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words, Thy sins are forgiven thee, go in peace.

Like her, Saviour of

O let us, before it be too late, make her happiness and joy our own! let us offer ourselves to the our souls, mourning for our wickedness, and hating it as she did! Let us fall down, confessing our sins, if it be but secretly in our hearts: yea, let us throw ourselves, as it were, at the feet of Christ, and show Him, that we feel our own unworthiness and helplessness, that we heartily love him for His mercy and goodness, that we desire His forgiveness, and long, above all things, to be His! Then will He raise us with the arms of His mercy, He will blot out and remember no more our offences, our sins shall be forgiven, and we shall depart in

peace. God, in Thy mercy, grant this to every one of us, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

SERMON XXXVII.

(BEFORE THE SACRAMENT.)

ISAIAH lv. 7.

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.

If it were not for the blessed assurances and promises which God has made to returning sinners in His Bible, how often. would our spirits faint within us at the remembrance of our own wickedness and the thoughts of our own unworthiness! how often should we be tempted to despair of forgiveness, and to give up our endeavours to obtain the kingdom of heaven, without hope! Even those who from their earliest years have walked in the paths

of holiness, striving to become acceptable to God, even they will find that there is much in them which they have reason to wish very different: even they will find that there are some evil dispositions at work in their hearts, and that without the grace and the help of God Almighty they would too surely be always going wrong. And others, who in the blindness and folly of youth, have suffered themselves to get into sinful courses, if God in His mercy awakens their conscience and shows them what wretched sinners they have been and are, will discover, to their sorrow and disappointment, how hard it is to break through vices and evil habits which they have been used to give way to: so true is it that it is easier for a man never to be guilty of great sins at all, than to get rid of evil customs whence once they are formed.

But, blessed be God! sinners as we are, continually forgetting and forsaking Him, and even after we have been brought to repentance for our evil deeds, too often returning to them again, yet His mercy

still remains, His promises are for ever sure and though we have wearied Him with our sins, still He is ready, if we truly turn to Him, to blot them out for ever, and will give us power to break through the chains by which we have long been tied bound, if we continue true. It was for this that His dear and blessed Son came down from heaven and suffered death upon the cross, that every repentant sinner might be sure of his Heavenly Father's help and readiness to forgive: and that none might be ruined to all eternity, but those who are determined, in spite of all God's goodness, to ruin themselves. Thanks be to God, then, we have, in Jesus Christ, a sure friend under every sorrow, a comforter under every affliction and disappointment and though we find, that, with the most earnest wishes to serve God truly, we shall at times be led again into sin by the strength of some sudden temptation, we must not despair of forgiveness: but think of all that our Blessed Saviour has suffered for us, and take comfort in the thought striving and praying with greater

earnestness for God's help, that we may get the better of our sins: for as long as time itself shall last, the words of my text shall continue to cheer us through life's troublesome journey, 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.

Surely, my brethren, if this were all that had ever been told us of God's readiness to forgive us, this ought to be enough to bring us to Him with the deepest sorrow for our own wickedness, and the most heartfelt gratitude and love for His goodness and mercy! And whom else but ourselves can we blame, to whom else but ourselves shall we owe our misery and punishment, if, when we know what God is ready to do for us, we still choose to harden our hearts and refuse to hear Him or obey Him? Is it our hope that we shall be happy hereafter, and do we still live on in sinful pleasures here? are we determined to have our full share of the vices and wickednesses of this world, and

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