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Especially that deep sense of personal unworthiness, which is peculiar to the true penitent, prepares the heart to exercise genuine gratitude, contentment, patience, meekness, forgiveness of injuries, and love of enemies. These dispositions. and duties form a very conspicuous part of the christian character, as delineated in the sacred scriptures: but no impenitent man can really exercise these graces, or perform these duties, whatever appearances he may occasionally assume. Yet if this be not our character and conduct, our hope is mere presumption, and our profession hypocrisy "for if ye forgive not men their trespasses, "neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." So that without repentance no man can serve God here, or be saved in the world

to come.

Lastly. Without repentance, there can be no meetness for heaven. Without a correspondent disposition, without an appetite prepared for the object, there can be no gratification. A holy

heart relishes and delights in holiness, and is thus prepared for the enjoyment of a holy heaven. But he, who despises and disrelishes holiness in this world, could find no happiness in that place, where all the joys are holy, and where consequently all the employments would be irksome to him. No impenitent sinner has this "meetness for the in"heritance of the saints in light:" because be

cannot relish and delight in holiness: for as soon as he becomes of this disposition, he must in proportion abhor unholiness, and abhor himself for his sinfulness; that is to say, he must repent of his sins.

The whole company of the redeemed are likewise represented, as joining in cordial and unrererved praises unto God and the Lamb: giving all the glory of their salvation to the rich mercy of the Father, and the precious blood of the Saviour. These praises imply an acknowledgment of the justice of the sentence executed upon the ungodly: nay, they imply that they themselves might justly, and should certainly, have perished with their fellow rebels, had not Jesus interposed with his atoning blood. But could any impenitent sinner join this worship with sincere delight? Many openly arraign the conduct of the Judge in dooming sinners to eternal misery: and every impenitent heart is disposed to quarrel with this part of the divine conduct. Nor would the case be different, were it possible for a person of this description to enter into heaven: he would secretly condemn his Maker for severity, in eternally punishing others for the very crimes he himself had committed, and never repented of: he must dissent from those praises in his heart, which arise from a principle he allows not; namely, that distinguishing grace and atoning blood have made all the difference, betwixt him and those in hell: he

could not in sincerity allow, that God would have been glorious, though he had left him to perish. But there is neither hypocrisy nor discordant voice, nor unholiness, in those happy mansions: therefore no impenitent sinner shall ever enter into them.

Because our self-love renders us so unwilling to believe this important truth; because Satan with such artifice endeavours to draw off our attention from it; because we are so reluctant of ourselves duly to consider it; and because the entangling pursuits and interests, the pleasures, maxims, and examples of the world, have such a tendency to lull us into a fatal security in this respect; I have the more importunately laboured these multiplied demonstrations of the necessity of repentance. Surely, sinner, I have gained my point, fixed thy attention, and fully convinced thee, that thou hast cause to repent, oughtest to repent, and must either repent or perish. Surely, thy heart is by this time in some measure suitably affected, with the important subject; and thou art even now, with pressing anxiety, enquiring "what then is "repentance?" Beseeching the Lord to assist and bless the attempt, I shall endeavour, with all possible seriousness and plainness, to satisfy this en'quiry.



I SHALL not spend my time in critically en

quiring into the etymology, or the meaning of the words, which we translate repentance in our version of the Bible. Suffice it to observe that μɛraμɛɛoμai, one word frequently used, signifies to be afterwards careful or uneasy; and MeTavola that more commonly used, signifies a change of mind, of judgment and disposition; which ideas severally and conjunctly express the nature of repentance, as it may more fully be learned from the general tenour of the scriptures. I would then define true repentance to be 'A genuine sorrow for sin, attended with a real inclination to undo, if it were possible, all we have sinfully done; and consequently an endeavour, as far as we have it in our power, to counteract the consequences of our former evil conduct; with a determination of mind, through divine grace, to walk for the future in newness of life, evidenced to be sincere by fruits meet for repentance; that is, by all holy dispositions, words, and actions.' Enlarging on this definition I shall have an opportunity of expressing my sentiments on the nature of real repentance, and distinguishing it from various counterfeits.

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I. Repentance comprehends a genuine sor'row for sin.' This implies that there is a spurious sorrow on account of sin, which a man may have to excess without real repentance. This kind of sorrow arises from self-love, alarmed with the fear of punishment, without regard to the just desert of it. A man is indeed grieved; yet not that he hath sinned, but that God exceedingly hates sin, is determined to punish it, and is able to execute this determination in spite of all opposition. He is extremely sorry that the law is so very strict, and greatly terrified when he reflects on the danger to which he stands exposed: but he is not grieved at heart for the odious ungrateful part he hath acted. In human affairs, many under condemnation of death appear thus penitent, whose insincerity is detected by a pardon, and they rush upon the commission of new crimes. Many penitents of this description we meet with on sick beds, or in circumstances of imminent danger: they are under excessive terrors, shed abundance of tears, and make many fair promises; but when the alarm is over, their repentance is repented of, and their concern lost in company and worldly pursuits. They likewise abound among the hearers of the gospel. Like Felix, when the word of God is brought home to their consciences, they tremble and perhaps weep: but they are soon quieted; and return to the pursuit of their worldly interests and pleasures with unabated alacrity: many of these

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