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Jean Daille (1594–1670), on the Death of Christ

May 24, 2008

Sins of the world:

1) And it is this that St. Paul explains again in another way, speaking to the Athenians, and saying “that God had appointed him the Judge of the whole world! All these expressions have the same meaning as that which the church has drawn from the Scripture, and which she usually employs to signify this mystery, saying that Jesus was “seated on the right hand of God.” But you will say to me, that as the Lord Jesus is the true and eternal God, blessed for ever with the Father, had he not this dignity and glory before and during his humiliation? If he had it not, how was he God? If otherwise, how can it be said that the Father gave it him after his resurrection only? Dear brethren, I reply, that Jesus Christ was in truth the Almighty God and the lord of glory, before his humiliation. These qualities were his before all time, as he possesses them by his nature, having received them from the Father, by his eternal and incomprehensible generation. Here, however, the question is not that of his original and essential dignity, or even of his Divinity but that of his office; of that which he had being Mediator, not of that which he possessed as being Son of God simply; of that power which the Father has given him as being Son of man, as he himself says in St. John, because he is the Christ and the Mediator of the church. And this power is nothing else than the right and authority to save the world, to found the church, and to preserve it against the gates of hell, to raise up and judge the human race, and to establish afterwards a second universe, where righteousness and immortality should dwell for ever. Jesus was only invested with this great and magnificent right after having completed the work of his humiliation; and if from time to time he has performed some of its functions, it has only been by dispensation, and in virtue of the faith that he had pledged, to satisfy exactly all the required conditions for being installed into this great and Divine office of expiating the sins of the world, by a perfect sacrifice, and to support all the trials by which he should be tempted. This is the reason why he did not till then bear in his flesh the ensigns of this glorious dignity. He only took them at him resurrection, which was as it were the day of his consecration and of his coronation. Truly do I confess, that to execute the authority that he then received an infinite wisdom and power is necessary; and had he not already had such, God, who never gives the title without the qualification, nor an office without a capacity for it, would doubtless have communicated it to him. But being the Almighty God, there was no need in this respect, but to deliver to him the name and right, with which being provided, he displayed in the sight of men and angels this power of his Divinity, which till then, as it were, had been hidden under the veil of the infirmities which were necessary for our salvation. And as to his human nature, which, that he might obtain if had been clothed at his conception with the form and weakness of our poor flesh, God then (as we have before said) filled with glory, and gave it all the excellence of which it wan susceptible, while dwelling within the limits of its true being. I add this expressly to exclude the vain imaginations of those who, under pretense of glorifying the flesh of the lord, would destroy and annihilate it, declaring that by the resurrection it received the incommunicable properties of Divinity, that is to say, omnipresence and such like. John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 62.

Propitiation for the world:

1) But from the same apostolical assertion it is also very evident, that none but our Lord is capable of satisfying for us. For an the forgiveness of sins is our redemption, who sees not that if any one procure it for us he must be our redeemer? a title which, by the unanimous consent of all Christians, pertains singly to Jesus Christ. Moreover by the blood of our Lord this forgiveness has been purchased; so that nether Paul, nor Cephas, nor, any other having been crucified for us, it follows that no one of them has either satisfied God for us, or merited the remission of sins. Though their death was precious in the sight of God, said an ancient writer, yet there were none of them, however innocent, whose suffering could be the propitiation of the world. The just have received crowns, not given them; and born their constancy and steadfastness in the faith have grown up examples of patience, not gifts of righteousness. This glory is due to nothing but the blood of Christ. And as he is the only victim that was offered for our sins, so be it sufficient to expiate them all. Never man found favour but through this sacrifice. Never did the sword of God spare any, but for the sake of this blood. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 30.

Sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world:

1) He had mid before that God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into his kingdom. Now he shows us by whom he effected that great work, adding that we have redemption in Jesus Christ. He is the author of our redemption, our only Deliverer, the Prince of our salvation. The apostle says that it is in him we have redemption: may be taken two Ways, both of them good and suitable: first, as signifying that it is by him we have been delivered. For it is a Hebraism frequent in Scripture to say in instead of by. And in this sense the apostle declares that it is by Jesus Christ his Son that God has accomplished the work of his good pleasure towards us, having constituted him the Mediator of mankind, who, according to the will of him who sent him, perfectly executed all things that were necessary to put us in possession of salvation. But this word “in” may also be taken in the sense. it has in our usual language as signifying our spiritual communion with the Lord, by reason of which we are said to be in him, and he in us. For though he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John ii. 2, and the worth of his sacrifice so great that it abundantly suffices to expiate all the crimes of the universe; and although the salvation obtained by him is really offered, and by his will, unto all men; yet none actually enjoy it but those that enter into his communion by faith, and are by that means in him, as that clause of his covenant expressly imports, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whomever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John iii. 16. Whence it is that St. John proclaims “He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life,” 1 John v. 12; which amounts to this, He that is in Jews Christ hath life, and he that is not in him hath not life; according to what our Lord himself said to his apostles, “Out of me ye can do nothing” John xv. 5. This sense is, as you perceive, grand and lucid, and contains an excellent truth, that to enjoy salvation by Jesus Christ we must be in him. But because the apostle’s design is to show us what the Lord has done for our salvation, rather than what he requires of us for our participating? it, I prefer the first acceptation of the words, “in whom,” that is, by whom, “we have redemption.” And this indeed is the most common exposition of the best interpreters, both ancient and modem. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 27.

2) Due brethren, while the church of Christ is here on earth, it is its lot to sojourn for the most part amidst people of another profession. For though the merit of our Lord and Saviour is sufficient to bring all mankind into the communion of God, and though his salvation is tendered by his own will and order to all those who have hi gospel preached to them; yet it is the obduracy and blindness of our nature, that most men abide out of the covenant of God, wickedly and foolishly rejecting the great honour which he offered them. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 242.

Sacrifice offered for the redemption of the world:

1) Thus you see that it makes in heaven (where abasement has no place)chief part of the glory of the Lord and of his saints. What then is precisely the obedience which is here spoken? It is that which Jesus Christ yielded to the Father in all things which properly and necessarily belong to the satisfaction for our sins, and his office of Mediator, and what relates to it; such was his subjection to the Mosaic law, and all the sufferings by which he was consecrated. For of himself, and by reason of his nature, he was not obliged to it. But he submitted to it by the will of the Father, to execute the commission which he had given him, to save the human race. And the apostle, to lead us to it, names here expressly the last and chief of these things, that is to say, the death of the Lord. “He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” For the word unto” is used in this place to signify, not the continuation of the time to which the Saviour was obedient, even to its termination, but the end of the things in which he was obedient, even to the greatest and most difficult of all, and to which all the others related as to their true end. Hence, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the apostle takes the obedience which the Lord yielded to the will of God, saying! Behold, I come to do thy will, O God;” he takes it, I say , for the oblation of his body, offered and sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world. Jesus Christ then has not only been obedient in suffering patiently, according to the will of his Father, all the inconveniences and miseries of this life, poverty, contempt, grief, persecution, and such like, however unworthy they were of him and of his nature; but he was obedient even unto death. To fulfil the commands of the Father, the Prince of life and immortality has not refused death, that thing which in the world appeared most contrary to his dignity and his nature. John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 57.

2) Christ humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; therefore God also hath highly exalted him;” that is to say, that the Father had respect to his humiliation and obedience when he crowned him with glory and that this high dignity in which he has established him is the reward of his obedience. For, in the first place, the Father had promised the Son the empire of the universe, and a sovereign glory, after the conflicts and the sufferings of his office. Christ, then, having punctually acquitted himself in it, having humbly and constantly suffered all the things that the Father required of him for the satisfaction of his justice, and for the redemption of the world, we must perceive that his own truth obliged him to exalt him Into the promised glory; and that in consideration of his death and of his sufferings which preceded it, all this grandeur and dignity were given him. . John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 60.

3) Thin question is one of the fruits of the boldness and curiosity or the human mind, on which we should wish rather to be silent then to speak, if it were not that the adversaries of our communion force us to act otherwise; not contenting themselves with positively declaring that Jesus Christ by his sufferings merited that glory for himself which he enjoys, but they pretend further to conclude from thence, that believers also merit that blessed immortality which God will give them one day in heaven; by these means rendering his merit either less necessary or less useful and efficacious to us. To stop, then, so unjust and dangerous a pretense, I will first say, that what they take for granted, that Jesus Christ merited for himself that to which he has been exalted, cannot be proved by Scripture, in which all the merit of the abasement of the Lord is constantly referred to the salvation of the church, and to the redemption of the world, and that we are no where told that in obeying of the Father he has merited for himself the sovereign and infinite dignity which he now enjoys. He did not need this title to acquire it. He possessed it as the well-beloved of the Father, as the Mediator and Head of the church. What he has merited is the remission of our crimes, the redemption of the world, and the right of our immortality, the true and real price of his sacrifice. . John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 60.

Christ offered for the salvation of the world:

1) For the shadows and delineations of it which we see in the law clearly show us that it is the workmanship and design of God; and the admirable resemblance between these ancient figure, long since drawn by his own hand in the tabernacle of flow, and the bodies of the thin which have been revealed in Jesus Christ, irrefragably prove that he who heretofore took the care to male those draughts is author of the realities which they represented, and that the body descends from the some Heaven which at first made the shadows of it to be seen. I pass by for this time the lamb, and the sacrifices, and the aspersions, and expiations, and all the Levitical priesthood; a true delineation of our grand victim offered for the salvation of the world, and of that eternal righteousness which his blood h u procured for us, and other similar things, which cannot but with extreme difficulty be maintained, nor made to y with the ways of the ordinary wisdom of God, except by acknowledging and receiving as true what the apostle here teaches us, and which is evident enough of itself, namely that all this was heretofore ordained to prefigure Christ. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 141.

Redeemed all men:

1) For in this you do no one wrong : you hurt nothing but error, nor diminish the right of any but of superstition and impiety and of Satan, the common enemy of mankind, who inspires them. You do not acquire any thing for Jesus Christ but what lawfully pertained unto him, since he of right is Lord of all men, both because he created them and has redeemed them. You do an act of justice in reducing bond-servants under the yoke of their true and lawful Master, whom error had enticed from it. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 243.

The Redeemer of the world:

1) This, my brethren, is a d i n picture of what is daily occurring under the preaching of the gospel. The man who sown is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the great Teacher, the Redeemer of the world. The seed which he sows in the word of life, the pure and wholesome doctrine that he plant in the hearts of men, as his field, by the hand and ministry of his servants. The fruits produced thereby are faith and piety, which render men Christians and the children of God, instead of the wretched slaves of sin and death, which they were by nature. The enemy is the devil, the prince of darkness, who, burning with hatred against thin holy work of God, crosses and combats it with all his power. The night, wherein he does his work, signifies the artifice and disguise in which he wraps himself that he may pass undiscovered; and the sleep of men, during which so artfully labours, in the negligence of believers, who, too often, having their minds overcharged with the affairs of this world, do not give sufficient attention to the object of their high calling. The pernicious tares which he sows in the midst of them signify the heresies, false doctrines, and schisms which spreads among those who make profession of Christianity. . John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 139.

2) But I return to the apostle, who shows us, in the third place, What is the object of his preaching: Warning every man, and teaching every man.” It is very probable that the false teachers, who would seduce the Colossians for colouring that observation of the law which they recommended, alleged that the apostles themselves left the Jews the use of circumcision, and the practice of legal abstinences; and that if St. Paul acted otherwise, it was toward some only. I consider that it is properly to this we must refer and oppose his repeating here three times “warning every man, and teaching every man, that he might present every man perfect in Christ.,” He thus repeats this word, to Show that his preaching was the same and uniform throughout, that he declared to all men but one Jesus Christ, and that he preached him indifferently both to Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and barbarians; God having given for them all but one and the same gospel, as he has set up but one sun in the universe to shine on all mankind. I declare, says he, the same Christ unto all, as Saviour and Redeemer of the world. There is no man to whom I preach any other thing. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 79.

Christ died for all:

1) God will not be served at all with unrighteousness and treachery; and to declare or to suppose theat he takes pleasure in such services, is one of the greatest outrages that can be committed against him. They are grateful to the devil, and to none but him. A Christian looks not upon any man on earth as his enemy; he knows that they are all the creation of the Lord his God, and that his Master died for them, and shed his blood to save them. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 244.

Christ died and rose for the salvation of the world:

1) III. But it is time to come to the thud point, which contains the worst and most pernicious effect of this worshiping of angels, here condemned by the apostle; namely, that they who promote it, or adhere to and practice it, do not hold ” the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment administered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” You know that this Head of which he speaks is our Lord Jesus Christ, eternal and true God made man, who died and rose again for the salvation of the world; and that the body of this Head is the church, the whole multitude of true believers. This comparison is so frequent in Scripture, and the reason upon which it is founded are so clear and so well known, that there is no necessity for me here to repeat them. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 152.

Shepherd souls redeemed by the Lord:

1) Then what will be your joy and your glory, when yon shall hear the Son of God in that august assembly say of you what the apostle here wrote of his Timothy, This servant has been truly careful of the good of my church; he has sought my interests, and not his own; he has served me in the gospel, as a son serves his father! Have always before your yes this Divine reward. That you may have a share in Timothy’s glory, imitate his zeal and fidelity. Be careful of the flocks which Jesus Christ has committed. to your care. Remember that it is for him you labour, for the glory of the Lord of the world, for the salvation and immortal felicity of men, to guide souls, which he hath redeemed with his own blood, to glory. God forbid that in so noble a design you should think of the flesh, or of the earth, or that you should injure such a ministry by low and mercenary thoughts, seeking reputation, ease, or convenience in offices which ought only to serve for the furtherance of the kingdom of God and the edification of his saints. . John Daille, The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 95.

Universal reconciliation:

[Explanatory comment:]

III. It remains now that we speak of the means which God used to bring this great work of the reconciliation of the world to its end. St. Paul shows this to us, when he adds, having made peace by the blood of the cross of Christ. The war that man had with God, in consequence of his sin, was the true and only cause of the bad understanding which existed between us, the angels, and the other parts of the world. Whence it is clear that, to make the latter cease, it was only necessary to extinguish the former; that is, to reconcile us wit the creatures, it required only to recover us to the favour of the Creator. This is the means which the Father in his sovereign wisdom used, and which the apostle means, when he saith the he made peace;” that is, our peace having pacified his own justice, and quenched all the fire of his wrath against us. By the sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered on his cross this miraculous change was wrought. This precious blood satisfied the justice of the Father, and the odor of this Divine burnt-offering sweetened his Spirit; and, severe and inexorable as he was, rendered him propitious and favorable to us. Instead of fulminating his vengeance, he tenders us the arms of his love; and no man is so wretched but he is read to receive him, provided he accept the promise of his mercy with a humble faith. Not long since, upon one of the foregoing texts we treated of the reality, the worthiness, and necessity of this satisfaction, by which the Lord Jesus made our peace with the Father, through the shedding of his blood on the cross, and his voluntarily suffering there, in our room, the curse which our sins deserved. Therefore we will dispense with speaking more of it at this time; and, to conclude the exercise, will content ourselves with briefly remarking upon each of the three points explained the principal heads of consolation and edification which they contain. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 52.

1) Again, the word reconcile, as also mast words of the name form and nature, is taken two ways. For either it signifies simply the action which has the virtue necessary to make reconciliation, or it comprises the effect of it also. It is in the first sense that the apostle used it before, when he said that God hath reconciled all thin celestial and terrestrial, in himself, or for himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross of Christ. For he means simply that God has taken away the causes of hatred and enmity, and opened the way of reconciliation; not that all thing are already actually reconciled. It is thus again that we must understand that which he says in another place, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them,” 2 Cor. v. 19. But the apostle uses the word reconcile in the second sense, when he says that we have obtained reconciliation by Christ; and when he beseeches us to “be reconciled to God;” it being evident that in these places he intends not the right and power only, but the very effect and actual possession of reconciliation. According to this import we must understand the word reconcile in the text. For this reconciliation may be again considered two ways: first, in general, as made by Jesus Christ on the cross; and secondly, in particular, as applied to each of us by faith. In the first consideration it is presented to all men as sufficient for their salvation, according to the doctrine of the apostle, that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Tit. ii. 11; and that also of St. John, that Jesus Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also or the sins of the whole world,” 1 John ii. 2. Under the second consideration it appertains only to the believer, according to that clause of the covenant which declares that the only begotten Son was given to the world, that whomever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John iii. 16. Precisely in this sense the apostle here says that God had reconciled the Colossians; he means, not simply that God had not only prepared the way through the cross of his Son for their reconciliation to him by believing but also that he had effectively reconciled them to himself, and put them in real possession of the benefits that were purchased for us by the merit of Christ; embracing them as his children, pardoning all their sins, and obliviating all his wrath and aversion against them which their offences had enkindled. John Daille, An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1843), 55-6.

[Note: The expressions here are identical to those found in Calvin, Musculus, Bullinger, Zwingli, Vermigli, and many others.]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 19, 2009 2:05 pm

    Thank you so much for this rich treasure trove from the pen of Jean Daille. This was a treat to read. Thank you for setting up this website so that reformed people can be properly educated by the best historical and theological thinkers of the past.

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