Archive for June 8th, 2012
Of the proportion between Election and Redemption.
For further clearing of what has been said, this question would be followed whether election and redemption are not somehow opposite? for election is expressed but of some, redemption is offered to all. To which we answer, though we touch on it afore. That though redemption itself, be in the first act larger than election: viz., in Christ dying in the common nature of man, not in that of angels, and thereby brings human nature near to salvation, than the common nature of angels, so that man’s nature in general, is saveable, where the wicked angels are not (“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham, Heb. 2:10, which is but the renewing of that covenant with Adam, Gen. 3:15). For otherwise men under the gospel, could not be justly damned for unbelief, but would be threatened for not believing a lie, namely that Christ died for them, when as in no sort he did. But this distinction of Christ’s dying for the common nature, solves that difficulty, shows what interest all men haver in Christ’s redemption, and the fault of them to whom it is made known, not in claiming it and closing with it. I say, though, in this first act, redemption seems of greater latitude than election, yet in the last and ultimate act they are equal; which is the last act is to make particular persons (that are only saveable in the common nature) to be actually saved in their particular persons, which is done by Christ’s special act of Mediatorship, viz., Intercession, John 17:20, “I pray for them which shall believe on me,” whereas the other saveability is done by Christ’s common act of mediatorship of making atonement by death. So that evenly to an hair2 those only that are elected, are effectually redeemed. For though in God’s election there be no necessary compulsion, yet there is in it a necessity of infallibility, of infallibility else God should not know what would befall his own purpose. Yet not compulsion, and, therefore, we must not charge upon election which belongs not to it. As that non-election does effect and force us out of salvation. We must not confound God’s decree, and the execution of his decree, or cut off the rest of the links of God’s predestination, namely, vocation, justification, conformation to Christ, &c., Rom. 8, from the first act of election choosing of some, and so on the contrary. For non-election cannot damn us, unless we refuse vocation, &c.3
And as thus, election and redemption in themselves, in the thing, are of equal latitude,4 so also in the promulugation or offer of the doctrine of the gospel. The gospel holding out election indefinitely (though determinated with God). “The Lord knows them that are his,” 2 Tim. 2:19. And that “THEM” to be a great many, defines not to us how many, of the Jews, 140000 (a certain number for an uncertain), but all the Jews and Gentiles, “a great multitude which no man could number,” Rev. 7:4,9. And redemption indefinitely that Christ “died for ungodly, for sinners,” “for enemies.” For men void of grace, ordinary sinners, and extraordinary, that had opposed him, Rom. 5.