19
Apr

Paul Hobson (d. 1666) on the Death of Christ

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in For Whom did Christ Die?

Hobson:

1) First, that he died for all, I shall prove it by Scripture, and then show you how; to prove this truth that Christ died for every man, I shall not prove it from these Scriptures, John 3:16, chap. 6:33, 2 Cor. 5:19, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14, and my reason for it is, those Scriptures though they speak out the word [all] and the word [world] yet there is no safety to make positive conclusions upon doubtful expressions, I mean as to the nature and measure of the word [all] and [world] for sometimes the word [world] includes the whole, as Job 34:18, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, 98:7, or Her. 10:12, Acts 17:24.

Secondly, the world [world] is taken for a part as well as the whole, as in these Scriptures, John 13:1, chap. 14:17, chap. 15:18, 19, chap. 17:6, 9, Acts 17:6, Acts 19:27, Rev. 13:3.

Thirdly, as the world [world] does include sometimes a part, so sometimes of that part, it does intend properly the wicked of the world, as in Acts, 17:31, Rom. 12:2, 1 Cor. 3:19, chapt. 4:9, chap. 6:2, Hebr. 11:7, 2 Peter 2:5, 1 John 5:19. Again in other places is does also properly intend only the professors or believers in Christ, as in these Scriptures, John 12:19, Rom. 11:12, 15, John 17:21, 23. Now all that can be said or declared from these fore-mentioned Scriptures where the word [world] or [all] is expressed where the death of Christ is declared, or reconciliation by him is to you very doubtful, whether it be to every one, or only believers, and therefore seeing that a doubtful supposition is no foundation for infallibly conclusions, nor to the end any controversy in discourse, because supposition is as strong in the one as the other, and convinces none, but produces disputes in all, and therefore I shall in my Answer not positively conclude from, but set them aside in this discourse, and draw as my proof as I told you before, either from Scripture or reason that does arise no other way than from absolute necessity.

So now to my Affirmation, which is, that Christ died for every man, but not for all alike.

First, that he died for every man, for the proof of that see 1 Tim. 4: 10, he is the savior of every man, but especially, so there is a common salvation by Christ. This truth is also made good in 2 Pet. 2: 1, where he declares some men to be men of destruction, and tells them that they had denied the Lord that bought them; so that wicked men and men of destruction were comprehended in the purchase of Christ, further see Heb. 2: 9.

Now I shall shew you what I do intend in it, and my grounds for it, besides what already has been said, consider, all men were comprehended in Adam, according to Scripture, Rom. 5:12. And what God speaks as to blessing and cursing, when he speaks to Adam, Gen. 2: 17, saying, In the day thou eat thereof, thou shalt die the death; now Adam when he eat fell, all men fell in him and came under this curse, according to these Scriptures Rom. 5:12, 15, 17, 1 Cor. 15:21, 22.

Now what the Lord says must be true and exactly performed, which was in the very day when he eat, he must die, which word [death] doth comprehend death, in every sense. Now had not Jesus Christ been brought forth by the Lord to step between the pronunciation of the curse and the act meriting, and the execution of the curse, man must immediately have died, or else God had not been exact in his Word, but we know he is: Now Christ was brought forth to bear the wrath of the Lord, and the satisfaction of his justice, in that great breach and gap that man had made, and so Christ was the savior of every man from the execution of that curse, and they have some time to live here in the world, or else their destruction had been in their conception, either of all or so many as Christ did not undertake for, for Gods Word is exactly true in all things. So that in the first sense, Christ is the savior of all men from the execution of that curse, at which time, and in which purchase, the world is no longer Gods upon the old account; but as it is the inheritance of Jesus Christ, according to Psal 1:8, Heb. 1:5, 6, Matt. 22:3, 8, applied to the 42, where God has given the utmost part of the earth and nations of the heathen to Christ for his portion: so it comes to pass that mercy is extended according to these Scriptures both to the just and unjust, Matth. 5:45, Psalm 145:9, Eccles. 9:2, Psalm 36:6.

Secondly, Christ by his Death doth not only free the creature from the immediate execution of that curse, but he has also taken them from under the dreadful killing power of that state which man was in when he fell, which was to lie under the fire and killing appearances of God, in that killing Law, nothing standing between God as fire, and they as stubble, but he hath brought them into a state and under the authority of himself, wherein there is a cessation from that fiery appearance of God, and they are now under the tender of life and salvation by Jesus Christ, according to these Scriptures Matth. 13:38, chap. 24:14, chap. 26:13, Mark 10, ch. 14:9, chap. 16:15, Rom. 10:18, Col. 1: 6. And this is to be done for the gathering out the chosen of God from the world, till Christ has brought his enemies under his feet, and then resign up the Kingdom to his Father, and God become all in all, 1 Cor. 15: 24, 25.

Besides the Scriptures which I have brought, which are sufficient to prove what I affirmed, yet for your further satisfaction mind my reasons, to prove that every one hath the benefit of Christ’s Death in those two things before expressed.

The first Particular.

First Reason, that which was included in the curse must needs be in the immediate execution prevented by Christ. But the immediate execution of a temporal death, must needs be included in the curse, therefore,

The major is not questionable, the minor proposition is proved by this reason.

Reason. That which was a fruit of sin must be comprehended in the curse, but a natural death is a fruit of sin, therefore:

The major proposition none will deny, the minor is proved from these Scriptures, 1 Cor. 15: 21, 56, 2 Kings 14:6, 2 Chron. 25:4, Job 24:19, Rom. 6:23, ch. 8:10. Besides these Scriptures I prove the minor proposition thus:

Reason. If any thing that is a part of a temporal death be a fruit of sin, then is the whole; but afflictions and pains in men and women, which is a part of a temporal death is a fruit of sin, therefore,

None can deny the major, the minor is proved from these Scriptures, Gen. 3:16, 1 Kings 8:33, 35, Psal. 38:3, Jer. 8:14, Isai 3:10, Jer. 50:7.

Now as the freedom from any thing of this temporal misery is a fruit of Christ, so what comes instead of that, as the enjoyment of life with other mercies of this world, with the sun shining and the rain falling upon the just and unjust must needs be a fruit of Christ which extends to all, Matth. 5:45, Eccles. 9: 2, Psalm 145: 9, & 36: 6.

Now my reasons to prove this second thing, to wit, that all men are by Christ brought, under the authority and power of Christ, and discoveries of Life by him, are these:

Reason. First, that which the Scriptures declares to be a truth we must believe, but that all men in that state are under the power and authority of Christ, and discoveries of Life by him, the Scriptures declare; therefore a Truth.

The major proposition none can deny, the minor is proved from these Scriptures, Matth. 28:18, John 17:2, Mark 2:10, Luke 5:24, Ephes. 1:19.

Secondly, if mens sins be aggravated by the abuse of the mercies they enjoy, in being under the authority and discoveries of Christ, then to be under the authority and discoveries of Christ must needs be a benefit; but mens sins are aggravated by their abusing of mercies that they enjoy under the authority and discoveries of Christ; therefore,

The major is proved by this reason.

Reason. Sin is never aggravated, but either by the extent of a law, or discoveries of love; and if sin be aggravated, as before expressed, then it must be either by by the extent of the law, or discoveries of mercy; and if either it discovers the truth of the major, to wit, that they are under the authority and discoveries of Christ, by whom now all law and love is handed out to poor creatures, they being all under his power: the minor proposition is proved from these Scriptures, John 15:22, 24, Matth. 11:21, 22, 23. . . .

Fourthly, that this great design of Christ in Christ for them, and only for them, was satisfaction for all sin, and the purchase of salvation and everlasting life by him.

Paul Hobson, Fourteen Queries and Ten Absurdities About the Extent of Christ’s Death, the Power of the Creatures, the Justice of God in Condemning Some, and Saving Others, Presented by a Free-willer to the Church of Christ at Newcastle, and Answered by Paul Hobson a Member of Said Church (London: Printed by Henry Hills for William Hutchison Book-seller in Durham, 1655), 6–15. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; italics original; bracketed inserts original; and underlining mine.]

2) Now if any shall say, that Christ has not finished the work of eternal life for any who will believe in him, I answer, the work cannot be finished, if it depend upon anything else, and especially upon that which is so mutable as creatures’ minds, whether to receive or not to receive, as you affirm. Therefore without controversy, Christ speaking truth, the work is fully finished, as the pardon of sin purchased and eternal life by him. Faith does not make up the work, but which is the next thing we shall enter upon, and so I shall say no more to this fourth thing, to wit, That the great design of God in Christ was to satisfy for all sin, and purchase salvation and eternal life for the elect, and none but them.

Paul Hobson, Fourteen Queries and Ten Absurdities About the Extent of Christ’s Death, the Power of the Creatures, the Justice of God in Condemning Some, and Saving Others, Presented by a Free-willer to the Church of Christ at Newcastle, and Answered by Paul Hobson a Member of Said Church (London: Printed by Henry Hills for William Hutchison Book-seller in Durham, 1655), 27. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

3) Absurdity 6. “If Christ died not for all men, then it were not heresy to teach some men to deny that Christ bough them, contrary to that Scripture in 2 Peter 2:1.” [Hobson] I have proved from Scripture that Christ tasted death for every man, and to deny it is heresy, but if you mean dying for every man alike, that Scripture does not prove it. Yet for any man to make a particular application to this or that man, saying, Christ died not for him in particular, that way is unwarrantable, and contrary to truth, for in the tender there is no exclusion, and for ordination and application they are secrets belonging to God, made known to us as he seems good.

Paul Hobson, Fourteen Queries and Ten Absurdities About the Extent of Christ’s Death, the Power of the Creatures, the Justice of God in Condemning Some, and Saving Others, Presented by a Free-willer to the Church of Christ at Newcastle, and Answered by Paul Hobson a Member of Said Church (London: Printed by Henry Hills for William Hutchison Book-seller in Durham, 1655), 101-102.  [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; italics original; bracketed insert mine; and underlining mine.]

Credit to Tony for the find.

[Note: Hobson was a signatory to the First London Baptist Confession of 1644 and 1646.]

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