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the Folly of this Argument, as urg'd against ordinary Providence, muft therefore be allow'd; becaufe that Holy God, who can't do any Injustice, does certainly fuffer fuch Facts every Day; which may therefore in their own Nature be accounted for, tho' they feem at prefent infuperable Difficulties to our felves. Surely we ought to refolve all thefe Proceedings into his unfearchable Wisdom and inexpreffible Goodnefs, of which we receive every Moment of our Lives numberlefs, fresh and demonftrative Evidences; and which therefore, we may firmly believe, did jointly determin, that the Bleffings he intended us by this Order of things, were an over balance to all the Poffibilities of Evil arifing from it.

But do Infants alfo, becaufe they are infected with Original Sin, deferve God's Wrath and Damnation, even tho' they die in their Infancy? For the Article faies, that Original Sin deferves God's Wrath and Damnation in every Perfon born into this World. I anfwer, That thefe Words, as full and comprehenfive as they feem to be, do notwithftanding fairly admit, if not neceffarily require, a Limitation. For the Article manifeftly speaks of thofe only, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the Cap is not fubject to the Law of God. Do but obferve the Words of the Article, and the Order of them The Church faies, that Original Sin is the fault, &c. of every man, &c. whereby man is very far gone from Original righteoufnefs, and is of his own nature inclin'd to evil; fo that the flesh lufteth always contrary to the fpirit. Then fhe adds immediately, And therefore in every perfon born into this world it deferveth God's wrath and damnation. You fee, in the Judgment of our Church, Original Sin doth therefore deferve God's


Wrath and Damnation in every Perfon born inte this World; because, by Original Sin, that Perfon is, not only very far gone from Original righteoufnefs, and of his own nature inclin'd to evil, but alfo the flesb lufteth (in him) always contrary to the fpirit. Again, the Church fuppofes the Cafe to be fuch, that Original Sin doth actually discover it self by mischievous Effects, in refifting the Divine Will: for fhe fpeaks of it, as that which is not fubject to the law of God. And can thefe Phrases with any tolerable Propriety be applied to thofe Infants, which have as it were a barely Animal Life, and die before the rational Faculties exert themselves, or feem capable of being wrought on and depraved by Original Sin? Can it be faid of fuch Infants, that their Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and that their Luft of the Flesh is not fubject to the Law of God? I think therefore that the Words of the Article can't be extended farther, than to those who live fo long, as to feel the Effects of Original Sin working in them, and producing Evil Actions; and confequently our Church's Doctrin is only this; that Original Sin does deferve God's Wrath and Damnation in every Perfon born into this World, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the Pega Capos is not fubject to the Law of God. Nor do I fee, how we can interpret the Article otherwife, without doing

Violence to it.

However, if any Perfon thinks, that thofe very Infants, who die in their Infant State, do deferve God's Wrath and Damnation, upon the Account of their being infected with Original Sin; 1. Becaufe 'tis certainly poffible, and perhaps very probable, that Original Sin may have actually depraved their Faculties in confequence of the Union of Body


and Soul, even tho' that Depravation doth not appear; 2. Because God can't but deteft even the First Seeds of Vice, and hate the Child upon the Account of it (there being now no fuppofal of Grace to renew it's Nature) and confequently cannot vouchfafe it that Enjoyment of himfelf, for which this Pollution difqualifies it; I fay, if any Man thinks thus, he may notwithstanding fubfcribe the Article very honestly. For tho' the Church faies no more, than that every one of those, who live long enough to discover the Fruits of Original Sin in their Actions, deserves God's Wrath and Damnation: yet fhe does not fay, that fuch as die in their Infancy do not deserve God's Wrath and Damnation upon the Account of Original Sin. She affirms it indeed of none but fuch as live past their Infancy; but she does not deny it of those that die in their Infancy. And therefore he that believes it both of those that do, and those that do not, die in their Infancy, may subscribe what the Church affirms, tho' he believes more than the Church teaches or requires him to fubfcribe.

But tho' Original Sin does in its own Nature. thus deferve God's Wrath and Damnation; yeɛ fuch were the Bowels of Divine Compaffion, that God feems to have been oblig'd, by that internal Neceffity which his Goodness laid him under, to make those very Creatures the Objects of Mercy, which his bare Juftice would have continued under Punishment. Therefore did the fecond Perfon of the bleffed Trinity, who is God himself, become incarnate, to fatisfy Juftice, to obtain our Pardon, to rectify our corrupted Nature by the Affiftance of Grace, and thereby restore us to Happinefs. So that 'tis no Contradiction or Inconfiftency to affirm, that tho' we deferv'd God's Wrath


and Damnation; yet (fuch was the tendernefs of his Nature) God could not but provide Means of Salvation for us. For we deferv'd his Wrath and Damnation, only because we were Sinners; and as long as we continued fo depraved, Happiness was impoffible to us. But fince our Nature could be renew'd, and the Dominion of Sin could be rooted out (the contrivance and perfecting of which glorious Change was the Effect of Divine Wifdom) therefore we became Objects of Pity, that is (for infinite Goodness can't reftrain it felf) of fervent Love.

I fhall make no farther Enlargements at prefent; because any Perfon of ordinary Understanding may improve what I have briefly fuggefted.

The Third Propofition (God help us) is evidently true, as daily Experience teaches us. But fee the Eleventh Question of Turretin's Locus Nonus, Numb. 21. p. 705.

The Fourth Propofition. See the Third Paragraph of Bishop Pearfon on the Tenth Article, and the Two firft Questions of the Locus Nonus of Turretin's System.


Of Free Will.

HE condition of man after the fall of Adam is fuch, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works pleafant and acceptable to God, without the Grace of Godby Chrift preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.


For the better understanding of this and fome following Articles, 'tis neceffary to obferve, that the Phrafe good works may be used and taken in very different Senfes.

Thofe Works which have no Degree of Imperfection in them, are in their own nature strictly good, and may well bear the Severity of God's Judgment, it being impoffible for him to impute Guilt, where there is no Defect. And fuch Works as thefe, fuch strictly good Works, 'twas poffible for our first Parents to perform before their Fall: And it had been alfo poffible for us in like manner to perform strictly good Works, had we been preferved in our primitive Integrity.

But alas! by reafon of our Original Corruption and Depravity of Nature, 'tis become impoffible for us, in our prefent Circumftances, to perform any Works thus ftrictly good. For in fpite of our utmost Endevors, fome Degree of Imperfection does and will cleave even to our best Actions; and confequently all our present Works are in their own Nature, in fome Refpect or Degree, ftriatly evil; according to the known Rule of the Moralifts, Bonum ex caufa integra, malum ex quolibet defectu. And therefore none of our prefent Works can in themfelves bear the Severity of God's Judgment, who muft needs impute Guilt, where there is notorious Defect. For in a Moral Confideration all Defect is materially finful.

But then those Perfons, who can claim a Share in our Savior's Merits by the Terms of the Gofpel Covenant, that is, fuch as are juftified by Faith in him, may perform fuch Works, as are, tho' not ftrictly, yet imputatively good; that is, fuch Works as God is pleafed to regard, accept and reward as


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