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of stone, and to give a heart of flesh.” Freewill, under the direction of this principle, or as far as the principle exists, ever chooses virtuously. It never disapproves of gospel truth fairly presented to it; but, on the contrary, receives and lives
It is possible, indeed, that a person possessed of a holy principle may be embarrassed, with respect to some very important parts of gospel truth, through the defect of language, or his misconception of terms, or the prejudices of education or of party, -in a word, through some defect of representation : but let that defect be removed, the person still retaining the virtuous principle, and no essential part of holy truth will be rejected. He cannot thus commit sin, “ for his seed remaineth in him." His co-operation by free-will with the revealed will of God, will be in exact proportion to the clearness with which he perceives it, and the godly sincerity of his principle. – To suppose that free-will, while the disposition is good, receives not the blessings fairly represented to it in the gospel of the grace of God, and in the same. proportion, is as unreasonable, as to suppose that a thing actscontrary to its own proper nature.
We inay further observe, that the principle generated by divine operation illu
minates the inind; enabling it to discover the spiritual nature and superior excellency of the truths revealed in the sacred oracles, to know what is the hope of our calling, and what are the riches of our glorious inherit
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines into our hearts, whereby we discover the glories of the divine perfections as displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Whereas to the unprincipled the light of revealed truth shines without effect; their darkness comprehendeth it not; their understandin2 continues dark, “ being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (or hardness of their heart." While the heart is hard, the understanding will be blind, to the same degree, notwithstanding the outward light of truth in the scriptures. Hence the ablest expositors and preachers have cause to pray that God may prepare the hearts of their readers and hearers, that they inay earnestly attend to, that they may understand, that they may
mark, learn, and inwardly digest” the truths represented.
$ 9. From the premises we learn, that the co-operation of man is subsequent to the operation of God ---and that man co-operates freely, willingly, and cordially; the holy principle
generated disposing the subject of it to admire, love, and prefer what is really and relatively excellent. We also learn, that the subject of divine operation, in his religious elections, acts not only from principle but also intelligently. He knows in whom he believes, and whom he serves, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. He discovers the evil of sin and the beauty of holiness-he is wise unto salvation - he chooses an end worthy of Gud to reveal, and adopts the means prescribed for obtaining it-in proportion to the principle produced by divine operation. These are truths which cannot be denied, I conceive, without denying that principles operate according to their appropriate nature,--and confounding freewill with unmeaning chance,
§ 10. His Lordship next avows, that the communication of the Holy Ghost is subsequent to belief.
* In the following passage,' he observes, Saint Paul represents the faith of ! the Ephesians in Christ to have been the consequence of their having heard the gospel preached, and the communication of the Holy • Ghost to have been subsequent to their faith, !! In whom (namely in Christ) ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after : that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy
Spirit of promise;" The order to be here s noticed is this,--first, the hearing of the word; secondly, belief produced by that; thirdly, the communication of the Spirit in conse
quence of that belief. From these examples, ' which comprehend Jewish, Samaritan, and
Gentile converts, we conclude in general, that • those to whom the apostles preached, expressed their faith in Christ, before the Holy
Ghost was poured out upon them; and that ' the Spirit was never communicated to those ' who refused to believe.'*
§ 11. In the passage now quoted there are several objectionable particulars, especially if it be intended to weigh against Calvinism. For, in the first place, it takes for granted what neither is, nor can be proved, viz. That there is but one kind of communication of the Holy Spirit. Now, it is plain that in the Old Testament times holy persons were the subjects of divine influence, in a manner altogether different from the communication of the Holy Ghost to which his Lordship alludes. Is it supposable that from the beginning of time to the present, there have been any holy persons, who were not the subjects of divine operation, and yet how few of these were the subjects of extraordinary
* Refut. p. 24.
communications and miraculous gifts? Was not Peter the subject of holy influence and an enlightening principle, before he had any visibly miraculous communication of the Holy Ghost?* Had not all the faithful apostles of Christ a sanctifying operation of the Spirit before the day of Pentecost?
Do not men now pray, that God would“ cleanse the thoughts and desires of their hearts by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit?” In short, few things are more plain, relating to divine operations, than the existence of both a merely internal, and a miraculous operation of the Spirit. And their design is evidently different;—the one being to promote religion and salvation in the individual who is the subject of it, the other to propagate Christianity in the world, during the minority of the Christian church.
§ 12. In the next place, from the unproved assumption now mentioned, his Lordship draws this general conclusion, “That those to whom ' the apostles preached, expressed their faith in • Christ, before the Holy Ghost was poured out
upon them. The question however ought to be, in order to disprove the doctrine of Calvinists,not, whether faith preceded the extraordinary and miraculous effusion of the Spirit, but