"Who gave himself a ransom for all'
`Who gave himself a ransom for all,' 1 Tim ii 6. This evidently and simply means, all sorts and grades of society of men, whom the apostle exhorted Timothy that they should be prayed for, verse 1,2, `that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness;' and also because that such all men `God will have to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth,' and the same to be testified in due time.' It is not said God would have all men to be saved, nor would have had all men to be saved; but `Will have all men to be saved,' and this will extends quite as far as the gift of the ransom; and all intended by both sayings is `to be testified in due time.' Now take the whole connexion from the first to the close of the seventh verse, and then take the testimony of these now for ever gone by eighteen hundred years, and see whether any thing like individual universality in either the `will' or the `ransom,' could ever be understood and intended by the apostle, as by any sort of `testimony' that can be gathered to have been borne in any way whatever to that point, through all this length of time now gone by. For the apostle tells us most plainly that the truth he stated, and intended by his statement, should `be testified in due time:' and while in the conduct of providence, the ministry of the gospel, and the manner of the effectually working power of God therewith, it has long and mercifully been `testified' that all sorts of characters and grades of society of men, are included in the `will' and `ransom for all' in our text, there is in no shape the least testimony borne to individual universality of souls unto salvation as being ever intended. And while the Lord did out of one savage blood-thirsty persecutor, raise up and make one `apostle to the Gentiles,' how is it that thousands of such preachers were not raised up and sent at once into every kingdom, province, city, and village of the whole world to testify the same, if the will of God was to have all universally saved, and as universally `come to the knowledge of the truth?' Was the will of God ever limited by his want of power? Could he not raise up workmen for a universal work, if such had been his will? Was God ever really short of workmen for his own purposes of grace, further than to make it a matter of prayer with the church for him to send, as well as prosper them he hath sent into the ministry?