« PreviousContinue »
preme 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 law which man, as a rational creature, 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 necessity the rule is presupposed. Whence we may gather, that this law was no other than the eternal, indis. pensible law of righteousness, observed in all points by the second Adam: Opposed by the carnal mind; some 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 same which was afterwards summed up in the ten commandments, and promulgated on Mount Sinai to the Israelites, called by us the moral law : And man's righteousness consisted in conformity to this law or rule. More particularly, there is a twofold conformity required of man: A conformity of the powers of his soul to the law, which you may call habitual righteousness; and a conformity of all his actions to it, which is actual righteousness. 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 should have made of it. The sum of what I have said is, that the 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, consequent. ly, could not want knowledge, which is a part thereof, Col. iii. 10. « The new man is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.” And, indeed, this was necessary to fit him for universal obedience; see. ing no obedience can be according to the law, unless it. proceed from a sense of the commandment of God requiring it. It is true, Adam had not the law written upon tables of stone : But it was written upon his mind, the know
ledge thereof being concreated with him. God impressed it upon his soul, and made him a law to himself, as the remains of it 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 iti 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 name thereof,” Gen. i. 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 discretion," Psal. cxii.
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 sin properly and truly so called; hence the apostle says, Rom. vii. 7. “I had not known sin, but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” An inclination to evil is really a fountain of sin, and therefore inconsistent with that rectitude and uprightness which the text expressly says he was endued with at his creation. The will of man then was directed, and naturally inclined to God and goodness, though mutably. It was disposed, by its original make, to follow the Creator's will, as the shadow does the body; and that was not left in equal balance 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 soul; 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 commands of the law, Ilcb. yiü. 10. So that, as the will, when we consider it
as renewed by grace, is by that grace natively inclined to the same holiness in all its parts which the law requires ;so 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 so 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, it is said, Rom. ii. 14. 15., « That the Gentiles shew 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 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 though they have notions of it in their minds, yet their hearts go another way; their will has got a set and bias 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, though mixed with corruption in the regenerate, were pure and unmixed in upright Adam. In a word, as Adam knew his master's pleasure in the matter of duty, so his will stood inclined to what he knew.
Thirdly, His affections were orderly, pure, and holy; which is a necessary part of that uprightness wherein man was created. The apostle has a petition, 2 Thess. iii. 5. * The Lord direct your hearts unto the love of God;" that is, The Lord straighten your hearts, or make them lie 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 holiness, Eph. iy. 24. Now this holiness, as it is distinguished from righteousness, may import the purity and orderliness of the affections. And thus the apostle, 1. Tim. ii. 8. will have men tò 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 conimunications Men's sensitive appe-
From what has been said, it may be gathered, that the
First, It was universal, both with respect to the subject of it, the whole man; and the object of it, the whole law. Universal I say, with respect to the subject of it; for this righteousness was diffused through the whole man; it was a blessed leaven that leavened the whole lump. There was not one wrong pin in the tabernacle of human nature, when God set it up, however shattered it is now. Man was then holy in soul, body, and spirit: While the soul remained untainted, its lodging was kept pure and undefiled; the members of the body were consecrated vessels, and instruments of righteousness. A combat betwixt flesh
and spirit, reason and appetite ; nay the least inclination to sin, lust of the flesh in the inferior part of the soul, was utterly inconsistent with this uprightness, in which man was created ; and has been invented to veil the corruption of man's nature, and to obscure the grace of God in Jesus Christ; it looks very like the language of fallen Adam, laying his own sin at his Maker's door, Gen. iii. 12. “ The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” But as this righteousness was universal in respect of the subject, because it spread through the whole man; so also it was universal, in respect of the object, the holy law. There was nothing in the law but what was agreeable to his reason and will, as God made him; though sin hath now set him at odds with it; his soul was shapen out, in length and breadth, to the commandment, though exceeding broad; so that this original righteousness was not only perfect in parts, but in degrees.
Secondly, As it was universal, so it was natural to him, and not supernatural to him in that state. Not that it was essential to man as man; for then he could not have lost it, without the loss of his very being; but it was connatural to him. He was created with it; and it was necessary to the perfection of man, as he came out of the hand of God: Necessary to constitute him in a state of integrity. Yet,
Thirdly, It was mutable; it was a righteousness that might be lost, as is manifested by the doleful event. His will was not absolutely indifferent to good or evil; God set it towards good only: Yet he did not so fix and confirm its inclinations, that it could not alter. No, it was moveable to evil; and that only by man himself, God having given him a sufficient power to stand in this integrity, if he had pleased. Let no man quarrel God's works in this; for if Adam had been unchangeably righteous, he behoved to have been so, either by nature, or by free gift : By nature he could not be so, for that is proper to God, and incommunicable to any creature; if by free gift, then no wrong was done him, in with-holding of what he could not crave. Confirmation in a righteous state is a reward of grace, given upon continuing righteous,through the state of trial; and would have been given to Adam, if he had stood out the time appointed for probation by the Creator; and ac