« PoprzedniaDalej »
Tis youp xatapos ko Tu awo guar; anxiolets, Eav ry fulde nuega o Bros aut8
ego Toms yms. Job, ch. xiv. ver. 4,5. For who shall be free from filth? Not one, indeed, even should his
life be but one day upon the earth.
XLVIII. Original Sin irrefragably demonstrated from Re
velation. From our preceding remarks and observations on the corrupted state of human nature, in which the light of reason alone was our only guide, our readers will now be able to form their judgment of the correctness of the Unitarian system, which solemnly professes not to believe 6 that the guilt of Adam's sin was imputed, and his corrupted nature conveyed to all his posterity, nor that there is in men any original corruption, whereby they are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil."* In the present discussion we shall examine this important matter in the sanctuary of religion, and attentively (Hogic always in hand,) inquire, whether the voice of revelation be not as loud in proclaiming the existence of original sin, as we have observed that of sound reason to be in support of it.
example, who are naturally and almost insuperably stupid and wicked. Do not children every moment give sensible marks of their natural and innate perversity ? " I have seen, says St. Augustine, a child, who could not yet talk, and who, already with a pale countenance and sparkling eyes, looked at the infant, who suckled with him at the breast. There have been children seen to die of hatred and jealousy, because they perceived the family increased by a brother or a sister. Ifman is born good, how did he become wicked ? By bad example, they will say, by bad education; but this supposes the corruption already existing. In fine, look at those brutal debaucheries, those monstrous refinements of crime, those horrid furies followed by the waste of the body and death, &c. and you will be forced to confess, that man is not such as he ought to be, or as he came out of the hands of his creator, but such as he made himself by sin.
* Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Monitor, No. I, page 19.
FUNDAMENTAL DOGMA OF REVELATION. There exists an Original Sin, which is transfused by way of
natural generation, from Adam into his posterity.
This fundamental tenet, on which the whole system of divine revelation is hinged as upon its basis, is irrefragably demonstrated, 1st, from the divine scriptures of both the old and new law ; 2d, from the authority and uniform consent of the holy fathers and ecclesiastical writers of the primitive ages of the church ; 3d, from the universality of the death of Christ for all men ; 4th, from the constant and uniform belief and practice of the church of Christ, which is evinced, 1st, from the councils which condemned the Pelagian heresy in the fourth century; 2d, from the nature of baptism ; 3d, from the necessity of baptism ; 4th, from the ceremonies of baptism. In adducing and developing these proofs, I shall endeavour to be as brief as possible. .
XLIX. Original Sin proved from the sacred volumes of both
the Old and New Dispensation.
FIRST PROOF FROM THE DIVINE SCRIPTURES. · In the book of Job we read these words : “ Who can make him clean, that is conceived of unclean seed? Is it not thou who only art ?°* This text is thus rendered by the Septuagint: “For who shall be free from filth? Not one, indeed, even should his life be but one day upon the earth."| The Hebrew text has manifestly the same meaning with the version of the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, for thus we read in the Hebrew: “Who shall give a clean from an unclean? Not one." That is to say, not one is clean. Whence I thus argue: The holy prophet does certainly not mean to be here : *“Quis potest facere mundum, de immundo conceptum semine? nonne tu qui solus es?” Job, xiv. 4.
| Tis yap sa dágos esat árò puto; all'oubsis, Exv xai sia mega i Roos ajrov ini tñs yñs. Versio Sept. Interp.
understood of the bodily uncleanness of children, which can be washed away by men, but of the filthiness of sin ; not of personal sin, of which infants, from the want of the use of reason, are incapable, but of original sin, which filthiness God alone can cleanse ; therefore, all men are born in original sin.
L. The second passage is taken from the fiftieth Psalm, (fifty-first, Protestant Bible,) 7th verse : "For behold! I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother conceive me.” The Greek text literally agrees with the Vulgate; whence we may form this argument: the holy prophet does not assuredly speak of the sin which his parents had committed in begetting him ; for David was born neither of an adul. terous connexion, nor by fornication, but in lawful and holy wedlock; and no one, I am sure, will pretend that the right use . of lawful matrimony is in any wise sinful. David, therefore, cannot be understood to allude to any sin of his parents, but to a sin which he contracted in his very conception, and which he received with his very nature. The very drift of this whole Psalm evidently shows that no other interpretation can here be admitted : for it is obvious, that the object of the prophet throughout this whole Psalm, was to allege all the motives he could find, by which he might appease his God, and incline him to have pity on him. Now, for that purpose, it is not, assuredly, the sins of his parents he ought to have recounted, but rather his own misery, and, of course, the sin in which he was conceived. Add to this, that the Hebrew text repels any interpretation, that would distort this passage from the meaning of original sin, to the sin of parents, for the Hebrew word cholalti, in the first member of the text, by no means signifies the moment of his first conception, but the formation of the body in the mother's womb, or the animation of the foetus; and it is of this vital and formal conception, or what is tantamount, of the infusion of the soul into the body, David speaks, when he says, that he was conceived in iniquities. Next, the other Hebrew word, yechemathni, in the second member of the text, does not properly mean, beget, or
generate, but to warm, to foster, to nourish, which can only apply to the action of the mother, who warms, fosters, and nourishes the child, after its conception. The native signification of the original text forces us, therefore, to admit that David is by no means here speaking of the sins, his parents might have committed in the use of marriage, but of the sin which he contracted at the moment he began to be a man, a child of Adam ; that is to say, at the moment his soul was united to his body, in which union, it is obvious, parents oan have no share.
To him that would feel disposed to cavil on the words, sins, iniquities, being expressed in the plural number, we would answer, that original sin, although one in its origin, is as multiplied as the children of Adam themselves are, and that that sin may be very properly called sins, iniquities, for two reasons, first, because not one only, but several sins, such as pride, infidelity, disobedience, occurred in the sin of our first parents; and next, because this sin is the source of so many others in his descendants. In fine, the Hebrew text, at once, solves the difficulty, if there were any, by putting sin and iniquity, in the singular number, as it appears from the inspection of the text just quoted.
Secondly. Let us now open the sacred volumes of the NewTestament, and see whether the Unitarians can possibly resist that flood of light which they throw upon this important truth.
Many, and most conclusive, are the testimonies which the sacred writings of the new law afford in support of original sin ; but, for brevity's sake, we shall confine ourselves exclusively to what the great Apostle of the Gentiles has left in his Epistle on this subject.
LI. In his Epistle to the Romans, 3d chap. verse 23, he speaks thus, “ For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God."* If all have sinned, infants must have assuredly sinned too; but infants could not have done, by their own physi
*« Omnes enim peccaverunt et egent gloria Dei.” No. III.
cal will, any thing, either good or bad, as the same Apostle observes in his Epistle to the Romans, 9th chapter ; they must, therefore, have sinned, because they are the children of him “in whom all have sinned.” Epis. ad Rom. v.
LII. In the same Epistle, 5th chap. verse 12, “ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death : sò death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."*Whence I argue thus : All have sinned in one man, Adam ; therefore, also, children : not actually, of course, originally. Again: by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin, death ; and so death passed upon all men, that is to say, that sin made all men subject to death; therefore, as children are as subject to death as other men, they have sinned with all other men in Adam; otherwise, how could death have passed upon them, which “ did not enter the world but through sin," according to the Apostle ? which is also confirmed by these other words of the Apostle, 6th chapter, verse 23, “For the #ages of sin is death."| If so, then children have also sinned, for children also die. If they had not sinned in Adam, how could they receive the wages of sin, death?
LIII. The following passage, from the second Epistle to the Corinthians, 5th chapter, verse 14, is not less pointed : “ Judging this, that if one died for all, then all were dead, and Christ died for all."I The argument of the Apostle is this : If Christ died for all, then all were dead, and, of course, also infants ; but Christ died for all, therefore all were dead, and, consequently, infants also : but they were not dead by personal or actual sin, of which they are incapable; therefore, by original sin.
And let no one say, that the Apostle in the above passages is speaking, not of the death of the soul, but of that of the body; for nothing can be more contrary to the meaning of
" Propterea sicut per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit, et per peccatum mors, et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt." "Vulg. t “Stipendium peccati mors est."
"Quoniam si unus pro omnibus mortuus est, ergo omnes mortui sunt, et pro omnibus mortuus est Christus."