Continuing the adaptation of Owen’s work.
If this is the work of the Spirit alone, why are we exhorted? Why not let the work be left wholly to him?
Though it is his work he “works in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure,” Phil. 2:13; he works “all our works in us,” Isa. 26:12; he causes us to pray, and is a “Spirit of supplication,” Rom. 8:26, yet we are exhorted rightly in all these.
He works our mortification in us but we still must act obediently. The Holy Ghost works in us and upon us, but so as to preserve our own liberty and free obedience. He works upon our understandings, wills, consciences, and affections, agreeably to their own natures; he works in us and with us, not against us or without us; so that his assistance is an encouragement as to the facilitating of the work.
I might here bewail the endless, foolish labour of poor souls, who, being convinced of sin, and not able to stand against the power of their convictions, do set themselves, by innumerable perplexing ways and duties, to keep down sin, but, being strangers to the Spirit of God, all in vain i.e. they are not regenerated.