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thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Now is there one word of a covenant in all this? Is there any assent of Adam spoken of? There is a command on the part of God and also a threat, but no trace of a covenant of works, as has been deduced from it in later ages. Is there one word said of Adam's being the federal head of his posterity, or of their fate being involved in what he did? Is it not all personal to himself? So far from Adam's covenanting to act for his posterity, there is not one word said of it, nor is it even intimated that he was apprised of the fact. Indeed as to any posterity, it is difficult for us to concieve how such an idea could have entered into his mind, for it is not till the next verse that we read of the creation of woman.

Let us now consider what is meant by the threat “thou shalt surely die.” Are we to interpret this literally? Is it probable that God would suspend his existence upon his obedience, and determine for this one offence to destroy the work of his own hands, which he had so lately created? Is it not more probable that in relating this, Moses uses the language of his own period. And what is that language? Hear the language of this same Moses to the Israelites. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live.” Now is it not evident that life and death here mean the same thing as blessing and cursing, that is prosperity and happiness, or adversity and suffering?

So in the chapter we read from Ezekiel, is it not evident that the threat of death means calamity, all the evils which are consequent upon sin, not the bare event of death itself. For that, in God's real providence, of which these promises and threatenings are the mere annunciation, is only a remote, not an immediate consequence. God does not put every sinner immediately to death, for in so doing he would extinguish the race at once. It would give them no fair trial, to make their existence to depend on one act. God gives men, he gave these very Israelites, whom he threatened, the discipline of a whole life. Have we not then every reason to suppose that Moses uses language in the same sense in speaking of God's threatening to Adam; that it was a general and not a specific threat? We are compelled to adopt this meaning if we would not accuse the Deity of insincerity. For we find that he did not put an end to Adam's existence on the very day he sinned. If we would maintain the integrity of the character of God for consistency, sincerity, and veracity, we must consider that the general threat of death, or whatever threat Moses intended to say God pronounced to Adam, meant just what God afterwards really inflicted upon him. And what was that evil? Expulsion from Paradise, where every thing grew spontaneously, into the world which required cultivation.

“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, saying, then shalt thou not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat 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 unto dust shalt thou return." "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall have rule over thee.” Here then are detailed and enumerated all the consequences and penalties of the first transgression. And what are they?“Cursed be," not thou, but “the ground, for thy sake.” Thou shalt labour for thy bread all thy life, (then he was to have had a life at any rate,) till thou return to the dust out of which thou wert taken.

Adam's mortality is usually ascribed to his sin. But even this dogma is not borne out by this enumeration of the penalties of the first transgression. The reason for it given here is, that man is made of dust. "For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” He is to die, not because he had sinned, but because he was made with a frail perishable body. His sole penalty was to labour while he lived.

The woman was to be subjected to her husband, and to suffer the pains and cares of bearing chil

dren. Is there one penalty here, we would earnestly ask, of a moral nature? Is it not all purely physical? Is there any intimation of such an amazing change of their own moral constitution for the worse? Does God say one word of any great moral change in the natural character and constitution of their offspring in consequence of this one act of disobedience? Is there one word said of them and their offspring being indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all that is good, and wholly inclined to all evil? How do men dare to interpolate such a horrid doctrine into the word of God out of their own invention, without the support of one word or syllable in it? If this doctrine is true, God did not tell man the true penalty, neither the truth, nor the whole truth, nor a hundredth part of the truth. To have told the whole truth, according to this hypothesis, he should have said. “Because ye have done this, cursed be that moral nature which I have given you. Henceforth such is the change I make in your natures, that ye shall be, and your offspring, infinitely odious and hateful in my sight. The moment their souls shall go forth from my forming hand, so detestable will they be in my sight, that I will plunge them instantly into the eternal fires of hell, or if they are suffered to live, such shall be the diseased constitution of their moral natures, that they shall have no freedom to do one single good action, but every thing they do shall be sin, till death lands them with their infant brethren in the regions of woe, unless

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it may be a few, which I will choose, and renovate and change their natures by my own almighty power.” What an awful blot would such a curse and doom have been upon the first pages of the Bible! Such a blot do they put there, who have pretended to draw such a doctrine from the first chapters of Genesis. There is not the least hint in these chapters that Adam sustained a greater moral change by his first sin, than any other accountable being, or that the moral constitution of his offspring was any more affected by that sin than any

subsequent one, or the offspring of any other man by any other sin. The trial was not a moral one, so far as the essential character of the act was concerned. I mean by this, the act was evil not from its own nature, but merely from being prohibited. It had no tendency to degrade and vitiate his character any further than as a simple act of disobedience. It was not like intemperance or passion, which, besides being prohibited, are evils in themselves, and debase and injure the moral nature. Its penalty was not moral, but physical, did not touch the soul but only man's outward condition.

And here we cannot but pause to ask, if there does not appear to have been a great deal of romancing upon the wonderfully advantageous condition in which Adam was created, when compared with any of his posterity? For my own part I never could perceive that he had any other distinction, besides that of being the first man and the first sinner. We are told by Creeds and Catechisms, that

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