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things? They have all then a natural propensity to sin. Nevertheless this propensity is not necessary, if by necessary you mean irresistible. We can resist and conquer it too, by the grace which is ever at hand.

This propensity to pride, to revenge, to idolatry, (call it taint, or any thing,) cannot be pleasing to God, who yet in fact does permit that. it should descend from Adam to his latest posterity. And “we can neither help nor hinder" its descending to us.

Indeed we can heap up plausible arguments, to prove the impossibility of it. But I feel it, and the argument drops. Bring ever so many proofs, that there can be no such thing as motion. I move and they vanish away.

“But nature cannot be morally corrupted, but by the choice of a moral agent.” (p. 187.) You may play upon words as long as you please ; but still hold this fast : 1 (and you too, whether you will own it or not) am inclined, and was ever since I can remember, antecedently to any choice of my own, to pride, revenge, idolatry. If you will not call these moral corruptions, call them just what you will. But the fact I am as well assured of, as that I have any memory or understanding.

“ But some have attempted to explain this intricate affair." (p. 188.). I do not commend their wisdom. I do not attempt to explain even how I, at this moment, stretch out my hand, or move my finger,

One more of your assertions I must not pass over. “ It is absurd to say, infection is derived from Adam, independent of the will of God. And to say, it is by his will, is to make him the author of the pollution.” (p. 189.) We answer, It is not derived from Adam, independent of the will of God; that is, his permissive will : but our allowing this, does not make him the author of the pollution.

“ Obj. IV. But do not the vices of parents often infect their children ?" (p. 190, 191.) I think we cannot deny it.

“Obj. V. How can we account for children's beginning so soon to. sin, but by supposing they have a natural propensity to it ?'' (p. 192.)

“I answer, Who can tell, how soon they begin ?" Then they begin when they first show wrong tempers : such as plain, undeniable frowardness, revenge, self-will, which is as soon as they have any exercise of reason. So that the use of reason and the abuse, generally commence and grow up together. As soon as their faculties appear at all, they appear to be disordered: the wrong state of their powers, being easily inferred from their continual wrong application of them.

« But if parents were wise and virtuous themselves, and then endeavoured to bring up their children virtuously, there would be less wickedness in the world." There would : but this does not reach the point; nor, that “undisciplined children contract bad habits.” I have known wise and virtuous parents, who did earnestly labour to bring up their children virtuously; and disciplined them with all possible care, from the very first dawn of reason. Yet these very children showed bad tempers before it was possible they could “ contract bad habits.” They daily evidenced the wrong state of all their faculties, both of their understanding, will, and affections, just contrary both to the examples and instructions of all that were round about them. Here then those wrong tempers were not owing to “the fault of careless or ungodly parents :” nor could be rationally accounted for, but by the supposing those children to have a natural propensily to evil.

It is indeed a general rule, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,' (Prov. xxii. 6 :) and there is much truth in that observation, ·Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him,' (ver. 15:) that is, prudent correction is the most probable means which you can use to reinove that foolishness. Yet this no way contradicts what is matter of daily experience, that we ha e natural propensity to evil. Nay, the latter of these texts strongly confirms it: for if there be no such propensity, how comes foolishness (that is wickedness, in the language of Solomon) to be bound in the heart of a child ? Of every child, of children in general, as the phrase manifestly imports. It is not from education here : it is supposed to be antecedent to education, whether good or bad. - Oh, foolishness means only strong appetite." Yes, strong appetite to evil.

Otherwise it would not call for the rod of correction, or need to be driven far from him.

“ Obj. VI. Might not Adam's posterity be said to sin in him, as Levi is said to pay tithes in Abraham ?" (Heb. vii. 9.)

If the querist means, not to prove a doctrine already proved, but only to illustrate one expression by another, your answer, “That it is a bold figure,” (p. 195,) does not at all affect him. It is 50: but still it may be pertinently cited to illustrate a similar expression.

6. Obj. VII. · But there is a law in our members which wars against the law of our minds, and brings us into captivity to the law of sin and death.” (p. 199.) And does not this ove, that we come into the world with sinful propensities?

You answer, 1. “If we come into the world with them, they are natural; but if natural, necessary; and if necessary, then no sin." (p. 200.)

If the consequence were good, with regard to what is so natural and necessary, as to be irresistible, yet certainly it is not good, with regard to those propensities, which we may both resist and conquer.

You answer, 2. “ The apostle does not in this chapter, speak of any man as he comes into the world, but as he is afterward depraved and corrupted by his own wicked ehoice.” Where is the proof! How does it appear, that he does not speak of men corrupted both by choice and by nature ?

You answer, 3. “He does not speak of himself, or any regenerate man, but of a Jew under the power of sin.” (p. 200.) Nay, your

argument proves he does not speak of any Jew. For in order to prove, “the apostle does not speak of himself,” you say, “the persons of whom he speaks, were, before the commandment came, i. e. before they came under the law, once without the lar. But the apostle never was without the law.” No, nor any Jew. “ For he was born, and continued under the law, till he was a Christian." So did all the Jews, as well as be ;_"and therefore it cannot be true, that he” or any Jew whatever, “ was without the law before he came under it.” So you haye clearly proved, that the apostle does not in this passage speak of any Jew at all.

But why do you think he does speak of Jews ? Nay, of them only ? It “appears, you say, from ver. 1, • I speak to them that know the law. For the Gentiles never were under the law." Yes, they were : all the Gentiles who were convinced of sin, were undera the law in the sense here spoken of, under the condemning power of the law written in their hearts,' for transgressing which they were under the wrath of God. And this whole chapter, from the seventh to the twenty-fourth verse, describes the state of all those, Jews or Gentiles, who saw and feli the wickedness both of their hearts and lives, and groaned to be delivered from it.

Many passages in your paraphrase on the former part of this chapter, are liable to much exception ; but as they do not immediately touch the point in question, I pass on to the latter part.

Ver. 14. 'I am carnal, sold under sin.' “ He means a willing slavery.” (p. 216.) Quite the contrary, as appears from the very next words, For that which I do I allow not : for what I would, I do not ; but what I hate that I do.' What I hate : not barely, * what my reason disapproves :" but what I really detest and abhor, but cannot help.

Ver. 17. • Now then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.' “ It is my sinful propensities, my indulged appetites and passions." (p. 217.) True; but those propensities were antecedent to that indulgence.

“ But the apostle cannot mean, that there is something in man which makes him sin, whether he will or not. For then it would not be sin at all.” Experience explains his meaning. I have felt in me a thousand times, something which made me transgress God's law, whether I would or not. Yet I dare not say that transgression of the law was no sin at all.”

Ver. 18. “For I know, that in me, that is, in my flesh,' (not my - fleshly appetites” only, but my whole nature while unrenewed,)

dwelleth no good thing. For to will' indeed, is present with me :' not barely “that natural faculty, the will,” but an actual will to do good, as evidently appears from the following words, But hvow to perform that which is good, I find not:' I have the desire, but not the power.

Ver. 19. . For the good that I would,' that I desire and choose, I do not: but the evil which I would not,' which I hate, that I do.'

Ver. 20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me :' but “the prevalency of sensual affections," (p. 218,) yea sinful tempers of every kind,“ settled and ruling in my heart," both by nature and habit.

Ver. 21. I find then, that when I would do good,' when I choose and earnestly desire it, I cannot : evil is present with me;' as it were gets in between.

Ver. 22. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man: my mind, my conscience approves it.

Ver. 23. •But I see another law in my members which warreth against the law in my mind :' (p. 219.) “ Another principle of action which fights against iny reason” and conscience, and bringeth me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members :' which "captivates and enslaves me to the principle of wickedness." (Strange language for you to use !) “Seated in the lusts of the Nesh :" seated indeed in all my tempers, passions, and appetites, which are the several members of the old man.

Ver. 24. • wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?' “ He is under the power of such passions, as his own reason disapproves, but is too weak to conquer : and N. B. being a Jew, he stands condemned to eternal death by the law. How shall such a wretched Jew' be delivered from sinful ·lusts, and the curse of the law ?”. Did then none but a Jew ever cry out, under the burden of sin, “wretched man that I am ? Are none but Jews “ under the power of such passions, as their own reason disapproves, but is too weak to conquer ?" And does the law of God “condemn to eternal death,” no sinners beside Jews? Do not Christians also, (in the wide sense of the word,) groan to be delivered from the body of this death? With what truth, with what sense can you restrain this passage to a Jew, any more than to a Turk? · I cannot but observe upon the whole, the question is, “Does not Rom. vii. 23, show, that we come into the world with sinful propensities ?” (This is all that is pertinent in the objection awkwardly proposed, p. 199.) But instead of keeping to this, you spend above twenty pages in proving, that this chapter does not describe a regenerate person! It may, or it may not : but this does not touch · the question, “ Do not men come into the world with sinful propensities ?”

We have undoubtedly an additional proof, that they do, in the words of Jeremiah, ch. xvii. 9, • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it ? On this you descant, (one instance of a thousand, of your artful manner of declaiming, in order to forestall the reader's judgment, and deceive the hearts of the simple,') “Christians too generally neglecting the study of the Scripture, content themselves with a few scraps, which though wrong understood, they make the test of truth, in contradiction to the whole tenor of revelation. Thus this text has been misapplied to prove, that every man's heart is so desperately wicked, that no

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man can know how wicked his heart is." (p. 224.) O what #Davorogid, persuasiveness of speech! After reading this, I was much inclined to believe, without going a step farther, that this text had been “generally misunderstood.' I thought, probably it has been misapplied, and does not assert, that every man's heart is desperately wicked.' But no sooner did I read over the very verses you cite, than the clear light appeared again. (ver. 5.) Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.' (p. 224.). That man, whom we are not to trust in, means man in general, cannot be denied. After repeating the intermediate verses, you yourself add, “ He subjoins a reason. (ver. 9,) which demonstrates the error of trusting in man: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? This text, therefore, does not mean, who can know his own heart, but another's.” Whether it means one or both, it positively asserts, that the heart of man,' of men in general, of every man, is desperately wicked.' Therefore as to the main point contained therein, “ Christians do not understand it wrong," (p. 224,) neither misapply it at all.

When I say, “I feel, I have a wicked heart,” (p. 225.) another thing which you do not understand, I mean this, " I feel much pride remaining in my heart, much self-will, much unbelief. Now I really believe, pride and self-will; and unbelief, to be essentially wicked tempers. Therefore in whatever heart they remain, (and they remain in your's as well as mine,) that is a wicked heart.

After a long pause, you return to the 7th of the Romans and affirm, “We cannot from any thing in that chapter infer, that we came into the world with sinful dispositions derived from Adam; for the apostle says nothing about Adam.” (p. 229.) He had said enough in the 5th chapter of the cause. Here he only describes the effect : the state of those, who are now brought to the birth :' but there is not yet strength to bring forth.'

- Nor can we infer from hence, that any man sins through a prin-'ciple which it was never in his power to command. For then it would be no sin." Upon this I would only ask, Are you assured, that no man transgresses God's law, (whether you will call it sin, or not,) through a principle which it was never in his power to com·mand ? At least not for any time together ? Every passionate man can confute you in this. He has sad experience of the contrary.

To those objections which you have, in some sort, answered, you. subjoin the following questions.

Quest. I. “Is not the doctrine of original sin, necessary to account for the being of so much wickedness in the world ?” (p. 231.)

You answer, “ Adam's nature, it is allowed, was not sinful, and yet he sinned. Therefore this doctrine is no more necessary to account for the wickedness of the world than to account for Adam's sin.” Yes, it is. I can account for one man's sinning, or a hundred, or even half mankind, suppose they were evenly poised between vice and virtue, from their own choice, which might turn one way:

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