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upon the face of the earth, and hath determined th times before appointed, and the bounds of their habita tion." Indeed it is the universal tenor of the sacre Scriptures, and capable of being demonstrated by th soundest philosophical reasoning, that God knew an determined all his works from all eternity. That he de termined the number of the human family, the tim and place when each individual should be born, thei faculties and their features, their characters and thei condition, and the whole scenes and train of their for tunes; all in them, and about them was known to him and he called them all by name. In the covenant o works, therefore, God fixed the number of mankind and designated them in his counsels, who should de scend from Adam. He subjected them all to the bond of that covenant; not one more, not one less, not on else, than those precise, specified individuals compris ed in the eternal purpose, and present to the divin mind at the making of the covenant with Adam, was brought under that covenant, or ever shall be af fected by it. And each person, as soon as he becomes a person, as soon as human personality can be predi cated of him, has his individual personal interest in that covenant, according to the condition in which he finds it.
This is substantially the doctrine of the church of God in all ages; of the reformed churches it is the doc. trine. It has been usually considered, that as God
knew and determined all the individuals of the human family, and destined them to be under the bond of the covenant; and as Adam was bound to assent to the constitution prepared and established; therefore, all those individuals were represented in the covenant, in their individual personality of character. But this view does not satisfy Mr. M'C. He insists, that Adam represented (what he calls) his own body, but not the individuals in their distinct personality. This is, I believe, a fair statement of the question; but this is not the proper ground on which to decide it. There is here a cross light, which mingles and confounds the features of heavenly truth, and prevents us from discriminating the exactness of the painting. We shall meet this subject again, in another position, under the direct" ray of the light, which, coming into the world, enlighteneth every man.
Before dropping the subject of the covenant of works, I beg leave to make myself distinctly understood, that I allude entirely to the transaction recorded in the 17th ver. of the 2nd chap. of Gen.-to a covenant, expressed by Jehovah in so many words, and of consequence assented to by Adam. Other covenant of works I know none. The Holy Scriptures are entirely ig norant of any divine system of religion, save the law of works and the Jaw of grace; at the head of the former stood Adam-at the head of the latter stands Jesus Christ. And both these covenants were distinctly expressed in words among the contracting parties.
I am perfectly aware, that men of highly, and not more highly than justly, respected merit in the Christian church, and from whose merit the spirit of meanness alone could wish to detract; have distinguished between the natural state of the covenant of works,
truth, require, that we should attempt to ascertain their exact idea; and though we should be obliged to condemn their language, as inapplicable to the subject and calculated to mislead; we may perhaps find, that they were contemplating dimly through the haze of verbage, a substantial truth.
If, by the natural state of the covenant of works-if by a covenant inlaid in the nature of man-if, by a covenant concreated with Adam, be meant no more, than that there was a natural adaptation in Adam to be placed under such a covenant; and that it would have been unworthy of the Divine Wisdom to have formed such a being, and destined him to be the father of millions, according to the present law of human descent; and not to have given him such a law and covenant-if this be all that is meant, it is, unquestionably, sound and true. And this I honestly believe to be the meaning of those who hold this language. But still, the language is improper; an adaptation to receive a covenant, is not a covenant. When the Creator causes a valley to form an inclined plain, in its innumerable windings and meanderings among the interlacing mountains and intervening cascades, from the top of the Alps, or Andes, or Allegany, down to their respective oceans; he has given that valley a natural adaptation to become the bed of a river: but this adaptation to become the bed of a river, is not a river. To produce the river, the rains must descend, and the springs gush from the
mountain's side. To exemplify our assertion on moral subjects; every woman who is adapted to the marriage state, is not therefore a wife; nor is every man adapted to the marriage state, therefore a husband. Now, although Adam was naturally adapted to become a cove. nant head, the covenant itself is something distinct from that adaptation; it required a positive, open transaction between the Creator and his creature. Such was the covenant recorded in the second chapter of Genesis, and there never was any other covenant of works made with man.
This theory, that establishes a covenant of works anterior to, and distinct from, the verbal covenant made with Adam in paradise, seems to be built upon the same airy foundation, which supports so many ten thousand similar structures of the human imagination-I mean the opinion, that Adam, without any instruction from God, without any revealed law, without any prescribed rule, might, by the unassisted operations of his natural faculties, have become a very intelligent, moral, and religious creature ; and might have trained up a progeny as intelligent, moral, and pious as himself, and entailed upon them all his blessings. Notwithstanding the boundless extent of this principle, it has been very generally assumed, and assumed without any species of evidence, that I can conceive, either of philosophy or of faith. For, if you ask the abettors of this opinion, what philosophical evidence they have for its truth-what single phenomenon they can produce as the basis of an induction so extensive-if you ask them what man, without instruction, ever acquired the use of language; what man, without the use of language, ever cultivated his understanding; what man, without speech and mental cultivation, ever rose to mo
tivation, the human animal is distinguishable from brutes, only by superior stupidity, indocility-vicious, intractable, and unmanageable.
If you go to the Scriptures, with the exceptions of a few texts, as I apprehend, very much misapplied, they can furnish as little proof of their assumption. Certainly the Mosaic history teaches us as plainly as it is possible, though very briefly, that when God created Adam, he taught him the use of language, and the rudiments of natural history, agriculture, astronomy, and religion. This is the scriptural accouut of man's origin. Never did the boundless mind of Burke pronounce a profounder adage, than when he said "Art is man's nature."
It was the purpose of the all wise Creator to form the first man in his own image, and to take his newborn child under his paternal tutelage; to impart to him all useful instruction respecting his conduct in life; to place him under a regimen of parental authority, exercised by a revealed, specific law; and to bind all his posterity in the same general system.
But let me put this question with another much discussed, because both depend on one principle. 1. Some have asked, what would have been the consequence, if, after creating him in the integrity of all his powers, God had left Adam without instruction or positive law ?-and they decide in favour of a religion. 2. What would have been the consequence, if, after