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entertainment which we have derived from its perusal. The public was informed by Dr. Schaff, on his recent return from Europe, that when he was present at the last annual convention of the Congregationalists of England, that body manifested the most cordial interest in the coming council of the Evangelical Alliance to be held in this country next fall. Were Dr. Raffles living he would be second to none in sympathy with it. At the meeting for the formation of the Alliance, which was held in Liverpool, in 1845, he joined in the movement with his whole heart, and he ever afterward watched its progress, and did all in his power to promote its success.
Art. IV.-The Relation of Adam's First Sin to the Fall of
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans. By J. P. Lange, D.D.,
and the Rev. F. R. FAY. Translated from the German by J. F. Hurst, D.D., with additions by P. SCHAFF, D.D., and the Rev. M. B. Riddle. New York: Charles Scribner &
RIDDLE Co. 1869. The portion relating to Romans, v. 12-21, from
page 171 to page 199 inclusive. In a recent number we called attention to this work, and its great value. We have nothing to unsay of the high commendation then bestowed upon it. It is, in our view, foremost among the volumes of this series of Lange's Commentary which have yet appeared, and a thesaurus of learning and suggestions in regard to the exegesis of this epistle, which no student of it can afford to be without. We mentioned that in the comment on Rom. v. 12-21, Dr. Schaff freely controverts the views, and what he considers to be the views, advanced by this journal and its conductors. He also canvasses, at con siderable length, the views of various parties, schools, theologians, exegetes, and commentators, in regard to this passage, and the doctrine of original sin as determiner or affected thereby. His obvious design is to note every thing of import
ance relative to the subject that has been maintained by any prominent commentator, divine, or school of theology. We therefore avail ourselves of the opportunity thus afforded, to dispel some current misconceptions respecting the subject, and to say some things which we judge the present occasion opportune for saying in support of what we deem the scriptural view. It is a very small part of what we intend, to correct inistakes of Dr. Schaff concerning any principles entertained here or elsewhere. Indeed, as will soon appear, in most essential points we welcome him as an ally. We simply improve the opportunity presented by his unique and encyclopediac survey of the subject, to repeat in a form suited to the exigency, the standard answers to objections, which have been
, oft refuted only to reappear and reassert themselves, as it they were alike unanswered and unanswerable, since, until answered again, they will assume the air and authority of incontrovertible truths. We refer to this portion of Lange's Commentary, as giving Dr. Schaff's analysis of original sin, because, whatever others have contributed to it in the original text, or as translators and annotators, the final exegetical and doctrinal shaping of the whole is effected by the comments and discussions of the editor-in-chief. He winds up his able summation of the case with the following just and striking statement, which will not be forgotten or ignored by any competent thinker on the subject :
"Most evangelical divines are divided between the Augustinian or realistic, the federal or forensic, and the Arminian theories, or they look for a still more satisfactory solution of the difficult problem by a future Augustine, who may be able to advance, from a deeper study of the Scriptures, the knowledge of the church, and reconcile what now seem to be irreconcilable contradictions. It should be remembered that the main difficulty lies in the fact itself-the undeni. able, stubborn, terrible fact—of the universal dominion of sin and death over the entire race, infants as well as full-grown sinners. No system of philosophy has ever given a more satisfactory explanation than the great divines of the church. Outside of the Christian redemption, the fall, with its moral desolation and ruin, remains an impenetrable mystery. But immediately after the fall appears, in the promise of the serpent-bruiser, the second Adam, and throws a bright ray of hope into the gloom of despair. In the fulness of the time, according to God's own counsel, he appeared in our nature to repair the loss, and to replace the temporary reign of sin by the everlasting reign of superabounding grace, which never could have been revealed in all its power without the fall. The person and work of the second Adam are the one glorious solution of the problem of the first, and the triumphant vindication of divine justice and mercy. This is the main point for all practical purposes, and in this, at least, all true Christians are agreed."-P. 195.
The question before us is, what is the relation set forth in Scripture, of Adam's first transgression to the fall of our race, to the “undeniable, stubborn, terrible fact of the universal dominion of sin and death over the entire race, infants as well as full-grown sinners ?”
It will further our present method of reaching an answer to this question, to exhibit, first, the answer given by the standards of the Presbyterian Church which we adopt as our own; secondly, that given by Dr. Schaff, and as compared with the former in their several points of agreement and difference; thirdly, a similar presentation and comparison of the answers given by various adversaries of the doctrine we maintain, especially by those claiming to be Calvinists, who have most signalized themselves by vehement and unresting opposition to it; and, finally, to sum up the conclusion of the whole
On the teachings of our standards we observe
1. That it asserts a covenant with Adam wherein God stipulated life (which includes perfect and perpetual holiness and blessedness) on condition of perfect and personal obedience; and death (which includes every form of evil) on condition of disobedience. That such a stipulation was made with Adam, whether called covenant or not, is past all doubt. The threatening “in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die,” involved the correlated promise, thou shalt surely live, in case of perfect obedience. What the threatened death meant is made clear in the evils actually inflicted for the first transgression. The life impliedly promised to perfect obedience clearly involves the contrasted inestimable benefits. Where disobedience was death, so obedience was life; "the man that doeth these things shall live by them.” By the constitution of his nature man is unalterably bound to perfect rectitude. But it is only by special promise that the rewards promised to Adam for obedience, or the evils threatened for disobedience, especially as the issue of a trial in one single act, could be insured to him. And this is all the more so, if we consider what will be shown to be conceded by all with whom we are now dealing, that the benefits and evils stipulated to himself as the consequence of his obedience or disobedience were to be extended to his posterity—which is the obvious doctrine of our confession, and, as we believe, of the Scriptures.
* See Confession of Faith, chap. vi., 1-6; also vii., 1-2. Larger Catechism, Quest. 21-26; Shorter Catechism, Quest. 15-19.
2. It is undeniably the doctrine of our standards, that this stipulation with, or appointed trial of, Adam, was not for himself alone, but for his posterity; so that, whatever the event and consequences of his trial, penal or otherwise, should be to himself, they should be the same to all his offspring. So the Confession of Faith avers that “life was promised to Adam, and, in him, to his posterity, on condition of perfect and personal obedience.” The Larger Catechism," the covenant being made with Adam, as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity.” The Shorter Catechism also says, "the covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity." This moreover appears in the fact that precisely the same evils have been inflicted on their posterity which were inflicted upon Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit; that it is declared, in the word of God, that "in Adam all die;" that “ by one man sin entered the world and death by sin;" and that, “ by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation."
3. In this transaction Adam acted representatively for his posterity, being constituted a “public person” in order that he might so act in their behalf. Our first progenitor was put in this position on account of his being the “root of all mankind,” thus containing them seminally and potentially. It was fit that the federal head and representative should be the natural head of the race. Literally and personally, the sin of eating the forbidden fruit was "their (our first parents”) sin.”
' So the obedience for which life was promised to themselves and their posterity was their “personal obedience.” Their act herein was that of their posterity, not literally and personally, but constructively and representatively.
4. The death threatened and visited upon our first parents
and their posterity was not merely corporeal or physical death, whether immediate and at once complete, or seminal and to be afterward fully realized, but such that they thereby “fell from their original righteousness, and lost communion with God, and became dead in sin and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body," that “the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all his posterity proceeding from him by ordinary generation,” and that “from this original corruption of nature, whereby we are indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, proceed all actual transgressions."
5. This death, the punishment of Adam's first sin, thus shown to include all penal evils, was visited upon his posterity because “they sinned in him and fell with him in the first transgression,” he acting for them as a “public person the terms of a covenant made with him for himself and them also. It was a penal visitation for their sin thus comunitted in him. “ The guilt (obligation to punishment) of this sin was imputed (reckoned to the account of), and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to, all their posterity."
6. It was the first transgression of eating the forbidden fruit, in which Adam fell, and his posterity sinned and fell with him. The first and fontal element in original sin is "the guilt of Adam's first sin."
7. Original sin is the guilt or obnoxiousness to punishment of Adam's first sin, the want of original righteousness and the corruption of man's whole nature, whereby he is indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good.
8. This estate itselt, viz. : of native corruption, is itself sinful, together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it. Our standards recognize no sinless or guiltless original sin or native depravity.
Thus they teach that Adam being the root and natural head of our race, was constituted its covenant and representative head, so that, in his first transgression, he was on trial not only for himself but the race; that in his sin they so participated, not personally, but representatively, that they are counted to have sinned in him ; that with him they bear its penalty, in the loss of communion with God, of his favor, and