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tion of which, death might be most righteously, as it was actually, inflicted on them that had not sinned, after the similitude of Adam's transgression. We can, therefore, see no reason to suppose, that the apostle' uses the word sin here, in a sense, contrary to his own definition of it, as being “the transgression of the law”—the act of a voluntary being, under the government of law; and, if so, there is no room for the supposition, that he is here speaking of infants.

What he says of "sin dwelling in” him, &c. has been already explained.

Having, therefore, as we think, shewn, that there is nothing decisively to be objected from the death of infants, against the views presented in the preceding chapters,--that they are, in fact, not under the actual government of law, but merely under the providential rule of the great Creator-and that there is nothing, in the facts and language of scripture, to confirm the idea of there being something criated in us, and born with us, which, prior to all voluntary acts, constitutes us really sinners in the sight of God, we return from this digression, and proceed to trace the law of development yet further, as it operates to secure the guilt of personal sin, as soon as the individuals become moral agents.

With instincts operating, sensations experienced, and nothing more than passions or feeling developed, thc infant has not yet actually become a moral agent, and, consequently, possesses no moral character. It has not risen above the level of the mere animal. Intellection must be superadded, at least to such a degree, as that the individual shall have knowledge of law, before that it can become a subject of law. Man differs from the entire animal creation beside, in that he is possessed of capacities, which are designedly fitted for the lofty enjoyments and purposes of the knowledge

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and communion of God. The development of these capacities, however, is effectuated by means of external and material objects, and it is not until the child has been so far accustomed to associations of thought, clear perceptions, accurate observation, careful comparison and abstraction, as to be able to form an idea of something, not perceptible by his senses, and to employ some sensible object as its representative or image, that it can have the idea of God. This occurs, at a much earlier period than some apprehend. A child, whose sensations have been vivid, and perceptions clear, can soon form the idea of an efficient cause, and with this, by familiar comparisons, associate the ideas of various moral qualities, which, together, will give the complex notion of God.

We are not concerned to trace, in the regular process of intellectual education, the development of the different capacities, which fit man for such knowledge, to which every child with or without the aid of designed teaching by instructors, is subjected. They are only some general facts, which are pertinent. No one can have failed to observe, that those objects, which produce pleasureable sensations, are apt to engage the attention most, and secure the most accurate perceptions, and that in proportion to the vivid character of the sensation, will be the discriminating character of the perception. In like manner such sensations, with their associated thoughts, will be most frequently recalled, and most indelibly recollected. The vivid character of the sensation, may, indeed, in some measure, depend upon the susceptibilities of the organs of sense. It is the susceptibility of the mind as to pleasure or pain however, which secures the interested attention requisite to au accurate knowledge, and retentive recollection of the object. In other words, just in proportion as feeling is awakened, or excited, will be the degree of interested at

tention, and the probability of the objects not being forgotten. And what is true of objects as productive of thought, is also true of subjects, or of those ideas, which the mind forms or arrives at for itself, by its comparisons and deductions. Such is the law of our nature, and we cannot alter it.

Impressions and passions, or feelings, rouse to action. But there is given to the mind of man, a power of balancing, deliberating, and suspending action, till a full and correct judgment is formed. That judgment must always he, according to the character, or degree of correct knowle:lge acquired. If it is thought that an object, or action will be promotive of our interest, or happiness, there will be a strong determining influence to seek, or resolve upon it. And as it is a law of our nature, that we act according to the influence of prevalent motive, so it is manifest, that if the judgment in the case, should not be the result of sufficiently accurate, and extensive, knowledge of the character of the object, or action, or of their tendency to benefit us, so as to counteract the influence of impressions or feelings inclining to it, the choice or purpose and conduct of the individual will err, and be found eventually at war with his real interest.

And here we may remark, that in most cases of practical bearing, the judgment which we form as to the fitness or unfitness of an object or action to benefits, is the result, not of more speculative knowledge or intellectual percoptions, but actual experience. The child may be told, and it may even be demonstrated to him, that an object or action will prove injurious; but nothing that he can hear, and learn in this way, will be so efficient in preventing the choice of it, as the actual experience of its injurious tendency. The object may be very attractive, its impressions very pleasant, and its whole appearance so imposing, as to produce the conviction of its being calculated to benefit, and

that in so strong a degree, as actually to prevent that close observation, and those discriminating perceptions, which are necessary to a fuller knowledge of it, and which, if had, would counteract its illusions. The child will not be effectwally prevented from catching at the name of the candle, till it has burned its little hand. The knowledge thus gained by experience, will exert a more efficient influence, than all it had acquired from the frowns and prohibitions and other demonstrations of its nurse.

Now, every human being is brought into existence under the operation of these and similar laws of his very nature, and that too, under circumstances altogether unfavourable to the acquisition of the knowledge necessary to determine always to conduct promotive of his real benefit. Sensible objects first appear, and caress his attention, and attract and win his heart. There is a strong bias towards them produced by the pleasure afforded, and the indulgence allowed, before that intellect has been sufficiently developed to discover their real character, and their bearing on his true happiness. There is, moreover, a particolar readiness or inclination to experiment for himself, and to learn practically, rather than to take the word of one more competent to judge.

Thus was it in some respect with our first parents while innocent, and it was on this very principle of their nature, that Satan operated successfully to secure their sin and ruin. The influence of passion, excited by the view of the fruit, and conversation with the tempter, becoming prevalent, and not being counterarted by any knowledge of evil which our first mother derived from the law or prohibition of God, the readiness to experiment and practically to know for hersell, overpowered her faith in the testimony of God, and she plucked and ate the forbidden fruit. It was manifestly, in her, the triumph of her sensitive orer her intellectual nature. Her passions and appetites prevailed, notwithstanding she was in possession of an understanding fully developed, and furnished with demonstrative knowledge.

Need we then think it strange-Is it not most natural, that her offspring should successively make the same fatal error, especially when they are placed in circumstances vastly more unpropitious than she was, having in fact been brought under the strong influence of sensitive indulgence, before that their intellectual powers have been sufficiently developed, to discern and know the will, or law of God which declares what is holy,good, and true, and to be sought, and what is evil, and ruinous, and to be avoided? The mere knowledge of God, and of His law, intellectually acquired, has to combat with the strong influence of passion, inipelling, ostimes, to what is prohibited, so that, from the very first moment in which the child begins to act, there takes place a manifest derangement in the exercise of its moral powers, or of those capacities and susceptibilities, which fit it for noral action. It becomes a sinner, therefore, must naturally:-nothing, indeed, can be more natural than such a result, considering all the circumstances under which it is placed. And yet there is no absolute necessity, arising out of the constitution of its being, or from the presence of some latent, intangible cause, or foundation, wrought into the very structure of the human soul. But, when it becomes a sinner; or, in other words, when it first commits sin, it does it most voluntarily. For what is it to act voluntarily, but to act according to the prevalent motive? The man naturally, and without resistance, yields to the motive, which, at the time, seems to him to be most important, and to have the most direct bearing on his pleasure or happiness. In so far as he has power to weigh and balance the several motives for or against an action, is he actually and perfectly free. This power, however, it niust be obvious, will never be brought into full energy, where

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