« السابقةمتابعة »
not fit for divine communications. Men's sensitive appetite was indeed naturally carried out towards objects grateful to the senses. For seeing man was made up of body and soul, and God made this man to glorify and enjoy him, and for this end to use his good creatures in subordination to himself; it is plain that man was naturally inclined both to spiritual and sensible good; yet to spiritual good, the chief good as his ultimate end. And, therefore, his sensitive motions and inclinations were subordinate to his reason and will, which lay straight with the will of God, and were not, in the least, contrary to the same. Otherwise he should have been made up of contradictions; his soul being naturally inclined to God as the chief end, in the superior part thereof; and the same soul inclined to the creature as the chief end in the inferior part thereof, as they call it; which is impossible; for man, at the same instant, cannot have two chief ends. Man's affections then, in his primitive state, were pure from all defilement, free from all disorder and distemper, because in all their motions they were duly subjected to his clear reason, and his holy will. He had also an executive power answerable to his will; a power to do the good which he knew should be done, and which he inclined to do, even to fulfil the whole law of God. If it had not been so, God would not have required of him perfect obedience; for to say, That the Lord gathereth where he hath not strawed, is but the blasphemy of a wicked heart, against a good and bountiful God, Mat. xxv. 24, 25.
From what has been said, it may be gathered, that the original righteousness explained was universal and natural; yet mutable.
First, It was universal, both with respect to the subject of it, the whole man; and the object of it, the whole law. Universal I say, with respect to the subject of it; for this righteousness was diffused through the whole man; it was a blessed leaven that leavened the whole lump. There was not one wrong pin in the tabernacle of human nature, when God set it up, however shattered it is now. Man was then holy in soul, body, and spirit: While the soul remained untainted, its lodging was kept pure and unde filed; the members of the body were consecrated vessels, and instruments of righteousness. A combat betwixt flesh
and spirit, reason and appetite; nay the least inclination to sin, lust of the flesh in the inferior part of the soul, was utterly inconsistent with this uprightness, in which man was created; and has been invented to veil the corruption of man's nature, and to obscure the grace of God in Jesus Christ; it looks very like the language of fallen Adam, laying his own sin at his Maker's door, Gen. iii. 12. "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." But as this righteousness was universal in respect of the subject, because it spread through the whole man; so also it was universal, in respect of the object, the holy law. There was nothing in the law but what was agreeable to his reason and will, as God made him; though sin hath now set him at odds with it; his soul was shapen out, in length and breadth, to the commandment, though exceeding broad; so that this original righteousness was not only perfect in parts, but in degrees.
Secondly, As it was universal, so it was natural to him, and not supernatural to him in that state. Not that it was essential to man as man; for then he could not have lost it, without the loss of his very being; but it was connatural to him. He was created with it; and it was necessary to the perfection of man, as he came out of the hand of God: Necessary to constitute him in a state of integrity. Yet,
Thirdly, It was mutable; it was a righteousness that might be lost, as is manifested by the doleful event. His will was not absolutely indifferent to good or evil; God set it towards good only: Yet he did not so fix and confirm its inclinations, that it could not alter. No, it was moveable to evil; and that only by man himself, God having given him a sufficient power to stand in this integrity, if he had pleased. Let no man quarrel God's works in this; for if Adam had been unchangeably righteous, he behoved to have been so, either by nature, or by free gift: By nature he could not be so, for that is proper to God, and incommunicable to any creature; if by free gift, then no wrong was done him, in with-holding of what he could not crave. Confirmation in a righteous state is a reward of grace, given upon continuing righteous, through the state of trial; and would have been given to Adam, if he had stood out the time appointed for probation by the Creator; and ac
cordingly is given to the saints, upon the account of the merits of Christ, who was obedient even to the death. And herein believers have the advantage of Adam, that they can never totally nor finally fall away from grace.
Thus was man made originally righteous, being "created in God's own image," Gen. i. 27, which consists in the positive qualities of "knowledge, righteousness, and holiness," Col. iii. 10. Eph. iv. 24. All that God made was very good, according to their several natures, Gen. i. 31. And so was man morally good, being made after the image of him who is good and upright, Psalm xxv. 8. Without this, he could not have answered the great end of his creation, which was to know, love, and serve his God, according to his will. Nay, he could not be created otherwise; for he behoved either to be conform to the law, in his powers, principles, and inclinations, or not; if he was, then he was righteous; and if not, he was a sinner, which is absurd and horrible to imagine.
Of Man's Original Happiness.
SECONDLY, I shall lay before you some of those things which did accompany or flow from the righteousness of man's primitive state. Happiness is the result of holiness; and as it was an holy, so it was an happy state. First, Man was then a very glorious creature. have reason to suppose, that as Moses' face shone when he came down from the mount; so man had a very lightsome and pleasant countenance, and beautiful body, while as yet there was no darkness of sin in him at all. But seeing God himself is glorious in holiness, (Exod. xv. 11.) surely that spiritual comeliness the Lord put upon man at his creation, made him a very glorious creature. O how did light shine in his holy conversation, to the glory of the Creator! while every action was but the darting forth of a ray and beam of that glorious, unmixed light, which God had set up in his soul; while that lamp of love, lighted from heaven, continued burning in his heart, as in the holy place; and the law of the Lord, put in his inward parts by the finger of God, was kept by him there, as in the most holy. There was no impurity to be seen without; no squint look in the eyes, after any unclean thing; the
tongue spoke nothing but the language of heaven; and in a word, the King's Son was all glorious within, and his cloathing of wrought gold.
Secondly, He was the favourite of heaven. He shone brightly in the image of God, who cannot but love his own image, wherever it appears. While he was alone in the world, he was not alone, for God was with him. His communion and fellowship was with his Creator, and that immediately: For as yet there was nothing to turn away the face of God from the work of his own hands; seeing sin had not as yet entered, which alone could make the breach.
By the favour of God, he has advanced to be confederate with heaven, in the first covenant, called, The Covenant of Works. God reduced the law, which he gave in his creation, into the form of a covenant, whereof perfect obedience was the condition; life was the thing promised, and death the penalty. As for the condition, one great branch of the natural law was, that men believe whatsoever God shall reveal, and do whatsoever he shall command: Accordingly, God making this covenant with man, extended his duty to the not eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; and the law thus extended, was the rule of man's covenant-obedience. How easy were these terms to him, who had the natural law written on his heart; and that inclining him to obey this positive law, revealed to him, it seems, by an audible voice, (Gen.ii. 16.) the matter whereof was so very easy? And, indeed, it was highly reasonable that the rule and matter of his covenantobedience should be thus extended; that which was added, being a thing in itself indifferent, where his obedience was to turn upon the precise point of the will of God, the plainest evidence of true obedience, and it being in an external thing, wherein his obedience or disobedience would be most clear and conspicuous.
Now, upon this condition, God promised him life, the continuance of natural life, in the union of soul and body; and of spiritual life, in the favour of his Creator: He promised him also eternal life in heaven, to have been entered into, when he should have passed the time of his trial upon earth, and the Lord should see meet to transport him into the upper Paradise. This promise of life was included in
the threatening of death, mentioned Gen. ii. 17. For while God says, "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die;" it is in effect, "If thou do not eat of it; thou shalt surely live." And this was sacramentally confirmed by another tree in the garden, called, therefore, the tree of life, which he was debarred from, when he had sinned: Gen. iii. 22, 23. "Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden." Yet it is not to be thought, that man's life and death did hang only on this matter of the forbidden fruit, but on the whole law; for so says the apostle, Gal. iii. 10. "It is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them." That of the forbidden fruit was a revealed part of Adam's religion; and so behoved expressly to be laid before him; but as to the natural law, he naturally knew death to be the reward of disobedience; for the very Heathens were not ignorant of this, "knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death," Rom. i. 32. And, moreover, the promise included in the threatening secured Adam's life, according to the covenant, as long as he obeyed the natural law, with the addition of that positive command; so that he needed nothing to be expressed to him in the covenant, but what concerned the eating of the forbidden fruit. That eternal life in heaven was promised in this covenant is plain from this, that the threatening was of eternal death in hell; to which when man had made himself liable, Christ was promised, by his death, to purchase eternal life; and Christ himself expounds the promise of the covenant of works of eternal life, while he promiseth the condition of that covenant to a proud young man, who, though he had not Adam's stock, yet would needs enter into life in the way of working, as Adam was to have done under this covenant, Mat. xix. 17. "If thou wilt enter into life," (viz. eternal life, by doing, ver. 16.) "keep the commandments."
The penalty was death, Gen, ii. 17. "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." The death threatened was such, as the life promised was; and that most justly, viz. temporal,spiritual, and eternal death. The