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" Adamus duplice vinculo nobiscum junctus est ; NATURALI, quatenus pater est, et nos ejus filii. (2.) POLITICO AC FORENSI, quatenus fuit princeps et caput representativum totius generis humani. Fundamentum imputationis non est tantum communio naturalis, quae nobis cum Adamo intercedit-alias omnia ejus peccata deberent pobis imputari—sed precipue moralis et federalis, per quam factum est, ut Deus cum illo, ut cum nostro capite, foedus pefrigerit. Unde se habuit in illo peccato, non ut PERSONA PRIVATA, sed ut PUBLICA ET REPRESENTATIVA, quae omnes suos posteros in actione illa representabit, cujus proinde demeritum ad omnes pertinet."
3. Before the seventeenth century, and to some extent since, the Augustinian divines, including Augustine himself, had not sharply defined and distinguished between the federal and realistic views, or between mediate and immediate imputation. Hence they were often confused or inadequate in their modes of stating these points. Dr. Schaff says that within the Augustinian system, "both kinds of imputation are held in fact; but the distinction was not made before the seventeenth century. Participation is assumed as the ground of imputation. Native corruption is itself sin, and likewise punishment for guilt incurred in Adam's sin. Hereditary guilt coexists with hereditary sin; man is condemned, both on account of the act of disobedience which he committed in the loins of Adam, and for hereditary depravity.”—P. 192. It hence results that qnotations from many of those writers, for or against the realistic or federal theories, are often very unsatisfactory and inconclusive. They may speak of our sinning in Adam because we were in his loins, and thus were the one Adam who sinned, when all that they meant to hold or say was simply what we have set forth in the last paragraph, viz., that Adam was made our representative, because he was onr natural head, or that while we are condemned for our native corruption, this, in their view, "was likewise punishment for guilt incurred in Adam's sin,” which supposes immediate impntation of it, whether on federal or realistic grounds. Turrettin explains the statement of Augustine, “ in illo uno (Adamo) multi anus homo erant,” to mean, “unitate non specifica vel numer- . icu, sed partim UNITATE ORIGINIS, quia omnes ex uno sunt sanguine, partim unitate representationis quia nnus personam omnium representabat ex ordine Dei.” These quotations from Turrettin bring us to the precise point in issue. It is whether the unity of the human race is “numerical,” or, whether all the members of the race are one substance or agent, numerically, so that the act of one is the act of all: and, therefore, when Adam sinned all sinned, not merely as represented in him, but really and literally because “generic human nature," the one numerical substance cominon to all the race, acted in each act of Adam, and so sinned when he sinned. Now, if this could be admitted, it would solve the whole mystery of original sin. The condemnation, fall, and ruin of the race are simply the punishment for its real, actual, and culpable participation in Adam's first sin. The attractions it offers on this account to thoughtful minds, if it be once admissible, come in aid of the tendency to realistic thinking, to which minds of a certain constitution are always predisposed. It is, mutatis mutandis, just as Dr. Schaff says of the legal representation theory in view of other minds: “Legal representation seemed to offer an easier vindication of Divine justice than the Angustinian view.” But this realistic view is exposed to the following insuperable objections :
1. It directly contradicts the intuitive convictions and normal consciousness of the human mind. All men feel that the bond involved in unity of species, or of descent from a common parent, is intimate, and, in some sense, vital and organic. But the relation of parents to children, of distant ancestors to their descendants, of our first parents to their remotest posterity, however close, is not that of numerical oneness, so that they are all one substance, agent, or being, and what one does all do. However any may speculate themselves into such a conviction, the spontaneous judgments of the race which regulate their normal thivking, speech, and action, are all against it. No man acts on the supposition that his own act is the act of his children, or of other men, much less of all men. No one believes that, however just, on account of community of origin or descent from a sinning ancestor, may be sufferings inflicted npon his posterity in certain cases for his sins, yet, that it is so on account of any real participation in those sins ; or that his acts are, really, their acts. Indeed, this is so obvi. ous, that Dr. Schaff expressly disclaims as a groundless charge
, of adversaries, “a personal and conscious coexistence and coagency of Adam's posterity in Adam and his fall (which involves the contradiction of existence before existence), but siinply a potential or germinal coexistence. The genus homo, or human nature, which he represented, was not a receptacle of millions of human beings, but a single simple essence, which became manifold by propagation. As in the doctrine of the Trinity and the person of Christ we distinguish between nature and person, so here.” We sinned in Adam then, not personally, but only, as partaking of“ a single essence,” human nature, now diffused by propagation through the millions of our race, sinned. Who can recognize any ground of guilt and condemnation inerely on account of what this “single essence" did six thousand years ago? Or who can believe that the myriads of onr race are one "single simple essence," however manifoldly diffused ? We fear if the fall of our race in Adam is left to this solution, it were better to leave it unsolved. Nor is the case relieved by the illustration from the Trinity. If it were just, the Trinity ceases to be a mystery. The unity of essence and plurality of persons is precisely that which exists among men, and there is no more that is incomprehensible in it than in the plurality of human persons having a common humanity. Is this all the mystery of the Trinity ? What is this common humanity? Is it one substance numerically? Or is it not, rather, resembling qualities depending on a common origin? Dr. Schaff speaks of denying “the unity of the race in the realistic sense” “ from nominalistic preinises, according to which the general conceptions are mere names, not things,subjective abstractions, not objective realities.” Such nominalism as this is not the only alternative to realism. The general conceptions which represent the resembling qualities of the race, represent real qualities which belong to men, and not mere names. They stand not for fictions but realities; not, however, the reality of philosophic realism, or the namerical oneness of substance of the descendants of Adam or of all the individuals in any other class.
2. As Turrettin observes, on this theory all the acts of Adam are ours just as much as his first sin. They are the acts of the genus homo, a “single and simple essence” common to himn and all his posterity. The “one offence,” or first sin to which the
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Scriptures and the church attribute the fall of our race, has no more to do with it than any other sin, except that it is chronologically first in the series of his transgressions. All his other sins are as much those of generic humanity, and as much corrupt it, as this. Not only so, but if all our race have in them “generic humanity" not merely of resembling qualities and a common origin, but which is one numerical substance pervading all, whereby the act of the first man is the act of all, then not only are all his acts the acts of every other man, but the acts of each and every man are the acts of each and every other man. The merit and demerit of each belong to all. All personal identity and responsibility are utterly confounded and vacated. These objections seem to us insuperable.
3. The theory, as put by Dr. Schaff and others, fails to furnish the relief in regard to the fall of the race in Adam's fall, for which it is adduced. For, as we have seen, they assert that there was no “conscious" or "personal ” "participation ” of Adam's posterity in his sin. This would imply that they "existed before they existed.” How a “ participation,” which was neither conscious nor personal, and before actual existence infers blame or guilt in them for Adam's first sin, or accounts for its imputation to them as a ground of punishment, unless on account of some special con stitution or covenant constituting him their representative we cannot understand, nor do we believe the unsophisticated human intellect can understand it.
4. The last objection which we shall now stop to specify is that arising from the whole parallelism between the condemnation of the race through Adam's sin, and the justification of believers through the righteousness of Christ. The realistic scheme imputes the sin of Adam to us because of our literal and real participation in it. In like manner, then, we must be justified by Christ's righteousness, because it is literally oursbecause we have such a oneness with him that we really have performed those acts of obedience which he has performed. Thus we are justified by inherent righteousness, not solely by another's righteousness, imputed to us and received by faith alone. This vitiates the entire doctrine of gratuitous justifica
tion through Christ. Nor does Dr. Schaff meet the case by telling us that “the analogy of forensic justification is not to the point, for the righteousness of Christ is not imputed to the impenitent, but only on the subjective condition of faith, by which Christ is apprehended and made our own.”—P. 194. But how made our own ? So that his acts are literally our acts, and his righteousness ours inherently? Never.*
For these and other reasons we find ourselves unable to accept the realistic hypothesis of the derivation of the fall of the race from Adam's first sin. In this we believe ourselves at one with the immense majority, not only of Calvinists and Augustinians, but of Christians. Of the sufficiency of these reasons our readers must judge. But if they are well founded, they eliminate philosophic realism from the true solution of
* As might be expected from such fundamental principles, these writers sometimes betray a tendency to confound justification and sanctification, and to regard them as one and the same Divine work. Lange says: "Justification is essentially a pronouncing righteous, but by the creative declaration of God; therefore it is also a making righteous, in the sense that it is a communication of a new principle of life, yet in such a way that this new principle of life must ever be regarded as the pure effect of Christ, apd not in any way as the cause of justification.”—P. 138. We find other passages equally wanting in exact dis. crimination between justification and initial sanctification mingled with much very precious truth on these great subjects. Compare with Schaff's definition of justification on the next page, which concludes thus," the sinner being one. with Christ, no longer lives unto himself, but, the grace of Christ enabling him, unto Christ, who died for him, and rose again. This is JUSTIFICATION.” On p. 129, he speaks of “righteousness communicated to the believer for Christ's sake in the act of justification by faith. It is both objective, or inherent in God, and realized in Christ, and subjective, or imparted to man."
See also Dr. Schaff on Justification, in his first volume of History of the Apostolic Church, edition 1853, section 162, p. 638.
“The justification itself is (1.) negative, the judicial sentence of God, in which he pronounces the singer, for the sake of Christ, free from the curse of the law, from the guilt and punishment of transgression,-in other words, the forgiveness of sin, pardon ; (2.) positive, the imputation and actual communication of the righteousness of Christ to the penitent, believing sinner. If we would not involve God in inconsistency and falsehood, we must carefully guard against the notion of an empty declaration, and must necessarily suppose that the objective state of things corresponds to the judgment of God; in other words, that God actually makes the penitent sinner righteous in imputing and imparting to him the righteousness of Christ, renewing him by the Holy Gbost, and placing him by faith in holy vital communion with Christ."