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Samuel Davies (1723-1761) on the Free Offer in Relation to the Death of Christ

August 5, 2009

Davies:

Thus you see the death of Christ may be called the great price with which we are bought, and by which all spiritual and everlasting blessings were bought for us. As for believers, it is beyond all dispute that they have been thus dearly bought; and on this account they are not their own, but God’s. They are his on the footing of redemption; and therefore he has the strongest claim to their service. O! shall not those favored creatures whom he has redeemed from hell, redeemed from sin and Satan, redeemed with the precious blood of his Son, devote themselves to their Deliverer as his servants for ever? Can you bear the thought of withholding his own from him, when he redeemed you when lost, and purchased a right to you by the blood of his Son? one drop of which is of more value than a thousand worlds!

A thousand worlds so bought were bought too dear.

Must not the love of Christ constrain you, as it did St. Paul, to judge thus: That if this illustrious personage “died for you, then you that live should no longer live to yourselves, but to him that died for you and rose again:” 2 Cor. v. 14, 15.

Thus, you see, the argument concludes with full force as to believers, who are indisputably purchased by the blood of Christ. But will it conclude also as to those who are now unbelievers? Were they so redeemed, or bought by Jesus Christ, that they are no longer their own but God’s, and upon that footing obliged to devote themselves to him? There is hardly any subject in divinity more intricate than the extent of Christ’s redemption; and it would by no means suit the present occasion to perplex a practical discourse with this controversy. I shall, therefore, only lay down a few principles which are indisputable, and will fully answer my present design.

(1.) As to those who believe that Christ laid down his life as a price for the redemption of every individual of mankind, the argument concludes with full force; for by their own confession they are bought with a price, and therefore they are not their own, but God’s.

(2.) You all hope that Jesus Christ died for you: unless you have this hope, you can have no hope at all of being saved according to the gospel; for the gospel allows you no hopes of salvation at all, but upon the supposition of Christ’s dying for you. Have you, then, any hope of salvation? Undoubtedly you have; for you do not look upon yourselves as shut up under remediless despair. Well then, just as much hope as you have of salvation, just so much hope you have that Christ died for you; and consequently, upon your own principle, you are so far obliged to act as persons bought with a price, and therefore not your own but God’s; that is, as far as you hope for heaven, so far are you obliged to devote yourselves to God as his, and no longer to live to yourselves. And if you deny his claim to you upon the footing of redemption, you renounce all hope, and give yourselves over as lost and hopeless. And what can bind you more strongly than this? Will you rather rush into despair, and fling yourselves headlong into ruin, than acknowledge God’s right, and behave as those that are his, and not your own?

(3.) I venture to assert that Christ died for every man, in such a sense as to warrant all that hear the gospel to regard the offer of salvation by his death as made to them without distinction; and to oblige all indefinitely to embrace that offer, or to believe in him, and to conduct themselves towards him as one that, by his death, placed them under a dispensation of grace. Therefore, all are obliged to behave themselves towards him as their Redeemer, and to own that he has a right. to them upon the footing of redemption. This is sufficient to my present purpose: for if this be the case, then I may enter a claim to you all, in the name of God, as his property: and you cannot refuse to resign yourselves to him, without denying the Lord that bought you. He claims your souls and bodies as his due, and requires you to glorify him with both, upon the footing of redemption.

Samuel Davies,  “Dedication to God Argued from Redeeming Mercy,” in Sermons on Important Subjects (New York: Robert Carter, 1845), 2:84-86. [Some reformatting; underlining mine.]

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2009 2:01 pm

    This quote can be found in Sermon XXXI on 1 Cor. VI. 19, 29 under the title, “Dedication to God Argued from Redeeming Mercy.” The editions vary, so it is necessary to have this additional information so others can easily find the quote in their editions, particularly in the 1995 Soli Deo Gloria reprint.

  2. August 5, 2009 2:58 pm

    I’ve been notified that this quote is in Vol. 2, pages 127-129 of the Soli Deo Gloria reprint published in 1995.

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