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I am bowed down, so that I cannot er of nations shorn of his strength. hear,
He hears Elam, and Persia, and I am convulsed su that I cannot see. 4 My heart is disquieted ; quaking hath
Media, commissioned to besiege the come vpon me :
city, that an end might be put to The season of my anticipated delight the sighing of the oppressed. The
is become a season of terror. surprise and perturbation of the be5 The table is prepared; the watch is
sieged, he then describes with adset; they eat, they drink; Up ye princes, anoint the shield,
mirable simplicity, “I am filled," 6 For thus said the Lord unto me:
says he, presenting bimself as view“ Go, station a watchman on his post, ing the scene, “I am filled with “And let him report what he seeth,” terror, anguish hath seized me so 7 And he saw cavalry, horsemen two that I am deprived of hearing and
sight, my heart utterly fails; my
anticipated hilarity is turned to disAnd he listened with the most pro- may.” This consternation was the found attention.
greater on account of the sudden 8 Then he cried out like a lion,
transition from a state of entire "My Lord, continually do I stand on my watch-tower by day;
security, to one of the most iminent And on my ward do I keep watch danger. This circumstance is whole nights.
graphically described. A luxuriAnd behold! there cometh cavalry, ous feast is prepared : the watch is horsemen two and two.
set; the Babylonians eat; they 9 Then continued he his report and said, * Fallen, failen is Babylon;
drink ; when suddenly the alarm is And all her idol gods are dashed to the sounded ; “Up, ye princes, anoint ground.”
the shield"-a common usage 10 () my crushed, amicted (people,]
among the orientals, to render their Whai I have heard from Jehovah of
shields, which were of leather, hosts, God of Israel, I have made known to you.
more manageable, as it were to
furbish them as other armour is fur. In these verses we have a vivid bished by scouring it :-prepare for prophetic description of the des. the attack. truction of Babylon by the Medes The result of this attack upon and Persians. The prophecy was the city, the writer describes in an delivered about two centuries be- inimitable manner. He represents fore the event happened, and more himself as (in compliance with the than one previously to the captivity direction of God) stationing a of the Jew's at Babylon.
watchman on a tower, and bidding In phrophetic vision, the writer him give the result of his observaforesaw the afliction of his nation, vations. He beholds cavalry and and the arrogance and cruelty of beasts of burden, riders on asses their enemies. The oppressed, God and camels, symbolic representawas about to rescue, the oppressor, tives of the Median and Persian arto chastise ; and this he designed to mies. Their movements he watches effect by the destruction of their with the deepest interest : he listens proud capital, and the subversion of with the most wakeful attention. their government.
Having made the full discovery, he The storm which was gathering cries aloud to the prophet and deover the devoted city the prophet scribes what he had witnessed. represents by the raging of tempests, Then after a short, but fearfully which in their progress from the interesting pause, the watchman wilderness south of India, were announces the fate of the cityexceedingly violent and destructive. “Fallen, fallen is Babylon, and all He then declares that a vision, her idol gods are dashed to the replete with terror, had been disclo. ground.” The prophet concludes sed to him. He beholds the wast. by a tender address to the Israel.
ites, who had been crushed and its beauty and force. The painting beaten as the grain of the threshing is exquisitely fine. The storm, the floor, by the Babylonians, assuring consternation, the security,and sudthem that he had made a true state- den alarm, are almost blended in ment of what God would accom- beautiful coloring, yet so as to preplish on their behalf.
serve a distinct impression of each. The similarity between the events The stationing of the watchman,and here predicted and the events which the resuli of his observations, are occurred at the taking of Babylon, the strokes of a master hand. The as stated by Herodotus and Xeno- design of the prophecy is admirably phon, and by the sacred writer, is so expressed in the concluding verse. striking that it may seem almost like For the consolation of God's peoan entire coincidence. Just fifty ple was this vision disclosed this years before the fulfilment of this prediction uttered. To correct ! prophecy, - the Babylonians, under them for their wanderings, he had : Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed Jerusa. raised up a terrible scourge ; when lem, demolished the temple, and this was effected, he removed it ; . carried the Jews into captivity. Ne- and while they beheld the proud buchadnezzar dying, Belshazzar his city of Babylon swept with the be. I son succeeded to the throne. Upsom of destruction, well might they on this king, the Medes and Per exclaim,“ So let thine enemies persians, under Darius, or Cyaxares, ish, O Lord !”. and Cyrus, made war, defeated him in battle, and having shut him up in
PRESIDENT EDWARDS's VIEW OF, Babylon, laid siege to the city. The besieged, strongly fortified, and am
ORIGINAL SIN. ply provided with means of defence, PRESIDEXT Edwards, in his work derided all attempts to subjugate on Original Sin, Part IV.Ch.3, says, them. After two years of severe “ Therefore I am humbly of opinlabor, Cyrus found means to enter ion, that if any have supposed the the city with his army. To accom- children of Adam to come into the plish his designs with the least dan world with a double guilt, one the ger, he pitched upon a season of guilt of Adam's sin, another the great festivity among the Babyloni- . guilt arising from their having a ans. During this night Belshazzar corrupt heart, they have not so well celebrated a most impious feast ; conceived of the matter. The guilt drank wine with a thousand of his a man has upon his soul at his first lords ; defiled the vessels which existence, is one and simple, viz. Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had the guilt of the original apostacy, plundered from the house of the the guilt of the sin by which the God of Israel, and in the height of species first rebelled against God. his festivity, praised his own gods This and the guilt arising from the of gold, and silver, and wood, and first corruption or depraved disposistone. But the storm was about to tion of the heart, are not to be lookburst on his guilty head. One mo- ed upon as t1oo things, distinctly imment all was hilarity and joy; the puted and charged upon men in the next, the shout of battle interrupt- sight of God. Indeed the guilt that ed the songs of Bel, and before the arises from the corruption of the morning light all the idols of Baby- heart as it remains a confirmed prinlon and their worshippers were ciple, and appears in its subsequent prostrate in the dust.
operations, is a distinct and addiThis passage is remakable for its tional guilt : But the guilt arising rapid movements, its gudden transi- from the first existing of a depraved tions, its graphic descriptions,for disposition in Adam's posterity, I Vol: 1,-No. XII.
apprehend is not distinct from their could not think and write inconsistguilt of Adam's first sin.”
entiy ; and then to explain his lanIn accordance with this language, guage by unnatural constructions, it is not Adon's sin, which is impu- so that, in our view, he will be conted to his posterity, it is their own sistent with himself. So far was sin, which they commit from the in- President Edwards from supposing fluence of their connexion with that the only guilt of man when he Adam. Precisely the same sin comes into the world is the guilt of which was inputed to Adam was Adam's sin, in distinction from the imputed to them; and they had guilt of having a corrupt heart, tbat therefore the same guilt. They are he represents this last named guilt in fact personally partakers in his as existing first. Edwards writes, particular, individual sin His sin Part IV. Chap. 3, “ The first beis not charged upon them ; but ing of an evil disposition in the heart they are considered as existing with of a child of Adam, whereby he, is him, and sinning with him ; and as disposed to approve of the sin of condemned with him, not for his his first father, as fully as he himself sin, but for their own sin. I do not approved of it when he committed see how the language of Edwards it, or so far as to imply a full and can fairly be construed differently. perfect consent of heart to it, I A writer in the Christian Spectator think, is not to be looked upon as a for November, 1824, does however consequence of the imputation of give another meaning to it. “Here that first sin, any more than the full then," he says, “ our author, main consent of Adam's own heart. in taining the personal identity, accor- the act of sinning; which was not ding to the divine constitution, of consequent on the imputation of Adam and his posterity, declares his sin to himself, but rather prior that men do not come into the to it in the order of nature. Inworld with a double guilt, one the deed the derivation of the evil disguilt of Adam's sin, and the other position to the hearts of Adam's the guilt of having a corrupt heart; posterity. or rather the co-existence that the guilt which a man has upon of the evil disposition, implied in his soul at his first existence, is one Adam's first rebellion, in the root and simple, viz. the guilt of the and branches, is a consequence of original apostacy ; that the inspired the union that the wise author of declaration, all have sinned, in re- the world has established between spect to infants can be true only of Adam and his posterity; but not their sinning by Adam's sin ; that properly a consequence of the impuinfants can be sinners in no other tation of his sin; nay, rather anteway but by Adam's transgression; cedent to it, as it was in Adam bimand that they are not capable of any self. The first depravily of heart, moral action at all. But how could and the imputation of that sin, are Edwards, without falling into an in- both the consequence of that estabconsistency too gross to be imputed lished union; but yet in such an to him, maintain that the only guilt order, that the evil disposition is which belongs to man when he first, and the charge of guilt consecomes into the world is the impu- quent, as it was in the case of Adam ted guilt of Adam's sin, and yet himself.” maintain that he is the subject of Did T. R., the writer in the a natural propensity which is in it. Christian Spectator before alluded self sinful and deserving of punish- to, read this language? Does not ment ?"
Edwards here assert that man “is Our duty assuredly is not to lay the subject of a natural propensity it down as a principle that Edwards which is in itself sinful and deser
ving of punishment”? T. R. per. Adam's sin or one thing with it. ceived that Edwards had “ peculiar But the simple question is, what views respecting the imputation of does Edwards leach on these Adam's sin”; at least he found he points," be it consistent or inconused peculiar language. He does sistent with itself? not, however, suffer Edwards to have T . R. says, “ While it is undepeculiar views, but he asserts that niable that he (Edwards) maintains “ he most unequivocally and abund. that guilt and desert of punishment antly affirms that the guilt, and the pertain to nan, and even to his deonly guilt, which belongs to man 0,2 praved disposition on its first exis. his first existe ice, is the imputed tence; still the question is, in what guilt of Adam's sin." He appears does this guilt consist, according to to me to teach unequivocally and this writer ? Concerning the true abundantly, that the evil disposition answer to this inquiry, he has left in the heart of Adam's posterity is us at no loss. For he most une“not properly a consequence of the quivocally and abundantly affirms, imputation of his sin; nay, rather that the guilt and the only guilt antecedent to it, as it was in Adam which belongs to man on his first ex• himself.”
istence, is the imputed guilt ol Edwards does indeed say “ The Adam's sin.” guilt a man has upon his soul at his How can this be? Guilt and de. first existence, is one and simple, sert of punishment pertain to man's viz, the guilt of the original aposta depraved disposition on its first ex. cy; the guilt of the sin by which the istence, and this guilt is only the species first rebelled against God." impiited guilt of Adam's sin. If T. Edwards then proceeds to exhibit R. will adopt Edwards's views of peculiar views of this “ sin.” He Adam's sin, and will suppose it in. says “ The first existing of a cor- cludes the first personal sin of eve. rupt disposition in the hearts of ry one of his posterity, he will be Adam's posterity, is not to be con- consistent with himself on this point. sidered as a sin belonging to them, But this is the point at which he distinct from their participation of aims all his shafts. This point Adam's first sin :" The only way, which. I deem Edwards's strong by which I can understand Edwards, hold, he labours to batter down. is, that the first existing of a corrupt If it is true that the first existing disposition makes man guilty; and of depravity in us, is Adam's sin this first existing of a corrupt dispo- and that this sin belongs to man at sition, though it is the moral de his first existence, then, T. R's pravity aud guilt of the individual “ epitomised view of Edwards's is yet a participation of the first sin theory respecting the origin of sin of Adam. “ The first depravity of is not correct. Edwards does mains heart, and the imputation of that sin, tain what he calls the imputation. are both the consequences of that but he supposes that in the order o established union; but yet in such nature, corruption of dispositior an order, that the evil disposition is precedes imputation, and makes the first, and the charge of guilt conse- imputation reasonable and just. Ir quent, as it was in the case of Adam my own view it is not Adam's sin himself.”
which is imputed, but it is the per. I can conceive of man's being sonal sin of his posterity ; but Edpersonally sinful on his first exis. wards deemed the first sin of his ence, and of his being so in conse- posterity the same with Liis own sin. quence of his relation to fallen Edwards's grand argument in re. Adam ; but I cannot conceive how ply to the great objection against bis personal sin can be a part of his doctrine is, that men are per
sonally corrupt, and that therefore might not be embarrassed by it. the imputation of sin to them is Must not every fair reasoner do the just. He endeavours to illustrate same ? Because Edwards does not che fall of the human race by a tree, prove in his first section that man whose branches all exist, and have has in his first existence a disposi1 connexion with the trunk. Such tion sinful, and deserving of punishhe supposes the connexion of men ment, does it follow that he does with Adam, and their fall is as if not prove it, nor believe it? Be.hey all existed with him, and at the cause he is wise enough to take one same time that he sinned, they all step at a time, does it follow that he sinned.
goes no higher, and does not reach Let us go back to the beginning the head of the stairs ? of Edwards's treatise on Original In his first section he undertakes Zin, and ascertain what he under to prove " that every one of manook to prove. He says, Part I. kind, at least, of them that are caChap. 1. Sect. 1, “By Original pable of acting as moral agents, are Sin as the phrase has been com- guilty of sin.” He does not take it nonly used by divines, is meant, for granted that men“ come guilty he innate sinful depravity of the into the world,” but having proved Yeart. But yet, when the doctrine his proposition in the first section, of Original Sin is spoken of, it is he draws the inference in the sec'ulgarly understood in that latitude, ond, "that all mankind are under s to include not only the depravity the influence of a prevailing, effectf nature, but the imputation of ual tendency in their nature, to that Adam'a first sin.” “As all moral sin and wickedness, which implies ualities, all principles either of their utter and eternal ruin." He irtue or vice, lie in the disposition says in the caption of the third secof the heart, I shall consider wheth- tion, “ That propensity, which has r we have any evidence, that the been proved to be in the nature of eart of man is naturally of a cor- inankind, must be a very evil, deupt and evil disposition.” Can T. praved, and pernicious propensity; li ask, “ does Edwards mean by making it manifest, that the soul of his tendency, propensity, disposi- man, as it is by nature, is in a corion, &c. a substantial property of rupt, fallen, and ruined state ; which ur nature which is in itself sinful is the other part of the consequence, nd deserving of punishment ?" drawn from the proposition laid San he ask this, and yet declare down in the first section.". hat Edwards " maintains that guilt Can the question then be, “Does nd desert of punishment pertain to Edwards mean by this tendency, prowan, and even to his depraved dis. pensity, disposition, &c. a substanosition on its first existence” ? tial property of our nature, which is
Edwards maintains that men, in itself, sinful and deserving of vhen they come into the world punishment ?" If the language of ave a disposition which is corrupt, Edwards was designed to mean any inful, and deserving of punishment. thing else, he was a poor master of 'o prove this he shews that all men, words, and his book is not safe withs soon as they can exhibit to us out a glossary, and a commentary. heir moral character, display a cor- If Edwards, who thought with extraupt, sinful disposition; and Ed. ordinary depth and acuteness, and yards's inference is, that this dispo- who expressed himself with unusition commenced with the exist- ual accuracy and fulness, found our nce of the individual. This in- language so deficient, we need a uence he leaves out of view in his new nomenclature in moral metairst section, that the argument physics. Did Edwards say that the