We have Redemption, i.e. the faithful, God’s elect, which are members of Christ’s mystical body. The Angels, which fell from that pure estate wherein they were created, could never attain unto it again. But such was the rich favor of God towards Man, that he united human nature to Christ’s divinity, and gave to men that dignity, to be called his sons. Shall we think, that God has endued man with so many excellencies more, not only than any, but than all the creatures of the world besides, to leave them in such estate, that they had been happier if they had never been born. We have a righteous judge, and rather than he proceeded in rigor of judgement, he will provide a sacrifice for himself, to be offered up in our names, and all the benefit shall redound to us and our posterity. Yet all men are not redeemed but some of all sorts. Christ died sufficiently for all, but effectually only for some. In his death he intended a price of such extent in value and worth, as should be of power to save all, and therefore should be offered indifferently to all, but in his eternal counsel and love, he paid this price only for them, to whom in love he intends the fruit and benefit thereby. There is a world of men, of whom John 17. verse 9, Christ says, “I pray not for the world, but for them that thou hast given me out of the world.” If all men had the gifts of grace, and the merits of Christ’s passion, where were God’s justice? If no man had redemption, an hope of salvation, where were his mercy? Deus in suâ misericordiâ voluit per Justitiam. In his mercy he might save all, but in his justice he could not. Neither is God the cause why any man does perish. For Christ is the sufficient sacrifice to save all men. But death and destruction came from the incredulity and unbelief of man. As the sun is in itself sufficient to enlighten all men, yet the blind for want of sight cannot enjoy the use thereof. So Christ’s death was a sufficient ransom for all, but the reprobate (for want of faith) cannot apprehend it. An easy condition of so great a benefit. He requires us not to earn peace, but to accept it of him. What could he give more? Would could he require beside of us? With men, it is a good rule to try, and then to trust. With God, it is contrary: We must first trust him (as most wise, omnipotent, merciful) and try him afterwards.

Joseph Perkins, The Redemption of Mankind by the Passion of Our Lord. A Sermon Preached on Palm-Sunday at Kintbury, in the County of Berks (London: Printed, and are to be Sold by Randal Taylor, near Stationers-Hall), 7-8. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; and italics original.]

[Notes: 1) Clearly Perkins uses the classic Lombardian wording of the formula, but injects into that wording the theology of the revised version of the formula. For Perkins, the laying down of the price of redemption was in behalf of the elect alone. In the classical Lombardian formula, however, the price is laid down in behalf of all mankind universally. 2) It is difficult to imagine that if God has not provided the provision and legal means whereby a man may be pardoned, it can be said that in no way has God caused the failure of that man from obtaining that pardon. If God has provided no provision for a man, then in some sense he is co-responsible for that man’s failure to obtain the benefit of that provision. 3) To compare innate sin with blindness is a disanalogy. blindness, unlike sin, is a physical impediment. For sure, if it was, then no man could be culpable for his sin. Rather, sin is propensity and disposition following a corruption of the will.]

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