« AnteriorContinuar »
aside, we are altogether become filthy, there is none that doth good, no, not one a.
4. We must lament our present corrupt dispositions · to that which is evil, and our indisposedness to, and
impotency in that which is good. We must look into our own hearts and confess, with holy blushing.
(1.) The blindness of our understandings, and their unaptness to admit the rays of the divine light.
By nature our understandings are darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness of our hearts b.
The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man, neither can we know them, because they are spiritually discerned c. .
We are wise to do evil, but to do good we have no knowledge d. We know not, neither do we understand, we walk on in darkness e.
God speaketh once, yea twice, but we perceive it not g; but hearing we hear, and do not understand h, - and we see men as trees walking i. - (2.) The stubbornness of our wills, and their unaptness to submit to the rules of the divine law. .
We have within us a carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and is not in subjection to the law of God, neither indeed can be k.
Thou hast written to us the great things of , thy law, but they have been accounted by us as a strange thing, and our corrupt hearts have been sometimes ready to say I, What is the Almighty that we should serve him m? "And that we should certainly do whatsoever thing goes forth out of our own mouth n. For we have walked in
a Psal. xiv. 3.
6 Eph. iv. 18,
c1 Cor. ii. 14.
* Rom. viii. 7.
the way of our own heart, and in the sight of our eyes, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind a.
Our neck hath been an iron sinewb, and we have made our heart as an adamant; we have refused to hearken, have pulled away the shoulder c, and stopped our ears like the deaf adder, that will not hearken to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely d.
How have we hated instruction, and our heart despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice of our teachers, nor inclined our ear to them that instructed
(3.) The vanity of our thoughts, their neglect of those things which they ought to be conversant with, and dwelling upon those things that are unworthy of them, and tend to corrupt our minds.
Every imagination of the thoughts of our heart is evil, only evil, and that continually, and it has been so from our youth g.
O how long have those vain thoughts lodged within ush! those thoughts of foolishness which are sini; from out of the heart proceed evil thoughts k; which devise mischief upon the bed l, and carry the heart with the fool's eyes into the ends of the earth m.
But God is not in all our thoughts, 'tis well if he be in anyn; of the Rock that begat us, we have been unmindful o, and have forgotten the God that formed usp; we have forgotten him days without number, and our hearts have walked after vanity, and become vain. Their inward thought having been, that our houses should continue for ever; this our way is our folly q.. a Eccl. xi. 9. b Isa. xlvü. 4. c Zech. vii. 11, 12. d Psal. lviii. 4, 5. e Prov. v. 12, 13. 8 Gen. vi. 5. viü. 21. h Jer. iv. 14. i Proy. xxiv. 9. k Matt. xv. 19. 1 Mic. ii. 1.
m Prov. xvii. 24. n Psal. x. 4. o Deut. xxx, 18. p Jer. ii. 32. q Psal. xlix. 11, 13.
. (4.) The carnality of our affections, their being placed upon wrong objects, and carried beyond due bounds.
We have set these affections on things beneath, which should have been set on things above a, where our treasure is, and where Christ sits on the right hand of God, the things which we would seek b.
We have followed after lying vanities, and forsaken our own mercies c: have forsaken the fountain of living waters, for cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no waterd.
We have panted after the dust of the earth, and have been full of care what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed, the things after which the Gentiles seek, and the righteousness thereofe. . We have lifted up our souls unto vanity g, and set our eyes upon that which is noth, having looked at the things that are seen, which are temporal; but the things that are not seen, that are eternal, have been forgotten and postponed i.
1. (5.) The corruption of the whole man; irregular appetites towards those things which are pleasing to sense, and inordinate passions against those things that are displeasing, and an alienation of the mind, from the principles, powers, and pleasures of the spiritual and diviné life.
We are born of the flesh, and we are flesh k: dust we arel: we have borne the image of the earthly; and in us, that is, in our flesh, there dwells no good thing m: for if to will is present to us, yet how to perform that which is good we find not; for the good that we would a Col. üü. 1. 6 Matt. vi. 21. c Jonah ü. 8. d Jer. ii. 13. e Matt. vi. 32, 33. g Psal. xxiv. 4. h Prov. xxiii. 5. i 2 Cor. iv. 18. k John iï. 6. I Gen. iii. 19. m 1 Cor. xv. 49.
do, we do it not; and the evil which we would not do, that we do a.
We have a law in our members warring against the law of our mind, and bringing us into captivity to the law of sin that is in our members; so that when we would do good, evil is present with us b.
The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint, from the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in us, but wounds, and bruises and putrefying sores c.
There is in us a bent to backslide from the living God d; our hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know them e? They start aside like a broken bow g.
(6.) We must lament and confess our omissions of our duty, our neglect of it, and triflings in it; and that we have done so little since we came into the world, of the great work we were sent into the world about ; so very little to answer the end of our creation, or of our redemption, of our birth and of our baptism; and that we have profited no more by the means of grace.
We have been as fig-trees planted in the vineyard and thou hast come many years seeking fruit from us, but hast found.none h; and therefore we might justly be cut down, and cast into the fire for cumbering the groundi; thou hast come looking for grapes, but behold wild grapes ; for we have been empty vines, bringing forth fruit unto ourselves k.
We have known to do good but have not done itl; we have hid our Lord's money, and therefore deserve the doom of the wicked and slothful servantm.
a Rom. vii. 18, 19.
b Rom. vii. 21, 23,
c Isa. i. 6.
We have been unfaithful stewards a, that have wasted our Lord's goods; for one sinner destroys much good b.
Many a price hath been put into our hands to get wisdom, which we have had no heart to c, or our heart has been at our left hand d.
Our childhood and youth were vanity e, and we have brought our years to an end, as a tale that is told g.
We have not known or improved the day of our visitation h, have not provided meat in summer, nor gathered food in harvest, though we have had guides, overseers, and rulers i.
We are slow of heart to understand and believe k; and whereas for the time we might have been teachers of others, we are yet to learn the first principles of the oracles of God; have need of milk, and cannot bear strong meatl.
We have cast off fear, and restrained prayer, before God m; have not called upon thy name, nor stirred up ourselves to take hold on thee n. .
We have come before thee as thy people come, and have sat before thee as thy people sit, and have heard thy words, when our hearts at the same time have been going after our covetousness o. And thus have we brought the torn, and the lame, and the sick for sacrifice, have offered that to our God, which we would not have offered to our governor; and have vowed and sacrificed to the Lord a corrupt thing when we had in our flock a male p. :
(6.) We must likewise bewail our many actual transgressions, in thought, word, and deed. a Luke xvi. 1. 6 Eccl. ix. 18. c Prov. xvii. 16. d Eccl. x. 2. e Eccl. xi. 10. g Psal. xc. 9 h Luke xix. 44. ¿ Prov. vi. 7, 8. k Luke xxiv. 25. 1 Heb. v. 12. m Job xv. 4.
n Isa. Ixiy. 7. o Ez. Xxxji, 31. p Mal. i. 8, 14,