Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

according to the course of nature, is born unclean. If the root be corrupt, so nust the branches be. Neither is the matrer mended, though the pareats be fanctified odes: for they are bat holy in part, and that by grace, pot by nature; and they beget their children as men, not as holy mea.

Wherefore, as the circumcised parent begets an uncircumciled child, and after the purelt grain is sowo, we reap cora with the chaff; fo the holiest parents beget unholy children, and cannot communicate their grace to them, as they do their nature ; which maoy godly parents find true, in their fad experience.

Thirdly, Consider the confeffion of the Psalmist David Pfal. li. 6. Behold I was hapen in iniquity, and in fin did my mother conceive me. Here he ascends from his actual fin, to the fountain of it, namely, corrupt nature. He was a man according to God's own heart; but from the beginaing it was not so with him. He was begotten in lawful marriage ; but when the lump was thaper in the womb, it was a fioful lump. Hence the corruption of nature is called the old man; being as old as ourselves, older than grace, even in those that are fanctified from the womb.

Fourthly, Hear our Lord's determination of the point, Jobb iii. 5. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh. Behold the universal corruption of mapkind, all are flefh. Not that all are frail, tho' that is a sad truth too; yea, and our patural frailty is an evidence of our natural corruption; but that is aot the sense of this text: but here is the meaning of it, all are corrupt and finful, and that naturally: hence our Lord argues here, that because they are felh, therefore they must be born again, or else they cannot enter into the kingdom of God, ver. 3, 5. And as the corruption of our nature evideaceth the absolute necesity of regeneration, fo the abfo: Jute deceflity of regeneration plainly proves the corruption of our pature: for why should a man need a fecond birth, if bis nature were not quite marred in the first birth? 'infants muft be born again, for that is an except (John iii. 3.) 'which admits of no exception. And therefore, they were circumcised under the old Testamenr; as having the body of the fins of tbe flesh, (which is conveyed to them by natural gencration) to put off, Col. i 11. And now by the appointment of Jesus Christ, they are to be baptized; which

Lays

says they are unclean, and that there is no falvation for them but by the wahing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. ii. 5.

Filihly, Man certainly is funk very !o: now, in comparifon of what he once was, God made him but a litile lower thin the angels : but now we find him likened to the bealts that perish He hearkened to a brute ; and is now become like one of them. Like Nubuchadnezzar, his portion (in This natural state) is with the beasts, minding only earthly things, Philip. ii. 19. Nay brutes, in some sort, have the advantage of the natural man, who is sunk a degree below them. He is more wirless, ia what concerns him most than the stork, or the turule, or the crane, or the swallow in what is for their interest, Jer viii. 7. He is more ftupid than the ox or ass, Ifa. i z. I find bim fent to school, to learn of the ant or emmot, which having no guide, or leader to go before her: no overseer or officer to compel or Rir her up to work; no ruler, but may do as Mhe lists, being under the do:ninion of none; yet provideth her meat in the fumm* and harvin, Prov. vi. 6, 7, 8. while the natural man has all these, and yet exposeth himself to eternal starving. Nay more than all this, the fcripture holds out the natural man, oot only as wanting the good qualities of those creatures ; but as a compound of the evil qualities of the worst of the creatures, in which do concenter the fiercenefs of the lion, the craft of the fox, the unteachableness of the wild ass, the filthiness of the dog and swine, ihe poison of the alp, and such like. Truth itself calls them ferpents, a gentration of viporsi yea, more, coen chilaren of the d:vi?; Mát. xxi, i, 3 3. John viii. 44: Surely then, man's nav tnre is miferably corrupted.

Lastly, We are by nature children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3. We are worthy of, and liable to the wrath of God; and this by nature: and therefore, doubtless, we are by pature unful creatures. We are condemned before we have done good or evil; under the curfc, ere we know what it is. But wili a lion roar in the forest while he hath no prey? Amos, iii. 4. that is, Will a holy and just God roar in his wrath againit man, if he be not, by his fin made a prey for wrath? No, he will not, he cannot. Let us conclude, then, that according to the word of God man's nature is a costupt nature,

II. If

11. If we cod.ult experience, and observe the care of the world in these thiogs that are obvious, to any person, that will not fhur bis eyes against clear light; we will quickly perceive such fruits, as discover this root of bitterness : 1 fhall propose a few things, that may serve to convince us in this point,

Fir, Who fees not a flood of miseries overflowing the world ? and whether can a man go, wbere be Mhall not dip his foot, if he go not over bead and cars in it,? Every one at home and abroad, in city and country, in palaces and cottages, is groaning under fome one thing or other, ungrateful to him.

Some are oppressed with poverty, fume chafined with fickoefs and pain, fome are lamenting their Jolics; node wapis a crois of one tort or another. No man's condition is so soft, but there is some thorn of uncaliness in it. And at length death the wages of sin, comes after these its barbingers, and sweeps all away. Now, what but lio has opened the Nu!ce? There is not a complaint nor figh heard in the world, por a tear that falls from our eye, but it is an evidence that mao is fallen as a far from heaven; for God diftributetb forrow in his anger, Job xxi, 17. This is a plaio proof of the corruption of Aature: forasmuch as those 'that have not yet actually fioned, have their share of these sorrows ; yea, and draw their first breath in the world wecping, as if they knew this world, at first light, to be a Bochiin, the place of weepers There are graves of the finalleit, as well as of the largest Gize, in the church-yard; and there are never wanting some in the world, who like Rachel, are weeping for their children because they are not, Mat. ii 18.

Secondly, Observe how carly ibis corruption of nature begins to appear in young ones : Solomon observes, that even a child is known by his doings, Prov. xi. 11. It may soon be disceraed, what was the bias of the heart lies. Do not the children of fallen Adam, before they can go a

alone, follow their father's footsteps ? What a vall deal of little pride, ambition, curiosity, vanity, wilfulness, and aver feoefs to good appears in them : And when they creep out of infancy. there is a neceflity of using the rod of correction to drive away the foolishness :hat's bound in their heart. Prov. xxii. 15. Which shows, that if grace prevail not, the child will be a: Ijhmasl a wild ass man, as the word is, Gen. xvi. 13.

Thir.is

Thirdly, Take a view of the manifold gross out-breakings of fin, in the world. The wickedness of man is yet great in the earth. Behold the bitter fruits of the corruption of our Dature, Hof iv. 2. By sweering and ying, and killing and Aculing; and committing adultery, they break out (like the breaking forth of water) and blood toucheth blood. The world is filled with filthiness. and all manner of lewdness wickedness, and profanity. Whence is this deluge of lip on the carth, but from the breaking up of the fountain of the great deep, the beart of man; cut of which proceed evil I boughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetouf, nefs, wickedness, &c. Mark vii. 21. 22.

Ye will, it may be, thank God with a whole heart, that ye are not like there other mien : and indeed ye have better reason for it, than I fear, ye are aware of; for, as, in water, face answereth to fase, fo the heart of man to man, Prot. xxvii. 19. As looking into clear water, ye sec your own face; fo looking into your heart, ye may fee other men's there : and looking into other mens, in them ye may fee your own. So that the most vile and profane wretches that are in the world should serve you for a looking glass; in which you ought to discern the cor. tuption of your own clatore: and if you do fa, ye would, with a heart truly touebed, thank God, and not yourselves indeed, that ye are not as other men, is your lives; fecing the corruption of nature is the fame in you, as in them.

Fourthly, Caft your eye upon these terrible convulsions the world is thrown into by the luft of men. Lions make not a prey of lions, nor wolves of wolves: but men are turned wolves to one another, hiting and devouring one a. ather. Upon how flight occafioes will men lacath their fwords in one another's bowels! The world is a wilderness where the clearest fire men can carry about with them, will not fright away the wild beals that inhabit it, (and that be. cause they are men, and pat brutes) but one way or other they will be wounded. Since Cain lacd the blood of Abel, the earth has been turned into a daughter house; and the chace has been continued fince Nimrod began his hunting ; on the earth, as in the sea, the greater ftill devouring the Jeffer. When we fee the world in fuch a ferment, every one stabbing another with words or swords, we may 002clude there is an evil spirit among them. These violent beats among Adam's sops, speak the whole body to be dis

tem

tempered, the whole head to be fick, and the whole heart faint. They surely proceed from as inward cause, James vi. 1. Lufts Ibat war in our members.

Fifibly, Consider the neceffity of human laws fenced with terrors and severities ; to which we may apply what the apofle says, 1 Tim. i 9. That the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the un. godly and for finners, &c. Mag was made for fociety: and God himself faid of the fork man, when he had created him, that it was net meet that he should be alone: yet the case is such now, that, in fociety, he must be hedged in with thoros. And that from hence we may the better fee the Corruption of man's nature, confider, (1.) Every man naturally loves to be at full liberty himfelf; to have his own will for his law; and if he would follow bis patural inclina. ţions, would vote himself out of the reach of all laws, di. vine and human. And bence fome, the power of whole bands has been aoswerable to the natural inclination) bave indeed made themselves absolute, and above laws ; agreeable to man's monstrous delign at firft, to be as gods, Gen. iii. 5. Yeh, (2.) There is no man that would williogly adveoture to live in a lawless fociety: and therefore, even pirates and robbers have laws among themselves, cho' the whole society caft off all respect to law and right. Thus men discover themselves to be conscious of the corruption of nature; not daring to trull one another, but upon security, (3.) How dangerous foever it is to break thro' the hedge ; yet the violence of lust makes many adyencore daily to run the risk. They will not only facrifice their credit and conscience, which last is highly csteem'd in the world; but for the pleasure of a few moments, immediately fucceeded with terror, from within, they will lay themselves open to a violent death by the laws of the land wherein they live. (4.) The laws are often made to yield to mens luts. Sometimes whole societies růg into such extravagaocies, that like a company of prisoners, they break off their fetters, and put their guards to flight; and the voice of laws cannot be heard for the noise of arms. And leldom is there a time wherein there are not some persons so great and daring, that the laws dare not look their impetuous lusts in the face ; which made David say, in the case of Joab, who had murdered Abuer,

These

« AnteriorContinuar »