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I. The Origin or Cause of Mortality. If we read the account of the creation, the origin of beings, we there find that they were all pure, holy, free from sin, and had no evil in them, but were in peace with one another: the lamb was safe with the lion, and the kid with the wolf was in no danger; the serpent then possessed no destructive qualities, and all creatures lived in the sweetest fellowship and harmony with one another, Adam being sole monarch over them in Eden:--and the state of Adam was then most blessed, for thus we read, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them 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. And God blessed them," and confirmed them in the dominion and power which he promised at the creation of Adam. But it appears that they never had that universal dominion out of the garden of Eden. After the whole creation was finished, it is said, " And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day,” Gen. i.
Thus God declares that every thing which he had made was very good; then, if very good, entirely free from evil; consequently Adam in innocency was holy; must be so, because he was in possession of the image of God; and his nature, as it came out of the hands of God, was naturally immortal, no cause of death was in him; had he remained in the state he was in when first created, he could never have died, for there was no mortality in his nature. Why so ? because there was no sin. He walked with God in the sweetest communion and fellowship, and it is wonderful to notice the wisdom and knowledge he possessed; only observe: “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every liv. ing creature that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field." And it is said by some (which I believe to be a great truth) that the name of every creature was according to its nature, as is fully confirmed in what is said at the formation of Eve: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man." Here we see, though Adam was fast asleep when the rib was taken out of his side, and made a woman, that no sooner was it done, and she was brought to Adam, but he knew her directly, and her origin, and gave her'a name suitable thereto, and a name suitable to her nature: “ This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” And I think it is somewhere said by Mr. John Bunyan, upon being asked how we shall know each other in heaven, that he answered, “ It will be in the same way that Adam first knew Eve, and that was by the Spirit of God.”—If this be admitted, which in my judgment is the truth, then Adam was a spiritual man; and, if a partaker of the Holy Spirit to such a degree in his state of sinless perfection, then there could be no mortality about him; his body could not be a mortal body: no, there was no mortality then in the human frame.—But now we must take leave of this state of perfection, and descend into a state of misery and wo.
The fall of our first parents we have recorded in the third chapter of Genesis. And, as the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, the devil made use of it in preference to
all others; and began first of all to raise a doubt in Eve's mind of the truth of the word of God. And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" And, having thus gained her attention, the devil followed it up by a further attack; for, when Eve said, “But of the fruit of the tree, which is in the 'midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lést ye die,” the devil boldly contradicted God's positive injunction and command, saying, “ Ye shall not surely die.", "And thus the devil was a liar from the beginning : and, having said this, he then set before hier 'the great advantages that would arise from eating of the forbidden fruit; insinuating at the same time that by this restriction God was dealing unkindly in withholding from them so much knowledge: “ For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened ; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”— And upon this she believed the devil's lie, and disbelieved the truth of God, which was the foundation of that most horrid sin of unbelief. Whereupon the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, entéred her heart, (which, John says, is all that is
is all that is in the world, 1 Epist.'ii. 16,) which at once prepared her to transgress the command of God.
when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise," (now, O now, the fatal, and what à fatal moment!)“ she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and
gave also to her husband, and he did eat:"--and the effect was, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked."-Aye, and they knew also what they were ignorant of when in innocency, (0 happy ignoranée!) they knew sin and shame! “And they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." --And then, for the first time, flowed in, as the dire effects of sin, mortality! Here is the origin of mortality, and sin the sole cause. Upon this the image of God left our first parents; and at that moment all spiritual life took its flight, according to God's threatening, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;" and so they did to all spiritual life, and to all communion and fellowship with God; although their natural life was preserved long after that. What a change! instead of life came death-instead of light, darkness--instead of holiness, sin-instead of love, enmity-instead of peace, misery-instead of righteousness, condemnation instead of communion and fellowship with God, they were before him as guilty criminals, and far from him by their sin—instead of knowledge,