« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
ters of Adam. (p. 410.) . Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart of man is only evil continually,' (Gen. vi. 5:) yea "evil from his youth,' (Ch. viii. 21.) • The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are gone out of the way : there is none that doth good, no not one,' (Psm. xiv. 2.) . There is not a just man upon earth, who doth good and sinneth not,' (Eccl. vii. 20.) All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way:' (Isa. liii. 6.) different wanderings, but all wanderers. 6 There is none righteous, no not one : there is none that doth good, ne not one. Every mouth is stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. All are fallen short of the glory of God, because all have sinned,' (Rom. iii. 10, 12, 19, 23.) If one died for all, then were all dead;' that is, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins,' (2 Cor. y. 14.)
“Now can we suppose, that all God's creatures would universally break his law, run into sin and death, defile and destroy themselves, and that without any one exception, if it had not arisen from some root of bitterness, some original iniquity which was diffused through them all, from their very entrance into the world ? It is utterly incredible, that every single person, among the millions of mankind should be born pure and innocent, and yet should all, by free and voluntary choice, every one for himself, for near six thousand years together, rebel against him that made them, if there were not some original contagion spread through them all at their entrance into life!
Secondly, The same thing appears from the scriptural doctrine of our recovery by divine grace. Let us consider in what manner the Scripture represents that great change which must be wrought in our souls, in order to our obtaining the favour and image of God, and future happiness. 'Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,' (John iij. 3, 6, 8.). In other scriptures it is represented, that they must be born of the
Spirit;' they must be born of God.? They must be, 'cre, ated anew in Christ Jesus unto good works,' (Eph. ii. 10.) They must be quickened,' or raised again from their ? death in trespasses and sins,' (ver. 5.) They must be renewed in their spirit, or created after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. They must be reconciled to God by Jesus Christ; they must be 5 washed from their sins in his blood.'. Since all have sinned and come. short of the glory of God,' therefore if ever they are saved, they must be justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Now can any one suppose God to have made so many millions of creatures, as have come into the world from Adam till now, which have all entered the world, innocent and holy, and yet not one of them should retain his image in holiness, or be fit for his favour, without being born again, created anew, raised from the dead, redeemed, not with corruptible things, but with the blood of his own Son? Do not all these representations prove, that every man is born with some original contagion, and under some criminal imputation in the sight of God? Else would not one among all these millions be fit to be made a partaker of his favour, without such amazing purifications as require the blood of the Son of God, and the almighty operation of his Spirit ? Do not all these things shew, that mankind in their present generations, are not such creatures as God at first made them? (p: 414.) Inte?
“ The same great truth we may learn, thirdly, from even a slight survey of the Heathen nations. A few days ago I was viewing, in the map of the world, the vast Asiatic empires of Tartary and China, and a great part of the kingdom of the Mogul, with the multitude of islands in the East-Indies. I went on to survey all the southern part of Africa, with the savage nations of America. I observed the thousands, or rather anillions who'dwell on this globe, and walk, and trifle, and live and die there, under the heaviest cloud of ignorance and darkness, not knowing God, nor the way to his favour: 'who are drenched in gross
impieties and superstitions, who are continually guilty of national immoralities, and practişe idolatry, malice and lewdness, fraud and falsehood, with scarce any regret or restraint. (p. 415.)
“ Then sighing within myself I said, It is not many years since these were all infants; and they were brought up by parents who knew not God, nor the path that leads to life and happiness. Are not these unhappy children born under difficulties almost unsurmountable? Are they not laid under almost an impossibility, of breaking their way of themselves, through so much thick darkness, to the knowledge, the fear, and the love of him that made them? Dreadful truth indeed! Yet, so far as I can see, certain and incontestible. Such, I fear, is the case of those of the human race who, cover at present the far greatest part of the globe. (p. 416.)
“ Then I ran back in my thoughts four or five thousand years, and said within myself, what multitudes in every age of the world, have been born in these deplorable circumstances ? They are inured from their birth to barbarous customs and impious practices; they have an image of the life of brates and devils wrought in them by their early education : they have had the seeds of wretched wickedness, sown, planted, and cultivated in them, by the savage instructions of those that went before them. And their own imitation of such horrible examples has confirmed the mischief, long before they knew or heard of the true God: if they have heard of him to this day. Scarce any of them have admitted one thoughtful inquiry, whether they follow the rules of reason, or whether they are in the way of happiness and peace, any more than their parents before them. As they are born in this gross darkness, so they grow up in the vile idolatries, and all the shameful abominations of their country, and go on to death in the same
Nor have they light enough, either from without or within to make them ask seriously, “Is there not a lie in my right hand? Am I not in the way of destruction?' (p. 417.)
“ St. Peter, says indeed, That 'in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him.' But if there were very few (among the Jews) who feared God, very few in those learned nations of the Gentiles, how much fewer, may we suppose, are in those barbarous countries, which have no knowledge, either divine or human ? (p. 419.)
“ But would this have been the case of those unhappy nations, both of the parents and their children, in a hundred long successions, had they been such a race of creatures, as they came out of the hand of the Creator? If those children had been guiltless in the eye of God could this have been their portion? In short, can we suppose, the wise, and righteous, and merciful God would have established and continued such a constitution for the propagation of mankind, which should naturally place so many millions of them so early in such dismal circumstances; if there had not been some dreadful and universal degeneracy spread over them and their fathers, by 'some' original crime, which met and seized them at the very entrance into life? (p. 420.)
THE SECOND ESSAY.
A plain Explication of the Doctrine of "Imputed Sin and
Imputed Righteousness.' (p. 427.) “ This Doctrine has been 'attended with many noisy con: troversies in the Christian world. Let us try whether it may not be set in so fair and easy a light, as to reconcile the sentiments of the contending parties.
4 When a man has broken the law of his country, and is punished for so doing, it is plain that sin is imputed to him: his wickedness is upon him; he bears his iniquity : that is, he is reputed or accounted guilty: he is condemned and dealt with as an offender. (p. 428.)
5 On the other hand if an innocent man, who is falsely accused is acquitted by the court, sin is not imputed to him, but, righteousness is imputed to him, or to use another phrase, his righteousness is upon him.
« Or, if a reward be given a man for any righteous action, this righteous act is imputed to him.
“ Farther, If a man has committed a crime, but the prince pardons him, then he is justified from it; and his fault is not imputed to him. (p. 429.)
“ But if a man, having committed treason, his estate is taken from him and his children, then they bear the iniquity of their father, and his sin is imputed to them also.
“ If a man lose his life and estate for murder, and his children thereby become vagabonds, then the blood of the person murdered is said to be upon the murderer, and upon his children also. So the Jews: His blood be on us and on our children'; let us and our children be punished for it.
“ Or, if a criminal had incurred the penalty of impri, sonment, and the state were to permit a friend of his to become his surety, and to be confined in his room, then his crime is said to be imputed to his surety, or to be laid upon him: he bears the iniquity of his friend, by suffering for him. Meantime the crime for which the surety now suffers, is not imputed to the real offender. (p. 430.)
“And should we suppose the prince, to permit this surety to exert himself in some eminent service, to which a reward is promised, and all this in order to entitle the criminal to the promised reward, then this eminent service may be said to be imputed to the criminal, that is, he is rewarded on the account of it. So in this case, both what his friend has done and suffered, is imputed to him.
“ If a man do some eminent service to his prince, and he with his posterity are dignified on account of it; then the service performed by the father is said to be imputed to the children also. (p. 431.)
“ Now if among the histories of nations we find any thing of this kind, do we not easily understand what the writers say? Why then do we judge these phrases when