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faith to him for righteousness. Because, feeling that be has no righteousness, that he can do no work that is good in the sight of God, he submits to the righteousness of God.' He receives, with his heart, Jesus Christ as his Saviour, his gratuitous Saviour, his sole Saviour; and he knows that he has received him, because God · fills him with peace and joy in believing,' and because he receives dominion over all his sins.
This dominion over sin, which the believer receives with the remission of his past sins, is the beginning or foundation of the second part of regeneration, called in the holy scripture, Sanctification. For in the same moment that the sinner receives this faith, the faith which justifies ; at the same moment that the Spirit of God witnesses with his spirit that his sins are pardoned, he receives the power to love much, as he feels that he has much forgiven. • The love of God' being thus shed abroad in his heart,' causes an extraordinary revolution in all the powers of his soul, and makes him feel, though perhaps in a low degree, the effects of the new birth, described in the second part of this discourse.
We are far from concluding that the body of sin is destroyed by this circumcision of the heart, this first revelation of Christ in the soul of a sinner. No, the Old Man is only crucified with Christ;' and although he cannot act as before, he lives still, and seeks occasion to disengage himself, and to exercise his tyranny with more rage than ever. David and St. Peter had painful experience of this : And hence we see that sanctification is not generally the work of a day, nor of a year. For, although God can cut short his work in righteousness, as the penitent thief found it aforetime, and as many sinners called at the eleventh hour have found it ever since, it is nevertheless in general a progressive work, and of long dura. tion. We, therefore, define sanctification to be, that powerful work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of a pardoned sinner, by which he receives power to go on • from faith to faith ;' by which, illuminated more and more to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,'
which he had lost in Adam, he feels himself internally changed from glory into glory,' until he be filled with all the fulness of God ;' until he loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, and his neighbour as himself,' even as Christ loved him. This is the highest point of the sanctification of a believer, and consequently his regene. ration is complete.
Sanctification cannot, therefore, begin before justification; for, seeing that the Spirit of God sanctifies the heart of a sinner, that Spirit must be received. But he is not received but in the sinner's being pardoned. For, according to scripture, the first operation of the Spirit of adoption is to cry “Abba, Father !, in the heart of which he takes possession ; to testify to the spirit of the believer that he is a child of God, and to give him the foretaste of his heavenly inheritance. Besides, reason convinces us, that God cannot communicate his nature, and the graces of his Spirit, to a man whose sins he has not yet pardoned. A king is not bountiful to a rebellious subject before he restores him to his favour.
Thus our Church declares in her thirteenth Article, “ That works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ : Yea, rather for that they are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but that they have the nature of sin, however good they may appear to men.”
This being admitted, it is evident, that for a sinner to know how he is to be regenerated, he is to consider how he may be justified and sanctified. Upon this the scripture is clear. • By grace ye are saved,' says St. Paul, through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; not of works, lest any man should boast, being created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works.' As if the apostle had said, By the faith God has freely given you, you are saved from your sins; delivered from the punishment which they deserve by justification, and from their dominion over you by sanctification. Hence
you are regenerated and new creatures. Thus St. Paul declares that a living faith is the gate of salvation, and all the scripture declares it with him. • He who believe eth shall be saved,' says Jesus Christ ; "he who believeth hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.' And St. John shews us that this passing from death unto life,' and regeneration, are the same thing. "He who believeth is born of God,' says he, in his first Epistle ; and in his Gospel he declares, that those who receive Christ, to them he gives power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on his name, who are born not of the will of man, but of God.'
Our Church declares the same thing. In her Homi. lies she teaches, that the only instrument necessary to salvation is faith, which is there defined, “ A sure and firm confidence, that, through the merits of Christ, our sins are forgiven, and we reconciled to God.”
Observe here, reader, with respect to faith, none can enjoy it but those who have felt their need of it. Jesus Christ never gives this sweet assurance, this testimony of his Spirit, but to those whose hearts are really contrite. • Come to me,' says he, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' He invites no others, He comforts no others. Before the Spirit of God * convinces the world of righteousness, he convinces of sin, because they believe not in Jesus.' None can come to the Son for justifying faith, unless the Father draw him’ by a sense of his sins, and by the fear of that punishment which he merits.
If these truths have dissipated your doubts :-If you no longer halt between God and Baal : If you are convinced, that you can never see the kingdom of God' without being born again,' and that the sole means of obtaining this blessing, is by a "faith of the operation of God, and which is the power of God unto salvation;' a faith by which Christ is revealed in us, and we obtain peace with God: A faith which is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world," and who freely and graciously gives this faith to those who earnestly seek it; ,come then, dear reader, come then to the throne of grace, but come condemned by your conscience, burdened by the weight of your iniquities, and pierced with a sense of your unbelief, and hardness of heart. Implore the mercy of your Judge until he shews himself your Father in giving you the Spirit of adoption ; your Jesus in saving you from your sins; your Christ in giving you the unction of the Holy Spirit ; your Emmanuel in revealing himself in you, and dwell.. ing in your heart by faith.
He invites you himself. “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ! Ye who have no money, who are poor in spirit, who tremble at my word, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do ye spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken dili. gently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Come to me! Hearken! And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David, and your soul shall live. In the great day of the feast, Jesus cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. And this, says St. John, “spake he of the Spirit, which they who believed on him should receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.'
But Jesus is glorified! He is ascended to his Fa. ther and to our Father, to his God and to our God ! And from the throne of his glory he sends every day into contrite hearts the Comforter, whom the world can. not receive, because it desires not to koow him. But you, afflicted soul, shall receive him, if indeed you pant after him, and refuse to be comforted until he comes. The time cometh, yea, is now come, that you shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: And filled with the Spirit of Truth, you also shall cry out, “I know in whom I have believed ! Lord, now let thy servant goin
peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation !' Yes, you shall be baptized by the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins, and justified freely by faith. You shall have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and rejoice in God your Saviour with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'
If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?' Doubt not the fidelity of God! Consider, the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, whom the Lord your God shall call.' The God of Truth has made this glorious promise--pray that it may be sealed upon your heart ! But 'pray with all prayer and supplication at all times ; watching thereunto with all perseverance. And remember, that when your prayer is granted, you shall be in Christ a New Creature.' • The Spirit of God shall bear witness to your spirit that you are a child of God,' and that your faith is really that which justifies and regenerates.
Take heed, in the mean time, that impatience and unbelief mingle not with the sense of the number and greatness of your sins, and so plunge you into discouraging and excessive sorrow. - Are you tempted to doubt of the mercy of God ? Re-animate your hope by meditating on the invitations of the God of all grace,' and the promises of the God of truth. Is your soul spiritually sick, yea dying ? Consider that Jesus has said, “The whole have no need of a physician, but those who are sick!' Is it spiritually dead ? Hearken to God manifest in the flesh :' I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he who liveth and believeth in me, shall never die ! You feel that you are lost. Jesus says expressly, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.' doubt if he will receive you ?-He says himself he will