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humility of the creature? where the glory of the Creator ? Thus far the advocates of divine grace reason correctly. Their tenets are supported by the nature of man, by his relation to his Creator, and by the characteristic property of the plan of salvation-its being founded on grace, not on the claims of merit. . Thus far every man, who has experienced either the power of his sinful passions, or has made any progress in subduing them, will bear testimony to their doctrine, and cherish it as fruitful both of virtue and consolation. But when the advocates of this important doctrine of divine grace push their tenets further ; when they maintain, that so totally impotent is man, that he possesses, of himself, no power to cherish the influences of the Divine Spirit--so deeply depraved, that no native impulse to goodness warms his heart; when they maintain that the grace of God can never be arrested, nor finally quenched-that, on the contrary, by its irresistable power it infallibly conducts the person, once the subject of it, to final glory, while those who, by the decree of God, are destitute of it, infallibly fall into perditionthey equally oppose Scripture, common experience, common sense, and all the benevolent feelings of the heart: they make virtue, as it respects man, but a name-rewards and punishments arbitrary edicts: they transform man, who was created in the divine image, into a fiend irreversibly bound by the fetters of sin : they transform God, who, in his word, his works, and his ways, proclaims himself to be love, into a being swayed by passions that in man would constitute an odious tyrant.

In the middle point between opposite opinions, the luminous path of truth frequently appears.

Certainly, in the present case, according to the second view of the subject which was laid down,

2. The correct doctrine embraces a portion of both these opposite opinions.

We have seen that, to a certain extent, each of them has legitimate claims to truth. Human agency must be so far maintained as to preserve man's freedom and virtue, and to make this virtue capable of rewards and punishments: human agency must be so far exerted as to prevent man from becoming a machine, moved by the irresistable force of motives, as effectually as a piece of mechanism is set in motion by a physical impetus : human agency must be so far maintained as to make man guilty in freely rejecting proffered grace, and thus to remove the imputation of his destruction from the God who made him. On the other band, the agency of divine grace must be so far maintained as to ascribe to this grace the power in man to think and to do whatsoever is pleasing to God-bis sanctification, his progress in holiness, his conquest over temptation, and his final exaltation to glory. Less than this we cannot attribute to divine agency, when not resisted, leading man from grace to grace, until he arrive at the final state of perfect holiness, without being guilty of the impiety of making man his own saviour, of ascribing, in man's salvation, that glory to the creature which is due only to the infinite Creator.

Human co-operation with divine grace is the opinion which embraces whatever portion of truth exists in the extremes; and this is the unequivocal and uniform doctrine of the Bible; and which only gives clearness, consistency, and force to its declar

rations. What mean those numerous exhortations to sinners :-Wash you, make

you clean: put from you your evil doings; make you a clean heart and right spirit-Cease to do evil; learn to do well Bring forth fruits meet for repentance-Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure ! What mean those cautions :--See that ye receive not the grace of God in vain--Harden not your hearts-Quench not the Spirit--Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall? What means the holy circumspection of the apostle :-I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away? What mean the promises and threats, the rewards and punishments which lie at the basis of all the divine dispensations ? All these, with the whole strain of Scripture, imply, beyond contradiction, that human agency must be exerted in the work of salvation ; that man is free to reject the Spirit of God, or to cherish his gracious influences; and that this grace must be cherished, must be improved, or it will only tend to his condemnation; and the greatest saint, even after having preached unto others, may be a cast- away.

On the other hand, divine grace is necessary to the sanctification of man, to his establishment in holiness, and to his final perseverance in the Christian life. To this point how explicit are the declarations: I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes-Ye are sanctified by the Spirit of God-Ye are saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost-Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God-— The Spirit helpeth our infirmities-It is God who giveth the increase ! Here the doctrine of divine grace, as the primary agent in the work of salvation, is plainly revealed. How then are we to reconcile human agency and divine grace? The apostle has, determined this point in the words of the text. Both are to be preserved. We are to work out our salvation; for it is God that worketh in us. Our own exertions must co-operate with his grace. His Holy Spirit enlightens, renews, sanctifies, the heart-gives us the victory over temptation, leads us in the way of his law and in the works of his commandments. But if we resist and grieve his Holy Spirit, we may provoke him to take it from us. If we do not work out our salvation, God will not effectually work in us. The truth then on this important point is clear -We can do nothing effectually but by the preventing, assisting, and sanctifying grace of God; but, favoured as we are by bis gracious influences, unless we make constant and vigorous exertions ourselves, we shall have received the grace of God in vain.

3. This doctrine of the co-operation of human agency with divine grace, thus expressly established in Scripture, is perfectly agreeable to reason, and may be vindicated from all objections.

On the one hand, consciousness assures every man that he is a free agent; that he may do or not do as he pleases; that, in regard to his volitions and his actions, no irresistable force impels or controls him. This free agency is essential to a moral and accountable creature; reason, therefore, can never relinquish it; she can never admit any doctrine which, by destroying the free agency of man, would destroy the morality of his actions, and his accountableness to the God who made him. Nor is she required to relinquish the free agency of man, by the word of God; for we have seen that, throughout the inspired volume, God deals with man as a free agent; as such, warns and invites him, threatens and promises him; as such, places before him the good and the evil-choose ye which ye will serve.

But, on the other hand, consciousness, and experience also impress on every man the truth, that his free agency is impaired-that his sinful propensities are strong—the temptations of the world powerful; and the work of salvation is therefore eminently arduous. What then is the immediate suggestion of reason? That man needs supernatural help. What is the immediate impulse of his heart? To fly, in this his weak and helpless state, to that Almighty Being on whom he is dependent, imploring his succour. There is nothing therefore in the doctrine, that man in the work of salvation inust be assisted by divine grace, which is not perfectly agreeable to the dictates of unprejudiced reason, and to the natural suggestions of the heart. To oppose this doctrine, because we are unable to comprehend the mode by which the Divine Spirit operates upon our minds, would be irrational, would be contrary to the dictates of sound philosophy. How many facts does the philosopher admit, for which he is utterly unable to account! How many things there are in the constant observation of every man which he seeks in vain to comprehend ! The nature of his own mind, the nature of the bodies around him, the reasons why they are thus

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