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fall under suspicion, is sure to beat the whole weight of our resentment.
Whereas the very consideration of our own ignorance, and the difficulty of coming to the truth; should work in us a quite contrary effect.—In facts that are known and ascertained, we should fear to exceed the bounds of , justice: And where it amounts to a suspicion only, we should not only suspend, but even endeavour to suppress our resentment.
4. But that which paints the goodness of God and the cruelty of man, in the strongest light, is this; our most merciful father, as he is thoroughly acquainted with our frailties and infirmities, is graciously pleased to make all the allowances in our favour that
our case will bear; he pities us, as a father pitieth his own children; nay, he even points out the way to a reconciliation, and immediately, upon our repentance and compliance with his orders, reinstates us fully in his favour: Nay! further, he enjoins such easy terms of our acceptance, that it is a pleasure to perform them.
Thus, as soon as David had uttered this pathetic deprecation for his people, Lo! I have sinned, and I have
done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let thine
hand I pray thee, be against me, "5 and against my father's house!" God instantly stopped the arm of the destroying angel, who was hovering over Jerusalem, and ready to cut off it's numerous inhabitants at one
blow; and instantly dispatched Gaď with directions to David to sacrifice on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jesubite. David flew with transport to Araunah, he sacrificed, God accepted him, and the plague was stayed.
In like manner, but far more extensively, is the mercy of God, in a most surprizing and astonishing man. ner, exhibited to mankind, by the redemption of all the world by Chris Jesus.
An offended God, in his angen thinketh upon mercy; himself proposex the means of our salvation; causeth his only begotten Son to be sacrificed for us; is infinitely satisfied with the atonement; accepts us into his favour
on earth; assists us with his Holy Spirit that we may continue to please him; continually listens to the intercession of his Son for the pardon of our repeated offences; freely pardons them for his fake; and at last will receive us into his heavenly kingdom of infinite happiness and eternal glory.—And all the conditions that he requires on our parts, are only, faith and repentance.
But I have been endeavouring to describe in few words, that infinite goodness and mercy of God, which must be our employment and delight to praise and adore for endless ages in the blessed regions above: and yet Į am so far from apologizing for the attempt, that it grieves me to call off your attention to a more disagreeable prospect. It is neceslary however, for
our own improvement, that we should next consider, how directly opposite is the behaviour of man to that which I have been describing.
And here, although we cannot be ignorant of the frailties and infirmities of our neighbour; yet whenever we chance to be offended at him, we make no allowance for the weakness of his understanding, the strength of his temptation, nor the height of his passions, which might, any, or all of them, occasion his offence: Neither yet do we once reflect on our own imperfections, 'or the provocations we may have given him; but expect as blameless a behaviour from him, as if he were beyond human nature perfect, and we quite spotless and innocènt.' And so far are we from being