« PreviousContinue »
temporal life, in each part of that one sentence, Matth. x. 39. “He that findeth his life shall lose it ; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it,” because in the first part of cach clause, he has respect especially to temporal life.” The truth of the case, with respect to what the apostle intends by the word death in this place, is this, viz. That the same thing is meant, that is meant by death in the foregoing and following parts of this epistle, and other writings of this apostle, where he speaks of death as the consequence of sin, viz. the whole of that death, which he, and the scripture evcry where, speaks of as the proper wages and punishment of sin, including death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal ; though in some parts of this discourse he has a more special respect to one part of this whole, in others to another, as his argument leads him ; without any more variation than is common in the same discourse. That life, which the scripture speaks of as the reward of righteousness, is a whole, containing several parts, viz. The life of the body, union of soul and body, and the most perfect sensibility, activity, and felicity of both, which is the chief thing. In like manner the death, which the scripture speaks of as the punishment of sin, is a whole, including the death of the body, and the death of the soul, and the eternal, sensible, perfect destruction and misery of both. It is this latter whole, that the apostle speaks of by the name
* There are many places parallel with these, as John xi. 25, 26. “I am the resurrection and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die.” Here both the words, life and death, are used with this variation: “I am the resurrection and the life,” meaning spiritual and eternal life: “He that believeth in me, though he were dead,” having respect to temporal death, “yet shall he live,” with respect to spiritual life, and the restoration of the life of the body. “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die,” meaning a spiritual and eternal death. So in John vi. 49, 56. “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead,” having respect chiefly to temporal death. “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die,” i.e. by the loss of spiritual life, and by eternal death. (See also ver, 58.) And in the next verse, “If any manent of this bread, he shall live forever,” have eternal life. So ver. 54. See another like instance, John v. 24....29.
ef death in this discourse, in Rom. v. though in some sentences he has a more special respect to one part, in others to another: And this, without changing the signification of the word. For an having respect to several things included in the extensive signification of the word, is not the same thing as using the word in several distinct significations. As for instance, the appellative, man, or the proper name of any particular man, is the name of a whole, including the different parts of soul and body. And if any one in speaking of James er John, should say, he was a wise man, and a beautiful man ; in the former part of the sentence, respect would be had more especially to his soul, in the latter to his body, in the word man : But yet without any proper change of the signification ef the name to distinct senses. In John xxi. 7, it is said, Peter was naked, and in the following part of the same story it is said, Peter was grieved. In the former proposition, respect is had especially to his body, in the latter to his soul : But yet here is no proper change of the meaning of the name, Peter. And as to the apostle's use of the word death, in the passage now under consideration, on the supposition that he in general means the whole of that death, which is the wages of sin, there is nothing but what is perfectly natural in supposing that he, in order to evince, that death, the proper punishment of sin, comes on all mankind, in consequence of Adam's sin, should take notice of that part of this punishment, which is visible in this world, and which every body therefore sees, does in fact come on all mankind (as in ver. 14) and from thence should infer, that all mankind are exposed to the whole of that death which is the proper punishment of sin, whereof that temporal death which is visible, is a part, and a visible image of the whole, and (unless changed by divine grace) an introduction to the principal, and infinitely the most dreadful part. II. Dr. Taylor's explanation of this passage makes wholly insignificant those first words, “By one man sin entered into the world,” and leaves this proposition without any sense or signification at all. The apostle had been largely and elaborately representing, how the whole world was full of sin, in all parts of it, both among Jews and Gentiles, and all exposed to death and condemnation. It is plain, that in these words he would tell us how this came to pass, viz. that this sorrowful event came by one man, even the first man. That the world was full of sin, and full of death, were two great and notorious facts, deeply affecting the interests of mankind; and they seemed very wonderful facts, drawing the attention of the more thinking part of mankind every where, who often asked this question, Whence comes evil, moral and natural evil? (the latter chiefly visible in death.) It is manifest the apostle here means to tell us, how these came into the world, and came to prevail in it as they do. But all that is meant, according to Dr. Taylor's interpretation, is, “He begun transgression.” As if all that the apostle meant, was, to tell us who happened to sin first ; not how such a malady came upon the world, or how any one in the world, besides Adam himself, came by such a distemper. The words of the apostle, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,” shew the design to be, to tell us how these evils came, as af. fecting the state of the world; and not only as reaching one man in the world. If this were not plain enough in itself, the words immediately following demonstrate it : “And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” By sin's being in the world, the apostle does not mean being in the world only in that one instance of Adam's first transgression, but being abroad in the world, among the inhabitants of the earth, in a wide extent, and continued series of wickedness; as is plain in the first words of the next verse, “For until the law, sin was in the world.” And therefore when he gives us an account how it came to be in the world, or, which is the same thing, how it entered into the world, he does not mean only coming in, in one instance. If the case were as Dr. Taylor represents, that the sin of Adam, either in its pollution or punishment, reached none but himself any more than the sin of any other man, it would be no more proper to say, that by one man sin entered into the
world, than if it should be inquired, how mankind came into America, and there had anciently been a ship of the Phenicians wrecked at sea, and a single man of the crew was driven ashore on this continent, and here died as soon as he reached the shore, it should be said, By that one man mankind came into Mmerica. And besides, it is not true, that by one man, or by Adam, sin entered into the world, in Dr. Taylor's sense ; for it was not he, but Eve, that begun transgression. By one man Dr. Taylor understands Adam, as the figure of Christ. And it is plain that it was for his transgression, and not. Eve's, that the sentence of death was pronounced on mankind after the fall, Gen. iii. 19. It appears unreasonable to suppose the apostle means to include Eve, when he speaks of Adam ; for he lays great stress on it, that it was by one, repeating it several times. III. In like manner this author brings to nothing the sense of the causal particles, in such phrases as these, so often repeated ; “Death by sin,” verse 12. “If through the offence of one, many be dead,” verse 15. “By one that sinned....Judgment was by one to condemnation,” verse 16. “By one man’s offence, death reigned by one,” verse 17. “By the offence of one, judgment came upon all,” &c. verse 18. “By one man’s disobedience,” verse 19. These causal particles, so dwelt upon, and so variously repeated, unless we make mere nonsense of the discourse, signify some connexion and dependence, by some sort of influence of that sin of one man, or some tendency to that effect, which is so often said to come by it. But according to Dr. Taylor, there can be no real dependence or influence in the case of any sort whatsoever. There is no connexion by any natural influence of that one act to make all mankind mortal. Our author does not pretend to account for this effect in any such manner, but in another most diverse, viz. A gracious act of God, laying mankind under affliction, toil and death, from special favor and kindness. Not can there be any dependence of this effect on that transgression of Adam, by any moral influcince, as deserving such a consequence, or exposing to it on any moral account, for he supposes that mankind are not in this way exposed to the least degree of evil. Nor has this effect any legal dependence on that sin, or any connexion by virtue of any antecedent constitution, which God had established with Adam ; for he insists that in that threatening, In the day thou eatest thou shalt die, there is not a word said of his posterity, page 8. And death on- mankind, according to him, cannot come by virtue of that legal constitution with Adam ; because the sentence by which it came, was after the annulling and abolishing that constitution, page 113, S. And it is manifest that this consequence cannot be through any kind of tendency of that sin to such an effect, because the effect comes only as a benefit, and is the fruit of mere favor ; but sin has no tendency, either natural or moral, to benefits and divine favors. And thus that sin of Adam could neither be the efficient cause nor the procuring cause, neither the natural, moral, nor legal cause, nor an exciting and moving cause, any more than Adam's eating of any other tree of the garden. And the only real relation that the effect can have to that sin, is a relation as to time, viz. that it is after it. And when the matter is closely examined, the whole amounts to no more than this, That God is pleased, of his mere good will and pleasure, to bestow a greater favor upon us, than he did upon Adam in innocency, after that sin of his eating the forbidden fruit ; which sin we are no more concerned in, than in the sin of the king of Pegu, or emperor of China. IV. It is altogether inconsistent with the apostle's scope, and the import of what he says, to suppose that the death which he here speaks of, as coming on mankind by Adam's sin, comes not as a punishment, but only as a favor. It quite makes void the opposition, in which the apostle sets the consequences of Adam's sin, and the consequences of the grace and righteousness of Christ. They are set in opposition to each other, as opposite effects, arising from opposite causes, throughout the paragraph : One' as the just consequence of an offence, the other a free gift, verse 15.... 18. Whereas, according to this scheme, there is no such opposition in the case ; both are benefits, and both are free gifts,