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relief. Judas also confessed his crime but instead of having recourse to the blood which he had betrayed, his unbelief prevented him from applying to this sovereign remedy, and he went and hanged himself.
In general, the discovery of sin to the unbeliever arms the Almighty with terrors, and he is drawn away from him in his wickedness. On the other hand, the discovery of sin to the real . Christian makes him cling more closely to God,
with Job, “ Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him.” Unbelief represents God as an austere and inflexible Judge ; faith, as a Being full of compassion, with whom “ there is forgiveness " that he may be feared, and plenteous “ redemption that he may be sought “ after.”—This brings us to the second head.
and to say
II. To illustrate the urgent duty of making confession Time will not permit me to point out the various acceptations in which the term “ mercy” is to be found in the Bible. At to understand it as another word for
present I choose
grace and salvation. My brethren, the gospel finds you (whether you will own it, whether
you know it or not) in a state of spiritual bondage, the wretched slaves of sin and Satan,-prisoners to the justice of God, shut up unto condemnation for the many sins which
sins which you have committed, and reserved for the judgment of the great day. But though the gospel finds you in this state, it is not willing to leave you in it. It proffers to you deliverance. It offers to break every yoke and every chain, and to grant to you a full release from all the pains and penalties of sin. It proclaims to you, in the name of the Almighty, the great Lord of heaven and earth, “ redemption through the blood of * Jesus, even the remission of sins."
Great, however, as this deliverance is, it is but a part of that salvation which is promised in my text. To a God of grace and goodness, whose mercy endureth for ever, it is but a small thing to deliver you from the bondage of sin and death, and to redeem you from hell. If you
become partakers in his salvation, it will also exalt you to heaven. It will not only save you from misery, but it will
make you the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, give you a name and place among his children,-clothe you with the robes of his righteousness-renew your souls to his image and likeness,--and make you meet for partaking of the inheritance of his saints in light.
What more need be added to engage your compliance with the duty here enjoined ?
An interest in the precious promises which I have thus endeavoured faintly to unfold, can be obtained only in the way of genuine confession. And those who see the importance and necessity of this duty, and make conscience of
performing it, have reason to rejoice and be exceeding glad, for “ he that is mighty " hath done to you great things.” To them I would
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Sing a new
song to the Lord, for he hath done “ wondrous things s his right hand and “ his holy arm hath gotten him the victory.”
But to those of my hearers who are strangers to this duty, who have hitherto lived in the habitual neglect of it, what
shall I say? I dare not flatter such with a false and groundless hope of a participation in the mercy promised in my text. I dare not say, Ye shall have peace, though you walk after the imagination of your own hearts. Rather would I endeavour, if possible, to alarm you with a sense of your danger. You must not only be strangers to those substantial joys which result from fellowship with your Father in heaven, and from a sense of his fayour and love, but you may even be assured, (however dreadful the thought,) that “ the wrath of God abideth on you.” This awful reflection must render
your present life a gloomy and comfortless state ; and the guilt of your unrepented sins, if mercy and grace prevent not, must make you completely miserable for ever, and must sink you finally into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Turn then to the Lord while is hope : your day of grace is not yet concluded; the calls of the gospel still sound. God is yet seated on a throne of mercy. Jesus, your Saviour, stands ready to re
Seek the Lord now when he