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how much better able to bear up again any afflictions are those men who fenfible of their criminality confess with unfeigned remorfe their evil deferts, and throwing themselves entirely on the Divine Mercy, look to the goodness of God for relief, than those who obdurate and impenitent have no other prospect on which to ruminate than that of a continuance or encrease of fufferings! The example of David takes in the whole of this cafe on repenting fincerely of his complicated offence, he received by the mouth of the prophet the word of pardon: but though thus fecured from the penalty which the letter of the law contained, he had fome very severe evils to undergo in confequence of his tranf greffion. His behaviour under thofe, manifefted refignation mixed with hope: "If" (faid he to the prieft whom he commanded to carry back the ark of God into Jerufalem) "I fhall find
"favour in the eyes of the Lord, He "will bring me again, and fhew me "both it and His habitation: but if "He fay thus, I have no delight in thee, behold, here am I, let Him do to me, as feemeth good unto Him." And again when Shimei had reviled him, "Behold my fon which came forth of my bowels feeketh my life: how much "more may this Benjamite? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord "hath bidden him. It may be that the "Lord will look on mine affliction, and "that the Lord will requite me good "for his curfing this day." The hope thus expreffed feems afterwards to have grown up into confidence: for the charge he gave his captains when marching to battle appears to have befpoken an affurance of victory-" Deal gently for my "fake with the young man, even with "Abfalom."
BUT how different would have been the feelings of this suffering monarch, if he had not made his peace with God! Defpair would in all probability have overwhelmed his fpirits; and he might vainly have endeavoured to have put an end to his fufferings, by the fame difgracefull and impious mode that was used by the rebellious and disappointed Ahitophel. As to the difpenfation itself by which fin and fuffering are fo connected in this life, that they are scarcely ever separated but in the cafes of those who being given up to an impenitent heart are referved to a condemnation infinitely more heavy of everlasting wretchedness in the world to come, it is perfectly calculated, and undoubtedly intended to operate on our minds by fear unto falvation. God threatens you both by your confcience, and by His word, with punishment on your fins, not only in this life, but in the next; ye fec
fee the first part of His menaces in fact executed; the conclufion to be drawn from this then, is plain to the meanest capacity, and to be overlooked only through perverfenefs; That the rest of the divine judgements, (thofe I mean which are threatened to be executed in another life) will likewise as certainly overtake finners, unless they make a timely use of the only means to escape them, Repentance towards God, and Faith in our Lord, Jefus Chrift.
THIS is the proper leffon to be drawn from those examples of the divine judgements which we fee in the world: and it is this leffon that I would now wish to impress on your minds, by calling your attention, as I have already done, to the utter impoffibility of the divine threatenings not being executed, unless the only conditions of escape be complied with; as well as to the daily proofs before your
own eyes, of individuals generally fuffering in confequence of their tranfgreffions those temporary punishments with which both confcience and fcripture threaten them. And with the fame view I shall employ the remainder of this difcourse, in ftating to you some still more palpable inftances of the certain infliction of the menaces which revelation contains, with which we are furnished in the history of nations; and which menaces having been previously uttered for the exprefs purpose of convincing men of the truth of revelation, form by their accomplishment a pledge, that the threatnings too relating to a future ftate contained in the fame facred writings will in their season as infallibly overtake the impenitent.
THE greatnefs of the final punishments denounced against finners, and the inexorability feemingly attributed to