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came to give his life a ransom for many;' Matt. xx. 28. which Paul afterward abundantly confirms; affirming, that God redeemed his church with his own blood;' Acts xx. 28. Not the world, as contradistinguished from his church, nor absolutely; but his church throughout the world. And to give us a clearer insight into his intendment, in naming the church in this business, he tells us, they are God's elect whom he means; Rom. viii. 32-34. He that spared not his Son, but delivered him up to death for us all, how shall he not with him, freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.' They are the elect for whom God gave his Son, and that out of his love, which the apostle eminently sets out ver. 32. those to whom with his Son he gives all things, and who shall on that account never be separated from him.
Farther, to manifest that this great fruit and effect of the love of God, which is extended to the whole object of that love, was not universal. 1. The promise of giving him was not so; God promised Christ to all, for and to whom he giveth him. The Lord God of Israel by him visited and redeemed his people, raising up a horn of salvation for them in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began;' Luke i. 68-70. In the very first promise of him, the seed of the serpent (as are all reprobate unbelievers) are excluded from any interest therein; Gen. iii. 15. And it was renewed again, not to all the world, but to 'Abraham and his seed;' Gen. xii. 2, 3. Acts ii. 39. iii. 25. And for many ages, the promise was so appropriated to the seed of Abraham;' Rom. ix. 5. with some few, that joined themselves to them, Isa. lvi. 3—5. that the people of God prayed for a curse on the residue of the world, Jer. x. 25. as they which were 'strangers from the covenant of promise;' Eph. ii. 12. they belonged not to them. So that God made not a promise of Christ to the universality of mankind; which sufficiently evinceth, that it was not from a universal, but a peculiar love that he was given.
2. When Christ was exhibited in the flesh, according to
the promise, was he given to all, but to the church; Isa. ix. 6. neither really as to their good; nor ministerially for the promulgation of the gospel to any, but to the Jews. And therefore, when he came to his own, though his own received him not;' John i. 11. yet, as to the ministry which he was to accomplish, he professed he was not sent, but to the lost sheep of Israel;' and gives order to them whom he sent forth to preach in his own lifetime, not to go into the way of the Gentiles, nor to enter into any city of the Samaritans ;' Matt. x. 5. yea, when he had been lifted up, to draw all men to him, John iii. 14. and chap. xii. 32. and being ascended had broken down the partition wall, and took away all distinction of Jew and Gentile, circumcision and uncircumcision, having died not only for that nation of the Jews, (for the remnant of them according to the election of grace, Rom. xi.) but that he might gather together in one the children of God' that were scattered abroad; John xi. 52. whence the language and expressions of the Scripture as to the people of God are changed, and instead of Judah and Israel, they are expressed by the world;' John iii. 16. the 'whole world,' 1 John ii. 1, 2. and all men;' 1 Tim. iv. 6. in opposition to the Jews only, some of all sorts being now taken into grace and favour with God; yet neither then doth he do what did remain, for the full administration of the covenant of grace towards all; namely, the pouring out of his Spirit with efficacy of power to bring them into subjection to him; but still carries on, though in a greater extent and latitude, a work of distinguishing love, taking some and refusing others. So that being exalted, and made a Prince and a Saviour,' he gives not repentance to all the world, but to them whom he redeemed to God by his blood, out of every 'kindred and tongue and people and nation;' Rev. v. 9.
It appears then, from the consideration of this first most eminent effect of the love of God, in all the concernments of it, that that love, which is the foundation of all the grace and glory, of all the spiritual and eternal good things, whereof the sons of men are made partakers, is not universal, but peculiar and distinguishing.
Mr. Biddle being to prove his former assertion of the universality of God's love, mentions sundry places, where God is said to love the world, and to send his Son to be the
Saviour, of the world; John iii. 16, 17. vi. 33. iv. 42. 1 John iv. 14. John xii. 46,47. 1 John ii. 1, 2. The reason of which expression the reader was before acquainted with. The benefits of the death of Christ being now no more to be confined to one nation, but promiscuouly to be imparted to the children that were scattered abroad throughout the world in every kindred, tongue, and nation, under heaven, the word 'world,' being used to signify men living in the world, sometimes more, sometimes fewer, seldom or never, 'all' (unless a distribution of them into several sorts comprehensive of the universality of mankind be subjoined), that word is used to express them, who in the intention of God and Christ are to be made partakers of the benefits of his mediation. Men of all sorts throughout the world, being now admitted thereunto: as was before asserted.
2. The benefit of redemption being thus grounded upon the principle of peculiar, not universal love, whom doth God reveal his will concerning it unto? and whom doth he call to the participation thereof? If it be equally provided for all, out of the same love, it is all the reason in the world that all should equally be called to a participation thereof, or at least so be called, as to have it made known unto them. For a physician to pretend that he hath provided a sovereign remedy for all the sick persons in a city, out of an equal love that he bears to them all, and when he hath done, takes care that some few know of it, whereby they may come and be healed, but leaves the rest in utter ignorance of any such provision that he hath made, will he be thought to deal sincerely in the profession that he makes of doing of this, out of an equal love to them all? Now not only for the space of almost four thousand years did God suffer incomparably the greatest part of the whole world, to 'walk in their own ways, not calling them to repent,' Acts xiv. 16. winking at that long time of their ignorance, wherein they worshipped stocks, stones, and devils; all that while making known his word unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel, not dealing so with any nation, whereby they knew not his judgments; Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. so in the pursuit of his eternal love, calling a few only, in comparison, leaving the bulk of mankind in sin, without hope or God in the world; Eph. ii. 12. but even also since the giving out of a commission and
express command, not to confine the preaching of the word, and calling of men, to Judea, but to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature; Mark xvi. 15. whereupon it is shortly after said, to be preached to every creature under heaven; Col. i. 22. the apostle thereby warning every man and teaching every man, that they might present every man to Jesus Christ;' Col. i. 28. namely, of all those to whom he came and preached, not the Jews only, but of all sorts of men under heaven, and that on this ground, that God would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth,' 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4. be they of what sort they will, kings, rulers, and all under authority; yet even to this very day, many whole nations, great and numerous sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, having neither in their own days, nor in the days of their forefathers, ever been made partakers of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, whereby alone life and immortality are brought to light, and men are made partakers of the love of God in them. So that yet we have not the least evidence of the universal love pleaded for. Yea,
3. Whereas, to the effectual bringing of men 'dead in trespasses and sins' to a participation of any saving spiritual effect of the love of God in Christ, besides the promulgation of the gospel and the law thereof, which consisteth in the infallible connexion of faith and salvation according to the tenor of it; Matt. xvi. 16. He that believeth shall be saved;' which is accompanied with God's command to believe, wherein he declares his will for their salvation, upon the terms proposed, approving the obedience of faith, and giving assurance of salvation thereupon; 1 Tim. ii. 1-4. there is moreover required the operation of God by his Spirit with power; to evince that all this dispensation is managed by peculiar distinguishing love, this is not granted to all, to whom the commanding and approving word doth come, but only to them who are the called according to his purpose; Rom. viii. 28. that is, to them who are predestinated; ver. 30. for them he calls, so as to justify and glorify them thereupon.
4. Not then to insist on any other particular effects of the love of God, as sanctification, justification, glorification; this in general may be affirmed, that there is not any
one good thing whatsoever, that is proper and peculiar to the covenant of grace, but it proceeds from a distinguishing love, and an intention of God towards some only therein.
5. It is true that God inviteth many to repentance, and earnestly inviteth them by the means of the word, which he affords them, to turn from their evil ways, of whom all the individuals are not converted, as he dealt with the house of Israel (not all the world, but), those who had his word and ordinances, Ezek. xviii. 31, 32. affirming that it is not for his pleasure, but for their sins, that they die; but that this manifests a universal love in God in the way spoken of, or any thing more than the connexion of repentance and acceptation with God, with his legal approbation of turning from sin, there is no matter of proof to evince.
6. Also, he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet. iii. 9. even all those towards whom he exercises patience and long-suffering for that end (which, as the apostle there informs, is to usward) that is, to believers, of whom he is speaking. To them also it is said, that he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men,' Lam. iii. 33. even his church, of which the prophet is speaking: although this also may be extended to all; God never afflicting or grieving men, but it is for some other reason and cause, than merely his own will; their destruction being of themselves. David indeed tells us, that the Lord is gracious, full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy: that the Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works;' Psal. cxlv. 8, 9. But he tells us withal, whom he intends by the 'all' in this place, even the generation which praise his works and declare his mighty acts;' ver. 4. those who abundantly utter the memory of his great goodness, and sing of his righteousness;' ver. 7. or his saints, as he expressly calls them; ver. 10. The word he there mentions, is the word of the kingdom of Christ over all, wherein the tender mercies of God are spread abroad, in reference to them that do enjoy them.. Not but that God is good to all, even to his whole creation, in the many unspeakable blessings of his providence, wherein he abounds towards them in all goodness, but that is not here intended. So that Mr. B. hath fruitlessly from these texts of Scripture, endeavoured to prove a universality of love in God, incon