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from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand. They are all gone aside," “ There is none that understandeth.” Hence all spiritual understanding is represented as coming from God: “ The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true." 66 We-do not cease to pray for you,—that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." This class have none of that love to their neighbour which is required in the divine law : “ Beloved, let us love another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoroeth God." This class have no true hatred of sin: “ The fear of the Lord is to hate evil ;" but they have “ no fear of God before their eyes." ' However the body of sin may change its form, and some of its members be retrenched, this class are in no degree delivered from its dominion: “ To depart from evil is understanding; but “ thou hast hid their heart from understanding."*
(4.) All natural men are the enemies of God and His Son. This decisive proof of Total Depravity will be reserved for the following Lecture.
(5.) That natural men possess no holy principle is evident from this, that all their actions, so far as they partake of a moral nature, are wicked.
* Job xvii. 4. and xxi. 7, 14. and xxviii. 28. Ps. x. 4. and xiv. 2, 3. and xxxvi. 1. and cxi. 10. Prov. i. 7. and viii. 13. and ix. 10. Isai. xlii. 16. and lii. 2. Jer. iv. 22. John xv. 21. and xvii. 25. Rom. iii. 9 20. 1 Cor. ii. 6-14. Col. i. 9. 1 John iv. 7. and v. 20
Their “ ways are always grievous.” They “ have
66 only done evil—from their youth.” They “have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands." The very “plowing of the wicked is sin.” Even their “sacrifice—is an abomination to the Lord.” “So then they that are in the flesh, [in their natural state,] cannot please God;" (or what amounts to the same thing,) “ without faith it is impossible to please Him."'*
(6.) The doctrine is supported by direct and positive declarations. « God saw that the wicked. ness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “ The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead." “ Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” heart is deceitful above all things, and DESPERATELY wicked ; who can know it?". Whose heart? The heart,—in the most universal form. 6 The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint: from the sole of the foot even unto the crown of the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores.” “Unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled;-being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
* Ps. X. 4. Proy, xv. 8. and xxi. 4. Jer. xxxii. 30. Rom. viii. 8. Heb, xi, 6.
6 That which is born of the flesh, [by natural generation,] is flesh,”-is nothing but flesh, because all that is spirit, or that stands in opposition to flesh, is produced by a second birth : 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” By flesh is unquestionably meant the old nature. What then is the character of the flesh? Let an apostle answer : “ I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth NO GOOD Thing.” Will you hear him further ?
THING “ The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other.-Now the works of the flesh are-these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.—But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, &c.-And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts." Hear him yet further : “ They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit: for to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace: because the carnal [fleshly] mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh, [in their natural state,] cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”
To this mass of proof may be added, what perhaps is the most decisive of all, that mankind by nature are “DEAD in trespasses and sins :" “You being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, bath He quickened.” “You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." If you say these were heathen, let us then go to the Jews : “God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us.” “ Jesus said unto him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” “ The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” If you say these were Jews, let us go then within the pale of the Christian Church: “ Honour widows that are widows indeed :—but she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”
66 These are spots in
your feasts of charity ;-trees whose fruit withereth,--twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."*
The dismal picture which the apostle draws in the 3d chapter of Romans, by composing into one form the different features of the “ wicked" which had been traced in the Old Testament; and his declaration that the features were originally meant
Gen. vi. 5. Eccl. viii. 11. and ix. 3. Isai. i. 5, 6. Jer. xvii. 9. Mat. viii. 22. John iii. 6. and v. 25. Rom. vii. 18. and viii. 549. Gal. v. 17-24. Eph. ji. 1, 4, 5. Col. ii. 13. 1 Tim. v. 3, 6. Tit. i. 15, 16. 1 Pet. iv. 6. Jude 12. Rev. iii. 1.
for the whole human family, authorizing thus the universal application of the term wicked as it stands connected with those delineations; are sufficient in themselves to settle this question. Pray read that description, (and add to it the dreadful account of the whole heathen world in the first chapter ;) and after being thus taught to apply to all natural men the allegations of the Old Testament against the wicked," read the descriptions of the wicked contained in the 21st chapter of Job, in the 10th, 14th, 36th, 50th, and 73d Psalm, and, to mention no more, in the 59th chapter of Isaiah.
Argument IV. The representations in the Psalms and chapters above referred to, are abundantly confirmed by the history of the world.
But a few ages had elapsed after the fall of man before the earth was filled with violence," and the whole world, with the exception of a single family, must be swept away by a flood. As soon as men began again to multiply on the earth, the whole race, except one family preserved by a succession of miracles, apostatized to idols. “ Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections," to wallow in the most unnatural and brutal lusts. “ As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind;-being filled with all unrighteous..