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distinct from man, and form no part of him, other than as he yields his mind and members servants to either.

On examining whether the serpent could have been any thing that constituted a part of the woman, it will be proper to remember, that male and female were created in the divine image; and in this image there could be nothing that, of itself, separated from the divine will; or else there must have been discordant properties in the divine nature; properties repulsive to each other, and which of themselves separated from each other; thus producing its own dissolution. But these are conclusions we dare not admit, That image, which constituted the character and the dignity of man, as he came pure from the hands of his Creator, though it fell infinitely short of the divine original, was still a true copy; and the different capacities and attributes, if I may be allowed the expression, all harmonized and united together.

Even while Eve was reciting the divine command, and the penalties of disobedience, the tempter denied the truth of the declaration of the Almighty. This evidently was sinful; but it was before Eve had sinned, Through the whole account recorded in the scriptures, the tempter is represented as distinct from the man and woman. they were represented to be distinct agents in the transgression, so judgment was passed upon each, separately and distinctly.

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When the question was propounded to Adam: “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" he endeavoured to excuse himself, by placing the blame on the woman; and Eve, in like manner, to excuse herself, laid the blame on the serpent who had beguiled her. What extenuation of the crime could it have been, to say, that she had beguiled herself? Or how could she have said, that something of the divine image which she possessed beguiled her?

Thus far the omniscient Judge proceeded with interrogatives and expostulations; knowing that his frail and fallen creatures had been tempted, and thus drawn into sin; and therefore mercy and forbearance were extended to them. But towards the tempter, the grand enemy, there was no expostulation, no indulgence; but the curse unmixed, unmitigated, descended on him. In the several


sentences pronounced on that occasion, the idea of distinct and separate agents is preserved throughout; and more particularly as relates to the serpent; "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The line of separation is so completely drawn, that we cannot blend the two objects of this sentence in


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When the promised Messiah came, and was about entering on his important mission, he was led of the Spirit into the wilderness, where he encountered temptation. And here the tempter is spoken of in his most malignant character," the devil." Let it be remembered, that in the Lord Jesus 66 the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily." It would be blasphemy to say, that the devil here was not a distinct agent. And yet our Lord was tempted are," and without sin." If the devil was a distinct agent in his temptations of our Lord, and is not a distinct agent in our temptations, he could not have been tempted as we are; yet the apostle expressly declares that he was. But if there was a malignant, evil spirit, that tempted our Lord in the days of his personal appearance on the earth, it completely establishes the position that there is such an evil agent.

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The idea that temptation is not sin, is intimately connected with the belief, that, thus far, it is the work of an agent distinct from man. Therefore, while the temptations are only presented, and not embraced, they are not the act of the individual; and they attach no guilt to him, unless he does embrace them, or, in some degree, yield to them. But, as every temptation must be an attempt to destroy the government of him, whose right it is to reign in the hearts of his rational creatures, and, consequently, to destroy the divine life in the soul, it must be highly criminal and offensive in the agent, whoever he may be. This," says R. Barclay, is the devil's guilt, (or sin,) and not theirs who are tempted, till they make it theirs by their own acts." But if there is no evil agent, but the passions of men, then the first motions of temptation, even though resisted, are sin to the individual; because the opposition to the law, and the enmity against the divine principle, are exclusively his own.



So far as this subject is mentioned in the scriptures of truth, the devil is spoken of as distinct from man; and we have no reason to call in question, either the truths, or the manner of inculcating them, which divine goodness has been pleased to present to us, through the medium of revelation,

The apostle Peter, in his 2nd Epistle, ii. 4, says: "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness." And Jude remarks: "And the angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitations, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day."

It is not necessary to recite the various passages in the Old and New Testaments, which show that the term angels, in its general signification, applies to a superior order of beings. How they are constituted? what are their capacities? and what could become a spring of action in them to sin? are questions that certainly do not concern us; and it is an evidence of folly and presumption to enter into the inquiry.

But between their case and ours-their apostacy and the fall of man there is a striking difference. To them, we hear of no promise, no redemption. To us redemption and restoration are offered. Man is still represented as drawn into sin by temptation, and not in consequence of his own spontaneous revolt. We have to contend with a powerful adversary-powerful in exciting the passions to gross sins, and powerful to mislead, through the deceivableness of sin. Hence the propitiation and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ-and the aid of his Spirit afforded to enable us to work out our salvation.

Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God!towards the angels which fell, severity; but towards fallen man, drawn into sin by temptation, goodness, if we accept and continue in his goodness. If we resist temptation, through the aid of him who knows how to succour them that are tempted, no power can prevail against us. For he who cast down the angels that kept not in their first estate, can still cast down all the powers of darkness, and enable us to triumph over all our soul's enemies. But if we give way—if we sin—though the day of mercy may be extended, yet we have the awful reflection, that we have thus far

advanced to an assimilation with the nature of the devil, and so far brought ourselves into his conden nation. And without repentance-without rising out of this condition, we must continue for ever in a separation from God, and in a dreadful association or connexion with the malignant spirit.

The world, the flesh, and the devil, make up the grand combination of enemies against which we have to contend. Without pretending to explain these terms to their full extent, I will just observe, that the flesh assails us by those passions and appetites which we possess, as constituent parts of our fallen nature. These, without the controlling influence of the Spirit of Christ, tend to excess and to wrong objects, and consequently to sin. The world diverts from the paths of piety, by the corrupt example of those around us, and by the powerful influence of external objects, attracting our affections to themselves. The devil, a spirit opposed to every thing of goodness, enters into our passions, stimulates them to evil: gives power to corrupt examples, and unreal value to external objects; but, above all, draws off the mind from the love of God, and the remembrance of his goodness; and represents the sublime enjoyments which are to be found in the divine presence, as to be dreaded rather than desired. And, though the world or the flesh may generally be the medium, through which the attack is made on our fidelity to God; yet whoever carefully investigates the subject, will discover certain impressions and excitements, which are unmixed satanic influences.




THE doctrine of rewards and punishments, necessarily embraces the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection from the dead.

It is not my intention at present, to enter into a formal refutation of those sceptical reasonings, which have been advanced against the immortality of the soul, and those other divine truths which are brought to light by the gospel. Men, who deny every thing which cannot be attested by the outward senses, will deprive themselves of the most pure and dignified enjoyments, which the Author of our existence intended for us. Nor indeed do the principles of scepticism stop here. There have been men of bright talents, who might have been ornaments to the age in which they lived; but, by adopting these principles, they were led on from doubt to doubt, until they not only denied the truths of divine revelation, but were placed in the same predicament with respect to the most familiar and indubitable transactions and objects around them. Assuming, as a general proposition, that the testimony of the outward senses does not amount to absolute certainty, they have gone on to argue, that we cannot certainly know any thing. Those things which the common sense and common faculties of mankind denominate as facts, occurring under our own observation, they have supposed may be only ideas—and hence, even our own actions, health, disease, or broken bones, the separation from friends. or the loss of life, may be nothing but notions, in which there is no reality at all.

The Academicks, who were a branch of the Platonic school of philosophy, “laid it down as an axiom, that nothing can be known with certainty: the Phyrrhonists maintained, that even this ought not to be positively asserted." Adams's View, Introduction, p. 33.

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