Having set down some of the principal texts which from their sound are, on duty faith principles, considered to declare the redemption work of Christ, to be in some way universal, we will now try that conclusion by a second class of ails, &c, which in their sound must imply as much universality as any one of the ails used in regard to redemption; while the sense and truth of which it is impossible to make out universal; such as the following.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;’ not may see it, might see it, or ought to see it, but shall see it, `for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it,’ Isaiah xl 5. Now we know there cannot be a more universal sound than this of `all flesh,’ while here it is declared from the Lord’s own mouth, that all flesh together shall see the glory of the Lord, and which glory is declared to be `the salvation of the Lord,’ Luke iii 6; and so it is declared that `all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ And here are now eighteen hundred years passed away, and not a single feature of evidence has ever appeared to give the truth, meaning, and intent of this text, a universal countenance; and it is too late, by all that time, possibly to give it that countenance now.
And it shall come to pass, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh;’ not would, nor would have done, but will, Joel 11:28. There is no word used in relation to the redemption work of Christ that sounds more universal than this text, and we know that nothing universal has ever yet been made of its meaning, and that it is too late to take it in any possible truth with that meaning now. And beside, the apostle Peter applies this text to the out- pouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, saying, `This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: and it shall come to pass in the last days saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,’ Acts 2:16, 17. And now we know all flesh individually universal were not present on the day of Pentecost, nor was the Spirit poured individually upon all that were present, for some `mocked,’ verse 13; but `there were devout men out of every nation under heaven,’ verse 5, both Jews and Gentiles, pretty well of all sorts, tongues, and countries; and to these the apostle applies as the divine meaning and intent of the text, the words `all flesh;’ agreeable to the words of God by the prophet, saying, `I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory,’ Is 66:18; my salvation, Luke 3:6; and according to our Lord’s words saying, `And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,’ John 12:32. All nations of men individually have never been gathered to see the salvation glory of the Lord; nor has the Lord drawn all men individually of all nations unto him, nor all men individually of any one nation, nor has the Lord ever, in any age, sent out ministers, or employed other means, in any such way, shape, or form; and, consequently, no such individual universality could ever be intended.
John Foreman (1792-1872) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was appointed the Pastor of Hill Street Chapel, Marylebone, serving this position for close to forty years.