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poses ; but mean truly from the beginning of existence, and are manifestly of like signification with that which is said of the prophet Jeremiah, Jer. i. 5. « Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee: Before thou camest out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Which surely means something else besides a high degree of virtue : It plainly signifies that he was, from his first existence, set apart by God for a prophet. And it would be as unreasonable to understand it otherwise, as to suppose the angel meant any other than that Samson was set apart to be a Nazarite from the beginning of his life, when he says to his mother, “ Behold, thou shalt conceive and bear a son: And now drink no wine, nor strong drink, &c. For the child shall be a Nazarite to God, from the womb, to the day of his death.” By these instances it is plain, that the phrase, from the womb, as the other, from the youth, as used in scripture, properly signifies from the beginning of life.
Very remarkable is that place, Job xv. 14, 15, 16. “ What is man, that he should be clean ? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints: Yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight? How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water ?" And no less remarkable is our author's method of managing it. The sixteenth verse expresses an exceeding degree of wickedness, in as plain and emphatical terms, almost, as can be invented ; ev. ery word representing this in the strongest manner : « How much more abominable and filthy is man, that drinketh iniqui. ty like water ?” I cannot now recollect where we have a sentence equal to it in the whole Bible, for an emphatical, lively and strong representation of great wickedness of heart. Any one of the words, as such words are useci in scripture, would represent great wickedness : If it had been only said, « How much more abominable is man ?” Or, “How much more filthy is man?” Or, “ Man that drinketh iniquity.” But all these are accumulated with the addition of....like water ...the further to represent the boldness or greediness of men
men in wickedness; though iniquity be the most deadly pois. on, yet men drink it as boldly as they drink water, are as familiar with it as with their common drink, and drink it with like greediness, as he that is thirsty drinks water. That boldness and eagerness in persecuting the saints, by which the great degree of the depravity of man's heart often appears, is represented thus, Psal. xiv. 4. “ Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread ?” And the greatest eagerness of thirst is represented by thirsting as an animal thirsts after water, Psalm xlii. 1.
Now let us see the soft, easy, light manner, in which Dr. Taylor treats this place, p. 143. “How much more abomin. able and filthy is man, in comparison of the divine purity, who drinketh iniquity like water? Who is attended with so many sensual appetites, and so apt to indulge them. You see the argument, man, in his present weak and fleshly state, cannot be clean before God. Why so ? Because he is conceived and born in sin, by reason of Adam's sin : No such thing. But because, if the purest creatures are not pure, in compari8on of God, much less a being subject to so many infirmitics, as a mortal man. Which is a demonstration to me, not only that Job and his friends did not intend to establish the doctrine we are now examining, but that they were wholly strangers to it.” Thus this author endeavors to reconcile this text with his docuine of the perfect, native innocence of mankind; in which we have a potable specimen of his demonstrations, as well as of that great impartiality and fairness in examiving and expounding the scripture, which he makes so often a profession of.
In this place we are not only told how wicked man's heart is, but also how men come by such wickedness ; even by being of the race of mankind, by ordinary generation. “ What is man, that he should be clean ? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ?” Our author, pages 141, 142, represents man's being born of a woman, as a periphrasis, to signify map ; and that there is no design in the words to give a reason, why man is not clean and righteous. But the case is most evidently otherwise, if we may interpret
the Book of Job by itself : It is most plain, that man's being born of a woman is given as a reason of his not being clean, chap. xiv. 14. « Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?” Job is speaking there expressly of man's being born of a woman, as appears in verse 1. And here how plain is it, that this is given as a reason of man's not being clean ? Concerning this Dr. Taylor says, " That this has no respect to any moral uncleanness, but only common frailty," &c. But how evidently is this also otherwise ? When that uncleanness, which a man has by being born of a woman, is expressly explained of unrighteousness, in the next chapter at verse 14. “ What is man that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ?” And also in chap. xxv. 4. “How then can man be justified with God? And how can he be clean that is born of a woman ?” It is a moral cleanness Bildad is speaking of, which a man needs in order to being justified. His design is, to convince Job of his moral impurity, and from thence of God's righteousness in his severe judgments upon him ; and not of bis natural frailty.
And without doubt, David has respect to this same way of derivation of wickedness of heart, when he says, Psalm li. 5. “ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” It alters not the case as to the argument we are upon, whether the word translated conceive, sig. nifies conceive, or nurse ; which latter our author takes 80 much pains to prove : For when he has done all, he speaks of it as a just translation of the words to render them thus: “I was born in iniquity, and in sin did my mother nurse me," page 135. If it is owned that man is born in sin, it is not worth the while to dispute whether it is expressly asserted that he is conceived in sin. But Dr. Taylor after his manner insists, that such expressions, as being born in sin, being transgressors from the womb, and the like, are only phrases figuratively to denote aggravation and high degree of wickedness. But the contrary has been already demonstrated, from many plain scripture instances. Nor is one instance produced, in which there is any evidence that such a phrase is used in such a manner. A poetical sentence out of Virgil's Æneids, bas here been produced, and ipade much of by some, as parallel with this, in what Dido says to Æneas in these lines :
Nec tibi diva parens, generis nec Dardanus auctor,
In which she tells Æneas, that not a goddess was his mother, nor Anchises his father ; but that he had been brought forth by a horrid, rocky mountain, and nursed at the dugs of tygers, to represent the greainess of his cruelty to her. But how unlike and unparallel is this? Nothing could be more natural than for a woman, overpowered with the passion of love, and distracted with raging jealousy and disappointment, thinking herself treated with brutish perfidy and cruelty, by a lover, whose highest fame had been his being the son of a goddess, to aggravate his inhumanity and hardheartedness with this, that his behavior was not worthy the son of a goddess, nor becoming one whose father was an illustrious prince; and that he acted more as if he had been brought forth by hard, unrelenting rocks, and had sucked the dugs of tygers. But what is there in the case of David parallel, or at all in like manner leading him to speak of himself as born in sin, in any such sense ? He is not speaking himself, nor any one else speaking to him, of any excellent and divine father and mother, that he was born of; nor is there any appear. ance of his aggravating his sin by its being unworthy of his high birth. There is nothing else visible in David's case, to lead him to take notice of his being born in sin, but only his having such experience of the continuance and power of indwelling sin, after so long a time, and so many great means to engage him to holiness ; which shewed that sin was inbred, and in his very nature.
Dr. Taylor often objects to these and other texts, brought by divines to prove Original Sin, that there is no mention made in them of Adam, nor of his sin. He cries out, “ Here
is not the least mention or intimation of Adam, or any ill effects of his sin upon us.....Here is not one word, nor the least hint of Adam, or any consequences of his sin, &c. &c.* He says, “If Job and his friends had known and believed the doctrine of a corrupt nature, derived from Adam's sin only, they ought in reason and truth to have given this as the true änd only reason of the hurnan imperfection and uncleanness they mention.” But these objections and exclamations are made no less impertinently, than they are frequently. It is no more a proof, that corruption of nature did not come by Adam's sin, because many times when it is mentioned, Adam's sin is not expressly mentioned as the cause of it, than that death did not come by Adam's sin (as Dr. Taylor says it did) because though death, as incident to mankind, is mentioned so often in the Old Testament, and by our Saviour in his discourses, yet Adam's sin is not once expressly mention. ed, after the three first chapters of Genesis, any where in all the Old Testament, or the four evangelists, as the occasion of it.
What Christian has there ever been, that believed the moral corruption of the nature of mankind, who ever doubted that it came that way, which the apostle speaks of, when he says, “ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin"? Nor indeed have they any more reason to doubt of it, than to doubt of the whole , bistory of our first parents, because Adam's name is so rarely mentioned, on any occasion in scripture, after that first account of him, and Eve's never at all ; and because we have no more any express mention of the particular manner, in which mankind were first brought into being, either with respect to the creation of Adam or Eve. It is sufficient, that the abiding, most visible effects of these things, remain in the view of mankind in all ages, and are often spoken of in scripture ; and that the particular man. ner of their being introduced, is once plainly set forth in the beginning of thc Bible, in that historý which gives us ari áca
* Page 5, 64, 96. 97. 98. 102, 108, 112, 118, 119, 122, 127, 128, 136, 142, 143, 149, 15%, 255, 289. + 142.