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Attentive Consideration of thejje two points;
I. Firsts The Rule and Measure os our Duty, under a Proper Sense of the Threatning in the Text; and
II. Secondly, The Punifoment, which may be expected, is our Duty be not Fulfilled
I. The Rule and Measure os our Duty, under a proper Sense -of the Threat ning in the Text. And as the Sins of the Nation are assigned for the Cause of God's Inflicting the Punishment Denounced against it; our Duty, under a Proper Sense of the Threatning, depends especially, upon Two Things;
\fl, A Sincere and True Repentance for our own Sms.
idly, Our Detefting and Bewailing the Sins of other Persons, and Deprecating that Divine Vengeance, which may J'ufily fall upon the Kingdom, on account of Thew Sins, or, our Own.
i. Our Sincere and True Repentance for mir own Sins. The Necessity arid Efficacy of True Repentance, are Fully represented, in this Moving Account of
S j' the the Ccndefcending and Compassionate Regard, which the Author of our Beings, hath to our Happiness: * Repent, and turn 'your selves from all 'your transgressions; so Iniquity shall not be your ruine. Why will ye die? I have no Pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, wherefore turn your selves and live ye. God is Abundant in Mercy and Commiseration towards Mankind; But still, Mercy it Self cannot fkreen us from his Wrath, if we will not be prevailed upon, to fulfil the Conditions of Mercy. Though he hath given us This Character of Himself, for our Encouragement and Consolation, that his Compassions fad not; -f yet, that we may not Groundlesly Presume upon Them, or, conceive Them to extend unto Persons who are not Proper Objects of Them, He gives this Remarkable Warning to Incorigible Sinners; I will dash them one again/I another; / will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them %. Disobedience is the Only Means of Forfeiting, and Sin
cere Repentance the only Means of Regaining his Favour.
He, whose Hand directs Those Arrows of Death, which we are now afraid of, is Distinctly observing, how Serious, or SuT perficial we are, in endeavouring to prevent their being levell'd at Us 5 and our Fate will be Determin'd by our Behaviour. It is not the Mournful Voice, or the Dejected Looks, but the True and Deep Contrition of our Hearts, that can Avert the Impending Judgments of God from us, Is not this the Fast that I have chosen, to loose the Bands of Wickedness *? Our Conversion is the Proper Measure of our Hopes; and the Proportion of our .fears, is to be taken from our Impenitence. 'Tis left to pur Choice, whether we will abandon our Sins, or our Safety \ whether we will be vessels of wrath, or, vessels of mercy; whether we will be Defended, or Destroyed by the Almighty.
How mall we then be Particular enough in Recollecting, or Earnest and Vehement enough in Detesting and Bewailing, the
* Isa. Iviii. 6.
S 4 - Sins Sins and Follies of our Lives, and the Defects which may be chargeable even upon our Former Exercises of Repentance itself? Is it be sound, after all Past Instances of Humiliation, that Worldly Men have still Relapsed into their Eager Love and Pursuits of the things of the World\ The Drunkard and Glutton, into his Intemperance and Excels; The Impure, into his Pollutions; the Proud and Supercilious, into his wonted High Esteem of Himself, and Contempt, or Neglect of Others; The Passionate and Boisterous, into their Usual Forgetfulness of. Themselves, and Indulgence of their Tumultuous Passions; The Slothful and Negligent in the Duties of Religion, into their former Laziness and Remisihess; the Hypocrite, into his Old Tricks ofFalfecolouring and Misrepresentation, retiring within his Cover'd Ways, and running the Fatal Rounds of Pretence and Disguise; The Factious, Prejudiced, and Partial, into his Inveterate Spirit of Faction, Prejudice and Division; The Uncharitable and Unmerciful, into his Customary, Impious Disiegard* to the Miseries of his
Brethren: If in These, or, any other Instances of Iniquity, it be found*, that, after all our Fastings and Hunyliations, Sighs and Tears, Vows and Resolutions, we are still the very Same Men, have still run Back into the Dominion of the very Same Passions, and Allowance of the Same Vicious Practices, as Before, we may Hence draw this Afflicting and Woful Consequence for our selves, That we are still Obnoxious to the Indignation of our Maker, we are still to Begin the great Work of our Repentance Afresh, and to Humble our selves before God, even for the Inefficacy and Unfruitfulness of our Former Humiliations before Him.
Whosoever is in this Unhappy Case, should obey the Prophets Injunction, and Indeed Rent his Heart, under this Reflexion, That All he hath hitherto done, signifies nothing; For All does signify nothing, if he hath still fallen off from his Holy Purposes, if he hath still returned to his former Sinful Courses, and be still Swayed and Governed by his Unruly Passions, of what Kind soever they be. Let