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ment in this passage, is satisfactory, and the arguments conclusive. The words conditions and conditional, are not indeed found in scripture; and are liable to miscon struction; the same ideas, as far as they are sciptural, 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.

'ly 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 qualifications 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, sub. 'sequent to the rules and directions which he gave him at his creation, and 'to promise certain privileges and blessings, upon the performance of cer. 'tain conditions. This new dispensation, so far from being the consequence ' of any right conduct in man, is founded in his misconduct, the first intima'tion of future redemption being given immediately after the fall, at the mo'ment God was denouncing punishment upon the disobedience of Adam. It 'is to be acknowledged in all its parts as entirely 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 confer'ring 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 speak'ing upon the ground of strict justice, and upon no other ground can the ab'stract question of merit be argued. The question becomes of a totally dif

ferent nature where promises, arising solely from kindness and mercy, are 'concerned. We know that " he who hath promised is faithful;" and there'fore we rely upon his promises, without feeling that we had any reason to 'expect them.'

P. lxxxi. 1. 8. Note. It is, &c'* I quote this 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.'

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Archbishop Bramhall.

"It is an easy thing for a wrangling sophister to dispute of merits in the C 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

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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,

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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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REMARKS ON CHAPTER II.

ON REGENERATION.

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. Instantane'ous 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. 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 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 in

* As the term regeneration, or new-birth, is frequently used by modern 'Calvinists, when speaking of their favourite tenets of instantaneous con' version 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.'

† Col. iii, S.

tercession of Christ, secured 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. Ixxxiii. 1. 15. • Those who, &c.'t Waving for the present, the consideration of infant-baptism; it occurs to enquire whether the opus operatum, the mere administration of baptism, in the case of adults, necessarily produces all these effects. If this be the doctrine of protestants; in what, as to this particular, do they differ from the papists? Indeed, is not this precisely the error of the Jewish scribes and people, which John the Baptist so decidedly opposed, in those who came to be

Jer. xxxii. 38-40.

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 Gliost, 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 na

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ture, a new state of existence; and the holy rite, by which these invaluable "blessings are communicated is by St. Paul figuratively called "Hegenera. "tion," 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;" "ben again, not of corruptible seed, but of incor"ruptible:" 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 Jesus Christ;"" Accord"ing to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renew"ing of the Holy Ghost;" "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the "kingdom of God.”

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baptized by him?* which our Lord treated with more marked severity, than any of their errors?† and which St. Paul so expressly notes, when he says, "He is not "a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumci"sion, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew "who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the "heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise "is not of men but of God?" If this entire change take place in baptism; not only regeneration, but the most important consequences of it, are instantaneous: and a hypocrite, receiving baptism from one authorized to administer it, according to a due form, is suddenly converted into a true christian! But as each particular, here condensed together, will require a distinct consideration with the several texts referred to; it is not requisite to enlarge in this place. It should, however, be noted, that baptism is stated to be regeneration; and not that regeneration uniformly accompanies baptism, when duly administered: for these are different propositions.

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P. lxxxiv. 1. 24. 'As we are, &c.' In this quotation from Hooker, the words, manifest ordinary course ' of divine dispensations,' may obviate the objection as to his views, which so evidently lies against the sentiment, that baptism is regeneration. Our Lord says to Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except "a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of "God:" "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."¶

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† Luke xi. 38-40.

Rom. ii. 28, 29.

Matt. iii. 7-12. 'As we are not naturally men without birth, no neither are we christian *men, in the eye of the church of God, but by new-birth; nor, according to 'the manifest ordinary course of divine dispensations, new-born, but by that 'baptism which both declareth and maketh us christians. In which respect 'we justly hold it to be the door of our actual entrance into God's house, 'the first apparent beginning of life.'

¶ John iii. 3. 5.7.

VOL. I.

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