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be stated, calculated to cast light on the subject, and to
malice of devils should praise him. So that, instead of. embracing the most absurd idea, that the Almighty labor.
ed, and labored in vain, to prevent the introduction of moral evil ; we ought to entertain the rational and consoling idea, that he always holds the throne of the uni
verse, that he is subject to no defeat, no disappointment,
the fall of man. In a view of the universality of God's decrees, and the execution of them all, by the agency of his wise and holy providence, benevolence is satisfied. Every humble heart is satisfied, and comforted. Satan is confounded, fallen man is reproved, and humbled ; and the glorious scheme of redemption is revealed. The Lord alone is exalted, and his enemies are found liars. Ultimately, The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent....AMEN.
HAviNG, in the preceding essay, considered the temptation and fall of our first parents ; we now proceed to an investigation of their subsequent character and state. That a very great change took place, in consequence of their apostacy and rebellion against God, all must acknowledge. But how great this change was, is a subject of much dispute. By many it is contended, that by the fall, man but partly lost the moral image of God; and that all his posterity have sustained the same mixed char
acter ; being deeply corrupted in heart, being partly, but
not totally depraved. Others maintain the opinion, that the immediate, and the abiding consequence of the first: transgression, was total sinfulness and depravity of heart.
This is the opinion now to be vindicated, as a branch of
the system of divine truth. hether it was a matter of necessity, in the nature of the case, that if man sinned at all, he should sin with all his heart; we are not informed. But supposing it had been possible, that he should apostatize only in part, retaining still a measure of real virtue and holiness; yet this was not the case in fact. In his first transgression, his whole heart was evidently involved in sin, and dis
affection to his God. This was his appearance, when he was called to an account for his transgression. He had foolishly attempted to hide himself from the presence of the Lord, among the trees of the garden; and to conceal the shame of his nakedness, by a garment of figleaves.
These were strong indications of total depravity. And
when he actually appeared before his God, and was interrogated by him, “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof Icommanded thee, that thou shouldest not eat?” he tacitly acknowledged the fact ; but made no retraction. He was full of shame and guilt; but, to exculpate himself, he indirectly cast the blame on God himself. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Is it possible, that any degree of depravity, short of that o is total, could produce such insolence as this P Christians, who are but partly sanctified, take all the blame of their transgressions to themselves. But Adam and Eve offered to God their '. which proves, that they were totally destitute holiness. It is further evident, from God’s threatening to our first parents, “Thou shalt surely die,” that their fail was total. This death we have found to mean eternal death; or eternal misery, in the region of devils and damned spirits. Now if their apostacy had been but partial; and if they had still retained a good degree of virtue, and holiness of heart; surely, they were not prepared, by their first transgression, for that death that was threatened. They were, by no means, prepared to be the companions of devils and damned spirits, forever. This threatening was not indeed executed, in the day of Adam's fall, but a reprieve was granted, and pardon was granted to the truly penitent, only through the mediation and atonement of the divine Redeemer; which plan of divine mercy was immediately after the fall, revealed to our first parents; and in this way, the divine threatenin was established and vindicated, by the blood of Christ: and redemption was purchased for all who embraced the Saviour. Adam and Eve doubtless embraced the Saviour, and the plan of redemption by his blood. For they im:
mediately commenced religious sacrifices, and appeare', thereafter, to enjoy the favor of God. But this whole scheme of redemption by the blood of Christ, is grounded on the doctrine of the total depravity of our first parents. By this plan, the whole law of God, with all its threatenings was established, magnified and made honorable. And “Christ hath redeemed” Adam and Eve, and all other penitent sinners, “ from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them.” All this implies the total depravity of mankind. But, whether our first parents, in their apostacy from God, were totally involved in sin or not; yet it is ahundantly evident, that this was the character, and still continues to be the character, of all their posterity, The first divine testimony on this point, was pronounced long before the flood. “God saw, that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and, that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” It is added in the connection, that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth;” or infancy. These are very strong expressions of the total, and even universal depravity of the human heart. ... Lest any man should imagine, that depravity is chiefly limited to the heathen; and that the Jewish and Christian nations have been in a good measure free from the contagion; the Apostle Paul, by a most thorough investigation, proved, that both Jews and Gentiles, meaning the whole human race, in their natural state, are all under sin. And this he proved from the old testament, “As it is written, there is . none righteous, no not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way; they are together becoune unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not One, Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This is a very full and decisive testimony of