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good, Rom. viii. 28. God's wrath and anger against a perfon mars all to him. It makes every thing work for their ruin the unpardoned man's croffes are curfes, and his good things as well as his evil things work against him, Prov. i. 32. But by the Lord's favour all things fhall work through grace to bring the believer to glory. God is for him, who then can be against him? Whether the wind blow on his face or on his back, it shall forward him to the happy harbour.
8. It is the way to live comfortably, If. xl. 1. 2. None in all the world have fo good reafon to live comfortably as the juftified perfon. He that gets the white ftone of the Lord's abfolviture, if he can but look on it, his foul may rejoice within him. If all things in the world were going wrong, he has that to comfort him, that God is his friend. However little he may have in hand, he has all the heavenly inheritance in hope. The uncomfortable life the pardoned finner bas, arifes from want of confideration; but the more clearly he fees his matters, he will have the more comfort.
9. Lastly, It is the way to die fafely and comforta bly too. The pardoned finner may triumph over death and the grave, Rom. viii. 38. 39. 1 Cor. xv. 55. When death comes to him, he has his difcharge, it cannot harm him. As for the tribunal, he cannot be condemned there, for he is already juftified. He fhall swim fafe through thefe dark waters, for the weight of guilt is removed, he cannot fink in them.
Mot. 5. A pardon is in your offer. There is none of us all under the fentence of condemnation, but may get it reverfed, if we will come to Chrift, and fue out an abfolviture in the Lord's own way, If. lv. 7. He is a juft God we have to do with, but there is a way how pardoning mercy may reach us in a full confiftency with juftice. The white flag of peace does yet hang out, and the market of free grace ftands open. There is an act of grace and full indemnity
through Jefus Chrift proclaimed in the gofpel. Come in, finners, and take the benefit of it. Why will ye fland out, and deípife the King of heaven's free pardon?
Object. My fins are fo great, that I can have no hope of pardon, whatever others may. Anf. Neither the greatnefs nor the multitude of your fins, nor your backfliding into them again and again, put you beyond the reach of pardon. For obferve, I pray you, the foundation of pardon is Chrift's righteoufnefs, and that is the righteoufnefs of God, Rom. x. 3. Now, your fins are the fins of a creature; and fhall not the righteoufness of God be able to remove the unrighteousness of the creature? And it is to all, and upon all that believe, Rom. iii. 22.; and remember as the one abounds, the other fuperabounds, Rom. v. 20.
God is pleafed to heap words of grace one upon another to put tempted finners in hopes of pardon, Joel ii. 13. Rent your heart and not your garments, and turn nto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, how to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. If. i. 18. Come now and let us reafon together, faith the Lord: though your fins be as Scarlet, they hall be as white as fnow; though they be red like crimson, they hall be as wool. Chap. Iv. 7. Let the wicked forfake 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. And he has fet up many inftances of pardoning mercy, that none may defpair of finding mercy that will come to him in his own way. Adam, the leading finner in the world, was pardoned. Manaffeh, who gave up himfelf to the moft grofs fins of devilry, murder, &c. yet received a pardon. Paul, who was a perfecutor, a blafphemer, and injurious, obtained And mercy. the very Jews that murdered the Lord of glory, were pardoned through his blood.
Thefe inftances of mercy are indeed abused to the encouraging of finners to go on in their fin: but they
were never defigned for that; and it is a dreadful fign when the very gofpel-news of pardon become a tra and a fnare. But God defigned them for thy encou ragement, O trembling finner that would fain com to God through Chrift for pardon, if thou durft, an by these he bids thee welcome, Eph. ii. 7. Come fcward then, and fue for thy pardon.
Mot. 6. The time of pardoning grace will not lit, If. lv. 6. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, calye upon him while he is near. Now is the accepted me, now is the day of falvation. The day will come wen God will not be entreated, when abufed patiencewill break forth into fury, Luke xiii. 24. 25. Strive 1 enter in at the ftrait gate: for many, I say unto you will feek to enter in, and shall not be able. When ore the mafter of the house is rifen up, and hath shut to th door, and ye begin to ftand without, and to knock at te door, faying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he fhallanfwer and fay unto you, I know you not whence you a?. ware left ye fit your day of grace, and it come to that, ye find no place for repentance, though e fhould feek it carefully with tears. Remember nofe that were bidden to the fupper, and fhifted, and were excluded, Luke xiv. 24. Delay no more, Amoment's delay may be an eternal lofs.
Lastly, I befeech you remember that your eternal ftate depends on your being juftified now or not. If ye be justified now, ye fhall be faved eternally; if not, ye are loft for ever. And how dreadful will the condemnation of thofe be, who by flighting an offered pardon trample on the blood of Chrift, which was ihed for the remiflion of fins!
I fhall conclude this use of exhortation with a few directions.
1. Labour to get your hearts wrought up to a deep concern for a pardoned ftate. And for this caufe believe your miferable ftate by nature, that ye are once condemned. Take a view of the holy righteous law, and your innumerable tranfgreffions of it, befides your
fiful nature. Look to the flaming juftice of God; bhold it in the case of the damned, in the case of Crift fuffering, and fee what a fearful thing it is to fd into the hands of the living God.
. Go to God in Christ, and confefs your fins, and cademn yourselves. Lay them out before God with fhane and confufion of face, with their several aggravatons. Make a full and free confeffion, infifting mo on those fins that have been moft difhonouring to (od in you. Acknowledge yourselves justly condemed by the law, and God to be righteous, if he fhoud put the fentence in execution.
Laly, Solemnly and fincerely accept of Chrift in the covenant of grace held forth in the gospel. Receive im with his righteousness, and enter under the covertof his blood. And lay all your guilt over on him, blieving his ability and willingness to remove it. An accepting of Chrift for juftification and fanctificatio, ye fhall be accepted and pardoned.
Exhor 2. To juflified perfons. This privilege calls you to feveral duties.
1. Low the Lord, and love him much, for much is forgiver you. This may be oil to that holy flame, and therefore love will continue in heaven for ever.
2. Be ofa forgiving difpofition, Eph. iv. ult. Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's fake, hath forgiven you. The fame Saviour that brought in remiffion of fins, binds us to love our enemies. And the bitter revengeful Spirit against thofe we think have wronged us, is a fad fign that our own fin is unforgiven of God, Matth. vi. 12. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. They who have found what a dreadful weight fin unpardoned is, and have at length got it removed, will thereby be helped to forgive.
3. Walk humbly. Ye are juftified, but it is by the righteoufnefs of another. Ye are pardoned, but it was procured to you by the fatisfaction of a Saviour,
Your debt is paid, your difcharge is got up; but thanks to free grace, not to you, for it.
4. Bear your troubles and croffes in a world patiently. Your life that was forfeited is fafe by grace; therefore take thankfully any troubles you meet with. For why should a living man complain, efpecially one that deferved to die, and yet is adjudged to life?
5. Laftly, Walk tenderly. God pardoning a finner difmiffeth him as Chrift did the penitent adulterefs, John xii. 11. Go, and fin more. Let not your broken bones be forgotten, but walk foftly all your years. And if ye be pardoned, fhew it by your holy and tender walk.
2 CORINTHIANS vi. 18.
And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty.
HESE words do hold forth the fingular privilege of those that obey the call of the gofpel, ver. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye fepa rate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing. That call is not a call to feparate from a church, but from thofe that are out of the church, ver. 14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion bath light with darkness? not only from outward vifible communion with idolaters, but to feparate from the unconverted to inward invifible communion with the family of God, ver. 18. In a word, it is a call to come out of the world lying in wickedness, and to join the heavenly fociety.
There are but two families in the world, and to one of the two every man and woman belongs. One is Satan's family, the other God's. And thefe are the