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counting for these moral phenomena, except by referring them to bad example and a vicious education.
“Let us take the first. To account for general wickedness, they refer to general example.
“But, 1. This does not account for the introduction of moral wickedness. The children of Adam were not born until after the repentance of our first parents and their restoration to the Divine favor. They appear to have been his devout worshippers, and to have had access to his presence, the visible glory of the Schechinah. From what example, then, did Cain learn malice, hatred, and, finally, murder? Example will not account, also, for the too common fact of the children of highly virtuous parents becoming immoral ; "for, since the examples nearest to them and constantly present with them are good examples, if the natural disposition were as good as this hypothesis assumes, the good example always present ought to be more influential than bad examples at a distance, and only occasionally seen or heard of.
“2. If men are naturally disposed to good, or only not indisposed to it, it is not accounted for, on this hypothesis, how bad example should have become general, that is, how men should generally have become wicked.
“If the natural disposition be more in favor of good than evil, then there ought to have been more good than evil in the world, which is contradicted by fact; if there had been only an indifference in our minds to good and evil, then, at least, the quantum of vice and virtue in society ought to have been pretty equally divided, which is also contrary to fact; and also it ought to have followed from this, that at least all the children of virtuous persons would have been virtuous : that, for instance, the descendants of Seth would have followed in succession the steps of their righteous forefathers, though the children of Cain (passing by the difficulty of his own lapse,) should have become vicious. On
neither supposition can the existence of a general evil example in the world be accounted for. It ought not to have existed, and if so, the general- 'corruption of mankind cannot be explained by it.
“3. This very method of explaining the general viciousness of society does itself suppose the power of bad example; and, indeed, in this it agrees with universal opinion. All the moralists of public and domestic life, all professed teachers, all friends of youth, all parents have repeated their cautions against evil society to those whom they wished to preserve from vice. The writings of moralists, Heathen and inspired, are full of these admonitions, and they are embodied in the proverbs and wise traditional sayings of all civilized nations. But the very force of evil example can only be accounted for, by supposing a proneness in youth to be corrupted by it. Why should it be more influential than good example, a fact universally acknowledged, and so strongly felt that, for one person preserved by the sole influence of a good example, every body expects that a great number would be corrupted by an evil one? But if the hypothesis of man's natural innocence were true, this ought not to be expected as a probable, much less as a certain result. Bad example would meet with resistance from a good nature; and it would be much more difficult to influence by bad examples than by good ones.
“4. Nor does example account for the other facts in the above enumeration. It does not account for that strong bias to evil in men, which, in all ages, has borne down the most powerful restraints; for from this tendency that corrupt general example has sprung, which is alleged as the cause of it; and it must, therefore, have existed previously, because the general example, that is, the general corrupt practice of men is its effect. We cannot, in this way, account for the early manifesa tation of wrong principles, tempers, and affections in children; since they appear at an age when example
can have little influence, and even when the surrounding examples are good, as well as when they are evil. Why, too, should virtue always be found more or less a conflict ? so that self-government and self-resistance are, in all cases, necessary for its preservation. The example of others will not account for this ; for mere example can only influence when it is approved by the judgment; but here is a case in which evil is not approved, in which whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure,' are approved, desired, and cultivated; and yet the resistance of the heart to the judgment is so powerful, that a constant warfare and a strict command are necessary to perseverance.
“Let us, then, see whether a bad education, the other cause, usually alleged to account for these facts, will be more successful.
«1. This cause will no more account for the introduction of passions so hateful as those of Cain, issuing in a fratricide so odious, into the family of Adam, than will example: As there was no example of these evils in the primeval family, so certainly there was no educàtion which could incite and encourage them. We are, also, left still without a reason why, in well-ordered and religious families, where education and the example, too, is good, so many instances of their inefficacy should occur. If bad education corrupts a naturally well-disposed mind, then a good education ought still more powerfully to affect it, and give it a right tendency. It is allowed, that good example and good education are, in many instances, effectual; but we can account for them, without giving up the doctrine of the natural corruption of the heart. It is, however, impossible for those to account for those failures of both example and instruction which often, take place, since, on the hypothesis of man's natural innocence and good disposition, they ought never to occur, or, at least, but in very rare cases, and when some singular counteracting external causes happen to come into operation.
“2. We may also, ask, how it came to pass; unless there were a predisposing cause to it, that education, as well as example, should have been generally bad? Of education, indeed, men are usually more careful than of example. The lips are often right when the life is wrong; and many practise evil who will not go so far as to teach it. If human nature, then, be born pure, or, at worst, equally disposed to good and evil, then the existence of a generally corrupting system of education, in all countries and among all people, cannot be accounted for. We have an effect either contrary to the assigned cause, or one to which the cause is not adequate-it is the case of a pure fountain sending forth corrupt streams; or that of a stream which, if turbid, has a constant tendency to defecation, and yet becomes still more muddy as it flows along its course.
“3. It is not, however, the fact, that education is directly and universally so corrupting a cause as to ac' count for the depravity of mankind. In many instances it has been defective; it has often inculcated false views of interest and honor ;, it has fostered prejudices, and even national, though not social, hatreds; but it has only in few cases been employed to teach those vices into which men have commonly fallen. In fact, education, in all countries, has been, in no small degree, opposed to vice; and, as the majority of the worst people among us would shudder to have their children instructed in the vices which they themselves practise, so, in the worst nations of antiquity, the characters of schoolmasters were required to be correct, and many principles and maxims of a virtuous kind were, doubtless, taught to children.
« 4. To come to the other facts which must be accounted for, education is placed upon the same ground in the argument as example. The early evil dispositions in children cannot thus be explained, for they appear before education commences; nor does any man refer to education bis propensity to constitutional sins ;
the resistance he often feels to good in his heart; his proneness to forget God, and to be indifferent to spiritual and eternal objects; all these he feels to be opposed to those very principles which his judgment approves, and with which it was furnished by education.
"It is only, then, by the Scriptural account of the natural and hereditary corruption of the human race, commonly called original sin, that these facts are fully accounted for; and as the facts themselves cannot be denied,” (Watson,) it must follow that man is fallen, and now possesses a corrupt and sinful nature, from which all his unholy passions and actions flow.
III. If human nature is not depraved and sinful, but perfectly holy, a doctrine for which the compiler of this work has heard many Unitarians contend, especially the Rev. James Hayes, who advocated it, in the controversy alluded to on the 37th page of this work; a doctrine, too, which may be found in the writings of all Unitarians who have written upon this subject, then infants do not stand in need of the merits of Christ, for they have no sin for which to atone; consequently, they must be saved independent of the blood of the Saviour, and, therefore, can never join in the enraptured song of the redeemed, unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood--to him be glory both now and forever." There must, therefore, if the doctrine of original sin, or hereditary, be denied, be a jar in the notes of Glory. But this cannot possibly be. Therefore, the doctrine of the natural corruption of human nature must be true.
“IV. The death and sufferings to which children are subject, is a proof that all men, from their birth, are constituted,' as the Apostle has it, and treated as
sinners. An innocent creature may die; no one disputes that; but to die was not the original law of our species, and the Scriptures refer death solely to sin as its cause. Throughout the sacred writings, too, it is represented as a penalty, as an evil of the highest kind;