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Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgreffion, the fruit of my body for the fin of my soul? This is the genuine language of a convinced finner. Pardon he would have at any rate. !. 2. The other question that is implied in this, in the text, is that of the young man that came to Christ, Mark X. 17. What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Though pardon of sin, or freedom from wrath, be that which first occurs to an awakened sinner, as the object of his desires; yet it is not all that he desireś. Salvation would be very incomplete, if eternal life came not in to boot : for man might be forgiven, and yet be turned into nothing, or not admitted into the enjoyment of God.' A rebel may be pardon. ed, and yet never be made a favourite. That this, as well as the other, will be much upon the thoughts of a folidly convinced sinner, appears from several considerations. :
(1.) When God himself condescends to direct such, he makes something more than pardon ne. cessary to them. Hof. xiv. 2. There the remnant of the Jews, whom the Lord has a mind to do good to, are told what they must seek from him when they return, and what was necessary in or der to their happiness : not only must they have their iniquities pardoned, but they must have gras cious acceptance with God, or admission into his favour, Take with you words, and turn to the Lord,
Say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive sus graciou ly. Gracious acceptance with God, is
full as necessary in order to the content of an ao wakened finner, as pardon of fin. ' (2.) Awakened sinners in all ages, have by their
discovered satisfy thighteoufacup
practice evidently discovered, that pardon alone did not seem sufficient to satisfy them. They have ever been seeking after some righteousness, wherein they might appear before God, and up: on which they might found their title and claim to eternal life, as being sensible that pardon of fin alone could not do it. The Jews, who expected pardon from the mercy of God, yet went about ta establish a righteousness of their own, being ignorant of the righteousnefs of God, Rom. X. 3. , (3;) In one word, a convinced sinner is one that is persuaded of a future state, and that the things of this world cannot make him happy : therefore he certainly means the fame by this que ftion, What shall I do to be saved that we mean when we enquire, What mall make us happy? That every awakened sinner is convinced of a future state, is unquestionable; since the wrath he would fo fain be freed from, is chiefly in a future state; nor is it lefs, plain, that it is complete happiness he aims at, and that all his trouble arises from the apprehensions of the inconsistency be. tween his happiness and unpardoned guilt. That which only remains to be made appear is, That pardon of sin alone cannot secure him of eternal happiness: and this is easily proven; for there are two things which pardon doth not, and yet without them both, it is impossible that man should be happy. 1. Pardon of sin gives man no title, no claim to eternal life and happiness. Innocence in Adain did not give him a title to heaven : can any then think that pardon now can give us a title? Eternal life was to be the reward of a course of obedience; nor had innocent Adam any pretensions to it, till such rime as he had fulfilled a course of perfect obedience: far less then could fallen man have
any any pretensions to it, if only his sins were pardoned. 2. Pardon of sin doth not make man meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, for cons verse and intercourse with God. A convinced finner will see, that there is no poflibility of access for him to the enjoyment of God, unless there be an entire change wrought upon his nature; for how can two of fo very different natures have any'. mutual complacency in one another? God can' have none in the finful nature of man; nor can the finful nature of man have any in the holy nature of God: and it is what none can fay, that pardon changes the nature of the person that is pardoned.
Now to sum up what we have said under this head, when an awakened sinner puts the question, What must I do to be fuved? he just means, How fall I obtain happiness? And this has these three in it. 1. How shall I get my sins pardoned ? 2. How shall I get a title to eternal life ? 3. How fhall I be made meet to be a sharer of the inheritance of the saints in light ? Unless the mind be fully satisfied as to these three enquiries, it can never think itself secure or happy. That which comes in the
III. Place to be enquired into, is the nature of this (concern) which is the genuine issue and necessary result of sound conviction. The nature and effects of this, we shall unfold to you in the following particulars. And,.
1. To lay salvation to hcart, or to be concern: ed about it seriously, imports dissatisfaction with all other enjoyments, so long as the soul is in the dark about this. The man may possibly be poffessed of great things in the world, he may have all going there with him according to wilh; but
if once he begin to take falvation to heart, he will find content of mind in none of these things. If such a one cast his eye upon his enjoyments, his riches, his honours, his pleasures, he will be sure to conclude as Haman did upon another account, Esther v.13. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as Iam at an uncertainty about salvation. Thefe things cannot satisfy. What are they to a dying man? One that apprehends himself just ready to be swallowed up of the wrath of God, can relish no sweetness in any of these things, till once he be rid of the fears of that. Thus' we see it is with the jaylor: He, who but a little before was fo anxious about the prisoners, that he was ready to have made himself away for fear of their escape, turns now unconcerned about these things; and we hear not, that, while all the doors were open, he made any provision for their security, nor did he receive any fatisfaction from understanding that they were all fafe. This dissatisfaction is not such a discontent as some fall into who are noways awakened, which leads them to fret, grudge and repine, because their lot in a present world is not such as they would have it; no, but it is such a dissatisfaEtion as flows from a solid persuasion that these things cannot afford happiness, or avert impending and threatened misery, which is so terrible in the eyes of the alarmed sinner. *. 2. This concern about. salvation, imports
thoughtfulness about the threatened evils, and the means of preventing them. When the soul has once got a view of fin and misery in their native colours, and sees mifery threatening it, then this arrests the thoughts; the mind can ply itself to no other thing with pleasure, but only to the ways and means of escape. . If other thoughts intrude,
they are presently rejected with contempt, as impertinent. The man indeed doth not deny it to be his duty to be concerned about other things; but he thinks it not present duty, nay, he thinks it impertinent for him in his present condition. He is like one that lives in a besieged city : the e nemy has made a breach in the walls, and threa- . tens a sudden irruption. In which case the man knows very well he is obliged to attend to the duties of his ordinary calling and station; yet in the present exigence, he doth not judge it pertinent to look that way; for if the enemy once enter at the breach, and fack the city, then he for ever loses the advantage of any thing that he gains by his other endeavours; therefore he rather turns his thoughts and contrivances to the reparation of the breach, or the pacifying of the enemy, if he find the place not tenable against him. Just so is it in the case of an awakened sinner: he knows, that if the wrath of God over. take him, he is for ever ruined; therefore his thoughts are wholly bent upon this, how he may be delivered from the wrath to come. Thus we see the Psalmist employed under fears of impending hazard, Pfal. xiii. 2. How long, says he, Shall I take counsel in my foul, having forrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? The apprehensions he was under of danger, put him upon many contrivances how he might řid himself of it. This is always the nature of concern; it arrests the thoughts, and keeps men fixed upon that about which the soul is coneerned,
3. This concern has in it always carnestness of delire after salvation. Desire is ever implied in concern of mind; if a man be concerned how to ile L 3