospel ought to be preached to all men; and among all men, are many wicked men, &c. Hereunto I answer, that this is no contradiction: for in my first argument, I spoke absolutely and as the truth is; but here in my third argument, I speak not absolutely, but conditionally, with an if: as, if Christ died for all men, then the Gospel must be preached to all men, be they godly or wicked: so this I speak but upon a supposition of the truth of the Arminian tenet, which if it be true, then this follows, that the Gospel must be preached to all men, good and bad. So much of this objection: and now I come to the answer of Arminians, which is this.
The Arminians in their Acta Synodalia, de Morte Christi, page 327, 328, do answer this my third argument thus: that a limitation is to be added to my major, and then my minor will be false. And so they frame it anew, and limit it thus: If Christ so loved all men, as to die for all men; then would he have caused the Gospel to be actually preached to all men; or else be prepared and in readiness to have it preached, so soon as men be fitted to receive it.
The better to color this limitation, they make a twofold calling, a common or general calling, and a special calling. By the general calling, they understand the law and light of nature, as the natural knowledge that there is a God, and of the law of God, to which men owe obedience: now to him that uses this aright, God is prepared to communicate unto him his special calling, which is, the preaching of the Gospel: so the well using of that, is a preparing of men for this: and the reason why many men are denied the Gospel, is their own fault, because they do abuse the light of nature, or the general calling. So then God's will is, to have the Gospel preached actually to all men that are fitted for it; and is prepared to have it preached to others, so soon as they be fitted for it, and do not put a bar in the way to hinder God, by their evil deserts, and unfittedness.
Hereunto I thus reply: I will not contend about this order and method of God, that first he wills all men, to make good use of the law and light of nature; and then and not before, to vouchsafe the Gospel to them; be this true or false, I will not question it, but rather grant it for argument sake. Yet this I deny, (though it be never so true in itself) that this limitation shall be added to my major, That God is prepared to have the Gospel preached to men, so soon as men be fitted for it and not before; for this is an absurd limitation: and it is to maintain one error by another, the which I make thus appear.
1. They say, as it is implied in the antecedent part of my major, that Christ died for all men: and then they would add to it this, that some of those men are not fit to know it, or not fitted to hear of it and receive it (for this is implied in their limitation.) Now is not this an absurd thing to be added? as first to hold, that Christ died for all men, and then to add this, that some of those men are not fit to hear of it, or to know it? This were intolerable, if it were held, that though men be unfit to know it at some one time of their lives, yet they should be fit at some other time before death; but forasmuch as men abuse the light of nature all their lives long, and so die impenitently, therefore they must hold, that many men are never fit, to hear of or know, what Christ hath done for them. And is it not absurd to say, Christ died for many men, who are not, nor ever shall be fit to know it? or Christ died for many, who shall never be fit to know what he hath done for them? Are they fitted for Christ to die for them, and not fitted to know he died for them?
This conceit is like unto this; A man pays a ransom, to redeem one from captivity or prison, but the prisoner or captive is not fit to hear or know of it, so long as he lives. Or it is like unto this:A physician makes an excellent and healthful potion or cordial for his sick patient, but adds this, saying, He shall know of it so soon as he is fit to know of it and to receive it, when he knows the patient shall never be fit so long as he lives. Is this not absurd? Therefore, if they will hold, that Christ died for all men, they must hold also, that they are fit to know and hear of it, which being so, this is a frivolous and absurd limitation, to add saying, or else God and Christ be prepared to cause the Gospel to be preached to men, so soon as they be fitted to receive it.
2. Christ foresaw, that many men in the world, would never make a good use of the law and light of nature, whereby to be fitted to know of his death. If therefore this was no hindrance for Christ to die for them, then this is no hindrance for the Gospel to be preached to them: for there is as good a reason for the one as for the other: yea the reason is stronger, to think men's unfitness should rather hinder Christ to die for them, than to hinder a sermon of Christ's death to be preached to them: for Christ's blood is of more value, than a minister's words and breath. Wherefore, if Christ died for all men, then are all men fit to hear of it: and so this limitation of fitness is frivolous.
Furthermore, those whom Christ died for, those he loved infinitely, and unspeakably, John 3:16 and 15:13. Now if it be true, as Arminians say, that Christ died for all men, then he infinitely and unspeakably loved all men, even those who abused the general call, the light of nature, albeit he foresaw they would live and die in the abuse of it: and was his love so hot and strong to these men, as to pass by this abuse, when he shed his heart's blood for them; and was it become so cold and weak to them afterward, as to stick at it and not pass it by, when he thought of causing a sermon of his death to be preached to them, whereby they might be the better for his death? Was Christ's love so hot, as to require no fitness in them, when he died for them, and was it become so cold afterward, as to stick at these men's unfitness to hear a sermon of his death? Surely, if nothing in these men could hinder Christ to die for them; then nothing in them, can hinder a sermon of Christ to be preached to them. If there needed no qualification in them, to render them fit for Christ to die for them, then there needs be no qualification in them, to fit them to hear a sermon of Christ: unless you suppose more virtue or dignity to be in a sermon of Christ, than is in the blood of Christ. so you see, this limitation of fitness is vain.
3. To say, Christ died for all men, and then to add this unto it, that they shall not have the Gospel (which is a necessary means of obtaining the end of Christ's death) preached unto them, unless they be fit for it, or until they be fitted to receive it, is a very absurd addition and limitation as you have seen: so it is also as absurd to say, God or Christ is prepared and in a readiness, to have the Gospel preached so soon as men be fitted for it. For there be thousands of Indians and others, who live and die in the abuse of the law and light of nature, and so are never fit for the Gospel, and who never heard the Gospel. Now, can it be truly said, that God or Christ hath prepared himself, to use and apply means unto such, as never will be capable of the mean? and unto such, as he well knows and foresees will never be capable of it? Did ever any wise man prepare himself to do anything, which he foresees shall never be done? And yet such a preparation Arminians do ascribe unto the wise God. Will a physician prepare himself to give medicine to a dead man, or to one whom he knows will never be fit to take it? Moreover, if this fitness be required, then thus I reason: God not only foresees that many will never be fit for the Gospel, but also is resolved in himself, that the Gospel shall never be preached to them; because he foresees, they shall and will live and die unfitted. Now can it be said, that God is prepared to do that thing, which he is resolved in himself shall never be done? You may as well say, God is prepared to save the reprobate angels and devils. Thus you see, there is cause enough for me to reject this limitation and addition to my major. Wherefore my argument must stand as I framed it, without their addition. And then it is strong and good to prove, that Christ died not for all men; and it is unanswerable, their answer being confuted. So far of my third argument.
If God the Son, died for the sins of all men, then God the Father will justify the persons, and pardon the sins of all men. But God the Father will not justify the persons, and pardon the sins of all men: for if he should, then all men should be saved, Mark 16:16, Luke 13:3, Revelation 21:8. Therefore God the Son, did not die for the sins of all men.
As for my major, thus I prove it. 1. Arminians say that by the word world, John 3:16, we are to understand all men in the world. Now if God the Father so exceedingly loved all men, as to give his only begotten Son to die for them, John 3:16, then he can do no less than justify the persons, and pardon the sins of all men; because, 1. He loved all men: and he gave his Son for none other end, but for all men to obtain justification, and pardon of sin. Now surely, God will not loose his love, nor fail of his end, nor waste and spill in vain, the blood of his only Son: all which he should do, if he should not justify all men, after he had given his Son for them, and to justify them. If it be in his power, will any wise man loose his love, be frustrated of his end, and spend all his labor and cost in vain?
2. Christ is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, John 1:29. Now if Christ hath taken away by his death, the sins of the world, that is, (as Arminians say) of all men; then God the Father cannot retain their sins: those men's sins which are removed or taken away, cannot be unpardoned or remain upon them: wherefore if Christ died for all men, and hath taken away the sins of all men, then surely God the Father, hath or will justify and pardon the sins of all men, or else, Christ that Lamb hath not taken away their sins.
3. If God the Father, gave Christ his Son, to die and pacify his wrath for the sins of all men, John 3:16, then God the Father, cannot but accept his Son's death; it being according to his own will, and being his own gift. And if he accepts of it, then his wrath must needs be pacified for the sins of all men, and so he cannot deny to justify all men, and pardon their sins.
4. God the Father, in giving his Son, and God the Son, in giving himself, both aimed at one and the same end, namely justification and pardon of sin; and both aimed at the same persons for obtaining this end: or else, God the Father, and God the Son, were not both of one mind, but of diverse or contrary minds. Wherefore, if God the Son died to obtain pardon of sins for all men, then God the Father, will vouchsafe pardon of sins to all men.
5. If God should not justify all those men, for whom Christ died, he should be unjust: for Christ gave himself to death, as a ransom for all men, as Arminians say, I Timothy 2:6, a ransom is the full price for the redemption of a prisoner or captive. Now when a King takes a ransom for a thousand captives, if he deliver not them all and every one, he is unjust. So God the Father, having taken and received at the hands of Christ, a full price and ransom for the sins of all men, as Arminians say, he should be unjust, if he should not set free from sin, all and every man in the world. Furthermore, if God shall not justify and set free all men, there will be fraud and folly imputed to God and Christ. For where there is fair and honest dealing, the buyer and the seller are agreed upon the same terms, as if the buyer intends to have so many in number, be it ten, twenty, a hundred, or a thousand, the seller intends the same number also, and the same persons: or else there is fraud in the one, and folly in the other. Now Christ is the purchaser, and if he intended by his death to ransom all men, then God the Father, must intend the same, and must justify and deliver from wrath even all men. He must in justice deliver as many as Christ bought, and the same persons, that is, all men in the world; or else, you impute fraud and folly to God and to Christ.
I shall enlarge myself upon this last argument, by descending to some particulars, as thus: If God shall not justify and save eternally Judas, Pharaoh, Cain, Corah and his wicked company, for whom Christ died, as say Arminians, then he shall be very unjust. This I thus prove: If Christ died for Judas, Pharaoh, and other abominable wicked men, then have they suffered in this life, the full wrath of God for all their sins, and have made a sufficient and perfect satisfaction to God's justice already here. For though they suffered not in this life in their own persons, yet if it be true that Christ died for them, then they suffered in the person of Christ, when in this life he died on the cross for them, which is to be reckoned as their own death and suffering. This I thus prove: Look what a man's Surety performs for him, that is reckoned as done by himself, as when my Surety pays my debt, it is reckoned as my payment, for thereby I am discharged. So if Christ paid the debt of Judas, Pharaoh, and the rest, it is as if they had paid it in their own persons: and so they must be discharged. Hence it follows,
That since Judas and others have suffered in the person of Christ, which is to be reckoned as their own suffering, 1. That Judas and Pharaoh have made a full and perfect satisfaction to God's justice for all their ins, having suffered in this life the second death, and hell with the pains thereof, or what is equivalent thereunto. 2. That God must in justice, justify and save this wicked crew eternally, or else he will be an unjust judge. for he shall punish one sin twice, once in Christ the Surety, and once again in Judas the principal. So much for proof of my major, as for my minor, it needs no proof, it being so clear.
Arminians do answer thus to my major: That it follows not, that if Christ died for all men, then God must justify and save all men. For God may interpose the condition of faith to go between Christ's death for Judas and others, and the act of God's justification. And so Christ died for all men, yet God will not justify any of them, unless they first believe.
1. It is absurd to suppose that God would put in a condition after he hath taken a ransom and payment of a full price. Conditions are always made before the price is paid, but never after the price is paid and received. What man that sells house or land doth put in a condition after he hath received his money? Wherefore, since Arminians will not have the condition of faith to go before Christ's death, it is too late to put in this condition after Christ's death. For by his death, the ransom and price is fully paid and received; paid by Christ, and received by God the Father.
2. If Christ died for Judas and all men considered absolutely as sinners and without faith, as Arminians hold, then God the Father must justify Judas and all men considered absolutely as sinners and without faith, and so the condition of faith cannot be interposed. For the buyer and seller (if there be fair dealings between them, so as one doth not over reach the other,) are both agreed upon the same terms; so as if the buyer purchases and pays the price without any condition, then the seller that takes the price must give up the thing bought and paid for, without any condition. And so God cannot be said to put in the condition of faith, between Christ's death and the act of justification.
3. Since Arminians hold that Christ died for all men as sinners, and without the condition of faith, God cannot in justice require the condition of faith before he will justify them; for if he shall require it, then many thousands for whom Christ died, dying without faith, must be damned, and suffer for their sins eternally in the next life. Now if Christ died for them in this life, and suffered for them, and in their room, stead and place, then God shall be unjust to punish these men for their sins in the next life, though they die without faith. For so he shall punish one sin twice, once in Christ their Surety, and once in themselves the principal. Since Judas hath suffered for his sins, in the person of Christ in this life, God shall be an unjust judge to punish Judas for his sins in the next life, though he hath no faith. For God hath, as they say, punish the sins of Judas in the person of Christ, and therefore he shall be unjust to punish him also in his own person. It is extreme injustice to require a debt both of the Surety, and also of the principal. Wherefore, Judas, his debt being paid to God by Christ, God cannot in justice require the condition of faith of him, so as for want of it to damn him, and to cause him to suffer for his sins in the next life, and so to pay his own debt in his own person. For so God should require one debt to be twice paid. And so you see, that the condition of faith cannot be interposed betwixt Christ's death, and justification; since God in justice must justify and set free from the debt of punishment, all those men whose debt Christ hath paid, whether they believe or not believe. When God looks upon Judas, as having suffered in the person of Christ, he cannot but see his justice fully satisfied, and therefore cannot but justify and free him, believing or not believing. Wherefore, to interpose the condition of faith, is to make God an unjust judge.
4. I shall here add one thing, which will both strengthen my major, and also confute their answer. They say that Christ died for all men, and therefore they must so generally understand the text II Corinthians 5:15 which says He died for all, &c. Now all those Christ died for, those he reconciled unto God his father. He is the reconciliation not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world, I John 2:2. And all those who Christ died for, II Corinthians 5:15, God the Father reconciled unto himself, II Corinthians 5:19. God was in Christ, and reconciled the world to himself, that is, God was in Christ when he died on the cross for the sins of all men, and reconciled them unto himself. Now as God reconciled all men, or the world, so he justified them all. For the text says, He did not impute their sins unto them, II Corinthians 5:19. Furthermore, reconciliation, doth presuppose justification to go before. For the party offended is not said to be reconciled until he hath first forgiven the offense and the offender. So then the world which Christ died for, the same world God justified. Thus you see my major confirmed.
Next to confute their answer. Faith cannot be interposed betwixt Christ's death and God's justification, so as to hinder any man for whom Christ died from justification: because those whom Christ died for, I John 2:2, II Corinthians 5:15, those God justified, not imputing their sins unto them, II Corinthians 5:19, and those God reconciled unto himself, II Corinthians 5:19, So faith cannot be any condition, so as to hinder any man by want of it, for whom Christ died, from justification: because those Christ died for, all those God reconciled and justified. If Christ died for Judas, then God justified Judas. Yet Judas had no faith interposed betwixt impetration and application, for he was no believer. If Arminians say that Christ died for all men, then Paul says that God justified all men, and I may say, God justifies them whether they believe or not believe; for faith cannot be interposed. So much for my fourth argument.
If Christ died for all men, then God the Father loved all men, and that with a special and incomparable love. My reason here is, because God the Father gave his Son, yea his only Son to death for them. Now for a Father to deliver up his Son, yea his only Son, for a man, this demonstrates love to that man, yea matchless love. See a text for it, John 3:16, God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c. What greater love than this did ever God show to the world, than when he gave his only begotten Son to die for them?
But God the Father did not love all men, with a special and incomparable love. This I thus prove: Because there are, and ever were many unbelieving wicked and impenitent men in the world, who lived and died in God's hatred. I have loved Jacob, and have hated Esau, Romans 9:13, and see Romans 9:22. The wicked, and him that loveth iniquity, doth his soul hate, Psalm 11:5. Thou hatest them that work iniquity, Psalm 5:5, 6.
Therefore Christ did not die for all men.
To avoid the strength of this argument, Arminians perhaps will answer thus, that God loved all men as sinners, but hated them as impenitent sinners, &c. Hereunto I reply, that this is a distinction unheard of, and nowhere grounded in the Scriptures that I know of, and therefore it is to be rejected. That God loves all men, as his creatures, may pass as a sound position; but that God loves all men, as sinners, and that with anincomparable and matchless love, is to me most unsound. For a thing considered as evil, is no object of love, but of hatred. And so much for my fifth argument.
Thus I have by five arguments proved, that Christ died not for all men; and so I have finished the first thing propounded at the beginning, and now I come to the second, which is to make answer unto the texts of Scripture, brought by Arminians to prove that Christ died for all men.
John 3:16 God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c.
By this text Arminians would prove, that Christ died for all men. And for this end, they urge the word world in the text; which they will needs have generally and universally taken, so as to signify all men in the world, whether good or bad, believers or unbelievers: so as Christ should die for all men in the largest sense.
1. I take it for a great weakness in Arminians, to build so confidently upon the word world, urging that it must be taken here, for all men in the world. Who does not know, that knows anything in Scripture, that general words are very often used by holy pen-men particularly? The general word all, is often used particularly for some, or for many, as in Matthew 3:5, I Corinthians 1:5 and 13:2, 7 and 9:25 and 6:12 and 10:23, 33. Many examples may be given for other words also, but passing by them, I shall instance in the word in question.
The word world, is sometimes taken for all men in the world, as in Romans 5:12, and sometimes it is taken for all men in the world, excepting eight persons, as in II Peter 3:6, I Peter 3:20. The world that then was perished, over-flowed with water: and sometimes it is taken for the most men in the world, as in II Corinthians 4:4, John 15:18, 19 and 17:9. The god of this world hath blinded the minds, &c. and sometimes it is taken for a lesser number of men in the world, as in Acts 17:6, John 12:19. These are they which have subverted the state of the world. And, Behold the world goeth after him. Now since this word is so variously used, how can they be so confident as to aver, that it must be taken in the largest sense?
My answer therefore is, that as the word world is sometimes taken for the lesser number of men in the world, which are disciples and followers of Christ, as in John 12:19, so it may be taken in their text alleged, John 3:16, for believers, who are the lesser number of this world, and this is my first answer.
2. I shall prove, that the word world, is used for believers only: and then it will follow, that as there is a world of the wicked, so there is a world of believers also. For this end,
See John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. Though Arminians say, that Christ, this Lamb of God, died for the sins of the world, and for all men, by way of impetration; yet they hold, that Christ hath not justified, or procured justification for all men in the world, by way of application; nor for any men but for believers only. Now this text speaks of taking away the sins of the world, which is no less, than to procure justification, and to make application of Christ's death, by freeing men from their sins. And therefore this text is not to be understood of the world of all men, but of believers only, and of the world of believers. For no men's sins are taken away, but believers' only, see II Corinthians 5:19. God was in Christ, and reconciled the world unto himself, not imputing their sins unto them. Here the world that were reconciled and justified, their sins being not imputed, was not the world of all men, but of believers only. It was the world of believers only, unless you will say, all men in the world are justified.
See Romans 11:12, 15. If the fall of them be the riches of the world, &c. Again, If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, &c. Here by the world, is not meant all men in the world, but the Gentiles only. For the Jews are not comprised in the word, nor are all Gentiles comprised therein, but only the believing Gentiles. For the fall of the Jews was no riches to unbelieving Gentiles, nor was the casting away of the Jews, the reconciling of unbelieving Gentiles. And that it is spoken of believing Gentiles may further appear by these words in Romans 11:11. Through their fall, salvation unto the Gentiles, Romans 11:17. Some of the branches be broken off, and thou a wild olive tree, was grafted in, and made partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, Romans 11:20. Through unbelief they are broken off, thou standest by faith.
See John 6:33. The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Here by the word world, we must understand believers, and the world of believers. For Christ giveth not life to unbelievers.
Thus by four texts I have proved, that the word world, is often used for believers, and for the world of believers. Now from hence my answer is this, that since the word world is often used for believers, and for the world of believers, therefore this their alleged text John 3:16, may be understood of believers only, and of the world of believers. And this is my second answer.
3. I shall here prove, not only (as before) that by the word world, believers, and the believing world may be meant, but that they are and must be meant, and this is evident by the text and context.
For this is a rule, that general words are to be restrained according to the matter in hand. Now the matter in hand, or the persons handled and spoken of, are believers. This you may see clearly expressed in John 3:15, 15. That whosoever believeth in him, &c. verse 16. Wherefore believers, being the persons spoken of, the general word world, is to be restrained to believers.
The question or main thing labored to prove and cleared is, that believers shall not perish, but have life eternal, as you may see John 3:15. To prove and amplify this, St. John brings a reason in the next verse, John 3:16, as you may see by the particle (for, or because.) For, God so loved the world, that he hath given His only Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have life eternal; which is as if he had said, believers shall not perish, as the question is in verse 15. For, God so loved believers, or the world of believers, as to give his only son for them, that whosoever doth, will, or shall hereafter believe in him, shall not perish, as it is in the reason alleged in verse 16. I confess, the word believeth, or according to the original believing, is in the present tense or time, but it must be understood of all tenses and times, past, present, and to come. So as God's love in Christ, was to them that did believe before Christ's time, to them that do believe in Christ's time, and to them that shall or will believe after Christ's time. This is added to prevent an Arminian objection, saying if by world, believers be meant, then the word whosoever, implies a distinction, as if there were two sorts of believers, one believing, the other not believing at one and the same time. But the word whosoever may be understood distributively or distinctly, of believers before Christ's time, of believers in Christ's time, and of believers after Christ's time, to the world's end. But to return, for as much as the question and thing to be amplified, was the salvation of believers, verse 15, it is not reasonable, to understand the reason and amplification brought to confirm it in verse 16, of any other persons than believers. It were impertinent to argue thus, Believers shall not perish; for, or because, God loved the world of all men and gave Christ his Son for all men: this is to prove a special and peculiar mercy belonging unto some men only, by an argument which is general, and belongs to all men. Now by the same argument, it may as soundly be proved, that not only believers shall not perish, but also that no man in the world shall perish; for, or because God loved the world of all men, and gave Christ his Son for all men: And so you see, that by the word world, believers and the world of believers only, must of necessity be meant.
The text says, God so loved the world: now it is clear, that God doth not love all men in the world, with such a peculiar, matchless, and incomparable kind of love, as the text speaks of: for there are many thousands of men in the world, which God is so far from loving, as that the Scriptures say expressly that God hates them. Esau have I hated, Romans 9:13, 22, Proverbs 16:5, 6:16 — 19, Psalm 5:5, 6 and 11:5. Wherefore, since God loved not all men in the world with an incomparable love, therefore by the word world in John 3:16 cannot be meant, all men in the world: nor any besides believers: for God so loved them only.
4. Arminians may as well say and hold, that all men in the world shall be justified and saved eternally; as to say and hold, that Christ died for all men in the world: for it is said, II Corinthians 5:19, God was in Christ, and reconciled the world to himself, not imputing their sins. If here the word world be largely taken, after the fashion of Arminians, then all the men in the world, are reconciled to God, and their sins forgiven, or not imputed unto them; and then they must be eternally saved. And see Romans 11:15. The casting away of the Jews, was the reconciling of the world. And see I John 2:2, he is the reconciliation for our sins; and not for our only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And see John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. If by the word world, they will understand all men, then they must hold also, that all men in the world are reconciled to God, justified, and their sins taken away: and this is my last answer to their text John 3:16. And so I come to answer another of their texts. I John 2:2 And he is the reconciliation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Here again they urge the word world: and say it must be taken in the largest sense, for all men in the world. For the text says, not only the world, as in John 3:16, but the whole world, to note universality.
2. The text says, not for our sins only, that is, not for our sins only who are believers; but also for the sins of the whole world, that is, for the sins of unbelievers as well as believers: and so all men in the world, both believers and unbelievers, even the whole world are here meant.
Enough hath been said in my former answer, touching the word world; showing that it is often taken, not for all men, but for some, and for many men in the world, and for the world of believers; and so in this last sense it may be taken in this text, I John 2:2.
But whereas they urge us in this text, with the word whole, in that St. John says the whole world, this will nothing mend their cause. For as the word world, is often used for some, or for many men in the world, so are these words, the whole world: For this end note, 1. That other expressions equivalent to this, and of as large extent as this, yet are not to be taken in the largest sense, but are used for many in the world, as in Isaiah 23:17 and 34:1, Lamentations 4:12, Colossians 1:6, Mark 16:15. Secondly, these very words in question, namely the whole world, are used for many in the world: as in Romans 1:8, your faith is published throughout the whole world. It is not credible, that every particular man and woman in the whole world, had heard of the faith of these Romans.
And see I John 5:19. We know that we are of God, and this whole world lieth in wickedness. If the whole world here mentioned, be so taken in the Arminian sense, for all and every man in the world, how could St. John exempt himself and other godly persons living then with him, from lying in wickedness? So you see, that by these words, the whole world, is not always meant all and every particular man and woman in the world. Arminians may as well say that St. John says, John 5:19, that all men then living were wicked men, and none godly; as to say, that the same Apostle in I John 2:2 says, that Christ died for all men in the whole world, none excepted: for St. John mentions the whole world, in both texts. So much for answer to their first inference from the text.
As for their second inference from this text, it is built upon a needless and groundless exposition of the text. For thus they expound it. He is the reconciliation for our sins; that is, for the sins of us believers now living in the world: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, that is, not for our sins only who are believers now living in the world, but also for the sins of unbelievers now living in the world: and so he is a reconciliation for the sins of the whole world now living, both believers and unbelievers. To this I thus answer.
For them to expound the text, as belonging to wicked and ungodly men and unbelievers, must needs be a false exposition: for it makes God and Christ to express their singular, matchless, and incomparable love, unto such men, as they foresaw would live and die in their wickedness, hatred of God, impenitency, and unbelief: now the Scriptures inform us, that God is so far off from loving such men, as that he hateth and abhoreth them, Psalm 5:5, 6, 11:5. Wherefore the text must not be enlarged unto unbelievers.
2. The enlargement of Christ's death and reconciliation, at the end of the verse, may very well and safely be understood of believers only, after this manner: He is the reconciliation not only for our sins, who are believing Jews; but also for the sins of the whole world of believers, both Jews and Gentiles: or thus, He is the reconciliation not only for our sins, who are believers now living; but also for the sins of the whole world of believers, living before our time, in our time, or that shall believe hereafter. The death and reconciliation of Christ, is to be extended unto all times past, present, and to come. Jesus Christ is yesterday, and today, and the same forever, Hebrews 13:8. Thus you see, how this text may well be understood, not of all men, but of believers only: and this sense suits well with the context, and matter in hand, or with the persons spoken of, who are believers only, as you may see, I John 2:1, 3. And so I come to their third text.
I Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all men, &c. Lo, here say they, it is clearly expressed, that Christ died, and gave himself to death, not for some men only, but for all men: and it is evident also by the context, that this word all, must be universally taken and in the largest sense: for so it is taken in verse 1. I exhort that prayers be made for all men, verse 2, and for that are in authority, verse 4, who will that all men shall be saved, and come unto the acknowledging of the truth.
Here again, you see the weakness of Arminians, in that they build so confidently upon the word all; as if they had never read or heard, that this word all is very often used in Scripture particularly, for some, or for many: as in Matthew 3:5. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region about Jordan, and were baptized, &c. Matthew 4:23, Jesus, &c. healed all or every sickness, all or every disease, &c. Romans 15:13 The God of hope fill you with all joy, &c. but carnal joy is not prayed for here, and see I Corinthians 1:5 and 13:7 and 9:25 and 10:33, 23 and 6:12, Philippians 2:21, III John 12. Thus you see, how the word all, in I Timothy 2:6 may be understood of all that are believers; who are not all men in the world, but some only, or many.
Whereas they endeavor to prove by the context, that the word all must be taken in the largest sense; because it is so taken in the former verses: my answer is, that the matter in the first six verses is not one and the same, but diverse. In verses 1 and 2 the matter is about good government, but in verse 4, 5, 6, the matter is about man's salvation. Now since the matter is diverse, therefore the word all may be diversely understood, as universally in verses 1 and 2, and particularly for some, in verses 4, 5, and 6. And this is usual in expounding Scripture, to take the word all generally in some matter treated of, and particularly in some other matter treated of.
Whereas they urge the fourth verse, who will that all men shall be saved; my answer is, that here the word all must not be taken in the largest sense for God will not have all and every man to be saved. For he wills not the salvation of reprobates, impenitent, and unbelieving persons, as you may see in Romans 9:11, 13, 18, 21, 22, 27, Romans 11:8, 9, 10, I Peter 2:8, II Thessalonians 2:10, 11, 12, John 3:18, Mark 16:16, Revelation 21:8, Mark 4:11, 12.
To conclude, as the text says, He will that all men shall be saved: so it says, that they shall all come to the knowledge of the truth, verse 4. Now this cannot be understood of all men in the largest sense. For God doth not vouchsafe the Gospel and knowledge of the truth in our time unto many Indians and wild savages. And before our time, the Apostle Paul was forbidden of the Holy Ghost, to preach the word in Asia and Bythinia, Acts 16:6, 7, and further see these texts, Mark 4:11, 12, Matthew 11:25, John 12:39, 40, Psalm 79:6. So you see, the word all is not universally to be taken. And so much for my answer to their third text.
Romans 14:15 Destroy not him with meat, for whom Christ died.
I Corinthians 8:11 Through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.
From both these texts they gather, that Christ died for those that perish, as well as for those that perish not, but are saved: and if he died for those that perish, and for those that perish not, then he died for all men.
1. That Christ died for those that perish not, but are saved: this they say, we grant: and that Christ died also for those that perish, and are not saved: this they prove by these two texts, Romans 14:15, and I Corinthians 8:11. To this their proof I thus answer. To their proof I thus answer, to destroy is one thing, and to occasion or hazard destruction is another. To perish is one thing, and to occasion or hazard perdition is another. Now these two texts may be understood of the latter only, namely of the occasion and hazard of perdition and destruction. For those strong Christians did by their unseasonable use of meats offend the weak, and did thereby give them an occasion of falling, of perdition and destruction. This sense the contexts give light unto, both Romans 14:13, and in I Corinthians 8:9. And I think, Arminians cannot think that strong Christians did by their unseasonable use of meats, really and actually destroy all those weak Christians, who saw them eat these meats, or who by their example, were emboldened to eat them. Now if they did not perish and were not indeed destroyed, how can Arminians say, Christ died for those that perish?
2. I answer, whereas they undertake to prove that some perished for whom Christ died: this is false, and cannot be proved by these two texts. For admit, that by example of the strong, the weak Christians did eat meats against their conscience, and so sinned; yet it will not follow, that they were therefore destroyed, and perished eternally: unless Arminians will say that by repentance of that sin, they could not be saved; or will be so uncharitable, as without a ground for it, to say, they lived and died in this sin without repentance. Sure I am, repentance is a salve for greater sins than this, Acts 11:18. So it cannot be proved, that those weak Christians perished; and therefore it cannot be proved, that Christ died for those that perished. So much for answer to these two texts, Romans 14:15 and I Corinthians 8:11.
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much soever punishment suppose ye shall be worthy, which treadeth under foot the Son of God, and counteth the blood of the testament as an unholy thing, wherewith he was sanctified.
Here say they, are some men for whom Christ died, being that they were sanctified by Christ's blood; and yet apostates, and shall be sorely punished: so then Christ died for those that perish, as well as for those that perish not: and if he died for both, then he died for all men.
Whereas they collect from this text, that some believers and sanctified by the blood of Christ, did indeed make apostasy, and so as they perished; this collection is groundless. For the text may be understood conditionally, or as a supposition; as if the Apostle had said, If a believer, and one sanctified by the blood of Christ, shall make apostasy and tread under foot the blood of Christ, he shall perish or be surely punished. Or thus, Of how much sorer punishment shall a man be worthy, if he treads under foot the Son of God, &c. Now a conditional speech, or a supposition, doth not affirm and assert the thing to be done indeed, but only it supposes a thing, or puts a case, as in Hebrews 10:26, 38. So this text doth not assert and affirm, that some believers either did or should make apostasy, and so perish: that the text may be understood conditionally, as a supposition, and as a case put, I make it thus appear.
1. These are equivalent propositions; He that doth such a thing, and, If one doth such a thing. For example, He that sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, Genesis 9:6. The equivalent of which is this, If one sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. So in like manner, He that apostatizes and treads under foot the blood of Christ, shall perish or be sorely punished, Hebrews 10:29. Which is equivalent to this, If one apostatizes and treads under foot the blood of Christ, he shall perish or be sorely punished. So it is indifferent to take either of the two expressions. And further note, that neither of the two do assert and affirm the thing to be indeed done; as it is not affirmed, that any have shed man's blood, so it is not affirmed that any believer hath apostatized, and trodden under foot the blood of Christ. It is only said, He that doth it, & c.
2. Hebrews 10:26 our translators render thus, If we sin willingly, &c. the which in the original is in the participle thus, we sinning willingly, &c. Now since this latter, may be rendered conditionally, (so it must be rendered, unless we make believers guilty of willful sinning,) why may it not also be three verses after? For in Hebrews 10:29 in the original it is in the participle thus, treading under foot, &c. which may be rendered thus, If he tread under foot, &c. and so the Apostle doth not assert or affirm, that any man doth or hath indeed trodden under foot the blood of Christ, or made apostasy. Note further, that in verses 26 and 27, you have the question. In verse 28 you have the argument, and in verse 29 is the application of it to the question. Now where the question is conditional, the application must not be absolute. And therefore the 29th verse must be conditionally understood.
3. The Apostle says in the last verse save one, Hebrews 10:30, If any withdraw himself, &c. In which words, he speaks of apostasy and withdrawing conditionally. Wherefore the apostasy and treading under foot Christ's blood, mentioned before in Hebrews 10:29 may be understood conditionally also. And so nothing is asserted as done.
4. In the last verse, Hebrews 10:39, the Apostle speaking of believers, as he doth also in Hebrews 10:26, and 29 says, we are not they which withdraw ourselves. Whereby he plainly signifies, that the believers of whom he wrote in Hebrews 10:29 had not, or did not withdraw themselves, or make apostasy. Wherefore the apostasy, in treading Christ's blood under foot, mentioned in Hebrews 10:29, is not asserted or affirmed, as a thing indeed done by believers; but as a supposition, as if in case a believer should do such a thing, then he should perish or be sorely punished. So much for answer to this text, Hebrews 10:29.
II Peter 2:1 There shall be false teachers among you, &c. denying the Lord that bought them, and bringing on themselves swift damnation.
Here say they, St. Peter affirms that some men bought by the blood of Christ, shall be false teachers, bring in damnable heresies, deny the Lord Christ, and shall bring on themselves damnation: whence they argue as before, that Christ bought or died for those that perish and are damned; and consequently for all men: for we say, Christ died for those that perish not, but are saved: and they prove by this text, that Christ died for those that do perish, and are damned. So if Christ died for those that perish, and for those that perish not, then he died for all men. Of this see their Acta Synodalia de morte Christi, page 346.
It cannot be proved by this text, that Christ bought those that did perish and are damned. For the text doth expressly say or intimate that these false teachers did ever after live and die in impenitency. For be it so, that they taught false doctrine, brought in damnable heresies, and denied the Lord Christ Jesus; yet they might repent of all these sins before they died, and so be eternally saved. Paul when he was Saul, was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an oppressor; and yet he was upon his repentance received to mercy, I Timothy 1:13, 16, and he thought he was bound to do many contrary things against the name of Jesus Christ, Acts 26:9, 10, 11. Whereby he denied the Lord that bought him, and yet he was not damned.
But perhaps they will urge the last words of the text, that they shall bring on themselves swift damnation. To which I answer, that from these words it cannot be proved, that they were damned. For these words must be understood with an exception, unless they repent, as Matthew 3:10, every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire, that is, unless they repent. Revelation 21:8, but the fearful, and the unbelieving, &c. shall have their part in the lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone, that is, if they repent not, but go on still in their sins till death. So, they shall bring on themselves swift damnation, unless they repent, and this is my first answer.
2. Whereas Arminians understand by the word Lord in the text, the Lord Christ Jesus: and by the word bought in the text, the redemption from sin and eternal wrath by the blood of Christ: I deny both these senses of the words, and shall show, that they may be well and safely taken in other senses, which will nothing further their cause.
First, for the word Lord. It may be understood of God the Father, or of God in general. For the clearing up of this note that in the New Testament, the word whereby Christ is noted usually is translated Lord; but in this text of Peter, we have another word, which is and translated Lord. Being another word, and not usual to note Christ, it is likely enough to be of another sense. We find this word translated Lord, and usually applied to God the Father, or to God in general or to earthly or fleshly Lords and Masters, not unto Christ as Mediator, as in these texts, Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, II Timothy 2:21, Jude 4, I Timothy 6:1, 2, Titus 2:9, I Peter 2:18, wherefore since this word is usually, speaking of God, understood of God the Father, why may it not be so understood also in this their text, II Peter 2:1. And since it is seldom, or rather never understood of Christ as redeemer, why should it be so understood in this text, II Peter 2:1?
Secondly, for the word bought, this may be understood of God's buying and redeeming his people from their bondage in Egypt, or from some other slavery, servitude, and bondage to their enemies; of which you may read in Deuteronomy 9:26, II Samuel 7:23, Psalm 107:2, 3, Jeremiah 15:21, Micah 4:10, Jeremiah 31:10, 11. And then the words of St. Peter may be understood as an aggravation of the sin of those false teachers, for that they should bring into the Church, such damnable heresies, as whereby they should deny even the Lord their God, who bought and redeemed them from servitude and slavery, unto their oppressing enemies in the flesh. And the rather this sense may stand, because it is so well suited with the other word ??Lord, the which is taken for God the Father, but seldom or rather never for Christ the redeemer, and this is my second answer.
3. As touching the word, translated bought them, it may be rendered taught them. See Crispine and Scapula, who say that the noun hath (besides another signification) this for one, it signifies an oration or sermon: and the verbs and signify to preach or teach. Yea the word signifies not only to buy, but also to consult, and to give counsel. Wherefore the text may thus be translated, Denying the Lord that taught them, or gave them counsel. Now this makes nothing for proof that the Lord bought them, or redeemed them. And this is my third answer.
4. If for all this, they will press the text, and understand it of the Lord Christ, and that he hath bought and redeemed wicked persons and unbelievers, II Peter 2:1, they may as well say also, that God justifies the ungodly, as ungodly, Romans 4:5, which is contrary to Proverbs 17:15. And so much for answer to this their text, II Peter 2:1.
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Lo here, say they, is it not said expressly that Christ died for the ungodly? If therefore Christ died as well for the ungodly, as for the godly, then Christ died for all men, for good and bad.
There is another text of like kind, I Peter 3:18, Christ hath once suffered, the just for the unjust, &c. wherefore one answer shall serve to both.
True it is, that Christ died for the ungodly, and for the unjust; and had he not died for such, it had been woe to all godly persons. For as Paul says of the godly and believing Corinthians, that there was a time when they were ungodly and unjust, as idolaters, adulterers, drunkards, and extortioners, &c. I Corinthians 6:9, 10, 11, so may I say, there was a time before our conversion, when we were ungodly and unjust. If therefore Christ had not died for ungodly and unjust persons, no godly man now living could possibly be saved.
Wherefore we must distinguish of ungodly persons thus: There are some ungodly persons, who are become believing and penitent godly persons: and for these ungodly persons Christ died, as the text says: and of such the text speaks, as is plain Romans 5:6, 8, 10, but there are other ungodly persons, who persist still even unto death in their ungodliness, refusing to repent and believe. Now I deny that Christ died for these, or that the text is to be understood of these. These are dogs and swine, wherefore Christ the pearl is not to be given to these, Matthew 7:6. Christ would not vouchsafe to pray for these, John 17:9, and therefore he would not die for them. And this is my answer to this text. Thus I have made answer to all the texts of Scripture which seem to have any weight in them, for the Arminian cause. They have also some arguments, as two or three, but only one of them deserves an answer. So passing by the others, I shall here propound the one, and make answer to it. You shall find it in their Acta Synodalia page 337, de Morte Christi.
Whosoever are bound to believe in Christ Jesus, for them Christ died. But all men are bound to believe in Christ Jesus. Therefore Christ died for all men.
As for the Major, they prove it by this reason: because if it be not true, some men, as those for whom Christ died not, are bound to believe a lie or a falsehood, which is very absurd. The minor they prove by this text, John 3:19, 36. …he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him…
I deny their Major, for it is not true that Christ died for all those men who are bound to believe in him; that is, to believe in him, that he is the Son of God and Savior of the world, which is the right object of faith. And as for the reason, whereby they labor to prove their Major, it is unsound, for it leans upon an unsound (though common) description of justifying faith: for they describe it thus: Faith in Christ, is a certain and full or plerophorie persuasion of the mind, whereby we embrace Christ, with this confidence, that he died not only for others, but also for us, or for me and my sins in particular. This description however common, yet is unsound: for it cannot be proved in Scripture. I find nowhere in the Scripture, that the object of faith is to believe that Christ died for us, or for thee and me in particular, as they suppose in their argument. This I deny, and they must prove it if they can, and when they can. The object of justifying and saving faith is, to believe that Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and the like: and this is the current of the Scriptures everywhere, in particular see John 20:31, These things are written, that ye might believe, that Jesus is that Christ the Son of God: and that in or so believing, ye might have life, &c. All men may be bound to believe this, and yet not bound to believe a lie: or those for whom Christ died not, may be bound to believe all this, and yet not be bound to believe a lie or a falsehood.
Now that the Scriptures do everywhere make this the object of faith, that Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and the like beside the text alleged John 20:31. See also these texts, Matthew 16:16, the object of St. Peter's faith, whereof he made confession unto, and before Christ, was this, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Acts 8:37, the object of the Eunuch's faith was the same, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 9:20, the sum of Paul's preaching, to beget saving faith in men, was this, that Christ was that Son of God. Acts 2:36, the sum of Peter's sermon, as touching faith, whereby he converted three thousand souls unto the faith, was this, that he whom they had crucified, God had made him both Lord and Christ. I John 5:5, who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is that Son of God? So you see, the victorious faith is, to believe that Christ is the Son of God. Acts 17:3, 4, Paul preached that Christ died and rose again; and that this is Jesus Christ. And by this sermon of Christ, he won many to the faith, as you may see in the fourth verse. Acts 18:5, here you have another sermon of Paul's, that Jesus was the Christ; and this is the object of faith. John 1:29, 34, St. John's sermon was this, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, &c. and This is that Son of God. John 1:49, 50, Nathanael's confession of faith, was this, Thou art that Son of God. John 4:7, 25, 29, 39, 42, the faith of the woman of Samaria, and of the other Samaritans, was this, that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Christ:and that Jesus was that Christ, the Savior of the world. John 11:27, the faith of Martha was, that Christ was the Son of God. Thus you see, that according to the current of the Scriptures, the object of faith is, to believe that Christ is the Son of God, the Savior, with the like:now all men may be bound to believe these things of Christ, and yet not be bound to believe a lie, or those for whom Christ died not, may be bound to believe these things of Christ, and yet are not bound to believe a falsehood. Nor hence will it follow, that Christ died for them that are bound to believe this. But I nowhere read, that Christ required, or that the Apostles preached for such a particular applicatory faith as this, that Christ is mine, or that Christ died for our sins, or that Christ died for thee, or for me in particular.
I confess I read of the faith of Thomas, John 20:28, saying, Thou art my Lord and my God. And of Paul's faith, Galatians 2:20 saying, Who hath loved me, and given himself for me. These indeed were acts of the two apostles' faith; but I nowhere read, that Christ required of every man this faith, as necessary to salvation; nor do I read, that the Apostles or any one of them, did preach this faith to the people, when in their sermons they preached to beget men unto faith: wherefore I judge, 1. That this kind of faith is proper unto Apostles, and unto Christians of the highest form in the school of Christ; and not common to every weak Christian:for how then should they be saved? Since many hundreds of weak Christians, neither can nor dare say, Christ is mine: or Christ died for me in particular. 2. I judge, that this act or kind of faith, is a consequent of justifying faith, and may safely and comfortably be concluded and collected, by strong Christians from it, thus; He that hath justifying faith, Christ is his, and Christ died for him. But I in particular have justifying faith: for I believe, that Christ is the Son of God, and the Savior of the World; and my faith is accompanied with good works, as sanctification and mortification, &c. Therefore Christ is mine, and Christ died for me in particular. So much for clearing of my answer: and so much also for answer to their argument.
By this time we have finished these things propounded to be handled. First, we have by sundry arguments proved that Christ died not for all men. Second, we have answered all their texts of Scripture, and their argument, whereby they would prove the contrary. Now in the third place, we confute a common answer of Arminians, which they give to a notable objection of ours.
First I shall propound our objection. Secondly, I shall give you the Arminian answer. And thirdly, I shall confute it in my reply.
If Christ died for Judas, and all other wicked and ungodly men, why are they not all saved? How can any be damned, for whom Christ died? For if Christ died for them, then have they suffered in this life in the person of Christ their Surety, the torments of the next life, which Christ upon the Cross bore for them, and in their room and place. Now, God having punished Judas and the rest, in the person of Christ on the cross in this life, with the punishment due to the next life; he cannot punish them again in the next life, unless he be an unjust judge, punishing the same men for the same sins twice: once in this life, and once more in the next life: and therefore Judas and all other men, must be saved, if Christ died for all men.
Answer of the Arminians
Hereunto Dutch and English Arminians both, make this answer, Judas and the rest will not believe: they refuse to believe in Christ, and so to apply him :and therefore God may justly damn them, John 3:18, Mark 16:16. See their Acta Synodalia, de Morte Christi, page 320. This they endeavor to clear by some similitudes. If a physician tenders a potion to a patient, he is not to be blamed, if the patient will not receive it and apply it; but the fault and blame is only in the patient. So if God offers Christ to Judas and all other wicked men; but they will not believe in him and apply him, then the blame is theirs, and so God is free of injustice, though he damn them. Another simile is this: A king having many subjects in captivity under a foreign king, pays a full and sufficient ransom for every one of them. Now many of those captives despise their liberty, and choose to live in captivity and bondage. In this case, there is no blame in the king, but in the captives only: So God and Christ have ransomed all men, but many men despise this ransom, by refusing to believe, and so choose to live in captivity and thralldom still; wherefore if God keep them under everlasting thralldom, he is not unjust or blamable, but these despisers only are blamable.
I shall first deal with their answer, and then with their similitudes. I begin with their answer.
1. Be it so, that Judas doth not and will not believe, but obstinately refuses to believe; yet this frees not God of injustice if he damn Judas; supposing that Christ died for Judas. For the clearing of this, I ask Arminians, whether Christ died for men considered as believers, or as sinners and unbelievers? Hereunto they will not say, as believers: for so they should justify our doctrine, which is, that Christ died for believers, and for them only. And so they must answer that Christ died for men considered as sinners and without belief; and so faith is no condition of impetration, or of Christ's death and ransom paid for men. Now if Christ impetrating, and paying a ransom for all men, did it absolutely and without any condition or consideration of faith in them; then for application, God the Father cannot require faith in men before application, or before he will apply Christ's death unto them in justification: unless they will absurdly think, that Christ and God were not of one and the same mind, but were at odds and difference in the work of redemption, as if Christ should buy and purchase us absolutely without a condition, but God should sell us upon a condition; so absurdly they should think, the buyer and seller should be at odds, and not agreed upon the same terms. Now since it must follow, that if Christ died for Judas without respect to faith in him, then God cannot but justify and save Judas without regard to faith in him; then though Judas doth not believe, yet God cannot in justice damn him for his not believing: because when Christ bought Judas of God the Father, and God the Father sold Judas to Christ, there was no condition of faith intended betwixt them: and therefore Judas must be saved. If you say, that Christ died for Judas, then God cannot require faith of him, so as he should for his infidelity, in justice damn and punish him in the next life; God cannot be so unjust, as to punish one man twice for his sins, as once in Christ his surety, and once again in himself the principal; one debt must not be twice paid. Wherefore, to allege a reason from the unbelief of Judas, why God may damn him in the next life, is to allege a reason why God may deal unjustly in the next life
Now what they should say to this I cannot devise, unless they will distinguish the sins of Judas, and so make a hotchpotch of the work of redemption, saying that Christ died for some sins of Judas, but not for all, as not for his unbelief: and then it will follow, that Christ is made a half Savior, or a partial Savior: and Christ died for some sins of Judas, and Judas dies for some of his sins: and, Christ died for all the sins of Judas save that one sin of unbelief, and Judas is now in hell for no sins committed, but suffers only for one sin, namely his unbelief. These are absurd and groundless fantasies, never broached by any Christian man, unless Arminians will be the first. 2. So saying, they contradict themselves. For if Christ died not for unbelief, then he died not for all men. For many men are unbelievers, II Thessalonians 3:2. Christ death was for believers, or for unbelievers. We say it was for believers, ergo they must hold that it was for unbelievers. So much touching their answer. I come now to their similitudes, and first to that of a physician.
This simile of a physician is altogether impertinent to their purpose. For by this simile it is cleared that God in justice may damn Judas once, because he refuses to believe; but it doth not clear that which is in question, which is, that God in justice may damn Judas twice for his sin of unbelief; that is, once in his Surety Christ, and once more in his own person. This is high injustice. No similitudes may or can make God to be unjust.
If the patient refuses to receive and apply the potion, he is to bear the blame. But it is not so for Judas, if he refuses to believe and apply Christ: because if Christ died for Judas absolutely, and without respect to his belief or unbelief, as Arminians say, then he is not bound to believe in Christ, as a means to free him from damnation. For Christ hath already suffered his damnation for him, before God the Father required any faith in him, when he died for him, considered as a sinner or unbeliever. So Judas is not to be blamed for not believing; since Christ in dying for him and in his room, required or respected no faith in him; and it is too late for God the Father, to require the condition of faith in him, after he hath punished him and his sin in Christ.
Further, though in Physic, the patient is to apply the potion to avoid death, yet it is not so in the potion of Christ's death, to free us from death. For here man is to do nothing, but to be passive, if Christ died for all unbelievers; but it is God who is to make application, and to apply Christ's death to men, whether they believe or believe not: because he received and accepted Christ's death for all men, believers or not believers: in what condition Christ gave himself for men, in such condition God received Christ for men.
1. Though a physician tenders a potion to his patient, so as he refuses to apply it he must die; yet it is not so to be applied, as if God tendered Christ upon the condition of faith, so as if they refuse to believe they must be damned. For it is absurd to think or say, that after God had received and accepted of Christ and his death for men, without any condition at all, be it faith or any other, he should afterwards require a condition, or tender Christ upon a condition of faith. God having received Christ's death for men without condition, he hath no tender to make unto men now, but to tender them justification, glorification, and freedom from condemnation. This or nothing is to be tendered. For after God hath punished and damned a man in Christ, it is most absurd to think, he should then require of him, faith as a condition and means to free him from damnation. Thus much for the similitude of a physician.
2. As for the other simile of a King and the Captives, this is also impertinent. For 1. be it so, that Judas and other captives do despise Christ's ransom, and faith the means of it, yet this will not clear God of injustice, if he punish Judas twice, once in Christ his surety, and once again in his own person. No simile can make God unjust, or to punish one man or one sin twice. God in justice may punish grace despising Judas once, as in Christ, or in Judas, but not twice, as in Christ and in Judas both. 2. This simile is unfit for the purpose, and therefore to be rejected. If it were fitted to our question, it should be thus framed: A king having many subjects in captivity to a foreign king pays their ransom by his son, who is put into captivity for them, and lies there in their room. But they despise their liberty and choose to live in captivity still. Wherefore the foreign king may keep both the King's son, and the captives also in prison and captivity. Can the foreign king justly do this? So muchfor their second similitude.
I cannot imagine what Arminians should say to evade these things, unless they will coin a new distinction, and strange to Christian ears, and so make a hotchpotch of the work of Redemption, saying, that Christ died for some of a man's sins, but not for all his sins, as not for his final unbelief, or new infidelity, or infidelity unrepented of, as they express it. And then they think to evade all by this answer, God punished Christ for all the sins of Judas, except his infidelity, and punished Judas for his infidelity; and so God punished no sin twice, nor is he unjust. But to this new distinction I thus reply.
1. It makes Christ to be but a partial Savior, or a half Savior. For by this distinction they say, Christ died for some, or many of a man's sins, but not for all —for not for unbelief. 2. It makes Christ to die for some of Judas' sins, and Judas himself to die for some other of his sins. It makes Judas and other wicked men and unbelievers to suffer hell torments for none of all their horrible and abominable sins committed in their lifetime; but only for their final unbelief. For they say, Christ died and suffered for all their other sins. Now to say that wicked men do not suffer in hell for their other horrible sins besides infidelity, is not only absurd, but manifestly false:as is to be seen, Matthew 25:41, 42, 43; John 5:29; Romans 2:6, 8, 9; Jude 7; Revelation 21:8, where we see, that wicked men suffer in hell for their unmercifulness, contention, unrighteousness, fornication, murder, sorcery, idolatry, and lies: So you see, they can make no evasion, but by coining of a new distinction, which make a hotchpotch of the work of redemption, and is not only absurd, but also manifestly false, as is proved. 2. If Christ died not for new infidelity, then he died not for all men: for many believe not after invitation by the Gospel preached, which they call, new infidelity, John 12:37. So much for confutation of the Arminian answer, saying to us, that therefore God may justly damn Judas, because he will not believe. Now their answer being confuted, our objection remains good, namely, that if Christ died for all men, then it follows, that no man shall be damned, but that Judas and all men shall be saved. And so I come to the fourth and last thing propounded to be handled, which is, a confutation of their distinction of Impetration and Application.
First we must know what Arminians understand by these terms. By impetration, they understand the death and passion of Christ, whereby he merited remission of sins and justification for all men. By application, they understand the fruit and benefit of Christ's death and passion; which is (as I conceive it must be) the real and actual remission of sins and justification applied unto the faithful. The former, namely impetration, is proper to God the Son. The latter, namely Application, is proper unto God the Father. Furthermore, they place Faith, between Impetration and Application; so as though Christ died and impetrated for all men, yet God justifies, and makes application of Christ's death unto believers only. Now the better to help on the matter, they say, that these being acts of grace and favor, God may according to his infinite wisdom, order them according to his most free will. The which words, as I take it, are spoken in relation to Faith, that God may place it before or after impetration, as it pleases his wisdom. Having thus opened their meaning, I thus proceed.
As for this distinction of Impetration and Application, I acknowledge it, for as it is Christ that died or impetrated for us, so it is God that justifies us, and makes application of Christ's death unto us, Romans 8:33. And I am content, that they call what Christ did for us on the cross, Impetration; and what God doth for us in relation to it, and by virtue of it, Application. But I mislike of their division, that they should divide the works of Christ and God, so as if Christ should impetrate and die for many men, to whom God makes no application of Christ's death. For they say, Christ impetrated for all men, believers and unbelievers, but God applies Christ's death for justification to believers only. Now thus the works of Christ and God, do not concur in the same persons, but are divided, for God makes no application unto many men, for whom Christ made impetration. On the contrary, we hold that the works of God the Father, and God the Son, are undivided: distinguished they may be, but divided they may not be. They always concur as touching the same persons. To whomsoever God makes application, to and for those and none other Christ made impetration; and for whomsoever Christ impetrated, to those and to all those God makes application. And as touching faith, we hold that as God respected faith in application, so Christ respects faith in impetration, so as faith is precedent in both. And so God and Christ had respect unto the same persons, and unto the same qualification of persons: but that faith is to come between impetration and application, is but an Arminian devise; dividing the consideration and respects of God and Christ, of the Father and the Son, about one and the same work of redemption. And so I come to the confutation.
1. For the absurdities of this distinction of impetration and application, and the like Arminian devise of faith coming between them, as a condition of the latter only; put case, that a King, having subjects in thralldom and captivity under a foreign King, and to ransom and redeem them he sends his only Son, to lay in bondage and captivity for them and in their stead and place; and this the King doth without any condition at all, to be performed by his subjects. If now the foreign King, refuses to deliver and set free the subjects, unless they will perform some condition first, which he imposes upon them, and which their own King never required of them in sending his Son, nor did his Son go into captivity for them upon any such condition: is it not absurd to imagine, that the foreign King should require a condition to be performed by the subjects, before he will apply the ransom to them, and set them free? It must needs be absurd, for you must imagine, folly and ignorance in the one King, or fraud and deceit in the other King, in that they were not first agreed both on the same terms, before the Son was put into captivity. So is the case, if faith goes between impetration and application; and if Christ died for men absolutely without the condition of faith, and yet God will require the condition of faith, before he will make application and set men free from their sins and condemnation.
I know nothing they have to say, to free themselves of this absurdity but this, that both the Kings, Christ and God, were at the first agreed on the same terms, as thus: they both agreed, that Christ should impetrate and die for all men absolutely, without consideration of any faith in them; but that God should apply Christ's death to none but believers, or to such as did first believe. To this I reply, that this occasion is guilty of these absurdities.
1. That the King should put his only Son, to live in thralldom and bondage; and his Son should willingly endure all this misery, for millions, even the greater number of his subjects in captivity, whom he foresaw and knew well, should not be a rush the better for it, because they would not keep the condition agreed on. Will any wise man give and pay a certain price certainly, for an uncertain possession, be it of house or land? Much less will any pay aforehand, for that land or house, which he foresees he shall never enjoy? Yet such a purchaser they make Christ to be by this agreement.
The absurdities also of this may appear by this simile. Abraham bought of the Hittites, for 400 shekels of silver, a field to bury his wife in; and upon the payment of the money, the field was delivered to him for a possession, Genesis 23:16, &c. Now is it not absurd to imagine, that Abraham and the Hittites should both be agreed that Abraham should buy and pay for the field absolutely without any condition, but yet the Hittites should require a condition to go between paying and possession, and before Abraham should have possession, and without it, no possession? Where a condition is required it always goes before payment; never after, or between payment and possession. So though they in words ascribe wisdom to God, saying, that God may according to his infinite wisdom, order faith to go before or after impetration, yet in this case indeed, they impute absurdity and folly to God, in putting the condition of faith after the price of Christ's death. (The case is the same, in buying a thing, as Abraham did for himself, or for a man's friend or friends, as Christ did.)
1. They say, Christ's intention was by his death to save all men, even unbelievers, Acta Synodalia, page 344. Now for Christ to agree with God, to put in a condition of faith after impetration, is a contradiction and crossing of his intention: for by his death, he intended to save unbelievers, but by agreeing to require faith of unbelievers, or they to be denied salvation, he (foreseeing they would not and should not believe) intended not to have them saved: for he agreed to a condition which barred them from salvation. So much for the absurdity of this agreement.
2. Another absurdity in the distinction is this: It makes God to be an unjust judge: For Christ by his impetration and dying for the sins of unbelievers, hath borne the punishment of their sins for them in this life. Now for God to punish unbelievers for their sins in the next life (as he will, Mark 16:16) is to punish twice over for the same sins, which is an act of injustice in God. Now this must be so if you distinguish of impetration and application in such sort, as they concur not in the same persons, but are divided, so as impetration belongs unto unbelievers, but application belongs not to them. For if application and justification belongs not to them, then they must suffer punishment for their sins in the next life, and so God shall be unjust. For after he hath punished unbelievers in Christ their Surety, he shall punish them again, in their own persons. So you see, impetration and application are not to be distinguished in respect of persons, as if the one belonged to some persons, but not the other, unless you will make God to be an unjust judge.
3. I shall confute this distinction by a text of Scripture, understanding it in the Arminian sense. See II Corinthians 5:15, 19. In verse 15, speaking of Christ and his death, it says, one died for all, &c. Here I understand the word all, in the Arminian sense: and then in verse 19 it speaks again of Christ and his death, saying, God was in Christ, (that is, in Christ upon the cross, when he died for all) and reconciled the world unto himself, not imputing their sins unto them. So here you have the impetration of Christ's death; and the application of it, in reconciliation and non-imputation of sins. Now here application is made as large as impetration, and to belong unto the same persons, without distinction or division. For those (all) which Christ died for, were all of them reconciled to God, and justified, their sins not being imputed unto them: the same world which Christ died for, John 3:16, the same was reconciled and had no sins imputed to them. So St. Paul did not allow of this Arminian distinction and division, of impetration and application, in the Arminian sense, so as impetration should be understood more largely for persons than application; or as if impetration had been for all men, and application but for some men.
4. This distinction is guilty yet of another absurdity, for it makes the means of faith, to be used altogether too late, and so to become an unprofitable and frivolous means. For Arminians make faith to be a means to avoid an evil, after the evil is past. They say, Christ by his impetration, suffered the evil of death for unbelievers. Now in as much as Christ suffered death, and bore the evil of punishment of unbelievers, for them and in their stead and room, they themselves have suffered death, and bore the evil of punishment in the person of Christ. Now after unbelievers have born the evil of punishment, it is too late to use faith as a means to obtain application, and justification, and a freedom from the evil of punishment. For thus they should use a means to avoid an evil, after the evil is past, and so the means of faith is made unprofitable and frivolous. Why should I use any means to avoid imprisonment, when my Surety hath suffered imprisonment for me? Were not means in this case frivolous? If Christ did impetrate and die for Judas and in his stead, then Judas hath suffered death by his Surety Christ. What need then is there of faith in Judas, as a means to obtain application and freedom from death, after he hath suffered death, as by his Surety? This is as if a Judge should hang a man for his offence, and then require him to use the means to free himself from death. And so much for confutation of this distinction of Impetration and Application.
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