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text, the glorious consequence is thus stated: 'And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' For confirmation in the right sense of these words, the reader will observe God's covenant with Noah; see Gen. ix, 17: And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.' And to make this divine truth, if possible, more evident, see Isaiah liv, 9: For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee.' To which I subjoin the testimony of him who spoke as never man spoke: see St. John xvii, 2: As thou hast given him (Christ) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.' Is this the glorious design of the gospel plan? My soul then wishes it prosperity.
To render this illustration instructive, relative to universal salvation, a few of the correspondiug passages of scripture will be introduced, accompanied with some remarks. Our parable seems to be predicated on the prophecy of Isaiah xl, 1-5: 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned : for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley
shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.' It is well to notice the following particulars embraced in the above text:
1. The command given to speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and to comfort her as a people owned of God.
2. The necessity and propriety of speaking comfortably to an individnal or to a nation, is on account of the troubles, adversities, or sufferings through which the individual, or the nation has passed, or is passing, and there being a favorable prospect of better times.
3. The sufferings alluded to in the text, that Jerusalem endured, were double punishment for all her
4. The comfort with which Jerusalem was to be comforted, was the pardon of her iniquities.
5. It is evident that this Jerusalem is the same which was in the days of Christ, from the prophet's proceeding to state the preparation of the way of the Lord, and of his glorious appearing. This is that Jerusalem of which St. Paul speaks, Gal. iv, 25: For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children.'
6. Jerusalem receiving double for all her sins, and being comforted with the pardon of her iniquities afterwards, shows two important truths which are generally disbelieved: 1st, that sin does not deserve endless punishment; and 2d, that an adequate punishment for sin, is consistent with forgiveness.
7. The way of the Lord is so prepared, that when his glory is fully revealed, all flesh shall see it togethPsalm xcviii, 1, 2, 3: 'O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth towards the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.'
1. This new song is the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, which is sung by those standing on the sea of glass mingled with fire, noticed in Rev. xv; and this is their song: See verses 3, 4: 'And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee for thy judgments are made manifest.' By this song it appears that the judgments of God will terminate in bringing all nations to worship the true God, whom to know is life eternal.
2. The victory obtained by God's right hand and holy arm is the victory of the seed of the woman over the serpent, whose head he bruises; the victory of him who is able to subdue even all things to himself; the victory of him who must reign until he has put all things under his feet.
3. The salvation and righteousness which God hath made known and showed openly, are that righteousness and salvation of which St. Paul speaks in Rom. v, 18: Even so by the righteousness of one the free
gift came upon all men unto justification of life.' This justification unto life, is the salvation which is wrought by the righteousness of God.
4. God's mercy and truth, which he hath remembered towards the house of Israel, is expressed by St. Paul, Rom. ix, 4. 5: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever, amen.'
The fulfilment of all those things are noticed as follows: See Acts xiii, 32, 33: And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.'
5. The joy of this new song is completed with the sentiment, prophetically expressed in the most positive form, that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. In the application of the parable it is said, 'And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' Corresponding with this mode of expression are the words of the blessed Saviour in St. John xvii, 2, 3: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.' Note 1st. In this passage, the word as connects what follows with what precedes, and shows that power over all-flesh was given to Christ, that he might glorify his Father according to the extensiveness of that power, in giving eternal life
to all over whom he had received power, which is all flesh. 2d. This eternal life consists in knowing God, and Jesus Christ whom God has sent. Therefore, 3d, The true gospel ministry consists in communicating the knowledge of God, as revealed in Christ, to mankind. 4th. The conclusion is, that in the ministry of the gospel, nothing but life eternal to all flesh is dispensed. The declaration of the angel of God to the shepherds, on the birth of the Saviour, is directly to our subject: See St. Luke ii, 10, 11: And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.' As it cannot be reasonable to suppose that this angel of God would declare an untruth, and as he spoke of great joy, which should be unto all people, the conclusion is agreeable to the scriptures before quoted: All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. The great joy of salvation shall be unto all people.
'There was a certain creditor which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty: and when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.'-Luke vii, 41, 42
THESE words were spoken that a question might be stated from them, which would every way confound Simon the Pharisee, who, though he had invited Jesus