Book 2, Chapter 3, Sections 1-4 – Everything Proceeding from the Corrupt Nature of Man Damnable

Sections

1. The intellect and will of the whole man corrupt. The term flesh applies not only to the sensual, but also to the higher part of the soul. This demonstrated from Scripture.

2. The heart also involved in corruption, and hence in no part of man can integrity, or knowledge or the fear of God, be found.

3. Objection, that some of the heathen were possessed of admirable endowments, and, therefore, that the nature of man is not entirely corrupt. Answer, Corruption is not entirely removed, but only inwardly restrained. Explanation of this answer.

4. Objection still urged, that the virtuous and vicious among the heathen must be put upon the same level, or the virtuous prove that human nature, properly cultivated, is not devoid of virtue. Answer, That these are not ordinary properties of human nature, but special gifts of God. These gifts defiled by ambition, and hence the actions proceeding from them, however esteemed by man, have no merit with God.

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