A Compendium of Christian Theology

By William Burt Pope, D.D.,

Volume Two

Chapter 16

The Preliminaries of Salvation



            Grace Prevenient

            Scriptural Doctrine





            The Term

            Connection with Preliminary Grace

            Relation to Repentance and Faith



            Divinely wrought Conviction


            in Contrition

            Submission to the Law and Confession


            Legal and Evangelical



            Saving Faith

            Trust Passive and Active

            by the Holy Spirit

            Assurance Relations of Repentance and Faith

The work of the Holy Spirit must now be viewed as preparing the soul for admission into the consummate blessings of the covenant of grace: a work which He accomplishes, not absolutely as He imparts those blessings themselves, but as quickening, aiding and directing the energies of the free will of man to seek them. The preparation, when viewed in relation to His agency, is Preliminary Grace; in respect to man, it tends to secure compliance with the conditions of the covenant. In all sound doctrine on this subject there must be a certain combination of the Divine element and the human. The result is seen in Conversion, Repentance, and Faith, in their unity, distinctness, and mutual relations, all which belong to the sphere of the Spirit's prevenient influence

The Holy Ghost is here the Author of preliminary grace: that is, of the kind of preparatory influence which is imparted outside of the temple of Christ's mystical body, or rather in the outer court of that temple. When He bestows the full blessings of personal salvation, as they are the result of a union with Christ, He is simply and solely the Administrator and Giver: the object of this grace in the nature of things can only receive

Forgiveness, adoption, sanctification are necessarily Divine acts: nothing can be more absolute than the prerogative of God in conferring these blessings. This does not imply that the influences which prepare the soul for these acts of perfect grace are not from a Divine source alone. It must be remembered that it is the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ1 flowing from, and revealing the Love of God that is dispensed even to the outer world in the Communion of the Holy Ghost. But it must also be remembered that this prevenient influence is literally bound up with the human use of it being without meaning apart from that use; and, moreover, that of itself it is not saving, though it is unto salvation. The present department of theology is beset with peculiar difficulties, and has been the arena of some of the keenest controversies. Hence, it will be important to establish our points by the evidence of Scripture; and, only after this is done, turn aside to the polemics of the question

1 2 Cor. 13:14


The Spirit of Grace is the Author of every movement of man's soul towards salvation; but His influence requires and indeed implies a certain co-operation of man as its object

Here then we have three topics to be considered: grace prevenient, human co-operating agency, and the relation between grace and free will


The Grace of God which bringeth salvation is the fountain of Divine loving kindness to mankind, undeserving and impotent; exhibited once for all in the redeeming mission of Christ; and exercised in the administration of the Holy Ghost, THE SPIRIT OF GRACE, throughout the whole range of His saving work. It is the sole, efficient cause of all spiritual good in man: of the beginning, continuance, and consummation of religion in the human soul. The manifestation of Divine influence which precedes the full regenerate life receives no special name in Scripture; but it is so described as to warrant the designation usually given it of Prevenient Grace

I. GRACE, charis, is the love of the Triune God as it is displayed towards sinful man, helpless in his sin. It is therefore free grace corresponding to universal love; mercy towards the guilty and help for the impotent soul. It is sovereign as being under no compulsion, even that of the Atonement, which it provided, and was not created by it. It is universal, being spoken of rather as an attribute than as an act of God; but it is particular also, suiting its manifestation to each. It is independent of merit in the object, of necessity, for otherwise grace would be no more grace; but it is not arbitrary, nor is it independent of conditions. As this grace is that of the Father and the Son in the redemption of mankind, it has already been considered. It is now viewed as the grace of the Spirit in the administration of redemption. The Holy Ghost is once in Scripture termed in a most affecting connection THE SPIRIT OF GRACE.1 The propriety of the term Prevenient Grace, and the doctrine which it signifies, rests upon the general truth that salvation is altogether of the Divine loving-kindness. This is declared in two ways: man is impotent in his guilt and weakness; God's manifold gift in redemption is free

1 Heb. 10:29

1. The powerlessness of man is everywhere assumed in Scripture, though not stated often in positive terms. Like many other universal truths—such as the Being of God, the immortality of the soul—it is the presupposition of the whole Bible. Still, it has sound and most impressive Scriptural confirmations: though some of those which may be appealed to must, in exegetical fidelity, be cautiously received. Certain of these passages refer rather to the hardening effect of continued sin: such as you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.1 Some describe the impotence of man to carry on of himself God's work; such as Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts,2 and Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to count aught as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.3 Not a few refer to the entire dependence of the believer on Christ for all his spiritual good; such as Without Me ye can do nothing.4 But there are others which lay stress upon the fact that the world was lost in sin and weakness when Christ interposed: When we were yet without strength (asthenoon, helpless), in due time Christ died for the ungodly (aseboon, godless). While we were yet sinners (hamartooloón, transgressors), Christ died for us. When we were enemies (echthroí, under wrath), we were reconciled to God.5 Now all these words, while they depict the estate of fallen man at the time when the Redeemer appeared, must be made general in their application. They give, as a quaternion, the best negative definition of grace that the Scripture furnishes. As sinners are under the law and guilty, grace finds a method of mercy; as they are under the Divine displeasure, it provides for the reconciliation of God; as they are cut off from fellowship with their Maker, it gives them the Spirit of worship and holiness; as they are absolutely unable to help themselves, it provides them all the help of Heaven. . Man is unequal to his own salvation, however it is viewed: whether in its beginning, or in its process, or in its end

1 Eph. 2:1; 2 Zec. 4:6; 3 2 Cor. 3:5; 4 John 15:5; 5 Rom. 5:6,8,10

2. Hence it is declared that the salvation of man is altogether of grace. By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:1 altogether of grace and not of works. There is no need to ask to which—whether salvation or faith— the GIFT refers: it refers to both, which in this connection are inseparable. It is not so much in single passages as in the constant tenor of Scripture that we gather the spontaneous freedom of the grace that provided salvation. In fact, the origin of human redemption is always traced to the love of God which, resting upon undeserving man, became grace

And the use of the term in the New Testament illustrates this. The word, as sanctified to Christian uses, and apart from its occasional classical application as graciousness, —in which sense it lights upon our Lord's lips: they wondered at the gracious words, tees charitos, which proceeded out of His mouth,2—has three meanings in the New Testament. It is Grace from God to man, and as such is the sum of benediction:3 charis umin; it is Grace working within the soul:4 My grace, hee charis mou, is sufficient for thee; and, finally, it is Grace going back to God in thanks:5 Charis too Theoo, thanks be to God

1 Eph. 2:8; 2 Luke 4:22; 3 2 Cor. 1:2; 4 2 Cor. 12:9; 5 2 Cor. 9:15

II. This grace as the influence of the Spirit on the minds of men generally and of individual men before their personal acceptance is described in various ways. These may be classed as, first, referring to the Divine operation, when it is a striving and drawing; secondly, in relation to the means used, when it is a demonstration of the truth; thirdly, as influencing man, when it is the working in him to will, by piercing or opening his heart

These three are distinct, but one; and, when compared, yield a doctrine which is simple in its mystery though mysterious in its simplicity

1. The drawing and striving of the Spirit are throughout the Scriptures abundantly referred to: the former operating on the human soul regarded as obedient; the latter wrestling with that soul regarded as repugnant; both tending to salvation, and in every case rendering that salvation possible. The Old-Testament declaration, My Spirit shall not always strive with man,1 may be capable of another interpretation, but it is followed by constant reference to a resisting of the Spirit as the secret of human impenitence. In the New Testament we hear, from the lips of the Great Attraction Himself: No man can come to Me except the Father Which hath sent Me draw him,2 and we may add, This spake He of the Spirit.3 Both the striving and the drawing express the strongest influence short of compulsion. The zeal of human agency, described in Scripture, catches the same tone and strictly corresponds, being its representative. That I might by all means save some4 and Compel them to come in5 are mutually correlative: neither the command, nor the obedience to it, is consistent with an absence of Divine influence, or with anything but a Divine purpose to save

1 Gen. 6:3; 2 John 6:44; 3 John 7:39; 4 1 Cor. 9:22; 5 Luke 14:23

2. The Word of Truth is never without the influence of the Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost the first Christian sermon was preached with His accompanying power: they spoke, first indeed only to God but afterwards to man, as the Spirit gave them utterance.1 Nothing less than this is meant by the reference to the Word of God which effectually worketh2 in those that believe, and to the Gospel which came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost.3 An effectual Divine energy is described as belonging to the Word preached, apart from its final result: My preaching was . . . in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.4 This apodeixei is opposed to the influence of rhetorical skill, and establishes the general fact that the Spirit's power has the energy and effect of a Divine persuasion, whether yielded to or not

1 Acts 2:4; 2 1 Thes. 2:13; 3 1 Thes. 1:5; 4 1 Cor. 2:4

3. The effect produced is occasionally made prominent. Under that first sermon they were pricked in their heart,1 which in another form is stated of Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened.2 The piercing and the opening are not in these texts so different as is sometimes thought: both the Jews and Lydia attended unto the things which were spoken as the result. It is God which, of His good pleasure, worketh in you to will and to do:3 here we have the last word of Scripture on this subject

1 Acts 2:37; 2 Acts 16:14; 3 Phil. 2:13


The prevenient grace of the Spirit is exercised on the natural man: that is, on man as the Fall has left him. As the object of that grace man is a personality free and responsible, by the evidence of consciousness and conscience. As fallen he is throughout all his faculties enslaved to sin; but knows that sin is foreign to his original nature, and that the slavery is not hopeless nor of necessity. His will is still the originating power or principle of selfdetermination, under the influence of motives originated in the understanding and feeling, but capable of controlling those motives. And his whole nature, as fallen, whether regarded as intellect, sensibility or will, is under some measure of the influence of the Holy Spirit, the firstfruits of the gift of redemption

These several propositions are in themselves clear and simple and true. They are in harmony with all sound psychology; with common sense; and with the tenor and tendency of all Scripture. Their difficulty is felt only in relation to the theological speculations which have been connected with the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the metaphysical speculations with which the doctrine of election has surrounded them

1. Prevenient grace is exercised on the personality of man, free and accountable: not upon any particular element of his nature, but upon himself. That personality is the Suppositum Intelligens, the responsible author of all that he does: not his will, nor his feeling, nor his intellect; but the hidden man, the autos ego, the central substantial person who is behind and beneath all his affections and attributes. That influence of the Spirit, directly or through the Word, is exercised upon the agent whom St. Paul describes as the active I or the passive Me of every religious feeling that precedes regeneration

2. The person or personality of the natural or unregenerate man is free, inasmuch as no power from without controls his will. It is the very nature of will to originate volition: otherwise, if constrained, will is no more will; the possessor of it is not accountable; and volition is only a misnomer for the obedience, only in appearance spontaneous, to a natural or physical law. Consciousness and conscience alike attest that the sinner—for of the sinner we are now speaking—is free and responsible: his consciousness in its first elements is that of a free agent; and his conscience, or MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS, asserts his responsibility, not only for actions but for words and thoughts and the whole posture of the mind

3. Again, that person is bound and enslaved to sin. Naturally the bias to evil and the aversion from the moral law are so universal that, even apart from New-Testament teaching, common consent allows that human nature is bound to what is wrong: so bound that none can escape without a direct Divine intervention; and bound so universally in actual experience as to warrant the induction that none will ever be born without it. In the case of actual transgressors, the effect of habit invariably both proves the original innate bondage and deepens its strength

4. But the slavery is not absolute. It is conscious slavery, and not submitted to without reluctance. It is not so much a fetter on the will itself, as the ascendancy of a sinful bias over the motives that actuate the conduct by governing the will: the feelings and desires of the affection, and the thoughts of the mind. The will is not bound; but the understanding which guides it is darkened, and the affection which prompts its exercise is corrupted by sense. Now here comes in the doctrine of Prevenient Grace. It is not needed to restore to the faculty of will its power of originating action: that has never been lost

But it is needed to suggest to the intellect the truth on which religion rests, and to sway the affections of hope and fear by enlisting the heart on the side of that truth


The Grace of God and the human will are co-operant, but not on equal terms. Grace has the pre-eminence, and that for many reasons. First, the universal influence of the Spirit is the true secret of man's capacity for religion; secondly, His influence, connected with the Word, is universal, inevitable, and irresistible, as claiming the consideration of the natural man; and, lastly, He gives the power, whether used or not, to decide against sin and submit to God. These facts assure to grace its supremacy in all that belongs to salvation

But the co-operation of the will is real: because in this last stage it rests with the free agent himself whether the influence of the Spirit be repelled or yielded to. This is the uniform and unfailing testimony of Scripture; the consideration of which will prepare the way for a brief review of ecclesiastical opinions and dogmas on the subject

I. The general truth of a co-operation between the Spirit and the will of man is a postulate of the entire Scripture. Like some other fundamental truths, it is not demonstrated but taken for granted; and that very fact is sufficient evidence of our proposition. This cooperation may be viewed negatively or positively

1. Negatively, there is no reference in the only authority to an arbitrary Divine power reigning over the things that accompany salvation. He who works in us to will is never represented as working so absolutely upon us that nothing is left to personal responsibility. Turn Thou me! is followed by the I shall be turned!1 And both parts of the sentence must have their force. There is no saying in the Word of God which, fairly expounded, represents the Divine Spirit as overruling the energy of the human object of His grace

1 Jer. 31:18

2. Positively, and in the most express manner, the Scripture represents Divine prevenient grace as operating through and with man's free concurrence. Figuratively this is expressed by the good ground1 which receives the seed: everywhere it is assumed that the first application of truth is probationary, detecting a character in the hearer which in some sense decides all But it must always be remembered that this hearer of the Word has a preliminary grace in the roots of his nature which he yields to or resists in the very act of resisting or yielding to the appeal of Heaven. We find it, literally, in all those passages which declare that believers themselves voluntarily receive the Word of God or of Christ or of grace. So, in the Thessalonians Having received the word2 (dexamenoi answering to parelabete). This last expression is used concerning the reception of Christ: As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord.3 Another and cardinal text is: We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.4 Here there is a co-operation of the Apostles with God; but it is equally certain that there is a co-operation of believers with both

1 Mat. 13:23; 2 1 Thes 1:6; 2:13; 3 Col. 2:6; 4 2 Cor. 6:1

II. That the Spirit has the pre-eminence is equally the doctrine of all the Scripture, as indeed it is of common sense

1. The fact that man is, since the Fall, still a free agent is not more essentially a necessity of his moral nature than it is the effect of grace. Redemption is universal, and goes back to the root of the nature. Its universality has this for its result that all who are born into the world are born into a state of probation: otherwise the human spirit would have fallen back under the law of physical necessity, or into that of diabolic bondage to evil

Unredeemed spirits are responsible; but their responsibility is no longer probationary: they are responsible for a state of guilt that has become determined by their own first act become habitual. The difference put between them and us is the mystery of redeeming mercy. The children of men are in bondage to sin; this is the character which is stamped upon them by inheritance. But the bondage is not hopeless nor is it to any mortal necessary; they have a natural capacity of freedom to act as well as to choose, to perform as well as will; and this their very nature is itself grace

2. Grace has the pre-eminence inasmuch as its influence when the Word is preached, whether directly or indirectly, is inevitable and irresistible. Prevenient grace moves upon the will through the affections of fear and hope; and these affections are necessarily moved by the truths which the understanding perceives. But the understanding is under the necessary influence of the Word, while, apart from the understanding, in some sense, the passions are under the control of the Spirit. However obstinately and effectually the truth may be resisted as a ruling power, as truth it cannot be resisted

3. Moreover, in the secret recesses of man's nature the grace is given disposing and enabling him to yield. Though the will must at last act from its own resources and deliberate impulse, it is influenced through the feeling and the understanding in such a manner as to give it strength. It is utterly hopeless to penetrate this mystery: it is the secret between God's Spirit and man's agency. There is a Divine operation which works the desire and acts in such a manner as not to interfere with the natural freedom of the will. The man determines himself, through Divine grace, to salvation: never so free as when swayed by grace


Conversion is the process by which the soul turns, or is turned, from sin to God, in order to its acceptance through faith in Christ. This is its strict meaning, as distinguished from that broader sense in which it is applied to the entire history of the soul's restoration. As the turning away from sin it is closely allied to Repentance, though not synonymous with it; as the turning to God it includes or is merged in Faith


I. The term Conversion stands here for a few equivalents in Hebrew and Greek which express the same religious idea; that of the change by which the soul is turned from sin to God. The fact that it is thus common to the two Testaments gives it a great importance. It is the general description of the restoration of the sinner that runs through the Bible; and therefore has been very often regarded as including much more than the mere crisis of moral and religious change. Sometimes it is thought to represent the whole course, through all its stages, of the return of the soul to God: this is the case especially in the works of mystical writers, and of some who are not mystical. By those, for instance, who recognize no saving influence before regeneration, out of which repentance and faith flow, conversion is of necessity made to include all the moral blessings of the state of grace: in fact, it must have a very indeterminate meaning in every system of Calvinism

The theology that may be called Sacramentarian generally regards conversion as the process of recovery from a state in which the regenerating grace conferred in baptism has been neglected and might seem to be lost. Sometimes, by a very loose employment of the term, it is made synonymous with the experience of forgiveness and the assurance of the reconciliation. But we must remember that it simply means the turning point of the religious life: its turning from a course of sin to the commencement of seeking God

Hence the crisis that it marks is not in the religious life of a 'believer, but in the life of the soul, redeemed indeed, but not yet a new creature in Christ

II. Conversion belongs, therefore, only to the outer court of the Christian temple. Two considerations will further illustrate this

1. In conversion the Divine and the human agency combine: It may be said that they cooperate, if the word be rightly understood. This is not the case in the inner court of the state of salvation by grace. The blessings proper to the Christian covenant are imparted: the believer simply receives his justification, his adoption and regeneration, his sanctification. But his conversion is the preparation for these absolute gifts of redemption: the new life of righteousness, sonship, and holiness is the one supreme conclusive benefit of the Christian covenant grace, and man must be made fit to receive it. The process of this preparation is his conversion to God. When that process is accomplished the conversion is ended: Ye were as sheep going astray; but are now RETURNED unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.1 Now throughout this preliminary stage of the religious life the grace of the Spirit and the effort of man unite. (1.) The appeal to God to convert the soul runs through the Bible: such Old-Testament prayers as Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God,2 and Turn Thou us unto Thee, 0 Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old,3 express the spirit of the New Testament also, though not found in its letter. (2.) But the appeal from God to man to turn himself is yet more abundant: Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways, for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel?4 where the whole strain is without meaning if converting grace is irresistible. Here the New Testament affords abundant support: Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life.5 Hence, when treating of Repentance and Faith, the two elements of conversion, we have continually to exhibit, as will be seen, a Divine commandment with promise. The grace is from the Lord; the use of it is with man himself

1 1 Pet. 2:25; 2 Jer. 31:18; 3 Lam. 5:21; 4 Eze. 33:11; 5 John 5:40

2. The New Testament expressly limits the term Conversion to the beginning or introduction of the Christian life. There is no instance of its use in reference to the changes in the believer's state as such. But here a distinction must be made. It is true that the word is constantly employed to mark the recovery of those who were backsliders from the preparatory grace of the old covenant. In fact, this is its habitual signification throughout the Old Testament: the appeals to return to Jehovah are addressed to those who had departed from a God already known and forsaken. The same holds good of our Lord's use of the word when He quotes Isaiah: lest they should be converted, and I should heal them;1 as also of the prophecy of His forerunner's agency: many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.2 Simon Peter's conversion, after which he should strengthen his brethren, was a return from backsliding. But after the day of Pentecost the word begins to be used more broadly, of the turning from darkness to light3 generally. St. James gives the solitary instance of its employment to note a Christian's recovery from the error of his way;4 but that error was no less than a full departure from the truth of the Gospel Generally, conversion is supposed to be accomplished when the Christian faith is received. From that time the penitent is a convert: his conversion is an accomplished fact

1 Mat. 13:15; 2 Luke 1:16; 3 Acts 36:18; 4 Jas. 5:20

III. It remains to consider the relation of Conversion to Repentance and Faith, as distinct from and yet including each

1. Sometimes the term seems to embrace both in the unity of preparation for the common evangelical benefit. The blessing of Jesus is the turning away everyone of you from his iniquities; or from darkness to light;1 or from idols to serve the living and true God2 Here the negative and the positive are united in the description of the conversion whether of Jews or of Gentiles

1 Acts 3:26; 2 Acts 26:18

2. Sometimes it is more particularly the negative repentance: the aversion of the soul from sin through a conviction of its true character; a sorrowing hatred of it as estrangement from God, and abandonment of it in the sincere purpose of the convinced spirit. Repent ye therefore and be converted:1 here the forgiveness is supposed afterwards to follow, and conversion is limited to the effect of repentance. But repentance is also exhibited as the effect of conversion: Surely after that I was turned, I repented.2 Again the conversion is itself repentance: he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death.3 These are all instances of a certain freedom of Scripture in the use of these terms which should warn us against over-careful dogmatic distinctions

1 Acts 3:19; 2 Jer. 31:19; 3 Jas. 5:20

3. More frequently conversion is made equivalent to faith. A great number believed and turned unto the Lord:1 where faith has the same relation to the turning which repentance has in the previous passages. Sometimes faith is omitted where it is nevertheless meant: And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.2 It is even made the distinguishing element in conversion: but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.3

1 Acts 11:21; 2 Acts 9:35; 3 1 Pet. 2:25

4. Thus it is observable that conversion is more closely than repentance and faith connected with the means or circumstances that bring about the crisis. These circumstances may be very various, and the concomitants may also vary. The same result was produced by the terrors through which the jailer was converted,1 and the gentle influence which turned the heart of Lydia. And, in the ordinary application of the Gospel, these are typical instances: there may be sudden or instantaneous conversion, and there may be gentle and gradual conversion

1 Acts 16

5. Hence, finally, as both repentance and faith enter into the Christian life, continue in it, and in it are made perfect, there is a sense in which Conversion, of which repentance and faith are the two elements, also runs on into the state of grace. This brings us back to the point from which we set out: that there is a wider meaning of the term which must not be forgotten while the stricter is adhered to. So far as the old man remains in the regenerate there must be a perpetual turning away from the sins of the past and advancement towards holiness: whether that holiness be separation from sin in a perpetual conversion, or union with God in a never-ceasing faith. In other words, there is an ethical conversion that goes on until the soul is entirely dead to sin and one with God. But in the Order of Grace Conversion is the process of the soul's first coming to Christ, and it would be well on the whole to restrict its use to that meaning


As the conditions of that salvation which is the personal possession of the common heritage, Repentance towards God and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ are always united in the New Testament. They cannot be separated, as repentance implies preexisting faith, and faith implies pre-existing repentance. But they differ in this, that faith is the instrument as well as a condition of individual acceptance; and, as such, springs out of and follows repentance. Both are produced by the preliminary grace of the Holy Spirit, but not perfected without the concurrence of the will of man. Though both are only introductory to the state of grace, properly so called, faith in its saving exercise is the transition point where the state of conviction passes into life in Christ


Repentance is a Divinely-wrought conviction of sin, the result of the Holy Spirit's application of the condemning law to the conscience or heart. It approves itself in contrition, which distinguishes it from the mere knowledge of sin; in submission to the judicial sentence, which is the essence of true confession; and in sincere effort to amend, which desires to make reparation to the dishonored law. Hence it must needs come from God and go back to Him: the Holy Spirit, using the law, being the Agent in producing this preliminary Divine change

Repentance, or conviction of sin with its effects, is here regarded prominently as the result of the spiritual revelation of the Divine law to the conscience of the sinner. But it must not be forgotten that the same repentance may be regarded without this direct and express reference to law: it is the sense of ingratitude which the prodigal feels when returning to his Father; and, of utter defilement which the unholy soul feels in the presence of the Divine purity. Even then, however, the fundamental thought is the broken commandment

I. Repentance is the effect of a Divinely-wrought application of the holy law

1. It is generally said to be the gift of God. In the words of the early Church, receiving the first tidings of the vocation of the heathen, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life,1 we must understand not only, first, that the opportunity of repentance was proclaimed, and, secondly, the promises to repentance set forth, but, thirdly, the actual power of repenting also afforded. Similarly in that first full statement of the Gospel: Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.2 But it needs no express testimony to prove that every right feeling concerning self and concerning God's law must come from on high: every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,3 and this includes all spiritual influences. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;4 they are the sacrifices OF GOD: of these also it may be said, I have given it to you upon the altar, though NOT to make atonement for your souls.5

1 Acts 11:18; 2 Acts 5:31; 3 Jas. 1:17; 4 Psa. 51:17; 5 Lev. 17:11

2. More particularly it is the office of the Spirit of conviction, Whom the Savior promised to send to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.1 This conviction of the Spirit, in its threefold character, is the essence of evangelical repentance as preached under the Gospel: repentance following the application of the law—for there is no other repentance preliminary to grace—but in its peculiar relation to Christ. And the Spirit Himself is indirectly called in this office, the Spirit of bondage.2

1 John 16:8; 2 Rom. 8:15

II. The human evidences of repentance are both its fruits and its tests. They are so described in Scripture as to show that the Divine operation is wrought through the human faculties, and finds human expression as if it were the act of man himself. They constitute his threefold recognition of the majesty of the law to the existence and claims of which he is now awakened

1. CONTRITION or sorrow for sin is expressed in many ways: especially in the Old Testament, the descriptions of which have no parallel out of themselves, none even in the New Testament. (1.) It is a broken and a contrite heart;1 the heart being the inmost personality and not the sensibilities only, nor the judgment only, nor only the will. The word has its Hebrew meaning; corresponding with the broken spirit which precedes: this last being the perfect watchword of that true repentance to which, as running through the life, the promise is given: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.2 The hidden man mourns before God: his mind meditating on the sinfulness of his sin, his feeling oppressed with grief, and his will absolutely turned against it. Hence (2.) it is godly sorrow,3 hee kata lupee, and not the sorrow of the world, which dreads the consequences of transgression rather than hates the transgression itself. It is mourning that proves its genuineness by refusing to be comforted save by Divine mercy: it is not so much godly—this is regenerate repentance—as towards God. (3.) It is a keen sense of sin universal, and not of particular sins. The conviction of its sinfulness is a new and peculiar experience: a new moral consciousness which makes perfect the conscience of sin. By the law, applied by the Spirit, is the knowledge of sin.4 But our Lord tells us that the world is to be convinced of sin because they believe not on Me:5 Christ the Savior is Himself the best and only revelation of the evil from which He saves

1 Psa. 51:17; 2 Mat. 5:3; 3 2 Cor. 7:10; 4 Rom. 3:20; 5 John 16:9

2. Submission to the condemning law is of the essence of true repentance and takes the form of CONFESSION. This may be regarded in two lights: it is the utterance of utter hopelessness, and of a profound sense of the justice of God in the visitation of iniquity

But the latter takes precedence. (1.) The law pronounces condemnation, the terrors of which are now first felt; and the sinner, even though in the presence of Christ, Who preaches repentance, and all the more because he is in the presence of Christ, accepts the utmost rigor of judgment as just. He sees his guilt, and sees his inexpressible pollution, in the light of the Divine countenance, and abhors himself, while he fears his Judge. (2.) The law convicts of impotence: and so the penitent cries, When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.1 True repentance absolutely withers all hope in self as to present or future ability. (3.) These are united in CONFESSION, which is especially in this preliminary stage only to Heaven. True repentance comes from God and returns back to Him Who gave it. There is a confession one to another2 commended by the Apostle James, which belongs rather to the Christian life and is consistent with confession of universal sin to God alone

1 Rom. 7:9; 2 Jas. 5:16

3. The repentance which is a condition of salvation approves its genuineness by endeavors to amend the life: negatively by turning from sin; positively by aiming at obedience. This effort is imposed on every penitent by the command of Scripture: Cease to do evil, learn to do well.1 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance2 is the New- Testament formula. The Baptist, the representative preacher of repentance, gives the solitary instance of these fruits of a tree neither corrupt nor as yet sound. They are not the acts of a regenerate life; for the promise of the Holy Ghost is held out as a future gift

They are not fruits of a corrupt tree; for the Spirit gives the prevenient grace that enables the penitent to present them to God. They are tokens of sincerity, and are essential as such; for the Scripture invariably demands obedience to God's law, and reparation of every injury to man; not indeed as securing forgiveness, but as its peremptory condition

Both are expressed by the two New-Testament terms, metamellomai or metanoein: the latter a change of mind, the former a change of purpose. In this turning from sin and turning towards holiness, the act is rather dwelt upon than the feeling. The feeling may vary, as it regards both the sense of sin and the sense of condemnation; it may have endless varieties of expression, but the act is always the same

1 Isa. 1:16,17; 2 Mat. 3:8

III. Repentance, thus described, is still in the outer court. It belongs to the midway state between nature and grace; but has, nevertheless, a special relation to the dispensation of law. This may be finally illustrated by a summary view of the New-Testament method of enforcing its necessity and its requirements

1. John the Baptist is the pre-eminent preacher of repentance. The forerunner of Christ, he is also the forerunner of His Gospel. His doctrine contains every principle necessary to its perfection; and his ministry, not less than that of the Apostles, was in power, and in the Holy Ghost.1 He preached repentance as universally necessary and available. Repent ye!2 was his one word to all alike. He enforced it as incumbent on every man at the present moment: on the one hand, because the axe is laid unto the root; and, on the other, because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. He required it to be thorough, profound, and perfect: Prepare ye the way of the Lord! Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. He proclaimed it as accompanied by its meet fruits of reformation, restitution, and pledges of amendment: Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance. And, finally, he preached it as preparatory to the salvation of Christ and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. All flesh shall see the salvation of God. But the one supreme theme of his enforcement is the necessity of repentance as the preparation for Christ

1 1 Thes 1:5; 2 Luke 3:3-16

2. Further illustrations of this are found in the Gospels. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force:1 words which, whatever other meaning they bear, have evident reference to John's baptism, and the desperate discipline of preparatory repentance. The blind man at Bethsaida, whom the Savior exhibited in a state of intermediate and halting cure— no longer wholly blind, but more miserable than when he was; not yet fully enlightened, but on the way to it—illustrates the prevenient grace of repentance. This solitary instance of our Lord's suspended power has a meaning for all ages. There is a first touch, the effect of which is: I see men, as trees, walking.2 There is a second, when he was restored and saw every man dearly. Teaching other lessons as to the progression of grace, and its critical stages, this unique miracle teaches also that repentance is the transition to the mercy of the Gospel. The Baptist's relicts an; found in the Acts: Apollos required only to be taught the way of God more perfectly;3 and the Ephesian Twelve were prepared for the full Christian baptism which they had long waited for. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him that should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.4

1 Mat. 11:12; 2 Mark 13:24,25; 3 Acts 18:24-27; 4 Acts 19:1-7

3. Hence, finally, while the evangelical element is not wanting in this repentance—it has a presentiment of the Gospel—it is yet under the law. All that has been said may be summed up thus. The Holy Spirit of conviction applies the law to the conscience, and thus works His reproof. The effect is sorrow before God as the Lawgiver rather than as the Father, or before the Father as the Fountain of moral authority; acceptance of the righteous sentence pronounced upon transgression; and sincere though imperfect, necessary though not meritorious, endeavors to make reparation to the dishonored majesty of right. Beyond this the repentance which is the condition of salvation does not go. But it does not fall short of this: it is in all its processes the soul's tribute to the law from the condemnation of which the Gospel, received in faith, can alone save the transgressor


Faith as the instrument of appropriating salvation is a Divinely-wrought belief in the record concerning Christ and trust in His Person as a personal Savior: these two being one. It must be distinguished, on the one hand, from the general exercise of belief following evidence which is one of the primary elements of human nature, and from the grace of faith which is one of the fruits of the regenerating Spirit. As Divinely wrought, it is attended by assurance; as human, it works by love. And thus, while belonging to the state of prevenient grace, it passes insensibly into the regenerate life

Faith, viewed here more comprehensively as the condition and instrument of personal salvation, is a state or an act of the human spirit as under the influence of the Divine Spirit. The Divine and the human elements meet, but they cannot be so clearly defined and separated as in the case of repentance. We must view them as united in relation to the principle of belief, generally, on which saving faith rests; to the passive and active trust that enter into that faith; and to the assurance of acceptance and salvation which follow it in the regenerate life

I. BELIEF, or the principle of faith generally, belongs to human nature: it is the faculty of accepting the unseen as existing, by which we admit as knowledge what is received only on evidence or authority internal or external. Now this common faculty of faith, which involves trust in what we believe, is Divinely directed to the Gospel in order to personal salvation

1. Man lives and moves and has his being, as a spiritual creature, in an element of belief or trust in the unseen; in that sense also we walk by faith, not by sight.1 Belief is a primary condition of all knowledge and of all reasoning on knowledge. It may be said that without it there can be no full assent given to any proposition that deals with other than matter of sense. Hence the propriety of Anselm's CREDE UT INTELLIGAS, in opposition to Abelard's INTELLIGE UT CREDAS; the two watchwords of Christian Faith and Rationalism respectively. Now all faith that leads to action has in it an element of trust. The being of God, the guilt and punishment of sin, the mission of Christ for redemption, the Christian revelation as a whole, may be assented to by intellectual belief without exerting any influence on the life. But this kind of belief is not, as alone, commended in Scripture

Faith is there always connected with the practical trust which makes these truths more or less operative. The object of this faith, not yet a personal Savior, may be generally apprehended: the compass of the Christian Faith is often accepted without the experience of salvation. To whatever extent the truths of religion are known and embraced, faith in them is the healthy and legitimate exercise of the human mind, receiving the evidence, internal and external, which authenticates revelation. But that faith cannot be without the element of trust, latent it may be and unconscious, suppressed by sin and hindered from the attainment of its end

1 2 Cor. 5:7

2. This belief or trust of which we speak is exerted under a Divine influence. A merely intellectual assent, such as rests upon tradition and education, is not enough for salvation: The devils also believe, and tremble.1 Seldom does this belief withstand the assault of skeptical attack. Never does the trust inherent in it become influential. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.2 A firm belief in the Christian revelation, and trust in Him Whom it reveals as God and man, is the very precious gift of the Spirit, Who acts upon the elements of belief and trust in human nature, and directs them to their appropriate Object. Belief is often made perfect in the exercise of personal trust; and personal trust often leads to the strengthening of mere belief. Sometimes the clear revelation of the truth in Jesus to the mind leads to an entire reliance on His work; and sometimes the personal trust with its confidence of faith brings in the full assurance of understanding as to the outward revelation: speculative or historical faith thus, through Divine grace, deepens into that spiritual faith, which in its last exercise is the gift of God to the soul by Himself prepared for its exercise

1 Jas. 2:19; 2 1 Cor. 12:3

II. The Faith that is the condition and instrument of salvation may be regarded as fiducial belief in the Redeemer, Whose Person and Work are one as a revelation of God, and of all saving truth. This trust is both negative and positive, or passive and active: it renounces every other object, and relies only on One. It is the act of the whole man, but under the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost

1. The formal notion of all Faith, and that which makes it the appropriate condition of salvation, is personal trust in a Person. Its efficient cause is the operation of the Spirit on the human faculties; its instrumental cause is the revelation of the truth concerning the Savior; and its formal cause, which makes it what it is, is trust in the Person of that Savior

(1.) This important truth is taught by the very term that is everywhere used in the New Testament: pisteuein is equivalent to pistin echeinbe'ªmuwnaatow; the equivalent of the Hebrew be'ªmuwnaatow, which in almost every instance of its use includes the idea of reliance on the Jehovah of the Ancient Covenant

(2.) It is also seen in the fact that this principle is almost always connected, directly or indirectly, with a Person, and that even when the acceptance of Christian truth by the understanding is made prominent. First, the ground of faith is the authority of God Who is believed: Abraám epísteusen toó Theoó, Abraham believed God,1 and accordingly trusted in Him. Throughout his history, as that of the Father of the faithful and their exemplar, we find nothing required or imposed on his belief as truth which did not demand the unlimited trust of his heart in God: indeed, in some cases it might be hard to accept as credible to the understanding what nevertheless was acted upon in desperate confidence. In the New Testament the Savior speaks of a credence in His words; on His own authority: Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?2 Here Jesus is arguing with unbelievers, and the matter is one of belief on authority. But, most commonly, He uses the word concerning trust in Himself; though, in this case, the word is varied and a large variety of synonymous expressions is used, such as coming to Him and seeing Him and surrendering self to Him. Hence, secondly, a Person is the substantial Object of all saving faith, to Whom it turns, on Whom it relies, and in Whom it finds rest: according to the three currently used prepositions, eis, epi, en, of each of which it may suffice to give one example. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:3 eis ton Huion, which is opposed to the unbeliever's simple disbelief of the word of Christ, he that believeth not the Son, apeithoon too Huioo. This passage represents many which make Christ the Object to Whom faith as it were stretches forward. Whosoever believeth on Him, ep auto, shall not be ashamed:4 a preposition used also with the accusative, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly,5 epi ton dikaiounta. Here the Person is the foundation on which faith rests. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,6 en Christoo Ieesou. Here, as in many other passages, the Person of Christ is the Object, on Which faith indeed rests, but also in Whom as its element it lives and moves. But in this case the penitent is already saved

1 Gal. 3:6; 2 John 5:46,47; 3 John 3:36; 4 Rom. 10:11; 5 Rom. 4:5; 6 Gal. 3:26

(3.) This Object of trust is in Christianity directly or indirectly the Founder of our religion in His own Person: its Archeegon, or AUTHOR of the faith1 Himself. Hence the usual expression, by faith of Jesus Christ2, which indicates that He gives its specific character to the principle generally. This distinguishes Christianity as the full revelation of an object of trust which was partially hidden before. Faith in God, or Jehovah, the God of the covenant, was the condition and instrument of Old-Testament salvation; but Jehovah is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That God is now MANIFEST in the flesh,3 and He says, Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.4 Of those who believe not, He says, Ye neither know Me nor My Father: if ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.5 And the final testimony of St. John is: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.6 Rejection of Christ was rejection of the ancient God. Faith in God apart from His Son is now a species of unbelief. Our Lord as the object of confidence is more specifically Himself or His Person. This is its supreme definition: believe also in Me! It is only indirectly His blood; the propitiation is in His blood, en toó autoú haímati, through faith,7 but it is He who is set forth. It is confidence in His cross, or rather in Christ crucified; that is, in His death and resurrection; as to the latter of which, however, the trust is rather referred to the Father: If we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.8 Hence it is the LIVING CHRIST in the unity of His Person and His Work.9 The God Who delivered up Christ and raised Him is Christ Himself. The tone of the entire New Testament is to the effect that He that seeth and believeth in the Son seeth and believeth the Father. But the specific relation of the Redeemer's Person to justifying faith must be considered hereafter

1 Heb. 12:2; 2 Rom. 3:22; 3 1 Tim. 3:16; 4 John 14:1; 5 John 8:19; 6 1 John 2:23; 7 Rom. 3:25; 8 1 Cor. 1:23; 9 Rom. 4:24

2. Faith is both passive and active, in opposition, that is, to a state of undue action and to a state of indolent waiting: only by so viewing it, and combining the two, can we understand the general strain of the New Testament as to its operation in the penitent and contrite spirit

(1.) As passive or receptive it is that trust or repose of the heart on the promises given in Christ, which in the New Testament is opposed to works of every kind, and throughout the Bible to any trust but in God. Assent to a moral truth, especially such as is here supposed to be wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost, engages in its exercise the understanding and heart and the will. Faith in its negative aspect is that of the understanding affecting the heart chiefly: the soul rests on the Savior, abstains from every act, and only waits upon His promise. Only in that posture is it ready for the salvation ready to be revealed. As limited to one branch of it, that is, justification, this element of faith is of great importance: To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.1

1 Rom. 4:5

(2.) Active faith is the assent of the understanding actuating the will more particularly

Faith goes forth as well as waits; gives as well as receives. The act is to be understood in two ways: it is the energy which gives up the soul to the Lord, and that which receives Him in return; though these are not to be separated. As many as received Him and those that believe on His name1 are synonymous. He that followeth Me2 is a definition of the believer; whose faith is a coming to Christ, and a receiving of Him, parelabete.3 His Gospel is preached eis hupakoeen pisteoos for the obedience of faith.4 Many other expressions are used which represent a saving relation to Christ as the active energy of the soul: such as its flying for refuge to the only Hope, seeking Him and laying aside every impediment, committing the soul to Him, and other similar phrases. This is the kind of faith which is exhibited throughout the Gospels

1 John 1:12; 2 John 8:12; 3 Col. 2:6; 4 Rom. 16:26

(3.) It must be remembered, however, that these two are always one. The passive waiting and the active seeking unite. The Lord is good unto them that WAIT FOR Him, to the soul that SEEKETH HIM.1 And both are undoubtedly the act of God's Spirit in the soul; as is shown in the passage of St. Paul which speaks of our being buried and risen with Christ through the faith in the operation of God, diá teés písteoos teés energeías toú Theoú.2 1 Lam. 3:25; 2 Col. 2:12

3. Faith is the act of the whole man under the influence- of the Holy Spirit

(1.) It is not an assent of the understanding merely, nor a feeling merely of the sensibility, nor an act of the will, but belongs to the centre of human personality, to the heart: with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,1 Kardía gár pisteúetai. The language of the Creed is, I BELIEVE: the man himself is the believer; there is no act in which he more absolutely gathers up his whole being to act, while he goes out of himself, and appropriates Another. As passive and receptive, faith makes the whole soul empty for the reception of Jesus; as active and energetic, it puts forth all its powers to embrace Him and His salvation. Hence this principle, after conversion, still continues to characterize the regenerate soul. The Christian is a pistos; he stands in this character, teé gár pístei hesteékate,2 and his faith, working by love, becomes the spring of his new life. The act by which he entered salvation becomes the law of his being as saved

1 Rom. 10:10; 2 2 Cor. 1:24

(2.) Such and so great being the prerogative of faith, it is obvious that no power less than Divine can inspire it. It is essentially a moral act; for unbelief is reckoned to be specific guilt: the Spirit's reproof of sin is because they believe not on Me.1 The only or the supreme sin is now rejection of Christ; and the act or state of not believing is itself condemnation: he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.2 But if the faith that saves has this moral character it must be wrought in the soul by God the Holy Ghost: there is nothing right in man towards God that comes not from His influence; and the primary feeling after a Savior, as well as the trust into which this is elevated, is of Him. Hence our faith is said to be of the operation of God.3 How it is that the emphasis is laid upon our salvation being independent of works connects our subject with the doctrine of Justification. The faith that lays hold of Christ is the highest moral act of a state of penitence: nothing more, but nothing less. It is the last and best of the fruits meet for repentance

1 John 16:9; 2 John 3:18; 3 Col. 2:12

(3.) Hence it is plain that the faith which is saving passes insensibly while we are studying it into the state of regeneration to which it leads. As it is itself a sanctification of that original principle of belief which belongs to our nature, so itself is sanctified into the energy of the regenerate life. It becomes the law of that life, faith which worketh by love;1 it is the seventh fruit of the Spirit;2 and as such is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.3 As conscience is the consciousness of the soul as touching ethics, so faith is the consciousness of the regenerate spirit as touching all its unseen and future objects

1 Gal. 5:6; 2 Gal. 5:22; 3 Heb. 11:1

III. Assurance belongs to this trust only in an indirect manner, as its reflex action and its gracious result, and its abiding privilege in the regenerate life. As faith is the highest negative work of repentance and passes into the energy of regeneration, so confidence in its Object, relying upon it as objective, passes into the faith of subjective assurance. But the assurance is the fruit, and not the essence, of faith. As such it will be hereafter treated

Meanwhile, a few points may be noted

1. Though a distinction must be made between naked faith and assurance, it is obvious that perfect trust must in some sense be assured of the reality of its object. Saving faith in God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;1 also that Christ is and that He is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.2 That He is my actual Savior, and that my belief is saving, cannot be the object of faith direct; it is the reflex benefit and gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the full assurance of faith,3 the pleeroforía písteoos, in which worshippers are exhorted to draw near. As faith itself is the assurance of things hoped for,4 its plerophory is to be expected in diligent devotion: diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.5 The internal assurance of faith is a privilege that all may claim and expect: seasons of darkness and depression and uncertainty are only the trial of that faith of assurance; they test it, and therefore imply its presence; or, if absent, its absence is thus declared to be the result of its own failure

1 Heb. 11:6; 2 1 Tim 4:10; 3 Heb. 10:22; 4 Heb. 11:1; 5 Heb. 6:11

2. Among the objects of St. Paul's prayer for us is the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, even Christ. The confidence of saving faith is, strictly speaking, limited to the Person of the Savior, Who is revealed to the understanding, the affection, the will—that is to the penitent man—by the Holy Ghost, Who at the same time opens the spiritual eye to behold Him. But the faith which is the energy of the new life is also the spiritual eye which beholds all truth, and is assured of it

As it respects the Holy Ghost this is the unction from the Holy One,1 by which we know all things; as it respects the believer this is the certain belief which makes faith knowledge

1 1 John 2:20


Repentance and Faith have certain relations which must be remembered by those who would understand both. Each precedes, while each consummates, the other; and they are united, whether in the preliminaries of salvation or in the mature Christian life

1. There is a faith which precedes repentance: belief in God's existence and revelation generally, and of the threatenings of His Word in particular, must precede supplication for His mercy. But this is the belief that lies at the root of all religion; and may be altogether independent of trust in the Gospel, or any apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ: unless indeed we import here the distinction between implicit and explicit faith

There must be a belief in God, that He is before there can be a belief that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;1 there is a faith in the Gospel as a general economy of grace before the personal appropriating reliance on its provisions. Hence all the appeals which in Scripture enforce contrition are based upon a pre-existing knowledge of the Lawgiver and of sin and of the penalty of transgression. And every appeal to every class of sinner must needs assume the existence of faith in the righteous judgment of God against his offence

1 Heb. 11:6

2. But repentance precedes the faith which brings salvation. Repent ye and believe the Gospel1 is the formula that never will be displaced. Though the Spirit's conviction is based on the belief that Christ is, and that He is a Lord and a Savior, into Whose hands every man's destiny is committed, yet the trust which places the mercy of the Savior before the authority of the Lord must be preceded by deep sorrow in His presence. Saving trust cannot spring up save in the contrite heart: sorrow on account of the evil of sin, anxiety to be delivered, despair of delivering oneself, and a deep feeling of Christ's atoning sorrows, must coexist in the soul which is encouraged to rely on the Redeemer's work. The same may be said of all genuine saving faith. It cannot exist where there is not humility of heart; sorrow for sin is the soil out of which it grows

1 Mark 1:15

3. Repentance and faith mutually aid if they do not actually spring out of each other. The soul when touched with true penitential grief is as it were naturally disposed to rely on the great Deliverer. There is but a step between entire self-renunciation and the acceptance of the Savior, Who fills the void of self: in fact, where the penitence is perfect, purged of all traces of its two opposite errors, despair and carelessness, trust may be said to lie at the very door. All repentance becomes in its last Evangelical analysis sorrow for the rejection of Jesus, Who in this very sorrow is accepted. But that grief arises from the Spirit's application of Christ's dying love, which is in such a state of heart really believed though it may not yet be appropriated with assurance. This faith may be, and is in some theological treatises, called ILLUMINATION; and its combination with repentance is perceived or felt in such a passage as this: Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,1 where it is hard to say when the one office of the Spirit passes into the other

1 Eph. 5:14

4. Lastly, repentance and faith enter hand in hand into the new life of covenanted salvation. Legal penitence is transformed into Evangelical; and the trust that comes to Christ is the faith that abides in Him and works by love. This repentance in regenerate souls is the fellowship of our Lord's sorrow for sin. It is the interior mortification which is the crucifixion of the flesh. Strictly speaking, it is the only perfect repentance, which feels the sinfulness of sin as it never could be felt before, and more effectually than ever renounces it. Then it becomes the very mind of Christ in the believer concerning the evil of sin. This faith which unites the soul to Jesus keeps the soul in Him, and is therefore the permanent condition and instrument of all grace: deriving from their Supreme and Sole Source all the treasures of His life and power and salvation