1) Object. 3. If Christ died for all men, then he intercedes for all; but he intercedes only for the elect, therefore he died for them only. I answer that Christ doth in some sort intercede for all men; and this I shall clear several ways.
1. From the nature of Christ’s intercession; that is not a formal prayer, but an appearing in the holy of holies before the face of God as an advocate, and there presenting his blood and righteousness in their freshness and endless life of merit, with a will that all the grace purchased thereby may be dispensed to the sons of men; therefore Christ even in glory stands ὡς ἐσϕαγμενος, as one slain, (Rev. v. 6), showing his bleeding wounds to make intercession with God. Hence it follows, that his intercession (being a kind of celestial oblation) perfectly answers to his oblation on the cross; he is an advocate above, so far as he was a surety here below; his blood speaks the very same things in heaven as it did on earth, and his will stands in the same posture towards sinners there as here. Now how far was Christ a surety for all? Surely thus far, that all may be saved if they believe; else either they cannot be saved at all, which is contrary to the truth of the promise, or they may be saved without a surety, which is contrary to the current of the scriptures. But if he were so far a surety for all, then he is so far an advocate for all; for he appears an advocate in heaven for al those for whom he appeared as a surety on the cross. Hence the apostle saith in general, If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, (l John ii. 1); he saith not strictly, if the elect sin, but at large, if any man sin we have an advocate; and as the true groundwork of this general advocation, he adds, he is the propitiation for the whole world, (v. 2). So far forth as he was a propitiation for the world, so far forth he is an advocate for it. And another apostle affirms, that Christ is a mediator between God and men, (1 Tim. ii. 5); he says not, betwixt God and his church, but betwixt God and men; and the following words give the true reason of it. "Christ gave himself a ransom for all," v. 6), he is no less a mediator for all. than he was a ransom for all. Christ’s blood shed on the cross spake thus far for all men, that they might have their pardon on gospel terms; and after wards being carried to heaven, it speaks the very same language for them; for the voice or speech of that blood is its merit, and that merit is of an indeficient virtue. Hence that blood cannot be speechless, because it cannot be meritless; and so far on earth as it merited for al, so far in heaven it speaks and intercedes for all. Moreover, as Christ’s blood speaks the same things for them in heaven as it did on earth, so Christ’s will in heaven stands in the same posture towards them as it did on earth; wherefore, in a sort, he intercedes for all.
2. From the patience of God, which waits on men, even such as at last perish. If Christ did not stand with the incense of his sweet-smelling merits between the living and the dead; between the reprieved sinners on earth, and the damned spirits in hell, the patience of God would not wait one moment upon them.
3. From the working of God’s Spirit; for as Christ is our paraclete or advocate in heaven, (1 John, ii. 1), so the Holy Spirit is God’s paraclete or advocate on earth, (John, i. 6, 7). Surely, if ‘ the advocate in heaven spake nothing for the non-elect, the advocate on earth would not woo them to salvation; if the blood of Christ did not at all plead for them, the Spirit of Christ would give no touches at all upon them, much less such touches as to make them taste the powers of the world to come.
4. From the liberty of prayer. Simon Maggus, even whilst in the gall of bitterness, was commanded to pray, (Acts, viii. 22), but what, without a mediator? No, surely; that sinful man who hath no mediator in heaven, must not presume to pray on earth. I see no reason why a man merely mediatorless should have more leave to pray than a devil, who is therefore without hope because without a mediator. The apostle commands men to pray everywhere, (1 Tim. ii. 8), but a little before he lays down this as the ground-work;–“There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all,” (v. 5, 6). The mediation of Christ opens the door to prayer.
Wherefore, as to this objection, I answer thus:–Christ intercedes for all men in such sort as he died for them; I say in such sort, for there is a vast difference between his general intercession. for all, and his special intercession for the elect. For as Christ by his blood shed on the cross, merited for all in general, that they might be saved on gospel terms, and merited for the elect in special, that they should believe and be saved, so by the same blood presented in heaven, he intercedes for all, that they may be saved on gospel terms, and intercedes for the elect that that they may believe and be saved. And thus he is the complete mediator of the covenant; as the general promises extend to all, so answerably he intercedes for all; and as the special and as the special promises point only at the elect, so proportionably he intercedes for the elect. Edward Polhill, The Divine Will Considered in its Eternal Decrees in, The Works of Edward Polhill (Morgan PA.: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1988), 167-168. See also, Edward Polhill, The Divine Will Considered in its Eternal Decrees and Holy Execution of Them (London: Printed for Henry Euerson, at the Sign of the Crown in Corn-hill, near the Great Class-shop, 1673), 303-307 [Some minor reformatting; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]
2) 6. I argue from the intercession of Christ. Christ intercedes for men more or less proportionably as he more or less respected them in his death, for his death is the foundation of his intercession; the very same blood of Christ, which as shed on earth made satisfaction, as presented in heaven makes intercession. Now how far doth Christ intercede in heaven? What doth his blood speak there? For all men it speaks thus, “Father, let them all be saved on gospel terms”; but for the elect it speaks thus, “Father, let them have repentance”: this the apostle hints out, "Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel." (Acts. v. 31). Israel’s repentance on earth comes from Christ exalted in heaven; for there he intercedes for it by his merits, and from thence he works it by his Spirit. Again it speaks for them thus, Father, let them be made a willing people; this I gather from the 110th Psalm, where we find Christ sitting at the right hand of God, (ver. 1), and sitting there he intercedes for us; and from this session and intercession comes forth a willing people, (ver. 3). Here is the true original of spiritual willingness; the right hand of God (which is a right hand of power) works it in our hearts, and works it at the instance of Christ, who sits and intercedes there for it. Again, it speaks for them thus, "Father, sanctify them with thy grace, preserve them with thy power, and crown them with thy glory in heaven." Thus Christ, in his sweet prayer a little before his bitter passion, interceded for them for their sanctification, "Sanctify them through thy truth," (John xvii. 17); for their perseverance, "Keep them through thine own name," (ver. 11); and for their glory, "I will that they be with me where I am, to behold my glory," (ver. 24). And what he spake for them by his oral intercession on earth, that he speaks for him by his real intercession in heaven. Thus Christ doth in a special manner intercede for the elect, which proves that he died for them in a special manner;j because his intercession is but the presenting of the merits of his death to his Father in heaven. . Edward Polhill, The Divine Will Considered in its Eternal Decrees in, The Works of Edward Polhill (Morgan PA.: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1988), 174. See also, Edward Polhill, The Divine Will Considered in its Eternal Decrees and Holy Execution of Them (London: Printed for Henry Euerson, at the Sign of the Crown in Corn-hill, near the Great Class-shop, 1673), 340-342. [Some minor reformatting; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]
[Credit to R. Muller, by way of Michael Lynch, for find 2).]