It continually invents new Sinnes, or occasions of Sinnes.
ALthough much hath been said concerning the original pollution of mans imagination, yet still more is to be discovered; so that there is a very 〈◊〉 resemblance between mans imagination, and those chambers of imagery, which Ezekiel beheld in a Vision, upon the walls thereof were pourtrayed the forme of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the Idols of the house of Israei, Ezek. 8. 9, 12. Thu▪ is every mans imagination a table (as it were) whereon are pictured all the formes and shapes of all kind of evil; It may well be called the chamber of mans imagery where are images of jealousy daily created, such formes received that do provoke God to wrath and jealously: Let us therefore proceed.
Tenthly, In this we have an open field wherein mans imagination doth act num∣berless evils, because of its invention, it is continually inventing new sinnes or oc∣casions of sinnes; As if the old sinnes and trespasses which had filled the world were not enough, What new wayes of impiety are invented, new fancies in evil wayes? For although invention be indeed principally an act of the under∣standing, yet because (as you heard) the understanding in its operations hath recourse to the imagination, and that is subservient and under-agent to it, therefore we may attribute the same things to both, especailly the things of in∣vention, because a mans imagination hath a peculiar influence therein; Now in this respect, if there were no other, the sinnes of the imagination will encrease like the sands upon the sea-shore: It were possible to shew, by going over every particular Commandment, that the imagination of man doth constantly invent new sinnes against them; the Apostacy of man from his first rectitude is emphatically described by the Scripture in this, as the general and summe of all, that he sought out many inventions, Eccles. 7. 29. where the wise man having declared that amongst men and women, though less amongst women, one not so much as good in an ethical and moral sense could be found; for in a spiritual sence there is not one man amongst a thousand, no not in all mankind that is good, but the speaketh of external and moral, enquiring then after the cause, why such an universal corruption should overflow all mankind; insomuch that Page 363 there is not one amongst a thousand that deserveth the name of a man, not such an one as the primitive righteousness did require, but not so much as reason judg∣ing rightly by ethical Rules would commend, he doth clear God from being the Author of this; And because this truth is of such great consequence, he useth a word of attention [Lo] Ecce, Consider it diligently; And secondly, he tel∣leth you, how he came to the knowledge of it, I have found it, (viz.) in the Word of God. where you see this Doctrine concerning original corruption is not to be investigated by humane reason, as it is discovered by divine revelation. I have found it after much and diligent study; Oh that those corrupt teachers, who deny this original pravity, could with Solomon say, They have at last after much study found out this truth also! Now the Doctrine found out is, That God made man right, full of righteousness and holiness, not onely negatively without sinne, but positively, full of righteousness; but they, that is, Adam and Eve, which are called the man Adam in the words preceding, Sought out] not being contented with that measure of knowledge and happiness God created them in, affecting to be like God. Many inventions] that is, found out many wayes of sinning, when they once forsook the strait Rule, they diverted and wandered into many crooked paths: The Hebrew word Chishbonoth is very emphatical, it is used but once more in the Old Testament, and that is 2 Chron. 26. 15. where it is said, Vzziah used engines invented by cunning men, to shoot arrows and great stones withall: So that by this word is denoted that subtilty and great artifice which is in mans Imagination to invent any evil way, sinnes that never were acted before are found out: Every age almost hath new sinnes, and whence is this, but from the subtilty of mans Imagination to find out new wayes of sin∣ning? Hence Rom. 1. 30. one character in the Catalogue of those sinnes attri∣buted to the Heathens, is to be Inventers of evil things; And certainly here the Imagination of man is very prone, that whereas to learn Trades, or the Arts, there they must have teachers, and much time must be allowed them to learn; In the invention of evil things there men are taught of their own corrupt hearts to do so. We might instance in divers things, wherein the sinfull Imagination of man is discovered about inventing of evil, new sinnes, new oaths, new blasphemies, new wayes of cheating and dishonesty, especially in those new wayes for nou∣rishing pride, and wantonness, Which is the ridiculous, absurd and uncivil fa∣shions in apparel and deportments of body, which are truly and properly the genuine issue of the sinfull fancies of men. The Ape being a creature of strong Imagina∣tion, but wanting reason doth strive to imitate more then any other creature; And thus it is an argument that that mans imagination and fancy are farre greater then their wisdom and prudence, who are ambitiously ready to imitate every foolish and childish fashion that mens corrupt imaginations have produced. Look upon all the several fashions, all the changes and mutabilities, which are in mens and wo∣mens apparel, and you will presently be perswaded, that their imaginations are corrupted; From this also ariseth the use of auxiliary beauty, painting, spot∣ting, &c. and which is the highest aggravation of our sinfulness; herein we do not onely conform to such foolish and indecent fashions, but we plead for the lawfulness thereof; but remember to let Scripture-gravity, modesty and chastity be more powerfull in thy heart, and manifested in thy garments and gestures, then the sinfull impressions of unjustifiable fashions upon thy imagination: To how many transforming themselves into the new guises and modes of the times they live in, if the gravity of the Minister would permit it as well, as the vanity of the subject deserve it, may you apply Martials verse,