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Where, if not in Christ, is the power that can persuade a sinner to return, that can bring home a heart to God?

Common mercies of God, though they have a leading faculty to repentance, (Rom. ii, 4,) yet, the rebellious heart will not be led by them. The judgments of God, public or personal, though they ought to drive us to God, yet the heart, unchanged, runs the farther from God. Do we not see it by ourselves and other sinners about us? They look not at all towards Him who smites, much less do they return; or if any more serious thoughts of returning arise upon the surprise of an affliction, how soon vanish they, either the stroke abating, or the heart, by time, growing hard and senseless under it! Leave Christ out, I say, and all other means work not this way; neither the works nor the word of God sounding daily in his ear, Return, return. Let the noise of the rod speak it, too, and both join together to make the cry the louder, yet the wicked willl do wickedly. Dan. xi, 10.

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