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NO. XIII.-MARCH, 1837.
ART. I. TOTAL AND NATIVE DEPRAVITY.
By Rev. ALEXANDER W. MCCLURE, Malden, Mass.
It is devoutly to be wished that the gracious providence of God would raise up a competent historian of the controversy respecting depravity and grace. He might, possibly, do more than any other man has done, to settle this longagitated dispute. He might show that for centuries the Church had no occasion for it: that it is now no easier of adjustment than when it commenced : that beyond certain limits, it cannot be carried with any prospect of a peaceful termination ; and that the conclusion of it can only be effected by replacing the contested subjects in the simple position which they hold in the word of God, and leaving ihem there to exercise their own unqualified influence. We should look in vain
for a systematic exhibition of these subjects in the Old Testament. From Genesis to Malachi, no trace of any controversy respecting them can be found.
In the Gospels, we find our Saviour strenuously opposing the false and sensual views of the Jewish doctors and people respecting morality, worship, the nature of the Messiah's kingdom, the mode of acceptance with God, and similar topics : but we do not learn that he was led by the heretical or speculative turn of his hearers' minds to dispute about original sin, or depravity, or grace. These subjects, wherever introduced in his discourses, occur incidentally, or come in by way of inference, or are simply asserted as " by authority," and then illustrated. If he enter into any argument respecting them, it is not in such a way as to suggest that they were, at that time, controverted doctrines. How could they have been so, when even the doctrine of regeneration, though clearly advanced in the Hebrew Vol. IV.