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ruin for their sin, which actually will be the consequence, unless mere grace steps in and prevents it. If this be allow, ed, the argument from justice is given up; for it is to sup. pose that their liableness to misery and ruin comes in a way of justice ; otherwise there would be no need of the interposition of divine grace to save them. Justice alone would be sufficient security, il exercised, without grace. It is all one in this dispute about what is just and righteous, whether men are born in a miserable state, by a tendency to ruin, which actually followe, and that justly ; or whether they are born in such a stale as tends to a desert of ruin, which might justly follow, and would actually follow, did not grace prevent. For the controversy is not, what grace will do, but what justice might do.
· I have been the more particular on this head, because it enervates many of the reasonings and conclusions by which Dr. Taylor makes out his scheme ; in which he argues from that state which mankind are in by divine grace, yea, which he himself supposes to be by divine grace, and yet not making any allowance for this, he from hence draws conclusions against what others suppose of the deplorable and ruined state mankind are in by the fall. He often speaks of death and afflic. tion as coming on Adam's posterity in consequence of his sin; and in pages 20, 21, and many other places, he supposes that these things come in consequence of his sin, not as a punishment or a calamity, but as a benefit. But in page 23, he supposes these things would be a great calamity and mise ery, if it were not for the resurrection ; which resurrection he there, and in the following pages, and in many other pla: ces, speaks of as being by Christ; and often speaks of it as being by the grace of God in Christ. • In pages 63, 64, speaking of our being subjected to sor
row, labor and death, in consequence of Adam's sin, he represents these as evils that are reversed and turned into advantages, and that we are delivered from through grace in Christ. And in pages 65....67, he speaks of God's thus turning death into an advantage through grace in Christ, as what vindicates the justice of God in bringing death by Adam.
pendent on it, introduced to oppose the natural tendency, and reverse the course of things. But the event that things tend to, according to their own demerit, and according to divine justice, that is the event which they tend to in their own na. ture, as Dr. Taylor's own words fully imply, “God alone, (says he) can declare whether he will pardon or punish the ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind, which is in its own nature punishable.” Nothing is more precisely according to the truth of things, than divine justice : It weighs things in an even balance: It views and estimates things no otherwise than they are truly in their own nature. Therefore undoubtedly that which implies a tendency to ruin, according to the estimate of divine justice, does indeed imply such a tendency in its own nature.
And then it must be remembered that it is a moral des pravity we are speaking of; and therefore when we are considering whether such depravity do not appear by a tendency to a bad effect or issue, it is a moral tendency to such an issue, that is the thing to be taken into the account. A moral tendency or influence is by desert. Then may it be said, man's nature or state is attended with a pernicious or destructive tendency, in a moral sense, when iť tends to that which deserves misery and destruction. And therefore it equally shews the moral depravity of the nature of mankind in their present state, whether that nature be universally attended with an effectual tendency to destructive vengeance actually executed, or to their deserving misery and ruin, or their just exposedness to destruction, however that fatal consequence may be prevented by grace, or whatever the actual event be.
One thing more is to be observed here, viz. that the topic mainly insisted on by the opposers of the doctrine of Original Sin, is the justice of God; both in their objections against the imputation of Adam's sin, and also against its being so ordered, that men should come into the world with a corrupt and ruined nature, without having merited the displeasure of their Creator by any personal fault. But the latter is not repugnant to God's justice, if men can be, and actually are, born into the world with a tendency to sin, and to misery and the whole world. And the riches of God's mercy in giving the promise of a Redeemer to destroy the works of the devil. That he caught his sinning, falling creature in the arms of his grace.
In his note on Rom. v. 25, p. 297, 298, he says as follows: « The law, I conceive, is not a dispensation suitable to the infirmity of the human nature in our present state ; or it doth not seem congruous to the goodness of God, to afford us no other way of salvation but by law, which, if we once transgress, we are ruined forever. For who then from the beginning of the world could be saved ? And therefore it seems to me that the law was not absolutely intended to be a rule for obtaining life, even to Adam in Paradise. Grace was the dispensation God intended mankind should be under ; and therefore Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world."
There are various other passages in this author's writings of the like kind. Some of his arguments and conclusions to this effect, in order to be made good, must depend on such a supposition as this: That God's dispensations of grace are rectifications or amendments of his foregoing constitutions and proceedings, which were merely legal ; as though the dispensations of grace, which succeed those of mere law, implied an acknowledgment, that the preceding, legal constitution would be unjust, if left as it was, or at least, very hard dealing with mankind ; and that the other were of the nature of a satisfaction to his creatures, for former injuries or hard treatment; so that put together, the injury with the satisfaction, the legal and injurious dispensation, taken with the following good dispensation, which our author calls grace, and the unfairness or improper severity of the former; amended by the goodness of the latter, both together made up one righteous dispensation.
The reader is desired to bear in mind that which I have said concerning the interposition of divine grace, its not altering the nature of things, as they are in themselves ; and accordingly, when I speak of such and such an evil tendency of things, belonging to the present nature and state of mankind, understand me to mean their tendency as they are in them.
selves, abstracted from any consideration of that remedy tho sovereign and infinite grace of God has provided.
Having premised these things, I now proceed to say,
That mankind are all naturally in such a state, as is attended, without fail, with this consequence or issue ; that they universally run themselves into that which is, in effect, their own utter, eternal perdition, as being finally accursed of God, and the subjects of his remediless wrath through sin.
From which I infer that the natural state of the mind of man, is attended with a propensity of nature, which is prevalent and effectual, to such an issue ; and that therefore their nature is corrupt and depraved with a moral depravity, that amounts to and implies their utter undoing.
Here I would first consider the truth of the proposition ; and then would shew the certainty of the consequences which I infer from it. If both can be clearly and certainly proved, then, I trust, none will deny but that the doctrine of original depravity is evident, and so the falseness of Dr. Taylor's scheme demonstrated ; the greatest part of whose book, called The Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin, &c. is against the doctrine of innate depravity. In page 107, S, he speaks of the conveyance of a corrupt and sinful nature to Adam's posterity as the grand point to be proved by the maintainers of the doctrine of Original Sin.
In order to demonstrate what is asserted in the proposition laid down, there is need only that these two things should be made manifest : One is this fact, that all mankind come into the world in such a state, as without fail comes to this issue, namely, the universal commission of sin ; or that every one who comes to act in the world as a moral agent, is, in a greater or less degree, guilty of sin. The other is, that all sin deserves and exposes to utter and eternal destruction, under God's wrath and curse ; and would end in it, were it not for the interposition of divine grace to prevent the effect. Both which can be abundantly demonstrated to be agreeable to the word of God, and to Dr. Taylor's own doctrine.
That every one of mankind, at least of them that are capable of acting as moral agents, are guilty of sin (not now
taking it for granted that they come guilty into the world) is a thing most clearly and abundantly evident from the holy scriptures. 1 Kings viji. 46. “ If any man sin against thee; for there is no man that sinneth not.” Eccl. vii. 20. “ There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not." Job ix. 2, 3. “I know it is so of a truth, (i. e. as Bildad had just before said, that God would not cast away a perfect man, ETC.) but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. To the like purpose, Psalm cxliii. 2. « Enier not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” So the words of the apostle (in which he has appar. ent reference to those of the Psalmist) Rom. iii. 19, 20. “ That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” So Gal. ii. 16, and i John i. 7....10. « If we walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sin. ned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” As in this place, so in innumerable other places, confession and repentance of sin are spoken of, as duties proper for all ; as also prayer to God for pardon of sin ; and forgiveness of those that injure us, from that motive, that we hope to be forgiven of God. Universal guilt of sin might also be demonstrated from the appointment, and the declared use and end of the ancient sacrifices; and also from the ransom, which every one that was numbered in Israel, was directed to pay, to make atonement for his soul, Exod. xxx. 1 1.... 16. All are represented, not only as being sinful, but as having great and man, ifold iniquity, Job ix, 2, 3, James iii. 1, 2.
There are many scriptures which both declare the univer. sal sinfulness of mankind, and also that all sin deserves and · justly exposes to everlasting destruction, under the wrath
and curse of God; and so demonstrate both parts of the