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God's benevolence displayed in the creation of mind. and appetite. The river of pleasure is of course represented as flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, i. e. as being the result of his intelligent creation and moral government; what an ocean of blessedness, compared to the drops of the bucket, which any other conceivable mode of being could have received! A universe, that can live in the past, present, and future, and experience a copiousness and variety of blessedness unknown to the moping animal-to have stopped at the limits of animalism, and forborne to create mind, would have been to prefer the ray to the sun-the atom to the universe. It would seem to be manifest and certain, then, that for the most perfect manifestation of his wisdom and benevolence, the Supreme Intelligence would call into being around him, other beings like himself, to hold communion with him and with one another, and after his own illustrious example to be made happy: by their own benevolent activity in doing good; would create mind—and wake up intelligence round about his throne, for the mirrors of creation to throw back the light of his glory upon-hearts to burn with love, and wills to obey, and energy to act, with high deservings of good or evil-a universe so powerful in intellect as to be able to look with open face and steadfast vision upon the strong light of his glory, and so capacious of heart as to be able to receive the tide of joy which his benevolence shall pour through the soul-so energetic as to sustain the strong emotion which his excellence produces, and to perform for ever untiringly the glorious work of

Attributes of mind.

Mental energy

benevolence--and so free that all its actions under the guidance of law shall be its own, and invested with all the attributes of a perfect accountability, which, in all its consequences of good or evil shall reach through eternity--social, also, we should expect it to be, holding affectionate communion with God and other minds; capable of moral excellence and all the fulness of perfect friendship and society. Obliterate conscious intelligence, and voluntariness, and accountability from the human mind-disrobe it of its spontaneous affections, and mutual complacencies, and you put down the race to the mere caricature of manhood.

There must exist the power of intellect, perception, comparison, judgment, conscience, will, affections, taste, memory, the discursive power of thought, the semi-omnipotence of volition, and those exercises of soul which constitute personal excellence and inspire affection.

It is only in the possession of these powers that individual happiness is enjoyed. Convince a man that he is only the instinctive animal of a day, and you brutalize him. We love and are beloved, admire and are admired; we are praised or blamed on the ground of a real mental energy of our own, capable of such high and eternal responsibilities. Blot out the intelligence and spontaneous affection of husband and wife, of parent and child, and the family is ruined; the moral attractions cease; its sun goes down, and it becomes a den of animals.

In the nature of things, the existence of a universe

Free agents have power to choose life or death.

of mind, of free agents, of rational, social, accountable beings, would seem to be indispensable to the highest illustration and expression of the goodness of God.

III. God has actually made free agents who were able in the exercise of their created powers to choose either way-life or death.

This is the doctrine of our Confession and Catechisms. «Man in his state of innocency had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well pleasing to God; but yet mutably so that he might fall from it.?-Confess. Ch. ix. Sec. 2.

Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the state wherein they were created, by sinning against God.'--Shorter Catechism,

p. 322.

It is the testimony of the Bible: “Lo, this only have I found that God made man upright—but he sought out many inventions.'-Ecc. vii. 29.

It is a part of the recorded history of the intelligent universe, and of God's moral government, that the angels kept not their first estate—and that man being in honor abode not.

Now had Adam, created holy, been free to choose obedience only, and that by a natural, constitutional, unavoidable necessity, so that by the power of natural causation, his choice must be in accordance with his character and constitution of mind, and the constitution of things around him, or the active principle which prevailed in his nature when volition took place; how could he be said to have power to will The Fall did not destroy the constitutional powers of free agency. that which is good, yet mutably so that he might fall from it, and how could he possibly fall? But he had power to stand and power to fall; and that is the essence of free agency, and was the ground of his accountability.

IV. Nothing is apparent in the nature of the fall from which to infer necessarily the destruction of the constitutional powers of free agency in Adam, or his posterity. It was an overt act—an actual sin. •In evil hour he put forth the hand and plucked and ate the fruit forbidden.' But does actual sin destroy the possibility of right action? It creates aversionit secures the certainty under law of continuance in evil if unreclaimed by a mediator and almighty power. But does it do this by a constitutional necessity, like the

power of a natural cause to its effect? If so, the adulterer, and the drunkard, and the liar, would like to alleviate their remorse and quiet their fearful looking for of fiery indignation, by the consoling information that the more they live after the flesh, the deeper the oblivion of accountability, and crime, and punishment.

But the Bible nowhere teaches, and the Confession expressly denies, that Adam or his posterity lost their powers of agency by the fall, and became impotent to good on the ground of a natural impossibility of obedience.

Did the change of character, then, which the fall occasioned, preclude the possibility of subsequent obedience in Adam? What was the change? It was the utter loss of all holiness, and the prevalence of

Powers of agency requisite to obligation. Possibility of obedience.

entire depravity-every imagination of the thoughts of his heart became evil, and only evil continually. But does total depravity render spiritual obedience a natural impossibility? How? Did the perfect holiness of Adam render sinning impossible? How then did he sin? Did God help him? Did the Devil force him? But if perfect holiness does not destroy the possibility of sinning, how should perfect sinfulness destroy the possibility of obedience? Is there not as much in the state of man’ as holy, including all his rational, animal, and moral powers, with the active principle which prevails in him,' to make disobedience impossible to a holy mind, as in the same state of things in an unholy mind, to render obedience impossible? But if perfect holiness does not destroy the natural possibility of sinning, how does perfect sinfulness destroy the natural possibility of obedience? And if the fall did not destroy the natural powers of agency in Adam, which rendered obedience possible, obligatory, and a reasonable service, how should it destroy in his posterity those powers and responsibilities, which it did not obliterate in himself ? Has the fall overacted and come down with greater desolation on the represented, than on the federal head and representative of his race?

V. That man possesses, since the fall, the powers of agency requisite to obligation, on the ground of the possibility of obedience, is a matter of notoriety. Not one of the powers of mind which constituted ability before the fall, have been obliterated by that event. All that has ever been conceived, or that can

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