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Nom. But, sir, what is the reason you call it but the matter of the covenant of works?

Evan. The reason why I rather choose to call the law of the ten commandments the matter of the covenant of works, than the covepant itself, is, because I conceive that the matter of it cannot properly be called the covenant of works, except the form be pat upon it; that is to say, except the Lord require, and man undertake to yield perfect obedience thereunto, upon condition of eternal life and death.

And therefore, till then, it was not a covenant of works betwixt God and all mankind in Adam; as, for example, you know, that although a servant e have an ability to do a master's' work; and though a master have wages to bestow upon him for it, yet is there not a covenant betwixt them till they have thereupon agreed. Even so, though a man at the first had power to yield perfect and perpetual obedience to all the ten commandments, and God had an eternal life to bestow upon him; yet was there not a covenant betwixt them till they were thereupon agreed.

Nom. But, sir, you know there is no mention made in the book of Genesis of this covenant of works, which, you say, was made with man at first.

the moral law is described to be, “ The declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body, and in performance of all these duties of holiness and righteousness, which he oweth to God and man ; promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it."-Larger Catech. quest. 93. That this is the covenant of works, is elear from Westm. Confes. chap. xix. art. 1, “ God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience ; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it.” And this our author owns to be the sense of that term, strictly and properly taken ; the reason whereof I conceive to be, that the moral law properly signifying the law of manners, answers to the Scripture term, the law of works, by which is meant the covenant of works. And if he bad added, that in this sense helievers are delivered from it, he had no more said than the Larger Catechism doth, in these words ; " They that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works.” Quest. 97. But in the meantime it is evident, he does not here use that term in this sense ; and in the next paragraph, save one, he gives a reason why he doth not so use it.

e Not a hired servant, for there is a covenant betwist such an one and the master ; but a bond-servant, bought with money, of another person, or born in the master's house ; who is obliged to serve his master, and is liable to punishment in case he do not, but cannot demand wages, since there is no covenant between them.

This was the case of mankind, with relation to the Creator, before the covenant of works was made.

Evan. Though we read not the word “ covenant” betwixt God and man, yet have we there recorded what may amount to as much; for God provided and promised to Adam eternal happiness, and called for perfect obedience ; which appears from God's threatening, Gen. ii. 17; for if man must die if he disobeyed, it implies strongly, that God's covenant was with him for life, if he obeyed.

Nom. But, sir, you know the word " covenant” signifies a mutual promise, bargain, and obligation betwixt two parties. Now, though it is implied, that God promised man to give him life if he obeyed, yet we read not, that man promised to be obedient.

Evan. I pray take notice, that God does not always tie man to verbal expressions, but doth often contract the covenant in real im- pressions in the heart and frame of the creature, f and this was the manner of covenanting with man at the first;g for God had furnished his soul with an understanding mind, whereby he might discern good from evil, and right from wrong: and not only so, but also in his will. was most great uprightness, Eccl. vii. 29, and his instrumental parts h were orderly framed to obedience. The truth is, God did engrave in man's soul wisdom and knowledge of his will and works, and integrity in the whole soul, and such a fitness in all the powers thereof, that neither the mind did conceive, nor the heart desire, nor the body put in execution, any thing but that which was acceptable to God; so that man, endued with these qualities, was able to serve God perfectly.

Nom. But, sir, how could the law of the ten commandments. be the matter of this covenant of works, when they were not written, as you know, till the time of Moses?

Evan. Though they were not written in tables of stone until the time of Moses, yet were they written in the tables of man's heart in the time of Adam : for we read that man was created in the image or likeness of God, Gen. i. 27. And the ten commandments are a doctrine agreeing with the eternal wisdom and justice that is

f The soul approving, embracing, and consenting to the covenant; which, without any more, is plain language, though not unto men, yet unto God, who knoweth the heart.

g The covenant being revealed to man created after God's own image, be could not but perceive the equity and benefit of it; and so heartily approve, embrace, accept, and consent to it. And this accepting is plainly intimated in Eve's words to the serpent, Gen. iii. 2, 3, “ We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

h Executive faculties and powers, whereby the good known and willed was to be done.

in God; wherein he hath so painted out his own nature, that it does in a manner express the very image of God, Col. ii. 10. And does not the apostle say, (Eph. iv. 24.) that the image of God consists in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness? And is not knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, the perfection of both the tables of the law? And indeed, says Mr. Rollock, it could not well stand with the justice of God, to make a covenant with man, under the condition of holy and good works, and perfect obedience to his law, except he had first created man holy and pure, and engraven his law in his heart, whence those good works should proceed.

Nom. But yet I cannot but marvel that God, in making the covepant with man, did make mention of no other commandment than that of the forbidden fruit.

Evan. Do not marvel at it: for by that one species of sin, the whole genus or kind is shown; as the same law, being more clearly unfolded, doth express, Deut. xxviii. 26; Gal. iii. 10. And, indeed, in that one commandment the whole worship of God did consist; as obedience, honour, love, confidence, and religious fear; together with the outward abstinence from sin, and reverend respect to the voice of God; yea, herein also consisted his love, and so his whole duty to his neighbour; i so that, as a learned writer says, Adam heard as much (of the law) in the garden, as Israel did at Sinai; but only in fewer words, and without thunder.

Nom. But, sir, ought not man to have yielded perfect obedience to God, though this covenant had not been made betwixt them.

Evan. Yea, indeed; perfect and perpetual obedience was due from man unto God, though God had made no promise to man; for when God created man at first, he put forth an excellency from himself into him; and therefore it was the bond and tie that lay upon man to return that again unto God; k so that man being God's creature, by the law of creation, he owed all obedience and subjection to God his creator.

Nom. Why then was it needful that the Lord should make a covenant with him, by promising him life, and threatening him with death?

i That one commandment was in effect a summary of the whole duty of man ; the whicb clearly appears, if one considers that the breach of it was a transgressing of all the ten commandments at once, as our author afterwards distinctly shows.

k God having given man a being after his own image, a glorious excellency, it was his natural duty to make suitable returns thereof unto the giver, in a way of duty, being, and acting for him ; even as the waters, which originally are from the sea, do in brooks and rivers return to the sea again. Man, being of God as his first cause, behoved to be to him as his chief and ultimate end, Rom. xi. 36.

Evan. For answer hereunto in the first place, I pray you anderstand, that man was a reasonable creature; and so, out of judgment, discretion, and election, able to make choice of his way; and therefore it was meet there shonld be such a covenant made with him, that he might, according to God's appointment serve him after a reasonable manner. Secondly, It was meet there should be such a covenant made with him, to show that he was not such a prince on earth, but that he had a sovereign Lord; therefore God set a punishment upon the breach of his commandment; 1 that man might know his inferiority, and that things betwixt him and God were not as betwixt equals. Thirdly, It was meet there should be such a covenant made with him, to show that he had nothing by personal, immediate, and underived right, but all by gift and gentleness ; so that you see it was an equal covenant, m which God, out of his prerogative-royal, made with mankind in Adam before his fall.

Nom. Well, sir, I do perceive that Adam and all mankind in him were created most holy.

Evan. Yea, and most happy too: for God placed him in paradise in the midst of all delightful pleasures and contents, wherein he did enjoy most near and sweet communion with his Creator, in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures evermore, Psal. xvi. 11. So that if Adam had received of the ee of life, by taking and eating of it, while he stood in the state of innocency before his fall, he had certainly been established in a happy estate for ever, and could not have been seduced and supplanted by Satan, as some learned men do think, and as God's own words seem to imply, Gen. iii. 22. n

1 The punishment of death, upon the breach of his commandment touching the forbidden fruit.

m That is, an equitable covenant, fair and reasonable.

n The author says, that some learned men think so, and that the words, Gen. iii. 22, seem to imply so much; but all this amounts not to a positive determination of the point. The words are these, “ Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil; and now lest he put forth his band, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever,” &c. Whether or not these words seem to imply some such things, I leave to the judgment of the reader, whom I incline not to entertain with mine own or others' conjectures upon this head; but three things I take to be plain, and beyond conjecture, in this text, (1.) That there is no irony nor scoff here, as many think there is; but on the contrary a most pathetic lamentation over fallen man. The literal version and sense of the former part of the text runs thus : “Behold the man that was one of us,” &c. compare for the version, Lam. iii. 1; Psal. iii. 7, and for the sense, Gen. i. 26, 27, And God said, Let Us make man in our own image.So God created man in his own image,” &c. The latter part of the text I would read thus, And eat that he may live for ever.” Compare for this version, Exod. iv, 23 ;

§ 2. Nom. But it seemeth that Adam did not continue in that holy and happy estate.

Evan. No indeed; for he disobeyed God's express command, in eating the forbidden fruit, and so became guilty of the breach of the covenant.

Nom. But, sir, how could Adam, who had his understanding so sound, and his will so free to choose good, be so disobedient to God's express command.

Evan. Though he and his will were both good, yet were they mutably good ; so that he might stand or fall at his own election or choice.

Nom. But why then did not the Lord create him immutable ? or why did he not so overrule him in that action, that he might not have eaten the forbidden fruit? O

Evan. The reason why the Lord did not create him immutable, was because he would be obeyed out of judgment and free choice and not by fatal necessity and absolute determination; p and withal, let me tell you, it was not reasonable to restrain God to this point, to make them such an one as would not, nor could not sin at all, for it was at his choice to create him how he pleased. But why he did not uphold him with strength of stedfast continuance; that resteth hidden in God's secret council.p Howbeit, this we may certainly

1 Sam. vi. 8. It is evident the sentence is broken off abruptly, the words, “I will drive him out,” being suppressed ; even as in the case of a father, with sighs, sobs, and tears, putting bis son out of dowrs. (2.) That it was God's design, to prevent Adam's eating of the tree of life, as he had of the forbidden tree, “lest he take also of the tree of life;" thereby mercifully taking care that our fallen father, to whom the covenant of grace was now proclaimed, might not, according to the corrupt datural inclination to fallen mankind, run back to the covenant of works for life and salvation, by partakirg of the tree of life, a sacrament of that covenant, and so reject the covenant of grace, by eating of that tree now, as he had before broken the covenant of works, by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (3.) That at this time Adam did think, that by eating of the tree of life he might live for ever. Farther I dip not here in this matter.

o These are two distinct questions, both of them natively arising from a legal temper of Spirit: and I doubt if ever the heart of a sinner shall receive a satisfying answer as to either of them, until it come to embrace the gospel-way of salvation : taking up its everlasting rest in Christ, for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

p Immutability, properly so called, or absolute unchangeableness, is an iacommunicable attribute of God, Mal. iji, 6; Jam, i. 17, and mutability, or changeableness, is 80 of the nature of a creature, that it should cease to be a creature, or a dependant being, is it should cease to be mutable. But there is an immutability, improperly so called, which is competent to the creature, whereby it is free from being actually liable to change in some respect; the which, in reference to man may be considered two ways ; 1. As putting him beyond the bazard of change by ano. ther hand than his own. 2. As putting him beyond the hazard of change by himself. lo the former sevse, man was indeed made immutable in point of moral goodness; for

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