Abbildungen der Seite

Grace operate with Free will, that it only prevents in the first Act, in the rest it accompanieth it; and it therefore prevents or first assists the wills, that the Will may be enabled to cooperate with it afterwards, yet so, that what is begun by Grace alone, is perfected by both alike; Decret so as Jointly, not severally, together not by turns, they do Libo work in the several degrees of their Progress, not partly Arbitr. Grace, parily Freewill, but each by a joint Operation prop. fin. performeth the whole : Freewill doth the whole work, and Grace doth the whole work; but as the whole is wrought in the Will, so is the whole wronght by Grace. Thus far that holy Person excellently..

Pardon my Curiosity, or too much Diligence, If I. labour to present, as it were to the Eye in a Scheme, the consistence of Grace and Freewill, in willing and nilling Good, in every estate of Na. ture; whether sound, fallen, in renewing; or renewed, or Glorified: Grace being supposed to help Freewill to Will or to do Good, and not to hinder it's nilling Good or doing Evil.


i. Was a Power in Man innocent enabling him,

By the strength conferred on him in his Creation, to Will things fpiritually Good; or by his Natural liberty under God, refuse them.

By the additional help of Grace, more intense. ly to Will; but without derogating from his Natural liberty of not willing them.

2. It was wholly lost by Sin in Man fallen , both as conferred in the Creation, and as corroborated by Grace, so far as relates to the Willing things Spia ritual; there still remaining the natural Power of re. jecting, with the addition of a preter-natural aversion to them. , 3. It is a faculty in Man restored whereby hie is Empowered


By preventing Grace to Will fpiritual good Things, but with his freedom to Evil remaining, and a Difaffectio on to Good.

Man's Freewill,

1. Enabled by preventing Grace, of it self, doth not Will any further Progress in things spiritually Good, thro' its corrupt affections works conırary to them; but by the further help of Grace it willeth, through the continual renewings of Grace, doth things Spirituali

2. Through regenerating Grace it aspires after, and brings to effect, but with a possibility of falling from, and some, tho' less, disinclination to things spiritually Good.

3. In the State of Glory, thro' the immediate contemplation of God's blessedness and perfections, it most fully desireth and perfecteth things Spiritual without the least backwardness to, or poflibility of declining from them.

Again, in this and the two Pages following, give me leave to set down the order of Mans conversion, and the process therein in them that obey the

Grace of God to Salvation : and the manner of re- listance and disobedience, that is in every degree of

The order of the Conversion of a Sin. ner, his Free-will obeying divine Grace.

Man being in the State of corrupt Nature, and without Law, his Underli anding is dark, his Will perverse, bis Life impure, his Conscience Insensible ; whence he is a Child of Wrath most Wretched and Ignorant that he is fo.

Nature then being wholly deficient, there is place for the Law.

Man being under the Law, as the Law is preparatory to the Gospel, his mind is brought to the knows


ledge of Sin, bis Conscience accuseth him with it, being touched with the Spirit of Fear ; bence he becometh less Miserable, as he knows himself to be fo; bis Conscience is bad, but sensible; being burthened, he cryeth out, wretched Man that I am! Who shall deliver me?

When the Law hath done its utmost, and falls fort, Grace or the Gospel fucceeds.

preventing and working in him, he from thence learns the Mercies of the Father, the Merits of the Son, and the Asistances of the holy Spirit, and becometh defirous of Salvation. And happy he, who thus diffid. ing in himtelf, found help in his God! He is now under the band of the Physician, not healed, but desirous to be fo; yet can make no endeavours towards it, except they be stirred up in him.

When Preventing Grace hath done its Office, helping Grace adds its Succour.

Man, under regenerating Grace, being holpen in bis wishes he Willeth; affilted in his Willing he believeth ; believing he is Justified, and being Justified he is Sanctified. His endeavours would have been vain, unless they had been assisted; but he is now made whole, and tuketh up his Bed; being now Fust, he liveth by


He that is thus become Righteons goeth on towards Perfečtion.

Man, under Grace protecting and perfecting him, is joyful for the present, thankful for what is past, watchful and couragions in respect of the Future, Praying, Contending, Persevering. Thou that art thus made whole, Sin no more, lest worse come to thee. Thou art now become Spiritual, Perfe&t as thou canst be in thy road to Heaven, rooted in Faith, Congueror of the Flesh, the World and the Devil; and therefore happy.

O 2




and Bleffed be God who hath Blessed us with
every friritual Blessing in Christ Jesus.

The Degrees and Manner, whereby Sin-
ners harden themselves, their Free-will
disobeying the divine Grace.

All without the Church not being called, are hardened in their Sins; of whom it is said whom he will

he hardeneth, and as many as have Sinned without Rom.9.18.

° Law Mall Perisa without Law. So also, --- 2. 12,

1. He that hardeneth bis Heart against the Law re. proving him, who conceals, palliates or defendeth his Sin,

who securely contemns all threatnings, promising himself
9. Peace and Impunity.

2. He that being wounded by the Law, notwithstand.
ing the declarations of the Gospel, de pairs of the Mer.
cies of the Father, the Merits of the Son, and the Aids
of the holy Spirit, and precipitates himself into all
manner of Wickedness, as Cain and Judas did,
* 3. He that prejümes on Pardon, by misapplying the
Evangelical promises, who contrary to the design of the
Gospel abusech the riches of Grace to Lasciviousness, de-
fers amendment, presuming that he may exercise Repent-
once and Faith in Christ, at any, even the last part of
his Life.

4. He that is puffed up with his past Impunity and
Prosperity, Ungrateful, Secure, Indulging to idleness and
carnal Pleajures, and neglecting Prayer; or who, thro?
fear, deserts the Faith, or yielding to Temptations allowe
eth himself in Wickedness, and falls into Perdition; una
less by a new act of Fauh and Repentance,' be return io
God for the remision of his Sin.
• In every one of these degrees the Divine severity
may take a just occasion of forsaking a Man, and
going no further towards his Conversion; and if God
doth still go on to further it, it is of his fuperabun-
cant Grace.

* Now

Now, by the view of these Tables, a full answer may be made to those Questions moved in the eighth Chapter, in the beginning of the Doctrine of Conversion; viz. what part the Sinner, the Subject to be Converted, being a living, and a reasonable Being, beareth in his own Conversion, whether he be active or. pallive, where, and how far? Whether he can hinder. or further it? Who it is that puts the difference, God or Man; If we suppose of two equally called, the one. to obey, the other to disobey?

To the first of these it may be answered by remembrance of the order of Calling before declared in the seventh Chapter, and by reference to this description of the order of our Conversion.

1. That a Sinner is passive in having the word of the Law and of the Gospel preached unto him; but active in hearing and attending to it.

2. That he is paflive in the illuminations of his mind, and in receiving impressions of fear by the Law, and of hope by the Gospel; but active in nourishing them, not defacing them, or putting them out of his Heart, Grace yet coworking with him in that nourishing of them.

3. That he is passive in receiving sundry good Thoughts, holy Desires, and a “Power to will, and Motions to pray: but he is active in meditacing on those Thoughts, in prosecuting of those Desires, and in endeavouring to exercise his power to will and to pray; Grace ready to help him, ever offering it self.

4. That praying he is still passive, but a willing patient, thirsting for the Gifts or Habits of Repentance, Faith, Love, or whatever he prayeth for; and active, but an helped agent, in producing the Acts of Repenting, Believing, Loving, out of those Gifts and Habits, infused into him.

5. That he is both Passive under the Vigilancy and Power of God, protecting and keeping him be


« ZurückWeiter »