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that he is able to prosecute, and will infallibly carry into execution: a God dependant on the self-determining power of every lawless creature, is a perfect cipher in the universe-a mere insignificant name.

We must be willing that there should be a Supreme Ruler over all-an Absolute SovereignOne who hath bound not only the ocean in his chain; but men, and angels, and devils, by his immutable decrees, over which they cannot pass, or we are not willing to have any GoD. But such a God, certainly is not chosen by the unanimous vote, if by a majority of mankind. Such a God, is by no means consistent with that liberty, which has ever been claimed, and strenuously contended for, in this revolted, rebellious, fallen world.

7. This enmity against God, in the native heart of man, is manifest, from the extreme reluctance which we see in mankind of every age, to all serious discourses and meditations on divine things, and to all the external duties of religion. It is said, "The wicked will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous.” It is said of the heathen Gentiles, They did not like to retain God in their knowledge." And these sayings are true, respecting all natural men.


Why do not the children of men remember their Creator in the days of their youth? They have every thing to remind them of the God that made them; and to excite them to love and serve him. Why do they not, according to the good counsel of their Saviour, "seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness?" They are urged to an early attention to religion, by the most interesting and weighty considerations. By the preciousness of the soul, and the irreparableness of its loss. By the shortness and uncertainty of this life, and the never ending duration of that which is to come. By the hope of eternal happiness, and the awful danger of everlasting misery. By mercies and afflictions; by sicknesses often, E e

and by the frequent deaths of those around them, and near to them. Yet they put it off, and put it off; waiting for a more liesure and convenient season, often till they are ready to drop into the grave with old age. And even when they come to lie upon a dying bed, how common is it for sinners still to delay attending in earnest to the concerns of their souls, as long as they can possibly hope to live?

Whence is it that attendance on the worship of God in his house, only a few hours one day in seven, is so great a weariness; and on every frivolous excuse, is so readily neglected? Whence is it so hard a matter for many persons to maintain secret devotion; or even to attend morning and evening prayers in their families? Did they delight themselves in the Almighty, certainly it would not be such a burden to them always to call upon God. Were they disposed to promote his glory, they would not be so backward to worship him.

8. That the carnal mind is altogether enmity against God, may be learnt from what is seen and felt, when the Holy Ghost is striving with persons in order to their conversion. Not the least love to him is excited in the unregenerate, by the most clear and genuine convictions of their duty and obligation. On the contrary, under a powerful law-work, the heart of a sinner is most of all apt to rise against God, and to feel the strongest exercise of opposition to him. For this we have the testimony of an apostle, respecting himself. "Sin," says he, "taking occa sion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead."

Thus numerous and incontestible are the evidences, from scripture, observation, and experience, that fallen men are by nature enemies to God in their minds; and at heart, enmity itself against him. It was proposed,

IV. To inquire what can be the cause of this, or how it is to be accounted for.

On this it will be proper to observe one or two things negatively.

1. It is very certain that the enmity of the carnal mind against God, does not arise from ignorance of him, or from an erroneous belief concerning his perfections and ways.

Some have supposed, that there is no enmity in any man against the Supreme Being, but only what is owing to misapprehensions respecting his character, absolutely or relatively understood. In support of this opinion, one argument is taken from what we are told in scripture, of the natural blindness and ignorance of men, in regard to God and the things of God. The Gentiles are represented, in their state of paganism, as "having the understanding darkened, and being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that was in them." And it is said, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them." Whence it is argued, that the enmity of the unconverted cannot be against God's real character, rightly understood; but must be against him only according to their conception of him, which is erroneous and wrong.

In answer to this I would observe, that a distinction is to be made between the knowledge of the true God, and the true knowledge of God: or, between a right speculative idea of what a Being he is, and a perception of his amiableness and glory. The former requires only rational powers, and proper doctrinal information: the latter requires, in addition to these, a holy disposition, or temper of mind. This last kind of knowledge the natural man cannot have: and the only reason is, because he has no taste to

discern the beauty of holiness-no heart to relish moral excellency. But as natural men are rational creatures; and as God has clearly manifested and revealed himself, in his works and in his word; so they may understand what a Being he is, or what his attributes are which is knowledge enough to lay a foundation for the exercise of enmity against him as being what he really is, and not merely as thinking him to be what he is not.

But, it has been further said, All men naturally approve a good moral character, and condemn a bad one, whenever they are fairly understood, stripped of all false colorings and disguises: and hence it has been concluded that God, who is perfectly and infinitely good, cannot be hated by any, cannot but be loved by all, unless through some misapprehension concerning him.

To this, however, it need only to be replied, that there is a distinction to be made, between approving or condemning a character in our conscience, and loving or hating it in our heart. All men, and undoubtedly all rational creatures, in their consciences, approve that which is good, and condemn that which is evil, in characters and actions, as far as they understand them. But this is a very different thing from loving holiness, and hating sin. Notwithstanding this universal moral sense, of good and evil, opposite characters cannot accord and feel a mutual complacency, or friendship, any more than there can be communion between light and darkness, or Christ and Belial. Though all men approve and disapprove alike, yet, as an unjust man is an abomination to the just; so he that is upright in his ways, is abomination to the wicked. Nothing is more common than for men to see and approve what is good, while yet they love, and pursue with eagerness, that which is evil. Sinners cannot but feel a sort of veneration for those whom they are convinced are truly virtu ous and religious; yet they will shun their company,

And while

and often persecute or revile them. they associate with the vicious and profane, as their most agreeable companions, they cannot but condemn them in their consciences. In like manner, the Divine character, rightly understood, must meet the approbation of every man's conscience; while, nevertheless, no wicked man's heart can be pleased with it, or feel any friendliness to a Being so glorious in holiness.

But that the enmity of the carnal mind is against the real character of God, and not merely against a mistaken idea of him, is evident from almost every argument by which this enmity has been now proved. It is evident from the sinner's saying in his heart, or wishing to believe, there is no such God. It is evident from the idolatry of the heathen, and the strange gods which they made or worshipped-gods which, instead of being Almighty, had no might; instead of being omniscient, had no knowledge; or instead of being holy, just and good, were envious, unrighteous, and abominably wicked. It is evident from the delight which sinners take in the profanation of things believed to be good, and most sacred. It is evident from their hatred of the known laws of righteousness, and not being able to bear subjection to them. It is evident from their opposing the doctrines of grace, of divine sovereignty, and divine decrees. It is evident from their reluctance to hear or think of things eternal; and from their putting off all serious attention to religious subjects, contrary to the dictates and painful remonstrances of conscience. It is evident from the unfriendly and cruel treatment which the faithful servants and prophets of God, and his only begotten Son, have met with in the world.

Indeed, were not the enmity of the carnal mind against the real Supreme Being, there would be no propriety in calling it enmity against God. Most certainly, it could not be justly represented as implying any moral depravity. Opposition to wrong

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