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to shew, and from the same authority, some of the very blessed effects which result from so mighty a cause, and in which all the persons of the GODHEAD concur. And lastly, in what must ever be a most important part of every divine subject, in the humble enquiry each for himself of his own personal interest in it, to shew. how fully and completely the work is solely the Lord's; neither depending upon the merit of the receiver, nor any preparation in the receiver for the obtaining this unspeakable gift. The Lord, the great author and giver of all good, so completely take up our attention at this time, that many of the Lord's people, like the church of old, may be found s coming up from the washing, every one bearing twins, and none barren among them," bringing the testimony of their new birth with them, that they are born, “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John i. 13.)

First. I am, according to my proposal, to observe, what the holy Scriptures have taught in relation to this sovereign act of grace, what a marvellous work is wrought in that day, when the spiritual faculties of the happy object of this love are made alive by “the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” The Scriptures use a great variety of expressions by way of figure, to illustrate and unfold this blessed doctrine. Sometimes it is called, " the new heavens and the new earth : " because all the objects to which the new born child of God is brought thereby, are all new, and such as he never could have any conception of before. Sometimes it is called a “new creation,” for it is said, " if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (2 Cor. v. 17.) At other times it is said to be a “ deliverance from the power of darkness, and the being

translated into the kingdom of God's dear' Son." And the corresponding affections in the heart bear testimony to the operation being marvellous, and such as none but God himself could perform. For every faculty, every disposition, yea, the whole of the man is changed. There is an immediate tendency. of the new born heir of grace, to a different pursuit in the whole life and conversation : to“ put off the old man which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts; and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness:?; (Ephes. iv. 24.)

And what hath not been as closely considered by the Lord's people, as the vast importance of the subject demands ; namely, the cause of this washing of regeneration, is not continually, as it ought to be, traced to its source, when of all meditations, this is the highest and the best. When a child of God finds himself brought from darkness to light; to con: template wherefore such distinguishing grace is bestowed upon him, which all mere natural men know nothing of—what a soul-melting discovery is here! He beholds in it the everlasting love of God the Father; the grace union which before all' worlds he had in Christ; and now, the washing of regeneration by the Holy Ghost, to cleanse from the Adam-fall transgression in nature, and bring them into the adoption of the sons of God by grace. And the blissful effects of this new life in Christ, in opening communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesús Christ, make way for the spiritual faculties to be in exercise as an entrance into a new world, where every object is divine and heavenly, and where the soul expands in desires for unceasing enjoyment of the Lord. I fear that the tracing our washing of regeneration to this source is not so daily kept in view by the Lord's people as it ought; and which serves to explain wherefore it is, that the Lord's people are sometimes tempted to question the reality of their new birth' and conversion to God. Whereas, if you or I daily accustomed ourselves to the consideration of God the Father having chosen us in Christ from everlasting ; and that we had a spiritual and eternal holiness in Christ above the nature holiness afterwards given us in Adam which we lost; and that from hence in what is called “ the fulness of time, and because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, whereby we cry, Abba, Father:" by this referring all our present blessings to the everlasting source and cause from whence they flow; we should, through grace, keep up one uniform attention to the holy calling wherewith we are called ; when, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy

he hath saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” I cannot dismiss this view of the subject, until that I have first desired the Lord's people who hear me, and who are of the regeneration, that they will be prompted, from what hath been said, to accustom themselves to the consideration of it in its source. Very sure I am, it is not as frequently as it ought in their remembrance. And yet equally sure I am,

it is
among

the of all spiritual enjoyments.

But secondly, I proceed now, as was proposed, to shew, and from the same scriptural authority, some of the blessed effects which result from so mighty a cause, and in which all the persons in the GODHEAD

I said some of the blessed effects, for eternity itself can only afford space and opportunity to unfold all. Added to the sweet communion, which, by our spiritual faculties being awakened from the sleep and death of sin, we are brought into a capabi

very first

concur.

lity of discerning things by spiritual apprehension, and to enjoy fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ; we are said to be brought also into all the privileges of the “ heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” Yea, the Holy Ghost by Peter tells the church, that, “according to his divine power he hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him, that hath called us unto glory and virtue : whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pet. i. 3, 4.)

And although at our regeneration, our spiritual faculties are not so ripened for action, as to enjoy at once all the high privileges to which by our new birth. we are begotten: but like babes in nature, must grow up to the gradual expansion of knowing the things which are freely given to us of God: yet certain it is, that divine laver my text speaks of,“ the washing of regeneration,” renders the soul capable of receiving, and the soul doth receive, the full remission of all sin, which is given to the whole body, the church, by the redemption in Christ Jesus. For thus speaks God the Holy Ghost by his servant Paul on this marvellous subject. Speaking of this spiritual circumcision as he calls regeneration, he saith : “And you being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross : and having spoiled principalities and powers,

he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Coloss. i. 13—15.)

Let me not be misunderstood. Although on this almighty act, in the washing of regeneration, the happy partaker of this unspeakable mercy hath a full and complete remission of all sin, from the redemption in Christ; yet do not from hence conclude, that he himself hath any knowledge of it. By regeneration, he is brought into spiritual life, and now under grace and divine teaching the Lord is preparing him for the enjoyment of all his mercies: yet he hath to go through the spiritual school of Christ, of repentance and faith, which by a divine process lead to Christ. Long, very long, sometimes are the Lord's regenerated children in a state of uncertainty, not unfrequently accompanied with deep soul distress on account of their sin not being in their view pardoned. But I am not speaking of their views, but of the Lord's grace. That poor cripple we read of in the gospel, whom Jesus by a word healed, had his sins pardoned before his body was cured : and this poor man knew it. But then, this was because revealed to him by the Lord himself: “ Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins þy forgiven thee!” And Jesus confirmed his word immediately after, as a proof of it, bidding." him rise and walk.” (Mark ü. 1--12.) What a mighty act and what mighty efficacy in the “ washing of

regeneration !

But one most blessed, most precious, yea, I would say most affectionate and endearing of all views of the “washing of regeneration” is this : that once done, it is done for ever. The Holy Ghost terms this new life by one of his servants, “the incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever.". (1 Pet. i. 23.) And, as I observed to you before, all those gracious acts, the whole persons in the. GODHEAD concur in, and co-operate together. And what is very highly to be observed in those divine deeds of sovereign grace, each glorious person distinctly' reveals himself in the instance of every

child of God. It was God the Father who chose every individual of Christ's mystical body.

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