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mere affectation: for every man is conscious to himself, that in this respect he is by nature a very beast. Sensual appetites, even those of the lowest kind, have, more or less the dominion over him. They lead him captive, they drag him to and fro, in spite of his boasted reason. The man, with all his good breeding and other accomplishments, has no pre-eminence over the goat : nay, it is much to be doubted, whether the beast has not the eminence over him? Certainly he has, if we may hearken to one of their modern oracles, who very decently
A considerable difference indeed, it must be allowed, there is between man and man, arising (beside that wrought by preventing grace) from difference of constitution, and of education. But notwithstanding this who, that is not utterly ignorant of himself, can here cast, the first stone at another ? Who can abide the test of our blessed Lord's comment on the seventh commandment ? He that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart ? So that one knows not which to wonder at most, the ignorance or the insolence of those men, who speak with such disdain of them that are overcome by desires, which every man has felt in his own breast! The desire of every pleasure of sense, innocent or not, being natural to every child of man.
10. And so is the desire of the eye, the desire of the pleasures of the imagination. These arise either from great, or beautiful, or uncommon objects: if the two former do not coincide with the latter; for perhaps it would appéar upon a diligent enquiry, that neither grand or beautiful objects please, any longer than they are new; that when the novelty of them is over, the greatest part at least, of the pleasure they give is over; and in the same proportion as they become familiar, they become fat and insipid. But let us experience this ever so often, the same desire will remain still. The inbred thirst continues fixt in the soul: nay the more it is indulged, No. XI.
the more it increases, and incites us to follow after another, and yet another object; altho' we leave every one with abortive hope, and a deluded expectation. Yea,
. The houry fool; whó many days
“ To-morrow comes ! 'Tis noon! 'Tis night!
To-morrow, till to-night hc dies !" 11. A third symptom of this fatal disease, the love of the world, which is so deeply rooted in our nature, is the pride of life, the desire of praise, of the honour that cometh of men. :This the greatest admirers of human nature allow to be strictly natyral: as natural, as the sight or hearing, or any other of the external senses.
And are they ashamed of it, even men of letters, men of refined and improved understanding? So far from it, that they glory therein ! They applaud themselves for their love of applause ! Yea, eminent Christians, 80 called, make no difficulty of adopting the saying of the old vain Heathen, Aivimi dissoluti est & ncquam negligere quid de se homines sentiant :” Not to regard what men ihink of us, is the mark of a wicked and abandoned mind.". So that to go calm and unmoved thro' honour anıt dishonour, thro' evil report and good report, is with them a-sign oj one that is indeed not fit to live; away with such a fellow from the earth. But one would imagine, that these men had never heard of Jesus Christ or his apostles? Or that they knew who it was that said, How can ye believe, who receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometb of God only? But if this be really so, if it be impossible to believe, and consequently to please God, so long as we receive or seek honour one of anol her, and seek not the boncur which cometh of God only: then in what a condition are all mankind! The Christians as well as Heathens ! Since they all seek bonour one of another! Since it is as natural for them so to do, themselves being the judges, as it is to see the light which strikes upon their eye, or, to hear the sound which enters their ear :
595 yea, since they account it'the sign of a virtuous mind, to scek the praise ot' men; and of a vicious one, to be con: tent with the honour that cometh of God only!
III. 1. I proceed to draw a few inferences from what has been said. And, first, from hence we may learn one grand, fundamental difference between Christianity, con, sidered as a system of doctrines, and the most refined Heathenism. Many of the Ancient Heathens have largely described the vices of particular men. They have spoken much against their covetousness or cruelty, their luxury or prodigality. Some have dared to say, That "no man is born without vices, of one kind or another. But still, as none of them were apprized of the fall of man, so none of theni knew of his total corruption." They knew not, that all men were empty of all good, and filled with all manner of evil.' They were wholly ignorant of the entire depravation of the whole human nature, of every man born in the world, in every faculty of his soul, not so much by those particular vices, which reign in particular persons, as by the general food of Atheism and idolatry, of pride, self-will and love of the world. This therefore is the first, grand, distinguishing point between Heathenism and Christianity. The one acknowledges, that many men are infected with many vices, and even born with a proneness to them; but supposes withal, that in some the natural good much overbalances the evil. The other declares, That all men are conceived in sin, and shapen' in wickedness : that hence there is in erery man a carnal mind, which is enmity against God, which is not, cannot be suheat to his law, and which so infects? the whole soul, that there dwelleth in him, in his flesh, in his natural state, no good thing buit all the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, is evil, op ly evil, and that continually.
2. Hence we may, secondly, learn, That all who deny this, call it original sin, or by any other tile, are but Heathens still, in the fundamental point which differences Heathenism from Christianity. They may indeed allow, That men have many vicés: that some are born with us: and that consequently we are not born altogether so wise, or so virtuous, as we should be: there being few that, will roundly affirm, "Wearé Horn' with as much propen
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şity to good as to evil, and that every man is by nature as virtuous and wise, as Adam was at his creation." But here is the Shibboleth': is man by nature filled with all manner of evil? Is he void of all good? Is be wholly fallen? Is his soul totally corrupted ? Or, to come back to the text, Is every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually! Allow this and you are so far a Christian, Deny'it, and you are but an Heathen still.
may learn from hence, in the third place, what is the proper nature of religion, of the religion of Jesus Christ. It is egarea tuxns* God's method of healing a soul which is thus discased. Hereby the great Physician of Souls applies medicines to heal this sickness; to restore human nature, totally corrupted in allits faculties. God heals all our Atheisin, by the knowledge of himself, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; by giving us faith, a divine evidence and convi&tion of God and of the things of God: in particular, of this important truth, Christ loved me, and gave himself for me. By repentance and lowliness of heart, the deadly disease of pride is healed : that of self-will by resignation, a meek and thankful submission to the will of God. And for the love of the world all its branches, the love of God is the sovereign remedy. Now this is properly religion, faith thus working by love, working the genuine, meek humility, entire deadness of ihe world, with a loving, thankful acquiescence in and conformity to the whole will and word of God.
4. Indeed if man were not thus fallen, there would be no need of all this... There would be no occasion for this work of the heart, this renewal in the spirit of our mind. The superfluity of godliness would then be a more proper expression than the superfiuity of naughtinessa. For an outside religion without any godliness at all, would suffice to all rational intents and purposes. It does accordingly suffice, in the judgment of those who deny this corruption of our nature. They make very little more of religion than the famous Mr. Hobhes did of reason. According to him, reason is only, “ A well-ordered train of words :" according to them, religion is only a well-ordered train of words and actions. And they speak consistently with themselves: for if the inside, be not full of wickedness, if this be clean already, what remains, but to cleanse the
outside of the cup? Outward reformation, if their supposition be jusi, is indeed the one thing necdful.
5. But ye have not so learned the oracles of God. Ye kuow, that he who seeth what is in man, gives a far different account both of nature and grace, of our fall and our recovery. Ye know that the great end of religion is, to renew our hearts in the image of God, to repair that total loss of righteousness and true holiness, which we sustained by the sin of our first parent. Ye know that all religion which does not answer this end, all that stops short of this, the renewal of our soul in the image of God, after the likeness of him that created it, is no other than a poor farce, and a mere mockery of God, to the destruction of our own soul. O beware of all those teachers of lies, who would palın this upon you for Christianity! Regard them not, although they should çome unto you with all the deceivableness of unrighteousness, with all smoothness of language, all decency, yea beauty. and elegance of expression, all professions of earnest good-will to you, and reverence for the holy scriptures. Keep to the plain, old
faith, once delivered to the saints, and delivered by the Spirit of God to our hearts. Know your disease! Know your cure ! Ye were born in sin: therefore ye must be born again, born of God. By nature ye are wholly, corrupted: by grace ye shall be wholly renewed. In Adam ye all died : in the Second Adam, in Christ
all are made alive, You that are dead in sing hath he quickened: he hath already given you a principle of life, even faith in him who loved you, and gave himself for you! Now go on from faith to faith, until your whole sickness be healed, and all that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus!
John iii. 7.
Ye must be born again.
tianity may be properly termed fundamental, they are doubtless these two, the doctrine of justification, and that of the new birth: the former relating to that great