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For JANUARY 1786.
An EXTRACT from Dr. WHITBY'S DISCOURSES on the
[Continued from Vol. viii. page 618.]
DISCOURSE II. Concerning the Extent of Christ's Redemption.
O ftate the matter aright, I fhall fhew, 1. What limita-
ift. I reject that diftinction as abfurd, which faith, Chrift
of falvation; that falvation being to be obtained only by them to whom it belongs. It therefore leaves all others under an impoffibility of believing, repenting, and obeying the Gospel; which are the conditions of the New Covenant. 3dly, It follows hence that it cannot be the duty of any, befides the Elect, to believe in Chrift, or to bless God for fending him into the world: for this no man can reafonably do, because Chrift's blood was fufficient to procure his pardon; but because it was defigned for that end. Remove this fuppofition, and to fay Chrift's death was fufficient for their falvation, is only to fay, Chrift could have procured it if he would; but he would not, and who can bless him upon that account? 4thly, Hence it is evident, all who are not elected cannot believe in a Saviour that died for them, but only in one whofe death would have been fufficient to procure their pardon, had it been intended for that end, as it was not. And what comfort can this adminifter to any? Surely no more than it would yield to a condemned malefactor to know his prince could have pardoned him, but would not. Nor,
2dly, Can I approve of their doctrine who fay, Chrift died fo far for all as to procure falvation for them if they will beleve and repent; but that he died moreover to procure for the Elec, Faith and Repentance. For, firft, there is no ground at all in Scripture for this diftinction: for that faith, Chrift died for the world; for all; for every man; but never that he died for one part of mankind more than another. 2dly, They whomake this diftinction, pofitively allert, none can repent and believe for whom Chrift died not to procure Faith and Repentance: feeing then what he died not to procure, can never be obtained, if Christ died only to procure Faith and Repentance for the Elect, the reft can never have them. Where-fore to force thefe men to lay afide thofe difguifes of their real fentiments, I demand, 3dly, when they fay, Christ died for all, fo far as to procure falvation for them, if they will believe and repent; whether he died to procure pardon and falvation
on a condition, which was poffible for them to perform, or only upon a condition which was impoflible, for want of grace fufficient? If the latter only, it is certain, he died not at all for them; for what is only done on an impoffible fuppofition, is not done at all. It being the fame thing not to die at all, for their benefit, as to do it only on a condition they cannot poffibly perform. But if he died to procure falvation for them on a condition which they might perform, he died intentionally to procure falvation to them as well as to the Elect; and fo all mankind may be faved. These are the expofitions of the extent of our Lord's death, which I reject. I add pofitively,
1. When I fay, Chrift died for all, I mean that he died equally for all. This will be evident if we confider, first, that he offered the fame facrifice, fuffered one and the fame death, fhed the fame blood for all for whom he died. This facrifice muft therefore be offered equally for all; because it is the fame oblation, the fame body crucified, and the fame blood fhed for all. And hence that fcripture, which faith exprefsly, that Chrift died for all, affords not the leaft intimation that he fuffered more for one than another. Morcover, 2dly, it is certain, the fufferings of Chrift, and his blood fhed, cannot be diftributed into parts, fo that one should have one fhare of it, another a fecond, and another a third; but whofoever hath an intereft in them, hath a title to the whole benefit procured by them, and he who hath no title to the whole, hath no fhare at all in the benefit of his fufferings. 3dly, His blood was shed to eftablish the New Covenant: now that is equally eftablished to all who perform the conditions of it, Faith, Repentance and fincere Obedience, and belongs to none who never perform
2. When we fay Christ died for all, we do not mean that he died for any abfolutely, or without any conditions to be performed on their part, to intereft them in the bleffings of his paffion; but only that he died for all conditionally, or fo as that
they should be made partakers of the bleffings of his Paffion on condition of their Faith, Repentance, and fincere Obedience to the Laws of the New Covenant. These are the means he hath appointed to render them partakers of that falvation which he hath purchased by his blood. And as he died for all conditionally, fo it is certain that he died for none otherwise, i. e. he died not with intention to confer the bleffings of his paffion on any but true believers, and fuch as would obey the laws of his New Covenant; it being impoffible in the nature of the thing, that he should die to fave the unbeliever: to deny this is to fay, he died to confer the bleffings of his paffion on the impenitent and disobedient. And therefore,
3dly, When we fay Christ died for all, we do not mean that he purchased actual reconciliation, or life for all; this. being in effect to say, that he has actually reconciled God to the impenitent and disobedient, which is impoffible: he only hath put all men into a capacity of being reconciled to God, upon their turning to him. The death of Chrift having rendered it confiftent with the juftice and wifdom of God, with the honour of his Majefty, and with the ends of his government, to pardon the penitent believer. Hence the Apoftles were fent both to Jew and Gentile, To preach Repentance towards God, and Faith in our Lord Jefus Chrift, that they may receive remiffion of fins, and an inheritance among thofe that are fanctified through Faith in him. To illuftrate this by To illuftrate this by a plain fimilitude: fuppofe a prince whose subjects had rebelled against him, should, through the interceffion of his beloved fon, promife pardon to as many of them as would afk pardon in his fon's name, and promife to be obedient fubjects for the future; would this procure an actual pardon to any of them, till they had performed these conditions? Or would it ever do it for them who wilfully refused to perform them? So here, Chrift, by his death, obtained of his Father a New Covenant, in which he promises to pardon all upon their faith, repentance, and perfeverance in well-doing; but he hath not, by his death, procured actual