Info

H. B. Smith, System, 277 ? ?By total depravity is never meant that men are as bad as they can be nor that they have not, in their natural condition, certain amiable qualities nor that they may not have virtues in a limited sense (justitia civilis). But it is meant

(1) that depravity, or the sinful condition of man, infects the whole man (intellect, feeling, heart and will) and

(2) that in each non-renewed person some lower affection is supreme.

(3) Each is destitute of love to God. On these positions as to

(1) the power of depravity over the whole man, we have given proof from Scripture.

(2) The fact that in every non-renewed man some lower affection is supreme, experience may be always appealed to. Men know that their supreme affection is fixed on some lower good ? intellect, heart and will going together in it or that some form of selfishness is predominant (using selfish in a general sense) self seeks its happiness in some inferior object, giving to that its supreme affection as to

(3) that every non-renewed person is without supreme love to God, it is the point which is of greatest force, and is to be urged with the strongest effect, in setting forth the depth and ?totality? of man?s sinfulness. Non- renewed men have not that supreme love of God which is the substance of the first and great command.? See also Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 248; Baird, Elohim Revealed, 510-522; Chalmers, Institutes, 1:519-542; Cunningham, Hist. Theology, 1 516-531; Princeton Review, 1877:470.

2. Ability or inability?

In opposition to the plenary ability taught by the Pelagians, the gracious ability of the Armenians, and the natural ability of the New School theologians, the Scriptures declare the total inability of the sinner to turn himself to God or to do that which is truly good in God?s sight. (See Scripture proof below.) A proper conception also of the law, as reflecting the holiness of God and as expressing the ideal of human nature, leads us to the conclusion that no man whose powers are weakened by either original or actual sin can of himself come up to that perfect standard. Yet there is a certain remnant of freedom left to man. The sinner can

(a) avoid the sin against the Holy Ghost,

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment