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death possed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Sin and death are inseperably connected. As none are free from sin, so none are exempted from death. It is not more certain that all: die, than that all are guilty. All Aesh have corrupted their way. « There is none righteous, no not so much as one.” All mankind have now in their very nature, a prevailing tendency and propensity to sin and wickedness.
If the truth of these assertions can be evinced, then the ancient doctrine of original sin must be granted as a real and solemn. truth, however much it inay be exploded by many, and however grating it may be to the feelings of corrupted sense. If every doctrine must be discarded, to which a blind, depraved, and dark ened mind objects, few truths can be maintained either in the na.. tural or moral world. If it be found by observation, reason, experience and scripture, that mankind are altogether corrupted and depraved, have in their natures a prevailing tendency and propensity to sin and wickedness, then the doctrine commonly called original sin, can no longer with justice be denied.
First, That this is the nature of man, evidently appears in that: all men, without fail in any one instance, have fallen into sin, or run into moral evil. This is fully demonstrated from our text, and inanifold other passages of sacred writ, of which, I shall only mention a few. “God saw that the wickedness of man was. “ great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thought 6 of his heart was only evil continually. There is no man that « sinneth not. There is not a just man upon earth that doth
good and sinneth not. The Lord looked down from heaven " upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did un"derstand and seek God ; they are all gone aside, they are altc“gether become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no not "one. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, " and the truth is not in us." All these places, with many more to the same purpose, establish this fact, that the nature of man has a prevailing tendency to moral evil, and that they do univer.
sally fall into sin. And as this is a fact, there can then remain do doubt, but they are originally depraved. Can we argue froin effects to their causes ? Can we reason upon the origin of events ? Then this truth must evidently appear, that mankind have in their natures, a tendency to sin and wickedness.
The word tendency, signifies a proneness, inclination, fitness or liableness to such a way, or event. Any thing of a globular figure is fitted to roll, and the least motion produces this event; and water possesses a proneness to run downwards. That whichnever fails of producing such an effect, we always say, it has a tendency thereto. Now, if mankind never fail of falling into sin, can language be more properly applied, than to say, his nature has a tendency to the same? Suppose a certain kind of tree, planted in all countries, soils, and climates for many ages, and in some places had been cultivated with the utmost care and attention, and yet it invariably produced bad fruit, would not all unanimously declare, that the tree was evil and bad in its very nature. Now contemplate man universally in every age from the beginning, in every country and climate, under every manner of education and instruction, all the various divisions of Pagans, sects of Mehometans, Jews and Christians, have they not, without a solitary exemption, gone into sin and wickedness? Will not this demonstrate that their natures are vitiated, and have an unhappy tendency to wrong?
If the case was this, that there appeared only now and then an instance of a man transgressing the laws of God, and was guilty of sin, it would be an abominable absurdity to say, that mankind were vitiated, and had in their nature a tendency to evil. But if all, without a single exception, in every age, and of every name and denomination, become sinful and wicked, how can the conclusion be resisted, that all mankind have in their natures, a tendency to evil, or something that renders them prone to wrong?
Secondly, That mankind are universally corrupted, is also · manifest in this, that they do evil as soon as capable of action. Moral agency, as well as all other things, must have a beginning ; now, if the first appearances of action in a moral creature, wear the aspect of a perverse tendency, can we avoid the inference, that there is something evil in its nature ? Consider infants in the earliest moments of their exhibition of action, do they bear the appearance of holy innocency, or a sweet conformity to right? Or do they not strongly mark an evil propensity of nature? However we may account for it, the fact cannot be denied.
Is it not strikingly obvious in the tenor of the conduct of mankind, that there is a greater inclination in them to sin than holiness? Does not this prove, that there is a tendency to iniquity in their nature, far beyond any such tendency, to righteousness? And will not this evince the depravity, or that there is something very much amiss in the very nature of man? · Thirdly, Consider the folly and stupidity of man in every thing relative to religion. Have they not universally at all times, been prone to forsake every rational idea of the true God, and to go off to the most astonishing absurdities of idolatry ? Have they not made Gods for themselves of a thousand forms, of gold, silver, wood and stone, and then bowed the knee, offered sacrifice to these dumb objects, and devoutly prayed and supplicated them for protection, direction, and salvation? Can this conduct be accounted for upon any principle, exclusive of a deep depravity of nature ? Hear the true God expressing himself in wonders of complaint on this head, by the mouth of bis prophet Jeremiah. The complaint implies no astonishment with the unenlightened heathen, or the world in general ; stupid and foolish idolatry was incident to them, and expected from their nature ; but the divine surprise was at his own people, favered with a clear revelation, and the daily instructions and remonstrances of his prophets. Attend to the exclamation of the Almighty God.
# Be astonished Oye heavens at this, and be ye horribly afraid, t's be ye very desolate saith the Lord; for my people have come ** mitted two evils ; they have forsaken me the fountain of living “ waters, and have. hewed out to themselves cisterns, broken i cisterns, that can hold no water.” Were it not for the light of the gospel, the world would be filled with craftsmen forming shrines, melting graven images, spreading gold over them, and casting silver chains, to hold fast that which could not move ; and the poorer sort would be selecting blocks of wood that should not rot, and all would be bowing down to the operations of their own hands, to their home made Lares and Penates, saying, “ These are our Gods that will save us.” This is ignorance and stupidity, which astonishes christians ; but this was not the case with the dark corners of pagan barbarism only, but it is too strikingly illustrated in the whole conduct of the learned and philosophic Greece, of the enlightened and polished Rome, and the divinely instructed Judea. All the accomplishments of an ancient Egypt, renowned for erudition, could not exalt them above the worship of their Apis and Serapis, the stupid ox, the ugly adder, and even the leeks and onions of the garden. Rome, in the highest glory of her philosophers and orators, her greatest improvement in arts and sciences, paid continual homage to more than thirty thousand different gods in that one city. Do not these things exhibit stupidity, ignorance, folly and depravity, even to a prodigy? Yet our modern infidels, educated in the full blaze of gospel light, are, by the power of this very light, trimming the midniglat lamp, to return us back to this Roman,, Greciau and Egyptian darkness.
Do not these things demonstrate a moral corruption, and an evil propensity in the nature of man? What but some strange depravily of nature, could capacitate it for such marvelous infatuation? “ They have eyes and see not, ears and hear not, neither do so they understand. They are like the horse and mule that have no “ understanding. The stork in the heavens knoweth her appoins
"ed time; and the turtle, the crane, and the swallow observe " the time of their coming, but my people know not the judgment “ of the Lord."
The moral corruption of mankind still further appears, that throughout all generations, they have been wicked. Before the flood, had not all flesh corrupted their way? In the four populous cities of the plain, ten righteous persons were not to be found. In the days of Abraham, the world was sunk into iniquity and idolatry. Our Lord declares in his time, few entered in at the strait gate, but multitudes crouded the broad road to destruc. tion.
Fourthly, The universal mortality of the children of men, is an ir: refragable argument, that there is evil or something wrong in their nature. “ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by “ sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sin“ ned.” Death is mentioned in the bible as the most tremendous calamity that can take place. Reason and the common sense of mankind indicate terrible punishment as a sure evidence of great transgression. Barbarians, when they saw a venomous viper fasten upon St. Paul's hand, instantly concluded, he must have been a heinous sinner, a murderer, that divine vengeance would not suffer to live. When God deals out the desolations upon the world, of war, famine, pestilence, &c. which strike terror into all beholders, death is the only evil idea these awful names convey. Deadly destruction is the most terrible destruction ; deadly sorrow, the most extreme sorrows ; deadly enemies, the most malignant enemies ; and the whole combined force of the sufferings of the Son of God, could only be represented in the strong language, “that he suffered unto death.” Death is a standing testimony of God's displeasure with sin. Can it be sup. posed that a good and righteous God, would inflict this highest token of his anger upon creatures perfectly innocent ? Surely not. Yet death has reigned over all the human race, from Adam to