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nary solutions were, by that author, perceived to be incongruous with the true analogy of the language, and that the words given above are unavoidably the fair translation. That rendering is, “ I have gotten a man, the angel of Jeho. vah.” This appellation was an established designation of the Messiah.
“ The proper question then is, how are we to explain this expression, confessedly so remarkable and difficult? Let us address ourselves to it with serious care and devout humility.
"In all disquisitions upon these most ancient of the scripture records, we should never lose sight of their characteristic brevity and abruptness. They do not form a history, but are rather a succession of memorials. In almost every instance, many things are not mentioned which must necessarily have taken place, and which the mind of the reader is called to supply. In most cases the omitted ideas, or even facts, are so obvious, that the conjectural supplement involves no presumption; in others, the obscurity is great. The case before us, however, is one which can admit of no doubt as to many circumstances; and, reasoning upon them, I submit the following attempt to meet the difficulty.
1. “ Adam and Eve could not but have often reflected and conversed
their former, and their now altered condition, the cause and
consequences of the change, the gracious conduct of their offended God, and the probable meaning of the mysterious promise. In this infancy of the human race, extraordinary communications from the Deity may be argued to have taken place, on grounds of physical and moral riccessity; and these sacred records declare the fact of such communications, It is then a reasonable and almost inevi. table supposition, that the same mercy which had given them a glimmering of hope in the memorable promise, would support that hope, would furnish further nutriment to faith, and would direct to exercises of piety. The great institution of sacrifices, for instance, we have every fair reason, short of direct information, to believe now originated. To say the least that a reasonable probability will allow, our first parents must have had their minds directed habitually, and with strong feelings of interest, towards the promised seed, which was to triumph over the destroyer of their happiness.
2. “The parturiency of Eve must have been productive of the deepest impressions on their minds. Notwithstanding what they might have observed in animals, the want of science, skill, and preparation; and the severe, perhaps unexpected pains endured, could not but occasion great distress and alarm.
3. “ Equally great would be the delight, when the pain suddenly ceased, and a new human creature was brought to view. Let
tender mother recollect her own feelings on her first enjoyment of this blessing, and let her then try to imagine what must have been the feelings of the first mother, on the first occasion of a child being born into the world! The most vivid imagination must probably fall short of conceiving the reality of this most impressive case.
4. “ It would seem to have been an idea, not merely probable, but inevitable, to Adam and Eve, that the beauteous and lovely creature thus presented to them by the providence of their God, was indeed the destined deliverer. We need not to impute to them the gross conception, that their infant was actually their great Creator and Sovereign; but, putting together all the circumstances, I would ask any reflecting person whether an indefinite idea of something connected with the Divine Being, in a way utterly unexampled and unknown, was not likely to arise in the mind of * the mother of all living;' and whether she might not, from natural feelings of hope and exultation, and especially considering the extreme paucity of words which must then have belonged to language, give utterance to this obscure, yet most precious and joyous idea, in the remarkable manner that is recorded? We cannot but conclude, from the fact of its being thus recorded, and without any observation or elucidating of the exclamation, that by Moses, and the
men of the earliest times before him, it was considered as a most memorable and important declaration; and still more that to the Spirit of wisdom and truth it appeared worthy of imperishable preservation.
“ A reason for the divine conduct in this presents itself at once. The whole connection of the Old Testament contains evidence of the systematic counsel of heavenly grace to maintain and strengthen among men the expectation of the glorious deliverer. The fond exclamation of Eve, bitterly mistaken as she was in its immediate application, was not the less the language of faith in the word of Jehovah. As a monument therefore of her faith, and as a link in the chain of notices and encouragements, it was worthy of being thus recorded.
“The inference from this fact, in reference to our present inquiry, is, that Adam and Eve looked for the deliverer from sin and evil with deep anxiety and sanguine hope; that they believed that he would be a child of man; and that they had an obscure, but yet strong impression, that, in some unknown and mysterious sense, he would be described as • the man, Jehovah.'” Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. 1. 235-241.
§ 2. Now, my dear Benjamin, having, at considerable length, proved that it was revealed in this passage, that Messiah was to obtain a complete and triumphant victory over Satan, it remains only to notice the last sentence, viz. that Satan should bruise the heel of the Messiah. This expression doubtless relates primarily and chiefly to the sufferings and death of the Messiah, to be brought about by the instigation of Satan, (as shall be shown more fully hereafter.) Hence we read that it was Satan who put it into the heart of Judas to betray him, Peter to deny him, the chief priests to prosecute him, the false witnesses to accuse him, and Pilate to condemn him.
3. From what has been related, I hope, my dear brother Benjamin, you will be convinced that the curse pronounced on Satan, the tempter, in the 15th verse, contained a gracious revelation of the Messiah, and his mediatorial work, to destroy the works of the devil; and although I did not call it a promise made to our first parents, as divines generally do, yet it being pronounced in their presence and hearing, they did understand and believe it as such, as I have already shown above. Indeed, it may well be said of this short sentence, that it contained "multum in parvo," much in little. Like as the largest oak, with all its numerous and wide-spreading branches, is originally contained in the small acorn, so was the whole plan of salvation, however copiously and clearly unfolded in subsequent revelations, comprehended in the passage we have considered. Thus the light of the Sun of Righteousness shed forth his benign beams first in paradise, where the natural sun commenced his course; and as the light of the sun shines gradually brighter and brighter unto the perfect day, so was the rising of the Sun of Righteousness; for God was pleased " to speak to our fathers of old, at sundry times, and in divers manners, by the prophets.” The second revelation, or direct promise of the Messiah, was made to our father Abraham, which I shall consider in my next letter.
MESSIAH PROMISED TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB.
your attention to the second revelation, or promise of a Messiah. It has already been observed that the promises of the Mes.
siah were made gradually clearer and brighter. This will be seen, in some measure, in the manner in which he was promised to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, recorded in the following passages. To Abraham : Gen. 12:1-3, “Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Confirmed to him by oath. Gen. 22 : 15–18. " And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not with held thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies : and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." The promise repeated to Isaac. Gen. 26 : 2–4. * And the Lord appeared unto Isaac, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of. Sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries; and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father: and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." The promise renewed to Jacob at Beth-el. Gen. 28: 13, 14. “And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to