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secretly impressed on his soul, was separated from him, and so he became corruptible and deformed, and every way vicious. But after that the Creator of the universe had designed to restore to its pristine firmness and beauty that which was fallen into corruption, and was become adulterated and deformed by sin superinduced, he sent again into it that divine and holy Spirit which was withdrawn from it, and which hath a natural aptitude and power to change us into the celestial image, viz, by transforming us into his own likeness." And in the fourth book of the same work, “When the only begotton Son was made man, finding man's nature bereft of its ancient and primitive good, he hastened to transform it again into the same state, out of the fountain of his fulness, sending forth (the Spirit), and saying, Receive the Holy Ghost.” ?
1 Διανενευκότος γάρ το ζώο πρός τό πλημμελές, και την είσποίητον αμαρτίαν εκ της εισάπαν φιλοσαρκίας ήρρωσηκότος, το πρός θείαν εικόνα διαμορφών αυτόν, και σημάντρα δίκην απορρήτως εντεθειμενον απενοσφίζετο πνεύμα, φθαρτόν τε έτω, και ακαλλές, και τί γάρ εχί τών εκτόπων συνειλοχός άναπέφανται και έπει δε ο τών όλων γενεσιεργός ανακομίζειν έθελεν εις εδραιότητα, και ευκοσμίαν την εν αρχαϊς το διολισθήσαν εις φθοράι, παράσημόντε, και ακαλλές διά την είσποίητον γεγονός αμαρτίαν, ενήκεν αύθις αυτό το αποφοιτήσαν ποτε θείον τε, και άγιον πνεύμα, μεταποιών εύ μάλα προς την υπερκόσμιον εικόνα, και πεφυκός και δυνάμενον διά τό προς ιδίαν ημάς μεταρρυθμίζειν εμφέρειαν.” * 2 Οτέ γέγονεν άνθρωπος και μονογενής, ερήμην το πάλαι, και εν αρχαϊς αγαθά την ανθρώπο φυσιν ευρών, πάλιν αυτην εις εκείνο μετανοιχειών ήπειγετο, καθάπερ από πηγής του ιδία πληρώματος ένιείς τε και λέγων· λαβετε πνεύμα άγιον.
The opinions of Bishop Pearson and Doctor Scott, author of the Christian Life, and an Advocate for natural Religion, against spiritual Pretensions,
BISHOP PEARSON is in the highest esteem as a divine. His book on the Creed is recommended by tutors, by bishops' chaplains, and by bishops, to young students in the course of their reading preparatory to holy orders. It has been most accurately examined and universally approved by the most eminent theologues of our church, as an orthodox exposition of the Christian creed. Let us hear him on the subject of the Spirit's evidence, which now engages our attention.
“ As the increase or perfection, so the original or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illumination in the soul, by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to those truths which unto a natural and carnal man are foolishness. And thus we affirm not only the revelation of the will of God, but also the illumination of the soul of man, to be part of the office of the Spirit of God.”
Dr. Scott, an orthodox divine, a zealous teacher of morality, celebrated for a book entitled the Christian Life, says, “ That without the Holy
Bishop Pearson on the Creed, Art. 8.
Ghost we can do. nothing; that he is the Author and Finisher of our faith, who worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. His first office is the informing of our minds with the light of heavenly truth. Thus the apostle prays that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give unto them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, that the eyes of their understandings being enlightened, they might know what is the hope of Christ's calling;' and we are told, 'that it is by receiving the Spirit of God, that we know the things that are freely given us of God.'?
“Now this illumination of the Spirit is twofold: first, external, by that revelation which he hath giyen us of God's mind and will in the holy Scripture, and that miraculous evidence by which he sealed and attested it; · for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God ;'or, as it is elsewhere expressed, ' was delivered by holy men, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;'4 and all those miraculous testimonies we have to the truth and divinity of Scripture are from the Holy Ghost, and, upon that account, are called the 'demonstration of the Spirit;'' so that all the light we receive from Scripture, and all the evidence we have that that light is divine, we derive originally from the Holy Spirit.
“ But besides this external illumination of the Holy Spirit, there is also an internal one, which consists in impressing that external light and evidence of Scripture upon our understandings, whereby we are enabled more clearly to apprehend, and more effectually to believe it.
! Ephes. i. 17, 18. 3 2 Tim. iii. 16.
2 ] Cor. ii. 12. 4 2 Pet. i. 21.
“For though the divine Spirit doth not (at least in the ordinary course of his operation) illuminate our minds with any new truths, or new evidences of truth, but only presents to our minds those old and primitive truths and evidences which he at first revealed and gave to the world ; yet there is no doubt but he still continues not only to suggest them both to our minds, but to urge and repeat them with that importunity, and thereby to imprint them with that clearness and efficacy, as that if we do not, through a wicked prejudice against them, wilfully divert our minds from them to vain or sinful objects, we must unavoidably apprehend them far more distinctly, and assent to them far more cordially and effectually, than otherwise we should or could have done; for our minds are naturally so vain and stupid, so giddy, listless, and inadvertent, especially in spiritual things, which are abstract from common sense, as that, did not the Holy Spirit frequently present, importunately urge, and thereby fix these on our minds, our knowledge of them would be so confused, and our belief so wavering and unstable, as that they would never have any preventing influence on our wills and affections. So that our knowledge and belief of divine things, so far as they are saving and effectual to our renovation, are the fruits and products of this internal illumination.”?
Scott's Christian Life, part ii. chap. 7.
Opinion of Bishop Sanderson on the impossibility of
becoming a Christian without supernatural assistance.
“It was Simon Magus's error to think that the gift of God might be purchased with money; and it hath a spice of his sin, and so may go for a kind of simony, to think that spiritual gifts may be purchased with labour. You may rise up early and go to bed late, and study hard, and read much, and devour the marrow of the best authors, and when you have done all, unless God give a blessing unto your endeavours, be as thin and meager in regard of true and useful learning, as Pharaoh's lean kine were after they had eaten the fat ones. It is God that both ministereth seed to the sower, and multiplieth the seed sown; the principal and the increase are both his.
“It is clear that all Christian virtues and graces, though wrought immediately by us, and with the free consent of our own wills, are yet the fruit of God's Spirit working in us. That is to say, they do not proceed originally from any strength of nature, or any inherent power in man's free-will; nor are they acquired by the culture of philosophy, the advantages of education, or any improvement whatsoever of natural abilities by the helps of art or industry: but are in truth the proper
I Genesis, xli. 21.