And does you open your eyes on such an one, and bring me into judgment with you?…
The disobedience of our first parents involved their posterity, and entailed a depravity of nature upon their descendants; which depravity, though it is not a sin in us, till the will closes with it, and deliberately consents to it; yet is certainly sinful in itself, and therefore is styled original sin. Adam was formed in the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness; but it is plain that we who are born with strong propensions to vice are not created in righteousness and true holiness. It is clear that we are fallen from our original and primitive state of innocence. Far be it from me to vilify human nature, as if it were totally bad, without any remains or traces of its primitive greatness. But no creature could come originally from God's hand but what was perfect in its kind; no rational creature can be perfect in his kind, in whom there is a strong propension to vice, that is, to what is unreasonable, and a great irregularity of the appetites and affections. There is a latent stock of corruption in us, though sometimes unsuspected by us, which often discovers itself as soon as there are suitable objects to call it forth. We see the wisest of men, in their unguarded hours, betrayed into unaccountable follies. Reason was originally given us to govern the passions in all cases. It does not now regulate and govern them in all cases; it is certain, therefore, that we are in a fallen, disordered state. If men proceed to action while their passions are warm, they do not see things justly, and therefore are apt to act too hastily; if they stay till their passions are cool, they are apt not to act at all. Moreover, we do not love or hate, rejoice or grieve, hope or fear, so far as is consistent with reason, and no further. We love the things of this world beyond the proportion of good which is in them. The love of virtue and heavenly happiness does not keep pace with the worth of the objects beloved. The truth is that ever since the fall, the body clogs the native energy of the soul, and pins it down to this low, ignoble sphere. Into what can this universal depravation, which prevails everywhere among the sons of men, be resolved, but into an universal cause, the inborn corruption of nature, and an original taint, derived from our first parents? Can it be resolved into education? If mankind were in a state of integrity and primitive uprightness, there could scarce be, one would think, so much evil in the world as there really is. Man was originally formed for the knowledge and worship of God only; yet in all countries men are immersed in idolatry and superstition. Man was formed for loving his neighbour as himself; yet the world is generally inclined to the ill-natured side. Again, we were designed for an exact knowledge of ourselves; and yet we see ourselves through a flattering glass, in the fairest and brightest light. Lastly, we were formed for the attainment of beneficial truth; yet there are not many certain truths, demonstrable from intrinsic evidences, from the abstract nature of the thing; though reason can prove several, by the help of external evidences. Setting revelation aside, mankind would have reason to wish that they did not know so much as they do, or that they knew a great deal more...It is one thing to say that God was, or could be, the author of evil; and another to say that when evil was introduced by man, He did not work a miracle to prevent the natural consequences of it; but suffered it for the sake of bringing a greater good out of it; and that, by redemption, He has advanced man to much superior happiness than he could have had any title to, if he had continued in a state of innocence. This is the scriptural solution of the difficulty. What remains but that we strive to recover that happiness, by our humility and meekness, which our first parents lost by pride? The consideration and sense of unworthiness will dispose a man to accept the offers of salvation by Jesus Christ, and make him endeavour to fulfil the terms of it.
(J. Seed, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?