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of baptism, but the effect of their declamation; not the blessing of a soul peaceably devoted to Christ's service, but the mark of one zealous in the cause of their party. They, who can be persuaded to embrace the tenets of that party, are described as labouring in the pangs and travails of the new birth, until Christ be formed in them; whilst all who tread in the sound paths of the church, of scripture, and of amtiquity, unseduced by their invitations, and unterrified by their threats, are represented, together with their Ministers, those blind leaders of the blind, as unregenerate unconverted sinners.” (23, 24.) We perceive here that this subject is represented (and very justly, independent of the reflections it conveys,) as dividing the two great bodies of the clergy ; and as distinguishing chem not indeed in name, but in fundamental doctrines. Nuw, as this
Uljeve la vi individuals, as it respects “the doctrine of their salvation,” and especially to Ministers of the Establishment, whose integrity is involved in the decision, it is a matter of serious concern that it should be distinctly and particularly examined. I shall endeavour therefore to prove in the course of this essay, that spiritual regeneration is not neces-sarily connected with baptism. I am not inclined to deny that our church supposes the sign and the thing signified by it, to be sometimes united. But I do deny that she holds with Dr. Mant, that they are never separated. This I engage to demonstrate. That they are in their own nature, separably---that they have been separated----that our church strictly, and plainly instructs us that they may
.on! imnortance to
be separated----that when she acknowledges their conjunction, she does this on supposition of the persons baptised being sincere in their profession, and admits their desire to be baptised, and their engagements at their baptism, as evidence of such internal disposition: and, that as she pronounces them to be regenerate only upon supposition of their sincerity, so she requires afterwards a life of holiness and good works, in order to prove this sincerity, ever dividing the real from the nominal Christian by the fruits which he brings forth.
Hence, then it will follow that, where no true and genuine state of heart, is subsequently manifested, the church would, on no account, allow any person to consider himself to be regenerate, nor allow us to consider him, or treat him as such. The condition upon which she made the charitable acknowledgment being found unreal, the admission of regeneration, wouiú of course fall to the ground. If these propositions can be fairly made out, (and I am quite satisfied that they are just, however imperfectly I may lay the evidence before the reacler,) the clergy will be justified, by their own church, in demanding proof of a true change of heart, before they allow regeneration to have been effected. But let it be distinctly understood, that, it is quite unnecessary for our purpose, to make it appear
that the Spirit and the water never acted together,”(28) as Dr. Mant seems to intimate: it is sufficient if it appear that they are not always united. If the admission to baptism is not of itself, evidence of regeneration, we are justified in looking out før something that is
CHAPTER I. The Doctrine of Regeneration, as necessarily
connected with, and confined to Baptism, contrary to the Scriptures and to matter of fact.
SECTION I. Regeneration, its Nature and Connexions. It is of the very last importance that, in every controversy, but most of all in this, the subject in dispute should be most clearly defined, and thoroughly understood. I agree with Dr. Mant, 24, that “It is matter, not of mere idle speculation, but of the nearest and dearest interest, that we examine what is meant by being born again," in order, “ that we may be enabled to discover, what it is that is thus necessary for our salvation; and where and when and how it is to be obtained.”
I quite hoped from this fair promise, that Dr. M. would have explained what this regeneration is for which he contends, and have given us some marks by which we might have discovered what, and where it is. This, however, I am concerned to say, he has no where attempted.
Regeneration I conceive to be, the implanting or generating of a holy nature in the soul of a fallen creature. It was made necessary by the loss of holiness, through the fall of Adam. Being a fresh, or new nature, it is called regeneration or new birthr. The root or germ of every thing morally, and spiritually good, is included in it. The life and exercise of this new nature, are found in the operation of all those principles of faith, repentance, love, fear, &c. &c. which in fact grow out of it, and take their derivation and support from it.
It is the work of God; Father, Son, and Spirit. Therefore, it is called being born of God.* It is especially effected by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Therefore we are said to be born of the Spirit. It is usually performed by the instrumentality of the word, Ministers, and Ordinances of God. This I suppose to be the original and genuine notion of regeneration or new birth. Its Name implies this, and therefore it is called the new creature, (or new creation,) the new man, in opposition to the old man, derived from Adam.
I am sensible, however, that something more than this, or differing from it, is included in the term regeneration, in the author whom I oppose. In order, therefore, to meet the whole question as it stands, I would wish it to be particularly regarded that, I do not mean to rest the general proof of our position upon any peculiar definitions, however just. I will, for the sake of making my remarks apply, suppose that more is implied by the new birth.
I would, therefore, request the reader to attend very carefully to the following particulars; aš no end of embarrasment, confusion, and disagreement, arise from not understanding one another; and not using ideas in a clear and consistent manner.
I allow then, yea I contend that, whatever, at any time, is stated in the scriptures to be necessary to salvation, is either included in regeneration, or connected with it. All holy dispositions are in
Jobn 1. 18. John iii. 5. I 1 Peter i. 23. 1 Cor. iv, 15.
cluded in it; all good works arise out of it, and flow from it; and all gospel privileges, (such as pardon of sin, justification, adoption to be sons of God, and heirs of everlasting life,) are indissolubly connected with it.* I say indissolubly and inseparably connected with regeneration. For though I do not intend to be involved in any controversy, foreign from the subject, such as the doctrine of final perseverance: yet this I contend for as essential to the point, and to the doctrine of the scriptures and of the Church of England; that wherever any of these things, which are connected with salvation are, there regeneration is; and wherever regeneration is, there all these things which are necessary to salvation are found. The whole is summarily included in the doctrines of justification, which gives a title to, and sanctification or holiness, which makes us meet for everlasting life. But these are never separated from one another, or from regeneration, either in the scriptures, or the Church of England. They stand or fall together.
Any person who will consult the passages of scripture to which we have referred, will at once perceive the truth of this position. And I consider it equally clear that the doctrines of our church correspond with this idea. The sublime instruction of the 17th Article is decisive upon this point,
they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to this purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the Image of his only begotton Son Jesus Christ:
• Romans viii. 1--17.