« AnteriorContinuar »
Q.7. In what did the chief happiness of man consist in his primitive state ?
A. In knowing, loving, serving, and enjoying God his Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor.
Q. 8. Were our first Parents put upon probation, as it respects their moral conduct, immediately after they were created ?
A. They were. As soon as life commenced, their moral trial commenced. (g)
Q. 9. In what relation did Adam, our first Progenitor, stand to his posterity ?
A. He stood in relation to them as their natural head, (they descending from him by ordinary generation,) and also as their federal or representative head, as it respects their moral state. (h)
CHAPTER X. Rute of Obedience and Life to Man in his primitive
State. Q. 1. What rule of obedience and life did God give to our first Parents, in the state in which they were created ?
A. He gave them what is usually denominated the moral law, which has its foundation in the nature and relation of intelligent beings. This arises solely from the character of God and mankind, and the relations they sustain to Him, and to one another.
(g) Gen. ii. 15—17. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
(h) Rom. v. 18, 19. Therefore as by the offence of one. judoment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift caine upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.
Q. 2. What is the nature or character of this law ?
A. It is spiritual and perfect;--extends to all the thoughts, affections, desires, purposes, words, and actions of men ;-can never be abated, altered, or repealed ;-but is wholly immutable, and as durable as the existence of God and man. (a)
Q. 3. How was the moral law at first delivered to mankind ?
A. It was written on their hearts_impressed upon their consciences; so that, by a proper use of their rational and moral faculties, they might have attained to a knowledge of their duties. The Creator may also have particularly instructed our first Parents in this respect. (6)
Q. 4. What obedience to this law does God require ?
Ă. He requires universal, perfect, perpetual and personal obedience. (c)
Q. 5. What is the sanction of this law ?
A. Eternal happiness to the obedient, and eternal misery to the disobedient. The tenor of the law is, obey and live, disobey and die. This sanction was necessary in order to give force and efficacy to the law. (d)
(a) Ps. cxix. 96. I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy commandment is exceeding broad.-Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.--Matt. v. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil
. (b) Rom. ii. 14, 15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves ; which show thé work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another.
(c) Gal. ii. 10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.--Ezek. xviii. 4. The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
(d) Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death.—Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into
everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.—Lev. xviii. 5. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.
Q. 6. Is every deviation from this rule of obedience sin ? and, consequently, dangerous ?
A. It is. Whatsoever transgresses this law, either in thought, word, or action, is sin, and exposes the transgressor to its penalty. (e)
Q.7. Does sin consist in the external action, or in the state of the heart, whence the action proceeds ?
A. All sin proceeds from the heart. A person is good or bad, according to his heart. The reason why wicked men and devils are criminal in their actions is, that they flow from a sinful heart. (f)
Q. 8. Are all sins equally criminal ? ed than others, 1. From their nature, 2. Froin the character of the person offending or offended, and, 3. From other circumstances.
Q. 9. In what is the moral law summarily comprehended ?
A. It is briefly comprised in the ten commandments, written by the finger of God upon two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on mount Sinai with awful majesty, solemnity and glory. (8)
(e) 1 John iii. 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. Ezek. xviii. 4. The soul that sinneth, it shall die..James i. 15. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin ; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
(f) 1 Sam. xvi. 7. For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.- Matt. xv. 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
(g) Exod. xix. 18, 19. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.--Exod. xxxi. 18. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him, upon moun Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exod. xx. 3.-17.
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the
Q. 10. What distinction is there in the two tables of this law ?
A. The former contains the first four commandments, which comprise our duty to God ;-the latter contains the last six commandments, which include our duty to ourselves, and to our fellow creatures.
Q. 11. What is the summary of these ten commandments ?
A. Supreme love to God, and impartial love to mankind." This seems to be a brief exposition of the whole moral law, which is fulfilled in pure, disinterested love. (h)
earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain ; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
IV. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates ; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
V. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
VI.' Thou shalt not kill.
X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
(h) Matt. xxii. 37-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.-Rom. xiii. 10. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Q. 12. Did God give to our first Parents any test of their obedience, in acilition to the moral law ?
A. He did. He gave them a positive precept or law,* prohibitirg them to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which stood in the midst of the garden of Eden. (i)
Q. 13. What was the design of this prohibition ?
A. It was designed as a test of their conduct, upon which was suspended their eternal state. (j)
CHAPTER XI. Apostasy, Depravity, and Lost Stute of Man. Q.1. What is meant by the apostasy of our first Parents ?
A. Their falling from original moral rectitude. (a)
Q. 2. In what way did our first Parents apostatize?
A. By violating the command of God in eating the forbidden fruit. (6)
(i) Gen. ii. 16, 17. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.
\;) Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.-Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death.--Ezek. xvii. 4. The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
(a) Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. (b) Gen. iii
. 6. And 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, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
* The distinction between moral and positive laws and duties seems to be this, viz. moral laws or duties are founded in the nature or relation of beings, made known by the light of nature ; positive laws or duties are founded in the relation of beings, discoverable by Divine revelation only. As good a reason, no doubt, exists in the Divine mind for the one as the other.