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leaven pervaded the whole lump, or by what peculiar arrangement of Jehovah the son apparently inherited the corruptions of his father, were questions which reason of itself could never have solved; although they were convinced of the fact, the cause they were unable to explore. To afford this discovery is peculiar to the gospel of the Son of God. With this celestial light, the bible in our hand, we behold not only the stream of human corruption, but the very source from which it flows.
In Adam, is the declaration of this inspired, unerring oracle, in Adam all die: By one man sin entered into the world.
Your attention was lately directed to the universal apostacy and corruption of man. We endeavored to support the general charge, and to prove from the plain, repeated declarations of scripture ; from the conduct of man in all ages and all circumstances; from their complicated miseries both temporal and spiritual, that all flesh have really corrupted their way, and come short of the divine glory: that sin, this bold usurper, this foe of God and man, has obtained an unlimited reign in our world ; that bis dominion is co-extensive with mankind, and reaches particularly to every son and daughter of Adam. • They are all gone aside ; they are altogether become filthy ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
It is designed at present, with an humble
reliance on the same Spirit for direction, to shew,
I. The manner of its entrance-by one man sin entered: And,
II. The peculiar relation of that one man to all other men, as a sufficient reason why bis transgression was charged to them.
Our first inquiry is into the manner by which transgression obtained its entrance, by one man.
As it is undeniably evident that sin has entered our world ; that it has reigned to the condemnation and ruin of all, it is equally evident that its entrance was by the failure of one. This fundamental article of our religion is no less than seven times repeated in the chapter in which our text is contained. We are taught in the 12th verse, that by “one man sin entered into the world,” and the apostle adds in the conclusion of the same verse,
« in* whoin all have sinned :" It is asserted in the 15th verse, that “ through the offence of one many be dead;" We learn from the 16th verse, that “the judgment was by one to condemnation:" In the 17th it is expressly declared, that " by one man's offence, death reigned by one :” We are taught from the 18th verse, that “ by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation;" and in the 19th we read that “by one man's disobedience many were made,” constituted, “ sinners.'
* I have taken the liberty of following the marginal reading in the present instance, and rendering the words which are commonly translated, for that, in whom all have sinned. The Greek preposition epi in various instances, when it governs the dative, is rendered in. Such is evidently its meaning in Acts v. 40. They commanded that they should not speck, efri onomati, in the name of Jesus. Romans ix, 33–Whosoever believeth, ep. auto, in him shall not he ashamed. Romans xv. 12-ep. auto, in him shall the Gentiles trist. 1. Tim. iv. 10--Ie trust, efri theo zonti, in the
ving God. This translation of the preposition epi, as it occurs in Romans v. 12, is supported by the most correct and profound commentators ; particalarly by Guise, Beza, Stockeus and Theophilact. The latter of these expositors is so explicit and satisfactory that I take pleasure in transcribing his words. whom” he remarks, “ all have sinned ; that is, in Adam all have:
What must we infer from the frequent repetition of the same principle ? What is probably the reason that a particular doctrine is presented to our view again and again, in verses immediately succeeding each other? This circumstance may convince us, that our representation and fall in the first Adam, is an article not only unquestionably true, but of prime importance to the christian's faith. Surely the Holy Ghost, who cannot be charged with saying or doing any thing in vain, would not repeat the same doctrine so frequently, nor establish it by such a variety of evidence, unless it were a truth infinitely interesting ; a truth which ought to be firmly believed and openly avowed by all. He, no doubt, foresaw the fiery opposition which this doctrine would encounter from the carnal reasonings of men, and intended to funish us with ample, irresistible proof for its confirmation. Probably, also, the apostle in this instance was designed as a pattern for those who should succeed him in the ministerial office, shewing that whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear these distinguishing doctrines of the cross must be openly and frequently taught.
for when he fell, they also who had not eaten of the tree became mortal by or through him so that they themselves of fended, when he offended.”—Theop. on Rom. v. 12.
When the passage is thus translated, it establishes our federal relation to Adam beyond a doubt; it appears undeniably evident that we are involved not merely in the consequences of his transgression, but in its guilt; that we are represented in him, were as really considered sinful as Adam who actually committed the *in.
Lest any doubts should be entertained respecting this one man by whom the judgment passed upon all men to condemnation, the apostle particularly names him in another epistle, in Adam all die : in the fall of this their common parent they virtually fell; they actually were involved in the curse, and became liable to death as the just and awful consequence ; from him, their natural and federal head, the deadly contagion has diffused its influence, until his whole posterity is corrupted and destroyed.
Having established the doctrine of our fall in the first Adam, we proceed,
2. To examine the peculiar relation of this man to all other men, as a reason why his transgression was justly charged to their account. Adam evidently sustained the relation of a public representing head : He was not only the natural root from which descend the kindreds of the nations, but their federal head : He was actually constituted their representative in the covenant of works. In consequence of this transaction, he and
his offspring were justly considered as orie in law; whatever he did, they did; while he obeyed, they being represented in him also obeyed; when he transgressed they al80 transgressed, and together with him became liable to all misery both temporal and eternal. Adam is therefore explicitly called the figure, or type, or semblance of him that was to come, of Christ Jesus the Lord, who should afterwards be revealed. For what reason can we imagine that Adam was pronounced a figure of Messiah ? Surely not because he was a man possessing a human body and soul, for in that sense every other man might be called a figure of Christ no less than Adam. He was so denominated on account of some real analogy, some important resemblance between him and the Son of God, which did not exist between any other person and the Son of God. . is obviously this, that these persons, in their respective order, sustained a public capacity ; that as Adam was constituted head in the covenant of works, Christ was constituted head of the covenant of grace ; that as the one represented all his natural offspring, the other represented all his spiritual offspring; that as the latter by his vicarious 0bedience conveyed life and immortality to his seed, the former by his disobedience conveyed condemnation and death to his seed. This important article of our faith is most happily expressed in the Westininster catechism.“ The covenant being inade