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favour the pretended perfection of this life: for there is a twofold repentance. The first universal, whereby the human fina ner who is estranged from the knowledge and worship of God, and all true religion, betakes himself or turns to God, and to the practice of virtue : the second renewed and particular, to which, as a sacred anchor, the regenerate themselves are often obliged to have recourse. And of this again there is a three-fold dif. ference, For ist, It is possible that they who are sanctified, may fall into some grievous fin, which lays them under the necessity of the greatest forrow and a very extraordinary degree of repentance. 2dly, It is also possible that such may, for a time, fall into a kind of spiritual faintness and listlessness, and for some space continue in that state, which may expose them to very many sins; from which they are to rise by a renewal of repentance.' 3dly, Should this not be the case, yet in the very best, there are fins of daily infirmity cleaving to their actions, words, and thoughts, from which no one who accurately examines himself, will dare to declare he is free. Now let us apply these distinctions to our present purpofe. When our Lord (peaks or a finner causing joy in heaven by his repentance, it is evident he treats either of that first and universal, or of the renewed repentance from some more grievous fall, and a state not so commendable. This, he says, the just need not, because they have already performed the first ; and are solicitously careful that they be under no necessity of the latter ; yet he does not say that they are free from all necessity of repentance ; for, though perhaps there may be some just perfons, who for a considerable cime are careful to be kept from more gross fins, or from falling into that fluggish state, we have just described, and so not to stand in need of those ways of repentance ; yet there is none upon earth, who, on account of his daily failings, is not bound daily to renew his repentance. In a word, what our Lord says comes to this : That there is greater joy in heaven, on account of great finners, when they are first converted; ord for the regenerate when returning after a shameful backsliding ; than for those, in whom, on account of their constant practice of a more strict piety, there is no such remarkable and conspicuous change to be observed.
CXXIX. It might here not improperly be asked, why a greater joy is said to be in heaven for the conversion of one res penting finner than for the constancy of ninety and nine perLons in holiness ; seeing a greater good may justly cause a greater joy; as it is certainly better to have kept a steady course of piety than to return to the right way after great backsliding. I answer, ist, That when our Lord made use of parables, and acG 2
cording to his custom, suited himself to the capacity of his hearers, he spoke of divine things after the manner of men. But it is evident, that when any good comes of a sudden, it causes greater joy than any other greater good one has for some time been in quiet poffeffion of; and that the recovery of things loft more strongly affects the mind than in the uninterrupting keeping of others. The same also in its measure is the case here. The angels doubtless rejoice, that the just labour after and press on to happinels; but they ave for a long time been rescued from the snares of the devil. But when a wicked perfon is newly delivered from the fnarès he was in ; that converlion, and the falvation of the converted, which was the confequence of it, by how much the more it was unexpected, must also yield so much the greater pleasure. 2dly, Here our Lord speaks according to the old Jewish divinity. The Jews affirm. ėd, “ That when a Hebrew Gns, the angels weep :” our Lord says, that on the conversion of any person, the angels rejoice. The Jews said, “ The dignity of the penitent is greater than that of the perfectly just. And, in ths place where the penitents stand, there the perfectly just stand not.” Which testimonies Drufius and Ludovicus Cappelluş and Grotius, have long ago produced. The reason of which is this : because it is more difficult to break off a custom or habit of vice, than after being brought to a commendable course of life, to go on without stumbling. It yields a greater pleafure when 'virtue is so very, conspicuous. '3dly, The glory of the wisdom, power, and mercy of God, and the efficacy of the merits of Christ shine with greater glory in the conversion of a desperate finner, than in the preservation of those who walk in the way of righteousness. As therefore the devil is more enraged when that prey is snatched from him, which he imagined he would have held fást for ever; so, in like manner the angels justly rejoice more, when their and the enemy of their Lord is mortified to such a high degree, 4thly, And generally these are warmer in the practice of righteousness, who are instigated by the sorrow of a past life. An equable tenour of virtue is mostly more remiss; but they who are suddenly brought over from a very bad to a very good course, by the powerful arm of God, usually outstrip others by a quicker pace. They dread sin more who were deeper plunged there in : have a more ardent love for religion, to whom its beauty has more unexpectedly appeared. And none prize the grace of God towards them more than those who know themselves to be the most unworthy of it. And it is not possible but this sense of so great a love must kindle the most ardent flames of á reciprocal love. As is evident from the example of Paul,
and the woman who was a finner, Luke vii. 40--48. All which yield matter of greater joy to the angels.
CXXX. Secing we have now made a frequent mention of repentance peelavosd, we will subjoin something concerning the proper signification of this word. The very learned Beza, either was the first or among the first, who observed on Mat. iii. 2. that the term milavoniv is properly never put but to denote a a good; and that owp govopeos is always joined with pelavovce ; but that wilausnuisie is expressive of a solicitude and anxiety after the doing of a thing : for which the Latins say pænitere ; and that it is also ụsed to denote an evil, though simply signifying a kind of folicitude, and duragesaais, a displicency, which makes us wish the thing that is done, whether good or bad to be undone, even though it be out of our power to correct it. Hence he thinks that pesta usatõsbær is denoted by the Hebrew word ons as pestavovciv is rather denoted by the word a90, whence comes nown, converfion. Peter therefore having said, Acts iii. 19. peetavońcate repent, immediately subjoins, xa, irisgéfare, and be converted, in order to explain the former. The same thing Paul does, Acts xxvi. 20. In this the venerable Bcza has been followed by very many commentators, especially when they treat of the restauracíu, repentance of the traitor Judas. : : CXXXI. But it may be doubted, whether there is any folid ground for this distinction. For it can neither be deduced from the etymology of either of these terms, nor confirmed by the authority of approved authors, nor proved from the constant style of Scripture, por in fine, concluded from the corresponding Hebrew terms, which we are now to shew in order.
CXXXII. As to their etymology, ketavoéw is a word compounded of usta, after and vocw, I understand, and as Henr. Stephanus in his Thesuarus translates it, postintelligo, and thus it is opposed to the term agoroías ante intelligo. Very elegantly says, Clemens Alexandrinus Stromat. lib. 2. 'Ee'épois jpecepty pletevórney, że suveoir žrebov, sø vis 'sataire, xui pestów, önig isu, usta Tuuta eyew. Bquotice wóg quais HETávola. “ If he has repented of his sins, recollect in what he has offended, and acknowledged it, that is, afterwards known it: for pretévoue is a slow kind, of knowledge that comes after something is done.” But pesta penciu, according to its etymology, signifies « folicitude, after having committed, or omitted any thing.” And thus pstávota, which is properly an act of the understanding, reflecting on itself and its actions, in order of nature, goes before flitejsheia, which rather belongs to the will and affections.
CXXXIII. Both words are so used in the best authors, as indifferently to denote an after-forrow of mind, whether in good or in evil. Hesychius explains psiquezsūc, by pele:old. Suidas in like manner μελαμελει, μελανοει. And in the Etymologicum magnum, peéluénopeale, pélævom, pélcegováouw are used promiscuously. Gomarus on Mat. xi. 20. adduces a remarkable passage from Plutarch, ?Fees Ev@upices, where he varies the terms, pilopezsia and peslacroia, as, words of the fame signification, and describes Meslexosd, as daxua bulvar, ou secxbunu ons boxñs, kai rondelopeêvny spo durós; remorse and torture to itself with shame of foul: which the venerable Beza will have to be appropriated to peelepesaéld. Nay, I have observed instances, where relevouce denotes a simple difplicency; as in Marc Antonin. lib. 8. . 2 ; xa d'exágon a gázov égalce reculòv, tās. Mos éolis sxest, pea perlavonow iti avlő ;“ In every action, ask thyself, how it affects me, shall I have reason to repent it?” Ibid. §. 10. s pePeévoice is uy shiantis Tos éck:18, as xeñorpeón Te Truegeixólos: repentance is a kind of reprehension of ourselves, as having omitted something useful. On the contrary, petopexsic is sometimes of the same. fignificaţion with owPgorithos, amendment. In which sense Plutarch faid adéw youe 'n pestoepéasta colergee dripean, amendement is quite a salutary genius.
CXXXIV. Nor does the scripture use of these words differ. For even their pesteepéreces sometimes denotes a sincere repentance; as Mat. xxi. 29. usegov do peelopeennbEls atnade, but afterwards he repented and went : and verse 32. where our Lord upbraided the Jews for not having true repentance, says : ipesīs die idovTES 's Hetzułaýdets usigor, cố histvoNL'AUTÔ, and ye when ye. had seen it, repented not afterwards, that ye night believe him. Where peelepesa desdras answers to John's invitation, expressed by peelavours. And on the contrary, Metavose sometimes signifies mere forrow. Thus Christ, Luke xvii. 3. treating of some degree of sorrow, for offending a brother, says, tav pestevohon, if he repent, and verse 4. if he shall say, jstevow, ļ repent, I could wish it undone. And Mat. xii. 41. pestavsiv, is affirmed, of the Ninevites, and their repentance was external only, not internal ; civil, not spiritual ; temporary, not persevering.
CXXXV. Besides, it is not universally true, that Mstopeed!% answers to the Hebrew on,; and, thetavo to 99. For tho' perhaps the Syriac interpreter of the New Testament renders peetavosiv constantly by z; yet the Septuagint promiscuously translate ona by peelepénevétai, or peloevoeñv. I shall single a few exa amples of each out of many; as 1 Sam. xv. 35. and the Lord : repented (ony) that he made Saul king: The LXX. xai xugios pestes, Heimoon. In verse 29. of the same chapter, png, x57: the LXX. šdi PETEVOROS, nor will be repent, Again, Pf. cx. .4. Onsx57; the LXX. xai 's METALMEASOngstan, and will not repent. On the con
trary, Joel. ii. 14, bn37a909: the LXX. smiseéel se xai Petavońcsi, be will return and repent. In like manner, John iii. 9. Jer. iv. 28. and viii. 6. and xxxi. 19. and in very many other places, they have translated on by pestovosiv. Whence it is evident, they thought these Greek words were synonymous.
CXXXVI. To conclude, it 'cannot be proved from Acts iii. 19. or Actsxxvi. 20. that restavova constantly answers to nawn, as the contrary may be deduced from these passages. For smiseétars expresses the Hebrew 1950, as we just shewed from Joel ii. 14. As peste rosse properly denotes the act of the soul recollecting its own actings, so in the order of nature, it does before converfon, and is justly presupposed thereto by Peter and Paul. Let these hints therefore suffice concerning these words. If any defire more, they may consult Grotius on Mat. xxvii. 3. Scultetus, Exercitat. Evangelic. c. 19. Gataker advers. Miscel. c. 29. and Suiceri Thesaurus.
CH A P. XIII.
Of * Confervation.
1. THOSE to whom God has freely given faith and holi:
I ness, he likewise keeps with such solicitous care, that it is impossible for any true believer totally and finally to fall away from that holiness when once it is begun, and thereby forfeit the salvation appointed for him. “ The Lord is faithful, who shall STABLISH you, and keep you from evil,” 2 Thess.
II. CONSERVATION “is a gracious work of God, whereby he so keeps the elect, the redeemed, the regenerated, the faithful and the sanctified, though in themselves weak and apt to fall away, internally by the most powerful efficacy of his Spirit, externally by the means which he has wisely appointed for that purpose, that they shall never quite lose the habits of those graces once infused into them, but be certainly brought, by a stedfast perseverance, to eternal salvation.”
III. They whom God preserves and enables to persevere, are ELECTED persons, or persons appointed, by the immutable
counsel * Though this word is not very commonly used, yet it is of a very extensive signification, and conveys to us the idea, not only of perseverance, but of the manner of it, viz. their preservation by God. Accordingly our author makes perfeverd ance, a branch of conservation.