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thus fully stated, in the consentaneous words of the sacred writers, and our pious Reformers, I shall close this part by an appeal to the reader's candour and common sense. If such are the sentiments of our church, are those churchmen reasonable, who intimate, that all the maintainers of them are either her open or secret enemies ? And may they rank with modest, humble Christians, who, instead of the self-abasing scripturedoctrine here laid down, boldly substitute pompous, Pharisaic descriptions of the present dignity and rectitude of human nature ? — Without waiting for the obvious answer, I pass to the first class of arguments, on which the truth of this mortifying doctrine is established.

PART II,

As no man is bound to believe what is contrary to common serise ; if the above stated doctrine appears irrational, Scriptures, Articles, Homilies, and Liturgy are quoted in vain : When men of parts are pressed with their authority, they start from it as an imposition on their reason, and make as honourable a retreat as they possibly can.

Some, to extricate themselves at once, set the Bible aside, as full of incredible assertions. Others, with more modesty, plead that the scriptures have been frequently misunderstood, and are so in the present case. They put grammar, criticism, and common sense to the rack, to shew, that, when the inspired writers say, the human heart is desperately wicked,' they mean that it is extremely good; or at least like blank paper, ready to receive either the characters of virtue or vice. With respect to the testimony of our Reformers, they would have you to understand, that in this enlightened age we most leave their harsh, uncharitable sentiments to the old Puritans, and the present Methodists.

That such objectors may subscribe as a solemn truth, what they have hitherto rejected as a dangerous error ; VOL. I.

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and that humbled sinners may see the propriety of a heart-felt repentance, and the absolute need of an Almighty Redeemer ; they are here presented with some proofs of our depravity, taken from the astonishing severity of God's dispensations towards mankind.

AXIOM.

le we consider the SUPREME BEING, as creating a world for the manifestation of his glory, the display of his perfections, and the communication of his happiness to an intelligent creature, whom he would attach to himself by the strongest ties of gratitude and love ; we at once perceive, that he never could form this earth, and man, in their present disordered, deplorable condition. It is not so absurd to suppose the meridian sun productive of darkness, as to imagine that Infinite Goodness ever prodnced any kind or degree of evil.

Infinite Holiness and IV'isdom having assisted Infinite Goodness to draw the original plan of the world, it could not but be entirely worthy of its glorious Author, absolutely free from every moral defilement, and natural disorder : Nor could Infinite Power possibly be at a loss to execute what the other divine attributes had contrived. Therefore, unless we embrace the senseless opinion of the Materialists, who deny the being of a God; or admit the ridiculous creed of the Manichees, who adore two gods; the one, the gracious Author of all the good; and the other, the mischievous principle of all the evil in the world; we must conclude with Moses, that every thing which God made was at first ‘very good;' or, in other words, that order and beauty, harmony and happiness, were stamped upon every part of the creation, and especially on man, the master-piece of Creating Power in this sublunary world. On this Axiom I raise my

FIRST ARGUMENT.

Does not the natural state of the earth cast a light upon the spiritualcondition of its inhabitants ? Amidst a thousand beauties that indicate what it was, when God

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pronounced it very good,' and as the original imports, extremely beautiful ; amidst the elegant and grand ruins, which form the variety of our smiling landscapes and romantic prospects, can an impartial enquirer belp taking notice of a thousand striking proofs, that a multiplied curse rests upon this globe ; and that man, who inhabits it, is now disgraced by the God of nature and providence ?

Here, deceitful morasses, or faithless quicksands, obstruct our way; there, miry, impassable roads, or inhospitable, sandy deserts, endanger our life. In one place, we are stopped by stupendous chains of rocky mountains, broken into frightful precipices, or hideous

j and in another, we meet with ruinous valleys, cut deep by torrents and waterfalls, whose tremendous roar studs the astonished traveller. Many of the hills are stony, rude, and waste ; and most of the plains are covered over with strata of barren sand, stiff clay, or infertile gravel.

Thorns, thistles, and noxious weeds, t grow spontaneously every where, and yield a troublesome, neverfailing crop ; while the best soil, carefully ploughed by the laborious husbandman, and sown with precious seed, frequently repays his expensive toil with light sheaves or a blasted harvest.

Consider that immense part of the globe, which lies between the tropics : It is parched up by the scorching beams of the vertical sun. There, the tawny inhabitants fan themselves in vain ; they pant, they melt, they faint on the sultry couch ; and, like the birds of night, dare not appear abroad, till evening-shades temper the insufferable blaze of day.-View the frozen countries, around the poles : In Summer, the sun just glances

# Those who oppose the doctrine of the fall, say, that " weeds have their use." I grant they are serviceable to thousands of people, who earn their bread by pulling the general nuisance out of our fields and gardens : But till our objectors have proved, that thistles are inore useful, and therefore grow more spontaneously, and multiply more abundantly, than corn, we shall discover the badness of their Cause through the slightness of their objection.

upon them by his feeble, horizontal rays : In Winter, he totally deserts them, and they lie bound with rigorous frosts, and buried in continual night. There, the torpid inhabitants know neither harvest nor vintage; the ocean seems a boundless plain of ice, and the continent, immense hills of snow.

The temperate zones are indeed blessed with climates: But even here, how irregular are the seasovs! To go no farther than this favoured islaud, what means the strange foresight, by which the ice of January is laid in to temper the ardours of July; and the burning mineral is stored up in June, to mitigate the frost in December? But notwithstanding these precautions, what continual complaints are heard about the intenseness of the heat, the severity of the cold, or the sudden pernicious change from the one to the other.

Let us descend to particulars. In Winter, how often do drifts of snow bury the starved sheep, and entomb the frozen traveller ! In Summer, how frequently do dreadful storms of hail cut down, or incessant showers of rain wash away the fruits of the earth! Perhaps, to complete the desolation, water pours down from all the neighbouring hills; and the swelling streams, joining with overflowing rivers, cause sudden inundations, lay waste their richest pastures, and carry off the swimming flocks; while the frighted inhabitants of the vale,t either retire to the top of their deluged houses, or by the timely assistance of boats, fly from the imminent and iucreasing danger.

If heaven seems to dissolve into water in one place, in another it is like brass; it yields neither fruitful rains, nor cooling dews; the earth is like iron under it, and the perishing cattle loll out their parched tongues, where they once drank the refreshing stream. Suppose a few happy districts escape these dreadful scourges for a number of years, are they not at last visited with redou. bled severity? And, whilst abused affiluence vanishes

+ This was the case of several families in the author's parish, November, 1770.

as a dream before the intolerable dearth, do not a starving, riotous populacet leave their wretched cottages, to plunder the houses of their wealthy neighbours, desperately venturing the gallows for a morsel of bread ?

When some, secure from the attacks of water, quietly enjoy the comforts of plenty, fire perhaps surprises them in an instaut: They awake involved in smoke, and surrounded by crackling flames, through which (if it is not too late) they fly naked, at the hazard of their necks, and think themselves happy if, while they leave behind them young children, or aged parents, burning in the blaze of all their goods, they escape themselves with dislocated joints, or broken bones. Their piercing shrieks, and the fall of their house, seem to portend a general conflagration ; loud confusion increases ; disastrous ruin spreads; aud perhaps, before they can be stopped, a street, a suburb, a whole city, is reduced to ashes.

Turn your imagination from the smoking ruins, to fix it upon the terrifying effects of the air, agitated into roaring tempests, and boisterous hurricanes. Before their impetuous blast, masts of ships, and cedars of Lebanon, are like broken reeds ; men-of-war, and solid buildings, like the driveu chaff. Here, they strip the groaning forests, tear the bosom of the earth, and obscure the sky with clouds of whirling sand: And there, they plough up the liquid, foaming plains, and with sportive fury turn up mouutains for ridges, or cut valleys instead of furrows. As they pass along, the confounded elements dreadfully roar under the mighty scourge, the rolling sea tosses herself up to heaven, and solid land is 'swept with the besom of destruction.'

To heighten the horrors of the scene, thunder, the majestic voice of an angry God, and the awful artillery of heaven, bursts in loud claps from the lowering sky. Distant hills reverberate and increase the alarming sound, and with rocking edifices declare to man, that vengeance belongeth unto God:' And, to enforce

This happened some years ago in this neighbourhood.

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