January 10, 2015

Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on the Old Sufficiency/Efficiency Solution

§. 20. The old Solution which Schoolmen and Protestants have acquiesced in, is, That Christ died for All, as to the sufficiency of his death, but not as to the efficiency of their salvation: Which is true, but must be thus explained: Christ's Death and Obedience were not only sufficient but effectual as to their first effects; that is, They effected that which is commonly called, Satisfaction and Merit; and hence and from the Covenant of God they were also effectual to procure the Covenant of Grace as of universal tenor, and therein a free pardon of Sin and gift of Right to life-eternal to all, on condition of due acceptance: This conditional Gift of Christ and Life is effected: And this efficacy of the antecedent Mercies, must either be called part of the sufficiency of Redemption, as to the consequent Mercies (viz. Actual Pardon and Salvation) or else an efficiency beyond the sufficiency, antecedent to the said special efficiency. That Christ's Death hath effectually procured the Act of Oblivion or conditional Gift of Life to all Mankind; but it doth not effect the actual salvation of all: To the universal Grace it is both sufficient and efficient; but to the special Grace and actual Salvation it is sufficient to All (as after shall be opened) but not efficient, (which is by the Refuser's fault and forfeiture.)

§. 21. When we say, that either Christ's Death or Grace is sufficient to more than it effecteth, the meaning is, that it hath all things on its part which is absolutely necessary to the effect, but that somewhat else is supposed necessary to it, which is wanting.
Richard Baxter, An End of Doctrinal Controversies Which Have Lately Troubled the Churches, by Reconciling Explication Without Much Disputing (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising Sun in Cornhil, 1691), 161–162.


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