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A. M. I. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 3. absurd arguments appear reasonable, and the most unjust of all their intellectual and moral ornaments ; were subdesires equitable, when the person who proposes them,jected to irregular appetites and inordinate lusts ; and is beloved; the devil therefore knew very well what he blushed to see their external glory so much debased, that did, when he made his first application to the woman, e they took and plaited together fig leaves, (which in Her charms and endearments, which gave her the as- eastern countries are very large,) in order to make themcendency over her husband's affection, would be of more selves d such coverings as might both protect them from efficacy (he knew) than all the subtile motives which he the injuries of the weather, and conceal their shame. Nor could suggest; and therefore he made use of her to en- was their guilt attended with shame only, but with fear gage him in the like defection : and after some small likewise, and many dismal apprehensions. e Before reluctancy (as we may suppose) he, ' like an uxorious they sinned they no sooner heard the voice of the Lord' man, was by her entreaties prevailed on, (contrary to coming towards them, but they ran out to meet him, and, the sense of his duty, and convictions of his own breast,) with an humble joy, welcomed his gracious visits ; but I to violate the command, merely because she had done it, now God was become a terror to them, and they a terror and to share whatever fate God's indignation for that transgression should bring upon her. Thus the solici- enemies,' Ex. xxxii. 25.—See Le Clerc's Commentary. Now

those who take it in this sense, have observed farther, that by tations of the woman ruined the man, as the enchantments the word "nakedness' according to the usual modesty of the of the tempter ruined the woman. She held forth the Hebrew tongue) are meant all the irregular appetites to venereal fair enticing fruit to him; and be, rather than see her pleasures, which Adam and Eve were strangers to in their state

of innocence, but began now first to experience, and which the perish alone, chose to be involved in the same common

intoxicating juice of the forbidden tree might very probably exguilt. ?

cite.- Nicholls's Conference, vol. 1. Earth trembled from her entrails, as again

As with new wine intoxicated both, In pangs, and nature gave a second groan;

They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Sky lowr'd, and, murmuring thunder, some sad drops

Divinity within them, breeding wings, Wept, at completing of the mortal sin.

Wherewith to scorn the earth : but that false fruit

Far other operation first display'd, For as soon as they had eaten of the forbidden fruit,

Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve

Began to cast lascivious eyes, she him a 'their eyes were opened,' but in a sense quite different

As wantonly repaid, in lust they burn.- Milton. from what the tempter had promised them, namely, to

c Our translation indeed tells us, that our first parents' sewed see their own folly, and the impendent miseries, and fig-leaves together, which gives occasion to the usual sneer, make sad reflections upon what they had done. They What they could do for needles and thread? But the original had acquired knowledge, indeed, but it was a knowledge word tapar signifies no more than to put together, apply, or fit, arising from sorrowful experience, that the serpent had as is plain from Job xvi. 15., and Ezek. xiii. 28.; and the word

gneleh, which we render leaves, signifies also branches of trees, beguiled them both, and drawn them from the good of such as were to make booths or bowers, Neh. xviii. 15. So that

, happiness and innocence, which they knew before, into to adapt or fit branches (which is translated sewing leaves tothe evil of sin and misery, which (until that fatal moment) gether) is only to twist and plat the flexible branches of the figthey had no conception of. They saw a living God tree round about their waists, in the manner of a Roman crown, provoked ; his grace and favour forfeited ; his likeness viceable, because, as Pliny tells us, b, 16. ch. 24., it had a leaf

for which purpose the fig-tree, of all others, was the most serand image defaced ; and their dominion over other crea- very large or shady:- Patrick's Commentary. tures withdrawn from them. They saw, very probably, the The word, in the translation is aprons; but since in the oriheavens grow angry and stormy; the angel of the Lord ginal it may signify any thing that covers or surrounds us, it standing with his sword, threatening them with vengeance; covered with the branches of the fig-tree wherein the fallen pair

may every whit as properly here be rendered a bower, or arbour, and the devil himself, who before had seduced them, thought to have hid themselves from the sight of God; to which throwing off the disguise, and now openly insulting over interpretation the subsequent verse seems to give some countethem. They saw that b6 they were naked ;' were stripped nance.—Le Clerc's Commentary. Nor is Milton's description

of the fig-tree uninclinable to this sense: | Mede's Discourses. ? Edward's Survey of Religion.

Such as at this day spreads her arms, * Miller's History of the Church.

Branching so broad and long, that in the ground a Le Clerc observes, that it is reputed an elegancy in the

The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow

About the mother-tree; a pillar'd shade sacred writing to make use of the figure, which rhetoricians call

High overarch'd, and echoing walks between. antanaclasis, whereby they continue the same word or phrase

There oft the Indian herdsman shanning heat, that went before, though in a quite different sense; as the learned

Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds Grotius upon John i. 16., and Hammond on Matth. viii. 22.

In loop-holes, cut through thickest shade. have abundantly shown; and for this reason he supposes, that e The word voice may be equally rendered noise: and since Moses repeats their eyes were opened,' which the devil had God's usual way of notifying his presence afterwards was either used before, though he means it in a sense quite different from by a small still voice or noise,' 1 Kings xix. 12., or by a noise the former.

like that of great waters,' Ezek. i, 24., or like the rustling of 6 Those who take the word “naked' in a literal sense, sup- wind in the trees,' 2 Sam. v. 24., we may reasonably suppose, pose, that upon the fall, the air, and other elements, immediately that it was either a soft gentle noise like a breeze of wind became intemperate, and disorderly; so that our first parents among the trees of paradise, or a louder one, like the murmuring soon knew, or felt, that they were naked, because the sun of some large river, which gave Adam notice of God's approachscorched them, the rain wet them, and the cold pierced them. ing.--Le Clerc's Commentary. -See Patrick's Commentary; and King on the Origin of Evil. f Milton makes Adam, upon this occasion, express himself in But others take the expression rather in a figurative sense, this manner: namely, to denote the commission of such sins as man in his

How shall I behold the face senses may well be ashamed of: and to this purpose they have

Henceforth of God or angel, erst with joy observed, that when Moses returned from the mount, and found

And raptures oft beheld ?

-0! might I here that the people had made and consecrated a golden image, the

In solitude live savage, in some glade

Obscur'd, where highest woods (impenetrable expression in Scripture is, “That the people were naked,' that

To star or sun-light) spread their umbrage broad, is, were become vile and reprobate sinners, (for so the word

And brown as evening! Cover me, ye pines, yúrevos signifies in the New Testament, Rev. xvi. 15.;) .for

Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs Aaron had made them naked, unto their shame, among their

Hide me, where I may never see them more.


A. M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 3. to themselves. Their consciences set their sin before ception, pain in childbirth, and constant subjection to them in its blackest aspect; and, as they had then no her husband's will ; to the man, " a life of perpetual toil hopes of a future mediator, so there'remained nothing and slavery; and to them both, as well as all their posfor them but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, terity, a temporal death at the time appointed. and fiery indignation ready to devour them.' And ac- Nor was it mankind only which felt the sad effects of cordingly, no sooner did they hear the sound of God's the induction of sin, but d even the inanimate part of the majestic presence drawing nearer and nearer to the place creation suffered by it. The fertility of the earth, and where they were, (which happened towards the cool of serenity of the air, were changed; the elements began to the evening,) but they immediately betook themselves to jar; the seasons were intemperate, and the weather grew the thickest and closest places they could find in the uncertain : so that to defend themselves against the imgarden, in order to hide themselves from his inspection; moderate heat, or cold, or wind or rain, which now began for so far were they fallen in their understanding, as to infest the earth, our first parents were instructed by never to reflect, that all places and things are naked God e how to make themselves vestments of the skins of and open to the eyes of him, with whom they had to do.'

Out of their dark retreat, however, God calls the two body, as, in the course of nature, must have occasionod the excriminals, who, after a short examination, acknowledged traordinary pain here spoken of; for so we find, (that in the sen, their guilt indeed, but lay the blame of it, the man upon tence pronounced against the serpent, against the earth, and the woman, and the woman upon the serpent : whereupon against man, the word of God was not only declarative, but God proceeds to pronounce sentence upon them, but executive likewise, as producing a real change by a new modififirst of all, upon the devil, as being the prime offender. ined; and Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. 1.

cation of matter, or conformation of parts. -Revelation ExamThe devil had made the serpent the instrument of his c The words in the text are, In the sweat of thy face, shalt deception; and therefore a God first degrades it from thou eat bread,' ver. 19. From whence some conclude, that the the noble creature it was before this fact, to a foul creep- earth, before the fall

, brought forth spontaneously, (as several of

the ancient poets have described the golden age,) and without ing animal, which, instead of going erect, or fying in any pains to cultivate it; as indeed there needed none, since all the air, was sentenced to creep upon its belly, and there- things at first were, by the divine power, created in their full upon become incapable of eating any food but what was perfection. What labour would have been necessary in time, mingled with dust. And to the devil, who lay hid under if man had continued innocent, we do not know; only we may the covert of the serpent, (and therefore is not expressly required, than men are now forced to take for their sustenance.

observe from the words, that less pains would then have been named) he declares, that how much soever he might The wisdom, goodness, and justice of God, however, is very glory in his present conquest, a time should come, when conspicuous, in decreeing, that toil and drudgery should be the a child, descended from the seed of that very sex he had consequence of departing from an easy and rational obedience; now defeated, that is, the Messias, should ruin all his in making the earth less desirable to man, when his guilt had

reduced him to the necessity of leaving it; and in keeping in new-erected empire of sin and death ; and, ''having order those passions and appetites which had now broke loose spoiled principalities and powers, should make a shew of from the restraint of reason, by subduing their impetuosity with them openly, triumphing over them in his cross.' This hard labour.—Patrick's Commentary; and Revelation Excould not fail of being matter of great comfort and


d Milton brings in God, soon after the fall, appointing his consolation to Adam and Eve, to hear of the conquest of holy angels to make an alteration in the course of the celestial their malicious enemy, before their own sentences were bodies, and to possess them with noxious qualities, in order to pronounced, which to the woman, was sorrow in con-destroy the fertility of the earth, and thereby punish man for his


The sun " Col. ii. 15.

Had its first precept so to move, so shine, a Josephus, in the beginning of his Antiquities, pretends, that

As might affect the earth with cold and beat all creatures using the same language, and consequently being

Scarce tolerable; and from the north to call endued with reason and understanding, the serpent, excited by

Decrepit winter; from the south to bring

Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon envy, tempted Eve to sin, and, among other things, received

Her office they prescrib'd, to th' other five this signal punishment, namely, that it should be deprived of its

Their planetary motions and aspects feet, and ever after crawl upon the ground, which Aben Ezra,

Of noxious efficacy, and when to join and several other Rabbins, confirm: but what is certain in the

In synod unbeniga; and taught the fix'd serpent's punishment, is this—that it actually eats the dry and

Their influence malignant when to shower: dusty earth, (as Bochart and Pliny tell us,) otherwise we can

Which of them, rising with the sun, or falling, hardly conceive how it could subsist in dry and sandy deserts,

Should prove tempestuous. To the winds they set

Their corners, when with bluster to confound to which God, in a good measure, has condemned it.- Revela

Sea, air, and shore: the thunder then to roll tion Eramined.

With terror through the dark aerial hallIt is remarkable, that a woman is the only creature we

These changes in the heavens, though slow, produce know of, who has any sorrow in conception. This Aristotle ex

Like change on sen, and land; sidereal blast, pressly affirms, and only excepts the instance of a mare con

Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot, ceiving by an ass, and, in general, where there is any thing

Corrupt and pestilent. moostrouts in the fretus. Other creatures, we find, are in more e It cannot be denied, but that the skins of beasts were a very perfect health, and strength, and vigour, at that time, than be- ancient sort of clothing. Diodorus Siculus, b. 1., where he inLore; but Aristotle reckons up ten different maladies, to which troduces Hercules in a lion's skin, tells us no less; and the the woman is then naturally subject. And, as she is subject to author to the Hebrews makes mention of this kind of habit: but sickness in the time of her conception, so it is farther remark- the Jewish doctors have carried the matter so far, as to mainahle, that she brings forth her offspring with more pain and tain, that as Adam was a priest, this coat of his was his priestly agony than any other creature upon earth, even though she has garment which he left to his posterity: so that Abel, Noah, some adrantages in her make above other creatures, that might Abraham, and the rest of the patriarchs, sacrificed in it, until promise her, in this case, an alleviation; and therefore we may the time that Aaron was made high priest, and had peculiar suppose, that, upon God's saying to the woman, 'In sorrow thou vestments appointed him by God. But all this fine fiction of shalt bring forth children,' a real effect did immediately accom- theirs falls to the ground, if we can but suppose with some, that pany the word spoken, and cause such a change in the woman's | by the word which we render coats, we may not improperly A. M. I. A, C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 3. those beasts, which, very probably, they were appointed to towards the east, where at first he created them; and sacrifice, either in confirmation of the covenant of grace that he might prevent their meditating a return, he couched in the sentence pronounced against the serpent, secured every passage leading to it with a guard of anor as a representation of that great expiatory sacrifice, gels, (some of which flying to and fro in the air, in bright which, in the fulness of time, God might inform them, was refulgent bodies, seemed to flash out fire on every side, to be offered as a propitiation for the sins of all man- or to resemble the b vibrations of a flaming sword) that kind: and, upon this account, it very likely was, that Adam thereby he might deter them from any thoughts of ever changed his wife's name (who, as some think, was called attempting a re-entrance, until he should think fit to deIsscha before) into that of Eve, as believing that God stroy, and utterly lay waste the beauty of the place. Thus would make her the mother of all mankind, and of the fell our first parents, and, from the happiest condition promised seed in particular, by whom he hoped for a re- that can be imagined, plunged themselves and their posstoration both to himself and his posterity, and to be terity into a state of wretchedness and corruption : for, raised from death to a state of happiness and immortal as from one common root, sin entered into the world, life.

and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, forasConsidering then a what a sad catastrophe this trans- much as all have sinned,' and been defiled by this original gression of theirs had brought upon human nature, and pollution, that such a scene of complicated misery might not be perpetuated by means of the tree of life, God in his great mercy, found it convenient to remove them from the garden of paradise into that part of the country lying CHAP. II.-Difficulties obviated, and Objections

answered. understand tents, or arbours, to defend our first parents from the violence of the heats, and such hasty showers as were common in the countries adjacent to paradise, and where the winter was

How long our first parents continued in their state of not so cold as to require coats made of skins, which would cer- innocence, and in the possession of the garden of Eden, tainly be too warm. That they could not be the skins of slain is not so well agreed. The account of their fall in the animals is very manifest, because as yet there were no more series of history, follows immediately their introduction than two of each species, male and female, nor had they propa- into their blissful abode ; whereupon ? most of the Jewish gated. And therefore others have imagined, that if the original word must mean coats, they were more probably made of the doctors, and some of the Christian fathers, were of opibark of trees, which are called depkata, the skins of them, as nion, that they preserved their integrity but a very short well as the hides of animals.—See Le Clerc, and Patrick's Com- while ; that in the close of the same day wherein they mentary; and Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. 1.

were made, they transgressed the covenant, and were the a The words in the text are these, Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put very same day cast out of paradise. But we are to conforth his hand, and taste of the tree of life, and live for ever," sider, that many circumstances are omitted in the ScripGen. iii. 22. The former of these sentences is held by most in- tures concerning the state of our first parents, and the terpreters to be an irony, spoken in allusion to the devil's man- manner of their transgression ; that Moses makes mention ner of tempting Eve, ver. 5.; but, from the latter part of the of nothing but what is conducive to his main design, which words, this question seems to arise, “Whether Adam and Eve, if they had tasted of the tree of life, after their transgression, is to give a brief account of the most remarkable transshould have lived for ever?” Now it is very manifest, that by actions that had happened from the beginning of the the violation of God's command, they had justly incurred the world to his time; and that there are sundry good reasons penalty, ' In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, which may induce us to believe, that the state of man's that is, shalt surely become mortal: from whence it follows, that whether they had, or had not eaten of the tree of life, they innocence was of a longer duration than those, who are were, the moment they fell, subject to the necessity of dying, for precipitating matters, are pleased to think it. nor could the virtue of the tree, be what it would, preserve them God indeed can do what he pleases in an instant; but from the execution of the sentence; and therefore these latter words, · And now, lest he put forth his hand and taste of the tree of life, and live for ever,' are, in like manner, spoken sar

i Rom. v. 12. · Edward's Survey, vol. 1. castically, and as if God had said, “ Lest the man should vainly What is meant by the flaming sword represented to be in fancy in himself, that by eating of the tree of life, he shall be the hands of the cherubim, at the entrance of the garden of enabled to live for ever, let us remove this conceit from him, by paradise, is variously conjectured by learned men: but, of all removing him from this place, and for ever debarring him from essays of this kind, that of Tertullian, who thought it was the any hopes of coming at that tree again.”—Estius on Diff. Pas- | Torrid Zone, is the most unhappy. - Tertul. Apol

. ch. 47. The sages.

words of Lactantius are (Divine Justice, b. ii. ch. 12.) Ipsam Examples of God's speaking by way of sarcasm, or upbraid- paradisum igne circumvallavit, He encompassed parudise with ing, are not uncommon in Scripture: but considering that, in a wall of fire: from whence a learned man of our nation, prethe midst of judgment, he here thinketh upon mercy;' that be- tending that the original word signifies a dividing flame, as well fore the sentence against our first parents, he promises them a as a flaming sword, supposes, that this flame was an ascension restoration, and after sentence passed, does nevertheless provide of some combustible matter round about the garden, which exthem with clothing; some have thought, that the words, by cluded all comers to it, till such time as the beauty of the place taking the original verb (see Gell's Essay) to signify the time was defaced.-Nicholls's Conference, vol. 1. Some Rabbins are past, (as it may well enough do,) are rather an expression of of opinion, that this flaming sword was an angel, founding their pity and compassion, and of the same import as if God had said, sentiments on that passage in the Psalms, where it is said, that

• The man was once, like one of us, to know good and to pursue ‘God maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming it; to know evil, and to avoid it; (for that is the perfection of fire,' Ps. civ. 4. And hereupon another learned man of our moral knowledge :) but behold how he is now degenerated! nation has imagined, that this flaming sword (which was acAnd therefore, lest this degeneracy should continue upon him, counted by the Jews a second angel) was of a different kind and he become obdurate, the best way will be to seclude him from the cherubim, namely, a seraph, or flaming angel, in the from the tree of life, by expelling him from paradise.” But this form of a flying fiery serpent, whose body vibrated in the air opinion seems to ascribe too much to the power of the tree, and with lustre, and may fitly be described by the image of such a is not supported with authority equal to the former.

sword.— Tennison of Idolatry.

A. M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 3. rean necessarily requires a succession of time to transact | likeness and image of God, it cannot be supposed, but his affairs in; and therefore when we read of Adam, in that he was created in the full perfection of his nature ; the same day that he was created, (and that was not until and yet it must be remembered, that a no created being God had made every beast of the field,) - inquiring into can, in its own nature, be incapable of sin and default. the nature of every living creature, and imposing on them Its perfections, be they what they will, are finite, and proper names; falling into a deep sleep, and, with some whatever has bounds set to its perfections, is, in this reformality, (without doubt,) receiving his wife from the spect, imperfect, that is, it wants those perfections which hand of God; removing into the garden of paradise, and a being of infinite perfections only can have ; and what(as we may well suppose) walking about, and taking some ever wants any perfection, is certainly capable of missurvey of it; receiving from God both a promise and carrying. And as every finite creature is capable of prohibition, and thereupon (as we may suppose again) ? default, so every rational being must necessarily have a ratifying the first great covenant with him: when we read liberty of choice, that is, it must have a will to choose, as of all these things, I say, we cannot but think, that some well as an understanding to reason ; because a faculty time must be required for the doing of them; and there- of understanding, without a will to determine it, if left to fore to suppose, after this, that in the close of the same itself, must always think of the same subject, or proceed day, the woman wandered from her husband, met the in a series and connexion of thoughts, without any end or serpent, entered into a parley with him, was overcome design, which will be a perpetual labour in vain, or a by bis insinuations, did eat of the forbidden fruit, did thoughtfulness to no purpose. And as every rational beprevail with her husband to do the same, and thereupon ing has a liberty of choice, so, to direct that choice, it perceiving themselves naked, did instantly fall to work, must of necessity have a prescribed rule of its actions. and make themselves aprons : to suppose, that in the

God indeed, who is infinite in perfection, is a rule to same evening God comes down, summons the criminals himself, and acts according to his own essence, from before him, hears their excuses, decrees their punishments, whence it is impossible for him to vary; but the most drives them out of paradise, and places two cherubim to perfect creatures must act by a rule, which is not essential guard all avenues against their return; this is crowding to them, but prescribed them by God, and is not so intoo long a series of business into too short a compass of trinsic in their natures, but that they may decline from time, and thereby giving an handle to infidelity, when it; for a free agent may follow, or not follow, the rule there is no manner of occasion for it.

prescribed him, or else he would not be free. We, who are not ignorant of Satan's devices, and how

Now, in order to know how it comes to pass, that we ready he is to wait for a favourable occasion to address

so frequently abuse our natural freedom, and transgress bis temptations to every man's humour and complexion, the rules which God hath set us, we must remember, that can hardly suppose, ó that he would have set upon the the soul of man is seated in the midst, as it were, bewoman immediately after the prohibition was given ; and tween those more excellent beings, which live perpetually not rather have waited, until it was in some measure

above, and with whom it partakes in the sublimity of its forgot, and the happy opportunity of finding her alone nature and understanding, and those inferior terrestrial should chance to present itself; but such an opportunity beings with which it communicates, through the vital could not well instantly have happened, because the love union it has with the body; and that, by reason of its and endearments between this couple, at first, we may natural freedom, it is sometimes assimilated to the one, well imagine, was so tender and affecting, as not to ad- and sometimes to the other of these extremes. We must mit of the least absence or separation : nor must we forget observe further, that, " in this compound nature of ours, what the history itself tells us that they were so much there are several powers and faculties, several inclinawcustomed to 56 the voice of God walking in the garden tions and dispositions, several passions and affections, in the cool of the day,' as not to account it any new thing; differing in their nature and tendency, according as and so well acquainted with the nature and plantation of they result from the soul or body; that each of these has the garden, as to run directly to the darkest thickets its proper object, in a due application of which it is and umbrages, in order to hide themselves from his sight; abich must have been the result of more than an hour or

Clarke's Inquiry into the Original of Moral Evil. two's experience. And therefore, (if we may be allowed

Stillingfleet's Sacred Origins. to follow others in their conjectures) 6 it was either on

" Clarke of the Original of Moral Evil. the tenth day of the world's age, that our first parents

a God, though he be omnipotent, cannot make any created fell, and were expelled paradise, in memory of which being 'absolutely perfect;' for whatever is absolutely perfect, calamity,'' the great day of expiation,' (which was the must necessarily be self-existent: but it is included in the very tenth day of the year,) wherein all were required to notion of a creature, as such, not to exist of itself, but of God. An aflict their souls,' was, in after ages, instituted; or (as would be of itself, and not of itself, at the same time. Absolute

absolutely perfect creature therefore implies a contradiction; for it others would rather have it) on the eighth day from their perfection, therefore, is peculiar to God; and should he communiCreation : 8 that as the first week in the world ended with cate his own peculiar perfection to another, that other would be the formation of man and woman, the second was proba- God. Imperfection must, therefore, be tolerated in creatures,

notwithstanding the divine omnipotence and goodness; for conhly concluded with their fatal seduction.

tradictions are no objects of power. God indeed might have When man is said to have been made according to the refrained from acting, and continued alone self-sufficient, and

perfect to all eternity; but infinite goodness would by no means 'Burnet's Philosophical Archæology.

allow of this; and therefore since it obliged him to produce exter'Bull's State of Man before the Fall.

nal things, which things could not possibly be perfect, it preferred Nicholls' Conference, vol. 1. Patrick's Commentary. these imperfect things to none at all; from whence it follows, * Gen. lii. 10.

* Usher's Annals.

that imperfection arose from the infinity of divine goodness.'Lev. Ivi. 29.

Edward's Survey, vol. 1. King's Essay on the Origin of Evil.


A. M. 1, A C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 3. easy and satisfied ; that they are none of them sinful in enticed ; and when lust had conceived, it brought fortha themselves, but may be instruments of much good, when sin, and sin, when it was finished, brought forth death.' rightly applied, as well as occasion great mischief, by a That some command was proper to be laid upon man misapplication ; and therefore a considerable part of in his state of innocence, is hardly to be denied. * Devirtue will consist in regulating them, and in keeping pendence is included in the very notion of a creature, our sensitive part subject to the rational. This is the and as it is man's greatest happiness to depend on God, original constitution of our nature : and since our first whose infinite wisdom can contrive, and infinite power parents were endued with the same powers and faculties can effect whatever he knows to be most expedient for him ; of mind, and had the same dispositions and inclinations so was it Adam's advantage to have a constant sense of of body, it cannot be, but that they must have been liable that dependence kept upon his mind, and (for that reason) to the same sort of temptations ; and consequently liable a sure and permanent memorial of it, placed before his to comply with the dictates of sense and appetite, contrary eyes, in such a manner, as might niake it impossible for to the direction of reason, or the precepts of Almighty him to forget it. God. And to this cause the Scripture seeins to ascribe the And as this dependence on God was Adam's greatest commission of the first sin, when it tells us that 'the wo

happiness, so it seems necessary on God's part, and man saw the tree, that it was good for food, and pleasant highly comporting with his character of a creator, that to the eye, and desirable to make one wise,' that is, it he should require of his creatures, in some acts of hohad several qualities which were adapted to her natural mage and obedience, (which homage and obedience must appetites ; was beautiful to the sight, and delightful to necessarily imply some kind of restraint upon their nathe taste, and improving to the understanding ; which tural liberty) an acknowledgment and declaration of it. both answered the desire of knowledge implanted in her And if some restraint of natural liberty was necessary in spiritual, and the love of sensual pleasure resulting from Adam's case, what restraint could be more easy, than the her animal part ; and these heightened by the suggestions coercion of his appetite from the use of one tree, amidst of the tempter, abated the horrors of God's prohibition, an infinite variety of others, no less delicious; and at and induced her to act contrary to his express command the same time, what restraint more worthy the wisdom

God indeed all along foreknew that she would fall in and goodness of God, than the prohibition of a fruit, this inglorious manner ; but his foreknowledge did not which he knew would be pernicious to his creature ? necessitate her falling, neither did his wisdom ever con- The prohibition of some enormous sin, or the injuncceive, that a fallen creature was worse than none at all. ' tion of some great rule of moral virtue, we perhaps The divine nature, as it is in itself, is incomprehensible may account a properer test of man's obedience ; but if by human understanding: and not only his nature, but we consider the nature of things, as they then stood, we likewise his powers and faculties, and the ways and may find reason perhaps to alter our sentiments. - The methods in which he exercises them, are so far beyond Mosaic tables are acknowledged by all to be a tolerable our reach, that we are utterly incapable of framing just good system, and to comprise all the general heads of and adequate notions of them. We attribute to him the moral virtue ; and yet if we run over them, we shall find faculties of wisdom, understanding, and foreknowledge ; that they contain nothing suitable to man in the condibut at the same time, we cannot but be sensible, that ion wherein we are now considering him. they are of a nature quite different from ours, and that Had God, for instance, forbidden the worship of false we have no direct and proper conceptions of them. gods, or the worship of graven images ; can we suppose, When we indeed foresee or determine anything, wherein that Adam and Eve, just come out of the hand of their there is no possible matter of obstruction, we suppose Maker, and visited every day with the light of his glorious the event certain and infallible ; and, were the foreknow- presence, could have even been guilty of these ? Beledge and predetermination of God of the same nature sides that, the worship of false gods and images was a with ours, we might be allowed to make the same con- thing which came into the world several hundreds of clusion : but why may not it be of such a perfection in years afterwards, either to flatter living princes, or supply God, as is consistent both with the freedom of man's the place of dead ones, who, the silly people fancied, will, and contingency of events ? 'As the heavens are were become gods. Had he prohibited perjury and vain higher than the earth, so are his ways far above our swearing ; what possible place could these have had in the ways:' and therefore, though it be certain that he who infant and innocent state of mankind ? Perjury was made Eve, and consequently knew all the springs and never heard of till the world was better peopled, when weights, where with she was moved, could not but foresee, commerce and trade came in use, when courts of judicahow every possible object, that presented itself, would ture were settled, and men began to cheat one another, determine her choice; yet this he might do, without him and then deny it, and so forswear it: and oaths and self giving any bias or determination to it at all : ? just as imprecations could never have a being in a state of inthe man, who sees the setting of the chimes, can tell, nocence : they borrow their original manifestly from the several hours before, what tune they will play, without sinfulness of human nature. any positive influence, either upon their setting or their The like may be said of all the rest. How could playing. So that Eve, when she was tempted, could not Adam and Eve have “honoured their father and their say, ' I was tempted by God,' for God tempteth none : mother,' when they never had any ? What possible tempneither had the divine prescience any influence over her tation could they have to be guilty of murder, when they choice, but 3" by her own lust was she drawn away, and must have acted it upon their own Aesh ? How could

* Revelation Examined. Bishop King's Sermon of Predestination.

Nicholls's Conference, vol. 1, and Jenkins's ReasonableYoung's Sermons, vol. I. * James i. 14, &c.

ness. vol. 2.


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