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fame day in which he was made, have no sufficient ground for their opinion. The many things which are crouded together in the former chapter, such as the formation of Adam's wife, his giving names to the beasts, and his being put into the garden which God had planted, I think require a longer space of time than a day to be transacted in. However, all agree in this, “ man stood not long." How long, or how short a while, I will not take upon me to determine.

It more concerns us to enquire, how he came to fall from his stedfastness, and what was the rise and progress of the temptation which prevailed over him. The account given us in this chapter concerning it, is very full; and it may do us much service, under God, to make some remarks upon it.

“Now the serpent (says the sacred historian) was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made ; and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Though this was a real serpent, yet he that spoke was no other than the devil; from hence, perhaps, called the old serpent, because he took poffeffion of the serpent when he came to beguile our first parents. The devil envied the happiness of man, who was made, as some think, to fupply the place of the fallen angels. God made man upright, and with full power to stand if he would : He was just, therefore, in suffering him to be tempted. If he fell, he had no one to blame except himself. But how muft fatan effect his fall? He cannot do it by his power, he attempts it therefore by policy: he takes poffeffion of a ferpent, which was more subtile than all the beasts of the field, which the LORD GOD had made ; so that men who are full of subtilty, but have no piety, are only machines for the devil to work upon, just as he pleases.

" And he said unto the woman.” Here is an instance of his subtilty. He says unto the woman, the weaker vessel, and when she was alone from her husband, and therefore was more liable to be overcome; " Yea, hath God said, ye Thall not eat of every tree of the garden?” These words are certainly spoken in answer to something which the devil either faw or heard. In all probability, the woman was now near the tree of knowledge of good and evil; (for we shall find


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her, by and by, plucking an apple from it) perhaps the might be looking at, and wondering what there was in that tree more than the others, that she and her husband should be forbidden to taste of it. Satan seeing this, and covering to draw her into a parley with him, (for if the devil can persuade us not to resist, but to commune with him, he hath gained a great point) he says, “ Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden ?” The first thing he does is to persuade her, if possible, to entertain hard thoughts of God; this is his general way of dealing with God's children: “ Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the “garden? What! hath God planted a garden, and placed “ you in the midst of it, only to teaze and perplex you? hath “ he planted a garden, and yet forbid you making use of any “ of the fruits of it at all ?” It was impossible for him to ask a more insnaring question, in order to gain his end : For Eve was here seemingly obliged to answer, and vindicate God's goodness. And therefore,

Verse 2, 3. The woman said unto the serpent, “ We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden : But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, left ye die.”

The former part of the answer was good, “ We may eat “ of the fruit of the trees of the garden, God bas not forbid “ us eating of every tree of the garden. No; we may eat “ of the fruit of the trees in the garden (and, it should seem, 66 even of the tree of life, which was as a sacrament to man “ in a state of innocence) there is only one tree in the midst “ of the garden, of which God hath said, ye shall not eat of "it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Here she begins to warp, and sin begins to conceive in her heart. Already she has contracted some of the serpent's poison, by talking with him, which she ought not to have done at all. For the might easily suppose, that it could be no good being, that could put such a question unto her, and infinuate such difhonourable thoughts of God. She Should therefore have fled from him, and not stood to have parleyed with him at all. Immediately the ill effects of it appear, she begins to soften the divine threatning. God had said, “ the day thou eatest thereof, thou soalt surely die;" or, dying thou shalt die. But


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Eve says, “ Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, left ye die.We may be assured we are fallen into, and begin to fall by temptation, when we begin to think God will not be as good as his word, in respect to the execution of his threatnings denounced against sin. Satan knew this, and therefore artfully

“ Said unto the woman, (ver. 4.) Ye shall not surely die," in an insinuating manner, “ Ye Thall not surely die. Surely, “ God will not be so cruel as to damn you only for eating « an apple, it cannot be.” Alas! how many does Satan lead captive at his will, by Aattering them, that they fhall not surely die; that hell-torments will not be eternal; that God is all mercy; that he therefore will not punish a few years fin with an eternity of misery? But Eve found God as good as his word; and so will all they who go on in fin, under a false hope that they shall not surely die.

We may also understand the words spoken positively, and this is agreeable to what follows ; You shall not surely die; “ It is all a delusion, a mere bugbear, to keep you in a servile “ subjection."

For (ver. 5.) “God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then shall your eyes be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

What child of God can expect to escape flander, when God himself was thus slandered even in paradise ? Surely the understanding of Eve must have been, in some measure, blinded, or fhe would not have suffered the tempter to speak such perverse things. In what odious colours is God here represented ! “God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods," (equal with God.) So that the grand temptation was, that they should be hereafter under no controul, equal, if not superior, to God that made them, knowing good and evil. Eve could not tell what Satan meant by this; but, to be sure, she understood it of some great privilege which they were to enjoy. And thus Satan now points out a way which seems right to finners, but does not tell them the end of that


is death, To give strength and force to this temptation, in all probability, Satan, or the serpent, at this time plucked an apple from the tree, and ate it before Eve; by which Eve might

be induced to think, that the fagacity and power of speech, which the serpen: had above the other beasts, must be owing, in a great measure, to his eating that fruit; and, therefore, if he received so much improvement, the might also expect a like benefit from it. All this, I think, is clear; for, otherwise, I do not see with what propriety it could be said, 5. When ihe woman saw that it was good for food.” How could she know it was good for food, unless she had seen the serpent feed upon it?

Satan now begins to get ground apace. Luft had conceived in Eve's heart; shortly it will bring forth sin. Sin being conceived, brings forth death. Verse 6." And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, the took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband, and he did eat."

Our senses are the landing ports of our spiritual enemies. How needful is that resolution of holy Job, I have made a covenant with mine eyes !” When Eve began to gaze on the forbidden fruit with her eyes, she foon began to long after it with her heart. When she saw that it was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes, (here was the luft of the flesh, and luft of the eye) but, above all, a tree to be defired to make one wise, wiser than God would have her be, nay, as wise as God himself; the took of the fruit thereof, and gave alfo unto her husband with her, and he did eat. As soon as ever she finned herself, she turned tempter to her husband. It is dreadful, when those, who should be help-meets for each other in the great work of their falvation, are only promoters of each other's damnation : but thus it is. If we ourselves are good, we shall excite others to goodness; if we do evil, we shall entice others to do evil also. There is a close connection between doing and teaching. How needful then is it for us all to take beed that we do not fin any way ourselves, left we should become factors for the devil, and infnare, perhaps, our nearest and dearest relatives ? “ she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."

Alas! what a complication of crimes was there in this one fingle act of fin! Here is an utter disbelief of God's threatning; the utmost ingratitude to their Maker, who had fo

lately [] lately planted this garden, and placed them in it, with such a glorious and comprehenfive charter. And, the utmost neglect of their pofterity, who they knew were to stand or fall with them. Here was the utmost pride of heart: they wanted to be equal with God. Here's the utmost contempt put upon his threatning and his law: the devil is credited and obeyed before him, and all this only to satisfy their sensual appetite. Never was a crime of such a complicated nature committed by any here below: Nothing but the devil's apoftasy and rebellion could equal it.

And what are the consequences of their disobedience? Are their eyes opened? Yes, their eyes are opened; but, alas ! it is only to see their own nakedness. For we are told (ver. 7.) “ That the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Naked of God, naked of every thing that was holy and good, and deftitute of the divine image, which they before enjoyed. They might rightly now be termed Ichabod; for the glory of the LORD departed from them. O how low did these sons of the morning then fall! out of God, into themselves; from being partakers of the divine nature, into the nature of the devil and the beast. Well, therefore, might they know that they were naked, not only in body, but in foul.

And how do they behave now they are naked ? Do they flee to God for pardon? Do they seek to God for a robe to cover their nakedness ? No, they were now dead to God, and became earthly, sensual, devilish : therefore, instead of applying to God for mercy, “they fewed or platted figleaves together, and made themselves aprons,” or things to gird about them. This is a lively representation of all natural men: we fee that we are naked : we, in some measure, confess it; but, instead of looking up to God for succour, we patch up a righteousness of our own (as our first-parents platted fig-leaves together) hoping to cover our nakedness by that. But our righteousness will not stand the severity of God's judgment: it will do us no more service than the figleaves did Adam and Eve, that is, none at all.

For (ver. 8.) “ They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the trees of the garden, in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife (notwithstanding their fig-leaves)

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