The
CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 29—Epiphanius. A.D. 390.


Epiphanius was bishop of Salamis,[1] 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,[2] "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[3] 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,[4] 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."[5] 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,[6] "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[7] has cited a single passage from this writer, as countenancing general redemption, where he says,[8] 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[9] 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.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Vide Acts 13:5.

[2] Contr. Haeres. 66, s. 52, p. 781, vol. 1. p. 927.

[3] Ibid. 66, s. 78, p. 609.

[4] Ibid. 24, s. 9, p. 74.

[5] Ibid 39, s. 8, p. 289.

[6] Ibid. 42, s. 8, p. 309.

[7] Apolog. p. 807.

[8] Haeres. 55, s. 4, p, 471.

[9] Apolog. p. 807, 808.