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condemnation and misery. Now can the human mind well conceive, that perfect justice would punish with actual and everlasting and inevitable corruption, and ruin, and misery, beings who are sinners only by imputation, i. e. by mere supposition, and not in fact. For myself,” he continues, “I can only say that all the elements of my moral nature set themselves in array against such a representation as this. It is one of those cases which make it necessary for me to be made over again, and have new and different faculties, before I can admit its truth.” To this we most heartily say Amen. He goes on to add, “can it be brought in any tolerable measure to accord with the views which the Bible gives of divine justice? How can we make it to harmonize with the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel.” “But this is not all. The supposition inverts the order of nature and providence. According to the tenor of it, punishment begins before the crime. It begins before distinct perception, and understanding, and reason, and moral sense are developed. It begins antecedent to all sense of duty, and antecedent to all moral rule. Such punishment, therefore, precedes the transgression, for where there is no law, there is no transgression, and surely there is no law where there is no moral sense or reason, nor understanding, nor perception. But how can justice make punishment precede transgression? “The soul that sinneth shall die,” is the order in which Heaven has placed the matter. Sin comes first, punishment is the fruit or consequence. By

the theory before us the reverse is the case.” Such is the language which the elements of that nature which God has given us begin to extort from the sternest sect of the followers of Calvin in this country.

There seems to be something peculiarly hard that the imputation and consequences of Adam's sin should fall upon his posterity. If there were any system of imputation which would stand the test of reason, it would be precisely the reverse of this. The sins of Adam's posterity might be visited on him with something like justice, since he, according to this system, was the real cause of them all. But we go on to say that imputed guilt and substituted punishment are in their own nature impossible, and a contradiction in terms. Punishment in the proper sense of the term, can be inflicted only on the guilty. Inflicted on any one else, it is not punishment, but injustice, cruelty. What would be the feeling of the soul of an infant which had lived but a few days, when it should awake for the first time to a consciousness of being in the flames of hell, and it was told that it was the punishment of Adam's sin, which it was suffering; would conscience, would reason recognize the justice of such a doom, would not the sense of injustice and tyranny, unspeakable and inconceivable, predominate even over the sense of suffering and anguish forever and ever?

But it is said, that Adam was the federal head and representative of the human race, and there

fore his fall necessarily involved all his offspring, and therefore it was just for God to bring the consequences of his fall upon all his offspring. We answer that this does not relieve the difficulty in the least. It was no less injustice to suspend the eternal condition of millions on the choice of one man in one moment of his life. There must have been a peculiar relation between Adam and his posterity, which does not exist between men in after periods and their children. It is not pretended that children are at this period of the world accountable for the acts of their parents. Why should the children of Adam have been? There was certainly no natural tendency in the nature of Adam's sin to produce any physical change for the

There is no reason to suppose that the eating of the forbidden fruit would deteriorate and pollute the physical constitution any more than any other kind of food. The injury, therefore, must have been mental entirely, and therefore it could not be transmitted. All souls come from God, and they have precisely that constitution which he is pleased to give them. It follows then that the sin of Adam entirely changed the Divine determination with regard to the moral nature with which he was to bring his posterity into existence. Had he not sinned, God would have brought them into being entirely pure, under his favour, instead of under his wrath. Adam did not create his own children, nor could he have the least agency in giving this or that moral constitution to their souls.


Is it at all credible that God should have suspended his own action upon the choice of Adam?

A more awful consequence follows immediately after this. It follows that on this act of Adam depended the determination of God to make the immortal souls of the myriads of the human race in such a manner as to be the objects of his love and favour, or of his immediate hatred, wrath and damnation. So the Deity is represented as having settled the doom of mankind by an event, which, so far as they were concerned, was merely fortuitous, as if by the turn of a die. A proceeding more entirely arbitrary and cruel I confess myself unable to conceive.

We object to this theory, in the next place, that it makes the present condition of man, considered as a state of trial, a mere mockery. He has been entirely incapacitated for a state of trial by the fault of his first parents. If all man's moral constitution is so perverted as to be disabled from all good, and inclined to all evil, is there any fairness in his trial? Supposing a man's salvation were to be suspended on his abstinence from stimulating drinks, would it be just to create within him such a morbid thirst as is produced by long habits of intemperance, which at length gives a bias to the will, so strong as almost to destroy all freedom and accountableness? That freedom, which accountableness acquires, demands that the scales should be hung equally balanced. A heavy weight thrown

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on one side entirely destroys all honesty and fairness in whatever is submitted to the trial.

If the doctrine of original sin be true, then is there no fairness in man's trial here below. All the commands of God's law are addressed to a being as incapable of performing them as a dead man to rise out of his grave. / All the promises of God's word are insincere, that is, addressed to a being as incapable of performing the conditions, as he is of creating a world. And what is more practical injustice, we are punished just as much as if we had a fair trial. We are deprived of all that good, which we might have attained had our natures been created pure. Our consciences reproach us for all the ill we do, and make us just as miserable, as if we were not radically and constitutionally inclined to all evil, and disabled to any good. We are like a diseased man in some awful dream. We see and feel the ruin that is coming upon us, and are filled with horror, but still we have no power to resist or avert it. Conscience bears a false testimony, and reproaches us for doing evil, when we had no power to do otherwise.

But there seems to be much more made of the fall than the Scriptures will bear out. Let us examine the record. “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that

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