2. But this farther appears from the ground of the world’s condemnation. "Under the Christian dispensation what is the ground of condemnation? "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds evil." And again, “The Spirit shall reprove the world of sin, because they believe not in me.”–“If ye believe not, ye shall die in your’ sins." From these and many similar "passages we understand that the ground of man’s condemnation’ is that he will not believe in Christ, and that all his future. torment in a world of misery will be to be attributed to this. But how can this be if Christ were not a ransom for all? It is true, as far as this world is concerned, men might still be exhorted to lay hold of Christ, because it is not known but that they may be among the favoured number, and this I know is the argument constantly used. But let us follow one of these lost and reprobate men into another world, and ask how he could then, when his condition is decided, trace up his condemnation to unbelief in Christ? How can he blame himself for rejecting that which was never truly offered to him, or for despising that which was never truly given to him? How should they come to the feast for whom nothing is prepared? How should they eat and drink for whom the paschal lamb is not slain? Salvation was, in the very nature of things, beyond his reach. It is impossible, in the nature of things, that he should be saved; there was no redemption for him, no ransom. The justice of God raised an eternal barrier against his entrance; escape therefore was physically impracticable. The fault of original sin would indeed remain upon him, but how should he feel himself condemned for unbelief? It seems to me impossible to escape from this. The advocate for particular and limited redemption, must admit either that he might have been saved without any redemption, or else that he could impute no blame to himself for not being saved, and therefore that unbelief is not that ground of his condemnation.

William Dodsworth, General Redemption and Limited Salvation (London: James Nisbet, 1831), 27-29. [Italics original; spelling original; and underlining mine.]

[Note: Dodsworth’s cryptic reference to “another world” may be an illusion to what is called “possible worlds logic.” If this is so, then his critique is quite insightful. The import of his argument would come to this: Imagine a world which is the same as ours, except that in this world, Christ has not died for anyone. In this world, then, no man could be saved because no means of salvation has been obtained for them. Even if a person in that world wanted to be saved, even if he “believed” as it were, he could not be saved as no means of salvation (pardon, justification, redemption, etc) has been supplied for this person or, indeed, for any person. And so, by extension, in that possible world, no one could be condemned for not rejecting or refusing something that was never made for that person. How could a person, in that possible world, be culpable for rejecting Christ, when Christ has not died for him or for any person? Relatively speaking, the person in that possible world, is in the same relationship to the death of Christ as all those for whom Christ did not die for, as per the terms of limited satisfaction, in this actual world. In short, limited atonement, or better, limited satisfaction, undercuts culpability for rejecting Christ.]

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