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John Davenant on the Sufficiency and Efficiency of Christ’s Death: Relevant Quotations

September 8, 2008

1) I wish that in this litigious age we had before our eyes this specimen of Christian charity and modesty, by which, as it appears to me, that tempest which was excited by the preaching of Godeschalcus was so happily settled and appeared. For in the following ages I find no contests about the aforesaid controversy. At length theological questions came into the hands of the Schoolmen, who, although they were fruitful artificers of disputes, yet were unwilling to renew this subject. To them it seemed sufficient to teach that Christ died for all sufficiently, for the predestinated effectually; which, since no one could deny, no handle was given for using the saw of contention. The Doctors of the Reformed Church also from the beginning spoke in such a manner on the death of Christ, that they afforded no occasion of reviving the contest. For they taught, That it was proposed and offered to all, but apprehended and applied to the obtaining of eternal life only by those that believe. At the same time, they judged it improper to mingle the hidden mystery of Election and Preterition with this doctrine of the Redemption of the human race through Christ, in such a manner as to exclude any one, before he should exclude himself by his own unbelief. Let us hear their own words. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 336-337.

2) Under the word death, then, we comprehend that infinite treasure of merits which the Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, by doing and suffering, procured and laid up for our benefit. Again, when we say that this death or this merit is represented in the holy Scriptures as the universal cause of salvation, we mean, “That according to the will of God explained in his word, this remedy is proposed indiscriminately to every individual of the human race for salvation, but that it cannot savingly profit any one without a special application. For an universal cause of salvation, or an universal remedy, includes these two things: first, that of itself it can cure and save all and every individual: secondly, that for the production of this determinate effect in each individual it should require a determinate application. Not unaptly, therefore, did Aquinas say, “The death of Christ is the universal cause of salvation, as the sin of the first man may be said to be the universal cause of damnation. But it is necessary that an universal cause should be applied particularly to each individual, that its proper effect may be experienced.” Further, what we maintain in our proposition, that this universal cause of salvation is applicable to all and every individual of mankind, at once excludes the apostate angels. to whom (whatsoever may be thought of the intrinsic value and. sufficiency of this remedy) according to the revealed will of God, its universality is not extended. Nor even with respect to men can it be extended so universally as to be applicable to every one under every state and circumstance. For it is not applicable to the dead or the damned, but to the living: nor to the living under every condition, but under the conditions ordained by God. The death of Christ was not applicable to Peter for salvation, if Peter had persisted in denying Christ to the last. And the same death of Christ was capable of application to Judas, if Judas had repented and believed in Christ. For this cause, therefore, we have not merely said that it is applicable to all and every individual of mankind, but on this being added, from the ordination of God, and the nature of the thing. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 341-2.

3) Of this description are. 2 Cor. v. 14, One died for all. 1 Tim. ii. 6. “Who gave himself a ransom for all.” Heb. ii. 9, “That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” And 1 John ii. 2. “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only. but also for th sins of the whole world.” I omit other texts. These and such like passages, although the conclusion of some of the Remonstrants cannot be inferred from them, namely, “That by this death of Christ reconciliation and remission of sins we acquired or obtained for each and every man”: Or. “That each and merry man was restored into a state of grace and salvation by the death of Christ itself”: nevertheless they prove in a manner sufficiently strong what we intend, That this death of Christ was appointed and ordained by God and Christ for an universal cause of salvation, or an universal remedy for all men, applicable to the obtaining of reconciliation and remission. I do not therefore see by what right or what necessity some divines limit passages of this kind, in which Christ is plainly affirmed to have suffered for all to the elect alone or to the whole body of the elect alone, when in the aforesaid sense they may be most truly extended to all other persons. For nothing hinders but that that may be applicable to all by some Divine appointment which, from the predestination of Cod, is infallibly to be applied only to the elect. For they grant that dogma of the Remonstrants (Colloq. Hagiens. p. 139) “That Christ died not for the elect alone, but also for other men, if it be understood only of the sufficiency the merits of Christ;” but if only of reconciliation effectually or actually produced, they deny it. This is enough for me. For they will never rightly defend the alone-sufficiency of the death of Christ as to all, unless they confess at the same time that it is applicable to all for salvation, according to the appointment of God. Since it is foolishly and falsely asserted, that He died for all sufficiently, who is affirmed to have died only for the elect; because the word sufficiently is not a diminishing term, nor does it take away the truth of the thing affirmed. But more will be said respecting this, when we come to our second proposition. Hitherto we have contended from the testimonies of Scripture. Next we shall from certain arguments very solidly founded (as it appears to us) in the Scriptures. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 351-2

4) The most learned Belgic Professors, in their judgment exhibited at the Synod of Dort, confess the same thing (Act. Synod. Dordt. p. 88). “We confess, say they, that the merit and value of the death of Christ is not only sufficient to expiate all, evert the greatest sins of men, but also those of the whole posterity of Adam, although there should be many more to be saved, provided they embraced it with a true faith.” But it would not be sufficient to save all, even if all should believe, unless it be true that by the ordination of God this death is an appointed remedy applicable to all. If it be denied that Christ died for some persons. it will immediately follow, that such could not be saved by the death of Christ, even if they should believe. What is usually answered to this argument by some, viz. “That God has not commanded his ministers to announce that Christ died for every individual, whether they believe or not, but only for believing and penitent sinners, and therefore it cannot be demonstrated from the universality of the call, that the death of Christ is. according to the ordination of God, an universal remedy applicable to all” seems to me to be said very inconsiderately. For faith is not previously required in mankind, as a condition, which makes Christ to have died for them, but which makes the death of Christ, which is applicable to all from the Divine loving-kindness to man, actually applied and beneficial to individuals. The death of Christ was a sacrifice established in the Divine mind, and ordained for men from the beginning of the world; nor could it profit any one if he should believe, unless it had been offered for him before he believed. When therefore we announce to any one, that the death of Christ would profit him if he believed, we presume that it was destined for him, as applicable before he believed. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 358-359.

5) If it was the counsel and will of God, that Christ by dying should pay to Him a most full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction, not only to deliver those who believe in the benefit of God, and thus eventually are saved, but also for those who continue in unbelief through their own fault, and thus eventually are condemned, then it must be confessed that this death of Christ is a remedy from the nature of the thing, and the ordination of God, applicable to all: But such was the counsel and will of God; which is evinced from the Divine promises, which make known his will to us. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 361-2.

6) To this those words of the Divines of the Palatinate refer, in their judgment exhibited at the Synod of Dort (Art. Synod. Dordrecht. page 88). “The faith of the elect does not precede, but follows the death of Christ, because his death is the cause of faith, on account of which the elect are given to Christ, and the object of faith, which it beholds and embraces.” Finally, it is decreed, that through the death of the second Adam, salvation is procurable for all men who are lost in the first Adam, before it is decreed to whom it may be given effectually and infallibly, and to whom it may not be given. It is to be confessed, therefore, that the Mediator Jesus Christ, with his death and the infinite treasure of his merits, is, from the ordination of God, applicable for salvation to the whole human race, although the most free, most just, most secret good pleasure of God intervenes, according to which he determines that faith (through means of which application is made) should be infallibly given to certain persons and not given to others. But why, in dispensing the treasure of the merits of Christ, which is sufficient for and applicable to all men individually, he acts so unequally with persons in equal circumstances, we ought not to inquire, since we cannot ascertain, but with the Apostle acquiesce in the secret will of God, “He hath mercy eta whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Romans ix. 18. No one hath first given to him, that it should be recompensed unto him again. Romans xi. 35.” John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 363.

7) OBJECTION 6. NO medium can be found or thought of between the sufficiency of the price, and its real application; those, therefore, who deny that the real application of the death of Christ is made to all, ought not to proceed further than to assert the sufficiency of this price for all; beyond which they are necessarily compelled to concede its real application to all. But those who declare this death of Christ to be, according to the ordination of God, applicable to all for salvation, seem to introduce some medium between the sufficient value and the actual efficacy of it. But of what kind will it be, or where will it be found? It cannot be any efficiency indifferently regarding all men individually, and caused in them by the death of Christ, because such an effect cannot be assigned. Nor can we by virtue of the death of Christ, place in God himself either any obtaining of remission of sins extended to all, or any intention of its application. It remains, therefore, that we assert, that beyond the sufficiency of the price, nothing redounds to the death of Christ which has regard to all men.

REPLY 6. To meet this objection, we should observe, in the first place, what kind of sufficiency they mean who reason thus, and at the same time retain the distinction of the Schoolmen, “that Christ died for all mean sufficiently, for the elect effectually.” Therefore, that Christ died for all men sufficiently, they understand thus: The death of Christ is sufficient to redeem all men, but he would not die for all: The death of Christ is in itself, and in its intrinsic value, a sufficient ransom for all, but it was not paid for all. But it never occurred to the Schoolmen to defend this sufficiency only, and to deny absolutely that Christ died for all. Nor can it easily be explained how, without evident contradiction, it can be affirmed, that Christ died or was offered up sufficiently for all, and at the same time be altogether denied that he was unwilling to die or be offered up for many. As to those, therefore, who admit such an oblation and sufficiency in the death of Christ as is merely hypothetical, if it is referred to all, I answer, That a medium can and ought to be assigned between that mere sufficiency of price and its real application. For the ordination of God manifested in the Gospel, according to which this death of Christ is proposed to be received by every one that repents and believes, proves that this sufficiency and actual application is appointed as a kind of medium. For in this ordination of God, according to which the death of Christ is appointed and proposed as a cause of salvation to every living person, applicable by faith, there is contained less than in the real application, but there is contained something more than in the mere and bare sufficiency of the thing considered in itself, this conditional ordination being excluded, which regards every partaker of human nature. This, therefore, is that very medium which the adversaries deny can be assigned, but still urge and enquire, what that medium is, and where it is to be found, which goes, beyond the bare sufficiency, and yet does riot attain to the real application. I answer, That there is not any act, caused by the death of Christ, indifferently regarding every individual; but there is a title to eternal life, founded on the death of Christ, indifferently regarding every individual. under the condition of faith: That there is not in God an obtaining of remission, aud a design of application extended to all men individually according to the infallible order of predestination; but there is in God a certain obligation to remission, and a will of remitting sins and conferring life extended to all men individually, according to the tenor of the promise of the Gospel. But I say no more on this subject at present, because when we come to our next proposition, we shall designedly discourse of this same point more copiously. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 378-9.

8) Therefore, although we confess that the death of Christ was in some way ordained by God for a common remedy of the human race, and would benefit all under this Evangelical condition if they should believe it, yet it does not follow hence that all men individually are promiscuously elected; because God has not determined to give to all men individually that grace whereby they may believe, and, by believing, may infallibly derive life from this death of Christ. And it may further be added, that although we should grant not only that Christ died for all men, but also that on account of this death of Christ sufficient grace was prepared and given by God to every individual (which we do not hold), yet no one from these concessions could rightly infer that all men are promiscuously elected, or that there is no difference between the elect and those who are passed by. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 381.

9) REPLY 11. I willingly grant that the death of Christ can in no true sense be said to be applicable to those for whom God did in no wise will that he should die. For the death of Christ is not a remedy applicable to expiate the sins of any one, except according to the ordination and acceptation of God. And for this reason, although the ransom paid by Christ to God the Father is in itself of sufficient and superabundant value to take away the sins, not only of men, but of fallen angels, yet, on account of the want of its ordination and acceptation as to angels,. we deny that Christ. ought to be said to have died for them in any way. The same thing might also be declared respecting men, if there were any alienated and excluded from all possibility of the aforesaid redemption on account of the same want of Divine ordination and acceptation. But as it was said, the major being granted, let us proceed to the minor. I answer therefore, That there is no one who is a partaker of the same human nature which the Redeemer deigned to assume, for whom Christ did not deliver up himself as a price of redemption, applicable according to the ordin ation and acceptation of God, for remission of sins, to be obtained by faith in his blood. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 386-387.

10) In the first place, therefore, is to be explained, what we mean by mere sufficiency, and what by that which is commonly admitted by Divines, “That Christ died for all sufficiently.” If we speak of the price of redemption, that ransom is to be acknowledged sufficient which exactly answers to the debt of the captive; or which satisfies the demand of him who has the power of liberating the captive. The equality of one thing to another, or to the demands of him who has power over the captive, constitutes what we call this mere sufficiency. This shall be illustrated by examples. Suppose my brother was detained in prison for a debt of a thousand pounds. If I have in my possession so many pounds, I can truly affirm that this money is sufficient to pay the debt of my brother, and to free him from it. But while it is not offered for him, the mere sufficiency of the thing is understood, and estimated only from the value of it, the act of offering that ransom being wanting, without which the aforesaid sufficiency effects nothing. For the same reason, if many persons should be capitally condemned for the crime of high treason, and the king himself against whom this crime was committed should agree that he would be reconciled to all for whom his son should think fit to suffer death: Now the death of the Son, according to the agreement, is appointed to be a sufficient ransom for redeeming all those for whom it should be offered. But if there should be any for whom that ransom should not be offered, as to those it has only a mere sufficiency, which is supposed from the value of the thing considered in itself, and not that which is understood from the act of offering. To these things I add, If we admit the aforesaid ransom not only to be sufficient from the equality of one thing to the other, and from his demand, who requires nothing more for the redemption of the captives; but also to be greater and better in an infinite degree, and to exceed all their debts, yet if there should not be added to this the intention and act of offering for certain captives, although such a ransom should be ever so copious and superabundant, considered in itself and from its intrinsic value, yet what was said of the sufficiency may be said of the superabundance, that there was a mere superabundance of the thing, but that it effected nothing as yet for the liberation of the persons aforesaid. Now to this mere sufficiency, which regards nothing else than the equal or superabundant worth of the appointed price of redemption, I oppose another, which, for the sake of perspicuity, I shall call ordained sufficiency. This is when the thing which has respect to the ransom, or redemption price, is not only equivalent to, or superior in value to the thing redeemed, but also is ordained for its redemption by some wish to offer or actual offering. Thus a thousand talents laid up in the treasury of a prince are said to be a sufficient ransom to redeem ten citizens taken captive by an enemy; but if there is not an intention to offer, and an actual offering and giving these talents for those captives, or for some of them, then a mere and not an ordained sufficiency of the thing ie supposed as to those persons for whom it is not given. But if you add the act and intention offering them for the liberation of certain persons, then the ordained sufficiency is asserted as to them alone. Further, this ordained sufficiency of the ransom for the redemption of a captive may be twofold: Absolute; when there is such an agreement between him who gives and him who receives this price of redemption for the liberation of the captives, that as soon as the price is paid, on the act of payment the captives are immediately delivered. Conditional; when the price is accepted, not that it may be paid immediately, and the captive be restored to liberty; but that he should be delivered under a condition if he should first do something or other. “When we say that Christ died sufficiently for all, we do not understand the mere sufficiency of the thing with a defect of the oblation as to the greater part of mankind, but that ordained sufficiency, which has the intent and act of offering joined to it, and that for all; but with the conditional, and not the absolute ordination which we have expressed.” In one word, when we affirm that Christ died for all sufficiently, we mean, That there was in the sacrifice itself a sufficiency or equivalency, yea, a superabundance of price or dignity, if it should be compared to the whole human race; that both in the offering and the accepting there was a kind of ordination, according to which the aforesaid sacrifice was offered and accepted for the redemption of all mankind. This may suffice for the explanation of the first term. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 402-404.

11) First. “The mere sufficiency of the death of Christ, which is estimated only by the intrinsic value of this ransom, without that ordained sufficiency which arises from the intention and act of offering, is not so far available that Christ may be truly said to have died for all men sufficiently. I have thought that this proposition should be laid down for the sake of those who strenuously maintain that Christ died for the elect alone, and yet (which I confess I am too dull to understand) admit that Christ died for all sufficiently, and sometimes greatly exaggerate this sufficiency as extending itself to all mankind. They profess, indeed, that Christ died for all men, for all orders, states, and kinds of men, yea also for individual persons as to the sufficiency of his merits. (Contra rem. Collat. p. 104, & Status Controv. p. 144.) The Veteranici, in their judgment exhibited to the Synod of Dort, write thus (Acta Synod. Dordr. p. 99) When Christ is said to have died for all, this may be understood of the sufficiency of the merit, or the greatness of the price. Since the death of thee Son of God is the only perfect and sufficient ransom for expiating and blotting out all the sins of the whole world: the immense merit of righteousness, the universal medicine of death, the eternal fountain of life, &c. A little after, “This sufficiency of the ransom as to the reprobate, has a double end, one in itself, the other accidentally. The end in itself is, that God testifies that he delights not in the perdition of the wicked, since he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The accidental end is, that by this sufficiency of the ransom they might be rendered inexcusable. For these perish, not through the fault of Christ, but of themselves, when, through their own unbelief, they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel. So far their opinion. I deny that this sufficiency of the death of Christ for reconciling all men can be rightly conceived from the mere sufficiency of the thing offered, unless there be added the ordained sufficiency from the act of offering. Which may be proved thus :

ARGUMENT 1st. When we say that Christ died sufficiently for all men, we say nothing else than that he was offered up sufficiently for all men, or that he gave himself as a ransom or price of redemption sufficiently for all men. But to die for all, or to be offered up for all, or to give himself for all, designates the act of dying, or of offering up himself to deliver all, completed by some ordination. Therefore, the sufficiency of the ransom alone, without the intention and act of offering accomplished as to the persons, cannot make this assertion true. Christ died sufficiently for all. But common sense refuses that it should be granted that he died sufficiently for all, who is denied to have died or to have been offered up for some. But granting the intrinsic sufficiency of the ransom to redeem a thousand worlds, at the same time it must be granted that this same ransom is not yet offered in any way for many men, nor yet offered up sufficiently. For as ten thousand pounds are enough, and more than sufficient to liberate five debtors, who each owe two hundred pounds; yet if this entire sum should be offered and paid to the creditor for two only by name, the other three being excluded, the sufficiency and superabundance of this ransom in itself will not effect, that it may be said to be given and paid sufficiently for those three: thus, in this common cause of the human race, although the precious blood of Christ be a ransom more than sufficient for blotting out the debts of every individual, yet it cannot be from thence inferred that he was sufficiently offered for them, who, in the very act of offering, are openly excluded. Therefore, they do not seem to interpret so much as to ridicule this generally received and most true decision of Divines, That Christ died for all men sufficiently, who transfer the term sufficiently from the intention and act of dying to the mere sufficiency or intrinsic value of the death considered in itself; as if the sense were, “The death of Christ hath in itself sufficient merit and value to blot out the sins of all men, but Christ was not offered nor died for all;” “since the evident sense of this saying is, That Christ died for all sufficiently, although what he offered for all sufficiently, he will not apply to all effectually, on account of the intervening obstacle of unbelief.” John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 407-9.

12) ARGUMENT 2. In this distinction of the Schoolmen, which our people commonly admit, viz. That Christ died for all sufficiently, but for the predestinated effectually, the words sufficiently and effectually denote that which was common to all men, whether elect or non-elect, in the mode of the oblation, and that which was peculiar to the elect alone. It was common to both, that Christ died or was offered as a sacrifice to God the Father sufficiently for them. But how can this first term sufficiently be referred promiscuously to the elect and the non-elect, if it marks out a mere sufficiency of the thing, excluding the ordination of the same thing to individuals, which arises from the intention and act of offering? Or, what need is there of that other term effectually, to make a distinction in the mode of the oblation, or in the intention of offering, as to the elect and non-elect, if Christ had no intention at all of offering himself up except for the predestinated alone? This twofold distinction is evidently frivolous and vain, where in things distinguished from each other, both parts are not presupposed. It is therefore to be observed, that the holy Fathers, when urging the universal sufficiency of the death of Christ, do not stop at the mere sufficiency of the thing, but at the act, intention, and mode of offering. In this manner Athanasius always speaks in his treatise On the incarnation of the Word. I will mention one or two passages; “Christ the Son of God, having assumed a body like to ours, because we were all exposed to death, gave himself up to death for us all as a sacrifice to his Father” (p. 42.) Again, (p. 48) “After he had given proofs cf his Divinity, it now remained that he should offer up a sacrafice for all, delivering the temple of his body to death for all, that he might set all free from original sin,” &c. Observe, that the mark of universality is united, not with the intrinsic sufficiency of the thing offered, but with the intention and act of offering, which referred to all men. Thus Augustine (vol. 9. p. 467. Tract. 92 on John), “The blood of’ Christ was shed for the remission of all sin in such a manner, that it can blot out the sin itself for which it was shed.” He does not say, that there was a sufficient intrinsical value in the blood which was shed to expiate the sins of all mankind, which is allowed by all who know how to value aright the blood of God, but he urges the manner and act of offering, and in that respect points out its universality. Thus it was shed for the remission of all silts. It is one thing to say that the blood of Christ has of itself and in itself a sufficient value to blot out the pins of all men, and another to affirm that it was actually shed for the remission of all sins, as Augustine says. But why do I mention the holy Fathers? The sacred Scriptures speak of the death of Christ so as to refer its universal efficacy not to the mere dignity of the sacrifice offered, but to the act and intention of the offering. 1 Tim. ii. 6, Who gave himself a ransom for all. The Apostle does not say, This ransom in itself, and in its own intrinsic value, is sufficient for the redemption of all, but in reality was given for a few, not for all; but, he gave himself for all. Therefore, the intention and act of Christ in giving himself includes all mankind, in like manner as that of the Father in sending his Son; God so loved the world, kc. (John iii. 16.) Therefore, the mere sufficiency of the thing cannot so far avail, that Christ should be affirmed to have died sufficiently for all, without an ordained sufficiency to all from the intention and act of his offering. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 410-411.

ARGUMENT 3. Christ is acknowledged to have died sufficiently for all men, in that sense in which it is denied that he died for the fallen angels. This is plain, and admitted by all the orthodox, who often mention this difference between the evil angels and some bad men, at least while they are living in this world. The words of Ambrose on Ps. cxviii. refer to this, “The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord” (Serm. 8. p. 658), “That mystical Sun of righteousness rose for all, came to all, Christ suffered for all, rose again for all. Rut if’ any one does not believe in Christ, he deprives himself of that general benefit.” A little afterwards, “Perhaps you will say, Why is it not said, that heaven is full of the mercy of the Lord? Because there are spiritual wickednesses in heavenly places, but the common benefit of Divine pardon and the remission of sins docs trot pertain to them.” From which things it appears, That Christ so suffered for the whole human race, that all men have from thence a common right of obtaining pardon through faith, which the demons have not, because he did not in any way die for them. One of our own countrymen, who contends strenuously for limiting the death of Christ, yet willingly grants this, (Ames, apud Grevinch. p. 65) The sufficiency of the death does not refer in the same way to mankind as to devils. He paid a sufficient ransom for all men, if they would only embrace it, but not for devils. This difference in the payment of this ransom is worthy of observation. It was so paid to God that it could not redeem devils, even if they might be supposed to believe; because it was not paid for them; but it was so exhibited and given by God, that it might redeem any of the human race, if they would believe; whence could this be, unless it was offered and paid for them? For it could not avail for the deliverance of any persons whatsoever, even if they should believe, unless it were supposed to be given and offered by God for them in a general view of the human race, even when they did not believe. Having, therefore, established this distinction between the sufficiency of the death of Christ as to men and as to devils, namely, that the death of Christ is understood to be sufficient for all men in the same sense as it is rightly denied to be sufficient for the fallen angels, let us pass from this major proposition to the minor. I say, then, if we do not acknowledge any other sufficiency in the death of Christ as to the redemption of all mankind, except that which we have called mere sufficiency, and which has respect to the intrinsic value of the ransom, the ordination of the offering as to individuals being disregarded there is no distinction made between such persons and the devils themselves as to the right of obtaining pardon and remission hy means of this ransom, which was mentioned above by Ambrose, and granted to men universally, but denied to angels. It is clear, because the value of the death of Christ is estimated from the dignity of the sufferer: it therefore had in itself, intrinsically, not only a sufficiency, but an infinite superabundance, even if there should be placed in the other scale the sins, not only of all mankind, but of the fallen angels. There is therefore to be granted, with respect to mankind, not only that mere sufficiency, which depends upon the inherent dignity of the thing offered, but that ordained sufficiency which arises from the intention and act of Christ referring this his passion to all mankind, and not referring it to the fallen angels. This being granted, Christ is truly said to have died for all men sufficiently with that sufficiency which does not exist with regard to the apostate angels, and of which it may be truly said, that Christ did not die either effectually or sufficiently for the fallen angels. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 411-413.

13) ARGUMENT 4. We prove that the mere sufficiency in itself of the thing offered cannot verify that dogma of Divines, “That Christ died for all men sufficiently;” and this appears from the confession of those who deny that the death of Christ was paid for the whole human race, and who limit it to the elect alone. Thus Piscator (in Resp. Apologet. Sec. 87). “It cannot be said, That Christ died for all mankind sufficiently, because it would follow that he died for all, the contrary to which is demonstrated.” And in the same place, “That distinction which is made, That Christ died for all mankind sufficiently, for the elect effectually, is vain, because it implies a contradiction, &c.” It implies a real contradiction in those who admit a mere sufficiency of his death as to all mankind, and deny its universal ordination to procure salvation for all men. They are bound, therefore, to explode this distinction, which has been hitherto approved by the orthodox, or to acknowledge with us the ordained sufficiency of the death of Christ for the deliverance of all. The very learned Pareus seems to be of this opinion, when he affirms (Act. Syn. Dord. p. 213). “That as to the sufficiency of his ransom and merit, Christ died and was willing to die for each and every man.” Here he does not make the sufficiency consist in this only, that the death of Christ was sufficient of its own intrinsic value to redeem all, but also, in the will of Christ dying and ordaining his death to be sufficient for the deliverance of all. And here it is to be observed by the way, that they are deceived who confine the death of Christ to the elect alone, so as to conclude that he was willing to die for them only, and yet pretend (Palatini Synod. Dord. p. 88) “That there is no question or contention concerning the sufficiency of the ransom of Christ for each and every man; but all the controversy is respecting the efficacy of this ransom.” Truly, granting the sufficiency of the death of Christ in itself for the redemption of a thousand worlds, and granting also, that the efficacy of this death is destined absolutely and infallibly, not to all, but to certain persons actually to be delivered, yet it still remains a matter of controversy, Whether the death of Christ is supposed to have an intrinsic sufficiency for the redemption of all, under this hypothesis: If it availed to offer and pay that ransom for all, and it had not also joined to it the ordination of God, according to which this ransom, sufficient in itself, was actually offered for all, and from thence is applicable and to be applied for salvation to all, if they should be willing to obey the aforesaid ordination and subject themselves to it. For such an ordination we contend, which regards even those who are not saved, because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And hence we say, That Christ died for all men sufficiently. But here some of those who contend that Christ suffered and died for the elect alone, nevertheless wish to appear to defend, not the mere sufficiency of the death of Christ in itself, but that ordained sufficiency from the intention of Clod which we assert. And for this reason, when they are pressed with arguments, they do not refuse to make mention of the will and intention of God. Let us, therefore, examine their mind and opinion more closely, that we may not beat the air, or fight with a man of straw. Thus a learned man has written on this subject (Ames, Coron. p. 117), “When we confess that Christ died for all, that phrase for all is admitted by our party on account of its sufficiency and the intention of God, by which he willed that it should be thus sufficient for all. At the same time it must be observed, that this manner of speaking is improper, but it is not to be rejected, because it has some foundation in the thing itself, and is received among Divines by long use.” Others of the same opinion say (Acta Synod. Dord. p. 99), “That the counsel and decree of God the Father was, that Christ by his suffering and death, should pay a ransom of such a kind, as, considered in itself, might suffice for the reconciliation of all men.” These persons seem to add a sufficiency, besides the mere sufficiency of the thing, relative and pertaining to the reconciliation of all men from the intention and counsel of God. They seem to do this indeed, but do it not in reality. For first, what they say, that they acknowledge that Christ died sufficiently for all, on account of the intention of God, by which he willed that his death might be sufficient for all, is of no account. Since the death of the Son of God did not need any additional intention in order to its being sufficient for all, when it was in itself of infinite value. Yet it needed that it should be given for all, and accepted for their deliverance, under some condition. Intrinsic sufficiency is a certain power and fitness of a thing; (Ames, Coron, p. 99) nor is there required, in order to constitute it, the extrinsical act of one intending this sufficiency. But the ordination in behalf of certain persons to be delivered is a voluntary act, and flows from the intention and design of the person ordaining it. It is, therefore, frivolous to join the intention of God with the internal sufficiency of the thing, as the intention ought either to be altogether denied as to Christ having died sufficiently for all; or to be joined with an ordination of his death pertaining to all. Secondly, what they say, that this phrase, Christ died for all sufficiently, has a foundation in the thing itself, cannot be defended from their opinion. If I should say, the death of Christ is a sufficient ransom for all, there is a true foundation for this saying in the thing itself, namely, in the dignity of the person dying; but if I should say, Christ died or was offered on the cross (which are equivalent) for all sufficiently, there is now no foundation on which the truth of this saying can stand, unless I assert first, that Christ suffered and was offered for all, and then add the sufficiency of this suffering for all, on account of the dignity of the ransom. He who denies one of these, in vain attempts to defend the other. We therefore conclude, that neither can Christ be truly said to have suffered or died for all sufficiently, nor can the death of Christ be truly acknowledged to be an universal remedy applicable to all men according to the ordination of God, unless in addition to the mere sufficiency of the thing derived from its innate dignity, we admit the settled and fixed decree of God, according to which, from the will of God in accepting this sacrifice, and of Christ in offering it, this death of Christ is able to bring eternal life to each and every man. Hitherto we have treated of the first part of our proposition, in which we have shown, that that mere sufficiency, which is understood of the death of Christ considered in itself, is not enough for the conclusion, that Christ should be said to have died for all, or that his death should be accounted an universal cause of salvation in regard to the whole human race. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 414-417.

14) ARGUMENT 1. Although we grant that the death of Christ, as a meritorious cause, is most sufficient to expiate the sine of all men, and place them in a state of grace with God, yet, it cannot actually constitute any man justified and reconciled, unless it be in some way joined, fitted, and united to him who is supposed to be justified and reconciled by it. For what philosophers are accustomed to say, Every action is performed by some contact, avails also in this supernatural action, which is not performed without some supernatural contact. Now we touch Christ by faith and we are joined and as it were united to him by the Spirit of faith. “For Christ dwelleth in us by faith.” Without faith, then, or before faith, we have no actual union with Christ, and therefore no remission of sins through the merit of his death, no justification, no reconciliation with God the Father. The learned Calvin has observed this on Rom. viii. 4, “Christ communicates his righteousness to none but those whom his Spirit unites by a bond to himself.” Whatever. therefore, is concealed in the eternal decree of God concerning justifying and reconciling to himself, and at length saving all the elect, whatever of sufficiency or efficacy there may be in the precious blood of Christ to redeem men and reconcile them to God, yet it is not wont to proceed into the effect of actual reconciliation, unless he is first joined to men by faith, because both the meritorious and the natural cause ought to be joined to that into which it flows and transfuses its saving virtue. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 451-452.

15) WE have exhibited the universal virtue and efficacy of the death of Christ, explained in three prepositions. In the first it was demonstrated, That this death of Christ was appointed by God and proposed to the human race, as an universal remedy applicable to all men individually. In the second we have shown in what sense Christ is said to have died for all, or in what sense the death of Christ may be acknowledged to have been established an universal, cause of salvation, for the good of the whole human race; namely, not as some assert, by reason of its mere sufficiency, or intrinsic value, in which respect the death of Christ, or the blood of the Son of God, is a price more than sufficient to redeem each and all men and angels; but by reason of the Evangelical covenant established and confirmed by this death and blood of Christ, according to the tenor of which covenant a right accrued to all men individually, on condition of faith, of claiming for themselves remission of sins and eternal life. To these two propositions we have subjoined a third, in which it was shown, That the universal virtue of the death of Christ having been stated, and the universal covenant of the Gospel having regard to every man, yet that every individual person has indeed, by the sole benefit of this death, God under obligation to enter into peace with him, and give him life, if he should believe; but has not actual justification or reconciliation, or an actual state of grace and salvation, before he believes. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 473.

16) TEST. 3. Aquinas also observes (Quest. disp. de grat. Christi. art. 7, reap. ad 4,) “The merit of Christ as to its sufficiency equally regards all men, but not as to its efficacy; which arises partly from free-will, partly from the election of God, through which the effect of the merits of Christ is mercifully conferred upon some, but is by his just judgment withdrawn from others. What Aquinas says, that it arises partly from free-will, that the merits of Christ as to their efficacy do not equally regard all men, is to be understood with respect to those who are lost, who, of their own freewill turn themselves away from the fountain of salvation: but what he says, that this inequality arises partly from the election of God, is to be understood with respect to those who are saved, who, because God, according to the good pleasure of his election, has special compassion on them, receive from the fountain of salvation whatever is necessary to effect their salvation. That this was the sentiment of Aquinas appears from his answer to the last argument, where he says, “That this is conferred freely upon men by God, that they obtain the efficacy of the merit of Christ.” If the effect of the merits of Christ is mercifully conferred on some certain persons by the election of God, and is at the same time denied to others, who can doubt that Christ, being most conscious of the election of God and of his calling, offered himself and his merits specially for these persons, and to the price of his death, which was most sufficient in itself, added moreover the most effectual and special intention of his will, in order to effect the salvation of these elect persons? To this those words refer (John x. 15,) I lay down my life for the sheep, namely, with some special intention of effectually redeeming and delivering them, and leading them to life eternal; as may be collected from the whole discourse of our Saviour at that time. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 543.

17) The very learned Pareus seems to be of this opinion, when he affirms (Act. Syn. Dord. p. 213). That as to the sufficiency of his ransom and merit, Christ died and was willing to die for each and every man. Here he does not make the sufficiency consist in this only, that the death of Christ was sufficient of its own intrinsic value to redeem all, but also, in the will of Christ dying and ordaining his death to be sufficient for the deliverance of all. And here it is to be observed by the way, that they are deceived who confine the death of Christ to the elect alone, so as to conclude that he was willing to die for them only, and yet pretend (Palatini Synod. Dord. p. 88) That there is no question or contention concerning the sufficiency of the ransom of Chris[ for each and every man; but all the controversy is respecting the efficacy of this ransom. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 415.

18) Therefore, let this be the sum and conclusion of this whole controversy on the death of Christ; That Jesus Christ, the Mediator between God and man, in confirming the evangelical covenant, according to the tenor of which eternal life is due to every one that believeth, made no division or separation of men, so that we can say that any one is excluded from the benefit of his death, if he should believe. And in this sense we contend, in agreement with the Scriptures, the fathers. and solid arguments, that Christ suffered on the cross and died for all men, or for the whole human race. We add, moreover, that this Mediator, when he had determined to lay down his life for sin, had also this special intention, that, by virtue of his merits, he would effectually and infallibly quicken and bring to eternal life, some persons who were specially given to him by the Father. And in this sense we contend that Christ laid down his life for the elect alone, or in order to purchase his Church; that is, that he died for them alone, with the special and certain purpose of effectually regenerating and saving them by the merit of his death. Therefore, although the merit of Christ equally regards all men as to its sufficiency, yet it does not as to its efficacy: which is to be understood, not only on account of the effect produced in one and not in another, but also on account of the will, with which Christ himself merited, and offered his merits, in a different way for different persons. Now, the first cause and source of this diversity, was the election and will of God, to which the human will of Christ conformed itself. And from hence Suares rightly deduces, “That this merit of Christ is the very cause of spiritual regeneration, and gives it efficacy, and produces its effect, and at the same time is the cause why that man is regenerated, on account of’ whom he specially offered his merit” (in 3, qu. 19, disp. 41, § 2, p. 635.) For our Divines, let that eminently learned man of pious memory, Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, speak. Thus he says, (in Thomson Diatr. p. 94) “Although we do not deny that Christ died for all men, yet we believe that he died specially and peculiarly for the Church, nor does the benefit of redemption pertain in an equal degree to all. And from the peculiarity of this benefit, and from the human will, in some degree depends the efficacy of all means, that they are for those only, and for their use, “whom Christ redeemed with some peculiar regard to there being elected in him. Nor do they obtain the effect, because of being willing, but because God, according to the purpose of his own grace, works in the elect and redeemed to will that to which he chooses them.” Therefore, He, who by his death merited eternal life sufficiently for all men, so as that it is to be given to all, according to the evangelical covenant, if they believe, also merited most effectually for some, by the peculiar application of his merits, that they should believe, and that they should receive eternal life from the gratuitous gift of God, through and on account of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this is the peculiar lot of the elect : Of which may the Father of Mercies make us all partakers! To whom, with the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be honor, praise, and glory now and for ever. Amen. John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 556-558.

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