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i

4

Of

Confe

f

fing

and

Forfaking.

Sin,

Vol.

fig.

It

argues

great obilinacy and impudence

to

confefs

a

Fault

and

continue

in

it.

Whenever

we make

Confeflìon

of

our

fins

to God,

Purely

it

is

meet to

fay unto

him,

Iwillriot

offend any more,

that

which

I

know

not teach

thou

me; and

if

I

have,

done

Iniquity,

1

will

do

no more.

This

is

thefirfl part

of

Repentance mention'd in

the Text, the

Iirfr

Condition

of

our

finding mercy

with God, the Penitent

acknowledgment

of

our

fins

to

him.

I proceed

to the

Second

Condition required to

make

us

capable

of

the

mercy

of

God,

which

is

the

a&ual forfaking

of

our

fins

;

Whofo confeffetb

and

forfaketh them

(hall

have mercy.

f

(hall

not

go

about to explain what

is

meant

by

forfaking

fn,

it

is

that

which eve-

ry

body can

underftand, but

few will

do

;

there

lies

all

the

difficulty.

I

(hall

on-

ly put you in

mind,

that

forfaking

of

fin

comprehends our return to

our duty,

that

neceffarily

follows from it.

In

fins

of

Commiffion, he

that bath

left any

Vice, does

thereby

become

matter

of

the contrary

Virtue.

Vans

eft

vitisem

feige-

re;

not to

be

drunk,

is

to

be

fober; not

to opprefs,

or

defraud,

or

deal falfly,

is

tobe

Juft and Honeft

:

And for

fins

of

Omiflion,

the forfaking

of

them is

no-

thing

elfe,

but

the doing of thofe Duties which

we

omitted and

negle&ed

before.

And therefore

what

Solomon

here

calls forfaking

of

fin,

is

elfewhere in Scripture

more fully expreft, by

ceafing

to do

evil,

and

learning to do well, Ifa. a. x6.

By

forfaking our

fins

and turning to God

;

Ifa. 55. 7.

Let

the wicked

man forfaie his

ways,

and

the unrighteous man

his

thoughts,

and

let him return unto

the

Lord.

By

turning

from all

our

fins,

and keeping

all

Gods

Laws and Statutes

;

Ezek.

r

B.

t,

If

the wicked

will turn

from

all

his

fins

which

he

hash committed,

and

keep

all

my

fra-

tutes,

and

do

that

which

is

lawful

andright.

And this is a molt

Effential

part

of

Repentance,

and a neceffary

condition

of

our

finding mercy

with

God.

That partof

Repentance which I

have

mentioned

and

infifted

upon

before,

the Penitent

acknowledgment

of

our

fins

to God, with

Shame

and Sorrow for them, and

a

firm

Purpofe

and

Refolution

to

leave them,

all

this

is

but preparatory

to

the

a&ual

forfaking

of

them

:

that

which

perfeets

and compleats

Repentance,

is to

turnfrom

our

evil

ways,

and

to

bregk

of

our

fins

by

righteóufnefi.

And thefe terms

of

confeffing

and

forfaking our

fins,

are

Reafonable in them-

felves,

andHonourable

to

God, and Profitable to

us

;

and upon lower Terms

we

have no

reafon to

expe&

the

Mercy

of

God, nor

in

truth

are

we capable

of

it,

ei-

ther

by the prefent forgivenefs

of

our

fins,

or

the

final

abfolution

of

the great

Dap,

and

the

bleffed

Reward

of

eternal

Life. God peremptorily

requires

this

change

as a

condition

of

our Forgivenefs

and

Happinefs ;

Repent

and

be

converted,

that

your

fins

may

be

blotted out,

A&s 3.

19.

If

thou

wilt enter into

lift,

keep

the

commandments,

Matth.

19. 17. Without holinefs

no

man (hall

fee the

Lord,

Heb.

ea.

¡4.

And

.,why

thould any

Man

hope

for the

Mercy

of

God upon other

terms,

than

thofe which

he

hath

fo

plainly and

peremptorily declared

?

It

is a

mean

and

unworthy thought

of

God, to

imagine

that

he

will accept Men

to

his

Favour

and eternal

Life

upon

other

Terms

than

of

better Obedience.

Will

any

wife

Father or

Prince accept

lefs

from

his

Children and

Subjects

?

will they

be

fatisfied

with

fighs

and tears,

as well

as

with

Obedience. And well pleafed

if

they

be

but melancholy for their

Faults,

tho

they

never mend

them? We

mutt

not

impute

that to

God, which would

be

a defec4

of

Wifdom and good

Govern-

ment, in any Father

or

Prince upon Earth. God

values

no part

of

Repentance

up-

on

any

other

account,

but

as

it

tends

to

reclaim

us

to our Duty, and

ends in

our

Reformation

and Amendment.

This

is

that

which

qualifies

us

for

the

Happinefs

of

another

Life,

and

makes its

meet

to

be

made

partakers

of the

inheritance

of

the

Saints

in light. And

without

this,

tho

God

fhould be pleafed

to forgive

us,

yet

we

could

not

forgive our

felves; and

notwithftanding the

legal

difcharge from Guilt,

the

Sting

of

it would remain,

and

wefhould

like

our

fir[t

Parents after they

had

finn'd,

run

away and hide

our

felves

from

God,

tho he

fpake

never

fo

kindly to

us.

God

hath

placed

in every

Man's

Mind

an

inexorable Judge,

that

will

grant

no Pardon

and Forgivenefs

but

to

a

reformed

Penitent, to

him

that hath

fuch

a

fente

of

the

Evil

of

his paft Life, as

to

become

a

better

Man

for

the future.

And