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voluntary actions conform ever so much with the moral law, there is no meriting salvation by them; they are reckoned as debt due to the law. Salvation will be of grace, and not of works. 6 The Son of man is come to seek, and save that which is lost.” Our reliance then for salvation must be on Jesus Christ, and on him alone. This being true, let us turn unto God, and earnestly implore him to create
If we do this, who knows, but God will have mercy. If the soul be called and justified, its natural depravity will, in some measure, be remove ed; in this the soul will be as passive, as Adain was in receiving it. Neither this, nor the forgiveness of our sins, will affect the mind, in a sense, so as to deprive it of liberty in willing; but it will greatly affect the mind, as to its choice of spiritual objects, whose nature is uniformly the same. The difference in the choice of these objects is altogether owing to a change in the nature of the inind.
Here the change is so great, that that which was bitter becomes sweet, and that which was sweet becomes bitter. It is unnecessary to point out the spiritual objects in which the inind in its new created state, has an entirely different internal choice from what it formerly had. The objects are known to experienced christians. 'Bitit may be said, that the vo'itions of the inind in its new state are as different from what they forinerly were as its internal
choice. I grant that the mind puts forth a different set of volitions; but it is free in them. It is not so as to its internal choice; in this the mind has no freedom; for the choice is an effect produced by causes over which the mind has no control, such as its own nature to relish, and the nature of the objects in the comparison, which affect the mind.
At last the soul will be glorified. What a pleasing thought is this to the dying christian; he knows death is not an eternal sleep, and he looks beyond the grave with an expectation of entering the New Jerusalem, there to be glorified with Christ, who is the first born among many brethren.
IV. Regeneration." Jesus answered and said unto him (Nicodemus) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whether it goeth : so is every one that is born of the spirit.”
I shall not attempt to describe this new birth, otherwise than it is described in the scriptures.
Here the mind is sometimes represented as being active, and sometimes passive in regeneration. I
I will select a few texts, and place thein under the different heads
1st. Active. “ If thou wilt return 0 Israel, return, circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and put away the foreskins of your heart." (Jer. iv. 1, 4.) “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiff-necked.” (Deut. x. 16.) “ That ye put off the old man, which is corrupt, &c. and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness, and trúe holiness." Eph. iv. 22,23, 24.
“ Ye have put off the old man, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him, that created him.” Col. iii. 9, 10.
“That ye put off the old man, which is corrupt &c. and be ye renewed in the spi rit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness, and true holiness.". Eph. iv. 22, 3, 4.
2d. Passive. " And the Lord God, will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine lieart, and with all thy soul.”
Deut xxx, 6. " Then will I sprinkle clear water upon you, and ye shall be clean-A new heart also will. I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you-and
I will put my spirit within you. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 6, 7.
We are not to conclude from the different ways in which the new birth is expressed, that God does all, and the mind does nothing; or that the mind does all, and God does nothing in regeneration: rather we should believe that the mind is both active and passive. The mind may or inay not, be active in seeking salvation before the special influences of the Holy Ghost upon it. It must be passive wlien the eyes of the mind are opened by the influences of the Holy Spirit; it must be active in turning its eyes inwardly to trace out its sins,: in heart searching, in cherishing the spirit, in prayer, and in repentance; and it must be passive, when its natural de.. pravity is removed, and the new creation takes place. “ If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold all things are become new." (2. Cor. v. 17.) How wonderful is the change! The lost image is in some measure restored; it is a faint image of Christ. Before regeneration the mind by its volitions may resist the special influences of the Holy Spirit, and pərliaps, wholly divert its attention from serious subjects. Hence I consider that in regeneration there is usually a co-operation of the Holy Spirit in influencing, and of the mind in willing. Here I close my remarks upon the Scrip. kures.
VIII. We have carefully inquired after the active and passive cause of our volitions, and find none to exist; we have examined the system of Leibnitz, and his followers, and find that from God's best possible system of things, we derive no evidence that he produces our sinful volitions; we have also compared liberty or freedom of the mind in willing with the doctrines of the Bible, and here we see no disagreeinent; these things, together with our in ward sense, should convince us, that LIBERTY or FREEDOM is a reality,
It is natural here to inquire, how it was ever possible for any body seriously to doubt, whether man is master of his actions, whether he is free? I should be less surprized at this doubt, were it concerning a strange or remote fact, a fact that was not transacted within ourselves. But the question is in regard to a thing, of which we have an internal immediate feeling, a consiant and daily experience. Strange that any one should call in question a faculty of the soul! May we not as well doubt of the understanding and will, as of the liba erty of man? For if we are content to abide by our inward sense, there is no more room to dispute of one than of the other. But some too subtle philosophers, by considering this subject, in a metaphysical light, have stript it, as it were, of its nature; and finding themselves at a loss to