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an external object to invite him. Now objects have no constraining force; they are but partial agents, and derive all their efficacy from the faculties to which they are agreeable. And although, since sin hath disordered the flesh, there is difficulty in resisting those objects which pleasantly insinuate themselves; yet such a universal rectitude was in Adam, and so entire a subjection in the sensual appetite to the superior power of reason, that he might have obtained an easy conquest. A resolute negative had made him victorious; by a strong denial he had baffled that proud spirit: as the heavenly Adam, when he who is rich in promises only, offered to him the monarchy of the world with all its glory, disdained the offer, and cast off Satan with contempt. The true rock was unmoved, and broke all the proud waves that dashed against it.
3. It will fully appear that the disobedience was voluntary, by considering what denominates an action to be so. The two springs of human actions are the understanding and will; and as there is no particular good but may have the appearance of some difficult, unpleasant quality annexed, upon which account the will may reject it; so any particular evil may be so disguised by the false lustre of goodness, as to incline the will to receive it. This is clearly verified in Adam's fall; for a specious object was conveyed through the unguarded sense to his fancy, and from that to his understanding, which, by a vicious carelessness, neglecting to consider the danger, or judging that the excellency of the end did out-weigh the evil of the means, commended it to the will, and that resolved to embrace it. It is evident, therefore, that the action which resulted from the direction of the mind and the choice of the will, was absolutely free.
Besides, as the regret that is mixed with an action, is a certain character that the person is under constraint: so the delight that attends it, is a clear evidence that he' is free. When the appetite is drawn by the lure of pleasure, the more violent, the more voluntary is its motion. Now the representations of the forbidden fruit were under the notion of pleasure. The woman saw the “ fruit was good for food," that is, pleasurable to the palate, and "pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise," that is, to increase knowledge, which is the pleasure of the mind; and these allectives draw her into the snare. Adam with complacency received the temptation, and by the enticement of Satan,
committed adultery with the creature, from whence the cursed race of sin and miseries proceed.
Suppose the devil had so disguised the temptation, that notwithstanding all circumspection and care, Adam could not have discovered its evil; his invincible ignorance had rendered the action involuntary: but Adam was conscious of his own action; there was light in his mind to discern the evil, and strength in his will to decline it. For the manner of the defection, whether it was from affected ignorance, or secure neglect, or transport of passion, it doth not excuse: the action itself was of that moment, and the supreme Lawgiver so worthy of reverence, that it should have awakened all the powers of his soul to beware of that which was rebellion against God and ruin to himself.
Or suppose he had been tried by torments, whose extremi.ty and continuance had vehemently oppressed his nature; this had only lessened the guilt, the action had still been voluntary; for no external force can compel the will to choose any thing but under the notion of comparative goodness. Now to choose sin rather than pain, and to prefer ease before obedience, is highly dishonourable to God, whose glory ought to be infinitely more valuable to us than life and all its endearments, Job xxxvi. 21. And though sharp pains, by discomposing the body, make the soul unfit for its highest and noblest operations, so that it cannot perform the acts of virtue with delight and freedom; yet then it may abstain from evil. But this was not Adam's case: the devil had no power over him (as over Job, who felt the extremity of his rage, and yet came off more than conqueror) to disturb his felicity; he prevailed by a simple suasion. Briefly, though Adam had strength sufficient to repel all the powers of darkness, yet he was vanquished by the assault of a single temptation. Now, that man, so richly furnished with all the perfections of the mind, and the excellent virtues of which original righteousness was composed; that endued with knowledge to foresee the incomparable evils that would redound to himself and be universal to his posterity by his disobedience; that being so well tempered in his constitution, that all his appetites were subject to reason; that notwithstanding these preservatives, he should be deceived by the false persuasions of an erring mind and overcome by carnal concupiscence, as the evil effects of it will not cease to the end of the world, so neither will the just wonder how it was possible to happen: these are the circumstances which derive a crimsonguilt to his rebellious sin, and render it above measure sinful.
III. This will more fully appear in the dreadful effects that ensued. By his obedience he lost original righteousness, and made a deadly forfeiture of felicity.
1. He lost the original righteousness; for that so depended on the human faculties, that the actual violation of the law was presently attended with the privation of it. Besides the nature of his sin contained an entire forsaking of God as envious of his happiness, and a conversion to the creature as the supreme good. And whatever is desired as the last end perfective of man, virtually includes all subordinate ends, and regulates all means for obtaining it. So that, that being changed, a universal change of moral qualities in Adam necessarily followed. Instead of the rectitude and excellent holiness of the soul, succeeded a permanent viciousness and corruption.
Now holiness may be considered in the notion of purity and beauty or of dominion and liberty, in opposition to which sin is represented in scripture by foul deformity and servitude.
(1.) His soul degenerated from its purity; the faculties remained, but the moral perfections were lost, wherein the brightness of God's image was most conspicuous. The holy wisdom of his mind, the divine love that sanctified his will, the spiritual power to obey God, were totally quenched. How is man disfigured by his fall! How is he transformed, in an instant, from the image of God into the image of the devil! He is defiled with the filthiness of flesh and spirit; he is ashamed at the sight of his own nakedness that reproached him for his crime; but the most shameful was that of the soul: the one might be covered with leaves, the other nothing could conceal. To see a face of exquisite beauty devoured by a cancer, how doth it move compassion ! but were the natural eye heightened, to that clearness and perspicacity, so as to discover the deformity which sin hath brought upon the soul, how would it strike us with grief, horror, and aversion!
(2.) He was deprived of his dominion and liberty. The understanding was so wounded by the violence of the fall, that not only its light is much impaired, but its power is so awakened as to the lower faculties, that those which, according to the order of nature, should obey, have cast off its just authority and usurp the government. The will then lost its true freedom, whereby it was enlarged to the extent and amplitude of the divine will in loving whatsoever was pleasing to God, and is contracted to mean and base objects. What a furious disorder is in the affections! The restraint of reason to check their violent course, provokes them to swell higher and to be more impetuous; and the more they are gratified, the more insolent and outrageous they grow. 'he senses, whose office is to be the intelligencers of the soul, to make discovery and to give a naked report without disturbing the higher faculties, they sometimes mistake disguised enemies for friends; and sometimes by a false alarm move the lower appetites, and fill the soul with disorder and confusion, so that the voice of reason cannot be heard. By the irritation of grief, the insinuation of pleasure, or some perturbation, the soul is captivated and wounded through the senses. In short, when man turned rebel to God, he became a slave to all the creatures. By their primitive institution they were appointed to be subservient to the glory of God and the use of man, to be motives of love and obedience to the Creator; but sin hath corrupted and changed them into so many instruments of vice, they are “made subject to vani
And man is so far sunk into the dregs of servitude, that he is subject to them; for by forsaking God, the supreme object of love, with as much injustice as folly, and choosing the creature in his stead, he becomes a servant to the meanest thing upon which he places an inordinate affection. Briefly, man, who by his creation was the Son of God, is made a slave to Satan that damned spirit and most cursed creature. Deplorable degradation, and worthy of the deepest shame and sorrow!
2. Man lost his felicity. Besides the trouble that sin hath in its own nature, which I have touched on before, there is a consequent guilt and torment attending it. Adam whilst obedient enjoyed peace with God, a sweet serenity of mind, a divine calm in the conscience, and full satisfaction in himself; but after his sin he trembled at God's voice, and was tormented at his presence. “I heard thy voice, and was afraid,” saith guilty Adam. He looked on God as angry and armed against him, ready to execute the severe sentence. Conscience began an early hell within him: paradise with all its pleasures could not secure him from that sting in his breast, and that sharpened by the hand of God. What con
fusion of thoughts, what a combat of passions was he in! When the temptation which deceived him, vanished, and his spirit recovered out of the surprise, and took a clear view of his guilt in its true horror, what indignation did it kindle in his breast! How did shame, sorrow, revenge, despair, those secret executioners, torment his spirit! The intelligent nature, his peculiar excellency above the brutes, armed misery against him, and put a keener edge to it—by his reflecting upon the foolish exchange he made of God himself for the fruit of a tree; that so slender a temptation should cheat him of his blessedness: his present misery is aggravated by the sad comparison of it with his primitive felicity: nothing remains of his first innocence, but the vexatious regret of having lost it—by the foresight of the death he deserved: the conscience of his crimes racked his soul with the certain and fearful expectation of judgment.
Besides the inward torment of his mind, he was exposed to all miseries from without. Sin having made a breach into the world, the whole army of evils entered with it; the curse extends itself to the whole creation; for the world being made for man, the place of his residence, in his punishment it hath felt the effects of God's displeasure. The whole course of nature is set on fire. Whereas a general peace and amicable correspondence was established between heaven and earth, whilst all were united in subjection to the Creator; sin, that broke the first union between God and man, hath ruined the second. As in a state when one part of the subjects fall from their obedience, the rest which are constant in their duty, break with the rebels, and make war upon them till they return to their allegiance: so universal nature was armed against rebellious man, and had destroyed him without the merciful interposition of God.
The angels with flaming swords expelled him from paradise. The beasts, who were all innocent whilst man remained innocent, espouse God's interest, and are ready to revenge the quarrel of their Creator. The insensible creation, which at first was altogether beneficial to man, is become hurtful. The heavens sometimes are hardened as brass in a long and obstinate serenity; sometimes are dissolved in a deluge of rain: the earth is barren, and unfaithful to the sower, “it bringeth forth thorns and thistles" instead of bread. In short, man is an enemy to man. When there were but two brothers to divide the world, the one stained his hands in the