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sary to obtain the effectual assistance of the Holy Spirit.
I do not think it necessary to repeat the arguments, which I have stated in a former Work (c), in support of the doctrine of the general corruption of human nature, but shall confirm the truth of what has been now advanced respecting the degree of that corruption, by a particular reference to the Old and New Testaments; I shall then shew that the Public Formularies of our Church are strictly consonant to Scripture, and cannot be reconciled with the Calvinistic tenets upon Original Sin, Free-will, and Divine Grace, subjects necessarily connected in every system of Christian Theology.
We are told in the Book of Genesis, that “ The Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering (a);". and unto Cain he said, “ If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door (e)."
May (c) Elements of Christian Theology. (d) Gen. c. 4. v.4.
(e) Gen. c.4. v. 7. My argument is not affected by the doubts entertained by the learned, concerning the meaning of the last words of this passage. I desire to refer 'my Readers, who may wish to see this subject fully discussed, to Dr. Magee's Discourses on Atonement and Sacrifice, v. i. p. 57. and v. 2. p. 243, a work of great learning, and of very superior merit.
and evil, and of acting according to the determination of reason? The
same conclusions follow still more clearly, from the great prevalence of wickedness in the ante-diluvian world, and the consequent destruction of the whole human race, with the exception of eight persons; for," where no law is, there is no transgression (m);"_"Sin is not imputed, when there is no law (n):" The Punishaient proves the existence of Sin-Sin proves the existence of a Law--and a Law given by a righteous and merciful God proves the possibility of Obedience.
If we turn to the history of the Jews living under a peculiar Dispensation, we shall find that though in general they were a perverse and wicked people, and frequently drew down upon themselves the just vengeance of an offended God, yet there were many on whom was poured the spirit of prophecy, and several of their kings are celebrated for “walking in the commandments of God.” Even in the idolatrous days of Ahab and Jezebel, when the covenant was forsaken, and the altars of God overthrown, there were 7,000 in Israel, who had not bowed their knees to Baal (0); and at the last there were sone who
“ departed (m) Rom. c. 4. V. 15. (n) Rom. c. 5. v. 13:
(0) Kings, c. 19. v. 18.
God. Wherefore turn yourselves, and live. ye (t).” And without quoting any other texts, it will be sufficient to observe, that the positive injunctions to obey, and the earnest exhortations to reform, which we so frequently meet with in the Old Testament, plainly shew, that the incor-, rigible depravity of human nature was not a doctrine inculcated under the Mosaic dispen-, sation.
St.Paul, in referring to the antient Gentile world, as .contradistinguished to the Jews, says, that " the Gentiles were a law unto themselves (u);" that “ the law was written upon their hearts (x);" surely then it was possible for them to obey it; otherwise, how could their “consciences bear them witness, and their thoughts accuse or excuse one another (y)?” Indeed he expressly says, that“ the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law (2),” that is, the Gentiles, through the natural suggestions of their own minds, discharge the moral duties enjoined by the law of Moses; for the ceremonies of the Mosaic ritual were certainly never observed by any other people. This passage clearly proves, that all mankind have always had
(t) Ezek. c. 18. v. 31 & 32. (u) Rom. c. 2. v. 14. (x) Rom. c. 2. v. 15. (y) Rom. C. ?. v. 15.
(2) Rom. c. 2, v. 14,