3. The things which have been said may help us to see, that there is really an universal door of mercy opened to sinners, and a glorious hope set before all without exception, for which they have infinite reason to glorify God and to be thankful; the limitation in the text notwithstanding. Had no sufficient provision been made for the salvation of but only a remnant of mankind; or, were the terms of obtaining an interest in the covenant of grace naturally impossible to men, without that special divine influence which is given only to an elect number, it would indeed seem, as some have objected, that the offers of mercy could not, with any sincerity, be made to the non-elect; and that it could not be their fault that they are not saved. But neither of these is truly the case. Christ hath tasted death for every man, so that no man need taste the second death, because of any want of sufficiency in his atonement. He is the propitiation for the sins of every one that believes; and not for theirs only, "but also for the sins of the whole world." He hath rendered all that obedience, and endured all that suffering which the law made necessary, in order to the eternal redemption of every individual of the human race. By his righteousness the free gift may come upon all men unto justification, unless it be because they will not, or do not, "come unto him that they might have life." "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; the chief of sinners." And what doth the Lord our God require of us, in order to an interest in Christ and in his salvation? Nothing naturally impossible, surely. Nothing which would be hard, were it not for an evil heart. It is but to understand what is most plainly revealed, to love that which is obviously most excellent, and to do that which is evidently most reasonable. As to knowing what we are to believe, so far as is necessary in order to eternal life, were men willing to come to the knowledge of the truth, there would be no difficulty. A very little serious attention to the Bible would be sufficient. There is no necessity of ascending high, or diving deep, to find the infallible truth; the word is in all your hands, in which it is fully made known. Nor would it be any harder to perceive the things of the spirit of God, as they are spiritually discerned, than to understand them in speculation, were it not for the blindness of men’s hearts; their selfishness, pride, and other corrupt passions. To see the hatefulness of sin, the desirableness of salvation, and the universal loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ, would be the easiest things in the world, were it not for a totally vicious taste, whence wicked men "call evil good, and good evil; put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." And as to doing what is required, being willing to be followers of Christ, denying ourselves and taking up the cross; nothing in this is impracticable, or arduous, provided we have any real inclination to be good. "His yoke is easy, his burden is light, his commandments are not grievous." "What God said to Cain, he may most justly say to every murmurer against the terms of the gospel, as hard and impossible: "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou does well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou does not well, sin lies at the door." If doing at all well be our duty, or if doing not well in any case be our sin, it must lie at our own door if we perish, or fail of eternal life. No unbeliever can dispute this, unless he will assert, that despising and rejecting Christ, making light of the gospel, and neglecting so great salvation, is doing well. A door of salvation is set open to all men. Whosoever will, is heartily bid welcome to take of the water of life freely.
John Smalley, The Law in All Respects Satisfied by Our Saviour, in Regard to Those Only, Why Belong to Him, Or, None but Believers Saved, Through the All-Sufficient Satisfaction of Christ: A Second Sermon, Preached at Wallingford, With a View to the Universalists. (Hartford: Printed by Hudson and Goodwin, 1886), 24-26. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]
[This Sermon was also published in, The Atonement: Discourses and Treatises (Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1859), 65-85.]