June 8, 2010

John Stalham (d. 1681) on Paul Testard's (1594–1650) Atonement Views

John Stalham (d. 1681) was a high Calvinist and he described the moderate views of Paul Testard as follows:
I had thought here to have taken breath, espying no enemy in the field; but presently there meets me a Champion Authour, one who is for peace and sweet harmony of truth, and hath happily cleared it in many particulars; yet in this controversie of universall Redemption, his musick jars, and he holds up the weapons of an unhappy warre, and thinks to carry all before him, because he is not point blanke of Arminius' judgment, in the stating of the Question: For he maintaineth that Christ died for all, and every singular, but he will not assert, that he died æque or alike for every one; Christ died (he saith) for all, to prepare an apt and sufficient remedy, and for the elect, to apply to them, what he had prepared for all. Nor did he die only that God might enter a Covenant with mankinde upon any condition, but that he might most surely covenant with Christ the Surety, under the condition of (the Elects) uniting and growing up, by faith in him; nor that salvation might only be possible for all, but certain for some; a seed to whom Christ's bloud should be applied; so as all are redeemed, but not alike redeemed: Christ died pro omnibus & singulis, that every one might be redeemed from the necessity of perishing, for the infringed legall-covenant of nature (in Adam) and the want of satisfaction, &c. And that some certain ones, beloved, in God's good pleasure, above the rest, might be actually freed, &c. still for more, then for the sheep of Christ, he would have Christ to die, out of a more general intention; which he endeavours to prove, from the generall expression [World] Joh. 3.16. from the Parable of the Feast, Math. 22. from 1 Tim. 2.6. & 2 Pet. 2.1. & 1 Joh. 2.2. to all which places alleadged and improved by Samuel Oates, we have given our answer long before Paulus Testardus came to our view; what he writes in this case, and how much wiser and more soundly he hath improved those Scriptures; and what greater strength there is in his Arguments, I shall leave to the full examen and censure of able judgments, and learned Pens: But may I pass my vote, without offence of the weak or strong, it is this, Amicus Testardus, in his pursuit of peace and truth, and in many excellent notions and harmonicall notes of free effectual grace, &c. but in this plea, Magis amica veritas, for while he pleadeth that Christ's death is for all, and every singular, he doth, as I understand the Scripture and him, nec sibi, nec Scripturæ constare, neither agree with himself, nor the Scripture.
John Stalham, Vindiciæ Redemptionis (London: Printed by A. M. for Christopher Meredith, at the Sign of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, 1647), 52–53.

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