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by every other Christian, who has learned the truth as it is in Jesus.
Let my reader also remember, that God's church (which receives its name from being called or taken out of the world) is, as to object and appointment, designated both numerally and formally, not by an irregular figure, but by a perfect mathematical square ; that it is, emblematically, a garden, not a common ; that it is represented to us under the idea of an inclosed, guarded, cultivated, field of inheritance, not a wild, unappropriated, waste, for which nobody cares, and which produces nothing but indigenous weeds of little use or consequence. Let him duly consider these things, and apply them.
§ 27. Again ; with respect to the question, “Why are injunctions and motives to repent and believe the Gospel so often repeated, if men are not able to believe and repent of them
selves, or by the exercise of those means and powers, which they either possess or may possess if they please?"" -it may farther be observed, and cannot be too often repeated; That, though the command appears to be general, and as such is to be published generally by the ministers of Christ; yet there is a particular and special direction by the Holy Spirit, conveying it effectually to the heirs of salvation, who are only previously known to himself. The Spirit of God acts upon the soul, with the word, by the word, and after the word. When tlie word goes forth with power, it is because he is in it. When he is not in the ministry of the word, the word of itself, as daily experience shows, effects nothing to subdue the soul, or to bring it to God.
We must never lose sight of the Covenant or Constitution of Grace, if we would escape error upon this great question. We
do not stand now with God as in our original state. This is lost; and the condition of human nature is changed. In Adam, in the present fallen condition of man, all die, and, remaining there, must die for ever. In Christ, in the new covenant or constitution of mercy, all interested in it shall be made alive, and live with and by Christ eternally.
And in this covenant all things and all objects are perfectly ordered and sure; and, though men cannot know many particulars in it, till they are opened by the manifestation of God in their appointed times, it must be granted, that known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Out of the multitude from age to age le discerns and selects his own. Το these he gives by his Spirit the privilege or the power to become the sons of God. To them his word of truth goes forth with peculiar energy and
effect. To each of these belong particularly that address from our Lord he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. All others appearing to have the outward faculty, without this imparted life from the spiritual death of sin, have indeed outward ears to hear, but hear not within ; lave natural eyes to see, but see not the things of God; neither do they understand the word of Christ, nor obey his voice, however uttered or set before them. The Scriptures are, and ever were, a parable, ill understood at any time, and not understood at all by men, however wise and learned in other respects, who are not taught of God. It is the great office of the Holy Spirit to prepare the mind, to enlighten it, to inculcate upon it his own truth, and to fix and preserve it firmly to the end. And it is almost as ridiculous, as it is false, to imagine, that Heathen Philosophers, and especially Heathen Poets, however dignified by
the name of classical, should enable a man to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God; when it is well known, that many of them never so much as heard of this divine revelation; and that those, who had some slight information of the subject, despised it like our modern infidels, and much for the same reasons.
It is by grace, therefore, that the word of the Most High doth not return unto him void, but accomplishes all the purpose for which he sent it, which certainly could not be the case, if its success depended upon the will and strength of man, insteadof the effectual agency of God the Spirit. The Apostle sums up the matter in a few words: we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient fort