PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.
Charles Spurgeon, like all Calvinists, understood that the saving efficacy of the atonement is limited to the elect alone. But he rejected the notion of those high Calvinists who deny that the atoning work of Christ has any application or relevance to the reprobate whatsoever.
Spurgeon taught that the atoning work of Christ had universal and particular aspects. Of course, he stressed that the substitutionary aspects of the atonementwhere Christ stood in the place of sinners and bore their punishment in their stead, propitiating God and providing full expiation for sinwere applicable to the elect alone.
But he also saw a universal aspect to the work of Christ on the cross. He taught that common grace is (at least to some degree) grounded in the atonement, because the kindness and benevolence of God to humanity in generalespecially as reflected in the well-meant offer of salvationwould not have been possible at all apart from Christ's death. That is why those who reject Christ are guilty of the most egregious kind of personal affront against His goodness toward them (cf. Romans 2:4).
The following excerpt is from sermon no. 650, "Judgment Threatening but Mercy Sparing," delivered Sunday Morning, 17 September 1865 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London:
We do not believe in general redemption, but we believe in every word of this precious Bible, and there are many passages in the Scripture which seem to show that Christ's death had an universal bearing upon the sons of men.
We are told that he tasted death for every man. What does that mean? Does it mean that Jesus Christ died to save every man? I do not believe it does, for seems to me that everything which Christ intended to accomplish by the act of his death he must accomplish or else he will be disappointed, which is not supposable. Those whom Christ died to save I believe he will save effectually, through his substitutionary sacrifice.
But did he in any other sense die for the rest of mankind? He did. Nothing can be much more plain in Scripture, it seems to me, than that all sinners are spared as the result of Jesus Christ' death. And this is the sense in which men are said to trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. We read of some who denied the Lord that bought them. No one who is bought with blood for eternal salvation ever tramples on that blood; but Jesus Christ has shed his blood for the reprieve of men that they may be spared, and those who turn God's sparing mercy into an occasion for fresh sin, do trample on the blood of Jesus Christ.
You can hold that doctrine without holding universal redemption, or without at all contradicting that undoubted truth, that Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, and that where he suffered he suffered not in vain.
Now, sinner, whether thou knowest it or not, thou art indebted to him that did hang upon the tree, for the breath that is now in thee. Thou hadst not been on praying ground and pleading terms with God this morning if it had not been for that dear suffering one.