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Under the question whether in regeneration the subject is « active or passive," we have the following words :-- If in regeneration something is done which in every sense is be yond the power of man, on what principle can they be condemned for not being born again?” p. 115, 116. It is truly surprising that Mr. H. after having acknowledged that regeneration is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit, should insinuate that nothing is done in regeneration “beyond the power of man,” That repentance and faith are required as conditions of regeneration, is abundantly established from the word of God; and in this sense we may be co-workers with God; yet repentance and faith are no part of régeneration; which is peculiarly the work of the Holy Spirit. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” • He that believeth shall be saved.”
See also John i. 13. There was doubtless a reason for Mr. H. wishing to carry the idea that in regeneration, nothing is done beyond the power of man; for he holds, it would seem, that we have natural ability sufficient to be saved, and of course to regenerate ourselves. I know not what other construction can be drawn from his rew marks which we have under consideration. But if regeneration be the work of God alone, on what principle can the sinner be condemned for not being born again ?" swer,–He is condemned for not complying with the condi. tions of salvation, while the grace of God that bringeth salvation, teaches him, and draws him towards the path of obedi.
Yet, as we observed before, the compliance of the sinner with the terms, is by no means the work of regeneration.
The next error into which Mr. H. has fallen, is, a misapplication of Scripture. He says, “Are not all Christians constrained to acknowledge, that they were willing in the day of his power?"" p. 116. By the manner in which he
has introduced the above text from the hundred and tenth Psalm, it is obvious that he meant to refer it to the time of the sinner's conversion. But that it has no reference to that, is clear from the following consideration :- The words read with the connexion, speak no such language-Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Now sinners are not the people of God in the sense of the Psalmist.
The next thing which is deemed erroneous, is found under the question, whether the work of regeneration is “entire, or partial," To this question he answers, that “ so far as the question refers to the subject, it is partial." Now it would seem that our author has fallen into the same mistake here, as in a former part of his work, viz. the setting up general experience as a criterion of truth; whereas the generality of professors live so far beneath what is their duty and privi. lege, that they scarcely deserve the name. They are there fore no rule by which to judge of the extent of that experin ence offered to us in the word of God. It is true that justification does not entirely cleanse the heart from all the remains of the fallen nature; yet the cleansing power of sanctifying grace is abundantly, able to “to cleanse us from all filthiness of flesh and spirit," and to enable us to perfect holiness in the fear of God.” Yes, it is our exalted privilege to receive the full “ washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” For this purpose the Lord made that precious promise by the mouth of the prophet_“I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you.” The word of God abounds with these exceeding great and precious prom. ises, that thereby we may be partakers of the divine nature, But the Christian described by Mr. H. appears to be a molly mixture of good and evil. He does not speak merely of the justified person, but of those of the highest attainments in
grace. The reader, however, shall have his description in his own language.--It is as follows :-“The regenerated man is unlike every other being, He is really sinful and really holy," p. 117. It should here be remarked that Mr. H. does not allow that man possesses any other depravity than what consists in the voluntary act of the soul,"—i. e. the wilful transgression of a known law. Of course he does not mean here by really sinful,” the stains of original sin ; but that the sanctified, or really holy person, is knowingly and wilfully wicked! Every one who takes the pains to examine his views of " total moral depravity," will see that this is a just representation of his sentiment on this subject. But we have no surer guide in the decision of this question than the word of God. To this let us have recourse. Our Lord tells
cannot 'serve God and mammon;" but if the true Christian, is really sinful, according to Mr. H's views of depravity, I see not why he cannot serve both. He is really sinful; by this he can serve mammon. He is really how ly; by this he can serve God! I leave the reader to judge whether the views of our Lord, or those of Mr. H. are to be relied on as true. Again, I would ask in the language of the Apostle, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?”.“ And what communion hath light with darkness ?” And what concord hath Christ with Belial p”
“What part hath he that believeth with an infidel ?" “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols ? for ye are the temple of God," '&c. 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15, 16. The same apostle tells us, that “lf any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away ; behold all things are become new.
How Mr. H's compound Christian can consist with these texts is difficult to see. Here all things are become new; of course the character here described is not now " really sinful.” “But now, be
ing made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting lite.” Here it seems, is a character really holy, and made free from sin; and we shall leave it for our opponents to show, that the same character at the same time, is really sintul.
The following passages are full to the same point, Whosoever abideth in him sianeth nat." “ But he that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.", Here again is the really holy part; but I see nothing of the really sinful! Indeed, if this sentiment of Mr. H. be true, it is important both to the kingdom of God, and that of the devil; for both have an important interest in the real Christian! How will Mr. H. avoid the following absurdity ? They who are “really holy” are the children of God;they who are “really sinfu!” are the children of the devil, Both these qualities he contends, exist in the same person at the same time; of course they are the children of God, and the children of the devil at the same time!! This divinity brings to mind some lines in an old book entitled “ The Gospel Sonnets.”
“As all amphibious creatures do,
I'm both a devil and a saint." But our author attempts to establish his doctrine, that the genuine Christian is really sinful and really holy, from the seventh chapter of Romans But a comparison of the seventh with the eighth chapter, is sufficient to show any candid person that the character described in the seventh, is in a very different state from the one described in the eighth. That the reader may have a just view of the seventh of Romans, and thus discover whether it describes the real Chris. tian, or the sinner slain by the law, I beg his indulgence to
extract the concluding remarks of Dr. Clarke upon this chapter. Referring to the last verse, the Doctor observes
1. “The strong expressions in this clause have led many to conclade, that the Apostle himself, in his regenerated state, is indisputably the person intended. That all that is said in this chapter, of the carnal man, sold under sin, did apply to Saul of Tarsus, no man can doubt : and that what is here said can ever be with propriety applied to Paul the Apostle, who can believe? Of the former, all is natural; of the latter, all here said would be monstrous and absurd if not blasphe
2. « But it is supposed the words must be understood as implying a regenerate man, because the Apostle says, ver. 22, I delight in the law of God; and in this verse, I,
myo self, with the mind, serve the law of God.
These things, say the objectors, cannot be spoken af a wicked Jew, but of a regenerate man, such as the Apostle then was. But when we find that the former verse speaks of a man who is brought into captivity to the law of sin and death; surely there is no part of the regenerate state of the Apostle, to which the words can possibly apply. Had he been in captivity to the law of sin and death, after his conversion to christianity, what did he gain by that conversion ? Nothing for his personal holiness. He had found no salvation under an ineffi. oient law; and he was left in thraldom under an equally inefficient gospel. The very genius of christianity demonstrates that nothing like this can, with any propriety, be spoken of a genuine Christian,
3. “ But, it is farther supposed, that these things cannot be spoken of a proud or wicked Jew; yet we learn the contrary from the infallible testimony of the word of God. Of this people, in their fallen and iniquitous state, God says by his prophet, ' They seek me daily, and delight to know my