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

96 Of Repentance. S E R M. things are entirely different from repentance; IV. and men are unhappily deceiv'd who truft in them. When our Saviour gave commif lion to his apoftles, and eftablifh'd their authority in this manner, yohn xx. 23. Whole fever fins ye retain they are retained, and whofe foever fins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; it is contrary to the ftrain of the gofpel, and rea- fon itfelf, to imagine, that he has inverted a fucceffion of fallible mortals with a power of pardoning fins, and efpecially upon condi- tions different from thofe which he has irre- vocably fix'd by his laws. The plain mean- ing is, that having received the Holy Choft as their guide, the apoftles had commiffion, by their doctrine, to declare the perpetual unalterable terms upon which fanners might obtain the juftification of life; and on the other hand, that kind of difobedience which wou'd fix them under a fentence of con- demnation. But, indeed the miftake of thofe proteftants is as pernicious, (and in fome refpefs more criminal, becaufe it is gone into againft better means of knowledge) who found their hopes of acceptance, and the remiffion of fins, on meerly external ads, on the public inftrumental duties of religion, on confeílions and prayers, and the faeraments,