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his conclusion, by many passages taken from the Old Tes. tament scriptures, asserting entire depravity as the universal characteristic of man, whether Jew or gentile. 6.We have,” says he, “before proved both Jews and gentiles, that they are all under sin. As it is written, 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 docth good, no, not one. 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 bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God.”

of the fact of universal depravity, no man can doubt, who admits the truth of the sacred record. The thoughts of the imaginations of the heart are evil, and that continually. The aboundings of that evil have been so great, at different times, that God has found it necessary to come down, in all the terrors of his vengeance, to consume the transgressors. He swept the old world with the desolating fury of the deluge. He poured down lightnings from the skies, and consumed the cities of the plain. Nation after nation has he overthrown, and all their memorials have heen obliterated with them. Empire after empire has he dashed to pieces like a potter's vessel, when their iniquity was full. The history of the world is one unvarying and melancholy exposition of human depravity.

Should any one doubt the fact, notwithstanding all this array of proof, that men are corrupt beings, we present the

1. Rm. j. 9, 19.

follow i ng sketch of the face of modern and christian society, as drawn by a faithful and masterly hand. “No ingenuity on the one hand, and no suffering on the other, has, in any country, been sufficient to overcome this propensity, and so far to change the character of man as to exterminate even a single sin. To this head ought to be referred all the means furnished by law, of safety to our persons and our property; the bolts, bars and locks by which we endeavour to defend our houses and their contents, our persons and our famiilies, especially in the night, against the inroads of theft and violence; the notes, bonds and deeds by which we endeavour to secure our contracts, prevent the mischiefs of fraud, and compel dishonesty to fulfil its engagements; the gaols and dungeons, the chains and galleys, by which we endeavor to confine villains and prevent them from disturbing by their crimes the peace of society; the post, the pillory and the gibbet, by which we punish some culprits, and labour to deter others from repeating their perpetrations. All these and the like things are gloomy and dreadful proofs of the corruption of the world in which they exist. They exist wherever men are found of sufficient capacity and in proper circumstances, to attempt a regular opposition to crimes, a continual preservation of peace, and a general catablishment of personal safety. The sinfulness, therefore, which they intend to resist, is equally universal.”'I

A variety of suppositions have been resorted to, in order to account for human depravity. We shall not pretend to examine all. Every sober and diligent inquirer will very soon perceive, that the most specious of them all, which resolves the whole into the influence of example, is utterly

For there are too many melancholy facts to shew, that the very worst specimens of human depravity are found, precisely where the examples of christian purity and

fallacious,

1. Dwight's Theol. v. 1, p. 433.

devotedness have shone with the most brilliant lustre. From the bosom of the family where God has been honoured, and his name most reverently adored, and all his counsels and commands have been received and obeyed, has issued the youth of dissipated habits, of wanton profanity, and of the boldest and most shocking impiety. And in christian lands, travellers commonly remark, that the vices of the vulgar are more appalling and degrading, and evincive of much greater depravity, than in pagan countries, where the influence of christian example is not selt.

The truth is, that the specimens of piety which the ehurch furnishes, have an irritating effect upon the ungodly world, just as the apostle has apprised us the law of God, when apprehended in its spirituality and extent, had on his lustful heart. Such is the indisputable fact. "I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them,” says the Saviour, in reference to the effect which evangelical example and piety had upon men of ungodly minds. “Sin," says the apostle, “taking occasion by the commandment wrought in me all manner of concupiscence."? Now, why should such results flow from such causes? Why should christian example have a corrupting effect? Upon the principle of the objection, it should have a contrary. And it would and must have a salutary tendency, were not the hearts of men naturally depraved, so that there is nothing in unrenewed man on which such example can operate, and to which it can appeal with success. The heart is in the contrary direction. Men naturally and universally incline to evil. We see it in the infant, as soon as it is capable of knowing evil. Fierce passions rage in the little breast, and, as it advances, its deportment verifies the observation of the wise man, that “ the wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." ;

1 John xvii. 14.

9. Rom. vii. &

3. Psalm lrii. 3.

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child," and the life is but its development.

But what is the nature of human depravity? The christian church has been agitated by different philosophical systems, which have been adduced in illustration of scriptural facts. System after system has perished, like the withering grass and fading flower, but “the word of God shall stand forever," and the faith of the church in the fact of human depravity, remains unchanged. The best motives and the worst designs have been entertained by philosophical inquirers on this subject. Happy is it for the church that her faith stands not in the wisdom of men.

Whether depravity is to be found exclusively in the will, or equally in all the faculties—whether it has its origin in a modification of our essential nature—whether it is created in us, or derived by natural descent-whether it consists in acts and exercises, or in something back of them which lays the foundation for them, in the very nature of the essential soul-whether it is some deranged and inappropriate exercise of our moral powers, and to be referred to the character of the controling objects, or of the governing moral principle—are questions that have been seriously agitated. Some of these may attract our notice in another place. For the present, we confine our attention to the last.

Whether selfishness be the essence of sin, is, after all, a mere metaphysical question the decision of which does not affect the sin ner's consciousness of guilt, nor is necessary to his conviction. Assuredly, every form and manifestation of selfishness, must be sin in a guilty corrupt creature, such

The design of the death of Jesus Christ, “who died for all” was, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves in and He “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.”. No man has

as man.

1. Prov. xxii. 15. 3. 2 Cor. v.

2. Isai. xl. 8. 4. Tit. ii. 14

14,

15.

any proof that he is recovered from the dominion of sin. till he finds his selfishness destroyed. Whatever he may think, the death of Christ has taken none effect on him. His selfishness is proof of entire depravity.

The dominion of selfishness is deemed, by some, alike the proof and essence of human depravity.

But here we venture to ask, why is it? God aims at His own glory, and for it all things are and were created. He demands the homage of his creatures, and will have every knee bow, and every tongue confess to Him. We are not disposed to think that this is sin in Ilim. And why not? God is holy, benevolent, just and true; and in seeking His own glory, can never injure, or be guilty of injustice to others. Were he a capricious, fickle, tyrannical and malignant Being, such a design in him--we speak it with reverence—would become as morally wrong as it is in us. His seeking his own glory would be apprehended as evincive of those traits of character, which tend to destroy all confidence in the Being possessing them, and are destructive of the peace and happiness of the universe. As it is pow, however, we are inspired with the most delightful confidence, by means of the very circumstance—that all things are ordained and ordered for the glory of God. The whole difference would lie in the nature or character of God; not in the mere exercise of his volitions.

In like manner we may reason of man. The mere cir cumstance of his desiring his own happiness, is not in itself necessarily evincive of depravity. Many of the appeals which God makes to us, are based on the assumption, that man will, and may legitimately do so. But God has subordinated our interests to His glory, and has made it incumbent on us to prosecute them, in entire and absolute submission to His will. "Whether, therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

1. 1 Cor. x. 31.

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