Part 1

Section 31óJohn 12:32.

And I, if I be lifted from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Though this text is not produced by the principal writers in the Arminian controversy, nor by the Remonstrants formerly, nor by Curcellaeus, nor by Limborch, nor by Whitby of late; yet inasmuch as it is urged by others,[1] in favor of universal redemption, that he who draws all men to him by his death, must needs die for all men; it will be proper to consider the import of it, and the argument upon it. And,

1. It. is certain, that the death of Christ, and the very kind of death he should die, is intimated by his being lifted up from the earth;since the evangelist observes in the next verse, that this he said signifying what death he should die;and it must be owned, that the drawing of all men to Christ, is here represented as a fruit of his death, or as what should attend it, or would follow upon it; and I ean uywqw, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me.And therefore

2. The sense of these words pretty much depends on the meaning of the word draw: which either designs a collection of a large number of people to him, and about him, when he should be lifted on the cross, some against, others for him; some to reproach, and others to bewail him; or rather of the gathering of the people to him,through the ministry of the apostles; and so of their being enabled, through the power of divine grace, to come unto him, and believe on him for eternal life and salvation; for all those whom God has loved with an everlasting love, and Christ has died for, are, sooner or later, with loving-kindness drawn unto him;in this sense Christ uses the word in this Gospel; no man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him (John 6:44). Now,

3. It is most evident, that all men, that is, every individual of human nature, every son and daughter of Adam, have not faith, are not drawn, or enabled to come to Christ, and believe in him. There were many of the Jews who would not, and did not come to Christ, that, they might have life;who, instead of being drawn to him in this sense, when lifted up on the cross, vilified and reproached him; nay, at this time, here was a world spoken of in the preceding verse, whose judgment,or condemnation, was now come; and besides, there was then a multitude of souls in hell, who could not nor never will be drawn to Christ; and a greater number still there will be at the last day, to whom, instead of drawing to him in this gracious way and manner, he will say, Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:23, and 25:41). Christ died, indeed, for all men who are drawn unto him; but this is not true of all men that are, were, or shall be in the world. Add to this that the men is not in the Greek text; it is only panta, all;and some copies read panta, all things;[2] so Austen read it formerly, and so it was in an ancient copy of Beza's. But not to insist on this;

4. By all men,is meant some of all sorts, all the elect of God, the children of God, that were scattered abroad;[3] and particularly the Gentiles as well as the Jews, as Chrysostom and Theophylact[4] interpret the words; which interpretation is perfectly agreeable with ancient prophecy; that when Shiloh was come (Gen. 49:10; Isa.11:10), to him should the gathering of the people, or Gentiles, be;and with the context, an occasion of these words, which was this; certain Greeks that were come up to worshiper the feast,desired to see Jesus;of which when he was apprised by his disciples, he answered, that the hour was come in which he should be glorified,and that as a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies,so should he: and though he tacitly intimates, that it was not proper to admit these Greeks into his presence now, yet when he was lifted up from the earth,or after his death, his Gospel should be preached to them as well as to the Jews; and that large numbers of them should be drawn unto him, and brought to believe in him; agreeable to which sense of the words is Dr. Hammond's paraphrase of them: "And I being crucified, will by that means, bring a great part of the whole world to believe on me, Gentiles as well as Jews." And to the same purpose is the note of Dr. Whitby on the text.


[1] Vid. Polani Syntag. Theolog. l. 6, c. 18, p. 398.

[2] Vid. Bezam in loc..

[3] John 11:52. The Persic version, in Lond. Bibl. Polyglott, reads the words thus: And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw my friends unto me.

[4] Vid. Beza in loc..

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