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We pretend not to know any way of Salvation without innocence, or without repentance followed by real reformation in life and practice. The great benefits offered to all in the gospel, every man by God's grace must secure to himself. No benediction, alas! that we can pronounce
over any one, will make a Saint of him I Theff.v.
who continues in sin. The Spirit itself
may be quenched; and the grace of God re2 Cor.vi.i.
ceived in vain : yet, not wholly in vain ; since it will redound to the vindication of his judgments, and the greater glory of the supreme Justice in the final condemnation of the wicked,
Can it avail us in the last day, that our Religion was reformed, while we ourselves were not so? we thank God that we are separated from the errours, and freed from the chains of Popery, without breaking out into a state of religious anarchy. But if in this land of light and liberty, we be yet blinded by corruption, and Naves to
fin, all honeft men of every religion, and
VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE
for piety, God is pleased to declare, that He will new mercy unto thousands of
them that love Him, and keep his commandmenis, that is, to the remotest relations and latest descendants of an eminently good man, treating them with peculiar tenderness, rewarding with an opener hand, and punishing more sparingly, for his fake to whom they belong, or from whom they spring; we take all these offers in good part, and have no difficulty in being reconciled to fo gracious a dispensation. There is no complaint in this case of the want of a due proportion between the merit and there compence: we easily find our selves qualified to receive kindnesses; and consent readily that Almighty God may be as liberal as He will, , and with as little reason.
But it is much otherwise in the case of punishments. For if, in like manner, for the discouragement of impiety and vice, He has seen it necessary to descend to
threatenings; and intimate, that He is a Ifa.xlii.8. jealous God, not willing to give his glory to