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These are certain Truths: How vain and foolish is it then for guilty stubborn Sinners to seek by Flight a Safety from the Judgments God has denounced against them.
But is there no Hope ? Is there no escaping the Wrath and Vengeance of the holy God? I answer, there is none by Flight, none by Riches, none by human Power or Policy.
Yet, blessed be the merciful God, there is fome Hope remaining; there is a Door of Hope, opened by the gracious Declarations, and kind Invitations which Almighty God, infinite in Goodness, has made to those who provoked him to destroy them.
Wash ye, make you clean (says our God who delights in Mercy, Isaiah i. 16, &c.) Put away the Evil of jour Doings from before mine Eyes, cease to do Evil, learn to do well, seek Judgment, relieve the opprefjed, judge the Fatherless, plead for the Widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your Sins be as Scarlet, they shall be as white as Snow ; though they be red like Crimson, they skall be as Wool.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the Good of ibe Land. v. 19. Which implies not only that God would chen pardon them, and forbear to inflict the Judgments threatened against them, but also that God would bless them, and provide carefully for them.
It is added, ver. 20. But if ye refuse, and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the Sword: for the Mouth of the Lord hath Spoken it. Signifying, that if they would not repent of their Sins, but go on in their Trespasses, and continue their Rebellion against God, they should certainly be destroyed,
In Jerem. xviii. 7, 8. our merciful God says, At what Instant I shall Speak concerning a Nation, and concerning a Kingdon, to pluck up, to pull down, and
to destroy it, if that Nation, against whom I have
pronounced, turn from their Evil, I will repent of the Evil that I thought to do unto them.
In Ezek. xxxiii. 11. As I live saith the Lord God, I have no Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked, but that the Wicked turn from his Way, and live : Turnt ye, turn ye from your evil Ways : for why will ye die, O House of Israel?
In Ezek. xviii. 21, 22. it is said, But if the Wicked will turn from all bis Sins that he hath committed, and keep all my Statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, be shall surely live, he shall not die. All bis Transgressions that he bath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him.
How amazing is the Mercy of God! What Encouragement is here to engage the Wicked to turn from their evil Ways, to repent of their Sins, and to return to God and their Duty? How Tould the Loving-kindness of God make us ashamed of the Transgressions and Offences we have committed against him ! Is God willing to be reconciled to us, notwithstanding the Multitudes and Heinousness of our Crimnes! and willing so perfectly to forgive them, that they shall not be even mentioned to us for a Reproach, and Condemnation, if we turn frorn all our Sins, and conscientiously keep all his Statutes, and do that which is lawful and right. And shall we not be thankful for the wonderful Manifestations of Divine Grace, and return unto the Lord our God!
O that there was such an Heart in all the Wicked! Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, (says the Prophet) call ye upon him while be is near. Let the Wicked forsake bis Way, and the unrighteous Man his Thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and be will have Mercy upon him, and to our God, for be will abundantly pardon. Ifa. lv. 6, 7.
Ye are gone away from mine Ordinances, and bave not kept them: Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hofts. Mal. iii. 7.
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus faith the Lord of Hofts, Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of Hostsy and I will turn unto you, faith the Lord of Hofts, Zech. i. 3.
Now these glorious Declarations of God, are certain Evidences that God is willing to be reconciled to Sinners, notwithstanding the Number of their Sins, and although they have long lived in Disobedience to him: They shew that there is a Way, and a sure Way to Reconciliation and Peace with him, a sure Way to obtain Forgiveness, and the Favour of God; and therefore a sure Way to Safety, Comfort, and Happiness.
But what is the Way by which Sinners may return to God? This is a most important Enquiry, and our Blessed Saviour answers it in John xiv. 6. Jesus saitb unto him, (that is, to Thomas, ver. 5.) I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: No Man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The fure Way of returning to God acceptably, is through Faith in Christ Jesus, the only Saviour, and the only Mediator between God and Man.
Faith in Christ is the only way to obtain Salvation from our Sins, and Peace with God, I am the Door ; by me if any Man enter in, be shall be saved, said our compassionate Saviour, John X. 9.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the Ends of the Earth, faith our gracious Redeemer, Isaiab xlv.
This is the way that God in his Word has revealed, and directs us to.
And it is what the Ministers of the Gospel are to instruct us in.
They They are to acquaint us, that there is a Fountain opened for Sin, and for Uncleanness, (Zecb. xii. 1.) in which we may wash, and be clean: They are to preach that the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all Sin, (1 John i. 7.) if we believe in his Name.
They are to preach Repentance towards God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, (Aets xx. 21.) and to publish those Declarations, which the God of Mercy and Salvation has made in his Word, concerning those that repent of their Sins, and believe in the Lord Jesus, such as the following, viz.
Axts ii. 38. Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the Remifsion of Sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.
Axts iii. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your Sins may be blotted out, when the Times of Refreshing hall come from the Presence of the Lord.
And that in John iii. 16. viz. God so loved the World, that he gave bis only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on bim should not perish, but have everlasting Life.
John i. 12. As many as received him, to them gave be Power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on bis Name.
John xii. 46. I am come a Light into the World, (said our gracious Saviour) that whosoever believeth, on me, should not abide in Darkness.
Aets xvi. 31. It is said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
These sacred Declarations of God, shew plainly that there is a Way, and a fure Way to obtain the Pardon of Sin and eternal Life, and they shew to us what this Way is, viz, the Way of Repentance and Faith; or the turning from our Sins, and re
turning to God, and the Obedience we owe unto
And other Declarations recorded in the divine
It is the Way to SAFETY. For in Deut. xxxiii.
And in Prov. xviii, 16. it is said, The Name of the LORD is a strong Tower ; the Righteous rnnneth into it, and is safe.
In Job xi. 18, 19. Thou shalt take thy Rest in Safety. Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid.
In Isa, xxxii. 18. Our God says, My People shall dwell in a peaceable Habitation, and in sure Dwellings, and in quiet resting Places,
And that it is the Way to COMFORT appears from fuch Declarations as the following, viz.
Pfal. cxix. 165. Great Peace (and therefore much Comfort) they have which love thy Law, and nothing fall offend them.
In Psal. cxii. 7. it is said, He fall not be afraid of evil Tidings ; his Heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.
In Psal. xxix. 11. ic is declared, that, The LORD will bless bis People with Peace.
It is the good Pleasure of our heavenly Father,
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my People, faith your God.
COMFORT is promised to repenting Sinners in Ifa.