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liness and sin, as it will put us under advantage to know how far we are sinful ourselves, or
of a proper share of conviction. For sin is a personal quality,* and cannot be transferred from,
It is strange, that DR. SPRING, having severely satirized Dr. Tappan for using one kind of language in his theological writings, and another in his practical addresses, should himself commit the same fault Every where, in his polemical disquisitions, through 244 pages, he affirms, that sin is an evil volition, and that sinfulness can be predicated of nothing else: but when he comes to the conclusion of his book, to "A PRACTICAL ADDRESS TO SINNERS," he solemnly declares, that sin is a personal QUALITY: or, which is the same, a quality OF A PERSON. This he not only says, but repeats; and in addition, reminds sinners, that their hearts, souls, and thoughts, as well as their volitions are their own, and therefore, their sins are their own. In his theoretical disquisition he said, that thought was not of a moral nature, and that sin was something entirely mo ral, consisting in volition. Very little thought will convince any one, that there is some difference between action, and the quality of action; between volition, and the quality of volition; and more especially, between volition and personal quality. Since, however, "sin is a quality," why may not the Calvinistic doctrine of original sin be true? Why may not David have had reference to something besides a divine constitution, a mental arrangement of the Godhead, when he said, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me?”
To this the Hopkinsians reply; if you will not admit a figurative con struction of David's words, you must take them literally, and say, that there was sin in the shape of David's body, while he was in the womb; and that his mother's act of conception was sinful. This will bring you to the necessity, of predicating sin of shapes, mathematical figures, and triangles. You must admit also, that it is a crime to propagate our species. We affirm, that sin belongs alone to moral action that generation, conception, the growth of the fetus, and parturition, are all physical effects of physicial causes, and therefore partake no more of sin or holiness, than the germination or fructification of a tree. It is, for the same reason, no sin, 1st, To be born: nor, 2dly, To be born, with such corporal and mental faculties as God was pleased to create; nor, 3dly, To retain these natural powers, Should an infant exist one moment, after birth, or after animal life was commenced, before he had a moral exercise of love or hatred, he would in that moment be as innocent as a lamb. But, by the divine decree, since Adam has sinned, it is certain, that the first moral exercise of every rational being, will be sinful, and every subsequent one, until he is renewed; which is fitly called the corruption of his moral nature. No other nature is capable of moral corruption, or sin; for you might as well talk of a sin, ful shrub, of a sinful lamb, or of a sinful viper, as of a sinful mental consti tution, or of a sinful animal nature, or of sinful animal passions,
CALVIN, All men by the fall are so completely disabled, that they are not only dependent upon special grace for their ability to will good, but for their very first beginning to think well. B. 2. ch. 2. sec. 27.
No man has the ability, since the apostacy, to do any good work, until he is not only disposed, but enabled by the actual influence of the Holy Ghost.
Say. Plat. Con. C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. ch. 16. sec. 3.
The Calvinists rejoin: "you deny the doctrine of original sin; and wrongfully call yourselves Calvinists. You charge all sin upon God; and make him, the agent, or the person who commits all iniquity. The scriptures say, that we "are by nature children of wrath." Nature you falsely call moral constitution. It is better to give heed to the plain language of the scriptures, than to your "philosophy, falsely so called." Our Saviour speaks, Mat. xv. 19. of "evil thoughts," as well as evil desires, or voli tions. Paul says, "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin which were by the law, did work in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death." Gen. v. 3. "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image.” Job xiv. 4. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." Job XV. 14. "What is man that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ?” The natural effects of the fall are "There is no light in them." Isa. viii. 20. ened, being alienated from the life of God, them, because of the blindness of their heart." Eph. iv. 8. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. ii. 14. "Ye were once darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord." Eph. v. 8. "Taking yengeance on them that know not God.” 2 Thess. i. 8. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit." Gal. v. 17. cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the FLESH and SPIRIT, perfecting holiness." 2 Cor. vii. 1. Because of the original corruption of the whole man, it is written: "glorify God in your body, and in your spirit.” 1 Cor. vi. 20. "That she may be holy both in body, and in spirit." 1 Cor. vii. 34. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless." 1 Thess. v. 23.
also described in this manner, "Having the understanding darkthrough the ignorance that is in
In addition to the doctrine, that men are born with a native depravity, which pervades the whole man, the Calvinists maintain, that all men are, by imputation, guilty in the sight of God, of the first sin of Adam; even in the same sense in which a believer is righteous by the obedience of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven.
That all men sinned with Adam, and fell with him, in his first trans; gression, is clearly taught, they think, in Rom. v. 12. where the apostle asserts, that, "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and
so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." In commenting on this passage, the learned Professor Witsius has given the sum of Calvinistic doctrine.
"To illustrate the apostle's meaning, we must observe these things: 1st, It is very clear to any not under the power of prejudice, that when the apostle affirms that all have sinned, he speaks of an act of sinning, or of an actual sin; the very term, to sin, denoting an action. 'Tis one thing to sin, another to be sinful, if I may so speak. 2dly, When he affirms all to have sinned; he under that universality, likewise includes those, who have have no actual, proper and personal sin, and who, as he himself says, not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression: verse 14. Consequently these are also guilty of some actual sin, as appears from their death; but that not being their own proper, personal sin, must be the sin of Adam, imputed to them by the just judgment of God. Sdly, By these words, i4 ☎ távtes nagtov, for that all have sinned, he gives the reason why he had asserted that by the sin of one man death passed upon all. This, says he, ought not to astonish us, for all have sinned? If we must understand this of some personal sin of each, either actual or habitual, the reasoning would not have been just, and worthy of the apostle, but mere trifling. For, his argument would be thus, that by the one sin of one all were become guilty of death, because each in particular had, besides that one and first sin, his own personal sin: which is inconsequential. 4thly, The scope of the apostle is to illustrate the doctrine of justification he had before treated of. The substance of which consisted in this, that Christ, in virtue of the covenant of grace, accomplished all righteousness for his chosen covenant people, so that the obedience of Christ is placed to their charge, and they, on account thereof, are no less absolved from the guilt and dominion of sin, than if they themselves had done and suffered in their own persons, what Christ did and suffered for them. He declares, that in this respect, Adam was the type of Christ, namely, as answering to him. It is therefore necessary, that the sin of Adam, in virtue of the covenant of works, be so laid to the charge of his posterity, who are comprised with him in the same covenant, that on account of the demerit of his sin, they are born destitute of original righteousness, and obnoxious to every kind of death, as much as if they themselves, in their own persons, had done what Adam did. Unless we suppose this to be Paul's doctrine, his words are nothing but mere empty sound."
Economy, B. I. ch. 8. sec. 31,
OF ATONEMENT AND JUSTIFICATION.
CALVIN, "If we look only upon the law, we can do nothing but be discouraged, be confounded, and despair, forasmuch as by it we are all damned and cursed " Inst. B. 2. ch. 7. sec. 4. "All that we have hitherto said of Christ, is to be directed to this mark, that being damned, dead, and lost in ourselves, we may seek for righteousness, deliverance and salvation in him.”
Inst. B. 2. ch. 16. sec. 1. God loved men as his creatures, while he hated them as self-created sinners, and therefore sent his Son, to obey and suffer as a substitute.
Inst. B. 2. ch. 16. sec. 4. "Now when it is demanded how Christ hath done away our sins, and taken away the strife between us and God, and purchased such righteousness as might make him favourable and well willing towards us; it may be generally answered, that he hath brought it to pass by the whole course of his obedience. Which is proved by the testimonies of Paul; (Rom. v. 19.) As by one man's offence many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience we are made
"It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man; the Prophet, Priest and King; the Head and Saviour of his church; the Heir of all things; and Judge of the world: unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified and glori→ fied."
Con. C. Scot. Say. Plat. Con. P. C. U. S. ch. 8. sec. 1.
"We believe that God, who is perfectly merciful and just, sent his Son to assume that nature, in which the disobedience was committed, to make satisfaction in the same, and to bear the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death. God therefore manifested his justice against his Son, when he laid our iniquities upon him, and poured forth his mercy and goodness upon us."
Con. R. D. C. Art. 20. Christ voluntarily undertook the office of a Surety, "which, that he might discharge, he was made under the law, and did
OF ATONEMENT AND JUSTIFICATION,
The divine law requires perfect obedience, under penalty of punishment, proportioned to the demerit of transgression "Man by transgression has incurred the penalty of this law and fallen under the curse of it." "This curse cannot be taken off, and man released, until it has its effect, and all the evil implied in it be suffered."
Syst. Vol. 1. p. 465. "The law of God does admit of a substitute, both in obeying the precepts, and suffering the penalty of it."
Syst. Vol. 1. p. 492. "Christ suffered for sin, was made a curse, that is, suffered the curse of the law, the curse of God; and in his sufferings he, in a sense, suffered and felt the displeasure and wrath of God; and the anger of God against sin and the sinner was in a high and eminent degree manifested and expressed in the sufferings and death of Christ." Ibid. p. 491. "The law could not be fulfilled by Jesus Christ without his suffering the penalty of it,
"That the moral character of God should be truly delinea ted in his government, is what is of primary and principal importance; because with this is certainly connected the order, the harmony, and the greatest good of the universe. The character of God being infinitely excellent, and in itself most perfectly harmonious; when it is truly delineated in his government, must of necessity be productive of the greatest good and harmony among his crea tures. To manifest the real excellencies of the divine character, therefore, it was that the law was originally given; and for the same end was it established by such awful sanctions. The honour of the law of course is evidently maintained, and the ends of government answered, when that character, with which the supreme ruler invests himself in the various parts of his law, is exhibited and supported in administration. So that whenever God's just and real displeasure against sin, is exhibited in some other way, to