Sivut kuvina

and that the goat should bear upon him all their iniquities into the wilderness, or a land of separation. Now surely none who reads this account would consider the goat as having actually committed any sin, but only made to suffer, by the sovereign appointment of God, the punishment due t: the sins of Israel; whilst the believing and penitent Israelite obtained reconciliation with God through the sufferings of the innocent victim.

§ 2. That Adam's sin is thus imputed to his posterity, is evident from the sacred Scriptures. However disagreeable this truth may appear to corrupt nature, and however mysterious to all, it is confirmed by that revelation which we are to make our guide in all affairs of a religious concern. Thus the apostle, when describing the wretched state of the Ephesians before their conversion, says: "We all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Eph. 2:3; i. e. as soon as we are born, we deserve, lie exposed unto, and are under a law-sentence of the wrath of God. This is the natural state of all mankind, not only of the children of disobedience, but also of those who through grace are made heirs of eternal life; not only of grown persons, but of infant babes. Again, the apostle, in writing to the Corinthian church, says that "Adam was the cause of death, and that in him all die." 1 Cor. 15: 22. In him, as the common parent of the human race, and the federal head of all his natural posterity, they all sinned and died; the sentence of death passed upon them in him. They became subject to a corporal death, which has ever since reigned over mankind, even over infants, such who have not sinned after he similitude of his transgression. But let us more particularly attend to the statement of the apostle in Rom. 5, from the 12th to the 19th verse. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from

[ocr errors]

Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." From these words it evidently appears that the apostle took it for granted that it was a doctrine well known and believed, that Adam's sin was imputed to the whole human race.

3. This will be still more clear, if we consider the scope and design of the apostle in this context, which is to illustrate the doctrine of justification, and to represent the way in which we are made partakers of the righteousness of Christ. This is the professed design of the comparison he here makes between Adam and Christ; it is as if h had said, As Adam transmits sin and death to all his natural posterity, so Christ conveys righteousness and justification of life to all his spiritual seed. The way of conveyance in both is the same. Now, how are we made righteous by the obedience of Christ, but by the imputation of that obedience to us? And if so, when we are said to be made sinners by the disobedience of the first man, the antithesis requires that it should be meant, of our being made sinners by the imputation of his disobedience to us.

4. Again, we observe the apostle calls Adam a figure

of him that was to come, i. e. Christ. Now there are no other instances in which Adam can be said to be a figure more properly than in the following instances: the first Adam was the head of the covenant of works; the second Adam was the head of the covenant of grace. The first represented all mankind that should descend from him in the common way; the second represented all the chosen of the Father, all that were given to him. By the one, therefore, came death; by the other, eternal life.

§ 5. Further, it is observable that the apostle repeats the same idea in a variety of expressions: that death was introduced into the world by the sin of Adam; that death is become the lot of all men, for all have sinned; that by Adam's disobedience many were made sinners; that by his offence many die, yea, that through that offence condemnation has come upon all men.

§ 6. In the next place we appeal to facts. The sufferings and death of those who have never been guilty of actual sin, prove that they must suffer and die for the sin of another. Such are the sufferings and death of infants. What a train of evils do we witness in these little creatures! What cries and tears, what pains and agonies, enough to move the hardest heart! Some soon take their leave, disappoint the wishes and expectations of their fond indulgent parents, and enter eternity; whilst others stay some days or months to taste the bitter cup of sufferings, to linger under painful diseases, till their tender frame is entirely broken, and they yield to all-conquering death. And what can be the reason of all this, but sin? That sin is the cause of sufferings and death is evident from many parts of Scripture. "Wherefore," saith the prophet, "should a living man complain," or grieve, vex and murmur under his various afflictions, when it is "for the punishment of his sins?" Lam. 3:39. And the apostle, in the above-mentioned passage, Rom. 5: 12, saith that death came into the world by sin; and that the reason why all die, is because all have

sinned; and Rom. 6: 23, he expressly declares that "the wages of sin is death." Whoever therefore dies, must be a sinner either by his own act or by imputation; for to allow the effect without the cause is a glaring absurdity. Besides, where there is no sin there can be no just condemnation, and where there is no condemnation there can be no death. Now, if God condemn and execute judgment upon any man, he must needs be guilty and worthy of the punishment; for He saith himself, "Thou shalt not justify the wicked nor condemn the innocent." But we see, as has already been observed, new born babes, who never personally acted, or were conscious of sin, condemned for sin, and suffering death as transgressors; they must, therefore, be guilty before God, by whose authority and power this judgment is passed and executed upon them.

§ 7. Dr. Bates, in treating on this subject, has the following important observation: "The ignorance of this made the heathens accuse nature, and blaspheme God under that mask, as less kind and indulgent to man than to the creatures below him. They are not under as hard a law of coming into the world. They are presently instructed to swim, to fly, to run, for their preservation. They are clothed by nature, and their habits grow in proportion with their bodies; some with feathers, some with wool, others with scales, which are both habit and armor; but man, who is alone sensible of shame, is born naked, and though of a more delicate temper, is more exposed to injuries by distempered seasons, and utterly unable to repel or avoid the difficulties that encompass him. Now the account which Scripture gives of original sin silences all these complaints. Man is a transgressor from the womb; and how can he expect a favorable reception into the empire of an offended God?" -Harmony.

§ 8. I shall now close this part of our subject with some testimonies from some of our most ancient Jewish writers, and from some eminent Christian authors. We have al

ready seen from the Scriptures, what was the sentiment of Moses, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David and Solomon. From the writings of our ancient Rabbins, it appears that they believed,

9. 1. That Adam was the federal head of the whole human race. Menass. ben Israel saith, "Whereas Adam was to be the head and principal of the human nature, it was necessary that God should endow him with all perfection and knowledge." De Fragilitate, p. 34. Again in his discourse, De Termino Vitæ, he says, "Aben Ezra saith that the definite article Hay is not prefixed unto proper names in the Scriptures, only it is so unto the word Adam, Gen. 3:22; and the reason is, because in Adam all his posterity, the whole race of mankind is denoted and signified. Again, in Bemid. Rab. fol. 198, 3. descanting on those words, as one that lieth upon the top of a mast, it is said, "this is the first man, who was a head to all the children of men." In Caphtor fol. 102, 1, speaking of Adam, it is said "that he was the root of the creation, or of the men of the world." Again, in Alshech in Coheleth it is said, "Adam comprehends all; for every man was in the first Adam."

§ 10. 2. They further say, that he sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit, and that the punishment of this sin was death of body and soul. On the doubling of the word in the threatening, in dying thou shalt die, it is remarked: "this double death, without doubt, is the punishment of the body by itself, and also of the soul by itself." Joseph Albo, Sepher Ikkarim, L. 4. c. 41. Another Rabbi is quoted by Fagius, on Gen. 2: 17. "If the flesh sin without the spirit, why is the soul punished? Is it one thing that sinneth and another that is punished? or rather, is it not thus that both sin together." Again, speaking of the sense which Adam had of the greatness of his crime, it is said: "On the first day of the week (or on the first Sabbath) Adam entered into the water up to his neck; and he afflicted himself se

« EdellinenJatka »