March 10, 2013

John Preston (1587–1628) on Christ's Sufficiency

Moore quotes a manuscript of Preston's words at the York House Conference as follows:
...though his intention be not to save the Reprobate: yet it was to make them salvabiles in regard of the sufficiency of Christ's death to save them: though they be not salvibilis in regard of their inability to apprehend it. And this is to put them into another condition than the devils are in, for Christ's death hath no sufficiency to save the devils: but to save those it hath.[99]
99. BL Harleian MS. 6866, f. 80r.
Jonathan D. Moore, English Hypothetical Universalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 160. I've updated some of the spelling.

Moore also writes:
Concerning the English Catechism's statement of belief "in God the Son, who hath redeemed me and all mankind," Preston is reported to have defined 'redemption' there as meaning
only . . . the freeing of mankind from that inevitable ruine the sin of Adam had involved them in, and making them savable upon conditions of another covenant. Jn. 3:16, 17. So that now salvation was not impossible, as it was before the death of Christ; but might be offered unto any man, according to the tenour of that commission, Mk. 16:15, 16. This could not however be applied unto the Divels, if they were left in that forlorn condition whereunto their sin & disobedience put them in.[104]
104. Schaff, ed., Creeds of Christendom, II:518; Ball, Life of Preston, p. 131. Preston's linking with Mark 16:15 the salvability of all men due to Christ's death reinforces the interpretation made in Ch. 5 of Preston's controversial phrase in connection with the same text, "Christ is dead for him.
Ibid., 162.

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