PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FB - TWITTER - GR VIDEOS - GR FORUMS - GR YOUTUBE
DR.WHITBY says, that the confirmation of the doctrine of universal redemption, from the suffrage of all antiquity, is sufficiently done by Vossius, in his Historia Pelagiana, where he lays down these two positions 1. That “the sense of the ancient church was, that God wills the conversion and salvation of all.” 2. That “it was the judgment of the ancient church, that Christ had provided an universal remedy for the universal fault of men, by paying a ransom of infinite value, lest any one should perish through the defect of it.”
He further observes, that this is more copiously done by Mr. Dally (he means Monsieur Daille) by producing the testimonies of the ancients from the first to the twelfth century; and concluding thus, “Certainly I do not find one in the first eight ages of Christianity that has said absolutely, and in terms, as is commonly said, that Christ died only for the elect.” Here the Doctor rests, and would have his readers trust to and depend upon the conclusions and assertions of these two men. Vossius’s Pelagian History must be allowed to be a very considerable performance, and is the fund and magazine of antiquity for the Arminians. Dr. Twisse intended an answer to it, and in one of his books says, he had entered upon it; but death I suppose prevented his design, at least it never was published; such a work, by so learned a hand, might have been of great service. But why should we trust to Vossius’s account of the judgment of the ancient church in this point, since Dr. Whitby himself would not trust him in another? namely, original sin; though he was so very positive as to say “The catholic church always so judged;” and the Doctor tells us, that “upon an impartial search he found that all the passages he had collected were impertinent, or at least insufficient to prove the point.” This gives no encouragement to depend on him. And inasmuch as the several passages cited by Vossius are also, with many others, produced by Monsieur Daille, I shall only attend to the latter, and to those only of the first four centuries; and though he observes, that in these and the four following ages, none ever said absolutely, and in express terms, that Christ died only for the elect; yet it does not follow, but that some might say it, in other terms and words equivalent, of the same signification, and which amounted to the same sense. It must be owned, that Monsieur Daille has collected a large number of testimonies indeed; but when it is considered, that multitudes of them are only expressed in Scripture language, and so capable of the same sense the Scriptures are; others regard men of all sorts, ranks, and degrees; others Jews and Gentiles; others the sufficiency of Christ’s death for all; and others, some general benefit by it, as the resurrection of the dead; their number will be greatly reduced, and very few left to be of any service to the cause for which they are brought; besides, it will be made to appear in the following Sections, that the ancients often describe the persons for whom Christ died by such characters as cannot agree with all men.
CLEMENS ROMANUS. A. D. 69.
CLEMENT, as he believed there was a certain number of elect persons, which has been proved in the preceding chapter, so he plainly intimates, that these are the persons for whom Christ shed his blood; for having observed, that all the elect of God are made perfect in love, he adds, f1023 “Without love nothing is well-pleasing to God; in love the Lord assumed us to himself; because of the love which Christ our Lord hath towards us, to aima autou adwken uper hmwn , he hath given his blood for us, his flesh for our flesh, and his soul for our souls.” The sense of which is manifestly this, that the persons for whose sake Christ assumed human nature, and shed his precious blood, are the elect of God, and such who have a special and peculiar share in the love of Christ. And besides his saying, that the blood of Christ was given, uper hmwn, for us, he restrains redemption to them that have faith and hope in God; for speaking of the spies that came into Rahab’s house, ordering her to hang out a scarlet thread, thereby says he, “making it manifest, oti dia tou aimatos Kuriou lutrosis estai pasi tois pisteuousin kai elpizousin epi ton Theon, that through the blood of the Lord there should be redemption for all those that believe and hope in God.” Monsieur Daille has cited a passage from this writer in favor of general redemption, which is this, “Let us,” says Clement, f1027 “look to the blood of Christ, and see how precious his blood is to God, which being shed for our salvation, panti to kosmo metanoias Charin upenegken, ‘hath brought the grace of repentance to all the world.’” But his meaning is evidently this, that the blood of Christ, shed for the salvation of sinners, has laid a foundation for the preaching of the doctrine of repentance in all ages of the world; for he goes on to instance in the preaching of Noah to the old world; of Jonah to the Ninevites; and in God’s declarations of his regard to repenting sinners in the times of Isaiah and Ezekiel; which he closes with this observation, pantas oun tous agapetous autou boulomenos metanoias metechien, “God therefore willing that his beloved ones should partake of repentance.” In which he suggests, that God’s grand design in having the doctrine of repentance preached in all ages was, that those who were the objects of his love might be brought unto it; which is so far from militating against, that it is a confirmation of the doctrine of special grace and redemption through the blood of Christ.
BARNABAS. A. D. 70.
BARNABAS was a Levite, of the country of Cyprus, ( Acts 4:36.) and a companion of the apostle Paul; there is an epistle extant which goes under his name, and is thought to have been written after the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, and about A. D. 70, in which he not only says, “that the Son of God being Lord, and who also shall judge the quick and the dead, epathen ina e plege autou zoopoiete emas, suffered that by his stripes he might quicken us;” that he could not suffer ei me dis emas, “but for us;” and that he offered the vessels of the Spirit a sacrifice, uper ton emereron amartion, “for our sins,”but also introduces Christ f1030 thus speaking of his sufferings, “I see that I shall thus offer my flesh, uper amartion tou laou tou kainou, for the sins of the new people; meaning a special and peculiar people that should be taken out from among the Gentiles under the New Testament dispensation, called a new people, to distinguish them from God’s ancient people the Jews.
IGNATIUS. A. D. 110.
IGNATIUS never makes use of any general expressions when he speaks of the sufferings and death of Christ; but either says, that he suffered, uper emo, di emas , “for us, that we might be saved;” or uper amartion emon, “for our sins;” and sometimes describes the persons he means, as when he says, that “Jesus Christ died for us,” ina pisteusantes eis ton thanaton autou, to apothaneine ekphug ete, “that believing in his death, you may escape dying.” And in another place he says, that “Jesus is” e zor ton piston, “the life of believers.” Monsieur Daille has not attempted to give us one instance for general redemption out of this writer, nor the former.
JUSTIN. A. D. 150.
JUSTIN MARTYR, in many places of his writings, limits an incarnation, sufferings, death, and sacrifice of Christ, and redemption by him, to certain persons whom he describes by repenting sinners, believers, etc. when he says, that Christ “was born according to the will of God the Father uper ton pisteuonton anthropon, for men that believe;” that is, in order to procure salvation, and obtain eternal redemption for such persons, as he elsewhere explains it; saying, that he “became man of a virgin, according to the will of the Father, uper soterias ton pistenonton auto, for the salvation of them that believe in him.” And in another place, having cited Isaiah 33:16, Bread shall be given him; he observes, “that is a prophecy concerning that bread which our Christ hath delivered to us in commemoration of his being embodied; dia tous pisteuontas eis auton, di ous kai, pathetos gegone, for the sake of them that believe in him, for whom also he became subject to sufferings.” And elsewhere he says, | f1037 that “the offering of fine flour for the leper, was a figure of the bread of the eucharist, which Jesus Christ our Lord hath delivered unto us to do in commemoration of his sufferings; which he endured uper ton kathairomenon tas psuchas ape pases ponerias anthropon, for those men whose souls are purified from all iniquity;” and this he supposed was done by the blood of Christ; for more than once explaining that text in Genesis 49:11, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes; he says, it “foretold, and manifestly declared the sufferings which Christ should endure, di animatos kathairon tous pisteuontas auto, purifying by his blood them that believe in him.” These, he often intimates, share the benefits of, Christ’s blood, sufferings, and death; “as,” says he, “the blood of the passover saved them that were in Egypt, so the blood of Christ tous pisteuontas rusetai ek thanatou, delivers from death those that believe.” In like manner he asserts, that Christ was an offering or sacrifice, uper panton metanoein boulomenon amartolon, “for all sinners that are willing to repent.” Yea, that a pallagin de tou thanatou tois metaginoskousin apo ton phaulon kai pisteuousin auto ergazetai , “he has wrought out deliverance from death for those that repent of their evils and believe in him.” Now had Justin been of opinion that Christ died for every individual of mankind, would he have used such limitations and restrictions, when treatings of the extent of his sufferings and death? Monsieur Daille indeed cites some passages from him as favoring the doctrine of universal redemption; but his first instance only proves, that Christ was born and crucified uper tou genous ton anthropon, “for the generation of men,” or for mankind; but not that he was born and crucified for every individual of mankind. Justin’s sense in other places is clear, and his meaning is that Christ died for some of all sorts of men; as when speaking of the scarlet thread that Rahab the harlot was directed to bind to her window, he says, F1043 it was a “symbol of the blood of Christ, by which are saved the fornicators of old, and unrighteous persons, ek pantwn twn eqnwn , out of all nations; receiving forgiveness of sins, and sinning no more.” And in another place he thus expresses himself, “As Jacob served Laban for the cattle that were spotted, and of various forms, so Christ served even to the cross, uper twn ek pantov genouv poikilwn kai polneidwn anqrwpwn , for men of every kind, of many and various shapes, procuring them by his blood, and the mystery of the cross.” Monsieur Daille’s second instance only declares that kind and tender manner in which God sent his Son into the world. His third sets forth Justin’s sentiments concerning the heathens, which will be considered in a proper place. And his fourth and last only shows, that it is the will of God that all should be saved; meaning, that all men shall be raised from the dead; against those that deny the doctrine of the resurrection; or that it is the will of God that some of all sorts should be saved, referring to the apostle’s words and sense in 1 Timothy 2:4.
ECCLESIA SMYRNENSIS. A. D. 169.
THE church at Smyrna wrote a letter to the churches in Pontus, and to the church at Philomelium, as it is thought, about the year 169, giving an account of the sufferings of some martyrs, and particularly of Polycarp, their former bishop; in which they take notice of the stupidity of some persons, who used their interest to prevent the Christians having the dead body of Polycarp given them; lest leaving their crucified Christ, they should begin to worship him; being ignorant, say they, that we can never leave that Christ, ton uper tes tou pantos kosmou ton sozomenon soterias pathonta , “who suffered for the salvation of the whole world of them that are saved, nor worship any other.” This passage Monsieur Daille f1046 thinks makes nothing to the purpose, since it does not deny that Christ died for others besides those who are really saved. But surely if these pious Christians had believed that Christ died for all men, for them that are saved, and for them that are not saved, they would never have expressed themselves in this restrictive manner; but would have chose to have carried the extent of Christ’s sufferings and death to the utmost, when they were declaring their great regard for him, and the great benefit of salvation men receive by him. Besides, these words manifestly show, in what sense this very ancient church understood those universal phrases, the world, the whole world , and all men, in Scripture, for whom Christ is said to give himself and die, and for whose sins he is said to be a propitiation; that these design a certain number of men that are and will be saved. As to the version of Ruffinus, urged by this author, rendering the passage thus, “who endured death for the salvation of the whole world;” it is not worthy of regard, since it is an imperfect one, omitting the words ton sozomenon.
And here I choose to take notice of a citation made by Monsieur Daille, and after him by Dr. Whitby, out of an epistle of Polycarp, bishop of this church at Smyrna, said to be written A.D. 107, to the Philippians, in which he thus speaks concerning Christ, “who,” says he, “will come to judge the quick and the dead; on to aima ekzetesei o Theos apo ton apeithounton auto, whose blood God will require of them that believed not in him;” from whence they conclude, that according to this ancient venerable bishop, Christ died for them that perish, as well as those that are saved. It is something strange, that Monsieur Daille should cite a passage out of an epistle, the genuineness of which he himself has called in question; and, should it appear to be genuine, as it is thought to be by many learned men, it will be of no service to him, or to the Doctor, or to the cause they espoused, since God may be said to require, as he certainly will require, the blood of Christ of the unbelieving Jews who shed it; and indeed of them only, who said, His blood be on us and on our children; without supposing that his blood was shed for them; yea, on the contrary it appears, that his blood was not shed for them, both from their final unbelief, and from its being required of them. And of as little service are his citations from Minutius Felix, Athenagoras, Tatian, and Theophilus of Antioch; since they only express the patience, goodness, power, and wisdom of God in creation and providence, and his great regard to repenting sinners; but not a syllable of Christ’s dying for men, much less for every individual of mankind.
IRENAEUS. A.D. 180.
IRENAEUS, when speaking of the incarnation and passion of Christ, and of redemption by his blood, frequently restrains them to certain persons of such and such characters; which evidently shows, that he did not think that these belong to all the individuals of mankind in common. Thus, treating of the coming of Christ, and of the end of his coming into the world, he says, that “he came to save all by himself, omnes inquam, qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, all, I say, who through him are born again unto God, infants, and little ones, and children, and young men, and old men.” And in another place, taking notice of God’s suffering Jonah to be swallowed up by a whale, and of his after deliverance; “So,” says he, “God from the beginning suffered man to be swallowed up by the great whale, who was the author of transgression; not that being swallowed up he should wholly perish, but providing and preparing a plan of salvation which is effected by the word, through the sin of Jonah; his qui eandem cum Jona de Deo sententiam habuerunt for them who have the same sentiments concerning God with Jonah; and have confessed and said, I am the Lord’s servant, I worship the Lord God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land; that man enjoying the unhoped-for salvation from God, might rise from the dead and glorify him.” And elsewhere proving, that the Father of Christ is the same that was spoken of by the prophets; and that when Christ came he acknowledged no other but him, who was declared from the beginning. He adds, a quo libertatem detulit his qui legitime et prono animo, et toto corde deserviunt ei , “from whom he brought deliverance to them who serve him truly, with a ready mind, and with all their hearts;” but to the despisers of him, and such who are not subject to God, sempiternam attulit perditionem abscindens eos a vita,” he hath brought everlasting destruction, cutting them off from life.” So far was he from thinking that Christ died to redeem all mankind, that he expressly says, that the death of Christ is the damnation of some; his words are these; “As they (the Israelites) through the blindness of the Egyptians, so we, through the blindness of Jews, receive salvation; siquidem mors Domino, eorum quidem qui cruci eum fixerunt et non crediderunt ejus adventum, damnatio est: seeing the death of the Lord is indeed the damnation of them that crucified him, and did not believe his coming; but the salvation of them that believe in him.” And in another place, where he makes Jacob a type of Christ, and Rachel of the church, he confines the obedience and sufferings of Christ to his church: “All things,” says he, “he did for the younger Rachel, who had good eyes, quae praefigurabat ecclesiam, propter quam sustinuit Christus, who prefigured the church, for whom Christ endured, that is, sufferings and death.” And a little after he has these words, “Christ came not for the sake of them only who believed in him, in the times of Tiberius Caesar; nor did the Father provide for those men only who now are, but for all men entirely; qui ab initio secundum virtutem suam in sua generatione, et timuerunt et dilexerunt Deum, et juste et pie conversati sunt erga proximos, et concupierunt videre Christum et audire vocem ejus; who from the beginning, according to their virtue or ability, have feared and loved God in their generation, and have righteously and piously conversed with their neighbors, and have desired to see Christ, and hear his voice.” The passages cited from this writer, by M.
Daille, for general redemption, have not one word about it, and at most only prove, that man is endued with free will, which, in some sense, is not denied; and that man, and not God, is the cause of his own imperfection, blindness, and destruction, which is readily agreed to.
The citations made by the same author out of Clemens Alexandrinus, do, indeed, express, in very general terms, the care of God and Christ over mankind, and their great regard unto and desire after their salvation; and also assert our Lord to be the Savior of all men, and seem to carry the point further than what is in controversy, even to the salvation of all; which, if it could once be established, we should readily come into the notion of general redemption, though in all these large expressions, Clement seems only to refer to the texts in Jude 1:3, 1 Timothy 2:4, and 1 Timothy 4:10, in the first of which the apostle speaks of the common salvation, all the saved ones share alike; in the next, of the will of God, that some of all sorts should be saved; and in the last, of God, as the preserver of all men, in a way of common, and particularly of believers, in a way of special providence; and after all, Clement distinguishes between Christ’s being a Savior of some, and a Lord of others; for he says, that he is ton pepis teukoton Soter, ton de apeithesanton Kurios, “the Savior of them that believe; but the Lord of them that believe not.” And in one place he has these words; “Wherefore, he (Christ,) is introduced in the gospel weary, who was weary for us, and promising to give his life a ransom, and polton, in the room of many.”
TERTULLIAN. A.D. 200.
TERTULLIAN is a writer, it must be owned, who expresses himself in somewhat general terms, when he speaks of the incarnation, death and sacrifice of Christ, which are yet capable of being understood in a sense agreeable to the doctrine of particular redemption; as when he says, f1061 that “we who believe that God was here on earth, and took upon him the humility of a human habit, ex causa humanae salutis, ‘for the sake of man’s salvation,’ are far from their opinion, who think that God takes no care of any thing;” which may be truly said, without supposing that Christ assumed human nature, for the sake of the salvation of every individual of mankind; so when he says, in another place, that “Christ ought to make a sacrifice pro omnibus gentibus , ‘for all nations;’ his meaning may be, that it was necessary that he should be a propitiation, not for the Jews only, but for the Gentiles also;” and elsewhere having observed that the Marcionites concluded from the words of God to Moses, in Exodus 32:10, that Moses was better than his God, he thus addresses them, f1063 “You are also to be pitied, with the people, who do not acknowledge Christ, figured in the person of Moses, the advocate with the Father, and the offerer up of his own soul, pro populi salute , ‘for the salvation of the people;’” by which people may very well be understood, the special and peculiar people of God’s elect, of whom the people of Israel was a type and figure. Besides, in some places, Tertullian manifestly restrains the death of Christ, and the benefits of it, to some persons only, to the church, and to believers. This having cited Deuteronomy 33:17, His glory is like the firstling of his bullock; and his horns are like the horns of unicorns; with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; gives this interpretation of the words; “not the rhinoceros, which has but one horn, is intended; nor the minotaurus, which has two horns; but Christ is signified hereby; a bullock is he called, because of both his dispositions aliis ferus ut judex, allis mansuetus ut Salvator, ‘to some fierce as a judge, to others mild as a Savior,’ whose horns would be the extremities of the cross. Moreover, by this virtue of the cross, and being horned in this manner, nunc ventilar, per fidem, ‘he now pushes all the nations;’ by faith, taking them up from earth to heaven, and by the judgment, will then push them, casting them down from heaven to earth.”
And a little after, in the same place, speaking of the brazen serpent,, he Says, that “it designed the virtue and efficacy of our Lord’s cross, by which the serpent the devil was made public, and to every one that is hurt by the spiritual serpents, intuenti tamen et credenti in eam, only looking upon it, and believing in it, healing of the bites of sin and salvation are immediately pronounced.” And so as he observes in another place, quod perierat olim per lignum in Adam, id restitueretur per lignum Christi, what was of old lost through the tree in Adam, that is restored through the tree of Christ.” Again he observes, that the apostle says, that we are reconciled in his body through death; on which he thus descants: “Yea, in that body in which he could die through the flesh, he died, not through the church, plane propter ecclesiam, but verily for the church, by changing body for body, and that which is fleshly for that which is spiritual.” M.
Daille has produced a passage or two from this writer in favor of the universal extent of Christ’s death and redemption, in which not one word is mentioned concerning either of them; and only declare, that man was not originally made to die; that God is not negligent of man’s salvation; that he desires his restoration to life, willing rather the repentance than the death of a sinner, which, as they do not militate against the doctrine of particular, so cannot serve to establish that of general redemption. Two testimonies from Hippolitus, bishop of Portua, a disciple of Clement of Alexandria, and a martyr, who is said to flourish about, A. D. 220, are next cited at second hand; the first of which is, that “the God of the universe became man for this purpose; that by suffering in passible flesh, our whole kind, which was sold unto death, might be redeemed;” that is, from death, a corporal death; the general resurrection from the dead being thought to be the fruit of Christ’s sufferings and death. The other is, that “the Son of God, through flesh, naturally weak of himself, wrought out the salvation of the whole;” which may be understood of the salvation of the whole body of Christ, the church, or of every one of his people, his sheep, his children, and his chosen, and not of every individual of mankind; since all are not saved, as they undoubtedly would be, if Christ had wrought out the salvation of all.
ORIGINES ALEXANDRINUS. A.D. 230.
ORIGEN is represented as holding, that Christ suffered and died for the salvation of all rational creatures, in heaven and in earth, devils as well as men; and that all in the issue will be saved: and there are passages in his writings which favor this notion. Could our universalists give into, and prove such an assertion, that all mankind will be saved, the controversy about general redemption would soon be at an end. It is no wonder that a writer, who had imbibed such a notion, should express himself in very general terms about the sufferings and death of Christ, and assert him to be the Savior of all men, which is the substance of the citations out of him by M. Daille; nevertheless, as it is very probable, he was not always of this mind; and it is certain, that when this notion of his was not in view, he says many things which not only contradict that, but very much countenance the doctrine of particular redemption, as will appear from the following observations. 1. He expressly affirms, that the sufferings and death of Christ are of no use and service to some persons; and that the fruit and effect of them only belong to others, whom he describes; his words are these: “The sufferings of Christ, indeed, confer life on them that believe, but death on them that believe not: for though the Gentiles have salvation and justification by his cross, yet is it destruction and condemnation to the Jews; for so it is written in the Gospel; This child is born for the fall and rising again of many.” And in another place; “If any would be saved, let him come to the house,” says he, “in which the blood of Christ is for a sign of redemption; for with them who said, His blood be upon us and upon our children, Christi sanguis in condemnatione est, ‘the blood of Christ is for condemnation;’ for Jesus was set for the fall and rising again of many ; and therefore to them that speak against his sign efficitur sanguis ejus ad paenam, ‘his blood is for punishment;’ but to them that believe, for salvation.” And elsewhere, mentioning. these words, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, he adds, by way of explanation, ou panton de e amartia apo tou amnou airetai, “the sin of all is not indeed taken away by the Lamb, even of those who do not grieve, nor are afflicted until it be taken away.” 2. Though he sometimes speaks of Christ’s procuring salvation, redemption, and remission of sin, for all men, for the whole world: yet from other passages of his it appears, that he is to be understood of the sufficiency of the price of Christ’s blood to procure these things for all men, which is not denied. In one place, taking notice of the legal sacrifices, he has these expressions: “Among all these there is one Lamb which is able to take away the sins of the whole world; for such was this sacrifice, ut una sola sufficieret pro totius mundi salute, ‘that that alone was sufficient for the salvation of the whole world.’” And in another place he thus expresses himself, “Until the blood of Jesus was given, which was so precious, ut solus pro omnium redemptione sufficieret, ‘that it alone was sufficient for the redemption of all;’ it was necessary, that they who were brought up in the law, should every one for himself, in imitation of the future redemption, give his own blood,” meaning the blood of circumcision. 3. It may be further observed, that Origen, by the world, sometimes understands the church, for which, he frequently says, Christ suffered and died. The apostle Paul says, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself; where, by the world, is not to be understood the whole world, that is, those who are in the whole world, as Origen in one place observes; and in another place having cited the same passage, adds, “the sin of which world Christ has took away, peri gar tou kosmou thv ekklhsiav ‘ for of the world of the church is this word written;’” and immediately subjoins John 1:29, as to be understood in the same sense. And elsewhere, in the same work, he not only mentions it as the sense of a certain expositor, that by the world is meant the church, which is the ornament and beauty of the world, an inquires whether it may be called so, and also light, but affirms it to be so, legesqw toinon h ekklhsia kosmov , “therefore,” says he, “let the church be called the world because it is enlightened by the Savior; and cites several passages of Scripture, a Matthew 5:14, John 1:29,1 John 2:2, 1 Timothy 4:10, to be interpreted in the same way And it is easy to observe, that Origen often speaks of Christ’s suffering and dying for the church: in one place, speaking of Christ and the church as bridegroom and bride, he says “First the bride prays, and immediately, in the midst of her prayers she is heard, she sees the bridegroom present, she sees the virgins joined in company with him. Moreover the Bridegroom answers her, and after his words, dum ille pro ejus patitur salute, ‘while he suffers for her salvation,’ the companions answer, until the bridegroom is in bed, and rises from suffering, they will make some ornaments for the bride.”
And in the same work on these words, Arise, fair one, he thus comments; “Why does he say, arise? Why hasten? I have sustained for thee the rage of tempests; I have received the floods which were due to thee; my soul is made sorrowful unto death for thee.” In another place he says, “The church of Christ is strengthened by the grace of him who was crucified for her.” And elsewhere we call the fat, that is, of the sacrifices, the life of Christ, which is the church of his friends, pro quibus animam suam posuit, “for whom he laid down his life.” Again, “He has delivered him for all, not only for the saints, not only for the great ones, but the Father delivered his own Son for them who are altogether the least in the church.” 4. Origen sometimes calls the world for whom Christ died, the believing world, and the people of believers, and describes those for whom h e suffered by such distinguishing characters: his words in one place are these, “If any one is ashamed of the cross of Christ, he is ashamed of that economy by which these (powers) are triumphant over; for he that knows and believes these things ought to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which Christ being stauroumenou to kosmo to pisteuonti , ‘crucified for the world that believes,’ the principalities are made a show of, and triumphed over.” And in another place, “because he (Christ) took upon him the sins tou laou ton pisteuonton els auton, ‘of the people of those that believe in him,’ he often says, what he does in Psalm 22:1, and 64:5.” And elsewhere, speaking of Christ, he says, “This is the live goat sent into the wilderness; and this is the goat which is offered to the Lord a sacrifice to expiate sin; and he hath made a true propitiation in himself, credentibus populis, ‘for the believing people.’” Again, “The Son of God is come, and hath given himself a ransom; that is, he hath delivered himself for enemies, and for them that thirst he hath shed his blood; el haec est credentibus facta redemptio, “ and this becomes redemption to them that believe.” He interprets that text in Matthew 20:21, “And to give his life a ransom for many,” thus, and pollon ton pisteusanton eis auton , “for the many that believed on him.” He adds indeed, “And by way of hypothesis, if all believe in him, he gave his life a ransom for all.” To which may be added the following passage, “The true purification was not before, but in the passover, when Jesus died uper ton agnizomenon, ‘for them that are purified,’ as the Lamb of God, and took away the sin of the world.” Monsieur Daille next cites a passage as from Gregory of Neocaesarea, a hearer of Origen, but the work from whence it is taken is judged by learned men to be none of his; and this writer himself seems to question it, since he adds, “or whoever is the author of the anathemas which are carried about under his name.” And besides, this testimony only shows, that Christ is the “Savior of the world, and the light of the world;” which nobody denies, for they are the express words of the Scripture; but the question is, in what sense these phrases are to be understood.
CYPRIAN. A. D. 250.
CYPRIAN, in many places of his writings, very expressly limits Christ’s sufferings and death to certain persons described by him; as when he says, “Though we are many shepherds, yet we feed but one flock; and ought to gather together and cherish oves universas quas Christus sanguine suo et passione quaesivit ‘all the sheep which Christ hath sought up by his blood and sufferings;’ nor should we suffer our supplicant and grieving brethren to be cruelly despised and trodden down by the proud presumption of some persons.” And in another place he asks, “What can be a greater sin, or what a fouler spot, than to stand against Christ, than to scatter his church? quam ille sanguine suo praeparabit et condidit, ‘which he has prepared and obtained by his own blood?’” And elsewhere he says, ‘Christ is the bread off life; et panis hic omnium non est, sed noster est; and this bread does not belong to all, but is ours;’ and as we say, our Father, because he is the Father of them that understand and believe, so we call Christ our bread, qui corpus contigimus, ‘who have touched his body;’” in which words all but believers are excluded from having any share in Christ, the bread of life. And having in another place mentioned Ezekiel 9:4, where a mark is ordered to be set upon the foreheads. of the men that sigh and cry for the abominations of Jerusalem, he makes this observation; “This sign belongs to the passion and blood of Christ; et quisquis in hoc signo invenitur, ‘and whosoever is found with this sign shall be preserved safe and whole?’”which is approved by the testimony of God, saying, And the blood shall be for a sign upon the houses where you are, etc. What preceded in type before the Lamb was slain, is fulfilled in Christ, the truth following after; as there Egypt being smitten, the Jewish people could not escape but by the blood and token of the Lamb; so when the world shall begin to be wasted and smitten, quisquis in sanguine et signo Christi inventus fuerit, solus evadet, “whosoever shall be found in the blood, and with the mark of Christ, shall only escape.” From whence it is evident, that Cyprian did not think that every individual of mankind is interested in the blood and death of Christ.
And a little after, in the same epistle, speaking of immortality, he has these words; “This grace Christ imparts, this gift of his mercy he gives, by subduing death through the victory of the cross; redimendo credentem pretio sauguinis sui, ‘by redeeming the believer with the price of his blood;’ by reconciling man to God the Father, and by quickening the dead with the heavenly regeneration.” And in one of his tracts, animating the saints against the fears of death, he says, “Let him be afraid to die qui non Christi cruce et passione censetur, ‘who is not reckoned to have any part in the cross and sufferings of Christ;’ let him be afraid to die who will pass from this death to a second death.” And a little after, “We who live in hope, and believe in God, and trust, Christum passum esse pro nobis , ‘that Christ has suffered for us, and rose again;’ abiding in him, and rising again by him and in him, why should we be unwilling to depart hence out of this world? or, why should we mourn over and grieve for our departed friends, as if they were lost. And in another place, giving an account of our Lord’s behavior before Pilate, makes this remark, “This is he, who when he held his peace in his passion, will not be silent afterwards in his vengeance: this is our God; id est, omnium, sed fidelium el credentium Deus, that is, not the God of all, but of the faithful and believers.” To all which may be added another passage of his, which runs thus, “Writing to the seven churches, and intimating to each of them their sins and transgressions, he said repent; to whom? but quos pretio magno sui samguinis redemerat, ‘whom he had redeemed with the great price of his blood.’” This last passage is indeed taken out of an epistle which Erasmus thought was not Cyprianbut Cornelius’s, bishop of Rome; however, he afterwards judged it to be a learned piece, and not unworthy of Cyprian; Gravius and Palemius affirm it to be his; and if it was Cornelius’s, the citation may be properly enough made here, since he was contemporary with Cyprian. The passages cited by Monsieur Daille f1104 from this writer, as being on the side of universal redemption, only set forth either the great encouragement given by God to penitent sinners, or that Christ came to be the Savior of mankind, to be given unto men, and that he came for the sake of all; which Cyprian explains in the very same passage, of all sorts of men, learned and unlearned, of every age and sex; as in another of them, by a simile taken from the general and equal diffusion of the sun’s light, he shows, that Christ, the sun and true day, equally gives the light of eternal life in sua ecclesia , “in his own church;” and that the Israelites had an equal measure of the manna, without any difference of age or sex; so the heavenly grace is equally divided to all without any difference of sex or years, and without respect of persons; and the gift of spiritual grace poured forth super omnem Dei populum , “upon all the people of God.”
Some testimonies are next produced by Monsieur Daille out of Novatian, Medhodius, and Arnobius; the first of these writers, in one of the passages cited, signifies that, there is hope of salvation for men in Christ: which is not at all against us; for hope is not taken away, but established upon better grounds by the doctrine of particular, than by that of general redemption; since according to the latter, all men are indeed redeemed by Christ, but it was possible that none might be saved by him; whereas the former secures the certain salvation of all the redeemed ones: and in the other of them he suggests, that the anger, hatred, and threatenings of God, are for the good of men, and in order to move upon them, and bring them to that which is right and good; but not a word does he say concerning the death of Christ, and redemption by it. The second of these authors referred to, explains the text in Romans 9:21, one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor, thus, “not that God makes some good and others evil, but that is to be understood of the power God has of doing what he will.” Nor do we say that God makes any man evil, but that man made himself so; though we think none are good but whom God makes good. This writer indeed suggests, that it is the will of God that all men should be good, virtuous, and faithful, which is true of his approving but not of his determining will; and also intimates that all the good things of God are common to all, which in some sense holds good of the common bounties of providence, but not of the riches of grace. The third proposes a pagan objection, formed thus; “If Christ came to be the Savior of mankind, why does he not, with equal bounty, deliver all alike?” This objection, supposes, that according to the Christian scheme, all men were not delivered or redeemed by Christ.
Arnobius answers to it, not by asserting a deliverance or redemption of every individual of mankind, but by putting another question thus, “Does not he equally deliver, who equally calls all?” In which he argues indeed, from the extent of the call to the extent of the deliverance; but then the call he speaks of seems to be not of every individual person, but of some of all sorts; a grant from Christ of coming to him to some of all sorts, sublimibus, infimis, servis, faeminis, pueris, “high and low, servants, women, and children;” which are his own words; and consequently the deliverance he argues from hence must be only of some of all sorts; which is what we contend for.
LACTANTIUS. A.D. 320.
LUCIUS COELIUS was called Firmianus from his country, Firmium in Italy, and Lactantius from his smooth and milky way of speaking; he was an auditor of Arnobins, and preceptor to Crispus, son of Constantine the Great, who died A.D. 326. He wrote seven books of Divine Institutions, besides some other treatises, in which he says some things which limit the sufferings and death of Christ, and the benefits thereof, to certain persons.
Thus speaking of Christ, he says, “which as he knew what would be, so he would ever and anon say oportare se pati atque interfici pro salute multorum, that he ought to suffer and be slain for the salvation of many;” and if for the salvation of many, then not of all. And in another place says he, f1110 ”The Jews use the Old Testament, we the New, but yet they are not different; for the New is the fulfilling of the Old, and in both the same testator is Christ; qui pro nobis morte suscepta, nos haeredes regni aeterni fecit; who having suffered death for us, hath made us heirs of the everlasting kingdom, having abdicted and disinherited the people of the Jews.” From whence it is plain, that this writer thought that all those for whom Christ died are made heirs of everlasting glory: but all men are not made heirs, whence it must follow, that he did not die for all men; though Lactantius by us means the Gentiles, in opposition to the Jews, yet not all the Gentiles, but only some of them, who are called by the grace of God from among them: as appears from a passage of his a little after in the same chapter, where having mentioned the new covenant made with the house of Judah and Israel, he observes, that “the house of Judah and Israel truly do not signify the Jews, whom he has cast off, but qui ab ea convocati ex gentibus, who are called by him (Christ) from among the Gentiles, who succeed in their room in the adoption, and are called the children of the Jews.” And elsewhere, speaking of the crucifixion of Christ, he says,” He stretched out his hands in his passion and measured the world, that he might at that very time show, that from the rising of sun to the setting of it, magnum populum ex omnibus linguis, et tribubus congregatum, a large people, gathered out of all languages and tribes, should come under his wings, and receive the most great and sublime sign in their foreheads.” And a little after in the same place, having taken notice of the passover lamb, and the sprinkling of its blood upon the door-post, whereby the Israelites were safe, when the Egyptians were destroyed, he observes, that “this was a figure of things to come; for Christ is a Lamb, white, without spot, that is, innocent, just, and holy, who being sacrificed by the same Jews, saluti est omnibus qui signum sanguinis, id est crucis qua sanguinem fudit in sua fronte conscripserunt, is for salvation to all who have written in their forehead the sign of the blood; that is, of the cross on which he shed his blood.” Monsieur Daille claims this writer on his side of the question, and produces several passages out of him on the behalf of the general scheme; and true it is that Factantius says, that “the most abundant and full fountain of God is open to all, and the heavenly light arises to all; but then he, adds quicunque oculos habent, who have eyes to see;” but every individual of mankind has not eyes to see the well of living water the gospel points out, or that heavenly light which breaks forth through it. He also says, that because God is gracious and merciful, that is to say, towards his own (that is, whom he has loved and chosen for himself), he sent him (his Son) to them whom he had hated (that is, the Gentiles, who by his neglect of them in former ages seemed to be the objects of his hatred), lest he should for ever shut up the way of salvation to them; but would give them free liberty of following God, that they might obtain the reward of life, if they would follow him; quod plurimi eorum faciunt atque fecerant, which very many of them do, and have done.”
Again he also says, that “because of this humility, or low estate of Christ, they (the Jews) not knowing their God, entered into detestable counsel to take away his life; qui ut eos vivificaret advenerat, who came that he might quicken them;” which he might very well say, without having any notion of general redemption; since many of those who had a hand in the death of Christ, were afterwards converted and quickened by his grace.
And in another place, giving the reasons why Christ died the death of the cross, he mentions this in the first place, that “he who came mean to help the mean and weak, and point out the hope of salvation to all, was to suffer this kind of death, which the mean and weak were wont to do, lest there should be any who could not imitate him.” His meaning is this, Christ has humbled himself so low, even to the death of the cross, that all sorts of men might have hope of salvation, even those of the lowest and meanest rank and form; which well consists with the doctrine of particular redemption; and accordingly he says, that “we of every sex, descent, and age, enter into the heavenly road, because God who is the guide of the way, denies immortality to no man that is born,” wherefore all sorts of men may hope for it.
PAULINUS TYRIUS. X.D. 325.
PAULINUS was first presbyter of the church at Antioch, then bishop of Tyre, and after that bishop of Antioch. He died A. D. 325. He composed a Panegyric Oration upon the building of churches, in the time of Constantine; in which he says many things concerning the church of Christ, and among the rest, that it was for her sake that Christ assumed human nature, and suffered death in it; which, had he thought were done for all the world, he would not have mentioned as peculiar favors to her.
His words are these: “For it must needs follow, that when her (the church’s) shepherd and Lord, apax ton uper autes thanaton katadexamenou , ‘had once suffered death for her,’ and after his sufferings had changed that body which he put on mean and sordid, charin autes, ‘for her sake,’ into a bright and glorious one, and led the flesh that was dissolved out of corruption into incorruption, that she also should enjoy the dispensations of the Savior,” that is, and become glorious also. And elsewhere, in the sameo ration, he represents Christ as a Savior of some particular persons, though of a large number; as when he calls him “a leader into the knowledge of God, a teacher of true religion, a destroyer of the ungodly, and tyrants, and tonSotera emon ton apegnosmenon, ‘the Savior of us, who were in a deplorable and desperate condition,’” and us, who were not only diseased with ulcers, and pressed with putrifying wounds, but lay among the dead, he, by himself, saved out of these depths of death; for in none of the heavenly was there such strength, wv th twn tosoutwn ablabwv diakonhsaqai sothria , “as without hurt to procure the salvation, of so many; he alone touched our miserable corruption, he alone bore our labors, he alone took upon him the punishment of our iniquities.”
EUSEBIUS PAMPHILUS CAESARIENSIS. A.D. 330.
EUSEBIUS took the name of Pamphilus from Pamphilus the martyr, his intimate friend and acquaintance: he lived in the time of Constantine the Great, and was very dear unto and highly esteemed of by that emperor He was made bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about A.D. 315, and died A.
D. 339 or 340. He was a man of great learning, and wrote much, and several of his works still remain. Some testimonies are taken from him by M. Daille showing that the sacrifice of Christ was offered up for all mankind, in the room and stead of all men, and is the expiation of the whole world. That he uses such expressions is not denied; but in what sense he used them should be considered. When he says, that the ransom of Christ is for the souls of all men, which he understands equally of Jews and Gentiles, he does not mean every individual of both, only some, as appears from what he immediately subjoins: “by whose (Christ’s) divine and, mystical doctrine, pantev hmeiv oi ex eqnwn , ‘all we who are from among the Gentiles,’ find the forgiveness of former sins; whence also those of the Jews, oi eis anton egpikotes, ‘who hope in him’ are freed from the curse of Moses.” And in another place, he says, monois tois dia Christon ex apanton ton ethnon, “to them only who are taken by Christ out of all nations, can the blessing made to Abraham concerning all nations agree. And as to the Jews, he observes, that “few of them believe in the Savior and our Lord, and thereby obtain the promised spiritual redemption; for God did not promise, that the coming of Christ should be salutary to the whole nation of the Jews without distinction; all’ oligois, to komide apantois, tois eis ton Sotera kai Kurion emon pepisteukosin, but to a few, and very scarce indeed, even to them that should believe on the Savior and our Lord.” Moreover, when he says that the sacrifice of Christ is the expiation of the whole world, it is plain, from other passages of his, that he means only them that believe for having cited John 1:29, John 2:2, 1 Corinthians 1:30, he adds, which “teach that his (Christ’s) coming is the filling up and finishing of the sin of those who have done wickedly against him; and also the removal and purgation of the sins, and the expiation of the unrighteousness, ton eis anton pepisteukoton , of those that should believe in him.” And in another place he says, “Wherefore his (Christ’s) mighty one left him, willing that he should go down to death, even the death of the cross, and be shown to be the ransom of the whole world, kai katharsion genesthai ten ton eis auton pisteusanton zoes, and become the expiation of the life of them that believe in him.” Besides, it is abundantly evident that he restrains the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ, and the salutary effects thereof, to the church, to them that believe in Christ, fear and obey him. Having mentioned those words in Isaiah 9:6, To us a child is born, etc., he puts this question: “To what us, e tois auton pepisteukosi, unless to them that believe in him? but to them that do not believe in him he is the author of fire and burning.” And in another place he says, that “the cause of Christ’s coming is the redemption ton di autou sothesomenon, of those that were to be saved by him.” And elsewhere he observes, that Isaiah preached the Gospel to the soul that was formerly barren and forsaken of God, or rather, ten ex ethnon ekklesian, “to the church from among the Gentiles; for seeing, ta panta di auten o Christos upemieinen , Christ endured all things for that, he rightly adds, after what he had foretold concerning him, Rejoice, O barren, etc. Again, he, having cited Genesis 49:11, makes this note upon it: “See how, as by things hidden, he signifies his mystical sufferings, in which, as in a laver, he hath washed away the ancient filth, ton eis auton pepisteukoton, of those that would believe in him.” On the text in Malachi 4:2, he makes this observation: “Whom the Father has begotten he promises shall arise, ou tois pasin, alla monois, not to them all, but to them only that fear his name.” In another place he says, “The everlasting High Priest, and who is called the Father’s Christ, takes the care of the whole, and is consecrated to the Father, uper ton upekoon apanton , ‘for all them that obey;’ and he alone shows himself mild and propitious unto all.” It is also very manifest, that Eusebius did not think that the effects of Christ’s death reach unto or were designed to reach unto many, or the same all, as the effects of Adam’s sin do; since he observes, that Christ “became obedient unto death, that as death by one man’s sinning has ruled over the whole kind, so likewise eternal life might reign by his grace ton eis auton pepisteuonton, over those that believe in him, and by him commended as known to God and to his Father.” Once more, in another work of his, he takes notice of a law that Constantine made, “that no Christian should serve the Jews; for,” says he, “it is not lawful tous upo tou Soteros lelutromenous, that those who are redeemed by the Savior should be under a yoke of bondage to the murderers of the prophets and of the Lord.”
Whence it appears that he thought the Jews were not redeemed by Christ, only such as are Christians.
As for the article in the creed drawn up by the Nicene fathers A.D. 395, which is next produced by M. Daille, and is thus expressed; “We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came down and became incarnate, and was made man, di emas tous anthropous kai did ten emeteran soterian, for us men and for our salvation;” it is no other than what every body believes and agrees to; and is so far from militating against the particular scheme, that it is rather a testimony for it, since the phrases us men and our salvation design those that believe in Christ the Son of God, to whom they relate. What is next cited from Juveneus, a Spanish presbyter, who flourished under Constantine, about A. D. 330, does not at all serve the general scheme, but the contrary, it being only a paraphrase of John 3:16, after this manner: “For God loved the world with such a love that his only offspring came down on earth, credentes Domino vitae junctura perenni, to join them that believe in the Lord to everlasting life.” Anthony, the patriarch of the Eremites, who died A.D. 358, is next mentioned; who, in one of his epistles, says, “that God appointed his only begotten Son for the salvation of the whole world, and did not spare him for our sakes, but delivered him up for the salvation of us all,” which are almost the very express words of the Scripture in 1 John 2:2, Romans 8:32, to which no doubt he refers, and are capable of being understood in the same sense with them; and that Anthony did not design every individual of mankind, but only some, appears by what he immediately adds “and hath gathered us by the word of his power, ex omnibus regionibus, out of all countries, from one end of the world to the other;” and could he be thought to mean all the individuals of human nature, for whom God appointed and delivered up his Son for the salvation of, yet the general benefit and salvation which all were to have by him, seems, according to him, to be no other than the resurrection from the dead; for a little after, he observes that “Christ is the resurrection of all, destroying him that had the power of death.”
JULIUS FIRMICUS. A.D. JULIUS FIRMICUS MATERNUS was a native of Sicily. He was brought up in the pagan religion, and wrote some books of astrology, A. D. 336 or 337, being still a heathen. After the year 340, he was converted to Christianity in his old age, and is thought to have wrote his book, Of the Error of Profane Religions, about A. D. 350, which is inscribed to the emperors Constantius and Constans; and in it are these words, speaking of Christ, the Lamb of God: “The reverend blood of this Lamb is shed for the salvation of men, ut sanctos suos Filius Dei profusione pretiosi sanguinis redimat , ‘that the Son of God, by the pouring out of his precious blood, might redeem his saints;’ ut qui Christi sanguine liberantur, ‘that those who are delivered by the blood of Christ’ might he first consecrated with the immortal majesty of that blood.” From whence it is evident, that he thought that some, and not all, are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that those who are redeemed by it are his saints, who were set apart for himself, and are made holy by him, which cannot be said of all the sons and daughters of Adam. M. Daille has indeed cited two passages from this writer, as testimonies for general redemption, but neither to the purpose. In the first, Firmicus says, “Christ, the Son of God, that he might deliver humanum genus , ‘mankind from the snare of death, bore all these things;’ that he might remove the yoke of the grievous captivity, that he might restore hominem, man to the Father, that, mitigating the offense, he might make up the difference between God and man, by a prosperous reconciliation.” But he does not say, that Christ delivered or redeemed every individual of mankind, and restored every man to God, and reconciled every man to him: he may be truly said to have redeemed mankind, and to have restored and reconciled man to God, who has redeemed, restored, and reconciled such large numbers of mankind, though not all of them. In the other passage he says, that “so it was by divine disposition, that whatever Adam lost Christ found; for after a long time, in the last age of the world, the Word of God joined himself to a human body, that he might deliver man , that he might conquer death, that he might join the frailty of a human body with divine immortality;” but he does not say, that all the individuals of mankind, which were lost in Adam, were found by Christ. By several expressions in the same page we learn, what that was he supposes Adam lost and Christ found; for he says, that Adam, “being deceived by the woman, that is Eve, through the persuasions of the devil, promissae sibi gloriae perdidit dignitatem, ‘lost the dignity of the glory promised him.’ There was a tree,” adds he, “in paradise, quo promissorum a Deo praemiorum perdidit gratiam, by which he lost the grace of the rewards promised by God.” And a little after, “Adam, being made out of the slime of the virgin earth, through his own transgression, promissam perdidit vitam, lost the promised life.” Now it was this promised grace, life, glory, and happiness, Adam lost, which, he says, Christ found; but he nowhere says that Christ found this for all the individuals of mankind.
ATHANASIUS. A.D. 350.
IT must be owned that Athanasius, who, as has been observed in the preceding chapter, bore so famous a testimony to the doctrine of eternal election in Christ, has said many things which upon first sight seem to favor the doctrine of universal redemption. M. Daille has cited a considerable number of testimonies from him to that end, and he might have cited more. But I have the following thing to say in vindication of him; first, that when, in the passages referred to, he says that Christ died for all, and offered himself a sacrifice for all, and died for the ransom of all, and that his death is the ransom of all, he says no more than the Scriptures do, which are used in this controversy, and so may be understood in the same sense, of all the elect, or some of all sorts.
Secondly, some of the citations only prove that Athanasius believed that Christ, being God as well as man, was dunatos kai ikanos, “able and sufficient to suffer for all, and give full satisfaction by his death for all.”
That Christ was able to redeem all mankind, and that his sufferings and death were sufficient for the redemption of all men, had it been the will of God to have appointed them for that purpose, none will deny. Thirdly, I observe, that in many places he says that Christ assumed a body, bore one subject to sufferings, and did endure death epi ti soteria ton panton , “for the salvation of all;” yea, that by his death, e soteria tasi gegone, “salvation is procured for all.” Now if by salvation be meant spiritual and eternal salvation, these instances would prove more than they are brought for, namely, universal salvation. But it is easy to observe that Athanasius, in most of these places, is speaking of the resurrection from the dead, which he makes the grand end of Christ’s incarnation, sufferings, and death; and if this is what he means by salvation, and by Christ’s dying for all, and giving himself for all, this is no more than what some, who are far from giving into the universal scheme, allow of; who suppose that the resurrection from the dead is a benefit which belongs to all men by virtue of the death of Christ. Fourthly, it is very probable that one reason why Athanasius use those general terms so frequently, is with respect to the Gentile world, among whom a very large number have a special interest in the death of Christ, and redemption by his blood. In one place he has these words “What is the fruit of the Lord’s death! what the profit of the Jew’s conspiracy? the death of the Savior hath made the world; free, that the Gentiles might glorify God the wrath of the Jews hath destroyed the city with them, and hath blinded them, with respect to the knowledge of God.
The death of the Lord hath quickened the dead, but the conspiracy of the Jews hath deprived them of life; for now they are without the Lord, and the cross of the Savior hath made ten ekklesian ton ethnon, “the church of the Gentiles, which was a wilderness, habitable;” in which he calls the Gentiles the world, in oposition to the Jews; and this world the church of the Gentiles, who enjoy the fruit of Christ’s death. This citation is indeed made from a treatise which some learned men have thought is not the genuine work of Athanasius; but inasmuch as M. Daille has made use of it before me, I take the same liberty. But, not to insist on this, there are some things in the genuine works of Athanasius, which manifestly limit redemption by Christ, and the benefits of it to some, as when he says, f1150 “When was he (Jesus) sent, but when he clothed himself with our flesh?
When did he become the high priest of our profession? but when he offered himself for us, raising the body from the dead, and now he brings and offers to the Father touv prosercomenouv autw th pistei , those that come unto him by faith, redeeming all, and expiating those things that belong to God for all;” that is, for all that come unto him by faith. And in another place, he thus expresses himself, f1151 ”God hath commanded the true Wisdom to take flesh, and become man, and to endure the death of the cross, ina dia thv en toutw pistewv pantev loipon oi pisteuontev swzwsqai dunwntai , that through faith in him, all henceforth that believe might be saved.” The sense of which is that the design and intention of God in the incarnation and death of Christ is not to save all men, but such that believe in him. And elsewhere he says, that Christ “took to himself a body of the virgin Mary; that offering it a sacrifice for all, he might reconcile to the Father pantav hmav osoi fobw qanatou dia pantov tou zhn enocoi hmen douleiav, all us, as many as through fear of death were all our lifetime subject to bondage.” And a little after, in the same page, he has these words; “The Word was made flesh, that he might offer it for all, kai hmav ek tou pneumatov autou metalabontev qeopoihqenai dunhsqwmen, that we partaking of his Spirit might be made like unto God.” Again, he observes, that “as Christ being man is God, so being God became man, kai sozei tous pisteuontas en anthropou morphe, that he may save those that believe in the form of man.”
Moreover, and what is full against the universal scheme, having cited the text in Malachi 4:2, To you that fear him shall the Sun of righteousness arise; he makes this remark on it, gar panton (emera) aute, alla ton apothanonton to amartia, zonton de to Kurio , for this day does not belong to all, but to them who die in sin, and live unto the Lord.” By which he means not the day of the week he calls the Lord’s day a little before, but the day of grace, which the Sun of righteousness makes when he arises and appears to any in a spiritual saving way, and which is special and peculiar to some persons only.
MACARIUS AEGYPTIUS. A.D. 350.
MACARIUS was an Egyptian monk, a disciple of St. Anthony. There are fifty homilies of his remaining, out of which M. Daille has a single passage for general redemption; in which Macarius asserts, that “Christ would have all men partake of the new birth, because he died for all, and calls all to life;” but this he could not mean of every individual man, because every one is not called to that life. Besides, there are several things said by him which show, that he thought that Christ came into the world, and suffered, and died, for believers only; for when he observes, that “it pleased the Lord at his coming to suffer for all, and to purchase them with his own blood,” he adds, “and to put the heavenly leaven of goodness tais pistais psuchiais, into believing souls, humbled under sin.” And again; “For this cause the Lord came, that he might vouchsafe those spiritual things tous alethos pisteuontas eis auton, to those that truly believe on him.” And in another place, “we ought,” says he, f1159 ”to labor and strive very much, for it is not just that the Bridegroom should come to suffer and be crucified for thee, and the bride di’en o numphios parageneto, for whose sake the Bridegroom came, should rejoice and dance.” Having elsewhere mentioned the words of the Baptist, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, he observes, that “he alone shows this mercy to men, tois pisteuousin auto, ‘that believe in him,’ because he redeems from iniquity; and to them that always wait, and hope, and seek without ceasing, he bestows this unspeakable salvation.” And in another place he has this note on the same words. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, tes psuches delonoti, pisteusase auto, namely, of the soul that believes in him, and loves him with all the heart.”
HILARIUS PICTAVIENSIS. A.D. 363.
HILARY of Poictiers abounds in general expressions of God’s good will to man, of the universal offer and invitation to all in the external ministry of the word, and of Christ’s assuming human nature, and coming into the world for the redemption and salvation of all, many of which are cited by M. Daille. But it is easy to observe, that he sometimes means by these phrases, not the spiritual and eternal redemption and salvation of men, but their resurrection from the dead. There is a remarkable passage of his to this purpose, in which he distinguishes the salvation of some from others, by virtue of Christ’s redemption; All flesh, he says, is redeemed by Christ, that it may rise again, and that every one might stand before his judgment-seat;” yet all have not equal honor and glory of rising again; to whom therefore only resurrection, and not change is given, they are saved to nothing; in anger shall those people be led, to whom the salvation of the resurrection is appointed for the sense of punishment, from which wrath the apostle promises we shall be delivered; saying, For if when we were yet sinners Christ died for us, much more being justified by his blood, we shall be saved by him from wrath. Pro peccatoribus igitur ad salutem resurrectionis est mortuus , “for sinners therefore he died, to obtain the salvation of the resurrection; but those who are sanctified by his blood he will save from wrath.” And in another place he says, “This was the expectation of the saints, ut omnis caro redimeretur in Christo , ‘that all flesh should be redeemed in Christ,’ and we in him might exist the first fruits of an eternal resurrection.” Besides, Hilary frequently makes use of limiting phrases when he is speaking of the sufferings of Christ, and redemption by him; he says, that Christ “is appointed a mediator in himself, ad salutem ecclesiae, for the salvation of the church,” which is what he means by the house of David, as the subject of redemption; when commenting on these words, Hosanna to the son of David, he observes, “The words of praise express the power of redemption: for by Osanna in the Hebrew language, is signified the redemption of the house of David.”
And a little after, “The high priests envied the cries of the children, and rebuked him (Christ) for hearing them, for he was said to come for the redemption of the house of David,” Elsewhere he represents all as redeemed by Christ as kings of heaven and co-heirs of eternity, which cannot agree with all mankind; his words are these, speaking of Christ, “He shall remain in the sight of God forever, having already taken all whom he hath redeemed, in reges coelorum et cohaeredes aeternitatis, to be kings of heaven, and co-heirs of eternity, delivering them as the kingdom to God the Father.” With him a believer in Christ and one redeemed by him is the same. Whoever, he says f1169 through his insolence, “disdains, provokes, and dishonors a believer in Christ, and one redeemed by Christ, is not a companion of them that fear God.”
BASILIUS CAESARIENSIS. A.D. 370.
BASIL of Caesarea has also many expressions of God’s general goodness to men; of his nearness to them, and willingness that all of them should partake of life; and which are therefore, with others, produced by Monseiur Daille, to countenance general redemption, though there is not one syllable concerning it in them. Nor is Basil very favorable to the universal scheme, when he says, “God is not the God of all, but of them who are joined to him in love, as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for if he was the God of all, he would have given them a testimony as something very excellent.” He indeed says, as Monsieur Daille has observed, “The Holy Ghost calls all nations, all that dwell on the earth to hear the psalm,” which is no proof of the point before us; and besides, he explains all nations, and all that dwell on the earth, of the church, which he says is suneilektai , “gathered out of nations of all sorts, of laws and manners.” He also speaks of Christ’s giving himself a propitiation for the whole world, but in the same place gives a plain intimation that he is to be understood of the sufficiency of Christ’s blood and sacrifice to atone for and redeem all mankind; his words are these, “What can a man find of such a nature as he can give for the redemption of his own soul?”
Yet here is one thing found out omoupanton anthropon antaxion, “worthy of all men alike, even the holy and precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he has shed for us all.” Besides, he frequently describes those who are redeemed by Christ, by such characters as cannot agree with all mankind; for a little after he says, he “that is redeemed by God, who gave a propitiation for him, he indeed labors in this world, but after these things he shall live forever; verily he shall not see destruction, when he shall see wise men die.” Which cannot be said of every individual of mankind. And in another place he says, “We are all, oi pisteuontes, ‘who believe,’ redeemed from the condemnation of sin by the grace of God, which is through his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; who said, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Which passage of Scripture is twice cited by him afterwards, and applied to believers, to whom he says is given the remission of Sins. Again, he observes, that “where spiritual men are the authors of counsels, and the people of the Lord follow them with unanimity, who can doubt that this is by the communication of our Lord Jesus Christ, tou to aima autou uper ton ekklesion ekcheontous, who shed his blood for the churches.”
OPTATUS MILEVITANUS. A.D. 370.
OPTATUS, bishop of Milevi in Africa, wrote six books, for the seventh is none of his, against the Donatists, in the times of the emperors Valens and Valentinianus, that is, after A.D. 364, and before A. D. 374, in which work stands this passage, which is cited by Monsieur Daille in favor of universal redemption; “Christ,” says Optatus, “is the only redeemer of souls, which the devil possessed before his coming; these Christ our Savior has redeemed with his own blood, as the apostle says, Ye are bought with a price. It is certain that all are redeemed by the blood of Christ.” But Monsieur Daille should have read on, and transcribed more, when it would have appeared, that Optatus explains these all, of all that believe; for thus he proceeds, “Christ has not sold whom he hath redeemed; souls bought by Christ cannot be sold, that they may, as you would have it (speaking to the Donatists), be redeemed again by you. How can one soul have two masters? Is there another Redeemer? Which of the prophets have declared that another is to Come? What Gabriel speaks again to another Mary?
What virgin brings forth again? Who hath done new or other miracles? If there is none but one, qui redimit animos omnium credentium, who redeems the souls of all believers, why do you say, redeem your souls?”
VICTORIOUS. A. D. 365.
CAIUS MARIUS VICTORINUS, as Jerom calls him, F1181 was by birth an African, he taught rhetoric at Rome, under the emperor Constance; f1182 and became so famous in that kind of learning, that the citizens erected a statute for him in the Roman Forum. He was converted to Christianity in extreme old age, and wrote four books against the Arians, which still remain, from whence Monsieur Daille has this citation; “The Logos, or Word, is made all things, and in all, and hath begotten all things, and hath saved, and hath reigned, existing life eternal in the Spirit:” But of what service this passage can be to the general scheme, I see not; for if it is not to be understood of the concern that Christ the Word has in creation and providence, but of his concern in everlasting salvation, if it favors any scheme it must be that of universal salvation; but from other expressions of his it appears, that he thought that Christ is only the redeemer of, and eternal life to them that believe; “He” (Jesus Christ,) says he, “has performed the mystery of our salvation; he hath made us free; he hath redeemed; in istum credimus salvatoram nostrum, ‘in him we believe as our Savior,’ according to the cross, and according to the resurrection from the dead.” And in another place, Christ is the true life, that is, eternal; credentibus in se, to them that believe in him; and is present with God for them that believe in him.”
MARCUS EREMITA. A. D. 390.
MARK the Eremite is next produced by Monsieur Daille, and by him said to be about A.D. 390, though he is placed by Alsted, and the Magdeburgensian Centuriators, in the fifth century, about the beginning of it. The testimony from him, cited by the above writer, only signifies, that God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, which is no other than what the Scripture says; and that evil thoughts or reasonings forbid the will of God, deceive men, and exclude them from salvation. It must be owned, that there is here and there an expression dropped more to the purpose than this; yet in other places he speaks of redemption, and the effects of it, as peculiarly belonging to certain persons: “He who died,” says he, “for our sins, according to the Scriptures, also freely gives liberty, fideliter et probe ipsi servientibus, to them that, faithfully and honestly serve him,” according to Matthew 25:21. And in another place he says, “Suretyship proceeds from love, which the Lord Jesus Christ hath showed in all things to us, who in the first place heals the infirmities of our soul, moreover cures every disease, and every sickness; who takes away the sin of the world; qui puram restituit naturam his qui firmiter credunt el, ‘who restores a pure nature to them that firmly believe in him,’ and gives redemption from death.” Again, f1192 “Christ is our Lord, both according to essence, and according to the government or administration of the family; for when yet we were not, he made and created us; and being dead in sin, he bought us with his own blood; et iis qui ita credunt, gratiam suam gratuito largitus est, and to them who so believe, he freely gives his grace.” And elsewhere he says, Christus autem credenti sit omnia, Christ indeed is made all things to him that believes.”
FAUSTINUS. A. D. 390.
FAUSTINUS, who was ordained either a presbyter or a deacon of the church of Rome, about A.D. 385, according to Monsieur Daille, who has transcribed some passages out of a book written by him against the Arians, showing, that God loved the world, and gave his Son for the redemption of the world; and that Christ tasted death not for himself, but for all; all which may be said, without supposing that Christ died for every individual of mankind. Besides, Faustinus plainly intimates, that the benefit of Christ’s death only belongs to believers; that many, and not all, are delivered and said by him; “See,” says he, “the love that the Lord of majesty should be crucified on earth for the salvation of the world, who gives eternal life in heaven, se Filium Dei credentibus, to them that believe he is the Son of God.” And in another place he observes, that “as by the contempt of one many are made sinners, so by the obedience of Christ, which not from infirmity, but from the goodness of the Deity, he yielded for the salutary discipline of men, multi salvantur, many are saved.” And a little after he says, that “Christ bore the infirmities of body and soul, though without sin, that it might be truly thought he did not take another substance of flesh and blood; and that when in himself he delivers men from infirmities and sufferings, we might believe also, that those are delivered qui secundem ejus vestigia sectantur, who follow his steps.” The text. in Hebrews 2:9, where Christ is said to taste death for all, he says, the apostle interprets in verse 10, where the Captain of salvation is spoken of as bringing many sons to glory.
CYRILLUS HIEROSOLYMITANUS. A.D. 370.
CYRILL of Jerusalem, though a little earlier than some of the former, since he died A.D. 386, according to Monsieur Daille, is next cited by him as a patron of general redemption, and who indeed does say, that Christ took upon him the sins of the world, cleanses the whole world from sin, has redeemed the whole world of men; and that the Father having constituted him the Savior of the whole world, he came for the salvation of all. But these passages will be easily accounted for, when it is observed, that by the world, he means, the world of believers. “You have,” says he, “the twelve apostles witnesses of the cross, and the habitable earth, kai tou kosmon twn eiv ton stauromenon pisteuontwn anqrwpwn, and the world of men that believe in him that was crucified.” And these, and these only, will be saved by him; for he it is, as he elsewhere says, f1201 “that saves, touv pisteuontav , ‘those that believe’ by the word of the cross.” Nor need it seem strange that Cyrill should say, that Jesus took upon him touv oikoumenikav amartiav, “ the sins of the world,” since he talks “of pashv thv oikumenikhv ekklhsiav , of the church of the whole world.” Besides, one reason of his using such general expressions, as “the world, the whole world,” etc., may be on the account of the extent of Christ’s sufferings and death to Jews and Gentiles. “He came,” says he, “who has mercy on them, and was crucified and rose again, giving his own precious blood uper Ioudaiwn te kai eqnwn , both for Jews and Gentiles.” Cyrill, indeed, speaks of many ways of eternal life opened for all, which scarce any will agree to; and of human nature being capable of salvation, which none will deny. As for the words of Diodorus Tarsensis next mentioned, declaring “that the Lord being born, showed himself to the Persians before other nations, that grace and salvation might be given by him to those of the magicians and soothsayers that would;” they are so far from bearing a testimony in behalf of universal redemption, that they plainly limit the grace and salvation of Christ toiv eqelousin , “to them that are willing;” which none are, but such who are made so by the energy and power of special grace.
GREGORIUS NAZIANENUS. A.D. 370.
THE passages cited out of Gregory of Nazianzum, by M. Daille, in favor of general redemption, must be acknowledged to be the most pertinent to his purpose of any produced by him, for Gregory not only says, that Christ took away the sin of the whole world; that his sacrifice was the expiation of the whole world; and that a few drops of his blood restored the whole world; but also, that through his sufferings all that partake of Adam, were deceived by the serpent, and died through his sin, without exception, are restored; and that his sacrifice was not for a small part of the world, nor for a little while, but always continues to be an expiation of the whole world; and that he died for the worst of men, for heretics, yea, for Julian the apostate; nay he affirms that Julian had obtained salvation by him; his words are these, “The first Nebuchadnezzar (meaning Julian) afflicted us, who after Christ was mad against Christ, and therefore he hated Christ, oti tij autou seswstw , because he had been saved by him;” though it may be reasonably thought that he should mean no more than that Julian had enjoyed some temporal mercies, some temporal deliverance and salvation by Christ. And in the same way may his other general expressions be understood; and his sense be, that the whole world, and all men in it, yea, the worst of men, receive some temporal advantages, through the sufferings, sacrifice, and death of Christ; for it is certain, that he sometimes represents a special particular set of men as such for whom Christ died. In one place, he brings in the people of God to distress complaining after this manner, “O God, why hast thou cast off for ever? thy anger is stirred up against the sheep of thy pasture; remember thy congregation which thou hast possessed from the beginning, hn peripoihsw toiv tou monogenouv Logou sou paqesin, ‘which thou hast purchased by the sufferings of thine only begotten Word,’ to which thou hast vouchsafed thy great covenant, and hast drawn to heaven by a new mystery and the earnest of the Spirit.” And in another place, addressing the priests, he says, “O ye priests, put on righteousness, or to speak more properly, let us put it on; let us not scatter and destroy the sheep of the pasture, uper wn eqhke thn yuchn o poimhn o kalov , ‘for whom the good Shepherd laid down his life; who knows his own, and is known by his own, calls them by name, leads them in, and brings them from unbelief to faith, and from this life to a future rest.” And in an epistle to Basil he has these words, “We speak concerning the church uper hn Cristov apeqanen , ‘for whom Christ died;’ and concerning him that brings and presents the same to God.”
DIDYMUS ALEXANDRINUS. A.D. 370.
DIDYMUS of Alexandria was blind from his childhood, so that he never learned letters, and yet was a perfect master of logic and geometry; he was living in the fourteenth year of Theodosus, A.D. 329, being then above eighty-three years of age; he was the author of many things, and among the rest of a treatise concerning the Holy Spirit, translated into Latin by Jerom; in which he says indeed, that Christ tasted death for all; and that he vouchsafed to come down on earth for the salvation of all; but then he explains these all of the children of God and believers in Christ; for citing Isaiah 63:8, which he thus renders, “He is made salvation to them, that is,” says he, “to them, of whom the, Lord says Are not my people children? And they will not prevaricate; for because they do not prevaricate, nor have despised the Father, he is made salvation to them; or because they are called children, he is made the cause of salvation to them.” And a little after, “He is made the occasion of eternal salvation, cunctis qui in eum credunt, ‘to all that believe in him;’ and he is the Savior of the world, who came to seek what was lost.”
GREGORIUS NYSSENUS. A. D. 380.
GREGORY, bishop of Nyssa, and brother of Basil, died A.D. 395, or 396, according to Monsieur Daille. There are two volumes of his works extant, in which he sometimes indeed speaks of Christ’s tasting death for every one; of his reconciling the world to himself: and of his giving himself for the life of the world. But inasmuch as these scriptural expressions are capable of being understood in a sense which no ways favors the doctrine of general redemption, so they cannot be thought to hold forth explicitly this writer’s sentiments upon that subject. Besides, in other places he speaks of the sufferings of Christ, and the benefits of them, as belonging to certain persons; for he not only says, that Christ spilled his blood, and endured sufferings, uper hmwn, for us; but also intimates, that all this was for the sake of such as believe in him; for speaking of the cluster of grapes which the spies brought from Canaan, he has these words, “The cluster hanging on the stick, what else was it, but the cluster which in the last days hung upon the tree? ou to aima poton tois pisteuousi gignetai soteriou, whose blood is become a salutary drink to them that believe.” And in another place he represents the church speaking after this manner to Christ, “How should I not love thee, who hast so loved me, though so black, as to lay down thy life, uper twn probatwn , for the sheep which thou feedest? Two passages are cited out of this author by Monsieur Daille, as on the side of the general scheme; the first is this; “The will of God is the salvation of men;” which nobody will gainsay, for certain it is, that it is owing to the good-will of God that any of the sons of men are saved; and no man would be saved God not willing his salvation. The other is this, where he makes Christ to speak thus f1221 “Through the first fruits which I have assumed, I bring in myself all human nature to God the Father.” But Gregory, in the place referred to, is showing in what sense Christ is called the first-born, and the first-born from the dead; and observes, that the human nature which he assumed was the first fruits of all human nature, and that in his resurrection he was the first fruits of them that slept; and suggests, that not only the resurrection of Christ is a pledge, but a kind of a representation of the general resurrection; which is what he means when he says, “that Christ brought all human nature in himself to the Father, his human nature being the first fruits of the whole.” There is another passage in Gregory, which upon first sight may be thought to favor the doctrine of general redemption more than either of these; where he says “that redemption signifies a return from captivity; God gave himself a ransom for those who are held under death by him that has the power of death, and seeing all were in the custody of death, he redeems all from thence by his ransom, so that not one is left under the power of death, after the redemption of every one is made; for it is not possible that any one should be, under the power of death; death itself being no more; wherefore the whole world, according to its situation, being divided into four parts, no part of it remains without the divine redemption;” and yet, I apprehend, he means no more than this, that as all mankind are subject to a corporal death, and are under the power of it, so they shall be delivered from it, or be raised from the dead in virtue of Christ’s ransom; which as a benefit arising from Christ’s death, some allow to all mankind, who yet are not in the general scheme.
PACIANUS BARCINONENSIS VEL BARCILONENSIS. A. D. 380.
PACIANUS, bishop of Barcelona in Spain, died in a very advanced age, under the emperor Theodosius, and before A. D. 391. He wrote many little pieces, in one of which stands this passage, produced by M. Daille in favor of universal redemption; “No artificer,” says he, “despises his own works, or thinks with himself, that they are faults which he has made; and hence dost thou think, that Christ suffered for sinners, but that he was unwilling to lose what he hath made?” But he does not say, that Christ died for all sinners, and for all that he has made, but for sinners, who being made by him, he was very unwilling to lose. Besides, he intimates in other places, that they are the spiritual seed and offspring of Christ, the church, and particular persons, who are redeemed by Christ, and whom he justifies and saves. “Adam’s sin” say she, “ passed upon the whole kind, as says the apostle, Romans 5:12, and so hath come upon all men, therefore the righteousness of Christ, must needs, in genus transeat, ‘pass upon the kind or offspring; and as he by sin lost his offspring, so Christ by righteousness genus suum omne vivificat, quickens all his own kind or offspring.” This the apostle urges in Romans 5:19,21. Some will say, but the sin of Adam deservedly passed to his posterity, because they were born of him; et nunquid nos a Christo geniti sumus, and are not we born of Christ, that we might be saved for his sake?’ Again, “I will yet,” says he, “speak more plainly; the latter people, the poor, the mean, the humble, and modest soul, the soul delivered by Christ, is an image of the church: hanc venit Dominus salvam facere, ‘ this the Lord came to save,’ this he hath not left in hell; ‘ this is the sheep which is carried on his shoulders.”
And in another place, having mentioned Romans 5:9, We shall be saved from wrath, adds, “from wrath, indeed, which is due to sinners;” for if he did not suffer the Gentile people to die, multo magis redemptum non patietur extingui, nec objiciet, quos magno redemit, “much more he will not suffer him that is redeemed to be destroyed, nor will he cast away those whom he has redeemed with a great price, for neither is the loss of servants light to him.” I take no notice of Monsieur Daille’s citations from the sermons of Zeno Veronensis, because no mention is made of them by the ancients, they were not extant before A. D. 1508, some things in them cannot agree with the times of the emperor Galienus, under whom Zeno suffered, and, for the major part, are a collection out of divers authors who lived almost two hundred years after his time, and therefore do not come under our consideration.
HILARIUS DIACONUS. A.D. 380.
HILARY the Deacon, or whoever is the author of the commentaries on the epistles of the apostle Paul, commonly ascribed to Ambrose, has furnished Monsieur Daille with numerous instances, urged by him, in favor of the general scheme; though the most that can be made of them is, that God’s wills that all men should be saved, and that Christ died for all conditionally, sub conditione fidei, “provided they believe,” as appears even from several of the citations made by him out of this writer. And sometimes Hilary expresses the sufficiency of the death and sacrifice of Christ for all; thus, on those words, “any being made perfect,” etc., he makes this note, “It shows what gain is his passion quae omnibus credentibus sufficit ad salutem sempiternam which is sufficient for all believers to everlasting salvation.” And in another place, speaking of the offering of Christ once for all, he says, “This offering is once offered up, sed semper potens est abluere omnes credentes, ‘ but is always powerful, or is effectual to wash all believers,’ and all that desire to be cleansed in it.” And certain it is, that this writer thought that there are some who in a special sense are redeemed by Christ, otherwise he would not have said as he does, quotquot redempti sumus, “As many of us as are redeemed, are redeemed by this sacrifice.” He observes, that the word all, signifies sometimes only a part of a people, either all the good or all the bad, and gives instances of it; and adds, semper enim duo populi in una plebe, “for there are always two people in one commonalty.” And elsewhere he affirms, that “all do not obtain grace, nor are all justified by the faith of Christ.” He represents those for whom Christ died, and that share in the benefits of his redemption, to be the children of God, believers in Christ, such as love him, and belong to his body. “He (the apostle) calls God our Father,” he says, “because of the original of things, for from him are all things; but he calls Christ the Lord, because ejus sanguine redempti , ‘being redeemed by his blood,’ we are made the children of God.” Again he says, “Christ is crucified for our sins, that destroying death, credentes sibi liberaret ab ea, he might deliver from it them that believe in him.” Moreover, he observes, that “as to them that love him, redemptio venturus est Christus, Christ is to come as the redemption; so to them who love him not, let him be anathema, that is, let him hate and destroy them.” Once more “As Adam’s sinning,” he says, “found death, and held it, so that all springing from him are dissolved; so likewise Christ not sinning, and hereby conquering death, hath procured life, omnibus qui sant ex ejus corpore, for all who are of that body.”
AMBROSIUS MEDIOLANENSLS. A.D. 380.
AMBROSE of Milain is very fruitful of expressions which seem to militate against the doctrine of special and particular redemption. Monsieur Daille has collected a large number of them, which Dr. Whitby has given himself the trouble to number, and says, they are no less than twenty-eight; and I could help them to as many more of the same kind, and yet all of them will be but of little service to their cause, when it is observed, that Ambrose, by all for whom Christ died, and whom he redeemed, means all sorts of men, and not every individual: “If,” says he, “it is related of Ulysses, that the binding him fast to the tree, delivered him from danger, how much more must it be said, what is really fact, that is, that today the tree of the cross hath delivered omne genus hominum, ‘ all kind of men,’ from the danger of death.” And a little after, “The Lord Christ hung upon the cross that he might deliver onme, genus hominum, ‘ all kind of men,’ from the shipwreck of the world. And when he says that Christ died for, and redeemed the world, such phrases are easily accounted for, since it is abundantly evident that by the world he frequently means the church.
Having mentioned those words in Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein: he adds, “which the Greeks call oikumenhn, because it is inhabited by Christ, as he says, Wherefore I will dwell in them; therefore, what is oikoumenh , the world? nisi sancta ecclesia, but the holy church, the temple of God, and habitation of Christ.” And in another place he says “The church is called both heaven and the world, because it hath saints comparable to angels and archangels; also it hath the greatest part earthly; it is called likewise orbis terrarum, the world, which is founded upon the seas, and prepared upon the rivers. Moreover, as the world (the church) says, Look not upon me, because I am black.” And a little after “Is not the earth the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof? Et vere orbis terrarum in ecclesia,’ and verily the world in the church;’ in which not only Jew, nor Greek, nor Barbarian, nor Scythian, nor bond, nor free, but we are all one in Christ.”
Moreover, Ambrose very frequently observes, that it is the church for whom Christ suffered and died, and which is redeemed by his blood. “The domestic Jews, bought with a price,” he says, “are the Gentiles who have believed, quia pretio sanguinis Christi redempta est ecclesia, for by the price of Christ’s blood is the church redeemed.” And in another place he says, ‘Seeing Christ suffered for the church, and the church is the body of Christ, faith does not seem to be exercised on Christ by them (meaning schismatics,) by whom his passion is made void, and his body pulled asunder.” And elsewhere, speaking of the same sort of persons, he says, “They alone are they who would dissolve the grace of Christ, who tear in pieces the members of the church propter quam passus est Dominus Jesus, for which the Lord Jesus suffered.” Again he observes, that “by the woman the heavenly mystery is fulfilled, being prefigured in her the grace of the church, propter quam Christus descendit, ‘for which Christ descended,’ and has finished that eternal work of man’s redemption.” Add to all this, that remarkable expression of his, “If Christ,” says he, “died for all, yet he suffered for us in an especial manner; quia pro ecelesia passus est, because he suffered for the church.” Besides, this father makes use of such epithets and descriptive characters, when he is speaking of the persons for whom Christ became incarnate, and whom he redeemed, as can by no means be applied to all the individuals of human nature, such as believers, repenting sinners, Christ’s servants, and his own Christian people; thus he explains those words in Isaiah 9:6, “To us a child is born; nobis qui credimus, ‘to us who believe;’ not to the Jews, who have not believed; to us, not to heretics; to us, not to the Manichees.” On these words, My people shall return hither, he has this note, “Wh at is hither, that is, to me, to my equity and righteousness, and to my worship; and he shall fulfill the day of his life; both which you may so understand, that the people truly shall be redeemed, qui crediderit in eo, which shall believe in him.” And in another place he says, “The cross of the Lord is a precipice to unbelievers, sed vita credentibus, but life to them that believe.” Again, “The cross is a reproach to the perfidious, but to the believer grace, to the believer redemption, to the believer the resurrection; because Christ has suffered for us.” Once more, “Christ is salvation to them that believe, but punishment to unbelievers;” yea, he says, “If thou dost not believe, non descendit tibi, non tibi passus est, he did not come down for thee, he did not suffer for thee.” Elsewhere he observes, that “the passion of the Lord is profitable to all, and gives redemption to sinners, quos flagitii poenituit admissi, who repent of sin committed.”
Again he says, “Be not the servant of the serpent, the enemy and the adversary, but serve the Lord alone, who in this own my, hath redeemed thee, quia ipse ipse suorum redemptio servulorum, for he himself is the redemption of his servants.” And was in another place, speaking of the man that healed at the pool of Bethesda, he says, “Then one was cured, not all are healed, or without doubt, unus solus populis Christianus, one Christian people only.” Once more, “The Lord Jesus was alone when he redeemed the world, for not a legate, nor a messenger, but the Lord himself alone, saved his own people.” He represents the intercession of the Spirit, and the sufferings of Christ, to be for the same persons: the Spirit intercedes for the saints, because the Spirit maketh intercession for us, pro quibus enim Christus passus est, ‘ for whom Christ suffered,’ and whom he hath cleansed by his own blood, for them the Spirit intercedes;” which cannot be said of all men. Moreover, he intimates, as though he thought it impossible that any one should be damned for whom Christ die, and whom he has redeemed by his blood; his words are these; “Can he damn thee, quem redemit a morte, whom he has redeemed from death,’ for whom he offered himself, whose life he knows is the reward of his own death?” Moreover, many of his general expressions may be understood of the sufficiency of Christ’s blood to redeem all men; for thus, in one place, he expresses himself concerning Christ; “He is free from all, nor does he give the price of redemption for his own soul, the price of whose blood poterat abundare ad universa mundi totius redimenda peccata, could abound to redeem all the sins of the whole world.” Besides, it may be further observed, that the general benefit which mankind has by the death of Christ Ambrose sometimes explains of the resurrection, though that which is to eternal life he limits to all Christians, who are the body and members of Christ.
EPIPHANIUS. A.D. 390.
EPIPHANIUS was bishop of Salamis, sometimes called Constance, in Cyprus; he lived to the year 403, and wrote many things in his old age; and the chief of his writings which remain, is a large work against heresies, in which are several expressions that are agreeable to the doctrine of particular redemption; as when he calls in question the redemption of some persons, which he could not well do, if he thought, that all were redeemed by Christ. Thus, speaking of the Arians, he says, “These rash men again introduce some other passages of Scripture, sowing their opinions of damnation against him who has redeemed them, eiper hgorasqhsan if so be they are redeemed.” And elsewhere having mentioned these words, Ye are bought with a price, with the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without spot and without blemish; he adds, “If therefore ye are bought with blood, ouk uparceiv twn hgorasmenwn, thou art not of the number of them that are bought, O Manes, because thou deniest the blood.” Besides, the characters which he sometimes gives of the persons for whom Christ suffered and died, do not agree with all mankind; as when he says, that “He (Christ)in the last days vouchsafed to be in the womb of a virgin, and formed a body for himself, and was truly born, and really became man, that he might suffer in the flesh for us, and gave his life uper twn idiwn probatwn , “for his own sheep.” Again, “He (the devil) has always heard the prophets declaring the coming of Christ, the future redemption of them that had sinned, kai dia Cristou metanountwn, and by Christ repent: and he thought that he himself should obtain some mercy.” Once more, citing those words, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; he makes this observation, “Christ is not the curse, but the dissolution of the curse; a blessing indeed pasi tois eis auton alethos pepisteukasin, “to all that truly believe in him; so he hath redeemed, he does not say, he hath bought.” Monsieur Daillee has cited a single passage from this writer, as countenancing general redemption, where he says, that “Christ first offered up himself, that he might abolish the sacrifices of the Old Testament, by giving a more perfect, and a living one,” for the whole world; which may he very well understood of the Gentiles, since the sacrifices of the Old Testament did not belong to them, but to the Jews only.
As to what is cited from Asterius Amasenus, who thought, that if Judas the betrayer had not immediately laid violent hands on himself, but had fallen on his knees and asked mercy, he would not have been afar off from those mercies which are shed over the whole world; this does not prove, that he thought that Christ died for all men, nor for Judas; but that he was of opinion, that had he truly repented, he would have a share in.
And whereas it is also observed from him, as his sense of the parable of the man that fell among thieves, that it designs all mankind, naked of piety and virtue, and wounded by enemies, whom Moses and others looking upon, could not heal: but when the Samaritan, who is our Savior, came, he administered healing; which may very well be allowed; without supposing healing administered to every individual of human nature, which is not true in fact.
GAUDENTIUS BRIXIENSIS. A.D. 390.
GAUDENTIUS was made bishop of Brixia, a city of Venice, about A.D. 390, and died after A.D. 407. There are some tracts of his remaining in which are several passages relating to the subject of redemption. In one place he says, f1277”We ought, according to the command of God, first to mortify the lusts of the flesh, and so receive the body of Christ, qui pro nobis servientibus in AEgypto est immolatus, who is sacrificed for us that serve in Egypt.” And elsewhere, “They (the Jews) not only would not receive him, but they crucified him, who therefore notwithstanding bore up the body that was assumed to die, that by rising again, through his own power, he might both show the omnipotence of his majesty; and that by removing and conquering death, vitam credentibus redderet, ‘ he might restore life to them that believe,’ and condemn the complete wickedness of the crucifiers.” And in another place, having mentioned Philippians 2:8, he adds, “By a spontaneous humility, with the Father’s will he (Christ) voluntarily bore the Cross, ut mors ejus fieret vita credentibus, that his death might become life to them that believe.” And elsewhere, on John 12:32, he has this note, “To wit, that being lifted up on the cross, omne seculum ad suam fidem vocaturas esset, ‘ he might call every age to faith in himself;’ but that he says, twill draw crania, all things to myself, and not omnes, all men: by this, I think,” says he, “signified quod omnia creaturarum genera, ‘ that all kinds of creatures,’ which were either sacrificed or dedicated to idols, Christ promised should be restored to his blessing, and consecrated to his name.” Monsieur Daille cites two passages from this writer, in the first of which Gaudentius says, that Christ took the flesh of righteous men and sinners of the Virgin, and a body not only of the patriarch and prophets, sed ex totius generis humani massa, “but of the mass of all mankind” which is very true, Christ’s human nature being of the same common lump and mass with, and like to that of others, sin only excepted. But then this writer does not say, that Christ suffered in the flesh, and offered up this body for the whole lump and mass of mankind, and all the individuals of it. True it is, that in the other passage he observes, that Christ died, pro totius mundi peccatis, “for the sins of the whole world;” which is no other than the phrase used by the apostle,1 John ii:2, to which he doubtless refers, which he understands of Gentiles in distinction from Jews, and is the plain and obvious meaning of the apostle.
With much more pertinency might be alleged another passage of this writer in favor of particular redemption, where he says, “Let us study to love Christ in the poor, who in all respects loved us; and who, as a good shepherd, laid down his life pro ovibus suis, ‘ for his own sheep;” not only for the sheep, but for his own sheep.”
JOANNES CHRYSOSTOMUS. A. D. 390.
CHRYSOSTOM often makes use of the apostle’s words, who would have all men to be saved, and drops many general expressions concerning the love of God to men, and his desire of their welfare; which M. Daille has collected together in favor of the general scheme, though there is not a word in them about the death of Christ, and redemption by it. Chrysostom does indeed say elsewhere, that “the sacrifice (of Christ) was offered for the whole nature kai ikane pantes en sosai, and was sufficient to save all.”
Which is not denied; but then he immediately observes, that only believers receive any advantage by it; his words are these, oi de to euergesia chresamenoi oi pisteuontes eisi monoi, “but they only enjoy the benefit who believe.” He also says, “The rational lamb is offered for the whole world.” But then he explains the whole world by such men who are purified, are freed from error, and brought to the knowledge of the truth; for he adds, “the same hath purified the whole world, he has freed men from deception, and brought them to the truth.” Indeed on those words, that “he by the grace of God might taste death for all,” he observes f1286 that “this is not for believers only, but the whole world, ‘for he died for all:
What if all do not believe? He hath fulfilled his part.” And again, on those words, “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” he has this note, Why does he say many and not all? epeide me pantes episteusan, because all do not believe.” For all indeed he died, to save all, as to his part, antirropos gar estin o thanatos ekeinos tes panton apoleias, ‘for that death was equivalent to the destruction of all,’ but he did not bear, or take away the sin of all, because they would not.” In all which, though he seems to intimate that Christ died intentionally to save all, and makes the effect of Christ’s death depend on the will of man; yet what he says confirms the distinction so much used in this controversy, that Christ died for all men as to the sufficiency of his death for all, but, not as to the effect of it; for certain it is, that Chrysostom did not think that all Adam’s posterity that sprung from him, and died in him, are quickened, or made alive by Christ, in a spiritual sense; his note on those words, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” is this, “What therefore? tell me, do all die the death of sin in Adam? How then was Noah righteous in his generation? How Abraham? How Job? And how all others? Tell me, “shall all be quickened in Christ?” pos oi eis geennan apagomenoi, ‘ how can they be that are led to hell?’ But if this is said of the body, the sense stands good; but if of righteousness and sin, not so.” In some places the characters he gives of those for whom Christ died, are such as cannot agree with all mankind: “if,” says he, “to dig up a church is vile and wicked, much more naon preumatikon, ‘a spiritual temple;’ for man is more venerable than a church, for Christ did not die for walls, alla dia tous naous toutous, but for those temples.” Again, “Dost thou despise anthropou pistou, ‘a believing man,’ who when he was an unbeliever Christ did not despise? What, do I say he did not despise him? Verily, he so loved him, whilst all enemy and deformed, os kai apothanein uper anton, as even to die for him.” Upon those words “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” he has this note, toutestin kai tous ex ethno, that is, and those of or from among the Gentiles;” by which it appears that by all, he only understood some. What he says f1292 consenting Julian the emperor, seems to favor the doctrine of general redemption most of any thing cited from this writer, as that “he (Julian) turned from and hated his benefactor and Savior, and “who did not spare his only begotten Son, di auton for him.” As for the imperfect work upon Matthew, which bears Chrysostom’s name, it is none of his; but is the performance of a much later writer; wherefore what is produced front thence does not come under our consideration.
As for the passages out of Severianus, cited by Monsieur Daille, the first of them only shows, that the gospel of the kingdom is published to the whole world, and is made useful to all sorts of men, which does not suppose universal redemption; and the other, that whereas all human things are fallen, Christ has took upon him all things, and by his grace renews them; which is capable of being understood in such a sense as not at all to favor that doctrine, since it cannot be thought that Christ took upon him more than he renews by his grace, and these are not all men.
RUFFINUS AQUILEIENSIS. A.D. 390.
RUFFINUS was presbyter of the church at Aquileia, and died A.D. 410. He translated much out of the Greek into the Latin tongue, as Eusebius’s History, and many of the writings of Origen, of whom he seemed to be a favorer, about which Jerom and he had a sharp contention. Some others of his writings are still extant, as his Invectives against Jerom, and his Exposition of the Creed; in the former of which, besides his saying, f1294 that Christ “was made man, and suffered for our salvation, and for our sins,” he has these words; “Christ died for us, and shed his blood for our redemption. Sinners indeed we are, sed de ipsius grege sumus, et inter ejus oviculus numeramur, but we are of his flock, and are reckoned among his sheep.” From whence it appears, that he thought that those for whom Christ shed his blood, though they are sinners, yet are of his flock, and the sheep of his pasture; in the latter of these pieces he thus expresses himself, f1296” He alone who knew no spot of sin, hath blotted out the sins of all; eorum duntaxat qui sanguine ejus postes suae fidei signassent, of them only who should mark the doors of their faith with his blood.” Monsieur Daille has a passage from this author which he thinks favors the general scheme; in which lie says, “Therefore Jesus is crowned with thorns, that the first sentence of condemnation might be dissolved; he is led to the cross, and upon the tree is hung totius mundi vita, the life of the whole world.” Which character is very true of Christ as the creator of all things, “in whom was life, and that life was the light of men,” of every man that comes into the world; and even of him as a Redeemer and Savior, who gave his flesh for the life of the world, even the whole world of the elect; but not for the life of every individual person in the world: for it is not true in fact that Christ is the life of every man in a spiritual sense; every man is not quickened by him, and therefore this could not be Ruffinus’s meaning.
Besides, a little after, speaking of the water and blood which came out of Christ’s side, he says, “it brought forth water, quae credentes diluat, ‘that it might wash believers;’ and it brought forth blood, qui condemnat incredulos, that it might condemn unbelievers.” So far, according to him, was Christ or the death of Christ, from being the life of the whole world in that sense.
Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, was contemporary with Ruffinus and Jerom, the latter of which translated his three paschal books out of Greek into Latin, from whence M. Daille has a citation which he supposes countenances the doctrine of general redemption, and is this “Now also the living Wisdom of God calls us forth to celebrate the holy passover (or Easter) omnes cupiens ejus esse participes, desiring that all might be partakers of it.” That is, of the Lord’s supper, administered at that time; but surely it could never be the meaning of Theophilus, that it was the will of Christ that every individual person should partake of it, only all such as were proper subjects, cunctos Domini timore purgatos, ‘ all that were purified in the fear of the Lord;’ these were fit to attend such a solemnity, as he himself says in the same book. Monsieur Daille might have picked out a passage more to his purpose than this, as when Theophilus says, “that Christ uniting to himself a whole body, and a whole soul, showed in himself a perfect man, ut perfectam cuntis hominibus in se et per se largiretur salutem, that he might in and by himself give perfect salvation to all men.” But his meaning cannot be, that Christ gives complete salvation to every individual of mankind, for then every man would be saved, which is not true; but that Christ, being perfect man, gives perfect and complete salvation to all men to whom he gives salvation. And it is evident that this early writer was of opinion, that the sufferings and death of Christ could not be made void, and become of no effect, by any sins or transgressions of men whatever; for speaking of Origen, and his notions, “In vain,” says he “he dreams that souls ascend to heaven and descend, and now they go forward, and anon tumble down below, that so they often die through innumerable falls, et Christi passiv irrita fiat, ‘ and the sufferings of Christ become void;’ for he who once died for us, aeternam nobis victoriae suae laetitiam dedit, quae nulla pitiorum mole extenuetur, hath given us the everlasting joy of his own victory, which cannot be lessened by any bulk of sins.” Whereas if Christ suffered death for all men, and all men are not saved, his sufferings and death must be so far in vain and of no effect.
Monsieur Daille next cites Synesius, who was ordained bishop of Ptolemais, A. D. 411, by Theophilus of Alexandria, who only says, “that Christ ought to be crucified uper thv apantwn amartiav, for the sin of all.” But whether he means, that it was necessary that Christ should be crucified for the sins of the Gentiles as well as Jews, for the sins of all sorts of men, for the sins of all the elect, or for the sins of every individual of mankind; which latter sense can only serve the cause for which it is brought, is not certain. This author seems to be of a later date than to come within the time proposed to be considered.
HIERONYMUS. A.D. 390.
DR.WHITBY F1305 claims Jerom on his side the question, in proof of which he cites two passages out of him; the first is this, though not as the Doctor has cited and rendered it, which is done very imperfectly. Jerom is speaking of Christ, of whom he says “In no wise either as an ambassador, or as a messenger, but he himself will save them, qui receperunt salutem, who have received salvation,” not by the merit of their works, but by the love of God; for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But if the prudent reader should with a tacit thought reply, Why are not many saved, if he hath saved them, and loved and spared his sons, and hath redeemed them with his blood, and hath undertook for and exalted them that are assumed? A plain reason is inferred from hence, “But they have not believed, and have provoked his Holy Spirit, or his Holy One; which is called in Hebrew, wçrq , wherefore God was willing to save them that desire, that is, to be saved, and hath provoked them to salvation, that the will might be rewarded, but they would not believe.” The whole paragraph is intricate and perplexed, and the meaning of it not easy to come at for he suggests, that many are not saved whom God has saved, and that God is willing to save all that desire to be saved, and yet they would not believe; things which are hard to be reconciled; and who the sons are God has loved, spared, and redeemed, and who the assumed ones he has undertook for and exalted, one cannot very well know, unless he means the Jews.
Such an obscure passage cannot yield much advantage to any cause. The second is wrongly translated by the Doctor thus, “John Baptist must he when he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world; if there be any yet living for whose sins Christ did not suffer.” Now Jerom in the place referred to is taking notice of the heresy of the Cainites, which he says was then revived, and over turns the whole mystery of Christ; for, adds, he it says, that there are some sins, quae Christus’ non posset purgare sanguine suo, ‘which Christ could not purge away by his blood;’ and that the sears of former sins were so deep, both in bodies and minds, ut medicina illius attenuari non queant, that they cannot be lessened by his medicine.” On which he observes, “What else does this mean, but that Christ died in vain? Si aliquos vivificare non potest, ‘ if there are any he could not quicken;’ and then follow the words referred to, “John the Baptist: lies, when pointing out Christ, both by finger and voice, ‘Behold the Lamb of God,’ behold him ‘that taketh away the sins of the world;’ si sunt adhuc in seculo quorum Christus peccata non tulerit, if there are any yet in the world whose sins Christ could not bear.” The plain and obvious sense of his words, in opposition to the heresy of the Cainites, is this, that there are no sins but the blood of Christ can purge away; nor any such wounds made by them but that can heal them; nor any persons dead in sin but he can quicken if he will; nor are there now, nor were there ever in any age, such enormous crimes committed but he could have bore; and who will deny this?
The Doctor next refers us to ten other passages to the same effect, cited from Jerom in Monsieur Daille, whom he always wrongly calls Dally; and he might have said more than ten, but these, as many as they are, only express the will of God to have all men saved, and come to repentance, and the knowledge of the truth; or Christ’s love to mankind, and to a lost world; and his ability, and the sufficiency of the price of his blood to redeem the whole world; all which we own agreeable to the Scriptures of truth; and we will try, if ten or twelve, or more passages, cannot be found in Jerom’s works, in which he either expressly declares, that Christ did not die to redeem all men, or limits his redemption to certain persons, whose characters he gives; as when interpreting these words, bring hither the fatted calf, he says, “the fatted calf, qui ad paenitentiae immolatur salutem, ‘ which is sacrificed for the salvation of penitents,’ is the Savior himself, whose flesh we daily feed on, whose blood we drink.” And a little after, mentioning these words, they began to be merry, This feast is daily celebrated, the Father daily receives the Son; semper Christus credentibus immolatur, Christ is always sacrificed for believers.” And elsewhere he says, f1310”Therefore the Lord is crucified, ut et nos qui credimus in eum et paccato mortui sumus, that we who believe in him, and are dead to sin, might be crucified with him.” On those words, Zion shall be redeemed with judgment; he has this note, Non omnes redimentur, nec omnes salvi fient sed reliquiae, “not all shall be redeemed, nor shall all be saved, but the remnant, as is said above;” meaning in Isaiah 1:9. And in another place, speaking of spiritual Jacob and Israel, whom he makes to be the first church gathered out of the people of the Jews, he says, Let him not fear the persecutors, because he is redeemed by the blood of Christ, who has called him by his name; and because of familiarity, specialiter appellat populum suum, he does in a very special manner call him his people.” And having in another place taken notice of God’s drying up the Red Sea, and causing his people to walk through it, when he drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians, he thus addresses the Lord, “Thou therefore who hast done these things, now also those who are redeemed and delivered by thy blood, return to Zion, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, or to the church, quam tibi tuo sauguine praeparasti, which thou hast prepared ‘for thyself by thine own blood.’ And elsewhere he observes, f1314 that “they should be redeemed, qui voluerunt credere, ‘ who would believe,’ not with silver and money, but with the precious blood of Christ, that they may hear by the apostles, Grace unto you and peace; for not for our merits, but for the grace and faith of Christ, we are reconciled to God.”
He paraphrases those words, As I have sworn that the writers of Noah, etc., thus, “To whom I have sworn, that the flood shall in no wise be brought upon the earth, and my engagement has been hitherto kept, nor shall it ever be made void; so I swear to my church, quam nihi redemi sanguine meo, ‘ which I have redeemed with my blood,’ that I will in no wise be angry with them whom I have mercy on.” And on those words, The Redeemer shall come to Zion, he has this remark, “The meaning is,” says he, “Christ shall come who shall redeem Zion with his blood. But lest we should think omnem redimi Sion, that all Sion, or every one in Sion, is redeemed, and that she is delivered from her sins, who is defiled with the blood of the Lord, he very significantly adds, his qui redeunt ab iniquitates si voluerint agere paenitentiam,’ to them that return from iniquity, if they would repent;’ in whom our Lord’s prayer is fulfilled, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And in another place, having cited Matthew 1:21, Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall, save his people from their sins, makes this observation; Qui salvator credentium,”He that is the Savior of believers, is the judge of all, that he may render to every man according to his works; to the righteous rewards, to sinners everlasting punishment; and the Lord and Savior himself, he (the prophet) says, shall call them, or, according to the Hebrew, the apostles and apostolic men shall call them, sanctum populum, et redemptum a Domino, qui redempti sunt Christi sanguine, the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, who are redeemed by the blood of Christ.” And a little after he has this note on the words, The year of my redeemed is come; “The year of my redemption cometh, that at the time in which the adversaries are punished, Dei populus liberaretur, imo redimatur pretioso sanguine agni the people, of God may be delivered, yea, redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb,’ who in the Revelation of John is said to be slain.” Those words in Jonah 2:4, I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice, of thanksgiving, I will pay last I have vowed; which he understands of Christ, he paraphrases in this manner, “I who am devoured, pro salute multorum, ‘for the salvation of many,’ will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of praise and confession, offering myself; for Christ our passover is sacrificed, and as a priest and a sheep he offered himself for us. And I will confess, says he, unto thee, as I before confessed, saying, ‘I confess to thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;’ and I will pay the vows which I have made to the Lord, pro salute omnium, ut omne quod dedisti mihi non pereat in aeternum;’ for the salvation of all, that all which thou hast given me might not perish for ever.” Descanting upon Zephaniah 3:1, which is rendered by the Septuagint, “O illustrious and redeemed city, the dove,” he has these words, “The illustrious and redeemed city by the blood of Christ, according to what is said above, is clearly meant the church, which is called a dove, because of the simplicity of the multitude of believers in it.” And a little after, “What is so illustrious as the church which is established in the whole world, so redeemed by the blood of Christ? And a dove, because of the grace of the Holy Spirit, ut ecclesia degentibus congregata, as the church gathered out from among the Gentiles?” His note on those words “And to give his life a ransom for many,” is this “When he took upon him the form of a servant, that he might shed his blood for the world, he does not say, that he gave his life a ransom pro omnibus, sed pro multis, id est pro his qui credere voluerant, for all, but for many, that is, for those who would believe.” Dr. Whitby replies to this citation, by distinguishing between the will of God, that all men should be saved, and the effect of it, which depends on the will of man, in which respect Christ died not for all, but for many; as though the will of God depended on the will of man, and could be without effect; and then cites a passage from this father, to prove, that God saves none without their will; which nobody denies; for God makes his people willing “in the day of his power.”
Again; he elsewhere says, “We were by nature children of wrath as others omnes sancti ab ira sanguine Christi redempti sunt, and all the saints are redeemed from wrath by the blood of Christ.” Again he observes, that “without the blood of the Lord Jesus no man can draw nigh to God, because he is our peace; and if Christ is pax credentinm, ‘the peace of believers,’ whoever is without peace consequently hath not Christ.” And elsewhere, speaking of the seal of the Spirit, he says, “He that is sealed so as to keep the seal, and show it in the day of redemption pure and sincere, and in no part damaged, may be able, because of that, to be numbered cum his qui redempti sunt, with them that are redeemed.” And on those words, “the g race of God hath appeared to all men, he has this remark, “There is no difference of free and bond, of Greek and Barbarian, of circumcised and uncircumcised, of men and women, but we are all one in Christ; we are all called to the kingdom of God, we are all after the offense reconciled to our Father, not by our merits, but by the grace of the Saviour; where it is plain, by all men he understands persons of every sex, rank, and condition. And a little after, says he, “Rightly therefore Christ Jesus our great God and Savior hath redeemed us by his own blood; ut sibi Christianum populum peculiarum facerit, that he might make for himself a peculiar Christian people.” More passages of the like nature might be produced, but these may suffice.
As for the many citations by Monsieur Daille out of Maximus Tauriensis, I take no notice of, because the sermons from whence they are taken are incertae fide , “of doubtful credit;” and out of them, many things are ascribed to different authors.