William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America




John Owen



Some previous considerations to a more particular inquiry after the
proper end and effect of the death of Christ.

The main thing upon which the whole controversy about the death of
Christ turneth, and upon which the greatest weight of the business
dependeth, comes next to our consideration, being that which we have
prepared the way unto by all that hath been already said. It is
about the proper end of the death of Christ; which whoso can rightly
constitute and make manifest may well be admitted for a day's-man
and umpire in the whole contestation: for if it be the end of
Christ's death which most of our adversaries assign, we will not
deny but that Christ died for all and every one; and if that be the
end of it which we maintain so to be, they will not extend it beyond
the elect, beyond believers. This, then, must be fully cleared and
solidly confirmed by them who hope for any success in their
undertakings. The end of the death of Christ we asserted, in the
beginning of our discourse, to be our approximation or drawing nigh
unto God; that being a general expression for the whole reduction
and recovery of sinners from the state of alienation, misery, and
wrath, into grace, peace, and eternal communion with him. Now, there
being a twofold end in things, one of the worker, the other of the
work wrought, we have manifested how that, unless it be either for
want of wisdom and certitude of mind in the agent, in choosing and
using unsuitable means for the attaining of the end proposed, or for
want of skill and power to make use of and rightly to improve well
proportioned means to the best advantage, these things are always
coincident; the work effecteth what the workman intendeth. In the
business in hand, the agent is the blessed Three in One, as was
before declared; and the means whereby they collimed and aimed at
the end proposed were the oblation and intercession of Jesus Christ,
which are united, intending the same object, as was also cleared.
Now, unless we will blasphemously ascribe want of wisdom, power,
perfection, and sufficiency in working unto the agent, or affirm
that the death and intercession of Christ were not suitable and
proportioned for the attaining the end proposed by it to be
effected, we must grant that the end of these is one and the same.

Whatsoever the blessed Trinity intended by them, that was effected;
and whatsoever we find in the issue ascribed unto thein, that by
them the blessed Trinity intended. So that we shall have no cause to
consider these apart, unless it be sometimes to argue from the one
to the other; -- as, where we find any thing ascribed to the death
of Christ, as the fruit thereof, we may conclude that that God
intended to effect by it; and so also on the contrary.

Now, the end of the death of Christ is either supreme and ultimate,
or intermediate and subservient to that last end.

1. The first is the glory of God, or the manifestation of his
glorious attributes, especially of his justice, and mercy tempered
with justice, unto us. The Lord doth necessarily aim at himself in
the first place, as the chiefest good, yea, indeed, that alone which
is good; that is, absolutely and simply so, and not by virtue of
communication from another: and therefore in all his works,
especially in this which we have in hand, the chiefest of all, he
first intends the manifestation of his own glory; which also he
fully accomplisheth in the close, to every point and degree by him
intended. He "maketh all things for himself," Prov. xvi. 4; and
every thing in the end must "redound to the glory of God," 2 Cor.
iv. 15; wherein Christ himself is said to be "God's," 1 Cor. iii.
23, serving to his glory in that whole administration that was
committed to him. So, Eph. i. 6, the whole end of all this
dispensation, both of choosing us from eternity, redeeming us by
Christ, blessing us with all spiritual blessings in him, is affirmed
to be "the praise of the glory of his grace;" and, verse 12, "That
we should be to the praise of his glory." This is the end of all the
benefits we receive by the death of Christ; for "we are filled with
the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the
glory and praise of God," Phil. i. 11; -- which also is fully
asserted, chap. ii. 11, "That every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." This the apostle
fully clears in the ninth to the Romans, where he so asserts the
supreme dominion and independency of God in all his actions, his
absolute freedom from taking rise, cause, or occasion to his
purposes, from any thing among us sons of men, doing all things for
his own sake, and aiming only at his own glory. And this is that
which in' the close of all shall be accomplished, when every
creature shall say, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be
unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever
and ever," Rev. v. 13.

2. There is an end of the death of Christ which is intermediate and
subservient to that other, which is the last and most supreme, even
the sects which it hath in respect of us, and that is it of which we
now treat; which, as we before affirmed, is the bringing of us unto
God. Now, this, though in reference to the oblation and intercession
of Christ it be one entire end, yet in itself, and in respect of the
relation which the several acts therein have one to another, may be
considered distinctly in two parts, whereof one is the end and the
other the means for the attaining of that end; both the complete end
of the mediation of Christ in respect of us. The ground and cause of
this is the appointment of the Lord that there should be such a
connection and coherence between the things purchased for us by
Jesus Christ, that the one should be a means and way of attaining
the other,-- the one the condition, and the other the thing promised
upon that condition, but hath equally and alike procured for us by
Jesus Christ; for if either be omitted in his purchase, the other
would be vain and fruitless, as we shall afterward declare. Now,
both these consist in a communication of God and his goodness unto
us (and our participation of him by virtue thereof); and that either
to grace or glory, holiness or blessedness, faith or salvation. In
this last way they are usually called, faith being the means of
which we speak, and salvation the end; faith the condition,
salvation the promised inheritance. Under the name of faith we
comprise all saving grace that accompanies it; and under the name of
salvation, the whole " glory to be revealed," the liberty of the
glory of the children of God, Rom. viii., 18, 21,-- all that
blessedness which consisteth in an eternal fruition of the blessed
God. With faith go all the effectual means thereof, both external
and internal; -- the word and almighty sanctifying Spirit; all
advancement of state and condition attending it, as justification,
reconciliation, and adoption into the family of God; all fruits
flowing from it in sanctification and universal holiness; with all
other privileges and enjoyments of believers here, which follow the
redemption and reconciliation purchased for them by the oblation of
Christ. A real, effectual, and infallible bestowing and applying of
all these things,-- as well those that are the means as those that
are the end, the condition as the thing conditioned about, faith and
grace as salvation and glory,-- unto all and every one for whom he
died, do we maintain to be the end proposed and effected by the
blood-shedding of Jesus Christ, with those other acts of his
mediatorship which we before declared to be therewith inseparably
conjoined: so that every one for whom he died and offered up himself
hath, by virtue of his death or oblation, a right purchased for him
unto all these things, which in due time he shall certainly and
infallibly enjoy; or (which is all one), the end of Christ's
obtaining grace and glory with his Father was, that they might be
certainly bestowed upon all those for whom he died, some of them
upon condition that they do believe, but faith itself absolutely
upon no condition at all. All which we shall farther illustrate and
confirm, after we have removed some false ends assigned.


Containing a removal of some mistakes and false assignations of the
end of the death of Christ.

THAT the death, oblation, and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ is to
be considered as the means for the compassing of an appointed end
was before abundantly declared; and that such a means as is not in
itself any way desirable but for the attaining of that end. Now,
because that which is the end of any thing must also be good, for
unless it be so it cannot be an end (for bonumet finis
convertuntur), it must be either his Father's good, or his own good,
or our good, which was the end proposed.

I. That it was not merely his own is exceedingly apparent. For in
his divine nature he was eternally and essentially partaker of all
that glory which is proper to the Deity; which though in respect of
us it be capable of more or less manifestation, yet in itself it is
always alike eternally and absolutely perfect. And in this regard,
at the close of all, he desires and requests no other glory but that
which he had with his Father "before the world was," John xvii. 5.
And in respect of his human nature, as he was eternally
predestinated, without any foresight of doing or suffering, to be
personally united, from the instant of his conception, with the
second person of the Trinity, so neither while he was in the way did
he merit any thing for himself by his death and oblation. He needed
not to suffer for himself, being perfectly and legally righteous;
and the glory that he aimed at, by "enduring the cross, and
despising the shame," was not so much his own, in respect of
possession, by the exaltation of his own nature, as the bringing of
many children to glory, even as it was in the promise set before
him, as we before at large declared. His own exaltation, indeed, and
power over all flesh, and his appointment to be Judge of the quick
and the dead, was a consequent of his deep humiliation and
suffering; but that it was the effect and product of it, procured
meritoriously by it, that it was the end aimed at by him in his
making satisfaction for sin, that we deny. Christ hath a power and
dominion over all, but the foundation of this dominion is not in his
death for all; for he hath dominion over all things, being appointed
" heir of them, and upholding them all by the word of his power,"
Heb. i. 2, 3. "He is set over the works of God's hands, and all
things are put in subjection under him," chap. ii. 7, 8. And what
are those "all things," or what are amongst them, you may see in the
place of the psalmist from whence the apostle citeth these words,
Ps. viii. 5 -- 8. And did he die for all these things? Nay, hath he
not power over the angels? are not principalities and powers made
subject to him? Shall he not at the last day judge the angels? for
with him the saints shall do it, by giving attestation to his
righteous judgments, l. Cor. vi. 2, 3; -- and yet, is it not
expressly said that the angels have no share in the whole
dispensation of God manifested in the flesh, so as to die for them
to redeem them from their sins? of which some had no need, and the
others are eternally excluded: Heb. ii. 16, "He took not on him the
nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham," God
setting him "king upon his holy hill of Zion," in despite of his
enemies, to bruise them and to rule them "with a rod of iron," Ps.
ii. 6, 9, is not the immediate effect of his death for them, but
rather all things are given into his hand out of the immediate love
of the Father to his Son, John iii. 35; Matt. xi. 27. That is the
foundation of all this sovereignty and dominion over all creatures,
with this power of judging that is put into his hand.
Besides, be it granted (which cannot be proved) that Christ by his
death did precure this power of judging, would any thing hence
follow that might be beneficial to the proving of the general ransom
for all? No, doubtless; this dominion and power of judging is a
power of condemning as well as saving; it is "all judgment" that is
committed to him, John v. 22. "He hath authority given unto him to
execute judgment, because he is the Son of man;" that is, at that
hour " when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and
come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation,"
verses 27 -- 29; 2 Cor. v. 10. Now, can it be reasonably asserted
that Christ died for men to redeem them, that he might have power to
condemn? Nay, do not these two overthrow one another? If he redeemed
thee by his death, then he did not aim at the obtaining of any power
to condemn thee; if he did the latter, then that former was not in
his intention.

II. Nor, secondly, was it his Father's good. I speak now of the
proximate and immediate end and product of the death of Christ, not
of the ultimate and remote, knowing that the supreme end of Christ's
oblation, and all the benefits purchased and procured by it, was
"the praise of his glorious grace;" but for this other, it doth not
directly tend to the obtaining of any thing unto God, but of all
good things from God to us. Arminius, with his followers, with the
other Universalists of our days, affirm this to be the end proposed,
that God might, his justice being satisfied, save sinners, the
hinderance being removed by the satisfaction of Christ. He had by
his death obtained a right and liberty of pardoning sin upon what
condition he pleased: so that, after the satisfaction of Christ
yielded and considered, "integrum Deo fuit" (as his words are), it
was wholly in God's free disposal whether he would eave any or no;
and upon what condition he would, whether of faith or of works
"God," say they, "had a good mind and will to do good to human kind,
but could not by reason of sin, his justice lying in the way;
whereupon he sent Christ to remove that obstacle, that so he might,
upon the prescribing of what condition he pleased, and its being by
them fulfilled, have mercy on them," Now, because in this they place
the chief, if not the sole, end of the oblation of Christ, I must a
little show the falseness and folly of it; which may be done plainly
by these following reasons: --

First, The foundation of this whole assertion seems to me to be
false and erroneous,-- namely, that God could not have mercy on
mankind unless satisfaction were made by his Son. It is true,
indeed, supposing the decree, purpose, and constitution of God that
so it should be, that so he would manifest his glory, by the way of
vindicative justice, it was impossible that it should otherwise be;
for with the Lord there is "no variableness, neither shadow of
turning," James i. 17; 1 Sam. xv. 29: but to assert positively, that
absolutely and antecedently to his constitution he could not have
done it, is to me an unwritten tradition, the Scripture affirming no
such thing, neither can it be gathered from thence in any good
consequence. If any one shall deny this, we will try what the Lord
will enable us to say unto it, and in the meantime rest contented in
that of Augustine: "Though other ways of saving us were not wanting
to his infinite wisdom, yet certainly the way which he did proceed
in was the most convenient, because we find he proceeded therein."

Secondly, This would make the cause of sending his Son to die to be
a common love, or rather wishing that, he might do good or show
mercy to all, and not an entire act of his will or purpose, of
knowing, redeeming, and saving his elect; which we shall afterward

Thirdly, If the end of the death of Christ were to acquire a right
to his Father, that notwithstanding his justice he might save
sinners, then did he rather die to redeem a liberty unto God than a
liberty from evil unto us,-- that his Father might be enlarged from
that estate wherein it was impossible for him to do that which he
desired, and which his nature inclined him to, and not that we might
be freed frown that condition wherein, without this freedom
purchased, it could not be but we must perish. If this be so, I see
no reason why Christ should be said to come and redeem his people
from their sins; but rather, plainly, to purchase this right and
liberty for his Father. Now, where is there any such assertion,
wherein is any thing of this nature in the Scripture? Doth the Lord
say that he sent his Son out of love to himself, or unto us? Is God
or are men made the immediate subject of good attained unto by this
oblation? Rep. But it is said, that although immediately, and in the
first place, this right did arise unto God by the death of Christ,
yet that that also was to tend to our good, Christ obtaining that
right, that the Lord might now bestow mercy on us, if we fulfilled
the condition that he would propose. But I answer, that this utterly
overthrows all the merit of the death of Christ towards us, and
leaves not so much as the nature of merit unto it; for that which is
truly meritorious indeed deserves that the thing merited, or
procured and obtained by it, shall be done, or ought to be bestowed,
and not only that it may be done. There is such a habitude and
relation between merit and the thing obtained by it, whether it be
absolute or arising on contract, that there ariseth a real right to
the thing procured by it in them by whom or for whom it is procured.
When the labourer hath wrought all day, do we say, "Now his wages
may be paid,"or rather, "Now they ought to be paid"? Hath he not a
right unto it? Was ever such a merit heard of before, whose nature
should consist in this, that the thing procured by it might be
bestowed, and not that it ought to be? And shall Christ be said now
to purchase by his meritorious oblation this only at his Father's
hand, that he might bestow upon and apply the fulness of his death
to some or all, and not that he should so do "To him that worketh,"
saith the apostle, " is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of
debt," Rom. iv. 4. Are not the fruits of the death of Christ by his
death as truly procured for us as if they had been obtained by our
own working? And if so, though in respect of the persons on whom
they are bestowed they are of free grace, yet in respect of the
purchase, the bestowing of them is of debt.

Fourthly, That cannot be assigned as the complete end of the death
of Christ, which being accomplished, it had not only been possible
that not one soul might be saved, but also impossible that by virtue
of it any sinful soul should be saved; for sure the Scripture is
exceedingly full in declaring that through Christ we have remission
of sins, grace, and glory (as afterward). But now, notwithstanding
this, that Christ is said to have procured and purchased by his
death such a right and liberty to his Father, that he might bestow
eternal life upon all upon what conditions he would, it might very
well stand that not one of those should enjoy eternal life: for
suppose the Father would not bestow it, as he is by no engagement,
according to this persuasion, bound to do (he had a right to do it,
it is true, but that which is any one's right he may use or not use
at his pleasure); again, suppose he had prescribed a condition of
works which it had been impossible for them to fulfil; -- the death
of Christ might have had its full end, and yet not one been saved.
Was this his coming to save sinners, to "save that which was lost?"
or could he, upon such an accomplishment as this, pray as he did,
"Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me be with me where
I am; that they may behold my glory?" John xvii. 24. Divers other
reasons might be used to evert this fancy, that would make the
purchase of Christ, in respect of us, not to be the remission of
sins, but a possibility of it; not salvation, but a salvability; not
reconciliation and peace with God, but the opening of a door towards
it; -- but I shall use them in assigning the right end of the death
of Christ.

Ask now of these, what it is that the Father can do, and will do,
upon the death of Chris", by which means his justice, that before
hindered the execution of his good-will towards them, is satisfied?
and they tell you it is the entering into a new covenant of grace
with them, upon the performance of whose condition they shall have
all the benefits of the death of Christ applied to them. But to us
it seemeth that Christ himself, with his death and passion, is the
chief promise of the new covenant itself, as Gen. iii. 15; and so
the covenant cannot be said to be procured by his death. Besides,
the nature of the covenant overthrows this proposal, that they that
are covenanted withal shall have such and such good things if they
fulfil the condition, as though that all depended on this obedience,
when that obedience itself, and the whole condition of it, is a
promise of the covenant, Jer. xxxi. 83, which is confirmed and
sealed by the blood of Christ. We deny not but that the death of
Christ hath a proper end in respect of God,-- to wit, the
manifestation of his glory; whence he calls him "his servant, in
whom he will be glorified," Isa. xlix.3. And the bringing of many
sons to glory, wherewith he was betrusted, was to the manifestation
and praise of his glorious grace; that so his love to his elect
might gloriously appear, his salvation being borne out by Christ to
the utmost parts of the earth. And this full declaration of his
glory, by the way of mercy tempered with justice (for "he set forth
Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, that he
might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus,"
Rom. iii. 25, 26), is all that which accrued to the Lord by the
death of his Son, and not any right and liberty of doing that which
before he would have done, but could not for his justice. In respect
of us, the end of the oblation and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ
was, not that God might if he would, but that he shouldst, by virtue
of that compact and covenant which was the foundation of the merit
of Christ, bestow upon us all the good things which Christ aimed at
and intended to purchase and procure by his offering of himself for
us unto God; which is in the next place to be declared.


More particularly of the immediate end of the death of Christ, with
the several ways whereby it is designed.

WHAT the Scripture affirms in this particular we laid down in the
entrance of the whole discourse; which now, having enlarged in
explication of our sense and meaning therein, must be more
particularly asserted, by an application of the particular places
(which are very many) to our thesis as before declared, whereof this
is the sum: -- "Jesus Christ., according to the counsel and will of
his Father, did offer himself upon the cross, to the procurement of
those things before recounted; and maketh continual intercession
with this intent and purpose, that all the good things so procured
by his death might be actually and infallibly bestowed on and
applied to all and every one for whom he died, according to the will
and counsel of God." Let us now see what the Scripture saith
hereunto, the sundry places whereof we shall range under these
heads: -- First, Those that hold out the intention and counsel of
God, with our Saviour's own mind; whose will was one with his
Father's in this business. Secondly, Those that lay down the actual
accomplishment or effect of his oblation, what it did really
procure, effect, and produce. Thirdly, Those that point out the
persons for whom Christ died, as designed peculiarly to be the
object of this work of redemption in the end and purpose of God.
I. For the first, or those which hold out the counsel, purpose,
mind, intention, and will of God and our Saviour in this work: Matt.
xviii. 11, "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost;"
which words he repeateth again upon another occasion, Luke xix. 10.

In the first place, they are in the front of the parable of seeking
the lost sheep; in the other, they are in the close of the recovery
of lost Zaccheus; and in both places set forth the end of
Christs-coming, which was to do the will of his Father by the
recovery of lost sinners: and that as Zaccheus was recovered by
conversion, by bringing into the free covenant, making him a son of
Abraham, or as the lost sheep which he lays upon his shoulder and
bringeth home; so unless he findeth that which he seeketh for,
unless he recover that which he cometh to save, he faileth of his

Secondly, Matt. i. 21, where the angel declareth the end of
Christ's coming in the flesh, and consequently of all his sufferings
therein, is to the same purpose. He was to "save his people from
their sins." Whatsoever is required for a complete and perfect
saving of his peculiar people from their sins was intended by his
coming' To say that he did but in part or in some regard effect the
work of salvation, is of ill report to Christian ears.

Thirdly, The like expression is that also of Paul, 1 Tim. i. 15,
evidently declaring the end of our Saviour's coming, according to
the will and counsel of his Father, namely, to "save sinners;" --
not to open a door for them to come in if they will or can; not to
make a way passable, that they may be saved; not to purchase
reconciliation and pardon of his Father, which perhaps they shall
never enjoy; but actually to save them from all the guilt and power
of sin, and from the wrath of God for sin: which, if he doth not
accomplish, he fails of the end of his coming; and if that ought not
to be alarmed, surely he came for no more than towards whom that
effect is procured. The compact of his Father with him, and his
promise made unto him, of "seeing his seed, and carrying along the
pleasure of the LORD prosperously," Isa. liii 10 -- 12, I before
declared; from which it is apparent that the decree and purpose of
giving actually unto Christ a believing generation, whom he calleth
" The children that God gave him," Heb. ii 18, is inseparably
annexed to the decree of Christ's "making his soul an offering for
sin," and is the end and aim thereof.

Fourthly, As the apostle farther declareth, Heb. ii 14, 15,

"Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also
himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and
deliver them who through fear of death," etc. Than which words
nothing can more clearly set forth the entire end of that whole
dispensation of the incarnation and offering of Jesus Christ,-- even
a deliverance of the children whom God gave him from the power of
death, hell, and the devil, so bringing them nigh unto God. Nothing
at all of the purchasing of a possible deliverance for all and every
one; nay, all are not those children which God gave him, all are not
delivered from death and him that had the power of it: and therefore
it was not all for whom he then took flesh and blood.

Fifthly, The same purpose and intention we have, Eph. v. 25 -- 27,
"Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might
sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that
he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
without blemish:" as also, Tit. ii. 14, "He gave himself for us,
that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a
peculiar people, zealous of good works." I think nothing can be
clearer than these two places; nor is it possible for the wit of man
to invent expressions so fully and livelily to set out the thing we
intend, as it is in both these places by the Holy Ghost. What did
Christ do? "He gave himself," say both these places alike: "For his
church," saith one; "For us," saith the other; both words of equal
extent and force, as all men know. To what end did he this? "To
sanctify and cleanse it, to present it to himself a glorious church,
not having spot or wrinkle," saith he to the Ephesians; "To redeem
us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works," saith he to Titus. I ask now, Are all men of
this church? Are all in that rank of men among whom Paul placeth
himself and Titus? Are all purged, purified, sanctified, made
glorious, brought nigh unto Christ? or doth Christ fail in his aim
towards the greatest part of men? I dare not close with any of

Sixthly, Will you hear our Saviour Christ himself expressing this
more evidently, restraining the object, declaring his whole design
and purpose, and affirming the end of his death? John xvii. 19, "For
their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified
through the truth." "For their sakes." Whose, I pray? "The men whom
thou hast given me out of the world," verse 6. Not the whole world,
whom he prayed not for, verse 9. "I sanctify myself." Whereunto? "To
the work I am now going about, even to be an oblation." And to what
end? --" That they also may be truly sanctified." "That they,"
signifies the intent and purpose of Christ,-- it designs out the end
he aimed at,-- which our hope is (and that is the hope of the
gospel), that he hath accomplished ("for the Deliverer that cometh
out of Sion turneth away ungodliness from Jacob," Rom. xi. 26); --
and that herein there was a concurrence of the will of his Father,
yea, that this his purpose was to fulfil the will of his Father,
which he come to do.

Seventhly, And that this also was his counsel is apparent, Gal. i.
4; for our Lord Jesus "gave himself for our sins, that he might
deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of
God and our Father;" which will and purpose of his the apostle
farther declares, chap. iv. 4 -- 6, "God sent forth his Son, made of
a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption of sons;" and, because sons, our
deliverance from the law, and thereby our freedom from the guilt of
sin. Our adoption to sons, receiving the Spirit, and drawing nigh
unto God, are all of them in the purpose of the Father giving his
only Son for us.

Eighthly, I shall add but one place more, of the very many more
that might be cited to this purpose, and that is 2 Cor. v. 21, "He
hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him." The purpose of God in making
his Son to be sin is, that those for whom he was made sin might
become righteousness; that was the end of God's sending Christ to be
so, and Christ's willingness to become so. Now, if the Lord did not
purpose what is not fulfilled, yea, what he knew should never be
fulfilled, and what he would not work at all that it might be
fulfilled (either of which are most atheistical expressions), then
he made Christ sin for no more than do in the effect become actually
righteousness in him: so that the counsel and will of God, with the
purpose and intention of Christ, by his oblation and blood-shedding,
was to fulfil that will and counsel, is from these places made

From all which we draw this argument: -- That which the Father and
the Son intended to accomplish in and towards all those for whom
Christ died, by his death that is most certainly effected (if any
shall deny this proposition, I will at any time, by the Lord's
assistance, take up the assertion of it;) but the Father and his Son
intended by the death of Christ to redeem, purge, sanctify, purify,
deliver from death, Satan, the curse of the law, to quit of all sin,
to make righteousness in Christ, to bring nigh unto God, all those
for whom he died, as was above proved: therefore, Christ died for
all and only those in and towards whom all these things recounted
are effected; -- which, whether they are all and. every one, I leave
to all and every one to judge that hath any knowledge in these

II. The second rank contains those places which lay down the actual
accomplishment and effect of this oblation, or what it doth really
produce and effect in and towards them for whom it is an oblation.
Such are Heb. ix. 12, 14, "By his own blood he entered in once into
the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us...., The
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself
without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve
the living God." Two things are here ascribed to the blood of
Christ; -- one referring to God, " It obtains eternal redemption;"
the other respecting us, "It purgeth our consciences from dead
works:" so that justification with God, by procuring for us an
eternal redemption from the guilt of our sins and his wrath due unto
them, with sanctification in ourselves (or, as it is called, Heb. i.
3, a "purging our sins"), is the immediate product of that blood by
which he entered into the holy place, of that oblation which,
through the eternal Spirit, he presented unto God. Yea, this
meritorious purging of our sins is peculiarly ascribed to his
offering, as performed before his ascension: Heb. i. 3, "When he had
by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the
Majesty on high;" and again, most expressly, chap. ix. 26, "He hath
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself:" which
expiation, or putting away of sin by the way of sacrifice, must
needs be the actual sanctification of them for whom he was a
sacrifice, even as "the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of
an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of
the flesh," verse 13. Certain it is, that whosoever was either
polluted or guilty, for whom there was an expiation and sacrifice
allowed in those carnal ordinances, "which had a shadow of good
things to come," had truly; -- first, A legal cleansing and
sanctifying, to the purifying of the flesh; and, secondly, Freedom
from the punishment which was due to the breach of the law, as it
was the rule of conversation to God's people: so much his sacrifice
carnally accomplished for him that was admitted thereunto. Now,
these things being but "shadows of good things to come," certainly
the sacrifice of Christ did effect spiritually, for all them for
whom it was a sacrifice, whatever the other could typify out; that
is, spiritual cleansing by sanctification, and freedom from the
guilt of sin: which the places produced do evidently prove. Now,
whether this be accomplished in all and for them all, let all that
are able judge.

Again; Christ, by his death, and in it, is said to "bear our sins:"
so 1 Pet. ii. 24, "His own self bare our sins;" -- where you have
both what he did, " Bare our sins" (he carried them up with him upon
the cross); and what he intended, "That we being dead unto sins,
should live unto righteousness." And what was the effect? "By his
stripes we are healed:" which latter, as it is taken from the same
place of the prophet where our Saviour is affirmed to "bear our
iniquities, and to have them laid upon him" (Isa. liii, 5, 6, 10 --
12), so it is expository of the former, and will tell us what Christ
did by "bearing our sins;" which phrase is more than once used in
the Scripture to this purpose. 1. Christ, then, so bare our
iniquities by his death, that, by virtue of the stripes and
afflictions which he underwent in his offering himself for us, this
is certainly procured and effected, that we should go free, and not
suffer any of those things which he underwent for us. To which,
also, you may refer all those places which evidently hold out a
commutation in this point of suffering between Christ and us: Gal.
iii. 13, "He delivered us from the curse of the law, being made a
curse for us;" with divers others which we shall have occasion
afterward to mention.

Peace, also, and reconciliation with God,-- that is, actual peace
by the removal of all enmity on both sides, with all the causes of
it,-- is fully ascribed to this oblation: Col. i 21, 22, "And you,
that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked
works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through
death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his
sight;" as also Eph. ii. 13 -- 16, "Ye who sometimes were far off
are made nigh by the blood of Christ: for he is our peace; having
abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments,
that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,
having slain the enmity thereby." To which add all those places
wherein plenary deliverances from anger, wrath, death, and him that
had the power of it, is likewise asserted as the fruit thereof, as
Rom. v. 8 -- 10, and ye have a farther discovery made of the
immediate effect of the death of Christ. Peace and reconciliation,
deliverance from wrath, enmity, and whatever lay against us to keep
us from enjoying the love and favour of God,-- a redemption from all
these he effected for his church "with his own blood," Acts xx. 28.

Whence all and every one for whom he died may truly say, "Who shall
lay any thing to our charge? It is God that justifieth. Who is he
that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen
again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us," Rom. viii. 33, 84. Which that they are
procured for all and every one of the sons of Adam, that they all
may use that rejoicing in full assurance, cannot be made appear. And
yet evident it is that so it is with all for whom he died,-- that
these are the effects of his death in and towards them for whom he
underwent it: for by his being slain "he redeemed them to God by his
blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and
made them unto our God kings and priests," Rev. v. 9, 10; for "he
made an end of their sins, he made reconciliation for their
iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness," Dan. ix. 24.

Add also those other places where our life is ascribed to the death
of Christ, and then this enumeration will be perfect: John vi. 33,
He "came down from heaven to give life to the world." Sure enough he
giveth life to that world for which he gave his life. It is the
world of " his sheep, for which he layeth down his life," chap. x.
15, even that he might " give unto them eternal life, that they
might never perish," verse 28. So he appeared "to abolish death, and
to bring life and immortality to light," 2 Tim. i. 10; as also Rom.
v. 6 -- 10.

Now, there is none of all these places but will afford a sufficient
strength against the general ransom, or the universality of the
merit of Christ. My leisure will not serve for so large a
prosecution of the subject as that would require, and, therefore, I
shall take from the whole this general argument: -- If the death and
oblation of Jesus Christ (as a sacrifice to his Father) doth
sanctify all them for whom it was a sacrifice; doth purge away their
sin; redeem them from wrath, curse, and guilt; work for them peace
and reconciliation with God; procure for them life and immortality;
bearing their iniquities and healing all their diseases; -- then
died he only for those that are in the event sanctified, purged,
redeemed, justified, freed from wrath and death, quickened, saved,
etc.; but that all are not thus sanctified, freed, etc., is most
apparent: and, therefore, they cannot be said to be the proper
object of the death of Christ. The supposal was confirmed before;
the inference is plain from Scripture and experience, and the whole
argument (if I mistake not) solid.

III. Many places there are that point out the persons for whom
Christ died, as designed peculiarly to be the object of this work of
redemption, according to the aim and purpose of God; some of which
we will briefly recount. In some places they are called many: Matt.
xxvi. 28, "The blood of the new testament is shed for many, for the
remission of sins." "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant
justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities," Isa. liii. 11.

"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and
give his life a ransom for many," Mark x. 45; Matt. xx. 28. He was
to "bring many sons unto glory;" and so was to be the "captain of
their salvation, through sufferings," Heb. ii. 10. And though
perhaps the word many itself be not sufficient to restrain the
object of Christ's death unto some, in opposition to all, because
many is sometimes placed absolutely for all, as Rom. v. 19, yet
these many being described in other places to be such as it is most
certain all are not, so it is a full and evident restriction of it:
for these many are the "sheep" of Christ, John x. 15; the "children
of God that were scattered abroad," chap. xi. 52; those whom our
Saviour calleth "brethren," Heb. ii. 11; "the children that God gave
him," which were "partakers of flesh and blood," verses 13, 14; and
frequently, "those who were given unto him of his Father," John
xvii. 2, 6, 9, 11, who should certainly be preserved; the "sheep"
whereof he was the "Shepherd, through the blood of the everlasting
covenant," Heb. xiii. 20; his " elect," Rom. viii. 33; and his "
people," Matt. i. 21; farther explained to be his "visited and
redeemed people,"Luke i. 68; even the people which he "foreknew,"
Rom. xi. 2; even such a people as he is said to have had at Corinth
before their conversion; his people by election, Acts xviii. 10; the
people that he " suffered for without the gate, that he might
sanctify them," Heb. xiii. 12; his "church, which he redeemed by his
own blood,"Acts xx. 28, which "he loved and gave himself for," Eph.
v. 25; the "many" whose sins he took away, Heb. ix. 28, with whom he
made a covenant, Dan. ix. 27. Those many being thus described, and
set forth with such qualifications as by no means are common to all,
but proper only to the elect, do most evidently appear to be all and
only those that are chosen of God to obtain eternal life through the
offering and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ. Many things are here
excepted with much confidence and clamour, that may easily be
removed. And so you see the end of the death of Christ, as it is set
out in the Scripture.

That we may have the clearer passage, we must remove the hindrances
that are laid in the way by some pretended answers and evasions used
to escape the force of the argument drawn from the Scripture,
affirming Christ to have died for " many," his "sheep," his "elect,"
and the like. Now, to this it is replied, that this "reason," as it
is called, is "weak and of no force, equivocal, subtile, fraudulent,
false, ungodly, deceitful, and erroneous;" for all these several
epithets are accumulated to adorn it withal, ("Universality of Free
Grace," page xvi.) Now, this variety of terms (as I conceive) serves
only to declare with what copia verborum the unlearned eloquence of
the author is woven withal; for such terrible names imposed on that
which we know not well how to gainsay is a strong argument of a weak
cause. When the Pharisees were not able to resist the spirit whereby
our Saviour spake, they call him "devil and Samaritan." Waters that
make a noise are usually but shallow. It is a proverb among the
Scythians, that the "dogs which bark most bite least." But let us
see "quid dignum tanto feret hic responsor hiatu," and hear him
speak in his own language. He says then,--

"First, This reason is weak and of no force: for the word many is
oft so used, that it both signifies all and every man, and also
amplifieth or setteth forth the greatness of that number; as in Dan.
xii. 2, Rom. v. 19, and in other places, where many cannot, nor is
by any Christian understood for less than all men."

Rep. 1. That if the proof and argument were taken merely from the
word many, and not from the annexed description of those many, with
the presupposed distinction of all men into several sorts by the
purpose of God, this exception would bear some colour; but for this
see our arguments following. Only by the way observe, that he that
shall divide the inhabitants of any place, as at London, into poor
and rich, those that want and those that abound, afterward affirming
that he will bestow his bounty on many at London, on the poor, on
those that want, will easily be understood to give it unto and
bestow it upon them only. 2. Neither of the places quoted proves
directly that many must necessarily in them be taken for all. In
Dan. xii. 2, a distribution of the word to the several parts of the
affirmation must be allowed, and not an application of it to the
whole, as such; and so the sense is, the dead shall arise, many to
life, and many to shame, as in another language it would have been
expressed. Neither are such Hebraisms unusual. Resides, perhaps, it
is not improbable that many are said to rise to life, because, as
the apostle, says, " All shall not die." The like, also, may be said
of Rom. v. 19. Though the many there seem to be all, yet certainly
they are not called so with any intent to denote all, "with an
amplification" (which that many should be to all is not likely): for
there is no comparison there instituted at all between number and
number, of those that died by Adam's disobedience and those that
were made alive by the righteousness of Christ, but only in the
effects of the sin of Adam and the righteousness of Christ, together
with the way and manner of communicating death and life from the one
and the other; whereunto any consideration of the number of the
participators of those effects is not inserted. 3. The other places
whereby this should he confirmed, I am confident our author cannot
produce, notwithstanding his free inclination of such a reserve,
these being those which are in this case commonly urged by
Arminians; but if he could, they would be no way material to
infringe our argument, as appeareth by what was said before.

"Secondly, This reason," he adds, "is equivocal, subtile, and
fraudulent; seeing where all men and every man is affirmed of, the
death of Christ, as the ransom and propitiation, and the fruits
thereof, only is assumed for them; but where the word many is in any
place used in this business, there are more ends of the death of
Christ than this one affirmed of."

Rep. l. It is denied that the death of Christ, in any place of
Scripture, is said to be for "all men" or for "every man;" which,
with so much confidence, is supposed, and imposed on us as a thing
acknowledged. 2. That there is any other end of the death of Christ,
besides the fruit of his ransom and propitiation, directly intended,
and not by accident attending it, is utterly false. Yea, what other
end the ransom paid by Christ and the atonement made by him can have
but the fruits of them, is not imaginable. The end of any work is
the same with the fruit, effect, or product of it. So that this wild
distinction of the ransom and propitiation of Christ, with the
fruits of them, to be for all, and the other ends of his death to be
only for many, is an assertion neither equivocal, subtile, nor
fraudulent! But I speak to what I conceive the meaning of the place;
for the words themselves bear no tolerable sense. 3. The
observation, that where the word many is used many ends are
designed, but where all are spoken of there only the ransom is
intimated, is,-- (1.) Disadvantageous to the author's persuasion,
yielding the whole argument in hand, by acknowledging that where
many are mentioned, there all cannot be understood, because more
ends of the death of Christ than do belong to all are mentioned; and
so confessedly all the other answers to prove that by many, all are
to be understood, are against the author's own light. (2.) It is
frivolous; for it cannot be proved that there are more ends of the
death of Christ besides the fruit of his ransom. (3.) It is false;
for where the death of Christ is spoken of as for many, he is said
to "give his life a ransom" for them, Matt. xx. 28, which are the
very words where he is said to die for all, 1 Tim. ii. 6. What
difference is there in these? what ground for this observation? Even
such as these are divers others of that author's observations, as
his whole tenth chapter is spent to prove that wherever there is
mention of the redemption purchased by the oblation of Christ, there
they for whom it is purchased are always spoken of in the third
person, as by " all the world," or the like; when yet, in chap. i.
of his book, himself produceth many places to prove this general
redemption where the persons for whom Christ is said to suffer are
mentioned in the first or second person, 1 Pet. ii 24, iii. 18; Isa.
liii. 6, 6; 1 Cor. xv. 3; Gal iii. 13, etc.

Thirdly, He proceeds, " This reason is false and ungodly; for it is
nowhere in Scripture said that Christ died or gave himself a ransom
but for many, or only for many, or only for his sheep; and it is
ungodliness to add to or diminish from the word of God in

Rep. To pass by the loving terms of the author, and allowing a
grain to make the sense current, I say,-- First, That Christ
affirming that he gave his life for "many," for his "sheep," being
said to die for his " church," and innumerable places of Scripture
witnessing that all men are not of his sheep, of his church, we
argue and conclude, by just and undeniable consequence, that he died
not for those who are not so. If this be adding to the word of God
(being only an exposition and unfolding of his mind therein), who
ever spake from the word of God and was guiltless? Secondly, Let it
be observed, that in the very place where our Saviour says that he
"gave his life for his sheep," he presently adds, that some are not
of his sheep, John x. 26; which, if it be not equivalent to his
sheep only, I know not what is Thirdly, It were easy to recriminate;

Fourthly, "But," says he, "the reason is deceitful and erroneous,
for the Scripture doth nowhere say,-- 2. "Those many he died for are
his sheep (much less his elect, as the reason intends it). As for
the place, John x. 15, usually instanced to this end, it is therein
much abused: for our Saviour, John x., did not set forth the
difference between such as he died for and such as he died not for,
or such as he died for so and so, and not so and so; but the
difference between those that believe on him and those who believe
not on him, verses 4, 5, 14, 26, 27. One hear his voice and follow
him, the other not. Nor did our Saviour here set forth the
privileges of all he died for, or for whom he died so and so, but of
those that believe on him through the ministration of the gospel,
and so do know him, and approach to God, and enter the kingdom by
him, verses 8, 4, 9, 27. Nor was our Saviour here setting forth the
excellency of those for whom he died, or died for so only, wherein
they are preferred before others; but the excellency of his own
love, with the fruits thereof to those not only that he died for,
but also that are brought in by his ministration to believe on him,
verses 11, 27. Nor was our Saviour here treating so much of his
ransom-giving and propitiation-making as of his ministration of the
gospel, and so of his love and faithfulness therein; wherein he laid
down his life for those ministered to, and therein gave us example,
not to make propitiation for sin, but to testify love in suffering."

Rep. I am persuaded that nothing but an acquaintedness with the
condition of the times wherein we live can afford me sanctuary from
the censure of the reader to be lavish of precious hours, in
considering and transcribing such canting lines as these last
repeated. But yet, seeing better cannot be afforded, we must be
content to view such evasions as these, all whose strength is in
incongruous expressions, in incoherent structure, cloudy, windy
phrases, all tending to raise such a mighty fog as that the business
in hand might not be perceived, being lost in this smoke and vapour,
cast out to darken the eyes and amuse the senses of poor seduced
souls. The argument undertaken to be answered being, that Christ is
said to die for " many," and those many are described and designed
to be his "sheep," as John x., what answer, I pray, or any thing
like thereunto, is there to be picked out of this confused heap of
words which we have recited? So that I might safely pass the whole
evasion by without farther observation on it, but only to desire the
reader to observe how much this one argument presseth, and what a
nothing is that heap of confusion which is opposed to it! But yet,
lest any thing should adhere, I will give a few annotations to the
place, answering the marks wherewith we have noted it, leaving the
full vindication of the place until I come to the pressing of our

I say then, first, That the many Christ died for were his sheep,
was before declared. Neither is the place of John x. at all abused,
our Saviour evidently setting forth a difference between them for
whom he died and those for whom he would not die, calling the first
his " sheep," verse 15,-- those to whom he would "give eternal
life," verse 28,-- those "given him by his Father," chap. xvii. 9;
evidently distinguishing them from others who were not so. Neither
is it material what was the primary intention of our Saviour in this
place, from which we do not argue, but from the intention and aim of
the words he uses, and the truth he reveals for the end aimed at;
which was the consolation of believers.

Secondly, 'For the difference between them he "died for so and so,"
and those he "died for so and so," we confess he puts none; for we
suppose that this "so and so" doth neither express nor intimate any
thing that may be suitable to any purpose of God, or intent of our
Saviour in this business. To us for whom he died, he died in the
same manner, and for the same end.

Thirdly, We deny that the primary difference that here is made by
our Saviour is between believers and not believers, but between
elect and not elect, sheep and not sheep; the thing wherein they are
thus differenced being the believing of the one, called "hearing of
his voice and knowing him," and the not believing of the other; the
foundation of these acts being their different conditions in respect
of God's purpose and Christ's love, as is apparent from the
antithesis and opposition which we have in verses 26 and 27, "Ye
believe not, because ye are not of my sheep," and, "My sheep hear my
voice." First, there is a distinction put,-- in the act of believing
and hearing (that is, therewithal to obey); and then is the
foundation of this distinction asserted, from their distinguished
state and condition,-- the one being not his sheep, the other being
so, even them whom he loved and gave his life for.
Fourthly, 'first, It is nothing to the business before us what
privileges our Saviour here expresseth; our question is, for whom he
says he would give his life's and that only. Secondly, This frequent
repetition of that useless so and so serves for nothing but to
puzzle the poor ignorant reader. Thirdly, We deny that Christ died
for any but those who shall certainly be brought unto him by the
ministration of the gospel. So that there is not a "Not only those
whom he died for, but also those that are brought in unto him;" for
he died for his sheep, and his sheep hear his voice. They for whom
he dried, and those that come in to him, may receive different
qualifications, but they are not several persons.

Fifthly, First, The question is not at all, to what end our Saviour
here makes mention of his death? but for whom he died? who are
expressly said to be his "sheep;" which all are not. Secondly, His
intention is, to declare the giving of his life for a ransom, and
that according to the "commandment received of his Father," verse

Sixthly, First, "The love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ in the
ministration of the gospel," -- that is, his performing the office
of the mediator of the new covenant,-- are seen in nothing more than
in giving his life for a ransom, John xv. 13. Secondly, Here is not
one word of giving us an "example;" though in laying down his life
he did that also, yet here it is not improved to that purpose. From
these brief annotations, I doubt not but that it is apparent that
that long discourse before recited is nothing but a miserable
mistaking of the text and question; which the author perhaps
perceiving, he adds divers other evasions, which follow.

"Besides," saith he, "the opposition appears here to be not so much
between elect and not elect, as between Jews called and Gentiles

Rep. The opposition is between sheep and not sheep, and that with
reference to their election, and not to their vocation. Now, whom
would he have signified by the "not sheep"? those that were not
called,-- the Gentiles? That is against the text terming them sheep,
that is in designation, though not as yet called, verse 16. And who
are the called'! the Jews? True, they were then outwardly called;
yet many of them were not sheep, verse 26. Now, truly, such evasions
from the force of truth as this, by so foul corrupting of the word
of God, is no small provocation of the eye of his glory. But he

"Besides, there is in Scripture great difference between sheep, and
sheep of his flock and pasture, of which he here speaketh, verses 4,
6, 11, 15, 16." Rep. 1. This unrighteous distinction well explained
must needs, no doubt (if any know how), give a great deal of light
to the business in hand. 2. If there be a distinction to be allowed,
it can be nothing but this, that the "sheep" who are simply so
called are those who are only so to Christ from the donation of his
Father; and the "sheep of his pasture," those who, by the effectual
working of the Spirit, are actually brought home to Christ. And then
of both sorts we have mention in this chapter, verses 16, 27, both
making up the number of those sheep for whom he gave his life, and
to whom he giveth life. But he proceeds: --

"Besides, sheep, verses 4, 5, ll, 15, are not mentioned as all
those for whom he died, but as those who by his ministration are
brought in to believe and enjoy the benefit of his death, and to
whom he ministereth and communicateth spirit."

Rep. 1. The substance of this and other exceptions is, that by
sheep is meant believers; which is contrary to verse 16, calling
them sheep who are not as yet gathered into his fold. 2. That his
sheep are not mentioned as those for whom he died is in terms
contradictory to verse 15, "I lay down my life for my sheep." 3.
Between those for whom he died and those whom he brings in by the
ministration of his Spirit, there is no more difference than is
between Peter, James, and John, and the three apostles that were in
the mount with our Saviour at his transfiguration. This is childish
sophistry, to beg the thing in question, and thrust in the opinion
controverted into the room of an answer. 4. That bringing in which
is here mentioned, to believe and enjoy the benefit of the death of
Christ, is a most special fruit and benefit of that death, certainly
to be conferred on all them for whom he died, or else most certainly
his death will do them no good at all. Once more, and we have done:
-- " Besides, here are more ends of his death mentioned than ransom
or propitiation only, and yet it is not said, ' Only for his sheep,"
and when the ransom or propitiation only is mentioned, it is said,
'For all men.' So that this reason appears weak, fraudulent,
ungodly, and erroneous."

Rep. 1. Here is no word mentioned nor intimated of the death of
Christ, but only that which was accomplished by his being a
propitiation, and making his death a ransom for us, with the fruits
which certainly and infallibly spring there from. 2. If more ends
than one of the death of Christ are here mentioned, and such as
belong not unto all, why do you deny that he speaks here of his
sheep only? Take heed, or you will see the truth. 3. Where it is
said, "Of all men," I know not; but this I am sure, that Christ is
said to "give his life a ransom," and that is only mentioned where
it is not said for all; as Matt. xx. 28, Mark x. 45.

And so, from these brief annotations, I hope any indifferent reader
will be able to judge whether the reason opposed, or the exceptions
against it devised, be to be accounted "weak, fraudulent, ungodly,
and erroneous."

Although I fear that in this particular I have already intrenched
upon the reader's patience, yet I cannot let pass the discourse
immediately following in the same author to those exceptions which
we last removed, laid by him against the arguments we had in hand,
without an obelisk; as also an observation of his great abilities to
cast down a man of clouds, which himself had set up to manifest his
skill in its direction. To the preceding discourse he adds another
exception, which he imposeth on those that oppose universal
redemption, as though it were laid by them against the understanding
of the general expressions in the Scripture, in that way and sense
wherein he conceives them; and it is, "That those words were fitted
for the time of Christ and his apostles, having another meaning in
them than they seem to import." Now, having thus gaily trimmed and
set up this man of straw,-- to whose framing I dare boldly say not
one of his adversaries did ever contribute a penful of ink,-- to
show his rare skill, he chargeth it with I know not how many errors,
blasphemies, lies, set on-with exclamations and vehement outcries,
until it tumble to the ground. Had he not sometimes answered an
argument, he would have been thought a most unhappy disputant. Now,
to make sure that for once he would do it, I believe he was very
careful that the objection of his own framing should not be too
strong for his own defacing. In the meantime, how blind are they who
admire him for a combatant who is skilful only at fencing with his
own shadow! and yet with such empty janglings as these, proving what
none denies, answering what none objects, is the greatest part of Mr
More's book stuffed.


Of the distinction of impetration and application -- The use and
abuse thereof; with the opinion of the adversaries upon the whole
matter in controversy unfolded; and the question on both sides

THE farther reasons whereby the precedent discourse may be
confirmed, I defer until I come to oppose some argument to the
general ransom. For the present, I shall only take away that general
answer which is usually given to the places of Scripture produced,
to waive the sense of them; which is pharmanon pansophon to our
adversaries, and serves them, as they suppose, to bear up all the
weight wherewith in this case they are urged: --

I. They say, then, that in the oblation of Christ, and concerning
the good things by him procured, two things are to be considered: --

First, The impetrution, or obtaining of them; and, secondly, The
application of them to particular persons. "The first," say they,
"is general, in respect to all. Christ obtained and procured all
good things by his death of his Father,-- reconciliation,
redemption, forgiveness of sins,-- for all and every man in the
world, if they will believe and lay hold upon him: but in respect of
application, they are actually bestowed and conferred but on a few;
because but a few believe, which is the condition on which they are
bestowed. And in this latter sense are the texts of Scripture which
we have argued, all of them, to be understood. So that they do no
whit impeach the universality of merit, which they assert; but only
the universality of application, which they also deny." Now, this
answer is commonly set forth by them in various terms and divers
dresses, according as it seems best to them that use it, and most
subservient to their several opinions; for,--

First, Some of them say that Christ, by his death and passion, did
absolutely, according to the intention of God, purchase for all and
every man, dying for them, remission of sins and reconciliation with
God, or a restitution into a state of grace and favour; all which
shall be actually beneficial to them. provided that they do believe
So the Arminians.

Secondly, Some, again, that Christ died for all indeed, but
conditionally for some, if they do believe, or will so do (which he
knows they cannot of themselves); and absolutely for his own, even
them on whom lie purposeth to bestow faith and grace, so as actually
to be made possessors of the good things by him purchased. So
Camero, and the divines of France, which follow a new method by him

Thirdly, Some distinguish of a twofold reconciliation and
redemption; -- one wrought by Christ with God for man, which, say
they, is general for all and every man; secondly, a reconciliation
wrought by Christ in man unto God, bringing them actually into peace
with him.

And sundry other ways there are whereby men express their
conceptions in this business. The sum of all comes to this, and the
weight of all lies upon that distinction which we before recounted;
-- namely, that in respect of impetration, Christ obtained
redemption and reconciliation for all; in respect of application, it
is bestowed only on them who do believe and continue therein.
II. Their arguments whereby they prove the generality of the ransom
and universality of the reconciliation must afterward be considered:
for the present, we handle only the distinction itself, the meaning
and misapplication whereof I shall briefly declare; which will
appear if we consider,--

FIRST, The true nature and meaning of this distinction, and the
true use thereof; for we do acknowledge that it may be used in a
sound sense and right meaning, which way soever you express it,
either by impetration and application, or by procuring
reconciliation with God and a working of reconciliation in us For by
impetration we mean the meritorious purchase of all good things made
by Christ for us with and of his Father; and by application, the
actual enjoyment of those good things upon our believing; -- as, if
a man pay a price for the redeeming of captives, the paying of the
price supplieth the room of the impetration of which we speak; and
the freeing of the captives is as the application of it. Yet, then,
we must observe,--

First, That this distinction hath no place in the intention and
purpose of Christ, but only in respect of the things procured by
him; for in his purpose they are both united, his full end and aim
being to deliver us from all evil, and procure all good actually to
be bestowed upon us. But in respect of the things themselves, they
may be considered either as procured by Christ, or as bestowed on

Secondly, That the will of God is not at all conditional in this
business, as though he gave Christ to obtain peace, reconciliation,
and forgiveness of sins, upon condition that we do believe. There is
a condition in the things, but none in the will of God; that is
absolute that such things should be procured and bestowed.

Thirdly, That all the things which Christ obtained for us are not
bestowed upon condition, but some of them absolutely. And as for
those that are bestowed upon condition, the condition on which they
are bestowed is actually purchased and procured for us, upon no
condition but only by virtue of the purchase. For instance: Christ
hath purchased remission of sins and eternal life for us, to be
enjoyed on our believing, upon the condition of faith. But faith
itself, which is the condition of them, on whose performance they
are bestowed, that he hath procured for us absolutely, on no
condition at all; for what condition soever can be proposed, on
which the Lord should bestow faith, I shall afterward show it vain,
and to run into a circle.

Fourthly, That both these, impetration, and application, have for
their objects the same individual persons; that, look, for
whomsoever Christ obtained any good thing by his death, unto them it
shall certainly be applied, upon them it shall actually be bestowed:
so that it cannot be said that he obtained any thing for any one,
which that one shall not or doth not in due time enjoy. For
whomsoever he wrought reconciliation with, God, in them doth he work
reconciliation unto God. The one is not extended to some to whom the
other doth not reach. Now, because this being established, the
opposite interpretation and misapplication of this distinction
vanisheth, I shall briefly confirm it with reasons: --

First, If the application of the good things procured be the end
why they are procured, for whose sake alone Christ doth obtain them,
then they must be applied to all for whom they are obtained; for
otherwise Christ faileth of his end and aim, which must not be
granted. But that this application was the end of the obtaining of
all good things for us appeareth,-- first, Because if it were
otherwise, and Christ did not aim at the applying of them, but only
at their obtaining, then might the death of Christ have had its full
effect and issue without the application of redemption and salvation
to any one soul, that being not aimed at, and so, notwithstanding
all that he did for us, every soul in the world might have perished
eternally; which, whether it can stand with the dignity and
sufficiency of his oblation, with the purpose of his Father, and his
own intention, who "came into the world to save sinners,-- that
which was lost," and to "bring many sons unto glory," let all judge.
Secondly, God, in that action of sending his Son, laying the weight
of iniquity upon him, and giving him up to an accursed death, must
be affirmed to be altogether uncertain what event all this should
have in respect of us. For, did he intend that we should be saved by
it? -- then the application of it is that which he aimed at, as we
assert: did he not? -- certainty, he was uncertain what end it
should have; which is blasphemy, and exceeding contrary to Scripture
and right reason. Did he appoint a Saviour without thought of them
that were to be saved? a Redeemer, not determining who should be
redeemed? Did he resolve of a means, not determining the end? It is
an assertion opposite to all the glorious properties of God.
Secondly, If that which is obtained by any do, by virtue of that
action whereby it is obtained, become his in right for whom it is
obtained, then for whomsoever any thing is by Christ obtained, it is
to them applied; for that must be made theirs in fact which is
theirs charge; all that he hath purchased for them must be applied
to them, for by virtue thereof it is that they are so saved, verses
33, 34.

Thirdly, For whom Christ died, for them he maketh intercession.
Now, his intercession is for the application of those things, as is
confessed, and therein he is always heard. Those to whom the one
belongs, theirs also is the other. So, John x. 10, the coming of
Christ is, that "his might have life, and have it abundantly;" as
also 1 John iv. 9. Heb. x. 10, " By the which will we are
sanctified," -- that is the application; "through the offering of
the body of Jesus Christ," -- that is the means of impetration: "
for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
sanctified," verse 14. In brief, it is proved by all those places
which we produced rightly to assign the end of the death of Christ.
So that this may be rested on, as I conceive, as firm and immovable,
that the impetration of good things by Christ, and the application
of them, respect the same individual persons.

SECONDLY, We may consider the meaning of those who seek to maintain
universal redemption by this distinction in it, and to what use they
do apply it. "Christ," say they, "died for all men, and by his death
purchased reconciliation with God for them and forgiveness of sins:
which to some is applied, and they become actually reconciled to
God, and have their sins forgiven them; but to others not, who,
therefore, perish in the state of irreconciliation and enmity, under
the guilt of their sins. This application," say they, "is not
procured nor purchased by Christ,-- for then, he dying for all, all
must be actually reconciled and have their sins forgiven them and be
saved,-- but it attends the fulfilling of the condition which God is
pleased to prescribe unto them, that is, believing:" which, say
some, they can do by their own strength, though not in terms, yet by
direct consequence; others not, but God must give it. So that when
it is said in the Scripture, Christ hath reconciled us to God,
redeemed us, saved us by his blood, underwent the punishment of our
sins, and so made satisfaction for us, they assert that no more is
meant but that Christ did that which upon the fulfilling of the
condition that is of us required, these things will follow. To the
death of Christ, indeed, they assign many glorious things; but what
they give on the one hand they take away with the other, by
suspending the enjoyment of them on a condition by us to be
fulfilled, not by him procured; and in terms assert that the proper
and full end of the death of Christ was the doing of that whereby
God, his justice being satisfied, might save sinners if he would,
and on what condition it pleased him,-- that a door of grace might
be opened to all that would come in, and not that actual
justification and remission of sins, life, and immortality were
procured by him, but only a possibility of those things, that so it
might be. Now, that all the venom that lies under this exposition
and abuse of this distinction may the better appear, I shall set
down the whole mind of them that use it in a few assertions, that it
may be clearly seen what we do oppose.

First, " God," say they, "considering all mankind as fallen from
that grace and favour in Adam wherein they were created, and
excluded utterly from the attainment of salvation by virtue of the
covenant of works which was at the first made with him, yet by his
infinite goodness was inclined to desire the happiness of them, all
and every one, that they might be delivered from misery, and be
brought unto himself;" which inclination of his they call his
universal love and antecedent will, whereby he would desirously have
them all to be saved; out of which love he sendeth Christ.

Obs. 1. That God hath any natural or necessary inclination, by his
goodness, or any other property, to do good to us, or any of his
creatures, we do deny. Every thing that concerns us is an act of his
free will and good pleasure, and not a natural, necessary act of his
Deity, as shall be declared.

Obs 2. The ascribing an antecedent conditional will unto God, whose
fulfilling and accomplishment should depend on any free, contingent
act or work of ours, is injurious to his wisdom, power, and
sovereignty, and cannot well be excused from blasphemy; and is
contrary to Rom. ix. 10, "Who hath resisted his will?" I say,--
Obs. 3. A common affection and inclination to do good to all doth
not seem to set out the freedom, fulness, and dimensions of that
most intense love of God which is asserted in the Scripture to be
the cause of sending his Son; as John iii. 16, "God so loved the
world, that he gave his only-begotten Son." Eph. i. 9, "Having made
known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good
pleasure which he hath purposed in himself." Col.'i. 19, "It pleased
the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." Rom. v. 8, "God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us." These two I shall, by the Lord's assistance,
fully clear, if the Lord give life and strength, and his people
encouragement, to go through with the second part of this

Obs. 4. We deny that all mankind are the object of that love of God
which moved him to send his Son to die; God having "made some for
the day of evil," Prov. xvi 4; "hated them before they were born,"
Rom. ix. 11, 13; "before of old ordained them to condemnation," Jude
4; being "fitted to destruction," Rom. ix. 22; "made to be taken and
destroyed," 2 Pet. ii. 12; "appointed to wrath," 1 Thess. v. 9; to
"go to their own place," Acts i. 25.

Secondly, "The justice of God being injured by sin, unless
something might be done for the satisfaction thereof, that love of
God whereby he wouldeth good to all sinners could no way be brought
forth into act, but must have its eternal residence in the bosom of
God without any effect produced."

Obs. 1. That neither Scripture nor right reason will enforce nor
prove an utter and absolute want of power in God to save sinners by
his own absolute will, without satisfaction to his justice,
supposing his purpose that so it should be; indeed, it could not be
otherwise. But, without the consideration of that, certainly he
could have effected it. It doth not imply any violating of his holy

Obs. 2. An actual and necessary velleity, for the doing of any
thing which cannot possibly be accomplished without some work
fulfilled outwardly of him, is opposite to his eternal blessedness
and all-sufficiency.

Thirdly, "God, therefore, to fulfil that general love and good-will
of his towards all, and that it might put forth itself in such a way
as should seem good to him, to satisfy his justice, which stood in
the way, and was the only hinderance, he sent his Son into the world
to die."

The failing of this assertion we shall lay forth, when we come to
declare that love whereof the sending of Christ was the proper issue
and effect.

Fourthly, " Wherefore, the proper and immediate end and aim of the
purpose of God in sending his Son to die for all men was, that he
might, what way it pleased him, save sinners, his justice which
hindered being satisfied," -- as Arminius; or, "That he might will
to save sinners," -- as Corvinus. "And the intention of Christ was,
to make such satisfaction to the justice of God as that be might
obtain to himself a power of saving, upon what conditions it seemed
good to his Father to prescribe."

Obs. 1. Whether this was the intention of the Father in sending his
Son or no, let it be judged. Something was said before, upon the
examination of those places of Scripture which describe his purpose;
let it be known from them whether God, in sending of his Son,
intended to procure to himself a liberty to save us if he would, or
to obtain certain salvation for his elect.

Obs. 2. That such a possibility of salvation, or, at the utmost, a
velleity or willing of it, upon an uncertain condition, to be by us
fulfilled, should be the full, proper, and only immediate end of the
death of Christ, will yet scarcely down with tender spirits.
Obs. 3. The expression, of procuring to himself ability to save,
upon a condition to be prescribed, seems not to answer that certain
purpose of our Saviour in laying down his life, which the Scripture
saith was to "save his sheep," and to "bring many sons to glory," as
before; nor hath it any ground in Scripture.

Fifthly, "Christ, therefore, obtained for all and every one
reconciliation with God, remission of sins, life and salvation; not
that they should actually be partakers of these things, but that God
(his justice now not hindering) might and would prescribe a
condition to be by them fulfilled, whereupon he would actually apply
it, and make them partake of all those good things purchased by
Christ." And here comes their distinction of impetration and
application, which we before intimated; and thereabout, in the
explication of this assertion, they are wondrously divided.
Some say that this proceeds so far, that all men are thereby
received into a new covenant, in which redemption Adam was a common
person as well as in his fall from the old, and all we again
restored in him; so that none shall be damned that do not sin
actually against the condition where they are born, and fall from
the state where into all men are assumed through the death of
Christ. So Bormus, Corvinus; and one of late, in plain terms, that
all are reconciled, redeemed,'saved, and justified in Christ; though
how he could not understand (More, p. 10). But others, more warily,
deny this, and assert that by nature we are all children of wrath,
and that until we come to Christ the wrath of God abideth on all, so
that it is not actually removed from any: so the assertors of the
efficacy of grace in France.

Again, some say that Christ by this satisfaction removed original
sin in all, and, by consequent, that only; so that all infants,
though of Turks and Pagans, out of the covenant, dying before they
come to the use of reason, must undoubtedly be saved, that being
removed in all, even the calamity, guilt, and alienation contracted
by our first fall, whereby God may save all upon a new condition.

But others of them, more warily, observing that the blood of Christ
is said to "cleanse from all sin," (1 John i. 7; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19;
Isa. liii. 6), say he died for all sinners alike; absolutely for
none, but conditionally for all. Farther, some of them affirm that
after the satisfaction of Christ, or the consideration of it in
God's prescience, it was absolutely undetermined what condition
should be prescribed, so that the Lord might have reduced all again
to the law and covenant of works; so Corvinus: others, that a
procuring of a new way of salvation by faith was a part of the fruit
of the death of Christ; so More, p. 35.

Again, some of them, that the condition prescribed is by our own
strength, with the help of such means as God at all times, and in
all places, and unto all, is ready to afford, to be performed;
others deny this, and affirm that effectual grace flowing peculiarly
from election is necessary to believing: the first establishing the
idol of free-will to maintain their own assertion; others
overthrowing their own assertion for the establishment of grace. So
Amyraldus, Camero, etc.

Moreover, some say that the love of God in the sending of Christ is
equal to all: others go a strain higher, and maintain an inequality
in the love of God, although he send his Son to die for all, and
though greater love there cannot be than that whereby the Lord sent
his Son to die for us, as Rom. viii. 32; and so they say that Christ
purchased a greater good for some, and less for others. And here
they put themselves upon innumerable uncouth distinctions, or rather
(as one calleth them), extinctions, blotting out all sense, and
reason, and true meaning of the Scripture. Witness Testardus,
Amyraldus, and, as every one may see that can but read English, in
T. M[ore.] Hence that multiplicity of the several ends of the death
of Christ,-- some that are the fruits of his ransom and
satisfaction, and some that are I know not what; besides his dying
for some so and so, for others so and so, this way and that way; --
hiding themselves in innumerable unintelligible expressions, that it
is a most difficult thing to know what they mean, and harder to find
out their mind than to answer their reasons.

In one particular they agree well enough,-- namely, in denying that
faith is procured or merited for us by the death of Christ. So far
they are all of them constant to their own principles, for once to
grant it would overturn the whole fabric of universal redemption;
but, in assigning the cause of faith they go asunder again.
Some say that God sent Christ to die for all men, but only
conditionally, if they did and would believe; -- as though, if they
believed, Christ died for them; if not, he died not; and so make the
act the cause of its own object: other some, that he died absolutely
for all, to procure all good things for them, which yet they should
not enjoy until they fulfil the condition that was to be prescribed
unto them. Yet all conclude that in his death Christ had no more
respect unto the elect than others, to sustain their persons, or to
be in their room, but that he was a public person in the room of all

III. Concerning the close of all this, in respect of the event and
immediate product of the death of Christ, divers have diversely
expressed themselves; some placing it in the power, some in the
will, of God; some in the opening of a door of grace; some in a
right purchased to himself of saving whom he pleased; some that in
respect of us he had no end at all, but that all mankind might have
perished after he had done all. Others make divers and distinct
ends, not almost to be reckoned, of this one act of Christ,
according to the diversity of the persons for whom he died, whom
they grant to be distinguished and differences by a foregoing
decree; but to what purpose the Lord should send his Son to die for
them whom he himself had determined not to save, but at least to
pass by and leave to remediless ruin for their sins, I cannot see,
nor the meaning of the twofold destination by some invented. Such is
the powerful force and evidence of truth that it scatter's all its
opposers, and makes them fly to several hiding-corners; who, if they
are not willing to yield and submit themselves, they shall surely
lie down in darkness and error. None of these, or the like intricate
and involved impedite distinctions, hath [truth] itself need of;
into none of such poor shifts and devices doth it compel its
abettors; it needeth not any windings and turnings to bring itself
into a defensible posture; it is not liable to contradictions in its
own fundamentals: for, without any farther circumstances, the whole
of it in this business may be thus summed up: --

"God, out of his infinite love to his elect, sent his dear Son in
the fulness of time, whom he had promised in the beginning of the
world, and made effectual by that promise, to die, pay a ransom of
infinite value and dignity, for the purchasing of eternal
redemption, and bringing unto himself all and every one of those
whom he had before ordained to eternal life, for the praise of his
own glory." So that freedom from all the evil from which we are
delivered, and an enjoyment of all the good things that are bestowed
on us, in our traduction from death to life, from hell and wrath to
heaven and glory, are the proper issues and effects of the death of
Christ, as the meritorious cause of them all; which may, in all the
parts of it, be cleared by these few assertions: --

First, The fountain and cause of God's sending Christ is his
eternal love to his elect, and to them alone; which I shall not now
farther confirm, reserving it for the second general head of this
whole controversy.

Secondly, The value, worth, and dignity of the ransom which Christ
gave himself to be, and of the price which he paid, was infinite and
immeasurable; fit for the accomplishing of any end and the procuring
of any good, for all and every one for whom it was intended, had
they been millions of men more than ever were created. Of this also
afterward. See Acts xx. 28, "God purchased his church with his own
blood." 1 Pet. i. 18, 19, "Redeemed not with silver and gold, but
with the precious blood of Christ;" and that answering the mind and
intention of Almighty God, John xiv. l3, " As the Father gave me
commandment, even so I do;" who would have such a price paid as
might be the foundation of that economy and dispensation of his love
and grace which he intended, and of the way whereby he would have it
dispensed. Acts xiii. 38, 39, "Through this man is preached unto you
the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified
from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of
Moses." 2 Cor. v. 20, 21, "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye
reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Thirdly, The intention and aim of the Father in this great work
was, a bringing of those many sons to glory,-- namely, his elect,
whom by his free grace he had chosen from amongst all men, of all
sorts, nations, and conditions, to take them into a new covenant of
grace with himself, the former being as to them, in respect of the
event, null and abolished; of which covenant Jesus Christ is the
first and chief promise, as he that was to procure for them all
other good things promised therein, as shall be proved.

Fourthly, The things purchased or procured for those persons, --
which are the proper effects of the death and ransom of Christ, in
due time certainly to become theirs in possession and enjoyment,--
are, remission of sin, freedom from wrath and the curse of the law,
justification, sanctification, and reconciliation with God, and
eternal life; for the will of his Father sending him for these, his
own intention in laying down his life for them, and the truth of the
purchase made by him, is the foundation of his intercession, begun
on earth and continued in heaven; whereby he, whom his Father always
hears, desires and demands that the good things procured by him may
be actually bestowed on them, all and every one, for whom they were
procured. So that the whole of what we assert in this great business
is exceedingly clear and apparent, without any intricacy or the leas
difficulty at all; not clouded with strange expressions and
unnecessary divulsions and tearings of one thing from another, as is
the opposite opinion: which in the next place shall be dealt withal
by arguments confirming the one and everting the other. But because
the whole strength thereof lieth in, and the weight of all lieth on,
that one distinction we before spoke of, by our adversaries
diversely expressed and held out, we will a little farther consider
that, and then come to our arguments, and so to the answering of the
opposed objections.


Of application and impetration.

The allowable use of this distinction, how it may be taken in a
sound sense, the several ways whereby men have expressed the thing
which in these words is intimated, and some arguments for the
overthrowing of the false use of it, however expressed, we have
before intimated and declared. Now, seeing that this is the proton
pseudos of the opposite opinion, understood in the sense and
according to the use they make of it, I shall give it one blow more,
and leave it, I hope, a-dying.

I shall, then, briefly declare, that although these two things may
admit of a distinction, yet they cannot of a separation, but that
for whomsoever Christ obtained good, to them it might be applied;
and for whomsoever he wrought reconciliation with God, they must
actually unto God be reconciled. So that the blood of Christ, and
his death in the virtue of it, cannot be looked on, as some do, as a
medicine in a box, laid up for all that shall come to have any of
it, and so applied now to one, then to another, without any respect
or difference, as though it should be intended no more for one than
for another; so that although he hath obtained all the good that he
hath purchased for us, yet it is left indifferent and uncertain
whether it shall ever be ours or no: for it is well known, that
notwithstanding those glorious things that are assigned by the
Arminians to the death of Christ, which they say he purchased for
all, as remission of sins, reconciliation with God, and the like,
yet they for whom this purchase and procurement is made may be
damned, as the greatest part are, and certainly shall be. Now, that
there should be such a distance between these two,--

First, It is contrary to common sense or our usual form of
speaking, which must be wrested, and our understandings forced to
apprehend it. When a man hath obtained an office, or any other
obtained it for him, can it be said that it is uncertain whether he
shall have it or no? If it be obtained for him, is it not his in
right, thorough perhaps not in possession? That which is impetrated
or obtained by petition is his by whom it is obtained. It is to
offer violence to common sense to say a thing may be a man's, or it
may not be his, when it is obtained for him; for in so saying we say
it is his. And so it is in the purchase made by Jesus Christ, and
the good things obtained by him for all them for whom he died.
Secondly, It is contrary to all reason in the world, that the death
of Christ, in God's intention, should be applied to any one that
shall have no share in the merits of that death. God's will that
Christ should die for any, is his intention that he shall have a
share in the death of Christ, that it should belong to him,-- that
is, be applied to him; for that is, in this case, said to be applied
to any that is his in any respect, according to the will of God. But
now the death of Christ, according to the opinion we oppose, is so
applied to all, and yet the fruits of this death are never so much
as once made known to far the greatest part of those all.

Thirdly, [It is contrary to reason] that a ransom should be paid
for captives, upon compact for their deliverance, and yet upon the
payment those captives not be made free and set at liberty. The
death of Christ is a ransom, Matt. xx. 28, paid by compact for the
deliverance of captives for whom it was a ransom; and the promise
wherein his Father stood engaged to him at his undertaking to be a
Saviour, and undergoing the office imposed on him, was their
deliverance, as was before declared, upon his performance of these
things: on that [being done, that] the greatest number of these
captives should never be released, seems strange and very

Fourthly, It is contrary to Scripture, as was before at large
declared. See [also book iii.] chap. x.

But now, all this cur adversaries suppose they shall wipe away with
one slight distinction, that will make, as they say, all we affirm
in this kind to vanish; and that is this: "It is true," say they,
"all things that are absolutely procured and obtained for any do
presently become theirs in right for whom they are obtained; but
things that are obtained upon condition become not theirs until the
condition be fulfilled. Now, Christ hath purchased, by his death for
all, all good things, not absolutely, but upon condition; and until
that condition come to be fulfilled, unless they perform what is
required, they have neither part nor portion, right unto nor
possession of them." Also, what this condition is they give in, in
sundry terms; some call it a not resisting of this redemption
offered to them; some, a yielding to the invitation of the gospel;
some, in plain terms, faith. Now, be it so that Christ purchaseth
all things for us, to be bestowed on this condition, that we do
believe it, then I affirm that,--

First, Certainly this condition ought to be revealed to all for
whom this purchase is made, if it be intended for them in good
earnest. All for whom he died must have means to know that his death
will do them good if they believe; especially it being in his power
alone to grant them these means who intends good to them by his
death. If I should entreat a physician that could cure such a
disease to cure all that came unto him, but should let many rest
ignorant of the grant which I had procured of the physician, and
none but myself could acquaint them with it, whereby they might go
to him and be healed, could I be supposed to intend the healing of
those people? Doubtless no. The application is easy.

Secondly, This condition of them to be required is in their power
to perform, or it is not. If it be, then have all men power to
believe; which is false: if it be not, then the Lord will grant them
grace to perform it, or he will not. If he will, why then do not all
believe? why are not all saved? if he will not, then this
impetration, or obtaining salvation and redemption for all by the
blood of Jesus Christ, comes at length to this: -- God intendeth
that he shall die for all, to procure for them remission of sins,
reconciliation with him, eternal redemption and glory; but yet so
that they shall never have the least good by these glorious things,
unless they perform that which he knows they are no way able to do,
and which none but himself can enable them to perform, and which
concerning far the greatest part of them he is resolved not to do.

Is this to intend that Christ should die for them for their good? or
rather, that he should die for them to expose them to shame and
misery? Is it not all one as if a man should promise a blind man a
thousand pounds upon condition that he will see.

Thirdly, This condition of faith is procured for us by the death of
Christ, or it is not. If they say it be not, then the chiefest
grace, and without which redemption itself (express it how you
please) is of no value, doth not depend on the grace of Christ as
the meritorious procuring cause thereof; -- which, first, is
exceedingly injurious to our blessed Saviour, and serves only to
diminish the honour and love due to him; secondly, is contrary to
Scripture: Tit. iii. 5, 6; 2 Cor. v. 21, "He became sin for us, that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him." And how we can
become the righteousness of God but by believing, I know not. Yea,
expressly saith the apostle, "It is given to us for Christ's sake,
on the behalf of Christ, to believe in him," Phil. i. 29; "God
blessing us with all spiritual blessing in him," Eph. i 3, whereof
surely faith is not the least. If it be a fruit of the death of
Christ, why is it not bestowed on all, since be died for all,
especially since the whole impetration of redemption is altogether
unprofitable without it? If they do invent a condition upon which
this is bestowed, the vanity of that shall be afterward discovered.
For the present, if this condition be. So they do not refuse or
resist the means of grace, then I ask, if the fruit of the death of
Christ shall be applied to all that fulfil this condition of not
refusing or not resisting the means of grace? If not, then why is
that produced 1 If so, then all must be saved that have not, or do
not resist, the means of grace; that is, all pagans, infidels, and
those infants to whom the gospel was never preached.
Fourthly, This whole assertion tends to make Christ but a half
mediator, that should procure the end, but not the means conducing
thereunto. So that, notwithstanding this exception and new
distinction, our assertion stands firm,-- That the fruits of the
death of Christ, in respect of impetration of good and application
to us, ought not to be divided; and our arguments to confirm it are

For a close of all; that which in this cause we affirm may be
summed up in this: Christ did not die for any upon condition, if
they do believe; but he died for all God's elect, that they should
believe, and believing have eternal life. Faith itself is among the
principal effects and fruits of the death of Christ; as shall be
declared. It is nowhere said in Scripture, nor can it reasonably be
affirmed, that if we believe, Christ died for us, as though our
believing should make that to be which otherwise was not,-- the act
create the object; but Christ died for us that we might believe.
Salvation, indeed, is bestowed conditionally; but faith, which is
the condition, is absolutely procured. The question being thus
stated, the difference laid open, and the thing in controversy made
known, we proceed, in the next place, to draw forth some of those
arguments, demonstrations, testimonies, and proofs, whereby the
truth we maintain is established, in which it is contained, and upon
which it is firmly founded: only desiring the reader to retain some
notions in his mind of those fundamentals which in general we laid
down before; they standing in such relation to the arguments which
we shall use, that I am confident not one of them can be thoroughly
answered before they be everted.


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