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earth, hearing such language as this from a child, but that would think it proper and fit that his uncircumcised beart should be so humbled as to accept the punishment of his iniquity before he pardoned him. Nor would he forgive him, until he should feel and say, 'I deserve to be whipped. It is good enough for me. It becomes my father to do it. Nor is it a blemish, but a beauty in his character, to be disposed to chastise such a haughty wretch as I am. For the father approves of his own disposition to punish his child. He knows that it becomes him. And until his child knows it too, he cannot but disapprove of him, as a stubborn, impenitent child. And yet no father ever desired his child to love misery. Nay, on the contrary, did the child love to be whipped, did whipping give the child pleasure, it would cease to be of the nature of a punishment. It would gratify the child, and frustrate the father. To say in this case, that 'to love a whipping father is the same thing as to love to be whipped,' is to say, that the father whips the child merely for the pleasure of whipping it, and takes delight in its misery, for itself: and so is guilty of disinterested malice, which no man ever was guilty of, and which to charge on the Deity is the highest blasphemy. For if the father loves his own character, and delights in his own conduct toward his child, without loving the child's misery itself; then nothing hinders, but that the child might love his father's character and conduct too, without loving its own misery. For a more particular answer to this objection, see Essay on the nature and glory of the Gospel.
Gen. i. 27. So God created mun in his own image, in the
image of God created he him.
Question. How was it possible for Adam before the fall, to love that character of God which was exhibited to him in the law, consistently with the love of his own happiness?
THE difficulty which attends this question may come into view, if we consider,
1. That a state of eternal misery is infinitely worse than not to be. Existence itself is desirable to mere nature, only as it implies a capacity for the enjoyment of happiness. Nature dreads annihilation, as thereby all happiness is lost
But it is better to be without happiness, than it is to be not only without happiness, but miserable. Pure misery is worse than non-existence. Hence abandoned guilty sinners often wish for annihilation. And had Adam for the first transgression been threatened with annihilation, it might have been thought of with less horror and dread. But misery is a dreadful thing. And eternal misery is infinitely dreadful, infinitely worse than not to be. How therefore could Adam think of that dreadful word DEATH, as implying eternal misery, and yet love that Being who had threatened this for the first transgression ? Yea, and love that very character exhibited in the threatening itself? How could love to this character consist with his love to his own happintss ?-It is true, God had been kind to him, in giving him a happy existence, surrounded with many delights: but this happiness and these delights to be enjoyed for thousands of ages, were lighter than a feather, compared with eternal misery.-And it is true, he might remain happy for ever, in case of perfect obedience. And this was a glorious prospect.-But what if he sinned ? What then ? DEATH! ETERNAL DEATH! never ending woes were threatened, as his just desert. But why eternal death for one offence? Where was the wisdom,
justice, or goodness of this ? This is the language of self-love, as it now takes place in fallen man. And if, as Mr. M. says,
this principle of self-love was essential to moral agency'in innocent Adam, it must have been the language of his heart before the fall. But,
2. One bad property entirely approved of, and constantly exercised, will render any moral character devoid of beauty. If there is no moral beauty in the divine character, he is neither worthy of supreme love, nor capable of being the supreme good. A law, a fixed law, is an expression of the fixed cbas racter of the law-giver. If God's disposition to punish sin with eternal misery appeared in Adam's eyes to be a bad property in the Deity, it was not possible he should love him with all his heart. It was as impossible before his fall as after, even as it is as impossible to love a tyrant before we fall into his hands, as afterwards. And if Adam could not love the divine character before his fall, then he could take no delight in him. For an odious character, instead of giving pleasure, gives pain, And if Adam neither loved the divine character, nor delighted in it before the fall, he was in the same state and temper of mind before as he was after the fall. And if so, then he was not created in the image of God, but came into existence as much depraved as we are.
3. To say that this dark side of the divine character was out of his view before he fell, and that he viewed the Deity only in the character of an almighty benefactor, and his friend; and therefore in this view of things, the love of God, and self-love were consistent:' is really to say, that Adam before the fall did not love God's true and real character, as exbibited in the law which he was under. But rather that character was so entirely out of his view, that he had no exercises of heart about it, good or bad ; for it, or against it: which amounts to the same thing as to say, that he was never actually friendly to God's true character, even before the fall. But rather had he fully known it, and taken a deliberate view of it with application 10 himself, he would have disliked it, even then. And this must with as much reason then, as afterwards, have been the language of his heart; 'to love this character of God is to love my own misery; but to love my
own misery is impossible. For to take pleasure in pain implies a contradiction.'
4. Mr. M. says, p. 42. ' For a principle of self-love is essential to our nature. Take away all self-love, and a total in, difference to pleasure and pain will take place in us; and then we become incapable of being influenced by promises and threatenings, rewards and punishments; which strips us of our moral agency. But to love God in our guilty state according to the character of him in the moral law, does thus totally exclude all self-love from its proper place and exercise in the beart. For to be well pleased in God as a holy and righteous Being, from the perfections of whose nature it becomes absolutely necessary that he should make us for ever completely miserable , is directly repugnant to, and ab
§ Q. 1. Was it absolutely necessary from the perfections of the divine nature, that fallen Adam should be miserable for ever? i.e. that his sin should be punished in his own person? Or, Q. 2. Did God, by the law given to Adam, lay him, self under an absolute necessity to make Adam miserable for ever? i. e. to pun. ish his sin in his owp person. If so, then the doctrine of substitution, of one the dying in the room of another, is absolutely inconsistent with the perfections of divine nature, and with the tenour of the divine law. Which to say, saps the very foundation of divine revelation ; and demonstrates that the God, who appeared to Adam after the fall, was not the same God that had appeared to him before. The God of the law and the God of the Gospel, are two beings, absolutely in. consistent with each other. The truth is, 1. That God's disposition to punish sin according to its desert is, and ever was, and ever will be, essential to his nature. But to punish sin, in all instances in the criminal himself, without ever admitting a surety, is not essential to his nature. But, 2. God's disposition to punish sin according to its desert, is set in as clear and strong a point of light in the Gospel, as in the law; in the death of Christ, as if every sinner had been punished in his own person. 3. This disposition is a beauty in the divine character, or a blemish. If it is a beauty, then it is, and always was, and always will be, an object of love. If a blemish, then it is not an object of love, as exhibited in the law, or in the Gospel ; in the death of the criminal, or of his surety. But if it is a blemish, it is more odious, as exhibited in the Gospel, than in the law. 4. As a regard to a parent's honour renders the parent's disposition to maintain his honour, in the government of his house, a beauty in the eyes of a child ; so a re. gard to the honour of the Deity renders his disposition, to maintain his honour, in the government of his kingdom, a beauty in the eyes of every regenerate soul But the holiness and justice of the divine nature are disagreeable in the eyes of every one, who is under the government of supreme self-love. For mere self-love has no regard for God. However, 5. A carnal heart, which is enmity against God's true and real character, from a mere selfish spirit, may be greatly pleased with the idea of an almighty reconciled father and friend, determined to VOL. III.
solutely inconsistent with, the least degree of regard to our own well being. There can be in nature no such sort of regeneration as to bring the heart, under such circumstances, to exercise true love to God.'---Therefore, if these things are true,
5. It was in the nature of things impossible that Adam, before the fall, should deliberately and understandingly love that cbaracter of God which was exhibited to him in the law be was under. For it implied love to his own misery,' to love it one time as really as another, before his fall as well as afterwards. Thus when a wise and good father threatens to whip his child in case he commits some particular crime, which he warns him against; to love the character of that father exhibited in that threatening, is as really contrary to selflove before the crime is committed, as it is afterwards. For it is precisely the same thing to love a character exhibited in a threatening, as it is to love the same character exhibited in the execution of that threatening. For the character exhibited is precisely the same. But to love the same character is the same thing. And if it implies a total indifference to pleasure and pain,' to love this character at one time, it does also equally at all times. For love to it is always, at all times, and under all circumstances, precisely one and the same thing. So that, if Mr. M.'s reasoning is just, Adam came into existence with a spirit of enmity to God in his heart. Nor was it possible in the nature of things, that he should ever have had it in his heart, to love that character of God which was exhibited in the law which he was under. Nor is it possible, that we his posterity should ever be brought to love it. • There can be in nature no such sort of regeneration. Therefore Adam was not created in the image of God, nor are any of his posterity recovered to the image of God by the regenerating, sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. And
make him happy for ever, and may cry out, this God is trancendently excellent and glorious ; but God does not sustain this character, with respect to any inapenitent sinner. It is true, many impenitent sinners have such'a discovery,' but the thing discovered is a lie, and the father of lies is the author of the dis.
ery, And yet they mistake this lie, for glory of God in the face of Jesus