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CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
yet afterwards he saith, Turn dom of God, for which bethou me, and I shall be fore it had not the smallest turned, for thou art the Lord taste. Wherefore, Christ's my God. . And therefore, two disciples* receive no bethat ancient writer and holy nefit from his excellent disfather, Ambrose, doth plain course to thein on the mystely affirm, that the turning ries of his kingdom, till he of the heart unto God, is of opens their understanding God; as the Lord himself that they may understand doth testify by his prophet, the scriptures. Thus, though saying, And I will give thee the apostles were taught by an heart to know me, that I his divine mouth, yet " the am the Lord : and they shall spirit of truth t” must be sent be my people, and I will be to them to instil into their their God, for they shall re
minds the doctrine which turn unto me with their they had heard with their whole heart.-- Hom. on re ears. The word of God is pentance, p. 330, 331, like the sun, shining on all to
whom it is preached, but without any benefit to the blind.
But in this respect we are all blind by nature ; therefore it cannot penetrate into our mind unless the in. ternal teacher, the spirit, makes way for it by his illumination - Institut.1.3.c.2.
His lordship pronounces, that “the impression which the truths of the Gospel make upon the minds of men depends upon the manner in which they attend to them, that is, upon the exercise of their own reason and free will." p. 14, 15. How different the language of the Church ! * Luke xxiv, 25-31.
† John xvi. 13.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
And this infection of na Thus therefore the child. ture doth remain, yea, in ren of God are liberated by them that are regenerated; regeneration from the serviwhereby the lust of the flesh, tude of sin; not that they called in Greek Φρόνημα σαρ have already obtained the tòs, which some do expound full possession of liberty, and the wisdom, some sensuality, experience no more trouble some the affection, some the from the flesh; but there redesire of the flesh, is not mains in them a perpetual subject to the law of God. cause of contention to exAnd although there is no ercise them; and not only to condemnation for them that exercise them, but also to believe and are baptized; yet make them better acquainted the apostle doth confess, that with their own infirmity. concupiscence and lust hath And on this subject all of itself the nature of sin. sound writers are agreed, Art. 9.
that there still remains in a O Lord, raise up (we pray regenerate man a fountain thee) thy power, and come of evil, whence continually among us, and with great arise irregular desires which might succour that allure and stimulate him to whereas through our sins the commission of sin. They and wickedness we are sore acknowledge also, that saints let and hindered in running are still so afflicted with the the race that is set before us; disease of concupiscence, thy bountiful grace and mer that they cannot prevent be. cy may speedily help and ing frequently stimulated deliver us.
Col. 4 Sund. and incited either to lust, or Advent.
to avarice, or to ambition, or to other vices.--Institut.l.3. C. 3. S. 10.
But we esteem this to be sin, that man feels any evil desires contrary to the divine law; and we also assert the depravity itself to be sin, which
produces these desires in our minds. We maintain, therefore, that sin always exists in the saints, till they be di. vested of the mortal body; because their flesh is the residence of that depravity of concupiscence which is repugnant to rectitude.— Institut. l. 3. c. 10. s. 10.
But when God is said to cleanse his church *" from all sin, to promise the grace of deliverance in baptism, and to fulfil it in his elect; we refer these phrases rather to the guilt of sin than to the existence of sin. In the regeneration of his children, God does indeed destroy the kingdom of sin in them, (for the spirit supplies them with, strength which renders them victorious in the conflici,) but it only ceases to reign, it continues to dwell in them. Wherefore we say, that " the old man is crucified t," that. the law of sin is abolished in the children of God, yet so that some relics remain; not to predominate over them, but to humble them with a consciousness of their infirmity. -Institut. l. 3. c. 3. S. ll.
Dr. Tomline represents “ sinless obedience and unspotted purity in the elect” as a
" Calvinistic notion." p. 51.--But till his lordship shall produce authority sufficient to justify this insinuation, he must not be surprised if those whom it so grossly misrepresents should“ not hesitate to pronounce” it, as he has done their system, “FALSE AND GROUNDLESS.'
T'he scripture plan, of which we are now treating, consists chiefly in these two things. The first, that a love of righteousness, to which we have otherwise no natural propensity, be instilled and introduced into our hearts: the * Eph. v. 26, 27.
+ Rom, vi. 6.
CALVIN. second, that a rule be prescribed to us to prevent our taking any devious steps in the race of righteousness. Now in the recommendation of righieousness, it uses a great number of very excellent arguments, many of which we have before noticed on different occasions, and some we shall briefly touch on in this place. With what better foundation can it begin, than when it admonishes us that we ought to be holy, becasue our God is holy*? For when we were dispersed like scatiered sheep, and lost in the labyrinth of the world, he gathered us together again that he might associate us to himselft. When we hear any mention of our union with God, we should remember that holiness must be the bond of it! not that we attain communion with him by the merit of holiness (since it is rather necessary for us in the first place to adhere to bim, in order that being endued with his holiness we may follow whither he calls) but because it is a peculiar property of his glory not to have any intercourse with iniquity and uncleanness. Wherefore, also, it tcaches that this is the end of our vocation, which it is requisite for us always to keep in view if we desire to obey the divine call. For to what purpose was it that we were delivered from the iniquity and pollution of the world in which we had been immerged, if we permit ourselves to wallow in them as long as we live? Besides, it also admonishes us, that to be numbered among the people of God, we must inhabit the holy city Jerusalem I; which, he haying consecrated it to bimself, cannot without impiety be profaned by impure inhabitants; whence these expressions, " he shall abide in the tabernacle of the Lord, that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, &c. f” because it is very'unbecoming the sanctuary which he inhabits to be rendered as filthy as a stable.
Is. xxxv. 10,
* Lev, six. 2.
† 1 Pet. i. 16, SP: 1.1, %, xxiv. 3, 4.
And as a further incitement to us, it shows that as God the Farber hath reconciled us to himself in Christ, so he haih impressed in him an image to which it is his will that we should be conformed. Now, let those who are of opinion that the philosophers have the only just and orderly systems of moral philosophy, show me in any of their works a more excellent veconomy than that which I have stated. When they intend to exhort us to the sublimest virtue, they advance no argument but that we ought to live agreeably to nature ; but the Scripture deduces its exhortation from the crue source, when it not only enjoins us to refer our life to God, the author of it, to whom it belongs ; but, after having taught us that we are degenerated from the original state in which we were created, adds, that Christ, by whom we have been reconciled to God, is proposed to us as an example, whose character we should exhibit in our Jives. What can be required more efficacious than this une consideration ? indeed what can be required besides? For if the Lord has adopted us as his sons on this condi. tion, that we exhibit in our life an imitation of Christ the bond of our adoption ; unless n'è addict and devote ourselves to righteousness, we not only most perfidiously revolt from our Creator, but also abjure him as our Saviour. The Scripture derives matter of exhortation from all the blessings of God which it celebrates to us, and from all the parts of our salvation. It argues, that since God hath discovered himself as a father to us, we must be convicted of the basest ingratitude, unless we on our part manifest ourselves to be his children ; that since Christ hath purified us in the laver of his blood, and hath communicated this purification by baptism, it does not become us to be defiled with fresh pollution ; that since he hath united us to his body, we should, as his members, solicitously beware, lest we defile ourselves with any blemish or disgrace; that