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“ and helpless state of mano,” his “totalP,”. “ radical, and fundamental depravity?." In the language of modern Calvinists, man is represented to be “a fallen creature, guilty, “ polluted, helpless"," " utterly undone,” 6 all depravedt,” having “ entirely lost the “ perfection of his nature“,” and “ an ef“fectual or prevailing inclination to good*:" he is “ in a state of guilt and sinful imbe“ cility'," " wholly corrupt, utterly impo“ tent, under the wrath of God, and liable “ to everlasting torments?.” In these expressions it is not meant, " that men may “ not be comparatively good by naturea;"
. 0 The Calvinistic Clergy defended, and the Doctrines of Calvin maintained, in a Letter to the Rev. J. Beresford, by E. T. Vaughan. 2d edit. p. 85.
P A Defence of Modern Calvinism, by Edward Williams, D.D. p. 514. Vaughan's Account, p. 303.
9 Overton's True Churchman ascertained, p. 134. . Simeon, p. 18. s Vaughan's Account, p. 364.
t Ibid. p. 356. Remarks on the Refutation of Calvinism, by Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford. Vol. ii. p. 581.
u Williams, p. 6. Simeon, p. 19. x Williams, p. 19. y Ibid. p. 202. 2 Overton, p. 157. a Simeon, p. 19. Williams, p. 10, 11.
or that they may not be “ morally good, “ not merely in comparison of others, but, “ to a certain degree, really and substançtially so b." It is meant, that “no man " by nature is spiritually good, or good " towards God. No man by nature loves “ God, or delights himself in God. No “ one has by nature what I may call a “ creature-like spirit towards him. No one “ feels his obligation towards him as his “ Creator, or places implicit confidence in “ him as his Preserver, or rejoices in him as « his Benefactor, or delights to execute bis “ will as his Governor, or labours to approve “ himself to him as his Judged.” - So “ neither have we, what, if we may be al“ lowed the expression, we would call a “ sinner-like spirit .... a spirit of humili“ ation is never found, but as it is infused “ into the soul by the Spirit of God.” “ Connected with this want of a sinner-like “ spirit is a love of sin in all its branches;” and although “ there is not in every man
b Simeon, p. 19. c See Overton, p. 149. Scott, vol. ii. p. 541. d Simeon, p. 20. Ibid. p. 21.
“ the same predominance of sin in all its “ branches, the same propensity there is, an “ aversion to what is good, and, in conse“ quence of that, an incapacity to engage “ successfully in the prosecution or per“ formance of any good thing?.” This incapacity arises “altogether from the in“ veteracy of our loye to sin, and the total « alienation of our hearts from what is truly “good ... not from any want of physical “ powers, but of moral and spiritual dis“ positions g.” These are not the “un“ guarded and crude representations"," nor “ the rash unqualified assertions of the “ inexperienced,” but the calm and deliberate statements of “ those who promul“ gate truth in its more sober and mea“ sured forms." From these we appeal to the authority of the Scriptures.
It is a true and faithful saying, which may not be disputed or denied, that “in “ Adam all died,” that in him “all sinned',” and that by the disobedience of this one “ man the many were made sinners, and “ judgment came upon all men to condemn“ation"." We cannot therefore deny, that the corruption of human nature is universal, though we would measure the degree of it in individuals, and deny that every man is “ altogether polluted in every fao culty of his soul, and destitute of all true “ goodness ." On the texts which are alleged in vindication of this doctrine it may be remarked, that they are rather the descriptions of particular times and places, than of the general state and condition of mankind. Such is the character which is given of the men immediately before the deluge, when“God saw that the wickedness “ of man was great in the earth, and that the “ whole imagination," the purposes, and desires of his heart“was only evil continuallyo.". Such is also the report of the Psalmist concerning the iniquity of the times in which he lived, and bare the testimonies which are recited by the Apostle', in proof that all
f Simeon, p. 22. & Ibid. p. 23, 24. h Williams, p. 9. i Simeon, p. 18. k 1 Cor. xv. 22. Romans v. 12.
were" under sin," and liable to the judgment of God, à condition which is established beyond controversy, but which does not imply the total corruption of individuals. These two descriptions are evidently liable to exceptions ; for David dwells on the practices and habits and consolations of many righteous men whom he had known; and Moses testifies of Noah, that he found “ grace in the eyes of the Lord, and was 66 a just man and perfect in his generation, " and Noah walked with Godt."
That the desire of the flesh should be death and enmity with God', proves the fatal consequences of sin, and the righteousness of God; but it has no more reference to the universal depravity of human nature, than the opposite character of being heavenly-minded has to its universal integrity and incorruption : and when the Apostle speaks of the foolishness of the natural man, and his incompetence to know “ the things
9 Psal. i. v. 12, 13. xv. xvi. 3. xxiv. xxxvii. 30—35. xli. 1, 2. cxii. ckxviii. Genesis vi. 9. 8 Roman's viii.