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that day he became a sinful, dying creature. And since, having broken the covenant of life, he had now no right to its seal, therefore, “lest he should take of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever," the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden. From its pleasant fruits, its holy innocence, and its immortal life, he was for ever excluded; and his attempts to return, if he dared to make any, were rendered impossible by the cherubim's flaming sword, “which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Thus we have pursued the Scripture history of the Fall of Man. We have seen how Adam being placed under a covenant, the condition of which was his obedience to one single commandment, kept not that commandment, but transgressed it, and consequently forfeited its blessing, and incurred its penalty. We have seen him deprived of the favour and presence of God, driven from that happy intercourse with his Creator which he had previously enjoyed, and suffering a most lamentable alteration both in his outward circumstances and his nature. We shall throw
our reflections upon this distressing subject into the form of two enquiries.
First.—What are the consequences to us? This is surely a most important enquiry. Now the Scriptures distinctly inform us, that Adam, the progenitor of the human race, stood as its representative, and entailed the consequences of his transgression upon all his posterity. Hence every daughter of the original pair has brought forth her offspring in pain and sorrow; labour and anxiety, and care, (toil, are required of every son; and both sons and daughters die, and return again to their dust. Moreover, as the punishment of Adam is entailed upon all his posterity, so is his disposition inherited. The nature of man lost in that transgression its original excellence. In the place of love, and reverence, and a readiness to obey, there have arisen in his heart fear, and hatred, and a proneness to rebel, Hence has sprung original sin, which is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of
his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit, and therefore in every person born into this world it deserveth God's wrath and damnation.' Thus consequences the most terrible are experienced by the whole human race. In Adam all die; and in Adam all are depraved. The effects of this one transgression are felt in the bodies and the souls of all his descendants, and will continue to be felt so long as any
his descendants remain on earth. “By one man's disobedience many were made sinners.” “By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation."
Secondly, Are there any, and what means of recovery? -Blessed be God, there is a way opened through that holy seed who is the subject of the prophecy just considered, in which man may recover his forfeited immortality and glory. Jesus presents himself as his Redeemer: he atones for his sins: he appeases the wrath of God: he becomes the mediator of another and better covenant, in which it is written, that “whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” He
also is made a covenant head; and hence he is called by an Apostle the “second Adam;" and he stands in the same relation to all true believers, as that in which Adam stood to the human race: “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.” Man is now to receive the remission of his sins through faith in his blood : he is to become righteous by partaking of the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: and he is to be restored to holiness by the renewing and sanctifying influence of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. Such is now the method of salvation for a world of sinners. Oh! study it as it is revealed to you in the gospel ; sincerely and thankfully receive it; nor rest till you understand, till you experience, the faith of Christ in all its divine efficacy. I say in all its divine efficacy; for it is of mighty influence. It is not a speculative notion; it is not a cold acknowledgment; it is not a barren profession: but it is a vital principle, an operative principle, powerfully working in the heart to the production of all the fruits of both inward and outward piety. You have seen your ruin; you
behold your remedy; hasten to apply it. Return unto God through Christ. Intreat of him the pardon of your sins, and the renewal of his own divine image in your souls. Intreat of him to give you grace to love and serve him; that so, when the penalty of sin is paid, and death is past, you may live and reign with him in his Paradise above, the kingdom of glory.