« VorigeDoorgaan »
For JANUARY 1786.
An EXTRACT from Dr. Whitby's DiSCOURSES on the
[Continued from Vol. vii. page 618.]
DISCOURSE II. Concerning the Extent of Christ's Redemption.
TO fate the matter aright, I shall shew, 1. What limita-
tions of our Lord's general Redemption I cannot admit
ift. I reje&t that distinction as absurd, which faith, Chrift
of salvation; that salvation being to be obtained only by them to whom it belongs. It therefore leaves all others under an impossibility of believing, repenting, and obeying the Gospel ; which are the conditions of the New Covenant. 3dly, I follows hence that it cannot be the duty of any, befides the Elect, to believe in Chrift, or to bless God for sending him into the world: for this no man can reasonably do, because Christ's blood was sufficient to procure his pardon; but because it was designed for that end. Remove this supposition, and to say Christ's death was sufficient for their salvation, is only to say, Chrit could have procured it if he would; but he would not, and who can bless him upon that account? 4thly, Hence it is evident, all who are not elected cannot believe in a Saviour that died for them, but only in one whose death would have been sufficient to procure their pardon, had it been intended for that end, as it was not. And what comfort can this administer to any ? Surely no more than it would yield to a condemned malefactor to know his prince could have pardoned him, but would not. Nor, i
2dly, Can I approve of their do&trine who say, Christ dieses . so far for all as to procure salvation for them if they will be lieve and repent; but that he died moreover to procure for the Elect, Faith and Repentance. For, first, there is no ground at all in Scripture for this distinction: for that faith, Christ died for the world; for all; for every man; but never that he died for one part of mankind more than another. edly, They who make this diftin&tion, positively assert, none can repent and believe for whom Christ died not to procure Faith and Repentance: seeing then what he died not to procure, can never be obtained, if Christ died' only to procure Faith and Repentance for the Elect, the rest can never have them. Wherefore to force these men to lay aside thcfe disguises of their reab sentiments, I demand, 3dly, when they say, Christ died for all, so far as to procure salvation for them, if they will believe and repent; whether he died to procure pardon and salvation
on a condition, which was possible for them to perform, or only upon a condition which was impossible, for want of grace fufficient? If the latter only, it is certain, he died not at all for them; for what is only done on an impossible fuppofition, is not done at all. It being the same thing not to die at all, for their benefit, as to do it only on a condition they cannot possibly perform. But if he died to procure salvation for them on a condition which they might perform, he died intentionally to procure falvation to them as well as to the Elect; and fo all mankind may be saved. These are the expositions of the extent of our Lord's death, which I reject. I add positively,
1. When I say, Chrif died for all, I mean that he died equally for all. This will be evident if we consider, first, that he offered the same facrifice, suffered one and the same death, Bed the same blood for all for whom he died. This sacrifice must therefore be offered equally for all; because it is the same oblation, the same body crucified, and the same blood shed for all. And hence that scripture, which faith expressly, that Chrift died for all, affords not the least intimation that he fuffered more for one than another. Morcover, 2dly, it is certain, the sufferings of Christ, and his blood shed, cannot be distributed into parts, so that one should have one fhare of it, another a second, and another a third; but whosoever hath an interelt in them, hath a title to the whole benefit procured by them, and he who hath no title to the whole, hath no share at all in the benefit of his sufferings. 3dly, His blood was shed to establifh the New Covenant: now that is equally established to all who perform the conditions of it, Faith, Repentance and fincere Obedience, and belongs to none who never perform
2. When we say Christ died for all, we do not mean that he died for any abfolutely, or without any conditions to be per. formed on their part, to intereft them in the blessings of his paffion; but only that he died for all conditionally, or so as that
they should be made partakers of the blessings of his Passion an condition of their Faith, Repentance, and sincere Obedience to the Laws of the New Covenant. These are the means he hath appointed to render them partakers of that salvation which he hath purchased by his blood. And as he died for all conditionally, so it is certain that he died for none otherwise, i. e. he died not with intention to confer the blessings of his passion on any but true believers, and such as would obey the laws of his New Covenant; it being impossible in the nature of the thing, that he should die to save the unbeliever: to deny this is to say, he died to confer the blessings of his passion on the im. penitent and disobedient. And therefore,
gdly, When we say Christ died for all, we do not mean that he purchased actual reconciliation, or life for all; this being in effect to say, that he has actually reconciled God to the impenitent and disobedient, which is impossible: he only hath put all men into a capacity of being reconciled to God, upon their turning to him. The death of Christ having rendered it consistent with the justice and wisdom of God, with the honour of his Majesty, and with the ends of his government, to pardon the penitent believer. Hence the Apostles were sent both to Jew and Gentile, To preach Repentance towards God, and Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, that they may receive remission of fins, and an inheritance among those that are fančtified through Faith in him. To illustrate this by a plain fimilitude: suppose a prince whose subjeéts had rebelled against him, should, through the intercession of his beloved son, promise pardon to as many of them as would ask pardon in his son's name, and promise to be obedient subjects for the future; would this procure an ałtual pardon to any of them, till they had performed these conditions? Or would it ever do it for them who wilfully refused to perform them? So here, Christ, by. his death, obtained of his Father a New Covenant, in which he promises to pardon all upon their faith, repentance, and perseverance in well-doing; but he hath not, by his deatli, procured actual