consent of the hearts of Adam?s posterity to the first apostasy and therefore, the sin of the apostasy is not theirs merely because God imputes it to them. It is truly and properly theirs and on that ground God imputes it to them.? Hagenbach, Hist. Doct., 2:435-448, esp. 436, quotes from Edwards: ?The guilt a man has upon his soul at his first existence is one and simple, viz.: the guilt of the original apostasy, the guilt of the sin by which the species first rebelled against God.? Interpret this by other words of Edwards: ?The child and the acorn, which come into existence in the course of nature, are truly immediately created by God? ? i . e., continuously created (quoted by Dodge, Christian Theology, 188). Allen, Jonathan Edwards, 310 ? ?It required but a step from the principle that each individual has an identity of consciousness with Adam to reach the conclusion that each individual is Adam and repeats his experience. Of every man it might be said that like Adam he comes into the world attended by the divine nature and like him sins and falls. In this sense the sin of every man becomes original sin.? Adam becomes not the head of humanity but its generic type. Hence arises the New School doctrine of exclusively individual sin and guilt.
Shedd, Hist. Doctrine, 2:25, claims Edwards is a Traducianist but Fisher, Discussions, 240, shows that he was not. As we have seen (Prolegomena, pages 48, 49), Edwards thought too little of nature. He tended to Berkeleyanism as applied to mind. Hence, the chief good was in happiness ? a form of sensibility. Virtue is voluntary choice of this good. Hence, the union of acts and exercises with Adam was sufficient and God?s will might make identity of being with him. Baird, Elohim Revealed, 250 sq., says well, that; ?Edwards?s idea that the character of an act was to be sought somewhere else than in its cause involves the fallacious assumption that acts have a subsistence and moral agency of their own apart from that of the actor.? This divergence from the truth led to the Exercise- system of Hopkins and Emmons, who not only denied moral character prior to individual choices ( i.e., denied sin of nature) but attributed all human acts and exercises to the direct efficiency of God. Hopkins declared that Adam?s act, in eating the forbidden fruit, was not the act of his posterity; therefore they did not sin at the same time that he did. The sinfulness of that act could not be transferred to them afterwards; because the sinfulness of an act can no more be transferred from one person to another than an act itself. Therefore, though men became sinners by Adam, according to divine constitution, yet they have and are accountable for, no sins but personal. See Woods, History of Andover Theological Seminary, 33. So the doctrine or continuous creation led to the Exercise-system, and the Exercise-system led to the theology of acts.
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