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degrees Sin thus advances; and as ic advances, infatuates. The scheme is laid down in my Text ; where, in the Person of Doeg, we have the description of a sinner Consummate ; one that had fillid up

his measure, and was now ripe and overtaken with Judgment. For the first words of the Verse, Lo this is the man, point out his miserable end, which, the context will tell us, was destruction and casting out of the land of the living: And the rest of the words (on which I design chiefly to infilt) are his Characters, exhibiting the wicked course of life which brought him to that miserable end, (viz) He took not God, &c.

The Character consists of three Mem. bers, which are as it were the three Stati. ons of the Broad way: The first being Alienation from God, the second Application to the World, the third Impiety profest. And these three are Consequen. cial to each other, as well in the order of Nature, as of the Text.

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I be.

I begin with the first Member of the Character, He took not God for his strength.

The order and importance of this Default will best appear, if we enquire into the true measures of humane nature ; and fee what strength she has in her self, and what she wants : and thence deduce the necessicy of our dependance upon God.

From those that have searched into the ftate of humane Nature, we have sometimes received very different and incompatible accounts; as though the Inquirers had not been so much learning, as fashioning the subject they had in hand; and that as arbitrarily as a Heathen Carver that could make either a God or a Tressel out of the same piece of Wood. For some have cry'd down Nature into such a defperate impotency, as would render the Grace of God ineffectual ; and others, on the contrary, have invested her with such power and self sufficiency, as would render the Grace


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of God superfluous. The first of these Opinions wrongs Nature in defect, by allowing her no strength, which in confequence must make men desperate ; The second wrongs Nature in excess, by imputing too much strength, which in effect must make men confident : And both of them do equally destroy the Reason of our Application to God for strength. For neither will the man that is well in conceit, nor yet

the despe. rate, apply himself to a Physician; because the one cries there is no need, the other, there is no help. I presume therefore that a more distinct view of chesc cwo extreme Opinions may pro. perly serve to guide us into the notice of the true state of Nature, which lies between them both

As for the first Opinion, which wrongs Nature in Defect, it was hacche in the Heathen Schools upon this occa, sion. The Philosophers having confidered the reproachful Nature of Sin, how


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that in it self it was nothing but injury, turpitude, and folly; and in its effects, mischief, inquietude, and ill-boding fears; concluded justly, that the Commission of it was base and infamous, and that the deliberate choice of a sinful Acti. on was a greater reproach to Reason, than Reason was an Ornament to Man. But nevertheless finding themselves dipt in the common guilt, and too soft to resist the pleasing evil, but likewise too proud to own the reproach of it ; they set their wits on work to contrive an expedient, how a Man might fin, and yet not be in the fault, and so be able to keep his Crimes and Credit too. The expedient they conitrived was this, to maintain, Thar Sin was no voluntary Act, but a meer forced one: and this they proved by two Mediums, Fate, and Matter; as each of them introducing a necessity upon humane Actions. From the first they argued, That all humane Actions were pre determined by the irresisti


ble Power of an Eternal. Decree, so that Man did not purely act any thing of himself, but was a meer passive Tool in che Hand of Destiny. From the second they argued, That though Man were allowed liberty of acting, yet he could have no liberty of Choice, because his Choice was always determined to the worser side by a certain insuperable malignity in matter, that is, by the pravity of his constitution. Upon either of these accounts it follow'd that Man was a meer impotent slave, always over-ruled by force, either from without or within ; and therefore since he could not poffibly help what he did, why should he be blamed for it? Racher let the causes be blamed to which he owed his necessity, Thus did the Philosophers endeavour to bring Mankind off from the scandal of their faults by impeaching Nature ; as an indulgent Jury will bring off a Mur. therer by a Non compos mentis. As to their Hypothesis of the irresisti


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