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then, on the authority of inspiration, that condemning judge ment was passed upon all men, in consequence of the offence of one, i. e. Adam. All men thus condemned, were conformed to the divine law, or they were not; but if they had been conformed to the law, we have shown that they could not have been condemned, therefore they were not conformed to the law. There is then in man, a non-conformity to the law of God, which appears from the fact, that all men have fallen under its condemnation. Now, as condemnation unto death, came upon men, before they were guilty of personal sin, and does now come upon infants, who are incapable of committing sin, it follows that this want of conformity to the law of God, is an inherent defect in human nature, and as it cannot be charged upon the Creator, the conclusion is irresistible, that it was caused by the sin of the first man, the Father and federal head of the human family, by whose offence “judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” The 19th verse gives a still more direct view of the subject. “By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." It will not be contended by those who deny the corruption of human nature through the fall, that many were made sinners, by a direct imputation of Adam's guilt to his offspring: How then were many made sinners by the offence of one? The only consisent answer to this question, is found in the principles already laid down: a corrupt state of human nature was produced by the sin of the first man, and inherited from him, by all men. Is it asked how men can be considered sinners, merely because they inherit a corrupt nature by Adam, which they have not caused, and which they cannot prevent; it is answ
swered, that this inherited corruption of nature constitutes a want of conformity to the perfect law of God, which requires holiness in the inner part, the same righteousness and true holiness" which man possessed when he came from the hand of his Creator; and this want of conformity to the law is uprighteousness; a coming short of right, and "all unrighteousness is sin." 1 John v. 17. There is another sense in which it may be true that “ by the offence of one, many were made sinners.” “ The offence of one” corrupted human nature, and this corruption of human nature leads to actual transgression. There is no other sense in which it can be consistently said,
that, “ by the offence of one, many were made sinners." if, as some contend, human nature has not suffered by the fall, and if all sin, consists in voluntary actions, "the offence of one man cannot have been the cause of the sinfulness of many. It would be futile to say that the first offence led to the sinfulness of mankind generally, by the influence of the example it furnished ; for such was the nature of Adam's offence, and such the condition in which it placed him and his descendants, as to preclude the possibility of a repetition of the same act. Not only so, but what influence can Adam's offence have on the morals of men, in producing sin at this late period of the world ? Most certainly none at all, unless it be by a bias to sin which it has produced in human nature. If men are now naturally inclined to sin, in consequence of a bias, which human nature has received through the fall of Adam, it is the very thing for which we contend; but if hu man nature is not thus inclined to evil, then many cannot have been made sinners by the disobedience of one, and the the Apostle stands corrected by the inventors of new doctrines.
IV. Those scriptures, which describe the unrenewed mind of man, clearly imply his native depravity. Jer. xvii. 9. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”
The strength of the argument, drawn from this and similar texts, which we shall introduce under this head, depends upon what is understood by the term heart. If by the heart is meant nothing more than the voluntary actions of men, the argument would lose much of its force; but if we understand by it the whole moral man, it follows that human nature itself is corrupt.
Now, that by the heart is meant the mind, soul, or wl.ole moral man, appears from the fact that those attributes and characteristics which belong to the soul, are ascribed to the heart, as will be seen by the following references. 1 Kings, iii. 12. “ A wise and understanding heart.” Rom. i. 21. « Foolish heart.” Ex. xxxv. 5. «Willing heart." Psa. ci. 4. “A froward heart » Matt. xi. 29. “ Meek and lowly in heart.” Prov. xxi. 4. “A proud heart.” Psa. lio 17. "A contrite heart." Ex. vij. 14. “Hardened heart." Rom. ii. 5. "Imperitent heart.” Psa. li. 10. “Unclean heart.” Isa. XXXV. 4. * A fearful heart." Deut. xxviii. 47. 66
and gladness of heart.” Lev. xxvi. 16. “Sorrow of heart, &c. &c. The above quotations clearly show that the scriptures do not mean the volitions of the mind, exclusively, when they speak of the heart, but that the whole mind or soul is intended; for wisdom, understanding, humility, pride, contrition, impenitence, purity, joy, sorrow, peace, &c. imply powers, passions and qualities, which are not attributable to volition alone, or to voluntary actions, but which belong essentially to the mind or soul. By the heart, then is meant, not the affections or volitions only, but the soul or whole moral and intellectual man; or the seat of the unilerstanding, will, or volitions, affections and passions. Now as the “heart," which is the seat of the understanding, will, affections and passions, is said to be “ deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” it follows that the whole man is depraved, and that entire human nature has become corrupt.
Gen. vi. 5. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
This text clearly makes a distinction between the heart and the volitions, or thoughts and purposes of the mind; the former is the source or fountain ; the latter are the streams proceeding therefrom. The expression, “ thoughts of his heart,” marks the thoughts, as not being the heart, but as belonging to the heart, or proceeding therefrom. Now as every imagination of the thoughts of the heart is evil, it follows that the heart itself must be corrupt. Can that heart, from whence proceeds evil without any mixture of good, and without any intermission of the evil, be free from evil itself? When the heart can send forth that which it does not possess in itself, and when an effect can exist without a producing cause, then, and not before, this can be true. Should it be still contended that the evil has its existence alone in the volitions of the heart, and that the thoughts are evil, not in consequence of the source from whence they proceed, but from the objects to which they tend; it is replied, that this does not in the least alleviate the difficulty ; it still leaves us without a reason why the volitions should all be evil, and every thought tend to an evil object. Can every volition of the human soul be evil
, directing every thought towards an evil object, without ever once missing the mark; and still, the
soul itself contain no bias to evil? As well may we suppose that something may exist or take place without an adequate cause ; which, to say the least, is very unphilosophical.
Rom. vii. 18, 19, 20. “To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not, for the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
." Whether the Apostle is here speaking of himself as a christian, or as an awakened sinner; or whether he is simply personating one awakened to a sense of his danger, as a sinner, yet under the influence and guilt of sin, groaning for the pardoning mercy of God and “renewing of the Holy Ghost," by which he is to be delivered from the law of sin and death, are questions which do not materially affect the present argument; the latter however is our opinion. The text, we think, clearly teaches that human nature is corrupt, and that too beyond the will or volitions of the mind. Three things are to be particularly noticed.
1. The Apostle informs us that he could will that which was good. This, no doubt, was through the help of the Holy Spirit, under whose arrest and awakening energies his mind was labouring. Now, as to will was present, while he did not the good that he willed, it follows beyond the possibility of doubt that the sinner's depravity and helplessness does not consist merely in the perverseness of his will.
2. The Apostle declares that he finds not how to perform that which is good, and that he does that which he would not. This argues that there is in human nature a strong bias to evil, against which the will has to conten.l. If, as sorne contend, the sinner has a natural ability to do all that the perfect law of righteousness requires, without supernatural aid, the perverseness of his will only preventing, it is not possible to conceive how a man can sin by not doing the good which he wills, and by doing the evil which he would not.
3. The Apostle explains how he does that which he would not, by saying it is sin that dwelleth in him. “If I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." This clearly points out the corruption of human nature. The Apostle does evil: “ The evil which I would not that I do." This clearly points out actual sin. But why does he do it?
He declares that it is the work of sin that dwelleth in him. What then is this indwelling sin ? It cannot be his volitions or voluntary actions, for he assigns it as a cause why he acts as he does, and it would be absurd to make the Apostle say that his actons were the cause of his actions; hence, there is in man an indwelling corruption which does not consist in action, and this we say, in the language of the church, "is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.” (Methodist Discipline, Article, VII.)
Psa. li. 5. “Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin. did my
mother conceive me.” On this text Dr. Clark has the following pointed remark. “Notwithstanding all that Grotius and others have said to the contrary, I believe David to speak here of what is commonly called original sin; the propensity to evil which every man brings into the world with him ;. and which is the fruitful source whence all transgression proceeds." That this is the true sense of the text is clear from the following more critical remarks made loy Rev. Richard Watson. “ What possible sense can be given to this passage on the hypothesis of man's natural innocence ? It is in vain to render the first clause, I was brought forth in iniquity,' for nothing is gained by it. David charges nothing upon his mother, of whom he is not speaking, but of himself: he was conceived, or if it please better, was born a sinner. And if the rendering of the latter clause were allowed, which yet has no authority, in sin did my mother nurse me,' still no progress is made in getting quit of its testimony to the moral corruption of children; for it is the child only which is nursed, and if that be allowed, natural depravity is allowed ; depravity before reasonable choice, which is the point in ques
We respond to the above: “What possible sense can be given to this passage,” if no reference be had to inherited depravity ? On such a supposition, it must stand a mere blank in the midst of a most interesting and pathetic subject. David is making confession of his sin, and imploring pardon for the same, and while thus confessing his actual sins, which he