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world before the flood (Gen. vi. 3):
And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man,' that is, by the good counsels and faithful warnings of Noah and others; for that he also is flesh '-incurably corrupt, carnal, and sensual; sunk into the mire of sin and fleshly lusts. This is still the case of all men before they receive the grace of God; they are flesh. They take their name from that part which rules, which is the flesh, and not the spirit; they are wholly engaged by things which concern the body and its sensual delights. Hence it is that the mind itself is called carnal or fleshly (verse 5, 6), 'For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.' This bad turn of mind is called flesh, because it exerts itself by means of the senses and members of the body; for carnal men' yield their members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity.? Rom. vi. 19. Habits and practices of uncleanness and iniquity are like tyrannical lords and masters, who rule over sinners, to whom they have resigned the members of their bodies, and the affections of their minds.
Now, to live after the flesh, is to obey the dictates and orders of our corrupt nature: to gratify its sinful desires, without regard to the will of God, yea, in direct contradiction to his will. And this will appear more plainly by considering the Actions, the Words, and the Thoughts of a carnal man.
Take a view, in the first place, of his Actions. Among these, the apostle (Gal. v, 19) mentions Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,' &c. These are abominations to which corrupt nature is strongly inclined. The world is full of pollution through lust. In youth, especially, these sins are predominant; and It is a shame even to speak of those things that are done in secret.' And however lightly the sins of uncleanness may be thought of in general, we are assured by the scriptures, that whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.' Drunkenness is another work of the flesh. Fools make a mock of this sin also; but St. Paul declares (1 Cor. vi. 10) that drunkards shall not inherit
the kingdom of God.' It is very common for a person to promise himself security in this sin, and to say, 'I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:' but what does God say in this case? The Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord, and his jealousy shall smoke against that man.' Deut. xxix. 20. The profane man also lives after the flesh. What can be a plainer proof that a man is destitute of the fear of God, than his daring to set the Most High at defiance, and wantonly and wickedly to take his awful name in vain? The Sabbath-breaker lives after the flesh. The man who, having no regard to the authority of God, no love to his service, and no care for his own soul, dares to spend the sacred hours of the Lord's Day in worldly business, idleness, or pleasure. The conduct of the Sabbath-breaker proves, in a dreadful manner, that he is flesh, and as much a stranger to the life of God in the soul, as the beasts that perish. 'Let no man, then, deceive himself with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.'
But it is not only by these grossly immoral actions that men appear to live after the flesh; a man's Speech betrayeth him. 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.' We have already mentioned cursing and swearing, on account of which our land mourneth. Equally carnal is that corrupt communication which proceedeth out of the mouth; that filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting, which are not convenient is the tongue, the glory of man, debased by cursing, lying, slandering, evil speaking, lewd songs, and wanton speeches. The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, it defileth the whole body, and is set on fire of hell. James iii. 6. The conversation of carnal men is wholly carnal. They can talk fluently for hours together upon worldly subjects; but let the things of God be introduced, the company is struck dumb!-natural men can find nothing to say to God, or to one another, on the great and glorious subjects of salvation and eternal life.
But we must go a step further: 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.' A man must be judged of by his prevailing, chosen, and delightful thoughts. Out
of the heart,' said our Lord, proceed evil thoughts.' A good man may have bad thoughts; but a bad man, a natural man, cannot have good thoughts. A good man hates vain, wicked, lewd, or blasphemous thoughts; but a wicked man loves, cherishes, and delights in them. It is said of the wicked, God is not in all his thoughts.' He rises in the morning without any thoughts of God. He goes about his business without any thoughts of him. He sits down to his table, and rises from it, without any thoughts of him; and he goes to rest, like a beast, in the same manner. Thus it is said in verse 5 of this chapter- They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh :'-they are carnally minded; they constantly and habitually consult and relish, pursue and delight in only worldly, sensual, and sinful things, such as are agreeable to their carnal and unrenewed appetites. And this may serve to convince some persons, how much they deceive themselves respecting their true state before God. They flatter themselves that they shall be saved because they are not so wicked as others; but they have never noticed the prevailing bent and inclination of their minds. They are not drunkards, or swearers, or liars but they mind earthly things;' and St. John assures us, that if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us.' Doubtless, there is a necessary, lawful, and commendable regard to our proper callings and worldly affairs; and there is a lawful enjoyment of worldly comforts; but the evil lies in this-so to love the world as to make it our portion, our chief good; to love the world more than God, who does not reckon himself to beloved sincerely, unless he be loved supremely, 'with all our heart and soul and strength.' The love of God and the love of the world, are like the two scales of a balance, as the one rises the other falls; and let every man ask himself how it is with him. O how little place have the blessed God-the precious Redeemerthe Holy Spirit-the care of the soul-the duties of religion and the concerns of eternity, in the hearts of natural men! The thoughts of these things are seldom entertained, and then they are not welcomed. They are a burden and a task; and the mind, when forced to regard them, dislikes them, and springs from them again
into worldly matters with delight, as a fish into the water, which is its own proper element.
Now, Sirs, as you love your souls, mark the consequence of living after the flesh: If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die! Dreadful words -Ye shall die!'To be carnally minded is death.' It is a kind of death in itself. The carnal man is now dead to God-' dead while he liveth' dead in trespasses and sins ;' and, 'the wages of sin is death'-not only the death of the body, which is the separation of the soul from it; but the death of soul and body too, in their everlasting separation from God, the fountain of all happiness. This is the second death,' as it comes after that of the body, and is inexpressibly more terrible; and shall never end in a resurrection to eternal life. At present, God exercises much patience towards his enemies ;-his sun shines and his rain descends, both on good and bad men. gives them time and space for repentance, to which his merciful goodness ought to lead them. But when al these have proved in vain, and the man has persisted in his carnal course to the end of life, then God will withdraw all his favours; his mercy indeed will be cleau gone for ever, and he will be favourable no more. And (), woe, woe, woe, to the man from whom God departs, and to whom he will say, 'Depart from me, ye cursed.'
All this is the natural and necessary consequence of living after the flesh what else could be reasonably expected? There are bnt two eternal states for men after this life. Every man is training up for one of these. The carnal man is unfit for Heaven; there he cannot come-for all the joys and employments of the blessed are spiritual. Delighting in God, loving God, praising God, are the charming employments of the redeemed. But the carnal man well knows that he has no relish for these things; and he could not be happy in Heaven, were he admitted there. What then must be his portion? There is no other place for him but Hell; and for this he has been fitting himself all his days: training himself up in enmity against God, hardening his heart, and abusing his mercies, despising his grace, neglecting his salvation, trampling on his authority, and blaspheming his name; thus he is preparing for that horrid dungeon,
where he must be the companion of men like-minded, and of devils whose dictates he obeyed. Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.'
O think of this, ye who live in sin! See what an enemy you have, even the flesh-an enemy within; an enemy, without which the devil might tempt and the world invite in vain. Beware then of indulging the flesh-it may seem to be your friend, but it is your worst foe; and, like Judas, it kisses to betray. Fly then from the allurements of sinful pleasure aud sensual enjoyments. I beseech you to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;' and in your turn declare war against the flesh. This indeed is a just and necessary war; a war that shall be successful and glorious : for, as it is added in our text, If ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live ;' which leads us to the second thing proposed, namely,
II. 1f sin die in us, we shall live eternally.
Here we must consider what it meant by mortifying sin-by what help we may do it-and the blessed consequences of doing it.
To mortify sin is to kill it-to put it to death, as the magistrates put a felon to death, by due course of justice : he is suspected, apprehended, tried, and executed. We must first suspect ourselves and our sins. Consideration is the first step in religion. He who never suspected he was wrong, may depend upon it he is not yet right. Sin must be considered as our worst enemy; the tyrant that would enslave and destroy our souls. We must find out our sins, or be sure they will find us out.' We must determine, by the grace of God, to destroy them, or they will destroy us. The matter must be brought to this issue, kill or be killed. You must kill sin, or it will kill you.
But how is this to be done? Sin must be crucified. This is the manner of killing it which God has appointed: They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.' Gal. v. 24. The destruction of our sins is compared to the crucifixion of Christ, not only because it is like it, but because it proceeds from it. There is no death of sin, but by the