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awarding life unto repentance. « Come « unto me,” saith the Saviour of mankind, "all ye that labour, and are heavy

laden, and I will give you reft. Take

my yoke upon you, and learn of me “ my yoke is easy, and my burden is

light."

DAVID himself shall not die for his transgression—but he shall be deprived of the son of his adultery—the sword shall not depart from his house he shall experience ingratitude and disaffection from his friends and from his children he shall afford an example to future ages, that God can grant absolution, and yet reserve his full right to inflict temporal punishment, for sin. Where he has forgiven, he may yet chastise—he does not forbear present correction, though he remits the future tremendous sentence. While he fmites us not for our offences as an angry Judge, we may endure to smart at the will of a loving Father.

Yer

weeps, and

Yet even this infliction David deprecates with tears. The child is fick the parent fasts, and

prays,

and lies all night upon the earth, and is deaf to the voice of comfort. He mourns-he fues, that the monument of his sin, and the record of his shame, for whom he ftill entertained all the fondest sentiments of affection, might even yet be preserved to him. No doubt his grief was aggravated by the thought, that God, to chastise the guilty father, was about to deprive him of his innocent child—while the chearing reflection, that the gates of heaven would receive the unpolluted spirit which was hastening thither, seems for the moment to have been hidden from his eyes. Against this stroke he offers his prayers, he lifts up his soul to the throne of mercy. No chastening is joyous, but grievous—the best nature cannot yield to it, without some degree of reluctance. Far was it, nevertheless,

D4

from

from the heart of David to form any undue opposition to the will of God—he made use, not of murmurs, but fupplications. There is no impatience in intreaties. He well knew, that the divine threatenings were not so denounced, as to be incapable of revocation. If any means under heaven can avert judgments, it is the

prayer

of faith. But neither faith, nor prayer, can preserve a feeble mortal from all temporal affictions. Since the admission of sin into the world, the decree is gone forth, and“ man is born to trouble.” David must drink deeply of the сир

of forrow the infant is no more!

His anxious attendants only whisper this fad news--they had witnessed the sufferings of their lord; they now look for all the paroxysms of frantic grief. This very secrecy proclaims, to the vigilant ear of suspicion, the sad truth which they trembled to utter. David perceives

that

that his child is dead : and now he rises up from the earth on which he lay, and changes his apparel, and goes, first into the house of the Lord to worship, and then into his own to eat-now he refuses not to listen to the voice of comfort. Till we know the determination of God, it is lawful for us to be importunate in our prayers—when the event has taken place, he demands our duteous resignation.

“ While the child lived, I fasted, « and wept; for I said, Who can tell “ whether God will be gracious to me, " that the child may live? But now he « is dead, wherefore should I fast ? can “ I bring him back again? I shall go

to him, but he shall not return to " me!” There spake the voice of faith, and hope. David knew, that those affections which God hath implanted in the soul, would, like that foul, survive the body. He knew that a day would

come,

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come, when he should rejoin his child, to be separated from him no more. He knew that his sincere repentance entitled him to look for a reception in those heavenly mansions, to which innocence itself is translated.

“ Turn ye untu me, " from whom ye have deeply revolted« cease to do evil-learn to do well. « Let the wicked forsake his way, and “ the unrighteous man his thoughts, « and let him return unto the LORD, « and He will have mercy upon him—

and to our God, for he will abun-
dantly pardon !

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