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A very wholesome medicine to save from perishing, ordered by a kind father, or a shield to preserve from an enemy, bestowed by a friend, is as much a free gift as pleasant food. The death that comes by Adam, is set in opposition to the life and happiness that comes by Christ, as being the fruit of sin, and judgment for sin ; when the latter is the fruit of dia vine grace, verses 15, 17, 20, 21. Whereas, according to our author, both came by grace : Death comes on mankind by the free kindness and love of God, much more truly and properly than by Adam's sin. Dr. Taylor speaks of it as coming by occasion of Adam's sin. (But as I have observed, it is an occasion without any influence.) Yet the proper cause is God's grace ; so that the true cause is wholly good. Which by the way, is directly repugnant to the apostle's doctrine in Rom. vii. 13. “ Was then that which is good, made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good.” Where the apostle utterly rejects any such suggestion, as though that which is good were the proper cause of death ; and signifies that sin is the proper cause, and that which is good, only the occasion. But according to this author, the reverse is true : That which is good in the highest sense, even the love of God, and a divine, gracious constitution, is the proper cause of death, and sin only the occasion.
But to return, it is plain, that death by Adam, and life and happiness by Christ, are here set in opposition ; the latter being spoken of as good, the other as evil ; one as the effect of righteousness, the other of an offence ; one the fruit of obea dience, the other of disobedience ; one as the fruit of God's favor, in consequence of what was pleasing and acceptable to him, but the other the fruit of his displeasure, in consequence of what was displeasing and hateful to him ; the latter coming by justification, the former by the condemnation of the subject. But according to the scheme of our author, there can be no opposition in any of these respects; the death here spoken of, neither comes as an evil, nor from an evil cause, either an evil efficient cause, or procuring cause ; not at all as any testimony of God's displeasure to the subject, but as
properly the effect of God's favor, no less than that which is spoken of as coming by Christ; yea, and as much as to that appointed by an act of justification of the subject, as he understands and explains the word justification ; for both are by a grant of favor, and are instances of mercy and good. ness. And he does abundantly insist upon it, that -- any grant of favor, any instance of mercy and goodness, whereby God delivers and exempts from any kind of danger, suffering or calamity, or confers any favor, blessing, or privilege, is called justification, in the scripture sense and use of the word.”
And over and above all these things, our author makes void, and destroys the grand and fundamental opposition of all, to illustrate which is the chief scope of this whole passage, viz. That between the first and second Adam, in the death that comes by one, and the life and happiness by the other. For, according to his doctrine, both come by Christ, the second Adam ; both by his grace, righteousness, and obedience : The death that God sentenced mankind to in Gen. iii. 19, being a great deal more properly and truly by Christ, than by Adam. For, according to him, that sentence was not pronounced on the foot of the covenant with Adam, because that was abrogated, and entirely set aside, as what was to bave no more effect, before it was pronounced ; as he largely insists for many pages together, pages 113.... 119, S. He says, page 113, S. « This covenant with Adam was disannulled immedi. ately after Adam sinned. Even before God passed sentence upon Adam, grace was introduced.” And in p. 119, S. he says, “ The death that mankind are the subjects of now, stands under the covenant of grace.” And in p. 120, S. “ In the counsel and appointment of God, it slood in this very light, even before the sentence of death was pronounced upon Adam; and consequently, death is no proper and legal pun
* Key, $ 374, where it is to be observed, that he himself puts the word ANY in capital letters. The same thing in substance is often asserted elsewhere. And this, indeed, is his main point in what he calls " the true gose pel scheme."
ishment of sin." And he often insists, that it comes only as a favor and benefit ; and standing, as he says, under the covenant of grace, which is by Christ, therefore is truly one of the benefits of the new covenant, which comes by Christ, the second Adam. For he himself is full in it, to use his own words, * " That all the grace of the gospel is dispensed to us, in, by, or through the Son of God.” “ Nothing is clearer (says het) from the whole current of scripture, than that all the mercy and love of God, and all the blessings of the gospel, from first to last; are in, by, and through Christ, and particularly by bis blood, by the redemption that is in him. This (says he) can bear no dispute among Christians." What then becomes of all this discourse of the apostle, a. bout the great difference and opposition between Adam and Christ ; as death is by one, and eternal life and happiness by the other ? This grand distinction between the two Adams, and all the other instances of opposition and difference here insisted on, as between the effects of sin and righteousness, the consequences of obedience and disobedience, of the offence and the free gift, judgment and grace, condemnation and justification, they all come to nothing ; and this whole discourse of the apostle, wherein he seems to labor much, as if it were to set forih some very grand and most important distinctions and oppositions in the state of things, as derived from the two great heads of mankind, proves nothing but a multitude of words without meaning, or rather an heap of inconsistencies.
V. Qur author's own doctrine entirely makes void what he supposes to be the apostle's argument in the 13th and 14th verses, in these words : ." For until the law, sin was in the world ; but sin is not imputed where there is no law. Nev. ertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgres. sion.
What he supposes the apostle would prove here, is, that death, or the mortality of mankind, comes only by Adain's
sin, and not by men's personal sins; and that it is here prov. ed by this argument, viz. because there was no law threatening death to Adam's posterity for personal sins, before the - law of Moses ; but death, or the mortality of Adam's poster
ity, took place many ages before the law was given ; therefore death could not be by any law threatening death for personal sins, and consequently could be by nothing but Adam's sin.*
On this I would observe,
1. That which he supposes the apostle to take for a truth in this argument, viz. That there was no law of God in being, by which men were exposed to death for personal sin, during the time from Adam to Moses, is neither true, nor agreeable to this apostle's own doctrine.
First, It is not true. For the law of nature, written in men's hearts, was then in being, and was a law by which men were exposed to death for personal sin. That there was a divine establishment, fixing the death and destruction of the sinner, as the consequence of personal sin, which was well known before the giving of Moses' law, is plain by many passages in the Book of Job, as fully and clearly implying a connexion between such sin and such a punishment, as any passage in the law of Moses ; such as that in Job xxiv. 19. « Drought and heat consume the snow waters : So doth the grave them that have sinned.” (Compare verse 20 and 24.) Also chap. xxxvi. 6. “ He preserveth not the life of the wicked.” Chap. xxi. 29....32. “ Have ye not asked them that go by the way? And do ye not know their tokens ? That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction ; they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath." Ver. 32. “He shall be brought to the grave.”t.
Secondly, to suppose that there is no law in being, by which men are exposed to death for personal sins, where or when a revealed law of God, before, in, or after Moses' time is not in being, is contrary to this apostle's own doctrine
* Page 40, 41, 42, 57, and often elsewhere. + See also Job iv. 7, 8, 9. Chap. xv, 17...-85. Chap. xviii. 5...21, xix, 29, and xx. 4....8, and many other places.
in this epistle. Rom. ii. 12, 14, 15. “ For as many as have sinned without law, (i. e. the revealed law) shall perish without law.” But how they can be exposed to die and perish, who have not the law of Moses, nor any revealed law, the apostle shews us in the 14th and 15th verses, viz. in that they have the law of nature, by which they fall under sentence to this punishment. “ For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law to themselves ; which shew the work of the law written in their hearts; their conscience also bearing witness.” Their conscience not only bore witness to the duty prescribed by this law, but also to the punishment before spoken of, as that which they who sinned without law, were liable to suffer, viz. that they should perish. In which the apostle is yet more express, chap. i. 32, speaking more especially of the Heathen,“ Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.” Dr. Taylor often calls the law the rule of right ; and this rule of right sentenced those sinners to death, who were not under the law of Moses, according to this author's own paraphrase of this verse, in these words, “ The Heathen were not ignorant of the rule of right, which God has implanted in the human nature; and which shews that they which commit such crimes, are deserving of death.” And he himself supposes Abraham, who lived between Adam and Moses, to be under law, by which he would have been exposed to punishment without hope, were it not for the promise of grace....in his paraphrase on Rom. iv. 15.
So that in our author's way of explaining the passage before us, the grand argument, which the apostle insists upon here, to prove his main point, viz. that death does not come by men's personal sins, but by Adam's sin, because it came before the law was given, that threatened death for personal sin : I say, this argument which Dr. Taylor supposes so clear and strong,* is brought to nothing more than a mere shadow without substance ; the very foundation of the argument have ing no truth. To say, there was no such law actually ex
* Page 117. 5.