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he said the apostle meant by the are totally depraved. I acknowlphrase "dead in trespasses and edge, that after hearing Mr. P--'s sins ?"
explanation of his terms, and his Siin. No I do not. I believe reasoning upon this subject, I found he did not explain it particularly. it rather difficult to disprove the I recollect that he said considera. truth of his assertions. But after ble upon the gross idolatry and all, there is so much in the doc. vice into which the Ephesians trine of total depravily, that is
sunk before the gospel repulsive to my feelings, and so reached them, and the peculiar much wbich appears to me excellence of this in improving tradictory to well known facts, their virtue, elevating them to that I cannot at present believe christian privileges, and moltiply. it, however ingeniously it may
be ing the sources of their intellect- defended. ual enjoyment.
Jus. The circumstance that it Jus. Did Mr. P.-—whom you is repulsive to your feelings, may heard yesterday, undertake to be a reason why you do not be. explain the meaning of the phrase. lieve it. But is it, in fact, any 66 dead in trespasses and sins ?'' reason why you should not be
Sim. He did. Nearly one half lieve it? The truth that of bis sermon was taken up in must die is repulsive to our settling this point. I remember feelings. But surely this is no that he said among other things, argument that we shall live forev. that this phrase did not mean, as The high way-man finds, upit has sometimes been supposed on reflection, especially when to mean, that the Ephesians had conscience charges home his guilt, no power to discern between mor- that the truth, respecting his own al good and moral evil, or that conduct, is exceedingly repulsive they had no power to do good and to his feelings. But the repulnot evil, but simply that they siveness of this truth is no argu. had no heart to do good. He ment in favor of his innocence.considered the assertion of Paul, The doctrine of future punishthat the “ Ephesians were dead ment is repulsive to the feelings in trespasses and sins” the same of all the wicked; and on this as saying that they were totally account, it doubtless is, that so depraved ; and this assertion re- many disbelieve it. But as you specting them, he supposed was profess to believe in future pune true respecting all mankind in an ishment, you cannot but admit, unrenewed state.
that in this instance, the reasoning Jus. And what is there in all this is false. It is readily admitted, that is untrue ?
that the doctrine of total depravSim. I cannot beliere that all ity is repulsive to the feelings
of mankind in an unrenewed state sinners. It is a humiliating doce
trine. The admission of it strikes There are individuals within the at the root of that pride, which circle of my acquaintance, who they delight to cherish. It is an make no pretension to a change alarming doctrine. No sinner can of heart, that are honest in their admit the truth of it without ac- dealings, amiable in their disposiknowledging both his guilt and tions, kind and liberal to the poor his danger. But it becomes up and distressed, strict in their obto consider that a doctrine
be servance of the Sabbath, and regnot the less true, because iç is hu- ular in their attendance upon pubmiliating to us or because it strik- lic worship. Now to believe that ingly evinces our guilt and danger. these persons, who are among the Besides, our Savior has informed most respectable and worthy of us, that mankind are better pleas- my acquaintance, are all totally ed with falsehood than with truth depraved, is in my view to conon the subject of religion. Noth- tradict the evidence of my own ing less than this is taught us in the following words. 66 Men lov- Jus. Let me entreat you, my ed darkness rather than light.” — friend, not to be too hasty in your Now if it be a fact that the truth decision on this subject, you reis repulsive to the feelings of man- member the admonition of our kind, and you find the doctrine of Lord : 66 Judge not according to total depravity repulsive to your the appearance, but judge rightfeelings, it cannot certainly be a ous judgment." The outward apvery natural or logical conclusion pearance is sometimes deceptive. that the doctrine is false. I would The scriptures in various places not undertake to say that the re- teach us, that the real characters pulsiveness of this doctrine is of of men are frequently very differitself sufficient evidence that it is ent in the sight of God, from what true. But I do say that this is they are in the eyes of each other. just what might be expected on
66 The Lord seeth not as man seeth; the supposition that it is true. for man looketh on the outward
Sim. Well, whether the doc- ' appearance but the Lord looketh trine be true or false, I cannot on the heart." That there may deny that it is exceedingly repul- be a fair exterior, while the heart sive to my feelings, and pot only is corrupt in the sight of God, is so, but apparently inconsistent with placed beyond all dispute by the facts.
following words of Christ to the Jus. Will you have the goodness Jews. 6 Woe unto you Scribes, to name some of these facts ? and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for
Sim. I cannot, at once, recol. ye are like unto whited sepulchres lect all of this description, which which indeed appear beautiful have sometimes occurred to my outward, but are within full of mind. But I can mention a few. dead men's bones and all unclean
Even so, ye also outward- Sim. But have you no difficulty ly appear righteous unto men but ió reconciling this view of total within ye are full of hypocrisy and depravity with the apparent honiniquity.” Besides, if you will on- esty, kindness, liberality, soberly consider in what total depravi- ness, and general morality, wbich ty consists, you will not, I appre. I have just named as traits in the hend, find any peculiar difficulty characters of some with whom we in seeing that the characters are both acquainted. which you have named, may be the Jus. Nune at all. You will subjects of it.
yourself allow, that a man may be Sim. If I will consider in what honest and kind and liberal and total depravity consists ! Pray, sober and generally correct in his then, tell me what you and others outward deportment merely from who so often use this term, mean selfish motives; it is impossible to by it. Tell me, if you please, in tell exactly how far motives of inthe first place what you mean byterest, a regard to reputation, the depravity.
fear of punishment, and other conJus. By depravity I mean that siderations of a similar nature, selfishness, which is a transgression may in any case, restrain tbe selfof the law of God. The law re- ishness or depravity of man.
But quires mankind to love God su- we might, I think, expect at least premely and their fellow creatores as much apparent goodness from as themselves. Consequently that the influence of these things, as we regard to self which is inconsistent actually see among mankind, even with this love, is a transgression upon the supposition that they are of the law. In the exercise of totally selfish. Indeed when we this selfishness, in which by the consider how many and how valway, they are active, voluntary, uable are the advantages attending and free, consists their depravity. an upright deportment, it is truly
Sim. Why do you affix the term astonishing that even selfishness total to this selfishness or deprav. itself, does not produce a greater ity ?
degree of morality than is found Jus. Because, it has the entire to exist. This can be accounted possession of the heart. While for I apprehend only upon the mankind are an unregenerate principle that every strong passion state they have no supreme love hastens precipitately to its own to God, and no disinterested love gratification, uniformly preferring to their fellow creatures. On a present good of less value, to the contrary, all their affec- a future good of greater value.tions, desires and purposes are un. Now if in view of the restraints der the controul of that selfishness which a wise providence has pla. which, in its nature, is opposition ced upon the depravity of man, we both to God and man.
might expect a higher degree of
morality than really exists, how ab- in irrational creatures, which are surd is it to attempt to prove incapable of boliness. The Lion from what there is, that the hearts has a noble spirit. The Lamb has of men are not totally depraved ? a mild and amiable disposition, and
Sim. I know that much of the deep feeling for others of their apparent goodness of mankind may species in distress, is common to be traced to selfish motives, and animals of almost every description. I would not contend that there is 2. Those who in other respects any thing truly good in that which appear to be entirely destitute of has its origin in selfishness. But holiness, often exhibit these traits there is in some of the unregene- of character in a very striking rate a tenderness of feeling, a no- degree. The youth, who is forblen:-ss of spirit, & an amiableness getful of his God, and engaged of characier, which does not ap- with all his heart in the pursuit of pear to me to arise from selfish- pleasures which God has forbidden, ness, and which I cannot help view. often has much in his appearance ing as inconsistent with total de. that is interesting and amiable.pravity.
The wretch, who blasphemes his Jus. That these traits of char. Maker, often feels for a fellow acter are known to exist among creature in distress, and would those who give an unequivocal ev. generously grant him relief. 3. idence of a change of heart. I The traits of character above readily acknowledge. Whether mentioned, are often the immediate they are ibe effects of self-love, or cause of sin. How often is tendernot, I deem it unnecessary now to ness of feeling in parents, the determine, as I presume that you cause of that excessive indulgence will not yourself contend that they of their children which is contrary arise from that supreme love to to the commands of God and ruin. God and disinterested love to man, ous to the best interests of men ! in which all holiness primarily How often does what is considered consists. If there is nothing in by the world as nobleness of spirthese traits of character which is it, lead the subjects of it to disdain truly holy, they are no evidence the meekness which the gospel against total depravity, whether inculcates, and to adopt as their they can be shewn to have their guide the most ruinous maxims of origin in selfishness or not. Now the world! To this are to be at. that they may not be holiness, and tributed those laws of honor, that they may have nothing in them which encourage the taking of re. of the nature of genuine holiness, venge, and influence multitudes will be perfectly evident to every to decide their differences, by the one who duly consider the pistol or the sword. How often three following facts. 1. These are those qualities, which serve traits of character are often seen to render character amiable in the
view of the world, the very same the Father is not in bim;" or that which influence the subjects of all affection to our fellow creathem to seek the applause of men, tures, which admits of hatred to rather than the approbation of enemies, is destitute of every God! Now are these traits of thing like the nature of holiness. character, which are found in bad Sim. I confess that there is men as well as good-in beings something in these suggestions of who are incapable of holiness as yours which is new to me, and well as in rational creatures, and which seems to deserve my seriwhich are as often, to say the ous consideration. But let me tell least, the means of leading man- you, that I cannot receive the kind to the commission of sio, as doctrine of total depravity, beto the practice of holiness, any cause it appears to me inconsistevidence of true holiness, in those ent with the free agency of man. in whom they are found? Is it Jus. I suppose you admit that not an indubitable fact that many some degree of depravity is conin whom all those traits of charac- sistent with the free agency of ter are seen, are entire strangers man ? to the exercise of that supreme Sim. Certainly. I never thought love to God which the law re. of questioning the fact that manquires ? Are they not conscious kind are free and accountable a. themselves, and are not all around gents, nor the truth, that they are them satisfied, that they love the in some measure depraved. world more than God? With all Jus. Do you then believe that their kind sympathies and tender the free agency of all mankind is feelings, would not nine out of partially destroyed. This appears ten of them acknowledge, that to be the necessary consequence they love themselves more than of admitting that they are partialtheir neighbora ? And should ly depraved, if depravity, as you they be met with the provocation have intimated, is inconsistent with of an enemy, would they not, in- free agency. stead of loving him, and praying
Sim. You misunderstand me, I for him, and doing him good a. do not mean to say that every
degreeably to the nature of true gree of depravity is inconsistent benevolence, and the commands with free agency, but only that of the Saviour, meditate and seek total depravity is so. revenge in exact accordance with Jus. I understand you perfectly. the nature of supreme selfishness, You suppose that total deprarity and the general spirit of this is inconsistent with free agency ; world ? But I need not remind but that partial depravity does not you, who are so well acquainted interfere with it at all. Your aswith the scriptures, that “ if any sertion is perfectly intelligible. man love the world the love of But you will pardon me, my