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“God does not want servants, Why so?. He ministers himself to mankind ; being every where present and at hand. Whoever conceives not of God as he ought, dealing all things, bestowing his benefits freely, will never make the proper proficiency. Why are the Gods so beneficent? It is owing to their nature. The first article of the worship of the Gods, is to believe that they are: then to render them, the honour of their majesty, and of their goodness, without which there is no majesty: to know, that they preside over the world, ern ings by their power, take special care of manind, without neglecting individuals.” In like manner, we find it among the articles of the Jewish faith, as a thing naturally known, that there are rewards as well as punishments with God; according to that common saying, God defrauds no creature of its reward. The worship of God presupposes the belief of this: For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of then that diligently seek him, Heb. xi. 6... . . III, 3dly. Besides, this faith is not merely a certain persuasion of the mind, arising from reasoning, and the consideration of the goodness of God: but to render it a genuine faith, it must rest on the word and promise of God: faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. x. 17. . .3dly. This was the intent of the tree of life, which the Socinians themselves, in Compend Socinian, c. 2. § 5. allow to have been a kind of oymbol, though obscure, of eternal lift. But that symbol, o: to Adam, could have been of no use, unless he understood it, and considered it as a seal of the promise made by God. It had been mere farce, to have prohibited man from access to, and eating of this tree after the fall; unless thereby, God had given bim to understand, that he would forfeit the thing promised, and concequently become unworthy of the use of that symbol and sacrament. 4thly. If no promise had been made, they might have lived without hope. For the hope which maketh not ashamed, is founded on the promises. But this is the character of the woeful calamity of those who are without God in the world, that they have no hope, Eph. ii. 12, 5thly. God represents to Cain a thing known long before, even by nature, much more by paternal instruction; If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? Gen. iv. 7. But did this maxim begin to be true, and to be known only after the fall P 6thly. The very threatening infers a promise. The language of which at least is, that he was to be deprived of that happiness, which otherwise he would continue to enjoy; we may,
therefore, most certainly infer, that man had no occasion to
debted to none, and is the most absolute lord of all things P
Does the supreme Being, by his gracious promises, derogate any
contrary, the apostle teaches, that the commandment, considered in itself, was ordained to life, Rom. vii. 10. that is, was such as by the observance thereof life might have once been obtained; which if the law could still bestow on the sinner, “verily righteousness should have been by the law,” Gal. iii. 21. that is, the right to that same happiness which now comes from faith in Christ. For the dispute was concerning xxogorousa, the inheritance of eternal life, which was to be entered upon; whether now, by means of the law, or by the promise of the l, v. 18. And he owns, it would be by the law, could the law Zwowoodwa make alive. And this could be done by that law which was ordained to life, Rom. vii. 10. But when P. In innocence before it was made weak by the flesh. If Adam therefore had persevered in obedience, the law would have brought him to that same inheritance, which now in Christ is allotted not to him that worketh, but to him that believeth. And this argument, if I mistake not, is plain to any person of thought and attention.
VII. 3dly. We are above all to observe how the apostle distinguishes the righteousness, which is of the law, from the evangelical. Of the first he thus speaks, Rom. x. 5. “Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law; that the man which doth those things shall live by them:" Of the second, he writes as follows, Rom. i. 17. “The just shall live by faith.” On both sides, the promise of life is the same, and proposed in the very same words. Nor does the apostle in the least hint that one kind of life is promised by the law, another by the gospel. Which, if true, ought for once at least to be hinted; as the doing this would have ended the whole dispute. For, in vain would any seek for eternal life by the law, if never promised in it. But the apostle places the whole difference, not in the thing promised, but in the condition of obtaining the promise; while he says, Gal. iii. 11, 12. “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but the man that doth them, shall live in them.” That very life therefore is promised by the law to the man that worketh, which he now receives through the faith of Christ. But to what man, thus working, were the promises made? Was it to the sinner P Was it not to man in a state of innocence P And was it not then, when it might truly be said if thou continuest to do well, thou shalt be heir of that life upon that condition ? And this could be said to none but to innocent Adam. Was it not then, when the promise was actually made For after sin, there is not so much a promise
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CHAP. Iv.] COVENANT OF WORKS. 75
as a denunciation of wrath, and an intimation of a curse, pro-
contain a demonstration to the conscience, which I think is
than is contained in that very short account of him by Moses.
Nor does it appear to be without a mystery, that Moses is more
appear glorious, and God be glorified and admired in all his saints. --, -, -, * ; : e.
IX. It still remains doubtful, whether the life promised to Adam upon his perseverance was to be ‘. in paradise,
or in heaven. The latter appears more probable. 1st. Because paradise is in scripture represented as a type of heaven, and heaven itself is called paradise, Luke xxiii. 43 by that exchange of names which is very common between a sacrament, or sign, and the thing o thereby. But is it in the least probable, that paradise should be made a sacrament after man's ejectment? 2dly. Is it fit that man when raised to consummate happiness should reside there, where God does most brightly display the rays of his glorious majesty; which doub o does in heaven, where he has fixed his throne, Isa. lxvi. 1. 3dly. As the earthly paradise was furnished with all the delights and pleasures appertaining to this animal life, of which there is no necessity in that most perfect and immediate fruition of God, all that external entertaininent being in the highest degree excluded thence; heaven ought to be deemed a much more suitable habitation for glorified man than the earthly paradise. However, we would not deny, that happiness does not depend on place; and there being scarce anything to demonstrate this in scripture; therefore we ought not to contend strenuously about such a question.
... X. This therefore is settled; God promised to Adam eternal life. But here it may be and is usually asked whence
promise flows, whether from the mere good pleasure of
XI. And first, I lay this down as an acknowledged truth, that God owes nothing to his creature. By no claim, no law is he bound to reward it. For all that the creature is, it owes entirely to God; both because he created it, and also, because he is infinitely exalted above it. But where there is so great a disparity, there is no common standard of right, by which the superior in dignity, can become under an obligation to give any reward, Rom. xi. 35, 36.