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State II. if the brittle thread of your life, which may be broke with a touch, ere you are aware, be indeed broken while you are in this state; you are ruined for ever, and without remedy. But come speedily to Jefus Chrift: he has cleanfed as vile fouls as yours; and he will yet cleanfe the blood that he hath cleanfed, Joel iii. 21. Thus far of the finfulness of man's natural state.

HEAD

E A DII.

The MISERY of MAN's Natural State.

EPHESIANS ii. 3.

We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

HAVING fhewed you the finfulness of man's natural state, I

come now to lay before you the mifery of it. A finful te cannot be but a miferable state. If fin go before, wrath follow courfe. Corruption and destruction are fo knit together, that Holy Ghost calls deftruction, even eternal deftruction, corrup Gal. vi. 8. He that foweth to his flesh, fhall of the flesh reap corrup that is, everlasting deftruction; as is clear from its being oppose life everlasting, in the following clause. And so the Apostle hav fhown the Ephefians their real ftate by nature, to wit, that they w dead in fins and trefpaffes, altogether corrupt; he tells them in words of the text, their relative state, namely, that the pit was dig for them, while in that state of corruption: being dead in fins, th were by nature children of wrath, even as others.

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1. The mifery of a natural state; it is a ftate of wrath, as well a ftate of fin. We were, fays the Apoftle; children of wrath, bound over, and liable to the wrath of God; under wrath in fome measure; and, in wrath, bound over to more, even the full measure of it in hell, where the floods of it go over the prifoners for ever. Thus Saul, in his wrath, adjudging David to die, (1 Sam. xx. 31.) and David, in his wrath, paffing fentence of death against the man in the parable, (2 Sam. xii. 5.) fay each of them, of his fuppofed criminal, He fall furely die or, as the words in the firft language are, he is a fon of death. So the natural man is a child of wrath, a fon of death. He is a malefactor dead in law, lying in chains of guilt: a criminal held fast in his fetters, till the day of execution: which will not fail, unless a pardon be obtained from his God, who is his judge and party too. By that means, indeed, children of wrath may become children of the kingdom. The phrase in the text, however common it is in holy

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language, is very significant. And as it is evident, that the Apostle calling natural men, the children of disobedience, (ver. 2.) means more, than that they were disobedient children; for fuch may the Lord's own children be: fo to be children of wrath, is more than fimply to be liable to, or under wrath. Jefus Chrift was liable to, and under wrath: but I doubt we have any warrant to fay, he was a child of wrath. The phrase feems to intimate, that men are, whatsoever they are in their natural state, under the wrath of God; that they are wholly under wrath: wrath is, as it were, woven into their very nature, and mixeth itself with the whole of the man; who is (if I may so speak) a very lump of wrath, a child of hell, as the iron in the fire is all fire. For men naturally are children of wrath, come forth, so to speak, out of the womb of wrath; Jonah's gourd was the fon of a night, (which we render came up in a night, Jonah iv. 10.) as if it had come out of the womb of the night; (as we read of the womb of the morning, Pfal. cx. 3.) and fo, the birth following the belly whence it came, was foon gone. The sparks of fire are called fons of the burning coal, Job v. 7. marg. Ifa. xxi. io. O my threshing, and the corn (or fon) of my floor, threshen in the floor of wrath, and, as it, we brought forth by it. Thus the natural man is a child of comes into his bowel's like water, and like oil into his bones, 3. For, tho' Judas was the only fon of perdition amongst ; yet all men, by nature, are of the fame family.

W

e is the rife of this mifery; men have it by nature. They heir nature: not to their fubftance or offence: for that` or was fin, and therefore cannot make them children of

for fin it may be under wrath: not to their nature as t man's creation, by his Maker: but to their nature as d corrupted by the fall. To the vicious quality, or cortheir nature, (whereof before) which is their principle of d ceafing from action, the only principle is an unregenerate Now by this nature, men are children of wrath; as in time of itial infection, one draws in death together with the disease then g. Wherefore feeing from our firft being, as children of Adam, be corrupt children, fhapen in iniquity, conceived in fin; we are fo, from that moment, children of wrath.

3. The university of this mifery. All are by nature children of wrath; We, faith the Apostle, even as others; Jews as well as Gentiles. Those that are now, by grace, the children of God, were, by nature, in no better cafe, than those that are still in their natural state.

Laftly, There is a glorious and happy change intimated here; we were children of wrath, but are not fo now; grace has brought us out of that fearful state. This the Apostle fays of himself and other believers. And thus, it well becomes the people of God to be often ftanding on the fhore looking back to the red-fea of the state of wrath, they were fometimes weltering in, even as others.

if the brittle thread of your life, which may be broke with a touch, ere you are aware, be indeed broken while you are in this state; you are ruined for ever, and without remedy.. But come speedily to Jefus Chrift: he has cleansed as vile fouls as yours; and he will yet cleanfe the blood that he hath cleansed, Joel iii. 21. Thus far of the finfulness of man's natural state.

HEAD

A D ́II.

The MISERY of MAN's Natural State.

EPHESIANS . 3.

We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
e-were

HAVING fhewed you the finfulness of man's natural state, I

come now to lay before you the mifery of it. A finful state cannot be but a miferable state. If fin go before, wrath follows of courfe. Corruption and destruction are fo knit together, that the Holy Ghost calls deftruction, even eternal deftruction, corruption, Gal. vi. 8. He that foweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption, that is, everlafting deftruction; as is clear from its being oppofed to life everlasting, in the following claufe. And fo the Apostle having fhown the Ephefians their real state by nature, to wit, that they were dead in fins and trefpaffes, altogether corrupt; he tells them in the words of the text, their relative state, namely, that the pit was digged for them, while in that state of corruption: being dead in fins, they were by nature children of wrath, even as others.

In the words we have four things,

1. The mifery of a natural ftate; it is a ftate of wrath, as well as a ftate of fin. We were, fays the Apostle, children of wrath, bound over, and liable to the wrath of God; under wrath in fome measure; and, in wrath, bound over to more, even the full measure of it in hell, where the floods of it go over the prifoners for ever. Thus Saul, in his wrath, adjudging David to die, (1 Sam. xx. 31.) and David, in his wrath, paffing fentence of death against the man in the parable, (2 Sam. xii. 5.) fay each of them, of his fuppofed criminal, He fall furely die or, as the words in the firft language are, he is a fon of death. So the natural man is a child of wrath, a fon of death. is a malefactor dead in law, lying in chains of guilt: a criminal held faft in his fetters, till the day of execution: which will not fail, unless a pardon be obtained from his God, who is his judge and party too. By that means, indeed, children of wrath may become children of the kingdom. The phrase in the text, however common it is in holy

He

lang

language, is very significant. And as it is evident, that the Apostle calling natural men, the children of difobedience, (ver. 2.) means more, than that they were disobedient children; for fuch may the Lord's own children be: fo to be children of wrath, is more than fimply to be liable to, or under wrath. Jefus Chrift was liable to, and under wrath: but I doubt we have any warrant to fay, he was a child of wrath. The phrase feems to intimate, that men are, whatsoever they are in their natural ftate, under the wrath of God; that they are wholly under wrath: wrath is, as it were, woven into their very nature, and mixeth itself with the whole of the man'; who is (if I may so speak) a very lump of wrath, a child of hell, as the iron in the fire is all fire. For men naturally are children of wrath, come forth, fo to speak, out of the womb of wrath; Jonah's gourd was the fon of a night, (which we render came up in a night, Jonah iv. 10.) as if› it had come out of the womb of the night; (as we read of the womb of the morning, Pfal. cx. 3.) and fo, the birth following the belly whence it came, was foon gone. The sparks of fire are called fons of the burning coal, Job v. 7. marg. Ifa. xxi. 10. O my threshing, and the corn (or son) of my floor, threshen in the floor of wrath, and, as it were brought forth by it. Thus the natural man is a child of wrath: it comes into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones, Pfal. cix. 18. For, tho' Judas was the only fon of perdition amongst the Apostles; yet all men, by nature, are of the fame family.

2. There is the rife of this mifery; men have it by nature. They owe it to their nature: not to their fubftance or offence: for that` neither is nor was fin, and therefore cannot make them children of wrath; tho' for fin it may be under wrath: not to their nature as qualified, at man's creation, by his Maker: but to their nature as vitiated and corrupted by the fall. To the vicious quality, or corruption of their nature, (whereof before) which is their principle of action, and ceafing from action, the only principle is an unregenerate ftate. Now by this nature, men are children of wrath; as in time of peftilential infection, one draws in death together with the disease then raging. Wherefore feeing from our firft being, as children of Adam, we be corrupt children, fhapen in iniquity, conceived in fin; we are alfo, from that moment, children of wrath.

3. The university of this mifery. All are by nature children of wrath; We, faith the Apoftle, even as others; Jews as well as Gentiles. Those that are now, by grace, the children of God, were, by nature, in no better cafe, than those that are still in their natural state.

Laftly, There is a glorious and happy change intimated here; we were children of wrath, but are not fo now; grace has brought us out of that fearful ftate. This the Apostle fays of himself and other lievers. And thus, it well becomes the people of God to be often nding on the fhore looking back to the red-fea of the state of wrath, ey were fometimes weltering in, even as others.

1

Man's natural State, a State of Wrath.

DOCTRINE, The state of nature is a state of wrath. Every one in a natural unregenerate ftate, is in a ftate of wrath. We are born. children of wrath; and continue fo, until we be born again. Nay, as foon as we were children of Adam, we were children of wrath.

I fhall usher in what I am to say on this point, with a few observes touching the univerfality of this state of wrath; which may ferve to prepare the way of the word into your confciences.

Wrath has gone as wide as ever fin went. When angels finned, the wrath of God brake in upon them as a flood; God fpared not the angels that finned, but caft them down to hell, 2 Pet. ii. 4. And thereby it was demonftrated, that no natural excellency in the creature will fhield it from the wrath of God; if once it becomes a finful creature. The finest and the niceft piece of the workmanship of heaven, if once the Creator's image upon it be defaced by fin, God can and will dafh it in pieces, in his wrath; unless fatisfaction be made to justice, and that image be repaired; neither of which the finner himself can do. Adam finned; and the whole lump of mankind was leavened, and bound over to the fiery oven of God's wrath And from the text ye may learn, (1.) That ignorance of that ftate cannot free men from it; the Gentiles that knew not God, were by nature children of wrath, even as others. A man's houfe may be on fire, his wife and children perishing in the flames; while he knows nothing of it, and therefore is not concerned about it. Such is your cafe, O ye that are ignorant of these things! wrath is filently finking into your fouls, while you are bleffing yourselves, faying, Ye shall have peace. Ye need not a more certain token, that ye are children of wrath, than that ye never yet faw yourselves fuch. Ye cannot be the children of God, that never yet faw yourfelves children of the devil. Ye cannot be in the way to heaven, that never faw yourselves by nature in the high road to hell. Ye are grofly ignorant of your state by nature; and fo ignorant of God, and of Chrift, and your need of him: and tho' ye look on your ignorance as a covert from wrath; yet take it out of the mouth of God himself, that it will ruin you if it be not removed, Ifa. xxvii. 11. It is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them. See 2 Theff. i. 8. Hof. iv. 6. (2.) No outward privileges can exempt men from this state of wrath; for the Jews, the children of the kingdom, God's peculiar people, were children of wrath even as others. Tho' ye be church-members, partakers of all church privileges; 'tho' you be defcended of godly parents, of great and honourable families; be what ye will, ye are by nature, heirs of hell, children of wrath. (3.) No profeffion, nor attainments in a profession of religion, do or can exempt a man from this state of wrath. Paul was one of the straiteft fect of the Jewish religion, Acts xxvi. 5. yet a child of wrath, even as others, till he was

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