תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

very dangerous guide in the inter- guard us against hypothetical theopretation of the holy scriptures. ries, and guide us in the pursuit of The interpreter of scripture should truth. ascertain the mind of the Holy Spi We have but one remark more at rit, according to correct philologi- present, on the method of studying cal principles: then, if the true the science; and that is, a caution meaning be ascertained, and it cor- against analogical reasoning in the respond not with the views he has investigations. The human mind taken of mental phenomena, he loves analogy, and whenever its should suspect the correctness of use is appropriate, it is certainly a his mental investigation, and rigid- forcible, as well as an agreeable mely scrutinize every step in the ana thod of illustration. Whenever lysis. We may be sure that the analogies are judicoiusly selected descriptions which God has given, and properly applied, they give life, of the human mind and its exer- vigour and permanence to imprescises, correspond with the facts; sions, which are otherwise rarely atand if we are guided by conscious. tained. But they are inadmissible ness in our mental analysis, the re in the investigations of the exact sult will be the same.

sciences, and of mental philosophy. It is true that God's revelation Who would think of teaching the was not given for the purpose of mathematicks by analogies taken teaching men a system of mental from political discussions, or from science. It was not necessary that any source whatever? It would be he should reveal directly the facts, equally absurd to attempt analogical which we know, or which we may deductions, in classing mental pheknow, from our own consciousness. nomena, or in examining the facts But it is also true that, in the de- under inspection and analysis. We velopment of man's moral charac- must therefore be cautious how we ter, relations and responsibilities, apply the same mode of reasoning the whole mental phenomena are to mind, which is applicable to the directly or indirectly involved. Not body and its senses. We cannot that we believe every thing proper- prove by analogy, that the mind ly belonging to mental science, will consists of parts or numbers; nor be found in the Bible; but all the because the body has several senses, elements are there, and should be some of which may be destroyed regarded as fixed principles. They and the rest remain perfect, may should be well understood, correct we infer that the same is true of ly defined, and never vaded by the mind. The mind must be exatheories of any kind. We do be- mined by itself, in all its phenolieve that correct philology, and an mena: and no proof, argument, or appropriate application of gramına- classification can be analogically tical principles to the interpreta- established. Nothing except facts, tion of the scriptures, will furnish and those belonging to the departdata sufficient to correct our specu- ment itself, can be trusted. In the lations in mental philosophy. This abstract science of mental phenowill be done by settling correct mena, we must be very cautious principles, and compelling us to how we admit analogies. The inadopt the inductive method of in- ductive method, under the guidance vestigation. The sum of the mat- of consciousness and the word of ter is this: revelation does not God, affords the only prospect of teach directly, nor was it needed so safety and truth. All other meto teach, mental science; but it re- thods will perplex and may grossly cognises the principal facts of men- deceive us. tal phenomena, in such a manner as We have been the more prolix in to furnish sufficient principles to this article, because we think many

have been misled by their method other; and most of those who have of investigation; and others have opposed one have opposed the other. been disgusted by the bewildering And it may perhaps appear in our hypotheses and perplexing analo- future consideration of the subject, gies, so often and so improperly em that they are closely connected, and ployed in the discussion of this sub- that the arguments which prove the ject. We feel confident that a suc one, establish the other, and that cessful application of those princi- there are no more difficulties atples which we have attempted to tending the allowing of one, than describe, to the method of investi- the other.” gation, will be both useful and safe. “I shall, in the first place, con

F. sider this doctrine more especially

with regard to the corruption of

nature; and as we treat of this, the FOR THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE. other will naturally come into conThe article on the doctrine of im- sideration, in the prosecution of the putation in the July number of the discourse as connected with it.”-I Biblical Repertory, I read with quote from Dwight's edition. great satisfaction. It presents a II. President Edwards proves inluminous and correct exhibition of nate depravity of heart to be univerthat important truth. It ought to sal. No quotations are needed to be widely circulated. I feel, how. support this particular. Every one, ever, apprehensive that from the having the slightest acquaintance brief notice taken of President Ed. with his work on original sin, will wards, in that article, the reader allow at least the fact, that heatmay receive a wrong impression of tempts to establish this important what has been taught by that great truth. man, on this important doctrine. It III. He endeavours to show, that has led me to examine with some the imputation of Adam's first sin care his work on original sin ; and is taught with GREAT PLAINNESS in if you will grant me a few pages in holy scripture. your useful miscellany, I will en *As this place” (referring to deavour to present a fair and fuller Rom. v. 12-21) "in general is exhibition of his sentiments. very full and plain, so the doctrine

I. Original sin, in Edward's of the corruption of nature derived view, comprehended not only in- from Adam, and also the imputanate depravity, but the imputation tion of his first sin, are both clearly of Adam's first sin.

taught in it. The imputation of In the very first sentences of his Adam's one transgression, is intreatise, he says—“By original sin, deed most directly and frequently as the phrase has been most com asserted. We are here assured monly used by divines, is meant that by one man's siy, death passed the innate sinful depravity of the upon all; all being adjudged to heart. But yet, when the doctrine this punishment, as having sinned of original sin is spoken of, it is (so it is implied) in that one man's vulgarly understood in that lati- sin. And it is repeated over and tude, as to include not only the de- over, that all are condemned, many pravity of nature, but the imputa- are dead, many made sinners, &c., tion of Adam's first sin; or, in by One Man's offence, by the disobeother words, the liableness or ex dience of one, and by one offence. posedness of Adain's posterity, in And the doctrine of original deprathe divine judgment, to partake of vity is also here taught, when the the punishment of that sin. So far apostle says, by one man sin entered as I know, most of those who hold into the world; having a plain reone of these have maintained the spect (as hath been shown) to that

p. 512.

[ocr errors]

universal corruption and wicked 2. Not PERSONAL IDENTITY. Unness, as well as guilt, which he had til very recently I had no concepbefore largely treated of."-Vol. ii. tion that any one could charge on

Edwards so great an absurdity, as Though the word impute is not to affirm that he taught, that Adam used with respect to. Adam's sin, and his posterity were one natural yet it is said, all have sinned; which person. He indeed refers to perrespecting infants, can be true sonal identity to prove the general only of their sinning by this sin. truth, that all kinds of oneness deAnd it is said, by his disobedience perd on divine constitution. But many were made sinners; and judg- he certainly does not teach the abment came upon all by that sin3 surdity that Adam and his posteand that, by this means death (the rity make one person. wages of sin) passed on all men, &c. “ Thus it appears, if we consider Which phrases amount to full and matters strictly, there is no such precise explanations of the word thing as any identity or oneness in impute; and therefore do more cer created objects, existing at differtainly determine the point really ent times, but what depends on insisted on."-vol. ii. p. 517. God's sovereign constitution. And

IV. The ground both of the im so it appears, that the objection we putation of Adam's first sin, and of are upon, made against a supposed the derivation of depravity from constitution, whereby Adam and him, is, in the judgment of Presi- bis posterity are viewed and treated dent Edwards, a divinely consti

divinely consti- as one, in the manner, and for the tuted onENESS or IDENTITY.

purposes supposed, as if it were not “And I am persuaded, no solid consistent with truth, because no reason can be given, why God, who constitution can make those to be constitutes all other created union one which are not one; I say it apor oneness, according to his plea. pears that this objection is built on sure, and for what purposes, com å false hypothesis, for it appears, munications, and effects he pleases, that a divine constitution is the may not establish a constitution, thing which makes truth in affairs whereby the natural posterity of of this nature."--p. 556.–See the Adam, proceeding from him, much next paragraph. as buds and branches from the If Adam and his posterity were stock or root of a tree, should be one person, then his sin would have treated as one with him, for the been one personal sin, and the act derivation, either of righteousness of eating the forbidden fruit would and communion in rewards, or of have been one personal act. But the loss of righteousness and conse Edwards expressly denies this. “It quent corruption and guilt.—vol. is there observed, as a proof of this ii. p. 557.

doctrine, that death reigned over What does the President mean them which had not sinned after the by this divinely constituted one- similitude of Adam's transgresness?

sion;' i. ė. by their personal act, 1. Not the union that subsists and therefore could be exposed to between the root of a tree and its death, only by deriving guilt and branches. He refers to this for il- pollution from Adam in conselustration; but he knew that Adam quence of his sin.”-p. 510. was not literally speaking a root, Another thing urged against the nor his posterity branches. Our imputation of Adam's sin, is this: Saviour calls himself the true vine, Though in Scripture, sin is said to and his disciples branches: but no be imputed, reckoned, accounted one ever supposed him to mean that to a person, it is no other than his he was, literally speaking, a vine. own act and deed.' How does

Sure

Edwards answer this objection? “It is truly and properly ours;"! Does he affirm the act of Adam to but this declaration is not "the be our own personal act? This he very reverse” of Turretin's affirmawould have done, if he had held the tion, non potest esse peccatum absurd notion, that we were person. nostrum proprium et personale." ally one with Adam. Not so. His Let it be observed, that Edwards answer is founded on an admission has elsewhere denied it to be our of the fact that Adam's act was personal sin, and in this he agrees not our personal act, nor his sin our with Turretin. What then, it may personal sin. See p. 570.

be asked, is meant by the President 3. Not the NATURAL UNION subó in the assertion quoted? Let us sisting between a parent and his look at the whole passage, and try children.

to discover his meaning. It reads “By reason of the established thus: union between Adam and his pos “From what has been observed terity, the case is far otherwise be it may appear there is no tween him and them, than it is be- ground to conclude that it must be tween distinct parts or individuals an absurd and impossible thing, for of Adam's race, betwixt whom is the race of mankind truly to parno such constituted union; as be- take of the sin of the first apostacy, tween children and other ances so as that this, in reality and protors."-p. 559.

priety, shall become their sin; by virWhat then does the President tue of a real union between the root mean? I take it to be a divinely and branches of the world of manconstituted COVENANT union. kind (truly and properly availing to

" It seems to me pretty mani- such a consequence) established by fest that none can, in good con- the Author of the whole system of sistence with themselves, own a the universe; to whose establishreal imputation of Adam's first ment is owing all propriety and resin to his posterity, without own- ality of union, in any part of that ing that they are justly viewed system; and by virtue of the full and treated as sinners, truly guilty consent of the hearts of Adam's posand children of wrath on that ac- terity to that first apostacy. And count; nor unless they allow a just therefore the sin of the apostacy is imputation of the whole of the evil not theirs merely because God of that transgression; at least all imputes it to them; but it is truly that pertains to the essence of that and properly theirs, and on that act, as a full and complete violation ground, God imputes it to them.” of the COVENANT which God had established; even as much as if each By the sin of the apostacy, Edof mankind had the like covenant wards means that sin by which established with him singly, and mankind were ruined; original sin, had by the like direct and full act which includes, according to his of rebellion, violated it for him- statement in the commencement of self."

his discussion, already quoted, both The whole of sect. 3, part 2, the guilt of Adam's first sin and chap. 1, pp. 424-438, in which innate depravity. He does not the President proves that Adam deny the imputation of this sin; on was our federal head and represen- the contrary, he asserts it in this tative, might here be quoted. very paragraph, when he says it

The editors of the Repertory “is not theirs merely because God have, in my opinion, misunderstood imputes it to them;" and we have the language of Edwards, in one shown before how strongly he place. It is true he does say, in proves the guilt of Adam's first sin reference to the sin of the apostacy, to be imputed to his posterity. He

-P. 559.

p. 306,

to us.

is stating in what respects the sin want of this righteousness be sin, of the apostacy is “truly and pro- yet God's depriving man of it, or perly theirs."

Two reasons are rather the not giving it him, is a assigned: the first is, "a real union most just act; seeing Adam, having between” Adam and his offspring; got it for himself and his posterity, that is, a covenant union established threw it away, and God is not by divine appointment; the second obliged to restore it. And it can is, “the full consent of the hearts be no other sin but the first sin, of Adam': posterity to that first whereof this withholding of original apostacy.” Now on these two ac- 'righteousness is the punishment. counts, Edwards thinks that sin to So true it is, that if the imputation be “truly and properly, but not of Adam's first sin be denied, origipersonally, theirs,” and is therefore nal sin is quite rased ; THERE IS NO justly imputed to them.”

FOUNDATION LEFT FOR IT."-Vol. i. In the first reason Edwards accords with Boston, who says, Boston then teaches, in accord“ Adam's sin is imputed to us, be ance with Edwards, that the sin of cause it is ours. For God doth not the apostacy is really ours, on acreckon a thing ours, which is not count of the covenant union of so, Rom. ii. 24" The judgment of Adam and his posterity; and that God is according to truth.” For for this reason it is justly imputed God's justice doth not punish men

But he does not assert that for a sin which is no way theirs. it is our personal sin, or that we did And it is our sin upon the account personally commit it. Nor does aforesaid,” (that is, “because we Edwards advance such an absurd are all included in Adam's cove- sentiment; he affirms the contrary. nant,”—p. 299.) “Even as Christ's It is true he assigns as another rearighteousness is ours by virtue of son why this sin is to be considered our union to him.”_Vol. i, p. 300. as the sin of mankind, “the full Here Boston assigns our covenant consent of their hearts;": but this union to Adam as the ground of the ought not so to be construed as if imputation of his sin to us. Yet he he believed the sin of the apostacy maintains that it is ours by impu- to be our personal sin, nor as if he tation, and that imputation of it is supposed it to be imputed to manantecedent to depravity. In proof kind-solely because they consentof the former part of this assertion, ed to it with their hearts; for he I offer this quotation : "First, ori- states expressly the other reason, ginal sin consists in the guilt of in which, it is presumed, Turretin Adam's first sin. Guilt is an obli- would have united. It is true that gation to punishment. For this sin, Edwards inverts the order of Boswhich is ours by imputation, we ton and of standard writers, in reare liable to punishment. This gard to imputation and deprarity ; guilt lies on all men by nature, yet he does teach that both result Rom. v. 18. And this guilt of from the covenant union between Adam's first sin is original sin im- Adam and his posterity: “The puted.—Vol. I, p. 305. In sup. first depravity of heart, and the port of the latter part of the asser. imputation of that sin, are both contion, the following quotation will sequences of that established union; afford conclusive proof. “ This but yet in such order, that the evil want of original righteousness is a disposition is first, and the charge sin, being a want of conformity to of guilt consequent, as it was in the the law of God, which requires all case of Adam himself.”—P. 544. moral perfection. It is also a pu- This speculation, however, cannot nishment of sin, and so is justly in- with propriety be urged against Hicted by God. And though the those full statements which we have

« הקודםהמשך »