Varnish over the old Adam?
(edited from Thomas Reade's, "On Watchfulness")
While we are in an unrenewed state, we are
under the dominion of sin. We naturally love it,
and are captivated by it; for our heart is only
Common prudence and worldly interest, as
well as natural conscience, may prevent an
unconverted man from committing many crimes
which would outrage society.
The fear of punishment and the dread of public
infamy may operate to the prevention of those
evils, which would bring a man under the lash of
the violated laws of his country.
The certain consequence of disease and poverty
attendant on some vices, proves a partial check
to their commission; though, alas! too weak to
arrest the general torrent of licentiousness .
Thus, by the constant operation of these inferior
motives, and through the goodness of a restraining
providence, we are happily preserved from that
inundation of iniquity, which would otherwise
destroy the fabric of society.
There are, it is true, many of amiable character to
be found, even among those who are hostile to
the spirit of the Gospel, who may be considered
as ornaments in the midst of surrounding depravity
and pollution. Polite education and civilized society
can varnish over the old Adam.
But these amiable worldlings reject, as fanatical,
those unwelcome declarations of Scripture, which
assert the radical corruption of our nature, and the
absolute necessity of being born again of the Spirit.
In the midst of all this boasted morality; this vaunted
amiability of temper; this studious endeavor to appear
honorable in the eyes of each other; we perceive....
no filial fear of God;
no hatred of sin;
no delight in holiness;
no cordial reception of the blessed Jesus as
the only Savior from guilt and pollution;
no self abhorrence;
no watchfulness against the sins of the heart;
no deadness to the vanities and smiles of the world.
Under every garb, the carnal mind is enmity against God.