IN the second place, It's good to take notice of the evident utility, and necessity of being clearly and powerfully informed about this Subject. This truth is con∣stantly and frequently to be pressed, we are not to give it over, although it may seem burdensom and tedious unto you; The reasons of the necessary discovery of this are divers, some Doctrinal, and some Practical. As
1. If a man be erroneous or heretical in this, he cannot be orthodox, or sound in many other substantial parts of Religion; What Austin said concern∣ing the Trinity, is true also in some measure concerning this; We may erre easi∣ly here, and dangerously also: easily, for such is the self-fulness, the self-flattery that is in every one, that he is difficultly perswaded that he is thus undone and miserable; The light must shine as clear as at noon-day, yea the Spirit of God must convince and set this home, else a man will never believe it, and then the errour herein is dangerous, because if this Pillar fall to the ground, almost the whole edifice of Religion doth tumble down with it: As for instance, If a man erre about original sinne, denying it either in part or in whole, he must necessa∣rily hold Free-will, for this is the Cockatrice his egg, and the other is the Cock∣atrice it self; from a venemous womb must come a venemous brood; Take away original sinne, and then you establish Free-will, then man hath the same power to do good he had in Creation; There may be indeed some wounds and debilitations upon him, but not a spiritual death; Then if Free-will be established, the grace of God, that is also evacuated, there is no absolute necessity of it, its only ad facilius operandum, as the Pelagians of old, to make us work more ea∣sily and readily. Thus the very Sunne of Righteousness is presently taken out of our Heavens. Furthermore, If we do not believe aright about original sin, we must also mis-believe about Justification, that cannot be made such a glorious act of Gods grace, because of Christs Righteousness imputed unto us, as indeed it is; Then we shall set up our Dagon against Gods Ark; neither will the work of conversion be solely ascribed to the power of Gods grace, as it ought to be, for at the best they will make grace but an adjuvant cause, or a partial one with our Free-will, and so the praise shall be given partly to our selves, and partly to God. But above all, he that doth either deny, or diminish the guilt and conta∣gion of this sinne can never exalt Christ in all his Offices as he ought to do: He that denieth the disease must needs derogate from the Physician, The whole need not the Physician, saith our Saviour, Matth. 9. 12. And therefore it's of great consequence to be fully perswaded about the depth, breadth and length of this sinne, that thereby we may be able to comprehend the dimensions of Christs love to us; Not that Christ came only to take away the guilt of original sin, as some Papists affirm, but because this is the womb wherein all other sins are con∣ceived. This is the wound of the whole nature, actual sins only infect the per∣son of a man; We may then easily see the necessity of being truly informed about this Subject; for this is like miscarriage in the first concoction, which can∣not be amended by that which followeth; And therefore this consideration should quicken you up in a diligent attention to the whole Doctrine, which shall be delivered about it.