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New Testament. I must confess, by death here, I can understand nothing but a ceasing to be, the losing of all actions of life and sense. Such a death came on Adam, and all his posterity, by his first disobedience in paradise ; under which death they should have lain for ever, had it not been for the redemption by Jesus Christ. If by death, threatened to Adam, were meant the corruption of human nature in his posterity, 'tis strange, that the New Testament should not any-where take no. tice of it, and tell us, that corruption seized on all, because of Adam's transgression, as well as it tells us so of death. But, as I remember, every one's sin is charged upon himself only.

Another part of the sentence was, “ Cursed is the “ ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it “ all the days of thy life; in the sweat of thy face shall “ thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for “ out of it wast thou taken; dust thou art, and to dust “ shalt thou return,” Gen. iii. 17-19. This shows, that paradise was a place of bliss, as well as immortality; without drudgery, and without sorrow. But, when man was turned out, he was exposed to the toil, anxiety, and frailties of this mortal life, which should end in the dust, out of which he was made, and to which he should return; and then have no more life or sense, than the dust had, out of which he was made.

As Adam was turned out of paradise, so all his posterity were born out of it, out of the reach of the tree of life; all, like their father Adam, in a state of mortality, void of the tranquillity and bliss of paradise. Rom. v. 12, “ By one man sin entered into the world, “ and death by sin.” But here will occur the common objection, that so many stumble at: “ How doth it “ consist with the justice and goodness of God, that " the posterity of Adam should suffer for his sin ; the “ innocent be punished for the guilty ?” Very well, if keeping one from what he has no right to, be called a punishment; the state of immortality, in paradise, is not due to the posterity of Adam, more than to any other creature. Nay, if God afford them a temporary, mortal life, 'tis his gift; they owe it to his bounty;

they could not claim it as their right, nor does he injure them when he takes it from them. Had he taken from mankind any thing that was their right, or did he put men in a state of misery, worse than not being, without any fault or demerit of their own; this, indeed, would be hard to reconcile with the notion we have of justice ; and much more with the goodness, and other attributes of the supreme Being, which he has declared of himself; and reason, as well as revelation, must acknowledge to be in him; unless we will confound good and evil, God and Satan. That such a state of extreme, irremediable torment is worse than no being at all ; if every one's own sense did not determine against the vain philosophy, and foolish metaphysics of some men; yet our Saviour's peremptory decision, Matt. xxvi. 24, has put it past doubt, that one may be in such an estate, that it had been better for him not to have been born. But that such a temporary life, as we now have, with all its frailties and ordinary miseries, is better than no being, is evident, by the high value we put upon it ourselves. And therefore, though all die in Adam, yet none are truly punished, but for their own deeds. Rom. ii. 6, God will render to “ every one,” How? According to his deeds. To " those that obey unrighteousness, indignation and “ wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of “ man that doth evil,” ver. 9. 2 Cor. v, 10, “ We “ must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that

every one may receive the things done in his body, “ according to that he has done, whether it be good or “ bad.” And Christ himself, who knew for what he should condemn men at the last day, assures us, in the two places, where he describes his proceeding at the great judgment, that the sentence of condemnation passes only upon the workers of iniquity, such as neglected to fulfil the law in acts of charity, Matt. vii. 23, Luke xiii. 27, Matt. xxv. 41, 42, &c. “ And “ again, John v. 29, our Saviour tells the jews, that “ all shall come forth of their graves, they that have “ done good to the resurrection of life ; and they that “ have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,"


But here is no condemnation of any one, for what his fore-father Adam had done ; which it is not likely should have been omitted, if that should have been a cause why any one was adjudged to the fire, with the devil and his angels. And he tells his disciples, that when he comes again with his angels, in the glory of his Father, that then he will render to every one according to his works, Matt. xvi. 27.

Adam being thus turned out of paradise, and all his posterity born out of it, the consequence of it was, that all men should die, and remain under death for ever, and so be utterly lost.

From this estate of death, Jesus Christ restores all mankind to life; 1 Cor. xv. 22, “ As in Adam all die,

so in Christ shall all be made alive.” How this shall be, the same apostle tells us in the foregoing ver. 21.

By man death came, by man also came the resurrec“ tion from the dead.” Whereby it appears, that the life, which Jesus Christ restores to all men, is that life, which they receive again at the resurrection. Then they recover from death, which otherwise all mankind should have continued under, lost for ever; as appears by St. Paul's arguing, 1 Cor. xv. concerning the resurrection.

And thus men are, by the second Adam, restored to life again; that so by Adam's sin they may none of them lose any thing, which by their own righteousness they might have a title to: for righteousness, or an exact obedience to the law, seems, by the scripture, to have a claim of right to eternal life, Rom. iv. 4.

“ To him “ that worketh,” i. e. does the works of the law, " is “ the reward not reckoned of grace, but of DEBT.” And Rev. xxii. 14, “ Blessed are they who do his com“ mandments, that they may HAVE RIGHT to the tree “ of life, which is in the paradise of God.” If any of the posterity of Adam were just, they shall not lose the reward of it, eternal life and bliss, by being his mortal issue: Christ will bring them all to life again ; and then they shall be put every one upon his own trial, and receive judgment, as he is found to be righteous, or not. And the righteous, as our Saviour says, Matt. xxv. 46, shall

go into eternal life. Nor shall any one miss it, who


has done, what our Saviour directed the lawyer, who asked, Luke x. 25, What he should do to inherit eternal life? Do this,” i. e. what is required by the law, " and thou shalt live.”

On the other side, it seems the unalterable purpose of the divine justice, that no unrighteous person, no one that is guilty of any breach of the law, should be in paradise : but that the wages of sin should be to every man, as it was to Adam, an exclusion of him out of that happy state of immortality, and bring death upon him. And this is so conformable to the eternal and established law of right and wrong, that it is spoken of too, as if it could not be otherwise.

St. James says, chap. i. 15, “ Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth

death,” as it were, by a natural and necessary production. “ Sin entered into the world, and death by “ sin,” says St. Paul, Rom. v. 12 : and vi. 23, “ The

wages of sin is death.” Death is the purchase of any, of every sin. Gal. iii. 10,

“ Cursed is every one, “ who continueth not in all things which are written 66 in the book of the law to do them.” And of this St. James gives a reason, chap. ii. 10, 11, “ Whosoever “ shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, “ he is guilty of all: for he that said, Do not commit “ adultery, said also, Do not kill:" i. e. he that offends in any one point, sins against the authority which established the law.

Here then we have the standing and fixed measures of life and death. Immortality and bliss, belong to the righteous; those who have lived in an exact conformity to the law of God, are out of the reach of death; but an exclusion from paradise and loss of immortality is the portion of sinners ; of all those who have any way broke that law, and failed of a complete obedience to it, by the guilt of any one transgression. And thus mankind by the law are put upon the issues of life or death, as they are righteous or unrighteous, just, or unjust; i. e. exact performers or transgressors of the law.

But yet, “ all having sinned,” Rom. iii. 23, “ and “ come short of the glory of God,” i. e. the kingdom of God in heaven, (which is often called his glory,)

“ both jews and gentiles;” ver. 22, so that, “ by the “ deeds of the law," no one could be justified, ver. 20, it follows, that no one could then have eternal life and bliss.

Perhaps, it will be demanded, “ Why did God give “ so hard a law to mankind, that to the apostle's time “ no one of Adam's issue had kept it? As appears by “ Rom. ii. and Gal. iii. 21, 22."

Answ. It was such a law as the purity of God's nature required, and must be the law of such a creature as man; unless God would have made him a rational creature, and not required him to have lived by the law of reason; but would have countenanced in him irregularity and disobedience to that light which he had, and that rule which was suitable to his nature; which would have been to have authorised disorder, confusion, and wickedness in his creatures: for that this law was the law of reason, or as it is called, of nature; we shall see by and by: and if rational creatures will not live up to the rule of their reason, who shall excuse them? If you will admit them to forsake reason in one point, why not in another? Where will you stop ? To disobey God in any part of his commands, (and 'tis he that commands what reason does,) is direct rebellion; which, if dispensed with in any point, government and order are at an end; and there can be no bounds set to the lawless exorbitancy of unconfined man. The law therefore was, as St. Paul tells us, Rom. vii. 12, " holy, just, and good,” and such as it ought, and could not otherwise be.

This then being the case, that whoever is guilty of any sin should certainly die, and cease to be; the benefit of life, restored by Christ at the resurrection, would have been no great advantage, (for as much as, here again, death must have seized upon all mankind, because all have sinned; for the wages of sin is everywhere death, as well after as before the resurrection) if God had not found out a way to justify some, i. e. so many as obeyed another law, which God gave; which in the New Testament is called “ the law of faith," Rom. ii. 27, and is opposed to "the law of works.”

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