March 23, 2008

Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on Christ's Death for Those Already in Hell

6. It is as good arguing, to say, some were in Heaven when Christ died, therefore he died not for them, as to say, some were in Hell, therefore he died not for them. For it may as wisely be said, those in Heaven were past all need of satisfaction, as that those in Hell were past all hope and remedy.

The time was, when they had hope from that satisfaction set before them, and when it was a sufficient remedy for them, and wanted nothing but their own consent to make it fully effectual: As the time was when those now in Heaven had need of it, and did accept it offered them.

Abraham saw Christ's day and rejoiced, and Moses counted the reproaches of Christ greater Riches than the Treasures of Egypt: But the impenitent then refused Christ, and his Government, and therefore were justly denied his further Mercies.

7. Only this much may be concluded by this arguing; that Christ at the time of his dying, did not intend the Saving of those that were then in Hell; and so it is as true, that Christ at his death did not intend for the future to give Regeneration, the first Reconciliation, Pardon, Adoption, Union with him, or Glory to those in Heaven; for they had received them all long before, as the Damned had lost them all before by their Rejection.

But it follows not hence, that therefore Christ bore not the punishment of all mens sins, according to his first undertaking.
Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind (London: John Salusbury, 1694), 440–41.


Anonymous said...

Baxter's not always the easiest read but I think he makes this point well.


Tony Byrne said...

Hi Martin,

I agree. This book by Baxter is difficult to read, so it is understandable why it hasn't been reprinted. Nevertheless, there are gems in it that effectively answer some of Owen's arguments.