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offered a price that would have ransomed thy perishing soul. None else could pay thy debt but the Son of God, and even he could pay it in no other way than by suffering the penalty which thou hadst incurred. O how hateful doth sin appear when viewed in this light! Adam's expulsion from paradise, the deluge of the ancient world, the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, loudly proclaim its pernicious nature and heinous demerit. We feel it to be hurtful in the natural evils of sickness and pain to which it hath subjected us. Death, which is its wages, is an awful monitor of its malignant effects. It appears terrible in the worm that never dieth, and in that fire that is not quenched. But no where doth it appear so deformed and odious as in the sufferings and death of Christ; for how deep must that stain have been, which nothing could wash away but the blood of the Son of God! How deadly that disease which no other medicine could

cure !

But as these considerations are applicable to all sins in common, it will be necessary, in order to your forming a just estimate of your own evil ways, to look more narrowly into the aggravating circumstances with which they have been attended.

Have not many of your transgressions been committed with knowledge and deliberation, nay, with artifice and cunning ? Have they not cost

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you no small degrees of study, before those desires which lust conceived were accomplished in actual sin ? Have you not courted temptation, and wearied yourselves with committing iniquity? Consider what degrees of resistance from your own minds you have vanquished; what obstacles in Providence you have overcome; what strivings of the Holy Spirit you have defeated in the course of your transgressions. Nay, have not some of your sins been still more aggravated by the breach of express vows and resolutions against them, often repeated with the greatest solemnity ? Hide not your eyes from any of these aggravating circumstances which have attended your offences. Every sin which you wilfully cover, or extenuate, will thereby gain an invincible addition of strength. Every lust which you conceal in your bosom, will become a viper which one day will sting you to the heart. Every good disposition, which you magnify, shall languish and pine away ; and those treasures of grace, with which the humble are enriched, shall be of no advantage to you,


you feel your poverty and wretchedness. Let me therefore call on you to exercise the

2d branch of repentance, which is here exemplified to us, viz. Loathing yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and for your abominations. And say, 0 sinner, is there not cause for this ? Dost thou loathe that which is deformed and filthy ? “ We are all,” saith the prophet l

saiah, “as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in us, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores.' Thou art displeased with thine enemies who seek to injure thee; but where is there such an enemy as thou art to thyself? Men may wrong thee in thy temporal interests, but no man, nay, no created being, can ruin thy soul without thine own concurrence. It is thou, and none else, that hast wounded thy conscience, and thrown away thy peace, and exposed thy soul to everlasting misery. Thou abhorrest him who hath killed thy dearest friend; but where hadst thou ever such a friend as the Lord Jesus Christ, whom, by thy sins, thou hast crucified and slain? Thy sins brought him down from heaven to earth ; thy sins subjected him to poverty, persecution, and reproach ; thy sins involved him in conflicts dreadful and unutterable, nailed him to the cross, and laid him low in the grave. By thy sins thou hast often tranpled on his blood, crucified him afresh, and put him to an open shame. Is there not cause then to loathe thyself in thine own sight for thine iniquities and for thine abominations ? But as there are several counterfeits of this penitent disposition, it may be proper to mention a few of them, that you may have a clearer view of that

self-loathing which I am desirous of recommending to you.

A man who, by his base unworthy behaviour, has forfeited the esteem of the world, may feel much inward shame and uneasiness on that ac, count, which may be mistaken by others, and even by himself, for true humiliation. And yet, though he seem to loathe both himself and his sins, he doth neither truly, and there is nothing genuine or promising in this kind of remorse. If the world would be reconciled to him, he would soon be reconciled to himself; for at bottom he hath no other quarrel with his sins, but that they happen to be disgraceful in the eyes of those whose esteem he would wish to preserve.

In like manner a natural conscience, irritated by some flagrant violation of the law of God, may severely sting the offender with shame and re

Yet when narrowly examined, this shame amounts to no more than a proud vexation, that he cannot think so well of himself as he would wish to do. If the exchange could be made, he would rather part with that conscience which gives him uneasiness, than with those sins which occasion its reproofs; and his only motive in condemning his sins is, that he may pacify that awful monitor. Nay, a man may advance a step farther, and make still nearer approaches to the gracious temper described in the text, without fully attaining it. He may see the baseness and


deformity of sin, and be deeply afflicted at the remembrance of his multiplied transgressions, and yet, through ignorance of the inbred corruption of his nature, he may be far from loathing himself in the spirit of true penitence.

What a beast was I, may he say, to act in a manner so reproachful to my faculties? Had I not reason to direct me? Could I not have governed my will and affections ? Was I not master of my own heart and ways ? Thus he may complain, and seemingly condemn himself; but this self-condemning language is in truth the expression of reigning pride, even as none are more severe in blaming themselves for misconduct in their worldly' affairs, than those who have the highest opinion of their ability to manage them aright.

In opposition to this, the truly convinced sinper sees himself to be all guilt, pollution, and weakness, destitute equally of righteousness and strength. He is led to see that corrupt fountain of inward enmity to God, which is manifested in the issues of his outward conduct. He is made sensible, that he “ was conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and that in him, that is in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” On these accounts he loathes himself in his own sight, not partially or occasionally only, for having acted a wrong part, which he supposes that by prudence he might have avoided, but universally as a

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