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cordingly is given to the saints, upon the account of the merits of Christ, who was obedient even to the death. And herein believers have the advantage of Adam, that they can never totally nor finally fall away from grace.
Thus was man made originally righteous, being « created in God's own image," Gen. i. 27, which consists in the positive qualities of « knowledge, righteousness, and holiness," Col. iii. 10. Eph. iv. 24. All that God made was very good, according to their several natures, Gen. i. 31. And so was man morally good, being made after the image of him who is good and upright, Psalm xxv. 8. Without this, he could not have answered the great end of his creation, which was to know, love, and serve his God, according to his will. Nay, he could not be created otherwise; for he behoved either to be conform to the law, in his powers, principles, and inclinations, or not; if he was, then he was righteous; and if not, he was a sinner, which is absurd and horrible to imagine.
Of Man's Original Happiness.
SECONDLY, I shall lay before you some of those things' which did accompany or flow from the righteousness of man's primitive state. Happiness is the result of holiness; and as it was an holy, so it was an happy state.
First, Man was then a very glorious creature. We have reason to suppose, that as Moses' face shone when he came down from the mount ; so man had a very lightsome and pleasant countenance, and beautiful body; while as yet there was no darkness of sin in him at all. But seeing God himself is glorious in holiness, (Exod. xv. 11.) surely that spiritual comeliness the Lord put upon man at his creation, made him a very glorious creature. O how did light shine in his holy conversation, to the glory of the Creator! while every action was but the darting forth of a ray and team of that glorious, unmixed light, which God had set up in his soul ; while that lamp of love, lighted from heaven, continued burning in his heart, as in the holy place; and the law of the Lord, put in his inward parts by the finger of God, was kept by him there, as in the most holy. There was no impurity to be seen without; no squint look in the eyes, after any unclean thing ; the
tongue spoke nothing but the language of heaven; and in a word, the King's Son was all glorious within, and his cloathing of wrought gold. .
Secondly, He was the favourite of heaven. He shone brightly in the image of God, who cannot but love his own image, wherever it appears. While he was alone in the world, he was not alone, for God was with him. His communion and fellowship was with his Creator, and that immediately : For as yet there was nothing to turn away the face of God from the work of his own hands; seeing sin had not as yet entered, which alone could make the breach.
By the favour of God, he has advanced to be confede. rate with heaven, in the first covenant, called, The Cove. nant of Works. God reduced the law, which he gave in his creation, into the form of a covenant, whereof perfect obedience was the condition ; life was the thing promised and death the penalty. As for the condition, one great branch of the natural law was, that men believe whatsoever God shall reveal, and do whatsoever he shall command: Accordingly, God making this covenant with man, extended his duty to the not eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; and the law thus extended, was the rule of man's covenant-obedience. How easy were these terms to him, who had the natural law written on his heart ; and that inclining him to obey this positive law, revealed to him, it seems, by an audible voice, (Gen.ii. 16.) the matter whereof was so very easy? And, indeed, it was highly reasonable that the rule and matter of his covenantobedience should be thus extended ; that which was adde ed, being a thing in itself indifferent, where his obedience was to turn upon the precise point of the will of God, the plainest evidence of true obedience, and it being in an external thing, wherein his obedience or disobedience would be most clear and conspicuous."
Now, upon this condition, God promised him life, the continuance of natural life, in the union of soul and body; and of spiritual life, in the favour of his Creator : He promised him also eternal life in heaven, to have been entered into, when he should have passed the time of his trial upon earth, and the Lord should see meet to transport him into the upper Paradise. This promise of life was included in
the threatening of death, mentioned Gen. ii. 17. For while God says, “ In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die;" it is in effect, “ If thou do not eat of it; thou shalt surely live.” And this was sacramentally confirmed by another tree in the garden, called, therefore, the tree of life, which he was debarred from, when he had sinned : Gen. üi. 22, 23. « Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden." Yet it is not to be thought, that man's life and death did hang only on this matter of the forbidden fruit, but on the whole law; for so says the apostle, Gal. iii. 10. " It is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them.” That of the forbidden fruit was a revealed part of Adam's religion ; and so behoved expressly to be laid before him; but as to the natural law, he naturally knew death to be the reward of disobedience ; for the very Heathens were not ignorant of this, “ knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,” Rom. i. 32. And, moreover, the promise included in the threatening secured Adam's life, according to the covenant, as long as he obeyed the natural law, with the addition of that positive command; so that he needed nothing to be expressed to him in the covenant, but what concerned the eating of the forbidden fruit. That eternal life in heaven was promised in this covenant is plain from this, that the threatening was of eternal death in hell; to which when man had made himself liable, Christ was promised, by his death, to purchase eternal life ; and Christ himself expounds the promise of the covenant of works of eternal life, while he promiseth the condition of that covenant to a proud young man, who, though he had not Adam's stock, yet would needs enter into life in the way of working, as Adam was to have done under this covenant, Mat. xix. 17. “ If thou wilt enter into life,” (viz. eternal life, by doing, ver. 16.) “keep the commandments.”
The penalty was death, Gen. ii. 17. “ In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” The death threatened was such, as the life promised was; and that most justly,viz.temporal, spiritual, and eternal death. The
event is a commentary on this : For that very day he did eat thereof, he was a dead man in law; but the execution was stopped, because of his posterity then in his loins; and another covenant was prepared : However, that day his body got its death's-wound, and became mortal. Death also seized his soul: Helost his original righteousness and the favour of God; witness the gripes and throes of conscience, which made him hide himself from God. And he became liable to eternal death, which would have actually followed of course, if a Mediator had not been provided, who found him bound with the cords of death, as a malefactor ready to be led to execution. Thus you have a short description of the covenant, into which the Lord brought man, in the state of innocence.
· And seemeth it a small thing unto you, that earth was thus confederate with heaven? This could have been done to none but him, whom the King of heaven delighted to honour. It was an act of grace worthy of the gracious God whose favourite he was; for there was grace and free favour in the first covenant, though the exceeding riches of grace (as the apostle calls it, Eph. ii. 7.) was reserved for the second. It was certainly an act of grace, favour, and admirable condescension in God, to enter into a covenant; and such a covenant with his own creature. Man was not at his own, but at God's disposal. Nor had he any thing to work with, but what he had received from God. There was no proportion betwixt the work and the promised reward. Before that covenant, man was bound to perfect obedience, in virtue of his natural dependence on God; and death was naturally the wages of sin; which the justice of God could and would have required, though there had never been any covenant betwixt God and man: But God was free ; man could never have required eternal life as the reward of his work, if there had not been such a co. venant. God was free to have disposed of his creatures as he saw meet ; and if he had stood in his integrity as long as the world should stand, and there had been no covenant promising eternal life to him upon his obedience ;. God might have withdrawn his supporting hand at last, and so made him creep back into the womb of nothing, whence almighty power had drawn him out. And what wrong could there have been in this, while God should have taken back what he freely gave ? But now the covenant being made, God becomes debtor to his own faithfulness : If man will work, he may crave the reward on the ground of the coyenant. Well might the angels then, upon his being raised to his dignity, have given him that salutation, “ Hail thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee."
Thirdly, God made him lord of the world, prince of the inferior creatures, universal lord and emperorof the whole earth. His Creator gave him dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, over all the earth, yea, and every living thing that liveth upon the earth : He " put all things under his feet,” Psal. viii. 6, 7, 8. He gave him a power soberly to use and dispose of the creatures in the earth, sea, and air. Thus man was God's depute-governor in the lower world; and this his dominion was an image of God's sovereignty. This was common to the man and the woman; but the man had one thing peculiar to him, viz, that he had dominion over the woman also, I Cor. xi. 7. Behold how the creatures came to him, to own their subjection, and to do him homage as their lord ; and quietly stood before him, till he put names on them as his own, Gen. ii. 19. Man's face struck an awe upon them ; the stoutest creatures stood astonished, tamely and quietly adoring him as their lord and ruler. Thus was man “ crowned with glory and honour,” Psal. viii. 5. The Lord dealt most liberally and bountifully with him, put all things under his feet : only he kept one thing, one tree in the garden, out of his hards, even the tree of knowledge of good and evil..
But, you may say, And did he grudge him this ? I answer, Nay; but when he had made him thus holy and happy, he graciously gave him this restriction, which was in its own nature a prop and stay to keep him from falling. And this I say, upon these three grounds : (1.) As it was most proper for the honour of God, who had made man lord of the lower world, to assert his sovereign dominion over all, by some particular visible sign ; so it was most proper for man's safety. Man being set down in a beautiful Paradise, it was an act of infinite wisdom, and of grace too, to keep from him one single tree, as a visible testimony that he must hold all of his Creator, as his great