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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, (the viith of Eccles.) to signify moral rectitude, or a character of real virtue and integrity. For the wise man is speaking of persons 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 says 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 inveniions. Which last expression signifies things sinful, or morally evil; (as is confessed, p. 185.) And this expression, used io signify those moral evils he found in nan, which he sets in opposition to the uprightness man was made in, shews, that by uprightness
he means the most true and sincere goodness. The word rendered inventions, most naturally and aptly signifies the subtile 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, (Eccles. vii.) Solomon means true moral goodness.
What our author urges concerning many inventions, whereas Adam's eating of 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 apostacy, appears in the multitude of the wicked ways to which they are inclined. And therefore these are properly mentioned as the fruits and evidences of the greatness of that apostacy and corruption.
Concerning the kind of Death threatened to our first Parents,
if they should eat of the forbidden Fruit.
Dr. T. 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 is the losing of life. Death is opposed to life, and must be understood according to the nature of that life, to which it is opposed. Now the death here threatened can, with any certainty, be opposed only to the life God gave Adam, when he created him, (ver. 7.) Any thing besides this must be pure conjecture, without solid foundation."
To this I would say : it is true, Death is opposed to life, and must be understood according to the nature of that life, to which it is opposed. But does it therefore follow that nothing can be meant by it but the loss of life? Misery is opposed to happiness, and sorrow is in scripture often opposed to joy ; but can we conclude from thence, that nothing is meant in scripture by sorrow, but the loss of joy? Or that there is no more in misery than the loss or absence of happiness? And if the death threatened to Adam can, with certainty, be opposed only to the life given to Adam, when God created him; I think a state of perfect, perpetual, and hopeless misery is properly opposed to that state Adam was in when God created him. For I suppose it will not be denied, that the life Adam had was truly a happy life; happy in perfect innocency, in the favour of his Maker, surrounded with the happy fruits and testimonies of his love. And I think it has been proved, that he also was happy in a state of perfect righteousness. Nothing is more manifest, than that it is agreeable to a very common acceptation of the word life, in scripture, that it be understood as signifying a state of excellent and happy existence. Now that which is most opposite to that life and state in which Adam was created, is a state of total, confirmed wickedness, and perfect hopeless misery, under the divine displeasure and curse; not excluding temporal death, or the destruction of the body, as an introduction to it.
Besides, that which is much more evident than any thing Dr. T. says on this head, is, that the death which was to come on Adam as the punishment of his disobedience, was opposed to that life which he would have had as the reward of his obedience in case he had not sinned. Obedience and disobedience are con
traries ; the threatenings and promises which are sanctions of a law are set in direct opposition ; and the promises, rewards and threatened punishments, are most properly taken as each other's opposites. But none will deny that the life which would have been Adam's reward, if he had persisted in obedience, was eternal life. And therefore we argue justly that the death which stands opposed to that life, (Dr. T. himself being judge, p. 120. S.) is manifestly eternal death, a death widely different from the death we now die-to use his own words. If Adam, for his persevering obedience was to have had everlasting life and happiness, in perfect holiness, union with his Maker, and enjoyment of his favour ; and this was the life which was to be confirmed by the tree of life; then, doubtless, the death threatened in case of disobedience, which stands in direct opposition to this, was an exposure to everlasting wickedness and misery, in separation from God, and in enduring his wrath.
When God first made mankind, and made known to them the methods of his moral government towards them, in the revelation he made of himself to the natural head of the whole species—and letting him know that obedience to him was expected, and in enforcing his duty with the sanction of a threatened punishment, called by the name of death—we may with the greatest reason suppose, in such a case, that by death was meant the most proper punishment of the sin of mankind, and which he speaks of under that name throughout the scripture, as the proper wages of sin; and this was always, from the beginning, understood to be so in the church of God. It would be strange indeed if it should be otherwise. It would have been strange, if, when the law of God was first given, and enforced by the threatening of a punishment, nothing at all had been mentioned of that great punishment ever spoken of under the name of death-in the revelations which he has given to mankind from age to age—as the proper punishment of the sin of mankind. And it would be no less strange, if when the punishment which was mentioned and threatened on that occasion was called by the same name, even death, yet we must not understand it to mean the same thing, but something infinitely diverse, and infinitely more inconsiderable.
But now let us consider what that death is, which the scripture ever speaks of as the proper wages of sin, and is spoken of as such by God's saints in all ages of the church. I will begin with the New Testament. When the apostle Paul says, (Rom. vi. 23.) The wages of sin is DEATH, Dr. T. tells us, (p. 120, S.) that this means eternal death, the second death, a death widely different from the death we now die. The same apostle speaks of death as the proper punishment due for sin, Rom. vii. 5. and chap. viii. 13. 2 Cor. iii. 7. I Cor. xv. 56. In all which places, Dr. T. himself supposes the apostle to intend eternal
death.* And when the apostle James speaks of death, as the proper reward, fruit, and end of sin, (Jam. i. 15.) Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death ; it is manifest, that our author supposes eternal destruction to be meant,
And the apostle John, agreeably to Dr. T.'s sense, speaks of the second death as that which sin unrepented of will bring all men to at last. Rev. ii. 11. xx. 6, 14. and xxi. 8. In the same sense the apostle John uses the word in his 1st epistle chap. iii. 14.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that hateth his brother abideth in death. In the same manner Christ used the word from time to time, when he was on earth, and spake concerning the punishment of sin. John v. 24. He that heareth my word and believeth, f-c. hath everlasting life ; and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from DEATH to life. Where according to Dr. T.'s own way of arguing, it cannot be the death we now die that Christ speaks of, but eternal death, because it is set in opposition to everlasting life. John vi. 50. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not DIE. chap. viii. 51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying he shall never see
Chap. xi. 26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never DIE. In which places it is plain Christ does not mean that believers shall never see temporal death. (See also Matt. x. 28. and Luke x. 28.) In like manner the word was commonly used by the prophets of old, when they spake of death as the proper end and recompence of sin. So abundantly by the prophet Ezekiel. Ezek. iii. 18. When I say unto the wicked man thou shalt surely DIE. In the original it is, Dying thou shalt die: The same form of expression which God used in the threatening to Adam. We have the same words again, chap. xxxiii. 18.-In chap. xviii, 4, it is said, The soul that sinneth, it shall die. And that temporal death is not meant in these places is plain, because it is promised most absolutely, that the righteous shall not die the death spoken of. Chap. xviii. 21. He shall surely live, he shall not pie. (So verse 9, 17, 19, and 22. and chap. iii. 21.) And it is evident the prophet Jeremiah uses the word in the same sense. Jer. xxxi. 30. Every one shall die for his own iniquity. And the same death is spoken of by the prophet Isaiah. Isai. xi. 4. With the breath of his lips shall he stay the wicked. (See also chap. Ixvi. 16. with ver. 24.) Solomon, who we must suppose
* See p. 78. note on Rom. vii 5, and note on ver. 6. Note on Rom, v. 20. Note on Rom. vii, 8.
By comparing what he says, p. 126, with what he often says of that death and destruction which is the demerit and end of personal sin, which he says is the second death or eternal destruction,
* To the like purpose are chap. iii. 19, 20, and syiï. 4, 9, 13, 17-21, 24, 26. 98, chap. Xxxii. 8, 9, 12-14, 19,
was thoroughly acquainted with the sense in which the word was used by the wise, and by the ancients, continually speaks of death as the proper fruií, issue, and recompense of sin, using the word only in this sense. Prov. xi. 19. As righteouness tendeth to LIFE, so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own DEATH. He cannot mean temporal death, for he often speaks of it as a punishment of the wicked, wherein the righteous shall certainly be distinguished from them: As in Prov. xii. 28. In the way of righteousness is life, and in the path-way thereof is no DEATH. (So in chap. X. 2, xi. 4. xiii. 14. xiv. 27, and many other places.) But we find this same wise man observes, that as to temporal death, and temporal events in general, there is no distinction, but that they happen alike to good and bad. (Eccl. ï. 4-16. viji. 14. and ix. 2, 3.) His words are remarkable in Eccl. vii. 15. There is a just man that PERISHETH in his righteousness; and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life, in his wickedness. So we find, David in the book of Psalms uses the word death in the same sense, when he speaks of it as the proper wages and issue of sin, Psalm xxxiv. 21. Evil shall slay the wicked. He speaks of it as a certain thing, Psal. cxxxix. 19. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God. And he speaks of it as a thing wherein the wicked are, distinguished from the righteous. Psal. Ixix. 28. Let them be blotted out of the book of the LIVING, and not be written with the righteous.--And thus we find the word death used in the Pentateuch, where we have the account of the threatening of death to Adam. When, in these books, it is spoken of as the proper fruit and appointed reward of sin, it is to be understood of eternal death. Thus, Deut. xxx. 15. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and DEATH and evil. Ver. 19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against
you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. The life that is spoken of bere is doubtless the same that is spoken of in Levit. xviii. 5. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, which if a man do, he shall LIVE in them. This the apostle understands of ETERNAL life; as is plain by Rom. x. 5, and Gal. iii, 12. But that the death threatened for sin in the law of Moses meant eternal death, is what Dr. T. abundantly declares So in his note on Rom. v. 20.
(Par. p. 291.) “ Such a constitution the law of Moses was, subjecting those who were under it to death for every transgression : Meaning by death ETERNAL DEATH." These are his words. The like he asserts in many other places. When it is said, in the place now mentioned, I have set before thee life and death, blessing and cursing, without doubt, the same blessing and cursing
See chap. v. 5, 6, 23, vii. 27, vüi. 36, ix, 18. 1. 21, xi. 19. xiv. 12. xv. 10. wiii. 21, xix. 16, 21, and xxii. 13, 14,