Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The scripture account of the state of men and things after the fall, may be adduced as a farther confirmation of this awful and important truth. When Adam was created, a place of pleasure, a. paradise, was prepared for his habitation ; and here he continued until sin procured his expulsion from thence; this was part of the punishment inflicted upon him for his disobedience, he was driven from the garden of God, which had been wont to yield it's fruit in abundance for his fupport, to seek for food in the open uncultivated field, and to eat his bread in the weat of his brow. Adam thus exiled from his God and King, began to propagate his race, for, he knew his wife, and The conceived, and bare Cain and his brother Abel ;

; these children were not born in paradise, nor had a place assigned them there, as Adam and Eve their parents had, when in their perfect state ; but were banished from that blissful habitation that suited

state of innocence, together with their offending parents. From this we may observe, first, had they been innocent, and not considered as guilty through the offence of their parents, it is by no means probable they would have been exposed to that toil and labour, which was the effect of their. parent's transgression ; but the effect is evident, therefore the cause cannot with a good countenance be denied. 2d. Another reason why Adam was driven from the garden, was, left be. Mould put forth his hand, and take of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever. We do not find that Adam before he finned was prohibited the fruit of this lifegiving tree, for of every tree in the garden thou. mayest freely eat, that one excepted; and why should not his posterity be as highly favoured, if

[ocr errors]

as

as holy, and free from all imputation of guilt as Adam was? But it appears that all kind of sufferings that Adam brought upon himself by his fin, the like sufferings all his pofterity are subjected to, and as the fame effects must be the produce of one and the same cause, so the sufferings of Adam's fons, owe their existence to that one cause, Adam's fin.

Moses the man of God tells us, that Adam after his fall begat a fon in his own likeness; it would be a reflection on the great historian not to be admitted, to suppose him intending to inform us by this declaration, what none of his readers could doubt of; namely, that a man begat a man, seeing this was no other than the natural effect of the divine institution and injunction, be fruitful and multiply. He had informed us chap. i. ver. 27. that God created man in his ovin image, that is, he further adds, in the image of God, this image of God in which Adam was created, was threefold, 1. In his nature and constitution ; his body was formed of the dust of the ground, and could be said to be in the image of God no otherwise, than as the creator of all things was pleased to mould it after the image of his great idea, and Ç in the form in which he liked to manifest himself when he would assume the human nature; but his soul was spiritual in it’s nature and after the image of God, for God is a spirit; his soul was immortal, therefore in the image of him who only hath immortality, as in the source and fountain thereof. 2. He bore the image of God, in the authority given him over the creatures of this lower world, let them said God, have dominion, &c. so that as God rules the armies of the sky, and all the hosts

of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of heaven; man should resemble him, being his vice-roy, and rule the inferior creatures of the earth. 3d. Man was made in God's image of purity and rectitude; righteousness and holiness are said by the apostle to be the image of God, Eph. iv. 24. and this image fair and ipotless, was impressed upon the foul of man in his first creation, and answered to the divine original, as the impression on the wax, answers to the seal that impressed it. This is the fair and amiable picture, so exactly corresponding to the idea of the great drafts-man, that when having drawn it he approved it, and said, all is very good; but sin defaced, and deformed this glorious image, în Adam, and all his feed.

For Adam, as a fallen creature, began to propagate his race, and begat a fon in his own likeness, or rather, begat in his own likeness, all that he did beget both sons and daughters; for fon is not in the original ; all his offspring he begat like himself, and after his own image, exiles from God, and subject to mortality, forrow and suffering. The glorious image of rectitude and holiness was gone; integrity and innocence were intirely loft in the parent, and it was impossible he could convey to others, what he had lost the possession of in himself. His image therefore, which his posterity partake of, is a frail and feeble body, subject to pain, sickness, and manifold diseases, and lastly death itself. A soul destitute of God's spirit, of divine and spiritual light, life and comfort; averse to every good, proud and self-dependant, and prone to all manner of evil. Now as a creature so far fallen froin the image of the blessed God, and so much asimilated to that spirit of darkness

the

}

the devil, can by no means be the object of the divine complacency; wretchedness and disquietude mufts needs be it's portion, so long as such state of alienation continues. Hence it is written, there is no peace saith my God to the wicked; for he is chased by the terrors of his own conscience, and fleeth when no man pursueth; and as an union with the Lord, and the comforts Aowing therefrom, gives light and gladness to the heart; so a deprivation of these, exposes the soul to that tribulation and anguish, the offending parent of a ruined posterity felt, when he fled from the presence of his maker, and attempted to hide himself amidst the thickest trees of the garden. Moreover, as Adam's confession of his nakedness, was a pleading guilty before his judge; fo our want of that glorious image first impressed on the human nature, and those transcendent robes of light and glory, with which it was adorned, bespeaks transgression, and declares us guilty. If our great Lord should in the rigor of his justice, and without respect to our Saviour, and surety, call us to account, as we first come into the world, for the talents committed to us in our common parent; none of us could say so much in our own behalf, as did the man in the gospel, lo, here is thine own, for we have nothing to present, of what God first bestowed, nor can we in justice expect to meet with better treatment than he ; for justice would be glorified, in the eternal damnation of all that spring from the loins of Adam; and the salvation of any, must be ascribed to free and fovereign grace, everlasting love, and boundless mercy, fowing through the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We

Not one.

[ocr errors]

We have no reason to suppose, those eminent saints whom the Holy Ghost employed as scribes, in penning the sacred scriptures, conceived any other of their natural state, even from their infancy,3 than a state of guiltiness and obnoxioufnefs to wrath; seeing many of their expressions both general and particular, clearly indicate such conceptions. Job, in the extremity of his sufferings, confessed to God the feebleness of his body, and the defilement of his soul, and acknowledged that the fountain was so exceedingly corrupt and poisoned, that nothing pure and untainted could possibly proceed from it, for, who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? faith he,

Nor did his friends however different from him in their sentiments in other respects, dissent from his judgment in this ; for Bildad the Shuhite, supposing Job to be self-righteous, and forgetful of the rock from whence be was hewn, asks him in the presence of his friends, and with him, all that should hear the awful interrogation, bow can he be clean that is born of a woman? The sweet singer of Israel taught by the same fpirit, harmonized in the same sentiments, and when speaking of others, says, the wicked are estranged from the

womb, as soon as they be born speaking lies ; and of himself, behold, I was hapen in iniquiry, and in fin did my mother conceive me.

These, with many other passages expressive of the like sentiment in holy writ, may serve to inform us what their judgment was concerning the human nature, who were most high in the favour of heaven; and it would be absurd to suppose, that while they declared this to be the state of fallen man, they should at the same time conceive

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »