« السابقةمتابعة »
ness and holiness by which we are created unto good works,' is a new man, a divine nature; it is easy to infer, that man was at first created righteous or holy. (p. 9, 10.)
"II. All things, as at first made by God, were very good. Nor indeed could he make them otherwise. Now a rational being is not good, unless his rational powers are all devoted to God. The goodness of man, as a rational being, must lie in a devotedness and consecration to God. Conse quently, man was at first thus devoted to God: otherwise he was not good. But this devotedness to the love and service of God is true righteousnes or holiness. This righteousness then, this goodness, or uprightness, this regular and due state, or disposition of the human mind, was at first natural to man. It was wrought into his nature, and con-created with his rational powers. A rátional creature, as such, is capable of knowing, loving, serving, living in communion with the Most Holy One. Adam at first either did or did not use this capacity; either he knew and loved God, or he did not. If he did not, he was not very good, no, nor good at all; if he did, he was upright, righteous, holy. (p. 12.)
"III. When God vested man with dominion over the other creatures, how was he qualified for exercising that dominion, unless he had in himself a principle of love and obedience to the supreme Governor? Did not God form the creatures obedient to man, to confirm man in his loving obedience to God? Or did he create them, with a disposition to depend on and obey man as their lord, and not create man with a disposition to obey and live dependent on the Lord of all? But this disposition is uprightness. Therefore God' made man upright.' (p. 13.)
"IV. Either man was created with principles of love and obedience, or he was created an enemy to God. One of those must be: for as all the duty required of man, as a rational being, is summarily comprised in love, a supreme love to God, and a subordinate love to others, for his sake: so there can be no medium between a rational creature's loving God, and not loving, which is a degree of enmity to VOL. XIV.
him. Either, O man, thou lovest God, or thou dost not: if thou dost, thou art holy or righteous: if thou dost not, thou art indisposed to serve him in such a manner, and with such a frame of spirit as he requires. Then thou art an enemy to God, a rebel against his authority. But God could not create man in such a state, in a state of enmity against himself. It follows, that man was created a lover of God, that is, righteous and holy. (p. 14.)
"In a word. Can you prove, either that man was not 'created after God,' or that this does not mean being 'created in righteousness and true holiness?' Was not man, as all creatures, good in his kind? And is a rational creature good, unless all its powers are devoted to God? Was not man duly qualified at first to exercise dominion over the other creatures? And could he be so qualified without a principle of love and obedience to their common Lord? Lastly, Can any man prove, either that man could be innocent if he did not love the Lord his God with all his heart? Or that such a love to God is not righteousness and true holiness? (p. 15.)
"From the doctrine of man's Original Righteousness we may easily conclude that of Original Sin. For this reason it is, that some so earnestly protest against original righteousness, because they dread looking on themselves as by nature fallen creatures and children of wrath. If man was not holy at first, he could not fall from a state of holiness: and consequently the first transgression exposed him and his posterity to nothing but temporal death. But on the other hand, if man was made upright,' it follows, 1. That man, when he fell, lost his original righteousness, and therewith his title to God's favour and to communion with God. 2. That he thereby incurred not only temporal but spiritual death. He became dead in sin and a child of wrath.' And, 3. That all his posterity are born with such a nature, not as man had at first, but as he contracted by his fall. (p. 20, 21.)
GEN. ii. 16, 17.
And the LORD God commanded the Man, saying, of every Tree of the Garden thou mayst freely eat but of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
"GOD forbad man to eat of this tree, in token of his sovereign authority, and for the exercise of man's love, and the trial of his obedience. The words added, " In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,' or literally, In dying thou shalt die, mean, not only, Thou shalt certainly die, but, Thou shalt suffer every kind of death. Thy soul as well as thy body shall die. And indeed if God made man upright or holy if man at first enjoyed the life of God,' including holiness joined with blessedness; and if the miserable state of the soul (as well as the dissolution of the body) is in Scripture termed death, it plainly follows, that the original threatening includes nothing less than a loss of man's original uprightness, of his title to God's favour, and a life of happy communion with God. (p. 26, 27.)
"The words mean farther, Thou shalt instantly die; as soon as ever thou eatest. And so he did. For in that instant his original righteousness, title to God's favour, and communion with God being lost, he was spiritually dead, dead in sin, his soul was dead to God, and his body liable to death, temporal and eternal. (p. 28, 29.)
"And as there is a threatening of death expressed in these words, so a promise of life is implied. The threatening death, only in case of disobedience, implied, that otherwise he should not die. And even since the fall, the law of God promises life to obedience, as well as threatens death to disobedience: since the tenor of it is, Do this and live: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' (p. 30.) "Now a law given by God with a promise of life and a threatening of death, consented to by man, is evidently a covenant. For what is a covenant? But a mutual agree
ment of two or more parties on certain terms? Now in this sense God covenanted with man, and man covenanted with God. God gave a law, promising life in case of obedience, and threatening death in case of disobedience. And man accepted of the terms. Here therefore was a real covenant. (p. 31.)
"But to guard this against objections, I add,
"1. We do not affirm, that God visibly appeared, and formally treated with Adam, as one man with another. Without so formal a procedure, God could and doubtless did, signify to him, on what terms he was to expect life or death. (p. 32.)
"We do not assert, that God promised to translate him to heaven; but without question he made Adam sensible, that if he continued obedient he should continue happy, whether in Paradise or some other region.
"3. If one greatly superior will freely condescend to treat with an inferior, this does not disannul the mutual agreement, or hinder its having the nature of a covenant. So God entered into a proper covenant with Abraham of old, and with his people in the gospel. And if so, much more might he do so with man, when perfectly upright toward God. (p. 33.)
"And this covenant was made with Adam not only for himself, but likewise for all his posterity. This appears,
"1. From the tenor of the original threatening, compared with the present state of mankind. For it is evident, that every one of his posterity is born liable to death: that the death to which all are liable, was not threatened but in case of man's sinning: that man was not liable to death till he sinned, and his being so was the result of the threatening; and, that the Scripture constantly points at sin as the sole cause of death, and of all suffering. But if all man. kind are born liable to that which was originally threatened only to sin, then all mankind are accounted sinners, and as such are concerned in the original threatening, and conse. quently in the original promise. (p. 34.)
2. From 1 Cor. xv. 22. In Adam all die.' Here the apostle speaks not of both our parents, but of Adam singly,
(as also Rom. v.) to denote our peculiar relation to him. The all mentioned are all his natural descendants, who all die in or through him, that is, are liable to death on account of their relation to him. And it is not only a bodily death that is here spoken of; for it stands opposed not to a pare revival of the body, but to a happy and glorious resurrection, such as they that are Christ's will partake of at his second coming. For of this resurrection, not that of the ungodly, the apostle is speaking throughout this chapter. But they could not die in Adam, if they did not in some sense sin in him, and fall with him: if the covenant had not been made with him, not for himself only but for all his posterity. (p. 35, 36.)
"3. From verse 45 and 47 of the same chapter. The first Man, Adam, and the second Man, the last Adam, are here opposed. Now why is Christ, notwithstanding the millions of men intervening between Adam and him, and following after his birth, called the second Man, and the last Adam? We have an answer, Rom. v. 12, 14, &c. where Adam is said to be a figure of Christ: and the resemblance between them is shewn to lie in this, that as sin and death descend from one, so righteousness and life from the other. Consequently what Christ is with regard to all his spiritual seed, that Adam is with regard to all his natural descendants, namely, a public person, a federal head, a legal representative: one with whom the covenant was made not only for himself, but also for his whole posterity."
JOHN iii. 5, 6,
Except a Man be born of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit.
"IN this text we have,
"1. The New Birth described;
"II. The Necessity of it insisted on.