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'Father draw him.' 'Many understand these 'words in a wrong sense, as if God required no 'more in a reasonable man than in a dead post, 'and mark not the words which follow: "Every 'man that heareth and learneth of my Father 'cometh unto me." God draweth with his word 'and the Holy Ghost, but man's duty is to hear 'and learn; that is to say, to receive the grace 'offered, consent to the promise, and not to im'pugn the God that calleth.''
No objection need be made to Bishop Hooper's comment, as far as it goes; for our question is not about man's duty, which certainly requires him to obey every call and command of God; but concerning the cause, whatever it be, which renders some men, but not all, obedient, ' They, who 'be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be 'called according to God's purpose by his Spirit 'working in due season; they through grace obey 'the calling.'2 What Bishop Hooper's opinion on this subject was, and also on other points belonging to our present controversy, may be learned from the following extract.
'I believe that this disorder and corruption of 'nature was not only in Adam, because of his sin, 'but is also in all men generally which come of 'him; (Jesus Christ only excepted;) and that in 'such sort, that all men after their own nature 'are corrupt, unjust, liars, ignorant, unkind, and 'imperfect in all things; and have no power of 'their own nature to do, think, speak, or will any 'thing that may please God, until that they be re1 Note, Ref. 18,19. 'Art. xvii.
'generated and renewed by the Spirit of the'Lord.—I believe that this corruption of nature,'otherwise called original sin, is the fountain and'root of all sins; for the which all the miseries'and adversities that we endure in this present'life, as well in body as soul, do come unto us;'yea, and in the end double death, that is to say,'both of body and soul. These be the fruits and'rewards of sin.—But, although the same be due'and common to all men generally, nevertheless'the Lord, through his mercy, hath reserved to'himself a certain number, (which are only known'to himself,) the which he hath drawn from this'corrupt heap, and hath sanctified and cleansed'the same in the blood of his Son Jesus Christ,'and by means thereof hath made them vessels of'election and honour, apt unto all good works.—'I believe that the Father, in Jesu Christ his Son,'through the Holy Ghost, hath elected and chosen'those that are his own, according to his good'will, before the foundations of the world were'laid, whom he hath predestinated unto eternal'life, that thereby they might be his children'adoptive, over whom he hath, without compari-'son, a much greater care than the best father can'have over the best children in the world; for he'suffereth not that any thing shall come to pass,'either on high in heaven, or beneath on earth,'which shall not be for their good and great pro-'fit.'1
They who heard Christ and his apostles preach, and had the holy scriptures with which they might compare their doctrine, had every advantage of outward instruction: so that when our Lord says, "It is written in the law, They shall be all taught "of God; Every man therefore, who hath heard "and learned of the Father cometh unto me;" we must conclude, either that all who had this excellent outward teaching actually believed in Christ, or that an inward and more effectual teaching of God was intended. And was this effectual teaching of God in no sense ' supernatural?'
1 Hooper, Fathers of the Church, vol. v. p. 438, 439.
The sacred historian says, "The hand of the "Lord was with them, and a great number be"lieved and was turned to the Lord." 1 "Whose "heart" (that of Lydia) " the Lord opened, that J" she attended to the things which were spoken of "Paul."2 Was there nothing supernatural in these cases ?—St. John speaking of some Jews says, "Though he had done so many miracles before "them, yet they believed not on him; that the "saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, "which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our re"port? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord "been revealed?" 3 Did God do for these persons all that which he did, when he opened the heart of Lydia ?—The apostle, speaking of his own ministry and that of others, says, " I have planted, Apollos "watered, but God gave the increase. So then, "neither is he that planteth any thing, nor he that "watereth, but God that giveth the increase." * Was there nothing in this above fallen human nature, nothing in this sense ' supernatural ?'—" I
1 Acts xi. 21. 'Acts xvi. 14.
* John xii. 37, 3*. '1 Cor. iii. 7, 8.
"pray, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus "Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you "the Spirit of wisdom and revelation intheknow"ledge of him; the eyes of your understanding "being enlightened, that ye may know—what is "the exceeding greatness of his mighty power to "usward who believe, according to the working of "his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, "when he raised him from the dead."1 Is no mention here made of any thing supernatural, in the conversion of these persons t Is not " quickening "the dead in sin" supernatural ?—" God who is "rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he "loved us, even when we were dead in sin, hath "quickened us together with Christ."2 "Do "not err, my beloved brethren; every good gift "and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh "down from the Father of lights. Of his own will "begat he us with the word of truth."3 Indeed every time the apostles thanked God, on their own behalf, or in behalf of each other, for the success of the gospel, they ascribed the success to a supernatural power; above all the powers and propensities of depraved nature, in those who had been thus converted; and above the efficacy of all natural means employed by the instruments.
Undoubtedly 'faith is a voluntary exercise of 'reason :' yet a power above our fallen nature must 'be exerted, to render proud, worldly, ungodly man 'disposed to make this voluntary use of his reason.'
'Why,' says his Lordship,' should they not be v competent, by the use of their natural faculties, 'to understand that Jesus was the promised Mes'siah ?'l Now, if this be the faith which is intended, I see no reason whatever why they should not: and indeed multitudes did thus believe; yet they ' had no root in themselves.' But is this the faith, the living and holy faith, of true Christians? His Lordship's words, in this passage, might lead us to suppose that in his view it was: but elsewhere he distinguishes from a saving faith, this mere assent to a naked proposition, which might be yielded, without so much as understanding who the promised Messiah was to be, or what he was to do, or what was the nature of his kingdom.2 But if saving faith be meant in the question, the answer is obvious: 'Their minds were darkened and veiled by prejudices and carnal passions.' "How can ye be"lieve, who receive honour one of another, and seek "not the honour which cometh from God only ?" a
1 Eph. i. 16—20. 'Eph. ii. 4. 'Jam. i. 16—18.
'A sincere disposition to obey the divine will 'was therefore all that was necessary, to enable a 'person to judge whether the doctrine preached by 'Christ was the invention of man or a revelation 'from God.'4
This is indisputably the conclusion to be deduced from our Lord's words:5 but they determine nothing concerning the source of this 'sincere dispo'sition' in the heart of man, whether it be from fallen nature, or from preventing grace.
'Had it been consistent with the plan of Divine
'Ref. 18. a Ref. 53, 54. 3 John v. 44.
4 Ref 20. Mohn vii. 17.