Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

works being made with man as a public person, seeing it is yet natural to us to do that we may live, and to think that God will accept us for our works sake. 8. See your misery, all ye that are out of Christ. This covenant is your way to heaven, which is now impossible. Tell not of your good meanings and desires, your repentance, and your obedience, such as it is ; and think not to get life, salvation, and acceptance thereby. For the cove. nant ye are under admits of no repentance, no will for the deed. It requires nothingless than perfect obedience, which ye are incapable to give, - - - 9. Lasily, Therefore give over this way of seeking life by the broken covenant of works, and come to the Lord Jesus Christ; lay hold on the better covenant, and come up to Christ's chariot, Cant. iii. 9, 10. which will drive you safely to eternal life and glory. That chariot which the first Adam drove, went not far till it was all shattered, and made unfit to carry any to heaven. It breaks with the weight of the least sin; and so ye can never think it will drive to heaven with you, Rom. viii. But come into the chariot of the covenant of grace, and ye will be safely carried in it to the land of eternal rest and glory ". - * , a

[ocr errors]

of THE FALL of our FIRST PARENTs.

CEN. iii. 6, 7–And when the woman saw that the tree was

good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened,

, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed figleaves together, and made themselves aprons,

OD made man upright, but he sought out many inven

Jr tions. Man being in honour, abode not. He soon

fell from the happy and holy state in which he was created. In the text we have three things to be considered.

* A more full and particular account of the covenant of works may be seen in th:

author's treatise on that subject, first published in 1772, being a work composed posterior to these catechetical discourses.

1. The fall of our first parents from their state of primi

tive integrity; It was by their both eating of the forbidden fruit, and consequently sinning against God, ver, 6. And

they were immediately sensible that they were fallen from that holy and happy state, ver, 7. This appears two ways. (1,) By their knowledge of their nakedness. Some suppose, that their bodies, before their fall, had a divine glory and lustre on them, which was immediately taken away when they sinned, and they saw that this beautiful covering was now gone, Most part of interpreters understand it of their seeing their nakedness with grief and shame, from a sense of their guilt contracted, and of that sinful concupiscence they found now working in them. Thus the eyes of their minds were opened, which Satan had blinded before. (2.) By their going about to cover their bodies with the broad leaves of the fig-tree. All this clearly holds forth their sense, though it was no holy sense, of their shameful fall, 2. That action by which they fell, their sinning against God, ver. 6. viz. by eating the forbidden fruit. They broke God’s express command, forbidding them, under pain of death, to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And immediately after this wicked deed they saw they were naked. - 3. How they fell. They fell of their own free-will being left to their freedom, ver. 6. The woman saw that the tree tras good for food, &c. There was no force or compulsion here; all proceeded from free choice. Their eyes saw the fruit, their hearts coveted it, their hands took it, and their mouths ate it. The doctrinal truth deducible from the text is, Doct. “Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created by sinning against God.” Two things are here to be considered. I. The fall of our first parents. II. How or what way they fell. I. Let us consider the fall of our first parents. And here I will shew, 1. That man is fallen. 2. Whereby he fell, or what cast him down, 3. What he fell from.

w

First, I am to shew that man is fallen, and that our first parents did not continue in the estate wherein they were created, but fell from it. This is clear,

1. From the express narrative of this fatal event given by Moses, Gen. iii. from which it appears, that the devil entering into a serpent, artfully tempted Eve to eat of the for. bidden fruit, in direct opposition to the express command of God, prohibiting it under a dreadful penalty; that she prevailed upon Adam to follow her example; that they were both immediately stung with remorse and horror for what they had done; and perceiving themselves to be naked, they fell a-sewing fig-leaves together for a covering to their bo. dies; that hearing the voice of the Lord God in the garden, they did, as an evidence of their guilt, and of the privation of light in their minds, hide themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden; that being called to account for their conduct, the woman threw the blame on the serpent, and the man on the woman; and that both received sentence from their offended Creator and Judge, expressive of their future misery; though at the same time God was pleased to give them a revelation of the method of salvation by a Redeemer, in the promise respecting the seed of the woman bruizing the serpent's head, All this amounts to a plain proof that man has fallen from the holy and happy state he was placed in at his creation.

2. From the doleful experience of their posterity, Rom. v.

12. “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all man, for that all have sinned.” When we see the whole race of mankind born beg. gars, surely we may conclude that their father became bank. rupt ; for he once had a happy portion to transmit to his posterity, which he foolishly squandered away. And the misery attending upon us now, is, that we are pursued for our father's debt as well as our own, without having a far. thing to pay.

Secondly, We may inquire, How did Adam fall, or what cast him down It was his sinning against God. While our first parents held with God, they stood; but when they departed from him, they fell. What their sin was more particularly, will fall to be shewn afterwards. They thought to rise by their sin, affecting to be as gods, Gen. iii. 5, : o it was their ruin. Seeking more, they lost what they

aCl,

Thirdly, It may be asked, What did they fall from ? The state wherein they were created. Now, this was a state of the greatest holiness and felicity. When they sinned, 1. They fell from a holy into a sinful state. They lost the image of God. Observe the opposition betwixt the image of God and that of Adam, Gen v. 1, 3. There we are told, “ that God made man in his own likeness, or image; and that Adam beget a son “in his own likeness, even Seth, from whom the whole human race is sprung. Sin was a turning from God as their chief end, and making themselves their chief end; whereby all their uprightness behoved to be lost. It broke the whole law of God at one touch, and violently struck against God and man's neighbour, that is, his posterity; and so could not but waste and defile the conscience. This was the sense of the threatening, “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.’ And in this unholy state are all born of the first man. (1.) They lost their knowledge, and fell under horrible blindness. Witness their fig-leaf cover for shrouding their nakedness, and their hiding themselves from the presence of the Lord, Gen. iii. 7.8. A plain indication of their falling into dreaful ignorance of the Divine Being, the opposite of that great knowledge they had of him in their primitive state of integrity. (2.) They lost the righteousness of their will, Eccl. vii. 29. And they fell under an aversion to God. Witness their running away from him, ver. 8. their excusing their sin, transferring the guilt every one off themselves, till it landed at length on God himself, ver, 12. (3.) They lost the holiness of their affections, which immediately fell into confusion and disorder. Witness their covering their nakedness. While they were innocent, though naked, they were not ashamed; but that jewel being gone, the irregularity of their affections began to appear in discovering themselves to be naked, by the evil operation of concupiscence in their minds, 2. They fell from their happy state into a miserable one. O what a fearful overturn was made by their sin. (1.) Horror of conscience seizes them, ver, 8. appearing in flying from the divine presence; which nothing but guilt, clasping as a serpent about them, could have induced them to do. Death was threatened incase of transgression, Gen.

ii. 17. They both die spiritually, and are bound with the cords of temporal and eternal death. (2.) They are driven out of paradise, excommunicated and declared incapable of communion with God in the tree of life in the garden, Gen. iii. 23. ‘The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden,” as a divorced woman out of the house of her husband, as the word signifies. Nay; God drove out the man, expelling him from that pleasant and delightful place, which he had forfeited by his trans. gression, wer. 24. - (3.) The woman, the first transgressor, is condemned to sorrow and pain in breeding, bearing, and bringing forth children, ver. 16. which, as some observe, is greater in wo. men than other creatures. And frequently women lose their lives in the case. . . . . . . (4.) She is put under a yoke of subjection to her husband, ver. 16. Not but that the woman was subject to him before, but it was to a gentle and loving guide: but now all her desires are subjected to her husband, to grant them or dehy them as he sees fit, because she eat of the forbidden fruit without asking his advice; which now, because of his and her corruption, becomes a heavy yoke. . (5.) The ground is cursed for man’s sake; under the influence of which curse it is barren of wholesome fruits, which it does not yield without heavy labour and diligent cultivation, but fruitful in noxious plants, as thorns and thistles, Ver. 17. - - (6.) Man is condemned to singular anxiety, to weary, toilsome, and oftimes fruitless labour, whether it be the labour of the hands or of the mind, ver: 17, 19.; for this last is to be taken into the account too, as appears from Eccl. i. 13, 18. “I gave my heart (says the preacher), to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travel hath God given to the sons bf man to be exercised therewith. For in much wisdom is imuch grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” II. Let us next consider, how or what way upright man fell. It was so that our first parents sinned, being left to the freedom of their own will. For understanding of this let us consider the following things. : . 1. That our sirst parents had a freedom of will. Freedom |

« ZurückWeiter »