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panied with this corrupt will and depraved inclination. For says the apostle, “ All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world,' i John ii. 16.
(3.) That original righteousness was natural to man, and not supernatural in the primitive state. Natural it
Natural it was, in so far as it was concreated with him, and was necessary to the perfection of man as he came out of the creating hands of God; and was not added to be as a bridle to his natural inclinations to evil, whereof he had none.
(4.) That Adam had the same spiritual strength in innocency wherewith now the regenerate do believe in Christ; having a power to do whatsoever God should command, and to believe whatever he should reveal.
4. The image of God consisted consequently at least in dominion over the inferior creatures, whereby he had a right to dispose of them according to his pleasure, Gen. i. 26, 27.; which was a resemblance of the supreme dominion of God over the creatures, though not absolute and unlimited, but dependent on God. This was evidenced by the beasts being brought to Adam, in token of their subjection to him, and his imposing names on them expressive of their natures and properties.
The image of God seated in man's spiritual and immortal soul, endued with understanding, will, and affections, shone forth also in his body, which had a wonderful beauty in it, and such an admirable contexture of parts, adapted to their several uses and ends, as shewed it was intended for an immortal duration. There was no blemish, defect, nor disease, to be found in him. He was not liable to any at
ack by gout or gravel, or any tormenting pain. All the humours of his body were in a just temperament and disposition, calculated to prevent any distemper which might tend to the dissolution of that excellent constitution. His senses were all quick and lively, able to perform with vigour and delight their several operations. He was immortal in this state; and not subject to the attacks of death. Though his body was composed of jarring elements, which had a natural tendency to dissolution, yet the soul was endued with such virtue as to embalm the body, and preserve it from the least degree of corruption. The tree of life was the sacramental pledge of man's immortality. The erect figure of his VOL. I.
body looking towards heaven, and the majesty that is in his countenance, shewed men to be the chief of the works of God in this lower world *.
I shall shut up all with a few inferences,
1. Ah! how are we fallen from heaven! What a lamentable change has sin brought on man! It has defaced the mo ral image of God, with which man's soul was beautifully decorated in his primitive state, and rent in pieces that pleasant picture of himself which God set up in this lower world. This stately fabric lies now in ruins, and calls us to lament over its ruins with weeping eyes and grieved hearts. Now there is ignorance in the mind, instead of that knowledge of God and divine things, with which it was richly furnished in its primitive state. The understanding, that as a lamp or candle shone brightly, is now enveloped with darkness
. The will, that was exactly conformable to the will of God, and naturally disposed to comply with every intimation thereof, is now filled with irregularity, enmity, and rebellion against God and his law. The affections that were all regular, holy, and pure, are now disordered and distempered, placed upon and eagerly bent towards improper and sinful objects, loving and doating upon what men should hate
, hating what they should love, joying in what they ought to mourn for, glorying in what is shameful, abhorring the chief good, and desiring what is ruinous to them. All
the members of the body that were subordinated to the upright mind, and entirely at its command, are now in rebellion, and mislead and enslave the mind and superior faculties. And the creatures that were man's humble servants, ready to execute his commands, are now risen up against him, and che least of them having a commission, would prove more than a match for him. Nay, it is with difficulty and much pains that any of them are brought to engage in his service. Ah! how dismal is man's case! The crown is fallen from our head : wo unto us that we have sinned. Let us weep and mourn over our ruined state, and never rest till we get it repaired by faith in the Lord Jesus, the great Repairer of this spiritual breach.
• Several useful observations relative to man's original state may be seen in the air thor's book, entitled, Human Nature in its Fourfoid State, state 1. under the title, Man's Original Righteousness; and in his treatise, entitled, A View oj the Covenant of Works, published in 1772, p. 12, 13, 14.
2. How lovely are knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, wherein the image of God consists. They shine with a dazzling brightness, and should charm and captivate our minds. But, alas? by nature we are blind, and see not their beauty and excellency. O! let us endeavour, through grace, to put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, putting on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Try if this blessed change has passed upon you, if ye be now light in the Lord, be disposed to do his will
, and are holy in heart and life. Study righteousness and holiness if ye would be like God. And
beware of ignorance, urighteousness, and impurity, which * proceed from Satan, and make you so unlike a righteous and holy God.
3. Come to the Lord Christ, who is the image of the invisible God, and the beginning of the creation of God, who at first made man after the divine image, and can make him so over again, and will do so to those that come to him by faith, with this addition, that the image of God which he will impress on the soul anew, shall never be lost any more. O come to him now, that ye may become God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD.
MATTH. X. 28.- Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?
and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Futher.
UR Lord is here encouraging his disciples against all
the troubles and distresses they might meet with in their
way, and particularly against the fear of men, by the consideration of the providence of God, which reaches unto the meanest of things, sparrows and the hairs of our head. Sparrows are of a mean price and small value ; and yet, for as mean as they are, God preserves them, guides and disposes of all things concerning them, so that one of them cannot fall to the ground by shot or any other way,
without bis sovereign ordering and disposal, The instruction deducible from the text is,
Doct. There is a providence that extends itself to the
I. Shew that there is a providence.
V. Lastly, make improvement.
1. From plain scripture-testimonies; as Psal. ciii. 19. • His kingdom ruleth over all.' Acts xvii. 28. In him we live, and move, and have our being,' Eph. i. 11.• Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.? Providence is also held forth by a three-fold scripture-em. blem. Chiefly, (1.) Mount Moriah, which upon occasion of the miraculous preservation of Isaac, and a ram to be put in his room in order to be sacrificed, was called JE HOVAH JIREH, i. e. The Lord will provide, Gen. xxii. 14. (2.) Jacob's ladder, on which God appears managing all things, pa Gen. xxviii. (3.) Ezekiel's wheels, where there was a wheel in the middle of a wheel, denoting the agency of the first cause, and the superintending and directing providence of God, Ezek. i.
2. From the nature of God, who being independent, and the first cause of all things, the creatures must needs depend upon him in their being and working. He is the end of all things, wise, knowing how to manage all for the best; powerful to effectuate whatever he has purposed; and faithful to accomplish all he has decreed, promised, or threatened.
3. From the harmony and order of the most confused things in the world. Every thing appears to a discerning eye to be wisely ordered, notwithstanding the confusions that seem to take place. What would become of the world, if there were not a providence seeing men that despise all order, and would fain give loose reins to their lusts and unbridled inclinations, are always the greatest party, would overpower and destroy the smaller and most virtuous party? Herein the truth of providence clearly appears. The extraordinary judgments that have pursued and been inflicted
wicked men, and the remarkable deliverances
that have been granted to the church and people of God in all ages, do loudly proclaim a providence.
4. From the fulfilment of prophecies, which could not possibly be without a providence to bring them to pass.
II. Let us, in the next place, consider the object of providence, or that which it reacheth and extendeth to." And this is all the creatures, and all their actions, Heb. i. 3.• Upholding all things by the word of his power, Psal. ciii. 19. “His kingdom ruleth over all.' The angels are subject to this providence, Neh, ix. 6. •Thou, even thou art Lord alone, thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all thịngs that are therein, the seas and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all, and the host of heaven worshippeththee.' So are also the devils, these infernal spirits, Matth. viii. 31. “If thoų cast us out (said they to Jesus), suffer us to go away unto the herd of swine.' It reacheth natural things, as clouds, snow, winds, &c. as appears from Psal. civ. cxlvii. and from daily observation. Casual things are ordered by providence, as lots, Prov. xvi. 33. • The lot is cast into the lap : but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.' So in the case of accidental manslaughter, Exod. xxi. 13. “If a man lie not in wait, and God deliver him into his hand. There is nothing so mean but providence extends to it, such as the falling of a sparrow, and the numbering of the hairs of our head. It is God that feeds the fowls and the young ravens that cry. He clothes the lilies and grass of the field, that have no hand of man about them. He made lice, frogs, &c, a plague to scourge Pharaoh and his people, worms to eat up Herod, &c. In a special manner providence is conversant about man, forming him in the womb, “Hast thoạ not poured me out as milk (says Job), and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with flesh and hast fenced me with bones and sinews,' Job x. 10, 11.-bringing him forth out of his mother's bowels, and holding him up thereafter, Psal. lxxi. 6. His heart is in the Lord's hand, and all his thoughts and inclinations are under his controul, Prov. xxi. 1. He directs and orders all his steps. The most free acts of the creature's will are governed by superintending providence. All their good actions, John xv. 5. · Without me ye can do nothing. So also their evil actions, Acts ivi 27, 28. * For of a tộuth against thy holy