Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

SERMON LXXIV.

THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION

ASSERTED AND EXPLAINED.

1 Tim. iv. 10.

8. AS

-The living God; who is the Saviour of all men,

especially of those that believe. our Saviour was such to all men by his doctrinc, or SERM. the general discovery of all saving truth, so may he be cs- LXXIV. teemed such in regard to his exemplary practice; whereby upon

the open stage of the world, and in the common view of all that would attend unto him, he did represent a living pattern of all goodness; by imitating which, we may certainly attain salvation. He that will consider bis practice shall find it admirably fitted for general instruction and imitation ; calculated for all places and all sorts of people; suited to the complexions, to the capacities, to the degrees, to the callings of all men; so that every sort of men may from it draw profitable direction, may in it find a copy, even of his particular behaviour: for he was a great Prince, illustrious in birth, excellent in glory, and abounding in all wealth ; yet was born in obscurity, lived without pomp, and seemed to possess nothing; so teaching men of high rank to be sober, mild, and humble; not to rest in, not to regard much, not_to hug and cling to the accommodations and shows of worldly state; teaching those of mean degree to be patient, content, and cheerful in their station. He was exceedingly wise and knowing, without bound

1

SERM. or measure; yet made no ostentation of extraordinary
LXXIV. knowledge, of sharp wit, of deep subtilty; did not vent

high, dark, or intricate notions ; had in his practice no
reaches and windings of craft or policy; but was in his
doctrine very plain and intelligible, in his practice very open
and clear; so that what he commonly said or did, not only
philosophers and statesmen, but almost the simplest idiots
might easily comprehend; so that those might thence learn
not to be conceited of their superfluous wisdom; these not
to be discouraged in their harmless ignorance; both having
thence an equally sufficient instruction in all true righteous-

ness, a complete direction in the paths to happiness, being Tim. iii. thereby gopizójkevor eis owrngicav, made wise and learned to salva

tion. He did not immerse himself in the cares, nor engage
himself into the businesses of this world ; yet did not with-
draw himself from the company and conversation of men;
he retired often from the crowd, that he might converse
with God and heavenly things; he put himself into it,
that he might impart good to men, and benefit the world,
declining no sort of society; but indifferently conversing
with all; disputing with the doctors, and eating with the
publicans; whence thereby both men of contemplative
and quiet dispositions or vocations, and men of busy spirits,
or of active lives, may be guided respectively; those not
to be morose, supercilious, rigid, contemptuous toward
other men; these not to be so possessed or entangled with
the world, as not to reserve some leisure for the culture of
their minds, not to employ some care upon the duty of
piety and devotion; both may learn, whether in private
retirements, or in public conversation and employment,
especially to regard the service of God and the benefit of
inen: thus was the example of our Lord accommodated
for all men; especially conducting them in the hardest
and roughest parts of the way leading to bliss, the ac-
clivities and asperities of duty; self-denial, or neglect of
worldly glory and fleshly pleasure, patience, humility,
general charity; shewing us the possibility of performing
such duties, and encouraging us thereto. Through these

[ocr errors]

Acts iii. 15.

Heb. xii. 2. 1 Pet. v. 4.

[ocr errors]

Rev. ii. 10.

Heb. vi. 20.

difficult and dangerous passages (as a resolute chieftain of SERM. life) he undauntedly marched before us, charging, beating LXXIV. back, and breaking through all opposite forces, all enemies, 'Aexagès all temptations, all obstacles ; enduring painfully the most Sars. furious assaults of the world; boldly withstanding and happily conquering the most malicious rage of hell; so that victory and salvation we shall be certain of, if we pursue his steps, and do not basely (out of faintness or falsehood) 1 Pet. ii. 21. desert so good a leader; we shall not fail of the unfading crown, if with patience we run the race that is set before us, looking unto the Captain and Perfecter of our fuith, Jesus,

'Αμαράντιwho, for the joy proposed unto him, endured the cross, de- vov rås dóžns spised the shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the ---siparos throne of God. Would it not raise and inflame any cou

Swñs. rage to see his commander to adventure so boldly upon all Jam. i. 12. hazards, to endure so willingly all hardships ? Whom would Tlcódpoques. not the sight of such a forerunner animate and quicken in his course; who, by running in the straight way of righteousness with alacrity and constancy, hath obtained himself a most glorious crown, and holdeth forth another like thereto, for the reward of those who follow him ? Now as our Lord's doctrine, so did his example, in the nature and design thereof, respect and appertain to all men, it being also like the light of heaven, a common spectacle, a public guide, to guide our steps in the way of peace : if it do not appear so, if it do not effectually direct all, it is by accident and beside God's intention; it is by the fault of them who should propound it, or of them who have not eyes fit or worthy to behold it; briefly, what was said concerning the universal revelation of Christian doctrine

may plied to Christ's practice.

9. Jesus is the Saviour of all men, as lraving combated and vanquished all the enemies of man's welfare and happiness ; dispossessing them of all their pretences and usurpations over man, disarming them of all their power and force against him; enabling us to withstand and overcome them. Man's salvation hath many adversaries of different nature and kind; some directly oppugning it, some for

be ap

74.

SERM. mally prejudicing it, some accidentally hindering it; some LXXIV.alluring, some forcing, some discouraging from it, or from

the means conducing to it: the chief of them we may from the Scripture (with consent of experience) reckon to be the devil, with all his envy and malice, his usurpations, his delusions, and his temptations to sin; the world, with its snares and baits, its violences, persécutions, and menaces ; the flesh, or natural concupiscence, with its bad inclinations and propensities to evil, its lusts and pleasures; sin, with its guilt, and mischievous consequences; the law, with its rigorous exactions, hard measure, and harsh boding ; conscience, with its accusations and complaints, its terrors and anguishes; divine anger, with its effects, death and hell. a All these our Lord hath in several and suitable ways defeated ; as to their malignity, contrariety, or enmity in res

pect of man's salvation ; he hath, as Zachariah prophesieth Luke i. 71, in his Benedictus, saved us from our enemies, and from the

hands of all that hate us : 80 that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might (åpbews) safely and securely, without danger or fear, serve him, in holiness and

righteousness before him ail the days of our life. Matt. xiii. The devil, (that enemy, that adversary, that accuser,

that slanderer, that murderer, that greedy lion, that crafty Luke xi.19. 1 Pet. v. 8. serpent, the strong one, the mischievous one, the destroyer,) Dragon, Rev. xii. 3,

who usurped an authority, and exercised a domination

over mankind, as the prince of this world ; who made 1John ii. 14. prize of them, captivated them at his pleasure ; who deRev. xii

. 9. tained them under the power (or authority) of darkness 31. xiv. 30. and wickedness; who had the power of death ; him

our Saviour hath destroyed or defeated, (rarhgynoev, as Ephes. ii. 2.

the Apostle to the Hebrews speaketh; that is, abolished Cor. iv, 4. him as to any farther pretence of empire or power over Acts xxvi. us ;) him he hath dejected from heaven, (I sawo Satan 2Tim.ii.26. like lightning falling down from heaven ;) him he hath cast Heb. ii. 14. out: Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the

28.

&c.
Acts x. 38.

xvi. 11.

vi. 12.

. John xii. 31. xyi. 11.

--Ο Χριστός έδέν της ίδιας ποιήσεως προσκασίλισε το αρχοντι τά κόσμου τούτοις Athan, contra poll. p. 628.

29.

22.

bare away

15.

. 1 Joh. ï.14.

prince of this world be cast out : all his works he hath dis- SERM. solved : For this cause, saith St. John, the Son of God did LXXIV. appear, that he might dissolve the works of the devil. He 1 John iii.B.

.Matt. xii. combated this strong one, (this mighty and dreadful foe of ours,) and bafiled him, and bound him, and disarıned him, (taking away Tarotkav aurš, the whole armour in which he Luke xi.21, trusted,) and spoiled him, (à czsin drugrugs, rifled all his baggage,

all his instruments of mischief,) and plundered all his house; leaving him unable (without our fault, Coloss. ii. our baseness, our negligence) to do us mischief, as is inti

εδειγμάτισεν, mated in the 12th of St. Matthew, and 11th of St. Luke ;) Luke x. 19. yea, he triumphed over all those infernal principalities and Eph. vi. 11.

2 Cor. ii. 11. powers, and exposed them, as St. Paul saith : he imparted

Eph. vi. 16. to his disciples ability to trample upon all his power, by 1 Pet. v. 9. him all his followers are so fortified as to conquer the wick-Eph. iv, 27.

Jam. ed one, as St. John says: he affordeth light to discover all his wiles and snares, strength and courage to withstand all his assaults, to repel all his fiery darts, to put him to flight.

The world also (that is, the wicked principles, the bad customs, the naughty conversation and exaniple which commonly prevail here among men; alluring to evil and deterring from good; the cares also, the riches, the pleasures, the glories of the world, which possess or distract the minds, satiate and cloy the desires, employ all the affections and endeavours, take up the time of men ; all in the world which fasteneth our hearts to earth, and to these low transitory things; or which sink them down toward hell; and which detain them from soaring toward heaven) is an enemy, an irreconcileable enemy to our salvation; the friendship thereof being inconsistent with a friendship in us toward the God of our salvation; or in him toward us: for the friendship of the world is enmity Jam. iv. 4. wilh God; and, If any man love the world, the friendship 1 John ii. of the Father is not in him. And this enemy our Lord hath vanquished, and enabled us to overcome. Be of John xvi. courage, saith he, I have overcome the world : he, by a constant self-denial and temperance, defeated the bewitching pleasures and flattering glories of it; he, by an immove

15.

33.

« EdellinenJatka »