A Compendium of Christian Theology

By William Burt Pope, D.D.,

Volume Two

Chapter 4

Original Sin


            the Sin of the Race as Redeemed





            the Free Gift and the Consequent Modifications of Sin


            to Theodicy

            to Government of Nations

            to Christian Doctrine

            to Human Nature

            to Sin in its Varieties





            Pelagian Controversy









The effect of the Fall upon the posterity of Adam is described in Scripture as the universal diffusion of death as a condemnation, and of a bias of human nature towards evil. The Scriptural doctrine finds its expression in the theological term Original Sin: the hereditary sin and hereditary sinfulness of mankind derived from Adam its natural head and representative, but derived from him as he was under a constitution of redeeming grace and connected with the Second Adam, the spiritual Head of mankind

Here we must first exhibit the testimony of inspiration, and then the historical development of the dogma. It may be observed at the outset that the doctrine of Original Sin is in an important respect the doctrine of sin itself; there is no aspect of the subject which is not more or less directly connected with the quality of evil as belonging to the race. Hence, many questions arising out of the subject generally will find their place here, having been indeed specially reserved for this section


The relation of the universal hereditary sin of mankind to the original sin of Adam, its relation to the covenant of redemption in Christ, and its character as resulting from both, are the topics now before us


St. Paul teaches that through one man sin entered into the world. It entered as bringing with it the condemnation of universal death: the guilt of the first transgression is reckoned in its consequences upon all the race represented by the first transgressor. But not apart from their own sin: all are not only regarded as sinners, but made sinners also through the inheritance of a nature of itself inclined only to evil. Thus the transmission of the penalty is both direct and indirect


Hereditary guilt is not expressly stated in the form of a proposition: the phrase is of later than Scriptural origin. But where St. Paul establishes the connection between sin and death as its comprehensive penalty, he teaches that the condemnation of the first sin reigns over all mankind as in some sense one with Adam

1. After saying that death passed unto all men, for that (ef hoo, on the ground or presupposition that) all have sinned (or, all sinned), 1 thus asserting that in Divine imputation all, in some sense, sinned originally in Adam, the Apostle goes on to show that the death fell upon them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression. 2 It passed upon those who did not in Adam commit his offence, who did not, moreover, offend personally as he did. They sinned in Adam, though not guilty of the act of his sin: this then is hereditary condemnation, on those who were not personal transgressors and on them all. Here, it is obvious the penalty is primarily regarded as physical death. Every member of the race is involved in this consequence of the original sin of mankind

1 Rom. 5:12; 2 Rom. 5:14

2. Then follows the parallel with the Second One, Jesus Christ, to the same effect: If by the trespass of the one, the many be dead (or died), much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by One Man, Jesus Christ, [hath] abounded unto many. And not as through one that sinned (the many died), so is the gift: for the judgment came of one to condemnation, but the free gift of many trespasses unto justification. 1 In the three verses which follow the same deep truth is exhibited in three more forms, each increasing the strength of the preceding, and all culminating in the doctrine that as by one man's disobedience the many were made (or constituted, both in fact and by imputation) sinners, so by the obedience of One shall the many be made righteous. 2 Five paraphrases of the same statement declare that, in whatever sense the Redemption was an act external to the race and for its benefit, the Fall was external to the successive generations of mankind and for their condemnation. Here, it is obvious, or ought to be obvious, that the condemnation and the life are correlatives: the judgment is the opposite of the reign in life as the result of abundance of grace. It is this which St. Paul, the Christian expositor of original sin, stamps by a series of cumulative variations having no parallel in his writings

1 Rom. 5:15-19; 2 Rom. 5:19

3. In the Epistle to the Corinthians the connection between the doom of death and the sin of Adam is stated in almost the same terms; but the reference seems more limited to physical death than in the Epistle to the Romans. A careful examination, however, will show that there also death has the same deep and wide meaning. The central text is: for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Here that process of death is going on which in the Romans passed forth as a decree once for all: it is pántes apothneéskousin, but yet en toó Adám, in the one historical Man, and through their connection with him. The bodily resurrection is the argument of the chapter. The first man Adam became a living soul, the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. 2 From the former we derive a corruptible body animated by a living soul, which through sin lost the provision for its continued immortality: it is not taught that Adam received and transmitted only an animal or natural existence. From the Latter we receive the new gift of immortality, for soul and body, through the Spirit of life proceeding from Him. But the direct argument is limited to the bodily resurrection. Indirectly, how-ever, it asserts the great contrast between the sentence of eternal life and the sentence of eternal death

The chapter ends by saying that the sting of death is sin: 3 it was the poison of that serpent which brought physical mortality into the race; but Christ died for our sins, 4 and not only for our resurrection from the grave as one penalty of offence. Death is abolished only AFTER THe resurrection: But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 5 Universal death is, to the saints, lost in the victory of life

1 1 Cor. 15:22; 2 vs. 45; 3 vs. 56; 4 vs. 9; 5 vs. 54

4. St. Paul, to whom we owe the leading elements of this doctrine, does not carefully distinguish in what various senses the imputation of sin rests upon the race as death. The question will be raised in the historical controversies on the subject. Meanwhile, it may be observed that the strong word is hamartooloí katestátheesan hoi polloí, 1 which winds up his discussion, after the same idea had been several times left unexpressed, as the italics in our translation will show. Sinners all men were once for all accounted, or made, or constituted: they were placed in the category of transgressors. Sometimes this verb has the meaning of being made in the sense of being set or appointed by authority, but it never has that of being made through a process of becoming. In the glorious parallel, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous, 2 the term does not, strictly speaking, lose this meaning of establishment by imputation; for, whatever may be the righteousness imparted to the justified in Christ, they will, both in this world and the next, be accounted righteous through the One meritorious obedience. But, neither this strong word nor any other used in Scripture precludes the thought that those who are constituted sinners by their unity in Adam make his act their own in another sense: all the individuals of the many are accounted sinners, because they also, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant. 3 Still, the root of their offence is deeper than their individual life. Physical death precedes personal individual guilt. All men are altogether born in sins:4 in this the Jews spoke more truly than they intended. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; 5 and cannot as such see the kingdom of God, for they that we in the flesh cannot please God. 6 But to be born of the flesh is now, to speak reverently, the ordinance of God. Of the eternal penalty we speak not yet: [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life, of eternal life; 7 but justification presupposes a condemnation to be removed. And this must teach us not to soften down that strongest phrase of St. Paul on this subject: and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others, tékna fúsei orgeés.8

1 Rom. 5:19; 2 Rom.5:19; 3 Hos. 6:7; 4 John 9:34; 5 John 3:6,3; 6 Rom. 8:8; 7 Rom 5:18,21; 8 Eph. 2:3

5. Though St. Paul has been spoken of as the teacher of original guilt, it must not be understood that he alone is responsible for this doctrine. He introduced nothing which he did not receive; and the Lord's words already quoted sanction his teaching. It is not upon one isolated passage that the doctrine rests. It pervades the Scripture. It interprets the tone and spirit of the whole testimony of the Bible as to the fallen family of the first father who sinned; and especially it interprets the relation of the Redeemer to mankind, a relation which absolutely requires the condemnation of the race as its basis. But of this we shall speak more particularly


The inheritance of a bias to evil is much more abundantly, though not more clearly, dwelt on in Scripture. The doctrine of a transmitted moral depravation or corruption pervades all the dispensations of revealed truth

1. In the Old Testament the proofs are ample and explicit

(1.) Its historical narrative takes it for granted that the root of individual personal life is sinful; it abounds with testimonies both to the universality of the sinful taint and to the propagation of it in the race. In the beginning of human history we find a book of the generations of Adam. 1 There it is stated that in the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; that the two first parents of mankind were one Adam as the head of the race: male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. The narrative then proceeds to say that Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat (a son) in his own likeness, after his image. 2 This kind of language is never repeated, and, regarded as the preface to the history of the human corruption that ended in the Flood, may be quoted as probably the earliest text of the hereditary sinful tendency of mankind. The records of depravity which follow speak always of man as such, even when it excepts the godly. My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: 3 this verse is capable of another rendering, My Spirit shall not always govern in man; in their wandering they are flesh; which rather strengthens the denomination of mankind as flesh, resisting as such the Spirit of grace. It repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth; 4 for every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 5 At the Flood this was the case with the ungodly, and the saved family of Noah were by nature no better than the rest. The history does not teach us that there were two races of men, one untainted by sin and the other corrupt. The sons of God 6 were those who began to call themselves by the name of the Lord. 7 Their father, as they were distinguished from the progeny of Cain, was Seth, whom Adam begat in his own likeness. 8 Their best descendant and representative was Noah, who was saved to continue the race, not because he was without sin, but because he found grace in the eyes of the Lord,9 like Lot afterwards, who said, Thy servant hath found grace in Thy sight, and Thou hast magnified Thy mercy. 10 Noah, the new head of mankind, proved that he continued the hereditary taint. He was accepted after the Flood through sacrifice. And the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; though the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. 11 Here the very words which described the deep corruption of the race before it was swept away are used to describe the germ of the same corruption surviving the Flood

1 Gen. 5:1; 2 Gen. 5:3; 3 Gen. 4:3; 4 Gen. 6:6 5 Gen. 6:5; 6 Gen. 6:2; 7 Gen. 4:26; 8 Gen 5:3; 9 Gen.6:8; 10 Gen. 19:19; 11 Gen. 8:21

(2.) There is no question that the course of sin is regarded as running on from generation to generation among the nations of the earth. That it continued among the chosen people to be the law is proved by the institute of circumcision, which, whatever other purpose it served, was the ordained memorial of the sin connected with the propagation of the race, as well as by the series of ceremonial purifications that attended the birth of every child

For the whole world—to anticipate—baptism carries the same signification

(3) Individual testimonies are not wanting. Job, the patriarchal theologian, asks, Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 1 This question is elsewhere answered by another: What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 2 In sin did my mother conceive me, 3 is the confession of one for all; in which David responds to Job, and almost literally to Bildad, how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 4 It is needless to quote other texts

1 Job 14:4; 2 Job 15:14; 3 Psa. 51:5; 4 Job 25:4

2. The New Testament throughout confirms this truth

(1.) Out of the heart, the Redeemer declares, proceed evil thoughts, 1 followed by the catalogue of sins in the life. The heart is the centre of the personality, of which the infallible Teacher says, If ye, then, BEING EVIL, 2 and that in connection with the good still remaining through the secret of grace in human nature. Why man is thus fundamentally evil, our Lord tells us in one emphatic text, which is the key to the early testimony of Genesis and to many others, especially in St. Paul: that which is born of the flesh is flesh.3 This word has stamped Christian phraseology: it takes the emblem of physical ruin, the flesh or mortal nature of man, to signify likewise his spiritual mortality; the flesh is the nature as tending not only to death but also to sin. What dissolution of soul and body is, the dissolution of harmony between the flesh and spirit is. But it more than hints at the derivation of the taint from natural descent: that which is born. 4 Thus also we have borne the image of the earthy, 5 and not only in our corruptible bodies. This testimony of Jesus, who knew what was in man, 6 — a most profound word, — is the supreme demonstration

It declares emphatically, what is nowhere else so plainly stated, that men are evil, because they are born evil, and pursue their way of life according to that evil beginning

The Master has Himself taken the responsibility of this deep utterance, to which, after He has spoken it, the guilty and sinful nature of man responds: it reveals the thoughts of many hearts. It need not be said that He Himself is excepted who declares this fact of human generation. When He testified, Ye are from beneath, I am from above, 7 it may be thought that He was contrasting His spirit with that of His enemies; but when He added, Ye are of this world, I am not of this world, He proclaimed the universal difference between Himself and the children of men. The negative or apologetic appeal which follows, Which of you convinceth me of sin? 8 is for His enemies; those who believe in Him know that it was uttered from the consciousness of the Holy One of God, the only Person in human history of Whom it could be said, IN HIM IS NO SIN. 9 And to them the highest confirmation of the doctrine of hereditary human depravity is the sinless conception of the Redeemer Who was manifested to take away our sins

1 Mat. 15:19; 2 Mat. 7:11; 3 John 3:6; 4 Gen. 5:5; 5 1 Cor. 15:49; 6 John 2:25; 7 John 8:23; 8 John 8:46; 9 1 John 3:5

(2.) St. Paul, though he did not hear the Lord's words, faith-fully draws out their meaning on this subject. He uses the expression Flesh in this connection more than any other writer, and in such a way as to establish the propagation of a corrupted nature, Lest this should be misunderstood, that flesh is said by St. Paul to be the carnal mind,1 what in St

James is not the fróneema, or thought, 2 but, in a less dignified expression, the epithumían, the concupiscence or lust 3 of the flesh. He calls it a law in my members, and the law of sin and death; and sin that dwelleth in me, 4 in the Me of the flesh. All these words, as following the Lord's, show that the bias to evil is congenital. It is in the heart, as the representative of man's being generally, and in his flesh, as the representative of his fallen estate, that sin dwelleth; not indeed as a revolution of the elements of human nature, but as a depravation of its tendency. ' The Apostle has given our theology its term, Indwelling Sin. The sin which reigns in the human race, transmitted from father to son, dwells in every individual. It is an inmate in the soul, and an inmate only: in me, that is in my flesh, 5 in me as under an alien dominion, in me who may be delivered from it wholly

But it belongs to every man that cometh into the world as a descendant of Adam, and it is bound up in his nature until the full deliverance is wrought: we may, therefore, with his full consent, invert the Apostle's words, and write them, in my flesh, that is, in me. St

Paul's exposition of original depravity, as illustrated by his own example, is closely connected with his struggles as a convinced sinner to find his way to the Redeemer. If we want the naked strength of his doctrine, we find it in other words, the carnal mind is enmity against God, tó fróneema teés sarkós échthra eis Theón, 6 the terse epigrammatic force of which is matched by what precedes, Tó gár fróneema teés sarkós thánatos, for that carnal mind is death

1 Rom. 8:7; 2 Jas. 1:14; 3 Rom. 8:2; 4 Rom. 7:17,23; 5 Rom. 7:18; 6 Rom. 8:7

3. It is to be observed that the Scripture never disjoins the condemnation from the depravity: the one is always implied in the other, while both are generally connected with the great salvation. It is impossible to conceive the two former apart from each other; though the precision of Scriptural language suggests rather that those who are born with a sinful bias are therefore condemned than that being condemned they are necessarily depraved. There is one passage that strikingly illustrates this. The Apostle speaks of the Ephesian converts as having been under the sway of the flesh, in the full sense as given above, and thus showing that they were by nature the children of wrath. 1 The depravity and condemnation of the natural estate are here once brought together: it is the solitary instance in which man's nature is said to be under wrath; but the wrath is upon those who lived after that nature rather than upon the nature itself; and both are brought into close connection with Christ, the light of whose coming redemption already shineth, though the darkness is not yet wholly past

1 Eph. 2:3


The teaching of the later Scripture is summed up and confirmed by St. Paul, to the effect that Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, was given to the race of mankind, as the Fountain of an Original Righteousness that avails to efface and more than efface the effects of Original Sin in the case of all those who should be His spiritual seed. Hence this primitive Gift was an objective provision for all the descendants of the first sinner, the benefits of which were to be applied to those whose faith should embrace the Savior. But it is important to remember that it took the form of an original Free Gift to the entire race, before transgression began, and that it has in many respects affected the character of Original Sin: suspending the fall strength of its condemnation, and in some degree counteracting its depravity

I. When St. Paul calls Adam the figure of Him that was to come, túpos toú méllontos, 1 the word has its full significance. The type must precede the antitype in historical fact, but the antitype must precede the type in the Divine purpose: hence the Second Adam might be called the First; and the sin of Adam cannot be disjoined from the righteous obedience of the Deliverer. The virtue of the Atonement began when the evil of sin began. The Gospel was first preached when sin was first condemned: preached to the first offenders through the sentence passed upon Satan, the instrumental cause of human sin, thus meeting sin in its very origin. While connecting it with Eve, its second original, the Apostle omits the Serpent, omits Eve herself, and makes Adam the fountain of sin to mankind, that he may draw the parallel between the first and the Second heads of the human race. He shows that, at all points and in all respects, the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by One Man, Jesus Christ2 the chárisma and the doorea — are more abundant than the effects of the Fall. The provision of redemption from the disobedience meets it as sin and in its consequence as death. All human life and destiny is bound up with the relations of these two: the First and the Last Adam

1 Rom. 5:14; 2 Rom. 5:15

II. But the gift of righteousness to the race before the succession of its history began was of the nature of a provision to counteract the effects of sin, when original sin should become actual. It did not at once abolish the effects of the Fall in the first pair, whose original sin was also in their case actual transgression; it did not place them in a new probation, nor did it preclude the possibility of a future race of sinners. The great Atonement had now become necessary: as necessary to these parents of the race as it was after they had spread into countless multitudes. The Redeemer was already the Gift of God to man; but He was still o mellon, the Coming One, 1 as St. Paul once only calls Him in relation to this very fact: making the first sinner the first type of the Savior from sin

The Atonement does not put away sin 2 in the sovereignty of arbitrary grace, but as the virtue of grace pardoning and healing all who believe. It began at once to build the house of a new humanity—a spiritual seed of the Second Adam—the first Adam being himself the first living stone of the new temple. And with reference to the life bestowed on this new race St. Paul strains language to show how much it super abounds, how much it surpasses the effect of the Fall. It might have been replied by the objector that the virtue of the gift fell short of the infliction of the first sentence; inasmuch as the sin sent forth death with absolute and unconditional effect upon all, while the grace reigns only in those who seek it and find it. But St. Paul, always quick to catch the tones of objection, whether of the vain man 3 or otherwise, does not think fit to notice this. He sees in the fullness of his theology only the fact of a new and gracious probation in which superabundant life is provided for the race; and speaks precisely as if the benefit was accepted by all who needed it. Not that he forgets the distinction between the provision and the application of it. His precise use of the terms eis pantas and hoi polloi shows that he kept that in view

While he says that many were made sinners, 4 meaning all men, he changes the tense when he adds shall many be made righteous, not meaning all. But in the verse preceding there is no such difference: as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; and even so by the righteousness of One [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 5 It is true that our translation clothes the bones of the naked original here; but the naked original still more strongly stamps the antithesis: as by me offence, unto all men, to condemnation; even so, by One righteousness, unto all men, unto justification of life

1 Rom. 5:14; 2 Heb. 9:26; 3 Jas. 2:20; 4 Rom. 5:19; 5 vs. 18

III. Hence it follows of necessity that the benefit of the Atonement provided before the foundation of the world 1 was a free gift to the coming race of mankind. That gift was the restoration of the Holy Spirit: not indeed as the indwelling Spirit of regeneration, but as the Spirit of enlightenment, striving, and conviction. Man did not set out on his way of sorrow without this preparatory Comforter. This was as it were the chárisma pneumatikón, the Spiritual Gift, which was freely bestowed on mankind before sin, strictly speaking, began its history, before the original sin of Adam had become original sin in his posterity; which has therefore controlled and lightened the curse upon sin through all successive ages and generations. That blessing of Abraham 2 bestowed on the Gentiles through faith was the blessing of Adam 3 also, bestowed as yet without faith. And as the Spirit has been from the beginning the Spirit of Christ, 4 He is the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 5 When it was predicted that Christ should be for salvation unto the end of the earth, 6 the prediction, like many others, was a step in the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began. The glory of His people, the new and sanctified race, is and has ever been a light to lighten the Gentiles. 7 There was an earnest or pledge of the Coming Spirit given to the world as certainly as an earnest of the Incarnate Son was given. But we have to do specifically with the effect of this gift on the innate evil of our race. As it will finally for the saved super abound, abolishing the principle of sin as well as all innumerable transgressions, so from the beginning it restrained, controlled, and mitigated that evil, whether in the mind of God, or in the heart of man, or in the course of history. Without this there is no consistent exhibition of Original Sin

1 1 Pet. 1:20; 2 Gal. 3:14; 3 1 Pet. 1:11; 4 John 1:9; 5 Isa. 49:6; 6 Rom. 16:25; 7 Luke 2:32

IV. The doctrine in the light of redemption receives certain important modifications. This may be best shown by pointing out a few apparent contradictions which it reconciles and explains: these being referred to the two heads of condemnation and depravity and to the general relation of human nature to its penalty of evil

1. The nature is condemned, and yet it is universally redeemed

(1.) However difficult it may be, we must receive the fact of a human nature, abstracted from the persons who inherit it, lost or marred in Adam and found or retrieved in Christ

It is said of our Lord that He came, not only in the likeness of men, 1 but also in the likeness of sinful flesh. 2 This impressively connects the Incarnate One with our fallen humanity, not as partaking of its sin — for He was God manifest in the flesh 3— but as assuming our nature, without its sin and with its infirmity. Now, that fact assures us of the arrest of the effects of the Fall. In order that He might take our nature, and be made like unto His brethren, 4 the nature common to Him and us must be saved from utter revolution. It may be said therefore that the first effect of the redeeming intervention was to preserve the nature of man from sinking below the possibility of redemption: indeed rather that intervention was itself its preservation. Hence, not only was the natural image of God retained: the eternal sense of right and wrong and good and evil was not suffered to be effaced, and thus the elements of the moral image also were shielded from absolute violation. It is impossible to define what the difference was between the ruin of angelic intelligences and the fall of human nature: suffice that that difference is to us an infinite one; our life is in it. The Fall was the utter ruin of nothing in our humanity; only the depravation of every faculty. The human mind retains the principles of truth; the heart the capacity of holy affections; the will its freedom, not yet the freedom of necessary evil

All this we owe to the Second Adam. It is said, indeed, that He came only in the likeness of men; but He could not have come even in their likeness, if men had lost every trace of good. He could not have even tabernacled in our nature, if it had been in the worst possible sense corrupted and doomed to destruction

1 Phil. 2:7; 2 Rom. 8:3; 3 1 Tim. 3:16; 4 Heb. 2:17

(2.) The condemnation resting upon the race as such is removed by the virtue of the one oblation beginning with the beginning of sin. Our nature received the reconciliation1 once for all; God in Christ is reconciled to the race of Adam; and no child of mankind is condemned eternally for the original offence, that is, for the fact of his being born into a condemned lineage. Of this immunity baptism, conferred upon all who enter the race, is the sign and the seal. Personality, virtual in all who are born, does not actually begin until the Will consciously assumes its responsibility. And for individual personal guilt forgiveness is provided, which ratifies the pardon of the one original transgression and super abounds for the many offences.2 Hence, though we do not assume a second personal fall in the case of each individual reaching the crisis of responsibility, we must believe that original sin as condemnation in the fullest sense, and as an absolute doom, never passed beyond Adam and the unindividualised nature of man. It was arrested in Christ as it regards every individual, and changed into a conditional sentence. As it is the penalty of physical death it is in one sense without mitigation: in Adam all die. But in another sense the penalty is lightened, relieved, and abolished; for in Christ shall all be made alive.3

1 Rom. 5:11; 2 Rom. 5:19; 3 1 Cor. 15:22

2. And as certainly as the Free Gift qualifies the condemnation of original sin, so certainly it mitigates the depravity inherited by man. That depravity is universally admitted to be twofold: the absence of original righteousness and the bias to all evil. But these are one in the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost, the original bond of the soul's union with God. Now the Spirit was as surely given back to the race as the Atonement was given to it: given, that is, like the Atonement, as a provisional discipline of preparation for the fuller grace of redemption

(1.) The Spirit's universal influence qualifies original sin as He is in every responsible soul a Remembrancer of a forfeited estate, the Prompter to feel after God and regain that communion which all history proves to be an inextinguishable yearning of mankind. He suffers not the spirit of man to forget its great loss. It is through this preliminary universal influence that guilt is naturally in man ashamed of its deformity. If the descendants of Adam and Eve inherit their nature despoiled of righteousness, they inherit the sentiment also by which they knew that they were naked; 1 though this part of the inheritance comes from the original grace that the first offenders could not transmit. Shame, and the sense of despoilment and loss, are united with fear in the sacred phenomena of conscience, which must be essentially bound up with the doctrine of original sin

1 Gen. 3:7

(2.) But conscience suggests the thought, at least in man, of recovery; and the same Spirit who moves towards God in conscience, through fear and hope, universally touches the secret springs of the will. Original sin is utter powerlessness to good: it is in itself a hard and absolute captivity. But it is not left to itself. When the Apostle says that the Gentiles have the law written in their hearts, and in conscience measure their conduct by that standard, and may do by nature the things contained in the law, 1 he teaches us plainly that in the inmost recesses of nature there is the secret mystery of grace which, if not resisted and quenched, prompts the soul to feel after God, and gives it those secret, inexplicable beginnings of the movement towards good which fuller grace lays hold on. In fact, the very capacity of salvation proves that the inborn sinfulness of man has been in some degree restrained; that its tendency to absolute evil has been checked > and that natural ability and moral ability—to use the language of controversy—are one through the mysterious operation of a grace behind all human evil

1 Rom. 2:14,15

3. Hence, in conclusion, the great antitheses of this doctrine are reconciled in the statement, carefully guarded, that original sin is the sin of Adam's descendants as under a covenant of grace. What it would otherwise have been we can never know; there would then have existed no federal union of mankind. The souls of Adam and Eve would have only added two more to the spirits of evil. As we know the doctrine and the fact, it is the harmony of truths in our being otherwise irreconcilable. Human nature is lost, and yet we are still the offspring of God. 1 The natural and moral image—essentially one in creation—has departed in its glory, and yet it is recognized as in some sense still existing

Every man is born condemned, and yet he is bidden not to put from him life. He is by nature able neither to think nor feel nor act aright; yet he is throughout Scripture appealed to as if his duty were simply matter of his will. In short, original sin and original grace met in the mystery of mercy at the very gate of Paradise

1 Acts 17: 29


These points being established, we may view the doctrine that results from the combination: in its aspect towards the moral government of God and the vindication of His attributes; as explaining the Providential government of the human race; as related to the several doctrines of the Christian Faith; in its bearing on the constituent elements of human nature; and, lastly, in its effect upon the doctrine of sin generally, and in its particular manifestations, as under the discipline of the Gospel

I. Holy Scripture only in an indirect manner refers to the objections that may be urged against the righteousness of the Divine procedure in relation to the fundamental principles involved in the doctrine of original sin

1. St. Paul's thoughts, before and after the express treatment of the subject, seem to hover over this awful question of the vindication of God. But, under the guidance of inspiration, he leaves it where we must leave it, —among the unsolvable mysteries of the Eternal Will. No one, however, can fail to see that in the strict connection of the doctrine of universal sin with that of universal grace he finds rest to his own soul, and teaches us to find rest also. Every express delineation of the universal evil of mankind is, without exception, connected with redemption. This is the only vindication of the Righteous God from the tremendous charge brought against Him by the judgments of men. God's own Theodicy, or vindication of Himself, is exhibited in the free gift of the Second Adam

Original sin sprang from the federal constitution of the race; one in the unity of the unlimited many. But the many are one in recovery as well as in sin. As surely as sin and death passed through to the race, so surely from Christ did grace pass through

2. Other expedients for the reconciliation of the Divine economy with human judgments are adopted even by those who accept a doctrine of original sin: we may say, other methods of stating St. Paul's vindication. There are those who hold the THREE IMPUTATIONS which lie at the basis of human history—the imputation of Adam's sin to the whole world, the imputation of the sin of man to the Holy Representative of mankind, and the imputation to man of the benefit of His redemption—who nevertheless so held them as to increase the great difficulty instead of lessening it. The several reckonings are made to flow from an absolute sovereignty in God, giving no account of His matters

Though the word has a judicial sound it involves an arbitrary idea, and one which adds a superfluous harshness to our doctrine. The imputations are not equal and uniform: while the sin of the first Adam is imputed to all his posterity, the righteousness of the Second Adam is imputed only to a predetermined fragment of mankind. If it is said that the sins of those only were reckoned to Christ who receive the benefit, that does not lighten the gloom of the subject. The want of correspondence between the imputation in Original Sin and the imputation in Christian Righteousness lays a tremendous burden on the doctrine common to the two. Are not My ways equal? 1 This is the Lord's vindication of Himself; and, as to the theology which beclouds His justice, He says to it, are not your ways unequal?

1 Eze. 18:29

3. It may be rejoined, that St. Paul himself adopts the very method which we denounce, by making the federal covenant with man in Christ the correlative of the federal covenant with man in Adam. But he invariably asserts the universality of the benefit of grace, so far as concerns the intention of God. As to the why of this federal constitution, and the why of evil generally in the dark background, there is no solution given to man, because it is not possible to the creature. That mystery, like redemption itself, will in some sense be for ever hid in the Divine nature. It is, however, a mystery that is not lightened by rejecting the doctrine of original sin

II. Thus is explained the economy of God's providential government of the nations. If the exhibition of original sin is cut off from the universal gift, there can be no intelligible account given of the times of this ignorance which God winked at. 1 All heathenism, past and present, is on that theory inexplicable. The world has been ever groping after God: universal sinfulness must be reconciled with that fact. Not blank atheism, but the superfluity of superstition has been the law: a polytheistic superstition to which the nations were given up, because they resisted God's inner light; unspeakable degradation, and the almost unlimited change from dishonor to dishonor, marked the history of the heathen world; but only as the result of a rejection of influences that have striven with men. And light has been seen rising in the deepest dark-ness. Neither the Savior’s intercourse with Gentiles, nor the Apostles', permits the supposition of such a total and unrelieved corruption, ruin, and abandonment of human nature as some dogmas of original sin and the "massa perditionis" assume. Tertullian's "anima naturaliter Christiana" may be set against this, as the opposite exaggeration: the truth lying in the middle. The absolute corruption of the roots of our nature is a Manichaean error, revived in Flacianism, but contradicted by the whole doctrine of original sin as taught in Scripture. Apart from Christ, and in hard theory, the ruin of man is complete. But man has never been in such a far country as not to hear the appeal of the Father: the far country2 is still the land of Emmanuel

1 Acts 17:30; 2 Luke 15:13

III. The connection between original sin and the Christian system is fundamental and universal. Upon it is based the necessity, the possibility, the universality of the Atonement, by the obedience of the Last Adam, Who bore in His own Person the consequences of the sin which He never shared. From original sin He was free: for, though His human nature was born of a woman, born under the law, 1 as bearing the consequences of human transgression, it was not begotten of man, but of the Holy Ghost

Hence the same Divine necessity that exempted Him from the sin of our nature demands that none other be exempt, not even His mother after the flesh. The sinlessness of Jesus is secured by the miraculous conception, His impeccability by the hypostatic union; hence His active and His passive righteousness are united in one, the former rendering the latter possible and sufficient. Regeneration also derives its double character from the doctrine of original sin: it is the new creation of life in the soul, while it is at the same time the renewal of the original image of God; it is regeneration as the Divine commencement of a new life, renewal as the resulting process. But, before this, apart from this, and yet concurrently with it, Justification meets original sin as the reversal of its condemnation with the guilt of all that flows from it at the bar of God. And Ethical Sanctification in its beginning, process, and final issues, is the full eradication of the sin itself, which, reigning in the unregenerate, coexisting with the new life in the regenerate, is abolished in the wholly sanctified

1 Gal. 4:4

IV. It is expedient at this point to glance briefly at the constitution of man's nature as it is now found: of that nature namely, which alone we know as human. A few leading terms give us the general character of the humanity that sin has transmitted unimpaired as human nature, but entirely corrupt in its unassisted development as fallen and sinful nature

1. The term Human Nature is not used in this relation in Scripture. St. James alone speaks of teé fúsei teé anthroopínee, translated Mankind. 1 The word Nature signifies the condition or law of preappointed development, and thence the essential character and constitution with which every created thing comes into existence. It may therefore be applied to man in two senses, both faithful to the original meaning of the word: either to the constituent elements of his being, as differencing him from every other, or to the moral development of that being as growth from within, and apart from external influence. As to the latter, every individual of mankind is born with a nature which, without external influence upon it, is morally degraded and corrupt. The bias to evil— that is, to forget God, to serve the creature and to live for self—is innate and congenital; and this makes it the nature of man, as being inherent and not accidental. But, in the former sense of the term, sin is an accident of humanity: it came from without; it is not "das Gewordene," but "das Gemachte." It is not in harmony with the original constitution of man: conscience, and the law written in the heart or reason which is its standard, being witness. The distinction is always remembered in Scripture

1 Jas. 3:7

2. The disturbance in the very essence of human nature may be regarded as affecting the entire personality of man as a spirit acting in a body. He is born with a nature which is— apart both from the external Evil One and from the external renewing power of the New Creation—under the bondage of sin. That bondage may be regarded with reference to the lower nature that enslaves the higher, and to the higher nature that is enslaved

(1.) Fallen human nature is Flesh or sarx: the whole being of man, body and soul, soul and spirit, separated from God, and objected to the creature. The autos ego of Self is without God, but only in the sense of being without Him as its God; and in the world, 1 as its false sphere of life and enjoyment. This is the slavery of sin to which man is naturally born, and to which he is naturally predetermined. For I know that in me, (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: 2 this contains the truth concerning our fallen estate expressed by St. Paul as its representative. It is slavery, or a yoke imposed: I am carnal, sold under sin; 3 this I being the same person who can say, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, 4 and what I hate, that do I. 5 It is, however, an innate or inborn or predetermined slavery: the Apostle calls himself sárkinós, carnal, or fleshly, or fleshy, a strong word, which forbids the thought of his meaning the slavery of habit. If he wrote sarkikos, this term, as the antithesis of pneumatikos, 6 denoting an inherent characteristic of the law, would also point to an inherent quality of fallen nature. Again he refers to the sin that dwelleth in me: 7 not merely the sin that has gained an ascendancy from without

And all this is confirmed by the strong words: for I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 8 Such is the meaning of the flesh as the designation of depraved humanity enslaved to sense. Another use of the term, signifying human nature as mortal and frail, underlies the former; but this use is not directly connected with sin. In this latter sense Jesus Christ is come in the flesh;9 as to the former, He was sent only in the likeness of sinful flesh.10

1 Eph. 2:12; 2 Rom. 7:18; 3 Rom. 7:14; 4 Rom. 7:25; 5 Rom. 7:15; 6 Rom. 7:14; 7 Rom 7:17; 8 Rom. 7:22,23; 9 1 John 4:3; 10 Rom. 8:3

(2.) This slavery, however, has its more spiritual aspect. Starting from the same idea of the one personality in man, we may view the effect of original sin upon the autos ego in its higher principle, distinct from the flesh, though not apart from it. The one spiritual agent in man, operating through the three elements of his nature, body, soul, and spirit, and the three functions of his rational soul, the mind, the affections, and the will, is fettered and impotent to good. Hence its fallen dignity evermore utters the cry, Talaípooros egoó ánthroopos; 0 wretched man that I am! 1 The I of this wretched man is the personal representative of mankind, in whom original sin—sin that dwelleth in me2 — has been brought by the application of law from a latent state into activity. In me is qualified in two ways: that is, in my flesh; 3 and with the mind I myself. 4 Therefore the one personality has a double character: the inward man of the mind, to which to will is present and the flesh,5 or the body of sin, in which how to perform that which is good I find not. But the one person, to whom these opposite elements belong —an inner man, a reason, a will to good; a carnal bias, an outer man, a slavery to evil—is behind all these, behind even the inner man. And in him, in the inmost secret of his nature, is the original vice which gives birth to these contradictions. The Apostle adds three views of his own state with regard to this inherent sin; or, in other words, three views of that sin in regard to him. First, without the law he was alive, and sin was dead; 6 whatever difficulty there may be in explaining this of St. Paul, it precisely describes the sin that lies virtually latent in every human spirit, though abounding in dead works, 7 until the consciousness of sinful-ness is roused by the pressure of Divine law on the conscience. Secondly, the latent sin revived, or sprang into life, and he died, 8 both under its depravity and its condemnation: it wrought in me all manner of concupiscence: the original evil in him put forth all its varieties of form, and overwhelmed him with the proofs of its despotism. The indwelling sin which the law revealed reduced him to such impotence as could be defined only by death: the slavery of the natural man could not be more impressively exhibited

Thirdly, there is the state of deliverance from the law of sin and death9 in regeneration

One important fact runs through the whole description: the absolute bondage of the nobler faculty, here called the mind, to the flesh, rendering the will powerless to perform its ineffectual desire

1 Rom. 7:24; 2 Rom. 7:17; 3 Rom. 7:18; 4 Rom. 7:25; 5 Rom. 7:22,25,18; 6 Rom. 7:8,9; 7 Heb. 6:1; 8 Rom. 7:8; 9 Rom. 8:2

(3.) In this picture of the original corruption of human nature there are some features which must be intently regarded: they will be only mentioned in passing now, as their fuller consideration belongs to the economy of grace and the plan of salvation. It teaches most distinctly the freedom of the will, and at the same time the inability of man to do what is good. The harmony of these seeming opposites is most manifest: the faculty of willing is untouched in any case, and the influence of conscience prompts it to will the right; but this is bound up with a miserable impotence to good, and results in both a natural and a moral inability to do what the law of God requires. It shows most impressively that man, in his natural state, or in the flesh, must be under the Divine displeasure as the voluntary agent of the sin that seems nevertheless a law in the members only. Here there is a paradox in the Apostle's words: Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me:1 this is the outcry and protest of the soul against its slavery; but it is slavery still, bringing the ME into captivity to the law of sin, and into a captivity to evil with which a sense of guilt is inseparably connected. It shows that the corruption of the nature is consistent with the presence of an unextinguished sense of right, and even desire for it, which the Good Spirit through the law excites. St. Paul may be said to be describing not a state of nature, but a state of conviction produced by the Holy Ghost. This is certainly true, though the Apostle does not make the distinction. But it must be remembered that the inward man and the law of my mind 2 are expressions which do not mean anything increated by Divine influence through the law

The Holy Spirit speaks to a dead or sleeping man within the sinner, and revives a law that may have been long silent, obsolete, and in this sense dead

1 Rom. 7:20; 2 Rom. 7:22,23

3. Against this gentler interpretation arise two classes of objectors. First, there are those who make original sin the absolute destruction of the image of God and of the capacity of good in man: of these much has been already said, and it will hereafter be shown, when we come to the Gospel of grace, how inconsistent this view is with the universal benefit of redemption. Secondly, there are those who interpret the primitive Fall to have been the loss of the Spirit as an essential element of human nature, given sacrameritally back through the incarnation of Christ applied: these also must hereafter be referred to. Finally, in defense of our position generally, it may be said that the misery of the wretched man, bound to the body of death, is only aggravated by the fact that there is a better nature beneath the worse. This does not mitigate original sin as misery, impotence, and the source of condemnation; but it makes the exhibition of it consistent with the universality of redeeming grace

V. It remains now to trace the connection of this doctrine with the history and development of sin generally. Original sin cannot be distinguished from its personal and actual manifestation. It is the source of all the varieties of sin that are known in experience and described in Scripture: that other fountain originally opened for sin and uncleanness, the streams of which in human life are infinitely diversified

1. The sin of our nature, indwelling in the soul, is its HABITUAL state, as opposed to ACTUAL transgressions. The former is sinful-ness, the latter more properly sin. Hence there is a secret filthiness of the flesh and spirit,1 as distinguished from the works of the flesh which are manifest. 2 The habitual or original principle of evil may remain after its works have ceased, waiting for the act of grace which shall entirely extinguish it

1 2 Cor. 7:1; 2 Gal. 5:19

2. Actual transgressions may be variously summarised. (1.) They may be offences of the heart's desire and imagination; of the words and of the acts; or, since the words are at once expressions of the thought and themselves acts, we may say sins of the thought and of the deed. (2.) They may be viewed in relation to the Divine law, and be divided into offences against God, against our neighbor, and against ourselves. These three are really one, since there is no sin but against God; but the Decalogue, and the general strain of Scripture, suggest the distinction. (3.) Estimating them, by the temptation that leads to the act, we have the division of selfishness, carnality, and worldliness; the first, however, according to St. James, being the root of all: Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust. 1 Every act of sin is the expression of the heart's consent to some solicitation; but the solicitation may appeal directly to the internal affection, or come through the medium of the eye which desires to have, or tempt the spirit alienated from God and absorbed in its own pride. Hence St. John's definition of the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. 2 It is impossible to distinguish with certainty between the transgressions to which Satan directly tempts, and those to which inbred sin alone excites. Great spiritual skill, however, may be attained in this by those who, in the spirit of St. Paul's words studying the Tempter, are not ignorant of his devices, 3 on the one hand, and, on the other, remember his exhortation prove your own selves.4

1 Jas. 1:14; 2 1 John 2:16; 3 2 Cor. 2:11; 4 2 Cor. 13:5

3. As it respects measures of guilt, there are two views which the Scriptures harmonies

He who breaks any commandment is guilty of all; 1 and the distinction between MORTAL and VENIAL is essentially unfounded. Yet differences are marked, according as the will, the final principle of all transgression, enters into the act of the soul. (1.) Not only are there sins of OMISSION and COMMISSION, but there are sins VOLUNTARY or willful, and sins INVOLUNTARY, the result of ignorance and infirmity. 2 The supreme Judge reveals Himself as taking those differences into account. Hence there is an evangelical doctrine of mortal and venial offence. All sin is mortal, as the wages of sin is death; all sins are venial, inasmuch as Christ died for the expiation of all. (2.) But thrice the Scripture declares that there is the possibility of deadly and unpardonable sin in this world. Our Lord speaks of such a sin AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, and that in three Evangelists: 3 the Epistle to the Hebrews adds another, and St. John gives his final testimony in his First Epistle. In the Gospels, it is the state of the heart hardened against Divine grace, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, and therefore of necessity hopeless: in this world it refuses forgiveness, and in the world to come its eternal condemnation follows. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is the sin against the Atonement, the absolute rejection of which by equal necessity shuts out all hope, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh.4 In St. John's words this last sin is simply against God who provided the rejected Atonement, and sent the despised Spirit: it is a sin for which intercession may be vain: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 5 (3.) The stages by which actual and willful transgression reaches this unpardonable height may be profitably marked. There is a condition in which the soul thwarts the influence of Divine grace, referred to throughout the Scripture as being constantly in opposition to the Spirit: ye do always resist the Holy Ghost. 6 This is perhaps the most universal characteristic of active sin, as the monitions of the Supreme Convincer are bound up with all the activities of conscience and the Word of God. Successful opposition to His influence produces two opposite effects, conspiring however to one result. The soul's sensibility declines, and that state follows which is described in Scripture as the sleep of indifference or carnal security: having their conscience seared with a hot iron, entangled in the snare of the devil, 7 and taken captive by him at his will, 8 and willing and able to turn away their ears from the truth. 9 St. Paul shows that this condition is consistent with a pretence to religion: speaking lies in hypocrisy. 10 The Savior’s denunciations of the hypocrites for whom His sternest woes were reserved, teach us what a fearful connection there may be between utter insensibility to Divine grace and devotion to the semblance of godliness. But the obverse of this selfengendered deadness to the Spirit's influence is die direct hardening of the soul through the judicial withdrawal of that influence. Upon this follows the secret of utter antagonism to truth: that decisive reprobation which overtakes those who in a special sense have turned aside after Satan, 11 and learned like him to call evil good. But this specific sin against the Spirit can have been committed by none who have grace enough to dread its commission, or who have the slightest true desire of return

1 Jas. 2:10; 2 Psa. 19:12,13; 3 Mat. 12:31, Luke 12:10, Mark 3:29; 4 Heb. 6:6; 5 1 John 5:16; 6 Acts 7:51; 7 1 Tim. 4:2; 8 2 Tim. 2:26; 9 2 Tim. 4:4; 10 1 Tim. 4:2; 11 1 Tim. 5:15

4. Lastly, moral evil in the renewed soul has a distinct character. Here again we have a reconciliation of opposites. On the one hand, there is no sin in the regenerate spirit: whosoever is born of God sinneth not. 1 The evil of his nature still remaining is not reckoned to him, and he keepeth himself from actual transgression: that wicked one toucheth him not. On the other hand, the new spiritual life only makes his residuary corruption more intolerable. The sanctified mind knows iniquity, through the revelation of the law of grace, as the unsanctified cannot know it. Thus original sin is in reality perceived in its utter vileness only by those who are not condemned for it, and who, with all their hearts, are seeking its destruction. Here comes in the distinction between defects of infirmity or secret faults which do not exclude from grace, not having in them the true nature of sin, and offences committed in spite of His remonstrance which grieve the Holy Spirit, and if persisted in cause Him though slowly to take His departure. It is the sure characteristic of regeneration that it is impatient of remaining impurity. He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit: 2 his deep desire, the strongest sentiment of his new nature, is to be delivered from that which cannot be common to himself and his Lord. The penitent seeking his first pardon sets his expectation on the Lamb of God Which beareth the sin of the world. 3 But the renewed and forgiven believer keeps his eye fixed on the perfect holiness of his Savior. The children of God know that He was manifested to take away our sins, 4 and not only to bear away our guilt. They read the words that follow as containing the Divine encouragement of the ambition of faith: IN HIM IS NO SIN. 5 He alone was and is without the original offence; and by His grace we may come to the high experience that as He is so are we in this world. 6 It is of this new commandment also the Apostle of perfected love says, or may be understood to say: hó estin aleethés en autoó kaí en humín, what is true in Him and you. 7 Hence, we must be careful to remember the Scriptural modifications of the terms that define original sin as lingering in the regenerate and doomed to destruction. It is no longer, strictly speaking, INDWELLING Sin. It is not, in any sense, the law in my members. 8 Nor is it the carnal mind, which is enmity against God. 9 But it may be described as the old man, or, as the Rabbins said, the Old Adam, made old by the new nature; and this old man has a body of sin which is crucified, in order that it may be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 10 St. Paul's chosen term is the flesh with its affections and lusts, which they that are Christ’s have crucified.11

1 1 John 5:18,3:9; 2 1 Cor. 6:17; 3 John 1:29; 4 1 John 3:5; 5 1 John 4:17; 6 1 John 2:8; 7 1 John 2:8; 8 Rom. 7:20,23; 9 Rom. 8:7; 10 Rom. 6:6; 11 Gal. 4:24


The doctrine of Sin, especially of Original Sin, occupies a large space in historical theology, inasmuch as it touches at some points almost every other branch of the Christian system. There is, strictly speaking, no development of dogma: only the exhibition of a successive series of collisions between the Scriptural statements and the current opinions of the Church. A few points may be noted in their chronological order

I. It may be said, at the outset, that the fundamentals of our doctrine have been most firmly held by mankind universally. This is a point of great importance, connecting the most profound revelation of Scripture with the theology of nature

1. The brief reference already made to the Theories of Evil has shown that Pantheism and Dualism have successively ruled ancient and modern thought on the subject. But it cannot have escaped notice that neither of these theories gave a good account of the unlimited influence of sin in the human race. Indeed neither of them could confront the question, inasmuch as the fundamental principles of both were opposed to an absolutely universal power of the evil principle. Not attempting to define sin, and with a very vague idea of its true nature, the systems of ancient mythology — Egyptian, Phoenician, Vedic, Hellenic—all accepted a certain composite of light and darkness, good and evil, which made up to their imaginations the sum of things in Nature. Forces of evil equally with forces of good were acknowledged and worshipped; and the very same names, as in the case of the DAEVAS, came to be applied to both

2. Meanwhile, it cannot be doubted that there was a gradual preparation in the human mind for the final teaching of the Word of God. While the Eastern systems of thought shaped more and more distinctly, in Persia the idea of one Personal Righteousness, and in Buddhism the essential evil of existence as self-separated from God, Hellenic thought, expressed in its drama especially, developed the conception of a stern and awful Nemesis, the Vindicator of moral order. Falling immeasurably below the ethical grandeur of the Bible, the tragedians and philosophers of Greece, and the historians of both Greece and Rome, abound in presentiments of the truth. As to the inherent sinfulness of the race, in particular, the following words are forcible. A line of Sophocles says: Anthropois gar tois pasi koinon esti touxamartanein. As to the origin of this universal sin Thucydides makes the vigorous remark: pephukasi apantes kai idia kai dhmosia, amartanein. And one more striking still is found in a fragment of Euripides: emphutos pasin anthropois kakh, rendered by Horace, Nam vitiis nemo sine nascitur. So Tacitus: Vitia erunt donec homines. But though the sense of sin is variously and unequally expressed in various nations and various literatures, in none is the testimony to its universality wanting. While so many traditions, however, point to a past age of uprightness and of man's declension, none contain hints of the great revelation of the Bible, that the whole race of mankind had its probation and fall in one progenitor

II. The Ancient Church, both under the guidance of inspiration and in the Rabbinical age, has held the essentials of the doctrine of moral evil in itself, and of original sin in particular

1. It has been seen that the Old-Testament Scriptures maintain one consistent and uniform teaching as to the nature of sin generally, and as to its universal power over mankind. The history of the Flood gives its evidence both in clear testimony and in awful judgment

The covenant rite of circumcision significantly declared the hereditary sinfulness of man

The entire system of the Levitical economy was based on this assumption: while its trespass-offerings had more specific reference to individual offences, its sin-offerings had general reference to the deeper root of universal sin. The Psalms and Prophets abound in testimonies to the same effect: not only asserting the universality of past and present sin among men, but also asserting it with equal confidence concerning the unlimited future, One Being only excepted, the Righteous Servant of Jehovah. Generally it may be said that on no one subject is the teaching of the ancient Scriptures at once more elevated above all extra-Biblical ideas, and more steadfast and uniform in itself than on this. It proclaims that EVIL, or ra, the permitted consequence of sin, is under the Divine disposal, and not independent of the Divine will: I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things. 1 But the same evil, in respect to the SIN, which causes it, is evermore traced to the willful rebellion of the human will: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (ra) continually. 2 There is hardly here the usual development of Scriptural revelation. The progressive dispensations expand the doctrine into abundant details to meet the gradual development of the method of atonement; but the fundamental idea of SIN is unique in its hard simplicity throughout the Scriptures

1 Isa. 14:7; 2 Gen. 6:5

2. And it is equally certain that the later Jewish doctrine exhibited the outlines of the truth, even in some respects more clearly stamped than in the ancient Scriptures themselves. Rabbinical authors make much use of the typical relation of Adam to Christ: Quemadmodum homo primus fuit primus in peccato, sic Messias erit ultimus ad auferendum peccatum penitus. And Adamus postremus est Messias. The Book of Ecclesiasticus declares that every man from his youth is given to evil;1 Philo abounds in mystical accounts of its origin and universal influence; and a long-descended ancient tradition is summed up by one of the Rabbinical commentators on Genesis: The first man was the cause of death to all his descendants

1 Ecc. 17:16

III. The early Christian Church exhibits the truth as it has been deduced from Scripture, but with the germ of every subsequent error here and there appearing. Before the Pelagian heresy the Greek and Latin fathers generally held the Vitium Originis, as Tertullian first called it, but laid stress upon the co-operation of the human will enlightened by teaching and grace. The Latins were still more decided as to both. For instance, Ambrose says: Omnes in primo homine peccavimus; and, Nulla species cujusquam virtutis occurrit, quae vel sine dono Divinae gratiae vel sine consensu nostrae voluntatis habeatur. So Lactantius: Non neces-sitatis esse peccare, sed propositi ac voluntatis. With one consent they held the doctrine of Tertullian as to the image of God in man, of which it is said that non tam extinguitur quam obum-bratur. Origen broached the old notion of a pre-existent state and fall of the soul: this has been revived again and again, but adds to the difficulty which it seeks to remove

IV. The PELAGIAN CONTROVERSY of the fifth century in most of its bearings and issues turned upon the doctrine of Original sin. Pelagius, and his followers Caelestius and Julian, taught that transgression can be regarded only as the independent act of the free will of the individual; that Adam was created mortal, his offence having hurt himself alone; and that his descendants are born in precisely the same moral condition; that the prevalence of sin in his descendants is the result of following his example: in eo quod omnes peccaverunt exemplo Adami; and by a longa consuetudo vitiorum it comes that vitia quodammodo vim habere naturae. All the stress was laid upon the free selfdetermination of every man living to good or evil, the perfection of good being attainable by every independent individual through the grace of his nature and the law and the example of Christ. But Augustine, at the other extreme, taught that in Adamo omnes peccaverunt, omnes ille unus fuerunt: we all were that One, and SINNED IN HIM 1 (by a mistranslation of Rom 5:12 ef hoó pántes heémarton). The corruption of nature — peccatum originis — beginning in Adam was concupiscentia, the ascendency of the flesh over the spirit; it introduced a certain necessity of sinning, the freedom of the will having no meaning save as opposed to external compulsion: and this, transmitted to his posterity, makes them sinners and guilty in themselves as well as in Adam. SEMI-PELAGIANISM strove to mediate between these two extremes. It admitted original sin so far as concerns the weakening of the power to will and to do; limited the death of the Fall to physical death: regarded man's residual energies as sufficient to set him upon the beginnings of salvation, but the Divine grace as absolutely necessary to carry on and perfect it. The Augustinian doctrine gained the ascendancy, and still reigns in all Predestinarian systems

Pelagianism pure and simple has never held its ground, at least among those who have any faith in the Christian Scriptures. Semi-pelagianism however has, on the whole, exerted the widest influence: it reappeared dogmatically in the Lutheran Synergism, and in the spirit at least of its teaching has pervaded all communions which have denied the dogma of individual predestination

1 Rom. 5:12

V. The Mediaeval controversies were mainly transitional. The Schoolmen spent all their subtlety upon the questions involved; but they simply furnished the materials for future confessions. Among the new topics which they raised are the following. The punishment of original sin was supposed by some to be the negative loss of the vision of God: the utmost point Augustine, fairly interpreted, had in his day reached. But to the poena damni, or loss, was added the poena sensus, even in the case of children unbaptised: for strongly maintaining this Gregory of Ariminum was branded with the name of Childtormentor

The law of the propagation of evil was also much contested. Peter Lombard advocated the theory known as CREATIONISM: the immaterial spirit infused into the begotten organism of the soul and body contracts defilement and becomes guilty. Anselm and Aquinas asserted TRADUCIANISM: Persona erat Adam, natura homo; fecit igitur persona peccatricem naturam. Adam's person corrupted the nature; and in his descendants the nature corrupts the person. In favor of the latter is the whole doctrine of original sin, and especially the incarnation of Christ, Whose human nature was created and not transmitted to Him. Against the former is the danger of making God the author of human evil; while it may be thought to be defended by the dignity of the rational soul, the name FATHER OF SPIRITS 1 given to God, and the tendency of the opposite theory to Materialism

The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION of the Virgin was early introduced into the question: it divided the Schoolmen, many of the best of whom recoiled from the thought that one member of the race should be made holy without the intervention of atonement; and was left among the "Pious Opinions" of the Church, until, in 1854, it was made an article of faith by Rome. Freewill and its relation to grace were largely discussed. The distinction expressed in the term "Meritum condigni et congrui" was invented in order to show the value set by God upon the workings of nature towards grace: they have a merit which it is congruous with the Divine justice to reward by further gifts, and this is a Meritum de congruo; while, after his justification, the works of the Christian have a higher merit, a Meritum de condigno, earning eternal life. But the source of good in man since the Fall is the Divine Spirit, and all merit is excluded. One of the authors of the distinction, Peter Lombard, left this noble sentence: Libertas a peccato et a miseria per gratiam est; libertas vero a necessitate per naturam. Ipsa gratia, voluntatem praevenit praeparando ut velit bonum, et praeparatam adjuvat ut perficiat

1 Heb. 12:9

VI. The dogma defined in the Council of Trent combines the Augustinian Realistic identification of Adam and the race with the semi-Pelagian negative idea of the effect of the Fall. Adam, created in the image of God, with the endowment of freewill, and perfect harmony in the purely natural elements, had the gift of original righteousness added; " CONDITUS in puris naturalibus" he was then "in justitia et sanctitate CONSTITUTUS." Original righteousness was a supernatural added gift, and the loss of it threw the race back into its created condition of contrariety between flesh and spirit, without the superadded restraint. In baptism the guilt of the original offence which incurred the loss is taken away, and yet the concupiscence that sprang from transgression and leads to transgression remains untaken away, not having, however, itself the essential quality of evil: " this concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes denominates sin, the Holy Synod declares the Catholic Church never understood to be called sin because it is really and truly sin in the regenerate, but because it is from sin and inclines to sin." Against this the Reformed Confessions all protested, asserting that concupiscence has in it the nature of sin. For the rest, the Roman theory admits that the natural image has been clouded through the Fall: man's whole nature being wounded, and propagated as such. These points were referred to when the First Estate of man was the subject, and we must again and again return to them

VII. The Lutheran standards deny the Tridertine doctrine. Under the influence of a dread of semi-Pelagianism as tending to the idea of merit in man, the formularies were constructed in the Augustinian spirit. Original sin is defect of original righteousness, and a depraved concupiscence in the higher faculties towards carnal things. In the Smalkald Articles " the corruption of nature is so profound and dark as to be past human comprehension, but must be received as matter of revelation and faith." In the Formula of Concord two opposite tendencies are met and opposed. On the one hand, the Synergists, who insisted on a certain measure of co-operation in the human will, sunergein, were withstood by the affirmation that, while in natural things man may do good, in spiritual things his will is entirely bound; on the other hand, the doctrine of Flacius, that original sin is a corruption of the substance of nature, the actual image of the devil, was opposed by the affirmation that sin is only an accident of the nature, the act and not the essence of the soul

VIII. Calvin and the Reformed Confessions make no distinction between the imputed guilt and the inherent depravity of man's fallen estate. But much controversy arose afterwards as to the nature and order of the two imputations. The Reformed school of Saumur, represented by Placaeus, held that " vitiositas praecedit imputationem:" there is a MEDIATE or consequent imputation, following and dependent on individual corruption

But the other theory, IMMEDIATE or antecedent imputation, has predominated: this makes the sin of Adam, as the federal head of the race, the exclusive or prior ground of condemnation. The FEDERAL theology of the vicarious representation of mankind by Adam, in virtue of a covenant of nature or of works (foedus operum, foedus naturae), is divided into two classes, according as it makes prominent the realistic identity of mankind with Adam, or otherwise: in the former case, there is a moral as well as legal imputation; in the latter, the imputation is altogether forensic. But both separate too sharply the supposed covenant of works from the real covenant of grace in Christ. The more forensic and representative imputation has taken, in later years, the form of a forfeiture on the part of Adam of CHARTERED PRIVILEGES which, through his fault, all mankind have lost: this loss being original sin. But such speculations as these stand or fall with the general principle of a specific covenant with Adam as representing his posterity, a covenant of which the Scripture does not speak. There is but one Covenant, and of that Christ is the Mediator

IX. The Arminian doctrine in its purest and best form avoided the error of the previous theories, retaining their truth. It held the Adamic unity of the race: " in Adam all have sinned," and "all men are by nature children of wrath." But it maintained also " that the most gracious God has provided for all a remedy for that general evil which was derived to us from Adam, free and gratuitous in His beloved Son Jesus Christ, as it were a new and another Adam. So that the baneful error of those is plainly apparent who are accustomed to found upon that original sin the decree of absolute reprobation invented by themselves." This " evil" is " eternal death together with manifold miseries." " But there is no ground for the assertion that the sin of Adam was imputed to his posterity in the sense that God actually judged the posterity of Adam to be guilty of and' chargeable with (reos) the same sin and crime that Adam had committed." These words of the Apology for the Remonstrant Confession are confirmed by those of Arminius: " I do not deny that it is sin, but it is not actual sin . . .. We must distinguish between actual sin and that which is the cause of other sins, and which on that very account may be denominated sin." The Canons of the Synod of Dort (1618) gave the most concentrated Calvinistic contradiction to all these views. As to freewill and grace Limborch says: " Grace is not the solitary, yet is the primary cause of salvation; for the cooperation of freewill is due to grace as a primary cause; for, unless the freewill had been excited by prevenient grace, it would not be able to co-operate with grace." Accordingly, he and the other leaders of Arminianism asserted the universal diffusion of prevenient influences of the Spirit; the acceptance in every age of those who strive after natural uprightness, " honestati naturali operam dent"; and, above all, the Free Gift to the whole race in Christ, which is the foundation of their whole system

X. The Methodist teaching on this subject is sometimes set down without any qualification as Arminian; sometimes it is charged with being semi-Pelagian

1. It differs from the Remonstrant doctrine, where that doctrine, in its protest against the decisions of the Synod of Dort declined from the earlier teaching of Arminius. The later Remonstrants laid great stress on the physical impurity of our nature, denied that this corruption of that nature has in it the true characteristics of sin, and attributed too much to the "innate liberty of the human will," as able to co-operate of itself with Divine law

Methodism accepts the Article of the English Church: " Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk); but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from Original Righteousness [quam longissime distet], and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation

And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek phronhma sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin." Hence it holds that whatever power there is in the human will—in its ability as well as in its choice—comes from the redemption of Christ

2. It holds, with the purest Arminianism, earlier or later, that no ability remains in man to return to God; and this avowal concedes and vindicates the pith of original sin as internal

The natural man—whether his naturalness is described by the sin of his flesh, carnal, as he is sarkikos, or the sin of his soul, sensual, as he is psuxikos—is without the power even to co-operate with Divine influence. The co-operation with grace is of grace. Thus it keeps itself for ever safe from Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism

3. It has, however, more fully and consistently than the Remonstrant system connected the universality of grace with the universality of redemption: knowing nothing of the Augustinian COMMON GRACE A few extracts will make this plain

(1.) Mr. Wesley, whose treatise on Original Sin is one of the most faithful and stern reflections of the Scriptural doctrine that our language contains, dwells upon this universal gift in very many passages of his writings. For instance, in his sermon on the Scripture way of Salvation: " So that the salvation which is here spoken of might be intended to be the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory. If we take this in its utmost extent it will include all that is wrought in the soul by what, is frequently termed natural conscience, but, more properly, preventing grace; all the drawings of the Father; the desires after God, which, if we yield to them, increase more and more; all that light wherewith the Son of God 'enlighteneth every one that cometh into the world;' showing every man ' to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God;' all the convictions which His Spirit, from time to time, works in every child of man; although, it is true, the generality of men stifle them as soon as possible, and after a while forget, or at least deny, that they ever had them at all." In another passage in the sermon on Working out our own Salvation: " For, allowing that all the souls of men are dead in sin by nature, this excuses none, seeing there is no man that is 'in a state of mere nature; there is no man, unless he has quenched the Spirit, that is wholly void of the grace of God. No man living is entirely destitute of what is vulgarly called natural conscience. But this is not natural: it is more properly termed preventing grace. Every man has a greater or less measure of this, which waiteth not for the call of man." " That by the offence of one judgment came upon all men (all born into the world) to condemnation is an undoubted truth, and affects every infant, as well as every adult person. But it is equally true that by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men (all born into the world—infants and adults) unto justification." Finally: "I assert that there is a measure of freewill supernaturally restored to every man, together with that supernatural light." So Mr. Fletcher: "As Adam brought a general condemnation and a universal seed of death upon all infants, so Christ brings upon them a general justification and a universal seed of life." Mr. Watson, in his " Institutes," largely treats on this subject. The following are a few sentences from the close of his discussion

(2.) "But virtues grounded on principle, though an imperfect one, and, therefore, neither negative nor simulated, may also be found among the unregenerate, and have existed, doubtless, in all ages. These, however, are not from men but from God; Whose Holy Spirit has been vouchsafed to the world, through the Atonement. This great truth has often been lost sight of in the controversy. Some Calvinists seem to acknowledge it substantially, under the name of ' common grace;' others choose rather to refer all appearances of virtue to nature, and thus, by attempting to avoid the doctrine of the gift of the Spirit to all mankind, attribute to nature what is inconsistent with their opinion of its entire corruption. But there is, doubtless, to be sometimes found in men not yet regenerate in the Scriptural sense, in men not even decided in their choice, something of moral excellence, which cannot be referred to any of the causes above adduced, and of a much higher character than is to be attributed to a nature which, when left to itself, is totally destitute of spiritual life. Compunction for sin, strong desires to be freed from its tyranny, such a fear of God as preserves them from many evils, charity, kindness, good neighborhood, general respect for goodness and good men, a lofty sense of honor and justice, and, indeed (as the very command issued to them to 'repent and believe the Gospel,' in order to their salvation, implies), a power of consideration, prayer, and turning to God, so as to commence that course which, persevered in, would lead on to forgiveness and regeneration. To say that ' all these are to be attributed to mere nature' is, to surrender the argument to the semi-Pelagian, who contends that these are proofs that man is not wholly degenerate . . .. The Scriptural proof that the Spirit is given to ' the world' is obvious and decisive. We have seen that the curse of the law implied a denial of the Spirit; the removal of that curse implies, therefore, the gift of the Spirit, and the benefit must be as large and extensive as the Atonement." 4. On the whole, it may be said that the doctrine, thus stated, is the only one that is in harmony with all the facts of the case: it omits nothing, softens nothing, and evades nothing. This position may be further fortified by a comparison with some other leading systems which have been referred to

(1.) With the Tridentine decisions it has many points of agreement, but more of difference. The teaching of Rome is not consistent with itself in its view of the actual state of man as affected by the Fall. It holds original sin, the corruption of human nature, and the imputation of Adam's offence as a condemnation of the race. The Roman Catechism affirms that we are oppressed by the vice of our birth, "naturae vitio premimur,' and that the virus of sin penetrates to what is strongest in our souls, "rationem et voluntatem, quae maxime solidae sunt animae partes." Yet it more than hints that the departure of Original Righteousness has simply thrown man back into the position in which he was created, as if a natural antagonism between flesh and spirit was the normal state of humanity in the purpose of the Creator. The negative loss and the positive strength of evil are not harmonized. Again, maintaining rightly that the condemnation of the original offence is removed by baptism — that is, more correctly, by the atoning efficacy of which baptism is the seal—it further declares, as has been seen, that concupiscence in the baptized, that is, the regenerate, is not of the nature of sin: as if baptism could make that which is essentially sinful cease to be such; as if the perversion of the will, which constitutes us formally sinners as soon as we feel and assent to its operation, were not in itself sinful. The Council correctly lays down that without the preventing grace of God men cannot exhibit those graces which prepare for justification; and that they can co-operate with this preventing grace, can assent to or reject it. So far well; but the taint of semi-Pelagianism is seen in the stress which Romanist divines lay on the negative character of original sin, and on the necessity that the absolute will and consent of an intelligent agent should concur to constitute sinfulness before God

Whether the formal teaching of the Council asserted it or not, the current Romanist doctrine denies that men are born into the world with anything subjective in them of the strict nature of sin. The taint also appears in the merit of congruity, as opposed to the subsequent merit of condignity, the co-operator with Divine grace bringing the former to approve him for justification. The doctrine we have established goes far with the Romanist as to the non-imputation of the guilt of inbred sin in the regenerate; but altogether leaves it by asserting that there is inherent and innate evil in every descendant of Adam, that concupiscence, remaining in the believer, is offensive in the sight of God, that it must as sin be abhorred and mourned over, and as sin be put away by human discipline and Divine grace

(2.) In virtue of this principle the true doctrine is opposed also to every account of sin which insists that it cannot be reckoned such by a righteous God save where the will actively consents; and that none can be held responsible for any state of soul or action of life which is not the result of the posture of the will at the time. There is an offending character behind the offending will. In St. John's definition of sin it is not only transgression, but want of conformity with the law. Our Savior speaks of the evil heart, and of the corrupt tree: and of men as being evil, even when giving good things to their children. To teach that there is no such thing as a sinful state or condition or potentiality is semi-Pelagianism: an error which has deeply infected much modern theology in America and England. Those who have been taught by the Scripture the depths of sin steadfastly refuse to admit this principle. They believe that the race of mankind is ruled by a common generic will, which is averse from God; and that the application of the law only makes the discord manifest. The influence of the Spirit which appeals to the law written in the heart teaches every man who listens to His teaching that he is not only a transgressor of the specific commandment, but a transgressor in himself, and before he knows the law that he transgresses

(3.) In the light of this doctrine the harshest form of Augustinianism is condemned, while the principles of eternal truth which it contains are upheld. That system makes the soul of man passive as a stock or a stone, into which by the act of regeneration the principle of life is infused through a sovereign exertion of electing grace, and takes no account of the preliminaries of goodness which are wrought in man by the selfsame Spirit Who is afterwards the Spirit of regeneration. The notion of "common grace" is a solution that the common sense of mankind will not accept. One of the rebukes which Simon Peter received told him, what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 1 ough the manifestations of a better mind which human nature exhibits are not evidences of its thorough cleansing, they are tokens of a cleansing prepared for it. While it is denied that they are good works, it is denied also that they are strictly speaking evil. They are not fruits of the tree of life in man, yet they are not fruits of the corrupt tree as such. But this subject, as well as the function of the human will in salvation, must be reserved: meanwhile, we must hold fast the deep truth of Bernard's aphorism; "Tolle liberum arbitrium, non erit quod salvatur. Tolle gratiam, non erit unde salvetur."

1 Acts 10:15

(4.) Finally, the Methodist teaching on this general subject derives its value from its strict conformity with the doctrine with which St. John's First Epistle closes the Scriptural testimony. In its third chapter we have the fullest and most exhaustive statement of the New Testament as to sin generally, its origin, its nature, its manifestations, and the process of its destruction. The counterpart of St. Paul's fifth chapter to the Romans, it deals less with the human original of evil, but more with its entire destruction as the design of the manifestation of the Sinless One, and as accomplished in the perfectly regenerate. The purpose of redemption is to take away our sins, 1 according to the good pleasure of the Eternal Love of the Father Who sent His Son, the Propitiation for our sins: 2 not to be or to become, but as already, the Propitiation from heaven. Also for, this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil: 3 He came, not to relax but to fulfill all righteousness; the works of Satan He came to undo and destroy (hina lusee). In St. Paul's chapter the source of our evil is traced no higher than Adam, and the Fountain opened for our cleansing sends forth its streams parallel with those of the fountain of our defilement. In St. John's chapter the source is traced still higher, to Satan the sinner from the beginning; and the Redeemer Whom St. Paul makes the Second Adam St. John makes the Antagonist of the Original Enemy of righteousness

The whole design of redemption is the abolition of sin as transgression of law: the perfect vindication of law, whether by the judicial satisfaction of its claims or by the restoration of its authority. Neither of the Apostles speaks of the destruction of the works of Satan apart from their operation in man; and neither speaks of any destruction of those works save as accomplished in believing mankind. But, omitting any reference to the vast residuum of Satanic works with which the Judgment will deal, both dwell with deep emphasis on the annihilation of sin in the regenerate. St. John, however, is the more full and explicit. In his doctrine the design of the manifestation of the Son is the entire removal of iniquity from human nature in the present life; and upon this Methodist teaching fastens with strong tenacity. That design is to be wrought out in those who believe, through their conformity with the Savior in Whom is NO SIN. 4 Every man in Christ is to be made righteous, even as He is righteous; 5 to become pure even as He is pure; and, between his justification and his sanctification, the regenerate Christian doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God. Thus, in the Divine court of law, and household, and temple, respectively, the dark history of sin in man has its end. And, despite every argument to the contrary, Methodism holds fast and proclaims this great hope

1 1 John 3:5; 2 1 John 4:10; 3 1 John 3:8; 4 1 John 3:7,3,9; 5 1 John 3:5

XI, The Socinians, Modern Unitarians, and Rationalists generally revert to the old Pelagian theory, which is really not a doctrine of original sin, but a denial of it in every form. In rejecting the Scriptural teaching, however, they have no substitute to bring. They admit the facts of human depravity. They cannot deny that evil is universal, and that all the differences among men as its subjects and agents are only differences of degree. They allow that the entire fabric of human legislation and government is based upon the postulate that universal man requires restraint; that all men know and instinctively recognize each other as sinners; that the mortality of the race is not more confidently presupposed than its bias to evil; that education universally deals with children as having innate or inwrought principles of error; and that, in fact, a deviation from the perfect standard is hereditary in our nature. They can give no account of this that will bear a moment's consideration. The influence of example may explain much, but this of itself demands a reason for the facility with which example is followed. In short, there is no doctrine of our most holy faith which so irresistibly and universally appeals for its confirmation to the common conscience and judgment of mankind. It shines by its own light, though alas its light is as darkness.