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deed at all tends to, a real amendment. But, SERM. the mind that grieves after a godly fort dwells III.
the confideration of sin as it is in itself, and in the lights wherein the scripture sets
e it considers moral evil as an error, as unbecoming the rational nature, as a deviation from the eternal and unchangeable measures of right, as offensive to, and disapproved bý, the best of all beings, as ingratude to a benefactor who continually loads us with his favours, and exercises towards us the most amazing patience and tender compassion ; to all which the gospel adds, that most powerful motive taken from the death and passion of Christ. Our glorious redeemer was, as the prophet speaks of him, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief I ; and after a life of deep humiliation, poverty and contempt, endured a most ignominious and painful death. And, when we remember that he suffered and past through all his scenes of grief for our fakes, that he might redeem us from all our iniquities, and purify to bimself a peculiar people zealous of good works * ; and finally bring us to the possession of an eternal rest and blessedness in heaven; when I say, all this is considered, it must be a hard heart that does not relent, that can look to
bin Ifa. liii. 3.
* Titus ü. 14
SERM.him that was pierced for our sins, and not HI.
mourn and be in bitterness.
It is likewise very natural for men convinced, and sensibly affected with the res membrance of their transgressions, to confess them to God whom they have offended. Nature dictates a way of expressing our forrows, and reason tells us that sorrow for injuries done, should be uttered in acknowie ledgements to the person injured. We are very ready to expect and demand it when wrong is done us, and can we question the equity of paying it when our hearts tells us we have done wrong'; especially, this homage is due to the supreme being, when we have affronted and provoked him by violating his righteous laws. The confession of fin is a reproaching ourselves in the bitterness of our spirits, as polluted by the most nauseous and loathsome thing, which we can no longer bear. It is, as the scripture speaks, taking to ourselves shame, and confufion of face, and justifying God whom our transgressions dishonoured, making a folemn acknowledgement of the reasonableness of his laws, and the righteousness of the sentence which he has pronounced against the evil deeds of men. At the same time, it gives glory to his mercy and the truth of his pro
mise, that he will pardon iniquity, tranf- SERM
The result will certainly be a change of
SERM.ments, and immediately entering upon the III. actual performance of it ; no more fashioning
ourselves according to the former lusts in ignorance, but as he that hath called us is holy, becoming holy in all manner of conversation *
To convince us of this, which I take to be a point of very great moment ; let us, first, consider the express declarations of scripture concerning it. The apostle Paul discoursing of godly sorrow, and certainly none can have a better character, it comprehends every good qualification of sorrow for fin) says I, it worketh repentance unto salvation not to be repented of ; not that it is repentance unto falvation, for he maketh a plain difference as between the means and the end ; the occasion or preparation and the effect. Besides, in a great many other passages, a pious and virtuous life, a persevering obedience and patient continuance in well doing, is the condition of our obtaining eternal life; which indeed is contained in repentance, but not in forrow, confession of sin, or good inclinations. On the other hand, a vitious character and wicked behaviour, disqualifies men for the kingdom of God, whatever their griefs, humiliations, and pious desires,
and 1 Pet. i. 15 +2 Cor. vi. 10.
and purposes may be. The t adulterer, the SERM•
I think no attentive person can doubt but
God. ti Cor. Via 93 1 2 Pet. ii. 22%.