« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
5. The place where the crime was committed. "In paradise, where every plant and flower were proclaiming the glory of God, and where he wanted nothing that was necessary for him. In the presence-chamber, as it were, he struck at his Sovereign Lord and King. So his offence was aggravated like the murder of Zacharias, whom the Jews slew between the temple and the altar, Matt. xxiii. 35. · Secondly, The nature of this sin. It was not one single sin, but a complication of all evils, a violation of the whole law of God, and a total apostasy from him in heart, hip, and life This was a sin whereby at one touch both the natural and positive law was trampled under foot; yea, by which all the ten commandments were struck at, aç once.
1. Did they not chuse new gods; when, by eating of this fruit, they made their belly their god; self their god; nay the devil their god, when they conspired with him against God, being filled with pride and ambition as he to be like God; when they believed the devil and mistrusted God, and shook off the yoke of his dominion, turning rebels to him, and being most unthankful for the divine goodness expressed towards them ? Rebel-man set up a trinity, (1.) Of his belly, by sensuality, (2.) Of himself, by ambition ; and, (3.) Of the devil, by believing him, and disbelieving his Creator.
2. Though man at first received, yet he did not observe that great ordinance of God about the forbidden fruit, He contemned that ordinance which God had most plainly appointed, and would needs carve out to himself how he would serve the Lord.
He took the name of the Lord his God in vain, despi. șing his attributes, whereby he makes himself known, his justice, truth, power, &c. profaning God's ordinance, that sacramental tree; abusing his word, by not giving credit tą it; and abusing his works, that creature which he should not have touched; and violently misconstructing the work of providence, as if God, by that act of forbidding them that tree, had minded to keep them from happiness. And therefore though there was no man to punish them, God suffered them not to escape his righteous judgment.
A more particựlar view of the ingredients in the first sin may be seen in the author's View of the Covenant of Works, p. 8Q, 81. published in 1772
4. He was so far from remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy, that he put himself out of all case for serving God ere it came, by this means. He kept not that state of rest wherein God had placed him.
5. Adam honoured not his Father in heaven. Both our first parents minded not their relative duties. Eve forgets herself, and acts without advice of her husband, to the ruin of both ; and Adam, instead of admonishing her to repent, yields to the temptation too, and so confirms her in her wickedness. They forgot all duty to their posterity. There. fore their days were not long in the land which the Lord their God gave them,
6. He was the greatest murderer that ever lived. By this act he was a child-murderer, cutting the throats of all his posterity; and he was a self-murderer too.
7. Our first parents were fain to cover their nakedness with fig-leaves, which their luxury and sensuality had brought them to.
8. Adam committed theft; and was but a thief and a robber in taking that which was not his own, against the will of the great Owner, He was the Achan in the camp,
9. He bare false witness against the Lord, when he ate of the forbiddden fruit. It was an avouching, that God's word was not to be believed, that the Lord dealt hardly and scrimptly with him, and grudged his happiness,
10. He was discontented with that happy state wherein God had placed him. He was not content with his lot, and therefore, like another king of Babylon, he coveted an evil covetousness to his house, which ruined both himself and them.
Thirdly, Consider the effects of this first sin.
1. God was robbed of his glory, that he should have had from the creature's active obedience. He was made and well qualified for glorifying his Creator ; but breaking covenant with God, and falling under the curse of the law, he was quite indisposed for that work. He could aim no more at this mark which God set before him,
2. God's image was defaced; the King of Heaven's picture was rent in pieces. What a huge offence would it be to come into a workman's shop, and with one touch dash in pieces a curious piece of work that he had made ? Yet thus offensively did Adam behave, spurning at the image of God, and quite defacing it from his soul.
3. Adam and all his posterity were ruined by this fatal transgression. It opened the sluice to all that flood of mise. ries that has overspread the face of the earth. At this gate sin and death entered into the world, where they will reign till time shall be no more. God is just and holy; and if the first sin had not deserved this punishment, it would not have been inflicted with such a mark of indignation.
I shall conclude with a few inferences.
1. Say not when ye are tempted, it is but a little sin, and therefore ye may act it. Consider, that which in the commission is but as the little cloud, no bigger than a man's
hand, when God comes to judgment, or conscience gets i up, will cover the face of the heavens. Little do ye know what a small temptation may be big with.
A mari may drown in a little rivulet as well as in the deep sea.
2. Then God's will is a sufficient bar to hold us back : from any thing, if we would be safe. And therefore let us
know, that where there is no more to be a hedge to us but the bare command of God, if we leap over it, a serpent will bite us. Ah ! how few know what it is to be restrained by a bare command of God! Ah! the generality leap over the hedge of God's will and law, and live as if there were no restraint upon them from the God of heaven, who will severely punish all transgressions of his law.
3. Beware of the pleasure of your senses, and the pride of life. The lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh ruined the world at first, and do so still. The devil shoots his darts by the eye into the soul, which is weaker now than it was in the primitive state, and more liable to deception. Therefore watch your eyes and ears. Have a care of sensuality. Eating ruined Adam and Eve; and still ruins many, who eat not for God or his glory, but to satisfy their sensual appetite, as they did.
4. Lastly, O prize Christ, who to redeem lost man, did hang upon a tree, and drink the cup of wrath as the bitter fruits of sin, and was buried in a garden. The first Adam ate of the forbidden tree, and Christ hung on the cursed tree. Adam's preposterous love to his wife made him sin, and Christ's love to his spouse made him suffer. Our first parents pleased their sensual appetite with the taste of the pleasant fruit of the forbidden tree, and therefore Christ got vinegar mixed with gall to drink upon the cross-tree. Adam sinned in a garden, and in a garden was Christ buried. By eating the forbidden fruit, death came upon all men to condemnation; and by eating the flesh, and drink. ing the blood of Christ, life is brought to the soul. Othen, sinners, flee unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath restored that which the first Adam took away; and ye shall be rein. stated in all that happiness and favour with God which he forfeited by eating the forbidden fruit.
Romans v. 19.--For as by one man's disobedience many were
made sinners ; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Where consider,
1. Who that one man was. It was Adam. This is plain from ver. 14. and to no other can it agree.
2. What that disobedience of his was. It was his first sin, the eating of the forbidden fruit. This was that sin that first broke into the world, and opened the door to death, ver. 12. This was the transgression of Adam, ver. 14. that offence or fall, ver. 15. the offence of one, of, as the Greek will bear, the one offence “tou henos paraptomati, here called disobedience, for thereby he hearkened to the devil, not to God.
3. Whom it concerned ; many. This is in effect the same with the all mentioned ver. 14. But the alteration of the phrase is not without reason : for there is an exception here of the man Christ, of whom he speaks in the next clause. It reached many men, but not all simply; he, and he only, was excepted.
4. How it touched them; they were made sinners by it. Now, there are only two ways how men might be made sinners by the disobedience of Adam, viz. either by imputation or imitation. The last is not meant. (1.) Because some of those many who are made sinners, are not capable of imitation or actual sin, viz. infants. (2.) Because we are
made righteous, not by the imitation, but imputation, of Christ's righteousness; but as we are made righteous by the one, so we are made sinners by the other.
5. The foundation of this imputation, which is a relation betwixt the one and the many here implied; for unless there had been some bond of union betwixt the one and many, the sin of that one could not have been imputed to the many. There was indeed a natural bond betwixt him and us : but this was not the ground of the imputation; for we have such an union with our immediate parents, whose sin is not thus imputed. It behoved them to be a moral bond, by the way of a covenant, he being the representative of many in the covenant of works. From these words there arises this doctrine, viz.
Doct. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.'
In discoursing this doctrine, I shall shew, I. What sin of Adam's it was that they who sinned and fell with him, sinned and fell in.
II. Who they were that sinned and fell in Adam.
III. How the first sin of Adam comes to be imputed to us.
IV. Conclude with some inferences.
I. I am to shew what sin of Adam's it was that they who sinned and fell with him, sinned and fell in. It was his first sin, the eating of the forbidden fruit. That sin is also their sin. This was the sin that broke the covenant of works. Other sins of Adam are not imputed to them, more than those of any other private persons. For he was a head only of obedience, not of suffering. So then, Adam quickly be taking himself to the covenant of grace, and placing himself under another head as a private man, ceased to be the head in the covenant of works. Adam had all his children in one ship to carry them to Immanuel's land; by his negligence he dashed the ship on a rock, and broke it all in pieces ; and so he and his lay foundering in a sea of guilt : Jesus Christ lets out the second covenant as a rope to draw them to the shore. Adam for himself lays hold on it, while others hold by the broken boards of the ship, till they be by the
power of grace enabled to quit them too, as he was. Vol. I.