vagabond is the strongest possible appeal for effort toward his salvation. Let individuals look upon humanity from the point of view of Christ, and they will not be long in finding ways in which environment can be caused to work for righteousness.?
This original righteousness, in which the image of God chiefly consisted of, is to be viewed:
(a) Not as constituting the substance or essence of human nature ? for in this case human nature would heave ceased to exist as soon as man sinned.
Men every day change their tastes and loves, without changing the essence or substance of their being. When sin is called a ?nature,? therefore (as by Shedd, in his Essay on? Sins Nature, and that Nature Guilt?), it in only in the sense of being something inborn ( natura , from nascor ). Hereditary tastes may just as properly be denominated a ?nature? as may the substance of one?s being. Moehler, the greatest modern Roman Catholic critic of Protestant doctrine, in his Symbolism, 58, 59, absurdly holds Luther to have taught that by the Fall, man lost his essential nature, and that another essence was substituted in its room. Luther, however, is only rhetorical when he says: ?It is the nature of man to sin. Sin constitutes the essence of man; the nature of man since the Fall has become quite changed. Original sin is that very thing which is born of father and mother; the clay out of which we are formed is damnable. The fetus in the Maternal womb is sin; man as born of his father and mother, together with his whole essence and nature, is not only a sinner but sin itself.?
(b) Nor as a gift from without, foreign to human nature and added to it after man?s creation ? for man is said to have possessed the divine image by the fact of creation, and not by subsequent bestowal.
As men, since Adam, are born with a sinful nature, that is, with tendencies away from God, so Adam was created with a holy nature, that is, with tendencies toward God. Moehler says: ?God cannot give a man actions.? We reply: ?No, but God can give man dispositions and he does this at the first creation, as well as at the new creation (regeneration).?
(c) But rather, as an original direction or tendency of man?s affections and will, still accompanied by the power of evil choice differs from the perfected holiness of the saints, as instinctive affection and childlike innocence differ from the holiness that has been developed and confirmed by experience of temptation.
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