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Encouragement to Turn to God.

Encouragement to Turn to God.

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Published by glennpease

THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his luay, and the tmrighteovs
man his thoughts^ and let hivi relvrn nnto the Lord, and he
luill have mercij upon himy and to our God, for he tvill ahun^
dantly pardon.

THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his luay, and the tmrighteovs
man his thoughts^ and let hivi relvrn nnto the Lord, and he
luill have mercij upon himy and to our God, for he tvill ahun^
dantly pardon.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 24, 2014
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ECOURAGEMET TO TUR TO GOD. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Isai. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his luay, and the tmrighteovs man his thoughts^ and let hivi relvrn nnto the Lord, and he luill have mercij upon himy and to our God, for he tvill ahun^ dantly pardon. WE may discern many of the attributes of the Deity, 527,] ECOtJRAGEMET TO TUR TO GOD. 421 Deity, as wisdom, power, and goodness, in the works of creation: but it is from the book of revelation only that we obtain the knowledge of his mercy. The Heathen indeed entertain some faint ideas that God will pardon them ; though they know not how to approach him with acceptance, nor have any as- surance that they shall find acceptance with him. But we are invited by God himself to come unto him, and are encouraged by an express promise that he will pardon even the vilest of returning prodigals. In the words before us, we may see, I. Our duty — All of us by nature are in a state of departure from God, and of subjection to sin. Hence our duty is, 1 . To forsake our sins — [Every one has some " ivaif which he has marked out for liimself ; some way diat is suited to his age, his education, his circumstances in life, or his constitutional propensities.
 
Some are addicted to open vice; others to a more decent spe- cies of gaiety ; others to the pursuit of riches ; others to the more refined, though not less destructive, gratifications of literary pride ; while others again regard notliing but their ease, and the indulgence of their peculiar habits. But what- ever be our ways, if they be not such as are prescribed in the Scripture, and such as lead directly to heaven, they must be " forsaken." We may indeed, and must, attend to our earthly duties; but in tliem, as well as in our religious exer- cises, we must seek the glory of God, and the salvation of our souls. We must moreover forsake our " thoughts" Even they who are most correct in their conduct, will find abundant matter for humiliation in their " thoughts." What i)roud thoughts arise even from theh supposed superiority to others! What vain, angry, envious, worldly, covetous, impure, and unbelieving thoughts lodge within us all, and find a welcome reception in our "hearts ! These then, no less than our ways, must be " forsaken :" we must watch and pray against them, and labour to have our minds occupied with holy and heavenly contemplations.] 2. To turn unto our God — [As it is from God that we have departed, so it is unto God that we must return: nor will any reformation of our lives, or even renovation of our hearts, avail us, if diis furdier change be not accomplished within us. We 422 ISAIAH, Lv. 7. [527. We must turn to him in humility. All of us, without ex- ception, are guilty before God. Let us, even the best amongst us, only mark a\ liat our thoughts most easily recur to, and what they fix upon with the greatest frequency and delight,
 
in those seasons when there is nothing particular to engage them, and we shall find no great cause for self-preference and self-complacency. Such a view of ourselves would shew us what we are before Him " who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins ;" and would convince us that we need to abase our- selves before him with self-lothing and self-abhorrence. We must also turn to him in faith. There is but one Me- diator between God and man, whose merits and intercession must be the only grounds of our hope. In him, even in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must trust: we must make mention of his name and of his righteousness, even his only : and we must believe that God, for his sake, is willing to accept the very chief of sinners. We must yet further turn to him in an unreserved devoted- ness loth of heart and life. Mark, how entirely the heart of an unregenerate man gives itself to the world ! ot that he never engages in religious duties ; but, whatever he does, his affections are set upon things below, and not on things above. The very reverse of this is our duty : we are not to be so occupied with heavenly pursuits, as to neglect the duties of our place and station ; but, in the midst of all our earthly oc- cupations, God must have our hearts : his command must be the reason, his word the rule, and his honour the end, of all our actions. To fulfil his will, and enjoy his presence, should be the one object of our lives.] or shall we decline this duty, if we consider what the text proposes for, IL Our encouragement — ¦ God will " shew mercy" to returning penitents — [If it were doubtful whether our efforts would prove effectual for our salvation, we should not readily undertake the work of mortifying sin, and of turning unto God. But there is no doubt: for God delighteth in the exercise of mercy: "judgment is his strange work," to which he is ut- terly averse : " he willeth not the death of any sinner, but

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