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xxvi. 18; Eph. i. 18). The will and affections also are influenced in the same manner: and the man is now disposed to fear, hate, and shun what before he delighted in, or regarded as harmless; and to love, choose, desire, and rejoice in those things that before he despised or hated. He seems to be introduced, as it were, into a new world, in which he views himself and all things around him, through a new medium. He wonders that he had not before seen them in the same light: and is frequently so amazed at the insensibility or delusions of mankind, that he is not easily convinced but that proper instructions would bring them all over to his sentiments. He has now a whole system, as it were, of affections, of which he formerly had no conception: his fears and hopes, attachments and aversions, joys and sorrows, successes and disappointments, principally relate to those objects which before gave him scarcely any concern, but which now appear to him of such vast importance, that the objects which once engrossed his mind, proportionably dwindle into insignificancy, when he does not see them to be criminal, polluting, and insnaring. Hence it comes to pass, that except as a sense of duty retains him in his station, or inforces his application to business or study, he is very apt to grow inattentive to such matters, deeming them comparatively mere trifles.

It is not to be expected, that we should describe the manner in which the Holy Spirit effects this internal change: for we cannot understand how God creates, and forms the body in the womb, or how he breathes into it the breath of life. It is of more importance for us to be able with precision to ascertain those effects, by which it is distinguished from every species of counterfeits. Among these we may mention, an habitual and prevailing regard to the authority, favour, displeasure, and glory of God, in the general tenor of a man's conduct, even in his most secret retirement: an abiding sense of his all-seeing eye, his constant presence, and his all-directing and sustaining providence and an unwavering persuasion of his right to our worship, love, and service, and of our obligations and accountableness to him. Connected with this, regeneration always produces a deep and efficacious apprehension of the reality, nearness, and importance of eternal things, and our infinite concern in them; so that, compared with them, all temporal things appear as nothing. This will be accompanied with a new disposition to reverence, examine, believe, and submit to the decisions of the holy Scriptures; yea, a desire after, and delight in them, as the proper nourishment of the soul, (1 Pet. ii. 2). If the subject of this change were previously destitute of religious knowledge, he will find that an increasing acquaintance with the holiness of God, and his obligations to him; with the reasonableness, spirituality, and sanction of the Divine law; and with his own past and present conduct, dispositions, motives, and affections, as compared with this perfect standard; will lead him to an increasing conviction of his sinfulness, his exposedness to deserved wrath, his inability to justify or save himself, and his need of repentance, forgiveness, and the influences of divine grace: and if he before had a doctrinal knowledge of these things, the truth that had lain dormant, will now become a living principle of action in his soul. Thus, selfdependence, and every towering imagination will be cast down; all his supposed righteousness will be found to have sprung from corrupt motives, and to have been both defective and defiled; and whatever his previous character may have been, "God be merciful to me a sinner," will be the genuine language of his heart. So that deep humiliation and self-abasement, a broken and a contrite spirit, godly sorrow, repentance, conversion to God, &c., are the never-failing effects of regeneration. Then the Divine Saviour, and his merits, atonement, and mediation, with all the parts of his great salvation begin to appear glorious in his eyes, and to become precious to his heart; he now sees the wisdom, and feels the power of the doctrine of the cross, which before he deemed foolishness, and learns to glory in it: he now counts all but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, and gladly receives and believes in him, in his several offices of prophet, priest, and king, (John


i. 12, 13; 1 John v. 1). Thus he learns to love him; to admire the excellency of his character, to value his favour, and to desire communion with him above all things; to be thankful for his unspeakable love, and inestimable benefits; to be zealous for his honour, and devoted to his cause; to love the brethren for his sake, and neighbours and enemies after his example, (1 John iii. 14; iv. 7—21); and to exercise self-denial, to endure loss, hardship, and suffering in his service. In short, "whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world, hates sin, and doeth righteousness," (1 John ii. 29; iii. 9, 10; v. 4); for the regenerate man "beholds the glory of God," (especially in the face of Christ), " and is changed into the same image," &c. (2 Cor. iii. 17, 18; iv. 4-6): so that repentance, faith, love of God and man, submission, patience, meekness, spirituality, temperance, justice, truth, purity, and all the fruits of the Spirit, are the genuine effects of that change without which "no man can see, or enter into the kingdom of God;" though the whole is imperfect in the degree, and counteracted by the remaining power of in-dwelling sin, and manifold temptations.

That this is the real meaning of this Scriptural expression may be further evinced, by briefly considering several other metaphors, which express the same change. It is called a new creation; and "if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new," (2 Cor. v. 17); and the apostle speaks of it with allusion to the creation of the world, when "God commanded light to emerge out of darkness," order out of confusion, and beauty out of deformity, (2 Cor. iv. 6; Eph. ii. 10; iv. 24): nor does "any thing avail in Christ but a new creature," (Gal. vi. 15). It is also called a resurrection. There are, so to speak, three kinds of life; animal, rational, and spiritual. Animal life implies the capacity of performing animal functions, and relishing animal pleasures, which man possesses in common with the brutes; rational life rises a degree above this, and includes the capacity of rational investigation, and of relishing an intellectual pleasure, of which mere animals have no conception; this man possesses in common with the unembodied spirits; but spiritual life is a still nobler distinction, and the perfection of created being, as it consists in the capacity of performing, and delighting in, spiritual actions; in which angels find their chief felicity, but of which the most rational man in the world, who is not born again, is as entirely incapable as the brutes are of philosophy. Animal life may subsist without either intellectual or spiritual capacities, these may subsist apart from animal propensities; and an intelligent agent may be destitute of spiritual capacity, as fallen angels are; but spiritual life pre-supposes rational powers. Adam, created in the image of God, possessed them all, but when he sinned, he lost his spiritual life, for the spirit of life departed, and he became dead in sin: thenceforth he possessed the propensities of animal nature, and the capacities of an intelligent agent, but he became incapable of delighting in the spiritual excellency of divine things; and this is the condition of every man until " the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes him free from the law of sin and death,” (Rom. viii. 2); which constitutes that figurative resurrection of which we speak, (Rom. vi, 4; Eph. ii. 1, 5, 6; Col. iii. 1). Again, the Lord promises a new heart and a new spirit;""a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone;" and "to write his law in the heart," (Ezek. xxxvi. 26; Jer. xxxi. 31-33); which implies a change wrought in the judgment, dispositions, and affections, as a preparation for obeying, "not by constraint but willingly." This is also described as putting off," or crucifying the old man, or the flesh, with its affections and lusts," and "putting on the new man;" that we may be "renewed in the spirit of our mind, and transformed in the renewing of our mind," It is called "the circumcision of the heart to love the Lord," (Deut. xxx. 6): and it is represented by the grafting of a tree, through which the nature of it is changed and meliorated, and made to bear good fruit. These and such like metaphors and similitudes abundantly illustrate and confirm the explanation given of regeneration: but can never be made to coincide with the

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sentiments of those who explain it of an outward form or amendment; or of such as mistake some transient impressions or emotions for this abiding change.

The necessity of regeneration might be rested on the solemn and repeated declarations of the Saviour and Judge of men; for the multitudes who hope for heaven, whilst they pay no regard to this part of Scripture, strangely presume, either that Christ was mistaken, or that he will depart from his word in their favour. But other conclusive proofs may be adduced, "that unless a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God:" which result from the nature of God and of man, of true religion, and of happiness. No creature can be satisfied, unless its capacities of enjoyment coincide with its sources of pleasure, or unless it subsist in its proper element. The animals are perfectly satisfied with their several modes of living, whilst unmolested, and sufficiently provided for; but they are uneasy when out of their place, though in a situation which pleases other animals. Different men also have diverse tastes, none is comfortable unless his inclination be gratified; and every one is apt to wonder what pleasure others can take in that which is irksome to him. But who is there, that naturally takes delight in the spiritual worship and service of God? Are not these things man's weariness and aversion? And do not men in general deem those persons melancholy, who renounce other pleasures for them? That "which is born of the flesh is flesh," or carnal;" and the carnal mind is enmity against God; whose holy perfections, spiritual law and worship, sovereign authority and humbling truth, are disliked by all unregenerate men, in proportion as they are acquainted with them. This is manifest, not only from the vices of mankind, but from their idolatry, infidelity, superstition, and impiety; for they have in every age, almost with one consent, preferred any absurdity to the truths, precepts and ordinances of revelation; and any base idol to the Holy One of Israel! Indeed every man, who carefully watches his own heart, whilst he thinks seriously of the omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, justice, holiness, truth, and sovereignty of God; of his laws, threatenings, and judgments; and of his own past and present sins, will find "a witness in himself," of the enmity of the carnal mind against God. So that except a man be born again, he cannot take any pleasure in God, nor can God take any pleasure in him; he cannot be subject to his law, he cannot come to, or walk with him, (Amos iii. 3): he cannot render him unfeigned praises and thanksgivings, but must either neglect religion, or be a mere formalist; he cannot deem the service of God perfect freedom, or his privilege, honour, and happiness: he cannot exercise unfeigned repentance for all his sins, but must, in part at least, exalt himself, palliate his crimes, object to the severity of God, and murmur at his appointments: he cannot cordially receive the gospel, or live by faith in Christ, for "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;" or perceive the preciousness of his person, mediation, and kingdom, the glory of his cross, his unsearchable riches, and incomprehensible love. He cannot unfeignedly give him the whole glory of his salvation; or practise, from proper motives, meekness, patience, gratitude, forgiveness of injuries, and love of enemies, or count all but loss for Christ; renounce all for him; bear reproach and persecution for his sake; devote himself to his service, even unto death; and then at last receivé eternal life as the free gift of God in him. Nor can he enter into the spiritual meaning of divine ordinances, (especially of baptism and the Lord's Supper); or seek the spiritual blessings of the new covenant, with decided preference; or love the true worshippers of God, as the excellent and honourable of the earth. Nay, an unregenerate man would not savour the company, the work, the worship, or the joy of heaven; but would be disgusted even with the songs and employments of angels and the spirits of just men made perfect; as persons of different descriptions may know, by a witness in themselves," if they will but carefully consider the subject. But the nature of God, of holiness, of happiness, and of heaven, is un


changeable: and therefore, either we must be changed, or we cannot be either holy or happy.


All the scriptures referred to, imply, that regeneration is wrought by "the exceeding greatness of the mighty power of God:" but it should be observed, that he operates on the minds of rational creatures according to their nature. The renewal of a fallen angel to the Divine image, would be as real a display of omnipotence, as his first creation; and in some respects a greater: but the Lord might effect this change in a different manner. Having made use of truth (as the medium of his almighty energy), to overcome the dark and obstinate enmity of his fallen nature; and to produce a willingness to be restored: he might afterwards require his concurrence in the use of means, through which that recovery should be effected. Now we are informed, that the Lord regenerates sinners by his word (James i, 18; 1 Pet. i, 23); ministers, therefore, and parents, and many others, in different ways, are bound to set before those, committed to their care, the word of truth; and to treat them as reasonable creatures, addressing their understanding and consciences, their hopes, fears, and all the passions and powers of their souls; beseeching God to give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." And they who are convinced that such a change must take place in them, or else that they must be miserable, should be induced by the consideration that they cannot change their own hearts, (that being the work of the Holy Spirit), to seek this needful blessing, by reading the Scriptures, retirement, meditation, self-examination, hallowing the Lord's day, hearing faithful preaching and other instruction, breaking off known sin, practising known duties, avoiding vain company and dissipation, and earnestly praying to God to "create in them a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within them." For convictions of our inability have a similar effect upon us in other cases and lead us to seek help from them that are able to help us. To those who continue to treat this subject with contempt and derision, we can only say, that as such persons will neither believe our testimony, nor that of Christ; they will at last have no cause to complain, if they are left destitute of that which they have so despised. Some may believe that such things are, who are yet at a loss to know what they are: to them I would say, "beg of God daily and earnestly to teach you what it is to be born again ;" and in time your own experience will terminate your perplexity. But let those who admit the doctrine, beware lest they rest in the notion, without the experience and effects of it. And finally, let those who have known the happy change, know also that they need to be changed more and more: and should therefore unite with gratitude, for what the Lord hath wrought, persevering prayer, for a more complete renewal into the Divine image, in all the powers, dispositions, and affections of their souls.


On the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, with some Thoughts on the Doctrine of the Sacred Trinity.

CHRISTIANITY is styled by the apostle "the ministration of the Spirit," (2 Cor. iii. 8 ;) and a careful investigation of the Scriptures may suffice to convince any impartial inquirer, that the promise of the Holy Ghost is the grand peculiarity of the New Testament; even as that of the Messiah was of the old dispensation. Having considered regeneration, or a man's being "born of the Spirit," or "born of God;" it regularly occurs to us in this place to give a more particular statement of the Scripture doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit. What relates to his personality and Deity, and to the

doctrine of the Trinity as connected with it, will constitute the subject of the present Essay: and the extraordinary and ordinary operations, influences, and gifts of the Spirit; the office he performs in the economy of our salvation; and the duties resulting from them, must be reserved for the next Essay.

When we use the term personality, in the discussion of this subject, we only mean, that language is used in Scripture concerning the Holy Spirit, and actions are ascribed to him, which lead us to think of him as a distinct Agent, and such as would be extremely improper, if a mere attribute or mode of operation were intended. Yet all must entertain this sentiment, who deny the personality of the Holy Ghost, and yet pay any suitable respect to the sacred oracles, in which so much is constantly ascribed to him. But we do not suppose, that the words "person," and personality can, in an adequate manner, explain to us the distinct subsistence of the Spirit: or assist our conceptions in respect of mysteries, which we profess to consider as absolutely incomprehensible. These words, indeed, in this use of them, are not found in scripture: but when divine truths are opposed with ingenuity, learning, and pertinacity; it becomes necessary for those "who would contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," to vary their expressions: because their opponents will invent some plausible method of explaining away those terms, which had before been made use of. That imperfection which characterizes every thing that belongs to man, is peculiarly discernible in human language: the mysteries of the infinite God can only be declared to us in words primarily taken from the relations and affairs of men; and every thing that relates to infinity, confounds and overwhelms our finite and narrow capacities. The most careful and able writers cannot, on such topics, wholly prevent their readers from attaching ideas to their words, which they meant not to convey by them: so that they, whose object it is to put an absurd construction on our expressions, or to enervate, by a plausible interpretation, the language of holy scripture, will never find it very difficult to accomplish their purpose, as far as the generality of mankind are concerned. If we speak of three distinct Persons in the Godhead, they may charge us with holding three distinct gods: supposing, or pretending we mean, that this incomprehensible distinction is perfectly like the obvious distinction of three men from each other. On the other hand, the labour, study, and ingenuity of revolving centuries have so perplexed the subject, that we cannot at present find words explicitly to define our meaning, and exactly to mark the difference of our sentiments from those of our opponents, unless we use such exceptionable terms: at least, this is my principal reason for adhering to them. But if our expressions convey to the reader's mind the doctrine of scripture, with as much perspicuity and precision as human language generally admits of; it is mere trifling to object to them, because they are not found in the Bible: for truths not words constitute the matter of revelation; and words are only the vehicle of truths to our minds. If some men have got the habit or art of evading the force of Scriptural terms, and thus mislead others into error; it is not only allowable, but needful, for us to state our sentiments in other words, and then to prove that those sentiments are actually contained in holy Scripture; unless we be disposed to give our opponents every advantage in the argument. For it cannot well be doubted by impartial persons, but that aversion to the doctrines themselves lies at the bottom of those objections that are made to the words, in which their defenders have been used to express them.

We proceed therefore to consider the personality of the Holy Spirit; premising, that as "these are heavenly things," (John iii. 12, 13), we can neither explain them clearly in human language, nor illustrate them fully by any earthly things, nor yet prove them by arguments from human reason: for the whole rests entirely on the authority of divine revelation: we gain our knowledge of them by simply believing God's sure testimony; and we should improve them to practical purposes in humble adoration, and not treat


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