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principle from above—a change wrought in him by an eternal agent-life put into him by the Spirit of God.
He is however not so dead but there is an ability to commit sin: and therefore, he is said to be dead in trespasses and sins. It is a life full of dead acts, a sort of dying lite; a living death; a life which is all death. This is the moral state of man: no less awfully sad and dangerous is his judicial state: by the former, we mean the state of his heart, as it respects right and wrong; by the latter, his state before God, considered as innocent or guilty-he is born guilty-he is a child of wrath. Antecedently to our works, or even moral agency, even in infancy we are under the wrath, of God. The account to be given of this doctrine, as we hold it, is this, that God dealt with Adam in a collective capacity as the father of mankind; and when he became guilty, all his descendants became guilty likewise.
This being a matter of pure revelation, in which reason supplies us with few explanations, our only concern is to produce one or two of those passages of scripture on which the truth is established. The text is immediately in point: for that the Apostle might not be supposed to call the Ephesians children of wrath, on account of their being Gentiles, he includes himself and every Christian brother in the number, for he writes thus, "Among whom we all had our conversation in times past, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as
others." But the fullest explication of this truth will be found Rom. v, 12-14. Here the Apostle's argument seems to be, that before the giving of the law from Mount Sinai, there could be no transgression of that law; if therefore, there be any instance of punishment the sufferers must have been considered as guilty by some other law: but there are instances of suffering, namely, the death of infants. Now no innocent person can suffer in an upright part of God's government, therefore these infants are considered as guilty; but their guilt could not have arisen from themselves, for they never committed any sin, and therefore it is the guilt of Adam imputed to them. In the succeeding verses, where St. Paul draws the line between what was lost in Adam and gained in Christ, he asserts the imputation of Adam's sin repeatedly, Through the offence of one many are dead; the judgment was by one to our condemnation; by one man's offence death reigned by one; by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; by one man's disobedience many were made sinners. *
Think of this, brethren. What will it avail that you are harmless in your lives, while you still remain in that state of spiritual death in which you were born? If you know nothing of a transition from death unto life-a change of your hearts from sin unto holiness, you are not yet risen from the dead-you cannot see the kingdom of God.
And what are your reflections on the other passage of this text, that we are children of wrath? Do you believe that that wrath will one day be revealed and that those who neglect the appointed method of restoration, shall find that God spoke a dreadful truth, when he pronounced the primeval curse upon Adam? Take instruction of your duty, and warning of your danger from one word of scripture, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; but he that believeth not on the Son of God, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
From this view of the natural condition of mankind lets.us proceed to consider, in the second place, the practice to which it leads.
II. Ye walked according to the course this world, that is not, “ye were murderers, thieves, adulterers,” for this can hardly be said to be the course of this world, at least we hope not; the greater number are rather outwardly decent; so that the course of this world is rather a course of outward decorum than inconsistent with it. The natural man, on his entrance into life finds by far the greater part of mankind like-minded with himself; and so first in his heart, and then in his practice, he joins the gay world of thoughtless people; and mingling with the throng, he henceforth becomes one of their number. God has marked out one course for him to run, in his passage through the earth, and the world takes another: but he fears the world more than he fears God, and he loves the people of the world
better than he loves God: and therefore he deliberately makes choice of the ways of the world. We said deliberately, there is in some indeed, great ignorance of the consequence of joining with the world, though not sufficient to excuse them: but in general in the beginning of life, it is not without some checks of con science, (arising from, perhaps, a pious education, or other causes,) that he yields himself to the current of general example, and is carried down the stream. Henceforward he adopts the same system as the people of the worldhe conforms to their customs and manners-is guided by their rules, and receives their maxims as his own. All that neglect of religion which is visible in the world, is to be seen in him. That contempt of them that fear God, which is found so generally in mankind, he also feels, or affects to feel. 'Ihat giddy pursuit of trifles, fondness for amusements, thirst of riches or honors, which marks - the people of the world, forms a part of his character--he places all his happiness in bodily comfort, or some fancied possession in this life, and lives as if he were never to die. Alas! how little does he reflect, or those with whom he is joined, on their misery and danger! This their way is their folly, says the Psalmist; like sheep they are laid in the
grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave.* They think not that God hath said of them, that all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. So entirely wrong, opposite, and hostile to God is the course of this world, that even the friendship of the world is enmity against God. And the course of this world, where does it end? the broad road, where does it terminate with all the advantage of numbers on their side, with which they fill and throng the broad road, that road can never be any other than Christ has declared it to be, the one which leadeth to destruction. Why should any of us, and
* Ps. xlix, 13, 14,
particularly the young, be fascinated by the pleasures which the world seem to enjoy, or be deceived by their numbers, When hell hath enlarged her mouth, and their multitude, and their vomp, and their • glory, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it?
If they would see still more the wretchedness of their state, let them hear what master they are serving. They walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. St. Paul couples these two courses together, as being synonimous, or at least, as explanatory one of the other. They that walks according to the world, walk according to Satan. Now when men confess that they are walking according to the world, which they will sometimes very openly acknowledge by saying that they do as others do; that they cannot break with the