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Of the Consequences of the first Transgression, there is not one certain Word spoken from the third Chapter of Genesis to the last of Malachi in the Old Testament. David, Solomon, and the Propbets say nothing certain about them. Our Saviour faith not ONE WORD of them in any of his Doctrines and Instructions, nor any of the Apostles and Writers of the New Testament in their Sermons and Epistles, except the Apostle Paul, and he but thrice.
OUR next Business therefore is to examine these Places fingly and separately, and then to compare them together, and see what Conclufion we can fairly draw from them. And pray do not forget, that I am only helping you as well as I can. l impofe nothing upon your Faith and Conscience. I pretend not to judge for you ; you must judge freely for yourself: Least of all do I pretend to be infallible. Possibly I may be mistaken : But if I am, sure I am, it is through Defect, not of Integrity, but of Understanding; and therefore I claim your Candour and Charity as a due Debt, where you think I am in an Error.
The first of the forementioned Places is
GENESIS, Chap. II. Ver. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it : for in
the day that thou eateft thereof, thou shalt surely die
God having created Man after his own Image, a living Soul, endowed with the Powers of Reason, in order to form in him all the Habits of Virtue, besides the Obligations resulting from the NATURES and ReLATIONS of Things, was pleased, in a Command of pure Authority, to exercise his Obedience to HIMSELF, his MAKER, by forbidding the Use of one Tree in the Garden, called the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. The Threatening, in Case of Transgression, was, that ke mould surely die. Death was to be the Consequence of his Disobedience. Death is the losing of Life. Death is opposed to LIFE ; and must be understood according to the Nature of that Life to which it is opposed. Now the Death here threatened can, with any Certainty, be opposed only to the Life God gave Adam when be created him, ver. 7. Any thing besides this must be pure Conjecture without a solid Foundation. For no other Life is spoken of before, to which Death can be opposed : Nor can we conceive, from any thing in the History, how Adam could understand it of the Loss of any other Life than that which he had newly received. In this Light, the Sense of the Threatening will stand thus: Thou falt furely die ; as if he had said, “I have
“ formed thee of the Dust of the Ground, “ and breathed into thy Nostrils the Breath « of Life; and thus thou art become a living « Soul. But if thou eatest of the forbidden
Tree, thou shalt cease to be a living Soul : " For I will take from thee the Breath of “ Life, and thou shalt return unto the Dust “ of which I formed thee.” Less than this, I think the Threatening cannot signify; and I do not fee how any thing more can be made of it. However, if this appear doubtful, let us suspend our Afsent till we see how this Affair turneth out in the other places.
" OBSERVE, here is not one Word reico “ lating to Adam's Posterity. Though it “ must be true, that if Adam was to have “ died immediately upon his Transgression ; " if his Life was to have been extinguished “ in the very Day he sinned, then of course “ all his Pofterity, as he transgreffed before “ he had a Child, must have been extinct " with him: For from the dead Bodies of " Adam and Eve, they could not have pro“ ceeded in the ordinary Course of Genera" tion."
WELL, Adam and Eve did transgress the Law of their Trial; and the immediate Confequences of their Tranfgreffion are related
GENESIS, Chap. III.
Ver. 7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked : and they fewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: And Adam and his Wife bid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9.
And the LORD God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou ?
10. And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden : and I was afraid because I was naked; and I bid myself.
11. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, where of I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not
12. And the man said, The woman, whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13.
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14. And the LORD God said unto the Serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the
field : upon thy belly halt thou
and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
15. And I will put Enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy feed, and her feed : it mall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise bis beel.
16. Unto the Woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and tby conception : in forrow thou shalt bring forth children : and thy depre shall be to thy husband, and be shall rule over thee.
17. And unto Adam he said, Because thou haft bearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and haft eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy fake : in forrow shall tbou eat of it all the days of thy life.
18. Thorns also and Thistles fall it bring forth to thee : and thou hall eat the herb of the field.
19. In the fweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and to dust halt thou return.
20. And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22. And the LORD God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. And now left be put forth his band, and