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II. I proceed to shew who they were that sinned and fell in Adam. They were all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation. So,
1. Christ is excepted. Adam's sin was not imputed to the man Christ. This is plain from Heb. vii. 26. He was separated from sinners, and was not infected with the plague whereof he was to be the cleanser. And so Christ comes not in under Adam as head, but is opposed to Adam as another head in the text.
Christ was indeed a Son of Adam, as appears from his ge. nealogy brought up to Adam, Luke iii. And it was necessary he should be so, that he might be our near kinsman, and that the same nature that sinned might suffer. But he came not of him by ordinary generation : the ex. ordinariness of his descent lay in that he was born of a virgin. And upon this account he came not in under Adam in the covenant of works; for Christ was not born by virtue of that blessing of marriage given before the fall, Gen. i. 28. but by virtue of a covenant-promise made after the fall, Gen. iii. 15. So that Adam could represent none in that covenant, but such as were to spring from him by virtue of that blessing:
2. All mankind besides sinned and fell with Adam in that first transgression. His sin of eating the forbidden fruit is imputed to them; i. e. is reckoned theirs, as if they had committed it. Consider,
(1.) The scripture plainly testifies, that all sinned in him, Rom. v. 12. By one man's sin, death entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.' Hence it is plain, that death has not come into the world but in pursuit of sin; all die, for all have sinned. Infants are not exempted more than others. We see graves of an infant's length; yea, sometimes the womb is made their grave, and they get a coffin instead of a cradle. It is long ere infants laugh, but they come into the world crying; a sure evidence of misery. What have they done? What could they do ? Yet God is just, and is not pursuing innocents. What then can be the quarrel but this, that they are taken prisoners for the debt contracted by their father? ver. 14.
(2.) All fell with him into misery by that sin. Now, a just God will not involve the innocent with the guilty in the same punishment. Consider,
[1.] All fell under the guilt of eternal wrath for that sin, Rom. v. 16, 18. “The judgment was by one to condemnation.-By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.? Now, where there is a commu. nion of guilt there must needs be a cominunion of sin; for the law can bind none over to punishment but for sin. . All die in Adam,says the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 22. but it is only the soul that sins that shall die, Ezek. xviij. 4. there. fore all sinned in Adam.
[2.] All fell under the loss of God's image, and the corruption of nature with him. How comes it that all men must say with David, Psal. li. 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me?" Take away the imputation of Adam's sin, and there is no foundation for the corruption of nature. It must be some sin that God punishes with the deprivation of original righte, ousness, which can be no other than the first sin of Adam.
[3.] All the punishments inflicted on Adam and Eve, for that sin, as specified in Gen. iii. are common to mankind, their posterity; and therefore the sin must be so too.
III. I come now to shew how the first sin of Adam comes to be imputed to us. The great reason of this is, because we are all included in Adam's covenant. The coyenant was made with him, not only for himself, but for all his posterity. Consider here,
1. It was the covenant of works that was made with Adam, the condition whereaf was pertect obedience. This was the first covenant. As for the covenant of grace, made with the second Adam.
2. It was made with him for himself. That was the way he himself was to attain perfect happiness; his own stock was in that ship.
3. It was made not only for himself, but for all his posterity descending from him by ordinary generation. So that he was not here as a mere private person, but as a public person, the moral head and representative of all mankind. Hence the scripture holds forth Adam and Christ, as if there never had been any but these two men in the world, 1 Cor. xv. 47. • The first man is of the earth, earthy, (says he); the second man is the Lord from heaven.' And this he does, because they were two public persons, each of them having under them persons represented by them,
Rom. v. 14, 18. Death reigned from 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. 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.' This is plain from the imputation of Adam's sin, which necessarily requires this as the foundation of it. We being thus included and represented in that covenant, what he did he did as our head, and therefore it is justly im puted to us.
But some may be ready to say, we made not choice of Adam for that purpose. Ans. (1.) God made the choice, who was as meet to make it for us as we for ourselves. And . who art thou that repliest against God.' (2.) Adam was our natural head, the common father of us all, Acts xvii. 26. and who was so meet to be trusted with the concerns of all mankind as he? But to clear further the reasonable. pess of this imputation, and to still the murmurings of proud nature against the dispensation of God, consider,
1, Adam's sin is imputed to us, because it is ours. For God doth not reckon a thing ours, which is not so, Rom. ii. 2. The judgment of God is according to truth. For God's justice doth not punish men for a sin which is no way theirs. And it is our sin upon the account aforesaid. Even
. as Christ's righteousness is ours by virtue of our union with him. As if a person that has the plague infect others, and they die, they die, by their own plague, and not by that of another.
2. It was free for God, antecedently to the covenant made with man, either to have annihilated all mankind, or if he had preserved them, to have given them no promise of eternal life in heaven, notwithstanding by natural justice they would have been liable to his wrath in case of sin. Was it not then an act of grace in God to make such a rich cove. nant as this ? and would not men have consented to this representation gladly in this case ?
3. Adam had a power to stand if he would, being made after the image of God, Gen. i. 26. He was set down with a stock capable to be improved to the eternal upmaking of all his posterity. So that he was as capable to stand as any afterwards could be for themselves: and this was a trial that
would have soon been over, while the other would have been continually a-doing, had men been created independent on him as their representative.
4. He had natural affection the strongest to engage him. He was our father, and all we the children that were in his loins, to whom we had as good ground to trust as to any other creature.
5. His own stock was in the ship; his all lay at stake as well as ours. Forgetting our interest, he behoved to disre, gard his own, for he had no separate interest from ours.
6. If he had stood, we could never have fallen; he had gained for us eternal happiness; the image of God, and the crown of glory, would have descended from him to us by a sure conveyance,
And is it not reasonable, on the other hand, that if he fell, we should fall, and bear the loss? No man quarrels, that when a master sets his land in tack to a man and his heirs
conditions, if the first possessor break the bargain, the heirs be denuded of it.
7. Lastly, All that quarrel this dispensation must renounce their part in Christ: for we are made righteous by him, as sinners are made guilty by Adam. If we fall in with the one, why not with the other? We chose Christ for our head in the second covenant, no more than we did Adam in the first covenant,
A few inferences shall conclude this subject.
1. Hence see the dreadful nature of sin; one sin could destroy a whole world. What a plague of plagues must this sin be, that has swept away not families, towns, and countries only, but the whole race of mankind! View it in this glass, if you would know it aright.
2. Let this be a lesson to parents. Adam's fall should be a watch-word to every parent, to endeavour by all means to do nothing that may bring ruin on their children. Many times children are destroyed by their parents, through their bad example, and their omission of exercising proper discipline and correction on them. Ye that are parents, give your children a good and pious example, accompanied with wholesome precepts and instructions. And watch over and narrowly observe their behaviour, and pray for and with them, that they may be delivered from wrath and condemnation.
3. This doctrine affords a lesson of humility to all. The rich have no cause to boast of their wealth and abundance : for they have a sad heritage left to them, and the poor and needy have the very same. If one man be better than another, no thanks to us; for we are all alike by nature. 4. Hence view and wonder at the redemption purchased
fallen sinners by the obedience and death of Christ, Behold here the necessity of it: What could they do for their help that came into the world under a sentence of condemnation the seasonableness of this deliverance, when the sentence was passed on all :-the perfection of it ; it takes away this first sin, and all others too. How strong must the power of the grace of Christ be, that could stop the torrent of Adam's sin, when increased with innumerable actual transgressions ? Rom. v. 16.
5. Lastly, Quit your hold of the first Adam and his covenant, and come to and unite with Christ by faith, and lay hold on his covenant, 1 Cor. xv. 22. Flee to and make use of his blood for the taking away of the first sin in particular, and mourn for it before the Lord. If this be not removed, it will ruin you. And to stir you up to a concern about this sin, consider how we are naturally writing after this copy, by our unbelief of the word, our affecting mainly what is forbidden, &c. as I shewed before. The offer of Christ as a Saviour from sin is made to you; and ye are called to em. brace him as a Saviour to you in particular. Accept the offer, as ye regard the salvation of your souls; otherwise you will be ruined, not only by the breach of the first covenant, but by despising of the second, which is the only means devised by infinite wisdom for the recovery of fallen sinners.
OF THE SINFULNESS OF MAN'S NATURAL STATE.
Psal. li. 5.—Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did
my mother conceive me.
AN that was holy and happy is now fallen ; and his
fall should never be forgotten, but lamented, though it were with tears of blood, Man's first sin was the spring of all our woes, the poisonous fountain from whence all our mi.