« ZurückWeiter »
could have claimed that Life upon bis Obedience ; yet not in the Way of proper Merit ; because his perfect Obedience was no more than what was due from him by the Law of his Creation, before he entered into that Covenant: Luke xvii.9. 10. Doth he
thank that servant, because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable fervants : we have done that which was our duty
to do. The only way he could have claimed it, was by Compact, namely, in virtue of the Covenant-promise made to his work.
The Penalty, of the Covenant of Works was Death, Gen. ii. 17. forecited. The Death threatened was also twofold ; namely, one accompanying Sin at its first Entrance, another following after as its full Reward. The Death accompanying Sin at its first Entrance, was temporal Death, in the Loss of the Vigour and Comfort of natural Life ; and spiritual Death, in the Loss of the I. mage of God with his Favour and Fellowship. And Adam died this Death, according to the Threatening, that very Day he fioned : Gen. iji. 7. 8. 9. 10. And the eyes of them both were
opened, and they knew that they were naked : " and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made
themselves apróns. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the gardea in the cool of the day : and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord
God called unto Adam, and said unto him, " Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy 'voice in the garden : and I was afraid, because
I was naked; and I hid myself.' The Death following after, as the full Reward of Sin, was the natural Death of the Body with the Sting in it, and eternal Death in the consummate Misery of Soul and Body for ever : 1 Cor. xv. 55.' O death,
where is thy fting? O grave, where is thy victo* ry? Matth. xxv. 41. ' Then shall he fay also un4 to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye * cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil 6 and his angels. And this was comprehended in the express Threatening of Death to accompany Sin ; inasmuch as the one was a sure Pledge of the other, natively ifluing therein.
Queft.13. Did our first Parents continue in the Estate wherein they were created ?
Ans. Our first Parents, being left to the Freedom of their own Will, fell from the Estate wherein they were created, by Ginning against God.
EXPLICATION Our first Parents were Adam and Eve. The State wherein they were created, was a holy and happy State : But they fell from it; and that by their sinning against God: Gen. iii. 6. 7. 8. . 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; "the took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did
eat, &c.' The first that sinned was the Ioman : 1.Tim. ii. 14. 'And Adam was not deceived, but
" the woman being deceived was in the trans
gression. And it was the Devil that infnared her : Gen. iii. 13. And the woman said, The fer
pent beguiled me, and I did eat. The Woman having finned, inspared Adam, verf. 6. forecited. But their being tempted to fin, did not excuse them ; because it was of their own free Will that they sinned. Freedom of Will is a Power in the Will, whereby it doth of its own accord, without Force upon it, chuse or refuse what is proposed to it by the Understanding. And Man harh this Freedom of Will in whatever State he be. But this Power of the Will is not of the same Extent in all States. In the State of Innocence, it extended both to Good and Evil ; that is to say, Man had a Free. dom of Will, whereby he could wholly turn, either to the one Side or the other, to Good or Evil, proposed by his Understanding : And that Man was created thus mutable, was suitable to the State of Trial. Now, the fpecial Act of Providence about the Fall of our first Parents, was that God left them to the Freedom of their own Will: And the Use they made of that, was, that they went freely, of their own accord, to the Side of Sin. But in the State of corrupt Nature, the Power of the Will extends only to Evil : Gen. vi. 5.
• And God saw that the wickedness of man < was great in the earth, and that every imagination
of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continucally. In the State of Grace, it extends partly to Good, and partly to Evil : Rom. vii. 23. ' But I see 6 another law in my members, warring against the < law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity
to the law of fin, which is in my members.' And in the State of Glory it extends only to Goad :-Heb.
xii. 23. To the spirits of just men, made perfect!
Quest. 14. What is Sin?
Ans. Sin is any Want of Conformity unto, or Transgression of, the Law of God.
EXPLICATION. By Sin is meant Transgreffion of the Law of God; and therefore nothing can be Sin, but what one way or other is a Transgression of some Law of God: 1 John-iii. 4.' Whosoever committeth
sin, transgresseth allo the law : for fin is the
tranfgrellion of the law. Transgression of the Law of God, is any Want of Conformity to it whatsoever, i John iii. 4. forecited. So the least coming short of the Perfection required by the Law, is Sin; because so far there is a Want of Confor: mity to the Law: Matth. v. 48. ' Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven * is perfect.'. Compared with i John iii. 4. above cited. Now, the Law of God requires a twofold Conformity to it in the reasonable Creatures ; namely, a Conformity of their Natures to it, and a Conformity of their Lives to it: Psal. xxiv. 3. 4. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ?
and who shall stand in his holy place? He that “ hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath
not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn de
ceitfully.'' Hence there are two general kinds of Sin ; namely, original Sin, and actual Sin : And each of them is a Want of Conformity to the Law of God. Original Sin is a Want of Confor. mity of our Natures to the Law of God. Actual
-Sin is a Want of Conformity of our Lives to the Law of God, whether by Omisfion or Commis sion. The chief Evil of Sin lies in the Filthiness of it. The Filthiness of Sin is its being the quite contrary of God's Holiness expressed in his Law; whence it is, in the Sight of God, the Object of his greatest Loathing and Abhorrence: fer. xliv.
Howbeit, I fent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying, Oh do not this abominable thing that I hate !
Law of ut what de Law enitteth is the of the
whateast coe Law, Confora refore eaven above Lofold ures ;
Quest. 15. What was the Sin whereby our first Parents fell from the Estate wherein they were created ?
Ans: The Sin whereby our first Pani rents fell from the Estate wherein they were created, was their eating the form bidden Fruit.
xxiv., ord! that hath
EXPLICATION. The Sin whereby Man fell, was the eating the forbidden Fruit : Gen. iii. 6.' And when the wo
man 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 cat.' There was no Evil in the Fruit itself, - for which it was forbidden : Gen. i. ult. • And God saw every thing
that he had made, and behold, it was very good.' The Evil of the Matter lay in Man's eating it an
the pforFual Sin