6. If it be ruled thus, that Christ died sufficiently for all, but it is not effectual to all, me thinks that is not a sufficient answer. His death was sufficient for all, if the will of God had been1 so set, and if men would receive him. We are not to look at an aptitudinal, potential, objective, abstracted sufficiency of the death of Christ, but we look at it subjectively, and actually and formally, with the will and intention of the Father and the Son, for a price to be paid, and merit to be given, and satisfaction to be made for sinners. [Vide Voetium disputat. Theolog. p. 2. Cap. De mertito Christi.] We do not look whether Christ’s death was sufficient to save the damned, but whether Christ did actually give himself a ransom for the reprobates, or no. It will be a hard thing and not to be digested by the reason of Scripture, to take this for a truth, that Christ died for those that shall perish; that he suffered in the stead and room of the damned, that he paid a price for them, and yet they perish [Maxime, hypothetica minime est positiva.]. It will but come to this, that the death and sufferings of Christ might have been sufficient for all, if God so had intended, if Christ so would have had it, but it does not conclude, that the obedience and death of Christ is sufficient for all. The sufficiency of a thing is best seen in the intention it should be so, and in the efficiency of it.

1. Better were it for us to see if we be Christ’s sheep, know our shepherd, hear his voice and follow him [Matt 1:21.].
2. If we be soul-wounded sheep, these may best look at wounds of the Savior [Luke 1:77.].
3. If we be a people in covenant with Christ, he came to save his people from their iniquities [Luke 1:77.].
4. If we believe Christ, and can trust in him for remission of sins, the knowledge of salvation is given by remission of sins.
5. If we be obedient to Christ, for he is the author of eternal salvation to them that obey him [Heb. 5:9.].
6. If we partake of Christ’s Spirit of sanctification and purifying, for he gave himself for us, that he might purify us to himself [Tit. 2:14.].

These ways are best for discovery, to know whether we be in any hopeful state, to affirm to ourselves, that our iniquities are taken from us, and laid upon him. This is the best way of disputing, to dispute the case in our souls about efficacy of Christ’s grace of life, to draw to ourselves the comfort of the efficacy of his death, whatever the sufficiency in itself be.

Use 4.

When a sinner would see a sight of comfort in minds of heart groanings for sin, laws, urgings for satisfaction, hells pressing accusations and temptations to lie down and perish, let him go forth and see with the eye of faith Christ crucified, with all his iniquities laid upon him. Do not say as unbelief, or weak faith or strong temptation would urge, we have sinned, and we must answer: our iniquities were acted by us, and they must lie upon us, forever, but remember the sufficient surety and everlasting redeemer, they were laid upon him by God, and God would have us lay them upon him by our faith in an actual believing and applying the merit of his doings and sufferings. Let our sins lie as God has laid them, therein lies our best comfort.

Thomas Calvert, Mel Cœli Evangelii: Or, Isaiah’s Prophecie of Christ’s Passion For Man’s Redemption (London:, Printed for Tho. Pierrepont, and are to be sold at the Sun in Pauls Church-yard, 1658), 169-171. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting; marginal references cited inline; footnote content mine; and underlining mine.]


1[Original, “bin.”]

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