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Chapter 2 Section 31.

- Joannes Chrysostomus

Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 31—Joannes Chrysostomus. A.D. 390.

Chrysostom often makes use of the apostle’s words, who would have all men to be saved, and drops many general
expressions concerning the love of God to men, and his desire of their welfare; which M. Daille[1] has collected
together in favor of the general scheme, though there is not a word in them about the death of Christ, and redemption
by it. Chrysostom does indeed say elsewhere,[2] that "the sacrifice (of Christ) was offered for the whole nature kai
ikane pantes en sosai, and was sufficient to save all." Which is not denied; but then he immediately observes, that only
believers receive any advantage by it; his words are these, oi de to euergesia chresamenoi oi pisteuontes eisi monoi,
"but they only enjoy the benefit who believe." He also says,[3] "The rational lamb is offered for the whole world." But
then he explains the whole world by such men who are purified, are freed from error, and brought to the knowledge of
the truth; for he adds, "the same hath purified the whole world, he has freed men from deception, and brought them to
the truth." Indeed on those words, that "he by the grace of God might taste death for all," he observes[4] that "this is
not for believers only, but the whole world, ‘for he died for all: What if all do not believe? He hath fulfilled his part."
And again, on those words, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many," he has this note,[5] Why does he say
many and not all? epeide me pantes episteusan, because all do not believe." For all indeed he died, to save all, as to his
part, antirropos gar estin o thanatos ekeinos tes panton apoleias, ‘for that death was equivalent to the destruction of
all,’ but he did not bear, or take away the sin of all, because they would not." In all which, though he seems to intimate
that Christ died intentionally to save all, and makes the effect of Christ’s death depend on the will of man; yet what he
says confirms the distinction so much used in this controversy, that Christ died for all men as to the sufficiency of his
death for all, but, not as to the effect of it; for certain it is, that Chrysostom did not think that all Adam’s posterity that
sprung from him, and died in him, are quickened, or made alive by Christ, in a spiritual sense; his note on those
words,[6] "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," is this, "What therefore? tell me, do all
die the death of sin in Adam? How then was Noah righteous in his generation? How Abraham? How Job? And how
all others? Tell me, "shall all be quickened in Christ?" pos oi eis geennan apagomenoi, ‘how can they be that are led
to hell?’ But if this is said of the body, the sense stands good; but if of righteousness and sin, not so." In some places
the characters he gives of those for whom Christ died, are such as cannot agree with all mankind: "if," says he,[7] "to
dig up a church is vile and wicked, much more naon preumatikon, ‘a spiritual temple;’ for man is more venerable than
a church, for Christ did not die for walls, alla dia tous naous toutous, but for those temples." Again,[8] "Dost thou
despise anthropou pistou, ‘a believing man,’ who when he was an unbeliever Christ did not despise? What, do I say
he did not despise him? Verily, he so loved him, whilst all enemy and deformed, os kai apothanein uper anton, as
even to die for him." Upon those words[9] "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me," he has
this note, toutestin kai tous ex ethno, that is, and those of or from among the Gentiles;" by which it appears that by all,
he only understood some. What he says[10] consenting Julian the emperor, seems to favor the doctrine of general
redemption most of any thing cited from this writer, as that "he (Julian) turned from and hated his benefactor and
Savior, and "who did not spare his only begotten Son, di auton for him." As for the imperfect work upon Matthew,
which bears Chrysostom’s name, it is none of his;[11] but is the performance of a much later writer; wherefore what is
produced front thence does not come under our consideration.
As for the passages out of Severianus, cited by Monsieur Daille, the first of them only shows, that the gospel of the
kingdom is published to the whole world, and is made useful to all sorts of men, which does not suppose universal
redemption; and the other, that whereas all human things are fallen, Christ has took upon him all things, and by his
grace renews them; which is capable of being understood in such a sense as not at all to favor that doctrine, since it
cannot be thought that Christ took upon him more than he renews by his grace, and these are not all men.


[1] Apolog. p. 808 ad 816.[11/2/2010 10:50:03 AM]

Chapter 2 Section 31. - Joannes Chrysostomus

[2] In Galatians 2. 20, tom. iii. p. 735.

[3] In Genesis Homil. 47, tom. i. p. 384.

[4] In Hebrews homil. 4, tom. i. p. 451.

[5]Ibid. homil. 17, p. 522.

[6] 1 Corinthians serm. 39, tom. in. p. 505.

[7] In Romans serm. 26, Ib. p. 210.

[8] Ibid. serm. 27, p. 216.

[9] In John 12:32, tom. p. 840.

[10] Orat. 1, in S. Babyl. tom. v. p. 439.

[11] Vide Rivet. Critici Saer. I. 4, c. 1, p. 349, etc.; James’s Corruption of the Fathers, part 1. p. 87.[11/2/2010 10:50:03 AM]