See also the confession of David, Psal. li. 5. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin didmy mother conceive me." In this the Psalmist plainly and clearly teaches the original anduniversal corruption of our nature. What he asserts concerning himself, must be equally true of all the human race; otherwise, instead of making it a proper part of his confession, it would be anexcuse or extenuation of his sin. Nothing can more plainly show the force of this text, than theawkward endeavors used by some to evade or misinterpret it. For example, how mean asubterfuge is it, to pretend, that David declared, he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived by hismother in sin; because he was the issue of some criminal commerce between his father and amaid-servant, or between the wife of Jesse and another man? This is plainly a profane invention,offered without any manner of proof, or the least insinuation in the history of that great prince.Besides, it is evidently beside his purpose in the psalm referred to, where he is confessing hisown sinful nature, and not the sinful deeds of his parents. If there be meaning in words, hisintention is, to humble himself before God, not only for his adultery and murder in the matter of Uriah, but as a
transgressor from the womb.
To this you may add the testimony of a greater than David,
our blessed Lord and Saviourhimself, John iii. 6. "That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit,is spirit." For understanding the proof drawn from his text, you may observe, that though theword
has various significations in scripture; sometimes, for example, signifying theweakness of our mortal nature, unable to support itself, and liable to a variety of changes, whichmust at last end in dissolution; yet here it evidently signifies our nature as corrupted by sin. Thisappears from the opposition of the two clauses: for it is certain, that those who are regenerated,are still liable to all the weakness of mortality. It must therefore bear the same meaning in thisplace as in Rom. viii. 8. "So then they that are in the flesh, cannot please God." It is with a viewto this great truth that Job, who pleads with so much warmth his general integrity, yet says, Jobxiv. 3, 4. "And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment, withthee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one."With this agree many other scripture-declarations, some of which I shall mention. Psal. xiv. 2,3. "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men: to see if there were any thatdid understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: thereis none that doth good, no, not one." Psal. lviii 3. "The wicked are estranged from the womb,they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Isaiah xlviii. 8. "Yea, thou heardst not,yea, thou knewest not, yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thouwouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb." Rom. iii. 9. 10,11, 12. "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both
Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, „There is none righteous, no not
one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. "They are all gone
out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one.‟"
To these, I only add that clear and strong passage, Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3. "And you hath he quickenedwho were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in thechildren of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in thelusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature thechildren of wrath, even as others."