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a stone, yea, harder than the nether mill-stone, in point of receiving of them ; it is otherwise unstable as water, and cannot keep them. It works against the receiving of them; and when they are made, it works them off, and returns to its natural bias, Hos. vi. 4.
« Your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew, it goeth away." The morning cloud promiseth a hearty shower, but, when the sun ariseth, it evanisheth; the sun beats upon the early dew, and it evaporates; so the husband. man's expectation is disappointed. Such is the goodness of the natural man. Some sharp affliction, or pierc. ing conviction, obligeth him, in some sort, to turn from his evil course ; but his will not being renewed, religion is still against the grain with him, and therefore this goes off again, Psal. lxxviii. 34, 36, 37. Though a stone thrown up into the air may abide there a little while ; yet its natural heaviness will bring it down to the earth again ; and so do unrenewed men return to the wallowing in the mire ; because although they were washed, yet their swinish nature was not changed. It is hard to cause vet wood take fire, hard to make it keep fire; but it is harder than either of these to make the unrenewed wilt retain attained goodness; which is a plain evidence of the natural bent of the will to evil.
Evid. last. Do the saints serve the Lord now, as they were wont to serve sin in their unconverted state ? Very far from it, Rom. vi. 20. “ When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Sin got all, and admitted no partner; but now, when they are the servants of Christ, are they free, from sin ? Nay, there are still with them some deeds of the old man, shewing that he is but dying in them. And hence their hearts often misgive them, and slip aside unto evil, when they would do good, Rom. viii. 21. They need to watch, and keep their hearts with all diligence; and their sad experience teaching them, that He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool," Prov. xxviii. 26. If it be thus in the green free, how must it be in the dry?
Fourthly, There is a natural contrariety, direct opposition and enmity, in the will of man, to God himself, and his holy will, Rom. viii. 7. “ The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.” The will was once God's deputy in the soul, set to command there for him ; but now it is set up against him. If you would have the picture of it, in its natural state, the very reverse of the will of God represents it. If the fruit hanging before one's eyes be but forbidden, that is sufficient to draw the heart after it. Let me instance in the sin of profane swearing and cursing, to which some are so abandoned, that they take a pride in them; belching out horrid oaths and curses, as if hell opened with the opening of their mouths, or larding their speeches with minced oaths, as faith, hath, fai'd ye, hai'd ye, and such like ; and all this without any manner of provocation, though even that would not excuse them. Pray tell me, (1.) What profit is there here ? A thief gets something in his hand for his pains; a drunkard gets a belly-full; but what do ye get? Others serve the devil for pay; but ye are volunteers, that expect no reward, but your work itself, in affronting of heaven. And if you repent not, you will get your reward in full tale; when ye go to hell, your work will follow you. The drunkard shall not have a drop of water to cool his tongue there. Nor will the covetous man's wealth follow him into the other world ; but ye shall drive on your old trade there. And an eternity shall be long enough to give you your heart's fill of it. (2.) What pleasure is there here, but what flows from your trampling upon the holy law? Which of your senses doth swearing or cursing gratify? If it gratify your ears, it can only be by the noise it makes against the heavens. Though Fou had a mind to give up yourselves to all manner of profanity and sensuality, there is so little pleasure can be strained out of these, that we must needs conclude, your love to them, in this case, is a love to them for themselves; a devilish unhired love, without any prospect of profit or pleasure from them otherwise. If any shall say, these are monsters of men. Be it so ; yet, alas ! the world is fruitful of such monsters; they are to be found almost everywhere. And allow me to say, They must be admitted as the mouth of the whole unregenerate world against heaven, Rom. ii. 14.
“ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness," ver. 19. “ Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the
law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
I have a charge against every unregenerate man and woman, young or old, to be verified by the testimonies.of the Scriptures of truth, and the testimony of their own consciences; namely, that whether they be professors or profane, whatever they be, seeing they are not born again, they are heart-enemies to God; to the Son of God, to the Spirit of God, and to the law of God. Hear this, ye careless souls, that live at ease in your natural state.
1st. Ye are enemies to God in your minds, Col. i. 21. Ye are not as yet reconciled to him, the natural enmity is not as yet slain, though perhaps it lies hid, and ye do not perceive it. (1.) Ye are enemies to the very being of God, Psal. xiv. 1.“ The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”. The proud man would that none were above himself; the rebel, that there were no King; and the unrenewed man, who is a mass of pride and rebellion, that there were no God. He saith it in his heart, he wisheth it were so, though he be ashamed and afraid to speak it out. And that all natural men are such fools, appears from the Apostle's quoting a part of this Psalm, « That every mouth may be stopped," Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12, 19. I own indeed, that while the natural man looks on God as the Creator and Preserver of the world; because he loves his ownself, therefore his heart riseth not against the being of his benefactor : But this enmity will quickly appear, when he looks on God as the Rector and Judge of the world; binding him, under the pain of the curse, to exact holiness, and girding him with the cords of death, because of his sin. Listen in this case to the voice of the heart, and you will find it to be, No God. (2.) Ye are enemies to the nature of God, Job. xxi. 14. « They say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” Men set up to themselves an idol of their own fancy instead of God, and then fall down and worship it. They love him no other way, than Jacob loved Leah, while he took her for Rachel. Every natural man is an enemy to God, as he is revealed in his word. An infinitely holy, just, powerful, and true Being, is not the God whom he loves, but the God whom he loaths. In effect men naturally are haters of God, Rom. i. 30. And if they could, they certainly would make him another than what he is. For, consider it is a certain truth, that whatsoever is in God, is God; and, therefore, his attributes or perfections are not any thing really distinct from himself, If God's attributes be not himself, he is a compound being, and so not the first Being ; (which to say is blasphemous,), for the parts compounding are before the compound itself; but he is “ Alpha and Omega, the first and the last."
Now upon this I would, for your conviction, propose to your consciences a few queries:(1.) How stand your hearts affected to the infinite purity and holiness of God? Conscience will give an answer to this, which the tongue will not speak out. If ye be not partakers of his holiness, ye cannot be reconciled to it. The Pagans finding they could not be like God in holiness, made their gods like themselves in filthiness; and thereby discovered what sort of a god the natural man would have. God is holy ; can an unholy creature love his unspotted holiness ? Nay, it is the righteous only that can give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness," Psal. lxxxvii. 12. God is light ; can creatures of darkness rejoice therein ? Nay, kevery one that doth eyil hateth the light," John iii. 29. For,“ What communion hath light with darkness ?” 2 Cor. vi. 14. (2.) How stand your hearts affected to the justice of God? There is not a man, who is wedded to his lusts, as all the unregenerate are, but would be content with the blood of his body, to blot that letter out of the name of God. Can the malefactor love his condemning judge ? Or an unjustified sinner a just God ? No, he canDot, Luke vii. 47. “ To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." Hence seeing men cannot get the doctrine of his justice blotted out of the Bible, is such an eyesore to them, that they strive to blot it out of their minds. And they ruin themselves by presuming on his mercy, while they are not careful to get a righteousness, wherein they may stand before his justice; but “say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil,” Zeph. i. 12. (3.) How stand ye affected to the omniscience and omnipresence of God! Men naturally would rather have a blind idol, than an all-seeing God; and, therefore, do what they can, as Adam did, to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord. They no more love an all-seeing, every-where-present God, than the thief loves to have the judge witness to his evil-deeds. If it could be carried by votes, God would be voted out of the world, and closed up in heaven: For the language of the carnal heart is, « The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth,” Ezek. viii. 12. (4.) How stand ye affected to the truth and veracity of God? There are but few in the world, that can heartily subscribe to that sentence of the Apostle, Rom. iii. 4. “ Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Nay truly, there are many, who, ir effect, do hope that God will not be true to his word. There are thousands who hear the gospel, that hope to be saved, and think all safe with them for eternity, who never had any experience of the new birth, nor do at all concern themselves in that question, Whether they are born again or not? A question that is like to wear out from among us at this day. Our Lord's words are plain and peremptory, “ Except a manbe born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What are such hopes then, but real hopes that God (with profoundest reverence be it spoken) will recall his word, and that Christ will prove a false prophet? What else means the sinner, who, “ when he heareth the words of the curse, blesseth himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart ?" Deut. xxix. 19. Lastly, How stand ye affected to the power of God ? None but new creatures will love him for it, on a fair view thereof; though others may slavishly fear him upon the account of it. There is not a natural man but would contribute, to the utmost of his power, to the building of another tower of Babel, to hem it in. On these grounds, I declare every unrenewed man an enemy to God:
2dly, Ye are enemies to the Son of God. That enmity to Christ is in your hearts, which would have made you join the husbandmen, who killed the heir, and cast him out of the vineyard; if ye had been beset with their temptations, and no more restrained than they were. Am I a dogs you will say, to have so treated my sweet Saviour? So said Hazael in another case ; but when he had the temptation, he was a dog to do it. Many call Christ their sweet Saviour, whose consciences can bear witness, they