August 25, 2013

Brief Notes by Erroll Hulse, James Dennison, John Armstrong, Joel Beeke and Mark Jones on Hyper-Calvinism

But [Herman] Hanko speaks for a minority, Dutch, hyper-Calvinistic school, a group hostile to the doctrine of common grace that God loves all men and desires that all be saved.
Erroll Hulse, "Global Revival: Should We Be Involved in Concerts of Prayer?," Reformation and Revival 2.4 (Fall 1993): 29.
Historically the term hyper-Calvinism has been reserved for the doctrine that the unregenerate are to hear only legal conviction and terrors of judgment from the pulpit, not the free offer of the gospel.
James T. Dennison, Jr., Review of The American Pietism of Cotton Mather: Origins of American Evangelicalism. By Richard F. Lovelace, JETS 25.1 (March 1982): 96.
A biblical study which demonstrates that the Father’s heart is one of love for all people, especially for His own. A good corrective to the emphasis of newer hyper-Calvinism.
John Armstrong, Review of The Love of God, by John MacArthur, Reformation and Revival 7.2 (Spring 1998): 146.
On the other hand, a growing number of Reformed conservatives today, moving beyond Calvin, are espousing the idea that God does not sincerely offer grace unconditionally to every hearer of the gospel. The result is that the gospel preaching is hampered and man's responsibility is often dismissed, if not denied. Happily, we are freed from such rationalistic, hyper-Calvinistic conclusions about the doctrines of grace when we read Puritan writings such as John Bunyan's (1628-1688) Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, John Howe's (1630-1705) The Redeemer's Tears Shed over Lost Souls, or William Greenhill's (1598-1671) sermon, "What Must and Can Persons Do toward Their Own Conversion."10
10. John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (1681; repr., Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004); John Howe, The Redeemer's Tears Wept over Lost Souls (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978); William Greenhill, "What Must and Can Persons Do toward Their Own Conversion," in Puritan Sermons: 1659-1689: The Morning Exercises at Cripplegate (Wheaton, Ill.: Richard Owen Roberts, 1981), 1:38-50.
Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 963.

Robert K. Churchill on Clark, Gill and Matthew 23:37

Apparently Clark accepts the exegesis of Matt 23:37 as given by John Gill. The verse cited is Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children…and ye would not!” According to Gill, “How often would I have gathered”, refers to the subjects or disciples of leaders, and “and ye would not” refers to civil and religious leaders (pp. 215f). It does seem to this reviewer that, if this is not forced exegesis, it is a bit overly ingenious. Why not let the verse speak its more natural message and rejoice in this passionate illustration of the sincere offer of the gospel to all men? Mysterious? Certainly; it is the heart of God. There are fragments in this chapter which critics might seize upon as being hyper-Calvinism.
Robert K. Churchill, “Religion, Reason and Revelation, by Gordon H. Clark: A Review,” WTJ 24:2 (May 1962): 234.

Bio at OPC

August 14, 2013

Benjamin Keach (1640–1704) on Christ's Offer of Love

6. But here is sad News to such who slight this Salvation, and refuse Jesus Christ, great will their Condemnation be: The Men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with this Generation, and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas is here. The greatness of this Saviour who preaches the Gospel to you, and is come to save you, will aggravate your Condemnation. What was Jonas to Jesus Christ? Also our Saviour saith, The Queen of the South shall rise up in Judgment with this Generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the uttermost Parts of the Earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon; and behold a greater than Solomon is here. Solomon was a mighty King, and for Wisdom exceeded all that went before him. But alas, what was Solomon to Jesus Christ, who is the Wisdom of God itself, and the express Image of the Father's Person, and the Brightness of his Glory? O know you, Sinners, this Day, that Jesus Christ, this glorious King, and Prince of the Kings of the Earth, this mighty Saviour is come to your Doors: Behold, I stand at the Door and knock: Will you not open the Door, nor cry to him to help you to open to him, to enable you to believe in him? What do you say, shall the Son of God stand at your Doors, and you not so much as ask, Who is there? Who is at my Door? Shall Christ be kept out of your Hearts, and stand at your Doors, whilst Sin commands the chiefest Room, and has absolute Power over you, and rules in you? How will you be able to look this Blessed Saviour in the Face another Day? Is he come through a Sea of Blood to offer his Love to you, and to espouse you unto himself for ever, and will not you be persuaded to break your League with the old Lovers, who will at last stab you at the very Heart, and betray your Souls into the Hands of Divine Wrath? Nay, they have done it already: What are your Lovers bur your Lusts, your Pride, your Earthly-mindedness, your sinful Pleasures, Profits and Honours? O resolve to desert them, they otherwise will damn your Souls for ever, and expose you to the Torments of Hell-Fire: And to deliver you from them, and from that wrath which is due to you for them, (I mean, for your Sins) is Christ come, and this great Saviour is offered to you. The Lord help every oneof you to consider of this, and to lay it to Heart.
Benjamin Keach, A Golden Mine Opened: Or, The Glory of God's Rich Grace Displayed in the Mediator to Believers: And His Direful Wrath Against Impenitent Sinners. Containing the Substance of Near Forty Sermons Upon Several Subjects (London: Printed, and sold by the Author at his House in Horse lie-down, and William Marshall at the Bible in Newgate-street, 1694), 386–387.
Christ loves all men with a love of pity, but he loveth his Elect with a love of Complacency.
Benjamin Keach, Tropologia: A Key to Open Scripture Metaphors (London: Printed by John Richardson and John Darby for Enoch Prosser, 1682), 3:18.


August 12, 2013

Andrew Willet (1562-1621) on God's Revealed Salvific Will

Willet sets forth this argument put forward by some men:
Argum. 1. God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. God would have no man to perish, but would have all men to come to repentance. God will not the death of a sinner: Ergo, the death and damnation of men, standeth not properly with the will of God.
In reply, Willet gives six answers. Here is the 4th:
4. We must understand these and like places, not of the secret, but of the revealed will of God, who offereth unto all the outward means of salvation: there is voluntas medi[?] vel signi, and, voluntas finis[?]: the will of God concerning the end, and concerning the means leading to the end: So although God have [has] willed and determined every man's end, some one way, some another, yet the eternal means of salvation are denied to none. And that this is the Apostle's meaning, that which followeth doth declare: God would have all men come to the knowledge of the truth, vers. 4. and to come to repentance [2 Pet. 3:9 in margin]. Thus also Augustine expoundeth these words: Remota hac discretione, quam divina scientia intra secretum institiae suae sentinet, syncerissime credendum est, &c. Setting apart the consideration of the secret counsel of God, it is sincerely to be believed, that God would have all men to be saved: that is, offering to all the outward means of salvation, as his word and sacraments: cont. articul. fals. imposit. articul. 2. To this purpose Saint Ambrose lib. 2. de vocat. Gent. c. 1. Quamnis[?] omnes dominus saluos[?] fieri, &c. Although God would have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth: non tamen sibi dispensationum suarum abstulit potestatem, &c. yet hath he not taken away the power of his dispensation, that the order of his counsel should run otherwise, then he in his secret judgment had appointed.
Andrew Willet, Synopsis Papismi (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, for Thomas Man, and are to be sold by Henry Fetherston, dwelling at the Signe of the Rose in Pauls Church-yard, 1614), 882.

This reply sounds very similar to the perspective of Theophilus Gale (click to read).


August 9, 2013

Thomas Case (1598–1682) on God and Christ Begging

This Westminster divine wrote:
Fifthly; Neither is there any Pardon to be expected at this Judgement Seat. Pardons were tendered in the Gospel upon gracious terms, but ungracious Sinners would have none of them, or would have them upon their own terms, Sin and Pardon too; their Pardons were nothing, unless they might have dispensations, also, such as the Pope sells often times; but Christ's Pardons, fo[?]. Pardon & Repentance, Pardon of sin and forsaking of sin, Pardon of sin and Hatred of sin, Pardon and Holiness, would not be accepted, and now the time of Pardons is out; the day of Grace is expired; no cries nor entreaties will prevail with the Judge; no, though the Sinner would fall upon his knees, and weep as many Seas of Tears, as once the Ministers wept Tears of Compassion over them; or as Christ himself shed drops of blood upon the Cross; Christ was once upon his knees, in the Person of His Ministers, beseeching them to be reconciled. Though the Sinner was first in the Transgression, yet God was first in the Reconciliation; and followed the Sinner (as it were), on his knees, entreating him to accept of Mercy, as if God had stood in as much need of the Sinner, as the Sinner did of Mercy; but nothing would prevail, a deaf ear was still turned to Christ's importunity, and now Repentance is hid from the eyes of the Judge, as once Repentance was hid from the eyes of the Sinner; the things of their peace are everlastingly hid, because they knew them not in that the day of their Vision: As Sinners obdurated their heart against Christ's voice, so Christ will harden his heart against the Sinner's cry, Prov. 1:24.

Sixthly; There shall be no mitigation of the punishment; not a farthing abated of the whole debt, Matt. 5:26. There was once Mercy without Judgment, before the Sinner; now there shall be Judgment without Mercy; now Sinners shall know that God is not mocked, that the Lamb of God is also the Lion of the Tribe of Juda; His voice was once, Fury not in me; now the voice will be, Meekness is not in me, mercy is not in me; now must the Sinner expect nothing but the utmost severity of divine justice, who once despised the yearnings of Christ's bowels, the lowest condescensions of divine Grace; the Sinner in his day, knew no moderation in sin, the Judge now in his day, will know no mitigation of Judgment; there will be a Sea of wrath, without a drop of Mercy.
Thomas Case, Mount Pisgah: Or, A Prospect of Heaven (London: Printed by Thomas Milbourn, for Dorman Newman, at the Chirurgious Arms in Little-Brittain, near the Lame-Hospital, 1670), 2:169–170.

The following is from a secondary source from the "Morning Exercises," or "a collection of sermons that present the system of Reformed theology in sermon form." As Ryan McGraw says, Case "introduces the sermons by indicating that he and several other members of the Westminster Assembly preached the sermons. Unfortunately, Case did not tell his readers who his fellow preachers were or who was responsible for which sermons." But, given what Case said above in his own writings, it is clear that he would concur with the following statements in Sermon XVIII :
2. If the wind do not, lets see whether the Sun cannot prevail. Poor self-destroying Caitiff, Look yonder on the amiable Jesus Christ; (for a marriage between whom and thy precious soul I am now wooing) Do but observe his condescending willingness to be united to thee: That great Ahashuerus courts his own captive Hester. The Potter makes suit to his own clay; Woos thee, though he wants [needs] thee not; is infinitely happy without thee, yet is not, cannot be satisfied but with thee. Heark how he commands, entreats, begs thee to be reconciled, 2 Cor. 5:20. Swears and pawns his life upon it, that he desires not they death, Ezek. 33:11. Seals his oath with his blood; and if after all this thou art fond of thine own damnation, and hadst rather be at an agreement with hell, than with him; see how the brinish tears trickle down his cheeks, Luke 19:41, 42. He weeps for thee, that dost not, wilt not weep for thy self: Nay, after all this obdurate obstinacy, is resolved still to wait, that he may be gracious, Isa. 30:18. Stands yet and knocks, though his head be wet with rain, and his locks with the dew of the night; fain he would have thee open the door, that he may be come in and sup with thee, and thou with him, Rev. 3:20.


Other advocates within the Augustinian tradition who use the metaphor of God begging are the following men:

Augustine (Early Church Father), Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Larkham (Puritan), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), John Oldfield (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), Edward Reynolds (Westminster divine), John Richardson (Puritan), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), John Shower (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), William Strong (Westminster divine), George Swinnock (Puritan), John Trapp (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Thomas Watson (Puritan), Daniel Williams (Puritan), Samuel Willard, Benjamin Wadsworth, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.

August 7, 2013

Thomas Watson (c.1620–1686) on Christ Begging

Christ is lovely in his disposition. A good nature is able to render deformity itself lovely. Christ is lovely, not only in his complexion, but in his disposition; He is of a loving and merciful disposition, and in this sense may be called deliciæ humani Generis. It is reported of Marcus Aurelius the Emporour, that he was of a most affable winning temper, given to clemency, and every day he would set one hour apart to hear the causes of the poor. Thus Jesus Christ is of a most sweet disposition, He will not always chide, Psalm 103:9. He is inclinable to show mercy to the penitent. He delights in mercy, Micah 7:18. He invites sinners to come to him, Matt. 11:28. He begs of them that they would be saved, 2 Cor. 5:20. He knocks at their hearts by his Spirit, till his head be filled with dew, and his locks with the drops of the night, Rev. 3:20. If any poor soul accepts of his offer, and doth arise, and go to him, how doth Christ welcome him. Christ makes the Feast, Luke 15:23 and the Angels make the music, verse 7. But if men will not receive the tenders of grace, Christ grieves, Mark 3:5. He is like a Judge that passeth the sentence with tears in his eyes, Luke 19:42. And when he came nigh the City, he wept. Ah sinners, I come to save you, but you put away salvation from you. I come with healing under my wings, but you bolt out your Physician; I would have you but open your hearts to receive me, and I will open heaven to receive you, but you will rather stay with your sins and die, than come to me and live, Psalm 81:11. Israel would none of me. Well sinners, I will weep at your Funerals; Oh how lovely is Christ in his disposition! He comes with his supplying oil to pour into sinners wounds; He would fain break their hearts with his mercies, He labours to overcome their evil with his good.
Thomas Watson, Christ's Loveliness, Or, A Discourse setting forth the Rare Beauties of the Lord Jesus, which may both amaze the eye, and draw the heart of a sinner to him. (London: Printed by J. T. for Ralph Smith at the Bible in Corn-hill, 1657), 351–354. Some spelling updated. This book is contained in the larger work entitled, The Saints Delight. To which is annexed a Treatise of Meditation (London: Printed by T. R. & E. M. for Ralph Smith at the Bible in Corn-hill, near the Royal Exchange, 1657).


Other men within the Augustinian tradition who use the metaphor of God begging are the following:

Augustine (Early Church Father), Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Thomas Case (Puritan), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Larkham (Puritan), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), Edward Reynolds (Westminster divine), John Richardson (Puritan), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), John Shower (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), William Strong (Westminster divine), George Swinnock (Puritan), John Trapp (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Daniel Williams (Puritan), Samuel Willard, Benjamin Wadsworth, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.

August 6, 2013

Isaac Watts (1674‒1748) on Natural and Moral Impotency

Object. I. But may it not be said here, If there be only an outward Sufficiency of Salvation provided for the Non-elect, by a conditional Pardon procured through the Death of Christ if they should repent and believe, but no inward Sufficiency of Grace provided to enlighten their Minds, to change their Hearts, and enable them to exercise this Faith and Repentance, the Event will be infallibly and necessarily the same, and their Damnation as necessary and certain, as if there were no outward Salvation provided; since they of themselves cannot repent, they cannot believe; for by the Fall all Men are become blind in Spiritual things, and dead in Sin.

Answer. It is granted, that no Sinner will truly and sincerely repent and believe in Christ, without the powerful and effectual Influences of converting Grace; and therefore they are called Blind and Dead in Sin, because God knows the final Event will be the same as if they were under a natural Impossibility, or utter natural Impotence. And for this reason the Conversion of a Sinner is called, A New Creation; Being born again; Giving Sight to the Blind; or, a Resurrection from the Dead: And the Necessity of Divine Power to effect this Change, is held forth in many Places of Scripture.

Yet we must say still, that Sinners are not under such a real natural Impossibility of repenting and believing, as though they were naturally Blind or Dead. 'Tis true, the Blind and the Dead have lost their natural Powers of Seeing and Moving; but when Scripture represents the Inability of Sinners to repent, or believe in Christ, by such Figures and Metaphors as Death or Blindness, it must be remembered these are but Metaphors and Figures, such as the holy Writers and all the Eastern Nations frequently use; and they must not be understood in their literal Sense, as if Men had lost their natural Powers or Faculties of Understanding, Will, and Affections, which are the only natural Powers necessary to believe and repent.

Now 'tis plain that these natural Faculties, Powers, or Capacities, are not lost by the Fall; for if they were, there would be no manner of need or use of any moral Means or Motives, such as Commands, Threatenings, Promises, Exhortations; these would all be impertinent and absurd, for they could have no more Influence on Sinners, than if we command or exhort a blind Person to see, or a dead Body to rise or move; which Commands and Exhortations would appear ridiculous and useless. And since the blessed God, in his Word, uses these moral Means and Motives to call Sinners to Repentance and Faith, it is certain that they have natural Powers and Faculties sufficient to understand and practice these Duties; and therefore they are not under a Necessity of Sinning, and of being destroyed, since there is nothing more wanted in a way of sufficient natural Powers, Faculties, or Abilities, than what they have.

All the other Impotence and Inability therefore in Sinners to repent and believe, properly speaking, is but moral, or seated chiefly in their Wills. 'Tis a great Disinclination or Aversion in these natural Faculties, to attend to, learn, or practice the things of God and Religion*; and this holds them fast in their sinful State in a similar way, as if they were blind and dead, and I said the final Event will be the same, i.e. they will never repent without Almighty Grace. And upon this account that strong and settled Inclination to Sin, and Aversion to God, which is in the Will or Affections, is represented in our own Language, as well as in the Eastern Countries, by Impotence or Inability to forsake or subdue Sin: As when a Drunkard shall say, I had such a strong Desire to the Liquor, that I could not but drink to excess, I could not with-hold the Cup from my Mouth: Or when a Murderer shall say, I hated my Neighbor so much, that having a fair Opportunity, I could not help killing him: Or when we say to a Man of Fury in his Passion, You are so warm at present, that you cannot see thins in a true Light, you cannot hearken to Reason, you cannot judge aright, you are not capable of acting regularly. And that this is the Manner of speaking in the Eastern Countries, is evident from the Bible, Gen. xxxvii. 4. Joseph's Brethren hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him: Yet you will grant all this is but moral Impotence, i.e. a very strong Inclination to Excess of Drink, or Murder, or Passion, or a strong Aversion to the contrary Virtues. Even in the things of common Life the Can-not sometimes signifies nothing but the Will-not, Luke xi. 7. Trouble me not, my Door is shut, my Children are with me in Bed, I cannot rise to give thee; i.e. I will not. And with regard to Faith or believing in Christ, our Saviour explains his own Language in this manner. In one place he saith, No Man can come unto me except my Father draw him, John vi. 44. And in another Place he charges the Jews with this as their Fault: Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have Life, John v. 40. So in the Parable one Excuse is, Luke xiv. 20. I have married a Wife, and I cannot come. All these Citations intend the same thing: their Can-not is their Will-not, i.e. 'tis the Strength of their Aversion to Christ, which is a moral Impotence or Inability to believe in him, and the Fault lies in the Will.

St. Paul speaks to the same purpose, Rom. viii. 7. where he shows, that 'tis the Aversion or Enmity of the Carnal Mind to God, which hinders it from obeying the Law of God, and at last he says, it cannot be subject to it. The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be: So then they who are in the Flesh cannot please God. The Fault still lies in the Will of sinful Man; and 'tis this makes it criminal, while it is not naturally impossible to be avoided or overcome.

And upon this account God is pleased to use moral Means and Motives, (viz.) Promises, Threatenings, Commands, &c. toward all Men, such as are suited to awaken their Hearts, and excite and persuade their Will to use all their natural Abilities, to set their natural Powers or Faculties to work, to attend to, and learn, and practice Faith and Repentance; and 'tis by these very means God persuades his Elect powerfully to repent and believe. But when Persons will not hear, nor be influenced by these Motives, because of their strong and willful Aversion to God and Godliness, their Crime is entirely their own, and their Condemnation is just. They have natural Powers or Faculties in them, which, if well tried, might overcome their native Propensity to Vice, though they never will do it.

If the great God, in a way of Sovereign Mercy, gives some Persons superior Aids of Grace to overcome this moral Impotence, and conquer this Aversion to God and Goodness; if he effectually leads, inclines, or persuades them by his Spirit to repent and believe in Christ, this does not at all hinder the others from exercising their natural Powers of Understanding, and Will in believing and repenting.

Nor can any thing of their Guilt and willful Impenitence be imputed to the blessed God, who is Lord of his own Favours, and gives or with-holds where he pleases, and who shall say to him, what dost thou? Why should mine Eye be evil toward my Neighbour, because the Eye of God is good? Or what Pretense have I to charge God with Injustice, when he does more for me than he is bound to do, though he does more for my Neighbor than he has done for me?

Let this then be constantly maintained, there is a natural, inward Sufficiency of Powers and Faculties given to every Sinner to hearken to the Calls and Offers of Grace and the Gospel, though they lie under a moral Impotence; and there is an outward Sufficiency of Provision of Pardon in the Death of Christ, for every one who repents and accepts the Gospel, though Pardon is not actually procured for all Men, nor secured to them. And thus much is sufficient to maintain the Sincerity of God in his universal Offers of Grace through Jesus Christ, and his present Commands to all Men to repent and trust in his Mercy; as well as to vindicate his Equity in the last great Day, when the Impenitent and Unbelievers shall be condemned. Their Death lies at their own doors, for since there was both an outward and inward Sufficiency for their Recovery, the Fault must lie in their own Free-will, in their willful Aversion to God and Christ, and his Salvation. I think this Distinction of natural and moral Power and Impotence, will reconcile all the various Expressions of Scripture on this Subject, both to one another, and well as to the Reason of things, which can hardly be reconciled any other way.

* I grant this Inability to repent has been sometimes called by our Divines a Natural Impotence, because it arises from the original Corruption of our Nature since the Fall of Adam; and in this Sense I fully believe it. But this Spring of it is much better signified and expressed by the Name of Native Impotence, to show that is comes from our Birth; and the Quality of this Impotence is best called Moral, being seated chiefly in the Will and Affections, and not in any want of Natural Powers or Faculties to perform what God requires: And the Reason is plain, (viz.) That no new natural Powers are given by converting Grace, but only a Change of the moral Bent or Inclination of the Soul, a happier Turn given to our natural Faculties by the sovereign Grace of God and his Spirit.

Whether the Spirit of God effectually persuade the Will to repent and believe in Christ, by immediate Influence upon the Will itself, or by setting the Things of the Gospel before the Mind in so strong a Light, and persuading the Soul so to attend to them, as shall effectually influence the Will, this shall not be any Matter of my present Debate or Determination; for in both the Event and Consequences are much the same: There is no new natural Power or Faculty given to the Soul in order to Faith and Repentance, but a divine Influence upon the old natural Powers, giving them a new and better Turn.