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tence passed upon us in that day, then they are a ne- / justify, sanctify, &c., are to be taken to express that cessary condition of our justification.” This is an ar- church relation into which, by the destruction of the gument which has been built much upon, froin Bp. Jewish polity, believing Jews and Gentiles were brought; Bull to the present day. Its fallacy lies in considering that they are “ antecedent blessings,” enjoyed by all prothe works of believers as the only or chief ground of sessed Christians, though, unless they avail themselves that sentence; that is, the administration of eternal of these privileges for the purposes of personal holilife to them in its different degrees of glory at the com- ness, they cannot be saved. ing of Christ. That it is not so, is plain from those This scheme is, in many respects, delusive and ab. express passages of Scripture which represent eternal surd, as it confounds collective privileges with those life as the fruit of Christ's atonement, and the gift of attainments which from their nature can only be perGod through him. “By grace are ye saved, through sonal. If we allow that with respect to “election," for faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, instance, it may have a plausibility, because nations of not of works,” &c. Why," says an old writer, "might men may be elected to peculiar privileges of a religious he not have said, By grace are ye saved, through faith kind; yet with respect to the others, as “justification," and works; it were as easy to say the one as the &c., the notion requires no lengthened refutation. Jusother."(2) If our works are the sole ground of that tification is, as the apostle Paul states it, pardon of sin; sentence of eternal life, then is the reward of right- but are the sins of nations pardoned, because they are eousness of debt according to the law of works, and professedly Christian? This is a personal attainment, not of grace; but if of grace, then works are not the and can be no other, and collective justification, by sole or chief ground of our final reward. If of debt, church privileges, is a wild dream, which mocks and we claim in our own right; and the works rewarded trifles with the Scriptures. According to this scheme, must be in every sense our own; but good works are there is a scriptural sense in which the most profane noi our own works; we are “created in Christ Jesus and immoral man, provided he profess himself a Chris. anto good works;" and derive all the power to do them tian, may be said to be justified, that is, pardoned ; sanc. from him. If, then, we have not the right of reward in tified, that is, made holy; and adopted, that is, made a ourselves, we have it in another; and thus we again child of God! come to another and higher ground of the final sem tence than the works wrought even by them that helieve, namely, the covenant-right which we derive from Christ, ---right grounded on promise. If then, it is asked,
CHAPTER XXIV. in what sense good works are any ground at all of the final sentence of eternal life, we answer, they are so se
BENEFITS DERIVED TO MAN FROM THE ATONEMENT.
CONCOMITANTS OF JUSTIFICATION. condarily and subordinately, 1. As evidences of that faith and that justified state from which alone truly good The leading blessings concomitant with justification, works can spring. 2. As qualifying us for heaven; are REGENERATION and ADOPTION; with respect to they and the principles from which they spring const which we may observe generally, that although we tuting our holiness, our “ meetness for the inheritance must distinguish them as being different from each of the saints in light.” 3. As rewardable; but still of other, and from justification, yet they are not to be segrace, not of debt, of promise, not of our own right, parated. They occur at the same time, and they all since after ali we have done, though we had lived and enter into the experience of the same person; so that suffered as the apostles to whom the words were first no man is justified withont being regenerated and addressed, we are commanded to confess ourselves adopted, and no man is regenerated and made a son of “unprofitable servants." In this sense good works, God, who is not justified. Whenever they are menthough they have no part in the office of justifying the tioned in Scripture, they, therefore, involve and imply ungodly, that is, in obtaining forgiveness of sin, are each other; a remark which inay preserve us from necessary to salvation, though they are not the ground some errors. Thus, with respect to our heirship, and of it.
As they are pleasing to God, so are they ap- consequent title to eternal life, in Titus iii. 7, it is proved and rewarded by God. “They prevent future grounded upon our justification, “ For we are justified guilt, but take away no former guilt, evidence our faith | by his grace, that we shouid be heirs according to the and title to everlasting glory, strengthen our union hope of eternal life.” In 1 Pet. i. 3, it is connected with Christ because they strengthen faith, confirm our with our regeneration. “Blessed be God and the Fahope, glorify God, give good example to men, make us ther of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of his abundant more capable of communion with God, give some con- mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively bope, by tent to our consciences, and there is happiness in the the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an doing of them, and in the remembrance of them when inheritance," &c. Again, in Rom. viii. 17, it is grounded done. Blessed are they who always abound in them, upon our adoption-"If children, then heirs.” These for they know that their labour is not in vain in the passages are a sufficient proof, that justification, regeLord. Yet Bellarmin, though a great advancer of neration, and adoption are not distinct and different merit, thought it the safest way to put our sole trust titles, but constitute one and the same title, through the not in these good works, but in Christ. It is, indeed, gist of God in Christ, to the heavenly inheritance. They not only the safest, but the only way so to do, if we are attained, too, by the same faith. We are "justified would be justified before God. True, we shall be by faith;" and we are the “ children of God by faith in judged according to our works, but it doth not follow Christ Jesus.” Accordingly, in the following passages, that we shall be justified by our works. Gou did never they are all united as the effect of the same act of laith, ordain good works, which are the fruits of a sincere “But as many as received him, to them gave he power faith in Christ, to acquire a right unto the remission of to become the sons of God (which appellation includes sin and eternal life; but to be a means by which we reconciliation and adoption), even to them that believe may obtain possession of the rewards he hath pro- on his name, which were born not of blood, nor of the mised (3)
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," The last theory of justification to which it is neces- or, in other words, were regenerated. sary to advert, is that comprised in the scheme of Dr. The observations which have been made on the subTaylor, of Norwich, in his Tiey to the Apostolic Writ-ject, in the preceding chapter, will render it the less ings. It is, that all such phrases as to elect, call, adopt, necessary to dwell here at length upon the nature and
extent of Regeneration. (2) The reader will also recollect, Rom. vi. 23, “The It is that mighty change in man, wrought by the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal Holy Spirit, by which the doininion which sin has over life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The following him in his natural state, and which he deplores and passages expressly make the atonement of Christ the struggles against in his penitent state, is broken and ground of our title to eternal life. “By his own blood abolished, so that, with full choice of' will and the enerhe entered in once into the holy place, having obtained gy of right affections, he serves God freely, and “ runs eternal redemption for us." "He is the Mediator of in the way of his commandments.” " Whosoever is the New Testament, that, by means of death, they born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed rewhich are called might receive the promise of eternal maineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of inheritance," lleb. ix. 12-15. “Christ died for us, God.” “For sin shall not have dominion over you; that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
* But with him," 1 Thess. v. 10.
now being made free from sin, and become servants to (3) Lawson's Theo-politica.
God, ye have your fruit muto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Deliverance from the bondage of sin, | peace from God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ," and the power and the will to do all things which are and enjoy “the communion of the Holy Ghost;" and pleasing to God, both as to inward habits and outward this Spirit, as the sanetifying Spirit, is given to us to acts, are, therefore, the distinctive characters of this state. "abide with us, and to be in us," and then,we walk not
That repentance is not regeneration, we have before after the flesh but after the Spirit. observed. It will not bear disputing whether regenera- ADOPTION is the second concomitant of justification, tion begins with repentance; for if the regenerate state and is a large and comprehensive blessing. is only entered upon at our justification, then all that To suppose that the apostles take this term from the can be meant by this, to be consistent with the Scrip- 1 practice of the Greeks, Romans, and other nations who tures, is, that the preparatory process, which leads to had the custom of adopting the children of others, and regeneration, as it leads to pardon, commences with investing them with all the privileges of their natural conviction and contrition, and goes on to a repentant offspring, is, probably, a refinement. It is much more turning to the Lord. In the order which God has esta- likely, that they had simply in view the obvious fact, blished, regeneration does not take place without this that our sins had deprived us of our sonship, the process. Conviction of the evil and danger of an un- favour of God, and our right to the inheritance of eternal regenerate state must first be felt. God hath appointed life; that we had become strangers, and aliens, and this change to be effected in answer to our prayers; enemies; and that, upon our return to God, and reconand acceptable prayer supposes that we desire the bless- ciliation with him, our forfeited privil-zes were not only ing we ask; that we accept of Christ as the appointed restored, but heightened through the paternal love of medium of access to God; that we feel and confess our God. They could scarcely be forgetful of the affecting own inability to attain what we ask from another; and parable of the prodigal son; and it is under the same that we exercise faith in the promises of God which simple view, that St. Paul quotes from the Old Testaconvey the good we seek. It is clear that none of these ment, " wherefore come out from among them, and be is regeneration, for they all suppose it to be a good in ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean prospect, the object of prayer and eager desire. True thing, and I will receive you, and I will be a Father it is, that deep and serious conviction for sin, the power u to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saitha to desire deliverance from it, the power to pray, to the Lord Almighty.” struggle against the corruptions of an unregenerate Adoption, then, is that act by which we who are heart, are all proofs of a work of God in the heart, and alienated, and enemies, and disinherited, are made the of an important moral change; but it is not this change, sons of God, and heirs of his eternal glory. “If children, because regeneration is that renewal of our nature then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ ;" which gives us dominion over sin, and enables us to where it is to be remarked, that it is not in our own serve God, from love, and not merely from fear, and it right, nor in the right of any work done in us, or which is yet confessedly unattained, being still the object of we ourselves do, though it be an evangelical work, search and eager desire. We are not yet “created that we become heirs, but jointly with him, and in his anew unto good works,” which is as special and in- right. stant a work of God as justification, and for this rea- To this state belong freedom from a servile spirit,-son, that it is not attained before the pardon of our we are not servants, but sons; the special love and care sins, and always accompanies it.
of God our Heavenly Father; a filial confidence in This last point may be proved,
him; free access to him at all times and in all circum1. From the nature of justification itself, which takes stances; the title to the heavenly inheritance; and the away the penalty of sin; but that penalty is not only Spirit of adoption, or the witness of the Holy Spirit to obligation to punishment, but the loss of the sanctifying our adoption, which is the foundation of all the comfort Spirit, and the curse of being left under the slavery of we can derive from those privileges, as it is the only sin, and under the dominion of Satan. Regeneration is means by which we can know that they are ours. effected by this Spirit restored to us, and is a conse- The point stated last requires to be explained more quence of our pardon; for though justification in itself largely, and the more so as it has often been derided as is the remission of sin, yet a justified state implies a enthusiastic, and often timidly explained away by those change, both in our condition and in our disposition : in whose opinions are in the main correct. our condition, as we are in a state of life, not of death, The doctrine is, the inward witness or testimony of of safety, not of condemnation; in our disposition, as the Holy Spirit, to the adoption or sonship of believers, regenerate and new creatures.
from which flows a comfortable persuasion or conviction 2. From Scripture, which affords us direct proof that of our present acceptance with God, and the hope of our regeneration is a concomitant of justification, “ If any future and eternal glory. man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature.” It is then This is taught in several passages of Scripture. the result of our entrance into that state in which we Rom. viii. 15, 16, “For ye have not received the spirit are said to be in Christ; and the meaning of this of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, phrase is most satisfactorily explained by Rom. viii. 1, whereby we cry Abba, Father. The Spirit itself considered in connexion with the preceding chapter, beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children from which, in the division of the chapters, it ought not of God.” In this passage it is to be remarked, 1. That to have been separated. That chapter clearly describes the gift of the Spirit spoken of, takes away "fear," the state of a person convinced and slain by the law ap- being opposed to the personified' spirit of the law, or plied by the SPIRIT. We may discover, indeed, in this rather, perhaps, to the Holy Spirit in his convincing description, certain moral changes, as consenting to the agency, called the spirit of bondage, producing "fear, Jaw that it is good ; delighting in it after the inward a servile dread of God as offended. 2. That the “Spirit man; powerful desires; humble confession, &c. The of God" here mentioned, is not the personified spirit state represented is, however, in fact, one of guilt, or genius of the Gospel, as some would have it, but spiritual captivity, helplessness, and misery; a state “the Spirit itself," or himself, and hence called in of condemnation; and a state of bondage to sin. The the Galatians, in the text adduced below, “the Spirit of opposite condition is that of a man “ IN CHRIST Jesus:" | his Son," which cannot mean the genius of the Gospel. to him “there is no condemnation;" he is forgiven; the 3. That he inspires a filial confidence in God as our Fabondage to sin is broken; he“ walks not after the flesh, ther, which is opposed to “ the fear” produced by the but after the SPIRIT.” To be in CHRIST is, therefore, “spirit of bondage.” 4. That he produces this filial to be justified, and regeneration instantly follows. We confidence, and enables us to call God our Father, by see, then, the order of the Divine operation in individual witnessing, bearing testimony with our spirit, “ that we ex perience: conviction of sin, helplessness and danger; are the children of God.” faith ; justification; and regeneration. The regenerate Gal. iv. 4, 5, 6, “ But when the fulness of the time state is, also called in Seripture sanctification; though a was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a wodistinction is made by the apostle Paul between that and man, made under the law, to redeem them that were being “sanctified wholly," a doctrine to be afterward under the law, that we might receive the adoption of considered. In this regenerate or sanctified state, the sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the former corruptions of the heart may remain, and strive Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father." for the mastery; but that which characterizes and dis- Here, also, are to be noted, 1. The means of our retinguishes it from the state of a penitent before justiti- demption from under (the curse of) the law, the incar. cation, before he is “in Christ,” is, that they are not nation and sufferings of Christ. 2. That the adoption even his inward habit; and that they have no dominion of sons follows upon our actual redemption froin the Faith unites to Christ : by it we derive “grace and i curse, or, in other words, our pardon. 3. That upon
our pardon, the “ Spirit of his Son" is "sent forth," and I good to all men, and a uniform obedience to all the that "into our hearts," producing the same effect as that commands of God." mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, filial confidence The second opinion acknowledges, also, a twofold in God, --“crying, Abba, Father.” To these are to be witness; the witness of the Spirit, which consists in added all those passages so numerous in the New Tes- the moral effects produced in him that believes, othertament, which express the confidence and the joy of wise called the fruits of the Spirit ; and the witness of Christians; their friendship with God; their contident our own spirits, that is, the consciousness of possessing access to him as their God; their entire union, and de- faith. This they call “the reflex act of faith, by which lightful intercourse with him in spirit.
a person, conscious of believing, reasons in
his man. This doctrine has been generally termed the doctrine ner, I know that I believe in Christ, therefore I know of assurance, and, perhaps, the expressions of St. Paul, that I shall obtain everlasting life."(5) -" the full assurance of faith," and " the full assurance The third opinion is, that there is but one witness, the of hope,” may warrant the use of the word. But Holy Spirit, acting concurrently with our own spirits. as there is a current and generally understood sense “The Spirit of God produces those graces in us wbich of this term among persons of the Calvinistic per- are the evidence of our adoption; it is he who, as occasuasion, implying, that the assurance of our present sion requires, illuminates our understandings and assists acceptance and sonship, is an assurance of our final our memories in discovering and recollecting those arguperseverance, and of our indefeisible title to heaven; ments of hope and comfort within ourselves. But the phrase, a comfortable persuasion, or conviction God's Spirit does witness with, not without our spirits of our justification and adoption, arising out of the and understandings; in making use of our reason in Spirit's in ward and direct testimony, is to be pre-considering and reflecting upon those grounds of comferred: for this has been held as an indubitable doc- fort, which the Spirit of God hath wrought in us, and trine of holy writ by Christians, who, by no means, from them drawing this comfortable conclusion to ourreceive the doctrine of assurance in the sense held by selves, that we are the sons of God.'”(6) With this the followers of Calvin.
notion is generally connected, that of the entire imper. There is, also, another reason for the sparing and ceptibility of the Spirit's operations, as distinguished cautious use of the term assurance, which is, that it from the operations of our own mind," so that we could seems to imply, though not necessarily, the absence of never have known, unless it had been communicated to all doubt, and shuts out all those lower degrees of per- us by Divine revelation, that our souls are moved by a suasion which may exist in the experience of Christians. Divine power, when we love God, and keep his comFor, as our faith may not at first, or at all times, be mandments."(7) equally strong, the testimony of the Spirit may have its The following passage, from the Rev. Thomas Scott's degrees of strength, and our persuasion or conviction Commentary, agrees with Bishop Bull in making the be proportionately regulated. Yet, if faith be genuine, witness of the Spirit mediate through our own spirit; God respects its weaker exercises, and encourages its and differs chiefly in phraseology. It may be taken as growth, by affording measures of comfort, and degrees the view of a great part of those called the evangelical of this testimony. Nevertheless, while this is allowed, clergy of the present day. “The Holy Spirit, by prothe fulness of this attainment is to be pressed upon every ducing in believers the tempers and affections of one that believes, according to the word of God: “Let children, as described in the Scriptures, most manifestly us draw near,” says St. Paul to all Christians, “with attests their adoption into God's family. This is not full assurance of faith."
done by any voice, immediate revelation, or impulse, or It may serve, also, to remove an objection sometimes merely by any text brought to the mind (for all these made to the doctrine, and to correct an error which are equivocal and delusory), but by coinciding with sometimes pervades the statement of it, to observe that the testimony of their own consciences, as to their this assurance, persuasion, or conviction, whichever uprightness in embracing the Gospel, and giving themterm be adopted, is not of the essence of justifying faith; selves up to the service of God. So that, while they that is, that justifying faith does not consist in the as- are examining themselves as to the reality of their consurance that I am now forgiven, through Christ. This version, and find scriptural evidence of it, the Holy would be obviously contradictory. For we must believe Spirit, from time to time, shines upon his own work, before we can be justified; much more before we can be excites their holy affections into lively exercise, renders assured, in any degree, that we are justified; and this them very efficacious upon their conduct, and thus puts persuasion, therefore, follows justification, and is one the matter beyond doubt; for while they feel the spirit of its results. We believe in order to justification; of dutiful children towards God, they become satisfied but we cannot be persuaded of our forgiveness in order concerning his paternal love to them.”. to it, for the persuasion would be false. But though we A fourth opinion allows the direct witness of the must not only distinguish, but separate this persuasion of Spirit, as stated above; but considers it only the special our acceptance from the faith which justifies, we must not privilege of a few favoured persons; of which notion separate, but only distinguish it froin justification itself. / it is a sufficient refutation, that the apostle, in the texts With that come as concomi ats, regeneration, adop- before quoted, speaks generally of believers, and retion, and, as far as we have any information from strains not the attainment from any who seek it. He Scripture, the “Spirit of adoption,” though, as in all places it in this respect on the ground of all other blessother cases, in various degrees of operation.
ings of the new covenant. On the subject of this testimony of the Holy Spirit, Of the four opinions just adduced, the first only apthere are four opinions.
pears to express the true sense of the word of God; The first is, that it is twofold; a direct testimony to, but that the subject may be fully exhibited, we may obor “inward impression on the soul, whereby the Spirit serve, 1, that by all sober divines it is allowed, that
God witnesses to my spirit that I am a child of God; some comfortable persuasion, or, at least, hope of the that Christ hath loved me, and given himself for me, Divine favour, is attainable by true Christians, and is that I, even I, am reconciled to God,”(4) and an indirect actually possessed by them, except under the influenco testimony, arising from the work of the Spirit in the of bodily infirmities, and in peculiar seasons of temptaheart and life, which St. Paul calls the testimony of our tion, and that all true faith is, in some degree (though own spirits; for this is inferred from his expression, to what extent they differ), personal and appropriating. “And the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit," “The third part of repentance is faith, whereby we &c. This testimony of our own spirit, or indirect tes- do apprehend and take hold upon the promises of God, timony of the Holy Spirit by and through our own touching the free pardon and forgiveness of our sins ; spirit, is considered as confirmatory of the first testimony, which promises are sealed up unto us, with the death and is thus explained by the same writer.
“ How am
and blood-shedding of his Son Jesus Christ. For what I assured, that I do not mistake the voice of the Spirit should it avail and profit us to be sorry for our sins, to even by the testimony of my own spirit, ' by the answer lament and bewail that we have offended our most of a good conscience towarıls God:' hereby you shall bounteous and merciful Father, or to confess and acknow that you are in no delusion, that you have not knowledge our offences and trespasses, though it be deceived your own soul. The immediate fruits of the done never so earnestly, unless we do sieadfastly beSpirit ruling in the heart are love, joy, peace; bowels lieve, and be fully persuaded, that God, for his son Je. of mercies, humbleness of mind, meekness, gentleness, sus Christ's sake, will forgive us all our sins, and puit long-suffering. And the outward fruits are, the doing
(5) Dr. Hill's Lectures. (6) Bishop Bull. (4) WEYLEY's Sermons.
I MANT and D'OsLet's Commentary.
them out of remembrance and from his sight? There- 1 his moral work in ther: or, what is the same thing, fore, they that teach repentance without a lively faith the testimony of our own spirit. This twofold testiin our Saviour Jesus Christ, do teach none other but mony we think clearly established by the texts above Judas's repentance."(8)
quoted. For the first, the Spirit itself," and the "Spi“ Faith is not merely a speculative, but a practical ac- rit of his Son,” is manifestly the Spirit of God: his of knowledgment of Jesus as the Christ,ếan effort anil fice is to give testimony, and the object of the testimotion of the mind towards God; when the sinner, mony is to declare that we are the sons of God. When convinced of sin, accepts with thankfulness the prof- also the apostle, in Rom. viii. 16, says that this Spirit fered terms of pardon, and in humble contidence apply- bears witness “with" our spirit, he makes our own ing individually to himself the benefit of the general | minds witnesses with him to the same fact, though in atonement, in the elevated language of a venerable fa- a different manner, For though some writers will have ther of the church, drinks of the stream which flows the compound to be used here for the simple form of froin the Redeemer's side. The effect is, that in a little, the verb, and render it "to witness to our spirit ;" and he is filled with that perfect love of God which casteth instances of this use of the compound verb do occur out fear,-he cleaves to God with the entire affection of in the New Testament; yet it agrees both with the the soul."(9)
literal rendering of the word, and with other passages, “It is the property of saving faith, that it hath a force to conjoin this testimony of the Holy Spirit with those to appropriate, and make Christ our own. Without confirmatory proofs of our adoption which arise from this, a general remote belief would have been cold com- his work within us, and which may, upon examination fort. He loved me, and gave himself for me,' saith of our state, be called the testimony of our own St. Paul. What saith St. Chrysostom? Did Christ mind or conscience. To this testimony the apostle Paul die only for St. Paul ? No; non excludit, sed appro- refers in the same chapter," they that are after the Spipriat; he excludes not others, but he will secure him- rit, (do mind) the things of the Spirit."
“But ye are seli."(1)
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, if so be that the 2. By those who admit, that upon previous contrition Spirit of Christ dwell in you ; now if any man have and faith in Christ, an act of justification takes place, not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his ; for as many by which we are reconciled to God, and adopted into as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of his family, a doctrine which has been scripturally es- God.” And again, in Galatians, “But if ye be led of tablished; it must also be admitted, that this act of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." “But the fruit mercy on the part of God, is entirely kept secret from of the Spirit is love, joy,” &c. us, or that by some means, it is made knowable by us. 4. Two witnesses, and a twofold testimony is then If the former, there is no remedy at all for doubt, and sufficiently established; but the main consideration is, fear, and tormenting anticipation, which innst be great whether the Iloly Spirit gives his testimony directly to in proportion as our repentance is deep and genuine; the mind, by impression, suggestion, or by whatever and so there can be no comfort, no freedoin, no cheerful- other term it may be called, or mediately by our own ness of spirit in religion, which contradicts the senti spirits, in some such way as is described by Bishop ments of all churches and all their leading theologians. Bull in the extract above given; by “illuminating our What is still wore important, it contradicts the Scrip- understandings, and assisting our memories in discustures.
sing and recollecting those arguments of hope aud comTo all true believers, the Almighty is represented as fort within ourselves,” which arise from “the graces the “God of peace and consolation ;" as "a Father;" wlich lie has produced in us;" or as it is expressed by as “dwelling in them, and walking in them.” Nay, Mr. Scott, by shining upon his own work, exciting there is a marked distinction between the assurances their affections into lively exercise, rendering them of grace and favour made to penitents, and to believers. very efficacious upon their conduct,” and “ thus puts The declarations as to the former are bighly conso- the matter beyond doubt, for while they feel the spirit Jatory; but they constantly refer to some future good of dutiful children towards God, they become satisfied designed for them by the God before whom they hum-concerning his paternal love to them.” ble themselves, for ihe encouragement of their seeking To this statement of the doctrine we object, that it prayers, and their efforts of trust. “To that man will makes the testimony of the Holy Spirit in point of fact I look (a Hebraism for showing favour), saith the Lord, but the testimony of our own spirit; and by holding who is poor, and of a contrite spirit.” The "weary but one witness contradicts St. Paul, who, as we have and heavy laden” are invited to Christ, that he may seen, holds two. For the testiinony is that of our own
give rest unto their souls." The apostles exhorted consciousness of certain moral changes which have men to repent and be baptized, in order to the remission taken place; no other is admitted; and therefore it is of sins. But to all who in the Christian sense are be- but one testimony. Nor is the Holy Spirit brought in lievers, or who have the faith by which we are justified, at all, except to qualify our own spirit to give winess the language is much higher. “We have peace with by assisting its “discernment and memory,” according God." “We joy in God, by whom we have received to Bishop Bull, and by “ shining upon his own work," the atonement.” They are exhorted "to rejoice in the according to Mr. Scott: and so there is but one witness, Lord always.” “ The spirit of bondage" is exchanged and that ourselves; for though another may assist a for “the Spirit of adoption." They are " Christ's." witness to prepare and arrange his evidence, there is still They are " children, heirs of God, and joint heirs with but one deposition, and but one deposer. This is made Christ.” They “ rejoice in hope of the glory of God." still stronger, since it is supposed by both these writers, They are “always confident, knowing, that while at that there is no impression or revelation from the Spirit home in the body, they are absent from the Lord, but of the fact of our adoption, and that he does not in any that when absent from the body, they shall be present way which we may distinguish from the operation of with the Lord."
our own minds, assist us to prepare this evidence; for if 3. If then we come to know that this great act of this assistance, or shining upon his own work, could forgiveness has taken place in our favour; that it is be ascertained to be from him distinctly, and with intenvouchsafed to us in particular, and know this with that tion to assure us from these moral changes that we are degree of conviction, which lays a sufficient ground of adopted into the family of God, tlien an immediate col. comfort and joy, the simple question is, by what means lateral impression or revelation would be supposed, the knowledge of this is attained by us? The general which both reject. It follows, therefore, that we have no promise of pardon alone is, in all the schemes just other ground to conclude those “graces and virtues" stated, acknowledged to be insuflicient for this purpose; which we discern in ourselves to be the work of the for since that promise is suspended upon conditions, Spirit, than the general one, that all good in man is of they all profess to explain the means by which we may his production, and our repentance and contrition might conclude that we are actually and personally interested as well, on this general ground, be concluded to be the in the benefit of the general promise, the conditions evidence of pardon, although they arise from our conbeing on our part personally fulfilled. The first opi- sciousness of guilt, and our need of pardon. The arginion attributes this to a double testimony, a direct one of ment of this opinion, simply and in fact is, that the Holy the Holy Spirit to our minds, and an indirect one of the Spirit works moral changes in the heart, and that these same Spirit, through our own minds, and founded upon are the evidence of our sonship. It goes not beyond this;
the Holy Spirit is not excluded by this opinion, as the (8) Homily on Repentance.
source of good in man, he is not excluded as qualifying (9) Bishop HORSLEY.
our minds to adduce evidence as to certain changes be(1) Bishop BROWNRIGA.
ing wrought within us; but he is excluded as a wit
ness, although he is said so explicitly by the apostle to pentance and faith, quite destructive of comfort," must give witness to the fact, not of a moral change, but remain throughout life. of our adoption.
6. But, if neither our repentance, nor even a consci. 5. But, farther, suppose our minds to be so assisted ousness of faith, when joined with it, can be the eviby the Holy Spirit as to discern the reality of his work dence of the fact of our adoption; it has been urged, in us; and in an investigation, whether we are or are that when all those graces, which are called the fruits not accepted of God, pardoned by his mercy, and adopted of the Spirit, are found in our experience, they, at least, into his family, we depose this as the evidence of it; to must be sufficient evidence of the fact, without supposwhat degree must this work of the Spirit in us have ing a more direct testimony of the Holy Spirit. Tho advanced before it can be evidence of this fact? We “ fruits" thus referred to, are those enumerated by St. have seen that it were absurd to allege contrition, and Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians. “But the fruit of penitence, and fear, as the proofs of our pardon, since the Spirit, is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, they suppose, that we are still under condemnation; goodness," &c. Two things will here be granted, what farther work of the Spirit, then, is the proof? The and they greatly strengthen the argument for a direct reply to this usually is, that though repentance should testimony of the IIoly Spirit :--that these fruits are not be evidence of pardon, yet, wlien faith is added, this found only in those who have been received, by the becomes evidence, since God has declared in his word remission of their sins, into the Divine favour, and that that we are “justified by faith,” and “whosoever be- they are fruits of the Spirit of adoption. The first is lieveth shall be saved."
proved from the connexion of the words which follow : To this we reply, that though we should become con- * And they that Are Christ's have crucified the flesh," scious of both repentance and faith, either by “ a reflex &c. For to be “ Christ's," and to be “in Christ" are act of our own minds,” or by the assistance of the Spi- phrases, with the apostle, equivalent to being in state rit “ shining upon his own work,” this would be no of justification :—“There is no condemnation to them evidence of our forgiveness; our spirit would, in that that are in Christ Jesus.” The second is proved by case, witness the fact of our repenting and believing, the connexion of the words with verse 18, " But if ye but that would be no witness to the fact of our adop- be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law,” for these tion. Justification is an act of God, it is secret and in- words are exactly parallel to chap. iv. 5, 6, “ To redeem visible, it passes in his own mind, is declared by no them that were under the law, that we might receive ontward sign, and no one can know, except the IIoly the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God Spirit, who knows the mind of God, whether we are hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, cry. pardoned or not, unless it had been stated in his word, ing Abba, Father.” These are then the fruits following ihat in every case pardon is dispensed when repentance upon a state of pardon, adoption, and our receiving the and faith have reached some definite degree, clearly Spirit of adoption. We allow that they presuppose pointed out, so that we cannot fail to ascertain that pardon; but then they as clearly presuppose the Spirit they have reached that degree; and, also, unless we of adoption, “ sent forth into our hearts, crying Abba, were expressly authorized to be ourselves the judges Father;" that is, they not only presuppose our pardon, of this case, and confidently and comfortably to con- but pardon previously attested and made known to us; clude our justification. For it is not enough that we the persuason of which, conveyed to the mind, not by have faith. Faith, both as assent and confidence, has them, but by the Spirit of adoption, is the foundation of every possible degree; it is capable of mixture with them; at least, of that " love, joy, and peace," which doubt, and self-dependence; nor, without some definite are mentioned first, and must not be separated, in the and particular characters being assigned to justifying argument, from the other. Nor can these “ fruits" refaith, could we ever, with any confidence, conclude as to sult from any thing but manifested pardon ; they canour own. But we have no such particular description of not themselves manifest our pardon, for they cannot exfaith ; nor are we authorized, any where, to make our- ist till it is manifested. If we love God,” it is because selves the judges of the fact, whether the act of pardon, we know him as God reconciled ; if we have “joy in as to us, has passed the mind of God. The apostle, in God,” it is because “we have received the reconciliathe passages quoted above, has assigned that office to tion; if we have peace, it is because, “ being justified the Holy Spirit; but it is in no part of Scripture ap- by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord pointed to us.
Jesus Christ." God, conceived of as angry, cannot be If, then, we have no authority from God to conclude the object of filial love; pardon unfelt, supposes guilt that we are pardoned, when faith, in an uncertain de- and fear still to burden the mind, and guilt, and "joy," gree, is added to repentance, the whole becomes a mat- and " peace" cannot exist. But by the argument of ier of inference; and we argue, that having "repent- those who make these the media of ascertaining the fact ance and faith," we are forgiven; in other words, that of our forgiveness and adoption, we must be supposed these are the sufficient evidences of pardon. But re- to love God, while yet we feel him to be angry with us; pentance and faith are exercised IN ORDER to pardon ; to rejoice and have peace, while the fearful apprehenThat must, therefore, be subsequent to both, and they sions of the consequences of unremitted sin are not recannot, for that reason, be the evidence of it, or the nioved; and if this is impossible, then the ground of our evidence of pardon might be enjoyed before pardon is love, and joy, and peace, is pardon revealed and witnessactually received, which is absurd. But it has been ed, directly and jinmediately, by the Spirit of adoption. said, " that we have the testimony of God in his word, It has been said, indeed, that love to God may be prothat when repentance and faith exist, God has infallibly duced from a consideration of God's general love to connected pardon with them from the moment they are mankind in his Son, and that, therefore, the force of the perceived to exist, and so it may be surely inferred from above argument is broken; but we reply, that in Scripthen." The answer is, that we have no such testi- ture Christians are spoken of as “reconciled to God;"as mony. We have, through the mercy of God, the pro- “translated into the kingdom of his dear Son;" as mise of pardon to all who repent and believe; but re- “ children,” “heirs," &c.; and correspondently with pentance is not pardon, and faith is not pardon, but they these relations, their love is spoken of as love to God are its prerequisites; each is a sine qud non, but as their Father,-love to God as their God in covenant, surely not the pardon itself, nor, as we have just seen, who calls himself" their God," and them “his people.” can either be considered the evidence of pardon, with- This is the love of God exhibited in the New Testaout an absurdity. They are means to that end, but ment; and the question is, whether such a love of God nothing more; and though God has “infallibly con- as this can spring from a knowledge of his “ general nected" the blessing of pardon with repentance and love to man,” or whether it arises, under the Spirit's faith, he has not connected it with any kind of repent- intluence, from a persuasion of his pardoning love to ance, nor with any kind of faith ; nor with every degree us“ individually." To clear this, we may divide those of repentance, nor with every degree of faith. How who hear the Gospel, or Christians by profession, into then shall we ever know whether our repentance and the following classes :---the carnal and careless; the faith are accepted, unless pardon actually follow them? despairing; the penitent, who seek God with hope as And as this pardon cannot be attested by them, for the well as desire, now discouraged by their fears, and reason above given, and must therefore, have an attest- sunk under their load of conscious guilt, and again enation of higher authority, and of a distinct kind, the couraged by a degree of hope; and lastly, those who only attestation conceivable which remains, is the di- are “justified by faith, and have peace with God." rect witness of the Holy Spirit. Either this must be The first class know God's "general love to man;" but acknowledged, or a painful uncertainty as to the genu- it will not be pleaded that they love him. The second ineness or the required measure and degree of our re- know the “ general love of God to man;" but thinking