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SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E. C.;
26, ST. GEORGE'S PLACE, HYDE PARK CORNER, S.W.
NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.
gory of Nyssa, Basil, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Augustine. They were unanimous in teaching Regeneration in Baptism. They distinguished Regeneration from Renovation. The error of the Middle Ages. The ex opere operato theory. Regeneration the starting-point of Sanctification.
Error of the Schoolmen as to the operation of Baptismal grace. Error as to original Sin. Zwinglian denial of Baptismal grace. Lutheran affirmation of it. Calvinist view. Teaching of the English Reformers. Inaccurate use of the word Regeneration as including Conversion. Confusion thence arising.
What Conversion is. It is not a turning back, nor a sudden deliverance from sin, nor a personal assurance of salvation, nor a newlywon appreciation of Christ's Work. It is a change of disposition wrought by the renewing power of the Holy Ghost operating on the human Will which submits itself to Him. The words Conversion, Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, used for the initial step in a process and also for the complete process. The initial step in Conversion frequently sudden, the whole process gradual. The work of Conversion is restoration in the soul of the lost image of God as created in righteousness and true holiness. Difference between Conversion and Sanctification. Regeneration and Conversion supplemented one by the other. We may or may not be conscious of the moment at which Conversion begins. It is best when the beginning of Conversion is so early that we are unconscious of its commencement.
I PROPOSE in the present tract to consider, (1) Whether or no the Church of England maintains, as some would say is committed to, as others would express it-the word Regeneration, or some equivalent term, as declaratory of the effects of Baptism. (2) What is the signification attached by her, and by others, to that word or term. (3) Whether or no she is justified in employing it in the signification which she attaches to it in connexion with Baptism. (4) What is Conversion.
My first task is a short and easy one; it is only to examine the formularies and authoritative statements of the Church of England, and to set down the result of the examination. I begin with the Form of The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of riper years, and able to answer for themselves.
In the first Exhortation we find the following words: 'Forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, ... and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God except he be regenerate and born anew of Water and