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are used by us in one sense, and by the Bishop in another. We, according to the scripture, consider “faith” in one sense as the gift of God, and in another, as the duty of man. The spirit of faith, or the spiritual principle, is the gift of God, preventing or preceding, and exciting the will to believe, according to just evidence, the whole testimony of God. But the act of believing that testimony is ours, and implies an “ endeavour and concurrence on the part of man.”
Each of these ideas we, according to the circumstances of the case, express by the word faith: and indeed the scripture authorizes us to use the term as denoting other ideas beside these principal ones; particularly the object believed. The blessed Saviour is called the author and finisher of faith, i, e. the gospel believed by us; and Paul after his conversion is said to preach the faith which he once destroyed.
§ 2. Similar distinctions may be made on the term grace.
Thus we maintain that • Christian graces,' as to the renovating principle, are from the sole operation of the Spirit of God, in contradistinction from the assumed notion of a self-determining power in the human will to renovate the heart; but the exercised • Christian graces' which require a perceived object of their existence, imply an endeavour
or concurrence on the part of man.' Thus, it is not the Holy Spirit, but we ourselves, by virtue of his assistance, love God and our neighbour, fear the Lord and the glory of his majesty, trust in him at all times, rejoice with trembling in contemplation of promised blessings and our own impotence amid surrounding dangers, and hope for distant good things promised. And thus St. Paul terms “ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” which are exercised • Christian graces,' “ the fruit of the Spirit." ** Their origin and principle is from the Spirit; but considered as exercised by us, they are properly ours.' The term grace" is also used frequently in scripture for exhibited favour; as
of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared unto all men;" “ the gospel of the ğrace of God,” &c.
o the grace
$ 3. In the same manner we fairly meet a great variety of similar insinuations and charges with which the “Refutation" abounds. Among these we might notice, for instance, that believing does not include an act of the will: * These commands to ask, to seek, and to knock,
prove, that our Saviour required some voluntary steps to be still taken by those who were
already persuaded of the divine origin of the * doctrines he taught.'* An incautious reader of the “ Refutation” might be led to suppose, that the Calvinists deny, what is here proved; whereas, in fact, we maintain it not less strenuously than his Lordship. Again : ‘We are authorized to attribute their faith to the volun
tary exercise of their reason.’t What Calvinist ever maintained that “ faith," in the sense of believing a testimony, does not include the voluntary exercise of reason?". Moreover: Now it must be allowed, that it is one thing to give a man power to act, another to force him to act.' The reader of this remark might be induced to think that the Calvinists held the latter idea. We hold, however, no such thing; but, that the Spirit gives the power, while the will acts freely.
§ 4. 'It is only contended,' says the Bishop, that the temporary or occasional control of * their sinful passions was never physically im
possible.' I. By his Lordship professing to 'contend' this point, the idea is excited in his reader's mind, that Calvinists hold a physical? as contradistinguished from a moral impossibi. lity; whereas the contrary is the notorious fact. All the 'impossibility,' we hold, of controlling
* Refut. p. 15.
+ Ib. p. 18.
# Ib. p. 9.
sinful passions, is a prevailing criminal indisposition to do so. • Even St. Paul allowed the possibility of his having received the grace of God in vain,' and surely the same possibility 'must be admitted with respect to all other * Christians.'* Surely it was very possible ? both for Paul and all other Christians' ta “receive the grace of God in vain" if left to themselves, or to their unassisted free - will. Election does not operate as a charm, to the exclusion of the intermediate steps of “keeping the body under and bringing it into subjection, &c.”—“The Spirit helps, but does not compel us.'t Very true, for in whatever respect we are compelled, in the same respect we are not free; and freedom is essential to accountability, But why should the reader's mind be led to suppose that Calvinists hold, as a part of their creed, a' compulsion' which is inconsistent with moral agency? To the same effect is the following insinuation : ‘By the suggestion there'fore, and with the help, of God's grace, we * endeayour to follow the example of Christ, ' which shews that the grace of God does not
act with compulsory force, but only directs and 'assists our endeavours.' I What reader, who was not previously better informed, could avoid supposing that the Calvinists held the absurd
* Refut, p. 32.
+ Ib. p. 40.
# Ib. p. 69,
notion of compulsory force' rather than divine assistance? They differ indeed from his Lordship, respecting the precedency of that assistance,—but utterly disclaim the notion of compulsory force.
• Were grace irresistible,' we are told, did it necessarily and solely produce a godly life, there would be no room for faithfulness on our part.'* Here the words marked in italics appear to be applied to us in a sense which we disown. When we use the word irresistible' in connexion with grace,' we do not suppose that no kind of resistance may be made to
grace' in any sense. St. Stephen says to the envious and persecuting Jews, “ Ye do alway resist the Holy Ghost,” They and their forefathers were in the habit of resisting the Holy Ghost, as to his holy words, his holy prophets, his miraculous gifts and operations, the holy tendency of the evidence he afforded, &c. There is a kind of resistance implied in “quenching the Spirit,” as to the flame of holy affections of which he is the original cause; and when any temper of mind is indulged, when any thing is done, or any duty omitted which has this tendency, in that respect, and to that degree, the Holy Spirit may be said to be quenched.
* Refut. p. 70.