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new creation and a new birth (2 Cor. v. 17 ; Gal. vi. 15; Ephes. ii. 10; Tit. iii. 5), refers to the plastic power of the Creator over matter. But in all arguments drawn from analogy between the physical and moral world, allowance is ever to be made for the agency of reasonable beings. There is a foundation for the metaphor, because the im. pulse begins with God; and the Scriptures speak of creation as applied to man, in the sense of a change for the better. « Create in me a clean heart, &c.” (Psalm li. 10; Isaiah, lxv. 18). When, however, we are exhorted to “ put on the new man” (Ephes. iv. 24), and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (ver. 23), we are plainly die rected to a co-operation. Again, in our natural birth, we are passive under the hand of God ; our spiritual birth is produced by the moral persuasion of the Divine Word. “ Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. x. 17). Man, therefore, may be spiritually created anew, and born of God, without supposing God to act exclusively of human co-operation * • As to the texts, 1 Cor. ii. 14, “ The natural man discerneth not the things, &c." and John, vi, 44, “ No man can come, except the Father draw him ;" Acts, xi. 18, and Ephes. ii. 8, which represent God as giving faith and repentance;
* Bishop Tomline has clearly demonstrated the word “regeneration” to be invariably considered in Scripture, and in our public formularies, as signifying the work of baptism ; but it seems to me, that his Lordship might have saved himself that trouble, since, if mental renewal, or conversion, is mentioned in Scripture, it is idle to dispute about a word.
Ezek. xi. 19, 20, which states him to be the · giver of a new spirit; and Philip. ii. 13, with
Heb. xiii. 21,--they are all reconcilable with human co-operation, and suppose it. God's first gifts are the understanding and the will ; and his latter gifts are not revocations of those excellent ones, but are vouchsafed so as to direct and draw, though not totally to supersede them. We are coinmanded to believe and to repent (1 John, ji. 23 ; and Acts, xvii. 13); which commandment is an address to our faculty of optional exertion. God commands his people to MAKE THEMSELVES a new heart (Ezek. xviij. 30, 31; Isaiah, i. 16); and because he worketh in us, we are, therefore, to work out our own salvation (Philip. ii. 12, 13). There may be some few passages which seem, when considered by themselves, to represent God as the sole agent in renewing the heart ; but there are others capable of being singled out by the Socinians as attributing the same province exclusively to man. Since Scripture, then, cannot contradict itself, we must infer co-operation on the self-same ground on which we maintain the doctrine of the Trinity. Some texts represent our Lord as God; others as man: he is, therefore, God and man. In both cases the conclusion contended for is the only hypothesis which embraces all the facts *. If it be said, that to assume co-operation introduces boasting before God, in whose sight no flesh should glory (1 Cor. i. 29), nay, boasting conversion to be partly by works, contrary to the affirmation of Scripture (Ephes. ii. 9), I answer, that all glory is attributed to God, as the author and giver of salvation ; while we acknowledge also our good works to be actuated by his Spirit, and not to be performed by our own strength. i: It is also of grace that ởur imperfect works are accepted. There is a glorying in obedience (1 Cor. ix. 15, 16), though not in the merit or sufficiency of works as independent of grace, and as superseding faith (Rom. iii. 37 ; iv. 2 ; 'and 1 Cor. i. 29, 31).!!
* The two passages, Ephes. ïi. 8, “ By grace ye are saved through faith, &c." and Rom. vi. 23, “ The gift of God is eternal life;" may be explained by Matt. vii; 14; Heb. X. 20; and Aets, xvi. 17. The former imports, By grace ye have the power of being saved through faith ; and the latter, The gift of God is the way of eternal life f.
“ By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, &c.” Ka Toto is considered by Mr. Faber as re. ferring not to FAITH, as the gift of God, but to the whole sentence; for, although faith be the gift of God in one sense, as every good and perfect gift is from above, this text does not entirely exclude the power of assent to or dissent from the doctrines proposed to our faith, and of acceptance or rejection of the grace OFFERED . Mr. Faber, by the way, is understood to be one of those mulattoes, the moderate Calvinists; but if these be indeed his real sentiments, he is not balf so good a Calvinist as Mahomet was.
+ See Tomline's Refut. p. 40.
Faber on the Calvin, and Armia. Controv. .. VOL. II. .
· Christ often commends human actions, and will say to his people at the last day, “Well done, good and faithful servants." This is wholly absurd, if they did nothing well. Our faith will be found to our praise and glory, &c. at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. i. 9, 10). . It is no where asserted in Scripture, that man, by the fall of Adam, is wholly incapacitated from contributing any thing towards the work of his own conversion ; on the contrary, the wickedness of man is imputed to his want of consideration to his voluntary evil habits--to his unwillingness to do what he knows to be his duty; and what, with the help tendered to him, he is capable of doing. The sinner's, impenitence is either the fault of God, who refuses sufficient grace; or of himself, by'voluntary rejection of sufficient grace vouchsafed. In this latter case, rejection implies a power of acceptance ; in other words, it implies co-operation. But that God is not in fault, is clearly evident from the passages, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help” (Hosea, xiii. 9); “Why will ye-die, O house of Israel?”
(Ezek. xxxiii. 11); “What could have been done · more for my vineyard, which I have not done in it?
saith the Lord: wherefore, when I looked that it should have brought forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isa. v.4). The persons here spoken of did not repent. Yet sufficient grace was offered on the part of God for their repentance. They were impenitent through their resistance of suffi
cient grace. Grace, therefore, is resistible. Now, resistance of sufficient grace is only, in other words, the voluntary refusal of co-operation. It therefore implies co-operation. Again; “ Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life.”. What sense, 'what meaning, could be intimated by these words, if grace were really irresistible? Instead of chiding the Jews for not being willing to come to him, God could have only to vouchsafe such a measure of impulse as should effectually force them to come unto him. Here let it be observed, that the reproach is conveyed to these men, not (as in the former case) for their REJECTION of grace, but for their want of exerting some GOOD PRINCIPLE of their nature, to embrace sufficient grace vouchsafed. Man, therefore, is not totally depraved. He is a moral agent in his own convér. sion. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? and if thou doest ill, sin lieth at thy door” (Gen. iv. 7). “Behold, I set before you a blessing and a curse ; a blessing if you will obey, &c.” (Deut. xi. 26). :" When the wicked man turneth from his wickedness, he shall live” (Ezek. xviii. 28). Also 2 Chron. xv. 2 ; Matt. vii. 7,8; Luke, xi. 13; Matt. xxv. 14; Luke, viii. 18; Rom. viii. 13; Col. i. 29, and Rom. vii. all imply a power of exertion in man, and voluntary steps to be taken for rendering effectual the gift of the Spirit. In the parable of the sower there is plainly manifested a certain moral susceptibility to receive