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HOTEQ TEPUKDS Hån yivetal, saith Aristotlem: Custom is like nature. For often' and 'always' are not far asunder. Nature is always, custom is almost always.' To the same sense are those words of Porphyry; Τους παλαιούς και εγγύς θεών γεγονότας, βελτίστους τε όντας φύσει και των άριστον έζηκότας βίον, ως χρυσούν γένος νομίζεσθαι--«The ancients who lived likest to God, and were by nature the best, living the best life, were a golden generation.–4. By nature,' means not by birth and natural extraction, or any original derivation from Adam, in this place: for of this these Ephesians were no more guilty than every one else, and no more before their conversion than after; but, 'by nature signifies Övrus, ålnūs, so the Greek Scholiast renders it; 'really, beyond opinion ;' 'plenè et omnino,' entirely, or wholly, so the Syriac; and so St. Jerome affirms that the ancients did expound it: and it is agreeable to the usage of the same phrase, Gal. iv. 8. “Ye did service to them which, by nature' are no gods," that is, which 'really' are none. And as these Ephesians were before their conversion, so were the Israelites in the days of their rebellion, a wicked stubborn people, insomuch that they are by the Prophet called “ children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.” But these and the like places have no force at all but what they borrow from the ignorance of that sense and acceptation of the word in those languages, which ought to be the measure of them. • 51. But it is hard upon such mean accounts to reckon all children to be born enemies of God, that is, bastards and not sons, heirs of hell and damnation, full of sin and vile corruption, when the Holy Scriptures propound children as imitable for their pretty innocence and sweetness, and declare them rather heirs of heaven than hell. In malice be children :' and, unless we become like to children, we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven";' and,' their angels behold the face of their Father which is in heaven".' Heaven is theirs, God is their father, angels are appropriated to them; they are free from malice, and imitable by men. These are better words than are usually given them ; and signify, that they are beloved of God, not hated, designed for heaven, and born to it, though brought thither by Christ, and by the Spirit of D Arist. Rhet. I, 1. c. 11. n Lib. 4. de Esu Anim, • Isa. lvii, 4.
9 Matt. xviii. 3.
r Matt. xviii. 10.
P 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
Christ, not born for hell: that was 'prepared for the devil and his angels,' not for innocent babes. This does not call them naturally wicked, but rather naturally innocent, and is a better account than is commonly given them by imputation of Adam's sin.
52. But not concerning children, but of himself St. Paul complains, that his nature and his principles of action and choice are corrupted. “ There is a law in my members, bringing me into captivity to the law of sino;" and many other words to the same purpose : all which indeed have been strangely mistaken to very ill purposes, so that the whole chapter so, as is commonly expounded, is nothing but a temptation to evil life, and a patron of impiety. Concerning which I have in the next chapter given account, and freed it from the common abuse. But if this were to be understood in the sense which I there reprove, yet it is to be observed in order to the present question, that St. Paul does not say, “ This law in our members comes by nature, or, is derived from Adam.” A man may bring a law upon himself by vicious custom, and that may be as prevalent as nature, and more; because more men have by philosophy and illuminated reason cured the disposition of their nature, than have cured their vicious habits. Add to this, that St. Paul puts this uneasiness, and this carnal law in his members, wholly upon the account of being under the law,' and of his not being under Christ, not upon the account of Adam's prevarication, as is plain in the analogy of the whole chapter.
53. As easy also it is to understand these words of St. Paul without prejudice to this question : “ The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither indeed can he know them:” meaning, as is supposed, that there is in our natures an ignorance and averseness from spiritual things that is, a contrariety to God. But it is observable, that the word which the Apostle uses is fuxinòs, which is not properly rendered 'natural but animal,' and it certainly means a man that is guided only by natural reason, without the revelations of the Gospel. Ψυχικός καλεί ο απόστολος των τοίς άνθρωπικούς λογισμούς τα πράγματα επιτρέποντα και την του πράγματος ενέργειαν μη δέχοντα. So Suidas.
An animal man; that is a philosopher, or a rational man, such as were the
Rom. vii. 2S.
1 1 Cor. ii. 14.
Greek and Roman philosophers, upon the stock and account of the learning of all their schools, could never discern the excellences of the Gospel mysteries; as of God incarnate, Christ dying, resurrection of the body, and the like. For this word \uxinòs, or animal,' and another word used often by the Apostle, opkikÒS, ' carnal,' are opposed to avevPATIKÒS, ''spiritual ;' and are states of evil, or of imperfection, in which while a man remains, he cannot do the work of God. For
animality,' which is a relying upon natural principles without revelation, is a state privatively opposed to the Spirit;' and a man in that state cannot be saved, because he wants à vital part, he wants the Spirit, which is a part of the constitution of a Christian in that capacity, who consists of body, and soul, and Spirit; and therefore anima without Spiritus, 'the soul without the Spirit,' is not sufficient. For as the soul is a sufficient principle of all the actions of life, in order to our natural end and perfection, but it can bear us no further; so there must be another principle in order to a supernatural end, and that is the Spirit; called by St. Paul, vía ktious, 'the new creation;' by St. Peter, divine nature;' and by this we become renewed in the inner man: the infusion of this new nature into us is called regeneration; and it is the great principle of godliness, called, grace or the Spirit, onipua OÜ, the seed of God,' and by it we are begotten by God, and brought forth by the church to the hopes and beginnings of a new life, and a supernatural end. And although I cannot say, that this is a third substance distinct from soul and body, yet it is a distinct principle put into us by God, without which we cannot work, and by which we can; and therefore if it be not a substance, yet it is more than a metaphor; it is a real being, permanent and inherent; but yet such as can be lessened and extinguished.
But' carnality,' or the state of being in the flesh, is not privatively opposed, but contrarily also, to the spiritual state or the state of grace. But as the first is not a sin derived from Adam, so neither is the second. The first is only an imperfection, or want of supernatural aids; the other is indeed a direct state of sin, and hated by God, but superinduced by choice, and not descending naturally. Now to the spiritual state, nothing is in Scripture opposed but these two; and neither of these, when it is sinful, can be pretended, upon the
stock or argument of any scriptures, to descend from Adam ; therefore all the state of opposition to grace, is owing to ourselves, and not to him. Adam indeed did leave us all in an animal estate, but this state is not a state of enmity, or direct opposition to God, but a state insufficient and imperfect. No man can perish for being an animal man, that is, for not having any supernatural revelations, but for not consenting to them when he hath, that is, for being carnal as well as animal; and that he is carnal, is wholly his own choice. In the state of animality he cannot go to heaven; but neither will that alone bear him to hell : and therefore God does not let a man alone in that state: for either God suggests to him what is spiritual ; or if he does not, it is because himself hath superinduced something that is carnal.
54. Having now explicated those scriptures which have made some difficulty in this question, to what topic soever we shall return, all things are plain and clear in this article, • Noxa caput sequitur,'' The soul that sinneth, it shall die.'“ Neque virtutes, neque vitia parentum liberis imputantur," saith St. Jerome; “ Neither the vices nor the virtues of the parents are imputed to the children 4.” And therefore when Dion Chrysostomus had reproved Solon's laws, which in some cases condemn the innocent posterity; he adds this in honour of God's law: Πλήν παίδας και γένος ουκ επέξεισιν, ως εκεί, των αμαρτανόντων" αλλ' έκαστος αυτό γίνεται της άτυχίας αίτιος; « That it does not, like the law of the Athenians, punish the children and kindred of the criminal; but every man is the cause of his own misfortune.”—But concerning this, it will not be amiss, in order to many good purposes, to observe the whole economy and dispensation of the divine justice in this affair.
SECTION III. How God punishes the Father's Sin upon the Children. 55. I. God may and does very often bless children to reward their father's piety; as is notorious in the famous descent of Abraham's family. But the same is not the reason of favours
u. Epist. 3. de Morte Nepotian.
and punishments. For such is the nature of benefits, that he in whose power they are, may without injustice give them, why, and when, and to whom, he please.
56. II. God never imputes the father's sin to the son or relative, formally making him guilty, or being angry with the innocent eternally. It were blasphemy to affirm so fierce and violent a cruelty of the most merciful Saviour and Father of mankind; and it was yet never imagined or affirmed by any that I know of, that God did yet ever damn an innocent son, though the father were the vilest person, and committed the greatest evils of the world, actually, personally, choosingly, and maliciously: and why it should by so many, and so confidently, be affirmed in a lesser instance, in so unequal a case, and at so long a distance, I cannot suspect any reason. Plutarch, in his book against Herodotus, affirms, that it is not likely they would, meaning that it was unjust to, revenge an injury which the Samians did to the Corinthians three hundred years before. But to revenge it for ever, upon all generations, and with an eternal anger upon some persons, even the most innocent, cannot without trembling be spoken or imagined of God, who is the great lover of souls.' Whatsoever the matter be in temporal inflictions, of which in the next propositions I shall give account, yet if the question be concerning eternal damnation, it was never said, never threatened, by God to pass from father to the son. When God punishes one relative for the sin of another, he does it as fines are taken in our law, ‘salvo contenemento,' the principal stake being safe;' it may be justice to seize upon all the smaller portions; at least it is not against -justice for God in such cases to use the power and dominion of a lord. But this cannot be reasonable to be used in the matter of inte rest; because if God should as a lord use his power over innocents, and condemn them to hell, he should be author to them of more evil than ever he conveyed good to them; which but to imagine, would be a horrible impiety. And therefore when our blessed Saviour took upon him the wrath of God due to all mankind, yet God's anger even in that case extend- . ed no further than a temporal death. Because, for the eternal, nothing can make recompense, and it can never turn to good.
57. III. When God inflicts a temporal evil upon the son for his father's sin, he does it as a judge to the father, but as