John Davenport on turning unto God in true repentance

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Doct. II. That it is in vain for any sinful persons to expect Gods turning to them in mercy and favour, who do not turn unto him with true repentance and reformation; but while they continue in their sins, they must expect that God will come forth against them, as the Lord of Hosts, commanding and ordering all his Creatures against them for their hurt. …

First, Turning to the Lord, implies, 1. That by sin continued in, men turn from the Lord, and against the Lord: as when men turn from one another in enmity, they turn their backs one to another, and their faces to opposite objects; so it is in this case, continuers in sin turn from God and his Word, to Sin, and the World, and Satan, which are opposite to God in his holy and righteous Laws; and God turns his face and favour from them, and his wrath and indignation against them. Hence it is that the Lord saith of those that disobey the instructions of his word, that they have turned the back to him, and not the face, Jerem. 32. 33. and accordingly he threatneth them, that he will shew them his back, and not his face, in the day of their calamity. Thus you see what this turning to the Lord implies.

Secondly, This turning to the Lord imports two things; Repentance for, and from all their evil ways; and Reformation of them: A hearty turning to God, through faith in Christ, and unfeigned love to God in Christ, with an universal conformity to his holy and righteous Rules and ways; as they resolved in Isa. 26.13. It is true, that we cannot turn unto God of our selves, till he turn us unto himself, as you may see in Deut. 29.2, 3, 4. yet, when God calleth the vessels of mercy to turn unto him, and addeth his Promise for their encouragement thereunto, his Spirit in and by the promise, works converting grace in them: which works in them 1. Hearty prayer unto God to convert them, as Isai. 63.17. Jerem. 31.18. Lam. 5.31. 2. Actual Conversion to God, in answer to God’s calling them thereunto, Psal. 27.8. as in Jer. 31.22. ....

For more, see John Davenport on turning unto God in true repentance.