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to perceive, to love or hate, to choose or refuse, in any period of his life; he can as easily tell how Adam began to perceive, to love and hate, to choose and refuse, the first moment, in which his soul was united to his body. If ever his implanted powers could constitute him a moral agent, they must have made him a moral agent, in that very instant, in which God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. The Apostle tells us, “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” It was impossible, therefore, that God should make the soul of Adam like a clean piece of paper, and preserve it so, a single moment, after he had given him the power of perception. For, as soon as he perceived any object, he must have had some moral exercise towards it, which would have stamped his character either as virtuous, or vicious. Hence it is clearly evident, that Adam was created either sinful, or holy; and since none pretend, that he was created sinful, all must al. low, that he was made upright, agreeably to the declaration in the text.
I go on to observe,
3. That it appears from the account, which Moses gives of the creation of Adam, that God made him
ирright: We have this account in Genesis i, 26, 27. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.” Some suppose, this divine image consisted in the exterior glory of Adarn's body, which resembled the exterior glory of the great Mediator, before he appeared in the
form of a servant, and tabernacled in flesh. But, perhaps, there is no just foundation for this opinion.
Others suppose, this divine image consisted in the superior intellectual powers of Adam, by which he excelled all the inferior creation, and resembled the natural perfections of his Maker. There is, indeed, some truth in this supposition. The human understanding does bear some resemblance of the divine intelligence. And in this respect, men still bear the natural image of God's natural perfections. Hence we are told since the flood, “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."
But there is still a higher sense, in which man might have borne the image of his Maker; and that is, in respect to his righteousness, or true holiness. God hath a moral as well as natural character; or he hath moral as well as natural perfections. Adam, therefore, might have resembled him in his moral as well as his natural attributes. Adam's heart might have resembled the heart of the Deity, as much as his understanding resembled the divine understanding. And since God designed to make man resemble himself, it is most natural to suppose, that he would make him resemble himself, in the highest and noblest point of resemblance, that is, in his holiness or moral excellence. This reasonable supposition we fịnd to be scriptural. For, we are assured, that God did make Adam a man after his own heart, or in his moral image, by the Apostle Paul, who explains the image of God in man, in this noble and important sense. To the Ephesians he says, “Put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the nere man, which afte?
God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” And he represents the Colossians as actualy bearing this moral image of their Maker. “Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” It appears from these passages, that the image of God in saints consists in moral rectitude, or uprightness of heart. If we allow Scripture to explain itself, we must conclude, that God made Adam holy and upright. For we are told by one inspired Writer, that God made man in his own image, and after his own likeness; and by another, that the image and likeness of God in men, consists in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness.
We may observe once more,*
4. That the history of Adam, from the time of his creation to the time of his eating the forbidden fruit, affords a clear and convincing evidence of his being originally formed in the moral image of his Maker. We are told, that, after God formed man the last of his works, "he saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” But how could man, who was a moral agent, be very good, unless his heart, or moral character, was pure and holy? Had he been destitute of virtue, or true holiness, he must have appeared extremely odious in the eyes of perfect purity. We are told, that God blessed Adam; that he gave him dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowls of the air, and over every living creature; that he gave him the free use of all the fruits of the earth, and of all the trees of the garden, except one; and that to crown all his other earthly blessings, he provided a help meet for him, who was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, the companion of his life, and the promoter and partner of all his felicity. While God bestowed these fa
vors upon him, he gave an implicit approbation of his moral character. Besides all this, God kept up a friendly and familiar intercourse with him. He appeared to him and conversed with him from time to time, with great freedom and condescension. He brought all the animal tribes before him, and allowed him to give them such ņames as he pleased. He pointed out to him his daily employment, and directed him to dress and keep the garden of Eden. And finally, he gave him one plain, easy, positive prohibition, by observing which, he might confirm himself in holiness, and secure the perpetual favor and enjoyment of his Maker. How long this intercourse between God and Adam was kept up, the Scripture does not inform us. Mr. Worthington supposes, however, that it continued several months. But divines in general sappose, it was of very short duration, even less than twenty-four hours. This they conjecture from God's appearing to Adam after he had sinned, in the cool of the day; which they imagine means the evening of the day, in which he was created. But the various transactions which took place, between the creation of Adam and his apostasy from God, seem to require a longer space of time; and why a longer space may not be allowed, it is not easy to say. But whether that term were longer or shorter, the history of Adam clearly proves, that his eating the forbidden fruit was his first sin. And if that were his first sin, there can be no doubt but he was perfectly holy and innocent, until he had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Accordingly his history informs us, that then, and not till then, God manifested his displeasure towards him; denounced the sentence of death, cursed the ground for his sake, drove him out of Paradise, and subjected him to all the pains and miseries of the present life. This confirms all the
preceding observations, and sufficiently proves, that God made man holy or morally upright.
I shall now close the subject, with a few remarks on the primitive state and character of Adam.
1. He was a 'noble and excellent creature, as he came out of the forming hand of his Maker.
Some entertain very low and unworthy ideas of our first Parent in his primitive state. They imagine he was equally destitute of virtue and vice, and equally inclined to either. And though they admit he might gradually acquire some moral goodness; yet they suppose his primitive virtue was far inferior to the virtue of some of the ancient patriarchs, and too weak to resist such strong temptations, as their virtue often resisted and overcame. As they suppose it required no great abilities to keep and dress the garden of Eden, and to give names to the various and numerous species of animals; so they conceive that his intellectual faculties were as low and mean as the several kinds of business, in which he was employed. Indeed, they scruple not to say, that they can discover no superior greatness nor goodness in the first man, in his first and Paradisiacal state.
But we ought to entertain a much higher and better opinion of our great Progenitor, while he retained his primitive dignity and moral rectitude. He was made the natural and federal head of millions of immortal beings. And there is no reason to doubt, but that his natural abilities and moral qualities were equal to his dignified station. It appears from what has been said, in this discourse, that his affections towards his Creator, and every inferior object were perfectly right. He possessed more holiness, than any of his descendants ever possessed, in this imperfect state.
Yea, he was, in this respect, but a little lower than the angels