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Preached at the

Lady MOTER's LECTURE.

On the Corruption of Human

Nature.

JOB XIV. 3, 4.
Doft thou open thine Eyes upon such an one ?

and bringest me into Judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean Thing out of an Un

clean? Not one,

T

HESE Words contain Job's Ex-Serm.IV. postulation with his Maker, and

the Sense of them, to use the Words of a great Writer, who clearly proves, that they have a plain Reference to the Introduction of Corruption, by the Sin

of

SERM.IV. of the Woman, is as follows, “ Why art

ss thou extreme to mark all my Errors ? • Is it reasonable to expect Purity in a “ Man born of a Woman, who is by the very

Condition of his Birth unclean * " The Disobedience of our first Parents involved their Posterity, and entailed a Depravity of Nature upon their Descendants : Which Depravity, though it is not a Sin in us, till the Will closes with it, and deliberately consents to it ; yet is certainly finful in itself, and therefore is stiled Original Sin. For if it were not so, if the first Rise of evil Thoughts, and every

Tendency and Bias to Vice were not criminal in it felf; the Consent of the Will to it could never make it so. For the Consent of the Will cannot alter the Nature of Things.

St. Paul, Col. ij. 9, 10. says, Ye have put off the old Man with his Deeds, and bave put on the new Man, which is renewed in Knowledge AFTER THE IMAGE of Him, that created him; or, as it is in another Place, Ephef. iv. 24. which after God is created in Righteousness and true Heli

ness.

Bishop Sherlock's Second Differtation, Pag. 253.

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ness. Now to be renewed after the Image Serm.IV,
of our Creator, signifies in the Original, to
seceive again, what we had once loft. Man
therefore once had (in his primitive State)
that Image, to which he is to be restored
by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the Sense which Irenæus, a Father
of the second Century, puts upon these
Words. For he fays,

" What we lost in
Adam, viz. the divine Image and Like-
“ ness, we receive again in Christ Jesus*.

Adam was formed in the Image of God; and what that Image was, we learn from the foregoing Words of St. Paul, that ye put on the new Man, which, after God (after the Image of God) is created in Righ. teousness and true Holiness.

It is plain, that we who are Mapen in Wickedness, who are born with strong Propensions to Vice, are not created in Righteousness and true Holiness : It is plain therefore, that we are fallen from our original and primitive State of Innocence.

Far be it from me to vilify human Na-
ture, as if it were totally bad, without any
Remains and Traces of its primitive Great-
ness. I own, that any

Man
may, through

the

Irenæus, Lib. 3. cap. 20,

Serm.IV. the Grace of God and his own Endeavours,

stand clear of all presumptuous Sins, and much more of all evil Habits. I own that our Passions are innocent in themselves, though they are often wrong in their Degree, being not very feldom disproportioned to the real Value of Things; very violent and exorbitant, where they ought to be moderate, and very moderate and remiss, where there is no imminent Danger of Excess. I grant, that, though our Nature is degenerated, yet it is not entirely inverted, so as to have no Relish for Goodness; that we are not only capable of Virtue, but also of great Attainments therein ; we may not only be virtuous, but even excel in Virtue.

Notwithstanding, there are plain Proofs that we are fallen Creatures, from the Perverfeness of our Will, and the Weakness of our Understanding.

For no Creature could come originally from God's Hand, but what was perfe&t in its kind : No rational Creature can be perfeet in his kind, in whom there is a strong Propension to Vice, that is, to what is unreafonable, and a great Irregularity of the Appetites and Affections. Had Man continued such as he was at first formed ;

the

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