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and the wrath of God denounced against it,Serm.
spirit might be saved in the
G therefore, 1. Cor. v. I. + 1. Cor. v. 5.
SERM. therefore, when the punishment had its due IV. effect in the humiliation and repentance of
the offender, the apostle exhorts the saints at Corinth to comfort him as a penitent, and receive him again into their fellowship. In the epistles to the seven churches of Apa, Revel. chap. 2 d, and 3 d, some are charged, with great defection, and the divine displeasure is denounced against them, they are threatned with the removal of their candlefick out of its place, and other punishments; but still
the supposition of impenitency; and it is expresfly declared, that if they did repent, their destruction should be prevented. Nay, some of the most notorious tranfgrefsors, who seduced the servants of Christ into grossly immoral practices, are threatned indeed with death, but it it is, except they repent. The apostle Peter himself is an example for the encouragement of offending disciples of Christ to repent; thro' fear he denied his master before men, for which sin his master pronounces a severe punishment; but he obtained mercy, having with deep sorrow for his sin returned to a better
nind and better resolution, which he testified thro' the whole course of his after life, and even at his death.
There is, therefore, repentance also grant-SERM. ed even to them who professing christianity IV. have deliberately and presumptuously finned against its laws; and their repentance is of the same kind with that which the gospel defcribes in the case of converted infidels : a thorough forsaking, and purging the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God, sprinkling the hearts from an evil conscience, and washing the body with pure water. Let them never imagine that their condition is any thing the better for their having been christians before the committing of their iniquities, and that from thence there remains 'any foundation of hope for them ; their habitual course of wickedness utterly inconsistent with integrity, forfeits the christian character, and with it all claim to the privileges of the gospel covenant. Their state is that of a total alienation from God; and their conversion to him, that it may be sincere and acceptable, muft be attended with an entire change of difposition and conversation, from evil to good: As David in his penitential exercises, after the most heinous transgression of his life, addresses God, not only with a deprecation of his displeasure for that particular offence,
SERM.nor indeed, only, with a defire and purpose IV. of amending it, but with the utmost foli
citude that he might be wholly renewed ; in the same manner as a new convert to religion would do, after an universally profligate and abandoned life according to his lufts in ignorance, * create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me. Nay, if there be any difference, it is this, that the repentance of such sinners ought to be peculiarly remarkable and conspicuous, as their iniquities have been accompanied with peculiar aggravations; and, especially, let it be remembred, that nothing can be to them a satisfying evidence of their fincerity, but an effectual amendment, an intire, resolved, abstinence from their former iniquities, and the steddy exercise of the cons
ori I come, in the next place, to lay before you the gospel motives to repentance. But, before I enter upon them, it may not be amiss to consider a little the reasonableness of the thing itself, and its agreeableness to our natural sentiments. We have indeed this invaluable advantage by the gospel revelation, that it adds new and very powerful
* Plalm li. Io.
inducements to our obeying the eternal and SerM.
Now, I think it will appear to every at-