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Col. 1. 14. 17.
SERM. created. For that this Jesus, called also the Christ, is that
Word of God, by whom all things were made, appears not only from the Gospel of St. John, before quoted, but like
wise from the Apostolical Epistles, when it is said, that Eph. 3. 9. “God created all things by Jesus Christ.” “Whom He Heb. 1. 2. hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made
the world.” And especially from that remarkable place, where the Apostle, speaking of Jesus Christ, ascribes our
redemption and creation to Him both together; saying, Col. 1. 14- “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even
the forgiveness of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for by Him were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” And that this glorious and Almighty Creator of all things, is not only our Saviour, but the only Saviour, that we have in all the world, is positively asserted by St. Peter, in my text, where, speaking of Jesus Christ, he saith, “ Neither is there Salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”.
Which words are so plain, that I cannot but wonder how any who profess to believe the Holy Scriptures, can doubt of the great truth revealed in them. And yet there have been, and still are, some who have the confidence to affirm, that there are other ways besides Jesus Christ, whereby men may be saved : at least such as never heard of Him, nor have had His Gospel made known unto them, they may notwithstanding be saved, as these people think, if they do but live up to the light and knowledge which they have, and according to the rules of that sect or persuasion they are of, be it what it will. But this is a great and dangerous
mistake, if not one of those damnable heresies which St. 2 Pet. 2. 1. Peter foretold should be privily brought into the Church.
Be sure it is severely condemned by our Church in her [Art. 18.] Articles, where she hath declared herself against it in these
words; • They also are to be had accursed, that presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which
he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law, and the light of nature: for Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.'— Article XVIII.
In which Article here are two things much to be observed. The first is, that this is the only Article wherein the Church expressly denounceth a curse or anathema. I say expressly, because it is said, “ they also are to be accursed,” and in the Latin, “sunt et illi anathematizandi ;' where the particle et, also,' seems to imply, that the curse is to be referred to all the foregoing Articles : so that whosoever contradictor oppose the doctrine established in any of them, as well as this, are to be also accursed. But howsoever, this is the only Article of all the Thirty-nine, in which the anathema is expressed; whereby our Church hath declared her utter abhorrence and detestation of the opinion she here condemns, in a more particular manner, and hath taken special care that none of her members should be infected with it. For having denounced this curse upon all that presumed to hold it, she afterwards required, and still doth, that all who are admitted to Holy Orders, or into any cure of souls, shall subscribe, and within two months after induction, publicly in the presence of God, and of the congregation, where they are to minister the Word, declare their assent to this among her other Articles; and so to their own curse, if they shall presume to say, either publicly or privately, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, if he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature; or, as it is expressed in the title of the Article, that Eternal Salvation may be obtained any other way than by the name of Christ. And whatsoever some may think, I am sure it is no light matter to fall under the curse of the whole Church of England in any thing, especially in this, wherein she doth no more than what the Apostle in effect did before; where he saith, “ If any man iCor. 16.22. love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha;” that is, let him not only be anathema, accursed in general, but let him be accursed in the highest manner that can be; let that curse come upon him, which in Syriac is called o, maran atha, in Hebrew Ow, shem
SERM. atha, by contraction now, shammatta, “the Lord cometh;'
whereby a man was utterly cast out of God's Church, never to be restored, but wholly left to the judgment of the Great Day, when the Lord cometh to pass an irrevocable sentence upon all men. This is that curse which the Apostle, by God's own direction, here denounceth against all that love not the Lord Jesus Christ : but they who think that a man may be saved without Him, can never have that love for Him, which is due to the only Saviour of the world; and therefore are subject to this curse also. How they can stave it off, I know not; let them look to that.
The other thing to be observed in the aforesaid Article of our Church, is, that she grounds it upon the words of my text, giving this as the reason of it, because Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved: not but that the same thing may be proved from many other places of Holy Scripture, but because this is so clear and full to the purpose, that he who doth not wilfully shut his eyes, cannot but see it here. For
St. Peter and St. John having restored a lame man to his [Acts 3. 6.] perfect health, only by saying “In the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, rise up and walk;” and being afterwards examined by the rulers of the Jews, by what power they had
done it, St. Peter, full of the Holy Ghost, tells them boldly, [Acts 4.10.] “ that it was done in the name of Jesus Christ, whom they
had crucified, and whom God had raised from the dead." And that this, this Jesus, is the stone the Prophet speaks of, which was set at nought by these builders, which is now become “ the head of the corner.” And then adds, “ Neither is there Salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved :" “there is none other name,” that is, there is no person, no way, no thing, that is or can be named under Heaven, given or granted by Almighty God to men, whereby they must be saved, if they ever be at all, but only the name of Jesus Christ.
In which words, I do not see how any thing can be doubted of, except it be the true sense of the word Salvation, or what the Apostle means here, by being saved ? For Salvation is a word that hath various significations in Holy Scripture; sometimes it is used for deliverance from temporal troubles; sometimes for safety and protection from them; sometimes for grace, to eschew evil and do good; sometimes for the remission of sins, and reconciliation unto God; sometimes for eternal life and happiness in the other world. Now the question is, in what sense the word is to be understood in my text? I answer, in all senses : all sorts of Salvation are here signified by it; for the Apostle here speaks indefinitely, there is no Salvation in any other but in Christ : no name whereby we can be any way saved but His; He is the only Saviour of mankind in all respects. • Whatsoever evil any of us are saved from, whatsoever good we enjoy, it must be wholly and solely ascribed to Jesus Christ; without whom we should never have received any favour or mercy at the hands of God, no more than the apostate Angels do; they are His creatures as well as we. But God never extended any mercy towards them, but hath (Jude 6.] reserved them in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the Great Day ; because they never had a Saviour to save them from His wrath and just indignation against them: and our condition would have been every way as bad as theirs, if we had not had a Saviour, and such a Saviour as Jesus Christ, who is able to save us, not only from temporal, but from spiritual and eternal miseries, and to advance us to the highest degree of glory and happiness in the other world; and therefore He is called “the Captain Heb. 2. 10. of our Salvation,” and “the Author of eternal Salvation ch. 5. 9. unto all them that obey Him.” And in this sense especially it is, that the words of my text are to be understood, “There is no Salvation,” there is no attaining everlasting happiness, but by Christ; “For there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved,” so as to enjoy the love and favour of God for ever.
But here we must observe, that when the Apostle speaks of eternal Salvation as attainable by Jesus Christ, he is not to be so understood, as if Christ brought any man to Heaven per saltum, without first leading him in the way thither : for the Salvation here spoken of, begins in this life; Christ first saves us from our sins, both from the guilt and from the power of all manner of sins. He gives us repentance, and
SERM. faith, and grace, to love, and serve, and honour God truly
- and faithfully in our generation : He applies the merits of
His Death to us, for the pardon of our sins, and that God
may be reconciled to us: He makes us pure, and humble, [Col. 1.12.] and holy, every way meet to be" partakers of the inheritance
of the saints in light;" and then, and not till then, He brings us to it. So that the whole of our Salvation from first to last, is begun, continued, and perfected only by Him; none of us being able to do any thing towards it to any purpose, much less attain the end of our faith, even the eternal Salvation of our souls, without Him.
He that really believes the words of my text, will need no other arguments to convince him of this great truth, so clearly revealed in them. Yet, howsoever, that we may be able to form a clearer idea of it in our minds, and also be more firmly established in our belief of it, it may not be amiss to call to mind some of the many other arguments which may be produced for it. For which purpose, we may first observe in general, that there are two things absolutely necessary to any man's attaining everlasting happiness or Salvation in the other world. First, It is necessary that his mind be at least in some degree inclined to God, and dis
posed to virtue and goodness, so as to live for the main, (Tit. 2. 12.] “ soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;" for Heb. 12. 14. it is certain, that without “ holiness no man shall see the
Lord;” nor indeed, is capable of enjoying Him, the chiefest good, in which all our happiness doth chiefly consist. And then it is necessary also, that all the sins and failures that he hath been guilty of, be pardoned, that so God may be reconciled to him, and accept of him, as a righteous and a good man, fit to live with Him, and to enjoy Him for ever. For so long as God is angry and displeased with a man, it it impossible that man should be happy, as might easily be demonstrated. But I may well take these things for granted, they being so plain and evident at first sight, that there is no controversy or dispute among us about them.
Let us now lay aside our prejudices, and impartially consider, how far men can of themselves go in these ways that lead to Salvation, and we shall find, they cannot so much as make one true step towards them, without Christ. For, first,