The

CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 2 Chapter 3

Section 6—Romans 5:10.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.


The argument from these words, in favor of particular, and against universal redemption, stands thus: such for whom Christ died are reconciled to God by his death; and such who are reconciled to God by his death shall be saved by his life. If therefore Christ died for all men, and all men are reconciled to God by his death, then all men shall be saved by his life. But all will not be saved by his life; therefore all men are not reconciled to God by his death, nor did he die for all men. In answer to which,

1st. It is observed,[1] that “this argument supposes that Christ died to reconcile no man to God who shall not be saved.” It is very true, and we not only suppose but affirm it, and argue thus: Those for whom Christ died to reconcile them to God, are either reconciled to him or they are not; if they are not reconciled to him, then Christ with respect to them must die in vain; if they are reconciled to him, then according to this text they shall be saved. Whence it necessarily follows, that he died to reconcile none to God, who shall not be saved. But then it is said, it must follow,

1. That no man can be condemned at the last day for neglecting that great salvation tendered to, or purchased for him; Christ having neither purchased for or offered to them any salvation, unless he offered to them that salvation which he never died to purchase for them.” It is certain, that for those who shall not be saved, salvation was not purchased, nor should it be offered to them, nor indeed to any. Such for whom salvation is purchased, are the church whom Christ has purchased with his own blood; and to these, this salvation is not offered, but applied. The Gospel is not an offer, but the power of God unto salvation,to these persons. And as for others, they will be condemned at the last day, for their sins and transgressions against the law of God. And such who have had the opportunity of hearing the Gospel, and have neglected, despised, and reproached it, their condemnation will be thereby aggravated. But,

2. It is also said, that “it must follow from hence, that all who are not saved, never had any Savior or Redeemer, and so were never in a capacity to sin against a Savior; nor can their sins be aggravated by this consideration that they are committed against redeeming love. I reply, that savior and saved are relative terms, and mutually put for each other: a Savior supposes persons saved, and the saved supposes a Savior. Now Christ can be a Savior to no more than to them who are saved; and to such who are not saved, he is no Savior; and yet such may be capable of sinning against him as a Savior, though not as their Savior; they may deny him to be the Savior, despise, reproach, and neglect him as such, as Jews, Deists, and others, have done. And though their sins are not aggravated by this consideration, that they are committed against redeeming love, as having any share in it themselves, yet may be aggravated by their contempt of it, as the blessing of others. Moreover, Christ may be sinned against by these persons as a Savior, in a way of providence, though not in a way of grace; and their sins may be aggravated, as being committed against his providential goodness, if not against his redeeming love. Though strictly, and properly speaking, sin is not against Christ as a Savior, but against God as the Lawgiver; and not against redeeming love, but a law of righteousness.

2ndly It is allowed,[2] that the conclusion of this argument, all that are reconciled to Christ (God I suppose is meant) shall be saved, may be true; but not that all, for whom Christ died, are reconciled to God.” But if all for whom Christ died are not reconciled to God, then one principal end of his death, which was to make reconciliation for sin, is not answered; and consequently his death must be so far in vain. And whereas it is observed, that “Christ died for them when sinners, unjust, ungodly, and unbelievers, who cannot be actually reconciled to God, as none can, until they believe and are justified; and that reconciliation by the death of Christ, is only by faith in it; and that God never sent his Son to purchase actual reconciliation for any but conditionally, if, and when they believed.” I reply, that though no man is reconciled to God's way and method of salvation by Christ, or has peace in his soul, flowing from a sense of atonement and justification by the blood of Christ, until he believes; which is meant by the phrase, much more being reconciled;and regards not any performance of Christ's, but the work of the Spirit of God upon the soul: yet this hinders not but that men, whilst sinners, ungodly, and unbelievers, may be reconciled to God by the death of Christ; that is to say, that their sins may be expiated, and fully atoned for; for faith is not the cause or condition of this reconciliation; faith does not make peace with God, or reconciliation for sin, but receives the atonement already made. Nor is it anywhere said, either that God sent his Son to procure reconciliation, or that Christ has obtained it on condition of man's believing. The scheme of reconciliation was drawn by God without any respect to faith, and was completely obtained by Christ without any consideration of anything done, or to be done by us. The consequence of which is reconciliation of our souls to this way of peace, by the Spirit of God; and the sure and certain effect of this, is everlasting salvation to all those who are thus reconciled.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, p. 154; ed. 2.151.

[2] Whitby, p. 155; ed. 2.151, 152.


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