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Moses, sparing neither sex nor age, quality nor condition. This awful calamity befals infants, who have not been guilty of actual sin, or sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression. But by the fall, these unhappy creatures became some way participants of the offence, and, therefore, suffer in its awful consequences. This illustrates the scripture assertion, “ That we are all by na"ture children of wrath.” These arguments, drawn from observation and sad experience, abundantly evince the fact, that we are originally corrupted and depraved. The existence of fact, is deemed in all cases, a sufficient demonstration of the alledged truth, therefore, in the present instance, ought to come home with irresistable force, and be deeply impressed upon the conscience of every sinner. Could men be persuaded duly to consider the character of God, the propriety and perfection of his law, and make just observations upon what they behold every day, they could no more resist the belief of the doctrine of original sin, than that they could disbelieve the sun's shining when above the horizon, where there are no intervening clouds.
Fifthly, This humiliating reality is established from innumera.. ble passages of holy writ. Yea, the whole scriptures, the whole plan of man's redemption begins upon this foundation. Hearken to the declarations of heaven. “ The imagination of man's heart s is evil from his youth. Foolishness,” that is, according to Sol. omon's stile, wickedness, “is bound up in the heart of a child. “ What is man that he should be clean, or he that is born of a 6 woman that he should be righteous? How then can man be “ justified with God, and how can he be clean, that is born of a “ woman. Behold, says the Psalmist, I was shapen in iniquity, " and in sin did my mother conceive me. The Lord looked down “ from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any " that did understand and seek God; they are all gone aside, " they are altogether become filthy, there is none that doth good,
no not one. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. In Adam s all die. By the offence of one, jådgment came upon all to « condemnation. By one man's disobedience many were made “ sinners." There would be no end of retailing the scripture authorities in support of this doctrine, that man is originally depraved, and has a tendency and propensity in his nature to sin and wickedness.
* But it is time I should close this discourse, and this must be done with a few brief reflections,
First, We learn, that if mankind are thus corrupted, and have this evil tendency in their nature to iniquity, that it is impossible justification with God can be obtained by our own rightcousness. No person, by the strictest obedience to the divine law, can make reparation for the breach he hath made. We must be justified by some other righteousness than our own, or remain forever under condemnation. A glorious and all sufficient righteousness for the justification of all the children of Adam, who will repent' and believe, is revealed in the gospel...“ Christ 6 is the end of the law for righteousness. This is a faithful say“ing, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into Ý the world to save even the chief of sinners." ;
Secondly, This doctrine informs us of the great blindness, ignorance, and stupidity of many, who suppose themselves small sinners, and so in no danger of perishing, though they neither repent, bow to the scepter of Jesus, nor submit to the terms of the gospel. “ There is a generation that are pure in their own “ eyes, and yet not washed from their iniquity. Ye will not « come unto me, says the blessed Saviour, that ye may bave life. “. Therefore, ye must perish in your sins.” Though in Adam all have died, yet by faith in Christ, all may be made alive. “ I was alive, says St. Paul, without the law once, but when
the commandment came, sin revived and I died."
Thirdly, We are here taught the absolute necessity of being cut off from the stock of Adam, and ingrafted into a new stock,
even into Christ Jesus. For so long as we remain in the conneca tion of mere children of the former, we lie under the condemnation of the law, and stand exposed to the wrath of the judge eternal. Adam was once able to have conveyed life to his posterity, but now nothing proceeds in this line only sin and death ; but by the precious Redeemer, life and immortality are brought to light, and heaven is proposed to your option, and by the band of faith we may lay hold of eternal felicity. Hearken to the persuasive voice of the tender and compassionate Saviour, “ Coine " unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy ladened, and I will "give you rest."
Fourthly, We here learn our true and real state by nature ; the melancholy and moral state in which we are born ; under the dominion of a sinful nature, and under the curse of an holy law. Well may we say, “ We have an Anorite to our father, and a “ Hittite to our mother ;" we are born in our blood; with hearts full of alienation from God; we are born in a state of death; dead in trespasses and sins. But thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, and by the mighty operations of the Spirit of grace, we may be born again, renewed in the spirit of our minds, made alive to holiness, and revived to eternal felicity,
Fifthly, This doctrine affords matter for the deepest humiliation and self abasement. Let us abhor ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes. Let us mourn over the depravity of our natures, and the corruption of our lives. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Let those who are in a natural state, be filled with horror, and be horribly afraid. Confess your sins, and turn from all your iniquities, accept of the offers of mercy, and you shall yet live. “ Let the wicked man forsake his way, 6 and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn unto the Lord " and he will have mercy on him, and to our God and he will " abundantly pardon."
SE R MON XIII.
THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF MAN'S DE
JEREMIAH xvii, 1.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked:
who can know it?
THIS is a description sufficient to fill the minds of all rational beings with horror. The prophet Jeremiah, is, in this chapter, continuing his prophecy of the destruction of the Jews. “ Their « sin was written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a dia“nond; it was graven upon the table of their hearts." Their season, judgment and consciences, their children, altars, and groves were witnesses against them.
They were threatened with the loss of their substance and treasures, which wounded to the quick-and total expatriation was their doom. The prophet takes occasion from hence, to de. pict the deep wickedness of mankind in general. The words of our text are an universal proposition, not limited to the Jews, but applicable in its extent to the whole human race. “The “ heart," that is, wherever the heart of man is found in its natural and unregenerated state, “is deceitful above all things, and 6 desperately wicked.”.
In these words, two things are observable. First, a certain subject spoken of. And secondly, something very evil predicated of it.
First, The subject spoken of, is the heart. The heart is taken here in its utmost extension, pertaining to every man, as he is by nature. This appears from the assertion in the tenth verse. “I the Lord search the heart, and try the reins, even to give "every man according to his ways.” This is every where declared to be the prerogative and conduct of God, not only in respect to the Jew, but also in regard to the Gentile, and every individual of the human race. By the heart, is meant the volitions, affections, disposition, and exercises of the soul.
Secondly, Something very evil is predicated of the heart. It is here affirmed to be an exceedingly bad and wicked thing ; “de“ceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” The understanding is blind and dark, the will refractory and perverse, the passions disordered, and the whole mind and conscience defiled. The thoughts are evil, and the very imagination is evil, and that continually. But it is not merely said, the heart is deceitful and wicked, but it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. This expresses an exceeding high degree of wickedness; that it is perfectly destitute of all good, prone to all that is wrong, and in the language of the Psalmist, it is absolute wickedness itself. “ Their inward part is very wickedness." The heart is the cage of every unclean bird, and the hold of every foul spirit. All sin is forged and framed there, and all manner of impiety issues from it. “ All manner of sin and blasphemy, says our “ Lord, proceeds from the heart."
This now is the true character of the heart of every unconverted man. However mortifying to our pride and vanity, it is cera tainly the scriptural account of the matter.
What we sirall attend to at this time, will be to illustrate the