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Servant, after he had forgiven him so
Vol. Vh. great a debt, as you find in the Parable, Mat, 18. 24. He owed him ten thousand Talents, and upon his submission and intreaty to have patience with him, he was moved with compassion and loosed him, and forgave him all: but no sooner had this favour been done to him by his Lord, but going forth he meets his fellow Servant, who owed him a small inconfiderable debt, an hundred Pence, he lays Hands on him, and takes him by the Throat, and roundly demands payment of him; he falls down at his Feet, and useth the same form of fupplication that he had used to his Lord, but he rejects his request, and puts him in Prison. Now what faith the Lord to him ? v. 32, 33, 34. O thou wicked Servant, 7 forgave thee all the debt, because thou desiredst me. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellom servant, even as I had pity on thee? And the Lord was wroth, and deliver'd him to the tormentors, till be should pay all that was due unto him. Now what application doth our Saviour make of this? v. 35. So likewise sball my heaven. ly Father do alfo unto you, if ye from your
My hearis forgive not every pre bis brother
God's readiness to forgive us should be a powerful motive and argument to us to forgive others. The greatest Injuries that we can fuffer from Men, if we compare them to the fins that we commit against God, they bear no proportion to them, neither in weight nor number; they are but as an hun. dred pence to ten thousand talents. If we wauld be like God, we should forgive the greatest Injuries he pardoneth our fins tho' they be exceeding great: many Injuries, tho' offences be renewed, and provocations mulia plied ; for fo God doth to us, Hepar. dometh iniquity, transgression, and sin, Ex. -34. 7; Il. 55. 7. He will have mer.
' GX, he will abundantly, pardon. We would not have God only to forgive us seven times, but seventy seven times, as often as we offend him : fo should we forgive our Brother.
And we should not be backward to this Work ; God is ready to forgive us ; Neh. 9. 17. And we should do it heartily, not only in word, when we retain malice in our hearts, and while we say we forgive, carry on a fe
cret design in our hearts of revenging in our felves when we have opportunity;
Vol. VII. but we should from our hearts forgive every one; for so God doth to us, who when he forgives us, cafts our iniqui. ties behind his back, and throws them into the bottom of the fea, and blots out our transgression, so as to remember our iniquity no more.
If we do not do thus, every time. we put up the Petition to God, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us, we do not pray for but for judgment; we invoke his wrath, and do not put up a Prayer, but a dreadful Imprecation against our felves, we pronounce the Sentence of our own Condemnation, and importune God not to forgive
Vje 4. If the mercy of God be fo great, this may comfort us against Despair.' Sinners are apt to be deject. ed, when they consider their unworthiness, the nature and number of their Sins, and the many heavy aggravations of them; they are apt to say with Cain, That their fin is greater than can be forgiven. But do not look only upon thy sins ; but upon the mercies of.
God. Thou canst not be too sensible
of it; but whilft we aggravate our
Do but thou put thy felf in a capa-
mercy of God will receive thee; If we confess our fins, he is merciful and faithful ta forgive them. If we had offended Man as we have done God, we might despair of pardon; but it is God and por Man that we have to deal with ; and his ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts; but as the hea vens are high above the earth, fo are his ways above our ways, and his thoughts 4bove our thoughts.
We cannot be more injurious to God, than by hard thoughts of him, as if fury were in him, and when we have provoked him, he were not to
bę appeased and reconciled to us. We disparage the Goodness and Truth of
Vol. VII. God, when we distrust those gracious declarations which he has made of his mercy and goodness, if we do not think that he doth heartily pity and compaflionațe finners, and really de. defire their happiness. Doth not he condescend fo low as to represent himself afflicted for the miseries of Men, and to rejoyce in the conversion of a Sinner? and shall not we believe that he is in good earneft? Doth Christ weep over impenitent Sinners, because they will not know the things of their peace? and canft thou think he will not pardon thee upon thy repentance ? Is he grieved that Men will undo them. selves, and will not be saved? and canst thou think that he is unwilling to forgive ? We cannot honour and glorifie God more, thạn by entertain ing great
thoughts of his Mercy. As we are said to glorifie God by our repentance, because thereby we acknowledge God's holiness and justice ; fo we glorifie him by believing his mercy, because we conceive a right opinion of his goodness and truth; we set to our Şeal that God is mercifur