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bruise his heel.” Had it not been for the covenant of redemption, of which this is the first intimation, the death of our first parents would have been an eternal death. I mean they must have remained eternally in that state of death into which they had fallen by their first transgression. To eternity they could not have restored themselves from the death which they had died. Being dead, they must be absolutely destitute of all power to produce life.
Death was threatened Adam for the first act of disobedience, but not that he should remain eternally in a state of death. Adam transgressed and«he died. And without redemption bythe precious blood of Christ, he must have remained eternally in a state of moral death. But it doth not hence follow, that, although Adam was threatened with death, if he eat, that, therefore, if he eat, he should remain eternally dead.* This would be inconsistent with the divine purpose of redemption. But the declarations, threatenings, and purposes of God, must be consistent one with the other. If God had, previously to the apostasy, a purpose of redemption, if he meant to redeem and save Adam. then, surely it would be inconsistent for God to make a declaration to Adam that he should remain
To this, an objection has been stated, which is as follows: "If it was not threatcned to Adam that he should continue spiritually dead forever? to what duration did the threatened death extend? If God threatened Adam that he should be spiritually dead for a time only, and he is actually subject to that death, how is he redeemed from it by the blood of Christ?” Reply: I suppose, you mean to suggest that it would be inconsistent, to say, that a sinner might be redeemed by the blood of Christ from spiritual death, if the death, to which he was subjected, was for a time only; because, when that time should expire, he would vot need rerlemption by the blood of Christ. This being the sense of the objection, I answer: It was the blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, which limits the spiritaal death of the sinner; the boundary line is drawn in blood, which the spiritual death of those who were given to Christ in the covenant of redemption cannot pass. Were it not, therefore, for the blood of Christ, there would be no limits to the death threatened to Adam: the duration would extend to eternity.
As the plan ot redemption was constructed before the fall of man, it would be inconsistent to threaten Adam with death unlimited as eternity; for this would either supercede redemption, or the veracity of God would fail
. The threatening to Adam involved no condition; with the Gospel it is otherwise. Adam there. fore stood upon very different ground in the garden of Eden, from that, on which le stood, when it was revealed to him that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. Gospel ground, therefore, is very different from the ground on which our first parenis stood in the garden of Cilen. Eden ground was up! fised, but the blood of Christ makes a "sure foundation."
eternally without redemption and without salvation: this would be equal to his saying that he would not save him, and yet that he would save him. This would make God contradict himself
All will allowthat God had, prior to the apostasy, a purpose of redemption; it is manifest, therefore, to a demonstration, that God did not threaten Adam with any thing inconsistent with his salvation, or the salvation of fallen man. Consequently, as God intended the salvation of man, he never made a declaration to Adam, that if he should fall into death, he should remain in that state forever. And, if God did not declare, that, if Adam should eat and die, that, therefore, he should remain eternally in death; then it is equally evident, that he did not threaten him with the second death, that is, with eternal punishment. For God to threaten mankind absolutely with damnation on Adam's first transgression, when at the same time, he meant to redeem and save them, would be inconsistent: He did not therefore threaten Adam with eternal death on his eating of the forbidden tree; for this would be incon. sistent with his purpose of redemption; which inconsistency cannot belong to God.
It is a sentiment with many divines, that the death with which Adam was threatened for the first act of disobedience, included eternal death. They also say that the threatening to Adam included his posterity. But how could the posterity of Adam be threatened with eternal death, when it was eternally the purpose of God to redeem and save them? Had there been no redemption for lost man; if the Lamb of God had not been slain to take away the sin of the world; then Adain and all his race must have remained in death; and, therefore, they must have been miserable to eternity. How could they be otherwise than miserable while they were dead?
But, although they must have been miserable, yet they would not have been miserable in consequence of disobeying the Gospel, or for not believing and obeying Jesus Christ. Neither would they have been punished for disobeying any law written in the revelation of God. Yea, every thing contained in the Bible would have been superceded, needless, and to no purpose.
Exclude the idea of redemption and what would remain in the Scriptures of the Old or New Testament which would be of any avail to man? The system of divine revelation stands upon a firm foundation, the divine purpose of redemption. And redemption is conversant only with sinners, the posterity of fallen Adam. Hence, all the laws of the Bible are adapted to the state and condition of sinners. The law given to innocent Adam threatened death for the first transgression. But since the apostasy no such law has been revealed. The law which threatened death to Adam had in it no mixture of mercy or forgiveness. But since the fall no such law is found in the revelation of God. But every divine law which respects the future state of man, is full of grace and mercy. In Paradise before the fall of man there was no mercy seat; but every where else, this side eternity, God has a mercy seat: And will pass by and forgive all the former transgressions of those who now trust in his mercy. It is commonly said that the law knows no mercy. But this is not applicable to any law since the fall
, except such as relate to external conduct only, and, therefore, are confined in their design to the government of actions in civil society. “He, therefore, that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.” This person mighi die as to his body without mercy or forgiveness; and yet with respect to his soul, he might repent, obtain forgiveness, and find mercy with God, and, in the world to come be forever happy: For all the dealings of God with men as to the salvation of their souls, is on the foundation of the Gospel. But for the good of civil society, a law of Moses required that a criminal, under two or three witnesses, should be stoned to death. It does not, however, certainly follow, but that this same person might obtain forgiveness with God, and through the
great Redeemer be saved with an everlasting salvation. There is, therefore, no revealed law respecting the future state of man since the apostasy, which is not attended with a mercy seat. God appears propitious in all his laws, statutes, precepts and testimonies; yca, the whole revelation of God proclaims him a propitious God.
Every divine law has relation to the great scheme of reuemption. Without reference to the plan of redemption, the law of types and shadows would lose all its meaning. Wherein should we be profited in hearing about the paschal lamb, if there were no Antitype? If there were no Lamb of God predicted to come into the world to be slain for us, and to be delivered for our offences, and to rise again for our justification, all the types of Christ would be void and of none effect: The ceremonial law would have been needless, and the Sinai law written on tables of stone by the finger of God, would, to sinners dead in sin, avail nothing. This law unless it be written on the fleshy* tables of the heart, killeth; and without redemption by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot, no impression of this law could be made upon the heart of man. Exclude the blood of Christ and you exclude the new covenant. There never could be a covenant of grace without a covenant of redemption. Dead sinners can live only through Him who is emphatically the Resurrection and the Life. There never would bave been a revelation of the moral law, or the law of ten commandments, aside from the idea of redemption. This law is constructed upon the very principle that God had purposed the redemption of lost man. And it is in perfect harmony with the prediction that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.
The Lord Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai with the law containing the ten commandments, because he had purposes of grace in store for man. This law carries the idea of mercy. But there could be no mercy extended to man dead in sin, without the divine purpose of reden ption.
* This word ought not to be according to the common translation, freshly, but fleshy; for the Greek word from which the translation is made, is tot sagrindo carnalis, þut sagnovos carneus,
of redeniption. All good to men orig, inates to redeeming love. The moral law is founded upon a mercy seat. Hence the language of God to men in this law, is, “Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." God therefore says, "Honour thy father and mother” with the gracious promise, that the days of such shall “be long upon the land which the Lord God” had given them. Upon the ground of this merciful design of God, Moses was directed to say unto the people, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your
our faces that ye sin not.” The law, therefore is expressive of loving kindness and tender mercy. “And God said unto Moses, An altar of earth shalt thou make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen. In all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I wiil bless thee.? Thus the Şinai law includes mercy and blessings: for "I will come unto thee,” says God to the people, “and I will bless thee Hence, God set up a mercy seat among the dead, with the record of his name, that he would come unto them and bless them. The Sinai law, therefore, could not have been revealed; it could not have been consistent on any other foundation, than the divine purpose of redemption.
All the laws. of the Old Testament, and of the New, originated in the purpose of God to redeem men from the ruins of the apostasy. This is the source of all divine revelation. There would have been no place for the Old Testament revelation, had it not been for the purpose of God to bruise the serpent's head And had not the Messiah, when the fulness of time was come, made his appearance in the flesh, there would have been no place for the New Testament revelation. The whole revelation of God stands upon his eternal purpose of redemption. Were it not for the
Were it not for the pre conceived plan of God to restore the divine image to man, and to save