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seeds and effects of disease, their bodies were doubtless much superior in strength, symmetry and beauty to those of the present generations after the havoc made in the human constitution? by near 6000 years of effeminacy, luxury and excess. We know too, that although their bodies were probably corruptible in their nature, God had given them means for the perpetual preservation of life, and would in all probability not have withdrawn them if they had not sinned. Yea, might not these bodies perhaps have been gradually elevated into spiritual (glorified, avevuatıxa) bodies, and, without being subjected to death, have ultimately been transferred to heaven? His intellectual powers also, were doubtless superior, for it is a subject of daily experience, that disease and a course of wickedness impair the energies of the mind, no less than of the body.3 And, whatever rationale may be adopted of the fact, or whatever different opinions may be adopted of the seat and precise nature of the evil, no believer in Scripture can doubt that the moral abilities of man have been radically affected by the fall, that in his primitive state he possessed in a much higher degree, both the ability and disposition to do the will of his heavenly Father. For we are expressly told, that when we are“ renewed in the spirit of our minds, we put on the new man, which after (in the likeness of) God, is created in righteousness and true holiness." 4
1 Gen. 47: 9. Jacob said unto Pharaoh, the days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years; few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and had not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. Psalm 55: 23. Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.
2 Gen. 3: 22. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.
3 Col. 3: 10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
4 Ephes. 4: 23. 24.
Our first parents were moreover placed under a moral government, that is, in a state of probation, under a law just in its nature, salutary in its tendency, having the promise of the continued favour of God if they remained faithful, and the menace of death if they transgressed. This law was none other than the moral law afterwards republished from Sinai, together with a few positive precepts more specifically discussed under the next article. The obedience required was entire, spiritual, perpetual, and perfect, for less than this God could not consistently require.
It has been objected to the scripture account of the origin of the human race, that the deduction of all nations from our first parents, or from the family of Noah is inconsistent with the great diversity of complexion between the Africans and us. To this, however, we reply, that had we no other evidence in the case, the connexion between climate and complexion is sufficiently attested by the fact, which even the infidel Buffon acknowledges, that "man is white in Europe, black in Africa, yellow in Asia, and red in America: where the heat is excessive, as in Guinea and Senegal, the people are perfectly black; where less excessive, as in Abyssinia, the people are less black ; where it is more temperate, as in Barbary and Arabia, they are brown; and where mild, as in Europe, and in lesser Asia, they are fair.” But there is another still stronger fact in existence which seems to leave no room for doubt. In Cochin, on the Malabar coast, there is a colony of Jews originally from Palestine, and therefore fair; but at present they are as black as the other Malabarians, who are almost as black as the inhabitants of Guinea. Yet these Jews have not intermarried, but remained a separate people during the several centuries of their res
Gal. 3: 10. 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.
idence in that country. Again, the Portuguese who settled at Ceylon a few centuries since, have become blacker than the natives: and the Portuguese, who settled near the Mandingoes three centuries ago, have become so black as to be called negroes, which they however resent as an indignity. Nor does the curly hair of the negro present any difficulty. It results from the extreme heat and dryness of the air, and Europeans have found a partial effect of this kind in themselves during a short residence under the vertical rays of the torrid sun. M. De Pagés, between 1767—1771 says “ My own hair became more dry and delicate than usual, and receiving little nourishment from a checked perspiration, showed a disposition to assume the same frizzled and woolly appearance-and my complexion at length differed little from that of a Hindoo or Arab.1 It is probable, that one or more thousand years are requisite, before the entire influence of climate, local peculiarities, food, air, water &c. is exerted : and as long a residence of the African in a different climate may elapse before every vestige of his peculiarities is effaced. The fact therefore that the second and third generation of Africans among us exhibit only a slight approximation to the complexion of our climate proves nothing. In five or ten centuries we have no doubt the African would become entirely white among us. It is thus evident that experience fully sustains the declaration of Moses and Paul, that all the nations of the earth are descended of one blood.?
! Dr. Eveleigh's Bampton Lectures, pp. 276. 292.
Acts 17: 26. And hath made of one blood, all nations of inen, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and bath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their babitation.
OF NATURAL DEPRAVITY.
Our churches likewise teach, that since the fall of Adam, all men who are naturally engendered, are born with a depraved nature, that is, without the fear of God or confidence towards him, but with sinful propensities : and that this disease, or natural depravity, is really sin, and still condemns and causes eternal death to those, who are not born again by baptism and the Holy Spirit.
The Lutheran church has always regarded the doctrine of natural depravity, as a primary article of the Chrstian System. Nor can it with propriety be viewed in any other light, as it is the only certain basis for our belief in the necessity of a Saviour, and of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine is, moreover, so frequently and forcibly inculcated in the word of God, that no man ought to profess to be a believer in the scriptures, who denies its truth..
1 Gen. 8: 21. For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Gen. 6: 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. Rom. 3: 9—12. There is none righteous, no, not one—there is none that understandeth, that seeketh after God —there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Eccles. 7: 20. For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not.
I. The origin of human depravity.
Reason can indeed teach us the fact of our depravity,' but sheds not a solitary ray of light on its origin. The only rational solution of the introduction of evil into the world, is contained in the sacred volume.
From this we learn, a) that Satan, assuring the form of a serpent, tempted our first parents to eat of the forbidden fruit. b) That yielding to this temptation, they voluntarily transgressed the law, which they knew had been appointed of God as the test of their obedience to him, the author of their being, their constant benefactor and moral governor. This law they might have fulfilled with the utmost facility, and the awful consequences of disobedience had been distinctly pourtrayed to them by God himself. c) That when they had transgressed, God inflicted on them the threatened penalty.
Gen. 3: 1-6. Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die : for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
2 John 3: 8. He that committeth sin, is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. Rom. 5: 12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, &c.