On the Doctrine of Original Sin, For Rev J

First, I say, let us inquire, What is the real state, with regard to knowledge and virtue, wherein mankind have been from the earliest times? And what state are they in at this day?

1. What is the state, (to begin with the former branch of the inquiry,) with regard to knowledge and virtue, wherein, according to the most authentic accounts, mankind have been from the earliest times? We have no authentic account of the state of mankind in the times antecedent to the deluge, but in the writings of Moses. What then, according to these, was the state of mankind in those times? Moses gives us an exact and full account: God then “saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” ( Genesis 6:5,12,13.) And this was not the case of only part of mankind; but “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth:” And accordingly God said, “The end of all flesh is come, for the earth is filled with violence through them.” Only Noah was “righteous before God.” ( Genesis 7:1.) ...


Not barely the works of their hands, or the works of their tongue, but ‘every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil.’...

From whence comes that complication of all! the miseries incident to human nature, — war? Is it not from the tempers “which war in the soul?”

When nation rises up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, does it not necessarily imply pride, ambition, coveting what is another’s; or envy, or malice, or revenge, on one side, if not on both? Still, then, sin is the baleful source of affliction; and consequently, the flood of miseries which covers the face of the earth, — which overwhelms not only single persons, but whole families, towns, cities, kingdoms, — is a demonstrative proof of the overflowing of ungodliness in every nation under heaven...

But a man, who is King of France, has a quarrel with another man, who is King of England. So these Frenchmen are to kill as many of these Englishmen as they can, to prove the King of France is in the right. Now, what an argument is this! What a method of proof! What an amazing way of deciding controversies! What must mankind be, before such a thing as war could ever be known or thought of upon earth? How shocking, how inconceivable a want must there have been of common understanding, as well as common humanity, before any two Governors, or any two nations in the universe, could once think of such a method of decision? If, then, all nations, Pagan, Mahometan, and Christian, do, in fact, make this their last resort, what farther proof do we need of the utter degeneracy of all nations from the plainest principles of reason and virtue? of the absolute want, both of common sense and common humanity, which runs through the whole race of mankind?

1 comment:

revabi said...

Mr. Wesley, thou didst go all out with this response did ye not.

Just to let you know, I quoted you in my most recent post about random acts of kindness.