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These men, the Jons of Zeruiah, be too hard for me, 2 in. 39. Luts fometimes grow too ftrong for laws, f the law is flacked, as the pulfe of a dying man, Hab i (5.) Confider what neceffity often appears of amendin laws, and making new ones; which have their rife fro crimes that man's nature is very fruitful of. There be no need of mending the hedge, if men were not lik ruly beafs, ftill breaking it down. It is aftonishing t what figure the Ifraelites, who were feparated unto from among all the nations of the earth, do make in history; what horrible confufions were among them. there was no King in Ifrael, as you may fee, in the xvii xx, and xxi. chapters of Judges: how hard it was tor them, when they had the best of magiftrates: and how ly they turned afide again, when they got wicked r I cannot but think, that one grand defign of that facre tory, was to discover the corruption of man's nature abfolute need of the Meffiah, and his grace: and the ought in the reading of it, to improve it to that end. cutting is that word, the Lord has to Samuel, conce Saul, Sam ix. 17. The Same shall reign over, (c the word is fhall refrain) my people. O the corru of man's nature! the awe and dread of the God of h reftrains them not: but they must have gods on the ca do it to put them to hame, Judges xviii. 7.

Sixthly, Confider the remains of that natural corru in the faints. Tho' grace had entred, yet corruption quite expelled: tho' they have got the new creature much of the old corrupt nature remains: and these fir together with them, as the twins in Rebekah's womb, V 17. They find it prefent with them at all times, a all places, even in the most retired corners If a mar an ill neighbour, he may remove: if he have an ill fe he may put him away at that term: if a bade yoke-felle may fometimes leave the houfe, and be free of molef that way. But fhould the faint go into a wilderness, up his tent in fome remote rock in the fea, where foot of man, beat, nor fowl had touched, there will with him. Should he be with Paul caught up to the heavens, it fhall come back with him, 2 Cor. vii. 7:1


the fairest line he can draw. It is like the fig tree in the wall; which, how nearly foever it was cut, yet fill grew till the wall was thrown down: for the roots of it are fixed in the heart, while the faint is in the world, as with bands of iron and brass, It is especially active when he would do good Rom. vii. 21. then the fowls come down upon the carcafes. Hence often in holy duties, the spirit even of a faint (as it were) evaporates and he is left ere he is aware, like Michal, with an image in the bed, inflead of an husband. I need not stand to prove the remains of the corruption of nature in the godly, to themselves: for they groan under it; and to prove it to them, were to hold out a candle to let men fee the fun and as for the wicked, they are ready to account mole-hills in the faint, as big as mountains; if not to reckon them all bypocrites. But confider these few things on this head. (1.) If it be thus in the green tree, how muft it be in the dry? The faints are not born faints; but made fo by the power of regenerating grace, Have they got a new nature, and yet fo much of the old remains with them? How great must that corruption be in others, where it is altogether unmixed with grace! (2.) The faints groan under the remains of it as a heavy burden; hear the Apofile, Rom. vii. 24. O wretched man that I am! Who mall deliver me from the body of this death; What tho' the carnal man lives at eafe and quiet, and the corruption of nature is not his burden is he therefore free from it? No, no; only he is dead, and feels not the finking weight. Many a groan is heard from a fick bed; but never one from a grave. the faint, as in the fick man, there is a mighty fruggle; life and death ftriving for the maftery: but in the natural man, as in the dead corpfe, there is no noise; because death bears full fway. (3.) The godly man refills the old corrupt nature; he strives to mortify it, yet it remains: he endear vours to farve it, and by that means to weaken it, yet it is active: how muft it fpread then, and ftrengthen itself in that foul, where it is not ftarved, but fed? And this is the cafe of all the unregenerate, who make provision for the flefl to fulfil the lufts thereof. If the garden of the diligent afford him new work daily, in cutting off and rooting up; furely that of the fluggard muft needs be all grown over with thorns.




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34 Leftly, I fhall add but one obferve more, and that is, That is every man naturally the image of tallen Adam does appear. Some children, by their features and lineaments of their face, do, as it were, father themselves: and thus we do refemble our first parents. Every one of us bears the image and imprefs of their fall upon him and to evince the truth of this, I do appeal to the consciences of all, in these following particulars.

ift. Is not a finful curiofity natural to us? And is not this a print of Adam's image? Gen. iii. 6. Is not man naturally much more defirous to know new things, than to practife old known truths? How like to old Adam do we look in this, itching after novelties, and disrelishing old folid doctrines? We feek after knowledge rather than holiness; and Hudy most to know these things, which are least edifying. Our wild and roving fancies need a bridle to curb them, while good folid affections must be quickened and fpurred up.

2dly, If the LORD, by his holy law and wife providence do put a refraint upon us, to keep us back from any thing; doth not that reftraint whet the edge of our natural inclinations, and make us so much the keener in our defires? And in this do we not betray it plainly, that we are Adam's children? Gen. iii. 2, 3, 6, I think this cannot be denied; for daily obfervation evinceth, that it is a natural principle, that ftolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in fecret, is pleafant,' Prov. ix. 17. The very Heathens were convinced, that man was poffeffed with this fpirit of contradiction, tho' they knew not the fpring of it. How often do men give themselves the loofe in these things, in which, if God had left them at liberty, they would have bound up themselves! but corrupt nature takes a pleasure in the very jumping over the hedge. And is it not a repeating of our father's folly, that men will rather climb for forbidden fruit; than gather what is fhaken off the tree of good providence to them, when they have God's exprefs allowance for it!

3dly, Which of all the children of Adam is not naturally difpofed to hear the inftruction that causeth to err? And, was not this the rock our first parents split upon! Gen. iii. 4. 6. How apt is weak man, ever since that time, to parley with temptations! God fpeaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not,' Job xxxiii. 14. but readily doth he liften



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to Satan. Men might often come fair off if they would difmifs temptations with abhorrence, when first they appear; if they would nip them in the bud, they would foon die away: but alas! when we fee the train laid for us, and the fire put to it, yet we stand till it run along, and we be blown up with its force.

4thly, Do not the eyes in our head often blind the eyes of the mind! And was not this the very cafe of our first pa rents? Gen. iii. 6. Man is never more blind than when be is looking on the objects that are most pleasing to sense. Since the eyes of our firft parents were opened to the forbidden fruit, mens eyes have been the gates of deftruction to their fouls; at which impure imaginations and finful defires have entred the heart, to the wounding of the foul, wafting of the confcience, and bringing dismal effects fometimes on whole focieties, as in Achan's cafe, Joshua vii. 21. Holy Job was aware of this danger, from these two little rowling bodies, which a very small splinter of wood will make uselefs; fo as (with that king who durft not, with his tem thousand, meet him that came with twenty thousand against him, Luke xiv. 31. 32.) he sendeth and defireth conditions of peace, Job xxxi. I. 'I have made a covenant with mine eyes,' &c.

5thly, Is it not natural for us, to care for the body, even at the expence of the foul? This was one ingredient in the fin of our first parent Gen. iii. 6 O how happy might Q we be, if we were but at half the pains about our fouls, that we bestow upon our bodies! if that queflion, What must I do to be faved? (Acts xvi, 30.) did run but near as oft through our minds, as thefe other queftions do, What fhall we eat? what fhall we drink? wherewithal fhall we be clothed? Mat. vi. 21. many a (now) hopeless cafe would turn very hopeful. But the truth is, most men live as if they were nothing but a lump of flesh: or as if their foul ferved for no other ufe, but like falt, to keep the body from corrupting. They are flesh, John i. 6. They mind the things of the flesh, Rom. viii 5. and they live after the flesh, ver. 13. If the confent of the flesh be got to an action, the confent of the confcience is rarely waited for: yea the body is often ferved, when the confcience has entred a diffent. 6thly, Is

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6thly, Is not every one by nature difcontent with his prefent lot in the world, or with fome one thing or other in it? This also was Adam's cafe Gen. iii. 5, 6. Some one thing is always miffing; fo that man is a creature given to changes. And if any doubt of this, let them look over all their enjoyments; and after a review of them, lister to their own hearts and they will hear a fecret murmuring for want of fomething; tho' perhaps, if they confidered the matter aright, they would fee that it is better for them, to want, than to have that fomething. Since the hearts of our first parents flew cut at their eyes, on the forbidden fruit, and a night of darkness was thereby brought on the world; their posterity have a natural disease, which Solomon calls, The wandring of the defire (or as the word is, The walking of the foul) Eccl. vi. 9. This is a fort of a diabolical trance, wherein the foul traverseth the world; feeds itself with a thousand airy nothings; fnatcheth at this and the other created excellency, in imagination and defire; goes here and there and every where, except where it should go. And the foul is never cured of this disease, till overcoming grace bring it back, to take up its everlasting reft in God thro' Chrift: but till this be, if man were fet again in paradise, the garden of the Lord; all the pleasures there would not keep him from looking, yea, and leaping over the hedge a fecond time.

thly. Are we not far more eafily impreffed and influenced by evil counfels and examples, than by those that are good! You will fee this was the ruin of Adam, Gen. iii. 6. Evil example, to this day, is one of Satan's mafter-devices to ruin men. And tho' we have by nature, more of the fox than of the Lamb; yet that ill property fome obferve in this creature, viz. That if one lamb skip into a water, the reft that are near will fuddenly follow, may be obferved alfo in the difpofition of the children of men; to whom it is very natural to embrace an evil way, because they fee others upon it before them. Ill example has frequently the force of a violent ftream, to carry us over plain duty: but especially, if the example be given by those we bear a great affection to; our affection, in that cafe, blinds our judgment; and what we would abhor in others, is complied with, to humour them. And nothing is more plain, than that generally

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