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The Weakness and Depravity of Man.

The Weakness and Depravity of Man.

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Published by glennpease


2 Chron. xxxii. 31. God left him tn try him, thai he might
know all that iras in his heart.


2 Chron. xxxii. 31. God left him tn try him, thai he might
know all that iras in his heart.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 18, 2014
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THE WEAKESS AD DEPRAVITY OF MA. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.2 Chron. xxxii. 31. God left him tn try him, thai he might know all that iras in his heart. THERE is no character so excellent but there is some blot to be found in it. The most illustrious saints that ever lived, not only betrayed their M^eakness and sinfulness, but shewed themselves defective in those very graces for which they were most eminent. We must not wonder therefore that Ilezekiah, who was in some respects as distinguished a character as any that either preceded or followed him, became at la^t a monument of human frailty. It is probable that the peculiar manifestations of the Divine favour to- wards him had excited an undue degree of self- complacency in his mind : God therefore saw fit to try him, and, "in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who had sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land," (even of the shadow of the sun going backward ten degrees on the sun-dial of Ahaz,) " left him" to the natural workings of his own heart. The consequence •was such as might be apprehended ; he gave way to pride and vanity, and brought on himself the Divine displeasure. The words whicli we have read, will naturally lead us to observe, that, I. Till we are tried, we have very little idea of the evil of our hearts — [Though we feel uodilliculty in admitting that we are sin- ners, yet we can by no means acknowledge the truth of the representations given of us in the Scriptures, if we were told that we are all by nature haters both of God'' and man'', we
shoiiltl consider it as a libel upon human nature. Wlicn we read the hibtory of the Jew5,.\ye. e^re rpady.tq tjiink that they were ' '" ",, incomparably * Rom. i. 30. & viii. 7. ' Tit. iii. 3- 29L} WEAKESS AD DEPRAVITY OF MAX. 2^1' incomparably more perverse than we should ever be : though if we had been in their situation, there is no reaspn at all to believe that we should have shewn ourselves in any respect more obedient than they. If we have never fallen into anv gross sin, we ima- gine that our moral conduct has arisen from the superior goodness of our hearts ; and we suppose that we have no disposition to those* iniquities which are practised by others. We are not aware, that, if we had been subjected to the same trials as others, we should probably have fallen like them. How was Hazael shocked when he was told what enormities lie would commit ! *' Is thy servant a dog, that he should commit this thing*'?" Yet, no sooner was he tried, than he did commit all the enor- mities that had been foretold. And we, if told, that one of us would become a thief, another an adulterer, and another a murderer, should revolt at the idea, as though we were not capable of such atrocious wickedness : but the more we know of our own hearts, the more we shall be ready to sav with David, " My heart sheweth me the wickedness of the un- godly ''," yea, it is an epitome of all the wickedness that is committed upon earth.] It becomes us to deprecate temptation ; since, II. If left to ourselves, we shall soon give some awful proof of our depravity — [That any persons are preserved from great enormities is owing to the providence and the grace of God. It has pleased God to encompass them, so that they should be screened from
any violent temptation ; or else he has endued them with a more abundant measure of his grace, whereby they have been enabled to withstand the tempter. Who that sees how others have fallen, will ascribe his own stedfastness to an arm of flesh ? We need only set before us those deplorable monuments of human depravity, David, Sclomon, and Peter, and we shall need nothing more to enforce that admonition, " Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall®" We perhaps may have maintained a good conduct for a considerable time : but can we not look back to some moment wherein we have been left to follow the bent of our own corrupt hearts ? We must be lamentably ignorant of what lias passed within us, if we have not long since learned our need to use that prayer, " Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe."} Yet we must not view such proofs of depravity merely as insulated and detached acts: for III. One " " 2Kin. viii. 12, 13. ,,•,-/ *Ps. xxxvi. 1. The Prayer-book Translation. See also Mark vii. 21 — 23. & Jer. xvii. 9. * These instances should be opened separately, and at some length. 332 1 CHROICLES, XXXII. 31. [291. in. One single act of wickedness, if duly consi- dered, will serve as a clue to find out all the iniquity of our hearts — [God did not design to shew Hezekiah one imperfection only, but " all that was in his heart ^'':" and his fall was well calculated to give him this knowledge ; for in it he might see, not only his pride and creature-conhdence, but his ingratitude

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