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every good affection was not eradicated-and that the power of obeying still remains. These positions constitute a prominent part of his Lordship's avowed sentiments,-as will immediately appear from his own statements.

§ S. His Lordship's avowal of the first of these positions is full and explicit, in the following words:-' In appealing to the public ' formularies of our church, I shall first notice the article upon Original Sin, in which it is said, that "man is very far gone from original righteousness:" this expression implies, that original righteousness is not entirely lost; that 'all the good qualities and principles, with which 'man was at first created, are not absolutely destroyed. That this is the plain and obvious. sense of the passage, is evident from the fol'lowing circumstance: when the Assembly of 'Divines, in the reign of Charles the First, 'undertook to reform, as they called it, our Articles according to the Calvinistic creed, they proposed to omit the words, "man is very far gone from original righteousness," and to substitute for them, "man is wholly deprived of original righteousness." It was 'admitted by both parties, that the two sen'tences conveyed ideas extremely different; and 'the proposed alteration was rejected by those who wished to maintain the ancient and esta

'blished doctrine of the church of England, in opposition to the peculiar tenets of CALVIN.'*

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§ 4. Original righteousness is not entirely lost.' Let us calmly examine this position. While terms are left undefined, upon subjects wherein precision of language is more than ordinarily required, controversy is likely to become progressive and perplexing. If by "original righteousness" one person understands good qualities and principles' indefinitely, while another understands the perfection of them, what prospect is there of agreement, however extended the ratiocination? If his Lordship intend the latter part of the sentence quoted, to be explanatory of the former, he adopts the first of these meanings. But, abstracted from a peculiar connection, the common and obvious meaning of the term "righteousness" is rectitude, or perfect conformity to what is right. And the original righteousness of man, all must allow, consisted in nothing less than such perfect conformity.

§ 5. What evidence, therefore, is there, that the compilers of the Articles intended by "righteousness," good qualities and principles indefinitely, rather than the perfection of them? If they employed the term in a sense so unusual, * Refut. p. 50.

in such a connection, they must have been remiss, in point of precision, not to state it. But to suppose this, where precision must have been a leading design, is uncharitable. It is not therefore by any means to be assumed, that the framers of the Articles meant by "righteousness," good qualities, and principles indefinitely, rather than the perfection of them. They speak of a standard from which "man is far gone;" but an indefinite degree of good qualities and principles can be no standard. This would leave every thing undefined and uncertain. Whereas to say that man is far gone from the perfection of them, avoids an absurd, and establishes an important meaning.

6. This perfection of good qualities and principles was entirely lost. For nothing less can be intended by being "far gone" from it. If men have gone astray from the fold of God, surely they have lost entirely the privilege of being in that fold. Their " original righteousness" included a complete standing in the divine approbation; and if that complete standing be now entirely lost, so likewise must that original righteousness by which it was secured. This, however, is not inconsistent with degrees of deviation from righteousness. For though "all we like sheep have gone astray," some by per sonal disobedience have gone farther than others.

And the article assures us, that " man (and there appears no ground of exception) is very far gone from original righteousness." Every man, therefore, has entirely lost the perfection of his nature,--which the term "original righteousness" very naturally, and most properly expresses.

§ 7. But even supposing, for argument' sake, that the term "righteousness," is intended to express good qualities and principles' indefinitely, still there is an important sense in which every man has lost it entirely. The same human qualities and principles which are good in one respect, may be bad in another, even in the most important acceptation. There may be in one man, compared with another, a stronger attachment to temperance, chastity, veracity, or honesty: but it would be fallacious to infer, on this account, that he is the subject of these virtues in a primary sense. He has less actual vice than many others, while, at the same time, his qualities and principles, operating another way, may be radically vicious. virtues are merely negative; he is less disposed to intemperance, unchastity, falsehood, or dishonesty. Such partial and comparative virtues may be found in an Atheist; but will any one say, that in such a character" original righteousness" is not entirely lost? Persons possessed


of such comparative good qualities and principles may be utterly destitute of a cordial submission to the will of God, -a genuine approbation of his holy law, or of his blessed gospel: and if these good qualities be absent, is not the being, the very essence of original righteousness, absolutely destroyed, -- entirely lost?

§s. When the Assembly of Divines, in the reign of CHARLES the First, proposed to omit the words, "man is very far gone from original righteousness," and to substitute for them, "man is wholly deprived of original righteousness," how does it appear that their doctrinal view of the subject was materially different from that of the first compilers? It would be more accurate to say, with due deference to his Lordship, that 'the two sentences might convey ideas extremely different, than that they were intended to do so. The phrase "wholly deprived" might be objected to, lest any should infer, that the cause of it was an arbitrary act of God, as contradistinguished from a voluntary act of man. It is natural to suppose a predilection in favour of an established formulary, where no important advantage could be proposed by adopting the alteration. The one mode of expression more strongly represents man as the author of his loss, while the other simply states the extent

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