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standards, to express their views. “From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions ” (Con. of Faith, VI. 4). A previous article declares them “wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.” All evangelical Christians agree that the will is indisposed to good, and perverse in all its actions. That the desires, feelings, and dispositions partake of this depravity and consequent culpa. bility has been sufficiently evinced already. That the intellect, as it is implicated in the moral and spiritual actings of the soul, is also defiled and blinded, has been shown heretofore. It is a necessary inference from the necessity of spiritual illumination so constantly asserted in the scriptures. How could this be more strongly asserted, even past all power of self-recovery, than in the following words, so familiar to all conversant with these subjects ?
66 The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. ii. 14). The body not only has in it the seeds of disease and death, but, in so far as it is mysteriously united to the soul and is manifoldly its organ and instrument, as libidinous and intemperate appetites have their seat in the body as animated by the conscious soul, so the body partakes of the defilement of our sin. Hence the exhortation : "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof, neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” (Rom. vi. 12, 13). through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
INABILITY. All this involves inability for self-restoration. They are “ indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good.” These terms are expository and complementary of each other. The indisposition is inability. The inability consists in such indisposition as involves a disordered state
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of the faculties, cognitive, sensitive, and volitional. It is needless to rehearse the direct assertions of the sinver's inability; the arguments from his being dead in sin, having a heart of stone ; from the new creation by the Holy Ghost, and the exceeding greatness of his power to us ward who believe. All this has satisfied all parties that the sinner labors under some sort of inability. But precisely what it is, and how far it is a real inability, is in question. We hold it to be a moral inability, a sinful inability, and a real inability. With respect to the distinction between natural and moral inability so much insisted on by some, we hold to whatever of truth it contains, although most of us are not fond of the phrase, on account of its liability to be misunderstood or perverted. We hold that our inability is moral, and is our sin; and that it is natural in one sense, and not so in another sense, of the word “nature.” It is natural in the sense that it is native to fallen man, and not acquired, so being like the depravity in which it consists. It is not natural in the sense of belonging to human nature in its original, normal, unfallen state. It is a depravation of this nature induced by the fall. Further, it is irremoveable by the sinners own power, else it would be no real inability. We thus stand opposed to those who affirm a natural abil. ity, meaning thereby a real, present ability, to perform works spiritually good, without divine grace. If by natural ability they mean, as some do, only the possession of natural facul . ties which constitute a moral agent, or which are essential to mankind, we maintain it. But these faculties are in a distempered state, governed by an evil bias, which needs to be purged away, by the Holy Spirit “creating us anew in Christ Jesus unto good works,” before we can truly serve God in the spirit. This meaning of our Confession is put beyond all doubt, in the following language:
“Man by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation ; so, as a natural man, being altogether averse from that which is good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or prepare himself thereto.” — Chap. IX. 3.
As to the objection, that we are not accountable for not doing what we are unable to do, it applies to outward acts, but not to sinful dispositions. The more inveterate and invincible they are, by so much are they the more culpable. If the disposition to slander and backbite is so powerful that one cannot repress its actings, does this excu:e it? Or does it not rather evince its aggravated criminality ?
SOTEROLOGY. In regard to the way of salvation from this deplorable state, we are concerned first with the persons wbo accomplish it, and next with the means they employ for this purpose. And in regard to the persons there is little dispute among the evangelical, all finding the germs of their creed bere in the apostolic benediction: the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Iloly Ghost. To effect this salvation, belongs to the Son and the Holy Ghost. The only question mooted by parties here recognized, is in regard to the constitution of Christ's person. Our doctrine, and certainly the catholic doctrine, is, that
the eternal Son of God became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man, in two distinct natures and one person forever.” This stands opposed to those who in any manner confound or identify the human and divine natures in Christ; to all who, in any degree, merge the divine in the human, or the human in the divine, or both in a tertium quid neither human nor divine, an undefinable, intermediate, theanthropic being. We maintain that he is
very God and very man." Thus, being of the rank and nature of cach of the alienated parties, he is fitted to be the one Mediator between God and man."
The offices to be performed for our recovery correspond to the various aspects of the evil from which we are to be saved. Now sin involves, 1. Misery and guilt, or exposure to punishment; 2. Pollution and blindness; 3. Deminion over us, and our consequent bondage to it. Now Christ delivers us from the guilt of sin by bearing our punishment for us ; he procures for us a title to the rewards of righteousness
through the imputation of his righteousness to us. He cleanses us from the pollution and liberates us from the dominion of sin through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. In regard of the various offices of Christ for our salvation, in virtue to which he is called our prophet, priest, and kivg, all which need attention in relation to our present object, have been or will be sufficiently treated under other heads in this Article, except what relates to his priestly office.
It is proper, however, to remark that the Old school Presbyterians cleave to that view of redemption which represents it as a covenant transaction, first between the Father and the Son, according to which the Father stipulated to the Son the chosen seed as the reward of his sufferings, and the Son stipulated to suffer and do whatever was requisite to ransom them from the curse and bondage of sin. This is clearly' set forth in John vi. 37: “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Secondly, there is a further stipulation indicated in the last clause, and manifoldly reiterated, that whoso cometh to or believeth on Christ shall be saved. Thirdly, there is the further covenant wherein God stipulates to give the grace of his Spirit to those whom he hath promised to Christ, to “persuade and enable them to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to them in the gospel.” “ This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and will write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Heb. viii. 10). So it is promised that they shall come to Christ, and declared that none can come except the Father draw them (John vi. 37 - 44).
The topics connected with Christ's priestly office requiring notice are :
REDEMPTION AND JUSTIFICATION. 1. As to the manner in which Christ's sufferings and death become efficacious for our redemption. We maintain
that they are efficient for this purpose by being a true and proper satisfaction to divine justice for all penal obligations of sinners saved through him. By justice we understand distributive justice,- that perfection of God which is immutably determined to render to all their deserts, either in their own persons, or by an accepted substitute. As to what some call “ general justice,” as distinguished from distributive, we understand them to define it substantially as benevolence in the government of the universe.
When we speak of satisfying divine justice, we do not mean justice in this sense, which, in our view, is no proper meaning of the word “justice.” We mean justice proper, or distributive justice, whereby God “ will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom. ii. 6), and “every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward" (Heb. ii. 2), and it is a righteous thing in God to recompense tribulation” to evil doers (1 Thess. i. 6). Now when we say
that Christ satisfied divine justice, we do not mean, as some appear to imagine, that God has pleasure in his sufferings per se, but that the clairns of his justice for the punishment of the siuner are satisfied or discharged by the sufferings and death of Christ substituted and accepted in lieu thereof. That, on some ground, they are so accepted and substituted, is conceded by every scheme recognized as evangelical. How then do the sufferings of Christ discharge the penal claims of the law, in lieu of the believing sinner's punishment? We say, because we think the scripture says, by being themselves truly penal, and accepted as such, in lieu of the sinner's punishment. That Christ was thus our substitute and surety, bearing the punishment of our sins, is manifoldly taught by the sacred writers: “ God sent forth bis Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. iv. 4,5). Christ then was made under the law. In whose behalf, unless for his people, whoin he undertook to redeem ? How did he redeem them? “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being