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words practicable duty, the clause from the liturgy, by special grace preventing us, to put into our hearts good desires; and by thy continual help to bring the same to good effect; few of the evangelical clergy would hesitate to adopt the passage. P. lxxix. 1. 11. Partly the effect of our own voluntary exertion. It is wholly the effect of our own voluntary exertion; but it is God that work"eth in us to will and to do.". The idea of God doing one part, and the creature another part, in the action of a voluntary agent, seems to us unscriptural and unphilosophical. sobn


P. lxxix. 1. 13. It is, &c."2
It is, &c."


The general state

* Col. Easter Sunday.


It is one thing to trust to the goodness of God, as declared in Scripture, for the effectual assistance of the Holy Spirit, and another to assert, that from our own intrinsic merit we have a 6 right to divine favour here, and to reward hereafter. The promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come," the means of grace, and the hope of glory, we owe solely to the undeserved, mercy of God through the merits and mediation of ⚫ his blessed Son. It is not possible for man, with reference to the original connexion between the creature and his Creator, to ⚫ have any merits towards God; for whatever powers and qualifi'cations he possesses, he has received them all from God; and God has a right to every exertion which man can make. But God has been pleased to enter into a covenant with man, subse

quent to the rules and directions which he gave him at his creation, and to promise certain privileges and blessings, upon ⚫ the performance of certain conditions. This new dispensation,



so far from being the consequence of any right conduct in man, ⚫ is founded in his misconduct, the first intimation of future redemption being given immediately after the fall, at the moment God was denouncing punishment upon the disobedience of Adam. It is to be acknowledged in all its parts as entirely

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ment in this passage, is satisfactory, and the argu ments conclusive. The words conditions and conditional, are not indeed found in scripture; and are liable to misconstruction; the same ideas, as far as they are scriptural, may be communicated in other terms: and as many strongly object to them; the evangelical clergy in general avoid the use of them: yet they are not objectionable, if properly interpreted; that is, as denoting, not any merit, or antecedent good disposition in us; but merely something sine qua non. He that repents and believes, is through divine grace entitled to the promised blessing: he who does not repent and believe, is excluded from them; yet so, that if hereafter he shall repent and believe, he also will be admitted as a partaker of them,

P. lxxxi, l. 8. Note. It is, &c." I quote this

gratuitous, as proceeding solely from the free mercy of God; and our performance of the required conditions is not to be considered as constituting any merit in us, or conferring any ' right to reward, independent of his promises. If the conditional offer of spiritual aid in this world, and of eternal happiness in the next, had not been made, the same conduct in us, supposing that possible, would have given no claim to favour or reward from God here or hereafter, a right to any recompence from God being absolutely impossible. I am here speaking upon the ground of strict justice, and upon no other ground can the abstract question of merit be argued. The question becomes of a totally different nature where promises, arising solely from kindness and mercy, are concerned. We know that "he who hath promised is faithful;" and therefore we rely upon his promises, without feeling that we had any reason to 1 expect them.’

It is an easy thing for a wrangling sophister to dispute of

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passage, merely to express unqualified approbation of it. God grant, that all, who now oppose, or misunderstand, the doctrine of salvation by grace alone; may before, or at least when, they come to lie upon their death beds, renounce their own merits, * and cast themselves naked into the arms of the 'Saviour.

merits in the schools, or for a vain orator to declaim of merits out of the pulpit: but when we come to lie upon our death❝ beds, and present ourselves at the last hour before the tribunal of

Christ, it is high time both for you and us to renounce our own ́ merits, and to cast ourselves naked into the arms of our Saviour. • That any works of ours (who are the best of us but unprofitable

servants) which properly are not ours, but God's own gifts; and • if they were ours, are a just debt due unto him, setting aside • God's free promise and gracious acceptation, should condignly

by their own intrinsic value deserve the joys of heaven, to which they have no more proportion than they have to satisfy for the eternal torments of hell; this is that which we have • renounced, and which we never ought to admit.'

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ON REGENEration.

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P. lxxxiii. 1. 1. 'As the, &c.' Regeneration is indeed a word frequently used by modern Calvinists; by the evangelical clergy; and by numbers who do not think themselves Calvinists: but whether more frequently, than it ought to be, is another question. • Instantaneous conversion' is not a favourite tenet of modern Calvinists; nor does indefectible grace' exactly convey the sentiments of many among them. It is, however, remarkable, that the religionists, in our day, who speak the most of instantaneous conversion, decidedly oppose the doctrine of indefectible grace: so that, with whomsoever the truth lies; the two doctrines have no essential connexion.


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Even, when by the word grace, is meant "a new "creation unto holiness;" producing unequivocally "the fruits of the Spirit;" all Calvinists do not consider it as indefectible in its own nature. Adam lost the image of God, in which he was originally created and we might lose the divine life, which the Spirit of Christ had communicated; if there were nothing in the covenant of peace and grace, made in Christ, with all true believers, to secure us against

As the term regeneration, or new-birth, is frequently used ⚫ by modern Calvinists, when speaking of their favourite tenets ⚫ of instantaneous conversion and indefectible grace, it may be 'proper to explain the application and true meaning of this word in scripture, and in the public formularies of our church.'


this dreadful event. But our life is hid, with "Christ in God" and, many of the, evangelical clergy think, that the promises and covenant of the everlasting God, and the intercession of Christ, secures all true believers, from thus finally departing from God. Concerning the truth and importance of this tenet, the author has no doubt: but, knowing that many of those, whom he loves and honours, do not accord with him in his views on this subject; had the doctrines, more generally called Calvinistick, been exclusively opposed, in the Refutation, he should not have ventured forth with his remarks upon it.

P. lxxxiii. 1. 15. • Those who, &c.' Waving fof

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* Col iii. 3. 2 Jer. xxxii. 38-40.

3. Those who are baptized are immediately translated from the curse of Adam to the grace of Christ; the original guilt which they brought into the world is mystically washed away; and they receive forgiveness of the actual sins which they may themselves have committed; they become reconciled to God, partakers of the Holy Ghost, and heirs of eternal happiness; they acquire a new name, a new hope, a new faith, a new rule of life. This great and wonderful, change in the condition of man is as it were a new nature, a new state of existence; and the holy rite, by which these invaluable blessings are communicated, is by St. Paul figuratively called "Regeneration," or new-birth. Many similar phrases occur in the New Testament, such as, "born of water and of the Spirit;" "begotten again

unto a lively hope," "dead in sins, and quickened together "with Christ;" "buried with Christ in baptism;"" born again, "not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible:" these expressions all relate to a single act once performed upon every individual-an act essential to the character of a christian, and of such importance, that it is declared to be instrumental to our salvation, "baptism, doth now save us, by the resurrection of

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