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with this condition-do and live, disobey and die he might by some sudden attack of the enemy be cast from the happy kingdom of God into remediless ruin.
3. Had we sustained no moral relation to Adam
and received from him no bad influence whatever, we should have been exposed to sin and probably should have fallen.
Perhaps Adam only fixed the seal of certainty to what was otherwise highly probable. If this can be proved, it will be evident that Christ has advanced us to a condition vastly more to be desired than that which we lost by the common parents of mankind. By asserting it, I know I take a bold position. Some have even supposed, that had Adam remained obedient when tempted to eat the forbidden fruit, both he and his posterity would have been confirmed in a state of holiness. this is a gratuitous supposition. It is not taught in the word of God, it is totally without support. True, the moral powers gain strength by exercise, and as far as Adam himself was concerned, an act of obedience would afford evidence of his continuing loyal. But no such influence could reach his posterity. Besides, the whole analogy of providence is against
this hypothesis. Adam was put on trial for himself, Eve for herself, angels for themselves, and we for ourselves. We know of no moral agent, except God himself, who has not been tried. Even Christ was in all points tempted like as we are. Indeed, I know not, that trial is separable from the moral agency of creatures. Place a being in circumstances where he never has the slightest incitement to evil, where either he has not the ability or the opportunity to choose what is wrong, and his conduct will be destitute both of praise and blame, neither an object of censure nor complacency. Hence we must have been put on probation and by our own choice have determined for ourselves the question of happiness or misery. Indeed whatever evidence this subject admits, is entirely in the face of the idea of confirmation in holiness extended to us in consideration of another's obedience. But that we should have probably fallen, though unaffected by Adam, may be gathered from several independent facts.
God has given evidence, that he considers the fall of Adam as a fair trial of what might be expected from his descendants should each act for himself.
As soon as Adam sinned, both he and his posterity felt the rigour of the law. The gates of paradise were closed against the whole race. The procedure is no more directed at him than at his unborn and unoffending offspring. When he fell as the fact declares, all fell. But how does this consist with the justice of God? Plainly, because the fate of Adam was indicative of what would happen to all men, when in no more favorable circumstances and endowed with no superior powers. But God had done all for him which he wisely could do, and of course as much as he could do for other men. "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?" The result of this trial, however, was bad, Instead, therefore, of subjecting us to the same fatal ordeal, God passes the sentence of death upon us as well. as upon him. But the justice of this procedure rests here, that Adam's trial is a fair experiment for us; that he did as we should have done, and therefore completely decided, what that would be. So God considered it. His treatment of the affair corresponds with such a supposition. To this it may be added, that we should have been more powerfully tempted
with less power of resistance than Adam had. The truth of this may be disputed. I would by no means affirm it as demonstrable. Were it so, no doubt could remain, that all men would have sinned even in paradise, and unaffected by their progenitors. The philosophy of the mind makes it certain. But the argument which may be stated, is plausible, if not entirely conclusive. The temptation of Adam was a weak one. He took the forbidden fruit to gratify an idle curiosity, not to satisfy his necessities. He was in the midst of abundance. It is, too, so far as we know, the only form of temptation with which he was ever assailed. Compare his case in this respect with what, without theorizing, we may suppose to be true of his posterity. They were soon to be subjected to the trials which result from a dense population whose interests might clash, to circumstances where every passion of animal nature and every power of the soul might be attacked as inlets of vice. It would be hard to conceive of a case, in which they would be less forcibly tempted than Adam was. These appeals, too, would be almost as various as the objects and events which caught their attention. If the first in
citement to sin did not succeed, the second or the thousandth might; if an appeal to that passion failed, an appeal to this might drown the soul in perdition. In regard to our power of resistance compared with Adam's, it is absolutely demonstrable that it would have been less. He was created a man, capable of governing the lower creation, of fulfilling the duties of domestic life, of knowing God and engaging in his service. All this he actually
did. His habits of obedience, his acquaintance with the pleasures of devotion, all that he had felt and done, volunteered to sustain him in his integrity. We on the other hand are created infants, without knowledge and without the advantage of fixed principles of virtue and of cultivated piety. Our minds are as fragile as our bodies. We have for a long time, little discrimination, little reflection, little caution. We are exposed to do wrong, long before we are capable of realizing anything like the extent of the consequences. All this is true, even had Adam remained 'obedient. The conclusion is obvious. We should have been eminently exposed to fall although uninfluenced by him. It will be difficult for any one to show, that all of us would