As has been indicated previously, the general teaching of the entire body of Scripture, in type, prophecy and precept is favorable, to say the least, to particular redemption. It is consistently taught by the Apostles and by our Lord Himself. The entire fifty-third chapter of Isaiah very definitely teaches that the atonement was made for God's people only. A careful study reveals that in the language of Isaiah fifty-three the atonement is limited in its extent.
Biblical terms concerning the atonement and its object S are carefully worded by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:13) and the elect are described in such terms as believers, sheep, the elect, us, many, etc.
Some of the greatest of soul winners have believed in particular redemption, as well as the other doctrines of grace. Some of the holiest of God's saints, such as the Pun-tans, have believed in the limited atonement. Spurgeon, in his sermon on "Misrepresentations Of True Calvinism Cleared Away," makes mention of such names as Luther, Knox, Calvin, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Huss, Wickliffe, Wishart, Bradford, M'Cheyne, Chalmers, Wardlaw, Livingstone, Haldane, Erskine, Toplady, Gill, in his defense of true Calvinism.1 No doubt the list of names could be multiplied.
Spurgeon, in the aforementioned sermon, is speaking of Calvinism in general, but this would also be an answer to those who misrepresent the doctrine of particular redemption. He further says,
Spurgeon himself was apostolic in his labors for the salvation of others. He reached literally thousands and tens of thousands with the gospel and God honored his labors by giving him much fruit. His printed sermons belted the globe and it is said that his written works would fill a 12 foot shelf. Preachers were taught in his college, missionaries were sent forth, orphans were fed and widows clothed.3 Yet he believed and preached the doctrine of the limited atonement.
To have compassion on the lost and to earnestly seek their salvation is Christ-like. His servants, who have learned to weep over lost sinners, learned this secret from the bosom of Christ Himself. For our Lord wept over His enemies and prayed for those who put Him to open shame when on the cross He prayed "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Lk. 23:34)
His great servant, Paul, had a Christ-like love and compassion for lost sinners, for he said, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." (Rom. 10:1) For Israel he had a continuous burden and a Godly sorrow over their lost condition. (Rom. 9:1-3) Yet, he knew perfectly well that God's Word was effectual and that God's covenant purpose was being carried out in the True Israel. (Rom. 9:6-8)
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught particular redemption, for He called the special objects of His redemption many, His sheep, His friends, etc.4 (Mt. 26:28, Jno. 10:15, Jno. 15:13) Yet He could weep over an impenitent Jerusalem. (Mt. 23:37)
To suppose that God's eternal covenant purpose in Christ relieves either saint or sinner from responsibility is erroneous. Hyper-calvinism is a deadly error and it is this attitude which destroys evangelistic fervor, not the true doctrines of God's Word of election, predestination, grace and particular redemption.
To have lofty, exhalted views of the atonement, as it is taught in the Scriptures, and to combine with this a passionate, fervent, zealous affection for lost souls is Divine and approaches that love which resides in the bosom of our dear Lord Himself from which the atonement had its source.
Perhaps in Heaven we shall understand something of the height, depth, breadth and extent of Jesus' love and the atonement which He made for His lost sheep that He might redeem them to God by His own blood.