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" To wait for a second regeneration-a sudden conversion—a sensible operation of the Holy Spirit effecting a total and instantaneous change ' in their hearts and dispositions. Let them rather "be admonished to take a serious, strict, and impartial review of their past livés ; let them compare their conduct with the unerring rule of * God's written commandments ; let them con- sider the folly and danger of continuing in sin ; let them determine to abandon their wicked ways ; let them earnestly and faithfully pray for spiritual aid ; let them thus renew their minds, and they may rest assured that their pious resolutions and virtuous exertions will be strengthened and promoted by“ power from on high."']

A second regeneration' is a term never found in our sermons or writings; as we suppose ungodly baptized persons to have been hitherto unregenerate, and to need regeneration. “Sudden 'conversion,''sensible operation,' 'instantaneous

change,' have repeatedly been considered. But does any Calvinist imagine a more instantaneous or entire change, than that which his Lordship ascribes to baptism : 2

Regeneration of those who are already bap? tized, by the forcible operation of the Spirit, is

one of the doctrines, by which the weak credulity of unthinking persons is imposed upon in the present times. It is a dangerous illusion, cal'culated to flatter the pride and indolence of our

corrupt nature. It is an easy substitute for that

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« “ godly sorrow which worketh repentance ;" for

that real amendment of life which consists in 'mortifying our carnal lusts, in forsaking “ the

sin which doth most easily beset us,” and in an active and conscientious endeavour to obey the * revealed will of God. Men, who fancy that they

have received this second birth, consider them'selves full of divine grace, are too often regardless

of the laws both of God and man, affect to go'vern themselves by some secret rules in their own breasts, urge the suggestions of the Spirit

upon the most trifling occasions, and pretend the “most positive assurance of their salvation, while ' perhaps they are guilty of the grossest immoral

ities, and are treading under foot the Son of God, .by the most palpable departure from the plain

and simple rules of his pure and holy religion ; sor at least, by boasting of the peculiar favour of “ heaven, they imitate the persons spoken of in the * gospel, who “ trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others."'

To make man willing, by changing his disposition, and instructing his mind, is far different from a 'forcible operation. Whether the regeneration of baptized persons who live ungodly lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be à doctrine held only by men of weak credulity and unthinking per' sons,' or not; it certainly is not exclusively peculiar to the present times ;' as many quotations already adduced demonstrate. It has not been hitherto proved an illusion ;' when this has been done, it may be allowed to be dangerous.' The

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charge of pride,' may be easily made, and easily retorted; but “the day of the Lord" must shew to whom it most properly attaches. That of in

dolence,' has already been fully considered. Instead of an easy substitute' for that “ godly “ sorrow which worketh repentance unto salva“ tion," it is the parent and only source of “re“ pentance and works meet for repentance;" and it can be known to have taken place, by no other evidence, than that real amendment of life, which consists in mortifying our carnal lusts, in forsaking the sin which doth most easily beset us, and in an active and conscientious endeavour

to obey the revealed will of God,' springing from faith in Christ, love to his name, and zeal for his glory. "Men who fancy they have received this

second birth, and consider themselves full of 'divine grace,' while they are regardless both of * the laws of God and man,' are doubtless deluded and dangerous enthusiasts; and it may be boldly said, that no part of the clergy more steadily oppose these enthusiastical delusions, than those who preach the necessity of regeneration to all, baptized or unbaptized, who do not prove that they are already regenerate by the substantial fruits of a holy life. Regeneration is like the grafting of the tree: and, if it take place, either before, or at, or after baptism, it will be shewn by its holy fruits. Miraturque novas frondes, et non sua poma. But, if it be fancy and delusion, for a man, on account of some inward feelings, to think himself born again, and new-created unto good works, 'while guilty of the grossest immoralities; we think it also fancy and delusion, of the most per

nicious and fatal kind, to suppose persons regenerate, who are living in the practice of gross wickedness, or an ungodly life, in any form, merely because they were baptized in infancy. If a nurseryman should be introduced into an inclosure planted with crab-trees, covered with their worthless fruit, and having not one apple or pear on any of them; and be told that they had all been grafted, when young plants, and needed no other grafting ; he would say, It is plain the graft did not take ; and it is evident that they must be grafted in a more efficacious manner, or they will still remain crab-trees. Without this, pruning, and digging, and manuring, will do nothing.“ The application to our views is obvious. After. having been informed by the inspired historian, or rather by the words of Gabriel, that John the Baptist “ should be filled with the Holy Ghost even “ from his mother's womb;"! we should not expect to read, that he lived in a dissipated, sensual, ungodly, and worldly manner during the former years of his life : we should suppose, on the contrary, that even his childhood and youth would be stamped with piety, purity, and love to God and man; and, in short, that as “ the child grew he “ would wax strong in spirit,” and bring forth “ the “ fruits of the Spirit;" which accordingly he did. Birth introduces life; but if life be speedily extinct the birth seems in vain : and if regeneration always accompanies infant-baptism, but is far more frequently lost than retained, the spiritual life must be restored by the same life-giving Spirit

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who first communicated it, or the persons concerned must continue “ dead in sin," and at length “die in their sins," and be lost for ever.

Regeneration then, in its true sense, signifies "an inward effect produced by the Holy Ghost, through the means of baptism, whereby the person baptized exchanges his natural state in Adam

for a spiritual state in Christ. Water applied 'outwardly to the body, together with the grace

of the Holy Ghost applied inwardly to the soul, regenerates the man; or, in other words, the * Holy Ghost, in and by the use of water-baptism, 'causes the new birth. And the words regenera

tion and new birth are never used in the New * Testament, or in the writings of our church, as

equivalent to conversion or repentance, independent of baptism. The instantaneous conversion of persons already baptized, by the resistless and perceptible power of the Holy Ghost, and

their being placed in a state of salvation from 'which it is impossible for them to fall, are un

founded and mischievous tenets, utterly irrecon-. 'cilable with scripture and the doctrines of the

church of England. The design of Christianity is indeed to remedy the corruption and depravity of human nature, and to restore it to that image of God in which Adam was created, and which * by transgression he lost--but this is not done by - sudden and violent impulses of the Spirit: it 'must be, as I observed in the former chapter, the progressive result of calm and serious reflection, firm resolution, zealous exertion, and constant vigilance, aided by the co-operation of

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