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head, in the covenant of works; we were in him seminala ly, as our natural head ; - hence we fell in him, and by his disobedience were made sinners, as Levi, in the loins of Abraham, paid tithes, Heb. vii. 9. His first sin is imputed to us; therefore, justly are we left under the want of his original righteousness, which, being given to himasa common person, he cast off, by his sin ; and this is necessarily. followed, in him and us, by the corruption of the whole nature; righteousness and corruption beingtwo contraries, one of which must needs always be in man, as a subject capable thereof. And Adam, our common father, being corrupt, we are so too ; for, “ \Vho can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?"
Although it is sufficient to evince the righteousness of this dispensation, that it was from the Lord, who doth all things well; yet, to silence the murmurings of proud nature, lot these few things further be considered. (1.) In , the covenant wherein Adam represented us, eternal happi. ness was promised to him and his posterity, upon condition, of his (that is, Adam's) perfect obedience, as the representative for all mankind; whereas, if there had been no covenant, they could not have pleaded eternal life, upon their most perfect obedience, but might have been, after all, reduced to nothing, notwithstanding, by natural justice, they would have been liable to God's eternal wrath, in case of sin. Who, in that case, would not have consented to that representation? (2.) Adam had a power to stand given him, being made upright. He was as capable to stand for liimself, and all his posterity, as any after him could be for themselves. This trial of mankind, in their head, would soon have been over, and the crown won to them all, had he stood ; whereas, had his posterity been independent on bim, and every one left to act for himself, the trial would have been continually a-carrying on, as men came into the world. (3.) He had natural affections the strongest to engage him, being our common father. (4.) His own stock was in the ship, his all lay at stake as well as ours. He had no separate interest from our's ; for, if he forgot ours, he behoved to have forgot his own. (5.) If he had stood, we should have had the light of his mind, the righteousness of his will, and holiness of his affections, with entire purity transmitted unto us; we could not have fallen; the
crown of glory, by his obedience, would have been for ever secured to him and his. This is evident from the nature of a federal representation ; and no reason can be given why, seeing we are lost by Adam's sin, we should not have been saved by his obedience. On the other hand, it is reasonable that, he falling, we should with him bear the loss. Lastly, Such as quarrel this dispensation, must renounce their part in Christ; for we are no otherwise made sinners by Adam, than we are made righteous by Christ; from whom we have both imputed and inherent righteousness. We no more made choice of the second Adam, for our head and representative in the second covenant, than we did of the first Adam in the first covenant...
I.et none wonder that such an horrible change would be brought on by one sin of our first parents, for thereby they turned away from God, as their chief end ; which necessarily infers an universal depravation. Their sin was a complication of evils, a total apostacy from God, a violation of the whole law. By it they broke all the ten commands at once. (1.) They chose new gods. They made their belly their god, by their sensuality ; self their god by their ambition ; yea, and the devil their God, believing him, and disbelieving their Maker. (2.) Though they received, yet they observed not that ordinance of God, about the forbidden fruit. They contemned that ordinance so plainly enjoined them, and would needs carve out to themselves, how to serve the Lord. (3.) They took the name of the Lord their God in vain ; despising his attributes, his justice, truth, power, &c. They grossly profaned that sacramental tree; abused his word, by not giving credit to it; abused that creature of his, which they should not have touched, and violently misconstrued his providence ; as if God, by forbidding them that tree, had been standing in the way of their happiness ; and, therefore, he suffered them not to escape his righteous judgment. (4.) They remembered not the Sabbath, to keep it holy ; but put themselves out of a condition to serve God aright on his own day. Neither kept they that state of holy rest, wherein God had put them. (5.) They cast off their relative duties : Eve forgets herself, and acts without advice of her husband, to the ruin of both; Adam, instead of admonish ing her to repent, yields to the temptationand confirma her in her wickedness. They forgot all duty to their posa terity. They honoured not their Father in heaven ; and, therefore, their days were not long in the land which the Lord their God gave them. (6.) They ruined themselves, and all their posterity. (7.) Gave up themselves to luxury and sensuality. (8.) Took away what was not their own, against the express will of the great Owner. (9.) They bore false witness, and lied against the Lord, before angels, devils, and one another; in effect giving out that they were hardly dealt by, and that heaven grudged their happiness. (10.) They were discontent with their lot, and coveted an eril'covetousness to their house, which ruined both them and theirs. Thus was the image of God on man defaced all at once.
The Doctrine of the Corruption of Nature applied. : Use I. For information. Is man's nature wholly corpupted? Then,
1. No wonder the grave open its devouring mouth for us, as soon as the womb hath cast us forth ; and that the cradle be turned into a coffin, to receive the corrupt lump: For we are all, in a spiritual sense, dead-born ; yea, and filthy, (Psal. xiv. 3.) noisome, rank, and stinking as a corrupt thing, as the word inports. Let us not complain of the miseries we are exposed to, at our entrance, nor of the continuance of them, while we are in the world. Here is the venom that has poisoned all the springs of earthly e enjoyments we have to drink of. It is the corruption of man's nature that brings forth all the miseries of human life in churches, states, families; in mens souls and bodies.
2. Behold here, as in a glass, the spring of all the wickedness, profanity, and formality in the world ; the source of all the disorders in thy own heart and life, Lvery thing acts like itself, agreeable to its own nature, and so corrupt man acts corruptly. You need not wonder at the sinfulness of your own heart and life, nor at the sinfulness and perverseness of others : If a man be crooked, he cannot but halt; and if the clock be set wrong, how can it point the hour right? . .
3. See here, why sin is so pleasant, and religion such a burden to carnal spirits ; sin is natural, holiness not so, Oxen cannot feed in the sea, nor fishes in the fruitful fields. A swine brought into a palace would get away again, to wallow in the mire. A corrupt nature tends even to impurity.
4. Learn from this the nature and necessity of regenera tion. First, This discovers the nature of regeneration in these two things, (1.) It is not a partial, but a total change, though imperfect in this life. Thy whole nature is corrupted; and, therefore, the cure must go through every part. Regeneration makes not only a new head for knowledge, but a new heart, and new affections for holiness. 66 All things become new," 2 Cor. v. 17. If one, having received many wounds, should be cured of them all, save one only, he might bleed to death by that one, as well as a thousand. So if the change go not through the whole man it is naught. (2.) It is not a change made by human industry, but by the mighty power of the Spirit of God. A man must be “ born of the Spirit,” John iii. 5. Accidental diseases may be cured by men, but these which are natural, not without a miracle, John ix. 32. The change brought upon men by good education, or forced upon them by a natural conscience, though it may pass among men for a saving change, it is not so; for our nature is corrupt, and none but the God of nature can change it. Though a gardener ingrafting a pear-branch into an appletree, may make the apple-tree bear pears, yet the art of man cannot change the nature of the apple-tree ; so one. may pin a new life to his old heart, but he can never change the heart. Secondly, This also shews the necessity of regeneration. It is absolute necessary in order to salvation, John iii. 3. “ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” No unclean thing can enter the new Jerusalem ; but thou art wholly unclean, while in thy natural state. If every member of thy body were dis-jointed, each joint behoved to be loosed, ere the members could be set right again. This is the case of thy soul, as thou hast heard ; and, therefore, thou must be born again; else thou shalt never see heaven, unless it be far off, as the rich man in hell did. Deceive not thyself; no mercy of Gods no blood of Christ will bring thee to heaven, iu thy unregenerate state : For God will never open a fountain of mercy, to wash away his own holiness and truth; nor did Christ shed his precious blood, to blot out the truths of God, or to overturn God's measures about the salvation of sinners. Heaven! What would you do there, that are not born again? Ye that are no ways fitting for Christ the head. That would be a strange sight, a holy head, and members wholly corrupt! a head full of treasures of grace, members wherein are nothing but treasures of wickedness! a head obedient to death, and heels kicking against heaven! Ye are no ways adapted to the society above, more than beasts for converse with men. Thou art a hater of true holiness; and at the first sight of a saint there, would cry out, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? Nay, the unrenewed man, if it were possible he could go to heaven in that state, he would no otherwise go to it, than now he comes to the duties of holiness, that is leav. ing his heart behind him.
USE II. For lamentation. Well may we lament thy case, o natural man, for it is the saddest case one can be in out of hell. It is time to lament for thee; for thou art dead already, dead whilst thou livest; thou carriest about with thee a dead soul in a living body; and because thou art dead, thou canst not lament thy own case. Thou art loathsome in the sight of God; for thou art altagether corrupt. Thou hast no good in thee; thy soul is a mass of darkness, rebellion, and vileness before the Lord. Thou thinkest, perhaps, that thou hast a good heart to God, good inclinations, and good desires ; but God knows there is nothing good in thee, but evcry imagination of thine heart is only evil. Thou canst do no good; thou canst do no. thing but sin. For,
First, Thou art the servant of sin, Rom. vi. 17. and, · therefore, free from righteousne88, ver.20, Whatever righ
teousness be, (poor soul, thou art free of it ; thou dost not, thou canst not meddle with it. Thou art under the dominion of sin, a dominion where righteousness can have no place. Thou art a child and servant of the devil, though thou be neither wizzard nor witch; seeing thou art yet in the state of nature, John viii. 44. “ Ye are of your father the devil.” And to prevent any mistake, consider, that sin and Satan have two sorts of servants. (1.) There are some employed as it were, in coarser work; those bear the devil's mark in their fore-heads, having no form of godliness; but are profane, grossly ignorant, mere moralists: