Baxter - HP BV4920 B38 1829

THE UNCONVERTED. 85 over and over, with a "verily, verily, except ye be converted, and born again, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt. xvili. 3. John iii. 3. Mark that he saith " you cannot. " It is in vain to hope for it, and in vain to dream that God is willing for it; for it is a thing that cannot be. In a word, you see then the meaning of the text, that God, the great Lawgiver of the world, doth take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn and live; though yet he be resolved that none shall live but those that turn; and as a Judge even delighteth in justice, and manifesting his hatred of sin, though not in their misery, which they have brought upon themselves, in itself considered. And for the proofs of the point, I shall be very brief in them, because I suppose you easily believe it already. · 1. 'The very gracious nature of God proclaimed: " And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; " (Exod. xxiv. 6. and xxvi. 6.) and fi·equently elsewhere, may assure you of this, That he hath no pleasure in your death. 2. If God had more pleasure in thy death, than in thy conversion and life, he would not have so frequently coni.manded thee in his word, to turn; he would not h11ve made thee such promises of life, if thou wilt but turn; he would not have persuaded thee to it by so many reasons. The tenor of his gospel proveth the point. 3. And-his commission that he hath given to the min,isters of the gospel, dot,h fully prove it. If God had taken more pleasure in thy damnation, than in thy conversion and salvation, he would never have charged us to offer you mercy, and to teach you the way of life, both publicly and privately: and to en-