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NAMELY,

THE STATE OF INNOCENCE, OR PRIMITIVE INTEGRITY,

IN WHICH MAN WAS CREATED.

ECCLES. vii. 29.

Lo, this only have I found, That God hath made Man afi

right : But they have sought out many Inventions.

THERE

WHERE 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 him. 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 Christ 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 state, as made by the Judge of all, either perfectly happy, or completely miserable, and that for ever. These are weighty points, that touch the vitals of practical godliness, from which most men,and even many professors in these dregs of time, are 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 resolves, betake ourselves to that way

which leadeth to the city that hath immoveable 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

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whence all generations have streamed; as may appear by comparing Gen. v. 1.2. “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him, male and female created he them, and blessed them," (as the root of mankind,) “ and called their name Adam." The ori. ginal words are the same in our text, in this sense, man was made right, (agreeable to the nature of God, whose work is perfect) without any imperfection, corruption, or principle of corruption in his body or soul. He was made upright, that is, straight with the will and law of God, without any irregularity in his soul. By the set it 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 gospel 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 him 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 same breath that God breathed in him a living soul, he breathed in him a righteous soul.

2. Here is man's fallen state ; but they have sought out many inventions. They fell off from their rest in God, dna fell uponi seeking inventions of their own, to mend their case; and they quite marred it. Their ruin was from their own proper motion ; they would not abide as God had made them; but they sought out many inventions to deform and undo themselves.

3. Observe here the certainty and importance of those things; Lo, this only have I found, &c. Believe them, they are the result of a narrow search, and a serious inquiry, performed by the wisest of men. In the two preceding verses, Solomon represents himself as in quest of goodness in the world: But the issue of it was, he could find no satisfying issue in his search after it; though it was not for want of pains; for he counted one by one to find out the account. Behold thus have I found, (saith the Preacher, wit, that (as the same word is read in our text) yet my

seeketh, but I find not. He could make no satisfying

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, 2 Kings xi. 3. But could that satisfy the grand query, Where shall wisdom be found ? No, it could not; (and if the experience of others in this point run counter to Solomon's, as it is 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: Lo 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 for themselves, they have sought out many inventions.

DOCTRINE, God made man altogether righteous.

'HIS is that state of innocence in which God set man

scriptures with a running pen, in comparison of the fol. lowing states, for it was of no continuance, but passed as a flying shadow, by man's abusing the freedom of his own will. I shall,

First, Inquire into the righteousness of this state, wherein inan was created.

SECONDLY, I day before you some of the happy concom• itants, and consequents thereof.

LASTLY, Apply the whole.

Of Man's Original Righteousnesa.

First, As to the righteousness of this state, consider, that as uncreated righteousness, the righteousness of God is the supreme rule; so all created righteousness, whether of men or angels, hath res ect to a law as its rule, and is a conformity thereunto. A creature can no more be morally independent on God, in its actions and powers, than it can be naturally independent on him. A creature, as a creature, must acknowledge the Creator's will as its supreme 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, indispensible 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, consequently, 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 ; seeing 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 inind, the know

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