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subsistence,” while "bearing upon him all the iniquities of God's' people !” (p. 23—25.)
“ Thus Christ 6 redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.' Dr. Taylor when he wrote his late books, was not apprised of the usual scripture-meaning of this awful word curse. It is often put to signify, the legal punishment of sin. What the law of God threatens against transgressors, or the threatening itself, is frequently called by this name. What signifies then his trifling observation, “That God inflicted no curse on our first parents, Gen. iii. 16, 18.”. That is, he did not say in so many words, “ Cursed art thou, O man, or, O woman.” But God's cursing the ground for man's sake,' was really a curse pronounced against him; and what the Lord said to the woman was really a curse, a penalty legally inflicted on her. For God is then said to curse, when he either threatens to punish, or actually punishes his creatures for sin. See Deut. xxvii. 15, &c. chap. xxviii. 16, &c. Jerem. xvii. 5. Zech. v. 3. (p. 39, 40.)
46 To conclude. Either we must allow the imputation of Adam's sin, whatever difficulties attend it, or renounce justification by Christ, and salvation through the merit of his blood. Accordingly the Socinians do this. Whether Dr. Taylor does, let every thinking man judge, after having weighed what he writes, particularly at p. 72, 73, of his Scripture-doctrine. “ The worthiness of Christ is his consummate virtue. It is virtue that carrieth every cause in heaven. Virtue is the only price which purchaseth every thing with God. True virtue, or the right exercise of reason, is true worth, and the only valuable consideration, the only power which prevails with God.” These passages are indeed connected with others, which carry with them z shew of ascribing honour to Christ and grace. But the fallacy lies open to every careful, intelligent, unprejudiced reader. He ascribes to Christ a singular worthiness ; but it is nothing more than a superior degree, of the same kind of worthiness which belongs to every virtuous man. He talks of Christ's consummate virtue, or his obedience to God,
and good will to man. And to this virtue of his, as imitated by us, he would teach us to ascribe our acceptance with God: which is, indeed, to ascribe it to ourselves, or to our own virtue; to works of righteousness done by us, in direct opposition to the whole tenor of the gospel. To what dangerous lengths are men carried by an ignorance of God, as infinitely holy and just; by a fond conceit of their own abilities, and a resolved opposition to the doctrine of original sin ! Rather than allow this, they renounce Christ, as the meritorious procurer of salvation for sinners. They may seem indeed to acknowledge him as such, and talk of “ Eternal life as given by God through his Son.” But all this is mere shew, and can only impose on the ignorant and unwarý. They dare not profess. in plain terms, that Christ has merited salvation for any: neither can they consistently allow this, while they deny original sin. (p. 80, 81.)
“Let not any then who regard their everlasting interests entertain or even tamper with doctrines, which how plausibly soever recommended, are contrary to many express texts, nay to the whole tenor of Scripture, and which cannot be embraced without renouncing an humble dependance on Christ, and rejecting the gospel-method of salvation. (p. 82.)
“ God grant every reader'cê this plain treatise, may not only be convinced of the truth and importance, of the scripture-doctrines maintained therein, but invincibly confirmed in his attachiments to them, by an experimental knowledge of their happy influence on faith, holiness, and comfort! Then shall we gladly say, We, who are made sinners by the disobedience of Adam, are made righteous by the obedience of Christ. His righteousness entitles us to a far better inheritance than that we lost in Adam. In consequence of being justified tbrough him, we shall reign in life with him: unto whom, with God the Father, and the sanctifying, comforting Spirit, be ascribed all praise for ever!” (p. 83.) VOL. XIV.
The Doctrine of ORIGINAL Sin explained and vindicated.
“ The phrase, Original Sin, so far as we can discover, was first used in the fourth century. The first who used it was either St. Chrysostom, or Hilary, some of whose words are these : “ The Psalmist says, Behold I was conceived
6 in iniquities, in sins did my mother conceive me.' He acknowledges, that he was born under original sin, and the law of sin.” Soon after Hilary's time, St. Augustine
" and other Christian writers brought it into common use. (p. 2, 3.)
“The scriptural doctrine of original sin may be comprised in the following propositions :
“I. Man was originally made righteous or holy:
« II. That original righteousness was lost by the first sin :
“III. Thereby man incurred death of every kind: for,
“ IV. Adam's first sin was the sin of a public person, one whom God had appointed to represent all his descendants :
“ V. Hence all these are from their birth children of wrath, void of all righteousness, and propense to sin of all sorts.
“ I add, VI. This is not only a truth agreeable to Scripture and reason, but a truth of the utmost importance, and one to which the churches of Christ from the beginning, have bore a clear testimony.
“ I. Man was originally made righteous or holy: formed with such a principle of love and obedience to his Maker, as disposed and enabled him to perform the whole of his duty with ease and pleasure. This has been proved already. And this wholly overturns Dr. Taylor's fundamental aphorism, “ Whatever is natural is necessary, and what is necessary is not sinful.” For if man was ori.' ginally righteous or holy, we may argue thus. It was at first natural to man to love and obey his Maker; yet it was not necessary : neither as necessary is opposed to voluntary or free; (for he both loved and obeyed freely and willingly) nor, 'as necessary means unavoidable ; (this is manifest by the event;) no, nor as necessary is opposed to rewardable. For had he continued to love and obey, he ' would have been rewarded with everlasting happiness. Therefore that assertion, “whatever is natural is necessary,” is palpably, glaringly false. Consequently, what is natural as well as what is acquired, may be good or evil, rewardable or punishable. (p. 10.)
“ II. Man's original righteousness was lost by the first sin. Though he was made righteous, he was not made immutable. He was free to stand or fall. And he soon fell, and lost at once both the favour and image of God. This fully appears, 1. From the account which Moses gives of our first parents, Gen. iii. where we read, (1.) “The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;' that is, they were conscious of guilt, and touched with a pungent sense of their folly and wickedness. They began to find their nakedness, irksome to them, and to reflect on it with sinful emotions of soul. (2.) Immedia' ately they were indisposed for communion with God, and struck with such a dread of him as could not consist with true love, ver. 8. (3.) When questioned by God, how do they prevaricate, instead of confessing their sin, and humbly imploring forgiveness ? Which proves not only their having sinned, but their being as yet wholly impenitent. (4.) The judgment passed upon them was a proof of their being guilty in the sight of God. Thus was man's original righ-. teousness lost. Thus did he fall both from the favour and image of God. (p. 14, 15.)
“ This appears, 2. From the guilt which inseparably attends every transgression of the divine law. I say, every transgression; because every sin virtually contains all sin. For whosoever keepeth the whole law and offendeth in
one point, he is guilty of all.” Every single offence is a virtual breach of all the commands of God. There is in every particular sin, the principle of all sin; namely, the contempt of that sovereign authority, which is equally stamped upon every command. When, therefore, our first parents ate the forbidden fruit, they not only violated a particular precept, but the entire law of God. They could not sin in one instance, without virtually transgressing the whole law of their creation : which being once done, their title to God's favour and their original righteousness were both lost. (p. 16.)
“ This appears, 3. From the comprehensive nature and aggravating circumstances of the first transgression. For it implied, (1.) Unbelief. Man did not dare to break the divine command till he was brought to question the truth of the divine threatening. (2.) Irreverence of God. Reverence is a mixture of love and fear. And had they continued in their first love and filial fear, they could not have broken through the sole command of God. (3.) Ingratitude. For what a return did they hereby make to their Creator for all his benefits! (4.) Pride and ambition. Affecting to be as gods, knowing good and evil.' (5.) Sensuality. The woman looked upon the fruit with an irregular appetite. Here the conflict between reason and sense began. To talk of such a conflict in man before he fell, is to represent him as in a degree sinful and guilty, even while innocent. For Conflict implies opposition. And an opposition of appetite to reason is nothing else than a repugnance to the law of God. But of this our first parents were no way guilty, till their innocence was impaired, till they were led by the temptation of the devil to desire the forbidden fruit. (6.) Robbery; for the fruit was none of theirs. They had no manner of right to it. Therefore their taking it was a flat robbery of God, which cannot be less criminal than robbing our fellow-creatures. So comprebensive was the nature, so aggravated the circumstances of man's first transgression, (p. 17, 18.)