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Chapter II.

Of The Fall Of Adam.

As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.Rom. 5:19.

The fall of Adam was disobedience to God, by which man turned away from the Divine Being to himself, and robbed God of the honor due to him alone, in that he himself thought to be as God. But while he thus labored to advance himself, he was stripped of that divine image, which the Creator had so freely conferred on him; divested of hereditary righteousness; and bereaved of that holiness with which he was originally adorned; becoming, as it regards his understanding, dark and blind; as to his will, stubborn and perverse; and as to all the powers and faculties of the soul, entirely alienated from God. This evil has infected the whole mass of mankind, by means of a fleshly generation; and has been inherited by all men. The obvious consequence arising from this is, that man is become spiritually dead and the child of wrath and damnation, until redeemed from this miserable state by Jesus Christ. Let not then any who are called Christians deceive themselves with regard to Adam's fall. Let them be cautious, how they attempt to extenuate or lessen the transgression of Adam, as though it were a small sin, a thing of little consequence, and, at the worst, but the eating of an apple. Let them rather be assured, that the guilt of Adam was that of Lucifer, namely, he would be as God: and that it was the same most grievous, heinous, and hateful sin in both.

2. This apostasy (for it was nothing less), was, at first, generated in the heart, and then made manifest by the eating of the forbidden fruit. Though man was numbered with the sons of God; though he came forth from the hands of the Almighty spotless both in body and in soul, and was the most glorious object in the creation; though, to crown all, he was not only a son, but the delight of God; yet not knowing how to rest satisfied with these 5 high privileges, he attempted to invade Heaven, that he might be yet higher; and nothing less would suffice him, than to exalt himself like unto God. Hence, he conceived in his heart enmity and hatred against the Divine Being, his Creator and Father, whom, had it been in his power, he was disposed utterly to undo. Who could commit a sin more detestable than this? or what greater abomination is there, that it was possible to meditate?

3. Hence it was, that man became inwardly like Satan himself, bearing his likeness in the heart; since both had now committed the same sin, both having rebelled against the majesty of Heaven. Man no more exhibits an image of God, but rather that of the Devil; he no longer is an instrument in the hands of God, but is become an organ of Satan, and is thereby rendered capable of every species of diabolical wickedness: so that, having lost that image which was heavenly, spiritual, and divine, he is altogether earthly, sensual, and brutish. For the devil, designing to imprint his own image upon man, fascinated him so entirely by a train of enticing and deceitful words, that man permitted him to sow that hateful seed in his soul, which is hence termed the seed of the serpent; and by which is chiefly meant, self-love, self-will, and the ambition of being as God. On this account it is, that the Scriptures term those who are intoxicated with self-love, “a generation of vipers.” Matt. 3:7. And all those who are of a proud and devilish nature, “the seed (progeny) of the serpent.” So the Almighty, addressing the serpent, says, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Gen. 3:15.

4. From this seed of the serpent nothing but deadly and horrible fruit can possibly proceed; namely, Satan's image, the children of Belial, the children of the devil. John 8:44. As in every natural seed, how minute soever it may be, are contained, in a most wonderful and hidden manner, the nature and properties of the future plant, all its parts and proportions, its branches, leaves, and flowers, in miniature; so in that seed of the serpent, Adam's self-love and disobedience (which has passed unto all his posterity by a fleshly generation), there lies, as it were in embryo, the tree of death, with its branches, leaves, and flowers, and those innumerable fruits of unrighteousness which grow upon it. In short, the whole image of Satan is secretly traced out there, with all its marks, characters, and properties.

5. If we observe a little child with attention, we shall see how this natural corruption displays itself from its very birth; and how self-will and disobedience especially discover themselves, and break forth into actions that effectually witness to the hidden root from which they spring. Let us consider the child further, as it grows up to maturer years. Observe the natural selfishness of the youth, his inbred ambition, his thirst after worldly glory, his love of applause, his pursuit of revenge, and his proneness to deceit and falsehood. And now these evils multiply. Soon may be discovered in him vanity, arrogance, pride, blasphemy, vain oaths, awful curses, frauds, skepticism, infidelity, contempt of God and his holy Word, and disobedience to parents and magistrates: wrath and contentiousness; hatred and envy; revenge and murder, and all kinds of cruelty; especially if outward occasions offer themselves, and call forth 6 into action this latent and deadly seed, and the various evils of Adam's depraved nature. In proportion as such occasions continue to present themselves, we shall observe the appearance of other vices; wantonness, adulterous thoughts, lewd imaginations, obscene discourses, lascivious gestures, and all “the works of the flesh:” we shall behold drunkenness, rioting, and every species of intemperance; fickleness, excessive wantonness, and all that can please the appetite, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. And besides these, there may soon be discovered, covetousness, extortion, chicanery, sophistry, imposture, and every description of sinister practice; together with knavery, overreaching in trade, and, in short, the whole troop, or rather army of sins, iniquities, and crimes, which are so various and so many, that it is impossible to recount or declare the number of them; according to the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Ch. 17:9. And if to those already enumerated there be added, in the last place, the seducing and false spirits; then may be observed schisms in the church, wicked and dangerous heresies, yea, the abjuring of God and Christ, idolatry, the denial of the faith, hatred and persecution of the truth, the sin against the Holy Ghost, with every kind of corruption in doctrine, perversion of the Scriptures, and strong delusion. Now, what are all these but the image of Satan, and the fruits of the serpent's seed sown in man?

6. Who could ever have supposed that such a depth of wickedness and depravity could be found in such a weak and helpless child; that so venomous a principle, so corrupt a heart, lay hid in a babe apparently so harmless? Who could possibly have believed this, had not man himself, by his sinful and abominable life, by the imaginations of his thoughts (being “only evil continually,” and desperately bent on what is bad), of his own will brought it to light, and expressed, from his childhood, what was before concealed as in a seed? Gen. 6:5; 8:21.

7. Oh! most vile and most accursed root! from which springs the poisonous tree that is so fruitful in the production of every kind of plague. Oh, seed of the serpent, most hateful, most dreadful! from which an image at once so deformed and foul is generated; and which continually enlarges itself, as it is excited by outward temptations and by the scandals of the world. Full well might the blessed Jesus so solemnly and strictly forbid, that any, by bad example, should offend little children; knowing that the seed of the serpent lurks in them, as the deadly poison in the venomous worm, ready to break forth into open acts of sin, whenever an occasion presents itself.

8. Learn, then, O man! to know the fall of Adam, and the true nature of Original Sin. Learn, if thou art wise, to discern it in thyself. Examine it, not slightly and carelessly, but deeply, and as the importance of the matter deserves; for this infection is greater, this depravation deeper and more deadly, than can possibly be expressed by words, or even be conceived in idea. “Know thyself!” and deeply consider what thou art, O man! since the fall of thy first father; how thou, who wast in the image of God, art become the image of Satan, an epitome of all his wicked tendencies, and art conformed to Satan in all malice and ungodliness. 7 For as in the image of God all the divine virtues and properties are contained, so in the image of the Devil, which man, by turning himself from God, has contracted, all the vices and properties are to be found, and the very nature of the Devil himself. For, as man, before the fall, bore the image of the heavenly Adam, that is, was altogether heavenly, spiritual, and divine; so, since the first apostasy, he carries about with him the image of the earthly Adam, being inwardly earthly, carnal, and corrupt.

9. Lo! he is become as one of the beasts of the field. For what, O fallen man! is thy wrathfulness? and to whom does it more properly belong, to the lion, or to man? And do not thine envy and thy greediness betray in thee the nature of the dog and of the wolf? And with regard to thy uncleanness and gluttony, are not these evidences of a swinish nature? Didst thou, indeed, but rightly examine thine own breast, thou wouldst there discover a world of unclean and noxious beasts. Even in the tongue, that “little member,” there may be found, according to St. James, a lake of pestilential and creeping things, a hold of every foul spirit, the cage of every filthy and hateful bird (Isaiah 13:21; Rev. 18:2), and, in a word, a “world of iniquity.” James 3:6. Often, alas! do we make such progress in wickedness as to surpass in wrath and fury the beasts of prey; in ravenousness and violence, the wolf; in subtilty and cunning, the fox; in malice and virulence, the serpent; and in filthiness and obscenity, the swine. Hence it was, that our Lord termed Herod a fox, and the unholy, in general, dogs and swine; to whom that which is holy should not be given. Luke 13:32; Matt. 7:6.

10. Whosoever, therefore, fails to correct this corruption of nature, by being truly converted and renewed in Christ Jesus, but dies in the state which has been described, must retain, forever, this bestial and Satanical nature. He must be arrogant, haughty, proud, and devilish, throughout eternity. And when he shall have neglected the time of his purification here, he shall bear about with him the image of Satan in the blackness of darkness forever; as a testimony, that while he was in the world, he did not live in Christ, nor was renewed after the image of God. “For without are dogs and sorcerers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Rev. 21:8; 22:15.

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