Sidor som bilder

possible posterity of all them that were destroyed by the food, and the possible posterity of the innumerable multitudes whịch we read of in scripture, destroyed by sword, pestilence, &c. And if the threatening to Adam reached his posterity in no other respect than this, that they were liable to be deprived by it of their possible existence, then these instances are much more properly a fulfilment of that threatening, than the suffering of death by such as actually come into existence; and so is that which is most properly the judgment to condemnation, executed by the sentence of the judge, proceeding on the foot of that threatening. But where do we ever find this so represented in scripture? We read of multitudes cut off for their personal sins, who thereby failed of their possible posterity. And these are mentioned as God's judgments on them, and effects of God's condemnation of them : But when are they ever spoken of as God's judicially proceeding against, and condemning their possible posterity ?

4. Dr. Taylor, in what he says concerning this matter, speaks of the threatening of the law delivered to Adam, which the possible existence of his posterity fell under, as the ground of the judgment to condemnation coming upon all men. But herein he is exceeding inconsistent with himself; for he affirms in a place forecited, that the scripture never speaks of any sentence of condemnation coming upon all men, but that sentence in the third of Genesis, concerning man's turning to dust. But according to him, the threatening of the law deliv. ered to Adam, could not be the ground of that sentence ; for he greatly insists upon it, that that law was entirely abrogated before tha: sentence was pronounced, that this law at that time was not in being, had no existence to have any such influence, as might procure a sentence of death ; and that therefore this sentence was introduced entirely on another foot, viz. on the foot of a new dispensation of grace. The reader may see this matter strenuously urged, and particularly argued by him, p. 113...220. S. So that this sentence could not, according to him, have the threatening of that law for its ground, as he supposes ; for it never stood upon that ground. It could not be called a judgment of condemnation under any

fuck view'; for it could not be viewed under circumstances ainder which it never existed.

5. If it be as our author supposes, that the sentence of death on all mon comes under the notion of a judgment to condemnation by this means, viz. that the threatening to Adåm was in some respect the ground of it, then it also comes under the notion of a punishment: For threatenings annexed to breaches of laws, are to punishments, and a judgment of condemnation to the thing threatened, must be to punishment; and the thing condemned to, must have as much the notion of a punishment, as the sentence has the notion of a judgment to condemnation. But this, Dr. Taylor wholly denies : He denies that the death sentenced to, comes as any punishment åt all, but insists that it comes only as a favor and benefit, and

of fatherly love to Adam's posterity, respected, not as guilty, but wholly innocent. So that his scheme will not admit of its coming under the notion of a sentence to condemnation in any respect whatsoever. Our author's supposition, that the possible existence of Adam's posterity comes under the threatening of the law, and into the hands of the judge, and is the ground of the condemnation of all men to death, implies; that death, by this sentence, is appointed to mankind as an evil, at least negatively so ; as it is a privation of good : For he manifestly speaks of a nonexistence as a negative evil. But herein he is inconsistent with himself: For he continua ally insists, that mankind are subjected to death only as a beneft, as has been before shewn. According to him, dcath is not appointed to mankind as a negative evil, as any cessation of existence, as any cessation or even diminution of good; but on the contrary, as a means of a more hafify existence, and a great increase of good.

So that this evasion, or salvo of Dr. Taylor's, is so far from helping the matter, or salving the inconsistence, that it increases it.

And that the constitution or law, with the threatening of death annexed, which was given to Adam, was to him as the head of mankind, and to his posterity as included in him, not only follows from some of our author's own assertions, and the plain and full declarations of the apostle, in the fifth of Romans (of which more afterwards) which drove Dr. Taylor into such gross inconsistencies : But the account given in the three first chapters of Genesis, directly and inevitably leads uş to such a conclusion.

Though the sentence, Gen. iii. 19. Unto dust thou shalt return, be not of equal extent with the threatening in the fore. going chapter, or an execution of the main curse of the law therein denounced ; for, that it should have been so, would have been inconsistent with the intimations of mercy just before given : Yet it is plain, this sentence is in pursuance of that threatening, being to something that was included in it. The words of the sentence were delivered to the same per. son, with the words of the threatening, and in the same mana ner, in like singular terms, as much without any express mention of his posterity: And yet it manifestly appears by the consequence, as well as all circumstances, that his posterily were included in the words of the sentence ; as is confessed on all hands. And as the words were apparently delivered in the form of the sentence of a judge, condemning for some. thing that he was displeased with, and ought to be condemned, viz, sin ; and as the sentence to him and his posterity was but one, dooming to the same suffering, under the same cire cumstances, both the one and the other sentenced in the same words, spoken but once, and immediately to but one person, we hence justly infer, that it was the same thing to both; and not as Dr. Taylor suggests, p. 67, a sentence to a proper punishment to Adam, but a mere promise of favor to his pas. terity.

Indeed, sometimes our aụthor seems to suppose, that God meant the thing denounced in this sentence, as a favor both 10. Adain and his posterity,* But to his posterity, or mankind in general, who are the main subject, he ever insists, that it was purely intended as a favor. And therefore, one would have thought the sentence should have been delivered, with manifestations and appearances of fayor, and not of an

Page 25, 46, 46. S.


ger. How could Adam understand it as a promise of great favor, considering the manner and circumstances of the denunciation? How could he think, that God would go about to delude him, by clothing himself with garments of vengeance, using words of displeasure and rebuke, setting forth the heinousness of his crime, attended with cherubims and a flaming sword; when all that he meant was only higher testimonies of favor, than he had before in a state of innocence, and to manifest fatherly love and kindness, in promises of great blessings? If this was the case, God's words to Adam must be understood thus : “ Because thou hast done so wickedly, hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; therefore I will be more kind to thee than I

was thy state of innocence, and do now appoint for thee the fol. Jowing great favors : Cursed be the ground for thy sake," &c. And thus Adam must understand what was said, unless any will say (and God forbid that any should be so blasphemous) that God clothed himself with appearances of displeasure, to deceive Adam, and make him believe the contrary of what he intended, and lead him to expect a dismal train of evils on his posterity, contrary to all reason and justice, implying the most horribly unrighteous treatment of millions of perfectly innocent creatures. It is certain there is not the least appearance in what God said, or the manner of it, as Moses gives us the account, of any other, than that God was now testifying displeasure, condemning the subject of the sentence he was pronouncing, as justly exposed to punishment for sin, and for that sin which he mentions.

When God was pronouncing this sentence, Adam doubt. less understood, that God had respect to his posterity, as well as himself, though God spake wholly in the second person singular, “ Because thou hast eaten..... In sorrow shalt thou eat ....Unto the dust shalt thou return." Brit he had as much rcason to understand God as having respect to his posterity, when he directed his speech to him in like manner in the threatening, Thou shalt surely die. The sentence plainly refers to the threatening, and results from it. The threatening şays, If thou eat, thou shalt die : The sentence says, Beq cause thou hast eaten, thou shalt die. And Moses, who wrote the account, had no reason to doubt but that the affair would be thus understood by his readers ; for such a way of speaking was well understood in those days : The history he gives us of the origin of things, abounds with it. Such a manner of speaking to the first of the kind, or heads of the race, having respect to the progeny, is not only used in almost every thing that God said to Adam and Eve, but even in what he said to the very birds and fishes, Gen. i, 22 ; and also in wbat he said afterwards to Noah, Gen. ix. and 10 Shem, Ham and Japheth, and Canaan, Gen, ix. 25....27. So in promises made to Abraham, in which God directed his speech to him, and spake in the second person singular, from time to time, but meant chiefly his posterity: « To thee will I give this land. In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” &c. &c. And in what is said of Ishmael, as of his person, but meant chiefly of his posterity, Gen. xvi. 12, and xvii. 20. And so in what Isaac said to Esau and Jacob, in his blessing ; in which he spake to them in the second person singular, but meant chiefly their posterity. And so for the most part in the promises made to Isaac and Jacob, and in Jacob's blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh, and of his twelve sons,

But I shall take notice of one or two things further, shew. ing that Adam's posterity were included in God's establishment with him, and the threatening denounced for his sin

3 and that the calamities which come upon them in consequence of his sin, are brought on them as punishments. <

This is evident from the curse on the ground; which, if it be any curse at:all, comes equally on Adam's posterity with himself. And if a curse, then against whomsoever it is designed and on whomsoever it terminates, it comes as a punishment; and not as a blessing, so far as it comes in consequence

of that sentence: Dr. Taylor, page 19, says, “ A curse is pronounced upon the ground, but no curse upon the woman and the man." And in pages 45, 46, S. he insists that the ground only was cursed, and not the man ; just as though.a.curse could tere

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »