The editor of the N. Y. Baptist Repository has made an effort to relieve the doctrine of Redemption from all obscurity, and to lay the subject open. How he has succeeded may be learned by the following extracts from his article on the subject. He tells us that "On this point it is easy to be wise above what is written, and it is easy to understand all that mortals can know on the subject; because all that is known is revealed in the bible."
That it is easy for him to be wise above what is written, he has practically proven in the fourth item of his essay, in which he says:
"Redemption does not of itself alone secure the salvation of any individual in the world; but it lays a broad and solid foundation for human happiness, by declaring the fact, (not explaining how,) that by the death of Christ, God can be just and yet save the guilty believers. By sending forth the Holy Spirit, it creates the sinner anew in Christ Jesus; by proclaiming the gospel, it awakens the anxieties of the careless and stupid; by the efforts of believers, it turns men from the error of their ways to the wisdom of the just. Therefore salvation is not the result of Redemption alone, but of a multitude of other causes combined with it, to bring them that were afar off nigh by the blood of the covenant."
Thus it appears Mr. Crosby has at length got out of his shell. It has hitherto been more than a Herculean task for him to harmonize the general character of his paper with the Particular Redemption principles it was pledged to maintain. Consequently he had to labor under great embarrassments, in which he found it "hard for him to kick against the pricks." For him to admit that salvation is wholly of God, by grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and at the same time tell his readers that "many precious souls are suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, who might have been saved if we had made such exertions as we might," involves perplexing opposites which he found hard to reconcile and bring together. To allow the atonement of Christ to be any thing more than a cypher in connection with his do and live system, would be so obviously absurd as to seriously jeopardize his whole theory of Missionary, Tract, Sabbath School, and other like contrivances for converting the heathen and evangelizing the world. But now Human Redemption, he says, was completed when Jesus cried on the cross, It is finished. But alas! "Redemption does not secure the salvation of any individual in the world." Then, should the apostle demand, "Why shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect, we may reply, Mr. Crosby of the N. Y. Baptist Repository; for he denies that redemption by the blood and death of Christ secures the salvation of any, that the blood of Christ alone can cleanse a sinner from his sins, that any sinner is freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Would not the holy apostle rebuke the man of the Repository, in words like these? "Nay, but who art thou, O man, that repliest against God?" Or, "O full of all subtlety and all guile, thou child of the devil, how long wilt thou not cease to pervert the right way of the Lord." The testimony of the apostles is, that Christ was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.-Tit. ii. 14. "But, (says Mr. Crosby,) it lays a foundation for human happiness," O, is that all that the redemption of Christ has done? We had hoped and believed that the Lamb that was slain had redeemed us unto God, with his blood, out of every kindred tongue and people on earth, and that we should reign with our blessed Savior forever, in spiritual and eternal happiness. But we are now told that he has only laid the foundation for human happiness! If so, then it remains for us to build up our human happiness on the redemption of Christ; for even human happiness is not secured, only a foundation for it. And what is human happiness? None can tell since Adam fell asleep, for since his day no mortal has ever realized human happiness in its perfection; nor ever will. If this was the object of Christ's death, it has proved an utter failure. But we fearlessly deny that the death of Christ was intended for that object. He died as the Surety of his people, to bring them nigh by the blood of the cross; to redeem them from all iniquity, and to secure their salvation, and to make sure and certain their (not human, but) spiritual and eternal happiness. "By his stripes we are healed." And "by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified."
But says Mr. C., "By declaring that fact, (not explaining how,) that by the death of Christ, God can be just and yet save the guilty believer."
Will Mr. C. inform us where in the bible he finds that fact recorded? We have never learned from that sacred book that God intended to save guilty believers. We have read, "His name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Now as unbelief is a sin, Jesus is engaged to save his people from unbelief, and from all other sins, and to present them to himself, holy and without blame before him in love. That secures super-human happiness to his people; but guilty believers must, we judge, be those who believe a lie, that they may be damned; and not those whom he has from the beginning chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
In what part of the bible does Mr. C. find that the Holy Spirit is sent to create sinners anew in Christ Jesus? Such doctrine cannot be found in the bible. We read that God has called, chosen, saved, preserved and blessed his people in Christ Jesus before the world began. And in Eph. ii. we read that the saints, not sinners as such, are God's workmanship, created (not anew,) in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
Says Mr. C., "By proclaiming the gospel, it awakens the anxieties of the careless and stupid." What contradiction of terms. The careless and stupid have no anxieties to awaken. "By the efforts of believers." Guilty believers, we presume he means; for only guilty believers, who believe a lie, employ means to give efficacy to the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus. "It turns men from the error of their ways to the wisdom of the just."
On this new theory the Redemption of Christ is only a cypher; human efforts are figures, which men are to set at the left of the cypher and raise it to any amount they please. And Mr. Crosby concludes, and deduces from his own new theory that salvation is not the result of redemption alone, but of a multitude of other causes combined with it, to bring them that were afar off, nigh by the blood of the covenant; and a multitude of other causes, to be according to his theory.
New Vernon, N. Y.,
May 22, 1833.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 63 - 66