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CALVIN, 4. The blame of all bad actions belongs to man and the devil: the praise of all good ones entirely to God.
Inst. B. 2. ch. 5. sec. 2. and B. 2. ch. 1. sec. 1. B. 2. ch. 2. sec. 3.
4. Men are altogether blameable for their bad actions, because "God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty that it is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil." Con. C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. and Say. Plat. ch. 9.sec. 1. But to man belongs no praise, to God is due all the glory, of every good work, because all ability to will and to perform good is wholly of the special grace of God. Con. P. C. U. S. Con. C. Scot. and Say. Plat. ch. 16. "It is through his grace that he crowns his gifts."
Con. R. D. C. Art. 24.
4. Nevertheless, although God by his providence does create all volitions, yet men are as praise-worthy for good ones, and as blame-worthy for bad ones, as they could be were they independent, or were there no God in heaven. And the reason is obvious, for men will what they will, and choose what they choose, as much as were their acts of will not caused immediately by God. He creates in them a choice, or he makes them will.
Syst. Vol. 1. p. 206 and 217.
4. Men act freely while acted upon, and therefore deserve praise or blame, according to their exercises. "Our dependence on the Deity cannot deprive us of moral freedom." "Reason and common sense have different offices." "We know by reason that we are dependent; and know by common sense, that we are active." Hence all know that their actions are their own, and not the actions of God.
Emmons, p. 219, 220 and 223,
OF THE APOSTACY AND IFS CONSEQUENCES.
To effectuate the apostacy, "Adam's first offence was, God in his providence made use of the Devil, who by the same agency took possession of a serpent, and by this subtle animal tempted Eve, so as to produce
an unholy volition in her heart.
She again was used as the instrument to produce a selfish disposition in Adam; because
some way or other, the occasion of the universal sinfulness of his future offspring. And the question now before us is, how his sin was the occasion of ours."
"1. Adam did not
make us sinners, by causing us to commit his first offence." "Nor can we more easily be
B. 2. ch. 1. sec. 4.
This was a most detestable act, and kindled the vengeance of God against all mankind. The immediate effect of Adam's sin was the death of his soul, in a spiritual sense, and the loss of the image of God. "Therefore, after that the heavenly image in him was defaced, he did not alone suffer this punishment, that in place of wisdom, strength, holiness, truth and justice, (with which ornaments he had been clothed) there, came in the most horrible pestilence, blindness, weakness, filthiness, falsehood, and injus, tice, but also he entangled and drowned his whole offspring in the same miseries.
not believe his word."* He "By this sin they fell from disbelieved the threatening, and their original righteousness, so, to become like God, he and communion with God, and touched, he tasted, he fell. so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to ali evil, do proceed all actual transgressicas. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated: and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the
This is the corruption that cometh by inheritance, which the old writers called original sin, meaning by this word, sin, the corruption of nature, which before was pure and good."
B. 2. ch. 1. sec. 4 and 5.
As the image of God was lost through unbelief; so the same image is restored by faith. This faith cometh by hearing. "Therefore Bernard doth rightly teach that the gate of salvation is opened unto us, when at this day we receive the gospel by our ears: even as by the same windows, when they stood open to Satan, death was let in." Inst. B. 2. ch. 1, sec. 4.
God always originates volitions in us, in view of motives. The consequences of eating of the forbidden fruit were, 1. An immediate spiritual death, for they fell into complete ruin: and this was the death threatened and, 2. A total depravity of heart.* They lost all their love to God, all their disinterested affections; and thus were. deprived of the image of God, who is love. As all the trees and plants were included in the first trees and first seeds, so all men were created and comprehended in the first man, so that his obedience or transgression should affect all mankind as it affected him. "By the constitution and covenant with Adam, his first disobedience was the disobedience of all
lieve, 2. That he made his posterity sinners, by transferring to them the guilt of his first transgression." Guilt is a personal thing and can no more be transferred than action. " It was unjust in the nature of things that the Supreme Being should transfer the guilt of Adam's sin to his posterity. Hence we may safely conclude, that the guilt of Adam's first sin was never transferred." "The doctrine of imputation, therefore, gives us no ground to suppose, that all mankind sinned in and fell with Adam, in his first transgression; or that the guilt of his first sin was, either by him, or by the Deity, transferred to his posterity. Nor can we suppose,† 3. That Adam made men sinners, by
Calvin teaches, that man had the supernatural gifts of faith, the love of God, the love of man, with a principle of progressive holiness and righteousness, which were entirely lost by the fall, and which are wanting in every natural man. He had also the natural powers of understanding and will, which were not blotted out, but together with the body were vitiated, so that he is subject to blindness of mind and iniquitous desires. B. 2. ch. 2. sec. 4, 12, 16, and B. 2. ch. 1. sec. 8, 9, 10, 11.
†The opinion we form of our own character, say the friends of this modern system, will depend on our idea of sin. Should we discover that we were born, with an original defect in the construction of our minds, and constitution of our animal faculties, we should feel that we were unfortunate, or miserable, but not guilty beings. Should we on the contrary find, that there is no sin, but in moral action, no sin impersonal; that all have been active, while acted upon by a divine impulse, that all have become filthy, and have ruined themselves, we should be without excuse.
The displeasure of God against Adam's sin is displayed in the brute creation; for they having been made for him, were cursed on his account. It is no wonder then that his falling away destroyed all his posterity. "We in the person of the first man are fallen from our first estate." B. 2. ch. 1. sec. 5 and 1. "Pelagius arose, whose profane invention was, that Adam sinned only to his own loss, and hurted not his posterity. So through this subtilty Satan went about by hiding the disease to make incurable. But when it was proved by manifest testimony ef scripture, that sin passed from the first man into all his posterity, he brought this cavil, that it passed by imitation, but not by propagation.”
B. 2. ch. 1. sect. 5. "Surely it is not doubtfully spoken that David confesseth that he was begotten in iniquities, and by his mother conceived in sin. Ps. li. 7. He doth not there accuse the sins of his
wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries, spiritual, temporal and eternal." Con. C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. Say. Plat. ch. 6. sec. 2, to end. Sum of Saving Knowledge,Head 1. sec. 3. says, that all Adam's posterity "lost all ability to please God." "The fountain of all our miscarriage, and actual sinning against God, is in the heart, which comprehendeth the mind, will and affections, and all the powers of the soul, as they are corrupted and defiled with original sin; the mind being not only ignorant and incapable of saving truth, but also full of error and enmity against God; and the will and affections being obstinately disobedient unto all God's directions."
Con. C. Scot. p. 451. "The covenant being made with Adam, as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary gene
This doctrine of Pelagius was nearly the same with that maintained by the Hopkinsians. The only difference is, that he said imitation, and they say, divine constitution: he said, that children born free from taint, imitated the sin of Adam; and they say, that children are not sinners until they are actually transgressors; but that it is certain from a divine constitution, that the first moral action of a child, and every subsequent one, will be completely sinful, until he is renewed.