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feed of those graces, and shall undoubtedly be saved.
1. The word of God certifies us, that whosoever does not repent shall perish, Luke xiii. 5. Your fouls then lie at stake. The finner is gone away from God, and fo is come under the curre. His soul is left in pawn that he shall return; fo if he do not return, the pawn is lost, and lost for ever.
2. Heaven's door is bolted agair. It all impenitent finners; it is not to wide as to let in a finner with a burden of unrepented-of guilt upon his back, Rev. xxi. 27. There mall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie. So heaven ye cannot see, and hell ye cannot escape, if ye repent not. It is the call of 1 the gospel to you; which, if it be not obeyed, fee the effect, 2 Theff. i. 7. 8. The Lord Jesus Mall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not: God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. To this narrow point the matter is brought, Repent or perish, Ezek. xviii. 30. 31. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgreffrons ; so iniquity Jhall not be your ruin. Cast away from you
your transgrefions, whereby ye have tranfgrefjed, and make ye a new heart, and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
3. Repentance is the other duty of the gospel, thereby fignifying, that without repentance there is no pollibility but we must perish under God's wrath and curfe. John the Baptist preached repentance, fo did Christ himself, the apostles, &c. How can one think then to escape without it?
4. True faith does always bring along with it true repentance, Zech. xii. 10. I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of fupplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall nourn for him, as one mourneth for his only fon, and shall be
in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. It is the great gift which Christ is exalt. ed to give, Acts v. 31. as he is a Saviour. So impenitegt finners have no part in Christ, nor in his salvation, Matth. i. 21. and therefore they must perilh.
III. I proceed to consider the question, Are faith and repentance in mens, power, since God requires them of them? Ans
. They are nota For God's demands of us are the measure of our duty, but not of our strength, which reaches not to these.
4, 1. They are the gifts of God, and the operations of his special grace, Eph. i. 19. Acts v. 31. And where sovereign pleasure does not determine to give and work them, the party lies under the power of unbelief and impenitency. Hence it is God's grace and good will which makes one differ from another; not man's free-will. Hence says our Lord, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wife and prudent, and bost revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed geod in thy sight, Matth. xi. 25. 26.
2. Sinners by nature and in themselves can do nothing which is good, and therefore cannot believe nor repent, John xv. 5. Without me ye can do nothing. 1:2 Cor iii. 5. Not that we are sufficient of
ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves : but our fufficiency is of God. In particular they cannot beIlieve, John vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the
Father which hath sent me, draw him. They cannot "reprint; Jer. xiii. 23. Can the Ethiopian change bis skin, or the leopard his spots ? .then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. They are dead in sin, and mult be quickened, yea created in Christ Jesus to good works. They are'in bondage to sin and Satan, 2 Tim. ij. 26. therefore cannot come to Chrift, nor turn to God, till effectual grace bring them forVol. III.
ward, Acts xxvi. 18. open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
Object. How then can God require them of us?
Anf. 1. God gave man this power, and he has lost it by his own fault, Eccl. vii. 29. God hath made man upright'; 'but they have fought out many inventions. If a debtor squander away his substance, the creditor has still a right to require what he owes him: so though man has lost his power to perform, God has not lost his right to require the duty.
2. Men will not believe their own impotency. They will promise, resolve, and delay to believe and repent, as if these duties were in their own power ; they will fight the motions of God's Spirit; yea, they are throwing away the remains of natural light and strength that have escaped out of the ruins of the fall. So that God may very juftly require these of them, to convince them, and ftir them up to seek grace.
IV. I proceed to shew the connection betwixt faith and repentance, and escaping the wrath and curse of God due to us for fin. Those who believe and repent fhall certainly escape. God has said it, that they shall; John v. 24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlafting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life. Ezek. xviii.
Re. pent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be
ruin. Nay they are got beyond it already, Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus
. In the moment the finner comes into Christ, he is no more liable to eternal wrath, nor to the curfe; for he is not under the law, but under grace: and the utmost he is liable to, is fatherly chastisements, Psal. Ixxxix. 30. 31. 32. 33. Thus faith and repentance have the connection of appointed means
prescribed by God himself, which, by his blessing, are rendered fubfervient to this great end, of ob. taining salvation. Faith is the hand that receives Christ and his righteousness, as the all of salvation, John i. 12.; and repentance unto life consists in that godly forrow for fin, flowing from faith, which is the exercise of all who are concerned about the salvation of their souls, Jer. 1. 4. 2 Cor. vii. il.
V. I shalt now shew the necessity of using all the outward means whereby Chritt communicateth to his people the benefits of redemption.
1. God has peremptorily required this, Luke Xi11. 24•
Strive to enter 'in at the strait gate, namely, that we strive in the appointed means of falvation. And so he has particularly enjoined us the conscientious performance of each of them.
2. We have no ground to expect grace or falvation but in the use of the means, Prov. viii. 34. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posis of my doors. Prov, ii, 3. 4. 5. If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up i hy voice for understanding : if thou seek:ft her as filver, and searches for her, as for hid treasures : then Jhalt thou understand the fear of the Lord; and find the knowledge of God. Faith cometh by bearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. x, 17.
The neglect of the means is a contempt of the thing. If we would be healed, we would lie at the pool. If not, we say we care not for cure,
And there is required here, not a careless or merely-superficial use of the outward means, but a diligent one ; that is, an embracing of every opportunity that God in his providence gives us for attending upon them, a careful improvement of them, and a looking earnestly to him for his bleffing upon them, without which they will not contribute to our spiritual advantage, 1 Cor. iii. 6. 7. Quefit. What is our ability in this point? Anfo
The use of outward means is not beyond our reach. One may, without saving grace, read, hear, pray, and consider his case. And by these one may attain the highest pitch of preparation for the grace of God, in legal convictions, fears, forrows for sin, and natural (though not saving) defires of grace. Therefore do what ye can; it may be while ye are doing what ye can, God will do for you what ye cannot do for yourselves, Acts viïi.
Quest. Has God promised to save and convert those who do what is in their power in the use of means? Anf. We dare not say it. But, į. It is pos. fible. 2. It is probable *.
I shall conclude with two inferences.
Inf. 1. Then, as ever ye would escape God's wrath and curse due to you for fin, repent and believe. Come to Christ; turn from your fins unto God. There is no safety otherwise, but this way ye shall be safe. No fin of yours will ruin you,
you be lieve and repent; and nothing will save you,
ye do not.
2. Be diligent in the use of the means of salvation. They are laid before you, while they are by the sovereign disposal of providence kept up from others. Neglect them not, as ye would not be found to reject the counsel of God against yourselves. And satisfy not yourselves in the bare use of them, but feek grace and salvation in them from Jesus Christ, they being appointed means of grace.
* See all this illustrated in Human nature in its Fcurfold ftate, ftate ii. head 3. under the title, Objections answered, edit. 2. p. 207.