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grossly sinful; and if every individual, without exception, is actually a sinner against the law of his Creator; if sinful propensities and inclinations appear, even in youngest years; and if every child become an actual sinner almost as soon as it is capable of moral and immoral actions; we have just reason to conclude, that there is some original and universal degeneracy spread over the whole race of men from their birth. For it is not to be supposed, that the wisdom, equity, and goodness of God would ever have produced such a world, wherein every single creature, coming out of their Maker's hands in the original state of innocence, and with full power to obey, should be thus defiled by their own wilful and chosen disobedience. Dr. Watts.

They who never touch'd

Th' excepted tree, nor with the snake conspir'd,

Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin deriv'd

The corruption and pollution of human nature, through the sin of Adam, is clearly expressed by the Jews. When Adam sinned, say they, he drew upon him a defiled power, and defiled himself, and all the people of the world. Again, this viciosity, which comes from the sin and infection of our first parents, has invaded both faculties of the rational soul-the understanding, by which we apprehend, and the will, by which we desire. This corruption of nature, they call the evil imagination, which, they say, is planted in a man's heart at the time of his birth; and others say, that it is in him before he is born. Hence Philo the Jew says, that sin is connatural to every man that is born, even though a good man; and talks of evil that is born with us, and of spots that are of necessity born with every inortal man. And so his countrymen often speak of it as natural and inseparable to men; yea, they represent Adam as the root and head of mankind, in whom the whole world and all human nature sinned. Dr. Gill.

Heathens themselves have felt and acknowledged that they were depraved beings; and depraved, not by imitation only, but by nature; or, as the Church of England well expresses it, by "birth-sin.” Hence that celebrated saying, so usual among the Greek philoso

phers," Moral evil is implanted in men from the first moment of their existence." Plato goes still farther, in his treatise "De Legibus," and directly affirms, that man, if not well and carefully cultivated, is the wildest and most savage of all animals. Aristotle asserts the same truth; and almost in the same words with Plato. The very poets asserted the doctrine of human corruption. So Propertius: "Nature has infused vice into every created being;" and Horace observes, that youth is " cereus in vitium flecti," or, admits the impressions of evil with all the ease and readiness of yielding wax. And why? Let the same poet inform us: Nemo vitiis nascitur;" the seeds of vice are innate in every man.


Whence proceed errors in judgment, and immoralities in practice, evil tempers, evil desires, and evil words? Why is the real gospel preached by so few ministers, and opposed by so many people? Wherefore is it, that the virtues have so generally taken their flight?

Original, sin answers all these questions in a moment. Adam's sin was the "peccatum peccans," (as I think St. Austin nervously calls it) the sin that still goes on sinning in all mankind; or, to use the just and emphatic words of Calvin : "The corruption of our nature is always operative, and constantly teeming with unholy fruits; like a heated furnace, which is perpetually blazing out; or like an inexhaustible spring of water, which is for ever bubbling up, and sending forth its rills."

So terrible a calamity as the universal infection of our whole species, is and must have been the consequence of some grand and primary transgression. Such a capital punishment would never have been inflicted on the human race by the God of infinite justice, but for some adequate preceding offence. It is undeniably certain, that we, who are now living, are in actual possession of an evil nature, which nature we brought with us into the world; it is not of our own acquiring, but was

"Cast and mingled with our very frame, Grew with our growth, and strengthen'd with our strength."


The fall of man is among the first of the portraits in the Bible on

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the great subject of redemption. When Adam came out of the hands of his gracious Creator, we are told that he was created in the image of God. By which I apprehend that he was formed in similitude to him who is the "image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," Gen. i. 26. What image? Not the image of Jehovah, as Jehovah ; but, according to what the Apostle Paul hath delivered to the Church, by the authority and instruction of the Holy Ghost, in the image of Him, who before all worlds stood up, at the call of God, as the glorious Head of his body, the Church, secretly, though not openly, "the first-born of every creature." Let the reader peruse the whole passage, Col. i. 15, &c. "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist; and he is the head of the body, the Church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” Now from hence it plainly appears, that Christ, as Christ, that is, God and man in one person, had a priority of existence to every other; and was, and is, the image of the invisible Jehovah, in whose likeness Adam, the first man, was created. It appears also that by him, that is, God and man in one person, all things were created. God created all things, we are told, by Jesus Christ. Eph. iii. 9. By the fall be lost this resemblance, and all kis faculties became ruined and defiled; yea, his whole nature virtually all sin. Hence the scriptures, under the strongest expressions, speak of the mighty ruin, His understanding became darkened, so as to lose the knowledge of God. Eph. iv. 18, 19. His affections became carnal, sensual, and devilish. Eph. ii. 1—3. James iii. 15. His will stubborn, rebellious, proud, and disobedient. 1 Pet. iv. 3. Yea, his whole mind enmity against God. Rom. viii. 7. The Psalmist, and after him the Apostle Paul, bath given some striking features of fallen man, when he saith, "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did under

stand and seek after God." But the result of the divine inquiry was, that they were all gone aside; they were altogether become filthy; there was none that did good; no, not one. Psal. xiv. 2,3. Rom, iii, 10-19.


Dr. Hawker. Adam's communi

Adam begat a son

Compare with this the likeness of God

The scriptures take particular notice of fallen cating his image to his posterity. Gen. v. 3. in his own likeness, and called his name Seth." ver. 1. "In the day that God created man, in made he him." Behold here, how the image after which man was made, and the image after which he is begotten, are opposed. Man' was made in the likeness of God; that is, the holy and righteous God made a holy and righteous creature; but fallen Adam begat a son, not in the likeness of God, but in his own likeness; that is, corrupt sinful Adam begat a corrupt sinful son. For as the image of God bore righteousness and immortality in it, as was shown be fore: so this image of fallen Adam bore corruption and death in it. 1 Cor. xv. 49, 50. Compare the twenty-second verse. Moses, in that fifth chapter of Genesis, having to give us the first bill of mor tality that ever was in the world, ushers it in with this, that dying Adam begat mortals. Having sinued, he became mortal, according to the threatening; and so he begat a son in his own likeness, sinful, and therefore mortal. Thus sin and death passed on all. Doubtless, he begat both Cain and Abel in his own likeness, as well as Seth; but it is not recorded of Abel, because he left no issue bebind him; and his falling the first sacrifice to death in the world was a sufficient document of it; nor of Cain, to whom it might have been thought peculiar, because of his monstrous wickedness; and besides, all his posterity were drowned in the flood; but it is recorded of Seth, because he was the father of the holy seed; and from him all mankind since the flood have descended, and fallen Adam's own likeness with them.

It appears from that scripture text, Job. xiv. 4. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." Our first parents were unclean; how then can we be clean? How could our immediate parents be clean? or how shall our children be so? The uncleanness here aimed at is a sinful uncleanness; for it is such as makes

a man's days full of trouble; and is natural, being derived from unclean parents, "Man is born of a woman," (first verse) and how can he be clean "that is born of a woman?" Job xxv. 4. The omnipotent God, whose power is not here challenged, could bring a clean thing out of an unclean; and did so, in the case of the man Christ; but no other can. Every person that is born according to the course of nature is born unclean. If the root be corrupt, so must the branches be. Neither is the matter mended, though the parents be sanctified ones; for they are but holy in part, and that by grace, not by nature; and they beget their children as men, not as holy men; wherefore, as the circumcised parent begets an uncircumcised child; and after the purest grain is sown, we reap corn with the chaff; so, the holiest parents beget unholy children, and cannot communicate their grace to them, as they do their natural qualities; which many godly parents find true in their sad experience. Boston's Four-fold State.

Ah! why should all mankind,

For one man's fault thus guiltless be condemn'd,
If guiltless. But from me what can proceed
But all corrupt, both body and mind deprav'd;
Not to do only, but to will the same

With me? How can they acquitted stand
In sight of God?


This assay made on Adam manifested what human nature was, and proved a condemnation of the whole race, by showing that a man placed in the most favourable circumstances would yet be overcome by the first temptations; so that we bring into the world with us original sin, that is, not guilt, but a propensity to contract guilt upon the first occasion.

What is original sin?


It is a sin, wherewith all that naturally descend from Adam are defiled, even from their first conception; infecting all the powers of their souls and bodies, and thereby making them drudges and slaves of sin. For it is the immediate effect of Adam's first sin, and the principal cause of all other sins.

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