Convoluted Calvinist William Perkins puts forth an objection, and then answers it:
"Objection. III. That which everyone is bound to believe, is true: but everyone is bound to believe that he is effectually redeemed by Christ: therefore it is manifest, that everyone, even the reprobate is effectually redeemed by the death of Christ.
[Answer by Perkins--CD] Whereto I answer; that the termini or parts of the proposition are to be distinguished; that which everyone is bound to believe is true according to the intention of God that bindeth; but it is not always true according to the event. Jonas [Jonah--CD] preached, and therefore he was bound to believe, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed; but this was not true according to the event.
The assumption must also be distinguished. Everyone in the Church, by God's commandment (Believe the Gospel) is bound to believe that he is redeemed by Christ; yea even the reprobate as well as the elect: but notwithstanding in a divers and different respect. The elect is bound to believe, that by believing he shall be made partaker of election: the reprobate, that by not believing, he may be made unexcusable, even by the intention of God. ... Secondly, I answer: that, that which everyone is bound to believe is true unless anyone shall by his own unbelief hinder himself; this doth the reprobate by his own inborn infidelity" (William Perkins, On Predestination).
Some commentators have said (whether correctly or incorrectly)
that William Perkins' view of the atonement of Jesus Christ was similar
to Theodore Beza and John Owen's. I suppose it depends on what
Perkins' work they were reading and/or from what side of the mouth
Perkins' was speaking.
Perkins says that those within the "Church" (which he would concede are mixed with elect and reprobate persons) are commanded by God to "believe the gospel." Perkins' damnable "gospel" informs everyone that they are commanded to believe that they are "redeemed by Christ." Perkins says that the reprobate will not believe this rightly. Here is Perkins in another work explaining at least one type of "believing" the aforementioned false gospel command that is done wrongly or "confusedly":
" ... whereby the reprobate doth confusedly believe the promises of God, made in Christ. I say 'confusedly' because he believeth
that some shall be saved, but he believeth not, that he himself
particularly shall be saved, because he being content with a general faith, doth never apply the promises of God to himself, neither doth he so much as conceive any purpose, desire, or endeavour to apply the same, or any wrestling or striving against security or carelessness and distrust" (William Perkins, A Golden Chain).
Here's a fictional scenario:
Perkins: God commands you to believe that you are redeemed by Christ.
Reprobate: So, you're telling me that it IS TRUE that I am redeemed by Christ?
Perkins: Of course not. I am NOT telling you that it is true according to the event that you are redeemed, only that you are commanded to believe that you ARE redeemed.The reprobate have absolutely no title to this redemption by Christ. ONLY the elect have such a title.
Reprobate: Then what exactly are you telling me to believe?
Perkins: I am telling you that as it pertains to the "the intention of God that bindeth," you are commanded to believe that Christ redeemed you. BUT as it pertains to the truth "according to the event" (with you being a reprobate and all) it is NOT true that Christ has redeemed you.
Reprobate: What type of rhetoric is this?
Perkins: Sigh. It's really quite simple sophistry, you see. I am trying desperately hard to maintain what seems to be a less-than-forthright mixture of "High Calvinism," "Moderate Calvinism," and "Hypothetical Universalism." Let me try again since you are slow to understand: God does not require everyone to believe that it
is true that Christ has redeemed him. Rather, every man is to
believe that it is true that God requires him to believe
that Christ has redeemed him. As a reprobate you have absolutely no title to Christ's death, but if God is pleased to make you a mere outward church member then you do have such a title (which, as I said before, this title renders you unexcusable by God's intention).
Reprobate: Do you know what "absolutely" means?
Perkins: I'd advise against that type of question, son. My convoluted, circuitous, and capacious intellect is virtually unbounded. You have absolutely no idea.
[The above fictional scenario was me trying to figure Perkins' out. Perkins has cited men like Prosper on the atonement's "sufficiency" for everyone without exception. But Prosper and Perkins do NOT mean the same thing by "sufficiency." Here are some excerpts from a fellow I corresponded with almost four years ago about this specific instance of Perkins' perplexity:]
"William Perkins was a nut, crack-pot, and just plain unhealthy. He
has this statement which I found a few years ago which goes like
this: The Gospel message is 'Mankind has been redeemed.' That phrase
has was used by others, who I believe were moderate Calvinists."
"I am glad Perkins had little to no lasting influence among the
"He has sections there,
quite extensive, in affirming Christ only died for the elect (with some
standard Owen-like arguments too). But then he cites Prosper and Aquinas
on sufficiency. I can't believe he really thought they were saying the
same thing as he was arguing for."