“Prepare to meet thy God…”
“If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward Him…”
Order of Contents
Rutherford, Samuel – Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter tr. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman (1638-1642; 1668; RBO, 2019), ch. 7
8. ‘Whether the Adversaries rightly infer this, that according to us, it is noxious for the unconverted to hear the Word and to use external means? We deny.’, pp. 85-86
9. ‘Whether legal contrition can be called preparation for conversion? We distinguish.’, pp. 86-87
Gerstner, John – Jonathan Edwards: Evangelist Buy (SDG, 2003) 192 pp.
Despite the title, this book primarily systematizes and expounds Edwards’s teaching about preparation unto conversion, which is good.
Beeke, Joel & Paul M. Smalley – Prepared by Grace, for Grace: The Puritans on God’s Ordinary Way of Leading Sinners to Christ Buy (RHB, 2013) 297 pp. Includes as an appendix, William Ames’s Theological Disputation on Preparation
This publisher reprints many works not found elsewhere on preparation, including those of the New England puritans.
Question 9, ‘Free-Will is Not Granted unto the Unregenerate for their Spiritual Good’ in The Determinations, or Resolutions of Certain Theological Questions, Publicly Discussed in the University of Cambridge trans. Josiah Allport (1634; 1846), pp. 265-66 bound at the end of John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification, or the Disputatio de Justitia... trans. Josiah Allport (1631; London, 1846), vol. 2
“As to the term ‘regenerated’ or ‘born again’, I do not call one who is enlightened or breathed upon by any motion of the Holy Spirit, regenerated… I call him unregenerate who has not yet attained to this spiritual quickening, however he may have been affected by some preceding operations of the Holy Spirit.
We concede, then, to the Papists, that before the infusion of regenerating grace, many actions which lead the way to faith and contrition, are both required from men, and by them both can, and are wont [accustomed] to be done, through the sole assistance of awakening grace. Of this kind, are not only joining the Church and hearing the Word, but of thinking of God and divine things, considering their peculiar sins, being alarmed by the sense of them, desiring deliverance from this fear, and many other such like things, which are prerequisite to acts truly spiritual and saving.
But we affirm, moreover, that the mind and disposition of the unregenerate is engaged in a natural way only with the aforesaid things; that the will is not elevated to produce an act truly spiritual, until regenerating or quickening efficacy shall have been added, besides, to the awakening and evidencing grace. (See Suarez, Opuscula, De Auxil.Div. Grat., bk. 3, chs. 1-2)
Moreover, we grant that this regenerating grace is not infused into men remaining inactive and idling looking for some vague fervors or other; but to minds aroused, and brought under and disposed, in some measure, by the aforesaid actions, through the Word and Spirit of God; nevertheless, we deny that the free-will of an unregenerate man is assisted by these auxiliaries, in such was so to dispose itself that God should be bound to infuse quickening grace into any one from merit of congruity.
Lastly, we confess that in the Church of God, where men are excited constantly by the Word and Spirit, this regenerating grace, which alone renders them capable of repenting and believing savingly, is denied to no adult of whom it cannot be truly said, that he willingly resists the Holy Spirit in those actions before-mentioned, and also perversely repulses the quickening operation of the same. (See Spalato, bk. 7, p. 239, & Suarez, Opuscula, p. 222)
Yet we deny that any mortal man can be found, who, in repelling the preparatory actions of the Spirit, does not incur, abundantly, this demerit; and, inasmuch as some, repelling God by this intervening, common demerit, are repelled of God and left to themselves; others, notwithstanding equal or greater demerit, are often, and more powerfully assailed by grace, and are at length quickened by the omnipotent operation of the Spirit. The mystery is to be referred to the gracious will of God, pitying or not pitying, and [is] not to be rashly enquired into by any human curiosity.”
An Account Given of the Principles & Practices of Several Nonconformists… (London: Parkhurst, 1682), pp. 19-20
“In man’s conversion to God we urge not the necessity of anything that is unnecessary. We stand not on certain modes, methods and circumstances, in which it may be brought about, wherein the wisdom of God proceeds variously towards several persons, according to the different circumstances of their condition.
As for instance, we assert not a general necessity of this or that measure of humiliation, much less of a dismal despairing horror (as some have said of us); we press conviction and humiliation no farther than to make a sinner restless till he come to Christ, and find rest to his soul in Him.”