« PreviousContinue »
signify every individual Person in the World, but only a great Number of Persons of different Nations, or all sorts of Persons, viz. both Jews and Gentiles.
Again, St. Paul has this passage. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how mall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how all they hear without a Preacher ? Rom. 10. 14. And how shall they preach, except they be sent ? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace, that bring glad Tidings of good things?
v. 19. But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias faith, Lord, who hath believed our report? v. 16. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, v. 17. But I say have they not heard? Yes verily, their found went into all the Earth, and their Words unto the Ends of the World, V.18. 'Tis plain that the Apostle speaks of outward preaching, v. 14, 15. For the Word here used does never import immediate Revelation. Besides, the Preachersare they whose report was not believed, v. 16. and those whose report was not believed, were certainly Men, and consequently their preaching was outward. For Isaiah faies, Lord who has believed our report, that is, the report which we the preachers make? 'Tis plain also, that he speaks of hearing with the bodily Ears. For the hearing here mentioned cannot signify obedience. Because Ifrael, who had beard, v. 18. was notwithftanding a Disobedient and Gainsaying People. v. 21.
Since then the preaching which the Apostle speaks of is outward, and heard with the bodily ears; 'tis plain, that the preaching which they are said to have heard, v. 18. is that outward preaching which they had heard with their bodily ears. And whose preaching was that? Why,
the preaching of the Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel, which St. Paul proves they had heard, by applying the Words of the Psalmist, Pf. 19. 4. to the Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel, saying, Their found is gone out inta all lands, and their words unto the Ends of the World. By which words the Apostle does not insinuate, as Mr. Barclay wou'd fain (6) persuade us, that a Divine inward preacher is meant. For that which our Adversaries mean by the inward Divine preacher is but one: whereas the Apostle speaks of Preachers in the Plural Number, saying Their Sound, and Their Words. And consequently he must of neceflity mean those outward Preachers, whom he had been mentioning before, viz. the Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel, even them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things, v. 15. and he affirms, that their found, viz. the sound of the Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel, went into all lands, and their Words unto the Ends of the World. But in what sense? The Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel did not preach to every individual Person in the World; but only to a great number of Persons of different Nations, or all sorts of Persons, viz, both Jews and Gentiles; and consequently these comprehensive phrases do not imply any thing more.
(c) This he answers v. 18. saying, But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their found is gone out into all lands, and their Words unto the Ends of the World ; insinuating, that this Divine Preacher hath founded in the Ears and Hearts of all Men. For of the outward Apostles that saying was not true, neither then, nor many hundred years after. Yea, for ought we know, there may be yet great and spacious Nations and Kingdoms, who have never heard of Christ, nor his Apostles, as outwardly. Barclays Apol. prop. 5, 6. p. 350.
Nay, in the oth verse of that very Chapter, upon the 23d. of which the objection I am now answering is grounded, the Apostle faies which (Gospel) is come unto you, as it is in all the World. Now 'twas outwardly come to those whom the Apostle writes to, and consequently 'twas outwardly come in all the World. But our Adverfaries deny ( as Mr. Barclay's words already quoted in the Margin prove) that the Gospel was at that time outwardly preached to every individual Person living in the World; and consequently by all the World the Apostle there means only a great Number of Persons of DifferentNations, or all sorts of Persons, viz. both Jewsand Gentiles.
Thus then I have shewn, that these phrases, every Creature, all the World, all lands, and the Ends of the World, frequently signify, not every individual Person living in the World, but only a great Number of Perfons of different Nations, or all sorts of Perfons, viz. both Jews and Gentiles. And accordingly, when the Gospel is said to be preached to every Creature in this controverted place, we must understand nothing more, than that it was very much spread upon the face of the Earth; as it certainly was, when St. Paul writ the Epistle to the Collossians.
21. St. John speaking of our Savior faies, that was the true light, which lighterh every Man that cometh into the World, John. 1. 9. from whence our Adversaries infer, that all Mankind is enlightned, that is, taught and instructed, by Jefus Christ. Now, say they, all Mankind has not been enlightned by the outward preaching of our Lord; and consequently the enlightning, teaching or inftruction here meant, must be performed by immediate Revelation. Now I grant, that the enlightning
here spoken of does signify teaching and instru&ing. For Christ is therefore said to be a light of the Gentiles, Il. 42. 6. and a light to the Genfiles, ch.49. 6. and a light to lighten the Gentiles, Luke 2. 32. because he does teach and instruct the Gentiles. But then I deny, that Christ does enlighten, teach and instruct all Mankind in our Adversaries fenfe, that is, every individual Man; nor do the Words of the Evangelist prove it.
For, 1. Tho' our Savior be said to lighten every Man that cometh into the World; yet every Man that cometh into the World cannot import more than every Creature or all the World; which phrases, as I have thewn, are to be understood in a limited fenfe. And therefore when our Savior is said to enlighten every Man that cometh into the World; 'tis meant that he teaches and Instructs a great Number of Persons of different Nations, or all sorts of Persons, viz. both Jews and Gentiles, 2. St. Paul faies, Whom (viz. our Savior) we preach, warning every Man, and teaching every Man in all wisdom ; that we may present every Man perfect in Christ Jesus, Col. 1. 28. Now the Every Man of the one Apostle is as comprehensive as the Every Man that cometh into the World of the other. And can our Adversaries imagine, that St. Paul taught and warned every individual Person then living? If not; then 'tis plain, that St. Paul must mean only a great Number of Persons of different Nations, or all sorts of Men, viz. both Jews and Gentiles. And accordingly, when St. John saies, that Christ enlightens every Man, he means only a great Number of Persons of different Nations, or all sorts of Men, viz. both Jews and Gentiles. And in this sense the Words are exactly trye. For Christ's Doctrine was not confined to one
single Nation, as that of the Prophets under the Law was: but indifferently spread abroad amongst all sorts of People, and taught all Nations, viz. the Gentiles as well as the Jews, Matt, 28. 14. Luke 24. 47:
These words therefore of St. John being understood in a limited sense, are to be extended no farther, than to thote Persons, who have had the Gospel outwardly preached to them. For our Savior, by preaching the Gospel outwardly to Mengand causing his Apostles and other Ministers of the Gospel to do the same, did, and does, and shall to the Worlds End, enlighten every Man, that is, a great Number of Perfons of different Nations, or all sorts of Persons, viz. both Jews and Gentiles. For those who never saw our Savior in the flesh, and never heard his Voice, are as truly instructed and taught by Christ, when they learn his Will from the Apostles and other inspired Writers; as the Ifraelites were commanded by Almighty God, tho they received his precepts, not immediately from himself, but mediately from the Mouth of his Servant Mofes.
CH A P. VIII.
Jer. 31. 31, 32, 33, 34. Isaiah 59. 2 1.
explain'd. 22. THE Prophet Jeremy faies, Behold the daies
come, faith the Lord, that I will make a nery covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, Jer. 31. 31. Not according to the Covenant that I made with their Fathers, in the Lay that I took them by the hand to bring them ont