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creature, and a new man (according to our author's understanding of such phrases) which never had any existence before it was justified, and therefore never was wicked or condemned, unless it was with regard to the individuals of which it was constituted ; and it does not appear, according to our author's scheme, that these individuals had before been gen. erally wicked. For according to him, there was a number both among the Jews and Gentiles, that were righteous before. And how does it appear, but that the comparatively few Jews and Gentiles, of which this new created collective body was constituted, were chiefly of the best of each?
So that in every view, this author's way of explaining this passage in the third of Romans, appears vain and absurd. And so clearly and fully has the apostle expressed himself, that it is doubtless impossible to invent any other sense to put upon his words, than that which will imply, that all mankind, even every individual of the whole race, but their Redeemer himself, are in their first original state, corrupt and wicked.
Before I leave this passage of the apostle, it may be proper to observe, that it not only is a most clear and full testimony to the native depravity of mankind, but also plainly declares that natural de pravity to be total and exceeding great. It is the apostle's manifest design in these citations from the Old Testament, to shew these three things. 1. That all mankind are by nature corrupt. 2. That every one is altogother corrupt, and, as it were, depraved in every part. 3. That they are in every part corrupt in an exceeding degree. With respect to the second of these, that every one is wholly, and, as it were, in every part corrupt, it is plain the apostle chooses out, and puts together those particular passages of the Old Testament, wherein most of those members of the body are mentioned, that are the soul's chief instruments or organs of external action. The hands (implicitly) in those expressions, They are together become unprofitable, There is none that doth good. The throat, tongue, lips and mouth, the organs of speech ; in those words, « Their throat is an open sepulchre: With their tongues they have used deceit: The
poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” The feet in those words, ver. 15, “ Their feet are swift to shed blood.” These things together signify, that man is, as it were, all over corrupt in every part. And not only is the total corruption thus intimated, by enumerating the several parts, but by denying of all good ; any true understanding or spiritual knowledge, any virtuous action, or so much as truly virtuous desire, or seeking after God. There is none that understandeth: There is none that seeketh after God: There is none that doth good : The way of peace have they not known. And in general, by denying all true piety or religion in men in their first state, ver. 18. “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.” The expressions also are evidentJy chosen to denote a most extreme and desperate wickedness of heart. An exceeding depravity is ascribed to every part : To the throat, the scent of an open sepulchre ; to the tongue and lips, deceit, and the prison of asp8 ; to the mouth, cursing and bitterness ; of their feet it is said, they are swift 10 shed blood : And with regard to the whole man, it is said, destruction and misery are in their ways. The representation is very strong of each of these things, viz. That all mankind are corrupt ; that every one is wholly and altogether corrupt ; and also extremely and desperately corrupt. And it is plain, it is not accidental, that we have here such a collection of such strong expressions, so emphatically signifying these things ; but that they are chosen of the apostle on design, as being di. rectly and fully io his purpose ; which purpose appears in all his discourse in the whole of this chapter, and indeed from the beginning of the epistle.
Observations on Romans v. 6.... 10, and Ephesians ij. 3, with
the Context, and Romans vii.
ANOTHER passage of this apostle in the same epistle to the Romans, which shews that all that are made partakers of the benefits of Christ's redemption, are in their first state wicked, and desperately wicked, is that, chap. v. 6.... 10. “ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die ; yet peradventure for a good man, some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son ; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
Here all that Christ died for, and that are saved by him, are spoken of as being in their first state sinners, ungodly, enemies to God, exposed to divine wrath, and without strength, without ability to help themselves, or deliver their souls from this miserable state,
Dr. Taylor says, The apostle here speaks of the Gentiles only in their heathen state, in contradistinction to the Jews ; and that not of particular persons among the heathen Gentiles, or as to the state they were in personally ; but only of the Gentiles collectively taken, or of the miserable state of that great collective body, the heathen world : And that these appellations, sinners, ungodly, enemies, &c. were names by which the apostles in their writings were wont to signify and distintinguish the heathen world, in opposition to the Jews; and that in this sense these appellations are to be taken in their epistles, and in this place in particular. * And it is observa
* Page 114.... 120. See also Dr. Taylor's Paraph. and Notes on the place.
ble, that this way of interpreting these phrases in the apostolic writings, is become fashionable with many late writers ; whereby they not only evade several clear testimonies to the doctrine of original sin, but make void great part of the New Testament ; on which account it deserves the more particular consideration.
It is allowed to have been long common and customary among the Jews, in Christ's and the apostle's days, especially those of the sect of the Pharisees, in their pride and confidence in their privileges, as the peculiar people of God, to exalt themselves exceedingly above other nations, and greatly to despise the Gentiles, and call them by such names as sinners, enemies, dogs, &c, as notes of distinction from themselves, whom they accounted in general (excepting the publicans, and the notoriously profligate) as the friends, special favorites, and children of God; because they were the children of Abraham, were circumcised, and had the law of Moses, as their peculiar privilege, and as a wall of partition between them and, the Gentiles.
But it is very remarkable, that a Christiar divine, who has studied the New Testament, and the epistle to the Romans in particular, so diligently as Dr. Taylor, should be strong in an imagination, that the apostles of Jesus Christ should so far countenance, and do so much to cherish these selfexalting, uncharitable dispositions and notions of the Jews, which gave rise to such a custom, as to fall in with that custom, and adopt that language of their pride and contempt; and especially that the Apostle Paul should do it. It is a most unreasonable imagination on many accounts.
1. The whole gospel dispensation is calculated entirely to overthrow and abolish every thing to which this selfdistinguishing, selfexalting language of the Jews was owing. It was calculated wholly to exclude such boasting, and to des. troy that pride and self righteousness that were the causes of it : It was calculated to abolish the enmity, and break down the partition wall between Jews and Gentiles, and of twain to make one new man, 80 making peace ; to destroy all dispositions in nations and particular persons to despise one another, or to Vol. VI.
say one to another, Stand by thyself, come not near to me ; for I am holier than thou ; and to establish the contrary principles of humility, mutual esteem, honor and love, and universal union, in the most firm and perfect manner.
2. Christ, when on earth, set himself, through the course of his ministry, to militate against this pharisaical spirit, prac. tice, and language of the Jews; appearing in such representations, names, and epithets, so customary among them ; by which they shewed so much contempt of the Gentiles, publicaps, and such as were openly lewd and vicious, and so exalted themselves above them ; calling them sinners and enemies, and themselves holy and God's children ; not allowing the Gentile to be their neighbor, &c. He condemned the Pharisees for not esteeming themselves sinners, as well as the publicans ; trusting in themselves that they were righteous, and despising others. He militated against these things in his own treatment of some Gentiles, publicans, and others, whom they called sinners, and in what he said on those occasions.*
He opposed these notions and manners of the Jews in his parables,t and in his instructions to his disciples how to treat the unbelieving Jews it and in what he says to Nicodemus about the necessity of a new birth, even for the Jews, as well as the unclean Gentiles, with regard to their prosely tism, which some of the Jews looked upon as a new birth: And in opposition to their notions of their being the children of God, because the children of Abraham, but the Gentiles by nature sinners and children of wrath, he tells them that even they were children of the devil.ll
* Matth. viii. 5... 13. Chap. ix. 9...13. Chap. xi. 19...24. Chap. xv. 21...28. Luke vii. 37, to the end. Chap. xvii. 12...19. Chap. xix. 1...10. John iv. 9, &c. ver. 39, &c. Compare Luke x. 29, &c.
+ Matth. xxi, 28...32. Chap. xxii. 2...10. Luke xiv. 16...24. Com. pare Luke xiii. 28, 29, 30. Matth. x. 14, 15. John viii. 33...44.
It may also be observed, that John the Baptist greatly contradicted the Jews' opinion of themselves, as being a holy people, and accepted of God, because they were the children of Abraham, and on that account better than the heathen, whom they called sinners, enemies, unclean, &c. in baptizing the