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"in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of "the flesh and of the thoughts."1
4. Who teach, 'That man unregenerate is 'neither properly nor totally dead in sins, or des'titute of all- power for what is spiritually good; 'but that he can hunger and thirst after righ'teousness or life, and offer the sacrifice of a 'broken and contrite spirit, which is accepted by 'God :' for these things are contrary to the Open testimonies of scripture, Ephes. ii. 1, 5. " Ye were "dead in trespasses and sins:" and Gen. vi. 5, and viii. 21. "The imagination of the thoughts "of man's heart is only evil continually." Moreover, to hunger and thirst after deliverance from misery, and for life, and to offer unto God the sacrifice of a contrite spirit, is the part of the regenerate, and of those who are said to be blessed. Ps. Ii. 19- 1 Chron. xxix. 14.. Matt. v. 6.
5. Who teach, ' That man, corrupt and animal,2 'can so rightly use common grace, which in them 'is the light of nature, and the gifts remaining 'after the fall, that by this good use he may 'obtain greater grace, for instance, evangelical or 'saving, and gradually may obtain salvation it• self: and that on this account God shews him'self ready, on his part, to reveal Christ to all, 'seeing that he administers to all, sufficiently and 'efficaciously, the necessary means to the revela'tion of Christ, to faith, and repentance.' For, besides the experience of all ages, this is testified to be false by the scripture: Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20. "He sheweth his words unto Jacob, his statutes "and laws unto Israel: he hath not done so unto "any other people, neither have they known his "laws." Acts xiv. 16. "God permitted in past "ages all the nations to walk in their own ways." Acts xvi. 6, 7. "They were forbidden (Paul and "his companions) by the Holy Ghost to preach "the word of God in Asia." And, " When they "were come into Mysia, they endeavoured to go "towards Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them "not."1
1 'The apostle says, that " it is God who worketh in us, both 'that we should will and that we should do, of his own free 'benevolence;" for no mind, no will, acquiesces in the will of 'God, in which Christ himself hath not first operated.' Belgic Confession, Art. xiv. 'We have no power to do good works, 'pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by 'Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will; and 'working with us, when we have that good will.' Art. x. Church of England.
- *i,^ixoV- 1 Cor. ii. 14.
1 The matter of fact, that not all those who enjoy the means of grace in the greatest abundance do profit by them, is as undeniable as that all nations are not favoured with the means of grace: but to speak of those things as sufficient and efficacious, which in the case of a vast majority prove insufficient and inefficacious, must surely be unreasonable; especially as, to them the gospel itself proves " a savour of death unto death." That " Paul may plant and Apollos may water," but that God alone can " give the increase,'' is most manifest to those who have the deepest experience, and have made the most accurate and long-continued observation, on the event of the wisest, most loving, and most scriptural instructions. 1 Cor. iii. 6,7.— Enough has been quoted from the Belgic Confession to shew that this error was as contrary to that document, as to any article of the Synod of Dort.—' The condition of man after the 'fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn or prepare himself, 'by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and 'calling upon God.' 'Works done before the grace of Christ, 'and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God; 'forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ: neither 'do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the school 'authors say,) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that 'they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to 'be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.' Art. x. xiii. Ch. of Eng.—He, who is well versed in this controversy is aware, that the doctrine here condemned comprises the very hinge, on which the whole turns: if it be fake, Calvinists (in the modern use of the word,) are right; if true, Anticalvinists are right.
6. Who teach, ' That in the true conversion of 4 man there cannot be new qualities, habits, or 'gifts, infused by God into his will: and so that 'faith, by which we are first converted, and from 'which we are called the faithful, is not a quality 'or gift infused by God, but only an act of man; 'nor that it can be otherwise called a gift, than 'with respect to the power of attaining it.' For these things contradict the holy scriptures, which testify that God doth infuse new qualities of faith, obedience, and a sense of his love into our hearts. Jer. xxxi. 33. " I will put my law into their mind, "and will write it in their heart." Isa. xliv. 3. "I will pour water on him that is athirst, and "rivers upon the dry ground; I will pour out my "Spirit on thy seed." Rom. v. 5. " The love of "God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy "Spirit which is given to us." They also contradict the constant practice of the church, thus praying with the prophet, "Convert thou me, "and I shall be converted." Jer. xxxi. 18, 19.'
7. Who teach, 'That the grace, by which we 'are converted to God, is nothing else than gentle 'suasion; or (as others explain it,) that the most 'noble method of acting in the conversion of 'man, and the most suitable (convenientissimum) 'to human nature, is that which is done by 'suasions, and that nothing hinders that moral
1 See also Ezek. xi. 19, 20. xxxvi. '25—27. Eph. L 19,20. ii. 8—10.
* grace alone should render animal men spiritual: 'indeed God produces the consent of the will no 'otherwise than by moral reason; and that the 'efficacy of divine grace, by which he overcomes
* the operation of Satan, consists in this, that God 'promises eternal benefits, and Satan temporal 'ones.' For this is altogether Pelagian, and contrary to the whole scripture, which, besides this, acknowledges also another, and far more effectual and divine mode of acting of the Holy Spirit in man's conversion. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. " I will give "you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit "within you; and I will take away the heart of "stone and give you a heart of flesh, &C."1
8. Who teach, ' That God does not apply those 'powers of his own omnipotence in the regenera
* tion of man, by which he mightily and infallibly 'bends his will to faith and conversion; but that, 'all the operations of grace, which God makes 'use of in man's conversion, being supposed, '(positis,) man nevertheless can so resist God 'and the Spirit, intending his regeneration, and 'willing to regenerate him, and in very deed (actu
'ipso) often doth so resist, as entirely to hinder' 'his own regeneration; and thus that it remains 'in his own power, whether he will be regenerated
1 "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom "of God." John iii. 3—6. "The natural man (faxixos) re"ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know "them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor! ii. 14.
'or not.' For this is no other than taking away all the efficacy of God's grace in our conversion, and subjecting the act of Almighty God to the will of man; and that contrary to the apostles, who teach that " We believe through the efficacy "of the mighty power of God." Ephes. i. 19. and that " God fills up in us the good pleasure of his "goodness, and the work of faith with power."
2 Thess. i. 11. Also, that "His divine power "hath given us all things which pertain to life "and godliness." 2 Pet. i. 3.'
9. Who teach, 'That grace and free will are 'partial causes concurring at the same time to 'the beginning of conversion; and that grace 'does not, in the order of causality, precede the 'efficacy of the will: that is, that God does not 'effectually help the will of man to conversion, 'before the will of man moves and determines 'itself.' For this dogma the ancient church long ago condemned in Pelagians, from the apostle, Rom. ix. 16. " It is not of him that willeth, nor "of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth "mercy." And 1 Cor. iv. 7. " Who maketh thee "to differ? And what hast thou that thou didst "not receive?" Also, Phil. ii. 13. "It is God "who worketh in you this very thing, to will and "to do of his good pleasure."2
1 " Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." "It is God that worketh in us both to will and to do." The want of the willing mind is the grand thing wanting, and until this is wrought in us, we " do always resist the Holy Ghost." Ps. ex. 4. Phil. i. 13.
* ' Almighty God, we humbly beseech thee, that, as by thy 'special grace preventing ut, thou dost put into our minds good 'desires, so, Ac.' Collect East. Sund.