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lege and opportunity of religious growth, it will increase our condemnation at the last. Let us not then any longer abuse the goodness of God in calling us mercifully to amendment: He has spared our lives to this present hour, on purpose that we might (all who have not yet done so) truly turn to Him; let us take heed betimes, "while the day of salvation lasteth, for the night cometh when no man can work;" let us while we have the light "walk as children of light," that we be not cast into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Turn ye" (saith the Lord,) in that address (so full of scriptural language) which is appointed to be read on Ash Wednesday, "turn ye, from all your wickedness, and your sin shall not be your destruction. Cast away from you all your ungodliness that ye have done, make you new hearts and a new spirit. Wherefore will ye die, O ye house of Israel, seeing that I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God? Turn ye, then, and ye shall live."
For, my brethren, (and here is our encouragement; here is the reason why the greatest offender amongst us, the man who has most gone astray from God's commandments, may yet consider that he is included in this invitation,) although we have sinned, yet have we an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitia
tion for our sins: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed.”
Let us, therefore, return unto Him, who is the merciful receiver of all true penitents, assuring ourselves that He is willing to receive us, and most willing to pardon us if we come unto Him with faithful repentance.
Having said thus much about the origin and design of this season of Lent, and having shown that it was intended to help us forward in the great work of repentance, without which there can be no salvation, and having urged you to employ it for that purpose, in the remainder of this discourse I shall endeavour to explain what that repentance is, which is so necessary,-what is the nature of that state of mind of which our Lord said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Now repentance is not merely, as some imagine, sorrow for having done wrong; this may be found, and often is found, in a sinner who is yet very far from repentance. Judas, who betrayed his Lord, had sorrow; sorrow so keen, and so intolerable that it drove him to destruction, "He went and hanged himself;" but Judas did not know repentance, else it would not have been written of him that it were good for him " that he had never been
born." No, his sorrow was the sorrow that worketh death, that sorrow which still worketh in the children of disobedience, which is the necessary and inseparable attendant upon sin. The sorrow that the sinner feels, not because of the sin he has committed but because of the punishment which he fears will come upon him.
But, then, you will ask, has sorrow no part in producing repentance? Yes, surely. There is a sorrow which is called in the Bible godly sorrow, a sorrow which a man feels for having offended God, -for having done that which is displeasing to Him; a sorrow for sin because it is sin, and not only on account of its consequences; and it is this sorrow that worketh repentance. Godly sorrow is the root and stem, repentance is the fruit which grows upon it; and as the tree is known by its fruits, so is this true sorrow to be distinguished from that false and unreal sorrow, which is only occasioned by the dread of some immediate penalty.
Accordingly, wherever this sorrow is felt, it ought and must lead to a whole change in our life; for it is when we first feel how loathsome sin is in itself; how loathsome it makes those that are defiled by it, in the sight of the pure and holy God; it is then, that we shall be in earnest in fleeing from it, and from everything that tempts us towards it;—it is then that we shall forsake and renounce, as well as
confess, and be sorry for our misdoing;-it is then that we shall endeavour all we can to obey God, and to keep his commandments with our whole heart.
And this is repentance, a word which in its original and scriptural sense, signifies a complete change of mind and conduct: implying two things, the leaving undone, and utterly renouncing what is wrong and of the nature of sin; and the doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord God: the abandoning our old and wicked ways, and entering upon a new path-a narrow, and a straight path-but, my brethren, the only path that leadeth unto life.
For I do not wish to deceive you by soft words; I dare not describe as easy and pleasant that, which to our corrupt nature must ever be, at the first painful, and difficult. We are in this world as regards our souls in a state of sickness, and disease; it is partly the fault, and corruption born in us, and derived from the guilt of our first parents; it is greatly increased, and aggravated by our own carelessness and folly-by our neglecting to restrain our evil tendencies, (through the help of those means that are mercifully provided for us,) and by our giving way to our evil passions, and so fostering instead of checking their growth and hence it comes that the longer we live, (unless we have been taught the right way betimes,) the greater is our
malady; the more are we estranged from God, the more are we disinclined to His service; consequently, the stronger is the remedy required for our cure. Like a bad habit of body, a bad habit of mind needs skilful treatment, and constant attention. Those who are afflicted in the body know well, how long it takes to recover from their ailment; how much they have to submit to; how many bitter medicines they have to take, before they can regain their strength. And so it is with the soul, and with that spiritual disease under which we all labour. If we would recover, we must not draw back from the proper treatment, we must not refuse to apply that medicine which our Lord in His Gospel prescribes for us-we must be at pains, and at cost to be healed—we must at His bidding curb our unruly tempers-we must withstand our inclinations when they tend to evil-we must mortify our members-we must renounce, and cast away from us, those sinful lusts and appetites of our flesh, which if left to have their way, will eat as doth a canker" to our destruction. Fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, intemperance of every sort and kind, these must be put away from us before there can be any prospect of our amendment. Whatever be the sin which most inveterately besets us, to which we are most given, that sin must be rooted out, though it be dear to