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Lord yet renews his compassionate invitations. If then thy heart begin to relent; if remorse embitter thy soul; if thou art at length willing to acknowledge thy offence, and seek his face; come, and cast thyself at his feet, and venture upon his mercy and truth, who saith, "Him that cometh unto "6 me I will in no wise cast out." If indeed thou art renewed to repentance, though " at the ninth, 'or eleventh hour, thou shalt be equalled with "those who have born the heat and burden of the

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day." Herein lies the danger and the difficulty; but with God all things are possible: he "can "change the Ethiopian's skin, and the leopard's spots; and by his power, even thou who hast "been long accustomed to do evil, mayest learn "to do well." Admire then his long-suffering, who has born with thy impenitent disregard of his precepts and promises, his authority and invitations, for forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years: and has neither cut thee off by death, nor deprived thee of thy much abused reason, nor left thee to utter insensibility. This is distinguishing

patience!

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Methinks, aged sinner, I see thy relentings, hear thy groans, and witness thy tears, confusion, and despondency; whilst the crimes of a long life pass in review before thee, the sword of divine justice is brandished against thee, conscience reproaches, and Satan insinuates that it is now too late. Yea, thou art even inclined once more to

listen to his insinuations; and to conclude that there is no hope, and that after such a life thy late repentance and worthless services will never meet with acceptance. But reject this dishonourable thought, resist the lying tempter; when he persuaded thee heretofore, that it was too early in life to repent, he led thee to the brink of an awful precipice: if he prevail in persuading thee that it is now too late, he pushes thee headlong into everlasting ruin. In both he acts in character, "a liar and a "murderer from the beginning."

"God's ways are above our ways, and his 'thoughts above our thoughts," and his mercies "are higher than the heavens," else the case of the aged sinner would be desperate. But now, though he will not accept the late repentance, and the feeble obedience of one poor hour, because they merit such a favour; yet for his own name's sake, and through the atonement and intercession of Jesus, he will pardon, justify, and save all that truly repent and believe the gospel. This discovery of the unspeakable riches of divine love, whilst it gives encouragement to the drooping heart, ought to increase the sinner's remorse for having so neglected and abused a God of such excellency and mercy; and to quicken his diligence, in availing himself of the divine patience, by fleeing for refuge to the hope still set before him. To-day, if ye will hear his voice," before to morrow, embrace his proferred mercy, and harden

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not your hearts.-And whatever stage of human life you are now arrived at, I can only inculcate the same exhortation. "Behold, now is the ac'cepted time; behold, now is the day of salva

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tion;" and suggest the same petition; "So "teach us to number our days, that we may apply "our hearts unto wisdom."" "Whatsoever thy "hand findeth to do, do it speedily," and "with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor "knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither "thou goest."" I have shewn you, that this, of all other, is the most necessary and important work you can find to do: make then no delay, lest "he sware in his wrath, that you shall never "enter into his rest."

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THE MEANS OF REPENTANCE:

IN entering on this part of our subject, a formi

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dable objection may be started, and even grounded on what hath already been discoursed upon, against treating on the means of repentance at all. hath been observed, that repentance is the gift of God to us, the purchase of Christ for us, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us: 'How then,' it will be objected, can we do any thing towards it? If it please God to bestow it upon us, we 'shall repent without difficulty or labour: if not, our labour will be altogether to no purpose.'It is indeed a certain truth, that repentance is the gift of God, as it has been proved from plain scriptural testimonies; but it is equally true, and capable of the same proof, that we must diligently labour for it. Nor is there any inconsistency betwixt these distinct views of the subject: they only appear inconsistent to our dark and narrow apprehensions. Upon a similar occasion, the Truth, the Word, and the Wisdom of God saith, "LABOUR "not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat, which endureth unto everlasting life,

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"which the Son of man shall GIVE you."" Christ will give it most freely, but you must labour for it most diligently. Thus the harvest is the gift of God, who giveth seed to the sower; who giveth rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, and causeth the earth to yield her increase: yet must the husbandman labour. In both temporal and spiritual concerns, God gives not to the slothful, but to the diligent; and his bounty does not supersede, but encourage, our activity.

He works in us, that we may work out our own salvation; he hath appointed means, and commanded us to use them. Obedience is our duty. We ought to use the means, and trust in the Lord to render them effectual; but not to depend on them, or rest in them. They, who seriously desire to repent and turn to God, will manifest their sincerity, by thus using every proper means with diligence and perseverance: nor shall their labour be in vain ; " for every one that asketh receiveth, "and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that "knocketh it shall be opened." But negligence will detect hypocrites, and justify God in their condemnation. Something. then must be done, in order to our being made partakers of repentance: not under the notion of merit, as if we made the purchase, for it is the gift of God: not under the notion of efficacious operation; for it is the work of divine grace: but in order to evidence

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