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1. In authority. He had “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth;" therein representing him who ruleth over all. Thus, what God is to the universe, that man was to the lower world. The inferior creatures were not made capable either of knowing,' fearing, loving or serving God; but were placed under man, that they might know, fear, love, and obey him. They looked up
to him as their sovereign, while he looked up
to the Lord of lords as his sovereign,
2. In wisdom. God is the wisest being in the universe: man was the wisest being on earth. This indeed may be inferred from his office. A governor should have superior wisdom. “ Renewed in knowledge (saith the apostle Paul) after the image of him that created him." What degree of knowledge man possessed before the fall we can, not exactly determine. It is probable he had clear and extensive views of the works and attributes of God that he understood his own precise situation, both as a subject of God, and as a governor of the world that he was acquainted with the duties which he owed to God his governor-that he knew the properties and dispositions of the creatures which he had to govern-and the happiness which would result to him
from the right performance of various duties both to God above him, and to the creatures below him. Less than this we cannot suppose, and more than this we need not insist upon.
3. In righteousness. God is righteous in his government. “Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” Herein man was like the Lord God. He had righteous dispositions, which always lead to a righteous conduct. While
While man preserved these dispositions, he could not be cruel to the creatures. They all rejoiced, we may suppose, in his equitable sway. That man bore the image of God in this respect, is evident from the following words: “ The new man, which after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.
4. In holiness. God is holy: man resembled him. His souland body, which include the whole man, were holy. There was no spot of pollution upon him. He had no sinful propensity- - no inclination to any thing that was wrong. He loved God with all his heart. God was the centre of his soul. He could
“Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. Evil was unknown to him even in theory. He was good; yea, his whole nature was very good. . From the purity of his nature he was led to
every thing that was lovely in his conduct. Every duty was delightful to him. Had he remained in this state, the pure worship of God, would have been established amongst his descendants. Men would have been like the angels, and earth like heaven.
We may certainly infer that man was completely happy in his primeval state. There was nothing to make him unhappy. All without was beautiful, and all within was pure. God delighted in him—the creatures paid him homage--the earth produced every tree that was pleasant to the eye, and good for food. There was no sorrow, no pain, rio crying, no deuth, in paradise.
The original state of man reflects the highest honour upon God.
God. We behold in it an astonishing display of his wisdom, power, goodness, purity, and love. If the glory be departed, let man bear the blame; let him be ashamed; let him be punished; for the awful change took place through his transgression. God intended him to continue as he made him. He
He gave him power to stand. To him be glory for ever; Amen.
Isa. liii. 6.
MAN did not long continue in a state of innocency. Tempted and overcome by the deyil, he broke the law of his God, and brought ruin both upon himself and his posterity. We, his offspring, have followed his sad example; and, from our youth even until now, “all we like sheep have gone astray."
Let us consider, first, wherein men have gone astray from God: secondly, the dreadful effects which have followed : and, thirdly, conclude with some advice to the wretched wanderers.
I. WHEREIN HAVE MEN GONE ASTRAY FROM GOD?
1. In their thoughts. “They have forgotten God that formed them." They forget hiş being and perfections, his presence, and providence: they forget his goodness, his
mercy, his tộuth: they forget their dependence upon him, and the high obliga- .
tions they are under to love, honour, and obey, him; they forget his justice, his threatenings, and his fixed purposes to punish sin, They think about eating and drinking, dress and company, amusements and pleasures, riches and honours; but better and more important things seldom find place in their minds. Sometimes, perhaps, an alarming providence, or an awakening sermon, may lead them to reflect for a moment; but, alas, how soon do their thoughts wander again on the vanities and follies of human life! Before the flood, “ God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
2. In their affections. God, whom they are bound to love supremely, is hated, They hate his government and laws, his worship and people. “The carnal mind is 'enmity against God-They are given up to vile affections—They love the world, and the things that are in the world, but the love of the Father is not in them." Nothing, I think, can be a stronger proof that men are fallen from God than this state of their affections. They feel no interest in divine things. Their souls are wholly in the world. There is their treasure, and there are their hearts. They may feel fear and terror when death and eternity