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if I tell you that it is not consist- pravity or sinfulness in selfish af. ent with itself. Few positions, I fections, than in any others.-apprehend, can be plainer than it is because they are capable of this : Jf depravity when total, exercising these purely benevothat is when the heart is wholly leot affections, which the law of under its influence, entirely de- God requires, that they are sinful stroys the free agency of man ; or depraved in the exercise of thep it must interfere with bis free those which are selfish. The exagency, when it is but partial, and ercise of totally sinful affections that too in proportion to its influ- is no more inconsistent with free ence. If he is depraved in a agency, than the exercise of
per small degree, his liberty is slightly fectly holy affections. impaired. If he is exceedingly
Sim. But is not this total deprardepraved, as all admit that some ity on which you lay so much are, his free agency must be ex stress a native depravity ? I have ceedingly impaired. On the oth- certainly heard it so represented. er hand, if a slight degree of de. If I were to admit, as you are conpravity leaves a man in the entire fident I must, that total depravity possession of free agency, it is is no more inconsistent with the impossible to see how this can be free agency of man than partial, impaired by a greater degree.- I certainly cannot admit that na And if under the influence of a tive depravity is consistent with it. great degree of depravity, he
Jus. The terms native, and by retains all the freedom of which nature, have indeed often been he is capable, it certainly re- 'sed in connexion with this subject quires more acumen than I pos.
and for one I am disposed to think, sess, to perceive how this can be that they convey a very important destroyed by total depravity. Our idea, which no other language conceptions on this subject may could more readily or definitely be assisted by considering again, convey. At the same time I am for a moment, in what depravity aware that each of these terms is consists. If depravity consists in liable to be misunderstood and the exercise of sinful affections, or abused. When I speak of native in that selfishness which is oppo. depravity, I do not mean a depravsite to the supreme and disinter- ity which has an existence preested love which the law of God viously to the exercise of moral requires, there is no appearance agency, or which ever exists or of its being inconsistent with free can exist but as the effect of free agency. On the contrary, the ex. moral agency. I do, indeed, think istence of this depravity always this depravity to be natural, and implies the exercise of free agen- in this opinion I am supported by cy. If mankind were not free a- very high authority. Paul speakgents, there could be no more de- ing of himself and the Ephesians
as they were before their conver- that they must be under a fatal nesion, says, “ In time past we all had cessity of sioping, wbich must exour conversation in the lusts of culpate them from all blame. the flesh, fulfilling the desires of Jus. You seem to forget my the flesh and of the mind, and were friend that sin and blame are always by nature the children of wrath inseparable. Why do you speak of even as others.” In sopposing that of men's being under a fatal nethey are naturally sinful or deprav- cessity of sipping as though it ed, I do not, however, suppose thạt could not be as natural for tbem they are 80 without that which to act freely as it is to sin when it is is essential to their sinfulness or well understood between you and depravity. Their being natural- me that there is no sin or depravi. ly sinners no more proves that they ty which is not the result of free are not active, free, or voluntary moral agency. If you will look at in their depravity, than the fact the subject with little more atten. that some are naturally eloquent tion, I am persuaded that you will and that others are natural singers see the impropriety of intimating proves that they speak and sing as you have several times done, involuntary, or from an imperi- that a person wholly inclined to ous necessity. The plain truth sin cannot be to blame. This is on the subject appears to be this. certainly nothing less than saying It is natural for mankind as soon as in other words, if a man is sinful they become moral agents to sin to the extent of his capacity he voluntary. Sin always implies vol- becomes perfectly innocent and untaripess or free agency. The loses all capacity to sin ; or if be common saying that mankind are is criminal for all his moral exernaturally sinners, does not mean cises and conduct there is no crimas some seem absurdly to suppose inality in any of them. Why you it does ; that they are obliged by should consider the supposition the constitution of their nature to that mankind are inclined so early sin, wbether they choose to do it to sin as an objection to the docor not. But it means, that with trine under consideration, I cannot all necessary power to he holy, perceive. It is in my apprehenthey are paturally inclined to sin. sion as easy to see that their first
Sim. I cannot possibly see how moral exercise may be wrong, as any one can be criminal for what is that any of their subsequent moral natural to him.
exercises may be wrong. Nor do I Jus. Not even, I suppose, if it see any thing in the suppositon is natural for bim to be criminal. that the moral exercises of singers
Sim. But if mankind are wholly may be constantly sinful, more abinclined to sin; and that to as you surd in itself, or inconsistent with suppose from the first moments of their freedom and accountableness their free agency, it appears to me than in the supposition that these
are alternately sinful and holy. But As, however, I have but a mothe opposite of all this is, in my ment more to speod with you, at apprehension, a self evident truth. the present time, I shall merely If a person can at any time exer. direct your attention to a very cise a sinful affection, one for few of the leading facts which which he is justly considered crim- convince me that all mankind are inal, this may be his first, as well totally depraved, in the sense in as any subsequent moral exercise. wbich I have explained this term. And if he is capable of exercising This, in the first place, is the ob. a sinful affection intermingled with vious import of the scriptures, on those which are holy, he is equal. this subject. Solomon says, “The ly capable of exercising sinful af- heart of the sons of men is full of fections constantly. You my friend evil.” Paul says, “ The carnal dever thought of objecting to the mind is enmity against God; for goodness of God, because he has it is not subject to the law of God, always been holy, or because he neither indeed can be." Christ is perfectly holy. But if the eter- said to the Jews, whose hearts nal and perfect holiness of God were undoubtedly like those of is not inconsistent with his free other men in a state of pature, agency and praise worthiness, the 66 I know you that ye bave not early and the total depravity of the love of God in you.” 2. This sinners is no objection to their obvious import of the scriptures free agency or blame worthinese. agrees exactly with what we are
Sim. But after all, friend Justin taught by our own experience.is there evidence that mankind are When we consider what the law in fact totally depraved. I admit of God requires, and compare that you have given, to say the the feelings of which we are the least, a plausible answer to the ob- subjects, in an unrenewed state, jections which I have made to this we may perceive at once, that doctrine. But I ought not certain- they are all wrong. Selfishness, ly to admit it as true, unless I can in some form or other, is the see some positive evidence in its ruling passion of which we are favour.
conscious. We know that we do Jus. By no
I have not love God above every other been the more prolix in my an object. And we are equally conswers to your objections, because scious, that we do not love our I thought these were operating to neighbor as ourselves. Although prevent your serious and candid we are expressly commanded to attention to the evidence in favor love our enemies, and although of the doctrine. If these are ef- we perceive the duty and proprifectually removed, you will, I am ety of this command; yet we persuaded, immediately perceive know that we naturally bate ample evidence in support of it. them. I will only add, 3.
FATAL EFFECTS OF DEISM.
observations, so far as it extends, to a friend's house at some disGonfirms what the scriptures and tance, directing her to stay until our own experience teach re. she obtained an answer to an in. specting human depravity. Man- significant letter he wrote his kind in their natural state uniform- friend, intending she should not ly appear to feel and act as though return that evening. She did how. they were destitute of those holy ever return. Perhaps her return affections, which they are requir- disconcerted him, and prevented ed to exercise, and to be entirely him for that time. The next day under the influence of others he carried his pistols to a smith which are of an opposite nature. for repair. It may be, the ill To give a single instance to illus. condition of his pistols might be trate this truth : They appear to an additional reason for the delay. love the world. But it is written On the evening of the 10th of “ If any man love the world, the Dec. some persons were with him love of the Father is not in him.” at his hülse to whom he appear.
ed as cheerful and serepe as usual. He attended to the little affairs of his family as if nothing encom
mon was in contemplation. The Illustrated in the conduct of Wil. company left him about 9 o'clock liam Beadle of Weathersfield, in the evening, when he was urCon. who closed the sacrifice of gent as usual for their stay. his wife and children with his own destruction.
Whether he slept that night is The following account of the uncertain ; but it is believed he tragical scene is taken from an went to bed. The children and Appendix, attributed to the Hon. maid slept in one chamber. la Judge Mitchell, to the sermon, the grey of the morning of the delivered by the Rev. John Marsh, D. D. at the funeral of 11th of Dec. he went to their Mrs. Beadle and her four chil. bed chamber, awakened the dren.
unaid and ordered her to arise “ He fixed on the night succeed. gently without disturbing the ing the 18th of Nov. 1782, for children. When she came down the execution of his nefarious stairs, he gave her a line to the purpose, and procured a supper family physician, who lived at the of oysters of which the family ate distance of a quarter of a mile, very plentifully. That evening ordered her to carry it immedihe writes as follows. "I have ately, at the same time declaring prepared a noble supper of oyse that Mrs. Beadle had been ill all ters, that my flock and I may eat night, and directing her to stay and drink together, thank God, until the physician should come. and die. After supper be sent with her. This he repeated the maid with a studied errand dry times with a degree of ardor.
There is much reason to believe fired them at the same instant. he had murdered Mrs. Beadle be. The balls went through the head fore he awakened the maid. Up- in transverse directions. Although on the maids’ leaving the house the neighbors were very near he immediately proceeded to ex. and some of them awake, none ecute his purpose on ihe children heard the report of the pistols. and himself. It appears he had The line to the physician obscurefor some time before carried to ly announced the intentions of the his bed side, every night, an axe
The house was soon openand a carving kpife. He smote his ed, but alas, too late. The bodies wile and each of the children with were pale and motionless, swimthe axe on the side of the head ning in their blood, their faces as they lay sleeping in their beds. as white as mountain snow, yet The woman had two wounds in the life seemed to tremble on their head. The skull of each of them lips. Description can do no more was fractured. He then with the than faintly ape and trifle with the carving knife cut their throats real figure. from ear to ear. The woman and Such a tragical scene filled evelittle boy were drawn partly over ry mind with the deepest distress. the side of their beds as if to pre- Nature recoiled and was vent the bedding from being be- rack with distorting passions.-smeared with blood. The three. The most poignant sorrow and daughters were taken from the tender pity for the lady and her bed and laid upon the floor, side innocent babes, who were the hapby side, like three lambs before less victims of the brutal, studied their throats were cut. They cruelty of a husband and father in were covered with a blanket and whose embraces they expected to the woman's face with a handker- find security, melted every heari. chief. He then proceeded to the Shocking effects of pride and lower floor of the house, leaving false notions about religion ! marks of his footsteps in blood on To paint the first transports the stairs, carrying with him the which this affecting scere proaxe and koise. The latter he duced, when the house was openJaid upon the table in the room, ed, is beyond my reach. Mulwhere he was found, reeking with titudes of all ages and sexes were the blood of his family. Perhaps drawn together by the sad tale.-he thought he might use it a- The very inmost souls of the begainst himself, if his pistols should holders were wounded at the sight fail. It appears he then seated and torn by contending passions. bimself in a windsor chair with his Silent grief, with marks of astonarms supported by the arms of ishment were succeeded by furious the chair. He fixed the muzzles indignation against the author of of the pistols into his two ears and the affecting spectacle, which ven