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vouchsafed, and performing the conditions required, SERM. do finally attain salvation.

If it be said that these transactions do refer only to God's own people, or to those only, unto whom God pleased to dispense especial revelations of truth and overtures of mercy; that we therefore cannot thence infer any thing concerning the general extent of God's design, or the virtue of Christ's performances in respect to all mankind; we may to this suggestion rejoin, that by observing the manner of God's proceedings toward them, unto whom he openly declareth his mind and will, we may reasonably collect how he standeth affected toward others, and by what rules, or upon what accounts, he dealeth with them; taking in the analogy of reason, and parity or disparity of the case. As to God's affection, it is the same every where, agreeable to that nature, which inclineth him to be good to all, and Psal. cxlv. merciful over all his creatures, as the Psalmist tells 9. us; unto which disposition his providence yields attestation; for ουκ αμάρτυρον αφήκεν εαυτόν, αγαθοποιών, he Acts xiv. did not leave himself without testimony, doing good". to all, as St. Paul tells us; although he doth not dispense his favours in the same method, or discover his meaning by the same light, or call all men to him with the same voice and language.

Neither was mankind ever left destitute of that divine grace, which, as the good writer de Vocatione Gentium saith, never denied itself to any ages, with the same virtue, in different measure, with an unchangeable counsel, and multiform operationi. So in one place; and in another,

i Gratia Dei nullis seculis se negavit, virtute una, quantitate diversa, concilio incommutabili, opere multiformi. ii. 5.

SERM. There was always, saith he, dispensed to all men LXXI.

a certain measure of instruction from above, which, although it came from a more occult and sparing grace, did yet suffice to some for remedy, to all for testimony.

Comparing the different states of men, we may substitute with St. Paul', for the law of revelation engraved upon tables, the law of nature written in men's hearts; for prophetical instructions, the dictates of reason; for audible admonitions and reproofs, secret whispers of grace and checks of con

science; for extraordinary instances of divine power, Acts xiv.17. the ordinary works of the creation, (by which God's

eternal divinity and power are discernible ;) for
the special and occasional influences of providence,
the common and continual expressions of divine be-
neficence; then allowing for the disparity (as to
measure of evidence and efficacy) in these things;
and as to the rest, the case is the same.
part hath means more clear and forcible, yet those

which are granted to the other are not void of use Acts xvii. or virtue; by them all men in all places may seek

God, if haply they may feel him and find him ; Rom. i. 18, yea may, as St. Paul implieth, be able to know God, 26. j. 21. and induced to serve him; to thank him, and to

glorify him in some measure; in a measure answer

If one


* Adhibita est semper universis hominibus quædam supernæ mensura doctrinæ, quæ etsi occultioris parciorisque gratiæ fuit, suffecit tamen quibusdam ad remedium, omnibus ad testimonium.

ji. 15.

i Rom. ii 14, 15.

– Nulli nationi hominum bonitatis suæ dona subtraxit, ut propheticas voces et præcepta legalia convincerentur in elementorum obsequiis, et testimoniis accepisse. De Voc. G. i. 5. Rom. i. 19.


able to such light and strength; no more doth God SERM. require, for no more will he reckon with them. If their helps be deemed more low and scanty, their duty in proportion is less high, and their account will be more easy. Enough certainly they have to excuse God from misprision of not having provided competently for them, to render them, if they do Rom. i. 20. not well use and improve it, inexcusable; and what they have is an effect of God's mercy procured and purchased by their Saviour. But of this point we may have occasion afterward to say more ; I shall now only add, that this suggestion, well considered, may afford another argument to confirm our doctrine; which is this.

10. If our Lord be the Saviour of all those to whom God's truth is declared, and his mercy offered; or, if he be the Saviour of all the members of the visible church; particularly if he be the Saviour of those, who among these, rejecting the overtures and means of grace, or by disobedience abusing them, shall in the event fail of being saved, then is he the Saviour of all men. But our Lord is the Saviour of those persons; and therefore he is the Saviour of all men. The assumption we assayed to shew in the last argument; and many express testimonies of scripture before mentioned establish it; the common style of scripture doth imply it, when in the apostolical writings to all the visibly faithful indifferently the relation to Christ as their Saviour is assigned, an interest in all his saving performances is supposed, the title of σωζόμενοι and σεσωσμένοι (with others equivalent, of justified, sanctified, regenerated, quickened, &c.) are attributed. And in our text God is said to be the Saviour chiefly των πιστών,


SERM. of the faithful; which word in its common accepLXXI.

tion denotes all visible members of the Christian communion. And for its confirmation we adjoin; the apostles at first, and the church ever since after them (except some heterodox people of late) have professed readily to confer holy baptism, and therein to dispense remission of sins, together with other evangelical graces and privileges, to every man professing his faith in Christ, and resolution to observe Christ's law, upon this supposition, that Christ is the Saviour of all such persons, and by his salutary passion hath purchased that remission for them; although the dispensers of these graces could not discern what decrees God in his secret providence had passed upon them, or what the event should be as to their final state; yea although according to the judgment of prudence they could not but conceive, that all such should not be saved, but that many of

them should be of those, who (as the apostle to the Heb. I. 39. Hebrews speaketh) would draw back unto perdi2 Pet. i. 9. tion, who (as St. Peter implies some might and would

do) would forget the purgation which they had received of their sins. That in thus doing the church proceeds upon a persuasion that Christ is truly the Saviour of all its visible members, duly admitted and incorporated thereinto, the thing itself plainly signifies; the tenor of its practice makes palpable; the forms of speech used in its holy administrations (of prayers, of sacraments, of exhortations) do suppose or express. For how can each member singly be asserted in holy baptism to be washed from his sins, and sanctified to God, and made regenerate or adopted into the number of God's children, and made

partaker of Christ's death ? How can thanksgiving in

the common name, in most general terms, be offered SERM. up for Christ's saving performances ? or the holy

LXXI. bread and cup be imparted to each communicant as symbols and pledges of Christ's charity and mercy toward him ? How can every Christian be instigated to obedience in gratitude to Christ; and those who transgress Christ's laws, upbraided for their ingratitude toward him; their rejecting, or renouncing, despising, or abusing him and his salvation? How can such things be said and done with any truth or consistency; yea without forgery and mockery, if every baptized Christian hath not an interest in our Lord's performances; if Christ be the Saviour only of an uncertain and unknown part in the church ? This consideration of the church's practice hath made even the most vehement assertors of St. Austin's doctrine, (strained to the highest pitch,) in the more ancient and modest times, fully to acknowledge this position ; that Christ is the Redeemer of every member of the visible church, as appears by this remarkable decree of the council of Valentia in France, Anno 855. (consisting of the bishops of three provinces, favourers of Godscalcus's opinions.) m We also do believe it most firmly to be held, that all the multitude of the faithful, being regenerated by water and the Holy Spirit, and hereby truly incorporated into the church, and according to the apostolical doctrine baptized into the death of Christ, is by his blood washed from their sins. Because there could be no true regeneration, unless there were made also a true redemption; since in the sacraments of the church there is nothing empty, (or vain,) nothing

m Item firmissime tenendum credimus, &c. supra.

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