Page images
[blocks in formation]

1. Regeneration, by the gift of the saving grace of faith, is the commencement of sanctification.

Inst. passim.

2. Believers in this life are sanctified but in part.

Inst. B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 20, &c.

3. Sanctification is a progressive work.

Inst. B. 3. ch. 2. pas.

4. Of the nature of the believer's imperfection; and of the manner in which this holiness is increased. In order to be perfect, the christian must have restored to him the whole of the image of God, which was lost by the fall. This is not restored at once, and never perfectly in this life. By faith, which increases, and causes all the christian graces to flourish, we become gradually, after regeneration, more like God. By beholding the glory of the


1. In effectual calling, or regeneration, is commenced the process of making the elect holy.

Con. C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. and Say. 13. sec. 1. et passim.

2. In this life sanctification is not perfect in any.

Con. C. Scot. Con, P. C. U. S. Say. Plat. ch. 13. sec. 2. Larger Cat. Q. 77. Canons R. D. C. Head 5. Art. 1.

3. All the above quoted confessions teach the same.

4. On the same subjects. "Sanctification is that real work of God, by which they who are chosen, regenerated and justified, are continually more and more transformed from the turpitude of sin, to the purity of the divine image. We distinguish this work of God from the first regeneration, and first effectual calling to Christ. For the immediate effect of regeneration is a principle of spiritual life, which in a moment is put into the soul,





1. Regeneration, or the first production of disinterested affection, is the beginning of sanctification.



1. The first creation of a holy volition, is the commencement of sanctification.

Emmons, Spring, and Wil

Syst. Vol. 1. p. 540. et pas- liams, passim.

2. Dr. Hopkins said the


Part. 2. ch. 4. sec. 13.

3. Where a work of sanctification has been commenced, the promise of God renders it certain that it will be carried on. Vol. 2. p. 131. et passim.

4. On the same subjects. All sin consists in self-love, or selfishness, and consequently the remaining sinfulness of a believer consists entirely in his remaining selfish exercises. So far as any man possesses disinterested benevolence of feeling and action he is holy and so far as he has opposite volitions he is unsanctified.

2. And the same say all his followers.

3. All Hopkinsians say, that God who has begun the work of holiness in the hearts of his peopie, will not utterly abandon it; but finally make them constantly holy.

4. On the same subjeets. "The want of love cannot be a transgression of the law of love." Emmons, p. 260. "Whosoever loves God, loves him with all his heart, and to the extent of his natural capacity. Hence every saint is conscious, that he feels perfectly right, so long as he is conscious, that he loves God

Syst. Part 2. ch. 4. sec. 4, for his real excellence. And

10 and 13.

he cannot tell, nor can he be


Lord more and more, the transformation into his image becomes more perfect. "So we see that the mind enlightened with the knowledge of God, is first holden wrapped in much ignorance, which by little and little is wiped away."



by the immediate energy of the Holy Spirit. The effect of the effectual calling is the mystical union and communion with Christ. But the effects of sanctification are the habits of spiritual graces and their lively exercise; and thus sanctifica

Inst. B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 19. et tion follows upon regeneration passim.

"Therefore we affirm again that which we have above spoken, that the root of faith is never plucked out of a godly heart, but sticketh so fast in the bottom, that howsoever it be shaken and seem to bend this way or that

way, the light thereof is never so quenched or choaked up, but that it lieth at least hidden under some embers: and by this token is plainly shewed, that the word which is an incor

ruptible seed, bringing forth sced like itself, the spring whereof doth never wither and perish."

B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 21.

The same means which were of use effectually to call the

and effectual calling, at least in the order of nature, and suppo ses those actions of God as going before it."

Witsius' Econ. B. 3. ch. 12, sec. 11, 12.

"They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are farther sanctified really and

personally, through the vir tue of Christ's death and re

surrection, by his word and spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness."

[blocks in formation]


The work of sanctification is carried on, as it was commenced; by the divine efficiency in producing benevolent volitions; in which holiness entirely consists.



told, wherein he is to blame for not feeling a higher or stronger affection towards God, than he actually feels."

Emmons, p. 440. The imperfect obedience of

Vol. 1. p. 205. and the last believers consists, not in low, quoted places.

"He conducts all things, external and internal, with respect to every christian; and so orders the degree and manner and time of his influence and assistance, as to keep them from falling totally and finally" "It requires infinite skill and wis

dom, to sanctify a corrupt
heart, and to order every thing
so, with respect to each indivi-
dual, at all times and every mo-
ment, as effectually to prevent
his falling away, though he
walks upon the verge
of ruin."

Hop. Syst. Vol. 2. p. 203.

"That believers will never totally and finally fall away, so as to perish, is not owing to the nature of true grace, or any power or sufficiency in themselves to persevere unto the end; but this depends wholly on the will, and constant influence and energy of God, working in them to will and to do. They are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation."

weak, or languid affections, or in affections partly holy and partly sinful, arising from mixed principles in the human heart; but in their having, by an unequal alternation, perfectly holy and perfectly sinful voli

tions, which are of the creative energy of the Holy Ghost: so that saints are at different moments, according to the nature of their exercises, entirely holy, or entirely sinful.

Emmons' 18th and 19th Ser


God neither gives nor im plants any bias, taste, or habit, or gracious principle, or principle of grace, in any of the renewed, nor do men ever act from any thing but an immediate, divine impulse.

Emmons, p. 283, 454, 462, Sanctification consists in God's continuing to create holy exercises. He creates good and bad actions of the heart; but when he creates good volitions more frequently than formerly, and more frequently than bad ones, then sanctifica, Vol. 2. p. 131. tion is progressive.

[blocks in formation]

saints are of use to promote the growth of grace in them. B. 1. ch. 10. et passim. No exercise of the believer in this life is perfectly holy.


against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying spirit of Christ, regenerate part doth overcome, and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”


Con C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S.

Say. Plut. ch. 13.

B. 3. ch. 14. sec. 9, &c. "The godly heart therefore feeleth a division in itself, which is partly delighted with sweetness by acknowledging the goodness of God, and partly grieved with bitterness by feeling of his own misery; partly resteth on the promise of the gospel, and partly trembleth by reason of the testimonies of his own wickedness; partly rejoiceth with conceive ing of life, and partly quaketh for fear of death. Which va- ditation thereon, and by the exriations cometh by imperfec- hortations,threatenings and protion of faith." "Hereup- mises thereof, as well as by the on proceed those battles, when use of the sacraments." the distrustfulness that abideth in the remnants of the flesh, riseth up to assail the faith that is inwardly conceived."*

"And as it hath pleased God by the preaching of the gospel, to begin this work of grace in us, so he preserves, continues, and perfects it by the hearing and reading of his word, by me

Con. R. D. C. Canons, Head 5. Art. 14.

The same

doctrines are

taught by all the ancient conInst. B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 18, 19, fessions of the reformed church

[blocks in formation]

* Dr. Hopkins does not much differ from Calvin on this subject, if we might judge from some sentences, disregarding others.

He says,

"The apostle John decides this point, in most express terms. if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. He does not mean, if we say we never did sin, because this is contrary to his express words, which are in the present time, if we say we have no sin, now, at this present time. According to this no man can with truth say, at any time of his life, I have no sin, or I am without sin and perfectly holy' Syst. Vol. 2. p. 210.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »