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is in a constant fiux, ever passing and returning ; renewed every moment, as the colors of bodies are every moment renewed by the light that shines upon them; and all is constantly proceeding from God, as light from the sun, In him we live, and move, and have our being.
Thus it appears, if we consider matters strictly, there is no such thing as any identity or oneness in created objects, existing at different times, but what depends on God's sovereign constitution. And so it appears, that the objection we are upon, made against a supposed divine constitution, where. by Adam and his posterity are viewed and treated as one, in the manner and for the purposes supposed, as if it were not consistent with truth, because no constitution can make those to be one, which are not one : I say, it appears that this objection is built on a false hypothesis : For it appears, that a di. wine constitution is the thing which makes truth, in affairs, of this nature. The objection supposes, there is a oneness in created beings, whence qualities and relations are derived down from past existence, distinct from, and prior to any oneness that can be supposed to be founded on divine constitution. Phich is demonstrably false, and sufficiently appears so from things conceded by the adversaries themselves : And therefore the objection wholly falls to the ground.
There are various kinds of identity and oneness, found among created things, by which they become one in different zonners, respects and degrees, and to various fiurposes ; several of which differences have been observed ; and every kind is ordered, regulated and limited, in every respect, by divine consti'ution. Some things, cxisting in different times and places, are treated by thicir Creator as one in one respect, and others in another ; some are united for this communication, and others for that; but ail according to the sovereign pleasure of the fountain of all being and operation.
It appears, particularly, from what has been said, that all oneness, by virtue whereof pollution and guilt from past wickexiness are derived, deperds entirely on a divine establishment. Ji is this, and this only, that must account for guilt and an evil faint on any individual soul, in consequence of a crime com
ORIGINAL SIN. ow 455 mitted twenty or forty years ago, remaining still, and even to the end of the world and forever. It is this, that must account for the continuance of any such thing, any where, as consciousness of acts that are past; and for the continuance of all habits, either good or bad : And on this depends every thing that can belong to personal identity. And all communications, derivations, or continuation of qualities, properties or relations, natural or moral, from what is fast, as if the subject were one, depends on no olher foundation.
And I am persuaded, no solid reason can be given, why God, who constitutes all other created union or oneness, according to his pleasure, and for what purposes, communications, and effects, he pleases, may not establish a constitution whereby the natural posterity of Adam, proceeding from him, much as the buds and branches from the stock or root of a tree, should be treated as one with him, for the derivation, either of righteousness, and communion in rewards, or of the loss of righteousness, and consequent corruption and guilt.
* I appeal to such as are not wont to cantent themselves with judging by a superficial appearance and view of things, but are habituated to examine things strictly and closely, that they may judge righteous judgment, Whether on supposition that all mankind bad coexisted, in the manner mentioned before, any good reason can be given, why their Creator might not, if he had pleased, have established such an union between Adam and the rest of mankind, as was in that case supposed. Particularly, if it had beca the case, that Adam's posterity had actually, according to a law of nature, some how zrous out of him, and yet remained contiguous and literally united to hin, as the branches to a tree, or the members of the body to the head; and had all, before the fall, existed together at the same time, though is different places, as the head and members are in different places : In this case, who can determine, that the author of nature might not, if it had pleased him, have established such an union between the root and branches of this complex being, as that all should constitute one moral whole; so that by the law of union, there should be a communion in each moral alteration, and that the heart of every branch shouid at the same moment participate with the heart of the root, be conformed to it, and concurring with it in all its affections and acts, and so jointly partaking in its state, as a part of the same thing? Why might not God, if he had please ed, have fixed such a kind of union as this, an union of the various parts of such a moral whole, as well as many other unions, which he has actually fixed, according to his sovereign pleasure ? And if he might, by his sovereiga cor.
As I said before, all oneness in created things, whence qualities and relations are derived, depends on a divine consti. tution that is arbitrary, in every other respect, excepting that it is regulated by divine wisdom. The wisdom, which is excrcised in these constitutions, appears in these two things. First, In a beautiful analogy and harmony with other laws or constitutions, especially relating to the same subject ; and secondly, in the good ends obtained, or useful consequences of such a constitution. If therefore there be any objection still lying against this constilution with Adam and his posterity, it must be, that it is not sufficiently wise in these respects. But what extreme arrogance would it be in us, to take usor us to act as judges of the beauty and wisdom of the laws and established constitutions of the supreme Lord and Creator of the universe ? And not only so, but if this constitution, in particular, be well considered, its wisdom, in the two forementioned respects, may easily be made evident. There is an apparent manifold analogy to other constitutions and laws, established and maintained through the whole system of vital nature in this lower world ; all parts of which, in all successions, are derived from the first of the kind, as from their root, or fountain ; each deriving from thence all properties and qualities, that are proper to the nature and capacity of the kind, or species : No derivative having any one perfeclion (unless it be what is merely circumstantial) but what was in its prinitive. And that Adam's posterity should be with. out that original righteousness, which Adam had lost, is also analagous to other laws and establishments, relating to the nature of mankind; according to which, Adam's posterity have 110 one perfection of nature, in any kind, superior to what was
stitution, have established such an union of the various branches of mankind, when existing in different places, I do not see why he might not also do the same, though they exist in different times. I know not why succession, or diversity of time, should make any such constituted union more unreasonable, than diversity of place. The only reason, why diversity of time can seem to make it unreasonable, is, that difference of time shews, there is no absolute identity of the things existing in those different times : But it shews this, I think, not at all more than the difference of the place of existence.
in him, when the human race began to be propagated from him.
And as such a constitution was fit and wise in other respecis, so it was in this that follows. Seeing the divine constitution concerning the manner of mankind's coming into existence in their propagation, was such as did so naturally unite them, and made them in so many respects one, naturally leading them to a close union in society, and manifold intercourse, and mutual dependence. Things were wisely so established, that all should naturally be in one and the same moral state ; and not in such exceeding different states, as that some should be perfectly innocent and holy, but others corrupt and wicked; some needing a Saviour, but others needing none; some in a confirmed state of perfect happiness, but others in a state of public condemnation to perfect and eternal misery ; some justly exposed to great calamities in this world, but others by their innocence raised above all suffering. Such a vast diversity of state would by no means have agreed with the natural and necessary constitution and unavoidable situation and circumstances of the world of mankind; all made of one blood, to dwell on all the face of the earth, to be united and blended in society, and to partake together in the natural and common goods and evils of this lower world.
Dr. Taylor urges,* that sorrow and shame are only for fersonal sin : And it has often been urged, that repentance can be for no other sin, To which I would say, that the use of words is very arbitrary : But that men's hearts should be deeply affected with grief and humiliation before God, for the pollu. tion and guilt which they bring into the world with them, I think, is not in the least unreasonable. Nor is it a thing strange and unheard of, that men should be ashamed of things done by others, whom they are nearly concerned in. I am sure, it is not unscriptural ; especially when they are justly looked upon in the sight of God, who sees the disposition of their hearts, as fully consenting and concurring,
From what has been observed it may appear, there is no sure ground to conclude, that it must be an absurd and im possible thing, for the race of mankind truly to partake of the sin of the first apostasy, so as that this, in reality and propriély, shall become their sin; by virtue of a real union between the root and branches of the world of mankind (truly and properly availing to such a consequence) established by the Author of the whole system of the universe ; to whose establishments are owing all propriety and reality of union, in any part of that system ; and by virtue of the full consent of the hearts of Adam's posterity to that first apostasy. And therefore the sin of the apostasy is not theirs, merely because God imputes it to them ; but it is truly and properly theirs, and on that ground, God impules it to them.
By reason of the established union between Adam and his posterity, the case is far otherwise between him and them, than it is between distinct parts or individuals of Adam's race ; betwixt whom is no such constituted union ; as between children and other ancestors. Concerning whom is apparently to be understood that place, Ezek. xviii. 1....20.* Where God reproves the Jews for the use they made of that proverb, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge; and tells them, that hereafter they shall no more have occasion to use this proverb; and that if a son sees the wickedness of his father, and sincerely disapproves it and avoids it, and he himself is righteous, he shall not die for the iniquity of his father ; that all souls, both the soul of the father and the son, are his ; and that therefore the son shall not bear the iniquity of his father, nor the father bear the iniquity of the son ; but the soul that sinneth, it shall die ; that the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. The thing denied, is communion in the guilt and punishment of the sins of others, that are distinct parts of Adam's race; and expressly, in that case, where there is no consent and concurrence, but a sincere disapprobation of the wickedness of ancestors. It is declared, that child
* Which Dr. Taylor alleges, p. 10, 11, S.