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ating gondness, providential care, and re: deeming love have been bestowed upon him almost in vain. This is the dart which wounds him. He exclaims with David, "I have sinned against the Lord! I have committed this great wickedness!" He sensibly feels that he bas sinned against the God of all grace. He beholds him whom he has pierced; he looks away to the cross of Christ, and there sees what his sins have done; and is grieved to the inmost soul.
The number of his sins affects him no less severely than the aggravation of them. The penitent sees that he has not only sinned, but sinned in a thousand fornis. He sees sin in a thousand things, in which he never saw it before. It appears to mix itself with almost every thing. He groans under the body of sin and death. At some periods, he goes bowed down to the earth all the day long. He feels that his transgressions are multiplied. Often is his laughter turned intę mourning, and his joy inte heaviness.
With what a melting, broken heart does he lie at the feet of his injured Savior, and beg for mercy. He is abased before God. He is ready to cry with the humbled Psalmist, “My sin is ever before me!" or with the mourning Prophet, “O my God, I am asham ed, and blush to lift up my face to Thee; for mine iniquities are increased over my head, and my trespass is grown up unto the heavens!" It is enough to break his heart, seriously to reflect upon his innumerable
transgressions. «He rememberg bis own ways, and his doings that were not good, and loathes himself in his own sight for his iniquities and abominations."
True repentance is not only ingenuous and deep; it is attended with actual reformation. It exhibits itself in real life. The penitent feels the force of considerations wbich never fail to restrain from sin. He is afraid of sin 'Ele dreads its aggravated guilt. How shall I commit this great wicked. ness, and sin against God! The thought is enough for ever to cut him off from all access to the accursed thing. He is a sinner still; but be cannot remain a sinner in the sense in which he was a sinner once. He manifests a desire to honor the God he has so long dishonored; to undo what he has done against the interest of His kingdom, and repair the injury he has caused to the souls of mer, There is no genuine repentance where there is no forsaking of sin. Still to go on in sin, to practise iniquity with greediness, with constancy, and with perseverance, is incompatible with the nature of that sorrow wlitch is unto salvation
With these plain principies in view, wo think the reader may decide the point ås to his own good estate. The preceding observations will go far toward enabling him to distinguish between the precious and thie vile.
If yours is godly sorrow, it is then ingenNOUS. It ariscs from a sense of the intrinsie
turpitude of sin. Retire into your own bosom, therefore, and ask yourselfquestions like these: Do I possess any settled conviction of the evil of, sin? Does sin, appear to me, as. the evil and bitter thing? Does a conviction of the evil of it increase? There are moments when heayen and hell lie out of sight: How does sin appear then?. Do you hate it because it is merely ruinous to your soul, or because it is offensive to God? Do you hate it because it is sin? Do you mourn over it because it is. wrong.
In the sanctified heart, the hatred of sin. is supreme. As there is nothing so bad as sin,, so there is nothing the penitent bates so much. Is then, your repentance deep and sincere? Is sin prevailingly your greatest grief? Seriously considered, would the, deliverance from any evil be a more joyful event, than the deliverance from sin? If there. could be no deliverance from sin, but at the expense of the choicest comforts, would you cheerfully make the sacrifice? misfortunes grieve you more than your sins?. or your sins more than your misfortunes?
Do your sing appear many and aggra. „ Xated? Do you see sin in a thousand differe ent forms, and new instances, in which you: have not dreamed of it before? Do you mourn over the sins of the heart? Do you abuor yourself for your innate depravity, as one that was shaped in iniquity, and conceived in sin? Do you mourn over your vain thoughts and carnal affections; over a life
of sin, ingratitude, and profligacy? over your únprofitableness and unfaithfulness? Dues it grieve you that you are worldly, proud, and selfish; that you have lifted up your sout anto vanity, and panted after the dust of the earth?
Does it grieve you to the heart, to call to mind that you have sinned against God? When your eyes behold the King, the Lord of Hosts, are you constrained to exclaim, Wo is me! When you look on Him whom you have pierced, are you constrained to cry out, I am andone!
The degree of godly sorrow is by no means to be overlooked in your self-examination. When God touches, He breaks the heart. Where He pours out the spirit of grace, they áre not a few transient sighs that agitate the breast; they are heart-rending pangs of sorrow. "And it shall come to pass,” saith God, "that I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they bave pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, AS ONE MOURNETH FOR AN ONLY SON, and shall be in bitterness for Him, ás ONE THAT IS ÎN BITTERNESS FOR HIS FIRST-BORN. In that day, there shall be A GREAT MOURNING in Jerusalem, as the MOURNING OF HADADRIMMUN, IN THE VALLEY OF MEGIDDON. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of
Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Thus have the Jews mourned, and thus will that devoted. nation mourn again, for crucifying the Lord of glory. Does the reader know any thing of such sorrow as this? Can no solitary hour, no louely spot, bear testimony to the bitterness of his grief? Wbat grieves you more, than that you have ten thousand times pierced the heart of redechoing love?
Do you abhor sin? Do you turn from it? Do you cherish that regard for the law and character of God, that tender regard for the crucified Savior, which jospires you with fixed aversion to all that is polluting in the sins of the heart, and all that is injurious in the sins of the life? Do you feel an increasing tenderness of conscience, whenever you are tempted to go astray? Are you afraid of dishonoring God, and do you tremble lest you crucify his dear Son afresh?
Fellow sinner! if you know any thing of all this, you are not a stranger to that godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. God has promised to forgive the penitent. He has pledged His word, that the act of forgiveness on His part, shall follow the exercise of repentancc on yours. Returning prodigal! pardoning mercy is thine. It is as sure as the sincerity of thy repentance. "Wboso covercth his sins