now that I have your attention…
There are two rotten pillars on which the fabric of late Arminianism (an egg of the old Pelagianism, which we had well hoped had been long since chilled, but is sit upon and brooded by the wanton wits of our degenerate and apostate spirits) doth principally stand.
The one is, That God loveth all alike , Cain as well as Abel, Judas as the rest of the apostles.
The other is, That God giveth (nay is bound, “ ex debito ,” so to do) both Christ, the great gift of his eternal love, for all alike to work out their redemption, and “ vires credendi ,” power to believe in Christ to all alike to whom he gives the gospel ; whereby that redemption may effectually be applied for their salvation, if they please to make right use of that which is so put into their power.
The former destroys the free and special grace of God, by making it universal ; the latter gives cause to man of glorying in himself rather than in God, — God concurring no farther to the salvation of a believer than a reprobate. Christ died for both alike; — God giving power of accepting Christ to both alike, men themselves determining the whole matter by their free-will; Christ making both savable, themselves make them to be saved.
This cursed doctrine of theirs crosseth the main drift of the holy Scripture; which is to abase and pull down the pride of man, to make him even to despair of himself, and to advance and set up the glory of God’s free grace from the beginning to the end of man’s salvation. His hand hath laid the foundation of his spiritual house; his hand shall also finish it.
The reverend and learned author of this book hath received strength from God (like another Samson) to pull down this rotten house upon the head of those Philistines who would uphold it. Read it diligently, and I doubt not but you will say with me, there is such variety of choice matter running through every vein of each discourse here handled, and carried along with such strength of sound and deep judgment, and with such life and power of a heavenly spirit, and all expressed in such pithy and pregnant words of wisdom, that you will both delight in the reading and praise God for the writer. That both he and it may be more and more profitable shall be my hearty prayers. —”
The unworthiest of the ministers of the gospel,
Some of you may be wondering where this lengthy quote has come from. Others, however, recognized that this in one of the two attestations that precede John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. This work by Owens is the standard on the the subject of definite atonement. For any of my readers who have the Logos bible program with the Libronix Digital Library this work of Owens, as well as 17 others, is available for free download. You can find this resource and others at stilltruth.com.