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to lay down here is, that repentance does not of itself repair the wrong done ; and that “indemnity is not a consequence of repentance here." *

Can a rejector of revelation prove that it will be hereafter? What would be the basis of such an argument? What 66

What “counter-facts” to those which have been stated are there to show that it is probable it will be so ?

III. My third proposition is, that when wrong has been done, repentance will not do anything to restore to favour, without some act on the part of him who is offended and injured. The whole matter lies in his bosom, in his will; in that which no power, or wealth, or influence, or tears, can of necessity control.

Repentance is always in view of a wrong done. But a wrong necessarily contemplates two or more persons; for even when there seems to be but one, by a species of fiction of language we show that it is essentially supposed there are two. We sometimes, indeed, speak of a man's wronging himself ; doing injustice to himself, as if there were two persons concerned, the one acting against the other--the man's baser passions acting against his higher nature :--as when it is often remarked of a man that “the only enemy he has is himself.And so we retain the same fiction of language when we speak of our own follies and faults, and say that “we cannot forgive ourselves for what we have done.” Even here we keep up the notion, that as a wrong it pertains to two. There must be an act of penitence in the one, and of pardon in the other, before it can be adjusted.

In all other instances, it is clear that wrong pertains to two or more parties. A wrong is something done to another--to his feelings, character, property, government, family, health, limb, life, or soul. There are two parties—the injurer and the injured ; the wrong-doer, and the individual, or the corporation, or the government that has suffered. When a wrong is done, therefore, it becomes at once an affair pertaining to two or more parties.

It follows, therefore, that when a wrong is done, it is not the mere act of the one party that will heal it. There must be a common or joint action in the case. The friend who has been injured must act, as well as he who has injured him; the parent as well as the child ; the government as well as the subject.

It is clear, also, that whatever may be the feelings or the action of the one who has done the wrong, there must be some action or expression on the part of the injured before the difficulty is removed. The sacrifice must not only be brought, it must be accepted; the recompense must not only be tendered, it must be received ; the confession must not only be made, it must be admitted to be satisfactory. On the part of the injured and the wronged, there must be some arrangement made in the case; some promise ; some expression of a readiness to pardon, and to have the difficulty healed,-and, if he be a moral governor, to have the penalty remitted,-before he who has done the wrong can have evidence that his own arrangement for removing the difficulty will avail. It would not do for a child to disobey a parent, and then to make such an acknowledgment in the case as he himself should please, and demand that that should be accepted ; and as little would it do for him to do wrong presuming on what he supposed to be the clemency of his father in such a case. Such an arrangement on his own part, and such a presumption, would do nothing to heal the breach, or to relieve the difficulty in the case. It will not do to presume on the character of any one too far. A child is making a most hazardous experiment, when he presumes on the forbearance of even a parent. He is making a most hazardous as well as wicked experiment, who presumes on the kindness and forbearance of a friend, when he provokes or neglects him. A husband is making a most hazardous, as well as wicked experiment, who presumes on the patience and forbearance of the most kind and affectionate wife, by treating her with neglect and want of love. There is a point beyond which, even if it were right at all, it will not be safe to presume on the kindness and forbearance of any one, however kind, or generous, or noble. How far, then, may a man presume on the kindness and forbearance of God, about whom he knows so little? How may he know that he would accept an offering for transgression; that he would receive the confessions of the lips for having done wrong; that he would regard with favour even the tears and sighs that would be the expression of a broken and a contrite heart?

* Magec.

The real question, then, in all cases where wrong has been done is, whether there is any act or declaration, on the part of him to whom the wrong has been done, to which he who has done it could trust for the certainty of pardon. If you know enough about his character in any case, that might furnish you with some, perhaps with a certain ground of hope. But you want something more even than that. You want some act on his part; some arrangement; some promise.

Now what does the rejector of revelation pretend to here? According to him, what arrangement has there been on the part of God to show that repentance will be connected with pardon ? Rejecting as he does, systematically and on principle, all revelation, what does he pretend to rely on that will furnish such assurance ? That it may be so may be true ; but does he know it? How can he know it? How can he know anything about it? The mere fact of repentance is certainly no evidence of pardon ; for millions have repented of a wrong who never have been forgiven ; and the mere fact that a wrong-doer experiences remorse is no evidence that he who has been wronged will be disposed to forgive.

Here then, again, we part with the rejector of revelation. We, who profess to believe in the Christian system, suppose that God has made an arrangement on this very subject, and has made it known to us in his word. We not only profess to know what repentance is, and to presume that the injured and the wronged in the case will be disposed to accept of the expressions of penitence, but we profess to have, what the case demands, a statement from him on this very point, which relieves the whole difficulty, and which assures us that in connexion with repentance our sins will be blotted out. We have, then, what is requisite when two parties are concerned,-as there always are when wrong is done ; we have the statement of the one who is injured, that repentance on the part of the other will be followed by forgiveness. There is but one question which remains to be asked on the subject to fill up the argument, and to give us information of all which it is needful for us to know. It is, in what way it is consistent for God to do this; or what is the arrangement by which it is done. This is not indeed absolutely necessary for us to know,--since if we offend another it is sufficient to be assured that he regards it as consistent for him to forgive, and the fact that he will do it is really all we need ; but still there would be an advantage in being made acquainted with the method by which it is done if we could. It might give us some enlarged views of his character; it might enable us more to admire the plan.

IV. This leads me, then, to the statement of a fourth proposition, that the exercise of repentance is made available and efficacious in the case, through the atonement made by the Saviouror in virtue of his death regarded as a sacrifice for sin. The exercise of repentance in connexion with the atonement meets all the necessary conditions of pardon, and is the only plan which does. The meaning is, that the death of Christ as sacrifice has done so much to repair the wrong done by sin, that now pardon may consistently follow repentance. Two or three remarks, I trust, will make this clear.

First, as already observed, in all cases where repentance is proper, a wrong has been done--an injury has been the result of

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that which causes repentance ; since if there is no wrong, no injury, there is no occasion of repentance in any case. But mere sorrow or regret. on your part, however urgent or protracted, does nothing to remove that wrong, or repair that injury; and the wrong must be in some way repaired before repentance can be satisfactory. A simple case will make this clear. A father, in moderate circumstances, sends his son to college, away from home. The father has just the means of maintaining him there by meeting the ordinary and necessary expenses—and no more. He gives his son repeated and solemn charges on the subject of economy in his expenditure, assuring him that he can only meet term-bills and the expenses of living on a prudent scale. In particular, he charges him not to enter a certain house of entertainment, though entirely respectable, and though kept by a man every way respectable. Solely on the score of necessary economy, he enjoins this duty on him, and makes it a point of absolute command. At the end of the year a large bill, wholly beyond his power to meet, is sent to him from that prohibited house. The son confesses the wrong, expresses regret, and asks for pardon. Is there nothing to be done in the case but simply to forgive him on that confession ? True, it may be that the worthy man who sent the bill had no authority to trust a minor, and that the father might not be legally bound in the matter; but there is the sentiment of honour strong in the father, and equally strong in this respect in the son ;--and what is to be done? It is out of the question for the father to pay; and the existence of that very debt operates to prevent any arrangement between the father and the son on the question what is to be done for his wilful disobedience. Unless the worthy creditor will forgive the debt, which he cannot afford to do, and cannot well be asked to do, it seems to be a barrier in the way of reconciliation between the father and the son, which cannot be overcome. If, however, some friend of ample means, seeing the dificulty, and hoping that a generous act on his part might have a good effect on the young inani himself-obviously in danger of being a spendthrift, and ruining himself by dissipation---should volunteer to pay the bill, that part of the difficulty would be removed, and the way would be entirely open for the negotiation to proceed between the father and the son. If the evidence of repentance were satisfactory, there would then be no other obstacle to his being forgiven---and it might even be hoped that good would come ont of the whole affair-perhaps even more good in the end, than if it had not happened at all. At all events, it would be felt and owned by all parties, that the complete reconciliation consequent on repentance was made effective by the interposition of the friend, and that but for this, there was no way in which it could have occurred so well, if at all. Now it is conceivable that the act of the friend inight be known only to the father, and that all that the son might know about it might be the mere declaration of the father that he would forgive him, and that in some way he had arranged the debt. Still, it would have a better moral influence on his mind that he should know all about it-especially if the friend had been himself at some considerable self-denial in doing what he had done.

Secondly, repentance is connected with pardon, because it is in close connexion with that which is designed to be an expression of the evil of the sin ; with that which is done to repair the evil and the wrong. My regret and sorrow show my conviction that the price that was paid, or the suffering that was endured, to repair the wrong, was deserved by me. I express my regret mainly in view of that, and regard that as an exponent of the measure of my ill-desert. The ancient penitent led his victim to the altar, laid his hands on his head, confessed his sin, and the victim was slain—the penitent acknowledging that he deserved to die. We approach by faith the Great Victim that was slain for sin ; confess our transgressions before him; lay our hands on his head; and confess that the stroke that descended on him was deserved by us ; that his sufferings were an exponent of our guilt.

Thirdly, in such cases, repentance is connected with a promise, an assurance on the part of God, that he will forgive. We have seen in the former part of this discourse, that a wrong pertains to two parties, and that the action of each is necessary in order to forgiveness. The action of the offended and injured party in this case

God--consists in the arrangement which he has made in order that pardon may be consistent with his justice, and in the assurance that it may be obtained by repentance. The Christian religion is the only one that is characterized by a promise or pledge on the part of the Deity; and there is no promise of pardon made to men except in connexion with l'epentance, and none even then except in view of the great Sacrifice made on the cross. Every other kind of religion is conjecture--fancy--poetry—or, if it will be more agreeable to have it dignified with a higher term, the deduction of reason. No other system, however, makes pretensions to a promise of the forgiveness of sins. In the Christian scheme, repentance avails to procure pardon because God has himself made all the arrange

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