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.” 4 “ Repent

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people!” 1 « Let the wicked forsake his ways, “ and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let “ him return unto the Lord, and he will have

mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will

abundantly pardon.”? “ The baptism of repen“ tance, for the remission of sins." 3

repentance and remission of sins should be

preached in his name to all nations." 4 " “ and be baptized, every one of you, in the name “ of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.”5

Repent and be converted that your sins may be “ blotted out.” 6 66 God hath exalted Jesus to be “ a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins.” 7

Repent of this thy “ wickedness, if perhaps the thought of thy heart

may be forgiven thee.”8 “Testifying repent

ance towards God, and faith towards our Lord “Jesus Christ." 9 “ To open their eyes, and to “ turn them from darkness to light, and from the

power of Satan to God, that they may receive

forgiveness of sins," 10 &c. The forgiveness is generally stated as future, and as the effect of repentance.

It is evident that even a few texts of this kind required no small degree of pains and ingenuity in your correspondent to make them seem to accord to his views: how far he has succeeded, I will not decide. One thing is certain, that his system does not obviously and easily accord with them; and probably he would rather that a dif

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ferent mode of expression had been adopted. But it is far from sufficient to employ the same management on all the other texts which are arranged in this order in the scripture. It is absolutely requisite that as many and as clear texts in which this order is reversed, or at least several texts of this description, be produced. But where will any man find a single testimony of this kind ? I know of no text which, by obvious interpretation, implies, Repent, because your sins are forgiven. Surely had this been the doctrine of scripture, some, yea many, such texts must have occurred. I recollect, and, indeed, by careful investigation can find, only one, that even seems to favour the system: “I have blotted out as a " thick cloud thy transgression, and as a cloud

thy sins : return unto me, for I have redeemed “ thee.”! God had repeatedly thus blotted out the sins of Israel ; and, in the redemption spoken of, provision is made for a like complete pardon of every one that believes, which gave abundant encouragement to all who read or heard, to return unto God with penitent faith and humble supplications.

Again : as an old clergyman,' writing to 'ano‘ther old clergyman,' it is quite in order to appeal to our authorized bocks. Let then your correspondent, if he can produce one sentence from them, in which forgiveness is placed before repentance, or supposed to be the cause or source of it. In the mean time, I will quote a few passages of another kind. We should confess our sins

Isa. xliv. 22.

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' with a humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient 'heart, to the end that we may obtain forgiveness

of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy.' Spare thou them which confess their faults ; restore thou them that are penitent.' . God ' hath given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins.' He pardoneth and absolveth all

them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel.' Almighty and everlasting God, who-dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent, create and make in us new and 'contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our 'sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may

obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect re'mission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'1 ' Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true ' faith turn unto him.' 'Our Lord Jesus Christ, ' who hath left power to his church to absolve' (not whom the ministers may please, but) 'all 'that truly repent and believe in him ; of his great

mercy forgive thee thine offences,' &c.2 • Grant ' him unfeigned repentance for all the errors of ' his life past, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus; * that his sins may be done away,' &c.

I must affirm, with all decision, as in the sight of God, that, did I believe forgiveness to precede repentance, in all its genuine exercises, even the first of them, I could no more use these prayers in

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my most solemn addresses to God, than I could, if a Socinian, (a conscientious Socinian,) use the opening petitions of the Litany ; because I must, in so using them, speak before God contrary to the convictions of my own conscience. And, as these prayers were written and published in English, there is not the same opening for critical ingenuity in explaining away the meaning, as in texts of scripture, originally written in Hebrew or Greek. They shew also, most decidedly, how our venerable reformers understood those scriptures. This, however, I shall a little further manifest.

In the Homily on repentance many passages are found, which bear on this question, in which repentance is uniformly placed before forgiveness of sins, and before faith in Christ. Speaking of the exhortation given by Joel, it is said, 'He doth ' move them to repentance, to obtain mercy; as if he should say, I will not have these things so taken as if there were no hope of grace left.' If ye will speedily return unto him, he will most gently and most mercifully receive you into · favour again. There are four parts of repentance: 1. The contrition of the heart: 2. An unfeigned confession and acknowledging our sins unto God: 3. The third part of repentance is faith, whereby we do apprehend and take hold upon the promises of God, touching the free ' forgiveness of our sins : 4. Amendment of life.”

On confession we read thus: “If we will with a sorrowful and contrite heart make an unfeigned “confession of them to God, he will frankly and ' freely forgive them.' · Hereunto doth pertain ‘ the golden saying of the holy prophet David,

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“ “ Then I acknowledged my sin unto the Lord ; ' neither did I hide mine iniquity. I said, I will ' confess against myself my wickedness unto the * Lord, and thou forgavest the ungodliness of my

sin.'' These are also the words of John the evangelist: “ If we confess our sins, God is ' faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and 'to make us clean from all wickedness.' On the third part of repentance, even faith, we read:

Which promises are sealed up unto us with the ' death and bloodshedding of his Son Jesus Christ. * For what should it avail and profit to be sorry for our sins, to lament and bewail that we have offended our most bounteous and merciful Fa'ther; or to confess and acknowledge our of

fences and trespasses, though it be done ever so earnestly, unless we do steadfastly believe and be fully persuaded that God, for his Son Jesus · Christ's sake,' (not hath forgiven, but) will for

give all our sins, and put them out of remem'brance, and from his sight? Therefore they, who teach repentance without a lively faith in our Saviour Christ, do teach no other but Judas's repentance, as the schoolmen do.' How chance that Peter was received into favour again, and ' the other cast away, but because the one did, by

a lively faith in Him whom he had denied, take 'hold upon the goodness and mercy of God, and 'the other wanted faith, whereby he did despair ' of the goodness and mercy of God?' Here is not so much as an intimation that forgiveness preceded repentance; or that. Peter's faith was assurance that he was already pardoned; but he believed and hoped that, great as his guilt had


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