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CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
purify our minds, through
that we repent, which reacheth forth his merciful hand to
raise us up. If any will we have to rise, it is he that pre
venteth our will, and disposeth us thereto.
If after con
trition we feel our consciences at peace with God through
remission of our sin, and so be reconciled again to his
favour, and hope to be his children, and inheritors of
everlasting life; who worketh these great miracles in us?
our worthiness, our deservings and endeavours, our wits
and virtue? Nay, verily, St. Paul will not suffer flesh and
clay to presume to such arrogancy; and therefore saith, CHURCH OF ENGLAND. All is of God, who bath reconciled us unto himself by Jesus Christ.—3 Rogation Hom. p. 297. The bishop's opinion respecting faith is, that “it is the joint result of human exertion and divine grace.” p. 54. In another place he speaks of baptism as “imparting the Holy Ghost to those who shall previously have repented and believed.” p. 29. But what divine
grace is exerted antecedently to any communication of the Holy Ghost?
CHURCH OF ENGLAN D.
Almighty God, we humbly
beseech thee, that as by thy special grace preventing us, thou dost put into our minds good desires; so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect.—Col. East. Day.
Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; keep us—inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended—from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.—Col. 2 Sun. in Lent.
In this manner therefore the Lord both begins and completes the good work in us: that it may be owing to him that the will conceives a love for what is right, that it is inclined to desire, and is excited and impelled to endeavour to attain it; and then that the choice, desire, and endeavour do not fail, but proceed even to the completion of the effect; lastly, that a man proceeds with constancy in them, and perseveres even to the end.— Institut. l. 2. c. 3. s. 9.
For it is very certain, that
where the grace of God reigns, there is such a promptitude
But whence does this arise but from the
Spirit of God, who, uniformly consistent with himself, cherishes and strengthens to a constancy of perseverance that disposition of obedience which he first originated 3– Institut. l. 2. c. 3. s. 11.
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Where the Holy Ghost worketh, there nothing is unpossible: as may further also appear by the inward regeneration and sanctification of mankind. When-Christ said to Nicodemus, “unless a man be born anew of water and the spirit,he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” he was greatly amazed in his mind, and began to reason with Christ, demanding how “a man might be born when he was old.” “Can he enter,” saith he, “into his mother’s womb again, and so be born anew "Behold a lively pattern of a fleshly and carnal man. He had little or no the Holy Ghost, and therefore he goeth bluntly to work, asketh how this thing were
intelligence of and
possible to be true? Whereas otherwise, if he had known the great power of the Holy Ghost in this behalf, that it is he which inwardly worketh the regeneration and new birth of mankind; he would never have marvelled at Christ’s words, but would rather take occasion there
But how does the Lord operate in good men to whom the question principally relates ? When he exerts his kingdom within them, he by his spirit restrains their will, that it may not be burried away by unsteady and violent passions according to the propensity of nature: that it may be inclined to holiness and righteousness, he bends, composes, forms, and directs it according to the rule of his own righteousness: that it may not stagger or fall, he establishes and confirms it by the power of his spiritFor which reason Augustime says, “ you will reply to me, then we are actuated, we do not act. Yes, you both act and are actuated ; and you act well when you are actuated by that which is good. The Spirit of God who actuates you, assists those who act, and calls himself a helper, because you also perform something.” In the first clause he inculcates that the agency of man is not destroyed by the influence of the spirit, because
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hy to praise and glorify God. the will, which is guided to -The Father to create, the aspire to what is good, bee Son to redeemn, the Holy longs to his nature. But Ghost to sanctify and rege the inference, which he imnerate : whereof the last, mediately subjuins, from the the more it is hid from terin help, that we also perunderstanding,
the form some things, we should more it ought to move all not understand in such a inen to wonder at the fierce
sense, as though he attriand mighty working of God's buted any thing to us indeHoly Spirit, which is within pendently: but in order to
For it is the Holy avoid encouraging us in inGhost, and no other thing, dolence, he so reconciles that doth quicken the minds the divine agency with ours, , of men, stirring up good and that to will is from nature, holy motions in their hearts, to will what is good is from which are agrecable to the grace.--Institut. I, 2. c. 5. will and commandment of God; such as otherwise of Let us hold this then as their own corrupt and per
an undoubted truth which verse nature they should ne no opposition can ever shake, ver have.
« That which is that the mind of man is so born of the flesh is flesh.” completely alienated from As who should say, Man the righteousness of God, of his own nature is fleshly that it conceives, desires, and carnal, corrupt and
and undertakes every thing naught, sinful and disobe
that is impious, perverse, dient to God, WITHOUT base, impure, and fagitious : ANY SPARK OF GOOD. that his heart is so thoroughNESS in him, without any ly infected by the poison of virtuous or godly motion, sin, that it cannot produce only given to evil thoughts any thing but what is corand wicked deeds. As for rupt :
rupt: and that if at any the works of the spirit, time they do any thing ap
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the fruits of faith, cha- parently good, yet the mind ritable and godly motions; always remains involved in if he have any at all in him, hypocrisy and fallacious obthey proceed only of the liquity, and the heart enHoly Ghost, who is the on slaved by its inward perly worker of our sanctifica
-Institut. 1. 2. tion, and maketh us
c. 5. s. 19. men in Christ Jesus.-Such is the power of the Holy Ghost to regeneraie men, and, as it were, to bring them forth anew, they shall be nothing like the men that they were before. i Hom. for Whit.p. 279, 280.
Dr. Tomline says, “ We can by no means allow the inferences attempted to be drawn from them (that is from the words of the ninth article) by modern Calvinistic writers, namely, that' of our own nature we are WITHOUT ANY SPARK OF GOODNESS in us,' and that man has no ability or disposition whatever with respect either to faith or good works.' If these inferences be really Calvinistic when drawn by modern writers, can they be anti-calvinistic when found in the Homilies of the Church ?-Here then we have what is equivalent, or perhaps superior, to an admission from his lordship himself, that in this instance at least the Homilies are in harmony with the Calvinists. To compliment his lordship as having displayed any polemical acuteness on this occasion, would violate the obligations of truth. What must we think of his professions of approbation of the homilies and articles, when the doctrine contained