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the grossest ignorance possessed them, as we see when “Adam and his wife bid themselves from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees of the garden,” as if there could be a hiding-place from the omniscience of God! O ignorance extreme!--And, for aspiring to infinite wisdom, they lost all, and were turned out of the garden of Eden. Take notice: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, (the persons in the Godhead - Father, Son, and Spirit-are here meant by the plural expression us), to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
But here I must be allowed to trespass a moment upon your time before I proceed, to remark that the saving mercy of God through Christ, the promised seed, was made known to them before they left the garden; for, after they were convinced of sin, felt the destroying power of it, and were brought in guilty before God, they were then brought to believe in Christ, the promised seed, who was to de
stroy the devil and his power in all the elect: and it is said, “Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them;” and when that was done they were delivered from death and condemnation, by the application of Christ's atoning blood and everlasting righteousness to their hearts, typified by the slain beasts, whose blood and skins represented the blood and righteousness of Christ.–And this is plainly spoken of in Solomon's Song, alluding to God's saving our first parents, by his free, sovereign grace, in the garden of Eden, under the very tree where they fell. The words are beautiful, “I raised thee up under the apple-tree; there thy mother brought thee forth; there she brought thee forth that bare thee,” Song viïi. 5. So that our first parents left the garden of Eden as the children of God by election, by adoption, and by grace, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and in possession of a meetness for heaven, being renewed by the Spirit, and born again of him, and so in covenant with God. Thus Christ, the promised seed, was first laid in Eden as the only sure foundation for the church; and Adam and Eve were the first lively stones built thereon, who were followed by Abel and the elect of God in regular succession to the present day; and the building still goes up, not by human might, nor by human power, “but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."
Now to proceed. That sin is the cause of mortality is further plain from scripture. Paul says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” -“ Death reigned from Adam to Moses." • Through the offence of one many be dead."
" By one man's offence death reigned.”— By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation."--" By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." -“Sin hath reigned unto death,” Rom. v.“The wages of sin is death,” Rom. vi: 23; and, in consequence, “It is appointed unto men once to die,” Heb. ix. 27; being by sin, and by sin alone, become mortal creatures : hence all must necessarily die; and the body at death is said to be “sown in corruption-in dishonour -- in weakness," i Cor. xv. 42, 43. “ The body is dead because of sin,” Rom. viii. 10. “ All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” Rom. iii. 23; and the corruption and depravity of human nature by sin is total : “ From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrifying sores,” Isa. i. 6. And to this Paul agrees: “There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that un
derstandeth, there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not one; their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in all their ways, and the way of peace they have not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes,” Rom. iii. 10—18. One catalogue more to prove the sinfulness of our natures, and that sin is the cause of all mortality, and then I have done; "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man; for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile a man,” Matt. xv. 18—20; and prove him to be a frail, sinful, mortal creature: but, when purged from sin, which will be the case at the resurrection of the just, the bodies of the elect will then no longer be mortal bodies, but immortal: immortality and eternal life will then be all in all: the body will be raised in incorruption-in glory-in power—a spiritual body," i Cor. xv. 42—44.' And let this be a concluding proof that sin must be the origin or cause of mortality, because where
there is no sin there is no mortality; therefore the human nature of Christ, being entirely free from sin, it could not be a mortal body: but of this more hereafter.
I come now to treat,
II. Of the human nature of Christ, shewing how his
body was formed.
That the Son of God did assume a real human nature is very clear from scripture. It was settled in the council of peace and covenant of grace in eternity; and hence Christ (Prov. viii. 23,) speaks of himself, “ I was set up from everlasting,” to become future man and mediator, that the objects of God's everlasting choice might be delivered from all the dreadful effects of the fall, and saved in Christ with an everlasting salvation. It is also said, speaking of the Father, " A body hast thou prepared me,” Heb. x. 5. And it is curiously wrapped up in Psalm cxxxix. 15, “My substance was not hid from thee (in the margin it is body) when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth; thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me,