These ten ancient testimonies are given in an appendix at the end of John Owen's The death of death in the death of Christ
I. The confession of the holy Church of Smyrna, a little after the commendation given it by the Holy Ghost, Rev. ii. 9, upon the martyrdom of Polycarpus:
“Neither can we ever forsake Christ, him who suffered for the salvation of the world of them that are saved, nor worship any other.” [It is an extract from a letter of the church of Smyrna to the churches of Pontus, giving an account of the martyrdom of Polycarp.]
II. The witness of holy Ignatius, as he was carrying to Rome from Antioch, to be cast to beasts for the testimony of Jesus:
“This is the way leading to the Father, this the rock, the fold, the key; he is the shepherd, the sacrifice; the door of knowledge, by which entered Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the whole company of prophets, and the pillars of the world, the apostles, and the spouse of Christ; for whom, instead of a dowry, he poured out his own blood, that he might redeem her.” [AD 107]
Surely Jesus Christ gives not a dowry for any but his own spouse.
III. Clemens, “whose name is in the book of life,” Phil. iv. 3, with the whole church at Rome in his days, in the epistle to the church of Corinth
“For the love which he had unto us, he gave his blood for us, according to his purpose, and his flesh for our flesh, and his life for our lives.”
Where you have assigned, 1. The cause of Christ’s death, — his love to us; 2. The object of it, — us, or believers; 3. The manner how he redeemed us, even by commutation. This triple testimony is taken from the very prime of undoubted antiquity.
IV. Cyprian, to Cæcilius, a holy, learned, and famous martyr, AD 250:
“He bare all us, who bare our sins;”
That is, he sustained their persons on the cross for whom he died.
The same to Demetrian
“This grace hath Christ communicated, subduing death in the trophy of his cross, redeeming believers with the price of his blood.”
The same, or some other ancient and pious writer of the cardinal works of Christ. The same author also, in express terms, mentions the sufficiency of the ransom paid by Christ, arising from the dignity of his person “Of so great dignity was the oblation of our Redeemer, that it alone was sufficient to take away the sins of the world.”
V. Cyril of Jerusalem, [AD 350]
“Wonder not if the whole world be redeemed; for he was not a mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God that died. If, then, through the eating of the tree” (forbidden) “they were cast out of paradise, certainly now by the tree” (or cross) “of Jesus shall not believers more easily enter into paradise?” So also doth another of them make it manifest in what sense they use the word all..
VI. Athanasius, of the incarnation of the Word of God [AD. 350]:
“He is the life of all, and as a sheep he delivered his body a price for the souls of all, that they might be saved.” All in both places can be none but the elect; as,
VII. Ambrose or rather, Prosper, [AD 370]
“The people of God hath its own fulness. In the elect and foreknown, distinguished from the generality of all, there is accounted a certain special universality; so that the whole world seems to be delivered from the whole world, and all men to be taken out of all men.”
In which place he proceedeth at large to declare the reasons why, in this business, “all” and “the world” are so often used for “some of all sorts.”
These that follow wrote after the rising of the Pelagian heresy, which gave occasion to more diligence of search and wariness of expression than had formerly been used by some.
IX. Augustine, [AD. 420]:
“By him the Mediator, the Lord declareth himself to make those whom he hath redeemed with his blood, of evil, good to eternity.”
“Christ will possess what he bought; he bought it with such a price that he might possess it.”
“He that bought us with such a price will have none perish whom he hath bought.”
“He often calleth the church itself by the name of the world; as in that, ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself;’ and that, ‘The Son of man came not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ And John in his epistle saith, ‘We have an Advocate, and he is the propitiation for [our sins, and not for ours only, but also for] the sins of the whole world.’ The whole world, therefore, is the church, and the world hateth the church. The world, then, hateth the world; that which is at enmity, the reconciled; the condemned, the saved; the polluted, the cleansed world. And that world which God in Christ reconcileth to himself, and which is saved by Christ, is chosen out of the opposite, condemned, defiled world.” Much more to this purpose might be easily cited out of Augustine, but his judgment in these things is known to all.
IX. Prosper [AD. 440]:
“He is not crucified with Christ who is not a member of the body of Christ. When, therefore, our Saviour is said to be crucified for the redemption of the whole world, because of his true assumption of the human nature, yet may he be said to be crucified only for them unto whom his death was profitable. Diverse from these is their lot who are reckoned amongst them of whom it is said, ‘The world knew him not.’ ”
“Doubtless the propriety of redemption is theirs from whom the prince of this world is cast out. The death of Christ is not to be so laid out for human-kind, that they also should belong unto his redemption who were not to be regenerated.”
“If there be none whom God would not have redeemed, why are not all saved?”
X. Council held at Valence [AD 855]
“The price of the death of Christ is given for them alone of whom the Lord himself said, ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish.’ ”