not apart from it; they are forms or manifestations of it. These tendencies run out after a time but not so with sin of nature. The declaration of Ezekiel (18:20): ?the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.? Like Christ?s denial that blindness was due to the blind man?s individual sins or those of his parents ( <430902>John 9:2, 3), simply shows that God does not impute to us the sins of our immediate ancestors; it is not inconsistent with the doctrine that all the physical and moral evil of the world is the result of a sin of Adam with which the whole race is chargeable.
Peculiar tendencies to avarice or sensuality inherited from one?s immediate ancestry are merely wrinkles in native depravity, which add nothing to its amount or its guilt. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:88-94 ? ?To inherit a temperament is to inherit a secondary trait.? H. B. Smith, System, 296 ? ?Ezekiel 18 does not deny that descendants are involved in the evil results of ancestral sins under God?s moral government but simply shows that there is opportunity for extrication in personal repentance and obedience.? Mozley on Predestination, 179 ? ?Augustine says that Ezekiel?s declarations that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father are not a universal law of the divine dealings but only a special prophetical one. It alludes to the divine mercy under the gospel dispensation and the covenant of grace, under which the effect of original sin and the punishment of mankind for the sin of their first parent was removed.? See also Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2:31 (Syst. Doct., 2:326, 327), where God?s visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children ( <022005>Exodus 20:5) is explained by the fact that the children repeat the sins of the parents. German proverb: ?The apple does not fall far from the tree.?
E. If Adam?s sin and condemnation can be ours by propagation, the righteousness and faith of the believer should be propagable also.
We reply that no merely personal qualities, whether of sin or righteousness, are communicated by propagation. Ordinary generation does not transmit personal guilt but only that guilt which belongs to the whole species. So personal faith and righteousness are not propagable. ?Original sin is the consequent of man?s nature, whereas the parents? grace is a personal excellence, and cannot be transmitted? (Burgesse).
Thornwell, Selected Writings, 1:543, says the Augustinian doctrine would imply that Adam, penitent and believing, must have begotten penitent and believing children seeing that the nature as it is in the parent always flows from parent to child. But see Fisher, Discussions, 370, where Aquinas holds that no quality or guilt that is personal is propagated (Thomas
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