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that is the cause of all consequent virtue. This follows two ways : 1. Because every part of virtue lies in the benevolent principle, which is the effect, and therefore no part of it can Be in the cause. 2. The choice of virtue, as to the first act at least, can have no virtue or righteousness at all, because it does not proceed from any foregoing choice. For Dr. Taylor insists that a man must first have reflection and choice, before he can have righieousness, and that it is essential to holiness that it proceed from choice. So that the first choice of holi. Dess, which holiness proceeds from, can have no virtue at all, because by the supposition it does not proceed from choice, being the first choice. Hence if it be essential to holiness, that it proceeds from choice, it must proceed from an unholy choice ; unless the first holy choice can be before itself, or there be a virtuous act of choice before that which is first of all.
And with respect to Adam, let us consider how, upon Dr. Taylor's principles, it was not possible he ever should have any such thing as righteousness, by any means at all. In the state wherein God created him, he could have no such thing as love to God, or any love or benevolence in his heart. For if so, there would have been original righteousness; there would have been genuine moral rectitude : Nothing would have been wanting ; for our author says, 7'rue; genuine, morat rectitude, in every part of it, is to be resolved into this single principle. But if he were wholly without any sach thing as love to God, or any virtuous love, how should he come by virtue? The answer doubtless will be, by act of choice : He must first choose to be virtuouş. But what if he did choose to be virtuous ? It could not be from love to God, or any
virtuous principle, that he chose it; for, by the supposition, he has no such principle in his heart : And if he chooses it without such a principle, still, according to this author, there is no virtue in his choice ; for all virtue, he says, is to be resolved into that single principle of love. Or will he say, there
may be produced in the heart a virtuous benevolence by an act or acts of choice, that are not virtuous ? But this does not consist with what he implicitly asserts, that to the
cause alone is to be ascribed what is in the effect. Soltigt there is no way that can possibly be devised, in consistence with Dr. Taylor's scheme, in which Adam ever could have any righteousness, or could ever either obtain any principle of virtue, or perform any one virtuous act.
These confused, inconsistent assertions, concerning virtue and moral rectitude, arise from the absurd notions in vogue, concerning Freedom of Will, as if it consisted in the will's selfdetermining power, supposed to be necessary to moral agency, virtue and vice. The absurdities of which, with the grounds' of these errors, and what the truth is respecting these matters, with the evidences of it, I have, according to my ability, fully and largely considered, in my Inquiry on that subject; to which I must refer the reader, who desires further satisfaction, and is willing to give himself the trouble of reading that discourse.
Having considered this great argument, and pretended demonstration of Dr. Taylor's against original righteousness; I proceed to the proofs of the doctrine. And in the first place, I would consider, whether there be not evidence of it in the three first chapters of Genesis : Or, whether the history there delivered, does not lead us to suppose, that our first frarents were created in a state of moral rectitude and hoziness.
1. This history leads us to suppose, Adam's sin, with relation to the forbidden fruit, was the first sin he committed. Which could not have been, had he not always, till then, been perfectly righteous, righteous from the first moment of his existence, and consequently, created, or brought into existence righteous. In a moral agent, subject to moral obligations, it is the same thing to be perfectly innocent, as to be perfectly righteous. It must be the same, because there can no more be any medium between sin and righteousness, or between a being right and being wrong, in a moral sense, than there can be a medium between straight and crooked, in a natural sense. Adam was brought into existence capable of acting immediately, as a moral agent, and therefore he was immediately under a rule of right acton: He was obliged as soon as he existed to act right. And if he was obliged to act right as soon as he existed, he was obliged even then to be inclined to act right. Dr. Taylor says, p. 166, S. “ Adam could not sin without a sinful inclination ;' And just for the same reason he could not do right, without an inclination to right action. And as he was obliged to act right from the first moment of his existence, and did do so till he sinned in the affair of the forbidden fruit, he must have an inclination or disposition of heart to do right the first moment of his existence; and that is the same as to be created or brought into existence, with an inclination to right action, or, which is the same thing, a virtuous and holy disposition of heart.
Here it will be in vain to say, it is true that it was Adam's duty to have a good disposition or inclination, as soon as it was possible to be obtained, in the nature of things, but as it could not be without time to establish such an habit, which requires antecedent thought, reflection, and repeated right action ; therefore all that Adam could be obliged to in the first place, was to reflect and consider things in a right manner, and apply himself to right action, in order to obtain a right disposition. For this supposes, that even this reflection and consideration, which he was obliged to, was right action. Surely he was obliged to it no otherwise than as a thing that was right ; and therefore he must have an inclination to this right action immediately, before he could perform those first right actions. And as the inclination to them should be right, the principle or disposition from which he performed even these actions, must be good ; otherwise the actions would not be right in the sight of him who looks at the heart ; nor would they answer the man's igations, or be a doing his duty, if he had done them for some sinister end, and not from a regard to God and his duty. Therefore
* This is doubtless true ; for although there was no natural, sinful incli. aation in Adam, yet an inclination to that sin of eating the forbidden fruit, was begotten' in him by the delusion and error he was led into, and this inc clination to eat the forbidden fruit, must precede his actual eating.
there must be a regard to God and his duty implanted in himi at his first existence ; otherwise it is certain he would have done nothing from a regard to God and his duty ; no, not so much as to reflect and consider, and try to obtain such a disposition. The very supposition of a disposition to right action being first obtained by repeated right action, is grossly inconsistent with itself ; for it supposes a course of right action, before there is a disposition to perform any right action.
These are no invented quibbles or sophisms. If God expected of Adam any obedience or duty to him at all, when he first made him, whether it was in reflecting, considering, or any way exerting the faculties he had given him, then God expected he should immediately exercise love and regard to him. For how could it be expected, that Adam should have a strict and perfect regard to God's commands and authority, and his duty to him, when he had no love nor regard to him in his heart, nor could it be expected he should have any ? If Adam from the beginning did his duty to God, and had more respect to the will of his Creator than to other things, and as much respect to him as he ought to have ; then from the beginning he had a supreme and perfect respect and love to God; and if so, he was created with such a principle. There is no avoiding the consequence. Not only external duties, but internal duties, such as suminarily consist irr love, must be immediately required of Adam, as soon as he existed, if any duty at all was required. For it is most apparently absurd, to talk of a spiritual being, with the faculties of understanding and will, being required to perform external duties, without internal. Dr. Taylor himself observes, that love is the fulfilling of the law, and that all moral rectitude, even every part of it, must be resolved into that single principle. Therefore, if any morally right act at all, reflection, consideration, or any thing else, was required of Adam immediately, on his first existence, and was performed as required; then he must, the first moment of his existence, have his heart pos. sessed of that principle of divine love; which implies the whole of moral rectitude in every part of it, according to our author's own doctrine ; and so the whole of moral rectitude or righteousness must begin with his existence ; which is the thing taught in the doctrine of Original Righteousness.
And let us consider how it could be otherwise, than that Adam was always, in every moment of his existence, obliged to exercise such regard or respect of heart towards every object or thing, as was agrecable to the apparent merit of that object. For instance, would it not at any time have been a becoming thing in Adam, on the exhibition to his mind of God's infinite goodness to him, for him to have exercised answer, able gratitude, aid the contrary have been unbecoming and, odious ? And if something had been presented to Adam's view, transcendently amiable in itself, as for instance, ine glorious perfection of the divine nature, would it not have become him to love, relish and delight in it? Would not such an object have merited this ? And if the view of an object so amiable in itself did not affect his mind with compla. cence, would it nat, according to the plain dictates of our un, derstanding, have shewn an unbecoming temper of mind ?
To say that he had not had time, by culture, ikerm and establish a good disposition or relish, is not what would have taken off the disagreeableness and odiousness of the temper. And if there had been never so much time, I do not see how it could be expected he should improve it aright, in order to obtain a good disposition, if he had not already some good disposition to engage him to it.
That belonging to the will and disposition of the heart, which is in itself either odious or amiable, unbecoming or decent, always would have been Adam's virtue or sin, in any moment of his existence; if there be any such thing as vir, we or vice, by which nothing can be meant, but that in our moral disposition and behavior, which is becoming or unbe: coming, amiable or odious.
Human nature must be created with some dispositions ; a disposition to relish some things as good and amiable, and to be averse to other things as odious and disagreeable ; otherr wise it must be without any such thing as inclination or will : It must be perfectly indifferent, without preference, without choice or aversion towards any thing as agreeable or disa-.