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the acts of a man's own will. For the will, by reason of its natural depravity, is averse to goodness, and acts contrary to the spirit of holiness; wherefore it is requisite that this faculty of the soul be moved and wrought upon by the grace of God; and this moving and working are the first essays of conversion. Whence it is evident, that we are merely passive as to this. I do not take in here the mere preparatory acts, and those means which are used in order to this great change; for in these, or in some part of them, mán hath an agency, and doth really do something. But I speak of the effectual turn and actual change of the will, which are the first steps of conversion and regeneration; and it is not to be doubted that these are from God alone, and that he doth all here. Man is no agent in the first successful inclining of the will; there is no concurrence, no co-operation of his in this act. God here is the sole efficient author, and man is the passive subject. As it was in the creation of the world, so it is in the spiritual creation, or regeneration. God created all things of nothing, and so he doth likewise regenerate, repair, and create men anew, when there is nothing in them to effect it. Or as it is in our first and natural birth, we are no causes of it; so neither are we of the second or new birth. Here the living principle of grace is God's work wholly. We are passive as to that; but the exercise of that principle and power is from God's assisting us to put forth acts suitable to our powers. Our wills being excited and set on work by the grace of God, they co-operate with the subsequent grace of God, and concur with it, to the producing of acts of piety and holiness. Being first turned by grace, we can then move and turn ourselves; and thus there is a co-operation of man's will with God's grace. Though, then, we are passive, yet it is not so to be understood as if we were void of will and choice. The true account is, that we are neither altogether active, nor purely passive; but God moves our wills, and then we will and act; which will be exemplified in the following links of our chain: and first, in REPENTANCE, as being the first spiritual motion in the soul of "Christian."


13th Link.

Repentance, heavenly monitress, reclaims
The wanderer from his dangerous maze,

To tread her peaceful paths, and seek his God.

In the preceding articles of Effectual Calling, Regeneration, and Conversion, we have considered "Christian" as passive; in the following articles, until the soul is separated from the body, we shall consider him as active. In this view of the history and pil grimage of “Christian," the scriptures will all harmonize, and all seeming contradictions will vanish.


Repentance properly denotes an after-thought, or the soul recol lecting its own actings; and that in such a manner as to produce sorrow in the review, and a desire of amendment; as was the case with the prodigal son. It is said, (Luke xv.) " When he came to himself;" i. e. when he awoke from that state of delusion and profligacy into which he had fallen; he sat down and reflected, and called to remembrance his father's house, and his father's servants, and the circumstance of their having bread enough and to spare, while he was enduring all the miseries of privation. He then re pented bitterly on account of the errors and sins of his former life; and while in this conflicting state of mind, he feels a spring of action operating in his soul, which causes him to resolve, "I will arise and go to my Father," and confess my sin; peradventure he

will receive me.

Here we may perceive the first spring of action in the soul of "Christian."" I will arise, and go to my Father, and will say to him, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no

more worthy to be called thy son."

Thus we find the writers of the sacred scriptures have left upon

record their experience:

I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and

thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.


I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me: against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight. David.

Job saith, I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men?

Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.

My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death.

My friends scorn me; but mine eye poureth out tears unto God,

Peter remembered the words of Jesus, and he went out and wept bitterly. Matt xxvi, 75.

O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Paul.

With Repentance we must also unite returning to God with confession, which also supposes action; and with this view of the subject the scriptures will fully harmonize.

Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law;

But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found. 2 Chron. xv. 4.

Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, and he will return to the remnant of you; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you,


ye will return unto him. 2 Chron. xxx. 6, 9.

Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with your whole hearts, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. Who knoweth if he will return, and leave a blessing behind him? Joel ii. 12, 13.

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Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; 90

Ezek. xviii. 30.

iniquity shall not be your ruin. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt. iv. 17. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke xiii. 2. When they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized, every one of you. Acts. ii. 37.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly manner.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

For behold, this self-same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you! yea, what clearing of yourselves! yea, what indignation! yea, what fear! yea, what vehement desire! yea, what zeal! 2 Cor. vii, 9-11.

Showing first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and through all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance, Acts xxvi. 20.

Be zealous, therefore, and repent.

Rev. iii. 5,

At Jesu's feet, where Mary sat and wept,
I would be always found; and there, like her,
Pour out the affection of a melted soul

In godly sorrow, mix'd with holy joy.
Or, if from thence I move to Calvary,
Oh! may
his wounded side and precious blood
Engage my thoughts, dissolve my stony heart,

And bid repentance flow in tears of love,

Q. What is repentance unto life?

A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God, in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.


Q. Who is the author of saving repentance?

A. The Spirit of God is the author of it; the heart by nature is

so hard, that none but the Spirit can break it: Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, &c.

Q. In what act doth all true repentance begin?

A. It begins in a true sight and sense of sin, and the danger and misery we are în by sin; Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, &c.

Q. Why doth God work such a sense of sin and misery?

A. He doth it to make Christ desirable in the sinner's eyes, that be may fly to him; Matt. ix. 12, 13. But when Jesus heard that, be said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, 1 will have mercy, and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Q. Is the sight of sin sufficient to repentance?

A. No; there must be an apprehension of mercy and forgiveness with God, or else no man can sincerely repent; Rom. ii. 4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. And this mercy must be discerned in and through Christ; Zech. xii. 10. And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Q. Wherein doth repentance chiefly consist?


A. It consists in real inward sorrow for sin, as committed against Psa, li. 3, 4. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, &c. A loathing of ourselves for it; Ezek. Xxxvi. 31. And shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. And of our best duties as sinful and insufficient things; Isa. Ixiv. 5, 6. We are all as an unclean thing; and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, &c. Q. Wherein else doth it consist?

A. In turning from sin, as well as grieving for it; Isa. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts,

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