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1 Timothy ii. 4. Who will have all Men to be saved, IN verse first, the apostle directs 5 prayers and thanksgivings to be made for all men ;'-which he declares to “ be good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior ; who will have all men to be saved." Had salvation been provided for only a part of the human race, prayer and thanksgivings could have been consistently made only for a part. Those for whom no provision was made, would be in like state with persons who have com. mitted the fin unto death, for whom St. John intimates prayer is not to be offered up. " There is a fin unto death ; I do not say that he shall pray for it.” But such is naturally the state of none of the children of Adam. Divine goodness is extended to all, and salvation offered to them; therefore is prayer and praise to be offered up for all

men.

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Serm. 17.] God willing that all Men, &c. 225

It is now proposed, briefly to confider the divine goodness expressed in the text-Who will have all men to be saved--then fome abuses of the revelation which is made of this goodness to mankind.

I. We are to consider the divine goodness here expressedWho will have all men to be faved.

The salvation intended, is that of the soul. This comprehends deliverance from merited fuf. ferings, and the bestowment of happiness which is the contrast of it.

The provision which is made for the comfort and happiness of mankind in this life, evinces strange goodness in God. When we consider what man was made of God, and what he hath made himself, the divine benevolence here displayed, is wonderful! Strange that man was not destroyed, and blotted out from among God's works !

SOME suppose this to have been our first pa. rerts idea of the threatening in case of disobedience, and expected by them, when they attempted to hide themselves from the divine presence, after their fall.*

Had man then been destroyed, the race would have been extinct. But he was fpared ; suffered long to continue and rear a family, from which the myriads of human kind have descended. Though exiled Eden, and doomed to labor and sorrow, he was still at the head of this lower creation, and creatures below him generally subservi ent to his comfortable subfiftence. The ground was indeed cursed for his fake and fatiguing culti

* Genesis iii. 8.

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vation rendered necessary ; but still it yielded the necessaries, and many of the comforts of life; though not the sweets of its primitive state.

These effusions of divine goodness were proba. bly the wonder of angels, though so little noticed by men, the ungrateful objects of them.

But these were inconsiderable, compared with the strange provision made for their eternal fal. vation.

That God bears good will to mankind, notwithstanding their apostafy, and is desirous of their salvation, is from many considerations apparent. It is the spirit of the text, and the general language of the scriptures, as will be shewn in the sequel.

That God is willing that all should be saved, appears from the sufficiency of the provision which is made for the salvation of finners; the frequent declarations that it is designed for all ; the offers which are made indiscriminately to all; and the suitableness of the provision to the circumstances of all.

1. From the sufficiency of the provision which is made for the salvation of finners. This is adequate to the salvation of the whole race. Chrift, being a divine person, made an infinite atonement. In him there is a fulness of merit. Was the num. ber of finners ten times greater than that of our whole race, there would be no need of another Savior, or of Christ's dying again for their redemption. In him - dwells the whole fulness of the Godhead bodily." The reason all are not saved,

is not a deficiency of merit in the Redeemer, or any limitation of his satisfaction. Sinners “ are not straitened in him, but in their own bowels."

2. That God is willing all should be saved ap, pears from the frequent declarations of scripture, that Christ died for all Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time--We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead ; and that he died for all

, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.

3. The same appears in the offers made to all. When after his resurrection Christ sent forth his apostles to effect his gracious purposes, both his orders and promises were indefinite" Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every crea. ture He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." Had salvation been provided for only a part

of mankind, and the Savior been unwilling the resi. due should be saved, he would not have given charge to his ministers to tender salvation to allto every creature, and declared that whoever came up to the specified conditions, should be saved.

Nothing false or insincere can be predicated of God our Savior. His words are truth. His offers and proposals are fair and open. That which appears the most obvious meaning of them is their

meaning. And surely the offers of salvation appear to be made to all who hear the sound of the gospel ; and they are invited and urged to accept them. They were so by Christ. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”

And they were so by his apostles when sent into all the earth to fpread the gospel among the nations, and call them to come to Christ for life.

4. The same thing appears from the suitableness of the provision which is made for the salvation of sinners, to the circumstances of all men.

Man needed an atonement, and he needed afGistance, and both are provided in Christ. Of the former we have spoken, and there is no need to add. Man's weakness is such that he is unable of himself to conquer either spiritual enemies with. out, or his own corruptions within. Through Christ needed aid is offered to him ; he is invited to the throne of grace, and assured that he shall not seek in vain, but “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek and ye shall find—If ye being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give his holy Spirit to them that ask him ?” Though mankind have rebelled against God, he is more ready to hear their cries, and give his fpirit to sanctify and save them, than the most affectionate earthly parent to sew kindness to his child.

John vii. 37.

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