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devotion; and its language is, "Hold thou me up, O Lord, and I shall be safe;-without thee, divine Saviour, I can do nothing; but I can do all things if thou strengthen me." Were there no defect in our nature, or were that defect counteracted' by confirming grace, there would be no falling into sin. But to contend, that he ought to do this for us, either in justice or in mercy, is surely both impious and absurd: impious, as impeaching his actual conduct; for he does not keep any of his servants, while in this world, in a state of sinless perfection: "there is not a just man upon carth, that doeth good and sinneth not," and "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." The requisition moreover is absurd: it manifestly implies that God ought to confer upon us all the favour he can confer, that his favours are not at his own disposal, that he ought to act to the extent of possibility in shewing mercy: and to say, that mercy, or grace, or any favour is due to the creature, is clearly a direct contradiction, both in meaning and in terms.

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§ 28. It is further asserted by his Lordship, that irresistible grace cannot be employed as an argument for private care and diligence. His words are: God does not so work in us as

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is, he does not work irresistibly. For, sup

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posing God to work irresistibly, the wit of 'man cannot make an argument out of it for 'private care and diligence."* Taking the words irresistible grace' in the sense before explained, and as Calvinists use them, the objection has no more force than the following, viz.supposing God to work irresistibly' in imparting to us the principle of reason, we 'cannot make an argument out of it for private 'care and diligence,' respecting the improvement and right use of it. Again, the succession of day and night, summer and winter, seed time and harvest, is uncontroulable by man, therefore he cannot make an argument out of it 'for private care and diligence,' to work while it is day, to provide in summer for the winter season, or to sow his seed that he may reap his harvest in due time. Or, because every seed, every plant, and every animal, has its own peculiar nature, and the principles of its nature are irresistibly wrought in it, we cannot make an argument out of it for private care and diligence,' by improving that nature and cherishing those principles.

§ 29. Surely, if the certainty and irresistibility of principles in physical nature, be no good argu

*Refut. p. 37.

ment against the propriety of private care and diligence, or do not supersede our own industry, whether these principles be in ourselves or in others, some good reason should be assigned why the same is not applicable to gracious nature. Nay, if in physical nature the irresistibility of a principle, and the certainty of its continuance, is a strong argument for care and industry in its cultivation, we are entitled to ask, why the irresistibility of grace, in the sense explained, should not be an argument of equal force for fear and diligence, care and industry? What God requires, should be attended to with care and diligence; but he requires belief, love, fear, hope, and universal obedience. Now is it conceivable that the

principle, from whence these required graces proceed, being the irresistible work of God, is inconsistent with such requisitions? We do not say, with the Remonstrants, that our possessing the principle is the foundation of the requirement, but that the possession of it is a corroborating argument for the exercise of these required graces and tempers. In a word, the irresistibility of a divine nature in its bestowment, is a strong argument for its careful, industrious, and diligent improvement.

CHAP. II.

AVOWED SENTIMENTS OF THE BISHOP ON REGENERA TION, JUSTIFICATION, FAITH, AND GOOD WORKS, EXAMINED.

SECT. I.

The Bishop's avowed Sentiments on REGENERATION,

1. The subject stated.

examined.

§2. The word Regeneration as used by Calvinists.

§ 3. Admitted

by them in different senses. 4. They do not confound Rege

neration and Conversion. § 5.

Nor limit the time of either.
Water and of the Spirit."

6. Remarks on being "born of § 7. In what sense Baptism may be called a new birth. § 8. A spiritual change not an immediate effect of Baptism. § 9. The formation of Christian virtues and tempers may be called Regeneration. 10. The Calvinists do not confound Regeneration with "indefectible grace." 11-25. Passages out of the New Testament produced by the Bishop to prove that Regeneration signifies Baptism, examined.

26. Christians have a double birth. 27. Candidates for Baptism were supposed to be regenerated in the scriptural sense. § 28-31. The meaning of the term Regeneration, as used by the Christian Fathers, examined.

§ 1. UNDER this head, we find his Lordship explicitly avowing, and indeed contending, that regeneration is the immediate effect of baptism-and is never used in scripture or by the Fathers to express any operation upon the human mind subsequent to baptism. Thus he states his thoughts on the term itself and its meaning. As the term Regeneration, or New

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'birth, is frequently used by modern Calvinists, 'when speaking of their favourite tenets of in'stantaneous 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.— 'Those who are baptized are immediately trans'lated from the curse of Adam to the grace of 'Christ. They become reconciled to God, par'takers of the Holy Ghost, and heirs of eternal 'happiness.-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 "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 cor'ruptible seed, but of incorruptible."--"Baptism 'doth now save us, by the resurrection of 'Jesus Christ." According to his mercy he 'saved us by the washing of regeneration, and 'the renewing of the Holy Ghost." "Except ' a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."* The word Regeneration

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66

Refut. p. 83.

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