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N A M E L Y,
The State of INNOCENC.E, or Primitive
Integrity, in which Man was created.
--ECCLES. vii. 29, L! this only have I found, That GOD hath made Man upright :
But they have fought out many Inventions.
HERE are four things very necessary to be known by all
that would see Heaven: First, What Man was in the state of innocence, as God made himn. Secondly, What he is in
the state of corrupt nature, as he hath unmade himself. Thirdly, What he must be in the state of grace, as created in Chrift Jesus unto good works, if ever he be made a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light And, Lastly, What he shall be in his eternal itate, as made by the Judge of all
, either perfectly happy, or compleatly miserable, and that for ever. These are weighty points, that touch the vitals of practical godliness, from which most men, and even many profeffors, in these dregs of time, zre quite estranged. I design therefore, under the divine conduct, to open up these things, and apply them.
I begin with the first of them, namely, The state of Innocence: that, beholding man polished after the similitude of a palace, the ruins may the more affect us; we may the more prize that matchless Person, whom the Father has appointed the repairer of the breach; and that
We may, with fixed refolves, betake ourselves to that way which leadeth to the city that hath unmoveable foundations. In the text we have three things':
1. The state of Innocence wherein man was created, God hath made man upright. By Man here, we are to understand our first Parents ; the archetypal pair, the root of mankind, the compendized world, and the fountain from whence all generations have streamed; as may appear by.comparing Gen. v. 1, 2. In the day that God created mun, in the likeness of God made he him, male and female created he them, ana blessed them, (as the root of mankind,) and called their name Adam. The original words is the same in our text, in this sense, man was nade right, (agreeable to the nature of God, whose work is perfect) without any imperfection, corruption, or principle of corruption in his
dy or foul. He was made upright ; that is, straight with the will und law of God, without any irregularity in his soul. By the set it с
got in its creation, it directly pointed towards God, as his chief end; which straight inclination was represented, as in an emblem, by the erect figure of his body, a figure that no other living creature partakes of. What David was in a pospel-sense, that was he in a legal sense, one according to God's own heart, altogether righteous, pure and holy. God made him thus: he did not first make him, and then make him righteous; but in the very making of him, he made hiin righteous.Original righteousness was concreated with him ; so that in the same moment he was a man, he was a righteous man, morally good ; with the fame breath that God breathed in him a living soul, he breathed in hin a righteous foul.
2. Here is inan's fallen state : But they have fought out many inventions, They fell off from their rest in God, and fell upon seeking inventions of their own, to mend their cafe ; and they quite marred it. Their ruin was from their own proper motion ; they would not abide as God had made them, but they fought out inventions to deforin and undo themselves.
3. Obferve here the certainty, and importance of those things, LA! this only have I found, &c. Believe them, they are the result of a narrow Search, and a serious inquiry performed by the wifeft of men. In the two preceeding verses, Solomon represents himself as in quest of goodness in the world, but the isfure of it was he could find no satisfying issue of his search after it; though it was not for want of pains ; for he counted one by one, to find out the account: Behold! this have I found, (faith the Preacher) to wit, That (as the same word is read in our text) yet my soul seeketh, but I find not. He could make no fatisfying discovery of it, which might stay his enquiry. He found good men very rare, one, as it were, among a thousand ; good women more rare, not one good among his thousand wives and concubines, 1 Kings xi. 3. But could that fatisfy the grand query, Where Mall Wifdom be found? No, it could not; (and if the experience of others in this point, run contrary to Solomon's, as 'tis no reflection on his discerning, it can as little decide the question, which will remain undetermined till the last day.) But, amidst all this uncertainty, there is one point found out, and fixed : This have I found. Ye may depend upon it as most certain truth, and be fully satisfied in it: Le this! fix your eyes upon it, as a matter worthy of most deep and serious regard; to wit, That man's nature is now depraved, but that depravation was not from God, for He made man upright; but from themselves, They have fought out many inventions,
Doctrine, God made Man altogether righteous. THIS is that
state of innocence in which God set man down in the world. 'Tis described in the holy Scriptures with a running pen, in comparison of the following states; for it was of no continuance, but paffed as a flying fhadaw, by man's abusing the freedom of his own will. I fhall,
First, Inquire into the Righteousness of this State wherein man was created.
Secondly, Lay before you fome of the happy concomitants, and consequents thereof. Lastly, Apply the whole.
of Man's Original Righteousness. First, As to the righteousness of this state, consider, that as unereated righteousness, the righteousness of God is the supreme rule;
fo all created righteousness, whether of men or angels, hath respect Ito a law as its rule, and is a conformity thereunto A creature can
no more be morally independent on God, in it's actions and powers, than it can be naturally independent on hiin. A creature, as a crea. ture, must acknowledge the Creator's will as it's fupreme law; for as it cannot be without him, so it must not be but for him, and according to his will : yet no law obliges, until it be revealed. And hence it follows, that there was a iaw which man, as a rational crea. ture, was subjected to in his creation ; and that this law was revealed to him. God made man upright, says the text. This presupposeth a law to which he was conformed in his creation; as when any thing is made regular, or according to rule, of neceslity the rule itself is presupposed. Whence we may gather, that this law was no other than the eternal, indispensible law of righteousness, observed in all points by the second Adam, opposed by the carnal mind, foine notions of which remain yet among the Pagans, who, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, Rom. ii. 15. In a word, this law is the very fame *vhich was afterwards summed up in the Ten Commandments, and promulgate on Mount Sinai to the Ifraelites, called by us the Moral Law: and man's righteousness consisted in conformity to this law or rule. More particularly, there is a two-fold conformity required of a man; a conformity of the powers of his soul to the law, which you may call habitual righteousnets ; and a conformity of all his actions to it, which is actual righteousnes. Now, God made man habitually righteous; man was to make himself actually righteous: the former was the stock God put into his hand; the latter, the improvement he thould have made of it. The sum of what I have said, is, that be righteousness wherein man was created, was the conformity of all the faculties and powers of his soul to the moral law. This is what we call original righteousness, which man was originally endued with. We may take it up in these three things.
First, Man's understanding was a lamp of light. He had perfect knowledge of the law, and of his duty accordingly: he was made after God's image, and consequently could not want knowledge, which is a part thereof, Col. iii. 10. The nero Man is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him. And indeed this was necessary, to fit him for universal obedience, seeing no obedience can be according to the law, unless it proceed from a sense of the commandment of God requiring it. 'Tis true, Adam had not the C2
law written upon tables of stone, but it was written upon his mind, the knowledge thereof being concreated with him. God impressed it upon his soul, and made him a law to himself, as the remains of ic among the heathens do testify, Rom. ii. 14, 15. And seeing man was made to be the mouth of the creation, to glorify God in his works; we have ground to believe he had naturally an exquisite knowledge of the works of God. We have a proof of this, in his giving names to the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and these such as express their nature: Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the nume thereof, Gen ii. 19. And the dominion which God gave him over the creatures, soberly to use and dispose of them according to his will still in subordination to the will of God) seems to require no less than a knowledge of their natures. And besides all this, his perfect knowledge of the law,proves his knowledge in the management of civil affairs, which, in respect of the law of God, a good man will guide with difcretion, Pfal. cxii. 5.
SECONDLY, His will lay straight with the will of God, Eph. iv. 24. There was no corruption in his will, no bent nor inclination to evil; for that is fin properly and truly fo called : hence the apostle says, Rom. vii. 7. I had not known fin, but by the law ; for I had not known luft, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. An inclination to evil, is really a fountain of sin, and therefore inconfiftent with that rectitude and uprightness which the text exprefly says he was endued with aç his creation. The will of man then was directed, and naturally inclined to God and goodness, tho' mutably.' It will dilposed, by its original make, to follow the Creator's will, as the Thadow does the body; and was not left in an equal ballance' to good and evil : for at that rate he had not been upright, nor habitually conform to the law, which in no moment can allow the creature not to be inclined towards God as his chief end, more than it can allow man to be a god to himself. The law was impressed upon Adam's foul : now this according to the new covenant, by which the image of God is repaired, consists in two things : 1. Putting the law into the mind, denoting the knowledge of it: 2. Writing it in the heart, denoting inclinations in the will, answerable to the commårids of the law, Heb. viii. 10. So that, as the will, when we contider it as renewed by grace, is by that grace natively inclined to the same holiness in all it's parts which the law requires; fo was the will of man (when we consider him as God made him at first) endued with natural inclinations to every thing commanded by the law. For if the regenerate are partakers of the divine nature, as undoubtedly they are, for fo says the Scripture, 2 Pet. i. 4. And if this divine nature can import no less than inclinations of the heart to holiness; then, surely Adam's will could not want this inclination ; for in him the image of God was perfect. It is true, 'tis said, Ron. ii. 14, 15. That the Gentiles thew the work of the law written in their hearts: but this denotes only their knowledge of that law, such as it is; but the
Apostle Apostle to the Hebrews, in the text cited, takes the word heart, in another sense, distinguishing it plainly from the mind. And it must be granted, that, when God promiseth in the new covenant, to write his law in the hearts of his people, it imports quite another thing than what Heathens have ; for tho' they have notions of it in their minds, yet their hearts go another way; their will has got a set and a biass quite contrary to that law; and therefore, the expression suitable to the present purpose, must needs import, besides these notions of the mind, inclinations of the will going along therewith ; which inclinations, tho'mixed with corruption in the regenerate, were pure and unmixed in upright Adam. In a word, as Adam knew his Master’spleasure in the matter of duty, fó his will itood inclined to what he knew.
THIRDLY, His aifections were orderly, pure and holy; which is a necessary part of that uprightness wherein man was created. The Apostle has a petition, Theff iii. 5. The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God: that is, The Lord siraighter your hearts, or make them ly straight to the love of God,: and our text tells us, man was thus made straight. The new man is created in righteousness and true boliness, Eph. iv. 24. Now this holiness as it is distinguished from rightecufness, may import the purity and orderliness of the affections. And thus the Apostle, 1 Tim. ii. 8. will have men to pray, Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting : because, as troubled water is unfit to receive the image of the sun; so the heart, filled with impure and disorderly affections, is not fit for divine communications, Map's sensitive appetite was indeed naturally carried out towards objects grateful to the senses. For sceing man was made up of body and soul, and God made this man to glorify and enjoy him; and for this end to use his good creatures in subordination to himself: it is plain that man was naturally inclined both to spiritual and sensible good ; yet to fpiritual good, the chief good as his ultimate end. And there-fore his sensitive motions and inclinations, were subordinate to his reason and will, which lay ftraight with the will of God, and were not, in the least, contrary to the same. Otherwise he should have been made up of contradictions; his soul being naturally inclined to God as the chief end, in the fuperior part thereof, and the same foul inclined to the creature as the chief end in the inferior part thereof, as they call it: which is impossible ; for man, at the same instant, cannot have two chief ends.' Man's affeciions then, in his primitive state, were pure from all defilement, free from all disorder and difteniper, because in all their motions they were duly subjected to his clear reason, and his holy will. He had also an executive power answerable to his will; a power to do the good which he knew thould be done, and which he inclined to do, even to fulfil the whole law of God. If it had not been so, God would not have required of him perfect obedience ; for to fay that the Lord gathereth where he hath not strawed, is but the blafpheiny of a wicked heart, against a good and bountiful God, Mat. xxv. 24,