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benevolence, is the substance of the second table: and we need only suppose this law given to our neighbours alone, as the rule of their conduct towards us, in order to perceive its excellency. What lovely happy creatures should we be, and what a delightful world would this prove, were all perfectly obedient! None is or can be miserable but the transgressor, or they whom transgressors injure. How excellent then this law, which provides for the happiness of the world so completely, that by transgression alone could men become in any degree miserable! Ought we not then to repent of our disobedience, our continual disobedience, and especially of our entire depravity of disposition, which renders us morally incapable of obedience?

Let every precept be impartially examined, and these things will appear with still more convincing evidence. For instance: "Remember the sab"bath-day, to keep it holy." Is it not highly reasonable that we should devote this portion of our time to him, to whom the whole belongs? Would not our best interests, in connexion with the glory of God, be promoted by obeying this commandment? "These things he commands. "us for our good." How unreasonable then our disobedience! What need have we to repent of forgetting and neglecting to hallow the sabbath!

Again, "whatsoever ye would that men should "do unto you, do ye even so unto them." As we

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all judge it reasonable that others should thus behave to us; let conscience determine, whether we have not done wrong in, and ought not to repent of, transgressing this rule in our conduct to others. We might easily examine other precepts, and shew them to be equally reasonable. Yea, every one of them is so; and therefore every deviation from perfect obedience is entirely unreasonable. There is nothing in the whole law of God grievous in itself; or difficult, except to our proud and carnal hearts.-David and Paul, men after God's own heart, greatly loved and delighted in God's law: Christ being perfectly holy, entirely delighted in it, and perfectly obeyed it: angels, and saints in glory enjoy full liberty in obeying it, and find it perfect felicity: yea, God himself, though absolute Sovereign, is pleased to observe in his own conduct, the same rules he prescribes for our's, (as far as consists with his majesty and authority;) his law is the transcript of his own holiness; and when he requires our obedience, he only says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." In proportion as we bear his image we take pleasure in his precepts, and find obedience easy and natural: in proportion as we resemble Satan, we hate the law, and find obedience irksome, arduous, impossible. How excellent then this law; how vile are we who have broken it! What need have we to repent of our unreasonable conduct!

III. All have need to repent, because all have by sin absolutely destroyed themselves.-A trifling penalty incurred by transgression might reasonably have been disregarded. When human laws only inflict small fines, short imprisonment, or burning in the hand, offenders may treat such penalties with indifference: but when excruciating tortures, and ignominious death, are the threatened punishment; when the sentence is impartially and rigorously inflicted; when the crime is fully proved, and the prisoner closely confined; the most stubborn spirit bends, the stoutest heart is intimidated, and indifference is madness.-Art thou then, sinner, careless and unconcerned in a case infinitely more tremendous? Canst thou find a heart for gay amusements, or coolly apply to worldly pursuits, whilst the wrath of God abideth upon thee, the law thunders out a dreadful curse against thee, death closely pursues thee, everlasting misery awaits thee? That God whom thou hast offended, is at once the Witness, Judge, and Avenger of thy crimes: thou canst not hide thy transgressions from his all-seeing eye: thou canst not flee from his omnipresence, resist his almighty power, bribe his inflexible justice, or endure his awful vengeance. The sentence, if thou die impenitent, is already published in the Judge's own words: 'Depart, from me, ye cursed, into

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everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his "angels." Are not these words of the loving

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Saviour most dreadful? "Can thy hands be strong or can thy heart endure," when they shall sound in thy affrighted ear? Is this "the "wrath to come," surely, inevitably to come, upon an ungodly world? Are they his words who saith, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away?" Art thou one of the very persons concerned? Art thou a transgressor of the law? Doth the word of God run thus, "Cursed is every one, who continueth not "in all things written in the book of the law "to do them?" And dost thou still remain unconcerned? Indeed, were there no way of escape, it would not be worth while to torment thyself before the time. "But there is forgiveness with God," there is a space allowed for repentance, a way of salvation, a proclamation of mercy and dost thou still trifle, and not apply thyself immediately to seek deliverance from the wrath to come?

Surely these considerations, if laid to heart in a manner suitable to their certainty and importance, would damp the vain mirth of an ungodly world, and turn their songs and laughter into bitter lamentations. Let me, my fellow sinners, recommend the apostle's advice to you: "Be afflicted, “and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be "turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." Thus shall your godly sorrow for sin, "work

• James iv. 9.

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"repentance unto salvation not to be repented " of."

IV. The necessity of repentance appears from the justice of this sentence, severe as it may seem. Sinners are ready to say, I only gratify my natural inclinations, and enjoy a little irregular pleasure for a few years; and can it consist with the justice and goodness of God to punish me with everlasting misery? Is there any proportion between the crime and the punishment?' But consider, poor deluded man, the infinite majesty, purity, and goodness of that God, against whom thy sins are committed: consider that "his is the

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kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for "ever:" consider thy relations to him, as his creature, his property, his subject; and the reasonableness of his claim to thy love and obedience, resulting both from his own excellency and authority, and the benefits he hath conferred on thee: consider the reasonableness of his law, the pleasantness of his service, the happiness of his subjects, and the noble rewards of obedience: then estimate, if thou art able, what injustice, ingratitude, rebellion, contempt, enmity, and obstinacy, there is in sin, and what punishment is adequate to its deservings.

If a man injure his equal, it is evil; if he injure his superior it is worse. If a child curse, smite, or murder his parent, his conduct is baser than it

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