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seed; the birth of children being commonly represented by a tree yielding fruit, or a plant yielding seed. So that the word here translated youth, comprehends not only what we in English most commonly call the time of youth, but also childhood and infancy, and is very often used to signify these latter.*
Dr. T. says, (p. 124. note,) that he "conceives, from the youth, is a phrase signifying the greatness or long duration of a thing." But if by long duration he means any thing else than what is literally expressed, viz. from the beginning of life, he has no reason to conceive so; neither has what he offers so much as the shadow of a reason for his conception. There is no appearance in the words of the two or three texts he mentions, of their meaning any thing else than what is most literally signified. And it is certain, that what he suggests is not the ordinary import of such a phrase among the Hebrews; but that thereby is meant from the beginning, or the early time of life, or existence; as may be seen in the places following, where the same word in the Hebrew is used as in the eighth of Genesis. I Sam. xii. 2. I am old and grey-headed-and I have walked before you from my CHILDHOOD until this day. Psal. lxxi. 5, 6, Thou art my trust FROM MY YOUTH: By thee have I been hold en up from the womb. Thou art he that took me of my mother's bowels. (ver. 17, 18.) O God, thou hast taught me FROM MY YOUTH; and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works: Now also, when I am old and grey-headed, forsake me not. Psal. cxxix. 1, 2. Many a time have they afflicted me FROM MY YOUTH, may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me FROM MY YOUTH; yet have they not prevailed against me. Isa. xlvii. 12. Stand now with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured FROM THY YOUTH. (So also ver. 15.) 2 Sam. xix. 7. That will be worse unto thee, than all the evil that befell thee FROM THY YOUTH until now. Jer. iii. 24, 25. Shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers, FROM OUR YOUTH.—We have sinned against the Lord our God FROM OUR youth, even to this day.
And it is observed, that according to the manner of the Hebrew language, when it is said, such a thing has been from youth, or the first part of existence, the phrase is to be understood as including that first time of existence. So, Josh. vi. 21. They utterly destroyed all from the young to the old, (so in the
* A word of the same root is used to signify a young child, or a little child, in the following places: 1 Sam. i. 24, 25, 27. 1 Kings iii. 7. and xi. 17. 2 Kings ii. 23. Job xxxiii. 25, Prov. xxii. 6. xxiii. 13. and xxix. 21 Isai. x. 19. xi. 6. and lxv. 20. Hos. xi. 1. The same word is used to signify an infant, in Exod. ii. 6. and x. 9. Jud. xiii. 5, 7, 8, 24, 1 Sam. i. 22. and iv. 21. 2 Kings v. 14. Isai. vii. 16. and viii. 4.
† So Gen. xlvi. 34. Job xxxi. 18. Jer. xxxii. 30. and xlviii. 11. Ezek. iv. 14. Zech. xiii. 5.
Hebrew) i. e. including both. (So Gen. xix. 4. and Esther
And as mankind are represented in scripture as being of
* A phrase of the like import with that in Gen. viii. 21. The imagination, or, as it might have been rendered, the operation of his heart is evil.
his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight: How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? And no less remarkable is our author's method of managing it. The 16th verse expresses an exceeding degree of wickedness, in as plain and emphatical terms, almost, as can be invented; every word representing this in the strongest manner: How much more abominable and filthy is man, that drinketh iniquity like water? I cannot now recollect where we have a sentence equal to it in the whole bible, for an emphatical, lively, and strong representation of great wickedness of heart. Any one of the words, as such words are used in scripture, would represent great wickedness: If it had been only said, How much more abominable is man? Or, How much more filthy is man? Or, Man that drinketh iniquity. But all these are accumulated with the addition of-like water, the further to represent the boldness or greediness of men in wickedness. Though Though iniquity be the most deadly poison, yet men drink it as boldly as they drink water, are as familiar with it as with their common drink, and drink it with like greediness as he that is thirsty drinks water. That boldness and eagerness in persecuting the saints, by which the great degree of the depravity of man's heart often appears, is thus represented, Psal. xiv. 4. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge who eat up my people as they eat bread? And the greatest eagerness of thirst is represented by thirsting as an animal thirsts after water, Psal. xlii. 1.
COMPARISON OF THE DIVINE PURITY,
Now let us see the soft, easy, light manner, in which Dr. T. treats this place, (p. 143.) "How much more abominable and filthy is man, IN who drinketh iniquity like water? who is attended with so many sensual appetites and so apt to indulge them. You see the argument, man in his present weak and fleshly state cannot be clean before God, Why so? Because he is conceived and born in sin, by reason of Adam's sin? No such thing. But because, if the purest creatures are not pure in comparison of God, much less a being subject to so many INFIRMITIES as a MORTAL man. Which is a demonstration to me, not only that Job and his friends did not intend to establish the doctrine we are now examining, but that they were wholly strangers to it." Thus he endeavours to reconcile this text with his doctrine of the perfect native innocence of mankind; in which we have a notable specimen of his demonstrations, as well as of that great impartiality and fairness in examining and expounding the scripture, of which he so often makes a profession!
In this place we are not only told how wicked man's heart is, but also how men come by such wickedness; even by being of the race of mankind, by ordinary generation: What is
man that he should be clean? and he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Our author (p. 141, 142.) represents man being born of a woman, as a periphrasis to signify man ; and that there is no design in the words to give a reason why man is not clean and righteous. But the case is most evidently otherwise, if we may interpret the book of Job by itself. It is most plain that man's being born of a woman is given as a reason of his not being clean; chapter xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job is speaking there expressly of man's being born of a woman, as appears in ver. 1. And here how plain is it, that this is given as a reason of man's not being clean? Concerning this Dr. T. says, That this has no respect to any moral uncleanness, but only common frailty, &c. But how evidently is this also otherwise? when that uncleanness which a man has by being born of a woman, is expressly explained of unrighteousness, in the next chapter at the 14th verse. What is man that he should be clean? and he that is born of a woman that he should be righteous? Also in chap. xxv. 4. How then can man be justified with God? And how can he be clean that is born of a woman? It is a moral cleanness Bildad is speaking of, which a man needs in order to his being justified-His design is to convince Job of his moral impurity, and from thence of God's righteousness in his severe judg ments upon him; and not of his natural frailty.
And without doubt, David has respect to this way of derived wickedness of heart, when he says, Psal. li. 5. hold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. It alters not the case as to the argument we are upon, whether the word () conceive me signifies to conceive, or to nurse; which latter our author takes so much pains to prove: For when he has done all, he speaks of it as a just translation of the words to render them thus, I was BORN in iniquity, and in sin did my mother nurse me. (p. 135.) If it is owned that man is born in sin, it is not worth the while to dispute, whether it is expressly asserted that he is conceived in sin. But Dr. T. after his manner, insists, that such expressions as being born in sin, being transgressors from the womb, and the like, are only phrases figuratively to denote aggravation, and a high degree of wickedness. But the contrary has been already demonstrated, from many plain scripture instances. Nor is one instance produced, in which there is any evidence that such a phrase is used in such a manner. A poetical sentence out of VIRGIL'S Æneid has here been produced, and made much of by some, as parallel with this, in what Dido says to Æneas, in these lines:
Nec tibi diva parens, generis nec Dardanus auctor,
In which she tells Æneas, that not a goddess was his mother, nor Anchises his father; but that he had been brought forth by a horrid rocky mountain, and nursed at the dugs of tigers, to represent the greatness of his cruelty to her. But how unlike and unparallel is this? Nothing could be more natural, than for a woman overpowered with the passion of love, and distracted with raging jealousy and disappointment, thinking herself treated with brutish perfidy and cruelty, by a lover whose highest fame had been his being the son of a goddess, to aggravate his inhumanity and hard-heartedness with this, that his behaviour was not worthy the son of a goddess, nor becoming one whose father was an illustrious prince: And that he acted more as if he had been brought forth by hard unrelenting rocks, and had sucked the dugs of tigers. But what is there in the case of David parallel, or at all in like manner leading him to speak of himself as born in sin, in any such figurative sense! He is not speaking himself, nor any one speaking to him, of any excellent and divine father and mother, of whom he was born: Nor is there any appearance of his aggravating his sin, by its being unworthy of his high birth. There is nothing else visible in David's case, to lead him to take notice of his being born in sin, but only his having such experience of the continuance and power of indwelling sin, after so long a time, and so many and great means to engage him to holiness: which shewed that sin was inbred, and in his very nature.
Dr. T. often objects to these and other texts, brought by divines to prove original sin, that there is no mention made in them of Adam, nor of his sin. He cries out, Here is not the least mention or intimation of Adam, or any ill effects of his sin upon us.— Here is not one word, nor the least hint of Adam, or any consequences of his sin, &c. &c.* He says, "If Job and his friends had known and believed the doctrine of a corrupt nature, derived from Adam's sin only, they ought in reason and truth to have en this as the true and only reason of the human imperfection and uncleanness they mention." But these objections and exclamations are made no less impernently than frequently. It is no more a proof that corruption of nature did not come by Adam's sin, because many times when it is mentioned, his sin is not expressly mentioned as the cause of it; than that death did not come by Adam's sin, as Dr. T. says it did. For though death, as incident to mankind, is mentioned so often in the Old Testament, and by our Saviour in his discourses, yet Adam's sin is not once expressly mentioned, after the three first chapters of Genesis, any
* Page 5, 64, 96, 97, 98, 102, 108, 112, 118, 120, 122, 127, 128, 136, 142, 143, 149, 152, 155, 229. † 142.