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of the purest liquor put into it, so the natural man turns the very gospel into law; and transforms the covenant of grace into a covenant of works. The ceremonial law was to the Jews a real gospel ; which held blood, death, and translation of guilt before their eyes continually,
as the only way of salvation : yet their very table (i e. their altar, · with the several ordinances pertaining thereto, Mal. i. 12.) was a snare uzto them, Rom. ii. 9. while they use it to make up the defects in their obedience to the moral law, and clave to it so, as to reject him whom the altar and facrifices pointed them to, as the substance of all : even as Hagar, whose it was only to serve, was by their father brought into her mistress's bed; not without a mystery in the purpose of God, for these are the two coven ints, Gal. iv. 24. Thus is the doctrine of the gospel corrupted by Papifts, and other enemies to the doctrine of free grace. And indeed, however natural men's heads may be set fight in this point; as surely, as they are out of Christ, their faith, repentance and obedience, (such as they are) are placed by them in the room of Christ and his righteousness; and to trusted to, as if by these they fulfilled a new law.
4. Great is the difficulty in Adam's fons their parting with the law, as a covenant of works. None part with it in that respect, but these whom the power of the Spirit of grace separates from it. The law
is our first husband, and gets every one's virgin-love. When Christ I comes to the soul, he finds it married to the law; so as it neither can, nor will be married to another, till it be obliged to part with the first husband, as the apostle teacheth, Rom. vii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Now, that ye may see what sort of a parting this is, consider,
(1) It is a death, Rom. vii. 4. Gal. iii. 19. Intreaties will not prevail with the soul here; it saith to the first husband, as Ruth to Naomi, The Lord do fo to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. And here sinners are true to their word; they die to the
law, ere they be married to Christ. Death is hard to every body : I but what difficulty do ye imagine must a loving wife, on her death-bed, : find in parting with her husband, the husband of her youth, and with
the dear children she has brought forth to him : the law is that hus.. band; all the duties performed by the natural man, are these children.
What a struggle, as for life, will be in the heart ere they be got parted: · I may have occasion to touch upon this afterwards. In the mean time, I take the Apostle's short, but pithy description of it, Rom x. 3 For they 1 being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their
own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. They go about to establish their own righteousness, like an cager disputant in schools, seeking to establish the point in question ; or like a tormentor, extorting a confeffion from one upon the rack. They go about to establish it to make it stand : their righieousness is like a house built upon the sand; it cannot stand, but they will have it to stand : it falls, they set it up again : but still it tumbles down on them; yet they cease riot to go about to make it ftand. But wherefore K2 :
og righteoufine's righteou fpefat is what the
all this pains about a tottering righteousness? Because, such as it is, it is their own. What ails them at Christ's righteousness? Why, that would make them free grace's debtors for all; and that is what the proud heart by no means can fybmit to. Here lies the stress of the matter, Pfal. x 4. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek: (to read it without the supplement) that is, in other terms He cannot dig, and to beg he is ashamed: Such is the struggle, ere the soul die to the law: But what speaks yet inore of this woful disposition' of the eart, nature oft-times gets the mastery of the discafe, insomuch that the foul, w lich was like to have died to the law, while convictions were sharp and piercing, fatally recovers of the happy and promiling sickness; and (what is very natural) cleaves more closely than ever to the law, even as a wife brought back from the gates of death would cleave to her husband: This is the issue of the exercise of many about their souls cafe: they are indeed brought to follow duties more closely; but they are as far from Christ as 'ever, if not farther.
(2.) It is a violent death, Rom. vii, 4. Ye are become dead to the law, being killed, slain, or put to death, as the word bears. The law itfelf has a great hand in this; the husband gives the wound, Gal. ii. 19. I through th: law im deud to the law. The foul that dies this death, is like a loving wife matched with a rigorous husband: The does what The can to please him, yet he is never pleased; but tofseth, harasseth, and beats her, till (hıc break her heart, and death sets her free; as will afterwards more fully appear. Thus it is made evident, that men's hearts are naturally bent to the way of the law, and ly cross to the gospel contrivance: and the second article of the charge, against you that are unregenerate, is verified, namely, that ye are enemies to the Son of God.
3dly, Ye are enemies to the Spirit of God. He is the Spirit of holiness; the natural man is unholy, and loves to be so, ani therefore refifts the holy Ghoft, Ads vii. 51. The work of the Spirit is to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, John xvi. 8. But O bow do men strive to ward off these convictions, as ever they would ward off a blow, threatning their lots of a right-eye, or a right han!! If the Spirit of the Lord rt them in, so as they cannot evite them; the heart lays, in effect, as Ahab to Elijah, whom he both hated and feared : Haft thou found me, O mine enemy? And indeed they treat him as an enemy, doing their utmost to stifle convictions, and to murder these harbingers, that come to prepare the Lord's way into the foul. Some fill their hands with business, to put their convictions out of their heads, as Cain, who fell a building of a city : fome put thein off with dclays and fair .proinises, as Felix did : fome will tport them away in company, and some sleep them away. The holy Spirit. is the spirit of fanétification : whose work it is to subdue lufts, and burn up corruption : how then can the natural man, whose lults are ; to him as his limbs, yea, as his life, fail of being an enemy to him. i
Lastly, Ye are enemies to the law of God. Tho' the natural man, defires to be under the law, as a covenant of works, chuling that way of
f alsation in opposition to the mystery of Christ: yet as it is a rule of life, requiring universal holiness, and discharging all manner of im. purity, he is an enemy to it : Is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be, Rom. viii, 7. For, (1.) There is no unrenewed man, · who is not wedded to some one lust or other, which his heart cap by 'no means part with. Now, that he cannot bring up his inclinations to the holy law, he would fain have the law brought down to his inclinations : a plain evidence of the enmity of the heart againit it. And therefore, to delight in the law of God, after the inward man, is proposed in the word as a mark of a gracious soul, Rom. vii. 22. Plal. i. 2. It is from this natural enmity of the heart against the law,
that all the Pharisaical glosses upon it have arisen : whereby the corn s mandment, which is in itself exceeding broad, has been made very
narrow, to the intent it might be the more agreeable to the natural difpofition of the heart. (2.) The law laid home to the natural conscience, in its fpirituality, irritates corruption. The nearer it comes, nature riseth the more against it. In that case, it is as oil to the fire, which instead of quenching it, makes it flaine the more ; When the commandment came, fin révived, says the Apostle, Rom. vii, 9. What reason can be assigned for this, but the natural enunity of the heart against the holy law? Unncrtified corruption, the more it is opposed, the more it rageth. Let us conclude then, that the pregenerate are heart-enemies to God, his Son, his Spirit, and his law;
that there is a natural contrariety, opposition, and enmity in the will . of man, to God himself, and his holy will.
Fifthly, There is, in the will of man, contumacy against the Lord. Manøs will is naturally wilful in an evil course. He will have his will, though it should ruin him : it is with him, as with the leviathan, (Job xli. 29.) Dorts are counted as słubble;, he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. The Lord calls to him by his word, says to him, (as Paul to the jaylor, when he was about to kill himself,) Do thyself no harm: sinners, Why will ye die? Ezek. xviii. 31. But they will not hearken, Every one turneth to his course, as the horse ruleth into the battle, Jer. viii. 6. We have a promise of life, in form of a cominard, Prov. iv. 4. Keep my commandments and live : it speaks impenitent finners to be * felf-destroyers, wilful self-murderers. They transgress the command
of living; as if one's servant should wilfully starve himself to death, or greedily drink up a cup of poison, which his matter commands him to forbear : even so do they : they will not live, they will die, Prov. väi. 36. All they that hate me, love death. O what a heart is this ? It is a stony heart, (Ezek. xxxvi. 26.) hard and inflexible, as a stone : mercies melt it not, judgments break it not; yet it will break ere it bow. It is an insensible heart; tho' there be upon the finner a weight of sin, which makes the earth to stagger ; aitivugh there is a weight of wrath on him, whicı makes the devils to tiemble; yet he goes lightly under the burder ; he feels not the weight more than a stone: till the Spirit of the Lord quicken him, so far as to feel it.
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Lastly, The unrenewed will is wholly perverse in reference to man's chief and highest end. The natural man's chief end is not his God, but his felf. Man is a mere relative, dependent, borrowed being : he has no being nor goodness originally from himself; but all he hath is from God, as the first cause and spring of all perfection, natural or moral : dependence is woven into his very nature; fo that if God. fhould totally withdraw from him, he would dwindle into a mere nothing. Seeing then whatever man is, he is of him ; surely in whatever he is, he should be to him; as the waters which come from . the sea, do of course, return thither again. And thus man was created, directly looking to God, as his chief end: but falling into sin, he fell off from God, and turned into himself; and like a traitor usurping the throne, he gathers in the rents of the crown to himself: Now, this infers a total apoftasy, and universal corruption in man; for where the chief and laft end is changed, there , can be no goodness there, This is the case of all men in their natural state, Pfal. xiv. 2, 3. The Lord looked down to see if there were any that did seek God. The; are all gone afide : to wit, from God; they seek not God, but them. selves. And tho' many fair Ihreds of morality are to be found amongst then, yet there is none that doth good, no not one; for tho' some of them run well, they are still off the way; they never aim at the right mark. They are lovers of their ownselves, (2 Tim. iii. 2.) more than God, verse 4. Wherefore, Jesus Christ having come into the world, to bring men back to God again, came to bring them out of themselves in the first place, Matth. xvi. 25. The godly groen under the re. mains of this w’oful disposition of the heart: they acknowledge it, and set themselves against it, in its fubtile and dangerous insinuations. The unregenerate, tho' most insensible of it, are under the power thereof; and whithersoever they turn themselves, they cannot move without the circle of self: they seek themselves, they act for them. felves; their natural, civil and religious actions, from whatever spring they come, do all run into, and meet in, the dead sea of self.
Most men are so far from naking God their chief end, in their natural and civil actions; that in thele matters, God is not in all their thoughts. , Their eating and drinking, and such like natural actions, are for themselves; their own pleasure or necessity, without any higher , end : Zech -vii. 6. Did ye not eat for yourjilves? They have no eye to the glory of God in these things, as they ought to have, 1 Cor.x. 31. They do not eat and drink, to keep up their bodies for the Lord's service; they do them not, because God has faid, thou Malt not kill: neither do these drops of sweetness God has put into the creature, raise up their souls towards that ocean of delight that is in the Creator, tho' they are indeed a fagn hung out at heaven's door, to tell men of the fulness of goodness that's in God himself, Acts xiv. 16. But it is felf, and not God, that is fought in them by natural men. And what are the unrenewed man's civil actions, such as buying, selling, working, &c. but fruit to himself? Hof. X. I. fo marrying and giving in
marriage, are reckoned amongst the sins of the old world; (Matth. xxiv. 38.) for they had no eye to God therein, to please him; but al! they had in view, was to please themselves, Gen vi 3. Finally, Self . is natural men's highest end, in their religious actions: They perforin duties for a name, Matth. vi. 1, 2. or some other worldly intereft, John vi 26. Or, if they be more refined, it is their peace, and at most their salvation from hell and wrath, or their own eternal happi. ness, that is their chief and highest end, Matth xix. 16-22 Their eyes are held, that they fee not the glory of God. They seek God indeed, but not for himself, but for themselves. They frek him not at all, but for their own welfare: so their whole life is woven into one web of practical blasphemy; making God the means, and self their end, yea, their chief end.
And thus have I given you some rude draughts of man's will, in his nårural state, drawn by scripture and men's own experience. Call it no more Naomi but Marah: for bitier it is, and a root of bitterness. Call it no more free-will, but slavish luft; free to evil, but free from good, till regenerating grace loose the bands of wickedness. Now, since all must be wrong, and nothing can be right, where the understanding and will are so corrupt; I shall briefly dispatch what reinains, as following of course, on the corruption of those prime faculties of the soul. . . The Corruption of the Affections, the Conscience and the
Memory. The Body partaker of this corruption, III. The Affections are corrupted. The unrenewed man's affections are wholly disordered and distempered: they are as the unruly horse, that either will not receive, or violently runs away with the rider. So man's heart naturally is a mother of abominations, Mark vii. 21, 22. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornicutions, murders, thefts, covetousness, &c. The natural man's affections are wretchedly mifplaced; he is a spiritual monster. His heart is there, where his feet thould be, fixed on the earth; his heels are lifted up against heaven, which his heart should be set on, Acts ix. 5. His face is towards hell, his back towards heaven; and therefore God calls him to turn. He loves what he should hate, and hates what he should love : joys in what he ought to mourn for, and mourns for what he lhould rejoice in ; glorieth in his Thame, and is alhamed of his glory; abhors what he should desire, and desires what he-should abhor, Prov. ii. 13. 14, 15. They hit the point indeed, (as Caiaphus did in another case) who cried out on the apostles as men that turned the world upside-down, Acts xvii. 6. for that is the work the gospel has has to do in the world, where sin has put all things fo out of order, that heaven lies under, and earth a-top. If the unre. newed inan's affections be set on lawful objects, then they are either exceffive, or defective. Lawful enjoyments of the world have some.
han's heart not receive, or Ploed: they are as