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but how soon are our inquiries nonplused and superseded! How many attempts have been made, since that fearful fall and ruin of this fabric, to compose again the truths of so many several kinds into their distinct orders, and make up frames of science or useful knowledge! And after so many ages, nothing is finished in any kind. Sometimes truths are misplaced; and what belongs to one kind, is transferred to another, where it will not fitly match: sometimes falsehood inserted, which shatters or disturbs the whole frame. And what with much fruitless pains is done by one hand, is dashed in pieces by another: and it is the work of a following age, to sweep away the fine-spun cobwebs of a former. And those truths which are of greatest use, though not most out of sight, are least regarded : their tendency and design are overlooked, or they are so loosened and torn off, that they cannot be wrought in, so as to take hold of the soul, but bover as faint, ineffectual notions, that signify nothing.

“ Its very fundamental powers are shaken and disjointed, and their order toward one another confounded and broken.' So that what is judged considerable is not considered, what is recommended as lovely and eligible is not loved and chosen. Yea, 'the truth which is after godliness,' is not so much believed as hated, or "held in unrighteousness;' and shines with too feeble a light, in that malignant darkness, which comprehends it not.' You come amidst all this confusion, into the ruined palace of some great prince, in which you see, here the fragments of a noble pillar, there the shattered pieces of some curious imagery, and all lying neglected and useless, among heaps of dirt. He that invites you to take a view of the soul of man, gives you but such another prospect, and doth but say to you, Behold the desolation! All things rude and waste. So that should there be any pretence to the divine presence, it might be said, If God be here, why is it thus ? The faded glory, the darkness, the disorder, the impurity, the decayed state in all respects of this temple, too plainly show, The Great Inhabitant is gone !"

NewINGTON, Jan. 21. In your Third Part, you propose, first, To answer some objections and queries ; and then to consider the connexion of the doctrine of original sin with other parts of religion.

Obj. I. Are we not in worse moral circumstances than Adam was before he fell? I answer, (p. 168,) 1. If by moral circumstances you mean the state of religion and virtue, it is certain the greatest part of mankind ever were, and still are very corrupt. But this is not the fault of their nature, but occasioned by the abuse of it, in prostituting reason to appetite, whereby, in process of time, they have sunk themselves into the most lamentable degrees of ignorance; superstition, idolatry, injustice, debauchery.

But how came this? How came all nations thus to abuse their nature,” thus to “prostitute reason to appetite ?” How came they all to sink into this " lamentable ignorance, superstition, idolatry, injustice, debauchery?" How came it, that half of them, at least, if their nature was uncorrupt, did not use it well? Submit appetite to reason, and rise, while the other sunk? “ Process of time” does not help us out of all. For if it made the one half of mankind more and more vicious, it ought by the same degrees to have made the other half more and more virtuous. If men were no more inclined to one side than the other, this must absolutely have been the event. Turn and wind as you please, you will never be able to get over this. You will never account for this fact, that the bulk of mankind have, in all ages, “prostituted their reason to appetite,” even till they sunk into “lamentable ignorance, superstition, idolatry, injustice, and debauchery;" but by allowing their very nature to be in fault, to be more inclined to vice than virtue.

“But if we have all a corrupt nature, which as we cannot, so God will not wholly remove in this life, then why do we try to reform the world ?” Why? Because, whether the corrupt nature be wholly removed or not, men may be reformed so as to cease from evil,' to be renewed in the spirit of their mind, and by patient continuance in well-doing, to seek,' and find, glory, and honour, and immortality.'

“I answer, 2. If by moral circumstances you mean provision and means for spiritual improvement, those given us through Christ are far greater than Adam had before he sinned.” (p. 169.) To those who believe in Christ they are. But above four-fifths of the world are Mahometans or Pagans still. And have these immensely the greater part of mankind : to say nothing of Popish nations) greater provision and means for spiritual improvement, than Adam before he sinned ?

“ But if, 3. by moral circumstances you mean moral” (rathier natural) “ abilities, or mental powers,” (a consideration quite foreign to the question,) “I answer, The Scriptures no where compare our faculties with Adam's. Nor know I how we can judge, but by comparing the actions of Adam in innocence with what men have performed since.” (p. 170.)

Yes, we can judge thus. There could be no defect in Adam's understanding, when he came first out of the hands of his Creator, but there are essential defects in mine and yours, and every man's whom we know.–Our apprehension is indistinct, our judgment false, our reasoning wrong, in a thousand instances. So it always was: and so it is still, after all the care we can possibly take. Therefore “our faculties are not as sound and fit for right action, as Adam's were before he sinned.”

“ But any man of common understanding might have dressed and kept the garden as well as he.” I can neither affirm nor deny this. For we know not how he dressed and kept it.

Nor doth it appear, that in giving names to all the creatures, he showed any extraordinary penetration into their natures. For that the names he gave truly expressed the several qualities of them, is mere fiction, without any foundation in Scripture-history, or the names of animals in the original Hebrew." (p. 171.)

This is really strange! That any man of learning should be so hardy as to affirm this, after the numberless instances which have been produced of Hebrew names, expressing the most essential property of each animal.

And is this supposition likewise “without any foundation in Scripture-history ?" What is that? Gen. ii. 19, And the Lord God brought every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, unto Adam, to see what he would call them,' to make proof of his understanding. * And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Now whether those names were Hebrew or not, (which you affect to doubt,) can it be supposed that God would have permitted them to stand, if they had not suited the nature of each creature ? It is bold therefore to affirm, Thåt "

many of his posterity could have given names to them as well as he: and that therefore this is not a proof, that he had any capacity superior to us.” (p. 172.)

You proceed, “Surely his eating the forbidden fruit is no evidence of superior abilities." (p. 173.) And it is no evidence of the contrary; “seeing" (as yod yourself observe,) “what his special temptation was, we do not know.” Therefore, neither do we know whether any of his posterity could have overcome it: much less, that < many of his posterity have overcome temptations more violent than his." All this is talking in the dark, 'not knowing what we say, neither whereof we affirm.'

“ And now let any man see, whether there be any ground in Re. velation, for exalting Adam's, nature as divines have done, who have affirmed, that all his faculties were eminently perfect, and entirely set to the love and obedience of his Creator.” (p. 175.) “And yet these same suppose him to have been guilty of the vilest act that ever was committed.” (p. 176.)

They suppose Adam to have been created holy and wise, like his Creator: and yet capable of falling from it. They suppose farther, that through temptations, of which we cannot possibly judge, he did fall from that state; and that hereby he brought pain, labour, and sorrow on himself and all his posterity : together with death, not. only temporal, but spiritual, and (without the grace of God) eternal. And it must be confessed, that not only a few divines, but the whole body of Christians, in all ages, did suppose this, till after seventeen hundred years a sweet-tongued orator arose, not only more enlightened than silly Adam, but than any of his wise posterity: and declared, that the whole supposition was folly, nonsense, inconsistency, and blasphemy!

“ Obj. II. But do not the Scriptures say, Adam was created after God's own image! And do his posterity bear that image now ?

“The Scriptures do say, Gen. i. 27, God created man in his own image.' But whatever that phrase means here, it doubtless means we same in Gen. ix. 6, Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shal? his blood be shed : for in the image of God made he man.' Cer:

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tainly it has the same meaning in both places : for the latter plainly refers to the former. And thus much we may fairly infer from hence, that the image of God, wherein man was at first created, whereinsoever it consisted, was not utterly effaced in the time of Noah. Yea, so much of it will always remain in all men, as will justify the punishing murderers with death. But we can in nowise infer from hence, that that entire image of God, in which Adam was at first created, now remains in all his posterity.

The words of Gen. v. 3, rendered literally, are, · He begat in his likeness, according to his image.' “Adam,” says Mr. Hervey, “was created in the image of God. After his fall, the sacred historian varies his style, and with a remarkable peculiarity, as well as propriety, says, Adam begat a son in his own likeness; (so it must be translated according to all the rules of grammar, Adam being the nearest antecedent.) That every reader may advert to this melancholy, but important truth, it is enforced by a very emphatical repetition: after his own image, as contradistinguished from that image of God, mentioned in the preceding verse : which expressions are evidently intended to denote the difference between the state in which Adam was created and Seth begotten.”

“ The two following texts are brought by the Assembly to show, what the image of God was, in which Adam was made.” (p. 178.) Col. iii. 10, · And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.' Eph. iv. 24, • Put on the new man, which after the image of God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

“ I answer, These texts are parallel. • The old man' means “a wicked life, the new man,' a good life ; to which they were formed and created by the gospel dispensation. And this new man,' this new life is after the image,' that is, agreeable to the nature of God.” (p. 179.)

As you advance no proof of this perfectly new interpretation, 1 leave it to shift for itself.

To disprove the common interpretation, you add, “ Adam could not be originally created in righteousness and true holiness; because habits of holiness cannot be created without our knowledge, concurrence, or consent. For holiness in its nature, implies the choice and consent of a moral agent, without which it cannot be holiness." (p: 180.)

What is holiness? Is it not essentially love? The love of God and of all mankind ? Love producing bowels of mercies, humbleness of mind, meekness, gentleness, long-suffering ? And cannot God shed abroad this love in any soul, without his concurrence ? Antecedent to his knowledge or consent ? And supposing this to be done, will love change its nature? Will it be no longer holiness? This argument can never be sustained; unless you would play upon the word habits. Love is holiness wherever it exists. And God could create either men or angels, endued from the very first moment of their existence, with whatsoever degree of love he pleased.

You “ think, on the contrary, it is demonstration, that we cannot be righteous or holy, we cannot observe what is right, without our own free and explicit choice.” I suppose you mean, practise what is right. But a man may be righteous, before he does what is right, holy in heart before he is holy in life. The confounding these two all along, seems the ground of your strange imagination, that Adam “ must choose to be righteous, must exercise thought and reflection before he could be righteous.” Why so ? “Because righteousness is the right use and application of our powers.” Here is your capital mistake. No, it is not: it is the right state of our powers. It is the right disposition of our soul, the right temper of our mind. Take this with you, and you will no more dream, that “God could not create man in righteousness and true holiness :" or that “to talk of wanting that righteousness in which Adam was created, is to talk of nothing we want.” (p. 181.)

On Rom. ii. 14, you observe, “ This text clearly proves, that natral reason and understanding, is a rule of action to all mankind, and that all men ought to follow it. This therefore overthrows the whole doctrine of original sin.” (p. 183.) How do you prove the consequence ? May not men have some reason left, which in some measure discerns good from evil, and yet be deeply fallen, even as to their understanding, as well as their will and affections ?

On Eccles vii. 29, God hath made man upright, but they have found out many inventions,' (p. 184, 185,) you say, “ Man here means all mankind; upright, endued with powers to know and perform their duty." You offer no proof for either of these assertions. And without it I cannot receive them.

Again, « They (you say) incaris mankind in general.” I rather believe it means our first parents, who are by Moses likewise comprebended under the common name of man, or rather 78, Adam. So Gen. v. 2, ‘God called their name Adan in the day when they were created.' And in the day that they fell, whoever reads Gen. iii. will see they found out not one, but many inventions. This text therefore in its obvious meaning teaches both the original uprightRess, and subsequent fall of man.

From all these texts it manifestly appears, 1. That man was created in the image of God, 2. That this image consisted not only in bis rational and immortal nature, and his doininion over the creatures, but also in knowledge, actual knowledge both of God and of his works, in the right state of his intellectual powers, and in love, which is true holiness.

“Obj. III. But do we not derive from Adam a moral taint and infection, whereby we have a natural propensity to sin ?” (p. 186.)

“I answer, we have many natural appetites and passions, which if they grow irregular, become sinful. But this does not amount to a natural propensity to sin.” But is not pride sin ? Is not idolatry sin ? And is it not idolatry, to “ love the creature more than the Creator ?' Is not revenge sin ? Is it not sin to • look upon a woman,' so as to , lust after her ?' And have not all inen a natural propensity to these

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