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SERMON V.

The Doctrine of Universal Redemption asserted

and explained.

i Tim. iv. 10.

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

especially of those that believe.

5. JESUS is the Saviour of all men, as the con- SERM. ductor of all men into and through the way of sal. v. vation. 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 (say the Neh. ix. 27. Levites in Nehemiah,) when they cried unto thee, thou heardeft them from heaven; and, according to thy manifold mercies, thou gaveft them Saviours, who saved them out of the hand of the enemy; so are Othniel and Ehud Judg. iii. 9. particularly called ; and Moses signally: The same, n'as vii. 35. faith St. Stephen of him, did God send to be ă exouta xai autowany, 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 Navery. And thus was Demetrius by the AtheVOL. I.

nians

S ER M. nians (for his delivering them from the Macedonian v. subjection, and restoring their liberty to them) en

titled, suspyétns xai owowie, a benefactor and saviour.

Thus with greatest reason is Jesus so called, as beHeb. ii. 10. ing ápanyós rñs owancías, the Captain of Salvation, (so Aets vii. 35. he is called by the Apostle to the Hebrews,) apxnyos Heb. xii. 2. (wñs, (the Captain of Life, as St. Peter names him,

the chief Leader unto eternal life,) ápxnyos tissus, (the

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

vation :) and these titles we have conjoined by St. A As v. 31. Peter in the Acts; Him hath God exalted, exenyor xai

owtñea, as a Captain and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Ifrael, and remision 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 Col. i. 26. unto all men: mysteries of truth, which were hidden Rom. xvi. 25.

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

of

22.

2 Tim. i.

of demonstration assert and confirm. The doing s ERM, which, as having so much efficacy toward salva- v. tion, and being ordinarily so necessary thereto, is often called saving; as particularly by St. James; when he saith, He that turns a finner from the error of James v. 20. his way, shall save a foril from death. And by St. Paul; Take heed to thy word and doctrine ; for so doing i Tim. iv. thou halt fave thyself, and thy hearers. That our "6. 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 Rom. xi. there represented to be the light of the world; the 147

ez Tim. iii. true light that enlighteneth every man coming into the i5. world; the day-spring from on high, which hath visited ropicas sis

owongicy. us, to give light to them that fit in darkness and the John viii. Shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of ... ? peace. By him the saving grace of God hath appeared Tit. ii. 11. unto all men. By him (as Isaiah prophesied, and St. John the Baptift applied it) all flesh did see the salva- 10.

Luke ji. 6. tion of God. Of him it was also foretold, (as St.

L. Acts xiii. Paul teacheth us,) I have set thee for the light of the 47. nations, that thou Mouldest be for salvation unto the cpr. ends of the earth. Coming he preached peace toñs par xoay xai toiseyyus (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 ; fhining, 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. 19, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. 20% Going into the world, preach the Gospel unto every crea- Mark xvi. ture, (or, to the whole creation: so it ought to be.) That ie serie in his nanie should be preached repentance and remission of 47. fins unto all nations. And such was the tenor of the Acts xxii. apoftolical commission ; Thou shalt be witness for him 15. xxvi.

toward 17.

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 confequently to be saved : The times of ig30. norance (saith St. Paul) God having winked at, doth 2 Cor. v. 20. now invite all men every where to repent: and, We are

ambassadors for Christ; as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to GodW e pray you, you as members of that world,

which God was in Christ reconciling to hiinself; Colof. i. 28.and, We preach Chrift warning every man, and Aas ii. 40. teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present

every man perfect in Christ Jesus, (or render every man a good Chriftian.) Thus was the Gospel, according to

our Saviour's intent and order, preached (as St. Paul Col.i. 23. faith of it) : sơn vị xTime T U rồw oleavòw, in the

whole creation under heaven ; thus did God Thew, 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 found of this faving, 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. ness, and the shadow of death ? How can they call Matt.iv.16. upon him, in whon. they believe not? And how can they Rom.x. 14.4

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- SERM. preted, nor his performances estimated by events, v. depending on the contingency of human actions, butby 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 says, 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 admonith 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

withstanding,

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