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can eafily judge of the Strength of thofe Ar-SERM. III.
guments, which prove that God has, in Fact,
published his Will to Mankind; for they
are clear, full, and obvious: But we are
intirely incompetent Judges; how, in what
Manner, with what Degree of Clearness in
every Point, God, whofe Thoughts are not
as our Thoughts, fhould publish his Will,
bow much Light it was proper he should
communicate, and what Intricacies he
might fuffer, on Purpose to be the Tefts
of humble well-difpofed Minds, and to be
a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Of-
fence, to the Perverse and Difingenuous.
We may conclude from the Uniformity of
God's Proceedings, that his revealed Will
must bear fome Analogy and Correspondence
to the Conftitution of Nature, as settled by
him. And when every Thing can be ac-
counted for, and is easy to be understood,
in the Conduct of his Providence; then,
and not till then, we ought to expect, that
every Thing should be fo too in a divine



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Preached at the


On the Corruption of Human


JOB XIV. 3, 4:

Doft thou open thine Eyes upon fuch an one, and bringeft me into Judgment with thee?

Who can bring a clean Thing out of an Unclean? Not one.


HESE Words contain Job's Ex-SERM.IV. poftulation with his Maker, and the Senfe of them, to use the Words of a great Writer, who clearly proves, that they have a plain Reference to the Introduction of Corruption, by the Sin of


SERM.IV. of the Woman, is as follows, "Why art "thou extreme to mark all my Errors? "Is it reasonable to expect Purity in a "Man born of a Woman, who is by the very Condition of his Birth unclean *?" The Difobedience of our firft Parents involved their Posterity, and entailed a Depravity of Nature upon their Defcendants: Which Depravity, though it is not a Sin in us, till the Will clofes with it, and deliberately confents to it; yet is certainly finful in itself, and therefore is stiled Original Sin. For if it were not fo, if the first Rife of evil Thoughts, and every Tendency and Biafs to Vice were not criminal in itself; the Confent of the Will to it could never make it fo. For the Consent of the Will cannot alter the Nature of Things.

St. Paul, Col. iii. 9, 10. fays, Ye have put off the old Man with his Deeds, and have put on the new Man, which is renewed in Knowledge AFTER THE IMAGE of Him, that created him; or, as it is in another Place, Ephef. iv. 24. which after God is created in Righteousness and true Holi

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Bishop Sherlock's Second Differtation, Pag. 253. nefs.

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nefs. Now to be renewed after the Image SERM.IV. of our Creator, fignifies in the Original, to receive again, what we had once loft. Man therefore once had (in his primitive State) that Image, to which he is to be restored by the Grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift. This is the Senfe which Irenæus, a Father of the fecond Century, puts upon thefe Words. For he fays, "What we loft in Adam, viz. the divine Image and Like"nefs, we receive again in Christ Jesus*.'

Adam was formed in the Image of God; and what that Image was, we learn from the foregoing Words of St. Paul, that ye put on the new Man, which, after God (after the Image of God) is created in Righteousness and true Holiness. It is plain, that we who are shapen in Wickedness, who are born with strong Propenfions to Vice, are not created in Righteousness and true Holiness: It is plain therefore, that we are fallen from our original and primitive State of Innocence.

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Far be it from me to vilify human Nature, as if it were totally bad, without any Remains and Traces of it's primitive Greatness. I own, that any Man may, through

* Irenæus, Lib. 3. cap. 20..


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