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the Folly of this Argument, as urg'd against ordinary Providence, muft therefore be allow'd; because that Holy God, who can't do any Injustice, does certainly suffer such Facts every Day; which may therefore in their own Nature be accounted for, tho' they seem at prefent infuperable Difficulties to our selves. Surely we ought to resolve all these Proceedings into his unfearchable Wisdom and inexpressible Goodness, of which we receive every Moment of our Lives numberless, fresh and demonstrative Evidences ; and which therefore, we may firmly believe, did jointly determin, that the Bleslings he intended us by this Order of things, were an over balance to all the possibilities of Evil arising from it.
But do Infants also, becaufe they are infected with Original Sin, deferve God's Wrath and Dannation, even tho? they die in their Infancy? For the Article faies, that Original Sin deserves God's Wrath and Damnation in every Person born into this World. I answer, That these Words, as full and comprehensive as they seem to be, do notwithftanding fairly admit, if not necessarily require, a Limitation. For the Article manifestly speaks of those only, in whom the Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the peórnpea Czepxòg is not subject to the Law of God. Do but observe the Words of the Article, and the Order of them, The Church faies, that Original Sin is the fault, &c. of every man, &c. whereby man is very far gone from Original righteoufness, and is of his own nature inclin'd to evil; so that the flesh lufteth always contrary to the spirit. Then she adds immediately, And therefore in every personborn into this world it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. You fee, in the Judgment of our Church, Original Sin doth therefore deserve God's
Wrath and Damnation in every Person born into this World; because, by Original Sin, that Person is, not only very far gone from Original righteousness, and of his own nature inclinod to evil, but also the fies lusteth (in him) always contrary to the spirit. Again, the Church supposes the Case to be such, that Original Sin doth actually discover it self by mischievous Effects, in resisting the Divine Will : for she speaks of it, as that which is not subječt to the law of God. And can these Phrases with any tolerable Propriety be applied to those Infants, which have as it were a barely Animal Life, and die before the rational Faculties exert themselves, or seem capable of being wrought on and depraved by Original Sin ? Can it be said of such Infants, that their Flesh lufteth always contrary to the Spirit, and that their Lust of the Flesh is not subject to the Law of God? I think therefore that the Words of the Article can't be extended farther, than to those who five so long, as to feel the Effects of Original Sin working in them, and producing Evil Actions ; and confequently our Church's Doctrin is only this ; that Original Sin does deserve God's Wrath and Damnation in every Person born into this World, in whom the Flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit, and in whom the peormpeae Capreos is not fubject to the Law of God. Nor do I see, how we can interpret the Article otherwise, without doing Violence to it.
However, if any Person thinks, that those very Infants, who die in their Infant State, do deserve God's Wrath and Damnation, upon the Account of their being infected with Original Sin; i. Because 'tis certainly possible, and perhaps very probable, that Original Sin may have actually depraved their Faculties in consequeńce of the Union of Body
and Soul, even tho' that Depravation doth not appear; 2. Because God can't but deteft even the First Seeds of Vice, and hate the Child upon the Account of it (there being now no supposal of Grace to renew it’s Nature) and consequently cannot vouchsafe it that Enjoyment of himself, for which this Pollution disqualifies it ; I say, if any Man thinks thus, he may notwithstanding subscribe the Article very honestly. For tho? the Church saies no more, than that every one of those, who live long enough to discover the Fruits of Original Sin in their Actions, deserves God's Wrath and Damnation: yet she does not say, that such as die in their Infancy do not deserve God's Wrath and Damnation upon the Account of Original Sin. She affirms it indeed of none but such as live past their Infancy; but she does not deny it of those that die in their Infancy. And therefore he that believes it both of those that do, and those that do not, die in their Infancy, may subscribe what the Church affirms, tho' he believes more than the Church teaches or requires him to subscribe.
But tho' Original Sin does in its own Nature thus deserve God's Wrath and Damnation ; yet fuch were the Bowels of Divine Compassion, that God seems to have been oblig'd, by that internal Necessity which his Goodness laid him under, to make those very Creatures the Objects of Mercy, which his bare Justice would have continued under Punishment. Therefore did the second Person of the blessed Trinity, who is God himself, become incarnate, to satisfy Justice, to obtain our Pardon, to rectify our corrupted Nature by the Afiftance of Grace, and thereby restore us to Happiness. So that "tis no Contradiction or Inconsistency to affirm, that tho’we deservd God's Wrath
and Damnation ; yet (such was the tenderness of his Nature) God could not but provide Means of Salvation for us. For we deserv'd his Wrath and Damnation, only because we were Sinners; and as long as we continued so depraved, Happiness was impossible to us. But since our Nature could be renew'd, and the Dominion of Sin could be rooted out (the contrivance and perfecting of which glorious Change was the Effect of Divine Wisdom) therefore we became Objects of Pity, that is (for infinite Goodness can't restrain it self) of fervent Love.
I shall make no farther Enlargements at present; because any Perfon of ordinary Understanding may improve what I have briefly suggested.
The Third Proposition (God help us ) is evidently true, as daily Experience teaches us. But see the Eleventh Question of Turretin's Locus Nonus, Numb. 21. p. 705.
The Fourth Proposition. See the Third Paragraph of Bishop Pearson on the Tenth Article, and the Two first Questions of the Locus Nonus of Turretin's System. మహాసినినిసస నినిసా మనస్వినిని The TENTH ARTICLE.
Of Free Will.
that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God: wherefore we bave no power to do good works pleafant and acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may bave a good will, and Txorking with us when we bape that good will.
For the better understanding of this and some following Articles, 'tis necessary to observe, that the Phrase good works may be used and taken in very different Senses.
Those Works which have no Degree of Imperfection in them, are in their own nature strietly good, and may well bear the Severity of God's Judgment; it being impossible for him to impute Guilt, where there is no Defect. And such Works as thefe, fuch striatly good Works, 'twas possible for our first Parents to perform before their Fall: And it had been also possible for us in like manner to perform striatly good Works, had we been preser: ved in our primitive Integrity.
But alas! by reason of our Original Corruption and Depravity of Nature, 'tis become imposible for us, in our present Circumstances, to perform any Works thus striatly good. For in spite of our utmost Endevors, fome Degree of Imperfection does and will cleave even to our best Actions, and consequently all our present Works are in their own Nature, in fome Respect or Degree, striatly evil ; according to the known Rule of the Moralists, Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex quolibet defeEtu. And therefore none of our present Works can in themfelves bear the Severity of God's Judgment, who must needs impute Guilt, where there is notorious Defect. For in a Moral Consideration all Defect is materially sinful.
But then those Persons, who can claim a Share in our Savior's Merits by the Terms of the Gofpel Covenant, that is, such as are justified by Faith in him, may perform such Works, as are, tho' not strietly, yet imputatively good; that is, such Works as God is pleased to regard, accept and reward as