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could of himself have discovered, that there is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, poor wretched fallen man, had bound himself, eternally, with the chains of his own forging, and rendered it forever impossible for him to repent. Hell had quickly opened its flood-gates of wrath, and pouring in its deluge of woe, claimed and secured our whole guilty race, as another family of devils, fraught with envenomed malice, to oppose the government of God.

All this perhaps is seen, and acknowledged to be true, in reference to the first parents of our race; but, it is asked, how is that disordered exercise of man's moral powers, which ensued in them immediately upon rebellion, and by which the passions and appetites, the constitutional susceptibilities and principles of his nature, triumphed over his interest and happiness, rendered certain in his posterity ? In reply, we remark, that the idea of physical defect, does not at all comporl with that of moral depravily. The want of an hand or an arm, an eye or a limb, is not ordinarily taken into the account, when we estimate a man's moral character. But, suppose that a person was born into this world, with such a deformed and ill-shapen body, as to be illy adapted to the purposes of ordinary life--destitute of the power of locomotion, and not capable of being guided and governed by the will, we should never think of attributing to him that depravity, which we would to one who had the requisite corporcal powers, for manifesting his intentions, and acting out all the rebellious purposes of his heart. Should he, however, possess the faculty of speech, and give vent to blasphemous thoughts and execra'tions, and thus manifest alienation of mind from God, and malignity of heart towards Him, we should attribute to him an increased degree of depravity, in proportion to the core poreal disadvantages and disabilities, under which iic labored. But should he be devoid of mental endowments-in

capable of reason, and incapable of speech; or, should he be possessed of the power of speech, yet altogether idiotical, incapable of judgment and memory, even acts, which, in another, would be accounted proofs of depravity, and which, in themselves, are immoral, would not be supposed to indicate the same in him. And the reason is, because, practically, we do not predicate depravity of the corporeal, or even mental constitution of man; but of the actual exercise of those powers, which are implied or requisite in the willing to do, and doing, what the law of God prohibits, or refusing what it requires. It is, therefore, of essential importance, in our investigations on this subject, that we form correct notions of what it is, which constitutes man the proper subject of moral government-we mean, which brings him actually under the government of law.

Mankind universally make a distinction, between mere natural discipline or government, and that which is by law or the declared will of a sovereign, who has a right to command. The maniac is governed as the brutes. The infant and child, by the mere exercise of power. human governments, where the enactments are designed for the good of society, and which, it must therefore be presumed, are so complicated, as not to be early or easily understood, there is an age, which the individual must have attained, before he is considered as personally responsible in all his acts, or capable of acting for himself. There is evidently this general assumption, on the part of mankind, that there must be such a development of the corporeal and mental capacities, which qualify for acting, as to presuppose a knowledge of law, before the individual can strictly and properly be said, to be under the actual goverment of law, so far as his personal acts are concerned.

The natural, providential government of God, is, undoubtedly, different, from that which, as a moral governor, He maintains orer intelligent and roluntary beings. The

And, in latter is the government of law, or declared will. The former, of mere power and care. The latter, in this world, is peculiar to man. The former, man enjoys in common with the whole brute and animal creation.

It would seem, therefore, that the question is rather out of place, to ask, whether, and how INTANTS sin, in whom there has not yet been a sufficient development of the intellectual and physical powers, to qualify them for the knowledge of law, and the actions contemplated by the law. Are we under the necessity of supposing, that there is any thing wrought into their intellectual or corporeal constitution, which is, in itself, sinful? Does the word of God really lcach us, that the mere organization of the infant body and mind, or that its substance and constitutional properties, are sinful? We apprehend not; for then, unquestionably, it must mean something else to be sinful, than actually to violate the will of a moral governor; and if so, we cannot see, but that we might predicate sin of the brute creation, with as much propriety as of infunts. If the sin of Adam deranged the whole constitution of God, that was his sin; but certainly, in no sense, can it be said to be the personal sin of thosc, who are unfurnished with the capacities requisite for moral action.

The idea of MORAL UNITY, or of representation, or of acting by another, which has been resorted to as a philosophical theory, to solve difficulties on this subject, is based on the assumption, that every individual descendant of Adam, is personally under the actual government of law, from the very first moment of its existence; yea, and before it had existence-at least, in the eye of God! The question, which to us seems most, and indeed only appropriate herè, is, whether Adam's sin has not so perverted the constitution of God, and produced such a change, in the whole process of the development of the powers and capacities of his offspring, as to render it morally certain, that they shall both sin, as soon as they have knowledge of law, and eventually die too.

This is strictly a question as to matter of fact, and the answer must therefore be drawn, not from philosophical theories, but from careful examination of the actual condition of human nature. If it is practicable, there shoult indeed be,—in all cases, the utter absence of philosophical disquisition and theory, and the plain and faithful reporting of Facts, as far as the sacred Scriptures, and accurate observation, may enable us to aseertain them. It is exactly here, where mischief is done to religion; and it is owing to the different philosophical views, or theories, in which the farts of revelation are involved, that christian teachers and sects are found so much to differ. To separate between facts, and the doctrines, which are thought legitimately deducible from them--or the theories which are employed to illustrate or account for them would be no mean service rendered to the cause of truth. To detect the difference between the theory and the fact, or the doctrine founded on the fact, as suggested by some theoretical or philosophical views, is no easy task.

Indeed, an attempt to do so is exceedingly perilous; for it may awaken a host of prejudices, and excite alarm, from the sudden and almost unavoidable impression made on the minds of many, that a relinquishment of technicalities, especially if objected against as not happily adapted to convey the scriptural idea as to matters of fact-is, at least, presumptive proof of heresy. We therefore venture on a reply to the question just suggested, with considerable solicitude; and would bespeak the reader's candid and patient attention, as we pursue, somewhat further, the difficult and much controverted topic, of the derivation of depravity. It is our desire, and has been, all along, to avoid every thing like technical phraseology, and exhibit nothing but the plain matter of fact, without respect to any

theory or system; and we again express the hope, that our readers will not be so uncharitable as to suspect error, and condemn us, without being heard and understood. Our object is neither to gratify curiosity, nor to divert the mind, by empty speculations, from that which should engage its interested attention. How could I sin in Adam? How could Adam's sin become mine? How could Adam sin for me? How could God impute Adam's sin to me? How could Adam's sin reach me? Through what channel has it been conveyed to me? These are questions of no manner of practical utility, as we apprehend, and we shall not pretend to agitate them. The Bible has not started them, nor is it at the pains to meet them. It is a question of vastly deeper moment, and one.which involves the eternal interest and destiny of us all, How have I become a sinner? Is God v or man to blame?

It will readily be admitted, that mar is naturally possessed of certain capacities for action, and susceptibilities of impression inciting to action, which constitute the very elements or basis of his moral constitution. He has a thinking mind, which is both capable of perceiving external things, and of attending to its own operations, and which is competent to reflect and weigh well the considerations presented, so as to come to a fixed choice, or purpose of action.

Moreover he is capable of various movements, or agitations of soul, which are appropriate, or adapted to the nature of the different objects which present themselves, or to the character of the different thoughts which arise in his mind. His sensitive nature is capacitated for impressions of pleasure or of pain, from objects without him, or thoughts within him---which impressions, will be correspondent with the : cal or supposed character of that which produces them; or, in other words, according as the mind apprehends an object to be fit to do it good or the contra

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