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sery flowed. It brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery; a state wherein man can do nothing but sin; wherein every thought, every word, and every action, is tainted with sin, wherein enmity to God and his holy nature, and rebellion against and opposition to his righteous law universally reign and prevail. In this dismal state to which mankind are reduced by the fall, no true holiness is attainable, for it is a state of sin ; and no salvation from wrath can be had, for it is a state of misery. The state we must be brought into, out of our sinful and miserable state under the breach of the covenant of works, if we would attain unto salvation, is the state of grace under the new covenant. Those that are delivered from their natural state, under the broken covenant, are persons effectually called by grace, and are in Christ Jesus, Rom. viii. 1. Those that are still under the bondage of the old covenant, are out of Christ, and have no hope,' Eph. ii. 12. This state is a very sinful and miserable state. For the power that the covenant of works has over them, is a commanding, cursing, and condemning power: it commands them to yield perfect obedience, under pain of the curse, but affords no strength for performing it; and it curses and condemns them for every the least failure. The source of all is the total corruption and depravity of human nature, which we derive from our first father, in whom we all sinned, and with whom we fell, in his first transgression. In the text we have,
1. A plain confession of the being of original sin. Here is sin and iniquity, which the Psalmist owns he had while yet in the womb, sin in which he was shapen, and iniquity in which he was conceived. This was not peculiar to the Psalmist, but is common to all mankind sprung in an ordinary way from the first transgressor Adam.
2. The way of the conveyance of this original sin, viz. by natural generation. In this way every sun and daughter of Adam are infected with this leprosy.
3. The malignant efficacy it hath on men's lives; Behold says David, I was shapen in iniquity, &c. He points out original sin as the fountain of all his actual transgressions. For how can a corrupt fountain send out wholesome streams?
The doctrine observable from the the text is,
Doct. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of original
righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin, together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
In discoursing from this doctrine I will shew,
1. Our first business is to shew, that there is such a thing as original sin. Of this we have melancholy proofs.
1. Consider scripture-testimonies. In the text we have David, a man after God's own heart, yet confessing he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin. Adam begets Seth, from whom the whole race of mankind derive their origin, after his own image,' Gen. v. 1. opposed to the image of God,' after which he was made, Gen. i. 26. consisting in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. chap. xiv. 4. • Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. This is God's verdict on all mankind, Gen. vi. 5. • Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually.' 2. This is plain from the case of infants, which we all
We may plainly read in their faces, that we are covered over with sin and guilt before any other covering come on us. For, (1.) What else mean scripture-ordinances about them? If there were not in them a superfluity of naughtiness, why were they circumcised ? if they are not unclean, why are they baptised? This corruption of human nature was also shadowed forth by the law, concerning purifying of women. (2.) Consider the sad effects of sin upon them, which meet them as soon as they come into the world, yea in the womb, such as sickness, pains, death, &c.; which says, that by nature we are the children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3. (3.) Consider the early appearances of Adam's iinage in them, before ever they come to the use of reason. What a deal of pride, ambition, curiosity, vanity, wilfulness, and averseness to good, appears in them; and when they creep out of infancy, what obstinacy and incorrigibleness appears in them; so that there is a necessity of using the rod of correction to drive away the foolishness that is bound in their heart, Prov. xxii. 15.
3. The universal necessity of regeneration plainly proves the corruption of our nature, John. iii. 3. . Except a man
be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God! Were we not disjointed by nature, what need would there be for us to be taken down, and put up again? If the first birth were right, what need would there be for a second?
II. I come now to shew wherein original sin consists. It consists in these three things: the guilt of Adam's first sin. the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of the whole nature.
First, Original sin consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin: Guilt is an obligation to punishment. For this sin, which is ours by imputation, we are liable to punishment. This guilt lies on all men by nature, Rom. v. 18. And this guilt of Adam's first sin is original sin imputed; of which I spoke in the former discourse. The only remedy for it is in Jesus Christ; 1 Cor. xv. 22. Eph. i. 7. Rom. iii. 24.
Secondly, It consists in the want of original righteousness. Original righteousness is that righteousness and entire rectitude of all the faculties of the soul wherein man was created. Man's soul was so adorned with it, that it resembled its great Maker. But now man is stript of these ornaments, he is left quite naked.
1. There is a want of that knowledge in the mind wherewith man was created. That light that was set up in the soul of man is now gone; though the candlestick is not removed, the candle is, Job. xi. 12. For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.' The mind is like the ostrich, whiom God hath deprived of understanding. The understanding is darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in men, because of the blindness of their heart, Eph. iv. 18. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can ye know them, because they are spiritually discerned,' 1 Cor. ii. 14.
2. That righteousness which was in the will of man, that bent and inclination to good, is now removed, Eccl. vii. 29. ' I know [says the apostle } that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not,' Rom. vii. 18.
3. The holiness of the affeetions is gone. Spiritual affections have taken the wing, and left the soul as a bird without wings which hath nothing whereby it can mount, Rom. vii. 18. forecited. VOL.I.
This want of original righteousness is a sin, being a want of conformity to the law of God, which requires all moral perfection. It is also a punishment of sin, and so is justly inficted by God. And though the want of this righteousness be sin, ġet God's depriving man of it, or rather not giving it him, is a most just act ; seeing Adam, having got it for himself and his posterity, threw it away, and God is not obliged to restore it. And it can be no other sin but the first sin, whereof this with-holding of original righteousness is the punishment. So true it is, that if the imputation of Adam's first sin be denied, original sin is quite rased, there is no foundation left for it.
Thirdly, It consists in the corruption of the whole nature. Concerning which two things are to be considered.
1. That the nature of man is indeed corrupted, We must not think that original sin lies only in the want of original righteousness. No, man is not only void of good qualities naturally, but he is filled with evil ones.
(1.) The scripture holds it forth so, while it calls this sin the flesh which lusteth against the Spirit, the old man, the body of death, the law of the members warring against the law of the mind, &c.
(2.) The soul of man cannot be otherwise. It must needs be morally right or wrong ; either it is habitually conformable to the law of God, or not; if it be not, its inclinations are against it. The soul has either God's image or that of the devil upon it. If there is not light in the mind, there must be darkness there.
2. Consider the nature and extent of this corruption. As to its extent,
1st: Al men are corrupted. There is no exception of any one of Adam's posterity descending from him by ordinary generation : Gen. vi. 5. God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.. Job xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.' Tlie virgin Mary, of the substance of whose body the holy human nature of Christ was formed by the operation of the Holy Spirit, is included among the rest. Even the children of holy parents are corrupted; for generation is by nature, not by grace. The circumcised father begets. an uncircumcised child, as the purest corn that is sown produceth chaff.
2dly, All of every man is corrupted; it is a leprosy that has overspread universally; a leaven that hath leavened the whole lump. It has overspread,
1. The soul in all its faculties, Tit. i. 15. Unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.'
1st, ļf we look to the understanding, there we will see,
(1.) Darkness over all that region. It is the land of dark. , ness and shadow of death, where the very light is darkness; darkness in the abstract, Eph. v. 8. We are born blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle. There is a dreadful stupidity in spiritual things; the natural man cannot take them up, 1 Cor. ii. 14.; but he is a fool, and a madman, because in these things he is a mere natural.
(2.) A bitter root of unbelief naturally grows there, which overspreads the whole life. Men by nature are children of disobedience,' Eph. ii. 2. Or, of impersuasibleness. How like Adam do we look! how universally is that article embraced, 'Ye shall not surely die!' and how does it spread itself through the lives of men, as if they were resolved to fall after the same example of unbelief!
2dly, As for the will, call it no more will, but lust. It is free to evil, but not to good. .God made man upright, his will straight with his own, with a power in the will to do good and an inclination and bent thereto. But now behold in it,
(1.) A pitiful weakness. Man naturally cannot will what is good and acceptable to God. He cannot produce one holy act until grace change the heart, more than a stone can feel, or a beast reason. Hence the apostle says, Phil
. 13. It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' Rom. v. 6. •We are without strength. 2 Cor. iii. 5. . We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.' Men by nature are dead spiritually dead in trespasses and sins,' Eph. ii. 1. If they will what is good, it is in a carnal
(2.) An aversion to good. We are backward to it, and therefore must be drawn as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Sin is the natural man's element; and as the fish is averse to come out of the water, so is the sinner from the puddle of sin, in which he delights to lie. Hence says our Lord, John v. 40. "Ye will not come unto me, that ye