corruption cannot inherit incorruption." Thusthen we are assured by our reason, that perfectobedience is due to a perfect law, but we areequally assured, that in such a law no provisionfor its violation can exist. Such a provisionmust be an after act of favour and mercy ; andthat such a provision ever should exist, may bevaguely presumed, but cannot be certainly determined : with respect to the conditions of sucha provision, we must remain in ignorance stillmore profound.Upon repentance, perhaps, as the most probable condition our imagination can devise of ourrestoration to the divine favour, we fix our hopes.And yet, it is clearly contrary to our notionsof moral government, to suppose, that futureamendment should in all cases prevent the judicial bad consequences of evil actions, or remitthe punishment annexed to disobedience ; muchless have we any ground to determine in whatdegree, and in what cases, such an effect would48 SERMO IV.be produced. This will appear the more evidentif we consider, the universal prevalence of propitiatory sacrifices over the heathen world, plainlyshewing, that the notion of repentance alonebeing sufficient to expiate guilt, was contrary tothe general sense of mankind. Besides, the imperfection of our natures must render any repentance equally imperfect. ow the perfectlaw of God, must necessarily require perfectobedience ; and all that falls short of perfectobedience, arise from what cause it may, is rebellion and guilt. Shall then a rebellious creature,lift up its eyes to the glories of its great Creator ?