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The very end of man's existence was^to give him the happi^ ness of holding a direct communication with, and enjoying a holy, pure, and grateful love of, and rendering a willing service to, his Creator, a& the source and author of that hi^piness — annexed toi, and consistent with which, was^the addi«tional delight of multiplying, and havmg an unalloyed, so* cial and innocent intercourse with his species, in an universal and reciprocal good-will lor and toward each other, accordant with holiness of disposition and the spiritual and filial affection which would naturally flow from such a state, toward the divine Author of his being. Upon these principles he was placed in his earthly paradise, both for his spiritual and temporal felicity, and as a trial of his sensibility of, and fidelity and gratitude for, the divine goodness. When one man bestows a gratuitous jEavour upon another, he is generally impressed so far with a favourable opinion of him, as VOL. I. H
58 FIRST TEMPTATIO to consider him at least as neither undeserving thereof nor unthankful in his disposition. The reverse is fiur, indeed, however, from being unfirequent, especially where there is no ftirther prospect of benefit, and even that prospect is not sometimes sufiicient to check the evil spirit of ingratitude which reigns in the heart of corruption* Had man so much of the faculty of Omniscience as to see into the hearts of his fellows, few indeed would be the acts of his kindness, comparatively, at least in the ^irit of a supposed reciprocality of, though often a much mistaken^ friendship, in which case charitaUe benevolences would, in many respects, severely
sufier even among Christians. But Providence, who orders all things aright, has wisely deprived man of a fiu;ulty, which would have robbed him of the greatest portion of his temporal happiness*^ Many, indeed, are the instances of ingratitude which occur amofag mankind toward each other, in their intercourse and fiimiliar communications, the discovery whereof can ooty be made tqcwn trial and esqperience; and almost universal is the complaint of the prevalence of lUs ungracious evil, a^^ravated <^n with circumstances, too, of no small atrocity. If jnan complains, and certainly he has reason, in many cases, most bitterly to complain, of such a netum from his llellew, how shall we vindicate die conqikinants themselves, in respect of their own most ofiensivdy ungrateful conduct to God, not merely for his i^irituid, but fbr his gratuitous and altogether umneriled tempcmil^ blessings^ even lavished upon them, during a life's course of the most insuffisrable provocations. The dispositi<Mi of man to his fellow, is not merely accompanied too ofien, if not generally, with an insensibility of those fevours which have been heaped upon him by his bene&ctor, but most ungratefully heightened toward him by a return of actions and oondnct the most grossly outrageous, and resentful, when unreason-
A D THAKSORESSIO . 59 Mj expected further hvours are irithheliL Such being the temper of man to his neighbour, upon what principle of ra^ tionality, while he yields to this temper, can he make sup^ plications to heaven for the pardon of his own transgressions against the laws of Omnipotence, every moment of his li£s^ consciously committed with the most obdurate insolence, as well as insensibility of the indulgent continuance^ of his beneficence ? How seldom does the man that thus finds fault, and we admit with perfect justice too, with his neighbour's baseness of conduct to himself at all consider, that, in spirit, he is one with the offender, though his own more &vourable circumstances in life may perhaps check and keep down the flagrancy of its operation ? In a more refined state of life
and independency of condition, he frequently may not so openly manifest the internal effects of this spirit within him, neither perhaps does he stand so exposed to its influences ; but that he is of the same clay and constitutional temperament of disposition, is sufficiently demonstrated, if not by actual deeds of ingratitude to his fellow, at least by a cold* ness of reserve, which, when disappointed in his views, too obiaously marks the interested affections of his heart in all its operations, as well as a base unthankfiilness to God, and irreverence to his laws. The heart that is insensible of the goodness of heaven, cannot possibly be actuated by any ge» nuine firiendship, benevolence, or gratitude to man; and practical experience proves this to be as inherent and congenial to the disposition of fiillen man, as grass is a natural product of and covering to the earth. Even a state of innocence did not secure man's fideli^ to his Creator — ^far less then can a pure and thankfiil sensibility of heart operate up* on him under his subjection to sin and the influence of corruption, either toward God or the beings of his own species. h8
60 FIRST TEMPTATIO Having thus briefly premised the froward and ungenerous disposition of mankind to each other, as well as their unnatural and ungrateful feelings and conduct to the Author of their existence, the benevolent dispenser of their earthly blessings, and the restorer of peace and happiness to their souls ; and in the preceeding Essay shown^ the reasonableness and propriety of putting man upon trial in, and leav'ing him subject to fall from, his original state of innocence and felicity ; we now proceed to touch upon the result of that trial, — his actual £ei11, through his ingratitude and unfaithfulness in that state, even in the ei^oyment of the utmost range of earthly fiivour, accompanied with an immediate intercourse and communication with God himself.
^* ow the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field : and the serpent said unto the woman. Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ? And the woman said unto the serpent. We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.. And the serpent said unto the woman. Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat"* Innocence, liere, becomes strongly constrasted with the contaminated state of the mind, on its giving way to the in* iluence of flattery. Until Eve's vanity fired her to equalize herself with her Creator, in knowledge, she thought not once • Gen. iu. I-i-T.
A D TRA SOilESSIO . 6l of meddling with this fruit; but as soon as she supposed it in her power to know as God knew, the fruit became fair and desirable, and her vanity could no longer resist the temptation of the deceiver. This was the fatal poison which destroyed Eve : its influence operated before she even touched the tree of prohibition. The eaUng of its fruit was but the completion of the iniquity ; but the fruit itself conveyed nothing pestiferous : the pestilence and its fatal effects lay in the desire and the act of disobedience ; and the consciousness of sin, not the fruit, opened the eye, not of the body but of the understanding, to the transgression. Where was the rationality of Eve here, or rather is it not evident that she violently suppressed it, when she did not suffer her judgment to
operate upon her a conviction of what was so demonstrably obvious, that if the Deity had interdicted that tree, merely to prevent a knowledge which would have brought man more upon a footing with himself than he was disposed to admit, he would have withheld the tree altogether from the garden, or put it beyond his creature's reach ? Supposing this wild imagination even to have been according to the evil spirit's sujg^stion, did not the act betray a most flagrant proof of baseness and ingratitude to the benevolent bestower of such an enjoyn^nt not only of the means of real happiness, but the satisfaction of such an extent of sensual desire as actually exceeded, in superabundance, the utmost gratification of the senses of carnality ? It is true that the temptation seemed rather to direct the mind to an extension of its powers, than to hold out an increase to the satisfaction of corporal appetite ; but the influencing motive did not lessen the unthankfiilness of the heart. The portion of knowledge and percep* tion which the creature possessed, was suitable to his state, and even to a direct intercourse with the divine benefactor himself. What, then, was left to wish for beyond this spiri-
6S FIRST TEMPTATIO tttal and heavenly mtercourse, and the fullest temporal gratification which the objects of carnal, bat then innocent, sensnality conld yield, or the heart of man' lust after ? Thus commenced the calamitous efiects of ambition, pride, vanity, and all the other evil propensities which have inflamed the passions and dbtempered the whole coi .stitation with which the divine goodness had blessed his rational beings. Eve did indeed most shamefully disgrace herself, and become the victim of the seducer ; but Adam, by his transgression, did yet much more sacrifice his princiirfes of fidelity and grati* tude to Ood; prostrate his dignity as a man ; and expose his extreme folly in suffering himself to be deluded by his wift^ and to become the voluntary instrument of his own destruction, as well as a joint slave with her to the evil spirit whidi deceived her.
As the character here given of the serpent, has reference to its nature before man's transgression, it can only import subtilty as descriptive of the enemy, to whom it has, as his instrument of deception, furnished a name, or as expressive of its wanton and insinuating playfulness, on which account it was perhaps fi*om its natural sportiveness and habit of twisting its body into ringlet forms, and alternately standing in, or taking, an erect posture, that Satan made ^oice of it^ as the fittest for his purpose. From the abrupt address of the evil spirit, by, or apparently from, the mouth of the animal, we are led to presume, that it was not the first but the conclusive assault upon Eve, who seems here to have been already, by some previous trials of her powers, and flattery of her accomplishments, brought to more than a wavering state by so giving ear to, holding conversation with, and yielding so speedily to the artful and imposing deceit of an irrational creature. Well did the deceiver know, and he had sufficiently studied the strength and weakness of both, that a trap
AJID TRA SGRESSIO . 6S for her vanity was the most likely to be sucoessfiil against her, and through her i^inst her husband ; and accordingly she became a victim to his wile, or rather to her own thoughtless, unguarded, and inconsiderate vanity and ambition, and Adam to the insinuating address and blandishing persuasion of his wife. Having thus suffered hersetf to be seduced, she ventured to eat ; and, as she appears, in the communing, to have been alone with the serpent, an opportunity which Satan had indeed watched for, as the most promising for insuring sue* cess, it is very probable that she had tasted of the fruit before she spoke to her husband upon the subject. Be this as it may, it is evident that she prevailed on him o accompany ker to the tree, whatever was the pretext used by her for the purpose, where it is likely die first started the proposition, and, at the same time, pulled and eat of the fruit in his presence, while she presented a portion to him, seducing him
from his fidelity to follow her example, by a voluntary breach of his allegiance and duty. Thus fell the first of mankind, involving in their guilt, the whole of their race, as springing from a source of corruption and depravity. We have charged Eve with rash imprudence, and we cannot exculpate her husband. She, the weaker of the two^ yielded to the flattering seduction of a reptile form ; and he to the fiiwning influence and blandishing dalliance of his wile. He had received, immediatdy from God, the divine prohibiticMi, and it was communicated to her either in the same manner, or, as is very probable, by her husband, as the organ and head of the fiunily. If when she intimated to him, for there can be no reason to suppose she did not, the shameful and degrading communing which she had held with the serpent, she had not yet taken o^ or touched the fruit, he, as her head and guardian, ought to have used his authoritative orders against meddling with it, or hearkening to such fatal eo«
64 FIRST TEMPTATIO . ticements, enforcing upon Iier the divine command, the danger annexed to a breach thereof and the extreme folly of submitting to an advice, apparently proceedings from one of the lowest species of the brutish creation, deprived by nature, as they both knew, of speech and intellectual faculty, which, as being used on this occasion, should have alarmed and brought their deliberative powers into activity, and determined them to lay the state of such a supernatural occurrence before the common Creator, who alone could give directions concerning it. But if the crime was already committed by her, he, instead of joining her in revolt, ought, without delay, to have made supplication to Crod, on her behalf, for mercy and forgiveness, if possible to be pardoned, and to have waited for instructions, avoiding, in the mean time, every other intercourse with her, thaa that of guarding her from further acts of treason, while he endeavoured to make her sensible of her extreme imprudence and criminality of conduct, and to
bring her to a repentant mind for what she had so rashly and unadvisedly been guilty of. If she^had tbuched and eat, as 19 most probable, before coming to him, where was the evidence of her having obtained superior knowledge, except what arose from her flushed and stained countenance, through a consciousness of guilt, and the consequent distraction of her mind ? She had, indeed, acquired knowledge, a very fatal degree of it, in a discovery of the happiness and^good she had lost, and of the innumerable evils she bad brought upon herself, by the threatened, and now incurred forfeiture, and weight of the denunciation, the effects of which had now fidlen upon her, by an entire corruption and depravity of her nature, one of which was the base and flagitious seduction of her husband to the like state of wretchedness, as well as involving, if permitted so long to exist, the whole of their offspring and descendants, in all the train of calamitous miseries to
mi9 TSAxacsEssio f 65 which t&ey themselves Were thereby redueeck Thus did sin operate, instantaneously,' upon her heart, as it does upon the hearts of ail, like poison upon the animal body* The purity of her love and fidelity fled with her innocence, and the wifc of his bosom became the betrayer and murderer of his happiness. By a timely and loyal refierence to divine wisdom^ of this important matter, Adam would, with the approbation of his Creator, have obtained that knowledge, #hich his high* ly ungrateful and dbobedient conduct and prohibited ambi^ tion fiitally gave him, and his fiuthfidness might have, with her penitence and his intercession, procured the divine fai^ur, in mercy, to fiimish the means of an atonement for her tranagression, adequate to its relative degree of guilf and his fidelity. What sads&ctiion perfect justice mig^t have required for Eve, had she alone transgi^sed,- or hatt to be rnade^ is not for us to judge* But he whose infinite goodness wrought out man's reconcilement, after Adam had conif* pleted the work of rebellion, would not have been the less disposed to her^s, hod Adam remained loyal»
We have said, that he, by continumg in fidelity, would have arrived at that knowledge of good and evil whieh he effected by his ruin ; wheseas^ it seems to have depended upon, and to have been made to flow from a positive act of disobedience : buf the sin of Eve would have been as sufficient a communication to him, and as obvious, by its unhappy dange iqpen her^ as the consequence of the fall of Satan andr his associates was to diose of the heavenly spirits who remained fetthfid, whereby both the cause and die eflect of forfeiture were laid open to the sun. When she came to instigate him to eat, supposing her not even to have touched the firuity would £ve» by her desire to have it, and endeavours' to seduce him, allowing her incitement to have been unsuccessfid, have come under the efiisct of sin and its denuncia^ VOL. I. I
66 » FIRST temptatiojt feion ? Should we take, by analogy, our Saviour's sedation, a definidon consistent with reason, in cases similar, we most consider her mere wishful indinaticMi for the firuit, though untouched, to be tantamount to ttie actual commission of taking it, but the guilt still more increased, by actually eating, as well as furdier by attempting, and yet moM by succeeding in, the seduction of her husband. Consequently she must have been subjected to a punishment adequate to the degree of her offenee, but the least in degree would have drawn down upon her the whole or a chief part of the effect of the denunciation; for in oar Saviour's exposition of the crime of adultery, he affirms that the looking upon a woman to lust, or as lusting, after her, is, in the heart, the ommiiasion, and a virtuai act of the crime. It would be an idle in* quiry, whether, if Adam, himself, bad been the first, or cnlj transgressor, the offence, in him, would have been still deeper in die than her's, this being merely a degree of compariscMi, but admitting of no doubt that it fidls to be answered in the
affirmative, both because he was the head of the fiunily and her natural' guardian, and because the interdiction was imparted to him under these characters. As to the conduct ta be observed by him, had he continued obe<fient, we conceive a separatipn would have become necessary, until directed by divine wisdom, as to the adjudgment of her fate ; for what connubial fellowship could have subsisted between two such opposite characters and constitutions — ^loyalty and rd[)ellion — innocence and guilt — ^purity and corruption*-life and death ? But, if it be asked, what, so circumstanced, supposing such conjugal intercourse, and the criminality to have been confined to mere unexecuted lust in Eve, and a due period |[ranted for such intercourse, by suspending her punishment, would have been the organization of their offspring ? We would answer that their issue could not possibly be pure :
A D TILAMS6R£S8I0K. &J but if he knew of lier unlawful desire, it is not easy to concede to a connexion between guilt and innocence, or that the innocent could at aH, without an utter contamination, hold so near a communication with depravity, an accordance be* tween them being as incongruous, as between the lamb and the prowling wolf. If light can hold a free intercourse with darkness, and not be impaired ; or, if the animal functions may remain uninjured, notwithstanding ofan unrestrained use of the most virulent poison; then may innocence coalesce with guilt, and holiness enter into a reciprocal communion with iniquity, without being Uasted widi the pernicious contagion of vice, or corrupted with the balefiil influence of eviL We see from £ve's drawing Adam into a partkapation of her own criminality, how much she was already changed by the corruption of her nature, which had now taken effect, and we too well know, though we do not sufficiently profit by k, that <* evil communications corrupt good manners," as they thus did, in the case of Eve, and then, through her, in that of her husbiuid. Satan, as to her, was pretty certain, if at all permitted under any form, to dart his poisoned ar-
rows, they would not &il of their intended purpose, and as little doubt did he hold of the destruction of Adam by her means. The same or a similar mode, among others, of as^ sault and destruction, has ever since been, and continues, under various shapes, to be, adopted, fitted for the several conditions under which mankind is placed, whether of ignorance or knowledge ; poverty or riches ; subordination or command ; slavery or tyrannic power; freedom or <x>nstraint: sickness or health ; youth or advanced age ; be we illiterate or learned. Upon the whole matter, we conclude, that though Adam had, in Eve, a stronger instrument of temptation to withstand, dlian she had in a mere reptile, yet it is not more the. instnii2
'(% FIB8T TRA SGRESSIO ment than the spring wUch was touchedt whence tbe com-paEriMHi falls to be made — her's was Tanily, and it is the main one in her daughters to this day-*his was luslfid lascimnsness in yielding to her flattering and blandishin g aUureuwrts, in order to please her, in preference to his dvty ol loyahir — and ambition fired them both. The prohibition, however, having been given immediately to him, as the gov^rm^ or head of the &mily, and as she was the weafctiest constituted flf the two, he was, hi yielding^ the most culpaUe^ and the chief means of attaching .to his o^^poring, the calamities arising from his treason, though we must acknowledge, that, even if both had remamed fidthfiil, their issue would, indmdually, have been open to temptation, and sutgect to rev^ok and consequent punidiment, similar to the state (rf* the angels, who partly k^t their allegiance and partly became traitors* We may notice, briefly, as to the threatemng <rf' death, expressed in the tcact, that it evidently was not merdy to be restricted to a return of the human frame back to its origiBid dust, but, which was of a much more serious nature^ eaUend-
ed to the departure and total destruction of man's innocence, an entire change of his original intellectual construction, his consequent loss of .communication with his Creator, and his subjection to sin, in all its forms, as 9vell as to the everlastii^ displeasure and wrath of Omnipotence. Such were the voavoidable eflects of the revolt^ involving the whole race of numkind in an irremediable ruin, had not divine grace been extended through Christ, in the incomprehensible love oi God, whereby he reconciled the utmost demands of his justice with the most rigid inviolability of his truth and honour, an instance of unbounded goodness, affection and benevolence, which most satisfactorily opposes the utmost reach of the cavilki^s objections to the Creator's leaving man so open to the dangerous wiles of bk qpiritUAl enemy, and the inroads
AKD TRA 8aB£8810K* 69 •f Ambitioiit kiit and Mnttuli^y throoj^ 'Cmt tnggtstiont cf his own heart. In Tiewuig the jnattoe of God, we contemplate) in this di»play thereofyits stem and implacaUe principle. It ia a prin* ciple^ however, which consists not in cmelQr, or any defi« ciency of affection or mercy; bat, of necessity, as inherent in^ fyid as an atlribate c^ peifection» absohitely essential to^ and inaaparable fiom, it If God was not just, he could not be perfect Revok from, and treason against, the divnie Myiaty, call, in the ordinary comprehension of our reason, te panishaieilt An earthly sorereign may, indeed, and dees, for once, in some cases, foigive rebellion against him and the state of which he is the head, but this may be con» sistent with the imperfection of man— of man standing in need «f forgiveness, however exalted his situation, from the Majesty of heaven, for numberless transgressions, and even from his foUow-creatures. The pardon so ext^ided to a subject, maif originate from various springs of the heart — sympathising psty^ foanded perhaps too upon gratitude for, or a sensi^lulitjr c£f past services— 4kvouritism — powerful intercession of
friends, and siiveties for his future loyalty-^ conviction of his having been misled, not by any imiate disloyal principle in the heart, but through the instigation of others, in an nngnarded moment of thoughtless nishness*-*or' other rea* acma none of whidi, in perfectioa, can have any place. While we however see precision of punishment necessary, and, to the full measure of the crime, inflicted upon our heavenly surely^ we are equally brought to the view of the inoonceiv* able love of the Supreme toward hii unhappy beings, those^ even* who are so much di^oaed^ in impious ingratitude, to taK him with iijyustice, cruelty and a wanton exercise of powett because he made man fallible, and, hs^iring so created hinii left him as a prey to the aasauha of the enemy and treason.
70 TIRST TEMPTATIO In this necessarily strict and rigoioHs satis&ction, exacted, not from those who repent, but from their Imnuumel, as their voluntary representative and surety, appears that unflpeakaUe grace and mercy, which shine through and illaminate justica, whose lustre overwhelms with astonishment the mental fi^ culties of man, and dazzles the sight and overpowers the«oii* ception of the angels and archangels of heaven. Sin acts upon the soul, as the strongest pois<m does upon the body. As leaven, in dou^, it runs through the mass, and leaves no part unsubdued. Its mortifying powers reduce the whole man to one entire state of corruption* othing can extract its virulence and destructive operation, but the blood of the sacrificial sprmkling — that blood of the sdf-d^> voted lamb, which Christ our Redeemer, in his person of man, together with his completion of the law, and other su& ferings, poured forth to the Father of the Godhead, as an accepted satisfaction for, and on behalf oi^ the sinner. Is man, and alas, he is undeniably so, insensiUe of, and unaffected by this unsearchable and inscrutable love ! Is he obstinately bent upon his own ruin, by refusing the effectual, the only efficacious remedy, the balm and cordial of that re»
deeming love, which was administered to us by our dying and affectionate Saviour ! Does he reject the restoring cup of salvation poured out for, and pressed to the lips o^ the sinner 1 Does he refiise die healing salve, and the deansiiig water of life, for the recovery of his corrupted and polluted soul ! Is the proffered pardon, on rep^itance, scorned and set at nought by him who is a traitor ! Will he cavil at the divine justice, and the punfshment which he must unavoidably inflict, while he, the obnoxious culprit, spurns and thrusts from him the offer of redemption and forgiveness, urged upon him with the most earnest entreaties of his God and Saviour i Let him consider, that this his day of life is
A D TRA SGRESSIO . 71 to him the time and day of salvation : that the offer of mercy rejected to day, may, to-morrow, be removed from his reach : diat the importunity lengthen^, by this additional day of his existence, may, to-morrow, be withdrawn.: that no oSer can extend, nor opportmiity be given to the dead : that, with the emission of his last breath, the proclamation of heaven is, as to him, announced, that time is no longer : and that, with death, his account is closed and sealed up, till the last and awful sound of the trumpet of his Creator is given, for the dead to rise for judgment ! If man, in innocence, was subdued by temptation, he ought not, m corruption, to suggest to himself and far less to entertain the hardy and foolish presumption dP being able, like Peter, in his own strength, with firmness, to preserve his fi« delity. When that apostle declared his readiness to follow bis Master, even to execution, he was seriously resolved, and, as he conceived, fixed in, and capable of, carrying his resolution into effect On his own strength, however, man has but a weak foundation to rest his inconsiderate determina* (ions upon, whether for the sacrifice of life ; the surrender of the comforts and enjoyments thereof; withstanding the asaailments of vice; patiently submitting to derision, mockery
and insult, for the sake of his Master ; suffering persecution for the &ith of the gospel ; striving against the blandishing allurements of seduction ; and apposing the various other temptations to which he is exposed, in the course of his probationary state. Our first parents found it so in innoeence, as did this apostle, as the son of corruption. In innocence^ man required the aid of the Almighty to preserve^ to guide and direct him, along with his own unintermitting care and watchfulness to guard against seduction, and much more now, when, as a natural bom sinner, he is prone to transgression. Our first parents were imprudently off that
72 PIKBT TEMPTATIO guard, and inattentive to the du^ of sttn>lication for that vuccour iriiich alone could protect them, and the apostle was, as all the rest of their race afe, equally guilty of self confidence, a weak bulwark, indeed, against the attacks of their powerful and subtle enemy. Hence the importance of prayer^ aa well as our own constant care and attention, if we would successfully oppose him in the evil hour of trial, sensible of our own incapacity to sustain our fidelity, but with a firm, though not presumptuous, reliance upon the divine aid for support, if we supplicate the throne of heaven, in humility^ and with faith. We need not add more^ than merely to ask whether the contraction of guilt by man, in innocence, was, or is new, id his natural state of depravity, but under the covert of Christ, the most atrociously criminal in his giving way to temptation? Adam was, and his sons are, perfectly instructed where their weakness lay and consists, and where protection was and is to be found, and equally under the safeguard of that protection, if properly resortad to— the natural bom sinner by express intimaUon, and innocence virtually so by obvious implication. Prohibition and denunciation point this out to the rational fiusolty. The guilty and perverse de* soendants of rebellion, by the wonderful display of divine
grace in the completion of satis&ction for th^n, are toaded with heavenly favour, infinitely beyond whajt was bestowed upon man originally ; and, by their insensibili^ and r^jec* tion of that grace and fiivour, they convict themselves of ^ much greater degree of ingratitude to God than Adam's, in* asmuch as the heavenly paradise is superior to what that of the earthly was, and purchased for them at a price which no estimation can reach. They cmivict themselves also of a most daringly bold and impious insolence, by chaiging Perfection with iniquity, in leaving our first parentB exposed to
A D TRA SGRESSIO . 7'^ temptation and iall, and subjecting their offspring to the consequences which have resulted from them. Most basely ungrateful as Adam -wasj he went no such length as this of his sons. He did, indeed, in an indirect manner, throw the blame upon the Creator, — ^^ the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat:" but he did not, as iiis rebel sons do, allege ' that he was left insufficientljr cautioned, or incapacitated to resist^ neither did he suggest that the fiiult lay with his benefactor in exhibiting the tree to Ids view, and setting it within his reach, -as if intended to allure or entrap him. Even Satan himself did not think of insinuating to him any objection on these points. With the previdence of sin, has increased the insolence of the sinner and his guilt ; and we conclude, upon the whole, that the children are infinitely more <;riminal and ungrateful than the parent stock, from whence they have sprung. ■ Query, Is man said to lay a snare for his servants, or hireling labourers upon, or those set over, his works or estate, to induce them to steal, cheat, tn: plunder, by the trust thereof reposed in them, wh^i employed for fair and equitable wages ? If such an inference is denied to man in this case, how much more does it fidl to be denied to him, in respect of Adam^s charge, who was not treated as a hireling or overseer, but in the very character of proprietor of his garden
and the globe, of which it was a part, and all that belonged to them, the prohibited tree excepted?
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