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THAT man once enjoyed a state of greater moral rectitude than he doth at present, was an opinion universally received in the heathen world. Their poets describe this happy state as favoured with the visits of their gods, as distinguished with the highest simplicity of manners, as blessed with the spontaneous productions of the earth, and abounding with universal peace and joy; from which concurring circumstances of felicity they have given it the title of "The golden age. Corrupted as their relations are, they plainly indicate the source from whence originally they arose; and amidst all the dark shades of igno rance and error some bright strokes of traditionary truth remain. For that man came not from the hand of his Creator the deformed and wretched creature he now appears, is certain: and we are no longer left to vague traditions and uncertain conjectures about it, but enjoy from the mouth of hiin, whose hand fashioned and formed us, the account of his own workmanship.

The creation of the heavens and the earth, with all their hosts, by the Almighty fiat, is in the preceding verses with the most sublime simplicity and brevity declared to us: when, to grace

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their new creation, and as the last stroke of infinite wisdom, power and love, consultation is held between the divine persons, (Gen. i. 26.) and man is the result of it: Man, to be created in the image of God, as his 'representative and vicegerent here below, and as the head of the whole family on earth, by whom they should render unto their great Creator due homage and adoration.

"He spake and it was done:" for will and deed with God continually coexist. Behold then the man! "created after the image of God:" adorned with every perfection of mind and body the nature he possessed was capable of; and receiving the divine approbation, pronouncing him very good." (Gen. i. 31.)


This happy state of man, though but of short duration, well deserves our consideration. Whether to affect our hearts in the view of what we are, compared with what we were designed to be, or to endear to us the Redeemer, the second man from heaven, ordained to be the repairer of the breach the fall hath made; or finally to make us long after the restoration of this original righteousness in part below, and to wait in hope for the fulness of it above; when our Redemption obtained for us and begun on earth shall be completed in heaven.

I shall endeavour therefore, agreeable to the words chosen, To set before you some views of man such as he was originally created: Shew you the blessing and felicity he enjoyed Indicate the cause of his departure from it; and how we are affected thereby.

"God made man upright," (Eccles. vii. 29.) his own image was stamped upon him, as far as his nature could be he was a faithful mirror, reflecting the wisdom, righteousness, and holiness

of his Creator. God's great design in all his works is the manifestation of his own glory. God's glory is then manifested when the thing formed answers exactly the end for which he created it. All the creatures in their place and state, from the highest archangel to the lowest of rational beings, are therein, by the law of their nature as dependents, called upon to fashion themselves after the rule prescribed by their great Original. They are then perfect in their generation when they do so, and God is glorified in them. Man in innocence was thus " perfect and entire, lacking nothing" his heart had written upon it the approbation of God's will, and possessed a disposition to obey in whatever particulars it might be revealed to him; so that in general the whole frame of his nature exactly coincided with the rule of his duty.

But to take a more minute survey of his situa


1. Of his intellectual powers. God in creating the first man after his own image,"created him in knowledge." (Coloss. iii. 10.)

His natural knowledge of the world in which he was placed, and all the things and creatures around him, was no doubt most exact and comprehensive. A specimen of which we have immediately after his creation, when "God brought unto Adam every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." (Gen. ii. 19.) But this was the least considerable part of his knowledge.

He had the clearest knowledge of God himself, as the author of his being," in whom he lived and moved;" of the bright perfections of the JEHOVAI, who had made all things around

him to cry aloud, and proclaim his wisdom, grace and power, and of the peculiar obligations lying upon him, not only as a dependent subject, but as a favoured child; in whom therefore the constraints of love united with the bonds of duty.

He had the most perfect views of the rule of his obedience. Knowledge must precede obedience. Where no law is, there is neither transgression nor obedience. Where no knowledge is, the law cannot bind. And perfection of obedience can only follow from perfect views of the rule prescribed and conviction of the obligation to obey. But this the first man had, and he knew also that the laws he was under were not merely arbitrary commands, but in themselves most holy, just and good, fit for God to enjoin, and meet for him to obey, resulting from the very relation they bore to each other; and withal that to submit to these laws was perfect freedom, his own happiness arising from the exactness of his conformity to them.

2. Of his moral powers. These corresponded with the intellectual. Whatever his understanding proposed as fit, his will readily consented to. God had written his law, not as afterwards on tables of stone, but deeper on the fleshly tables of his heart. In this disposition to righteousness and true holiness did his likeness to God especially consist.

The excellence and perfection of obedience depends on the full and free choice and approbation of the will. Hence after the first sin man's unrighteousness appears, and consists most in the alienation of his will from God. This in its original was as exact a copy of God's will, as the impression on the wax is of the corresponding seal; and it followed invariably, as the

needle doth the pole, the manifestation of duty which God revealed. His will was not formed and set merely in a state of equal freedom to choose the good and refuse the evil; nor rested in an indifference to either; (for this would have been in itself faulty, as God's service to a will rightly constituted can never appear a matter of indifference and indetermination ;) but it was habitually inclined to good, and averse to evil: so that whilst yet the power of falling remained, its natural bent was fixed intensely in obedience to the divine commands. No necessity indeed impelled it. For what glory could have arisen to God from service constrained and necessary? Or what obedience, properly so called, could man have shewn, if fate, not choice, had determined his conduct? The freedom of his service was that wherein he was to answer the end of his creation. Hence arose the mutability of his state; though free to stand, yet free to fall. Yet not so free to fall as stand whilst all things within and without him conspired to engage his heart to God, and to fix unwavering his choice on that which was ordained his duty.



3. His affections, passions, and all the inferior faculties of the soul, were framed in due subserviency to the great design, as so many ready servants to execute what reason dictated, and the will approved.


Thus the entire soul of man was then the habitation of the Deity. He daily beheld, what he required, the universal service paid hine. These passions, now become so turbulent and unruly, each ministred in humble subjection before the Lord. Love stood before the altar, and pouring on the sacred incense, kept up the hallow


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