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to render himn capable of sinful acts. And therefore, if we would acquiesce in the plain Scripture account of these things, we should readily allow,' that it was needful, in order to prepare Adam for holy acts, that he should be created in the image of God; yet it was not necessary for the same reason, that there should be a corrupt principle implanted in his heart, before he was capable of any sinfal act.' For sin begins in that which is merely negative; i. e. it begins in not loving God with all the heart; in ceasing to exercise that regard to the Deity which is his due. Or in not having such a sense of his worthiness of love and regard, as ought to take place in the heart. But a sense of God's infinite worthiness, of supreme love and perfect obedience, may cease to fill and govern the whole soul, without a previous implantation of a corrupt principle. It did so in Adam. For had he remained under the entire government of supreme love to God, he would not have eaten the forbidden fruit; and as supreme love to God ceased, supreme self-love took place of course : but it never was in Adam's heart before. He now, for the first time, began to have a frame of heart answerable to satan's words, Ye shall be as Gods ; ye shall not surely die. And so he took and eat. In consequence of which, this principle of supreme self-love became a confirmed habit, and his whole heart was disposed to justify himself in it. And thus Adam became totally depraved.
Remark 1. Holiness, as it originally took place in human nature, had God for its author : and it was produced by a creating power ; in the image of God, created he him. So it is restored by the same power. Eph. ii. 10. We are his workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus unto good works. But that which is God's gift, (Ezek. xxxvi. 20.) A new heart will I give you; is also the sinner's duty. Ezek. xviii. 31. Make you a ner heart. For total depravity and moral agency are consistent : otherwise those words, (Eph. ii. 1.) Dead in sin, would be an express contradiction. To say that the doctrine of created holiness is absurd, is to say that the bible is not the word of God : for this is one of the first doctrines taught in that book. In the image of God created he him.
Rem. 2. As Adam, while in the image of God, viewed tlie divine character exhibited in the moral law, in the same glorious point of light in which God himself did, in which view the image of God in Adam partly consisted, and which view he totally lost by the fall; so this view of the divine character is restored, when the image of God is renewed in regeneration. As it is written, (Col. iii. 10.) The new man is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him : i. e. that view of divine things, which is like that view which God hath of them, and which is the image of his knowledge, and which was originally in man before the fall, and was lost by the fall, is renewed, is caused to exist anew, by the same power by which it at first existed, when God created man in his own image. 2 Cor. iv. 6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, (saying, Gen. i. 3. Let there be light, and there was light,) by the same creating power, hath shined into our hearts, to gice the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Rem. 3. Habitually to view things as God does, and to be affected, and act accordingly, (i. e. comprising both habit and act,) is the whole of that image of God, to which saints are recovered by the power of the Holy Ghost, imperfectly in this world, and perfectly in the world to come. And this image of God is the same in kind, with that which Adam lost. For the essential rectitude of the divine nature is the original standard. The moral law is a transcript of this original. This law was written on Adam's heart. The mediatorial righteousness of Christ is the law perfectly fulfilled. So Christ is the express image of his Father. And saints are the express image of Christ. And so there is but one kind of true holiness in the universe. And this is that which will lay the foundation for the perfect and eternal union, which will take place among all holy Beings, in the kingdom of heaven-God on the throne, and every creature there in his proper place, by universal consent, all of the same spirit.
Rem. 4. The false kinds of holiness, exbibited in all false schemes of religion, differ in kind from the holiness of heaven, which implies love to that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law, to which all unholy beings are
in a state of total opposition. For graceless, men, who are pacified merely in a belief that they are safe, are in any other view, of the same temper toward the Deity, with the damned. For supreme self-love governs every apostate creature, who is totally destitute of true love, of disinterested benevolence to the most high God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth.
Mat. xxviii. 19. Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
CHRISTIAN CREED; THE ARMINIAN CREED; MR.
M.'s CREED. REMARKS ON EACH.
THAT which is commonly called The Apostles' creed, although not compiled by the apostles, yet is confessedly of very ancieni date. And the three principal articles of it are these : 1. I believe in God the Father, almighty maker of heaven and earth. 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son. 3. I believe in the Holy Ghost. Which doubtless had reference to the form of baptism appointed by our blessed Saviour. He therefore, who believes aright, and in a right manner, concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, has the true Christian faith, and is himself a true Christian ; and so is qualified to be active in offering up himself and his seed to God in Christian baptism. But some of the chief things, which in the inspired writings we are taught to believe concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are these, which may be expressed in the following articles, in contrast with the Arminian creed, and with Mr. M.'s.
The Christian Creed.
The Arminian Creed.
Mr. Mather's Creed.
1. Concerning God the 1. Concerning God the 1. Concerning God the Father. Father.
Father. I BELIEVE that the I BELIEVE that it I BELIEVE that the moral character of God would have been unjust moral character of God, exhibited in the moral in God to have held man-) exhibited in the moral law, is perfect in beauty, kind after the fall bound law, is not to us an object without a blemish.. And by the moral law, with- l of love; and that it is
The Christian Creed.
The Arminian Creed.
Mr. Mather's Creed.
that our disaffection to out any abatement. And not a duty, but a sin, for the Deity is absolutely in that therefore, some relief us to love it : even conexcusable and infinitely was in justice due to a fal. trary to the law of God. criminal ; and justly de- len world. And therefore, Because, to love it is the serves the penalty threat the relief granted is not same thing as to love our oned, infinitely dreadful wholly grace ; own misery Nowever, as it is. In which view, ought it be acknowledged God has given his Son 10 the divine law is holy, as such by us.
fulfil this law, and to vinjust, and good ; worthy of
dicate and maintain the the highest honour; and
honour and dignity of his the salvation of the Gos
character exhibited in it; pel from step to step,
that sinners might be par. from beginning to end, is
doned while at enmity of mere grace.
against it. p. 28. 41, 42, 43.
2. Concerning God the 2. Concerning God the 2. Concerning God the Son. Son.
Son. I BELIEVE that Je- I BELIEVE that I BELIEVE that the sus Christ, in character Christ died to purchase character of God exhibitof Mediator between God an abatement of this un- ed in the Gospel, is so acand man, loved the mo- just law; and to procure commodated to the state ral character of his Fa- salvation for us on terms and temper of our hearts, ther, exhibited in the which we are able to that we shall love it as moral law, and lived and comply with, by his as. soon as known, without died to do it honour ; sistance.
any new principle of that through him peni.
grace; and even while tent believers might be
we are at enmity against saved, consistently with
that character of God exthe divine justice, and to
hibited in the law. p. 22. the glory of divine grace.
41-48. And in this view Christ crucified is the wisdom of God, and the power of God.
3. Concerning God the 3: Concerning God the 3. Concerning God the Holy Ghost. Holy Ghost.
Holy Ghost. I BELIEVE that fal. I BELIEVE that all I BELIEVE that all len man is so disaffected to men have sufficient assist. needful assistance of the the character of the Fa. ance to comply with the holy Spirit is promised to ther and the Son, that no terms of salvation, as it all baptised persons, to
whatsoever would be unjust to re. render external means sufficient to reconcile us quire more than we can effectual to salvation. to God, without the re- do, without granting But light is all that is generating influences of needful assistance to en- needful. For no kind of the Holy Ghost. So that able us to do it. And regeneration will bring except we are born again, thus the injury done to the human heart to love we cannot see the king- us by the law is made up that character of God dom of God. But in con- by the Gospel. And in which is exhibited in the sequence of the regene- this view the divine char. law: and the character rating influences of the acter appears amiable in of God exhibited in the Holy Ghost, by which the our eyes. And all man- Gospel, will naturally be veil is taken off from our kind might love it, did loved, as soon as known, hearts, we behold the glo- they but know it, without by everyone, without ry of the Lord, and every | any new principle of any new principle of answerable affection is grace.
See Dr. Steb- grace.
But not loved excited in us.
And God bins, on the Operations very much ; for I believe, The Christian Creed.
The Arminian Creed.
Mr. Mather's Creed.
and Christ are loved of the Spirit. Dr. Whit. that not more than one more than wives and by on the five points.
convert in a hundred can children, than houses and
say, with a good con. lands; yea, than our own
science, that he loves lives. Whereby we are
God at all. And so saints disposed and prepared to
as well as sinners stand deny ourselves, take up
in need of the external our cross, and follow
covenant. First book, p. Christ : and publicly join
39. 60. Second book, p. with his people, and es.
45-48. 78, 79, 80, 81. pouse his cause.
Remark 1. Accordiug to the Arminian creed, mankind are the injured party, Christ died to get justice done us; and siinply to have justice done us is all we need to bring us to be at peace with God. Let the terms of salvation be as low as in justice they ought to be ; let us have all that assistance which in justice we ought to have ; and we need no more : the rest we will do ourselves. But for God to do us justice, is not as act of grace.
2. According to Mr. Mather's creed, the divine law, antecedent to a consideration of the gift of Christ, requires us, on pain of eternal death, to do that which is not our duty to do: yea, that which to do, in us, would be a sinful thing, viz. to love God with all our heart. And so Christ fulfilled a law, io our stead, which it was not our duty to fulfil : yea, a law to obey which, in us, had been a sinful thing. But to pay a debt for us, which we ourselves did not owe, was needless : and to honour a law which requires sin, is a sinful thing.
3. The divinity of God the Father is the first article of the Christian creed, and so much the foundation of the whole Christian system, that if this is denied, the whole will sink of course. Or in other words, that God, the Creator and moral governor of the universe, is an absolutely perfect, and infinitely glorious and amiable Being, infinitely worthy of supreme love and universal obedience from his creature man, is the foundation on which the law stands, and on which the whole Gospel scheme is built. To deny this point, is in effect to deny the whole of divine revelation. Atheism is at the bottom of infidelity. The contrariety of the carnal mind to