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destruction, they would indeed be far too many; but yet they would scarcely be more than those who do not do all these things. But Christ says, that they who enter in at the strait gate are few, and they who enter in at the broad gate are many. He must mean, then, to speak of those who are guilty of what we call natural faults; that is, who in youth are idle and thoughtlessly selfish ; because it is the nature of youth to be so; who in manhood are looking keenly after their own interest; who are selfish with a deeper and more deliberate selfishness, preferring above all things their honour, or their profit, or their ease, because such things are natural then. He must mean, in short, all that numerous class of persons who live according to the nature with which they were born, instead of casting it off, and taking in its stead a second and spiritual nature, which is given to those who are in Christ by his Holy Spirit. No, my Brethren, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these,-adultery, fornication, uncleanness, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; or, as it is in another place,“ inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” These the Apostle calls “our mem


bers which are upon the earth;"—these are the things which are natural to us. But are they therefore excusable ? Nay, rather “ for these things' sake cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience ;” and “they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” They who live according to their nature shall not inherit the kingdom of God ;they who indulge in the natural faults of their age and station, shall be exposed to the wrath of God falling on the children of disobedience. It is not that which is natural to us which we ought to cultivate, but rather that which is not natural, which belongs to a better nature than ours, and which will cause us to be renewed after the image of our Maker, which naturally* we had lost. It is the nature of the ground, if we take no pains with it, to bring forth weeds; it is our nature to indulge in evil thoughts and evil actions; but the ground which is foul with weeds is rejected, and nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned ; and

* I use this expression generally, without at all meaning to say that the image of God was in every point defaced, and that of the devil set up in its place; but simply that the general expression of the countenance was become unlike, although some of the features might still retain a resemblance to the corresponding ones in the original.

the heart of man, which is overrun with its natural desires and evil thoughts, cannot please God, but is an heir merely of the curse pronounced upon Adam, that he must die; is a stranger to God's covenant of promise, and reserved only for the great day in which the wicked, and all who forget God, shall be turned to destruction for evermore.

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I count all things but loss for the excellency of the know

ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.

it is very

Any man who can say this with sincerity, and has acted and is acting upon it, deserves to be considered one of the happiest of human creatures; and every man who cannot say miserable; not that he always feels his misery, for then he would try to escape from it; but he is miserable in reality, because he is going on in the sure road to destruction : and his being blind to his own danger only makes his case the more shocking, and places him more beyond the reach of


assistance. The Scripture, in one or two places, speaks of double-minded men-of men who try to serve God and Mammon-men who are halting between two opinions. This is the character which may be given to half the world ; they do not count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord; but they think that the knowledge of Christ is a great gain to them, and that other things are a great gain to them also; but which to prefer they have never once for all decided. So sometimes they follow Christ, and sometimes the world; and in this state of things, the world is sure to gain some advantage over us every day, and Christ gradually to lose it, till, at last, they who would not count other things but loss for Christ's sake, come to consider the Gospel as but loss for their own pleasure's sake, and soon do not give themselves the trouble of thinking at all about it.”

“ The knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord;" that is, the knowledge of our wants, and of the means by which those wants may be most fully satisfied ;—the knowledge of sin and of salyation. Men's eyes in general are equally closed against both; for as none but Christians have any thing like a true notion of their own evil, so also none but Christians have looked forward with any lively hope to the glory that shall be revealed hereafter. I mean none but Christians, when speaking of ourselves in this country; for it may be that men, under a false religion, may fix their hopes very eagerly on

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