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Apostacy, Depravity, and Lost State of Man.
Q. 1. What is meant by the apostacy of the first human Pair?
A. Their falling from their original moral rectitude.(a)
Q. 2. In what way did our first Parents apostatize from their primitive state?
A. By violating the command of God in eating the forbidden fruit.(6)
Q. 3. Was there any peculiar temptation to induce them to disobey?
A. There was. The Devil, using the serpent merely as an instrument of temptation, deceived, and seduced our first Parents into sin.
Q. 4. Was their eating the forbidden fruit a
It was; because by doing it they sinned against the clearest light, and the most powerful motives, being unthankful and discontented, believ
(a) Eccl. 7. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
(b) Gen. 3.6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good' for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
(c) Gen. 3. 13. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
ing the Devil rather than God, and bringing upon themselves the greatest evils.
Q. 5. How long did our first Parents continue in the state, in which they were created?
A. It is impossible to determine exactly. Some have conjectured, that they apostatized within twenty-four hours after their creation, from the fact, that God appeared to Adam after he had sinned in the cool of the day, which they suppose was the evening of the day, after which he was created. But what transpired between Adam's creation and apostac y seems to require a longer space of time. Perhaps it was forty days, the time during which Christ was tempted in the wilderness.(a)
Q. 6. How did the apostacy of Adam affect his posterity? or what was the connexion between him and them in a moral point of view?
A. Adam was their federal or representative head by divine constitution. If he obeyed, his posterity would be holy, or morally upright. "If he disobeyed, they would be sinful, or morally depraved.()
Q. 7. Was Adam the cause of the depravity or sinfulness of his posterity?
A. No. He was neither the cause, nor the author of it, but merely the occasion of it.
Q. 8. Are Adam's posterity guilty of his sin 'in eating the forbidden fruit?
A. Certainly not, if by this phrase is meant, that they are to blame for his act of eating the forbidden fruit. Moral actions, holiness and sin, are personal, and are not transferable. The sins of Adam, and of his posterity, are perfectly distinct, and must of
(d.) 3.8. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. Mark 1. 13. And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto him.
(e) Rom. 5. 19. For as by one man's disobedience mang were made (constituted) sinners.
necessity be so,-as distinct as his volitions and theirs.
Q. 9. Is it proper and just to attribute to Adam, as some have done, all the sin, guilt, and misery of this world?
A. Certainly not. To do it is wrong, because it is to reproach our common Progenitor and not ourselves, who are to blame; and because the charge is false, for Adam is not to blame for any sins, or guilt, or misery, but his own.
The sins of his posterity are properly their own. To attempt to cast the blame of our sins, therefore, upon Adam, and exculpate ourselves, is wicked, and cruel, and savours of great impiety (0)
Q. 10. What is meant by original sin?
X. In the common language of theological writers it means native depravity, or the innate sinfulness of the human heart; though it is sometimes used to mean the sin, which Adam .committed in eating the forbidden fruit, and to mean this, not because it was the first sin ever committed, for Eve and fallen angels, also, sinned before this, and not because it was the first sin, Adam ever committed, though it was his first sin, but because it was that sin, which, by Divine constitution, decided the moral character, or laid the foundation for the native depravity, of all his posterity.
(f) Ezek. 18.2, 3, 20. What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. As I live saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. The soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Deut.24. 16. The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Hosea 13.9. 0 Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Q. 11. Does the Bible teach the native depravtiy of mankind? or that whenever they begin to act as moral agents, they act sinfully?
A. It does.
1. The Bible does not teach, that infants are not depraved, or that they are holy, or that they are in a state of neutrality, neither holy nor unholy. But it is reasonable to suppose it would, if this were the case. The inference then is that mankind are born depraved.
2. The Bible teaches the doctrine of native depravity, by teaching the depravity of the whole human race. The fact, that none of mankind ever fail of sinning is more than probable proof, that they are born with a disposition averse to good and prone to evil.(6)
3. The Bible teaches the depravity of infants, by teaching their need of a Saviour. All of the human race, infants as well as others, who are
ever admitted to heaven will ascribe their salvation to Christ. But this they cannot do, unless they had been the subjects of sin and condemnation. Infants then are depraved.(b)
4. The Bible teaches native depravity, by teaching the baptism of infants. Baptism represents the
(8) Rom. 5. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. 3. 10-12. As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Eccl. 7.20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.
(h) Matt. 9. 12. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Luke 19. 10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Rev. 1. 5, 6. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever
and ever. Amen.
washing of the soul from sin and pollution by the blood of Christ, applied by the Holy Spirit, in His purifying and sanctifying influences. But if children are not depraved, their baptism is altogether an insignificant rite-totally without meaning. Infants are then depraved.)
5. The Bible teaches native depravity, by teaching the necessity of the spiritual regeneration of all mankind, children as well as others, in order to their admission into heaven. All then are naturally unholy (1)
6. The Bible teaches native depravity, by teaching, that sin is the source of all the natural evils of this life, and even of death itself. But infants endure many pains and sorrows, and multitudes of them die. They are, therefore, the subjects of moral evil.(5)
7. The Bible teaches native depravity, by express declarations of it.(')
(i) Acts 16. 15, 33. And when she was baptised, and her household, she besought us saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. -And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptised, he and all his, straightway.
(i) John 3, 5, 6. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(k) Gen. 3. 16, 17. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt noteat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Rom. 5. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
(1) Ps. 51. 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Job 14. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Job 15, 14. What is man that he should be clean: and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous. John 3. 6. That which