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were not the same with the blessings which were sushended on his obedience. The blessings this suspended, were the blessings of eternal life; which, if he had maintained his integrity through his trial, would have been pronounced upon him afterwards; when God, as his judge, should have given him his reward. God might, indeed, if he had pleased, immediately have deprived him of life, and of all tem/ioral blessings given him before. But those blessings pronounced on him beforehand, were not the things, for the obtaining of which his trial was appointed. These were reserved, till the issue of his trial should be seen, and then to be pronounced in the blessed sentence, which would have been passed upon him by his judge, when God came to decree to him his reward for his approved fidelity. The pronouncing these latter blessings on a degenerate race, that had fallen under the threatening denounced, would indeed (without a redemption) have been inconsistent with the constitution which had been established. But the giving them the former kind of blessings, which were not the things suspended on the trial, or dependent on his fidelity (and these to be continued for a season) was not at all inconsistent there with. 2. It is no more an evidence of Adam's posterity's being not included in the threatening, denounced for his eating the forbidden fruit, That they still have the temporal blessings of fruitfulness and a dominion over the creatures continued to them, than it is an evidence of Adam's being not included in that threatening himself, that he had these blessings continued to him, was fruitful, and had dominion over the creatures after his fall, equally with his posterity. 3. There is good evidence, that there were blessings implied in the benedictions God pronounced on Noah and his posterity, which were granted on a new foundation ; on the foot of a dispensation diverse from any grant, promise or revclation which God gave to Adam, antecedently to his fall, even on the foundation of the covenant of grace, established in Christ Jesus ; a dispensation, the design of which is to delivcr men from the curse that came upon them by Adam's sin, and to bring them to greater blessings than ever he had. These blessings were pronounced on Noah and his seed, on the same foundation whereon afterwards the blessing was pronounced on Abraham and his seed, which included both spiritual and temporal benefits. Noah had his name prophetically given him by his father Lamech, because by him and his seed, deliverance should be obtained from the curse which came by Adam's fall. Gen. v. 29. “And he called his name Moah, (i.e. Rest) saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work, and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Pursuant to the scope and intent of this prophecy (which indeed seems to respect the same thing with the prophecy in Gen. iii. 15) are the blessings pronounced on Noah after the flood. There is this evidence of these blessings being conveyed through the channel of the covenant of grace, and by the redemption through Jesus Christ, that they were obtained by sacrifice; or were bestow. ed as the effect of God’s favor to mankind, which was in consequence of God's smelling a sweet savor in the sacrifice which Noah offered. And it is very evident by the epistle to the Hebrews, that the ancient sacrifices never obtained the favor of God, but only by virtue of the relation they had to the sacrifice of Christ. Now that Noah and his family had been so wonderfully saved from the wrath of God, which had destroyed the rest of the world, and the world was as it were restored from a ruined state, there was a proper occasion to point to the great salvation to come by Christ : As it was a common thing for God, on occasion of some great temfloral salvation of his people, or restoration from a low and miserable state, to renew the intimations of the great spiritual restoration of the world by Christ's redemption." God deals with the generality of mankind, in their present state, far differently, on occasion of the redemption by Jesus Christ, from what he other-o wise would do; for, being capable subjects of saving mercy, they have a day of patience and grace, and innumerable tem* It may be noted that Dr. Taylor himself signifies it as his mind, that: these blessings on Noah were on the foot of the covenant of grace, p. 81, 95, 91, 92, S. V. no. VI, 3 L.
poral blessings bestowed on them; which, as the apostle signifies (Acts xiv.17) are testimonies of God's reconcileableness to sinful men, to put them upon seeking after God. But beside the sense in which the posterity of Noah in general partake of these blessings of dominion over the creatures, &c. Noah himself, and all such of his posterity as have obtained like precious faith with that exercised by him in offering his sacrifice which made it a sweet savor, and by which it procured these blessings, have dominion over the creatures, through Christ, in a more excellent sense than Adam in innocency; as they are made kings and priests unto God, and reign with Christ, and all things are theirs, by a covenant of grace. They partake with Christ in that dominion “over the beasts of the earth, the fowls of the air, and fishcs of the sea,” spoken of in the 8th Psalm ; which is by the apostle interpreted of Christ’s dominion over the world. 1 Cor. xv. 27, and Heb. ii. 7. And the time is coming when the greater part of the poserity of Noah, and each of his sons, shall partake of this more honorable and excellent dominion over the creatures, through him “in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Neither is there any need of supposing that these blessings have their most complete accomplishment until many ages after they were granted, any more than the blessing on Japhet, expressed in those words, “God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” But that Noah's posterity have such blessings given them through the great Redeemer, who suspends and removes the curse which came through Adam’s sin, surely is no argument that they originally, and as they be in their natural state, are not under the curse. That men have blessings through grace, is no evidence of their being not justly exposed to the curse by nature, but it rather argues the contrary: For if they did not deserve the curse, they would not depend on grace and redemption for the removal of it, and for bringing them inte a state of favor with God. Another objection which our author strenuously urges against the doctrine of Original Sin, is, that it disfarages the divine goodness in giving us our being, which we ought to receive with thankfulness, as a great gif of God’s beneficence, ard look upon as the first, original, and fundamental fruit of the divine liberality" To this I answer, in the following observations. 1. This argument is built on the supposed truth of a thing in disflute, and so is a begging the question. It is built on this supposition, that we are not properly looked upon as one with our first father, in the state wherein God at first created him, and in his fall from that state. If we are so, it becomes the whole race to acknowledge God’s great g.o.dness to them, in the state wherein mankind was made dt first ; in the haffy state they were then in, and the fair opportunity they then had of obtaining confirmed and eternal happiness, and to acknowledge it as an aggravation of their apostasy, and to humble themselves, that they were so ungrate'ul as to rebel against their good Creator. Certainly, we may all do this with as much reason, as (yea, much more than) the people of Israel in Daniel’s and Nehemiah's times, did with thankfulness acknowledge God's great goodness to their fathers, many ages before, and in their confessions bewailed, and took shame to themselves, for the sins committed by their jathers, notwithstanding such great goodness. See the ixth chapter of Daniel, and ixth of Nehemiah. 2. If Dr. Taylor would imply in his objection, that it doth not consist with the goodness of God, to give mankind being in a state of misery, what ever was done before by Adam, whether he sinned, or did not sin. I reply, if it be justly so ordered, that there should be a posterity of Adam, which must be looked upon as one with him, then it is no more contrary to God’s attribute of goodness to give being to his posterity in a state of punishment, than to continue the being of the same wicked and guilty person, who has made himself guilty, in a state of punishment. The giving being, and the continuing being are both alike the work of God's power and will, and both are alike fundamental to all blessings of man's present and future existence. And if it be said, it cannot be justly so ordered, that there should be a posterity of Adam, which should be looked upon as one with him, this is begging the guestion. 3. If our author would have us suppose that it is contrary to the attribute of goodness for God, in any case, by an immediate act of his power, to cause existence, and to cause new existence, which shall be an exceeding miserable existence, by reason of exposedness to eternal ruin; then his own scheme must be supposed contrary to the attribute of God's goodness ; for he supposes that God will raise multitudes from the dead at the last day (which will be giving new existence to their bodies, and to bodily life and sense) in order only to their suffering eternal destruction. 4. Notwithstanding we are so sinful and miserable, as we are by nature, yet we may have great reason to bless God, that he has given us our being under so glorious a dispensation of grace through Jesus Christ; by which we have a happy opportunity to be delivered from this sin and misery, and to obtain unspeakable, eternal haffliness. And because, through our own wicked inclinations, we are dispcsed so to neglect and abuse this mercy, as to fail of final benefit by it, this is no reason why we ought not to be thankful for it, even according to our author’s own sentiments. “What (says he") if the whole world lies in wickedness, and few therefore shall be saved, have men no reason to be thankful, because they are wicked and ungrateful, and abuse their being and God’s bounty 2 Suppose our own evil inclinations do withhold us.” [viz. from seeking after happiness, which under the light of the gospel we are placed within the nearer and easier reach of] “suppose the whole Christian world should lie in wickedness, and but few Christians should be saved ; is it therefore certainly true, that we cannot reasonably thank God for the gospel 3" Well, and though the evil inclinations, which hinder our seeking and obtaining happiness by so glorious an advantage, are what we are born with, yet if those inclinations