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but on account of his transgression. But where there is no sin, either personal or imputed, there can be no suffering.
“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 means follow from this doctrine: since whatever we are by nature, we way 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 uś, 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. Christ 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 can never truly thank God for his redemption ; '
nor, consequently, forhis 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, (xaxia,) be ye children : 1 Cor. xiv. 20, untaught, unexperienced : or by those of David, My soul is even as a weaned child, Psm. 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: I. 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; for I infer nothing from it, with regard to the present question. II. “ 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.' Ill. 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.)
I. 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 bave 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 domi. nion, granted to us over the brutal world, than was origi. nally 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 (tus yayovoras) not are made,
after the similitude of God,'” Jam. iii. G. But what does all this prove? That the being created in the image of God,' “ is more 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 proves 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.
“ these three particulars contain all the privileges conferred on Adam at first. And every one of
Yet you say,