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of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts iii. 25, 26. Here we have a third term, kindreds. All nations of the earth, all families of the earth, and all kindreds of the earth, must certainly signify all mankind. The import of this absolute, unconditional promise is, they shall all be blessed in Christ Jesus.
27. The apostle Paul repeats this promise, and calls it THE GOSPEL. "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal. iii. 8. This is a further confirmation, that the blessing promised men in the seed of Abraham, is a spiritual, gospel blessing.
28. There is no threatening of any kind whatsoever in the Scriptures, no law, no penalty, no punishment denounced, which when rightly understood does not harmonize with this promise, for the law is not against the promises of God. "Is the law, then, against the promises of God? God forbid." Gal. iii. 21. The law mentioned in this verse was undoubtedly the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. God was specially careful to frame that law in such a manner, that not a single sentence or particle of it should contradict the promises made by him to Abraham. What those promises were, we have seen. It is equally true, that not a single threatening of punishment for sin, or for unbelief, not a denunciation of hell-fire, or condemnation of any kind for sin, is opposed to the promises of God. Now as those promises most explicitly assert, the final blessing of all the nations, kindreds, and families of the earth with salvation from sin in Jesus Christ, so no portion of God's law, no threatening of punishment, should be so construed, interpreted, or explained, as to contradict this; and as the doctrine of endless condemnation for sin does explicitly contradict those promises, that doctrine we may be sure is not revealed in any portion of God's word.
THE OATH OF GOD.
29. God hath confirmed his promise by an oath. See Gen. xxii. 16-18. Heb. vi. 13. But the most striking passage, perhaps, is this, "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, surely shall say,* * in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." Isaiah xlv. 23, 24. I think the words of Adam Clarke on the oath of God, are worthy of the deepest consideration. On the words of God, "he sware by himself," Clarke remarks, "He pledged his eternal power and Godhead for the fulfilment of the promise; there was no being superior to himself, to whom he could make appeal, or by whom he could be bound; therefore he appeals to and pledges his immutable truth and godhead." Com. on Heb. vi. 13. And again, the same commentator remarks, "The promise pledged his faithfulness and justice; the oath all the infinite perfections of his godhead; for he sware by himself. There is a good saying in Beracoth, on Exodus xxxii. 13. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearedst by thine own self. What is the meaning of by thine own self? Rab Eleazar answered, thus said Moses to the holy blessed God, Lord of all the world, If thou hadst sworn to them by the heavens and the earth, then I should have said, as the heavens and the earth shall pass away, so may thy oath pass away. But now thou hast sworn unto them by thy great Name, which liveth and which endureth forever, and forever, and ever; therefore thy oath shall endure forever and forever and ever." Com. on Heb. vi. 18.
THE POWER OF GOD.
30. God is almighty; nothing can resist his will;
* I have here omitted the word one, supplied by the translators, as it evidently annihilates the whole sense of the passage, which is clear and beautiful without it.
nothing can defeat his purpose; nothing can prevent the fulfilment of his promise. "What he had promised he was able also to perform." Rom. iv. 21. If God were not almighty, then the world might not be saved; but he is almighty; "none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?" and therefore, in God's own time (and that is the best time), and by his own means, the whole world shall be saved.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST.
31. Because God not only wills the salvation of all men; not only hath purposed to save them all; not only hath promised it; not only hath confirmed that promise by an OATH; but also hath provided the means, in the death of Christ, for the salvation of all men. Jesus died for all. "He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." 1 Tim. ii. 6. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." Heb. ii. 9. "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John ii. 2. Here are three expressions: 1st, 66 ALL;" 2d, EVERY MAN;" 3d, "THE WHOLE WORLD. It seems as though the sacred writers took the utmost care to guard against being misunderstood in this important particular. Some would have us believe (see Prof. Stuart's Com. on Heb. ii. 9,) that these expressions are to be understood only in a general sense, in opposition to the contracted opinions of the Jews, who confined the blessings of God to their own nation only; and that the words are intended to declare, that Jesus died for Gentiles as well as Jews. We cannot so restrict the sense. Look at the connexion in which these passages are found, and it will be seen that the terms used, apply to all men, in the widest sense of these terms. Paul instructs Timothy to pray for all men; not for Jews and Gentiles in the general sense, but for kings,
and all in authority; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, who will have all men to be saved. So John says, "if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father." 1 Epis. John i. 1. Is not the language here designed to apply to all men? Who can dispute it?
32. The labor of Christ will be efficacious for all for whom he died. "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." Isaiah liii. 11. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John xii. 32. If the Redeemer died for all men, can he be satisfied with the salvation of a part only? Can he look back upon his work and say, it is well done? Will he not rather draw all men unto him, by the power of his truth, and make them holy and happy forever? Are we not authorized to expect. such a result, from the fact, that he gave himself a ransom for all? and if they are all drawn unto him, will they not all be saved?
33. When Jesus was born, the angel said to the fearful shepherds, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke ii.
The tidings of the Redeemer's birth, were certainly good tidings to all people. They should all hear these tidings, and to all they should be good tidings. But how can this be, if a part of the human race are never to be benefited by the Redeemer's sacrifice?
34. The people who heard Jesus preach, said, "we have heard him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." John iv. 42. Jesus cannot be the Saviour of the world, if the world will never be saved. What Jesus taught the Samaritans, that induced them to regard him as the Saviour of the world, may be infered, 1st. from his conversation with the woman at the well of Jacob, (John iv.) and 2d, from the exclamation of the Samaritans, in the 42d verse. He evidently did not preach to them the doctrine of endless misery; for would they have con
cluded from the fact of his preaching that doctrine, that he was THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD?"
35. John, the beloved disciple of Christ, said, "We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1 John iv. 14. This is the same character that the Samaritans judged the Lord to possess, from his personal instructions. John iv. 42. 'John "We have seen; says, i. e. he knew it from his acquaintance with his Master. And do testify. We cannot hide this truth; we will proclaim to men, that Jesus is the Saviour of the world.
THE TESTIMONY OF THE PROPHETS.
36. All the holy prophets have spoken of the restitution of all things. "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began." Acts iii. 20, 21. This is an important passage of Scripture. "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, [but who hath been crucified, and hath ascended unto heaven, and] whom the heaven must receive [or contain,] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." This "restitution of all things" is to take place, when Jesus comes down from the heavens, in the sense in which he had ascended into heaven. He had ascended into heaven bodily; the heavens would contain him until the times of the restitution; and then he would bodily visit the earth again. Now when shall he visit the earth again bodily? Answer, at the resurrection of the dead. See Acts i. 10, 11, and 1 Thess. iv. 16. We conclude from this, that the restitution of all things is to take place at the resurrection of the dead. The learned Parkhurst gives this view of the subject, and quotes Stockius at large as agreeing with him. See his