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let us remember the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, of him who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins. "Out of the heart "proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies." And it is thus divinely accounted for :-" that which is born of the "flesh, is flesh." Like produces its like. We inherit corruption from our first pa"In me, (declares Paul,) that is, "in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." "And you, (says he to the Ephesians,) 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, 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.""There is no difference, "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Who that duly con
*Ps. li. 5. Is. vi. 5. Jer. xvii. 9. iii. 16. Rom. vii. 18. Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3.
Matt. xv. 19. John
Rom. iii. 22, 23.
siders the passages now adduced; who considers that they are parts of the Bible, and that the Bible is an inspired book, can deny, or even doubt, for a moment, the depravity of human nature * ?
But we admit this doctrine, not merely from the repeated declarations contained in the Bible, but also from that capital doctrine which runs through it, and for the sake of which its precious contents were revealed: I mean the doctrine of our redemption by Jesus Christ. If we are not naturally depraved, why did Jesus Christ suffer and die, to regenerate and purify us "a peculiar people, zealous of good works :" If we are not naturally guilty and obnoxious to punishment, why is He represented as redeeming us from the curse of the law,
* Even the Heathens themselves were sensible of this depravity. One of the most eminent of them owns, that "no "man is born without vices; and another, that "we are born "liable to as many disorders of mind as of body."
Nam vitiis nemo sine nascitur.
Hac conditione nati sumus, animalia obnoxia non paucioribus
animi quam corporis morbis.
SENECA de Ira.
being made a curse for us?" If we are not naturally averse to our duty, and unfit for happiness, why did He die, as the Scriptures tell us, "the just, for the unjust, to
bring us to God ?"-to incline our backward minds to what is our true interest, and thus make us meet for the heavenly inheritance ?-But to enlarge farther on this head is unnecessary. We must give up the Bible as not worth being attended to, if we can deny the doctrine of human depravity.
SECONDLY, We can bring evidence of the truth of this doctrine, not only from the Scriptures, but also from all History. What is history but a lengthened record of follies and crimes? Deduct this disgraceful sum, and how very little will remain! For the truth of this, I appeal, not merely, to those nations which are called ignorant and barbarous; but even to those which have, confessedly, been the most enlightened and refined. What was Rome? The theatre of jealousy, and ambition, and violence, and discord. What was Greece? It was famed, we know, for its superior politeness and
wisdom; yet were even its inhabitants exceptions to the humbling doctrine with which we are now endeavouring to impress the mind ?-Rivalry and discord, ignorance of the true good, neglect of religion, and flagrant violation of the rights of their fellow creatures are, (who can deny it ?) indelible stains upon their history. "Pro❝fessing themselves wise, they became "fools." Alas! to both Greeks and Romans, we may but too justly apply the stricture of the Apostle;" they did not "like to retain God in their knowledge, and * he gave them up to a reprobate mind."And what have those nations been whom God had favoured more highly than even these those nations who have been blessed with the revelation of the Gospel of Christ? Has their improvement in virtue, in good principles and good practice, borne any proportion to their invaluable privileges? Vices that would have disgraced the heathen, they have indulged in, without shame, and without remorse. They have been indifferent to the most affecting considerations, and resisted and contemned the most powerful motives. How little zeal for righteousness which exalteth a nation, and what fatal
propensity; what parricidal eagerness to commit sin which is the disgrace and ruin of every people! Behold in them, the inbred depravity of human nature! They have enjoyed the light; but they have "loved "darkness rather than light, because their "deeds were evil."
Sin then, it would seem, appears whereever men appear. It invariably springs up in every heart. It is not, as some would have us believe, the rare, casual production of the soil; it is inbred, universal.-But if this is not strictly and uniformly true, let some glorious exceptions be produced. Where, I ask, was there ever found a mere man who never harboured an evil thought, who never uttered an evil word, who was never guilty of an evil deed; but who, in all his thoughts, and words, and deeds, proved himself perfectly innocent, and holy, and good? Could there have been any one so audacious as to come forward and say," I am the man,"-to such a one, well might it have been said," Guilty "fool! out of thy own mouth, thou "condemnest thyself. Thou couldst not "hold such language wert thou not