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forsaking of fin. This is properly an act of faith. Faith and repentance are twin graces of the soul, and can never be separated. True repentance includes faith, and true faith includes repentance. The mercy of God through a Redeemer being proclaimed in the Gospel, and a new and living way to the holiest of all being set open by the blood of Jefus, the true penitent flies for refuge to the hope set before him, and lays hold on eternal life. He forfakes his fins, and walks in newness of life. He begins with alacrity to run the race set before him, and feels to his blessed experience, that the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths are peace. This is the crowning act of true repentance, and the test of its fincerity. That is not true, repentance, when the sinner, after feeling some com. punctions of mind, fome touches of remorse, forms a few feeble resolutions, which he breaks at the first approach of temptation. He is not a true penitent, who, after mourning over his old sins, begins a new course of wickedness. This is only changing one fin for another. A man who has spent his youth in profusion and extravagance, may devote his riper years to avarice and the cares of the world. Such a person is indeed a different man, but he is not a penitent. In like manner, a person who has been at the head of the follies and the vices of the world, who has ta*ken the lead in all falhionable and criminal gratifications, may grow tired of such a course of life, as hu. man nature will tire of every thing : such a person may take a fit of devotion, and rush into a variety of gloomy superstitions and severities; but this is not true repentance. This is only passing from one error

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to another. This is only giving a different direction to your passions. Repentance must effect a thorough change, or it is no repentance at all. Neither is he a true penitent, who, after being affected with remorse for fin, falls into the same coarse again ; who is always finning and always repenting; and who goes on in a sad circle of making resolutions, and breaking thein as soon as they are made. True repentance is repentance from dead works to serve the living God. It consists in confesling and forsaking our sins. It consists in denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and abounding in the fruits of righteousness unto eternal life.

I do not mean by this, that any man in this life is altogether free from fin. Imperfections cleave to the best. Who can say that he has made his hands clean, or his heart pure? Good men oftentimes may be off their guard; they may be surprised in the hour of temptation, and be overtaken in a fault; but they will never fin upon a plan; they will never make a system of iniquity; they will not deliberately concert plots of wickedness upon their beds, and rise up to execute with warmth what they have contrived with coolness. The grace of God does not act by fits and starts ; is not a transient but an abiding principle. The Christian is fixed and immoveable, and abound. ing in the work of the Lord. He is not of those apoitates, mentioned by the Apostle Jude, who resemble the morning clouds, that are ever varying their form, and are carried about with every wind : who resemble wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. But he advances from strength to strength; his path is like the light of the

morning, which shineth more and more unto the per

fect day.

There is one other part of repentance which I have not yet mentioned, and which merits your serious attention; that is, making restitution and reparation, as far as lies in your power, for the evils you have done. “ If I have wronged any man,” said Zaccheus when he repented,“ lo i restore him fourfold.” Have you wronged any man in his property? Have you taken away his goods ? Make restitution. Have you wronged any man in his reputation? Have you taken away his good name? Make reparation : confess that you were a defamer: confess that you were a liar. Have you offended and injured any one? Ak his forgiveness. Let no false shame hinder you from doing your duty. You have good cause to be ashamed. Be always ashamed to offend; but never blush for your returning virtue. Let no false shame, therefore, no foolish obstinacy, no pride of heart, prevent you from a thorough reformation. Better be exposed to shame here, than be doomed hereafter to everlasting pains.

The second thing proposed, was, To lay before you the motives to repentance.

And, in the first place, The superior light and information derived to the world by the Christian religion, concerning the rule of righteousness according to which we ought to conduct our lives, suggests a strong motive and inducement to repentance. God indeed never left himself without a witness in the world. He made the firmament bright with his glory, and commanded the heavens with all their hoft to declare his handiwork. With his own finger

he inscribed the laws of justice and of virtue upon the heart of man. Attentive to this voice of God within, and assisted by those impressions of Divinity without, the moral teachers among the Gentiles struck out many useful discoveries, and taught many valuable lessons of wisdom to the world. They wandered not in the dark concerning the essentials of natural religion. They were not ignorant of the chief duties of life. The invisible things of God, even his eternal power and Godhead, they discovered by the works of creation; and having the law of nature written in their hearts, they were a law unto themselves. But the defect which they laboured un, der, was the want of authority to enforce the discov, eries which they made, and the want of a proper sanction to the rules of life which they established. When keen and violent, the passions of men push them forward; they will not be restrained by the voice of reason and philosophy. On these occasions, men will reply to such an instructor, " Who gave " thee a commiflion to teach and reform the world? 66 Did the voice of Heaven come to thine ears? Who “ invested thee with authority and dominion over “ the mind? Who appointed thee instructor of the “ nations, and legislator of the moral world ?” The heathen teachers could pretend to no such authority. But Jesus of Nazareth was invested with a divine commission. He descended from heaven to teach the will of God upon earth. He performed miracles in cofirmation of his religion. He set the seal of heaven to the doctrines which he taught, and guarded the laws which he established with the fanction of rewards and punishments. Such was the dig,


ference betwixt a human teacher and a prophet of the Lord; and such ought to be the difference betwist the lives of heathens and the conduct of Chrif. tians. What signifies the superior excellency of your religion, unless its fuperiority appear in your life? What avails the light to you, if ye continue to walk in darknefs ? Unless ye repent, it had been better for you

that the kingdom of God had never come amongst you. If ye still walk in the region and shadow of death, it had been better that the Day-spring from on high had never risen over your benighted land. The heathens shall rise up in judgment against you, and shall condemn you. It shall be more tolerable in the day of judgment for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, thofe cities of fin, those monuments of the vengeance of God to all succeeding times; it shall be more tolerable for thefe, than for those wicked Christians, who have disregarded the voice which spoke from heaven ; who have profaned that' blessed name by which they were called ; and who, by their obstinacy and impenitence, have counted the blood of the covenant wherewith they were fan&tified an unholy thing.

A second motive and encouragement to repentance, is the hope and prospect of success. Before the introduction of Christianity, when the world lay in darkness as well as in wickedness, a sense of guilt burdening the conscience, and a dread of future punishment as consequent upon that guilt, drove the na. tions to a variety of expedients, in order to avert the vengeance of Heaven, and make an atonement for their sins. Hence various rites and ceremonies were instituted. Hence so many facrifices were offered up,

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