Page images


The Doctrine of Universal Redemption asserted

and explained.

1 Tim. iv. 10.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-The living God; who is the Saviour of all men,

especially of those that believe, ESUS is the Saviour of all men, as the con- s ER M.

ductor of all men into and through the way of salvation. It is a very proper title, and most due to those brave captains, who by, their wisdom and valour have freed their country from straits and oppressions. So were those judges and princes, who anciently delivered Israel from their enemies, commonly styled : In the time of their trouble (lay the Neh. ix. 27. Levites in Nehemiah) when they cried unto thee, thou beardest them from heaven, and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them Saviours, who saved them out of the hand of the enemy ; so are Othniel and Ehud Judg. iii. 9. particularly called ; and Mofes signally: The same, Keits vii.35. faith St. Stephen of him, did God send to be of conta xai aulewowy a Commander and a Saviour (or Redeemer) to the children of Israel; for that he by a worthy and happy conduct did free them from the Egyptian slavery. And thus was Demetrius by the Athe




SER M. nians (for his delivering them from the Macedonia..

subjection, and restoring their liberty to them) entitied ευεργέτης και σωτήρ, a benefactor and Javiour.

Thus with greatest reason is Jesus so called, as beHeb. ii. 10. ing. asxnyos tñs owonpías, the Captain of Salvation (so Aâs vii. 35. he is called by the Apostle to the Hebrews), áexnyos Heb. xii. 2. Swñs (the Captain of Life, as St. Peter names him,

the chief Leader unto eternal life), αρχηγός πίσεως (the

Captain of our Faith; he that hath revealed that Rom. i. 16. saving doctrine, which is the power of God to sal

vation): and thele titles we have conjoined by St. A&sv. 31. Peter in the Acts; Him hath God exalted, dexnyòn xai

owtñça, as a Captain and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel and remission of fous. This he is to us several ways, by direction both instructive and exemplary; by his protection and governance; by his mating and quelling the enemies of man's falvation; which things more specially and completely he hath performed in respect to faithful Christians, yet in a manner also he hath truly done them for and toward all men ; as we shall distinctly consider.

6. Jesus is the Saviour of all men, we say, as having perfectly discovered and demonstrated the way and means of salvation ; the gracious purposes of God concerning it ; the duties required by God in order to it: the great helps and encouragements to seek it; the mighty determents from neglecting it ; the whole will of God, and concernment of man in relation

thereto ; briefly, all saving truths he hath revealed Rom. xvi. unto all men: mysteries of truth, which were bidden

from ages and generations, which no fancy of man could invent, no understanding could reach, no reason could by discussion clear (concerning the nature, providence, will, and purpose of God; the nature, original, and state of man ; concerning the laws and rules of practice, the helps thereto, the reward thereof, whatever is important for us to know in order to happiness) he did plainly difcover, and bring to light ; he did with valid forts


Col. i. 26.


[ocr errors]

Rom. xi.

12. i.9.

of demonstration assert and confirm. The doing SE R M. which, as having so much efficacy toward falvation, and being ordinarily fo necessary thereto, is often called saving ; as particularly by St. James ; when he faith, He that turns a finner from the error of James v. 20. bis way, shall save a foul from death. And by Sť. Paul; Take heed to thy word and doctrine, for so doing 1 Tim. iv. thou shalt save thyself, and thy hearers. That our 16. Lord hath thus, according to his design, and according to reasonable esteem, saved all men, we are 1 Cor. ix. authorized by the holy Scripture to say ; for he is 32 there represented to be the light of the world; the 14. true light that enlighteneth every man coming into the 2 Tim. iii. world; the day-Spring from on high, which hath visited coisas sis 45, to give light to them that fit, in darkness and the owTrepicuro

John viii. shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace.

By him the saving grace of God hath appeared Lekti: 79: unto all men. By him (as Isaiah prophesied, and St. iii. 4. John the Baptist applied it) all flesh did see the salva- 2 Tim. i. tion of God. Of him it was also foretold (as St. Luke iii. 6. Paul teacheth us), I have set thee for the light of the A&s xiii. nations, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the Eph. ii. 17. ends of the earth. Coming be preached peace tots p.xexção vai trīs fyyus (longe lateque) to them that were far, and them that were near, that is, to all men every where. While I am in the world, said he, I am the John ix. 5. light of the world; shining, like the sun, indifferently unto all; and when he withdrew his corporal prefence, he farther virtually diffused his light, for he sent his messengers with a general commission and command to teach all men concerning the benefits procured for them, and the duties required from them ; Going into the world, make all nations disciples, Matt.xxviii. teaching them to observe all that I commanded

you. Going into the world, preach the Gospel unto every crea- Mark xvi. ture (or, to the whole creation : so it ought to be). That Like xxiv. in his name should be preached repentance and remision of 47. fins unto all nations. And such was the tenor of the apostolical commission; Thou shalt be witness for him aas xxii.

toward 15.xxvi. 17.

19, 2;.



[ocr errors]

SER M. toward all men, said Ananias to St. Paul. AccordV. ingly, in compliance with those orders, did the

Apostles, in God's name, instruct and admonish all men, plainly teaching, seriously inviting to, strongly persuading, and earnestly entreating all men to em

brace the truth, and enjoy the benefits of the GofActs xvii. pel, and consequently to be saved: The times of ig

norance (faith St. Paul) God having winked at, doth 2 Cor. v. 20. now invite all men every where to repent; and, We are

ambajadors for Chrijl, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God-We pray you, you as members of that world,

which God was in Christ reconciling to himself ; Colof. i. 28. and, We preach Christ warning every man, and

teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may prejent every man perfect in Christ Jesus (or render every man a good Christian). Thus was the Gospel according to

our Saviour's intent and order preached (as St. Paul Col. 1. 23. faith of it) :v Top 1% x 4 Tỷ Tò mòn vỏezvov, in the

wbole creation under heaven; thus did God shew, 1 Tim. ii. 4. that he would have all men to be saved, and to

come to the knowledge of the truth; whence our Lord (in regard to the nature and design of his perform

ance in this kind) is the common Saviour, as the John i. 18. common master of truth, and enlightener of the

world, and proclaimer of God's will to mankind.

If now it be required or objected; why then is not the Gospel revealed unto men? How comes it to pass, that no sound of this saving word, no glimpse of this heavenly light, doth arrive to many nations ? How can so general and large intention consist with so particular and sparing execution ? What benefit can we imagine them capable to receive from this performance of our Saviour, who

still do fit in total ignorance of the Gospel, in darkLuke i. 74. nefs, and the shadow of death ? How can they call Rom. X. 14. upon him, in whom they believe not? And how can they

believe in him, of whom they have not heard ?
To this suggestion I answer,

1. That


1. That God's intentions are not to be inter-S ERM. preted, nor his performances estimated by events, depending on the contingency of human actions, but by his own declarations and precepts, together with the ordinary provision of competent means, in their own nature sufficient to produce those effects which he declares himself to intend, or to perform. What he reveals himself to design, he doth really design it; what he fays, that he performeth; he (according to moral esteem, that is, so far as to ground duties of gratitude and honour, proceedings of justice and reward) doth perform, although the thing upon other accounts be not effected.

Thus, for instance, God would have all men to live together here in peace, in order, in health, conveniently, comfortably, cheerfully; according to reason, with virtue and justice ; and in the best state toward happiness : for these purposes he hath endowed them with reasonable faculties, he hath engraven on their minds a natural law, he hath furnished them with all sorts of instruments and helps conducible to those ends; he promoteth them by dispensations of providence, and, probably, by internal influences of grace : yet often all those means, by the perverseness and stupidity of men, do prove ineffectual, so that wars, disorders, diseases, vices, iniquities and oppressions, troubles and miseries do commonly abound in the world. Likewise God desires, that in his church, knowledge and piety, peace and charity, and good order should grow and flourish; to which purposes he hath appointed teachers to instruct, and governors to watch over his people ; he hath'obliged each man to advise and admonish his brother; he hath declared holy precepts and rules of practice ; he hath propounded vast encouragements and rewards, and threatened dreadful punishments; he hath promised and doth afford requisite assistances; being himself always present and ready to promote those ends by his grace : yet not



« PreviousContinue »