August 30, 2014

Robert Dingley's (1619-1659) Exhortation to Those Especially in a Natural State

Dingley begins saying this:
"Well now suffer the word of Exhortation which I put to all of you, and especially such as are in a state of nature [i.e. unregenerate]. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh be persuaded in the bowels of Christ Jesus, to consider things well, and make trial of God and his ways. O taste divine goodness. You'll never repent of it, but wish you had tasted sooner. The greater thy sins are, the more need to taste of mercy. Take some motives to the work."
Richard Dingley, God's Sweetness Made Out in Christ; Or, Divine Relishes of Matchlesse Goodnesse (London: Printed by Matthew Simmons, 1649), 73-74. This book has prefatory remarks and recommendations by Thomas Goodwin and William Strong.

Here are two of his five exhortations:
"2. God invites and allures you to taste him, it shall be no presumption, Isa. 55. 1, 2. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come buy and eat wine and milk, and let your soul delight in fatness. And Rev. 22.17. Let whosoever will come and take of the waters of life freely. Christ would willingly have sinners taste of his love, and smell to every flower in his bosom; he stretches out his arms all the day long, and would fain gather you into his embrace." Ibid., 75.

"5. And lastly, Christ tasted gall for thee, Mat. 27.34. that thou mayst taste Ambrosia for him. He tasted death for thee, Heb. 2.9. that thou mightest taste life for him, and drink of those heavenly Nepenthes, that Ocean of pleasure, Psal. 16. He sweat and fainted in his agonies, that he might stay thee with flagons, and comfort thee with apples. He fasted forty days, that thou mightest be feasted to eternity. He wore a crown of thorns, that though mayest wear a crown of glory. He suffered among base evil doers, that thou mayest be blessed among those sweet companions in heaven: In a word, he endured the sorest pains, that thou mayest enjoy the greatest pleasures. O therefore deceive not his expectation, but let him see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied, Isa. 57.11. 'Tis sad when Christ shall complain, as Isa. 49.4, 5, 6 verses. O make not his death to be of none effect to you, forbear to fetch any more sighs from that heart that is so full of love to you, and now at length be persuaded to give up your selves to Christ, to taste and see how good the Lord is." Ibid., 76-77.

Paul Baynes (c.1573–1617) Affirming God's Love for All in the Offer of the Gospel

In the words [of John 3:16] there is only one phrase of speech that doth need to be unfolded; that is, what is meant by the world. Theophylact gives two significations of this word, in the eleventh of John, the one τό συμωαν, that is, the whole universe. The other, τας ταυοσμιυα φζονοντας? [Greek difficult to read], that is, men worldly minded. Some taking it in the former sense very largely, though not for the universality of the creature, yet of all men universally, give these two interpretations of it. The first, thus: God so loved all men, that he vouchsafed to give and offer his Son in the preaching of the gospel unto all; according to those places: Go, teach all Nations, Matt. 28:19. Preach the Gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. A truth, I confess, but not meant in this place. For here is not meddled with the Ministry: but the Decree of God, and manner of our Redemption, is manifested.
Paul Baynes, The Mirror or Miracle of God's Love Unto the World of his Elect (London: Printed by H. L. for Nathanael Newbery: and are to be sold at his shop under St. Peters Church in Cornhill, and in Popes head Alley, at the sign of the Starre, 1619), 2–3.

Baynes, who was a high Calvinist, takes the "world" of John 3:16 in the decretal sense, as if the text means, "God so loved his people chosen to salvation through the world..." Ibid., 6.


August 29, 2014

J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937) on Ezekiel 33:11 and 1 Timothy 2:4

In the second place, the doctrine of predestination does not mean that God rejoices in the death of the sinner. The Bible distinctly says the contrary. Hear that great verse in the thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel: ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’ [Ezek. 33:11]

It may be the same thing that is taught in the First Epistle to Timothy, where it is said: God ‘will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ [1 Tim. 2:4]

This latter verse cannot possibly mean that God has determined by an act of His will that all men should be saved. As a matter of fact not all men are saved. The Bible makes that abundantly clear; without that all its solemn warnings become a mockery. But if, when as a matter of fact not all men are saved, God had determined that all men should be saved, then that would mean that God’s decree has been defeated and His will overthrown. In that case God would simply cease to be God.

The verse must mean something quite different from that blasphemous thing. That is clear. But what does it mean? I am inclined to think it means very much what that great Ezekiel passage means; I am inclined to think it means simply that God takes pleasure in the salvation of sinners and that He does not take pleasure in the punishment of the unsaved.

Another view has, indeed, been held by some. It has been suggested that the phrase ‘all men’ in the verse in 1 Timothy means ‘all sorts of men,’ and that the verse is directed against those who limited salvation to the Jews as distinguished from the Gentiles or to the wise as distinguished from the unwise. There is perhaps something to be said for such a view because of the context in which the verse occurs. But I am rather inclined to think that the phrase ‘all men’ is to be taken more strictly, and that the verse means that God takes pleasure in the salvation of the saved, and does not take pleasure in the punishment of those who are lost, so that so far as His pleasure in the thing directly accomplished is concerned He wishes that all men shall be saved.

At any rate, that is clearly the meaning of the Ezekiel passage, whatever may be true of the 1 Timothy passage; and a very precious truth it is indeed. The punishment of sinners—their just punishment for their sins—does, as we have seen, have a place in the plan of God. But the Bible makes perfectly plain that God does not take pleasure in it for its own sake. It is necessary for high and worthy ends, mysterious through those ends are to us; it has its place in God’s plan. But in itself it is not a thing in which He delights. He is good. He delights not in the death of the wicked but in the salvation of those who are saved by His grace.
J. Gresham Machen, “Objections to Predestination,” in The Christian View of Man (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999), 71–73.


August 16, 2014

John Calvin (1509–1564) on Luke 23:34

"Luke 23:34. And Jesus said, Father, forgive them. By this expression Christ gave evidence that he was that mild and gentle lamb, which was to be led out to be sacrificed, as Isaiah the prophet had foretold, (53:7.) For not only does he abstain from revenge, but pleads with God the Father for the salvation of those by whom he is most cruelly tormented. It would have been a great matter not to think of rendering evil for evil, (1 Peter 3:9;) as Peter, when he exhorts us to patience by the example of Christ, says that he did not render curses for curses, and did not revenge the injuries done to him, but was fully satisfied with having God for his avenger (1 Peter 2:23.) But this is a far higher and more excellent virtue, to pray that God would forgive his enemies.

If any one think that this does not agree well with Peter’s sentiment, which I have just now quoted, the answer is easy. For when Christ was moved by a feeling of compassion to ask forgiveness from God for his persecutors, this did not hinder him from acquiescing in the righteous judgment of God, which he knew to be ordained for reprobate and obstinate men. Thus when Christ saw that both the Jewish people and the soldiers raged against him with blind fury, though their ignorance was not excusable, he had pity on them, and presented himself as their intercessor. Yet knowing that God would be an avenger, he left to him the exercise of judgment against the desperate. In this manner ought believers also to restrain their feelings in enduring distresses, so as to desire the salvation of their persecutors, and yet to rest assured that their life is under the protection of God, and, relying on this consolation, that the licentiousness of wicked men will not in the end remain unpunished, not to faint under the burden of the cross.

Of this moderation Luke now presents an instance in our Leader and Master; for though he might have denounced perdition against his persecutors, he not only abstained from cursing, but even prayed for their welfare. But it ought to be observed that, when the whole world rises against us, and all unite in striving to crush us, the best remedy for over-coming temptation is, to recall to our remembrance the blindness of those who fight against God in our persons. For the result will be, that the conspiracy of many persons against us, when solitary and deserted, will not distress us beyond measure; as, on the other hand, daily experience shows how powerfully it acts in shaking weak persons, when they see themselves attacked by a great multitude. And, therefore, if we learn to raise our minds to God, it will be easy for us to look down, as it were, from above, and despise the ignorance of unbelievers; for whatever may be their strength and resources, still they know not what they do.

It is probable, however, that Christ did not pray for all indiscriminately, but only for the wretched multitude, who were carried away by inconsiderate zeal, and not by premeditated wickedness. For since the scribes and priests were persons in regard to whom no ground was left for hope, it would have been in vain for him to pray for them. Nor can it be doubted that this prayer was heard by the heavenly Father, and that this was the cause why many of the people afterwards drank by faith the blood which they had shed."

August 9, 2014

D. A. Carson on the Sovereignty-Responsibility Tension and the Love of God

The sovereignty-responsibility tension in the fourth Gospel embraces two different conceptions of the scope and perhaps the objects of divine love. There is a sense in which God's love is directed toward the 'world' per se; but to absolutise the passages where this is enunciated is to fail to recognise the even more numerous passages in which the divine love is restricted to the elect, while unbelievers sit under wrath and judgment. However, granted that election is present in the fourth Gospel, the tension between the two descriptions of the scope of divine love is better than either of the other theoretically possible alternatives, viz: (1) God loves everyone without exception equally--which would make election logically absurd; (2) God loves only the elect and hates the rest--which would destroy the evangelistic thrust and the emotive incentive to believe based on God's love for the 'world', a love which sent the Son of God on his saving mission and robs the 'world' of excuse.[77] Moreover, John also relates God's special love to the obedience of men (e.g. 14.21; 16.27). Even if that obedience is not the ultimate cause of God's special love, the formulation of the relationship in this way designedly dispels fatalism and indolence.
77. Cf. Calvin's wrestlings with this problem in connection with Rom. 9, in Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God (London, 1961), p. 76ff.
D. A. Carson, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspectives in Tension (1981; repr., London: Marshall Pickering, 1994), 197.

August 7, 2014

Curt Daniel on Hyper-Calvinism and the Denial of God's Universal Saving Will

Dr. Curt Daniel has given several lectures on hyper-Calvinism (see here and here), but this latest one given in 2013 is particularly good:

There are three sections to this lecture:

1) An Introduction [min. 0:40–11:37],
2) A Four-fold Description of the Hyper-Calvinist Distinctives [min. 11:37–65:40], and
3) A Question and Answer Period [min. 65:40–75:05].

The four-fold description of hyper-Calvinism's distinctives involve their rejection of:
2A) the free offer of the gospel [min. 11:42–23:54],
2B) the universal saving will of God [23:54–33:00],
2C) common grace [min. 33:00–46:00], and
2D) duty-faith [min. 46:00–56:12].

Here is the section dealing with hyper-Calvinism's rejection of God's universal saving will [min. 23:54–33:00]:
Number 2: There's more. It's what is involved in the free offer from God's point of view in His attitude. Now, I have a little booklet here I will give out in a minute by the late John Murray, a first class, mainline Calvinist scholar. The very first sentence of it hits the nail on the head:
It would appear that the real point in dispute in connection with the free offer of the gospel is whether it can properly be said that God desires the salvation of all men.
And he's right. All  mainline Calvinists have taught what we call the universal saving will of God in the preaching of the gospel. Now, one or two have kind of been unclear on that, but you can still find it in their writings, such as John Owen. But all hyper-Calvinists have denied that, because they deny the free offer and they say, "No, God does not desire the salvation of everybody, but only the elect."

Now, to lay the groundwork for this debate, we first have to understand something very distinctive to Reformed theology, and that's the two-fold will of God. What do we mean by that? The two-fold. For example, there's the secret will of God that we call predestination. God has foreordained everything that comes to pass, including election. It will happen. Period. It's never frustrated. But then there is also the revealed will of God, and that is what we find in the law, and in the gospel; that is His will of command, desire, His wish, and it is not always fulfilled. In fact, it rarely is. But it includes law and gospel. We have to keep those two in balance. But the hyper-Calvinists do not. You can tell which one of them they put all the emphasis on, the secret will. Now, true historic Calvinists study the bible, and they say that the bible clearly does teach that in the revealed will, in the gospel, God does earnestly, sincerely desire the salvation of all those that are lost, and especially those that hear the gospel. That desire is well-meant and sincere. For example, John Calvin said this in his Institutes (III.iii.21):
Indeed, God declares that He wills the conversion of all and He directs exhortation to all in common.
In the handout I'll have a dozen or so more similar quotes. You can multiply hundreds like that. God sincerely desires and offers the gospel to all lost sinners.

Now, how do we base our case in Scripture? Well, first, we see several scriptures which says God holds out His hands to lost sinners in general. Romans 10:21 quotes Isaiah 65:2: "All day long I have held out my hands to a lost and rebellious people." You find that in Proverbs 1:24 and elsewhere. He holds out His hands and He calls and beckons to lost sinners to come. Secondly, three times in Ezekiel, 18:23, 18:32 and 33:11, God says, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but only that they repent and live." God's pleading with them. That's a saving desire for them. Now, that leads us to two verses upon which mainline Calvinists are not in complete agreement: 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9. 1 Timothy 2:4 says God desires all those to be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 [says that] "God is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance. Some, such as Calvin, say both of these are referring to the revealed will of God, not the secret will; in other words the gospel, not predestination. But then as you continue to study this you'll find that some Calvinists will say that one of them refers to the secret and the other one to the revealed, or vice versa, and then still others say both of these refer to the secret will. But yet, even those they will say we still believe in the universal saving will of God, whether it's taught in either or both of those two verses [i.e. Mainline Calvinists are in theoretical agreement regarding God's universal saving will, even if they disagree on the interpretation of some verses used to support the doctrine]. So we can't found our case completely on them, although it is interesting that John Calvin went on record in his Commentaries on those to say that in the revealed will of the gospel, God does desire the salvation of all those that hear the gospel.

Here's another one that we would appeal to: Romans 10:1. Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (very important) said, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved." He's not praying just for the elect, because he didn't know who the elect Israelites were. My desire for them in prayer is that they may be saved. Similar words are found in Acts 26:19, speaking to Agrippa, he said that, "I wish that you were altogether like me, except for these chains." And he said all those that would hear me. That's a desire. This is crucial. If God desires people's salvation, so should we. But if God does not desire everybody's salvation, neither should we; and we cannot pray for everybody to be saved, or pray for anybody to be saved because we don't know who the elect are. Sometimes I wonder if our hyper-Calvinist brethren desire the salvation of people. We'll get back to that later. I wonder if they pray for their lost loved ones, "Lord, save them!" Paul says "my desire is that they be saved." Paul's prayer was right! It echoed God's desire for lost sinners to be saved.

Next, if God commands sinners to believe, and faith is a condition of salvation, it logically follows [that] God desires their salvation. If He commands faith which leads to salvation, certainly a command is an expression of desire. You can't get around that. It won't do to say, as some hyper-Calvinisnts say, "well God has no unfulfilled desires." They're confusing the two-fold will of God. The secret will is always fulfilled, the revealed will is not usually fulfilled. So to say "no unfulfilled desires," they don't know their scripture. John Murray, for example, refers to four verses, that are what's called the "optative desires." Deuteronomy 5:29 and other ones where God says, "Oh, that my people would do this!" That's a desire. But [if] you look up those verses you will find out that the people were not honoring that desire. It was one that did not come to pass. Again, the revealed will of God does not always come to pass. If you say that it always comes to pass, then you say that everybody obeys God's law. God's law does not always come to pass. Same thing with the gospel.

Now, let's give just one or two of their arguments on this. Sometimes hyper-Calvinists will argue, "there can be no contradiction between the secret will and the revealed will. There's only one will of God." Well I'd appeal to John Calvin that said ultimately God has only one will, but He condescends to explain it to us in part by saying it's two aspects. So we would say it's a paradox, not a contradiction. And we'd say both of them are legitimate because both are taught in the bible: the secret will of predestination and the revealed will of law and gospel. By the way, the Arminians say you can't have it both, so they go with the revealed will and they negate the secret. Hyper-Calvinists tend to do it in reverse and say since they can't be harmonized, we reject the revealed and go with the secret. But they're inconsistent. What God has joined together, let no many put asunder. They're both taught in the bible.

Now their next argument would be similar to that. They say, "well, God wills only the salvation of the elect. If God desired that people be saved, they would be saved!" To which we say, in the secret will, yes, revealed will, no. They do not see the difference between them. They're confusing the categories. Mainline Calvinists, including your pastor, say, in the secret will whoever God wills to be saved, he chooses. They will be saved. But in this universal desire, He desires all. But only those that He has chosen will be saved. So we dare not confuse or eliminate either one.

So, that's our second point: mainline Calvinists have repeatedly taught God sincerely desires the salvation of all lost sinners, especially those that hear the gospel. But since some Calvinists deny this, they are going beyond the mainstream. Therefore, on this point, they are hyper-Calvinists. They have gone too far, not only out of the mainstream, but out against what scripture itself teaches.
Elsewhere Daniel noted:
Another thing called hyper-Calvinism says since God has chosen some, He does not sincerely desire [the salvation of] those that are not chosen, therefore there is no free offer.
Curt Daniel, "Q&A 2017 Conference," October 7th, 2017. See minute 10:20–10:31

James Morison (1816–1893) and the Argument from 1 Cor. 15:3

I don't know if Morison's theology as a whole is sound, but his argument from 1 Cor. 15:1–4 is spot on, I think. Also, some people need to know that this argument is not new. It is at least as old as the 19th century.
Sect. 2. -- The next passage to which I would direct your attention, is 1 Cor. xv. 1-4. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL, which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which, also, ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain; for I delivered unto you FIRST OF ALL that which I also received, how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." You will observe that the apostle sets out in this passage by declaring unto the Corinthians THE GOSPEL. Here, then, we may expect to find out the real object of saving faith. All will admit that it is THE GOSPEL which is THE OBJECT of saving faith; and in this place the apostle professedly explains to the Corinthians what THE GOSPEL is. What then is it? Were we to consult human authors to find out what it is, we would be perplexed and confounded by an almost endless variety and diversity of opinions. It is amazing to find such a conflict of views concerning such a simple subject as the gospel. It is more than amazing, it is melancholy and heart-rending, to find the apostle's definition of it passed by as apparently unworthy of notice, and others proposed in its room. O what is it that ails people at the Holy Ghost's explanation of "the gospel of the grace of God"!

What, then, is the explanation of the gospel here given by Paul, the Holy Ghost's amanuensis? It is this: "Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures," &c. This, then, is THE GOSPEL, "the truth as it is in Jesus." Seeing this is the case, it must be of paramount importance to ascertain who were the precise persons referred to by the apostle in the word "OUR." Were they the believing or the unbelieving Corinthians? This is the question. Is it said by any that it was the believing Corinthians alone who were meant? This cannot be the case; for though it was true indeed that Christ did die for them, none, surely, will say that this truth is THE GOSPEL,--the good news which are to be preached "to every creature." Am I preaching THE GOSPEL when I rise up in an assembly and say, "Christ died for your sins, O ye believers"? Nay, this cannot be regarded as glad tidings "to every creature." But I go farther, and say, that it is quite impossible to bring a consistent meaning out of the passage, if we confine the word OUR to the believing Corinthians. This will be evident to you if you consider that that this gospel--"Christ died for OUR sins"--was what Paul preached unto them before "they received it, and were saved by it." "I declare unto you," says he, "the gospel which I preached unto you, WHICH ALSO YE HAVE RECEIVED, BY WHICH ALSO YE ARE SAVED." Paul preached this gospel--"Christ died for OUR sins;" and the heathen Corinthians "received it," that is, "believed it;" and because they believed it, "they were saved by it." They were saved by believing Paul when he stood up in the midst of them and proclaimed--"Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." As if to obviate every possible difficulty in the way of understanding this passage, the apostle repeats, and still more explicitly, the same declaration in the third verse,--"For I delivered unto you FIRST OF ALL that which I also received, how that Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." Amongst the very "first" things that the apostle delivered to the heathen Corinthians, after he entered their city, was this--"Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." He did not first preach to them some other gospel than this, and by and by, after they were all believers, come out with the daring declaration--"Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." On the contrary, this was the truth which "first of all" he delivered unto them; and this was to them the saving truth, for it was the truth "which they received, BY WHICH ALSO THEY WERE SAVED." Here, then, you have an inspired definition of the object of saving faith--the gospel. It is not merely this,--"Christ is able, infinitely able, to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him;" but it is this,--"Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." Some persons have even ventured to assert that no man is warranted, till after a long life of holiness, to say, "Christ died for me;" and ministers have been told by other ministers that they have no right to say to any man, "Christ died for you." It appears, however, that the apostle Paul was of another mind, for he had no scruples in rising up amidst the heathen Corinthians, whilst yet heathens and unbelievers, and boldly proclaiming, not merely "Christ died for MY sins," but "Christ died for OUR sins, (that is, for your sins, O heathen Corinthians, and for mine,) according to the Scriptures." And this proclamation, moreover, was regarded by him to be the gospel, v. 1.; and be it remembered, in addition, that he elsewhere says, "but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. i. 8. O who, after this, will dare preach any other gospel to an audience of sinners than this--"Christ died for YOUR sins, according to the Scriptures?" How long shall this, the only gospel, be unheard of in then hundreds of our churches? How long shall our land mourn in sackcloth because of the silencing of that "joyful sound" which alone has in it holy might and majesty and mastery, and which should everywhere be heard echoing and re-echoing wherever sinners are to be found? O dear sinner, how true is it that "Christ loved you, and gave himself for you"! Will you not then believe this, "the gospel," and live for him, since he died for you? Oh why will you not?


Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on the World in 2 Cor. 5:19

II. Verse 19. is mistaken by man, as if by [the World] were meant only [the Elect] because Reconciliation and not imputing Trespasses are mentioned: But the Text most plainly tells us of a General Reconciliation and non-imputation to Mankind, and a particular to Believers. God did so far reconcile and forgive the World, as not to deal with them merely on the terms of the violated Law of Innocency, but to give them a Redeemer, and a Law of Grace, and a Sealed Pardon of all sin, and free gift of Salvation by Christ, on condition of Believing Acceptance; and that is commonly said to be given, which is freely by a deed of Gift conferred, though Acceptance by implied or expressed as the Condition of enjoyment, and a Man may yet willfully refuse it or neglect it; yea, such Conditions are so naturally necessary, that they use not to be expressed. Yet no Man is Actually (but only Conditionally) possessed of Pardon and Reconciliation, till that Condition be performed: Yet God was forgiving them on his part, and was not imputing sin and unworthiness of Redemption to them, when he gave them a Savior. And yet the work of the Ministry remaineth, even to entreat Men to believe and accept this Pardon and Reconciliation as offered; and it is then actually theirs, when they thus accept it. To say, that then their Faith doth more than Christ's did, or God's Grace, is putid Cavil. Their Faith or Acceptance is no efficient cause at all of their Pardon or Justification: It is but a necessary Receptive Qualification; he that shuts the Window causes darkness: But it's sottish to say, that he that opens it does more than the Sun to cause light; which he causes not at all, but removes the impediment of reception; and Faith itself is God's Gift of Grace, though Preaching and Persuasion be the means of working it.
Richard Baxter, A Paraphrase on the New Testament, with Notes, Doctrinal and Practical (London: Printed for B. Simmons, at the Three Cocks in Ludgate-street, 1685), Ii11. [or p. 380; No pagination after page 3; pages numbered manually from page 3].

Richard Baxter (1615–1691) on Augustine and Redemption

As for Augustine and some Protestants, they oft deny that Christ redeemeth any but the Faithful, because the word Redemption is ambiguous, and sometimes taken for the price or ransome paid, and often for the very liberation of the captive Sinner. And whenever Austin denieth common Redemption, he taketh Redemption in this last sense, for actual deliverance. But he asserteth it in the first sense, that Christ died for all. Yea, he thought his death is actually applied to the true Justification and Sanctification of some Reprobates that fall away and perish, though the Elect only are so redeemed as to be saved. Read yourself in Augustine, Prosper and Fulgentius, and you will see this with your own eyes.
Richard Baxter, Catholick Theologie (London: Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the  Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1675), 2:57–58.

Similarly, Henry Browne (1804–1875) said:
Perhaps it will generally be found, that in speaking of Redemption, St. Augustine contemplates it not merely as the act of Christ, objectively, consummated once for all on the Cross, but subjectively, as an act taking place in the persons redeemed: in other words, he speaks of it as the actual deliverance of souls from the power of Satan. This work of grace in the individual man, which is begun here in the emancipation of the captive will, takes place (as he teaches) infallibly and indefectibly in the elect. But the reprobate, even if for a while they live faithfully and righteously, (de Corrept. et Grat. § 16. 40) not receiving the gift of perseverance, remain finally under the power of the devil; consequently, are not redeemed: Redemption does not take place in them as a fact. And since the Will of God is all in all, and cannot be defeated of Its purpose, therefore God did not purpose the redemption of such, and Christ died not for them, but only for those whom He knew to be given Him of the Father, that He should give unto them eternal life, and lose none of them.
Henry Browne, “Note A,” in S. Augustine, Homilies on the Gospel According to St. John, and his First Epistle, trans. H. Browne, 2 vols. (A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church; Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1848-1849), 1238.


Thomas Ball (1590–1659) on the Discussion Between John Preston (1587–1628) and Francis White (c.1564–1638) on Redemption

Some of the Lords proposed that, instead of this book which Mr. Montague promised to write, the Synod of Dort might be received & established as the doctrine of the church of England, seeing there was nothing there determined but what our delegates approved. But Dr. [Francis] White [an Arminian-Remonstrant] opposed this mainly; for, said he, the church of England, in her catechism, teaches to believe in God the Son, who redeemed me and all mankind, which that Synod did deny.

Dr. Preston answered, that by redemption there was only meant the freeing of mankind from that inevitable ruin the sin of Adam had involved them in, and making them savable upon conditions of another covenant. John 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 tenor of that commission, Mark 16:15-16. This could not however be applied unto the devils, for they were left in that forlorn condition whereinto their sin & disobedience put them, Heb. 2:16 & 2 Pet. 2:4. On the other hand, the jailor, Acts 16:24, 27. was a boisterous, bloody fellow, yet Paul made no doubt to tell him (verse 31) that, if he believed in the Lord Jesus, he should be saved with his house. But Dr. White would in no sort admit this, but affirmed earnestly that Christ died for all alike in God's intention and decree; for Cain as well as Abel; for Saul as well as David; for Judas as much as Peter; for the reprobate & damned in Hell as well as for the elect and saints in Heaven.

To which Dr. Preston answered, that there was a special salvation offered to believers, 1 Tim. 4:10. That Christ was indeed a ransom for all, 1 Tim. 2:6. yet the Savior only of his body, Eph. 5:23. That he redeemed all, but called, justified, & glorified, whom he knew before, & had predestined to be formable to the image of his son, Rom. 8:29-30. That to whom in this sense Christ was given, to them were given also all things appertaining unto life & godliness, 2 Pet. 1:3. As says, 2 Pet. 1:1. Phil. 1:29. Eph. 2:8. Repentance, Acts 11:18. 2 Tim. 2:25. A new heart, Ezek. 36:26. His Spirit, Gal. 4:5-6. So that nothing can be charged on them, Rom. 8:31-34. So that they can never perish nor be taken out of Christ's hand, John 10:28-30. But as they are begotten again unto a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1:3. so they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (verse 5). Whereas Judas was lost, John 17:12. and is gone to his own place, Acts 1:25.

And there are many nations & people of the world, that have no outward offer made unto them in the Gospel, Psa. 147:19-20. Acts 16:6-7. And those that enjoy the means of grace, have not all hearts given them to understand & believe it, Deut. 29:2-4. Isa. 6:9-10. Matt. 13:13-15. and therefore they are lost, 2 Cor. 4:3-4. and are damned. 2 Thess. 2:10-12. He showed them, in Adam all men were lost, Rom. 5:12. and none recovered but by Christ; therefore, such as had not Christ's intercession could not recover; That Christ prayed not but for some, John 17:9. and therefore none but such only could be saved, Heb. 9:15.

Dr. White acknowledged there was a difference; for, though all had so much as by good improvement might serve their turn, yet the elect had more, for God abounded towards them, Eph. 1:8-9. Rom. 5:15, 17, 20. Thus, by example, all the troop have horses, but the officers have better; two travelers have staves to leap over a ditch, yet the one a stronger & better then the other; the worst men had grace enough to keep corruption & the evil of their nature down, but the elect such as would do it easily. Christ had tasted death for every man; Heb. 2:9. he died for those who might notwithstanding perish, 1 Cor. 8:11. and bought those that yet might bring upon themselves swift damnation, 2 Pet. 2:1. because they did not husband & improve the favor offered to them.

Dr. Preston answered that Christ was in himself sufficient to save all; and might be said to be provided for that end & use; as a medicine is to cure infected poison, though it cures none actually but those that drink it. "Habet in se quod omnibus prosit, sed, si non bibitur, non," as in 1 John 5:11-12. But many did not thus apply Christ, because they had him not so offered & exhibited as others had, Matt. 11:21. Luke 10:13. for God gave some faith & repentance, as I have showed. The serpent (Moses was commanded to make), was in itself sufficient to cure those that were bitten, Num. 21:8-9. yet cured none but only those who looked on it. "So, as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wilderness, shall the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life," John 3:14-15.
Thomas Ball, The Life of the Renowned Doctor Preston, ed. by E. W. Harcourt (London: Parker and  Co., 1885), 130–136.

Joel Beeke and R. J. Pederson acknowledge that John Preston was moderate in Meet the Puritans: With A Guide to Modern Reprints (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 491–92. They say, “Preston espoused a modified and moderate form of Calvinism. Especially his later sermons reveal that he embraced the system of English hypothetical universalism, teaching that Christ died for all without exception and placing great stress on human responsibility in the covenant relationship” (Ibid.).


Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) on Christ Seeking the Salvation of the Wicked

The Hickman edition has this:
Ans 2. We ought now to seek and be concerned for the salvation of wicked men, because now they are capable subjects of it. Wicked men, though they may be very wicked, yet are capable subjects of mercy. It is yet a day of grace with them, and they have the offers of salvation. Christ is as yet seeking their salvation; he is calling upon them, inviting and wooing them, he stands at the door and knocks. He is using many means with them, is calling them, saying, Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die? The day of his patience is yet continued to them; and if Christ is seeking their salvation, surely we ought to seek it.

God is wont now to make men the means of one another's salvation; yea, it is his ordinary way so to do. He makes the concern and endeavors of his people the means of bringing home many to Christ. Therefore they ought to be concerned for and endeavor it. But it will not be so in another world; there wicked men will be no longer capable subjects of mercy. The saints will know, that it is the will of God the wicked should he miserable to all eternity. It will therefore cease to be their duty any more to seek their salvation, or to be concerned about their misery. On the other hand, it will be their duty to rejoice in the will and glory of God. It is not our duty to be sorry that God hath executed just vengeance on the devils, concerning whom the will of God in their eternal state is already known to us.
Jonathan Edwards, "The End of the Wicked Contemplated by the Righteous," in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1992), 210.

The Yale edition has this:
2. we ought to seek & be Concernd for the salv. of

wick men now. because now they are Capable sub-

jects of it there is no man living

wicked men tho they may be very wicked yet are

Capable subjects of mercy it is yet a day of Grace

with & they have the offers of salvation.


X is as yet seeking their salvation he is Calling

upon them Inviting & wooing he stands at their

door & Knocks he is using many means with

them . . & if X seeks G. is now Calling to em

& telling saying turn ye turn ye why will

ye die. the day of Gods Patience is yet Continu

ed to them & if G. X is Yet seeking their salv. surely

we ought to seek it.


G. is wont now to be m be making mens a

means of an one anothers salvation & tis Commonly

yea tis his ordinary way so to do way so to do

he makes one the Concern & Endeavours of his

People a means of bringing home many to X

therefore they ought to be Concerned for them it

& Endeavour it.


But it wont be so in another world for there

wicked men will be no Longer Capable subjects

of mercy G They will know that that is the

will of G. that they should be miserable to all

Etern. the it will Cease theref. to be their

duty to be any more Concernd about wick

to seek their salv. or to be Concern'd about their

being miserable . but to Rejoice in the will

& Glory of G. .


Tis not our duty now to be sorry that G. has Executed

Just vengeance on the devils that we Know Certainly

are damned
Concerning whom Gods will in their

Eternal state Is already declared to us.

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) on Christ Laying Down His Life for Those That Will Be Damned

The Hickman edition reads this way:
Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, will have no pity on you. Though he had so much love to sinners, as to be willing to lay down his life for them, and offers you the benefits of his blood, while you are in this world, and often calls upon you to accept them; yet then he will have no pity upon you. You never will hear any more instructions from him; he will utterly refuse to be your instructor: on the contrary, he will be your judge, to pronounce sentence against you.
Jonathan Edwards, "The End of the Wicked Contemplated by the Righteous," in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1992), 211.

The Yale edition has this:
Jesus X the

1 we you have now heard Inhabi Cr Redeemer

will have no Pity upon You tho he had so much Love

to sinners as to be willing to Lay down his Life for

& offered you the benefits of his blood while on

this T yet then hell have not Pity upon you

you never will have any more Invitations from him

hell utterly Refuse to be your Intercessour. on the

Contrary he will be your Judge to Pronounce sen-

tence against you.
Note: The first "you," in the context, refers to those that will eventually be damned, i.e. the reprobates or non-elect. That is why Edwards says that after they perish, Jesus Christ will no longer take pity on them. However, to this same group of "sinners," Edwards says Jesus "loved" them so as "to be willing to lay down his life for them."