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rally men chufe rather to do what the most do, than what the best do.

Sthly, Who of all Adam's fons needs be taught the art of fewing fig-leaves together, to cover their nakedness? Gen. iii. 7. When we have ruined ourselves, and made ourfelves naked, to our fhame; we naturally feek to help ourfelves by ourselves: and many poor fhifts are fallen upon, as filly and infignificant as Adam's fig leaves. What pains are men at, to cover their fin from their own confciences, and to draw all the fair colours upon it that they can? And when once convictions are fastned upon them, fo that they cannot but fee themfelves naked; it is as natural for them to attempt to fpin a cover to it out of their own bowels, as for fifhes to fwim in the waters, or birds to fly in the air. Therefore the first question of the convinced is, What shall we do? Acts ii. 27. How fhall we qualify ourselves? What fhall we perform? Not minding that the new creature is God's own workmanship (or deed, Eph. ii. 10.) more than Adam thought of being clothed with fkins of facrifices Gen. พ. 21.


9thly, Do not Adam's children naturally follow his footfteps, in hiding themselves from the preferce of the Lord,' Gen. iii. 8. We are every whit as blind in this matter as he was, who thought to hide himself from the prefence of God among the fhady trees of the garden. We are very apt to promise ourselves more fecurity in a fecret fin, than in one that is openly committed. The eye of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, faying, No eye fhall fee me,' J xxiv. 15. And men will freely do that in fecret, which they would be ashamed to do in the prefence of a child; as if darkness could hide from an all feeing God. Are we not naturally careless of communion with God; ay, and averse to it? Never was there any communion betwixt God and Adam's children, where the Lord himself had not the first word. If he would let them alone, they would never inquire after him. Ifa. lvii. 16. Ihile him.after a hiding God? Very far from it.


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1othly, How loth are men to confefs fin, to take guilt and fhame to themselves? And was it not thus in the cafe before us? Gen. iii, 10, Adam confeffeth his nakedoefs.

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State II, which he could not get denied; but not one word he says of his fin: here was the reafon of it, he would fain have hid it if he could. It is as natural for us to hide fin, as to com. mit it. Many fad inftances thereof we have in this world; but a far clearer proof of it we fhall get at the day of judg ment, the day in which God will judge the fecrets of men, Rom. i. 16. Many a foul mouth will then be seen, which is now wiped, and faith, I have done no wickedness,' Prov.

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Lafly, Is it not natural for us to extenuate our fin, and transfer the guilt upon others? And when God examined our guilty first parents did not Adam lay the blame on the woman? And did not the woman lay the blame on the ferpent? Gen. iii. 12, 13- Now Adam's children need not be taught this hellish policy, for before they can well fpeak (if they cannot get the fact denied) they will cunningly lifp ou fomething to leffen their fault, and lay the blame upon another. Nay, fo natural is this to men, that in the great. elt of fins, they will lay the fault upon God himself, they will blafpheme his holy providence under the mistaken name of misfortune or ill-luck, and thereby lay the blame of their fin at heaven's door. And was not this one of Adam's tricks after his fall? Gen. iii. 12. And the man faid, the woman whom they gaveft to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.' Obferve the order of the fpeech. He makes his apology in the first place; and then comes his confeffion : his apology is long; but his confeffion very fhort; it is all comprehended in a word, and I did eat. How pointed and diftinct is his apology, as if he was afraid his meaning fhould have been mistakes? The woman, fays he, or that wo man, as if he would have pointed the judge to his own work, of which we read, Gen. ii. 22. There was but one woman then in the world; fo that one would think he needed not have been so nice and exact in pointing at her: yet fhe is as carefully marked out in his defence, as if there had been ten thousand. The woman whom thou gavest me: here he fpeaks, as if he had been ruined with God's gifts. And to

make the gift look the blacker, it is added to all this, thou gaveft to be with me, as a conftant companion, to fland by me as a helper. This looks as if Adam would have fathered an ill defign upon the Lord, in giving him this gift. And

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after all, there is a new demonstrative here, before the fentence is compleat; he fays not, The woman gave me, but, the woman she gave me, emphatically, as if he had faid, She even the gave me of the tree. This much for his apology. But his confeffion is quickly over, in one word (as he spoke it) and I did eat, And there is nothing here to point to himfelf, and as little to fhew what he had eaten. How natural is this black art to Adam's pofterity? he that runs may read it. So univerfally does Solomon's obferve hold true, Prov. xvii. 3. The foolishnefs of man perverteth his ways: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.' Let us then call fallen Adam, father; let us not deny the relation, feeing we bear his image.

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And now to shut up this point, fufficiently confirmed by concurring evidence from the Lord's word, our own experience and obfervation; let us be perfuaded to believe the doctrine of the corruption of our nature; and to look to the fecond Adam, the bleffed Jefus, for the application of his precious blood, to remove the guilt of this fin; and for the efficacy of his holy Spirit, to make us new creatures, knowing that except we be born again, we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'

Of the Corruption of the Underflanding.

SECONDLY, I proceed to inquire into the corruption of nature, in the several parts thereof. But who can comprehend it? Who can take the exact dimenfion of it, in its breadth, length, height, and depth? The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jer. xvii. 9. However, we may quickly perceive as much of it, as may be matter of deepest humiliation, and may discover to us the abfolute neceflity of regeneration: Man in his natural state is altogether corrupt. Both foul and body are polluted, as the apoftle proves at large, Rom. iii. 10,18. As for the foul, this natural corruption has fpread itfelf through all the faculties thereof; and is to be found in the understanding, the will, the affections, the conference, and the memory.

I. The understanding, that leading faculty is defpoiled of its primitive glory, and covered over with confufion.

We have fallen into the hands of our grand adverfary, as Samfon into the hands of the Philiftines, and are deprived of our two eyes. There is none that underflandeth, Rom. iii. I I. Mind and confcience are defiled. Tit. i. 15. The natural man's apprehenfion of divine things is corrupt Pfal. 1. 21. Thou thoughteft that I was altogether fuch an one as thyfelf. His judgment is corrupt, and cannot be otherwife, feeing his eye is evil and therefore the fcriptures, to fhew that men did all wrong, fays, Every one did that which was right in his own eyes, Judges xvii. 6. and xxi. 25 And his imaginatiens, or reafonings must be caft down, by the power of the word, being of a piece with his judgment, 2 Cor. x. 5. But to point out this corruption of the mind or understanding more particularly, let these following things be confidered.

Firf, There is a natural weakness in the minds of men, with refpect to fpiritual things. The apostle determines concerning every one that is not endued with the graces of the Spirit. That he is blind, and cannot fee afar off, 2 Pet. i. 9. Hence the Spirit of God in the fcripture clothes, is as it were, divine truths with earthly figures, even as parents teach their children, ufing fimilitudes. Hof. xii. 10. Which, tho' it doth not cure, yet doth evidence this natural weakness in the minds of men. But we want not plain proofs of it from experience. As, 1. How hard a task is it to teach many people the common principles of our holy religion, and to make truths fo plain as they may understand them? Here there must be precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line, Ifa xxviii. 9. Try the fame perfons in other things, they shall be found wifer in their generation than the children of light. They understand their work and bufinefs in the world, as well as their neighbours; tho' they be very stupid and unteachable in the matters of God. Tell them how they may advance their worldly wealth, or how they may gratify their lufts, and they will quickly underfland thefe things; tho' it is very hard to make them know how their fouls may be faved; or how their hearts may find reft in Jefus Chrift. (2.) Confider thefe who have many advantages, beyond the common gang of mankind; who have had the benefit of good education and inftruction; yea, and are bleft with the light of grace in that meafure, wherein it is diftributed to the faints on earth:


yet how small a portion have they of the knowledge of divine things! what ignorance and confufion do ftill remain in their minds! How often are they mired, even in the matter of practical truths, and speak as a child in these things! it is a pitiful weakness that we cannot perceive the things which God has revealed to us: and it must needs be a fioful weakness, fince the law of God requires us to know and believe them. (3.) What dangerous mistakes are to be found amongst men, in their concerns of greatest weight! what woful delufions prevail over them! do we not often fee thofe, who, otherwife, are the wifeft of men, the most notorious fools, with refpect to their foul's intereft, Matth. xi. 21. Thou haft hid these things from the wife and prudent. Many that are eagle eyed in the trifles of time, are like owls and bats in the light of life. Nay truly, the life of every natural man is but one continued dream and delufion; out of which he never awakes, till either by a new light darted from heaven into his foul, he come to himself, Luke xv. 17. or, in hell he lift up his eyes, chap. xvi. 23. And therefore in fcripture account, be he never fo wife, he is a fool and a fimple one.

Secondly, Man's understanding is naturally overwhelmed with grofs darkness in fpiritual things. Man at the inftigation of the devil, attempting to break out a new light in his mind (Gen. iii. 5.) instead of that, broke up the doors of the bottomlefs pit: for as by the smoak thereof, he was bu ried in darkness. When God at firft had made man, his mind was a lamp of light: but now when he comes to make him over again, in regeneration, he finds it darkness, Eph. v. 8. Ye were fometimes darkness. Sin has clofed the windows of the foul, darkness is over all that region. It is the land of darkness and fhadow of death, where the light is as darkness The prince of darkness reigns there, and nothing but the works of darkness are framed there. We are born fpiritus ally blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace This is thy cafe, whofoever thou art, that art not born again. And that you may be convinced in this matter take thofe following evidences of it.

Evidence 1. The darkness that was upon the face of the world before, and at the time when Chrift came, arifing as the fun of righteoufnefs upon the earth. When Adam by his

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