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difference between them and others, is not owing to the efficacy of Christ's death, but to their own wills and works; they are not beholden to Christ, who has done no more for them than for those that perish; they are not from any such consideration, obliged to walk in lovc, as Christ has loved them, and given himself for them; since he has loved them no more, and given himself for them no other wise, than for them that are lost; nor are they under obligation to be thankful to him, and bless his name, that he has redeemed their lives from destruction, since, notwithstanding his redemption of thein, they might have been destroyed with an everlasting destruction; it is not owing to what Christ has done, but to what they have done themselves, performing the conditions of sal, yation required, that they are saved from destruction, if ever they are, accords ing to this scheme: nor can they indeed sing the song of praise to the Laring for their redemption; saying, Thou art worthy--for thou wast slain, and hast raz deemed us, &'c. since, according to this scheme, Christ has redeemed every kind, red, every tongue, every people, and every nation.
OF THOSE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE
WHICH SEEM TO FAVOUR UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION,
There are several passages of scripture, which, at first sight, may seem to countenance the universal scheme; and which are usually brought in suppet of it; and which it will be necessary to take under consideration : and these may
be divided into three classes. Such in which the words all and every one, are used, when the death of Christ, and the benefits of it are spoken of. Those in which the words world, and the whole world, occur, where the same subjects are trezred of. And, - Those that seem to intimate, as if Clirist died for some that may be destroyed and perish.
I. Such in which the words all, and every one, are used; when the death of Christ, and the benefits of it, particularly redemption and salvation by him, are spoken of.
1. I le declaration of the angel in Luke ii. 10, 11. Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, &c. Let it be observed, that Christ is not here said to be the Saviour of ail men; but to be born for the sake of some, tht he might be the Saviour of thein; unto you is born a Saviour; to you the shepherds, who appeared to be good men, waiting for the salvation of God, and the coming of their Saviour, and therefore praised and glorified God for what they heard and saw; the words fully agree with the prophetic language, in which the birth of Christ is signified, To us a child is born: indeed, it is said, that the news of the birth of a Saviour, would be great joy to all people, or to all the people; not to all the people of the world, many of whom never heard of it; nor to all the people of the Jews, who did hear of it; not to Herod the King, and to the Scribes and Pharisees, and to many, at least, of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; for when he and they heard the report the wise-men from the east made, of the birth of the king of the Jews, Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him, Matt. ii. 3. but to all the people of God and Christ; to the people Christ came to save, and does save; on whose account his name was called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins; the people given him in covenant, and for whose transgressions he was stricken, and for whose sins he made reconciliation, at most, the birth of Christ, as a Saviour, can only be matter of great joy to whom the tidings of it come; whereas, there are multitodes that come into the world, and go out of it, who never hear of the biith of Christ, and of salvation by him; and where the gospel, the good tidings of salvation by Christ, does come, it is only matter of great joy to them to whom it comes in power, and who are, by it, made sensible of their lost, perishing estate, of their want of a Saviour, and of the suitableness of salvation; such as the three thousand convinced and converted under Peter's sermon; and the jailor and his houshold, who cried out, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? To such, and to such only, the news of Christ as a Saviour, is mat:er of great joy.
11. The account given of Jolin's ministry, and the end of it; That all men, through him, might believe, Johni. 7. from whence it is concluded, that all men are bound to believe that Christ came to save them, and that he died for them; and if he did not die for thein, then they are bound to believe a lie; nd if condemned for not believing, they are condemned for not believing an untruth. But John's ministry only reached to the Jews, among whom he came preaching; and the report he made of Christ they were bound to believe, was, not that he died for them; as yet he had not died; but that he was the Messiah: and their disbelief of this was their sin and condemnation; as it is the sin of the deists, and of all unbelievers, to whom the gospel-revelation comes; and they give not credit to it; for such are bound to believe the report it makes; and give an assent to the truth of it; and which is no other than an historical faith, and which mien may have and not be saved; and which the devils themselves have: so that nen may be bound to believe, and yet not to the saving of their souls; or thai Christ died for them. And is the revelation that is made to men, so they are under obligation to believe: if no revelation is inade, no faith is required; How shall they believe in him, of whom they have not card? The Indians who have never heard of Christ, are not bound to believe in him; 'nor will they be contemned for their unbelief; but for their sins against the light of nature, they have been guilty of; sée Rom. x. 14. and ii. 12. Where a revelation is made, and that is only external, and lies in the outward ministry of the word, declaring in general such and such things, concerning the person and office of Christ, men are obliged to give credit to them, upon the evidence they bring with the n, and for their unbelief, will be condemned; not because they diu .st believe inat Christ died for them, to which they were not obliged; but because they did not believe him to be God, the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Saviour of men. Where the revelation is internal, by the Spirit of wisdom, and ievelation in the knowledge of Christ; slewing to men their lost estate, and need of a Saviour, acquainting them with Christ, as an able and willing Saviour; setting before them the fullness and suitableness of his salvation; such are, by the Spirit and grace of God, influenced and engaged to venture thcir souls on Christ, and to believe in him, to the saving of them; but then the first act of faith, even in such, is not to believe that Christ died for them; for it is the plerophory, the full assurance of faith to say, He hath loved me, and given liimself for me! Gal. ii. 20.
mn. The words of Christ in John xii. 32. And I, if I be listed up from the earth will druw all men to me; are expressive of the death of Christ, and of the manner of it, crucifixion; which would be the occasion of drawing a great number of persons together, as is usual at executions; and more especially would be and was at Christ's, he being a remarkable and extraordinary person; some to deplore his case and bewail him, and others to mock at liim and reproach him. Though rather this is to be understood of the great multitude of souls who should be gathered to Christ through the ministry of the word after his death, as the fruit and consequence of it; who should be drawn and influenced by the powerful and efficacious grace of God to come to Christ, and believe in him; in which sense the word draw is used by Christ in John vi. 44. but this is not true of all and every individual person; for there were multitudes then, as now, who will have no will to come to Christ, and are never wrought upon by the grace of God, or drawn by it to come unto him and believe in hiin; and will be so far from being gathered to him, and into fellowship with him, that they will be bid to depart from him another day, with a Go, ye tursed; and in the words before the text, mention is made of the judgment, or condemnation of the world, as being then come; as well as of the prince of it being cast out. But by all men, are meant some of all sorts, Jews and Gentiles, more especially the latter, that should be gathered to Christ after his death, througli the gospel preached unto them; as was foretold, that when Shiloh, the Messiah, came, who now was come, to him should the gathering of the people be; that is, the Gentiles: and it may be observed, that at this time, when Christ spoke these words, that there were certain Greeks that were come to the feast to worship, who were desirous of seeing Jesus ; with which he was made acquainted by his disciples, and occasioned the discourse of which these words are a part; and in which our Lord suggests, that at present these Grecks could not be admitted to him, but the time was at hand when he should be lifted up from the earth, or die; by which, like a coin of wheat falling into the ground and dying, he should bring forth much fruit; and should be lifted up also as an ensign in the ministry of the word, when the Gentiles in great nunbers should fuck and seek unto him.
iv. The passage of the apostle in Rom. v. 18. By the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life; is undoubtedly meant of the righteousness of Christ, called the free gift, because it was freely wrought out by Christ, and is freely imputed without works; and faith, which receives it, is the gift of God; but then this does not come upon, or is imputed to, every individual son and daughter of Adam; for then they would be all justified by it, tand entitled to eternal life through it; and would be glorified, for whoin he jusified, them he also glorified; and being justified by the blood and righteousness of Christ, they would be secure from condemnation, and saved from wrath to come; but this is not true of every one; there are some who are righteously fore-ordained to condemnation; yea, there is a world of ungodly mei), a multitude of them, that will be condemned, Jude 4, 1 Cor. xi. 32. The design of the apostle in the text and context is to shew, that as all men are sinnets, and are originally so through the sin and offence of the first man Adam; so all thai are righitous become righteous, or are justified, only through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them to their justification; and those who are justified by it, as described by the apostle in this epistle as the elect of God; Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? it is God that justifics; as believers in Christ, on whom his righteousness comes, or is imputed to their justification; that is, unto all, and upon all them that believe, and such who receive that, receive also abundance of grace, chap viii. 33. and iïi. 22. and v. 17. all which cannot be said of every individual of mankind. But what will set this matter in a clear light is, that Adam and Christ, throughout the whole context, are to be considered as two covenant-heads, having their respective seed and offspring under them; the one as conveying sin and death to all his natural seed, and the other as conveying grace, righteousnes and life to all his spiritual seed; now as throuch the offence of the first Adam judgment came upon all tv condemnation, who descended from him by natural generation, and upon none else; as not upon the human nature of Christ, which did not so descend from hin; nor upon the angels that sinned, who were condemned and punished for their own otleuces, and not his, being none of his offspring; so the free gift of Christ's righteousness comes upon all to justification, and to none else, but those who are the spiritual seed of Christ; given to him as such in the covenant of grace, in which he stands an head to them; and in whom all the seed of Israel, the spiritual Israel of God, are justified, and shall glory.
v. The parallel place in i Cor. xv. 22. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; which is similar to the preceding in some respect, thougla not, in every thing; it is similar to it in that Adain and Christ are to be considered as representative heads of their respective offspring. Thougii these words have no, respect at all to justification of life, nor to men being quickened together with Christ, nor to the quickening of them by the Spirit and grace of God; but of the resurrection of the dead, when men that have been dead will be made alive, or quickened; see verse 36. and the design of them is to shew, as in the preceding verse, that as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead; as death came by the first Adam, the resurrection of the dead comes by
the second Adam; as the first Adam was a federal head and representative of all that naturally descended from hin, and they were considered in him, and sinned iu him, and cleath passed upon all in him, and actually reigns over all his postesity in all generations; so Christ is a federal head and representative of all his spiritual seed, given to him in covenant, and who, though they die a corporal death, shall be made alive, or raised from the dead, by virtue of union to him; for of those only is the apostle speaking in the context, even of such of whom Christ is the first fruits, and who belong to him, verse 23. for though all shall be made alive, or raised from the dead, by Christ, through his mighty power ; yet only those that belong to him, as his seed and offspring, or the members of his body, shall be raised through union to him, and in the first place, and to everlasting life; others will be raised to shame and evei lasting contempt, and to the resurrection of damnation.
vi. The text in 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. is sometimes brought as a proof of Christ's dying for all men in an unlimitted sense; if one died for all, then were all dead: now let it be observed, that in the supposition if one died for all, the word met is not used; it is not all men, but all, and may be supplied from other scrip tures, all luis people, whom Christ came to save; and all the sheep he laid downy bis life for; all the members of the church for whom he gave himself; all the sous whom he brings to glory: and the conclusion, then were all dead, is not to be understood of their being dead in sin, which is no consequence of the death of Christ; but of their being dead to sin in virtue of it; and could it be understood in the first sense, it would only prove that all for whom Christ died are dead in sin, which is true of the elect of God as of others, Eph. ii. 1. but it would not prove that Christ died for all those that are dead in sin, which is the case of every man; but the latter sense is best, for to be dead to sin is the fruit and effect of Christ's death; Christ bore the sins of his people on the cross, that they being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness; through the death of Christ they become dead to the damning power of sin; and to the law, as a cursing law; that they might serve the Lord in newness of spirit; this puts them into a capacity of living to hiin, and affords the strongest argument, drawn from His love in dying for thein, to such purposes; to influence and engage them to live to his glory. And let it be further observed, that the same persons Christ died for, for them he rose agaiır; now as Christ was delivered for the offences of men unto death, he was raised again for their justification; and if he rose for the justification of all men, then all would be justified; whereas they are not, as before observed.
VII. The words in 1 Tim. ii. 4. Who will have all men to be saved, &c. It is certain that all that are saved, it is the will of God they should be saved, and that by Christ, and by hiin only; I' will save them by the Lord their God; salvation of whomsoever, is not of the will of men, but flows from the sovereign will and pleasure of God; and if it was the will of God that every individual of mankind should be saved, they would be saved; for who hath resisted his will?