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these evils are brought on beings who have not yet sinned, as a punishment for the sin of Adam. We prefer the former view of the subject.”—P. 33.
In answer to the objection that the present condition of Adam's posterity, even according to their view of it, with an inborn bias which insures in each and all of them the dread certainty of sinning, is such as to preclude a fair probation, upless they have had it in their first progenitor; they argue that such certainty of sinning in all the race is not inconsistent with a fair trial. They ask, “How does it appear that a trial, which will certainly result in sin, is not a fair trial? Was not the trial of the angels who fell, as well as that of our first parents a fair trial, and did not God know that they would sin ? If that certainty of sin is inconsistent with a fair trial, then in the case of any being who will sin, a fair trial is impossible. In respect to every being who sins, there was a previous certainty that he would sin. According to this objection, then, no being who sins can have had a fair trial. What our brethren intend, when they say, that, for probation to be fair, it must afford as favorable a prospect of a happy, as of an unhappy conclusion, we are unable to discover.”—P. 353.
We think that this is, at best, special pleading, and betrays the extremity of the position taken. Surely, a trial of sinless angels, in which some fell, and vastly more stood, or the trial of a single individual, resulting in his fall, implies no presumption of a trial under unfavorable prospects and unequal chances
a preponderating against him. And the antecedent certainty to the Divine mind as to the way in which they would abide their trial, alters not its intrinsic nature or chances. But when untold millions are put on trial, with an inborn bias and attendant circumstances as render it certain that they all, without exception, will fall, is this a fair trial? Does it give an equal chance of standing or falling? Is not such a certainty theoretically and practically inconsistent with a fair probation? In one of the noted passages of their Review of Taylor and Harvey on Human Depravity, trying to account for the uniform development of sin in our race from the constitutional propensities of our nature, these divines say: “If
the temptation presented to constitutional propensities could be so strong in the case of Adam as to overpower the force of established habits of virtue in the maturity of his reason, how absolute is the certainty that every child will yield to the urgency of these propensities, under the redoubled impulse of long-cherished self-gratification, and in the dawn of intellectual existence? Could the uniform certainty of the event be greater, if the hand of Omnipotence were laid on the child to secure the result ?”—Christian Spectator, 1829, p. 367. And is that a fair probation, whose failure in every case of unnumbered millions is, by the constitution of God, made as certain as his omnipotence can make it? And is the infliction of so dire an evil upon the posterity of Adam better accounted for as an act of simple sovereignty on the part of God, or as punishment for the sin of their first parent, when on trial for them as their representative, in whom they had a fair probation? But we are not left to the mere gropings of our own reason in this inatter, which, however it may accept, and be relieved by, the scriptural solution of our fall in Adam, never could have invented it. The word of God teaches not only that all suffer the consequences of Adam's sin, but that these consequences are the penalty of that sin for which “judgment came upon all men to condemnation."-See Rom. v. 17, 18. All the explosive rhetoric which so many writers pour out upon the federal, or what they call the “Princeton scheme," recoils with tenfold force upon their own. They do not get rid of the awful evils inflicted on the race. They only attribute these evils to the mere sovereignty of God, inflicting them without any probation.
Besides, it encounters other difficulties. How are the sufferings and death of infants to be reconciled with the sinlessness which this scheme ascribes to them? In the article just quoted from, they reply—" The answer has been given a thonsand times; brutes die also.” We think they have hardly given it since, and, probably, they found their scheme gained nothing by it.
But we know no adequate answer that has or can be given. The language of Smalley, already quoted, cannot be gainsaid. “ If sufferings may be supposed, in God's moral kingdom,
where there is no imputation of sin, the ground is given up
of ever knowing the Divine hatred of any thing by his righteous judgments inflicted on them, either in this world, or the world to come. Therefore, the common painful dissolution of infants plainly proves that they are some way sinful in the sight of God.” He proceeds to argue the same thing from infant baptism-“For there can be no occasion for baptizing any but sinners, in the name of a Saviour and sanctifier."
If we are not mistaken, we have shown that the various theories of original sin, or of the relation of Adam's first sin to the sin of the race, which have been devised to avoid the difficulties in the federal hamartiology, rather increase than obviate them, while they labor under the disadvantage of being less in harmony with the obvious sense of Scripture, the methods of Providence, and a Scriptural soteriology. With the realistic Augustinians, like Drs. Schaff and Shedd, we are in entire harmony, except in their realism as set against covenant representationism. They can and do adopt in sincerity the essential truths in regard to original sin, even to the minutest ipsissima verba of our confession. Doing this, we are at one with them, until they press their realism against the federal scheme. Then we feel called to show that we gain nothing and lose much in substituting this solution for that of Turrettin and most of the Reformers.
In conclusion, we offer a summation of the whole subject, which may present the strength of the latter system in a new light. We believe that, if not held in all of its parts by any given majority of Christians, each of its separate elements is held by its own majority of them.
1. The vast majority, not only of Calvinists, but of Christians, hold that the race so had its probation in Adam's first trial, that it fell in his fall, and the consequences of his sin to himself passed over to his posterity.
2. The majority hold that his descendants did not sin in him really and literally.
3. A great majority hold that death is the penalty of sin, and includes every kind of penal evil.
4. A great majority hold that death thus extending to soul and body was visited upon Adam and his posterity, by virtue of “a judgment unto condemnation” for his first sin.
5. A great majority hold that Adam's sin was so reckoned to the account of imputed to) the race, that its loss of the Divine favor and communion with God, and, by consequence, its lapse into sin was a visitation in judgment for that sin.
6. A great majority believe that evil inflicted on moral beings for sin, in support of law, is punishment, and that the present degradation of our race came in this way.
7. A great majority believe that Christ bore our sins, only as he bore their penalty, became a curse for us, and had the chastisement of our peace laid upon him, and hence that sin may be so imputed to or reckoned to the account of those who did not personally commit it, that they shall bear its penalty. If this is possible in one extraordinary case, it may be in another.
8. A great majority believe that Christ is the second Adam, of whom the first was a type, inasmuch as being condemned for the sin of the first Adam, we are justified by the righteousness of the second. “As by the disobedience of one, many were made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous."
Herein are found the elements of the true doctrine of original sin. They might almost claim the semper, ubique, ab
These pregnant words of Pascal cannot be gainsaid. “It is astonishing that the mystery which is furthest removed from our knowledge (I mean the transmission of original sin) should be that without which we can have no knowledge of ourselves. It is iu this abyss that the clue to our condition takes its turns and windings, insomuch that man is more incomprehensible without this mystery than this mystery is incomprehensible to man.”
ART. V.-The Witness of Paul to Christ. By Rev. STANLEY
The Boyle Lecturer is limited to the task of “proving the Christian religion "--so runs the will of the illustrious founder—" against notorious infidels, viz.: Atheists, Theists, Pagans, Jews, and Mohammedans, not descending lower to any controversies that are among Christians themselves.” Has Mr. Leathes transgressed the limits assigned him in entering into controversy with those who deny that the resurrection of Christ is vital to Christianity? Is the denial of Christ's resurrection equivalent to giving up Christianity? These questions are pertinent here, because Mr. Leathes has been blamed for his strictures on the views of Dr. Davidson. The latter, in the second volume of his “Introduction to the New Testament,” takes the ground that “ Christianity does not fall with the denial of the resurrection, especially as the fact is reported in a manner so contradictory and susceptible of different interpretations.” Mr. Leathes argues that Christianity rests on a dogmatic basis, which a man cannot forsake without forfeiting the Christian name. He considers it, therefore, within his province, as Boyle Lecturer, to dispute the position taken by Dr. Davidson. It is somewhat surprising to find the Contemporary Review (Broad-church as it is), under the editorial care of Dean Alford, taking Mr. Leathes to task, and advancing the sentiment that " we have no right to deny that any man is a Christian who says he is.” This is certainly a new application of the doctrine of homo mensura. be room for difference of opinion as to what is the minimum of Christian knowledge and belief which will entitle a man to rank as a Christian, but there can be no doubt, surely, with regard to the fundamental character of the doctrine of the resurrection. Reducing Christianity to its lowest terms, this doctrine will be found of such vital importance, that tn deny it is to repudiate the religion of Jesus. It might be considered unjust to class the deniers of the resurrection among the “notorious infidels" whom Boyle had in his mind, to wit: