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of men, or any individual, maintain, that all idea
of distinction between right and wrong was utterly • obliterated from the human mind,' by the fall of Adam ? Nothing could possibly produce this effect, except such a change, as absolutely deprived man of his rational faculties, and reduced him totally to the rank of a brute; and then he would of course cease to be an accountable agent. Fallen angels know what is right, though they hate it; and what is wrong, though they love it. Whether,
every good affection be eradicated from the human heart,' must, according to our views, be decided, according to the meaning given to the words, 'good affections. If natural affection towards relatives, and humane compassionate feelings towards our fellow creatures, without any regard to the will and glory of God, be good affections: then fallen man is capable of them, by the allowance of Calvinists, as well as others. But if love to God, and love to man, for the Lord's sake, and according to his will, be exclusively meant by 'good affec'tions; then, in the judgment of Calvinists, fallen man is morally incapable of them, except by the grace of God, ' froin whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed."
* The approbation of virtue, and the detestation • of vice,' (that is, of some virtues and vices,) as an inefficacious sentiment, may have been general; but it would be easy to shew, that it has been far from universal. The moral sense, in the language of
* 2 Col. Even. Ser.
modern writers, seems equivalent to conscience, according to the holy scriptures. Now conscience, though greatly disqualified for its important office, in fallen man, is far, very far indeed, from being * annihilated.' No, it will never be annihilated; it will to eternity exist, and be active as “ the worm “ that never dieth," in all those, who perish in their sins.
P. ii. 1. 13. Man did not, &c." The Calvinists do indeed maintain, that fallen man is an unmixed • incorrigible mass of pollution and depravity, inca
pable of effectual amendment,' except by the grace of the gospel : and this enhances the value of the gospel, immensely, in their judgment. But where do the scriptures speak of fallen man, as recovered, or recoverable, to the love of God with all his heart, and of his neighbour as himself, according to the two great commandments of the law; except by the grace of the gospel ?
P. v. l. 8. . The progress, &c.'? No doubt
Man did not become by the fall an unmixed incorrigible mass of pollution and depravity, absolutely incapable of amendment, or of knowing or discharging, by his natural powers, any part of the duty of a dependent rational being.'
* The progress of sin after the fall was very rapid and excessive; • but we are informed that, amidst the general depravity, “ Enoch • walked with God;" and that “ Noah was a just man, and per“ fect in bis generations, and walked with God." The former
was translated that he should not see death;" and the latter was preserved with his family, when a flood of waters destroyed all • other flesh upon the earth. Between the flood and the promulga• tion of the law lived Abraham, who was called by God himself " the friend of God;" Isaac, to whose prayer it pleased God to
there have been in every age some pious persons; “a remnant according to the election of grace."! Of Abel, Enoch, Abraham, and Isaac, the apostle expressly states, that it was “ by faith,” that they were thus distinguished. In the case of Abraham, this is enlarged on, in many places : and he is spoken of as the father of the faithful, and the exemplar of all other believers, both as to the nature and efficacy of his faith, the way in which he was justified, and the blessings, which were secured to him by covenant.*
Of him especially the apostle says, “ It is of faith, that it might be by
grace, to the end that the promise might be sure " to all the seed; not to that only, which is of the
law, but to that which is of the faith of Abraham, « who is the father of us all."4 Job indeed is not spoken of, exactly in the same manner, in the New Testament: yet the decided and strong testimony, of him and his friends, to the depravity of human nature; his profession of faith in the Redeemer, who was to stand on the earth ; and the strong language of his penitent confessions;' clearly shew, in what way he was righteous before God.
When the “ Seed of the woman" had been promised; the anticipated effects of his future obedi. ence and redemption, as the Surety of the new covenant, began to be experienced'; and all believers, in
listen ; and Job, who “ was perfect and upright, and one that “ feared God and eschewed evil.”
i Rom. xi. 5. * Rom. iv. Gal. iij. 6-18. Jam. ii. 20—24. 3 Gal. iii. 150-18. Heb. vi, 13–19. 4 Rom. iv. 16. 5 Job, xiv, 4. XV. 14-16, xix. 25-27. XXV, A. xli. 6. 13-18
evėry age and nation, have been saved by faith in him. Both in the Old and New Testament, ever
lasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is 'the Mediator, between God and man.''
Calvinists, as well as others, admit that many were accepted with God, before the coming of Clirist: the only question is, whether the difference between these and others, was by nature, or by grace; by works, or by faith. And in this respect the testimonies of scripture are so numerous, and so decisive, that it might have been supposed, they could not be misunderstood." “ Without faith it " is impossible to please to God."
P. vi. I. 12. 'A law given by a righteous and 'merciful God, proves the possibility of obedience." The apostle speaks of what "the law could not do,"3 “ in that it was weak through the flesh.” Now a law, which it is in every sense possible for fallen man to obey, could not properly be thus spoken of. The argument here turns entirely on the meaning of the word possibility. Suppose a perfect willingness, and unremitted exertion through life, such a
possibility of obedience' might be admitted. These were found in the man Jesus Christ, but have not been found in any other of Adam's posterity: and to all others obedience, perfect obedience, to the law of loving God with all the heart, and their neighbours as themselves, has been morally impossible. Yet ' a righteous and merciful God' knowing this,
| Art. vii. ? Ps. CXXX. 3, 4. cxliii. 2. Rom. iii. 1926. iv, 2---8. xi. 5, 6. Gal. iii. 10–14. 3 To ad uraso T* ropsko “ the impossibility of the law.” Rom. vüi. 3. Gr.
gave the law from mount Sinai, more explicitly than before, and has continued it in full authority, over all the race of men, as far as made known to them, even to this day. " The law worketh wrath :" nay,
“ the law entered, that the offence might “ abound: but where sin abounded, grace did much
more abound." To speak of the possibility of man's doing what no mere inan, out of the innumerable millions of Adam's posterity, ever did, can prove nothing; even if admitted, as an abstract truth, like the infinite divisibility of matter : and if any other law, distinct from that of perfect love to God and man, be intended; we should be informed in what part of scripture it may be found, and what it requires of man, as entire obedience to its demands.
P. vi. 1. 22. * Even in the idolatrous days of * Ahab and Jezebel, there were seven thousand in • Israel, who had not bowed their knees to Baal.' The apostle speaking concerning this company, argues thus: “ What saith the answer of God unto “ him?" (Elijah.) “ I have reserved to myself seven " thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to “ the image of Baal. Even so then, at this present “ time also, there is a remnant according to the - election of grace: and if by grace, then is it no “ more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.”?
Nothing can be more decisive than this testimony. The whole was from God; he had “ reserved them “ to himself;" they were a “remnant according to " the election of grace :" the case formed a parallel
. Rom. iv, 15. v. 20.
2 Rom. xi, 2-6.