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of converfion, but of external obedience and reformation; which might be fooner done, though converfion cannot.

5. It is faid, that if it is fo, "it would not be praife-worthy in perfons that they were then converted, it being not in their power then to be otherwife; fince an unfruftrable operation is that which no man can fruftrate". 'Tis very true; for all the praise of converfion is due to the powerful and efficacious grace of God, and none to the power and will of man.

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6. It is afk'd, "If there be fome phyfical and unfruftrable operation on God's part, neceffary to the new birth, Why is the want of this new birth and spiritual renovation imputed to men's voluntary want of confideration, to their rejecting the counsel of God, and not chufing the fear of the Lord, Prov. i. 24, 25, 29, 30. I reply; That the want of the new birth and spiritual renovation, is not the thing fpoken of in the place referred to, but a non-attention to, and a contempt of the miniftry of the word, though these indeed are a fign of it; much lefs is this imputed to men's rejecting the counsel of God, and not chufing the fear of the Lord; for the tables must be turn'd, and if we speak truth, we must say, that man's rejecting the counfel of God, and not

• Whitby, p. 261.

Ibid. p. 224, 257.


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İ. Wash ye, make you clean; these two are to be regarded as one, fince they intend one and the fame thing; and fuppofe, that men, in a state of nature, are polluted and unclean; and indeed, their pollution is of fuch fort, and to fuch a degree, that they cannot cleanse themselves, either by ceremonial ablutions, or moral fervices, or evangelical ordinances; for, who can fay, I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my fins? This is God's work only, as appears from his promises to cleanfe his people from their fins; from the end of Chrift's fhedding his blood, and the efficacy of it; from the fanctifying influences of the fpirit, and from the prayers of the faints to God, that he would create in them clean hearts, wash them thoroughly from their iniquity, and cleanfe them from their fin. But if this be the cafe, that it is God's work alone, and that man is uncapable to cleanse himself from fin, it will be faid, to what purpose are fuch exhortations? I answer; To convince men of their pollution, and that they ftand in need of being washed and cleanfed, of which they are naturally ignorant: There are too many who are pure in their own eyes, and yet not washed from their filthiness *; as alfo, to bring them to a fenfe of their own

Pfal. li. 2, 7, 10.

* Prov. xx. 9.

Prov. xxx. 12.

inability to cleanse themselves; which feems to be the particular defign of them here; fince these Jews thought to have washed themselves from their immoralities by their ceremonial fervices, and which are therefore rejected by God, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. and they, notwithstanding all their legal pu rifications, are called upon to wath and make clean: Befides, fuch exhortations may be useful to lead perfons to enquire after the proper means of cleanfing, and fo to the fountain of Chrift's blood, in which only fouls being washed are made clean. Thefe exhortations then are not in vain; though converfion is wrought only by the unfruftrable operation of God, and man is purely paffive in it. This view of them will help us to understand aright fome parallel places; fuch as Jer. iv. 14. and zili. 27. 2 Cor. vii. 1. James i 21. and iv %. which com monly go in company with defe.

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