For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,…
I. THE ORIGINAL FIRST MOVING CAUSE OF ALL THE BLESSINGS WE HAVE FROM GOD IS ORATE.
1. Survey all the blessings of the covenant, and from first to last you will see grace doth all. Election, vocation, justification, sanctification, glorification, all is from grace.
2. To limit the point. Though it is of grace, yet not to exclude Christ, not to exclude the means of salvation.
3. My next work shall be to give you some reasons why it must be so that grace is the original cause of all the bless. ings we receive from God; because it is most for the glory of God, and most for the comfort of the creature.
(1) It is most convenient for the glory of God to keep up the respects of the creature to Him in a way suitable to His majesty.
(2) It is most for the comfort of the creature. Grace is the original cause of all the good we expect and receive from God, that we may seek the favour of God with hope and retain it with certainty.
II. GRACE IN THE DISCOVERIES OF THE GOSPEL HATH SHINED OUT IN A GREATER BRIGHTNESS THAN EVER IT DID BEFORE.
1. What a darkness there was before the eternal gospel was brought out of the bosom of God. There was a darkness both among Jews and Gentiles. In the greatest part of the world there was utter darkness as to the knowledge of grace, and in the Church nothing but shadows and figures.
2. What and how much of grace is now discovered? I answer —
(1) The wisdom of grace. The gospel is a mere riddle to carnal reason, a great mystery (1 Timothy 3:16).
(2) The freeness of grace both in giving and accepting.
(3) The efficacy and power of grace.
(4) The largeness and bounty of grace.
(5) The sureness of grace.
III. THE GRACE OF GOD REVEALED IN THE GOSPEL IS THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION, OR A GRACE THAT TENDS TO SALVATION.
1. It hath a moral tendency that way; for there is the history of salvation what God hath done on His part; there are the counsels of salvation what we must do on our part; and there are excellent enforcements to encourage us to embrace this salvation.
2. Because it hath the promise of the Spirit's assistance (Romans 1:16). The gospel is said to be "the power of God unto salvation," not only because it is a powerful instrument which God hath appropriated to this work, but this is the honour God puts upon the gospel that He will join and associate the operation of His Spirit with no other doctrine but this.
IV. THIS SALVATION WHICH THE GRACE OF GOD BRINGETH IS FREE FOR ALL THAT WILL ACCEPT IT. God excludes none but those that exclude themselves. It is said to appear to all men —
1. Because it is published to all sorts of men; they all have a like favour in the general offer (John 6:37).
2. All that accept have a like privilege; therefore this grace is said to appear to all men. There is no difference of nations, nor of conditions of life, nor of lesser opinions in religion, nor of degrees of grace. See all summed up by the apostle (Colossians 3:11).
(T. Manton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,