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dreadful heart-rifings, inward wranglings and quarrelings, and blafphemous thoughts; wherein the heart is like a viper, hiffing, and fpitting poifon at God. There is abundance of fuch a principle in the heart. And however free from it the heart may feem to be, when let alone and secure, yet a very little thing will fet it in a rage... Temptations will fhow what is in the heart. The alteration of a man's circumstances will often difcover the heart: a change of circumftance will bring that out which was hid before. Pharaoh had no more natural enmity against God than other men; and if other natural men had been in Pharaoh's circumftances, the fame corruptions would have put forth themfelves in as dreadful a manner.. The Scribes and Pharifees had naturally no more of a principle of malice in their hearts againft Chrift than other men; and other natural men would, in their cafe, and having as little restraint, exercise as much malice against Christ as they did. When wicked men come to be caft into hell, then their malice against God will appear. Then will it appear what dreadful malice they have in their hearts.. Then their hearts will appear as full of malice as hell is full of fire. But when wicked men come to be in hell, there will be no new corruptions put into their hearts; but only old ones will then break forth without reftraint. That is all the difference between a wicked man on earth and a wicked man in hell, that in hell there will be more to ftir up the exercise of corruption, and lefs to reftrain it than on earth; but there will be no new corruption put in. A wicked man will have no principle of corruption in hell, but what he carried to hell with him. There are now the feeds of all the malice that will be exercifed then. The malice of damned fpirits is but a branch of the root, that is in the hearts of natural men now. A natural man has a heart like the heart of a devil; but only as corruption is more under restraint in man than in devils.
5. They are enemies in their practice "They walk contrary to him," Lev. xxvi. 21.
Their enmi ty
ty against God does not lie ftill, but they are are exceeding active in it. They are engaged in a war against God. Indeed they cannot hurt God, he is fo much above them; but yet they do what they can. They oppofe themselves to his honour and glory: they oppofe themselves to the intereft of his kingdom in the world: they oppose themfelves to the will and command of God; and oppofe him in his government. They oppofe God in his works, and in his declared defigns; while God is doing one work, they are doing the contrary, and as much as in them lies, counterworking. God feeks one thing, and they feek directly the contrary. They lift under Satan's banner, and are his willing foldiers in his oppofing the kingdom of God.
I proceed now,
II. To fay fomething with refpect to the degree of this enmity; tending in fome measure to fhow, how great enemies natural men are to God.
: 1. They have no love to God; their enmity is mere enmity without any mixture of love. A natural man is wholly deftitute of any principle of love to God, and never had the leaft exercife of this love. Some natural men have better natural tempers than others ; and fome are better educated than others and fome live a great deal more foberly than others; but one has no more love to God than another; for none have the leaft fpark of that. The heart of a natural man is as deftitute of love to God, as a dead, ftiff, cold corpfe is of vital heat. : "I know you, that ye have not the love .. of God in you," John v. 43..
2. Every faculty, and principle of action is wholly under the dominion of enmity against God. The nature of man is wholly infected with this enmity against » God. He is tainted with it throughout, in all his faculties and principles. And not only fo, but every faculty is entirely and perfectly fubdued under it and enflaved to it. This enmity against God has the abfolute poffeffion of the man. The Apostle Paul, fpeaking of what he was naturally, fays, "I am carnal, fold under fin," Rom. vii. 14.
The understanding is under the reigning power of this enmity against God, fo that it is entirely darkened and blinded with regard to the glory and excellency of God. The will is wholly under the reigning power All the affections are governed by enmity a gainst God there is not one affection, nor one defire, that a natural man has, or that he is ever ftirred up to act from, but what contains in it enmity against God. A natural man is as full of enmity againft God, as any vi. per, or any venemous beaft, is full of poifon..
3. The power of the enmity of natural, men against God, is fo great, that it is infuperable by any finite power. It has too great and ftrong a poffeffion of the heart, to be overcome by any created power. Natural men cannot overcome their own enmity, let them ftrive never so much with their own hearts. Indeed, a natural man never fincerely ftrives to root out his enmity against God; his endeavours are hypocritical: he delights in his enmity, and choofes it. Neither can others do it, though they fincerely, and to their utmoft, endeavour to overcome this enmity. If godly friends and neighbours labour to perfuade them to caft away their enmity, and become friends to God, they cannot perfuade them to it. Though minifters ufe never fo many arguments and entreaties, and fet forth the lovelinefs of God, and tell them of the goodness of God to them, and hold forth to them God's own gracious invitations, and intreat them never fo earnestly to caft off their oppofition and enmity, and to be reconciled, and become friends, yet they cannot overcome it: ftill they will be as bad enemies, to God as. ever they were. The tongue of men or of angels cannot perfuade them to relinquish their oppofition to God. Miracles will not do it. How many miracles did the children of Ifrael fee in the wilderness! yet their enmity against God remained, as appeared by their often murmuring. And how often did Chrift ufe miracles to this end without effect? but the Jews yet obftinately stood out." O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, thou that killeft
killeft the prophets, and ftoneft them which are fent: unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not," Matth. xxiii. 37. And how great did the enmity of thefe people ap-.. pear to be after all; how fpiteful and venomous were their hearts towards Ohrift, as appears to be after all; how fpiteful and venomous were their hearts towards Chrift, as appears by their cruel treatment of him in his laft fufferings !
They are mortal enemies to God, i. e. They have that enmity in their hearts, that ftrikes at the life of God. A man may be no friend to another, and may have an ill fpirit towards him, and yet not be his mortal enemy his enmity will be fatisfied and glutted with fomething short of the death of the perfon. But it is not fo with natural men with refpect to God; they are mortal enemies. Indeed natural men cannot kill God. They have no hope of it, and fo make no attempts. It has ever been looked upon fo much above their power, that, it may be, it is not thought of. But this is no argument that this is not the tendency of the principle.
Natural men are enemies to the dominion of God; and their nature fhows their good will to pull him down out of heaven, and dethrone him if they could! Yea, they are enemies to the being of God, and would be glad if there was no God. And therefore it neceffarily follows, that they would kill him, and caufe that: there fhould be none, if they could.
"The fool hath faid in his heart, there is no God," Pfal. xiv. 1. This faying in his heart, there is no God, implies in it, not only an aptnefs to queftion the being of God, but it implies, that he inclines it fhould be fo. His heart fays, i. e. his inclination fays. The words in the original are thus: "The fool hath faid in his heart "no God." The words, there is, are not in the original,but were put in by the tranflators. Now, if we read the words Lo, "The fool hath faid in his
heart, no God," they will perhaps fhow the Pfalmift's meaning more fully than as they are now tranflated. The fool hath faid in his heart, no God." That is, I would have none, I do not defire any, I wish there was none; that would fuit my inclination beft. That is the language of the inclinations of a natural man ; no God. Let there be no God for me, let me have no God; let the world be emptied of a God, he ftands in my way. And hence he is an Atheist in his heart, he is ready to think there is none; and that alfo is ready to be the language of his heart, "There is no God."
The viper's poifon is deadly poifon; and when he bites, he feeks the precious life. And men are in this respect a generation of vipers. Their poifon, which is enmity against God, feeks the life of God, "O genera"tion of vipers," Matth. iii. 7. The wicked are eftranged from the womb-Their poifon is like the poifon of a ferpent," Pfal. lviii. 3, 4. "For their vine "is the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; "their grapes are the grapes of gall, their clusters are
bitter. Their wine is the poifon of dragons, and the "cruel venom of afps," Deut. xxxii. 32, 33.
The divine nature being immortal, and infinitely out of our reach, there is no other trial poffible, whether the enmity that is naturally in the heart against God, be mortal or no, but only for God to take on him the hu man nature, and become man, fo as to come within man's reach, that they should be capable of killing him. There can be no other experiment but this. And this trial there has been. And what has been the event? Why, when once God became man, and came down to dwell here among fuch vipers as fallen men, they hated him & perfecuted him; and never left him till they had imbrued their hands in his blood. There was a multitude of them that appeared combined in this defign. Nothing would do, but he must be put to death. All cry out, "Crucify him, crucify him. "Away with him." They had rather Barrabbas, who greatly deferved death, fhould live, than he should not die.