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I now appeal to every person, whether he is con scious of ever acting from mere reason, or from mere conscience, or from mere natural affections, without the heart. I presume no person can say, that he is conscious of ever acting from any of these natural principles without the heart. I appeal to every person again, whether he is conscious of ever acting from these natural principles, contrary to the heart. I presume no person can say, that he is conscious of ever acting from these natural principles contrary to the heart. I appeal to every person once more, whether he is not conscious of often acting contrary to reason, contrary to conscience, and contrary to natural affections. I presume every person can say, that he is conscious of often acting contrary to all these natural principles. But how can these be principles of action, if we never act from them, and often act against them? The heart is a principle of action, and therefore we cannot act against it. And were reason, conscience, and natural affections, principles of action, we could no more act against these, than against the heart. Hence it evidently follows, that reason, conscience, and natural affections, are no principles of action, but only motives of action. It is acknowledged, that they often operate as motives, which influence the heart, the only proper principle of action. If reason dictate to a man, that it is best to be temperate; his reason is not the principle of action, but his heart, which acts agreeably to the motive suggested by reason. If conscience dictate to a man, that it is his duty to observe the sabbath; his conscience is not the prin ciple of action, but his heart, which acts agreeably to the motive suggested by conscience. Or if natural affection dictate to a man to give a beloved child the largest portion of his inheritance; his natural affection

is not the principle of action, but his heart, which acts agreeably to his natural affection. Now, if reason, conscience, and natural affection be not principles of action, then no action can flow from them, but every action must flow from the heart. And if all actions flow from the heart, then either all the actions of sinners are totally corrupt, or none of them. But all who acknowledge the total depravity of sinners, allow that those actions which flow from the heart are totally corrupt. Since, then, all the actions of sinners do in fact flow from the heart, and can flow from no other principle; all who admit the doctrine of total depravity, must, in order to be consistent, acknowledge that all the actions of sinners are totally depraved. If they admit the Apostle's premises, they must adopt his conclusion, that they that are in the flesh, and act entirely from a carnal heart, cannot please God.

2. If it be a truth, that sinners are totally depraved, then it is a very important truth. The doctrine of total depravity holds a distinguished place among the doctrines of the gospel. It lies at the foundation of some of the principle articles of christianity. And were christians agreed in this great truth, they would soon put an end to many of their religious disputes. They would no longer contend about the character and conduct of sinners. They would no longer contend about the nature and necessity of regeneration. They would no longer contend about common and special grace.

They would no longer contend about the terms of justification. They would no longer contend about the proper qualifications for communion at the table of the Lord. Nor would they any longer contend about universal salvation. For, divine sovereignty in the dispensations of grace, naturally results from the doctrine of total depravity. So that total depray

ity is not an unmeaning phrase, but a most solemn and important truth, which is inseparably connected with the leading and fundamenal doctrines of the christian religion.

3. We learn from what has been said, that the total depravity of sinners does not destroy, nor diminish their obligation to obey the divine commands. It ap pears, that their total depravity consists wholly in the corruption of their hearts. Their intellectual faculties remain uncorrupt. Their perception, reason, and con science, are in their full strength and vigor. And these are the sole ground of moral obligation. To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Satan knows to do good, notwithstanding the total corruption of his heart, and therefore he is under the same obligation he ever was, to love and obey his Maker. And since the total depravity of sinners does not destroy their knowledge of duty, it does not destroy their obligation to do it. Moral obligation does not depend in the least degree upon the disposition of the heart. Whether men have good or bad hearts, they are equally obliged to love and serve their Creator. Accordingly God never makes the least allowance for the corruption of their hearts, in any of his precepts and prohibitions. Though he knew, that the Israelites in general were totally depraved, when he gave the law at Mount Sinai; yet he required them to love him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their strength, upon pain of eternal destruction. And though Christ knew that the Jews were of their father the devil, and totally depraved; yet he required them to be perfect even as their Father in heaven is perfect. The divine commands fall with all their weight and authority upon the consciences of sinners. Their depravity of heart lessens not their

obligation to obedience. They have as much to do as other men. They have to obey all the commands in the Bible. They have to read, and pray, and do every thing, that good men have to do. The total corruption of their hearts will not afford them the least excuse for the least disaffection to God, nor for the least disobedience to any of his commands.

4. We learn from what has been said, why God condemns the best as well as the worst actions of sinners. Every one can see a reason, why God should condemn their open vices and immoralities; but many can see no reason why he should condemn their apparent love, obedience, and devotion. But we find he does, for some reason or other, condemn their best as well as their worst actions, in the plainest and strongest terms. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. I hate, I despise, your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer me burnt-offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peaceofferings of your fat beasts." Such sacrifices, prayers, and religious devotions of sinners, may be considered as their best performances; but these God expressly says he abhors and condemns. And the reason is plain and obvious. The best performances of sinners proceed from the same totally corrupt heart, from which their open vices and immoralities proceed, and therefore are equally corrupt and sinful. When sinners come before God with a corrupt heart, they come

at their peril; for God tells them, that he never required them to come in such a manner. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts?" Yea, he forbids them to come and worship him with an unfriendly heart. "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies I cannot away with: it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting, Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear." God looketh not on the outward appearance, but upon the heart. He views the best actions of sinners as flowing from a totally corrupt heart, and therefore abhors and condemns them as altogether criminal.

5. We learn from what has been said, why none of the works of sinners will be accepted, at the last day. Our Savior, who will be the final Judge, has absolutely declared, that he will condemn all sinners and all their works, without distinction, in the great day of account. And though they may plead, that they have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, and done many deeds of apparent humanity and benevolence; yet he will reject and punish them, for that criminal selfishness, which was the source of all their actions. And this will be a sufficient reason for their everlasting perdition. If the hearts of all sinners are totally depraved, and if all their actions proceed from their totally corrupt hearts, then Christ may with the greatest propriety, place them all at his left hand, and condemn all their actions, when he comes to judge the world in righteousness. When the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest, it will ap

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