Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

though they were generally, in that corrupt Time, very far from a practical Conviction of it; and many Nocions were then prevalent, especially

among

me.

" Sake ; for the Appetite of Man is evil from bis Youth; that is, “ from the Time when he comes forth from bis Mother's " Womb. For at the same Time that he sucks the Breasts, “ he follows his Luft; and while he is yet an Infant, he is “ under the Dominion of Anger, Envy, Hatred and other “ Vices to which that tender Age is obnoxious."— Prov. * xxii. 15. Solomon says, Foolisrness is bound to the Mind of a Child. Concerning which Place R. Levi Ben Gerfom ob• serves thus, Foolishness as it were grozus to him in his very

Beginning." Concerning this Sin, which is common and • original to all Men, David said, Pfal. li.

5.

Behold, I was begotten in Iniquity, and in Sin did my

Mother warm Upon which Place Eben-Ezra says thus: Behold, because of « the Concupiscence which is innate in the Heart of Man, it is " said, I am begotten in Iniquity. And the Sense is, that there “ is implanted in the Heart of Man, Jetzer harang, an evil “ Figment, from his Nativity."

- Ănd Manasjeb Ben Israel, de Fragil. pag. 2. Behold, I was formed in Iniquity, and in Sin hath my Mother warmed me.

But " whether this be understood concerning the common Mother, “ which was Eve, or whether David 1pake only of his own

Motber, he would signify, that Sin is as it were natural, and

inseparable in this Life. For it is to be observed, that Eve “ conceived after the Transgression was committed ; and as

many as were begotten afterwards, were not brought forth “ in a Conformity to the Rule of right Reason, but in Confor

mity to disorderly and luftful Affections.” He adds, “ Onę “ of the wise Men of the Jews, namely, R. Aha, rightly ob. ! served, David would fignify that it is impossible, even for “ pious Men who excel in Virtue, never to commit any Sin." Fob also afferts the same thing with David, Chap. xiv. 4. saying, Who will give a clean Thing from an unclean ? Truly

Concerning which Words Aben-Ezra says thus : " The Sense is the fame with that, I was begotten in Iniquity, “ because Man is made out of an unclean Thing." Stapferus, Theolog. Polem. Tom. jii. p. 36, 37.

Id. ibid. p. 132, &c. ' So Sal Farchi ad Gemaram, Cod.

Schabbath, fol. 142. p. 2. " And this is not only to be " referred to Sinners ; because all the Posterity of the forf Man are in like Manner subjected to all the Curses pronounced on

nat one.

among the Pharisees, which were indeed inconsistent with it. And though on Account of these Prejudices they might need to have this Doctrine

explained

him." And Manaseh Ben Israel, in his Preface to Humate Frailty, says, “ I had a Mind to shew by what Means it

came to pass, that when the first Father of all had loft his " Righteousness, his Pofterity are begotten liable to the same

Punishment with him." * And Munfterus on the Gospel of Matthew cites the following Words, from the Book called The Bundle of Myrrh: The Blessed Lord faid to the first Man, when he cursed him, Thorns and Thisles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the Herb of the field. The

Thing which he means, is, That because of his Sin all who

fhould defcend from him, fhould be wicked and perverse, like Thorns and Thistles; according to that Word of the Lord,

speaking to the Prophet: Thorns and Irritators are with thes, " and thou dwelleft among Scorpions. And all this is from the

Serpent, who was the Devil, Sam-mael, who emitted a mor“ tiferous and corraptive Poison into Eve, and became the is Cause of Death to Adam himself, when he eat the Fruit. • Remarkable is the Place quoted in Joseph de Voisin, against Martin Raymund, p. 471. of Master Menachem Rakanatenfis, • Sect. Berefchit, from Midrasch Tehillim; which is cited by

Hoornbekius, against the Jews, in these Words: “ It is no « Wonder, that the Sin of Adam and Eve is written and sealed “ with the King's Ring, and to be propagated to all following “ Generations ; because on the Day that Adam was created, “ all Things were finished , fo that he stood forth the Perfec« tion and Completion of the whole Workmanship of the " World: So when he finned, the whole World sinned; whose « Sin we bear and suffer. But the Matter is not thus with “ respect to the Sins of his Posterity.”—Thus far Stapferis.

Besides these, as Ainfworth on Gen, viii. 21. obferves, “ In Bereshith Rabba (a Hebrew Commentary on this Place) a “ Rabbin is said to be asked, When is the evil Imagination part into Man? And he answered, From the Hour that he is formed." And in Pool's Synopfis it is added, from Grotius, “ So Rabbi Salomon interprets Gen, viii. 21. The Imagination of Man's Heart is evil from his Youth, of its being evil from the Time " that he is taken out of his Mother's Bowels. 66 Abeni. Ezra thus interprets Psal. li. 5. I was hapen in Iniquity, and 46 in Sin did my Mother conceive me ; that evil Concupiscence is “ implanted in the Heart from Childhood, as if he were formed

* in

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

explained and applied to them, yet it is well known, by all acquainted with their Bibles, that Chrift, for wise Reasons, spake more sparingly and

obscurely

“ in it; and by my Mother, he understands Eve, who did not • bear Children till fhe had finned. And so Kafvenaki says, How It all I avoid finning? My Original is corrupt, and from thence are thoje Sins. So Manalleh Ben Israel, from this “ Place (Psal. li. 5.) concludes, that not only David, but all “ Mankind, ever since Sin was introduced into the World, “ do Sin from their Original. To this purpose is the Answer of Rabbi Hakkadosch, which there is an Account of in the Talmud. From what Time does Concupiscence rule over Man? From the very Moment of his firf Formation, or from his Nativity? Ans. From his Formation.”- Pool's Synops. in Loc.

On these Things I observe, there is the greatest Reason to fuppoíe, that these old Rabbies of the Jewish Nation, who gave such Heed to the Tradition of the Elders, would never have received this Doctrine of Original Sin, had it not been delivered down to them from their Forefathers. For it is a Doctrine very disagreeable to those practical Principles and Notions, wherein the Religion of the unbelieving Jews moft fundamentally differs from the Religion maintained among Chriftians : particularly their Notion of Justification by their own Righteousness, and Privileges as the Children of Abrabam, &c. without standing in Need of any Satisfaction, by the Sufferings of the Messiah. On which Account the modern Jews do now universally reject the Doctrine of Original Sin, and Corruption of Nature; as Stapferas obferves. And it is not at all likely, that the ancient Jews, if no such Doctrine had been received by Tradition from the Fathers, would have taken it up from the Christians, whom they had in such great Contempt and Enmity; especially as it is a Doctrine so peculiarly agreeable to the Christian Notion of the spiritual Salvation of Jesus, and so contrary to their carnal Notions of the Messiah, and of his Salvation and Kingdom, and so contrary to their Opinion of themselves ; and a Doctrine, which Men in general are so apt to be prejudiced against. And besides, thefe Rabbies do exprefly refer to the Opinion of their Forefatbers; as, R. Manafeh says, “ According to the Opinion of " the ANCIENTS, none are subject to Death, but those which “ have finned: for where there is no Sin, there is no Death." Stapfer. Tom. iii. p. 37, 38.

But

obscurely of several of the most important Doctrines of revealed Religion, relating to the Ne. ceffity, Grounds, Nature and Way of his Redemp

tion,

But we have more direct Evidence, that the Doctrine of Original Sin was truly a received Doctrine among the ancient Jews, even before the Coming of Christ. This appears by ancient Jewish Writings, which were written before Chrift; as, in the Apocrypha, 2 Esdras iii. 21. • For the first Adam,

bearing a wicked Heart, tranfgreffed, and was overcome : s and so be all they that are born of him. Thus Infirmity was “ made permanent; and the Law also in the Heart of the

People, with the Malignity of the Root; fo that the Good “ departed away, and the Evil abode still.”- 2 Esdras iv. 30. " For the Grain of evil Seed hath been sown in the Heart of " Adam, from the Beginning; and how much Ungodliness 6 hath it brought up unto this Time? And how much shalt “.it yet bring forth, till the Time of threshing shall come ?" And Chap. vii. 46. “ It had been better, not to have given 66 the Earth unto Adam; or else, when it was given him, to have "restrained him from finning; for what Profit is it, for Men

now in this present Time, to live in Heaviness, and after 6. Death, to look for Punishment ? O thou Adam, what haft “ thou done! For though it was thou that finned, thou art not fallen alone, but we all that come of thee." And we read, Ecclef. xxv. 24. “ Of the Woman came the Beginning of Sin, " and through her we all die."

As this Doctrine of original Corruption was constantly maintained in the Church of God from the Beginning ; so from thence, in all Probability, as well as from the Evidence of it in universal Experience, it was, that the wiser Heathen maintained the like Doctrine. Particularly Plato, that great Philofopher, so distinguished for his Veneration of ancient Traditions, and diligent Inquiries after them. Gale, in his Court of the Gentiles, observes as follows : “ PLATO says (Gorg. fol.

493.) I have heard from the wise Men, that we are now dead, “ and that the Body is but our Sepulchre. And in his Timæus Locrus (fol. 103.) he says, The Cause of Vitiofity is from our “ Parents, and first Principles, rather than from ourselves. So " that we never relinquish those Actions, which lead us to follow these primitive Blemishes of our FIRST PARENTS. Plato “ mentions the Corruption of the Will, and seems to disown

any Free-Will to true Good; albeit he allows some gű puid, “ or natural Dispositions, to civil Good, in some great

# Heroes,

tion, and the Method of the Justification of Sinners, while he lived here in the Flesh; and left these Doctrines to be more plainly and fully opened and inculcated by the Holy Spirit, after his Ascension.

But if after all, Christ did not speak of this Doctrine often 'enough to fuit Dr. T.-4, he might be asked, Why he supposes Christ did no oftener, and no more plainly teach some of his (Dr. T—'s) Doctrines, which he so much insists on? As, That temporal Death comes on all Mankind by Adam ; and, That it comes on them by him, not as a Punishment or Calamity, but as a great Favour; being made a rich Benefit, and a Fruit of God's abundant Grace, by Christ's Redemption, who came into the World as a second Adam for this End. Surely, if this were so, it was of vast Importance, that it should be known to the Church of God in all Ages, who saw Death reigning over Infants, as well as others. If Infants were indeed perfectly innocent, was it not needful, that the Design of that

which

[ocr errors]

« Heroes. SOCRATES asserted the Corruption of human

Nature, or xonon é je putov.Grotius affirms, that the Philosophers acknowledged, it was con-natural to Men, to fin."

SENECA (Beref. 5. 14.) fays, Wickedness has not its first Be. ginning in wicked Practice ; though by that it is first exercised and made manifeft. 'And PLUT A RCH (de Sera vindicta) says, Man does not first become wicked, when he first manifests himseif fo: but he bath Wickedness from the Beginning; and he Thews it as soon as he finds Opportunity and Ability. As. Men rightly judge, that the Sting is not first ingendered in Scorpions when they prike, or the Poison in Vipers when they bite.--Pool's Synops. or Gen. viii. 21. To which may be subjoined what JUVENAL says,

- Ad Mores Natura recurrit

Damnatos, fixa et maturi nescia. Englifhed thus, in Profe; NATURE, a Thing fixed and not knowing how to change, returns to its wicked Manners:

Watts, Ruin and Recovery.

« AnteriorContinuar »