HAVING concluded the subject of man's redemption, his renovation is next to be considered.

The renovation of man is that change whereby he who was before under the curse, and obnoxious to the divine wrath, is brought into a state of grace. Eph. ii. 3, 5, &c. 'we were by nature the children of wrath..... by grace ye are saved.' i. 3, 5. 'who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.' Col. iii. 10. 'and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.' Eph. iv. 23, 24. 'that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.' 2 Cor. iv. 16. 'the inward man is renewed day by day.' Tit. iii. 5. 'by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' Rom. xii. 2. 'by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.' Heb. vi. 4, 6. 'for it is impossible for those who were once enlightened..... if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance.'


In renovation two things are to be considered; the mode by which man is renewed, and the manifestation of that mode.

The mode by which man is renewed, is either natural or sapernatural.

By the natural mode, I mean that which influences the natural affections alone. This includes the calling of the natural man, and the consequent change in his character.

The calling of man is that natural mode of renovation whereby God the Father, according to his purpose in Christ, invites fallen man to a knowledge of the way in which he is to be propitiated and served; insomuch that believers, through his gratuitous kindness, are called to salvation, and such as refuse to believe are left without excuse.

Whereby God the Father. Acts ii. 39. 'to as many as the Lord our God shall call.' 1 Cor. i. 9. 'by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son.' 2 Cor. v. 20. 'as though God did beseech you by us.' John vi. 37. 'all that the Father giveth me.' v. 44. 'except the Father which hath sent me draw him.' 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. 'the Spirit..... whereunto he called you.' 1 Pet. v. 10. 'the God of all grace, who hath called us.' 2 Pet. i. 3. 'through the knowledge of him that hath called us.'

According to his purpose. Rom. viii. 28-30. 'the called according to his purpose.' 2 Tim. i. 9. 'who hath called us with an holy calling..... according to his own purpose and grace.'

In Christ. Gen. in. 15. 'it shall bruise thy head.' xxii. 18. 'in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' 1 Cor. i. 9. 'unto the fellowship <433> of his Son.' Gal. i. 6. 'into the grace of Christ.' 1 Pet. v. 10. 'who hath called us by Christ Jesus.'

To a knowledge of the way in which he is to be propitiated and served. Gen. xvii. 1. 'walk before me and be thou perfect.'

Through his gratuitous kindness. Isai. lv. 1, &c. 'come buy wine and milk without money and without price.' lxv. 1. 'I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not; I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.'

Believers are called to salvation. 1 Tim. vi. 12. 'lay hold on eternal life.' 1 Thess. ii. 12. 'who hath called you to his kingdom and glory.' See also 2 Thess. ii. 14. 1 Pet. ii. 9. 'out of darkness into his marvellous light.' v. 10. 'who hath called us unto his eternal glory.'

Such as refuse to believe are left without excuse. Prov. i. 24. 'because I have called, and ye refused..... I also will laugh at your calamity.' John xv. 22. 'If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin.' Rom. i. 18-20. 'who hold the truth in unrighteousness: because that which may be known of God is manifest in them..... for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen..... so that they are without excuse.' Those therefore who have not been called, are not without excuse x. 14. 'how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?'

This calling is either general or special. The general calling is that whereby God invites the whole of mankind, in various ways, but all of them sufficient <434> for the purpose, to the knowledge of the true Deity. John i. 9. 'that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Acts xiv 17. 'he left not himself without witness.' Rom. i. 19, 'because that which may be known of God is manifest in them.' ii. 15. 'which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.'

It may be objected, that all have not known Christ. I answer, that this proves nothing against the doctrine, that all are called in Christ alone; inasmuch as, had he not been given to the world, God would have called no one: and as the ransom he has paid is in itself sufficient for the redemption of all mankind, all are called to partake of its benefits, though all may not be aware of the source from which they flow. For if Job believed that his sacrifice could avail for his sons, who were not present at its offering, and were perhaps thinking of nothing less, i. 5. if the returned Jews believed that their sacrifices could be available for the ten tribes, who were then far distant, and ignorant of what was passing at Jerusalem; how much more ought we to believe that the perfect sacrifice of Christ may be abundantly sufficient even for those who have never heard of the name of Christ, and who believe only in God? This will be treated more at large under the head of faith.

God's special calling is that whereby he, at the time which he thinks proper, invites particular individuals, elect as well as reprobate, more frequently, and with a more marked call than others.


Particular individuals in preference to others. Thus he called Abraham from his father's house, who probably expected no such call, Gen. xii. 1, &c. 'and who was even an idolater at the time.'[1] Josh. xxiv. 2, 3. 'they served other gods, and I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood.' So also he called the people of Israel, for his name's sake and for the sake of the promises made to their fathers. Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. 'he sheweth his word unto Jacob..... he hath not dealt so with any nation, and as for his judgements, they have not known them.' Another reason is given Matt. ix. 13. 'I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners.' xv. 26. 'it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.' Acts xvi. 6, 7. 'they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia..... they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not.' v. 9. 'a vision appeared to Paul in the night.'

Elect. Rom. viii. 28-30. 'to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose.' 1 Cor. i. 26. 'ye see your calling, brethren..... God hath chosen the foolish things of the world.' 2 Tim. i. 9. 'with an holy calling, according to his own purpose and grace.' Rev. xix. 9. 'blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.'

As well as reprobate. Isai. xxviii. 13. 'the word of Jehovah was unto them precept upon precept.' Ezek. ii. 4, 5. 'they are impudent children and stiff <436> hearted; I do send thee unto them.' See also v. 7. iii. 7, 11, 27. Matt. x. 18. 'for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.' xi. 21. 'woe unto thee, Chorazin!' xxii. 8, 9. 'they which were bidden were not worthy..... as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.' v. 10. 'both bad and good.' xxiii. 37. 'how often would I have gathered your children together, and ye would not.' Luke vii. 30. 'the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves.' Acts vii. 51. 'ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.' xiii. 46. 'seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life.'

At the time which he thinks proper. Matt. xx. 1 , 3, &c. 'he went out about the third hour.' Acts xiv. 16. 'who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.' xvii. 27, 30. 'the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.' Eph. iii. 5. 'which in other ages was not made known.' Rom. xvi. 25. 'which was kept secret since the world began.' On the promulgation of the gospel, a new command was given: Matt, xxviii. 19. 'go ye therefore and teach all nations.' Mark xvi. 15. 'preach the gospel to every creature.' Rom. x. 18. 'have they not heard? yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.' Col. i. 26. 'the mystery which hath been hid for ages..... but now is made manifest.'

The change which takes place in man by reason of his calling, is that whereby the natural mind and will of man being partially renewed by a divine impulse, are led to seek the knowledge of God, and for the time, at least, undergo an alteration for the better.


Inasmuch as this change is from God, those in whom it takes place are said to have been enlightened, and to be endued with power to will what is good. This is ascribed sometimes to the Father: Eph. i. 17, 18. 'that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ..... may give unto you the spirit of knowledge..... the eyes of your understanding being enlightened.' 2 Cor. iv. 6. 'God hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge-.' James i. 17. 'every good gift cometh down from the Father of lights.' Luke xi. 13. 'how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit.' Sometimes to the Son: John i. 9. 'that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Sometimes to the Holy Spirit: Heb. vi. 4, &c. 'those who were once enlightened..... and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost.'

As this change is of the nature of an effect produced on man, and an answer, as it were, to the call of God, it is sometimes spoken of under the metaphor of hearing or hearkening, (this faculty itself, however, being usually described as a gift from God) sometimes under that of tasting. Hearing: Matt. xi. 15. 'he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.' Thus Herod is said 'to have heard' John the Baptist 'gladly.' Mark vi. 20. So also Acts xxvi. 28. 'Agrippa was willing to hear Paul.' xvi. 14. 'whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things spoken of Paul.' Rom. vi. 17. 'God be thanked that..... ye have obeyed from the heart,' &c. (ex corde auscultâstis). Heb. iii. 7. 'to-day if ye will hear his voice.' Tasting: Heb. vi. 4. 'it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted <438> of the heavenly gift.... if they shall fall away-.' Even the weakest of man's efforts is ascribed to the same source. Luke xi. 13, 'how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.' Philipp. ii. 12, 13. 'work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' This can only imply that he works in us the power of acting freely, of which, since our fall, we were incapable, except by means of a calling and renewal. For the power of volition cannot be wrought in us, without the power of free agency being at the same time imparted; since it is in this power that the will itself consists.

The parts of this change, considered as an effect, are two; repentance, and a corresponding faith. Both the one and the other of these feelings may be either the genuine beginnings of conversion, or the mere effect of nature, or, lastly, they may be altogether fictitious; and repentance of this kind, or a transient sorrow for past sin, bears the same relation to solid and lasting repentance, which the faith corresponding to it bears to a saving faith.[2] I distinguish between the two species of repentance for the sake of <439> clearness, although I do not deny that the same word is indiscriminately employed to denote the temporary and the permanent affection; in like mariner as the various kinds of faith are all expressed in Scripture by the same term.

This secondary species of repentance (in Greek μεταμέλεια) is that whereby a man abstains from sin through fear of punishment, and obeys the call of God merely for the sake of his own salvation.

Through fear of punishment. Jer. vi. 8. 'be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee, lest I make thee desolate.' Rom. ii. 15. 'their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing one another.' 2 Cor. vii. 10. 'the sorrow of the world worketh death.' Matt. xix. 22. 'he went away sorrowful.' Gen. iv. 13. 'my punishment is greater than I can bear.' Numb. xxiii. 10. 'let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.'

For the sake of his own salvation. Matt. xix. 16 'what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' Ezek. xviii. 21, 28. 'if the wicked will turn..... he shall surely live, he shall not die.' See also xxxiii. 14-16. Hos. vii. 14. 'they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.' Joel i. 5. 'because of the new wine, for it is cut off from thy mouth.'

This kind of repentance is common to the regenerate and to the unregenerate. Examples among the unregenerate are Cain, Esau, Pharaoh, Saul, Ahab, Judas, and many others, in whom contrition, and confession of sins, and other marks of repentance, are <440> perceptible. Exod. ix. 27. 'I have sinned this time; Jehovah is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.' 2 Sam. xv. 24. 'I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah.'

Repentance is not to be deferred. 2 Cor. vi. 2. 'for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.' Heb. iii. 7, 8. 'to-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.'

Among the most striking exhortations to repentance in Scripture are Deut. xxx. 1, &c. Job xi. 13, &c. 2 Chron. xxx. 6. Isai. i. 16. &c, lvii. 19, &c. Jer. iv. 1, &c. xviii. 8. Hos. xiv. 1, &c. All exhortation, however, would be addressed in vain to such as were not in some measure renewed, at least in the natural mode here described; that is to say, who were not endued with some portion of mental judgement and liberty of will.

The faith corresponding to this species of repentance is an assent, likewise natural, yielded to the call of God, and accompanied by a trust which is in like manner natural, and often vain. I have described this assent as yielded to the call of God, inasmuch as faith, of whatever kind, can only be founded on divine testimony in matters relating to God. Rom. x. 17. 'faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'

This faith is commonly distinguished into the several degrees of historical faith, temporary faith, and faith in miracles. Any faith, however, may be temporary; so may repentance itself: as will be here after shown.


Historical faith consists in an assent to the truth of the scripture history, and to sound doctrine This faith is necessary to salvation, but is not in itself a saving faith, 1 Tim. i. 19. 'holding faith and a conscience, which some having put concerning faith have made shipwreck.' iv. 1. 'some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to..... doctrines of devils.' Heb xi. 6. 'he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' James ii. 19. 'the devils also believe and tremble.'

Temporary faith is that which assents to hearing, and exercises a certain degree of trust in God, but generally of that kind only which is termed natural. I say generally, because there is no reason why a regenerate faith should not itself sometimes prove merely temporary, owing to the remains of human frailty still inherent in us; this however seldom happens, as will be argued hereafter under the head of final perseverance. Matt. xiii. 20, 21. 'he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it: yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while.' Luke viii. 13. 'which for a time believe, and in time of temptation fall away.' John vi. 66. 'from that time many of his disciples went back.' Acts viii. 13. 'when Simon himself believed also, and was baptized.' v. 18 'when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands,' &c. v. 21. 'thy heart is not right in the sight of God.' 1 Tim. v. 12 'having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.'

Faith in miracles is that whereby any one is endued with the power of working miracles in the name of God, or whereby he believes that another endued <442> with this power. Matt. vii. 22. 'have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name done many wonderful works?' See also x. 8. xvii. 19. 'why could not we cast him out?' Mark xvi. 17. 'these signs shall follow them that believe.' 1 Cor. xii. 9. 'to another faith by the same Spirit.' xiii. 2. 'though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.'

Even without this species of faith, however, miracles have been sometimes wrought for unbelievers.' Numb. xx. 10, 11. 'hear now, ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?' In this instance both he who worked the miracle, and those for whom it was worked, seem to have been in a state of unbelief at the time of its performance. 2 Kings v. 12. 'are not Abana and Pharphar better than all the waters of Israel?'

The call of God, and the consequent change in the natural man, do not of themselves ensure his salvation, unless he be also regenerate; inasmuch as they are only parts of the natural mode of renovation Matt. xxii. 14. 'many are called, but few are chosen' 2 Cor. vii. 10. 'the sorrow of the world worketh death.' Heb. iv. 2. 'unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.' 2 Pet. ii. 20. 'if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord our Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein-.'


Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,

Bred up in idol-worship. Paradise Lost, XII. 114.

Yet he at length, time to himself best known,

Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond'rous call

May bring them back. Paradise Regained, III. 433


Ut pœnitentia ad resipiscentiam, ita fides hujusmodi se habet ad fidem salvificam. This is probably an allusion to the distinction made by Lactantius between these two words. 'Is enim quem facti sui pœnitet, errorem suum pristinum intelligit: ideoque Græci melius et significantius μετάνοιαν dicunt, quam nos possimus resipiscentiam dicere; resipiscit enim, ac mentem suam quasi ab insania recipit, quem errati pigit, castigatque seipsum dementiæ, et confirmat animum suum ad rectius vivendum; tum illud maxime cavet, ne rursus in eosdem laqueos inducatur.' Lib. 6. De Vero Cultu, c. 24. Tertullian however in his treatise on Repentance, and the Fathers in general, use the two words indiscriminately.

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