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p. 174. But if the law contains any commands which men as they now are are not capable of perfectly obeying, such commands are not practicable by them, and therefore, according to his lordship’s reasoning, can form no part of our duty, but must be inconsistent with the character of a righteous and merciful God. But a divine law, holy, just, good, and absolutely perfect, requiring only imperfect obedience, is too absurd a supposition to need any further remark. If his lordship means that “ man is not incorrigible or incapable of amendment,” by the grace of the gospel, the observation is irrelevant to the present subject of original sin, and is what no Christian denies. If his meaning be, that man can correct and amend himself “ by his own natural strength and good works before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit*", which his argument seems to require, nothing needs be added to prove this completely at variance with doctrine of the Church.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
Grant to us, Lord, we be Man neither rationally seech thee, the spirit to chooses as the object of his think and do always such pursuit that which is truly things as be rightful; that good for him according to we, who cannot do any the excellence of his immorthing that is good without tal nature, nor takes the adthee, may by thee be ena vice of reason, nor duly exbled to live according to thy erts bis understanding : but will, through Jesus Christ without reason, without reour Lord. Col. 9 after flection, follows his natural Trin.
inclination, like the herds of * Art. 10 & 13.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Of ourselves and by our the field. It is therefore no selves we have no goodness, argument for the liberty of help, nor salvation : but con the will that man is led by trarywise, sin, damnation, natural instinct to desire and death everlasting. Which what is good: but it is neif we deeply weigh and con cessary that he discern what sider, we shall the better un. is good according to right derstand the great mercy of
reason, that as soon as he God, and how our salvation knows it he chcose it, and as cometh only by Christ : for soon as he has chosen it he in ourselves (as of ourselves) pursue it. To remove every we find nothing whereby we difficulty, we must advert 10 may be delivered from this
two instances of false reamiserable captivity, into the soning. For the desire here which we were cast, through intended is not a proper mothe envy of the devil, by tion of the will, but a nabreaking of God's com tural inclination; and the mandment in our first parent good in question relates not Adam. We are all become to virtue or righteousness, unclean, but we all are not but to condition; as when able to cleanse ourselves, nor we say a man is well or in to make one another of us good health. Lastly, Though clean. We are by nature man has the strongest desire the children of God's wrath, after what is good, yet he but we are not able to make does not pursue it. There is ourselves the children and no man to whom eternal feinheritors of God's glory. licity is unwelcome, yet no We are sheep that run man aspires to it without the astray, but we cannot of our influence of the Spirit. Since, own power come again to therefore, the desire of bapthe sheep-fold; so great is piness natural to man furour imperfection and weak nishes no argument for the ness.--2d Hom. on the mi. liberty of the will, any more sery of man, p. 10.
than a tendency in metals and stones towards the
fection of their nature argues liberty in them; let us consider in some other particulars, whether the will be
every part so entirely vitiated and depraved, that it can produce nothing but what is evil; or whether it retain any small part uninjured which may be the source of good de- ! sires.--Institut. l. 2. c. 2. S. 26.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
St. Paul, in many places, If we allow that men painteth us out in our co destitute of grace
have some lours, calling us the chil- motions towards true gooddren of the wrath of God
ness though ever so feeble, when we be born : saying what answer shall we give to also, that we cannot think a the apostle, who denies that good thought, of ourselves; we are sufficient of ourselves much less can we say well, to conceive a good or do well, ourselves.-- thought* ? What reply shall Hom. on the misery of man, we make to the Lord, who
pronounces by the mouth of Grant that by thy holy Moses, that every imaginainspiration we may think tion of the human heart is those things that be good, only evilt? and by thy merciful guiding Nor would there be any may perform the same. consistency in the assertion Col. 5 afler East.
of Paul, that - it is God which worketh in us to willi," if any will preceded the grace of the spirit.--Institut. l. 2. c. 2. S. 27.
Dr. Tomline gives it as his opinion, that “The Holy Spirit points out the way to health, and truth, and life; but it rests with ourselves whether we will
2 Cor. iii. 5.
+ Gen, viii. 21.
| Phil. iii. 13,
follow its directions." p. 62. Here again we find great dissonance between the church and the bishop.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
The condition of man, af The will therefore is so ter the fall of Adam, is such, bound by the slavery of sin, that he cannot turn and pre- that it cannot excite, much pare himself by his own na less apply itself, to any thing tural strength and good works good; for such a disposition to faith, and calling upon is the beginning of a conGod; wherefore we have no version to God, which the power to do good works, scriptures attribute wholly to pleasant and acceptable to divine grace.--Institut. l. 2. God, without the grace of G: 3. S. 5. God by Christ preventing us, When God commands us that we may have a good will, to the pursuit of what is and working with us, when right, all that belongs to we have that good will. our own will is removed; Art. 10.
and what succeeds to it is Because through the weak wholly from God. The will ness of our mortal nature we I
say is removed, not consis can do no good thing with dered as a faculty, for in the out thee, grant us the help conversion of a man, the of thy grace, that in keep- original properties of our naing thy commandments we ture remain entire. I say may please thee both in will also, that it is created anew; and deed.--Col. 1 after Trin. not that the will then begins Stir up, we beseech thee,
beseech thee, to exist, but that it is then O Lord, the wills of thy converted from an evil one to faithful people; that they, a good one. This I affirm to plenteously bringing forth be done entirely by God, the fruit of good works, because, according to the tes, may of thee be plenteously timony of the same apostle,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
CALVIN, rewarded.- Col. 25 after
even to think*." Therefore
he elsewhere declares, not merely that God assists the infirmity of our will, or corrects its depravity, but that he worketh in us to willt." Whence ft is easy to infer, what I have before remarked, that whatever good is in the will, it is the work of grace alone. ---- Institut. 1. 2. C. 3. 5. 6.
Dr. Tomline says, “ Our reformers, in framing this (tenth ) article, were cautious notto deny to man all exercise of free-will in the formation of religious principle, or the discharge of religious duty. They were too well acquainted with scripture, and entertained too just notions of the character of moral responsible beings, to intend
any such degradation of human nature.” p. 55. “ To what purpose would this advice (“Take heed how ye hear,” Luke viii. 13.) 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 temptation of the riches and treasures of this world ?” “God gives to every man, through the means of his grace, a power to perform the conditions of the gospel:--a power, the efficacy of which depends upon the exertion of the human will."
p. 64. How must the writer of these passages have deceived himself, if he really believed them to be consistent with the language of the church as quoted above!
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
God therefore, for his Since good volitions and mercy's sake, vouchsafe to good actions both spring
* 2 Cor. iii. 5,
+ Phil. ii. 13.