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    ADAM’S FAILURE

    Adam failed to bring out a holy character in his trial. That is no proof of any defect in his constitution, or creation; or of any moral depravity previous to that time; nor did that “ruin” his posterity, as the self-styled orthodoxy affirms; nor, bring “the wrath of God” upon them. True, they were “subjected to vanity, [or, suffering and death,] not willingly, but by reason [or, in the wisdom] of him who hath subjected the same in hope,” and in promise of deliverance from that death by a second Adam, the seed of the woman. All the acts of God towards Adam, after his sin, manifest mercy, not wrath. He told them, indeed, that they must now be subjected to sorrow, labor and death; but at the same time spoke to them words of encouragement and hope for their seed, or posterity. He also provided for their clothing, and guarded them against inflicting upon themselves the curse of immortality in sin, by removing them away from the tree of life; which, instead of being a curse, was a blessing; that they might not by any possible means inflict upon themselves an immortality in sin and suffering. Thus the notion that Adam died a moral death is proved to be a mere outburst of a distempered imagination: he never had moral life before he sinned: he had only animal life: the death to which he was subjected was only animal. God in wisdom, and for man’s good, put the race under a severer discipline, as parents often do their children, and that in love and the most tender pity and good will. How is God - the God of love - often dishonored by the representations of his dealings with our first parents and their posterity because of their failure. No wonder men are made infidels by such blasphemous insinuations - no wonder men bewilder themselves, and are lost in the fancies which grow out of their absurd and contradictory theories.SSII 149.1

    The most blasphemous part of all is, that the God of Truth and Love is represented as causing Adam’s posterity to inherit a morally depraved nature, “whereby they are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and that continually:” - Assembly’s Catechism. When will such reproach of God our Maker have an end? “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end;” - Psalmist. What has the doctrine of man’s natural immortality done? Blasphemed God - both deified and devilized man - exalted Satan - reviled the Bible - fed infidelity - nourished and brought up Universalism - robbed Christ - filled the world with hate and hypocrites. This it has done - “ignorantly, in unbelief,” I hope. Let men learn to call their sins their own, and acknowledge the long suffering and love of God, till they shall both hate their sins and abandon them, from a deep conviction of the amazing wrong they have done to God by living contrary to that course his love and kindness has marked out for us, that we might attain “unto holiness, and that the end might be everlasting life, through Jesus Christ,” the Son of God, and our Life-Giver.SSII 150.1

    There is, in my judgment, not a particle of evidence, in the Bible, that Adam lost anything for his posterity except access to the tree of life; and hence entailed upon us corruption and death. Doctors of Divinity have puzzled their own brains, and those of students in theology, with labored efforts to find out what infants need to have done for them, and how God does it, to fit them for heaven. Long and labored arguments and inquiries have been entered into about the depravity of infants - how they are justified - how they are made holy - and whether all of them go to heaven, or a part to hell, etc. etc. The whole of these discussions have only served to make darkness darker. The truth, I conceive, is very simple, and that, perhaps, is the reason why great men overlook it. It is simply this - Adam lost all claim to immortality - and therefore could not communicate it to his posterity, any more than an impoverished parent could communicate riches to his children; the consequence is, all his posterity are born, not liable to eternal sin and suffering, but liable to perish, to lose all life, sense and being; and what they need, previous to personal sins, is simply salvation from perishing, or they need immortality, eternal life. Christ came to redeem man from death, or that loss of being to which he was exposed, and open eternal life to all; or, he “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light.” But that eternal life is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ. Under the Gospel we are required to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, as he that “came down from heaven” to give “life unto the world.” This is the great test question; because he that truly receives Christ, receives all the other truths connected with his mission to earth; and he manifests that faith by obedience; so that a true faith is as certainly known by the conduct and conversation, as a living man is known from a dead carcass. And for a man to pretend that he has faith in Christ, while he does not walk in obedience to all the known commands of God, is as absurd as to say, that a sick man has faith in a physician whom he refuses to employ, and whose directions he will not follow.SSII 150.2

    I conceive, all the “evil nature,” about which there has been so much discussion in the world, that man inherits, from Adam, is a dying nature; the entire man perishing. By Adam “all were dead;” i.e., the natural tendency of all born of him was to perish, in the sense of ceasing to be. - Christ died for all, “that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” Adults then pass from death, i.e., from condemnation to death, unto life, through or by faith in Christ - and thus are said to be born again. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh - corruptible, like him from whom it sprung; so, that which is begotten of the Spirit, of the spiritual, living Adam, Christ, is spirit; is endowed with that Spirit which will raise them up from the dead, or “quicken their mortal bodies,” or, hath eternal life; according to the Scripture which saith, “he that hath the Son hath life,” whilst “he that hath not the Son hath not life.”SSII 152.1

    If I mistake not, then, the true state of the case is this. - All the offspring of Adam, are destitute of immortality; God has given His Son Jesus Christ to die for us, that we might not perish, except by our own fault. He sets “life and death before men,” and calls upon them to “choose life,” that they “may live;” - if they will not come to Christ they perish under an insupportable load of guilt and shame, for having preferred animal pleasures - which, when they are the supreme pursuit, are the pleasures of sin - to Life Eternal. Shall any of us be guilty of such folly and madness? Come to the LIFE-GIVER, - lay hold on ETERNAL LIFE.SSII 152.2

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