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Original Sin.

Original Sin.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY WM. WILBERFORCE NEWTON

FROM an expedition made " through the dark conti-
nents " of theology, it has been my gogd luck to
return unharmed to the every-day duties of life, bring-
ing back with me some of the spoils of the journey. I
have put these fauna and flora into a systematic shape,
though, from the quantity of extracts made, I can claim
little else for myself than the office of the frail thread
which holds the stems of the cut flowers together.
BY WM. WILBERFORCE NEWTON

FROM an expedition made " through the dark conti-
nents " of theology, it has been my gogd luck to
return unharmed to the every-day duties of life, bring-
ing back with me some of the spoils of the journey. I
have put these fauna and flora into a systematic shape,
though, from the quantity of extracts made, I can claim
little else for myself than the office of the frail thread
which holds the stems of the cut flowers together.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 05, 2014
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ORIGINAL SIN. BY WM. WILBERFORCE NEWTONFROM an expedition made " through the dark conti-nents " of theology, it has been my gogd luck to return unharmed to the every-day duties of life, bring-ing back with me some of the spoils of the journey. I have put these fauna and flora into a systematic shape, though, from the quantity of extracts made, I can claim little else for myself than the office of the frail thread which holds the stems of the cut flowers together. To come back to the opening illustration, I would say that the point of departure into the "wilderness of sin," the "Zanzibar" base from which the start was made, has been the Ninth Article of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Episcopal Church. With these few words as an introduction, let us enter upon the subject before us, — the meaning of that term which stands at the head of all anthropology, " Original Sin." This, as the Ninth Article of the Church declares, 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,
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and is of his own nature inclined to evil." That man is a sinner, is the lesson of all human his-tory, of daily observation, and of every man's conscience. 228 Essays of To- Day. Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, and Socrates, among the heathen philosophers, make strong admis-sions in regard to the moral imperfection and nativ^e depravity of man. Ovid, in his " Metamorphoses," says, "Video melior proboque, deteriora seqiior," — a passage singularly like St. Paul's complaint, " What I would I do not ; but what I hate, that I do. The good that I would I do not ; but the evil which I would not, that I do." To account for this universal fact, these philosophers traced the origin of sin in the body to what they considered the essentially evil nature of matter. The early Gnostic heretics did the same ; while the Manicheans, like the Marcionites before them, held that man's actions were
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influenced by the stars. But the great battle was waged during the Pelagian controversy. This decided truth and error ; and all later disputes upon the doctrine of Original Sin have been but reproductions in some form or other of Augustinianism, or Pelagianism, or the com-promising mean of semi-Pelagianism. The doctrines charged against Coelestius, the companion of Pelagius, at the Council of Carthage were, " That Adam was created mortal, and would have died whether he had sinned or not ; that the sin of Adam hurt only himself ; that infants new-born are in the same state Adam was before his fall; that a man may be without sin, and keep God's commandments if he will." The schoolmen in the Middle Ages, for the most part, seem to have considered original righteousness as some-thing superadded to the original nature of man, — as " an ornament upon a maiden's hair" is not a part of herself. Original Sin. 229
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