« AnteriorContinuar »
the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." '* Here is one in the Godhead, speaking to others in the same infinite nature, in the language of Us, and that by way of consultation: so that it may be most safely pronounced to be the voice of God the Father, to the Son and blessed Spirit, who were the creators of man. When the work of God was perfected in his creation, then He wears the great and glorious name of Jehovah Alehim, the Lord God. And man, being created in the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness, exalted as the head and representative of all his offspring, and a partner being provided for him, formed out of one of his ribs; a covenant took place between God and Adam, which had for its conditions a perfect conformity of heart and life to the moral law, which was a transcript of Jehovah's will; on the observance of which Adam was to continue in the state of perfection in which he now was; but if he broke the holy law, the commandment thus delivered to him, he and all his descendants were to die the death due to sin.
When God surveyed his works on the sixth day of the creation, he pronounced them all to be very good. The Tree of Life in the midst of the garden of Eden was a symbol of immortality. The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil was to be the test of man's obedience. Man was placed by the Lord God in this paradisaical state, to dress and keep the garden. How long he continued in his purity may be thought a curious question. I am inclined to think that some time must have passed in this his pure creation state. I conclude he must have spent his first Sabbath, which immediately succeeded his creation, in viewing and contemplating the persons and perfections of Jehovah, as displayed in creation and providence; in praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of their goodness; and also for their eternal power and Godhead manifested in the visible creation. Whilst he remained in his state of creature perfection, the creatures were brought before him and presented to him, and he gave them names suited to their natures, which must have required time. He was also informed by revelation, of the creation of his bride .out of one of his bones or ribs, which was taken out of him when he was in a deep sleep, which the Lord God paused to fall on him; for he could not know what then took place without it had been revealed onto him. He might also (as he, though created out of the garden, was put into it to dress and keep it) be Jed to understand the perpetual circulation and motion of the heavens, with the agents in nature, fire, light, and air; and their influence in and throughout every part of the visible system, by some particular means appointed for that purpose: and looking, and seeing the effects of the agents in nature, the outward and material Trinity, he might be led to contemplate the eternal Trinity, in their outward operations towards him and the whole creation.
He was, though unknown to hiniseifj a type of Christ, God-Mah: and his wife a figure of tfai church, the bride, the Lamb's Wife. So that I aiii disposed to think and consider Adam as spending a Sabbath in the Garden of Eden, in contemplating the nature, personalities, and perfections of Jehovah, and his love to him in giving him being and well-beings and in providing and bestowing a help meet on him; and as the God-man, the great and eternal head of his body the Church, rejoiced before all time in the views and contemplations of his social glory, the church of the elect of human race, given by the Father unto him to be his bride and spouse; so Adam, his outward andVvisible type, rejoiced in the woman-, created on purpose for, and given to him,, and whb was united and married to him hy the Lord God: all which Was of special grace and free favour.
Whilst our first parents were in this stale of creature jHkity and blessedness, I conceive that the ever-blessed Three might give an intimation to those bright intellectual beings, the angels, concerning their delight in man; and that it was conceived in the divine mind, and witted and decreed by an eternal purpose, to exalt human nature into personal anion with the second person in the incomprehensible essence, and exalt him as God-Man, as the head of the Whole election of Grace; which revelation of Jehovah's wiH, not being agreeable to the angels who stood merely on their sown creation footing, Ihey immediately apostatized from God, and, under the influence of a chief, fell from God :—" They kept not their first estate, but left their own habita^ tion." Jude v. 6. In consequence Of which, they were cast out of Heaven; became devils, that isr adversaries, enemies to God and man; and are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day." Jude v. 6.
My reason for placing their fall as I have, is this: it is clear there was no sin, and consequently no sinner, when the Lord God surveyed the work of creation, it being expressly said, "and God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good." And the reason why I suggest what was the originality of their sin, and what their rebellion against the Lord consisted in: this I ground on Christ's own words, in the eighth chapter of John's Gospel, where he charges the Jews, who stumbled at what he declared,.concerning his being the Son of God, co-equal and co-essential with th»Father, in the essence existing; though also true and very man, with being guilty of the devil's sin; he says to them, "ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh it of hi3 own: for he is a liar, and the father of it And because I tell you the truth ye believe me not." John viii. v. 44, 45.
The devil and his angels being thus fallen, they set on man and drew him into sin.
That man of renown, Archbishop Usher, thought that Adam fell on the Friday preceding the second Sabbath after his creation; and that it was on the very day on which he fell, that the Lord God, in succeeding ages, appointed the anniversary day of atonement among the Jews; this however gives us a blessed prospect of the perfect removal of all the guilt of original and actual transgression from the elect of God, by the substitution of the person and sacrifice of Christ in the law-place, room, and stead, of his people.
Whilst we dare not insist particularly on these things, yet we have the most clear and certain evidence of this; that man, being in honour, abode not. The devil, who was the first sinner, and the arch-head of the apostacy from God, entered into a serpent, and beset the woman, who fell by hearkening to his suggestions, and then became the means of Adam's eating the forbidden fruit; and thus he became a sinner. The effect of which Paul tells us was this; "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that (or, in whom) all have sinned." Rom. v. ver. 12. Thus the first man fell from God, lost his original purity, holiness, righteousness, and creature-perfection, was expelled from that state of creature-blesspdness in which the Lord God had placed him, and became a sinner, inwardly polluted and depraved in every faculty of his soul, and in every member of his body; and all of us are the living witnesses of it.
My design, from the words which I have*ead fyt