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Wrath and Damnation in every Person born into this World ; because, by Original Sin, that Person is, not only very far gone from Original righteousness, and of his own nature inclin'd to evil, but also the flesh lufteth (in him) always comtrary to the Spirit. Again, the Church supposes the Case to be such, that Original Sin doth actually discover it self by mischievous Effects, in resisting the Divine Will: for she speaks of it, as that which is not subje&t to the law of God. And can these Phrases with any tolerable Propriety be applied to those Infants, which have as it were a barely Animal Life, and die before the rational Faculties exert themselves, or seem capable of being wrought on and depraved by Original Sin? Can it be said of such Infants, that their Flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit, and that their Luft of the Flesh is not subject to the Law of God · I think therefore that the Words of the Article can't be extended farther, than to those who live so long, as to feel the Effects of Original Sin working in them, and producing Evil Actions ; and consequently our Church's Doctrin is only this; that Original Sin does deserve God's Wrath and Damnation in every person born into this World, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the peoprnpa caprès is not subject to the Law of God. Nor do I see, how we can interpret the Article otherwise, without doing Violence to it. However, if any
Person thinks, that those very Infants, who die in their Infant State, do deserve God's Wrath and Damnation, upon the Account of their being infected with Original Sin ; 1. Because 'ris certainly poflible, and perhaps very probable, that Original Sin may have a&ually depraved their Faculties in consequence 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 supposal of Grace to renew its Nature) and consequently cannot vouchsafe it that Enjoyment of himself, for which this Pollution disqualifies it ; I say, if any Man thinks thus, he may notwithstanding subscribe the Article very honestly. For tho' the Church saies 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 the does not say, that such 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 such 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 subscribe.
But tho' Original Sin does in its own Nature thus deserve God's Wrath and Damnation ; yec such were the Bowels of Divine Compassion, that God seems to have been oblig'd, by that internal Necessity which his Goodness laid him under, to make those.very Creatures the Objects of Mercy, which his bare Justice would have continued under Punishment. Therefore did the second Person of the blessed Trinity, who is God himself, become incarnate, to satisfy Justice, to obtain our Pardon, to rectify our corrupted Nature by the Affistance of Grace, and thereby restore us to Happiness. So that 'cis no Contradiction or Inconsistency to affirın, that tho’we deserv'd God's Wrath
and Damnation ; yet (such was the Tenderness of his Nature) God could not but provide Means of Salvation for us. For we desery'd his Wrath and Damnation, only because we were Sinners; and as long as we continued so depraved, Happiness was impossible to us. But since 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 Wisdom) therefore we became Objects of Pity, that is (for infinite Goodness can't restrain it self) of fervent Love.
I shall make no farther Enlargements at prefent ; because any Person of ordinary Understanding may improve what I have briefly suggested.
The Third Proposition (God help us) is evidently true, as daily Experience teaches us. But see the Eleventh Question of Turretin's Locus Nonus, Numb. 21. p. 705
The Fourth Proposition. See the Third Paragraph of Bishop Pearson on the Tenth Article, and the Two first Questions of the Locus Nonus of Turretin's System.
The TENTH ARTICLE.
Of Free Will. HE condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, THE
that he cannot turn and prepare himself by bis own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God : wherefore we have no power to do good works pleaSant and acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may bave a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.
For the better understanding of this and some following Articles, 'tis necessary to observe, that the Phrase good works may be used and taken in very different Senses.
Those Works which have no Degree of Imperfection in them, are in their own nature strietly good, and may well bear the Severity of God's Judgment ; it being impossible for him to impute Guilt, where there is no Defect. And such Works as these, such firietly good Works, 'twas possible for our first Parents to perform before their Fall: And it had been also possible for us in like manner to perform strielly good Works, had we been preserved in our primitive Integrity.
But alas! by reason of our Original Corruption and Depravity of Nature, 'tis become impoffible for us, in our present Circumstances, to perform any Works thus strietly good. For in spite 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 Respect or Degree, Strietly evil ; according to the known Rule of the Moralists, Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex quolibet defe&tu. And therefore none of our present Works can in themselves bear the Severity of God's Judgment, who must needs impute Guilt, where there is notorious Defect. For in a Moral Consideration all Defect is materially sinful.
But then those Persons, who can claim a Share in our Savior's Merits by the Terms of the Gospel Covenant, that is, such as are justified by Faith in him, may perform such Works, as are, tho' not ftrictly, yet imputatively good ; that is, such Works as God is pleased to regard, accept and reward as
good for the sake of Christ, by whose all-perfect Righteousness the Defects of justified Persons are supplied, and by whose most precious Blood their Guilt is washed away.
As for the Works of others, viz. those who are not in a State of Justification by Faith (either because they are not so much as enter'd into Covenant with God by Baptism ; or because, tho' they have been baptiz'd, yet they have not a justifying Faith, viz. a Faith working by Love) they do, and must of Neceflity continue in their own Nature strictly Evil ; and consequently they are Sins. So that even those Works which are good in Appearance, such as the Relief of the Oppressed, Temperance, Justice, bc. and which we may call, either (for the Reason above mention'd) speciously good Works, or Works comparatively good (because they are less Evil, and approach nearer to the Rule of Action) those very Works, I say, those speciously or comparatively good Works, which either an Infidel, or å bare formal Professor of Christianity may perform, are in Reality Splendida peccata, Acts of Vice under the Disguise of Virtue. For since none of our Actions can be strictly good; and Actions
perform’d by such Persons cannot be imputatively good; therefore tho' they are speciously or comparatively good, yeç by reason of that Imperfection which must needs cleave to them, because 'tis not done away thro' Christ, they are ftrictly evil, that is, Sins.
I hope, I have express'd my self so clearly, that the Reader throughly understands the foregoing Diftin&ions and Terms, upon which a great deal depends. I proceed therefore to the Consideration of the Article it self,