Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.1

Of Self - Denial. 9 do what we know to be finful. There are S E R M. force cafes, wherein perhaps 'tis difficult to fix I. the precife limits of right and wrong ; but there are others, wherein it is not difficult at all, and thefe by far the molt numerous. Some aflions are fo exprefsly prohibited by the law of God, and have fuch a glaring turpitude and malignity, as ftrikes the mind at the firft view of them ; as adultery, murder, theft; the luit of a man's heart may entice him to all thefe. His lafcivioufnefs may prompt him to the molt odious ads of impurity; his covetoufnefs may folicit him to flea! ; his wrath may pufh him on to the molt deftrudive outrages againft his neighbour. But felf-denial mutt pafs for nothing at all, if it does not reftrain fuch ex- orbitances; and a man is abandon'd to himfelf in the worft fenfe, confcience having utterly loft its fovereignty, unlefs it interpofes to for- bid, nay, and effectually to prevent thofe finifhed heinous tranfgreffions. Let me add, here, that fin is not only completed in exter- nal alts : when the heart deliberately confents to the temptations, and a refolution paffes of complying with it, the guilt of that wicked - nefs is really contracted, tho' the outward ad fhould never follow. Thus our Saviour in his fermon upon the mount, Matt. v. expounds the commandments of the moral law, in op- pofition