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sists. This faculty would therefore undoubtedly be every way as fit for understanding them as the latter, if not depraved. The reason why these are understood, and not the other, is not that such things as have been mentioned belonging to men's spiritual and eternal interest, are more obscure and abstruse in their own nature. For instance, the difference between long and short, the need of providing for futurity, the importance of improving proper opportunities, and of having good security and a sure foundation in affairs wherein our interest is greatly concerned, &c. these things are as plain in themselves in religious, as in other matters. And we have far greater means to assist us to be wise for ourselves in eternal, than in temporal things. We have the abundant instruction of perfect and infinite wisdom itself, to lead and conduct us in the paths of righteousness, so that we may not err. And the reasons of things are most clearly, variously and abundantly set before us in the word of God; which is adapted to the faculties of mankind, tending greatly to enlighten and convince the mind : Whereas, we have no such excellent and perfect rules to instruct and direct us in things pertaining to our temporal interest, nor any thing to be compared to it.
If any should say, It is true, if men gave full credit to what they are told concerning eternal things, and these appeared to them as real and certain things, it would be an evidence of a sort of madness in them, that they shew no greater regard to them in practice: But there is reason to think, this is not the case ; the things of another world being unseen, appear to men as things of a very doubtful nature, and attend. ed with great uncertainty.-In answer, I would observe, agreeable to what has been cited from Mr Locke, though eternal things were considered in their bare possibility, if men acted rationally, they would infinitely outweigh all temporal things in their influence on their hearts. And I would also observe, that to suppose eternal things not to be fully believed, at least by them who enjoy the light of the gospel, does not weaken, but rather strengthen the argument for the depravity of nature. For the eternal world being what God had chiefly in view in the creation of men, this world was made wholly subordinate to the other, man's state here being only a state of probation, preparation, and progression, with respect to the future state. Eternal things are in effect their all, their whole concern ; to understand and know which it chiefly was, that they had understanding given them; therefore we may undoubtedly conclude, that if men have not respect to them as real and certain things, it cannot be for want of sufficient evidence of their truth: But it must be from a dreadful stupidity of mind, occasioning a sottish insensibility of their truth and importance, when manifested by the clearest evidence.
That Man's Nature is corrupt, appears, in that by far the
greater Part of Mankind, in all Ages, have been wicked Men.
The depravity of man's nature appears, not only in its propensity to sin in some degree, which renders a man an evil or wicked man in the eye of the law, and strict justice, as was before shewn; but it is so corrupt, that its depravity either shews that men are, or tends to make them to be, of such an evil character as shall denominate them wicked men, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace.
This may be argued from several things which have been already observed: As from a tendency to continual sin; a tendency to much greater degrees of sin than righteousness, and from the general extreme stupidity of mankind. But yet the present state of man's nature, as implying or tending to a wicked character, may deserve to be more particularly considered and directly proved. And in general, this appears, in that there have been so very few in the world, from age to age, ever since the world has stood, that have been of any other character.
It is abundantly evident in scripture, and is what I suppose none that call themselves christians will deny, that the whole world is divided into good and bad, and that all mankind at the day of judgment will either be approved as righteous or condemned as wicked : either glorified as children of the king. dom, or cast into a furnace of fire as children of the wicked
I need not stand to shew what things belong to the character of such as shall hereafter be accepted as righteous, according to the word of God. It may be sufficient for my present purpose to observe what Dr. T. himself speaks of as belonging essentially to the character of such. In p. 203. he says, "This is infallibly the character of true christians, and what is essential to such, that they have really mortified the flesh with its lusts ;-they are dead to sin, and live no longer therein; the old man is crucified, and the body of sin destroyed: They yield themselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness to God and as servants of righteousness to holiness." There is more to the like purpose in the two ne pages. 228. he says, “Whatsoever is evil and corrupt in us we ought to condemn ; not so, as it shall still remain in us, that we may always be condemning it, but that we may speedily re
form, and be effectually delivered from it ; otherwise certainly we do not come up to the character of the true disciples of Christ.”
In p. 248. he says, “ Unless God's favour be preferred before all other enjoyments whatsoever, unless there be a delight in the worship of God, and in converse with him, unless every appetite be brought into subjection to reason and truth, and unless there be a kind and benevolent disposition towards our fellow-creatures, how can the mind be fit to dwell with God in his house and family, to do him service in his king. dom, and to promote the happiness of any part of his creation."-And in his Key, §. 286. p. 101, 102, &c. shewing there what it is to be a true christian, he says among other things, " That he is one who has such a sense and persuasion of the love of God in Christ, that he devotes his life to the honour and service of God, in hope of eternal glory. And that to the character of a true christian it is absolutely necessary, that he diligently study the things that are freely given him of God, viz. his election, regeneration, &c. that he may gain a just knowledge of those inestimable privileges, may taste that the Lord is gracious, and rejoice in the gospel salvation as his greatest happiness and glory. It is necessary that he work these blessings on his heart, till they become a vital principle, producing in him the love of God, engaging him to all cheerful obedience to his will, giving him a proper dignity and elevation of soul, raising him above the best and worst of this world, carrying his heart into heaven, and fixing his affections and regards upon his everlasting inheritance, and the crown of glory laid up for him there.—Thus he is armed against all the temptations and trials resulting from any pleasure or pain, hopes or fears, gain or loss, in the present world. None of these things move him from a faithful discharge of any part of his duty, or from a firm attachment to truth and righteousness; neither counts he his very life dear to him, that he may do the will of God, and finish his course with joy. In a sense of the love of God in Christ, he maintains daily communion with God by reading and meditating on his word. In a sense of his own infirmity and the readiness of the divine favour to succour him, he daily addresses the throne of grace for the renewal of spiritual strength, in assurance of obtaining it through the one Mediator Christ Jesus. Inlightened and directed by the heavenly doctrine of the gospel, &c.*
Now I leave every one that has any degroe of impartiali. ty to judge, whether there be not sufficient grounds to think that it is but a very small part indeed of the many myri
* What Dr. TURNEULL says of the character of a good man, is also worthy to be observed, Chris. Phil, p. 86, 258, 259, 288, 375, 376, 409, 410. VOL. II.
ads and millions which overspread this globe, who are of a character that in any wise answers these descriptions. However Dr. T. insists, that all nations, and every man on the face of the earth, have light and means sufficient to do the whole will of God, even they that live in the grossest darkness of paganism.
Dr. T. in answer to arguments of this kind, very impertinently from time to time objects, that we are no judges of the viciousness of men's characters, nor are able to decide in what degree they are virtuous or vicious. As though we could have no good grounds to judge, that any thing appertaining to the qualities or properties of the mind, which is invisible, is general or prevailing among a multitude or collective body, unless we can determine how it is with each individual. I think I have sufficient reason from what I know and have heard of the American Indians to judge, that there are not many good philosophers among them; though the thoughts of their hearts, and the ideas and knowledge they have in their minds, are things invisible; and though I have never seen so much as a thousandth part of the Indians; and with respect to most of them, should not be able to pronounce preremptorily concerning any one, that he was not very knowing in the nature of things, 'if all should singly pass before me. And Dr. T. himself seems to be sensible of the falseness of his own conclusions that he so often urges against others ; if we may judge by his practice, and the liberties he takes in judging of a multitude himself. He, it seems, is sensible that a man may have good grounds to judge that wickedness of character is general in a collective body; because he openly does it himself. (Key, p. 102.) After declaring the things which belong to the character of a true Christian, he judges
of the generality of Christians, that they have cast off these things, that they are a people that do err in their hearts, and have not known God's ways, p. 259, he judges, that the generality of Christians are the most wicked of all mankind, when he thinks it will throw some disgrace on the opinion of such as he opposes. The like we have from time to time in other places, (as p. 168, p. 258, Key, p. 127, 128.)
But if men are not sufficient judges whether there are few of the world of mankind but what are wicked, yet doubtless God is sufficient, and his judgment, often declared in his word, determines the matter. Matt. vii. 13, 14. Enter ye in at the strait gate: For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. It is manifest, that here Christ is not only describing the state of things as it was at that day, and does not mention the comparative smallness of the
number of them that are saved as a consequence of the peculiar perverseness of that people and of that generation; but as a consequence of the general circumstances of the way to life and the way to destruction, the broadness of the one and the narrowness of the other. In the straitness of the gate, &c. I suppose none will deny that Christ has respect to the strictness of those rules, which he had insisted on in the preceding sermon, and which render the way to life very difficult. But certainly these amiable rules would not be difficult, were they not contrary to the natural inclinations of men's liearts; and they would not be contrary to those inclinations, were these not depraved. Consequently the wideness of the gate, and broadness of the way, that leads to destruction, in consequence of which many go in thereat, must imply the agreeableness of this way to men's natural inclinations. The like reason is given by Christ, why few are saved. Luke xiii, 23, 24. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few saved ? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate : For many I say
shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. That there are generally but few good men in the world, even among them who have the most distinguishing and glorious advantages for it, is evident by that saying of our Lord, Many are called, but few are chosen. And if there are but few among these, how few, how very few indeed, must persons of this character be, compared with the whole world of mankind ? The exceeding smallness of the number of the saints, compared with the whole world, appears by the representations often made of them as distinguished from the world; in which they are spoken of as called and chosen out of the world, redeemed from the earth, redeemed from among men; as being those that are of God, while the whole world lieth in wickedness, and the like.
And if we look into the Old Testament, we shall find the same testimony given. Prov. xx. 6. Most men will proclaim every man his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find ? By the faithful man, as the phrase is used in scripture, is intend. ed much the same as a sincere, upright, or truly good man; as in Psal. xii. 1, and xxxi. 23. and ci. 6. and other places. Again, Eccl. vii. 25—29. I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to find out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness : And I find more bitter ihan death, the woman whose heart is snares, fc. Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account, which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not : Öne man among a thousand have I found: but a woman among all these have I not found. Lo, this only have 1 found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Solomon here signifies, that when he set