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§ 4. The Penalty.

The penalty attached to the covenant is expressed by the comprehensive term death. “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” That this does not refer to the mere dissolution of the body, is plain. (1.) Because the word death, as used in Scripture in reference to the consequences of transgression, includes all penal evil. The wages of sin is death. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Any and every form of evil, therefore, which is inflicted as the punishment of sin, is comprehended under the word death (2.) The death threatened was the opposite of the life promised But the life promised, as we have seen, includes all that is involved in the happy, holy, and immortal existence of the soul and body; and therefore death must include not only all the miseries of this life and the dissolution of the body, but also all that is meant by spiritual and eternal death. (3.) God is the life of the soul. His favour and fellowship with him, are essential to its holiness and happiness. If his favour be forfeited, the inevitable consequences are the death of the soul, i.e., its loss of spiritual life, and unending sinfulness and misery. (4.) The nature of the penalty threatened is .earned from its infliction. The consequences of Adam's sin were the loss of the image and favour of God and all the evils which flowed from that loss. (5.) Finally, the death which was incurred by the sin of our first parents, is that from which we are redeemed by Christ. Christ, however, does not merely deliver the body from the grave, he saves the soul from spiritual and eternal death; and therefore spiritual and eternal death, together with the dissolution of the body and all the miseries of this life, were included in the penalty originally attached to the covenant of works. In the day in which Adam ate the forbidden fruit he did die. The penalty threatened was not a momentary infliction but permanent subjection to all the evils which flow from the righteous displeasure of God.

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