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means the greater part of the inhabitants, or a very considerable proportion In Phil. ii. 21. it is used in the same manner; when Paul
“ all seek' their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's;" but manifestly intends neither to implicate himself, nor Timothy, nor the greater part of the Philippian church. In Titus ii. 11. all denotes many of almost every nation and description. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” These instances are sufficient to show, that when we would ascertain the meaning of any such common word, we must advert to its connexion with the context. Proceeding by this rule, we shall find, that all, in the text, is used in its unlimited sense, for every one of the hunan race; because all men are comprehended either in the class of believers or unbelievers; and God is expressly said, not only to be the Saviour of all believers ; but of all other men. Consequently “the living God” is the Saviour of every descendant of Adam.
That by all men we are to understand every individual of our race, is evident from many other similar expressions, concerning the universality of redemption.
Heb. ii. 9. 6. We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death,—that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” St. John declares, that Jesus is not only the Saviour of all believers, but also of all unbelievers, when he says, “ He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Fromn 2 Cor. v. ch. 14th and 15th verses, it is evident that Jesus died for every individual who was legally dead by sin. “ We thus judge,” says Paul, “That if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all.” Jesus, therefore, is the Saviour of every individual child of Adam. In writing to Timothy, Paul says, “God our Saviour will have (or commands] all men to be saved for Christ Jesus self a ransom for all."
Peter, in his ad Epistle, iii. ch. 9th ver says, the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;" and consequently be saved, through the universal redemption.
Rom. v. 18. “ As by the offence of one, the judgment came upon all men to condenination ; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men, to justification of life.”
In Rom. xiv. 15. and i Cor. viii. 11. it is represented, that some are in danger of perishing “for whom Christ died;" and in 2nd Pet. ii 1. we read of some who deny the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. *
II. We come now to inquire, in what sense Christ is the Saviour of all men; it is evident that he is not the Saviour of unbelievers in every sense in which he is the Saviour of besievers : because then no such distinction as the text contains, would have been found in the Bible. He is the Saviour of the whole world, by office. God appointed him to the redemption of every man; and he voluntarily undertook the work. I John iv. 14. “ We have seen and do testify,” saith the apostle John, “ that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” Then said the Son, “sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened; burnt-offering and sinoffering hast thou not required. Then said I, lo, I come! In the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will." “ Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour.”
As the sun is constituted a light in the firmament, for the benefit of all mankind, so is Jesus Christ appointed to be the “ Sun of Righteousness," to every man that cometh into the world. He is the true light, which all may behold. Hence he saith, “ Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." (Isa. xlv. 22.) As every man may claim a right to the sun, as ordained for his use, so every child of Adam may claim Jesus as his Saviour and plead before God, saying, “Christ hath died."
* If it shall be proved, that these passages of scripture have been misconstrued, or misapplied ; the whole foundation of the discourse will be ta. ken away, and the superstructure must fall. The doctrine of an indefinite atonement must then lie in ruins, or be reared upon other corner stones; for the declaration that Christ is the Saviour of the whole world, taken in its broad extent, will not prove that he was an atoning sacrifice, for all the sins of all men. He may be in many respects the Saviour of another, who makes no atonement for him Washington was the political Saviour of his countrymen, but he made no satisfaction for their sins.
The brazen serpent, erected among the Jews, in the wilderness was typical of Christ. It was erected for all the people to look upon, when bitten by the venomous reptile. It was constituted the instrumental Saviour of the whole congregation, as truly as of one man. An individual had only to prove, that he was bitten, in order to prove, that he had a right to the brazen medium of salvation.
As a gospel minister is ordained over every family and individual of his society, so Christ, being ordained by God a Redeemer, is the Saviour of all the families and individuals of the earth. . God“ laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He died, a just person, for the unjust of every age, country, and name. He magnified the law of God, and provided a way for God to appear honourable in the remission of any, or all offences.
Jesus himself declares to the unbelieving Jews, “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” That this gift of the bread of life, was not confined to the Jews, is evident from numerous passages of the scriptures. Christ was constituted “ a light to lighten the Gentiles.”
The provision made by Christ for all sinners is compared to a royal feast, made ready, free of expense, to all who are invited. Now, all things are declared to be ready, for all men, and all are invited. “ Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled," saith the master of the gospel feast, in such a manner as to convey the idea of an infinite fulness, of an inexhaustible abundance. There is bread enough, AND TO SPARE. More provision is made than can be applied to the use of the elect. All men have the same right to the bread of life, that any individual enjoys, by the bounty of God. Jesus is the gift of God, to this sinful world. God so loved the world, as to give his Son to be a Saviour.
That Jesus is by office the Saviour of all men, is evident, from those commands of God, which require the unregenerate to be
lieve with the heart, that Jesus died to save them, poor and perishing sinners. i John v. 10. « He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God
gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life ; and this life is in his Son."
Moreover, Christ represents his coming into the world to be the argravation of the guilt and misery of some who finally perish. How can this be? How can it increase the guilt of any one, not to believe in Jesus as his Saviour, if Christ did not give his life a ransom for those who will never enter heaven?
Let a person prove, that he is a descendant of Adam, and is a sinner, and he makes good his claim, through the gracious promises of God, to that Saviour, who gave himself a ransom for all. God gives liim leave to say, my Lord, my God, my Redeemer.
Our third and last inquiry respects the propriety of calling Jesus the Saviour especially of believers. Christ is the Saviour of all men by office,* but of those only who believe, by application,
* Did Christ undertake the office of meriting pardon, acceptance, and complete salvation for some sinners, or for all sinners, or for no sinner?
“For no sinner. He did not inerit for any one justification. He made such a discovery of the disposition of God, that now God can pardon any or all sinners. This was his office."
He made atonement, then, for no sinner; and this office of a public show will little benefit the sinner, who anxiously asks, “how shall a guilty man be made just before God? Where shall I find a righteousness to present to my Judge, by faith, which will satisfy that law, which must have its full demands, or it consigns me to hell ?” The Calvinist thinks, that every be. liever will find in Christ a righteousness, which was designed for him, personally; and which inflexible justice can no more refuse to accept, than, were the sinner to present his own perfect, personal obedience before the bar, the righteous Judge could pronounce condemnation. Were the doors of a prison opened, as they might be by a turnkey; what would it profit those persons whose debts were not paid ? Justice would still detain them. The divine law must either relinquish what it claims of the sinner, or it must be satisfied by some one, so that the sinner can be released ; and can no longer, of right, be held in prison. HE, who cancels all the charges recorded in the volume, to be opened at the judgment, against the rebel, is that rebel's Redeemer.
or in effect. Believers own Jesus as their Saviour: they receive him, by faith, as the propitiation for their sins ; and he becomes actually their salvation. A minister ordained bver any congregation, is a minister especially of those, who attend upon his administrations, and are benefited by them. By office he is the minister of all. Every individual may call upon him, for the instruction he can give, and the ordinances he is empowered to dispense. But he is in effect the spiritual servant of such alone as attend upon his ministry.
A physician may have the charge of an hospital. By office he is the physician of every individual; but in effect of those only who ask his advice, obey his prescriptions, and are recovered by his medicines.
One skilful in the navigation of our coast is appointed pilot of our ships. Some accept his services, but others reject them. He is the pilot of all by office, but in effect of those only, who commit themselves to his care, and are guided into some harbour of safety.
Thus Christ is invested by the Father with the office of Saviour. This he sustains towards the whole guilty world. But they alone are benefited, who attend on his ministry ; apply to him, as the great physician of souls, and commit themselves to his guidance. He actually saves, and therefore is the Saviour, especially, of all who believe his preaching, are healed by his balm of Gilead, are piloted by him into the haven of felicity.
Now, is it a difficult thing for one who entertains these views of universal redemption, and the actual salvation of believers, to answer objections? Is it impossible to escape from THE DILEMMA* into which our opponents imagine they have brought us? We reject each of the three propositions, which are considered the only alternatives upon this subject. Christ "underwent the pains of hell," for neither “all the sins of all men ;" nor "all the sins of some men;" nor “ some sins of all men." The idea,
* Christian's Magazine, Vol. 1. p. 74.