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thing that ever had happened to any city or people from the beginning of the world to that time. (Agreeable to Matt. xxiv. 21, and Luke xxi. 22, 23.) At that time particular care was taken to distinguish and to deliver God's people; as foretold Dan. xii. 1. And we have in the New Testament a particular account of the care Christ took for the preservation of his followers: He gave them a sign by which they might know when the desolation of the city was nigh, that they who were in Jerusalem might flee to the mountains and escape. And, as history relates, the Christians followed the directions given, and escaped to a place in the mountains called Pella, and were preserved. Yet no care was taken to preserve the infants of the city, in general; but according to the predictions of that event, they were involved with others in that great destruction. So heavily did the calamity fall upon them, that those words were verified, Luke xxiii. 29. Behold the days are coming in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the womb that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck : And that prophecy in Deut. xxxii. 21-25. which has undoubtedly a special respect to this very time, and is so applied by the best commentators;-I will provoke them to jealousy, with those that are not a people: For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and it shall burn to the lowest hell. I will heap mischiefs upon them: I will spend mine arrows upon them. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and bitter destruction. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man, and the virgin, the SUCKLING also, with the man of grey hairs. And by the history of that destruction it appears, that then was a remarkable fulfilment of Deut. xxviii. 53-57. concerning parents eating their children in the siege,-und the tender and delicate woman eating her new-born child. And here it must be remembered, that these very destructions of that city and land are spoken of as clear evidences of God's wrath, to all nations who shall behold them. And if so, they were evidences of God's wrath towards infants; who, equally with the rest, were the subject of the destruction. If a particular kind or rank of persons, which made a very considerable part of the inhabitants, were from time to time partakers of the overthrow, without any distinction made in divine Providence, and yet this was no evidence at all of God's displeasure with any of them; then being the subjects of such a calamity could not be an evidence of God's wrath against any of the inhabitants, to the reason of all nations, or any nation, or so much as one person.




Observations relating to Things contained in the three first Chapters of Genesis, with Reference to the Doctrine of Original Sin.


Concerning Original Righteousness; and whether our first Parents were created with Righteousness, or moral Rectitude of heart?

THE doctrine of Original Righteousness, or the creation of our first parents with holy principles and dispositions, has a close connection, in several respects, with the doctrine of original sin. Dr. T. was sensible of this; and accordingly he strenuously opposes this doctrine, in his book against original sin. And therefore in handling the subject, I would in the first place, remove this author's main objection against this doctrine, and then shew how it may be inferred from the account which Moses gives us in the three first chapters of Genesis.

Dr. T.'s grand objection against this doctrine, which he abundantly insists on, is this: That it is utterly inconsistent with the nature of virtue, that it should be concreated with any person; because, if so, it must be by an act of God's absolute power, without our knowledge or concurrence; and that moral virtue, in its very nature, implieth the choice and consent of the moral agent, without which it cannot be virtue and holi

ness: That a necessary holiness is no holiness. So p. 180, where he observes, "That Adam must exist, he must be created, yea he must exercise thought and reflection, before he was righteous." (See also p. 250, 251.) In p. 161, S. he says, "To say that God not only endowed Adam with a capacity of being righteous, but moreover that righteousness and true holiness were created with him, or wrought into his nature, at the same time he was made, is to affirm a contradiction, or what is inconsistent with the very nature of righteousness." And in like manner Dr. TURNBULL in many places insists upon it, that it is necessary to the very being of virtue, that it be owing to our own choice and diligent culture.

With respect to this I would observe, that it consists in a notion of virtue quite inconsistent with the nature of things, and the common notions of mankind; and also inconsistent with Dr. T.'s own notions of virtue. Therefore, if to affirm that to be virtue or holiness, which is not the fruit of preceding thought, reflection, and choice, is to affirm a contradiction, I shall shew plainly, that for him to affirm otherwise, is a contradiction to himself.

In the first place, I think it a contradiction to the nature of things, as judged of by the common sense of mankind. It is agreeable to the sense of men, in all nations and ages, not only that the fruit or effect of a good choice is virtuous, but that the good choice itself from whence that effect proceeds, is so; yea, also the antecedent good disposition, temper, or affection of mind, from whence proceeds that good choice, is virtuous. This is the general notion-not that principles derive their goodness from actions, but-that actions derive their goodness from the principles whence they proceed; so that the act of choosing what is good is no further virtuous, than it proceeds from a good principle, or virtuous disposition of mind. Which supposes that a virtuous disposition of mind may be before a virtuous act of choice; and that, therefore, it is not necessary there should first be thought, reflection, and choice, before there can be any virtuous disposition. If the choice be first, before the existence of a good disposition of heart, what is the character of that choice? There can according to our natural notions, be no virtue in a choice which proceeds from no virtuous principle, but from mere self-love, ambition, or some animal appetites; therefore, a virtuous temper of mind may be before a good act of choice, as a tree may be before the fruit, and the fountain before the stream which proceeds from it.

The following things, in Mr. HUTCHESON's inquiry concerning moral good and evil, are evidently agreeable to the nature of things, and the voice of human sense and reason. (Sec II. p. 132, 133.) "Every action which we apprehend

as either morally good or evil, is always supposed to FLOW FROM some affections towards sensitive natures. And whatever we call virtue or vice, is either some such affection, or some action CONSEQUENT UPON IT.-All the actions counted religious in any country, are supposed by those who count them so, to FLOW FROM Some affections towards the Deity: And whatever we call social virtue, we still suppose to FLOW FROM affections towards our fellow creatures.-Prudence, if it is only employed in promoting private interest, is never imagined to be a virtue." In these things Dr. TURNBULL expressly agrees with Mr. HUTCHESON, his admired author.*

If a virtuous disposition or affection is before its acts, then they are before those virtuous acts of choice which proceed from it. Therefore there is no necessity that all virtuous dispositions or affections should be the effect of choice: And so, no such supposed necessity can be a good objection against such a disposition being natural, or from a kind of instinct, implanted in the mind in its creation. Agreeably to this Mr. HUTCHESON says, (Ibid. sect. III. p. 196, 197.) "1 know not for what reason some will not allow that to be virtue, which flows from instinct or passions. But how do they help themselves? They say, virtue arises from reason. What is reason, but the sagacity we have in prosecuting any end? The ultimate end proposed by common moralists, is the happiness of the agent himself. And this certainly he is determined to pursue from instinct. Now may not another instinct towards the public, or the good of others, be as proper a principle of virtue as the instinct towards private happiness? If it be said, that actions from instinct are not the effect of prudence and choice, this objection will hold full as strongly against the actions which flow from self-love."

And if we consider what Dr. T. declares, as his own notion of the essence of virtue, and which he so confidently and often affirms, that it should follow choice, and proceed from it, we shall find it is no less repugnant to that sentiment, than it is to the nature of things and the general notions of mankind. For it is his notion, as well as Mr. HUTCHESON'S, that the essence of virtue lies in good affection, and particularly in benevolence or love: As he very fully declares in these words in his Key," That the word that signifies goodness and mercy should also signify moral rectitude in general, will not seem strange, if we consider that love is the fulfilling of the law. Goodness, according to the sense of scripture, and the nature of things, includes all moral rectitude; which, I reckon, may every part of it, where it is true and genuine, be resolved into

* Mor. Phil. p. 112-115. p. 142. et alibi passim. † Marginal Note annexed 10 § 358..

this single principle." If it be so indeed, then certainly no act whatsoever can have moral rectitude, but what proceeds from this principle. And consequently no act of volition or choice can have any moral rectitude, that takes place before this principle exists. And yet he most confidently affirms, that thought, reflection, and choice must go before virtue, and that all virtue or righteousness must be the fruit of preceding choice. This brings his scheme to an evident contradiction. For no act of choice can be virtuous but what proceeds from a principle of benevolence or love; for he insists that all genuine moral rectitude, in every part of it, is resolved into this single principle. And yet the principle of benevolence itself, cannot be virtuous unless it proceeds from choice; for he affirms, that nothing can have the nature of virtue but what comes from choice. So that virtuous love, as the principle of all virtue, must go before virtuous choice, and be the principle or spring of it; and yet virtuous choice must go before virtuous benevolence, and be the spring of that. If a virtuous act of choice goes before a principle of benevolence, and produces it, then this virtuous act is something distinct from that principle which follows it and is its effect. So that here is at least one part of virtue, yea the spring and source of all virtue, viz. a virtuous choice, that cannot be resolved into that single principle of love.

Here also it is worthy to be observed, that Dr. T. (p. 128.) says, the cause of every effect is alone chargeable with the effect it produceth or which proceedeth from it: And so he argues, that if the effect be bad, the cause alone is sinful. According to which reasoning, when the effect is good, the cause alone is righteous or virtuous. To the cause

is to be ascribed all the praise of the good effect it produceth. And by the same reasoning it will follow, that if, as Dr. Taylor says, Adam must choose to be righteous before he was righteous, and if it be essential to the nature of righte ousness or moral rectitude that it be the effect of choice, and hence a principle of benevolence cannot have moral rectitude, unless it proceeds from choice; then not to the principle of benevolence, which is the effect, but to the foregoing choice alone is to be ascribed all the virtue or righteousness that is in the case. And so, instead of all moral rectitude in every part of it, being resolved into that single principle of benevolence, no moral rectitude, in any part of it, is to be resolved into that principle: But all is to be resolved into the foregoing choice, which is the cause.

But yet it follows from these inconsistent principles, that there is no moral rectitude or virtue in that first act of choice, that is the cause of all consequent virtue. This follows two ways; 1. Because every part of virtue lies in the benevolent principle, which is the effect; and therefore no part of it can lie

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