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author, fountain and pattern; pressing them also by the most powerful exhortations, that, denying all carnal lusts and appetites, they may give themselves up to be new moulded and formed by the Spirit of God. And in this manner, the word is to them a moral instrument of regeneration, by teaching and persuasion. If they also be thought to be regenerated of the seed of the word, it is to be understood, not of the word externally propounded, which they understood not; but of the truths. contained in the word, the efficacy of which is imprinted by the Holy Spirit upon their minds, which they will come to the actual knowledge of when they grow up, but the word operates effectually in none unless when impregnated by the efficacy of the Spirit. To the external word must be added the internal, which is no less effectual than that word of God, whereby he commanded light to shine out of darkness.

XXVI. It is therefore incumbent on every person who would not profanely despise his salvation, diligently to read, hear and meditate on the word of God, and constantly attend on the public worship and assemblies of his people. For though before his regeneration, he cannot savingly hear, read or meditate on the word of God; yet how does he know which may be the happy hour of his gracious visitation; which part of holy scripture, what sermon, and by whom, the Lord is to render effectual for his regeneration, by the supernatural efficacy of his spirit? Experience teaches this, that men are born again there where the .word of God is preached; a thing which is not the case in those parts of the world which God favours not with the preaching of the gospel. And though we dare not assure any one, that if he continues in hearing the word, he shall certainly be born again: yet we justly insist upon this, that there is a brighter hope of the wished-for conversion for those, who in the best manner they can, use the means which God has prescribed, than for such as frowardly neglect them. While Ezekiel was prophesying to the dry bones, behold, a shaking was observed among them, and the breath (spiri) came and they lived, Ezek. xxxvii. 10.

XXVII. Let none think it absurd that we now speak of means for regeneration, when, but a little before, we rejected all preparations for it. We have above sufficiently proved, that none can contribute any thing to his own regeneration: yet God commands every one to make himself a new heart, and a new spirit," Ezek. xviii. 31. to "awake from fleep and arise from the dead," Eph. v. 14. and to " flee from the wrath to come," Mat. iii. 7. And what then? Shall we insignificant mortals pretend to reply to God, as if by our sophistry we could catch. and entangle the almighty? shall we say, to what purpose are we enjoined

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enjoined to what none of us can comply with? claim against the counsel of God, and cry out, contribute nothing to our regeneration, is it not the best course we can take to put our hands in our bosom, and securely wait till he himself regenerate us?" But would not this be, with our vain and carnal reasonings, to argue with God, whose foolishness will be ever found wiser than our most exalted wisdom? How much better is it, when one hears these commands of God, and at the same time is sensible of his own incapacity, that he learn a holy despair of himself, and in sorrow, anxiety, and a longing desire of soul, and in the use of the means, patiently wait for the coming of the grace of God?

XXVIII. Moreover, when a person touched with an unfeigned sense of his misery, and a sincere desire after his salvation, cries out with the jailor, "what must I do to be saved?" Acts xvi. 30. even then some pious emotions begin to arise, which proceed from an inward, but a very tender principle of new life, and which are solicitously to be cherished. For which purpose it is expedient, 1st, That he frequently, and in as affecting a manner as possible, set before his eyes the most wretched condition of all unregenerate persons, and how himself also, while he continues in the state of nature, has nothing to expect but eternal destruction, a deprivation of the divine glory, and intolerable torments both of soul and of body; and all this unavoidable, unless he be born again in the image of God. 2dly, That, affected by this consideration, he cry, pray to, be earnest with God, and not give over crying till he has obtained his grace. Let him often represent himself to himself, as now standing on the very brink of the infernal lake, with the devil standing by him, who, should the supreme Being permit, would instantly hurry him headlong into hell: and in this anguish of his distressed foul, importune God, and, as it were, extort pardon by the warmest prayers, sighs and tears. 3dly, Let him, however, go on to hear, read and meditate on the word of God, expecting the farther motions of the spirit, as the diseased waited for the angel to move the waters of Bethesda. 4thly, Let him join himself in society with the godly, and in the exercise of piety, endeavour to catch the flame of devotion from their instruction, example, and prayers.



Of Faith.

1. WE now proceed to explain the nature of true Faith in God by Christ, which is the principal act of that spiritual life implanted in the elect by regeneration, and the source of all subsequent vital operations. But it is not any one particular act, or habit, nor must it be restricted to any one particular faculty of the soul; for it is a certain complex thing, consisting of various acts which, without confusion, pervade, and by a sweet and happy conjunction, mutually promote and assist one another; it imparts a change of the whole man, is the spring of the whole spiritual life, and in fine, the holy energy and activity of the whole soul towards God in Christ. And therefore its full extent can scarcely be distinctly comprehended under any one single idea.

II. And we need not wonder, that under the name of one Christian virtue, so many others, are at once comprehended. For as when any person speaks of life, he signifies by that term something that, diffusing itself thro' the whole soul, and all its faculties, is also communicated to the body, and extends itself to all the actions of the living person: so when we speak of faith, which is the most fruitful spring of the whole spiritual life, we understand by it that which pervades all the faculties, and is well adapted to unite them with Christ; and so to enliven, sanctify and render them blessed.

III. There are may things both in naturals and morals, which are almost by general consent allowed to extend to the whole soul, without being restricted to any one faculty. In naturals, free-will, which as will is referred to the understanding; as free, rather to the will: so that as Bernard somewhere speaks, "let man be his own freeman on account of his will; his own judge on account of his reason." In morals the image of God, and original righteousness; which are to be placed neither in the understanding alone, nor in the will alone, but may justly belong to both these faculties.

IV. Should we not then at last see every difficulty remov ed, and the whole of that controversy among divines about the subject of faith, settled, if, as we justly may we should.


refuse, that there is any real distinction of understanding and will, as well from the soul, as from each other? For, what is the understanding, but the soul understanding and knowing? What else the will, but the soul willing and desiring? We must on no account conceive of the soul as of a thing in itself brutish and irrational, which at length becomes intelligent and rational when something else is given to it. What some affirm, that the understanding comes from the soul by a certain kind of emanation is what we can scarcely conceive. For if the soul, in its proper and formal conception, does not include the power of reasoning, it can never produce it; for we are in vain to expect from a cause what it contains neither formally not eminently. If the soul is of itself endowed with the faculty of reasoning, no necessity requires, that some other faculty be superadded to that wherewith the soul is of itself endowed. The like holds with respect to the will, which is not really distinct from the soul any more than the understanding. But is the very soul itself, as God has given it a natural aptitude to desire good. Since both these faculties are only modally [or in our manner of apprehension] distinct from the soul, so they are also from each other. For if the will be so distinct from the understanding, as in itself to be blind, it is not possible to explain how it can perceive, and so rationally desire the object discovered by the understanding as good. And for what reason, pray, should we make a real difference between these two? It is, because the object of both is really the same: namely, a true good, tho' the manner of our considering it differs. For the understanding considers the good as true: and the will desires this true thing as it is good. And do not the objects of the speculative and practical understanding differ far more among themselves? And yet philosophers generally agree, that they are but one and the same power of the saul. It is because their acts are different? But every difference of acts does not infer a difference of power. Indeed, simple apprehension differs from judgment and discourse or reasoning; which yet are all the acts of the same faculty.*

V. This ought not to be looked upon as a new assertion. Scotus long ago maintained, that the understanding and will differed neither among themselves nor from the soul, in 2. dist. 15. qu. 1. Scaliger, in like manifer, whose words we shall not scruple to transcribe from his Exercitat. 207. sect. 15. Altho" the understanding and will, says be, are one thing, yet they are distinguished by the manner in which we conceive them. For they are proper and not accidental affections

affections of the soul, and one thing with it As one, good, and true, are the affections of entity or being? nay, one and the same thing with being itself. But they are distinguished from it, and among themselves by definition, in this manner: because being itself is placed in the first nature or essence, which nature does in some measure display itself, and is the eause of that one, true, and good. Which is a formality different from the first formality. Because the notion of being is one thing, as it is being, and another, as it is one. For the latter follows and arises from the former; but not without it, for it is one thing. Thus soul, understanding and will are onething. Yet the soul denotes the essence: the understanding that very essence, as it apprehends: the will, the same with that intelligent essence tending to enjoy the thing known, or understood." Thus far Scaliger. Curandus was of opinion, that indeed the faculties differ really from the soul, but not from each other. An opinion, which Vossius is above allpleased with, de Idololat. Lib. 3. c. xlii. Which is sufficient for our present purpose: as we are not then to separate those faculties, no wonder though we place faith in both.

VI. Mean while we observe that among those things which we are about to describe, there is one principal act in which we apprehend the very essence and formal nature of faith-consists, as it unites us with Christ and justifies us. This is to be carefully taken notice of in the matter of justification, least any one should look upon some acts of love, which in different ways are implied in the exercise of faith as the causes of justification.

VII. Moreover, we are likewise to maintain, that those things which we shall for the greater accuracy explain distinctly in particular, stand various ways mutually connected in the very exercise of faith. While the whole soul is engaged in this work of God, very many actions may all at once tend towards God and Christ, without observing any certain method; and which the believer engaged in this work itself, has neither leisure nor inclination to range in their proper order; nay, sometimes it is impossible to do it. Yet it is expedient, that we attend to the natural process of faith, whereby its entire nature and manner may be the more thoroughly perceived.

VIII. The first thing which faith either comprehends or presupposes, is the knowledge of the thing to be believed. This appears in opposition to Popish triflers. I. From express passages of Scripture, which so speak concerning faith

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