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ever; but merely communicates to them the relish for Spiritual objects, which has been here mentioned.

When God created Adam, there was a period of his existence after he began to be, antecedent to that in which he exercised the first volition. Every man, who believes the mind to be something. beside ideas and exercises, and who does not admit the doctrine of casualty, will acknowledge, that in this period the mind of Adam was in such a state, that he was propense to the exercise of virtuous volitions rather than of sinful ones. This state of mind has been commonly styled disposition, temper, inclination, heart, &c. In the Scriptures it usually bears the last of these names. I shall take the liberty to call it disposition. This disposition in Adam was the cause, whence bis virtuous volitions proceeded; the reason, why they were virtuous, and not sinful. Of the metaphysical nature of this cause I am ignorant. But its existence is, in my own view, certainly proved by its effects. If the volitions of man are not immediately created, they are either caused by something in Man, or they are casual. But they are not casual; for nothing is casual. And even if some things were casual, these could not be; because they were regularly and uniformly virtuous : and it is impossible, that casualty should be the source of uniformity, or regularity. There was, therefore, in the mind of Adam, certainly, a cause, which gave

birth to the fact, that his volitions were virtuous, and not sinful. This cause, of necessity, preceded these volitions ; and therefore certainly existed in that state of mind, which was previous to his first volition. This state of mind, then, this disposition of Adam, existing antecedently to every volition, was the real cause, why his volitions, subsequently existing, were virtuous.

It ought to be remarked here, that plain men, with truth, as well as with good sense, ascribe all the volitions of mankind to disposition, the very thing here intended, as their true cause.

In regeneration, the very same thing is done by the Spirit of God for the soul, which was done for Adam by the same Divine Agent at his creation. The soul of Adam was created with a relish for Spiritual objects. The soul of every man, who becomes a Christian, is renewed by the communication of the same relish. In Adam, this disposition produced virtuous volitions. In every child of Adam, who becomes the subject of virtue, it produces the same effects.

It will, perhaps, be objected to this view of the subject, that God is said to work in us both to will, and to do, of his good pleasure. Phil. ii. 13. Indeed, this passage formerly appeared to me to indicate, that God exercised a different agency on the mind of man from that, which has been here described. But an examination of the passage has convinced me, that my views of it, at that time, were erroneous. For,

1st. The communication of this relish is as truly followed by virtuous willing, and doing, as the creative act would be, which might

immediately give existence to our volitions, and our conduct. If, then, God communicates to us such a relish or such a disposition, causing in us holy volitions and actions; he is as truly said to work in us both these things, as he could be, if he immediately created them. The only difference in this respect is, that they are now mediately, and would be then immediately, the effects of his agency.

2dly. The word, here translated worketh, in the Greek svesywv, inworketh, which characterizes the nature of the agency, is in Eph. ii. 2, applied to Satan in this manner: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Now it will not be said, that Satan creates evil volitions in the minds of the children of disobedience. As the word is in both cases the same, it does not indicate of itself, in the objected passage, that the immediate production of virtuous volitions by the power of God is the thing intended.

I will only add, on this subject, that the relish for spiritual objects is that, which in the Scriptures is called, a new heart, a right spirit, an honest and good heart, a spiritual mind, and denoted by several other names of a similar import. Thus a Good man out of the good treasure of his heart is said to bring forth good things. Thus, also, they who received the seed in good ground, as exhibited in the parable of the sower, are said to be such, as, in an honest and good heart, having received the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. In these and the like instances, the heart is exhibited as the source of all virtuous volitions, desires, and conduct. This relish for spiritual objects is, I apprehend, this very source of these interesting things.

2dly. This change of the heart is the Commencement of holiness in the mind.

The carnal mind, that is, the original, natural disposition of man, is enmity against God; not subject to his Law; neither indeed can be. Before this change, therefore, there is no holiness in the character ; no relish for spiritual good; no exercise of virtuous volitions; no pursuit of virtuous conduct. All these things begin to be chosen, and to be practised, after they begin to be relished; and the first relish for them exists in this renovation of the mind.

3dly. This change is partial.

After Regeneration the native character of man still remains ; his relish for sinful pursuits and enjoyments still continues ; and his relish for spiritual pursuits and enjoyments is never perfected on this side of the grave.

In this state, man exhibits to the view of the Universe an object, unlike any thing else which it has ever beheld. All other intelligent creatures, so far as we are informed, are either perfectly virtuous, or wholly destitute of real virtue. But regenerated man is really virtuous, and yet really sinful: his true and entire character being a mixture of moral good and evil. This mixed character is pre

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sented to us by St. Paul in the 7th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, by the phrases, the Law in the members, and the Law of the mind. These, he informs us, are totally contrary characters, warring in the same soul against each other, and carrying on a continual controversy while life remains. We are, however, abundantly taught, that the holy or virtuous disposition, like the house of David, waxes stronger and stronger; and the sinful disposition, like the house of Saul, weaker and weaker. This increase of strength on the one hand, and this diminution of it on the other, is not indeed regular, constant, and always discernible; but it is yet irregularly progressive to the end of life. There are seasons, in which the Law in the members brings the Law of the mind into captivity. David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Peter denied his Master ; and dissembled with the Jews that went to Antioch. John and James proposed to call for fire from heaven upon the inhabitants of a Samaritan village. The disciples, as a body, contended who of them should be the greatest, and all forsook their Master in the garden of Gethsemane, and fled. Still all of them were better men near the close of life, than at any preceding period. What was true of them is true of every good man.

the whole, improve through life; and will

, ordinarily, year by year, though not without various interruptions and backslidings, become a better Christian. Yet perfection in holiness is never found in the present world. If we say we have no sin, says St. John, speaking of himself and all other Christians, 1 John i. 8, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

4thly. Notwithstanding the partial nature of this change, it is still the foundation of perpetual holiness.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, saith our Saviour, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life; and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life ; or, as it is in the original, hath passed, that is, already, from death unto life. It naturally seems mysterious, that imperfect holiness should in this case be perpetual ; when the perfect holiness of Adam, and the perfect holiness of Angels, was terminated by Apostacy. The explanation of this mystery lies, it is presumed, in this peculiar fact; that those, who are the subjects of this imperfect holiness, are the seed, promised to Christ in the Covenant of Redemption, as the reward of his labours and sufferings. It certainly is not in the nature of the holiness: for this in all the cases specified is the same. It is not in the degree : for that was greater in those who fell, than in those who endure. In those who fell it was perfect, so long as it continued. In those who endure it is always imperfect, and often interrupted by backsliding. It is not in the nature of the subjects. The Angels, who fell, were superior in their nature to all men; and the perfect nature of Adam was superior to that of his unsanctified children. Yet the perseverance of every saint, remote as his character is from perfection, is secur

ed by the promise of God, and carried into complete and final accomplishment by the power of his Spirit. Of this enduring holiness regeneration is the basis ; and the subject of it never ceases to be holy while he lives.

5thly. This change is the source of new views of Spiritual and Divine subjects.

These views, united, constitute what is often termed spiritual knowledge, divine knowledge, spiritual light, and divine light. As the opinions of Divines, and other Christians, have been different concerning this subject; it will be proper to consider it with particular attention.

It has been extensively supposed, that the Spirit of Grace regenerates mankind by communicating to them new, clearer, and juster views of spiritual objects. The understanding being thus enlightened and convinced, the heart, it is supposed, yields itself to this conviction; and the man spontaneously becomes, under its influence, a child of God. I shall not attempt, here, to describe the Metaphysical nature of the work of regeneration, nor to define, precisely, the manner, in which it is accomplished; nor the exact bounds of the Divine, and human, agency in this great concern. Of these subjects I have not sufficiently distinct and comprehensive views, to undertake this employment with any satisfactory hope of success. Yet it appears to me clear, that the account, which I have now given of this subject, is not Scriptural, nor just. Without a relish for spiritual objects, I cannot see that any discoveries concerning them, however clear and bright, can render them pleasing to the soul. If they are unpleasing in their very nature, they cannot be made agreeable by having that nature unfolded more clearly. He, who disrelishes the taste of wine, will not relish it the more, the more distinctly, and perfectly, he perceives that taste. Nor will any account of its agreeableness to others, however clearly given, and with whatever evidence supported, render the taste agreeable to him. To enable him to relish it, it seems indispensable, that his own taste should be changed, and in this manner fitted to realize the pleasantness of the wine. Light is either evidence, or the perception of it; evidence of the true nature of the object, which is contemplated, or the perception of that evidence. But the great difficulty, in the present case, is this : the nature of the object perceived is disrelished. The more, then, it is perceived, the more it must be disrelished of course, so long as the present taste continues. It seems, therefore, indispensable, that, in order to the usefulness of such superior light to the mind, its relish with respect to spiritual objects should first be changed. In this case, the clearer and brighter the views of such objects are, the more pleasing they may be expected to become to the mind.

This, I apprehend, is the true progress of this work in the human soul. Å relish for all spiritual objects, never before existing in him, is communicated to every man, who is the subject of regeneration, by the Spirit of God. Before this event, he disrelished all such objects: now, he relishes them all. Before, he was an enemy of God: now, he becomes a friend to God: before, he loved nothing, now, he loves every thing, of a spiritual nature. He who has hitherto been an enemy to a good man, disrelishes every thing which pertains to him ; his character, conduct, conversation, and opinions; his family, his friends, his very looks, nay, even the spot where he lives; and, in a word, every thing which is his. If you undertake to convince him, while this disrelish continues, that the object of his dislike is undeserving of all this; you may, indeed, present to him arguments, which he cannot answer, and silence his objections, by the irresistible force of proof. You may explain to him, in the clearest manner, the excellencies of this ohject; and set them in such a light, that he may have nothing left to say against it. Should all this have been done, his dislike in the case supposed, would still continue : his views, though enlarged, would be of exactly the same general nature: and his opposition to the hated object, instead of being diminished, would rather increase. We will now suppose this man to cease from his enmity, and to become a decided and sincere friend. A moment's thought will satisfy any mind, that with the change of his relish, an universal change of his views, also, will take place. The very same things which formerly disgusted him, will now please him. What was formerly odious will now become amiable. The evidences of worth and excellence, which before silenced, will now satisfy him. His eye, no longer jaundiced, will see every thing in its proper, native light; in its true character, importance, and desert; and will discern in what was before unpleasing, deformed, or disgusting, a beauty, loveliness, and lustre, wholly new.

This allusion will distinctly explain my own views of both the source, and the nature, of Spiritual light. When the relish for spiritual objects is communicated to the mind, the enmity of the man towards these objects is converted into good-will. He now becomes a friend to God and to his Law, to truth and to duty. Over these and all other objects, of the same general nature, he sees a new character diffused, of which, before, he did not form a single conception. Where they were before disgusting, they are now pleasing. Where they were before tasteless, they are now relished. Where they were before deformed, they are now beautiful. Where they were before odious, they are now lovely. The reason is; he now beholds them with new eyes. Before, he saw them with the eyes of an enemy; now he sees them with those of a friend. The optics, which he formerly possessed, spread over them an adventitious and false colouring, altogether foreign to their nature, and exhibiting that nature under an universal disguise. These optics are now purified; and he sees all these objects as they really are ; in their true colours, their native beauty, and their

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