Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

Men Tempted to Evil by their own Lufis. 49 only which is fin, and that, our confciences SER A mutt: tell us, is wholly ours. The princi- II. pal reafon why I obferve this, is, becaufe men are very apt to make excufes for them - £elves when they do evil; from the fuppofed infelicity of their nature, or the vehemency of temptations ; but there the fault doth not lie. Let us charge it intirely to our own account, which as it is juft and reafon- able in itfelf, I do not fee how it can be avoided unlefs we wilfully deceive ourfelves, fo it is the firft neceffary ftep towards that which is the only effectual remedy, a tho- rough repentance and reformation. When laying afide all vain and palliating pretences which can only ferve to give evil a deeper root in our affections, we take the guilt wholly to ourfelves, it is then natural to refolve that we will do fo no more. And as we have reafon to believe in the abundant mercy of God, fuch a refolution executed will be acceptable to him ; fo there are ex, prefs affurances given us in the gofpel, that, if we fincerely repent, our trángretlïons £hall be all blotted out. Secondly, From this do'rine of the apoftle, which I have en- deavoured to explain, we fee where our greateft danger is of being led into fin, and whence the molt powerful and prevailing VOL. IV. E tempt-