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We pretend not to know any way of Salvation without innocence, or without repentance followed by real reformation in life and practice. The great benefits offered to all in the gospel, every man by God's grace muft fecure to himself. No benediction, alas! that we can pronounce over any one, will make a Saint of him who continues in fin. The Spirit itself may be quenched; and the grace of God received in vain: yet, not wholly in vain; fince it will redound to the vindication of his judgments, and the greater glory of the fupreme Juftice in the final condemnation of the wicked.
Can it avail us in the last day, that our Religion was reformed, while we ourselves were not fo? we thank God that we are separated from the errours, and freed from the chains of Popery, without breaking out into a state of religious anarchy. But if in this land of light and liberty, we be yet blinded by corruption, and flaves to
fin, all honeft men of every religion, and. if there can be any honest upright man of no religion upon earth, they will all rife up in the judgment against us and condemn us. Many fhall come from the eaft Matt. viii. and weft, from every region, and of all profeffions, and shall fit down with Abraham and Ifaac, with Patriarchs, Apostles, and Saints, in the kingdom of Heaven, while the children of the kingdom, the profeffors of Chriftianity, and pretenders to Reformation, are caft, together with all the workers of iniquity, into outer darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
EXOD. xx. 5, 6.
VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE
HEN, for the encouragement of piety, God is pleased to declare, that He will shew mercy unto thousands of
them that love Him, and keep his commandmenis, that is, to the remotest relations and latest defcendants of an eminently good man, treating them with peculiar tenderness, rewarding with an opener hand, and punishing more sparingly, for his fake to whom they belong, or from whom they spring; we take all these offers in good part, and have no difficulty in being reconciled to fo gracious a difpenfation. There is no complaint in this cafe of the want of a due proportion between the merit and there compence: we eafily find our felves qualified to receive kindneffes; and confent readily that Almighty God may be as liberal as He will, and with as little reafon.
But it is much otherwise in the case of
punishments. For if, in like manner, for the discouragement of impiety and vice, He has feen it neceffary to defcend to threatenings; and intimate, that He is a Ifa.xlii.8. jealous God, not willing to give his glory to