Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV..-VERSES 5 -7. 187 rain ? or can the heavens give showers ? Art not thou he, O Lord our God ? for thou hast made all these things," Jer. xiv. 22. And the like we may say in a more strict and peculiar sense of regeneration, that it is a spiritual and heavenly birth ; it is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. There is no concurrence or active assistance of the flesh, or of any natural abilities unto a birth which is merely spiritual, John i. 13. James i. 17, 18. Therefore Christ was pleased to go up into heaven, before he shed forth his Holy Spirit in abundance on the church, John vii. 39. xvi. 17. Acts i. 4, 5. to teach us, first, that our conversion and sanctification comes from above, by a divine teaching, by a spiritual conviction, by a supernatural and om- nipotent attraction, by a heavenly calling, by the will of him who alone can give a will unto us. No voice can be heard by those that are dead, but " the voice of the Son of man," John vi. 44, 45. xvi. 8 -11. Heb. iii. 1. James i. 18. Phil. ii. 13. John v. 25. Heb. xii. 25. And withal to acquaint us whither the affections and conversations of men thus sanctified should tend, namely, unto heaven, as every thing works towards its original, and every, part inclines unto the whole, Col. iii. 1, 2. Phil. iii. 20. With allusion unto this meta- phor of dew or rain, the Holy Spirit is said to be poured out upon the churches, Acts ii. 17. Tit. iii. 6. and the word of grace is frequently compared unto rain. As it is the seed by which we are enabled to be fruitful, Mat. xiii. 18. so it is the rain which softeneth the heart, that it may be the better wrought upon by that seminal virtue, Isa. lv. 10, 11. Heb. vi. 7. whereas false teachers are called clouds without water, Jude 12. They have no fructifying virtue in them. None can give grace but God ; it is heavenly in its