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claim the additions to their num-I once been illumined with the ber and their glory. They are light of celestial truth, the heart constantly spread through our will be quickened with the power earth, and, while they are heralds of celestial life. Repentance is of good fram the third heavens to entirely the result of the grace the followers of Jesus, they carry and operation of God; for the back with them the glad tidings sidner, of himself, can do nothing; of every new convert to bis grace, and “sooner may the Ethiopian and rejoice with glorified spirits change his skin, or the leopard over his repentance.
his spots, than he can cease to do What then is this repentance, evil and learn to do well.” It is by which the blest inhabitants of thus described by the prophet: heaven become more blest, and “I will sprinkle clean water upon the songs of their triumph more you, and ye shall be clean-from triumphant than before ? and how all your filthiness, and from all is it a source of their joy ? your idols will I cleanse you; a
new heart also will I give you, I. We shall very briefly con- and a new spirit will I put within sider the nature of this repentance. you, and I will take away the
stony heart out of your flesh, and It consists summarily in these I will give you an heart of Aesh, two things : the rectification and I will put my Spirit within of the understanding with re- you, and cause you to walk in my spect to truth, and of the heart statutes, and ye shall keep my with respect to good. It is that judgments and do them.” grace without which there is no Sin has perverted our intellect salvation in heaven, and no hap- as well as debased our affections. pioess on earth. It is that act We have lost the power to perof the sinner whereby, from a ceive the truth as well as the true sepse both of the nature and ability to love and obey it when evil of sin, and also of the mercy perceived. - The natural man and forgiveness of his God and receiveth not the things of the Saviour, he renounces his sinful Spirit of God, neither can be principles and habits, with grief, know them, because they are and hatred for past transgressions, spiritually discerned.” The unand new resolutions for future derstanding of every sinner amendment and obedience. Re- is so blinded, and his heart so pentance is the tear of sorrow corrupted, that he calls evil good that trickles down from the eye and good evil-puts light for of faith, fastened upon the cross darkness, and darkness for light, of Jesus. It always proceeds bitter for sweet, and sweet for from faith in the testimony of bitter. We are alienated from God concerning the Lord Jesus the life of God through the ignoChrist, as the only and the per-rance that is in us; and we can fect Saviour from sin and from never know our error, our sin, wrath ; for we must first perceive and our ruin ; or our life, our the ground on which to rest our peace, and our hope, until “ God, hopes before we can induce our who commanded the light to shine souls to trust in it for salvation. out of the darkness, shines into And when the understanding has our hearts, to give us the light of
the knowledge of the glory of way of righteousness, of peace, God, as it shines in the face of and of glory, and seek for that Jesus Christ.” Then, and not blessedness in the creature, which till then, does the sinner find that is only to be found in God the God's favour alone is life, and Creator; he grieves to think how his loving-kindness better than he could so long have resisted the Jife ; that this favour and loving- kind invitations of his beavenly kindness can be obtained only in Father, who delighteth not in the and through that Jesus who is death of the sinner, but rather " the way, the truth, and the life," that he would repent and live : and that the beauty and glory of how he could ever have tried the image he has lost can be re- with that blood of Jesus which stored and renewed only by the was poured out on Calvary to operation of the Holy Ghost. atope for his iniquities, and to When his mind is thus enlighten- cleanse him from all sin ; bow ed, his heart is also changed. he could ever have resisted the And from this new principle of strivings of his good and holy life and light, implanted in the Spirit, and abused the unnumber. eoul, the sinner has new views of ed, and unmerited mercies which himself and of God; new views have been lavished upon bim. of time and of eternity ; new These things, borne in upon the views of the world and all its soul, fill the believing penitent riches, and glories, and pleasures; with unutterable sorrow, and new aversions, and new desires ; cause his heart to flow out in the new fears, and new hopes; new bitterest streams of anguish. The joys, and new sorrows ; new re- returning and repenting prodigal solutions, and new employmente; then comes to his hearenly Fa. new principles, and new habits ; ther, not to conceal or extenuate so that “old things have passed his sios, but to confess and expose away, and all things have become them all ; not to repine at God, new.” He hates that which he or murmur at his ways, but to once loved, and loves that which loathe and abhor himself, and he formerly hated; he renounces pour out his whole heart, in all what he formerly embraced, and its tenderness, and humility, and embraces that which he once re- love; and to cry with the psalmnounced. His heart is filled with ist, “ For thy name's sake, O Jeeincere and pungent sorrow for hovah, pardon mine iniquity; for all his multiplied transgressions, it is great." He grieves for sin and with the most ingenuous and as sin not because he fears its earnest endeavours for future puoishment, but because it disamendment. He finds that he bas honours bis God. He has nobeco “ forsaking the fountain of thing to plead, and nothing to living waters, and hewing out to hope for, but simply the grace himself broken cisterns, which and mercy of his God. He listens can hold no water.” He wonders to that voice from heaven; and how he could so long “spend his while he listens, obeys :
* Let money for that which is not bread, the wicked forsake bis way, and and his labour for that which sa- the unrighteous man his thoughts, tisheth not ;" how he could wan- and let him return unto the Lord, der so often and so far from tbe and be will have mercy upon bim,
and to our God, for he will abun-| II. We proposed to consider dantly pardon.” And while he how and why this repentance adds turns from sin he flees unto God, to the happiness of the inhabias the only portion and refuge of tants above ? his soul. He does not reform without repenting, but he repents It produces joy in heaven, in order to reform. He does not Because, Every new penitent wrap himself
in the mantle of adds new glory to God, and is a his own righteousness, but looks new subject to show forth his for a robe of righteousness drawn love, mercy, grace, wisdom, from the wardrobe of the skies ; righteousness, in the Lord Jesus and while he feels the bitterness Christ ; so that from every reof sin, would taste the sweetness penting sinner the adorable Triof the cup of salvation. While nity receive increasing, and still he desires to have his conscience increasing, praise. God the Farelieved from the guilt of sin, he ther beholds, with great complalongs to have his heart purified cency, every returning rebel, and from its love and power. He welcomes his approach unto the wishes to bring shame and hu- mercy-seat.
The love of the Familiation to himself, but honour ther is displayed in his salvation, and glory to God. It is not the and he rejoices to see its fruit; dread of everlasting punishment, for it was his own infinite, everbut the faith of the divine forgive- lasting love that sent the onlyness that melts his heart. His begotten Son into the world, and tears flow because he believes is the Fountain of all our life and that gracious declaration, “I will our hope. So that he acquiesces establish my covenarit with thee, with great delight in every sinand thou shalt know that I am ber that repents and lives. the Lord ; that thou mayest re The glorified Saviour sees of member and be confounded, and the travail of his soul, and is sanever open thy mouth any more, tisfied. He views with great because of thy shame, when I am rapture every rebellious man that pacified towards thee for all that comes to him, and rejoices that thou hast done, saith the Lord he has a renewed testimony to God.” And having obeyed its the value of bis blood, that he has voice, and turned to his God and rescued another prey from the Saviour, his heavenly Father re- destroyer, and secured another joices over him, and clothes the beir of his kingdom and glory. weeping prodigal in the garments God the Holy Ghost smiles in of his salvation ; and all things beholding the beauty of his own become bis ; his power to help work, and the effects of his own him, his wisdom to guide bim, his power; and while he rejoices Spirit to sanctify him, his pro- over what he has begun, he hasmises to comfort him, his angels tens to carry on, and complete, to guard him, his heaven to glo- the salvation of the sinner, till rify him-Himself to bless him. he is received among the spirits
This is that repentance which of the just made perfect. saves the soul from death, and But not only does God the Fawhich creates joy and gladness in ther, Son, and Holy Spirit reheaven.
joice over the repeating sinner,
but the angels and redeemed gladsome event, and their shining above are gladdened in beholding hosts redouble their praise, all these renewed manifestations of hell shrieks with horror that anothe divine love, mercy, wisdom, ther captive has been lost, and and truth. The display of the numbered among the children of glory of God is an unutterable the Lord Almighty. The angels source of happiness to all holy which kept their first estate debeings; and the higher their hap- light to behold the legions of the piness, and the greater their ho- pit bumbled and vanquished ; and, liness, the more do they love to when they hear those lips, once glorify God, and the more do filled with cursing and blasphemy, they desire to behold his glory. now singing the praises of their The seraphs of the third heavens God and king, and find the band view with great delight the di- and voice, once lifted up in revine glory manifested in the bellion, now lifted up for his works of creation ; and the con- glory, they cannot but rejoice templation of it is a matter of their with exceeding joy at these reemployment, as well as a source of newed trophies of redeeming their blessedness.
But God re- grace. ceives more glory from the con There is joy in heaven orer version of even one soul from every repenting sinner. darkness to light, and from death Because, It adds to the number to life, than from the whole of of those who are gathered tohis creation ; and with what ad- gether under Jesus Christ, and miring and adoring joy then must makes the society of heaven more the angels stoop down to behold full, and its praises throughout the wonders of redeeming love ! eternity more great and abundant. And if “the morning stars sang The angels, therefore, are gladtogсther when the foundations of dened, because the vacancy octhe earth were laid," how great casioned in the armies of the and how sweet must be the concert skies, by the apostate spirits, is of their praise when an heir of thus supplied with those who bell is made an heir of heaven ! shall add more glory to God, and How high must they tune their also more blessedness to themharps, to see repeated instances selves, than if no apostacy had of God's greatest dishonour be- ever occurred. coming the occasion of his great They rejoice, est glory, and of his fiercest foes
Because, Every new convert being subdued into his willing is a fresh memorial to enhance captives. How must they rejoice their own happiness, when they when another child of grace and see how much it costs to purchase glory is born to proclaim the the same glory they themselves praises of their God, and to unfold enjoy. They had known their to them the munificence and mag. fellow-angels to be destroyed Dificence of his love!
without mercy and without hope, There is joy in heaven over and “reserved in chains of darkevery repenting sioner,
ness until the judgment of the Because, It is a new triumph great day.” They had known over the powers of darkness ; and how much they had lost by rebelwhile all heaven exults at the lion; and when they contemplate
the infinitely valuable price that pleasing and useful for them to was paid to rescue sinful man, know, it is not very material to they cannot but feel the warm- inquire, and perhaps impossible est gratitude in contemplating the to determine. They are invisiblessedness they have gained by bly, and innumerably dispersed persevering in their obedience. over our world, and take an im
They rejoice in heaven over mediate concern in whatever beevery repenting sinner,
longs to the glory, prosperity, Because, Of the awful perdition and safety of the church. They he has escaped, and the infinite are “all ministering spirits, sent blessednes he has secured. They forth to a ministry on the account know far better than we can the of them who are the heirs of salunspeakable joy of communion vation." He who rules in the with God, and how terrible it armies of beaven gives his angels must be to be separated from his charge over his people, to keep presence, his kingdom, and his them in all their ways, and bear glory : whenever,
therefore, them up in their hands. They they bebold a rebel plucked as a watch about our paths, and about brand from everlasting burnings, our beds, and spy out all our conrescued from the wrath of God,cerns; and though our eyes are and the company of devils and withheld from beholding them, damned spirits, and enrolled they continually encamp round among the heirs of “an inherit- about us to deliver us from every ance which is incorruptible and evil. There is not a seraph that undefiled, and that fadeth not burns in the highest beavens that away,” and the blood-relations of thinks it any dishonour to wait the Son of the Highest beautified upon the meanest believer that with his own image, elevated to lives on the earth. Even Gabis own throne, and to be employ-briel himself has no greater blessed with themselves and the spi-edness than to announce on high rits of the just made perfect, the repentance of a sioner that throughout eternity, in the ser had spurned the offers of divine vice and praise of their God and love, and would, with the most King, they cannot but feel the transcendent joy, step aside from purest love and joy enkindled in before the throne of God, to intheir breasts, and must tune their troduce the humblest follower of harps to the most melodious and the Lord Jesus to the presence of enrapturing chords.
his God and Saviour, to receive We shall close this article with a more brilliant crown than even a few inferences ;
himself could ever wear. 1. The angels and redeemed 2. Our subject fully establishes spirits above have an intimate the doctrine of the final perseacquaintance with things upon verance of the saints to glory. the earth, and are especially in- Do you think the repentance of a terested in the conversion of sin sinner would raise such glad honers unto God. Whether they sannas in the courts above, if bis come to this knowledge by virtue perseverance were doubtful or unof their ministry here below, or true? Would it not chill their whether God is pleased to reveal praises and silence their harps, it to them as a matter highly if a soul, once introduced into the