The universal love of God to mankind defended against the misapprehensions of some people about the doctrine of election and reprobation. Written for the sake of the simple-hearted, by John Everard.
Everard, John, of Chatteris.
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THE UNIVERSAL Love of God TO Mankind, &c.

I Find many Well-inclined Peo∣ple much stumbled about the Doctrine of Election and Re∣probation, as laid down by some, That God did, from Eternity before the World began, Ordain a small Num∣ber for Salvation; and Reprobate the most part of Mankind, and so pass them by, not giving them Saving Grace. If it be so, that the Num∣ber Page  4 be so fixed, that not one can be dimished nor added; then the Prophets nor Apostles, by all their Labour, did not, nor could not, add one to God; neither by Preach∣ing can any now do it: But Electi∣on there is, and Reprobation, but it stands in the two Seeds: The LORD hath Sown his pure Seed in the Hearts of all Men, and as they joyn to it, it will Regenerate hem, and so make them Injoyers and Hairs of Endless Life; but if Man joyn to the Reprobate Seed of the Serpent, then they bring Death over themselves. But some will say, I have chosen you; I say, the Lord said, I Sanctified thee from the Womb, and Ordained thee a Prophet to the Nations▪ I grant the Great God, in Dear Love, did Raise up some, but it will not therefore follow, that he over did cast away any, without Page  5 affording them a Day of Mercy: For though the LORD may have Raised up some in all Ages, yet it was not only for their own Sakes, but to call to others, and to shew them the Mind of the LORD, that he did not desire the Death of a Sinner, but he had rather they should turn from their Sins and Live.

And, to let the World know, that he sent his Dear Son into the World, that all might be∣lieve, and be Saved from Sin by him; he tasted Death for every Man; And said the Apostle, It was the Will of God that all Men should be Saved, and come to the knowledge of the Truth; And it be∣ing so declared by Paul, we may conclude, that the LORD, who is the Fountain of Love and Mercy, did not decree the Page  6 Death of Mankind against his own Will.

But some will say, He Died only for the World of Believers of the Elect? It is not proper to call the Elect the World; for Christ saith, If you were of the World, the World would Love you; but I have chosen you out of the World: Therefore 'tis not proper to call Believers, or the Elect, the World.

Now seeing it is so clearly laid down in the Holy Scripture, That Christ Died for the Sins of the whole World, and not of Believers only; then we may conclude, that if Man believe in his pure Spirit, a Measure of it being given to every one to Profit withal, all that Dye not Saved, must not place their Destruction on the LORD, nor Blame him, but Page  7 their own selves, for Rebellion against the Spirit of the LORD: And so I may say, as said the Prophet, Why will ye Dye? O Friends! Christ Died, he tasted Death for every Man, and gave himself a Ransom for all; and he hath done much for us thereby: But he hath sent his Holy Spirit into our Hearts, to Sanctifie, Wash and Pu∣rifie our Hearts; so that obeying the Spirit of Christ, you will have a Possession in the Kingdom of Glory, obtained for us by his Dear Son.

Now, Reader, thy Teachers may tell thee, that if thou hast found thy Heart Pricked for Sin, and have been Sorrowful for Sin, and have felt the Incomes of Life to Warm thy Soul, then thou may'st conclude thy self in a Hope∣ful State; I say so too. But where Page  8 is that Man in the World, but the Lord, at one time or other, doth Prick to the Heart, and bring Sorrow over him; and when he is brought low, he sees there is Mer∣cy for him, and so Comfort and Hope springs up in his Soul. Thus is Man Visited; by which he, up∣on his Death-Bed, clears the LORD; and upon these Experi∣ences thou art, it may be, Recei∣ved a Member of the Church; and so then say, all is well, Christ hath paid the Debt, and now the LORD looks upon thee in his Son: But pray, for thy poor Souls sake, Consider, If any Man be in Christ, the same is a New Creature, Old things are passed away, and all things are become New; a new Heart, a tender Heart, a Heart which Fears to Offend him, in every thing to love him with thy whole Heart, and thy Page  9 Neighbour as thy self; a Heart, not only to part with Ishmael, but Offer up Isaac, if called for; and not to Love thy own Life for Christ and his Gospel Sake. Oh! If thou can'st say so, then Happy art thou, if thou continue to the end thou shalt be Saved. And this Love of God will spring so up in thy Soul, that thou wilt say with the Prophet, O come to the Waters of Life freely: And when the Spirit of the LORD fills thy Heart with Gospel-tidings, which shall be a Message of Joy to all People; then thou wilt say, The Arm of the Lord is not short∣ned, that cannot Save; but wilt cry, The Salvation of the LORD is come, and all Flesh shall, or may see the Salvation of the LORD, and thou wilt not be as one that Mocketh, when thou holdest forth his Salvation; but if Page  10 all take thee at the Word, by Believing the Gospel Preached there is room enough in God's Mercy, for the whole Creation, Glory to the LORD in the Highest: But thou may'st yet say, Though all have some stirrings of GOD, they are so small and weak, that it cannot work that Holy Dread in them, not to Offend the Lord: Look into thy own Heart, and if thou find it so with thee, that it bring thee into a Holy Fear; so that, having a Hope of Glory, thou Purifie thy Heart by thy Hope, then the same Seed which is sown in thy Heart, is of one Nature in all, and will work the same in all, according to the Measure of the Gift of Christ. But thou mayst yet say, Jacob have I Loved, and Esau have I Hated: So it was not said in Genesis, but in MalachiPage  11 1. 2. But the Elder shall serve the Younger; which, if it had Related to their Eternal State, it would imply Esau is now in Heaven serving Jacob; but it was said to Jacob, Thy Brethren shall serve thee. But Isaac Blessed Esau also, though Jacob had the Dominion for a time: But the People of Edom were called in Christ, as well as the Seed of Israel, as it is written, In thee, and in thy Seed, shall all the Families of the Earth be Blessed.

These things I have wrote in the Love of Christ, that none may shut up the Kindness of Christ from Man.

And now, my Dear Friends, whom the Lord hath called into his Blessed Work, let us go on still to Preach his Universal Gos∣pel freely, and set forth the Page  12 Glory of Christ in Love, in Life and sound Doctrine; then, if the People will not take Warn∣ing, we shall be Clear; and the LORD will be our Exceeding Great Reward.

So Humbly Prayeth he, who desireth to walk in great Lowliness of Mind before the Lord, John Everard.

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