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the sun which was appointed to give light, the stars in their courses, the bread which ought to nourish, and the water which ought to refresh them, are all cursed for their sake and occasionally employed as instruments of their destruction. " And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, aud hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee:” Again, “ Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field; cursed shall be thy basket and thy store ; cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land; the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy slieep; cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebuke in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly.” Are not these judgments executed upon us in some degree every day that we live? What frailty and consumption of body, what toil and sorrow in the labor of our hands; what vanity in every earthly enjoyment; what vexation and disappointment in our ordinary employments, what remorse of conscience for what is past, what horror of mind in the anticipation of what is to come, are felt by us until
we return to the ground from which we were taken.
But that your meditations on this subject may be more distinct, I shall follow the ordinary method of considering this DEATH and view it as comprehending,
1. Spiritual deaih, pr the separation of the soul from God. This part of the curse is mentioned first, because it was inflicted upon Adam immediately after his breach of the covenant, and is first inflicted on his offspring in their respective generations. Indeed, the soul in departing from the living God dies by a kind of necessity, as the branch inmediately withers when separated from the vine, or the stream when cut off from all communication with the fountain necessarily dries up, or a member of the body dies when severed from the head. “ They that are far from thee shall perish : All they that hate thee love death." Man is therefore represented as “without strength” and * dead in trespasses and sins.” By these and similar expressions, we are not to understand that the soul ceases to exist, that its rational powers are annihilated, but they point out his utter incapacity for, and his obstinate opposition to all that is spiritually good.- He is dead in sin, he is divested of the original, distinguishing ornament of his nature, the image of God; he is dead, he is lost to the great end of his creation, which was to “glorify God and enjoy him for ever.
Having the understanding
darkened,” as the apostle expresses,“ being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." This curse was obviously inflicted on our first father immediately after his transgression. “I heard thy voice in the garden,” he exclaims, “and I was afraid, and I hid myself. I was afraid;" the language not of conscious innocence but of remorse for guilt; he knew that he had forfeited the favor of his God, and he now trembled under apprehensions of his wrath: that bosom which was formerly serene, unruffled as the ocean in a calm, is suddenly wrought up into a tempest, and resuses to be at rest; is agitated alternately with bitter remorse for what is past, and fearful forebodings of judgment to come. “I hid myself.” A proof of that utter, awful darkness which now covered his understanding : What infatuation to attempt concealing himself from the view of God, who, at one glance, surveys the universe; to whose all piercing eye heaven, andearth, and hell lie open; to whom “the night shineth as day, and the darkness and the light are both alike." The same blindness of mind often appears in his natural offspring : they attempt hiding themselves from Jehovah, by daring to commit in secret what they are afraid or ashamed to commit in the view of the world. As the understanding of Adam became instantly darkened, his will was seized with enmity the most malignant and
invincible. The Lord God was obliged to
one as the other. The carnal mind, that is, the mind of every man until renewed by divine grace,“ is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” We are represented as without strength, destitute either of inclination or ability to perform what is spiritually good; without God, deprived of his likeness, excluded from his comfortable presence and communion; “ dead in trespasses and sins," as unfit for the service and enjoyment of Jehovah as the body when naturally dead is unfit for the common offices and enjoyments of life; “ aliens, strangers and foreigners,” as it were outcasts from God, no longer acknowledged in his family; neither dignified with the name nor distinguished with the privileges of his children. Such is our proof from scripture that mankind are now spiritually dead, and that this is a part of the curse denounced against the breach of the first covenant.
This judgment implies,
2. Natural death, or the separation of the soul from the body. The body of man was originally designed for an immortal duration, and for enjoyments suited to its material nature no less than his soul. But this glory departed from the body of Adam upon his departure from the living God, and is forfeited by all his posterity in virtue of his disobedience. “By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin. “ As