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"statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do "them."1 "Do not err, my beloved brethren; every good gift, and every perfect gift is from "above, and cometh down from the Father of "lights."* "I have planted, Apollos watered; "but God gave the increase."3

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They be called ' according to God's purpose by his Spirit working ' in due season; they through grace obey the calling.' O God, from whom all holy desires, all ' good counsels, and all just works do proceed.'We have our Saviour's authority for saying,' that "out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, covetousness, "wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness."6 And also,

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that, "No man can come unto him, except it be given to him of the Father." But where he says, that there is some honesty, some goodness of heart in the human race;' except as implanted by the grace of God, does not appear..

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To what purpose, &c.'s If men

nature, nor can have by grace,

P. xv. 1. 4. neither have by power to comply with the certainly be given in vain.

advice given; it would

But will his Lordship

maintain, that men have, without the grace of God,

* Ez. xxxvi. 26, 27.

4 Art. xvii.

' John vi. 65.

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2 Jam. i. 16, 17. 3 1 Cor. iii. 6.

52 Col. Even.

6 Mark vii. 21, 22.

To what purpose would this advice be given, if men had ⚫ not the power of resisting the wiles of the devil, of supporting

the trials of persecution, and of withstanding the temptations of the riches and pleasures of this world, the three causes to ' which our Saviour ascribes the failure of religious instruction?'

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power to do all those things, which are here mentioned? Because by the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, • Grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in ' will and deed." The reader may profitably examine the texts referred to below; though it would carry us too far to quote, and particularly consider them. It is undoubtedly our duty, to comply with every command, exhortation, and counsel of scripture: but, whether we have, by nature, any moral ability, or disposition, to do this, is precisely the question to be decided.

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P. xvi. 1. 6. If they do not by their prayers ' and exertions endeavour to obtain his favour and 'assistance. The duty and necessity of prayer, as well as exertion, are undeniable but the Lord teaches us to give the honour to him, even for a heart and disposition to pray. "I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabit"ants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and suppli"cation."3 "Lord, thou hast heard the desire of "the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou "wilt cause thine ear to hear."4 Nor does our church fail to keep this in our remembrance. Grant

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that we to whom thou hast given an hearty desire ' to pray.' As by thy special grace preventing us, ' thou dost put into our hearts good desires."

Col i. 11. 2 Tim. i. 3 Zech. xii. 10.

14. 1 Pet. v. 9, 10.

Col. 1 after Trin. * 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10. Eph. iii. 16, 17. vi. 10-12. Phil. iv. 13. 1 John v. 4, 5. 3 Sun. after Trin.

Col, East. Sun.


Ps. x. 17.

5 Col.

inentioned? Is there nothing of this implied, when it is said, "The hand of the Lord was with them,

and a great number believed, and was turned to "the Lord ?”1 Or when it is said of Lydia, "Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended "unto the things which were spoken of Paul?”* Or in the words of the apostle, "I have planted, "Apollos watered; but God gave the increase?" 3 Or in those of St. James, "Of his own will begat "he us by the word of truth, &c?"

Indeed, every time the apostle thanked God for the success of the gospel, in the conversion of his hearers, he evidently ascribed that event to a supernatural power giving efficacy to the word of truth unless he used this language in the same formal and unmeaning manner, as the Pharisee at the temple said, "God I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, &c." But let the reader compare with this, the passages referred to.'

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When St. Paul says, We" were by nature chil"dren of wrath even as others: but God, who is "rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he "loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath


quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised "us up together:" does this imply nothing supernatural? He had before said, What is the ex"ceeding greatness of his power to usward who "believe, according to the working of his mighty

Acts xi. 21. 2 Acts xvi. 14.

xviii. 11.

i. 3.

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s Eph. i. 15, 16. 1 Thes. i. 2-5. iii. 9. 2 Thes.. Eph. ii. 3-6.


" power, which he wrought in Christ, when he "raised him from the dead:" and he, in the passage above quoted, returns to the illustration of the divine power, exerted in his conversion, and in that of the Ephesians. But probably his Lordship only meant, compulsory, by supernatural: and faith is certainly a voluntary exercise of our rational faculties: yet a power far beyond nature, must be employed, to render proud, worldly, ungodly men, willing to use their faculties in this manner.

P. xviii. 1. 18. Why should they not be competent, by the use of their natural faculties, to un'derstand, that Jesus was the promised Messiah?" Because their minds were blinded by prejudices, and corrupt passions.

"How can ye believe, who re"ceive honour one of another, and seek not the "honour that cometh from God only ?"


if merely understanding that Jesus was the promised Messiah, were the living and saving faith, which the gospel requires; numbers, in the days of our Lord, and in every subsequent age, have thus believed without special grace. But his Lordship elsewhere repeatedly allows the distinction, between this dead faith, and that living faith which "worketh "by love." The miracles and discourses of our Lord were the means, used in bringing men to believe in him; but the drawing and teaching of God were in every case the efficacious cause of true faith, as he himself hath expressly testified: "No

2 John v. 44. 3 John ii. 22-25. vi.

I Eph. i. 19, 20. 14, 15. 65, 66. xii. 41, 42.

❝man can come unto me, except the Father which "hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at "the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they "shall be all taught of God, every man therefore "who hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, "cometh unto me."" Therefore said I unto you, "that no man can come unto me, except it were "given unto him of my Father."1

P. xx. l. 1. A sincere, &c.'2 This is the undoubted import of the words of our Lord:3 but it determines nothing concerning the source of this 'sincere disposition,' whether from fallen nature, or from the special grace of God.

P. xx. 1. 7. No labour of research, &c.' A sincere disposition to obey the divine will' must include a sincere desire of becoming acquainted with it and how can this be manifested except by the

labour of research? If a Calvinist had incautiously dropped such a word, from his lips or pen: many would have said, that he expected the knowledge of the doctrine, without the labour of searching the scriptures, and diligently using the proper means of obtaining that knowledge; supposing that he should receive it, in consequence of a divine decree, by some vision or new revelation, according to the presumptuous hopes of enthusiasts. But we re

1 John vi. 44, 45. 65.

2 A sincere disposition to obey the Divine will was therefore 'all that was necessary, to enable a person to judge whether the ⚫ doctrine preached by Christ was the invention of man or a revelation from God.

3 John vii. 17.

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