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if Adam had never sinned, nor stood in the least connexion with us. It is true, indeed, his first offence, according to the divine design, determined the event of our becoming sinners. But the design of God never laid any of his creatures under a necessity of sinning. God designed, that Adam should fall, and, from eternity, provided a remedy for it; but God's design laid him under no necessity of falling, nor of accepting the remedy provided. So, God's design, that we should be sinners, if he partook of the forbidden fruit, did not lay us, or any of his posterity, under a necessity of committing sin. Neither Scripture, nor reason, nor experience, teaches us, that we are constrained to hate God, or transgress his holy and righteous commands, by virtue of any guilt, pollution, or depravity, derived from Adam. We have no more right to cast the blame of our sins upon him; than he had to transfer his sin and guilt to us. He must answer for his own sins; and we must answer for ours.
6. If Adam has proved the occasion of involving all his posterity in sin; then children stand in peculiar need of a virtuous and pious education. They are all liable to sin, as soon as they become moral agents. And there is a moral certainty, if they live, that they will run into evil, and incur the divine displeasure. This is a most alarming consideration to parents. They have been the occasion of introducing them into a sinful world, where they are in the utmost danger of dishonoring God, and of destroying themselves forever. If parents would duly consider the depraved hearts of their children, they would feel very solicitous to train them up in the way they should go; and, if possible, early instil into their young and tender minds, the pure principles of religion and virtue. Nor would they neglect to lay all proper restraints upon them, to
preserve them from the paths of the destroyer, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedi ence. The law of nature requires parents to promote the temporal happiness of their children; and the law of christianity requires them to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And though they cannot sanctify the hearts of their children; yet they can instruct their minds, restrain their outward conduct, and commend them to Him, who is able to make them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. If they neglect to do these things, they will sin against God, and become accessary to the ruin of their dear offspring. But how can they bear the thoughts of seeing their children openly vicious, and finally impenitent! It would have been better for them never to have been born, than to live and to die in sin. Their case, therefore, loudly calls for the compassion, the prayers, and instructions of their parents, who are under every tender and solemn tie, to do all in their power, to promote their temporal and eternal happi
7. This subject calls upon all impenitent sinners, immediately to repent and believe the gospel. They have no excuse for their enmity and disobedience to God. They have never been necessarily drawn into sin, by any corrupt nature or corrupt principle derived from Adam. They have sinned freely and voluntarily, and therefore destroyed themselves. In this guilty and perishing situation, it is their immediate duty to repent, and look up to God for pardoning mercy, through the divine Redeemer. He came to seek and to save those who are lost, and stands ready to receive all weary, heavy laden sinners. Let them no longer charge their misery and guilt upon God, nor upon Adam; but let them take the shame and
blame of all their sins to themselves. And as they have freely and voluntarily sinned; so let them freely and voluntarily repent and believe the gospel. This is their immediate and important duty. They have no excuse for a moment's delay. Life and death are now set before them. It depends not upon the conduct of Adam, but upon their own choice, whether they shall be happy, or miserable forever. Though their sins have greatly abounded; yet if they repent and believe the gospel, the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, shall much more abound, in their eternal salvation. Amen.
THE NATURE, EXTENT, AND INFLUENCE OF THE MORAL DEPRAVITY OF SINNERS.
ROMANS viii, 7, 8.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
IT has been much disputed of late, among those who call themselves Calvinists, whether all the doings of unregenerate men are altogether sinful. There would be no difficulty in deciding this question, if those, who profess to believe the total corruption of human nature, would only agree to draw the same inference from it. But there are many, who acknowledge, that the hearts of sinners are totally depraved, and yet deny, that their actions are altogether criminal. It seems necessary, therefore, in order to bring this point to a fair and final decision, not only to prove, that sinners are totally depraved; but also to prove, that their total depravity extends to all their actions, and turns them into sin. And the words which I have read, naturally lead us to consider this subject in this manner. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." By the carnal mind, the Apostle means the carnal heart; for it is the heart only, which is enmity against God. And this carnal heart he represents, as corrupting all the actions which proceed from it. He lays down the total depravity of sinners as a first
principle, from which he draws the only fair and natural conclusion, that they cannot please God. His plain meaning, therefore, may be clearly expressed in this plain proposition:
The total depravity of sinners renders all their actions totally depraved.
To illustrate this subject, I shall,
I. Show, that sinners are totally depraved: And, II. Show, that their total depravity totally depraves all their actions.
I. I am to show, that sinners are totally depraved. There is no truth more clearly and fuily taught in Scripture, than the total depravity of sinners. They áre represented as spiritually deaf and blind. "Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see." They are represented as spiritually dead. "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in tresspasses and sins." They are represented as incapable of discerning the moral beauty of divine objects. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." These are plain, though figurative descriptions of the total depravity of sinners. Their hearts are also represented as not only destitute of moral goodness, but as full of moral evil. We read, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Solomon says, "The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead." Our Lord told the