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Serm. Knowledge of his Son, as the Waters cover I. the Sea; always concluding with this Peti
tion for ourselves, That as he has blessed us with the Enjoyment of the Gospel, in its primitive Purity, beyond most other Nations upon Earth, so he would give us Grace to walk according to it, and not continue to hold the Truth in Unrighteousness; left our Candlestick be removed from us, and our Light be either obscured by Error, or eclipsed by Popery, or extinguished by Infidelity.
1 Tim. ii. 6. Who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due Time. T H E principal object, St. Paul Serm. e seems to have had in View II.
from his composing this Epistle
Ghost, was to direct Timothy, his Son, in the Faith, how he might worthily discharge his Episcopal Function, and to engage him to the Observance of Fidelity, and Prudence in the Exercise of that Authority, he was vested with.
In order to obtain this End, the Apostle having in the first Chapter reminded the Pastor, on what Account he besought him to abide at Ephesus, when he himself went into Macedonia ; which was, that he might
Şerm. oppose all false Teachers, and be very vigiII. lant to prevent the Propagation of any
o ther Doctrine (a) but what was agreeable to the Truth of the Gospel ; and having put them in Remembrance likewise, that this Charge was committed unto him according to the Prophecies, which went before on him (b), and consequently, by the fpecial Direction of the unerring Spirit of God, he proceeds in this second Chapter, by Virtue of his Apoftolical Jurisdiction, to lay down Rules and Orders concerning the publick Service of the Church, giving the holy Man to understand, that it ought to consist of Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and giving of Thanks, to be made for all Men (c). .
The Motive of Charity might be esteemed cogent enough of itself to determine Christians to extend their Devotions in Behalf of Mankind in general: But St. Paul assigns another very particular Reason here for his Injunction, which is, that God our Saviour will have all Men to be saved, and to come to the Knowledge of the Truth (d). He has a gracious Disposition toward the whole human Race, as being the common Father
and (a) 1 Tim. i. 3. (6) V. 18. (0) 1 Tim. ii. 1. (d) V.4.
. 43 and Lord of all; therefore the Inference is, Serm. if he hath fo loved them, they ought also to 11. love one another, and to testify their mutual Love by an affectionate Recommendation of each other to his Divine. Favour. For there is one, and but one, God, both of Jews and Gentiles, of Believers and Unbelievers, and one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus ; Wbo gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due Time (e).
This Act of God's infinite Mercy and Goodness, the Redemption of Sinners, and making all the Families of the Earth blessed, which had a Curse intitled upon them, was foretold, though with much Obscurity, by the ancient Prophets, at sundry Times, and in divers Manners, before and under the Law; but it has been most clearly brought to Light and fully attested by his Son under the Gospel : Who was the Lamb, in the Divine Intention and Foreknowledge, hain from the Foundation of the World (f). Who appeared upon Earth, and had a Body prepared for him, on purpose_ that he might suffer (8).
(f) Rev. xiii: 8.
(e) 1 Tim. ii 5, 6.
II.. Why he appeared not suoner in his Perm son, is a Question which must be answered
in the same Manner, as why he has not yet appeared to all Men in his Revelalation ? And can be resolved only into God's all-wise Will and Pleasure. Those, who lived before the coming of Jesus Christ in the Flesh, or who have never heard of him, or of his Doctrine since, must stand or fall to their own Master, and are not to
judged of us, or of Man's Judgment : And instead of disputing about the Salvation of others, it concerns us to make sure of our own.
The first Advance, and Ground-step toa wards securing whereof, is, as our Apostle has informed us, the coming to ihe Knowledge of the Truth: And for that Reason we find him in his Writings preferring the Knowledge of Christ incomparably beyond all other Science ; its superiour Excellency and high Importance prevailed on him to set light by all other, that he might the more perfectly gain this : And as he valued it fa dearly in general, so he sat a distinguished Mark of his Esteem on the Knowledge of Christ crucified; he makes it the chief