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but only a negative and deficient one.'1 God is, then, the deficient cause of sin. That is, he prompts the wicked to act and fails to add that influence by which alone the action can be made good. This is the same as to say, God is the "efficacious permitter"2 of sin. He acts through wicked men by his power, and permits their vitiosity to alloy the act with the quality of sin. Sinfulness is not so truly a negative quality of actions when we consider them the products of human power. Toplady infers from the passage quoted above, 1 John 3: 4, "that unless sin had something of positivity in it, the illegality of it could not be said to be commissible." Yet he does not clearly discern how that can be "without the assistance of Dr. Watts's distinction between actions themselves and the sinfulness of them." 3 The sinfulness of actions is due to man's nature, "our own vitiosity is the cause of our acting amiss." 4 Our sin is not, then, the product of our volitions, but is to be traced back to a source within us, from which the evil quality naturally and spontaneously flows."It is undeniably certain that we, who are now living, are in actual possession of an evil nature; which nature we brought with us into the world; it is not of our acquiring, but was 'cast and mingled with our very frame.'"s "Whence proceed errors in judgment, and immoralities in practice? Evil tempers, evil desires, and evil words? Original sin answers all these questions in a moment. Adam's offence was the peccatum peccans, the sin that still goes on sinning, in all mankind; or, to use the just and emphatic words of Calvin: "The corruption of our nature is always operative, and constantly teeming with unholy fruits." * "Neither the temptations of Satan, by which we are exercised; nor the bad examples of others, which we are so prone to imitate; are the causes of this spiritual and moral leprosy. They are but the occasions of stirring up and calling forth the latent corruptions within."7
Original sin is, according to Toplady, a punishment for preceding transgression. That transgression is the fall of Adam, which is imputed to us, and of which we are guilty. 1 V. 218, 219. 3 III. 170. 8 VI. 100. 4 V. 220.
s HI. 356. II 358. 1 III. 349. "So terrible a calamity as the universal infection of our whole species, is and must have been the consequence of some grand and primary transgression. Such a capital punishment would never have been inflicted on the human race, by the God of infinite justice, but for some adequate preceding offence."1 "Now the judgment of God is always according to truth. He would not deem us guilty, unless we were so. And guilty of our first parents' offence we cannot be, but in a way of imputation."a
As to the ground of imputation, Mr. Toplady has not expressed himself very fully. Yet it is, in general, that Adam acted as our representative."The first Adam acted in our names, and stood in our stead, and represented our persons, in the covenant of works."3 When Adam fell, he fell not only as a private individual, but also as a public person; just as the Second Adam, Jesus Christ the Righteous, did afterward, in the fulness of time, obey and die, as the covenant-surety and representative of all his elect people."4
There is a sense, then, in which we sinned in Adam. "It follows that they [those who have died in infancy] sinned representatively and implicitly in Adam."5 But we must consider this expression, "sinned in Adam," as of little value, except for the convenience of the term; for he denies that we sinned in him as individuals, present at the original transgression."Guilty of our first parents' sin we cannot be, but by way of imputation."* "It is incontestibly clear that not any individual among the numberless millions who have died in infancy, was capable of committing actual sin."T "We were, therefore, in a state of severe moral punishment, as soon as we began to be; and yet it was impossible for us to have sinned in our own persons, antecedently to our actual existence."'
Nor did our author hold that we sinned in Adam by being responsibly present, through a connection of our souls with his."Nor can I conceive how soul can generate soul, without supposing the soul to have partes extra partes; and if once we grant its divisibility, what becomes of its absolute immateriality, together with its essential incorruptibility, and its intrinsic immortality?" "Though not determined to either side of the question, I own myself inclinable to believe that souls are of God's own immediate creation and infusion."'
i III. 358. a III. 359. • III. 359. 1 III. 360.
Vol. XIII. No. 52.
8 III. 356.
* Ibid. s III. 360.
8 VI. 201.
Moreover, he allows a logical distinction between the sin of which we are guilty, and that of which Adam was guilty. "They [the scholastic writers] very properly distinguish original sin into what they call 'peccatum originans' and ' peccatum originatum.' By 'pec catum originans,' they mean the ' ipsissimum,' or the very act itself, of Adam's offence in tasting the forbidden fruit. By the 'peccatum originatum,' they mean that act as transmitted to us."l This would be, at least, a needless complication of the affair, if we really committed the same act with Adam. We must consider, therefore, Adam's relation to us only that of a representative. What he did in that capacity, we are held responsible for. "God's word expressly declares that, by the disobedience of one man, many were constituted sinners. They are, in the Divine estimation, considered as guilty of Adam's own personal breach of the prohibitory command."2
Our philosopher sees no injustice in such imputation. "Since his posterity would have partaken of all the benefits resulting from his continuance in a state of integrity, I see not the injustice of their bearing a part in the calamities consequent on his apostasy."8 This method of dealing with men is not contrary to human reason or common practice. "There is not a single nobleman or person of property, who does not act, or who has not acted, as the covenant-head of his posterity, supposing him to have any." < In cases of treason also, "though the father only is in fault," his children and their children lose their peerage. In the works before us, the question Why God permits sin, is answered, very summarily,"Not for want of knowledge, to perceive it; nor for want of power, to hinder it; nor for want of wisdom, to counteract it; nor for want of goodness, to order all for the best: but because it was and is his unsearchable will (and the will of God is rectitude itself) to allow the entrance and the continuance of that seeming foil to the loveliness of his works."* The clause in parenthesis, above, is also a sufficient reply 1 III. 362. 2 III. 359. 8 III. 356. * III. 361. » VI. 101. to the objection that God, by willing sin, becomes the author of sin."To say that he willeth sin, doth not in the least detract from the holiness and rectitude of his nature; because, whatever God wills, as well as whatever he does, cannot be eventually evil: materially evil it may be; but, as was just said, it must ultimately be directed to some wise and just end, otherwise he could not will it; for his will is righteous and good, and the sole rule of right and wrong."1 He also defends himself from the charge of making God the author of sin, by insisting that he makes him only the "permitter" of sin; also by showing that God is a sovereign, who does as he will with his own."It is essential to absolute sovereignty, that the sovereign have it in his power to dispose of those, over whom his jurisdiction extends, just as he pleases, without being accountable to any: and God, whose authority is unbounded (none being exempt from it), may, with the strictest holiness and justice, love or hate, elect or reprobate, save or destroy, any of his creatures, human or angelic, according to his own free pleasure and sovereign purpose."' sidered a kind of good luck. If man's highest happiness — his spiritual well-being, — is not a motive with God, then a baser kind of happiness,—mere existence without pain,— must become one of the most powerful motives with men for seeking the salvation of the soul. Holiness. The passage on God's sovereignty, just quoted, indicates very clearly this author's view of virtue. Goodness is a characteristic of the actions of a good being. The actions of men are good because God has first made their persons so.1 The works of God are good, because they proceed from a being to whom the attribute of goodness belongs. To suppose that God is deficient in this attribute, is to suppose that he is not God.' Therefore, God's will is rectitude itself; and whatever he does is right because he does it. This position, however, is capable of two explanations: either, God is so good that he would not do wrong, so dependent on his goodness that a wrong act would degrade him to an inferior being; or, God and evil are incompatible ideas,— God is such a being that he could not do wrong, but the deed, whatever it might be, would be right—the Being sanctifies the deed. The latter is Toplady's view."Whatsoever things God wills, or does, are not willed or done by him because they were, in their own nature, and previously to his willing them, just and right; or because, from their intrinsic fitness he ought to will and do them; but they are therefore just, right, and proper, because he who is holiness itself wills and does them."3 "The works of God himself cannot be brought to any test whatever; for, his will being the grand universal law, he himself cannot be, properly speaking, subject to, or obliged by, any law superior to that. Many things are done by him, which, if done by us, would be apparently unjust, inasmuch as they would not square with the revealed will of God. But when he does these and such like things, they cannot bat be holy, equitable, and worthy of himself."4
The question may fairly be raised, whether it is not possible to make man so impotent as to extenuate his guilt. If he is mainly passive in sinning, he will unavoidably believe that his sin is his misfortune. A tendency to this feeling may, perhaps, be found in the works before us. Though the strongest language is used to express the heinousness of sin, and it is declared to be next to the worst thing in the world; yet with some, the conviction of sin would lose a little of its poignancy by uniting with it such a sentiment as this: "The omnipresent Reader of hearts, and Hearer of thoughts knows that, next after his own awful displeasure, I dread and deprecate sin, in all its forms, as the greatest of possible calamities." 8
This sentence suggests another inquiry, whether the happiness of man may not be considered a motive of so little account in the judgment of God, that whatever enjoyment does accrue to the race from the atonement, shall be con