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have taken an active part in rebellion against God, or for those who to rebellion have added despite to the Grace of God, is therefore to try it by that which the Scriptures nowhere apply to it. They who believe the damnatory clause of the Article, as extending to another world, do not pretend to determine the extent of the punishment to whieb Original, or Birth-Sin exposes; and they believe, that were any of the human race to suffer its demerit, that Justice would inflict no more than what is just upon the whole.
The objectors seem to proceed upon another mistake ; that it is a part of the system of those who believe Original sin to deserve God's wrath and damnation in the eternal world, that some, or many human beings chargeable with no other guilt, are punished, or will be punished, for it in the eternal world. But this is no doctrine of Christian i. ty: nor is there a single text of Scripture that even seems to insipuate such a thing, and there are some which appear to afford scope for a contrary inference. If God spared Nineveh, for the sake of its infants, and if He gave his well beloved Son to be sin for us, though he knew no sin ; if he made Him, the Just, suffer for us who are unjust, that he might bring us unto God ; if our God is Rich in mercy, if with him there is Plenteous Redemption; if he has nowhere in his word excluded infants from his Kingdom, but even taught us that it consists of little children; if he has no pleasure in the death of sinners; if the blood of Jesus be a sacrifice of infinite value; if before the throne of God, there stand an innumerable company which no man can number, of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and languages, who have washed their robes and made them wbite in the blood of the Lamb; the spirit of the Gospel seems to encourage our hope that,
so far as infants are concerned, as in Adam all died so in Christ all shall be made alive. The just demerit of Original sin, and the eternal state of those who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, are, therefore, questions which require to be discussed in a separate and distinct manner. Though by the law of the world in which we dwell, (and we have every reason from analogy to suppose by the laws of the universe,) corrupted natures are necessarily exposed to suffer; the Gospel having provided an Atonement, in the blood of Jesus, and effectual Divine energies, in the influences of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of our diseased natures to the image of God, the unmerited Grace of God had opened to infants, as well as upto adults, a new and a living way into the holy sanctuary of our God. Even Calvinists, the illiberality of whose tenets it is now so much the fashion to censure, generally admit that the Gospel looks with a merciful eye upon little children, which induces them to think, with respect to those who die in infancy, that where sin hath abounded, Grace hath much more abounded, through Jesus Christ our Lord. “I think it, at least, highly probable,” says that truly venerable man, Mr. Newton, " that when our Lord says, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven, he does not only intimate the necessity of our becoming like little children in simplicity, as a qualification without which (as he expressly declares in other places) we cannot enter into his kingdom, but informs us of a fact, that the number of infants, who are effectually redeemed to God by his blood, so greatly exceeds the aggregate of adult believers, that comparatively speaking his kingdom may be said to consist of little chil. dren. The Apostle speaks of them as not having sinned VOL. II.
after the similitude of Adam's transgression, that is, with the consent of their understanding and will. And when he says, We must all appear before the judgmentseat of Christ, he adds, that every man may give an account of what he has done in the body, vehether it be good or bad. But children who die in their infancy have not done any thing in the body, either good or bad. It is true, they are by nature evil, and must, if saved, be the subjects of a supernatural change. And though we cannot conceire how this change is to he wrought, yet, I suppose, few are so rash as to imagine it impossible that any infants can be saved. The same power that produces this change in some, can produce it in all. And there. fore I am willing to believe, till the Scripture forbids me, that infants, of all nations and kindreds, without ex. ception, who die before they are capable of sinning after
the similitude of Adam's transgression, who have done nothing in the body of which they can give an account, are included in the election of grace. They are born for a better world thap this. They first enter this state of tribulation, they quickly pass through it, their robes ure washed white in the blood of the Lamb, and they are admitted, for his sake, before the throne."'
It is remarkable, that that Poet, who, of all the ancients, is the most celebrated for judgment, has, in the noblest monument of Pagan antiquity, placed infants in a state of * purgatorial punishment, in the other world :
Newton's Messialt, Vol. 11, p. p. 415, 416.. + Virgil's Æneid, Book the
It was a doctrine of the Platonic Philosophy, that purgatorial punishment was necessary in the other world, to wear out those stains and pollutions from the soul, which it had contracted in the body, in order to prepare it for the habitations of the blessed. The disciples of this school saw that infants suffered in this world, they therefore concluded, that it was in consequence of some hereditary depravity, and that, even in the other world, some degree of suffering was necessary to efface these stains, that they at last might be transmitted to the regions of bliss. · On the subject of hereditary depravity and its demerits, their doctrine approached nearer to the truth, than the system of some Protestant Divines. Bishop Warburton, indeed, thought that the intention of the Poet, by placing Infants in a state of suffering in the other world was, to provide against the horrid practice of exposing Infants, which was almost universal in the Pa
But, if this abominable custom proceeded, as it evidently did, from the want of natural, affection, it does not appear that those who wanted bowels of compassion to feel for the miseries inflicted on their children in this world, by their own conduct, were likely to melt at the tale of their woes in the other. . : ... The extent of Original sin and its deserts, are strongly represented in the Homily on Whitsunday, first part, and in that on the Nativity. It is one of the Articles which every Minister of the Church must subscribe, that both the Books of Homilies contain Godly and wholesome doctrine. How any Divine can, at one time, subscribe to that as Godly and wholesome doctrine, which, at another
he represents as blasphemy, and possess common honesty, the author is utterly unable to comprehend. How a Minister, whose lips in the Confession have pronounced these words, There is no health in us, can even in consistency with common decency, assert in his sermon that mankind are naturally inclined to virtue, is a thing far beyond the reach of any ordinary understanding.
As for those who suppose that Adam was created mortal, and by consequence liable to affliction and disease, as, upon their principles, to suffer is one of the ends of our creation, the miseries of another world are evidently necessary to give rotundity and perfection to their system. If it be consistent with the goodness and mercy of God to create rational and innocent creatures, for the parpose of dying, eternal death and misery are the most glorious consummation that this doctrine can receive. As the Socinians and Pelagians make disease and mortality essential to the constitution of man, and of the world which was made for him, the only harvest, according to their principles, that men can expect to reap at the end of this world, is the first fruits of this existence in full perfection in eternity. The misery of man, it seems, was an original part of the Divine plan, and the plan which began with misery in this world, can only be completed in misery in the world to come. Yet those who make suffering and death the law of man's innocence, represent as unjust, that punishment which is the consequence of depravity and corruption !
ARTICLE XOF FREE-WILL.
The condition of Man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own na