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kindled, yea, but a little, what wiil become of the wicked and ungodly! noihing but å sincéré repentavce and amendinent of life, will be sufficient to secure them from the vengeance which he hath threatened to pour down upon åll obstinate and rebellious sinners: but třue repentance will most undoubtedly avert bis ånger.
He hath declared himself to be à God merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; and hath promised pardon to all those who, with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him. He hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, bút that the wicked should turn from his way and live. In order to assure us of this his great love to mankind, and of his desire to reconcile us to himself, He hath sent his Son, his only, bis beloved Son, into the world, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 16.
It hath pleased God, of his infinite goodness, to establish a most gracious covenant of mercy to mankind through thé mèdiation of his own Son: and the condition on his part of the covenant, namely, the remission of sins, is always ready to be made good, if we fail not on our part, of sincere repentance and a thorough reformation of our lives. Our Saviour hath made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world. He hath suffered a cruel and ignominious death upon the cross, for our sakes; and by his death and sufferings bath purchased this grace for us, that real repentance, and the sincere endeavour of perfect obedience, shall be accepted, instead of innocence: but without this repentance and renewed endeavour of perfect obedience, we shall not be accepted upou any terms. The sacrifice which Christ offered upon the cross, although of infinite value, will be of no avail to us, unless in conformity with his death and resurrection, we die unto sin, and rise again into newness of life. Nothing but a good life will entitle us to the favour and love of God: and, without bis favour, we are of all creatures the most miserable. Better had it been for us never to have been born, than to have made God our enemy by leading vicious and wicked lives. Let it then, above all things, be our great and constant endeavour to make him our friend, who is the best of beings; the sovereign good and happiness of all his creatures; and the fountain and foundation of all our comforts and enjoyments in this life, and of all our hopes and expectations in that which is to come. Let us make religion the great business of our lives; and, while we have time and opportunity, let us prepare ourselves, by a life of virtue and righteousness, for that great account which we must one day give. Let not the pleasures and vanities of this world, which will shortly have an end, make us únmindful of the great and momentous concerns of eternity.-0 eternity! how amazing are the thoughts of it! who, that considers what it is to live for ever in a state of endless happiness or misery, would not labour and strive with all his inight, to secure the one and avoid the other! Now, this can ouly be secured or avoided by a good life: for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Prov. xiv. 27. Heaven is prepared for those only who fear God, and live in a strict endeavour to -perform a perfect,obedience to his will. There shall in no wise enter into that choly place any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, ,or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life: and these are the good and virtuous only, who have kept themselves from the pollutions of this wicked world, and have led a life of piety and renewed obedience towards God, and of love and charity towards their neighbours. To all others, that blessed Lamb of God will declare he knew them not : to the workers of iniquity, even that merciful and compassionate Saviour will say, Depart from me. ----Dreadful words! whither shall such wretched souls go when they are bidden to depart from the Saviour of the world :--whither, indeed, but to that dismal place of horror and everlasting misery prepared for the devil and his angels !
all of us grace to see and follow the things that belong to our everlasting peace, in this our day, lest they be bidden from our eyes, and all opportunities of reconciling ourselves to our offended God be for ever lost!--May every one of us be persuaded to hearken to the advice of Solomon ! Fear God, and keep his commandments; for, this is the whole duty of man. For, God shall bring every work into judgment, and every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evili-Eccles. xiii. 14. And may we always keep in remembrance that merciful caution of our blessed Lord and Saviour; Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour, wherein the Son of Man cometh. Matt. xxv. 13.
O most glorious Lord God, and mérciful Father in Christ Jesus, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man's understanding, and hast promised to give