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as if one should say, “ According to the laws of our nation; so long as a man behaves himself as a good subject, he may live ; but when he turns rebel, he must die :" Not signifying the hour, day or month in which he must be executed, but only the connexion between his crime and death.
2. Another thing which seems to be signified by such an expression, is, that Adam should be exposed to death for one transgression, without waiting on him to try him the second time. If he eat of that tree, he should immediately fall under condemnation, though afterwards he might abstain ever so strictly. In this respect the words are much of the same force with those words of Solomon to Shimei, 1 Kings ii. 37. “ For it shall be that on the day that thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain, that thou shall surely die.” Not meaning that he should certainly be executed on that day, but that he should be assuredly liable to death for the first offence, and that he should not have another trial to see whether he would go over the brook Kidron a second time.
And then besides,
II. If the words had implied that Adam should die that very day, within twentyfour or twelve hours, or that moment that he transgressed, yet it will by no means follow, that God obliged himself to execute the punishment in its utmost es tent on that day. The sentence was in great part executed immediately : He then died spiritually : He lost his innocence and original righteousness, and the favor of God ; & dismal alteration was made in his soul, by the loss of that ho. ly, divine principle, which was in the highest sense the life of the soul. In this he was truly ruined and undone that very day, becoming corrupt, miserable and helpless. And I think it has been shewn that such a spiritual death was one great thing implied in the threatening. And the alteration then made in his body and external state, was the beginning of temporal death. Grievous, external calamity is called by the name of death in scripture, Exod. x. 17. 66 Intreat the Lord that he may take away this death." Not only was Adam's soul ruined that day, but his body was ruined : It lost its
Abeauty and vigor, and became a poor, dull, decaying, dying thing. And besides all this, Adam was that day undone in a more dreadful sense : He immediately fell under the curse of the law, and condemnation to eternal perdition. In the language of scripture, he is dead, that is, in a state of condemDation to death ; even as our author often explains this language in his exposition upon Romans. In scripture language, he that believes in Christ, immediately receives life. He passes at that time from death to life, and thenceforward (to use the Apostle John's phrase) “ has eternal life abiding in him.” But yet he does not then receive eternal life in its highest completion; he has but the beginning of it, and receives it in a vastly greater degree at death ; but the proper time for the complete fulness is not till the day of judgment. When the angels sinned, their punishment was immediately executed in a degree; but their full punishment is not until the end of the world. And there is nothing in God's threatening to Adam that bound him to execụte bis full punishment at once, nor any thing which determines that he should have no posterity. The law or constitution which God established and declared, determined that if he sinned, and had posterity, he and they should die; but there was no constitution de. termining concerning the actual being of his posterity in this case ; what posterity he should have, how many, or whether any at all. All these things God had reserved in his own power : The law and its sanction intermeddled not with the matter.
It may be proper in this place also to take some notice of that objection of Dr. Taylor's, against Adam's being supposed to be a federal head for his posterity, that it gives him greater honor than Christ, as it supposes that all his posterity would have had eternal life by his obedience, if he had stood ; and so a greater number would have had the benefit of his obedience, than are saved by Christ. I think a yery little consideration is sufficient to shew that there is no
weight in this objection ; for the benefit of Christ's merits may nevertheless be vastly beyond that which would have been by the obedience of Adam. For those that are saved by Christ, are not merely advanced to happiness by his merits, but are saved from the infinitely dreadful effects of Adam's sin, and many from immense guilt, pollution and misery, by personal sins; also brought to a holy and happy state, as it were through infinite obstacles, and are exalted to a far greater degree of dignity, felicity and glory, than would have been due for Adam's obedience, for aught I know, many thousand times so great. And there is enough in the gospel dispensation, clearly to manifest the sufficiency of Christ's merits for such effects in all mankind. And how great the number will be, that shall actually be the subjects of them, or how great a proportion of the whole race, considering the vast success of the gospel, that shall be in that future, extraordinary and glorious season, often spoken'of, none can tell. And the honor of these two federal heads 'arises not so much from what was proposed to each for his trial, as from their success, and the good actually obtained, and also the manner of obtaining: Christ obtains the benefits men have through 'him by proper merit of condignity, and a true purchase by an equivalent ; which would not have been the case with Adam, if he had obeyed.
I have now particularly considered the account which Mo. ses gives us in the beginning of the Bible, of our first parents; and God's dealings with them, the constitution he established with them, their transgression, and what followed. And on the whole, if we consider the manner in which God apparently speaks to Adam from time to time, and particularly, if we consider how plainly and undeniably his posterity are included in the sentence of death pronounced on Adam after his fall, founded on the foregoing threatening; and consider the curse denounced on the ground for his sake, and for his and his posterity's sorrow : And also consider what is eviden:ly the occasion of his giving his wife the new name of Eve, and his meaning in it, and withal consider apparent fact in constant and universal events, with relation to the state of our first parents, and their posterity from that time forward, through all ages of the world; I cannot but think, it niust appear to every im. partial person, that Moses' account does, with sufficient evi. dence, lead all mankind, to whom his account is communicated, to understand, that God, in his constitution with Adam, dealt with him as a public person, and as the head of the human species, and had respect to his posterity, as included in him : And that this history is given by divine direction, in the beginning of the first written revelation, to exhibit to our view the origin of the present, sinful, miserable state of mankind, that we might see what that was, which first gave occasion for all those consequent, wonderful dispensations of divine mercy and grace towards mankind, which are the great subject of the scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament: And that these things are not obscurely and doubtfully pointed forth, but' delivered in a plain account of things, which ea. sily and naturally exhibits them to our understandings.
And by what follows in this discourse, we may have, in some measure, opportunity to see how other things in the Holy Scripture agree with what has been now observed from the three first chapters of Genesis.
Observations on other parts of the Holy Scriptures,
chiefly in the Old Testament, that prove the doctrine of ORIGINAL SIN.
ORIGINAL depravity may well be argued, from wickedness being often spoken of in scripture, as a thing belonging to the race of mankind, and as if it were a property of the specice. So in Psal. xiv. %, 3. « The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside; they are together become filthy: There is none that doeth good , no, not one." The like we have again, Psal. lii. 2, 3, Dr. Taylor says, p. 104, 105. “ The Holy Spirit does not mean this of every individual ; because in the very same psalm, he speaks of some that were righteous, ver. 5, God is in the generation of the righteous." But how little is this observation to the purpose ? For who ever supposed, that no unrighteous men were ever changed by divine grace, and afa terwards made righteous ? The Psalmist is speaking of what men are as they are the children of men, born of the corrupt human race; and not as born of God, whereby they come to be the children of God, and of the generation of the righteous. The Apostle Paul cites this place in Rom. iïi. 10, 11, 12, to prove the universal corruption of mankind; but yet in the same chapter he supposes these same persons here spoken of as wicked, may become righteous, through the righteousness and grace of God.
So wickedness is spoken of in other places in the Book of Psalms, as a thing that belongs to men, as of the human race, as sons of men. Thus in Psal. iv. 2. “ O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity ?” &c. Psal. Ivii. 4. “ I lie among them that are set on fire, cven the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and are rows, and their tongue a sharp sword.” Psal. Iviii. 1, 2. « Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men ? Yea, in heart ye work wicked. ness; ye weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.". Our author, mentioning these places, says p. 105, Note, « There was a strong party in Israel disaffected to David's person and government, and sometimes he chooseth to de. note them by the sons or children of men.". But it would have been worth his while to have inquired, Why the Psalmist should choose to denote the wickedest and worst men in Is. rael by this name? Why he should choose thus to disgrace the human race, as if the compellation of sons of men most properly belonged to such as were of the vilest character,