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5. 2. A second part of the image of God was righteousness. Righteousness sometimes includes knowledge and holiness, but here it is distinguished from both. As knowledge is seated in the understanding, righteousness may denote the conformity of the will to God. Thus innocent Adam not only knew his duty, but was inclined to it; had a will as well as a power to do it. He was naturally and habitually righteous. His heart was properly disposed towards God; with a love of good and a hatred of evil. The law was not written for him in tables of stone, but it was written upon his heart. Happy! thrice happy indeed, was innocent Adam! Whatever was the will of God was his will. Every duty incumbent upon him he was ever ready to perform. The reverse, alas! is the case with us in our fallen state. Only that person is happy, who is the subject of that renewing work of the Holy Ghost, by which the image of God is restored to the human soul.
§ 6. 3. Holiness is another part of the image of God. As innocent Adam had knowledge in his understanding, and righteousness in his will, so likewise he had holiness in his affections. They were placed upon proper objects and exercised in a regular manner. He loved God above all. He considered him as the supreme good, and the grand source of his happiness. He loved the creatures for God's sake; and all the beauty or sweetness he found in them, led him to adore and love his God the more.
In this state was man truly blessed and honorable. His mind was calm. His conscience easy. He knew no guilt. He felt no shame. He was a stranger to fear. No angry passions disturbed his soul. His body was free from disease and pain. He conversed with God, and was as happy as paradise could make him.
§ 7. 4. The dominion which God granted to Adam over the creatures, is by many divines considered as a part of the. image of God in which he was created. In this he resem. bled that great Being who is Governor of all worlds.
That Adam was created perfectly free from sin, and in the full enjoyment of the favor of God, is evident from the testimony of Jehovah, who, when surveying the works of his hands, pronounced them "very good;" Gen. 1:31; and the wise and inspired King Solomon tells us that "God made man upright." Eccl. 7:29.
Reason also assures us that it was impossible for an infinitely wise, righteous, and powerful God, who made man to know, love, honor, and enjoy him, either not to delight in the work of his own hands, the effect of his own wisdom and power, or not to furnish him with those faculties and abilities by which he might answer the end of his creation.
This brief account may suffice, my dear Benjamin, to show the innocent and happy state in which Adam was created.
THE COVENANT, OR LAW OF WORKS.
§ 1. Having in my last given you a brief statement of the creation of man, I will now endeavor to give an account of the divine dispensation with him, generally called the Covenant of Works; and whilst attempting to do this, I feel the solemnity and importance of the remark of Dr. Wit sius, that eminently pious and learned divine: "Whoever at tempts," saith he, "to discourse on the subject and design of the divine covenants, by which eternal salvation is adjudged to man, on certain conditions equally worthy of God and the rational creature, ought, above all things, to have a
sacred and inviolable regard to the heavenly oracles, and neither, through prejudice nor passion, intermix any thing which he is not firmly persuaded is contained in the records which hold forth these covenants to the world. For, if Zalenous made it a condition to be observed by the contentious interpreters of his laws: That each party should explain the meaning of the lawgiver, in the assembly of the thousand, with halters about their necks: and that what party soever should appear to wrest the sense of the law, should, in the presence of the thousand, end their lives by the halter they wore; as Polybius, a very grave author, relates in his history, book 12, chap. 7. And if the Jews and Samaritans in Egypt, each disputing about their temple, were admitted to plead before the king and his courtiers on this condition only: that the advocates of either party foiled in the dispute, should be punished with death; according to Josephus, in his Antiquities, book 13. ch. 6. Certainly he must be in greater peril, and liable to sorer destruction, who shall dare to pervert, by rashly wresting the sacred mysteries of the divine covenants; our Lord himself openly declaring, that whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5: 19."-Economy, page 39.
2. Both from sacred and profane history, it appears. that the most ancient and common mode of making covenants, was by devoting an animal as a sacrifice; cutting it into pieces, and the covenanters passing through the midst of them, and afterward feasting together. The following passages are particularly worthy attention. And Jehovali said to Abram, "Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another; but the birds he divided not." Gen. 15; 9, 10. Gather my saints together unto me;
those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Ps. 50: 5. "I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for meat. unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth." Jer. 34: 18-20.
The covenant between Abimelech and Isaac was accompanied by a feast: "And they said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee,and let us make a covenant with thee; that thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord. And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace." Gen. 26: 28 -31. The making of covenants, with such rites and ceremonies, was not without its signification. The cutting the animals asunder, denoted that, in the same manner, the perjured and covenant-breakers should be cut asunder by the vengeance of God. This is evident from the above passage of Jer. 34: 18: and from the ancient form of these execrations recorded in Livy, book 1. "The Roman people do not among the first break these conditions; but if they should, avowedly, and through treachery, break them; do thou, O Jupiter! on that day, thus strike the Roman people, as I do now this hog; and be the stroke the heavier, as thy power is the greater." Hence the Hebrew expression to make a covenant, as you well know, is very expressive.
Coreth Berith, literally signifies, to cut the purifier, or purifying sacrifice. That the origin of this ceremony is of divine institution, there can be no doubt. And like all other sacrifices, it had for its object, or antitype, the sacrifice of the Messiah, whose soul and body were one day to be violently separated, to confirm the covenant of grace. But more of this hereafter. Having made these preliminary remarks on covenants in general, I will now give you a brief statement of the covenant of works.
3. God having made Adam holy and happy, accommodated and furnished with every thing necessary and conducive to his felicity and comfort, both in soul and body, and having placed him in that delightful garden, distinguished by the name of Paradise, where he had in variety and plenty all the necessaries and comforts of life. He entered into a compact with him, which divines have called by different names. Some have styled it a dispensation, or constitution; others call it a law; and others a covenant, with different epithets, such as the covenant of innocence; the covenant of nature; the covenant of life: and the covenant of works.
§ 4. "A covenant," says Charnock, "is an agreement of two or more persons, in some common end pleasing to them both, upon certain articles and conditions voluntarily consented to by both, and to be performed by each, partly, with solemn obligations. So that in it there are two persons, mutual proposals and conditions, mutual consent, terninating in one and the same end." Hence it appears that although the covenant of works agrees with human covenants in the essential parts, yet it differs in several particulars. The parties are not equal; the plan is entirely of God, and man is bound to receive it without alteration or exception. But we are compelled to use names and modes of dealing among men, to express Divine dispensations. We shall therefore, with most divines, use the expression, "covenant of works," as the most suitable.