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The Nature and Efficacy of Repentance.

The Nature and Efficacy of Repentance.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THE REV. MILES JACKSON



I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Fa
ther, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and
am no more wortny to be called thy son LUKE xv. 18.
BY THE REV. MILES JACKSON



I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Fa
ther, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and
am no more wortny to be called thy son LUKE xv. 18.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 21, 2014
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THE ATURE AD EFFICACY OF REPETACE. BY THE REV. MILES JACKSOI will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Fa ther, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more wortny to be called thy son LUKE xv. 18. EVERY student of the scriptures must know that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, that all have need of repentance, and that God commanded! all men every where to repent. And it is an unspeakable mercy that we may find in the word of God, both direc tion and encouragement, in exercising re pentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. But even with these necessary helps, we shall never repent, if left to ourselves. The same divine spirit, by whose inspiration the scriptures were indited, must first influence the understanding and the heart, before any man can really repent. Jesus Christ is ex alted to bestow repentance. And truly, " there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 117 The parable, of which the text is a part, gives us a simple, and beautiful, and affect
 
ing description of the character of a true penitent, and of the gracious reception he meets with from the father of mercies. Oh, that all may be encouraged by it to humble themselves before God, and seek redemption through the blood of Christ, even the for giveness of sin ! But before we consider the nature, and the efficacy of repentance, let us reflect upon that state of the sinner which renders it necessary ; and when we have duly felt our condition, our hearts will be prepared for the meltings of contrition, and for the various exercises of penitence and faith. The parable points out three things for our consideration, I. The natural depravity of man on which the necessity of repentance is founded. II. The nature of repentance, and III. The efficacy of it. I. The natural depravity of man on which the necessity of repentance is founded There is a great variety of evils mention ed in this parable to characterize a state of natural depravity. The first that is noticed, perhaps, on account of its being the source of all the rest, is pride. " Father, give me the por tion of goods that falleth to me.** This language of the younger son to his father is too expressive of the real sentiments of
 
118 every heart towards God. We call him father, without the feelings and affec tions of chiMren. And while we have not the semhlance of children, we expect their privileges here, and their rewards hereafter. All the favours we receive from God we claim as our right ; and if any of them is withheld, we murmur as if we were hardly dealt with. We say, our tongues, and all that we have, whether they he faculties of the mind, members of the body, or posses sions acquired by the power that God has given to us, are our own : who " is Lord over us ?" And acting upon that principle of truth, " that a man may do what he will with his own, * but grossly perverting it, by misapplying it to ourselves, who have nothing of our own, we receive every thing from God as our due, as that which falleth to us. " Father, give me the portion that falleth to me." : This pride is the principle of all evil. Angels kept not their first estate, and man fell in the beginning through pride j and it is the same principle that produces all the vice and misery that fill the world. For when a man is humbled under a sense of his real state, and his pride is thus sub dued, the whole body of sin is destroyed. Humility is the foundation of every virtue. Pride leads to prodigality ; which is the next thing noticed in the parable. " The

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