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17. xvii. 27.
is the work of mortal art? You have forsooth a worthy con- SERM. ceit of God, who take him to be liberal in bestowing mean LXXII. things, and sparing of better things. He that, as St. Paul Acts xvii. saith, giveth to all men life, breath, and all things, will he 25. withhold from any that best of gifts, and most worthy of him to give, that grace whereby he may be able to serve him, to praise him, to glorify him, yea, to please and gratify him; to save a creature and subject of his; the thing wherein he so much delighteth? From hence also, that God Acts xiv. hath vouchsafed general testimonies of his goodness, in- Rom. i. 19. ducements to seek him, footsteps whereby he may be dis- ii. 15. covered and known, a light of reason and law of nature written upon men's hearts; attended with satisfactions, and checks of conscience; so many dispositions to knowledge and obedience, as St. Paul teacheth us; we may collect that he is not deficient in communicating interior assistances, promoting the good use and improvement of those talents; for that otherwise the bestowing them is frustraneous and useless; being able to produce no good effect; yea, it rather is an argument of unkindness, being apt only to produce an ill effect in those upon whom it is conferred; an aggravation of sin, an accumulation of guilt and wrath upon them.
If it be said, that having such grace is inconsistent with the want of an explicit knowledge of Christ, and of faith in him; why may not we say, that as probably (so St. Chrysostom, vid. Mont. App. I.) most good people before our Lord's coming received grace without any such knowledge or faith; that as to idiots and infants, our Saviour's meritorious performances are applied (in a manner unknowable by us) without so much as a capacity to know or believe any thing; that so we (to whom God's judgments are inscrutable, and his ways uninvestigable) Rom. xi. know not how grace may be communicated unto, and 33. Christ's merits may avail for other ignorant persons? in respect to whom we may apply that of St. John; The John i. 5.
* "Η πολλὰ ἄξιον νομίζεις τὸ θεῖον, πρὸς μὲν τὰ φαῦλα καλῶς καὶ ἀφθόνως παριστ εινασμένον, πρὸς δὲ τὰ κρείτω ἄπορος
SERM. light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended LXXII. it not. However, that such persons may have a grace capacifying them to arrive to that knowledge and faith, to which fuller communications of grace are promised; so that in reasonable esteem (as we shall presently shew) the revelation of evangelical truth, and the gift of faith, may be supposed to be conferred upon all men- -so that we may Rev. iii. 20. apply to them that in the Revelation; Behold, I stand at El rugh the door and knock; if any man will hear my voice, and
Ti, in äv il
Xi ȧpag- open the door, I will come in unto him, and sup with him, John ix. 41. and he with me; (that is, Behold, I allure every man to the knowledge and embracing of Christianity; if any man will open his mind and heart, so as to comply with my solicitations, I am ready to bestow upon him the participation of evangelical mercies and blessings:) and to such persons those promises and rules in the Gospel may appertain; He that asketh receiveth; he that seeketh findeth; to him that knocketh it shall be opened: The heavenly Father will give Luke xix. the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. He that is iv xaxisw sds, (faithful in the use of the least grace,) shall be reLuke xix. warded. And, To him that hath (or that diligently keepeth and husbandeth what he hath) shall more be given.
And how God sometimes dealeth with such persons the eminent instances of St. Paul and Cornelius do shew. But concerning this point I spake somewhat before, and have perhaps been too large now; I shall only add that saying of the wise writer de Voc. Gen. A pious mind, saith he, should not, I think, be troubled at that question, which is made concerning the conversion of all, or not all men; if we will not obscure those things which are clear, by those things which are secret; and while we wantonly insist upon things shut up, we be not excluded from those which are open and plains. Which in effect is the same with this; that since we are plainly taught, that our Lord is the Sa
Luke xi. 10, 13.
s Puto quod pius sensus non debeat in ea quæstione turbari, quæ de omnium et non omnium hominum conversione generatur; si ea quæ clara sunt non de his quæ occulta sunt obscuremus, et dum procaciter insistimus clausis excludamur ab apertis, &c. Lib. i. cap. 8.
viour of all men; and it is consequent thence, that he hath SERM. procured grace sufficiently capacifying all men to obtain LXXII. salvation; we need not perplex the business, or obscure so apparent a truth, by debating how that grace is imparted; or by labouring overmuch in reconciling the dispensation thereof with other dispensations of Providence.
THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION
ASSERTED AND EXPLAINED.
1 TIM. iv. 10.
The living God; who is the Saviour of all men,
SERM. 5. JESUS is the Saviour of all men, as the conductor of all LXXIII. 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, Neh. ix. 27. commonly styled: In the time of their trouble, say the Levites in Nehemiah, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and, according to thy manifold
mercies, thou gavest them Saviours, who saved them out of Judg. iii. 9, the hand of the enemy; so are Othniel and Ehud particularly called; and Moses signally: The same, saith St. Stephen of him, did God send to be ἄρχοντα καὶ λυτρωτήν, α 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 Athenians (for his delivering them from the Macedonian subjection, and restoring their liberty to them) entitled, sùegyérns nai owrng, a benefactor and saviour. Thus with greatest reason is Jesus so called, as being ignHeb. ii. 10. yòs râs ourngius, the Captain of Salvation, (so he is called by Acts iii. 15. the Apostle to the Hebrews,) aguyos (añs, (the Captain of
Life, as St. Peter names him, the chief Leader unto eternal SERM life,) agxnyos Tíorews, (the Captain of our Faith; he that LXXIII. hath revealed that saving doctrine, which is the power of Heb. xii. 2. God to salvation :) and these titles we have conjoined by Rom. i. 16. St. Peter in the Acts; Him hath God exalted, àgxnyv na¡ Acts v. 31. owrnga, as a Captain and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. 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 salvation; 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 unto all men: mysteries of truth, which ol. i. 26. were hidden from ages and generations, which no fancy 25. 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 rewards thereof, whatever is important for us to know in order to happiness,) he did plainly discover, and bring to light; he did with valid sorts of demonstration assert and confirm. The doing which, (as having so much efficacy toward salvation, and being ordinarily so necessarily thereto,) is often called saving; as particularly by St. James; when he saith, He Jam. v. 20. that turns a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death. And by St. Paul; Take heed to thy 1 Tim. iv. word and doctrine; for so doing thou shalt save thyself, and 16. thy hearers. That our Lord hath thus (according to his design, and according to reasonable estcem) saved all men, 1 Cor. ix.