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Right. Only in the exposition of this verse, as it discovers the principal efficient cause of the creation of all things, or the author of this great work, Mr B. afterward expounds himself to differ from us and the word of God in other places. By “God” he intends the Father only and exclusively, the Scripture plentifully ascribing this work also to the Son and Holy Ghost, manifesting their concurrence in the indivisible Deity unto this great work, though, by way of eminency, this work be attributed to the Father, as that of redemption is to the Son, and that of regeneration to the Holy Ghost, from neither of which notwithstanding is the Father excluded.
Perhaps the using of the name of God in the plural number, where mention is made of the creation, in conjunction with a verb singular, Gen. i. 1, and the express calling of God our Creators and Makers, Eccles. xii. 1, Ps. cxlix. 2, Job xxxv. 10, wants not a significancy to this thing. And indeed he that shall consider the miserable evasions that the adversaries have invented to escape the argument thence commonly insisted on must needs be confirmed in the persuasion of the force of it.' Mr B. may haply close with Plato in this business, who, in his “ Timæus,” brings in his dnesouprós speaking to his genii about the making of man, telling them that they were mortal, but encouraging them to obey him in the making of other creatures, upon the promise of immortality. “Turn you,” saith he, "according to the law of nature, to the making of living creatures, and imitate my power which I used in your generation or birth;”S– a speech fit enough for Mr B.'s god," who is shut up in heaven," and not able of himself to attend his whole business. But what a sad success this demiurgus had, by his want of prescience, or foresight of what his demons would do (wherein also Mr B. likens God unto him), is farther declared; for they imprudently causing a conflux of too much matter and humour, no small tumult followed thereon in heaven, as at large you may see in the same author. However, it is said expressly the Son or Word created all things, John i. 3; and, “By him are all things,” i Cor. viii. 6, Rev. iv. 11. Of the Holy Ghost the same is affirmed, Gen. i. 2, Job xxvi. 13, Ps. xxxiii. 6. Nor can the Word and Spirit be degraded from the place of principal efficient cause in this work to a condition of instrumentality only, which is urged (especially in reference to the Spirit), unless we
* " Poterat et illud de angelis intelligi, Faciamus hominem, etc., sed quia sequitur, ad imaginem nostram, nefas est credere, ad imagines angelorum hominem esse factum, aut eandem esse imaginem angelorum et Dei. Et ideo recte intelligitur pluralitas Trinitatis. Quæ tamen Trinitas, quia unus est Deus, etiam cum dixisset, faciamus, et fecit, inquit, Deus hominem ad imaginem Dei: non vero dixit, fecerunt Dii ad imaginem Deorum.” - Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. xvi. cap. vi.
2 Georg. Enjed. in. Explicat. loc. Ver. et Nov. Testam. in Gen. i. 26.
3 Τρέτισθε κατά φύσιν υμείς επί την των ζώων δημιουργίαν, μιμούμενοι την εμήν δύναμιν Ftopi ono üzeripar yinriv.-Plato. in Timæo. Dial. p. üi. vol. ii. p. 43.
shall suppose them to have been created before any creation, and to have been instrumental of their own production. But of these things in their proper place.
His second question is, “How long was God in making them ?” and he answers from Exod. xx. 11, “In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is."
The rule I formerly prescribed to myself of dealing with Mr B. causes me to pass this question also without farther inquiry; although, having already considered what his notions are concerning the nature and properties of God, I can scarce avoid conjecturing that by this crude proposal of the time wherein the work of God's creation was finished, there is an intendment to insinuate such a gross conception of the working of God as will by no means be suited to his omnipotent production of all things. But speaking of things no farther than enforced, I shall not insist on this query.
His third is, “How did God create man?” and the answer is, Gen. ii. 7. To which he adds a fourth, "How did he create woman?" which he resolves from Gen. ii. 21, 22.
Mr B., undertaking to give all the grounds of religion in his Catechisms, teacheth as well by his silence as his expressions.
What he mentions not, in the known doctrine he opposeth, he may well be interpreted to reject. As to the matter whereof man and woman were made, Mr B.'s answers do express it; but as to the condition and state wherein they were made, of that he is silent, though he knows the Scripture doth much more abound in delivering the one than the other. Neither can his silence in this thing be imputed to oversight or forgetfulness, considering how subservient it is to his intendment in his last two questions, for the subverting of the doctrine of original sin, and the denial of all those effects and consequences of the first breach of covenant whereof he speaks. He can, upon another account, take notice that man was made in the image of God: but whereas hitherto Christians have supposed that that denoted some spiritual perfection bestowed on man, wherein he resembles God, Mr B. hath discovered that it is only an expression of some imperfection of God, wherein he resembles man; which yet he will as hardly persuade us of as that a man hath seven eyes or two wings, which are ascribed unto God also. That man was created in a resemblance and likeness unto God in that immortal substance breathed into his nostrils, Gen. ii. 7, in the excellent rational faculties thereof, in the dominion he was intrusted withal over a great part of God's creation, but especially in the integrity and uprightness of his person, Eccles. vii. 29, wherein he stood before God, in reference to the obedience required at his hands,—which condition, by the implanting of new qualities in our soul, we are, through Christ, in some measure renewed unto, Col. iii. 10, 12, Eph. iv. 24,—the Scripture is clear, evident, and full in the discovery of; but hereof Mr B. conceives not himself bound to take notice. But what is farther needful to be spoken as to the state of man before the fall will fall under the consideration of the last question of this chapter.
Mr B.'s process in the following questions is, to express the story of man's outward condition, unto the eighth, where he inquires after the commandment given of God to man when he put him into the garden, in these words:-“Q. What commandment gave he to the man when he put him into the garden?” This he resolves from Gen. ii. 16, 17. That God gave our first parents the command expressed is undeniable. That the matter chiefly expressed in that command was all or the principal part of what he required of them, Mr B. doth not go about to prove. I shall only desire to know of him whether God did not in that estate require of them that they should love him, fear him, believe him, acknowledge their dependence on him, in universal obedience to his will? and whether a suitableness unto all this duty were not wrought within them by God? If he shall say No, and that God required no more of them but only not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I desire to know whether they might have hated God, abhorred him, believed Satan, and yet been free from the threatening bere mentioned, if they had only forbore the outward eating of the fruit? If this shall be granted, I hope I need not insist to manifest what will easily be inferred, nor to show how impossible this is, God continuing God, and man a rational creature.' If he shall say that certainly God did require that they should own him for God, -that is, believe him, love him, fear him, and worship him, according to all that he should reveal to them and require of them,—I desire to know whether this particular command could be any other than sacramental and symbolical as to the matter of it, being a thing of so small importance in its own nature, in comparison of those moral acknowledgments of God before mentioned; and to that question I shall not need to add more.
Although it may justly be supposed that Mr B. is not without some thoughts of deviation from the truth in the following questions, yet the last being of most importance, and he being express therein in denying all the effects of the first sin, but only the curse that came upon the outward, visible world, I shall insist only on that, and close our consideration of this chapter. His question is thus proposed: “Q. Did the sin of our first parents in eating of the forbidden fruit bring both upon them and their posterity the guilt of hell-fire, deface the image of God in them, darken their understandings, enslave their wills, deprive them of power to do good, and cause mortality? If not, what are the true penalties denounced against them for that offence?" To this he answers from Gen. iii. 16-19.
· Vid. Diatrib. de Justit. Vindicat.
What the sin of our first parents was may easily be discovered from what was said before concerning the commandment given to them. If universal obedience was required of them unto God, according to the tenor of the law of their creation, their sin was an universal rebellion against and apostasy from him; which though it expressed itself in the peculiar transgression of that command mentioned, yet it is far from being reducible to any one kind of sin, whose whole nature is comprised in that expression. Of the effects of this sin commonly assigned, Mr B. annumerates and rejects six, sundry whereof are coincident with, and all but one reducible to, that general head of loss of the image of God; but for the exclusion of them all at once from being any effects of the first sin, Mr B. thus argues: “If there were no effects or consequences of the first sin but what are expressly mentioned, Gen. iii. 16-19, then those now mentioned are no effects of it; but there are no effects or consequences of that first sin but what are mentioned in that place:" therefore those recounted in his query, and commonly esteemed such, are to be cashiered from any such place in the thoughts of men.
Ans. The words insisted on by Mr B. being expressive of the curse of God for sin on man, and on the whole creation here below for his sake, it will not be easy for him to evince that none of the things he rejects are not eminently inwrapped in them. Would God have denounced and actually inflicted such a curse on the whole creation, which he had put in subjection to man, as well as upon man himself, and actually have inflicted it with so much dread and severity as he hath done, if the transgression upon the account whereof he did it had not been as universal a rebellion against him as could be fallen into? Man fell in his whole dependence from God, and is cursed universally, in all his concernments, spiritual and temporal.
But is this indeed the only place of Scripture where the effects of our apostasy from God; in the sin of our first parents, are described ? Mr B. may as well tell us that Gen. iii. 15 is the only place where mention is made of Jesus Christ, for there he is mentioned. But a little to clear this whole matter in our passage, though what hath been spoken may suffice to make naked Mr B.'s sophistry:
1. By the effects of the first sin, we understand every thing of evil that, either within or without, in respect of a present or future condition, in reference to God and the fruition of him whereto man was created, or the enjoyment of any goodness from God, is come upon mankind, by the just ordination and appointment of God, whereunto man was not obnoxious in his primitive state and condition. I am not at present at all engaged to speak de modo, of what is prie vative, what positive, in original sin, of the way of the traduction or propagation of it, of the imputation of the guilt of the first sin, and adhesion of the pollution of our nature defiled thereby, or any other VOL. XII.
questions that are coincident with these in the usual inquest made into and after the sin of Adam and the fruits of it; but only as to the things themselves, which are here wholly denied. Now,
2. That whatsoever is evil in man by nature, whatever he is obnoxious and liable unto that is hurtful and destructive to him and all men in common, in reference to the end whereto they were created, or any title wherewith they were at first intrusted, is all wholly the effect of the first sin, and is in solidum to be ascribed thereunto, is easily demonstrated; for,
(1.) That which is common to all things in any kind, and is proper to them only of that kind, must needs have some common cause equally respecting the whole kind: but now of the evils that are common to all mankind, and peculiar or proper to them and every one of them, there can be no cause but that which equally concerns them all; which, by the testimony of God himself, was this fall of Adam, Rom. v. 12, 15-19.
(2.) The evils that are now incumbent upon men in their natural condition (which what they are shall be afterward considered) were either incumbent on them at their first creation, before the sin and fall of our first parents, or they are come upon them since, through some interposing cause or occasion. That they were not in them or on them, that they were not liable or obnoxious to those evils which are now incumbent on them, in their first creation, as they came forth from the hand of God (besides what was said before of the state and condition wherein man was created, even "upright" in the sight of God, in his favour and acceptation, no way obnoxious to his anger and wrath), is evident by the liglet of this one consideration, namely, that there was nothing in man nor belonging to him, no respect, no regard or relation, but what was purely and immediately of the holy God's creation and institution. Now, it is contrary to all that he hath revealed or made known to us of himself, that he should be the immediate author of so much evil as is now, by his own testimony, in man by nature, and, without any occasion, of so much vanity and misery as he is subject unto; and, besides, directly thwarting the testimony which he gave of all the works of his hands, that they were exceeding good, it being evident that man, in the condition whereof we speak, is exceeding evil.
3. If all the evil mentioned hath since befallen mankind, then it hath done so either by some chance and accident whereof God was not aware, or by his righteous judgment and appointment, in reference to some procuring and justly-deserving cause of such a punishment. To affirm the first, is upon the matter to deny him to be God; and I doubt not but that men at as easy and cheap a rate of sin may deny that there is a God, as, confessing his divine essence, to turn it into an idol, and by making thick clouds, as Job speaks, to interpose between him and