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OR

A VIEW OF THE

EVIDENCES, DOCTRINES, MORALS AND INSTITUTIONS

OF

CHRISTIANITY.

BY RICHARD WATSON.

THEOLOGIE autem objectum est ipse Deus.-Habent aliæ omnes scientiæ sua objecta,
nobilia certe, et digna in quibus humana mens considerandis tempus, otium, et diligentiam
adhibeat. Hæc una circa Ens entium et Causam causarum, circa Principium naturæ,
et gratiæ in natura existentis, naturæ adsistentis, et naturam circumsistentis versatur.
Dignissimum itaque hoc est Objectum et plenum venerandæ Majestatis, præcellensque
reliquis.
ARMINIUS.

COMPLETE IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOLUME II.

NEW-YORK,

PUBLISHED BY B. WAUGH AND T. MASON,

FOR THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, AT THE CONFERENCE OFFICE,
NO. 200 MULBERRY-STREET.

J. Collord, Printer
1834.

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FALL OF MAN-DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN.

THE Scriptural character of God having been adduced from the inspired writings, we now proceed, in pursuance of our plan, to consider their testimony as to MAN both in the estate in which he was first created, and in that lapsed condition into which the first act of disobedience plunged the first pair and their whole posterity.

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Beside that natural government of God, which is exercised over material things, over mere animals, and over rational beings, considered merely as parts of the great visible creation, which must be conserved and regulated so as to preserve its order and accomplish its natural purposes; there is evidence of the existence of an administration of another kind. This we call moral government, because it has respect to the actions of rational creatures, considered as good and evil, which qualinecessarily determined, at least to us, by a law, and that law the will of God. Whether things are good or evil by a sort of eternal fitness or unfitness in themselves, and not made so by the will of God, is a question which has been agitated from the days of the schoolmen. Like many other similar questions, however, this is a profitless one; for as we cannot comprehend the eternal reason and fitness of things on the whole, we could have no certain means of determining the moral qualities of things, without a declaration of the will of God, who alone knows them both absolutely and relatively, possibly and really, to perfection. As for the distinctions that some things are good or evil antecedently to the will of God; some consequently upon it, and some both one and the other; it may be observed that, if by the will of God we are to understand one of his attributes, nothing can be antecedent to his will; and if we understand it to mean the declared will of God, in the form of command or law, then nothing can be rewardable or punishable antecedent to the will of God, which only in that form becomes the rule of the conduct of his creatures; and is, in all the instances with which acquainted, revealed, under the sanction of rewards or punish

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