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who many trom the tremendous penalty festly umjust, as to blame a man
of their own offences'-these are for being born deaf or blind. 12 positions, which the scriptures 3. By those, who had not sinbir warrant, and against which there ned after the similitude of Adam's can be no valid objection.
transgression,' the author of the be But, there are some other things Extracts
supposes infants are in the Extracts, which are consid- meant. But, what authority has i ered as very exceptionable. A- he for such a supposition? Accordphoto mong these are the following: ing to his own theory, infants have
1. It is a sentiment advanced in not sinned at all: they may possess the Extracts, that mankind are in a corrupt nature; but they are not a state of sin, and are corrupt in chargeable with having committed nature, BEFORE they are actual sin. By those, who had not sinsinners. What does the author med after the similitude of Adam's mean, by a state of sin, and a cor- transgrsssion,' we are not to underrupt or sinful nature, distinct from stand such as had not sinned actactual disobedience, and antecedent ually; for there were no such perto all sinful exercises ? A sinful sons-nor are we to understand nature, if there were any such such as had not sinned in a publick thing, must be either voluntary, or capacity; for this was true of all involuntary. If voluntary, it is who lived from Adam to Moses: we actual; for all action consists in must, therefore, understand, by free, voluntary exercises.—But if those who had not sinned after involuntary, it is not of a moral the similitude of Adam's transgregnature, and can, with no more pro- sion, such as had not sinned priety, be called sinful, than a dis- against a positive law: and such ordered intellect, or a diseased were the greater part, who lived limb. "Sin is the transgression at that period. The universality of the law.” The law requires of death proved that all had sinned. disinterested love to God and man:
“ And so death passed upon all the opposite of this, in which every men, for that all have sinned:" but transgression essentially consists, not only infants, but also, the is selfishness. In selfishness, there greater part of the adults who lived fore, all sin consists. There is no between Adam and Moses, sinned such thing as passive, or dormant only against the law of nature, the sin-sin in principle and nature,
law written in their hearts,' and and not in act and practice. Alí not against a positive prohibition, sin is actual, i. e. voluntary.
after the similitude of Adam's 2. It is implied, if not expressly transgression. asserted in the Extracts, that sin is, 4. According to the theory adin some sense, imputed to mankind, vanced in the Extracts, infants before they have actually transgres- are punished for the sin of Adam. sed. But, how can sin be imputed ! The author considers Adam as not to men, before they have any sin ? | only the head, but the represenAnd how is it possible that men tative of the whole race;' so that should have sin, before they actual- his sin, in eating the forbidden ly transgress; if it be true, that all fruit, has been, in some sense, ** sin is the transgression of the imputed to infants.” Adam, in his law," and consists in free, volun- capacity of common head, was tary, selfish exercises? To impute arraigned before his Judge, and that to any one, as a crime, in which the sentence was pronounced, he was totally passive, is as mani- 6 Dust thou art, and unto dust
shalt thou return." This sentence of his son; but, that “the soul of condemnation for thatone offence, that sianeth, it shall die." came upon all inen." True, it is 5. As a natural consequence of ! added, " and for this reason, that the preceding erroneous votions, in consequence of that one man's the author of the sermon maindisobedience, many,even his whole tains, that the death threatened race, were made or constituted to Adam, in the special law given sinners." But then, it must be hin in Paradise, was temporal remembered, that he considers in- death only. Having settled it in fants, not as actual sinners, but his mind, that infants are not aconly as having a corrupt nature;' ually sinners-that the sin of Adand so not deserving of punish- am is imputed to them and that ment, on their own account. It they, consequently, suffer the is clear, that as this author views same death, which he incurred by temporal death to be the penalty his one offence—the author recoilof the law given to Adam; so he ed from the conclusion, to which thinks it inflicted upon his pos- these premises would lead him, in terity, solely on account of his case he should adınit, that the one transgression. He calls tem- penalty, which Adam incurred by poral death, as it is inflicted upon his offences, was eternal death.” all mankind, “the penalty of Ad- It seemed too much, that all of am's own offence:” and again he | Adan's offspring, infants not exsays, “ As Adam, in that instance, cepted, should be doomed to eter(his eating the forbidden fruit) | nal death, for his transgression.acted in a publick capacity, the
He therefore concluded, that “ the special penalty of this one offence doom which was passed upon was to be of a publick nature, and Adam and his posterity, for that was to fall not only upon him, but one offence, appears to have been, upon all his race." This surely corporeal death.” He admits, at makes the penalty of Adam's one the same time, that “ sin deserves offence, very large, if it be not something more than temporal "large enough;" but, the unhap- death.” But, it may be asked, piness is, that it makes this penals why should God threaten Adam ty fall, chiefly, upon the posterity with a less penalty, than his ofof Adam, who have not one of fence deserved?-less, infinitely, them transgressed the special law than He intended to inflict, unless which he violated, and which repentance and pardon should prethreatened death not to them, but vent? Would God thus deceive to him: “In the day that THOU Adam? It is not thought to be eatest thereof, Thou shalt surely consistent with the Divine chardie.” But, how is this to be rec- acter, ever to annex a greater, or onciled with justice. It is as real- a less penalty to any law, than ly unjust to inflict temporal death, the transgressor deserves. (See as eternal death, upon mankind, Dr. Edwards against CHAUNCEY.) for the sin of Adam. With such If the author of the sermon injustice, certain ancient hypo- had purged his Calvinism of the crites charged Jehovah: but he absurd notions of imputed sin, and utterly disclaimed it, and declar- sin in principle and nature; he ed by his prophet, that “the son would have found no difficulty in shall not bear the iniquity of his admitting, according to both reafather; por the father, the iniquity / son and scripture, that Adam was
threatened with elernal death, in observed, with equal justice, on case of his disobedience; since it the other hand, that "the general will not from hence follow, either atonement, made by the death of that “the penalty was vastly | Christ, has opened the way for the greater than the offence," or that pardon of all mankind, upon the the eternal destinies of mankind reasonable and low condition of were suspended upon the conduct repentance; and thus,“ by the of Adam. As Adam only com- righteousness of one, the free gift. milled, so he, alone, is guilty of came upon all men unto justificaoriginal sin: and though his offence, tion of life." by a Divine purpose or constitu- It may be true, as it is said in' tion, rendered certain the sinful- the Extracts, that the apostle ness of all his posterity; yet it changes his phraseology, in the neither compels them to sin, nor latter part of the text, froin “ all renders them deserving of punish- men to many; because the term, ment. The descendants of Adam all would not apply to both parts sin as freely as he did, and are of his comparison, in this, as in liable to punishment for their own the former part of the text;" for sins only.
while the free gift of Christ, placAs the author of the sermon es all men in a savable state, none justly observes, by the disobe- are actually justified and saved, dience of Adam, the native char- but the pepitent and believing; acter and condition of the entire sho were, from the beginning, race of men, was decided,' and chosen to salvation, through sancthus, “by the offence of one, tification of the spirit, and belief judgment came upon all men to of the truth. condemnation:" and it may be
A STRICT CALVINIST.
THE DISCRIMINATING PREACHER.
dren of the devil. There is scarce
ly a page, a precept, a promise, a Reasons why ministers ought to preach threatening, a parable, but represo as to exhibit the difference between the righteous and the wicked; being
sents these two classes as distinct an extract from D:. Spring's Sermon
as men can be, whose views, and at the ordination of Rey. Carlos Wilcox. feelings, and pursuits, and princi
ples of action, are diametrically opSuch a method of preaching alone posite. And the providence of accords with facts. Notwithstand- God recognises the distinction from ing the righteous and the wicked re- the creation to the last day. His semble each other in a multitude of moral government recognises it.particulars; in the great essentials His covenant of grace recognises it. of moral character, there is a capi- And the consciences of men, and tal distinction between them. The often in defiance of themselves, are difference is essential, wide and constrained to recognise it, and apeverlasting. The scriptures re- prove or condemn, excuse or accuse cognise it from Genesis to Revela- them. The day of final account, tion. They every where speak of we know, recognises the distincthis distinction, and discriminate tion, and divides the generations of between men as the children of men into two classes, and “ sepalight and the children of darkness, rates them one from another, as the children of God and the chil- the shepherd divideth the sheep
from the goats.” And eternity re- oquent, if it were at all to the pur. cognises it, in alternate accents of pose, yet it loses all its persuasios acceptance and thunders of de- for one obvious reason, and that is, nouncement, in joy and tears, in he has been preaching to nobody! songs of deliverance and wailings | The righteous do not feel that he of despair, in triumphs of redemp- is addressing them. There is not tion, and curses of damnation, an individual in his auditory, who
And now, if these are stubborn feels that he is speaking to him.facts, if they are uncontrovertible He altogether misconceives the realities, ought not ministers so to facts interwoven with his message, preach as to disclose them? It is and therefore nothing that he says, most abundantly obvious, that a comes “ home to the business and minister must take leave either of bosom.” But where he recognises his senses, or of the Bible, to ques- and impresses this difference, he tion their verity. And are they not becomes the expositor of facta sufficiently interesting to be made which it is impossible to gainsar, the theme of many an hour's re- because every man has the evidence flection, many a solemn argument of them within himself. All the and expostulation, many an affect-springs of action, and all the aving interview ? And can any rea- enues to the soul, are open to his son be suggested why they should influence, because he is able to inbe dissembled or concealed ? dividualize his hearers, and make
But more than this, are not such them sensible that there are realthe facts on which the obligations of ities within them, that correspond the gospel ministry are predicated with the diversified and appropriate If a physician, in prescribing for representations of the preacher his patient, misapprehends the na- without them. ture of the disease, and overlooks Of little inoment is it, then, how its remote and proximate causes,
or what a minister preaches, so long though his prescriptions may be very as he overlooks or misapprehends wise in their application to another the momentous facts involved in state of facts, they are defective in this distinction. I would rather their relevancy to the case before go into the pulpit with a jejupe and him. If a counsellor, in his argu- disjointed discourse, and leave no ment, is unhappy enough to mis- other impression on my audience, conceive all the facts in the case than that every man who heard me before him, though his argument is either for God or against him, may be very learned and eloquent, than pronounce the most profound though his exposition of legal prin- discussion of Clark, the most polciples may be very luminous, and ished discourse of Blair, or the his illustration of them very forci- most erudite of Horsely, and like ble, yet he utters nothing to his pur- them, leave an auditory bound to pose, because he utterly fails to the judgment seat of Christ, uns state and unfold the points of his penetrated and unimpressed by the cause. So if a minister of the gos- fact, that there is a difference bepel should compose a sermon with tween them, whose ultimate dicorreçt taste and sound judgment, vergency is limited only by the joys and should preach with distinguish of heaven, and the sorrows of hell ed ability, and yet lose sight of the Further, without exhibiting this difference between the righteous difference, preaching has a fearful and the wicked, he would not tendency to destroy men rather than preach the gospel. Though his save them. There is a strong and sermon might be powerful and el-almost irresistable propensity in the
human mind, to moral insensibility. | fatal could a minister adopt, whose The sinfulness of men, though their avowed purpose was to justify and own, and though never involun- increase their indifference and a patary, operates as a kind of disease, thy? Where are the assemblies moral malady and derangement, who make a mock at all the solemthe effect of which is strong de- nities of experimental piety to Jusion that they should believe a whom every faithful admonition is hie.
They imagine themselves as sounding brass and tinkling whole, while they have the plague cymbal--and who, while they can of the heart, and there is no sound- be agitated with keen emotions, ness in their fesh. If they have when some trivial concern of time wants, they are not felt: if they are is set before them, are yet languid in perils, they are not feared: if and listless, cold and unfeeling as froin the crown of their head to the a stone, when you speak to them of soles of their feet, they are pol- the realities of eternity ; if not luted with sin; they think thein- where ministers who know their selves white as snow. They even Master's will, perform it deceitful. exult in this fancied security, while ly-or where they represent the the arrows of the destroyer are fly difference between the righteous ing thick around them, and the sting and the wicked as the glowing imof death is piercing them through. agery of eastern hyperboleor
Now, with inen who thus close where false teachers lie in wait to their eyes, and stop their ears, and deceive aad countervail the interharden their hearts, and who, just dictions of the God of truth, by the so long as they can maintain their primeval assurance of the father of peace and security without em- lies, “ Ye shall not surely die.” bracing the gospel, will assuredly Such ministers are the malignant make light of it, the ministry of foes of their kind. Such ministers reconciliation have mainly to do. prowl around the fold of Christ, And their business with them, is and go about seeking whom they not to lull them into a deeper se- may devour. It is impossible for curity, but to alarm, awakeii, con- ministers to do greater injury to vince, and save them—" of some their fellow-men, than thus to having compassion, and others, sav- charm and fascinate the ear, while ing with fear, pulling them out of they strike the sting of death the fire." But who does not see, into the soul. There is nothing that the indiscriminate instruction they can do half so injurious, as to which fails to exhibit the difference suppress the truths which rob the bet een the righteous and the wicked of all their consolation, or wicked, and which never makes it affirm the errors, which while they appear in its true importance, is quiet the enemies of God in their only a pleasantaand enchanting song, rebellion, authorize the hope that whích quiets their apprehensions, they may persevere in their hostiliand confirms them in their groạnd- | ty and prosper. less security? What method more
ON THE GENERAL PROPENSITY TO
devote much of their time to this
species of education. This might A great deal of care is taken to not be altogether a loss of time, if teach birds to talk. Some families they would teach their birds a few of opulence and rank, are said to sound and pithy maxims for do