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crookedfingers
preparatory grace 
17th-Oct-2018 03:58 pm
"(2.) There is a Subjective Tendency towards grace.
And this lies in those moral preparations, and those dispositions of the heart, which fit for receiving of grace, though it be wrought there only by the Holy Ghost. And thus we affirm, that, while men are in an unregenerate state, they may have and do somewhat that hath a tendency in it to grace: that is, one unregenerate man may have more of these previous dispositions, and these preparations for the receiving of grace, than another hath; for, though it be not in itself singly necessary that such previous dispositions should be wrought in the soul before the implantation of divine grace; since such a subject, as the soul is an respect of grace, doth not, as the schoolmen determine, require its previous dispositions for the production of its form; yet this is the usual common way of the Spirit's work, first to prepare the heart by some common works of conviction, legal terrors and remorse of conscience, before it works any saving and real work of grace in it. And, therefore, when any unregenerate man hath much of these previous preparations, we say that he goes very far towards grace, and me may be said to be almost a Christian. And this is all that tendency, that an unregenerate man hath, or can possibly do towards it: viz, a preparatory, and not an effective operative tendency unto saving grace and regeneration" pg. 391 Ezekiel Hopkins 'The Almost-Christian Discovered' Volume 3 The Works of Ezekiel Hopkins
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