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brother in this sense only, who is said to be a mur. derer. To be an enemy to any one, is to wish him ill, and to be disposed to do him hurt; as being a friend to one, on the contrary, is to wish well to him, and to be ready, when it is in our power, to do him good. God is indeed above the possibility of sustaining damage, or receiving benefit from any thing we do : nevertheless, we may have the same disposition and feelings toward him, that we have tow. ard our fellow-creatures, who are within the reach of our good or ill offices. In our minds, we may be friends or enemies to him, as well as to one another. We may wish that his name might be hallowed; that his kingdom might come, and his will be done ; or we may wish the contrary. We may be ready to do what in us lies to promote, or to prevent, the ad. vancement of his declarative glory. The revival of his work may give us joy, or it may excite our displeasure and grief. Moses and Joshua were exceedingly concerned for the honor of God's great name ; and David wanted to have the whole creation unite in praising the Lord. Were not these the natural exercises and expressions of a friendly disposition to the Supreme Being ? The devil, on the contrary, is extremely unwilling that God should be glorified ; and would make the whole intelligent creation revolt from him, and blaspheme his holy name, if it were in his power. What is this but to be at heart a perfect enemy to God? The enmity of the carnal mind of fallen man is of the same nature, though not to the same degree. Those who are enemies to God in their minds, will be ready to dispute his sovereignty, to plead for independence on him, and to act in opposition to his revealed will. In proportion as we have enmity in our hearts against God, we do not love that he should be so highly exalted, and possess such absolute dominion and power : and we are disposed to speak and act, not for him but against him; and to take pleasure in the society of those who dishonor his name, rather than in that of them who show forth his praise.
3. It is to be particularly observed, that the manner of expression in our text, seems to suppose this native unfriendliness of the human heart, to the holy Sovereign of the universe, to be total and entire. It is not merely asserted that the carnal mind has much in it which is inimical to God. This might consist with its having something in it of sincere friendli. ness to him. This might be truly said of the best of men in this world of imperfection. The apostle Paul himself found a law in his members, warring against the law of his mind ; and undoubtedly that remaining fleshly law, warred against the law of God, and against the love of God. But to have the mind enmity itself against him, is something much more than this. It implies that the heart has nothing in it of the love of God, but is in total opposition to him.
III. We proceed to consider what other evidence there is of its being true, that all men by nature are so very ungodly and ill disposed.
The proof of it doth not rest merely on this one text. If it did, there might perhaps be some reason to hope that the expressions here were hyperbolical ; or that they did not necessarily imply so much as hath now been supposed.
But that this is no exaggerated representation of the ungodliness of fallen men, however we should wish not to believe it, is evident abundantly from other passages of scripture, and from facts, which cannot be disputed.
1. The enmity of the mind of man against God, is manifest from what we read and see of the unbelief of mankind, with respect to his being and per. fections. David says, Psal. xiv. 1, “ The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Or, rather, our English translators have supposed this to be his
meaning: for in the Hebrew of that text, the words are only these ; “ The fool hath said in his heart, No God.” And some have thought the supplement, there is, to be improper or needless. That the psalm ist meant to say what was the fool's secret wish ; not what was his inward belief. By the fool, is commonly meant in scripture, not an idiot, but a sinner, in contradistinction to a saint ; or, in the language of the New Testament, the natural man. And that the psalmist is so to be understood in this text, is plain from what immediately follows: “ They are corrupt ; they have done abominable works; there is none that doeth good: The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are together become filthy ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." He is plainly giving the character of all mankind by nature ; and if he meant that it was the language of man's heart, “ No God,” or, Let there be no such being, then we have in this text an express assertion, that natural men are of a disposition which is enmity to the existence of God. But if the psalmist be understood, agreeably to our translation, as only asserting the inward atheism of wicked men, or their unbelief that there is a God, still this proves the enmity of the human heart against him for to no other cause can such atheistical unbelief be ascribed ; since we may as easily know that all things must have been made at first, and that the Maker of them must be God, as that every house was builded by some man.
Yet it is very manifest from the conduct of a great part of mankind, even under the light of the gospel, that they have no real belief of the existence of God.
2. From the so early and so universal prevalence, of the most stupid and abominable idolatry in this
fallen world, the enmity of the human heart against the Supreme Being, is exceedingly evident.
The apostle hence proves the extreme ungodliness of the heathen Gentiles, in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans. He says, “ Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ; and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things.” This he imputes, not to their wanting the necessary means of coming to the knowledge of the truth ; but to their holding the truth in unrighteousness-to their not being disposed to glorify God when they knew him, and to their not liking to retain God in their knowledge. And undoubtedly, no other probable account can be given, of the so universal prevalence of the worship of false gods, and such strange ones as were worshipped in all parts of the world. Certainly, had mankind been of a disposition to delight them. selves in the Almighty, they would never have made them such gods as birds and beasts, and the meanest reptiles : nor such as Bacchus and Venus, Belial and Moloch, or even as Jupiter and Juno gods and goddesses, the patrons and patronesses of lewdness, drunkenness, envy, revenge, and every human or diabolical vice. By the gods that men believe in and worship, it is seen what gods they wish to have. We need not wonder, therefore, that the heathen idolaters are said to have been without excuse; or that their alienation from the life of God, through the ignorance which was in them, is resolved into the blindness of their heart.
But, not onļy the refined Greeks and Romans, as well as other Gentiles, who were called by them barbarians, worshipped such despicable creatures, and gods of such abominable characters; even the people of Israel, notwithstanding all their revelations, and all the wonders of Divine mercy and wrath of which they had been witnesses, still long retained
an invincible bias to relapse into such sottish and im. pious idolatry. They were always ready to warp off from the Most High, to the gods of the heathen around them, like a deceitful bow. This their history, from the time they were redeemed out of Egypt, until their captivity in Babylon, abundantly testifies. And this was the grand controversy which God had with them, and his constant complaint against them. See Jer. xliv. 2-6, “ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Ye have seen all the evils that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods, whom they knew not ; neither they, you, nor your fathers. Howbeit, I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no more incense unto other gods. Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they were wasted and desolate, as at this day.”
3. We have a striking proof of the enmity of mankind against God, in the treatment which his messengers, and all who have borne his image, have generally met with in the world. It is seen how subjects stand affected toward their sovereign, by the manner in which they treat his ministers of state. It is seen whether foreign courts are friendly to a neighboring king, by the reception given to his ambassadors. We may see whether our neighbors are well or ill affected to us, by their treatment of our children and servants. But, judging according to this evidence, what must we think of the loyalty and cordiality of the ancient Jews to the Holy One of Israel ? By the account we have of them from