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the Spirit's operation. — That these are “inse' parable, we have before shewn to be a popish conceit.
§ 9. The Bishop openly avows, that to regenerate means to baptize,-or that regeneration is never used either in the scriptures or the Fathers but in connexion with baptism. Of this let the reader judge from the following passage in IRENÆUS: "“ The Lord is the first ' born from the dead,' and receiving into his 'bosom the ancient Fathers, he regenerated them • into the life of God, he himself being made the · beginning of those who live, as Adam was made 'the beginning of those who die. Wherefore
Luke, also beginning the genealogy from our · Lord, carried it back to Adam, signifying that 'they did not regenerate him but he them into 'the gospel of life.” '* The Lord Jesus is here said to “regenerate” the ancient Fathers “into the life of God;" but did he baptize them? IRENÆUS evidently uses the word “regenerate," as the Calvinists often do,--for that spiritual change, or the beginning of a life from God, which baptism only represents externally, without any necessary connexion between the sign and the thing signified.
9 10. The Bishop of Lincoln strenuously
* Refut. p. 301.
opposes the Calvinistic sentiment, respecting Predestination to Life. Let us now examine whether some of his ecclesiastical auxiliaries are not guilty of treachery. Clement of Alexandria writes thus: ““ We say that there is one • ancient and Catholic church, collecting into • the unity of one faith, according to its own
testaments, or rather according to one testament, delivered at sundry times, by the will of one God, through one Lord, those who had • been already ordained, whom God predestinated, "who he knew, before the foundation of the • world, would be just." ' If it be said, that CLEMENT means, God 'foreknew that some of themselves would be just, and on that account they “had been already ordained” or “predestinated;" I reply, that this would be sinking the Father far below mediocrity as to Christian knowledge, and involving him in absurdities which his expressions do not necessarily imply. He must have known, in common with every Christian, that no descendant of Adam can make himself just. He therefore must have intended, by the mode of expression, to guard against the pernicious heresy which discarded all discrimination of character, which founded every thing on the determination of Fate. Those whom he ordains, not Fate, to be living
* Refut. p. 317.
members of the true church, are foreknown to be “just,” as well as to be saved: nor will any one surely hence infer that they made themselves just, as the basis of divine foreknowledge? If God makes any one just, it must be from design, such must have “ been already ordained, and predestinated” to this end.
Ø 11. In opposition to the same stupid heresy the same Father thus argues:
66. Either the Lord does not care for all men, and this pro'ceeds either from his not being able to do so, ' which it is wrong to suppose, as it would be a sign of weakness, 'or from his not being
willing, although able, which would not be “compatible with his attribute of goodness, for he who for our sake took flesh subject to
suffering, is not slothful;-or, he does care for • all men, which is becoming him who is Lord ? of all; for he is the Saviour, not of some and not of others, since he distributed his favour according to the fitness of every one, both to 'Greeks and to Barbarians, and to those of them "who were predestinated, being called in his own
time, the faithful and elect.”* Here CLEMENT asserts, that the care, and government, and merciful dispensations of God, had an universal aspect, and not to one privileged nature of
class of men to the exclusion of others. Jesus Christ is “ Lord of all,” both able and willing to “ care for all men,” who avail themselves of the common salvation. He “ distributed his favour," or sent the gospel message, not to classes of natures, but to nations, “ to Greeks and to Barbarians” indiscriminately, as his providence prepared the way, and as any people discovered an inclination to receive it,—which the author expresses by the phrase, “ according to the fitness of every one.” He could not mean a spiritual fitness among the “ Greeks and Barbarians,” as a reason why the Lord " distributed his favour,” or sent the message of mercy to them without involving a great absurdity,—for what “ fitness” of this kind could there be in gross idelaters? It must, therefore, refer to the external admission of the means of salvation, as opposed to a determined rejection of them. But while the Almighty Potentate thus distributes his favour among the nations, the question returns, Who of them became “ faithful and elect,” spiritual and worthy characters in the church? CLEMENT answers, not those who had a fatally good in opposition to others who had a fatally bad nature, as maintained by many heretical disturbers of the Christian church ;----but “ those of them who were predestinated, being called in his own time.” These are “ the faithful and elect,” among all
nations, and in all ages. These, beside the common favour distributed to all their countrymen, and beside the common call of the gospel, addressed to all alike, have also the privilege of a distinguished character,---" the faithful and elect.” But did they acquire this character of themselves? What had they which they did not receive? Who made them to differ from others around them? If God made them to differ, was it a sudden determination of his mind, when they, by a peradventure, made themselves good? If not, they must have been · predestinated' to be first favoured with the gospel, then to be effectually called, and after, wards to be faithful and approved characters, and consequently saved.
$ 12. JEROME is very explicit on the same point. (“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to ' the purpose of him, who worketh all things « after the counsel of his own will. It is to * be considered, that predestination and purpose ' are here placed together, according to which 'God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Not that all things which are done in the world are done with the will and counsel of God; for then wicked things might be imputed to God; but that all things which he does, he does with counsel and will, because