C. Hodge:

1) In the second place, the question does not concern the value of Christ’s satisfaction. That Augustinians admit to be infinite. Its value depends on the dignity of the sacrifice; and as no limit car be placed to the dignity of the Eternal Son of God who offered Him self for our sins, so no limit can be assigned to the meritorious value of his work. It is a gross misrepresentation of the Augustinian doctrine to say that it teaches that Christ suffered so much for so many; that He would have suffered more had more been included in the purpose of salvation. This is not the doctrine of any Church on earth, and never has been. What was sufficient for one was sufficient for all. Nothing less than the light and heat of the sun is sufficient for any one plant or animal. But what is absolutely necessary for each is abundantly sufficient for the infinite number and variety of plants and animals which fill the earth. All that Christ did and suffered would have been necessary had only one human soul been the object of redemption; and nothing different and nothing more would have been required had every child of Adam been saved through his blood.

In the third place, the question does not concern the suitableness of the atonement. What was suitable for one was suitable for all. The righteousness of Christ, the merit of his obedience and death, is needed for justification by each individual of our race, and therefore is needed by all. It is no more appropriate to one man than to another. Christ fulfilled the conditions of the covenant under which all men were placed. He rendered the obedience required of all, and suffered the penalty which all had incurred; and therefore his work is equally suited to all. Charles. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:544-5.

2) The whole question, therefore, concerns simply the purpose of God in the mission of his Son. What was the design of Christ’s coming into the world, and doing and suffering all He actually did and suffered? Was it merely to make the salvation of all men possible; to remove the obstacles which stood in the way of the offer of pardon and acceptance to sinners? or, Was it specially to render certain the salvation of his own people, i.e., of those given to Him by the Father? The latter question is affirmed by Augustinians, and denied by their opponents. It is obvious that if there be no election of some to everlasting life, the atonement can have no special reference to the elect. It must have equal reference to all mankind. But it does not follow from the assertion of its having a special reference to the elect that it had no reference to the non-elect. Augustinians readily admit that the death of Christ had a relation to man, to the whole human family, which it had not to the fallen angels. It is the ground on which salvation is offered to every creature under heaven who hears the gospel; but it gives no authority for a like offer to apostate angels. It moreover secures to the whole race at large, and to all classes of men, innumerable blessings, both providential and religious. It was, of course, designed to produce these effects; and, therefore, He died to secure them. In view of the effects which the death of Christ produces in the relation of all mankind to God, it has in all ages been customary with Augustinians to say that Christ died sufficienter pro omnibus, efficaciter tantum pro electis;” sufficiently for all, efficaciously only for the elect. There is a sense, therefore, in which He died for all, and there is a sense in which He died for the elect alone. The simple question is, Had the death of Christ a reference to the elect which it had not to other men? Did He come into the world to secure the salvation of those given to Him by the Father, so that the other effects of his work are merely incidental to what was done for the attainment of that object? Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:545-6.

3) As this objection is directed against a theory which no Church has ever adopted, and as it attributes to God a form of justice which cannot possibly belong to Him, so it is contrary to those Scriptural representations on which the Augustinian doctrine is founded. The Scriptures teach that Christ saves us as a priest, by offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. But a sacrifice was not a payment of a debt, the payment of so much for so much. A single victim was sometimes a sacrifice for one individual; sometimes for the whole people. On the great day of atonement the scape-goat bore the sins of the people, whether they were more or less numerous. It had no reference at all to the number of persons for whom atonement was to be made. So Christ bore the sins of his people; whether they were to be a few hundreds, or countless millions, or the whole human family, makes no difference as to the nature of his work, or as to the value of his satisfaction. What was absolutely necessary for one, was abundantly sufficient for all. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology 2:555.

4) Admitting, however, that the Augustinian doctrine that Christ died specially for his own people does account for the general offer of the gospel, how is it to be reconciled with those passages which, in one form or another, teach that He died for all men? In answer to this question, it may be remarked in the first place that Augustinians do not deny that Christ died for all men. What they deny is that he died equally, and with the same design, for all men. He died for all, that He might arrest the immediate execution of the penalty of the law upon the whole of our apostate race; that He might secure for men the innumerable blessings attending their state on earth, which, in one important sense, is a state of probation; and that He might lay the foundation for the offer of pardon and reconciliation with God, on condition of faith and repentance. These are the universally admitted consequences of his satisfaction, and therefore they all come within its design. By this dispensation it is rendered manifest to every intelligent mind in heaven and upon earth, and to the finally impenitent themselves, that the perdition of those that perish is their own fault. They will not come to Christ that they may have life. They refuse to have Him to reign over them. He calls but they will not answer. He says, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Every human being who does come is saved. This is what is meant when it is said, or implied in Scripture, that Christ gave Himself as a propitiation, not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world. He was a propitiation effectually for the sins of his people, and sufficiently for the sins of the whole world. Augustinians have no need to wrest the Scriptures. They are under no necessity of departing from their fundamental principle that it is the duty of the theologian to subordinate his theories to the Bible, and teach not what seems to him to be true or reasonable, but simply what the Bible teaches. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:558-9.

5) There is another class of passages with which it is said that the Augustinian doctrine cannot be reconciled; such, namely, as speak of those perishing for whom Christ died. In reference to these passages it may be remarked, first, that there is a sense, as before stated, in which Christ did die for all men. His death had the effect of justifying the offer of salvation to every man; and of course was designed to have that effect. He therefore died sufficiently for all. In the second place, these passages are, in some cases at least, hypothetical. When Paul exhorts the Corinthians not to cause those to perish for whom Christ died, he merely exhorts them not to act selfishly towards those for whom Christ had exhibited the greatest compassion. The passage neither asserts nor implies that any actually perish for whom Christ died. None perish whom He came to save; multitudes perish to whom salvation is offered on the ground of his death. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:560-1.

6) The decision of the Synod of Dort, condemnatory of the Arminian doctrines, was unanimous. That Synod included delegates from all the Reformed churches except that of France, whose delegates were prevented from attending by an order from the King. The established churches of England and Scotland, as well as those of Holland, Germany, and Switzerland were represented. The judgment of the Synod was therefore the judgment of the Reformed Church. In accordance with the acknowledged Symbols of that Church, the Synod decided, (1.) That “all mankind sinned in Adam and became exposed to the curse and eternal death. That God would have done no injustice to any one, if He had determined to leave the whole human race under sin and the curse.” (2.) “That God out of the human race, fallen by their fault into sin and destruction, according to the most free good pleasure of his own will, and of mere grace, chose a certain number of men, neither better nor worthier than others to salvation in Christ.” (3.) That this decree to elect “a certain number” to eternal life, involves of necessity and according to the teaching of Scripture, a purpose to pass by, and leave those not elected to suffer the just punishment of their sins. (4.) That God out of infinite and unmerited love sent his Son “efficaciously to redeem” all those “who were from eternity chosen unto salvation and given to Him by the Father.”(5.) That Christ makes satisfaction for us, being “made sin and a curse upon the cross for us, or in our stead,” and that “this death of the Son of God is a single and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins, if infinite value and price abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.” Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:724-5.

7) So God’s telling the elect that if they apostatize they shall perish, prevents their apostasy. And in like manner, the Bible teaching that those for whom Christ died shall perish if they violate their conscience, prevents their transgressing, or brings them to repentance. God’s purposes embrace the means as well as the end. If the means fail, the end will fail. He secures the end y securing the means. It is just as certain that those for whom Christ died shall be saved, as that the elect shall be saved. Yet in both cases the event is spoken of as conditional. There is not only a possibility, but an absolute certainty of their perishing if they fall away. But this is precisely what God has promised to prevent. This passage, therefore, is perfectly consistent with those numerous passages which teach that Christ’s death secures the salvation of all those who were given to him in the covenant of redemption. There is, however, a sense in which it is scriptural to say that Christ died for all men. This is very different from saying that he died equally for all men, or that his death had no other reference to those who are saved than it had to those who are lost. To die for one is to die for his benefit. As Christ’s death has benefited the whole world, prolonged the probation of men, secured for them innumerable blessings, provided a righteousness sufficient and suitable for all, it may be said that he died for all. Charles Hodge, 1 Corinthians, (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1860), 8:11, 149.

8) So Dr. Cox, in his introductory chapter, speaks of “the limitation of the nature” of the atonement, and represents those whom he opposes as holding that it is as “limited in its nature as in its application.”–Pp. 16, 17. If these gentlemen would take the trouble to read a little on this subject they would find that this is all a mistake. They are merely beating the air. Those who deny that Christ died for Judas’ as much as for Paul, for the non-elect as much as for the elect, and who maintain that he died strictly and properly only for his own people, do not hold that there is any limitation in the nature of the atonement. They teach as fully as any men, that “an atonement sufficient for one is sufficient for all.” It is a simple question relating to the design, and not to the nature of Christ’s work. That work, as far as we know or believe, would have been the same had God purposed to save but one soul or the souls of all mankind. We hold that the atonement as to its value is infinite, and as to its nature as much adapted to one man as to another, to all as to one. The whole question is, for what purpose did he die ? What was the design which God intended to accomplish by his mission and death? That this is the true state of the question is obvious from the fact that the Reformed and Lutherans do not differ at all as to the nature of Christ’s satisfaction, though they do differ as to its design. Charles Hodge, “Beman on the atonement,” in Essays and Reviews, in (New York, Robert Carter & Brothers, 1857), 170-1.

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