صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

wickedness of mankind; for they are inclined to sin from their childhood. Was I therefore to do this as often as they deserve, I must be continually destroying the earth. The word ny, imagination, as was observed before) includes the thoughts, affections, inclinations, with every thing which the soul, as a thinking being, forges and frames within itself. And the word we render youth, includes childhood and infancy, the earliest age of man; the whole time from his birth; or (as others affirm) from his formation in the womb.

W Indeed Dr. Taylor would translate the texts, Although the imagination of man's heart should be evil from his youth. But, 1. Though the particle 's sometimes signifies although, yet for is its common meaning. And we are not to recede from the usual signification of a word without any necessity. 2. If we read although, it will not at all invalidate our proof. For still the plain meaning of the words would be, I will not send another general flood, although every figment or formation of the heart of

every man is evil from his earliest infancy.

6 Job v. 6, 7,6 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, yet man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards.' The word which is here rendered affliction, sometimes sigpifies iniquity. For what reason but to shew that these two, sin and affliction, are inseparable ? Sin is the cause of affliction, and affliction, of whatever kind, is the genuine effect of sin. Indeed it is incompatible with the justice and mercy of God, to appoint afflictions of any kind for the innocent. If Christ suffered, it was because the sins of others were imputed to him. If then every one of the posterity of Adam' is born to trouble, it must be, because he is born a sinner, for man was not originally made to suffer. Nor while he preserved his innocence was he liable to suffering of any kind. Are the angels, or any pure, sinless creatures, liable to any sorrow or affliction? Surely not. But every child of Adam is. And it is in consequence of his sin, that the present life of man is short and afflictive: of which the very Heathens were deeply sensible. They

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

also saw, that great travail is created for every man, and a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, till the day they return to the mother of all things.' (p. 40.)

« Job xi. 12, Vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt;' in the original, though man be born (will be born in every age) the colt of a wild ass. Dr. Taylor owns, “We are born quite ignorant.' But this is far from reaching the plain import of the text, in which man, as born into the world, is compared to an animal most remarkably stupid and intractable. And such all the sons of Adam naturally are, particularly with regard to the things of God; from their infancy slow to learn what is good, though impetuously propense to learn and practise what is eyil. (p. 43, 44.)

56 Job xiv. 4, and xv. 14. I join these, because the latter confirms the former, "Who can bring a clean thing,' or person, out of an unclean ? Not one. This is express. Job had been reflecting on the sorrowful, uncertain, imperfect state, of all Adam's children in the present world, ver. 1, 2, 3. Then he carries his thoughts to the spring of such a state, the original corruption of man. Who, what creature, can make an innocent, righteous person proceed from a parent defiled by sin ? Not one. Through the whole Scripture we may observe, sin is described as uncleanness, and a sinner as an unclean thing. On the contrary, holiness is expressed by cleanness of heart and hands, and the righteous man is described as clean. Agreeably to which, the text asserts the natural impossibility of any man's being born clean, guiltless, and sinless, because he proceeds from them who are unclean; guilty and defiled with sin.

“ The Septuagint translate the text, Who shall be clean from filth 2 Not one : even though his life on earth be a single day. And this rendering, though not according to the Hebrew, is followed by all the fathers: and shews what was the general belief of the Jews, before Christ came into the world.

" But since the heavens and stars are represented as not

[ocr errors]

clean, compared to God, may not man also be here termed unclean, only as compared with him?". I answer, 1. The heavens are manifestly compared with God: but man is not, in either of these texts. He is here described, not as he is in comparison of God, but as he is absolutely in himself. 2. When the heavens and man are mentioned in the same text, and man is set forth as unclean, his uncleanness is expressed by his being unrighteous; and that always means guilty or sinful. Nor indeed is the innocent frailty of mankind ever in Scripture termed uncleanness. (p. 45, 46.)

“ Psalm li. 5, Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.' The Psalmist here confesses, bewails and condemns himself for his natural corruption as that which principally gave birth to the horrid sins with which he had been overtaken. Behold! He prefixes this, to render his confession the more remarkable, and to shew the importance of the truth here declared : I was shapen : this passive verb denotes some what in which neither David nor his parents had any active concern: in or with iniquity, and in or with sin did my mother conceive me. The word which we render conceive, signifies properly to warm, or to cherish by warmth. It does not therefore so directly refer to the act of conceive ing, as to the cherishing what is conceived, till the time of its birth. But either way the proof is equally strong, for the corruption of mankind from their first existence. (P, 47, 48.) " Psal. lviii. 3, 4, The wicked are estranged from the

6 womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. They are estranged from the womb. Strangers and averse to true, practical religion, from the birth. "They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Not that they actually speak lies as soon as they are born. But they naturally incline that way, and discover that inclination as early as is possible. (p. 51, 52.)

« Prov. xxii, 15, Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

:

a

و

a

Chap. xxix. 15, The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.' These passages put together are a plain testimony of the inbred corruption of young children. Foolishness, in the former, is not barely appetite, or a want of the knowledge attainable by instruction.' Neither of these deserve that sharp correction. But it is an indisposedness to what is good, and a strong propensity to evil. This foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; it is rooted in his inmost nature. It is as it were fastened to him by strong cords ; so the original word signifies. From this corruption of heart in every child it is, that the rod of correction is necessary to give him wisdom; hence it is that a child left to himself, without correction, brings his mother to shame. If a child were born equally inclined to virtue and vice, why should the wise man speak of foolishness or wickedness, as fastened so closely to his heart? And why should the rod and reproof be so necessary for him? These texts therefore are another clear proof of the corruption of human nature.

“Matt. xv. 18, 19. Mark vii. 20--23, -Those things which proceed out of the mouth, come from the heart, and they defile the man. For from within out of the heart, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, murders--all these things come from within, and defile the man.' Our Lord here teaches, that all evil thoughts, words, and actions, of every kind, flow out of the heart, the soul of man, as being now averse to all good, and inclined to all evil. (p. 55, 56.)

“ Rom, v, 12-19. Let the reader please to read the whole

passage very carefully. The apostle here discourses of Adam and Christ as two representatives or public persons, comparing the sin of the one, with the righteousness of the other. (p. 66.)

« On this I observe, 1. The one man spoken of throughout, is Adam, the common head of mankind. And to him (not to the devil or Eve) the apostle describes the introduction of sin and death. The devil was the first sinner, and Eve seduced by him, sinned before her husband. Yet the apostle saith, - By, one man sin entered into

.

the world;' through the offence of one, many are dead; the judgment was by one to condemnation ; death reigned by one. By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men;' by one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Now why should the apostle lay all this on Adam, whose sin was posterior both to the devil's and Eve's: if Adam was not appointed by God, the federal head of mankind? In regard to which the apostle points at him singly, as the type or figure of him that was to come. According to Dr. Taylor's doctrine, he should rather have said, By the devil sin entered into the world; or, through the disobedience of Eve many were made sinners. But instead of this he fixes on our first father alone, as bringing sin and death on all his posterity. (p. 67.)

“ 2. The sin, transgression, offence, disobedience, here spoken of, was Adam's eating the forbidden fruit. It is remarkable, that as the apostle throughout his discourse, arraigns one man only, so he ascribes all the mischief done, to one single offence of that one man. And as he then stood in that special relation of federal, as well as natural head to his descendants, so upon his committing that one sin, this special relation ceased.

6 3. The all, ver. 12, 18, and the many, ver. 15, 19, are all the natural descendants of Adam; equivalent with the world, ver. 12, which means, the inhabitants of it. (p. 69.)

64. The effects of Adam's sin' on his descendants, the apostle reduces to two heads, sin and death. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned.' Sin sometimes means punishment; but not here: sin and death are here plainly distinguished. The common translation is therefore right, and gives us the true meaning of the words. "Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,' namely, in

, or with their first father. And this agrees with the context, the purport of which is, that all have sinned and are therefore liable to the death originally threatened, which is evident from this, that until the law, sin was in the world':' in the ages that preceded the law of Moses, all men were

6

« السابقةمتابعة »