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application of redemption. Regeneration is one benefit purcha. sed by Christ, for the elect sinner, which is bestowed, in the order of nature, before the mystical union is completed. By the gift of the principle of faith God renews, and by the exercise of faith the sinner embraces Christ; so that from this time the union is formed, and the believing sinner possesses spiritual life. By faith we receive Christ for our Head, and by the pulsations of his heart the currents of life flow to the remotest members of his body. He is not only our righteousness, but our life; not only the way, and the truth, but the spiritual source of all holy activity. The mystical union is the foundation of our justification, adoption, sanctification and exaltation to heaven. In Christ alone can we be pardoned, accepted, purified, and made heirs of the blessedness of the Redeemer's kingdom.

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This is the creed of the whole Presbyterian church. In addi. tion to the parts of our standards already quoted, let any one consult the 10th chapter of the Confession, and the 69th ques: tion of the Larger Catechism. Not one doubt of the Calvinism of our creed will then remain. This bond of ecclesiastical union, should

be preseryed inviolate.

NOTE B.

ON THE MEANS OF GRACE, ACCORDING TO THE

CALVINISTIC SYSTEM.

Some philosophical divines utterly reject the idea of means of grace. But we read in the holy scriptures of a space for repents ance,* of an accepted time, and of the day of salvation.t Why then may we not speak of a day of grace ?

The scriptures speak of knowing the grace of God, and of the bestowment, dispensation,ll and reception, of the grace of

Rev. ii. 21.

§ 2 Cor. yü. 1.

* 2 Cor. vi. 2.

Eph. iii. 2.

# Colos. i. 6.

9 2 Corivi. 1.

God. These expressions seem to imply, that there are means of knowing, dispensing and receiving.

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By the word grace the scriptures convey the idea of favour, freely bestowed on one who deserves no kindness. In Rom. xi. 5, 6. it is said, " there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.”

is directly opposed to every thing merited by works of righteousness, performed by him, who is the object of favour. The man who merits favour by obedience, repentance, or any other good work, may claim it as justice : but kindness manifested to one who has done nothing to deserve it, is grace. The GRACE OF God, in this extensive sense, is bestowed, in a greater or less degree, on all men ; for they have enjoyments which they do not deserve ; but he gives to his people only “the grace of God which bringeth salvation"* Through this grace they obtain the pardon of their sins, and acceptance of their persons. By the grace, therefore, of which the believer is the subject, is intended that favour which saves a rebel from the miserable effects of his own sin, from the punishment of hell, and introduces him, as a justified person, to the happiness of heayen.

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Analogy would lead us to suppose that this salvation, which is of grace, is accomplished by appropriate means : for EVERY OTHER DIVINE DISPENSATION, with which man is acquainted, is characterized by the use of means, In the creation of Adam, Jehovah made use of red earth, for the formation of his animal frame; and by means of breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, produced a living soul. When Eve was to be produced, means were again used ; for God brought a deep sleep upon

1; Adam, and from one of his ribs made woman. The use of means, in the creation of our first parents, was calculated to convey important instruction to their descendants, who were to live an animal and a spiritual life, through some appropriate instrumental agency. After the creation of the first pair, means were

* Tit, ü. 11.

used for their preservation. In God they were to live, move, and have their being ; but not without the instrumentality of light, heat, air, water, food, respiration, the circulation of the blood, nervous agency, muscular force, and the voluntary, or involuntary exercise of numerous animal functions.

They were to be instructed. For this purpose the Creator gave them the organs of sensation. He furnished, objects as a sort of alphabet, and taught them to read in the opening volume of nature. In teaching, he was pleased to use means.

He caused the sun, moon and stars to shine upon their organs of vision, and thus taught them to think of these heavenly luminaries, and, by beholding the greater or the less light, to distinguish between days and nights, seasons and years. God appeared in some visible form, and made audible, articulate sounds; so that he affected by these means, the eyes and ears of our progenitors, and through them supplied their souls with knowledge. Having conveyed ideas to their minds, or having taught them to think of external objects, he taught them also to remember, compare, combine, and abstract their thoughts; and thus, by the use of their mental powers, to advance in human wisdom.

Men were to communicate their thoughts to their companions. For this purpose God has given expression of countenance, the power of gesticulation, of speech, of representation by symbols and images, besides the ability of attaching definite ideas to ar bitrary characters.

We may trace the history of man from Adam to the present day, and we shall find, that God has used means in relation to his creatures ; and that the whole system of intercourse between man and all other beings is a system of means.

There were means of creation, preservation, government, revelation, thought, feeling, conversation and action, from the be. ginning. The connexion which God has established between cause and effect in the natural world, affords presumptive evidence, that instrumental agency is an universal principle of divine proceeding in the moral world. Why are we to suppose, that in grace alone, means are rejected ?

The love of God for fallen men, is sometimes called grace. This love was in the heart of God from everlasting ages, for « God is love." This grace was the originating cause of that grace which a sinner receives ; and the eternal source of all the means by which that favour was procured, and is actually communicated to the rebel. The divine disposition to save was in no sense procured; but the actual remission of sin, and the justification of the ungodly," certainly was purchased by costly

This remission and justification constitute the gift of life, which the believer receives, and which is called grace. “Receive not the grace of God in vain.' It is as proper, therefore, to speak of the means of grace, as of the means of salvation, for grace is that favour which God bestows upon the sinner, in the very act of saving him.

means.

"'*

was

This grace, or this salvation, was obtained through the incarnation, obedience, and sufferings of the Son of God.

« God so loved the world”_here is the moving cause that he gave

his only begotten Son."

Here is the provision of means, by which is to be purchased this favour, " that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." By taking upon himself humanity, Jesus “ made perfect,"t as a Redeemer, that he might become the author of eternal salvation. To procure the bestowment of pardon, “ God was manifest in the flesh.” Jesus Christ is the great mediatorial agent between Jehovah and his guilty people. The grace which is bestowed upon the transgressor, is a gift purchased by his precious blood. Hence we read of “ the grace of God, which is given you by Jesus Christ ;'S of “ the grace that is in Christ Jesus,"|| and of God, “ in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.”'I “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,"** and by him, “ we have received the atonement.”+t In the first chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, the saints are said to be blessed, with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in or through Christ : to be chosen in Him: to have been predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ; and to have the forgiveness of sins, terminating in complete redemption, throúgh his blood. In the fourteenth verse of the same chapter, we read of the salvation of the saints, as “the redemption of the purchased possession."

2 Cor. vi. 1. + Heb. v. 9.
1 2 Tim. ii. 1. 1 Cor. v. 19.

# 1 Tim. iii. 16. 1 Cor. i. 4.
** John i. 17. # Rom. x 11.

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When we speak of a purchase, a price is presupposed. Hence the apostle Paul says, to justified persons, bought with a price."* We can be justified and have peace with God, only "through our Lord Jesus Christ.”+ The whole spiritual church, he hath purchased with his own blood.” It is God, who is rich in mercy, who quickens us, on account of the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins; but then, he quickens us not, except it be " together with Christ;" that being raised together, and made to sit together in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, He may show, in the ages to come, the exceeding, riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.”'ll

The whole gospel is a revelation of the grace of God, and a history of the means by which that grace was procured, and is now made effectuat to the salvation of purchased rebels. The means are such, in their magnificence, as the glorious work required. Whatever difference of opinion may exist concerning the nature and extent of the atonement, no professor of the religion of Christ will deny, that the incarnation of the Divinity, the obedience, suffering, death, resurrection, exaltation and intercession of the Messiah, are the means, by which all the grace, which guilty man receives in this life and the future, was in some manner procured. It is established, therefore, that, in one sense at least, it is scriptural to affirm the existence of means of grace,

Favour, however, purchased and reserved in store, is of no use until it is conveyed to the persons for whom it is designed, The grace of God, as it respects the sinner, is nothing, except it be dispensed to him, and received by him.

* 1 Cor. vi. 20. and vii. 23.

§ Eph. ii. 4, 5, 6, 7.

† Rom. v. 1. # Acts xx. 28.

|| Eph. ii. 10

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