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subjected to this, fora time, that | design, and that it should then the purposes of gospel grace be restored from the curse. might be accomplished. Had Some observations will next not Christ graciously interpos- be made, on the deliverance of ed, the sun would have no longer the creature from vanity.The enlightened man, after he had deliverance for which the creabecome a sinner; the earth would tion groans and travails in pain, not have borne his weight, while is a release from that subjection he was abusing its Author; the to discord, death and corruption, air would not have been polluted into which it was brought, by by his lungs, nor the beasts have the fall of man : from this it submitted to his dominion. Cre- will be delivered, and be again ation would have cast him off, in a state of perfect harmony, and he would have been consign- incorruptible and eternal. It is ed over to punishment. This not meant, that the same system, would have been according to with which we are now connectjustice, and the penalty of the ed, will certainly be restored ; of divine law. But that an innu- this some may doubt; but there merable company might be sav- will be a place, harmonious and ed to the glory of infinite grace, incorruptible, suited to the state the creature was subjected to of the sons of God, where they minister to man, notwithstand will dwell for ever. The heaying his apostacy.
ens and earth which are now, Further : The creature is sub- are kept in store, reserved unto jected to this abuse in hope. fire, against the day of judgment, This scriptural figure is very ex- and perdition of ungodly men. pressive. It represents the crea. The earth shall be burnt up, the ture, as submitting to vanity, on elements melt with fervent heat, no consideration, but the hope of and the heavens be rolled togethsome happy consequences, which er as a scroll, and as a vesture might be obtained by it. It sub-God shall change them, and they mits, as if in hope that Christ shall be changed ; but we look would reform the rebel man, 60 for new heavens, and a new that he might use this world as earth, wherein dwelleth rightnot abusing it, and as in hope eousness. This 'shall be the evthat Christ would be glorified, erlasting residence of the reand turn the whole scene event-deemed. ually to the honor of God, which This creation shall be put to is the ultimate end of creation. the same use, for which the presa And it is truly, for this cause, ent world was at first designed. that the creature is constrained It will be subservient to the chilto be subject to this abuse. dren of God and to his glory
The creation may also be rep- In this new heavens and earth, resented as submitting, in hope all things will be adjusted to the that an end would come to its state of the saints, so as to acbeing abused, when Christ shall commodate them to the employhave answered his purposes ; ments for which they are rethat it might then be permitted deemed. Then the creature will to cast off the irreclaimable, and be delivered from all abuse, it administer to the people of God will no longer be perverted to only, according to its originall serve rebels in wickedness, nor
be an accomplice in rebellion ; Therefore we may be assureda it will be used only in the ser-, that these things will rise up in vice of God. No disorder and no judgment against the wicked. curse will attend any more. It There is a sense, and a solemn will be delivered from the bon sense, in which the beasts of the dage of corruption, into the glo- field, the luminaries of heaven, rious liberty of the children of and the very food and raiment God.
which have supported us, will The time, when the creature be present, as witnesses at the shall be thus restored, will be at judgment, against the wicked, the general resurrection. When and in which the blood of every the saints rise with glorified bo- living creature, which has fallen dies, they will be in need of a into the hands of beasts of prey, place of residence adapted to or died by other means, will be their state, and then the restora- required of us. They will not tion will take place.
indeed be personally present at A considerate mind will re- the judgment, but the account flect, that it is a great crime will be brought forward. Tho in man to abuse the creature, sinner will be arraigned and con, and employ it in the service of demned for all the evil conse, sin. It was made for other pur- quences of his wickedness upon poses, but is pressed into it by creation, and its perversion from man, its lord, who ought to have its noble design and end. employed it for the honor of its
'It is worthy of scrious remark, Maker. It is no small crime to that those who continue through throw the lower world into dis-life to abuse the creation without order and confusion. We have repentance, will soon be desert made every thing about us ac-led by it. It will cast them off cessary to rebellion against God; for ever. The sun will but a we have brought death and cor- short time enlighten them, the ruption on every thing, which beasts' obey, the earth supa walks, or creeps, or swims, or port, or the fruits sustain them. fies ; their miseries and their The creature will soon be am, deaths all lie at our door. Weply avenged on them. Some have enkindled an almost uni- portion of creation will be their versal warfare among them, in prison and will be deeply fraught addition to all the evils which we with vengeance ; and this will impose upon them with our own be its direct end, by which it hands. We have let loose the will glorify God, and for which voracious animals to prey upon it is designed. It will be a lake the more defenceless tribes. Our of fire and brimstone prepared wickedness has imparted the ve- for their punishment. As the nom to the asp, and introduced wicked abuse the creature, so the storms and convulsions of that portion of it will be the inthe elements, and in a measure strument of God in theirdestrucruined the world, by the curse tion, and the creature will be we have brought upon it, even avenged, for all the abuse it shall that world, of which God has have sustained. These heavens made us the lords, and has com- and earth are reserved unto fire, manded it to subserve our happi- to the day of judgment, and the ness.
perdition of ungodly men. If
these elements, which have been For as by one 'man's disobedivitiated, disordered and pollutedence many were made sinners ; by us, and have been pressed in- so by the obedience of one shall to the service of sin, should be many be made righteous.”melted down, and constitute the From these passages of sacred lake, then these very elements writ, we are naturally led to en. will be avenged, and the punish-quire, in what sense the posterment will in this respect be pe- ity of Adam are made sinners, culiarly striking
and liable to condemnation by The godly do, in a measure, his disobedience; and in what use this world as not abusing it, sense, those who are in Christ by improving it to the glory of are made righteous and justified God. They therefore will have by his righteousness or obedithe advantage of the new heav- ence. This is a question of great ens, and the new earth, wherein importance, and concerns our dwelleth righteousness. They eternal happiness and misery. will have such accommodations, In considering the subject, it will as will be suitable to their resurs be enquired, rection bodies. There will be I. In what sense do mankind no curse there. The creature become sinners, and exposed to will willingly minister to them, condemnation by the disobedie who will use it to the glory of itsence of Adam ? Creator:
It has been supposed by some, Finally, from the malignant that the sin of Adam is so imeffects of our sin, even on the putedy or transferred to his posnatural world, we may justly be terity, that they become personled to reflect on its evil and de- ally guilty of his disobedience: structive nature. This should But it may be observed, that lead us to confess and forsake there is no passage in the whole our sins, that we may find mer-Bible, which declares, that we cy of the Lord, in the day when are guilty of the sin of Adam, or we shall give account of our that this is so imputed to us as selves to God.
to render us guilty, antecedent to any sin of our own. It is indeed written, that “ by one
man's disobedience many were Observations on being made sin made sinners.” But his disobe
ners by Adam, and righteous by dience may make them sinners Christ,
by their deriving from him a
sinful nature or temper, and not "HE scriptures declare, that by rendering them personally into the world, and death by sin" clared, that in Adam all die, or that “as in Adam all die ; become liable to death through éven so in Christ shalt all be him. But it appears, that they mad alive”-that “ as by the of- are not condemned to die on acfence of one, judgment came up- count of his sin, but of their own. on all men to condemnation ; For the apostle declares, that even so by the righteousness of " death passed upon all men, for one, the free gift came upon all that all have sinned.” And not men unto justification of life. I only are there no passages in the Bible which declare, that man- | transferred, as to become the kind are criminal for the sin of personal sins of Christ Jesus. Adam ; but it is evident from But it may be objected, that various considerations, that his we have adopted the sin of Adam disobedience cannot be so impu- by approving of the principles ted or transferred to them, as to on which he acted, and have virrender them personally guilty of tually justified his disobedience it. Sin and guilt are personal by our own sinful conduct, and matters-are what belong to thus have become guilty of his one's own moral character or sin. exercises, and therefore can nev- To this it may be replied, that er be so transferred as to be if we have approved of his sin, come the sin and guilt of ano- this approbation is not his sin it. ther. We may be effected by self, but our own sina sin of the sin of others, and suffer evils which we are truly guilty by our in consequence of it; but still own personal act. But this does their sin cannot be so transferred not prove, that we are guilty of as to become personally ours, his personal sin, but only of our when in fact we were in no way own sinful act of approving it. accessary to it. Thus although Adam's sin was one thing, our the blessed Saviour bare the sins approving it is another : he was of mankind in his own body, or guilty of the former, and we of suffered on their account ; yet the latter. Perhaps our approit is certain that their sins were bation of his sin is as heinous not so transferred to him, as to as his committing it, but still it become personally his, and ren- is a different act. These conder him really guilty of all the siderations also evince, that Adsins of mankind. This would am's disobedience is not so transbe a most absurd and blasphem- ferred to his posterity as to renous idea. For it would be say- der them sinful and guilty, aning, that the Lord Jesus, who tecedent to any sin in them. did no sin, and was perfectly ho- selves. ly, harmless, and undefiled, was Further, mankind will never the greatest sinner who ever liv- be condemned, nor, as some ed on earth. Such a transfer of have expressed it, be considered sin, or of moral character, is as guilty in the sight of God, on wholly impossible ; yea, it is a account of the sin of Adam, gross absurdity, or contradiction aside from their own personal in terms. For the very idea of sin. The omniscient God unsin and guilt is demerit for one's doubtedly sees and considers ev. own criminal conduct; and it ery thing, just as it is in reality. implies, that the person is con- And as we were not in fact guilscious of the conduct for which ty of Adam's personal disobedihe is guilty. It is therefore as im- ence, and were in no way acces. possible and absurd to suppose sary to it ; it is certain, that that the disobedience of Adam is God cannot consider us guilty so transferred to his posterity as of it. Nor will the righteous to become personally theirs, and Judge of the universe ever conrender them guilty, without any demn or punish us for this sin. sin of their own; as that the For condemnation, if it is just, cins of all believers should be sol is always grounded on the per sonal guilt or demerit of the con- done in the body; plainly imdemned. Certainly then we can- plying, that their condemnation not be justly condemned for the and punishment are to be acfault of Adam, when we were in cording to their own personal no way guilty of it, or criminal sins and demerit. for it. Neither shall we ever Perhaps it may be objected, be punished, by a God of per- that God declares, that he will fect justice in consequence of visit the iniquities of the fathers the sin of Adam, any more than upon the children, and that manwe justly deserve for our own kind often suffer evils in consesins. When punishment is in- quence of the sins of others. To flicted upon a criminal, it is, if this it may be answered, that aljust, a penalty for some fault or though God often brings evils crime ; therefore to punish man- and calamities upon children in kind beyond their own personal consequence of the sins of their demerit, for the sin of Adam, parents, and as a token of his when they were wholly innocent displeasure against their sin ; yet of it, would be evidently unjust the children themselves, being We cannot then rationally sup- sinners, justly deserve all they pose, that a holy and righteous suffer, and are never punished God will ever do this. The sup- more than their own just deposition would not only be charg- merit. Although these evils are ing the Judge of all the earth brought upon them, as a maniwith injustice, but it would be festation of the divine displeascontrary to plain declarations ure against the sins of their paof scripture. For when the rents or ancestors ; still they Jews complained that the ways suffer no more than they justly of the Lord were not equal deserve, and so experience no that the fathers had eaten sour injustice. grapes, and the children's teeth But we are made sinners, and were set on edge, implying, they exposed to condemnation by the were unjustly punished for the disobedience of Adam in this sins of their fathers; God, in sense, that in consequence of his vindicating his conduct from this apostacy we come into existence false charge of injustice says, with a sinful temper, derived “ The soul that sinneth, it shall from him, and so are exposed to die : the son shall not bear the condemnation. Adam by his iniquity of the father, neither disobedience became wholly deshall the father bear the iniquity praved. And all his posterity, of the son; the righteousness by a divine constitution, derive of the righteous shall be up from their corrupt progenitor an on him, and the wickedness of unholy, sinful temper, or come of the wicked shall be upon into existence sinning. This is him.” This passage expressly according to the universal course teaches, that none will be pun- of divine providence, by which ished for the sins of others, be-all creatures propagate their yond what they themselves de- likeness. And as mankind come serve. Accordingly the scrip- into existence unholy and sinful; tures frequently declare, that so they are, on account of this mankind are to be judged, or their personal sin, justly deservpunished, according to the deeds I ing of condemnation and punish