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congregation. What knowledge have they of the things of God? What love to God, or to Christ ? What heavenlymindedness? How much of the mind which was in Christ Jesus ?' How little have they profited by all your instructions? How few are wiser and better than when you knew them first? O take knowledge of the reason why they are not. That doctrine will not make them wise unto salvation.' All it can possibly do, is to shake off the leaves. It does not affect the branches of sin. Unholy tempers are just as they were. Much less does it strike at the root : pride, self-will, unbelief, heart-idolatry, remain undisturbed, and unsuspected.
I am grieved for the people who are thus seeking death in the error of their life. I am grieved for you, who surely desire to teach them the way of God in truth. O Sir, think it possible, that you may have been mistaken! That you may have leaned too far, to what you thought the better extreme. Be persuaded once more to review your whole cause, and that from the very foundation. And in doing so, you will not disdain to desire more than natural light. 0 that the Father of glory,' may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation !' May he enlighten the eyes of your understanding, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints !'
LEWISHAM, March 24, 1757.
The Doctrine of Original Sin.
Because of the unspeakable importance of thoroughly understanding this grand foundation of all revealed religion, I subjoin one more extract, relating both to the original and the present state of man.
“God made man upright. * By man we are to understand our first parents, the archetypal pair, the root of mankind. This man was made right, (agreeably to the nature of God, whose work is perfect,), without any imperfection, corruption, or principle of corruption, in his body or soul. He was made upright, that is straight with the will and, law of God, without any irregularity in his soul. God, made him thus; he did not first make him, and then make him righteous: but in the very making of him he made him righteous; righteousness was concreated with him. With the same breath that God breathed into him a living soul, he breathed into him a righteous soul.
6. This righteousness was the conformity of all the faculties and powers of his soul to the moral law: which implied three things.
“ First, his understanding was a lamp of light. He was made after God's image, and consequently could not want knowledge, which is a part thereof. And a perfect knowledge of the law was necessary to fit him for universal obedience, seeing no obedience can be according to the law unless it proceed from a sense of the command of God requiring it. It is true, Adam had not the law written on tables of stone; but it was written upon his mind. God impressed it upon his soul, and made him a law to himself, as the remains of it, even among the Heathens testify. And seeing man was made to be the mouth of the creation, to glorify God in his works, we have ground to believe, he had an exquisite knowledge of the works of God. We have a proof of this in his giving names to the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and these such as express their nature. Whatsoever Adam called every living thing, that was the name thereof.' And the dominion which God gave him over the creatures, soberly to use them according to his will, (still in subordination to the Will of God,) implies a knowledge of their natures.
* Mr. BOSTON's Four-fold State of Man.
“ Secondly, His will lay straight with the will of God. There was no corruption in his will, no bent or inclination to evil; for that is sin, properly so called; and, therefore, inconsistent with that uprightness with which it is expressly said he was endued at his creation. The will of man was then naturally inclined to God and goodness, though mutably. It was disposed by its original make to follow the Creator's will, as the shadow does the body. It was not left in an equal balance to good and evil; for then he had not been upright, or conform to the law; which no more can allow the creature not to be inclined to God as his end, than it can allow man to be a god to himself.
6. Thirdly, His affections were regular, pure, and holy. All his passions, yea all his sensitive motions and inclinations were subordinate to his reason and will, which lay straight with the will of God. They were all, therefore, pure from all defilement, free from all disorder or distemper; because all their motions 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 perfect obedience of him. For to say, that the Lord gathereth where he hath not strewed, is but the blasphemy of a slothful seryant.
“ From what has been said it may be gathered, that man's original righteousness was universal and natural, yet mutable.
“1. It was universal, both with respect to the subject of it, the whole man, and the object of it, the whole law: it was diffused through the whole man; it was a blessed leaven that leavened the whole lump. Man was then holy in soul, body, and spirit : while the soul remained untainted, the members of the body were consecrated vessels apd instruments of righteousness. A combat between reason and appetite, nay the least inclination to sin, was ut. terly 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 Christ Jesus. And as this righteousness spread through the whole man, so it respected the whole law. There was nothing in the law, but what was agreeable to his reason and will. His soul was shapen out in length and breadth, to the commandment, though exceeding broad; so that his original righteousness was not only perfect in parts but in degrees.
“ 2. As it was universal, so it was natural 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
“ 3. It was mutable. It was a righteousness which might be lost, as appears from the sad event. His will was not indifferent to good and evil : God set it towards good only, yet did not so fix it, that it could not alter; it was movable to evil, but by man himself only.
“Thus was man made originally righteous, being created in God's own image,' (Gen. i. 27,) which consists in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, (Col. ïïi. 10. Eph. iv 24) All that God made was very good, according to their several natures, (Gen. i. 31.) And so man was morally good, being made after the image of him who is good and upright, (Psa. xxv. 8.) Without this he could not have answered the end of his creation, which was to know, love, and serve his God. Nay, he could not be created otherwise. For he must either have been conformed to the law in his powers, principles, and inclinations, or not. If he was, he was righteous; if not, he was a sinner, which is absurd and horrible to imagine.
6 And as man was holy, so he was happy. He was full of peace as well as of love. And he was the favourite of heaven. He bore the image of God, who cannot but love his own image. While he was alone in the world he was not alone, for he had free, full communion with God. 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.
“ He was also lord of the world, universal emperor of the whole earth. His Creator gave him dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every thing that moveth on the earth.' He was God's deputy-governor in the lower world; and this bis dominion was an image of God's sovereignty. Thus was man crowned with glory and honour, having all things put under his feet.'
Again, as he had perfect tranquillity in his own breast, so he had a perfect calm without. His heart had nothing to reproach him with, and without there was nothing to annoy him. Their beautiful bodies were not capable of injuries from the air. They were liable to no diseases or pains ; and though they were not to live idle, yet toil, weariness, and sweat of the brows, were not known in this state.
“ Lastly, He was immortal. He would never have died if he had not sinned. Death was threatened only in case of sin. · The perfect constitution of his body, which came out of God's hand was very good, and the righteousness of his soul removed all inward causes of death. And God's special care of his innocent creature secured him against outward violence. Such were the holiness, and the happi. ness of man in his original state,
“ But there is now a sad alteration, in our nature. It is now entirely corrupted. Where at first there was nothing evil, there is now nothing good: I shall,
“ First, Prove this:
“ Secondly, Represent this corruption in its, several: parts:
“ Thirdly, Shew how man's nature comes to be thus corrupted.
- First, I shall prove that man's nature is corrupted; both by God's word, and by men's experience and observation. « I. For proof from God's word, let us consider,
1. How, it takes particular notice of fallen Adam's communicating his image to his posterity. Gen..v. iji, Adam begat a. son in his own likeness, after his image. Compare