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able gainer. Who then has any reason to complain, even of having a nature inclined to evil? Seeing the more opportunities he has of fighting, the more of conquering: and seeing the greater is the difficulty of obtaining the victory, the brighter is the crown of glory.
But if Adam and Christ did not stand or fall, obey and suffer for mankind, how can the death of others be the consequence of Adam's offence: the life of others the consequence of Christ's obedience ? How could all men be in any sense constituted sinners by the one, or constituted righteous by the other?
To explain this a little further in Mr. Hervey's words, “By federal Head or Representative, I mean what the apostle teaches, when he calls Christ the Second Man, and the last Adam. 1 Cor. xv. 47. The last? How ? Not in a numerical sense: not in order of time: but in this respect, that as Adam was a public person, and acted in the stead of all mankind, so Christ likewise was a public person, and acted in behalf of all his people: that as Adam was the first general representative of mankind, Christ was the second and the last; (there never was, and never will be any other;) that what they severally did in this capacity, was not intended to terminate in themselves, but to affect as many as they severally represented.”
“ This does not rest on a single text, but is established again and again in the same chapter. The divinely wise apostle, foreseeing the prejudices which men would entertain against this doctrine, as lying quite out of the road of reason's researches, has inculcated and re-inculcated this momentous point. Through the offence of one, many are dead :—the judgment was by one to condemnation :-by one man's offence death reigned by one :-by the offence of one, judg· ment came upon all men to condemnation.' And that there may remain no possibility of mistaking his meaning, or eluding his argument, he adds, “By one man's disobedience many were made sinners. All these expressions demonstrate, that Adam (as well as Christ) was a representative of all mankind. And that what he did in this capacity, did not terminate in himself, but affected all whom he represented."
After vehemently cavilling at the terms, you yourself allow the thing. You say, “If what was lost by the disobedience of one person, might afterwards be recovered by the obedience of another, then matters would have stood upon an equal footing:” (p. 113.) and this is indeed the truth. For “ all that was lost to us by Adam's disobedience, is fully recovered by Christ's obedience: however we denominate the relation in which the one or the other stands to us."
In this we agree: but not in what follows. “By Law in the 5th of the Romans, as in several other places, the apostle does not mean barely a rule of duty; but such a rule, with the penalty of death threatened to every transgression of it. Such was the law given by Moses ;" (p. 114, 115,) that is, “a rule, to every transgression of which the penalty of death was threatened.” Not so: there were a thousand transgressions of it, to which death was not threatened. Observe : by death we now mean temporal death, according to the whole tenor of your argument. “But is it not said, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the law to do them ?!” It is. But whatever this curse implied, it did not imply temporal death. For a man might neglect to do many things written in the law, and yet not be punishable with death.
Neither can I agree with your interpretation of Rom. vii. 9. “I was alive without the law once: namely, (p. 116,) before the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. The Jew was then alive : that is, because he was not then under the law, he was not slain by his sin. His sin was not so imputed to him as to subject him to death. But when the commandment came,' with the penalty of death annexed sin revived'-acquired full life and vigour:"-(How so ? One would have expected just the contrary !) “o and I died,' that is, was a dead man in law, upon the first transgression he committed.” Beside many other objections to this strange interpretation, an obvious one is this, It supposes every transgression punishable with death. But this is a palpable mistake. Therefore all that is built on this foundation, falls to the ground at once.
Upon the whole : whatever objections may lie against Dr. Watts's method of explaining it, it appears from clear scripture and from your own words, that Adam was the representative of mankind.
Of the Formation of our Nature in the Womb.
BEFORE I say any thing on this head, I must premise, that there are a thousand circumstances relating to it, concerning which I can form no conception at all, but am utterly in the dark. I know not how my body was fashioned there; or when or how my soul was united to it. And it is far easier in speaking on so abstruse a subject, to pull down, than to build up. I can easily object to any hypothesis which is advanced : but I cannot easily defend any.
And if you ask me, How, in what determinate manner sin is propagated ? How it is translated from father to son ?
I answer plainly, I cannot tell. No more than I can tell, How man is propagated ? How a body is transmitted from father to son? I know both the one and the other fact. But I can account for neither.
Thus much however is plain, that “God is the maker of every man who comes into the world.” (p. 138.) For, It is God alone who gives man power to propagate his species. Or rather, it is God himself who does the work, by man as an instrument: man (as you observed before) having no other part in producing man, than the oak has in producing an acorn.
God is really the producer of every man, every animal, every vegetable in the world; as he is the true primum mobile, the spring of all motion through the universe. So
But when you subsume, “ If it is the power of God whereby a sinful species is propagated, whereby a sinful father begets a sinful son, then God is the author of sin; that sinfulness is chargeable upon him;" here we divide ; I cannot allow the consequence : because the same argument would make God chargeable with all the sinful actions of men. For it is the power of God whereby the murderer lifts up his arm, whereby the adulterer perpetrates his wickedness; full as much as it is his power, whereby an acorn produces an oak, or a father a son. But does it follow, that God is chargeable with the sin? You know it does not follow. The power of God, vulgarly termed nature, acts from age to age, under its fixed rules. Yet he who this moment supplies the power, by which a sinful action is committed, is not chargeable with the sinfulness of that action. In like manner, it is the power of God which from age to age continues the human species; yet he who this moment supplies the power whereby a sinful nature is propagated, (according to the fixed rules established in the lower world,) is not chargeable with the sinfulness of that nature. This distinction you must allow, as was observed before, or charge God with all the sin committed under heaven. And this general answer may suffice any sincere and modest inquirer, without entangling himself in those minute particulars, which are beyond the reach of human understanding.
far we agree.
“ But does not God create the nature of every man that comes into the world ?" He does not, in the proper sense of the word create. The Scripture plainly affirms the contrary. « On the seventh day he rested from all his work which God created and made.' Gen. ï. 2. • The works which God created were finished from the foundation of the world.' Heb. iv. 3. 10. And as soon as they were finished, “God ceased from his work,' namely from his work of creating He therefore now, (not creates, but) produces the body of every man, in the same manner as he produces the oak; only by supplying the power whereby one creature begets another, according to what we term the Laws of Nature. In a higher sense he is the Creator of all souls. But how or when, be does or did create them, I cannot tell. Neither can I give any account, hou or when he unites them to the body. Likewise how we are conceived in sin, I know not: but I know, that we are so conceived. God hath said it. And I know he will be justified in his saying, and clear when he is judged.'
It is certain, that God is the maker of every man. But it is neither certain nor true, that he “makes every man in the womb, both soul and body, as immediately as he made Adam :" and that therefore "
every man comes out of the hands of God, as properly as Adam did.” (p. 140.) To interpret any scriptures as affirming this, is to make them flatly contradict other scriptures. God made Adam by immediate creation : he does not so make every man, or any man beside him.
Adam came directly out of the hands of God, without the intervention of any creature. Does every man thus come out of the hands of God? Do no creatures now intervene ?
“But if God produces the nature of every man in the womb, he
must produce it with all the qualities which belong to that nature, as it is then and so produced.”. So, if God produces the action of every man in the world, he must produce it with all the qualities which belong to that action, as it is then and so produced. “ For it is impossible God should produce our nature, and not produce the qualities it has when produced.” For it is impossible God should produce an action, and yet not produce the qualities it has when produced." “ No substance can be made without some qualities. And it must necessarily, as soon as it is made, have those qualities which the Maker gives it, and no other.” No action can be produced, without some qualities. And it must necessarily, as soon as it is produced, have those qualities which the producer gives it, and no other. You see what this argument would prove, if it proved any thing at all.
We will trace it a little farther. “ If God produces the nature of every man in the womb, with all its qualities, then whatever those qualities are, they are the will and the work of God.” So: if God produces the action of every man in the world, with all its qualities, then whatever those qualities are, they are the will and the work of God. Surely, no. God does, (in the sense above explained, produce the action which is sinful. And yet, (whether I can account for it or not, the sinfulness of it is not his will or work. He does also produce the nature which is sinful, (he supplies the power by which it is produced,) and yet, (whether I can account for this or not) the sinfulness of it is not his will or work. am as sure of this, as I am that there is a God: and yet impenetrable darkness rests on the subject. Yet I am conscious my understanding can no more fathom this deep, than reconcile man's free-will with the fore-knowledge of God.
“ Consequently those qualities cannot be sinful.” This consequence cannot hold in one case, unless it holds in both. But if it does, there can be no sin in the universe.
However, you go on. “It is highly dishonourable to God, to suppose he is displeased at us, for what he himself has infused into our nature.” (p. 142.) It is not allowed that he has “infused sin into our nature:” no more than that he infuses sin into our actions; though it is his power which produces both our actions and nature.
I am aware of the distinction, that man's free-will is concerned in the one case, but not the other: and that on this account, God cannot be charged with the sinfulness of human actions. But this docs by no means remove the difficulty. For, 1. Does not God know what the murderer or adulterer is about to do? What use he wi make of that power to act, which he cannot have but from God? 2. Does he not at the instant supply him with that power whereby the sinful action is done? God therefore produces the action which is sinful. It is his work, and his will, (for he works nothing but what he wills.) And yet the sinfulness of the action is neither his work nor will.
“ But can those passions or propensities be sinful, which are neither caused nor consented to by me?" I answer, spite, envy, and those other passions and tempers which are manifestly discerni
ble even in little children, are certainly not virtuous, not morally good, whether you term them sinful or not. And it is as certain, these exist before they are consented to, much less caused by those that feel them. “But sin, if it is unavoidable is no sin.” (p. 143.) Whether you term it sin or not, it is contrary to the nature of God, and a transgression of his holy and good law.
“But a natural-moral evil is a contradiction: for if it be natural, it cannot be moral.” That tempers contrary to the nature and the law of God are natural, is a point of daily experience. But if you do not choose to call these morally evil, call them what you please. All I aver is, that such tempers do exist in us antecedent to our choice.
“ But if the actual sins of men proceed from a corrupt nature, they are unavoidable, and consequently no sins at all.” (p. 144.) Actual sins may proceed from a corrupt nature, and yet not be unavoidable. But if actions contrary to the nature of God were unavoidable, it would not follow, that they were innocent.
To the question, “How comes it to pass, that our passions and appetites are now so irregular and strong, that not one person has resisted them so as to keep himself pure and innocent ?" You answer by another question, “How came Adam not to keep himself pure and innocent ?” (p. 145.) There is no parity between the one case and the other. I can account for any one man's committing sin, supposing him to be naturally upright, as easily as for Adam's committing it. Any one person, as well as Adam, though naturally inclined to neither, might choose either good or evil. And on this supposition he would be as likely to choose one as the other. But the case is extremely different, if you place Adam on one side, and all mankind on the other. It is true, “the nature of sin is not altered by its being general.” But the case is very widely altered. On this or that man it may “come, just as it came upon Adam, by his own choice and compliance with temptation.” But how comes it, that all men under the sun, should choose evil rather than good? How came all the children of Adam from the beginning of the world till now, to comply with temptation? How is it that in all ages, the scale has turned the wrong way, with regard to every man born into the world? Can you see no difficulty in this ? And can you find any way to solve that difficulty, but to say with the Psalmist, we were shapen in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us ?
Of Original Righteousness. “ORIGINAL Righteousness is said to be, that moral rectitude in which Adam was created. His reason was clear, and sense, appetite, and passion, were subject to it. His judgment was uncor