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death : But in the instant he begins to live, he is generate born again. Wherefore no intermediate state be- in the first

act. tween the regenerate and unregenerate can be imagined so much as in thought, if we mean regeneration in the first act: for one is either dead or alive; has either the Spirit of the flesh and the world, or the Spirit of God actuating him ; is either in the state of grace, or in the state of malediction, either the child of God, or of the devil; either in the way to salvation, or damnation. There neither is, nor can be any medium here. The holy fcripture divides all mankind into two classes, Meep and goats, Mat. 25. 2, 3; and compares their goings to two ways; whereof the one, which is broad, leads to distruction ; the other, which is narrow, to life, Mat. 7. 13, 14; and there is none, who does not tread in one or other of these

ways, And what if he, whom some imagine to be in an intermediate state, fhould depart this animal life, before he be fully brought to the spiritual life, would such a one be received into heaven? But heaven is open only to the actually regenerate, John 3: 3; or thrust into hell ? But hell is allotted only for the goats, and for those who, all their life long, have walked in the broad way: or perhaps such will be received into some intermediate place, where, being free from the pains of hell, and deprived the joys of heaven, they will delight themselves in I know not what degree of natural happiness; as fome Popith doctors, discourfing in the council of Trent,, of infants dying without baptising pleafed themselves with these fond sportings of their imagination ; wnich the author of the history of that council, Lib. 2. p. 157, has not dismissed without a good deal of acrimony and sharpness. Or, you will say, perhaps, it is a case which never happens, that any one should die in that intermediate state. But produce me the vouchers of such an affertion, whereby fecurity is given those, in this


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intermediate classes, of spinning out their lives,
till they shall have declated, of what clafs they choose
to be. I don't remember to have read any thing,
on that head, in scripture. And if that intermediate
state has such an indisolvable connection with
falvation, it will be no longer intermediate, but a
state of grace. Fot, it is grace alone, to which the
attainment of glory is infallibly assigned. Town,
there are various degrees of regeneration in the
second act; and that the feed of it sometimes lies
hid under the earth, or, at most, exerts fome
Nender and initial, and, as it were, infantile operations;
differing very much with respect to perfection, from
those, which a more advanced fpirit of fanctification
produces: yet feeing the former also have their rise
from the fountain of the new life, it is plain, that
they who exert them, are to be ranked among the
regenerate. For, we must say one of these two
things ; either, that these operations ascribed to the
intermediate state, proceed fròm the powers of
nature and common grace , and thus tliere is nothing
in them, which may not be found in the reprobate,
and those entirely unregenerate: or, that they pro-
ceed from the indwelling Spirit of grace, and so are
effects of regeneration, to which the beginnings of the

new life are owing.
Nor is IX. Hence it appears, there are no preparations
there any antecedent to the first beginning of regeneration';
preparato - because previous to that, nothing but mere death ini
Ty work to the highest degree is to be found in the person to be

regenerated. When we weré DEAD IN SINS, he hath
quickened us together with Christ, Eph. 2. 5. And
indeed, the scripture represents man's conversion by
such similitudes, as show, that all preparations are
entirely excluded; sometimes calling it a'new genera-
tion to which, certainly, none can contribute any
thing of himself: but yet, as natural generation
presuppose's some dispositions in the matter; for
that we may not imagine any such thing to be in



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felves but from God, we have this held forth by the fimilitude of a resurrection; in which a body is restored from matter, prepared by no qualifications: yet because here, certainly, is matter, but in the refurrection of the soul there is nothing at all, therefore we have added the figure of ä creation, Pr. 51. 10, Eph. 2. 10; by which we ate taught, that à new creature exists from a spiritual nothing, which is fin: but as there was not something in nothing, to assist and sustain creation, so there was nothing to oppose and refift; but fin is so far from submitting to what God does, that it is reluctant thereto, and in a hostile manner at enmity, with him; accordingly, the other images did not fully compleat the idea of this admirable action, till at length it is called the viftory of God: victory, I say, over the devil, who maintaing his palace, Luke 11. 21, and effectually worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph. 2. 2. All these operations of God, which Alexander More has, in an elegant order, ranged one after another, de vi&oria Gratia, Diß. i. Thel. 10, tend to exclude, as får as possible, all preparations from the beginning of our regeneration.

X. The Semi-pelagans therefore of Marseilles were The opimistaken, who infifted, that a man comes to the

Pilagius grace, whereby we are regenerated in Christ, by a refuted. natural faculty; äs by afking, feeking, knocking; and that, in some at least, before they are born again, there is a kind of repentance going before, together with a forrow for fin, and a change of the life for the better, and a beginning of faith, and an initial love of God, and a desire of grace: it is true, they did not look on these endeavours, to be of such importance, as that it could be faid, we were thereby rendred worthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit ; as Pelagius and Julian profesied: but yet they imagined, they were an occasion by which God was. moved, to bestow his grace ; for they faid, that the mercy of God is such, that he recompenses this very ** Vol.II.


nion of

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sınall beginning of good with this illustrious reward
as Volius bist. pelag. lib. 4, p. 1. Thel. 1, has refined
this their opinion. The Remonftrants are likewise
mistaken, in Collatione Hagiens; editionis Brandiana,
p. 302, when they write ; Some work of man therefore
goes before his vivification ; namely, to acknowledge and
bewail his death, to will, and desire deliverance from it ;
to hunger, thirst, and seek after life: all which, and a
great deal besides, is required by Christ in those, whom be
will make alive. But there is little accuracy in the
reasonings of these men. For, ift, Since our na-
gure is become like an evil tree, after having eaten of
the forbidden fruit, it can produce no fruit, truly
good and acceptable to God, and do nothing, by
which it can prepare itself for the grace of regenera-
tion; unless a person can be thought to prepare him-
self for grace by sin, 2dly, It has been found, that
they, who, in appearance were, in the best manner,
disposed for regeneration, were yet at the greatest
distance from it, as the instance of that young man,
Mark, 19, 21, 22, very plainly shews. He appeared.
to be full of good intentions, and inflamed with a
desire after heaven, and a blameless life before men,
to a degree, that Jesus himself beholding him loved
him; but notwithstanding all these dispositions, he,
parted with our Lord sorrowful. 3dly, And on
the other hand, they, who had not even the least ap-
pearance of any preparation, as the publicans and
lots, went into the kingdom of God, before those
who were civilly righteous and externally religious ;
for these last believed not John, declaring the way of
righteousness; but the publicans and the barlits truly
believed, Mat, 21. 31, 32. 4thly and lastly, God testi-
fies, that in the first, approach of his grace, be is
found of them, that sought bim not, and asked not for
bim, Ija, 65. 1. Fulgentious lib. 1. de veritat prædeft.
p. 62, fays extremely well: We have not certainly
received grace, because we are willing, but grace is given,
us, while we are still unwilling.

XI. There

tions a


XI. There have been likewise some among our- Preparafelves, who have spoken of preparations to regineration, or conversion ; but in a quite different sense fome of

dopted by from the favourers of Pelagianism. In persons to be the orthoregenerated, they have affigned, ift, A breaking of dox, but

in a difthe natural obstinacy, and a Aexibility of the will. 2, A serious confideration of the law. 3, A confi- fenfe. deration of their own sins and offences against God. 4, A legal fear of punishment, and a dread of hell, and consequently a despairing of their falvation, with respect to any thing in themselves. For, in this order Perkins, Caf. Conscient. c. 5. quæft. i. sect. . reckons up these preparations; and Âmes in the same imanner, Caf. Conscient. lib. 2. c. 4. And the British, divines explained themselves almost' to the same purpose in the synod of Dort. p. 139, of the Utrecht edition, 1620 fol., ist, There are some external works, ördinarily required of men, before they are brought to a state of regeneration, or conversion, which are wont fometimes to be freely done, fometimes freely omitted by them: as going to church, hearing the word preached and the "like. 2dly, There are some internal effeéis, previous to conversion, or regeneration, excited by the power of the word and spirit in the hearts of those, who are not yet justified: as the knowledge of the will of God, sense of fin, dread of punishment, anxiety about deliverance, fome hope of pardon. But they differ from the favourers of Pelagianism in this manner.

ist, That they are not for having these things to proceed froni nature, but profess them to be the effects of the spirit of bondage, preparing a way to himself, for their actual "regeneration. 2dly, That they are not for God's bestowing the grace of regeneration from a regard to, and moved by occasion of, these preparations, much less by any merit in them; but they imagine, that God, in this manner, levels a way for himself, fills up vallies, depresses mountains and hills, in order the better to smooth the way for his entrance

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