« PreviousContinue »
change by which we put off the old man, and put on the new man, is the same thing with that which, in scripture, is called a being created anew, or made new creatures.
Here, to pass over many other evidences of this, which might be mentioned, I would only observe, that the representations are exactly equivalent. These several phrases naturally and most plainly signify the same effect. In the first birth, or generation, we are created, or brought into existence; it is then the whole man first receives being : The soul is then formed, and then our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, being curiously wrought by our Creator : So that a new born child is a new creature. So, when a man is born again, he is created again; in that new birth, there is a new creation ; and therein he becomes as a new born babe, or a new creature. So, in a resurrection, there is a new creation. When a man is dead, that which was created or made in the first birth or creation is destroyed: When that which was dead is raised to life, the mighty power of the Creator or Author of life, is exerted the second time, and the subject restored to new existence, and new life, as by a new creation. So giving a new heart is called creating a clean heart, Psal. li. 10. Where the word translated, create, is the same that is used in the first verse in Genesis. And when we read in scripture of the new creature, the creature that is called new, is man ; not angel, or beast, or any other sort of creature ; and therefore the phrase, new man, is evidently equipfolent with new creature; and a putting off the old man, and putting on the new man, is spoken of expressly as brought to pass by a work of creation. Col. iii. 9, 10. “ Ye have put off the old man, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.” So Eph. iv. 22, 23, 24. " That ye put off the old man, which is corrupt, &c, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” These things absolutely fix the meaning of that in 2 Cor. v. 17. “ If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away ; behold, all things are become new."
On the whole, the following reflections may be made ;
1. That it is a truth of the utmost certainiy, with respect to every man, born of the race of Adam, by ordinary genera. tion, that unless he be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. This is true, not only of the Heathen, but of them that are born of the professing people of God, as Nicodemus, and the Jews, and every man born of the flesh. This is most manifest by Christ's discourse in John iï, 3....ll. So it is plain by 2 Cor. v. 17, That every man who is in Christ, is a new creature.
2. It appears from this, together with what has been prov. ed above, that it is most certain with respect to every one of the human race, that he can never have any interest in Christ, or see the kingdom of God, unless he be the subject of that change in the temper and disposition of his heart, which is made in repentance and conversion, circumcision of heart, spiritual baptism, dying to sin, and rising to a new and holy life ; and unless he has the old heart taken away, and a new heart and spirit given, and puls off the old man, and puts on the new man, and old things are passed away, and all things made new.
3. From what is plainly implied in these things, and from what the scripture most clearly teaches of the nature of them, it is certain, that every man is born into the world in a state of moral pollution : For spiritual baptism is a cleansing from moral filthiness. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, compared with Acts ii. 16, and John iii. 5. So the washing of regeneration, or the new birth, is a change from a state of wickedness. Tit. iii. 3, 4, 5. Men are spoken of as purified in their regeneration. 1 Pet. i. 22, 23. See also 1 John ii. 29, and iij. 1, 3. And it appears that every man, in his first or natural state, is a sinner ; for otherwise he would then need no repentance, no conversion, no turring from sin to God. And it appears, that every man in his original state has a heart of stone ; for thus the scripture cails that old heart, which is taken away, when a new heart and new spirit is given. Ezek. xi. 19, and xxxvi. 26. And it appears, that man's nature, as in his native state, is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and of its own motion exerts itself in nothing but wicked decds. For thus the scripture characterizes the old man, which is put off, when men are renewed in the spirit of their minds, and put on the new man, Eph. iv. 22, 23, 24....Col. iji, 8, 9, 10. In a word, it appears, that man's natúrë, as in its native state, is a body of sin, which must be destroyed, must die, be buried, and never rise more. For thus the old man is represented, which is crucified, when men are the subjects of a spiritual resurrection, Rom. vi, 4, 5, 6. Such a nature, such a body of sin as this, is put off in the spiritual renovation, wherein we put on the new man, and are the subjects of the spiritual circumcision, Eph. iv. 21, 22, 23.
It must now be left with the reader to judge for himself, whether what the scripture teaches of the application of Christ's redemption, and the change of state and nature necessary to true and final happiness, does not affurd clear and abundant evidence to the truth of the doctrine of Original Sin.
Containing Answers to Objections.
Concerning that Objection, That to suppose men's being born in
sin, without their choice, or any previous act of their own, is to suppose what is inconsistent with the nature of sin.
SOME of the objections made against the doctrine of Original Sin, which have reference to particular arguments used in defence of it, have been already considered in the handling of those arguments. What I shall therefore now consider, are such objections as I have not yet had occasion to take any special notice of.
There is no argument Dr. Taylor insists more upon, than that which is taken from the Arminian and Pelagian notion of freedom of will, consisting in the will's selfdetermination, as necessary to the being of moral good or evil. He often urges, that if we come into the world infected with sinful and deprayed dispositions, then sin must be natural to us; and if natural, then necessary ; and if necessary, then no sin, nor any thing we are blameable for, or that can in any respect be our fault, being what we cannot help: And he urges, that sin must proceed from our own choice, &c.*
* Page 125, 128, 129, 130, 186, 187, 188, 199, 200, 245, 246, 253, 258, 63, 64, 161, S, and other places.
Here I would observe in general, that the forementioned notion of Freedom of Will, as essential to moral agency, and necessary to the very existence of virtue and sin, seems to be a grand favorite point with Pelagians and Arminians, and all divines of such characters, in their controversies with the orthodox. There is no one thing more fundamental in their schemes of religion ; on the determination of this one leading point depends the issue of almost all controversies we have with such divines. Nevertheless, it seems a needless task for me particularly to consider that matter in this place ; having already largely discussed it, with all the main grounds of this notion, and the arguments used to defend it, in a late book on this subject, to which I ask leave to refer the reader. It is very necessary, that the modern prevailing doctrine concerning this point, should be well understood, and therefore thoroughly considered and examined : For without it there is no hope of putting an end to the controversy about Original Sin, and innumerable other controversies that subsist, about many of the main points of religion, I stand ready to confess to the forementioned modern divines, if they can maintain their peculiar notion of freedom, consisting in the selfdetermin. ing power of the will, as necessary to moral agency, and can thoroughly establish it in opposition to the arguments lying against it, then they have an impregnable castle, to which they may repair, and remain invincible, in all the controversies they have with the reformed divines, concerning Original Sin, the sovereignty of grace, election, redemption, conversion, the efficatious operation of the Holy Spirit, the nature of sav. ing faith, perseverance of the saints, and other principles of the like kind. However at the same time I think this same thing will be as strong a fortress for the deists, in common with them, as the great doctrines, subverted by their notion of freedom, are so plainly and abundantly taught in the scriplure. But I am under no apprehensions of any danger, the cause of Christianity, or the religion of the reformed is in, from any possibility of that notion's being ever established, or of its being ever evinced that there is not proper, perfect, and manifold demonstration lying against it. But as I said, it would be