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slow pace of analytic investigation. We shall march with perfect composure, and in perfect good humour, without one malicious thought towards any human being, intent only to reach the object of our journey, TRUTH. So taking up our staves in our hands, "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord," let us move forward.
The Two Sophisms Detected.
THE reader who recollects the operations of his own heart under the ministrations of the gospel, knows-and the reader who is acquainted with the opinions of other men under those ministrations knows, that the doctrine of Adam's representation, and the consequence of that representation, original sin, on the one hand; and the doctrine of Christ's representation, and the consequence of that representation, imputed righteousness, on the other hand-are the ground on which sinners stumble and fall, many of them to rise no more. And even those who at last stand firm on this ground, have obtained their stability in consequence of much tottering and falling. The reader of ecclesiastical history knows, that the two doctrines before stated, are the ground on which most of the schisms and heresies which have taken place in the Christian church, have originated: that, on this ground, sects, each of which have retained the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, have departed from each other in ill blood, and each taken its several way, accusing the others of dangerous, and even damning errors. Yet every one of them believed the Scriptures to be the word of God; and admitted that every decision of God in his word, ought to be taken as a first principle in all our religious argumen
tations. What axioms are to the mathematician, and facts to the philosopher, the same is a THUS SAITH THE LORD, to the theologian. Now, since whatever God says must be true; it follows, that no man reasoning fairly from scripture truth can fall into error. Yet theologians contradict each other, and therefore some of them must be wrong. Now there are, in this case, only two sources of error; the first lies in permitting something which is not divine, which is not true, to mingle with our first principles; and the second lies in illogical reasoning. Illogical reasoning is easily refuted, but to detect those atomic sophisms which sometimes mingle with original truths-hic labor, hoc opus est-this is the task. And this is the task which I must now attempt, under the divine guidance.
The Doctrine of Representation.
As it is my wish that the following discussion should not merely exhibit detached objections against a particular theory; but that it should also present a connected view of the whole subject, I begin with a few observations on the representative character of man; forewarning the reader, that he is to expect to find those points which are commonly conceded, very concisely stated; while a more detailed and precise argument is reserved for those topics which belong to the new doc- trine.
It is, I believe, conceded by all, that man is a representative animal; that is, that notwithstanding the free agency which constitutes the individuality of every single man, and renders each individually responsible
for his own proper actions; such is the constitution of our nature, that one man frequently acts for many others, who are subject to the evil effects of his conduct, or enjoy its good effects, as fully and entirely as if they had acted for themselves. This is what we understand by representation. He who thus acts for others, is called their representative, and they who are subject to the good or evil consequences of his actions, are said to be represented by him. Thus, by the marriage covenant, the husband becomes the representative of his wife in a vast variety of civil transactions; by the law of nature, parents are the representatives of their children; and by the constitution of civil society, magistrates are the representatives of their respective tribes and nations. In a word, representation diffuses itself through all the ramifications of social life. Art is man's nature, society man's element, and representation the chief and grand characteristic of human society. Now whether this system of representation should exist, or should not, is not left to the free will and suffrage of mankind. It must exist. The law of our nature, which determines that we should be born helpless babes, and grow up to maturity, through various stages of increase, has imposed on us the invincible necessity of standing in relations wonderfully diversified to each other; from whence the virtues and vices of others shall influence and affect our well-being equally as if they had been our own virtues and vices. Upon the whole, though each of us possesses his own individuality, and must exist as an individual, in order to support any social relation, yet the social character of man predominates over his individual character.
Now, as all the destinies of man in this life depend on his representative character, it might be expected that
his eternal destinies will be made to turn on the same hinge. Accordingly, the Scriptures teach us, that God constituted the first man the representative of the whole race; and made the whole of their fortunes, for time and eternity, all their felicity and comfort in this life, and their eternal misery or happiness in the life to come, to rest entirely on their ancestor's obedience or disobedience, upon his virtue or his vice, upon his righteousness or unrighteousness.
I grant, indeed, that it is an awful thought, that I, who am conscious of my own free will and personality, who can think and act for myself, and who have so important interests at stake, should be placed in circumstances where I am liable to be doomed to toil and pain, and death in one world, and everlasting misery in another, for the conduct of a man over whom I had no control, and for a sin which no volition of mine could either effect or prevent. This is the view of the subject which always presents itself to our fallen race; it is the precise profile of the subject which is placed in our view, in the position which we occupy as fallen sinners. And it is on this view that so many have denied the existence of the covenant of works, and sturdily denied the representative character of Adam; on the allegation that such a constitution of things were incompatible with the moral justice of God. But this objection, which I have no doubt many have made in the sincerity of their hearts, proves by far too much; it concludes against the moral justice of ten thousand things which we know God to have done, and which we see him every day doing, and under which we are every day smarting. Is it just, I ask, that a brave nation should bleed at every pore, that millions of most industrious men should be stripped, every year, and