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the greatest tenderness that he gives out the exhortation, Turn ye, turn ye, from your

evil

ways; for wby will ye die? Ezek. xxxiii. 11.

2. How unreasonable are the hard and horrid thoughts, whereby finners, awakened to a sense of their vileness and guilt, are kept off from a forgiving God ? He hath proclaimed and proved mercy to be his delight, even towards the most unworthy, by frankly cancelling all the score of those upon whom he hath the largest demands, but

yet who have nothing wherewith to pay?

How disingenuous would it be for any go on with the greater security and boldness, in lin, because God is ready fo freely to forgive the greatest debt? This would be to cross the nature and design of grace, and cut off from ourselves all pleas for it. Shall we, faith the Apostle, continue in fin, that grace may abound? God forbid. The thought is shocking, and strikes with horror. It can come from no where, but from hell, and leads to it: As there is not a more dangerous symptom of a forsaken soul, than to prefume to fin

upon

this consideration : That God is ready to forgive the greatest debt, and thereupon to put it to the trial.

it to the trial. To do thus, is to turn the grace of God into wantonness : And what, but perdition, can be the end of such a course?

4. For the greatest sinners to say, There is no hope in their case, is to say what they have no warrant for, from God or his word. If any inan sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : Who hath been the propitiation for fin, and is exalted to be a Prince and

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a Saviour, to give both repentance and forgive-
ness; and this is the gospel, which he hath com-
manded to be preached in his name, among all
nations. Upon this ground the weary and heavy
laden are to apply to God in Christ, by earnest
prayer
for repentance

and faith, that the burden of sin may be taken off, and they find rest unto their souls.

Lastly, Let such as have any good hope that their debts, how large foever, are forgiven, love much, yea love the more, the larger their debts have been. If we are pardoned at all, it is a very great debt from which we are discharged. O let us labour after suitable affection, and shew it.

1. By reflecting upon fin with the greater shame and sorrow, hatred and abhorrence, as committed against so good a God. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.

2. Having much forgiven, love God the more, and give him the glory due unto his name. Who is a God like unto thee, who pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by transgression, &c. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, &c. who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies, Pfal. ciii. 1, 2, 3, 4:

3. Having much forgiven, let your love thew itself greater by your growing esteem of Jesus Christ, whose blood was the price of your pardon, and though it is given you freely, cost him his life. In the sense of this, to them that believe, he is precious.

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· If he be fo to you, shew it by your delight int his presence, and particularly by making confcience of meeting him’ at his table, to give him the glory of the grace you have received, and by waiting for all that you further need. · Thus shew forth his death till he come : And the time of his coming will be a time of refreshing, when your sins shall be blotted out, and you shall be led into that state where all his ranfomed shall sing unto him that loved them and washed them from their fins in his own blood. To him be glory and dominion for ever. Amen.

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-Give an account of thy stewardship:
for thou mayest be no longer steward.

HESE words are part of a parable :' and
THE

the making use of parables, comparisons
and fimilitudes, adapted to instruct his hearers in
the important doctrines he meant to communi-
cate to them, was a way frequently used by our.
blessed Saviour.
In the
way

of relating some short particular
history taken from, or built

upon

the
way

of
transacting affairs in common life, which all
would be desirous to hear, our Lord, at this time,
and at many other times, excited his careless,
his apt to be weary, yea and his prejudiced au-
ditors to lend their attention to, and receive
instruction in matters of the greatest moment
to their concerns of another life, which they
cared not to hear of; and to their deep con-
viction too of the truth and importance of
these matters, even before they were well am
ware of his wise design to call them to think
of them,

Instruction

-

an

fer

the

th I.

II

th

Instruction in moral and spiritual things by fit parables, is memorable instruction : It is an easy and pleasing way of teaching, and one stealing in

upon the consciences of those only amused by it at first : For after they, from one word or two of application, come to see its drift, it often proves very awakening and convincing, Our Lord by great wisdom and art, as well as zeal and affection, got within the doors of the hearts of his hearers.

The design of our Lord in this parable we may plainly see, was to call his present auditors, and all others, to the greatest care and diligence in improving the advantages wherewith they were intrusted, as those that were accountable to God, and to fare for ever hereafter, according to their good or evil management and conduct here.

The steward spoken of in the text, points to every man and woman in the world.

The goods he was entrusted with, represent the feveral talents received by them.

The certain rich man, whose servant the steward was, notes the great God, by and from whom all gifts and advantages

of every kind are committed to us his creatures.

US his creatures. The account demanded of the steward, refers to the strict en-, quiry that will be made another day, how every one has improved, or wasted this his Lord's goods or gifts: according to which he will be

approved or condemned.

And warning is given of the certainty and approach of such a day, from the notice they have in scripture that their state of probation shall end,

and

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