Imágenes de páginas

II. This infection of nature remains in the regenerate.

I. It asserts the existence of original sin in every person born into the world.

This assertion is opposed to the opinion of the Pelagiansa and Socinians. They hold that Adam's sin was merely personal;c that by it, as being the first transgression, it is said that sin entered into the world. But, that as he was made mortal and should have died whether he had sinned or not, so they think the liberty of human nature is still entire, and that every man is punished only for the sins he himself actually commits. Among those, however, who acknow

was supernatural. The clause seems particularly directed against the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. See Archbp. Laurence's Bampton Lectures, ser. 3. note (il.)

a This sect was founded by Pelagius, a Welshman, who lived in the beginning of the fifth century. He at first held that Adam's siu was personal, and injured only bimself, but afterwards renounced bis opinion, from fear of a sentence being pronounced against him at the synod of Palestine. As soon, however, as the synod was dissolved, he endeavoured to reconcile his two doctrines, by saying that Adam's sin hurt his posterity, but still not by contagion, but by example. See Mosheim's Hist. v. 1. cent. 5. p. 2. c. 6. Basnage, Histoire de l'Eglise, p. 2. liv. 11. c. 8., and Beveridge on the Articles.

b Soc de Statu. Prim. Hom. c. 10.
See August de Pec. Mer. c. 1, 2, 3.

The refutation of this doctrine is contained in the subsequent arguments. See also Dwight's Theol. ser. 32.


ledge the existence of original sin, there is a variety of opinions, each of which shall be considered under these separate heads : 1. As to the degree of that sin ; 2. As to the manner it is conreyed to us ; and 3. As to the consequences of it.

Ist. As to the degree of our natural corruption, some conceive it to arise merely from the fear of death. They think that the threat denounced on Adam, that upon his eating the forbidden fruit he should surely die, is to be taken literally, as signifying no more than a natural death. They conceive, that this subjection to death, and to the fear of it, brings men under a slavish bondage, many terrors and other passions and miseries that arise out of it; that it is the condemnation which is said to have come upon many, through one,” and that by this they are“ made sinners,” that is, treated as guilty persons. From this they add, Christ has redeemed us by his promise of raising us up at the last day; of which St. Paul speaks, when he says, “ by man came “death, by man came also the resurrection from " the dead ;” and “ as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive;"-1 Cor. xv. 22.

* This term was first used by St. Augustin in his controversy with the Pelagians.

Many writers have adopted this opinion. See Limburch, Theol. Chris. I. 3. c. 2. sec. 4. Curcellæus, Rel. Chris. Ins. 1. 3. c. 15. and Whitby Trac. de Imput. Divin. Pec. Adam. c. 1. thes. 3.

and that in this, the universal redemption of mankind by Christ consists. They further pretend that this explanation accords with the words of the article; for the fear of death corrupts men's nature, and inclines them to evil.

2. As to the manner in which this corruption is conveyed to us : they suppose that the forbidden fruit might infuse a slow poison into Adam's body, which might have so inflamed his blood, that by a gradual operation, it finally produced death; and that this bodily disease was transmitted to his posterity, as we see children frequently inherit the disorders of their parents.

3. As to the consequences of it. They say the words “ God's wrath and dammation" are frequently used in Scripture for temporary judgments. And in this sense they apply them to our being adjudged to death and all the miseries that accompany mortality.

2d. Others conceive there is a prevailing corruption in our nature, derived from Adam. The truth of this opinion they support by the following arguments. (1.) Experience proves the existence of that corruption. This can admit of little doubt, every man feels it in himself, and sees it in others. Hence, the philosophers thought it necessary to defend the goodness of God in our

a See Conf. Remonst, c. 7. Limborch. Theol. Christ. I. 3. c. 2. and Curcellæus, Rel. Chris. Ins. l. 3. c. 17.

creation, by supposing our souls had pre-existed in a former state, and had fallen from it into their present bodies as a punishment for their sins, a The Manichees also, held that our bodies had been created by an evil God, and our souls by a good one. These hypotheses, though devoid of proof, yet admit the existence of that corruption for which they thus endeavour to account.

(2.) The Scriptures assert it. “Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually.”—(Gen. vi. 5.) " What man is he that liveth and sinneth not ?"-(1 Kings viii. 46.) “ The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”—(Jer. xvii. 9.) that are in Christ must become new creatures.” (2 Cor. v. 17.) “ The carnal mind is enmity

against God, for it is not subject to the law of 6 God.”—(Rom. viii. 7.) These, with many other places of Scripture, fully shew that this corruption has spread over all mankind.

(3.) The Scriptures ascribe this corruption to the apostacy of Adam. We cannot suppose that God created man corrupt as we now find him, for it is expressly said, that he “made man after his own image.” What this image was we may

66 All

* This was the opinion of the Platonics. See Stanley's Hist. Phil. Part 5. c. 25. p. 191.

o See Lardner's Works, v. 3. p. 375. et seq.

learn from the description of our restoration to it; “the new man is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."-(Col. iii. 10.) And this new man is elsewhere said to be “ created in righteousness and true holiness.”——(Eph. iv. 24.) This then was the image of God, in which man was at first made, which cannot therefore be restricted to the dominion over the creatures, for this is mentioned as a different thing from the former, and seems to be given him as a consequent upon it. This image, however, was by Adam's fall, lost both to himself and his posterity. .“ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ;" “ by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” " By one man's disobedience many were made sinners.”—(Rom. v. 12.) Here Adam's sin is plainly considered as the means by which the corruption we observe in men, was first produced.

With respect to the punishment of Adam's fall, they who hold the opinion now under consideration, suppose that the death denounced upon it was eternal death; for it is opposed to eternal life, and should therefore signify more than mere mortality.-Thus (Rom. vi. 23.) “ The

* See Stephens' Three-fold Def. of Orig. Sin, c. 3.

o In these and similar texts, the word rendered by, is the preposition dia, properly signifying the means by which any thing is done. Sec Schleusner in voc.

« AnteriorContinuar »