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Experience Mayhew (1673-1758) on the Death of Christ

May 18, 2009

Mayhew:

Christ sent to redeem the world:

1) Now, if the Case be really such as has been now expressed, I would fain know what Kindness (if any at all) is showed to those that fail of Salvation: Or will it be said. That in the Revelation of a Way of Salvation by Jesus Christ, there Is no real Favor shown to any but those who shall eventually be saved? May we then tell those to whom we preach the Gospel, that unless they obtain eternal Life, God has shown them no real Kindness, in all that which has been done, of which we have an Account in the Gospel? Can we think that the maintaining of this would be to the Honor of divine Grace? For my Part, I cannot think that all that seeming Love which God manifests to Mankind, in sending his Son to redeem a sinful World, and setting up a Treaty of Peace among all those to whom the Gospel is preached, is no Kindness to such as are not eventually saved. Such an Opinion as this seems not to agree with such Texts as these which follow, viz. John 3. 16. 1 John 2. 2. and Chap. 4. 19. so Luk. 2. 10,11. 2 Cor. 5, 18-20, and many other Places. Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 141. [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

Man’s redemption:

1) 3) It further fallows, on the Hypothesis here insisted on. That our first Parents, and all their Posterity, did, by Means of the Interposition of a Mediator to redeem and save them, immediately become Subjects of his mediatorial Kingdom. Mankind had, ’till then, been held fast under a Covenant of Works, to be dealt with according to the Tenor of that Covenant; but now the Son of God, (having been appointed a Mediator from Eternity) was promised to be a Savior, in Gen. 3. 15. and so the Decree was declared, as in Psal. 2. 7, and his Undertaking this glorious Work revealed; and began to have its proper Efficacy, he being the Lamb virtually slain from the Foundation of the World. Not that Mankind were hereby immediately discharged from the Guilt of Sin, and entitled to eternal Life; for they remained still subject to the Penalty threatened in the broken Covenant of Works ‘till something might be farther done for them, pursuant to the mentioned Undertaking of the Redeemer. But what I intend, is, that they immediately became rightful Subjects of that Kingdom which the Son of God had, as Mediator, committed to him. and which he was afterwards to deliver up to his Father, as in 1 Cor. 15. 24. It was by paying the Price of Man’s Redemption, that our Lord obtained such a Right to rule and govern all those, by his Laws and Ordinances, who are the Objects of his Purchase: And all the Laws given to Mankind since the Fall, are properly the Laws of the Mediator, by him given to them, the Price of whole Redemption he undertook to pay, and in due Time did so, according to his Covenant with his Father: And according to these Laws of his, he actually governs the World, blessing and rewarding the Obedient, and punishing the Disobedient, as is in the holy Scriptures abundantly declared. As for the Covenant of Works, that being once broken, Mankind stood in no other Relation to it than this, that they must undergo the Punishment threatened in it, unless in some Way consistent with the Tenor of it, they might obtain a Discharge there from. God never after the Fall of Adam, proposed the Covenant of Works to sinful Men, as a Way in which they might obtain eternal Life; though he has sometimes given them a Representation or the Nature and Tenor of that Covenant, that he might convince them how impassible it Is to obtain Happiness by Obedience to it, as in Gal 3. 10–12. Yet sincere Obedience to the moral Law is required in the new Covenant and is, according to the Nature and. Tenor of it, necessary to Man’s Happiness: Rev, 22.14.

4) It is obvious, on the Hypothesis. for which I plead, That all. Adam’s Off-spring are brought into the World in a salvable Condition. In such a Condition, I mean, as that, in a Way consistent with divine Justice, and the Tenor of the first Covenant, they may be eternally saved. Nor do I intend this in such a Sense only, as wherein the same may be verified concerning sinful Mankind, before (if I may so speak) a Ransom was found for them, because it was in the Power of God to find out and provide a Way for their salvation; which, if he could not have done, no Sinner could ever have been saved.

But I here intend to speak of a nearer Capacity of Salvation, on the Account of a Price already paid or promised to be paid, for their Redemption. For by the same Means that our great Mediator procured a Reprieve for fallen Mankind that they might not, on their sinning against God, be immediately destroyed, he also made a Way for their eternal Salvation, i.e. by paying a full Price for their Redemption, a Price every Way sufficient to answer the Demands of the Law, and to Satisfy God for the Injury done to him: And whereas the Price was not immediately paid down when Man first sinned and broke Covenant With God; the Security given for the Payment of the Price, was such as the blessed God vas as well satisfied with, as if the fame had been immediately and actually paid. There was no Occasion to seek any farther for a Ransom or Atonement for the Sin of Mankind. Any Man might now be saved, without any other or further Price of Redemption; and there was now a Foundation laid for a Treaty of Peace betwixt God and sinful Men; and such Terms might now be proposed to them, as they complying with, might be justified arid saved, without doing any Injury to God’s Justice, as the Apostle fully declares in Rom. 3.25, 26. Thus much Dr. Twisse, and many of our English Divines of great Note, and not suspected as inclined to Arminianism have granted and maintained, as I can show if Occasion call for it. And less than this cannot reasonably be allowed

to be intended in such Texts of Scripture, wherein the Extent of Christ’s Death, with Relation to the Object of it, is asserted; as in John 3.16, 1 John 2.2, Heb. 2.9, 2 Cor. 5.14-15, Isai. 53.6, and Isai. 5.18-19.   Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 22-24.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

2) Nor is Jesus Christ, who is offered unto Sinners, to be considered merely as clothed with the Office of a Mediator, but as perfectly qualified for the Execution of it, or Accomplishment of the Work he has undertaken to perform, viz. the bringing many Sons unto Glory, Heb. 2. 10. To this End he was made perfect through Sufferings, as is said in the fame Verse; not only as hereby he became a Pattern of Patience to his suffering Saints, but more especially as by

this he laid the Foundation of all that still remained necessary, in order to their being brought into a State of perfect Happiness and Glory. Unto this that well agrees, 1 Pet. 3. 18. For Christ also once suffered for Sins, the Just for the Unjust: that he might bring us to God, being put to Death in the Flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. To the fame Purpose it is said of him, Heb. 5.9. That being made perfect, he became the Author of eternal Salvation unto all them that obey him. The Price of Man’s Redemption being once paid, their great Savior might comfortably go on and accomplish all that was further necessary in order to their Happiness, in their effectual Calling, Justification, and Regeneration, &c. Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 68-69.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

Sufficient price of redemption paid for all:

1) Now that which I here intend is this, That Mankind have, since their Fall into a State of Sin and Death, had so much done for them, in order to their Recovery out of that miserable Estate, as thereby to be put into a State of Salvability: For otherwise there would be no Room for an Offer of Salvation to be made to them. Now Mankind, since their Apostasy, may be conceived to be in a salvable Condition in two Respects, or on a two-fold Account, (1) In Respects of the Sufficiency of God to find out and provide a Way for their Salvation, whatever seeming Difficulties, in Respect of the Threatening denounced against Sinners, and of his own Truth and Justice, seemed to lay against it; yet this notwithstanding, I say, the Wisdom, Goodness, and Power of God was such, that it was, in that Respect, possible for him to find out and provide a Way, in which such Sinners as Mankind were, might be eternally saved. But this is not what I principally here intend. Wherefore, (2) Mankind may be said to be in a salvable State, in Respect of a Price already paid, or undertaken to be paid, for their Redemption. I say, either paid

or undertaken to be paid, because this was the fame Thing in Respect of the Efficacy of the Atonement I intend. It was as available, in Respect of all the saving Ends of it, before it was actually paid, as it was afterwards; and on this Account our Savior is called the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the World. It is in Respect of this Price of Redemption, that I here affirm Mankind to be in a salvable Estate. They are so now, in Respect: of a Price already paid for them, in order to their eternal Happiness. And this I suppose to be a Truth, with Respect to all Mankind without Exception: So that though there are many who never will be saved, yet the Reason of this is not, because there is not a sufficient Price paid for their Redemption, nor because this is not a Remedy applicable to them, according to the Tenor of the new Covenant, but for other Reasons hereafter to be mentioned.

This State of Salvability, which Mankind are by me supposed to be in, has its Rise and Foundation, as I have said, in the Price of Redemption paid for them, by their grant Savior; and that this was of sufficient Value to save the whole World I here take for granted. That it was a Price laid down for all, without Exception; and, according to the Tenor of the New Covenant, applicable to any one, and to every one of the sinful Children of Men, I suppose to be a Truth clearly revealed in the Word of God; and that the Reason why it is not so generally believed so to be, is not because it is not sufficiently asserted in Scripture, but because many have, without sufficient Grounds, supposed that a Belief of this cannot be reconciled to some other Articles of Faith, which they think clearly and fully revealed: But this I shall have Occasion hereafter to confider. Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 40-42.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

Christ died for all:

1) At present I will show, what is in Scripture affirmed, with Respect to the Extent of Christ’s Death, with Relation to the End and Object of it. And here, not to insist on what is said about his mediatorial Righteousness, in Rom. Chap. 5. betwixt the 12th and the 19th Verses, where his Righteousness is opposed to the Sin of the First Adam, as a sufficient Remedy against the Mischiefs and Miseries brought on Mankind by it; I shall only recite some of those Passages of Scripture, wherein the Universality of Christ’s Death, as it respects the Persons for whom he died, seems to be plainly and fully asserted. Thus we are told, that God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life, John 3. 16. That he is the Propitiation for our Sins: And not for ours only, but for the Sins of the whole World, 1 John 2. 2. That he tasted Death for every Man, Heb. 2. 9. That he gave himself a Ransom for all, 1 Tim. 2. 6. That he died for all, 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15. And that he is the Savior of all Men, especially of those that believe, 1 Tim. 4. 10.

That the most obvious Sense of these Texts of Scripture, is, That Jesus Christ died for all Men without Exception, I think very evident. Nor is it at our Liberty to recede from this, without some urgent Necessity compelling us to it, which I suppose can never be shown; but instead thereof, I will show a Necessity of taking of them in the full Latitude in which they are expressed. I do not therefore wonder, that there have been a great many eminent Divines, in the English Nation, who have been far from being Arminians, that have plainly and fully asserted Christ’s dying for all, as I could easily manifest, did I rely on human Authorities, as I do not.

Yet I shall mention one Instance of this, not so much on the Account of the Authority of the Man (though I know of no Man whose Authority would go farther in this Case) as because I think he fairly states wherein the Difference lies betwixt himself and some others, and particularly betwixt what he held and I now hold, and consequently wherein the Crisis of this Controversy does, in my Apprehension, lie.

The Person I intend is the learned Dr. Twisse: And the Book from which I shall take some Passages, is entitled, The Riches of God’s Love to the Vessels of Mercy, &c. Part 1. Page 5. “We are often demanded,” says he, “whether every one that hears the Gospel be not bound to believe that Christ died for him? Now I say this Phrase, Christ died for me, includes many Things, as the Benefits which arise unto me by the Death of Christ, may be conceived to be many. But let these Benefits be distinguished, and we shall readily answer to the Question made, and that perhaps differently, as namely, affirmatively to some, negatively to others; as thus, Do you speak of Christ’s dying for me, that is, for the Pardon of my Sins, and for the Salvation of my Soul, I answer affirmatively and say, I am bound to believe that Christ died for the procuring of these Benefits unto me, in such Manner as God hath ordained; to wit, not absolutely but conditionally, to wit, in Case I do believe and repent. For God hath not otherwise ordained, that I should reap the Benefits of Pardon and Salvation, by virtue of Christ’s Death and Passion, unless I believe in him and repent.”

In another Place, this learned Author asserting the Death of Christ in the same Latitude and Extent, says, (Page 154) “To die for us, or for all, is to die for our Benefit, or for the Benefit of all: Now these Benefits are of a different Nature, whereof some are bestowed upon Man only conditionally (though for Christ’s Sake) and they are the Pardon of Sin and the Salvation of the Soul, and these God does confer only upon the Condition of Faith and Repentance. Now I am ready to profess and that, I suppose, as out of the Mouth of all our Divines, That every one who hears the Gospel, (without Distinction between Elect and Reprobate) is bound to believe that Christ died for him, so far as to procure both the Pardon of his Sins and the Salvation of his Soul, in Case he believes and repents.” In another Place he says, That as “Peter could not have been saved, unless he had believed and repented; so Judas might have been saved, if he had done so.” And the Doctor referring to that Text, John 3. 16. says on it, That “it gives a fair Light of Exposition to those Places where Christ is said to have died for the Sins of the World, yea, of the whole World, to wit, in this Manner, That whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life.”

Thus far I have Dr. Twisse fully with me in what I assert, viz. That Christ died for all Men, so far forth as to purchase Life and Salvation for them, in Case they believe in him, and repent of their Sins. He did this for the whole World, and not for the Elect only: So there is no Man but what may be saved on the Terms of the new Covenant, even Judas was not excepted or excluded.

But here I must add a Word, lest this should be misunderstood. The Meaning of this Assertion is not, that it is a Truth, that Jesus Christ died for all Men, if it shall eventually come to pass that all Men believe in him, but that otherwise this Assertion is false. It is even now a Truth, that Christ died for all Men, or otherwise that he did not die for all Men. This cannot be made either true or false, by Men’s future Carriages. The Meaning therefore of the Assertion maintained, is, that Jesus Christ has really so died for all Men, as to purchase this Advantage for them, that they shall be saved, if they will believe and repent.

It is not supposed in what is here maintained, that Jesus died equally, or in the same Sense, for all Mankind, Elect and Non-Elect. The Difference here is wide, and may, I think, be best conceived of, by a due Consideration of the Relation of Christ’s Death to the two Covenants, to which it has a Reference: I mean that of Redemption betwixt the glorious Persons of the holy Trinity, and that of Grace (as it is commonly called) which God has been pleased to propose to Mankind since the Fall.

If we consider the Death of Christ, with Relation to the Covenant of Redemption, or Terms agreed on betwixt the Son of God on the one Part, (as I conceive) and the Father and the holy Spirit, on the other, though the Father be more expressly mentioned in Scripture, as concerned in this Covenant, than the holy Spirit: If, I say, we consider the Death of Christ, with Relation to this Covenant, the Son of God did, by his Death and mediatorial Righteousness, obtain for the Elect of God, or all those whom in Scripture the Father is said to have given him, a perfect and complete Salvation in all the Parts and Branches of it, the principal of which are enumerated in Rom. 8. 29. viz. Effectual Calling, Justification and Glorification: For in the Covenant here intended, Sinners themselves are not a Party; and therefore the Conditions to be performed lie not on them, but on the Mediator, who undertook for them, and fulfilled the Terms required of him, in order to the Salvation of those who were ordained to Life. None of these, therefore, ever miscarry, as might be plainly shown from Scripture, were it my present Business. Such as please may read and compare Isa. 53. 10, 11, 12. John 6. 38, 39, 40. Rom. 9. 29. Acts 23. 48. John 7. 37. and Chap. 10. 27, 28, 29. Hence the Acts of Christ’s Mediation are spoken of, as having a peculiar Reference to these, in many Places of Scripture, as in John 17. ver. 6, 8, and 19, 20. and Chap. 10. 15. But such Places are not to be understood as if Christ died for the Elect only; for besides his absolutely mentioning the Salvation of all these, he was, according to the Covenant of Redemption which he entered into, to bring the Rest into a State of Salvability, that so God might be just in justifying any of them on the Terms of another Covenant, (that of Grace I intend) which was to be proposed to Sinners themselves, as plainly appears, in Rom. 3. 25, 26. with which that well agrees, Heb. 9. 22. And upon Christ’s doing this are grounded all the Offers of special Mercy made to Sinners in the Covenant of Grace, such as are implied in John 3. 16. Acts 10. 43. Mark 16. 15, 16. and Acts 16. 30, 31. And though Christ has by his Obedience and Death, purchased the Whole of the Salvation of all the Elect, so that the same is justly due to him; yet they cannot come to the Enjoyment of this Salvation, till they come up to the Terms of the Gospel, wherein it is conditionally offered to them. How God deals with those unto whom Gospel Terms are not offered, I am not here considering: But this I will venture to say, that I conceive them to be in a salvable State, so that if they are not saved, it is not because Justice will not allow of it. And I doubt not but that Jesus Christ was to bring the whole World into such a State as this, and not the Elect only.

And now let us consider the Death of Christ, as it has a Relation to the Covenant of Grace, proposed to Sinners themselves. Now as Christ’s Death relates to this Covenant, no Man can plead a Right to the Benefits procured by it, till he believes in him that died for him; nor can he be put in Possession of the special Benefits offered in this Covenant, except he performs the Conditions of it. In this Respect Peter and Judas, Elect and Non-Elect, are on a Level. He that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned. As the mediatorial Righteousness of Christ is sufficient for the Salvation of the whole World, so it is, according to the Tenor of the new Covenant, a Remedy applicable to any Person, on the Terms therein proposed; so that it is not contrary to the Justice of God, effectually to call, justify, and glorify any Person whatsoever. If this is not done for all, it is not because there is not a sufficient Remedy provided, but for such other Reasons as are given in God’s Word.

But now let us consider the Doctor’s [Twisse] Antithesis, in the Place above quoted, Page 5. “If,” says he, “the Question be made, Whether I am bound to believe that Christ died for me, to procure Faith and Repentance for me, I do not say, that I am bound, or that every Man is bound to believe this.” And a little below he says, “I see a Reason manifesting that Christ merited not this for all, no not for all, and every one that hears the Gospel. For if he had, then he had merited it for them, absolutely, or conditionally, not absolutely, for then all, and every one should believe de facto, which is untrue; for the Apostle says, (2 Thess. 3.) Fides non est omnium; nor conditionally, for what Condition, I pray, can be devised, upon the Performance whereof, God, for Christ’s Sake, should give us Faith and Repentance.” To this Demand I shall hereafter answer.

Thus, according to Dr. Twisse, though the Pardon of Men’s Sins and the Salvation of their Souls were conditionally purchased for them by Jesus Christ, viz. on the Condition of Faith and Repentance, and this for all, without Exception; yet these Conditions were, by Jesus Christ, purchased only for the Elect, and are not offered unto Sinners, on any Condition whatsoever.

The latter Part of what he held I shall hereafter consider. That Christ died to obtain Salvation for all Men, on the Terms of the new Covenant, I now take for granted, at least suppose it to be a Truth: And all those for whom Christ thus died, I hold to be in a salvable Estate; otherwise, how are they beholden to Christ for thus dying them them?

And I would fain be plainly showed how the Gospel can be preached to any Sinner for whom Christ thus died not? Or on what Foundation any Sinner can have Salvation offered to him, for whom it hath never been so much as conditionally obtained by Jesus Christ, in the sense allowed by Dr. Twisse, as above? May a Sinner be saved without having any Price of Redemption paid for him, in Case he believes? Or does this still remain to be done for him, if he should believe in Christ? Or may Salvation be fitly offered to him for whom Christ died not, on Condition of his believing, though it could not be given to him should he believe? Seeing God knows that it is not in his Power to believe, having no Object set before him, on which his Faith may be fixed, or any Eye to look to him, if there were, as is required in Isa. 45. 22. I may very seriously say, I know of no Kindness that can be shown in such an Offer, i.e. an Offer of Salvation made to Sinners that are not in a salvable State.

But Christ having died for all Men, to purchase Salvation for them, on the Terms expressed in a most gracious Covenant, well ordered in all Things and sure, there is then a Foundation laid for a Treaty of Peace and Reconciliation with sinful Men, on the Account of a Price of Redemption paid by Jesus Christ, as in Rom. 3. 24, 25, 26. where the Apostle having affirmed, that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, he adds, that we are justified freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ: Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins that are past, through the Forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this Time, his Righteousness, that God might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. In which Words we are assured, That it would not have stood with the Justice of God to have justified a Sinner, though a Believer, had not Christ been set forth, as in the Words expressed. And it will no more consist with the Justice of God to offer Salvation to a Sinner for whom Christ died not, than actually to save him without Christ’s dying for him. And Salvation might have been as well offered to the whole World, if Christ had not died at all, as to any one Sinner for whom he died not.

How there has been a Foundation laid for the Salvation of sinful Men, or Way made for it, so that it may be done without any Injury to the Justice of God, or any other of his Attributes, yea, with great Honor to them all, has been now sufficiently declared. And the Reason why the Gospel is not preached, and Salvation offered to all Mankind, is not because all are not in a salvable State, or because there is not a Foundation laid in the Mediation of Christ for the Salvation of any Person or People in the World: So that there is no Sinner that has not committed the unpardonable Sin, who may not be invited to believe in the Son of God, and promised, that so doing, he shall be saved.”    Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744) 41-47.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

2) HERE are several Texts of Scripture, in which It is plainly affirmed. That Jesus Christ died for all. Heb. 2. 9. That by the Grace of God he should taste Death for every Man. I John 2.2. He is the Propitiation for our Sins: And not for ours only, but for the Sins of the whole World; with which that well agrees, Isaiah. 53. 6. All we like Sheep have gone astray: We have turned every one to his own Way, and the Lord hath laid on him the Iniquity of us all. We have also the fame Thing, In effect, asserted by our Savior himself, John 3.16. God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting Life. I know that many of our Divines endeavor to give such an Exposition of these Places and others like them, as to reconcile them to their own Opinion of Christ’s dying for the Elect only: But my Design is not to consider the “Weight and Strength of what they fay to this Purpose. However, I know that all they can do or fay, does not satisfy me and many others. And several who were no Arminians have endeavored to maintain this as a sacred Truth, That Jesus Christ: died for the whole World of Mankind; who yet have maintained the Necessity of special Grace, in order to the Conversion and Salvation of the Elect of God: And with these I agree, supposing they mean, (i) That none will ever savingly believe in Christ, and so obtain eternal Life, for whom God does no more than he does for those that never so believe. (2) That without an Act of his special Grace, and of his mighty Power, such as none but the Elect have experience of, none are, or ever can be, regenerated or born again; But if those who go this Way deny that any besides the Elect have that Grace given them, by the Help whereof they may comply with, or perform, the Condition on which Salvation is offered to them, not being without a Power by which they may do it, I can by no Means agree with them. By Grace I here intend such as is meant, and to be understood in 2 Cor. 6.1. and Isaiah 5.4.

To what End can we suppose Jesus Christ should lay down his Life to purchase Salvation for any, so far forth that they might be saved on some Condition proposed to them in the Gospel, (as he has indeed done, John 3.16. 1 John 4.9,10.) without a Supposition of their having Power given them to perform that Condition? What Advantage has any Sinner by this, that he may be saved, if he believe and repent, or perform such or such a Condition, when he neither is, nor ever will be, enabled to perform it? For such must as certainly and unavoidably perish, as they should have done if Christ had not died for them. I therefore suppose their Principles to be altogether inconsistent, who hold, that Christ died for all, and yet deny that God gives Power to any besides the Elect, to perform the Condition on which Salvation is offered to all, unto whom the Gospel is preached. And I would here ask any One who thinks he can vindicate this Principle of Dr. Twisse in particular, ” That Christ ”died for all. i e. to purchase Salvation for them on this Condition, that they believe and repent” who yet hold, as I suppose he did. That the Faith and Repentance to this End required of Sinners is of that Kind which is given in Regeneration; and which no Man can have ’till he is born again; (because none but the Regenerate can believe and repent), how these Things can consist one with the other? But now, on the Hypothesis which I have endeavored to defend, Christ not only obtained this Advantage for Sinners, that they might be saved on the Condition of the gospel Covenant, but also obtained that Grace for them, by which they should he enabled to perform that Condition. But then the Condition required, according to my Principles, is not this, that they savingly change their own Hearts, and become regenerate Saints; but that they, in a suitable Manner, seek to God to do this for them ; and yet in such a Manner, as with his Help they may, before they are new Creatures.

And thus I account for what is affirmed in those Texts of Scripture, where Jesus Christ is said to have died for all Men without denying what is plainly asserted in them: And I am glad that on my Principles I am not obliged to depart from the literal Sense of such Texts.    Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 178-180.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

3) Many of those by whom several of the Arminian Doctrines seem to be something favored, appear to me to be Persons of great Seriousness; and I cannot think that the Opposition which they sometimes make against some Things in the Scheme by Calvinists pleaded for, arises from an Enmity in their Hearts against the Grace of God; but rather, left while Men maintain the Sovereignty of God, in the Affair of Man’s Salvation, in the Manner that many Calvinists do, they should thereby reflect: some Dishonor on the Attributes of his Justice and Holiness, the doing of which they seem to dread. However, I believe it will be safest for us to be as charitable as may be, in our Opinion of such Persons; and that we take Care not to make the Difference more and greater than we need.

Now, suppose the Hypothesis which I have advanced and pleaded for, be a Truth, I hope our owning and allowing of it would, as I have said, render several other Things contained In the Scheme maintained by the Orthodox, the more easily to be admitted by such as at present seem to be afraid to own and embrace them. And that I may make what I here fay the more probable, I will give some Instances, in which I apprehend Things might prove as I hope and desire they may.

The first of these Is the Case of Original Sin. Calvinists generally maintain, that the Guilt of Adam’s sin It and great Transgression, has fallen on all his Posterity; and that they are all thereby become naturally Children of Wrath, and Heirs of Death. They hold also, that on the Apostasy of our first Parents from God, they lost his Image, in which they were created; and their Natures were so depraved, that they were thereby rend red incapable of performing any Actions truly gracious and holy, and as such acceptable to the Lord; and so were incapable of Communion with him, and the Enjoyment of him, without the Pardon of Sin and renewing Grace. They also maintain that in this deplorable State all the Off-spring of the first Adam are involved.

And hereupon they further affirm, that before Men’s Regeneration, they are utterly incapable to accept the Terms, or perform the Conditions, required of Sinners in the Gospel, in Order to their Salvation; because they suppose the Gospel in this Case requires something, the doing whereof supposes Men first born again, and become new Creatures; which, they fay, few ever attain to: Nor have Sinners any Offer of this Grace made to them. Now, if it be thus, thinks the Person inclining to Armmianism; (and who is there but by Nature is not inclined to Error?) if this be the Doctrine of original Sin, and the Consequences following on it, I cannot, I will not receive it, ’till I can see such Evidences for it, as will compel me to yield my Assent thereunto. And now scarce any Evidence will convince such Persons that a Doctrine is true, that is so hard to be digested.

But now let such Dissenters from the Calvinian Doctrines be told, that the Doctrine of original Sin is indeed a great Truth; and that the fame may be defended, being duly stated and understood; but that it is true also, that God had a Design of glorifying his Grace and Mercy, in the Redemption of Mankind when fallen into a State of Sin; and that for this End, God sent his Son into the World so to die for all Men, that they might be saved on the Terms of a new

Covenant, which Terms are not such as they are not able to comply with, by the Help of God’s Grace afforded to them, nor such that they must be savingly converted or born again, before, and in order to, their Performance of them; but such as thro’ God’s Help, by his Word and Spirit, they may come up to in their present State; and so obtain Deliverance from Sin and Death, if it be not their own Fault in refusing the Mercies offered to them. If these Truths are owned and allowed, I think many People would not be so averse to the Doctrine of original Sin as they now seem to be: For thus the Gospel proposes a Remedy against it, to every Person afflicted with the Sense of it, inasmuch as it tells every Sinner how he may come to have his Nature renewed, and the Image of God restored in him; and that the Condition unto this End required of him, is not such as a Person in a State of Nature cannot by God’s Help perform.    Experience Mayhew, Grace Defended in a Most Plea For an Important Truth; Namely, That the offer of Salvation made to Sinners in the Gospel comprises in it an Offer of the Grace given in Regeneration (Boston: Printed by B. Green, and Company, for D. Henchman, in Cornhil, 1744), 195-196.  [Some spelling modernized; underlining mine.]

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