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perceptible. Exod. ix. 27. I have sinned this time; Jehovah is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.' 2 Sam. xv. 24. I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah.'
Repentance is not to be deferred, 2 Cor. vi. 2. for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee : behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Heb. ii. 7, 8. 'to-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.' .
Among the most striking exhortations to repentance in Scripture are Deut. xxx. 1, &c. Job xi. 13, &c. 2 Chron. xxx. 6. Isui. i. 16. &c. lvii. 19, &c. Jer. iv. 1, &c. xviii. 8. Hos. xiv. 1, &c. All exhortation, however, would be addressed in vain to such as were not in some measure renewed, at least in the natural mode here described ; that is to say, who were not endued with some portion of mental judgement and liberty of will.
The faith corresponding to this species of repentance is an assent, likewise natural, yielded to the call of God, and accompanied by a trust which is in like manner natural, and often vain. I have described this assent as yielded to the call of God, inasmuch as faith, of whatever kind, can only be founded on divine testimony in matters relating to God. Rom. x. 17. •faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'
This faith is commonly distinguished into the several degrees of historical faith, temporary faith, and faith in miracles. Any faith, however, may be temporary; so may repentance itself : as will be here after shown.
Historical faith consists in an assent to the truth of the scripture history, and to sound doctrine. This faith is necessary to salvation, but is not in itself a saving faith. 1 Tim. i. 19. holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.' iv. 1. 'some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to....doctrines of devils.' Heb. xi. 6. he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' James ii. 19. the devils also believe and tremble.
Temporary faith is that which assents to hearing, and exercises a certain degree of trust in God, but generally of that kind only which is termed natural. I say generally, because there is no reason why a regenerate faith should not itself sometimes prove merely temporary, owing to the remains of human frailty still inherent in us; this however seldom happens, as will be argued hereafter under the head of final perseverance. Matt. xiii. 20, 21. he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it: yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while.' Luke viii. 13. which for a time believe, and in time of temptation fall away.' .John vi. 66. from that time many of his disciples went back. Acts viii. 13.
then Simon himself believed also, and was baptized.' v. 18. • when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands,' &c. v. 21. thy heart is not right in the sight of God.' 1 Tim. v. 12. having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith,'
Faith in miracles is that whereby any one is endued with the power of working miracles in the name of God, or whereby he believes that another is endued VOL. I.
with this power. Matt. vii. 22. have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name done many wonderful works?' See also x. 8. xvii. 19. 'why could not we cast him out?' Mark xvi. 17. these signs shall follow them that believe.' 1 Cor. xij. 9. •to another faith by the same Spirit.' xii. 2. though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.'
Even without this species of faith, however, miracles have been sometimes wrought for unbelievers.' Numb. xx. 10, 11. hear now, ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?' In this instance both he who worked the miracle, and those for whom it was worked, seem to have been in a state of unbelief at the time of its performance. 2 Kings v. 12. • are not Abana and Pharphar better than all the waters of Israel?
The call of God, and the consequent change in the natural man, do not of themselves ensure his salvation, unless he be also regenerate ; inasmuch as they are only parts of the natural mode of renovation Matt. xxii. 14. many are called, but few are chosen' 2 Cor. vii. 10. the sorrow of the world worketh death.' Heb. iv. 2. unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.' 2 Pet. ii. 20. if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord our Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein
The intent of supernatural renovation is not only to restore man still more completely than before to the use of his natural faculties, as regards his power to form right judgement, and to exercise free will ; but to create afresh, as it were, the inward man, and infuse from above new and supernatural faculties into the minds of the renovated. This is called regeneration, and the regenerate are said to be planted in Christ.
Regeneration is that change operated by the Word and the Spirit, whereby the old man being destroyed, the inward man is regenerated by God after his own image, in all the faculties of his mind, insomuch that he becomes as it were a new creature, and the whole man is sanctified both in body and soul, for the service of God, and the performance of good works. John iii. 3,5. except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God....except a man be born of water and of the Spirit.' 1 Pet. i. 23. Óbeing born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.'
Is regenerated by God; namely, the Father ; for no one generates, except the Father.' Psal. li. 10. create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a
right spirit within me.' Ezek. xi. 19. “I will put a new spirit within you.' John i. 12, 13. “to them gave he power to become the sons of God....which were born, not of blood....but of God.' iii. 5, 6. 'except a man be born of water and the Spirit-;' where by
the Spiril’ appears to be meant the divine power of the Father; for the Father is a Spirit ; and, as was said before, no one generates except the Father. xvii. 17. sanctify them through thy truth.' Rom. viii. 11, 16. • but if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead ; the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.' Gal. iv. 6. because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Eph. ii. 4,5. “God who is rich in mercy.... hath quickened us together with Christ. 1 Thess. v. 23. the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.' Tit. iii. 5. according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' Heb. xii. 20. the God of peace.... make you perfect in every good work.' 1 Pet. i. 3. blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again-, James i. 17, 18. of his own will begat he us.'
By the Word and the Spirit. John xvii. 17. • sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.' James i. 18. of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.' Eph. v. 26. that he might cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.' 1 Cor. xii. 13. •by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.' Tit. iii. 5. by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.'