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so bad as revelling and open profaneaess. It is true, hypocrites /hall have a hot part in heU ; but can oue imagine that their throwing off the mask, and giving themselves the swing, will make an easier part? No; Riv. xni. 8. "The searful, and unbelieving, and tie abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, aud sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with sire and brimstone ; which is the second death." No doubt the more light men sin against, their condemnation will be the more aggravated; but certainly it will be sorer for immoral Pagans than moral ones, for immoral Christians than moral ones, where the worm never ditth, and the sire is not quenched. Conscience will hive Ids guilt, and not so deep, to charge on the one Is on the other.
II. The State of the Unregenerate World.
Having seen the parts of that world, we are next to view the state of these parts; and that is, the whole world lieth in wickedness, the moral as well as immoral part, and the religious as well as the other. It is the common state of the whole unregenerate world; whatever differences are among them, they •U agree in this, they are lying in wickedness. In speaking to this, I shall,
1. Consirm and evince the truth of it in the general.
a. Explain this state of the unregenerate world, their lying in wickedness.
First, I am to'consirm. and evince the truth of the doctrine in the general.
F'rjt, Satan is the god of the whole unregenerate *orld; how can it miss then to be wholly lying in wickedness? a Cor. iv. 4. It is the honour and advantage of the regenerate, that God is their God, Heb. viii. io.; but the unregenerate world is apostate from God, and have taken Satan in his room, giving him D the
the homage they owe to God. Now Satan is the god of the unregenerate world lying in wickedness.
1. In respect of his god-like power over them; which we may take up in these particulars.
(1.) The sovereignty of it. The unregenerate world is Satan's dominion, whereof he is prince, John xii. 31. and xiv. 30. Though he is under check and control of heaven, and the most searful vengeance is abiding him from the Lord, yet he is a sovereign prince among them, ruling more absolutely than any prince in this world doth his subjects, 2 Tim. ii. 26. None of them all have their subjects so much at their back, as he has the men of the world.
(2.) The rivalship of it, being set up and managed just to confront the kingdom of God among men. Though Satan is the most miserable thing of the whole creation; yet, by a peculiar pride and spite against God, he sets up directly, and immediately against God and his Son Jesus Christ, whose kingdom the regenerate are. And his rival kingdom is the unregenerate world. Between these is the lasting enmity, Gen. iii. 15. and these are the opposite kingdoms that can never mix, Psal. xii. 7.; and the design of the gospel is to pull down Satan's kingdom, Acts xxvi. 18. Col. i. 13. .-.
(3.) The extent of it, reaching over the whole • world, from one end of the earth to the other. All the power that ever the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman monarchs had, never reached but over a part of the world; but the power of the devil reaches over all countries where ever the unregenerate of men are.
(4.) The nature of it! He receives external worship from many in the world, having many whole nations at his devotion. But from the whole unregenerate world he receives the subjection, homage, and obedience of the inner man; and that is peculiarly due to God; Eph. ii. 2. " Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according cording to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Men of greatest eminency over others can only pretend to rule their outward man; the foul, the inner man, must be left to God; and that Satan usurps in the unregenerate world. He entered into Judas moving him to betray Christ, silled the hearts of Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Ghost, i£c.
2. In respect of his prime origination of their corruption. As from God men have their nature, whereby they are men, and their new nature whereby they are regenerate men; so from the devil men have all tie corruption and lin of their nature, whereby they are unregenerate men ; wherefore as men owe themselves to God, as men and Christians; so they are owing to the devil, as they are unregenerate men lying in wickedness, See John xiv. 30. He hath of his own in them. Hence,
(1.) The devil is the common father of the unregenerate world as such. It is owing to him as the procreating cause thereof. It was the spawn of the old serpent conveyed by the sirst sin into human nature, that corrupted all mankind. Hence men are said to be of him, 1 John iii. 12. and of him as a child is of a father, John viii. 44. So the world lying in wickedness is called our father's house or family, Psal. xlv. 10. And not only are notoriously wicked persons, but all the unregenerate called children of the devil, 1 John iii. 10.; as bearing his image, John viii. 44. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."
(»,) Their continuation in that their state, they have from him also. God preserves by his providence all that his own hands made, and the divine preservation is in efsect a continued creation. But since the corruption of the world is originally from the devil, not from God; the maintenance of it comes thev fame way. So Satan upholds that world by his power, aud he is incessant in his working for that end.
D 2 This
This gives a very dismal view of the unregenerate world; it is not God's world, but the devil's world, deriving its original from him, and over which he has the power of a god. Whence we must see, that k is surely,
(1.) The mire ofsing in which the miserable inhabitants must be continually wallowing; for nothing doth so much please the god of that world. He is an enemy to all good, and as far as his power reaches, no good can have place. The dust is his meat, and so a lise of sin is a wallowing in the mire.
(2.yThe region of death and destruction,which God will certainly destroy, if once he had his own out of it. For Christ came to destroy the works of the devil
Secondly, Spiritual darkness, thick darkness, is over the whole of that world, Eph. v. 8. how can any thing hut works of darkness be found in it? The Egyptian darkness was an emblem of this, they had a thick darkness, only in Goshen there was light; so the Egyptians rose not from their place to do business, Exod. x. 22, 23. Consider,
1. The fun went down on all mankind in Adam's transgressing the covenant; the light of God's countenance was then withdrawn, and so there was a terrible eclipse, witness Adam's hiding himself from the presence of God, and all men naturally following his footsteps in that.
2. The unregenerate world remains as Adam left them, the Son of righteousness Jesus Christ is not yet arisen to them, Mal. iv. 2, 3. Though he has spread abroad his light in the world, it is not yet come into their hearts. They know him not, they have not yet received the saving illumination of his Spirit.
Their state in point of darkness concludes them under sin, far from all good.
(1.•) They are in darkness, Acts xxvi. 18. Every Unregenerate man sits in darkness, Matth. iv. 16. He is like a captive or prisoner in a dark dungeon, where
no light cornea. The smoke of the opened pit that was let into the world by sin, makes thick darknef* there, and that is round about every man till converting grace scatter it.
(2.) They are under the power of darkness, Coh i. 13. They are not like those that are in the dark, but can come out when they please into the light; but they are under the power of it, as in chains of darkness. No human art can remove the darkness of a natural state, nay it retains its power over them in the midst of gospel light. God alone can dispel it, 2 Cor. iv. 6.
(3.) The powers of bfll rule in that darkness, Eph. vi. 1 2. When the night comes on, the wild beasts come out of their dens, and range abroad ; and' so the dark world is Satan's walk, where he goes about like a roaring lion. Hence it comes to pass, that if any light begin to peep in, Satan presently stops it, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Thus convictions are stifled, and resolves of reformation fly up as dust.
(4.) It is a darkness of blindness; they really have not eyes to see with, Deut. xxix. 4. A child of God may be in the dark at a time, but then he will come forth at length into the light, and will see; but every unregenerate man is spiritually blind, Rev. iii. 17. the darkness has blinded him, 1 John ii. 11, He wants a faculty of discerning spiritual things in their true natures, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Tbeir understanding is darkened.
(5.) The light in the unregenerate world is darkness, Macth, vi. 23. That is, it is a false light which quite misrepresents things, so that they call good evil, and evil good. Hence to them the vanities of a present world are substantial, and the treasure hid in the sield of the gospel is but a trifle. • :id because they think they see, their case is more !,-. ixisss, as Christ said to the Pkadsees, John ix. 41. • '. C ye were D 3 blind.