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who is love, is our Father; That all his infinitely glorious attributes harmonise in love ; that they all work in unison, ajming at the highest possible improvement and felicity of all moral beings. With what pleasing reflections do we behold each other. Children of the same Father, heirs of the same inheritance, pilgrims on the saine journey, and bound to the same eternal home.
How reasonable it is that we should love, sincere. ly love the God of love. How reasonable is it that we should love one another. Our pretensions to religion, without love, are but frauds practised on ourselves. “ He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can be love God whom he hath not seen?” Lore is a “fountain of living waters, a place of broad rivers and streams,” to which we are invited in the following divine language, with which I close ;“ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money : come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without inoney and without price. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saving, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”
DELIVERED AT THE SECOND UNIVERSALIST MEETING, IN BOSTON,
SEPTEMBER 27, 1818.
BY HOSEA BALLOU, PASTOR.
Published Semi-Monthly, by Henry Bowen, Devonshire-street,
ROMANS, viii. 20. "For the treature was made subject to panity, not willingly, but by reason
of him who hath subjected the same in hope." By creature in our text, the Apostle evidently means the same as he does by the whole creation" in the 22d verse. In this connection the whole created humanity is three times called “ the creature ;” and once, “ the whole creation.” The subject of the Apostle's labour in the place where our text is found, seems to be that of presenting to view one of the most pleasing, consoling, and encouraging subjects, on which he delighted to dwell. In the 16th verse he notices the testimony of the divine Spirit, that we are the children of God. From this he proceeds to show our heirship in God, and our joint heirship with Christ. The consideration of the infinite riches and glory to which mankind is entitled, seemed to call into notice the present state of suffering to which man is subjected in this mortal life ; concerning which he speaks as follows; “ For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the inanifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope ; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now; and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” By our body the author means the same as he does by creature, and by the whole crealion. Believers, who have the first fruits of the spirit are distinguished in the foregoing quotation from the rest of the one body, called the creature and the whole creation, but in such a way as to show that
they were in the same condition with the rest, · groaning and waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the whole body. And it is worthy of special notice, that by first fruits of the spirit, the Apostle evidently intimates that the redemption of the whole creature which was made subject to vanity was considered as the whole or general harvest. As under the law a few only partook of the first fruits, but all were fed of the general harvest ; so but a few seem to be partakers of the first fruits of the spirit, while the whole human family is entitled to the redemption of our body.
The vanity to which the creature was made subject may comprehend all the imperfections incident to our inortal state, but especially and particularly the sufferings which the author mentioned in the context. He was not made subject to vanity on account of his own will, for he could have had no will until he was created ; but he was made subject to vanity by reason of him who subjected him in
hope. The opinion, therefore, that man was constituted in flesh and blood, first a perfectly holy being, but was made subject to vanity by sin, is as contrary to the plain declaration of our text as it is repugnant to the dictates of reason.
We shall now proceed to examine the common doctrine called the fall of man, and to show the want of both scripture and reason for its support. Such language as the following ;“ before the fall, since the fall, the fall of man, in Adam's fall we sinned all,” is common among christian people, and is so much used by authors and preachers that people in general suppose it to be Bible language, and feel confident that the scriptures justify such representations. But notwithstanding all that has been written and spoken on this subject, and without calling the sincerity of any in question, it seems necessary to inform the hearer that no such language was ever used by the lawgiver of Israel, the prophets who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, the Lord Jesus, or his Apostles. We read nothing in the scriptures of Adam's falling from the state in which he was created, no more than we read of Cain's falling from the state in which he was created. We are informed that Adam eat of the forbidden fruit, and we are informed that Cain slew his brother, but we are not told that they did these things in one constitution of nature, and fell into another constitution by so doing. If Adam had not been constituted in an imperfect state how could he have sinned in that state ? It is not supposed that Adam fell out of the state in which he was created before he sinned, therefore he must have sinned in the state in which he was formed of the dust of the ground. If he sinned in the state in which he was first formed, then it is evident that he was possessed of no perfection or holiness that secured him against sin. What alteration was there effected in the constitution of Adam by what is ealled the fall ? It seems according to the account given in Genesis, that Adam was not very dissimilar to men in all ages of the world ; he was led into sin by his companion. She who was formed and given to Adam for a help-meet was the means of leading him into sin ; and how many thousands in all ages of the world have been led into sin by this kind blessing of heaven! Nor does it appear from any account we have in scripture, that Adam was any more inflexible than his posterity in general. We have no account of his withstanding strong temptations for a long time; it seems the first temptation was successful. If we should carefully compare the conduct of Adam with what we read of Joseph, candor would conclude at once in favor of the latter. The former did sin, but Joseph did not. But here we should do great injustice if we should contend that there was such a difference in the constitutions of the two as to produce the difference which appears in their conduct; for this difference might have arisen from circumstances distinct from natural constitution,
The common doctrine on the subject of this inquiry supposes that there was a real change produced in man's very nature by the first transgression; and such a change too, as to render the creature radically sinful and totally inclined to sin. But we read no such account where those things are particularly recorded. So far from any thing of this kind, we are not informed that either Adam or Eve ever committed a second crime. The faithful word informs us that these first parents of inankind lived a long time after eating of the forbidden fruit, but we hear nothing of their living vicious lives. The second sin of which we read is the murder of Abel, and this crime was so heinous