" What hast thou that thou didst not receive now if thou didst receive it why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it ." No one who believes the Gospel can doubt that faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is a gift of God, wrought in the soul by God the Holy Ghost. "By grace ye are saved through faith, and this not of yourselves;" faith too is not of yourselves; "it," faith too, " is the gift of God." And not that living faith only, whereby a man cleaves to Christ in love, but every beginning of, feeling after, drawing to wards, tendency to faith, is equally the gift of God.
Yet, before entering either upon the proof or the application of this truth to circumstances of our time, some few points which bear upon it, ought to be made clear. Since the Pelagian heresy sprung up, it has been necessary to state the effects of grace in all its operations on man's heart as a whole : how, without any pre-existing deserts (save evil ) on the part of man, God arouses him, touches his heart, enlightens his mind by the Holy Spirit, prepares and disposes him to repent and believe in Christ Jesus ; whereas man, throughout this whole course of God's gracious drawing, has the power to receive, reject, retain, part with, that inspiration of God, but has not the power, of his own free-will without the grace of God, to turn, or to desire to turn, to God. As Christ died for all, so to all, who are born within the light of the Gospel of Christ, the grace to turn and prepare themselves for faith, is vouchsafed by God, if they will but receive and obey it ; but by nature we have it not. In this way alone, by surveying the action of the grace of God upon a soul which is hi therto wholly a stranger to grace and turned away from God, can we see or trace the full course of the grace of God. This way of stating the truths of grace has, after S. Augustine, been adopted in our own Articles.
This sermon was delivered before the University of Oxford on 23rd Sunday after Trinity, 1855. The next 16 posts here divide it up into its component parts. It is one of Pusey's most powerful sermons - and, as you will see, well-directed at his audience.