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God support, meroy, and relief, over and over again, uttering the same prayer in the same words. his sufferings, the urgency of his wants, as a conNothing he finds suits so well the extremity of tinusl recurrence to the same cries, and the same call for divine ajd. Our Lord himself, in his last aguny, affords & high example of what we are saying Thrice he besought his heavenly Father ; and thrice he used the same words : repetition therefore is not only tolerable in devotion, but it s natural: it is even dictated by a sense of suffer. Afretion, which requires to be enticed and grati16 and an acuteness of feeling. It is coldness of Sed or continued novelty of idea, or expression, or set. The repetitions and prolixity of pbari. & prayers, which our Lord censures, are to be understood of those prayers, which run out into were formality and into great length; no senti. wentor affection of the heart accompanying them ; det uttered as a task, from an opinion (of which per Land justly notices the absurdity) that they shald really be heard for their much speaking. Asteated by the spirit of devotion we can nerer Wied in this way: we can never be the object of Lastly, and what has already been intimated,

le pirit of devotion will cause our prayers to Ware an effect upon our practice. For example; e repeated the confession in our liturgy with a

sense of guilt upon our souls, we should not day, after day be acknowledging to God

ansgressions and neglects, and yet go on ex. svolto in the same manner, without endeavouring make them less and fewer: We should plainveive that this was doing nothing towards tie: and that, at this rate, we may be sin

sing all our lives. Whereas was onfessional piety, viz. thought.

in us at the time, this would t, especially in the case of an

hat the mind would become ncerned, more and more filled

censure.

pre penitential

with compunction and remorse, so as to be forced into amendment. Even the most heart-felt oonfession might not immediately do for us all that we could wish: yet by perseverance in the same, it would certainly in a short time produce its desired effect. For the same reason we should not time after time pray that we might thenceforward, viz. after each time of so praying, lead godly, righteous, and sober lives, yet persist, just as usual, in ungodliness, unrighteousness, and intemperance. The thing would be impossible, if we prayed as we ought. So likewise, if real thankfulness of heart accompanied our thanksgivings, we should not pray in vain, that we might shew forth the praises of God, not only with our lips, but in our lives. As it is, thousands repeat these words without doing a single deed for the sake of pleasing God, exclusive of other motives, or refraining from a single thing they like to do out of the fear of displeasing him. So again, every time we hear the third service at church, we pray that God would incline our hearts to keep his commandments; yet, immediately, perhaps, afterward allow our hearts and inclinations to wander, without control, to whatever sinful temptation enticed them. This, I say, all proceeds from the want of earnestness in our devotions. Strong devotion is an antidote against sin.

To conclude, a spirit of devotion is one of the greatest blessings; and, by consequence, the want of it one of the greatest misfortunes, which a Christian can experience. When it is present, it gives life to every act of worship, which we perform: it makes every such act interesting and comfortable to ourselves. It is felt in our most retired moments, in our beds, our closets, our rides, our walks. It is stirred within us, when we are assembled with our children and servants in fami. ly prayer. It leads us to church, to the congregation of our fellow Christians there collected; it accompanies us in our joint offices of religio: an especial manner; and it returns us to

God su again, u Nothin

Bagones nhlen saut zuppier, and better; and laste

his sufi tinual call fo

ini uhames its value to every anxious

al sitivt's to himself a proof that his Ik vodywends God; when it is followed ptiue lle', by abstinence from sin, and en***Ayuter virtue, by avoiding evil and doing

proof and the satisfaction to be drawn

agony, ing and t there

complete.

is nat ing, affee fied or a saie und me

7

SERMON VII.
OF THE DOCTRINE OF CONVERSION.
I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to

repentance - Matt. ix. 13.
in his preaching held in view the character and

Ir appears from these words, that our Saviour
Piritu:.' situation of the persons whom he address-
ed; and the differences which existed amongst
in these respects; and that he had a regard

more especially in the Sursa repentance and conversion. Now I

cier these considerations have been too 2:iec br preachers of the gospel since

In this very article ; and that the docwas suttered by such omission.

*2 us to divide all mankind into two

rerted and the unconverted; and,
them, to infer the necessity of con.

In
are person whatever.
cukr this form, we state the distinc-

absolutely, and draw from
a universal : because there is a

piion of Christians, who, having
retuiested, and having persevered in
NUX , into which they were first

raconscious to themselves of ever
- at the influence of religion, of

as its sanctions, of ever har
of ever, in the general
having gone against them.
be reckoned either con.
They are not converted,

for they are not sensible of any such religious alteration having taken place with them, at any particular time, as can properly be called a conver. sion. They are not unconverted, because that implies a state of reprobation, and because, if we call upon them to be converted (which, if they be unconverted, we ought to do,) they will not well understand what it is we mean them to do ; and, instead of being edified, they may be both much and unnecessarily disturbed, by being so called upon.

There is, in the nature of things, a great variety of religious condition. It arises from hence, that exhortations, and calls, and admonitions, which are of great use and importance in themselves, and very necessary to be insisted upon, are, nevertheless, not wanted by all, are not equally applicable to all, and to some are altogether inapplicable. This holds true of most of the topics of persuasion or warning, which a Christian teacher can adopt. When we preach against presumption, for instance, it is not because we suppose that all are presumptuous; that it is necessary for all, or cvery one, to become more humble, or diffident, or apprehensive, than he now is : on the contrary, there may amongst our hearers be low, and timorous, and dejected spirits, who, if they take to themselves what we say, may increase a disposition, which is already too much ; or be at a loss to know what it is herein that we would enjoin upon them. Yet the discourse and the doctrine may, nevertheless, be very good ; and for a great portion of our congregation very necessary. The like, I think, is the case with the doctrine of conversion. If we were to omit the doctrine of conversion, we should omit a doctrine, which, to maniv, must be the salvation of their souls. To them

calls without this call, all preachings without doctrine, would be in vain: and it may be

that a great part of our hearers are of this ciption. On the other hand, if we press and 1 upon conversion, as indispensable to all for purpose of being saved, we should mislea

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rent to it, or alienated from it.

every man living to be converted, before he can

same, who would not apprehend how they could he required to turn, or be converted to religion, who were never, that they knew, either indiffe.

la opposition, however, to what is here said, there are who contend, that it is necessary for be saved. This opinion undoubtedly deserves seYous consideradou, because it founds itself upon Seripaures wieder rightly or erroneously inter. preted is the question. The portion of scripture tapen we hey, who maintain the opinion, chief.

peny, a ver saviour's conversation with Nicodemuss est in the third chapter of St. John's Suspen vw Saviour is there stated to have said WewesExcept a man be born again,

he se we kingdom of God;” and afterward, ** SEARCiou, and in some sort an exposition

eu, to have added, “except a man be war, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter

vongdom of God.” It is inferred from w that all persons whatever must un. vukersion, before they be capable of sal.

w it cannot be said that this is a forced mitru iuterence; but the question before us per les is it a necessary inference? I am not

which admit, that this short, but very reminations wou versation, is fairly interpreted of the Anda pirit, and that, when this Spirit is giv. Aws a new birth, a regeneration; but I mit is no where determined, at what time

under what circumstances, this gift is vya weu; nay, the contrary is intimated by com. de to the blowing of the wind, which, in its

setion, is out of the reach of our rules and ations : “ the wind bloweth where it listeth, ou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not

ce it cometh, and whither it goeth; so *ae that is born of the Spirit.” The

is uncertainty is, that we are left at lib. ray for spiritual assistance, and we do pray n all stages, and under all circumstances,

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