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Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.-ACTS xi. 18.
INTROD.-There are dreadful mistakes about the fundamentals. Few are converted. Few penitents: Why?
I. What that repentance is, which is not unto life? 1. Repentance in words.-"I have sinned."-Saul. (1 Sam. xv. 24.)
2. General, not particular; not every sin.
3. Particular, not universal; merely one sin.
4. Afraid of sin's shame, pain and punishment: Not of sin itself.
5. When any excuses are made; mouth stopped.
6. When in a fit of affliction only.-Judas.
7. When no reform, or a partial one, follows.
8. When life, pardon, and the Spirit are not obtained.
II. What is repentance unto life?
1. Abstaining from all known sin.
2. Practising all known duties.-Cornelius. (Acts x.) 3. Enquiring after the way and people of God.
4. Listening for life, till we are baptised with the Holy Ghost, and can magnify God.
5. Till we obtain life, a pardon, Christ, and the Spirit.
This repentance is hearty, universal, particular, lasting, uniform, transforming.
III. By whom, and to whom it is granted.
not our gift. No repentance in Adam and Eve, before the promise. (Gen. iii. 15.) It is granted. It is a favour, not a judgment.
To the Gentiles also.'-Ignorant and wicked, excommunicated from Christ and the gospel. Not to the Jews only.
APPLICATION.-1. You who are openly impenitent, consider your state, sin, law, curse, God, death, judgment, hell. There is no repentance in death.
2. You that deceive yourselves with false repentance, -Oh let God by this text convince you!
3. Seekers of true repentance. Behold Jesus.
4. Penitents.-Magnify God, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it ?-JER. xvii. 19.
INTROD.-Wound of the body and soul to be
I. What is the heart?
Soul, spirit, will, mind, affections, conscience, and memory—Lest they understand with their heart,' &c. (Isa. vi. 10.)
The heart and understanding opened in Lydia. (Acts.) Disciples to Emmaus. (Luke xxiv. 31, 32.)
It denotes conscience. (John iii. 19, 21.) If our heart condemn us not,' &c.
It implies memory.—' Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.' (Matt.)
II. Description of it.
It is in young and old; moral and immoral. (1.) Desperately wicked.'
Adam, conception, infancy, childhood, youth, age,
1. The heart is blind.
Adam hid himself. A veil hides it.
ness of heart, good Lord deliver us!"
'Not given a
Pharaoh, disobedience, unrelenting, insensible, stony not flesh. (Josiah, 2 Kings xxii. 19.)- Rend your Contrite heart.'
(Dan. iv. 16.) It has nothing to
heart,' says David.
The heart of a beast, drowsy, sleepy. say to God, and man.-' Awake my
Fat as brawn.'
'Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?' (Exod.) Who are the magistrates, ministers ? It rises against superiors, against their word, reproof, rod.
Saul, Jonah. Full of hatred. Notice Eccles. x. 13. Revengeful, envious. Hazael. Madness in their head. 6. Perjured.
Covenant-breakers, false to God, man, self. Inconstant in spirituals, temporals. Peter.
7. Ungrateful, covetous, lustful.
8. Full of hatred to God.
Carnal mind. Lovers of the world. Haters of God,
his ways, and people.
9. Full of unbelief to Christ.
Presumptuous, despairing, doubtful.
10. Full of resistance to the Holy Ghost. 'My Spirit shall not always strive with man.'
(2.) 'Deceitful above all things.'
Above the sea, the weather, the look, the tongue, the devil, deceitful.
1. Deceit begins at home.
Deceives self, excuses sin, magnifies shows of good, puts light for darkness, calls evil GOOD." I have a good heart!' Pharisee.
2. Deceives neighbours.
It appears honest, chaste, godly, kind, disinterested,
to cheat others.
3. Tries to deceive God himself.
Hypocrite, Formalist.-Heart far off, lips near. Body without soul.
4. Cheats God of his service, men of love, and self of a kingdom of grace and glory.-Yea, it cheats his soul into hell. Foolish virgins.
Not the natural, learned, trading man; but God, the Searcher of hearts. Christ, who needed not that any one should testify of man.' The Spirit, who searcheth the deep things,' &c. (1 Cor ii. 10.) And those who are taught by him.
INFERENCES.-1. He that trusteth his own heart is
2. 'Watch, and keep your heart with all diligence.' 3. How great the necessity of a new birth.
4. How glorious the promise of a new heart of flesh.
5. How do those who boast, show the deceitfulness of their hearts.
6. No change of life sufficient without a correspondent change of heart.
7. The fountain being bad, so are the streams.
8. The necessity of Christ's heart being pierced, and the Spirit to open and change ours.
APPLICATION.-Study your hearts. Pray for light. Examine what passes in sudden temptations, in dreams, in thoughts.
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.'-1 COR. i. 30.
INTROD.-Know thyself and thy advantages, believer!
The second Adam, to whom you are united by faith and love. On his part, by water, blood, and the Spirit. He made himself man.
REFLECTION.-How noble the Christian ! How should he despise earth and sin! Believe in Christ, walk in Christ, and you will be God's. Wicked men are of the devil, in Adam.
III. Christ is made of God.'
Christ is the master-piece of divine wisdom, power, love, mercy, justice.
IV. To us.'
Enemies, foolish, guilty, polluted, wretched as long as we are out of Christ. Who sees it?
V. Christ is our Magazine:-All fulness: Wisdom, brightness, righteousness. He did and suffered all for
Priest.-Sanctification. Holy in himself. Making us so by faith as physician.
Redemption. He redeemed himself and us, in rising