Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

SERMON LXXIV.

THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION

ASSERTED AND EXPLAINED.

1 TIM. iv. 10.

-The living God; who is the Saviour of all men,
especially of those that believe.

8. As our Saviour was such to all men by his doctrine, or SERM. the general discovery of all saving truth, so may he be cs- LXXIV. teemed such in regard to his exemplary practice; whereby upon the open stage of the world, and in the common view of all that would attend unto him, he did represent a living pattern of all goodness; by imitating which, we may certainly attain salvation. He that will consider his practice shall find it admirably fitted for general instruction and imitation; calculated for all places and all sorts of people; suited to the complexions, to the capacities, to the degrees, to the callings of all men; so that every sort of men may from it draw profitable direction, may in it find a copy, even of his particular behaviour: for he was a great Prince, illus trious in birth, excellent in glory, and abounding in all wealth; yet was born in obscurity, lived without pomp, and seemed to possess nothing; so teaching men of high rank to be sober, mild, and humble; not to rest in, not to regard much, not to hug and cling to the accommodations. and shows of worldly state; teaching those of mean degree to be patient, content, and cheerful in their station. He was exceedingly wise and knowing, without bound

SERM. or measure; yet made no ostentation of extraordinary LXXIV. knowledge, of sharp wit, of deep subtilty; did not vent high, dark, or intricate notions; had in his practice no reaches and windings of craft or policy; but was in his doctrine very plain and intelligible, in his practice very open and clear; so that what he commonly said or did, not only philosophers and statesmen, but almost the simplest idiots might easily comprehend; so that those might thence learn not to be conceited of their superfluous wisdom; these not to be discouraged in their harmless ignorance; both having thence an equally sufficient instruction in all true righteousness, a complete direction in the paths to happiness, being 2 Fim. iii. thereby cop:Cóuevos eis owingíav, made wise and learned to salva

15.

tion. He did not immerse himself in the cares, nor engage himself into the businesses of this world; yet did not withdraw himself from the company and conversation of men: he retired often from the crowd, that he might converse with God and heavenly things; he put himself into it, that he might impart good to men, and benefit the world, declining no sort of society; but indifferently conversing with all; disputing with the doctors, and eating with the publicans; whence thereby both men of contemplative and quiet dispositions or vocations, and men of busy spirits, or of active lives, may be guided respectively; those not to be morose, supercilious, rigid, contemptuous toward other men; these not to be so possessed or entangled with the world, as not to reserve some leisure for the culture of their minds, not to employ some care upon the duty of piety and devotion; both may learn, whether in private retirements, or in public conversation and employment, especially to regard the service of God and the benefit of inen: thus was the example of our Lord accommodated for all men; especially conducting them in the hardest and roughest parts of the way leading to bliss, the acclivities and asperitics of duty; self-denial, or neglect of worldly glory and fleshly pleasure, patience, humility, general charity; shewing us the possibility of performing such duties, and encouraging us thereto. Through these

Acts iii. 15.

Heb. xii. 2.

1 Pet. v. 4.

Rev. ii. 10.

difficult and dangerous passages (as a resolute chieftain of SERM. life) he undauntedly marched before us, charging, beating LXXIV. back, and breaking through all opposite forces, all enemies, 'Agxnyès all temptations, all obstacles; enduring painfully the most s furious assaults of the world; boldly withstanding and happily conquering the most malicious rage of hell; so that victory and salvation we shall be certain of, if we pursue his steps, and do not basely (out of faintness or falsehood) 1Pet. ii. 21. desert so good a leader; we shall not fail of the unfading crown, if with patience we run the race that is set before us, looking unto the Captain and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus, Açávi Αμαράντιwho, for the joy proposed unto him, endured the cross, de-vos dóžne σέφανον. spised the shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the sigaves throne of God. Would it not raise and inflame any cou ζωῆς. rage to see his commander to adventure so boldly upon all hazards, to endure so willingly all hardships? Whom would not the sight of such a forerunner animate and quicken in his course; who, by running in the straight way of righte ousness with alacrity and constancy, hath obtained himself a most glorious crown, and holdeth forth another like thereto, for the reward of those who follow him? Now as our Lord's doctrine, so did his example, in the nature and design thereof, respect and appertain to all men, it being also like the light of heaven, a common spectacle, a public guide, to guide our steps in the way of peace: if it do not appear so, if it do not effectually direct all, it is by accident and beside God's intention; it is by the fault of them who should propound it, or of them who have not eyes fit or worthy to behold it; briefly, what was said concerning the universal revelation of Christian doctrine may be applied to Christ's practice.

Jam. i. 12. edges.

Heb. vi. 20.

9. Jesus is the Saviour of all men, as having combated and vanquished all the enemies of man's welfare and happiness; dispossessing them of all their pretences and usurpations over man, disarming them of all their power and force against him; enabling us to withstand and overcome them. Man's salvation hath many adversaries of different nature and kind; some directly oppugning it, some for

SERM. mally prejudicing it, some accidentally hindering it; some LXXIV. alluring, some forcing, some discouraging from it, or from the means conducing to it: the chief of them we may from the Scripture (with consent of experience) reckon to be the devil, with all his envy and malice, his usurpations, his delusions, and his temptations to sin; the world, with its snares and baits, its violences, persecutions, and menaces; the flesh, or natural concupiscence, with its bad inclinations and propensities to evil, its lusts and pleasures; sin, with its guilt, and mischievous consequences; the law, with its rigorous exactions, hard measure, and harsh boding; conscience, with its accusations and complaints, its terrors and anguishes; divine anger, with its effects, death and hell. a All these our Lord hath in several and suitable ways de feated; as to their malignity, contrariety, or enmity in respect of man's salvation; he hath, as Zachariah prophesieth Luke i. 71, in his Benedictus, saved us from our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate us: so that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might (ap6ws) safely and securely, without danger or fear, serve him, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.

74.

Matt. xiii. 28.

The devil, (that enemy, that adversary, that accuser, that slanderer, that murderer, that greedy lion, that crafty 1 Pet. v. 8. serpent, the strong one, the mischievous one, the destroyer,) Dragon,

Luke xi.19.

&c.
Acts x. 38.

Rev. xii. 3, who usurped an authority, and exercised a domination
over mankind, as the prince of this world; who made
1John ii. 14. prize of them, captivated them at his pleasure; who de-
Rev. xii. 9. tained them under the power (or authority) of darkness

John xii.

xvi. 11.
Ephes. ii. 2.
vi. 12.
2 Cor. iv. 4.
Col. i. 13.,

31. xiv. 30. and wickedness; who had the power of death; him
our Saviour hath destroyed or defeated, (zarńgynow, as
the Apostle to the Hebrews speaketh; that is, abolished
him as to any farther pretence of empire or power over
Acts xxvi. us;) him he hath dejected from heaven, (I saw Satan

18. x. 38.

2 Tim.ii.26. like lightning falling down from heaven ;) him he hath cast Heb. ii. 14. out: Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the

Luke x. 18. John xii. 31. xvi. 11.

* ὁ Χρισὸς ἐδὲν τῆς ἰδίας ποιήσεως προσκατέλιπε τῷ ἄρχοντι τῇ κόσμου τούτους Athan. contra Apoll. p. 628.

[ocr errors]

Matt. xii.

22.

prince of this world be cast out: all his works he hath dis- SERM. Solved: For this cause, saith St. John, the Son of God did LXXIV. appear, that he might dissolve the works of the devil. He 1 John iii.8. combated this strong one, (this mighty and dreadful foe of 29. ours,) and baffled him, and bound him, and disarmed him, (taking away averíav airs, the chole armour in which he Luke xi.21, trusted,) and spoiled him, (rà cx:'n òṁgrass, rifled all his baggage, bare away all his instruments of mischief,) and plundered all his house; leaving him unable (without our fault, Coloss. ii. our baseness, our negligence) to do us mischief, (as is intimated in the 12th of St. Matthew, and 11th of St. Luke;) yea, he triumphed over all those infernal principalities and Eph. vi. 11. powers, and exposed them, as St. Paul saith he imparted 2Cor. ii. 11. to his disciples ability to trample upon all his power, by 1 Pet. v. 9. him all his followers are so fortified as to conquer the wick- Eph. iv. 27. ed one, as St. John says: he affordeth light to discover all his wiles and snares, strength and courage to withstand all his assaults, to repel all his fiery darts, to put him to flight.

15.

1 Joh. ii. 14.

Eph. vi. 16.

Jam. iv. 7.

The world also (that is, the wicked principles, the bad customs, the naughty conversation and exaniple which commonly prevail here among men; alluring to evil and deterring from good; the cares also, the riches, the pleasures, the glories of the world, which possess or distract the minds, satiate and cloy the desires, employ all the affections and endeavours, take up the time of men ; all in the world which fasteneth our hearts to earth, and to these low transitory things; or which sink them down. toward hell; and which detain them from soaring toward heaven) is an enemy, an irreconcileable enemy to our salvation; the friendship thereof being inconsistent with a friendship in us toward the God of our salvation; or in him toward us for the friendship of the world is enmity Jam. iv. 4. with God; and, If any man love the world, the friendship 1 John ii. of the Father is not in him. And this enemy our Lord hath vanquished, and enabled us to overcome. Be of John xvi. courage, saith he, I have overcome the world: he, by a constant self-denial and temperance, defeated the bewitching pleasures and flattering glories of it; he, by an immove

15.

33.

« PredošláPokračovať »