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1. It is not said he would have all men to be saved, by his good-will, but he will have all men to be saved, it is a will of authority and sovereignty, of supreme sovereignty.
2. It is an eminent, permanent, a fixed, a determinate act of his will, not transient nor revocable, he will have all men to be saved.
3. He so wills the end as withal he wills all necessary means leading to it, he will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. There is no man is or can be sanctisfied or saved without the knowledge of the truth, God wills therefore that they be saved, and that this means of salvation shall pass upon them.
4. This will hath its ground in the property of Gods nature, this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Say, iour. Thence it derives itself, where these words our Saviour are not to be restrained to the elect, for that would not carry forth a will to save all men; this therefore is to be taken in the same latitude and extent with other places where he is called the Saviour of all men. Chap. 4, 10. And God that quickeneth all things. Chap. 6, 13. Saviour tells us, all things live to God. Luke 20, 38. And he is called the God of all spirits of all Flesh. Numb. 16, 22. And mark you, who is this Saviour? It is God, not only Christ, for of him he speaketh distinctly afterwards, But the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. Upon this account he said this office of praying for all men, is acceptable before God our Saviour, which is not meant of a simple acceptation, as every good work is acceptable but by way of eminence, this compared with other good works is singularly, eminently, peculiarly acceptable. Now things are so said to be acceptable to men when they suit their inclinations, and gratify their design that they are intent upon, and fall in with it: So doth this office of praying for and seeking the good, the spiritual good the eternal good of all men. It falls in with Gods great design, and tends to bring it forth into effect. When Job prayed for his friends, that had been very harsh upon him, God took it so well that he turned Jobs captivity upon it, though God was purposed to restore Job, yet he takes the very nick of that time to do it, when Job prayed for his friends. I know what Calvin and other expositors generally say, to invalidate this argument de hominum generibus non singulis personis
zermo est, afterwards upon verse, 6, of Christ giving himself a ransom for all, he said, particula universalis semper ad hominum genera referri debet non ad personas, viz. That this particle of Universality ought always to be understood of all ranks or sort of men, not of all Individuals; but giving no reason for it but his own Judgment, or Ipse dixit, I need not further concern myself with it, yet for the honour I bear the author, I shall give my reason why I take it otherwise, which is this.
The Apostle doth not exhort to pray for the office of magistracy abstracted from the persons but for the persons of rulers at that time, whether Nero, or any other as bad men as the world had any (so much worse as they were obliged by him whom they represented to have been better ;) these persons of men are the objects designed upon and recommend to the prayers of the churches; and on occasion thereof is the will of God produced. But now the reason holds for all men, as well as for these, these being as bad as any, and the very words of the text so carry the intentions: it is under the title of man, that kings must claim the benefit of this recommendation to the prayers of the church for all men, and they come in the crowd of all men in Gods willing their salvation as all, verse 4, and which all men he will have saved.
Now if God wills the salvation of Nero, and his subordi nate ministers which might be as bad as he, who besides the common sins of inferiour men, abuse the eminency in which they were placed of God, let us bring home the argument. God by the Apostle requires prayers to be offered up for all men, for kings and all the eminency or as the original word is for all that are uppermost, whatever their title was; he declares he will have all men to be saved; the instance and practice in the then present case, falls upon very notorious. men as bad as any time ever afforded.
THE Gospel trumpet sounds
To all the human race;
The wicked shall return,
Their hearts with love shall burn
The stony heart shall melt
The mountains that impede
The wilderness is chang'd
THE TWO OLIVE-BRANCHES.
THE law and the prophets, which we have seen represented by two Cherubims, we shall now find represented by two olivetrees, or branches, in Zacheriah and by two witnesses in Revelations. If we may suppose that Zerubbabel stands as a figure of Christ, which is too evident to need proof, it will be easy to see the mystery of the olive-trees. In Revelations these olivetrees are called witnesses, olive-trees and candlesticks. In Zacheriah they are called the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. See Zach. iv. 2, " And behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps which are upon the top thereof."
This golden candlestick is Christ, whom the prophets just before calls the BRANCH and represents him by a STONE on which there should be SEVEN EYES. These SEVEN EYES are called SEVEN LAMPS in the above quotation. In verse 10, they are called, "THE EYES OF THE LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth." These SEVEN are called the SEVEN SPIRITS of God in Rev. v. 6, "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having SEVEN HORNS AND SEVEN EYES, WHICH ARE THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH." By connecting these scriptures it appears evident that Christ is this golden candlestick, in whom dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, represented by the perfect number SEVEN applied to LAMPS, EYES and SPIRITS. Verse 3, "and two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof." Verse 14, "These are the two annointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Christ Is
LORD OF ALL. See now what the two olive-trees stand by the candlestick for. According to verses 11, 12, they emptied the golden oil through golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick. This is done by bearing witness, as they are called the Two WITNESSES in Rev. xi. In the witness which they give, they testify of Jesus. When Jesus, in the presence of Peter, James and John, was transfigured on the mount, "Behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him." Moses stood as the representation of the Law, and Elias of the Prophets. Their making their appearance at the transfiguration of Jesus was to shew that his glory was their fulfilment. See Rev. xix. 10," I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." St. Luke xxiv. 25, 26, 27, "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." In that all-important sermon which the risen Jesus preached to the two travelling brethren, he drew forth the GOLDEN OIL from Moses and all the Prophets as from two olive-trees. This oil burning in the golden candlestick gave the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus to the two brethren, and caused their hearts to burn within them. St. John i. 45, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." The Law and the Prophets represented by Moses and Elias are the two witnesses, (according to the foregoing scriptures and arguments,) and this will appear still more evident by the following illustration, See Rev. xi. 3, " And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shali prophecy a thousand two hundred and three score days, cloathed in sack-cloth.
Commentators agree in taking the above days for years, and likewise the three days and an half noticed in the 9th verse, for three prophetic years and an half, which, reckoning three hundred and sixty days for a year, amount to the number of days noticed in the 3d verse above quoted. The forty and two months also mentioned in the 2d verse, reckoning thirty days for a month, which was the usual method of Hebrew calculation, amount to one thousand two hundred and three score days, the same as above. Also the time, times and half a time mentioned in chap. xii. 14, reckoning a time for a year, make the above three years