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OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
REPENTANCE unto life is an evangelical grace,a the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.b
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent; so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,c purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.d
faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I. a Zech. xii. 10. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Acts xi. 18. When they heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
b Luke xxiv. 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark i. 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord, Jesus Christ.
II. c Ezek. xviii. 30, 31. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God: repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezek. xxxvi. 31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and for your abominations. Isa. xxx. 22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Psal. li. 4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Jer. xxxi. 18, 19. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord, my God. Surely, after that I was
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God's free grace in Christ:f yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.g
turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Joel ii, 12, 13. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord, your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Amos v. 15. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord, God of hosts, will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Psal. cxix. 128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 2 Cor. vii. 11. For behold, this self same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! in all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this
d Psal. cxix. 6, 59, 106. Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. Luke i. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. 2 Kings xxiii. 25. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any
III. e Ezek. xxxvi. 31, 32. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ezek. xvi. 61 to 63. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger; and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: that thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
f Hos. xiv. 2, 4. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely for mine anger is turned away from him. Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
g Luke xiii. 3, 5. I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall
IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation ; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.i
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly.k
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon
all likewise perish. I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts xvii. 30, 31. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
IV. h Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Rom. v. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Mat. xii. 36. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
i Isa. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Rom. viii. 1. There is, therefore, now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Isa. i. 16, 18. Wash ye, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
V. Psal. xix. 13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Luke xix. 8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor: and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 1 Tim. i. 13, 15. Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
VI. I Psal. li. 4, 5, 7, 9, 14. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psal. xxxii. 5, 6. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that
which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy m so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended;n who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him."
OF GOOD WORKS.
GOOD works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy word,a and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.b
is godly pray unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found; surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
m Prov. xviii. 13. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 1 John i. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
n James v. 16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Luke xvii. 3, 4. Take heed to yourselves; If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him. Josh. vii. 19. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord, God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. (Psal. li. throughout.)
o 2. Cor. ii. 8. Wherefore I beseech you, that ye would confirm your love towards him.
I. a Micah vi. 8. He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love merey, and to walk humbly with thy God? Rom. xii. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Heb. xiii. 21. Make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
b Mat. xv. 9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Isa. xxix. 13. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men. 1 Pet. i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation re
II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,d strengthen their assurance,e edify their brethren,f adorn the profession of the gospel,s stop the mouths of the
ceived by tradition from your fathers. Rom. x. 2. For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. John xvi. 2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth God service. 1 Sam. xv. 21 to 23. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord, thy God, in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken, than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
II. c James ii. 18, 22. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
d Psal. cxvi. 12, 13. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. 1 Pet. ii. 9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
e 1 John ii. 3, 5. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2 Pet. i. 5 to 10. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see far off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
f 2 Cor. ix. 2. For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. Mat. v. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.
g Tit. ii. 5, 9, 10, 11, 12. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again, not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men; teaching us, that deny