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appetites; that he might diminish his temptations to sin. And as a still greater means to restrain from sin, and promote virtue, has subjected him to labor, toil and sorrow in the world; and not only so, but as a means to promote his spiritual and eternal good far beyond this, has doomed him to death : And when all this was found insufficient, he, in further prosecution of the designs of his love, shortened men's lives exceedingly, made them twelve or thirteen times shorter than in the first ages. And yet this, with all the innumerable calamities, which God in great favor to mankind has brought on the world, whereby their temptations are so vastly cut short, and the means and inducements to virtue heaped one upon another, to so great a degree, all have proved insufficient, now for so many thousand years together, to restrain from wickedness in any considerable degree ; innocent human nature, all along, coming into the world with the same purity and harmless dispositions that our first parents had in Paradise. What vast disadvantages indeed then must Adam and Eve have been in, that had no more in their nature to keep them from sin, or incline them to virtue, than their posterity, and yet were without all those additional and extraordinary means ! Not only without such exceeding great means as we now have, when our lives are made so very short, but having vastly less advantages than their antediluvian posterity, who to prevent their being wicked, and to make them good, had so much labor and toil, sweat and sorrow, briers and thorns, with a body gradually decaying and returning to the dust; when our first parents had the extreme disadvantage of being placed in the midst of so many and exceeding great temptations, not only without toil or sorrow, pain or disease, to humble and mortify them, and a sentence of death to wean them from the world, but in the midst of the most exquisite and alluring sensitive delights, the reverse in every respect, and to the highest degree, of that most gracious state of requisite means, and great advantages, which mankind now enjoy . If mankind now under these vast restraints, and great advantages, are not restrained from general, and as it were universal wickedness, how could it be expected that Adam and Eve,
created with no better hearts than men bring into the world now, and destitute of all these advantages, and in the midst of all contrary disadvantages, should escape it 2 These things are not agreeable to Moses’ account; which represents an happy state of peculiar favors and blessings before the fall, and the curse coming afterwards; but according to this scheme, the curse was before the fall, and the great favors and testimonies of love followed the apostacy. And the curse before the fall must be a curse with a witness, being to so high a degree the reverse of such means, means so necessary for such a creature as innocent man, and in all their multitude and fulness proving too little. Paradise therefore must be a mere delusion : There was indeed a great shew of favor, in placing man in the midst of such delights. But this delightful garden, it seems, with all its beauty and sweetness, was in its real tendency worse than the apples of Sodom It was but a mere bait (God forbid the blasphemy) the more effectually enticing by its beauty and deliciousness, to Adam's eternal ruin; which might be the more expected to be fatal to him, seeing that he was the first man that ever existed, having no superiority of capacity to his posterity, and wholly without the advantage of the observations, experiences, and improvements of preceding generations; which his posterity have. I proceed now to take notice of an additional proof of the doctrine we are upon, from another part of the holy scripture. A very clear text for original righteousness is that in Eccles. vii. 29. “Lo, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” It is an observation of no weight which Dr. Taylor makes on this text, that the word man is commonly used to signify mankind in general, or mankind collectively taken. It is true, it often signifies the species of mankind; but then it is used to signify the species, with regard to its duration and succession from its beginning, as well as with regard to its extent. The English word mankind is used to signify the species : But what if it be so? Would it be an improper or unintelligible way of speaking, to say, that when God first made man
hind, he placed them in a pleasant paradise, (meaning in their first parents) but now they live in the midst of briers and thorns And it is certain, that to speak of God’s making mankind in such a meaning, viz. his giving the species an existence in their first parents, at the creation of the world, is agreeable to the scripture use of such an expression. As in Deut. iv. 32. “Since the day that God created man upon the earth.” Job xx. 4. “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon the earth.” Isa. Klv. 12. “I have made the earth, and created man upon it : I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens.” Jer. xxvii. 5. “I have rnade the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power.” All these texts speak of God's making man, by the word man, signifying the species of mankind; and yet they all plainly have respect to God's making man at first, when God made the earth, and stretched out the heavens, and created the first parents of mankind. In all these places the same word Adam is used, as here in Ecclesiastes; and in the last of them, used with he emfihaticum, as it is here; though Dr. Taylor omits it, when he tells us, he gives us a catalogue of all the places in scripture where the word is used. And it argues nothing to the doctor's purpose, that the pronoun they is used. ' They have sought out many inventions. Which is properly applied to the species, which God made at first upright: God having begun the species with more than one, and it being continued in a multitude. As Christ speaks of the two sexes, in the relation of man and wife, as continuedin successive generations. Matth. xix. 4. “He that made them at the beginning, made them male and female ;” having reference to Adam and Eve. No less impertinent, and also very unfair, is his criticism on the word jashar, translated ufright. Because the word sometimes signifies right, he would from thence infer, that it does not properly signify a moral rectitude, even when used to express the character of moral agents. He might as well insist, that the English word upright, sometimes, and in its most original meaning, signifies right th; or in an erect posture, therefore it does not properly signify any moral character, when applied to moral agents; and indeed less unreasonably; for it is known, that in the Hebrew language, in a peculiar manner, most words used to signify moral and spiritualthings, are taken from things czternal and natural. The word jashar is used, as applied to moral agents, or to the words and actions of such, (if I have not misreckoned”) about an hundred and ten times in scripturc; and about an hundred of them, without all dispute, to signify virtue, or moral rectitude, though Dr. Taylor is pleased to say, the word does not generally signify a moral character) and for the most part it signifies true virtue, or virtue in such a sense, as distinguishcs it from all false appearances of virtue, or what is only virtue in some respects, but not truly so in the sight of God. It is used at least eighty times in this sense : And scarce any word can be found in the Hebrew language more significant of this. It is thus used constantly in Solomon's writings, (where it is often found) when used to express a character or property of moral agents. And it is beyond all controversy, that he uses it in this place, in the 7th of Ecclesiastes to signify a moral rectitude, or character of real virtue and integrity. For the wise man, in this context, is speaking of men with respect to their moral character, inquiring into the corruption and depravity of mankind (as is confessed p. 184) and he here declares, he had not found more than one among a thousand of the right stamp, truly and thoroughly virtuous and upright ; which appeared a strange thing ! But in this text he clears God, and lays the blame on man: Man was not made thus at first. He was made of the right stamp, altogether good in his kind, (as all other things were) truly and thoroughly virtuous, as he ought to be ; but they have sought out many inventions. Which last expression signifies things sinful, or morally evil ; as is confessed, p. 185. And this expression, used to signify those moral evils he sound in man, which he sets in opposition to the uprightness man was made in, shews, that by uprightness he means the most true and
* Making use of Buxtorf's Concordance, which, according to the author's professed design, directs to all the places where the word is used,
sincere goodness. The word rendered inventions, most naturally and aptly signifies the subtle devices, and crooked, deceitful ways of hypocrites, wherein they are of a character contrary to men of simplicity and godly sincerity; who, though wise in that which is good, are simple concerning evil. Thus the same wise man, in Prov. xii. 2, sets a truly good man in opposition to a man of wicked devices, whom God will condemn. Solomon had occasion to observe many who put on an artful disguise and fair shew of goodness; but on searching thoroughly, he found very few truly upright. As he says, Prov. xx. 6. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find * So that it is exceeding plain, that by uprightness, in this place in Ecclesiastes, Solomon means true moral goodness.
What our author urges concerning many inventions being spoken of, whereas Adam's eating the forbidden fruit was but one invention, is of as little weight as the rest of what he says on this text. For the many lusts and corruptions of mankind, appearing in innumerable ways of sinning, are all the consequence of that sin. The great corruption men are fallen into by the original apostasy, appears in the multitude of wicked ways they are inclined to. And therefore these are properly mentioned as the fruits and evidences of the greatness of that apostasy and corruption.
Concerning the kind of Death, threatened to our first Parents, if they should eat of the Forbidden Fruit.
DR. TAYLOR, in his observations on the three first chapters of Genesis, says, p. 7. “The threatening to man, in case of transgression was, that he should surely die. Death
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