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vidence governs finful Actions, permitting them, bounding them, and over ruling them to Good: Acts xiv. 16. Who in times paft fuffered all na'tions to walk in their own ways.' Pfal. lxxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of man fhall praise thee 'the remainder of wrath fhalt thou reftrain.' Gen. 1.20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; 'but God meant it unto good, to bring to pafs, as it is this day, to fave much people alive.'

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The Properties of the Works of Providence are thefe: They are most holy, wife, and powerful: Pfal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.' Pfal. civ.

24.

O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom haft thou made them all.' Dan. iv. 35. He doth according to his own will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or fay unto him, • What doft thou? Wherefore, God is, not the Author of Sin; no more than he who rides a crooked Horse, is the Caufe of his halting: James i. 13. Let no man fay when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.' All Difpenfations of Providence are wifely ordered: Deut. xxxii. 4. He is the Rock, his work is per'fect for all his ways are judgment: a God of 'truth, and without iniquity; juft and right is he.' And Providence cannot mifs of its Designs and Ends: . xlvi. 10. My counfel fhall ftand, and I will do all my pleasure.'

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The Rule of the Works of Providence, is the Decree of God; whereof they, and the Works of Creation, are an exact Accomplishment: Eph. i, 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheri

tance,

tance, being predeftinated according to the pur"pofe of him who worketh all things after the counfel of his own will.'

Queft. 12. What Special Act of Pro-, vidence did God exercife towards Man in the Eftate wherein he was created?

Anf. When God had created Man, he entered into a Covenant of Life with him, upon Condition of perfect Obedience; forbidding him to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, upon the Pain of Death.

EXPLICATIO N.

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The Special Act of Providence towards Man newly created, was, God's making a Covenant of Life and Happiness with him. There are two Covenants for Life and Happiness to Man: And they are, the Covenant of Works, and the Cove, nant of Grace: Gal. iv. 24. For these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.'

The firft Covenant was the Covenant of Works, It was made in Paradife, and before the Fall. The Parties contracting in it, were God and Adam: Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eateft thereof, thou fhalt furely die." But Adam reprefented all Mankind, as the Parties contracted for: Gen. ii. 17. forecited. Compared

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with Rom. v. 12. By one man fin entered into the world, and death by fin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have finned.' There was no Mediator of this Covenant; for as yet there was no Breach, by Sin, betwixt God and Man.

The Condition of the Covenant of Works, was perfect Obedience: Gat. iii. 12. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doth them, shall live in them. And it was to be perfect, in repect of Parts, Degrees, and Continuance: Gal. . 10. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curfe for it is written, Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Matth. xxii. 37. Jefus faid unto him, Thou fhalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy mind. So the leaft failing in any Part or Degree of Obedience, or for never fo fmall a Time, would have broken this Covenant. The Law that was the Rule of this Obedience, was the Law of the ten Commands, and the Law forbidding to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: Gal. iii. 10. and Gen. ii. 17. forecited. That Tree grew in Paradife, Gen. ii. 9. There was no Virtue in it to improve Men in Knowledge, as the Devil falfely fuggefted, Gen. iii. 5. For God doth know, that in the day ye eat there

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of, then your eyes fhall be opened: and ye fhall be as gods, knowing good and evil.' Compared with John viii. 44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lufts of your father ye will do. he was a murderer from the beginning, and not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he fpeaketh a lye, he fpeaketh

abod

of

of his own; for he is a lyar, and the father of it.' But that Name was put upon this Tree, to intimate, that by eating of it, Man would know to his fad Experience, the vaft Difference between Good and Ill: Wherefore that Tree with that Name, was of Use, to be a Warning-piece to Man to beware of evil. Now, Adam knew the Law of the ten Commands, as they were impreffed on his Heart in his Creation: Rom. ii. 5. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their confcience alfo bearing witnefs, and their thoughts 'the mean while accufing, or elfe excusing one another.' He knew the Law of the forbidden Tree, by Revelation, Gen. ii. 17. forecited. And he had fufficient Ability for the perfect Obedience required, Eccl. vii. 29. God made man upright.'

The Promife of the Covenant of Works, was a Promife of Life: Gen. ii. 17. forecited. The Life promised was twofold; namely, one to be afforded him, during the Course of his probationary Obedience, another to be afforded him at the perfecting of it. The Life to have been afforded to Man during the Course of his probationary Obedience, was natural Life continued in Vigour and Comfort, and fpiritual Life continued in Favour and Fellowship with God, Gen. ii. 17. forecited. This was the Reward of Obedience in Hand. The Life to have been afforded him at the perfecting of his Courfe, was eternal Life in confummate Happinefs: Matth. xix. 16, 17. And behold, one came and faid unto him, Good mafter, what good thing fhall I do that I may have eternal life? And he faid unto him. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' And this was the Reward of bedience in Hope. Adam, if he had continue obedient,

could

could have claimed that Life upon his Obedience; yet not in the Way of proper Merit; because his perfect Obedience was no more than what was due from him by the Law of his Creation, before he entered into that Covenant: Luke xvii. 9 10. 'Duth he thank that fervant, because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewife 'ye, when ye shall have done all thofe things which

are commanded you, fay, We are unprofitable 'fervants: we have done that which was our duty 'to do.' The only Way he could have claimed it, was by Compact, namely, in virtue of the Covenant-promise made to his Work.

The Penalty of the Covenant of Works was Death, Gen. ii. 17. forecited. The Death threatened was alfo twofold; namely, one accompanying Sin at its first Entrance, another following after as its full Reward. The Death accompanying Sin at its first Entrance, was temporal Death, in the Lofs of the Vigour and Comfort of natural Life; and fpiritual Death, in the Lofs of the I-mage of God with his Favour and Fellowship. And Adam died this Death, according to the Threatening, that very Day he finned: Gen. iji. 7. 8. 9. 10. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked: ' and they fewed fig-leaves together, and made themfelves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the 'cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid 'themselves from the prefence of the Lord God, ' amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord "God called unto Adam, and faid unto him, 'Where art thou? And he faid, I heard thy ' voice in the garden: and I was afraid, becaufe

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