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and deliver every Man his Soul: be not cut off in her Iniquity, Sufferings, Deftruction. Hab. i. 3. Why doft thou fhew me Iniquity, Affliction, and caufe me to behold Grievance? Therefore as Iniquity and Sin fignify Suffering or Affliction, it is evident a Perfon may have Iniquity laid upon him, or may bear Sin, to whom Iniquity and Sin cannot be imputed, or upon whom they cannot be charged. And that this was the Cafe with respect to our Lord is evident: For when, Ifa. liii. 6. the Lord is faid to have laid on him the Iniquities of us all, that he bare our Iniquities and Sin, the Spirit of Prophecy fufficiently explains itfelf by telling us in other Words, ver. 5. He was wounded for our Tranfgreffions, he was bruifed for our Iniquities. He fuffered for Sin, the juft, to whom no Sin could be imputed, for the unjuft. He who knew no Sin, and therefore to whom no Sin could be imputed, was made Sin, was placed in a State of Suffering and Affliction, and became obedient to Death, for us. Thus Ezekiel (Chap. iv. 4, 5, 6.) lying firft on his left Side three hundred and ninety Days, and then on his right Side forty Days, bore the Iniquity of the Houses of Ifrael and Judah which God is there faid to lay upon him: Not that the Iniquity of Ifrael was imputed to, or charged upon him; but he bore their Iniquity as he prophetically reprefented in his own Perfon, either their bearing of Punishment, or God's forbearing their Punishment a certain Number of
of Years for it may be understood either Way. And our Lord was in a State of Suffering, it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put him to Grief, in order to a much nobler End, the Expiation or Atonement of our Sins. But our Sins are never faid to be imputed to Chrift; nor could Sin be imputed to him who was holy, harmless, undefiled and feparate from Sinners. For in Scripture no Sin is faid to be imputed, or not imputed to any Perfon, but his own actual Sin.
On the contrary, with regard to Parents and their Posterity, it is an express Rule in the Law given by God himself, Deut. xxiv. 16. The Fathers shall not be put to death for the Children, neither fhall the Children be put to death for their Fathers: every Man fhall be put to death for his own Sin. And the Spirit of Truth teaches, and fully and clearly affures us, throughout the whole eighteenth Chapter of Ezekiel, that God, however he may bring the Son, under difciplinary Vifitations, doth not impute the Guilt of the Father to the Son. And this in Confutation of the Jews, who had entertained a hard Opinion concerning the Divine Proceedings; which they exprefs'd by this Proverb, ver. 2. The Fathers have eaten four Grapes, and the Childrens Teeth are fet on Edge. To which the Lord God anfwers, ver. 4. Behold, all Souls are mine; as the Soul of the Father, fo allo
alfo the Soul of the Son is mine: the Soul that finneth it fhall die. Ver. 5. If a Man be just and do that which is lawful and right, &c. ver. 9.-be fhall furely live, faith the Lord GOD. Ver. 10. If he beget a Son that is a Robber, a Shedder of Blood, &c. ver. 13. he [the Robber, &c.] fball furely die, his Blood shall be upon him. Ver. 14. Now lo, if he [the Robber and Shedder of Blood] begetteth a Son that Jeeth all his Father's Sin that he hath done, and confiders and doth not fuch like, &c. ver. 17. -be fhall not die for the Iniquity of his Father, be fhall furely live. Ver. 19. And yet say ye, why? doth not the Son [in fact] bear the Iniquity of the Father? To this the Lord GoD replies, When the Son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my Statutes, and bath done them, he fhall furely live. Ver. 20. The Soul that finneth it shall die: the Son fhall not bear the Iniquity of the Father, neither shall the Father bear the Iniquity of the Son; the Righteousness of the Righteous fhall be upon him, and the Wickedness of the Wicked fhall be upon him. Thus God proves that his Way, his Dealings with Men, was equal and just, (ver. 25, 29.) not by affirming he might justly impute the Sin of the Parent to the Child, and punish him for it; but by declaring that he would not do fo, but would judge them, (ver. 30.) every one ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS.
AND with this the Nature of the Thing For imputed Guilt, as ufed by Divines with respect to Original Sin, is the Guilt of a Sin charged upon a Person who is not actually or perfonally guilty of it. Of the Sin he, the Perfon, is clear and innocent; he neither committed it, nor had any hand in encouraging, advising or approving it, but it might be committed fome thousands of Years before he was born; and yet it is fuppos'd to be imputed to him by the Judge, and charged upon him fo far that he is on account thereof treated as a Sinner, involv'd in Sin and Guilt as foon as he is born, and obliged to fuffer fevere Punishment in this Life, according to R. R. * and according to the Allembly of Divines, the most grievous Torments in Soul and Body in Hell-fire for ever; not because he has done any thing worthy of Punishment, but because the Judge or Govenor is pleased to appoint it to be fo.
*By these two Letters I fignify the firft Edition of The Ruin and Recovery of Mankind, both Author and Book. And in Juftice to this Author, it must be obferv'd, that although he endeavours to maintain the common Doctrine of Original Sin, fo far as relates to the Imputation of Adam's Guilt, the Miferies of this Life, and the moral Corruption of our Nature, yet he doth not espouse that Affertion, that Adam's Sin and Fall render'd either Adam himself or his Pofterity justly liable to the moft grievous Torments in Soul and Body without Intermiffion in Hell-fire for ever; but very judicioufly, in my Mind, fuggefts, that the Death threatened to Adam was a Forfeiture of Exiftence, &c. p. 197.
Confequently, the Obligation to Punishment doth not refult from TRUTH, EQUITY or JUSTICE; but from the mere WILL of the Governour, who by this Rule is at Liberty to fuppofe Men to be what actually and really they are not; and has a Right to bring them under Obligation to the most dreadful Punishment by mere arbitrary Will, when he knows they are actually and perfonally undeferving of any Punishment, And therefore I do not wonder, that the Scripture not only never affirms, but on the contrary exprefly removes from the Divine Proceedings, the Imputation of Guilt in a Senfe fo remote from all Reafon, Truth and Equity.
FURTHER, Adam's Sin is never in Scripture faid to be imputed to his Pofterity. This R. R. acknowledges, p. 403. 1. 10. The Scripture, faith he, does not, as I remember, any where in express Words affert, that the Sin of Adam is imputed to his Children, &c. Indeed he tells us in the fame Place, that he thinks the Senfe and true Meaning of this Expreffion, that Adam's Sin is imputed to his Children, is fufficiently found in Scripture. But how can any Meaning of this Expreffion be found in Scripture, by any juft and authentic Rule of Interpretation, when the Scripture always ules imputing Sin in a Senfe directly inconfiftent with it? For the Scripture never speaks of imputing any Act of Righteoufness or Sin