For every man?
If Christ on His cross intended to save every man,
intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the
doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for
some who were in Hell before He came into this world, for
doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been
cast away because of their sins. . . That seems to me a
conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those
consequences which are said to be associated with the
Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular
redemption. To think that my Savior died for men who were
or are in Hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to
We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ,
because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all
men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that,
on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not.
The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what
they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of
all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next
question- Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any
man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit
this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so
that any man may be saved if..." -and then follow certain
conditions of salvation.
We say then, we will just go back to the old statement- Christ
did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of
anybody, did He? You must say "No;" -you are obliged to
say so, for you believe that even after a man has been
pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is
it that limits the death of Christ? Why you...
We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation
of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's
death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved,
and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything
but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may
keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.
I would rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious
for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal
atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will
of men be added to it.
A redemption which pays a price, but does not ensure that
which is purchased - a redemption which calls Christ a
substitute for the sinner, but yet which allows the person to
suffer - is altogether unworthy of our apprehensions of
Almighty God. It offers no homage to his wisdom, and does
despite to his covenant faithfulness. We could not and would
not receive such a travesty of divine truth as that would be.
There is no ground for any comfort whatever in it.