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his mother? The prophet himself, as if he was seized with a holy amazement, cried out, “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not bid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect," Psal. cxxxix. 14, 15, 16, But if these things, which regard the origin of our body, and the beginnings of this animal life, are involved in such darkDess as to frustrate the enquiries of the most sagacious; how much more involved are the things that constitute our spiritual regeneration, which none can doubt to be mystery all over ?

III. But yet this is so necessary, that our Saviour declares, that without it there is no entering into the kingdom of beaven, John ii. 8, 5. It therefore deserves to be enquired into; that if we have perhaps attained to it, we may celebrate with becoming praises the glorious perfections of God our Father which shine so conspicuous in this illustrious work, and properly valuing our happiness, we may frame the whole tenour of our lives in a manner suitable to it.

IV. We give this definition of it; “ Regeneration is that supernatural act of God, whereby a new and divine life is infused into the elect person spiritually dead, and that from the incorruptible seed of the word of God, made fruitful by the in- . finite power of the Spirit."

V. We are all dead in Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 22. through the poison of the tempting serpent. This murderer from the beginning, John vii. 44. had such success attending his endeavours, that all men who now exist are by nature dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. i. 1. That is, 1st

. They are separated at the greatest distance from God and his Spirit, who is the soul of their soul; and life of their life; or in the language of Paul, alienated from the life of God, Eph. iv. 18. Zdly. They are spiritually insensible of all spiritual things, and destitute of all true feeling: they do not rightly consider the load of their sins, because they are in thein as in their elernent : nor have a right knowledge of their misery, being past feeling, Eph. iv. 19. nor any relish for divine grace, because it has not yet been conferred upon them; nor any longing after heavenly things, being ignorant of their worth. Bdly. They are wholly incapable of every act of true life; “ pot sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves," 2 Cor. ü. 5. The understanding is overspread with dismal darkness, Eph. iv, 18. “ hath not set God before it," Psal. Ixxxvi.

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14. “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can it know them, 1 Cor. ii

. 14. The will has no tendency to things unknown;' and thus all the things of God are despised by it as mean. And if, at times, it seem to perform any things that have some appearance of vital actions, this proceeds not from a principle of life, but resembles those automatical or artificial motions by which statues, ingeviously framed, counterfeit living animals.

VI. But as a dead carcase swarms with vermin, arising from putrefaction, in which the briskest life is observed, though of another order and kind from that life which was formerly in that body; so in like manner, there is a kind of life in a man spiritually dead, but it is carnal, hellish and diabolical, at the greatest distance from true life, and the more vigorous it is, it gives the more evident signs of the most deplorable death. The apostle has elegantly joined this death and life, Eph. ii. 1, 2. " when ye were dead in trespasses and sins, ye walked in them, as in the life of this world" so Beza translates. In the Greek it runs rate. sdy drwvce 78' X0548 7878. Elegantly Philo Alleg. lib. 1. defines this death : “ when the soul is dead as to virtue, it lives the life of vice." Not unlike to what Macarius says, Homil. 12. “ when Adam began to entertain evil thoughts and devices, he perished as to God; we say not, he perished altogether, was destroyed and quite dead; but that, though as to God he was dead, yet he was alive as to his own nature.” What Macarius affirms of Adam is universally true of all: for in a man spiritually dead, there is really a natural or animal life, which though not active in that which is good, is doubly active in that which is evil. The understanding not apprehending the wisdom of God, looksupon it as foolishness, 1 Cor. Ü. 14. and yet, when it would find wisdom in the things of God, it so transforms them by its mad presumption, and compels them, even against their nature, to a conformity to the notions of its trifling presumptuous self-wisdom, that while it impiously presumes to correct the wisdom of God, it transforms it in a dreadful manner into downright folly. The will not finding anything in God wherewith it can take delight, seeks it either in the creatures, without God, or which is more abominable, in the very perpetration of wickedness. The affections, shaking off the reins of reason, rush on in full career. The body, with all its members, is the throne of mad and furious lusts. And the whole man, being so averse from God, and infatuated with the fond love of himself, sets himself up for an idol, makes his own advantage his supreme end, his own pleasure

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his most infallible law. This is the life of the soul, which is dead while living, 1 Tim. v. 6.

VII. And thus, it is with the elect before regeneration : but by regeneration à pew life is put into them, resulting from a gracious union with God and his Spirit. For, what the soul is to the body, that God is to the soul. Moreover, this spiritual life may be considered, either by way of faculty, and in the first act, in the usual language of the schools ; or by way of operation, and in the second act. In the former respect, it is that inward. constitution of the soul whereby it is fitted to exert those actions which are acceptable to God in Christ, by the power of the Spirit uniting it to God: whether such actions immediately flow from that principle, or whether they lie concealed for some time, as fruits in their seod. In the latter respect, it is that activity of the living soul by which it acts agreeably to the command of God and the example of Christ.

VIII. If we consider this first principle of life, there is not the least doubt, but regeneration is accomplished in a moment. For there is no delay in the transition from death to life. No person can be regenerated, so long as he is in the

. state of spiritual death : but in the instant he begins to live, he is born again. Wherefore no intermediate state between the regenerate and unregenerate can be imagined so much as in thought, if we mean regeneration in the first act: for one is either dead or alive; has either the spirit of the flesh and the world, or the Spirit of God actuating him; is either in the state of grace, or in the state of malediction ; either the child of God, or of the devil; either in the way to salvation, or damnation. There neither is, nor can be any medium here. The holy scripture divides all mankind into two classes, sheep and goats, Matt. xxv, 2, 3. and compares their goings to trồo ways; Whereof the one, which is broad, leads to destruction; the other, which is narrow, to life, Matt. vii. 13, 14. and there is none who does not tread in one or other of these ways. And what is he, whom some imagine to be in an in termediate state, should depart this animal life before he be fully brought to the spiritual life, would such a one be received into heaven? But heaven is open only to the actually regenerate, John iii. 3. Or thrust into hell ? But hell is allotted only for the goats, and for those who, all their life long, have walked in the broad way: or perhaps such will be received into some intermediate place where being free from the pains of hell, and deprived of the joys of heaven, they will delight themselves in I know not what degree of natural happiness :

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as some Popish doctors, discoursing in the council of Trent, of infants dying without baptism, pleased themselves with these fond sportings of their imagination ; which the author of the bustory of that council, lib. i. p. 159., has not dismiss. ed without a good deal of acrimony and sharpness. Or you will say perhaps, it is a case which never happens, that any one should die in that intermediate state. But produce me the vouchers of such an assertion, whereby security is givea to those, in this intermediate class, of spinning out their lives till they have declared of what class they choose to be. I do not remember to have read any thing on that head in scripture. And if that intermediate state has such an ivdissolvas ble connection with salvation, it will be no longer intermediate, but a state of grace.

For it is grace alone to which the attainment of glory is infallibly assigned. I own there are vai rious degrees of regeneration in the second act; and that the seed of it sometimes lies hid under the earth, or at most exerts some slender and initial, and as it were, infantile operations,

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! differing very much with respect to perfection from those which a more advanced spirit of sanctification produces : yet seeing the former also have their rise from the fountain of the new life, it is plain, that they who exert them are to be ranked

regenerate. For we must say one of these two things, either, that these operations ascribed to the intermediate state, proceed from the powers of nature and common grace and thus there is nothing in them which may not be found in the reprobate, and those entirely unregene rate : or, that they proceed from the indwelling Spirit of grace, and so are effects of regeneration, to which the beginnings of the new life are owing.

IX. Hence it appears, there are no preparations antecedent to the first beginning of regeneration ; because previous to that, nothing but mere death in the highest degree is to be found in the person to be regenerated. “When we were dead in sins, he bath quickened us together with Christ," Eph. ii. 5. And indeed the seripture represents man's conversion by such similitudes as sbew, that all preparations are entirely excluded; sometimes calling it a new generation, to which certainly none can contribute any thing of himself: but yet, as natural generation presupposes some dispositions in the matter, so that we may not imagine any such thing to be in ourselves but from God, we have this held forth by the similitude of a resurrection ; in which a body is restored from matter, prepared by no qualifications : yet because here certainly is matter, but in the resurrection of the soul there is nothing

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at all, therefore we have added the figure of a creation, Psal. li. 10. Eph. ii

. 10.; by which we are taught that a new creau ture exists from a spiritual nothing, which is sin: but as there was not something in nothing to assist and sustain cread tion; so there was nothing to' oppose and resist; but sin is so far from submitting to what God does, that it is reluctant thereto, and in a hostile manner at enmity with him;'accordingly, the other images did not fully complete the idea of this admirable action, till at length it is called the victory of God : victory, I say, over the devil, who maintains his palace, Luke xi. 21. and effectually worketh in the children of disa bedience, Eph. ii. 2. All these operations of God, which Alexa ander More has, in an elegant order, ranged one after another, de victoria Gratiæ, Diss. 1 Thess. 10. tend to exclude, as far as possible, all preparations from the beginning of our regeneration.

X. The Semi-pelagians therefore of Marseilles' were mistaken, who insisted, that a man comes to the grace whereby we are regenerated in Christ by a natural faculty ; 'as by ask. ing, seeking, knocking; and that, in some at least, before they are born again, there is a kind of repentance going bec fore, together with a sorrow for sin, and a change of the life

a for the better, and a beginning of faith, and an initial love of God, and a desire of grace : it is true they did not look on these endeavours to be of such importance as that it could be said, we were thereby rendered worthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit ; as Pelagius and Julian professed: but yet they imagined, they were an occasion by which God was moved to bestow his grace ; for they said, that the mercy of God is such, that he recompenses this very small beginning of good with this illustrious reward; as Vossius hist. pelag. lib. iv. p. 1. Thess. 1. has refined this their opinion. The Remonstrants are likwise mistaken, in Collatione Hagiensi, editionis Brandianæ, p. 302. when they write, “ some work of man therefore goes before his vivification ; namely, to acknowledge and bewail his death, to will and desire deliver. ance from it; to hunger, thirst, and seek after life : all which, and a great deal besides, is required by Christ in those whom he will make alive. But there is little accuracy in the reasonings of these men. For; 1st: Since our nature is become like an evil tree, after baving eaten of the forbidden fruit, it can produce no fruit truly good and acceptable to God, and do nothing by which it can prepare itself for the grace of regeneration ; unless a person can be thought to prepare bimself for grace by sin. Wdly. It has been found that they who

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