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al, hearty fubjects to the one, will neceffarily be ene mies to the other. It always happens fo, nor indeed can it be otherwise.
As that which is a man's god, is the object of his higheft love; fo that God, who chiefly oppofes him in it, must be the object of his greatest hatred.
The gods which a natural man worships, inftead of the God that made him, are himself and the world. He has with drawn his efteem and honour from God, and proudly exalts himself as Satan did he was not wil. ling to be in fuch fubjection; and therefore rebelled, and fet up himself for God. So a natural man, in the proud and high thoughts he has of himfelf, fets up himfelf upon God's throne. And he gives his heart to the world, worldly riches, and worldly pleafures, and worldly honours: they have the poffeffion of that regard which is due to God. The Apoftle fums up all the i dolatry of wicked men in their love of the world. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the "world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, "the luft of the flesh, the luft of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world," John ii. 15, 16. And the Apoftle James obferves, that a man muft neceffarily be the enemy of the true God, if he be a friend of the world. Know ye not
that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, "is the enemy of God," James iv.
All the fin that men commit, is what they do in the fervice of their idols: there is no one act of fin, but what is an act of service to fome falfe god. And therefore wherein foever God oppofes fin in them, he is oppofite to their worfhip of their idols; on which account they are enemies to God.
God oppofes them in their fervice of their idols in the following refpects.
1. He manifefts his utter abhorrence of their worfhip of their idols. Their idols are what they love above all
all things they would by no means, part with them. This wickedness is fweet unto them, Job xx. 12, If you take them away what have they more? If they fofe their idols, they lofe their all. To rend away their idols from them would be more grievous to them, than to rend body and foul afunder; it is like rending their heart in twain, They love their idolatry; but God does not approve of it, but exceedingly hates it; he hates it implacably, and will by no means be reconciled to it; and therefore they hate him. God declares an infinite hatred of every act of fin which they do; or every act that they do in the fervice of their falfe gods. He approves of it in no part, but hates it all. He declares himfelf to be an holy God; and declares hinfelf to be an holy God, and a jealous God; a God that is very jealous of his own honour; and that greatly abhors the giving that honour to another.
2. He utterly forbids their cleaving to those idols, and all the fervice that they do to them. He not only fhows that he diflikes it, but he utterly forbids it; and demands that they should worship him, and ferve him only, and give their hearts wholly to him, without tolerating any competitor. He allows them to ferve their idols in no degree; but requires them to caft, them away utterly, and pay no more worfhip to them at any time. He requires a final parting with their idols. Not only that they should refrain from them for a while, but call them away forever, and never gratify their idolatrous refpect to them any more. This is fo exceeding contrary to them, and what they are fo averfe to, and fo obftinate in their refufal of, that they are enemies to God for it. They cannot endure God's commands, becaufe they forbid all that which their hearts are fo engaged in. And as they hate God's commands, fo they hate him whofe commands they are.
3. He threatens them with everlasting damnation for their fervice of their idols. He threatens them for their paft idolatry. He threatens them with his eternal wrath, for their having departed from him, and.
their having chofen to themselves other gods. threatens them for that difpofition they have in their hearts to cleave to other gods: he threatens the leaft degrees of that refpect which they have in their hearts to their idols. He manifefts that he will not tolerate any regard to them, but has fixed eternal death, as the wages of every degree of it. And he will not release them from their guilt; he holds them to their obligations; he will not acquit them at all; and he will accept of no atonement that they can make. He will not forgive them, whatever they do in religion; whatever pains they take; whatever tears they thed. He will accept of no money or price that they have to offer.
And he threatens every future act of their idolatry. He not only forbids them ever to be guilty of the leaft act, but forbids them on pain of eternal damnation. So ftrictly does God prohibit them from the fervice of their idols, that are fo dear to them, that are their all, and which they would on no account part with. He threatens them with everlafting wrath for all exercises of inordinate love of worldly profit; for all manifestations of inordinate regard to worldly pleafures, or worldly honours. He threatens them with everlasting torments for their felf-exaltation. He requires them to deny themselves, and renounce themfelves, and to abase themselves at his feet, on pain of bearing his wrath to all eternity.
The ftri&tnefs of God's law is a principal caufe of man's enmity against God. If God were a God that did not fo much hate fin: if he were one who would allow them in the gratification of their lufts, in some degree and his threatenings were not fo awful against all indulgence of their luft; if his threatenings were not fo abfolute; if his difpleafure could be appeafed by a few tears, and little reformation, or the like; they would not be fo great enemies, nor hate him fo much as they do now. But God fhows himself to be an implacable enemy to their idols, to every degree of their W 2 fervice..
fervice of them; and has threatened everlasting wrath, infinite calamity for all that they do in the fervice of their lufts; and holds them bound under his wrath therefore. And this makes them irreconcilable enemies to him.
For this reafon the Scribes and Pharifees were fuch bitter enemies to Chrift, because he fhowed himself to be fuch an enemy to their pride, and conceit of their own wisdom, and their felf-righteoufnefs, and inordinate affection of their own honour, which was their god. Natural men are enemies to God, because he is fo oppofite to them in that in which they place their all. If you go to take away that which is very dear to a man, nothing will provoke him more. God is infinitely oppofite to that in which natural men place all their delight, and all their happiness, viz. their gods. He is an enemy to that which natural men value as their greatest honour and highest dignity; and which they truft wholly to, that which is all their dependence, viz. their own righteousness.
Hence natural men are greater enemies to God than they are to any other being. Some of their fellowcreatures may ftand very much in their way with regard to fome things they fet their hearts upon; but God op. pose them with refpect to all their idols, and thofe gods which are their all. And then God's oppofition to their idols, which are above all things dear to them, is infinitely great. None of our fellow creatures ever oppofe us in any of our interefts fo much as God oppofes wicked men in their idolatry; for God has an infinite oppofition against it. His infinite oppofition is manifefted by his threatening an infinite punishment, viz. his dreadful wrath to all eternity, mifery without end. Hence we need not wonder that natural men are enemies to God.
Having thus fhown, in fome measure, why natural men are God's enemies, I proceed to the last thing propofed.
IV. To confider and make anfwer to fome objections, that fome may be ready to make against this.
Natural men do not generally conceive themselves to be fo bad they have not this notion of themselves, that they are enemies to God. And therefore when they hear fuch doctrine as this taught them, they fland ready to make objections.
Obj. I. Some natural men may be ready to fay, I do not know that I feel any fuch enmity in my heart against God as is fpoken of. I am not fenfible that I am fuch a dreadful enemy, fo as to hate. God, and to have a mortal enmity against him; and to have a dif pofition, if I could, to kill him. I feel no fuch thing in myself, and why fhould I think that I have fuch a thing in me? If I have fuch enmity, why do not I feel it ? If I am a mortal enemy, why fhould not I know it better than any body else? How can others fee what is in my heart better than I myself? If I hate one of my fellow creatures, and have a fpirit against him, I can feel it inwardly working. To fuch an objection I would,
Anf. 1. If you do but obferve yourself, and fearch your own heart, unless you are ftrangely blinded, you may be fenfible of these things wherein enmity does fundamentally confift. As particularly, you may be fenfible that you have at leaft had a low and contemptible efteem of God; and that you in your esteem fet the trifles and vanities of this world far above him; fo as to esteem the enjoyment of these things far before the enjoyment of God, and to value these things better than his love. And you may be fenfible that you de... fpife the authority of God, and value his commands and his honour but very little. Or if by fome means you have blinded yourself now, fo as to think you do regard them now, doubtlefs you can look back and fee that you have not regarded them. You may be fenfible that you have had a difrelish and averfion towards God; an oppofition to thinking of God, or to have any thing to do with him; fo that it would have been