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whole character of his ministrations, by which it is reduced to a matter of giving upon the one side, and of confident_re

ness of the service, that he will ever work himself into the habit of rejoicing in that master who appoints the service, and yet without the rejoicing there is no adapta-ceiving and relying upon the other. Now tion of the soul for paradise-no kindred quality with the atmosphere of the upper regions-none of that cordial delight in God which gives to heaven all its freeness and all its felicity—and, with all the drudgeries of outward obedience, no grow ing meetness whatever for the inheritance of the saints in light.

the two parts which are thus objected to singly, are those which give consistent support and stability to each other. It is just by faith, and in no other possible way, that you enter upon peace and hope and love and joy. It is just through Jesus Christ, not by working for the atone. ment, but simply by receiving the atoneNow what is the sum and practical ment, that you are translated into this deconclusion of this whole matter? We sirable habit of the soul. It is just the trust you all perceive how it leaves you freeness of the gospel, which conducts its no other alternative, than that of just disciples to all the peculiar affections of shutting you up unto the faith. There is the gospel. If you remain on the ground a high ground of spiritual affection, and of legality where work and win is the of joy in God, and of celestial delight in order of the day, you never will win the the sense of His presence and fellowship, length of firmly confiding in God as your to which you would like to be elevated. friend, or of rejoicing in Him as the life But you see nothing between you and that and the dearest treasure of your existence. lofty region, saving a range of precipice It is only by walking in that open way of that you cannot scale, and against which access to which you are invited; and you vainly wreak all the native energies proceeding on the words of Christ, that that belong to you. Let one door hitherto "by Him if any man enter in he shall be unobserved be pointed out, open to all saved;" and laying hold of that covenant who knock at it, and through which an of peace on which He is desirous, that all easy and before unseen ascent conducts of you should lay a full and a sure reliyou to the light and purity and enjoyment ance. It is only thus that the tastes and of those upper regions after which you affections of the heart, will be led freely aspire; and what other practical effect out to the God who thus calls and thus should all the obstacles and impossibili- manifests Himself. Let us therefore sound ties you have before encountered have in your hearing the invitations of the gosupon you, than just to guide your foot-pel; and make it known to you, that your steps to the alone way of access that is at all practicable? And this is just the conclusion you should come to on the matter under consideration. Strive as painfully as you may to work out a righteousness of your own, and you will ever work among stumbling-blocks; and peace be at as great a distance from you as ever; and, so far from joy in God being attained by such a process, it is far the likeliest way of accumulating upon your souls a distaste both for Him and for His service; and, in these circumstances, we know of nothing through which to ensure your translation to this desirable habit of the soul, than just the open door of Christ's mediatorship. It has been objected to the economy of the gospel, that it exacts from its disciples an unnatural and unattainable elevation of character; and this is a most likely objection to proceed from him who looks at this economy with half an eye. The very same people may also, on looking at another side of this dipensation, be heard to object to the freeness of the gospel; to the immediate way in which any sinner may strike, even now, an act of reconciliation with the God whom he has offended; to the method of his justification by faith, and not by the works of the law; and, in a word, to the

only chance for being translated into that angelic love of God and joy in Him which obtains in paradise, is simply by believ ing in their honesty and trusting and triumphing and hoping and rejoicing accordingly. You can never be too sure of God's truth. You can never be too sure of the saving efficacy of the blood of His Son. You can never be too sure of your having received such an abundance of grace, as will exceed the measure of all your abounding iniquities. You can never be too sure of the faithfulness and infinite compassion of your Creator who is in heaven; and, the more you cherish all this sureness, the more will you rejoice in Him, the shield of whose protection is over you, and the arms of whose everlasting love are round about you. This sureness is, in fact, the high road to all that enlargement of sacred and spiritual delight, which in every other way is totally inaccessible. And we are not afraid of spoiling you into indolence by all this proclamation; or of lulling you into a habit of remissness in the exertions of duty by it; or of gendering a deceitful Antinomianism in your hearts; or of turning any one of you into the disgusting spectacle of one who can talk of peace with God, while purity and principle and

real piety are utter strangers to his unre-spiritual delight that you never before generated bosom. It is this freeness, and felt; and furnish motive and impulse and this alone in fact, which will make new affection for bearing you onward in the creatures of you; which will usher the way of active and persevering duty, on love of God into your hearts; which will the career of moral and spiritual excelbring down the Holy Ghost upon you from lence. heaven; which will inspire a taste for


ROMANS V, 12-21.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemna. tion; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound: but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord."

ERE we proceed to the detailed explanation of these verses, it may be right to premise a few general remarks, on the way in which sin found entrance into our world; on the precise doctrinal amount of our informations from Scripture relative to this subject; and on the degree in which these informations are met by the experience of man, and the natural sense that is in his bosom, respecting guilt or demerit and condemnation.

We do feel this to be an enterprise of some difficulty and magnitude; and we fear, a little too unwieldly, for its being brought to a satisfying termination within the limits of one address. It seems, however, a suitable introduction to the task of expounding the passage that is now before us; and, however formidable the attempt of grappling with a doctrine so mysterious to some and so repulsive to others, as that of original sin-we do think it right, frankly to state to you all that we think, and all that we know about


thing separate and apart from the deser of it. The corruption of human nature, means its tendency to sin. The guilt of them who wear that nature, means their evil desert on account of sin; and for which, when reckoned with, a penal sentence may justly be laid upon them. The one is a matter of fact which may be affirmed in the word of God; but which may also be verified by the experience of man. The other is a matter of principle, which may also be affirmed in Scripture; but which may also be taken cognizance of, by the moral sense that resides and operates in the human bosom.

Now as to the fact of the sinful disposition in the nature of man, it can only be gathered either from the sinful doings that appear in the history of man; or from the sinful desires, to the existence of which in his own heart, he has access by the light of consciousness, and in the hearts of others by the light of their testimony. Even though we had outward exhibition alone, we often have enough to This doctrine, then, may be regarded infer and ascertain the inward tendency. in two different aspects-first as it respects We do not need to dig into a spring to asthe disposition to sin, and secondly as it certain the quality of its water, but to exrespects the guilt of it. These two par- amine the quality of the stream whica ticulars, you will observe, are distinct flows from it. We have no access, either from one another. To say that a man by our own consciousness or by their has a tendency by nature to run into the communications, to the hearts in the infecommission of sin, is to say one thing-rior animals; and yet we can pronounce to say that by nature he is in a state of with the utmost confidence, from their doguilt or condemnation, is to say another. ings and their doings alone, on the charThe act of sin is distinct from the punish-acteristic disposition which belongs to ment of sin The disposition to it is a each of them. And so we talk of the

faithfulness of the dog, and the ferocity of the tiger, and the gentleness of the dove, ascribing to each a prior tendency of nature, from which there emanates the style of action that stands visibly forth in their outward histories.

the animal-So that if the fountain can be regarded separately from the rivuletif the kind of tree can be considered as one thing, and the kind of fruit which it bears be considered as another-if a quality of inward temper, be a thing distinct from and antecedent to the ebullitions of it in deed and in performance; and this quality be diffused through a whole species, and as much born with each of its individuals as is the shape or are the members of its body-There may then be a real and philosophical foundation for that distinction between original and actual sin, which has been so much resisted by the disciples of our modern literature, and so much decried as the fiction of a barbarous theology.

Now this may lead us to understand in part, what is meant by the term original, as applied to the doctrine now under consideration. It is quite a current mode of expression, when one says that there is an original ferocity in the tiger. It means that, as the fountain on the hill-side is formed and filled up, before it sends forth the rills which proceed from it-so a ferocious quality of nature exists in the tiger, before it vents itself forth in deeds of ferocity; and it is a quality not induced upon the animal by education; for, It is thus that we verify the doctrine of however left to itself, all of them evince original sin by experience. Should it be it. Neither is it the fruit of any harsh or found true of every man, that he is actuprovoking treatment to which it is ex- ally a sinner-should this hold unexpectposed; for, under every variety of treat- edly true with each individual of the hument, or with no treatment at all, still is man family-if in every country of the this the unfailing disposition of each indi- world, and in every age of the world's vidual belonging to the tribe. As little history, all who had grown old enough to can it be ascribed to climate, or to acci- be capable of showing themselves were dent, or to any thing posterior to the for- transgressors against the law of Godmation of the animal itself; for, under all | and if among all the accidents and variethese differences, we still behold the forth- ties of condition to which humanity is putting of that characteristic fierceness liable, each member of humanity still bethat we are now speaking of. It may well took himself to his own wayward deviabe called original; for it would appear, tions from the rule of right-Then he both from the universality of this attribute sins, not because of the mere perversity and from the unconquerable strength of of his education-he sins, not solely beit, that it belongs essentially to the crea- cause of the peculiar excitements to evil ture; that from the very way in which it is that have crossed his path-he sins, not put together at the first, from the very way only because of the noxious atmosphere in which the elements of its constitution he breathes, or the vitiating example that are compounded, this fierce and fiery dis- is on every side of him. But he sins, position is made to evolve itself. And purely in virtue of his being a man. just as the structure of the stomach neces-There is something in the very make and sarily gives rise to sensations of hunger, and hunger impels to deeds of voraciousness-so in the original frame of the animal, may there be an inherent temper of cruelty, which, ere it proceeds to devour its victim, leads it with savage delight to aggravate and prolong its sufferings.

There is no difficulty in understanding here, what is meant by the difference between the original and the actual. Could the cruelties of a tiger be denominated sins, then all the cruelties that were in deed inflicted by it on the various animals which it had seized during the course of its whole life-then would these be the actual sins of its history in the world. It is evident that these might vary in number and in circumstances, with different individuals of the same tribe; and yet both of them have the same strength of native disposition towards cruelty. Each in this case has an original tendency to sinning a tendency that cometh direct out of the very frame and composition of

mechanism of his nature, which causes him to be a sinner-a moral virus infused into the first formation of each individual who is now born into our world. The innate and original disposition of man to sin, is just as firmly established by the sinful doings of all and each of the species-as the innate ferocity of the tiger is, by the way in which this quality breaks forth into actual exemplification on each individual of the tribe. If each man is a sinner, this is because of a pervading tendency to sin, that so taints and overspreads the whole nature, as to be present with every separate portion of it. And to assert the doctrine of original sin in these circumstances, is to do no more than to assert the reigning quality of any species, whether in the animal or vegetable kingdom. It is to do no more than to affirm the ferocious nature of the tiger, or the odorous nature of the rose, or the poi sonous nature of the foxglove. It is to reduce that which is true of every single


specimen of our nature, into a general expression that we make applicable to the whole nature. And to talk of the original sin of our species, thereby intending to signify the existence of a prior and universal disposition to sin, is just as warrantable as to affirm the most certain laws, or the soundest classifications in Natural History.

Could another planet offer to our notice another family of rational beings, in form and in features and in faculties like our own-Did we see there the same accommodations which we occupy, and the same scenery that enriches our globe, with only this difference between the two tribes which each peopled its own world-that whereas in every single instance the former were all actually sinners, the latter were all actually righteous-Who would not infer an original difference of constitution, from this universal difference of conduct? Who would not infer a something that distinguished the nature of the one species from the nature of the otherthe virulence of an evil principle spread over the whole of that race, in every single member of which you saw the outbreakings of evil; and an exemption from this deleterious principle in that race, in no one member of which you could notice A single deviation from the law of uprightness? Now this evil principle is neither more nor less than original sin, and actual sin is but the produce of it. And we have nothing to do but to ascertain that actual sin is universal, in order to infer the original sin of mankind-or such an unexcepted proneness of desire to sin in the human constitution, that no individual who wears that constitution is ever found in deed to abstain from it.


the members of the great family of man-
kind-a doctrine affirmed in the Bible;
and confirmed by human experience, if the
fact is made out, that there is not a man
in our world who liveth and sinneth not.

There is not enough, it may be thought, of evidence for this fact, in the record of those more glaring enormities, which give to the general history of the world so broad an aspect of wicked and unprincipled violence. It is all true, that, in the conspicuous movement of nations, justice is often thrown aside, and robbery spreads its cruel excesses over the families of a land, and revenge satiates her thirst in the blood of provinces; so that man, when let loose from the restraints of earthly law, proves how slender a hold the law of God has in his heart, or the law of revelation has upon his conscience. Still the actors in the great national drama of the world are comparatively few; and though satisfied, from the style of their performances, that many more would just feel alike and do alike in the same circumstances-there is yet rocm for affirming, that, in the unseen privacies of social and domestic life, there may arise many a beauteous specimen of unstained worth and unblemished piety; and that, among the descendants of our arraigned species, some are to be found, who pass a guileless and a perfect life in this world; and in whose characters even the Judge who sitteth above cannot detect a single flaw, upon which to exclude them from the sinless abodes of paradise. It is quite impossible, you will perceive, to meet this affirmation, by successively passing all the individuals of our race before you; and pointing to the eye of your observation, the actual iniquity of the heart or life, which proves their relationWhen one sees a delight in cruelty, on ship as the corrupt members of a corrupt the part of every individual among a par- family. But there is another way of meetticular tribe of animals-who would ever ing it. You cannot make all men manihesitate to affirm, that cruelty was the na- fest to each man, but you may make each tive and universal characteristic of the man manifest to himself. You may make tribe-that this entered into the primary an appeal to his own conscience, and put composition of that kind of living creature, him to his defence, if he is able for it, insomuch, that it may be safely predicted against the imputation that he too is a sinof every future specimen which shall be ner. In defect of evidence for this upon brought into the world, that this hateful his outward history, you may accompany quality will be found to adhere to it? By him to that place where the emanating ascribing to the whole species an original fountain of sin is situated. You may enpropensity to cruelty, you are only stating ter along with him into the recesses of his a general fact by a general expression. own heart, and there detect the unfailing And you do no more, when you ascribe to preference that is given by it to its own our species an original propensity to sin-will-the constant tendency it has, to iminferring from the general fact, that all men have sinned, such a constitutional tendency to evil as makes you confidently aver, not merely of the past but also of all the future individuals of our race, that all men will sin. This is the doctrine of origimal sin, in as far as it affirms the existence of a prior tendency to sin, among all

pel its possessor to walk in his own waythe slight and rarely occasional hold that the authority of God has over it-its almost utter emptiness of desire towards Him, insomuch that His law is dethroned from its habitual ascendancy, and the sense of Him is banished from our habitual recollections. He may spurn at injus

tice, and blush at indelicacy, and recoil from open profanation, and weep at human suffering; and yet, withal, he may forget and disown God. Not one hour of his life, from one end to the other of it, may have been filled with any one business which God had set him to, just as a master sets his servant to a task. He may have been some hours at church; but custom set him to it. Or he may have been officiating as long in the services of a fellow-creature; but native humanity set him to it. Or he may labour all week long for the subsistence of his family; but instinctive affection set him to it. Or he may engage in many a right and useful enterprise; but a feeling of propriety, or a constitutional love of employment, or a tenderness for his own reputation set him to it.

We dispute not, as we have often told you, the power and the reality of many principles in the heart of man, most amiable in their character, most salutary in their operation, but which work at the same time their whole influence upon his conduct-without the reverence, and without the recognition of God. It is this which can be fastened, we affirm, on every son and daughter of Adam. It is, that the Being who made us is unminded by us It is, that the element of human nature is an element of ungodliness. It is, that though the wayward heart of man goes forth by many different ways to the object it is most set upon-yet in no one of them, is its habitual tendency heavenward or Godward. From such a fountain, innumerable are the streams of disobedience which will issue; and though many of them may not be so deeply tinged with the hue of disobedience as others-yet still in the fountain itself there is the principle of independence upon God, of unconcern about God. Put our planet with its rational inhabitants by the side of another, where all felt the same delight in God that angels feel, and in every movement they made caught their impulse from a full sense of God as the bidder of it; and, though each business on which they set out was a task put into their hands, gave their intense prosecution to it, not with the feeling of its being a drudgery, but with a feeling of delight. Let a difference so palpable between the two human generations of the two worlds be exhibited as that in the one, God is out of the eye and out of the remembrance of His creatures; and in the other, God is ever felt to be present, and the will of all whom He has there made is the will of Him who made them. Are you to say of such a difference that it has no cause? Is it merely a fortuitous thing, that all without exception ir the one place should

walk in the counsel of their own ungodly hearts, and in the other should walk as the devoted subjects of a Divine and Almighty Sovereign? Are we to be so unphilosophical as to affirm, that such a distinction as this is but a random contingency, which can be traced to no origin, and is referable to no principle whatever? Must there not be a something in the original make and constitution of the two families, to account for such a total and unexcepted diversity as has been noticed by the eye of observation? Where is the error of saying that there is a prior corrupt tendency in the one world, which does not exist in the other? And so far have we explained what is meant by the original sin that is charged upon mankind, when we affirmed it to be that constitutional proneness to evil in virtue of which all men are sinners.

We are quite aware, that the principle, on which we would convince the whole world of sin, is but faintly recognised, and therefore feebly felt, by many of the most eloquent expounders of human virtue; that, indignant as they are against the vices which bear injuriously upon themselves, they have no sense of the injury done to God by the disregard and the forgetfulness of His own creatures, that they would tolerate all the impiety there is in the world, if there was only force enough in the moral vehemence of their own powerful and pathetic appeals, to school away all its cruelty and selfishness and fraud. And therefore it is, that we hold it indeed a most valid testimony in behalf of our doctrine-when those very men who undertake to tutor the species in virtue apart from godliness, and apart from the methodism of the gospel, are rendered heartless by disappointment; and take revenge upon their disciples by pouring forth the effusions of bitterest misanthropy against them. It would look as if even on their own ground, the tenet of original sin might find enough of argument and countenance to make it respectable. Rousseau was one of those to whom we allude. He may be regarded as having, in effect, abjured Christianity, and betaken himself to the enterprise of humanizing the world on other principles; and from the bower of romance and sensibility, did he send forth the lessons, that were to recal our wandering race to the primitive innocence, from which art and science and society had seduced them; and, year after year, did he ply all Europe with the spells of a most magical and captivating eloquence. Nor were there wanting many admirers who wor shipped him while he lived; and who, when he died, went like devotees on a pilgrimage to his tomb. And they too

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