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vent the sad effect. Particularly, if there be any thing in the nature of man whereby he has an universal unfailing tendency to that moral evil which, according to the real nature and true demerit of things as they are in themselves, implies his utter ruin, that must be looked upon as an evil tendency or propensity ; however divine grace may interpose to save him from deserved ruin, and to over-rule things to an issue contrary to that which they tend to of themselves. Grace is sovereign, exercised according to the good pleasure of God, bringing good out of evil. The effect of it belongs not to the nature of things themselves, that otherwise have an ill tendency, any more than the remedy belongs to the disease; but is something altogether independent on it, introduced to oppose the natural tendency, and reverse the course of things. But the event to which things tend, according to their own demerit, and according to divine justice, is the event to which they tend in their own nature; as Dr. T.'s own words fully imply (Pref to. Par. on Rom. p. 131.) “God alone (says he) can declare whether he will pardon or punish the ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind, which is in ITS OWN NATURE punishable.” Nothing is more precisely according to the truth of things than divine justice: it weighs things in an even balance; it views and estimates things no otherwise than they are truly in their own nature. Therefore undoubtedly that which implies a tendency to ruin, according to the estimate of divine justice, does indeed imply such a tendency in its own nature.
And then it must be remembered, that it is a moral depravity we are speaking of; and therefore when we are considering whether such depravity do not appear by a tendency to a bad effect or issue, it is a moral tendency to such an issue that is the thing to be taken into the account. A moral tendency or influence is by desert. Then may it be said man's nature or state is attended with a pernicious or destructive tendency in a moral sense, when it tends to that which deserves misery and destruction. And therefore it equally shews the moral depravity of the nature of mankind in their present state, whether that nature be universally attended with an effectual tendency to destructive vengeance actually executed, or to their deserving misery and ruin, or their just exposedness to destruction, however that fatal consequence may be prevented by grace, or whatever the actual event be.
One thing more is to be observed here, that the topic mainly insisted on by the opposers of the doctrine of original sin, is the justice of God; both in their objections against the imputation of Adam's sin, and also against its being so ordered, that men should come into the world with a corrupt and ruined nature, without having merited the displeasure of their Creator by any personal fault. But the latter is not repugnant to God's
justice, if men actually are born into the world with a tendency to sin, and to misery and ruin for their sin, which actually will be the consequence unless mere grace steps in and prevents it. If this be allowed, the argument from justice is given up: for it is to suppose, that their liableness to misery and ruin comes in a way of justice ; otherwise there would be no need of the interposition of divine grace to save them. Justice alone would be sufficient security, if exercised, without grace. It is all one in this dispute about what is just and righteous, whether men are born in a miserable state by a tendency to ruin which actually follows, and that justly; or whether they are born in such a state as tends to a desert of ruin, which might justly follow, and would actually follow did not grace prevent. For the controversy is not what grace will do, but what justice might do.
I have been the more particular on this head, because it enervates many of the reasonings and conclusions by which Dr. T. makes out his scheme; in which he argues from that state which mankind are in by divine grace, yea, which he himself supposes to be by divine grace; and yet not making any allowance for this, he from hence draws conclusions against what others suppose of the deplorable and ruined state mankind are in by the fall.* Some of his arguments and conclusions to
* Ho often speaks of death and affliction as coming on Adam's posterity in consequence of his sin; and in p. 20, 21. and many other places, he supposes that these things come in consequence of his sin, not as a punishment or a calamity, but as a benefit. But in p. 23. he supposes, those things would be a great calamity and misery, if it were not for the resurrection ; which resurrection he there, and in the following pages, and in many other places, speaks of as being by Christ; and often speaks of it as being by the grace of God in Christ.
P. 63, 64. Speaking of our being subjected to sorrow, labour, and death, in consequence of Adam's sin, he represents these as evils that are reversed and turned into advantages, and from which we are delivered through grace in Christ. And p. 65, 66, 67. he speaks of God thus turning death into an advantage through grace in Christ, as what vindicates the justice of God in bringing death by Adam.
P. 152, 156. One thing he alleges against this proposition of the Assembly of Divines—That we are by nature bond-slaves to Satan—That God hath been proriding, from the beginning of the world to this day, various means and dispensations, to preserve and rescue mankind from the devil.
P. 168, 169, 170 In answer to that objection against his doctrine That we ure in worse circumstances than Adam, he alleges the happy circumstances we are under by the provision and means furnished through free grace in Christ.
P. 228. In answering that argument against his doctrine–That there is a law in our members, bringing us into captivity to the law of sin and
death, Ron. vii.--He allows, that the case of those who are under a law threatening death for every sin (which law he elsewhere says, shews us the natural and proper demerit of sin, and is perfectly consonant to everlasting truth and righteousness) must be quite deplorable if they have no relief from the mercy of the law giver.
P. 90-93. S. In opposition to what is supposed of the miserable state mankind are brought into by Adam's sin, he alleges, The noble designs of love, manifested by advancing a new and happy dispensation, founded on the obedience and righteousness of the Son of God; and that, although by Adam we are subjected to death,
this effect, in order to be made good, must depend on such a supposition as this :—that God's dispensations of grace are rectifications or amendments of his foregoing constitutions and proceedings, which were merely legal; as though the dispensations of grace, which succeed those of mere law, implied an acknowledgment that the preceding legal constitution would be unjust if left as it was, or at least very hard dealing with mankind; and that the other were of the nature of a satisfaction to his creatures for former injuries, or hard treatment. So that, put together the injury with the satisfaction, the legal and injurious dispensation taken with the following good dispensation, which our author calls grace, and the unfairness or improper severity of the former amended by the goodness of the latter, both together made up one righteous dispensation.
The reader is desired to bear in mind what I have said concerning the interposition of divine grace not altering the nature of things as they are in themselves. Accordingly, when I speak of such and such an evil tendency of things belonging to the present nature and state of mankind, understand me to mean their tendency as they are in themselves, abstracted from any consideration of that remedy the sovereign and infinite grace of God has provided.-Having premised these things, I now assert, that mankind are all naturally in such a state, as is attended, without fail, with this consequence or issue; that THEY UNIVERSALLY RUN THEMSELVES INTO THAT WHICH IS, IN EFFECT, THEIR OWN UTTER ETERNAL PERDITION, as being fiinally accursed of God and the subject of his remediless wrath through sin.-From which I infer,
yet in this dispensation a resurrection is provided ; and that Adam's posterity are under a mild dispensation of Grace, &c.
P. 112. S. He vindicates God's dealings with Adam, in placing him at first under the ngour of law, transgress and die, (which, as he expresses it, was putting his happiness on a foot extremely dangerous) by saying, that as God had before delermined in his own breast, so he immediately established his covenant upon a quite diffe, ent bottom, namely, upon grace.
P. 122, 123, S. Against what R. R. says, That God forsook man when he fell, and that mankind after Adam's sin were born without the divine favour, &c. he alleges, among other things, Christ's coming to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world— And the riches of God's mercy in giving the promise of a Redeemer to destroy the works of the devil—Thai he caught his sinning falling creature in the urms of his grace.
In his note on Rom. v. 20. p. 297, 298. he says as follows: “The law I conceive, is not a dispensation suitable to the infirmity of the human nature in our present state; or it doth not seem congruous to the goodness of God, to afford us no other way of salvation but by a law, which, if we once transgress, we are ruined for ever. For who then from the beginning of the world could be saved ? And therefore it seems to me, that the law was not absolutely intended to be a rule for obtaining life, even to Adam in paradise : Grace was the dispensation God intended mankind should be under; and therefore Christ was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world.”-There are various other passages in this author's Tritings of the like kind.
that the natural state of the mind of man, is attended with a propensity of nature, which is prevalent and effectual, to such an issue ; and that therefore their nature is corrupt and deprav. ed with a moral depravity that amounts to and implies their utter undoing.
Here I would first consider the truth of the proposition; and then would shew the certainty of the consequences which I infer from it. If both can be clearly and certainly proved, then I trust none will deny but that the doctrine of original depravity is evident, and so the falseness of Dr. T.'s scheme demonstrated; the greatest part of whose book called the Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin, &c. is against the doctrine of innate depravity. In p. 107, S. he speaks of the conveyance of a corrupt and sinful nature to Adam's posterity as the grand point to be proved by the maintainers of the doctrine of original sin.
In order to demonstrate what is asserted in the proposi. tion laid down, there is need only that these two things should be made manifest: one is this fact, that all mankind come into the world in such a state as without fail comes to this issue, namely, the universal commission of sin ; or that every one who comes to act in the world as a moral agent, is, in a greater or less degree, guilty of sin. The other is, that all sin deserves and exposes to utter and eternal destruction under God's wrath and curse ; and would end in it, were it not for the interposition of divine grace to prevent the effect. Both which can be abundantly demonstrated to be agreeable to the word of God, and to Dr. T.'s own doctrine.
That every one of mankind, at least such as are capable of acting as moral agents, are guilty of sin (not now taking it for granted that they come guilty into the world) is most clearly and abundantly evident from the holy scriptures : 1 Kings viii
. 46. If any man sin against thee; for there is no man that sinneth not. Eccl. vii. 20. There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not. Job. ix. 2,3. I know it is so of a truth, (i. e. as Bildad had just before said, that God would not cast away a perfect man, &c.) but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. To the like purpose, Psal. cxliii. 2. Enter not into judgment with thy servant ; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. So the words of the apostle (in which he has apparent reference to those of the Psalmist.) Rom. iii. 19, 20. “ That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. So, Gal. ii. 16. 1 John i. 710. “If we walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our
selves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” In this, and innumerable other places, confession and repentance of sin are spoken of as duties proper for all; as also prayer to God for pardon of sin : also forgiveness of those that injure us, from that motive, that we hope to be forgiven of God. Universal guilt of sin might also be demonstrated from the appointment, and the declared use and end of the ancient sacrifices ; and also from the ransom which every one that was numbered in Israel was directed to pay, to make atonement for his soul. (Exod. xxx. 11-16.) All are represented, not only as being sinful, but as having great and manifold iniquity. (Job. ix. 2, 3, Jam. iii. 1, 2.)
There are many scriptures which both declare the universal sinfulness of mankind, and also that all sin deserves and justly exposes to everlasting destruction, under the wrath and curse of God; and so demonstrate both parts of the proposition I have laid down. To which purpose that passage in Gal. iii. 10. is exceeding full: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. How manifestly is it implied in the apostle's meaning here, that there is no man but what fails in some instances of doing all things that are written in the book of the law, and therefore as many as have their dependence on their fulfilling the law, are under that curse which is pronounced on them that fail of it? And hence the apostle infers in the next verse, that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God: as he had said before in the preceding chapter, ver. 16. By the works of the law shall no flesh be just fied. The apostle shews us he understands, that by this place which he cites from Deuteronomy, the scripture hath concluded, or shut up all under sin. (Gal. iii. 22.) So that here we are plainly taught, both that every one of mankind is a sinner, and that every sinner is under the curse of God.
To the like purpose is Rom. iv. 14. also 2 Cor. iji. 6, 7, 9. where the law is called the letter that kills, the ministration of death, and the ministration of condemnation. The wrath, condemnation, and death, which is threatened in the law to all its transgressors, is final perdition, the second death, eternal ruin ; as is very plain, and indeed is confessed. And this punishment which the law threatens for every sin is a just punishment; being what every sin truly deserves ; God's law being a righteous law, and the sentence of it a righteous sentence.
All these things are what Dr. Taylor himself confesses