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for whom should we expect him to die in that character? For his bride surely. So the scriptures inform us-" Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it. The love of a husband, of which his death is here supposed to be the RESULT, is certainly discriminat-. ing. True, if it is said, but the church here means actual believers.—I reply, if they were actual believers, I should suppose they were not unsanctified, for faith purifies the heart; but Christ "gave himself that he might sanctify them with the washing of wąter by the word." Besides, He did not die for believers, as such, for while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us: but he died for the church as such considered. This is evident, for that his death is represented as resulting from his love which he exerciseth as a husband. I conclude, therefore, the church cannot, in this place, be understood of those only who actually believed.*
Again, Christ laid down his life as a SURETY. He is expressly called the surety of a better testament. He needed not to be a surety in behalf of the Father, to see to the fulfilment of his promises, seeing there was no possibility of his failing in what he had engaged to bestow; but there was danger on our part. Ought we not therefore to suppose that after the example of the high-priest under the law, Christ was a surety for the people to God? and if so, we cannot ex
* Eph. v. 25, 26.
tend the objects for whom he was a surety beyond those who are finally saved, without supposing him to fail in what he has undertaken. In perfect conformity with these sentiments, the following scriptures represent our Lord Jesus, I apprehend, as having undertaken the certain salvation of all those for whom he lived and died. "It became him for whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. He died, not for the Jewish nation only, but that he might gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. The children being partakers of flesh and blood, he also took part of the same. Here am I; and the children whom the Lord hath given me." Though we receive not the power or privilege to become the sons of God till after we believe in Christ; yet from before the foundation of the world, were we predestinated to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will; and so in the esteem of God were considered as children even while as yet we lay scattered abroad under the ruins of the fall.*
Once more, Christ laid down his life as a sacrifice of atonement; and for whom did the priests under the law offer up the sacrifice? For those surely on whose behalf it was sanctified or set apart for that purpose. Some of the Jewish sacrifices were to make atonement for the sins of an individual, and others for the
Heb. vii. 22. ii. 10, 13, 14. John xi. 52. i. 12. Eph. i. 4, 5.
sins of the whole nation; but every sacrifice had its special appointment, and was supposed to atone for the sins of those, and those only, on whose behalf it was offered. Now Christ being about to offer himself a sacrifice for sin, spake on this wise, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth." For their sakes, as though he had said, who were given me of the Father, I set myself apart as a victim to vengeance, that I may consecrate and present them faultless before the presence of my Father.*
III. Such effects are ascribed to the death of Christ as do not terminate upon all mankind.-Those for whom Christ died are represented, as being redeemed by the shedding of his blood; " He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." But redemption includes the forgiveness of sin; (Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14.) and we know that to be a blessing which doth not terminate upon all mankind.‡
* John xvii. 9, 19.
† Gal. iii. 13.
†P. I suppose has felt the force of this reasoning heretofore; and therefore if I am rightly informed, he disowns a universal redemption, supposing that properly speaking Christ did not by laying down his life redeem any man-that no person can be said to have been redeemed till he has believed in Christ. It is true we receive this blessing when we believe, as we then receive the atonement. It is then that we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: but as it does not follow `from our receiving the atonement when we believe, that atonement was not properly made when Christ hung upon the cross; so neither does it follow from our having redemption when we
Farther, it is not only ascribed to the death of Christ that pardon and acceptance are procured for all who return in his name, but that any return at all is attributed to the same cause. "He gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He gave himself for the church that he might sanctify and cleanse it. Our old man is said to be crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed. But we see not these effects produced upon all mankind, nor are all mankind his peculiar people.*
IV. Christ is said to have borne the sins of many; and the blood of the new covenant was shed for many, for the remission of sins.' The term many, it is allowed, when opposed to one, or to few, is sometimes used for an unlimited number: in one such
believe that Christ did not properly redeem us when he laid down his life. Certain it is that the passage before cited (Gal. iii. 13.) refers not to what takes place on our believing, but to what was done at the time when Christ was made a curse for us by hanging upon the tree.
Though I apprehend for the reasons above, that a being redeemed from the curse of the law, does not necessarily suppose the subject to be in the actual possession of that blessing; yet to understand it of any thing less than such a virtual redemption as effectually secured our enjoyment of deliverance in the fulness of time, is to reduce it to no meaning at all. We must either allow it to mean thus much, or say with P. that Christ in laying down his life for us, did not redeem any man; but this at present appears to me to be contradicting rather than explaining scripture. *Tit. ii. 14. Eph. v. 26. Rom. vi. 6. Isai. liii. 12. Matt. xxvi. 18,
instance it is put for all mankind. But it is self-evident that when no such opposition exists, it is always used for a limited number, and generally stands opposed to all. Who the "many" are in Isai. liii. 12. whose sins he bare, may be known by comparing it with the verse foregoing. "By his knowledge (that is, by the knowledge of him) shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death: he was numbered with the transgressors, he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. There is no reason that I know of to be given why the "many" whose sins he bare should be understood of any other persons than the "many" who by his knowledge are justified, and who it must be allowed, are not all mankind.
V. The intercession of Christ, which is founded upon his death, and expressive of its grand design, extends not to all mankind. " I pray for them, says Christ, I pray not for the world; but for them whom thou hast given me, for they are thine."* The intercession of the priests under the law, so far as I know -was always in behalf of the same persons for whom the oblation was offered. The persons prayed for by our Lord, must either mean those who were then believers, to the exclusion of the unbelieving world; or
* John xvii. 9.