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been offered for the sins of these men, and that the “ neglect of this great Salvation,” was owing to their own obstinacy and blindness.
“ Whosoever will, says St. John in the Revelation, let him take the water of life freely (d): this passage shews, that all, who are willing, may drink of the water of life; that it is in the power of every one to attain eternal happiness : “Such a declaration, says Dr. Doddridge, of divine grace seems to have been wisely inserted just in the close of the Sacred Canon, to encourage the hope of every humble soul, that is truly desirous, of the blessings of the Gospel, and to guard against those suspicions of divine goodness which some have so unhappily abetted,"
The benefits of Christ's death are not confined to those to whom the Gospel has been actually revealed that would exclude from Salvation all who lived before, and the far greater part of those who have lived since, the birth of our Saviour. If the satisfaction of Christ does not reach to the times prior to his Incarnation, how came it that Abel and Enoch were justified (e)? That Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are represented as sitting in the kingdom of heaven (f)? That Noah, Daniel, and Job, are declared to be righte
(d) Rev, c 22. v. 174
(e) Heb. c. 11. v. 4.& 5. (f) Matt. c. 8. v. 11.
ous men (g)? All these, with a long catalogue of prophets and holy men, under the Mosaic. Dispensation, partook of the guilt of Adam, and, were therefore liable to the wrath of God; nay, they committed actual sin, for “ there is no man that sinneth not (h)”. Yet who can doubt that these illustrious persons, the peculiar objects of God's favour, are all written in the book of life? And we are told that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins (i); " that before the Gospel, “ there was no, law which could give life (k);" and that “there is. no name under heaven by which men can be saved but that of Christ (1):" May we not then conclude, in the words of one of our pious martyrs, that “the: promise of God appertaineth unto every sort of men in the world, and comprehendeth them all;. howbeit, within certain limits and bounds, the which if men neglect or pass over, they exclude themselves from the promise in Christ; as Cain was no more excluded, till he excluded himself, than Abel; Saul, than David ; Judas, than Peter; Esau, than Jacob (m)."
A Redemption of that extent, for which we are now contending, is perfectly consonant to
the (:) Ezek. c. 14. v. 14. (h) 1 Kings c. 8. v. 46. (i) Heb. c. 10. V. 4. (k) Gal. c. 3. v. 21. (1) Acts, c. 4 v. 12. (m) Bishup Hooper.
the character of that gracious Being, whose "mercy is over all his works(in)," who “pardoneth iniquity, and retaineth not his anger for ever (n),” and who “delighteth in exercising loving-kindness (0);" he is equally the Maker and Lord of all men, and careth for all alike ; all stood equally in need of his interposition and assistance; and therefore there being with him “ no respect of persons," in every nation, and in every age," he that feareth God, and worketh rightcousness, is accepted with him (p),” through the atonement of the blessed Jesus. Was it to be expected that God, who is bountiful and indulgent to all men, in bestowing temporal comforts and conveniencies without
partiality or reserye ; who preserveth their life from destruction; who protecteth them continually from mischief and danger; who openeth his hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing was it to be expected that this kind and benevolent Being wouļd neglect the spiritual welfare of any part of his rational creatures, and leave their souls destitute of all care and protection; that he would give theịn life, and health, and all the good things of this world, and withhold froin them the possibility of happiness in the world to
(m) Ps. 145, v. 9.
As fn) Mic. c. 7. v. 18. (P) Acts, C. 10. V. 35.
As a farther confirmation of the doctrine of Universal Redemption, let us next examine into the opposite doctrines of Election and Reprobation, as maintained by Calvin : and first we will consider the texts of Scripture in which these words themselves occur.
In the Old Testainent, the whole nation of the Jews, including both good and bad, is said to be elected or chosen by God, and the word is never applied exclusively to those of the Jews who were obedient to his commands; “Because he loved thy Fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in bis sight, with his mighty power out of Egypt (9);" “The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth (r):” “I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chesen (s) :” “I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains : and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there (t):" “ For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect (u):" “ Thus saith the Lord God: In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand
(9) Deut. C. 4. V. 37.
(r) Deut. c. 7. v. 6. (s) Is. c. 43. 1. 20. (1) Is. c. 65. V. g.
(u) Is. C. 45. v. 4.
unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God (x):" "Oye seed, of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen ones (y).” It is plain that the collective body of the Jews, all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, both the rebellious and the faithful, are here denominated the chosen or elect of God; and in the numerous passages of the Old Testament, in which they are thus spoken of, there is not the slightest allusion to their being predestinated to happiness in the world to come; pior indeed will any one contend that all the Jews were designed for eternal Salvation. They were elected in this world only, as an introductory and preparatory step to the execution of God's merci. ful scheme of human Redemption through the Incarnation and sufferings of Christ.
We shall in like manner find that the same words, elect and chosen, are applied to collective bodies of men who were converted to the Gospel, without any restriction to those who were obedient to its precepts, and will hereafter be saved ; and that an infallible certainty of Salvation, in consequence of a divine decree, is not attributed
to (v) Ezek. c. 20.v.5. (y) : Chron. c. 16. v. 13.