Human nature is said by many to be good; if so, where have social evils come from? For human nature is the only moral nature in that corrupting thing called society. Every example set before the child of to-day is the fruit of human nature. It has been planted on every possible fieldamong the snows that never melt; in temperate regions, and under the line; in crowded cities, in lonely forests; in ancient seats of civilization, in new colonies; and in all these fields it has, without once failing, brought forth a crop of sins and troubles.
Those that hold the doctrine of native depravity do not believe that there is a mass of corrupt matter lodged in the heart, which sends off noxious exhalations, like a dead body. But they maintain that the soul has entirely lost the image of God in which it was originally created; that there is nothing pure or good remaining in it; that in consequence of the withdrawment of those special Divine influences which were given to our first parents, the proper balance of the power is destroyed, they have lost their conformity to the law of God; and the holy dispositions, which were at first implanted in the soul, have given place to sinful dispositions, which are the source of all actual transgression.
If we take away this foundation, that man is by nature foolish and sinful, fallen short of the glorious image of God, the Christian system falls at once; nor will it deserve as honorable an appellation as that of a cunningly devised fable.
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.