Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:503 ? ?A dead man cannot assist in his own resurrection.? This is true so far as the giving of life is concerned. But once made alive, man can, like Lazarus, obey Christ?s command and ?come forth? ( <431143>John 11:43). In fact, if he does not obey, there is no evidence that there is spiritual life. ?In us is God; we burn but as he moves? ? ?Est deus in nobis; agitante calescimus illo.? Wireless telegraphy requires an attuned receiver; regeneration attunes the soul so that it vibrates responsively to God and receives the communications of his truth. When a convert came to Rowland Hill and claimed that she had been converted in a dream, he replied: ?We will see how you walk, now that you are awake.?
Lord Bacon said he would open every one of Argus?s hundred eyes, before he opened one of Briareus?s hundred hands. If God did not renew men?s hearts in connection with our preaching of the truth, we might well give up our ministry. E. G. Robinson: ?The conversion of a soul is just as much according to law as the raising of a crop of turnips.? Simon, Reconciliation, 377 ? ?Though the mere preaching of the gospel is not the cause of the conversion and revivification of men, it is a necessary condition. It is as necessary as the action of light and heat, or other physical agencies, are on a germ, if it is to develop, grow, and bear its proper fruit.?
(b) The activity of man?s mind in regeneration is activity in view of the truth. God secures the initial exercise of the new disposition, which he has wrought in man?s heart in connection with the use of truth as a means. Here we perceive the link between the efficiency of God and the activity of man. Only as the sinner?s mind is brought into contact with the truth, does God complete his regenerating work. And as the change of inward disposition and the initial exercise of it are never, so far as we know, separated by any interval of time, we can say, in general, that Christian work is successful only as it commends the truth to every man?s conscience in the sight of God ( <470402>2 Corinthians 4:2).
In <490117>Ephesians 1:17, 18, there is recognized the divine illumination of the mind to behold the truth ? ?may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your heart enlightened, That ye may know what is the hope of his calling.? On truth as a means of regeneration, see Hovey, Outlines, 192, who quotes Cunningham, Historical Theology, 1:617 ? ?Regeneration may be taken in a limited sense as including only the first impartation of spiritual life. It may also be taken in a wider sense as comprehending the whole of that
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