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forward to return, than he is to receive us into his Embraces. And because we know our felves obnoxious to his severe Justice, and that he is a God of Truth and Faithfulness, as well as of Mercy and Compassion, and that he hatech Sin with a perfect hatred; therefore that we might not have the least fufpicion remaining in us of his unwillingness to forgive such high Provocations and Offences as we may have been guilty of, he hath been pleased to fend his only begotten Son into the World, to lay down his Life a Ransom for us, to stand between us and God's Justice, and by his difmal Sufferings and cursed Death to expiate our Offences : fo that we have not only the infinite Goodness of the Divine Nature to trust to, but the Virtue and Efficacy of that Sacrifice which the Son of God made of himself, to plead for our Forgiveness upon our Repentance and A. mendment.
Nor was our blessed Saviour only our Pro. piciation to die for us, and procure our Atone. ment, but he is still our Advocate, continualty interceding with his Father in the behalf of all true Penitents, and suing out a Pardon for them in the Court of Heaven : If any Man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who deprecates Anger, mitigates Wrath ; and not only barely intercedes for us, but with Authority demands the release of his Captives, redeemed by his Blood, by virtue of God's Promise and Covenant.
And in order to the sufficient Promulgation of this his gracious willingness to forgive us upon our Repentance, God hath provided and appointed an Order of Men, to last as long as the World doth, to propound to Men this blessed Overture, and in God's Name to befeech Men to be reconciled to him..
Nay, God condescends to prevent the worst of Men, by manifold Blessings and Favours, daily obliging them by his Grace and Spirit,and several Providences towards them; moving, affecting and awakening the most grievous Offenders to a timely consideration of their
ways. Tho highly provoked, yet he begins first with us ; so desirous is he of our Welfare.
He hath not only outwardly proclaim’d Pardon to all that will submit, and sent his own. Son on this Message of Peace; but inwardly, by his Spirit and Grace, he follicites Men to comply with it, even where it is resisted and despised : he forsakech not Men at their first denial, he giveth them time to bethink and recollect themselves; he doth not lie at the catch, nor take present advantage against us, but with infinite Patience waits to be gracious to us, hoping at last we shall be of a better Mind : he doth not soon despair of Mens Conversion and Reformation, he yet extends his Grace towards those who abuse, and offers his Pardon to those who slight it. Nothing is more highly pleasing and acceptable to him, than for a Sinner to return from the evil of his ways; nay, which is more yet, he is not only, upon our
Repentance, ready to overlook all that is paft, but he hath promised to reward our future O. bedience with eternal Life; so that we shall not only upon our Repentance be freed from those dismal Punishments which we had rendred our selyes liable to, but likewise receive from God such a glorious Recompence, as is beyond all our Conception or Imagination. Now if such Love and Kindness of Heaven towards us will not beget some relentings and remorfe in us, if such powerful Arguments will not prevail with us to grow wise and confiderate, it is impossible any should.
Let us all therefore smite upon our Breasts and say, O Lord we are highly sensible of our Folly, of our Unworthiness and foul Ingratitude ; for we have sioned against thee and done. evil in thy sight, and are no more worthy to be called thy Children : but we have heard that the great King of the World is a most merciful King, that he delights not in the death of Sinners, but had rather
they should repent and live : we cannot longer withstand or oppose such unspeakable Goodness, we are overcome by such wonderful Kindness and Condescension, we resign up our selves wholly to the Conduct of his good Spirit, and will never withdraw or alienare our felves from him
any more ; we will now become God's true and loyal Subjects, and continue such as long as we breathe, nor shall any thing in the World be able to shake or corrupt our Faith and Allegiance to him.
What Punishment can be too sore, what State black and dismal enough for those who contemn all these Offers and Kindnesses of Heaven, who will not by any means be won to look after and have mercy upon themselves, to consult their own Interest and Welfare? What Pity can they expect, who obstinately chuse to be miserable, in despite of all the Goodness of God, and Grace of the Gospel ?
The Lord grant, that we may all in this our Day know and mind the things that belong to our everlasting Peace, before they are hid from our Eyes.
1 COR. XV. 35.
Dead raised up? And with what
the truth and reality of our Saviour's Resurrection, v. 12, 13. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how fay some among
you that there is no Resurrection of the Dead But if there be no Resurrection of the Dead, then is not Christ risen. “ It can“ not now any longer seem an impossible or in“ credible thing to you that God should raise “ the Dead, since you have so plain and undoubt« ed an example of it in the Person of our blef“ fed Lord, who having been truly dead and « buried, is now alive, and has appear'd to many u with the visible marks of his Crucifixion still “ remaining in his Body.” And to show of what general Concernment his Resurrection was, the Graves were opened, as St. Matthew tells us, and many Bodies of Saints who slept, 'arose, and came out of their Graves after his