by James Durham
Concerning the nature of Christs death, or, if it be properly a satisfaction
BEside what Observations have been already hinted at and held forth from this Chapter, there are two more; which being clear of themselves from the words, and contributing much to the clearing of two concerning Truths, in these dayes not a little controverted; we may insist a little more in speaking to them, as the place giveth ground. The one, is, concerning the nature, the other, is, concerning the extent of the merit of Christs death.
The first Observation, is, that Christs death and sufferings are properly a price and satisfaction for sin, and were purposly offered unto the Justice of God as such. So that when the Majesty of God (to say so) was wronged by the sin of man, and when (at least, by the necessity flowing from the established Law and Curse) there behoved to be a satisfaction to Justice, before any sinner could be freed from the sentence, Then our Lord Jesus did offer Himself to suffer in the room of the Elect for satisfying of Justice; which accordingly was afterward performed by him, and, upon that account, accepted by God. The scope of this Doctrine, is to shew, first, that not only Christs death; and sufferings were not only for the confirmation of the Doctrine He preached: Nor yet, in the second place; only to give there by a patern of obedience to us: for, these two may be, and are in the death and sufferings of many Martyrs; and to attribute no more to the death of Christ, is blasphemous: Nor, in the third place, only to procure to Himself this prerogative of forgiving sinners their sins freely: for, Christ, being God, had power with the Father to forgive sins before His becoming Man: and even this pretended end, doth imply Christs death to be a price for making of a purchase, seing it supponeth, that He, by honoring God, and doing what was pleasant to Him, did procure this priviledge to forgive others freely; which certainly doth imply, that these sufferings of his had a meritorious and satisfying vertue before God. But these ends of the Socinians, being such as destroy the God-head and personality of our Lord Jesus, as the second Person of the Trinity; and being purposly moulded for the supporting of that blasphemy, We need not stand much upon the disproving of them; but, we say, beyond these our Lord Jesus His death was purposly intended by him, and actually accepted by JEHOVAH as a proper price and satisfaction.
To clear this a little, when we speak of satisfaction, these things shortly are intended. First, That as a man had made himself liable to the curse for provoking of God, and (to speak after the manner of men, as most of all, this must be understood) thereby had wronged the Majesty of God, by daring to disobey Him and to slight His Authority; so there is in Christs taking on of that debt, and humbling or himself to suffer for the same, a proportionablnesse, and an equivalencie for the vindicating of the Glory of the Holinesse, Justice, and Soveraignty of God, and to make these shine more, than if the sinners had been actually put-at for satisfying in their own persons: for, that the Fathers fellow, equal, and only begotten Son should humble Himself and become Man, and in that nature suffer; and that the Majesty or God should make His Sword awake against Him, and smite Him, &c. doth much more abundantly declare and set forth the Justice of God; that will prosecute His threatnings, and His Sovereignty and Authority, in that He is obeyed and submitted unto, by such an excellent Person, as His only begotten Son, than if either man had not sinned, or he who is but a wretched creature should have been casten into Hell: for by this, justice had never been satisfied, nor had the Authority of God been manifested by such a glorious instance as the obedience of the Man Christ Jesus. So that we are to conceive of satisfaction, in this matter, as that word useth to be understood amongst men, that is, when an injured, or wronged person, is appeased and satisfied in reference to the party that hath done him injury, by the interveening recompence and satisfaction of some other, purposly, by such an equivalent compensation, intending the same. Secondly, When we speak of satisfaction in this case, it doth respect Gods purpose and intention in designing the death and sufferings of the Mediator for this very end in the Covenant of Redemption: so that when there was no imaginable satisfaction to be expected from creatures, whereby there might be a vindication of Gods Justice, that so way might be made to pardon Elect sinners; for this very end, a Body was designed and prepared for the Mediator; and, as it is, Isa. 53:6. The Lord laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, and in His counsel and decree, did appoint Him, who knew no sin, to become sin for others, and thereby as a Cautioner to be liable to their debt. Thirdly, this also is intended, that the Mediator, in his accepting of the offer, and in laying down of His life, did purposly intend thus to satisfie: for, when Sacrifices and Burnt-offerings, &c. could not please God, nor satisfie Him in this respect, Then did the Son willingly undertake with delight to do Gods will, as it is, Psal. 40:6, 7, &c And it is on this ground, that Christ is called the Cautioner, Heb. 7:22 because He undertook the satisfying for our debt; and upon this ground, was there accesse in Justice to exact it of Him, though He Himself knew no sin. For which, see Isa. 53:7, and 10, 2 Corinth. 5:21. In the fourth place, this is included, That by the Lord JEHOVAH, the offended party, this death & willing suffering of our blessed Lord Jesus, was actually accepted, as satisfactory and well-pleasing to Him, in the room and stead of these who had offended; so that thereby He, in the order agreed upon, doth lay by quarrels at the offending party, as men do discharge the principal Creditor the debt, when the Cautioner hath satisfied in his name. Hence the Lord pronounceth often, that in His beloved Son He is well pleased, and that He hath found a ransom, Job. 33 vers. 24 & from this it is, that His death his called a Propitiation, as being acceptable to God, when other Sacrifices could not be. That in these respects, Christs death is truely a satisfaction for sin, may from this text thus be made out.
First, it by Christs death we be redeemed, and if the effect flowing from His death be a Redemption, then is his death (under which all His sufferings are comprehended) a proper price and satisfaction for sin; But the former is true. Therefore, &c. There is a double strength in this Argument to make out the Connexion, first, in the word Redemption: Which, (as we shew in the exposition) beside other things, doth imply, 1. That sinners by sin are fold and mor-gaged, and the Law, and Curse have obtained a right over them. 2. That, at least, in respect of that established Law and Curse (that day thou eatest, thou shalt die) there was no dissolving of that right, but by some interveening satisfaction: otherwise the Lord, who pronounced it, might be thought not to be just and true in His threatnings. 3. This is implyed, that when men and creatures could give no price, our Lord Jesus did actually undertake, and accordingly did pay, Therefore it is a Redemption, because it is a freedom that was bought; and He is a Redeemer, because He did buy it, and satistie for it: and this expression, being borrowed from the manner of men, will infer no lesse, as is said. The second part of the strength of the Argument, is in this, That this Redemption is attributed to His death, and bloud, Thou hast redeemed us by Thy bloud; and these, put together, make it exceeding strong: for, the very price of the Redemption is thereby clearly held forth. So, if it be asked, Why is Christ called a Redeemer? Answ. Because He redeemed us. If again it be said, Wherewith did He redeem us, or, With what price? It is answered, with his bloud; And indeed there can be no other reason why so frequently our Redemption is attributed to his death, but because his death cometh-in in a peculiar respect thereunto; so that when we (as once Isaac was to his father) were lying obnoxious to the stroke of Gods Justice, He offered Himself in our room (as there was a Ram provided in the place of Isaac) that thereby we might escape, as it is, 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:13, 14. He redeemed us from the curse, being Himself made a curse for us; which must be understood to be in our stead.
Secondly, (which is almost one with the last branch of the former) It is clear by this, that all the good that cometh to the redeemed, is still reckoned as the effect and purchase of Christs suffering; which must respect the merit and efficacy of his bloud, as by way of satisfaction procuring the same. And in this respect, it may be said singularly of the Mediator, the second Person of the God-head, that he hath procured this Redemption, otherwise than can be said of the first and third Person of the blessed Trinity. Therefore, also we are said to be loved by him, and washen by his own bloud, Chap. 1:5. But of this Argument was spoken in the former.
Thirdly, This is brought as the Song of all the redeemed, and as that which will agree to all of them, when the Congregation of the first-born shall be brought together: Now, what other influence can the bloud of Christ have upon these who were redeemed by Him, from the foundation of the world, & before his death, when the example thereof could have no effect, or upon young ones, upon whom his sufferings can have no morall influence by opening or confirming to them Doctrinally the way to Heaven? and yet, both these may well be capable of the efficacy thereof, as it is considered as a satisfaction: now, considering that all the redeemed, are equally, and in the same respects, oblieged to Christs death for their life, and for that cause do joyntly concur in the same Song of praise; we must either say, that none such as have been formerly instanced, are saved, or, we must say, that they are all saved without any respect to His sufferings: both which, are false and absurd: or, lastly, we must acquiesce in this, That by Christs sufferings, as by a satisfaction, this was procured to them; and therefore consequently, that his death is to be considered as such, seing no otherwise it can have influence on their Redemption. And there being but one Redemption, and one way by which it is procured, to wit, Christs death; and one Song, comprehending the acknowledgement of all the redeemed; and seing to some, it must be a satisfaction: therefore it must be esteemed to be so, in reference to all others also, who are, or shall be partakers thereof.
Fourthly, This fruit of his death, to wit, Redemption, is peculiar to some of all Kindreds, and Nations, and it not common to all. It must therefore be considered as flowing from His death, as a satisfaction meritoriously procuring the same: otherwise, these effects, which may follow upon His confirming his Doctrine by his death, giving an example to others, &c. are common indifferently to all that are hearers of the Gospel: for, in these respects He is so, and doth so to all. This therefore, being peculiar to some, (as the next Doctrine will further clear) must be understood as qualified by the Covenant of Redemption to be for the satisfying in the room of such and such, and not of others: which consideration doth plainly bring it to the notion of a satisfaction.
Fifthly, there is a speciall emphasis and significancy in this, that Thou hast redeemed us by Thy bloud, &c. which doth respect the excellency of the Person who did lay down his bloud for making of this purchase. It is Thou, who art the first and last, who was dead, and is alive, and liveth for ever, who art the Son of God; yea, who art God, Act. 20:28 as was more fully cleared, Chap. 1 vers. 4, 5 for, Thou and Thy, relate to the Person described by such titles in the former part of this Prophesie. This doth give ground for this Argument, if the purchase made by the bloud of Jesus Christ be such as could be made by none, but by the bloud of him who was, and is God, then his death and sufferings for that end, must be a satisfaction, and by their merit and efficacy procure the Redemption purchased; But the former is true. Therefore, &c. The reasons of the consequence, are, because, First, all the other ends of suffering may be in the sufferings of a meer man. Secondly, there were not need of such an excellent price, if the merit and worth thereof did not concur, by way of satisfaction, for obtaining of this Redemption. Thirdly, this respect to the excellency of the Person, sheweth where-from mainly their Redemption doth flow, to wit, that the Person dying, was of such worth; and that therefore his death and sufferings are accounted of great price before God. And lastly, there is here a clear opposition, thou hast redeemed us by thy bloud, that is, thou, who art God, hast condescended to lay down thy life, and shed thy bloud for us who were of little worth: which doth import, that his sufferings were estimated in the stead of what should have been otherwayes exacted from them.
These Arguments will be the more clear, if we consider that opposition which is made by the Apostle, Rom. 5 betwixt our blessed Lord Jesus, the second Adam, and the first Adam, of whom men have their sinfull being: for, in that comparison and opposition, Christ is not only made the Author of life to these that are by Faith his seed, as the first Adam was the author of death to these that descend from him; but also and especially in this, that as by the disobedience and transgression of Adam, death was brought upon his Posterity, as being procured by the guilt and demerite (to speak so) of that offence; So by the obedience, Righteousnesse and sufferings of the other, life and freedom from the dominion of sin is purchased, and that by way of merit and satisfaction equivalent to the former offence. For, as by Adams fall, the holinesse and justice of God were wronged, So by the obedience of the second Adam, they were wonderfully made to shine. And this being the Apostles scope, to compare these two Adams together, both in respect of the opposite effects that flow from them to their seed, and in respect of the opposite means by which these are procured, this which is asserted must necessarily fellow.
It is also observable, and doth exceedingly confirm the truth laid down, and discover the horridnesse of the opposite blasphemie, that the denying of Christs death to be a satisfaction, and the denying of his blessed God-head, are so knit together, that the asserting of the one, doth infer the other. Therefore these wretched Socinians, who denie the eternall God-head, and the personality of the second person of the God-head, must also denie the merit and excellency of his obedience in his death, without which it could not be a satisfaction. But on the contrary, the redeemed, who have the right thoughts of Christs God-head, have also this impression of his death, that it is a satisfaction laid down in their name: upon both which grounds, they praise in this Song, to wit, that so excellent a Person should redeem them by so excellent a price as the bloud of God: and this doth demonstrate their engagement to him, that when (upon supposition of the threatned curse, at least) there was no other that could undertake their debt, or satisfie for them, but he who was God, that even then he, who was the Son of God, did undertake the same. We are perswaded, that all who ever shall share in this Song, shall acknowledge both these truths, and heartily blesse the Son of God for making satisfaction by his bloud. And considering that the Abbettors of this blasphemie do by this denie the Godhead of our blessed Lords Person, and altogether make void the efficacy of His Sacrifice and Priestly office, so that neither His Person nor His Offices are acknowledged by them, which yet are the two great and solid foundations of Christianity, Therefore they are not worthy to be disputed with, nor accounted Christians; but rather to be joyned with, and reckoned among, Heathens, or the followers of Mahomet and the receivers of his Alcaron. For which cause, Christians would guard against this most horrid Errour, as being most blasphemous against the Mediator, and most destructive to their own Salvation; for, by these grounds, they can neither have a Redeemer, nor a Redemption. It is reported of Socinus, (the great Patron of this blasphemie, by a Learned man, to wit, Cameron, who writeth that he had it from one of his disciples) that he privately denied the world to be made of nothing, left thereby be should be necessitated to acknowledge the infinitenesse of Gods powers; which afterward was more publickly avowed and contended-for by some of his followers. What horrible things are there, that mens corruptions will not conceive and softer? and what hieght or depth will not the devil drive men to, where he getteth liberty? These things hath ever been abhored as most detestable, even as to the very mentioning of them; yet this horrid blasphemie wanteth not its Patrons in this spring-time of Error: And therefore men ought to walk the more circumspectly in reference to the same.
Concerning the extent of the merit of Christs death, or, if it may be accounted a satisfaction for all men
THe second Doctrine that we propose from the words, is, That though the death and sufferings of Christ, be properly a satisfaction to the Justice of God for sin; yet is not this intended by Christ, nor accepted of by God as a price and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and for the procuring of Redemption to them, but only for some peculiarly chosen of God, and by His decree of Election separated from others.
It is true, that Christs death being considered abstractly and materially in itself, in respect of the Person who died, and in respect of the manner of His performing this obedience with so much chearfulness, reverence, &c. may be, and by Divines is said to be, of an infinit value; So that if it had been so intended and transacted in the Covenant of Redemption; it might have been in the former respects accounted and accepted as a price for many moe; yea, for all: because, such sufferings, performed by such a Person, is equivalent unto, and, in respect of His excellencie who suffers, beyond the eternall sufferings of all meer creatures. But Christs death, being considered formally, as a price and satisfaction, with respect to the transaction that is made in the Covenant of Redemption, it must be qualified and understood with respect to the Lords proposing of the terms, the Mediators condescending thereto, and His intention in undertaking and executing the same, as also with respect to the Lords accepting of the same as such. Therefore it is not to be enquired here, what Christs death is in it self abstractly? nor what it might have been; if the Soveraign Lord had so thought good? but it is to be enquired, if the Lords purpose in giving of his Son to die, and the sons in obeying the same, was, to have that death, and these sufferings laid down as a price and satisfaction for all? we say; that in that respect, it was neither intended by the Son, nor accepted by God as a satisfaction for all, but allanerly for such as He had chosen, and by His purpose had separated to Himself out of all kindreds, tongues and nations: which by severall Arguments may be strongly concluded from this place.
Arg. I. Christs death and sufferings were not intended as a price and satisfaction to buy or redeem any, but such as were proposed by God to the Mediator in the Covenant of Redemption to be redeemed by Him; But all and every one were not so proposed. Therefore Christs death and sufferings were not intended as a price and satisfaction to redeem all and every one. The major of this Argument, doth not only appear, at the first, to be very reasonable, but doth necessarily flow even from the emphasis of this word redeeming: Which doth suppose, First, That man being under a kindly relation to God, did by sin fall from the same. Secondly, It supponeth that man, by sin, is made obnoxious to Gods curse, and also that he is unable to extricat or expede himself therefrom. Thirdly, It supponeth the Lords condescending to think of the redeeming of some from that curse; and for that end, to propose and accept of such a satisfaction, for such persons, and on such terms as himself should propose, or had proposed: and therefore any Redemption doth first presuppose the Lords condescending to admit of such a bargain in the generall; and it being an act of His Soveraignity, there can be no other rule but His good-pleasure, whereby either the persons to be redeemed, or the terms upon which, or the time when, such a satisfaction is to be made for such persons &c. are to be regulated: we must therefore look to his proposing of the same as the foundation whereby all that followeth is to be squared. for, this phraise redeeming, being borrowed from the manner of men, doth hold forth the Lord upon the one side, as the party offended; making offer to accept of such a satisfaction, for such offenders; and on the other side, it representeth the Mediator as the buyer and Redeemer, accepting of such an offer in all the circumstances thereof, to wit, to engage to be a Redeemer to such and such persons, to consent to lay down such and such a satisfaction and price for their Redemption, and to perform the same in the time and manner condescended upon by the Lord. And it is the conceiving of this great transaction of the Elects Redemption under this form, to wit, as having such an offer upon the one side, and such an acceptation upon the other, that maketh it get the name of a Covenant in Scripture: because so, it is represented as a mutuall bargan, in the manner as bargains use to be transacted amongst men: which yet is done for the helping of us to understand this mystery, and is not beyond this scope to be extended. From all which, it doth appear, that the Fathers proposall (to say so) or His intention and purpose, must Regulate this whole bussinesse of Redemption; and therefore must the extent of Christs death, as it is a satisfaction, be understood according to the same. Hence, the Lord Christ, doth so frequently assert, that he came not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him, and to finish his work, and to give eternall life to as many as God had given to him, and hath like. Whereby it is evident, that the Lord hath particularly ordered the work of Redemption according to His good pleasure in the respects formerly mentioned; and that the Mediators death and sufferings are to be looked upon as regulated and qualified in respect of their effects, according to what hath been proposed to Him. This first proposition, we suppose, is now clear, and may be yet further confirmed: for, it cannot be said, that God intended to have any redeemed but these whom he did propose to the Mediator: Again, it cannot be said, that any were by Him intended to be redeemed, whom he did not thus propose in the Covenant of Redemption, and give unto the Mediator for that end: and, in the last place, it must be said, that all whom He did propose in that bargain of Redemption, were designed by Him actually to be redeemed: otherwise many absurd conclusions (reflecting upon the Lords serious manner of proceeding in that businesse, and upon His wife manner of contriving the same, as also upon His effectuall way of bringing about what He hath intended) will follow; which without horrour cannot be imagined. Therefore it will follow, that the Sons actuall bearing the iniquiries of such as are redeemed; and the Fathers proposing of such and such to him for that end, must be of equal extent.
Now as to the minor proposition of the Argument, It is certain, that all and every one were not proposed (much lesse all indifferently) by the Lord JEHOVAH to the Mediator, to be bought or redeemed by Him; And may be made to appear thus, 1. Because the Lord did never intend that all should be glorified and actually partake of Redemption, he having decreed the glorifying of His Justice on some, as the manifesting of his mercy upon others; and therefore it cannot be said that the Lord did intend such to be redeemed by the Son, or that He did, for that end, propose them to him.
If it be said, that though He did not intend their Salvation, as he did intend the Salvation and Redemption of the Elect, Yet may it be said, that He did intend their Redemption conditionally, and so propose them to the Mediator to be redeemed on these terms, that is, if they should Believe. Ans. Of this we may afterward speak a word; Yet here, we say, 1. That this doth atribute to the only wise God a most derogating intention to His own glory: for, it cannot be denied but He foreknew the event, and that such a conditionall intention would not be sufficient to through the same: and to say, that He intended what He knew would never come to passe, or to apply such means as he knew could not be effectuall to the end, cannot but with horrour be thought upon. 2. We say; that the Scripture doth only mention one kind of proposing and giving to Christ, which is to be given absolutely to him to be redeemed, and the opposition betwixt this giving of some to Christ, and the not giving of others, is not as if it were betwixt two givings of diverse kinds, to wit, one conditionall, and another absolute; but it is such an opposition as is betwixt giving, and not giving, or passing by; and therefore that former twofold giving, or proposing to Christ cannot be admitted. 3. We say, if there be such a conditionall proposing of the reprobate to Christ to be redeemed, it will not be easie to conceive the terms of the Covenant; for, there is but one Covenant mentioned, wherein (to say so) the bargain with the Mediator is concluded: this will infer two, to wit, one, absolute in reference to the Elect; another, conditionall in reference to the reprobate. Again, it will be difficult to determine whether Christ were to pay so much for them as for the Elect, for, it seemeth not just that He Should pay as much for these who are but conditionally redeemed, (and for whom He doth not purchase the condition, and whom He hath not intended to make partakers of the benefits) as for these who are absolutely redeemed, to whom the condition is purchased, and for whom the benefits are intended. On the other side, it will be difficult to say, that a lesse price is required for this conditionall Redemption; because so, it were no Redemption at all: for, if the Redemption must be at such aprice, then, what is lesse cannot procure the same. Further, there is but one Covenant of Redemption mentioned in Scripture; and the Elect, or, these who were given to Christ and proposed to Him, are still mentioned as the object about which that bargain is transacted: we cannot therefore think of a conditional proposal, except we can see a distinct bargan and Covenant concerning the same; which yet will be no Covenant of Redemption. But we may touch this afterward. Secondly, That all were not proposed to Christ, or, given to Him, will thus appear, because by these titles, to wit, these that thou hast given me, &c. such are contradistinguished from others, as; from these who are not given to Christ: neither can there be any other reason why these are designed by such a name, but that in Gods purpose they were designed peculiarly to be redeemed, and accordingly were committed to the Mediator, and undertaken-for by Him in the Covenant of Redemption. Now, it cannot be said, that any other were proposed by God to the Mediator, but such as were thus given to. Him; and seing it is clear, that all were not thus given to Him, (for such are expresly distinguished from the passed-by world, Joh. 17:6 and 9) Therefore all cannot be said to be proposed by God to the Mediator; and so consequently (which is the Conclusion of the main Argument,) His sufferings and death cannot be said to be intended as a price and satisfaction for the redeeming of all and every one; Nor, without the intention of the blessed Parties contracting, can they be said to be a price for any: for, the price must needs relate to what is proposed to be redeemed or bought, this being the series, the Mediator did redeem these for whom He engaged and whose debt He did undertake; Again, he did undertake for these, and for these only, who were proposed and given by the Lord to him for that end; But these were not all men, but some few that were peculiarly given to Him, as separated from others: Therefore, from the first to the last, it will follow, that not all men, but some few, peculiarly chosen by God, and given to Christ, were redeemed by His death, and have these sufferings, intended by the Mediator and accepted-of by the Lord JEHOVAH, as a price and satisfaction for their sins.
Arg. 2. Secondly, It may be thus concluded, If these that are redeemed by Christs bloud be not all of every Tongue, Kindred, and Nation; but some out of every Tongue, Kindred, and Nation, &c. Then all are not redeemed; for, these are opposite in this respect, to wit, a whole Nation, or every person of a Nation, and some of them only: But the redeemed are not all of every Nation, &c. but some out of all Tongues, Kindreds, and Nations, &c. as was cleared, Vers. 9. Therefore all are not redeemed. And what can be the reason of this expression here, Thou hast redeemed us out of every Tongue, Kindred, &c. if it be not to distinguish these few redeemed ones of these Nations, from the great number of the unredeemed in the same; and thereby to set out the peculiaritie of Gods love to them whom He redeemeth, who hath designed this benefit to them, when He hath passed by others to whom He was no lesse obliged, or rather to whom he is no more disobliged in respect anything in men? Also, by this expression, there is a clear difference put between the song of the redeemed (which is grounded upon Christs death) and the song of a Visible Church, which doth arise from a Visible Church-relation: for, Chap. 11:17, 18, &c. the whole Nations become the Lords in that respect, and they praise him upon that ground; but the song of the redeemed, is of some out of every Tongue, Kindred and Nation, &c. which doth expresly insinuate, that Redemption by Christs bloud, is not of equal extent with the Visible Church, but is peculiar to the Elect therein: and therefore much lesse can it be of equal extent with the whole World.
Thirdly, If this Redemption of Christs, and His laying down of His life for any, be the evidence of His most speciall and peculiar love, Then it cannot be extended to all, because His peculiar love doth not extend it self to all indifferently: for, if so, then it would not be peculiar but common; and therefore the effect thereof cannot be of more generall extent: But the former is clear in this place, to wit, that Redemption by Christs death, is a fruit and evidence of his most peculiar love. Therefore, &c. That this is a speciall and peculiar favour, appeareth, first, from their being so affected in this song as having this mercy peculiarly to praise him for, to wit, that he had redeemed them by His bloud, which others had not. And secondly, that they mention this as a favour, beyond which there cannot be a greater, and which doth singularly engage them to him beyond all other favours that have been bestowed upon them. Thirdly, the very expressions of their song bear forth their sense of the peculiarnesse of this mercy, as, Thou hast redeemed us out of every Tongue, Kindred, and Nation, that sheweth his taking notice of them singularly beyond others; and that he did this by his bloud, sheweth this to be an expressing of his love to them in a most wonderfull and singular manner. Fourthly, If this mercy were not peculiar to them, then it might be said that one person were no more obliged to praise for this Redemption, and to be affected therewith, than another; and how inconsistent that will be with the scope in this place, and with the present frame and conviction of these that praise, may be easily discerned, seing their scope is to hold out themselves to be peculiarly obliged to be thankfull for this mercy beyond all others? Lastly, That this is a peculiar mercy, even the greatest that our Lord Jesus doth bestow upon any, appeareth from other Scriptures, as, Joh. 15:13. Greater love hath no man than this, to lay down his life for his friend, &c. and Rom. 5:8, 9, 10. God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Corist died for us, &c. All which shew, that the love of God cannot more shine to one in any thing than in this, that Christ hath died for him; and therefore it cannot be intended for any, but such as he doth peculiarly love, and whom he hath designed to be partakers of the most eminent and speciall effects thereof.
Fourthly, If all who are redeemed by Christs bloud, be made Kings and Priests unto God, and be effectually called and made to reign upon earth, &c. and if the connexion be certain between these, so that they who may claim to the one, may also claim to the other, then Christs death is not a satisfaction for all, but for some because, in experience it is clear, that all are not made Kings and Priests unto God, &c. But the former is true, to wit, all who are redeemed by Christs bloud, are made Kings and Priests, &c. Therefore, &c. The truth of this minor, or, of the certainty of the connexion between being redeemed by Christs death, and being made Kings and Priests to God, is clear in the Text: for, all, who say in the 9 vers. Thou hast redeemed us by Thy bloud, say in the 10 and hast made us Kings and Priests unto God, &c. which expresly importeth, that the one part of the song is of equal extent with the other. And if it were not so, then this song might be divided, and some might say, Thou hast redeemed us, but we are not made Kings and Priests unto God; which would look most unlike the language of a redeemed sinner, and weaken exceedingly the consolation of the redeemed, who could not be so comforted in Christs laying down his life for them, as they are holden forth to be in this song, if it were possible that the parts thereof could be divided. Also, it would mar the beauty of the inconceivable grace, and peculiar love that shineth in this ground of their praise, and no way rouze the redeemed sinner to praise, because Christ had laid down His life for him, if it might be said, that Thou hast redeemed me by Thy bloud, yet am I not sure if I shall be made a King and a Priest unto God &c.
The force of this Argument, maybe conceived these two wayes, 1. thus, If Christs death, as it is a satisfaction, hath ever the justification and Glorification of these for whom it is a satisfaction, following upon it, Then Christs death cannot be a satisfaction for all; But the former is true, to wit, Christs death hath ever justification and Salvation following upon it, to these for whom it is a satisfaction: Therefore, &c. That justification and Salvation ever follow thereupon, appeareth, I from the Text; these only, and all these who are redeemed by His bloud, are also made Kings and Priests, and have also saving effects following thereupon, as was said. 2. It is clear from the nature of the Covenant: for, if Christs undertaking to satisfie for some, in whose name He did become surety, did make him in justice liable to their debt and to the paiment thereof, so as he could not be conceived to be the Cautioner according to the terms of the Covenant, but also he behooved to have the imputation of their sin, actually following thereupon; so, on the other side, his satisfaction cannot but be equally effectuall for the procuring of actuall freedom to these whose room he sustained in the laying down of that satisfaction. Again, this effect, to wit, the justification of these for whom he undertook, is (to speak so) the recompence and satisfaction which is by the Lord engaged-for and made fare to him for his sufferings, and the travell of his soul, according to that word, Isa. 53:11. He shall see of the travel of His soul, and shall be satisfied: and if is be so, then there must be a necessary connexion between Christs suffering in the stead of any, and their obtaining of justification; otherwise it might be said, that the Mediator for that part of the travell of his soul, did want the promised and engaged-for satisfaction. And as we cannot conceive but both sides of that Covenant of Redemption, must be fulfilled, and the Mediator cannot but be satisfied in his design; so, we cannot but conceive the necessity of their justification and salvation whose iniquities Christ hath born. This is also further clear in the following words, to wit, by His knowledge shall my righteous Servant justifie many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Where these three things are clear, 1. What it is that Christ accounteth satisfaction for the travell of his soul: that is, to have many justified. 2. What the ground is that procureth this justification: that is, His bearing of their iniquity: for, this is the reason of the former, many shall be justified, because, Christ shall pay for them, and bear their sin: And if this connexion were not certain, and peremptory between these two, then this consequence and reasoning would be utterly brangled and made void, if it might be said that Christ did bear the iniquity of any, who yet should not be justified. 3. It is clear also from that place, what these many are, that shall be justified; to wit, those whose iniquities Christ doth bear: for, he shall justifie many, because he shall bear their iniquities; where, the many that shall be justified, in the first words, and these whose iniquities Christ doth bear, in the last words, are of equal extent: and this relative, their iniquity, doth expresly relate to the many spoken of before. Which words do strongly confirm what is said, to wit, that there is an inseparable connexion between Christs bearing the iniquity of any, and their obtaining of justification; for, the Prophet doth not only make them of equal extent, but he doth also draw the necessity and certainty of the justification and salvation of many, as a consequent from this antecedent, that Christ hath born their iniquities. And is, in a word, this, Christ hath born the iniquity of many, Therefore it cannot be but these many must be justified: which reasoning, being the reasoning of the holy Ghost, must be sure; and therefore none can be said to be redeemed, or to have their iniquities born by Christ, but such as come actually to obtain justification. Lastly, the necessity of this connexion between Christs dying for any, and their obtaining of actuall justification and Salvation, may thus be made out, If the Lord bestow the greater benefit upon any, then the letter cannot but be expected from him also; But the giving of his Son to death for any, is a greater mercy than actuall justification and Salvation: Therefore He cannot but bestow the last on these upon whom he hath bestowed the first. Both parts of the Argument will be confirmed from Rom. 5:8, 9, 10 and Chap. 8 vers. 32. In the one place, the Apostle reasoneth thus, while we were yet sinners, God commended his love to us, in giving christ to die for us: therefore having obtained such a mercy, we may much more look to be saved from wrath through Him. And to deny the consequent in the former Argument, would enervat this reasoning of the Apostle. In the other place, it is He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with Him at so freely given us all things? Where the Apostle doth not only shew, that all things do follow where Christs bestowed; but also He doth it in such a manner, as doth shew the absurdity and unreasonablenesse of thinking the contrary, to wit, that it can be possible that God will bestow so excellent a gift as his Son to be delivered up for any, and yet withhold any good thing from such.
A second way, by which we may conceive the force of the former Argument, is this, (which also is a new Argument of it self) that which would weaken the redeemeds consolation and enervat the grounds of their praise, contrary to the strain and scope of this Song, ought not to be admitted in the Doctrine of Redemption; But to say, that all are redeemed by Christs death, yet so, that the greater part of them shall never be justified, nor partake of life through him, &c. doth exceedingly weaken the redeemeds consolation, and ever vat the grounds of their praise, contrary to the scope of this Song: Therefore, that Doctrine of universal Redemption, is not to be admitted, as being derogatory to the solide consolation of the redeemed, what ever be pretended. That it derogateth to their consolation, appeareth thus, If the justification, salvation, &c. of the redeemed be not necessarily and peremptorily knit unto Christs laying down of His life for them, then were even their justification and Salvation uncertain, and so none of them could heartily praise for the same, or comfort themselves therein; much lesse could all do this: both which, are expresly contrary to the words and scope of this Song. Again, if no redeemed Person, Believer, or Child of God, can so comfort themselves by drawing conclusions from this Doctrine, Christ hath died for all, yet, all shall not be saved, as they may be comforted and have their hearts cheered to praise from this, That Christ hath not redeemed all, nor hath died for them, yet all for whom he died, and whom he redeemed, shall be justified and saved, then must the former Doctrine be exceedingly derogatory to the people of God their consolation; But the former is true: Therefore, &c. That this Doctrine of such an universall Redemption, doth not yeeld such comfortable conclusions to the Believer, as the other, will appear by comparing them together: for, the great consolation of the Believer, is, upon solide grounds, to conclude an unchangeable interest in God; But the latter, and nor the former, will yeeld this. For, this is solide and comfortable reasoning, these that are redeemed, are made Kings and Priests to God, and shall reign with him, &c. because, there is indissoluble and peremptory connexion between these; But, may one assume, I am redeemed, therefore, &c. If this assumption be questioned, to wit, whether I be redeemed or not? because Redemption is not universal, then it may thus proceed, All these that are spiritually Kings and Priests, and being made subject to Christ, are freed from the dominion of their corruption, and admitted with boldnesse to offer themselves and their service to God by Christ Jesus, &c. these are redeemed, and shall certainly obtain Salvation; But the conscience, upon self-examination, where there is ground for it, may assume, It is so with me; Therefore I am redeemed and shall obtain Salvation, &c. This is a comfortable and solid conclusion, and cannot fail where the premises are well grounded, because of the necessary connexion that is between Redemption, Justification, Sanctification, and Salvation, So that one of them, being evidenced, doth infer all: and Spiritually to reign in some measure over the world, and a body of death, and Spiritually to perform worship unto God, &c. beinginfallible evidences of Sanctification, and fruits of this Redemption, they give good ground for a conscience to make application of the former generall truth: whereas, on the contrary, if we will loose this connexion, and say, that all are redeemed, or Christ hath died for them, and yet few will be saved, It cannot but ever leave the soul at an uncertainty under this most comfortless conclusion, Although I be redeemed, yet I may perish; because, many for whom Christ hath died, are never actually freed from the wrath of God; and thereby the soul should be still left in a comfortlesse condition, which is most unlike the nature of this Redemption which Christ hath purchased, and most disagreeable to the consolation which is allowed to the redeemed by God, and wherein they comfort themselves in this Song. We conclude then, that it is more comfortable to a Believer to reason from this Universal, all that are redeemed, and are Kings and Priests unto God, shall be saved, where the consequent and antecedent, are of equal extent; than to say; all are redeemed, and yet sew shall or none may be saved. And this being the way of the Lord, it cannot but be most comfortable to his People; and it is a vain thing for man to imagine by his carnall reasonings to mould a more comfortable Doctrine: for though, at first, it look more plausible-like to flesh, to say, that all are redeemed, than to say, but some; yet indeed it doth not prove so: for even, upon supposition that that ground were laid, no man could gather any solide consolation therefrom, but upon condition of his receiving of Christ and resting upon him by Faith: Now, Faith in Christ, being supponed, this ground, few are redeemed, but all these who are redeemed shall be saved, doth yeeld more solid consolation than the former; because, it carrieth with it a certainty of Salvation to such: whereas the other ground, pretending to bear forth a possibility of Salvation to all, or, a salvability, doth indeed make it certain to none.
If any shall say, that this is true indeed upon supposition that one be by Faith in Christ; Then it cannot be denied, but so to conclude, is more comfortable: but supposing one not to be a Believer, Is it not then a comfortlesse Doctrine to say, that all are not redeemed? &c. because it leaveth this stumbling-block before the person, that he knoweth not whether he ought to believe or not, because he knoweth not whether he be redeemed or not: and this thought may also follow him, if he be not redeemed, can his believing be usefull to him? Answ. There are severall mistakes in this Objection, Therefore we shall answer several wayes thereunto: And first, we say, thateven upon supposition that one doth not believe in Christ, this Doctrine asserted is more comfortable than the other: because, first, he hath no lesse warrand to believe in Christ and rest on Him, than if the other Doctrine were supposed: for, it is not Christs dying for any that warranteth him to believe, or is the object of his Faith; but it is Gods call, requiring faith of him, and Gods offer and promise knitting life to the performance of that condition of believing called-for. These are contained in Gods revealed Will, which is the rule of our practice, and the ground of our Faith. And according to this Doctrine, a hearer of the Gospel hath these grounds for his warrand; and there can no other be given, even upon the contrary supposition. Secondly, If he be brought to yeeld to His call, to receive His offer, and to trust himself to his promise, he hath then more solid ground of consolation (because of the certain connexion that is betwixt Faith and Salvation) than he can have by the other Doctrine; which by the interwoven Errors concerning Free-wil, the falling away of such as sometime have been true Believers, &c. is wholly brangled. And so, supposing him not yet to have closed with Christ, he hath the more effectuall motives to engage him thereunto; because, by so doing, all is made sure. 2. We answer, this Doctrine of particular Redemption, (to call it so) doth never make Salvation impossible to any that will receive Christ and rest on Him: but, on the contrary, though it deny that all men are redeemed, or shall be saved; yet doth it assert this Universal, that all whosever shall believe, are redeemed and shall be saved; which certainly doth make the expectation of life through faith in Christ, to be the more certain; and doth lay the more solid ground for a tossed sinner to cast himself upon, when it saith, there was never a sinner of any rank or quality that did believe, or shall believe in Jesus Christ, but he shall be saved; from which he may conclude, then if I can, or shall believe in Christ, I also shall be saved: which conclusion, will not follow from the other Doctrine. And seing this is the very expresse letter of the Gospel, whosoever believeth shall be saved, there is no ground left to question the same, without manifest reflecting upon the faithfulnesse of God. 3. We answer, If anything follow from this ground, all are not redeemed, it is this, Therefore all shall not be saved; or, Therefore all will not believe: both which are true. And it doth only make Salvation impossible to him who doth not believe in Christ: for, to such it faith, if thou believe not, thou shall not be saved; neither in such a case hast thou ground to think thy self redeemed: and what absurditie is in these? yea, upon the grounds of the other Doctrine, there is none without Faith that can promise themselvs life, or comfort themselves in their pretended universall Redemption, more than upon the grounds which we have laid down: therefore it can never be said, that believing in Christ, is uselesse according to this Doctrine: yea, it is asserred to be alwayes usefull and profitable, whereas, by the opposite grounds, it may be often without these comfortable effects following thereupon. In the fourth place, we Answer, That this Objection (as much more in this controversie) doth flow from a mistake of the true nature of justifying Faith; for, it supponeth it, to be the hearts receiving of, and closing with this as a truth, that Christ hath died for me in particular, and that His death was particularly intended for me. This is the more dangerous, because it hath been entertained by many, and hath been the occasion of mistake, even to some great men, who have laid this for a ground, (as Cameron doth on this subject) Christus mortuus est pro te, situ id factum credas, that is, Christ hath died for thee, if thou believe it so to be: now, according to that ground, it is impossible but to miscarry, both in reference to this Doctrine, the Doctrine of Justification, and severall other most concerning-truths. It is to be adveited then, that when we are called to believe in Christ, we are not called instantly to believe that Christ hath offered up Himself as a satisfaction for us in particular; but we are to conceive it in this order, First, We are called to believe the truth of the Gospel, and the way of Salvation laid down therein, to wit, that there is no name under Heaven by which a sinner can be saved but by the Name of Jesus, and that yet all who believe in Him, shall be justified and saved, &c. Thus we may apply that word, Heb. 11:6. He that cometh to God, must first believe that He is, &c. for, if this generall truth be not acknowledged, saving Faith wanteth the discoverie of a sufficient and sit object to rest it self upon. Secondly, We are then called to receive this Christ, offered to us in the Gospel, and by Faith to betake our selves to Him so discovered, and there, as on a solid foundation, to rest for the obtaining of Justification and life by the vertue of His satisfaction, according to the offer that is made in the Gospel. This is the main act of saving Faith, whereby a sinner cometh to be entituled to Christ, and to the benefits of His death. Whereupon, thirdly, followeth (our accepting of the for said offer being supposed) a warrant to look upon Christ as ours, upon the benefits purchased by Him as belonging to us; and upon our selves, as actually redeemed by him; none of which, before that, could have been warrantably concluded: but this being supposed, there is good ground for it; because a sinner by receiving of Christ, cometh to have interest in Him, and so consequently in all that is His: for, Christ and His benefits are not separated; and therefore except there be ground to bear out this title to Christ Himself, there is no warrant to believe that any of His benefits do belong to us. Now, according to this forsaid order, no hearer is ever called to beliefe what is false, Because these three are ever true, to wit, First, That life is certain through Faith in Christ and no otherwayes. Secondly, that one who is called to believe on Him, ought to obey, and that Gods call is a good ground for that obedience. Thirdly, This is also a truth, that one who hath yeelded, may look upon himself as accepted of God, and redeemed by Christ Jesus, because, in the method forsaid, there is warrant to believe all these. But, if any will invert the order, and at first perswade himself that the benefits of Christs purchase do belong to him, as being particularly redeemed by His death, before he actually rest on him by Faith; this will prove but strong presumption, and never give title to Christ or anything that is His; but, on the contrary, greatly provoke the Lord: because in all the Word of God, there is no promise of Justification, Life, or Salvation, or any benefit of Christs Redemption made to any person, but to him that believeth: and to do otherwayes, is, as if a woman that were wooed for marriage should fancie her self to have title and right to all the priviledges of such a mans wife, before the marriage were actually consummated, or before she had given her formall consent thereunto. And so according to these grounds, we fee, that all hearers are not simply and instantly called to believe that Christ did die for them; But, first, to receive Him as their Saviour, and then to draw such a conclusion, which upon the performance of that condition, can never fail. From this also, we may see the fallacie and weakness of that much tossed vain Objection, to wit, That which every one is obliged to believe, that must be truth: But every one is obliged to believe that Christ did die for him in particular. Therefore, that Christ did die for every one in particular must be a truth. This Argument, I say, dependeth only upon the former mistake of Faith: and this being denied, that all men are instantly called to believe that Christ died for them in particular, when they are called to believe in Him for obtaining of life, The strength of it will evanish: because, supposing that many in the Visible Church (which experience doth put out of question) do never believe in Christ, or by Faith rest on Him for the obtaining of life; Then it will, follow, that many, even in the Visible Church, are never obliged to believe that Christ hath died for them in particular; because, none hath warrant to make that application, but such as have first betaken themselves by Faith unto Christ: whereby the assumption of that Argument is palpably false; for, it must be so assumed, Every man that heareth the Gospel, and hath received Christ, ought to believe that He hath died for him: and so the conclusion will be, that Christ hath died for all that believe in Him, which is true; or, it must be, that every one that heareth the Gospel is obliged to receive Christ and rest upon Him, and upon that condition may expect life; which will make nothing to the intended purpose.
This occasion giveth ground to insist a little further in clearing the extent of the merit of Christs death in respect of the effects thereof: and though it be neither possible for us to make every thing fully clear, nor pertinent to our purpose, long to insist on the same; yet, the former grounds being laid, we may enquire shortly in some things, and answer to them with a particular respect to this place. First, It may be enquired, What is the proper effect of Christs satisfaction, and that which is purchased thereby to sinners? Secondly, If this purchase extend to the procuring of Faith and the first Grace, as it doth to the procuring of Pardon & Justification? Thirdly, If it may be said, that any benefit, in any respect, doth redound to any Reprobate from Christs death, as the proper effect of that purchase. And, fourthly, If there may be an Universal conditionall Redemption admitted, as consistent with the former grounds; yet so, as the effect thereof is made sure to the Elect, and to them only?
To the first, to wit, What is the native, proper and immediat effect of Christs purchase unto the redeemed? We Answer, that we conceive it to be not only the procuring of Salvation to be possible to them, so that now, by the interveening of this satisfaction, there is a way for the just God to pardon mens sins without wronging of his justice, which without this could not have been: and so some say, that by Christs death God is made placabilis, or, (to say so) put in a capacity to be pleased, or made placable; but is not actually appeased, or placatus, which is the assertion of the Arminians. Nor yet is it only to make reconciliation with God, upon the condition of believing and Faith in Christ, possible, that is, by this intervening satisfaction to give a ground for Faith to rest upon, with hope of obtaining Salvation thereby, which otherwayes would not have been profitable, had not this satisfaction of Christs procured a new Covenant to be made upon that condition. Thus, according to some, Christ by his death, hath procured an object to be held forth to all to be by faith rested upon; and hath established this general, that all who should believe on Him, should be saved; and that Faith alone should have Salvation annexed to it, in whatsoever person it should be found: but such do deny, that actually and absolutely he hath redeemed any, or procured Faith, justification and Salvation to them; But we say further, that the immediate and proper fruit and effect or Christs purchase to these for whom he suffered, is actuall Redemption, and the benents following thereupon, to be applied in due order and manner, and not the possibility thereof only. First, this is clear from the 9 vers. of this Chapter, where they acknowledge and praise for this, that Redemption and Justification, &c. are not only made possible unto them, but that absolutely they are purchased by Christs death for them, and that they are actually redeemed to God by his bloud. Secondly, this doth clear it, that by his bloud he is said to make them kings and Priests unto God: which cannot be understood of the possibility only of any priviledge, but must take-in the absolute purchase and the actuall conferring thereof in due order and time. Hence, Revel. 1:5 washing from our sins in his bloud, is mentioned as the proper effect of his purchase: and justification and Salvation are frequently derived from Christs bloud as from their immediat meritorious cause, particularly in that place, Isa. 53:11 whereof was spoken a little before. And if there were no more but a possibility of Salvation flowing from Christs death, then Christ might never have seen his seed, or never had satisfaction for the travel of his soul. And it by Christs death only, Faith and Salvation should be knit together, and so Faith made thereby to have an object proposed to it, and that indifferently in respect of all; Then it will follow, that the grounds of the redeemeds Song would not be, Thou hast redeemed us by Thy bloud, and made us Kings and Priests, &c. neither could these be accounted the immediate effects of his purchase, but that he hath given them a ground to believe upon, and made Salvation certain upon condition of believing: which would not be so chearfull a Song to the redeemed, neither would it warrant them to say, thou hast redeemed us, in a peculiar sense, seing these effects are common to others: also many might have ground to blesse for these mercies, beside these who are made Kings and Priests. All which, are most inconsistent with the strain and scope of this place.
It is true, if we will consider the way and method how these benefits are applied to the redeemed, or, the order by which they come to be possessed of them, that instantly upon Christs suffering, all cannot be said to be actually justified, nor glorified, more than they can be said all to have really existed; because, the Lord, in His Covenant, hath particularly concluded, when, and by what means, such persons, and no other should be brought to believe in Christ, and actually to be justified, even as well as when they should have a being, or at what time their life should be brought to an end, and they actually be glorified; yet, if we consider the things purchased, in respect of the bargain, we will find that they were absolutely and actually bought unto such persons, and satisfied-for by the Mediator, so as not only, in His intention, He aimed to make their justification and Salvation possible, but really and simply to make it sure, and to procure it to them; yet so, as in due time and method it is to be applyed. And we conceive, that it is a dangerous assertion to say, that Peter before his believing, had no more interest any way in Christs death than Judas: which yet followeth upon the last opinion that was casten, and is acknowledged by the Authors thereof. See Cameron part. 3. pag. 583. Indeed, if we will consider Peters own estate, as considered in its self, without respect to the Covenant of Redemption; and if we consider any actuall claim, which he might lay to Christs death in that condition for his own peace and comfort, there was no difference: but if we will consider Christs sufferings as in the bargain of Redemption before the Lord, the procuring of Peters Justification and Glorification was really undertaken-for by the Mediator, and his debt satisfied-sorby His suffering in his name, so as it could not fail in reference to him, more than if he had actually had a being, and had been just sied and glorified when that transaction was closed; none of all which can be said of Judas, whose name was never in the Covenant of Redemption, as Peters was.
The second thing moved, was, to consider, if Faith and other saving Graces be fruits of Christs purchase, so as by his satisfaction He did not only really intend the purchasing of pardon upon condition of believing, but also the purchasing of Regeneration, Faith, &c. that so the Elect might come to the obtaining of pardon? Arminius and the Patrons of Free-will, to deny Faith to be a fruit of Christs purchase. So doth Cameron and some others, but with this difference, that these last do assert, that the gift of believing doth not flow from mans free-will or any sufficient grace bestowed upon all; but from Gods Soveraign good-wil, thinking meet to bestow that gift upon some whom He hath Elected & not upon others: and this, they say, is a meer fruit of His Soveraign good will without respect to the merit of Christs death, even as His decree of election was. The reason of the denying of this, we conceive to be, their making of the fruit and effect of Christs death to be common to all; and it being clear in experience, that all men have not Faith it cannot be consistent with the former ground to account it the fruit of Christs purchase: for, what He hath purchased, cannot but be brought to passe, (as elsewhere Cameron asserteth) and so according to their first ground, Faith would be common to all men. And to say, that Christ hath purchased Faith conditionally, as he hath purchased life and Salvation unto all, were absurd: because there is a clear condition; upon which men may expect life, to wit, believing; but there can be no such condition conceived, upon which Faith may be said to be purchased. But to answer what was moved, we say, That Conversion, Regeneration, Faith, Repentance, &c. are no lesse the fruit of Christs purchase than pardon and Justification, &c. because, first, by His purchase, we are made Kings and Priests unto God; And wherein do these priviledges consist but in the having, and exercising of these inward saving graces of the Spirit, whereby the Elect are made in a spirituall sense Kings and Priests? Secondly, It can not be well understood how Justification and Glorification may be said to be purchased by Him, if all the steps, by which these are necessarily brought about, be not in the same manner procured. Thirdly, We are said to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, Ephes. 1:3 which must thus be understood, to wit, that by His merit we have these communicated to us: and Is not Faith and saving Grace to be accounted amongst spirituall blessings? Fourthly, He is made to us of God, not only Righteousnesse, but also Wisdom, Sanctification, and Redemption, 1 Corinth. 1:30, 31 and certainlly under these expressions, all saving graces needfull to the working out of our Salvation are comprehended. And the end of this, is, that whosoever glorieth, may glory alone in Him, as having all in Him, and nothing but by Him. Neither would there be such occasion of glorying in Him, if these were not purchased by Him. Fifthly, The considering of the Covenant of Redemption, will also fully clear this; for, no question, that must be a fruit of Christs purchase, which the Lord hath promised to the Mediator, as a satisfaction to Him for his sufferings: Now, this is clear, that it is not only promised to Christ, that many through Faith in Him shall be justified; but that certainly He shall see his feed and the fruit of the travel of his soul, Isa. 53:10, 11. That his people shall be willing in the day of his power, Psal. 110:3. That these whom the Father hath given him, shall come unto Him, Joh. 6:37 and that they shall all be taught of God, &c. and What else can these speciall promises import but this, to wit, that the Son, the Mediator, for laying down of His life, shall have many given him, and actually by the Spirit drawn to Him, and made to believe in Him and to acknowledge him as the Author of their eternall Salvation, without which that promise of seeing His seed could never be accomplished? Yea, must not all the promises of the Covenant have one rife, and be derived through one meritorious cause? Now, these promises of Sanctification, such as, to take away the stony beart, to give a new heart, to cleanse us from all our idols, and wash us with clean water, &c. are in one bundle with the promises of his pardoning our iniquity and remembering our sins no more, as is clear in Ezek. 36:25, 26, &c. and Jer. 31, 33, 34. &c. And seing it cannot be denied but the last promises are grounded upon Christs satisfaction, Must not the first be so also? especially considering, that without him there is no accesse for binding up a Covenant betwixt God and sinners. Neither can it be denied but Faith is a part of that new heart, and a speciall fruit of that Spirit which he promised to pour out upon His People. Sixthly, In Tit. 2:14 our being seperated to be a peculiar people to Christ and zealous of good works, &c. is expresly affected to be His design in laying down of his life for his People. Also, Tit. 3 Vers. 5 and 6 the washing of Regeneration and renewing of the holy Ghost (which must take-in all particular Graces) as said to be shed on us abundantly through Christ Jesus; which cannot otherwise be understood, but that we have these by the interveening procurement of Christs satisction. Lastly, all that we pray for, we pray for it in Christs name, as having obtained accesse to seek the same through His purchase: Now, it cannot be denied but Faith, Holinesse, and increase therein, may be prayed-for: and therefore these must be understood to be procured by Him also.
The third Question was, If it may be said, that the Reprobates, or any Reprobate, do enjoy any common mercy by vertue of Christs purchase and Redemption? Or, if any mercy bestowed upon any Reprobate, or enjoyed by them, may be said to be the proper fruit of Christs purchase, or properly to be purchased by His death to them, In answer to this, we shall lay down these Assertions, which being granted, there will be no great hazard to the main matter.
Assert. 1. There is no saving nor eternall mercy procured to any Reprobate by Christs death: and so according to the Scripture-language, it cannot be said that Christ hath redeemed, satisfied for them, or born their iniquities in their room before the justice of God, thereby to procure any such mercy to them: because, first, to be given to Christ; to be redeemed, and to be justified, are ever of equal extent in Scripture, and necessarily knit together with His bearing their iniquity. Secondly, The proper and native fruits of Christs death, are not divided; but they all go together: So that for whom He satisfied, and to whom he purchased any thing in one respect, He did so in all. Therefore we will find Him praying for these who were given him, and for whose sake he did sanctifie himself, Job. 27 even when he doth exclude the reprobate world who were not of this number, from these his prayers. Thirdly, The proper fruit of Christs purchase, is that which is satisfaction to himself for the travel of his soul, &c. but no mercy, which is common to a Reprobate can satisfie him: for, his satisfaction consisteth in peculiar saving mercies, such as actually to see his feed, to have many justified, &c. which mercies cannot be said to be purchased to any Reprobate: and so it cannot be said, that any saving or eternall mercy is purchased to them; for, if they were purchased to them, then necessarily they were to be bellowed unto them; and if so, they could not be called Reprobates. We take this for granted then, that no saving thing is purchased to them, and that Christ cannot in any proper sense be called their Redeemer, nor to have sustained their place and persons before the Justice of God.
Assert. 2. We say, that yet, many Reprobates do here in time enjoy many things, which they had never enjoyed, had not Christ suffered. Of these, Christs death may well be called the cause (fine qua non) or, without which these had not been enjoyed: such are the preaching of the Gospel, and the glad tidings of the conditionall offer of life which is made in it; yea, it may be, that the keeping off many temporall judgements and eternal also for a time, doth flow from this: whereby (as it were by the Gardeners intercession, Luk. 13) the cutting down of many a barren tree is for a time suspended, that thereby the glory of Grace may be the more manifested, the honour of the Mediator the more highly advanced, and in the close, the glory of spotlesse Justice made the more clearly to shine, because of their greater inexculablnesse. This cannot be denied to follow upon Christ Jesus His sufferings, in so far as they necessarily follow upon the agreement wherein they were transacted, & upon the promises made to him in the Covenant of Redemption; unto all which, His sufferings are presupposed as the stipulation upon His fide: Now, is being certain that there are some Elect ones given to Him by that Covenant in all ages of the world, and that He hath a visible Church and Ordinances granted to him for the ingathering of them, which is so and so to be Administrated, to wit, by gathering under Ordinances both sheep and goats, and such like; It must necessarily follow, upon the supposition of this transaction in these terms, that the world must continue for so many ages, that the Gospel should be preached in such and such places, and at such and such times, that such and such lights should shine for holding forth clearly the truth of the Gospel; yea, that such and such common gifts should be bestowed upon many Reprobates for the adorning of this visible Church, the honour of the Head thereof, the furtherance of the edification of the Elect, and many other things necessary for the attaining of the ends foresaid. And according to the former supposition, these cannot be denied to be decreed in the Counsel of God, and contained in the Covenant of Redemption, largely taken; because accidentally (to speak so) and by reason of the manner of administration concluded, they conduce to the honour of the Mediator, and to the furthering of his design, which is to have the pleasure of the Lord prospering in his hand.
Asser. 3. Although these former Assertions be true; yet we say, that the saving blessings that are purchased to the redeemer by Christs death, may be, and are far otherwayes to be, conceived, as the proper effects and fruits of Christs purchase to them, than any common mercy can be which followeth thereupon to any Reprobate. For first, The purchasing of the Elect, and of saving Grace and Salvation to them, and what may tend to their good, was intended by the Mediator in a subordination to the glorifying of His Grace in them; and so His Glory and their good, are joyntly intended in the same: this cannot be said of the other; for, though the things, which flow from his death be good in themselves, and though it cannot be denied but that therein also He intendeth His own Glory; yet it cannot be said, that these things are purchased by him as advantagious to them, in respect of any fruit that should flow therefrom unto them: because, the effect sheweth, that in the end they have no advantage by them: and therefore it cannot be said, that he intended them as advantagious to them. I know some Learned men do think, that some Reprobates, by the power of common restraining Grace, and the force of Ordinances, are kept from falling in many grosse evils, which otherwayes they might have fallen into; and so in the end are kept from the greater degree of punishment, which they might have been liable to: I grant that it may be said, that some civil and formal hypocrites will be punished with a more gentle degree of wrath (to speak so) than others, or than themselves would have been punished with, had they not been by such common Grace restrained; yet, this must be understood comparatively with respect to the case as it now standeth, that is, a civil hypocrite, living under the Gospel, with many common moral induements, and giving much outward countenance to Ordinances, &c. shall be more gently dealt with in the day of Judgement, than if he had not come that length in a common reformation, under the means: yet, I suppose, it cannot be said, that such a person shall have lesse punishment than if Christ had never died, or he had never had any knowledge of the Gospel, or any common gifts of the Spirit, but had lived in more profanity without the same: for, although the sins of a civil moral hypocrite, be lesse in themselves than the grosse profanity of a blind heathen; yet, considering the circumstancts that do aggrege the same, they will be found to be of a more bloudy dye before God. Hence, so often in Scripture, the sin of refuting Christ in the most civil hypocrites, is aggreged beyond the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tire and Sidon, &c. Neither doth this flow causally from the Gospels being revealed to such persons, but from their abusing and slighting of the same. What ever mercies therefore of this kind are bestowed upon any Reprobate, they are bestowed upon them for the honour of the Mediator, & the good of the Elect; & so, as such, must be said to have been purchased by Christs death. Secondly, Whatever Christ hath procured to the Elect, he hath procured it by satisfying Justice for them, and by sustaining in His own Person the curse that was due to them: so that the Lords forbearing of them, his making offer of the Gospel to them, &c. are not only consequents, following upon the Mediators death and the Covenant of Redemption, but are properly purchased fruits thereof: and so the Gospel is preached to them, they are called unto a Church-state, &c. because Christ Jesus hath satisfied Justice in their name for the quarrel which the holy God had against them and hath purchased peace and every thing needful for their Salvation, so that now, the Lord cannot but be kindly to them, and bestow these mercies on them according to the order and terms said down in the Covenant: but, on the other side, it cannot be said, that our Lord Jesus did so purchase to the Reprobate any of these mercies (which are indeed so in themselves) that are bestowed upon them, or that he satisfied in their room, or in their name payd any debt, or that the Lord is upon that account (as it were) engaged to be friendly to them, and bestow these things on them, as was observed to be in the case of the Elect; because, in no respect is Christ their Cautioner as having undertaken for them. These mercies then which come to them, are rather to be accounted consequents following upon Christs purchase, than proper effects thereof as to them; Yet necessarily they follow, that what properly hath been purchased by Christ to the Elect, may, according to the order said down, be accomplished This will be somewhat clear by considering Matth 24:22 where it is said, except these dayes should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: yet, for the Elects sake they shall be shortened: the mercy promised there, to wit, the shortening of those troublesome dayes, is a temporall mercy, and common to many Reprobate as well as Elect, during that time, yet, in respect of the Elect, it may be accounted a fruit of Christs purchase and or Gods Covenant-love; because otherwayes, these whom Christ had redeemed might be in hazard; against which, the Covenant hath fully provided. But, on the other side, as to the Reprobate, it is but a consequent of His death unto them, and bestowed upon them not for themselves, but for the good of the Elect amongst them, for whose sake it is said expresly, that these dayes shall be shortened. And so it is to be conceived, as supponing it to be conditioned to Christ simply, that such a tribulation shall not continue, because the performing of the articles of the Covenant doth require the same; in that case consequently the Reprobate, living in that time and place, are sharers of that outward deliverance; yet considering it as a Covenanted mercy & a proper fruit of Christs purchase, it doth agree to the Elect only, for whose good it was Covenanted; and to them it may well be called a purchased mercy. It is true there doth no consequence follow upon Christs death, but what was foreseen and intended by Him to follow thereupon; yet it cannot be said, that all these consequents were intended as proper fruits of His purchase to the Reprobate, as the mercies are that come unto the Elect: but we must acknowledge a difference between a consequent and a proper effect; otherwayes we might say, that the greater inexcusablnesse and condemnation of many Reprobates, are proper fruits of Christs purchase, because these do follow thereupon, and had not followed had He not died. And we might say, that the suspending of the shuting up of the devil in hell in his everlasting torments, were a fruit of Christs purchase; because, supposing Christ to have a Church, and such work for devils, in the exercising there of, while it is on earth; and that Christ is to judge the devils at the last day, and (as a part of His glory) to passe the finall sentence in reference to them, &c. It must necessarily follow upon these suppositions, that the devils last judgment, and absolute shutting up in the pit, must be suspended for such a long time; yet there is none that will esteem this to be a proper fruit of Christs purchase, though it be a necessary consequent depending upon the same. And if any more be pleaded-for, because the offer of the Gospel is made to many Reprobates, this may be said, that Christs having of a visible Church and Gospel preached therein, is properly purchased by Him, that being necessary for the end proposed; yet, if we consider the preaching of the Gospel, in reference to such a person, as suppose to Judas, or, how it cometh that he is a Minister there of, We conceive it is hard to say, that it was purchased by Christs death as a mercy to him, as if Christ had intended by His sufferings to satisfie Gods justice in lesse or in more upon his account. And if it cannot be said, that an satisfaction is made to God in his name, How can it be said that properly any thing is purchased by Christs sufferings to him? for, this is certain, that it is Christs death, as it is a satisfaction and price offered in the name of any, that doth procure any good to them. Beside, Christs bearing of the sins of any, and their obtaining of Justification, are still linked together, as was formerly said: and therefore, seing no Reprobate is justified, it cannot be said, that Christ hath born their sins, and consequently, upon that account, hath procured any thing to them. This difference may be thus illustrated, as, suppose one having intended out of a number of slaves to relieve so many, should therefore covenant a price for them and actually pay the same, having with ill this included in the bargain, that so many other slaves should be appointed to wait on Him till these ransomed ones were safely transported, and for that end that they should be for a time freed from some common drudgeries that other slaves are lying under, and be someway fitted in their apparell and otherwayes as might become his honour, and farther Him in the gathering together, shipping and transporting of these whom actually He had bought: yet still He neither mindeth the relieving of these, nor doth for that end pay in the least measure their ransom, but only hath this articled to him as conducing to the good of the main bargain. In that case, it cannot be said that He had properly bought these whom He minded never to transport, or that any price, said down in the principal bargain, was laid in their name; yet, it cannot be denied but that many advantages do follow upon that bargain to such beyond others; which yet, in the end, by reason of their own miscarriages, might turn to their greater hurt: as suppose, they should refuse to obey Him, or, to put on the cloths bestowed upon them, but should abandon him and renounce their present liberty and not wait on to the end, &c. and so procure themselves justly to be deprived of any favour, and to be punished for their ingratitude, so may it be said in the present case: yet we shall not much contend for words, as whether such a thing should be called a consequent or an effect? providing Christ be not said to have sustained the room of, or by being made sin, to have satisfied in lesse or more for any whom he doth not actually redeem and own for His.
The fourth Question, is, If Christ Jesus, the only absolute Redeemer of the Elect alone, may not yet be said to have redeemed all men conditionally, and in the laying down of His life, to have intended the purchasing of life to all, upon this condition, if they should believe in Him? This conditionall Redemption is diversly expressed by Learned men, who in their Writtings do abhor the grosseness of the Socinian and Arminian Doctrines concerning Redemption. Some say, that Christ died absolutely for none, but conditionally for all, that is, that he purchased life for all, upon condition that they should believe that He had died for them; and that God by His decree of Election hath decreed to give Faith to some and not to others, whereby Christs death becometh effectuall to them, and not to others: which difference doth yet flow from nothing in Christs death. They say also, that Christ, by His death, procured freedom to all from the curse of the Law, so that that is removed from all, except any, by not believeing that Christ hath died for them, shall make themselves liable to that curse, as Cameron asserteth, pag. 584. This opinion doth not lay the weight of mens making themselves to differ upon themselves, but it doth acknowledge the freedom, soveraignity and power of Grace, as also the impotencie and corruption of nature; yet we conceive it is dangerous, and doth directly contradict what hath been asserted from the Text. For, 1. it denieth any, even the Elect, to be absolutely redeemed: which, though true in some sense, to wit, in respect of the method and manner of the application of the purchased Redemption; yet can it not be said to be true in respect of the purchase and bargain it self, or in respect of the parties bargaining in this purchase: because, Christ did not buy pardon of sin and Salvation to sinners abstractly, upon condition that they should believe; but did particularly and absolutely purchase the pardon of sin and Salvation to such and such as were proposed to Him. And this He did, not by buying Salvation to the Elect upon condition they should believe, without making both the condition, to wit, Faith, and Salvation sure unto them; but He absolutely redeemed Peter, John, and other Elect persons, by purchasing Salvation and every thing needfull for the making of it sure unto them, although in due manner these be to be communicated according to the terms of the Covenant. 2. It doth deny Faith to be a fruit of Christs purchase; which is contrary to what was formerly said. 3. This doth assert the Reprobate by Christs death to be freed from the curse of the Law, In the day that thou eatest, &c. which is not to be understood as if upon condition of believing they were to be freed from it, if so they did fulfill that condition; for, that is not controverted: but it must be understood of some freedom from the curse of the Law that redo indeth actually to the Reprobate from Christs death. And it doth suppone them to have attained some freedom thereby, which their after unbelief and ingratitude do make void unto them. And so they have not this freedom from the curse offered to them upon condition of their believing, but they have it, if by their unbelief they do not mar their right to it. Now this, so understood, will infer, that Christ was made a curse in the room of all men, which is contrary to what is said: for, they cannot be thought to be freed any way from under the curse, except by his sustaining it for them. And His bearing of the curse in the stead of any, or His taking on their iniquity, hath ever their freedom following upon it, for whom He did the same, as was formerly marked. Again, there are many of mankind (suppose young Children; dying before any actuall sin) who cannot be liable to any other curse, but the curse of the Law; yet cannot all these (even such as are without the visible Church and the promises) be said peremptorily and absolutely to be saved. Beside, this will infer that either the Reprobate shall not have the breach of the first Covenant imputed to them, or that they shall have that debt imputed to them, which Christ Himself did pay in their name: which is inconsistent with the Scriptures formerly mentioned. 4. This doth make Christs death, considered as to Him, and in it self, to be equally laid down for Peter and Judas, which the Authors of this opinion will abhor: yet, doth it necessarily follow thereupon; for, supposing Christ to die absolutely for none, but conditionally for all, there is in that respect no more regard had to Peter than to Judas: for, He died conditionally for Judas, and he did no more for Peter; and so Salvation, upon the condition of believing, is made equally possible to both. And though, in Gods purpose, Peter hath Faith decreed for him, whereby he cometh to be absolutely justified; in which respect, there is a great difference betwixt Peter, and Judas, for whom there is no such thing purposed; yet considering, that this faith which maketh the difference, according to the former opinion, is no proper effect of Christe purchase, but of Gods absolute Soveraignity, as Election is, It cannot be said, that it because thereof there is any inequality in reference to Elect and Reprobate in respect of Christs death. It is true their acknowledging faith to be Gods soveraign and peculiar gift, doth not make the difference flow from Peter himself; yet it cannot be said, that it doth proceed from any thing in Christs purchase, in respect of His sustaining the person of the one more than of the other 5. This doth also infer that Christ hath payed for such as shall again be brought to reckon for their own debt; yea, for the same debt which He hath payed: now, in Scripture, these two are ever put together, to wit, Christs bearing the iniquity of any or paying of their debt, and these persons being absolved from that charge in whose name he had payed. This is so sure, that the one doth still infer the other, as was formerly marked, as Isai. 53. He was wounded for our transgressions: whereupon it followeth, by his stripes, we (to wit, we for whose transgressions He was wounded) are healed: and again, Vers 11. He shall justifie many, for he shall bear their iniquity, that is, these whose iniquity he shall bear, and whole debt He shall pay, they shall be certainly justified and absolved from the same. So is it, 2 Cor. 5:21. He became sin for us, that is, took on him to answer for our debt, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in Him, which sheweth, that his end in becoming sin for any, was, to have them actually freed from the same. The like is, Gal. 3:13, 14. He redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, &c. that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, &c. where actual redemption from the curse, and obtaining of the blessing, are made of equal extent with Christs suffering of the curse in the room of any: and so is it in many other Scriptures. And to say, that such for whom he paid, were again to be brought to reckoning themselves, doth directly contradict the scope of these places.
If any should say, that these Scriptures do not deny but such may be brought to reckon for their own sin, for whom Christ did only conditionally pay the debt; and the condition not being fulfilled by them, there is no absurdity that they themselves should be again called to reckon for the same: as also considering that the Lords acceptation of such a price for them, was only upon the fulfilling of the condition of believing, wherein they have failed. To this we answer, First, that according to the former grounds notwithstanding of Christs death, payment might be exacted again, even from the Elect, if the Lord himself did not graciously and freely enable them to fulfill the condition, because they are but conditionally redeemed also, and have not Faith purchased to them by Christs death more than the other. But because some may shift this, we answer Secondly, That such a conditionall payment is not spoken of in Scripture, neither do these places of Scripture speak of some whose iniquity Christ hath born, who shall thereby have freedom from being called to a reckoning; but they do speak absolutely of all for whom Christ hath suffered, and in whose name He hath paid any thing to God: for, all of them give ground for this connexion; Christ hath born their sin, was made a curse for them, &c. Theresie, they shall be justified and freed from the curse, &c. And this reasoning will not hold, except this universall propostion be presupposed, to wit, that all whose sins Christ hath born, whose debt He hath undertaken, and in whose name He hath paid any price to the justice of God, &c. shall be justified, absolved from their debt, and not brought to a reckoning for the same. Now, it must either be assumed, that Christ hath paid a price in the name of many Reprobates, and hath born their sin before the Justice of God; and it is evident how false the conclusion will be, Therefore the minor must be false, seing the major is true: Or, we must subsume thus, But none of the Reprobates shall ever be justified or absolved from their own debt, Therefore it will follow, that for none of these did Christ become a curse or satisfie the Justice of God: which is a truth. If it be yet said, that his suffering in their name, was but conditionall; and so it cannot be said simply, that He paid their debt, but upon such and such conditions only; and so He did not bare their iniquity, but upon condition that they should believe. To this we answer, First, This is almost one with the former objection, and may be again repelled, thus; either that conditional bearing of their iniquity, was a paying something in their name, or, it was not: If it was a paying in their name, and a laying out of any price by the Mediator, Then the consequence from the former Scriptures will still be urgent what ever the condition be; because, they affect, that all for whom Christ hath said out His sufferings, and in whose room He hath sustained any part of the curse, &c. shall be partakers of Justification and Life. And what ever the condition be, this conditionall Redemption supposeth a price actually to have been laid down. If it be said, that actually Christ did lay down nothing for them, and in their name, when He suffered, but upon condition that it should be imputed to them when they should actually believe, Then it must be said that Christ hath paid for none till they believe, because it is His purpose and Covenant with the Father that doth make His sufferings to be accounted a price for any: and if so, then Faith cannot be said to be purchased contrary to what was formerly said. Beside, if none can be said to be redeemed but a Believer, then it cannot be said, that Christ hath paid any thing in the name of any Reprobate, seing he hath paid only for them who shall believe, which no Reprobate can do. Further, though the imputation of Christs laid-down price be conditionall; yet the paying of it is absolute: for, He (according to this opinion) did really lay it down; and if such should after believe, there were need of paying no more in their name. Yea, what is actually laid down, is supposed to be equivalent to their Redemption, and with what is laid down for the Elect: otherwise, the price would not be proportioned to the supposed end, to wit, Redemption, and so it would be nothing.
That we may follow this conditionall Redemption a little, It is otherwise in some things expressed by some others, thus, to wit, that Christ in some sense is a ransom for all, and yet not in that speciall manner as for his people: He hath brought others under the conditionall Gospel-covenant, but them under the absolute: He hath according to the tenor of this Covenant procured Salvation to all, if they will believe; but He hath procured for His chosen, even this condition of believing. Thus learned Baxter, in His Saints Rest. Part. 1 pag 153 which may be yet variously understood as to one branch thereof: for, though he doth there speak of all to be conditionally redeemed, and elsewhere often hints this, yet by several expressions of his, it would seem to be restricted, at least, in a speciall manner to the visible Church: became, he faith these all, are by His death brought under the conditionall Gospel-covenant, which elsewhere, (to wit, in the Appendix to his Aphorisms, pag. 241 in the last Edition) is acknowledged to be that which is revealed and offered in the Church. And in that part of his Saints Rest, pag 156 it is said, not to be offered to all; and that expression is used by him, that the conditionall Covenant is made with all, at least, with the Church. Also others have many hints to this purpose, and the Learned Tuisse doth cite this saying out of Vorstius lib pri. pag. 195. Et sane nisi pro vocatis saltem omnibus, mortuus esset Chris, us, tum frustra hi omnes credere juberentur. Therefore it will be meet to touch a little this conditionall Redemption, as it may relate to all men indifferently, and more particularly, as it may relate to the visible Church; and because of the nearnesse of the matter and grounds thereof, both may be done as we go on. Although this opinion, as thus expressed, may seem more plausible; yet we conceive, that it will neither be found agreeable to the former grounds, nor to the Text, not to reason, nor yet any way more conducing to remove, or prevent these difficulties which are supposed to follow upon the Doctrine of particular. Redemption, as it was formerly explained: for, first, what we urged from these Scriptures that speak but of one absolute Redemption, and do ever knit Justification and life with Christs bearing the iniquity of any, or satisfying in their room, will also be binding here against this conditionall Redemption. For, if any way Christ hath born their iniquity, Then they must be justified; otherwise, the former connexion, which is so strongly urged in the Scripture, will fall: or, if he hath not born their iniquity not payd any thing in their name, Then it cannot be said, that He hath any way died for them or redeemed them. Secondly, The Text will confirm this, for, in it, all men are divided in these two rancks, to wit, the past-by body of Nations and Kingdoms, &c. and there few that are redeemed out of these Tongues, Nations, &c. But this conditionall Redemption can agree to neither member: Therefore, it cannot be admitted. It cannot be applied to the redeemed who praise, for, they are all absolutely redeemed and made Kings and Priests to God, &c. nor will it agree to the past-by multitude of the un-redeemed that are contradistinguished from the former; because, First, The place doth assert the actuall enjoyment of friendship with God, (and, being made Kings and Priests, &c.) to be the proper fruit of Christs bloud and purchase, and not the having of these things made possible upon a condition, as was formerly laid down. Secondly, Because that past-by multitude, is expresly contradistinguished from the redeemed, and these who partake of the benefits of Christs purchase: and therefore the one being called the redeemed, the others may be called non-redeemed: and they are distinguished from, and opposed to the other here, not by any distinction simply founded upon the effect of Christs death, to wit, that the one are made Kings and Priests, and the other not; but it looketh to the meritorio is cause procuring these effects, and making them certain so the one, and leaving others without all the title thereunto, to wit, Christs death; and so it is to be understood, we are redeemed by thy bloud, that is, Thou hast paid the price of our Redemption in our name by Thy bloud, which hath not been done in respect of the multitude of the same Nations, whereof we are a part. Thirdly, There is but one Classe of the redeemed, and these are absolutely Redeemed; so there is but one Classe distinguished from these, and these must be such who are no wayes redeemed: for, what must be said of the one as to Redemption by Christs bloud, must be denied of the other; for thus not to be amongst the redeemed, is indeed to be un-redeemed. This will strongly militate against any who should restrict this conditionall Redemption to the visible Church: for, that would make, upon the one side, two Classes of such as are redeemed, to wit, some absolutely and some conditionally to be such, whereas the Text doth acknowledge but one: and it would also constitute two Classes of the un-redeemed, to wit, some that are without the visible Church and conditionall Covenant, and some that are within; whereas it is clear, that these within the Church, who belong not to Christ, are equally contradistinguished from the redeemed with others that are without.
In the third place, This opinion will not be sound consistent with reasons drawn from the Scripture, as, I. It cannot be denied but Christs satisfaction and intercession must be of equal extent, seing they are both parts of His Priestly Office; and it is His satisfaction that regulateth (to say so) His intercession: Now, it is clear in Scripture, that Christs intercession is qualified by Gods Decree of Election, therefore he prayeth, (Joh. 17.) For these whom God hath given him: whereby it is not only implied, that he doth not pray for the world which were not given him, but expresly He doth exclude them, I pray not for the world, faith He, Vers. 9. Therefore, it must be supposed, that He did no way die for the world, seing he doth not pray for them, because He did not satisfie for them; and He did not satisfie for them, because they were not given unto him. And we can no more say that there is a conditionall satisfying for, and redeeming of, all, than we can say, that there is a conditionall praying for all; and we cannot say, that there is a conditionall intercession for all, seing he doth so expresly, and absolutely exclude the Reprobate world from His Prayers; and upon that implied ground, because God did not own them as His, and had not given them to the Mediator to be owned and redeemed by him, Therefore he doth solemnly disown them.
If it be said, that, in that place, our Lord Jesus doth only pray for these who did actually believe? The very contrary will be found in the Text: for, (Joh. 17:20). He intercedeth for all who should after believe; and through the Chapter, for all these whom God had given Him. Beside, it were hard to say; that our Lord Jesus did comprehend all that were unrenewed under the title World; for so, many unrenewed Elect would have been excluded. Seing therefore Christ excludeth the Reprobate world from His intercession, even when he includeth many unrenewed Elect then lying in profanity and nature, The former Argument doth bind the more strongly. From which also we may remove a second exception, to wit, that by World there are understood such as Christ foresaw should reject the Gospel and continue members of this world, notwithstanding of his death and call, or such as did for that time violently reject the same. To this we say, that if Christ meaned by World, present contemners and rejecters, then would many Elect be excluded, as is said. Again, if he understood such as he foresaw would continue in opposition and unbelief to the end, Can it be reasonably thought that He would immediatly offer himself in their room upon condition of their believing in him, whom He did not only foresee to continue in unbelief and never to perform that condition; but also whom he had instantly in expresse terms excluded from his prayers and intercession as having nothing to do with them? and so according to the former ground, to wit, that His intercession and satisfaction are of equal extent, they cannot be understood any way to come in under either of them.
If it be said, that his intercession respecteth only the efficacie of his death; and therefore must be bounded. with the Elect: This will say, that this satisfaction also must respect that only, seing they are of equal extent. Again, why prayeth He only in reference to the efficacie? It is because he hath ground to own no more as Gods or His; and that will say, that he will not satisfie for them either. Lastly, he boundeth his dying and praying in these words, (Vers. 19 of the forcited Chapter,) for their sakes sanctifie I myself, to wit, for their sakes for whom he prayed; in their room allanerly did He devote himself to be a Sacrifice.
Secondly, In the first ground, laid down, we said, That Christs satisfaction, as to the object thereof, was to be regulated by the Fathers proposall to him; so that he died and satisfied for such, and such only as was proposed to him. It being cleared there, that all were not proposed; therefore there is no warrant to say, that Christ in any respect, did bear the iniquity of any other. Neither can there be any end of his undertaking to pay for moe than was proposed to him; neither can it be thought, that any other was proposed to Christ, but such as were given to him absolutely to be redeemed; because there is no word in Scripture that speaketh of proposing any to Christ to be bought, but the Elect, who, for that cause, are peculiarly named by this title, those that were Christs own, and given to him, &c. If any should say, that they were conditionally given and proposed (which indeed must be supposed in this conditional Redemption (Then (beside what was said) it may be asked, If the Father, by proposing such, did intend their Redemption, and their obtaining of any benefit by Christs death? If he did, Why is it not effectuall? If he did not, To what end was such a proposall made by the only wife God? Again, we may conceive this conditionall proposall to be thus upon the Fathers side, I do propose and give such and such persons to Thee that are not Elected, to be redeemed, and to partake of Thy Redemption, providing they shall believe, and I will absolutely exact the price from Thee, which yet is not to be imputed to them till they believe; and yet they cannot believe except God give the same freely, according to the first opinion; or, till Christ purchase the same, according to the second: yet (might he say) neither do I mind to give it to them, nor mind I to propose it to be bought by Thee for their use. This certainly—would not look like the Wisdom, Soveraignty and Grace that do shine in the bargain of Redemption: yet, such a conditionall proposall must be supposed as in these terms. And so they are proposed to the Mediator to be redeemed by Him, when yet the necessary mids, and supposed condition of their Redemption is never so much as proposed to be purchased, but the contrary is included; And so at the most, the Father proposeth but one part of their Redemption to the Marker, to wit, the end without the mids: and therefore consequently, the Mediator must undertake for paying for the end, when he hath not the mids by which it is attained, made (to speak so) redeemable, because it is never offered to the market: and what wife man would make such a bargain?
Thirdly, It seemeth not consistent with reason and equity to say, that such as are by Gods Soveraign decree absolutely reprobated, and decerned to be made to reckon for their own sins; and yet to say, that our blessed Lord Jesus should have that debt imputed to Him, and thereby conditionally to purchase for them a freedom from that curse which is already determined to be executed justly upon them: for, the decree of Reprobation must be, even in order of nature, as soon as the decree of Election. Now, it being clear, that the Work of Redemption doth presuppose Election to have preceded; so that in the order of nature, and according to our uptaking of things, we must conceive Gods absolute Electing of some to Eternal life, to be prior, to the Covenant of Redemption, because these who are given to Christ in that Covenant, are said to be Gods own by vertue of that decree before that, Joh. 17:6 which will infer that Gods absolute decree of Reprobation must be so also, seing the decree of Election doth necessarily infer the decree of Reprobation; for, where there is an Election of some, there is a preterition of others. And therefore, we must say, that Christ conditionally had proposed to him, and did conditionally pay according to that proposal, the debt of many, that by a prior decree were absolutely reprobated. And as to the last opinion hinted, there being but one decree of Reprobation, It will follow that either all these must be under a conditional Redemption, which yet cannot be said so confidently, as to such who are without the conditionall Covenant; or, all must be excluded therefrom.
Fourthly, From the grounds of this opinion, it may be thus argued, If Christ redeemed any Reprobate conditionally, Then the performing of this condition is either in their own power, or it is a singular gift of God procured by Christs death. The first they will not assert who own this opinion, as was formerly observed: Therefore it must be something that can no otherwayes be procured but by Christs purchase. And according to what is said, it is not purchased to any Reprobate, though it be necessary for their obtaining of any benefit of Christs purchase, Therefore it cannot be said, that they are redeemed. For, at most, it faith that the are redeemed upon a condition, which they can never possibly perform; and this will infer, that they are not redeemed at all: for, a peremptory exclusive conditionall offer, where the condition is impossible, and known to be so to the offerer, is equipollent to an absolute refusall, as, suppose one would offer to relieve another from bondage, or, to pay their debt for them, upon condition, and no otherwayes, that such a person should at once drink up the whole sea: that offer so circumstantiated, could not be looked upon otherwayes but as an absolute refusall. Again, if He hath not purchased Faith to them, Then there is no saving Grace purchased to them: And if neither Faith nor any saving Grace be purchased to them, It will be hard to say, that Christ hath died for such, for whom no saving Grace is purchased.
Fifthly, We say further; If all men be conditionally redeemed, Then we must say that all the midses necessarily concurring in the Work of Redemption for making of it compleat, must be conditionally purchased also: for, as by the acknowledged ground, that is called absolute Redemption, wherein Faith and all the midses are absolutely purchased, So it will follow, that in this conditional Redemption all these midses must be conditionally purchased: for, the end and midses are in one bargain; where the one is purchased, the other is purchased; so where the one is absolutely purchased, the other is so also: and therefore where the one is conditionally purchased, the other must be so also: but it cannot be said, that the midses, to wit, Faith, Regeneration, and other Graces, are conditionally purchased, because this will be the sense thereof, that Christ hath purchased Faith in himself to such persons upon condition that they should believe in Him: which, I suppose, none will affirm. It will follow therefore that they cannot be said to be conditionally redeemed, even as to the end.
Sixthly, If any conditionally Redemption be supposed to be, or, if Christ be said to have payd the debt of all even conditionally, Then this must be looked upon as a singular effect of Gods Grace, and a speciall evidence of the excellent freenesse thereof for provoking the hearts of all such to praise for the same: now, such a mould of conditionall Redemption as is proposed, doth no way look like Grace, nor tendeth to the engaging of such as are so redeemed to blesse and magnifie God; Therefore it is not to be admitted. That it doth not look like Grace, will easily appear by considering, 1. that Grace is every way Grace, else it is no way Grace (according to an ancient saying of Augustine) that is, it is Grace in the end, and Grace in respect of the midses also. But here, whatever may be said of the end, sure there is no Grace in respect of the midses, seing no necessary and effectuall mids for attaining of the end, is provided for in this supposed bargain of conditionall Redemption: Therefore, it can neither be said to look like a bargain of Grace: nor yet to tend to the commendation thereof. 2. We may consider, that as to the effect or end, this bargain doth not make the same free unto these that are comprehended under it: for, it leaveth them to perform a condition for obtaining of the end, and that in their own strength without furnishing them for the performance of it, even though they be of themselves in an incapacity to perform the same: and how unlike this is to a Covenant of Grace, may easily be gathered. 3. This conditionall Redemption, doth neither make the effect, supposed to be purchased, certain, nor possible: certain, it cannot be, seing it never cometh to passe: possible it is not, seing it dependeth upon a condition, which (as it is circumstantiated) is simply impossible; yea, and is supponed to be so in the Covenant of Redemption: for we must look upon this condition, in respect of its possibility, not only with regard to men, as men endued with natural faculties; but we must look upon it with respect to men as they are in their corruption incapacitated to do any thing that is spiritually good, such as this act of believing is. Now, in the Covenant of Redemption, it is supposed, not only that Faith is necessary: but also that man is corrupt, sold under sin; and so cannot of himself (except it be given him) believe: and yet, in this same Covenant, It is agreed, that Faith be purchased and bestowed upon some, because of the former reasons; and even then, such who are supposed conditionally to be redeemed,' are past-by, and deliberately no such thing is capitulated-for concerning them. Therefore the effect must, notwithstanding of this, be still impossible. And if so it, Can be said to be of Grace, which is so clouded in the terms thereof, and doth neither make any good possible to these who are comprehended in the same, nor give through occasion to glorifie Grace as sinning in the freedom, comfortablnesse and refreshfulnesse thereof? and in effect, it seemeth rather to obscure Grace, than to manifest the same: and therefore ought not to be pressed in the Church. For, a conditionall transaction in this mould, would be, as if one should be said to have paid the Turks for so many slaves, to be sent home to him in such and such Ships, as himself only could send for them; and that this purchase should be valid, as to these slaves, upon condition allanenly that they should return in such and such Ships unto him; and yet in the mean time he never intend to send these Ships for them, but in the same bargain conclude that Ships should be sent only for such and such others; would not these slaves necessarily continue under their bondage? and, would this so be accounted a Redemption amongst men, or yet a wife conditionall bargain? and is that to be attributed to the only wise & gracious God and out blessed Lord Jesus, which is, upon the matter, the same? to wit, that our Lord Jesus should pay the debt of so many, upon condition that they should believe in him, by such Faith as he only can procure unto them; and withall that in the same Covenant it should be expresly capitulated, that our Lord Jesus His sufferings should be accepted for procuring of Faith to some others allanerly, and to none else; whereby these, supposed to be conditionally redeemed, are absolutely excluded upon the matter? This conditionall Redemption therefore is, not to be contended-for.
Lastly, Besides these, this opinion will infer many absurdities and intricacies not easily extricable, as, First If Christ Jesus hath died for all conditionally, Then it will follow, that either He died equally for all, or one way for some, and another way for others: to say, He died equally for all, is absurd, and acknowledged to be so by the Asserters of this opinion: and of this we spake in the former part of this Question. If it be said, that He did in a different manner die for the Elect, and for these that are not actually redeemed, Then it may be enquired, wherein this difference doth consist? for, it must either be in the matter, or price (to say so) that is given, to wit, that he gave more for those whom He absolutely reedemed, than for these whom He only did conditionally purchase; or, it must be in His intention in the laying down of His life, and in the Fathers will in ordering of the same, to wit, that it was not Christs intention, nor the Fathers will to bestow Faith upon such and actually to redeem them; and so to have His death accepted as a satisfaction for them, as He had condescended in respect of others: If the first be said, to wit, that Christ hath given more for the one nor for the other? Then it will follow, that Christ hath not satisfied for these who are said to be conditionally redeemed, because He hath not paid sufficiently for them. Beside, it will not be found in Scripture, that Christ hath paid a part of the debt of any, where He hath not paid it all. If it be said, that the price, materially considered, was equal, Then it will follow, that Christ suffered as much wrath and curse materially for Judas, as He did for Peter: which will not look like the peculiarity of that love that appeareth in Christs suffering for any; nor yet sound well to the thankful heart of a redeemed one., as if Christ had paid no more for him than for Judas. If it be said, that the difference is in Gods purpose, and Christs intention, who did design these sufferings to purchase Faith to the one, and so to make their Redemption effectuall; which was not purposed in reference to the other. To this we say, 1. If the price laid down be equal in reference to all, Then it would seem just that Judas should have no lesse fruit thereby than Peter, seing no lesse was paid for him; But, 2. wesay, That this Answer doth confirm our Argument: for, if it was not the purpose of the Father and the Mediator, that the fruits of Christs death should be effectual to such and such, Then Christs death cannot be called a satisfaction for such; because His death is regulated in its extent according to that purpose, and is a satisfaction for none, but such for whom it was purposed to be made effectuall: for, to make it a satisfaction for any, not only is it necessary that there should be a sufficient price, but also that it should be intended to be paid and accepted, as such, for such and such persons: Therefore, seeing it was not intended for them as such, they cannot any way be said to be redeemed by Christs death, seeing still the purpose and intention of the Parties contracting, is wanting, without which it can neither be a Satisfaction, nor a Redemption. If it be said, that there was an intention to make a conditionall Redemption. Answ. This being understood as contradistinct from the absolute Redemption, as necessarily it must be, its as much as to say, that the Father and Son in the Covenant of Redemption did intend for such and such persons; instead of a conditional Redemption, a non-redemption, or, ineffectuall Redemption; and so it cometh to this, that their Redemption was never intended at all.
A second absurdity, is, that this seemeth to imply a contradiction, to wit, that the Reprobate, whom God hath passed-by, are redeemed: by Christs death; yea, that the unredeemed are redeemed. For, if the redeemed be distinguished from others in this place, Then these to whom they are opposed must be unredeemed. Neither can it be said, that the opposition is not ad idem, because the one are absolutely redeemed, and the other conditionally; for, upon the matter, the denying of an absolute and effectual Redemption, is the denying of any Redemption at all. Again, as to the first part, if any say, that though Christ died for all men, yet did He die for no Reprobate as a reprobates; which some of late (even walking under the name of Orthodox) do assert, because it is absurd to say, that Christ died for any Reprobate. We Answer, In Christs Redemption, the Elect are considered as Elect; for: them He redeemeth absolutely: Therefor, one the contrary, He must consider others as Reprobates, or at least as not Elected; And can any be considered as not Elected, but he must also be considered as a Reprobate, seing there is not a mids? Therefor, either Christ must be said to redeem all men, without respect either to Election or Reprobation, which is false, because the Elect are in all the businesse of Redemption considered as such; or, He must be said to die for the Reprobates as Reprobates, which is the absurdity they, would shift: or, it must be said, that in the laying down of His life, He had no respect to them under any consideration: which is the truth. For, the decree of Reprobation, being in order of nature, and according to our conception, prior to the decree and Covenant of Redemption, as was said, such as are contained therein, cannot but be lookedupon under that consideration. And, by the way, it would not seem inconsiderable as to our purpose, to think, that before this transaction of Redemption were concluded (no speak according to our uptaking of first and last in Gods purposes) He should determine concerning the ultimatestare of all men by His decrees of Election and Reprobation, and when marches are rid, and bounds (never to be changed) set, then to come to the transaction of Redemption. Which certainly must suppose, that he intended not to confound the difference He had made by that after-covenant, but thereby to provide a mean for making the decree of Election effectuall; which mids was necessary for this, but not necessary as for the other.
A third absurdity is, that this doth extend Christs death further and maketh it more common than the Scripture doth: for, in Scripture, Christ is said to die for His People, Matth. 1:21 for His Sheep, Joh. 10:11, 15 to gather the Sons of God, Joh. 11:52 for His own, Joh. 17 vers. 6 with 19 and such like. And in this place, it is said to be for some of all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations, and not for all indifferently. Now, according to this opinion, Christ may be said not only to die for His Sheep, but for all and every Man, &c. There are two special Objections against this. The first, is, That although Christ be said to die for His Sheep, and to have redeemed some out of every Nation, &c. yet faith a late Learned Abettor of this opinion (to wit, Dallœus in his Apologie,) that it will not follow; because He died for these, Therefore He died for no other; more than it will follow from Paul's word, Gal. 2:20. He loved me, and gave Himself for me, Therefore He did love and gave Himself for no other. It is sad, that Learned men should so please themselves, to shift Arguments: for certainly, a clear difference may be observed between Paul's saying, Christ gave His life for me, and between Christs saying, I laid down My life for My sheep: this doth expresly hold forth Christs differencing of these for whom He was to die, and His contradistinguishing of them from others who were not of His Sheep, nor given to Him; and therefore for them He was not to lay down His life: whereas that word of Pauls, is not spoken to contradistinguish him from any other Believer, but to comfort himself in the application of that truth to himself, that Christ who died for His Sheep, did also lay down his life for him as one of them. Again, when Christ speaketh of his People, of his Sheep, and of His Own in this case, he doth particularly (to say so) consider them as a species or kind of people by themselves, and differenced, in the respect mentioned, from others, as the scope cleareth: but when Paul speaketh of himself in the application for said, will any think that he speaketh of himself as differenced from all, and not rather as one individuall of the species foresaid? Therefore although we may conclude thus, God hath made man a reasonable creature according to His own Image, Therefore no other creature is such, because, by this qualification, man, or that species (to say so) is differenced from all other creatures on earth; yet, it will not follow, Peter is a reasonable creature according to Gods Image, Therefore no other man is so: because, Peter is but an individuall person under the same species with others. Just so is it here, Christs sheep, Own, People, &c. denote a species, as it were, differenced by such relations from others, whereas Paul is but an individuall Believer comprehended under the same.
A second Objection, is, That many other Scriptures do assert Christ to be given, and to have laid down His life for the World: Therefore it cannot be absurd to say, that in some sense Christ hath redeemed all: and particularly that place, Joh. 3:16 is urged (for our scope suffereth us not to digresse to more) to wit, God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son; that whosoever should believe in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. In reference to which place, we say, 1. That the scope is not to shew, that Christ was given for all the World, taken distributively, that is, for every person that should be in the World, because it is only brought-in here to confirm this generall sum of the Gospel which is laid down, vers. 15. That whosoever believeth in Christ, should not perish but have eternal life. Now, vers. 16 is brought-in as a confirmation of this; for (saith He) God so loved the world that be gave his only begotten Son, for this very end, That whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life. Where Gods end in giving of His Son, is mentioned to be a round of quietnesse to all that should believe, and will bear that Universal well, whosoever believeth are redeemed, and may expect the benefits of Christs Redemption; because the justifying and saying of such, was the end for which God sent His Son: and to extend the place any further, will not be consistent with the scope thereof. If it be said, that Gods respect and love to the world indefinitly, is mentioned here; Be it so, yet that will not infer, that because He had respect to the world, That therefore He intended that Christ should die for all and every individuall person in the world; but, it will only infer this much at most, as if we said, in common speach, such a Christian King, or potent man had such a respect to Christians, or to men of such a Nation, as to send such a great sum to redeem so many o them as he particularly condescended upon, from the bondage of the Turks: it may well be said, that such a great man had respect to Christians or to such a Nation, because he purposed to redeem many of them when he took no thought of others; yet it cannot be laid, that he intended the redeeming of all, either absolutely or conditionally, seing he did appoint the price given, to be paid for such and such as himself thought meet to redeem, and not for others: Just so is it here in this case, at the most; and so Gods respect to the world, may be opposite to His passing-by of all the fallen Angels. Again, secondly, we say, that if World, in this place, be to be understood of particular persons, and an universality of them, It must be understood of the Elect World, as in the Verse following is clear, where Gods purpose of sending His Son, is expressed to be, that the world through Him might be saved. Now, there can no other universality be thought to be intended, to be saved by God (as was formerly cleared) but the universality (to speak so,) or, the World, of the Elect. Neither will the reading be absurd, to understand it thus, That God so loved the Elect World, that He give His only begotten Son to death for them, that by their believing on Him they should not perish, but have eternallife. And so this place will be interpreted by the parallel thereof, 1 Joh. 4:9. In this was manifested the love of God to words us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him: for, us and we, in the one place, are equipollent to world and whosoever will believe, in the other. That thus it is to be understood, appeareth in this, that even according to the grounds of this opinion there can none be expected to believe but the Elect; and in the Text, there are none profited by this fruit of Christs love to the world, but the Believers; Therefore this love, which giveth this gift, must be said to respect the Elect only, especially considering, that it is in a matter which is the evidence of Gods most special love, as was formerly said. Only, it is expressed in this generall, Whosoever shall believe &c. because the extending of it, in this indefinit expression, doth sate best with the proposed mould of the offer of the Gospel, which is not to invite men to believe, because they are particularly elected, or redeemed; but to invite men to believe; because God hath promised to save such as believe, and because he doth by the outward Ministrie call hearers thereunto. And this is the more to be observed, because Christ here, as a good Minister of the Gospel, is preaching to Nicodemus, and laying before him the sum of the Gospel, and that which must be the object of his faith; and therefore it was necessary that he should take that way of preaching these truths to him, so that as upon the one side, He doth hold forth Gods peculiar respect to the Elect World; so, upon the other, he doth hold forth Gods acceptation of all whosoever shall believe, that the peculiarity of the Redemption may not stumble any in their approaching to Christ, who have the offer of the Gospel made unto them: for, the Word faith in sum, a Believer cannot fail of Salvation, seing God had that respect to His Elect, as to give his only begotten Son to purchase this unto them: and this is to be preached in these indefinit terms, and cannot but be true, seing it is the revealed will of God.
A fourth difficulty following this opinion, is, That it will be hard to conceive how Christ could conditionally die and lay down his life for the redeeming of many who were actually already condemned in Hell: yet, this Universall conditionall Redemption will infer this, otherwayes the Reprobates, who lived before Christs death, were not so much obliged to him as these who did succeed: If it be said, that although Christ actually died in time, yet the transaction was eternal before any man lived in the world. This will not remove the difficulty, because, though it was transacted before time; yet, no question, it was so regulated as it might be performed in time. Now, can it be supposed that the transaction was in these terms, that the Mediator should die and lay down a price for so many Elect, who by the vertue of His death were to be brought to Glory before his sufferings; and that also he should pay so much in the name of so many Reprobates, who for their own sins were to be actually damned at the time of paiment? And whatever be said of the transaction, yet when it came to Christs suffering, it must either be said, that these were scored out, so as Christ did not bear their iniquity, or die for them in any respect; or, it must be said, that before Gods Justice, Christ did bear the iniquity, and pay in the name of such as were actually in Hell, suffering for their own sins at that same instant of time.
Fifthly, It may be asked, what doth become of all insants, whether in the Visible Church, or without it, who die in their infancie? According to the former grounds, it will be hard to determine: for, none can say, upon the one side, that they are all absolutely redeemed and saved, there being no warrant in Scripture for this; on the other side, so say, that Christ died for them, upon condition that they should believe in Him, cannot be well understood: for, though some of them be within the conditionall Covenant made with the Church, and therefore cannot be more rigidly constructed of than these at age; yet are they not in a capacity to perform acts of Faith, and to fulfill that condition: and this incapacity doth not meerly flow from men corruption, as it doth in men at age; but is naturall to young ones, as not to understand, speak, or walk, are: now, it were unreasonable to say, that such children who die in their infancie, were redeemed by Christ, upon condition that they should understand, speak, walk, &c. or, of a child dying in such a condition (suppose it be one not absolutely redeemed) It cannot be said, that that child was redeemed upon this condition, that it had walked, spoken, &c. when as yet it was not (possibly) of one houres age. Again, can it be said of children within the Visible Church, which are not absolutely redeemed, that it is indeterminable whether Christ did die conditionally for them, or not, at least till they come to such an age as they themselves may act Faith? Neither can it be said here, that He redeemed Reprobate children in the Church conditionally, as He did absolutely redeem these that are Elect, although even these cannot act Faith: for, He purchaseth to the Elect saving Grace in the feed thereof, and a new nature to be communicated to them, whereof the youngest children are capable, seing therein they are meerly passive: But, in that conditionall Redemption there is nothing purchased to any but upon condition that they receive Christ offered and believe in Him; which doth suppose an activenesse, and acting to be in these to whom the offer is made: of which, children are not capable. And if this condition could be supposed only to infer something wherein children might be meerly passive, Then this will be the meaning thereof, to wit, that Christ redeemed such children upon condition that he himself should confer such and such things on them, in receiving of which, they could only be passive: which would not look like a conditionall Covenant; for, the performing of the condition will be on Christs side, and not upon theirs: and so it would be absolute as in the case of the Elect children. Neither will it remove this difficulty, to say, that children are partakers of the fathers priviledges, and are to be reckoned accordingly: for, this cannot be said of saving priviledges, so as if no Elect parent could have a Reprobate child; or, no Reprobate parent, an Elect child dying at such an age; because these things belong unto the Soveraignty of God, and He is not so to be bounded in respect of all particular children. Beside, experience in the Word giveth ground to us to call it in question. It must then be understood only of federall priviledges, and that in respect of the externall administration of the Covenant: and this will say nothing to the difficulty; because the doubt is still, what to say of children that are within the conditionall Covenant in respect of their parents, that are within the Visible Church: yet, supposing them to die insantly, or in their nonage, they cannot be said to be conditionally redeemed, because of the reasons foresaid.
Sixthly, If the Reprobate be conditionally redeemed, Then that Redemption of theirs is either transacted in the same Covenant with the absolute Redemption of the Elect, or not: they cannot be said to be comprehended within the same Covenant, because all such as are comprehended in it, are contradistinguished from others, as being the Lords chosen, and such as are given to Christ, &c. Again, this Covenant of Redemption includth the means with the end; for, it is orderd in all things and sure; which cannot be said of this conditionall Covenant: Therefore they cannot be comprehended in one. And it would not sound well, to say, that the Elects Redemption, and that of the Reprobates, were contained in one Covenant. Nor can it be said, that it is a distinct bargain beside the Covenant of Redemption: Because, 1. That were indeed to grant that it is no Redemption, seing it is not comprehended in the Covenant of Redemption. 2. The bussinesse of Christs death, is only transacted in that Covenant, where the Redemption of the Elect is absolutely concluded; because it is the great mids designed formaking of that effectuall: therefore ought it, as to the extent of its merit, to be proportioned to the object of that Covenant, seing by His undertaking the rein alanerly, he becometh liable to death. 3. This would infer two Covenants of Redemption, whereas the Scripture doth but speak of one. And although some speak of a conditionall Covenant with the visible Church; yet, neither can that be said to be made with all men, and so none without the visible Church should be redeemed; neither can that be called a Covenant of Redemption, distinct from that which is made in reference to the Elect; because nothing can be counted a Covenant of Redemption, even a conditionall Covenant, but that wherein God and the Mediator are parties; for, no other can determine absolutely or conditionally upon the bussinesse of Redemption. Beside, what is revealed to the visible Church, and hath the form of a conditionall Covenant, doth but flow from this, as the administration, application, or execution thereof: and therefore cannot be thought to contain any new article concerning the extent or fruit of Christs death, but must be regulated by the former, and is not to be looked upon as a distinct Covenant in it self.
The last thing which we have to say, is, that this mould of a conditionall Redemption of all men, doth not bring with it any more solid way to satisfie or remove the difficulties that are pretended to follow the former. And indeed the way of grace being a mystery and depth which is unsearchable, and the giving of Christ unto death being the most mysterious part of all this mystery; what wonder is it that carnall reason cannot reach the grounds of the Lords soveraign proceeding therein? and what presumption may it be thought to be to endeavour such a mould of this, as may mar the mysteriousnesse thereof, and satisfie reason in all its proud Objections? Yet, we say, this will not do it: for, First, it doth not prove any way more conduceable for the glorifying of grace in respect of these who are conditionally redeemed, as was formerly shown, but rather the contrary. Nor doth it conduce any more to the quieting and comforting of wakened Consciences, (whereof also something was spoken) nor doth it any way tend to make Reprobate sinners more inexcusable, as if thereby the justice of God were more clearly vindicated: for, by this Doctrine, he did not redeem them absolutely, neither did purchase Faith unto them, without which, even according to this conditionall Covenant; they cannot be saved; and yet they can no more obtain Faith of themselves except by His purchase, than they can by themselves satisfie Divine Justice, had He not by His death interposed. Now may not carnall reason still cavill here, and say, that though Christ hath died and purchased them conditionally, yet seing He hath not purchased Faith to them, their Salvation is no lesse impossible, than if there had been no such conditionall Redemption at all. Neither can it be ever instanced, that this meer conditionall Redemption did prosite any person as to life, or any saying good, more than if it had not been at all: and so the matter upon which the pretended cavill doth rise, is but altered, but no way removed.
Secondly, Seing the asserters of this conditionall Redemption do admit or an absolute Election unto life as we do, (at least, for ought I know) then they will have the same cavils to meet with: for, the connexion betwixt Election, Faith, and Salvation, is no lesse peremptor, (so that none can believe and be saved, but an Elect) than the connexion is betwixt Christs dying for one and his obtaining of Salvation; yea, the connexion is no lesse peremptory, and reciprocall (to say so) betwixt absolute Redemption and life, and betwixt meer conditionall Redemption and Damnation (to speak of a connexion simply without respect to any causality) and that according to their grounds, than there is betwixt Redemption and life, and non-redemption and death, according to the grounds which we maintain: yet, I suppose, that none will account this absolute Election of some few, when others are past-by, to be any spot upon the soveraign and free grace of God; or yet any ground of excuse to such as are not thus Elected by Him: and yet without this, (as to the event,) it is certain, that they can never believe nor attain unto Salvation; yea, supposing that Election were grounded upon foreseen Faith, and supposing Reprobation to be grounded upon foreseen sin, and impenitency therein; yet, now both these Decrees being peremptorily and irrevocably past, this is certain, that no other will or shall be saved but such as are so Elected: and so that all others, to whom the offer of the Gospel cometh, shall necessarily perish, or, the former Decree must be cancelled, which is impossible; and this is true, although it be past, (as they say) voluntate consequense, Now when the offer of the Gospel cometh, may not carnall minds raise the same cavill, and say, seing the Lord foreknew that such and such would not believe, and for that cause did determine to glorifie His Justice upon them; to what end then is this offer made to such, who are now by a Decree excluded from the same, what ever be the ground thereof and indeed there is no end of cavilling, if men will give way unto the same: for, flesh will ask, even in reference to this, why doth he then find fault? and who hath resisted his will? for certainly if He had pleased, He might have made it other wife; and seing He pleased not to do so, Therefore it could not be otherwise, as the Apostle hath it, Rom. 9:19 unto which he giveth no other answer, but, Nay, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? hath not the potter power over the clay? &c. in which also we must acquiesce: otherwise no such mould of a conditionall Redemption will give satisfaction.
Thirdly, It can no more warrand the application of the fruits of Christs purchase to any, so as to comfort them in this conditionall Redemption, more than if there were no such thing at all: for, if the sinner believe, the Doctrine of particular Redemption doth warrand any to make application of Christs purchase: if they believe not, this Doctrine of conditionall Redemption giveth no more warrand to make application for the comfort of any than if it were not at all.
Fourthly, Neither doth it warrand a person with any greater boldnesse to take hold of Christ, or to close with the offer of the Gospel made unto him: because that person, who is jealouse to close with Christ, upon this ground, because he knoweth not whether he be redeemed by Him or not, seing all are not redeemed, may be no lesse jealous upon this account, because he knoweth not if by His death he hath procured Faith to him, or not, and so if he be absolutely redeemed; for, this is no lesse necessary for his peace and confidence than the former, and yet will be as difficult to be known to any that will needs search into what is secret, and not rest upon the revealed offer of God as the sufficient ground and object of their Faith. And if only by actuall believing, and no otherwise, they may be assured that Faith is purchased unto them; by the same ground also, may they be cleared, that they are redeemed by Christ; yea, and Elected also: because there is an equal peremptory connexion betwixt Faith and all these.
Fifthly, Neither doth this way and the grounds thereof give Ministers any more solid ground to make the offer of the Gospel indefinitely in their publick Preaching: for, by the truth formerly laid down, we can assure Hearers that whosoever believeth shall partake of life and of the benefits of Christs Redemption; and by vertue of the generall Call and Warrand which we have in the Gospel, we may invite them to believe in Christ, require Faith of them; and, upon condition thereof, assure them of pardon, &c. because the nature of the administration of the Covenant of Redemption is such in plain terms, to wit, that whosoever believeth shall be saved. Also, the nature of our Commission to preach this Gospel, doth fully import the same, as it is summed, Mark. 16:15, 16 for, Ministers warrand to Preach and offer Salvation, is not to Preach and offer the same to the Elect only, whom the Lord hath kept secret from them; but it is to Preach and make offer of this Gospel, to these unto whom the Lord shall send them, and whom He shall gather into a visible Church-state, Yet, this is done for the Electssake among such, whom God hath thought fit to gather out among others by this Preaching of the Gospel, without signifying to the Minister who is Elect, and whom He hath designed to believe: therefore it is suitable to this manner of administration, that the Gospel be preached indefinitly in respect of its call, and that indifferently, as to these who Preach; that so while the call doth reach all particularly, the Elect may with all be gripped with the same. And, upon the grounds of this conditionall Redemption, others can do no more, but publish the offer of the Gospel indefinitly, and assure any who shall believe in Christ, that they shall thereby obtain life and pardon. It is true, we cannot say that Christ hath died and satisfied for them all to whom we Preach; yet that doth not lesson our warrand to call Hearers indifferently on the terms of believing; because, though Christs Redemption be the ground which hath procured this Gospel to be Preached even in these terms, as from that forecited place, Joh. 3:16 may be gathered: and though it be that which boundeth the Lords making of Preaching effectual; yet our Commission is bounded according to the express terms in which it hath pleased the Lord to draw up the same unto us: because the transaction of Redemption, as it relateth to the names of the redeemed, is a fecret betwixt God and the Mediator, Therefore the Book of Life is never opened untill the day of Judgement, Rev. 20. But a Ministers Commission in his Treating with sinners in the visible Church, is a thing which He hath thought good to reveal: and therefore hath doue it so, as the former secret may not be revealed, and yet the end be made effectuall, to wit, the effectuall calling, and in-gathering of so many Elect. And upon the other side, these who may require Faith of all, and plead it of them; upon this ground, that they are conditionally redeemed; yet they cannot say to their Hearers, that Christ hath by His death procured Faith to them all, and so they leave them still at a losse, except they betake them to the externall indefinit call, which doth warrand Ministers to require Faith of all Hearers indifferently, and that without disputing whether Christ hath redeemed all or not; or whether by His Redemption He hath procured Faith to them all or not: because, Faith is a duty, and is called for warrantably by vertue of that call as, is said; and this we do in to far acknowledge. And so in sum, their warrand to Preach the Gospel indefinitely and ours, is found to be of the same extent, an to be founded upon the same general call; Therefore there needeth not be much contending for a different Doctrine, or (as some call it) a different method to derive this warrand from, which doth so natively flow from the received truth. And though the Scripture doth sometimes use this motive indifferently to the members of the visible Church, to stir them up to glorifie God, to wit, that they are bought with a price, as 1 Cor. 6:20. Yet will not that infer an universall or conditionall Redemption of them all, more than these places immediately going before, (vers. 15 and 19 where it is said, that they are members of Christ, and temples of the holy Ghost,) will infer an universall or conditionall regeneration of them all: the first whereof, is false; the second, is absurd: for so it would be upon the matter, that they were renewed, sanctified, and had the Spirit dwelling in them, upon condition that it were so; seing, Regeneration, the Spirit, and Faith (which is a fruit of the Spirit) cannot be separated. The like phrases also are, Chap. 3 of the same Epistle, vers. 16, 17. &c. Beside, will any think that when the Apostle faith, ye are bought with a price, &c. that he doth only intend that conditionall Redemption which can never be effectuall, but he must be understood as having respect to that great mercy in its most peculiar respect; because he doth speak of it to the Elect as well as others, and that as having with it the greatest obligation that can be?
Lastly, It cannot be thought that this mould of a conditionall Redemption so qualified, can be more acceptable to these who plead for an indifferent or equal universall Redemption: because this doth not any whit remove their objections, whereby they plead for nature against the soveraignity of God; nor answer their cavills, whereby they reflect upon the justice of God, for condemning men who cannot possibly (according to the case they are in) be saved. Therefore there is still ground for them to plead mans excusablenesse, seing his salvation, even according to there grounds, is still impossible, as hath been formerly cleared. Neither, I suppose, will it be instanced, that any holding the Socinian, Arminian, or Lutheran principles in these things, have been brought to judge more favourably of that way, than of the other; But on the contrary, may be strengthned, or rather stumbled by this, to continue in their former errours, as finding many orthodox Divines in part to yeeld, because of the supposed strength of their Arguments; and from such concessions they have some ground given to make their conclusions the more strong: for, this conditionall Redemption doth alleage, that there is need to vindicate Gods Justice, and to declare mans inexcusablenesse, and to have clearer grounds of dealing with men for bringing them to Faith, &c. than can be consistent with the principles that are ordinarily maintained by the Orthodox in that point; and seing, by the length which this conditionall Redemption doth go, such ends are not attained, (as hath been formerly hinted) Therefore it will follow that even more than that is necessary, and so that there can be no halting till it be their length. Also it must stumble and stengthen them not a little, to find orthodox Divines taking up and mannageing their Arguments, and by their weapons, beating down the Answers which hitherto have been made thereto, and to see them also enervating the Arguments which have been brought against them by homologating of their Answers. Sure Cameron (the Author of this method) went as far in severall points to alley the heat Arminians and others against this Doctrine, as any; yet, Episcopius in his dealing with him, doth load his way with no lesse absurdities, nor doth any whit inveigh lesse bitterly against him than against others whom he dealt with; yea, in some respect he doth insist more, as alleaging his way to be more inconsistent with reason and with it self, than the way of others; because still, Cameron did assert the absolutenesse of Election, the efficacy of Grace in Conversion, and the impossibility of frustrating the same (when God doth apply it to effectuate Conversion,) or to convert themselves without it, though he endeavoured to maintain these things upon grounds different from what are commonly made use of. We conclude then, That these who are redeemed, are peculiarly oblieged to Christ more than any other; and yet that no other hath any just ground to quarrel with Him; this being certain, that though the reasons of His proceeding may sometimes be unknown to us, yet can they never be unjust. And there is no question, but these who dispute most against his way, now, shall in the day of Judgement have their mouths stopped, when their Consciences shall convincingly bear witnesse of the justice of all the Lords proceeding in this work of Redemption, and even in their own condemnation. But, who can search in these depths? O, the depths of the riches both of the Knowledge and Wisdom of God! O, how unsearchable, are His wayes, and His judgements past finding out! To Him be praise for ever. Amen.
Source: A Commentary Upon the Book of Revelation (Chapter 5)