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both which, in their own nature, are perfect ; though, in their application to us, the one is not, nor can be, without respect to the other. The first is the Redemption performed and accomplished by Christ for us, in his crucified body, without us; the other is the Redemption wrought by Christ in us. This last follows the first in order, and is a consequence of it, proceeding from it as an effect from its cause. So, as none could have enjoyed the last, without the first had been, (such being the will of God,) so also can none now partake of the first, or secure to himself the true benefits of it, but as he witnesseth the last. Wherefore, as to us, they are both causes of our justification; the first the procuring, effic cient, the other the formal cause. (Vide Barclay's Apol., Prop. 7, S III.)
The condition in the Fall, may also be considered in a two-fold sense: Ist., As we are in the image and likeness of Adam, Gen. v. 3., the soul being connected with an animal body, possessing sensacions, appetites, and passions, tending io excess, and exposed to the influence of the grand enemy: and, 2ndly., As we yield to temptation, and come under the government or power of the Devil, as Adam did. As these two states comprehend the whole ground of moral evil, so the means provided, through Jesus Christ, apply to this whole ground:-first, as to what Christ has done for us without us, placing us once more in a capacity to receive salvation; conveying to us a measure of Grace, which will bring salvation to all who do not reject it, but submit to its operations : and, lastly, as this work is effected in us, and that change of heart is produced, which constitutes the new creature.
So then, when we consider the present condition of the human family, we find that, on commencing our existence, we inherit or receive two principles, one of evil and the other of good. These two principles are as seeds, not having yet germinated. The mind itself is very much in the same state; being without knowledge, and very much without understanding. As the capacities of the mind enlarge, and its faculties are brought into ac tion, these two principles also begin to work, and a conflict and warfare take place. The soul, being distinct from both of these principles, has the power of choosing which it will serve. If the good is chosen, it, being the stronger, binds, brings down, and casts out the other; and brings the soul into complete redemption, both from sin, and from its consequences. But if the evil is preferred, as we “cannot serve two masters,” the grace
becomes rejected; and though it still, again and again, revisits the soul, breaking its fetters, and giving it ability to subdue the powers of darkness, yet, if still slighted or neglected, it finally leaves us to ourselves, and the government of that principle of evil which we have preferred; for the Divine determination remains unaltered : “My Spirit shall not always strive with man." Gen. vi. 3. .
Thus we are left without excuse. Though we do not commence our existence with that degree of knowledge, that strength of intellect, and enlarged religious stature, which characterized the first man; and, in many other respects, are sunk far, very far, below his primitive state ; yet the grace afforded is sufficient for us,-sufficient for our preservation from sin, from the first dawn of life, to its final close.
And here it may be proper to apply the caution: «What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matt. xix. 6. For Redemption is to be obtained only through the means which God has provided by Jesus Christ. Had it not been for what Christ “ has done for us without us,” we could not have had the Seed of Grace; for it is “the gift of God;" which we could not obtain for ourselves. Without this, the visitations and operations of the Spirit of God in our hearts, could never have been known, and consequently this redeemed state could never have been experienced. Neither, on the other hand, as moral agents, can what Christ has done for us, without us, secure salvation. The Grace afforded must rule in us, or it cannot ultimately benefit us. Even the renewed visitations of his love in our hearts, if resisted, will be so far from securing our final salvation, that they will add a heavy load to our condemnation.
The condition of man, before the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, has sometimes been brought into view. Divine Goodness, in providing the means of salvation for fallen man, by sending his beloved Son into the world, to "taste death for every mạn,” was pleased to defer that outward manifestation, until, by a course of instruction, mankind could be prepared to receive Him. And He whose view takes in, at once, the past, the present, and the future, made it apply, as respected salvation, before, as well as after, the time of Christ's advent. The fathers "drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them : -and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. x. 4. Though light, knowledge, and many spiritual favours, have been more abundantly diffused since the coming of Jesus
Christ; yet, as a means of salvation, his Grace was dispensed before that time, as well as after. This, as William Penn expresses it, was on the credit” of what was promised in the very sentence pronounced on our prime ancestors.
Through all the early ages, the condition of the human mind, and its capacity for understanding in Divine things, required that there should be much outward form and ceremony, addressed to the outward senses, and: illustrative of the great work of Redemption. From a low and servile state, they were to be led, like children in the first rudiments of science, through several dispensations, until, "in the fulness of time;" the Messiah came, and introduced a pure and spiritual dispensation, -abrogating the types and ceremonies which were designed to lead to him, and granting a more copious affusion of his own Divine Influence, than had been communicated under the preceding dispensations.
Having thus briefly stated the doctrine of the Original and Present State of Man, with a few bints relating to the different dispensations, it may not be improper to advert to another subject, which has been slightly brought into view.
In the account which is given in Scripture of the transgression of our first parents, it appears they were tempted by an evil agent,* distinct from man; and that this agent prompted them to sin, when they were in their original innocence.
Through all ages, and under almost all degrees of darkness or light, which have prevailed, however the doctrines of religion may have been obscured, by successive innovations on those truths which God has been pleased to reveal, the great outlines of theology have been deeply impressed on the minds of men. Wherever we go, among civilized or uncivilized nations, we still find traces of the belief of a Great First Cause, and Superintending Power,--the Source of all good, and the Object of adoration. We find, also, evidences of a belief that there is a principle or spirit, malignant in its nature, and the source of all evil. The accountability
* In using the term AGENT, I intend to convey the idea of a being posto sessing the power of action.
of man for his actions, &c., is another sentiment extensively believed. These first principles appear under various modifications, according as they haye been viewed through the medium of light or darkness; but all retaining clear evidences of a common origin, which could have been no other than Divine Revelation. Even the darkest system of polytheism, if carefully investigated, discovers traces of such revelation. But the human mind, not resting satisfied with what is received through this medium, has, through all ages, possessed a strong disposition to bring down Divine things to the level of its own unaided capacity. Hence, among Heathen nations, the attributes of the Deity, and the virtues which adorn the human character, were personified, and denominated deities -; and then attempted to be made visible to the outward senses. Hence all those contemptible things that have been made the objects of veneration and worship, under the general term of idols. The human mind is not yet divested of the same propensity, leading it to leave the ground of all true knowledge in Divine things, and, in the strength, or rather weakness,