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find also affections and passions attributed to the Most Higli, such as love, hatred, pity, compassion, anger, wrath, &c. so man was created with all those' faculties in the image of the great Supreme.
Thus far, we have considered the natural image and likeness of God in which man was created. And man, in his fallen state, still retains all this similitude to his Creator, but it is exceedingly marred and impaired. Yet there is a superior and distinguishing part of the image in which man was originally formed, remaining for consideration. Therefore, I proceed to say,
Fifthly, Man was created in an holy likeness to his Maker. This is frequently stiled the moral image of God. About this there has been, and still is, a continual controversy among moral writers, and among divines. Those who will not allow original rectitude or righteousness to man, readily grant that he was created in a state of innocency, but that he had no more bias to vire tue and holiness, than he had to sin and iniquity. And they also: affirm, that the souls of all children come into existence in the same state, and that there is no such thing as original righteousness or original sin. Others suppose that man at first was created in a state of moral rectitude or holiness; and it satisfactorily appears to me, that these have the strongest reasons, and the most scripture on their side.
Will not reason itself argue from the goodness, justice, and 110liness of God, that if he made a rational and immortal creature to love and serve him, he would not only make him innocent as a common plant or animal, which are innocent creatures, but as this was a rational immortal, the divine perfections seem to require that he should be endued with an inward bias or propensity to holiness and virtue. But the scriptures appear to shed a splendid light upon this subject. Solomon, the wisest of men, assures us, “ That God made man upright.” The original word, which is here translated upright, is in almost all other places rendered
righteous, and thus it ought to have been here, “ God made man "right:ous.” Now, if he was made righteous or holy, then ile was made in the moral image of his Creator. But St. Paul explains to every unprejudiced mind, with the most perfect accuracy, what Moses meant by the image and likeness of God. The chief part of the similitude of Jehovah, in which man was originally made, must have been knowledge, righteousness and holiness ; and the Apostle having been once a Jewish Pharisee, was easily lead to this construction, when speaking of the new creation of man, by the spirit of Christ Jesus. In one place he says, this image consists in konwledge : “And have put on the new man 6 which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that “ created him.” Again he declares it consists also in righteousness and holiness. “And that ye put on the new man, which “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Now, as the regenerated man is created after the image of God, aid we are precisely informed wherein this image consists, to wit, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness ; hence, it appears in a striking manner, that this was the main resemblance of man to God in his primitive state ; and that the image and likeness in which he was first created, was chiefly the moral image of his Maker. His knowledge was perfect both in a natural and moral sense. That is, his knowledge was in all that measure and degree, which infinite wisdom deemed expedient and proper. His knowledge was extensive, sagacious, and penetrating, when he could instantly give names to all the beasts of the field, and all the fowls of the air, and these names were expressive of the nature of every species. “ For whatsoever Adam called every living « thing, that was the name thereof." His knowledge must have been exceedingly great to accomplish him for that high and universal dominion and rule, with which he was invested. He had a perfect knowledge of the whole law which he was to obey ; he could not be ignorant of the smallest tittle of that homage and service he was to perform to his Creator. And all this knowledge was of the spiritual, or perfectly holy kind.
Moreover, this divine image consisted in righteousness. «G “made man righteous." The heavenly will was the rule, agreea hly to which he was formed. His will was made compleatly ans swerable to the divine will. Therefore, there was.in bim ng blemish or defect. There was no perverseness, refractoriness, or stubborn obstinacy in his will, no corruption in his heart, na bias, or propensity to evil ; the positive bent of his will was to love God supremely, to serve him perfectly, and to enjoy and delight in him ultimately.
He was created also in holiness. He caine from the land of his Maker a holy being. Holiness was the glory, the ornament, and beauty of his soul. This gave the highest polish and grace to all his other excellencies. His holy will was under the direction of an holy understanding, his knowledge was holy, and all his volitions boly- enceall the powers and faculties, inclinations and appetites in man were in the most perfect and holy harmony. There were no jarring desires, no corrupt wishes, no irregular or interfering passions, no murmuring or repining thoughts, no remorse or clamours of conscience. All was perfect peace and tranquility within, and no apprehensions or fears of danger without. Thus “God created man in his own image, in the image « of God created he him.”
I lasten now to invite your attention to the
Second head of this discourse, which was to enquire what was the glory and felicity of man in his primitive state or condition,
As he was perfectly holy, so he must be in a compleatly happy situation. Holiness and happiness are always in an indissolvable comection; yea, holiness is felicity itself. This state bore a near relation to the state of the blessed in heaven. Nay, I know not any thing, by which it can be better illustrated, than by sayins“ It was heaven upon earth.” It wanted nothing of celes. | zial perfection and eternal felicity, but confirmation. Man, in
tia Paradisaical state, was not only a holy, but a very glorious treature. How glorious was his appearance, how majestic his tountenance, and how beautiful his mein, and all his deportment? Did Moses' face shine with a dazling splendor, after he had been with God in the mount? What must have been the superior and divine lustre in Adam's face, when he came perfect in holy purity from the hands of his Creator, dwelt in his immediate presence, and enjoyed the fullest and most intimate communion with him ? God is glorious in holiness—therefore, man, as he was made after his likeness, was without doubt altogether glorious. His thoughts, words, and actions all shone with a divine glory. There was no staina nor spot without, and there was no defilement or impurity within. With the utmost propriety it may be said, the king's son was ineffably glorious, and his apparel of wrought fold.
Man was not only glorious, but he was a peculiar favourite of heaven. God then, in very deed, dwelt with man. There was a free intercourse between heaven and earth. There was no need of Jacob's ladder, nor of Elijah's fiery chariots to bear man to the fruition of his God. How inconceivably happy was the originad condition of man ?
He was also in confederacy, in a league of peace with the great Supreme. And while he was true to his allegiance with heaven, surely no evil could befal him. How exalted was the dignity and honor of man? He was the great personage, whom the Most High deligliteth to honor. He was the companion of Seraphs, and attended by cherubic hosts, and the highly honored of the Lord.
Another ingredient in the happiness of the Paridisaical state, was the high authority and government with which he was invested. He was the only sole monarch that ever existed. His dominion extended over the whole of this inferior creation. And the palace of his residence was in the most delightful spot of the whole earth. His habitation was in Eden, which signies plea
sure ; and not only in Eden, but in the garden of Eden ; the most pleasant apartment in all this delightful place. And it is not said that this garden was created like the rest of the world, but that God planted it, which holds forth that there was in it a collection of the most curious, beautiful, and useful plants and trees in the whole creation, Every thing that charmed the eye, delighted the fancy, and pleased the taste, “every tree that was pleasant to " the sight," created fragrancy in the air, “ and good for food,” was introduced and disposed of in all the grandeur of divine order, From hence man was happy in his nature, happy in his circumstances, and perfectly happy in all his enjoyments. Of what does the imaginary happiness of fallen man consist? Is it not riches, and plea. sure, and honor ? This man, in his primitive state, possessed far beyond any thing the human mind can now conceive. Honors, pleasures, and riches, he enjoyed to the utmost of his wishes, and in the highest possible perfection.
Let this suffice for the original rectitude and felicity of mail, which might be easily enlarged with great advantage, but I proceed to close this subject with a few reflections.
First, We are here taught the infinite wisdom, goodness, and love of the glorious Jehovah, in the formation of all creatures, but especially in the creation of man, the glory of all his works, and dignifying him with power and dominion over this lower universe. He was framed with sufficient abilities, and endowed with every quality and accomplishment to fit him for his exalted station. How glorious was the Creator, how illustrious was the creature ?
Secondly, We liere learn how excelent a being man was when he came in all his brilliant lustre froin the pure hands of his celestial Maker. He must be wonderful in his nature, endownients, and dignity, about whom divine wisdom called a council, as it were, to exert ail the powers of Godhead, in his formation. What must the production be but something as near as possible to the