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Crown of glory, by his obedience, would have been for ever secured to him and his. This is evident from the nature of a federal representation ; and no reason can be given why, seeing we are lost by Adam's sin, we should not have been saved by his obedience. On the other hand, it is reasonable that, he falling, we should with him bear the loss. Lastly, Such as quarrel this dispensation, must renounce their part in Christ ; for we are no otherwise made sinners by Adam, than we are made righteous by Christi from whom we have both imputed and inherent righteousness. We no more made choice of the second Adam, for our head and representative in the second covenanty than we did of the first Adam in the first covenant.
I.et none wonder that such an horrible change would be brought on by one sin of our first parents, for thereby they turned
away from God, as their chief end ; which necessarily infers an universal depravation. Their sin was a complication of evils, a total apostacy from God, a violation of the whole law. By it they broke all the ten commands at once.. (1.) They chose new gods. They made their belly their god, by their sensuality; self their god by their ambition ; yea, and the devil their God, believing him, and disbelieving their Maker. (2.) Thcugh they received, yet they observed not that ordinance of God, about the forbidden fruit. They contemned that ordinance so plainly onjoined them, and would needs carve out to themselves, how to serve the Lord. (3.) They took the name of the Lord their God in vain ; despising his attributes, his justice, truth, power, &c. They grossly profaned that sacramental tree ; abused his word, by not giving credit to it; abused that creature of his, which they should not have touched, and violently misconstrued his providence ; as if God, by forbidding them that tree, had been standing in the way of their happiness ; and, therefore, he suffered them not to escape his righteous judgment. (4.) They re'membered not the Sabbath, to keep it holy; but put themselves out of a condition to serve God aright on his own day. Neither kept they that state of holy rest, wherein God had put them. (5.) They cast off their relative duties : Eve forgets herself, and acts without advice of her husband, to the ruin of both ; Adam, instead of admonishving her to repent, yields to the temptation, and continuar her in her wickedness. They forgot all duty to their posterity. They honoured not their Father in heaven ; and, therefore, their days were not long in the land which the Lord their God gave them. (6.) They ruined themselves, and all their posterity. (7.) Gave up themselves to luxury and sensuality. (8.) Took away what was not their own, against the express will of the great Owner. (9.) They bore false witness, and lied against the Lord, before angels, devils, and one another; in effect giving out that they were hardly dealt by, and that heaven grudged their happiness. (10.) They were discontent with their lot, and coveted an evil covetousness to their house, which ruined both them and theirs. . Thus was the image of God on man defaced all at once.
The Doctrine of the Corruption of Nature applied. Use I. For information. Is man's nature wholly corrupted? Then,
1. No wonder the grave open its devouring mouth for us, as soon as the womb hath cast us forth; and that the cradle be turned into a coffin, to receive the corrupt lump: For we are all, in a spiritual sense, dead-born ; yea, and filthy, (Psal. xiv. 3.) noisome, rank, and stinking as a corrupt thing, as the word imports. Let us not complain of the miseries we are exposed to, at our entrance, nor of the continuance of them, while we are in the world. Here is the venom that has poisoned all the springs of earthly enjoyments we have to drink of. It is the corruption of man's nature that brings forth all the miseries of human life in churches, states, families; in mens souls and bodies.
2. Behold here, as in a glass, the spring of all the wickedness, profanity, and formality in the world ; the source of all the disorders in thy own heart and life. Every thing acts like itself, agreeable to its own nature, and so corrupt man acts corruptly. You need not wonder at the sinfulness of your own heart and life, nor at the sinfulness and perverseness of others: If a man be crooked, he cannot bút halt; and if the clock be set wrong, how Can it point the hour right?
3. See here, why sin is so pleasant, and religion such a. burden to carnal spirits ; sin is natural, holiness not so. Oxen cannot feed in the sea, nor fishes in the fruitful
not so much as performing the external duties of religion, but living to the view of the world; as sons of earth, only minding earthly things, Phil. iii. 19. (2.) There are some employed in a more refined sort of service to sin, who carry the devil's mark in their right hand; which they can, and do hide from the view of the world. These are close hypocrites, who sacrifice as much to the corrupt mind, as the other to the flesh, Eph. ii. 3. These are ruined by a more undiscernable trade of sin ; pride, unbelief, self-seeking, and the like, swarm in, and prey upon their corrupted, wholly corrupted souls. Both are servants of the same house; the latter as far as the former froin righteousness.
Secondly, How is it possible thou shouldst be able to do any good, thou whose nature is wholly corrupt ? Can fruit grow where there is no root ;. Or can there be an effect without a cause ? « Can the fig-tree bear olive berries? either a vine figs?" If thy nature be wholly corrupt, as indeed it is, all thou dost is certainly so too ; for no effect can exceed the virtue of its cause. “ Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit ?” Math. vii. 18.
Ah! what a miserable spectacie is he that can do no"thing but sin. Thou art the man, whosoever thou art, that art yet in thy natural state. Hear, O sinner, what is thy case.
First, Innumerable sins compass thee about. Mountains of guilt are lying upon thee. Floods of impurities overwhelm thee. Living lusts of all sorts roll up and down in the dead sea of thy soul; where no good can breathe, because of the corruption there. Thy lips are unclean ; the opening of thy mouth is as the opening of an unripe grave, full of stench and rottenness, Rom. iii. 13. « Their throat is an open sepulchre.” Thy natural actions are sin, for, “ when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?" Zech.vii. 6. Thy civil actions are sin, Prov. xxi. 4. * The ploughing of the wicked is sin.” Thy religious actions are sin, Prov. xv. 8. “ The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” The thoughts and imaginations of thy heart are only evil. A deed may be soon done, a word soon spoken, a thought swiftly passeth through the heart; but each is an item in thy accounts. O sad sieckoning as many thoughts, words, actions; as many sins. The longer thou livest, thy accounts swell the more.' Should a tear be dropped for every sin, thine head behoved to be water, and thine eyes a fountain of tears ; for nothing but sin comes from thee. Thy heart frames nothing but evil imaginations; there is nothing in thy life, but what is framed by thine heart; and, therefore, there is nothing in thy heart or life but evil.
Secondly, All thy religion, if thou hast any, is lost labour; as to acceptance with God, or any saving effect to thyself, Art thou yet in thy natural state? Truly then thy duties are sins, as was just now hinted. Would not the best wine be loathsome in avessel wherein there is no pleasure? So is the religion of an unregenerate man. Under the law, the garment which the flesh of the sacrifice was carried in, though it touched other things, did not make them holy; but he that was unclean touching any thing, whether common or sacred, made it unclean. Even so thy duties cannot make thy corrupt soul holy, though they in themselves be good; but the corrupt-heart defiles them, and makes them unclean, Haggai ii. 12, 13, 14. Thou wast wont to divide thy works into two sorts; some good, some evil; but thou must count again, and put them all under one head; for God writes on them all, only evil. This is lamentable : It will be no wonder to see those beg in liarvest, who fold their hands to sleep in seed-time ; but to be labouring with others in the spring, and yet have nothing to reap when the harvest comes, is a very sad case; and will be the case of all professors living and dying in their natural state.
Lastly, Thou canst not help thyself. What canst thou do to take away thy sin, who art wholly corrupt ? Nothing truly but sin. If a natural mán begin to relent, drop a tear for his sin, and reform, presently the corrupt heart apprehends, at least, a merit of congruity ; he has done much himself, (he thinks,) and God cannot but do more for him on that account. In the mean time he does no. thing but sin; so that the congruous merit is the lcper that must be put out of the camp; the dead soul buried out of sight; and tlie corrupt lump cast into the pit. How canst thou think to recover thyself by any thing thou canst do ? Will mud and filth wash out filthiness? and wilt thou purge out sin by sinning ? Job took a potsherd to scrape himself, because his hands were as full of boils as his body. This is the case of thy corrupt soul ; not to be recovered but by Jesus Christ, whose strength was dried up like a potsherd, Psal. xxi. 15. Thou art poor, indeed, extremely miserable and poor, Rev. iii. 17. Thou hast no shelter but a refuge of lies; no garment for thy soul, but filthy rags; nothing to nourish it, but husks that cannot satisfy. More than that, thou hast got such a bruise in the loins of Adam, which is not yet cured, that thou art without strength, Rom. v. 6. unable to do or work for thyself; nay, more than all this, thou canst not so much as seek aright, “ but liest helpless, as an infant exposed in the open field,” Ezek. xyi. 5.
USE III. I exhort you to believe this sad truth. Alas! it is evident, it is very little believed in the world. Few are concerned to get their corrupt conversation changed; but fewer, by far, get their nature changed. Most men know not what they are, nor what spirits they are of: They are as the eye, which seeing many things, never sees itself. But until ye know, every one the plague of his own heart, there is no hope of your recovery. Why will ye not believe it? Ye have plain scripture testimony for it; but you are loth to entertain such an ill opinion of yourselves. Alas! that is the nature of your disease, Rev. üi. 17. 66 Thou knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”. Lord open their eyes to see it, before they die of it, and in hell lift
their eyes, and see what they will not see now.
I shall shut up this weighty point of the corruption of man's nature, with a few words to another doctrine from the text.
Doct. God takes special notice of our natural corruption, or the sin of our nature. This he testifies two ways, 1. By his word, as in the text, “God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually. See Psal. xiv. 2, 3.-2. By his works. God writes his particular notice of it, and displeasure with it, as in many of his works, so especially in these two;
(1.) In the death of the infant children of men. Many miseries they have been exposed to ; they were drowned in the deluge, consumed in Sodom by fire and brimstone: they have been slain with the sword, dashed against the