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to lay aside their enmity only hurt themselves, Imighty Being, who, need of them, is

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66 Come now, so ther, faith the Lord: timu as scarlet, they shall be as wha. inded

Cea" though they be red like crimson, 6 shall be white as wool.” “ Wherefore do " spend money for that which is not bread? s and your labour for that which fatisfieth • not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat

that which is good, and let your soul ye

delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, * and come unto me; hear, and your soul 6 shall live.' Even the threatenings of God are not so much the thunderings of his juftice, as the loud rhetoric of his mercy, He shakes the rod over us, that, by å timely fubmission, we may avert the stroke, And when all the methods used to reclaim a fine ner have proved ineffectual, with what reluctance doth he at last execute his threatenE 3

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cross ? had not our everlasting welfare beeri an object of his tenderest concern. This surely, if duly considered, must remove all fufpicions of his goodness, and destroy the jealousies even of the most distruftful mind. Behold Christ weeping over the impending fate of Jerusalem, and bemoaning the hardness of heart of those who attended his ministry; view him in his agony, and in his conflict with the powers of darkness ; hear him on the cross praying for his enemies and then fuppofe, if you are able, that your ruin can be pleasing to him who hath done so much to prevent it. But, in the

3d place, The various means which God employs for reclaiming men from their ways

of folly and vice, afford another proof of his goodness, and of his tender concern for their welfare. He is not only the Author of the gracious plan of our redemption, but he hath likewise set before us the most powerful motives to persuade us to embrace his offered favour, and to comply with his designs of mercy. Every confideration, which can be supposed to work, eicher on our hopes or our fears, is set before us in the most striking light. The veil is removed from the invisible world

ther

3 the joys of glorified saints, and the torments of despairing finners, are made the subject of a clear revelation. How affectionately doth he invite men to turn unto him and live ? " Come now, and let us reason togeso ther, faith the Lord : though your fins be

as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; " though they be red like crimson, they « shall be white as wool." " Wherefore do

ус “ spend money for that which is not bread? s and your labour for that which fatisfieth

not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye

that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, " and come unto me; hear, and your soul 66 shall live.” Even the threatenings of God are not so much the thunderings of his juftice, as the loud rhetoric of his mercy. He shakes the rod over us, that, by a timely submission, we may avert the stroke. And when all the methods used to reclaim a finner have proved ineffectual, with what reluctance doth he at last execute his threaten

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ed vengeance? “ How shall I give thee up,

Ephraim ? how ihall I deliver thee, If“ rael ? how shall I make thee as Admah? “ how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? Mine “ heart is turned within me, my repentings

are kindled together.” Nay, after the fierceness of his anger hath consumed the transgressors, what regret doth he express, that they should have extorted from bim their own punishment ? " O that my peo

ple had hearkened unto me, and Israel " bad walked in my ways !" He utters these word, as it were with as figh, lamenting the folly and perverseness which had compelled him to such measures of severity against them : Not that God is influenced by any human paslions; but because he could not otherwise communicate, in a manner intelligible to us, the deep concern which he takes in our welfare.

Nor are these mere expressions of kindnels, which are unaccompanied with deeds to prove their sincerity, and to render them effectual : he hath instituted an order of men to carry the glad tidings of salvation to every corner of the earth; to beseech fin

ners,

to

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ners, in his name, to lay aside their enmity to him, which can only hurt themselves, and to return to that Almighty Being, who, though he stands in no need of them, is most sincerely willing to receive them into his favour, and to bestow on them everlasting happiness. " We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech

you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye " reconciled to God.” We are commanded

preach the word, -to be instant in sea“ son and out of season,-in meekness in

structing those that oppose themselves, if “ God peradventure will give them repent

ance to the acknowledging of the truth.” And to excite us to be diligent and faithful in the exercise of this office, he hath af

“ that when the chief Shepherd “ Thall appear, we Thall receive a crown of “ glory that fadeth not away.”

Is not this then an unanswerable proof that God hath no pleasure in the death of finners ? What stronger evidence of it could he give, than to send to them fo

many

mersengers, to beseech them in his name to turn and live? to employ on this kind E 4

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fured us,

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