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1. The scriptures teach that mankind are the subjects of spiritual death. To the Ephesian converts the apostle writes, “ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” This passage, which evidently describes all men by nature, clearly proves their utter depravity. For to be dead to holiness, and dead in sin, is to be utterly depraved. If language can express total moral depravity, it is expressed by this language.

2. The scriptures teach that mankind are by nature the enemies of God. To natural men Christ said, “I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” To persons of this class he also said, “ Ye have both seen and hated both me and my Father.” And he repeatedly declared that the world hated him. It is likewise said, that “the carnal mind,” or natural heart, “is enmity against God.” And it is certain that the hearts of all unrenewed men are essentially the same; for He who can neither lie nor be deceived, has said, “ As in water face answereth to face ; so the heart of man to man.” It is, indeed, the uniform representation of scripture, that mankind are haters of God. And their ceaseless contentions with him, from the fall to the present hour, prove their enmity towards him. Yes, enmity reigns in their breasts against the most high God, against Him who is infinite in greatness and goodness, and who constantly makes before their eyes transcendent displays of that greatness and goodness; who crowns their lives with ceaseless mercies; and who offers them, without money or price, the richest blessings, procured at no less a price than the death of his own dear Son. And what, I ask, what can there be but sin in that heart which overflows with hatred of such a God.

3. The scriptures uniformly teach that nought but evil is thought, or done by any of mankind while unrenewed. At a period of very remote antiquity, man's moral charac

ter is thus described by an unerring pen; “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." There are many other passages of scripture, which convey the same affecting, humiliating truth, and which, beyond all controversy, are of universal application, or are intended to describe the whole class of natural men in all ages. Some of these passages are the following : “ The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live. The heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” But is it true, that any goodness has a place in that heart which is full of evil? And is it true, that any thing but evil is done by those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil? These passages, if understood according to their obvious import, express very forcibly the doctrine of the total sinfulness of mankind in every period of the world. The same doctrine is taught by the inspired Psalmist, where he says, “ The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God.” And what was his decision ? “ They are all gone aside ; they are all together become filthy ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

That God here means all such as are born only of the flesh, in distinction from those who are born of the Spirit, and are his adopted and peculiar people, is unquestionable, because he immediately adds, “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord ?" Finally, the apostle Paul having, as he says,

66 before proved both Jews and Gentiles,” that is, the whole human race, “that they are all under sin,” proceeds to give a more minute description of their character, in language borrowed from the Jewish scriptures. His description is, “ There is none righteous, no, not one.

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doeth good, no, not

Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips ; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitter ness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and


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misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes.' Such is the character of the offspring of fallen Adam, drawn by the unerring pen of inspiration. How deeply stained this character is how completely polluted ! how base and odious !

From the preceding remarks, it appears that mankind are altogether criminal in their depravity. It seems to be the opinion of not a few, that since mankind have become depraved by the fall of Adam, they are not criminal; that the moral condition they are in, is a calamity for which they should be pitied, rather than blamed. Now, although it is true that they have become sinners in the way above stated ; yet it has been shown that their sins are their own. Their voluntary exercises constitute their depravity. And since they act voluntarily in sinning, they are guilty, and deserve punishment. And although they now attempt to clear themselves, and cast the blame upon the serpent, upon Adam, and even upon God himself; yet at the day of judgment, every mouth will be stopped, and all be made to feel their desert of that eternal punishment, which will be inflicted on the finally impenitent.

This subject shows why God abhors and condemns all the doings of natural men. It is evident from his word, that he does abhor and condemn all their services, even those which they consider their best, in which they place the strongest confidence. He declares that his soul hateth their appointed religious festivals; that their solemn assemblies are iniquity ; that the incense they offer is an abomination ; and that he will not hear their many prayers; and he tells them at the same time to bring no more vain oblations. And this he does, because they are utterly depraved. The reader may ask, do not sinners, according to scripture, sometimes love God, and delight in approaching him, and perform various religious services which he requires ? and must all these be denounced, as displeasing to him ? It is true that sinners at times feel and act as here stated. It is true also, that God does hate all their feelings and actions. And it is no less true, that he has good reason for so doing. For whether sinners love God and sing his praise, as did the


carnal Israelites, because they imagine that he is on their side, or hate and reproach him, because they are convinced that he is against them; or whether they shout 6 Hosanna to the Son of David,” because they believe that he means to promote their schemes of personal aggrandizement, or cry, “ Away with him, crucify him," because they are made sensible that he is hostile to those schemes, and intends to disconcert and overthrow them ; whether they love and extol, or hate and revile the glorious God, the spirit by which they are actuated is the

It is for this reason that God condemns all the services of natural men, as well those which are by themselves and the world accounted good, as those which are accounted evil. To say that God can take complacency in the unrenewed, or in any of their doings, is to say that he can take complacency in sin, and as a mark of his delight in the characters of its perpetrators, can reward them with an immortal crown ! And surely, it is not possible for him to do this, unless it is possible for him to fix an indelible stain on his own character.

This subject furnishes a satisfactory answer to the question, “What should the impenitent be directed to do ?And certain it is, that they should never be told to do what is offensive to God. It is no less certain, that all they do is sinful. Hence it is certain that they should never be directed to do any impenitent works.

Shal) sinners, then, be directed to do nothing ? Shall they be forbidden to search the scriptures, or pray, or attend public worship, or pay attention to their morals, or perform any humane and charitable deeds ? Shall they be told to neglect all or any of these things ? By no means. For sinners, as well as saints, are under sacred obligations to adhere to the rules of morality, to “give alms of such things as they have,” and to observe all the externals of religion. Accordingly, in the word of God, sinners, as well as saints, are uniformly required, and with great earnestness entreated to observe and do them. These directions and entreaties are interwoven with the addresses made to sinners by inspired patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles, and by Christ himself, their glorious Head. But although such directions and entreaties abound in those addresses ; yet every one who reads his Bible with attention, knows that neither the patriarchs, nor prophets, nor apostles, nor Christ ever allowed sinners any liberty to continue impenitent. The conclusion is unavoidable, that sinners are never directed as God in his word requires that they should be, unless they are told, not merely what things to do, but how to do them ; nor unless they are told to do those things with a holy heart. To direct sinners to read the Bible with complacency in its precious truths, and with supreme love towards its divine Author ; to pray in submission to the sovereign will of the great object of prayer, and in penitence for all their sins; to attend his instituted worship in a holy manner; and, in a word, to perform every duty with a broken, contrite, humble heart, and tell them plainly, that without such a heart, let them do what they will, they are only adding sin to sin ; thus to direct and warn sinners on this momentous subject, is to deal faithfully with them, and faithfully with Him, at whose tribunal both they who teach, and they who are taught must shortly stand, and give up their last account.

In conclusion, I entreat all who may peruse these pages, to consider well the subject ; a subject deeply interesting to all, and especially to you, who have always lived and are still living in rebellion against God, and on whom his wrath abides. Although you were indeed born sinners, by virtue of your connexion with fallen Adam ; yet for his sin you will not have to answer. But for your own sins, which, in number and magnitude, exceed all human computation, and which no instructions, nor expostulations, nor admonitions, nor entreaties, have ever yet induced you to forsake, you are accountable ; and for these, unless a speedy repentance prevent, you must suffer the penalty of God's holy law. Spend no time, then, in making objections to the ways of God, or in trying to excuse yourselves for prolonging the controversy with him. Your objections are groundless, and your excuses vain. They will only serve to enhance your guilt, and fit you for keener anguish in the world of despair. You are loudly called upon by every thing within and around you, instantly to repent, and do works meet for repentance. By the evil and destructive nature of sin ; by the transcendent value of your never dying souls ; by the infinite

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