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parts of true repentance. These outward expreffions depend a good deal upon the bodily frame and conftitution. The fureft marks of chriftian repentance is ceafing to do evil and learning to do well, under a fenfe of the Divine authority. The beginning may be and often is fenfible, arifing from fome awakening incident, fome fudden misfortune, fome diforder, fome grave difcourse, or serious vein of reflection.

BUT the progress is flow and gradual. And of this the following is a fure criterion. If a man feriously attends to his life, corrects his errors, repairs his injuries, and uses the means of grace, PRIVATE DEVOTION and ATTENDANCE UPON DIVINE ORDINANCES, and, under thefe means, endeavours to make an actual progress in a virtuous life, he is a true penitent; and though he neither afflicts, nor bewails, nor torments himself in weak timid complaints, yet if the feed Springs and grows up impercep



tibly in his heart be knoweth not how, Mark, iv. 27, he wants no affurances of his being in the Divine favour from felf-appointed minifters, whom GOD NE


AND, though we must labour after perfection in this life, yet let no man arrogate to himself, the proud pharifee's claim, a pure and unfinning perfection. To be fure, St. John faith, whosoever is born of God doth NOT COMMIT SIN. i. John, iii. 9. But he also tells us, that if we say, we HAVE NO SIN, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. -i. 8. And the folution is this: to commit fin, in the language of scripture, is to live in fome habit of fin, or to fall into fome grofs crime; and this to be fure can be faid of no one deferving the name of Chrift; but flight errors and miscarriages we are liable to, as long as we carry flesh and blood about us, and fo long the blood of Chrift and the grace of his ordinances is neceffary to a true christian life.



BUT let us, at the fame time, avoid the grofs error of thofe, who place a merit in church ordinances, independent of the inward grace and moral difpofition. These men, the members of the true Catholic church as they call themselves, deluded with a vain idle circle of confeffions and abfolutions, are, as one well expreffes it, "for"ever penitents without ever repenting, "and continually doing pennance, with"out ever amending their lives and manners at all." We have not fo learned Chrift: we ufe certain outward means, because they are of his appointment; we attend to the spiritual uses and purposes of them, because fhadows without the fubftance are vain.

BUT what shall we fay to those be

fotted men,

who difclaim both the

means and fpirit of religion?

* Dr. Clarke.


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In their lives they are heathens, and hereafter will not have heathen ignorance to plead in their excuse. For what man wants opportunities of knowing the way of life?-The voice of natural conscience in every bofom, the example and converfation of good men in every part of life, the public shame attending flagitious actions, the public praise beftowed on virtue, in which the wicked are even forced to bear a part—all these are calls, which no one can overlook; the churches of GoD are open, and his ministers are calling men every day to a reformation of manners. And if men, under these advantages, will stop their ears and turn their backs upon inftruction; their ignorance is self-sought, and, so far from being an excufe, will make part of their guilt, as an abuse of one of the greatest mercies of Divine Providence.



The Neceffity of an immediate Repentance.

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