June 4, 2007

Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on Faith as a Fruit of Christ's Death

Prop. XL. Faith is a fruit of the Death of Christ, (and so is all the good which we do enjoy): But not directly as it is a Satisfaction to justice; but only Remotely, as it proceeds from that jus Dominii which Christ has received, to send the Spirit in what measure and to whom he will, and to succeed it accordingly; and as it is necessary to the attainment of the further ends of his Death, in the certain gathering and saving of the Elect. So that most directly it floweth from the good pleasure of God and the Redeemer, which we call Predestination. So that it is an unmeet Speech (and such as Scripture never uses) to say, that [Christ died to purchase us Faith] though it be a Fruit of his Purchase. As if a Prince should Ransom or Buy a condemned Malefactor, agreeing and resolving that yet he shall not be saved, if he will spit in his Redeemers Face and refuse him and his kindness. And if it be known that this Malefactor is so desperately wicked, that he will thus reject and abuse his Redeemer and refuse his kindness, except the Prince send a bosom Friend to persuade him, who is the most powerful and unresistable Orator in the World: If the Prince because he is resolved neither to lose the Man, nor his Price of Ransom, doth send this Orator with a Charge that he shall take no denial, nor cease till he have procured the Malefactors consent; is it a convenient Speech to say, that he gave his Ransom Money to purchase the Malefactors consent to be delivered? Or to cure his wicked nature? No: Yet it is true that his Price was a ground-work and Preparative to this effect; so is it in our present Case.
Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising-Sun in Cornhill, 1694), 42–43.