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HAS PROVIDED A GENERAL REMEDY.
dience; and, therefore, not more impossible to be obtained by one than by another. Thus the atonement, if in itself adequate to the salvation of the world, lays an adequate basis for that system of moral government which Jehovah is still carrying on a basis on which rest the invitations, threatenings, and promises of the gospel, the instruments of that government; and which will sustain the rectitude of the proceedings of the great day, when all will receive from God, as a moral Governor, that joyful or dread reward, which the Scriptures attach to the reception or rejection of the gospel. “ The present dispensation,” says Dr. Russell, “is not a mere charter of privileges, but includes also a system of moral government, by which God, in the use of appropriate means, exercises authority over men, as intelligent creatures. In other words, it is not merely a system of benevolence.” And again, “ The atonement of Christ, and the proclamation of mercy to all who believe on him, have laid the foundation of a particular exercise of moral government, while they are the medium of the most exalted displays of sovereign mercy
and goodness." (Adamic and Mosaic Dispensations, pp. 233-236.)
On the other hand, let us contemplate the state of the case, as it must have existed, had there been any limitation in the sufficiency of the atonement itself-had Christ so died for some men only, as that his death would have been incompetent to the salvation of all men. In that case there would have been an obvious difference in the conduct of God, as moral Governor, in relation to individuals involved in the same condemnation. The sentiment opposed supposes that the original lapse of the species was followed by no new and merciful dispensation,-by no "accepted time," during which God will hear the supplications of all who implore mercy in the name of his Son,-and, at the expiration of which, will render to all, in his rectoral character, according to their reception or rejection of the salvation which had been exhibited to them ;but that, without the intervention of any such dispensation,--a dispensation which might afford an opportunity for a difference of final state being awarded according to the rules of moral government, ---many are left to suffer the sentence of the
SATEMENTS OF CALVIN, OWEN,
law which all have broken, while others, guilty of the same crime, are pardoned.
Though we do not admit human authority in religion, it may be well to remember that the sentiments which I have expressed in reference to the sufficiency of the atonement, have been held by individuals whose praise is in all the churches. I refer to a few, beginning with Calvin himself; for it is his final opinion on this point which is to be regarded as his real opinion. In his Exposition of the Holy Scriptures, written subsequently to his Institutes, he says, with reference to Matt. xxvi. 28, “ Sub multorum nomine non partem mundi tantum designat, sed totum humanum genus.” Again, on Rom. v. 18, Communem omnium gratiam facit, quia omnibus exposita est, non quod ad omnes extendatur re ipsa. Nam etsi passus est Christus pro peccatis totius mundi, atque omnibus indifferenter, Dei benignitate offeretur; non tamen omnes apprehendunt.” In his last will, also, drawn up by himself about a month before his death, he refers to the blood of Christ, and adds that it was “effuso pro humani generis peccatis.”
Dr. Owen, also, who at an earlier period of his life espoused the notion that the Redeemer suffered the exact quantum of punishment which the elect must have endured, -an opinion which necessarily implies that his atonement was not in itself sufficient for the salvation of all,-in more advanced age warmly recommended Polhill's Treatise on the Divine Will,“ the arguments of which,” he says, " are suited to the genius of the age past, wherein accuracy and strictness of reason bear sway.” And yet this treatise argues in the following manner : "If Christ did in no way die for all men, which way shall the truth of these general promises be made out? Whosoever will, may take of the water of life.' What, though Christ never bought it for him? “Whosoever believes shall be saved.' What, though there was no Aurpov, no price paid for him ? Surely the gospel knows no water of life, but that which Christ purchased, nor any way of salvation but by a Avtpov, or price paid. If Christ no way died for all men, how can these promises stand true? All men, if they believe, shall be saved ;-saved,
but how? Shall they be saved by a Aurpov, or price of redemption? There was none at all paid for them; the immense value of Christ's death doth not make it a price as to them for whom he died not; or shall they be saved without a durpov, or price? God's unsatisfied justice cannot suffer it, his minatory law cannot bear it, neither doth the gospel know any such way of salvation; take it either way, the truth of those promises cannot be vindicated, unless we say that Christ died for all men.” I do not wish to be understood as expressing approbation of the whole of this language. The writer seems to have entertained obscure conceptions in reference to the nature of the atonement,—the manner in which the death of Christ secured the pardon of sin. I merely quote it as involving the opinion that his sacrifice is in itself sufficient for the whole family of man; which is all for which I think it necessary to contend.
The following statements of the great Charnock are especially worthy of attention. “The wrath of God was so fully appeased by it, (the death of Christ,) his justice so fully satisfied, that there is no bar to a re-admission into his favour, and the enjoyment of the privileges purchased by it, but man's unbelief. The blood of Christ is a stream of which all men may drink, an ocean wherein all may bathe. If any perished by the biting of the fiery serpent, it was not for want of a remedy in God's institution, but from wilfulness in themselves. The antitype answers to the type, and wants no more a sufficiency to procure a spiritual good, than that to effect the cure of the body. He is, therefore, called the Saviour of the world. When the apostle says, “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thy heart, thou shalt be saved,” he speaks to every man that shall hear that sentence. If all the men in the world were united to him by faith, there would not be any more required of Christ for their salvation, than what he hath already acted; for it is a sacrifice of infinite value, and infinite knows no limits. Since it was sufficient to satisfy infinite justice, it is sufficient to save an infinite number; and the virtue of it in saving one, argues a virtue in it to save all upon the same conditions. If
STATEMENTS OF SCOTT.
men, therefore, perish, it is not for want of value, or virtue, or acceptableness in this sacrifice ; but for want of answering the terms upon which the enjoyment of the benefits of it is proposed. If a man will shut his eyes against the light of the sun, it argues an obstinacy on the part of the
person, not any defect in the sun itself. (Vide Discourse on the Acceptableness of Christ's Death.)
I add only the following quotations from the excellent Scott:
“ It seems to be the decided opinion of his Lordship, (Bishop of Lincoln,) that the evangelical clergy, especially such of them as believe the doctrine of personal election, hold what is called particular redemption, whereas very few of them adopt it. The author of these remarks, (himself,) urged by local circumstances rather than by choice, above twenty-four years since, avowed his dissent from the doctrine of particular redemption, as held by many professed Calvinists, especially among the Dissenters." It is to be regretted that Mr. Scott used the term redemption here. He evidently regarded it as identical with atonement. This is not the case, however. Redemption is the effect of atonement. It is the actual deliverance of its subject from condemnation, sin, and misery, on the ground of the atonement-or the price of redemption paid by the Son of God. Redemption, therefore, must be particular; or, we must admit the unscriptural doctrine of universal salvation. This is, however, only a mistake as to phraseology. That Mr. Scott understood redemption in the sense of atonement, is manifest from the following passage :-“The infinite value and sufficiency of the atonement made by the death of Him who was God and man in one mysterious person; the way in which the Scripture calls on sinners, without distinction, to believe in Christ ; and every circumstance respecting redemption, shows it to be a general benefit, from which none will be excluded, except through unbelief." (Reply, &c., pp. 447, 448.)
II. The second thing to be proved, in reference to the atonement, is, that Jehovah, as a Sovereign, having a right to dispense his favours as he pleases, did not determine to exert
that influence which would render the remedy effectual to salvation, save in the case of the elect. I confess, I want no other basis for the confidence I repose in this statement, than the fact, to which reference has been made, viz., that the remedy is not effectual in the case of all men. Few things can be more certain than that what an Almighty Saviour undertakes, he must accomplish ; in other words, that if Christ died with the intention of rendering his atonement the means of salvation to all men, all men must be saved. There are more ways than one by which we may ascertain the purposes of God; yet, perhaps, a more certain mode of accomplishing this does not exist, than to examine the conduct of God. In our contests with Arminians, we contend that what he does, he previously determined to do; it is, obviously, equally manifest, that what he does not do, he did not previously determine to do. All men are not actually saved. by Christ; all were not intended to be thus actually saved by him. If his purpose had been to bring all, by effectual and gracious influence, to the enjoyment of salvation, on the ground of that infinite atonement which was required as a necessary basis for the unlimited invitations of the gospel, what could have frustrated his intentions ? “ His counsel must stand, and he will do all his pleasure." Let us suppose the case, for the purpose of illustration, (and the case will suit our purposes in more senses than one,) that the whole human family were the subjects of a dangerous malady, for which Jehovah provides a remedy—a remedy which cannot, in the nature of the case, possess efficiency to remove the malady in one case, without being able to remove it in all
Its actual efficiency, however, depends upon its being taken; and the certainty of its being taken depends upon the Divine purpose to remove that dislike to it which would lead to its rejection. Now the question is, must not the number of persons restored to health by this medicine, correspond, or rather be identical, with that from whose minds Jehovah determined to remove that dislike of which we have been speaking? I see not how it can be doubted. Had it been the purpose of Jehovah to render it effectual universally, what could have prevented the perfect restoration to health of every