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merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." If God would not repent of the evil, it were some discouragement to us, why we should not repent. If there were no hope of mercy, it were no wonder why rebels should stand out; but never had subjects such a gracious Prince, such pity, patience, clemency, piety, to deal with as you have. "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?""* O sinners! see what a God you have to deal with; if you will but turn, he will turn again and have compassion on you: he will subdue your iniquities, and cast all your sins into the depth of the sea. 99 "Return unto me, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will return unto you." Sinners do not fail because they have too high thoughts of God's mercies, but because, 1. They overlook his justice; 2. They promise themselves mercy out of God's way; though his mercy is beyond all imagination, great mercies, manifold mercies, tender mercies,¶ sure mercies,** and all thy own, if thou wilt but turn. Art thou willing to come in? Why, the Lord hath laid aside his terror, erected a throne of grace, holds forth the golden sceptre, touch and live. Would a merciful man slay his enemy when prostrate at his feet,

*Mic. yii. 18.
Isa. lv. 9.
Psal, xxv. 6.

+ Mal. iii.

1 Chron. xxi. 13.

** Isa. liv. 8.

7.

Zech. i. 3. || Neh. ix. 19.

acknowledging his wrong, begging pardon, and offering to enter with him into a covenant of peace? Much less will the merciful God. Study his name,* read their experience.t

Secondly. His soul-encouraging calls and promises invite thee." Ah, what an earnest suitor is mercy to thee! How lovingly, how instantly it calleth after thee! how passionately it wooeth thee! "Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and will not keep anger for ever? only acknowledge thine iniquity. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you; return, and I will heal your backslidings. Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers, yet return unto me, saith the Lord." "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways, for why will ye die, O house of Israel?§

"If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he hath done shall he live. Repent and

*Exod. xxxiv. 7.

iii. 11, 14, 22.

Neh. ix. 17.
Ezek. xxxiii. 11.

+ Jer.

turn you from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away all your transgressions, and make you a clean heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

99*

O melting, gracious words! the voice of a God, and not of a man! This is not the manner of men, for the offended sovereign to sue to the offending traitorous varlet. O how doth mercy follow thee and plead with thee! Is not thy heart broken yet? O that to-day thou wouldst hear his voice!

"The doors of heaven are thrown open to thee, the everlasting gates are set wide for thee, and an abundant entrance into the kingdom of heaven administered unto thee." Christ now bespeaks thee, as Jezebel did Ahab, "Arise and take possession." View the glory of the other world, as set forth in the map of the Gospel, get thee up into Pisgah of the promises, and lift up thine eyes northward and southward, and eastward and westward, see the good land that is beyond Jordan, and that goodly mountain: Behold the paradise of God, watered with the streams of glory. Arise and walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, for the land which thou seest the Lord will

* Ezek. xviii. 21, 22, 30, 32. † 1 Kings xxi. 15.

give it thee for ever, if thou will but return.* Let me say to thee as Paul to Agrippa, “Believest thou the prophets?" If thou believest indeed, do but view what glorious things are spoken of the city of God,† and know that all this is here tendered in the name of God to thee. As verily as God is true, it shall be for ever thine, if thou wilt but thoroughly turn and be converted.

Behold the city of pure transparent gold, whose foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones, whose gates are pearls, whose light is glory, whose temple is God. Believest thou this? If thou dost, art not thou worse than distracted, that wilt not take possession when the gates are flung open to thee, and thou art bid to enter? O ye sons of folly, will you embrace the dunghill, and refuse the kingdom? behold the Lord takes you up into the mountains, shows you the kingdom of heaven, and all the glory thereof, and tells you, All this will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. "If you will submit to mercy, accept my Son and serve me in righteousness and holiness. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe!" Will you court the harlot? Will you scek and serve the world, and neglect eternal glory? What! not enter into paradise, when the flaming sword which was once set to keep you out, is now used to

* Gen. xiii. 14, 15, 17. † Psal. lxxxvii. 3.

drive you in! But you will say I am uncharitable, to think you infidels and unbelievers. Why, what shall I think you? Either you are desperate unbelievers, that do not credit it, or stark distracted, that you know and believe the excellency and eternity of this glory, and yet do so fearfully neglect it. SureÏy you have either no faith, or reason, and I had almost said conscience shall tell you so before I leave you.

Do but attend to what is offered you: O blessed kingdom! a" kingdom of glory,"* a kingdom of righteousness," a "kingdom of peace," and an "everlasting kingdom," here thou shalt dwell, here thou shalt reign for ever, and the Lord shall seat thee on a throne of glory,|| and with his own hand shall set the royal diadem upon thy head, and give thee a crown, not of thorns, for there shall be no sinning nor suffering there, not of gold, (for that shall be viler than the dirt in that day) but a "crown of life,"** a crown of righteousness," a "crown of glory,"‡‡ yea, "thou shalt put on glory as a robe,"§§ and shalt "shine like the sun in the firmament, in the glory of thy father." Look now upon thy body, thy clay, thy worm's meat. This very flesh, this

* 1 Thess. ii. 12. 17. § 2 Pet. i. 11. xxi. 27, and xxii. 3, 5. iv. 8. ‡‡ 1 Pet. v. 4. xiii. 43.

66

† 2 Pet. iii. 13.
|| Mat, xix. 28.
**James i. 12.

1 Cor. xv. 43.

Rom. xiv.

¶ Rev. tt 2 Tim. |||| Mat

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