Obj. It is said, Christ died for all; “‘he is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world,” John i. 29., how doth this consist with God’s truth, when some are vessels of wrath, Rom. ix. 22.”

Ans. 1. We must distinguish of world. The word is taken either in a limited sense, for the world of the elect; or in a larger sense, for both elect and reprobates. “Christ takes away the sins of the world,” that is, the world of the elect.

A. 2. We must distinguish of Christ’s dying for the world. Christ died sufficiently for all, not effectually. There is the value of Christ’s blood, and the virtue; Christ’s blood hath value enough to redeem the whole world, but the virtue of it is applied only to such as believe. Christ’s blood is meritorious for all, not efficacious. All are not saved, because some put away salvation from them, Acts xiii. 46., and vilify Christ’s blood, counting it an unholy thing, Heb. x. 29.

Thomas Watson, “A Body of Practical Divinity,” in The Select Works of Thomas Watson (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 71-72. [Some reformatting.]

[Note: Watson’s language either reflects the classical construction or it represents a transitional category. The determinant will be the meaning of his language of “dying for all” as to the sufficiency, and Christ’s blood is “meritorious for all” (which clearly does not reflect the revised construction), and his wider theological statements. For now I will will list him in the classical category.]

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