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Rom. VI. 21. What Fruit had ye then in those
Things , whereof ye are now apam'd? For the End of those Things is Death...
S our First Parents were they from
whom all Mankind was propa. o g ated, and as thro' the whole vast
Family of the World, there are visible Marks of our Relation one to ano. ther, and a common Likeness wherein we all agree ; So their sin was the Parent of all the Sins that have, or are, or shall be Committed to the End of the World ; and This unhappy Offspring too, tho’so ipfinite in Number and Variety, do yet all agree in some Resemblance to their first Original ; Facies non omnibus Una, Nec Diverfatamen; qualem decet esse Sororum ; They all bear Likeness enough to each other, to prove themselves of the same Family, and deriv'd from the same Stock ; Even that First Disobedience of Adam, (as all the Sins, that are descended from it) was Unprofitableness and Vanity in the Enjoyment, Shame and Confusion in the Consequence, and in the End Destruction and Death. For what Fruit gather'd our first Father from the forbidden Tree? what gain'd he by it? Knowledge of Good and Evil ? he did indeed: but of Good lost, and Evil. got. What immediately follow'd ? He saw himself naked, and was alham'd, and what was the End of all but Death? for in the Day that he eat thereof, He, and in Him all his Pofterity, did surely Dye. Yet tho’of so pernicious and deadly a Nature, how soon did sin overspread the Face of the Earth? With the Generations of Adam, which grew so soon to be so vastly Numerous, it made an equal Progress; and as Man, the Work of God's hands, obey'd his Blessed Com. mand, Encrease and Multiply ; So Sin, the Work of the Devil, seem'd to have had a Curled Command from Him, and accordingly that too was Fruitfull and Multiply'd and Replenish'd the Earth. Whatever new
Cities were Built, wherever new Colonies were Sent forth, Murder and Rapio and Luxury and Luft and all other Wickedness followed and kept equal pace; and the whole History of the Beginning of Na-: tions, and Rise of Monarchies , is nothing else but an Account of the new Territories and Conquests and enlarg’d Dominions of Sin. This then being the most Universal Contagion spread over all the World, as general an Antidote, 'as universala Remedy ought to be fought out and apply'd to it. And my Text feems to be of this Nature; for it discovers the whole Progress of sin, in its first Commitment, its immediate Consequence, its last End ; it insinuates itself into all the different sorts of Mankind likely to be inveigled by it, by Motives suitable to each one's natural Inclinacions and Passions ; Thore of a more sensual or sordid Mind, whom sin Aatters either with Hopes of Profit or Pleasure, it teaches to conlider, what Fruit is in it: To the more generous and noble Spirits, ir uses the pow. erfull Argument of the shame and dishonourable Nature of it: and to those, with whom Fear has a greater Force, the more strong and universally prevailing Argument, Death: thus does our great Apolile in these Words, as elsewhere he says of himself, Become all things to all Men, that if possible He may save some.
There are manifestly in my Text three Propofitions :
I. That even in the Committing of Sin there is not that Satisfaction, which Men expe&t from it ; Wbat Fruit had gow Tken in those Things ?
: II. That however Satisfactory or Plea. fant it is, yet Sin is really Shameful and Base ; Whereof Te are now afbam'd. :
HL. That tho' it yielded never so much Fruit and Satisfaction, tho it were never so Creditable and in Repute, get the End of those Things is Death.
I. I shall First shew that even the Enjoyment of Sin is far from giving that Satisfaction, which, by the so eager pursuit of it, Men seem to expe&t from it. So per. verse a Miod as to love Sin only for Sinning Sake , and the mere Malice of Difobe. dience, as it is proper to the damo'd Spi. rits, so it is moft commonly rather the Ėf. feet and Punishment of Sin, than the Motive to it; and is feldom found but in those, who, having long reGifted God's good Grace that should lead them to Repentance, are given over to a Reprobate hardness of Heart to Work all Uncleanness with Greediness. There must therefore of necessity be some more bewitching Enticement, some more tempt