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ments. But when Man, prævaricated, and turnu Rebel to his Maker, he fell from this State of Excellency and Perfe&ion. His great Strength immediately went from him, and dwindled into the Infirmities and Weaknesses of an Infant. His Beauty was chang’d into Deformity, the Harmony of his Constitution entirely disorder'd, and every String of his Soul put out of Tune. His Understanding became dark and cloudy; his Will crooked and perverse; and his Affections perceptive of nothing, but the Gusts and Relishes of the Animal Nature. In a word ; When he had cast off the Law of his God, he became subject to the Law of Şin and Death; commenc'd, according to his own Option, a perfect Slave to his vile Lusts and Passions, without any Power, without any Possibility, without so much as a Defire to recover himself out of that wretched Condition, and consequently, (had he not been restrain'd by the abundant and powerful Communications of Gods most Undeserved and Free Grace) must have continually acted in all things more irrationally, even than the Beaits that perish. This the Holy Scriptures

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8. II.

(6) Rom.. 18. I Cor. IS. TO.

and Phil.

2. 13.

5.

do exprelly assert, The Hearts of the Sons

of Men are wholly set in them to do evil, (6) Ecclef. (a) says the Preacher. And (b) Saint

Paul, In me dwelleth no good thing,
But by the Grace of God I am what I am.

And, IVe are not sufficient of our selves to 2. COD: 3:5. think any thing as of our felves, but our

Sufficiency is of God, For 'tis He that worketh in us both to will, and to do of his good Pleasure. And again, I laboured more abundantly than they all ; yet not I,

but the Grace of God which was with me. () Joh.15. And our (c) Blessed Lord himself;

Without me ye can do nothing. The Fathers indeed, who flourished before the Rise of the Pelagian Controversies, speak largely, and with great security, of the Power of Man's Will : but then they no where do this with any Preju

dice to these Affirmations of the Sacred (d) See Oracles : (d) For they generally own, the learned That without a better afflatus, and a Dr. Cave, in the Life

more Divine Power, without a mighty of Just. M. Portion of Grace to aslist it, the id es

' ημίν αυτεξέσιον. The Powers of our Will are never able to wing the Soul for her Flight to Heaven. Nay, the dry ground, says Irenæus, may as well produce Fruit without the softning and impregnating Drops of Rain, as we,

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who at first are like dry Sticks, be fruiti ful unto a good Life, without volun1 tary Showers from above the Laver of the Spirit.

In short, there is not a 3

Man of us all, but what does wofully experiment this Truth by the Difficulties of Vertue, and his Natural Proneness to Vice. And the Stoicks themselves, and all the other Philosophers, who tread in their Steps, notwithstanding all their proud Boasting, do sometimes, by their vehement Complaints of it, abundantly demonstrate, that they are sufficiently sensible of the Malady, though altogether ignorant of its Cause and Cure. So good Grounds had the (e) Council of Carthage, in the Year (e) See of our Lord 418, to declare against

Pelagius, and his Disciple Celestius, the Jesuit's ¿ That, without the Grace of God Challenge

,

pag. 389, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we can 402. have, think, say, do nothing, that's truly Pious and Holy. And the Second Council of Orange, in the Year 629, against the Pelagians and Semi Pelagians in general, That Man doth no good thing, which God doch not cause hinn to do. And (f) our most excellent (1) Hom. Mother, after the same manner, to in. 2. part 2 struct her Children at this Day, That

Usher's
Answer to

(8) Artic. 10.

their Faith, Charity, Hope, Patience, Chastity, all their Holy Desires, all their good Counsels, and all their just Works proceed purely from God: We of our felves being of such Earth, as can bring forth nothing but Weeds, Nettles, Brambles, Briars, Cockle, and Darnel. And(8) again; That the Condition of Man after the Fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own Natural Strength and good Works, to Faith, and calling upon God; and that therefore we have no power to do good Works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ

preventing us, that we may have a good Will, and working with us when we have that Good Wili.

To this helpless, forlorn, and miserable Condition ( I say ) were we re duced by our Violation of the First Covenant : And if God bad dealt with us according to our Deserts, the whole Race of Mankind had perish'd everlastingly. But He, who is infinite in Mercy, contriv'd better things for us. He provided a Remedy for his undone Creatures ; gave us a Redeemer, even

bis own Son; and in him vouchsaf’d to enter with us into a New Covenant, upon the Performance of which, we may yet be secur’d from the Wrath, which is to come. Upon the Performance ( I say) of this Covenant, we may still be sav'd; and perform it, every one of us may, if we please. For though we can do nothing of our selves, yet we may do all things through Christ, that' strengthens us. He has adapted his Covenant to our Capacities; rendred our Duty, even under these Ruins and Decays of our Nature, in all its parts pra&icable ; and made his Yoke easie, and his Burden light. His Dir. pensation does not, like that of Moses, require us'to make Brick without Straw, or to fulfil its Precepts, without supplying us with strength to do it ; but he has graciously oblig'd himself to be to us a Priest, a Prophet, and a King. As the first, by the Oblation of himself to satisfie for our Sins, not only for our Original, but likewise for all our actual Transgressions; and so to deliver us, upon our Repentance, and New Obedience, and Faith in Him, from the Punishment due to them, Eternal Damnation. As the Second, to open to us the

Trea.

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