But, when you hear this righteousness is given, the next question will be, “To whom is it given?” If it be only given to some, what comfort is this to me?

But (which is the ground of all comfort) it is given to every man, (u>there is not a man excepted; for which he have the sure word of God, which will not fail. When you have the Charter of a King well confirmed, you reckon it a matter of great moment. What is it then, when you have the Charter of God, himself? which you shall evidently see in these two places, Mark ult. 15, “Go and preach the Gospel to every creature under Heaven.” What is that? Go and tell every man without exception that there is good news for him, Christ is dead for him, and if he will take him, and accept of his righteousness, he shall have it; restraint is not, but go and tell every man under Heaven. The other text is, Rev. ult, “Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the waters of life free.” There is a quicunque vult, whosoever will come (none excepted) may have life, and it shall cost him nothing. Many other places of Scripture there be, to prove the generality of the offer: and having a sure Word for it, consider it.

But if it be objected, “It is given only to the elect, and, therefore, not to every man.”

I answer, when we have the sure Word, that it is given to every man under heaven, without restraint at all, why should any man except himself? Indeed, when Christ was offered freely to every man, and one received him, another rejected him, then by the mystery of election and reprobation was revealed, the reason why some received him being, because God gave them a heart, which to the rest he gave not; but, in point of offering of Christ, we must be general, without having respect to election. For no otherwise the elect of Christ should have no ground for their faith, none knowing he is elected, until he has believed and repented.

John Preston, The Breast-Plate of Faith and Love (Printed by George Purstow, and are to be sold in his Companie of Stationers, 1651), 7-8.

[Notes: Jonathan Moore has argued well that for John Preston the phrase “Christ is dead for you” denoted “Christ died for you,” and thus both Thomas Boston and David Lachman, and others, have misunderstood both John Preston and the author of the Marrow when they assumed that the phrase ‘Christ is dead for you,’ referred to the simple idea of the intrinsic sufficiency of Christ’s death, abstracted from any divine intentionality. See, J.D. Moore, “Calvin Versus The Calvinists? The Case of John Preston (1587-1628),” Reformation & Renaissance Review, 6 (2004): 327-348; and, Jonathan D. Moore, English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007). 2) Here is an example of this same usage from my own research: John Cameron (1579-1625) on the Death of Christ. I have also seen this phrase used interchangeably with “Christ died for you” in my general reading of early English Puritan and Reformed literature from the early 1600s.]

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 6:46 am and is filed under For Whom did Christ Die?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed at this time.