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Now of this carnal mind there are several things said in the chapter from which the text is taken, that strongly and clearly point out its evil and misery. "To be carnally-minded (says the Apostle) is death.”—And again, “ they that are in the flesh, cannot please God. And again, “ if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.”- But there is no expression made use of, which more distinctly marks the dreadful misery of the carnal mind, than the one in the text, “ the Carnal mind is Enmity against God.”
Enmity against God!" Do we consider what this expression means? It means, not only that man in his natural state is indisposed to spiritual things, but that he really dislikes them; not merely that he is alienated and estranged from the life of God, but that in his heart he hates God. This is surely a most aweful representation of our natural state: but let us remember that it is the representation which God, who searcheth and knoweth the heart, has Himself given us of it. He has told us that the natural heart, the carnal mind, is enmity against Him. The fact, My Brethren, is this. Ever since the fall of Adam, man instead of seeking his happiness in obedience to God, seeks it in disobedience to Him. This was the original sin. Adam thought that he should be happier in breaking God's command, than in keeping it. And such has been the Universal Idolatry ever
since. The heart of men prefers the creature to the Creator, and chooses sin before holiness : and hence it is justly said to be “ Enmity against God.”
To this Enmity it has been owing that there have been so much False Religion, Superstition, and Idolatry in the world. Men loving darkness rather than light, and not liking to retain God in their knowledge, have made to themselves gods more suited to their depraved and evil natures. This was the charge which God brought against Israel, that after all the revelations which He had given to them of His glory and perfections, they yet " thought that He was altogether such a one as themselves.”* And whence did this arise
2 but from the Enmity of the Carnal Mind?
In truth, every Revelation which God gives of Himself, excites and displays this Enmity. Men in their natural state hate every discovery of the true character and moral attri. butes of God.
They hate the Law of God: for the Law is the copy and mind of God Himself. The Holy Law of God is the expression of His Holiness. Therefore the Carnal Mind is at Enmity with the Law of God. As the Apostle says, ".it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.” Consider how men speak and act in respect to the Law of God.
* Psalm 1, 21,
So long as its injunctions suit their convenience, or agree with their ideas of right, or can be interpreted as applying oniy to the outward conduct, so far they may profess to approve, to commend, and even perhaps to obey it. But let them be told that this Law is spiritual ; that it reaches the heart, requires inward purity and universal obe. dience, bids them to deny themselves, to mortify the flesh, and to love God with all their soul, and mind, and strength - let them be told these things, and they instantly cry out against it as severe, and excessive, and intolerable ; as exacting more than it ought; as unjust and unreasonable in its demands, which they neither can, nor will obey. Thus the Carnal Mind shews its enmity to the Law of God.
What are its feelings with respect to the Gospel of God? The Gospel is the most glorious revelation which God has ever made of Himself. There His Justice and Mercy, His Wisdom and Love, shine forth with the brightest lustre. There all His perfections meet together, and are exercised in entire harmony. There, in the Gospel, God appears most glorious, because there He appears
most holy. To the Gospel, then, the Carnal Mind has peculiar emnity ; to its holy doctrines, and humbling truths. The Gospel wounds the pride, offends the prejudices, and crosses
the lusts of the natural man. Hence it is impossible but that he should hate it.
By way of further illustrating this subject, let me remind you of the treatment which Jesus Christ encountered from the world. He was in a peculiar sense “ the Image of the Invisible God.” There never was such a Revelation of the real character of God, of . His Holiness and Goodness, so made to man, as was exhibited in the person and life of Jesus Christ. The Divine Majesty indeed was veiled from the sight of men, and con, cealed itself beneath a human form. But this circumstance only admitted them to take a nearer and closer view of the perfections and glory of the Godhead. And so fully and plainly were these displayed in every thing which Jesus did and said, that He expressly told his Apostles, “ he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father also.” But how then was Jesus received and treated by mankind ? We know that he was reviled, hated, and persecuted as the worst and vilest of criminals. He was treated with every mark of indignity and insult. Never did the Carnal Mind more decidedly shew its enmity to God, than in the treatment which Jesus Christ experienced from Gentiles and Jews, from Scribes and Pharisees, from People and Priests. The more they saw of His divine character, the more they hated Him. The more they wit
nessed of His divine power and mercy in the miraculous cures and works which He per. formed, the more they sought His life, and took counsel against Him to destroy Him. No expression, either by word or action, was wanting to shew their bitter malevolence against Him. In those very moments when enmity usually ceases to operate, in the midst of His most dreadful sufferings, they derided, taunted, and reproached Him, even with the very miracles which he had wrought for their good.--I should think, my Brethren, it must be plain from this representation what is the meaning of the expression “ the Carnal Mind is Enmity against God.” Though even this is not the last evidence which may be adduced on the subject. The Image of God is no more pleasing to the natural heart now, than it was in the day of Christ. If men at that time shewed their hatred of it as reflected in his person and doctrine, they have ever since shewed their hatred of it as displayed in the character and conduct of His people. He himself told His Disciples, that as the world had hated Him, so it would hate them, in the same manner, and for the same cause. And experience has even confirmed, and still confirins these words. Let a man at this day become a real Christian, and exhibit some marks of that mind and holiness which were in Christ Jesus; and he will be sure to en