Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.1

, Of Repentance. 77 flrain of the New Teflament writings, (as S ER M. it was not reafonable it fhould) they are, 1V. therefore, to be underflood in treating of re- `"Y---) pentance, to mean the firft converfion of finners, by the grace of God that brings fal- vation, from dead idols to the fervice of the liv- ing God; from an impious and immoral con verfation in worldly lulls, to a fober righteous and godly life; in which they are bound by the laws of their religion and their covenant with God to perfevere and go on to perfeélion. Its true, chriftians are in force fenfe oblig'd daily to repent; that is, whereas this is an imperfefl frate, and they are liable to failures thro' furprifing temptations, remaining ig- norance, and many infirmities which com- pafs them about, they ought continually by impartial felf- examination to find out thefe failings, to regret them humbly, and fet themfelves in oppofition to them, afpiring to higher meafures of perfection, leaving the things that are behind, and reaching forth to thole things which are before as the * Apglile fpeaks. But, this is not what the facred writers mean by repentance, but becoming new creatures, turning from a wicked and ungodly life to a fincere holinefs and virtue ; and their dotrine is, that fincere chriflians * Philip, iii. 03, 04. being