Man?s original righteousness was not immutable or indefectible; there was still the possibility of sinning. Though the first man was fundamentally good, he still had the power of choosing evil. There was a bent of the affections and will toward God, but man was not yet confirmed in holiness. Man?s love for God was like the germinal filial affection in the child, not developed, yet sincere ? ?caritas puerilis, non virilis.?
(d) As a moral disposition, moreover, which was propagated to Adam?s descendants, if it continued and which though lost to him and to them, if Adam sinned, would still leave man possessed of a natural likeness to God which made him susceptible of God?s redeeming grace.
Hooker (Works, ed. Keble, 2:683) distinguishes between aptness and ability. The latter, men have lost; the former, they retain ? else grace could not work in us, more than in the brutes. Hase: ?Only enough likeness to God remained to remind man of what he had lost, and enable him to feel the hell of God?s forsaking.? Only God himself can restore the moral likeness to God. God secures this to men by making ?the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God? dawn upon them?? ( <470404>2 Corinthians 4:4). Pusey made <197206>Psalm 72:6 ? ?He will come down like rain upon the mown grass? ? the image of a world hopelessly dead but with a hidden capacity for receiving life. Dr. Daggett: ?Man is a ?son of the morning? ( <231412>Isaiah 14:12), fallen, yet arrested midway between heaven and hell, a prize between the powers of light and darkness.? See Edwards, Works, 2:19, 20, 381-390; Hopkins, Works, 1:162; Shedd, Hist. Doctrine, 2:50-66; Augustine, De Civitate Dei. 14:11.
In the light of the preceding investigation, we may properly estimate two theories of man?s original state, which claim to be more Scriptural and reasonable:
This theory denies that any positive determination to virtue inhered originally in man?s nature and regards man at the beginning as simply possessed of spiritual powers, perfectly adjusted to each other. This is the view of Schleiermacher, who is followed by Nitzsch, Julius Muller, and Hofmann.
For the view here combated, see Schleiermacher, Christl. Glaube, sec. 60; Nitzsch, System of Christian Doctrine. 201; Julius Muller, Doct, of Sin, 2:113-133, 350-357; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, 1:287-291; Bibliotheca Sacra, 7:409-425. Julius Muller?s theory of the Fall in a preexistent state
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