Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 16—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.[1] 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,[2] 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,[3] "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,[4] 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,[5] "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,[6] "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[7] 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[8] 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."


[1] Apolog. p. 783.

[2] Hiar. Enarrat. in Psalm 55. p. 386.

[3] In Psalm 63, p. 442.

[4] De Trinitate. 50:9. p. 116.

[5] In Matthew can. 21, p. 308.

[6] Ibid. p. 309.

[7] In Psalm 60. p. 400.

[8] In Psalm 118. 1, Heth, p. 480.