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to wait some months till time would show whether he had not been deceived. Thus is he, as it were, intimidated at the very commencement, and taught to look with a suspicious eye on all evidences of piety given by himself and others in the voluntary exercises and actions. The current of gracious feeling in the soul is thus checked. The vigour and zeal of the young convert are paralyzed, and in many instances, he sinks down into a dull and monotonous formality, from which perhaps he is seldom or ever afterwards delivered. The church is robbed of the full bene fit of his zealous efforts. The world is deprived of the full benefit of his example. And his own soul is held in doubts and despondency, afraid to say that he is a christian, and unwilling to say that he is not.

It does not comport with the design of this work, to trace all the different deleterious results on practical piety, which the idea of a physical regeneration secures. We wonder at the marvellous grace of the Spirit of God, who keeps the heart alive where it is held under the influence of such distracting and perplexing error. And we hope that ere long the christian community will be furnished with some practical treatise designed to expose and guard against the injurious influence of such false philosophy, upon religious experience. Its crippling and benumbing effects have long been felt in the churches, where there has been intelligence associated with piety. And where ignorance has obtained, the wildest and most fanatical delusions have flowed from it. Weak-minded and superstitious persons, considering regeneration to be an act of physical power, and altogether unobservant of their own conscious exercises, have mistaken excitements of feeling and reveries of imagination for the impulses and visions of the Spirit. We once were called to see a lecherous female, who supposed herself near death, and was exulting in the conviction that she had been born again produced by the ease of body and revery

of imagination, induced by the use of laudanum, and whose belief of the Spirit's direct and powerful agency on the soul was not to be shaken, but who lived long enough to return to her wicked ways and prove it all to have been a delusion.

5. The injurious consequences that practically result from this error, are almost endless: but no where are they more mischievous than in destroying the sense of moral obligation, which would urge the unconverted sinner to immediate repentance. It is in vain to talk to sinners about God's right to command them to do this or that, or their obligations, if they see that they are actually required to csercise the prerogative of Jehovah Himself. Every man feels at once, that here obligation ceases, and his heart is fortified against every call that would urge him virtually to do so. Now the exercise of creative power God claims as exclusively His own. “Thou art worthy 0, Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and prower: for THOU AAST CREATED ALL THINGS, » Yet, He does most undeni. ably require the sinner to make to himself a new heart, and to perform those exercises of faith and repentance, which, according to the error we combat, are the results of a new creation in the soul. “Repent,” says he, "and turn yourelves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby ye have transgressed: and MAKE YOU A NEW HEART, and a new spirit: for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel?" If therefore, regeneration, or the making of a new heart, be a creative act of God, an act of His physical power, then does He command the sinner to exercise His high and divine prerogative.

It is all to' no purpose to tell the șinner about his sin, and loss of power, and derived corruption and God's right in the case;-he FEELS that he is required to do an absolute im. 1. Rcxiv. 11.

2. Ezek. srüi. 30, 31.

possibility, and therefore a most unreasonable thing; and he is ready, either to dismiss the subject from his thoughts and repose in unconcern, or inwardly accuse and censure God as tyrannical and cruel in His demands. He may sigh and groan over his misfortune, and the misery of his condition, but he has no sense of guilt in his present delay or refusal to repent and turn to God. And the advice, so often furnished to one in this case, which puts him with an impenitent and unbelieving heart, upon the use of the means of grace, as though that will issue in due season in this new creation, is calculated to bind him fast in the damning guilt of unbelief and impenitence. Multitudes dream away a whole life waiting God's time, as they say, to form the new creature within them, and at last sink down to Hell under the awful guilt of a despised gospel and a rejected Saviour. Reader, do you urge this plea ? It is the syren song that will lull your soul asleep till you sink in the arms of death, if you do not turn a deaf ear to all its dulcet notes.

6. We add but another objection, which is, that the idea of a physical regeneration, is suggested by a false assumption with regard to the nature of human depravity. It is taken for granted that the soul of man, in its very physical constitution is corrupt that it is itself simply as a creature anterior to, and irrespective of, all moral exercises whatever, sinful and only sinful. Thence it follows, that before ever it can put forth holy exercises, it must be remodelled, CREATED ANEW, by the same plastic hand of the Great Créator, which, originally, by an act of physical power, gave it being.

Could we resolve the operations of the intellectual and spiritual world into some system of mechanism, then might this idea derive support, as it has done from a sort of mechanical philosophy; but it receives no countenance in the word of Crod, It is, indeed, found involved in the technics of Theologians as suggested by a false philosophy, and has crept into various creeds and confessions of faith, and there lies buried in certain unintelligible and indefinite forms of speech; but it is not taught as a fact revealed to us by the sure and unerring testimony of God. The subject, however, is so very intricate and important, as to require a minute and careful examination, which shall be attempted in the following chapters.




PERFECTIBILITY claimed for man, without renewing grace-Scripture tes

timony, Eph. iv. 17–19: . 12: Rom. i. 28–32—This description not exclnsively applicable to the heathen world—Facts noticed-Rom. i. ii. and jii. 9—19-The history of the world—Melancholy exposition of human depravity-Quotation from Dr. Dwight-Attempts to account for human corruption through the influence of example unsatisfactory-Christian example has an irritating effect-An inquiry as to the nature of depravityWhether selfishness is the essence of sin-There can be no evidence of being savingly interested in the death of Christ, when selfishness prevails-An inquiry why selfishness is sin— Man is at war with the constitution of GodWhat is the nature of selfishness—Various modes of speech with regard to human depravity-The exact point of disputes at present agitated on this subject--Some appropriate cause of human depravity—Traced to the wilful perversion, on the part of man, of God's constitution.

SOME votaries of reason and sighing sentimentalists have claimed perfectibility for man, denying his depravity, and rejecting the direct influence which is offered from God, to render him perfect, even as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect. With what degree of truth such things are dune, it may be well to inquire. Correct views, with regard to the fact and nature of human depravity, are indispensably necessary to the right understanding of the doctrine of Regeneration.

So far from man's being the pure and upright being that needs no change, he is described as the enemy of God, and as having all his moral powers in a characteristic and deranged exercise. Mind and heart are alike affect

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