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teaches the soul to believe, repent, love, and obey.
To forsake your way and your thoughts is thus to
think of God, and return to his way.

If the desire be awakened in us to embrace this
blessed invitation, we shall reason to this effect :-
I perceive that all in me is wrong; all that I
ever thought, or did, or spoke, being the fruit of
ignorance of God and selfishness. I have for-
gotten God, and as for my fellow creatures, the
few I pretended to love were not regarded for
their sakes, but for my own, only as they con-
tributed to my own gratification in this way or
that. I never loved them, it is plain. I never
led them heaven-ward, nor prayed for them, nor
tried to stop their progress in the road to hell;
but, on the contrary, urged them onward in ruin.
As for God, my Maker, my Creator, my Re-
deemer, I have sinned even against him, yea, all
my sin is against him. And yet he sends to me
this message, to forsake my wicked ways and my
unrighteous thoughts, and return unto the Lord,
because he has promised mercy and pardon, which
form the next point for consideration.

III. In the third place: "The Lord will have mercy, he will abundantly pardon." Mark the riches of the blessing. Mercy in Christ, pardon for his sake. This is just what we need. Oh for a heart to embrace it! Mercy is an attribute of God, not opposed to his holiness, not at war with justice. But it meets the eye of man in the incarnate Jehovah, the Saviour; for he displayed the Divine holiness in enduring the curse which sin deserved for our salvation. He magnified justice by rendering perfect obedience to the


Divine law, and making an atonement for sin. And now the mercy which shines in his blessed work is set before us, to engage our love, our gratitude, and our obedience. And can you resist it? are you not subdued by the loving-kindness of Jesus, of your God? Reflect on what is herein proposed to you. To make your guilt-stained soul as pure as an unfallen angel; to make you whiter than snow by the precious blood of Christ; to create a new heart, and renew a right spirit in you. To remove the filthy rags of self-righteousness from your soul, and clothe you with the righteousness of Christ.

To know the mercy of God, and rejoice in our interest in it, to have our sins pardoned, is the beginning of that happiness which will be perfect when we die die to the remains of sin, leave our mortal bodies for awhile, and begin our eternity in heaven.

A sense of pardoning mercy produces humility. Mercy pre-supposes guilt. If we were not guilty as we are, we should not need mercy. The glorious angels who never fell know not mercy, for, not having sinned, they require it not; whilst to men, poor sinful men, mercy brings every blessing for his restoration and eternal peace. Ah! did we know how wicked we are, did we not shut our eyes against the truth, we should be afraid to lie down to sleep with our sins unpardoned still on our souls, lest they should sink us to hell ere we might awake. Nay, when awake, we should tremble lest every breath should be our last. The consternation of the midnight murderer, when found with hands red with blood, in

commission of the deed; the alarm of the robber, detected whilst his hands yet hold his neighbour's goods; the confusion of the hypocrite, detected in secret iniquity; this, all this, and infinitely more, will meet in the soul who is met by death in his sins, having slighted the voice of God's mercy, and the pardoning blood of Christ. Let us not turn away from the blessing. It is set before us in the text, as delightfully free on the part of God, ready for the sinner. These are the words : "He will abundantly pardon." This is just what we require. A restricted pardon would not save us from hell. Of what avail would it be to pardon the deeds of your hands, yet leave your oaths and curses standing against you; or to pardon the sins of your lips and the guilt of your hands, whilst unnumbered crimes were yet left on your soul, when the evil you wished, and would have committed had you been able, were still on record with no atonement. Such, my friends, is not the mercy nor the pardon which is proclaimed to you; for if every sin but one were blotted out by Divine mercy in a Saviour, and that remained, God could not be reconciled. It would haunt your peace, it would defile your conscience, and all the riches and power of a universe could not remove it. "He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all;" yet "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." Look then at the Divine mercy, for it is infinite; and at the pardon for sin which is proposed in the gospel, for it is abundant. Nor is it received in vain with regard to present happiness. Infidels of every description speak of religion as a gloomy system of difficult


rites, depriving its possessor of pleasure, and giving none; whilst the reverse of this is true. Satan blinds the understanding of such persons, who wickedly unite with their deceiver. To have religion is to have our sin pardoned, and this brings peace; there is none without it. To enjoy the comfort of God's rich mercy, this is happiness. It is to have our affections withdrawn from every false and unlawful object of regard, from supreme attachment to things in their own nature good and lawful, and fixed upon our God in Christ. It is to love our covenant Father, to love the incarnate Son, and to love the Holy Spirit. Then it is that happiness begins. Then, and not till then, we begin to live to a good purpose, seeking the happiness of all men, and thus bearing the blessed invitation of our text in our hearts and lives, thus saying to all who observe us, in every sense, "Let the wicked forsake his way, 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."

Finally, to forsake our way for God's way, to return to him, to know his mercy, and obtain his abundant pardon, is a freedom which cannot be sufficiently estimated. It is to reign in this world and over it. Then the passionate and revengeful man learns gentleness and forgiveness. The falsepleasure taker is reclaimed from the error of his way. The sinner is made a Christian. His time, now redeemed from evil, and acknowledged to be God's property, is joyfully given to his service for his glory. His existence, now unbound and free, is for others. To this end, he prays with

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faith and happy confidence, labours with energy and full hope of the accomplishment of God's purposes in the redemption of man by Jesus Christ; rich in thankfulness for mercies now enjoyed, and secure in the provision of eternal happiness through the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the sanctification of God the Holy Ghost.

JOB XXXiii. 27, 28.

"He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which is right, and it profited me not; he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light."

It is a striking proof of the depravity of mankind, that whilst they acknowledge in words the existence of a God of infinite perfection, as the Lord of the universe, and the wise Disposer of human things, men fail to recollect that God looks down on each individual in particular, noticing all that passes in his heart, how he conducts himself among his fellow men, and to what end he lives. It is well to remember that the God who now "looketh upon men" will be their future Judge, and according to what he now beholds in each of us, and in what character we enter upon eternity, his decision will be given as to our eternal doom in either world to come, in heaven or in hell.

May the Divine blessing attend our meditations on that interesting and important passage, that the consideration of the eye of God upon us may be sanctified to our self-examination, leading

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