Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.2

6 2 The Caufes and Danger of Self- Deceit. SERM. derftoodin a moral fenfe, fignifyingthat force III. have fo perverted their judgment, concerning the effential difference between rightand wrong as to miftake the one for the other ; which is an amazing error in creatures conftituted as we are, having the work of God's law fo deeply engraven on our hearts. This is di- rectly the cafe of the text in the higheft de- gree of it, when the judgment of moral diffe- rences is fo corrupted as to miftake the one for the other; not that I think it poftible the know- ledge of the diftinEtion fhould be altogether erafed, but the mind may be fo blinded thrd prejudice and vicious affection as in particular inftances not to difcern it. The farne doc- trine, I think, is taught by our Saviour, in his excellent parable of the virgins *, where the profeffors of chriftianity, the formal and the fincere, are reprefented as living together promifcuoufly in one fociety, and one external Bate, which is a Bate of expec- tation that their Lord will return and pro- nounce judgment upon them, according to thcir works. And as this expectation is com- mon, fo the parable reprefents their hopes of acquittal ; for the foolifh virgins, the in- fincere chriftians, go out with the reft to * Mat. xxv. meet