A SERMON DISCVRSING THE true meaning of these vvords: The 1. Epistle of Timothy, the 2. chapt. vers. the 4. VVho will haue all men to be saued, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, &c.’

Preached by the reuerend Mr. Iohn Forbes, Pastour to the Company of Marchant Adventurers residing in Delph. Anno 1632.


Imprinted at Delph, Anno 1632.

A SERMON DISCVRSING THE true meaning of these vvords: The 1. Epistle of Timothy, the 2. chapt. vers. the 4. VVho vvill haue all men to be saued, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, &c.’

THe reasons (beloued in the Lord) vvhy the Apostle in the former verses vvill haue, vs to pray vnto God for al men, and in perticular for all that are in au­thoritie are carefully to be conside­red of vs.

The first (wherof vve haue already heard) is taken from the great bene­fit, vvhich by our prayers to God for kings, & such as are in authority it pleaseth the Lord to grant to his Church: For our praiers are an effe­ctual meanes to procure from God, [Page 4] that by his blessing vpon the GO­vernours and their Gouernment, his church may liue a quiet, and a peacea­ble life, in all Godlinesse, and honestie.

The second reason, (vvhere of also vvee haue heard) is from the nature of the thing in Gods sight, before vvhom it is a good, and acceptable thing, to pray for all men: and espe­ciallie for Kings, and those that are in authoritie. And this vvee haue shevved you to be a speciall motiue to moue vs to doe any dutie, but especially to pray for others, to vvit, vvhen vve knovv that it is a good thing not so much in mans sight, as in Gods sight, and a thing accep­table in Gods sight, and that euen according as he is our Sauiour, vvhich is a matter, (as vvee haue shevved you) of singular moment to be considered of vs, for vvee are carefullie to looke to this, vvhat is acceptable in Gods sight, not simply [Page 5] as vve consider God in himselfe in his nature, povver, goodnes &c. but as vvee consider him in reference to our selues, as he is our God, our Sauiour, and Redeemer.

It follovveth novv, that vve speake of the third reason, (vvher vpon the exhortation of the Apostle, to this dutie is grounded) and by vvhich all to this last reason, is made good vnto vs, and clearely confirmed. And it is taken from this vvill of God tou­ching the saluation of men, vvhose vvill (as saith the Apostle) is to haue all men to be saued, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Generallie hence vvee gather, that the vvil of God touching men, should be the rule of our praying for them, and hovv largelie soeuer Gods vvill is extended to saue men, so largely should our prayers be extended to God, for their saluation: It vvere a vvretched thing, if vve should not [Page 6] vvill the saluation of such as God vvill haue saued, or that vve should desire them to dye in ignorance, vvhom God vvould haue to come to the knovvledge of his truth, as all our other actions, so especiallie our praiers, should haue this vvil of God for their foundation, for the knovv­ledge of it, is that vvhich must rule vs in our life, and order vs in all our actions, & perticularlie in this in our mutuall praying one for another: For he that is ignorant of Gods vvil, can make no acceptable prayer to God, seeing nothing can be accep­table to him that is not done accor­ding to his vvill: VVee knovv, that the promise of Christ in the Gospel is this, that vvhat soeuer vvee shall aske the Father according to his vvil, it shall be granted vnto vs. Thus vve see God hath gratiouslie bound himselfe to heare vs, and grant our petitions if they be according to his vvil.

[Page 7] This Argument of the Apostle is enlarged by three other grounds, all manifesting the truth of this point, to vvit, that God will haue all men to be saued, and opening the true mea­ning of the same.

The first ground is taken from the vnitie of God himselfe, & the vnitie of the mediatour betvveene God, and man.

The second ground vvhere by this is confirmed, is taken from the ran­some made by Christ, vvhich vvas for all men, therefore prayer is to be made for all men.

The last ground is set dovvne in the 7. vers. and that is this, that God hath ordained Pastours to preach this redemption to al men: Al these grounds make this point good, that God vvill haue all men to be saued, and this vvill of God beeing laid dovvne for the ground vvhy vvee should pray for al men vve are carefully [Page 8] to examine the true meaning thereof.

This point is that, vvhich most disturbs the peace of Gods Church this day, for the greatest contro­uersie is concerning the true mea­ning of this place. For certainlie, it is an vndoubted truth, That ac­cording to the extent of Gods vvill, touching the saluation of men, so is the extent of his Decree, of his Election, and of Christs re­demption, for the lymits, and ex­tents of Gods vvill, are the limits, and extents of Gods Decree vnto saluation, and the lymi [...]ts of his Decree, are the lymits of his Ele­ction, and the lymits of his Electi­on, are the lymits of the redem­ption made by Christ Iesus, for all these must of necessitie bee of like extent, none of them can be made either of straiter, or larger extent, then other, vvhere by it is manifest: [Page 9] that the saluation of mankinde, must bee as large, as Gods vvill is to saue mankinde: Therefore by consequence it must follovve, that if these vvordes, (God vvill haue all men to be saued,) be so to be vnderstood, that euery perticular man should be saued, then also Gods Decree must bee that euerie perticular man should bee saued, and if the Decree of God bee such, then certainlie, Christ must haue dyed for euerie perticular man, asvvell for Cain, as for Abell: for Esau, as for Iacob: for Iudas, as for Peter, &c. And the Couenant of grace made by God in Christ, vvith mankinde, must include all, and euerie perticular man, but if so be that neither Gods Decree, nor Christs redemption, nor the Co­uenant of grace be made, vvith all, and euery one, nor for all, and euery one, Then certainlie these vvords, [Page 10] (God vvill haue all men to be saued,) cannot be meant of euery perticular man, let vs come therefore to search by the light of Gods truth, the true meaning of Gods minde in these vvords.

For your clearer vnderstanding, vvee vvill first consider, the diuers sorts of meanings, that are giuen of this sentence, and aftervvards, try vvhich is the trust.

Some doe interpret these vvords, after this manner they restraine the vvord (all) to such only as are really saued, as if the meaning vvere this, that as many of mankind as are sau­ed, it is Gods vvill to saue them, and certainly it is true, that whosoeuer is saued, it must be Gods vvill that he is saued but allthough this meaning be tollerable, yet it is needeles, in deciding this controversie, besides that it opens a gap to some absurdi­ties, vvherof vve are not to speake at [Page 11] this time, It is an euasion for vvant if better light in Gods truth to ma­nifest Gods minde.

The secōd meaning of these vvords, is vvhen the vvords (all men, about vvhich, all our question is) are in­terpreted of euery perticular man, vvithout exception secluding none.

The third meaning is vvhen these vvords (all men) are not taken for euerie perticular man, but as the scri­pture oftentimes vses this vvord (all) for all sortes, and kindes of men, of al nations, people, and tounges, of vvhat state or condition soeuer they be, and so the meaning vvill be this, that no sort, nor estate, nor con­dition of mankinde, no nation, nor kindred, toung, or sex is excluded, but that God vvill haue men of all sortes, degrees, and qualities, Coun­tries, and conditions to be saued.

There is yet a fourth meaning, & interpretation of this place, vvhich [Page 12] might yeeld vs a commodious of these vvords, & that ariseth from the consideratiō of Gods wil, either as vve referre it to that, vvhich God himselfe vvilleth of men, or as vve referre it to that, vvhich is Gods vvil in vs, tovvards men, to make this more plaine: you are to cōsider Gods vvill either as vvee take it for that, vvhich is in God himselfe, touching the saluatiō of men, or as vve referre it to that vvhich God vvilleth to be in vs, & especially in such as preach the Gospell touching the saluation of mankinde.

Hovv these vvords are to be vn­derstood in the first respect, must be gathered out of one of the former meanings, but if vve consider them in the second respect of Gods vvill, then the meaning vvill be this, That it is Gods vvill, that vve, and euery one of vs, that are Christiās, & espe­ciallie those, that are dispencers of [Page 13] the misteries of God, should labour both by praier, & preaching for the saluatiō of euery man vnder the sun. And surely this interpretation might stand vvithout any offence because, the Apostle brings this as a reason vvhy vve should pray for al men, to vvit, euē because it is Gods vvil, that vve should vvithout exception seek to saue all men, and in this respect, this sence may stand for euery perti­cular man, for it is the vvill of God, that vve should pray for the salua­tiō of euery man, & that vve should preach the Gospell to euery man, & so this vvill of God is to be conside­red, of that vvhich God vvill haue to be in our practise, but not of that vvhich is in his ovvne purpose, and yet euen in this sence, there is an ex­ception manifest in Gods ovvne vvord, for it is not lavvfull to pray for any, that commits the since against the holy Ghost, as is cleere [Page 14] in the 1. Epis. of Iohn 5. chap. 16. vers. So that the most commodious sense that wee can giue to these words, it cannot hold for euerie perticular man, vvithout some manifest ex­ception.

These be the foure interpretati­ons of any momēt, that are applyed to these vvords, vvhere of this last as it might probably seeme to be the Apostles meaning, so it might satis­fie euery man, if the nevvnes of it as not beeing yet set abroad in the vvorld, vvere not a let, and hinde­rance to the embracing and recea­veing of it, therefore not standing vpon it but leauing it to bee of vveight according as it shall affect the mind of the hearer. VVe come to speake of the second, and third interpretations, in vvhich stands the vvhole controuersie.

To finde out vvhich of these tvvo interpretations contayne the true [Page 15] meaning of these vvords vvee are carefullie to vveighe, if any of them cannot stand vvithout notable in­conuenience, and great absurdities yea blasphemies against Gods truth, and such other properties of God, vvithout vvhich God is not God at all, and vvhich doe directlie contra­dict the nature of Gods Couenant, and truth of Gods practise accor­ding to that which is reuealed in the scriptures, for that sense vvhich doth inferre these absurdities cannot pos­sible bee Gods meaning in these vvordes, so that vvee must reiect it as impious, and take that other vvhich excludes all the former ab­surdities, & fullie agreeth vvith the truth of God else vvhere, and iusti­fies God in his nature prouidence, povver, and truth.

Novv concerning the taking these vvords for Gods vvill touching the saluation of euery perticular man, [Page 16] doe necessarilie inferre the former absurdities, vvhereas taking them in the second sense, that is for all sortes, & kindes of men, no inconuenience doth follovv vpon it, nor shal there any contradiction bee found in it, to the rest of Gods truth revealed in the Scriptures, but shall bee found soundly to agree with it in al things. To make this manifest, vvee vvill come to the proofe of this vvherein that vvee may giue the greater satis­faction to all men, VVee vvill exa­mine the truth of this vvill of God touching the saluation of men, first as the Scriptures reueale it vnto vs, before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and secondlie, as it is mani­fested since his coming in the flesh. Before Christs coming in the flesh, it is most cleare, and euident, that neither of these interpretations can stand: for the vvill of God before Christ, vvas so farre from sauing [Page 17] euery perticular man in the vvorld, that it vvas not his vvill to saue e­uery natiō, or people, or kindred, &c. seing that it is plaine in the Scrip­tures, that from Abraham to Christ, saluation only did belong vnto the Ievves, and God did expresselie se­clude all the nations of the Gentiles from his Couenant, & hope of life, setting vp a partition vvall betvvixt them, & his ovvne people the Ievvs, vvhich behoowed to be first broken dovvne by Christ at his coming, be­fore any nation of the Gentils could be made Cittizens vvith the saints, & of the houshold of God, as is manifest, by the Apost. speach in the 2. Ephes. 12. vvhere he shevves vs, that al the Gentils before that time, were with­out Christ, and alliants from the com­mon vvealth of Israell, and strangers from the Covenant of promise, and vvere vvithout hope, and vvithout God in the vvorld, vvho novv in [Page 18] Christ are made neere by breaking dovvn the stop of the partition vval, so that first by his blood shed, and the reconciliation of the Gentiles vnto God by his crosse asvvell as the Ievves, an entrance, and accesse vvas made vnto both Ievv, and Gentile, to the Father in such sort, as the Apostle saith in the 19. ver. of the 2. to the Ephes. VVe that are Gentiles, are no more strangers, and forreigners as vvee vvere before: The same is plaine by the vvords of the Apostle in the 14. of the Act. the 16. vvhere hee sayth, that in the times past, God suffered all the Gentiles to vvalke in their owne vvayes. In vvhich vvords, vvee are carefullie to marke the par­ticle, all, vvhen hee saith hee suffe­red all the Gentiles, vvhereby hee vvitnesseth playnlie, that there vvas not any one nation, of the Gentiles, that vvas not excluded from the Couenant before Christ, [Page 19] so that before Christs coming the question is cleare, and manifest, for if all the nations of the Gentiles vvere excluded, & no nation except one onely of the Ievves included vvithin the Couenant of God, no man vvithout manifest blasphemie can say, that at that time Gods vvill was, that euery perticular mā should be saued, & this difference between, Ievv, and Gentile at that time, is iu­stified by Christs ovvn speach to the Cananitish vvoman, vvhere hee tried her faith, saying, that it vvas not good to take the Childrens bread, & giue it unto dogges, as likevvise by the speech of the Apost. to the Gal. vvhere hee saith, vve that are Iewes by nature, and not sinners of the Gen­tiles, &c. By vvhich tvvo places it is manifest, that the Gentiles in re­spect of the Ievves, vvere in Christs ovvne account, but as dogges, and not as Children. This is yet further [Page 20] manifest by the Description of the mistery of Godlines set dovvne by the Apost. in the 3. to the Ephe. ver. 4. 5. 6. saying: When you read you may vnderstand my knowledge in the mi­stery of Christ, vvhich in other ages vvas not made knovvn to the sonnes of men, as it is novv reuealed vnto his holy Apostles, & Prophets by the spirit, that the Gentiles should bee fellovv­heires, and of the same body, and per­takers of the promise in Christ by the Gospel. Let vs consider these vvords, that the Apost. placeth the mistery of Christ, in this, that the Gentiles should be fellovv-heires &c. A mi­sterie indeede, vvhich the Apostles themselues after Christs ascention neuer dreamed of, till by speciall reuelation from Heauen, God did mak it manifest to Peter Act. the 11. vers. 18. vvho for his preaching the Gospell to the Gentils, vvas accused by the Ievves, vvhen hee came to [Page 21] Ierusalem, and vpon his apologie in expounding to them the matter in order as it fell, they all held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Euen (vvith vvonder) then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance vnto life which witnesses sufficient­lie, that the levvs did not imag [...]ine, that the Gentiles had any part, or portion in saluation together vvith the levves. And that vvee may see, that it vvas Gods ovvne vvill, and purpose to seclude them from salua­tion, till Christs coming in the flesh. Let vs marke the description of the misterie of Gods vvill in his eternall purpose in himselfe, as it is set dovvn by the Apost. in the Epis. to the Ephes. chap. 1. vers. 9. 10. In these vvordes, making knowne to vs the mistery of his vvill, according to his good pleasure, vvhich he had pur­posed in himselfe, that in the dispen­sation of the fulnes of times he vvould [Page 22] gather together in one, all things in Christ. This fulnes of times vvas the very time of Christs coming in the flesh, vnto vvhich time, as the vvords doe beare, he purposed not, in himselfe, neither vvas it the good pleasure of his vvill to gather the Gentiles vnto the number of his Saints, but till that time, the Lavv of Cōmandements, and ceremonies did stand vp, as a partition vvall to keepe out the Gentiles from the grace of saluation bestovved vpon the levves, the breaking downe of vvhich vvall by the death of Christ vvas declared by the renting of the vaile of the temple from the top to the bottome, and therfore it is not vvithout greate, & vveightie cause, that the Apostle Paul amongst the heades, and points of the misteries of Godlinesse, reckoneth this for one, that Christ vvas preached vn­to the Gentiles 1. tim. 3. 16. Thus vve [Page 23] trust, that it is sufficientlie cleare to all men, that those vvho maintaine, that it vvas Gods vvill from the be­ginning, that euery perticular man should be saued, doe directly speake against the purpose of God as it is reuealed by himself in his truth, see­ing it vvas not his vvill, that any na­tion should bee saued, except the levves only, before Christs coming in the flesh. Besides, to come more closelie to the point, and examine this vvil of God before Christs com­ing in the flesh, vvee will lay aside the rest, of the nations, & only speak of that nation, vvhich vvas chosen of God to saluation, namely, the Ievves, to see if this opiniō for euery perticular mans saluation, can stand vvith the troath of Gods vvill, and purpose amongst them, & to cleare this point, First, let vs consider the speech of God himselfe, by the Pro­phet Isaiah chap. 14. ver. 24. vvhere [Page 24] he saith: The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I haue thought, so shal it come to passe, & as I haue purposed, so shall it stand. By this sentence it must necessarily follovve, that if this be the sence of these vvords, to vvit, that God wil haue euery man vvith­out exceptiō to be saued, that either no man euer shall bee damned, or else God must be periured, (vvhich is blasphemie to thinke) the reason is manifest, seeing God hath svvorn, that as hee hath thought, it shall come to passe, and as hee hath pur­posed so it shall stand, euen as like­vvise he sayeth, in the 46. of Isaiah vers. 10. My Councell shall stand, and I vvill doe vvhatsoeuer I vvill. If then it be true, that the Lord doth vvhatsoeuer hee vvill, and that his purpose cannot faile, then it is impossible, that any one man should euer be damned, if his vvill be (as they say) that euery perticular [Page 25] man should be saued, or then if so be that euer any man be damned, God must be periured, seeing hee hath svvorne, that his purpose shal stand: But if it be true, vvhich else vvhere psalms. 33. vers. 10. 11. is sayd, to vvit, that the Councell of the Lord standeth for euer, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations, & againe psa. 115. ver. 3. Our God is in heauen, he doth vvhatsoeuer he vvill: Then it must follovve, that it vvas neuer Gods vvil, that euery perticular man should be saued, euen amongst the levves, seeing it is manifest, euen by the Scriptures that God did not saue euery man amōgst them, if it vvere by no other euidence, yet euen by that oath of God, set dovvne in the psa. 95. saying, wherfore I sweare in my vvrath, surely they shal not enter into my rest: according to that which God speakes to Moses, Num. 14. chap. ver. 28. 29. &c. and 32. chap. ver. 10. 11. [Page 26] the true meaning vvhereof is ex­pounded clearelie by the Apostle to the Hebre. chap. 3. and 4. vvhere hee plainlie affirmeth, that they to vvhom the Gospel vvas first preached amongst them entred not into Gods rest for vnbeleifes sake, Chap: 4. ver. 6. vve might alledge likvvise for clea­ring this troath, the reiection of Ismaell from the Couenant, the ha­tred of God against Esau, the vvrath of God against Saul, the Prophe­ticall curse of David against his ene­mies, the perdition of Iudas the traitour, and more instanccs, but vve conclude vvith tvvo proofes for all, the first of Ieremiah, Chap. 7. ver. 16. & chap. 11. ver. 11. 14. & chap. 14. ver. 11. and 12. & chap. 15. ver. 1. & in the Prophet Ezekiell chap. 14. ver. 20. vvhere God expreslie for­bids the Prophet Ieremiah to pray for that people any more, and shevves that though Moses, and Samuell did stand [Page 27] before him for them, yet his affection could not be tovvards them, yea, that though Noah, Daniell, and Iob, vvere amongst them, that they should deliuer neither sonnes, nor daughters, but only their own soules, by their righteousnes. VVe can not thinke, that God could intend the saluation of those men, for vvhom he vvould not suffer his Prophets to pray, hovv can it possi­ble bee, that hee should vvill the greater (that is their saluation) vvhen hee prohibits the lesser, that is, the Prophets praying for them, Second­lie, to end this argument, let vs lay before vs the Historie, and com­plaint of Elijah the Prophet, and Gods ansvvere vnto him, in the 1. kings. 19. Rom. 11. vvhere the Pro­phet complaineth, that Ahab, and Gods enemies, [...] left none aliue, that serued God, but himselfe alone, and God ansvveres him, that hee had reserued seauen thousand, that had not [Page 28] bovved their knee to Baal. VVhich Historie according to the Apostle ovvne interpretation, shevves vs, that a remnant according to the electi­on of grace vvere saued, and the rest in Gods Iustice vvere hardned, and proues this by the Scriptures to haue beene done by God himselfe, by the vvords of the Prophet Esaie cha. 29. God hath giuen them the spirit of slumber, eyes, that they should not see, and eares, that they should not heart, unto this day, and from the 69. Psal. Let their table be made a snare, and a net, and a stumbling blocke euen for a recompence vnto them, let their eyes be darkned, that they sce not, and bow dovvn their backe alvvay. Thus vve trust it is plaine, that hovvsoeuer God had tyed saluation to the levvs, before the coming of Christ, yet it vvas not his vvill among them to saue euery perticular man, as for that vvhich may bee obiected, [Page 29] touching their vnvvillingnes in resi­sting. Gods vvil, we shal ansvvere it heerafter, only novv let vs conclude this vvay, seeing God doth vvhat­soeuer hee vvill, and seeing that his purpose must stand, then either God neuer, vvilleth these mens sal­uation, or else hee must haue saued them, vvhich the scripture denyes, & certaine it is according to the for­mer grounds, that God doth vvhat­soeuer hee vvill, and therfore, that God neuer vvilled such a thing, seeing it is manifest hee neuer did it: VVhich is manifestly confirmed by the Apostle Paul, Rom. the 11. VVhere hee shevves vs, that there vvas a remnant according to the ele­ction of grace, and that among the Ievves, the elect had obtayned mercy unto saluation, but that the rest of Israell, had not obtained, vers 5. 7. VVhere also he plainly vvitnesseth, that God had cast avvay the Ievves, [Page 30] and had broken of many branches, from the roote through vnbeleife, so that euen in that onely people, vvhich belong to God, it is euident that it vvas not Gods vvill to saue euery perticular man amongst them. Novv let vs come to trye the truth of this matter since the coming of Christ in the flesh, at vvhich time, the difference betvveene Ievv, and Gentile vvas taken avvay, and the grace of Saluation by Christs ovvne command vvas to be prached by the Apostle to all nations math. 28. 19. according to that vvhich Christ himselfe fore told math. 24. 14. say­ing, and this Gospell of the kingdome shal be preached in the vvhole world, for a testimony unto al nations. If euer in any time of the vvorld it vvas Gods vvill, that euery perticular man should be saued, it must needes be in this time, vvherein the Coue­nant of grace is extēded to al nations [Page 31] and all exception of persons taken avvay before God, for certaine it is vvhich, the Scripture tells vs, that in Christ Iesus, there is neither levv, nor Gretian, there is neither bond, nor free, neither male, nor female, for wee are all one in him, gal. [...] 28. and as the same Apostle saith to the Coll. There is neither Gretian, nor Iew, Cir­cumcision, nor vncircumcision bond, nor free, but Christ is all, and in all things: By vvhich vvords it is most plaine, that no kind of nation, or people, or person, is excluded from the grace of saluation, and so these vvords (that God vvill haue al men to be saued) are taken trulie, vvhen they are taken in that sence, euen accor­ding to the testimony of the church it selfe, and all the redeemed ones of God, Reu. the 5. 9. vvhere they sing this nevv song, saying, Thou art wor­thie to take the booke, and to open the seales therof because thou vvast killed [Page 32] and hath redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of euery kindred, tounge, & people, and nation, and hath made vs to our God, Kings, and Priests, and vvce shall raigne on the earth: Out of these vvords, vvee haue a most strōg argument, to proue that salua­tion is vniuersall, in regard of nati­ons, kindreds, or tongues, kindes, of men, but no vvay vniuersall in respect of euery perticular person, built vpon the testimonie of them themselues vvho are saued, and this argument is such, as it leaues noe exception against it, to the main­tayners of that opinion, (that Gods vvill is, that euery perticular man should be saued) for it is manifest, that they make the redemption vvrought by Christ, to haue bene for euery perticular man, and so as vni­uersall as they make Gods vvill, to haue measured, which is true indeed though not in their sence, as this [Page 33] place plainlie proueth, seeing they vvho are redeemed by Christ doe cōfesse, that he had redeemed them, out of euery kindred tongue, people, and nation. Novv if Christ haue re­deemed some out of euery people, and nation, &c. then certainlie hee hath not redeemed all of euery peo­ple, nor euery perticular man of euery nation: & if this redemption of Christ be not of euery perticular man as this place doth plainly shew, then vndoubtedlie, it cannot be Gods vvill, that euery perticular man should be saued, for no Chri­stian man vvas euer yet so blasphe­mous, as to make Gods vvill to saue men, to be of larger extent, then Christs redemption of men, neither certainlie can it be, both in respect, that Christ came in the vvorld to doe the vvill of the Father that sent him, and this is the fathers vvill vvhich sent him, that of all vvhich [Page 34] hee hath giuen him hee should lose no­thing Iohn. 6. 38. 39. & also because it is God himselfe vvho hath recon­ciled vs to himselfe by lesus Christ, for God vvas in Christ reconciling the vvorld vnto himselfe, as the Apostle sayth, 2. Cor. 5. 18. 19. Seeing them both that Christ the redeemer came to vvorke redemption according to vvill of his father that sent him, and seeing it vvas God himfelfe, vvho in Christ reconciled the vvorld vn­to himselfe, it must necessarilie fol­lovve, that seeing Christ redeemed not euery one of euery nation, that it vvas neuer Gods vvill, to recon­cile to himselfe in Christ euery perticular man of euery nation, an [...] so consequentlie it could neuer be his vvill, to saue euery perticula [...] man of euery nation, for as we hau [...] said before, if God doe vvhatsoeue [...] hee vvill, it must follovv, that if i [...] vvas his vvil to saue euery perticula [...] [Page 35] man, that of necessitie hee doe this, else hee vvere not God, seeing nei­ther inconstancie, nor impotencie can be fall him that is God. Besides, if this had bene his vvill, it behoou­ed likvvise to haue beene his vvill, that Christ should both haue saued, & redeemed, euery perticular man, and yet Christ doth plainlie vvitnes concerning Iudas in perticular, that hee was the Child of perdition, and that hee vvas lost, & that to this end, that the scriptures might befulfilled, Iohn 17. 12. vvhich speech of Christ, himselfe, is carefullie to be marked, for the ouerthrowing of those vvho hold this blasphemous opiniō, euen from their ovvn strongest hold, that is from the very vvill of God, as it is reuealed in the scriptures, seeing Iudas must perish, that the scrip­tures might bee fulfilled, vvhereof it must follovve, that euen accor­ding to Gods vvill reuealed in the [Page 36] scriptures, God doth not vvill, that euery man should bee saued else there vvas no necessitie, that Iudas must perish, that the scriptures might be fulfilled.

Moreouer the same Christ vvitnes­seth plainlie, that hee laid downe his life for his sheepe Iohn. 10 15. and in that same chapter witnesseth plainly touching the Ievves to vvhom hee spake, that they were not of his sheepe, verse. 26. vvherevpon it follovveth necessarilie, that it vvas neuer Gods vvill, that euery perticular man should be saued. If vve compare the vvords of Christ in this 10. Chapter vvith the vvords of the same Christ in the 6. chap. ver. 39. vvhere hee saith, this is the fathers vvill vvhich hath sent mee, that of all which hee hath giuen mee, I should lose nothing, for the vvill of God touching mans saluation is to bee extended no fur­ther, then according to the comissiō [Page 37] giuen to Christ the mediatour, for the sauing of men, novv it is plaine by Christ himselfe, that hee vvas to saue none, but such as the Father had giuen him, but that all men vvere not giuen to Christ of the Father is plaine by the vvords of the same Christ: Iohn 17. verse. 6. vvhere hee saith, I declared thy name to the men thou gauest me out of the vvorld, and againe, ver. the 9. I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them thouh ast giuen me. Besides that, God hath not giuen euery per­ticular man vnto Christ, It is eui­dent by the vvordes of Christ Iohn, the 6. ver. 37. All that the Father hath giuen to me, shall come to me. But no man is so shamlesse as to deny, but that there be many men, that neuer came to Christ, nor euer shal come, and so by consequence vvere neuer giuē by God the father vnto Christ, & if neuer giuen by him to Christ, [Page 38] then it could neuer be his vvill, that Christ should saue them, seeing this vvas the vvill of the Father that sent Christ, that of all vvhich he had giuen him, hee should loose nothing, and this agrees vvell vvith Christs ovvne speech, (mentioned before) Iohn the 10. Where he shevveth the reason, vvhy the Ievves to vvhom hee spake, did not belieue, saying, It vvas, because they vvere not of his sheepe, vvhich the father had giuen him, vvhom onlie hee did reconcile to the Father, seeing he laid dovvne his life for them onlie, & so by con­sequent saued none but them only. By this it is manifest, that it vvas neuer Gods vvill, to haue euery per­ticular man to be saued, seeing hee hath not giuen euery perticular man vnto Christ, neither are all men of the sheepe of Christ, and therfore hee neither did lay dovvne his life for euery man, nor vvas it [Page 39] the vvill of the Father to saue euery man. To come yet to demonstrate more manifestlie, that this vvill of God, touching the saluation of all men, is to be vnderstood only of all sortes of men, and in no vvise of euery perticular man, VVe haue 3. strong arguments laid dovvne in this same place by the Apos. to Tim. The first is in these vvords, that God vvill haue all men to come to the ac­knowledging of the truth, VVhich vvords are to be taken in the same sence, vvith the former: for the Apost. ioynes them this vvay, God vvill, that all men should be saued, & come to the acknovvledging of the truth. VVherby it is clear, that Gods vvill touching the saluation of all men, can be no larger extended, then Gods vvill touching the com­ing of all men to the knovvledge of the truth, Novv that it is not Gods vvill, that euerie perticular man [Page 40] should come to the knovvledge of the truth, is manifest by the words of Christ himself Mat. 13. 11. vvhere he giues the reasō to his Apostles, why hee speake to the people in parables, saying, it vvas because, it vvas not giuen to them to knovv the secrets of the kindgdome of heauen, If then there bee some, to vvhom it is not giuen by God to knovv the troath. It can­not bee Gods vvill, that euery man should com to the knovvledg of the truth, for other vvise certainlie, hee vvould giue euery man to knovv it, seeing hee doth vvhatsoeuer hee vvill, therefore they must speake against Gods ovvne mind, set dovvn by Christ himself, & by the Apostle in this place, who doth affirme, that it is Gods vvill, that euery perticular man should bee saued, seeing it is not his vvill, that euery perticular man should come to the knowledg [...] of the truth, and his vvill touching [Page 41] the saluation of all men is no larger, then his vvill is touching their coming to the troath.

To make it yet further manifest, that it is not Gods vvill, that euery man should come to the knovv­ledg of the truth, but his elect alone the Apost.s hevvs it in the. 11. to the Rom. vvhe [...]e he shevves vs, that the elect had obtained this, and the rest vvere hardned, and shevves this their hardning to be the vvorke of God himselfe, out of Isaiah, saying, God hath giuen them the spirit of slumber, eyes, that they should not see, and eares, that they should not heare vnto this day, hovv then is it possible, that it can be Gods vvill, that euery man should com to the knovvledge of the truth, If God himselfe blinde the eyes of men, that they see not, and harden the hearts of many, that they vnderstād not, for these tvvo cannot stand [Page 42] together, except vvee make God a direct enemie to his ovvne vvill, and a vvorker against his ovvne pur­pose, (vvhich is blasphemous to thinke, and so consequentlie it can­not bee agreable to Gods truth, that God vvill haue, that euery perticular man to be saued, seeing it is not his vvill, that euerie perticular man should come to the knowledg of his troath, vvithout vvhich knovvledg it is impossible, that any man can be saued. The second Argument is in these vvords, vvhere the Apo. saith, that Christ gaue himselfe a ransome for all men, vvhere the vvord (all) is to be taken in the same sence, in vvhich it is to be taken, in these that God vvil haue (all) men to be saued. Now vve haue shevved you before, that I. Christ did not lay dovvne his life for euery perticular man, but for his sheepe onlie, vvhich the Father did giue him, there beeing many [Page 43] other vvho vvere not of his she epe, as himselfe doth vvitnesse, and the testimony of the redeemed ones (cited before) out of the Reuel. proues this point euidentlie, vvhereas they vvitnes, that Christ had redeemed them by his blod, out of euery tribe, people, and nation, declaring an vniuersalitie of redemption in re­spect of kindes of men, but denying vniuersalitie concerning euery per­ticular man.

The third Argument is set dovvn in the 7. ver. vvhere the Apos. layes dovvne the third ground, vvhereby he confirmeth the former saying to vvit, that God vvill haue all men to be saued, vvhich is, that hee is ordai­ned a preacher of saluation to the Gentiles, that is not vnto the Iewes only vvho before Christs coming had the promises, but also to the Gentils, vvho before Christs coming vvere excluded from the Couenant [Page 44] and promise. In these vvordes vvee haue first to gather, that vvhich the aduersarie takes for their aduantage, that is the vniuersall publication of the promise, and saluation to all nations, vvhich notvvithstanding makes much against them, for thus farre vve vvill grant, that as largelie as the Gospell, and promise of sal­uation is extended by God, in the ministery thereof: so farre it is Gods vvill to extend likevvise his salua­tion, to some, though not to euery one in euery place, vvhere the Gos­pell is preached: But out of the Apo. vvords to the Heb. 4. ver. 1. 2. vve ga­ther strong argument, against that sort of the vniuersalitie of Gods wil [...] and grace, vvhereby it is extended to euery perticular person, for the Apostle: shevves vs plainlie in that place, that the promise of entering into Gods rest is not left in any place to any people, but where the gospe [...] [Page 45] is preached, If therfore the gospel be not preached vnto al, then certainly the promise of entring into Gods rest, is not vniuersall, nor made to all, in that sense of vniuersalitie formerlie alleadged, and if the pro­mise be not made to all, and euery one vniuersallie, then certainlie it cannot be Gods vvill to saue all, and euery one vniuersallie. Novv that the gospell is not preached to all, is plaine, both by experience, and scripture. Are there not novv many nations, that neuer yet heard the gospell? be there not many people in Africa, America, and other pla­ces, vvho neuer yet heard of Christ, but lie in ignorance, and blindnes vvithout the vvord of God. Besides the scriptures doe shevv vs, that vvhen Christ sent out his Apostles to preach the gospell, hee did then comand them, not to goe into the way of the Gentiles, and not enter into the [Page 46] Cityes of the Samiritans, matt. 10. 5. and the spirit plainlie forbids Paul, and Barnabas, to preach in certaine contries of Asia, Act. cha. 1 [...]. ver. 6. 7. If men obiect against this, that God did this vpon fore knovvledge, that they vvould not receaue the Gospel, & therefore did forbid to preach vn­to them, this is ansvvered out of the mouth of Christ himselfe. Mat. 11 ver. 21. 23. vvher he saith, Woe be to thee Corazin, vvoe be to thee Bethsai­da, for if the mightie vvorks, vvhich vvere done in you had been done in Tirus, & Sidon, they vvould haue re­pented long agoe in sackcloth, & ashes. And thou Capernaum, vvhich art ex­alted vnto heauen, shall bee brought dovvne to hell, for if the mightie vvorks, vvhich haue beene done i [...] thee, had bene done in Sidon, it should haue remayned vntill this day. By vvhich speech of Christ it is euident, that God did deny the meanes o [...] [Page 47] saluation to those vvhom hee did knovv vvould not so haue abused them, as they that had them: he did see that the Gospel, & the vvorks of Christ vvould haue vvrought vpon the Sodomites to the preseruation from that destruction vvhich did fal vpon them, and vpon them of Tirus and Sidon, to humiliation in sack­cloath, and ashes, and yet he denyes these meanes vnto both. Hovv can then this stand as a truth, that God onlie doth deny the meanes of sal­uation vnto them vvhom he fore­sees vvil abuse them, these men that maintaine this opinion se not, hovv their vayne, and blind cureositie, & carnall vvisdom makes them fall in­to such difficulties vvherevnto they are neuer able to ansvvere, besides that they ouerthrovv by this asser­tion one manie points of Gods eter­nall truth set dovvne in the 9. and 11. Chapters to the Rom. in both [Page 48] vvhich the truth of God, doth plain­ly vvitnesse, and proue vnto vs, that Gods decree, his election, and his calling, are grounded, not vpon mans vvill but vpon Gods, from vvhence comes it that euen by the publication of the Couenant, some are saued, and some are not, is it o [...] their vvil or of Gods vvil? the Apo. in the .9. of the Rom. saith plainlie, that it is not in him that vvilleth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that shevveth mercie, for hee vvill haue mercie, on vvhom hee vvill haue mercie, and vvhom hee vvill he [...] hardneth. It must therefore be a mon­strous vntroath, to say, that God wi [...] haue euery perticular man to be [...] saued, neither can any thing, tha [...] can bee said touching the rebellio [...] of mans vvill against Gods vvi [...] auayle to the contrarie: for God [...] ovvn vvill by the testimony of th [...] Apostle: (yea of God himselfe [Page 49] Exo. 33. 19. & not mans is the groūd of Gods mercy, if therefore it vvere his vvill, that euery one should be saued, then certainlie hee vvould shevve mercy to euery one seeing hee shevves mercy to vvhom hee vvill: Besides, hovv could God be said to harden vvhom he vvill, euen as his vvill is reuealed, & published in the gospell. If that vvere true, that it vvas his vvill, that euery man should be saued, hovv can it be possible, that tovvards one, and the selfe same person, God should haue one vvill to saue him, and another vvill to harden him, as if the fruite, and efficacie of Gods calling depen­ded vpon mans vvill, and not vpon Gods, hovv could it be possible that God could shevv mercie to vvhom hee vvill, or yet harden vvhom hee vvill? doth not I saiah, & the Apost. doth tell vs, that except the Lord re­serued a seed, no man should be saued, [Page 50] but it should be with vs, as it was with Sodome, and Gomarra: so that it is not men, that reserue thēselues, but only God vvho reserues a seed vnto him­selfe. Let men out of these things Iudge vvhether our interpretation of this sentence be not the soundest agreeing vvith Gods ovvn interpre­tation, of his ovvne mind, vvhereby his povver vvill, and God head are maintayned, or vvhether that other sense be not to be abhorred, vvhich makes mans vvill to ouer rule God [...] vvill, and man to be a fauiour, a [...] so a God to himselfe.

But yet to cleare this point som [...] vvhat more, let vs grant this sayin [...] to be true, that God vvill not sau [...] vs, vvithout vs, vvherupon it migh [...] seem to follovv, that although Go [...] vvill euery man to be saued, yet [...] man himselfe vvill not embrace sal­uation, it is not the default of God vvill, but of mans vvill, that hee [...] [Page 51] not saued, for albeit, that God vvill that a man be saued, yet hee vvilleth not that hee be saued against his ovvne vvil, therfore his damnation coming by reason of his ovvn back­vvardnes, and rebellion, and reiec­tion of Gods offer, seemes to make nothing against this point, that God vvill haue him saued.

Surely vve cannot deny, but it is a sound truth, that God saues no man, against mans ovvne vvill, for those that come to Christ, must come vvillinglie vnto him, neither is this the point of Controuersie, but this is the question, to vvit, vvhence proceedes mans vvillingnes to embrace Christ, and the promise of saluation? is it of man himselfe? or is it Gods gratious gift? if it bee Gods gift, then hovv can any mans ovvne vvill hinder his saluation if God vvill it, It being true vvhich she Apost. saith Phil. 2. chap. ver. 13. [Page 52] to vvit, that it is God that vvorketh effectuallie in vs, both to vvill, and to performe, the resistance then of a mans ovvne vvill cannot hinder his saluation, if it be Gods vvill that he be saued, seeing it is in Gods to mak him to vvill, although in himselfe hee bee neuer so vnvvilling, yea it is certain that there is not any man, that hath this povver to vvill the things, that belong to his peace, & saluation, till God vvorke it in him. If therfore God vvill that euery man be saued, and if God haue it in his hand, & povver, to vvorke in euery man to vvil that vvhich he vvilleth, vvhy doth not God giue to euery man to vvill so, or if hee doe not vvorke this vvil in euery man, how can it be true that he vvilleth euery man to be saued, seing it is not from man himselfe but from God, that man hath this vvill, for mans ovvne vnvvillingnes could not hinder [Page 53] Gods vvillingnes, vvho hath the vvill of man in his povver to make it vvilling. Seeing then, God vvil not saue vs without vs, and seeing vvee cannot vvill vvithout him, hovv can hee bee said to vvill that mans saluation, in vvhom hee vvorketh not to vvill, vvithout vvhich God vvilleth not to saue him. Novv that God vvorketh not this vvill in euery man, the aduersaries them­selues are not so shameles, as to call it into question, seeing they contrary to the scriptures, vvould make God to vvorke it none, hovv then is it possible, that God willeth the salua­tion of euery man, for if he vvilleth not that vvhich is the lesse, and vvithout vvhich I cannot be saued, hovv can hee be thought to vvill my saluation vvhich is the greater, and yet depends vpon the lesser, vvhich I cannot haue but by his vvorking. To Conclude this point, [Page 54] if God willeth the saluation of euery man, but yet so, as not vvithout mās vvillingnes, and if euery mans vvil­lingnes, and also vvorking of his ovvne saluation dependeth vpon the same wil of God, hovv can it be that any man in the vvorld should be destitut of that vvillingnes, with­out vvhich hee cannot be saued, or frustrate of saluation, for if vpon the same vvill & good pleasure of God, vvherby he vvilleth the saluation of a man, the gift of that mans vvilling nes, and vvorking of his saluation doth depend. It is a vvonder that any man should be either vvithout vvil­ling or vvorking for vvhat can hin­der Gods vvil, vvhen the vnvvilling­nes of mans ovvne vvill cannot doe it, God hauing it in his vvil to make mans vvill vvilling, and man not beeing able to vvill except God vvorke it in him, It being true vvhich Iohn saith, that Christ giueth [Page 55] this prerogatiue to bee the sonnes of God to those vvho are borne, not of blood, nor of the vvill of the flesh, nor of the vvill of man, but of God: Iohn. 1. 13.


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