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and abominable.- Hence 'tis s'ain that price and felf-conceit (whereby the foul ueparts from die hving God) is the cause of blindiness, and harcineis of heart; and that again is the immediate cause of all practical uncleanness, unrigtiteousnes, and wickedness : Therefore repentance towards Goo must needs begin at the pride and self-conccit of the human heart; or, at lcast, if it begins with tie conviction of any groís fin, as is orien die cufe, it cannot be saving untill it arrives at the fountain. head of pride and self-righteouincis, which is so tan's strongest hold in the carnal heart, and the Jource of all iniquity. But,
2. They did not preach repentance from dead works, without showing them a better sizlecouincís than their own, and how their fins might be blari out: for, at rise fame time that they urged reventance, and e-trick the necefity of it every where, ardio a man, shey Cirouraged arc perlindedi:in to srscot fromGripe? rstites; firtiey shewed hew that Cherr ved for our fins, and was said again tor cur judication, and that wherever bel.cved in CHRIST, Thouk' be saved from v sath thru' inm: th s Pured and drew their fornis tu repent, for : is the pic fre's of Ged its leasib as to revue - not a betier rightecuiscis ben p: eu
and held forth by the Apostles in their preaching the necessity of repentance or of turning from our own righteousness, it is not likely that many would have adhered to them, or received their teftimony: for no man, in his right mind, can be raționally persuaded to renounce his present hope and trust, without having a well-grounded prospect, and af furance of a better, even the righteousness of God, which is thro? faith in CHRIST JESUS Our LORD.
But Christ himself, and his Apostles, had no sooner said repent ye, but they immediately added, and believe the Gospelt. This shews the folly of those persons who urge the law upon the consciences of their hearers, with a design to terrify and distress their souls, and leave them for a season in this terror of spirit, as a work previously necessary, before they make known to them the redemption that is in CHRIST's blood; and this they call preaching repentance :-But the Apostle Paul, who knew the terrors of the LORD as much as any man, never preached in this manner, nor is it that which he meant by repentance ; for God, faith he, hath made us able ministers of the New Teftament, not of the Letter (that is of the law) which killeth, but of the Spirit, (that is of the Gospel) which giveth life I: Yet we acknowledge that God's holy law
ought + Mark i, 15.- Aēs ii. 38. I 2 Cor, ii, 6.
ought to be set forth, and expounded in its fpiritus ality and utmost extent; and particularly to be urged on the consciences of those who seek to justify and cover themselves with their works; that every mouth may be Atopped, and all th: world become guilty before God: but as soon as any one sees himielf to be a Joft' finner, and renounces his own righteousness, immediately the glad tidings of a free perdon, and juftification throʻ CHRIST's blood, is to be held forth, and preached unto him,
For Christ, after his resurrection, directed, and commiffioned his Apostles to preach repentance, and remission of finis, among all nations, in bis name, which commandment they strictly observed to do; for they never preached repentance, without faith in CHRIST, for the remission of sins. Thus Peter, repent and be converted that your fins may be blotted out *: and Paul, even at Athens, having declared that God commandeth all men every · where to repent, adds, for he hath appointed à day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; «whereof. he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. i
• Aes iii, 19,
Thus also the Prophet Isaiah cries aloud; the your fins be as scarlet, they shall be white as fnow tho they be red like crimson, they all be as wooll, if ye be willing and obedient*: that is, if ye be willing to turn to God, and obey the Gospel :--and again he faith, let the wicked forsake bis way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let bim return unto the Lord, and be will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for be will abundantly pardon. Thus God draws his people to himself with bands of love, with the cords of a man t :--But, after all many will not hearken to the voice of God, nor res gard his gracious words :- As the deaf adder they stop their ears, . refufing to bearken to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely: for, let favour be bewed to the wicked, yet will be not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will be deal unjustly, and will not bebold the majesty of the LORD I, Wherefore he faith, I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded || : and again, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I bave gathered thee together, even as a ben gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not S.
! From motives and arguments of love and mercy, God in the fame manner exhorts, and even
entreats . Ifa. i. 18.
+ Hos. xi. 4. Ifa. xxvi. 12. || Proy, i. 24. § Matth. xxiii, 37
entreats bis back-fiding people to return unto him ; return unto me, and I will return unto you; for I am merciful, faith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever H. ..'.;
Thus CHRIST also speaks to the Church of Laodicea; as many as I love, I rebuke and cbaften; be zealous therefore, and repent* :-his servant James observes the same method with back-liders ; bumble yourfelves (faith he) in the fight of the LORD, and be will lift you up ; draw nigh to God, and be will draw nigh to you ts o on also adds his testimony; If we confess our fins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrigbteousness ;-for, if any man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and be is the propitiation for our fins.
It is the opinion of fome eminent ministers, that repentance is a continued work, and ever to be exercised by the Chriftian, until death; but this appears to be a mistake : it is also irrational to suppose it necessary for the foul to change and turn to God, who is turned to him already; nor do we find that the Holy Ghost in Scripture commands, or perfuades any believer to repent, who hath not manifeftedly erred in doctrine or practice :
and | Jer, jü. 12. • Rev. üi. 19. t James iv. 8, 10.