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ful offspring of sinful parents, so as to have need of the renewing influences of the Holy Spirit, on that account even from our birth.
(! 71 $ If to walk after the flesh, as opposed to ''walking after the Spirit, is to follow our sinful inclinations ; if to
be in the flesh' opposed to being in the Spirit,' is to be in a state of sin; if “the flesh' and the Spirit' are two contrary principles, which counter-act each other. (Gal. v.::16, 17.) If the works of the flesh' and the lusts of the flesh are opposed to the Spirit,' and the fruit of the Spirit: then to be born of the flesh' must signify more than barely to be born of a woman. Had Adam transmitted a pure nature to his descendants, still each of them would have been born of a woman; but they would have had no necessity of being born of the Spirit,' or renewed by the Holy Ghost
“But what is that corruption of nature which the Seripture terms flesh? There are two branches of it; 1. A want of original righteousness. 2. A natural propensity to sin
561. A want of original righteousness. God created man righteous; holiness was con-natural to his soul; a principle of love and obedience to God. But when he sinned he lost this principle. And every man is now born totally void both of the knowledge and love of God,
“ 2. 'A natural propensity to sin is in every man. And this is inseparable from the other. If man is born and grows up without the knowledge or love of God, he is born and grows up propense to sin : which includes two things, an aversion to what is good, and an inclination to what is evil.
“ We are naturally averse to what is good. The carnal mind is enmity against God. Nature does not, will not, cannot submit to his holy, just, and good law. Therefore they that are in the flesh cannot please God.' Being averse to the will, law, and ways of God, they are utterly indisposed for such an obedience, as the relation between God and man indispensably requires.
« And as we are all naturally averse to what is good, so
we are naturally inclined to what is evil. Even young children of themselves run into evil; but are with diffi. culty brought to practise what is good. No sooner do they discover reason, than they discover evil, unreasonable dispositions. And these discovering themselves in every one, even from his early childhood, manifestly prove the inbred and universal corruption of human nature.
*«. But 'why is this corruption termed flesh. Not because it is confined to the body. It is the corruption of our whole nature, and is therefore termed the old man. Not because it consists merely in a repugnance of the sensual appetites to reason. This is but one branch of that corruption; the whole of it is far more extensive. Not because it is primarily seated in the body ; it is primarily seated in the soul. If sin reigns in our mortal bodies,' it is because the sinful soul uses the bodily members as instruments of unrighteousness.' 3.66 Nay, all which those words, "That which is born of “ flešh is flesh,' mean, is this, all men being descended of ko frail and mortal parents
, are like them, frail and mortal. " In consequence of Adam's sin all his descendents die."
**1 answer, 1. Though this is true, it is not the whole truth. Nor is it the proper truth of the text: which speaks of our being born of the flesh,' as the reason why we must be born of the Spirit. 1,166 2. It is not consistent with the moral perfections of God, for sinless creatures to be born mortal. Death in every sense of the word is the proper wages of sin. Sin has the same causal influence on death, as the obedience of Christ has on eternal life.
“ 3. We were not only born mortal, but children of wrath;' we who are now regenerate, as well as others.
“4. The Scripture ascribes both our mortality and cor, ruption to our relation to Adam. In him all die; through the offence of one, many, all mankind, are dead, liable to death. Again : - By the disobedience of one,' the same, many are constituted sinners. Therefore when our Lord
That which is born of the flesh is flesh,' he means not only, that we and our parents are mortal ; but that all mankind derive spiritual as well as temporal death, from their first father.
“1. "Sin is a transgression of the law,' of that law of God to which a rational creature is subject. Righteousness is, a fulfilment of, or conformity to that law. This is the proper scriptural sense of the words. But as sin involves the creature in guilt, that is a liableness to punishment, the same words are often used, to denote either sin itself, or guilt and punishment. On the other hand, righteousness denotes not only a fulfilling of the law, but also a freedom from guilt, and punishments: Yea, and sometimes all the rewards of righteousness. (p. 1, 2.)
“ Accordingly, to impute sin, is either to impute sin itself, or guilt on the account of it. To impute sin itself to'a person, is to account him a transgressor of the law: to pro: nounce him such: or to treat him as a transgressor. To impute guilt to a person, is to account him obnoxious to a threatened punishment: to pronounce him so; or to inflict that punishment. So, to impute righteousness, properly so called, is to account him a fulfiller of the law : to pronounce him so to be; and to treat him as righteous. And to impute righteousness as opposed to guilt, is to account, to pronounce, and to treat him as guiltless. (p. 5.)
“ Thus much is agreed. But the point in question is, “Does God impute no sin or righteousness but what is personal?" Dr. Taylor positively asserts, he does not. I undertake to prove, that he does : that he imputes Adam's first sin to all mankind, and our sins to Christ. (p. 5.)
* I. God imputes Adam's first sin to all mankind. I do not mean that the actual commission of it was imputed to any beside himself: (it was impossible, it should.) Nor is the guilt of it imputed to any of his descendants, in the full latitude of it, or in regard to its attendant circumstances. It constitutes none of them equally guilty with him. Yet both that sin itself, and a degree of guilt on account of it, are imputed to all his posterity: the sin itself is imputed to them, as included in their head. And on this account, they are reputed guilty, are children of wrath,' liable to the threatened punishment. And this cannot be denied, supposing, 1. Man's original righteousness. 2. Adam's being the federal head of all mankind. (p. 6.)
“Man's original righteousness has been largely proved. Let me add only an argument ad hominem. Supposing (not granting) that the Son of God, is no more than the first of creatures, either he was originally righteous, or he was not. If he was not, then time was, when he was not The Holy One of God;' and possibly he never might have been such, no, nor righteous at all: but instead of that, as ungodly, guilty, and wretched as the devil himself is. For the best creature is (Dr. Taylor grants) alterable for the worse, and the best when corrupted becomes the worst. Again if the Son of God was a mere creature, and as such made without righteousness (which“every creature must be according to Dr. Taylor) then he was not, could not be at first as righteous, as like God as the holy angels are now, yea, or as any holy man on earth is. But if these suppositions are shockingly absurd, if the Son of God could not have become as bad as the devil, if he never was unrighteous, if he was not originally less holy, than angels and men are now: then the assertion, That righteousness must be the effect of a creature's antecedent choice and endeavour," falls to the ground. (p. 7, 9.)
“ But the Hebrew word Jasher, Dr. Taylor says “ does not generally signify a moral character.” This is one of the numerous critical mistakes in this gentleman's books. Of the more than 150 texts in which Jasher, or the substan
tive Josher occurs, there are very few which do not confirm our interpretation of Eccles. vii. 29. “But Jasher is applied to various things not capable of moral action.” It is, and what then? Many of these applications are neither for us por against us. Some make strongly for us; as when it is applied to the words or ways of God and man. But the question now is, what it signifies, when applied to God or to moral agents, and that by way of opposition to a vicious character and conduct? Is it not in the text before us, applied to man as a moral agent, and by way of opposition to a corrupt character and conduct ? No man can deny it. Either, therefore, prove, That Jasher, when opposed, as here, to a corrupt conduct and character, does not signify righteous, or acknowledge the truth, that God 6 created man upright or righteous.' (p. 11.)
“ To evade the argument from Eph. iv. 24, Dr. Taylor first
says, “ The old man means an heathenish life, and then says, “ The old and new man do not signify a course of life.” What then do they signify? Why, “ The old man,” says he, “ relates to the Gentile state : and the new man is either the Christian state, or the Christian church, body, society.” But, for all this, he says again a page or two after, “ The old and new man, and the new man's being renewed, and the renewing of the Ephesians do all manifestly refer to their Gentile state and wicked course of life, from which they were lately converted.” (p. 13.)
“When then the apostle says, (Rom. vi. 6.) 'Our old man is crucified with Christ,' is it the Gentile state or course of life which was so crucified ? No: but the corrupt nature,' the body of sin,' as it is termed in the same verse. And “to put off the old man' is (according to St. Paul) 'to crucify this with its affections and desires. On the other hand, To put on the new man, is to cultivate the divine principle, which is formed in the soul of every believer, by the Spirit of Christ. It is this of which it is said, 1. It is created; and in regard to it we are said to be created unto good works.' 2. It is renewed; for it is indeed no