‘But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,’ Acts 17:30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this ‘all men everywhere’ we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of ‘all flesh,’ nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God’s power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, ‘This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,’ Acts 21:28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts 16:6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul’s teaching as is used in our text for God’s commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, ‘The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,’ Acts 1:14,15. And so only is it, that ‘All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,’ Psalm 64:9.
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.