‘But now commandeth all men every-where to repent.’ If this were an obligatory duty devolving command on all men, or even on any natural man to repent and believe unto eternal life, it must have been Paul’s solemn duty to have preached, explained, and enforced the same on all occasions; as he was entrusted with the full commission to preach all that our text intends, saying, ‘Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ,’ Eph 3:8,9; ‘That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,’ Rom 15:16; ‘Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is me, if I preach not the gospel,’ 1 Cor 9:16; ‘1 have shamed you all things,’ Acts 10:35; ‘I kept back nothing that was profitable,’ verse 20; ‘for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God,’ verse 27. And yet with all this, the apostle in no one instance, on any one occasion that can any-where be found, nor even in this very chapter wherein our text stands with the fairest opportunities, see verses 2,3,16,17,22, and to the end of the chapter, ever declared or enforced anything in the shape, nature, or name of an obligatory, duty-devolving command from God, on natural men to repent and believe unto eternal life; for if the eternal life of our souls depended on our finding such a word in his addresses to the Gentiles, such a word could not be found.
And as the apostle of God to us Gentiles preached no such thing, how is it that there are now so many in our day, the sentimental countenance of whose preaching is scarcely anything else? Their preaching must be from another spirit, and not as Paul’s was, ‘with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven,’ 1 Pet 1:12, and ‘as the Spirit gave him utterance,’ Acts 2:4; Eph 6:19. Surely those preachers can never have been chosen of God to know his will, to bear the voice of his mouth, and to be his witness, as Paul was. There are many of those who profess to hold sentiments of plain scripture truths, ‘but do not think it proper to preach them;’ and we will admit this conclusion is not of the devil, nor of antichrist, but is right, and as things should be, when it can be proved that Paul held any one truth of revelation, and of the gospel commission, that he ‘kept back,’ and did not think as proper for him to preach as for God to reveal it. Let us observe,
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.