June 8, 2010

William Bridge (1600–1670) Describing Augustine's Atonement Views

Bridge and Brinsley were both high Calvinists and puritans. While I think Bridge rightly describes Augustine's position in what follows, I believe he strains in the context to find continuity between Augustine and some later thinkers on this subject where there is none, such as with Gottschalk, Beza, Whitaker, Rivet and Ames. In other words, while I think Bridges' historiography is generally bad in this preface, he still manages to get Augustine right. Here's how he describes Augustine's atonement views:
And whereas he was charged by the Pelagians with denying that Christ suffered for the Redemption of all men, he plainly gave his sense therein thus. As for the greatness and sufficiency of the price, the blood of Christ is the Redemption of the whole world; but they that die without Faith and Regeneration, are aliens from Redemption. All men (saith he) are rightly said to be redeemed in respect of one nature of all, and the one cause of all, which the Lord did truly take upon him, and yet all are not delivered from captivity. The propriety of Redemption without doubt belongeth unto them out of whom the Prince of this world is cast, who are not vessels of Satan, but the members of Christ. And herein Prosper doth totidem verbis concur with him. This ergo was the sense of the Orthodox (for by Augustin's judgment you may measure the rest) in those times.
From William Bridge's "To the Reader" in John Brinsley's Gospel-Marrow, the Great God Giving Himself for the Sons of Men (London: Printed by S. Griffin for Richard Tomlines, and are to be sold at the Sign of the Sun and Bible near Pye-Corner, 1659), vii–viii. [No pagination; pages numbered manually from the beginning]

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