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which does not spring from brotherly love; all which does not agree with that golden rule, “What ye would that others should do to you, even so do unto them.” Of this kind is all back-biting, all tale-bearing, all whispering, all evilspeaking, that is, repeating the faults of absent persons; for none would have others repeat his faults when he is absent. Now how few are there, even among believers, who are in no degree guilty of this; who steadily observe the good old rule, “Of the dead and the absent,—nothing but good!"

And suppose they do, do they likewise abstain from unprofitable conversation? Yet all this is unquestionably sinful, and “grieves the Holy Spirit of God:” yea, and “ for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment.”

12. But let it be supposed, that they continually “watch and pray," and so do “not enter into this temptation ;" that they constantly set a watch before their mouth, and keep the door of their lips ; suppose they exercise themselves herein, that all their “ conversation may be in grace, seasoned with salt, and meet to minister grace to the hearers;" yet do they not daily slide into useless discourse, notwithstanding all their caution ? And even when they endeavour to speak for God, are their words pure, free from unholy mixtures ? Do they find nothing wrong in their very intention? Do they speak merely to please God, and not partly to please themselves ? Is it wholly to do the will of God, and not their own will also ? Or, if they begin with a single eyc, do they go on “ looking unto Jesus,” and talking with Him all the time they are talking with their neighbour ? When they are reproving sin, do they feel no anger or unkind temper to the sinner? When they are instructing the ignorant, do they not find any pride, any self-preference ? When they are comforting the afflicted, or provoking one another to love and to good works, do they never perceive any inward self-commendation : “ Now you have spoke well ?Or any vanity, a desire that others should think so, and esteem them on the account ? In some or all of these respects, how much sin cleaves to the best conversation even of believers? The conviction of wbich is another branch of the Repentance, which belongs to them that are justified.

13. And how much sin, if their conscience is thoroughly awake, may they find cleaving to their Actions also ? Nay, are

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there not many of these, which, though they are sucli its the world wonki not condena), yet cannot be commended, 1:0, por excused, if we judge by the lord of God? Are there not many of their actions, whichi, they themselves know, are not to the glory of God? Mauy, wherein they did not even aim at this; which were not undertaken with an ere to God? And of those iliat were, there not many, wherein their eye is not singly fixed on God? Wherein they are doing their own will, at least as much is His; and seeking to please ihemsstres as much, if not more, than to please God ?- And while they are endeavouring to do good to their neighbour, do they not feel wrong tompers of various kinds. Hence their good actions, so called, are far from being strictly such; being polluted with such an mixture of evil? Such are their works of Jercu. Ind is not the same mixture in their works of Picty: While they are hearing the word, which is able to save their souls, do they not frequently find such thonghuis is make them afraid lest it should turn to their condemnation, rather than their salvation? Is it not often the same case, while ihey are endeavouring to ofler up their prayers to Cuci, whether in public or private? Vay, while they are engaged in the most solemn service, eren while they are at the table of the Lord, what manner of thoughts arise in them ! Are not their hearts sometimes wandering to the ends of the earth; semetimes filled with such imaginations, as make them fear lest all their sacrifice should be an abomination to the Lord ? So that they are now more ashamed of their best duties, than they were one of their worst siis,

14. Again: How many Sins of Omission are they chargeable with? We know the words of the Apostle, “ To him that huonetle to do good, and docth it not, to him it is sin.” But do they not know a thousand instances, wherein they might have done good, to enemies, to strangers, to their brethren, either with regard to their bodies or their sonls, and they did it bot: Ilir many omissions have they been guilty of, in their duty toward God! Tlow many opportunities of communicating, of bearing his word, of public or private prayer, have they neglecteel! So great reason had even that holy man, Archbishop Usler, after all his labours for God, to cry out, almost with his dying breathi, “ Lord, forgive me my sins of omission!”

15. But, besides these outward omissions, may they not find in themselves inward Defects without number? Defects of every kind : they have not the love, the fear, the confidence they ought to have, toward God. They have not the love which is due to their neighbour, to every child of man; no, nor even that which is due to their brethren, to every child of God, whether those that are at a distance from them, or those with whom they are immediately connected. They have no holy temper in the degree they ought; they are defective in every thing ;-in a deep consciousness of which they are ready to cry out with M. De Renty, “ I am a ground all over-run with thorns ;” or with Job, “ I am rile : I abhor myself, and repent as in dust and ashes."

16. A conviction of their Guiltiness is another branch of that Repentance which belongs to the children of God. But this is cautiously to be understood, and in a peculiar sense. For it is certain, “there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus," that believe in him, and, in the power of that faith, “ walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Yet can they no more bear the strict justice of God now, than before they believed. This pronounces them to be still worthy of death, on all the preceding accounts. And it would absolutely condemn them thereto, were it not for the atoning blood. Therefore they are thoroughly convinced, that they still deserve punishment, although it is hereby turned aside from them. But here there are extremes on one hand and on the other, and few steer clear of them. Most men strike on one or the other, either thinking themselves condemned when they are not, or thinking they deserve to be acquitted. Nay, the truth lies between: they still deserve, strictly speaking, only the damnation of hell. But what they deserve does not come upon them, because they “ have an Advocate with the Father.” His life, and death, and intercession, still interpose between them and condemnation.

17. A conviction of their utter Helplessness, is yet another branch of this Repentance. I mean hereby two things : First, That they are no more able now of themselves to think one good thought, to form one good desire, to speak one good word, or do one good work, than before they were justified; that they have still no kind or degree of strength of their own; no power either to do good, or resist evil; no ability to conquer or even withstand the world, the Devil, or their

own evil nature. They can, it is certain, do all these things ; but it is not by their own strength. They have power to overcome all these enemies; for “sin liath no more domivion over them :" but it is not from nature, either in whole or in part; it is the mere gift of God: por is it given all at once, as if they had a stock laid up for many years ; but from moment to moment.

18. By this Helplessness I mean, secondly, in absolute inability to deliver ourselves from that guiltiness or descrt of punishment whereof we are still conscious; yea, and an inability to remorc, by all the grace we have, (to say nothing of our natural powers,) cither the pride, self-will, love of the world, anger, and general proneness to depart from God, which we experimentally know to remain in the heart, cren of them that are regenerate ; or the evil which, in spite of all our endeavours, cleaves to all our words and actions. Add to this, an utter inability wholly to avoid uncharitable, and, much more, unprofitable conversation; and an inability to avoid sins of omission, or to supply the numberless defects we are convinced of; especially the want of love, and other right tempers, both to God and man,

19. If any man is not satisfied of this, if any believes that whoever is justified is able to remove these sins out of his heart and life, let him make the experiment. Let bim try whether, by the grace he has already received, he can expel pride, self-will, or inbred sin in general. Let him try, whether he can cleanse his words and actions from all mixture of evil ; whether he can avoid all uncharitable and unprofitable conversation, with all the sins of omission; and, lastly, whether he can supply the numberless defects which he still finds in himself. Let him not be discouraged by one or two experiments, but repeat the trial again and again ; and the longer he tries, the more deeply will he be convinced of his utter helplessness in all these respects.

20. Indeed this is so evident a truth, that well nigh all the children of tod, scattered abroad, however they differ in other points, yet generally agree in this ; That although we may, "by the Spirit, mortily the deeds of the body;' resist and conquer both outward and inward sin ; although sve may weaken our enemies day by day ;-yet we cannot drive them out. By all the grace which is given at justification, we cannot extirpate them. Though we watch and pray ever so much, we cannot wholly cleanse either our hearts or hands. Most sure we cannot, till it shall please our Lord to speak to our hearts again, to speak the second time, Be clean : and then only the leprosy is cleansed. Then only, the evil root, the carpal mind, is destroyed; and inbred sin subsists no more. But if there be no such second change, if there be no instantaneous deliverance after justification, if there be none but a gradual work of God, (that there is a gradual work none denies,) then we must be content, as well as we can, to remain full of sin till death ; and, if so, we must remain guilty till death, continually deserving punishment. For it is impossible the guilt, or desert of punishment, should be removed from us, as long as all this sin remains in our heart, and cleaves to our words and actions. Nay, in rigorous justice, all we think, and speak, and act, continually increases it.

II. 1. In this sense we are to Repent, after we are justified. And till we do so, we can go no farther. For, till we are sensible of our disease, it admits of no cure. But, supposing we do thus repent, then are we called to " Believe the Gospel.”

2. And this also is to be understood in a peculiar sense, different from that wherein we believed in order to justification. Believe the glad tidings of great salvation, which God hath prepared for all people. Believe that he who is “ the brightness of his Father's glory, the express image of his person,” is “ able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God through him.” He is able to save you from all the sin that still remains in your heart. He is able to save you from all the sin that cleaves to all your words and actions. He is able to save you from sins of omission, and to supply whatever is wanting in you. It is true, this is impossible with man; but with God-Man all things are possible. For what can be too hard for Him, who hath "all power in heaven and in earth ?" Indeed his bare power to do this is not a sufficient foundation for our faith that he will do it, that he will thus exert his power, unless he hath promised it. But this he has done : he has promised it over and over, in the strongest terms. He has given us these “exceeding great and precious promises,' both in the Old and the New Testament. So we read in the Law, in the most ancient part of the Oracles of God, “ The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, Vol. 1. No. 4.


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