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(faithful in the use of the least grace,’) shall be rewarded. 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 emiment instances of St. Paul and Cornelius do show. 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 on things shut up, we be not excluded from those which are open and plain.” Which in effect is the same with this; that since we are plainly taught that our Lord is the Saviour of all men; and it is consequent thence, that he hath procured grace sufficiently capacifying all men to obtain salvation; we need not perplex the business, or obscure so apparent a truth, by debating how that grace is imparted; or by laboring overmuch in reconciling the dispensation thereof with other dispensations of providence.
SUMMARY OF SERMON LXXIII.
I TIMOTHY, CHAP. Iv.—VERSE 10.
5. Jesus is the Saviour of all men, as the conductor of all men into and through the way of salvation. It is a proper title of those brave captains, who by their wisdom and valor have freed their country from straits and oppressions. So were those judges and princes who anciently delivered Israel from their enemies, commonly styled : instances quoted : so is Jesus with greatest reason called, as being the captain of salvation; &c. 6. He is so, as having perfectly discovered and demonstrated the way and means of salvation, the gracious purposes of God concerning it, the duties required by him in order to it, the great helps towards it, the mighty determents from neglecting it, in fine the whole will of God relating to it; in having opened those mysteries of truth, which were hidden from ages and generations, &c. : this topic enlarged on. 7. If now it be inquired, or objected ; why then is not the gospel revealed unto all men? how are they benefited who still sit in darkness 2 How can they call on him in whom they believe not 2 and how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? To this suggestion it may be answered, 1. That God's intentions are not to be interpreted, nor his performances estimated, by events depending on the contingency of human actions; but by his own declarations and precepts, with the ordinary provision of competent means to produce the effects which he declares his design of performing. What he reveals as by himself designed, that he does really design; what he says, that he performs, according to moral estimation, though the thing on other accounts be not effected. Thus, for example, God would have all men to live together here in peace, order, and health, according to reason and justice, and in the best state toward happiness; for which purposes he has endowed them with all proper faculties, &c. : yet how often, through the perversity of men, do all such means prove ineffectual So likewise God desires that in his church knowlege, piety, peace, charity, and good order should grow and flourish; to which purpose he has appointed governors and all other necessary means : notwithstanding which, how often do ignorance, error, and impiety prevaill Which events are not to be conceived as derogatory to God's good-will and careful providence. This argument applied to the propagation of the gospel. And if this answer is not fully satisfactory, it may be farther said, 2. That God, besides that ordinary provision, is ready to interpose extraordinarily in disclosing his truth to them that are worthy of such favor, and fit to receive it; that his general desire and design of revealing his truth to all men is very well consistent with his providentially withholding the discovery thereof from some persons and some nations; for neither his wisdom, goodness, nor justice might permit him, that he should impart that revelation to such persons as he may see indisposed to comply with and profit by it, or who have greatly abused his lesser graces, and misimproved the lesser talents af. forded them : &c. That God doth commonly observe this method, to dispense the revelation of his truth according to men's disposition to receive, and aptness to profit by it, appears from many parts of Scripture. On the one hand we may observe that those whom our Saviour chose to call, were persons disposed at once to forsake all and follow him: this point enlarged on ; and on the other
hand, that God withholds the special discoveries of his truth, on account of men's indisposition to them and their demerits, may appear from our Lord's order to his disciples, not to give that which is holy to dogs, nor to cast their pearls before swine : various other instances adduced from holy writ. 3. If all these considerations do not thoroughly satisfy us concerning the reason of God's proceedings in this case, we may reflect that his providence is inscrutable and impenetrable to us: therefore, although we cannot fully resolve the difficulty, we should without distrust adhere to those plain and positive declarations, whereby he represents himself as seriously designing, that all men should come to the knowlege of the
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 conductor 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 valor 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 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 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 doxovra kai Aurpur)", 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 Athenians (for his delivering them from the Macedonian subjection, and restoring their liberty to them) entitled, evepyérns kai ooriip, a benefactor and saviour. Thus with greatest reason is Jesus so called, as being &pxnyös ris owrnpias, ‘the Captain of Salvation,' (so he is called by the Apostle to the Hebrews,) apxmyös owls, (‘the Captain of Life,’ as St.