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(Adam,) judgment came upon all men to condemna-tion; by the righteousness of one (Christ,) is not the free gift come upon all men to justification of life? Rom. v. 18. And since God has declared, that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father beyond the short period of this transitory life; if any suffer after death, is it not entirely for their own unbelief, and peculiar sins? * Compare John iii. 18, 19. and Mark xvi. 16. But what follows compleatly vindicates our Creators's goodness.
(3.) Do sin and misery abound by our fall in Adam ? Grace and glory abound much more by our redemption in Jesus Christ, Rom. v. 20. And " it must be owing to our "own perverseness, or our own negligence," (says the ingenious Hervey with great truth)" if we do not levy" a tax upon our loss, and rise even by our fall." This leaves us not the least shadow of reason, to complain of the divine proceedings respecting us.
* MILTON introduces. God speaking thus to the Messiah,
+Creation's great superior, man, is thine :
Thine is Redemption. How should this great truth
We may then conclude, that a moral depravity, which comes upon us by the wilful choice of a parent, in whom we seminally and federally existed....a depravity which cleaves to us by an obstinate neglect of the infinitely precious means provided to remove it....a depravity which works now by our own personal choice, and to which we daily give our assent by the free commission of sins that are avoidable, leaves us not only accountable, but inexcusable before God.
IV. However the advocates for the natural purity of the human race (endeavouring to clog with difficulties, what they cannot disprove to be matter of fact) still assert," As we have our souls immediately from God, if we are born sinful he must either create sinful souls, which cannot be supposed without impiety; or send sinless souls, into sinful bodies, to be defiled by the unhappy union, which is as inconsistent with his goodness as his justice. Add to this, say the objectors, that nothing can be more unphilosophical than to suppose, that a body, a mere lump of organised mat-ter, is able to communicate to a pure spirit that moral pollution, of which itself, is as incapable, as the murderer's sword is incapable of cruelty."
This specious objection, which Dr. Watts acknow-ledges to be "the very chief point of difficulty, in all the controversies about original sin," is wholly founded upon the vulgar notion, that we have our souls immediately from God by infusion: It will therefore intirely fall to the ground, if we can prove, that we receive them, as well as our bodies, by traduction from Adam : and that this is fact, appears, if I am not mistaken, by the following arguments.
(1.) We have no ground from scripture or reason to think,that adulterers can, when they please, put God upon creating new souls to animate the spurious fruit of their crime. On the contrary, it is said, that God rested on the seventh day from all his work of crea-tion.
(2.) Eve herself was not created but in Adam ; God breathed no breath of life into her, as he did into her husband to make him a living soul. Therefore when Adam saw her, he said; she shall be called woman, because she [her whole self, not her body only] was taken out of man. If then the soul of the first woman sprang from Adam's soul, as her body from his body; what reason have we to believe, that the souls of her posterity are immediately infused, as Adam's was when God created him?
(3.) All agree, that under God we receive life from our parents; and if life, then certainly our soul, which is the principle of life.
(4.) Other animals have power to propagate their own species after its kind; they can generate animated bodies: Why should man be but half a father? When did God stint him to propagate the mere shell of his person, the body without the soul? Was it when he blessed him, and said, Be fruitful and multiply? When he spoke thus, did he not address himself to the soul, as well as to the body? Can the body alone either understand or execute a command? Is it not on the contrary highly reasonable to conclude, that by virtue of the divine appointment and blessing, the whole man can be fruitful and multiply; and the soul, under proper circumstances, can generate a soul, as a thought begets a thought; and can kindle the flame of life, as one taper lights another, without weakening its immortal substance, any more than God the Father (if I may be allowed the comparison) impairs the divine essence by the eternal generation of his only begotten Son.
(5.) Does not matter of fact corroborate the preceding argument? A sprightly race-horse generally begets a mettlesome colt; while a heavy cart-horse begets a colt, that bears the stamp of its sire's dulness. And is it not so with mankind in general? The chil dren of the Hottentots and Eskimaux are commonly as stupid; while those of the English and French, are
usually as sharp as their parents. You seldom see a wit springing from two half-witted people, or a fool descended from very sensible parents. The children of men of genius, are frequently as remarkable for some branch of hereditary genius; as those of blockheads, for their native stupidity. Nothing is more common, than to see very passionate and flighty parents have very passionate and flighty children. And I have an hundred times discovered, not only the features, look, aud complexion of a father or a mother in a child's face; but seen a congenial soul looking out [if I may so speak] at those windows of the body which we call the eyes. Hence I conclude that the advice frequently given to those, who are about to chuse a companion for life, "Take care of the breed," is not absolutely without foundation; although some lay too much stress upon it, forgetting that a thousand unknown accidents may form exceptions to the general rule; and not considering that the peculiarity of the father's breed may be happily corrected by that of the mother, [and vice versa :] and that as the grace of God yielded to, may sweeten the worst temper, so sin persisted in, may sour the best.
(6.) Again, Moses informs us, that fallen Adam begat a son in his own likeness and after his image; But had he generated a body without a soul, he would not have begotten a son in his own likeness, since he was not a mere mortal body, but a fallen embodied spirit. Compare Gen. v. 3. with xlvi. 26.
"But upon this scheme, will objectors say, if Adam was converted when he begat a son, he begat a converted soul." This does by no means follow; for if he was born of God after his fall; it was by grace through faith, and not by nature through generation: he could not therefore commuuicate his spiritual regeneration by natural generation, any more than a great scholar can propagate his learning together with his species.
Should it be again objected, that" the soul is not ge nerated, because the scriptures declare, "The Lord is the Father of the spirit of all flesh, and the spirit returns to God who gave it :" I answer, It is also written, that Job and David were "fearfully made and fashioned by the hands of God in the womb ;" that he "formed Jeremiah in the belly ;" and that "we are the offspring of him, who made of one blood all nations of men." Now if the latter scriptures do not exclude the interposition of parents, in the formation of their children's bodies; by what rule of criticism or divinity can we prove, that the former exclude that interposition in the production of their souls.
Nor can materialists, who have no ideas of generation, but such as are gross and carnal like their own system, with any shadow of reason infer, that "if the soul is generated with the body, it will also perish with it:" For dissolution is so far from being a necessary consequence of the spiritual generation of souls, that it would not so much as have followed the generation of our bodies, If Adam had not brought "sin into the world, and death by sin."....Again, if wheat, a material seed which grows out of the same earthly clod with the chaff that, encloses it, can subsist unimpaired, when that mean cover is destroyed; how much more can the soul (that spiritual, vital, heavenly power, which is of a nature so vastly superior to the body in which it is confined) continue to exist, when flesh and blood are returned to their native dust!
Should some persons reject what I say of the traduction of souls, in order to illustrate the derivation of original sin and should they say, that they have no more idea of the generation than honest Nicodemus had of the regeneration of a spirit: I beg leave to observe two things.
First, If such objectors are converted, they will not deny the regeneration of souls by the Spirit of God, since they experience it, and our Lord speaks of it as a blessed reality, even while he represents it as a