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man as consisting in the act of the will. He says, “When we say man is entirely depraved, we mean that he is a guilty rebel, who voluntarily refuses allegiance to the God who made him.” If the entire depravity of man consists in this voluntary refusal, how does it consist also in a propagated propensity to sin ?
Next, in respect to my heresy on this subject. Dr. Tyler first quotes a few passages from the famous heretic Pelagius, (not in vidiously” be it remembered) as expressing the same opinions which I have expressed.* The first passage is, " that Adam's sin hurt nobody but himself."-If Dr. Tyler seriously believes that I entertain such an opinion as this, after what I have said to the contrary, I shall not attempt to change his belief. The next passages which he cites from this condemned heretic, are on the left. Those on the right are from Dr. Tyler. PELAGIUS.
“ The good and evil by which we " When we say that man is entiredeserve either praise or blame, are ly depraved, we mean that he is a not born with us, but ARE DONE BY guilty rebel, who coluntarily refuses us; being made capable either of vir- allegiance to the God who made him.' fue or vice,
“ All men are made capable of complying with the invitations of the Gospel.
With these powers they were CREATED, and they need no new powers, &c. If he (the sinner) has power to rebel against God, he has power to submit to God. He has all the power which he needs; all in
deed which he can possess." we are born equally without the one
“ If God were to renew his (the as without the other, and before the sinner's) heart this moment, - he action of man's own will, that alone would only be willing to use aright belongs to him, which God himself the power which he now abuses. has made. Sin is not the fault of na- They (sinners) are unwilling to break
off their sins, &c. Such is the desture, but of the will."
perate depravity of the heart.— They are dependent on God, BECAUSE they abuse and pervert their free agency.
I now ask,- If Pelagius has asserted capacity of right and of wrong action in men, has not Dr. Tyler asserted it also ? If Pelagius says that depravity, sin, or ill-desert, pertains exclusively to what is done by us, i. e. to the acts of the will, has not Dr. Tyler said this also ? If the language of Pelagius implies that no change in man's nature as he is born is necessary, has not Dr. Tyler affirmed that no change is accomplished by renewing grace, except that which consists in in an act of the
* Dr. Tyler says in bis Remarks,' that to the eleven articles of my creed, he does not object.'
will ; and that our dependence “results solely from the perverseness and obstinacy of the heart ?”—Now I do not say that these things are heresy in Dr. Tyler; nor even Pelagianism, properly so called. I suppose Pelagius believed in common with Dr. Tyler, in the existence of God. And I doubt not, that if Dr. Tyler, or any of his friends should further search the writings of Pelagius, something might be found from which Dr. Tyler would in fact dissent. But if the above opinions are Pelagianism-rank heresy-how stands Dr. Tyler ?
The reader is next accosted with the enquiry, in what respect iny theory differs from that of Dr. Ware? This writer in the passage cited by Dr. Tyler, speaks of man 'as no more inclined to vice than to virtue; and of his natural affections as all of them originally good.—Jf Dr. T'yler believes that I hold the opinions which he understands, and intends his readers should understand, this language to express, he will be gratified to know, that while I reject his doctrine of a constitutional propagated propensity to sin, I fully believe, that from man's propensities to natural good in the permanent circumstances in which he is placed, results a very strong tendency or proneness to sin; and that in this import of the language, man is much more inclined, or disposed to sin than to holiness.—I further believe, that none of man's natural affections are morally good. But why say this ? Dr. Tyler knew it all before.
Again, I had spoken of the possibility, that propensities for natural good, like those which led our first parents to sin, might prove the occasion of universal sin to their posterity. Dr. Tyler passes this without any attempt at refutation, except that he requests his reader to compare it with passages which he cites from the great champion of Arminianism, Dr. Taylor of Nor
Now why, when this point is thus distinctly presented to Dr. Tyler--when his doctrine of a propagated propensity to sin, is thus demolished at a stroke by an undeniable matter of fact,--why does he fly away from it, to tell us what " the great champion of Arminianism” has said ? What is this, but to resort to reproach, where argument fails? How will such an expedient set aside the matter of fact, that Adam sinued without a created or propagated prepensity to sin? Why does Dr. Tyler, in view of this fact respecting Adam, assume the utter impossibility of the same fact respecting his posterity ? What sort of reasoning is this,- to deny, that what has been a
• Dr. Tyler here quotes a long passage from Pres. Edwards, the object of which is to show, “ihal permanence in the effect, proves permanence in the cause.' As I have never questioned the correctness of this principle, I am not able perceive the design of this quotation from Edwards.
fact in one instance, can be a fact in another, because an Arminian has said that it can be ? Loes Dr. Tyler wish to influence—is he willing to take the responsibility of influencing, the faith of his fellow men by such reasoning ? Now I hold Dr. Tyler to this ;-that he either deny and disprove the fact in one case, or no more deny the possibility of it in other
He admits the fact, that Adam sinned without a previous constitutional propensity to sin ; and on the basis of this fact, as furnishing an absolute demonstration of the point, I claim, that Adam's posterity may sin without such a propensity. Let Dr. Tyler then fairly set aside this inference, or admit that all his reasoning on this subject, has no title even to respect.
Again, I had appealed to Pres. Edwards, as denying what Dr. Tyler maintains,—denying that “there is any thing, by any means infused into human nature-any quality not from the choice of our minds, ALTERING the natural constitution, faculties, and dispositions of our souls;" and also as asserting that the depravity of the heart is to be traced to the common natural principles of self-love, natural appetite, &c. which were in man IN INNOCENCE.' What course does Dr. Tyler now take? He very carefully suppresses the above statements of Edwards, and brings forward other passages in which this writer affirms, ó that mankind are born with a corrupt nature, and a propensity in their nature to sin.' Dr. Tyler thus aims to make the impression, that Edwards's view of a corrupt nature, and of a propensity to sin, coincides with his own. But I ask, --If Edwards in these passages asserts Dr. Tyler's views, does he not contradict them in those which I cited ? And why may not I alledge the latter for my purpose, as well as Dr. Tyler alledge the former for his purpose ?
But a correct view of Edwards's scheme will show, that he fell into no such contradiction, as the mere words now before the reader may seem to imply. It will also show the truth of my position, that Edwaris unequivocally denies what Dr. Tyler asserts on the present topic, and allirms, what I atfirm.? The question then is, What was Edwards's view of this corrupt nature, and of the manner in which mankind become the subjects of it?
Here, that we may ascertain the real opinions of Edwards, it is necessary to state and keep in mind his views of the old doctrine of imputation : a doctrine long since rejected by New England divines. Edwards then held, "that Adam and his posterity were one complex person-one moral whole-one moral person;"--that by the law of union, there was a com
munion and co-existence of acts and affections," so that “ Adam's pusterity committed the very same sin which Adam committed;" that “the guilt which a man has on his soul at his first existence is not a double guilt, but one and simple--the guilt of the sin by which THE SPECIES rebelled against God.”This is enough to show what original sin was in the view of Edwards, viz. free, voluntary action; the act of Adam's posterity as one with Adam, and committing the very same transgression of law;' sin consisting, not in a constitutional property of the mind, but in the act of rebelling against God. Such sin surely is not a propagated propensity to sin,-not a constitutional attribute of the soul.
But how, according to Edwards, does the nature of man become corrupt, or how do the posterity of Adam become the subjects of depravity of heart? In the same manner, as we shall see, in which Adam. corrupted his nature; not by creation, nor yet by the laws of propagation. “In order to account for a sinful corruption of nature, yea, a total native depravity of heart,” Edwards says, “the absence of positive good principles, and so the withholding of a special divine influence to impart and maintain those good principles, leaving the common natural principles of self-love, natural appetite, foc. which were in man in INNOCENCE-leaving these, 1 say, to themselves, will be followed with the corruption, yea, the total corruption of the heart, without occasion for any positive influence at all; and that it was THUS INDEED, that corruption of nature came on Adam immediately on his fall, and comes on all his posterity as sinning in him and falling with him."
Now who will pretend, that corruption of nature or depravity of heart, was in Edwards's view of it, either a created or propagated property of the soul? What was it in his view, but a disposition to gratify the self-same propensities which were in man in innocence-a disposition resulting from or "follow
-a ing" these propensities, when left to themselves ?
In accordance with this view of the subject we shall see, that Pres. Edwards contradicts Dr. Tyler's statements, not less explicitly, than had this been his direct and sole object.–Dr. Tyler then maintains, that there is something in our nature, which is truly the cause or reason why all men sin. He calls this something, 'a native propensity to evil propagated from parent to child like other natural propensities ;' compares it to traits of character which run in the blood ;' says that properties of mind are propagated in some way or other--that "human nature has undergone some change,' &c.; that men possess "constitutional propensities different from those which VOL. VI.-NO. I.
Adam possessed ;' and compares our nature to sin, to 'the nature of the lion to eat flesh, and to the nature of the ox to eat grass.
Let us now hear Pres. Edwards. In answering the grand objection' to his doctrine as alledged by his antagonist, Edwards says, " He supposes the doctrine of original sin to imply, that nature must be corrupted, by some positive influence; SOMETHING, by some means or other, infused into the human nature; some quality not FROM THE CHOICE of our minds, but like a taint, tincture, or infection, ALTERING the natural constitution, faculties and dispositions of our souls.—Whereas, truly our doctrine neither implIES NOR INFERS ANY SUCH Thing." Could a more point-blank denial of Dr. Tyler's statements, have been given ?
Edwards goes on to say, “ that there is not the least need of supposing any evil quality infused, implanted, or inwrought into the nature of man, foc.; or of supposing that man is conceived or born with a fountain of evil in his heart, such as is any thing properly positive;" that “as Adam's nature became corrupt without God's implanting or infusing any evil thing into his nature, so does the nature of his posterity”—that “the inferior principles of self love and natural appetite, which were given only to serve, being alone and left to themselves, of course became reigning principles ;"—that "man did immediately set up himself and the objects of his private affections, and appetites as supreme."-_-What then if Pres. Edwards did in words inaintain that man is born with a corrupt nature, or a propensity in his nature to sin ; are mere sounds to be regarded in face of the most unequivocal definitions and explanations? Surely the question is, what did Pres. Edwards mean—what was the thing intended by this language? Was it a constitutional property of the mind—was it an evil quality implanted in the soul by the laws of propagation--was it a fountain of evil with which man is born-was it some quality not from the choice of our minds, altering our natural constitution.Or, was it simply and solely the same depravity of heart' which came on Adam immediately on his fall, which of course was neither created nor propagated-man's voluntarily setting up himself and the objects of his private affections and appetites, as supreme--a preference of these objects to God? To any who regard things rather than words, more need not be said, to show that Pres. Edwards denied what Dr. Tyler asserts, and affirmed what I affirm.
[To be concluded.]