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master-piece, pronounced him very good. Our field is, however, large enough. What, then, is man in nature? I answer,

In some respects, a noble creature.” The living temple has indeed been ruinated,—the sanctuary defiled, the stately columns thereof defaced, and their beauteous capitals laid in the dust : yet amidst all this decay, remains of its former grandeur may be discerned. Look at the understanding of the natural man. Behold it tracking the wandering comet through that vast expanse into which it darts, when it leaves our system, and predicting with astonishing accuracy the time of its return. Behold it developed in those astonishing productions of mechanical skill, for which our own country is so famed,—productions which have elevated it to an unexampled pitch of commercial greatness. Behold it revelling amidst the treasures of science and literature, conversing with the illustrious dead, and making the labors of bygone generations subserve the interests of its own. Look too at the conscience of man, which, though often treacherous, and gradually seared by a habit of sinning, retains some relics of its pristine power. In vain does the sinner essay to still it, when it is determined to assert its supremacy: it then commands attention; and when it weighs the actions of man in its balances, and pronounces its verdict, like the hand-writing from God on the wall of Belshazzar's banqueting room, it causes the countenance of the sinner to change, and his thoughts to trouble him; and not unfrequently renders him a trembling, wandering wretch, a burden to himself, and a beacon to others. Look also at his faculty of speech, not the less wonderful, because fearfully perverted: yea, “ with the tongue bless we God, even the Father; and with the tongue curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” How can the tongue, for example, sway and control the minds of men, now urging them

on to deeds of blood and of daring, and anon melting them to tenderness and pity. All these, and I might add others to them, are splendid relics,-striking attestations to the primitive excellency of man, and indisputable proofs that he is still a noble creature.

We see sufficient, however, to satisfy us, that although a noble being, he is a fallen and a sinful one. His nature is corrupt, as Job testifies when he asks in another place, “ What is man that he should be clean ? And he that is born of a woman that he should be righteous ?” Job looked at the rock whence man is hewn, and at the hole of the pit whence he is digged, and was convinced, that man cannot naturally be clean; for how can a clean thing come out of an unclean? And that uncleanness which Job discerned in man did not consist in the imputation of Adam's sin, but in the infection of his nature—an infection which vehemently inclines him to that which is evil. It seems, indeed, scriptural to say, that Adam's sin was imputed to his posterity, because it is written, “ through the offence of one, judgment came upon all men unto condemnation;" but it is no less scriptural to add, that such is now the corruption of man's nature, that he is very far gone from original righteousness, and of himself inclined to that which is evil; so that the flesh lusteth always against the Spirit.” There are that deny this; but human observation, and human experience alike satisfy us that it is so. If there be no such inclination to that which is evil, why does ungodliness overflow the earth ?

Why is virtue an outcast in those lands, on which the sun of righteousness has never risen with healing on his wings? Why is it, that the wisest and best of the heathen concur with Christians in affirming, that when they purpose that which is good, evil is present with them ; so that “the good which they would do they do not; but the evil which they would not do, they do ?” Why is it, that

folly is bound up in the heart of a child; whilst wisdom is a plant of heavenly extraction, and most difficult culture? To these inquiries, only one answer can be given, namely, that man is by nature wholly corrupt, and inclined to that which is evil. I deny not to the natural man those gifts and endowments,-those splendid fragments which attest, how imposing and magnificent the living temple once was. I deny not to him those moral qualifications, generosity, benevolence, integrity,—those ennobling feelings of sympathy, friendship, and affection, which render some natural men so lovely in the eyes of their fellow creatures, and so endear them to their friends and acquaintances; but I must maintain, that as in water face answers to face, so does one man's heart answer to another. Nor can I forget, whilst sensible that there are very many shades in human depravity, that as there is a hell for the wicked, so also is there a hell for those that forget God.

Glory not then, dear brethren, in your mental gifts, or in those amiable qualities which conciliate for you the love of your fellow creatures. They are, indeed, good gifts; and you cannot be too thankful to the Father of light from whom they come. Remember, however, that they raise


not above the state of nature. You may, indeed, be embellished nature; but you are nature still : and if you never pass beyond this state, no strength of understanding,—no power of eloquence,-no amiability of temper,--no gentleness of address,--no uprightness of conduct will save you from the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched. I am the more urgent with you on this point, because Satan, the ghostly adversary of man, artfully endeavours to convert the little seeming good that is in men into a snare; and craftily seeks to induce them to build their hope for eternity on it, rather than on that tried and sure foundation which is laid in Zi ich man in a state of nature; noble, yet fallen ; retaining some mutilated fragments of his pristine excellency, yet shorn of all his glory; having Ichabod evidently inscribed upon him, when weighed in the balance of the sanctuary. But what is man in a state of grace ?

In some respects as before: in others, wonderfully changed. His state is changed. In his natural condition, he lay under the curse of God's righteous law; for he had sinned, and come short of the glory of God; he had no part nor lot in Christ. Provision had indeed been made for his salvation; for the Son of God, who counted it not robbery to make himself equal with God, had been bruised for his iniquities, and wounded for his transgressions; but of this provision he had not availed himself. And, indeed, there was one great impediment to his participation in this provision. This impediment, however, cannot be charged on that God whom he had offended and outraged. God has provided for guilty man, a way of escape from condemnation,--He has sent herald after herald to point it out to man, and to invite him to avail himself of it,He has warned and encouraged, exhorted and entreated him to do so, because now is the accepted time, and day of salvation, —He has spared him, though a daily offender, and continued to him his privileges, though he has not improved them; for “ He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should be led by his goodness to repentance.” It is evident, then, that the impediment to man's translation from a state of nature to a state of grace, is not chargeable upon God. I challenge any one to prove that it is. I am well aware, that

men, who love to condemn those who hold the doctrine of election, are ever ready to say, “I am not one of the elect; and, therefore, I cannot come to Christ.” But who has told them that they are not of the elect? Not the Scriptures it is clear. The Scriptures do indeed tell us, that God has a people whom he chose in Christ before the foundation of the world; but they no where declare who are, or who are not included in that number. They speak to all natural men, without distinguishing between the elect or others : they say to all, “ Come to Christ; and him that cometh, He will in no wise cast out:"_“ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Why do not those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, act upon these invitations, instead of alleging a decree, of the contents of which they know nothing, as an excuse for neglecting Christ? I will tell you. They have no wish to come;—they are content with their portion :they love this present world. Would a hungry man, if he came to the door of a spacious mansion, and heard the porter saying unto him, Come in; and whatsoever thou needest shall be given unto thee, without money or without price; for such is the Master's command respecting all wayfaring men,” begin to object and say, "I do not know that the Master has chosen me; and, therefore, I dare not come in.” No: he would deem the servant's invitation sufficient, especially, if he saw the same invitation inscribed in legible characters over the entrance; and would joyfully enter in, that his hunger might be satisfied. I remember, on one occasion, passing near the mansion of a nobleman, who, for several days in every year, invites each wayfaring man that passes by his gate, to partake of his bounty. Many, like myself, passed on, not feeling it needful to tax the hospitality of the nobleman ; but many a faint and wayworn traveller gladly knocked at the appointed door, and laid down his burden, and refreshed himself with the good cheer so bountifully provided, and so suited to his need. And is it not, dear brethren, just so with gospel blessings? Those who do not feel their need of them, will disregard them; though they may cloak their indifference with a thousand causeless excuses ; but those who are weary

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