« السابقةمتابعة »
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.-Acts ii. 21. Rom. x. 5, 6. 8, 9.
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. xv. 55, 56.
My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.-Rom. viii. 3, 4.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, hath for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.-Rom. viii. 3, 4.
His commandments are not grievous.--1 John, v. 3.
If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.-Rom. v.10.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil. iv. 13.
My grace is sufficient for thee : for my strength is made perfect in weakness.--2 Cor. xii. 9.
Ask and ye shall have, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.—Matt. vii. 7.
To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.—2 Cor. vii. 1. Vide etiam Isa. xlix. 6. liii. 12.
Having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.-Psal. xxii. 23—28. Jer. xxxii. 34.
I. O ETERNAL God, Lord of heaven and earth, Father of men and angels, we do adore thy infinite goodness, we revere thy justice, and delight in thy mercies, by which thou hast dealt with us, not with the utmost right and dominion of a lord, but with the gentleness of a father; treating us
like friends, who were indeed thy enemies. Thou, O God, didst see our follies, and observe our weaknesses, thou knowest the averseness of our nature to good, and our proneness to commit vanity; and because our imperfect obedience could not bring us to perfect felicity, whither thou didst design us, the great God of all the world was pleased to make a new covenant with man, and to become a debtor to his servants. Blessed be God, and blessed be that mercy, which hath done so great things for us. O be pleased to work that in us which thou expectest from us.
Let us not lose our title in the covenant of faith and repentance, by deferring the one, or dishonouring the other; but let us walk worthy of our vocation, according to the law of faith, and the mercies of God, and the covenant of our Lord Jesus.
O blessed Jesus, never suffer us to abuse thy mercies, or to turn thy grace into wantonness. Let the remembrance and sense of thy glorious favours endear our services, and let thy goodness lead us to repentance, and our repentance bring forth the fruits of godliness in our whole life. Imprint deeply upon our hearts the fear and terror of thy majesty, and perpetually entertain our spirits with highest apprehensions of thy loving-kindness, that we may fear more, and love more, every day more and more hating sin, crucifying all its affections and desires, passionately loving holy things, zealously following after them, prudently conducting them, and indefatigably persevering in them to the end of our lives.
III. O BLESSED and eternal God, with thy Spirit enlighten our understandings in the rare mysterious secrets of thy law. Make me to understand all the most advantageous ways of duty, and kindle a flame in my soul, that no difficulty or contradiction, no temptation within or persecution without, may ever extinguish. Give me a mighty grace, that I may design to please thee with my best and all my services, to follow the best examples, to do the noblest charities, to pursue all perfection, ever pressing forward to the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Let us rather choose to die,
than to sin against our consciences. Let us also watch, that we may omit nothing of our duty, nor pretermit any opportunity by which thou canst be glorified, or any Christian instructed, comforted, or assisted, not resting in the strictest measures of command, but passing forward to great and prudent significations of love, doing heroic actions; some things by which thou mayest be greatly pleased, that thou mayest take delight to pardon, to sanctify, and to preserve, thy servants for ever. Amen.
OF THE NATURE AND DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE;
AND WHAT PARTS OF DUTY ARE SIGNIFIED BY IT IN HOLY SCRIPTURES.
SECTION 1. The Greeks use two words to express this duty, Meraukela and μετάνοια. Μεταμέλεια is from μεταμελείσθαι, post factum angi et cruciari,' to be afflicted in mind, to be troubled for our former folly; it is δυσαρέστησις επί πεπραγμένοις, saith Phavorinus; 'a being displeased for what we have done:' and it is generally used for all sorts of repentance, but more properly to signify either the beginnings of a good, or the whole state of an effective repentance. In the first sense we find it in St. Matthewf, υμείς δε ιδόντες ου μετεμελήθητε ύστεpov, ToŨ TTLOTEŪoal avtq; and “ye seeing, did not repent that ye might believe him.”
Of the second sense we have example in Judas, uerauen Seis átéorpeye, he repented too, but the end of it was, he died with anguish and despair; and of Esau it is said, ueravóias tórrov o'x kúpe, “be found no place for" an effective“ repentance;" but yet he repented too, for he was μετέπειτα θέλων, and μετά δακρύων εκζητήσας, he fain would have had it otherwise, and he “sought it with tears ";" which two do fully express all the meaning of this μεταμέλεια, , when it is distinguished from the better and effective repentance. There is in this repentance, a sorrow for what is done, a disliking of the thing with its consequents and effect; and
& Matt. xxvii. 3.
f Matt. xxi. 32.
h Heb. xij. 17.
so far also it is a change of mind. But it goes no farther than so far to change the mind, that it brings trouble and sorrow, and such things which are the natural events of it. Meraué ela máloc dv púrlivov, saith Suidas. It is an affection incident to man,' not to God, who cannot repent: where although by máfoç he means 'an accident or property' of man, that is, a quality in the general sense; yet that it is properly a passion in the special sense, was the sense of all men, as Tertullianobserves ; saying, that the heathens know repentance to be 'passionem animi quandam' (the same with álos ávopútivov in Suidas), ‘a passion,''quæ veniat de offensa sententiæ prioris,' 'coming from our being offended, or troubled at our former course.'- But Tertullian uses the Latin word, of which I shall give account in the following periods.
2. But when there was a difference made, ustávoia was the better word; which does not properly signify the sorrow for having done amiss, but something that is nobler than it, but brought in at the gate of sorrow. For ή κατά θεόν λύπη, 'a godly sorrow,' that is ustaué ela, or the first beginning of repentance, Metávolav kategyáletal, 'worketh’ this better repentance, μετάνοιαν αμεταμέλητον, and είς σωτηρίαν, a repentance not to be repented of,' not to be sorrowed for, a repentance that is ‘unto salvationk.' Sorrow may go before this, but dwells not with it, according to that of St. Chrysostom ; “Medicinæ hic locus, non judicii ; non pænas sed peccatorum remissionem pænitentia tribuit'.” Merávoua is the word.
Repentance brings not pains, but pardon with it ; for this is the place of medicine and remedy, not of judgment or condemnation:” meaning, that this repentance is wholly salutary, as tending to reformation and amendment. But Tertullianm made the observation more express : “In Græco sono, pænitentiæ nomen non ex delicti confessione, sed ex animi demutatione compositum est ;” “ To repent, among the Greeks, signifies, not a confession of our fault, but the change of mind.” He speaks of the grammatical sense of the word; for in the whole use of it, it is otherwise.
3. For however the grammarians may distinguish them, yet the words are used promiscuously ; for uetávota is some
Lib. de Pænit.
k 2 Cor. vii. 11.
times used in the bad sense, and ueraué ela signifies the better repentance; not often, but sometimes it does. The sono that told his father, he would not work in his vineyard, afterward was sorry for refusing, and he went to work, uerauenθείς απήλθε ; and in the same chapter, υμείς ιδόντες ου μεTELENÚ INTE ; ‘ye seeing were not troubled, and sorrowful, that ye might believe, that is, amend your fault.' Metapedeco Jai is in both places used for a salutary repentance. And on the other side, metávola is used to signify, in the evil sense, ' a state of misery, without remedy.' Ilavoūpyos žoxerai tis jetávolav, so the Septuagint read that of Solomono; “ The wicked man cometh to repentance,” that is, to misery and sorrow. So that there is nothing of usefulness which can be drawn from the grammatical sense of these words; they both signify a change of mind, and they both signify a sorrow; and they both are used for the same thing: and indeed that will be the best use of them: no man can be truly said to repent, but he who, being sorrowful for doing evil, betakes himself to wiser courses. So Phavorinus: Metávolá ioti ovvaio Inous Yuxñs ip' ois érpačev årówÇ•“ Repentance is a sense and compunction of the soul for those things, which were done foolishly,"
Sum Dea, quæ facti, non factique exigo pænas,
Nempe ut paeniteat : sic Metanæa vocor P.
Repentance does exact punishment for evils done, and good undone; but besides this, it is ni apòc kpciocov émiot popr', 'a conversion to that which is better.'—So Aretas defines it: Μετάνοιά έστι μετάθεσις απο χειρόνων, και μεταβολή επί βέλ. TOV, the same with the former; 'an eschewing evil, and doing good.'
4. And thus the Holy Scriptures understand this word and this duty. It is a whole change of state and life; στροφή από των αμαρτιών, απόστασης απ' αδικίας, “a turning from sin ?;' and it is emphatically called by the Apostle petávoia atò vɛkoðvěsywv, “a repentance from dead works,' that is, a forsaking them with sorrow that ever we committed n Nalt. xxi. 29.
• Prov. xiv. P Auson. Epigr. 12. Delph. p. 12. Malè Metanæa usus est : verbam parum Græcum est, nec lamen eo sensu et definitione à Græcis usurpatum. Rectè igitur et facetè fassus est idem Ausonius in epigrammate de abusu hujus verbi parum Latini,
Sum Dea, cui nomen nec Cicero ipse dedit. ? Heb. vi. 1. 1 Kings, viii. 35. Isa. lix. 20. 2 Chron. vii. 14. Jer. xviii. 7-9. and xxxi. 19. 2 Tim. ii. 19.