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Serm. Brother?---We are certain he will; it being ..VII. made one Condition of the Covenant of m Grace, that, that if any Man fin, we have
an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous : And be is the Propitiation for our Sins (f).---When we remember our Ways and all our Doings, wherein we have been defiled, and turn unto the Lord with contrite Hearts and holy Resolutions, and no longer live the rest of our Time in Slavery to Sin, but in Subjection to the Will of God; then, through the all-powerful Influence of our Divine Mediator, will he give us Repentance unto Life, our former Iniquities shall be blotted out, and with everlasting Kindness will he have Mercy upon us. This is the comfortable State of those, who have entered themselves into God's Service on the Gofpel Footing ; from which they shall not be turned off and treated as Reprobates, whilft there is any Possibility of their Amendment, nor at any time perish, because he will not forgive and be reconciled to them, but because they will not repent and return to him.
After all, as Innocence is much better than Repentance, and our Master's Favour
. more St. John ii, 1, 2,
more desirable, than his bare Compassion, SERM.
Such are the Servants, whom the Lord
Serm, eagerly towards the Mark, for the Prize of
VII. the bigh calling of God in Christ Jesus (k).
What this Reward more particularly is, it may be expedient in the last Place to enquire: And here a comparative View of of the Wages, which Sin pays its Servants as well as Obedience, and that partly in this World, but more fully in the next, will not a little contribute to our clearer In·formation.
Now the Servants of Sin are at present requited with Shame and Contempt,---sometimes with Pains and Diseases ---and always with the Stings of a guilty Conscience.
NOTHING is so truly shameful or so unworthy of a rational Creature, as the Service of Sin. It degrades Man even beneath a Brute ; for the one acts suitably to its Nature in those Things, by which the other debases his :---It blinds the Understanding, perverts the Will, and corrupts the morad Sense of Good and Evil :---It makes those Slaves, who would otherwise be free, and chains them down to the vileit Drudgery of going contrary to their own Minds, and the little Conviction they have left.----And
can there be a lower or more infamous A- SERM. basement, than such a shocking Condition? VII.
This is what those, who have escaped it, are strongly persuaded of, and even they, who groan under : it, do in Effect acknowledge. Else why do they perform the Work of Sin with so much Secrecy, and choose Retirement for carrying on their Business? Holy Job gives us a very just Picture of them in saying, They are of those that rebel against the Light ; they know not the Ways thereof, nor abide in the Paths thereof (k), well-knowing, that their Actions will by no Means bear it : And they must be hardened indeed, who can boldly avow, what so very much misbecomes them. He illustrates, what he advances on the Shamefulness of Sin, by the Instance of the Adulterer, whose Eye, he says, waiteth for the Twilight, and disguiseth his Face (1). The Morning is to them even as the Shadow of Death: If one know them, they are in the Terrours of the Shadow of Death (m).
In much the fame Colours, that the good Man paints Leudness in, may Lying, Fraud,
Serm. Drunkenness, and most other Vices be repreVII. sented : They are all the Deeds of Dark
ness, and have so much inherent Baseness, that they, who are the greatest Slaves to them, are still very unwilling to be known and remarked for them: fince in that Cafe they are sure to suffer in their Reputation, and to be treated with Ignominy and Difgrace.
And as the Servants of Sin are now requited with Shame and Contempt, so are they likewise many times with Pains and Diseases. Luft and Intemperance are most eminently distinguished by these Effects, that being a Fire, wbieb confumeth te Der struktion (n), and this giving Sorrow, Wounds, and redness of Eyes, biting like a Serpent and stinging like an Adder (e).
BESIDES, Sin in general is full fraught with Mischief, and all the Miseries human Nature is exposed to, are the Fruits of it. Pain of every Kind is the natural Recompense of Ungodliness, not only outward, but inward, not only of the Body, but' of the Mind; and the most dreadful of all Pains, the Stings of a guilty Conscience.
: (n) Job xxxi. 12,
(0) Prov. xxiii. 29, 30, 31.