« AnteriorContinuar »
ther, to put the matter out of all controversy, it is particularly and expressly and repeatedly distinguished from that which our opposers would explain it by, viz. condemnation and death. And what is meant by sin's entering into the world, in verse 12, is determined by a like phrase of sin's being in the world, in the next verse. And that by the offence of one, so often spoken of here, as bringing death and condemnation on all, the apostle means the sin of one, derived in its guilt and pola lution to mankind in general, is a thing which cover and above all that has been already observed) is settled and determined by those words in the conclusion of this discourse, verse 20. « Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound : But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” These words plainly shew, that the offence spoken of so often, and evidently spoken of still in these words, which was the offence of one man, became the sin of all. For when he says, « The law entered, that the offence might abound,” his meaning cannot be, that the offence of Ariam, merely as his personally, should abound ; but, as it exists in its derived guilt, corrupt influence, and evil fruits, in the sin of mankind in general, even as a tree in its root and branches.*
It is a thing that confirms the certainty of the proof of the doctrine of Original Sin, which this place affords, that the nemost art cannot pervert it to another sense. Wbat a variety of the most artsul methods have been used by the enemies of this doctrine, to wrest and darken this paragraph of holy writ, which stands so much in their way, as it were to force the Bible to speak a language that is agreeable to their mind! How have expressions been strained, words and phrases rack
• The offence, according to Dr Taylor's explanation, does not abound by the law at all really and truly, in any sense ; neither the sin, nur the punishment. For he says, " The meaning is not, that men should be made more wicked; but, that men should be liable to death for every transgression." But after all, they are liable to no more deaths, nor to any worse deaths, if they are not more sinful: For they were to have punishmants according to their desert, before. Such as died, and went into another world, before the law of Moss was given, were punished according to their deserts ; and the law, when it came, threatened no more,
ed! What strange figures of speech have been invented, and with violent hands thrust into the apostle's mouth; and then with a bold countenance and magisterial airs obtruded on the world, as from him !.... But, blessed be God, we have his words as he delivered them, and the rest of the same epistle, and his other writings to compare with them ; by which his meaning stands in too strong and glaring a light to be hid by any of the aruiscial misis which they labor to throw upon it.
It is really no less than abusing the scripture and its readers, to represent this paragraph as the most obscure of all the places of scripture, that speak of the consequences of Adam's sin ; and to treat it as if there was need first to consider other places as more plain. Whereas, it is most manifestly a place in which these things are declared, beyond all, the most plainly, particularly, precisely, and of set purpose, by that great apostle, who has most fully explained to us those doctrines in general, which relate to the redemption by Christ, and the sin and misery we are redeemed from. And it must be now left to the reader's judgment, whether the Christain church has not proceeded reasonably, in looking on this as a place of scripture most clearly and fully treating of these things, and in using its determinate sense as an help to settle the meaning of many other passages of sacred writ.
As this place in general is very sull and plain, so the doctrine of the corruption of nature, as derived from Adam, and also the imputation of his first sin, are both clearly taught in it. The imputation of Adam's one transgression, is indeed most directly and frequently asserted. We are here assured that by one man's sin, drath passed on all ; all being adjudged to this punishment, as having sinned (so it is implied) in that one man's sin. And it is repeated over and over, that all are condemned, many are dead, many made sinners. &c. by one man's offence, by the disobedience of one, and by one offence. And the doctrine of original dopravity is also here laught, when the apostle says, By one man sin entered into the world ; having a plain respect (as hath been shewn) 10ihat universal corrup
ion and wickedness, as well as guilt, which he had betore largely treated of
• PART III.
Observing the Evidence given us, relative to the
Doctrine of ORIGINAL Sin, in what the Scriptures reveal concerning the Redemption by Christ.
The Evidence of ORIGINAL Sin, from the Nature of Redemp
tion in the procurement of it.
ACCORDING to Dr. Taylor's scheme, a very great part of mankind are the subjects of Christ's redemption, who live and die perfectly innocent, who never have had, and never will have any sin charged to their account, and never are either the subjects of, or exposed to any punishment whatsoever, viz. all that die in infancy. They are the subjects of Christ's redemption, as he redeems them from death, or as they by his righteousness have justification, and by his obedience are mode righteous, in the resurrection of the body, in the sense of Rom. v. 18, 19. And all mankind are thus the subjects of Christ's redemption, while they are perfectly guiltless, and exposed to no punishment, as by Christ they are intitled to a resurrection. Though, with respect to such persons as have sinned, he allows it is in some sort by Christ and his death, that they are saved from sin, and the punishment of it. Vol. VI.
Now let us see whether such a scheme well consists with the scripture account of the redemption by Jesus Christ.
I. The representations of the redemption by Christ, every where in scripture, lead us to suppose, that all whom he came to redeem, are sinners ; that his salvation, as to the term from which (or the evil to be redeemed from) in all is sin, and the deserved punishment of sin. It is natural to suppose, that when he had his name Jesus, or Saviour, given him by God's special and immediate appointment, the salvation meant by that name should be bis salvation in general; and not only a part of his salvation, and with regard only to some of them that he came to save. But this name was given him to signify his saving his people from their sins, Matth. i. 21. And the great doctrine of Christ's salvation is, that he came into the world to save sinners, 1 Tim. i. 15. And that Christ hath once suffered, the just for the unjust, 1 Pet. iii. 18. In this was manifested the love of God towards us (towards such in general as have the benefit of God's love in giving Christ) that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live (Arough him. Herein is love, that he sent his son to be the propritiation for our sins, 1 John iv, 9, 10. Many other texts might be mentioned, which seem evidently to suppose, that all who are redeemed by Christ, are saved from sin. We are led by what Christ himself said, 10 suppose, that if any are not sinners, they have no need of him as a redeemer, any more than a well man of a physician, Mark ii. 17. And that mer, in order to being the proper subjects of the mercy of God through Christ, must first be in a state of sin, is implied in Gal. ij. 22. “ But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." To the same effect is Rom. xi. 32.
These things are greatly confirined by the scripture doctrine of sacrifices. It is abundantly plain, by both old and New Testament, that they were types of Christ's death, and were for sin, and supposed sin in those for whom they were offered. The apostle supposes, that in order to any having the benefit of the eternal inheritance by Christ, there musl of necessity be the death of the testator; and gives that reason for
it, that without shedding of blood there is no remission, Heb. ix, 15, &c. And Christ himself, in representing the benefit of his blood, in the institution of the Lord's supper, under the notion of the blood of a testament, calls it, The blood of the New Testament, shed for the remission of sins, Matth. xxvi. 28. But according to the scheme of our author, many have the eternal inheritance by the death of the testator, who never had any need of remission.
II. The scripture represents the redemption by Christ as a redemption from deserved destruction ; and that, not merely as it respects some particulars, but as the fruit of God's love to mankind. John iii. 16. “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting lise :" Implying, that otherwise they must perish, or be destroyed : But what necessity of this, if they did not deserve to be destroyed ? Now, that the destruction here spoken of, is deserved destruction, is manifest, because it is there compared to the perishing of such of the children of Israel as died by the bite of the fiery serpents, which God, in his wrath, for their rebellion, sent amongst them. And the same thing clearly appears by the last verse of the same chapter, “ He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him," or, is left remaining on him : Implying, that all in general are found under the wrath of God, and that they only of all mankind, who are interested in Christ, have this wrath removed, and eternal life bestowed ; the rest are left with the qurath of God still remaining on them. The same is clearly illustrated and confirmed by John v. 24. “ He that believeth, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life.” In being passed from death to life is implied, that before, they were all in a state of death ; and they are spoken of as being so by a sentence of condemnation ; and if it be a just condemnation, it is a deserved condemnation.
III. It will follow on Dr. Taylor's scheme,' that Christ's redemplion, with regard to a great part of them who are the