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God, whose work is perfect: and because after Adam's fall, when it became morally impracticable for any of his posterity to be justified by it; he is still pleased to continue them under it, judge them according to it, and condemn them to utter destruction' for breaking it. "Is there unrighte

ousness with God?" He would not do these things, if they were not perfectly just. If they appear unjust to us, it is owing to our ignorance; self-love, low thoughts of God, and favourable thoughts of sin. Nay, so far was God from repealing this law, or abating its strictness, after man's transgression, that he republished it from mount Sinai

'All who die in unbelief perish for breaking this law: all who are saved, were thus condemned for breaking it; else why did Christ bear their sins for them? Some indeed talk of another and milder law; but where it is found, when promulgated, what it requires, who does keep it, or who is condemned for breaking it, hath never been, nor ever can be, determined. Others express themselves very ambiguously about our obligations to keep the law, prior to the consideration of redemption. But where there is no law, there can be no transgression; where there is no transgression, there can be no condemnation; and where no condemnation, no occasion for redemption. Thus we repeal the law, and subvert the gospel. Surely, we ought with precision to determine this matter and to shew, that man as God's creature is bound to obey his law; that sin is the transgression of the law; that the wages of sin is death; that Christ died (not for Adam's sin only, or mainly, but) for our transgressions of the law: that they who perish, are condemned (not only or principally because Adam sinned, but) for their own sins; that upon believing in Christ we are delivered from the condemnation of sinners, but are never released from the obedience we owe as creatures; and that the obligation to obey is enforced on us by most powerful additional, motives taken from redemption,

with awful majesty: he requires every one, who would escape condemnation at the day of judgment, to condemn himself, now for his transgressions of it, and to seek forgiveness from his sovereign mercy: Nor would he even thus pardon one sinner, except as his own Son honoured the law in our stead, by his perfect obedience and death upon the cross. Moreover he gives it into the hand of all believers as a rule of life, a standard of sin and holiness; yea, writes it in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Thus doth the most high God proclaim to the whole world his determination "to magnify the law, and make it "honourable." And had we no other evidence of its excellency; this being abundantly sufficient ought fully to satisfy us; yea, to humble us in the dust for acting so unreasonably as to break it.

May we not, however, ourselves discern the reasonableness of it, notwithstanding our partiality in our own cause, and our love of sin? God is evidently the Perfection of glory and beauty,' the Pattern and Fountain of loveliness; from whom all that is lovely in all creatures is an emanation, of whom it is a faint resemblance, which hath comparatively "no glory by reason of the glory that ex"celleth." In himself he is therefore worthy of all admiration, love, and worship. From him we derive our existence, and all that rendereth our

1 Psalm 1. 2. Out of Zion, the PERFECTION OF BEAUTY, GOD hath shined.

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existence comfortable: our obligations therefore to him, as our Creator and Benefactor, are immense; he deserves then our entire and unreserved gratitude. Infinite love and gratitude, though he is worthy of them, his law requires not, because we are not capable of them. Nor doth it enjoin the love and service of an angel; because he hath not endowed us with angelick capacities. The law runs thus; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and mind, and soul, and "strength:" its requirements are proportioned, not to his worthiness, but to our capacities. Of this love the man of the slenderest abilities is equally capable with the sublimest genius; the infant as the aged. In proportion to the superiority or inferiority of capacity, more or less is required: if it be honestly our all, the law demands no

more.

But the law makes no allowance for our disinclination and indisposition to love and serve God with our all; because this is that very malignity of heart which renders us abominable in his sight. Every degree of this temper is a degree of enmity to God; the very disposition arises from pride, love of the world, and love of sin; and in proportion as it prevails, is contempt of God, in comparison with the world, sin, and self. It is therefore in itself infinitely unreasonable, totally inexcusable, and the very temper of the devil; who is completely detestable, because com

pletely of this abominable disposition.' When we

'This disposition is properly original sin, the effect of Adam's ́ transgression. Therefore he, as the root, and we in him as the branches, lost God's favour and image, and became liable to and fit for destruction. That this disposition is propagated by natural generation cannot reasonably be denied: that it is properly the punishment of Adam's sin, seems capable of scriptural proof. If we cannot clearly perceive the justice of this, we must silence our objections thus: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do "right?" True penitents read their own character, and see their own picture, in Adam's conduct, and are humbled for original sin, as the fountain of all their actual transgressions. But as it is always either disputed, neglected, or abused, until the heart be otherwise humbled, I did not think it proper particularly to insist upon it in this discourse. Whilst some appear to lay an undue stress on Adam's transgression, and speak as if it were the only sin, for which we were condemned, or Christ died: others totally deny, and revile the doctrine of the fall, contending that man now is just such a creature, with respect to his moral character and dispositions, as God originally created him. But the apostle Paul more than intimates that the image of God consists in righ teousness and true holiness. Now we know that God created man in his own IMAGE; he also made him upright, and pronounced him very good. The question therefore is, what man now is? If experience and observation prove him to be naturally and universally prone to evil, and averse from good; and if the scripture pronounce him evil, and abominable, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart to be only evil continually he must be fallen from what he was originally.-Ingratitude, enmity to God, pride,ambition, envy, malice, lust, falsehood, and covetousness, can form no part of the image of a holy God; or of that uprightness in which man was first made, But he must be very hardy, who should deny them to form a part of man's present character, Nor can we suppose the God of truth would first pronounce man very good, and afterwards, without any intervening change, so often declare him altogether abominable. How much more does it become our narrow capacities, and proneness to mistake, to rest satisfied with the scriptural ac

therefore shew that the law is holy, just, and good, because exactly level to our capacities, we mean our natural powers, not our moral dispositions: the want of the former proportionably excuses, the want of the latter proportionably aggravates, every failure of any given degree of service, Man, not having the powers of an angel, is excusable in not performing the services of an angel; but being of an unholy disposition, he is therefore the more inexcusable in any particular act of unholiness; seeing it appears that it was no inadvertency, but the rooted disposition of his heart.

To love and serve God with our all is the substance of the requirements of the law in the first table. And what can be more reasonable? Can there be any difficulty in loving one so lovely, being thankful to such a Friend, or serving such a Master, except what arises from the inexcusable. badness of our hearts? For this we are condemned, for this we ought to condemn ourselves, "abhor ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes."

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To love all men with equal estimation and

counts" By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,* by one man's disobedience many were made sinners;" and to adore the depths we cannot fathom: than in the pride of philosophy, and metaphysicks, with such scanty information, to decide upon what we cannot comprehend, and with daring temerity to utter such words, as more than seem to be injurious to the divine character.

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