Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

SERM. IV.] FLESH AND SPIRIT, StC. 69 great mistake, while you say, that you obey all the dic- tates of nature when you rush on to fleshly iniquities. Have you no natural conscience within you that forbids these vile practices? IIas it not given you many a check already, and many an inward reproach ? Have you no reason that tells you that there is a God, and a judg- ment, and a terrible account one day to be given of the guilt and madness which you now indulge ? It is but one part of your nature then, and that the meanest and the vilest too, whose dictates you obey, when you give yourselves up to all intemperance. The very heathens have such a conscience in them, such a law written in their hearts, to forbid, and to condemn the grosser ini- quities, Rom. ii. 15. and such an inward monitor be- longs to your nature too, unless you have entirely sub- dued and enslaved your spirits, which are the best part of your natures, to the tyranny of your flesh ; unless you have buried your reason in brutal appetite, and seared your conscience as with a hot iron, that they may neither feel nor speak. 2. You say, it is nature you obey, while you follow after fleshly lusts; but is it not nature depraved and spoiled? Canyou think it is the pure, the original and uncorrupted nature of man to follow all the appetites of flesh and blood, and live upon a level with the brutes that perish ? Can you imagine that your spirit and rea- son, and all the glorious powers ofyour intellectual na- ture in their first perfection, were made to be thus em- ployed as lackeys to the body, and mere purveyors to the flesh ? Is it not a sign your nature is fallen from its original state, while these meaner powers of sense and passion have se mighty and sovereign an influence; and is it not rather the dictate of reason, and nature, and true self-love, that you should seek the recovery ofyour original excellencies, that you should use all methods to stop and heal the diseases ofyour nature, and to repair these ruins of humanity. But, 3. Suppose it were the inclination of animal nature in its original frame, to be intemperate, proud, angry, impatient, and luxurious; and suppose all the present evil appetites and passions of the flesh, were the attendants of man in his first estate ; yet has not God your Creator and Governor, a right to place you in at 3