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II. pellation, the epithet
"rial fpirit, or air in motion); to which apP, dyov, boly, or one -"of the names of God is usually added: " and the actions of the Holy Spirit in the fpiritual fyftem are defcribed by those "of the air in the naturals." It is worthy of obfervation, that our Lord ufes the very fame allegorical mode of expreffion, when fpeaking of the agency of the Holy Ghost in the work of regeneration 1.
This diftinction between external and internal regeneration, or, in other words, between an admiffion into the vifible and invifible church of Chrift, is for the most part accurately preferved by our older divines. Thus Bp. Latimer; "There be "two manner of men; fome there be, "that be not justified, nor regenerated, nor yet in the ftate of falvation; that is to fay, not God's fervauntes; they lacke the "renovation, or regeneration; they be not come yet to Chrift. Now thefe perfons, "that bee not yet come to Christ, or if they were come to Chrift, be fallen againe from him, &c." Hence it appears, that
Parkhurft's Heb. Lex. vox 1. h John iii. 8.
i Latimer's Sermons, fol. 226.
the Bishop was of opinion, that perfons CHAP. might come to Chrift externally, and yet III. remain unregenerate.
Bp. Wilkins advifes us to pray earnestly to God," that he would give unto us a new heart, and put a new fpirit within us-that we may be regenerate, and become new creatures, being born again of that incorruptible feed, the word of God."
Bp. Reynolds exprefsly calls nominal Chriftians, unregenerate; "" Unregenerate "men are often fecure men, making prinIciples and premises of their own, to "build the conclufions of their falvation upon '."
Bp. Burnet is yet more exact; "It is a
k Wilkins on Prayer, c. xvii.
Some perfons make a distinction between renovation and regeneration. This feems, however, to be more a verbal than a real difference. In Scripture, the terms are used indifferently, and frequently both in the fame fentence. Such alfo is the practice of Barrow, Hall, and Butler, as will be fhewn in the course of this difquifition. We find, that, in Scripture, baptifm is conferred as a fign of a converted perfon being already fpiritually regenerate, and not with a view to make him fo. See Acts viii. 36, 38. and particularly Acts x. 44, 48.
1 Sinfulness of Sin, p. 63. See alfo p. 481. of his Works. very
very natural diftinction to fay, that the "outward effects of baptifm follow it as "outwardly performed; but that the in"ward effects of it follow upon the in"ward acts. But this difference is ftill to "be obferved between inward acts and "outward actions, that when the outward "action is rightly performed, the church "must reckon the baptism good, and never "renew it; but if one has been wanting in "the inward acts, thofe may be afterwards "renewed, and that want may be made "up by repentance."
To affirm indeed that internal regeneration never takes place at baptifm, is an unwarrantable prefumption : but to affert, that it always and neceffarily refults from the due performance of the outward action, at once contradicts plain matter of fact; and, like the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation, "overthroweth the nature of a sa"crament," by confounding the fign with the thing fignified.
By water, is meant baptifm," fays the excellent Bp. Hopkins, "the element being
m Burnet on Art. xxvii.'
put for the ordinance, which is the fa- CHAP. "crament of our regeneration; and thus you have it in Eph. v. 26. where the "church is faid to be fanctified and cleanfed, through the washing of water. There is "indeed a baptifmal regeneration, whereby "all that are made partakers of that ordi"nance are, according to Scripture language, fanctified, renewed, and made the "children of God, and brought within the "bond of the covenant: but all this is but after an external manner, as being in this "ordinance entered menbers of the visible "church: now this external regeneration by water entitles none to eternal life, "but as the Spirit moves upon the face "of these waters, and doth fometimes fecretly convey quickening virtue thorough "them "."
Thefe premises being ftated, we may Nature of now proceed to a more particular inquiry into the nature of that "inward fpiritual
grace," of which baptifm is "the out"ward vifible fign." The Scriptural doctrine of regeneration has unhappily been
" Bp. Hopkins's Sermons, p. 519. See indeed the whole of his four Sermons on Regeneration.
SECT. fo abufed, on the one hand, to the purposes of fanaticism, that, on the other, probably from a weak unmanly dread of the imputation of enthusiasm, it has been almoft totally rejected. But, if the heated imagination of fome makes it to depend entirely upon fudden impreffions, and fenfible impulses; the supposition of others, that it confifts in a bare external decency, and in a mere outward reformation of manners, is, if poffible, even yet more abfurd. The fear of difgrace or punishment; the defire of maintaining a fair character ; hereditary prejudices °; custom; convenience; and a variety of other motives of a fimilar nature, may fuccefsfully unite in producing a very plausible and decorous exterior. The heart, in the mean time, may remain totally unaffected, and completely at variance with God. The decent moralift, who is no murderer, no adulterer,
I deliberately fay, prejudices; for a propenfity to a morality affumed upon credit, and unfounded upon conviction, is as much a prejudice, as a propenfity even to immorality, when taken up on fimilar grounds. Thus, the man, who regularly attends his church merely because his father did fo before him, is as much a flave to hereditary prejudice, as the duellift, who draws his fword in a private quarrel, because he ridiculoufly fancies that cuftom obliges him.