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God in the present world. There is nothing, there fore, equivocal in the proofs of the divine goodness in prolonging human life.

The preceding thoughts suggest the following reflections:

1. In the first place, they enforce the importance of employing human life for the great purposes for which it is given and prolonged. We may all wonder, and with an admiration that is full of holy gratitude, that we have not long since been cut down as cumberers of the ground. And if we would not bury all grateful remembrance of his goodness in the grave of a forgetful heart; let us show that we appreciate it by devoting the life he has prolonged to his service and glory. After all that God has done to watch over and protect these frail and exposed lives, it were a thankless return to devote them to sin and the world. Days there have been when some of you foresaw the approach of evil; when you feared that your earthly career was coming to a close; but heavenly mercy interposed for your deliverance, and rescued you from the grave. You will not forget those days, nor your own undisclosed thoughts and expressed purposes in regard to the future, should you be permitted to live. And have you paid the vows which your soul made in the time of trouble? Or have those solemn reflections passed away, to be renewed and revived in tenfold bitterness, when the day of calamity shall come on afresh? God spares you, but it is only for a little while. What you do, must be done quickly, for there is no work, nor knowledge, nor device in the grave whither you are hastening. God can lay you aside whenever he is pleased to do so. You may not be satisfied with liv

ing, and you cannot be reconciled to dying, unless you faithfully employ life while it lasts. You will find it a pleasure to live, so long as "for you to live is Christ;" and when this building of flesh shall begin to shake, you will find, that those for whom it is Christ to live, to die is gain.

2. In the second and last place, since the goodness of God is so manifest in prolonging human life, how great is the guilt, and how fearful must be the misery, of those who derive no benefit from it when thus prolonged? Notwithstanding all the divine goodness in giving them existence in the present world, and in continuing the existence he gave; in furnishing them so many rich and favorable opportunities to make that existence a blessing to others and themselves; in instructing and warning them, and in keeping back the sword of the Destroyer, year after year; still they have lived in vain, and worse than in vain. It was said of Judas, "Better for that man, had he never been born!" And it may be said with truth of every man who lives and dies in his sins. Such men abuse the divine forbearance and long-suffering, to their souls' undoing. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." God has given some of you, beloved hearers, great and long-continued opportunities for repentance, in order that your life and day of grace may be a blessing. But are there none among you, whose abuse of his goodness and forbearance give strong indications, that these blessings may be converted into a curse? If you die in sin, as you have lived in sin, how may you hope to come off with a lighter doom than is reserved for those who, "after

their hardness and impenitent heart, treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God!" There is nothing of which you may be more solemnly assured, that that God "waits that he may be gracious." His tenderness never speaks out more truly than when he says, "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim! how shall I deliver thee, Israel! 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!" But if you pervert this divine clemency to presumption, and abuse the goodness which thus prolongs your day of grace to impenitence and sin; better had it been for you not to have lived out half your days. God will destroy you, but not until the measure of your iniquity is full. Woe,-woe betide the man on whom the vials of his wrath will be poured out, because he thus hardens himself against God, and bids defiance to the fears and hopes of eternity! And "what wilt thou say when he shall punish thee?" The universe will have visible evidence that such a man deserves the woes he feels.

SERMON XXIV.

TRUE AND FALSE REPENTANCE.

PSALM li. 3. For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me.

And

MATTHEW XXVii. 3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.

I HAVE thrown these two passages together, because, thus considered, they furnish a clear exemplification, both of a true and false repentance. When Peter, on the day of Pentecost, exhorted the multitude of the Jews to forsake their errors and sins, and turn to God, he gave them this summary direction: "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ." When our Lord himself would declare, in the briefest manner, the revealed condition of eternal life, he told the people who heard him, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." His forerunner also, "came preaching the baptism of repentance, saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." In the Old Testament, also, we find the same comprehensive injunction; for the prophet thus exhorts ancient Israel : 'Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin." Thus, when the ministers of the everlasting Gospel, under either dispensation, have fulfilled their commission, "they

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have gone forth everywhere preaching that men should repent."

A duty so solemnly and frequently enjoined, deserves our serious attention, and we are interested to know in what it consists. It is implicitly recognized as a compend of the Christian graces, while the joys of heaven, and the sorrows of hell, are suspended upon the performance or neglect of it.

Yet all repentance is not true repentance. An apostle declares, that "godly sorrow worketh repentance not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death." There is, therefore, a repentance that needs to be repented of, and which is not unto salvation. Instances of both these we may expect to find in our acquaintance with men, and especially in Scripture history. Accordingly, we are furnished with specimens of both in the word of God. We shall occupy ourselves, in this discourse, in placing two of these side by side, and as we proceed with the comparison, we may hope to discern and fix in our minds some characteristics of evangelical repentance, that shall distinguish it from all counterfeit and spurious similitudes. The instances selected are those of David and Judas, both of which are strongly marked, and in our exposition of which, we place ourselves under the guidance of an infallible interpreter of the actions, and expositor of the spirits of men. We propose to show wherein their repentance was alike, and wherein it differed.

I. We shall show wherein the repentance of David and Judas was alike.

It appeared alike, and was alike in many particulars. 1. In the first place, we remark that both David and

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