Page images

rit may be said to be both in the men of me old world and of this. But,

2. That he is in every man in a way si special grace, and to saving purposes, provided they behave well, must be denied; foc every unconverted man is defticute of the Spirit: Were che Spirit, in this sense, in every man, the indwelling of the Spiric would be no evidence of regeneration ; the difference between a regenerace and an unregenerate man lying in this, the one has, the other has not the Spirit of God. Hence,

3. It is easy to judge in what sense the Spirit of God does, and does not deparc where he once is. Where he is only by his gifts or external operacions, he may wholly remove, he may take away those gifts, or cease from those works, and men, nacwithftanding chefe, may be everlastingly lost ; but where he is by his special grace, he ne ver totally departs, though he his gracious presence ; his people may acer be indulged with his joys and comícara, 2011 in cheir apprehension he may con's, , 40 ken away from them, yet le 13 bris, in chem; otherwise Cirk's 3112 perpetual concimizce With TV, W, not be aniwei, 15 NOE . dwelling vs bury rance, 1or

2016 cure port

... the entire fra

may withdraw the men of the old world, but of his friving with them. . Wherefore the next enquiry

III. Is, what is meant by the strivings of the Spirit ? and whether through man's neg·lect of him, or opposition to him, he may itrive to no purpose ?

1. The Hebrew word 797 here used, sig- nifies to judge, to execute judgment, or punish in a righteous way; and to some p read the words, My Spirit Mall not judge these men for ever ; I will not reserve them to everlasting torments ; I will punish them here in this world; for they are flesh, frail creatures; I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wrotb; for the Spirit mould fail before me, and tbe fouls which I bave made 9 : Or rather the sense is. i according to this version, "My Spirit shall not exercise judgment on them for ever, i.e. immediately, directly, at this very instant ; though they are so corrupt, I will give them the space of one hundred and twenty years to repent in ; -and after that, if they repent not, I will deliver them up to destruction ; which accordingly was the event of things.

2. The word here translated strive, fignifies also to litigate a point, or reason in a

So Symmachus, Hieron. Trad. Heb. Tom. III. p. 66.
R. Juda Bar Elhai in Bereshit Rabba, fol. 2:3.

lfa. lvii. 16.
* vid, Fuker. Miscell. .Sacr, li si cis.


[ocr errors]

cause, before it is ripe for judgment, arine execution of it. Now the Spirit of Gai jad been litigating and reasoning with cirete men in the court, and at the bar of their own consciences, about their fins, by one providence or another, and by one minifter or another; particularly by Noab, a preacher of righteousness, and chat to no purpose : Hence he determines to go on no longer in this way, but to proceed to pass and are cute the sentence of condemnation on them, fince they were so very corrups, bei thing else but flesh ; Howevet, 19 clemency and forbearance, te reprieve for one hundred 2:28 VEL., which is chat long-suffering (68,63 Ale speaks of, that saves B 22. feb. ? Noah, while the arka196412 it

appears, that the tim: God with cheie ses, we ternal ministry sí se moral suafios, wcase may lead cst cas se moral suatca 2-3 the word nie. ous grace is

3. It's E92 the Seas 11 Ls fifted as "4.:****

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

sense se

are disagreeable to a natural man ; 'tis no wonder that the external ministry of the word and ordinances are despised, opposed and refifted. The external call inay be rejected ; yea, fome inward motions and convictions may be over-ruled, ftified and come to nothing ; nay, it will be granted, that there may be, and is an opposition and refistance to the work of the Spirit of God in converfion; but then the Spirit cannot be fo resisted in the operations of his grace as to be obliged to ceafe from his work, or to be overcome or hinder'd in it; for he acts wich a design which cannot be frustrated, and with a power which is uncontroulable; were it otherwise, the regeneration and converfion of every one must be precarious; and where the grace of the Spirit is effectual, according to the doctrine of free-will, ic would be more owing to the will of man than to the Spirit of God.

IV. It may be asked, whether the old world had a day of grace, and so all mankind, in which they might be saved if they would ? during which time the Spirit strives wich man; and when that is expired he strives no longer.

1. The space of one hundred and twenty years allow'd che old world for repentance

So Barclay in his Apology, p. 153, 154.



[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


in one :22. : wder the SSS our betr: Sr. has not ST

« PreviousContinue »