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" things and desperately wicked : who can know 6 it?” (8) ..Micah, in like manner, affirms, “ There is none 56 upright among men;" (h) and similar language might be quoted from other of the minor prophets.
The New Testament abounds with declarations equally express and decisive. Thus JESUS CHRIST himself, in his conference with Nicodemus, assumes the fact, that the whole world has sinned, (i) and soon after affirms, that " Men loved darkness rather than 66 light, because their deeds were evil.”
The apostle PETER, on the day of Pentecost, after he had received the Spirit which should “ lead him “ into all truth,” said, not to a select party of great sinners, but to a promiscuous multitude of “ Par“ thians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Cappa" docians, Phrygians, Egyptians, Cyreneans, Romans, “ Cretes, Arabians, Jews, and Proselytes,"_“ Repent, Ľ and let every one of you be baptized in the name of 56 Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.” (K) A plain proof that, in the estimation of this inspired apostle, every one of them had sins to be remitted.
The epistles of Paul are full of passages of the same import. I select the following. When reason
(g) Jer. iii. 25. xvii. 9.
(k) Acts, ii. 38. I have here quoted from the translation of the New Testament, published in 1808, under the patronage and authority of the Socinians, and I shall continue to do thus, whenever the quotation is intended to establish any doctrinal point which they dispute; unless I conceive their translation erronevus, aud in such cases shall specify my reasons for not adopting that version.
ing upon the general subject, but speaking of himself as if to avoid giving offence, he says: “ I know that 66 in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." Again : “ Jews and Gentiles are all under sin.” “ All “ have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."? 66 Death hath passed upon all men, inasmuch as all 6 have sinned.” “ By the disobedience of one, the 66 many were made sinners.” 66 The Scripture hath “ included all together under sin, that the promise, “ by faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those 66 who believe.” All of us likewise lived “ formerly 6 in the desires of our flesh, &c.; and were by nature 6 children of anger, even as others.” “ If one died “ for all, then were all in a state of death.” (1)
James, who is generally imagined to dwell less upon the peculiarities of the Christian system, than the other apostles, says, “ In many things we all of “ fend.” (m)
The apostle JOHN says, “ If we say that we have “ no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in “ us.” “ Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins ; 66 and not for ours only, but for the whole world." “ The whole world lieth (in wickedness, or lieth) in “ subjection to the evil one.” (n) · Now, my friend, examine the passages here cited attentively, compare them with their respective con
(1) Rom. vii. 17. iii. 9. 23. v. 12. 19. Gal. iii. 22. Ephes, ii. 3. 2 Cor. v. 14. Tit. iji. 3.
(m) James, iii. 2.
(n) 1 John, i. 8. ii. 2. v. 19: ó cóquog ölog év tý TovepÝ KeTrab, Mundus totus in maligno positus est. LEUSD.
texts, to ascertain that they contain the genuine sentiments of the several writers; and then devise, if yoų can, any means by which I could offer a greater insult to your understanding than by saying, as those from whose sentiments I wish to preserve you are often saying, Hence you may safely infer, that the doctrine
of the depravity of human nature is not supported by * Scripture.
Indeed, it seems next to impossible to deny this doctrine, without at the same time impugning the wisdom of God, as manifested in the economy of redemption. In this there is an amazing apparatus, for which, upon the hypothesis of our opponents, there can be no necessity : for there certainly can be nò necessity that “ Christ should die for all,” if all have not sinned. According to this scheme, every human creature must be born of “ God,” “ be created anew," 66 be quickened," “ be reconciled to God by Jesus s« Christ,” “ be washed from his sins in His blood.” Here, therefore, are requirements and provisions where none are needed, if the doctrine of human depravity be unfounded. God, who alone can see and provide for future contingencies, has fancied there would be a universal apostasy when there has been no such thingforetold by his prophets, that he would provide a way for the restoration of his people, when no restoration was required,-appointed a Saviour to die for the sins of the whole world, and whose “ blood” was to wash away the sins of many who had no sins to be thus cancelled. And this, even this, is called “ rational “ religion ;” a religion that evinces the wisdom and goodness of God, conformably to the most liberal, and pure, and philosophical principles !
“ Shall we then continue in sin, that grace may s abound? God forbid.” Though the powers of man are vitiated, and his inclinations to evil are so strong that they will never be thoroughly subdued but by Divine influences ; yet God, who cannot be otherwise than holy, continues still to demand a perfection of obedience. Ours is a moral inability to fulfil the Law; but he who knows the heart can, and has graciously promised he will ultimately destroy this inability, by communications from himself. “ To the Lord our “ God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we 66 have rebelled against him.” Though we cannot of ourselves fulfil what God requires in his Law, yet we 66 can do all things through Christ, who dwelleth in 6 us.” If we “ live according to the flesh, we must “ die hereafter: but if through the Spirit we mortify “ the deeds of the body, we shall live." (0) God condescends, by the dispensation of the Gospel, to pardon and accept the humble, sincere, penitent sinner, on account of the perfect obedience and atoning sacrifice of his own Son, who died to deliver his people from the power of sin, as well as from the punishment due to it. The promises of the New Dispensation relate as well to the recovery of the Divine image, as the recovery of the Divine favour. On both these accounts we are solicited to come to Christ “ that we may have “ life.” The invitations of the Gospel are free and
(0) Rom. viii. 3.