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« I may add, from the present state of things a directly opposite argument may be taken ; from the enjoyments and comforts, the good things and blessings, which abound in the world. I might ask, are these creatures so well provided for under God's displeasure ? Are they not the care of his goodness? Does he not love them, and delight to do them good?" (p. 58–61.) I answer, God does still give us many good things, many enjoyments, comforts, and blessings. But all these are given through the Seed of the woman:' they are all the purchase of his blood. Through him we are still the care of the divine goodness, and God does delight to do us good. But this does not at all prove, either that we have not a sinful nature, or that we are not, while sinful, under his displeasure.
Some Consequences of the Doctrine of Original Sin.
“BY this doctrine some have been led to maintain, 1. That men have not a sufficient power to perform their duty. But if so, it ceases to be their duty.” (p. 63–69.) I maintain, that men have not this power by nature. But they have or may have it by grace, therefore it does not cease to be their duty. And if they perform it not, they are without excuse.
“ Hence some maintain, 2. That we have no reason to thank our Creator for our being.” (p. 70—73.) He that will maintain it, may. But it does by no ineans follow from this doctrine : since whatever we are by nature, we may by grace be children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
“But unthankfulness is a natural consequence of this doctrine, which greatly diminishes, if not totally excludes the goodness and mercy of God.” (p. 74.) St. Paul thought otherwise. He imagined the total ungodliness and impotence of our nature, to be the very thing which most of all illustrated the goodness and mercy of God. • For a good man,' says he, peradventure one would even dare to die. But God commendeth,' unspeakably, inconceivably, beyond all human precedent, his love to us, in that while we were yet without strength Christ died for the ungodly.' Here is the ground, the real and the only ground for true Christian thankfulness. Cbrist died for the ungodly that were without strength :' such as is every man by nature. And till a man has been deeply sensible of it, he car never truly thank God for his redemption; nor, consequently, fox Iris creation, which is in the event a blessing to those only who are • created anew in Christ Jesus.'
“ Hence, 3. Some have poured great contempt upon human nature ; whereas God himself does not despise mankind, but thinks them worthy of his highest regards.” (p. 75.) To describe human nature as deeply fallen, as far removed both from virtue and wisdom
does not argue that we despise it. We know by Scripture as well as by sad experience, that men are now unspeakably foolish and wicked. And such the Son of God knew them to be, when he laid down his life for them. But this did not hinder him from loving them, no more than it does any of the children of God.
You next consider what Dr. Watts observes with regard to infants. (p. 77–82.) Mankind,' says he, in its younger years, before it is capable of proper moral action, discovers the principles of iniquity, and the seeds of sin. What young ferments of spite and envy, what native malice and rage are found in the little hearts of infants, and sufficiently discovered by their little hands and eyes, and their wrathful countenance even before they can speak ? You answer, “Our Lord gave us different ideas of them when he taught his apostles to become as little children.'' Not at all. They may be imitable in some respects, and yet have all the tempers above described. And it is certain they have; as any impartial observer will be convinced by his own eyes. Nor is this, any way contradicted by St. Paul's words, In wickedness, (xaxic,) be ye children : 1 Cor. xiv. 20, untaught, unexperienced : or by those of David, My soul is even as a weaned child.' Psalm cxxxi. 2.
« But we discover in them also the noble principles of reason and understanding, with several tempers which are capable of improvement, whereby they may be trained up in a good way: and numbers in all ages of the world have risen to very considerable degrees of excellence." All this is true : but it is not at all inconsistent with the account of them given above : by which it clearly appears, that they are strongly inclined to evil, long before any ill habits can be contracted.
A general Argument, taken from what God has declared concerning
Mankind, at the Restoration of the World after the Deluge.
“ THERE are three passages from which divines infer the excellency of Adam's state and nature above our's: 1. Gen. i. 28. “And God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.'” (p. 84.) With this I have nothing to do i for I infer nothing from it, with regard to the present question. II. 66 • Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.' III. Gen. i. 27. God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.' From these three particulars they deduce the superiority of Adam's nature above our's. But the very same marks of excellency are more expressly pronounced by God upon the human nature, when the race of mankind was to be propagated anew from Noah and his sons.” (p. 85.)
J. Gen. ix. 1.. And God blessed Noah and his sons. With regard to this whole passage, I must observe, That God did not pronounce any blessing at all, either on him or them, till Noah had built an altar unto the Lord, and had offered burnt-offerings on the altar.' Then it was that the Lord smelled a sweet savour ; accepted the sacrifice which implied faith in the promised Seed, and for his sake restored in some measure the blessing which he had given to Adam at his creation. And said be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. On this I need only observe, had Adam stood, or had not his fall affected his posterity, there would have been no need of this: for they would have multiplied and replenished the earth in virtue of the original blessing.
II. Ver. 2. "The fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth : into your hands they are delivered : every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.' On this likewise I would observe, What need was there of any such power over the creatures to be given to man, if he had not forfeited his former power? Had man remained subject to God, the creatures would have remained subject to him, by virtue of God's original constitution. And why was it, but because man had lost this power, that God here in some degree restores it?
But hence you "infer, that all that power is restored, yea, more than all : that we have a more extensive dominion granted to us over the brutal world, than was originally given to Adam.” (p. 86.) It has been commonly thought, that Adam had full dominion over the creatures subject to him by a kind of instinct : whereas we have only so far power over them, that by labour and vigilance we may use or subdue them. But how do you prove that we have a fuller dominion than we had ? By those words, "The fear and dread of you shall be upon all : into your hands they are delivered : even as the green herb have I given you all things.' Nay, “the fear and the dread of you shall be upon them,' does not imply any dominion at all. A wolf may fear me, who yet does not obey me. I dread a viper, but I do not obey it. And those words, into your hands they are delivered, are plainly equivalent with I have given you all things, even as the green herb ; namely for food;' you may feed on any of them. So far, therefore, is this text from expressly pronouncing a more extensive dominion given to Noah over the brutal world than was originally given to Adam, that it does not express any proper dominion at all.
III. Ver. 6. “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God made he man,' namely, at the creation. And some remains of the natural image of God, as we are spiritual and immortal beings, are even now to be found in every man, sufficient to justify the putting a murderer to death. St. James alludes to the same scriptures, when he says,
« Therewith bless we God and curse men, who were made (ros gayonotas) not are made, after the similitude of God.'” Jam. jii. 9. But what does all this
prove? That the being created in the image of God,' “is morc expressly pronounced upon Noah and his sons, than it was originally on Adam ?" I think no man of sense will say this in cool blood.
Of “the three particulars,” then, which you brought to prove the superiority of Noah over Adam in innocence, the first proves no more than that God gave both the blessing of fruitfulness: the second far from proving that Noah had a more extensive dominion over the brute creation than Adam, hardly proyes that he had any dominion over them at all; and the third proves only this, that the image of God wherein man was made at first, is not totally lost now.
Yet you say, “these three particulars contain all the privileges conferred on Adam at first. And every one of these is expressly repeated, and more emphatically and extensively pronounced upon man, after the judgment passed on Adam had come upon his posterity.” (p. 87.) Expressly? More emphatically?
More emphatically? More extensively? Where? I am sure not in the Bible.
However, you pompously add (sicut tuus est mos) “ This is to me a clear and undoubted demonstration."
I. “ That the judgment which came upon all men to condemnation,' did no ways alter the primary relation in which God stood to man, and man to God.” Certainly it was altered thus far, God was a condemner, and man was condemned. And though “ God is still the God and Father of mankind,” yet it cannot be said that he is so to unregenerate men, men who are as yet · dead in sin and children of wrath,' “ as much” or in the same sense “as he was to Adam in innocence.” Adam then was surely the son of God, as no other man is, till born of the Spirit. The power to become the sons of God is now given to none, till they believe on his Name.
II. « That the love, regards, and providence of God toward mankind in general, are still the very same as to man at his first formation.” (p. 88.)
His providence is still over all his works. But he cannot regard or delight in sinful man, in the very same manner wherein he delighted in him when innocent.
III: “That our nature as derived from Noah has just the same endowments, natural and moral, with which Adam was created." This does not follow from any thing that has yet been said. If it stands of itself, it may.
IV. “ That whatever came upon us from the judgment to condemnation, came no farther than was consistent with that blessing, pronounced upon Noah as well as Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply. This is undoubtedly true. Otherwise the human species could not have been continued. “So that the condemnation which came upon all men' cannot infer the wrath of God upon mankind." may, notwithstanding that they increase and multiply: it must, if they are · by nature children of wrath :-“but only as subjecting us to such evils, as were perfectly consistent with his blessing, declared to Adam, as soon as he came out of his Maker's hands." (p. 89.) Namely, with the blessing, Increase and multiply.-"And conse
quently! To such evils as God might justly have subjected mankind to, before Adam sinned.”_Whether God could justly have done this, or not, what a consequence is this? “ If God gave that blessing, • Increase and multiply,'to men in general, as well as he did to Adam, then men in general are not children of wrath' now, any more than Adam was at his creation."
V.“ It is no less evident, that when St. Paul says, “By the disobedience of one, mar y (or all) were made sinners,' he cannot mean, they were made sinners in any sense inconsistent with the blessing pronounced on man in innocence." True; not in any sense inconsistent with that blessing, • Increase and multiply.' But this blessing is no way inconsistent with their being by nature children of wrath.'
“ From all which I conclude, that our state with regard to the blessing of God, and the dignity and faculties of our nature, (unless debased by our own sins,) is not inferior to that in which Adam was created.” (p. 90–93.) Be this so, or not, it cannot be concluded from any thing that has gone before. But we may still believe, that men in general are fallen short of the glory of God,' are deprived of that glorious image of God, wherein man was originally created.
The Notion of Adam's being a federal Head, or Representative of
MY reason for believing he was so in some sense is this. Christ was the Representative of mankind, when Godlaid on him the iniquities of us all, and he was wounded for our transgressions.' But Adam was a type or figure of Christ. Therefore he was also in some sense our representative. In consequence of which all died in him, as in Christ all shall be made alive.'
But as neither representative nor federal head, are scripture-words, it is not worth while to contend for them. The thing I mean is this; the state of all mankind did so far depend on Adam, that by his fall they all fall into sorrow, and pain, and death spiritual and temporal. And all this is no ways inconsistent, with either the justice or goodness of God, provided all may recover through the Second Adam whatever they lost through the first. Nay, and recover it with unspeakable gain: since every additional temptation they feel, by that corruption of their nature, which is antecedent to their choice, will, if conquered by grace, be a mean of adding to that “exceeding and eternal weight of glory.'
This single consideration totally removes all reflections on the Divine Justice or Mercy, in making the state of all mankind, so dependent on the behaviour of their common parent. For not one child of man finally loses thereby, unless by his own choice. And every one who receives the grace of God in Christ, will be an unspeak