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SERM. ludificatory; but all thoroughly true, and supported LXXI.
by its own very truth and sincerity. Yet that out of the very company of believers and the redeemed, some are eternally saved, because by God's grace they faithfully abide in their redemption, bearing the Lord's speech in their hearts, He that perseveres to the end shall be saved ; and that others, because they would not abide in the salvation of the faith which they at first received, and did rather choose to frustrate the grace of redemption by evil doctrine or life, than to keep it, do nowise arrive to the plenitude of salvation, and to the perception of eternal beatitude. It is then a catholic and true doctrine, that at least Christ is a Saviour of all appearing Christians; and supposing the truth thereof, I that by consequence he is also the Saviour of all men. For it appeareth thence, that the design of our Saviour's performances did not flow from, or was not grounded upon any special love, or any absolute decree concerning those persons who in event shall be saved; since according to that supposition it extendeth to many others; wherefore it proceeded from God's natural goodness, and common kind affection toward mankind; from the compassion of a gracious Creator toward his miserable creature, whence all men are concerned and interested therein. Why God's merciful intentions were not explicitly declared and propounded to Socrates and Epictetus, as they were to Judas Iscariot and Simon Magus, is another question, which we may afterward in some manner assoil; at present, it suffices to say, that the overture of mercy made to such wretches doth argue God's kind disposition and good intention toward all men; so it did in St. Ambrose's
opinion; who says, that our Lord ought not to pass SERM. by the man who should betray him, that all men
LXXI. might take notice, that in the choice even of his traitor he did hold forth a pledge or mark of all men's being to be saved ".
But the truth of this doctrine will further appear by the declaration and surveyal of those respects according to which Christ is represented the Saviour of men, as also by considering how useful and conducible to piety this doctrine is, as ministering grounds and obligations, encouragements and motives, to the practice of most considerable duties required from all men. But these things must be reserved to another occasion.
n Et ideo nec proditurum debuit præterire, ut adverterent omnes, quod in electione etiam proditoris sui servandorum omnium insigne prætendit. Ambr. de Parad. 8.
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. SERM. THAT our Lord Jesus is the Saviour of all men, LXXII.
we have before from plain testimonies of holy scripture, and from some arguments grounded there, assayed to shew. The same will be made further apparent by considering the respects according to which he is such; and those we may first consider generally and in the gross, then survey them more particularly and distinctly.
In general we may say, that our Lord is the Saviour of all men, for that he hath rendered all men salvabiles, capable of salvation ; and salvandos, designed to salvation. For that he hath removed all obstacles peremptorily debarring men from access to salvation, and hath procured competent furtherances to their attainment of it. For that he hath rescued
mankind out of that dead and desperate condition, John vi. 33. wherein it lay involved; being the bread of God,
who hath descended from heaven, that he might give life to the world, as he saith of himself. For
The Doctrine of Universal Redemption, &c. 31
that he hath performed whatever on his part is ne- SERM. cessary or fit in order to salvation, antecedently to LXXII. the acceptance and compliance with those reasonable conditions, which by God's wisdom are required toward the instating men into a full and immediate right to salvation, or to a complete and actual fruition thereof. He made the way to happiness plain and Luke iii. 5. passable; levelling the insuperable cliffs, and filling up the chasms, and rectifying the obliquities, and smoothing the asperities thereof, as the prophet foretold; so that all men, who would, might conveniently walk therein. «He set the doors of paradise Lukeiv. 18.
Αιχμαλώwide open, so that who pleased might enter in; all
τοις άφεthe bonds and restraints under which men lay, he so far loosed, that any man might be free, who would concur to his own liberty and enlargement. All the protection, aid, and encouragement which was needful toward obtaining salvation, he afforded and exhibited to every one that would embrace and make use of them. In respect to which performances he might be justly esteemed and truly called a Saviour, although all men do not in effect become saved. For the estimation and denomination of performances are to be grounded upon their own nature and design, not upon events depending upon the contingent and arbitrary behaviour of men. As he that freely offers a rich boon is no less to be accounted a benefactor and liberal, although his gift be refused, than if it were accepted; as he that opens the prison is to be styled a deliverer, although the captive will not go forth ; as he that ministers an effectual remedy, although the patient will not use it, deserves the
4 “Η γη αντί κατάρας ευλόγηται, και παράδεισος ήνοίγη, &c. Athan.
Acts ii. 47
2 Tim. i.9.
SERM. honour and thanks due to a physician; so is our LXXII. Lord in regard to what he hath performed for men,
and offered to them, (being sufficient to prevent their misery, and promote their happiness,) to be worthily deemed, and thankfully acknowledged, their Saviour,
although not all men, yea although not one man Acts xvi. should receive the designed benefit. Accordingly Karayzóa- we may observe, that in the scripture-style, those owengias.- persons are said to be saved, who are only in a way
Cor: i. 18. toward salvation, although they do not arrive thither; Rev. xxi. and the means conducing to salvation are said to Eph. ii. 5. save, although their effect may be defeated; owóuevos
and oerwouévou are terms applied to all Christians, and
Christ is ó obras, he that hath saved them; and 1 Cor.xv. 2. faith is said to have saved them, although some 1 Pet. iii. of them einn fulotevcav, have believed in vain, or to 2 Pet. ii. 22. no effect, forsaking and renouncing their faith ; and
baptism saves them who partake it, although being washed, they return to their wallowing in the mire. And as our Lord is so termed a Saviour in respect to them, who are, by faith and admission into the church, put into a more near capacity of salvation,
as St. Paul speaketh: εγγύτερον ημών η σωτηρία ή ότε Rom. xiii. &TLOTEVO Quev, (Now is our salvation nearer than
when we believed ;) so is he in respect of all those, who are in any capacity thereof, although a more remote one.
But let us now view more nearly and distinctly the respects in which he is a Saviour of all men, or the particular benefits and advantages conducing to
salvation, which by his performances accrue to manClem. Αlex. kind; for πάμπολυ την σωτηρίαν απάση χαρίζεται τη ανθρω
Tóryti, in very many ways he bestoweth salvation upon all mankind, as Clemens Alexandrinus speaks.