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a nation. For Desert has relation to the fuftice of
God, considered by it self, as diftinct from 'his Other Attributes. And a Creature is then faid to deferive Punishment at God's hands, when the Ju
Ptice of God either obliges him to inflict, or peri mits him not to remove, its Punishment. Now the
Justice of God cannot but '(I will not say infli&t. for in this Case-the Punishment or Misery is the ünavoidable Consequence of its natural Pollution but) permit the Punishment or Misery of that Creaa tu're to continue, which is a Slave to Sin. Such a Creature therefore must needs deserve God's Wrath, and, as the Consequence thereof, Damnation to all Eternity. Because, unless Mercy prevents, it
(which is not to be supposed, whilft we talk of 1 Désért, which has a relation to Justice only) it must
to all Eternity continue the Object of God's Difpleasure..io social
Let us therefore always bear in our Minds, that the Punishment of Original Sin is not properly inflia Eted by God; bur 'tis permitted to be the Consequence of that State and Order of things which his Wisdom has appointed. So that whatever God has done, with respect to Man, is positively good, and a real Effect of his infinite Love ; and as for the dismal Consequences of Original Sin, they are chargeable, not upon God, but upon our first parents. And therefore, tho' our first Parents were undoubtedly guilty of the utmost positive Injustice, in plunging their Posterity into fuch dreadful Circumstances : yet God is not to be impeach'd for the bare Pera mission of that Punishment, which as long as the Creature continues evil, he is not in Justice obliged to remove. For how can that Creature, which is justly odious to God in its own Nature, chal
lenge God's Justice to make
u d Juutice to make it happy, whilft ie: Perhaps it may be said,: That 'twas unjust in God to appoint fuch an Order of things, as that, One Man's Misery: fiould be the unavoidable Consequence of another's Wickedness. To this I answer, Thar in Fact God has acted thus in anes ther Instance. For-one Man may,cripple or othersi wise ruin another; and in the present Order of Things this is sometimes unavoidable : But surely the Justice of God must not be impeach'd, because he was the Author of that Order, Iconfessythere is a vast Difference between Temporal and Eternal Misery; but yet it must be obsery'd, that as to Misery it felt as oppos’d to Happiness, this vast Difference is not in Kind, but in Degree only: And consequently, if it be really upjust in God eo appoint such an Order of Things, that the eternal. Misery of one, Man depends upon the Will ofanother: then 'tis as certainly, tho' not equally, unjust for him to appoint such an Order of Things, as that any the smallest Injury should be unavoidably done by, one Man to another. For the smallest Injustice is ás impossible to God, and as inconsistent with his Justice, as the greatest that can be imagined. And yer, surely no Man will accuse God of Injustice úpon the account cf this present Order of Things: 3 because whatever is properly his, is a Kindness to us, and all the Irregularity must be charged only on such as pervert his Order, and abuse it to the Misery of their Fellow Creatures. Wherefore lét.the Solution of the one Difficulty be applied to the other. For this Argu nent against the Justice of God, with respect to Original Sin, has no more Strength in it; than that which may be urg'd with Parity of Reason against ordinary Providence. And
the Folly of this Argument, as urg'd against ordinary Providence, must therefore be allow'd ; be. cause that Holy God, who can't do any Injustice, does certainly suffer such Facts every Day; which may therefore in their own Nature be accounted for, tho’they seem at present insuperable Difficulties to our selves. Surely we ought to resolve all these Proceedings into his unsearchable Wisdom and inexpressible Goodness, of which we receive every Moment of our Lives numberless, fresh and demonstrative Evidences; and which therefore, we may firmly believe, did jointly determin, that the Blessings he intended us by this Order of things, were an Overbalance to all the Possibilities of Evil arising from it.
But do Infants also, because they are infected with Original Sin, deserve God's Wrath and Damnacion, even tho they die in their Infancy? For the Article faies, that Original Sin deserves God's Wrath and Damnation in every person born into this World. I answer, That these Words, as full and comprehensive as they seem to be, do notwithstanding fairly admit, if not necessarily require, a Limitation. For the Article manifestly speaks of those only, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contra. ry to the Spirit, and in whom the ocjenud ongids is not subject to the Law of God. Do but observe the Words of the Article, and the Order of them. The Church saies, that Original Sin is the fault, &c. of every man, &c. whereby man is very far gone from Original righteousnels, and is of his own nature inclin'd to evil; so that the flesh lušterh always contrary to the Spirit. Then she adds immediately, And therefore in every person born into this world it deservetb God's wrath and damnation. You see, in the Judgment of our Church, Original Sin doth therefore deserve God's
Wrath and Damnation in every person born into this World ; because, by Original Sin, that Person is, not only very far gone from Original righteousness, and of his own nature inclin'd to evil, but also the flesh luftet) (in him) always contrary to the Spirit. Again, the Church supposes the Case to be such, that Ori.. ginal Sin doth actually discover it self by mischievous Effects, in resisting the Divine Will: for the speaks of it, as that which is not subje&t to the law of God. And can these Phrafes with any tolerable Propriety be applied to those Infants, which have as it were a barely Animal Life, and die before the fational Faculties exert themselves, or seem capable of being wrought on and depraved by Ori. ginal Sin : Can it be said of such Infants, that their Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and that their Luft of the Flesh is not subject to the Law of God. I think therefore that the Words of the Article can't be extended farther, than to those who live so long, as to feel the Effects of Original Sin working in them, and producing Evil Actions ; and consequently our Church's Doctrin is only this; that Original Sin does deserve God's Wrath and Damnation in every Person born into this World, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the peo'ynpea o agròs is not subject to the Law of God. Nor do I see, how we can interpret the Article otherwise, without doing Violence to it.
However, if any Person thinks, that those very Infants, who die in their Infant State, do deserve God's Wrath and Damnation, upon the Account of their being infected with Original Sin ; 1. Because 'tis certainly possible, and perhaps very probable, that Original Sin may have actually depraved their Faculties in consequence of the Union of Body
and Soul, even tho that Depravation doth not ap. pear; 2. Because God can't but dereft even the first Seeds of Vice, and hate the Child upon the account of it (there being now no supposal of Grace to renew its Nature) and consequently cannot vouchsafe it that Enjoyment of himself, for which this Pollution disqualifies it ; I say, if any Man thinks thus, he may notwithstanding subscribe the Article very honestly. For tho'the Church saies no more, than that every one of those, who live long enough to discover the Fruits of Original Sin in their Actions, deserves God's Wrath and Damnation : yer she does not say, that such as die in their Infancy do not deserve God's Wrath and Damnation upon the account of Original Sin. She affirms it indeed of none but such as live past their Infancy ; but she does not deny it of those that die in their Infancy. And therefore he that believes it both of those that do, and those that do not, die in their Infancy, may subscribe what the Church affirms, tho' he believes more than the Church teaches or requires him to subscribe.
But tho' Original Sin does in its own Nature thus deserve God's Wrath and Damnation; yec such were the Bowels of Divine Compassion, that God seems to have been oblig'd, by that internal Necessity which his Goodness laid him under, to make those.very Creatures the Objects of Mercy, which his bare Justice would have continued under Punishment. Therefore did the second Person of the blessed Trinity, who is God himself, become incarnate, to satisfy Justice, to obtain our Pardon, to rectify our corrupted Nature by the Affistance of Grace, and thereby restore us to Hapa piness. So that 'tis no Contradiction or Inconsistency to affirın, that tho'we deserv'd God's Wrath