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God with a truly penitent heart; as soon as he forfakes his finful courses, and turns himself wholly to him ; so soon does God also graciously turn towards him. He forgives him his sins, he remits the evil consequences of them, he takes him again into favour, and imparts to him, as his son, the free right of participating in all the comforts of his house. And how manifold, how great, are the benefits and felicities this happy alteration procures to the convert! His guilt is effaced, his sins are done
away, his iniquities are pardoned, and will be remembered no more. His conscience is calmed. God has a gracious complacency in him. Access to the throne of grace is open to him, and there he may and will find help and confolation so often as they are needful to him. The inhabitants of heaven rejoice at his converfion; they rejoice at have ing in him a new sharer in their bliss. Heaven is now no longer shut to him. Death and the grave have laid by their terrors for him. Futurity is no longer dreadful to him. It shews him the immarcessible crown of glory in the hand of his reconciled judge. It promises him a felicity which no mortal eye has seen, which no ear has heard, and which is above the conceptions of the human mind. It afsures him of the plenitude of joy and an eternity of blissful existence at the right hand of God. In the mean time, till his glorious hopes be fulfilled, the convert lives more securely, as he lives in innocence. Peace and contentment accompany him, since he has God for his protector and friend, and is conscious of the reEtitude of his heart. His moral corruption will daily decline, and every
vic, tory he gains over it gives him fresh cause to extol the
grace of his redeemer, and to feel the value of his regained freedom. His ability to goodness is ever increafing, and the practice of it grows daily more easy and pleasant. He marches onward from one step of perfection to another ; his aptitude in virtue is continually growing; and with his virtue, his pleafures and his hopes increase. Happy fituation! Inestimable benefit! Who would not take all possible pains to obtain it! Who would delay one moment to enter upon the way of repentance and conversion, which alone condu&s us to the poffesfion of this felicity! May we all, my friends, put this resolve into immediate execution, and from this inftant walk the paths of virtue and piety with persevering fidelity. How blessed will the present day be to us! In what tranquil delight will the rest of our lives flow on! How fedately may we see our dissolution approaching ! How confidently may we expect the glorious recompenses that are prepared for the righteous in the heavens !
Everything calls upon us to hearken to the voice of God, so affectionately inviting us to repentance and amendment. We yet live to hear that voice ; but how long it may be allowed us, none of us can tell. Woe to us if we put off from day to day, till it be too late to devote ourselves obediently to it !
Only with him, only in his service and in complie ance with his commands, are light and life and joy and felicity to be found; remote from him, darkhess and bondage, mifery and death are our only portion. Merciful father, into what perils has iniquity beguiled us! We haste to escape from them, and to seek grace and help from thee who alone canst help and save. Lo, we return to thee, unworthy to be called thy fons, but firmly resolved by a better conduct to render ourselves deserving of that glorious title. We are thine, o Lord, thine by creation, and thine by redemption. We will give ourselves up to thee as our only proprietor. Thee will we only and constantly obey. In thee will we seek our whole felicity. Oh do thou supply our weakness; keep us by thy mighty arm from relapfing into fin; grant us to advance in goodness, give us to overcome the world, and by thy support to persevere unto the end.
Preached on a Faft-Day.
GOD, who art all benignity and love, who art
always more ready to bless than to punish, and displayest thy infinite greatness by infinite bounty; daily and hourly openest thou thy liberal hand and fillest all things living with plenteousness. Daily and hourly givest thou to us fresh proofs that thy mercy is over all thy works; that thou lovest us with parental tenderness; that as a father thou providest for us and our real welfare. Lord, with ad. miration and humility we adore the riches of thy grace and love; we rejoice in the multitude and the exceeding value of the unmerited gifts of thy bounty; we would fain to render thee the thanks for them which thou requirest of us. Thou requirest, as a proof of our acknowledgment, that we should be kind, compassionate, beneficent, bountiful, like thee; that we should be followers of thee as dear children ; that we should share as it were with thee, the blessedness of dispenfing good. To obey thee, o parent of good, is our glory and our happiness. Thy commandments are life and peace to all that keep them. Ah let us ever confess it, and ever willingly be faithful to that confession. Do thou eradicate all seeds of avarice, of selfishness, of obduracy and cruelty from our hearts; and fill them with the gentle, compassionate, affectionate, officious and disinterested dispositions which alone can render us worthy to be called thy children and difciples of thy son. Bless in this view the lessons we are now to receive from thy word, and let the efficacy
of them be manifest in abundant fruits of chril. tian beneficence. Father of an infinite majesty, let these our supplications find acceptance with thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, thy honourable, true and only fon, our mediator and redeemer, in obedience to whose express command we address thee thus : Our father, &c.
ACTS, XX. 35.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
THERE are times and circumstances, my friends,
when we, your ministers, afcend this place with heavy hearts, as having but little hope of the desired success in delivering to you the word of truth, and of reaping much fruit from our labour. This happens whenever our office, and a zeal for your true