The

CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 1

Section 461 Timothy 4:19.

For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.


These words stand among others, which are said to contain, in express terms, the doctrine of general redemption.[1] But,

1. If these words represent God, as the Savior of all men,in the sense of a spiritual and eternal salvation, they prove more than any, unless Origen and his followers contend for, namely, an universal salvation. To say that Christ is the Savior of all men, with respect to the impetration of salvation for them, though not with respect to the application of it to them all, is a distinction which must, in part, make the death of Christ in vain; nor can a mere possibility of salvation, nor a conditional one, nor a putting of men into a salvable state, be intended; for then they that believe, would be only in such a precarious and uncertain state; whereas it is certain that he that believeth shall be saved.Besides, if God is the Savior of all men, in the sense of eternal salvation, then he must be the Savior of unbelievers, contrary to many express passages of Scripture; such as John 3:18, 36, Mark 16:16, Revelation 21:8.

2. The words are to be understood of providential goodness and temporal salvation; which all men have a share in, more or less, God the Father and not Christ, is here called the living God,who is the Savior of all men,that is, the preserver of all men; who supports them in their being, and supplies them with all the necessaries of life, and especially them that believe,who are the particular care of his providence; for though he is good, and does good to all men,yet more especially to the household of faith;which was the foundation. Of the apostles' trust in him, under all their labors and reproaches, winch attended the preaching of the Gospel. Which sense of the words is perfectly agreeable both to the analogy of faith, and to the context, and is owned by some[2] who are on the other side of the question.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, of Redemption, p. 113; ed. 2. III.

[2] Volkolius de vera Relig. 1. 2,'e. 7, p. 10. See also Crellins de Deo c. 19, p. 133.


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