"The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. So Then they that Are
Rom. viii. s 7, 8. -- "The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

It is not the least of man's evils, that he knows not how evil he is, therefore the Searcher of the heart of man gives the most perfect account of it, Jer. xvii.12. "The heart is deceitful above all things," as well as "desperately wicked," two things superlative and excessive in it, bordering upon an infiniteness, such as sin is capable of, wickedness and deceitfulness! And indeed, that which makes the wicked heart desperately and hopelessly so, is the deceitfulness of it. There are many specious coverings gotten to palliate this wickedness and enmity, and so many invisible and spiritual wickednesses in the heart, that it is no wonder that they lurk and dwell without observation. Sin is either covered with some deceivable pretext of another thing, or altogether escapes the dim eyes of men, because of its subtile and spiritual nature. Both are in this business: the enmity of man's heart against God is so subtile a thing in many, and it is shrouded over with some other pretences in all, that few get the lively discovery and sense of it. It is true, it is very gross and palpable in the most part of men, -- visible, I mean, upon them, though not to themselves. Any, whose eyes are opened, may behold the black visage of rebellion in the most part of the actings and courses of men, as the apostle, (Gal. v.) speaks "the works of the flesh are manifest." Truly this enmity against God is too manifest in most part, the weapons of your warfare against God being so carnal and visible, your opposition to his holy will and ways being so palpable. There is an enmity acted by many in the tenor of their conversation, without God in the world, and against God, as appears in all your inveterate and godless customs of lying, swearing, cursing, drunkenness, railing, Sabbath breaking, neglect of prayer, and such like, which carry in their fore brow this inscription, "against the known God," opposite to that of the Athenians altar. The God whom you pretend to know and worship, -- his name is every day blasphemed, his word slighted, his will disobeyed, as if you had proclaimed war against him. But there is in some (and I fear a great many) not only an acted but an affected enmity too, enmity rising up to the maturity and ripeness of malignity and hatred of the image of God, in all his children. Some are not willing to go to heaven, yet they do not disturb others in their journey, they can let others be religious about them, and rawly(186) desire to be like them, but others there are, who will neither enter into heaven themselves, nor let others enter, as Christ speaks of the Pharisees, Matt. xxiii.13. They hate the light of another's conversation, because their own deeds are evil, and are reproved and condemned by it. It is said, Rev. xi.10, the witnesses tormented them that dwelt on the earth. It is strange what a torment it is to the world that the godly are in it! Piety is an eyesore to many, if they could extirpate all that bears that image, they would think it sweet as bread, Psal. xiv. This is a more open and declared enmity against the God of heaven, and yet I know it lurks under the mask of some other thing. You pretend to hate hypocrisy only, alas! what a scorn is it for profanity to hate hypocrisy? Sure it is not because it is a sin but for the very shadow of piety it carries. You hate the thing itself so perfectly, that you cannot endure the very picture of it. Do not deceive yourselves, the true quarrel is because they run not to the same excess of riot with you. If they will lie, cozen, defraud, swear, and blaspheme as other men, you could endure to make them companions, as you do others, and the principle of that is, the enmity that was placed in the beginning, that mortal irreconcilable feud, betwixt the two families, are two seeds of Christ and Satan.

But as I told you, this enmity acts in a more subtile and invisible way in some, and it is painted over with some fair colours to hide the deformity of it. Not only the grosser corruptions of men carry this stamp, but take even the most refined piece or part in man, take his mind, take the excellency of his mind, even the wisdom of it, yet that hath enmity incorporated into it, and mixed with it throughout all, for the wisdom of the flesh is enmity with God, as it may be read, {GREEK SMALL LETTER PHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER MU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}, the very prudence and reason of a natural man, which carries him to a distance from, and opposition with, the common defilements in the courses of men, yet that hath in its bosom a more exquisite and refined enmity against God, and so the more spiritual and purified it be from grosser corruptions, it is the more active and powerful against God, because it is, as it were, the very spirit and quintessence of enmity. You see it, 1 Cor i., how the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wisdom of the world, and then again, that the wisdom of the world is the greatest folly to the only wise God. Men, that have many natural advantages beyond others, are at this great disadvantage, they are more ready to despise godliness, as too base and simple a thing to adorn their natures, as Christ said of rich men, it may be said of wise men, of learned men, of civil and blameless persons who have a smooth carriage before the world, how hard is it for such to enter into the kingdom of heaven? Hard indeed! for they must be stripped naked of that, ere they can enter through this narrow gate, I mean, the opinion and conceit, of any worth or excellency, and so diminished in their own eyes, that they may go through this needle s eye without crushing.

The stream of enmity runs under ground often, and so hides itself under some other notion, till at length it burst forth openly. I find it commonly runs in the secret channel of amity or friendship to some other thing opposite to God. So James iv.4, The amity of the world is enmity with God, and 1 John ii.15, He that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him. There are two dark and under ground conduits, to convey this enmity against God, -- amity to the world, and amity to ourselves, self love, and creature-love. We cannot denounce war openly against heaven, but this is the next course, to join to, or associate with, any party that is contrary to God, and thus, under the covert of friendship to ourselves, and love to the world, we war against God, and destroy our own souls. I say, first, amity to the world carries enmity to God in the bosom of it, and if you believe not this, hear the apostles sharp and pungent question, you adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the amity of the world is enmity with God? He doth not speak only to persons guilty of that crime, but to all natural men, who are guilty of adultery or whoredom of a more spiritual nature, but as abominable and more dangerous. There is a bond and special tie betwixt all men and God their Maker, which obligeth them to consecrate and devote themselves, their affections and endeavours, to his honour, especially when the covenant of the gospel is superadded unto that, in which Jesus Christ our Lord reveals himself, as having only right to us and our affections, as willing to bestow himself upon us, and notwithstanding of all the distance between him and wretched sinners, yet filling it up with his infinite love and wonderful condescendency, demitting himself to the form of a servant, out of love, that so he might take us up to be his chaste spouse, and adorn us with his beauty. This he challengeth of us, whoever hear and profess the gospel, this is your profession -- if ye understand it -- that Jesus Christ shall be your well-beloved, and ye his, that ye shall separate yourself to him, and admit no stranger in his place, that the choice and marrow of your joy, love and delight, shall be bestowed on him. Now, this bond and tie of a professed relation to that glorious husband, is foully broken by the most part, by espousing their affections to this base world. Your hearts are carried off him unto strangers, that is, present perishing things whereas the intendment of the gospel is, to present you to Christ as pure virgins, 2 Cor. xi.2. Truly your hearts are gone a whoring after other things, the love of the world hath withdrawn you, or kept you in chains, these present things are as snares, nets, and bands, as an harlot's hands and heart, Eccl. vii.26. They are powerful enchantments over you, which bewitch you to a base love, from an honourable and glorious love. O that you would consider it, my beloved, what opposition here is betwixt the love of the world and the love of the Father, betwixt amity to that which hath nothing in it, but some present bait to your deceitful lusts, and amity to God, your only lawful Husband! Affection is a transforming and conforming thing, Si terram amas terra es,(187) the love of God will purify thy heart, and lift it up to more similitude to him whom thou lovest, but the love of the world assimilates it unto the world, makes it such a base and ignoble piece, as the earth is. Do you think marriage affection can be parted? "My well beloved is mine," therefore the church is the turtle, the dove to Christ, of wonderful chastity, it never joins but to one, and after the death of its marrow, it sighs and mourns ever after, and sits solitarily. You must retire, my beloved, and disengage from the love of other things, or you cannot love Christ, and if you love not Christ, you cannot have peace with the Father, and if you have not that peace, you cannot have life. This is the chain of life, the first link begins at the divorcement of all former loves and beloved idols once the soul must be loosed in desire and delight, and that link must be fastened upon the most lovely and desirable object Christ, the Desire of the nations, and this draws along another link of peace and life with it. Do not mistake it, religion would not hinder or prejudice your lawful business in this world. O, it were the most compendious way to advance it with more ease to your souls! But certainly it will teach you to exchange the love of these things for a better and more heart contenting love.

Then amity to ourselves is enmity to God, and truly this is the last stronghold that holds out longest against God, when others may be beaten down or surrendered. Possibly a man may attain to this, to despise these lower things, as below his natural dignity and the excellency of his spirit. Some may renounce much of that friendship with worldly and temporal things, as being sordid and base, but the enmity gets into this strong and invisible tower of darkness, self love and pride and therefore the apostle John makes this the last and chiefest, the pride of life, 1 John ii.16. When the lusts of the eyes and flesh are in some measure abated this is but growing, and what decreaseth of these, seems to accresce(188) unto this, as if self love and pride did feed and nourish itself upon the ashes or consumption of other vices. Yea, it draws sap from graces and virtues, and grows thereby, till at length it kill that which nourished it, and indeed the apostle James seems to proceed to this, ver 5, 6 when he minds us that God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. "Doth the scripture say this in vain?" saith he. Is not self amity as well enmity as the amity of the world? And therefore God opposes himself unto it, as the very grand enmity. Self is the great lord, the arch rebel, the head of all opposition, that in which they do all centre, and when all the inferior soldiers are captives, or killed this is last in the field, it lives first in opposition and dies last, primum vivens et ultimum moriens. When a man is separated from many things, yet he may be but more conjoined to himself, and so the further disjoined from God. Of all these vile rags of the old man, this is nearest the skin, and last put off, of all the members, self is the heart, first alive, and last alive. When enmity is constrained to render up the outward members of the body, to yield them to a more smooth and fair carriage to a civil behaviour, when the mind itself is forced to yield unto some light of truth and knowledge of the gospel, yet the enmity retires into the heart, and fortifies it the stronger, by self love and self estimation, as in winter the encompassing cold makes the heat to combine itself together in the bowels of the earth, and by this means the springs are hotter than in summer, so the surrounding light of the gospel, or education, or natural honesty, drives the heat and strength of enmity inward, where it fortifies itself more. This is that accursed antiperistasis(189) that is made by the concurrence of some advantages of knowledge and civility, and such like.

The blood of enmity against God gets in about the heart, when it is chased for fear out of the outward man, therefore, the very first and fundamental principle of Christianity, is, "Let a man deny himself, and so he shall be my disciple." He must become a fool in his own eyes, though he be wise, that he may be wise (1 Cor. iii.18), he must become as ungodly, though godly, that he may be justified by faith (Rom. iv.5), he must forsake himself, that he may indeed find himself, or get a better self in another, he must not eat much honey, that is not good, it would swell him though it be pleasant, he must not search his own glory, or reflect much upon it, if he would be a follower and a friend of Christ. Look, how much soever you engage to yourselves esteem, or desire to be esteemed of others, to reflect with complacency on yourselves, to mind your own satisfaction and estimation in what you do, so much you disengage from Jesus Christ, for these are contrary points. This is a direct motion towards Christ. That is an inverse and backward motion towards ourselves, and so much as we move that way, we promove not, but lose our way, and are further from the true end. Ezekiel's living creatures may be an emblem of a Christian's motion, he returns not as he goes, he makes a straight line to God, whithersoever he turn him, but nature makes all crooked lines, they seem to go forth in obedience to God, but they have a secret unseen reflexion into its own bosom. And this is the greatest act of enmity, to idolize God, and deify ourselves, we make him a cypher and sacrifice to ourselves his peculiar, incommunicable property of Alpha and Omega, that we do sacrilegiously attribute to ourselves, the beginning of our notions, and end of them too. This is the crooked line, that nature cannot possibly move out of, till a higher Spirit come and restore her that halted, and make plain her paths.

That which is added, as a reason, explains this enmity more clearly, because it cannot be subject, &c. Truly these two forementioned amities of the world and of ourselves, do withdraw men wholly from the orderly subjection that they owe to the law of God. Order is the beauty of every thing, of nature, of art, of the whole universe, and of the several parts, kingdoms and republics of it. This indeed is the very beauty of the world, all things subordinate to him that made them, only miserable man hath broken this order, and marred this beauty, and he cannot be subject {GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER CHI} {GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER PI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER TAU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER TAU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA} cannot come again into that orderly station and subordination he was once into. This is the only gap or breach of the creation. And it is some other engagements that draw him thus far out of course -- the base love of the world, and the inordinate love of himself. O these make his neck stiff, that it cannot bow to the yoke of obedience, these have opposite and contrary commands, and no man can serve two masters. When the commands of the great lord, self, come in opposition with the commands of God, then he cannot be subject to the law of God. For a time, in some things he may resemble a subjection, when the will of self and the will of God commands in one point, as sometimes they do by accident, but that is neither frequent nor constant.

Not only is he not subject, but there is worse in it, he cannot be subject to the law of God. This is certainly to throw down the natural pride of man, that always apprehends some remanent ability in himself. You think still to make yourselves better, and when convinced or challenged for sins, to make amends and reform your lives. You use to promise these things as lightly and easily as if they were wholly in your power, and as if you did only delay them for advantage, and truly it seems this principle of self sufficiency is engraven on men's hearts when they procrastinate and delay repentance and earnest minding of religion to some other fitter season, as if it were in their liberty to apply to it when they please, and when you are urged and persuaded to some reformation, you take in hand, even as that people, Jer. xlii.6, 20, who said, "all that the lord hath said we will do." You can strike hands, and engage to serve the Lord, as easily as that people in Joshua xxiv.18, 19. But we may say, Oh, that there were such a heart in you! But, alas, such a heart is not in you! You cannot serve the Lord, for he is holy and jealous, and ye are not only weak, but wicked. I beseech you then, believe this one testimony that God hath given of man, even the choicest thing in man, the very wisdom of a natural man, it is not subject to God's law, and it cannot be better, neither can it be subject. Resolution, industry, vows, and covenants will not effect this, till the Most High break and bow the heart. And not only has this enmity against the old law of commandments an antipathy at them, as crossing our lust, but even against the new and living law of the Spirit of life in Christ.

Here is your misery, you can neither be subject to the law as commanding to obey it, or threatening for disobedience to it, nor to the gospel as promising to believe and receive it. The law commands, but your law countermands within; the law threatens and sentences you with condemnation, but you have some self-pleasing delusion and dream in your heads, and bless yourselves in your own hearts, even though ye walk in the imagination of your hearts, contrary to the law, Deut. xxix. It is strange that you do not fore-apprehend and fear hell! But it is this delusion possesses the heart, "you shall not die:" it was the first act of enmity, not only the transgression of the command, hut unbelief of the truth of the curse: and that which first encouraged man to sin, encourages you all to lie into it, and continue in it, -- a fancy of escaping wrath. This noise fills the heart; Satan whispers in the ear, Go on, you shall not die. Thus it appears, that the natural mind cannot be subject to the law of God, no persuasion, no instruction, can enforce this belief of your damnable condition upon you.

But then, when the enmity is beaten out of this fort, and a soul is really convinced of its desperate and lost estate, when the heart is brought down to subjection, to take with that dreadful sentence; yet there is another tower of enmity in the heart, that can keep out against the weapons of the gospel, such as Paul mentions, Rom. x.3. Being ignorant of the righteousness of God, they went about to establish their own, and could not submit to the righteousness of God. There is a natural pride and stiffness of heart, that we cannot endure but to have something in ourselves to rest on, and take pleasure into: and when a soul sees nothing, it rather vexes and torments itself as grieving because it hath no ornament or covering of its own, nor rejoiceth and delighteth in that righteousness of God revealed in Christ. O the difficulty to bow down so low, as to put on another's righteousness over our nakedness! And should it be called submission? Is it not rather the elevating and exalting of the soul? Yet in respect of our natural posture of spirit, it is a matter of great difficulty to make a self-condemned sinner submit to this, to be saved freely, without money or price, by another's ransom. What empty, vain, and frivolous expiations and satisfactions will souls invent, rather than trust all to this! How long will poor souls wander abroad from hill to mountain, seeking some inherent qualification, to commend them, and leave this garden and paradise of delights, which is opened up in Christ? Souls look everywhere for help, till all hands fail; and then necessity constrains them to come hither; but indeed, when necessity brings in, charity and amity keeps in, when once they know what entertainment is in Christ. As for you, who as yet have not stooped to the sentence of wrath, how will you submit to the righteousness of God? But I wonder how you imagine this to be so easy a thing to believe. You say you did always believe in Christ, and that your hearts are still on him, and that you do it night and day. Now, there needs no other argument to persuade that you do not at all believe in the gospel, who have apprehended no more difficulty in it, no more contrariety to your rebellious natures in it. Let this one word go home with you, and convince you of your unbelief, "The natural mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." How, then, do you come so easily by it? Certainly it must be feigned and counterfeit.

sermon xx because the carnal
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