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§ 30. That the tern (Tansyysvsoia) regeneration is often used by the Greek Fathers, in a figurative sense, for baptism, is undeniable; but the preceding quotations are sufficient to shew what reliance is to be placed upon the assertions; That - the word regeneration is in
scripture solely and exclusively applied to the "one immediate effect of baptism once adminis"tered '--' regeneration, as often as 'tis used in the scripture books, signifies the baptismal regeneration'— regeneration in the language of • the Fathers constantly signifies the participation of the sacrament of baptism. The Greek Fathers use another term (avayévvno is) which literally answers to regeneration in the same way as the former, viz. to express, figuratively, the ordinance of baptism,- but not solely and exclusively Thus GREGORY Nazianzen, in allusion to the Holy Spirit, says, that “ he effects the spiritual regeneration."
St. Chrysostom assigns the reason why the term regeneration is applied to baptism.
( Because baptism is said to be a sign of death and resurrection, therefore it is called regeneration.”t Cyril, of Jerusalem, speaking of Christ's
* Δημιουργει τεν πνευματικών αναγεννησιν.
Greg. Naz. Orat. xliv.
+ Eπει και θανατου και αναστασεως συμβολον λεγεται ειναι το βαπτισμα, διό και αναγεννησις καλειται. CHRYsasT. io Joh. iii.
resurrection and ascension, says, “On the fortieth day after his regeneration from the dead, he ascended to the Jerusalem above."*
§ 31. On the whole, it appears abundantly evident, that the term Regeneration is used by the inspired and ecclesiastical writers, to express any great change, whether mental or corporeal, physical or supernatural, where any resemblance is discovered between that change and a birth : and as baptism is a sign of entering out of the world into the church, and out of a sinful into a holy state, it became customary to express that great change by regeneration. But surely a gracious change from a death in sin to a life in righteousness is great, whether it take place on believing before baptism, or after: and for calling such a change regeneration, the Calvinists have sufficient reason, not only on the ground of scripture usage, but also that of the Fathers. The frequent use of it, too, in reference to baptism, being calculated to convey false notions of a positive institute, they are fully justified in using it very sparingly in that connection, but more emphatically to express a spiritual change,
a change of infinitely greater moment;
* Μετα τεσσαρακοντα ημερας της εκ νεκρων αναγεννήσεως LEIS TYY ayw Tepovrannu aveanute. Cyril. Jeros. Orat, de Simone. Biblioth. Patrum, tom. xiii.
esepcially considering the proneness of mankind to content themselves with a form of godliness, while denying the power. If at any time, again, it be taken, in popular language, for conversion, this also, it must be admitted, is a great change, resembling a birth. And is it not of incomparably greater moment, to convince men that without repentance, faith, and conversion, they cannot see the kingdom of God, than to convince them that without baptism they cannot be saved? Why should so much earnestness be used in urging a matter of such easy acquisition, nay, in urging the importance of what is already performed upon millions who are nevertheless“ in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity?" In theological discussions the Calvinists sufficiently distinguish between the two great changes, regeneration, and conversion ; and even if in popular addresses they were occasionally to confound them, a little inaccuracy in the rigid use of terms may surely be overlooked, where earnestness, zeal, and benevolent exertions, are employed in promoting the everlasting welfare of mankind.
The Bishop's avowed Sentiments or JUSTIFICATION,
fl, Importance of the doctrine. $ 2. His Lordship's view of Justification stated. $ 3, 4. That it is
conveyed by baptism examined. § 5. The Church of England supposes candidates for baptism to be in a justified state. § 6. The Eleventh Article and Homily on Justification, against
the Bishop. $7. Justifying faith productive of good works. $ 8. These justify
our faith, as evidence. $99-11. St. Paul's doctrine of Justifi.
cation. 12–14. Also St. James's. § 15-19. That Justification is lost and recovered successively, examined. $ 20—22. The true ground of the imputation of righte
§ 23 - 25. What the condition of continuance in Justification. § 26. The difference between the Justification a person, and that of his actions.
§ 1. The doctrine of a sinner's justification before God, in the character of a holy and righteous judge, is of importance to men, in proportion as the knowledge of the way to happiness is conducive to its enjoyment: and to an intelligent being, who is required to “ seek the Lord while he may be found”-to
come before the Lord" with a suitable offering--and to “work out his own salvation with fear and trembling”-it is, beyond all question, of the greatest moment to know the divinely appointed method of pardon and acceptance. Accordingly we find, thắt when any remarkable revival of real religion has
taken place in the Christian church, from its foundation to the present time, the minds of men have been powerfully impressed with the importance of this doctrine. It is a clear fact, that every extensive reformation has given it peculiar prominence, and that those who have opposed the work in a mass, have directed much of their opposition against the doctrine of justification by faith. Not to mention other instances, those of Paul and his inspired associates, and of LUTHER, with his ablest coadjutors in the reformation, are striking examples. St. Paul directs the full force of his holy reasoning and cloquence to establish the point of justification by grace, through faith, to the exclusion of every thing else, though careful to inculcate the necessity of good works and holy obedience on another ground: and LUTHER, who had entered far into the views and experience of the apostle, dwelt much on: justification by faith to the exclusion of works, both from the pulpit and the press. As the former, again, was virulently opposed by the Jewish advocates for good works, so was the latter by the Popish hierarchy, who pretended great concern for the cause of religion and the purity of the Catholic faith. In a word, it was not without reason that LUTHER, speaking on the point of justification, termed it, Articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiæ, a doctrine intia