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formly attended by it; then all who are rightly bap tized, become, at the time, children of grace,' that is, children of God. Yet the passage, under consideration, states men's being qualified to be, "heirs "of God, and joint heirs of Christ," (for so all the children of God are,) as a distant thing, distinct both from the outward sign, and the inward grace of baptism, and the result of making a right use of 'baptismal grace.' No doubt, it is our bounden duty, to make a right use of every means of grace,' and of every inward good desire, counsel, or sugges tion and except we do this, we are not authorized to expect the blessings of adoption, and the Spirit of adoption; but if we depend on our own strength and resolutions, and trust in our own hearts;"1 instead of "trusting in the Lord with all our "hearts;" our confidence will surely be put to shame, as Peter's was. Bastismál grace will be more fully considered, in the remarks on the next chapter: but it may here be noted; that, whatever it be; it must either be made a proper use of, from the first dawn of reason; or it will speedily be lost: and, in how few instances, the former is the case, needs not to be repeated. "Even a child may be known by "his doing, whether his work be pure, and whether " it be right."2
P. xxxii. 1. 7. 'It rests with ourselves, whether 'we will obey its suggestions,' that is, those of the Holy Spirit. No man obeys the suggestions of the Spirit, against his will; and certainly they may be
withstood, or quenched: but a question here comes in our way, How is it that all men do not finally and fatally resist the Holy Spirit; seeing all are by nature alike depraved? To this question, the apostle suggests an answer, when he says, We" were by "nature the children of wrath, even as others; but "God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love "wherewith he loved us; even when we were dead "in sin, hath quickened us together with Christ: "by grace are ye saved:" and with this the liturgy and articles of our church coincide. • As by thy 'special grace preventing us, thou dost put into our hearts good desires; so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect."2 • Wherefore they, which be endued with so excellent a benefit ' of God, be called, according to God's purpose, by "his Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling." The language, however, of the passage under consideration, implies that the influence of the Holy Spirit, which is spoken of, is merely a suggestion to the mind, reminding, or informing, us, of something forgotten or unknown, without any direct efficacious operation on the will and affections: and a quotation from Dr. Jortin, which follows, confirms the same opinion: but this is widely different from "God's working in us to "will and to do:" and putting into our hearts good desires; as it will ere long be more fully shewn.
P. xxxii. 1. 9. Even St. Paul allowed the possi
bility of his having received the grace of God in vain.' That there is a sense, in which men may "receive the grace of God in vain," cannot be denied: but, in the passage referred to,' it is evident, that the apostle is not speaking concerning the grace of God, given to him, being in vain, as to his own salvation; but as to the labours, and self-denials, and success of his ministry: "I' laboured more "abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace "of God which was with me." When he says, in another place, "We then, as workers together with
God, beseech you also, that ye receive not the "C grace of God in vain ;" he certainly referred to the amazing love of God, spoken of in the preceding chapter; especially, in making "Him, who "knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be "made the righteousness of God in him;" and in condescending to "beseech us to be reconciled "unto God." He did not at all refer to the grace of baptism, or even to any internal influence, or suggestions, of the Holy Spirit. And let it here be noted that suggestions is no scriptural term: and many even among Calvinists, regard it rather with a suspicious eye, as leaning towards enthusiasm ; when they meet with it, in the writings of their brethren. For, certainly, it does not much differ from impressions, whispers, revelations, &c.
P. xxxii. 1. 21. 'The whole analogy of nature shews, that we are not to expect any benefits, without making use of the appointed means for • obtaining or enjoying them.'-This quotation from
1 Cor. xv. 10. 2 2 Cor. vi. 1. 3 2 Cor. v. 18-21.
Bp. Butler, is entirely coincident with what has been before stated. Our duty, and the way in which every blessing is to be expected, are accurately stated. But the rich mercy of God, who has often been found" of them who sought him not,"2 may
prevent us with the blessings of his goodness,' and both far exceed what we have a right to expect, and anticipate our very desires. Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear 'than we to pray, and to give more, than either we ' desire or deserve."
P. xxxii. 1. 24. The terms, &c. Certainly the Holy Spirit neither forces us, nor suspends our own powers:' but there is an influence, often mentioned in the scripture, and in our liturgy, which is here entirely overlooked, viz. that of inclining the heart, and "working in us to will." "The Lord "our God be with us, as he was with our fathers;— "that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk "in all his, ways, and to keep his commandments." "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not "unto covetousness." "Incline not my heart to any evil thing.' To the same import are the promises of a new heart, and the prayers grounded on them: as well as what is spoken of the Lord's 2 Rom. x. 20. 3 Col.
'See remarks on p. xxiv. 1. 9.
12 Sun. after Trinity.
4 The terms of scripture represent the Spirit of God, as an ⚫ assisting, not forcing power, as not suspending our own powers, but enabling them; as imparting strength and faculty for our religious work, if we will use them'; but whether we will use them or not, still depending upon ourselves.
5 1 Kings viii. 57, 58. 6. Ps. cxix. 36. cxli. 4. 19. Jer, xxiv. 7. xxxii. 39, 40, Ez, xi: 19. xxxvi. 26.44*
preparing the heart." O almighty God, who ' alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of 'sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing, which, thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise.?2. "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful 'people." Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit.'4 After each of the commandments has been read by the minister, the people are taught to pray Lord have mercy
upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law:' and after the tenth, Lord have mercy upon us,
and write all these laws in our hearts, we beseech
thee.' It is thus, that "the grace of God," as distinct from his word of precept, counsel, and encouraging exhortation, inwardly and efficaciously "teaches us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly “lusts: we should live, soberly, righteously, and "godly in this present world." Were it possible to implant the love of honesty in the heart of a thief, and to "incline his heart" to obey the salutary laws of the land, it would produce an entire change in his character and conduct, without either forcing him, or suspending his own powers; and more effectually teach him to live, justly, than any laws, penalties, threats, promises, persuasions, or expectations could do. This however, " is impossible
1 Chr. xxix. 18. Ps. x. 17. Prov. xvi, 1. after Easter. 3 Col. 25 Sun, after Trin. service, &c. See also, prayer for the king. Morning and Evening. Replenish him with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that he may alway incline to thy will.'
Jer. xxxi. 33. Heb. viii. 10. 6 Tit. ii. 11, 12.
2 Col. 4 Sun.
4 Col. communion