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example, which shows, that the attempt can succeed no farther, and that the established order is absolutely impervertible. Will any one say, that the difference of animal qualities arises from the different position or conformation of the atoms, which compose their material substances ? If the qualities can be supposed to be inherent or co-existent with the atoms; or, if these were capable of reason and volition, and could enter into a compact of wisdom, for which purpose each atom must contain in itself a portion of intellect; it might be so: but then the atoms must, in that assumption, be supposed very dissimilar in order to produce the great yarieties of being which every where surround us; whereas no difference or distinction could ever be dis covered between the atoms of one animal and those of another; nor yet perhaps of any other substances, which either have or have not been actuated with intelligence or life. Besides; it is clear enough, that no properties of matter, however subtle or however moved, such for instance as those of the magnet or the electric fluid, which perhaps are the most subtle of any, have the least approach to thought or ratiocination, more than the grossest about us. The propagation, therefore, of the several kinds of being must be esteemed something more than the dull and senseless propagation of matter; unless it can be said, without great absurdity, that matter con. tains in itself all sorts of passions and affections, or that, by any collision or adhesion, it can arrange itself or be arranged into such modifications as may produce them. In opposition to this, we know, that a mere carcase, in which all the atoms are completely organized or com
bined, is absolutely inert and unempassioned, if it hath not that inexplicable principle super-added, which we denominate LIFE.' We know also, that this life does not exist in each individual or distinct atom, but in a combination of the atoms into regular forms, and that this combination is produced with a correctness of purpose and intention, which invincibly argues the superior influence and operation of spirit or mind. But, if the traduction of passions or powers proceed from a more refined principle than that of body with its atoms; and if the dispositions, good or bad, descend as an inheritance through all the several species of brutes, upon this common and universal principle, that like shall produce like; we may extend our observations to the highest rank of animal being, and perhaps trace out the transmission of something peculiar to ourselves. Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image. This was posterior to his fall; and, therefore, he not only begat a creature of like form with himself in body, but of like dtpravity with himself in mind. It was the soul of Adam which sinned, and, in sinning, employed the instrumentality of his body, which of itself could not sip at all; and it was his soul, which by the same instrumentality conveyed the contamination and the curse of death and sin to all his posterity. He was made originally in the image and after (or according to) the likeness of God; and this image and likeness, had he never sinned, he would naturally or necessarily have conferred upon his offspring. But was this an image or likeness of body only, of mere unimal frame, of low terrestrial matter?God is a spirit, infinitely remote from all corporeity; Ddt
and therefore the likeness could only be spiritual, consisting of similar, though very inferior or subordinate, attributes of mind. Consequently, the propagation of Adam's unfallen likeness would have been the propagation of unfallen spirit or mind. The body also would have enjoyed its peculiar blessings; yet not merely as body or matter, but because of its union or connection with an happy and immaculate soul.
When David bewailed his corruption in his fifty-first psalm, it can scarcely be doubted, that he viewed the infection of sin both in body and mind; and he certainly makes no distinction, in the expression of his sorrow, concerning the depravity of either, or the source of both, Behold (says he) I was shapen [Mont. genitus sum] in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me ; Joon, warm me, i, e. with life, without which there is no warmth; and this subsists in bodies actuated by spirit, which is the very essence or principle of life. Reflecting therefore on the radical apostasy of his whole nature, which he deduces entirely from his generation and conception, he earnestly and consistently prays for the grace of the Holy Spirit to effect its renovation.
We have now, in our view, the cause and course of human sin. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so deuth passed upon all men, 10W, in whom all have sinned. Sin, being in the soul, is transmitted from the soul; and thus men become partakers of Adam's transgression. There are sins of the mind, and of the mind only, above all relation whatever to the body; and therefore the body, as body, could not mpart them; and if it could not impart them of itself
to its own proper soul, it seems impossib that Adam's body alone should transfuse them to the souls of others; as those persons are obliged to suppose, who believe, that God is continually creating pure spirits, only to occupy vile and polluted frames of clay. How nearly this opinion must charge the Author of all good with the origin and continuance of all evil, should be well considered by those who maintain it.
There have been undoubtedly men of the greatest learning, judgement, and piety, of this last persuasion, who seem chiefly to have adopted it in order to maintain the perfect incorporeity and inmortality of the soul; but the persuasion neither appears absolutely necessary to this incontrovertible principle, nor sufficiently solves the extreme difficulty, which is consequent upon that persuasion; namely, how matter can either be the first agent in sin, or the communicating agent of sin, to an unspotted soul. Their hypothesis, that every spirit or soul, actuating body or matter, is a new creation, an empsychosis, or infusion, in the very instant of union with the preparing form, seems to render God an agent in the defilement of the more exalted part of our nature on the one hand, and, on the other hand, raises the potency of dead and inert matter above the vigor of active spirit or mind; though it is evident to our senses, and confessed by every one, that matter without spirit, under any form or combination, is absolutely passive and incapable of thought or exertion.
There are few authors, I believe, who have considered this subject with more modesty, piety, and care, than the excellent and learned Mr. Flavel. He hath met it
upon plain ground, and, like a wise and temperate christian, seems sincerely bent to discover and maintain the truth. It is with regret, when one differs from such men: but it is a consolation, that the difference doth not affect the vitals of religion. He is persuaded,
that the soul receives not its being by traduction or generation : for that which is generable is also corrup tiblebut the spiritual, immortal soul is not subject to corruption.” This is an argument drawn from the Platonists, and some of the schoolmen. Thomas Aquinas hath treated it with his usual metaphysical subtilty. But it doth not appear convincing; for the same argument equally concludes against the incorruption and immormortality of every thing created. If the beginning to be is to be taken for a proof of a certain end to existence; then all things and beings, whether angels or spirits, and the mansions of the blest, must one day determine and cease. Creation is the beginning of existence; and generation, which is but the continuance of created order, is the
The human nature of our blessed Redeemer had a beginning, and, though not in the course of natural generation, yet a generated one ;* for his rank of gene
* « Adan's soul was created, and not generated : our souls are generated, and not merely created of nothing; that is, God, as the fountain of natural being, giveth multiplied essences wholly from himself; yet not as he first created things of nothing, but by an incomprehensible influence on and use of the generating souls, which, under God, have a causality in the multiplication. But Christ's soul was neither merely generated, nor merely created, so far as it was conceived by the Holy Ghost; and yet there was a participation of generation, so far as there was a concourse of the Virgin's soul. And by this wonderful conception, Christ was free both from the guilt and corruption of original sin. For though