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nually; which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions. Rom. v. 12-19. and iii. 10–19. Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3. Rom. v. 6. and viii. 7, 8. Gen. vi. 5. Jam. i. 14, 15. Mat. xv. 19.' Answ, to Q. 25.
As to the doings of the unregenerate, they say, 'works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of then they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet, because they proceeded not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the word, nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man nieet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God. Cor. xiii. 3. Isai. i. 12, &c. Conf. faith, chap. 16. To which agree the 39 articles of the Church of England Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his spirit, are not pleasant to God, &c. Yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath commanded and willed them to be done, we doubt not but that they have the nature of sin.' Article 13. To which also agrees Mr. Stoddard. If men do not act from gracious motives and for gracious ends, they do not the thing that God commands; there is no obedience to God in what they do; they don't attend the will of God.' Nature of conversion, p.7. Yea, he adds, (p. 9.) “There is an opposition between saving grace, and common grace. If one be opposite to the other, then they differ specifically. Those dispositions that have contrariety one to the other, that are at war one with the other, and would destroy one another, are not of the same kind : and truly these are so. Common graces are lusts, and do oppose saving grace.' So again in his Safety, (3d. edit.) p. 106. Man in his natural state is an enemy to this the gospel-way of salvation. As man is an enemy to the law of God, so to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' And in p. 146. . All those religious frames and dispositions that are in natural men, are nothing else but the various shapings of self-love.' And again, p. 148. “Self-love is the very root of original sin.' And again, p. 162. ' Every unhumbled sinner is striving against the work of humiliation : They are opposing of it, either by endeavours to set up a righteousness of their own ; seeking in that way to escape condemnation, instead of yielding to God they are flying to their strong holds, sheltering themselves in their prayers, reformations, desires, &c. or else by wrangling, as a person pursued runs away till overtaken, and then he fights : So the sinner, when he sees that he cannot save himself, is contending with God, objecting against divine proceedings, thinks that God's dealings are very hard measure. Rom. ix. 19. And (p. 168.) “Their best works are not only sinful, but properly sins.' Thus far Mr. Stoddard. And thus we see what the
old divinity' is, as to the perfection of the divine law, total depravity, and works done by unregenerate men. · Yea, Mr. M. himself, in words at least, grants each of these points. For, 1. As to the perfection of the divine law, he sets himself to prove, (p. 27.) that the law is not abated.' * And therefore nothing short of perfection may be looked upon as the whole of what is required. And, 2. As to total depravity, he repeatedly asserts it through sect. 2. and 3, and particularly says, (p. 8.) 'That Adam did totally deprave his nature, by his first sin, and wholly lost the moral image of God in which he was created.' And he says, (p. 18.) “Mankind at this day, antecedent to their exercising faith in Christ, are in much the same condition as Adam was after he had sinned.'—The unregenerate sinner is in the likeness of fallen Adam.' And he speaks of them, (p. 52.) as such whose hearts are in a state of enmity against God.' And, 3. As to the doings of the unregenerate, he says, (p. 17.) As love to God is the leading principle of all acceptable obedience; so Adam having rendered himself incapable of loving God, he was of course incapable of yielding any truly holy and acceptable obedience to the will of God.' And, (p. 55.) “Sinners under conviction really aim to establish their own righteousness which is of the law. Which no doubt he will grant is a very wicked thing, being the great sin of the unbelieving Jews, for which, among other things, they were finally cast off by God. Rom. ix. 32. Now, therefore,
1. The question is not, whether all the holy commands of God's law, and holy exhortations of the Gospel, are given to the unregenerate, and binding on them; so as that they are wholly inexcusable, and altogether criminals, in every neglect. This I affirm to be the truth. And this Mr. M. grants. .
2. The question is not, whether the unregenerate do, in any one instance, perform one act of holy obedience, i. e. of obedience which has the least degree of holiness in it. Mr. M. allows they do not: for he asserts, that they are "totally depraved,' through sect. 2. and 3.
S. The question is not, whether the law is at all abated, as to the unregenerate, so as to cease requiring them to perform every duty in a holy manner. For Mr. M. insists upon it, that the law is not abated.' p. 27. Yea, he asserts, that whatever God commands to be done, he requires the performance to be, not in a gracious, but in a perfect manner.'
4. The question is not, whether a sinful manner of attending on the means, which God useth for the conversion of sinners, may not be less sinful and less dangerous, than a total neglect. This is granted. And, therefore,
5. The question, and the only question is, whether a sin- · ful manner is not sinful ? Or, in other words, whether the sinful manner itself is required ? and so is, strictly speaking, a DUTY. In this we differ. And accordingly Mr. M. considers this as a fundamental error in my former piece, p. 35. •That God requires holiness, and nothing but holiness. The argument then stands thus:
To require the unregenerate to perform duties in a sinful mayner, is to require them to break God's law. But Mr. M.'s external covenant requires the unregenerate to perform duties in a sinful manner : therefore Mr. M.'s external covenant requires men to break God's law.
That covenant which requires men to break God's law, is not from God. But this external covenant requires men to break God's law : therefore it is not from God".
go If God's law requires holiness, and nothing but holiness, the apostle's words are strictly true. Rom. viii. 7. The totally depraved are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. But as the external covenant is of a nature op. posite to the law of God, and suited to the carnal mind, as it requires graceless, unholy, sinful duties ; therefore the totally depraved, as such, may be subject to it.
There are but three ways to get rid of this argument; either, 1. To deny the perfection of the divine law, or, 2. To deny total depravity, or, 3. To be inconsistent. The church of Scotland, and the churches in New-England, in their public formulas, not choosing to take either of these ways, were necessitated to leave Mr. M.'s external covenant out of their scheme of religion, and to affirm that sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace.' But each of these three ways, to get rid of this argument, and to establish the external covenant, Mr. M. has taken. For,
1. To this end, (p. 35.) he denies the perfection of the divine law, viz. “That God requires holiness, and nothing but holiness. And that,
2. In express contradiction to himself : for, (p. 34.) he says, * I assert, that whatever God commands to be done, he requires the performance of it to be, not in a gracious, but in a perfect manner. Which is evidently to require 'holmess and nothing but holiness. For a perfect manner of performing every duty, perfectly excludes all sin. And if God requires this' perfect manner,' he does, by so doing, forbid the contrary. Every imperfection, therefore, is forbidden. And accordingly, he says, (p. 28.) that 'the imperfections found in believers are sinful. Surely then the total depravitý found in unbelievers is sinful also; and yet he pleads, :(p. 33.) “ That if God, consistent with the law of perfection, may require the imperfect obedience of the believer, he may also require such doings, endeavours, and strivings, as take place in sinners, while unregenerate and entirely destitute of holiness.” Now, I readily grant, that if God may consistently require the imperfections of believers, which are sinful; he may also require the unregenerate to seek and strive in that sinful manner in which they do. For if he may consistently require sin in the one, he may in the other also. But Mr. M. tells me, that God forbids sin in both ; for he says, “I assert that whatever God commands to be done, he requires the
And so the carnal mind, which is totally opposite to God's law, may be in confor mity to the external covenant; and likewise lays a foundation for love. And therefore the carnal mind naturally loves the external covenant. And what we love, we wish to be true. 1 VOL. III.
performance to be, not in a gracious, but in a perfect manner.' Which forbids the imperfections of the believer, and the total sinfulness of the totally depraved.' Inconsistencies of this kind, good as his natural genius is, run through his book, whenever he has occasion to speak on this subject; and he brings many texts of Scripture to keep himself in countenance : as if it were possible, that a book inspired by God should contain such inconsistencies. Whereas, could it be proved, that the bible ever required any sin, or any action to be done in a sinful manner, it would be such an argument that it did not come from him, who is perfectly and unchangeably holy, and who does, and who cannot but hate sin, even all sin, at all times, and in all persons, with perfect hatred, that I should not know how to answer it. For it looks like the most glaring contradiction in nature, that God should command, call, invite, urge, persuade, and beseech us to do, what he perfectly hates. And to say, that the true and living God does not perfectly hate all sin, at all times, is, as all will grant, wickedly to reproach the Holy One of Israel. Ps. I. 21. Thou thoughtest I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set thy sins in or. der before thee.
The Pharisees took great pains in religion ; they fasted twice in the week. And they thought they performed their duties in the manner in which God required. All these things have I done from my youth up. Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment. For if the law required them to do duties in the manner in which they did, then, in doing as they did, they did their duty. So they were not sinners, in their own view ; rather, they were righteous, and needed no répentance. For they had nothing to repent of. For they had “forsaken all known sin, and practised all known duty.' So that their consciences acquitted them. As touching the righteousness of the law, I was blameless. It was impossible they should be brought to repentance, while they viewed things in this light. It was almost impossible to beat them out of their scheme. Therefore publicans and harlots stood a better chance for conversion than they did, as our Saviour