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to have God honored, and ourselves humbled : And it is evi. dent this must be the temper of every one that comes into a genuine compliance with the gospel : Thus much concerning the necessity of satisfaction for sin. But here, now, some may be ready to enquire,
Was it not as necessary that the precepts of the law should be obeyed, as that the penalty should be suffered, to make way for the sinner not only to be pardoned, but also to be received to a state of favor, and entitled to eternal life?_To which I answer,
1. It is true, we need not only a pardon from the hands of God, the supreme Governor of the world, in whose sight, and against whom we have sinned ;--we need, I say, not only to be pardoned....delivered from condemnation....freed from the curse of the law...saved from hell; but we want something further : We want to be renewed to God's image....taken into his family.... put among his children, and made partakers of his everlasting favor and love : We need not only to be delivered from all those evils which are come upon us, and which we are exposed unto, through our apostacy from God; but we want to be restored to the enjoyment of all that good which we should Chave had, had we kept the covenant of our God.
2. It is true, also, that mankind, according to the tenor of the first covenant, were not to have been confirmed in a state of holiness and happiness were not to have had eternal life, merely upon the condition of being innocent, (for such was Adam by creation), but perfect obedience to every precept of the divine law was required.... Rom. x. 5-Gal. iii. 10. The performance of such an obedience, was that righteousness which was, by covenant, to entitle him to life.
3. Since the fall, all mankind are destitute of that righteous. ness—nor can they attain unto it.... Rom. ii. 9—20.
4. But our natural obligations to love God with all our hearts, and obey him in every thing, still remain : for they are, in their own nature, unalterable : They will be forever the same, so long as God remains what he is, and we are his creatures. There was the same reason, therefore, after the fall, why we
should love and obey God, as ever there was: There was the same reason, therefore, that the condition of the first covenant should be fulfilled, as ever there was : It was reasonable, originally, or God would never have insisted upon it : and therefore it is reasonable now, since our apostacy ; and God has the same grounds to insist upon it forever: but we cannot perform it ourselves ; it was necessary, therefore, that it should be performed by Christ, our surety. But perhaps some may still say,
When Christ had fully satisfied for all our sins, and so opened å way for believers to be considered as entirely free from any guilt, why might not the Governor of the world now, of his sovereign goodness and bounty, have bestowed eternal life, without any more to do? What need was there for Christ to fulfil all righteousness in our room ? –To which I answer
When Adam was newly created, he was innocent...free from any guilt; and why might not the supreme Governor of the world, now, without any more to do, have bestowed upon him eternal life and blessedness, of his mere sovereign goodness? What need was there that his everlasting welfare should be entirely suspended upon the uncertain condition of his good behavior ? Had not God just seen how it turned out with the angels that sinned ? Did he not know that Adam was liable to sin and undo himself too? And why would he run any venture a second time ; especially, since the happiness, not only of Adam, but of all his race, a whole world of beings, now lay at stake ? If he thinks that if but one man should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, his loss would be infinitely great, what must the everlasting welfare of a whole race be worth in his account? And would infinite wisdom and infinite goodness venture and hazard all this, needlessly? Yea, would such a Being have done so, had there not been reasons of infinite weight to move him to it—something of greater importance than the eternal welfare of all mankind? No doubt there was something, and something of very great importance, that influenced the infinitely wise and good Governor of the world to such a conduct—something so very great, as to render his conduct, in
that affair, perfectly holy and wise....perfectly beautiful, excellent, and glorious. It does not look like a mere arbitrary constitution. It was doubtless ordered so, because God saw it was perfectly fit, and right, and best. But why was it fit, and right, and best? Whatever the reason was, doubtless, for the same reason, it was fit, and right, and best, that the second Adam should perform the same condition....fulfil all rightcousness, to the end that, by his obedience, we might be made righteous, and so be entitled to life in this way.
It is certain that eternal life and blessedness were not to have been given absolutely, i. e. without any condition at all, under the first covenant. Eternal life was not to have been granted merely under the notion of a gift, from a sovereign benefactor ; but also under the notion of a reward, from the hands of the moral Governor of the world. Perfect obedience was the condition : Do and live.... Rom. X. 5: Disobey and die.... Gal. iii. 10. This was established by the law of the God of Heaven.
Now, the supreme Governor of the world 'did this for some end, or for no end :—not for no end; for that would reflect
his wisdom. Was it for his own good, or his creatures' good ?-Not for his own good; for he is self-sufficient and independent :not for his creatures' good; for it had been better for them, their interest simply considered, to have had eternal life and blessedness given absolutely and unconditionally: for then they would have been at no uncertainties....not liable to fall into sin or misery, but secure and safe forever. It remains, therefore, that, as moral Governor of the world, he had an eye to the moral fitness of things, and 30 ordained, because, in itself, in its own nature, it was fit and right.
But why was. it fit and right? i. e. What grounds and reasons were there, in the nature of the case, why the great Governor of the world should suspend the everlasting welfare of his creature, man, upon condition of his being in most perfect subjection to himself ? i.e. Why should he so much stand upon his own honor, as to insist upon this homage, at the hazard of his creatures' everlasting welfare? i. e. Why did he look upon his
own honor as a matter of so great importance ?- I answer, that, from the rectitude of the divine nature, he is perfectly impartial in all his conduct. It was not, therefore, from any thing like pride, or a selfish spirit, that he stood thus upon his honor ; the homage of a worm of the dust could do him no good:nor for want of goodness, that he set so light by his creatures' happiness ; but it was fit he should do as he did the rectitude of his nature, as it were, obliged him to it: For it becomes the Governor of the world, and it belongs to his office as such, to see to it, that every one has his proper due ; and therefore it concerns him, first and above all things, to assert and maintain the rights of the God-HEAD: and this honor was due to God.
He was, by nature, God, and Adam was, by nature, man ; he was the Creator, and Adam was his creature ; he was moral Governor of the world, and Adam was his subject; he was, by right, Law-giver, and Adam was a free agent, capable of, and bound unto perfect obedience ; he was Judge, to whom it belonged to distribute rewards and punishments, and Adam was an accountable creature. Now he only considered himself as being what he was, and his creature, man, as being what he was ; and he was affected and acted accordingly. He considered what honor was due to him from man-what obligations man was under to give him his due—that he was capable of doing it voluntarily—that it was fit he should--that it became the Governor of the world to insist upon it that if he did not do it with all his heart, he could not be considered as a subject fit for the divine favor, but fit only for divine wrath, He thus viewed things as they were, and acted accordingly : What he did, therefore, was perfectly right and fit. To have had no regard to his honor, but only to have consulted his creatures' welfare, would have been a conduct like theirs in Rom. i. 21, 25.... They glorified him not as God :-They worshipped and served the creature, more than the Creator. *
How God's putting Adam into a state of trial was consistent with his aiming merely at his happiness as his last end, I cannot understand : Sure
Now, since the second Adam becomes surety, and stands responsible to the Governor of the world, it was fit he should not only suffer the penalty of the broken law, but obey its precepts too, in order to open a door for us not only to be pardoned, but also received to favor, and entitled to eternal life. There was the same reason the second Adam should do it, as that the
first should.... The honor of God did as much require it : It was as needful in order to our being considered as subjects fit for the divine favor and eternal life: It became the Governor of the world as much to stand for his honor with one as with the other; and he had as good reason to suspend the everlasting wel. fare of mankind upon this condition now, as ever : and to have shown no concern for the divine honor, although God had been openly affronted and despised by man's apostacy, but only to have regarded and consulted the welfare of the rebel under righteous condemnation, had been a conduct evidently unbecoming the great Governor of the world.
But again, we may view the case in another point of light :According to the first covenant, eternal life and blessedness were not to have been granted merely under the notion of a gift, from a sovereign Benefactor ; but also under the notion of a reward from God, as moral Governor of the world--and perfect obedience was the condition. Do and live :-And while eter. nai life and blessednesss were thus promised, by way of reward
I ain, it must have been better, unspeakably better, for Adam, his interest only considered, to have been immediately confirmed in a state of perfect holiness and happiness, without running such an awful venture of eternal ruin and destruction : Nor is there any man on earth that would choose, merely out of regard to his own welfare, to be put into a state of trial, rather than into a state of confirmed holiness and happiness, such as the saints in heaven are now in : and, therefore, I cannot but think that God had a greater regard to something else, than to Adam's happiness. In this instance, it seems plain, from fact, that God does not make his creatures' happiness his last end. It is in vain to plead, “ that Adam could “ not be a moral agent, unless he was a free agent-nor a free agent without “ being liable to sin ;" for the saints in heaven are moral agents, and free agents too, and yet are not liable to sin : And if God's putting his creatures in:o a state of trial is not consistent with his aiming merely at their hap. piness as his last end, then the whole tenor of God's moral government is not consistent therewith : for, from first to last, it has been his way to put his creatures into a state of trial; even all his creatures who were eapable of moral government.