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These views of the subject accord with my own. I know not but that there is the same objective fulness and sufficiency in the obedience and sufferings of Christ, for the salvation of sinners, as there is in the power of the Holy Spirit for their renovation; . both are infinite, yet both are applied under the dis rection of infinite wisdom, and uncontrolable sovereignty. It is allowed that the death of Christ has opened a way whereby God can consistently with his justice, forgive any sinner whatever, who returns to him by Jesus Christ. If we were to suppose, for argument's sake, that all the inhabitants of the globe should thus return, it is supposed not one soul need be sent away for want of a sufficiency in Christ's death to render his pardon and acceptance consistent with the rights of justice. But great and necessary as this mercy is, if nothing more than this had been done, not one of the human race had ever been saved. It is necessary to our salvation that a way and an highway to God should be opened: Christ is such a way; and is as free for any sinner to walk in as any highway whatever from one place to another; but considering the depravity of human nature, it is equally necessary that some effectual provision should be made for our walking in that way. We conceive
my of Arminianism, chap. XXVII. § 9. and DR. OWEN in his Death of Death, book IV. chap. I. Also in his Display of Arminianism, ch. IX.
I use the metaphor of a way the rather because it conveys an idea sufficiently clear; and is frequently applied to Christ in the scriptures. John xiv. 4, 5, 6. 1sa. xxxv. 8. Jer. vi, 16.
that the Lord Jesus Christ made such a provision by his death, thereby procuring the certain bestowment of faith as well as all other spiritual blessings which follow upon it-that in regard of all the sons who are finally brought to glory, he was the surety or captain of their salvation-that their salvation was properly speaking, the end or design of his death. And herein we suppose consists the particularity of redemption.
I think I might reduce all that is necessary to be said upon this subject to two questions-First, Had our Lord Jesus Christ any absolute determination in his death to save any of the human race? Secondly, Supposing such a determination to exist concerning some which doth not exist concerning others, is this consistent with indefinite calls, and universal invitations? The discussion of these two questions will contain the substance of what I shall advance upon the subject; but as pretty much is required to be said, I shall subdivide the whole into four lesser
CONTAINING A DISCUSSION OF THE FIRST QUESTION, WHETHER OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD ANY ABSOLUTE DETERMINATION IN HIS DEATH TO SAVE ANY OF THE HUMAN RACE?
IF the affirmative of this question be proved, if it be shown that Christ had such an absolute purpose, in his death, the limited extent of that purpose must follow of course. The reason is plain; an absolute purpose must be effectual. If it extended to all mankind, all mankind would certainly be saved. Unless therefore we will maintain the final salvation of all mankind, we must either suppose a limitation to the absolute determination of Christ to save, or deny any such determination to exist. The scheme of P. concurs with the latter, supposing that by the death of Christ a mere conditional provision of redemption is made for all mankind, I own I think otherwise; some of the reasons for which are as follows.
I. The promises made to Christ of the certain efficacy of his death.-One of our grand objections to the scheme of P. is, that in proportion as he extends the objects for whom Christ died beyond those who are actually saved, he diminishes the efficacy of his death, and renders all the promises concerning itof no account. His scheme, instead of making redemption universal, supposes that Christ's death did not properly redeem any man, nor render the salvation of any man a matter of certainty. It only procured an offer of redemp
tion and reconciliation to mankind in general. We apprehend this is diminishing the efficacy of Christ's death, without answering any valuable end. Nor is this all, such an hypothesis appears to us utterly inconsistent with all those scriptures where God the Father is represented as promising his Son a reward for his sufferings in the salvation of poor sinners. God the Father engaged, saying, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; thou hast (or shalt have) the dew of thy youth." Yes, he engaged that he should "see his seed-that the pleasure of Jehovah should prosper in his hand"—that he should "see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; and by his knowledge," it was added, "shall my righteous servant justify many, FOR he shall bear their iniquities." It was promised to Christ as the reward of his sufferings, that "Kings, should see, and arise; princes also, it was added, shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel shall choose thee: thus saith JEHOVAH, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners go forth, and to them that sit in darkness, shew yourselves. Behold, these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim!"* But what security, I ask, was
* Psal. cx. 3. Isai. liii. 10, 11. Isai. xlix. 7, 8, 9, 12.
there for the fulfilment of any of these promises but upon the supposition of the certain salvation of some of the human race? How could it be certain that Christ should justify many, if there was no effectual provision made that any should know and believe in him? and what propriety was there in assigning his bearing their iniquities as the REASON and EVIDENCE of it, if there is no necessary connection between our iniquities being borne away, and our persons being justified?
II. The characters under which Christ diedHe laid down his life as a shepherd; and for whom should we expect him to die in that character? For the sheep, no doubt. So the scriptures informs us— "The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I lay down my life for the sheep." Those for whom Christ laid down his life are represented as being his sheep prior to their coming to the fold. "These, saith the blessed Redeemer, I must bring; and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."-As sheep are committed into the hands of a shepherd, and as he becomes responsible for their preservation or restoration; so Christ is represented as the great Shepherd of the sheep, whose blood was shed by covenant; and who, by fulfilling that covenant, was entitled to a discharge, which, as the representative of those for whom he died, he enjoyed in his resurrection from the dead.*
Again, Christ laid down his life as a husband; and
* John x. 11, 15, 16. Heb. xxx. 20.