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the blessings of the new economy. To mark the contrast, the strongest language that could be employed became necessary. In these circumstances, we can conceive of nothing more natural than to use the phrases all men, all the world, &c., to denote men in general, without regard to national distinction. Nor let it be surmised that, in giving this explanation, we are supposing language to be employed which is not strictly true or correct. We make no such supposition; we reason on the commonly received principle of verbal interpretation: it is an ordinary occurrence to use a general designation, when it is intended to express a general principle, and not to include each individual comprehended in the general designation employed. Take, as an explanation of what we mean, these words uttered in reference to the conversion of Cornelius:-Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.' What do they express? Not that to every individual of the Gentile world God had granted repentance unto life; but that the conversion of Cornelius, a Roman soldier, evolved and established the principle that Gentiles as well as Jews were eligible to the enjoyment of saving blessings. In precisely the same way, are we warranted, to explain the phrases in question as meaning, not that Christ died for all men without ex-ception, or for every individual in the world, but for all without distinction of national character. Bearing this in mind, and remembering that it is the language of a Jew addressed to Jews, the words of John cannot be misunderstood: If any man sin
we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for OUR sins, and not for OURS only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD.' The same principle will apply to many similar passages. The difference between all without exception and all without distinction is deserving of particular attention in this controversy. If we do not greatly mistake, it supplies the true solution of the apparent difficulty on which the objection before us is founded. That Christ made atonement for all without distinction is freely conceded; that he made atonement for all without exception cannot be maintained, as we have seen, without involving ourselves in the most palpable contradiction; nor is there any thing, it appears, in the language of scripture, which requires us to adopt such a supposition.
But further, it may even be admitted that there are certain advantages or privileges, not of a saving nature, resulting from the death of Christ, the participation of which, by those who live under the gospel, may be held to be strictly universal. The preservation of the human race itself may be traced up to this source; and certainly we are indebted to it for the means of moral and religious improvement, for much valuable and useful knowledge, for a more full and clear exhibition of duty, for greater restraints on wickedness, and stronger incentives to righteousness, and benevolence, and purity; with many other
2+ 1 John ii. 1, 2.
things, contributing to the prosperity of society and the welfare of individuals, which unassisted reason or civil legislation could never have secured." The system of grace, established on earth and resting as its basis on the atonement of Christ, surrounds, so to speak, 'our guilty world with an atmosphere of natural and moral good, and scatters an endless variety of personal and social enjoyments.' These advan
tages are strictly universal; and if the sentiment that Christ died for all men, were understood to have no higher reference than these, we might not feel ourselves called upon to dispute it. Still, at the same time, we should be disposed to question the propriety of the language employed to express the sentiment in question. Because certain benefits, not of a saving nature, spring to all, men from the death of Christ, we do not conceive it proper to say that Christ died for all men. It is plain that, in this sense, the phrase expresses a meaning different altogether from that which it bears when used with reference to the subjects of saving grace, or the objects of God's purpose of mercy. And, with nearly the same propriety, might it be affirmed that Christ died for angels, for it is not to be disputed, as we shall afterwards see, that they also derive important advantages from the death of Christ, more especially an enlargement of knowledge and an accession of companions, which, but for this, they could never have enjoyed.
25 Hill's Lectures, v. iii. p. 9.
Besides; it ought to be observed, that universal terms are not to be stretched beyond that with reference to which they are used. They denote all comprehended within a specified whole, but the whole itself may be limited. In this sense, the term all may express an endless variety of extension; it may be all the members of a family, or all the citizens of a town, or all the population of a country, or all the inhabitants of the globe. Its meaning must be defined by that which is spoken of. That Christ died for all, is certainly affirmed; but for all whom? This is the question. Whether for all the human family? or only for all that were given him by his Father, for all his own, for all his church? Because, in speaking of privileges secured for the people of Great Britain, a writer should happen to say that these privileges were secured for all, it would surely be unfair to infer that he meant they were secured for all the inhabitants of the earth. Not less unwarrantable is it, because Christ is said to have died for all, when the whole context is treating of the privileges of the people of God, to draw the conclusion, that he died for all the human family without exception. And it is here not a little noticeable, that, in the whole compass of revelation, so far as we are aware, it is never once said, in so many terms, that Christ died for all men, or for every man. In the received version, it is true, the words men and man occur, but there are no corresponding terms in the original; all and every one are the words employed, leaving the sense to be filled up by the connexion.
It may here also be remarked, that the Greek language possesses terms more strictly expressive of absolute universality than those which are used in treating of the extent of Christ's death;" so that we may infer, it was not the design of the inspired writers to express the greatest degree of universality, else these more extensive terms would have been employed.
Having made these general observations, we are now prepared for entering on a more close review of the particular passages of scripture, on which the objection we are considering is founded. These passages may be arranged into two classes:-Such as connect the death of Christ with the world or the whole world—and such as speak of his having died for all men or for every man.
The passages which connect the death of Christ with the world or the whole world, are six in number. It may be premised, that the term world is used in scripture subjectively for the material world, or the world containing; as in the expressions, 'the world was made by him,' and 'the field is the world.' It is also used adjunctively for the world contained, that is, the men in the world; as when God is said to judge the world.' It is scarcely necessary to remark, that it is in the latter sense the term occurs in the present controversy. But even in this sense,
26 Пas is the word most commonly employed. But it is allowed not to have the same intensity as ἅπας, σύμπας, Or ἕκαστος, which we believe are not used in this connexion.
27 John i. 10; Matt. xiii. 38.
28 Rom. iii. 6.